Sunday, December 11, 2005

Our apartment is nekkid

The movers came yesterday morning and took all our stuff. More than half the boxes were books, which I'm sure will surprise no one. We're now working on giving away all our bookcases and cleanign up the place.

Justin's lived here for four and a half years, which is longer than I've lived in any single place since high school, so there is a lot of feckle to clean up. Cobwebs, dust, cat hair, my hair, and somewhat more suspicious ick in weird corners that haven't seen the light of day in ages.

Phoebe is already in Charlottesville. I'm flying out with Sabina on Friday. Justin is driving across the country with his brother Whitney and part of the way with his friend Jove.

And today is my sister's birthday. Which means two weeks till Christmas!

Tuesday, November 29, 2005


My sister and nephew moved a couple of months ago to a house in Lake City, near where I grew up. (It's a bit closer to the 47 Beautiful Ladies and Three Ugly Ones than is quite appropriate for a young child, but nonetheless a comfortable home. It is uncanny to see another house decorated with my grandparents' furniture, but that's not the reason I titled my post as I did.) Kate works at the south end of Lake Union and has lived on Beacon Hill south of downtown for years, so I never thought she'd make the move north. But apparently Dad convinced her it'd be best for Ronel's education if they lived in a better school district.

So get this: Ronel is attending Briarcrest, the same elementary school I attended when I was his age. He is playing violin (after trying flute in the Seattle schools and trumpet, briefly, in the Shoreline schools), as I did from fifth grade through high school. Then yesterday Kate and Ronel called to tell me that my teacher from fifth grade (now retired) visited Briarcrest to open a time capsule from 20 years ago, which included letters to the future written by students, and said, "Here's a letter from one of my students, Juliet Crawford" and Ronel was like "WHAT?!?!" I maybe sort of vaguely remember something about a time capsule and letters. Ro also said there was a picture of our class and he recognized me; apparently I look the same as I did in fifth grade. I'm not sure how I feel about that.

(I'm also thinking, "I hope I didn't say anything embarrassing or misspell anything in my letter." Why do I care? I was ten. Besides, I don't think Mr. Orsborn would have let any errors through. I learned to be a perfectionist in elementary school. Also I learned that the longest word in the English language is pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis. That was genuinely useful when I taught Greek and Latin roots in grad school.)

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Fox has made a huge mistake

NOOOOOOOOO!!!!! nonononononononoNO!!!!

Fox is cancelling Arrested Development. For realsies this time, apparently.

Because, you know, Fox always makes brilliant decisions about what shows to cancel (Family Guy) and what shows to keep (Stacked!? Okay, so I haven't watched it, but dude, if you want to see Pamela Anderson's boobs, that's what the Internet is for).

And they're cutting this season's order to thirteen episodes. Grr.

I'm going to go cry into my pillow now.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Sunset in Berkeley

I took these pictures last week, from our roof. Our landlady doesn't really like us to do that. Oh well.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Cat haiku

I can relate to these.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Let us eat cake, and stuff

Just for the heck of it, and in anticipation of a larger kitchen, I decided to create a new blog for recipes, De Re Coquinaria. Come on over if you want to play. All are welcome.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Back together again

We are moving back to Charlottesville.

Yes, we said we were going to go on Adventures, but I think we realized that we didn't quite have the money to spend months gallivanting about the Mediterranean, and that living in one spot with a library would be more conducive to work.

There was that, our lease ending in December, the cost of living here, and...well, we're not really happy in Berkeley (although it has its advantages), and we both really like living a little below the Mason-Dixon line, for many reasons. There is Justin's family and a lot of our friends, who live within driving distance of Charlottesville. There is the fact that it's also within driving distance of places in this big and beautiful country I have not yet seen but seem as enchanting in my daydreams as a souq in Tunisia, in their own way: Asheville, the Great Smoky Mountains, the cities of the deep south. And there is the charm of Charlottesville itself, where I have friends, my school, my church; where Justin and I can hold hands while strolling on the Downtown Mall on a Friday evening and listen to the cicadas from our balcony. (Okay, there aren't any cicadas in December, but summer in all its verdant lushness will return.)

The apartment we've settled on, which Heidi looked at for us, surpasses our expectations, which are low after living in the Bay Area: two bedrooms and two bathrooms, a large kitchen, a balcony (yes, I'm liking the balcony), twice the space we have here. Room for the cats to roam. All for less than we pay here. It is farther away from Grounds than I used to live, but that's okay, because our lives won't revolve around school as much as mine did before. It is close to the grownup things, like the grocery store and the church where we were married and may one day, depending on how everything works out, baptize our children.

