Friday, April 27, 2007

Post #209 - A basic, general, newsy news kind of post.

No pictures. I can't locate a single photo in iPhoto. Will have to see what Mick can scrounge up this weekend.

Busy weeks here, especially with visitors:

*Mike and Jan were here (Mike for 1 week, Jan for 3). You can read about that in previous posts.

*Jason Hickman squeezed in an Easter weekend visit, up from San Diego, complete with Saturday egg hunt with the kids and a Quentin Tarantino movie with Mick.

*My friends Maureen and Jackie flew into SF and spent last Friday, Saturday and Sunday in town. Mick watched the kids so I could be responsibility-free Saturday and Sunday, but our Willow Creek friends helped out, too. Dane and Aubrey spent the night at their friend Jake's on Friday night, and then did t-ball and the Discovery Museum with their friends Nick and Mia all day Saturday. Mick got them for the late afternoon/night, and then they played at Makayla and Garrett's from 1-4 on Sunday. (I'll do a separate post -- hopefully with pictures -- on the activities with Maureen and Jackie.) Mick studied for a Phramacology test.

*My friend Ed (from Fairbanks/Anchorage Gray Line days) came over for dinner the other night. He lives with his wife in SF; they're expecting their first baby next month. He was in Marin on business so he gave a call.

Non-visitor news:
*Dane's got an ear infection, so he missed school yesterday. He's on Amoxycillin now. (Have a feeling he got a little worn out over his busy weekend.)

*Teaching pre-school 4-5 hours a week is easy and fun. Sure beats the prep, essay grading, and conferencing required for teaching college writing courses! (I always hated to think of how my hourly wage diminished there...) Of course, the intellectual stimulation is different, though.

* asked me to review 4 more books: High Fidelity, Now You See Her, Walking the Bible, and Talk, Talk. Have read them in the last few months so it won't be the mad dash to re-familiarize myself with lit I'd read 10 years ago -- like last time.

*Mick and I have maps hanging on our bedroom wall with sticky notes and notebook pages tacked up, starting to think more seriously about where we want to live/practice when he graduates in June '08. (Alright, feel free to cast a vote in the comment box...)


Thursday, April 19, 2007


If you can't post a comment with your regular sign-on name and password, do this:

*Don't fill in any of the optional boxes (like website name, etc.)
*Just type in your text in the textbox -- with Love, Skippy or Chester or Fiona at the end, so we know who wrote it
*And Publish

Let's hope this makes it easier...
My friend Shannon just wrote this:

33 Shot Dead in Campus Massacre

The headline stopped me for a minute when I scanned the online news yesterday afternoon. Then I returned back to my work. I didn’t think about it much the rest of the day ― I was busy writing, I had a couple of client calls, then I transitioned quickly into the usual evening routine with my daughter: dinner, bath, tooth brushing, and bedtime stories. It wasn’t until she was asleep that I thought to turn on the television. I watched the news for about 10 minutes or so, then switched to Jon Stewart. Like me, he opted to repress, focusing instead on jokes about the White House e-mail scandal and Alberto Gonzalez.

Why wasn’t I more upset by what has now been confirmed as the worst shooting spree in U.S. history? I remember when the Columbine murders happened – how disturbing that incident was to me, so disturbing that I felt physically ill. I watched the news for days afterward, unable to believe it had actually happened. But it did happen. And so much more has happened since then. September 11. Genocide in Africa. Daily reports from Iraq of eight dead by a road-side bomb, 20 dead in a market, 100 dead in a mosque.

All enough to numb your brain and your heart.

Motherhood has changed me ― sometimes in ways that I hadn’t expected. Instead of becoming even more sensitive to the tragedies of the world, I feel like I’ve become a little bit harder. I hold these events at an emotional distance ― not because I don’t care, but because it’s how I get by. Otherwise, I just couldn’t step up to making chicken fingers and reading Harry the Dirty Dog on a day when 33 mothers got the worst news possible. Somewhere, something bad is going to happen tomorrow, too. But I like to think that there will also be babies born and lives that are saved and long-awaited reunions. I have to believe that there is some kind of balance.

I say a prayer for those 33 families. Then I look at my daughter and say a prayer that she will always be safe and happy, and that all the other daughters and sons, brothers and sisters and moms and dads will be, too.

Logically, I know that this is a tall order. But it’s my small way of trying to balance out the headlines.

By Shannon Matus-Takaoka

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Coffee with Grandad

The rest of us were at school -- Mick at dental school, Dane at kindergarten, Anjie at pre-school (teaching) -- so Aubrey and Mike went for some "coffee" together.

There, they worked on drawing a family baseball game (the big craze around our home) and took a self-portrait.

his (Mike's) sketch -- with Aubrey's help

her (Jan's) cut-outs -- with kids' help

Thursday, April 12, 2007


The goal is to get out with our fellow Willow Creek family friends on Friday nights a couple times a month -- now that the weather's sunnier. This is at our nearby Schoonmaker beach in Sausalito, great for impromptu bbq's or pizza delivery.

above: Dane and buddies, Marcus and Nick
above: Renee, Lu and Amy (and Marcus and Nick)
above: Mick and his dad w/ Mark, Chris and Pat
above: Mark and Luke
above: Mia, Aubrey and Makayla
above: Mia and Aubrey
above: Garrett

We've done several dinner/group activities with these terrific families: the Trotters (Lu, Mark, Marcus and Luke), the Lees (Pat, Renee, Makayla and Garrett), and the Kreuger/Pertschuks (Chris, Amy, Mia and Nick). The kids and parents always seem to have a blast. Last weekend we met at Corte Madera for a bbq; when the weather in Sausalito was windy and cold, the 10 minute drive north put us back in sun and warmth.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

An Activist In The Making?

The Writing Mamas published another blog of mine. Aubrey's recent hospital stay stretched me to think a little more politically, which shows up in "Emergency," the April 11 blog at

I wrote another call to action blog for the Writing Mamas on April 4, but you'll see I was just getting warmed up at that point.
Mick's officially halfway through dental school -- that's what his dance moves were saying anyway back in February.

Friday, April 06, 2007


Arrived at 8:30 to avoid the tour crowds, hiking (a gentle hike) out to Cathedral Grove and back.

Muir Woods is an ancient coastal redwood forest, a short 20 minute drive from our home. It's a great place to walk leisurely with kids (a couple miles round trip) and it's a cool place to jog hilly trails when I'm solo. (I jogged the Upper Hill Trail there just yesterday while Jan and Aubrey took pictures and walked below.)


Mike and kids at fallen tree.

Flower photo for Aubs.

Kids at an ancient redwood.

Mick and Anj self-portrait.

Grand-parents and grand-kids.

Mick, Anj, Dane and Aubs.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Sunday, April 01, 2007

'That Bike' To Air!

My 2-minute Perspectives commentary, "That Bike," will air on the Bay Area's NPR station, KQED (88.5 FM), the following dates and times:

Monday, April 2nd at 6:07 a.m., 7:37 a.m., and 11:33 p.m.
Saturday, April 7th at 7:37 a.m.

Listen to it live
*in the Bay Area on your radio at 88.5 FM, or
*at by clicking on the yellow "Listen Live" icon and then selecting a "stream" (I usually choose RealPlayer but your computer might be set up to use another).

Listen to it at on the Perspectives Archives (or search for Perspectives, click on the Perspectives A-Z home link and eventually you'll see info on the archives). "That Bike" will be available this way after it has aired at the 7:37 a.m. time.