Monday, December 14, 2009

No Fair!

This is Cassidy telling me that the next time I run off to have fun at the Cape for the weekend, I better bring her, too.

Thursday, December 10, 2009


So this is the last week of classes, before final exam week. This means that all of my beloved classmates have the deer-in-the-headlight look, aren't sleeping enough and are displaying signs of mood disorders.

It's really wonderful.

We're all just barely above the water - we all have final projects, which means final standing up in front of the class and discussing our brilliant thoughts about important things. The problem is that the people in the class are really smart - and will ask questions and have opinions that they will share. Outloud.

But this feeling of solidarity - we're all in this together spirit - is just so wonderful. I've had a number of misty-eyed moments this week, as people are checking in, cheerleading, offering salty-sweet-fatty snacks and diet coke's. There've been hugs, motivating comments on facebook walls, late night chats and e-mail check-ins. We're meeting on campus, working quietly in rooms together - just to share the experience with the only others who get it.

I didn't have the opportunity to go away to college just after high school -I'm a forty-something grad student having the college experience for the first time and, painful as it is, loving every moment. I'm doing my best to savor all of it - good and bad - and knowing that it will end far too soon. I'm tired, elated, near tears, sore, intimidated, confident, scared and feeling very, very blessed.

And I know a lot of stuff. Ask me anything.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009


Wow - Tiger.

I don't know why this train wreck keeps my attention, but there it is.

What is it about folks that maintain this outward image, but then act in ways contrary to what they want people to believe?

Good thing I'm not like that.

Well, I suppose if I was being perfectly honest, I would admit that when I appear very confident and know I am completely correct, I don't really believe it 100%. Or when I seem angry it's really that I'm afraid or unsure or lost. Or when I shrug and say that's o.k., I really want to say it's not, but don't want to hurt someone's feelings. But even with all that stuff, I can still look at myself in the mirror most days.

Tiger has more talent than most people could ever wish for, and has done a great deal of good with his incredible wealth. He's also hurt and disappointed more people that most of us could ever come close to and no amount of talent or money can make that o.k. His kids will, before too long, be old enough to look up all this junk on the internet and find out this stuff about their father. He can't take that back.

So I guess I want to remember that sometimes there are things we can do or say that we can never take back. Some of those things are no big deal, but others are huge. I'm reminding myself to make sure the things I say or do that I can't take back are things I'm proud of or things that make others know they're loved or safe or special.

I'm working on it anyway.

Friday, November 27, 2009

It's Not About The Stuffing?

So Jeff, who is a serious history geek, was explaining to me yesterday that the Pilgrims and Indians sitting down for dinner together on the first Thanksgiving was really all about the fact that the one Indian tribe was about to be overrun by another tribe and the first tribe pretended to want to be friends with the Pilgrims because the Pilgrims had guns.

I promised not to be cynical about Thanksgiving yesterday, but seriously, how can we celebrate something like that? With pie and stuffing?

Still, it made me think about interdependence and how much I like it.

I have a friend at school who is from Indonesia and isn't very good at English, but a whiz with math, so we've built what I hope will be a lifelong friendship based on him getting me through graduate-level microeconomics class, and me telling him when his grammar is wrong. And we just learned that last year after the ice storm in the Berkshires, when we bailed and went to the Cape to wait a week for the power to come on, a neighbor with a front-loader (which is some kind of big construction vehicle) moved a great big tree from the middle of our driveway for us. And if the cats catch mice in our cellar, I have Jeff who will remove the mouse remains for me, since I can't bring myself to deal with it. In return, I show him love and gratitude.

So I think the Indians might have just gone ahead and told the Pilgrims that they needed to borrow a cup of gunpowder, and maybe the Pilgrims didn't need to steal the Indian's corn - and I'm really sorry about the smallpox in the blankets. Let's just acknowledge that we need one another and do our best to be trustworthy about it, o.k.? That's something worth giving thanks for.

Sunday, November 15, 2009


Susan just wrote a post on her blog that is kinda un-Susan-like, but also very Susan-like in that it was honest and a little raw and tender. It gave me permission to let myself be... whatever I am right now.

