Tuesday, August 26, 2008

really, really must be going part 2

nearly fall
Time to really get going. Everything is done, its just the final packing that seems to be the issue. Do I really need all this crap? Can I get away with doing laundry at the hostel? Does it really matter as long as I don't smell like a seal when I get to London?

It'll be intermittent from now on, but I know you all will behave while I'm lollygagging in Greenland and Iceland. Apparently, there is no way I can get scrubbed/rubbed and tubbed at the blue lagoon, so piss on that.


Check out my flickr for some moblogging.



Monday, August 25, 2008

TH took this -- view from the hill of the Nuuk harbor.

I am leaving in about 40 hours give or take a few.

I have yet to pack.

Well, I have sort of a pile of stuff to take. I just realized that my flight from Copenhagen to Nuuk is six hours in COACH - with one stop along the way. I better pack another book.

I am packing for 34 degrees F to 78 degrees F. I'm thinking that Nuuk may hit 65 on the first day I'm there.


All sorts of fashion questions come to mind. Can I get away with wearing capris with mosquito netting and then just a down vest and long tshirt? What about fleece? What about flip flops?

Its hard to be fashionable when you are going to the Arctic.

Frankly, the weather here is not that seasonably appropriate, so maybe a trip to Greenland will be warmer.

nm looking forward to sitting backwards

Thursday, August 21, 2008

funky sign atlanta

Funky town.

I have lots to say, but nothing really that I want to discuss right at the moment.

Don't worry internets, I am good and so is the whole clan.

TH is safely ensconced with seamen in Nuuk where the current temperature is 37 degrees and raining!




Tuesday, August 19, 2008

My mom bought a laptop a few weeks ago. It sat and sat until someone had the time to show her how to use it.

Until last week, my mom had never touched a computer.

Now she has mail.

She's a quick learn as long as you are a patient teacher.

TH is much more patient than I.

The strangest thing I have ever seen is my mom in the glow of a laptop screen.

The most amazing thing is that she writes just as if she was talking to you.

Now she is no longer dependent on my dad to see pictures of her great grand niece, Ernest, other friends' kids and little snippets of jokes from friends 1000's of miles away.

I don't see her getting on facebook anytime soon, but I like the fact she took it in her own hands to learn.

My mom, she's a pistol.

Monday, August 18, 2008

the keenest of peaches

variety is the spice of life

On the hottest day of the year, I bought two cases of peaches for canning. It always seems to be that we start preserving for the fall and long winter when the mercury rises about 90 degrees. We don't get started until after the dinner dishes are done and all the jars are scrubbed and ready to go and we don't end until way past our regular bedtimes.

Frankly, I was happy to see the rain and wind and cool temperatures of Monday. I was even happier to get the show of canning on the road before 9 pm.

The peaches we got are wonderful, they are seconds - blemished, but they are juicy, perfectly ripe and locally grown. While we have two peach trees in our garden that typically produce well, this year we have not one peach thanks to a mismatch between bees, flowers and our typically flaky weather.

I miss picking peaches off the tree this year.

I also missed the opportunity to pick peaches off the tree this spring when we went to visit the communities near Fresno that grow amazing varieties of peaches on small scale family farms. The cold weather had us off the first harvest by a crucial week. However, it was still fun to watch our friend Paul jump up on the processing line and show us all the facets of peach packing. Trust me, you had to be there.

Most of all, peaches signify to me the beginning of a long lasting relationship between food, TH and myself. Our first real date involved ten hours together going in search of peppers, peaches and warm weather in the 509. On the way home we stopped to get some peaches. When we got back to TH's house, we needed to make a cobbler for a dinner party to which we were both invited.

The peaches were not ripe and TH and I boiled the life out of them to get them to soften.

It was the act of cooking together and trying to figure out how to make something good out of something bad that made me realize that there was something here that was real.

I think TH felt the same way.

Other than the cobbler, we both don't remember much about the what else was served that night, but we laugh every time we think of that peach cobbler.

Here's to more moments of brilliance in life and the kitchen

Saturday, August 16, 2008

carrying on


Today I walked by myself before the heat of the day. My training plan has me at 10 miles today and eight tomorrow. I walked 7 before 8 am fueled by Aimee Mann, Franz Ferdinand, Cold Play and assorted tunes. I carried nothing but my ipod and my house keys.

It felt good.

