Sunday, May 31, 2009

H – Building Home One Letter at a Time

My new home is coming along fairly well.  Our back room is arranged, if not completely set up yet.  It’s going to serve as Mr. Trizzle’s office and my sewing room (and my dressing room as my closet is in there.)  My mommy’s comment to sharing an office and a sewing room was “well, good luck with that,” so we’ll see how it goes.  I can’t wait until I can use it for sewing.  I got some beautiful fabrics for the curtains in there and the curtains in the kitchen.

Our kitchen is also blue, but unlike the bathroom’s “water” theme, the kitchen is one shade of blue.  So far, with white accents.  The dishes are a pretty royal blue and the curtains are white with royal blue paisley.  (Shhhhh… don’t tell Munchkinhead, or she’ll never come visit!)  It was the least-girly blue print I could find.  I wanted just a nice blue and white stripe like this one retro dress I used to have, but the store didn’t have any. :(

The backroom only has one small-vampire window (and an entire outside wall with no windows on it!) so I’m doing the room in yellow to brighten it up a bit.  I found a great yellow and white check gingham that also happens to perfectly match Anne.  (Anne is a fabric bodied porcelain doll named after Anne of Avonlea and dressed in a beautiful dress and apron made by Mommy.)  I’m also planning to hang a mirror on the wall kitty-corner to the one window to take advantage of the bit of natural light we get back there.  Then I just have to find some way to cover the hideous sliding closet doors.

We have sliding doors all over this place, three closets and the shower.  I hate sliding doors.  I break them.  My parents can attest to that.  Of course, the best ever breaking-sliding doors event occurred in Alfred’s room when we tried locking Munchkinhead in the closet.  Munchkinhead pushed and fought, slamming her body into the door, throwing it off its tracks, her skinny little arm reaching out like the claws of the veloca raptors in Jurassic Park.  It was very scary.

I’ve also been working on some of the furniture for the rest of the place.  I glued three things that broke on the way here: one of the slats for the entertainment center shelves that my parents got when they were first married, the bottom of the sewing box that my uncle’s late friend gave me and the leg of a sitting room chair that belonged to my grandparents.  The shelf needs a bit of sanding to remove extra glue, but other than that, everything’s all good.

One of the nightstands is about half sanded.  I’m going to refinish the two of them so they match.  I’m guessing Daddy repainted this one previously because 1) the back of the nightstand says it’s blue and antique white and it was only antique white, 2) there’s some strange extra bevels and wavy parts that make it look like the thing’s been hand sanded before, and 3) I think I remember him repainting it in the backyard at the old house.  I may pause on the rest of the sanding for awhile because today I ordered a Dremel tool with my Westlaw Rewards points so that I can get into the little corners and around the bevels better.  I am very excited for my new mini-power tool to arrive!

Mr. Trizzle and I finally went grocery shopping tonight.  It’ll be nice not to have to eat out all the time now.  Plus, I’ll get to make his lunches in the morning. :)  That’s super fun!  But I won’t put cigars in them or anything like Grandpa used to do to Daddy’s lunches.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Wowsers, What a Week

Most of us have role models, those people in our lives who we aspire to follow.  In terms of our careers, these role models are often the experts who came before us.  The ones who wrote the big books, discovered the great formula or developed the best procedures.  And once in awhile, if we’re truly lucky, we get to see our role model in person, maybe attend a lecture, or watch a demonstration.  If we are amazingly lucky we may even get to meet our role model.  I am amazingly lucky.  :)

DSCI1058  That’s him, Jeremy Phillips.  If you don’t believe I met him and took that picture myself, you can check out the group picture on Afro-IP.  I was so incredibly lucky, he even set aside some time from his busy schedule to meet with me!

Besides being one of the foremost experts on intellectual property and one of the most respected scholars in the world, Jeremy is also one vampire of a nice guy.  I think that’s the part I admire the most.  He’s kind, extremely considerate and always cheerful.  (Unless you trick him into attending a poorly done haughty Ameri-centric panel.)

I ran into Jeremy often during the conference, partly due to some similar interests.  I also met a number of other wonderful people including the founder of Afro-IP, Darren, another Afro-IP contributor, Paul, and a number of Yoruba attorneys who I startled by greeting them in Yoruba.  …hee hee…  The conference was amazing, people from all over the world.  Singapore, Malaysia, Nigeria, Uganda, Zimbabwe, South Africa, the UK, Dubai, Switzerland, Romania, Cameroon, Russia… that’s just people I met!  And I learned so much.  I can’t wait for next year’s meeting in Boston. :D

Monday, May 18, 2009

INTA Day 1 (or Posing as a Professional Again)

Yesterday was the first day of the International Trademark Association Annual Meeting. (It’s the 131st annual meeting!)  I had a great time!

