Monday, February 28, 2011

Day 39: Zodiac Sign and Do You Think it Fits Your Personality?'s a good thing I watch The Daily Show, or I might have gotten this one wrong. I've always believed myself to be a Capricorn, but some people now say I'm actually a Sagittarius. I'm not certain it really makes much difference to me.

Having read both descriptions, I'm going to say I'm a little of each. And, in truth, there's probably a good deal of every sign in me, as I suspect there is in each of us. I do think I'm more of an introvert (capricorn) than extrovert (sagittarius). However, that comes from knowing absolutely that I'm an INFJ (yep, me and Gandhi). And that's a whole other discussion entirely. So we won't go

Below are descriptions of my two signs. I'll let you decide which fits me best.


Capricorns are very ambitious people, they always have something they are pursuing and they want their lives to be fulfilled and important. Capricorns are extremely patient and will wait a long time for something they want, when the opportunity arises, they will plan their steps carefully to others, they might appear hesitant but this is not true, they know that there is only one chance to succeed and they are filing together their information to take the proper steps to accomplish their goal with flying colors, not just second rate. Capricorns have a very active mind and strong powers of concentration. Capricorns like being in control of their surroundings and everyone in their life. Capricorns are very cautious but this only to survey the situation before leaping in, they will never make a hasty jump in. They accept change but introduce it slowly so they can get used to it and incorporate it into their life. Capricorns tend to see life in black or white, definitive's only. There are no gray areas for these are areas that are not understood and this makes Capricorn feel uncomfortable. They tend to be in control in a romantic relationship that way they are never vulnerable to another person.


Sagittarius is the sign of the zodiac mainly concerned with philosophy, higher education and global thinking. It is ruled by Jupiter, the planet of expansion, benevolence and luck/fortune. Individuals who have a strong Sagittarian influence are typically interested in expanding their horizons through traveling abroad, learning foreign languages, or immersing themselves in unique cultures. These individuals thrive on higher education; once they find a subject(s) they’re passionate about, they will search relentlessly for more answers and more information to build on what they know. They are also fond of ethics, as it appeals to their philosophical nature and is a subject that is so contextually dependent that they’re skilled at being flexible in applying sound philosophical observations to complex situations.

Because Sagittarius is a mutable sign, they are generally very adaptable philosophically because they seek to understand the world from a higher perspective and are perspicacious in finding higher meanings through their varied encounters. They tend to be optimistic and have a great capacity for faith, as it is this good-natured faith that usually plays into their fortunate endeavors. They are not usually known for their reliability (unless they also have a significant Capricorn influence) because their attentions have a tendency to be scattered.

Sagittarius is a fire sign, which imparts a fiery enthusiasm that shows through their (blunt) sincerity, honest convictions, and drive for independence. They enjoy adventures and are partial to the great outdoors.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Day 38: A Photo of Your Parents

I have a very specific picture I want to post. However, I can't seem to find it at the moment. And I'm already a day late. So, due to a shocking lack of pictures of my parents together, I will give you a few individual pics.

This photo, for me, IS my dad. We're on a backpacking trip, he's wearing that sweatshirt that he always wears, and he's taking amazing photos.
This is one of my favorite photos that I've ever taken (sun spots notwithstanding).

Here, again, is dad. We're on the side of the road in Grand Teton National Park. Virginia needs to be burped. And he's far better at it than anyone else.
So here we are in the mountains again, where a Grandpa is always a good thing to have.

Here's Dad at Christmas, enjoying his Santa hat, enjoying his Boy Scout present, and sporting the pjs that match everyone else's.
This particular year, we didn't explicitly coordinate, we just all showed up wearing the pjs from the year before.

Here's Mom being a grandma, one of her favorite things. The location of the picture is also very important. I took this photo shortly after Memorial Day. When I was little, we ALWAYS went to the cemetery on Memorial Day with my mom's mom. And now, whenever I can, I still go.
As you can see, we have begun to initiate Virginia into this very important Hock women ritual (yes, W4 begins to realize her destiny).

Mom being a grandma again, this time at the Farmer's Market in Madison.

This one is from a wonderful week my mom and I spent together right after Scout was born. James had a conference in Germany, so Mom came into town.
It was a time of feeling greatly connected to my progenitors and posterity. It's hard to explain what a great experience it was to learn how to be a mother from my mother, with my daughter right there. We missed James, but it was a wonderful week (the parts I haven't blocked out due to sleep deprivation anyway).

And now...surprise! I had an epiphany and found my favorite picture after all. I didn't take this one, but here are my parents.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Day 37: A Song You Like to Dance To

Lately, this could probably be any number of Kindermusik and other children's songs. However, if we're going with songs I prefer, rather than simply songs I frequently dance to, the selection is different. Here are a few I can't resist dancing to. I was going to give you YouTube links, but couldn't find good ones. Then Virginia started insisting that we listen to her music again =D.

I Just Can't Get Enough - Depeche Mode
Save the Last Dance For Me - Michael Buble
Ob La Di Ob La Da - The Beatles
S.O.S. - Abba
Vogue - Madonna
The Middle - Jimmy Eat World

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Day 36: Some Hobbies of Yours

eating (nicely supported by the cooking hobby)
exercise (necessitated by the eating hobby)

Monday, February 21, 2011

Day 35: A Letter to an Ex

Dear Tom:
I still remember the first time I saw you. You were hard to miss, with your imposing figure crammed into a chair designed for a high school student. We were in class together all summer, institute once a week, and I learned a little about you. Your head was shaved and had a huge scar. My mom informed me that was from the tumor you'd had removed. Everything looked good now; you were on the mend. You lived at your parents' house while recovering from the cancer. But you had a real job, something with computers I think. You were divorced, one very cute son and an ex-wife who sort of went off the deep end. No matter. And I learned that, despite your intimidating physique, you were absolutely kind and sweet and just a very gentle soul.

