Salivate the good times: I finally get together with friends in Nahariya. We have a fun meal, apart from the not-so-cold beer (“Should I bring some ice?” queries the clueless wait-person). Mmmm. Suds-on-the-rocks. I think not. I try to snap a few pictures, but my friends retaliate (with my own phone, no less). Here’s the money shot:
Gimme my phone!
Farewell, Derek: STC colleague Derek Torres of Paris passed away this week from the H1N1 virus. Derek was very active in STC, helping to form the Europe SIG. I met Derek at several European conferences and I had a lot of respect for him, both as a technical communicator and as an all-around nice guy.
I know several other people who have had the virus, but recovered. It makes every cough and minor symptom seem that much scarier.
They’re baaaaaaack! Another group of security professionals from the States arrives with an SSI tour. I get ’em when they’re jet-lagged and groggy from the long flight. My job is to give them a short orientation about Israel to help make their week of lectures, demos, and hands-on counter-terrorism training more enjoyable. We talk about history, culture, food, and a lot of other stuff. The idea is to help them avoid culture clash and understand a bit more of what they are seeing. As usual, the group impresses me with their questions and interaction (though they are all too tired to laugh at the jokes).
On the way back, we swing through Netanya to link up with friend and fellow-blogger Caroline. Here we are looking somewhat less than fierce after some impressive pasta servings…
Go, Bulldogs! Some 30 years after graduating from Seattle’s Garfield High School, classmate Ben Slivka is trying to get a reunion off the ground. All I can say is the school looks a lot different now than it did when I was there!
On one hand, I am very curious to know what has happened with some of my classmates. On the other hand, I left Seattle in 1978 and didn’t maintain contact with very many people; I was one of the invisible, unpopular kids. What will I have in common with people whom I barely knew 30 years ago?
So what do you think about reunions? Fun? A waste of time? Depressing? Has anyone here ever attended a school reunion? Do tell…
Shades of gray: Yes, another dark, dank, cold day in Seattle. There are little patches of snow that refuse to melt, despite daytime temps above freezing. The only thing that keeps me warm is seeing family, long-time friends, and eating some fantastic Asian food (Japanese, Chinese, Vietnamese, Thai, Pacific Rim Fusion, etc.). Here I am with Sandy, after stuffing ourselves with udon:
Ceramics, that is: Friend Debby, formerly of Avichail, Israel, and now living in Seattle, USA, is a talented potter. She’s got some amazing soda-fired pots for sale this weekend for all of you in the Seattle area.
Date: Saturday and Sunday, 15 and 16 December
Time: 10:00 to 16:00
Location:1424 Madrona Drive, Seattle, WA
If you stop by, be sure to say hi to her for me!
The urge to purge: Something about the loss of a friend of loved one makes me think about more than just the legacy we leave behind—I also worry about the physical detritus of daily life, the accumulated junk and clutter of years. Will someone have to root through drawers of dusty concert programs and long-forgotten receipts? Raise an eyebrow over that ugly cracked plastic dish shaped like an eggplant (that I’ve been meaning to throw out for three years)? Wonder why you saved a nearly petrified stick of gum?
We return from the funeral and Gill suggests a walk. The loop around our neighbor gives us a chance to blow off some energy and think about Jamie. When we get back, I am suddenly motivated to tackle my closet, and end up harvesting several bags of things to give away or throw out.
There is something almost cathartic in clearing out the junk. Perhaps that is one of the reasons why I love watching shows like The Life Laundry, or dipping into sites like Life Organizers.
Gill tries to cheer me up with an email that has been making the rounds. Rather than violate copyright, I prefer to send you directly to the source, where Stuart Brown talks about the amazing images captures by nature photographer Norbert Rosing. If you haven’t seen these pictures of a polar bear playing with a sled dog in Hudson Bay, you won’t want to miss it. There is something very healing in these images of joyful play.
Lighten your clutter, lighten your heart: