Sunday, September 30, 2007

The Kid's Got A Record

Dane got hauled in on his way to the Giants game with his buddy Josh the other night.

Josh's dad is a Federal Officer in the Presidio.

As always, click on the pic to enlarge the image.
Happy Anniversary, Mema and Poppa!
from Anj, Mick, Aubs, Dane (and Gia!)

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Aubs and her little pal, Gia.
YOSEMITE - 9.22.07 & 9.23.07
Left Sausalito on Saturday morning around 9. Realized that with the forecast of rain and thundershowers in Yosemite, we might not need to high-tail it there with an early start. It took us about 5 hours and plenty of Pirate's Booty, carrot sticks, H2O and Jelly Bellies.

We had no idea what we were going to see. Didn't really know much about El Capitan and Half Dome. After looking up from the valley to these miles of sheer cliffs -- carved out millions of years ago by glaciers -- we figured out how Yosemite got its reputation. (Our friend Erik Otterholt climbed El Capitan one summer, sleeping overnite hanging from hooks in something like a hammock. Now that we've seen it, our admiration for his climbing has grown from big to HUGE.)

Once we got in the park, we went straight to Bridal Veil Falls, where Aubrey described the water coming over the edge as "dusty" -- water's low, of course, at end of summer. Apparently, I didn't even take a picture of it.

Dane keeps warm in the cold.

Dane took this one. (above)

Rock star in the tent at Curry Village while the rain came down. It was dreamy to have the heater that night. Sure, we were supposed to be roughing it, but sleeping in a wet 40 degrees doesn't top my list.
We brought our bikes and rode through the valley the next morning. Major puddle cruising first, and then we hit the trails.Mick and Dane ahead of Aubs and me.

Mick over my shoulder.

Aubs over my shoulder.
She intentionally styled her helmet hair for the "unicorn" look.

Dane rides alongside.

At the sandy beds of what was Mirror Lake this summer.

Can't wait to return.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

School Pictures

For those of you expecting school pictures of the kids, be prepared to see "Proof" and a copyright date across them. When did school pictures come to this? Package J really slays me.

Package A
16...1/2 wallets

Package B

Package C

Package D

on down to

Package J


Package M

Granted, they're a classy outfit,, but whoa...

PS This isn't a plea for money from the grandparents. It's a rant!

Friday, September 21, 2007

Click on this: Curry Village Yosemite and you'll see where we're camping tomorrow night. We're staying in a "tent." Weather there is supposed to be stormy tonight, rainy Saturday, and sunny on Sunday.

Tonight Dane's going to a Giant's game with his buddy Josh, and Josh's sister Abby is spending the evening with Aubrey at our house.

Mick and I will be packing/planning for Yosemite. We've never been! We're bringing bikes! We leave in the morning at 7!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

ANOTHER Finals Week for Mick

Mick's taking his last two finals today. This means he's completed Summer quarter of his third year, leaving only Fall, Winter, and Spring quarters before his June '08 graduation.

He's still feverishly scheduling patients, working to perform all the test cases he needs to complete in order to graduate.

During his week off, we plan to wakeboard one day, possibly up at Lake Shasta, and maybe hit Monterrey and the Aquarium with the kids. I'm guessing Mick's plans probably just extend this far: go on lots of bike rides and take lots of naps. (Not necessarily in that order.)

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Here's a slalom board my buddy Justin made for me. Somehow in the midst of all our action at school and studying at home, he finds time to make some amazing boards. Hint... no kids.

He hand laminated the 9-ply deck, then fiberglassed both the top and bottom, then painted the red/orange bottom with the bird, then finally sanded and added 3 more coats of epoxy resin. He's doing for fun what I used to do in college to earn my degree in plastics engineering... I added the grip tape (check out my homage to his artwork that I cut into the grip tape) and the rest of the parts.

Anj posted a video awhile back of me riding. We found a hill in SF that is fairly newly paved and is residential enough that we can run stop signs without fear of traffic. Of course, we look for traffic, there's just not that much of it. It's about 24 blocks worth of fun, with a view of the Pacific the whole way, then we catch a Muni bus at the bottom and get a ride back up. It's like skiing without the cold...