Things are a bit itchy these days. It's nice to be not working and making a giant leap towards my Master's degree, but scary because I'm not working and not ready for this giant leap. If I commit to trying to graduate in May, I've got a ton of work to do - research and stuff - that I wasn't ready for just yet. And I don't like not working. Not just because I'm not making money (although I like money) but I have for so long wrapped up my identity in what I do for a living, that I'm a bit lost.

This has all made things a bit strained in the household...

When other people express their opinion of my situation, I'm uncomfortable, whatever the opinion is. School friends have been incredibly supportive and tell me how wonderful this all is - a gift I've been given to just be able to be a student for a while. Others tell me how sorry they are that this horrible thing has happened and ask if I'm o.k. Either way, I don't want to hear it. Should I be grieving or celebrating? I just can't make the suit fit.

I find myself just reaching for the wisdom that comes from living the life I've lived (actually we've lived, Jeff and I) - that things we didn't plan for happen, sometimes the result of mistakes or just circumstance - but every time we've had to work through something hard, we've come out better on the other side. I'm learning to trust that now.

It all really works out the way it's supposed to. I'm choosing to make peace with it. At least for now.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


Arrived home in the Berkshires yesterday after a beautifully warm weekend on the Cape. When you get those in November, you have to pay full attention, right?

Our life has been a bit tumultuous of late and, I was feeling all "the world should have bigger things to do than mess with me" when we went for a walk on Coast Guard beach on Sunday. There was a part of the shore that got our particular attention - this inlet (nope - not up on my shore words or anything...) close to Nauset Marsh where the waves come in from two different directions and sometimes the ones on the left take over the ones on the right, sometimes the other way around. But I caught sight of a few that seemed to join together in the middle and created one peaceful, harmonious wave that rode into the land as one. In my particular frame of mind, I thought how powerful it could be if people could figure out a way to do that. No one has to overpower the other, no one needs to win - just blend the energy and resources to make one special thing. Pretty profound, huh?

Then on the way out of town Monday morning, I made our ritual stop at Dunkin' Donuts in Harwich for a coffee for the road. When I got inside, there were three people behind the counter all admiring a baby (maybe a year old, just a little less) sitting on the counter and who the counter people presented with a chocolate munchkin. All of us - those working, standing in line, mother, celebrated with the baby and her joy over this munchkin - we clapped and smiled and cheered her good fortune. I love what a small town the Cape is in November, and chance to see just a moment of simple happiness was a bright spot in the day.

Back to the leaf-covered back yard and didn't mind a bit raking and appreciating the gift of a near-70 degree weather to put the yard to bed for the winter.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Power to the Slicker People!

So it was a cold and soggy Oysterfest, but what a resilient bunch we were! If the Casuals had the decency to come out and play, the least we could do was dance in the rain. And while I was mostly appropriately dressed, I am not, in fact, a fisherman so I was not one of the folks really appropriately dressed in rain slickers, nor did I fall onto the pavement and wriggle in excitement and joy of Oysterfest and the Casuals.

And Jeff ate his first Oyster (which was shucked by one of the finalists in the Oyster Shucking Contest) and it didn't come back up!

All in all, a successful day.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Note To The Universe

That's it - we've had it. Job loss, my car repair, Jeff's car repair (for the third time), can't get my paper written. Now the house (almost) blew up. Where does it all end?

By the end of last week, we were still able to chuckle - appreciating the life lessons that come from adversity and all. Of course when things go bad, they always get worse! Hahahahahah - yep, really funny. But when Jeff got home today just in time to meet the electrician (who, BTW, returned our call on a Sunday!) AND THE CIRCUIT BREAKER BOX CAUGHT FIRE, I stopped laughing. Jeff, to his credit, was laughing uproariously as he told me how exciting it all was. Fortunately I stayed a little longer on the Cape and have missed all the fun.

So, Universe, enough already. We're making the most of all the adversity, but we have limits. You could send us a little something good, just to keep us hopeful, o.k.? A little lottery windfall or some brilliant inspiration for my paper that I can't get written - we're not greedy. Just a little something good, couldja?

