While in Baltimore Last Week

That's right. That's me in front of Charm City Cakes. Duff and Jeff and I are all BFFs now. We all hung out and talked fondant and butter cream for HOURS. Then we went for a beer and watched a ballgame.

Actually, they don't know I exist and this is the closest I got to any of them. The windows have dark plastic over them so there is no ogling to be done, and there is a big lock on the door and lots of security cameras.

This was, however, one of the highlights of my Baltimore jaunt.


I Have Worms

I may not have a job, but I do have worms. (please note - there is no causal relationship between those two facts.)

Despite Team Montgomery-Quigley's trend to uproot and relocate every 10 or 12 weeks for the past year, I am grounded. Well, I am pretending to be grounded. I am encouraging myself to be grounded and rooted. -And yet, still mobile. A movable groundedness is my focus.

With the plan to be grounded, rooted, and mobile set firmly, yet fluidly, in place, I am composting. I am not just composting in a pile (compost piles are SOOO pedestrian). Oh no. I am venturing into the mysterious and satisfying realm of vermicompost. My compost project is in a bin full of worms I can put in the back of the car in 10 weeks to move to our next crappy temporary apartment.

Vermicompost is all about using red wriggler earthworms to eat your organic waste, and catching the castings for use in the garden. I bought a 1lb bag of red wrigglers, and split it with my friend MK, who now is vermicomposting like a fiend, as well. If you are curious about the fascinating ins and outs of vermicomposting, check out this site . It does a better job of explaining the mysteries and amazing wonders of vermiculture far better than this humble writer ever could.

In my time spent at the library (where all the unemployeds go during the day. . .I am getting to know the local homeless guy, the wacky retiree, and a few of the young moms with little kids. We all haunt SD Public.) where I pore over garden magazines and horticulture design books, I came across this lovely quote:

". . .one of the things I have been doing for myself is composting, which is quiet, private, slow, it has every hope for future beauty. Composting is the equivalent for prayer." - Becky Cohen, photographer.

So, in my large Tupperware bin, I have a half pound of prayers nibbling away at my salad scraps. I am praying for ease and health and happiness for everyone I know and for everyone I don't know, too. I am praying for a sense of belonging here in our new home. I am praying for prosperity for all of us. I am praying for good compost and a sense of groundedness. -Oh, and a job. I am totally praying for a job.


One way in which Texas is different from California

While in Texas last week, we went to a very lovely, sophisticated, elegant wedding followed by a lively, gorgeous, and abundantly wonderful reception at the Driskill Hotel. In the sitting room off to the side from the ballroom, there were coffee and tea urns set up up, complete with all the typical coffee and tea fixins.

This picture is of the sugar dish. All the regular sugar was gone. The fake, no-cal sugar was hardly touched. That right there shows you one of the ways in which Texas is radically different from California.

As an aside - mad props to Ryan and Emily - y'all threw a heck of a party and it was just lovely. May you continue to learn and grow and love with each other for years and years and years!



I haven't posted in 2 weeks, not because I am happily heading off to work every single day and my time cannot be allocated to FF/DH, but because we were out of town, and my time was allocated to eating bar-b-q and going swimming.

We headed back to the ATX for Ian's official graduation. It seemed pretty anticlimactic going in, as we moved away in December, and Ian is well on his way to scientific Salk-ey awesomeness, but it actually was quite climactic, deeply moving, weighty, and choc-full-o'-emotion.

There are plenty of airport bookstore bestsellers written by plenty of educators and armchair psychologists who lament the decline of rituals and our dreary lack of rights of passage. Being well steeped in new-age ass-hattery (I am a dedicated yogini and long-time yoga teacher and meditation practitioner, after all), I tend to shy away from such conversations as they usually end up with groups of people sitting on the floor in a circle, passing a talking stick around, and sharing their issues that they really ought to just share with their therapist. After this graduation ceremony, I will still eschew the talking stick and amateur group therapy, yet I will quietly and discreetly join the camp of folks who are all for ritual and rights of passage.

There is something primal, and so deeply satisfying to having a group of people come together en masse, wear special outfits, and have a conceptual, theoretical change in status actually be marked by physical, observable actions. Ian worked so hard, at such lame hours, for so long, with such dedication, and focus, and obsession, and got a nice piece of paper in the mail that said he was done. It did not feel very complete.

Yet, when we flew back to Austin, and Ian put on the special outfit, filed in to a huge concert hall full of families and friends just oozing with pride, joy, affection, and relief, and he walked across the stage, was hooded by the dean of his school, and handed his (stage-prop) diploma, it felt truly transformative. He left the stage looking noticeabley different than when he started. His outfit was different. He had a diploma in his hand. The announcer said his name out loud, in front of God and everybody, and said he was done. It felt so very complete.

Walking across the stage was such a literal, physical symbol of moving from one stage of life to another. It spoke to something buried deep in my bones and way back in my brain. It was quite satisfying. So, pass me that talking stick. I've got something to say - Ian, I am so proud of you, and impressed by you, and am just thrilled that I know you and am married to you and that you are my best friend. Well done.