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Tuesday, October 13th, 2009
4:47 pm - Back to Chi-Town
Back last night from seven great days in my hometown, Chicago. My first trip back since both my parents have died. No 'home' to visit but I still have enough great friends who let me crash at their places. I sort of expected that to be weird without home, but it wasn't. Only a tiny bit.
Andrew worked at a bank in Chicago way back. Some of his friends from there were also my friends. I stayed with two sets of those friends.

Hugh and I traipsed around the Loop last Tuesday. Chicago is so civilized that they don't need to close their museums on M-T like Sf does. Humph. Got to see the new Modern Wing at the Art Institute. Stopped by what used to be my turf, Marshall Field's. It's now a Macy's. I couldn't bring myself to buy anything in there. Chicago without Field's is just wrong. Roberta was delayed on her flight back from Vegas, so we only got a brief visit driving back from the airport.

Took the train out to visit with my college friends, Dave and Eileen. Eileen has become essentially bed ridden over the last 15 yrs. She's had 27 surgeries on one leg in addition to loads of other stuff. Hard to see a vibrant person like her confined to bed surrounded by her three Kerry Blue terriers. Dave does the best he can holding down the work and home fronts. At least he still plays the piano beautifully, soulfully. Eileen doesn't seem to play her cello anymore.

The rest of the week was visiting with my grammar school friends. Yes, grammar school. No, we didn't study Latin and greek but we always called it grammar school and I never shifted over to calling it elementary school....

We laughed and laughedeven before the drinking began.
We had dinner at a restaurant Friday then back to Chris' for dessert. I'd never been in her home since we were kids. I was amazed to see one could have considered doing surgery there! Chris and Tim never had kids. (Hmm - correlation there, ya think?) Anyway it was great to see her on her home turf.

I stayed with Pam and Jerry and their three kids. They were wonderfully gracious to me and our friend Jan who came from Wisconsin for this. Their daughter Carrie let us stay in her room and she snuggled in with her parents which is a treat, I hear.

Saturday a mall group of us met first then went to the main event. 40 year reunion of our 1969 Eighth Grade graduating class.

At the time, I wasn't really aware what a ghetto it was. Not that we were poor - just that we were mostly the same ethnically. Irish Catholics. Hardly remembered any of the guys. For that matter, didn't remember many of the girls that well except for my friends. But overall, it was great.

Sunday was spent blasting the past some more. Walked around my old hood. I had moved from Beverly Ridge (the Chicago neighborhood) when I was a junior in college. It's very attractive. Fairly affluent. Sort of like parts of Palo Alto. Okay: I admit. It isn't very hilly, Andrew. But I was with Pam and her mom walking down the primo street as we approached the Ridge Historical District. Once we went in, I ran into my former sister in law. I always liked Linda and we met up later for dinner. Without forewarning them, we also visited her ex (my ex bro-in-law) and another friend. Capper to a truly memorable trip.

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Wednesday, June 24th, 2009
8:04 pm - 5 Words Meme
These five came from essaying.
Parenting. It is much more comfortable around here now that it has been in the previous 20 years. I think parenting our two guys at (almost) 19 and 21 is groovy. I like that they are independent and also they want input from us as parents. Essentially, Dan moves out on Friday. (Technically he's joining us on a vacation and the day after we return he leaves for his new school. Ian is so much easier to live with now as compared to a a few years ago. I am still amazed at how much he has grown up. And I like both my guys now as well as love them!

Monogamy. The part that's tricky here is at core I think I am monogamous and Andrew isn't. It's a difficult dance to pull off. (This is not news to the short list of people who still read my livejournal.)

So; why am I monogamous? I suppose it is at odds with identifying as bisexual. The fact is sex and/or kink mean less to me than it used to. I think I am finally menopausal and I'd guess that is one element. There are sexual activities I miss. But overall, poly is too uncomfortable for me. I guess I wish Andrew felt that way, but he doesn't.

Midlife. Neutral: Routines. Predictability.
Pluses: Comfort. Slower pace. Knowing myself pretty well. Financial security.
Negatives: Slower healing. Aches and pins. Boredom (which is something I can change, I know.)