Today was the first time in something like eight weeks I was able to go to the Farmer's market with TH, do the TJs run and assorted other errands. I think she liked it until I began to micromanage her purchase of goat cheese.

Then she turned to me and said "don't you have another three miles to do?"


While the mercury rises to 92 degrees today, I will start packing for my trip to Greenland. A few days ago at a lunch with a group of people that work with TH, we mentioned Greenland and one of the women at lunch mentioned she had just returned from a work trip to Ilillusiat and had her packing list.

This is a woman after TH's heart.

Greenland for seven days with one carry on and one personal item.

Her list is wonderful, informative and timely.

TH will probably carry on Boston and then surrender her bag to Iceland Air in hopes that it will show up in Nuuk. I am taking my chances that British Airlines will get my bag to Copenhagen in one piece- while I am a big fan of the no check/no worries of bags, this time I fly with a trekking backpack its just not going to work while going through the terminals of Heathrow. Its a given that Air Greenland will make me check my bag from Copenhagen to Nuuk via Kang, it just a weight and balance thing.

It feels good to carry on -- with life and with baggage, you just have to pick and choose which parts you can live without for the journey.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

one word

to the sky

Stolen from Jen, because I can't be bothered to discuss preservation on various and sundry levels.

Play along, link and think. This is hard, especially for people like me who just can't self monitor.

1. Where is your cell phone? work tote
2. Where is your significant other? present
3. Your hair? tousled
4. Your mother? awesome
5. Your father? ditto
6. Your favorite thing? contentment
7. Your dream last night? nonexistent
8. Your dream/goal? contentment
9. The room you're in? study
10. Your hobby? reading
11. Your fear? boredom
12. Where do you want to be in 6 years? retired
13. Where were you last night? bookclub
14. What you're not? calm
16. One of your wish list items? relaxation
17. Where you grew up? medina
18. The last thing you did? concertgoing
19. What are you wearing? skort!
20. Your TV? huh?
21. Your pet? ernest! 509!
22. Your computer? laptop
24. Your mood? good
25. Missing someone? ernest
26. Your car? sturdy
27. Something you're not wearing? socks
28. Favorite store? bookstore
29. Your summer? jumbled
30. Love someone? yes
31. Your favorite color? green
32. When is the last time you laughed? today
33. Last time you cried? today

Monday, August 11, 2008

insert something witty here

I am catching up on email
I have something deep and meaningful to blog about, really, but its going to have to wait until tomorrow.

Today I am going to tell you that nothing beats trying to find a pair of hiking/trail shoes for my upcoming trip to Greenland.

Who thought that trail runners would be forward thinking at the same time tailored.

Who would think that at 23:48 PDT anyone would care.

nm forward thinking and carbon neutral

Friday, August 08, 2008

being and nothingness

with miles to go

Right, where was I?

Last weekend, I camped. Yes, tent, thermarest pad, banana boats and 40 miles of walking.

It was fun! Well, not the thermarest part. The last time I slept on my thermarest I was 10 years younger. I will be borrowing R&L's plusher version for the 3 day.

We did it.

J & I walked, bitched, laughed, burned and learned a lot last weekend.

Check out some of the pictures here.

The rest of the week was spent in San Diego at the enormous conference that I go to yearly and in at which I am forced to do much outreach. Actually, I like it, but this year I did not feel much love and perhaps it may be that I have been so out of the actual technology use and more involved in planning, assessing and creating the all mighty power point presentation.

Hopefully that will change soon.

It was strange to be in San Diego and not be with my parents, ditto for TH. I miss going home and sitting and chatting. My mom said that it was good that we have good memories of SD and La Jolla, not of my parents aging or needing our help.

Someone today asked me if I ever worried about them getting old and not being here any more.

Honestly, not often. They are here for the moment and I cherish each and everyone I get to spend with them. Without sounding corny, I love it when my father calls at work to ask my advice about something or watching my mom's eyes light up as we unlock the door to their house and just stop by to say hi.

Today, TH's mother would have had a very special birthday. We wanted to celebrate it in style, but the day just didn't turn out as we had planned. There were procurement contracts to write, fires to tame and abstracts to submit. We will celebrate a bit later and toast a woman whom I never met, but believe I would have loved with all of my heart.

Friday, August 01, 2008

it all ends in tears

going for a ride

Originally I was going to use this title to discuss the opera, my shallow understanding of it and how as much as I try to understand it, I'm maybe just too well, not interested.

