9.27.2006:   busy few weeks
I went to Fargo, North Dakota and talked about the digital divide. They said, yeah they knew about it. I ate some candy and drank soda and got weird looks when I said I'd like to eat a salad. It was a nice fun trip. Even faster, and possible funner, was going down to Darien Connecticut for Library Camp, a gathering of techie librarians at some sort of unconference. I got to drive down with some friends in a nifty little Scion boxmobile and met a whole bunch of neat people while I was there. I even did a little presentation on accessibility called "I know what good web design is, why don't you know what good web design is?" which I think is a great title. Yesterday I was all set to talk to local parents about Internet Safety, but no one showed up at the library, so I got to talk to librarians about Internet Safety. We all messed around and laughed at MySpace (are you on MySpace? I am on my space) and learned a few things. I'm not sure how to make people show up for a talk about Internet safety, but lord knows people could use it.

My Mom is home, home from the hospital. I'll be going down to see her this weekend. She's not supposed to drive a car or even be in a car for six weeks which is really a bit of a hassle if you don't live walking distance from anyplace and your side hurts. She's been in good spirits and healing well, send her cards if you're inspired. She likes mail.

I've been doing my usual itinerant thing, going from place to place. I'm still not settled in to my new house situation (new roommate, landlady home a lot of the time, high personal stress level) so I've been hiding out at other people's places. There's something calming about being someplace that isn't yours, to me. The latest crash pad is my friend Jim's place in Braintree. It's up a mountain somewhat and every morning as I drive down into town to get coffee or hit the pool, I'm blown away by the things the trees are doing. I can see them tree by tree down here, but up there you can see a whole ridgeline at once and it's glorious. Couldn't do it year round, but it's nice for now.

Fargo had a lot of elm trees, big stately elms, on the sides of the roads there. Apparently they'd survived the Dutch Elm scourge. It was neat to see them, all over the place like regular trees. Survivors.
9.24.2006:   boomerang
You know that thing that spaceships do, where they go around a planet and then use some sort of slingshot effect to leave the gravity of that one planet and propel themselves into space? That's me lately. Here is the photoset from my Fargo trip which was just a quickie go, give two talks, come back trip. Today I'm off to Connecticut via New Hampshire where I'm psyched to be attending Library Camp.
9.20.2006:   hospitals

I've spent the last six nights down in Boxboro where my Mom lives. She's been in the hospital and you can read more about that here. She seems like she's on the mend, heading home soon, and out of harm's way, but the whole last few weeks have highlighted for me how you're never really out of harm's way. I've been sort of the email coordinator and special lieutenant in charge of morale for the past few days. Now that I'm home, I've hit a bit of a wall and I have to use the energy I have to get ready to give a few talks (already written, thank jehu for planning ahead) in North Dakota on Friday.

Anyone who would like to help on the morale angle can send my Mom a get well postcard. She likes mail just like I do: Liz "jessamyn's mom" West, 526 Stow Road, Boxboro MA 01719.
I'm spending a few days at a friend's place where it's quiet as heck at night and empty as heck during the day. Spent some time unsuccessfully trying to get StarBand installed and now I'm coming to you with the slow smooth sounds of dial-up. I don't have much to say anyhow.

As I was driving up here -- a four mile dirt road culminating in a short, steep, rocky driveway -- I slammed on the brakes hard. I had thought that the light I was seeing through the trees was a car on a collision path with me at the upcoming intersection. As I sat there, in my idling car, on a deserted road, at 9 pm last night, I realized it was just the moon, the brightest thing around.
9.08.2006:   back from maine
I had a really nice time in Maine.

A small update to this post about dysmorphia and looking at yourself in the mirror. On that day, a month ago, I started a habit of getting on a scale in the morning. I've found that having okay self-esteem can mean you can convince yourself of anything including "Sure I'm about the right weight for my height." It's like exercise, you can say "I'm not sedentary, really, I do plenty of active stuff." until you actually start exercising and then you realize how different it is to be fit, and no matter how vigorously you do it, tooth-brushing isn't exercise. In the absence of data, you go with what feels right, and sometimes what's easier... until you see a picture of yourself on the Internet and say "Huh". Perhaps the Dismemberment Plan said it best "knowing about that would involve knowing some pathetic, ridiculous, and absolutely true things about myself that I'd rather not admit to right now" though their song discusses denial of a different sort.

In any case, according to the scale, I've lost six pounds since then. According to the height/weight charts I've probably got ten to go before I'm in truly normal range. According to the government, I'm still too heavy (or too short) to be a Marine which is okay with me. According to the photographic height/weight chart I am a pretty capable photographer compared to many (submit your picture if there isn't someone in your height/weight box! no, I'm not in there). And, according to my sister and Mom -- who came up to Maine and brought cake, and presents -- I look great. I, of course, feel exactly the same, except possibly a bit more in control of this situation. Being 38 is fine so far.

Update: I went shopping for swimsuits today and even tried on a whole bunch of them. First time for everything....
9.05.2006:   birthday, etc

It's becoming a tradition that on our birthdays my Mom uploads random childhood photos from when my sister and I were kids. This is my favorite picture from this year's batch.
9.04.2006:   30 words
I said less than thirty words out loud yesterday. It was rainy, I stayed in and worked on an article I'm writing for Library Journal, listened to sea shanties and tried to get Sadie the cat to like me. The day before was an explosion of noise and chatter when my Mom and sister came to visit the place I'm staying here in Kittery. We walked around Portsmouth, went to Strawberry Banke, ate cake and took a bunch of pictures. Last night I made the mistake of going out to get some food at right about the time all the outlet stores closed and people got on Route 1 to go home. I had a bizarre flashback to high school when I used to drive up to York Beach and sit in traffic like this for what seemed like hours. Today the sun is back out, I'm going for a hike and enjoying my last day of being 37.
Jessamyn is in...
Bethel VT

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17sep... novascotia
24sep... NH lib thing
15oct... NELA


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