Thursday, April 03, 2008

dear ernest,

sleeping dog, not necessarily lying
I love you all the time, but I loved you the most in the winter when you decide that 8:00 pm is the appropriate going to bed time. It gave me two hours (give or take) or me time. Now that the days are longer, you have taken to going to bed later and later. While this works well for you, I seem to have lost my me time.

When can I get it back?


nm who jumped forward and is not falling back anytime soon

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Dear Mayor Nickels,

Nice try.

I don't know about the rest of the chumps in the city, but I know that every paper bag
that I get from the grocery store gets used for composting, garbage and recycling.

Thank you also very much for penalizing those of us who already recycle/compost most of our
waste stream.

nm bagging the canvas in the 98105

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Dear editors,

Thank you so much for accepting my book chapter proposal in December 2007. Then May 2008 seemed so far away, here it is, April 1st and I haven't done squat towards my chapter short of discussing that I need to get going.

I know that your job as a book editor is not to micromanage me or hold my hand, but how about some encouraging words that should sent out around March 10th asking how I was doing? That would have been helpful or at least guilt tripping. I anticipate a few sleepless nights between now and April 12th, my own deadline for putting the pedal to the metal so to speak.

At least you were kind enough to provide the authors with a nice template that the publisher likes to use. Thank goodness chapter is so much fun to write -- in my now quite copious spare time learning our beloved model, reviewing geospatial policy and working towards my goal of finding my own way in the world of my group, the one I have been part of for nearly three god damned years.

Well, off we go, to think dream of natural hazards.... and mitigation


nm lead author chapter 5 - real life applications

Monday, March 31, 2008

The end

It has been a month of nonstop blogging in honor of NaBloPoMo. Sorry I could not get any more exotic than France, bit I tried.

I will be participating next month only because the theme of "the letter" intrigues me.

I will leave you with these questions to ponder--

Why do our animals insist on following us into the bathroom?

Do the flight attendants make coffee with the packet of coffee they use to freshen the lav?

Why does the spinster daughter get called before the bachelor son in times of emergency?

Nm who was an old lady that lived in a shoe

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Sunday blahs

crackberry, never leave home without it

I woke up in foul mood which made my 796 minute walk with the dog at 6:30 am a bit more irritating than usual. I have not a clue of what is causing these outbursts of foulness but they have got to stop. Yes I have considered the shooting range but I'm not keen on driving to the burbs on Sunday mornings.

This week I am working on figuring out what is causing such angst -- can't blame the internet, the stockmarket, troop surge and Wynona Judd for this.

Nm caffeine free taking deep cleansing breaths

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Night night

In the recent lights out hour I took the best nap I have had in years.


Friday, March 28, 2008

the syndrome

For the last few years I have been plagued with I thought was hip pain. Seriously. Bad stuff for
someone so young. Massage, acupuncture, PT, xrays, brain examination has come back with various and sundry types of explanations, but still, this nagging pain and discomfort. Oddly activity helps, being sedentary makes it worse.

The last few months it has really gotten to be a drag. I finally dragged my arse into the orthopedist who poked and prodded me and declared me to be a healthy person without any sort of spine, hip, lumbar issues and was flummoxed as to what was wrong with me, because it wasn't something she could fix. I guess this is good in that all fingers, toes, symmetry kind of way. I mentioned something my massage therapist had said and she check that out. Voila -- he was right - I had the syndrome -- piriformis syndrome. Basically, I have irritation of my sciatic nerve and it runs near my piriformis muscle group and this causes "deep glutteal pain." I cannot write this without cringing.

My ass hurts and it affects my leg and it makes me cranky.

The last few weeks I have been dealing with a godsend of a PT (thanks J!) who is working to help me get over this and been fitted with orthotics in my running shoes. I can't say that I'm excited, "the syndrome" may be with me for a long time, better I suppose than a ACL tear, definitely not as sexy. I don't get crutches and I still spend time in meetings getting really antsy because its just not fun to sit down and feel your leg throb after about 15 minutes.