Then I read Kerri's blog about having to put Kubrin Kaos out of his pain.

The last month I have shed many a tear over Kerri and Brian's losses. For those who do not know them -- it is through Kerri and Brian's amazing talent of describing the antics of a once-tiny basset hound puppy who traveled by container ship from England to the Falkland Islands that I made dozen friends on through dogs that blog and through flickr. Some whom I have met in real life person.


I cannot describe the love and patience and devotion Kerri and Brian show daily to all of the dogs they have fostered over the years. You can see it in their pictures, their words, but nothing is like watching it in action.

I was floored when I watched her take care of the SUMDs (skinny ugly mutant dogs) in person when I visited last September.

To give your time, your house, your heart to a pack of older, sometimes not placeable anywhere else rescue dogs and make them the happiest the dogs on the planet is no easy feat. They did it with grace and love.

Yesterday TH and I were talking about our December trip to London and visiting with Kerri and Brian and the SUMDs and five minutes later we hear about Kubrin.

Last week TH was emailing back and forth with Ernest’s breeder and Ernest’s desire for a Great Dane as a brother. S. mentioned that big dogs die too young and there is too much heartache involved. She may be right, but the eight years they make you smile and laugh and steal your heart may just be worth it.

Sleep tight Kubrin and give Meggie Moo a kiss from me.

Friday, July 25, 2008

sweet spot


After two years of a new stereo in my very old car, I finally started using the ipod adapter.

Seriously, what is up with that?

The dog, he is not taken with my musical taste.

I bought a dress three weeks ago for a wedding this weekend. I tried it on once, I thought it looked okay. I wasn't in the mood to try looking anymore.

I tried it on today with the proper undergarments. It looks better than okay. Woot.

Man, I hope there is air conditioning at the church and reception hall.

Twenty two hours in Spokane with 90 degree heat and a full bar. Could be interesting.

later taters and if I see Courtney while driving around, it'll be even better.

nm wondering if open toed kitten heels will make it to the church on time

Thursday, July 24, 2008

sell out

Sold out

I love live music and I love Seattle, so when the zootunes schedule comes out we find a few artists that we like and we buy tickets. Its for a good cause, all of the ticket sales go directly to the Zoo.


However, I cannot tolerate the shows any more.

What is it about sitting outdoors and listening to some great music that makes people want to talk during the whole show and make it difficult for those around them to enjoy the show?

Would you do the same at the opera? symphony?

I understand running around with your kids, I understand that babies cry and kids want to place chase, but you 45 year old ass hat with the really loud voice and tall chair, shut the feck up. After all, I paid 28 bucks to hear music and eat dinner underneath the trees, not listen to you discuss your upcoming colonscopy.


Tonight we saw Emmylou Harris, she was fabulous and it was quieter than last nights performances by the lovely Josh Ritter and the amazing Andrew Bird.

In fact, last night was even more amazing because TH and I entered a raffle and won a huge basket of chocolate goodies and some coffee from Metropolitan Market. Seriously cool and made me much happier after my cranky spell due to talking idiots.

Check it out...

Guess what we won @ the zoo?

Tonight they raffled off a grocery bag of vegetables.

Hard choice - vegetables v. truffles, coffee, brownies, biscotti, brownie mix and other delectables.

Saturday takes us to Spokane for a brief visit and a wedding. Should be tons of fun.

nm bittersweet but not 70%

Monday, July 21, 2008

sunday morning on my way to stanley park

Early this morning I breakfasted on carrots pulled out of the ground and raspberries still chilled from the night air.

I didn't even bother taking them home and eating them with yogurt. They were at the prime for picking -- past the shine to the dark matte red and just a tap drops them into your waiting palm.

The garden is amazingly lush right now -- I harvested the first of the yellow squash, some carrots, huge heads of lettuce, two pints of raspberries and baby artichokes. I see tons of weeding to do and lots of things to consider replanting.

This is a hard time for us -- we are here and gone three more times in the next few weeks. You have things under control and in five minutes your back is turned the morning glory has overtaken the gooseberries and the broccoli has decided to go to flower. I cannot devote any more than the sixty minutes I allot daily to the garden - life also needs nurturing around here.

So, will it wither? No. It will be fine with morning glories and a bit of quack grass for company.


Sunday, July 20, 2008

Back from Canada. Miles walked, pictures taken and downloaded and not quite made public on flickr. Good food eaten, great music heard, beautiful weather to sun in and three books read.

