Sunday, October 28, 2007

Happy 4th Anniversary, Pointy Pals

A shout-out to my writers group gal pals, Rebecca and Julia--this month marks four years of getting together to write, talk about writing (and maybe other things too), and writerly field trips. They've been an incredibly important part of my life, and have been so supportive in my creative pursuits, even when the pursuit has slowed to a crawl, like now. But as we sat in the Apple Box yesterday and Julia challenged us to do more (her time at Viable Paradise was most inspiring, I'm so glad), I felt much uplifted as well. I've been counting this blog as my creative writing project for years now, the occasional unfinished poem or essay notwithstanding, and it's time to get back on the writing wagon and put some fictional words together. We resolved to spend more time just writing together; my personal resolution was to write on a creative project when with the Pointy Pals, not work on work stuff, which was what I had started to do. How sad, eh? And I'm forming a new project. They encouraged me to keep going on the YA story I had started lo these many years ago, but my heart's not in it. At this point, all I know is that it will be in the first person. Wish me luck.

After writers group meeting yesterday, I stopped by Comp USA and ponied up for a new cheap DVD player. Our incredibly cheap one had crapped out after only a few months. I hate living in a disposable society. We'd been watching movies on M's laptop, and it was very unsatisfying. I also took a deep breath and bought an external hard drive, something I should have done years ago. I'm going to transfer all of my personal stuff to it from my work laptop, which is the Right Thing to Do. And I got one that's big enough to store movies, when I get to them, which should be soon. M's first in line for a new machine since his is beginning to fritz out regularly (can't you just see it crashing during the Bar Exam or something?), but I think it's also time for me to get my own laptop, too. I think it will help with the work/life balance boundaries.

We've had absolutely beautiful weather lately. I should go absorb some sunshine while I still can…

Monday, October 22, 2007

Back at it

I'm home, and recovering. It was a very successful show, though I had to seriously consider whipping out some constructive anger with one of our AV guys (which apparently works if used judiciously) at one point. I didn't eat quite as well as I'd hoped--too many sweets and no new restaurants tried. I did return to one place I hadn't been for a few years, and it was quite pleasant--a huge wood burning oven and a flight of white wines at the bar was very comforting.

For some reason, I was also quartered in a suite, a corner suite if you must know, and it was hard not to regret putting it to better use. Because I was in a suite, I was greeted personally by one of the hotel managers when I checked in, found some personalized Palace stationery awaiting me in my room, and when I opened the door to what I thought was the bellhop bringing up my suitcase (I was not allowed to claim my own bag) was actually another staffer bringing in a basket of snacks and drinks. Yes, I could get used to treatment like this. But I am so happy to be home!

I was pretty wiped out on Saturday, though M and I managed to run some errands, including a sub-$300 trip to Costco which doesn't happen very often and a spree at the library book sale. Sunday was much more pleasant--I felt some energy returning, started a knitting project, sat in the summer-like sun, read, and worked a little--uploading some videos which feels slightly creative so not quite so heinous as answering email or something. In fact, I'm uploading one now! My video editor recommended not doing anything computer related while uploading or capturing video--a stray keystroke could undo all the very time-consuming efforts. Instead, she recommends reading or knitting, which seems eminently wise to me.


I had a little scare this morning--my scrawny scarecrow cat Pook did not awaken this morning, not to the scent of a freshly opened can of tuna, not to my caress of her skinny ribs as she lay curled on her favorite chair. I stood there, heart pounding--she wasn't cold or stiff, she must've just passed away. I was torn with relief and sadness--at least her death wasn't painful and finally the question of *when* she would pass had been answered, but she has been my faithful if crotchety companion for lo these 18 years. It was 5:18 a.m., I'd have to wake M to help me bury her next to her arch-nemesis, Tom Cat, under the oak (thank god it had just rained), I'd miss my gym class, I'd be late to work and preoccupied with thinking of her…then I turned on the light and saw her breathing, touched her again and she awoke with a start, leaping down from her chair to bolt her dish of tuna. She lives to sleep another day.

Portrait of a Pook
Originally uploaded by suzipaw

Monday, October 15, 2007

Conference Season Ends

Oh hallelujah, I leave for my last conference of the year tomorrow. A few days in San Francisco...most of it will be spent inside a lovely old hotel which sounds (and is) nice until about hour 40. But I've resolved to dine out at least once at a place I've never eaten before. And what's not to like about food?

