Monday, June 22, 2009

when tragedy befalls you

I don't follow many celebrity trends. I get most of my news about tanorexics, infidelity, children stuck inside of culverts and the beagles that rescue them from whatever magazines are strewn around the gym. The Kate and Jon Gosselin saga is revolting yet like any good slowdown on the freeway, always a bummer at the end when its all for naught.

Yup, it's her hair. Her stylist should be shot and their collection of 80's new wave music removed from their possession.

Well, maybe not her hair per se, but all that it represents -- the money they accepted, the tummy tucks, the hair plugs and the house. They paid a price in the lack of privacy they had to endure, but they knew what they were getting into when they signed that contract. Who loses in the deal?

Not you and me. The Gosselin's will live in reruns and we will pick apart all the episodes to see what the tipping point was in their relationship - Jon forgot to put the cap back on the toothpaste, a kid lost his shoe, and they were late to school, the crusts were not cut off the sandwiches. Who knows.

The kids lose out. They were prostituted by their parents for their personal gain and they had absolutely no say in any of it. What three year old is benefiting from mommy's new hair (a life of its own) or endless tanning salon love fests? They lost a precious part of their childhood by having cameras shoved in their faces and every move recorded. Worst of all, they lost their family as they knew it.

I know some will argue that unhappy parents make for crappy childhoods, but one must wonder if they had just gone quietly and raised their brood without corporate sponsorship and cameras, whether life would have been better.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

time out

I started moving at 0530 this morning -- dog, garden, ppatch (5 hours), house, friends and all the time my mind was organizing all that needed to be done.

The first true day of summer and I'm worrying about folding laundry, bill paying and what to have for dinner.

I let it all go. We went and got take out. The laundry can wait, the bills are not due yet, the evening light was marvelous. We ate cherries off the tree, white alpine strawberries off the plant, picked raspberries by twilight and marveled at all we have.

Tomorrow marks the beginning of a series of killer work weeks. Its just grind, grind, grind until the end of the fiscal year. I have been planning, projecting and trying to organize myself and others so that we're not pulling out our hair the last two weeks of September. I let that all go this weekend and I'll be happy to tackle it tomorrow, in a new light.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

As lame as it is, I am going to revamp the blog soon. I need a new banner, new links and a new look. Why do I bother? God knows, but I am going to do it. I still think I have something interesting to say on occasion.

Tonight I went to my first tweet up. Good times. I was excited to meet the man behind @Alaskaair's tweets. He has been very helpful. As I am starting to look at the idea of tweeting and location based services - it all is done for research. ;) I even won an all expenses paid trip to the flight simulator -- I may give it to TH, who knows.

Montana and VAF2009 was fun. Glad to be home. Many things going on, mostly all good.

For those who have asked or are going to ask. Yes, I am following the information coming out of Iran, but honestly, other than being amazed at how information is flowing via social networking and bluetooth technology, I'm staying out of this one. What you see in Tehran is not indicative of all of the country, much like our little hamlet of solstice loving/hemp wearing/ canvas bag carrying represents the heartbeat of America.

Oh yeah, I have succumbed to facebook, so sue me. I'm on there once a day unless I am walking the dog. Check me out.

Snoring bassets are not resting bassets


Wednesday, June 03, 2009

home truths

someone has to marry the cable guy
someone always ends up in the middle seat on the plane
the pedicure you skip intersects with your need to wear sandals
rhubarb invariably peaks before the local strawberries, ditto for figs and raspberries

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

dear Sun and hot weather,

Go away, I'm hot and bothered and I could do with some gloom without having to leave the state.



Monday, June 01, 2009

I am still reeling over the loss of the Air France flight from Rio to Paris.

All those souls and with not a trace.

