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Hate losing things, love finding things [Oct. 20th, 2011|09:29 am]
Sara spelled without an h
I recently re-found my sunglasses, the lack of which was fortunately not as annoying in the fall as it would have been in the summer. However, I found them just in time because my "eye irritation from not wearing sunglasses" was starting to crop up again. The sunglasses were in a purse (I hate that word but I feel like pocketbook doesn't quite describe the bag properly) that I was using to attend a wedding. (The wedding, btw, was great. It was my childhood friend from the beach, and was pretty perfect. My favorite thing was that one of the hors d'oerves was a little bowl of tomato soup with a wedge of grilled cheese.)

I also re-found my NOOK, which made me so happy. I've been stressing about where I might have left it, particularly since the last places I remember having it were on Labor Day in the Berkshires, perhaps at some point when we went to New Jersey, and on the T. It turns out that the last place I had it was indeed the Berkshires, and it was packed into a box of board games. Hooray!

This morning I saw a woman driving a car with "SING" and bass clef bumper stickers. Although I like to hope that she, like me, usually sings in the bass clef, it's more probable that she sings and also plays a bass clef instrument (also like me, although how much I really play trombone is probably less than I would like to believe, since I haven't picked it up in over a year.)

In other music news, I can't wait to get Rocksmith and use my real guitar to play video games.
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Hey, I'm OK by the way! [Sep. 27th, 2011|10:04 am]
Sara spelled without an h
I was randomly thinking about my Livejournal this morning (mostly how I used to enjoy posting in it so much) so I decided to see exactly when I had posted last, and my last post was more than a year ago, prior to having a baby. As they noted on "Up All Night" last week, you can't post somewhere "Hey having a baby/going to the hospital" and then disappear. So, for those of you who don't see evidence of my childbirth survival elsewhere (i.e. Twitter, Facebook, real life) I'm ok. I have a wonderful, healthy, fun 10-month old named Molly.

I have a conflict about posting more, because a lot of what I would say would be about her, probably, and I am not sure how much I want to put out there - trying to protect her, perhaps. I don't know, we'll see. I do other stuff too. For example, the other day I took a bunch of students out for a little ecological tour of the salt marsh and mudflat, and I ended up having to rescue a bunch of them from the mud. Then I had to swim after the teacher's shoe. The teacher later wrote: "Sara, you should have heard the kids talking about your heroism in saving them from the mud. You're a goddess to them." I am ok with being a mud goddess. (Detour to Google, where I find that there was indeed a mud goddess, Lahamu. Babylonian. Daughter of Tiamat!)
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Gestation [Aug. 4th, 2010|12:28 pm]
Sara spelled without an h
Did you know that the last time I posted on LJ was February 8th? That's a long time ago.

By now, many of you know that I am having a baby ~ Nov. 2nd, and while I could have been posting about that, I sometimes get the feeling that people don't like hearing about that kind of thing. That said, here's a summary thus far of what I've been writing in my other journal. Hopefully this doesn't sound too nonchalant.

March: Pregnant. There's a baby inside and I got to see it. Not really sick at all but still taking the opportunity to snack on ginger snaps.

April: Picked a nice OB who is an old guy that has seen it all and has a sense of humor. All tests thus far are good (positive or negative for whatever is healthiest.)

May: Plugging along, feel great.

June: Doing pre-natal yoga. Had fetal survey and it's a girl. She has long arms and legs for her gestational age. Tall already.

July: Still feeling great, so have to remind myself that I probably should take it easy in the heat despite my stubbornness and grit. Getting kicked regularly.

So, there we are. Now I am 27 weeks and in my 3rd trimester, and all is well.

In semi-related news, I am reading a book about goats and goat milk and goat cheese, and it is giving me the following feelings:

1) I much prefer being close to nature than anything else, and hope I can have/keep a lifestyle that's a nice balance between living in modern society and appreciating nature.

2) I like reading about mammals doing what mammals do, since I am doing what mammals do with all this gestation and future lactation.

3) I really wish I was allowed to eat chevre. No soft cheeses for pregnant ladies.

