Thursday, January 30, 2003

It's been a pretty quiet day here at work, with almost everyone gone on the Google ski trip. Funny how much this place is trying to be like a college dorm. Amusing decorations, cafeteria, colorful signs with people's names on their cubicles, and even a ski trip. Though I suppose if they were trying really hard the food would be worse. My supervisor left me some work to do on my own, but it was a stretch even to make it last through today's "8" hours, so I'd start feeling guilty taking it into tomorrow. But that's okay -- I don't mind taking a 3-day weekend. So I'll be heading back home pretty soon, where I will probably still have no internet connection. *Sigh* It's sad how quickly I can go into withdrawal from that.

Wednesday, January 29, 2003

So like I mentioned a while back, our DSL is dying. We were supposed to have until the end of the month but apparently it just decided to quit on us today. I'm posting this from the library. We're waiting right now for the new modem from the new company, so it might be a couple of days before things are back to normal. Daniel's going to try using the old modem, though, so we'll see how that goes. I don't know why we're supposed to get a different modem anyway, but apparently we are. Anyway, the upshot of it all is that my e'mail checking may be a bit spotty for a day or two. I can get it via webmail at work (since the mail service is still there, just not the DSL), but not at home in the evenings. So if anything is important, give me a call about it, rather than an e'mail.
Urgh. I need more sleep. If external events aren't keeping me awake these days, my own mind is doing it. I've been feeling more depressed and icky recently about the approach of February in general, and Viennese Ball in particular. I just don't know if I'm ready to face it all yet.

Tuesday, January 28, 2003

Darn it. I didn't feel like going over to campus to play piano tonight but I was looking forward to playing the accordion for my daily dose of music. But when I got it out of it's case, a key fell off. A rather important one, too, and I'm not sure how to put it back on. I was doing okay with the ones that had to have the bellows going a certain direction, but with this on top of it, it's just more than I feel like dealing with right now. Phooey. I wonder if I can find someone to fix it up for not much money. It's probably just complaining about having been woken up from its 20 year nap.
Another day at Google. I got a badge today that will let me into buildings, so I'm a little more official now and I don't have to get other people to let me in. I'm moderately amused by the fact that Google already decided once that they didn't want to give me a job and yet here I am anyway, with a Google badge, a Google e'mail address and working in the Google building looking at confidential Google files. Not remotely the same sort of job, of course, but still. I also saw Deb today, when I went to the main building to get the above-mentioned badge. I had forgotten that she was the receptionist there, so that was a pleasant surprise. Oh, and there's one other thing: apparently everyone will be gone this Thursday and Friday for a company ski trip, so it's still to be figured out if I'll be able to go in and work. I could take the time off, but I get plenty of time off between temp assignments. As long as I'm not the one going on the trip, I'd prefer to be working and getting paid. We'll see.

Monday, January 27, 2003

I finally got started at the Google temp job today. It was still slow getting started this morning and my computer was still getting set up. Plus, the person I'm working for, who's supposed to be showing me what to do, is extremely overworked. So I had quite a bit of time just waiting for instructions, and then when she had five free minutes, getting three different things explained to me at once. But it was an okay day and it shouldn't be a terribly difficult job. It's just dealing with a bunch of documents in the legal department.

Sunday, January 26, 2003

Well, there are riots in Oakland right now, but I got home safely. I had a lovely afternoon in the kitchen with Monee, making chocolate chip cookies. I used to do that with Lacey all the time, but I just realized it had been over a year since I had made cookies at all. Very sad. But now I've got some. We also made corned-beef casserole, which I am very fond of, with lots of left-overs. Yum. Happy Graham.
The Doghouse was pretty fun last night. I was very grateful to Jeff Lee for giving me a ride (along with the Tinas) so that I didn't have to drive up to SF and back. We didn't arrive until after 10, though, which is too bad, because I really start to slow down by then if I'm not already dancing or something. But I had a good time. The dancers there are just amazing. It's rather awe-inspiring and rather intimidating. I wish I could swing dance like that -- it would be fun to do and it would make it easier for me to ask strangers to dance. There's so much to learn there but I can't quite pick it up. I wish I could just videotape the whole evening so I could sit down later and pull new moves out of it. So anyway, I danced some and watched some and after a while started just really itching for a good waltz. Normally you're out of luck if you want a waltz at the Doghouse, but the second to last dance was a fairly mellow swing which little Tina and I managed to turn into a hemiolified cross-step. Steering was an interesting challenge around all the swing dancers, but it was a nice waltz anyway, so I was happy.