I'm still on track for my half in a few, my 3 day (pimping here) and to keep things active.

Just next time you see me, don't ask how my ass has been. K?


Thursday, March 27, 2008

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

hump! day!


Today was really no better work wise than yesterday, but I digress.

I spent part of my alloted luncheon time that I would have spent with Ernest with my parents in their new garden. My father pruned back some perennials and my mom planted some onion starts and chives. We decided that they needed some persian leeks and some sprouting broccoli. These are needs that are easily tended to. I like those the best.

My mom pronounced that they have a new policy chez M, the new PQE rules. For my mom that is no pressure, no questioning and no explanations. My mom figures that the less micromanaging and questioning that people do of her actions, the sooner she'll get back to normal and life will too.

I think as we get older and set in our ways and realize that the love/lust of our lives has just as many ways that are set in stone that much energy is expended on pronouncing our irritation at the unbending of wills or second guessing each other's motives. Maybe I need realize that sometimes things need to be done without this level of analysis and that TH, my colleagues and even my parents may have reasons for their decisions.

An aside, TH could be superTH today. We returned from dinner tonight to hear a bleeping of an alarm in the 'hood. Turns out our neighbor M across the way left a pot on the burner and left the house. We managed to secure a key and turned things off. TH and our other neighbor aired out the house with box fans and are hoping she returns home soon. Another disaster averted because TH decided to check it out instead of shrugging her shoulders and saying that someone else can deal with it.

nm bending to only ernest's will

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

falling down on the job

falling down on the job

Today I attempted to battle linux, software installation and attempting to find a license file for a software product that apparently bundles the software authorizations with the dvds they send users who are evaluating the products.

Two of us banged our heads on the wall trying to figure out why we could not find out where to request licensing information, the answer was buried three levels down in the documentation.

Kiss my grits.

Tomorrow, stay tuned while I kill our data management system due to my inability to read the documentation.

kill -9 nm

Monday, March 24, 2008

tangled webs and whatnot....


Today I reopened an evite for party my neighbor and friend is having to reconfirm the time. Evites are strange, in a way they are nice because you don't have to spend four hours of time at Kinkos trying to get something printed and they can be done fast, but at the same time, they can be awfully impersonal.

Having said that, I opened it, acted on it (rsvped) and then closed it. Today I reopened it because I am an idiot and did not write down the date.

I also then looked at who was coming and who was not coming, as if that should dictate if you are going to a party. It does for many. Low and behold, a decliner was someone who I hung out with in the freaking 4th grade. Is that not weird? What is weirder is that I was talking to TH yesterday about the first real time I had ham, which was at her house for a rare sleepover event. Adding to the mix was that moments earlier I was confirming with another recently reconnected with childhood friend a plan for dinner. All these people are quite intertwined in my life and they are all coming back into my life.

Ham chunks, broiled pineapples, the Osmond family, staying up all night giggling and canopy beds are all past us now, but such memories to have.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Six days until the next plant sale and every plant purchased in 2007 is in the ground.

I know some of you reading this have sprayed coffee on your monitors.


Saturday, March 22, 2008


Butterfinger eggs are missing from my Easter mix.

Secretly, I am relieved because that means I don't have to eat all of them on Monday.


Other than that all but one plant is in the ground and that is progress.

I'll be so glad when NaPoBloMo is over, I can do with out my own pithy blog entries.

nm hopping down the bunny trail

Friday, March 21, 2008

Nothing is sadder than realizing that father drives like a man wearing a hat

Thursday, March 20, 2008

somewhere in st remy before my first cup of coffee

My tax refund this year will not cover a pedicure.

My tax bill last year was larger than my salary.

I guess I'll take what I got.

nm down to the penny and spot on

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

the new year

Starts tomorrow, one day after the last Tuesday of the old year without a candle to jump over, an alter that graces the front hall table because I thought I had another day.

