Oww-y!

Today, I journeyed home to be with my mom. She is recovering from surgery.

The drive went quickly. I listened to video lectures for my online coursework. Near the end of the drive, I ran an errand in Ellington for mom. After getting medicine from the vet, I stopped off to explore the local library.

Hall Memorial Library

IMG_7812IMG_7813

IMG_7826
Impressive board game and cake pan circulating collections!

Mom and I caught up. To convey her pain, she told a story. She was passed out post-surgery. Mitch said she sleep-talked through her deep sleep, saying,

oww-y, oww-y, owww 

After lunch with mom, I settled into computerland. Zack visited with Duke, and I completed my first GoodReads book review! (Something I hope to continue doing to better develop my librarian powers of reading-recommendation).

For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway.
For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway. Edition borrowed from my husband’s family.

It felt good to catch up with the husbometer and dig into the blog today. In my reports of daily life, I’ve lost sight of my earlier intention to have a somewhat strategic first 100 days of marriage. A brainstorm:

  • Draft post-nuptial agreement
  • Finish the book given to us by the attorney friend of David’s Aunt Joss
  • Continue tracking husbometer data
  • Review husbometer data with David
  • Create strategies for the lower performing categories
  • Articulate career and finance goals

Emotionally? We’re doing okay. A lot of love, excitement, and little moments. We’re still learning to communicate effectively with each other, and that may be a lifelong project. The commitment part of things is the steel frame in my vision for the future. David uses the word “coalescing”, and I like that.

Related image

Help from Dad

California

I’m surrounded by anxious travelers. The flight to San Diego is delayed. Time to squeak out a post.

In other news:

  • Mom is out of surgery. Everything seems to have gone as expected. Hopefully, the same will be said for recovery.
  • Grumpy morning for David, after a night of poor sleep. He has an important client meeting today. While I prepped for my departure to California, I cleaned up the apartment bedroom and took care of some stressors (laundry) – so hopefully David will have a restful night. I’m excited to meet him in California tomorrow.

The United Airlines terminal at Newark is fancy. There are many chic restaurants and well-equipped workstations. My flight gate moved 3 times, but it was cool seeing different parts of the terminal (C).

Pumped out some work. Excited to settle on my flight. I’m near chapter 31 of Hemingway’s For Whom the Bell Tolls. I’m eager to finish it and start my next read. There’s a lot of build-up for the end of this novel. The main character is settling into bed before the day of the bridge-blowing.

Good night and good luck, blog readers. See you on the other coast.


PS. Tomorrow is the last day of the 100 days “benchmarking period”.

Cancer

Dear Mom,

I’m thinking about the moment you walked me down the aisle. I’m thinking about tomorrow. I thinking about the year behind us. A lot happened.

I just got out of the “synchronous” part of my online class. The class is called Library Planning, Marketing and Assessment. David and I squabbled after class. I was telling him about one of my assignments, and before I finished, he was telling me how to do it. I wasn’t listening as well as I could have been when he began talking. I could tell he was fueled by a stubborn passion and the experience of his own work in marketing. It’s possible that he said something to the effect of:

Find out where they’re spending money. Find out who’s seeing what you’re putting out there.

He disappeared back into League of Legends. I stormed into the kitchen and settled back at my computer.

I’m turning my thoughts to tomorrow. You’re going in for surgery to remove the trouble spots. I remember seeing them on the scans when we met that surgeon at Smilow.

I’m flying to California tomorrow night. I want very badly to be with you, and to support you tomorrow – as you have done for me my whole life.

I want to visit during your recovery, when Mitch has gone back to work and things start seeming quiet again for you. To help in any way I can.

Mom, you’re the strongest woman I know.

Love,
Samantha


The trip to California is centered around a Saturday memorial for David’s Aunt Joss. The first time I met Joss was on a CD in David’s car. She was on piano. I met her in-person when she gifted everyone the last-hurrah trip to Paris.

David comes to the kitchen to reconcile. He opens with an apology for being mean and a hug.

You categorize it in terms of paid and earned media.

You measure it in terms of dollars spent and time spent.

Those are the two sections of your report.

And maybe you do a brand guideline.

It’s really that simple.

Here’s the dollars, here’s the time, here’s the output.

You don’t remember school at all? I say. He says no, and makes a comment about higher education. I invite him to see the very detailed 7-page outline of what’s expected for my final report.

He looking at the outline and getting excited again. He talks about spending time and money to earn media. He says,

“Marketing and communications is the study of paid and earned media.”