Gender. Not something I think about much. I identify as fairly traditionally 'female' but then there's the carpenter thing and the power tools thing? Never shake it up much either. Never been interested in gender bending. I believe people should be free to act on whatever makes them comfortable gender wise. But I sheepishly admit when push comes to shove, I am pretty middle class, white bread about gender roles.

San Francisco. Between the economy producing a crime wave and many of my friends having moved, it's not what it used to be for me. And it's summer and foggy. So like every summer, I joke that I'm ready to move. But really, I do love it here. When we travel I am always ready to come back home. I love the fact that Dan's high school German teacher was Frau Ah-Ming Cho. I love the food, the hills, the pretty Victorians, the diversity. That it's the first city in the country to introduce curbside kitchen compost pick up!

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Wednesday, November 5th, 2008
8:44 am - Okay. He's really good.
I'm in Denver the day after the election. For two weeks I canvassed and made phone calls and just did what needed to be done. But there have people doing all that for months, years even. The efforts of loads of people turned this state blue. And a tear ran down my cheek when I read this email I just got:

Paula --

I'm about to head to Grant Park to talk to everyone gathered there, but I wanted to write to you first.
We just made history.
And I don't want you to forget how we did it.
You made history every single day during this campaign -- every day you knocked on doors, made a donation, or talked to your family, friends, and neighbors about why you believe it's time for change.
I want to thank all of you who gave your time, talent, and passion to this campaign.
We have a lot of work to do to get our country back on track, and I'll be in touch soon about what comes next.

But I want to be very clear about one thing...

All of this happened because of you.

Thank you,


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Monday, October 6th, 2008
11:43 am - Yikes! surgery
Wednesday afternoon they will put a pin in his shoulder and then take it out ten weeks later.

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Sunday, October 5th, 2008
7:44 pm - Update on Dan
We are seeing the orthopedic specialist tomorrow. He is going to go back to classes tomorrow night. There is a department at City for disabled students and both guys have appts there soon. (Ian for LD issues.)

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7:36 pm - Hey! Got two hours for Obama?
I have made a commitment which will take up a lot of my time over the next month. I am getting active for Obama. I attended Camp Obama yesterday which was (theoretically) training to be an organizer. Mostly a waste of time but by the end of the long day we did actually learn some things.And I have committed to go back to Colorado for up to two weeks at the end of October up to Election Day. Next weekend I'm off to NV to canvass.

My group is coming over here on Wednesday night to make phone calls to voters in NM and maybe NV to identify Obama supporters and try to advance the early voting option.

Then one night next week, I'd like to host another phone bank party here. Any takers? We'd work from your laptops (if you have them) and cell phones. It's fairly harmless and apparently it's important work.

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Thursday, October 2nd, 2008
1:45 pm - strESS!!
Last night on his way home from call, Dan hit a pothole on his bike, came off and broke his clavical and possibly a wrist bone. We spent nearly five hours at SF General in the ER last night. There are so many patients that most are placed on gurneys in the hall ways. There are actually hall way parking locations for the gurneys i.e. HW4. The good news is that all that trauma puts perspective on a relatively average problem we had as opposed to the rape, beating, gunshot, stabbing and car accident victims (alive and dead, cooperative and AWOL) who surrounded us. I am not exaggerating, either.

He's in quite a lot of pain and we have to see an orthopedic specialist. He's on vicodin. General's Dr thought probably no surgery will be necessary but today it looks worse-quite out of alignment. Calling for an appointment.

There are loads of undone things which need attending to around here. My trip to Colorado was very nice. All three sisters made it.

Gotta run to make phone calls - not my idea of a good time.

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Monday, August 25th, 2008
4:38 pm - So. Here we are.
Andrew likes the new job and the commute is mostly doable. Boys are back at City, both with full course loads. Dan's schedule is kinda whacked; he goes in every morning, comes home every afternoon, goes back for four evening classes. Ian has to schlep around with a guitar in hand three days a week.