We'd appreciate it very much.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009


So I admit I've spent just a little bit of time feeling sorry for myself in the last couple of weeks - having my job "eliminated" actually means I was "eliminated" and that's a little hard on the ego.

Until today, when I spent some time with a classmate, who has become a dear friend, from Indonesia. He lives in Padang, right where the earthquake happened. Frans is a lovely man who I expect will be a delegate to the United Nations or win the Nobel Prize or something as soon as he finishes his degree and goes back home. It's really difficult for him to be here and he is trying study while he knows that his neighborhood has been reduced to rubble and his friends and neighbors are missing. Kinda puts things in perspective doesn't it?

I was going to say more, but I think that's enough for now.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Where Have I Been?

O.K. - so remember back in May when I expressed lofty goals like keeping up my blog and becoming a poet? Once again, I set myself up for failure. Not that I haven't had anything to do, mind you ~ there have really been quite a lot of events leading up to today.

Let's see - June was o.k. except I got a new boss that was completely without integrity, talked about his wife while showing his girlfriend around the office and it took much too long, months even, for the powers that be to realize he probably wasn't a good hire. Ultimately he was fired, but not without a great deal of heartache inflicted on everyone.

Which brings us to July, when I got to get back to my beloved Cape refuge, then got Lyme Disease (but found a really nice doctor in Harwich who took good care of me). Here are the lessons from that experience: I hit my drives high and right with a fever; it's still fun seeing Chandler, especially outdoors at The Juice; lobster egg rolls at The Juice still taste wonderful, even when the antibiotic make you nauseous, as long as you have enough wine with them; the new Harry Potter movie wasn't that good at the drive-in (or maybe it was the antibiotic and the fever and too much Advil); you shouldn't come home from vacation with Lyme Disease and then think it's a good idea to install ceramic tile in the bathroom (or even select tile at Home Depot), even though we're really happy with the floor; going back to work while on antibiotics makes me really super nauseous.

August relatively uneventful, except for Jeff who took kayak lessons and won his division in club championship. He's an overachiever.

Then September, when school started up again, my job got eliminated (but I got severance), I added classes two weeks into the semester and still haven't caught up and, right up until today in October, my ass is getting kicked by professors that I really respect. On the upside, the Casuals have been held over at Woody's and are playing Oysterfest, the leaves are starting to look beautiful up here in the Berkshires and I have enough time in my schedule to act like a real grad student.

How have you been?

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Summer's Here!

Yay! Opening weekend at the Beachcomer! Got sand in my toes! So inspired (and keeping my commitment to be artistic this summer) that I've written my first poem. It's a Haiku. Here goes:

Beachcomber Opens
All who dance are not locals
Big toe is wounded

Also have a sunburn, found a great oyster shell on the beach, had my first hot dog at Cobies and a yummy sandwich, wine, olives and watched Chandler work the room at Harvest Gallery. I've been hugged, kissed, stepped on, spilled upon, smiled at and took two naps. Fred's home improvement is quite something. Thank goodness it's cold and rainy today so I can rest up for the first Casuals show of the season.

I love it here.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Where Have I Been?

To all (both) of you who have been checking in and finding I've not blogged in ages, all I have to say is this:

You're welcome.

If I had been blogging over the last weeks, you would have been subjected to my needy, whiny noises about how much homework I have and how stupid it was to go to grad school and how tired I am. You would have felt obligated to tell me how cool you think I am and how impressed you are by my commitment. It would have been exhausting for all of us.

All that is over now - it's officially the end of the semester and I don't have anything to do that isn't fun. Even yardwork and housework and my dopey job will all be joyful opportunities. Not to mention I'll be heading for the Cape any second now, where I'll do more fun things. Don't get me wrong, I'll still milk the grad school sympathy thing for all it's worth - I won't really do yardwork and will get Jeff to buy me a present. Fred will make me a cocktail on the patio. But heck, I deserve it.