I take flying for granted and mostly my safety while flying. I believe that short of some smaller podunk third world airlines that I have experienced, most pilots and mechanics do a pretty excellent jobof making sure things are fine before we take off and land. In fact, sometimes all I care about is that fact that we take off and land safely. I can do without the warmed nuts, the beverages and the movie. I'm not a nervous flier, but I am a cautious flier. I wear real shoes on the plane, natural fibers, pay attention to the safety announcements and take them seriously. If I have reservations about flying -- I won't. I have walked off of flights that I just felt uneasy about. Blessedly, no issues have occurred after my departure, but I have to sleep with own phobias and concerns and they are already battling for airtime in my over subscribed brain.

I cannot even imagine what its like to get up in the morning in Paris excited to see your family or friend who was flying back from Rio today and tell you all about their trip or a colleague who was coming to Paris for a meeting. I cannot even imagine turning on the news or going to the airport to see the words on the monitor that tell you to go see agent about flight status.

Heart stopping and breaking.

However, what are we to do? Stop flying, stop dreaming, stop commerce, stop tourism and stop living because you have a one in a million chance that your life my end over the ocean? I guess you could stop living, because for me, that is what it would be like.

God rest their souls.

Monday, May 25, 2009

over the moon

I am in love with a five day old little boy -- I never thought I would be so fiercely in love with a baby. I am not a baby person, per se. But my little nephew has stolen my heart - honestly and truly.

Other than that, I turned my brain off of work like things at 5:45 pm on Friday and all weekend I did not let data management, sensitivity tests and location services intrude into my weekend of gardening, sunning, dog walking, baby cuddling and just relaxing.

TH is out to sea == I wish her smooth sailing and good science. Both things are key to to having a cruise go by quickly.


Tuesday, May 12, 2009


Today would have been better if I hadn't even tried to get out of bed.


Tomorrow has got to be better or I'm really screwed.

Monday, May 11, 2009

In case you are wondering, I haven't fallen off the face of the earth. I have been hurtling my
body through the air hither and yon and trying to make sense of it all.

Milan, Paris, Brussels with entirely too much time spent in JFK.

Yeah, it'll end soon.

I have had lots of time to think.

Sometimes thinking is good.

Sometimes thinking is bad.

In this case, the bad outweighs the good and I have a lot to mull through.

TH has been a good sport these last few weeks. She even tolerated sitting through Andrew Bird with me in Brussels. She's the best.

No sign of L/LM-P. I have many variations on my niece/nephew's name, but alas, the secret should be revealed sooner than later.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

This afternoon I sat between my parents and grieved the loss of smart, beautiful woman who died much too young and suffered greatly. How hard it must be to bury your child, your sister, your best friend 0r your partner. How hard it is to watch your mother and father trembling with tears for the memory of a little girl they watched grow up and get married. How frustrating it is to feel like there was absolutely nothing you could have done to stop her suffering? How hard is it to feel guilty because today you felt the sun on your face and breathed in the sharp scent of pear blossoms -- something she can no longer experience.

We have now lost two of our childhood cadre. We blessedly have no war dead, no drug overdoses, nor horrific accidents to take away young lives, but to illness - sudden and chronic. Within our small group, the loss seems even larger and deeper. Death and illness sucks the lifeblood out of families and relationships. It is hard to watch and harder to go through.

As our parents age, these afternoons are fast becoming a common part of our lives. This past year, we have lost husbands, fathers and grandfathers. Losing someone who still had a long life to lead for some reason just seems so unfair. There is so much more to experience - both good and bad. M. seemed to pack as much good in as her body would allow, that was her gift.

Today was hard.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Talladegha Nights and a diet coke are all I'm good for tonight.

However, circumstances did not allow for such sloth.

I managed to do three loads of laundry, make a dinner that featured three food groups and walk the dog before collapsing. It has been a long day.

shake and bake baby, shake and bake

Monday, April 13, 2009

Hmm. I missed a day.

I had three witty and deep things to discuss, but at this late hour I will just say.

Crap, I am getting old and my body aches from use and disuse.


Saturday, April 11, 2009

I had a day, a good one, but I am now beyond tired. This cough is getting old and so is the Pepcid AC moments brought on by coughing.

At least I know where the easter basset is hiding the eggs.

Friday, April 10, 2009


Knackered, completely and utterly brain dead from the past week. It appears to be no end in sight.

