Monday, March 31, 2008


This is my dad. We visited McClure's Beach in Point Reyes a few weeks ago when my folks were in town. In this picture, Dad has just realized that the tide is, in fact, coming in and not going out. No worries, though -- he managed to escape his rocky perch with only slightly damp pant bottoms.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Sunshine in a Vase

I rarely buy flowers for myself, even though I love them. Just can't justify spending the money on something that'll die in just a couple days. Last Sunday, though, I couldn't resist these daisies at the farmer's market. They were just so spring. And only $3. Plus, it's been practically a week, and they still look great. Other than the nibble marks in the petals from the Scout-Monster, of course . . .

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Welcome to the world, baby girl

Internet, I would like you to meet my lovely new niece, Emery Elizabeth.

Emery was born yesterday at 4:52 pm Eastern, weighing 6lbs, 1 oz. Isn't she purty?

Everyone is happy and healthy and my entire family is, of course, over the moon. I can't wait to buy her all my favorite kids' books and lots and lots of loud toys. I figure that by the time I have kids, my sister will have completely forgotten about the Tickle-me-Elmo, drum set, cymbals, and whatever else, so I needn't fear revenge. :-)

Sunday, March 23, 2008


Yeah, so this whole post-every-day in March thing? I pretty much bit the dust on that. Oh well. Life happens, I guess.

At the moment, I am sitting on my couch, groaning every time I have to move. See, I joined a soccer team. I LOVE soccer. Soccer was pretty much my life during high school, and I played for a couple years in college, as well. However, until yesterday, it'd probably been a good 4 or 5 years since I even touched a soccer ball. So I joined a team in the Sonoma County adult soccer league, and we had our first game yesterday. It was a total BLAST! But today, I am feeling pain in places I didn't know you could feel pain. My left shoulder and back are especially hurting. We played on artificial turf that I found to be a bit slippery and I took one really spectacular fall, hitting the ground hard enough with my left shoulder that it is PURPLE today. Really. I took pictures, but unfortunately, I can't post them, as I lost the picture download software for my camera with my computer crash a couple weeks ago and I can't find the install disks. (And Canon wants to charge me for a replacement -- bastards!) In the same fall, my head hit the ground next, and so I also have some lovely turf-burn on my left temple. That was pretty cool -- I now know that it's not just in cartoons that people see stars when they get hit in the head.

In other words, I look like I am incredibly hardcore today, until I open my mouth and start whimpering from the pain :-)

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Skittles -- The New Gateway Drug

This is ridiculous. A middle school student in New Haven, Connecticut was suspended for buying a bag of Skittles from another kid. Seriously? SERIOUSLY? The school officials there don't have anything better to do with their time? I'm so glad my hard-earned tax dollars go to support the American public school system and its candy vigilantism.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Job History: 15-18

Job History, 15-18. Idea totally stolen from Eden.

15: The summer I am 15, I work for three weeks as a messenger at my mom's law firm. It is a special "internship" for the kids of partners, and I get to drive into downtown Detroit each day with my mom. My job is to make photocopies. Lots of them. And trot them around to various attorneys and paralegals. The regular employees hate me, as I work too hard, and make them look lazy. They are always telling me to chill out. Some days I go to lunch with my mom, to Greektown or Xoximelcho Mexican Restaurant. We walk through the streets of downtown Detroit, me wearing the nicest clothes I've ever worn, and I feel very grown up.

16: I work again at my Mom's law firm, in the mail room this time, sending faxes and then calling to confirm receipt. I much prefer the copy room, as I am still in my terrified of the telephone stage. Just a couple of years ago, I was still making my sister call my best friend Nicole from across the street to see if she wanted to come over to play, because I was too afraid to do it myself. (In fact, this fear persists, to a lesser degree, to this day. I will do everything possible to avoid calling to make appointments, order carryout, or get information about something. Thank goodness for the internet!) While I am working there, a woman I work with in the fax room has a child. She names him Wizdom. With a Z. I am horrified.

