The One About the Boston Marathon

I suppose this one should start with the now obvious fact: I am from Boston. I used to not be. I grew up in Western New York, near Buffalo. That was my home. It still is in some ways, but in 1996, I moved to the Greater Boston Area.

In Massachusetts, April 19 is a holiday. It is called Patriots’ Day. (or is it Patriot’s Day?) On the week with April 19, the Monday is Patriots’ Day and the running of the Boston Marathon. This is the anniversary of the start of the Revolutionary War. In the sensible move, the schools are closed the week of Patriots’ Day. We took this week in Cleveland to visit family.

We were taking the dog to a dog park with the girls when Dr. Jay pulled me aside. “There were explosions at the Marathon”. That’s all we knew. I went to Facebook and asked my friends for more info. They quickly got me up to date while Dr. Jay found the streaming radio from Boston. The news was horrific. The radio reported bodies ripped apart. Numerous severed limbs. Blood everywhere. Deaths were certain. I was torn. I needed to know.

While we were at the dog park, we continued to listen. Then we both remembered that our graduate school advisor; we had the same person, was running that day. Last year, he had a hamstring injury and when the day ended up being almost 90 degrees, he happily took the deferment to run this year instead. We did the math. He would be crossing within 10-15 of the explosions.

As a recent runner, I couldn’t help but think of the two recent races I have done. The finish line is crazy and a mess. There are people everywhere and as a runner, you are dazed and just trying to find some way to keep moving towards family. For people like me, the anxiety of being surrounded by so many people can choke you. Then add an explosion, and another.

The week was not relaxing. I felt ill all of the time. I needed more and more information. We did many things including hiking just to be away from the news. Thursday night, I was awoken at 2 am by a daughter who needed me to sleep with her. I ended up sleeping downstairs with the girls. At 6 am, Dr. Jay came down to give me my medicine (I always take it at 6am). When he woke me at 7:30, he let me know that the cell phones had been going since 6:20. His work closed, my work went on high alert, calls kept going through for different alerts. The suspect was loose in Watertown. This is where many of my friends live. I checked and they had been alerted at 2am by the police to stay indoors. They were doing well and a bit nervous.

We drove home Friday, constantly checking the news, checking with friends, checking with the streaming radio… we found out about the relaxing of the shelter in place, one friend went outside on his deck, only to hear gunshots and explosions. We found about the boat, the stories of the man trapped there. Within 30 minutes from home, he was captured. We weren’t sure if he was dead or alive. We had no idea until about 10 minutes from home.

The return was odd. This was a crazy week. I work in a place that is managed by MIT. We lost one of our own this week. An 8 year old boy died. Luna is 8. BU lost a mathematician. Arlington lost a native daughter. Families are torn with injuries and death. I need answers. Why the Marathon? Why Boston? Was it simply that the brothers lived in Cambridge? Why runners? We run for ourselves. We are in some sense very selfish that way. We run for the challenge, the open air. We don’t run for politics.

I don’t know where I sit with this week. I am sad and upset about West, Texas. I am furious at the Senate, but to be honest, I am tortured by what has happened in my city.

I never thought I was from Boston. Until the day my city was torn apart.

* we were very open with the girls and talked to them about the whole thing. We are still seeing how they are processing the whole thing.


So thanks to my BFF Becky, I am writing a novel this month. Yes, in addition to hosting my in-laws for Thanksgiving (no problem), hoping the new room will be DONE before Thanksgiving, knowing that Dr. Jay has to run off to DC for a day trip, going to Bethesda for a Bar Mitzvah and trying not to drop dead from anaphylaxis, I am writing a novel.

Am I an idiot or what?

Of course, I will probably never let anyone read it (except Becky. Because she is making me write this, then she has to read the crap I come up with). I tried this last year and totally failed. I got to 15,000 words and stopped. Sigh. This time, it is completely different. I haven’t found a struggle with my character yet. She is doing great and surprizing me when I get to certain situations. I have set up a) a character and b) a starting point for the plot. That’s it. From here, I will see what my character tells me to do.

I also decided to write in first person because that is so much easier for me. I hope I can pull this off, I doubt it, but hey, I am putting this out there!

