Happy Halloween to all! Today marks the odd ...

October 31, 2001 by Adam in Family

Happy Halloween to all! Today marks the odd ritual of dressing up and demanding candy from total strangers. I think we'll make a few trips with Sam in costume, then man the door to pass out candy. Supposedly our neighborhood gets hit hard, but fortunately Jamie's dad operates candy vending machines. I think we're pretty well prepared.

Sam's latest obsession is having us ask him Star Wars questions. He can now match most adults in Star Wars trivia, though perhaps not my old buddies Jason and Colin. I got bored yesterday, and switched to The Lord of the Rings. That went over well, so it's okay to ask things like "Who reforged Aragorn's sword?" (Answer: the elves)

I expected a house in a city with a lawn and ...

October 31, 2001 by Sadie in Sadie & Greg

I expected a house in a city with a lawn and a carpet would be like a house in an American city with a lawn and a carpet. My mother in Gaborone and I speak the same language, but somehow the rules are different. More taboos, restrictions, and guidelines. On a good day, she is teaching me the gestures of her culture, and on tired day her demands near vindictively obsessive-compulsive. Not the type one would ask to help with oneÆs wedding, or invite to a wind-down Friday get together.
Our struggle is palpable. I imagine her words thicken the air and my replies stiffen layers of walled miscommunication. Her testing accusations- did you use the wrong washcloth to wipe out the sink? - are blocked by a dayÆs trauma, and (like a dogs bark or sighting another Lakgoa) I jerk up my head and say- Hmm?
Sigh. Shit. We both know I broke the most important rule. R-e-s-p-e-c-t. Not the Aretha Franklin love me or leave me type, but the obligatory, language based type.
-Mma? Mma? Her voice turns sour and disappointed. The space between us receives curdled words and I swallow them and repeat her, dulled but apologetic. ûMma?
My intentions are ruined by the truth of my emotions filtered though culture. I am white and will never say Mma as second nature. I like raw vegetables and rice, and I canÆt change my feelings on unskinned red meats, no matter how rude it is. Not when shell shocked from a hard day. Not when I tense at road crossings for fear IÆll let bad timing and letting go carry me to Princess Marina.
She makes that disappointed face when my language doesnÆt connect with her interpretation of my language. Like the day I woke at 7 without an alarm (nurses orders) and twisted my shoulders away from hips to test how my half dose of codeine lasted during sleep. Not as well as the injection from the nurse who pulled down the waist of my skirt, tapped the needle and said, ôSo you came before or after September 11th?ö I picked out my nicest linen with the intention of faking the entire day. If I donÆt say it, IÆm not hurt, right? I hide from my motherÆs morning rhythm and eat my tea and bread like the day was the day before and the day before that.
ôNext time you are sick, donÆt call MmaMokwate. I will take you to the hospital.ö
ôI told you I was sick.ö She made that look, rolled back her eyes and huffed like I could never understand the true meaning of any situation.
ôI donÆt blame you for calling MmaMokwate. I couldnÆt even walk. I donÆt blame you for calling.ö On the ride to Gaborone Private Hospital, Martin told me about singing and dancing in the ZCC church. ôHigh as this,ö he said, lifting his flattened palm to his chin, as though ZCC men became acrobats by the spirit of God alone. I try to imagine the woman who complains about sweeping the dirt outside in rhythmic waves jumping all weekend in Swaziland. She isnÆt partial to cooking- too much standing. But what am I to know about the power of the Lord?
ôYou didnÆt hear me come in?ö You didnÆt hear me slam the door and sob for 45 minutes? I was so loud the neighbors went quiet. How did you sleep when I sobbed in need for you?
She paused as if to choose between truths.
ôI didnÆt even hear Gopo come in. I was so sick.ö
ôSo was I.ö
ôIÆm not blaming you foràö Things started to repeat themselves here, because I wanted her to know how lonely it was thinking I was hurt and alone, without a phone or family to help. And how hard it was to find strength under muscle spasms to get up and walk to the tuck shop, only to realize I wasnÆt alone in the house. But my mother, that name of love and respect that we call the women who love us, abdicated her name to roll over and sleep. But she couldnÆt hear my exaggerated pronunciations of loneliness. I canÆt speak the right language. So I cried again, right there in my Five Roses unfiltered tea and ultrapasturized milk.
My motherÆs language is unraveled and opened in counter moves by my sister. She is long limbed and upward shaped, cr

Many good thoughts to everyone, on an incredi...

October 30, 2001 by Sue in Wielesek

Many good thoughts to everyone, on an incredibly soggy day in Oregon. My plan is to finish up my fall housekeeping and
then start to plan for our big trip in December. Dick and I are going to South Africa, Botswana, and maybe Zimbabwe, if the country isn't in open revolt.