I'm not looking foward to moving across the country for the third time in five years. (Nor will the cats, when they find out about this.) And if Justin gets it in his head to go to Stanford Law School, I might have to find a uniquely southern way to commit suicide. But I think the center of gravity in our lives is pulling us back to that part of the country, and this time I hope we make it our home.

Friday, September 09, 2005

Ithaca is Gorges!

It had to be said.

Justin and I went there over Labor Day weekend for a friend's wedding. It was the first time I'd been there when the weather was warm and beautiful. We were only able to spend a few days, but it was so fun just to hang out with his family and drive around town a bit. I'm finally getting used to the Schwab clan and genuinely enjoying all the activity. It also occurred to me (Justin found this amusing) that the reason he talks so quickly and changes subjects constantly is because that's what happens when you have ten people talking to each other at once.

Kate's wedding was fun, and unlike any other I'd ever attended. It was only the second outdoor wedding I'd ever been to (how weird is that? us boring old Christians, always getting married in churches). The officiant was one of their friends who said really kind and beautiful things about what a great couple they are. I don't know them very well, but that's obviously true. The reception was probably one of the most formal I've ever attended, but lots of fun. Can you believe I've never danced the hora at a wedding? True, until now. It does not take much skill besides staying on your feet and it's exhilerating.

Harris and Soren got some dancing in before the wedding, too.

The next day was Justin's birthday. His parents hosted a party for the family and two other couples from the law school that they've been friends with for 20 years (including the bride's parents). Great stories about their kids being hellions and Sandra Day O'Connor getting locked in the bathroom.

Justin in his natural habitat:

I love how little kids smile unnaturally when they know they're being photographed. It's weird but also very cute.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Getting my ducks in a row

Only they're not ducks, they're gulls. And I did not get them in a row; they arrayed themselves own their own. One last Oregon coast picture.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Friendster gives me warm fuzzies

I haven't used Friendster very much, partly because I always feel like an outcast if I compare my friend count to Justin's:

Juliet: 3
Justin: 24

Okay, most of Justin's friends are single and probably use Friendster for whatever its intended purpose is, while most of my friends (from Seattle, anyway) are married and have kids and all the friends they need.

But now my friend count is 4, because I looked up one of my friends from Seattle whom I haven't seen in several years, and she Friendstered (!?) me back! Her name is Michele, and she is one of those beautiful people with fabulous taste in music and cats and books, one of those people who makes you say, "I don't just want to be friends with her--I want to be her!" Due to the limitations of physics and biology, and no doubt Justin's objections, I cannot actually be Michele. But now I can bask in the radiance of her coolness, which will enrich my life beyond words. (Especially when Justin is still in Denver. Waah.)

Seattle in July

Almost forgot, there are some cute family pictures from our earlier trip to Seattle.

Anne, if you read this, you'll be glad to know that the Monster Bird From Hell is still kicking. He really wants to see you! He's just waiting for you to take a shower! Pretty bird bird bird bird....MEH HEH HEH HEH!

Ronel is a big seafood fan, and a purist. When we go out, he wants steamed clams or crab, with no embellishment. This was almost too much for him, although most of that's actually the steamer basket.

This is what Justin and I would look like if we had a baby, but we don't. We're just borrowing my step-niece Anna for a minute.

Four generations of Crawfords.

My dad and nephew, smartly and somberly dressed.

Almost time to bid farewell to my grandparents' house, but we still got to witness one more rainbow over the lake (two, actually!).

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Some pictures from our trip

The coast at the Inn at Spanish Head in Lincoln City:

Rehearsal dinner: My aunt Anne, my cousin Sarah, and I...

...and Peter and Megan, the happy couple!

Sunset on Lake Tahoe from Gar Woods Restaurant, Carnelian Bay (I wish I'd had a tripod to get this on my film camera):

Justin at Pyramid Lake in Nevada. Isn't he cute?

Friday, August 19, 2005

Passionate SUV-hater drives SUV, likes it

Our carless days are at an end, at least for now. We now own a Jeep. Well, technically it's just me who owns it, until we get it registered in California (very long story with the title transfer, but it always is).

What happened was this: My grandparents both stopped driving in a period of a few months, my grandmother because her eyesight declined, my grandfather because of his stroke. They each had cars, and nobody was in a hurry to do anything with them. This was nice for us, because we had something to drive when we visited Seattle. My grandmother eventually sold her car to my sister's boyfriend.

When we decided to drive to Peter's wedding at Lake Tahoe with Dad and Sidnee, we had to decide how to arrange transportation. It was a trip that had to be done in two cars, because it's hard to fit four people, a wheelchair, and baggage into Dad's car, and, well, road trips with Sidnee can be trying. The plan initially was to take both their cars. But then they'd have to drive separately back to Seattle, or have one or both of us go back with them and fly back to Berkeley, which would be rather inefficient seeing as Tahoe is only three hours from Berkeley.

