Monday, October 30, 2006

How can two people who were gone for five days and had done laundry before they left, have generated four if not five loads of laundry?


Bags emptied, chocolate aliquoted, laundry started, mail sorted, bags put away, email checked and showered.

Off to bed.


so sue me

In Chicago, tired, but happy to be almost home.

Lots of fun in Paris, getting there was not a lot of fun - sitting on the ground Seattle, not sure we'd make it to Paris directly, long wait for a train to Paris (locale) on the anniversary of the Riots in Clichy sous Bois.

However, it was lovely once we got there.

Chocolate, macarons, a stunning view of the Tour Eiffel, catching up with JB and making plans for collaboration, finding the elusive moleskine Paris and really just trying to chill.

Brussels was much the same, I had a great time watching TH buy chocolate. By then I was on chocolate overload. Not even Pierre Marcolini could tempt me.

Back in the Flagship lounge, where cell phone usage is now limited to the old smoking lounge, I give a dirty look to a guy on his cell phone in the cell free zone. He tells me to call his lawyer if I have a problem.


So sue me.


Tuesday, October 24, 2006

carrot and stick

Boul. Raspail Marche biologique, December 2005.

If you are a basset who loves both sticks and carrots, what do you do? The carrot is supposed to tempt you, but the stick is also tasty. Its a hard thing. Sometimes, you should just pick one, but which one.

I am realizing that in my desire to lose 15 lbs by the end of the year, that I have gained five and it is all in my stomach. My friend S. calls this the Buddah belly. My spring coat is tight and unfortunately, its 68 degrees in Paris. Oh well, they say black is slimming.

So, do I beat myself with the stick for using food as reward or punish myself with carrots for eating too much? I'll tell you after I have a salad for lunch on Friday in Paris and then stop at Laduree for three macarons - citron, framboise and maybe fruits de bois.



Monday, October 23, 2006

Peppery goodness, Billy's peppers, U. District Farmer's Market, October 2006.

Not much to say. Tired, busy, running around like a chicken with or without a head. Lots to do and not enough time in the day. I still have 40 pages or reading to do for class.


Right now the house smells like peppers. They got ahead of us, so we roasted them. Should be great in soup in say, November.

Sort of reminds me of Santa Fe.


Saturday, October 21, 2006

better than anything

I cancelled my trip to Boston, slept in my own bed, albeit with the equivalent of 15 otter pops on my back (blue ones), woke up stiff and sore and felt great.

The sun was shining after the fog lifted, TH, B and I went to the Market, did the normal TJ's run, hung out and scritched the dog and other things that I would be missing if I spent the day wandering around Boston.

I even managed to prune many things and leave the prunings for my garden assistant tomorrow.

TH recreated a pizza we had from Serious Pie. Chanterelles and crimini mushrooms on a cornmeal crust with truffle cheese and quattro frommagio.

Serious yum.

I even managed to pick raspberries, kiwis and the last of the apples.

Ernest managed to get in a bath and turnip chase.

My back feels way better.

Life is good.


Thursday, October 19, 2006

Feeling your age

Squash, Georgetown, October 2006.

Today I feel all my prime years. To tell you the truth, I have never felt any worse pain in my lower back. I am going to call what I have bulkhead syndrome.

What the heck is that?

It is what you get when you are a short woman, with the luck and desire to usually get seat 1A.


So that no one reclines into me and that I can put my tootsies up on the bulkhead.

Well, that is all fine and good until you do it for about 20 hours in one week and then your lower back screams in agony because you are putting so much pressure on it by putting your tootsies up on the wall as in this picture.

NM's life on Alaska Airlines.

Today I stayed home and I worked from home, I tried to rest. I didn't go to the gym. The doctor saw me, prescribed massage and sent me on my merry way. I can't get in until Monday afternoon. I have tons of Advil and ice packs. I cancelled my personal trainer for tomorrow and Ernest promises not to pull.

What am I doing tomorrow night? I am flying in seat 1F and I'll be damned if I put my feet up on the bulkhead. I can't take the pain.

I'm still waiting for my upgrade to clear on the return, but honestly, I'll be fine if it doesn't, less chance of injuring myself.


Tuesday, October 17, 2006

a pink pony please

Snow, October 2006, UCAR parking lot.
I'm getting a million emails today about what everyone wants in metadata files (you know, data about the data). I'm thinking the metadata will be larger than the data by the time they are done.