Really - I have to give Jeff and break and help out with the laundry for a change. He deserves all the credit for propping me up these last weeks. I'll do my best to make it up to him.

The other goals for the summer break: I will write a poem, take some pictures, try out a new recipe and take 4 (maybe 3) shots off my handicap. There it is, I put it in writing!

So summer begins...

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Thursday, April 16, 2009


Jeff left me.

Not like that - he just abandoned me for a few days. He's on lovely Cape Cod playing golf with his friend and having dinner at Mahoney's. He's having the chicken, which is a complete waste of going to Mahoney's, but he's seafood-averse. I'm not at Mahoney's - or Cape Cod. I'm just here - with the cats. They're happy because they can sleep on the bed and have all of my attention. They think Jeff doesn't like them and they are happy when he goes away. Me - not so much.

I'm just not good a looking after myself. I get bored and don't eat enough vegetables and don't stay focused on my homework. I wake up during the night and I'll probably have popcorn for breakfast tomorrow. You would think with no Jeff to distract me all my homework would be done, and the laundry and the yardwork. Nope - none of that. It's like I'm just waiting for him to get back so I can do all that stuff and not pay attention to him. I make no sense whatsoever.

I did get to cook stinky seafood for supper, though. That was nice. But that's about it.

Maybe he'll read this and miss me, too and bring me a present when he comes home. Like a seashell. Or jewelry. Or a cranberry scone from the Cottage Street Bakery. Or a bottle of wine from the Truro Vineyards. Or Fred will get him to go shopping before he comes home and he'll find a nifty piece of art. (O.k. - no way will Fred get Jeff to go shopping, but it was worth a try).

Anyway - I'll try to be good and stay out of trouble for the next couple of days. Wish me luck.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

The Power of Nothing

So we took Saturday night off. Of everything. We didn't cook food or do laundry or homework. We had an early dinner at a restaurant and came home plunked ourselves on the couch for the night. Jeff got me 2 seasons of the West Wing that I didn't already have for my birthday and we watched a half dozen episodes, with popcorn and everything.

I know - doesn't sound blogworthy - but for us it seems we never take that kind of time and I'm here to tell you, it's totally worth it. Totally. Today I'm refreshed, relaxed and feel like I had a really nice date last night (which I did). I tackled a school project with a clear head and focused direction.

So since I'm a student of public policy, I'm trying to quantify the benefits of last night so we can incorporate these opportunities into the federal or state budgets. Pass a law requiring downtime. Mandatory minimums on fun. Once-monthly pajama days. National Election-and-Nap holidays, so you go to vote only after you're well-rested and capable of reasoned reflection (super Tuesday would be so much more mellow).

I think I just identified my master's thesis topic.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009


Last night I went searching through my jewelry box to find appropriate Irish stuff to wear for St. Patrick's Day. What I ended up finding was a bit of my history and fond memories.

First I came across a pin that is made from marble from Connemara that my former work-friend Elizabeth got for me in Ireland about 14 years ago. I asked her to find something made from Connemara marble because my mother used to have a shamrock pin but it was stolen when our house was broken into and I'd hoped to find something just like it. So it was nice to remember that pin, and my mother, and Elizabeth, and my Auntie Dot and Auntie Kay who brought the shamrock pin home from Ireland for my mom.

Then there is the gold celtic knot ring I bought in Ireland when Jeff took me there for our 10th anniversary. It was in impulse buy at Shannon airport on our way out of the country and I was remembering how much I loved that trip and especially seeing so many people in the airport who looked familiar - like family. It was in the jewelry box next to the Claddagh ring I had bought for Jeff (that he never wore - that's another blog) when we were dating and I was pretty sure I had fallen in love and wanted him to know it.

Then there is the lovely silver celtic knot pendant that Roland and Amanda gave me for Christmas last year - we'd been to Ireland a second time by then and I think they knew how much I would appreciate the necklace - and I do - and think of them when I wear it.

So on this St. Patrick's Day I'm humming songs my mother sang and remembering my friends and family long gone. And my old Irish wish for you:

May your home always be too small to hold all your friends.