I will be attending to this shortly.

I love Nowruz, I love the idea of a spring celebration, I love a new start, especially the house cleaning and removal of last years problems.

For those of you who know what we've been going through, hearing good news last week was the best new years joy anyone could imagine.

Thank you for your prayers and good vibes.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Paris finally

Sadly my trip is ending. Th and I spent the morning in Versailles with Marie Antoinette's sheep and the afternoon with macarons.

Life is good even if the dollar is in the toilet and every one seems to on edge.

Sheep, laduree and a view of the eiffel tower can solve a lot of problems.

Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Sunday all day driving with a stop for nougat and a visit with marie antoinettes sheep!

I wish ernest was with us

Nm letting them eat cake
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Saturday, March 15, 2008

Its saturday still, right?

Happy Saturday! Ours took us to les bauxs (overrated)n la camargue (we kind of picked the wrong side to visit)n found an errant aquaduct, the pont du gard, aigues mort, uzes and a nice dinner in st remy. Tomorrow is a long drive to versailles. After hitting one hypermarche for waffles (done) and the haribo store, I am done shopping.

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Friday, March 14, 2008

The Var and Haute Provence underrated if you ask me

Um sitting here at bastides de moutiers eating breakfast and plotting our drive through the luberon toward the alpillies


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Thursday, March 13, 2008

Yellow roads

Lots of them today and gorges!
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Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Really it doesn't matter

Nonstop or connecting -- flying takes it out of you. Chatty seat opponents, lack of comfortable sleeping positions and lack of earplugs do not help.

As much as I have ragged on american airlines, I will miss their lie flat seats and billions of episodes of ugly betty.

Nm hoping that her gate hasn't changed to. Marseilles
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Monday, March 10, 2008

the lure of technology

dog toothed
I think my next trip will be techno free. Every little gadget looks so adorable by itself, but together they are forces to be reckoned with, weight wise that is. My D50 is not that heavy, but when you bring the battery charger, which weighs less than a battery, it adds up. We're borrowing J's GPS on C's recommendation. The GPS is lightweight, the hook up isn't.

Add a cell phone to the mix and we're taking up more and more precious bucket bag space.

I'm not sure I can do without the camera, I love to take pictures and some love to see them.

I'll be photoblogging on the road in support of NaPoBloMo (sounds dirty doesn't it?), so keep in touch.

ou est la fromagerie? dit nm

Sunday, March 09, 2008

moderate sunday


I love daylight savings time. I don't even mind the dark mornings for the first few weeks. As a gardener and dog walker, the ability to be outside in the light until 7, 8 and even 10 pm is worth it. This week we leave our light until 7:25 evenings to go to France where they have not adopted our fantastic desire to give me more gardening opportunities. However, the cheese is better and they have better haircuts.

Today I dragged TH out of bed at a very early hour of eight to go look for a red plum tree. For your information, the tree just does not exist and we settled for a pie cherry and hopefully one day the magical tree will appear.

We wandered around a nearly empty nursery with our favorite presidential candidate and picked out some herbs for my parents and a few more bare root loganberries for ourselves, it felt like we had really turned the corner.

Yesterday I spent just one hour moving some stuff around the year round p-patch and another hour today and things are ready to go. I am excited for the gardening season, mostly because I think we have finally gotten into spring and I'm happy. I know the last frost for my area is a scant few weeks away, but for some reason, I am throwing all doubt to the wind and have planted lettuce, arugula and radishes in the faint hope that they will be up in the next three weeks.

The two pictures above are of the p-patch, south and north beds, its not much to look at right now, but come June's gooseberries, lilies, roses, raspberries, lettuce, strawberries and the last of the asparagus, we'll be quite happy and full from our own bounty.

nm who pulled out rhubarb with her bare hands

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Shameless self promotion part 2


I hate to do this to you all, but I'm walking the Seattle Komen for the Cure walk in September with my friends, the Bodacious tatas.

