Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Parents and children.

I dropped my mother off at the airport this afternoon where she took a flight to Boston to start her new job tomorrow. Hopefully, she made it to her hotel room and is taking a nice long bath and watching some good TV and eating good takeout. We had a nice time together and now that we are on the same coast, hopefully we will see more of each other.

Circa 1991. Ha ha!

 
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Amen.

My old roomies and JT took me out to eat tonight. Now, I'm not religious or anything, but they are Christian. It's never been an issue, but tonight I felt really touched. JT made a prayer before eating, and he prayed for God to watch over me in SF. It was really nice. Now usually, I don't join in prayer, simply because I would just be some faker, but i couldn't help saying, "Amen" tonight. Hrm.. isn't that a bit self serving tho?

JT is off to taiwan tomorrow for a cultural exchange. Good luck and have fun out there man....

Tagged?

Well. It's so open ended.

These are the rules: Each player lists 8 facts/habits about themselves. The rules of the game are posted at the beginning before those facts/habits are listed. At the end of the post, the player then tags 8 people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know that they have been tagged and asking them to read your blog.

1) I use q-tips in my ears. Both of them. At the same time.
2) I'm still bitter abour my family ditching me after freshman year in college to go to Hawaii.
3) I too, like my sister, am always early to everything.
4) If I had a lot of money, I would buy a lot clothes.
5) I often sing in the car, pretending I'm on American Idol.
6) I have to twist tie my cables for my electronics, because the clutter bothers me. I haven't done it yet for my new place tho.
7) I get pissed at people who don't know how to take care of their yuppie gear
8) I don't like eggs, but will eat french toast.

I'll tag.. d&X, frank, choon & ps, judy & p'ng, & yi-ling. I think that should be enough.

Monday, July 30, 2007

I've been tagged!

Vanessa tagged me!

These are the rules: Each player lists 8 facts/habits about themselves. The rules of the game are posted at the beginning before those facts/habits are listed. At the end of the post, the player then tags 8 people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know that they have been tagged and asking them to read your blog.

1. I like to be early for appointments. It usually has to be at least 10 minutes early. I sit in parking lots a lot.
2. I prefer salty over sweet. Doritos over ice cream any day.
3. I am a sucker for European comfort shoes even though they are totally ugly and geeky.
4. I have a secret fantasy of being single and living in NYC and staying out very late and going to parties and being some sort of artist.
5. I loved college and I hated graduate school.
6. I do one cartwheel every six months to prove I've still got it.
7. When I'm old, I'm buying a sports car and will drive it very slowly.
8. I want to get a bird that talks and sits on my shoulder, but I don't think I can bear to take care of another thing in the house.

I'm tagging only Donald, I know, I'm a party pooper.

**********

We had to fire a therapist today. She didn't have much experience working with Rett girls and it was pretty apparent she was in over her head. I was going to do the chicken thing and call her office tomorrow and talk to the admin, but then I thought it wasn't very nice not to have a chance to say good-bye to Edda. So at the end of the session today, I told her that we'd found someone with more experience and that I appreciated her hard work during the summer and she actually seemed kind of relieved. Whew.

Look at this beautiful outfit that my mom bought for Edda. (The graffiti at the park is getting more colorful, the orange dot looks almost fake, like a film error.)

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Mom doing stroller duty..

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Sunday, July 29, 2007

NYC and a surprise.

We went to NYC on Friday to:

1. have Jeremy meet with a contact.
2. see my roommate from college, Karen, and finally have her meet Jeremy and the kids
3. to hang with the grandparents
4. to see an old family friend, Cladd
5. to go on a 2 hour date with Jeremy
7. to help Emy move upstate

and finally,

8. to sit in traffic for a bazillion hours on 95.

I don't know what I was thinking leaving DC at 4pm on Friday afternoon and coming back from NYC at 2 pm Sunday afternoon, 95 is pretty much like a parking lot and although the drive should take less than 4.5 hours, it took us just over 6. It was kind of like ripping a Band-Aid off very slowly from a hairy area of your body.

