Yes, well.

I think I left you with a rather mysterious post.

It was describing Ironman, but it sort of described how we feel about action movies anyway. For us, it’s the downtime that matters. We don’ really care all that much about the action.


It’s still summer, and we still haven’t figured out how to cope with it, except I’ve decided to take mornings off. For this week and next, anyway. Then M comes home, and all bets are off again.

Also, next week, we’re taking in a Spanish exchange student, which should be fun. We’ve ben preparing by watching Spanish movies.

Also, maybe we should go up to Maine a bit early and take a kayak trip.

Okay. Now I have to do some stuff.



I found the post below in my draft folder. I’m not quite sure where I was going with it, but …

N and I had a funny conversation last night, which I’m not going to be able to remember. I came in and she was watching Pulp Fiction on tv. I sat down, and we had a conversation. I asked her what the name of a movie was (I was describing Grindhouse) and she quoted something about how someone liked the — something, downstory? backstory? of some movie — possibly Grindhouse.

Actually, it was a review of Ironman of the sfgate site, which said:

Because of Downey, the downtime is even more enjoyable than the action — his constant stream of one-liners, which seem like ad libs, are a highlight.

For some reason, we both thought it was funny, but also very apt, or useful, anyway.

Now I have to go —

It’s late

and N is out at the boy friend’s. K has gone to bed, and I’m actually a little lonely.

I should go up and go to bed. N will be home soon enough. She works early-ish tomorrow.

We’re in a strange waiting mode around here. M is off having a great time. Then she’ll come back and we’ll have another month before we go east. She’ working as a camp counselor, and then taking a riding camp, but I think it’s going to be a let down to be hanging around here. I’m almost thinking of sending them east a week early. They could hang out with my mom — I think it would be fun.

Then we have college hanging over our heads. N is diligently plowing through all the stuff she has to get done. I think she’s in a state of waiting to leave, trying to enjoy her last months here, trying to get bored enough to face a change, trying to not be bored — confusion. We do have to get her room cleaned up so that it will be possible to pack.

Although, there is mail service, and she will be home at Thanksgiving.

It always just takes a while, though, to get used to summer and to find a rhythm.

In walking around the neighborhood, lately, I keep running in to parents and their children — little children, and it makes me sad, now that my kids are going away, that I didn’t stay home with them when they were little, and that I’m not around more with N now. I am well aware that if I had stayed home, I might very well regret that, too, but — there it is.

Okay. Off to bed.


Still having that feeling. It’s early — I’m going to slip out and go to the pool, go to work for a bit and then slip home.

I think I especially feel like this is the last summer before N goes away, and I really want to spend it hanging out with her.

And cleaning my closet.


I’m afraid that’s all I’ve got …

Sigh again.

Also, I really miss M. I think she’s having a good time though, which is great —


Okay, so I’m at work now, which seems grossly unfair. I don’t know why, but I have such a strong feeling this year that it is summer, and that I should not have to be at work.

To be honest, I think I have this feeling every year.

I went swimming last night. It felt great. I should do it more often.

And, I’m reading The Bishop’s Daughter, by Honor Moore. It’s good —

And now I think I need some lunch.



I survived:

my birthday (Thank you everyone, and thank you, Lass, for the amazing package. I can’t wait to use the hippy soap! I still have not taken our book to the post office. The post office seems to exert some strange magnetic repulsion on me. I can’t explain it. Well, I guess I could.)

waiting 4 days to hear that M has made it to Italy and is alive. Here, I will post in full the message we finally received from her:

hey mom i just got a computer and i dont have a phone card or know where a pay phone is. im alive though and none of my stuff got lost or anything. pompeii was pretty but dry an i liked sorento but i like siena more. my homestay is a nice old lady whit two cats and a dog named yoko like yoko ono except i dont know how to spell that. ok ciao haha


N’s graduation party, which was actually amazingly fun. I was worried, because the guest list was composed purely based on whether people knew N. I tried to make sure people would know at least some other person, but then people couldn’t come, so there were some stragglers — but it was fine, great actually. The thing about giving a party is that sometimes you are so busy, for instance, grilling the meat, that you can’t go hang out with people. Sometimes I actually like that part, but this time, there was a table full of people who had not really known each other before who were all gabbing away, and I really wanted to go sit with them. I finally did — but it was like that. And K’s cousin showed up early (thank god) and helped us decorate cupcakes and hang decorations. It was the kind of party where someone you don’t know very well ends up helping with the grilling, and two other people you don’t know all that well manage to find the ketchup and mustard in the refrigerator (a miracle under any circumstance) and it turns out that your friends M and KP actually know a very good friend of G’s mother F, and it turns that you actually know her ex-husband. A lot of it had to do with the fact that B is actually, when you come down to it, a really small town (and you’ve lived here for 28 years), and also that parents often have parenty type things to talk about, and that nice people are nice and they’re nice to talk to.

Also, in another moment of planetary alignment, N’s friend AA’s whole family, including her older sister, came, which meant that my friend A’s son S (who is now a college man) had someone to talk to. The sister, Harriet, is a senior at U of C, writing her thesis on Venetian politics in the 1600s, and also a pretty lively girl, and S is interested in history, plus also goes to a small college in Illinois — so it was just great. All the kids ended up around the firepit, and K’s cousin A went back and forth between the kids and the grown-ups, since he is just about in between us, agewise.

So anyway, I think it was a success. It was blistering hot, too, which added an element of shared suffering, which was good.