Its hard to believe one weekend a summer is the highlight of my whole summer - blows Paris, Greenland or any wedding out of the water.

More later.


Thursday, July 17, 2008

lost and found

nano the bear

Lost one small Parisian (2") bear by the name of Nano. Last seen with irresponsible me.

Found under the seat of my colleagues rental car.

Its been a long week of meetings with many positive outcomes for our continuing work. I even managed to get in a few walks while discussing stovepiping/collaborating/data exchange and water levels.

I really didn't take any pictures, there just wasn't the time. I can tell you that every year I end up in Boulder for at least a few days and every year it keeps on changing. I'm not saying its for the best, it just is.

I will miss the Boulder creek path, but I'm sure I'll be back soon enough.

Tomorrow TH and I are running away to Canada for three days of music, some decent grub, some walking for me and serious amounts of sunscreen.

I can't wait.

Nano is staying home.

nm found not lost

Sunday, July 13, 2008

so much to say, so little time

reaching for the sky

Where did July go?

Off to Boulder tomorrow, hoping to catch up with my favorite rocket scientists if she's in town.

nm with miles to go

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Saturday wrap up

15 plus miles walked
2 hour nap
3 loads of laundry
1 pt of raspberries picked
1/2 papaya with lime for dessert enjoyed
2 sunburned arms

Life is good


Tuesday, July 08, 2008

leaving the office behind

Short of a large seismic event or a presentation that requires my brain power I no longer
check my work email after hours unless I am on travel.

I feel a million times better.

Can you do it?

Do you do it?

Monday, July 07, 2008

seattle syndrome and little things


Little thing:

I signed up for the Portland Marathon today.

Holy crap.

26.2 miles.

I see some speedwork in my future.

I see some need for new tunage and the use of someone's old nano as well.

Seattle syndrome:

Seattle is the most passive aggressive place in the world. It just breeds passive agressiveness.

Why is that?

Can't you just say what is pissing you off. Can't you just do something and tell someone that you did it because you thought they way they were doing it was wrong? Can you just fucking start signalling a left hand turn before you move into that lane?

Case in point: Our ppatch neighbor is always one to point out the little things that we haven't yet done -- finish weeding, picked something up, propped something up.

He's quite a chatty one and mostly pleasant, but now he's there all the god damn timed. Seriously.

He recently started to terrace the hillside that buffers the ppatch from the busy street. While I appreciate his desire to carve out more space and give a bit more light, the knotweed also buffers our garden from the traffic, the on lookers and pollution.

Neighbor starts terracing our 20' width. We didn't ask nor did we appreciate said encroachment. We did what any other part of the world would do, we fenced it off from him. Its like this -- If we praised him for doing something we didn't ask for, he would love it and feed off of it. If we told him we didn't need more garden, he would then take it over and we would be surrounded by him.

So, we did the mean thing. We cut him off.

We couldn't find crime tape on Sunday. Bummer.

I have had lots of fun in the past few weeks reading Passive Aggressive Notes.

nm really if you don't mind, can we switch seats?

Friday, July 04, 2008

with a grain of salt

Reserve from the library, thumb through at your local independent bookstore and then go buy
at Amazon because it just would make the most sense.

Stuff white people like

Completely cringeworthy but worth it.

nm like white on rice but with a whiff of eastern promise

Monday, June 30, 2008


Hot half.

Fun stuff.

Over the bridge and through Bellevue neighborhoods of my youth.

Shout out to families with hoses everywhere.

You made my day.

Walking with tatas, hotties and the lone glamour pirate. I walked with my favorite walkers
and even the lone tata who was sunning herself on the beach in Maui was missed!

Man, I'm so glad I'm in shape and trained, it was not a half for wusses.

Back to the grind. One tiny blister on my toe and some advil and I'm good to go for 14 on Saturday and 12 on Sunday.

nm with lots of beer in the fridge

Friday, June 27, 2008

visualizing reality

Ever have one of those days?
Tomorrow my 3 day training schedule has me going on a 13 mile walk. The following day I'm doing a half marathon. Did I mention the high for tomorrow is forecast for 86 and Sunday 88 degrees? Chuck Bartlett of Run Chuckit suggested that the Seafair Marathon be more about hydration and less about PRing. I am going to agree, for me, it will be a training walk with no real stops, a nice tshirt and a banana at the end.

