Recent goings on

So what’s been up in our house lately?

Well, let’s see…

Much of the first part of the week was dealing with a sick Miles. He had a minor cold that made his asthma flare up. No fun! I got a call from the school nurse saying his oxygen was in the 70s (whaaaa?) but only briefly, and it went up to the 90s after resting. When I called the doctor’s office to make an appointment, they were like “70s equals ER” so I picked him up from school and headed there.

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When he was triaged there, his oxygen was up in the high 90s and I almost thought they were going to send us home, but after a couple of hours (ugh) he was getting worse so we got into an exam room, where he got a breathing treatment and steroids and all that fun stuff.

So anyway, it was fine. We went to the pediatrician a couple of days later, now he’s on a daily preventative so hopefully no more ER visits in our future.

(And then today Linus is home sick.)

Cute thing: peeking in at guitar lessons (Miles not shown as he was home sick.)

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Let’s see, what else…

Oh, we went to skating night last week before the sickness started. Everyone is SO MUCH BETTER than they were last year. A lot more confidence. Now they’re talking about a skating birthday party. Just like in my youth! Except they also want another slumber party. Ugh, no. I’m really trying to steer them away from that…

Look at Ollie go! (White shirt, dark shorts on the right.)

What else?

Some exciting stuff on the horizon. Tomorrow night I’ll be donning a fuschia and silver beaded floor length gown I got at the thrift store for $15 and riding in an RV to a breast cancer fundraiser. Should be fun! Pics later, maybe, if I don’t look too much like a sparkly sausage in the dress.

I just realized this post is probably too boring to publish, but oh well.

Whistler on film

I brought my film camera (the old, beaten up Pentax K1000 that I’ve had since I was about ten) to Whistler, thinking the scenery there would make for much better photos than my backyard. I was sorta right…

I don’t know if the film was not great, or if I wasn’t getting exposure right or what, but these pictures feel a bit muddier and grainier than my last batch. I think the film was ISO400 this time as opposed to ISO200, which would certainly explain the grain. And I bought a new battery in Whistler but somehow the meter kept konking out. So maybe I just need more practice? Better film? A fresher battery? A less beat up camera? (Though this isn’t a hobby I want to invest a ton of money in.)

(None of these photos have been edited digitally in any way. The negatives were scanned for me at the photo lab.)

It’s also interesting to compare these with the photos I took with my phone. Maybe I’m just used to digital photography. I want to argue that the film pictures feel warmer or something, maybe I’m just hopelessly nostalgic or fooling myself.

Film left, iPhone right.

I look at the left photo and it just feels nice, but then I look at the right one and I think “oh yes, that’s much better.”

Who knows? Maybe I just need to try with better film, for a start.

 

Elizabeth, on top of the world!

 

 

Automattic Grand Meetup 2017

Back to Whistler!

And even more gorgeous than last year. The weather was stunning until the last day, and even in the rainy mist it was beautiful. On to the pics!

Day 1: Arrival and the opening party

Checked into hotel, found the view of the pool wasn’t quite as nice as last year, but I’m not complaining.

Look, it’s Bob! Not my big brother! Bob looks like my brother, only with dimples and technically younger than me by a couple of months. (But seriously tho.) Continue reading “Automattic Grand Meetup 2017”

Stars

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Look closely, there are lots of stars.

I’m in Whistler again for our big company meetup, and there were rumors of aurora borealis. A giant group of us trekked to a lake tonight to see if we could catch the Northern Lights, but alas, they never showed up. But boy, did we see a lot of stars. (Click to see larger.)

And here’s a version the the exposure turned up – there’s the Milky Way!

It was 20 years ago uh, yesterday

If only I’d remembered to write this post yesterday

Anyway, just wanted to share my memories of the day Princess Diana died. Not because we were close friends or anything, but because I (along with Kristina and Anne) was literally in the middle of it.

In May 1997, we moved to London with student work visas, which allowed us to work in Britain for six months. Our initial plan was to stay in London a few months, make some money, then spend some time backpacking around Europe. Well, after being in London for a few weeks, we decided to forgo the backpacking bit and just stay in London as long as humanly possible.

It was idyllic (I mean, with twenty years of rose-tinted hindsight.) We found a tiny flat in South Kensington, just off Gloucester Road, and a short walk to Kensington High Street, Kensington Gardens, Hyde Park, and all that fun stuff. We found temp jobs (for a company called Office Angels, which is just…does it even still exist? Yes it does. (Maybe I’m being sexist by thinking it’s sexist. Who said men can’t be angels?)

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a blurry pic of us in our very tiny, very pink flat

Anyway, Kristina and I worked in offices around the West End, and Anne worked in a pub. We made friends. We spent our money on beer and rent. It was a glorious summer. Britpop (my favorite music, I was obsessed) was in full swing, the weather was gorgeous, we were young! We had no responsibilities!

One night, we got a phone call in the middle of the night. Or maybe early the next morning (look, it was 20 years ago, okay?) from one of Kristina’s friends, asking if we’d heard the news. We hadn’t, because Diana was killed in the middle of the night for us. We woke up to the news of her death.

It was sad, of course. But what was nuts was how close we were to everything. The tube station we took to work was the Gloucester Road station. If you left the station and walked down Gloucester Road, you’d eventually come to the front door of Kensington Palace. And that’s what everyone (or so it seemed) in the United Kingdom was doing. Walking from the station to the palace, with flowers.

 

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Handy map of the area

 

It was nearly impossible to cross the street to get to the pub. Or to walk against the tides of people to get to the station. It was crazy. The front of the palace was a tide of bouquets. Flowers, notes, stuffed animals, everything.

A few days later, Kristina and Anne took a long-planned trip to Amsterdam (where they had originally met.) I was too broke, so I stayed behind. I remember thawing our tiny freezer with a hair dryer, and then leaving the flat to go watch the funeral procession down Kensington High Street.

Seeing the flowers with “Mummy” on top of the casket was the saddest thing in the world.

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(not my picture)

That’s about it. After it passed, I went back to the flat and probably watched it on TV. I don’t know. And that’s pretty much the whole story. Not exciting, but it’s kind of…interesting to have been so close to it.