Friday, June 29, 2007

all good things

What a difference a few days can make! I was really really down. Work was a grind. I was broke and looking at being broker. The dog was sick. I was worried about my sons grades. I got some odd bloodwork results. My best friend was looking at possibly losing her job. All bad things, all heaped on top of each other.

Now I am sitting on a day full of good things. My friend kept her job. I got a HUGE raise and a new title. My son got all As and Bs on his report card. The dog probably has a food allergy, nothing serious. The doctor says my test results are nothing to worry about.

WOW! I feel pounds lighter. All this mental crap I've been carrying around has just dissipated in the ether. I think I may actually get a good nights sleep for a change. If the universe is listening, I feel truly, deeply grateful.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007


My father just had a stent put in. He is 68. My mother also has a stent; hers was put in when she was...68. My paternal grandfather apparently died of coronary artery blockage at 69. I am no rocket scientist, but I see a pattern here.

I suddenly feel like I have a ticking time bomb inside of me. I am, knock on wood, very healthy as a general rule. I don't have chest pains, I don't smoke, I don't drink too much (too often). I eat a fairly healthy diet, watch my weight. I don't get enough exercise, but since we got the dog, I do get some walking every day.

But the number is there now, in my head. 68. Sixty-eight. Programmed somewhere in my DNA... or not. Maybe lifestyle can trump biology. Maybe. Maybe being aware of the land mine down the road can help me avoid it. Maybe.

the problem, as I see it, is, maybe not.

Friday, June 15, 2007


Not a typo. Folks at MIT have succeeded in powering a light bulb by electricity transmitted through the air. No wires. No wires AT ALL.

To me, this is amazing, science-fiction, world of tomorrow, type stuff. The idea is that eventually you could power all the electrical items in your home without wires, in much the same way that you can get an internet connection via WI-FI. So no more batteries, no more a/c adapters, no more chargers, for the cell phone, the pda, the laptop, the camera, the remote, etc. As long as you were close enough to a transmitter (or whatever they end up calling it), your stuff would just work.

I really really love this idea. And I love that they made it work. Now where the hell is my teleporter? I want MIT to work on that one.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

another school year is at a close

Our son is finishing up 7th grade this week. I find this astonishing on many many levels. I can't be old enough to have a child in 7th grade. I once thought he wouldn't make it through 3rd grade, and here he is successfully navigating junior high. I don't know how we got here -- I swear the little guy was just a toddler playing in a baby pool, and now he can almost look me in the eye.

Being a parent causes a strange sort of time shift. You are suddenly ruled by the academic calendar again. I don't get summer vacation, but our son does. The rhythms of our life change every June, and again every September. We shop for swimsuits, or school supplies. We shift the time we leave in the morning, and the time we get home in the evening. There is an ebb and flow that is almost tidal, each year sweeping in and drawing back out, over and over again.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

music and mood

This morning at work I have been treating myself to an entire day of music. I rarely get in more than an hour or two of listening in any given day, but I felt the need for a jump-start today. So, Stevie Wonder, Kool & the Gang, Doobie Brothers, Dr John, Isley Brothers, Everlast, Eminem, Madeleine Peyroux, the Replacements....

The affect on my mood is immediate, and powerful. I feel energized, positive. I feel like singing and dancing in my little office. I don't, of course, since I dance badly and sing even worse. It's also really hard to code while doing either one.

It is such a small small thing, and yet it makes all the difference. So, why? Why does music do what it does to me? I know there are people who don't really care for music, or even notice it much, but I find it hard to imagine. However it works, it bypasses thought. My internal editor doesn't even stick her little two cents in -- and that bitch comments on EVERYTHING. There is no filter. And the music I like is not cerebral. It does not engage the mind. It is visceral. I feel it.

Whatever it is, however it works, I love it. And I can't imagine being without it.

Monday, June 04, 2007


I have started brushing up on my French, in preparation for a trip to Paris in August. It is amazing how little I retained from my few years of French lessons. I kept most of my Spanish, I think because I see so much more of it on a day to day basis. But French, not so much. I really only see a few menus in french, and an odd phrase here or there in a book or article. And I haven't HEARD any french in years and years.

I really only want to get back to the real basic, tourist level French. We would like the bill, what time is check-out, where is the bathroom. I would like another glass of wine. Yes, dessert would be lovely.

I have about 10 weeks to practice. Hopefully it will be enough.

Friday, June 01, 2007

civil liberties to a point

I read an interesting article today about the legal questions surrounding the quarantine of Jeremy Speakers, AKA the guy with the extreme drug resistant TB. Now the government infringes on civil liberties all the time, and I am the first to cry FOUL!. But not this time. One of the few purposes our government has is to protect its citizens. The CDC exists to protect the populace from outbreaks of disease. How can they do that, if they don't have the right to quarantine infected people?

Do we really want the CDC to have to petition a court before quarantining someone? Can we afford the time that takes? What kind of person, infected with something extremely contagious, would holler about his rights being infringed by quarantine? Sometimes the needs of the many really do outweigh the needs of the one. A plague can wipe out an entire population. The form of TB that Speakers has is nearly always fatal, unless caught extremely early, which is unlikely. His case was only diagnosed by mischance -- he hurt his ribs and had a chest x-ray. Otherwise he still wouldn't know he had the disease, and probably wouldn't, until symptoms had appeared and it was too late to treat. We were all very lucky, including Mr. Speakers. Let's hope he realizes this, and decides not to sue the government.