Sunday, June 06, 2010

Goodbye, Cruel (Blogspot) World

To commemorate my return to blogging and my 400th post on this blog, I moved, and bought the domain name

Blogspot/Blogger has been very nice to me, but they just never seemed to "get" it, sort of like AOL. When other companies make the technology better, you really oughta follow suit. Wordpress is a billion times more adaptable and flexible, and easier to use.

So c'mon over to the new place, when you have a chance. We've got iced tea, a front porch swing and 1940's jazz playing on the sound deck.

Saturday, June 05, 2010


My last post was almost exactly a year ago, but it seems like 10 years in my addled head. The last year has been one of the most intense in my almost 50, right up there with the first year of motherhood. The second year of my master's program at Berkeley turned out to be much (much) more challenging than I'd expected, and I layered on several jobs and trying to help Annie through her senior year of high school and the college process. But in the end, we both triumphed - I made it through school and even landed a perfect job, and she settled on UC San Diego's Eleanor Roosevelt College, which looks to be the perfect spot for her.

I'm been sort of floundering since finishing school about a month ago, trying to figure out how to re-orient myself to Real Life and (more importantly) how to narrate it. Because I'm all about the self-narration. I don't know how I functioned before there were blogs posts to write and Facebook statuses to create to frame the moments in my life. It seemed silly to maintain this blog, because I don't sew anymore.

But then my dear sister posted this, would look SO cute in my about-to-be-redone kitchen, and it's a by hand project, and...yeah. So I guess I could get back into the sewing world without much of a push.

And in between sewing a bit, I can regale you with stories of my perfect job, and Annie's adventures in San Diego, and Joe's adventures as a high school student at the big school, and cooking, and then there's running. I'm back at that, too.

So, yeah. That's the story.

Sunday, June 14, 2009


That's about what I did today, just nothing. Well, OK, I did buy groceries, and washed the sofa cover and cleaned the bathrooms, but that was about an hour, total, so just a tiny spurt of activity. And then I did bake blueberry muffins, but that was because all I've wanted to do for weeks was to bake, so that was indulging a craving, really. And then I crocheted whilst watching a lot of nonsense TV (The History of Dippin' Dots!). So, really? Nothing.

The coming week, though, holds some fun stuff. Tomorrow Joe and I are, separately, taking public transportation to meet up and watch the suddenly red-hot SF Giants play the LA Angels. This will be his first attempt at crossing the bay on his own (by ferry), so that's kind of cool, and then we got a package deal at the ball park which offers him a ton of food credits, further good news for a garlic fries fan. I will bring the camera.

Then Tuesday, yet another old high school friend found on Facebook is returning to our hometown, and a big group is meeting up after work. At this rate, who needs this fall's planned 30 year reunion? I will have seen everyone.

Friday is dinner with dear friends from college days and their kids, folks we only get to see a couple of times a year. Sunday, of course, is Father's Day. For what's supposed to be the most unstructured week of the summer for us, a fairly full schedule.

We have not heard from Annie, but that is to be expected. She is currently in Washington, DC, and without internet access. Europe happens either Tuesday or Wednesday. The nice bit is that I'm in fairly regular touch with the nannied family's mom, so I'll hear if anything disastrous happens. Otherwise, I can assume no news is good news.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Sleep of the Dead

All I've wanted for, months, now, is to sleep real sleep. Not the stuff you do because it's 10pm and time to go to bed - I want to sleep REAL sleep. The kind in which you don't wake up 10 times because either you don't want to forget that thing you have to remember first thing in the morning (field trip form? water the veggies? paper due? need to go in early for a meeting? don't forget to pick up the forms to sign a kid up for a class for next year!) or, and this is the worst, you INVENT things in your dreams that you have to wake up early for.*

Tonight is the first night of my summer. It is the night for Real Sleep. I'm down to just one responsibility that I can't shirk (my internship, 9 to 5 M-F). And two more that I can't shirk for more than a day without the potential for death (the vegetable garden and the parakeets). Rob has the dog and Joe (to the extent he needs it) covered, and Annie was put on a plane at 2:00pm today for the summer away.


*I really have begun to do that since early last semester...I have recurring dreams about elaborate time-based problems I have to solve (HAVE to solve) that have me waking up multiple times each night: "don't forget that on odd-numbered Tuesdays you have to be at school at 4:00am! And yesterday was a cloudy Wednesday, so don't be late for your 7:00am meeting! Get up! Get UP!"

It's freaky.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

The Good China

There's a moment in everyone's childhood in which we cross the threshold into the big world and stop looking back. It starts, of course, the moment we leave the womb - our interactions with others outside our family are short and controlled at first, then gradually, over the years, we spend more time away from home and family than we do in it. If we're lucky, the childhood years include a home that we want to come back to, a place that feels safe. But even with that, there comes a time to move on. We create our own safety and comfort zone somewhere new.

My mother once got upset because I referred to my dorm room off-handedly as "home." The house I had left was home, she insisted. I know what she meant. But really? Home is where you feel settled at the moment. It's what you expect to find when you open your eyes in the morning. And I'd crossed the threshold and found a temporary home in Mary Ward Hall, third floor. I've had a lot of homes since then, and that house I left has been home to lots of other families since that time.

What I've carried around with me to all these homes is a sense of who I am and where I came from. Like good china. Better than a house, and easier to pack, too.

Annie is standing at the threshold, and not inclined to glance back. These last few months we've watched her turn her attention out into the world, gaze focused farther each day. Far away college dreams, boyfriend, international plans. This birthday weekend is all about friends, and we had to kidnap her last night for an hour in between work and a night at the movies to even be able to give her birthday cards and money and wish her well.

Next weekend is the last weekend before she heads to Europe for the whole summer, and where I once had to literally pry her 10 year-old fingers off me and push her into a car to go on a fabulous three day adventure with her closest friends, she now has not even a hint of wistfulness about what she leaves behind.

And although I will miss her both this summer and in the future, I could not possibly be prouder or more happy for her. She knows what she wants, and she's going for it. She has made wonderful choices for herself, and worked hard to achieve her goals. She is a good friend to have, a fine family member, a superb part of the greater community. She takes care of herself and those around her.

In short, she has her good china packed, and is ready to go.

Friday, May 29, 2009


How the heck did this happen? The first picture is not long after her 11th birthday, the second is just a couple of weeks ago.

Like me, like all of us, she is a work in progress; she had some bumpy patches today, her birthday. But unlike me, unlike most of us, she gets that about herself. And I think that meta-maturity is what impresses me most about her.

She'll do all right. Yes, she will.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

How's That Working Out for You?

For those who, somehow, might not have kept track of every detail of my life, my master's program requires a full time summer internship, and I'm at one of the best my program offers: blood epidemiology at the Blood Systems Research Institute in San Francisco.

The Beast hooked up with Beauty (not that I'm Beauty, but it's a handy allegory) because he was a nice guy, not because he was handsome. When I ranked this internship top of my choices, I knew it would be interesting, and it is. They've got some great projects for me to take on, and have encouraged me to do nothing but read read read for the first two weeks to get some foundation information. Yesterday I spent the whole day learning about hepatitis C virus, today will be all about genetics. Interspersed with my reading are bouts of looking at data, one of my favorite things, and seminars on all manner of interesting topics.

But Beauty got some surprises she hadn't bargained for when that Beast turned into a handsome prince. Interns at BSRI always publish, how cool is that? And at my "intake" meeting, I found out I have full benefits for the whole family for the summer at the astonishing cost of $82.83 per month (saving us about $1100 per month). The dreadful commute I anticipated has turned out to be quite pleasant and predictable (I will write a lot about San Francisco this summer). And the people are just so nice, I could go on and on. Whereas my last job was all about The Drama, these folks are as down to earth as Minnesota farmers.

And there's free tea. I like that a lot, too.