Old pagan that I am, I always try to say a little prayer to old Mom Nature at the summer solstice, which of course is December 21st in the southern hemisphere, so if you see a news item about the arrest of a naked elderly American tourist, you'll know I was overcome by the gestalt of the place.

Many soggy hugs from Oregon.

I took the final step today, buying the mothe...

October 30, 2001 by Adam in Adam's Projects

I took the final step today, buying the motherboard, cpu, hard drive, video card, and sound card for my new computer. I think the grand total for all the parts will be about $1,500. Considering it's top of the line, I'm pretty happy with how it's turned out. I still remember when the last Dell I bought was over $3,000. It's crazy that I can get something five times as good for half the price.

The parts should arrive this week. I'll probably be assembling them all in the wee hours this weekend. Hope I don't blow anything up.

We stopped by Seraph and Robbie's for Hallowe...

October 29, 2001 by Adam in Jenny

We stopped by Seraph and Robbie's for Halloween cookie making last night. Jordan was there, looking huge. Evidently, he's even bigger than Destin was. Looks like we get a couple linebackers from Jenny's side of the family.

I guess Jordan is doing well. He's a quiet baby, sleeping most of the time. I guess the rule of thumb that big babies tend to be quiet is true in this case.

It was quite the fun-filled weekend

October 29, 2001 by Adam in Family

It was quite the fun-filled weekend. On Saturday, I went over to my friend Chris' house for a pumpkin carving shindig. I'm starting to tell that I'm getting older - virtually everyone had come with their kids and I spent most of the party talking about parenthood.

Sunday morning we had my mom and Dick come over for a breakfast and watching Sam shindig. Afterwards, it was off to get paint for our new fireplace. I think we ended up going three times - once to pick the color, another to get the paint, and a third to make it darker. Still, it should turn out quite nice.

Last night, we had another pumpkin carving and cookie making party at Seraph and Robbie's house. The only missing family members were my dad and Yayoe - evidently Robbie forgot to call. Oops. There were tons of babies there, crawling and eating about. Isabell is looking like an actual girl these days. Jordan is a huge baby, off the charts in every way. I carved a tiny pumpkin for fun and make a cookie slug. Great fun.

I finished Undying

October 26, 2001 by Adam in Adam's Games

I finished Undying. I was really sick one day, and spent most of the day slaying the minions of evil. They've done studies where video games minimizes pain - in men anyway. Or at least that's the justification I'm sticking with.

Diablo II is being much more fun than I expected. My Assassin is doing relatively well. The bosses are harder than I want them to be. I started a sorceress that I may play up quite a bit. I haven't convinced Dave to play with me again, but perhaps I can get him to play tonight.

I think the final components of the Fossil ca...

October 26, 2001 by Adam in Adam's Projects

I think the final components of the Fossil case will soon be ready for purchase. I ordered memory today - about $60 with free shipping for 512 MB of memory. Amazingly cheap.

I think in a week or two, I'll order the final components: motherboard, cpu, hard drive, video card, and possibly the sound card as well. Everything else is present.

The only major switch is that I won't be getting NVIDIA motherboard. It sounds like the performance isn't enough better to be worthwhile. I'm also going for a higher end video solution, so the integrated graphics don't matter to me. I can hardly wait . . .

We took Sam to his preschool Halloween party ...

October 26, 2001 by Adam in Family

We took Sam to his preschool Halloween party last night. Zillions of kids running around in strange costumes. A bit overwhelming, but quite fun.

Later that night, Sam started feeling bad and complained of a sore throat. I gave him some pain killers and finally got him to bed around 9 PM. A bit after 10, Sam woke up crying and kept crying for over an hour. He couldn't swallow and obviously felt miserable. Finally, we filled the bathroom up with hot steam for him to breathe, then got him into the bath.

That seemed to do the trick, and he settled down, splashing in the water. We got some more pain killers in him, fed him a bit, and gave him a cough drop. One of the first things he wanted to do after he felt better was to play with his Star Wars Legos. We played a bit, then I left to bed exhausted some time after midnight.

This morning, I'm hanging in there, but mostly due to the Grande Mocha I had this morning.

It's been a pretty quiet week so far

October 25, 2001 by Adam in Family

It's been a pretty quiet week so far. Jamie's busy on the gas fireplace and water heater project. I think we finally got clarity on what we really wanted. We're going for an "instant heat" deal, where the water is heated up when you need it. Unusual, but supposedly pretty good and energy efficient.