I hate asking for money and thank you for all of you who have donated, I send you smooches and
will thank you every step.

So now, for today, I ask if you haven't or didn't know that I was doing this with Missy and Tracy and hopefully some other fine women, that you consider donating. I have always been skeptical about these events and the amount of money that ends up going to the organization and for research after all the overhead is taken out.

Well, they have trimmed that and money does go towards education and research, so I'm in.

So, reasons to donate:

1. you need the tax deduction
2. you want to support me
3. you really want an ernest sticker (limited time offer)
4. you wish you could walk, but really don't want to spend your Sunday's in August walking 18 miles with only three stops for bathroom breaks and coffee, which leads to more bathroom breaks and makes nm's quite cranky
5. the look in my eyes when I see another donation added to my total, I get teary, I really do
6. well, you know, its the right thing.

Here's my link, I really haven't updated anything, I am planning on it.

My link for the 3 day!

This weekend I'm planning on doing about 10 miles, four one day, six the next. My half marathon schedule is off, April for the Whidbey, May somewhere (Tacoma), June in Seattle and July starting those long walks.

Really long walks. It makes me realize that after this, Portland will be easy.

recession proof nm hah

Friday, March 07, 2008

Quickly before the end

We have imposed a sabbath of sorts here, before that schmuck Mark Bittman wrote about his wireless free weekend. So far so good, exceptions made for quick am blogging and earthquakes that send me to work. Okay, must dash....

Nm cracking forward
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Thursday, March 06, 2008

taken upside down


Moved lots of worm casings/compost today. Fava beans are up. We may see sun on Saturday and Ernest turned two today.

My baby is growing up.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Our DSL still blows, so I'll make this quick.

Ernest is rocking the free world.

I am not.

more later, if I can get a connection.

Monday, March 03, 2008

a few random things about today

1. I have the cutest optometrist in the world; thus visiting every other year is a joy
2. I killed five snails today on our walk. Happy Spring.
3. Our wireless is currently blowing.
4. I have great doubts about posting on the blackberry while in France
5. It rained and it was cold
6. Antibody treatments against horrible diseases is an amazing technology, but the side affects also blow
7. TH and I believe that you should buy locally, thus you should be a locacompro is comproloca better?

Okay, must dash, there is some squeaking my future

Sunday, March 02, 2008

things I could have been doing while not watching Superbad

1. ironing
2. taking the dog for walk
3. sleeping
4. watching something else
5. writing thank you emails

B dropped the dvd off for me (thanks), but it just wasn't that funny.

nm who is superbad

Saturday, March 01, 2008


To do:
1. take dog to get a pawdicure
2. drop off stuff to donations
3. shovel wood chips and move them
4. wonder if there will ever be calm from the chaos on the right side of my desk
5. walk dog four more times today
6. walk with Missy
7. go grocery shopping

My life is pretty freaking boring.

Friday, February 29, 2008

leaping backwards

This week I have been faced with my past, mostly my childhood and adolescence. Strange that I celebrated my birthday this week and spent the Sunday before it with my best friend from age six to twelve and my best friend from age twelve to nineteen. Two very lovely women, incredibly successful women who in turn connected with each other as well.

While my life took turns that theirs didn't, we are all happy with our choices. Be it kids, partnerships, IPOs, basset hounds, multiple degrees that render us useless, suburbs versus the city, we all grew up as the children of first generation immigrants to this land far far away.
I spent the last 23 years running away from my childhood friends. It is not to say it was bad internets, it just was something that I just didn't want to be part of for a while. I built my own support system that I cherish and will never let go, there was just something magical about sitting around on Sunday discussing how we'll never be like our parents in some ways. We will never be able to hold a candle to the parties they had and that makes a all a bit sad and relieved.

