Sunday, January 31, 2010

One Down, Eleven to Go

It's a misty Sunday morning. The day rises ahead, edges softened, light obscured. No neighborhood noise breaks calm but for the hummingbirds buzzing to the feeder and the steady tick of the retro kitchen clock. This could be the extent of the universe for all I know, no "there" beyond this little radius of foggy visibility. The robins, flickers, and towhees could be flying in and out of oblivion. I should be disconcerted by that idea of nothingness in the beyond, I know, but somehow it seems comforting today. Probably because things have continued to be excruciatingly stressful at work--the ability see exactly what's around me and feel secure is very appealing to me these days. Anyway. (M's been trying to get me to stop saying that word as dismissal of my concerns, but the habit remains.) The last couple of weeks have been good ones despite the aforementioned stress.

Jaguar head
Originally uploaded by suzipaw
Mom came for a visit last Wednesday night. A friend was having a birthday celebration and she stayed over with us. Always a good excuse to eat a little better and catch up on family news. I'm using the top of the new bookshelves as a stand-in for a mantle piece and it was nice to have someone to show off a little of my milk glass collection to. She also brought me a beautifully made beaded jaguar head that I had admired in a lunch spot a few weeks back, which was very sweet.

For date night last Friday, I left work early and drove down with M to hear PZ Myers speak at UC Berkeley. We swung by Ikea on the way to pick up an essential piece of his desk that we missed on our run there last month, then parked near the university, grabbed a slice of gourmet pizza (my first experience with walnuts on a pie--curiously delightful), and headed over to the lecture. UCB is a lovely campus, and it was fun being surrounded by all that young student energy. The bells in the Campanile tolled as we strolled to the Life Sciences hall. The room was nearly full, with many other folks in attendance besides students. We sat near the front and chatted a little with PZ. The questions were good. Two people asked about the "aquatic ape" theory, which I hadn't really heard much about before (PZ doesn't think it holds water, haha; neither does the latest issue of Scientific American) which was interesting to learn about. No creationist hecklers made themselves known, which was a tad disappointing from a dramatic perspective. Afterwards we had another bite to eat at a Louisiana-themed restaurant where I consumed my first hushpuppies. Yum.

On Sunday, the knitting class was better--the blabbers grouped themselves at the other end of the table and only drown out the teacher once but mostly just amused themselves. After a rocky start, I was successful in my attempt to knit cables. In the afternoon, M and I pressed on the hospitality of a friend and horned our way into his pad to watch the Saints-Vikings playoff game on his large and lovely TV. (M and I continue to mull over and compare these bright objects of desire, but can't quite pull the trigger yet. I think we're getting closer. He pointed out after one such comparison foray yesterday that the bulky and ancient boobtube we currently have idling on the shelf at home cost about the same price as what we're looking at now. Ah how technology flies.)

It surprises me a little how long it’s taken M and me to put the small home improvement details together. Maybe I shouldn't be surprised, given my penchant for procrastination. We did finally get his desk area set up in the craft room last weekend--I'm allowing the encroachment since I'm sure I'll find it useful too and we can hopefully write it off on our taxes. Doing that motivated me to reorganize various paperwork yesterday, which was a good feeling. The craft room is finally back into a place where I can actually do my little crafty deeds. Removing barriers to creativity is a good thing. Maybe we'll hang some pictures today. Or not. We're both feeling scratchy-throated.

We had a little neighborhood excitement last week. Apparently there was a manhunt (well, OK, I guess it could have been a womanhunt) in our neighborhood on Wednesday night, so we had police cars out on the streets with lights flashing for hours, and a helicopter zooming overhead. M went out (in his bathrobe, how defenseless!) to talk to the cop, and was politely advised to go back inside. M did spend some time scanning the backyard, armed with both flashlight and pistol, but was not called upon to put his heroic ideas into actions. Thank god. And also thankfully, I managed to sleep through much of the hullabaloo.

On Friday, my boss and I drove down to Mountain View to attend an event my company sponsored but didn't produce. It's a women-only "unconference," meaning that the sessions aren't set in advance--individual attendees decide if they want to lead a discussion on the spot. It was a good experience. It wasn't a huge group of people on Friday, maybe 75, and we all went around the room introducing ourselves and finishing the sentence, "I'm geeky because…" Well, thank goodness I was in the middle of the pack since it took me quite a while to come up with my answer. ("…because technology helps me to keep in touch with the people I love, including my 100 year old grandma" is what I finally said.) I also haven't gotten over my fear of public speaking that started in my late 20s. I have no idea why I started to get so worried about that, but there it is. So I had 15 minutes of heart-pounding anticipation until I got it over with, but I did it and only stumbled a little. It was also odd being in a room with only tech-oriented women--our conferences are 80% or more men, so it was a first for me, and the energy definitely is different. It was easier for me to interact, which is the point for this event, it actively turns men away. We left after lunch so I got home around 4:30--nice to be home so early on a Friday afternoon.

I should turn on the heater, start the French toast (I've been having a hankering), put in a first load of laundry.

Oh, and we've had three baby zebras born recently in our local exotic animal park. I really should go there one day.


At 9:16 AM, February 01, 2010, Blogger bren said...

All right so I'm prejudice, but glad to read your blog.

At 9:07 PM, February 04, 2010, Blogger 想想 said...

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