Thursday, June 28, 2007

Sad News

M's mother called today to let us know that his grandma passed away last night. It wasn't unexpected…but still, it's hard. M's mom was out of town when it happened, which must make it tougher for her. He's leaving tomorrow to join his family in Southern California, and will help with arrangements for the service, which will be in Iowa--a lot to orchestrate remotely, but may help a bit with closure. M's mom had plans to come up for a visit on Monday, and so of course that's off--but that's all for the best, too. M had arranged for time off already, so less petty stuff to worry about as he embarks on his journey.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Summer, Anniversary

Happy summer, everyone! Aren't these long days just the best? I celebrated by washing the deck yesterday.


M and I were supposed to celebrate our second wedding anniversary (can you believe it?) tonight since he's in class late tomorrow night, but were thwarted by his moot court brief, which still is not quite done at 9:47 p.m. We worked on it for most of the day today. [Pause while he reads it out loud to me one last time…please, FSM, let it be one last time…] So instead of dining at West County Grill this evening, we had burritos out on the aforementioned clean deck in between editing sessions. Which was just fine. Eye on the prize, people, gotta keep our eye on the prize.

However, we did have a lovely night out last night. A M's suggestion, we drove up to Healdsburg and took a stroll around the touristy plaza, peering at the second hand books and marveling at the planks of pink salt in the gourmet store, had a drink at John & Zeke's, where we heard tales of his friend the bartender's third encounter with the Bar exam which involved vomiting and long hours dictating to a computer, and ended up at the Charcuterie which you wouldn't think would have much for a vegetarian with a name like that, but does.

Which is all to say that I love, love, love my husband very much. I'm so glad to be married to such a wonderful man who cares for me the way that he does. We're a very happy, very fortunate couple and I look forward to how our life together continues to unfold.


For anyone who cares about geeky tech stuff, I volunteered to work the schwag table (I'm the blur in the background) at Foo Camp on Friday afternoon/evening, which was exhausting for me after an exhausting week (jeez I'm getting old, though I did get carded today!). I had planned to actually go and be immersed in the geekery (how geeky you ask? Google's Larry Page arrived by private chopper) as an attendee at some point over the weekend, but my car is still in the shop and I just wanted to be at home and then M needed help, so my intentions didn't materialize and I feel a little like a bad manager since I should've gone in my boss' stead since she couldn't but…oh well. I did, however, wear my new paprika-colored shoes to pass out tshirts and beverage containers (those of you who have never been witness to my point-and-stroke technique with swag/gift items are really missing out, lemme tell ya).


Domestic update: the new bed is **wonderful** and the new fence is impenetrable to all but sound, sadly. I joke about wanting to invent a "shut up" collar for our neighbor, a device that metes him a smart little zing every time he yells at his children or dogs. I told M today that I wanted a cone of silence for our home, but he reminded me that we need to hear the birds. The Monster Mobile is in the shop for a fabbed up AC cover and to fix the short in the seat controls that of course happened while on M's setting, making it impossible for me to drive without a pillow propping me up.

And now, off to make up the wonderful new bed…

Monday, June 18, 2007

Pic Blog

with on-duty pony
Originally uploaded by suzipaw
More photos on Flickr, including a few more of Felicia's graduation.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Back to San Jose

I'm off again, with visions of butternut squash ravioli garnished with fried sage leaves from Il Fornaio dancing in my head. Will write when I can!

Friday, June 15, 2007

Women In Art

My friend at work shared this with me today, to help cheer me up, and it did! I hope it helps if you're feeling overwhelmed too.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Back from Redding

Accepting her diploma
Originally uploaded by suzipaw
Well, Feesha's all graduated (a few more pics on my Flickr page), and we're home. It was very pleasant although I did have a bit of that experience where there are so many people and so little time that I didn't feel like I had the chance to connect with anyone. The food was good, the weather not too hot, I slept OK. We came home a little early today so that M could work more on his paper for moot court that's due tomorrow and we could reassemble the bedroom--our new bed is all set up and it's beautiful! I can't wait for bedtime. We need new matching nightstands and bedside lamps. That's need with quotation marks. We do need, sans quotation marks, new sheets--our old ones aren't made for such a tall mattress.


While the house was still standing when we arrived home, our fence was not. No, not the horrid steel fence behind us, sadly--one of the wooden fences between us and a neighbor. He had mentioned quite some time ago that he was thinking of replacing the fence, and suddenly decided to do it without mentioning anything to us. Is that unneighborly? I think so, and told him as much. It's nice of him to do all the work, and he didn't ask us to share the cost (though I will offer him some cash), but it's disconcerting to see the neighbors so up-close and personal. And worrisome is the fact that they have two large dogs, one a pit bull, so we have to watch the cats and Rex. And since the fence wasn't completed today, we'll have to leave Rex in the house tomorrow, which means I'll have to come home early to let him out…The new fence will flout the CC&Rs and be much taller than regulation, and I think we'll like that, as will they. If only it could keep out the sound of them yelling at their children and dogs!


Glad you're home, Uncle Madhu! Hope you're feeling better and better.


The LONG Meme, via Nancy

Copy and bold the things you've done.

