October 10 , 2005

It's been months since my last update. I'm incredibly far behind in processing pictures, but I hope to get some pictures uploaded with this update.

As most of you know, Val's dad Gavin passed away July 10. Understandably, this has had a major impact on Val and our family. His memorial was held the following Sunday, the 17th, at the Faculty Club at Stanford. It was beautiful, a quiet gathering with many of Gavin's friends and family members talking about the impact Gavin had on their lives. You can see pictures here, and read his obituary here. In addition to dealing with her personal grief, she's spent many hours sharing the loss with her family, and dealing with her father's affairs, personal effects, and academic library. Val and I packed up his library, which he'd willed to a former graduate student, Jim Givens. We packed 53 boxes of books; whew!

During the same week that Gavin died we found out that our dog, Tommy, has an inoperable tumor in his nose. Outside of some nosebleeds, he's relatively healthy now, but we don't expect him to be with us for more than 6 more months. We're sad, especially Val who is already dealing with deep loss. (See other pictures of Tommy here, here, and here.)

I haven't written about family events since June, so it's time to catch up on what we've been up to.

We had a great time once again at the San Francisco Gay Pride Parade. See pictures here. I rode Katelyn on my bike, Kathie had Joanie and Haley, and Glynis and Susan once again rented a Harley and rode alongside. This is the first year Katelyn really seemed to get the whole concept. Actually, the night before I took the girls and met up with Glynis and Susan at the Dyke March, the yearly stroll through the streets by SF lesbians, many thousands strong. I explained what it was, and why, therefore, it would be all woman. When I asked the following day about whether she understood the whole thing, she raised her fist and said said "Pride!".

Once again we spent July 4th at Glynis & Susan's since Pacific still allows fireworks. The kids really enjoy them; the adults do, too!

On August 10th, Nelee, Jenny, Cara, Margot, and Debra came for a visit. It was exactly a month after Gavin's death, and we did a toast to his memory.

Val's good friend Lee came for a visit on July 22nd. It was nice for her to have the support of an old friend in her grieving.

On Saturday July 23rd we all went to Vivian's birthday party. It was really hot that day, so afterwards I wanted to take the kids swimming. We ended up finding the Parkside Aquatic Park, a wonderful small swimming area in Foster City. We've been back a few times since.

On Sunday July 31st I went to the Dore Alley street fair, then our friends Rocket and Lisa came over for a visit. It was their first time to our house, but hopefully not the last!

On Thursday through Sunday, July 11-14, I attended Leather & Levi weekend at the Saratoga Springs Resort near Clear Lake. It was a lot of fun! Val wanted to go but couldn't - next year. While I was gone, though, we had our bedroom window coverings installed, finally. It's nice not to have sun streaming in as soon as it comes up.

I had another gathering of my Menttium group on Monday, August 16th. We've been meeting regularly for something like 9 years, since we were all in the program. It's a great group of women who've supported each other through all sorts of family, life, and job changes.

On Sunday, August 21 I threw a surprise party for my friend Lea. A good time was had by all.

The girls started school on Monday, September 6. This was particularly exciting because Haley started kindergarten. She's having a great time in Mrs. Haas' class, and is attending A Child's Way after school.

About the house, we've got two things going on. Val and I have been working with William Shean, an interior designer, to help with the layout and style of our living room/family room/dining room area. It's been quite a challenge. We're not going to change the carpet or most other things until the dog goes, as we're regularly cleaning up blood stains, but it'll be nice to have it all planned out. We're also working with Healey Landscaping to plan the backyard. It looks like they're booked through the end of the year for the work, but hopefully it'll all come together in January! Oh, and we're getting the rain gutters in the front of the house replaced right now, just in time for the rainy season.

On September 17th we once again celebrated Glynis' birthday, and "Talk LIke a Pirate" Day. Val and I learned how to play Texas Hold 'Em, and won the tournament!

On September 18th, the kids started religious school, Haley for the first time. Kately is also now in Hebrew school, and has already started writing in Hebrew. Grandma Adrien and Aunt Susan (Schneider) are taking a class on reading Hebrew, so maybe they'll all read together soon! It's also been a good way for me to brush up on my Hebrew; I know a little, and am now learning more.

That same week was Oracle OpenWorld, our annual conference, held in San Francisco. It was the largest conference ever hosted in San Francisco, 35,000 strong. Very exciting to work for a company that can put on an event like this. It impressed a lot of people, including the 5 new members of my team at work.

On Friday, September 23 Val and I were very busy. First we attended the 25th anniversary party for Triton Container, her company. Then we went on to Folsom ForPlay, the annual Exiles' Meet and Greet. We had a fabulous time at both, and got all dressed up for the event. We got home late and were tired, but it was definitely worth it.

Then on Saturday, September 24th, we had a large friend-and-family dinner at Benihana's to celebrate Haley's birthday. She loves that restaurant, and had been asking to eat there all year so we promised it for her birthday.

The next day, the 25th, Val and I ran the booth for the Exiles at the Folsom Street Fair. We had to be there really early, worked hard all day, and were exhausted. But it was a lot of fun, and we still had enough energy to spend a little time at the after-party, the Revels of Venus.

My birthday, on the 29th, would have been a ho-hum uneventful day of work and shuttling the kids around, except Val made it special by sending two dozen different colored roses to my office in the morning. We made up for the lack of celebration on my actual birthday in two ways: first, Susan and Lee came into town and we all met up with Joe to celebrate all of our birthdays, Haley's, mine, and Joe's, at a family dinner at MacArthur Park in San Francisco. Second, we had a bunch of friends over for informal socializing and games throughout Saturday afternoon and evening. It was a nice low-key way to celebrate.

We finally finished celebrating Haley's birthday with a kid party at the Daly City Party Playhouse. It's a very well-run and safe place to have a kid party. Relaxing for the parents, too, because the kids are in a self-contained and safe area, and the staff watches and guides things. Expensive, but worth it.

Today was Rosh Hashonah, and I took the kids to services at our synagogue. They have a really well-done kids' service in the morning before the main service. The more I do with the temple, the more I enjoy it.

Well, I guess that's all for now. I'm hoping to get some pictures into this update, so fingers crossed.

For all of you who've read this far, thanks for being interested in what we've been doing!