I've been reading a lot about productivity, time management and stress reduction. One thing that struck me was the concept of visualizing what your day is going to be before you commit yourself to one more thing.

In this case, let's take my tomorrow.

TH is out of town, that means Ernest is all mine.

That means I have a 5:30 am dog walk at the park, shower, 8 am start to a 13 mile walk with lots of stops. We won't finish until 1 pm. I won't get home until 1:20 pm. I have time to wolf down something to eat, walk Ernest again, deal with whatever crises come my way and then run to Bellevue to pick up my race packet for the next day's half.

I should return home at 3 pm.

Walk Ernest again or at least do something to mildly entertain him.

Take another shower, do a few chores for tomorrow's potluck/bbq.

5 pm - go to 'rents to have dinner with a childhood friend and my mom and dad. I'm off the hook for making anything, but I'm responsible for bringing a box of mac and cheese and the legos.

Home at 8, walk Ernest.

Aunt P and cousin Scruffy are in town for Pride, hang with them. Walk Ernest and Scruffy, go to bed for a 5 am wake up.

Does that sound crazy?

It does to me once I put it all into my brain, buffered each activity for crap that could happen and then decided that it just isn't going happen.

My 13 mile walk is now a 7 mile walk at 7 am by myself. I have enough time to come home, run to market and chill in the heat. With dog walks, I'll finish the day at about 9 to 10 miles walked, not bad.

My training will survive my not being there for the 13 miles. My wallet will appreciate not stopping at Starbucks with the Hotties and I'll do things at my own pace.

Recently I started to really calendar, mostly visually using Google Calendar which synchs to the blackberry. It gives me a better idea of what my day is going to look like. I am trying to make better use of my time and resources - gas being one of them, so like every other person in the world, I'm starting to really combine trips.

I'm also learning to say no.

That is the hardest part.


Wednesday, June 25, 2008

A humble respect

the braising green section

Today I spent the twilight hours gardening, both at home and the p-patch. It was a beautiful evening and instead of spending it inside folding laundry we watered in anticipation of warmer weather on the horizon and a work function that will bring many to ooh and ahh at my overgrown perennial borders.

We tottered to the garden to weed, water and harvest. We have had brazen broadcasting of mustards all over our beds and since the P-patch program donates tons of fresh produce to the city food bank programs, we are trying to do our part. This spring has been cruel for Seattle gardeners with heat followed by snow followed by grey malaise that never let up. The last few days have brought some hope and great gasps of growth to our crops both planned and volunteer.

Tonight I harvested 15 lbs of mustard plants-topped and cleaned them to donate to my Friday run to our North Seattle food bank. When I arrive at the garden at 8:45 on Friday morning I will be relieved to see others have donated beautiful heads of bronze lettuce, greens of all sorts and rhubarb and mustards. Later this season there will be squash of various sizes and tomatoes that we all can't keep up with, at least we hope.

The Lettuce link program has been really integral in getting fresh foods to those who frequent the city's food banks. In April I had the privilege to volunteer my Saturday morning to help distribute seeds to those waiting for their weekly allotment of food and talked to people who wanted to plant small gardens - even in containers where ever they lived. It gave me hope and made me realize that we can all tuck in another row of beans, transplant a few more heads of lettuce and harvest our squash a little earlier and share the bounty with someone who will appreciate out harvest because for them it may be a rare thing.


Sunday, June 22, 2008

weekend wrap up

One of my fave views in the world

Three very good meals out - Tamarindo, Camino and Station House Cafe
Happy and sadness at Shell Beach
Sunburnt on the back of my arms
Hugs and tears
Hotter than hell in the 94707 on Friday night
Fog finally on Saturday night
A ring and a phone call on Saturday
The ring sighting on Sunday!
Home and not going anyfreaking where for three weeks and so happy about it

Thursday, June 19, 2008


Alstair stellar grey

I've been a bad blogger of late. Honestly, who wants to hear of my trials and tribulations. I'm not doing anything glamorous. My life is pretty mundane.

The weather has not been particularly good here, so anytime I can feel the sun shine through, I'm outside. I couldn't imagine being inside tied to this infernal machine any longer than possible.

Today TH started a trek to California -one she does on a fairly regular basis. I will follow tomorrow and we will spend Saturday morning on the beach at Point Reyes celebrating the life of a dear friend. I anticipate tears and laughter and the warm hugs of his partner, with whom I last spoke two years ago after the death of a mutual friend. It makes me sad that we have to connect this way.