Erin go Bragh

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Facebooked Part II

So now it's become a really goofy obsession - I've been transported back to high school and am again experiencing the angst of not being in the cool group and worrying about getting a date to the prom. I was sharing with friends at work how dumb this whole facebook thing is and the very next morning, got invitations from both of them to be facebook-friends. Now, since I'm up to 3 friends and thoroughly sucked in, I'm starting to seek more friends, lest those three think they're the only friends I have and start feeling sorry for me. So I invited someone to be a friend - and he agreed - so now the count is up to 4. I'm on a roll.

Of course I have to bring this nonsense with me to the hairdressers yesterday and while the adorable 20-year old is cutting my hair, I asked her, since she's 20 and not 40-something, about the whole protocol and if I had, say 5 friends, but they were really good-quality friends, can that count as being just as good as, like 130 "facebook friends" who are mostly just acquaintances that everyone piles up just to look like they have lots of "real friends." She assured me that I would appear just as cool with my few quality friends, so I'm backing off of the desperate begging for friends that I was considering. She also thought me very wise when I asked about the whole having-facebook-blog-monologues-instead-of-in-person-conversations and told me that she'd gotten into a disagreement with her friend but didn't know it until her friend wrote on her wall about it and now everyone knows about it. But no one's talking to each other about it.

Am I overthinking this?

What I think really needs to happen is for the snow to melt up here in the Berkshires and we can all go outside and play. Then blog about it...

Tuesday, February 24, 2009


So I got an e-mail from a dear friend the other day inviting me to look at her Facebook page. I have no interest in Facebook whatsoever and have been listening all week to the news reports about people surrendering all their rights, plus their firstborn children, when they decide to join Facebook. So when I got this e-mail, I was faced with the dilemma of just blowing off my friend or signing over all future royalties in order to join.

So I joined.

But here’s the thing. Now I can look and see what people are up to, see if they’re online at the same time I am and communicate electronically with them or just peek at their pictures. These are typically people I don’t make the time to call or visit with already. Now I have another vehicle to not have direct contact with them. I’m not feeling good about this. It’s bad enough that I have a blog and just say things at people without actually having a dialogue. Now we can have entire relationships without actually having relationships. And – here’s the added stress I don’t need: what if I don’t add friends – then it looks like I don’t have any friends. Or what if I just start adding people to make it look like I have friends, but really they’re not my friends – just acquaintances. Am I leading them on? What if I don’t like them that way… Or what if no one comes to my funeral, but lots of people sign the online guest book…

I’m going to call my friend. Or maybe just send her a link to my blog and she can read what I think.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Public Display of Affection

I love Valentine's Day.

I know - it's a big marketing thing that sets ridiculous expectations for high school boys and inattentive husbands, effectively setting most up for failure.

Still - I love having an excuse to reflect upon how much I adore my husband.

I had an assignment in class on Wednesday (it's an organizational behavior kinda thing) and I had to provide an analysis of my family as an organization. I was asked to consider what the long-term goals of the organization are, who makes the rules, how do we know what the rules are, what happens when the rules are broken - stuff like that. In considering my family organization to be me & Jeff, I was able to determine the structure of the organization is nearly perfect ~ we share the same long-term goals, decisions are made cooperatively with the good of the organization in mind. It's a partnership that emphasizes strengths, minimizes weaknesses and realizes a common-good. Plus there's kissing and stuff.

So - I'm happy on this Valentine's Day to tell my husband how much I love him and look forward to the rest of our journey together. To thank him for his love and support and to tell him how glad I am that we've held hands and jumped over the bumps in the road together. To say, Honey, I love you so much.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Wicked Nice

So I'm back in school and already overwhelmed with work and schoolwork (like I don't have enough excuses for not blogging) but had a really nice experience tonight. I ventured out of my regular program to take a class that's part of the school of education at UMass. What's a little amusing is that I didn't realize this course, that is approved by my program for Masters' level credit is part of the Doctoral program in education (yep, I'm a snotty CPPA student) so when I discovered that I expected to be completely out of my league and surrounded by brainiacs. In reality, I was just welcomed into the fold of a very tight group of people that are really smart, funny and wicked nice. They're all part of the same program and have taken lots of classes together so I was acknowleged as the outsider but treated like a new friend.