1. Bought everyone in the bar a drink.
2. Swam with dolphins
3. Climbed a mountain - I know it's a volcano, but I'm counting Mt. Lassen
4. Taken a Ferrari for a test drive
5. Been inside the Great Pyramid
6. Held a tarantula
7. Taken a candlelit bath with someone - and showers, and saunas…
8. Said "I love you" and meant it
9. Hugged a tree

10. Bungee jumped
11. Visited Paris
12. Watched a lightning storm at sea - from a beach; and the lightning storm I watched in a plane at cloud level was exhilarating and nerve wracking
13. Stayed up all night long and saw the sun rise - like Nancy, it's been awhile. I mostly get up early and watch the dawn that way
14. Seen the Northern Lights
15. Gone to a huge sports game - the US Open Tennis tourney

16. Walked the stairs to the top of the leaning Tower of Pisa - I was there, but having my suitcase with me precluded the hike to the top
17. Grown and eaten your own vegetables
18. Touched an iceberg
19. Slept under the stars
20. Changed a baby's diaper
21. Taken a trip in a hot air balloon
22. Watched a meteor shower
23. Gotten drunk on champagne

24. Given more than you can afford to charity
25. Looked up at the night sky through a telescope
26. Had an uncontrollable giggling fit at the worst possible moment - oh, it was a shameful moment for me: at an acquaintance's wedding, he was singing to his new bride and missed the high notes

27. Had a food fight
28. Bet on a winning horse - I won 16 whole dollars!
29. Asked out a stranger - is a friend of a friend a stranger?
30. Had a snowball fight
31. Screamed as loudly as you possibly can - See #102, I highly recommend it, it's very therapeutic!
32. Held a lamb
33. Seen a total eclipse
34. Ridden a roller coaster

35. Hit a home run
36. Danced like a fool and not cared who was looking
37. Adopted an accent for an entire day
38. Actually felt happy about your life, even for just a moment - for many, many moments
39. Had two hard drives for your computer
40. Visited all 50 states
41. Taken care of someone who was drunk
42. Had amazing friends - HAVE!!!
43. Danced with a stranger in a foreign country

44. Watched wild whales
45. Stolen a sign
46. Backpacked in Europe
47. Taken a road-trip

48. Gone rock climbing
49. Midnight walk on the beach
50. Gone sky diving
51. Visited Ireland
52. Been heartbroken longer than you were actually in love
53. In a restaurant, sat at a stranger's table and had a meal with them - This happened during #11
54. Visited Japan
55. Milked a cow - Many times. Straining out the hay, mud, and dung really makes you thirsty for moo juice!
56. Alphabetized your CDs
57. Pretended to be a superhero
58. Sung karaoke
59. Lounged around in bed all day
60. Posed nude in front of strangers - ahem, we professional life models prefer the term "undraped"

61. Gone scuba diving - snorkeling is my limit!
62. Kissed in the rain
63. Played in the mud
64. Played in the rain
65. Gone to a drive-in theater - When I lived in Sarasota, the drive-in theater there showed X-rated movies!

66. Visited the Great Wall of China
67. Started a business
68. Fallen in love and not had your heart broken
69. Toured ancient sites - the Parthenon, Ephesus, Chichen Iza

70. Taken a martial arts class - Does tai chi count?
71. Played D&D for more than 6 hours straight
72. Gotten married - Two's a charm--see #75
73. Been in a movie
74. Crashed a party
75. Gotten divorced
76. Gone without food for 5 days - when I made the transition to vegetarian, I went on a juice fast. I ain't doing that again!

77. Made cookies from scratch - Sorry, Listmaker, but this is a silly one
78. Won first prize in a costume contest - For an animal shelter fundraiser, I was a cloud
79. Ridden a gondola in Venice - Does The Venetian in Vegas count?
80. Gotten a tattoo
81. Rafted the Snake River
82. Been on television news programs as an expert I was on TV a couple of times, but not as an expert
83. Got flowers for no reason
84. Performed on stage - High school plays only!
85. Been to Las Vegas - See #79
86. Recorded music
87. Eaten shark
88. Eaten fugu (pufferfish)
89. Had a one-night stand
90. Gone to Thailand
91. Bought a house
92. Been in a combat zone
93. Buried one/both of your parents
94. Been on a cruise ship - Does a tour of the Queen Mary count?
95. Spoken more than one language fluently
96. Performed in Rocky Horror Picture Show
97. Raised children - only the four legged kind
98. Followed your favorite band/singer on tour
99. Taken an exotic bicycle tour in a foreign country
100. Picked up and moved to another city to just start over - a couple of times for school; my move back to California was sort of starting over, though Northern California is hardly unknown territory
101. Walked the Golden Gate Bridge - I have no excuse for not having done this many times!
102. Sang loudly in the car, and didn't stop when you knew someone was looking - it's the only place I feel comfortable singing--and screaming
103. Had plastic surgery
104. Survived an accident that you shouldn't have survived
105. Wrote articles for a large publication - I wrote an episode on tomatoes for Martha Stewart to read on the radio
106. Lost over 100 pounds (45.5 kilograms)
107. Held someone while they were having a flashback - HUH?
108. Piloted an airplane
109. Petted a stingray
110. Broken someone's heart
111. Ridden a bike
112. Won money on a T.V. game show - No, but an appearance on Deal or No Deal is high on my To-Do list
113. Broken a bone
114. Gone on an African photo safari
115. Had a body part of yours below the neck pierced
116. Fired a rifle, shotgun, or pistol - Yes, yes, and yes
117. Eaten mushrooms that were gathered in the wild
118. Ridden a horse - Briefly owned one, too
119. Had surgery
120. Had a snake as a pet
121. Hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon - It's a long damn trip back up, lemme tell ya
122. Slept for more than 30 hours over the course of 48 hours - But only because of a medication I was taking
123. Visited more foreign countries than U.S. states
124. Visited all 7 continents
125. Taken a canoe trip that lasted more than 2 days
126. Eaten kangaroo meat
127. Eaten sushi
128. Had your picture in the newspaper
129. Changed someone's mind about something you care deeply about
130. Gone back to school - after how long?
131. Parasailed
132. Petted a cockroach
133. Eaten fried green tomatoes
134. Read The Iliad and The Odyssey
135. Selected one important author who you missed in school, and read
136. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
137. Skipped all your school reunions
138. Communicated with someone without sharing a common spoken language