Like I said, its been a hard year all around.

Tomorrow, summer starts. To some this is wonderful, to me it is bittersweet.

It means the days grow shorter again.

This evening, after a round of chores and visits, I spent two full hours weeding, transplanting, pruning and watering the p-patch plots. My enthusiasm has rubbed off my parents. After dinner tonight, they skipped Jeopardy they went to their garden and watered and weeded and just reveled in the evening.

My mom called me later and told me that she was happy she got out of the house and went to the garden.

It made me smile.

I'll try and be a better correspondent. As I drive or walk these days I think of things I want to write, but others have covered the same topics better than I can and frankly internets, I wouldn't want you to spend time reading when you could be out weeding.

nm up and down like the dow jones

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Short but sweet

Yesterday marked the 3rd anniversary of the passing of Jacques, our beloved basset. I don't know whether to be sad that or forgot or happy that we've moved on.

Life here is throwing a few curve balls, but we'll hit one out of the field one of these days.


Tuesday, June 10, 2008

A remembrance

May he rest in peace

Today I found out that one of my favorite musicians in the world passed last month.

I cannot tell you how sad I am, I cannot tell you how lucky I was to listen to him last year and the years before at the VFMF.

Utah Phillips was to me one of the most amazing legacies of an era that is slowly fading.

He will be sorely missed.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Carrot weather

When you walk the dog in a down jacket in the second week of June there must be something wrong.

My tomatoes are snug in their wall o waters and my spinach has no fear of bolting. People scoff at the idea of global warming, well folks climate change does all sorts of things including bringing to the table lots of variability. Here we are having a moderate La Nina event --cooler and wetter. It was predicted and she is rearing her wet head all through out the north pacific while the mid Atlantic sizzles and the Plains are deluged.

Maybe we are finally paying attention to the weather.

I hope my strawberries ripen soon -- I hate to see a mismatch between rhubarb availabilty and strawberries.


Thursday, June 05, 2008

more of nothing redux

Every time the phone rings these days, its not happy news.

I can unfortunately count on more than one hand, the number of people taken from us this year.

This really sucks.

Today we heard that one of TH's last links to her mom died a few weeks ago.

I will miss him so.

I need some cheering up.

nm here for the duration, or as long as they let me

Thursday, May 29, 2008

More on nothing and something


I used to love it when TH left, really.

It meant I could eat standing up, toast for dinner, pad thai for breakfast. I could clean closets at 2 am or go to bed at 8 pm with the dog. It was a nice break for the both of us.

These days, I wish she was home, the dog, the house, the garden and my soul need her nearby.

Times have changed in the world of the sea going scientist --It used to be that doing field work meant the last staggered phone call at the fuel pier felt like a life line was being cut. You said your goodbyes, your i love yous, your devotion and dedications and the be safes with a time delay and that was it, for weeks. If you heard from someone while you were out to sea, something terrible had happened.

In the mid90s TH was testing out a protocol that sent faxes and simple file transfers from the vax to the ships. I was the lucky recipient of little coded messages at the bottom of status reports from the lab or to the lab of how our operations were going. I loved getting these little messages, they were little love notes in with larval fish counts, station changes and equipment issues.

In Kodiak and Dutch Harbor, more than likely, you can get a cell phone tower to work if you lean into the wind and away from the big hills. If not, there is the internet. It is less costly these days and the real time streaming of data and information is useful for the scientists, operations and for the morale of the crews.

You really can't get away from it. From 2 pm when TH surfaces until she goes back to bed after her watch is over at 4 am, I get updates on the cruise, she checks in with ernest and his blog, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Seattle Times and other sundry items between stations.

She also does work as it just does not go away anymore. You still respond to crisis, submit abstracts to meetings and fight fires from the middle of the ocean.

I love and hate it.

I love that I can email her or even skype her if I needed to because I am having a day, but at the same time, it means that neither of us can just let it go. You inbox may be clean when you tie up, but you haven't had a moment to just clear your head.

Today I celebrate the fact that in two sleeps and one wake up, TH will be tied up to the pier and soon on her way home.

I'm hoping that the FY09 field season has a February cruise for TH. It would be a nice time to visit Alaska. I hear its easier to get your upgrades to clear and you may get to the ice edge.

nm over and out

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Today I came home from a ten mile walk to find that I have no fence on my south side of my yard. Nice.