And sometimes we think it would be really nice to have a car. Not to drive around here so much--even when it comes to buying groceries, carrying them home from Berkeley Bowl isn't nearly as unpleasant as trying to park there--but to get away. Go camping and stuff. Leave this crazy crowded place for huge open empty spaces.

So we bought Grandpa's Jeep. I, who have always hated SUVs, own an SUV.

I am trying to justify it to myself as follows:

  • It is a Jeep Cherokee Sport, the smallest of the Jeeps. It's still dwarfed by other SUVs in the drive-thru line at In-N-Out or parked next to Escalades at uber-yuppie University Village (where I could barely get back into my car, despite having parked properly. Damn Escalades).

  • It gets about 20 mpg on the highway. Not great, but not terrible.

  • We will Use It For Its Intended Purpose, i.e. on off-road adventures. Not that we're quite ready for that, as our desert blowout proved. But we have gotten it dirty, and will continue to do so.

  • We don't commute with it. (Good thing, since it overheats like crazy in traffic.)

  • It is not the sort of SUV that screams conspicuous consumerism. (That would certainly have been anathema to my thrifty Scotch grandfather, who after all kept it for more than a decade.)

And darn it, it's fun to drive. It doesn't feel big (in fact, I don't think it's much longer than my old Honda, since I've managed to parallel park it, and most of you know what an accomplishment that is), and it puts me just a little higher than I would be in a car but not so much I feel like I'm obnoxious, and it goes on dirt roads and stuff, and,'s neat.

Catching up

It's been a busy summer. Here is what's happened since I last posted:

Justin and I went to Seattle for my grandfather's memorial service in July and spent our time there hanging out with my family. Ronel really likes having an uncle around.

While in Seattle, we bought Civilization III, which consumed our lives for the rest of the month. It's a great game. I don't know how people play it and have real jobs.

The first day of August, we flew to Seattle and spent about a week there. I got to see several friends, who come to think of it all read the blog occasionally: Anne, Deanna and Eric (and Alexandra, who's not so precocious that she's reading quite yet), and Heidi, Chris, and Madeline, who happened to be visiting Seattle at the same time. Grandma seemed to be doing a lot better.

We drove in a quasi-caravan in my grandfather's Jeep (that's another entry in itself) to Portland, where Justin finally got to experience Powell's! and onward through wine country (August Cellars, great Pinot Gris) to the coast. We spent the night at the Inn at Spanish Head in Lincoln City, where I took some great pictures. We spent the next night at Roseburg, then drove to Crater Lake (Justin and I just kind of buzzed by) and stayed two nights in Ashland for the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, where we saw Love's Labor's Lost and Twelfth Night. I like the latter more as a play, but LLL was a superior production, I think. (We saw Twelfth Night at Ashland a few years ago, and that production was tough to beat.)

After that, we continued to Lake Tahoe for the festivities surrounding my cousin Peter's wedding. Unfortunately, we missed the kickoff barbecue, but we had a great time at the rehearsal dinner and wedding. I was six when Peter was born, and it's kind of weird my little cousin (tall little cousin!) is married. Though my reaction is not quite as strong as my sister's when she found out he had a girlfriend a couple of Christmases ago, and asked him all sorts of questions, including whether they'd had sex. In front of our grandmother. Oy.

Justin and I had planned another long western Americana trip...So the day after the wedding we drove to Reno and northwards around Pyramid Lake, eventually taking dirt roads in the near-desert of northwestern Nevada. On one such road, about ten miles from the nearest town of any sort, we had a dramatic tire blowout. Fortunately, we had a spare tire, a jack, and a copy of Auto Repair for Dummies to tell us how to use them, although we were saved a lot of time by two kind people who stopped for us (and we were fortunate that anyone at all was on that road). A retired archaeologist with a dog named Petroglyph lent us a spinner wrench for the lug nuts and coached Justin (who did his best to demonstrate his manliness; I mostly watched and fetched drinking water) in changing the tire, and another fellow in a pickup followed us back to the paved road. We had the choice of driving to the nearest town--Gerlach, if you've got a map handy--and probably paying the crazy gas attendant we'd already encountered through the nose for whatever tire was available, or driving very cautiously another 80 miles to Reno and hoping we'd make it on the little spare tire. We chose the latter, and survived. Now the Jeep has new tires (the remaining old ones were in okay condition but, well, old) and a full-sized spare, because now we know better.

We spent a full day in Reno at an absurdly inexpensive casino-hotel recovering from that adventure and eating lots of In-N-Out burgers. From there we decided to come home and perhaps limit our travels to northern California for the time being. There is a lot to do here, too.