Sam amazed us all with his knowledge of Star Wars last night. We were playing Legos, and I became bored, so Darth Vader became a game show host and started pelting Sam with questions. Sam could answer all sorts of weird ones:
Dad: What's the name of the ship Han Solo flew?
Sam: The Millenium Falcon.

Dad: And now, for the Lego boat, who rescued Luke Skywalker after his hand was cut off?
Sam: Princess Leia
Dad: Princess Leia . . . IS CORRECT!

It went on and on. He wanted me to ask him more questions even when we went swimming last night. My son, the Star Wars idiot savant.

The end of a really busy time - lots of trial...

October 24, 2001 by Sue in Wielesek

The end of a really busy time - lots of trials, and even a tribulation or two. While we're telling Sam stories, I'll add this one. Sam, Dick and I went to the garden center a couple of weeks ago. They sell pond supplies and lily pads, so they have a little pond, with a frog fountain with a stream of water squirting out his mouth. I pointed it out to Sam, who inspected it soberly, then announced, "That's not normal!"

We went out to the farm to see the colt again, and put rose food on the roses. Sam loves the poem, The Congo, by Vachel
Lindsey, and likes to hike through the woods at the farm, pretending it's the jungle, and intoning, "Mumbo-Jumbo, god of the Congo" etc.

Sam and I had a little discussion last night:...

October 24, 2001 by Adam in Sam

Sam and I had a little discussion last night:
Dad: You're a good boy, Sam.
Sam: I'm not a boy.
Dad: Oh? Are you a man?
Sam: I'm a young man.


October 24, 2001 by Adam in Family

Oops. It turns out the NIMDA fix that Yayoe sent off really was a NIMDA fix. Before running it, make sure you really have the virus first. It probably won't hurt to run it, but it's good to check first.

Just a quick warning

October 22, 2001 by Adam in Family

Just a quick warning. It seems that Yayoe accidentally sent out the NIMDA virus to everyone on her e-mailing list. If you opened up an e-mail attachment claiming to be a fix for NIMDA, I recommend you delete it instead of opening it. The tip-off is the subject line in all caps.

Also, here are some free anti-virus tools:
Symantec's NIMDA virus remover
Online virus scanner

Safe computing everyone!

It's hard to describe how much Legos have bec...

October 21, 2001 by Adam in Sam

It's hard to describe how much Legos have become a central aspect of Sam's existance. Elaborate reinactments of stories, exciting explorations into the outdoors, and simple dismemberment have all found their way into Sam's playtime. Virtually every day coming home, it's "Dad, I want to go downstairs and play with tricky Legos." There's a never ending cycle of life played out as well. Lego people's heads and bodies are removed, switched, lost, and slowly replaced by purchases at the store. Luke Skywalker's head may be on a Rock Raider body, wearing an Ocean Rescue life jacket, and holding a cobbled together Darth Maul light sabre. Amazing.

I'm still spending my evenings coughing up a ...

October 21, 2001 by Adam in Family

I'm still spending my evenings coughing up a storm. At night, I take cough syrup and in the morning, I drink a bunch of coffee to shake that blurry feeling. I'm hoping this goes away pretty soon.

We hit Costco yesterday, filling up on supplies. Since the war started, I decided to get a couple weeks of food and water just in case. It's probably more likely that I'll be struck by lightning than I'll actually need it, but it's vaguely entertaining. So, I converted the sauna into a "bomb shelter" and have stocked up on a few megaboxes of cereal, granola bars, and powdered milk. I think I'm living a boys' dream, having my "bomb shelter" next to my "nerd cave". I even have a beautiful woman to serve dinner and raise my children. Er, I hope Jamie doesn't read this . . .

The great conversion to gas and fireplace insert saga continues. We had this decorative arch around the front of the fireplace which was limiting Jamie's insert options. So, muttering under my breath "Hulk just want to SMASH!", I took a hammer to it and bricks went flying. Also, the plaster flowers and cupids have been pried off, mostly intact. I did feel vaguely embarrassed as to where I was putting the screwdriver to pry them off. Oops.

We went to the park last night for a little p...

October 20, 2001 by Adam in Family

We went to the park last night for a little picinic. The skateboarders were in excellent form, and Sam enjoyed watching them. We then pretended we were Luke and Han Solo, running across the desert to the playground. All great fun.

I'm still stick, coughing it up last night. I've given into the dark side and taken cough medicine, which helps greatly, but makes me a bit spacy the next day.

Jamie's doing a great job organizing all the aspects of our conversion to gas heat. It's really complicated, involving a bunch of companies. Hopefully we'll get that in motion fairly soon.

