succumbing to peer pressure

Friday, June 25, 2010


Peers, get your DTaP vaccine (that's diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis - aka whooping cough). Most of us were vaccinated as children, but our immune response wanes as we grow up, and whooping cough in particular has a tendency to crop up (like right now, in CA).

Although I was never diagnosed, I'm fairly certain I had whooping cough in college. Case friends - remember that time my junior year when I was sick for like a month? And had that hacking cough that you could hear across an entire apartment? Whoop whoop.

My brother caught whooping cough from our cousin a few years ago. The cousin was exposed to an un-vaccinated schoolmate and then proceeded to expose the entire family one Thanksgiving. In healthy young people, it's just a bad cold. But let's all be responsible citizens and contribute to herd immunity for the young, old, and unhealthy among us, mmmkay?

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Atlanta – My Other Home

I’m just back from a weekend in ATL, and everything about it was like slipping on an old comfortable pair of jeans. Not so long ago I was waxing poetic about how nice it was to come home to SF, and of course WV will also always be home (I’ll be there in a couple of weeks too). I’ve learned that despite my traveling, or perhaps because of it, I’m actually a bit of a homebody. More than a couple of days in a hotel room and I’m going to unpack. I’ll nest just about anywhere. A friend, who has spent far more days on the road than I, recently told me that he started to associate home with his stuff – when out at museums or wandering around he would start to think, I need to get home…to my backpack.

Anyway. So as I turned the familiar corner on Freedom Parkway where the city skyline suddenly comes into view, I though, Ah. There’s my city. I haven’t really lived all that many places (this is city number four, unless summers count, in which case I’m at six). But the thing about Atlanta is it’s the first place I both chose and liked. It’s the place where I figured out how to be a person. The place where I lost my shit. And then found it again.

This weekend was everything a visit back home should be – long, relaxed stretches catching up with old friends, without feeling harried or pressured to hurry up and get to the next visit. Just sitting and drinking and doing as little possible.

Plus! It featured a brand new friend! I had the extreme pleasure of meeting Heather – musician, fashionista, and soon-to-be scientist extraordinaire.


I am so remiss in these postings. Let’s play catch-up:

I finally gave up on the Wollstonecraft bio and started The Road instead. Oof. I've had the movie in my netflix queue, but after reading the book I'm not sure I have it in me. The book is excellent, but so disturbing that at two moments I actually had to put the thing down. That's some impressive writing.

Who Killed Retro Girl - I started reading this first entry in the Powers series while in Guatemala, and I was going to describe it thusly - "Oh Powers! You had me at 'What's a clitoris?' but does Deena have to be like every other woman in comics and wear shirts that show her belly button?" And then! They acknowledged it! "And shit. I wear these little belly shirts all day. That's gotta do something for you." It's better than nothing. I mean the acknowledgement is better than nothing. The book is better than lots of things, least of which is nothing.

The Well of Lost Plots and Something Rotten - I'm a total Jasper Fforde fangirl. In fact, Fforde was the cause of me finally using my various technological toys to their fullest potential. I finished Lost Plots while halfway back from Palo Alto on the Caltrain. I couldn't remember the name of the next one, so I used my smartphone to look it up online, then downloaded it on my kindle. I am a nerd. I'm also late to this bandwagon, so I shouldn't have to convince you about how awesomely entertaining Thursday Next and all her friends are.

(I'm actually working on a totally different post, but this one occurred to me today, and Sid has been hassling me for some new content, so here you go!)

So. I’m turning 30 this year. And Melissa’s birthday extravaganza in Iceland got me to thinking – I’m a grown-up, with a paycheck. I don’t need excuses to travel. I can just go somewhere that sounds fun and interesting and because I want to! Ok peanut gallery – where should I go for my birthday? I’m flexible on the definition of ‘for my birthday.’ I may still, happily, spend the actual day here in SF. But the trip would be my gift to myself. Here’s what’s on my list so far – feel free to comment or add:

1) Germany – I am way overdue on some visits, and I now have three friends living in various German towns, so I could bounce around the country for a week and a half or so for relatively cheap.
2) Boston – Similar story – I have reached critical mass in terms of friends in Boston, several of whom I haven’t seen in years! ☹
3) The Bahamas – PC’s sister owns a house in the Bahamas, so we could stay for free
4) Hawaii – because I live on the west coast, so if the Bahamas are on the list, shouldn’t Hawaii be too?
5) Las Vegas – because I’ve never been, and what could be more fun than a ridiculous birthday weekend in sin city?
6) Dublin – I loved it when Mom and I were there a couple of years ago and I’ll be in Belfast for work in Oct. so I could tack a few days on one side or the other and head south…
7) Cartegena – I’ve heard it’s beautiful, and the odds that I’ll be back in Bog sometime this year are pretty much certain, so why not take a few vacation days and head to the coast?

Obviously each of these has pros and cons, not least of which is whether or not I would be surrounding myself with friends or traveling alone. I don't really have a favorite idea yet, so now's your chance to sway me!

Update - I'm not really marking Boston off the list, but I completely forgot that I'm already committed to being there in Sept for a friend's wedding! So no need to factor it into a potential birthday-trip list. Yay!