Only now Justin is driving out to Denver to visit John again. Oh well. I miss him more than I did the last time he was gone--or I'm worried about him driving alone, although he just called from outside Cheyenne and he's fine--but the cats are glad to have me to themselves. Only they have to share me with Civ.

Saturday, July 02, 2005

Justin and Juliet's Southwestern odyssey (beta)

Go here for the Kodak Gallery album of the better digital pictures we took. A couple rolls of color film should be online in a week or so, black and white when I get around to it.

Ten days, nine nights, six states (five of which I'd never been to, except airports, which don't count), oodles of fun. Quick remarks:

We spent nearly half our trip (four nights) in Denver at John's house, for several reasons: I felt sick on the way to Denver, Justin got sick the day after we arrived, I found out Grandpa had passed away and I was sad, John wasn't really able to leave Denver and go back to Berkeley with us as we'd planned, and we were really freaking tired. Denver, by the way, is an annoyingly incomprehensible city with no discernible downtown, but it has a couple of good bookstores.

Southeastern Utah (especially Canyonlands and Arches National Parks) was my favorite. I guess it's hard to grow anything there, but the Mormons got a pretty good deal. I also really liked New Mexico. It was all beautiful (well, except for the outskirts of Vegas, which are smoggy and crowded and gross), and none of it was like anything I'd ever seen before.

We used a book called Road Trip USA which has detailed itineraries for a number of routes, on two-lane highways whenever possible. Broadly speaking, we drove due east mostly on US-50 through Nevada and Utah and on to Denver, south to Trinidad, CO and the border with New Mexico, southwest through the Sangre de Cristo mountains to Taos and on to Albuquerque, then west along old Route 66 with a Grand Canyon detour, and back up to the Bay Area in a northwesterly direction through Vegas and the Sierra Nevada.

Say what you will about Hyundais (I guess I've never said anything, but I've never taken them really seriously either), we put our little rented Accent through 3500 miles of hard driving and crazy altitude changes. Water bottles (of which we had many) were popping all the way through Nevada and California.

America is a great country. And it's really big. All these mysterious and beautiful corners of it I'd never seen before. I still think the Northwest is the most marvelous place on earth, but there are so many regions of the country that are lovely in their own way that I can't blame anyone else for thinking their own hometown is the best.

Friday, July 01, 2005

O'Connor resigns

Sandra Day O'Connor, the first female Supreme Court justice, is resigning.

I will take this opportunity to remark that Justin's dad clerked for Justice O'Connor back in the early '80s, and they still keep in touch. She very kindly sent us a wedding gift.

Another era ends. I am not as big a follower of the judiciary as, say, Justin, but swing voters are people after my own heart, and I'll miss her.

Clyde Leroy Crawford, Jr., 1919-2005

My grandfather passed away last week after a long, happy, and interesting life. This is the obituary my uncle wrote, which was published in last Sunday's Seattle Times:

Clyde Leroy CRAWFORD, Jr. Clyde was born November 1st, 1919 in Chester, Montana and died June 23rd, 2005 in Seattle. He grew up in Havre, Montana, and attended school there through Junior College. Clyde came west to attend the UW and earned a degree in Chemistry and met his wife Ursula of 61 years. He remained a strong supporter of the UW School of Engineering throughout his life. During World War II he joined the Navy, but was sent to oceanless Tennessee to work at Oak Ridge. After completing his work there he was transferred to the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard for the remainder of the war. After the war Clyde and Ursula (Sue) returned to Seattle and he ended up working for James Brinkley Company as a mechanical engineer designing pulp and paper mill machinery until retirement. Clyde enjoyed reading, hiking and skiing and the family built a cabin at Alpental to further these activities. Even in his later years Clyde enjoyed going for walks of several miles. Clyde and Sue raised a family of three children (Clyde, Anne and Bruce) and have four grandchildren and one great grandchild so far.

Justin and I have been blessed to have all our grandparents alive, healthy, and happily married to each other well into our adulthood, and I'm glad that the inevitable losses we face are ones we can share. They all have been a model for what we hope our marriage will be.

My dad's parents have always been the epitome of Northwestern WASP-ish reserve, but even into their old age, they were always demonstrably affectionate with one another, making smooching to each other from across the room, calling each other "hon," and sharing everday tasks such as preparing salad for dinner. Our family is small but deeply loyal. All of my grandparents' children settled down within a few miles of the home where they grew up, and all the family rallied together through difficult times such as my father's illness in 1991. My dad and uncle ate breakfast at their parents' house every Friday morning. Each generation greets the other with a hug and a kiss on the cheek.

