I don't really know what I am musing on these days. It's more like an irregular stream of consciousness thing...it seems to be working.


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w June 30, 2008

Smoke Gets In Your Eyes

And throat, and lungs, and hair.

So, while it is vastly improved, the air, that is, over on our side of the bay, it's apparently still gnarly out there. I took the girls for a walk about 4:30 today and got an incredible view of the eastern foothills with a thick yellowish haze sitting on top like a rancid meringue - then beautiful, intense, summery blue sky. I didn't think much beyond 'oh wow - that's the first I've seen it that clearly delineated this whole time with the fires', until I ran into an older gentleman also out for a walk and we got to talking about how bad it had been. I'm not entirely sure it wasn't just fog this morning, but I was raised to not argue with my elders, so. However, on the downhill slope to home I realized I was having difficulty breathing, and I could actually taste the acrid smoke of burning flora - not the taste you'd like to have in your or your children's mouths, let me assure you. My chest is still a bit tight and painful, and I'm having to occasionally think about taking a deep breath, but it's just astonishing to me how it can still be this bad with no obvious overlay of smoke. My heart goes out to the people in East Bay and up north - attach yourselves to air conditioners or similar, and stay safe.

And it's only June, folks. Welcome to California in the summer.

by Heather Hoffman at 5:30 PM

w June 26, 2008

Nine Years!

My god, we were children when we got married! Apparently this year's traditional/modern gifts are pottery and leather, respectively. Not yet having had my coffee, that is just making me giggle in an immoderate way. Then again, next year's big 'un is tin and diamond jewelery - to which - what? Then again, diamonds. *Blink blink*

Happy Anniversary shugs - it's been madcap :)

by Heather Hoffman at 9:18 AM

w June 23, 2008

Maybe We Need A Newsletter

I don't know how many of y'all were orchestra/band geeks back in the halcyon days of pimply youth, but I spent many, many, many, many hours of my life playing violin or viola at ungodly hours of the morning and evening, and oddly enough, had the good fortune to attend schools where this actually made you...cool. I know. Madness, but it certainly made it easier. One thing that didn't was having to play the wretched, ubiquitous, proto-minimalist "Pachelbel's Canon". I know everyone just lurrrrves it and it seems to crop up frequently in celebrity interviews when they talk about how much they lurrrrve 'classical music' to which I would like to say...'nuff said. We used to call it the TacoBell Canon because, let's face it, we hated it. And we weren't very clever.

Our nephew is a drummer and he pointed me to this hilarious and well done video. I bid you to enjoy, but warn you that you will have an insidious ear-worm for a while afterward.

by Heather Hoffman at 7:35 PM

w June 17, 2008

Oh Thank The Baby Jebus

This is the best article I have seen in weeks - I may be forced to cool it on the tasty delishushness of cheese and cheese, and yeah, cheese, BUT. I can still drink my coffee and it just might be beneficial to me. I also use soy milk now, so, bully for me.

Thanks to J for linking.

by Heather Hoffman at 9:10 AM

w June 12, 2008

Save Them Emails

In the interest of trying to remember the exact list of job applications my dad put in to various universities when I was small, I pulled down the big box of correspondence my grandparents had saved from our nuclear family between about 1973 and 1988 - pretty amazing to see snapshots of your childhood fleshed out in many ways. For the record, I am *positive* Dad had applied to the University of Idaho-Boise among other places (this one stuck out, clearly) but couldn't find that particular letter. I did, however find one with a list of places much, much, MUCH worse. To wit: Orlando, FL. Norman, OK. Geneseo, NY. Newtown, PA. Flagstaff, AZ.

For all that I bitch about Toronto, jesus christ I got off lucky. Shit, Boise would have been better, at least there would have been fun winter activities.

Anyway, there were also some really sweet bits - a letter my mom wrote "from" me right after I was born, talking about how much I looked like my granddad and his mom - apparently the lucky recipient of her clear Welsh skin, har har. Hilarious stories about my sister as a toddler - every letter mentioned her quirky sense of humor (and trust, it was quirky but hysterical). How much I loved to read and how I wanted to know the French and German equivalents of a gazillion things (precocious, much? Argh). My father, the sweetest man in the world, but with a tendency toward curmudgeonly behavior, referring to the 12 puppies our Golden Retriever had as 'ugly as sin' and 'hope we can get rid of them all - one way or another' (for the record there, we did manage to give most of the surviving ones away and NO my dad did not drown any of them; one of the great benefits of teaching on a university campus is the ability to con students into things like taking free but ugly puppies). My cousin Josh and I meeting for the first time and just adoring each other - and as I mentioned before, now we have our own close in age daughters - pretty nifty. My grandfather recording hockey games for my dad in exile in Texas. A 'wish list' from my parents from the Canadian contingent, including this gem from my aforementioned curmudgeon dad: "...even some Canadian ALE so I can show these uninitiated what drinks of that type were meant to taste like before Madison Ave. told them that their tastes would accept only the 'light' beers. Snort.
The itinerary from the Toronto Symphony's European tour in 1983 that we poached on - including the flight from Prague to Frankfurt which was noted "Chartered by Czech Government". When you remind yourselves of the year in question, you'll all remember my stories of getting to fly GHETTO AEROFLOT. Because seriously, that's what Czech Air was.

My point with all this, besides self indulgent nostalgia - save your emails to and from family and friends, especially if you are recounting events and activities and kids' doings - it's the most wonderful diversion to read 30 years later. I leave you with my first foray into the world of tragic poetry, spelling and structure intact (though I cannot replicate the reasonable turkey illustration):

November 26, 1981 (Heather, age 6)

The turkeys

Thanksgiving is comeing
The turkeys
are running
we are glad
but they are sad.
the turkeys
are running.
by H. Gay

Oh, the pathos.

by Heather Hoffman at 2:33 PM

w June 11, 2008

How To See Favorite Bands FOR FREE

Or at least just the cost of a CD:

The Barenaked Ladies will be performing and promoting their kids' CD at our relatively local Barnes & Noble tomorrow - at an appropriate after school hour - and god knows Thursdays as early release days need some entertainment in the draggy late afternoon.


UPDATE: It is 3:30 and the littlest Hoffman is still napping. Alas. But! We will fill their coffers with the purchase of the CD, not to fear.

UPDATE II: I hauled ass up there to arrive at 4 pm after an employee on the phone said 'Yahh..like, an hour and a half? Two hours? I dunrilly know...". We heard the conclusion of their last song - from the first floor. They were on the second floor. The elevators were being BLOCKED by staff because APPARENTLY you had to have a wristband to go up there and get your schwag signed. And APPARENTLY you had to have stood in line from 9 am to get said wristbands. Y'all know what Heather said to that. I did buy the CD and the accompanying lyrics book so as to not totally waste a trip to a bookstore, but man was I cheesed off. Not to mention the hordes of Yuppie parents and their evil spawn swarming around the store. I sort of have to wonder how many of them actually ever listened to BnL when they were 'just' a rock band. Anyway, I salvaged the trip with a stop at McDonald's for milkshakes for the girls (fully half of which ended up on the backseat - of course!) and a sweet tea and chicken sandwich for me. I have to say - the sandwich was a poor excuse for Chik-Fil-A and the tea didn't even come within the same continent as Gene's Aunt Joanne's, but for California? Not dreadful. And no one asked me for a sunmabitch wristband (thank you Bernie Mac).

by Heather Hoffman at 11:03 PM


Today's PSA

Do not drive on 101 south of Woodside Road in the morning, at least if there are big rig trucks around.

This is the THIRD big rig accident in the SAME spot within a year? Que?

by Heather Hoffman at 8:13 AM