You'd think having not posted for nearly three weeks that I would actually have something to show for it. And I guess I do. I've been working on my personal statement for law school and I have to say, I'm fairly fond of it. Now I'm in the process of dusting off my resume. Soon I'll send them both to the folks I hope will agree to write me fabulous letters of recommendation. It's a step I planned to have complete in January (though applications aren't available until September) so, sorry, internet friends, but it's been my priority. I'm actually kinda nervous cuz I'm not sure my former employer will feel allowed to write a letter for me (as it is against company policy to give employment recommendations) and my academic contact (now a partner in a top 100 law firm) hasn't heard from me in fifteen years. Still, both men thought highly of me back in the day, so I'm hoping for the best.
In the meanwhile, I enjoyed a lovely visit with the niecelets who came by Morro Bay on their way home from San Diego. Of course, Morro Bay isn't exactly on the way home from San Diego, and sadly, they drove out during the worst storm California's seen in a while, but still, I think it was worth it. That's easy for me to say as I wasn't the one stuck in the car with no crackers and zero visibility. I was just thrilled as the girls picked me over Disneyland. I think I made it worth their while.
Although I wasn't on the seal schedule during their visit, we had the good fortune of getting to see the first animal of the year, a sea lion named Castelanetta. We were invited to feed him breakfast on the 3rd. Though none of us was eager to be up that early (Maddie almost ditched), I think it was a highlight. Castalenetta, having had the good sense to bite the hand that tube fed him the night before, was being offered whole fish instead. That made things much quicker and easier for everyone involved. I'm pretty certain I broke some sort of rule letting the girls throw the fish into the pool but since they were perfectly safe (in the next pen over) and totally silent (a big concern around sea lions), I figured what the heck.
Afterwards we came home and built graham cracker castles. Maddie and I accidentally destroyed our first attempt. (It collapsed when she leaned over it to reach some decorations. As it came crashing down she yelled, "it was your idea roof!") We were much better off for the misfortune, however, as we built a significantly sturdier second version. Can you see our coy ponds and the fire pit in the foreground? And the Tootsie Roll wood pile? And the stained glass windows made from Pop Rocks and sprinkles? And I know you are digging our sun deck.
Meanwhile Erik teamed up with Savannah and built a huge spread complete with a roller coaster. Though it looks rickety, their house was pretty solid and it even had graham cracker floors. Maddie was disturbed that her sister's house was overrun by gummy rats. I was just jealous as Maddie wouldn't let the rodents anywhere near our abode. Still, we teased them, claiming that our house was owned outright (paid for by insurance, no doubt) and theirs was surely mortgaged to the hilt. Only after the girls left did Erik and I exchange kudos for the house our spouse had built.
Later we learned that Savannah is a cat whisperer. Monkey really is a belly cat, but this was ridiculous. I can hardly believe he's nearly ten pounds now, though this picture shows you where he carries it all.
A couple days after the girls left, I got a sea lion of my own. Jiffy, seen here on the ramp up in Sausalito (where I went the weekend of the 12th), is not necessarily going to make it back out into the wild. Her fate isn't sealed, but since she is very likely a long term domoic acid victim, they are not certain it is worth the effort to remove her damaged left eye. But at least she's getting fed something other than peanut butter (which the public was reportedly offering her before I got there) and she won't become shark bait.
After my visit to Sausalito, I swung by Oakland to see the older nieces. They were busy, as they tend to be, with softball and school and boys so I mostly spent my time getting their wireless network up and running. (They got iMacs for Christmas...) Sounds like I could get to see Zoe next weekend if I go down to Santa Ana with her mom. I may take the train home early, or flake altogether, we'll see. The visit is for softball, of course, so that saps some of my motivation. I'm also thinking I may drag Zoe out to the East Coast this spring to visit colleges together. As much as I feel that Berkeley remains my first choice (especially as I would graduate the same time as Sadie), I realize I have to seriously consider the other top schools (despite the weather). I'm thinking it'd be pretty nifty to end up the same place as Zoe, and she is definitely not staying in California. She's probly mortified by the idea that I could follow her, but so far she has been too polite to hint at it.
Anyway, on the home front, it is official - Mom is fine. Her echocardiogram came back normal. Rumor has it she and Dad will be the next to drive down to California. They're heading out on Leap Day (my first real wedding anniversary) for a quick dose of sunshine.
Amazingly, OC is also fine. He's nearly completed his fourth month of passing unfettered feces. He's so much happier than I've ever seen him before, though he really hates Monkey and I know he misses dry food. I also don't think he realizes yet that our next door neighbor moved away last week. She fed the birds along the fence line which in turn fed OC. I don't know if his hunting has suffered yet or not, but he could use the challenge anyway.
I guess the only other news is that I've downloaded an online Spanish course, trying to get my language skills back. I've always done pretty well in the present tense (though I have a serious Valley Girl accent) but other than that I'm pretty lost. I'd like to be fluent-ish before law school - partially as a resume builder, but mostly because Erik keeps claiming he wants to move to Florida after graduation. He has no appreciation for the humidity / hurricane factor. All he knows is he's been cold lately.
So I guess that's it. My month in a nutshell. Congrats if you made it this far. Lord knows I nearly didn't.
He knows. He always knows.
10 months ago