Wednesday, September 12, 2007


That's their motto, not mine, but I think it works.

I've been doing some contract work for Zooni since June; here's my official (and honest) review, posted on several websites:


With names like Puppy Love, Leo the Lion, Firecracker and Kate's Moss, it's obvious that, a company created by a sister team in San Francisco, is having fun with their hats.

But it doesn't just go as far as the names, they've hit the other biggies, too. They get points for their eco-friendly, kid-friendly, handmade materials, and for donating a portion of profits to national and international children's charities.

Okay, that's all terrific, but, of course, the real question is: How do the kids like them?

Well, let's just say that when my girlfriend mailed my 5-year-old daughter the Panda Monium hat, my daughter squealed. She squealed and begged to put it on and ran to the mirror. She loved the super-soft yarn that gives the hat a fuzzy feel, but mostly she loved that she could see the panda ears as if they were her own and that there was a cute little panda face on the back of her head. It was a huge hit.

That was last month. Since then, she's worn it to the beach on a few windy evenings, and, come winter, I know she'll be wearing it often. (And I'm glad -- it makes everybody smile to look at it.)

This hat looks adorable on a 5-year-old, but I'll admit I also can't wait to give one as a shower gift for a baby or as a birthday gift for a toddler. At $30- $40, these hats make a unique statement, especially if you know a kid (or parent!) who's really hip or spirited -- and picking out the perfect style could be half the fun.

(If you've read this far and you like the product, go to www. with this coupon code, LUVZOONI, for a 15% discount.)

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Six Years Ago

Six years ago, hijacked planes were flown into the Twin Towers in New York, the Pentagon in Virginia, and into a quiet field in rural Pennsylvania.

I was in Washington state, pregnant with my daughter, and my son wasn’t even a year old. I remember crying throughout the day and listening to NPR round the clock, wide awake through the dark and long hours of the night.

I couldn’t stop thinking about those voices in the rubble, silenced to a concrete and fiery death. I couldn’t stop thinking about the victim’s families: how they were thinking about the violent deaths of their loved ones, how they dared to hope for rescue, and how they all had to consider what the years ahead had to hold for them without that loved one.

I remember feeling sad and angry and scared for these people; I remember feeling that way for myself.

For the hours and days and weeks following the attack, my mind went to escape routes, shelters, to visions of myself protecting my children at all cost. What if I had to hole up in my house while foreign troops circled the perimeter? What if I had to flee to the hills with a blanket and a can of beans? How would we survive? On grass and berries and rabbits I’d snap in two with my bare hands? How would I even cook them?

I envisioned getting ahold of a gun, and played over scenes of violence and fury and desperation, where I went to my death protecting my children. Sometimes I was a lone sniper, picking off attackers; at others, I was stealth with a knife or a club. But none of these were safe or real options. I knew that.

I knew if I were being attacked, if my home was being invaded, my chances would be slim. I wondered if mothers in war-torn countries kept a small vial of poison to dab under the tongues of their children, and then their own, to avoid the prospect of torture. My mind went to that horror.

I don’t want to write these things, because to write that I’ve thought them is to wonder if I’d do them. 9/11 called into question my sanity, my sense of safety, my strength, and even the darkness of my own beating heart

Sunday, September 09, 2007


Aubrey stood next to the teacher's aid all of recess. When Miss Lisa told Aubrey she should run out and play with the other kids, Aubrey said, "No thanks. I want to be first in line when you blow the whistle."

Update: Aubrey plays with the other kids at recess now (especially Giovanna), but she still manages to be in line right after the whistle blows.

The other day, she lost sight of Miss Lisa and got scared and started sobbing, even though there were plenty of other kids on the playground, including Giovanna. We're talking through that.

Friday, September 07, 2007


This post's format is a mystery to me, but that happens on the Mac. No sweat. You can figure this out. Here are the clever headings that should accompany these photos: Hangman - Star Wars/Marin style, Snacks with the turtles, Kayaking with Uncle Kai, and Kayaking with Dad.