I'm going to ask for a pink pony too.


It is snowing here. I am so not excited.

Monday, October 16, 2006

deja vu

The road not travelled, Colorado, September 2006.

See this post here.

I'm back again, in a different meeting, a different context (data management guru) and a different lab.

I am one of two women at a meeting of modelers, data managers and standards setters for large scale hydrodyamic models. That is right, we're 4% of the population at this meeting. I'm not a modeler and honestly, some mornings I can't even imagine why I am here.

However, I'm enjoying myself and me thinks we may have a new data standard to play with when we get back to the lab.

Dinner tonight is the Ted, he always picks the best places. ;)

I'm bummed that Katja had to go to ABQ to play with her satellite. I'll think of you tomorrow when I replace my missing jibbitz.

Yes, JK, I am going to glam them up.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

words of endearment

Tiny little handprints, October 2006.

Today while in Trader Joes, TH murmured to me the words that are part of our enduring relationship --"when exactly are you leaving again?".

I can't blame her, I'm a nutcase today.


Saturday, October 14, 2006

saturday night and the partying is right

Okay, I'm back from DC. What can I say other than I survived.

One transcon to go and then Denver. Whoo hoo. At least I get to spend the day with my cousin A. who is matriculating at BU and should be good company.

Last night I went to bed without the use of pharmaceuticals and had some strange dreams. The most disturbing is the "getting ready to leave and can't find my passport" nightmare that was a melange of a major work deadline (hmm), extra security for the foreign nationals at my work place that made me nervous and not remembering my passport before I left for the airport.

Yes, campers, this is a nightmare of mine. That and losing my boarding pass (happens frequently).

Today my travel day was smooth, my upgrade to DC did not clear, but I had pleasant seat opponents. I managed to read the paperwork for my meeting, finish two mysteries, take a nap and on the way back watch a really bad movie on the way back. The food in First was nothing to write home about. I ate the beans/rice and the salad and my cheese and apple. My decaf was kept full and I was happy that the Husky game traffic was over before I made it home. I even picked up the Post for Sunday's reading.

By the way, Go Beavs!

Friday, October 13, 2006

The bells of Pecos. Pecos, New Mexico, September 2006.

Nothing to say today, I am tired. I am off for my only mileage run of the season (SEA-DCA-SEA) in one day tomorrow. My upgrade cleared on my return and I'm still waitlisted on the outbound. I have 3 lbs of paperwork for my meeting on Monday, so I have something to amuse myself with along with the new Dianne Mott Davidson and 30 sudukos.

Have a great weekend, y'all.


Thursday, October 12, 2006

its easier the 19th time around

Sunset, Pecos, New Mexico. September 2006.

I'm still cranking on my model outputs. I have discovered a little operator error in the naming of the files and now realize that I could rerun the model without displaying the results faster than I could rename 700 files.

So, I'm praying there are no windows updates tonight and that I can run this overnight and call it art.

I stayed home today and worked. I wish I could do it daily, but it ain't going to happen. I worked from 8 to 3, took a nap and have been working from 8 until god knows when.

I'm still coughing. I seem to be feeling no adverse effects of the codeine. I just wish I could stop the cough.

Tomorrow we'll put the rest of the garden to bed and begin my two weeks of travel hell.

At least my upgrades are clearing.


Wednesday, October 11, 2006

not to freak out or anything

Leaves, Dumbarton Oaks, October 2006.

I have three two transcontinental flights, one to Denver and one to Paris in the next 20 days.

I am still using my codeine cough stuff and feel like crap. Its a viral cough, it'll eventually peter out. Right?

I have a paper to write for AMS by the end of the month (no real progress as of yet), another abstract for another meeting, a paper for class and general work stuff. I have to fly to Denver next week for a work meeting and I hope that 1. it does not snow 2. that I will understand 20% of what is discussed at the meeting.

Not just baby steps, its time to seriously start planning my days by the 15 minute increments.



Tuesday, October 10, 2006

back up and double check

Check out this flickr set on the Bonneville salt flats.

We encountered a little heartbreak on our road trip last month. NM stupidly lost a memory card for the camera. So, we lost the first four days of our vacation pictures. The things that happened are in our brains, the landscape, the silly signs, the pictures of the weather station at the top of the Steens in the 25 degree blowing snow.

I wish I could share them with you, but as TH and Mony have stated, what is in embedded in your brain is more important.