A little tired today

October 18, 2001 by Seraph in Cortez

A little tired today. Isa and I have been sneezing and I'm hoping that we're not coming down with something. This weeks been crazy at work, but very educational. Robbie's actually started his story, so Isa and I have been helping our with dramatic reenactments each night!

I was out sick yesterday, sniffling and cough...

October 17, 2001 by Adam in Family

I was out sick yesterday, sniffling and coughing my way through the day. Jamie was really great at entertaining Sam, as he wanted to come downstairs to play with Legos with me. Today I'm at work, though I find my mind is somewhat fuzzy from the cough syrup. I drank way too much coffee, but I'm still halfway asleep.

My friend Chris returned from Hawaii, where he and his wife were celebrating their anniversary. Evidently they were delayed 20 hours due to an Anthrax scare. The news seems increasingly crazy these days. I'm happy Sadie's coming back to the states, even if she's on the other side of the country.

This is a little poem I'm writing for my Disi...

October 17, 2001 by Sadie in Sadie & Greg

This is a little poem I'm writing for my Disign your own part of the fieldbook. For those computer science majors, Botswana as a country is personified as "my love." Just think "My country."

My love, you have forsaken me, and I wail, slack-jawed and weeping for your village touch
My love, where is your deep, sweet village touch?
Where is your clear village dialect?
Where are the sweet names you gave me five weeks ago?
Why canÆt you absorb me in your arms?
Why canÆt you keep me safe from pluralized accusations and the morning migration?

My love, I bleed for you, and yet you forsake me
I come to you from the wrong way on a one way strip
I come in twenties without seatbelts
I come open armed and I smile with your tongue
Yet you cut my exposed wrists with laughter
You hate me on your roads
The roads you develop in my name
You pound down my skin in the name of spreading my language
You forsake me though development plans are stamped in my praise

You spit names in my ruts until palm-sized water holes appear
You will not hold me on the street
And even as I wear your skirts you taunt its low slung waist and lick its ill-fitted gaps

You, my only African love, distract me from my point
By ordering me into restriction taboos
I cannot even touch you on kombis
Today you write me love songs
Tomorrow you will disappear
You turn me back and forth between daisy petals
I whistle our secret names, but you stopped listening with population growth

My love, why canÆt you scrape open my wooden door and kiss my forehead as for the first time?
Where is the soft dirt between my toes?
Where is the dirt and smokey smell in your hair?
Why have you gone cold in with the asphalt?
Why do you make me cold with neglect?
I try so hard and you will never see my effort.
I cannot take your distance on the kombi
I cannot drink night rain alone
But I will not return to you as a woman returns to her perpetrator
So I wail and leave my tears to disappear in your forgetting air.

ôYou didnÆt wipe the basin

October 16, 2001 by Sadie in Sadie & Greg

ôYou didnÆt wipe the basin. You have to wipe the sink and the floor with this and then take it outside to dry.ö
ôEe, mme.ö
This is my fifth double checked mistake since she woke up this morning. 1. Close your window. 2. Wipe the kitchen basin and the kitchen floor if you use the kitchen faucet. 3. No sugar in the teapot- it doesnÆt dissolve completely. 4. Eat with a tray and a doily. 5. Water droplets adhering to porcelain are dirty.
Most of these cleansing rituals are executed with the cloth that hangs stiff on the plastic bath basin. We also soak up shower water with this cloth, for the tucked up shower curtain is purely a cosmetic covering of our sunken concrete cube of a shower. Clean, closed, and dry. With a cherry on top and a doily too. I feel seven, pushing the toothpaste up in its capped tube and brushing the toothbrush against my leg. I feign hygiene, making the motions of showering twice a day in icy water, avoiding full body submersion at the risk of ridiculousness. I shave frequently to fulfill splashing sound requirements, but only one leg a day. My body is clean by seven in the evening, but with the lower half thirteen hours dirtier than the upper. Yet she seems content enough with the show, and I am motivated to run in the evenings, to warm up for the chill night cleaning.
However, it is my wet hair that shivers her back and opens the white of her eyes. On Sunday morning I was particularly careful with cleaning the upper half, soaping up ears and scalp until I shone with pinkie exfoliated cheeks. Two more minutes of such vigor and IÆd have martyred my skin for the sake of my motherÆs policy of cleanliness above godliness. I didnÆt know how right I was. A man from the ZCC church visited, and caught us three womens breaking the bible with our bare-headedness. My mother scrambled for a scarf. I leaned in, wet hair curling up in stubborn resistance. ôSo IÆm disrespecting men and God for not covering my hair?ö He nodded and laughed, eyes darting to my mother and the dead TV.
I am culturally sensitive. I will allow his religion to arrest my hair into a kept peace. I will tie my dyke bandana around my head and smile. He drinks my tea and leaves without his hat.
After his parting, my mother promptly took a three-hour nap. Sure needed it, with a week watching my hair loosen itself in the sitting room. Obsessive-compulsive thoughts are exhausting. Imported colonial cleanliness and patriarchal taboo traditions must be too. Oh, for the quiet of a motherÆs nap. The air is not clean, not ordered, but undone and softened with its undoing. I could paint an hourÆs eyeful in this sweet quiet. I try.
ôLorato?ö (When did love become an order?) ôWhere do you wash your panties?ö (Possibly my favorite tone, word, and question all in the same accusing exhale.) I choose to avoid and deny the existence of underwear.
ôMme, your garden is too beautiful. LetÆs go out and sit.ö
Our bedroom-sized square of grass flaunts itself to the desert dirt at its side. My feet breathe in yielding blades; they are in love. I would like very much to learn to stand on my head, to tangle my hair with green and yell into its watered roots. Sitting on white lawn chairs is only a few centimeters from the initial knee-jerk plan, so IÆm happily sedated. We are so perfect at this moment, sitting together without orders or niceties. Groomed hedges lock in green and cut the sunset into filtered pink and undefined shades of purple sunset blue. We breathe out a Sunday confined in corners.
My mother (oh, my beloved mother) crosses her legs with the stiff bath cloth on one knee, holding a mirror. She tilts her face (sweet soft black skin illuminated in greening light) and looks carefully. Squints. Begins to squeeze.
Flooding back are Sassy Seventeen Commandments on Skin Care: Never, Ever Pop a Zit. Never gonna kiss that cutie boy if youÆve got zit sca