Anyone else doing this? Buehler?

School Daze

Tomorrow is our first "Back to School" night for public schools. This is the first of MANY.

We will meet our over caffeinated principal, Mrs. Brown (I kid you NOT, this woman is way way too perky. Makes me want to give her some Quaalude) and then talk with Soleil’s teacher. Last night, Soleil recited two stories from school. The first involved shapes. We drew out the shapes and talked about them. We discussed the Trapezoid and how you can make one, and the rectangle and the square. We discussed how a square is a rectangle and a rectangle is a trapezoid. Then Jay pointed out that she’ll have to get pretty far into geometry before she can stump him on that. (true…so true). We drew hexagons, pentagons, octagons and then decided that  a rectangle should be a quadragon. Luna got bored with this, but Soleil was fascinated.

Monday night, my back gave a loud relaxing crack in the middle of the night. Last night helped too, so I can now move. This is a bonus.I tried to sew the Chilly Willy jammie top, but only got far enough to do some work on the neck line and pin the pieces together. My back was hurting too much to continue. Sigh. Plus, I think I need to do one more piece of cutting. You see, I am matching the jammie top to the one that the blogger sent me. This is different from my pattern. The neck line is the big difference. So I might need to have a special collar in the back for this.Sigh… I need to look carefully at her shirt tonight before I go too far.

 Luna has adjusted well to the changes in our lives. She loves walking to the bus stop every morning with Soleil and I. She likes to wave goodbye and ask when she can ride the bus. Then she goes on to discuss how she want to go to Kindergarten. She also loves having Jay and I both drop her off at daycare.

We are finding that we have entered the "transitional years". We have 2 of them. Luna will be at daycare for 2 more years. Soleil is in school. We have two places, about 10 miles and 30 minutes of driving, apart. Once Luna is in Kindergarten, we’re going to have to redo the whole plan. How to have one of us at home in the afternoons to get the girls. How to be able to be there while getting work done. How to travel between work and home with just one car? (why double pollute?) Sigh….


Vacation, Space Style!

Today, we drove down to Olympia, and the D family (from No More Work than One) drove up from their home in the PNW, and we met for lunch and play. Things went well! D was not an axe murderer, nor was K2. S2 and H2 are adorable, but mostly played together, which was fine, as the place we went to was mobbed with kids. D and Jay spent time talking about Moore’s law and other geeky stuff. K2 and I spoke of simpler stuff like zipper workshops for sewing.

Soleil and Luna had fun, but they both fell down at different points and I had to break out the princess bandaids. S2 and H2 have not yet met the princesses. Good for them. Because once they do, it’s all downhill from there!

We had a lot of fun and D and I made fun of Jay because we could spot the Starbucks a block away and he couldn’t (he’s caffeine deprived, what can I do?)


Then we got back and had dinner with family and watched movies. I checked my work email to discover another code had broken and man, is that frustrating. At least I could diagnose the issue with out even looking at the code. Stupid databases.

So, we are getting close to the actual reason for this vacation, a Bar Mitzvah. I hope we survive the stress of a family gathering!


Yeah, can’t come up with a good title. Oh well.

I’ve been allowing myself to be sick. For the past 4-8 weeks, I have been fighting it. Saying "Why am I so exhausted?" And blaming myself for a series of things. No more. Now I am allowing myself to just be ill. And I feel it. I am going to bed about 1 hour before my normal bedtime. I’ve been resting in the afternoons. Tired, but letting things be.

It’s hard for me to do this. I am the type of person who can’t sit still. I must be moving, doing, something! And I find myself having trouble sitting back and resting.

I’ve been reorganizing our web pages for work. They needed it and it is a mindless task. I think that’s the best thing for now.

I have many things I wish to write about, but I am too tired to do so…

So, here’s to just being sick. And letting it be. So I can get better again….


Passworded Posts

Please check here for a Password post. If you don’t have the password, please email me.

I will not just give out the password to anyone. Please give me a reason as to why you would like to see the password protected posts….And a link to your blog, if you have one.


