Thursday, September 30, 2010

Press Pause Moments anthology

I just got my copy of Press Pause Moments, a collection of essays about life transitions.

The timing couldn’t have been better. Fall is always a season of change, and I’ve been thinking about what things I’d like to change (or not) as my 40th birthday approaches. (More on that another time.)

One of my essays appears in this book, and so does one from Michelle Mach.

Michelle and I live somewhat parallel lives blogging, designing jewelry, and freelance writing. In a “small world” moment, we got a chance to meet at the Bead and Button Show this summer and thought it would be fun to cross-blog about the book.

The first words of her essay:

“Good-bye! Good riddance! Good luck! Good grief!”

Yes, that crazy mashup of feelings when you make a big change is totally relatable. Michelle not only made a big career change, she had the insight to write about it. Reading her story reminded me of academia — that feeling of being both at home and not at home.

So get a copy of the book and check out “Confessions of a Former Good Girl.”

You can also find out more about Michelle on her website or her blog, Beads & Books.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Shappy's 50th birthday

Today we celebrated Shappy’s 50th birthday. His brother and sister-in-law, Steve and M.J., hosted a wonderful surprise party at their house.

They're both terrific hosts: Steve rolled out pizza dough and told us about the workings of their brick oven, and M.J. gave me a tour and picked mushrooms. (Last week, they harvested 30 pounds!)

I spent a lot of time by the oven — the better to sample each pizza as it came out.

Each one had a supercrisp crust, and I loved all of the different toppings: wild mushrooms, fresh mozzarella, pesto with feta. I wandered away and unfortunately missed the pepperoni with heirloom tomatoes.

Check out this Journal Sentinel article if you want to read more about their talent and hospitality (Steve also makes his own cheese!).

Shappy’s brother Dave and tennis friend Sande sang and played guitar, and we all sang Happy Birthday for our friend who looks like Billy Joel. There was also some brotherly hazing among Shappy, Steve, and Dave.

We’re still trying to figure out if Shappy was surprised.

A charming Asian movie

Trying to get over a cold, I slept in yesterday and then spent the day baking brownies and recycling old magazines. My day did have a bit of excitement: a visit from Terry, who surprised me by arriving exactly 24 hours early to pick me up for a party. Good thing I had brownies!

Once I got back to my uneventful day, I watched White on Rice. Yukie and I may be the only people I know who like Asian dramedies, but this is a movie worth seeing.

Check out the trailer. Don't you want to find out how hapless Hajime keeps his childlike innocence after heartbreak? Even though his nephew, Bob, is a bit of a stereotype — hardworking and a genius?! — the nice thing is, the kid actually doesn’t have sage-like wisdom. He’s just odd.

Thumbs up.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Oh no, Papa: enough with the shredding!

Papa has been good lately. Her only offense: shredding two mini boxes of cereal.

This lack of uncrazy behavior has given me pause. I worry that she's slowing down — or plotting a really big prank.

I took Pops to the vet this weekend for some routine tests. She hated being there and nervously peed on the examining table. I think she may remember her last visit, where the vet gave her charcoal to neutralize the effects of the chocolate donuts.

But she's in good health. Even though she broke one of her front teeth off at some point — maybe chewing something plastic? — her teeth are in decent shape, as are her eyes.

So we can all rest assured that she's doing fine. I still have to store food well out of her reach.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Regarding the mouse

Don’t get me wrong: I don’t want the mouse to have lots of siblings who hang out in my garage. But the sighting did make me wonder.

Addie showed me a book, Animal Speak, about how nature is woven into human life. According to the author, the mouse represents attention to detail.

As in: Am I lost in the trivial, or missing what’s in front of me, or scurrying around trying to do too many things at once?

I realize that blogging about a mouse while wondering if I'm missing the big picture might make the answer seem obvious. But really, maybe the mouse is trying to tell me something.

Monday, September 6, 2010

The mouse

On Saturday, I had to suddenly turn off my lawn mower to avoid running over a tiny mouse near the garage.

We made eye contact. (I think.) Perched like a butterball, he was decidedly not vermin-like.

I ran inside to get my camera and found him curled up on the lawn in the same spot. He was shy about photos, though, and finally disappeared into a hole near the fence.

Yesterday I was telling my neighbor Jody about the sighting when we saw something in the corner of her yard: Her cat had flipped a mouse (the mouse?) onto its back. Jody distracted her cat while the mouse wandered into the bushes.

A few minutes later, I opened the back gate to walk Papa. And there was a mouse (the mouse?). He was just standing in the middle of the walkway. Not trying to run or hide.

Jody came over, and we talked about whether he was the mouse. We agreed he was cute, and she ushered him out of the walkway, into a mass of overgrown chives.

I know that there is rarely one mouse, but I like to think I didn’t spot three in two days.

What would you have done? And no, I won't be like Luke and Linda's friend who made special cracker pizzas for his mouse.