I never thought that I would be the girl who needed fifteen chafing dishes for my 100 guests, but I know that push comes to shove, I could call the girls and they would do me proud.

I am making connections with them again, mostly through my mom and dad coming back and my dear brother, who was quite anti-social during his Bershon period, but has blossomed into Mr. Suave.

Hey, starting tomorrow, I'll be blogging daily, in support of NaBloPoMo. I even bought a new crackberry to make it easier while lollygagging and throwing vast sums money at the French for things like cheese baguettes and really bitter coffee.

bonjour mlle nm, comment-allez vous?

Thursday, February 28, 2008

word of the day



Getting old sucks.

However, the alternative sucks worse.


Just in time for my trip in eleven days

Dollar hits all time low against the Euro.

Recession, there is no freaking recession. Weak dollar good! Allows more of the US to be bought!


We have been really good about hedging funds for the last few trips. I may be paying for my now 7 dollar cafe creme using euros I bought at 1.41 this summer. Really.

It was fun while it lasted (sniff).

nm who now has to up her ATM limit just to take 200 euros out

Monday, February 25, 2008

a new year

Tomorrow marks the beginning of my next year. Its prime, though I am beginning to feel less prime by the day.

I have had lots of on my mind, none of it very inspiring and some of it not very pleasant. It may be middle aged doldrums, it may be more than that. I'm hoping it soon will pass.

I'm trying to figure out what to do next.


Wednesday, February 20, 2008

no brainers/non starters

incredibly purple
You know those things that make it easy to say yay or nay to something -- people you date, places you go, people you hang with. Intravenous drug use, excessive gambling, three simultaneous relationships and bad family vibes would be non starters/no brainers in the relationship arena in case you are wondering.

Consider this internets -- no brainers when you were to go looking for a house and the garden you will spend the next 20 years cultivating.

any sign of bamboo in the garden -- run screaming, you will never rid yourself of it
clay soil --I weep when I garden in Berkeley
neighbors with outdoor speakers and/or a conversation fire pit

Luckily, I am really only dealing with the first issue. We are lucky enough to have a neighbor who never uses his back yard and his "firepit" and when he moves, we'll be pickaxing it out.

I hate bamboo.

I'm not avoiding you all, just really have nothing to say these days. V. busy with work, gardening and planning the number of one star restaurants one can eat in five days in Provence.

So far, we're up to two, I believe three is the limit.

nm sorting the bamboo from the bamboozled

Friday, February 08, 2008

An oaky finish, Bomarzo, Italy, January 2008.

I cannot say more than it has been a week.

I'm glad it is over.

I'm now sick, probably due to those around me and end of the week
stressors. Everything will be okay, thank goodness.

TH is in the 510 until tomorrow, leaving me with a 23 month old basset hound who does not feel that icy rain is an impediment to his social life.

If you live in Washington State, for gosh sakes, go to your caucus tomorrow. I will admit to never have gone to one, but the 98 emails from my left wing friends have convinced me that I can pull myself away from something to devote a few hours to this. My district caucuses in the school where I went to the 1st grade. All those days of pledging allegiance in my classroom must have paid off huh?

Many guides have done a great job of explaining the system and how it works. Megan did a great job of recapping it all.

Who am I supporting? I'm still unsure, the dark basset, is my first choice, but not many others.

nm rocking out the vote

Monday, February 04, 2008

one of my favorite places on this earth
Um, for those of you who don't follow my every move on twitter or flickr, I had a great time in
Kauai. Even the extra seven hours it took us to get there weren't so bad. Alaska kept us fed (burger king), watered (mai tais anyone?), entertained (how many times can you see Mr. & Mrs. Smith?) and updated as to if the rental car places would be open when we got to Lihue.

Other than that, it rained on Saturday, which is not uncommon, it just made it impossible to do a low water crossing we wanted to do. We revisited Hanalei, tried to find Makai Orchards (swept away in the bad dam breech), had some damn fine pineapple and then some really mediocre japanese food.