Thursday, October 11, 2007

One of "Those" Dreams

I had one last night--I don't remember the setting, but in my dreams I was disrobing. A companion, a man a think, exclaimed, "Oh my god, you can't go out like that!" I looked down and realized that he wasn't saying that because I was naked, but because I was covered with cuts and bruises. Hm. What would Freud say is really the thing that's beat up?

Seeing my exercise class teacher this morning, the one who reminds me of Barbie's friend Skipper, jogged my memory of that dream--her limbs always seem to be covered with small wounds in various stages of healing. I hope it's just because she's a rock climber or too-avid kickboxer or something, rather the victim of some horrible boyfriend.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Harvest Fair

The most excruciating part of the sheepdog trial course.

Lotsa people enjoying the fruit of the vine...

M was studying while I was taking in these magnificent sights, but I did bring him home a corndog as consolation.


The rain has started.

Saturday, October 06, 2007


Fall has come to Sonoma County. Huge trucks bearing grapes and stacks of wine barrels are cruising the highways. We had our first sudden rain shower yesterday, healing just a bit the huge dry cracks in the earth and bringing out the wonderful smells of dry grass now not as parched and resulting in the first set of muddy paw prints on the carpet of the season. I wore a jacket to work yesterday. The dog walking while it's light window is closing. September's energy bill was actually fairly reasonable, but that will change this month--we'll open up the house a bit once it warms up today and run the heater for a while to clear it out. I sure could use it this morning.



A friend at work and I stayed a little late yesterday, chatting about growing up, taking responsibility, being homebodies, and life on communes. She's much younger than I am and could, conceivably, haha be my daughter in an alternate universe. She grew up on a religious commune of some sort one county north. She had a story about how her parents had promised never to ground her, but once they moved off the commune and into the burbs, their stance on that changed--among many other things too, no doubt--they felt they had to conform to the neighborhood norms, she said. It made me think of how different norms were, and are now. Some of those commune activities definitely wouldn't have been ok in the burbs, and definitely would not be ok now. Looking back through adult eyes, I can understand that but I also think society today is much more paranoid and protective--I'm sure that's a rant others have articulated much better than I ever could.

We also discussed one of the definitions of adulthood: being ok just sitting around and talking. Visiting with others when I was really young usually meant activity: going into a bedroom to play, or maybe a game of tag or hide-and-seek or throwing statues (is that a game anyone else played or did my babysitter just make that up?). Older, it meant sneaking away to a bedroom to talk about doing illicit things, or sitting on the curb waiting for some activity to take place--which I guess was a bridge to the adult sitting around and talking, minus the unbearable presence of adults, of course. But now I really enjoy the talking part, that's activity enough for me.

I know that at this family reunion next summer, it will be inescapable--I'll be one of the adults (dults, we used to call them), no longer one of the kids. So many of the next generation kids in the family are actually young adults now, becoming "real" people, I'll be forced to cede the kid category. Yes, yes, I know, I'm not going gently into that good night. Yet, anyway. (I note that I'm still thinking of being categorized as an adult in the future tense, hm…)

I'm sure planning this family reunion at a place pivotal to my childhood, my recent birthday (one of M's gifts to me is the Tom Petty album that was a big part of the soundtrack of my senior year in high school), and my visit to NY have made me even more thoughtful of time passed and passing. Many tales of commune life will come up during the reunion next summer. Gotta be proficient with the movie camera by then, certainly. I also don't want to only sit around and talk, or be on the outside, observing with my camera--I'd like to come up with games and activities that we can do together to break the ice a bit, to get to know these new adults for who they are, all on their own. And they're probably not ready to sit around and talk--yet, anyway.

On the way to work yesterday I stopped at a little java hut to treat myself to a latte, and it was so nice to hear the banter between the older guy behind me and the younger guy behind the counter. They were just talking about fishing but they were obviously enjoying each other's company. And that's one thing to like about being the age I am--appreciating the friendships I have in both generational directions now, free from the authority that age sometimes imposes or imposes upon.


I'm looking forward to a nice weekend. I'm going up to M's school with him to work while he studies, which is why I'm blogging now--I'll be sick of my laptop later. Tonight (after a try at a nap, no doubt, I'm up early) we're seeing a band at Rancho Nicasio, the Hacienda Brothers--a friend knows one of the guys in the band. Tomorrow it's the Harvest Fair, including the sheep dog trials, which is always excellent entertainment. I may even do some wine tasting and take in the pig races...