The weekend was wonderful, especially Saturday where we got to spend most of the day at the Museum of Natural History with family and friends.

On the subway:

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Also, as I was sitting in traffic an hour away from the house heading towards NYC, I had a faint fly in my ear telling me that I had left the stove on. But I reasoned that if I had left the stove on, the house would already be on fire and certainly the neighbors would call the fire department and they would remember that we gave some money in their annual fund drive and take care of our burning house and that nothing would be gained by turning around and facing all the hours of traffic again.

So all weekend, I waited for the call which would tell me that the house was burned down. So when on Sunday at 7 am, my dad called on my cell phone, I was sure that he was calling about the house being burned to a crisp, instead he asked where the heck we were because mom had returned to the house from China without telling us and wanted to surprise us! Well we were very surprised and high-tailed it as fast as we could (at 30 mph) back to DC where she had scrambled eggs and warm porridge waiting for our tummies.

Some Pictures

















We Are Back

Mom and I arrived at Detroit Airport together from Far East at 2:00 PM today (7/28/07). Mom arrived home at North Potomac about 8:00 PM and I just arrived at my apartment in Aiken, SC around 1:00 AM (7/29/07). Everything is fine and we had a good time together in China :)

Friday, July 27, 2007

Movin', movin' movinn'...

yup. prepping for my move tomorrow to SF. Woo hoo. I'm prepped and ready to go. All my packing is pretty much done. Hopefully my roommate will be there tomorrow, as I have yet to pick up the key. Ha. I'm hoping it'll go smoothly. :)

Thursday, July 26, 2007

I got a job - maybe!

I got a job! Well, I almost got a job, I don't have the formal offer yet, but it's looking pretty good. This job is in a shiny building and they have computers, copiers, water coolers and snack machines. Everything I want in an office environment. Oh, there's also a cafeteria, but I haven't seen it yet. It's not a sexy job- like working at Google or Shoehorn Design where all the popular girls come a runnin' towards your little plastic laminated name tag, but it will do, it will do.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Edda - the sneak-meister.

Edda has figured out how to maximize her TV time. Unlike Brooklyn, Edda doesn't really get her kicks from the Wiggles (they are OK, but not a favorite), she loves Blue's Clues and Dora the Expl(horror).

She goes to bed at about 8, sleeps pretty well through the night (which is a blessed improvement from when she got up every night at 2 am for 1.5 hours for months), and gets up every morning at 5 am. One of us (usually Jeremy) takes her downstairs to watch Blue and we start our morning a little bit later.

By the time the school bus comes, she's getting a bit tired again and once she's at school, she's asleep. Like pretty much the whole time. Then the bus brings her back home at lunch time, she's perky again. Then today we went to OT and she's totally sleepy again. Back home, wide awake. I can't decide if she's insanely smart to have figured out a way to avoid all this work. Grrr.

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Tour Explosion.

Wow. It's just getting worse and worse. Vinokourov tests positive and his Astana team withdraws from the Tour. A Cofidis rider is caught and Cofidis is pulled out. And now the yellow jersey rider, Rasmussen is kicked out by is own team over missing some doping controls earlier in the year.

Wow. People thought last year was the low water mark... Something's got to change in cycling.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

I am a-runnin'

Just came home from my first workout of my new running group. I'm trying to multi-task, meet people and workout at the same time. Donald, if you want to meet girls, join a beginning 5K running club - I'm telling you 80% women! Women galore!

Things are a bit crazy around here, job stuff in the background (BTB - behind the blog - hee hee), mainly Jeremy's job stuff, but some of my stuff too. What happens when I find a job and I spend all my time working I won't be able to blog about it because they would fire my sorry butt? What will I talk about, my commute? Oh, it could be blog entries about what I ate for lunch. I'm sure that would be captivating.

I haven't been in the photo mood lately either. But I have this, a knitting blister.

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Monday, July 23, 2007

Just another manic Monday.

I had a wonderful lunch with Sneaksleep today. She was my first secret pal! I was living in Singapore and she was living in CT and somehow we've managed to be in the same city at the same time. So cool.

