Sunday, October 31, 2010

Bat infestation

We have a bat problem:

Fortunately, she's cute so we don't mind.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

On being known

I've heard that for a woman, moving is a major traumatic event, on par with death of a loved on and divorce, while for men, it's just an event. Given how differently Derrick and I have reacted to our last two major moves, I'd believe it. I have a very hard time moving, while for Derrick it's not that big a deal.

I'm back in Indiana this week working with my advisor in preparation for a conference next week. I flew in yesterday, and pretty much from the moment I got off the plane, I've felt more at home, more comfortable, and happier than I have in months. It's so good to be home. I wish this were still my home truly, but I'm happy to find Indiana still feels like a home to me.

It's great being here--I'm staying with my former neighbor, and while it's a little weird staying right next door to the house I used to live in, I love staying with my friends. I'm almost giddy, and it's very difficult for me to actually work or go to sleep because I want to visit and renew my friendships. I know, I probably should have announced I was going to be here on my blog, but it didn't occur to me to do that until people asked me about it today at church. So, sorry I didn't get the news out--I just didn't think about saying anything until I was already here.

Church today was wonderful. People knew me, and they were happy to see me. I didn't feel like I was anonymous (not that I'm truly anonymous in my new ward, I just don't know very many people, so I still feel like I could disappear and nobody would really notice). I know that the friendships and the comfort and recognition that go along with them will come in time, but it is wonderful to come back to a place where that foundation is already, to remember what it's like to feel truly at home at church. I know I will come to love the people in SD, and boy, it was so nice to be reminded how wonderful it is to know, to be known, and to love and be loved.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Her father's daughter

Doesn't she make you want to donate to charity?

Yesterday Sylvia fell into a book shelf at school. According to the teachers, she cried really hard for about five minutes, and then was up and running and climbing again. In fact, when I went to pick her up, she was climbing all over me and trying to rough house with me, so apparently her injury didn't slow her down. But it does look pretty nasty. Here's what it looked like that evening after getting home:

This is what it looked like the next morning (apologies for the darkness of the photo--I was trying to avoid using the flash):

And this is what she looked like today after getting home from school:

Impressive bruise, no?

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Berry smoothie

Mmm, tasty.

Since tomatoes are a berry, would you like berry smoothie with your hot dog?

Mind the gap

I finally listened to Radio West's interview with Timothy Noah, who wrote a series of articles on income inequality on It's worth a listen and/or read.

The gist of it is this: there's a growing income gap between the rich and poor. Today, the top 1% of wage earners take home 24% of all income earned in this country. In the late 1920's, just before the Great Depression, the top 1% took home more like 18% of all wages. We actually see more income inequality now than was present during the Gilded age, yet there's almost no public outcry. Indeed, people are angry at the government and over taxes rather than angry at the rich over their increasing compensation. Noah documents the economic and political forces that are likely at work, showing it's a host of small things like changes in the tax code and increasing executive compensation, that have added up to the great divergence between incomes at the highest and lower levels. The NY Times has an editorial on the ethics of letting such an income gap continue.

And of course, today I read this blurb. Guess avoiding paying taxes doesn't count into the whole not being evil mantra.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Katy Perry on Sesame Street

Katy Perry sang a duet with Elmo on Sesame Street that caused some controversy. To be specific, her outfit caused some controversy as it shows off more of her cleavage than was strictly necessary.

The song's actually pretty cute, if you can get past the outfit (which I must admit is an outfit I would have worn to dress up in as a kid. It's, uh, kinda ugly). Sylvia loves the song in spite of the fashion. Unfortunately, it's getting harder to find a copy of the song itself on youtube, so I'm embedding it here so nobody else has to wade through pages of entertainment "reports" on the controversy.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

We are so lame

I think about quarterly Sylvia's day care does a parent's night out--basically, inexpensive child care for a date night. We signed Sylvia up for it, which I figured she'd enjoy since she always resists going home when I come pick her up.

The only bad thing...I didn't think about what Derrick and I would do with our evening of freedom. At all. So, we went to Target to pick up a movie and a pizza (which is kind of our default and has been as long as we've been married), and discovered Target doesn't carry any movies we wanted to see or any pizza we wanted to eat. Derrick thought Greek food sounded better than pizza anyway, so we went to another grocery store, but their olive bar wasn't terribly diverse (its contents consisting entirely of olives--go figure) and since Derrick really wanted dolmades, we tried another grocery store. That grocery store wasn't any better in terms of selection and was more expensive, so we picked up a pizza and some ice cream and went home.

Yep, we started out looking for pizza, changed our minds, went to three stores, spent at least an hour and a half, and ended up with pizza. We spent the approximately 45 minutes of our non-shopping alone time scarfing pizza and watching hulu since we didn't manage to identify an acceptable movie (which could be the subject of another post, since that's a problem we've had a lot lately--movies just aren't appealing anymore. But I'll spare you that rant for now) before going to pick up Sylvia. And that was our night.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Almost lost it

I've been helping a college friend out with a project and today was the last day. Most of my help consists of taking pictures of what we're doing. There's not a great spot to set up the camera and tripod, so we've had the tripod legs sitting out in a walkway maybe six inches. That arrangement hasn't been a problem until today, the last day, when someone walked in and tripped over the tripod, sending it spinning and almost crashing into the floor. Fortunately, I was there to save it, but I almost lost my camera! THAT would have been a sad thing. Since I haven't posted any pictures of Sylvia for a while, here are a few of her with her dad in Philly:

Monday, October 11, 2010


Derrick's spent the last three days, or thereabouts, going through his mail-in ballot, deciding how to vote. He's carefully read candidate's statements and pondered the independent analyses of each proposition and come to carefully considered opinions on each of them.

I voted in about a half an hour.

I'm not sure if that indicates Derrick is more careful in his voting, or if it's simply that I have an easier time voting party line and liberal than he does, or perhaps just that I've been exposed to a lot of the arguments during my drive every morning. Any way you cut it, we've both participated in our democracy--something to be proud of.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

I know I'm going to feel gipped

The weather here is not at all what I expected. We had an unusual summer, in that the only week that even resembled a true summer was the first week of autumn. Now we're well into October, and it feels like...October. It's chilly enough Derrick saw his breath yesterday morning--not something I'd expect to see in southern California. I almost feel like I could be in Indiana or Utah, or some other more temperate part of the country right now, anticipating apples and winter squash; potatoes and warm bowls of soup.

I'm sure spending last weekend in Pennsylvania didn't help.

I am amazed at how similar the weather's been in those two cross-country places. Indeed, if anything the weather in PA was nicer since the skies were clear and blue, not overcast and doing everything from spitting mist to really raining.

The difference is, I know I have no winter to look forward to. No crisp winter mornings, with frost coated windows and icicles; no snow; now biting wind chapping lips and hands, and the delicious warmth after escaping. It's all so uncomfortable, but this weather's teasing me into anticipation of that discomfort. Somehow I suspect I'm going to be disappointed with spring rolls around before I've paid my winter dues.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Red wedding

I'm calling this the red wedding since I'm not sure if my friend (M, who married K) want any details of herself and her new spouse up on on teh interwebs. So, to preserve their anonymity, I'm just going to post some of the pictures I took this weekend at their beautiful wedding.

There were two ceremonies--the first Hindu, for the bride; the second Christian, for the groom and his family.