I'm sick as a dog today

October 15, 2001 by Adam in Sam

I'm sick as a dog today. I told Sam I loved him and he replied, "I love you dad, even though you're sick. I don't love you too much when you're sick, just a little."

Quick note to let everyone know that Isa cut ...

October 15, 2001 by Seraph in Cortez

Quick note to let everyone know that Isa cut her two bottom teeth last night -- and boy are they sharp! She won't let us see much yet, but we're hoping this means happier days!

Yeah! I love you sooo much- friends and famil...

October 15, 2001 by Sadie in Sadie & Greg

Yeah! I love you sooo much- friends and family who turned out in such amazing and thoughtful numbers to give all of Ja's lovin to me so far away in this little desert country. And vote's tallied (wieghed slightly in favor of my own personal intuition ballot), I'm comming home next semester. It was, yes indeed, a bit more guidence from Miles David Nolte, the scout leader of this here A-team of seven, than I'll admit (wait, did I just admit that?), but mostly it was remebering how hard I love ya'll and how much sweeter the next two months will be if I such the marrow out of them as the last. ah, I'm gonna cry if I don't stop. You are Amazing to me...Sniff.

Happy Aniversery to us! It's been four years...

October 15, 2001 by Seraph in Cortez

Happy Aniversery to us! It's been four years, and we figure we've made it through the first round of really crapy years. Now were into the challenging crapy years, then the midlife crisis crapy years, and maybe if we're really lucky on to the really great golden (but too tired to care) years! Right now we just dream of retireing and convirting the kids rooms in to libraries and craft centers! Actually, we still feel the newly wedded bliss on a daily baises and feel blessed to have found each other.
We spent Saturday night at the coast in a wonderful B&B.
Isa stayed with Hanni across the street in a little hotel. Amazingly we all survived, and had a great time with some much needed R&R. (THank you to Mom and Dick for watching Ducky) This afternoon we had a picnic with Dad, Yayoe, Dorothy, Jenny, Dez, Jordon, and briefly Adam, Jamie and Sam. (Our family can't grow much more!) Best wishes to Dorothy on her flight home!

Good day yesterday

October 14, 2001 by Adam in Family

Good day yesterday. In the morning, Sam went off with Sue and Dick, while Jamie and I lazed about. I started work on refinishing our old banister in preparation for installation. We later headed out to Thistledown farms and picked up fresh produce. That evening, we had dinner with my dad, Yayoe, and Grandma Dorothy. Always fun to manage a lot of activities with a two-year-old, but we managed.

Unfortunately, the cold that's been going around hit me hard last night. Lots of sniffles this morning. Not quite through the entire box of tissues, but I'm working on it.

Another fine Friday

October 12, 2001 by Adam in Family

Another fine Friday. My body is filled the the brim with a Mocha and I'm looking forward to the weekend. Dorthy Miller's in town, and we'll have dinner with her Saturday night. I'm also hoping to see the Home and Garden show at the fairgrounds, as we're looking to get a gas fireplace insert to heat our house.