This afternoon I'm going to Monee and Pa's for a bit of a visit, some grandmother food and maybe some cookie baking. Thanks to my boundless lack of attention to sports, I only recently realized there would be a Superbowl going on today, however for once I have an opinion on who should win. I'm hoping it will be Oakland, on the theory that people will stay out later partying, giving me a chance to drive home before all the drunk people hit the roads. We'll see.

Saturday, January 25, 2003

Well, Daniel found a few dozen keys but none of them fit the banjo case, so we finally just unscrewed the one catch that was locked. There's a pretty nice banjo in there. I tried playing it for a bit but the whole 5-string thing was confusing me, so I think I'll just stick with the accordion for now. Of course, that's somewhat confusing as well, but I'm having more fun with it.

Among the other interesting things that can be found in this house: a set of bagpipes, a dark lamp, and a real-time pitch-adjusting telephone.
Happy Birthday Yaron!

On the agenda for today and this weekend I have several books, several musical instruments, shopping, laundry, a Monty Python DVD and, of course, dancing. The dilemma for tonight has been whether to go contra dancing (here in Palo Alto) tonight or swing dancing at the Doghouse (in SF). But I haven't had much swing dancing recently and several friends are going there, so I think that one wins this week.

Friday, January 24, 2003

This house is very cool in a cluttered sort of way. You never know what you might find here. I just pulled an accordion and a 5-string banjo out from behind some boxes of old magazines in the guest room. Daniel's had them there for 20 years, and he said I could play them if I wanted to. I can't get into the banjo case, unfortunately, since it seems to have locked itself somehow and I very much doubt Daniel will be able to find the key. And even if I did get into it, I'd have to learn to play a 5-string (as opposed to a tenor, which is what I usually play). But that could be fun. Meanwhile, I've been playing a bit with the accordion. It's in pretty good shape, though there are a few keys that sound flat or silent when the bellows are going a particular way. I was playing some slow tunes and trying to figure out the left hand part (that's the bit that's not like a piano) and it was really rather fun. I'd like to be able to play accordion better, though it's not like I need another instrument or anything.... Maybe I'll just noodle around with it on days when I don't feel like playing piano. The accordion also triggered a memory of learning a very nice waltz, which I have since forgotten. It was from Bread and Tulips (a very good movie, by the way). The lead actress did her own accordion playing for the one or two scenes involving an accordion, and she played a very nice Italian waltz in G minor. When it came out on DVD I got it from the library just so I could learn the tune. I may have to do that again if I keep blanking out on it.
Klutz is actually a really neat place. It would be fun to work there, just to get to be in that building. The whole place is full of toys and other amusing things. One wall is entirely covered with Legos for people to make designs with. It's like being inside a kids' book. You have to like a company who's mission statement is to "Create wonderful things, be good, and have fun."

Thursday, January 23, 2003

Filing was not exciting, but I hardly expected it to be. The Google thing isn't starting until Monday, but I have another one-day job for tomorrow, this time at Klutz Inc. (I wonder what that will be like? I imagine a building full of broken furniture and toys, and people going around with bandaids and bruises from bumping into things....)

Wednesday, January 22, 2003

New update: One day filing job tomorrow. It's nice being flexible.
I just finished reading There's a Spiritual Solution to Every Problem, by Wayne Dyer, thanks to recommendations from Darrel and Mom. It is really an excellent book. It's basically about how you are what you think, and how that fact gives you more power over your own life than most people think you can have. I think there's a lot of advice in it that I've known about and maybe even followed to some extent, just from growing up with the parents I have. But it was good to have it all solidified like this for me, so I can really try to think a bit about how the concepts apply to my own life. I highly recommend reading it, whether for finding a solution for a specific problem or just for reading some good thoughts about life.