139. Been elected to public office
140. Written your own computer language
141. Thought to yourself that you're living your dream
142. Had to put someone you love into hospice care
143. Built your own PC from parts
144. Sold your own artwork to someone who didn't know you
145. Had a booth at a street fair
146. Dyed your hair
147. Been a DJ
148. Shaved your head
149. Caused a car accident
150. Saved someone's life


During my aforementioned retirement training, the TV I was watching included "The Last King," a drama chronicling the reign of Charles I, and one of my ancestors, Daniel Axtell, was mentioned! It was very odd, but did inspire me to pull out the genealogy my grandma and uncle assembled to read up a little on him.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007


Circus peacock fairy and clown
Originally uploaded by suzipaw
Yet Another Misc. Blog--but it almost sounds tasty, doesn't it, if it were baked til soft and afloat in butter?

Anyway…life, in no particular order:

I practiced being retired over the weekend, though Mom assured me that retirees absolutely do not have time to read. To me, retired means watching the mold grow on the shower curtain and not caring, thinking about sleeping a lot, and eating out four of six meals during the course of the weekend. And reading. And watching TV. So I accomplished all of the above--I mean, one can't retire and not be in shape for it, right? I have, what, 20-25 years to train for it, so I think I'll be able to really nail that event when the time comes.

Well, I (we) did accomplish something over the weekend, involving unloading a great deal of cash--which is part of a retiree's repertoire, is it not? M and I went shopping for a new bed. After some online research, we went out into the real world, of department stores, furniture stores, bedding stores, design stores. Holy canoli, there is a style out there for everyone, from be-bullion'd four-posters to austere Asian platforms to bachelor pad leopard 'n' leather. We ended up with a plain-ish wooden headboard and frame and a really nice mattress set--way more than I have ever spent on bedding in my life. I think those swanky hotel beds have had an influence on me. We did make our sales clerk work for it though, a nice young man who had the bedding patter down, most informative, named Dylan ("Wow, I've never heard of Susan spelled that way before." "Really? It's the Frenchy way." "Ah. Like my name, Dylan. Most people think it's d-i-l-l-i-o-n." "But, it's like Bob?" "Yeah. Or like Thomas." "Dylan Thomas?" "Yeah, I was named after the poet." "'Time held me green and dying/Though I sang in my chains like the sea.'"* "Wow, so you must've studied literature." "Uh, kinda." I was too wimpy to admit that I studied poetry in public to a twenty-something sales clerk in Sleeptrain). The high point of the whole tedious-ish process was when dear Dylan whipped out the wooden whistle to pipe us out of the store with the train toot, a sales colleague reciting that other immortal poetry, "Your ticket to a better night's sleep."


One of the meals we ate out for was in Petaluma, in a second floor restaurant overlooking a main drag that is much more lively than what we're used to. Lots of kids roaming. We spied two toting "Free Hugs" signs, and I'm not sure if they were planning to emulate the video (that first hug always gets me), or just trying to get young ladies to press up against them. After dinner that night, we watched Pirates 3, which was fairly enjoyable to me, less so to M, who had high expectations, go figure.


Work is going along fine, becoming more subtle and complex, which is A Good Thing, if also more mentally taxing. I'm tempted, but will refrain from writing more. M is studying very, very hard, all the time.


Off to Redding this weekend to see my niece graduate from high school. We're all very pleased and happy for her, but of course there's the "where did the time go?" and "wow, she's…an adult…how the hell did that happen and how the hell do I relate?" feelings that are also very subtle and complex, but again, very worthwhile. I did not succeed in finding a new dress for the occasion, but oh well. Sleeping in the new bed will be consolation aplenty, I'm sure.

*This, and "Turning and turning in the widening gyre/The falcon cannot hear the falconer" are the only things I remember from my three years and thousands of dollars spent at NYU. OK, maybe I'm exaggerating a little.