I joined a gym and had my first trainer session today along with one other woman. I am feeling muscles I hardly knew were there, but that's to be expected.

I have one round trip frequent flier trip available and I'm wanting to visit CO for around a week at the end of September. Two sisters (Pat and Andrea) are rendezvousing in So CO at a hot springs place which sounds fabulous. I could fly in and out of Denver, stay with Pat in Denver maybe up to Breckenridge and down to Pagosa Springs. I am aware that I am happiest if I have the next trip on the calendar.

The Bahamas trip was - interesting. Our downstairs neighbor got married and Andrew and I help organize the party. I ended up being the impromptu bridesmaid. They had had some serious fighting the night before and I actually was tempted to say something at the "Does any one here present know of any reason why these two shall not lawfully be wedded?". I thought it loudly but kept mum.

The boat, The Juggler was in working order and Andrew and I took it out once alone and when Dan, Julie and Ian came we did an overnight trip. We sailed off shore on our island up to the far end. Took us 9 hours the first day and 7 returning the next. We stayed at the fancy ass marina in which we were the most um, rugged boat by far. Luckily they had a dining room so we did not have to cook dinner. Julie hadn't ever spent any time on a boat a discovered it's not her cup of tea. She did like the heat and the water, though. Dan and Ian went scuba diving one day. I snorkeled several times and spent hours in our pool.

Getting the place ready to be rented out was arduous. It's not done as well as it could have been. In retrospect, we should have started sooner. But the main stuff all happened. We committed to converting the underused office/ bedroom into a storage area which simplifies things for us. We just locked it behind us after taking all our personal stuff from everywhere and organizing it in there. We have an agent who will help find bookings too.

Andrew must have had a hard time leaving. He didn't let on about it externally but he has been clear that he'd rather be living there than here. To his credit he was totally decent about the shift.

Fitting his stuff in here has proved a bit of a challenge. We have no closet in the former dining room which we use as our bedroom. I manage by using an armoire for my hanging clothes but there was no room for his. So I found another small armoire for his stuff. He looked at it and said it looks like the Tardis. He's right, with only a few modifications and some paint, it'll be a great one! Having recently gotten into Dr Who, I approve.

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Thursday, July 17th, 2008
7:06 pm - New Job!
Andrew accepted an offer! He will work down in Mountain View at a web consulting company who is expanding. They have a list of clients full of heavy hitters and he'll do some traveling to work with clients. So, when I return from the Bahamas with the boys Aug 14, Andrew will be with us.

Planning to get the Bahamas place ready to rent out to vacationers.

It's great that he was courted by the new company and is looking forward to working with the people he has met. The commute isn't too bad: it's about 70 mins by BART and Caltrain, good time for reading. Speaking of reading, the co is on the same block as a gianormous used bookstore so it's a good thing I built all those bookcases last winter, eh?

I think we'll need to install a bathroom in the basement now and move our bedroom down there.

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Saturday, June 28th, 2008
12:59 pm - Hunh.
There really is a secret menu at In-N-Out.
* Animal Style (Burger or Fries): The fries are topped with 2 slices of melted cheese, spread, and grilled onions. The burgers are cooked using mustard, and are then topped with pickles, extra spread, and grilled onions.
* Grilled Cheese: Everything that the cheeseburger includes, minus the meat patty. Can be ordered with or without onions as well as "animal style" or "protein style".
* Protein Style: Any burger that is offered on the menu will be wrapped in lettuce rather than using a bun.

A "20x20" (twenty meat patties and twenty slices of cheese)
A "20x20" (twenty meat patties and twenty slices of cheese)

* M x C (3x3, 4x4): "M" meaning number of meat patties and "C" meaning number of cheese slices. Therefore, the 3x3 is three meat patties and three slices of cheese. The 4x4 is four meat patties and four slices of cheese. There is a recorded serving of a 27x27.[21] However, a relatively new corporate policy dictates the maximum size an In-N-Out location is to prepare is 4x4. The stated reason for this new restriction is simply that burgers larger than 4 patties and 4 slices of cheese are not "visually appealing."
* Double Meat: Simply the Double Double without cheese.
* Veggie Burger: A burger without meat or cheese- only vegetables are used.
* The Flying Dutchman: Two meat patties and two slices of cheese. No bun, vegetables, or spread are included.
* Well Done Fries: Fries are cooked longer than others, resulting in a crispy fry.
* Light Fries: Fries are not cooked as long, resulting in a softer fry.
* Neapolitan Milkshake: Combination of chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry shakes.
Thanks, Wiki! (Apparently, corporate policy now mandates a 4x4 as the largest.)