Some of my earliest childhood memories are of the cabin at Alpental, which my grandparents built when my dad was a kid and sold ten or fifteen years ago when the family wasn't using it as much as we used to. Alpental is one of the ski arees near Snoqualmie pass, about 90 miles east of Seattle. I never got into skiing, but I did enjoy the surroundings. The windows of the cabin faced Mt. Denny, where you could sometimes see mountain goats with a good set of binoculars. In the summer we could wander down to the crick (one of my very early memories, I think I was about three, is of wading around down there while Grandpa sat on a rock in the middle of the stream), pick huckleberries, search for tadpoles, and take long walks. In the winter we could go snowshoing, sledding, or cross-country skiing or sit inside and read old National Geographics or books about the old West while the cabin heated up and the snow slid with huge creaks off the roof. Or we could help with the necessary task of shoveling snow off the porch so it didn't collapse from the weight. Whatever appreciation I have of the Northwest's natural beauty began at Alpental.

There was also my grandparents' house in Seattle, which they lived in from 1949, when they built it uphill from the Sand Point Naval Base, until the end of May this year. The entire east side of the house was windows with a sweeping view of Lake Washington and the Cascades; on a clear day you can see Mt. Rainier. They lived across the street from Charles Royer, who was mayor of Seattle for most of my childhood. His municipal duties required him to spend time away from his big fluffy Samoyed, Mishko, who trotted over to my grandparents' house every day with a leaf or pinecone to trade for a milk bone. He hid in their basement during thunderstorms, was extraordinarily camera-shy, and tolerated nearly every expression of affection I had for him, except when I tried to sit on him. In more recent years the Samoyeds howling their greetings at the threshold of my grandparents' house belong to my Uncle Bruce and Aunt Bess. My grandparents never had pets of their own, but they welcomed the Samoyeds.

I lived in their house for a quarter in college and remember gazing out my bedroom window late in the evening, listening to the faint sound of traffic down on Sand Point Way, the occasional padding of cats' feet in the yard, and not much else. Across the lake, five miles away, you can see traffic lights all the way over in Kirkland. We'll be staying there for the last time in August when we visit Seattle; my sister, her boyfriend, and my nephew are preparing the house now for the market. Since it was built the neighborhood around it has become one of the poshest in Seattle.

My grandfather used to tell lots of stories about the early years of their marriage. They had a small ceremony at a church in Memphis right as Grandpa began his naval service at Oak Ridge. When I went to UVA, they told me how the winter they moved from Tennessee to Philadelphia, they drove through Charlottesville in the middle of a blizzard and decided to visit Monticello (which, now that I've been there, I know must have been a heck of a drive in the snow). Nobody was there, but the house was unlocked, so they did their own self-guided tour. There is something romantic and admirable about a generation that married and began their adult lives at one of the most important moments in modern history (this is also true of my mother's parents, who married at the very beginning of WWII). Justin and I might have a smidgen of their sense of adventure, but not their sense of purpose.

Grandpa had a stroke in May and his health declined more quickly than anyone had anticipated; his death was not surprising, but we'd expected it to be more gradual, so I would have time to see him again. The last time I was in Seattle was for Thanksgiving, and maybe it's best I remember him when he was still walking a couple miles a day down by the lake and living contentedly with my grandmother in the house where they raised their family and grew old together. Justin and I had our Seattle wedding reception there, and on our refrigerator is a picture of my grandparents with their great-grandson, my nephew. I am glad he lived long enough that I can treasure that memory also.

We will be in Seattle next week to attend my grandfather's memorial service.

Road trip!

Justin and I just returned from a ten-day tour of the Southwest. We spent about half that time in Denver visiting Justin's friend John, and the rest getting there and back via some of the most beautiful scenery in America (and America's a beautiful country, so that's saying something). I'm uploading pictures as I write and will describe our trip in greater detail shortly.

But first I have to write a sad but important blog entry.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

A change of plans

Justin's department chair called him yesterday to ask if he'd like to be a TA for Greek Civ this fall. This is a class Justin has wanted to teach for a while. He was scheduled to receive his normative time fellowship for completing his exams on time this fall and spring, but she said he could defer the funding for a semester to teach this class. So we decided to stay here another few months and bump back our planned trip to Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East.

I feel pretty good about this, not least because we hadn't, um, made any actual plans, besides buying a gazillion travel guides and talking about it a lot. I have a few more months to find Phoebe and Sabina a good home for the duration of our trip (very important). We can get some work done, and Justin's committee will be more sanguine about him gallivanting off to another hemisphere if he's gotten something written by then. Everywhere we want to visit is cheaper (if ickier) in January than in August. There are one or two weddings in Ithaca we might be able to attend, and we won't be bolting straight after my cousin's wedding in August.

