Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

thought about my students

Tuesday, September 14th, 2010

They get younger every year. The school where I teach doesn’t have much of a ROTC program (if there is one at all), but I always look around and wonder if any of them will end up at war. I always ask who among them knows someone who is deployed right then, and the number of hands has steadily increased over the years. Last year a student’s boyfriend was leaving for his first deployment during our term.


Monday, September 13th, 2010

The diary always helps during deployments. I doubt K keeps one, but, it’s amazing how much time you spend thinking about someone when they’re away doing this sort of thing. The diary helps remind you of that.

bought cake mix

Sunday, September 12th, 2010

Preparing for cake in a jar.

Ended up with carrot cake + cream cheese frosting in a tube!

reflected on things that have happened on September 11, in addition to the obvious ones

Saturday, September 11th, 2010

This has very little to do with K, but, lots has happened on 9/11s past. My partner S’s birthday, for one. My grandfather’s funeral last year, for another. In 2001, sept 11 was all about wondering what to do with my roommate’s dad, since he couldn’t fly home. Since then I’ve learned I knew at least 2-3 other people who were wandering SFO that day, although we never crossed paths at the time.

9/11 cast a huge shadow over K’s commissioning, which could have been so mellow and optimistic.

care package philosophy

Friday, September 10th, 2010

Read this short piece about care packages in the Atlantic. A disappointing conclusion, but I like the part about cookies:

But it’s a rare soldier who, upon opening a package and finding a bag of squashed-up homemade cookies, wouldn’t grin. That wouldn’t be human.

The rest of the article detailed some of the bizarre things people send over, like 40 AARP magazines. Sounds like people just transfer things from the goodwill pile into an any soldier box!

wondered about fruits

Thursday, September 9th, 2010

wandering around 99 ranch, I wondered about fruit in Qatar. Where does it come from? Does any of it grow there? How? I know pomegranates are big in Afghanistan. Our neighbors have tons of pomegranate bushes. The fruit tempts me every year.

mailed more

Wednesday, September 8th, 2010

Wind, Sand and Stars is a great book. All pilots & non-pilots should read it.

assembled next package

Tuesday, September 7th, 2010

including this clever microwavable brownie mix, which i hope will be indestructible yet edible. ? we’ll see.

lots of driving

Monday, September 6th, 2010

K & I share a love of the road trip. He used to do it more when he was living in Arizona. I don’t drive around as much as I used to, but today driving back from Lake Tahoe (in an unconventional way to avoid horrible holiday traffic), I remembered what a really long drive can do. Sort of an altered state.

thought about big snow

Sunday, September 5th, 2010

Tahoe has these poles that say “FH” on top, so you can find the fire hydrants under tons of snow. I had never seen those before, even though I grew up in Colorado, where we get plenty of snow.

Anyway, spent a lot of time imagining snow, imagining various roads being closed, remembering how when I visited K in Flagstaff this huge kind of unseasonal snowstorm followed me there.

lake 1: Tenaya Lake in Yosemite

Saturday, September 4th, 2010

Went swimming in Tenaya Lake, thought about Qatar’s “inland sea.”

porch reading

Friday, September 3rd, 2010

by proxy:


Thursday, September 2nd, 2010

away for next few days. either i’ll manage to update from my phone or there will be an onslaught of posts upon my return. Meanwhile, there is always the flickr feed.

made chocolate chip cookie dough, accepted impossibility of butter

Wednesday, September 1st, 2010

Latest care package comment: “it was a very nice gesture.” That means, cookies were either rotten or inedible!

So, sadly, this cookie dough will be just for me.

Next baking adventure will be cake in a jar, made with a mix that only requires oil.

deleted spam; pondered future actions

Tuesday, August 31st, 2010

A day of website maintenance and mulling over what to do next.

More than half of these actions have been total surprises. Some of them I knew I would do and I knew those activities would be directly inspired by or would remind me of K (care package prep, for example). But other stuff has been surprising. The pillows, the proxy Back to the Future, even finishing the book, I hadn’t thought about the relevance of that stuff before I did it.

cups of tea

Monday, August 30th, 2010

In addition to sleeping, eating, and reading, there is a good chance K & I are both drinking tea every day.

I did a daily tea project in January and I promised myself this wouldn’t become another one, but today was such a perfect day for tea.

This is my lovely red rooibos bag.

finished pillows. thought about sleeping on the plane.

Sunday, August 29th, 2010

Finished three neck pillows filled with buckwheat hulls.