We are listening to the "You Tube" Democratic debate. A pretty interesting idea. We didn't get a chance to submit our question.

Jeremy's got a possibility nibbling on the fish hook of employment. Yikes!

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

Jeremy and Vince are working their way through Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. He's a little bit young for Harry Potter, we've tried, he scares easily. We are trying to read more to Edda, but it's hard to catch her at the right time. I love reading bedtime stories, but by the time Edda's in her PJs with teeth brushed, she's really exhausted and not up for reading much.

We spent today cleaning up, putting toys and laundry away. I wish I was more organized and did a little everyday, instead we wait until FEMA needs to come in and declare the house a disaster area before we put our minds to it an clean, clean, clean.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

This is the weekend.

The weather is perfect. Low humidity, sunny, mid-eighties. Ripe peaches and farm-fresh sweet corn. This is the best weekend of the summer.

Hiked through the woods.

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Went into a stream.

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Had a picnic lunch at the park.

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Goofed around.

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We also managed to pet a chicken named Marcus, but I didn't get a picture of that.

**********

I'm a practical girl. No make-up, no frills. It comes from the engineer in me. If it works, there's no need to make it pretty. So when I needed to place markers for stitches in my work, I used the plain plastic stitch markers. Nothing fancy, worked just fine and if I lost them, no big deal.

A few months ago, Hattie gave me my first set of beaded stitch markers. They looked so nice as I turned them around in my palm, the light scattering off the surface. I had looked at stitch markers before and I never thought about buying them, I had a perfectly good system worked out already.

But now that I've knit a few projects using the beaded markers, I don't think I can go back to plain plastic. Every time I reach one of the beaded markers, I smile to myself and then slip it off the left needle and put it onto the right one. Then I shake it all a little bit and my jewelry wearing project seems to be happy.

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And then there were four...

Well. I'm offically down to 4 bikes now. Road, Full Suspension, Time Trial, Hardtail. I sold my Urban/Freeride bike today. That's fine. I wasn't really all that attached to it anyways. It was just my campus commute bike. I really should sell my Hardtail also, except that I'm emotionally attached to it, so I'm not sure what I'm going to do with it. It'll probably just sit in my office gathering dust. Sadness.

Of course, next week, the stable will be back up to 5 when my folding bike is delievered. Yea haw!

Friday, July 20, 2007

Official Marylanders.

Went to the DMV today and got MD driver's licenses, got the cars registered and filled out organ donor cards and voter registration. Woo hoo! Oh yes, and Edda peed on Jeremy while he was at the window conducting official business. Shhh! Don't tell anyone that Jeremy was covered in pee in a public place.

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Finished my handwarmers, just in time for August!

High Tech...

Wow. Okay. I guess I haven't stepped into a bank in years, btu this Washington Mutual branch that I went to today had and interesting setup. Instead of a row of counters with bulletproof glass and small windows to pass things thru, all the tellers had little island kiosks throughout the building. If you needed cash, they'd give you a reciept with a code on it, and you'd have to go to the cash dispensing machine to pick it up. I guess it cuts down on errors and such, but man, it felt weird.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Running a fever.

Kids are both sick today. Everyone stayed in their PJs and had ginger ale.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Tour de France geek out.

For those of you who are watching the Tour. Who's going to win? It's still wide open.

We'll know more after the TT in 3 days. I'm going to peg Kloden for the overall tho. He put in an impressive performance in the prologue TT and will try to limit his losses in the mountains. They'd all be fools to let Rasmussen go in the Pyreness tho.

And Contador from Discovery is looking really strong too. It's amazing this guy's acceleration on a climb. He puts in a move and just goes away from everyone. If he can do that twice on the mountain top finishes at Plateau de Baille and and Col d'Aubisque, then I think he can make up the 3 minute deficit. He needs to limit his losses in the TT tho.

Oh also just for kicks I saw this stage from a past Tour:



Now look at the time from Amboise to Blois. The pros finished that in about 45-50 minutes. Now Ted and I, didn't quite ride that route, but we did travel from Amboise to Blois and we did it in about 3 hours. :P

Downtown Rockville.