You must have liked me then, though I didn't notice. I was so caught up in so many things. Sorry I flirted with someone else on that long drive to the ward camp out. Really, I didn't know until the drive was almost over. Then the pieces came together and I could tell. You were interested and I wasn't. Sad, but very true.

Fall came and I moved off to school, returning frequently, but also growing increasingly entangled with someone else altogether. He could hardly have been more different from you. He was loud and confident, exciting, cosmopolitan, in absolute possession of my affections and not all that interested in having them. It wasn't that I didn't like you, just that I couldn't see past him. How hard it must have been for you to see me run after someone who cared so little! I suppose that, though I was destroyed by it, you rejoiced when he summarily ended our tumultuous relationship. It took you just a few days to ask me out. And so, because I wanted to go to the concert and I think everyone deserves a chance, I said yes.

You brought me a rose. That's never happened before. You took me for a walk after the concert. I love walks. And soon thereafter, you took me for another long walk, followed by dinner. You wanted to go out again; I wanted more time. My heart was still broken and I just wasn't ready to try again. I needed more space. You took me to a play; I wore a scarf that was my Christmas present from my ex. I wasn't ready to move on yet. After another really nice date, we talked. I explained that I couldn't be close to anyone at that point. You thought it was you. How it broke my heart trying to explain that I thought you were wonderful (if not quite my ideal) and the problem truly was ALL me. No matter, you said, take your time. "I would wait forever just to hold your hand." No pressure.

Valentine's Day was that week. Poor timing, I guess. You left a card at my door, reminding me that you would wait as long as it took. I was certain it would take forever, perhaps longer.

Another month passed and you called again. This time the proposed date was to my favorite musical. Why do guys I'm not interested in always plan the best dates? I had to say no. I could not bring myself to take advantage of your affection. And I couldn't lie to you. I was still too sad to love anyone. And I wasn't ready to believe that the things you saw to love in me were true. I was so certain that if you really knew me you would only be disappointed. So you see, I did care. I cared too much to crush your illusion and let you see that you were after a rather flawed dating reject. Of course you didn't see any of that, but I just couldn't believe you. And I couldn't take the risk that I was right, and once disillusioned you would leave me alone again.

We talked often and you tried to talk me out of going to law school. More importantly, you tried to talk me out of going away to law school. There was always a chance I would stay, but it never was a very good one.

Easter came, and you called me again. This time you just wanted to talk. So we went for another walk and I listened. The tumor was back and it didn't look good. I don't remember what I said or how we parted. It seemed so surreal.

Even as you were sick and perhaps never to recover, I couldn't give you what you wanted. I wanted you to keep the dream girl you had imagined rather than getting the imperfect girl you thought was her. What's more, as much as I enjoyed your friendship, I was not interested in anything more. I tried to feel something more, I truly did. I felt you deserved it. But, some things just aren't meant to be. After that, our interactions were limited. We were certainly friends, but you never asked for anything more again.

I remember the summer day when someone came for me at church and told me you were very sick. You'd asked to see me. So I went to your house and sat by your bed. I watched the leaves in the trees outside your window and we talked about death. You were so at peace. It's hard to know what to say at such a time. I wanted to give you comfort, so I held your hand and did my best. You got better for a while, but we all knew the end was coming. Part of me wished then that I'd played the part of devoted girlfriend for a few months. But I'm not a good liar, and you deserved the truth. You deserve someone who loves you the way you loved me. That person just wasn't me.

As the summer wore on I prepared for law school and you prepared for other things. My life was just beginning and yours was at its end. I understand that so much more now than I did then. I visited you several times, including the day I moved away. You couldn't talk anymore, but I sat by your bed and held your hand. After my plane landed in Virginia, I learned that you had died. We both started our new lives the same day.

I'm so sorry I couldn't love you, at least not in the way you wanted. But I am grateful for your affection. As I met and fell in love with my husband, I often thought of you. He reminded me of you in several very good ways. Because of knowing you, I was better able to love him. And, in part because of you, I even managed to believe it when he said he was in love with me.

Tom, I never have anything but warm thoughts of you. I sometimes wish we could talk, so I could tell you how grateful I am for having known you. I hope you're happy, wherever you are. I know you must miss your son. And I hope you don't miss me. You've already had your fair share of sadness.

With warmest regard,

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Why So Many Midwesterners Winter in Arizona: A Photographic Essay

*This picture was taken before last week's blizzard. This bike is now buried up to the handlebars.
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Grab Bag

1- I love Rachmaninoff. Hearing Variations on a Theme of Paganini makes my life better every time. No really, every time. Once I saw it performed live from the best seat in the house. I savored every note. I love Rachmaninoff.

2- I will soon return to my 50 days (or, in this case, many more) of me. I am now "officially" done with my appendectomy recovery, my infected incision has healed, and most of the effects of the allergic reaction to the antibiotics have faded.

This photo doesn't do it justice. And honestly, the rash wasn't even close to the worst part. Anyway, I've got the next entry in progress. It's coming, really.

3- Virginia is branching out on her favorite activity. New locations...

...and new reading material.
4 - A photo for Geoff: The slavery has begun.
(May she always be this excited about washing the dishes.)
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