This is my interview with Gregory Pittman. He has the cutest pets and a cool special talent. Thanks Gregory!
Where do you live?
I live in Glen Allen, Virginia, which is in the suburbs of Richmond. I have lived here all of my life and truly love it. My wife and I bought our first house a little over four years ago and we’re looking to move sometime in the next six or nine months. We really do like our house, but with our now 11-month-old son, we’ve run out of space. Fast. I am constantly overwhelmed at how much “stuff” babies require!
What is it like where you live? Do you like it?
Richmond is great! In terms of the weather, we have all four seasons. Summer can get pretty hot and when you factor in the humidity, which can be pretty high, it gets borderline oppressive! Fall brings a welcome relief to that and we get some great scenery with the turning of the leaves. Winter gets fairly cold and we typically see a couple of inches of snow a year. Sometimes we only get ice storms, which can be absolutely beautiful when you look out of the window, but can wreak havoc on our city. We don’t really get a lot of snow or ice here, so when it does happen, the whole city seems to shut down. I loved that as a kid because school usually got cancelled! Spring is a lot like fall, just without the pretty leaves.
The best thing about living here is the location. I’m about two hours from everything! The beach, the mountains, and Washington, DC are all about two hours away by car. Colonial Williamsburg is only about 45 minutes away. No matter what you’re in the mood to do or see, it’s close by. Richmond also has a pretty fascinating history. Richmond played a big part in our nation’s history early colonial times, through the civil war, up to the present. I could go on forever. If you’re interested in learning a little more, take a look here.
I know your son is about 8 months old. What is he like?
He’s almost 11 months old now and is just a fantastic kid! He is overall a very happy little boy. This is him in his play yard in our den.
We had some rough nights those first few months because my son had really, really bad acid-reflux and it made him pretty cranky. But between medicine and his own natural development, his condition has all but disappeared now. He’s at an age where he’s crawling everywhere, so we have to be extra careful about what we leave where. Here he is under our old couch. Don’t ask me what he was doing under there!
He’s also beginning to learn how to talk. He makes a lot of different sounds and has even been toying with “mama” and “dada”, but we’re still waiting for something more substantial, like “astronomical” or “fiscal responsibility”, to come out.
What is it like being a dad?
I love it! I wasn’t sure how I would take to it, especially for the first month or so of his life. Boy did he cry a lot! But after a while, we really bonded and I can’t even begin to imagine life without him. I don’t think you fully understand what unconditional love is until you have a child. I know I didn’t. I’m so looking forward to the days when we can play ball in the backyard and build forts in the woods and play legos. I’m not really looking forward to him driving my car just yet. I’ve seen how he treats his toy trucks!
I know you have some pets. Can you tell me about them?
Sure! We have two dogs (Tucker who is 8, Riley who is 7 ½) and my wife has a cat. I’m not really taken with the cat, but I allow her to stay mostly because my wife says so. The dogs, on the other hand, are awesome! I love all animals (except maybe snakes. They creep me out.), but I’m definitely partial to dogs. And ours are great! Have I mentioned that? Both of them came from the local shelter and we got them about a year apart. We got Tucker first and he was just 6-weeks old when we brought him home. He ended up being the sweetest, most caring dog I have ever met. In fact we ended up bringing Riley home because he looked so much like Tucker. At first appearance, they look like they could be twins, but as far as we know they are unrelated. Despite their appearance, they both have their individual personalities and quirks. Tucker will drop whatever he is doing if he thinks he might get something to eat and he always has to sleep on something cushy like a comforter or big, squishy dog bed. Here he is thinking that he’s going to get a treat.
Riley will drop whatever he is doing if he thinks you’re going to play ball with him (seriously, the dog is nuts for ball-playing) and prefers ice cubes to dog treats. He also likes to lay at the top of our steps and observe us.
Now, about the cat since I know you like cats. Maggie is 11 and we’re not sure exactly what breed she is. My wife found her as a stray back when she was in college. I’d say that she’s mean. My wife might say that she’s street-hardened. Regardless, she’s certainly got a mind of her own and does pretty much whatever she wants. I guess that’s just how cats are, though. She can be pretty sweet when she wants to be, so I guess she’s not all bad.
You’re working on a degree. What do you want to be?
I’d love to be a kid again! But since that’s not really an option, I’m trying to become a civil engineer. I know, two ends of the spectrum, right? I guess I’ve just always had an interest in buildings and how things are put together, so engineering just kind of naturally seems to fit with that. I’m hoping that once I get my degree, I can take my professional licensure test and then go on to help design neighborhoods and such. When I was 8 years old, my parents and I moved to a different part of Richmond. They had a house built in a brand new neighborhood, so at a pretty young age I was exposed to construction and was very taken with it. It fascinated me how someone could take a bunch of land and turn it into a nice place to live. Now, I want to be the guy who does that, but I want to make sure that we are environmentally responsible about it.
What is your favorite type of music?
I like a very wide range of music, but my favorite artist would have to be either the Dave Matthews Band (he used to play at this rinky-dink little place here in Richmond before he made it big) or Jimmy Buffett. I also like alternative and hard rock, country, rap (especially 90’s hip-hop), jazz, and classical. I think it all depends on what kind of mood I’m in.
What do you like to do in your free time?
Ha! Well, having a baby, working a full time job, and going back to school doesn’t lend itself to very much free time. When I do get some spare time, I enjoy playing soccer (I’ve played since I was 7, including two years in college), working on our house, and spending time with my friends and family. Back before we had our son and before I started back to school, I spent a fair amount of time outdoors. We have some decent places to rock climb around here and I used to do a lot of camping.
Do you have any special talents?
I can fold my tongue three times! Does that count?
What are you afraid of?
I am deathly afraid of snakes. I will run screaming if I come across one. I don’t like looking at snakes on TV or in books. If I do happen to see them on TV, I’ll usually end up having dreams about them later on that night. I’m getting a little creeped out right now just typing about snakes. I.Hate.Snakes.
Have you ever gotten a tattoo?
No, I’m a big chicken. I always wanted one but I could never decide on one thing that I was willing to have permanently placed upon my body for the rest of eternity. That and I don’t really like pain too much. My wife has two. One of them is on the top of her big toe. Ouch! I’m still not sure why she had it put there. I have been thinking more lately about getting a tattoo that has something to do with my son. I’ll probably chicken out, though.
What is your favorite room in your house? Why?
I think my favorite room in my house is probably my bedroom. If I need to get away from things for a while, I can always go hide in there. The bed is big and comfy and we have a TV and a DVD player so I can watch a movie if I want. It’s also nice to just sit on the bed and read. My favorite PLACE in my house has to be my back deck. We have a pretty large backyard, so we host a lot of cookouts for family and friends and the deck becomes a natural gathering spot. I have spent many, many hours out there into the wee hours of the night just sitting and talking with friends. I love my backyard and deck!
What is your favorite word? Why?
Wow, great question. The first one that pops to mind is celestial. I just think it sounds cool.
Do you like being a grownup?
Overall, it’s not that bad. Sometimes I do long for the days when I was 17. I think that was the best age for me. I could drive wherever I wanted to and I had a job, so I had some spending money, but I had very little responsibility.