Sadie's got a new posting up on her page, asking everyone to vote on whether or not she should spend another term in Botswanana. Voting closes Monday morning, so e-mail her and give your opinion.

It's been crazy following the war news these days. Bombing in Afghanistan, Anthrax scares across the nation, and FBI warnings of another terrorist attack this weekend. Best wishes to all of you reading this.

Group vote needed on should I stay or should I go

October 12, 2001 by Sadie in Sadie & Greg

Group vote needed on should I stay or should I go. I want your opinion and your support, but mostly I just want you to think about if you want me far or real far. Its not like I'll see you more, or be more safe, or any of that. no passive agressive 'its your decision' bullcrap. my e-mail is the same, voting ends on monday morning. Thank you thank you my most loving family.

I picked up two games to pass the time before...

October 11, 2001 by Adam in Adam's Games

I picked up two games to pass the time before I got the components for my new computer: the Diablo 2 expansion and Undying.

Undying is based on the Unreal engine, so it looks beautiful. It's also a "horror" genre. It's genuinely creepy, best played with the lights off at night. I ended up playing on Easy level, probably a first for me, as Normal was a bit too tough and frustrating. I think I'm about halfway through, though I'm not in a rush to play.

Lord of Destruction, the Diablo 2 expansion, is pretty fun to play. I've been playing with Dave online, which is quite a bit more fun that just soloing. Dave called last night just to ask if I was up for a little gaming. I have an assassin character, while he's going with a paladin. Quite the combo.

I also got new 4.1 speakers - Altec Lansing ADA 885. They're THX certified, and sound beautiful. While playing last night, there were a lot of subtle noises that I hadn't heard before. I didn't go for the 5.1 system, as the main thing I'm doing on that PC is playing games. I'm also looking forward to the new, quiet PC, as my current one drowns out some of the sound.

Last night, I was watching Buffy the Vampire ...

October 10, 2001 by Adam in Sam

Last night, I was watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer while Jamie was trying to get Sam to bed. Evidently, it failed, and he crawled up to the couch next to me to watch the last 15 minutes. I warned him to let me know if it got scary, and as soon as it came on, he said "It's scary! It's scary!" So, I had to cover his eyes for the scary bit.

The other really cute part was when I looked over at him, and said, "I love you Sam." At the exact same time, he said, "Dad, I love you." Awww . . .

New letter from Sadie, dated 9/21/01

October 10, 2001 by Adam in Sadie & Greg

New letter from Sadie, dated 9/21/01.


I pass over unblemished skin and forget uniformity in the memory numonics of banality. Every day is neatly filed in the Department of Nothing's grey metal cabinets, and is as good as forgotten. We only remember the rough patches, the unusual compared to the ordinary. As with the cold showers before my boiling bath water is tempered (the Botswanan Power Corporation promises electricity any day), extremes bring awareness. Zen Kicks. Which is why it might be so easy to forget this little house in Palapya, which is not so poor or dirty as my house in Kanya. Comparitively, I'm living the easy life, and I should not scratch the healing scabs from last week's wounds. But I am not rested. I still scratch at old tick bites until they bleed and leave red residue under my nails. I rip apart my simple covering of pinkish tan cells as soon as I can find a tear. I dig into my own imperfections. Do I hope to actually find something new or revealing hidden underneath opened skin? Will I find the Me under my face, under what all of Palopye stares at, even the few white doctors? I'm living the easy life again, and complacency, the ease of being satisfied with every meal, is making me morose. Or perhaps I was naturally greiving, still tired from all the war dreams and losing you, and distracted so well in Kanye that I had no room for outside problems. With a girl younger than me waxing our floors, there isn't much room for imperfection, so I must focus in on more interesting material. I also find myself looking carefully at trash, watching crumpled paper butterflies flutter and crash on grit and asphault. I feel empty without the dead animals by the road, or just more anxious. What one doesn't have to face, one can't overcome and let go. This is the first principle of behavior therapy concerning anxiety and phobia. Exposure brings peace, and at the moment I am insulated from Kanye and American hardships. So I am tired from them without letting them go, for they are not mine to let go of. Last night I dreamt I could only receive news through the comics, and had to decipher that we bombed Afghanistan through jokes made in Beetle Bailey. I worry about getting a flight back to Botswana, and want you to call the Council Travel in Claremont to see how it will work. Don't worry, I'll get full credit and graduate on time - Smith likes students to go abroad all year. I'm glad I'll get a bit of a break to see the fam, though. God, I love and miss you more than chocolate. Do you want to go to Mozambique, which is a more successful version of Zimbabwe? Check out archeology sites and write if you want to.