I ask him questions to get deeper and try to learn more. He perceives it as an attack on his competence and freaks out again.

He expresses feeling a certain way, and I ask him not to take that out on me.

I’m remembering the gist of a book I’m reading for work: It’s not what you say, it’s what they hear.

I would add to that: it’s what they feel.

I think this could be an important insight for my marriage.

Speaking of which, husbometer check-in:

Line chart of Husbometer progression. Looks like a mountain range.
Will we ever again reach honeymoon highs?

I Choose You

Turned in the last of my paperwork for graduation today. Zoned into the land of Facebook post scheduling for a library YES campaign in Vineland, New Jersey.

Husbometer

Week Average of Score
1 0.62
2 0.57
3 0.54
4 0.55
5 0.63
Grand Total 0.57

Sent out a batch of thank you notes, snuck in a stairs workout, ate a lot, spent some time with David, worked some more. Poof! Time for bed.

In the kitchen, David talks to Luca about the nature of work pressure. David reported having a positive, chill day at the office today.  They talk about good and bad pressure. David says,

“Pain in itself isn’t bad. It’s how it affects you,”

How long have you been working there? Luca asks.

2 years, David says. He would stay for a monster raise, he says. Luca asks about whether David still wants to work in Paris, and comments on advertising industry there. I can hear David putting away our dishes.

They talk about the upcoming trip to California.

 

Breakfast

Husbometer back up and running. The data for the last couple days is not as accurate as I might like, but I did my best. I just left average .5’s for the couple of days we spent apart.

The highlight of the day was pre-departure breakfast and bonding time with Mom and Mitch. David ordered the “angry vegetarian” omelette.

Return to NYC was success.

Alumni Lacrosse Game

Reuniting with David! was the highlight of this day. I woke up, scarfed a nature valley bar and kickstarted the 5 hour drive to Boston from Syracuse. I was aiming to be at his lacrosse game when it started at 2pm.

Unfortunately, he had the wrong field location. It was a quick fix.

When I got settled at the other field, I enjoyed watching him play. I made a friend on the bleachers and we got Starbucks together during the beginning of the second game.

Alums beat current players!

Reception was great. Ate food, made friends, then drove home in time to see Mom and Mitch. Visit with the family was much needed. We did a late night jacuzzi dip and then hit the hay.

Past Bedtime

Husbometer data is coming along.

Weeks Average of Score
1 0.62
2 0.57
3 0.54
4 0.55
Grand Total 0.57

David and I are eating stress sandwiches at work. My commute is slowly killing me. We come home and initiate immediate cuddle therapy. David encouraged me to gym when I was low on energy and it helped.

I am not as prepared for my conference as I would like to be… Alas, it begins tomorrow and Friday. I will have to make-do.

Time for sleep.

Family

I am presenting a lightning talk and poster for the upcoming Academic Libraries Conference: The Library is Open hosted by the Empire State Library Network.


Lightning Talk
Open-Ended and User-Focused: Design Thinking for Library Management

Abstract:  Design thinking methods are a huge asset to library leaders. In the age of open-ended publishing, one must be an open-ended thinker. Learn the basics of design thinking and consider how they might be used to guide your projects and teams to success. Encounter new resources for designing user-centered solutions.


And,


Poster
Open and Secure: A Look At Information Security in Librarianship

Abstract:  Designed as a primer on information security management, this research aims to bridge librarianship to its IT counterparts and guide academic libraries to probe deeper into issues of privacy, security and authorized access.


While I ready my conference materials, David is trying to order a new cell phone to replace his broken Galaxy. He’s frustrated with the ordering process.

We do squats together. It’s exciting to see him getting back into fitness after a hiatus he attributes to the most recent bike accident. He then preaches the Dorian Yates philosophy, which he explains:

Blast a muscle group, medium to low weight. Nobody is successful in bodybuilding without going to failure. Not the case in power-lifting because you’ll break your body.

He talks about steroid use. “You can work out any part of your body that’s not tired from yesterday’s workout.” “It’s about the skill of learning to destroy your muscle.” He throws blood and lactic acid into the conversation, and talks about the difference between going into the gym following a piece of paper versus listening to your body. He does hip lifts off the ground while sharing his thoughts. He speaks of blasting his quads then his glutes.

We break for dinner, and then settle into our respective distractions.