One small point that I wanted to pass on was how Dyer compares spirituality to health. You may be in good or bad health, but you can't escape having health at some level or another. Similarly, there are many different ways of relating to spirituality, but it's not an issue that you can meaningfully ignore. I found that interesting.
So the first day at this job was pretty silly. I was supposed to be in the legal department, just scanning lots of documents and organizing computer files. But they weren't at all ready for me -- no computer, no nothing. So I hung around for a few hours (luckily I never go anywhere without a book) until they said they wouldn't be able to get anything set up until the end of the day, so I came home. I'll give it another shot tomorrow. Google seems like a pretty neat place to work, though. Food is definitely their biggest perk. They're served gourmet lunches every day and the kitchens have enough stuff for you to get the rest of your meals there, too, if you wanted. Very cool, though I'm sure there are lots of people who just basically live there at work, which was probably the whole idea behind feeding them so well in the first place. There's also a gym. And I like the decorations, with lots of happy colors, beach balls, lava lamps and other silly things all over.

Tuesday, January 21, 2003

Well, I have a new temp job now, starting tomorrow and lasting about a week. It's at Google, which might be interesting. I wonder if I'll run into any of the people who interviewed (and then rejected) me back in May. Probably not, though, since I don't think I'm going to be in the main headquarters building. But anyway, I'll be working again, so that's good.
A little while ago, Goodrick pointed out some of the "holidays" that e-greeting websites make up to sell more cards. Normally, I think this is a pretty silly thing to do, but apparently someone decided today was National Hugging Day, and I like that one. Hugs are good. Happy hugging day, and hugs to everyone!

Monday, January 20, 2003

Daniel's friend Lee is visiting, so I just spent dinner hearing about various states of awareness, mystical experiences, and how Buddhism is not an atheistic religion. He's rather interesting to talk to, provided you don't worry about things like getting a word in edgewise :-)

Good day today. Piano seemed to go especially well. I don't know why, but I'm not complaining. It's nice, once in a while, to feel like I can actually play that thing. I'm also still working a bit on my sense of pitch. I think I'm actually getting significantly better at being able to pull a middle C right out of my head, provided I think about it carefully. It's still a ways from perfect pitch, and my relative pitch needs work too, but it's cool to think that I'm improving at it.
Well, I just got a call saying my job for this week got cancelled. Phooey. But I have at least used this morning productively, signing up at another agency that I heard often has lots of jobs at or around Stanford. So that might be good.

I'm going to go over to Braun and play piano this afternoon (no surprise there). I'm also hoping to finally be able to talk to someone in the music office about why my card still won't let me into the practice rooms. I paid the rental fee two weeks ago but I still have to wait around for someone else to open the door.

Sunday, January 19, 2003

Life Lessons

So it's approaching a year since I broke up with Miriam. Since then there have been some relationship concepts that I keep encountering, especially during these last few months, after the initial pain wore off and I could pay attention. It seems that there are some definite things I'm supposed to be learning at this time in my life. So here's an attempt to articulate some of the ones that have been important to me recently.

Having been part of a couple for so long, it was really hard to start redefining myself and my life on my own. I'd forgotten how important that was. But one of the lessons that's been coming at me from various directions has been the fact that eventually starting a new relationship is going to require not just finding the right sort of person, but being the right sort of person as well. I want to be able to have such a happy, satisfying life as a single person that I can then find someone with whom to share that happiness. I don't want to go into a relationship needing someone to get me "over" the last person, or make me feel better about myself or live up to other expectations. That's the sort of thing that gets in the way of unconditional love.

Of course, the difficulty here is that love is a wonderful thing, good for the soul, and it's hard to feel like you have to do without it all of a sudden after a romantic relationship comes apart. That's the bit that would make it too easy to fall into something that wouldn't necessarily be a good idea in the long run. The thing I try to make myself remember then is that friends are also wonderful things, and I've got some really good ones. There can be an immense amount of love between friends without anything becoming romantic, and it will always be there to help keep you strong and healthy.