I was downtown trying to sign up Edda for some benefits from the county's disability services agency. It used to be grungy and dark and deserted when I was a kid, now it's all fancy, you have to pay for parking and there are hip condos and look! there's a bar. Who knew there were enough bar goers around here to support a Gordon Biersch?

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And speaking of benefits, there are a number of agencies around here that help out with equipment purchases, respite care, etc, but they aren't well publicized and I have to hunt and peck to find them.

Ah ... the Internet.

Tonight I hung out at my friend, Jaching's place in Mountain View. I had done some tech support for her, and was going to do some more tonight, but she got her problem fixed yesterday. Anyways, I still went over to her place, where she fed me dinner, and for the second time, she made these amazing blueberry muffins. I met Jaching's new roommate and later on, her old roommate and her boyfriend came and joined us. It was a fun night talking about dating, men, women, with a muffin in one hand and a wine glass in the other.

But there was a funny moment when we realized that all 5 of us had met each other over the internet. I met Jaching over Match, Jaching and her roommies found each other off of Craigslist. And her roommate's boyfriend was off of Match too. There was a moment of like, "Oh wow. Damn." ... and then we were back to talking normally. Laff.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Feeling better today.

Michelle, a friend of ours from grad school, flew in today from sunny CA to attend a conference and she came over for dinner. One nice thing about living in the Washington DC area as opposed to Austin, Taiwan, upstate NY or Singapore, is that a lot of people we know often come by on business or pleasure and they stop by to see us! It's nice.

Here we are posting sentry for the school bus.

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We didn't miss the bus today. Woo hoo! 1 point goes to suburban mom!

Also, I've been slowly clearing out the overgrown garden in front of the driveway. I'm using small 2-inch hand clippers. It's suppose to be a zen/meditation thing or else I'm just crazy.

Before:

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After:

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I stumbled onto another nest - also motherless. I'm waiting a bit before I remove it because I'm just sentimental in that way.

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Job-wise today. I'm trying to apply for various government jobs and I found one that I might or might not qualify for depending on how much I sell myself and my previous work experience. Every government job is listed online and there is a corresponding phone number to call if you have questions. Now this job that I'm thinking about applying for has a one-year training component and there are many vacancies and so I called asked her very general questions like - is it competitive? How many people apply and how many positions are there? She said that she couldn't give out that kind of information. Then I asked when the training would start, mainly so I would know what kind of time frame I was looking at - you know if they said the training started in September, I would know that if I hadn't heard by the last week of August, blah, blah, blah... Anyways, she was also not allowed to give that information out as well. Sigh, those HR people. Always so helpful.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Butterfly is Hard.

Wow. Okay, so I'm taking a swimming class in prep for my pending tri attempt. Honestly, I've gotten decent at the freestyle. I manage to keep my head underwater for most of the stroke. I breathe out thru my nose so I don't get a pool full of water in my nasal passages. I can tilt my head a little bit to get some air. Tho I do need to work on the path my hand goes thru the water, I can confidently say that I'll probably make it in my swim. Breaststroke not bad. Backstroke I can do.

But today we tried to learn butterfly, and man oh man. it is hard. Dolphin kick? um... yeah. I just didn't get it. Your arm motion is supposed to be exactly the same as freestyle, but I find the timing of the kick and the pull to be a bit weird. I guess I can safely say that I suck in the butterfly.

Learning to be an optimist.

I've always been a pessimist. I like to think that bad things will always befall me. The cute guy won't like me, no one will hire me, no one wants to call me, that test result will come back positive or negative (depending on, you know, whether you want to be pregnant or not pregnant).

These days, I'm really trying to learn to be an optimist. So everyday, I get up and I tell myself that I have to take Ruby for a run because she has to poop and I don't want her to poop in the house and I have to take her around the neighborhood anyways so I might as well put on some running shoes instead of some flip flops and walk for a while and then run for a while and then go back to walking. Then I come home and take a shower and I try to convince myself of a few things:

1. Edda will someday be able to read and communicate in some way so she can tell me anything that she's thinking and that she will find friends who aren't her parents/teachers/therapists. (Actually, the second part might be true already).