I’m watching Mystic Pizza for the first time! David plays League. He’s wearing the flannel that belonged to my Grandpa. I unpacked it today. It feels good to see it. I am reminded of family – passed, present, and yet to come.

It turns to autumn in the movie, and I’m reminded of the seasonal changes around me.

This scene occurs, and David walks in the room after doing the dishes:

Image result for nympho scene mystic pizza
Jo faints at the altar and can’t commit to marrying Bill, despite loving him. They stay in a relationship. He asks Jo for commitment, Jo asks him for sex. Egged on by lusty Jo, he gets caught with his pants down by Jo’s Dad. He paints over her name on the boat with “NYMPHO”.

I tell him I’ve learned the word nympho. He gives me the side look. Multiple times.

As he exits the rooms, he pauses repeatedly,
smiling,
gives the look –
then continues on.

I can’t help laughing.

He retrieves two cups of hot lemon-ginger tea. The husbometer gets a big nighttime boost.

The boost helped after a low-scoring day in communication. That is to say, we talked about the Blasey-Ford-Kavanaugh fiasco and Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the Supreme Court. We also had a few skirmishes during the car inspection field trip. Tangent: I got my second NYC parking violation today. Apparently, you need to get your car inspected annually in New York state. The last ticket –illegible, in my defense– was for an expired inspection sticker. We got the car inspected in record time and David performed heroically. But he tried to explain his work to me and didn’t like that my oppositional remarks.

The columns go by (from left to right): Category, Date, Score (0-1, with .5 being average), Week. Sometimes I make notes in a fifth column on the right.

Sex (Quantity, Quality) 10/7/18 1 4
Communication 10/7/18 0.4 4
Chores 10/7/18 0.6 4
Fitness & Health 10/7/18 0.6 4
Cashflow 10/7/18 0.6 4
Friendship 10/7/18 0.6 4
Dealing w/ Everybody Else 10/7/18 0.5 4
Food 10/7/18 0.5 4
Little things 10/7/18 0.6 4

Only 17 minutes left of the movie.

YOUNG MATT DAMON. And the words:

Keep going to library, okay?

library

Sold. 100% SOLD. This may be my new favorite movie.

I finally upload the wedding photos to an album on the Facebook server farm. So many good memories. Let the likes roll.

Sauce

Homemade tomato sauce and Barilla veggie noodles is a staple for us. The homemade tomato sauce has been a go-to recipe for David in my time knowing him. Every grocery list seems to include canned whole tomatoes. He especially loves the Muir Glen brand.

How is it made? It’s pretty simple. That’s probably one of the reasons we go back to it so often. (That and we always have the ingredients).

Ingredients: 1 package mushrooms, 5-6 onions, (4) 28-ounce cans of whole tomatoes*, oil, salt and pepper.

*Feel free to use fresh tomatoes. If you do this, we have a friend who recommends roasting the sauce in the oven to bring out the flavor.

Tools: pot(s), stirring spoon, cutting board, knife

  1. Wash your hands.
  2. Cut the onions. Put them in oil, on heat.
  3. Cut the mushrooms. Add them to the onions.
  4. Open tomato cans. Add contents to separate pot. Squish whole tomatoes with your hands.
  5. Add tomatoes to onion and mushroom pot. Add salt and pepper. Mix.
  6. Let everything cook. Get your noodles cooking in the tomato squishing pot if you want to eat this as a meal tonight. The sauce should cook until it’s no longer watery. Taste it to tell if it’s done.

I’m updating the website to give the blog a more permanent role beyond the first 100 days (of marriage), and also to revive its primary purpose as my professional/personal corner of the web.

In the transition, I pulled some of the About page text from the about page. I am copy+pasting it here to restore its place in public:

How we met

David and I met in the aisle of the University of Connecticut’s Jorgensen Theatre on October 9, 2014,  after a lecture featuring eminent philosopher, Peter Singer.

David got his selfie with Peter Singer and ran out of the Jorgensen in time to find me unlocking my bike.

The first date? Lakeside in Coventry after my rowing practice. David brought risotto with homegrown garden veggies, and his canine companion, Russell.

Fast-forward four years.

We mastered the middle-distance relationship, survived an election season, and built an enduring friendship. Join us in this new adventure, and all the side-adventures along the way.

I love you, master of sauce.

Exchanging vows.
Exchanging vows in Vergennes, VT. David and I pictured with our officiant, Zarina Suarez O’Hagin. (September 15, 2018). Photo Credit: Sourinho Photography.