The Transfiguration

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Posts Tagged ‘michaela

Gathering of the Day #2622

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For the second year in a row, I’ve hosted Thanksgiving with my family. What that means, mind you, is that I surrendered my kitchen to Michaela and let her prepare a huge chunk of the meal, lending a hand to chop vegetables or fill a pot with water now and then. She made, I hear, I good turkey; I was sated with the baked veggies, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce and mango-topped casserole.

I don’t think I’ve ever celebrated Thanksgiving with Dad, or even – to my memory – shared a meal with both him and Mom, so it was really nice that he made it over tonight, bearing two different kinds of pies. His company made the evening feel more whole than other Thanksgiving dinners have, and I was so used to celebrating each year without him that I didn’t realize how much of a difference it would make.

We ate well and have a generous supply of leftovers for the weekend. I hope your evening went sweetly as well.

light struck from the lemon tree

Written by Umbrella Man

November 26, 2015 at 11:41 pm

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Climbers of the Day #2058

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Climbers of the Day #2058

We had only a few hours with Mom this morning, as she unfortunately had a shift scheduled at work for the rest of the day. At least we had this little climbing session – Mom and Michaela have been wanting to give it a try for a long time. It was something new for both of them, but they gave it a good shot, and with a few more sessions they might master the art.

After we dropped Mom off at work, my sister and I sought out Indian food for lunch, and I walked home in the sun with future breakfasts in tow.

threes is the bees knees

Written by Umbrella Man

May 12, 2014 at 12:16 am

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Look of the Day #1769

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Look of the Day #1769

Michaela obligingly tolerated my less-than-subtle photography here as I attempted to capture a moment with her before we parted ways. I see her so rarely, and might not have seen her at all today if she hadn’t needed my key to the apartment.

And it was her birthday today! I hope her friends brought her on an adventure worthy of the day. I don’t see my sister enough, but it was nice to stop and talk with her a bit about plays and sad stories.

It is too late and my thoughts are a crumbling city built over hollow dinosaur bones. I wish I could write something better for Michaela here tonight, but there is no fighting off the sleep. I hope this next year is good to her.

freon world

Written by Umbrella Man

July 27, 2013 at 3:46 am

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View of the Day #1556

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View of the Day #1556

Joe’s brother, Clint, hosted the main family event this Christmas. We were the first to arrive at Joe’s brother’s home, an immaculate villa at the edge of the city overlooking the bay and the Golden Gate. Clint’s wife showed off the view with pride, and while we waited for the rest of the family to make its way through the rain we stood and admired the sea. When the fog is just thick enough, it hides the hills but leaves the water, and you get that lovely quiet sense of infinity when you see the soft waves rolling in.

My step-family was friendly, as always. For the second time I saw my stepbrother and didn’t recognize him at first; he’s changed a lot since we lived in the same house so long ago. His life has had its difficulties, but he says he’s happy now, and I hope that’s true.

I feel vaguely like my pursuit of cognitive neuroscience rather than cellular biology is a little bit of a disappointment to some of my relatives; I likely won’t be helping to develop any medicine in this line of research. The subject of Alzheimer’s disease arose, and one man told me about his experience as a nurse tending to an Alzheimer’s patient, and that if he were diagnosed he would commit suicide before becoming such a burden to his family. This seemed to me a very personal thing to share, though I don’t know him well enough to gauge whether he’d say that to many people. I told him to keep reading, keep flexing his brain, because I don’t want him to have to make that decision.

Desserts were very tiny and delicate, as high-class food always seems to be. I’d never had black-cherry-and-black-pepper cookies before.

Mom told me today that Eugenie, the kindly old woman who lived next to us when I was little, passed away in November. I wish we hadn’t lost contact after moving, and I hope it was painless for her, and I hope her husband is getting by okay. We’d planned to stop and say hello on the way home, but it was too late when we arrived back in Berkeley. He has his daughter, at least.

I can never write properly about sensitive things, as though trying to put them in words might break them.

I haven’t had that warm, cozy Christmas feeling in a long time and I’m not sure it’s real, but it was still nice to see people, and to get an idea of all the connections in Joe’s family.

there’s a black rainbow above my house

Written by Umbrella Man

December 26, 2012 at 3:55 am

Gathering of the Day #1523

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Michaela kept looking back at me as I tried to frame this shot, reminding me that she knew what I was doing. That’s a sign, I suppose, of how rarely she’s included in these photos – most of my friends are used to the camera, and more or less ignore it when I stop to capture the moment.

When we do get together at bigger family gatherings, the three of us tend to stay in our little bunch and let the rest of the party move along on its own. Even though I rarely see my mom and sister, we still have that sense of familiarity that’s a blessing when everyone else is such distant family.

But we got along well with the others this Thanksgiving, and the evening was small and quiet. The host showed us photos of her trip to the Amazon, and Joe went on one of his signature tirades about the economy.

I hope your evening was lovely, with sweet foods and kind company.

cog in the machine

Written by Umbrella Man

November 23, 2012 at 1:51 am

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Page of the Day #1427

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My sister is moving to Wyoming next week, so I asked her to make the first page in the new blue book before leaving. She put forth a collaborative effort with her friend Josh, filling the pages with doodles and meows. It’s hard to tell which lines were drawn by whom, but I think they made little caricatures of each other on opposite ends of the page – tiny, silly-looking faces with names included so you knew who they were making fun of. I think this is the first time two people have worked together on a page like this, drawing at the same time; it’s a good start to the new book.

I don’t see my sister much anymore, though we got along fairly well when we were little. She seemed to eager to grow up, practically becoming a teenager by the age of ten, and since then we’ve just been moving in our own worlds. Things are a little difficult for her now – her friends are going on to college, and she has another year of high school – but I hope life is good to her in Wyoming. We’ve been talking a little more lately, and hopefully that will continue; I mustn’t lose touch with my family.

you woke me up!

Written by Umbrella Man

August 19, 2012 at 1:11 am

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Cake of the Day #673

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My mom and my sister have not been getting along splendidly as of late. My sister has been going through all the classic Teenager drama since she was ten years old, and it’s only intensified since she started high school, so Mom has had a lot to deal with.

For the moment, though, all their disputes are forgotten, and Mom is happy to celebrate her daughter’s Sweet Sixteen. They may fight again later, but this at least shows that they can still get along for a short time – at least with a raspberry chocolate ganache cake to catalyze their relationship.

If they would both calm down a little bit and listen to each other instead of yelling, they might work things out. Conflicts always stem from a lack of communication.

After cake, my sister went out to see her friends. I hope she had a happy birthday, and I really do wish her many more.

(You’ll notice her candles refused to go out. This is what happens when you wish too big on your birthday cake – the candles will do whatever they can to avoid the work involved in fulfilling grandiose wishes)

sherbet head

Written by Umbrella Man

July 27, 2010 at 1:25 am

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