I suppose I'm at least on the path to where I want to be, though it looks like a very gradual road. Externally, my life sometimes seems uncertain or unstable, mostly due to the job situation. But I do tend to feel better about life in general than I did at many times over the past year and I still look forward to improvements. Internally, it varies. I'm still a long way from being over Miriam, but at least I'm learning to be patient and loving with myself as I go through the process. I'm just trying to take better care of myself mentally, emotionally and spiritually. So there's hope.

Lots of people have been really good in helping me realize, understand and apply these sorts of concepts. You know who you are. Thanks.
Lacey has a blog now, too! Yay! Go to Lacey-land.

Saturday, January 18, 2003

Weekends are nice. Now I can play piano and play guitar and read multiple books and take a nap and write in my journal and all these other things that are so hard to fit into a few evening hours after work. That's the sort of rejuvenating stuff that keeps me going. And dancing, too, of course, though I don't think I'll be doing any of that tonight. I think I figured out why my ankle was bugging me at the end of the evening last night, though. It was probably the Scotch Reel. I hadn't done one of those in a long time. It was fun, but a bit rough faking my way through it, trying to remember how it went. The ankle's feeling better now, though.

Jammix was fun. I got to debut my "Polka or Die" shirt. A lot of people liked it but some were also rather disturbed. I think Miriam had the right interpretation: Life without polka isn't worth living. That way at least you don't have to imply killing anyone.

Friday, January 17, 2003

Last day at work today. I liked the people there, but I wasn't sorry to finish up the job. The even better news is that I already have another job lined up for next week. It should be more interesting (though the exact description was rather vague) and it will pay more. Plus, I get Monday off. Yay!

Jammix tonight. More yay!

Thursday, January 16, 2003

This posting by Geoff made me happy. The world would be a much nicer place if everyone just sat down and made a list of all the good things in their lives.
Tomorrow is the last day of the temp job. I'll miss Kisha and John more than the job.

Wednesday, January 15, 2003

Computers are annoying sometimes. Not mine. Mine is nice. It's the ones at the library, where I volunteer, that bug me. We've had more people coming in recently to work on reading or learning English, and that's good. But the computers are acting up now in mysterious ways, and that's bad. Oh well. That's enough of that. I'm home now, so I'll stop being frustrated.

On a more interesting note, I read something intriguing in the liner notes to my Ginastera CD. It mentioned how he was influenced by Kodaly and Bartok and their use of folk music, but then adds that Ginastera "creates his own brand of 'imaginary folklore.'" When I stop to think about it, I guess that doesn't really convey a whole lot of actual information about his music, but for some reason I still really like the concept. It sounds like the kind of music I'd like to write. I'll store that away in my brain somewhere, until the next time I do any composing.
So it's still up in the air now whether the current temp job will be over on Friday or if we need to come back next week. Making money has been nice, but I'm about ready to be done with this particular assignment and move on to something else. We should find out tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 14, 2003

Well, it's way past my bedtime now, but I just biked back from campus so I need to cool down for a few minutes before I can actually go to sleep. So here's what my evening was like:

I went over to Braun to play piano a little bit after dinner. I love piano. I wish I had a few more hours a day for it. Then I went to the tango class at Bechtel. It was pretty good, and I liked the instructor, so I'll probably go to the other two classes in the series. One of the largest frustrations I have with tango is balance. You have to be a lot more stable and grounded, not like waltz or something where you're spinning around on your toes all the time. It's harder than it seems. And it's embarrassing to basically be walking slowly... and then tipping over periodically :-)

After tango, I went over to Mirrielees and had a nice visit with Tina for a couple hours. Around midnight, when I was about to go home, Miriam and Rebecca came downstairs and anounced that it was story-time up in Rebecca/Emily/Aly's room. So on the theory of well-I'm-already-sleep-deprived-anyway, I went along. Somebody had some A.A. Milne books, and we read a couple chapters full of Pooh-bears, Piglets and Heffalumps. It was actually quite amusing, especially with Miriam's excellent character voices. Anyway, that went till 1 am and then I had to bike home again. I think I'm ready for bed now.