I started my events by attending a special luncheon talk about enforcement of trademarks in Africa.  It was a small group, but very interesting and very rewarding.  An attorney from Zimbabwe, two Yoruba attorneys from Nigeria and an attorney from a large pharmaceutical company in the UK who’s in charge of the African region for her company.   I learned a lot and had a very little contribute.  One of the most amazing parts was when the lady from Zimbabwe recognized my name from the Afro-IP blog!  And of course, the Nigerians were surprised I could tell what tribe they were by their names.

The big opening event ceremonies later in the day were nice.  Elle McPherson was the keynote speaker.  It’s kind of funny, her face doesn’t look 45 but her arms, shoulders and body skin do.  Always remember to put your age-reducing make-up on your d├ęcolletage as well as your face!

After the ceremonies was the obligatory giant reception.  I wasn’t too keen on going.  I’m not a fan of large crowds and there’s 7500 attendees at this meeting!  But, my friend wanted to check it out so I agreed to go for it and munch a bit.  Glad I did – met some neat people and didn’t have to buy dinner. :)

Registration included the requisite schwag and name badges.  Everyone got a black shoulder bag. Many people are still using theirs.  Not me – I don’t want to carry the same bag as everyone else!  I transferred the important info stuff to my new special bag that Alfred got me for graduation.  It’s made out of two old record sleeves: Sleeping Beauty (my fav Disney movie) and Mother Goose Nursery Rhymes (an album we had when we were little).  Much more appropriate for me than a black bag.  I think it goes nicely with my black suit ;)

Sunday, May 17, 2009

A New Home

Garter Skirts #1 – the move so far and our new home

This past weekend, I finally saw what is going to be my new home.  It’s not something I would have picked out myself – there’s sliding shower doors, beige carpeting, stucco-ed ceilings, a gas stove and small windows in the bedrooms – but, it will be fine, and I’m very excited about it.  The location is kick-vampire.  We’re so close to BART I can see the people on the train when it stops at the station.  I’m a five minute walk from JoAnn Fabrics, Ross and groceries, and about 2 blocks from the Trans-Bay bus.

Not expecting to have an available apartment upon reaching the East Bay, I had little to put in the place than dirty laundry.  Mr. Trizzle and I were able to move over quite a bit of his things though.   I think he continued moving the rest after I left, in the unusual 102 degree East Bay weather.

Mr. Trizzle and I also spent part of the weekend shopping for things he’d need to survive until I actually move in a few weeks and things we knew we’d both need.  That was interesting at first, but fun. 

Here we were at this gigantic 2 story Walmart, debating about various items.  I felt like I was trying to build a home and Mr. Trizzle was trying to stock a dorm room.  I think it worked out decently though with some compromises.

At my apartment in Nashville, my bathroom’s theme was “duckies”.  Yellow duckies on a shelf, on the tub bottom, on the hand towel and the bath mat, coordinating blue and green accents in the other pieces to complete the duckies at the pond feel.  The theme of our new bathroom appears to be “various shades of blue.”  Actually, it’s not just different shades of blue since some things are more grey and others more green and some truly blue.  Perhaps a better characterization would be “various permutations of blue.”  Maybe I’ll just claim it’s a water theme.

We got a nice floor lamp for the living room though, not made out of plastic.

I’m really excited about finally moving next week.  I may spend an extra day or two in Nashville just to enjoy my last few moments with my happy room.  The problem with giving a girl her dream bedroom when she’s in her mid-twenties is that she’s going to have to leave it fairly quickly.  I will miss my hard wood floor, my 10 foot ceilings, my very, very large windows with the long flowing sheer white curtains that blow in the breeze.  The sunshine filling the room with light and warmth.  Curling up on top of my fluffy bed in a ray of sun and taking my cat naps.  Going to sleep at night with the soft breeze brushing across my cheek.   *sigh* oh well, I’ll still have Daddy Bunny.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Goodnight, from Conway T.

Nope, not Conway Twitty.  Conway, Texas.  That’s where I am tonight.  Last time I was in Texas, someone asked me if I was mixed?  If I was asked that now, I think I’d say “yes. 7/8 human and 1/8 tomato.”  That’s what happens after you drive 900 miles with your windows down, all during all the day.  By the end of tomorrow I may be an 1/8 bubble wrap.

Time for sleep, long day again tomorrow. I’m all set except for that rest I’m about to get now.  As I got into bed tonight, I had to think ‘what would munchkinhead do?’  The sheets are pink.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Moving.... on?

It's one of my last nights in my apartment.  Seems funny to say that since I'm not actually moving until the end of the month.  But, I'm leaving tomorrow and will gone for just over a week and then back for only a night or two.

