Tuesday, January 29, 2008

For Your Information There's an Inflammation in My Tear Gland.

Laff. My love-life has been kinda funny lately. There seems to be a revolving door of women that follows the same pattern. We both are interested in getting to know each other, ramp up a bit, go out on a date or two and then it fizzles. Last night, another one fizzled as we both decided to "just be friends".

Generally, I'm okay with it. That's what dating is I guess. Some missed connections. Some good times. It does take a decent amount of effort and it honestly stressed me out a bit. So maybe it's time to take a short break from dating. Hopefully the weather will get a little better and I'll pick up my bike again. I think she's getting lonely.

Of course. there are more important issues in the world to consider...

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Who is going to be the next president?

I am enjoying the primary season. It is a really great race, both on the Democratic side and the Republican side. Looks like Obama is going to trounce Clinton in South Carolina tonight. I wonder if the race will still be undecided by the time the primary reaches us in Maryland in mid-February. Jeremy is much more of a political junkie than I am, listening to all the debates and reading all the news articles. I guess I'm a less responsible voter in that I'm a more emotional gut feeling type of voter. The guy I was supporting is pretty much out of the race, so I've got to decide on my 2nd choice now...

I finally knit something as well, please ignore the ends that are unwoven. I thought I could get away with not weaving the ends in because the roll wouldn't roll up that much, but I guess I was wrong.

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Friday, January 25, 2008

Sleep baby sleep.

Edda has been sleeping well for a few months now. Sleeping well is a relative term, of course. She goes to sleep pretty easily around 8 or 8:30 pm nestled in the armpit of a parent and usually (3 or 4 nights out of the week) she won't make a peep until 5:40 am (which is still way too early, but I take what I can get). It's a miracle that I can, on some mornings, wake up to my alarm in my own bed and Jeremy will be there too, which usually means that neither of us had to get up in the middle of the night.

This is much, much better than 2006 when, for the bulk of the year, we were up for hours in the middle of the night with Edda being wide awake and the rest of us zonked for not getting enough sleep. We tried the chloro hydrate and the melatonin. I despaired that I was never going to sleep a full night ever again. Sleepless nights are only suppose to last for a certain period of infancy, not to drag on for years.

She still sleeps in a position much like an infant, flat on her back with her hands slightly curled by her ears.

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Thursday, January 24, 2008

I Swear...

... it's colder in SF than it was in Park City. What gives?!?!?!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Knitting.

I haven't knit in months, but I started again this weekend.

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Monday, January 21, 2008

American Girls...

Sundance has been pretty fun. There has been a rash of celebrity sightings. Personally, I've seen Dennis Quaid, Isabella Rosellini, and Emily Blunt. One of my friends ate sushi and sat a table away from Jessica Alba. All the guys were pretty jealous tho personally I dont think she is all that.

In terms of movies, my favorite has been the documentary, up the Yangtze. It featured the lives of these two young folks working on a three gorges tour boat that caters to foriegn tourists and a family tyt is forced to adapt to the changing landscape that the dam brings. It was extremely well done striking many themes of how china is coping with modernization. I highly recommend it. And it'll be picked up too.

The other movie I liked was Sunshine Cleaning featuring Amy Adams. It is about these two sisters who start a business cleaning up crime scenes. Of course Amy Adams makes half the film for me but it is still a prettyfun movie

other updates. Someone snarfed my ski poles at the airport but I managed to find a really cheap pair at the slopes. I left my goggles in a friend's car the last ski trip ski had to buy another pair. So I'm spending a bit more money than I intended to on this trip but it has been good overall. Today we saw like 3-6" of new snow so it was a powder day.

Two more movies and it is back to SF!

"If I made you cry, please tell me why. I'll try again if you'll let me try."

Making pasta.

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Sunday, January 20, 2008

Violin lessons.

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Vincent got a violin and Suzuki violin lessons for Christmas. Even though I know that Vince will have a nice time, I'm nervous about these lessons. I don't know why I'm more worried about these lessons as opposed to the piano lessons we had in Singapore, but maybe it's that now I'm away from the house from 5:30 am to 6:30 pm and Jeremy's out of the house from 7:30 am to 6:45 pm and they recommend that a beginner violin player practice 3 times a day for 15 minutes. We barely make room in our schedule for sitting on the toilet and brushing our teeth and we are not doing too well on either thing.

