Saturday, June 26, 2010

Of War and Love

I'm back from Santa Clara. It was an extremely successful conference, I'm relieved and pleased to report. We sold out and the attendees were all very satisfied. This doesn't happen very often. I did not have the energy to get to my favorite Indian restaurant while there, but I'm sure my impending trip to Dosa was a factor. I did however manage a shopping excursion with one of my work friends to a mall that has an amazing amount of shops. Who buys all this crap? Wait, I do…One blast from the past--there was a Betsey Johnson store there and it put me in mind of my New York days. She had a seconds rack I used to haunt and was able to afford, my only designer duds while living in that fashion conscious city. I think I still have one of her outfits, though there's no way I'd be able to fit into it these days.


There's a big event happening at our offices this weekend (Foo Camp for all you geeks). People bring sleeping bags and camp in our buildings, so they wall off part of our space so the party-ers can't help themselves to our office chairs and supplies and leave empty vodka bottles in their place. I didn't want to be barricaded inside the office all weekend so I left work early yesterday.

It was lovely being set loose on a workday afternoon in summer. I had some errands to run in downtown Sebastopol so parked and headed to the bank. There's a tradition in that little activist town that started several years ago: on Friday afternoons the Women in Black, women (and some men) opposed to the war, stand silently on the corners of the busiest intersection. They were soon joined by a group of hawks, much louder and in bright "patriotic" plumage. I don't know that they're necessarily pro-war--their message seems to mostly be "support the troops." But don't they want to live in a world where their loved ones don't have to be put in harms way?

When I got to that intersection on my way to the bank, it made me uncomfortable. The WiB were not on the corners for some reason yesterday, so as I waited for the walk signal, I was standing only with the hawks, a group I don't want to be associated with. It's hard for me to be around people expressing what I think is a sad and extreme view so vocally. I glanced over to a woman shaking her oversized cardboard flag-ribbon sign at the traffic. Over her shoulder, I could see that she had taped a small portrait to the back of her placard, of a smiling young woman in a floppy-brimmed fatigue hat. That really made me sad. I appreciate those with military service, but we seem so far away from a time when we won't have to employ armed conflict as a political tactic. My wish for that young woman is for her to be smiling up at her professors or across the counter at her clients, not hiding her fear of being blown up.


Yesterday, our actual anniversary, we didn't do much to celebrate. M had to work a full day. We had dinner at one of M's favorite diners that's started serving dinner and then watched a couple episodes of True Blood while eating trendy cupcakes and locally made ice cream made with strawberries picked just a little ways down the road. I've never paid nearly $10 for a pint of ice cream before. Had to cool my payday fever I guess.

We're off to the City today. We'll have lunch at the de Young Museum then take in the exhibit, followed by dinner at Dosa on our way out of town. A very similar celebration to last year's anniversary. I'm hoping Dosa will live up to my memory of it. I've decided that I don't want to eat at Barndiva again, that swanky and perfect place M and I dined in recently. It was very expensive and I have such high expectations--I'd hate to be let down, which is the only place to go (aren't I an optimist this morning?) and pay that much again.


In other news, M is going back to teaching a two evenings a week. He was so popular and it's something he enjoys doing, so I'm glad for that--and the extra money. Classes are in five-week blocks, so he may just alternate blocks so as not to burn out. So I'll now have quite a few weeknight hours to myself. Maybe it's time to take up writing that novel again.


At 6:51 AM, June 27, 2010, Blogger bren said...

I'm glad that your conference was so successful.


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