5.25.2006:   california bound
Everyone has said that living with someone who is studying for the bar is a recipe for disaster. While Greg and I both feel pretty blasé about it, I figured it might not be a bad time for a vacation anyhow. I'll be down in Rhode Island giving a talk next week and then getting on a plane to the Bay Area where I'lll hang out and catsit and eat burritos for a week. June 2-10. If anyone wants to get together, drop me an email or leave me a comment.
My Mom got me a pair of orange earrings that she brought with her to the Graduation Weekend Fiesta. It was a nice acknowledgement that I've done a lot of work in this whole Greg-get-his-degree project (moving, taking a larger share of the household tasks, grad student poverty etc). I'd gladly do it again, but there are always times when I wake up in the middle of the night thinking "What the hell have I been doing? What about me?"

The good news is, I mostly have a ready answer. I've been working at my job where I'm appreciated and respected. I've been travelling to meet other librarians who have been for the most part receptive and intelligent and enlightening. I've been exercising and am in better physical shape than I've been in in the last few years. I've been helping people in town and elsewhere get a grip on new technologies and how they can put them to work in their lives.

Just yesterday I helped my 95 year old student type out an email to the editor of the local paper expressing her displeasure over the firing of one of the managers of the pool that I swim at. Useful! It's a nice long list of accomplishments, but when one of my nuttier older students started going after me about the fact that I don't wear makeup or, as she puts it "take care of myself" I realized I don't have much left in the way of emotional reserves. I get so involved in being a handholder and a person on the sidelines saying "You can do it" that I don't always have a fallback plan if I need someone in my corner. There's a certain amount of instability involved with working with the elderly, the unbalanced, and the small coterie of people who are both. I've always felt that it was partly my job to help these people because, with few exceptions, other people don't. However, my ability to help diminishes dramatically when I've got my plate full of other stuff. I'm hoping to get a little better at balance in the second half of 2006.

The countdown to the Jessamyn Vacation is at T minus eight and counting.
5.20.2006:   cum laude!
Greg's graduation from Vermont Law School was today. He is now a lawyer, which means he is someone who went to (and graduated from) law school. He is not, however, an attorney because he hasn't passed the bar. I am somewhat embarassed to admit that I didn't know this distinction before a few days ago.

I'm back from Ohio -- did I mention I went to Ohio? -- and I'm in town for about ten days until I head to Rhode Island for one last talk (at least until July) and then to San Francisco for a much needed vacation. Greg has to stay put and start bar review classes which, seemingly cruelly, start four days after graduation.

Happy Mother's Day, Jess & Kate
this is Muffet's picture.
I slept in on Mother's Day and woke up to find that my mom had posted a picture of me from 1971. That's me sitting down and my sister Kate in the baby carrier. We're sitting in the kitchen of the house that my mom still lives in. The blur in the lower righthand corner is our old cat, Betty Duck, who was a kitten for a very short amount of time, so it's neat to see him show up so small and cutelike.

Kate and I have gotten bigger and moved away, the cat passed on some time ago, and the kitchen has been totally redone but my mom stil sits around that table and I think at least one of those chairs survives. Even when all the individual parts have been altered or replaced, I can still look at a picture of this and think, as my mom tagged it, "home."
5.08.2006:   power
The power went out last night during the last five minutes of The West Wing, which we now watch instead of the Simpsons because the show is in some sort of "wrapping up" phase. When the power goes out here it gets dark. Ola went to bed. Greg and I lit some candles and sat around for a bit talking in the dark about this and that and then we went to bed before 11. Since I grew up in a house with an electric water pump, I had actually never considered that living in a place with town/city water might mean that the water still ran into the house when the power was out. Since Greg had mostly not lived anyplace without city water, it had never occurred to him that the water might NOT run during a power outage. I made him an expensive bet (which I lost, happily) and thus the only anxiety from the power failure was wondering if the light in our bedroom was in the on or off position when we last saw it. It's a pullchain. It's hard to tell. The answer was off. The power came on this morning about 5 according to Ola. Not even enough time to start having to eat all the ice cream.
5.07.2006:   birthday, greg's

It's a challenge, trying to make someone's birthday experience nice when they're in the middle of law school finals, don't much like birthdays to begin with, and occasionally have some level of dread associated with reaching another decade birthday milestone. In my family we usually play "king for a day" games where you get to be in charge of anyone and everything. This appeals to my control freak instincts and most people don't mind going along with it for 16 hours of a day. Greg prefers things a little more subdued and a little more subtle. So he vetoed my "Look who's 30!!" newspaper ad, and didn't want me posting a party invite to the everyone@ mailing list at the school. That said, I thought we did okay. Thanks to everyone who contributed photos to the happybirthdaygreg collection. We didn't do much on the actual birthday day, just looked at pictures and had some pizza while Greg studied for his last final. I swam 30 laps as a tribute. It's 5/6th of a mile, pretty taxing.

Friday Greg went to school while I stayed home and chopped vegetables, moved lawn furniture and coordinated cake delivery plans. Greg took his last final and came home to a house full of food, beer and friends and someone else willing to staff the grill for a change. Big thanks to Adam, Meredith, Rick, Sarah, Casey, Jill, Wayne, Stan, Hannah, Ola, Shamus and everyone who sent in photos and well-wishes.

Saturday he went for a 50 mile bike ride, beating his previous distance record by like 30 miles or so. I'm surprised he could get out of bed today, honestly. This morning we're up doing our own noodley things -- working on a talk for me, watching punditry and folding laundry for him -- while the nieghbors listen to two radios at once, one of them loud enough to drown out their caged barking dog. Yeah, it's that time of year again.
Jessamyn is in...
Bethel VT

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