Friday, October 31, 2008

Halloween Rex's birthday. He turned eight today. We sang "Happy Birthday" to him and he seemed to enjoy it mightily. The few trick-or-treaters we had really wound him up tonight (I think he assumed they were mail carriers in training) so I think he was feeling a little in need of parental attention.

We had a big party at work today--we invited everyone from the company to attend. It was my group's idea to have it, and it was wonderful watching people coming together to plan and decorate the space. Quite a few people came in costume. I wore a toga. It's been a crazy week, getting ready for a very important conference next week, but this was a nice thing to have in the middle of that storm.

M announced to me the other day that he wants to follow the path of criminal law. I'm glad he's settled on a particular area. My attorney-turned-childrens-librarian friend said she thought that criminal law was the most exciting, so I'm not really surprised he chose that specialty. Two weeks, six days, and twenty hours until the Bar exam results are posted.

We send in our absentee ballots this week. It was a great feeling.

Nanowrimo starts tomorrow. And my glass fusing class. Better turn in, I've got a lot of creativity to channel come morning.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Another Ambitious Weekend Underway

I'm at the Applebox with M and the Pointy Pals. Another unseasonably warm and glorious fall day, a full to-do list tucked into my purse:

Clean garage. Or at least get started.
Books back to the library (done!)
Outdoor furniture
Character study (excellent progress!)
Chapter outline (excellent progress!)
Glass cut for fusing class
Decorations for Halloween party
Costume for said party
Research air travel for WA trip (in progress)

It's been more than just an ambitious weekend I've been planning, I'm also digging into my November. Perhaps you may have noticed the new widget on the right column for NaNoWriMo--National Novel Writing Month. I decided to do it. Not to read a novel in a month or merely start to write a novel--nay to start and finish one (or at least get a minimum of 50,000 words into it). In a month. Specifically the month of November. So the blogging might be spotty for the next few weeks. Er, spottier. One of the tactics the NNWM folks recommend to keep you going is to tell everyone you know that you're doing it, so feel free to guilt/encourage me starting November 1. What will my novel be about, you ask? All I'll say is, I am indeed starting small and penning a romance!

More plans: Our department is hosting a company-wide Halloween party, so I'm helping to cook, decorate, and I'm coming in costume (a toga at this point). I've also decided that I'd like to felt up a bunch of coffee cup cuffs and little device cozies to sell at the company craft fair that I'm hopefully organizing the first week of December. Hm, maybe hair bands and barrettes. The felting world is my oyster! And I'm taking that glass fusing class on Saturdays in November--I figured I'd need a break from the computer screen. All this right before I go up to visit Grandma with Felicia, which will be right after coming back from Thanksgiving up on the coast where I'll be cooking, beaching, and of course working on my novel.

But if you think that's ambitious, hah! I've also added a new link to the right, to Rebecca's newest blog, Nephro-Notes. She's hoping to become a kidney donor for a friend of hers at work, and this is the journal of her experiences. I so admire her for doing it and glad for the window into the process.

BTW, the garden party in the City last Saturday was great fun. The weather pleasant, the food tasty, the people interesting, easy to talk to, tattooed, and questionably gendered. Liz and I shopped at fab thrift store before heading back. There was a soap box derby happening in a park nearby so BART was a madhouse. Ah, urban life!

Bar exam results in slightly less than four weeks, people. Clouds are massing on the hilltops…

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Once More into the City

Presidio cemetery
Originally uploaded by suzipaw
I spent two days at a conference in SF this week. A nice change of work pace, and I didn't fall too far behind (it was another company's show). The weather has been utterly brilliant. The conference was held in the Presidio, a former Army post being converted to civilian and business use. Traveling down with colleagues the first day, we arrived *very* early--a bummer in that the coffee wasn't ready yet, but we did have an hour to wander around the buildings, former parade ground, and military cemetery, all with spectacular views of the Golden Gate bridge and bay. I forgot to bring my camera that day, but snapped this cemetery pic as we were leaving on the second.

M was up early to meet his friend Sean and head up to a gun range in Ukiah, manly men with their arms and ammo. He picked up new specs yesterday, so is confident his target shooting will reign supreme. Not that there's any competition or anything like that. So I was up early too and have already finished many of my chores. I'll be meeting up with my dear friend Liz in Berkeley this morning--we'll go into the City to see a somewhat long-lost friend's art project. The family of this mutual friend has a long and somewhat complicated history with our families, so Liz is feeling a bit of trepidation, as there's a good chance we might run into other members of the clan. I'm thinking it could be a fun little adventure and frankly I'm curious as to how our friend has turned out, I haven't seen her for several decades. And if it gets hairy, the gallery is close to Haight-Ashbury, so we can hie ourselves to some window shopping in that oh-so-hip part of town.

Also on the agenda for this weekend: garage and house cleaning, the library book sale (I need more romance novels), reading the four new chapters of Julia's book before our writers group meeting on Monday, fleshing out my character study. Hm, must be the start of the weekend, I'm feeling quite ambitious…

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Weak Recap

Moon, leaves
Originally uploaded by suzipaw
It's been a full week with not much to show for it.

No, that's not true.