Thanks for listening to me vent mama. Many hugs and kisses. - Sadie

Sam and I went out to Toys R Us and then the ...

October 09, 2001 by Adam in Sam

Sam and I went out to Toys R Us and then the bookstore, stopping off for a little treat. He's been sick the last few days, but I'm hoping is starting to feel better. His sense of humor is getting better and better these days. We were playing with Legos last night when he exclaimed, "Look dad! A human head on a windshield!" as he showed me his strange creation.

We've tried hard to minimize projects this we...

October 07, 2001 by Adam in Family

We've tried hard to minimize projects this weekend. With a few exceptions, we've done pretty well. Yesterday we had Jamie's dad, brothers, and Josh come over for football and Chinese food. Mostly I stayed in the nerd cave playing computer games while Josh and Sam fiddled with Legos.

Today we had lunch at Brant and Dave's house and now we're back. I suspect we'll take it easy for the rest of the afternoon. We're all sniffling with the latest cold and Sam's a bit grumpy.

I made a side trip to Jerry's this morning an...

October 07, 2001 by Adam in Adam's Projects

I made a side trip to Jerry's this morning and put the final touches on the exterior of the case. There's still much to do inside, but the outside of the case looks beautiful.

Now I've just got to hold off for a months or so until they release the motherboard and cpu that I want. Fortunately, the Diablo II expansion is going quite well. I played a bit with Dave this morning. Jolly good fun.

I jumped the gun a bit and started to put har...

October 06, 2001 by Adam in Adam's Projects

I jumped the gun a bit and started to put hardware on the case. I stained it, which went well, then put on a coat of Verithane, which didn't go well. It was old, so it's taking forever to dry. After several days, it's still sticky. I'm hoping that over time, it will harden up. The brass looks very nice on the case. I have to get some new screws, as for some bizarre reason the screws for the handles didn't match. Still, I'm very impressed with how it's turning out.

Since the computer hardware that I want isn't out yet, I picked up Undying and the Diablo II expansion to keep me busy.

Oh, very sad news

October 06, 2001 by Sue in Wielesek

Oh, very sad news. I had a phone call around noon from Dad telling me that my cousin Karen died. This is terrible. She had surgery for cancer and then complications. She was doing well for awhile but then began failing rapidly. Phil and June are in Franklin with Kathy and Mike, and apparently Steve is doing okay. I'll post Kathy's address and Steve's address if you want to send a card. It's just hard to believe. The irony is that Steve was on his way to a
meeting at the WTC on 911, and Kathy was able to catch him on his cell phone.

Well it's October and we're trying to think o...

October 05, 2001 by Seraph in Cortez

Well it's October and we're trying to think of a creative Halloween costume for Isa. Any ideas? We've got everything from a pumkin to an fairy princess! If you haven't already checked out the pictures of our newest cousins (on Robbie's side) do so on Alex and Carolyn's page -- what a cutie! Isa's crawling and bonking her head daily. I'm pretty sure she'd rather be walking. Robbie and I are excited to trick-or-treat and claim candy in her name. The fall has always been a favorite time for us.

We're muling over the idea of Thanksgiving at our house again. Robbie's brother Charles and his wife Judy will be coming for the holiday! Let me know what everyone already has planed so I can figure out what we're doing.

PS We love you Sadie!!!!

It's Friday morning, and thus a CafT Mocha da...

October 05, 2001 by Adam in Family

It's Friday morning, and thus a CafT Mocha day for me. This week has been fairly quiet, watching Sam in the evenings. Jamie's dad arrives in town tomorrow. I'm slowly getting my computer case done, though it's taking awhile. Work goes well, though busy without Frank.

It's been nice to hear from Sadie from far away Africa. Best wishes to her on her exciting adventures.

Sadie, if you are just checking a and j and n...

October 05, 2001 by Sue in Wielesek

Sadie, if you are just checking a and j and not e-mail, please let us know if you need us to send more Cipro or other meds.

HI There, Thanks for all your postings

October 04, 2001 by Yayoe in Yayoe

HI There,
Thanks for all your postings. It's fun reading about your lives. It's October already! Can you feel the chill in the air? I'm ready and have stocked my closet with fur lined slippers and a big fuzzy robe with moons on it. Thanks to Hanni, my shopping partner, I have the best and warmest robe to face winter with limited heat! And NO, I didn't get the robe at Good Will. (I do feel bad about that!) I plan to conserve electricity this year so come prepared with your long johns when you visit. We look forward to seeing you all when Dorothy comes for her visit next week Monday until October 16th.

