Friday, September 16, 2011


So far in my adventure, physics has become my gigantic boulder—a big red blood cell rolling down the hill (think of me as the stick figure, with stick figure arms pointing straight up running from that energized boulder).  I hear the word physics every day.

 I’m thinking physics is a subject like English grammar. Who cares if it’s potential energy or kinetic energy, just as who cares if it’s restrictive or nonrestrictive? It only matters in English when someone who is in hyper-grading mode gets perturbed about comma usage, and wants to use his or her new red pen to mark up papers. Kick ass content? No, that is not as important as whether or not the comma is there. His 12-year-old son John was hit by a car. Oh My God! There needs to be a comma after son and after John!

 This is how I am feeling about physics. The vessel with a bulge from an aortic aneurysm is ready to blow. Oh my God! Is that potential energy or kinetic energy? 

Monday, August 22, 2011

When an Adventure Earns its Name

Weather. Nebraska has some stormy nights. They aren’t dark though. The lightning is so bright, and so often, one could do the smallest of needle work at 3 am. The storms are anything but quiet. Rain drops turn into gigantic balls of hail. In California, a sound on a roof could be a squirrel or raccoon romping across; but, in Nebraska it is like a million squirrel and raccoon feet are pounding the rooftops in a meth induced frenzy.

These storms would wipe out California because the lightning strikes would set the whole state on fire in two seconds, which is my frame of reference having always lived there. At 3 am, my brain goes into fear mode until I am wide awake, wide-eyed, wondering how soon before we all go up in smoke. Then I laugh at myself. In Nebraska it isn’t the smoke and flames that will destroy, it’s the flying glass and hail that will rip you apart. So watching the storm by standing at the window is one very stupid thing to do. It’s better to find a corner clutching a change of clothes in case I would need to evacuate. I’m so much a California girl. Give me an earthquake any day.

And then after an hour or so, the storm is gone. The air is quiet, the skies are clear, the driveways are dried up. One would think it was all a very bad nightmare if it wasn’t for the tell-tale tree branches, and loosened stones scattered on the ground.

It’s trippy. I kind of would like to return to Cali about now; but, not yet. The adventure has only just officially started.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Road Trip

I had room in my car for my son. I figured he would ask where he could put his suitcase. He agreed to ride with me from California to Nebraska; so the least I could do was find a place for his tiny amount of stuff.  I couldn’t see well enough out the back window with everything in my car. I bit my nails knowing I had to make one more drop off at the storage unit before leaving town.

The trip was uneventful in the dramatic sense. We didn’t have any car trouble, no one thought to break into my car, we ate well, the weather was clear. The event for me was being with my son and having a good time. He never complained. His only request was that when we arrived in Laramie, Wyoming, we go to Pizza Hut.

We were going to stop there for the night, but eating our pizza, we decided to keep driving.  The town was desolate and depressed. The only color among the monochrome of tan dirt was an anachronism: a cowboy riding his horse on the sidewalks.  He wasn’t going to find any saloons though, only a Pizza Hut with kind waitresses, and a family or two enjoying their meal.

Saturday, August 6, 2011


I accumulated too much stuff in the 10 years I lived in one place. So my wonderful life-long friend drove up from her town to help me sort, pack, and move. What an ordeal. But, we dug in and filled many trash bags, boxes for donation, and boxes for storage. By the time I was ready to turn in my apartment keys, and be on the road, I had only a car load of stuff. Still, it seemed like too much.

Now, I will have 2 years to live without many of my things. So far, it’s going okay. I hated that I had to buy hangers because I forgot to pack any, and I had many. But oh well. In any case, I know one thing, I will never accumulate stuff as I did these past 10 years. It really is cathartic. 

Monday, July 18, 2011


Last fall, I knew my life needed to change. I had come to an end in my interpreting career. Budget cuts at the community college were the big exit signs on the freeway.  I couldn’t ignore those flashing arrows. So I began taking some preparatory classes, and I started my search for a program in a new career field: cardiovascular diagnostic sonography. After application processes, I was accepted into a school in the Midwest.

When I tell people what I will be learning how to do, they wonder why I have to go all the way to Omaha to learn “stenography.” A nurse who gave me a few of my vaccinations wondered why the “stenography” school required the same immunizations as nursing students. I have started to say “ultra sound.” Everyone understands me when I say “ultra sound school.” It almost sounds like the school is incredibly grounded. Now that is another sign along the way that tells me: it’s all a new adventure, and relish all it will offer.

This summer isn’t really one I want to do again. I am finishing up the pre-requisite classes while packing up my things to shove into a storage unit, and saying good-bye to a place I have called home for many years.  I will have a couple of boxes of clothes, kitchen things, and my plants in my car on the way out to the Midwest. One car load of stuff will be all I can take with me at this point in the adventure. It’s already interesting.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

My Kid Friended me on FaceBook

Friend is now a verb. For a long time, I carried a quarter in my wallet in case I needed to make a phone call from a pay phone. Now it’s all about signal bars and 4G networks. As fast as technology changes, the farther apart the generations it seems.

But there is one place where we have met: FaceBook. I always hear the kid’s point of view on this topic. How embarrassing it is when a parent comments on their child’s status update regarding the really bad ending of a party the night before. Ack.

We know this side of the story. But what about the parent’s side? I’m not as unworldly as my child wants me to be. After all I was a teen when there were key parties (just in case my child comes across this blog, I want to be clear: I never attended one). Along with the nonsense, there still are many things I don’t want to tell him.

I love all this social networking. In my childhood, letter writing was the only way to communicate. I wrote letters, but hardly anyone took time to write back. When email and status updates came along, I always got instant replies. I loved it from the very start—from the time when I was stuck in the house potty training that child who learned to read until now. Now we cringe in unison over our status updates.

The both of us are in a similar position. We might not appreciate certain aspects of the generations meeting on common ground. I censor my own status updates. Would I want my kid to know that I spent any amount of time with one of his friend's fathers (a divorced or widowed one of course)? Do I want him to see that his teenage years are making me a nervous wreck? These are only scenarios because I won’t dare tell him what I really did on New Year’s Eve. Not that he doesn’t know—I am his predictable mother in spite of everything.

I would never want my child to unfriend me—how embarrassing would that be? In any case, it’s time to begin a list about FB Etiquette for Teens who Have Friended Parents.

1) Always post a flawless Photoshopped picture of your mom with George Clooney.

2)Never tell your parent in a comment that it has been the worst year of your life all because of you.

3) Never ask your parent in a comment if they are stalking your status updates. They are so get over yourself.

4) Once in a while write a brief I love you in a comment. It makes your parents very cool among their friends.

Well, it’s a start anyway.