Well it's about time...

Everyone else has been doing it, so why not me. Long, long ago, I learned that often crazier things happen to me than to other people. Maybe this will help me remember them. Even better, I'll finally have a forum to rant, keeping me from screaming on street corners for a few more days.

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Changes upon changes

This has been a very interesting few weeks. I'm not really sure where to begin. Perhaps the best place to start is simple: Today has actually been a fantastic day!

To the outside observer, it might seem a bit curious for me to say that. I spoke with my father today. We haven't spoken in a little over a week. Truth be told, we haven't spoken since, well, he moved into an assisted care facility.

On Valentine's Day, Dad moved into the assisted care facility at Shell Point. We knew this day would come. We knew it would come pretty soon when Pam and I were down in FL for Christmas. He couldn't hide it anymore. It was very obvious. Very obvious. Pam and I were overwhelmed in just the few days there, so we can't imagine what things were like for Mom. So objectively speaking, this was a very good thing.

I was afraid. I was afraid that he was getting railroaded. I was afraid that he wasn't going to be happy. I was afraid that his quality of life was going to be, well, ruined. So we didn't talk since he moved in. I just couldn't face it. It's shameful. But today I called him. I waited until I had an unequivocally good day. My fitbit has already changed the way I interact with my fitness. So in addition to taking a crapload of steps today, I took a spinning class. I saw some friends there, then I went and had some soup at Rev Soup. Then I was ready. I called Dad's new home phone number. He answered, and we talked for an hour. It was great.

He's doing spectacularly well. It was amazing talking to him. He sounds so happy. He's found a community there, and he doesn't feel pressured to not be himself. And you now, the lack of pressure really makes things easier for him. He actually sounded a lot better than he has in at least a year. It's a change for Mom and Dad. A huge change. Obviously. But it sounds like a very positive change. Dad is happier than I've heard him in a long time. He's around people with similar skills and abilities. He's around people who can care for him 24/7. He's part of a community in which he feels he belongs. I can't really ask for more.

So yeah. It's actually been a really great day!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Mass Transit Woes

As always, I'm on the T. This time, however, my T pass has been wiped clean. Completely gone. Good bye, monthly pass.

I'm not sure what's going on. I think my new Harvard ID might be somehow demagnetizing my Charlie Card. This is the second time this has happened in a month. Guess my ass is magnetic!


Friday, September 04, 2009

Back in the swing of things

I'm back in Boston, and things are great! Tim and I are housesitting in Newton. It's a nice place, but it's kinda far from everything. I'm learning some new, complicated bus routes.

I'd been in a funk for a few weeks, with a very relaxing break from it in Europe with Tim. Being in Boston was strange in some undefinable way. Well, it all came to a head last week, and I decided that I needed to get back into volunteering and making myself a better person. And here I am! Today I signed up again for Samaritans! I'm starting in 3 weeks and I'm very excited. It should be the start of what I need.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

University of Minnesota


I'm in snowy Minneapolis. I realized when I landed in the airport here that
  1. I have never been to the MSP airport before! That's another one off my list.
  2. I had never been to Minnesota before. Another thing to check off.
I'm not sure how many states that brings me to. I think I've been to more than half at this point. Well more than half. I might have even hit 2/3. I should make a list so I'll know where I can just avoid in the future.

Not much new on the job front. I have another tentative feeler from a school, but nothing firm. I kinda just want this whole thing to be taken care of. I'm not big on the whole "stress" thing. I know it's still a little early, but I really want to hear more and now.

So why am I in MN? To visit Tyler Lawson! Yup. He got an NSF which included support for collaborator visits, and this includes me for some insane reason. I figure that we will work like crazy people for a couple of days, then I will flit off to San Francisco where I will work like a crazy man for a few more days editing stuff for the Talbot conference proceedings for the tmf workshop. Just as exciting. All this will take up right up to the 23rd, then I arrive triumphant in Louisiana. I'll be there for a few days, and beyond that, I have no idea. Definitely Boston, but I have no plans yet.

I finally finished all my grading, etc. My friend Tai at UVA will drop my grades off for me tomorrow. Now I get to start collecting data for my courses to see how the computer assisted exams fared! It's a little scary. Even if it doesn't pan out, I'm not going to completely abandon the idea. It'll just give me an opportunity to refine the project and see exactly what worked and what didn't. I'm also really releaved that classes are done. Next semester I am teaching a graduate course on computations in algebraic topology. Not to toot my own horn, but this is something I'm really good at. It'll be fun to really play around with things and to get the grad students here up to speed with a lot of the tricks and techniques.

Not much else going on. I have learned some MySQL and PHP (all in the vain hope of making my computer project even better). I think I will use these to refine some of the online tools we used, maybe making them something that UVA can incorporate into their online package. Speaking of that, I had a hilarious run in with their "new" technology. UVA has spent a lot of time and energy rolling out this "Collab" project. It's built on Sakai and it is supposed to be fantastic. Well, it's not all that much better than the previous "Toolkit". In fact, it seems like they put some lipstick and a nice dress on that pig. This one is just "open source" and "scalable". Well, I finally figured out how to add a tool to my collab site to allow me to submit student grades online (and since collab is plugged right into the university systems, this should be easy). No no! The collab "tool" was actually a link to Toolkit's old tool, and after I finished (it was a laborious, multistep process), I had to print everything out and then submit the hard copies. Insane! Yay paperless workplace.

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Thursday, November 20, 2008

Santa Mikeya


I found this photo when I updated Picasa. Turns out there is a lot of stuff on my hard drive that was basically hidden from me due to disuse. Who knew! It reminds me of a happier time when I was some sort of crazy woman to whom Bridget gave alms.

On a happier note, you shoul definitely watch the Shiba-Inu Puppy Cam!. If I ever get a dog, this is the kind I will get. They are just so cute!
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Saturday, October 04, 2008

An Experiment

I'm in DC, and as always, I spent an obscene amount of money today. Can I afford it? Yes. I don't spend money that often in the end. It still made me think.

I'm planning an experiment: for one week, instead of buying things, I'll donate what I would have spent to charity. For another week, I'll send it to ING. Could be a fun reality check.

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Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Tim at the Aquarium

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