Sunday, December 30, 2007


Sisters, originally uploaded by Corbie.

The main new thing to enter our house over the holidays was a new computer for the kids. Being new, it's much better than the obsolete one I'm currently using. In the picture, we see a peaceful moment of computer-sharing bliss. This will probably be an exception to an endless succession of arguments over who gets to use it when, but we enjoy the moments of peace when we can. I still wish the kids would spend less time entertaining themselves electronically, but we did get a basketball hoop and a couple of basketballs as well, so hopefully that will provide a little balance around here. Plus, in all fairness, the computer will be a great tool for homework and other educational pursuits.

The year is almost over, and we leave 2007 with the tragic assassination of Benazir Bhutto, as well as the much closer to home escape of a tiger from the San Francisco zoo - an escape that ended the life of a teenager and the tiger. I'm always of two minds about zoos - I really appreciate the educational and conservation work they do, but it is sad to see so many animals in artificial habitats (of course, it doesn't escape me that many of their real habitats no longer exist, or are in danger of disappearing forever under the continued onslaught of the ever-expanding human race). I also can't really talk, because I've got some animals living in artificial habitats around the house. I've been to the zoo several times over the last few years, including the trip Willow and I took on her birthday this year. We probably spent some time looking at the tiger - a tiger that could have at any time jumped over the shorter- than-it-should-have-been wall around its enclosure. Of course, we weren't doing anything to enrage it at the time, as it may turn out to have been the case with this particular incident. The jury is still out on that one though.

The New Year is coming. I'm not sure if this will be my last post of the old year or not. You just never can tell with these things. I generally don't voice aloud any resolutions of any kind, but I always have a few things in mind to quietly work on (or not, as the case often is). We'll just have to see. Right now, I'm feeling lethargic - probably from an overabundance of sleep (how often does than happen these days?) and chocolate. The boys are at a friends house. The girls are watching a dvd, and Jen is at yoga. I've still got a week to go before I get back to work and school, but Jen goes back to work this coming week.

Currently listening to: Susanne Rosenberg "Uppa marmorns hoga berg"

Saturday, December 29, 2007

I've been sleeping in this week, and accomplishing very little. I'll get back up to speed in a week or two, I'm sure, but for the time being I've been enjoying the absence of the ringing of alarm clocks.

I posted the obligatory "best cds of 2007" list over at my rarely updated music blog. Go look at it and disagree with me.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

December Frost Prints

December Frost Prints, originally uploaded by Corbie.

Happy Solstice! Let the light return!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

I went down to "the main office" this morning to keep an appointment to "get processed" for my new permanent position at work. This means that I keep doing the same job, but now actually get benefits (health, dental, vision, etc.). I now make more per hour too (although it is a salaried position), but due to the vagueries of bureaucracy, union dues, and spreading my ten month per year salary out over twelve months, many of my monthly checks will be less than I've been getting. That said, I can elect to not "work" during the summer and still get paychecks for those months. Hmmm.

This whole process has gotten me thinking (again) about how I'm not a practical planner, but more of an optimistic hoper. Things generally work out okay for me, but I've come to the realization that this is because Jen does all the real planning. I'm often mostly talk and little action. It's a problem I'm working on. I think that working my way through the teacher credentialing program will help me with this. Perhaps it already has.

Currently listening to : Stone Breath "Songs of Moonlight and Rain (expanded edition)" It's good to revisit this one.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

It's 45 degrees outside, and raining, with gusts of wind up to 30 mph. I'm pleasantly surprised that the power hasn't gone out up here at camp. I love this weather. This marks the start of the last week of camp for 2007. Then I get some time off from work... so I can work harder at home. At least I'll get more sleep during the upcoming weeks. I'm looking forward to that.

Right now I'm going to go outside and enjoy the cold, darkness, and rain. It's nice.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Orange Morning, originally uploaded by Corbie.

I know everybody with a camera takes this kind of picture, but I couldn't help it. This was the view from camp the other morning. A lot of the kids had their cameras out too. You know it's gotta be beautiful when 10 year olds start taking pictures too. I think this was taken the morning of the day I saw a coyote on the driveway up to camp. Beautiful things happen in groups. I love it when wildlife appears unexpectedly, unless of course the wildlife in question is on top of the cd player, knocking cds to the floor, like the raccoon from a few weeks back. Those raccoons have got to get a life and stop raiding camp for trashcan treats.

This coming week is the last week of work for me this year. It also marks the last week of school for the kids - at least until we all get back to business as usual on January 8th. That's not really that far away, but it seems like it with the holidays in between.

I found out this week that I'm going to be a so-called "permanent" employee soon. It has taken so long to get to that point. There are only a handful of permanent slots, with the rest of the staff filling "substitute" slots, despite the fact that we all work full time - the only difference being that the subs don't get quite as much work as the permanents. Lucky for me, over the last three years there has always been a permanent employee or two who actually needs somebody to sub for them during the times I would otherwise not have work. Those days are behind me now though. I'm the new permanent "evening program specialist," aka "night host." Now I get benefits. I'll probably need them with the reduced amount of sleep I've been getting.

The stress of the holidays is upon us with the realization that, despite the increased cash influx brought about by our family having two employed adults, we still don't seem to have enough money. Oh well.

Oh, I got an "A" for the first term of my teacher credentialing program. That's gotta be worth something.

Also, Jen and I went out together on Thursday night - without any children in tow. I got one of the new "substitute" employees from work to watch the kids. Thankfully, the kids all thought he was great, and he had a similar opinion of them. Jen and I went to the Blogher holiday party in San Francisco, where I finally got to meet a lot of her coworkers. Check out unflattering photos here and here. I'm always bad at going to parties where I don't really know anybody - it brings out my introvert tendencies - but I had fun after awhile, helped by the fact that I did know a couple of other attendees and that the husband of one of Jen's coworkers is also going through a credentialing program. Oh, and there was lots of cheese and chocolate to be had. And good coffee. This brought out my "snack table hovering" tendencies.

Currently listening to: Hrsta "Ghosts Will Come and Kiss Our Eyes"

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

I turned 40 today. The sky is a uniform gray. I'm listening to the new Pantaleimon cd, and the music matches the sky, at least for me. It's a peaceful sort of feeling.

I'm done with my first term (half-term, actually) of school work for CalstateTeach - the program I'm working my way through to get my teaching credentials. I passed the CSET too. I was pretty sure I would, but it's nice to get outside confirmation.

Still lots to do, of course. The holidays don't happen by themselves.