Monday, December 31, 2012


I've been thinking about it quite a bit lately, and it--the traditional ritual for starting the New Year--and my resolution will be singular in 2013. I usually resolve to do a variety of mores and lesses: more exercise, less food, more writing, less drinking, more fun, less stress. I've made some progress on most of my usual resolutions. 2012 had a lot of fun times and while there were plenty of stressful occasions, I think I'm dealing with them better. I also didn't reach my ultimate weight loss goal, but I have lost enough to feel more comfortable, thanks in great part to using the Fitbit. I have gotten in better shape than I thought I would--my reverse crunches are less pitiful and I can hold planks, my most despised exercise, for a whole minute. It's helped that the exercise classes in my early morning time slot have improved.

The one perennial resolution I haven't felt very satisfied with is "more writing." I've managed to keep the blog moving along, but I my creative writing projects have just sort of evaporated. I've always wanted to write a book and I'm not getting any younger fer cryin' out loud. So I figure if I have just one goal this year to focus on, it might actually happen. I think about my writers group friend Julia, and how after many years, she's a published author! I'd like to hold my own novel in my hands too. Keep good thoughts for me.

 The holiday has been lovely. I've been away from the office for two weekends and the work week in between. We didn't go anywhere or have any house guest--M's mom and sister are coming this weekend instead of Christmas week. It's become apparent that the house would be a lot cleaner if I didn't have to work. I cleaned out the hall closet as well as my craft room, and that feels like a nice way to start the year. My craft table has been cleared of all projects in anticipation of wordsmithing. For Christmas Day, M and I went for foot soaks and massages and took in The Hobbit. It's been a lot of sleeping, a few gym classes much later in the morning, and visiting with friends. I've kept up with email, which has been very light, so even though the first couple of weeks back at work will be pretty intense (we have a lot of strategy meetings coming up to plan for the rest of the year), I'm not dreading "re-entry."

 So, happy 2013! M and I are off to ring in the new year with family.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Panel Discussion

Here's the video of the panel I participated in a couple of weeks ago. It's long and I'm just one of several panelists, so please don't feel obligated in any way to watch in whole or in part.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Happy December

Over a month since my last post, ack!

Part of my procrastination was to get some distance from Thanksgiving, which I've been describing as "annoying." Which in itself is something to be thankful for, I've come to realize. It could have been so much worse than annoying.  

The Annoying
That cry you heard reverberating up and down the Mendocino coast on Thanksgiving Day? As M was putting the turkey on the Weber grill, one of the tripod legs gave way and the contraption collapsed, spewing coals, a buttered 20-pound bird, and gravy-makings onto the patio. So you can imagine. From the kitchen, the sound put me in mind of those movie shots, the ones where the camera pans out from the tonsils and up, up, past the mouth, the eyes bulging, and off into the atmosphere as frustration and anger echo on the soundtrack. Luckily, most of our small crew were walking on the beach at the time, so JeriLu and I helped M recreate cooking conditions in the kitchen and reconfigure plans for the oven baking schedule.

I know the turkey dump didn't have anything to do with M's physical situation, but he had been feeling a little under the weather and it started to really rage that day. As he retired early to the sofa to regroup after the turkey incident, the beach crew returned short a few members: Roxy and Mom. Apparently our canine daughter made like James Earl Jones in "Field of Dreams" and melted off into the dunes, deaf to calls from her humans. M heaved off the couch to take a turn looking for her; when Mom returned, I drove down to pick him up, hoping by then she would have emerged from her camouflage. Sure enough, as I neared the end of the Sea Dune trail, I saw them trudging up from the beach, hallelujah. However, Roxy had some sort of close encounter she shouldn't have had and her eyes became infected. It did not affect her appetite, however.

The Thanksgiving menu survived and we had a lovely meal, with so much to be thankful for.

The Gratitude
I love being with family and it was a bittersweet milestone that my dear niece, in addition to her just continuing to be an adult and not reverting to the child I think she ought to be, brought her boyfriend along for the holiday. The weather was gorgeous--we had several good walks on the beach during my time there, once when thick foam fringed the edges of where the waves had infiltrated, and another when the sand embellishment was jellyfish, their gelatinous carcasses gleaming in scalloped lines for miles. Don and I looked for mushrooms one day. They seem to be more extroverted this year.  I'm grateful for our good rains so far this season and they've inspired me to knit a few neck-wear items these last few weeks.

Note that Roxy is on a leash in this photo.

We returned on Saturday and M consulted a variety of medical professionals, only to discover that it was a raging case of…mono. It was a relief in many ways, but it hit him pretty hard and he was laid low for weeks. I'm really, truly, immensely grateful that it wasn't something serious. Roxy's eyes cleared up after a couple of days, too, so there you go.

It's been pretty productive at work on the diversity front. I helped to organize an event to encourage women to speak at technical conferences and was on the discussion panel. I wasn't even too nervous! I had a follow-up article published in Women 2.0 as well. I've crafted a plan around this effort for 2013 and that feels really great, like I'm actually making a small difference on the equality front.

Life continues to be pleasant and very not-annoying. We've been decorating the house for Christmas and the gay lights are keeping the short, dark days cheerful. Julia, one of my friends from writers group, had her perseverance pay off and her first novel, Ice Will Reveal was published! I went to her book release party, and it was joyful and inspiring.
This weekend we went to the de Young to see a couple of exhibits: Modern masterpieces from William Paley's collection (can you imagine having iconic works by Picasso, Manet, Matisse, Rodin, Gauguin, etc., etc., hanging in your apartment?), Indian poetry, and weaving by Melissa Cody. The museum wasn't overly crowded for once (people must have been off shopping) and it was so wonderful being able to take everything in in our own time.

One more week of work and then I'm off until the day after New Year's Day. It's a delicious anticipation.