Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Scary Pumpky Fish

Happy Halloween!

Sunday, October 28, 2007


Friday, October 26, 2007

Decisions -- attempt #8

Every time I think I've come to a final decision about my future, i.e. I've put the PhD thing to rest, it rears its ugly head. This has been going on for 2 years now. Getting the clinical MS is very practical, and I'd have lots of job opportunities when I'm done. On the other hand, I think I'd be frustrated by the neurological "whys" in clinical work, yet with no time or support to pursue them. If I instead research the "whys" through a doctorate, the job prospects at the end are much more challenging to find.

I finally decided to get some bona fide input from one of my old professors. She was very supportive and said they'd love to keep me in the department as a doc candidate. Who I'd work under is a bit in the air, but it looks good if I decide to go for it.

Not only that, the MS program I planned to start next fall seems even more rigorous than I thought. In the last 24 hours, 2 moms who know the program well have more or less said be prepared to not see your kid for a few years. I don't think I can do that to August, Ray or myself while August is so little. Ugh.

So while the chips fall into place here and there, I'll continue to mull over the pros and cons and come to some conclusion that feels right. It's so hard to make a decision when there is no clear right answer -- maybe the biggest challenge of being a grown-up.

MS pros
Practical, flexible career opportunities once done (5 pts)
Likely enjoyable work that stays at the office/clinic (4 pts)
Able to contribute to retirement in a few years (2 pts)

MS cons
Super intense time commitment for 2-3 years (not good fit w/ small children) (-5 pts)
Very expensive (-3 pts)
What if clinical work gets old or frustrating? (-2 pts)


PhD pros
Research is fun and exciting mostly (3 pts)
Flexible schedule (good fit for young children) (4 pts)
School paid for plus some income (3 pts)
Can do clinical MS later if need be (1 pts)

PhD cons
Could be challenging finding a job (-3 pts)
What if I don't want to do research forever? (-3 pts)
Will I be able to contribute meaningfully to retirement anytime soon? (-1 pts)


Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Serious babytude

Monday, October 22, 2007


I have always intended to do NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) some November, but I don't think this is the year to attempt it. Instead, I will do NaBloPoMo, as posting each day of November sounds doable. Keeping things interesting will be the harder nut to crack.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Share the friggin road

I am a proponent of commuting via bicycle. I am aware of the cyclists around me and do my best to be a good car-bicycle citizen. But you know what really gets me? Cyclists who do not share the road. I just spent 10 minutes stuck behind two cyclists who used the entire lane down a good portion of California Avenue, riding 20 mph or less. A whole string of cars were backed up behind them.

There is room for both bikes and cars on most streets, side-by-side. Do unto others, dudes, and you'll garner more support for the pro-bicycle position.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Hmm, what to post...

Part I
Obvious tip of the day: I love me some foamy soap, so imagine my delight when I mixed up regular liquid soap with water and put it in my empty foamy soap dispenser (1/3 soap, 2/3 H20). Yah...cheap foamy soap.

Part II

New shoes arriving this week.

Sooz: "Those are not mom shoes."

Me: "I know! Aren't they fantastic!"

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Move over Palmier

On special occasions (not real special occasions, but rather occasions when I'm in the vicinity and allow myself a splurge) I like to get a Palmier pastry at Le Panier near Pike Place Market. I love these pastries because they are buttery and flaky and just slightly sweet. They have just the right amount of low-resistance crispiness. And they go great with a good cappuccino, which they also serve. The Palmier at Le Panier is probably in my top 5 favorite food items in Seattle (ah-ha, good post for later.)

After reading rave reviews for Bakery Nouveau in our local 'hood, I decided I needed to give it a shot, especially the Twice-baked Almond Croissant.

C'est Fou! C'est Magnifique! Stop the presses!

This is an amazing bit of French pastry goodness. The twice-baked part gives is a stunning initial crispness as you bite down, then inside it's moist and has just the right amount of that almond filling, whatever it's called. It's perfection, really, and now I understand why the chef and owner of Bakery Nouveau is "Champion Du Monde de la Boulangerie" (yup, the World Cup of Baking) as of 2005, an apparently highly impressive win amongst the top bakers in the world, including the French.

You're right, this post warrants a photo, but I snarfed the croissant before I realized it was a photo-worthy event. So instead I leave you with a baguette photo, which we'll sample tonight and report back.

By the way, if anyone wants to wander over to West Seattle and meet up for lunch at Bakery Nouveau, they also have some really elegant and tasty-looking French-style sandwiches, not to mention tarts and yes, chocolates made on the premises. (This place has Sheila written all over it!)

UPDATE - The baguette was superb.

Thursday, October 4, 2007


Here's how I thought it would go...

Me: Hi. I'd like to get a new library card, but, um...{quietly} first I have some fines I need to pay.

Library Lady: Oh really. Give me your name and I'll look you up.

LL: {glancing up from the computer with disdain} Well, it says here that you owe us $75 for books never returned, not including interest. {Glances at library patron waiting behind me, and rolls eyes}. Are you prepared to pay such a sum today, ma'am? These fines are more than 10 years old!

Me: {sheepishly} Uh, yes...yes I am. I'm really really sorry. I've been meaning to come in for ages. Actually, uh...I've been out of town for...uh...a long time so I couldn't return the books. Yeah, that's it.

LL: {disbelievingly} Is that so. Well, it's not my first choice, but if you pay right now and we can verify that this check is good, I guess I'll have to give you a card. {Aside to waiting library patron} Can you believe the gall of some people these days? Taking advantage of the library...the LIBRARY of all places! {Grumbles incoherently}


Me: Hi. I'd like to get a new library card, but, um...{quietly} first I have some fines I need to pay.

Library Lady: Oh really. Give me your name and I'll look you up.

LL: {glancing up from computer} I don't see you anywhere here. Is this the name you had your last card under? If you received a notice about a fine, we should have you in here...

Me: No, no. I haven't received a notice in years, I just know I owe you guys money. And the card was under that name.

LL: {warmly} Well, we don't have you in our system at all, so don't worry about it. Let's get you started with a new card.

Me: No, you don't understand. I owe you guys money. I never returned some books. Several books. A whole stack really. I have no idea where they are. Are you sure you can't find me in there somewhere?

LL: Let's check under an old phone number ... nope, you're not there. Don't worry about it...you don't owe anything.

Me: But I do! Um...can I at least make a donation?

LL: Sure, let me go get the head librarian and find out how you do that. But first let me tell you about your new library card...


The head librarian came down, I made my donation and joined "Friends of the Library" to further dissuade the guilt. I was bewildered that this entire event -- one I had been dreading for years -- ended with the librarian saying "No, no, thank you!"

This repentance thing ain't half bad!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

By popular demand

August is just 4 days away from being 2 months old. Ah, those were the days.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

The variable year

I had a birthday last week...another reminder that I don't feel my actual age in the least bit. For several years I felt 23, and now I feel about 27, which goes to show that I am actually aging, just at a different rate than the calendar says.

This is interesting to me because I also remember what age felt like as a kid. Remember when it took forever to get to a birthday, and becoming 15 seemed like eons away? Time really crawled by.

So my conclusion: we start out aging in something like dog-years -- seven years rolled into one -- and as we get older our "years" slow down. I'd say from about 15-25 a "year" is an actual year. Somewhere between 25-30, the calendar starts feeling a little too fast. After 30, it speeds up even more. Right now I think I'm aging about 1/4 "year" for every actual year.

If this continues, I should hit 36 when I'm about 65. Let's hope advances in cosmetic surgery keep step with my theory.