Julie- Next time, don’t use my real email account

Julie V-

When you wrote this to me earlier…

You’re not only a hypocrite, but an arrogant hypocrite.  You go on endlessly
aboout how awful your kids are, how you can’t make them behave.  You’ve stated
that you don’t like the people they are becoming.  What on God’s earth would
make you think that YOU could handle a Down’s child?  You need medication to get
through your day and half the time that doesn’t even work.

You live in a BIG GLASS HOUSE, so put down your stones…

You forgot to send it to thespacemom. You sent it to my real account. It was all nice that you were kind enough to use an anonymous account, but Dude, I know it is you….Why are you still reading? If you hate me, then just stop reading! I am getting tired of the bullshit.

An hour of bliss

I spent my birthday gift today. An hour massage. Bliss.

After wrenching my shoulder yesterday, I decided to call in the heavy guns, my masseuse. Now, this is not a regular occurrence. Maybe  once every 3 months or so, but it is so worth it.

I was asked to come in a half hour early. The girls were being, well, insane, and so I jumped at the chance.

When I first came for massages, I was embaressed to get undressed. I still keep my panties on, but I remove everything else. It really helps. Now I just go right in, get down to the skinny and get on the table.
She came in shortly after I was resting on the table, face up as she had requested.

I asked for music and she put on my favorite, the CD where I can either be in Hawaii, Japan or a North American conifer forest. The birds are making wonderful chirps, water is flowing and a gentle wind instrument plays. I got lost in the moment as she worked my shoulder, my neck, my arms

I get little electric shocks when she does my fingers. I never know why except it always happens. She moved to my legs and feet. This is amazing. I can almost see the trees above my head as I lay in the grass by a Buddhist temple. There is a specific temple in Hawaii that this CD reminds me of.

After I turn over, she works my back. Oh I can feel the tension dissolving. I am floating. She works the backs of my legs, my calves and hamstrings. Oh this is so good.

My neck and head get attention again. I know my hair will be a greaseball when I leave from all of her oil, but man does this feel like heaven. My sore shoulder is doing better, but then she works it hard again. I can feel the lactic acid breaking up.

Finally, sadly, my hour is up. I take my time getting dressed, getting ready for the real world.

When I return home, the girls jump at me and then immediately start fighting (they were playing chess when I walked in and fighting over trading bishops). The tension is returning already. Sigh…

But at least I had one hour of bliss…


100 things, stolen!

This is stolen from American Family and Chicago Mom!