16, part 2: After my weeks at the law firm are done, I spend the rest of the summer babysitting the two kids of the secretary from my elementary school. For lunch most days, we eat mac 'n' cheese (Kraft, if I choose, Velveeta if the kids do) or ham spread with cream cheese and then rolled into a log. No bread. In the afternoons, I walk the kids down to the lake for swim lessons. Some days while they swim, I flirt with a cute boy from my friend Leah's soccer team, who lives right around the corner. When we walk home, the kids smell of lake water and sunshine. The afternoons drag on, soap operas and game shows on the TV in the background of whatever we are doing, and I am always glad when it's time to go home.

17: Babysitting again, the same family as last year. This year, the boy is just old enough to start to think girls maybe aren't so icky after all. I am his first crush, and he never wants to be away from me. The kids don't take swim lessons this year, and the afternoons are so hot we sometimes run in the sprinklers together just to cool down.

I also take a loooooong roadtrip with my mom, visiting east coast colleges, just me and her in her azure blue LeBaron convertible. In Vermont, we stay with my mom's grad school roommate, who keeps on telling me how beautiful the area is. But the summer is so hot and dry that the hills on Middlebury's campus are brown, brown, brown and the parched grass prickles against the sides of my flip-flopped feet. I eat Ben and Jerry's for the first time, chocolate chip cookie dough flavor, and love it. We spend the rest of the next year at home searching for it at the grocery store, with little luck.

When I go back to school for my senior year, I want to get a part-time job after school. I go so far as to apply for a job shelving books at the new Lake Orion public library. My parents don't want me to work, and they win the battle when I get turned down for the job.

18: Maybe I worked this summer, but if I did, I can't remember it for the life of me. What I do remember about this summer is discovering Bob Marley, Janice Joplin, Bob Dylan. Mix tapes blasting through rolled-down car windows. Night-swimming in Indian Lake and spray-painting the old jungle gym in Adam's backyard. All -day barbeques at Dave's house, chicken grilled with his special spicy-sweet BBQ sauce, and Bob Dylan at the Michigan State Fair. And a lot of goodbyes as I got read to go to school hundreds of miles from the only place I'd ever lived.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Reading Update: March 8

Arthur Conan Doyle -- The Hound of the Baskervilles

I don't know how I've managed to have never read a Sherlock Holmes mystery before, but somehow I hadn't. I picked this one up off the shelves at work because I was reminded that I hadn't ever read Doyle as I was editing our new middle school booklist, which includes a few Sherlock Holmes books. Anyway, this was a nice diversion today, when I was awakened by a massive migraine. I was supposed to spend the day drinking lots of wine in the Russian River Valley, but instead I slept and read all day. The story was mildly amusing, and it was fun to read something more "old-fashioned" than I usually do. Sherlock Holmes, though, is kind of an arrogant asshole. And Doctor Watson is a slightly annoying little toady who needs to get a life of his own. Who knew.

Richard Preston -- The Wild Trees

Several months ago, when this book first came out in hardcover, I heard an NPR story on it, and was instantly fascinated. Basically, it's a nonfiction book about the people who climb in redwoods and other massive old trees, in search of the tallest trees in the world. As a kid, I spent a pretty substantial percentage of my days secreted away in a tree somewhere. I would even sometimes climb up into a tree with a book, wedging myself into a sturdy crook so I could lay back and read. In fact, my love of tree-climbing persisted all the way into high school, when my friends and I would often spend our lunch hour up in the branches of this massive old beech tree at the edge of campus. (There weren't really many climbable trees on my college campus. Otherwise, I'm sure I would have continued to spend time monkeying around in trees). So this book held enormous appeal to me. The people who study these trees have elaborate rope rigs and all sorts of secret tricks of the trade. They even sleep in the tops of redwoods, 30 stories up. It's totally given me a new perspective on the trees I see when I'm out hiking around here. And it's given me a taste for tree-climbing again. Apparently, you can actually take classes in tree climbing, like you can with rock climbing. Sign me up!

Kevin Brockmeier -- The Brief History of the Dead

A lovely, haunting little book. The first page drew me right in, and it really never let me out of its grip. Lyrical writing, a totally unique take on life and death. Definitely great.

Full Disclosure: I've been having trouble keeping up with NaBloPoMo, as my internet connection at home is less-than-reliable. So I've sort of "cheated" this post. Wrote it Saturday, dating it Saturday, posting it Monday, now that I have internet again.

Friday, March 7, 2008


So I know I am just about the last person in the world to have discovered LOLcats, but they are seriously one of the few things that is guaranteed to make me laugh my ass off.    

Humorous Pictures

This picture is not Scout, but it looks JUST like her (demonically glowing eyes and all.)  And it's SO something she would do, too.   

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Me Want

This is so freakin' cool.  I really, really really want my laptop to be all snazzy and engraved like this.  The first one on the page is especially amazing, and the red ipod is pretty fabulous looking, too.   Drool.    (Someday I'll actually learn how to include images in an entry that don't come straight from my own computer.  That's allowed, if I'm linking to the site it came from, right?)

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

From the Archives

So my work laptop, as I said a couple days ago, is kaput. They're ordering me a new one, which I should have by the end of the week. Unfortunately, my request for a "pretty" one is likely to go unfulfilled. :-) And they just about laughed at me when I asked if I could have a Mac. Stupid PC-centric world.

So for the next few days, I'm using my personal ibook for work and personal stuff. It's running a bit slow, but I can deal with that. And what it means for you, dear readers, is that I am posting from a computer that has my photo "archives" on it. So, today, here are some pics from the archives for your viewing pleasure. And since the theme of the month is lists, they make up a list. 

Today it is 70 degrees and sunny here in northern California, and everything is spring-y and a-bloom, so I am loving life here. But sometimes I miss "home." The midwest, that is. So here is a picture list of things I miss about the midwest:

1. Chicago's Garfield Park Conservatory:

Okay, so it's in the ghetto.  To take the El here would perhaps be taking your life into your own hands -- it's on the GREEN LINE, people!   But it's worth a little danger.  It's got this huge old Victorian-looking central greenhouse, surrounded by a bunch of smaller ones, all full of lush green plants and running water.   Plus (and this is my favorite part), every time you go, there's random art interspersed.  In the picture above, you can see the lovely yellow hand-blown glass flowers that were there for a while.  Once, I went there and the entire cactus house was full of these alien-looking ceramic sculptures hanging from the ceiling.  It reminds me of being in high school at this place.  Along with an elementary school, two middle schools, a high school, and a couple museums, Cranbrook has a graduate art "academy."  When I was in high school, we spent a lot of time exploring the massive grounds, and sometimes you'd come across some odd stuff -- huge boulders arranged into an S shape next to the lake, ceramic bird-house looking things in the middle of a pond, fabric wrapped around trees in odd formations.  We always used to say, oh, don't mind that, it's just art.  

2. Corn Mazes:

Do you know about the joy that is a good corn maze? Basically, the idea is that the farmer cuts a maze, often in some Halloween-themed shape, into a big-ass cornfield and then you get to go in and get hopelessly lost.  Sometimes, you're even allowed to do it at night. Then you get to try to totally freak out your companion by grabbing their arm unexpectedly or making ghost-y noises. Unless you're me, of course, in which case you are the person getting freaked the eff out.  I live in farm country  here in the Bay area, and I did see a couple corn mazes here last fall.  But, frankly, they looked tiny and pathetic compared to the behemoths you find in the Midwest.   I'm pretty sure we spent at least 2 or 3 hours lost in the one where this picture was taken.  

3.  Icicles.  

Actually, I miss winter in general.  Not so much the March part of winter, when you're just ready for it to be OVER, already, but the start of winter, when it's still magical every time it snows.  The hush that falls over even a busy city like Chicago as the snow blankets it.  The deadly  glitter of icicles as long as my arm.  

Anyway, I've grown tired of waiting for my flakey internet connection to upload images, so that's it for this evening.   

PS. I also miss Wrigley Field hot dogs, the earthy smell of lake-water in your hair after you've been swimming, and the fact that exit 69 on 1-75 in Detroit is called Big Beaver Road (hee), but I don't have pictures of those.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Computer woes and all, this made my day

More computer ickiness today, but I will have a new laptop by the end of the week. Hurray.