Monday, January 13, 2003

I try to watch the evening news periodically, on the theory that it's good to know something about what's going on in the rest of the world. Unfortunately, the usual result is to make me considerably less happy about it all. Sigh.... I guess there's no good way around that.

Saturday, January 11, 2003

There are going to be a few free tango classes at Bechtel this quarter. I might try to go to some of those -- my tango really needs work. It's one of those dances that I'd love to be good at, but I just have so much trouble getting my mind around it. I was almost doing okay after the class I took last spring, but then I didn't really practice, and I lost a lot of it.

Contradancing on the agenda for tonight.

Happy Birthday, Miriam!

Friday, January 10, 2003

Here is something random for everyone's general amusement. My mom has a book I made in my 3rd grade class of a bunch of things I wrote that year. This is one of them (try to imagine it scrawled in a little kid's handwriting across a whole sheet of paper). We were all in tears the first time we read it.

If I Were President

If I were president I would have to be 35 years or older. If I were running for president and I got elected this is what it might be like.

If I got elected I would make new rules. People who drink wouldn't be allowed to drive. I would make sure nobody wastes water, and I would try to stop pollution. I would make school half an hour shorter. I would also try to stop wars so everyone can be friends. I would make sure that everyone had enough food and good homes. Being president would be a hard job. There would be so many things to do!

I would do all sorts of things to make the United States a better place to live.

I never thought being president would be that hard. It would really be a ton of work!

Being president might be to hard for me. I don't really want to be president anyway. It would be way to much work for me. I have enough work to do here at school. It probably wouldn't be very fun anyway. So I'll just let somebody else be president and have all that work to do. But I'm not going.

Tuesday, January 07, 2003

I talked to someone from Verifia yesterday (that was the place I worked during the summer). It seems just as well that I didn't stick around there. For one thing, they've moved from Mountain View to San Jose, not a commute I would have cared for. And for another thing, they're down to 5 people now, just the engineers who were there from the beginning, I think. I probably wouldn't have made the cut.

Braun is open again so I get to start playing piano more. I did a couple hours last night and it was really nice. What little playing I did over the last few weeks on not-very-good uprights made the baby grand feel quite luxurious. Sad how quickly I'd gotten out of practice, though.

Monday, January 06, 2003

Kisha and I had our portable CD players at work today to fend off insanity, and she had borrowed one of my Ginastera CDs.

Kisha: That was a good CD. Lots of syncopation, and lots of silence.
Me: Silence? Wait, you can't have finished that already! It's over an hour long.
Kisha: No, it's over. Either that or my batteries died.
Me: Um...
Kisha: Oh look.... I turned it off.
Me: [collapsing with laughter]

Sunday, January 05, 2003

I just saw Two Towers. Grr. I don't think they did nearly as good a job as they did with Fellowship. For one thing, they chopped eight entire chapters out. That was really annoying. Helm's Deep was one chapter in the book and took up half the movie. Sure battle scenes are exciting, but that's no excuse. And as if that wasn't bad enough, they even added in extra bits that did not belong at all. To me, that's just an insult to a really great book. I'm sure most of the missing stuff will show up in Return of the King, but still.... Hmph. It's also more disappointing since they had gotten off to such a good start with the first movie. Oh well.

On the plus side, most of the various creatures were really good. The Oliphaunts were perfect. The Orcs and Wargs were good too, though I don't think the latter were actually in this book. The winged steeds of the Nazgûl were excellent. And Gollum was awesome, especially the Slinker/Stinker scenes. I'd always imagined him as even more skin-and-bones, and a bit more reptilian, but that's okay. He was done really very well. The Ents were okay. They seemed a bit "hasty" but I guess they had to be sped up a bit, or the movie would have gone on for days.
I get to see The Two Towers today. Yay! I am especially looking forward to the Ents.