Also, we run a very relaxed household. No one tells anyone else what to do. In a good light, you can say when we do things, we think about what the other person would like and incorporate it into our plans; in a bad light, we're just terminally passive aggressive. Ruby is perpetually confused by this lack of alpha in the house and is always trying to protect us from chihuahuas. It results in a little bit of chaos and disorganization. But it also means we are really, really bad at making people (especially underage ones) do things like daily practice.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Park City baby. Park City.

Made it to Park City, Utah yesterday where it is a balmy two degrees outside. The internet is sadly broken. Of course in a house full of computer geeks this is akin to not having hot water or shelter. At least we have three iPhones in the house on which to surf with and of course reception is really good in a frou frou place like here. Skiing today. It should be legendary.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Work.

On my blog, I usually don't talk about work. It's too bad because so many interesting things are happening, especially with Jeremy (you have to scroll down to the chart with all the flying arrows).

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Happy birthday Ruby!

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Ruby is 49 today which makes her the senior member of the household. She's gotten a little grey around the muzzle and every once in a while, I see a little middle-age-dom creeping into her habits - mainly that sometimes she doesn't want to get up from her nap to go outside in the cold to pee.

Ruby was born in the back of a Volvo - she has 3 brothers and sister. Zuni, Rio, Hoss and the only black dog of the litter which, when we met up with the owner when the pups were a year old, still hadn't named him! Ruby's mom is MayBell, the queen of our Austin neighborhood.

Ruby has lived in quarantine, a front yard, an apartment, a house and on a farm. She has lived in the country, in a small town, in the suburbs and 30 minutes from a Gucci store by subway. She has swum in the Atlantic, the Pacific, the Chesapeake, the Hudson, Lake George, tributaries to the Potomac and the Guadalupe. She is a retriever who doesn't play fetch.

Tonight she got the leftovers from Sunday night dinner.

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Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Running outside.

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There is a gym at work that I joined the second day on the job. Since 5,000 people work at my office building, it is a full-service gym with 4-5 aerobics classes every day, personal trainers for hire, full complement of weights and exercise machines.

The first 2 months on the job, I was dutiful. I would go at lunch and run a couple of miles on the treadmill or row a 5K on the rower. Then I got bored. So I started going to exercise classes. I learned to dance like they do on TV with the hand/arm/shoulder/back/hip thing, I learned what a jab and upper cut was in kickboxing class, and I spent an hour sweating while two incredibly good looking gay men taught me how to Zumba.

But then I begged off and then I got sick for 3 weeks. Finally, I'm on my feet again and itching to take a break in the middle of the day and be outside. So I've decided to run outside. I'm always nervous looking for the perfect route. What happens if I get tired and can't make it back to work? What happens if I get lost? Jeremy encouraged me to find something to run around so I won't be tempted to cut the run short. Today, amidst flurries, I ran around the cemetery!

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Monday, January 14, 2008

The red wiggler farm.

CSA is community supported agriculture - a family buys a "share" at the beginning of the growing season - usually a few hundred dollars and a promise to work 15-20 hours over the summer - and then every week you get to go pick up a bundle and a bushel of whatever is growing on the farm.

We were members of the Poughkeepsie Farm Project when we lived in New York. I remember bringing three-month-old Edda in her carseat to one of my volunteer hours and nestling her between the rows of vegetables. I nursed her while weeding asparagus.

Part of the fun of joining a CSA is to come home after a Saturday pick-up and look at your 4 beets and 2 tomatoes and 4 pounds of string beans and try and figure out how to use it all up before the week runs out and you find yourself with 8 cucumbers, 2 green peppers and a pile of okra.

When we moved to Maryland, I looked for a CSA and found the Red Wiggler Community Farm. Not only do they have wonderful organic food, but they create meaningful, fully included jobs for adults with developmental disabilities and they have the solar off-the-grid house that the University of Maryland built for the solar decathlon we visited a few months ago. It can't get much better than that.