Of course we're both also thinking, "If we keep putting it off, we will ever do this?" and now that Justin has persuaded me I need to go to Tunisia, I want to be there, dang it. But this also feels like the responsible, adult thing to do, and now that I'm 30 (!) maybe I should starting acting like an adult. You know?

Friday, June 03, 2005

Bodo's and the eschaton

The dispensation that began lo so many years ago back in 1993 (so Andrea, who would know, has told me) is about to end. For many years this storefront on the Corner has looked like so...

Soon, but not yet. Nobody shall know the day or the hour, etc.

But now it seems they are going to open, really and truly. The sign behind Andrea and Laura says "Hiring."

In a matter of days, or weeks at most, you will be able to get a lox and cream cheese bagel on the Corner to go with your Frappucino. I say "you" because I will not be there for the parousia, having already been raptured to the paradise that is Berkeley.

Monday, May 30, 2005

Pange, lingua, gloriosi corporis mysterium

Yesterday I went to Incarnation, where I spent three years as a parishioner and where Justin and I were married. It was great to see everyone again--or nearly everyone; anyway, I answered the same questions a dozen times, but I also hugged a bunch of people, and the sign of peace at a church where you know lots of people is nice when you've been away from your husband for a week. (sigh) I sang with the 11:30 choir, and the music included The Name of God, which I think is my favorite psalm setting (not the one we used for our wedding, though it probably wouldn't have been as appropriate for a mixed gathering at a wedding anyway) and other songs suitable for the feast of Corpus Christi.

Three years ago, I spent my first Corpus Christi as a Catholic in Ravenna, and I was smugly proud with myself (didn't have anyone else to brag to) that I knew it was Corpus Christi because I understood the gospel reading (John 6) and the homily with my limited knowledge of Italian. This year, at Incarnation, I participated in the procession of the Blessed Sacrament around the church and into the chapel dedicated to it, and sang Thomas Aquinas' Pange Lingua along with the rest of the choir. I love the arrangement we use, which has a beautiful descant Peggy sang--on the third verse I think there's an alto part too, which I'd like to learn someday.

Since the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist is one of those crazy but sublime paradoxes that drew me to Catholicism, I like the feast of Corpus Christi almost as much as Holy Thursday, when we also sing Pange Lingua, and wash one another's feet. I had tears in my eyes when I was going through RCIA and we celebrated Holy Thursday, because I started out washing other people's feet, but then other people took over, and I saw the Campbells, who've been married at least thirty years, wash one another's feet. Justin is a little squeamish about the idea (not about feet per se) but I'm looking forward to washing his feet one of these years. But now I'm getting off topic. Oh well.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Four days in Charlottesville

I'm staying with Chris and Heidi and mostly hanging out here, watching TV, eating junk food (it's so bad for you, but so good--I'm making up for ten months of a diet of crunchy organic fiber-rich everything), and of course getting to know eleven-month-old Madeline as honorary aunt. She took to me quickly. A baby likes me. I am cool.

Went to graduation (which apparently is called Finals? UVA has to call everything differently, like Grounds for campus and first-years for freshmen): the big ceremony on the Lawn, where I couldn't see anything anyway, so got a glimpse of the procession, grabbed a Frappucino at Starbucks on the Corner (mobbed), and sat in the Pav X garden, where I could hear the ceremony; then the religious studies ceremony, where I couldn't really see anyone because my contacts were swimming from tiredness. But I did see Andrea, and Mat Rose, and Don Polaski, which was enough to make me happy before I decided I was tired and there wasn't much point in being someplace where I might offend someone by not recognizing them at close distance.

The weather's been kind of snotty. When I called Justin a few days ago he said quite melodramatically that it was 90 degrees in Berkeley, which I doubt, because it rarely is, especially in May, but evidently it's decided to be extremely pleasant now that I'm not there.

Justin is getting along fine. Only ordered pizza once so far.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

On my way to Charlottesville...

I haven't been back since we moved right after the wedding. I'm excited to see Andrea graduate in her cool hat, and to see Chris and Heidi's daughter Maddie, who is almost eleven months old and sounds like a very happy baby. Yay!

I'll be away from Justin for a week and a half, which is sad, but we're used to separation, and after nearly a year of being around each other almost constantly, a break probably won't hurt us.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Angel Island

Andrea and Laura have already written about our trip to Angel Island yesterday. We all had a blast. I love to get out into something resembling wilderness, even if it's wilderness with a view of San Francisco a few miles across the bay.

More pictures here.

Friday, April 22, 2005

A view of Marin from Lincoln Park

This is what Dad, Sidnee, and I saw when we walked out of the Palace of the Legion of Honor. "Is that real?" Sidnee asked. It was.

