Geocaching in Krysuvikurkirkja, Iceland

Last year I published a short story, “Bobbing for Bob,” in the first Geocaching GPS anthology of geocaching stories, Geocaching GPS: Stories of Romance, Adventure and Connection. The story was about my husband and I finding a diving geocache called “Bob” off the coast of Oahu on our trip to Hawai’i a couple of years ago. That was my first publication that was not a scientific paper. As I admit in the story, during that find I made some progress overcoming my fear of being trapped under deep water, but my husband ultimately found the cache, not I.

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Mundane Monday: Ze plane, ze plane!

When I was a kid, my parents watched the TV show “Fantasy Island.” It is famous for its opening, in which a character named Tattoo, played by Hervé Villechaize, would point up at the approaching plane bringing guests to the island, and say “Ze plane! ze plane!” I can’t say I remember any episodes of this show (that’s why I say my parents watched it, rather than I), but I do remember this. That phrase, spoken with a bad French accent, entered US popular culture for a while in the 1970s and 80s.

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It’s All about Presence: A Conversation with Val Vigoda


Val Vigoda is an electric violinist, singer/songwriter, and founder of the musical trio GrooveLily. She has toured the world with Cyndi Lauper, Joe Jackson and the Trans-Siberian Orchestra. Val has also co-written, with Brendan Milburn, songs for Disney’s Tinker Bell movies as well as the score for the stage musicals Striking 12, Sleeping Beauty Wakes, Toy Story: The Musical, and many others, including Ernest Shackleton Loves Me, starring Val as Kat, a contemporary composer and single mom who meets and falls in love with the time-traveling explorer.

Val and I went to Princeton University together. We traveled in different circles then: I played the violin for two years in the University Orchestra, she was exploring the potential of the instrument when combined with singing in a rock band. After graduation I followed Val’s career over the years, reconnecting through her kickstarter campaign for her one-woman show, “Just Getting Good.”

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O Fortuna

O Fortuna
velut luna
statu variabilis,
semper crescis
aut decrescis;
vita detestabilis
nunc obdurat
et tunc curat
ludo mentis aciem,
dissolvit ut glaciem.

O Fortune,
like the moon
you are changeable,
ever waxing
and waning;
hateful life
first oppresses
and then soothes
as fancy takes it;
and power
it melts them like ice.

(Lyrics: wikipedia)

I knew intellectually when I moved to the SF Bay Area that replacing my beloved community orchestra would be impossible, but like my partner in hair, Goldilocks, I’ve been searching for a music situation that’s “just right.” Continue reading O Fortuna

The Streak: Day 104

In case you can’t see it up there on the featured image, I’m on day 104 of a geocaching streak. It started the last day of 2015, and this morning my husband and I biked to and found a cache around the corner that has a similar name to our teenage daughter.

Streaks are more his thing than mine, and I started doing this so that we’d have something to do together. We don’t always find the same cache every day: he is doing a puzzle cache streak (again, more his thing than mine) and I’m doing an “any old cache” streak. So, sometimes it’s a puzzle, but often it’s not. Continue reading The Streak: Day 104

Mundane Monday: Critters on a Bench

I was out on the Stanford Campus trying to find a geocache for the day. I had met a friend for lunch and was out of my usual habitat. That’s usually a good time to look for geocaches because I’m in a new area with a lot of low-hanging fruit to be picked. This particular cache wasn’t that easy.

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Camp NaNoWriMo Update #1

I’ve been doing ok with my modest goals up to now. I wanted to do 30 hours of research and editing, an hour a day. I was ahead of schedule: I was losing myself in the story, following characters as they ran along streets and crossed bridges, bridges that look sturdy enough now to be still standing in the year 2074.

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Mundane Monday: The Rubber Band Ball

Mundane Monday Photography Challenge #53.  I don’t know if this mundane image is really beautiful, but it’s interesting. A couple of months ago, I started collecting the rubber bands we get around the newspaper we have delivered. The ball started out as just a little wad of rubber bands, but now it’s quite round and it bounces. We use rubber bands around the house, but not as many as we get, and so the ball keeps growing. I wonder how long it will be before it gets too big for the drawer. And I wonder what makes it so round.