Sunday we bagged anything touristy and went right to the beach. Great day for it. Don't expect to see us all tan or anything. It was a good day for a book read, getting your feet wet and being amazed at how relaxed you can be for four hours.

Back to the grind again. The lull of the Internet, data standards, Haut-Provence or Rhone Alpes, tea or coffee, kibble or pasta, all are decisions that make us crazy.

I'm looking forward to some more structure before I have to vacation again.

nm creating brownie points as we speak

Tuesday, January 29, 2008


Things could be looking up, street sign, Montepulciano, January 2008.

I have nothing of note to say, sorry internets.

It is too damn cold here and it is now officially warm.

I am leaving for Hawaii on Friday (shut up) and hope to g-d its at least 75 degrees
and sunny. Yes, I have spf 50.

We have eaten two meals in a row at home and tomorrow means chicken enchiladas (ole).

Mony is back and better than ever.

Check her out.

Carry on.

Sunday, January 27, 2008


Tamales for dinner
Coming home to a clean house
Knowing that tomorrow we'll get the dog
Tulips from the market

Thursday, January 24, 2008


I need a vegetable.

Reporting live from the W French Quarter where tiny rooms are de rigeur.


Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Just so you know its not all fun and games

To do before I leave

The not so fun stuff:

Meet with folks at Stennis
Finish book chapter outline
Finish up this meeting
Get ready for next
Repack to move to another hotel

nm blissed out in Nola

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Bullet points for the revolution

Saturday morning that could have been spent at home
Hi there internets!

Bullet points for Saturday night at the airport lounge.

Go see Juno.

I mean it.

Then buy the soundtrack and wish you were young enough or maybe old enough to appreciate Beat Happening in the day.

Some more things:

I made it through twelve odd days of travel without really using my credit card. Internets - can you believe it? I used it twice, once for my hotel near Orvieto and once in Rome. I paid cash for everything, including socks, toothpaste, food and pasta for the dog. That is the sum total of my heavily laden bags. Oh torrone as well, can you believe torrone can weigh that much?

I think my credit card company (I pay it off every month), is going to send out a search party. They miss me.

Other than that, TH and I are on our way to New Orleans. Eight long days in the Big Easy. Email me your restaurant suggestions internets (ehem, Jen). I need help.

We're there for work, not for pleasure, but it always helps to think that I may finally find a gumbo that I like. Forget the muffaleta sandwiches and the hurricanes, I'm not even going there.

Well, I'm off to hit the dunkin donuts and burrito beach before my next flight.

nm easing into the big easy one segment at a time

Monday, January 14, 2008

Hello internets!

Happy January.

It is snowing here, glorious and sunny yesterday and today, grey, rainy and now sleety and snowy.

Good for hot cocoa drinking, nuff said.

Getting back into the groove. I can stomach more that mexican food which has led to some major gastric reflux and corn flakes. Oh, toss some starburst and fruit flavored mentos into the mix and you will now have my food diary for the last week.

Tonight we tried artichokes and mashed potato. Tomorrow, who knows, knife and forks will be wielded and we'll carve into a roasted chicken.

Okay, that is all I have to say, tell me what is going on with you. You all seem so, well, silent.

nm working her way back to the four food groups - coffee, cornetti, carciofi and contorni

Thursday, January 10, 2008

it was a rainy afternoon, we had the garden to ourselves

Pictures from Italy are starting to trickle in.

Check them out here.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Self Portrait, December 31, 2007, Rome, Italy.

Resolving to resolve less in 2008

Run a half marathon this year
Reduce my carbon footprint some more
Plant my bulbs earlier
Weed more frequently
Water less
Forgive more
Take more naps
Listen before talking or jumping to conclusions
Practice patience
Patiently practice what ever I am trying to learn
Smooch more

Happy New Year from nm, TH, ernest the puppy