Saturday, January 04, 2003

So apparently our DSL service provider is going to be shutting everything down in two weeks. They claim to have told us by e'mail last month but I only just found out today on their webpage. This is quite annoying. My e'mail is still working for now, but I haven't been able to get to my old website. So the links to my blog archives or music files won't work until I figure out another place to put them. This is also why the picture on the side bar isn't showing up, and why the comments look funny.
Joan played a lot of really great music at FNW last night. "Waltzing with Bears" was there -- I'd heard Richard play that once before. But the one that really made me happy was a polka that turned out to be another song I knew years ago: "Does your chewing gum lose its flavor / On the bedpost overnight? / If your mother says don't chew it / Do you swallow it in spite? / Can you catch it on your tonsils? / Can you heave it left and right? / Does your chewing gum lose its flavor / On the bedpost overnight?" I was so excited and happy when I realized what the song was that I was just bouncing around singing it afterwards. Tina thought I was silly (and "expressing happiness vertically," as she put it). Anyway, it was a good night of dancing.

Friday, January 03, 2003

We have a new housemate now. Greg finished his PhD and moved out in December. Niels arrived today from Denmark. He'll be here for 3 months studying statistics at Stanford. Welcome, Niels!
Okay, since Grant and Tina already started the Xanga vs. Blogspot debate, I'll go ahead and explain my decision. The biggest single factor in choosing against Xanga was the fact that you can't leave comments if you're not a member. That's ridiculous. I registered so I could comment on my friends' pages, but I refuse to let that particular marketing tactic work. Also, a great many of the people who read my blog would not register just to leave comments. Also, as far as I can tell, Xanga is limited in the format of the blog, and even who you can link to (again, only other members). With Blogspot, everything is completely customizable, just the way it should be. You can get right in there and muck around with the HTML all you want. In fact, it seemed to me that the only thing Xanga had going for it was the built in commenting system, but now that I've added on my own comments here, that doesn't matter. I also like the pop-up comments better anyway. There may have been some other factors involved in the decision, but that's what I remember right now. Overall, I just felt that Blogspot fit better into the spirit of the whole blogging thing. Xanga members can feel free to rave about their site or point out the error of my ways.

Wednesday, January 01, 2003

Alright. I should be going to sleep since I'm waking up at 7:00 tomorrow for work, but I'm still a bit on Camp-time, so I feel like writing about it now. For the impatient, photos are here. For more details, here follow the Camp Harmony Chronicles.

Camp started on the 27th, and I unfortunately went into it with only 3 hours of sleep, due to a long and difficult phone conversation the night before, but that's another story. It was wonderful to get to camp and see everyone. Lacey and Quena brought their boyfriends Hugo and Anselm, who were new to Harmony but fit in perfectly and were very fun to have around. Mom was there, too, of course, plus more of Quena's family and a large number of other friends. We just took over one entire cabin as a big, happy, extended family. There's nothing like being surrounded by that many people who all love one another. It's beautiful.

All the music and dance workshops at Harmony are run by the participants, so anyone can teach any sort of a class they want. That's during the day, anyway. In the evenings there are scheduled dances and concerts and everything else is pretty much a free for all -- jam sessions and whatnot everywhere. I taught a series of classes, one each morning, on "music theory for folkies," and I think it went really well. I was better prepared this year, with handouts and everything, thanks to the students I've had since last year. Lacey and I also taught one class in cross-step waltz, which we've done for the last few years. And the whole gang hosted our "Stupid Human Tricks" workshop again. It featured the crab walk and the elephant walk (both involving two people), crawling through a broom, jumping over your own leg, various kinds of whistling, and other sillinesses. This is where most of the really strange photos came from. We also discovered that Anselm is Mr. Dexterity himself, and can do all sorts of cool tricks that most of us can't manage.