Doesn't really matter though.  Hasn't felt like my apartment since I started dismantling it.  It's hard work, all this moving.  But it was nice to see some smiles today when I dropped things off at a few places around town.  It's funny how to me the recession means I can keep less, but to those running donation centers, it seems to mean they get less.  I'm surprised there aren't more people downsizing.  I guess most people are trying to sell anything they can for whatever they can get.  *sigh* oh well.

Anyway, tomorrow I head out for Cali.  I was super excited, now I'm just tired.  This drive is to get my car out there and get me up to Seattle for a conference.  After the conference is when I'll really move.  I think there's more to pack than I thought but I'm doing ok.  It's the stuff that's hard to pack until it's time to go: dishes, bedding, the few clothes that are left out, toiletries, the stereo.  You know, the really important stuff you use everyday.

I'll try to keep y'all posted as I'm driving down highway 40.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Let’s Go to the Movies

My sisters and I used to have these funny glasses things that we picked up at some hands-on science museum or another once upon a time.  They were shaped like a plastic headband, with two clear plastic rectangles through which to view a rainbow colored world.  We used to put them on and pretend to be Geordi.

We spent hours practicing pulling our fingers apart, arguing over whether it was better to put the hand straight up and down for “Live long and prosper,” or sideways for “nanu nanu.”  We pulled on our ears in attempts to make them pointy and put Tribbles in our hair.

I’m sure we were the same as many kids; Star Trek culture deeply intertwined with the mass amounts of pop-ness shaping our young lives.  But for me, there was a sharp line between welcoming that influence and barely going beyond tolerating it.  I was about sever years old. 

Actress Denise Crosby decided she didn’t want her part anymore, so she was written out – her character sucked into some black bubbling alien creature.  Seven-year-old me knew nothing of this of course.  I knew two simple things: (1) this yellow-wearing lady was sucked into a giant mess of tar and (2) there was lots of tar on the street outside, on the playgroup at school, and in many other places encountered by a common seven year old.  That was the end of my participation in the family’s Star Trek watching.

Alfred continued to stay involved, becoming quite the Trekkie.  She even tried learning Klingon once.  I think it was mostly her enthusiasm for the show that kept me at all informed about it.  At least with regards to the Next Generation and all subsequent generations. 

The stars all pretty much belong to Alfred: Star Trek, Star Wars, Stargate, Starburst…  (Ok, maybe not the last one; she doesn’t eat a whole lot of candy.)  So, when I went to see the new Star Trek movie with Mommy and Daddy and Mr. Trizzle, I felt like I was stealing Alfred’s parents from her.  This was a movie that should have “belonged” to her, been hers to talk about with Daddy.  But here I was, standing in line an hour early with Mr. Trizzle, excited to see the show.

The “Old Generation,” as I call it, was always my favorite.  It was sillier, less scary than the yellow-person-eating-tar-pit generation.  Plus, I loved that the ladies had those cute skirt outfits and tall boots, instead of the ugly pants suits.  I think I was also amused that I had a cassette tape with Captain Kirk and Spock singing Bob Dylan songs.  (The cassette also had Mae West singing The Doors.)  The movie kept the skirts!!  That may have been my favorite part.  Ok. well that and several other things, including the old fashioned weapons and gear, but I don’t believe in spoilers.  You’ll just have to see it yourself. :D

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Pomp and Circumstance

Tomorrow's graduation.   I don't really care.  I'm happy my mommy and daddy came down to Nashville.  I'm glad Mr. Trizzle is here.  It'll be nice to see my aunt and uncle tomorrow.  But, the whole graduation thing, not that in to it.

This isn't what I've been working for during the past three years.  What I've been working for is a career I love, that magical dream job that is one of the most important things in my life because I love it.  Trying not to trip as I walk across a stage in a row of other matching, soggy, people has nothing to do with that.  My classes, my papers, my semester in Nigeria, my upcoming work, those have everything to do with it.

Tomorrow, my crabby vampire will rise super-early, about 5:30 Central Time, which is 3:30 am for me since I run on Pacific Time, and get ready.  First, I'll either walk in the rain or spend twenty minutes looking for parking and then walk in the rain.  Our whole class will don their caps and gowns for a class picture and then spend a bunch of time waiting around, avoiding the big school ceremony.  At some point, we'll dodge rain drops to go sit in chairs with our names on them.  Afterwards, I'll try to find my daddy, Mr. Trizzle and my aunt and uncle.  We'll argue about where to go to lunch because my aunt only eats "healthy" and I'm pretty sure that doesn't exist in the South.

Meanwhile, Mommy and Alfred will be having fun at Wendy's graduation in Boulder. ....maybe.