We can easily recapture those images. I had some great pictures of the Spiral Jetty, but I guess we'll have to drive back down that hideous gravel road and take them again. My awe at the landscape of the Great Salt Lake, the salt flats and the semi-permanent monuments are still with me.

This last week, I finally downloaded the memory cards, put them on the hard disk of Thor and uploaded most to flickr to edit. It'll take me a while to them up and running. I wasn't too sure if everything was downloaded onto Thor, so when I was in DC last weekend I was hestitant to delete anything. So, I went to motophoto in Dupont and they copied everything off the card in the camera and put it on CD for a whopping six dollars.

I'll do that from now on - insure myself against loss or heartbreak.


Friday, October 06, 2006

Ernest at 7 months

Isn't he handsome?

Thank you for being literate

Mocha mexicano and french toast bagels, Dilletante Mocha Cafe at Seatac, October 2006.

The title of this post is exactly what the TSA screener said to me this morning after she inspected my 1 quart ziplock bag full liquids and gels. She was amazed that I had read the paper and understood the rules.


Here we are at the airport on our way to DC for the weekend. The BoardRoom is full of loud mouths and small children who are able to mosey up to the bar and order shirley temples and I can upload a meeting abstract that is due today.

More later.


Wednesday, October 04, 2006

I gotta ask myself

Why at 10:46 pm I'm setting up a model run that I'm 89% sure will crash by morning.

I have definitely found some bugs in the candidate release of the new ArcGIS 9.2 software that are really making me mad.

All I need is for this bad boy to finish by 4 pm tomorrow so that I can work on animating it by the end of the weekend.

Yes, Virginia, I will be in DC this weekend, working while TH spends her time reading about multidimensional representation of space.

At least we'll eat well.

Apples, September 2006.

I have a prescription for codeine cough syrup and antibiotics to take me through the next anthrax scare. I just need to fill them. I still feel like crap and hopefully, these will make me feel better. With my next few weeks of back to back flights I can't go on sounding like this unless I want a row to myself.

I have so much to do, I need to get well.

I am trying, just failing.


Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Am I the only one who lost money today on the stock market?


Again, repeat after me "I'm in it for the long term- find your happy place".

On a happier note(?), I am going to see the doctor about my tubercular cough. Even my boss, who I believe was the initial disease vector remarked that I shouldn't be here sounding like I do.
Maybe it would be better if our group stayed put in Seattle instead of going to Bali, Australia, Guam, Hawaii and Boulder every freaking week and bring back foreign germs.
While I get paid not very obscene amounts of money to think about data, endure endless conference calls about data standards and attend lots of meetings about such arcane things, JK gets to meet interesting people, scan all sorts of media for her job and listen to endless banjos.

I have not a clue where she found this, but it made me spit my decaf out onto my screen.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

portrait versus landscape

I'm still in the market for a new 2007 planner. As much as I love Moleskine, thanks to Viv for turning me onto Moleskine and moving me out of the filofax world. I detest the new format. I want to see my days and week in a vertical (portrait) layout. I want to see my time blocked out as it happens and know that I can tell at glance if my 10 am slot for Friday is free or not.

Since I got hooked on the Moleskine last year, I don't know if both formats were available. All I know is when I looked at this year I was bummed.

Today we went down to the University Bookstore so that I could get the book for my last class for my preservation planning certificate. Yes, campers, I may have graduated years ago, but more knowledge is good knowledge and with only a few more classes to go, I decided to finish it off. What is left is the first of the series of planning classes, I'll keep you up to date on my progress.

Anyways, the bookstore is pushing all sorts of planners. I picked up the moleskine, weekly planner and then was intrigued by the Quo Vadis. It is just perfect for me in terms of organization, though I am not too crazy about the size - its a bit bigger than the moleskine, but it has the week in vertical by hour, places for notes and just like moleskine, a pull out address book. Interesting colors for covers too. I may let it sit on my desk for a while and then decide. I may also just look when I'm in Paris in a few weeks.

Getting organized takes work and planning and learning what works for you is key. Pick up your planner and look at it, does it feel right? Will it fit in your bag? Do you need it to block out projects? Do you just need it to do simple tasks? Can you live with a soft covered planner or would you take it more seriously if it was hardback? Can you doodle in it?

So many questions, so many options!

We can talk about this more if you want, I'll even pencil you in.