2. I will find a job which is interesting, uses my talent (whatever those are) in good ways, allows me to meet people who are smart, funny and good at their jobs. The organization I work for will have some redeeming quality (for example, perhaps I should not work for a company that makes weaponry even though I think I would be pretty good at it.) and will have at least 1 person in a position of responsibility who I believe in and respect.

3. That Jeremy find a job that meets whatever requirements he has.

4. That Vince will not put up such a battle at mealtimes. One would think that since Edda can't use her hands to feed herself, she'd be the hard one at mealtimes, but often she opens her mouth wide for every spoonful like a baby bird and Vince squirms and refuses to eat anything except white rice.

5. That someday I will not feel awkward at parties.

6. That we will all be happy and healthy together - forever.

Today we went to Edda's school for the fall to meet her teachers. This was the school that all of Edda's private therapists recommended. It's the only private school that has been approved by the county for preschool kids. So apparently it's kind of hard to get into, but we didn't have a problem and I was pleased at the IEP when the school committee readily agreed to this placement.

But I was bummed today, because they want to start all the way back to real object choices because perhaps she doesn't understand an abstract picture represents a real object. Edda had been pointing out body parts and colors and transportation in Singapore, but she had this special rapport with our beloved Ranjit, who, as I watched, could get Edda to respond in ways that neither Jeremy or I have ever been able to replicate. How am I suppose to convince anyone else of Edda's abilities?

Oranges are out of season and Edda's poops have turned into golf balls. It's pretty much like giving birth, quite painful, takes a long lead time, and then finally, a pop! and out it comes. Finally, we had to break down and go to the expensive market (Whole Foods) and buy the super-duper oranges, she ate three today, hopefully the poops will go back to normal.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Jeremy Simpson

jeremy avatar

Optimism/pessimism.

In some ways this is the most glorious summer ever. I am finally back home where the weather and the roads are as familiar to me as the birthmarks on my body. I have my little family around me and we are spending lots of time running in sprinklers and "washing" the car and running down hills in parks. Eating sweet farm corn and peaches and grilling hamburgers in the driveway next to our car. Seeing the familiar thunderstorms pass through after a hot and humid day, it's all good.

In some ways, this is the most stressful summer ever, neither of us has jobs, we've moved into my parent's house, Vincent is the littlest one and perhaps a tad emotionally sensitive and vunerable at his camp and Edda has plateaued on her communication and hand skills (and the potty training, don't even ask me about it). And we keep missing the damn bus.

We went to Silver Spring's downtown to get wet in their fountain.

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Made chocolate sundaes.

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Driving back home on the Beltway past the Mormon temple.

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Saturday, July 14, 2007

Hello From Zhang Jia Jie

Hello, we are at Zhang Jia Jie. Will spend three more days here before heading to Chen-tu.

Finding new friends.

I went to see a movie with a neighbor! They have such a beautiful lawn that they maintain all themselves, I hope they give me a few pointers.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Oh, lucky me!

My girlfriend Leslie came over for lunch and not only did I get to hold her daughter O. for a while so I could smell that yummy baby smell, I also got to ogle her new iPhone. Mmmmm.. I can tell why people love it so, it's pretty slick.

Jeremy's set up job central in the study. Donald's six-year-old laptop has been coaxed out of retirement to help out in this time of need. Do you see the photo of me right above Jeremy's head? It's me circa 1986 - dig those Farrah bangs...

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Edda keeps missing her school bus. I'm always just a few minutes late getting her out the door. I wish they would honk, but I'm sure they aren't allowed to. I'm training Ruby to bark at large yellow buses.

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Oh, and I think the mama bird died. She usually flies from the ceder bush whenever I open the front door, but she hasn't for the past 2 days. I finally looked into the nest today, full of feathers and eggs, but no mom. I think someone ambushed her in her nest.

