Benicia and Straits of Carquinez from the sout [sic] east. [upper] Benicia & harbor from the north west. [lower]
Benicia and Straits of Carquinez from the sout [sic] east. [upper] Benicia & harbor from the north west. [lower], California Lettersheet Collection, Kemble Spec Col 09, courtesy, California Historical Society, Kemble Spec Col 09_B009.

Preparing for total heartbreak at around 1:40 or so. I’ve got the ipad and it’s all charged up.

In the meantime, here’s what the morning was like:

I left late. Lucy, the elderly cat, took a notion to go out and sniff around in the front yard.

The gym was very quiet, which was great, and the locker room, for some reason, was full of feeble old women. Including me, of course. I don’t know what we were doing there.

I forgot my hair brush.

As I walked up the street, after stopping at the drug store to buy a dedicated gym hairbrush, I passed a kid in grey flannel slacks, oxford shirt, tie, blue v-neck sweater, and flip-flops on very tanned feet. Ha!

How lovely that my desk is clean-ish.

All right. Guess I’ll go brush my hair, then.




Oh, the blasted Kiwi’s have done a very nice job. Bah.

Ah, but nice rounding by Oracle.

The Americans have overtaken! But one tack behind . . .

Oh, a great move by Emirates NZ — keeping the starboard tack.

Oh, it’s another f*ing tacking duel.

Oh, oh, oh.

Getting close again. I can’t look.

Oh, I think it’s over —


“The wind did them in.”


Boat races

Camera Roll-2993

Okay, terrible phone pictures (for much better ones just google), but I was there on Saturday.

A and I drove in and walked down to Crissy field. There were a lot of people about — the parking lots were all full, for one thing, and only A’s handicapped tag allowed us to park — but the beach is large enough that it wasn’t crowded. We got there just in time for the start, and had a prime view of the near-capsize. So that was exciting.

Sunday, I stayed home, watched on tv, and tried to organize the books.

I emptied the bookcase by the front door and filled it up again with hiking and knitting books. Emptying the knitting books from the kitchen bookcase meant that all the cookbooks fit there, with the gardening books, and there are none on the floor. That actually is a victory.

However, of course, the pile of books in the kitchen just transformed itself into a pile of books by the front door, i.e. the books that came out of the front door case to make room for the knitting books. I fear I am going to have to go upstairs and work on the fiction bookshelf. Surely I can get rid of some of those to somehow absorb the fiction now in the front door heap. What it comes down to is that I am going to have to get rid of some books. And really, I want to. I don’t want to have so much stuff. It’s just — I got rid of a bunch of Barbara Pym novels long ago and then they all went out of print. So maybe I get rid of things not likely to go out of print? Would it be safe to get rid of Daniel Deronda?

So — but a start has been made, and that’s something.

Camera Roll-2994


Richmond River, Ballina (NSW)
Title: Richmond River, Ballina (NSW)]
Dated: No date
Digital ID: 12932_a012_a012X2445000139
Rights: No known copyright restrictions

M called this morning. Somehow her rain jacket has gone missing and we are under extended negotiations concerning the color of its replacement.

She’s taking some kind of course where she’s supposed to be tracking animals in the wilderness and she saw a weasel, and possibly a woodchuck. She thinks she found the weasel’s den. This astounds me. I know animals live in the woods, but I never have much luck seeing them. I think she may be having one of those rare years when your courses all feed on each other, you’re living with people you like, and you are sharing your studio with the three people you like best in your department. I hope so — what a glorious thing.

Okay. Got to go.

Rowing upstream

Sydney Rowing Club Fours training on the Parramatta River, Sydney
Object number ANMS1288[009]

Went to the gym this morning. Oh why do I ever not go to the gym! I always feel 440% better after I do.

[Because to go to the gym means I can’t lie in bed and then read a book at breakfast, that’s why.]

Stopped for a rosemary pine nut scone between gym and work, too. You may think that sounds a bit odd, but let me tell you it was the most delicious thing I have ever eaten.

Plans to go see the America’s Cup races today fell through. Surely we will go on Saturday . . .

Also, the decision to leave a pair of black clogs at work was a work of genius. Now I wear sneakers to walk in and I have grown up shoes at work! I believe I may not be the first person ever to think of this.

All right — back to work.

Edited to add — Not looking good at all for Oracle Team USA. Okay, I know Larry Ellison is horrible, but it was such a good idea to have the races in SF Bay where you can see them, and I also feel bad for poor old Jimmy Spithill. “You can be a rooster one day and a feather duster the next, mate.” I guess that’s the truth.

Now, then


It has been a busy week, and I suppose things have been accomplished.

I suppose the fact that it feels like the week should surely be over and it’s only Wednesday is a clue.

I am ignoring the significance of the day. There is little to say that has not already been said. And then the predictable disasters that followed. It’s all too sad for words.

I am reading more about Maine archaeology and I find it pleasant to speculate about those settlers in a new land, crossing the Bering Strait, moving east, settling in sandy places near bogs to fashion their spearpoints and eelweirs. Eating surprising amounts of turtle.

Current me would not like to eat eels and turtles, but paleo me probably wouldn’t mind.

All right.

Teeth rattling

[Group of miners]
[Group of miners], courtesy, California Historical Society, CHS2010.238.tif

I feel like I’m having my teeth rattled by the planning for this upcoming conference. Nevermind, I’m sure it will be excellent and no one will know or care whether the table upstairs where books will be sold has a tablecloth on it. Or if [expurgated]’s picture in the program is short a few pixels. It does seem like the work proceeds in flurries — an enormous amount of work to achieve a particular mark, followed by a week or so where you can kind of forget about the whole thing, followed by a numb panic again. Soon it will be over.

In other news, have you read about this gruesome find at an excavation of an Iron Age fort in England? I was reading about it just before I fell asleep last night and it made me wonder if I could stand being an archaeologist. It all seems so interesting, but also a bit creepy. Quite a bit creepy, actually.

Okay, then. Time for lunch.


[Spanish-American War, naval ships, San Francisco Bay]
Preferred citation: [Spanish-American War, naval ships, San Francisco Bay], Burr-Allyne Family Papers and Photographs, MSP 717, courtesy, California Historical Society, MSP 717_165.jpg.
Online finding aid:

Nice weekend after all — on Saturday, a spontaneous dinner outside (it’s the season) with neighbors who’ve been friends for thirty years or so.

Yesterday, a glorious day. We picked (different) friends up before noon to get to the ball game before 1:00. We drove across the new bridge, had excellent seats to watch the baseball game which the Giants won when the beautiful Angel Pagan came back from being injured all season to drive in a run in the 11th inning.

Meanwhile, in the America’s Cup, Team Oracle finally won a race. We followed it on A1’s phone. We even saw the boat go by, afterward, above the wall of the park. Those things are enormous. A2 and I completed the NYT crossword puzzle. I ate a rather delicious brisket sandwich.

The new bridge, by the way, is completely excellent. It’s low and very flat, and you can see over it across the bay. The tower and its stays are really lovely. I was fond of the old bridge, but the new one is a thousand times nicer. You can walk or ride a bike across, too, and lots of people were out doing just that.

We came home in time to have dinner and go to bed. How lovely.

Oh, and apparently, at the cove by the ball park, you can rent little sailboats. I’m going to investigate — they’re little, just big enough for two, and they look like a lot of fun. Apparently, you can rent them at a cafe, although I’m not sure I believe that.