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Yep, I said it.  We’re building a fence!  Or rather, a gate in an already extant fence.  By which I really mean that Lewis’ dad designed, framed, and hung said gate, and now all we’ve got left to do is put the facing back on it.  But it still feels very accomplished!  We only got half done this morning before Lewis had to go do TA stuff, but I think we’ll get it polished off tomorrow.  I’ll put some pictures up (though I know it’s only a silly gate)!   It’s going to be amazing to be able to walk through the fence on that side… we’ve only had one tiny gate that goes between the front and back yard, so you sorta had to walk through the garage or through the bedroom or living room until now!  So good.

I actually managed to get a little work done this afternoon too – read through a paper in preparation for thinking about a QP.  I don’t know why I’ve been dreading reading my own work lately, but I managed a few pages at least.  Got my gears moving, a little.  It would be nice to get past this mental block before I use up my whole summer… but if I don’t, it’s not a total disaster.  I’d rather I start Fall quarter refreshed, but better still refreshed and accomplished.   Anyway, some progress is better than no progress, and I got some progress made today.

Got lots of other bits and pieces done today.  I set up our finances for next year so I’ve got a fancy spreadsheet where I can keep track of things, which I’m excited to break in soon.   Oh, and I got a haircut scheduled for next week!  Yay!   I also hit up the Co-op, but I wasn’t really feeling that into cooking or planning this week, so it was a little meagre.  But I’ve got food plans for the next few days at least, and I at least got us filled back up on the essentials.  It would be good to get into the once-a-week swing of things again so we don’t have to buy so much at once.

Well, there’s my day in brief.   And on that note, I’m ready for a good night’s sleep!  I never sleep well when it stays hot all night (which it sure does on these 105+ days), but it finally stayed below 100 today, and there’s a nice breeze… it’s lovely!  I can already feel the impending comfortable snoozes! :)

Bald me

Mondays are a good days.  Had our reading group meeting at the center which was a nice relaxing time since I wasn’t presenting.  It feels like things at the lab are getting a little more friendly, probably just because I’ve been spending more time there.  For whatever reason, it’s nice to feel slightly more welcome.  Class this morning was also excellent – a lecture on working memory that seemed to touch on some of my work, so I had lots of questions for the presenter.  Interesting stuff.

Also, I got copies of my brain images!  Exciting stuff.  The data includes the skull and skin on the skull in addition to the actual brain junk, so you can actually 3D render my whole head without my hair and see what I look like bald!  Very odd!  So I spent a while playing with my brain slices, which is much fun.  I’ll post some up later.  Turns out I’m going to get scanned again in a few weeks, and Lewis too, because the scanner messed up my data.   It was interesting, so I’m really not bothered.  My lab mate is even going to let me run the scanner while we’re scanning Lewis, so I’m looking forward to it!

Got my work done early, and I’ve been doing a good job of not working harder than I need to, so I spent the evening working on some audio files we’d recorded from our vinyl.  I didn’t even go to yoga tonight, though I would have liked to.  I did something funky to my arm yesterday at the gym, and today it really hurts to straighten it all the way so I figured it was best to rest and let it recoup a bit.  What a lazy day!

I’m thinking about hitting up Vacaville tomorrow to get some more sewing goods and maybe spend a gift certificate I’ve got on some summery clothes.  Could be good!


What a wonderful start to my first day of spring quarter. Had my cognitive neuroscience class this morning, and it went much better than I had been dreading.  I should have known it was going to be fun, but I was getting myself a bit worked up over the professor not emailing me bcak, and seeming sort of odd.  She is odd, but in a good way, and apologized for the email snafu, and seems completely unpreturbed that I’ll be missing 30-45 minutes of class every Wednesday.  Luckily only half those are not “real” class days, as we have some cancelled classes and student presentation days.  Anyway, good class, good group, and I’m really looking forward to it.  Oh, and we only have a 6 page paper to write!  That’s crazy short – undergrad short!

I had a really productive afternoon.  Went to Vacaville while Lewis was in class to check out possible work out clothes at Eddie Bauer.   Found not only work out clothes, but also really cute summer shirts to wear, and some other acoutrements.  I did spent twice as much as I thought I was going to (miscalculated a 30% off.. oops) but I’m in the middle of not stressing out about it, where I’m going to stay.  Clothes were bought.  They will serve me very well.  I’m feeling very good about my waredrobe, and that seems to cost some money, and I’m willing to spend that money while it appears we have a smidge to spare.  Oh, I also hit up JoAnn’s Fabrics to pick up the tracing paper I need to get going on a pair of jammies I’m trying to make Lewis.  Yay.