Also awesome was that I was assigned a group exercise with three other people (in a class of fifteen) and they were from three different countries - I'm feeling so diverse!

The best part - these are totally committed educators who are studying education policy (and all vowing to undue the damage of NCLB) - I just love that kids will benefit from these wonderful people. Truly inspiring.

I still have too much homework.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Peaceful Transition - Part II

So here I am all in my spot, with 2 million of my closest compatriots, and the ceremony begins. I was right near speakers so even though I could mostly just see the top of the capitol building and the backs of people's heads, I could hear everything well. Loved the music, wished I could have seen the goof during the President's oath. My friends tell me that the televised version didn't pick up much sound from the crowd, but there were so many moments of spontaneous reactions that you just had to be there to understand. Just as the program got to the President's oath of office, there was a low, steady "yes we can, yes we can, yes we can" - I'm tearing up just recalling it now.
Lots of m-hmms and amens during his speech, people around me sniffling and a husband who wiped a tear from his wife's cheek. Then, too, moments when all 2 million were completely silent - even the children on parents' shoulders were still and mesmerized.

Then, when the program ended and the crowd started to disburse, up popped the helicopter carrying the former President Bush (I asked Jeff to clarify for me - it's not called Marine 1 anymore, since it wasn't carrying the current president) and those around me broke into a spontaneous "na na na na, na na na na, hey hey hey Goodbye..."

Goodbye, indeed.

So now the throngs of people had to get out of the district and everyone tried to get on the train at exactly the same time - nope, that wasn't going to work. The station we had come in on had closed but I had arranged to meet my niece back there and figure out a plan. Cell phone service, as we had been warned, was overtaxed and calling or texting was really difficult. My niece and I were about 20 feet apart at the meetup point but couldn't find each other for a long time - finally we were able to connect by phone and found one another. As it turned out, every spot along the mall from the Capitol, where I was, to the Washington Monument closed so after walking all the way back to the end of the mall, she ended up finding a coffee cafe on the L'Enfant train station/shopping mall and she stayed nice and warm, sipping coffee and enjoying a muffin, still able to hear the entire inaugural program. We decided to walk back from the Capitol South train station to see if L'Enfant was open (bumped into - literally - John Oliver from the Daily Show on the way - looking concerned that his camera crew couldn't stay together in the mobs) and found thousands thinking the same thing. We decided to find food and a restroom in the shopping center and still the crowds of people were kind and gentle and patient. Got a sandwich and got into line (by line I mean the hundreds of people filling the entire shopping center corridor that lead to the escalator down to the train) and prepared to wait. And wait. Most of the stores were closed, except Radio Shack for some reason, and the hallway got really warm. Then someone fainted. A little while later, someone else fainted. A nurse who was in the crowd helped both, then started advising (yelling at) everyone to take off coats and hats to avoid overheating. I wondered if anyone was (1) communicating with the metro station to open and prioritize getting this crowd onto the train (2) thought about turning on the air conditioning and (3) was prepared in case people panicked thinking we were under terrorist attack. In the 2 1/2 hours we were in the hallway, no one had cell service and a total of 4 people hit the floor. The reaction from the crowd was to help each other off with their coats, share juice and water they had and continue to be kind and patient. Unbelievable.
Line moved forward, we all got on the train (got to sit down, even) and then we (all of us on the train) just sat back and collectivey shared how remarkable the day was. And our optimism for the future.
Arriving back at my sister's house, she had dialed up and I got to see a photo of what the mall looked like - amazing.
At Dulles the next morning, I was watching the news and hearing the day called a "lovefest" and "Woodstock moment" - I wouldn't presume to give it a label, but it was truly something extraordinary and I was privileged to be a part of it.

I've never been more proud of my country.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Peaceful Transition - Part I

Back home, exhausted and elated. I hope I can capture how much magic I just witnessed.