As far as the future is concerned, I will probably not turn this into a "Check out this adorable thing my baby did today" kind of blog, as I know that can get annoying. It's the sort of thing that parents find fascinating and other people find somewhere between "amusing" and "seriously?"

I assure you that being pregnant is not the only exciting thing going on for me to tell you about. I just got back from 8 days surveying for invasive species all around New England (something I also did back in 2007.) It was fun but tiring (13-14 hour days). I am kind of happy that I can sit in my office most of this week. I am also happy that it's August, which is a beautiful month (but not as great as September and early October.) You can start to feel autumn in the air. It makes me want to gather firewood and harvest things (see #1 above.)
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Time, Money, and Hobbies (or "The Plight of the Jack-of-all-Trades") [Feb. 8th, 2010|03:57 pm]
Sara spelled without an h
I do a lot of really excellent thinking in the car, and since I am in my car often enough to put ~2,000 miles/month on my dear vehicle, I am able to accomplish a lot of thinking.

Lately I've been thinking about how much time/money my hobbies useCollapse )
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Even Livejournal is lazy about updating itself [Jan. 11th, 2010|03:01 pm]
Sara spelled without an h
Is anyone else still seeing a moose ornament and a candle in an evergreen tree as their header?

My biggest news of the past week or so is that I sang at the CD release concert for my friends in MARS. I sang backup for a song in their first set, on which I also sang backup on the CD. I also sang backup on the CD for another track but I didn't do that at the concert. In the second set, I sang a duet ("I Can Feel It" by Sloan). I love singing harmony with someone - it's just such a synergistic thing. Anyway, I had a fabulous time. Unfortunately, the band that played third (between the two sets by MARS) was a)loud b) more "garage rock" than most people enjoy, plus it was late, so a lot of people left before the second MARS set (4th overall.)

The next events with the band will be, hopefully, a) recording some "country" duets and b) singing at the "Kids Show" in March.

There are also plans in the works to do a benefit show with my "scientist band" for a scholarship fund at the Graduate School of Oceanography in Rhode Island. I have to compile a wish-/playlist of songs I want us to do, which should be a fun task.

Marine biologist by day, rock star by night.
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2009 In Review [Jan. 1st, 2010|11:05 am]
Sara spelled without an h
This is an annual tradition!

1. What did you do in 2009 that you'd never done before?
Group Power (powerlifting) class at gym, joined and helped Herring Ponds Watershed Association, won Stickleback Award, won CC Wahines "best-dressed" trophy at Spring Pa'ina, sang with MARS, did intense 6-hour horseshoe crab survey protocol, saw the following bands live (MARS, Tori Pyne, My Own Worst Enemy, PBJ [Peter, Bjorn, and John], Depeche Mode, Chester French, Panic at the Disco, Fallout Boy, Blink 182, Tori Amos, Ra Ra Riot, Metric, Passion Pit, the Airborne Toxic Event, the Gaslight Anthem, the Bravery, Sloan, plus a number of other opening bands), Surfrider beach cleanup, fixed an AC unit, laid down cork tile floor, was on WFNX, my River Swim, recorded on a non a cappella CD, hosted a dinner party, saw/heard John Irving, flew JetBlue, ran in a 5K, took a spin class

2. Did you keep your new years' resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
Last year's:
#1 Continue weight loss - Yup, lost 22 lbs in 2009.
#2 Write at least one actual letter to a friend a month - Nope. Sorry friends.
#3 Make progress on one major house project - Yup, we had our house painted, plus we put in cork floors in the basement.

This year (bumping it up to 4!):
#1 Continue weight loss (maybe another 20 lbs?)
#2 Have a significant savings buffer at the end of 2010.
#3 Complete another significant house project (paint kitchen?)
#4 Be able to play 3 surf guitar songs somewhat fluidly

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
I am really bad at remembering how old people's babies are, but I did go to two baby showers so both Liz and Sian had babies. I am pretty sure Alix and Kiki did too, but they can correct me. Moriah definitely did.