Lohring and I have been visiting with Bill and Diane. Bill is not doing well and grows weaker as the days pass. He is on Hospice and benefitting from their care. It's a very sad time for him, his family and his many friends. Tonight the Boat Club "Boatheads" will be convening at Bill's house as a farewell meeting and special tribute to him. The boat club pond will be named after Bill! Sniff.

We are off to California November 2 for a Bat Mitsvah in Oakland, California. We plan to take a road trip and spend a few days in the bay area visiting friends/relatives.

Lohring is busy outfitting his shop which is starting to look quite nice. He and Adam have completed "the box" which will house his newest computer when ever it gets put together. So enough for now.

Carolyn asked that I post this message: Su...

October 04, 2001 by Adam in Carolyn & Alex Cortez

Carolyn asked that I post this message:

Sue wanted me to post the pictures of our new Grandson Charlie on my web page but I haven't posted for so long I forgot our password--so I'm sending them to you. Please post them for me and send me a reminder of our password.
This is my son Scott's and his wife Rebecca's second child, Charlie Stroh, born on August 30th. They live in Portland. His big sister Ellie is almost three.

(click for a larger image)

hey guys

October 04, 2001 by Sadie in Sadie & Greg

hey guys. I'm not homesick, really. too much excitement her is margaritaville, aka kasane. lots of afrikaaner tourists and proplr who can't even say dumela to the african waitresses- and they look just like me. whiteness is strange to be seperated from for a month and a half and then thrown back into, like being thrown back into the water you came from and realizing how suffocating it was all along. very interesting. cheers, Sadie

ps - Sadie said she dreamed last night that s...

October 03, 2001 by Sue in Wielesek

ps - Sadie said she dreamed last night that she had been sleeping on the porch at McMillan Street and when she woke up, it was Thanksgiving and Dick had made crepes for breakfast. I would say that her dreams have gotten pretty basic in Africa.

Check out Sadie's page, where it will give yo...

October 03, 2001 by Sue in Wielesek

Check out Sadie's page, where it will give you an actual phone number at a Safari Lodge. She said she had seen elephants and giraffs, all on the first day. She has been interviewing people and writing required papers, listed a number of dishes she had learned to cook, and said she could actually cut up meat. She was, as always, funny, but said she missed us all. She loved the jointly written letter -she's been able to get mail only twice so far. She will start at the University of Botswana next week.

Sadie just called my mom

October 03, 2001 by Adam in Sadie & Greg

Sadie just called my mom.

She's at the Chobe Safari Lodge in Kasane. Her phone number is 011-267-650-336 in room 206. She should be there after 9 pm Botwasna time (between noon and 8 PM PST) in the evenings and it's fine to call late.

She's homesick, but doing good. Supposedly she's learning amazing things, including cooking. She'll be there until the 10th or so. She did get food poisoning and had to run into the ER, but I think she's feeling a lot better.

Sam and I were at the park yesterday, playing...

October 02, 2001 by Adam in Sam

Sam and I were at the park yesterday, playing with Legos. I took my Lego person, picked a flower, and asked the other Lego person if he'd like to smell it.
"But I have no nose," said Sam.

I thought that was pretty hysterical, so we walked home to tell mom.

Yesterday morning, Sam woke up next to Jamie ...

October 01, 2001 by Adam in Sam

Yesterday morning, Sam woke up next to Jamie and asked:
"Why was your hair long when dad met you?"

I vaguely remember talking to Sam about it awhile ago. It's funny what things he remembers.

Big project weekend

October 01, 2001 by Adam in Adam's Projects

Big project weekend. Yesterday, I went over to my dad's house to work on my computer case. We got an immense amount of work done, routing out the front so it no longer breaks off parts of the CD-ROM, creating insets for the light covers, and making a front panel for the CD-ROM. Last night, I drilled holes for the rest of the pieces. In the next couple days I'll stain and varnish the wood, put on the assorted hardware, then I'll be ready to go.

The next step is buying the actual computer parts to go inside. I've picked out a bunch of the pieces already, but have held off ordering until the last minute. I'll probably order the power supply and fans fairly soon, as I'm thinking about some fan modifications to help keep the noise down. I've still got to wait a few weeks for my preferred CPU and motherboard to be released. Probably another month or so until it actually turns on.

October already! The weekend was filled with...

October 01, 2001 by Adam in Family

October already! The weekend was filled with projects - mowing the lawn, putting up shelves, working on my new computer, and much more. Friday night mom and Dick watched Sam while Jamie and I went out for dinner. Very nice and relaxing. Saturday was mostly a work day. Sunday I went to my dad's for computer work, getting much of it done. Sunday night, we had Seraph and Robbie over for dinner. Whew!

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