That basically means that the back garden is unusable for Ernest, quite the bummer as I have tons to do back there and he could spend his time chewing, running around and be a dog, something that I realize he spends less and less time doing these days.

Since my neighbor's son is dealing with all this, I am willing to put money on the fact that it ain't getting finished in a timely manner.

Maybe tomorrow am we'll hit the dog park for a change.

nm not in the best of moods

Thursday, May 22, 2008

still here

Just busy.

TH is bobbing around the Gulf of Alaska and Ernest is zooming. Doesn't give me much time for anything more than hanging on my fingernails.

Stay tuned for something witty tomorrow.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

saturday update


nine miles this morning, hot, but nice
three new pairs of brooks yesterday - two for the 3 day, one for the portland marathon/seattle half
overdue pedi
my first skort (shut up) purchase
dinner plans changed in mid stream, learning to adapt

seven plus miles
new shoe testing
tomato planting
mama stephanie visit

I could get used to this.

TH is off to the Gulf of Alaska via the Bering Sea for the two weeks or so, Ernest and I are holding down the fort.

I see long walks, some discussions over the appropriateness of cereal for dinner and who gets the last table water cracker in the package.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Fresno Friday wrap up

Slamming doors were fewer
Transnational as word of the day
Mennonite church ladies providing panderia and tacos
Nectarine groves lush with fruit
Table grapes at 60 mph
Japanese variety store converted to a mosque in fresno
Strawberry buttermilk shake--don't knock it until you try it
Margaritas with the duluth, savannah and butte conference organizers
Wheat from the mill

Nm says bye bye now

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Fresno highlights

Slamming hotel doors
Adobe architecture
Water towers
Seeing uncle bill
Ranch supper
Fig garden woman's club tea
Taco truck for dinner

In 15 minutes. 9 separate door slams

Nm following the banal with the sublime

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

dear internets

I am not very happy with myself. Without going into so much detail. I have realized that my weight issues are more than garbage in and nothing positive coming out.

yours fondly and in a pants size bigger than last summer,


banana republic -- i hate your vanity sizing
old navy -- i really wonder if you are truer to size

Monday, May 05, 2008

growing old

The Zootunes tickets went on sale today. I drove by the store that was selling them and I thought that I was watching a breadline in the former Soviet Union or that rice was available on the shelves again. It seriously looked like the line at Bell, Book and Candle when Stones tickets went on sale in 1981.
We usually go to a few Zootunes shows and mostly have a decent time. It is no longer cheap, but appeals to people with sprogs, because sprogs under 10 or some such get in for free. So if you are into mood, deep thoughts and grooving to the tunes, it isn't the scene for you. If you love watching kids run amok, a myriad of crocs colors and good weather then go.

Even with the kids, the line up and the fact we have to haul ass from work, walk the dog and find parking we still go. This year the line up was meh, but we still managed to find some crumblies to see. Emmylou Harris, Boz Scaggs and Josh Ritter (who knew) are on the plate. I believe that most of these dates do no interfere with tata 3 day training and if so, I'll just walk to the show.

I used to love live music - mc'ing little shows at clubs, going to see bands and really getting into the music. These days, its not just the same. I don't have the same stamina for sets that start at 9 pm and definitely not the stomach for that much beer. I look at festivals as an excellent excuse to read a book, work on my tan and listen to some decent music. I abhor paying more than 40 dollars to see a concert. I balk at the shows that I see that start at 75 bucks a head. I can't imagine paying that much to see anyone -- okay, I would pay up to 250 dollars to see Leonard Cohen and he would have to play for at least 90 minutes and stare directly at me for at least one song.

The funny thing is that the people I see going to those expensive shows are my cohort plus or minus some botox or a c-section or three. That is a lot of money - at least a few units of the b-juice in the forehead to see Dire Straits or the Michael (ugh) McDonald sing badly while sipping some plonk and checking in with the office on a Saturday nights on the blackberry.

I think I'll hold off for a few more years - wine, concerts at wineries and the b-juice, I'm just not ready to grow up that much.

nm minute by minute

Sunday, May 04, 2008

sunday funnies

Flew to and from Boston, after dinner with some of my favorite people around in Seattle. I wish I could have made the night last longer and I wish to g-d in heaven I had more than one mangopolitan.

