Wednesday, April 30, 2008


Spent yesterday at the capitol. Gave my testimony to the press re: Medi-Cal coverage for children. That all went fine, and I gave my formal speech to the media, but right beforehand, NBC wanted an interview.

Ever had an interview as your first conversation of the morning with a bright light shining in your eyes and a 7-year-old boy behind you, grabbing your shoulders and jumping up so he can be on camera, too?

Yeah, I'm sure I was pretty darned impressive.

I was hopeful it just ran as a text article, which is what I found here, (and I'm quoted only briefly, mid-article) but Aubrey's assistant teacher told Aubrey she saw us on the news last night.

I haven't had the chance to ask her what it was like. Not sure I want to, actually.

Overall, though, it was good, once again, to be part of efforts to make a difference in health care coverage for all children.

And I got to wear this really cool MomsRising t-shirt I've had my eye on for a year. (<--That's not me.)

Shelby and Maureen came down from Bellingham last Friday. I wasn't sure whether I'd be able to get away much to join them -- with Mick's job search, possible interviews, and general end-of-dental-school obligations -- but I ended up with my pals after work on Friday through Sunday afternoon.

We stayed downtown at SF's Galleria, a sweet swank hotel.

Took a streetcar to North Point/Little Italy for dinner. (I think Maureen's going for the cheesy photo look here. I'm not, but I probably still managed to achieve it.)

(above) Mick took the chicks to the airport and stopped off for some Blue Bottle coffee with Shelby.

More of Blue Bottle's finest.

Wine tasting at Ravenswood Winery in Sonoma. (Shelby with what she'll claim is just a prop.)

Someone missed her mommy.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Medi-Cal Testimony in Sacramento
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Monday, April 21, 2008

I took in the De Young's annual Bouquets to Art event again, checking out how local florists chose to complement their chosen museum art. I lifted the above photo from their website (click on the "Bouquets to Art" title for more info) and, just so you know, it'll be the best photo on this post. Unfortunately, my skills do the exhibit no justice whatsoever, but I thought I'd at least give a feeble try.

Here's one of my favorite pieces in the museum. It's a South American tribal chief's robe (kind of like a poncho -- you can see where he'd slip his head through). It's A THOUSAND YEARS OLD, and it's made entirely of exotic bird feathers, some found only in the remotest parts of the jungle.

Below, the artist replicated the effect with tulips.

Next, here's the famous gumball painting by Thiebaud,
called "Three Machines," complemented by paper
origami flowers in this arrangement.

Hmmm.... don't know what this one below
is called, but it was stunning.

Okay, I'll include this simply
because it triggered my sweet tooth.

And so, without meaning to sound too nerdy, let me just say this exhibit is so cool because it always inspires new ways to look at an actual museum piece -- by offering the new lens of a floral interpretation.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Gotta love a scrub in scrubs.

Here's Mick the week of his Oral Surgery rotation. It was Moustache March. Even though you might guess this is, say, March 1st, based on what looks like a 5 o'clock shadow, if you read the photo date, you can see he's been growing facial hair for eleven days here. Yeah, he's a smooth operator.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

click on the image if you want to see it better

Okay, not really, but this is Dane's mouth with a major wiggler backed by the new kid on the block trying to make his way in. A week after this photo was taken, this 7-1/2 year old finally lost his first tooth! We were in Sacramento (more on that event later) but, fyi, the tooth fairy found us there and left a gold $1 coin under Dane's pillow.


Check NBDE Part II off that guy's list. He passed with flying colors. (Breathe that huge sigh of relief here with us, wouldja?)

Now on to finishing up all his clinical requirements over the next six weeks and passing his WREBS (Western Regional Boards) at the end of May -- that's the test on an actual patient with a very specific kind of cavity. After that, the goal is to quickly gets licensed in Washington or Oregon and start work as an associate dentist somewhere fabulous.

First things first, though, so we don't feel overwhelmed again so quickly. We're celebrating tonight with Skinny Cow Mint Ice Cream Sandwiches and Ice Cream Drumsticks. You can't have too much ice cream when you're a Reynolds and you're making it through dental school.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Okay, I know I said I was going to try to hook Mick up with a massage after his big test, but what better way to relax than go to Six Flags Discovery Kingdom with the family???