Only other major accomplishment today: the gym!  I went!  I attended a yoga class tonight, and it was really nice.  Lots of popping and cracking of my tired bones, and lots of working muscles I haven’t bothered with in ages.  The group was really welcoming, and non-intimidating, as I was hoping for.  Hour long class had me totally beat, and completely relaxed.  Spent a few minutes before class in the womens-only room as well checking out the machines, and it was lovely.  Very low-key, no one bothering anyone or making a fuss.  After these two major successes, I signed up for the gym for-really – a 6 month go.  Phew.  It was cheaper than it could have been (one month free and no sign-up fee and discounted to boot) but it was still quite a downpayment.  But I figure, if I go to yoga even twice a week, it’s only like four bucks a class.  And right now, I am way more than four buck relaxed and worked out.


A lot of things happened today, but I only want to talk about the food parts!  Lewis and I mustered up the gumption to hit up the Co-op in the now regular bi-monthly real-food-buying extravaganza.  We used to shop more often, but lately it’s been one of those things where we only make it to the store in times of dire necessity, and it was one of those days.  I managed to make breakfast this morning, but only just, as we were out of milk, all bread products, and yogurt… thank goodness for a squirreled away container of rolled oats, and a cupboard hiding some soy milk.  The weather was really beautiful today, so it was a wonderful day for riding around town.  The Co-op is really great on weekday afternoons when it’s calm and the cashiers aren’t busy or rushed (not that it’s really any less friendly in there when it’s busy, I just get nervous in a crowd).  We bought a million tasty things, baaaarely managed to fit everything on the bikes, made it home, and had teeny ice cream sandwiches!  Spent the rest of the evening doing laundry and finishing my Quechua and semantics homework for the week, and then made dinner.  We picked up a whole trout (not rainbow, but “golden”… I think it was localish?) and cooked it up in some parchment with some veggies for dinner.  Also made really delicious Indian-style fried potatoes to go with it.  Oh!  And we finally got to use Lewis’ bun warmer!  It worked very well, to our mutual delight.  Rolls were kept butter-meltingly toasty without getting too hot or crispy.  Yay!


Ooo, school starts tomorrow!  I’m rather excited about that this evening.  I just got my bag prepared for tomorrow, and packed with all the books and pens and things I need.  I’ve got a pretty easy day, I think – just Quechua and a meeting with the professor I’m TAing for.  I’m looking forward to it for sure!

Today turned into that relaxing and great day I was hoping for.  Got up pretty late after a debacle with our smoke alarm (chirpping, running out of batteries) at 4 am.  Had a nice lie in, a quick breakfast, and then we headed off to Vacaville to get some stuff done.  Lewis needed new pants that fit better, so we hit up the Eddie Bauer outlet and proceeded to spend waaaay more money than we probably needed.  But when all pants are like 15 dollars, and nothing you own fits any more… it’s time to sink some money in for the name of comfort.  We even ran into our Davis friends Ann and Joaquin there!   We had a nice lunch at Mels and then went and picked fabric for our bathroom curtain which maybe I’ll have time to pin and sew tomorrow.  Dinner with the Lawyers tonight was very relaxing.  We had some mixed drinks and talked through our LA plans (whew!) and a very tasty dinner.  Life is good.

Now I just need to try and get myself into bed before 1 am, so that I’ll actually make it to class on time in the morning.  Thankfully I don’t have any 8 am classes this quarter.  10 am will seem like a blessing!   And here’s to hoping that this quarter will be a better balanced, but equally enriching and stimulating experience.  Last quarter was a little out of control in places, and this quarter has a lot of potential for getting out of hand.  But as of tonight, I’m feeling relaxed and hopeful that this quarter will be a happy time full of friends and fun and adventure!  How’s that for a last-night-of-break cap?

Christmastime in the City

I’m feeling rather overdone, but in a delightful way.