It was a long work week, yes. But it ended well. On Saturday, M and I went shopping at Costco, and I know this sounds pretty lame, but having weekend time with him to just live our lives together was so nice. I couldn't help smiling at him and the aggressive flies across the slightly nasty plastic picnic tables while eating over cheese-fooded slices of pizza under unflattering fluorescent lighting in the hulking windowless warehouse where we swore to fight our way into when the apocalypse comes before our shopping adventure began. I picked up a tasty bottle of Bogle Zinfandel which made me too sleepy to finish watching our (well, OK, my) Netflix pic later that night, about a supposedly blind ronin (unfettered Samurai) posing as a masseur but apparently he was posing being blind as well. So disappointing, but I do love the peek into another rich culture.


And the next day, Sunday, I still felt the after effects of imbibing slightly too much wine, but met up with the writers group gals for Butt in Chair Time for the first time in what seems like forever after a long morning lingering under covers in bed. And it was all great. Us pointy pals blabbed. We realized that we had missed our fifth (five years!) anniversary of writing together back in September. I started my character study of the heroine of my romance novel and toyed with the idea of joining NaNoWriMo to try to finish it off quickly. I'm still toying with the idea, but it seems like a darn good one, even to just get a start on something. Something, anything.

We adjourned to other commitments but reconvened just hours later in a large suburban backyard to celebrate Julia's art show with friends and treats that included cupcakes and chocolate cookies and champagne. I met someone in person for the first time, a longtime blog reader and email correspondent, and it just made my heart sing and reassured my tenuous belief in internet interconnectedness. I met a number of other people, too, which is still…hard for me. But gets a little easier as time rolls on.


The atmosphere is beautiful lately, air so clear, providing unhindered views of moon and mountains and stars, in the dark morning as I sling my workout bag in the trunk and gaze up at Orion to give me strength. Despite the brief recent rain, the hillsides are almost black the grass is so dry. But as Halloween approaches and the twisted branches of oak trees seem to become more prominent it's a reminder that we're moving into the proper season.

Fall is the time of change for me and I'm looking forward to what time has to bring me.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Happy October

Glass reeds, birch
Originally uploaded by suzipaw
So the blogging has been a little spotty, sorry. There's some stuff at work weighing down my words. But overall life has been good. It rained yesterday, hallelujah. The ground absorbed it quickly enough, but it brightened the flora and the air felt positively sweet today. And tis the season of soup and squash. I've roasted my first pumpkin and made ravioli out of part of it, and suspect part of my Sunday will be devoted to minestrone making, despite predictions of 80 degree weather.

The last weekend of September was a lovely one for me. M took me to see the Dale Chihuly exhibit at the newly remodeled De Young museum in San Francisco.

The California Academy of Sciences, located just across the way from the museum, was reopening after a long refurbishment, so traffic was crazy and the place was packed. But after we parked (thank goodness we found a parking spot), we just tried to enjoy being in the City and Golden Gate Park and taking in new sights. The glass was wonderful--it was an embarrassment of riches--enormous translucent vases twined with luminous flowers, glistening forms piled into rowboats, laid out on a slab of an ancient tree trunk, stacked on shelves among Indian baskets, layered atop clear glass and beams to form a multihued ceiling. I've seen his installation at the Bellagio hotel in Las Vegas, and I had that same feeling of sensory overload in a dark, timeless building that I experience when I visit Sin City generally. We did rent the audio tour, which was very illuminating, but thank goodness the sounds of slot machines were nowhere to be heard.

After seeing the exhibit, we wandered in the Botanical Garden a bit then hiked back to the car. M drove us home along the shoreline highway and it seemed odd to have wild ocean so close to a city, separated only by a thoroughfare and a wide, landscaped divider. The surfers were out in force. We lunched in tony Mill Valley, at a place I'd dined ages ago with my gourmet pal Cathleeen, then gelato'd at another (locally grown and owned and chic) little place. It was a nice continuation of a very pleasant birthday month. Thank you, Paw.

I took last Monday off (partly why I'm feeling a little underwater at work), and indulged myself by buying some glass on sale in preparation for my glass fusing class, which starts next month. I was *very* restrained in my spending and I hope to get a little bit of a head start on the class now that I have some basic materials in hand.


More happy news on the legal front: M has been officially deemed to be of good moral character! One of the steps to becoming an attorney is a Morals Application, which is a great deal of paperwork, having people recommend you, and your past being scrutinized by investigators. He had to provide additional information part way through the process which made him nervous about whether or not he'd be approved, but he was. One more hurdle behind him. 47 days, 22 hours, and 30 minutes to go til those Bar Exam results are in…


I realized while addressing a card to my cousin the other day that I know several people with literary addresses. My cousin lives on Emerson; my mother-in-law on Hemingway (I'd just written her a note); and I live on Cooper, which I'd always ascribed to living in wine country, but counts for high level fiction, too, doesn't it?

Speaking of literature, it took ages, but I finished Hawthorne's House of Seven Gables. Some nights I could only get through a page or two before nodding off, his language is so dense. So I took a little fiction hiatus and read a romance novel! From 1981! In two days! It was such a hoot, you have no idea. Why do people who supposedly despise each other so much also lust after each other and fall and love and get married just days after meeting each other? Amazing. But romantic!