By the way, I took the kayak out on Wednesday while everyone was in school. (I start school/teaching next week.)

What was there: silence, stillness, diving pelicans, a seal, a breeze drying my lips and standing my arm hairs up, a boat called Great White.

What was left of 'there' when I got home: salt streaks on my legs, sand on the floor, and the memory of the kayak spin-out, where you quit paddling and your kayak turns itself half-way around with a soft whoosh -- that slower, but just as satisfying, version of a teenage tire skid.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007


*Un-Brella by Scott E. Franson -- This book is a visual delight. The author is a graphics design professor at BYU and he definitely knows his stuff. (LDS pals, be sure to check it out!) The story is completely visual, with absolutely no text, and the kids continually get a thrill out of "reading" it out loud to me. The gist of the story is that a little girl has a special umbrella that creates weather under it that is the opposite of the actual weather -- so she wears a swimsuit in the snow and makes a sunny path of green grass and flowers wherever she walks, etc., etc. It's simultaneously gorgeous and cute.

*The Octonauts & the Only Lonely Monster, by Meomi (and Oliver Chin). I checked this one out because Oliver Chin, the publisher (and writer?) is speaking at an upcoming conference I'm attending. This book is fabulous. It's incredibly innovative with appealing characters that conjure up Hello Kitty or Pokemon without the mass market/cult following. The story is sweet and adventurous, focusing on individualism and friendship; the art is exciting; the presentation is sometimes daredevil. Like that last description? What I mean is that they take risks. For example, four pages are devoted to the octonauts and the lonely sea creature traveling to extreme places underwater on the planet -- so when they go south, the two-page spread is upside down. This is confusing and funny, especially when you turn the next page, and/but it really works. A terrific book.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007





Well, happy birthday to my sweetie, who turned the big FOUR-OH this weekend.

We started the celebrations by picking Mick up at school on Friday evening and heading for the Hukilau. That's right, we ate food from his homeland. The servers wore SPAM shirts, and we ate pu pus and ahi ahi, macaroni salad and bbq chicken meat.

Saturday, Mick spent the day in the lab, working on denture stuff. Before he went, though, he had a mini stress-session, articulating those overwhelming feelings that dental school can bring. The major stressors: managing his patient load, preparing labwork with limited hours in the lab, scheduling appointments, and, all the while, fitting in time to study for Fall Boards. Can't you just feel the stomach knots? And it doesn't help that he wants to play at the beach with us or just lay around on the couch for a spell.

Sunday he got to lay around on the couch for a spell; he also had the option to sleep in all morning/afternoon, but the rascal surprised and was up by 9! I was prepared to take the kids out of the house for the morning and to come back when he called. He was up and ready to roll, though, so we had a fun, full morning. We ate breakfast at the Bayside just a few blocks away (but we'd never been!), took a walk along the houseboats dock, bought bike tubes and tires for my bike at Mike's Bikes, and bought homemade ice cream fixin's for him to use in his BRAND NEW ICE CREAM BALL!

I think we OD'd on ice cream this weekend, but here are the 3 delicious flavors we made:
(Grandad, you can imagine the amount of crushed ice, rock salt, and shaking that required, can't you?)

Monday, Mick spent the day with 580 degree wax-ups at the kitchen table, preparing a crown for today. He took a break to play Lego Star Wars with the kids and to take an evening bike ride with us.

The kids just played at home all day, and I took them to the Marin City Blues and Soul Festival at the park next door, featuring the fabulous Booker T. The highlights for the kids were their root beer snow cones and the silky sun umbrellas we bought there (everybody had them -- it was a riot to see all these dainty little sun umbrellas at a blues festival). They worked well in that hot sun, though.

So, anyways, Happy Birthday, Mick. Dental school's supposed to be this busy and nerve-wracking. You're almost there. For the short term, think about wakeboarding during your next break -- at the end of September. For the long term, think about practicing dentistry in a new town with your happy family. xo