moved from maple grove minnesota to sunnyvale california, to take a job that was offering me ~2x my then-salary to develop web applications in java and lotus notes. i went to live with my friend and college buddy, larisa, a native of st. petersburg, russia, in a studio apartment. real estate in CA at that point was hideously expensive, rents were exorbitant, and even finding a hotel room was very difficult. i may never be able to repay larisa for taking me on as a non-rent-paying roommate; i will, however, always be profusely grateful.
novel CA experience #1: my roommate was the only non-indian person in the apartment where we lived. the smells of curry and roti were omnipresent and frankly rather delightful; it took my nose a while to really believe i wasn't at home. i also experienced the fantastic sensation of blending in with crowds -- i looked a lot like everyone else. however, the indian population of the apartment included many older, sari- and salwar kameez-clad women who would look at my button-down shirts and occasional necktie, fearfully scoop up small children, and actually flee.
to my delight, i got to visit with elizabeth hall while she studied at the djerassi institute! we went for a ramble around san francisco that involved dipping our feet in seawater and wetting our trousers :-)
11/2000: larisa had entered into a contract to buy a condo -- this translates into a quad home, in my head, but at any rate, a private quarter of a house-like building -- in south san jose just before i arrived in california. the condo was owned by people who rented it out, and they didn't communicate much with their renters. as a result, when larisa's notice to her apartment building was almost upon us and we were preparing to move into the new place, we discovered that the renters were still there, hadn't packed anything, and avowed that no one had told them that the place had been sold. this resulted in us being literally homeless for a week -- the apartment was gone into the hands of another renter, and the new (2 bedroom, 1 bath, 810-sq-ft.) place was still occupied by 6 people, 4 dogs, and an unknown number of cats, birds and snakes (i kid you not).
once the ownership problems were sorted out, we managed to get to the new place and open the door. we were knocked backwards by the stench. we spent a feverish afternoon ripping the foetid carpet out of the place and stashing it in the garage. the previous occupants had locked animals in one of the bedrooms, and the carpet in the room hid maggots, which we killed with large quantities of ammonia. i no longer have any fears about buying dud property -- i don't think there's much worse in the world than discovering maggots under the carpet (ugh).
12/2000: we spent all of our free time trying to sort out things with the property -- getting electricity, heat, phone service, and running water to the shower were A-1 on our priority lists. back at home in MN, my mom had an intensive stomach surgery -- it was the first big household crisis since my leaving home, and it was a big point of trial for the whole endeavor of living away from my family. i was home for christmas, but it was a very quiet holiday that year. i was very glad to see all the kind folks who visited me while i was at home.
1/2001: most things had been sorted out with the house, and we had linoleum on the floors, a donated couch, and all the absolute necessities of existence pinned down. Later, we bought a futon, a papa san chair, rugs, and curtains, and we laid down hardwood floors (ineptly).
This is what the place looked like, after all that effort:
i discovered that there was public access to the local foothills via the santa theresa county park nearby; i bought myself a yearly pass and spent -- indeed still spend -- many happy saturdays rolling around the hills. i had also fulfilled a lifelong dream of mine -- i used my new job to finance the purchase of a little chevy S-10 pick-up truck. its first job was to haul the dirty carpet out of the garage (which we share with neighbors -- they warmed to us noticeably after we hauled that smelly mess away!). getting rid of that carpet really signalled the beginning of owning the place -- the last vestiges of the previous owners had been eliminated. mom was recovering nicely from her surgery by this time. somewhere in here i turned 25, did some consulting for macworld magazine, and wrote an article for dominopower magazine.
2/2001-4/01/2001: at my new job i was given the task of redesigning and implementing version 2 of the IDG corporate portal, aka IDG Central. in my personal life, i had the pleasure of a visit from emily groff and her brucie -- the latter of whom was not satisfied with dipping his feet in the pacific, and dashed into the waves in his underwear. the water was probably ~55 degrees fahrenheit! bruce has my admiration forevermore, due to that daring plunge, and also for being a sweet fellow. i also had the chance to attend a ballet in SF and was indoctrinated into some opera listening by larisa -- we went to see La Traviata at the San Francisco War Memorial Opera House.
