Friday, November 26, 2010

Some photos from Bob's Antarctic adventure

My husband just returned from his dream trip to the Antarctic. Here are just a few photos.
Read his reflections here.


tour ship, the Ocean Nova

zodiac expedition boat

group photo

penguin trail

Hey, guys, wait for me!

This is the life!

Gift shop window, Port Lockroy

happy feet

Hello, world!


Thursday, November 25, 2010

Morning on the beach

a memory of a September weekend...

I’d forgotten the sound of the ocean
forgotten its voice
the roar of a natural engine
the swish of white billows
lace curtains in the breeze

I’d forgotten the natural pungence of salt air
smelling salts reviving my swooning spirit
I’d forgotten the motion of the waves
its life force reanimating me

Running barefoot along the wet sand
flying an imaginary kite
tethered only to my reawakened dreams
I feel something soar inside me again

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


A bit of flour
baking powder
some milk, oil
a few spoonfuls of yogurt
throw in blueberries
or on special occasions
chocolate chips
mix well
pop into the oven

Before I can sweep up
the stray flour dust
and wipe the counter
take shape

Pretty silly
  but I'm always amazed

Watching the little
muffin monsters devour them
after First Day school
I wonder
which is the more miraculous:
that sweet,
in the oven
turns into tempting treats
or that the beating
of a human heart
plunged into worshipful silence
becomes the still, small Voice?

And whose delight is greater:
the muffin monsters’
or mine
experiencing the Presence?

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Punctilious by day, Zumbaesque by night

1.  Which of the following journal article citations is in correct APA 6th format?

2.  Identify the punctuation error(s) in this citation formatted according to APA 6th style:

Ball, J., & Bindler, R. M. (2008). Pediatric nursing: caring for children. 4th ed. Upper Saddle River, N.J.: Pearson/Prentice Hall.

   3.  If you really care about the above two questions, are you

        a.  a first-year student enrolled in the College of Nursing at the university where I work      
        b.  a spy from the American Psychological Association's committee on style
        c.  a punctilious instruction librarian

   I answer "c" to question #3, and yes, I spent a good part of today initiating unsuspecting first-year nursing students into the miseries --uh, make that mysteries-- of the irrational documentation style codified in the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 6th edition. It is the documentation style adopted by the College of Nursing, and the students are required to follow it religiously when creating bibliographies for their papers. APA style also governs such earth-shattering matters as in-text citations, title pages, margins, running heads, even pagination.

As you can well imagine, the course faculty have more important things to teach future nurses, things like pharmacology and how to take a patient's vital signs, and do not have time to spend drilling such mindless minutiae into their heads.

That's my job.

Italics, capitalization, the proper placement of periods, commas, and parentheses, as well as the groundbreaking replacement of the Latin abbreviation et al., which has served scholars so well all these many years, by an ellipsis (...) + last named author for citations with 8 or more authors.

I know, gentle reader. All this excitement is too much for you.

OK, in all fairness, I do get to spend a significant chunk of time teaching database searching and a few other things that actually require some reflection and skill. And I tell the students about the cool software available free from the library to make their task easier. Still, all that punctiliousness can leave one rather numb by the end of the day and longing for something just a bit more engaging ... even passionate.

Thank God for zumba!!  I couldn't wait to put on my (uncoordinated) exercise outfit, lace up my Huaraches, and come alive again.
Two warm-up songs, 4 high-impact/cardio songs (salsa, Latin hip-hop, and a lot of plain ol' jumping around), 1 cool down (an Indian selection: "belly dancing zumba style," as the instructor calls it), and a final song to stretch to (tonight it was J. Lo's "Cariño").

The class was particularly well attended this evening -- at least 20 zumba enthusiasts. Our instructor Mary Anne has strung lights around the perimeter of the giant mirror that spans the wall in front of us.  She turns off the ceiling lights, turns on the string lights and a rotating color wheel. "Zumba's a party!" she says.

When Mary Anne does zumba, she looks like she's dancing. Me, I look like I'm exercising. Sort of. But I don't care. I just keep my eyes on her and imitate her moves. (Sure wish I could shake my derrière like she does!) For an hour I feel like I'm dancing. I imagine I have rhythm, coordination, even attitude. Only the music matters. By the second cardio number I've worked up a good sweat. Shedding those commas and ellipses, I'm trampling them underfoot. I don't care what this is doing to my knees, it feels sooooo good!

The final stretch is the icing on the cake.  I take another drink of ice water and towel myself off a bit before heading out to the car.

I feel human again.