We got this chair for $25 on Craigslist.  It’s in great shape.

Oh, people, my heart is sore.  School creates so much anxiety for the boy.  If this situation doesn’t improve we will need to make some big changes.  In the meantime I need to be productive enough at work to justify this distance.  I’ll start NOW.  NOW!  Do you hear me brain!?  He’s fine.


Sick baby

I’m going a little crazy with a sick baby at home.  Snot, other messes, cheek rash, fun plans cancelled, nutritious foods spurned,  lots of crying.  Just take one look at him and there’s no question he has a bad mom.  I’m really worried about our trip to DC on Sunday.  In fact, I’m sort of mess about this whole DC thing and praying the government shuts down.  It that wrong?  Would there be disastrous consequences?  The way I see it it would be a win for Obama, a blow for the Republicans and I could relax, tend to my baby and scope out D.C. at my leisure to try to strategize our move.

I read more about Placement Week last night and found myself dizzy with anxiety over lots of things including the specific instructions to bring a suit or a jacket with pants or skirt.  “Crap!”  I thought.  “I don’t have a suit.  Or a jacket.”  and then I remembered an olive green suit that I picked up at Goodwill about a year ago for $25.  The pants fit me well and I wore them with a blouse to my interview for the USFWS spotted owl job.  The jacket was a little too boxy.  In my memory it smacked a little of polyester, but when I dug it out of the closet I was pleasantly surprised.  It’s a prettier green than I remembered, definitely wool and seemingly well-made.  I looked up the brand online, determined it’s from Nordstoms, consulted my style guide and decided it was worth trying to arrange a rush alteration.

I found a really great old world tailor on Consumer’s Checkbook and plopped poor Goobs on the floor in his little chair with a handful of raisins while I was fitted.  Tomorrow when I pick up the suit I’ll try to sneak a photo of the place which is fantastic.

P.S.  Do you like my green California shirt?  It was in one of my bags o’ crap from the Goodwill Outlet store.

Radio Interview

Goobie and I went over to a friend’s house today so she could watch him while Sam and I did a phone interview with an NPR reporter from Arcata.  Luckily Sam did most of the talking.  The focus of the interview was the conservation canine project.  We (and I use “we” loosely because my role was minimal) developed a new survey protocol that relies on dogs rather than simulated owl calls to find spotted owls.  It’s way better than the old status quo for several critical reasons.  There is, however, an entrenched ass impeding publication of our results.

When the interview was over I found Goobs in the front yard with Tina and Mia and Carlos, excited about a remote control car.  The whole way home he told me all about it using the following five words: “loud”, “fast”, “car”, “cool” and “amazing”.  Later we had chili for dinner and wheat free cornbread.

Aran knit cables

My first attempt at aran cables.  It was nice to have time with my hands free on the trip.  I hope I can finish this little sweater before Goober is too big to wear it.

Well, I’m not so grumpy today.  Wiz made me my favorite dinner last night to celebrate the fellowship- tofu francese (battered and fried with lemon, white wine, butter, artichoke sauce).  YUM!  We went to Raffi’s for lunch today and started talking about buying a Westfalia or Eurovan for the cross country move and for weekends up and down the Eastern seaboard.  My mom called, and explaining things to her got me excited about the opportunity again.  Everything is starting to make sense.  Not that there aren’t hundreds of things to figure out.  For one: how am I going to swing the week next month back in DC for interviews?  Maybe Wiz can take Goobs to visit his parents and I can join them there?  But I don’t want to be away from Goober a whole five days.  Maybe my dad can come to DC and babysit while I am tied up?  The actual interviews probably won’t take that much of the week.  Maybe Wiz and Goober can come to DC with me for part of the time and Nam can watch him on the other days?  Maybe Wiz can just work from DC, watching Goobs the few times I am busy, looking at neighborhoods with me on the weekend?

One step at a time.  Really, Lis.  People do this stuff.  It works out.

An Offer

Well, sportfans.  I got the offer.  Would it make me a horrible ingrate to confess my reservations?  DC was rainy and reminded me of Bladerunner.  Hard to ever imagine making a home for my family there.  These are photos of Metro station that I took as I stood there befuddled by the fact of the year- 2011.  A year that belongs to a future so distant that I never calculated for it.  I’ve reached an age unfathomable for heroines.  In the metro station I looked around at young women and old women, well-dressed and shabby and felt the weight of responsibility for inventing the me I need to become.  DC will probably be a good step.  A finishing school of sorts.

But Wiz (he corrected my spelling on that) is less than completely thrilled.  “You always told me you wanted to stay home with the kids while they were young.  Work part time until they started school.”  True.  “I’ve been working my ass off so you can do that and now that we are comfortable you want to dismantle everything.”  (Maybe those weren’t his exact word).  He’s worried that he’s going to have to give up everything he’s worked so hard for.  And I have to say domesticity has been delicious.  Sacha says she doesn’t see her son until 6 PM on most days.  Bleh.

More later.  I’ve been up since 2:00 Seattle time and am off to put the boy to bed.


There it is.  The AAAS building.

The building wherein I finished my interview less than an hour ago.

Overall it went pretty well I think.  It was relaxed.  People laughed.  I was drugged, of course.  I mostly read my five minute presentation at the beginning, talking too quietly as always, but trying to make eye contact with everyone.  I think boring them to distraction may have ultimately worked to my advantage though, because none of the questions afterwards was very probing.  After that I got to talk about motorcycles and owl poop and Ecuador and that part was fun anyway.

On the way out I ran into Sasha!  Crazy crazy.

This is me before the interview, looking like a dour and nearsighted schoolmarm from the 1800s.  I probably should have bought myself a stylish suit, but I did not.  This outfit is entirely stuff I had:

sheer pale pink J.Crew blouse from Goodwill ($10)

long skirt from the J. Crew outlet store about 10 years ago ($12)

boots from Nordstrom were a graduation gift from my mom over 6 years ago (about $250)

belt from T.J. Maxx ($15)

handmade earrings from La Paloma were a Christmas present

I did buy the coat which was about $50 from Macy’s online.  I have to say though, it didn’t look quite right with the skirt.  Oh well.  I’m a scientist, people.  I can get away this stuff.

Now I have the insane luxury of an afternoon and evening all to myself in a new city.  Oh the possibilities!  Of course I’m here the extra night to go to the National Forum for the new Forest Service Planning Rule.  So I’ll probably go to that.  But I could just go to a museum instead.  Or find a place to read or knit.  Or go work out in the hotel gym.  Gentle readers, you’re going to have to excuse me now.  This is too crazy of an opportunity not to be taken to its full advantage.

Made it

Cesar salad alone with my book in the dark dining room.  I love my room on the top floor with its two double beds.  I’m wearing the complimentary bathrobe right now and settling down to prep for my interview tomorrow.  Wish me luck.

My new coat.