In the meantime, any grumpiness I might have had today has been completely erased by this.

Anyone want two cats -- cheap? I'm gonna get me a sheepdog riding monkey!

Monday, March 3, 2008

Day of suck


1. My work computer crashed for the second time in as many weeks. After devouring hours worth of work that I HAD SAVED. I am so not pleased. The good news is, the tech guy told me, after a couple hours dinking around that I should "Tell the bossman this hard drive is fried and you need a new computer." This is what I have done. Now I just have to jump through some hoops about why I need a laptop and not a desktop. (Hint, it has to do with the fact that it is necessary for me TO DO WORK AT HOME SEVERAL EVENINGS A MONTH in order to actually meet my deadlines.

2. Got my deposit refund check back from my old landlord, if you can call it that. They only sent me back HALF of my deposit. $350 bucks for cleaning (WHAT???) and I have no effin idea what the other deductions are since they didn't bother to give me the LEGALLY REQUIRED itemization. Plus, it's been well over the legally-mandated 21 days since I moved out and I only just got the sham check today.

3. My body hurts. A lot. I don't understand how my elbows can possibly hurt from running, but THEY DO! I am a pathetic runner.

You can tell I'm having a bad day by all the random capitalization. Imagine steam coming out of my ears each time I have capitalized a word, and you'll get the idea.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

What goes through my head when I'm running

So did I tell you I'm going to run a 10K race? You see, I love working out, but I'm tired of working out with no real goal in mind (other than that whole staying sane thing). And I've always secretly wanted to be a runner, so this seemed appropriate. I like the cute little shorts and tank tops that runners get to wear, and the fact that all you need is a good pair of shoes and some sunshine. I like runner arms and legs.

Except for one teeny, tiny problem. I am a sucky-ass runner. Really. I'm in pretty decent shape, with a 5-or-more-days-a-week gym habit and no problem sprinting to catch a flight in the airport, suitcase in tow, without even getting too out of breath. But whenever I try to be a "real" runner, I find that don't much enjoy the actually running, though I very much like the way I feel afterwards. I keep on telling myself that this is just because I haven't done it enough, and I hope that's true. Today the weather was absolutely lovely, and I managed to fuck up my plans for the day, so I went for a nice long run this afternoon. And by long, I mean more than 15 minutes :-) In keeping with the NaBloPoMo theme of lists, here are the things that go through my head as I run:

0:00 Okay, so I'm going to walk for a few minutes and then I'll start running. This is going to be great!

0:05 Crap, I guess it's time to start running now, eh?

0:06 For real, have to start running now.

0:09 Ugh, this sucks. How long have I been running for?

0:10 My God, it's not even the end of the 3rd song on my running mix. I suck at this.

0:12 Can I stop yet?

0:13 Please?

0:14 Okay, I'm going to keep on running for at least one more song.

0:16 Well, the song is almost over. Isn't that close enough?

0:20 This sucks this sucks this sucks this sucks this sucks.

0:22 Yes! Traffic! Have to stop to let the cars go by!

And so on . . . I think part of the problem is that at the gym, on the bike or elliptical or whatever, it only takes me like 10 minutes for my body to feel really warmed up and engaged in what I'm doing. It seems to take me a lot longer with running, and I have a hard time staying motivated long enough. It's easier when I run on the treadmill, but I'm pretty sure that's because of the miracle of cardio equipment with individual TVs on each machine combined with bad reality television. Plus, on the treadmill, I can set it to do automatic intervals, which forces me to start running again pretty quick even after I've gone back to walking. I also think I might have lousy running form. I think I strike the ground first with the wrong part of my foot and as a result, my calves get really overworked. Should I just give up or is there hope for even sucky runner me?

Saturday, March 1, 2008


I had this lovely first post for Nablopomo almost all the way written and then my stupid computer crashed and blogger hadn't auto-saved it and now it's just off in the ether somewhere. Grrr. Grrrr. Grrrrr. I don't have the energy to start from scratch right now, so I'll just say it had a list of things that make me happy in California in the spring, and lots of links, and it was, of course perfectly written. You'll just have to imagine it for now.