Saturday, June 28, 2008

Off to Wilbur

I'm leaving to visit Grandma this morning, and can't wait! It will be great to see her. I'm flying out of our local airport for the first time in years--I'm not checking any bags, so I don't have to leave until about an hour before the flight. If I had been flying out of Oakland, I would've been on the road by now.

The smoky atmosphere seems to be better today, but more fires may be on the way due to electrical storms forecast for the area. What a sad situation. The fireworks stands that are being set up seem completely ridiculous. The bad air quality does make me very grateful for the high emissions standards we have. I remember smog alerts and yellow-gray air growing up in Southern California, and am glad to not have to put up with unnatural skies and irritated throat and eyes all day every day.

I'm blaming the smoke for my low spirits this week, but life also just seems to be steamrolling poor little me. The conference earlier this week (which seems like ages ago now!) went well, but took me away from home for a few days. I visited the podiatrist for the MRI results on Wednesday, which were good in that the lump on my toe is only a cyst, but the draining process was somewhat painful and I have to wear a compression bandage for a week to encourage it to "scar down" to prevent a recurrence. Not painful, but annoying. Between the shoulder sutures, cyst, and travel, I haven't been to the gym in weeks, and I can tell I'm gaining weight, ugh, and I'm sure that's not helping my mood either. Wednesday was also our third wedding anniversary and it was all we could do to eat take-out Chinese in front of the tube as our celebration. The looming Bar exam is adding to the pall--M's mind is just always elsewhere. I know that's how it needs to be, but this last month is very hard. And will only get harder--but the days are flying by and soon it will be over. I'm sure awaiting the results for three and a half months will make this time seem positively gay.

On a happier note, I hope you have a great 75th birthday tomorrow, Dad!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Vote for Eric!

M's best friend Eric runs Bennett's Performance, a Harley shop in Long Beach. A famous motorcycle engine manufacturer invited him to be one of 50 companies to build custom bikes for their 50th Anniversary, which is happening now in Wisconsin. So please vote for Bennett's Performance as best bike! I'll post a pic as soon as M remembers to send me one. It's pretty bitchin'.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Yet Another Catch Up Blog

dinner alfresco
Originally uploaded by suzipaw
It's been a busy week and I still have to pack for three glorious days in Burlingame starting tomorrow, so let's just dive right in, shall we? Oh, and dang it's hot.

Commencement recap: I was so focused on party recovery, I neglected to post about the reason for the party--the graduation itself. The ceremony was long enough to feel the gravitas of the moment, but not overly dragging. The valedictorian keep her speech short, former Speaker of the House Dick Gephardt did not, but at least he is quite the accomplished, um, speaker. M received the Labe Lebowitz award, recognition to an individual in the class who has overcome adversity with great aplomb. Guess those hospitalizations for diverticulosis really paid off after all! Thanks to all who came to the ceremony, that meant a lot to M. I'm really big on ceremonies--I think they really help with life transitions.

More family fun continued earlier this week--my dad and stepmom came for a visit for a few days, and it was so nice to have them. My niece was also in town and came over for dinner twice. She, my stepmom, and I also had a gals shopping day, which was quite pleasant. Other activities (see below) kept me from being as quite as chipper as I wanted to be during their visit, but we got a lot of hanging out and catching up done.

On a more serious note, it's been a week of health stuff for me too. I had my first MRI, for a soft tissue lump on my toe. The podiatrist thinks it's probably just a cyst or a lipoma, but she wants to be sure. I'll hear the results of that next week, but I foresee limping in my future. What a weird experience the MRI is. I'm so glad I went in feet first, and not very far in at that.

Much more uncomfortable was my return engagement with the dermatologist. He called Tuesday evening to say that the pathology report had come back positive for melanoma and could I come in at lunch the next day to have more flesh excised? Though he said he did get it all the first time, the medical convention is for a margin to be removed as well. I admit to being a bit of a wuss about the procedure. I didn't exactly cry, but I was fearful and just felt a bit dazed by the whole experience. My new wound is almost twice as long as the first go-round, is only just now feeling itchy rather than also sore and painful, and I'm left with a shallow divot and a couple of bumps at either end of the incision. Oh well, *I* won't have to see it very often, just the rest of you will. I'm soooo not looking forward to the full-body exam for more bad spots later in August. I have some moles in some places even I don't like peering at.

So thank goodness I have health insurance. The dermatologist warned me never to let my insurance lapse, since having a history of melanoma also means I'm apparently uninsurable, which is a little disturbing. The other disturbing part is how random the discovery was. If I hadn't been wearing a sundress at a party with where my stepdad was there to point it out (thank you, Don!), and already planning to see the dermatologist for something that turned out to be completely harmless, that cancer might still be working its way to my lymph nodes yet. So I'm still mentally digesting all of that.

Finally, a little digression into work--one of my employees quit, and Friday was her last day. She departed on relatively cordial terms, but my group just wasn't the right place for her, and I was part of that un-rightness, which gnaws at me. From my point of view, she made some career missteps, and giving her a good-bye hug, I also wanted shake her and tell her not to make those same stupid mistakes I made! But of course, I went ahead and made them when it was my turn, didn't I? And I learned a great deal with just a few regrets from my poor decisions. And who knows, they may not be mistakes for her--and if they are, I'm sure she'll learn a lot, just like I did.

Now, time for a cool shower, cold beer, and packing.

Happy Summer Solstice! And now the days grow shorter, boo…

Friday, June 13, 2008

Party Recap

Arienne and the potato gun
Originally uploaded by suzipaw
It was a lovely graduation party and a satisfying commencement ceremony…it's taken me this long to recover from it all. I've come to the hard realization that I'm just not an entertaining person, much as I desperately want to be one and though there's much about it that I like: I like seeing people that I don't see often anymore, or as often as I'd like--and seeing them with other people I love but that they may not know at all. I like helping friends and family have a good time. And feeding them well. And lately, I like letting other people help me. That's been hard for me to come to terms with, but I'm happier when I don't do it all myself. Mom consulted on the menu and brought lots of wonderful food and flowers. My brother came down early with music and poker chips, so we had extra fun hanging out the evening before. Then he forsook the commencement ceremony so stay at the house and put the tri-tip on the grill, which was the triumph of the party fare. M's sister and another family friend helped with party food prep. M's best friend took a large group of us out to dinner the evening before…I think maybe I always want to be the one go take care of people, but sometimes the best way of doing that is letting go of some things. Including not beating myself up about forgetting to refill the chip bowls ("so that's why the dip wasn't eaten!") or neglecting to lead the party in a toast to the graduate (OK, I still regret that one, frankly) or washing platters instead of making time to talk to my other brother, nephew, brother-in-law (which I still regret even more). One thing I am continuing to enjoy is all of the leftover booze--that in itself is reason to throw more parties. Thank you, everyone, for your contribution to the festivities.

But I'm in my own skin, which means that another hard thing is keeping in mind that the celebration was not about me at all, but about my wonderful husband, who really challenged himself and toiled four long years to get through law school. It really is an amazing accomplishment, and I'm very proud of him. It must be difficult to recognize that with the Bar exam looming, but I hope he can take a deep breath and feel that satisfaction very soon. Like on July 31--that would be a good day.


Happy birthday, Mom!

Monday, June 09, 2008

The Sheepskin

Monday, June 02, 2008

Dressed up

Dressed up
Originally uploaded by suzipaw
The dinner was very nice. I drank. He did not. I danced. He did not. Hm...