The Red Wiggler wrote on their blog that shares for the 2008 season will be for sale next week! The Red Wiggler is so popular that they don't have any Saturday pick-up shares available. There are only four Wednesday shares available. The Wednesday pick up hours are from 2-5 pm and the farm is 25 minutes away from the house. Those are prime working hours and almost an hour driving! This might be a CSA we won't be able to join for a while.

Still, it's nice to think of summer produce when everything is still brown and cold.

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Sunday, January 13, 2008

Edda's school.

On my day off, I went to Edda's school to spend some time observing her classroom. This is a critical difference between Edda's school and Vince's school. In Edda's you observe and in Vince's you volunteer.

Much to my former stay-at-home mom self's chagrin (when I dropped off each child into the arms of a waiting teacher), I have let the whole fall semester pass by and still haven't gotten to know Edda's classmates or the aides in the classroom. I was determined and prepared this time; I listened carefully during circle time and wrote everyone's name down in my little don't-forget-these-things notebook.

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Usually, I don't dwell on the fairness of Edda's situation. I have spent many hours in many classrooms pre-motherhood understanding DNA and how the chromosomes split and twist together. I understood that there was a chance that a particular guanine wouldn't show up when his name was called, wrapped up in the moment the sperm met the egg, and that I was not immune to this randomness.

It's just that when I'm in a classroom full of kids who drew the short stick and they are surrounded by teachers and aides who patiently coax the best out of these kids everyday that I'm both happy and sad at the same time.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Apron and Dish Washing


After Mom washed dishes for so many, many years, I volunteered to wash them from now on. Since our apartment does not have dish washer, my clothes is always getting wet.
So, Mom hand made this apron for me :) Am I looking like a professional dish washer or not?
Or, by the way, I also volunteered to move the trash out. I joked to Mom that she is getting a new, improved hubby :)

A little off.

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Since I work a compressed schedule (most of my work days are 9 hour days), I take every other Friday off. This isn't really my choice and I'm not sure it's the best schedule for me, but who can look a Friday off in the face and not like it? And since our sitter works everyday, I got the day off to do my own thing.

I've been a little grumpy this week, I've attributed it to the fact that work is getting harder. Our little training bit is over, and now we are in the midst of actually working and it is hard. I love my job and I'm good at it, but it's a focused, concerted effort for the whole day.

To my own embarrassment, my grumpiness overflowed into my interactions with perfect strangers - I was curt and abrupt to the admin at the elementary school about a form I had to fill out for Vince because I didn't understand it and she (bless her heart) explained it to me 4 times and at the end I apologized for my poor behavior and she just smiled and said that everything was fine and to have a nice weekend. I felt extra bad because she was so nice to me.

It was also the first week that Jeremy started his job. It went so smoothly (mainly meaning that the kids were not sick and neither were the parents), I almost don't want to type it lest I jinx myself.

Vaguely Familiar.

I'm sitting in P'ng and Judy's dining room at the moment. They are sleeping in the bedroom, and KX is sleeping down the hall. Tomorrow we are headed up to Tahoe to go hang out in a cabin for the weekend.

To my left is KX's high chair upon which lies a really cute lime green plastic frog bib. The bib actually has a scoop at the bottom of it to catch all the little bits of food don't reach KX's mouth. Of course, looking down at the floor, I'm not exactly sure the bib does it's job so well. :P I guess they really could use a dog.

Anyhow, I somehow get the warm fuzzies sitting here in their house. It really reminds me of Doris' house, and the (good) craziness that ensues over there. Kid's clothes strewn about. An semi exploded living room with toys. Sippy cups.

Ah kids. Good stuff. :)

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Fastfastfast.

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Restroom Meditations.

Well, I was sitting in the bathroom stall today on campus, and there's the usual assortment of sexual innuendoes written on the wall. The kind that you would expect to find in pretty much every bathroom stall across the country. Of course there were other more helpful tips like, "Don't forget to drop your kids off at school" or "Mike Gravel '08". But it got me thinking... was this kind of drawl unique to men's bathrooms? What do women write on the stalls of their bathrooms? Inquiring minds...

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

White balance.

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Rainy and Nasty.

Well, as everyone probably knows, the weather in SF has been horrible for the past week or so. Gale force winds on Friday brought in 4 inches of rain and brought down trees and branches all over the city. It was a mess. The city is still not even remotely close to being clean...

