Friday, October 29, 2010

Return to the living

[Bald eagle nest.] I got a surprise email last night from Alex, who is in town, and once I got his confirmation this morning, I realized I had to get up and get dressed and Have A Day instead of sit at home all day with the dogs (which is not a bad thing to do once in a while. I loved witnessing the truth that all they do is sleep). I worked briefly with Alex in Chicago and printed his wedding invites and haven't seen him in years. He looks great and walked me to the beach where we saw three blondes in bikinis doing some kind of photo shoot in what was probably pretty cold water, and the Golden Gate Bridge. Since the last time I saw him, he has maintained his upbeat attitude, which I appreciate more now. He's also a great host, so I got fruit when I arrived, a fab lunch, and snacks for the road. I'm really glad I was able to make that visit today.

Then I walked to the De Young Museum, b/c I wanted to see the dye show there. I saw lots of other things I loved, like a tiny Inuit comb with figures and ships, baskets from all over, a Robert Motherwell painting, a super fun group of trompe l'oeil paintings, feathered cloaks, and so on. I was also very pleased w/my ability to navigate the city w/o getting lost. While walking to the museum, I saw all these leaves on the sidewalk that looked familiar, and I realized I had made them to send to Mexico, year ago. I mean, I hadn't made the ones at my feet today, but that's how I recognized them: I had made paper leaves to look like eucalyptus leaves, which I had never really studied in real life. But they looked exactly the same! So that was a satisfying walk. Things are looking up.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Survivors

[Lake Tahoe.] This cruise was the highlight of the family trip out west. The rest was unspeakably difficult, and all of the drama unforeseen. But at least everyone, I think, is home safely. I'm still west, in San Francisco, trying to shake it off. Or at least sleep. I will be overjoyed to return home this weekend, though last night's hotel in San Bruno was lovely, and I get to see Paulette and Ellen here! They are the only reasons I am spending any extra time here. This has been a month of serious adventures and extreme highs and lows; probably the most eventful October I've had since I was born!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Back to the road

We made another trip to the airport this afternoon. I have been to Logan so many times in the last two weeks I can't keep track. Tomorrow morning will be our last, Ben back to deployment and my final big leg of the Great Month of Travel: California. The travel and admin have been a bit of a drag but overall the R&R has been a great success. More ideas and opportunities are flowing in, for ways to shape the future, and Ann did another thoughtful post about me that gave me some perspective on all the work I've been doing thus far. Time to pack, again!

p.s.--The MassArt William Kentridge show is fabulous. That totally made my Boston trip.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Reluctant dive back into work

[That's Ben during his first splash into the Atlantic on our last day of vacation.] Upon Ben's suggestion, I made a to do list for today late last night, and have ticked off most of it. I get to see Katherine tonight and stay with her before I head to an appointment tomorrow in Boston, but I'm reluctant to enter the world already. It's only a 24-hour separation, but chunks of time seem enormous when we're past the half-way mark of his 15-day leave. In the meantime, life moves along: Ann Martin did a nice blog post on jiseung, and Velma kindly gave me the heads up about my picture in the new issue of Fiberarts Magazine on page 15 in their News section, about new craft centers. They talk about the hanji studio we built at the Morgan this summer. I also found out that the federal court has finally complied with my schedule requests and gave me a perfect date for jury duty, after my big obligations are over!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Too much flying

I had given myself until tomorrow to be "on vacation" but of course I am unable to not work, or at least, not fret about not working. To the vacation's credit, I got sucked into it enough to miss a couple of deadlines, but that's not the end of the world. On our way back from Florida, I gave some JetBlue employees a big laugh by falling all over luggage and not being able to get up (it was outrageously funny). I spent a good portion of my birthday sick from excessive travel, but I was taken care of remarkably well and was able to pull myself together enough for a big dinner w/Ben and his family. His mom was a total sweetheart and baked a HUGE chocolate cake for me that was unveiled when we returned home. I haven't blown out candles since ... I have no idea! It's been so long that I forgot to make a wish.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

On vacay

Landed in Florida today after a nice wedding weekend in Virginia (don't worry, not MINE). Ben is back and well and it is such a treat to spend time together. For the first time in my self-employed life, I am putting an out-of-office reply on my email account. Time to chillax and enjoy the ocean view!

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Love the soldier, hate the war

So much for my bus nap; I just discovered that Chinatown buses now have wifi (this is the view). I'm on the way to Boston to meet Ben, who is flying right now. He made it back in record time, it seems. I'm looking forward to vacation, though I'm still behind on work. At the rest stop, I was in such a rush that I saw "MEN" and filled in the "WO" in my head and ran right on into the men's room. I haven't done this in years and thought those days were behind me! This is why fe/male and wo/men are such stupid words, and why it sucks to be of the gender whose identifying terms are all built onto the ones for another gender! Though sometimes I also get confused by bad logos, like when the woman's skirt is so narrow it looks like pants.

I had a busy few days in NYC trying to pull things together and things were going great until yesterday, when my sister and I had lunch out and then immediately got food poisoning. I had my first round of vomiting in the bathroom--I ran in after we walked out. She had to use a trash can, and then I pushed her over for round two. We made it a few more blocks before she had to stop at another trash can, and then we got home and crawled into bed for a nap. So most of yesterday was a wash. But I'm mostly recovered and will be fine once we get through this snarly traffic. And the sun has finally emerged!

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Playing catch up

Caron took this photo back in the day when we got to hang out in green paradise (btw, isn't her website grand? Daniel put it together for her and I think it's fab). Back when I was hacking milkweed in the kitchen to steam. Which may have been totally unnecessary, if you look at how pros like Velma (4th picture down) do it. This obviously means that someday in the future, I will have to do green milkweed again to paper to learn more. This may be something running alongside me my whole life!

I'm locked inside (literally, no keys) and it's rainy and grey in NYC. I'm trying to catch up on my massive admin backlog but I am SO uninterested in doing that. I am much more interested in napping, taking vitamin C, and figuring out what to cook for dinner for a couple that will be very grateful for it after a full Monday in the office.

Saturday, October 02, 2010

Back on the road

I never got good pictures of the trail blazes at Saltonstall, so these are all images courtesy of Caron. I also never got a final intentional hike b/c it rained and rained and rained for our final bit of time.

This image is hilarious b/c I was SO angry when Caron shot this. But it's me driving, which is ALL I was up to yesterday. Imagine the same posture but total grey and water where you see flashes of green. I drove through bad, bad storms and horrible driving weather: the torrential rain where you can't see anything and the noise is so bad you feel like you're under attack, and thick fog where, again, you can't see anything. I stopped about an hour from home to pee and grab food, and then made a bunch more stops before I spent the night w/a friend on the river. Storm central!

[This was during our visit to Skaneateles: a gorgeous letterpressed edition of Ulysses with etchings by Robert Motherwell.] Now I'm at the public library, watching and hearing the wind do its work, and not looking forward to figuring out how I'm going to unpack/pack for a month completely on the road. I'll sleep in about ten beds, fly on five planes, and be in five states this month. Only two weddings, though. This will be the ultimate test of my packing prowess: not only am I limited to carry on luggage, but I don't know where anything is b/c all of my belongings are now in storage, in no particular order. Makes me want to crawl into a ball and nap in the children's section of the library.