Monday, August 17, 2009

Oh hi.

I can't say I have anything new to report. Life has basically been about work, editing and on occasion doing science.

I am relishing the last of the longish evenings -- now that Ernest is back I am back to watching the sun start to set as we finish up our last walk.

It seems like this summer was a big gyp.

Hot,work,too hot, operations, caretaking, work.

All I can remember is the blur of emails, running to and fro each soaker hose and the occasional moment of calm.

Most of those were short.

It felt weird not to train for anything, nor spend long hours talking to friends while walking. I miss it, but this year was not the year.

Today I told someone that I am looking to simplify my life - not add complications to sap yet more energy from me. It seems that life is throwing those complications at us right and left. Its just learning to say no, okay and maybe later to all those opportunities, chances and obligations.

I have said enough and maybe not much of anything.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Thursday suckitude v.2.0

one fine day

More of the same, yeah, you know, I have talked about it over and over again.

Good points:
I am healthy
I have a roof over my head
It is not 100 degrees
I have a great support system

Bad points:
I'm unhappy with some things and this affects the rest of my life
This continues
on and on
that really sucks
The economy has still not recovered enough
to make a change
I'm also afraid of change

Who knows, is it worth being unhappy?

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Big yellow moon and apricot jam

Cooler now, I can think.

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Happy August.

Today it was only 86 degrees. The garden, for all that we have watered, mulched, pruned and carefully tended, is toasted. It is hard to see and even harder to swallow. I am over this, I was over it well before it started. We are not adapted to deal with these "weather events".

The last two weeks have been a whirlwind of excitement, none of it good - weather, my father's knee, the ensuing complications and becoming a dogsbody. While my parents are still healthy and have a myriad of resources, it always seems to be a crisis around the corner. Thank god for hotel status, communication skills, a huge network of friends who know everything and everyone in Seattle. TH has been amazing and ready to step up to the plate for almost anything at any time.

This aging thing is really overrated.

Tomorrow, we celebrate a birthday and an anniversary date that has come so fast -- at least we can toast the living and those who have passed with good food and dear friends.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Hanging in, barely.

There are only sixty days left of summer, thanks Martha for pointing that out to me on this month's issue of Everyday Food.

Its hard to make each one count when you are exhausted.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

I am glad the MJ spectacle is over.

Today, while driving home from the dentist, I heard his daughter's final words during the memorial service.I was appalled by his daughter's public grief. I don't know why, but for some reason it rankled me. Sure it took guts to get up and tell the world how much she missed her father, but the question remains -- is there an end to all the coverage and media spectacle when kids are thrust in the spotlight?

I remember being overcome with sadness when William laid the wreath and the card on Diana's coffin. That was a private moment, that while displayed publicly, kept the feelings and the sentiments between William and his mother's mortal soul.

Don't think that I'm a cold callous person. I feel for these kids -- after all, who would want to be referred to the moniker Blanket? What child who spent the last eight years of their lives wearing masks and disguises in public would want to be thrust in the public eye at the height of their grief. Maybe now these kids will live a somewhat normal life given their notoriety and get a chance to grieve the loss of their parent in private.

I guess all things these days are ready to be shared with everyone, including our deepest sorrows.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Thank goodness for a cold front.

Lots to do and the heat didn't help.

Good thing there is always the week ahead to tuck in a chore or three and maybe, if you are really lucky, an unplanned evening to sit and listen wind in the trees.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

I turned my tv on for the first time since the digital switchover.

There is still nothing on television worth watching. I spent three minutes flipping through the 10 channels we get -- including five religious stations and realized that it had all become Michael Jackson tv. I realized then and there, the only coverage of his demise that I had seen was static --the web, covers of magazines and the newspapers that still get delivered chez nm.

I had missed the spectacle of his moonwalk, the moonwalks of others, the tears, the exposes and all the old footage. It all seemed so kinetic, but didn't make it any more real for me.
I realized the same thing with 9.11 --all my exposure had been the print media, the internet and listening to hours of NPR for the few days after the event. I missed the footage of the planes hitting the WTC and people jumping out of buildings. The first time I saw the graphic footage was on some anniversary show. It just hadn't dawned on me that to some, all they had seen were the images of people fleeing, the smoke and the devastation. I can't say my life is better or worse for not watching the coverage. I just think that sometimes the visual doesn't necessarily help paint the picture.

I guess the televison will remain a vehicle to watch poorly subtitled films made in Ulan Bator until the next large weather event. In which case, we'll consider turning it on.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

way up there

July is here. The year is half over. Ask me what I have done? Lots and not so much.

I have weaseled out of two races and this year's 3 day. Other than many walks with the dog and forty minutes four times a week at the gym, I'm not doing much.

Maybe I burned out last year.

I have three full months before Portland. All I can think of is Mile 17 and the climb to the bridge. God, that killed me.

I refuse to let it kill me again.

I also promised myself that I would shave a goodly amount of time off my time. I think this year I'll just settle for 12 minutes and be happy with 13. However, this takes some commitment to training. I haven't gone over ten miles since last October. I think I may be a fool to try again with only three months, but the only way to find out is to try.

I don't do a lot of ruminating on what makes a great leader, athlete, or entrepreneur. I am not a student of business or what makes something successful. I know there are a hundred books lining the shelves of airport bookstores waiting to be read on this topic. I tend to try and mull these concepts of failure and success and the obstacles to overcome them over in my brain until it hurts and then I ask for opinions or a bullshit check by some third party.

I'm really trying hard these days to not make public declarations of my intents -- for various reasons, but mostly because I do not want to appear a failure. I am fighting the same twenty pounds, my inability to keep my desk in my study tidy, and my ability to balance a check book, while seeming petty, all these things are things I have talked about and still loom over my head.

Let's say that from today, I intend to train for Portland with the intent of conquering mile 17. Check with me at the end of the month to see where I am.

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