Pre-Sabbatical Warm-Up 16 June 2001

My sabbatical, which consists of six consecutive weeks of paid leave, officially starts on Monday, June 18. Since there's a weekend between my last day of work and my first official day of sabbatical, I'm counting today and tomorrow as a pre-sabbatical warm-up, kind of like spring training.

At first I was a bit resentful that a regular old weekend stood between crazybusy work and glorious time off, but now I see how useful it really is. I've been so sleep-deprived and stressed out lately, it'd be a shame to start my sabbatical cranky and overtired, as I am now. I can use this weekend to get in tip-top shape for goofing off.

With this in mind (and not much else—I could barely form a coherent sentence at 7pm on Friday), I went to bed early last night and got a solid 8.5 hours of sleep. I bleached my hair when I got up, went to the store, and baked cookies for Jean & Heidi's annual party in Golden Gate Park. Al & I then went to said party, hung out, and enjoyed the sunshine and cool breezes (the Park was much more comfortable than the stiflingly hot Peninsula today).

We left the party around 5pm and drove back south along Route 1 and then Skyline Drive. I had never driven along the water past Sloat Blvd. before, but I recognized it as part of the route Valerie and I walked during last year's Breast Cancer 3-Day.

We made two stops on the way home: one at Al's office to pick up some personal items from his cube (which he'll say a final farewell to on June 19, when he leaves Excite@Home to work on a new project), and one at Sigona's Farmer's Market on Middlefield Rd. (at the Woodside exit off 101). We seem to have developed an alarming $60 a week fruit habit. It started innocently enough with a spectacular honeydew melon, and it's progressed to nectarines, blueberries, and corn (and dare I admit it....locally-grown bing cherries at $3.99 a pound). We stocked up on enough booty to last a day or two and headed back to Mountain View.

We watched the end of You've Got Mail for the third time in a week (it's been playing practically every four hours on TNT), and then I fell asleep on the couch. When I got up we went in search of dinner and a movie. We decided to rent The Shop Around the Corner, since that's the film You've Got Mail was based on. I liked it, but we both agreed that the update was better.

After vacuuming up the fleas and combing and dosing the cats with Frontline, I'm in bed and having an increasingly-rare (thanks to Dr. Machtinger & staff) allergy attack. We've turned up the HEPA filter, though, so I should be better by morning.

Thus endeth pre-sabbatical day one; T minus one and counting.

Lazy Sunday 17 June 2001

This actually wasn't a particularly lazy Sunday for me, what with preparing my gift for Heidi's bridal shower, doing some more packing at my apartment, and helping Al get my desk into his friend Ziv's truck for the trip down the Peninsula. Rather, Lazy Sunday was the theme for the bridal shower.

Come to think of it, the shower itself wasn't particularly representative of a lazy day, since we spent most of it industriously handpainting a picnic blanket and napkins. It was fun; several of us each worked on a napkin, and another group worked on the larger cloth together.

click thumbnail for larger view

We chose picnic food as a general theme, but each person had a different idea about what to do. Ettie painted the neighborhood around 12th & Geary (where Jean & Heidi used to share an apartment, and Ettie & Meredith now do), Grace painted Hawaiian scenes (Heidi and Scott spent their sabbatical—the pre-honeymoon, as it were—in Maui), and Jean painted a grid of flying things, crawling things, and flowers. I was fine with painting food, since I'm a food freak most of the time anyway. :)

While we painted, Barbara, Nancy, and Kelly kept us fueled with Vietnamese finger foods, veggies, and satay. When we finished with the project, they laid out a dessert of strawberries, triple-ginger cookies, and delightful little Japanese jelly cups (think single-swallow servings of Jell-O), and we adjourned to the living room to open presents.

In keeping with the Lazy Sunday theme, Heidi received a tea set, supplies for a Japanese picnic, soothing socks, a subscription to the Sunday New York Times (that was from me), and other goodies. She also got a book into which Nancy and Barbara planned to paste photos of each of us (which Kelly had taken at the start of the event) beside our wishes for Heidi as she embarked on the adventure of marriage. It was an oddly traditional way to spend an afternoon, but a pleasant one.

  Week 1 ->