4. Did anyone close to you die?
Ed, the drummer from our band NEERSighted. :-(

5. What new places did you visit?
Portland, Oregon

6. What would you like to have in 2010 that you lacked in 2009?
My 2009 wasn't really lacking much, but I would say I would like to have a better financial buffer for emergencies. I am already doing an ok job of getting that to work so that's good. We'll see where I am at the end of 2010.

7. What date from 2009 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
Oh, May 2nd, definitely. I went to our "Green Expo" and ended up meeting a wonderful woman (Jen) who ended up putting in our raised veggie beds. Then I went to the CC Wahines Spring Pa'ina in a brown bridesmaid dress that my friend Kristen had passed to me plus my brown and red Converses. I had a hip-hop dance lesson, then ended up playing tambourine and singing with the band, MARS, who then became my friends. I won a trophy for being best-dressed. Then, a couple of the wahines (Ann Marie and Maura) and I went out to the Squire with the guys from MARS where we danced around in a conga line and saw a bar fight.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
I had two big athletic achievements this year - my river swim and my 5K. Frankly, the 5K was a bigger achievement for me even though it was less than half the distance and about a quarter of the time of the swim.

9. What was your biggest failure?
Getting behind on various things - there's always some task I should have been keeping up with better.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Had a stomach bug in January and some shoulder bursitis in the summer.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
Probably our raised vegetable bed or the new paint for our house. For non-mutual purposes, my softshell jacket I got super on sale at EMS.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
My sisters for being brave and following their hearts.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
People I occasionally have to deal with who are completely deluded about how nature and ecology function.

14. Where did most of your money go?
Most of it goes to the mortgage.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Singing gigs and practices with bands and the Chants.

16. What song will always remind you of 2009?
"Kiss Me on the Bus" by the Replacements because a) I sang it w/ MARS at the Midway Cafe in JP b) it was my submission for "My Song is Better Than Your Song" on WFNX

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
i. happier or sadder? Happier, not that I was unhappy last year, but wow. What a good year this was.
ii. thinner or fatter? Thinner!
iii. richer or poorer? Richer in the sense that I have more saved up and am smarter about money.

18. What do you wish you'd done more of?
Bike riding. I kept thinking I would put air in my tire and go for a ride, and totally didn't do it.

19. What do you wish you'd done less of?
Hit the snooze button on days when Joe is away.

20. How will you be spending Christmas?
I spent it at my Mom's as usual, but we did the day itself at Liisa's house which was fantastic and brunch-focused, which of course I love.

21. What was your favorite TV program?
Big Bang Theory or True Blood

22. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
Come on, you know I don't hate like that. :P

23. What was the best book you read?
The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski

24. What was your greatest musical discovery?
MARS, My Own Worst Enemy (friends and co-performers of MARS), Metric, The Motion Sick, Miike Snow, the Brian Eno and David Byrne album, Owl City, and probably a bunch of other stuff.

25. What did you want and get?
Well, I always want fun and excitement and new friends, and I got that in spades.

26. What was your favorite film of this year?
Fantastic Mr. Fox (and this is not a function of short memory, it really was my favorite this year)

27. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 30, and had a birthday dinner at Casa Brasil with my family (yum churrasco). The next day I had a big party at the beach house.

28. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Free coffee for a year!

29. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2009?
Fitted but not to the point of lumpy. Bright colors. Expose clavicle if possible.

30. What kept you sane?
Joe making me laugh, being able to sing so often with so many great people

31. What political issue stirred you the most?
Gay marriage and environmental issues like climate change

32. Who did you miss?
I missed my sisters. I feel like I barely saw them, or if I did it was pretty brief.

33. Who was the best new person you met?
Ah, there is no best person. Here are a bunch of people I met: Kristen C. (#1), Kristen C. (#2), Laurie I., Jen F., Chris G., Elizabeth H., Mike A., Kalea A., Devin B., Martha B., Billy S., Adam N., Fletcher, Ed O., Charlie P., Henry S., Julie K., Trevor F., Jim M., Julie R., any new wahines that I can't remember when I met them (was it this year?), people I met at parties, people I met at conferences, various watershed folks, volunteers, students, and people I randomly invited to share a table with me at breakfast (extrovert much?)

34. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2009.
It is almost always worth it to stay, but follow your gut to know when to leave. Also, you can do anything, even if it's something you've always hated (*cough* running *cough*) if you work up to it and believe in yourself (cheesy but true.)

35. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
And I wonder
When I sing along with you
If everything could ever feel this real forever
If anything could ever be this good again
"Everlong", Foo Fighters
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Crawling back on my knees [Dec. 1st, 2009|04:21 pm]
Sara spelled without an h
So hey. Let's pretend I haven't been away for as long as I have, ok? I mean, yeah, I've been hanging out a lot with Facebook and my new friend Twitter, but come on, LJ, baby. You know I love you. I was thinking the other day that I've been with you longer than I was with Diaryland (ok, we won't talk about that phase of my life, that's cool).

So, what's been going on? Geez, where did I leave off. Looks like September 18th, so about two and a half months to catch up on. Grab a coffee, let's do this.

Arts

- I had the opportunity to get back together with my local estuarine affiliate society band folks for a tribute to our drummer who passed away during the summer. We played a memorial clambake. It was wonderful.

- I went into the recording studio with my MARS buddies to record some vocals on the title track of their album (out this week!) I can't wait to hear it. I went to see them play at Precinct a couple weeks ago and they said the track sounded really good, so that's nice to hear.

- I went to hear John Irving do a reading from his new novel and answer questions at the Coolidge, sponsored by Brookline Booksmith. He is just as fantastic as I imagined and loves Dickens and Hardy and dislikes Faulkner and Hemingway, which makes total sense. The book is pretty great too (I am savoring it and thus reading it much slower than I otherwise might.)

- I got back together with yet another scientist band, this time it was the one from the larger national estuarine scientist group, although a bunch of us were from MA (me) and RI (two others) anyway (a blurb about what we did in 2007.) We performed at the conference farewell event and it was unbelievably fun, and our setlist was Beatles-intensive with some Tom Petty, Elvis Costello, the Clash, etc.

- The Chants sang at a nursing home on the South Shore, which was kind of sweet and amusing all at once.

- Joe and I went to see the Pixies play Doolittle (plus a bunch of B-sides) at the Wang Theater (now really known as the Citi Performing Arts Center, but please. It will always be the Wang.) That was so cool. It felt automatically classy being in the theater instead of an arena or a club. Kind of a nice twist.

Science

- I went to Portland, OR for a conference, which was really cool. I presented a poster and saw a lot of great talks. I explored the city and went to some cool bars (Tugboat Brewing, Doug Fir and randomly ended up at The Roxy (DinerSense Activate!). I also sang in a band (see "Arts") and ran a 5K (see "Personal").

- I went out to survey culverts with some volunteers and we found a mink in a trap that was angry and starving to death. It was in there with a long-dead muskrat, but whether they both got caught or the muskrat was the bait, we weren't sure. We let it go (I think that it might have been illegal to do, but the trap was unlabeled and obviously hadn't been checked, which is more illegal.)

Personal

- In September Joe and I finally tackled our finished basement (the lowest level of our house has two separate basements, one finished, the other unfinished, never the twain shall meet.) We pulled up the carpet, scrubbed the glued foamy pieces off, and laid down a nice floating cork floor. That room is now our library! We moved the futon down there and got a big new couch for our family room (if you want to call it that - it's the room with the TV and gaming systems.)

- My buddy Liz, who was my roommate sophomore year and overall great friend otherwise, has moved to Massachusetts and now lives in the next town over. I've been going over to her house about once a week to hang out and visit her and her sons. Yay for friends moving back!

- Joe's dad and aunt came to visit us for Columbus Day weekend, which was fun. We got to do some touristy things and we made lobster for them, which went over pretty well. They left us with an abundance of Italian cookies, which went away pretty quickly.

- I had a bad day, where I thought I had something wrong with my eye(s). It may have been a migraine, but since I had never really had one and haven't had one since, I'm hoping it was just a fluke (the random thing, not the parasitic worm.)