Last night, I was feeling really unmotivated to return home. I had been biking in nastiness all week. The return trip home meant biking in the cold. In the rain. At night. Up a large hill. For the Nth time this week. I just sat in my office sorta gathering my will and strength to mentally prepare myself.

But mentally prepare myself I did. But as I was packing up to leave, I had an "Oh Shit!" moment. I had forgotten my headlamp at home. It was 8pm. It was dark. And cold. And rainy. GRRRRRR!!! No my motivation is really in the dumps and I'm feeling blue. I tried calling Arif, since he lives close to my work, to see if I could bum a ride and a place to sleep, but no cigar. Voicemail. My mood swung further south.

I managed to limp my way to the closest train station. (It's only down the street, and it's fairly lighted, so no worries) From there I called all my friends in the city begging for a ride. I'm not about to ride 4 miles home in the dark in the city! Stan - nope. He was in South Bay. Christina - voicemail. Mai-Sie - voicemail. Hrm... I look in my pocket and I have about 15 bucks. Is that enough for a cab? Barely? I was unsure.

In the end, Mai-Sie called me back about 10 minutes into the train ride and she gave me a ride home from the train station. Christina also ended up calling me once I got to SF also, and offered me a ride too, but Mai-Sie was on her way already. I went home, moved my car (good thing I didn't stay at Arif's or I would have gotten a parking ticket today), took a HOT shower, and made myself some yummy from scratch pancakes (Thanks Ann.), bacon, and a tall glass of milk. My mood was better knowing that I have some people I can count on in a pinch. :)

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Rearraging the house.

On New Year's Day, we moved a bed downstairs to the study so Edda has a place to nap downstairs. We moved all the books upstairs to the bedroom which looked like this for a few days.

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Monday, January 7, 2008

How many candles can fit on a little cheesecake?

We lit 66 candles on Christmas Day to celebrate Dad's birthday.

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Sunday, January 6, 2008

Therapy time.

On of the things I dislike the most about having a special needs kids is the constant guilt that one has about not spending every minute of the day doing some sort of therapy. Nothing can just be just "for fun". There is always more stuff to do, more stuff to try and things are so slow with Edda that sometimes, well, often I just throw my hands in the air. Since I've been working, I haven't been in touch with her school, I don't know what's going on, I know I should call them more and figure out what they are working on, but I'm just lame.

I just want to whine a little! I'll be all better tomorrow, I promise.

Jeremy is starting his real job tomorrow! Wish him luck!

(PS Donald, I love the little flash.)

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Saturday, January 5, 2008

The Christmas tree came down.

New Year's Day project.

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Our tree is Patent 6572068

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Friday, January 4, 2008

Redskins. Tomorrow. 4:30 EST.

Be there to witness them crushing the Seattle Seahawks. They are on a 4 game win streak, and running on pure emotion from the murder of their teammate... as Vince would say, "Go Redskins!" (with a slight lisp. ha)

Rett Sydrome Awareness.

Remember how I mentioned that Rett Syndrome symptoms were reversed in mice? Wired Magazine named the research one of the top ten science breakthroughs of 2007! Pretty cool.

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Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Princeton.

I love walking on college campuses - especially one as beautiful as Princeton.

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Tuesday, January 1, 2008

New Year's Resolutions.

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Last year's resolutions are all touchy-feely.

Let's go for some more concrete resolutions this year.

Hmm...

  • Find a great hair stylist who I like and won't charge an arm and a leg. I don't like to get my hair cut because I can't find someone I like and therefore I'm starting to look like a yeti.

  • Get back into running and run outside during lunch.

  • Spend more time with friends.

  • Concentrate more time on raising research funds for Rett Syndrome. I did a little last year and did pretty well, but I know I can do better!
  • Happy New Year!

    Tonight was pretty fun. We all went over to Ann's place for a potluck dinner and ended up being a Christina drunk extragavanza. Laff. 4 bottle of champagne and 2.5 bottles of wine were consumed. Bridge was played. Set was played. We didn't leave until 4:30am. The new year was rung in in style.

    Happy 2008 folks!

    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...