I'm trying to figure out if I really need to do these "stupid" runs to keep status.
This one had TH involved, so it was fun. I have to say the no change fee is worth some of the pain.

This week is a long one and a short one. I'm off to FAT for VAF.
I haven't been in FAT since 1981 and I'm thinking there are fewer fig groves than before.

Other than that, tata walking, parental controls, gardening and work (must finish short course description asap) are on the horizon for the next 70 hours.

nm on the loose

Saturday, May 03, 2008


Accomplished today:
walked 10 plus miles
laughed a lot on said walk
showered twice
walked dog hither and yon
delivered said dog to lock down (to be retrieved tomorrow)
12 minute nap accomplished

Not accomplished:
planting anything

good thing tomorrow is coming up

off to bos, don't ask.
Currently in one day lockdown, my lawyers think they'll be able to post bail tomorrow.

ernest jail bird basset

Friday, May 02, 2008

week in review

cherry blossom

hours worked: too many
days in the office before seven am: three
boxes freecycled: 100 or so
boxes to be freecycled: 40 or so
dog walks taken: 25
miles walked for the three day training: pathetically few
miles anticipated walked tomorrow and sunday: 18
miles flown this week to date:
miles flown by tomorrow night: 5048
plants purchased this week: seven
plants to be put in the ground this week: 25
number of trips planned to the dog kennel this week: 0
number of trips to the dog kennel: one
number of changes to my Greenland/Iceland/Denmark ticket I made this week: one
number of lurchers and hounds I am hoping to smooch in September because of the change: five

number of things I am going to do before I sign off here: one

nm list maker list hater

Thursday, May 01, 2008

May day


I'm happy to say that last month is over and this month is setting up to be pretty darn dandy.

Asparagus, apple blossoms, Alaska are all in the future.

I will also be back to regular blogging, especially now that chapter submission is over.


I'll leave you with this.

No desire to come in from the walk at lunch

Spend more time roaching, less complaining and sitting in front of this infernal machine or watching reruns on tv. Get out and take your dog for a walk.

You'll never guess what you may come across.

Then there were three

Three gnomes where once there was one.

I need a life, but frankly, I'm happy with the marginally pathetic one I have.

nm once, twice, three times a lady

Monday, April 28, 2008

still here

Just overwhelmed.

282 boxes/pieces of parental gack.
Work is throwing me for a bunch of loops.
Spring comes and goes.

more later.


Monday, April 14, 2008

First it was sunny, then there were some tulips, some talk and some roaching in the sun. Next there was a party, with lots of talk, laughs and a few tears. Then there was an early morning drive to the tulips and 13.1 miles of walking and talking. At the end of that there was a few bananas and a nap before we got on a ferry.

One race down, a lifetime of them to follow.

On our way to Boston for a meeting or three.


Sunday, April 06, 2008

I had something witty to discuss today, but I just lost it.


Week 24 of 3 day training is done. 15 miles completed and I'm pretty happy. Found a group on the West side that meets once a week for long walks. I'm completely and utterly pleased with meeting them and getting to walk with them along with my tata training walks (ttw). Snacks, coffee stops and good company and a level of accountability that will get me to a level of conditioning to complete the 3 day in good stead.

Today I was moved to tears when R&L donated again on my behalf to get me to my minimum to participate. Six weeks into fundraising I'm there and I can't believe the support I'm getting. I walked on air today when thinking of how they motivated to do the 3 day and how much love an support they and all my friends are giving me.

Next week, P,C and I will be doing the Whidbey half marathon. No one will be PRing here, but it'll be fun. Any half marathon that has organic chocolate milk, hot dogs and amazing support along the way (gummy bears at mile 12 are crucial) is a happy place for me.

Man, I sound sappy, but I'm completely sincere.

This is a long week for me -- manuscript deadlines, software upgrades, upcoming travel and big goings on here are going to suck up every moment I have. I'll be relieved when its all over.

nm who just couldn't get it together to write you a letter

Friday, April 04, 2008

Dear spring

Please return. We miss you.
The ppatch is plowed and staked for the short season. Rhubarb, broccoli and leeks are all looking good in the year round garden. However hail, fits of rain, leaden skies don't have me leaping for my frog boots and felcos.

This time of year usually has me itching to not come inside until dusk, this evening the dog turned right back in after hearing the lashings of rain and is currently curled up underneath the duvet.

People, it is 8pm.

Spring, return to me.


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