- Halloween was kind of a bust, because we only had one trixortreator. That said, I did have the opportunity to dress up as a Great Blue Heron for the watershed association's annual meeting the night before, so that at least got it out of my system. I made my own mask and wore a blue dress that in retrospect may have been a little short (still looked good, but perhaps not work attire.)

- I ran a 5K at the conference I attended in Portland, OR. The course was a "there and back" thing along the Riverwalk, which was pretty cool except that at the end I had to run up a ton of ramps and then up a hill to the conference center. It turns out that the race was actually 3.25 miles, not 3.1, so while it took me 45 minutes, it was equivalent to a 42:55 race time. Still very slow, but hey! I ran over 3 miles! I ran for 45 minutes straight!

- I went to the Plymouth Thanksgiving Parade, which was great as usual. It made me proud of all sorts of things like living in Plymouth and being from Massachusetts, plus I got to see a lot of brass bands, and a Hawaii volcano float broke down right in front of me.

- Thanksgiving itself was great. Joe and I (really Joe) made the turkey and stuffing. The night beforehand we went to my sister's (L) house for a little party, then the day of went pretty smoothly. The day after my other sister (H) got sick, so we ended up playing cards and then going Cosmic Bowling at Harvard Lanes with her boyfriend. I also walked pretty much every day with my sister (L) which was good for dealing with food bloat.

I think you are all up to speed now!
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Leave Imogen Heap alone! [Sep. 18th, 2009|02:14 pm]
Sara spelled without an h
This morning while getting coffee in a chain that has a reputation as the Hooters of Coffee but makes good flavored coffee (this sentence contains the word "coffee" 3x not including the one right there), I heard a song that sampled Imogen Heap's "Hide and Seek", which is a very beautiful and somewhat heartrending song (listen to both at that link.) I typically enjoy sampling - I think it's kind of cool. However, I felt kind of insulted by this particular effort, mostly because I really have an emotional response to "Hide and Seek".

Facebook is the new Twitter, yo.
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September is a beginning and an end all at once [Sep. 1st, 2009|09:51 am]
Sara spelled without an h
The breezes taste
Of apple peel.
The air is full
Of smells to feel-
Ripe fruit, old footballs,
Burning brush,
New books, erasers,
Chalk, and such.
The bee, his hive,
Well-honeyed hum,
And Mother cuts
Chrysanthemums.
Like plates washed clean
With suds, the days
Are polished with
A morning haze. - John Updike, September

I wonder if September will ever arrive without making me long for academia or want to head to somewhere with orchards full of apples. I suppose the positive things we spend a majority of our childhood doing (learning, reading, being surrounded by trees and apples) never leave us. Fortunately I have a new autumn tradition of going out to the camp at Queechy Lake with Joe for our anniversary, with lots of reading, kayaking, playing with the dog, buying fruit at farmer's markets, and generally enjoying this wonderful liminal time of year that always stands out as the best time of year until May arrives, and then the opposite declaration occurs.

Soon it will be time to be "rugged up in coarse woolen jumpers" (a quote from my friend Ryan that I think of every time I put on a sweater.)
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Because gays have a reputation for making messes [Aug. 10th, 2009|01:46 pm]
Sara spelled without an h
I have had the unfortunate "opportunity" to be part of a two separate conversations (one very recently, the other about 2 years ago) about rental properties wherein the people discussing it have mentioned something along the lines of being concerned about the condition in which the property would be left if it was rented to someone gay. Both conversations also included concerns about the bedclothes being somehow left "dirtier" which just blows my mind.

I called out the people who made these comments on both occasions, and they dug themselves deeper into whatever hole they started out with, including commentary about parties, the likelihood that more than two people would be sleeping in the bed, and so on. They actually rationalized their previous opinions! I'm sorry, but the last time I checked, there were plenty of rentals being ruined by heterosexuals and their parties. (Oh, sorry, I forgot. Heterosexual parties aren't like homosexual parties. The latter apparently includes all sorts of furniture- and sheet-ruining activities.)

I just don't get it. The other people in these conversations were what I would consider relatively liberal people living in a relatively liberal and gay-friendly state. What the hell?
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