4/2001-8/2001: another internal web site was relaunched at IDG in this timeframe, which took up most of my working life. in my private life, i was introduced to the RABble, members of the rec.arts.books newsgroup, when they came to our house for booze and blintzes. i continued to hike and spent lots and lots and lots of time in san francisco, a place which makes me sigh with pleasure whenever i approach it. i honestly feel like that city is an enormous playgroud, complete with rollercoaster(-esque hills) and wading pools (pacific ocean) and climbing structures (lots of trees). my office generously paid for my tuition at UC Berkeley's extension school, where i took 2 very intensive Java courses and learned a TON. many thanks to dan tull for answering a lot of my questions during these courses.i also got to know my coworkers better around april of 2001, and embarked on a culinary adventure of epic proportions -- going to lunch with charles, derek, john, and sladin. i learned more about asian food in these months than i ever expected to know, and have been amazed at the things they have cajoled me into putting into my mouth -- chicken feet, pigs' ears, and beef tripe are among them. it's all been very tasty, except maybe the chicken feet and pigs' ears and beef tripe (and even those things can be good if prepared well. ok, well, not the chicken feet). i have learned to discern, eat and enjoy good sushi, for example.
i got a visit from jay koosman, esq., in this timeframe, and we enjoyed a lot of SF rambling and some scotch and manischewitz and josquin. i also got to see katie macdonald, who enjoyed the tide coming in, and her husband mike, who enjoyed the peace-love-linux decals on SF sidewalks.
8/2001-11/2001: in september i auditioned for an improv group called the blue blanket. unfortunately i wasn't selected to be part of their troupe, but it was a lot of fun, and i hope to try out again if they are seeking more members next year. i got home for a little while in september, and was warmly ensconced at the MN renaissance festival, which i miss very badly, over labor day weekend. in october i had the pleasure of going to the SF opera house to see rigoletto, and in early november got to see tosca. i am beginning to have a taste in opera -- i have discovered a fondness for puccini. at work, i've been promoted to sr. web developer. this only makes me more senior than 1 other developer, so it's not a particularly meaningful designation, but recognition is always nice.
12/2001-2/2002: adam and mom came up for xmas and had a good time; they stayed ~ two weeks. Mom frequented bead shops on Minna St. and someone tried to give (sell?) Adam a toke in the Haight. New Year's Eve came and went rather quietly, and I missed Erik Baker's party for the Nth time :-)
I turned 26 late in January, and officially left the 18-25 year old demographic -- funny, but I don't behave any better than I did when I was part of that demographic...
My Uncle Tony came to visit in January, and he and Larisa and I spent a weekend skiing at Lake Tahoe with Sladin, Charles, and Luis (some of the fellows I work with). I know Larisa and my uncle, who are black-diamond skiiers, had a wonderful time; I eventually hope to digitize photos of their exploits and post them here. For my part, I'd never been downhill skiing in my life, so I predictably spent the first day (at a resort called SugarBowl) falling on my fortunately-well-padded bum.
The 2nd day, I determined to ski very carefully up and down a 2-degree slope at a resort called Heavenly, unsupervised, while the skiiers (Uncle Tony and Larisa) skiied, and the snowboarders (Sladin, Charles and Luis) went home, having partied heartily the night previous. I did all right on the 2-degree slope, until a novice class came over and needed to use the space I'd been traversing. I pluckily attempted a 4-degree slope, built up a good deal of speed, and discovered I couldn't stop. I was headed towards a long, waist-height snowbank, and thought, "Well, the snow is bound to stop me." Unfortunately, the snowbank was actually a shelf of hard and slippery ice. Instead of plowing into it, my skis traveled straight up it; my momentum yanked me up into the air by my feet. I might have accomplished a 360-degree loop-de-loop, if I had been shorter; but my head and shoulders whacked against the ground when my feet hit 60-degrees to parallel. In addition, my skis dug into the ice when my feet came down; I couldn't bend at the waist to remove them, and I couldn't pull them out of the ice with my legs.
Some instructors ran over to see if I was alive, which I was, though I certainly had knocked the wind out of my lungs; and they released the bindings on my skis, so I could stand up and marvel at their vertical alignment in the ice shelf. After a few minutes of rest and stern lectures from the rescuing ski instructors, I resumed my inching along on another, different 2-degree slope. I've been back to Tahoe once since then, but I stil haven't made it up in a lift, and I'm still not good at stopping.
