Saturday, March 31, 2007

Saturday's Post: All Things Buzz
We went to Disneyland last week for Spring Break (along with the rest of Southern California) and went on the Buzz Lightyear ride. At a critical juncture, a photo is taken. Riley was in the car with Dave and I, busy trying to eat the blaster tool. Ours didn't turn out, but here's the rest of the gang.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Spring Break. If I were of a younger persuasion, I'd spend the week sorting clothes for a community of farmworkers (in the newspaper recently) or galavanting in a skimpy bathing suit on a stretch of white beach (I didn't even do that when I could!), but being the age and stage I am, I view this as a Get It Done Week. The list is shorter than in years before, the pace I am moving at is glacial as compared to a thirty-year old, but still, it feels to good to get some things checked off my list.

I bought flowers at the nursery and plan to get them in the ground, this first day of spring.

Alexander and his father are keeping them watered. They came by on Sunday evening, and even though I should have been doing taxes, we played with the boys, ate a meal of grilled chicken, pasta dressed with a creamy pesto (basil from last year's harvest) and baked asparagus. I had scored some of Lara's wedding cake from the previous night--a friend's reception--and Kristen and Chad savored the delicious cake as well as delicious memories of their wedding.

Barbara and family arrive on Thursday--time for getting done comes to a close--yet we hope to celebrate Dave's 51st birthday on Friday at Disneyland, if his work load permits. Otherwise it will be cake and ice cream on Thursday night.

Time's pace is slower this week, a welcome drift.
Fixated on those burnt banana leaved plants, I took some more photos on Sunday.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Saturday's Post: All Things Green
Happy St. Patrick's Day

(P.S. I already finished my See's Candy Irish Potato.)

Question Man
Washington DC

Flavin's Green Light Hallway

Resting Scouts

Peacock Ceiling

Gaze into the Future

Leaf Waterfall

Thursday, March 15, 2007

I needed a laugh. . .

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Yesterday the Washington Post wrote about Nikolas Schiller, a man who works with maps and contorts them to make an interesting sort of urban art.

Early in January 1995, he created an interactive web map of the Inaugural Parade Route in DC and blocked his site from search engines. He kept track of who found and who visited his site, and like Edward Tufte, translated that dynamic web traffic into a static map. His is an interesting proposition, and an interesting site.

I remember being taken on a trip to Santa Cruz by my mother's sister, Aunt Jean, because "I was good with maps." I carry this idea with me to this day, although I was undone in Austria trying to make sense our of the German maps while my newly-wed husband drove the main streets, frantically calling out "Here? Turn here?" I scanned the green lines and the orange lines, while trying to flip back and forth between interminably long street names and trying to find the strasse name on the maps. Finally I hollered back, "Pull Over!" After that, he navigated and I drove, which wasn't always a good combination either. ("Take a left when you get a chance." (and then) "Why didn't you turn left at that street like I told you?") Several of our most spirited interchanges have been on interchanges.

So, I envy this language that Schiller traffics in, and his ability, like Tufte, to leave flatland behind, understanding the idea that these orange and green squiggles have a corresponding relationship to how you get through town, how you navigate the world.

There's a place in Gilead, by Marilynne Robinson, where her main character, an old preacher working on living gracefully as he's dying, muses on his choices in the face of his physical discomfort: "I have decided the two choices open to me are (1) to torment myself or (2) to trust the Lord. There is no earthly solution to the problems that confront me. But I can add to my problems, as I believe I have done, by dwelling on them. So, no more of that."

At times I envy the stoicism of age, the willingness to go around that which is in the way. When younger, the motto is confront! solve! do battle with! Yet as I age, sometimes more world-weary at the end of the day than I like, I like this man's solution of dwelling less on earthly troubles, a challenge for a born ruminator.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Daylight Savings Time (from our college's Help Desk):

For Apple Users
1. Choose Apple Menu, go to System Preferences and then lick on Date & Time
2. Click the Date & Time button
3. Deselect the “Set date & time automatically” checkbox if it is selected
4. You can drag the hands on the clock an hour forward or you can set the time by using the up arrow.
5. Click on “Save” to set the time

If for some reason you experience a problem adjusting the time on your system, you can contact the Help Desk.

Heavens, That's Tasty.
Need some reminding?

And for Saturday Morning: Pancakes.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Burned Banana Leaves

While waiting for Enrichment Night to start, I time-lapsed photographed the burned (from the freeze) leaves on the banana plants/trees in the parking lot.

I had gone there right from work, where the freeway was like a parking lot.
Slow Go. Mostly Stop.

Here's the tree/bush with the flash on. The burned parts look some ruching along the flapping leaves, trying hard to decorate an unwieldy creation.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

And Now from Milan. You too can dress like. . . like. . .

. . . like a jukebox?

Photos from the New York Times Fashion Week Review of the Milan shows.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Saturday's Post: All Things Federal

What else? Department of Education
Washington, DC

Dave and I saw the movie Breach, with Chris Cooper playing a turncoat FBI agent. (We recommend it.) It reminded me that there's one thing Washington does very well: Federal Buildings.

The Archives
Washington DC
(where the Declaration of Independence is found, as well as the Constitution)

After I took this shot, a guard appeared out of nowhere and reprimanded me for taking pictures of Federal Buildings, saying it was against the law.

Another day, a guard posed for me.
Incongruencies abound in Washington DC
Dave and I thought that had to rank right up there with boring jobs in the universe: walking around a Federal building for 8 hours a day, rain or shine, shooing off the tourists with their cameras.

Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, DC

Bureau of Engraving
Washington, DC

Dept of the Interior Building
(Not the main one)
Washington, DC

FEMA Entrance
Washington, DC

View of Federal Reserve Building, Washington Monument
Washington, DC

Thursday, March 01, 2007

English papers--a new batch to grade--have come in, so that means I'm doing all sorts of things to avoid diving into the correcting. The backstory is that my daughter Barbara came a couple of weekends ago and we spent the time making a Cousins Book. She had this nifty machine, a Cricut, that cuts out shapes and letters.

I found it to be quite reasonable at the craft store, and picked up some cartridges on coupon. It now resides on our dining room table as I spent Sunday evening helping a teenage friend work on her project: clipboards for summer camp. Here are some samples.

And just to show you how dedicated I am at avoiding grading, I made a tag for this baby shower gift.

My daughter laughs when I call her for advice. She told me she likes seeing me "out of my element." (As a teenager she spent several tortured hours making a quilt under my direction--my passion is quilting.) But this is fun, too. Did you know they have stacks and stacks of colorful and decorative paper they're more than happy to sell you? And sticky dots, sticker-making machines, ribbons, laminating machines, glue sticks, glue pens. . .