Woke at 3 a.m. on Tuesday for what would normally be a 35 minute ride to the train station from my sister's house. After a nearly 4 hour ride (stopping more than riding), we were boarding the Metro for the commute from Vienna, VA into DC. The radio station was providing moment to moment updates on the status of the trains and parking lots and reported over 100,000 riders had been picked up by 6 a.m. Along the route, we met with so many different people, all sharing where they were from and how excited they were to be making this trip for this day. Despite the traffic and crowded train, all were cooperative and friendly. I got to chat with a man from Sacramento who was carrying a tuxedo - I had to ask - and he shared, almost sheepishly, that he would be attending a gala - and just grinned from ear to ear, as though he couldn't believe it himself. At each stop, there would be a discussion about how full the train was and how no more could fit, yet every time the door opened, we all welcomed some new riders and pulled them in - there was always room for more.

Along the way we were hearing that different stations were closing, then opening, in an effort to control the crowding so we were never sure until the last moment of where we would get off. Ultimately we were able to get off at the stop where my ticket instructed me and here's where it started to get a little weird. I had a silver ticket and got into the silver ticket line, which was actually a huge gathering of people, taking up about a city block. Ahead we could see a big structure that said it was the silver gate and the crowd moved steadily forward. Pretty soon, though, we started hearing that the gate was closed and no more people would be allowed in, despite the fact they all had tickets (I'm talking about a huge number of people) - some turned around and started looking for other places to watch. I decided to break ranks and walk up to the front (it was unbelievable that this was a completely unstructured line with no barriers or adult supervision, yet everyone stayed orderly and cooperative - even when it started to look like things weren't going as they should). I navigated my way to the gate, learned that it was true - no more people would be admitted - and the people in the line started waving their tickets and chanting "let us in, let us in". Moments later, the crowd moved forward a little, then a little bit more and pretty soon we found ourselves on the mall, in the open space we were supposed to be in anyway, but without the hassle of a security gate. Power to the people!
A really lot of people...

I'll have to finish the story tomorrow - I don't want this post to get really long and boring and, honestly, I'm really tired... More to come, I Promise.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Presidential Inauguration Trip

Arrived at Dulles late morning -

My next-seat neighbor on the plane plays football for the Washington Redskins - didn't get his name but I'm guessing he's not very good since he was flying coach and had the squishy middle seat (he was waaaay too big for it). The guy with the window seat was all impressed about football guy until I said yeah, so what, I have a ticket for the inauguration... I was the coolest traveler in the row.

Tried to figure out which guy was the Air Marshal - didn't see any obvious signs of firearms, but there was someone near the front who was trying to look inconspicuous. Arrived safely, got on the shuttle to the main terminal and saw an actor whose name I have no idea but he's a short, scruffy guy who was the ex-husband on that sitcom that Cybill Shepard did after Moonlighting. I bet Fred knows. He was sitting across from me on the shuttle and looked at me like he was expecting me to recognize him - I did, but I didn't...

O.K. - Inauguration stuff - my sister brought me to the Vienna, VA metro station so I could just pop in and get the fare pass for tomorrow and the popping in turned into 2 1/2 hours waiting in line to get to the vending machine to buy it. On the upside - I got to hang with the jolliest folks from all around the country and a young guy from Germany, too. A couple from Hawaii came from buying their passes and called out to see if there were others from their home state and when 2 young women answered, they were given the two extra fare passes the couple had purchased to keep others from having to wait in line! Also met a really nice lady selling newspapers who promised that they were commemorative and a bargain since they were 50 cents today, but would be worth $5.00 by the weekend. And I shared my tissues, since everyone had runny noses 'cause of the cold weather. Good thing I brought extra in case of tears tomorrow.

My neice will be taking the day off and coming with me tomorrow, even though I have a ticket and she doesn't. It'll be good, since she's young and I can make her carry all the junk I want to buy. We decided that we should probably get to the train station by 4:30 a.m. tomorrow, so I have to go to sleep right now. Very excited.