100 things about Spacemom

  1. I really like Buffalo New York
  2. I am starting to really enjoy Boston Massachusetts
  3. I am the second child of a two child family
  4. My sister is 5 years older than me
  5. My mom had 5 pregnancies
  6. Mom fell down a flight of stairs when she was 3 months pregnant with me and broke the amniotic sac
  7. The doctor told her to rest and then told Dad outside of the room that she would lose this pregnancy
  8. She didn’t
  9. I was a loner in elementary school
  10. I only had 2 close friends
  11. In Middle school, the circle grew to include 2 more
  12. I still talk to 2 of these women on a semi-regular basis
  13. Crazy H is one of these friends
  14. She lives 20 minutes from me now
  15. We met when I was 4
  16. My best friend now lives in the same small town we grew up in
  17. She has 2 kids
  18. And she is a widow
  19. Her husband died in the Army
  20. I will never forget that day, January 6, 2000
  21. He was 22 days shy of 30 years old
  22. I have always loved astronomy
  23. Since I was 5, I would watch satellites when we went camping
  24. I hated camping
  25. And spiders. I hate spiders
  26. I once could name all 88 constellations
  27. I can still identify most of the Northern ones within a few minutes in a dark site
  28. My first telescope was a cheap one.
  29. It took me almost 30 minutes to get the moon in view
  30. I was scared to look in the telescope because I might see something scary
  31. I worked at 3 different places during high school and college
  32. The first was the museum of science in Buffalo.
  33. The first signs of overt racism came in when people asked me if I was scared to drive there
  34. I wasn’t scared and only once people mentioned it did I notice the area was predominately African-American
  35. The second was an amusement park that is now owned by Six Flags.
  36. I worked in the commissary
  37. I loved making popcorn
  38. It would take 1 hour to make 10 garbage bags full of popcorn
  39. I loved mixing the sugar and cotton candy flavor
  40. I would sneeze pink or blue after mixing it up for hours
  41. When an apple fell in the candy mix one day, I got a 3rd degree burn on my finger.
  42. The park wanted me to just work through it
  43. I insisted on going to a doctor.
  44. I got fired the day I refused to sell beer because it would have left two 14 year olds in the commissary to do all of the work.
  45. In New York state, 14 years olds can not touch knifes in the work place
  46. We had peppers and onions to prepare that day
  47. I was disgusted by the quest for profit over safety
  48. I worked nights at a local department store
  49. I was the only woman on a stocking crew
  50. We would race around the store at night in shopping carts
  51. My team often won!
  52. When I was 10, a family member tried to commit suicide
  53. It didn’t work, but it set up family counseling
  54. I was the one person who never talked in the sessions
  55. Nobody cared that I didn’t talk
  56. I started to withdraw
  57. I fell in love with a kid at school
  58. Everyone knew I had a crush on him
  59. He was scared of me
  60. I was obsessive
  61. I still wonder where he is
  62. I decided to apply to schools in New York only because Dad had lost his job
  63. In the end, I only applied to one school, University of Stony Brook
  64. I got in
  65. I loved it
  66. Long Island hair scared me and I never understood how people did that
  67. My first roommate was from Staten Island and incredibly racist
  68. College was the first time I met a Jewish person, an Indian person and an African-American
  69. One of my best friends was Indian
  70. Her family was very strict with her
  71. She tried to commit suicide in sophomore year
  72. Her family took her out of school and made her get married in an arranged marriage that she didn’t want
  73. I went to her wedding, but have not heard from her again
  74. After she left, I would go up to the chemistry building and stare out the plate glass windows at night
  75. I often considered running down the hallway and not stopping at the glass
  76. I never did it
  77. I went through a very depressive stage during college
  78. I discovered that going to the Long Island Sound or the ocean calmed me.
  79. I discovered that rough seas made me feel better
  80. That discovery disturbed me
  81. My first boyfriend dumped me when I started going to the mental health clinic
  82. I was devastated
  83. I threw myself into thermal dynamics and raised my C average to an A- for the year
  84. I started working as a resident assistant to start things over
  85. The woman that I took over for had woken up in her bed with a strange man next to her watching her.
  86. I got her room
  87. It scared the shit out of me
  88. I started a job in the astronomy program
  89. There was a grad student working on observations, I signed up one night a week
  90. It was Jay
  91. We worked together for almost a year before he asked me out
  92. I said no
  93. After I broke up with another guy, we started dating
  94. I was still working for him
  95. I applied to grad schools, but decided to stay with Jay
  96. I was the first planned Master’s degree in the astro program at SB
  97. Jay got offers for jobs in Germany, they would have taken me in the PhD program
  98. Instead, he took his current job
  99. I was officially hired here before he was
  100. One hundred things is not as many as I thought

Where Imus went wrong

I have been listening to the Don Imus affair and waiting. I knew he would get fired. It was just a matter of time.

Why? Because of his terrible racial and sexist words?(and believe me, I was pissed when I heard what he said)

Not really, I knew it would happen because he attacked people not in the public domain.

When you run for office, you automatically put yourself out for attack. When you are an actor or any type of public figure, you put yourself out for attack. Professional athlete? Yessiree, you are a target.

But collegiate women in an amateur sport? NO. That is not fair game. These women have not become public domain simply by playing a sport for their college. You can claim "first amendment" for Imus all you want, but there is a level of acceptability and you do not slander private citizens.

On a personal level, it is never acceptable to attack people with racial and sexist comments. But I do understand that certain people open themselves up for it by going into the public eye.

BTW- a word to the wise, I can sew a straight seam while watching a hockey game, but I got very excited when my team scored a goal and I hit the pedal a little too fast and skipped a few stitches! Oops! 🙂 Fortunately, this was on the first turn of the edges and tonight I will finish the blanket with a hockey game that doesn’t involve my team (we won, 4-1 !)