Lewis and I got up early so we could spend the day Christmas shopping in the City.   Got out of the house about 10, and there wasn’t any traffic or anything on the 80.  Yay!   Got to Berkl in good time, and got ourselves on the Bart.  Oh, how I love the Bart!   We even got the full Bart experience – a screaming, swearing guy threatening to break some other guy’s jaw.  We waited a good while at Montgomery while the Bart police showed up and the guy eventually got off.  Sigh.  Holidays stressing folks out, I guess.  Anyway.  Eventually made it to Powell and Union Square to begin shopping!

Sadly almost all the stores we were intending to visit were completely gone.  Not the big ones, like Gumps and Williams Sonoma, but all the little stores, even – sadly! – the MOMA store were gone!  Really put a crimp in the shopping plans and left me a bit lacking in backup ideas.  Had a great day anyway, though, seeing the sites of the City and milling about.  Got a few great presents bought, and got a few things for myself as well.  Lewis and I even managed to fit in a movie (Despereaux) and had coffee in a lovely room in the St. Francis.   Got home without too much trouble, and now here I am, exhausted.  Long and fruitful day.

I’m a bit nervous about tomorrow, we’re hosting a cookie decorating party!  People are going to be showing up in the early afternoon, so hopefully that’ll give me enough time to get everything baked up and ready to go.  I’ll cross my fingers for myself…

The longest weekend!

So much good stuff going on these days, I wish I were blogging more regularly.  Oh blog, you’re such a demanding mistress.

Made it through classes Wednesday, and got a whole five kids in my section!  I brought them cookies and we had a short go at historical linguistics, which truth be told I’m rather glad I didn’t have to teach a full section of.  Maybe by spring quarter I’ll be up on historical linguistics and be less crap at explaining what’s going on.  Anyway, all I have left is this coming week which we’ll have to use for final review, and then we’re home free!

Seems like that means I should be panicking a bit more about my two final papers, but I’m feeling rather on top of it.  I finished coding my data today for the sociolinguistics project, and we’ve got a little party scheduled at our place tomorrow so some of our class can run through our stats analysis together.  I guess we’re officially grad school nerds!  Oh well!  The theory paper I’m writing came together really quickly last week while I was prepping for my presentation, so I’ve not got toomuch of the “hard” work left.  All I really need to do is the grunt work of sentence formation and junk, which I’m hoping I’m ready for!  I haven’t written an essay in a few years, but I feel like I got so much practice as an undergrad and I’ve had so much practice grading essays now…  I’m actually sort of looking forward to the challange!

So, lucky me, that means I’m not actually crazy busy over this holiday weekend.  My big task for the weekend was getting that sociolinguistics data ready, and I’ve had plenty of time to do other stuff besides that already!  We had a Thanksgiving party with Lewis’ family on Thursday night for which we made Cranberry Yummymuffins and had a good family time.  There was a Lawyer famliy friends post-Thanksgiving dinner last night which was a blast as well.  I always love seeing the Ladners and Coynes, and we stayed late and had a lovely chat with Lewis’ parents as well.  Yay.

Today I had set aside (besides work, of course) for holiday cheer!  I was feeling a little down, as I always do around the holidays because my family is so far away and things are so different now… so I spent the day making my own fun.  Started off by hitting up Ace to get Christmas lights for our ourdoors, and a wreath and wrapping paper and a present for our kitty!  We then got to go to the Co-op for the first time in literal weeks and got our pantry all stocked up.   I can’t explain how bolstering it is to get a few hundred dollars worth of groceries after weeks of living off the dregs in the cupboards.

Part of what we picked up today was stuff for a few of my weekend (it’s only Saturday!) cooking plans.  We got half a ham (6 pounds.. egad!) to bake for dinner tonight.  I made a glaze and baked it a la Cooks Illustrated, and it was sooooo incredibly good.  A little aggrivating without a proper meat thermometer (we have.. er had, one of those old school ones… which we broke while cooking tonight).  I made baking soda biscuits to go with it, and some mashed potatoes from Alice Waters’ vegetable cookbook.  So tasty!  I can’t believe how well it turned out!  We have enough ham for about 10 people at the moment… but I have at least a few plans for later in the week, including some tasty Navy Bean Soup.  Mm.   Tomorrow I’m going to make a lasagne for the folks coming over, and I’m holding out hopes for it!  I guess if it doesn’t work, there’s always ordering pizza as a backup.

Here’s to hoping we don’t need backup!  And to a fantastic and successful last week of my first quarter!

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