That's right, we got up and hustled ourselves over to a Sunday log ride, roller coasters, Shuka the killer whale, and a $10 bin of bottomless popcorn.

It was so much fun.

In fact, at one point, I looked over at Mick when we were all soaking wet and laughing, thinking how happy I am to have these three people as my family.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

For Shelby

Shelby, I didn't get a book signed for you, but, here, you can have this.

Eat your heart out, sucka!

See you later this month...
Annie and Liz

Anne Lamott and Elizabeth Gilbert were wonderful. Of course. They'd just met the night before, but their witty personalities and gentle philosophies meshed well. It's not surprising they share the same agent, and that the agent thought it would be a good idea to get them together.

The Civic Center was sold out -- someone said it holds 3,000; that seems about right to me -- and the two offered an evening of talk about their faith(s) and their writing processes. They took questions from the crowd and asked each other questions along the way.

One I recall best is the question: What do you know for sure?

Anne Lamott answered that she knows there's a God and that God has surrounded her with love and people who will keep her together -- even if she loses everything as she knows it.

Elizabeth Gilbert answered that she believes in Gentleness. She believes in treating others, and yourself, with Gentleness. And she believes Courage and Compassion are flip sides of the same coin that complement Gentleness. She's even had them tattooed in white ink on her forearms, and they served as great reminders to her when she was going through her divorce, living abroad for the year she writes about in Eat, Pray, Love.

Anne Lamott ended the night talking about the writing process. She likened it to learning to fox trot -- or some kind of dancing she said she and her guy Rory were horrible at. She'd thought they were both natural athletes and would have no trouble, but it took them months to learn Step, Step, One, Two. She said they were so bad that when they finally got the hang of it, they stuck around and taught other hopeless students to keep working at it with great determination. Because once you got the hang of it, you wouldn't forget it, and you could keep growing if you keep practicing and surrounding yourself with people who will help you. Or something like that. Of course, she was much more eloquent than that, and she was funny and she was charming and she had us all eating out of the palm of her hand and we all knew what she meant and believed every word she had to say about what it conveyed about writing.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

See what I have to work with!?

My friend Camille emailed me this note after we worked together today and she heard I was going to testify on Monday:

What a wonderful honor to go to Sacramento and to
talk about such an important topic. Have a
great trip and wear a low cut top...that always
helps to get an important point across. God
gave you those boobs Anjie, so use them to
help the American people! I'll give you a ring
early next week to hear how it went.

Have fun!!!


Last Spring when Aubrey was in the hospital for a brutal kidney infection, I wrote about the experience from the standpoint of a parent grateful for state medical coverage. Many of you have seen this -- I posted it here as a long blog, on the Writing Mamas blogsite, and at Later, I shortened it, and submitted it to San Francisco's NPR affiliate, KQED, and it aired on Monday, February 11th. forwarded the story to the Children's Defense Fund (CDF), and, since then, I've been working with them as an advocate for insuring all children.

Earlier this week the CDF asked me to testify at a State Senate Budget Hearing on Monday April 7th at the capitol (that's Sacramento, for you out-of-staters).

Schwarzenegger's proposal would require poor families to apply for Medi-Cal every three months. Right now, it's once a year. Every three months is preposterous. Think of the bureaucracy, how this will inundate poor families with extra paperwork, and how this will inundate government workers with the same. This seems like a cruel way to whittle down the number of children receiving medical coverage .

You can read about it more extensively at this website The 100% Campaign, where the goal is to get every child in California -- and ultimately in the nation -- medically insured.

I'm pretty nervous to testify -- there'll be a lot of people there, and, dare I say, a lot of movers and shakers. However, when I take a deep breath and think about it, I know this issue matters. I know I can take a stand on this significant public issue. I can also have a voice in our democracy.

I have a conference call this afternoon with the CDF and some other organizations to prepare myself. I'll keep you posted.