In other news, both guys are around. Ian is frustrated by RSI in his arms from the many hours he practices guitar daily. He is trying to cut back but it's obviously hard. We went surfing twice this week, which is good. Ian got straight A's this last semester!! Very very proud of him. He turns 18 next month.

Dan is frustrated that he hasn't found a job yet. Very tired of answering Craig's List ads and getting NO replies. Other than that, he's doing pretty well.

Andrew is coming back here for 10 days in July to interview with two companies. It would mean he'd be back here but it is not a warm and fuzzy feeling for him. He still prefers to live in the Bahamas. But that may not be feasible until the boys are done with college.

We had our realtor up at our land with the aim to sell it. We haven't been up there in years. People have stolen anything of value including the pot-belied stove from the trailer! Not only that, they left is a complete mess and didn't even close the door! There are several days' worth of work to be done to make it presentable to prospective buyers. I may be going up there to do some of it.

Oh, and we are all going to be together in the Bahamas in early August. Antonio intends to move out from here but he's on for one last time of 'hamster care' so I can go down there sooner. I leave July 21 and return August 14 with the guys.

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Friday, June 6th, 2008
5:10 pm
From mamagotcha comes this meme:
1. Leave me a comment saying anything random, like your favorite lyric to your current favorite song. Or your favorite kind of sandwich. Something random. Whatever you like.
2. I respond by asking you five personal questions so I can get to know you better.
3. You will update your LJ with the answers to the questions.
4. You will include this explanation and offer to ask someone else in the post.
5. When others comment asking to be asked, you will ask them five questions.

1. What's on your bedside reading table now and how did it (they) get there? The Omnivore's Dilemma/ Michael Pollan on the recommendation of several people independently. The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron right from Dan's hands to mine. I've done a few days of three page morning journals so far and it's already been helpful at awakening my latent creativity.
2. Do you have any favorite scents, and what do they evoke? I am a sucker for sweet flowery smells. Old fashioned roses, of course, gardenia, night blooming jasmines, lilacs, etc. No real evocation: just enjoyment.
3. I already know your favorite game. What other games do you enjoy? Mostly word games (Scrabble and Anagrams, obviously. But I spend WAAAY too much time playing Spider Solitaire on line ever since I learned it in May from Andrew. BTW, mamagotcha: you want to play Scrabble on line with me? Are you a member at the Pixie Pit? And Janet: want to play again now that you are done with school?
4. Which Pratchett witch do you identify with, and why? Granny Weatherwax speaks to my toppy/ domme-y side. But I'm probably closer to Nanny Ogg in real life. Except for the mistreatment of daughters-in-law and favoritism for her sons.
5. "Harold and Maude" was a movie that made me laugh, then made me think. Any other films like that you might recommend? God, I loved that movie! Haven't seen it in years! Also loved and want to find A New Leaf by Elaine May with Walter Matthau. You are just that much younger than I that you may not have heard of it...

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Friday, May 16th, 2008
12:12 pm - Best Panini Sandwich ever.
Potato Rosemary bread (Grace Bakery) with Stilton with Apricot (TJ's)

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Monday, May 12th, 2008
3:40 pm - Guitar Heroes?
Ian is very interested in guitar. He has asked me to make some play lists of my favs. My taste goes for the lyrical and clean. I don't like screaming style (except for Hendrix, who was a god.)

So far I have Embryonic Journey (Airplane circa 1968), Hendrix, Christopher Parkening, Leo Kottke, Allman Bros, Zeppelin.