The evening dances were a lot of fun -- lots of contradances. I skipped the French / Balkan night. The Swing / Rock 'n' Roll night was really good. We taught Hugo how to swing and I had a number of very nice dances. There were a number of kids in the back of the hall that night, playing with hula hoops and juggling balls and such, so that made it a bit more exciting if you happened to be at that end of the room. I mostly did the swing part of the evening, though when the rock 'n' roll started, Quena and I noticed one song that made quite a good schottische, so that's what we did. It was very tricky to steer around all the swing dancers, but we mangaged and it was very amusing. Richard would have been proud -- hooray for "American creativity and crossover". Or at least he'd have given us that smile that seems to say he thinks I'm slightly silly, like he does when he puts on a latin song and sees me polka by :-)

Also in the evenings there are concerts that anyone can sign up to perform in. Hugo sang a couple of songs Monday evening that everyone really enjoyed. Various younger members of our extended family sang with the Kid's Chorus or the Teen's Chorus, and Charlie, David and Steven sang a very funny song based on a true story about radioactive frogs. Lacey and Hugo were both in a mummer's play that also involved a sword dance. There are lots of pictures of that in the album, too.

I didn't play a whole lot of tunes, since I was more often dancing, but I did have a couple nice sessions. Saturday night there were some fun Irish tunes. I'm not always feeling very fluently Irish these days, since I haven't been practicing as much, but it was fun to play with and listen to Chris Knepper. He's one of those people who really does seem to play a tune differently every single time, which is something I definitely aspire to but still have a ways left to get to. And Lewis' guitar playing was wonderful, of course. I also had a really nice time after midnight on Sunday night, playing fiddles with Lee Anne. I don't play with her nearly as much as I should, considering how much I enjoy it. It's nice to play with just one other person sometimes, rather than a large group, and we had a nice resonant cabin all to ourselves. It was really about the most satisfying tune-playing time of the week.

On Monday, Bob Reid did a kid's concert in the afternoon, with almost as many older kids and adults as little kids attending. Everybody there has grown up on his music, or raised their kids on it. Bob hardly even has to sing anymore, since he's usually drowned out by his enthusiastic audience members, who know everything by heart. He has lots of really great songs. One of them, though, had a line in it about someone being "really old -- almost 23." That made me cringe, having turned 23 in June. Oh well :-)

Other random things: I passed an old-timey session once that was taking place inside a huge, burnt out redwood stump. That seemed particularly pleasing to me. Lani gave me a photo from last year's New Year's Eve party, of me, Miriam, Quena, Lacey and Jac. Since then, Jac (age 14) has surpassed both Quena and Lacey in height. Next year he'll probably be taller than any of us. Charlie was drinking hot chocolate like a maniac. One day I saw him on his fifth mug of it. He had basically filled it up with chocolate mix and dribbled hot water on it.

The New Year's celebration was wonderful, as always. There's nothing like being with all your friends in the concert hall, ranks of kids in the balcony poised to bombard you with confetti, and Dick Holdstock's voice booming out the countdown. Then lots of happy singing and hugs all around. There was a contradance before midnight and just lots of waltzes afterwards.

Coming home was difficult, as it always is, with the post-camp blues. I miss the constant presence of music everywhere, and especially all the wonderful people, many of whom I see only rarely outside of camp. It's lonely, driving home alone at the end of it all. This year I think there are extra New Year's blues to go along with it, too. It's been a difficult last year, so in a way it's good to let 2002 go. But it also means I have to face 2003 now, and the optimism wavers sometimes. Oh well. I'll just have to hope for the best and see what happens.

Anyway, I really need to go to bed. 7:00 AM is not looking pretty right now. To sum it all up: Camp was good. We had fun. We came home. The end.
Happy New Year! I just got back from Camp Harmony, so I'm mildly brain-dead right now. I'll write about it later tonight or tomorrow, when I feel more coherent. There will be lots of pictures, too.

We chose angel cards this morning for the new year. I got "Alegria" (meaning "Joy" -- Cass has the Spanish set of cards). The simple way to use angel cards is to treat them as plain predictions, but I think the better way is to take them as suggestions of things to focus on bringing into your life. Either way, it's something I'm needing now. We'll see how 2003 turns out.