Now, I think you’ll be please to know, I’ve mopped the kitchen floor. And done a lot more gardening. And I’m reading a book about Venice, City of the Falling Angels. I like his books, although I don’t know why. I think they’re sort of Vanity Fair books — they’re about interesting places, and he takes you behind the scenes to meet the people who are locally important. They’re the sort of people I would never hang out with — not being a member of society, myself, and it’s like that, “society,” as though it’s the only one. But they’re sort of interesting to eavesdrop on. The books sort of pretend that they have a story, but they really don’t. Good summer reading, somehow.

How I love summer.

Oh, and it turns out that one of my local bookstores is closing. This is so sad — and sort of unbelievable. They’d just moved. I think if they could have hung on for a while they might have made it. I just got an Italian dictionary for M there. I think they were probably the only place in town, except the campus bookstore, which has wierd hours, where I could have done that. Huh.

Okay. Got to go —


Indeed, it is my birthday.

I’m staying home from work. The washing machine is broken, and by fortuitous chance, this is the day they could come. Voila — I had to stay home.

It’s already 10:30 (and he’s already fixing the machine), so I think I need to think about what to do.

We’re having a little party for N’s graduation tomorrow, so I want to think about that a little. And N gets off work at 7, so I think we’ll have dinner then, and then perhaps celebrate the solstice (which sometimes falls on my birthday!) with a bonfire in the back yard. I am hoping that someone (N!) will make me a cake.

And that’s it, which is actually just the way I like it.

Anyway, I’m 49. (!!) And I guess I’m a Gemini, Claudia, but since I’m on the cusp, I imagine I do have Cancer-like qualities. Which really just leads to more Gemini qualities, if you think about it. For instance, I like to travel, but I also like to stay home. Is that a Gemini/Cancer split? Or just the two sides of Gemini? (You can tell I have devoted some thought to this matter.)

The weather has been so summery here. It’s hot, and it’s been hot. I went out in search of a book at 9:00 last night. I have the amazing fortune of being able to walk to 4 bookstores. The closest was closed. The second did not have what I needed. The third was also closed. (Bookstores should not be closed at 9:00 at night — and in fact, the open ones are the ones which are in better shape financially, I think. None of these are chains, by the way.) The fourth had exactly what I needed and more! But the striking thing was that it was so warm out that people were out. It’s often not warm out at night here, which is good for sleeping, but not good for being out an rambling. So I rambled, and passed probably a hundred people who were also rambling.

Today is also warm. I’m going to finish my coffee, confront my lists, and start my day.

Maybe I’ll do a load of laundry!

(That sounds so mundane, but I’m sure many of you can imagine the exquisite pleasure of starting a load of towels in a just-repaired washer that won’t shake or complain. I could hang them out to dry, and probably will, but I could also stick them in the dryer which is now lint-free, and whose latch will not pop open just after I’ve gone downstairs so that when I come back 40 minutes later nothing has happened. It’s exactly the bliss one gets when the laundry closet is not full of sheets smashed in where the washcloths belong, or when one opens a cupboard and a half-eaten box of crackers does not fall out, spilling crackers and crumbs all over the floor you’ve just swept. Bliss!)

K is home and up to something. Hmmm.

Okay — got to go.

Oh, and by the way, we watched the little airplane cross the Atlantic, pass just below the British Isles, chug diagonally across France and then stop on Rome, where it landed and its passengers disembarked. More than this we do not know, but just this was good news. Apparently now she’s in Sorrento, either sleeping or exploring Pompeii. Or exploring Pompeii while wishing she was asleep, which is sort of a shame. Anyway. She’s there.


M got packed, and driven to the airport, and we even managed to see her piano teacher’s photos which are up at a local cafe before we left.

There were some hysterics toward the end, when N came into M’s room and started harassing her. Odd how that is.

And I’m following her flights on line. How sweet — I can watch the little airplane fly across the country. I have yet to see it fly across the ocean because apparently they left late — but at least she made it to the meeting place and was collected by the responsible adult. This is a lot less harrowing than N’s flights, which inevitably had her transferring via some trolley at Heathrow all by herself at 3:00 in the morning. Knock on wood.

Anyway. I did not sleep a whole lot. M went to bed, but I stupidly stayed up to watch a movie with N, and now I think I’m going to fall asleep in my chair.

Perhaps I’ll go.

Actually, now I am imagining her sitting out on the tarmac for 3 days.



So. Now it’s Monday. Summer has begun, and it is, appropriately enough, cold and foggy.

Welcome to summer in B3rk3l3y.

People often imagine that California is warm and sunny, and maybe parts of it are.

Actually, it gets warm and sunny in September, just in time for everyone to go back to school.

Anyway. I’m off to work, although I am really dragging my feet. The house is a disaster, and I’d actually like nothing more than to spend the week really cleaning it.

But if I go to work today, I can take off tomorrow and part of Wednesday to get M ready for her trip, and then Friday, I think, to get ready for the party on Saturday.

N has already started her job —

Feels like the shifting of tectonic plates.

All right — I’m just dragging my heels here.

I really do love summer.

Graduation was insane. There are something like 800 kids in N’s class. It went from 5:30-8:30, because in addition to calling everybody’s name, anyone who auditioned was allowed to speak, play, dance, sing — which is so typical of LUPS. It was long and boring and fantastic and great and endless and long. And loud. Toward the end you could see the huge streamers of fog rolling in.

And now it’s over.