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Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Doris Simpson

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Occupational therapy

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Edda's hand use is at an all time low. She doesn't even reach out for food these days although she still does smack the TV to ask us to turn it on. We've been using her arm brace much, much less than in Singapore. Only a few months ago, I think we had it on her arm almost all day and all night. Now we use it pretty much only at meals (because she'll put her hand in her mouth while she has a mouthful of food, totally messy and gross) - sometimes not even necessary at meals.

She still mouths like crazy, but instead of it being 95% of the time, maybe it's 50% of the time.

I posted this picture of Edda's OT, I think it's so cute, they really like each other and they have the same haircut.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Life.

I suppose Doris isn't the only one feeling a bit confused these days..

I'm in my own dilemna of sorts. Basically, I potentially have found a pretty cool place in the city. A friend of a friend is looking for a roommate, and I gotta say that the location is great. It's in Lower Pacific Heights, close to Filmore, Japantown, Van Ness. If i got a commute bike. it's not far away from the Caltrain station.

I have less than a week to decide if I want it or not.

Lately, I've had a feeling of wanting some change in my life. Whether that's scenery or job or whatever, but I feel like I'm just sitting in yuppieville, spending my money, for no apparent reason or purpose these days. In some ways, it boils down to waht I want to focus on - the girl or the job.

While I do think finding someone is more important on the larger scale of things, lately, there's nothing happening in that arena, and I feel like my life is in a holding pattern based on this. If i move to the city, then yeah, I'd probably be hanging out with a different crowd, and possibly meet more people. But the fear is that it's just the same life in a different (and more expensive) locale.

I think at some point, I have to admit to myself that maybe the girl thing might not happen, and focus more energy on finding something that I want to do. I'm dubious that this would happen in SF. Who's to say it would be more focused in MD? At least I would have a clean break with my job, and there would be fewer distractions.

As Frank would say, "What to do in life?"

Furor over French toast.

Father and son happily making French toast.

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Two minutes later, Vince is in tears. He wants to eat the French toast tomorrow, not tonight.

What's up with that?

Monday, July 9, 2007

Unemployed.

Jeremy is officially unemployed today. So he went and applied for unemployment and his grumpiness over having to do this permeated the morning household atmosphere. Sigh.

I feel like I've been in a little blog-rut lately - lots of pictures of the kids, not so much about anything else. There are lots of things going on behind-the-blog-scene. Long, heart-wrenching talks about the future, what-if scenarios, budgeting, negotiating, compromising and apologizing. There is also laughing, joking and luxuriating in a bit of a break from regular life and enjoy our time with each other. I don't like to complain, because, really - I have many, many things to give thanks for, but I don't like job hunting because it feeds into my insecurities of identity and self-worth.

Old Friends...


Ain't nothing like old friends... Shinohara, my old XC, track buddy, from high school came out to SF to go to some conference, but we spent the day hanging out in Marin. We went to Mt Tam and hiked around a bit in the blistering heat, drove down to Stinson Beach, and later ate at the great indian food standby of Shalimar.

Whenever Shinohara and I get together, it's always good times, like we've never left our track days. It was great to see him again.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Drama at the ice cream stand.

At the zoo, you can pay 3 dollars for an measly ice cream sandwich or you can look for the jumbo-sized 16 oz Chill double lemon icy treats for the same price. It was so hot today, we had met up with Jim and Alex and their two kids and we really needed that Italian ice cup.

Tromped all the way uphill from the bottom of zoo to find the only vendor who was selling our desired treat just to find out that the power had gone out and the cash register inoperable and they weren't selling them! This was after 3 hours of walking around in the heat. But a savvy food manager and some exact change later, we had our yummy delicious treat.

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Sunday night dinner was at our house again, the kids got wet again.

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Saturday, July 7, 2007

Whack-a-peach.

We got Edda her first computer game. All she has to do is hit any key and something interesting and cute will happen. Trying to get those hands to do something useful.

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Also went peach picking.

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I love Maryland, it really feels like home.

Kouign-amann, pancake practice, bacon.

Ohhhh, I love these Kouign-amann.  It's like a croissant covered in a crunchy sugar coating. I'm eating poorly these days, snackin...