Laura, that's what we missed when the weather was nasty.

Andrea, this is why you need to visit us!

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Cab drivers are cool!

I love cab drivers. When Dad and Sidnee were here this last weekend, we took a lot of cabs around town. Cabbies are great because they're the ultimate entrepreneurs and they come from all over the world, so they summarize the American immigrant experience.

The first interesting cab driver I met in the Bay Area was a couple of years ago on one of my first visits to Berkeley, when Justin and I took a cab from the Oakland airport to Justin's apartment. We were having a great conversation with him, and then we asked him where he was from, and he said, "Afghanistan." Awkward silence. (This was not long after the military action there.) Then, "Um, how long have you lived here?" Seventeen years, as it turned out.

This weekend we had several interesting cabbies. One was Asian--Dad asked him where he was from, and he said, "Saigon." "Not Ho Chi Minh City?" Dad asked (probably smirking, but he was in the front seat, so I couldn't tell). "No, Saigon," the cabbie answered (definitely smiling).

Another was from the Philippines. We talked about the pope's death and the prospects for the new pope. He was hoping the next one would be more favorable toward embryonic stem cell research, because his brother is a paraplegic--he was shot in a bar just a week after he arrived in San Francisco, just accidentally ended up in the line of fire in a brawl. He also said his beard intimidates people and his customers are less mean to him now than when he was clean-cut. (One thing I absolutely love about my dad is that he has no pretension whatsoever, so he's really comfortable talking to all sorts of people. Being a cabbie must be a thankless job most of the time; I'm glad my dad is nice to them.)

The Filipino cabbie took us to the Palace of the Legion of Honor. The only Anglo cabbie we had took us back downtown, and my stepmother nearly got into a political argument with him. Eek. (If you have ever gotten into a political discussion with her, or any sort of discussion, you can understand why I was frightened.) But fortunately they didn't get too into whether corporations should run the government or vice versa, so we made it all the way to our destination. Close shave.

Go Dad!

My dad swore in public. Cool. Read this post by Ron Hebron (Heidi's dad) about a town hall meeting in the Seattle area to discuss the results of the gubernatorial election. My dad is the Usually Quiet Guy sitting next to Ron.

What do you get when you combine three of the best things in the world?

That is, cats, Legos, and interesting sacred architecture.

This is what you get. Phoebe and Sabina would be so jealous if I told them.

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Spam, spam, spam, spam!

I didn't know this till my dad and stepmother, who are visiting us this weekend, brought it to my attention, but in my increasingly amusing home state of Washington, Senate Democrats want to impose a tax on canned meat. Yes, a spam tax. Isn't that kind of regressive? Seattle did try to impose a ten-cent tax on espresso drinks a couple of years ago. The initiative failed. If it had passed and been statewide, a spam tax would be only fair, as it targets precisely the opposite demographic.

What will happen now? Will Eastern Washington secessionists throw a Spokane Spam Party? Will Fat Tuesday revelers find they can't afford to participate in Seattle's annual spam-carving contest? The potential fallout is mind-boggling.

Friday, April 01, 2005

Go to Gizoogle, yo

It is REALLY fun if you type in your dissertation adviser's name. Try it.

Also try Googlism. Did you know the sixth satellite of Uranus is named Juliet? I didn't. Doesn't every woman want a celestial body named after her?

A stroll to Fourth Street

Yesterday's weather was marvelous, finally. Is it March that's supposed to go out like a lamb? It did, a very gentle, Mediterranean sort of lamb. I had to buy cat food, and figuring Justin wouldn't mind a couple of hours to play on the Internet uninhibited, I went the scenic route.

The pet store I've been frequenting is one of those chain PetSmartSuppliesPlusExpress kind of places, so they are probably evil corporate whores, although they do support shelter adoptions. I decided to go to a different store I hadn't visited before, because I wanted to see if they had wild bird feeders (we need a window hummingbird feeder). They didn't, but they did have an aggressively friendly cat, and the brand of pet food I was looking for, and they even sold it to me for less than the marked price, though I'm not sure why. I also discovered a little Mexican grocer nearby.

With only five pounds of cat food and a liter of water in my backpack, I decided to continue to Fourth Street, which has a two-block boutique shopping area. It's oddly placed near the marina and train tracks in the light-industrial section of Berkeley; on neighborhood street corners, Latino men congregate, perhaps in wait for a day's work.

My favorite store there on Fourth Street is Sur la Table, which, like other good things, started in Seattle's Pike Place Market (brag!). They have cooking classes I'd like to try sometime, and plenty of Le Creuset and Emile Henry to ogle, even if we have way too many expensive toys crammed into our teeny kitchen already. I also went to a pasteria/gourmet food store and sampled so many things that I felt I ought to buy something, and the luscious olive oil I tried, at $20 a bottle, was a little steep, so I bought pomegranate molasses, which I'd like to try and would rather buy than make.