Don't have any Clapton,or Segovia, Stevie Ray Vaughn but they'd be on the list.

Ian doesn't seem to like Jack Johnson or John Mayer much (but I do.)
Any other thoughts out there?

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Wednesday, April 16th, 2008
10:29 pm - Austerity
Andrew's work hours have been reduced to 30/week due to a cash crunch and slow downs in their revenues. We are going into full austerity mode. I think Andrew will be okay with this as long as he doesn't need to return to CA to find more work. In the mean time, no more Ms Jet Setter! (except for the trip to AZ in two weeks for my niece's wedding.)

I will likely go back to doing my carpentry and design work. So, bring it on, I guess.

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Thursday, April 3rd, 2008
10:54 pm - Proud parents!
Ian had really great mid term grades: Two A's, a B and a pass! Definitely worth a wah pedal for his guitar.

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Monday, March 31st, 2008
10:41 am - Catching up with my avid reader(s?)
Ho-kay. I'm in the Bahamas along with our friends (crazy) Liza, Richard and their son Marshal. Liza spent lots of formative time one island over on Abaco and is dwelling on that over and over. She loves it here and would move here in a heartbeat expect for the reluctance of Richard. Marshal is being won over and asked if there's a college on the island? (Not really.)

Busy playing hostess and hiding out in our room whenever possible to sneak in games with my new addiction: spider solitaire. Just what I needed, another time wasting computer game. (But it's the best yet!)

The more I reach into menopause, the more I seem to crave being alone. Could that be the cause or is it an aspect of depression? Not feeling too depressed personally- just wanting aloneness.

Things with A are basically fine. He is almost a different person down here, getting the new sailboat diesel engine ready. He is very active with regular social engagements (live island rake and scrape music Thurs and Sat, dinner out Fri, bbq's on sunday, playing pool on Wed, kayaking, sailing, etc.) And more amusing to me is that most of the time he spends with men.

I am concerned how much life down here revolves around booze. We hosted an Easter brunch and everyone started drinking even before food. (mimosas at least - low alcohol, I suppose, and I love them.)

Back in SF, I had a wonderful birthday party. It was women only and we managed to all squeeze into the kitchen for a sit down meal for 17!

Tonio is on for "care and feeding of the hamster" (Ian) while I'm here. I return April 8.

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Monday, February 25th, 2008
11:47 am - And the Oscar goes to....
Glenn Hansard and Marketa Irglova for "Falling Slowly" from the movie "Once".

Yippie! Really a great song. Didn't like it quite so much in the made for the Oscars edition. Best version I've heard on line may be the one where they were singing outside in the snow at Sundance. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3YAKOnt68D8 Actually the studio one from The Swell Season is even better so buy it! Support independent musicians!

In other news, Antonio is gone for a few more weeks. He met a woman who needs help getting some properties she owns worked on in Tucson. He'll come back toward the end of March and I'll go visit Andrew while other SF friends of ours are visiting.

Dan is struggling some with homesickness, missing Julie, lots of small body complaints and has a pretty grueling schedule. But it sounds like overall he likes it a lot and is doing mostly well.

Andrew had a great time sailing his friend's sailboat back from FL.

I need to get more physically active. I hate being this sedentary and need to force myself outside. Some days I spend the entire day inside...

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Tuesday, February 19th, 2008
3:00 pm - Feb 20...
...is Andrew's 53rd birthday. He is flying to Miami to help a friend sail friend's new sailboat back to the Bahamas. but if you call early enough, you can wish him happy happies in the morning EST.

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Saturday, February 16th, 2008
1:02 pm
I bought a painting. I am considering changing the color in relatively small section to suit the room more and tone down the garishness.

Is it ever okay to alter someone else's work of art?

No way. The artist's vision is sancrosanct.
Maybe. Depends on how 'wrong' it feels.
Sure, why not? It's yours to do with what you want, right?

(oooh. Typo. Meant to say 'sacrosanct'.)

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Friday, February 8th, 2008
12:32 pm - Try my Flick'r account for kitchen pictures---

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