Anything to do with planes reminds me of K; & our very different plane experiences. My experience of air travel is always restful, sleepy, and now maybe more comfortable.

watched The Most Dangerous Man in America

Saturday, August 28th, 2010

Thinking about war, civil disobedience, papers.

finished a book

Friday, August 27th, 2010

Aside from sleeping and eating, the only other thing I’m absolutely sure K & I do on a daily basis is read.

baking research:cake in a jar

Thursday, August 26th, 2010

figured out the next baking adventure, & looked around for jars:

Cake in a Jar

Get wide-mouth canning jars (pint size). You can find them at Walmart, other stores, or online.

Boil the jars to sterilize.

1 (18.25 oz.) package cake mix (you can use ANY cake recipe instead of packaged)

8 jars with lids and rings

1. Make the cake according to the package instructions or recipe

2. Grease the jar. Put 1 cup of batter in each jar and keep the rims of the jar clean. (I fill mine up 1/2 way–try one first before you make all of them so you know how far to fill)

3. Place jars on cookie sheet on rack on the oven (to prevent them from tipping over). Bake for 30-35 minutes or until toothpick comes clean

4. While baking, boil jar lids in a pan of water ( I do rings too, but I’m anal)

5. When cake is done, take one jar out at a time and cover with hot lid. Screw on jar ring tightening it slightly.

6. The lid will seal as it cools. Listen to hear them “ping” as they seal. But if they don’t, wait until completely cool and then press on the top of the lid. If it doesn’t move at all, it’s sealed.

7. As the cake cools, it will pull away from the jar slightly. That’s ok. It just means that it will slide out of the jar easily.

8. Unsealed jars should be stored in fridge and eaten within 2 weeks. Sealed jars can also be stored in freezer; however, they should last sealed and unrefrigerated for quite a long time.

9. DO NOT FROST cake in the jar! Send frosting along.

10. Make sure you wrap the jars well (bubble wrap’s preferable, but wadded newspaper or clothing and other items will pad it too).

I’d suggest that you do a trial run of cake in a jars before you decide you’re going to send them. Try ONE jar in the oven before you fill the rest. If you don’t do this, you won’t know how far to fill them and could end up underfilling or overfilling them. If they’re slightly overfilled, mash the lid on top and screw the ring down. It’ll seal and be just fine!

Don’t forget a plastic knife (or two) for the frosting and some plastic forks.

You might want to send instructions on how to get them out–unseal, tap gently, pour out. Or the guys can eat them right out of the jar.

from, where there are tons of great baking tips!

contemplated a long contract

Wednesday, August 25th, 2010

After the last of my 2009-10 job application rejections (for a brilliant 2 year postdoc in London), I spent some time staring at the wall and wondering what it would be like to be looking at 10-12 years in the same job, as K did when he entered the Air Force.

sent cool breezes to Bahrain

Tuesday, August 24th, 2010

Our first stifling hot night this summer.

Homemade AC=wet sheet over the bed.

Glad for the four poster.

K. reports today was 114 and humid.

noted weather confluence

Monday, August 23rd, 2010

ate sun-warm strawberries

Sunday, August 22nd, 2010

A sizable harvest today!

Not possible in the desert. Wish it were.

noticed first wrinkle

Saturday, August 21st, 2010

at the corner of my mouth, a “smile line.”

Noticed my first grey (actually white) hair at K’s commissioning in 2001.


sorbet: 64 / 93

Friday, August 20th, 2010

Enjoyed homemade peach sorbet. Recipe, from Millennium cookbook, is extremely simple: peaches, basil, handful of fructose, water. Blend and put in ice cream maker.

Imagined how it would taste in Qatar, where, early in the morning, it is 93 degrees. 64 here.

watched Back to the Future

Thursday, August 19th, 2010

Went to outdoor screening of Back to the Future complete with a Delorean from the sequel.

This is one of what I hope will be several proxy actions, doing something K would want to be doing.

liger research

Wednesday, August 18th, 2010

Spent some time learning about ligers today after a chat with K yesterday. Did you know that ligers:

Are humungous?
Are sterile if male, but can birth sterile babies if female?
Are sociable like lions?
Like to swim like tigers?

thought about dead zones

Tuesday, August 17th, 2010

Walking to the bank, I thought about “dead zones,” in deserts, in the Gulf, around the world. I had a quick cup of coffee with Eben Kirksey the day I started this blog and we talked about bringing Starvation Seeds to an exhibition in New Orleans later this year–one of the main themes is “Dead Zones.” Found several dead zones between my house and the bank. Lots of mysterious asphalt topography lately, as my street is torn up and reassembled by the water company.

Desert food | Food desert: piñon, prickly pear, stinging nettle, date palm, milkweed, thorn acacia

contemplated vacationing in Qatar

Monday, August 16th, 2010

This week has been characterized by endless indecision about where and whether to go on vacation over Thanksgiving. Today I took a moment and found the answer: Qatar! An article online inspired me to check airfares (only $850!) and google this weird oyster/pearl sculpture/fountain.

What’s better than a vacation near family?