There's also a bookstore just for home building, renovation, and decorating, which is an expensive habit in Berkeley, but it's fun to browse. I paged through (and at $5, should have bought) a book of walking tours through Berkeley. I noticed a number of buildings that date from the late nineteenth century. The East Bay in a way is older than San Francisco, because it didn't have the devastating fires that followed the earthquake of 1906 over in the city. I like old things. So I walked back along Channing to catch a glance at a block of bungalows a century old.

Saturday, March 19, 2005

Things I like about Berkeley

I'm shamelessly copying Laura. Sometimes I need to think positive thoughts about Berkeley, because I like it, but not as much as the other places I've lived.

There is something in bloom every day of the year. There's hardly ever frost, so all sorts of things can grow. I love walking around the neighborhood just to see what people have in their gardens. Plants I used to grow with effort flourish in people's gardens: huge rosemary bushes, nasturtiums with eight-inch leaves. We don't have outdoor space for plants, but I can grow plants on our windowsill. I have an orchid I got for eight dollars at the farmer's market and haven't killed yet. It's on its second bloom.

The restaurants are fabulous. I dragged Laura to Ristorante Raphael the first day we got together here (it didn't actually require force). It is a kosher Italian restaurant. I bet you've never been to a kosher Italian restaurant. Everything there is absolutely wonderful. Whatever kind of food you want, it's here. If you want sushi, there are lots of options. Thai? Lots of Thai. I might even finally persuade Justin to like Thai. Burritos are the best fast food ever.

When I want to cook (since we can't afford to eat out all the time), there is plenty of fresh, inexpensive produce, at the farmer's market and at Berkeley Bowl, which is a great grocery store even though it's always mobbed. There are two dozen kinds of granola in the bulk bins.

Even when the winter weather is awful, it's still less depressing than Seattle's winters. The autumn was sublime.

We don't have a car. I had a car for nine years before I moved here. I don't miss it at all. We can walk just about everywhere, and the BART to San Francisco is twenty minutes. No car maintenance, no gas (which is really expensive here!), and no insurance.

This is the highest concentration of good bookstores I've ever seen (though for single best bookstore Powell's still wins). Same for music stores.

There are lots of nice people in Justin's department. We hosted a visiting student last weekend and ate out for free at several great restaurants (see above).

We have Hare Krishnas next door, and they sing their Hare Krishna songs every Thursday night, with an accordion and tamborines. It's very charming.

I like the houses. Lots of cute Arts and Crafts bungalows. It makes me sad we couldn't possibly afford even to rent one, but they are fun to look at.

Friday, March 18, 2005

Come and knock on our door!

I lived in Charlottesville for three years. In all that time I had a modest but functional sofa bed, yet nobody except Justin visited till I got married there and made our families and friends travel from all over the country to our beautiful little town. I told everyone (and I was right!) that it was a great place to visit, but I wasn't that persuasive, apparently.

One of the great things about living in the Bay Area is that everyone wants to visit us, although we're not always the main attraction. Justin's dad comes to San Francisco frequently on business. My friend Laura is spending the semester at the Graduate Theological Union just a mile or so from us. Justin's friends Joe and Charlie, who live in San Diego, visited a few weeks ago. My dad and stepmother are visiting in a few weeks. My friend Andrea's planning to visit a bunch of us who live out here in California. We hosted a prospective Berkeley student this past weekend. Our smarmy couch is seeing a lot of traffic.

And my sister and nephew flew through SFO on Monday on their way back from my nephew's great-grandmother's funeral (it was a Buddhist ceremony, which is why Ronel's head and eyebrows were shaved).

It's nice to have visitors.

If you write it, they will come

I originally puttered around with this blog a long time ago, but it never really occurred to me until recently that people might actually want to read the thing. So here it is. But right now I don't want to write anything, I just want to look at pictures. Maybe you do too!

After more than six months as a permanent resident of the Bay Area (as permanent as my residency anywhere is likely to be in the foreseeable future, anyhow), I finally saw the Golden Gate Bridge up close when Justin's friends were visiting us from San Diego. Note how patriarchal his beard has become (he hasn't shaved since the honeymoon).

Here's another view of the beard, although it's a little less full because this picture's from our visit to Chapel Hill over Christmas. Interesting beard facts: Did you know beards can have parts, like regular hair? And dimples?

An old picture of Phoebe watching the presidential debate. My cat is an informed voter! (She's even registered in Florida.)

Sabina is ready for another adventure.