Off to immerse myself in the life of Judith Jones, she's back in New York with Julia and Paul Child.

Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

Thursday, April 09, 2009

I can't really talk about growing up today, because I don't feel like I did a lot of grown up things other than schlep the dog to the groomer, deal with an increasingly mundane workload (soon to change), gardening way past dark, and spending money for things that seem intangible like car insurance and what not.

It seems like more and more people my age are playing games and removing themselves from reality. Let's face it reality these days can suck.
I am all for escaping, but honestly, it just doesn't seem that you should bowl until your taxes are done and the dishwasher is emptied. I know that a lot of people think I am a crumudgeon and cannot relax but when I add up the amount of stuff I do in the day there never appears to be time to relax.

Flying to Hong Kong for dim sum does NOT count.

How do you do it? How do you turn off your guilt gene and take "wii and me" time?

Off for a walk with you know who...

Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Sophisticated tastes

This evening I burned the shit out of my finger attempting to make butterscotch tapioca. A younger me would have recoiled at either of those words, but the mature older me loves warm tapioca right out of the pan before it gels up. Afterwards it is just okay, not great.

I have no idea why growing up I was repulsed by tapioca. I think it was the boxed stuff made by Jell-O that didn't solidified into uneven yellow chunks.

TH is a big fan of the 'oica. Milk, a bit of sugar, an egg and couple of tablespoons of tapioca, a bit of vanilla and some patience and judicious stirring can lead to a dish that in no way resembles the chunky stuff you tried to feed the dog under the table.

Butterscotch is another story. The idea of eating something that color with no real taste other than sweet has never swayed me. Once I realized that caramel is the equivalent to the butter of the Scots I stopped hating it and am learning to embrace it.

My foray into mixing the two of the together this evening using Fanny Farmer's recipe (no egg?) was not a rousing success. I ended up with a scant amount of pudding, a throbbing finger, leftover caramel for a tarte tatin and the realization that I continue to grown up.

Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

Monday, April 06, 2009

Leafs of faith


Today we started in earnest to get the vegetable garden ready for the planting season. It is a division of labor -- TH works hard to schlep compost, plastic, build beds, while I clean out the long season plot of old asparagus stalks, pruning raspberry canes that reach to the heavens and relocating errant strawberry plants.

Every year, I pull up 100s of columbine plants and raspberry canes. They are both plants where a little goes a long way. I can't say that I am the most sentimental gardener. I used to be until I realized a tiny cosmos seedling in May becomes a 6 foot monster with a stem the diameter of a corn stalk in October and broadcasting seeds hither and yon.

Every year as I turn over the soil, I say a prayer that this year will be better than last. That I will have patience and sustained enthusiasm for the entire season, not just for the easy part -- the planting.

I mumble to myself thanks for the ability to bend, stretch and reach over rows to weed pain free. To use my hands and fingers nimbly to drop seeds in holes that hopefully will yield a carrot, turnip or beet.

I also retain the faith that in a week when I return, I will see a bright green stripe of sprouting seeds with telltale leaf patterns that tell me if I have planted carrots or kohlrabi.

Go plant something, take a chance.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

sunday wrap up

dog, gym, parents, brunch, garden shopping, nap, garden clean up, nap, grumpy, garden assessment, dog walking, dinner, dog walking

can you see a trend?

Saturday, April 04, 2009

more than a feeling

Today I spent the afternoon with my childhood cadre -- those who are still here -- both in the 'hood and on earth. We celebrated the impending birth of my first niece/nephew. Blessedly no games were played - just the normal oohing and aahing of the myriad of teeny tiny green/yellow and gender neutral clothing. This not finding out the sex thing of the kid is both really cool and really irritating at the same time.

Suffice it to say, baby will probably never want to wear the color green again after the first six months of its life.

I talked to S at length about the children's table and wondering as we all sit with our mothers and aunts and long time friends of our parents -- both how lucky we are to still be friends, but also how we still feel like we're the kids.

Yeah, we'd rather sit giggling about Donny Osmond than discuss how that salad was made.

nm a little bit country