On My Way

Here I am at the eerily-quiet airport - taking advantage of it, since the news keeps suggesting that I'll be crushed in a stampede trying to get to see the president take the oath.
I'm not worried - I'm planning to be patient and am going to wear comfortable shoes and seventeen layers of clothing, so Ill be just fine.

I'll be in DC in a couple of hours - there the quiet will end. I'm still trying to keep my idealistic attitude, though. I know I'm seeing history in person and understand it'll be a little bumpy. I'm feeling like a new day is dawning - in so many ways - and I'm optimistic for what the future holds.

Aren't you?

Friday, January 16, 2009

This Week

So, this week started with my beloved boss announcing his resignation. I don't yet have words for this - I'm one of those blessed few who really like my boss, my job, going to work on Monday morning. So I spent the rest of the week with my peers mourning our collective loss, dealing with my personal fears and preparing for the worst.

Just then, while I'm wasting company time by checking friends blogs and personal e-mails, I get a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity... and guess what!

I have a ticket to the Presidential Inauguration!

Seriously - slogging my way through microeconomics (and thanks to all who tolerated me through that) paid off - it's my professor who had the extra ticket and offered it and my timing was right and I never do spontaneous things like this and, anyway, I'm flying to DC Monday morning! I'm so looking forward to being part of this historical event. I was remembering election night and seeing that sea of people in Chicago who were so jubilant and hopeful - I want to be part of that on Tuesday! And don't I have the most wonderful husband who encouraged me to go without him!

So stay tuned - I promise to keep y'all updated and will take lots of pictures. And I have information just in on google talk from a classmate that Union Station is selling Barack Obama flip-flops! They'll be all the rage on the Cape this summer, I'm sure!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Lazy Sunday

We had a day today that we never have... a day off. No commitments, a minor snowstorm, a full refrigerator and wine on hand and no homework!

Got up in the wee hours just so I could go back to bed later. Came across a biography of Allen Ginsberg on LOGO (nope, I'm not gay - that channel just seems to have the most interesting programming in the middle of the night). Anyway - saw film of the 1960-whatever protest at the Democratic convention in Chicago and I had never heard the story of Ginsberg "ohm-ing" everyone into being calm. So I started to wonder why that had never caught on - like in the mall during the Christmas rush, or Filene's during the wedding gown basement sale. Or during wars and stuff. I have to think about this more... I have just the person at work to use this on.

Also - got to snuggle up with a cookbook Fred gave me for Christmas - all about improvisational cooking - hey Fred - she actually recommends bacon mayonnaise! Wow!

At the end of the day - laundry done, Christmas tree undecorated (I know, but we only just put it up a couple of days before Christmas!), well rested, freshly manicured and without guilt for slacking off. I need to do this again next Sunday!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

New Year!

The menu at the restaurant last night was appropriately titled "Good riddance to 2008" and while there are so, so many reasons to run screaming away from this past year, we had lots of wonderful experiences and things to be grateful for. I always look forward to the end of the year reflection and hopes and promises of the year to come - here's what came to mind for me in the last few days.

  • I'm happy to be a student again and like that I've challenged myself to do something really hard;
  • I've learned that there are things that are harder for me than for other people (see above) but I'm o.k. with those things because I know there are other things I have to offer;
  • We're becoming familiar with our second home and community - we've been so welcomed this year in a new place and have been blessed to get to know so many wonderful people;
  • Steve Wood isn't scary at all;
  • I would like to spend more time on creative things and I'm going to try to do that this year (I like taking pictures and my short game is suffering from my shift in focus to grad school);
  • Microeconomics taught me that we need to eat more vegetables so one of my new creative things is going to be learning to cook more vegetables;
  • I'm glad I learned something from microeconomics because I can't draw a cost curve for sh*t;
  • It's good to have other people to rely on sometimes;
  • It's o.k. too to have people who sometimes disappoint me so I can teach myself to focus more on the good;
  • I love being married to my husband;
  • I should stop being afraid to sing out loud;
  • Psyched to have a new president with so much promise;
  • A little gray hair is perfectly fine at my age;
  • Ice storms have something to teach (besides we should buy a generator);
  • 2009 will be be best year ever, dontcha think?