2/2002-5/2002: Cool things that happened in this time period included a birthday party for my boss, where I was introduced to Cabo Wabo Tequila. It was OK, but I'm still a fan of single malt scotches (thanks Corwin, Erik, and Kate McDonnell). Also in this time, my office started expanding their web serving technology from Lotus Notes to some combination of Perl, Java, and Apache, which was pretty exciting news for me (I was fingered to head this transition). In April, I joined a softball league through my work, and had a lot of fun playing ball with Shaun, John, Charles, Luis, and other folks from IDG's InfoWorld. I discovered that I'd forgotten how to throw a ball any appreciable distance, and over the course of our games I improved only slightly :-(
Also in this time, Larisa and I began planning for our previously cancelled trip to Italy. We had a bear of a time procuring tickets from Lufthansa, and a very easy time procuring our EurRail passes and lodgings. I received my first-ever passport -- the Canadian passport is a pretty standard-looking greenish job, with maple leaves on the inside.
5/2002-6/2002: We finally got to go on our trip to Italy! I intend to add to this page, both more photos and a travelogue, eventually. I also went home in June to visit with my brother Andre, my sister-in-law Shamiza, and my niece Amira.
7/2002-10/2002: In July, I went salmon fishing! In the Pacific! And caught a fish!!! The fishing boat was called the Queen of Hearts, and I had a grand time. I managed to keep my feet OK, and not get seasick. I caught an 18-inch salmon, weight unknown but guessed at around 8 lbs. I was thrilled, and I hope to go again next summer. In that same month, we learned that our business unit was taking over the IDG.net website on October 1st, 2002; so my professional life became a mad scramble to adopt the sophisticated workings of IDG.net, whose content management system is a home-grown JSP/servlet environment and whose web serving is all done via Apache and Apache+modperl servers. It was exciting and exhausting and I was REALLY HAPPY!!!!
In August and September I had a few opportunities to go home, and was terribly pleased to see everyone at Festival, at their homes, or out on the town. Also in August, I found myself looking for an apartment of my own -- Larisa needed the space, and I was just about fiscally ready to try renting something in the Bay Area (which is nowhere near so expensive now as it was when I arrived 2 years ago).
One of the most important events in this time period included the legal cessation of alimony and child support payments from my father to my mother. This was actually a very good thing, because it meant that my mom would never be bothered by her ex-husband again. For those who know anything about my family history, it's clear why this is good news; for those who don't, let's just say that the less involvement anyone has with my father, the happier they'll be, and Mom is certainly no exception to that rule.
10/2002-12/2002: Larisa was laid off from her job in this time, which scared the willies out of me. As it turned out, though, it was a wonderful opportunity for her in many ways. She got involved with an inventors group, and got a new job (rather quickly) in a start-up called Mobilewise. She also decided to sell her home, in the interest of moving closer to her new job. (Incidentally, this means that my old snail mail address is not a good place to send anything; for new land coordinates, please drop me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org.)
In my search for a new home I considered places all around the Bay Area, but I decided eventually that I wanted to live in San Mateo, a very short distance from my office. I found a place that's less than 2 miles walking distance! It's a one-bedroom apartment, but quite spacious enough for me and my stuff, and best of all, it has its own tiny back yard! Here are some pictures for the curious.
12/2002-2/2003 (Friends who don't like to read about tech stuff may want to skip down to the 3/2003 entry, since this is all about something I did at work): Between late 2002 and early 2003, I got to architect and implement a cross-technology solution at my job, and this made me really happy. I built something called the IDG White Paper Library. The idea of the app is as follows: IDG sales people from various IDG business units sell white paper placements to vendors like Microsoft and IBM. A database record stores some soft information supplied by the vendor/sales staff/ad tracker, including a URL where the white paper resides and click-tracking parameters to provide reporting for vendors and sales people. The collection of white paper URLs is maintained in a J2EE content management system, and crawled by an in-house instance of a search engine. The front end of the application gathers queries from users and interacts with a Perl script, which logs activity in the application (collecting search terms and detecting which IDG business is making the request), and interacts with the search engine to display searched-for white papers. When the project launched, I provided 2 interfaces to the search engine for IDG's enterprise web sites; technologists at each site chose to implement their interfaces either as IFrames that interacted directly with the search engine, or by using scripts to wrap the look and feel of the engine's results. At that stage, I was responsible for creating documentation that would help these technologists with their implementations, and working with them to resolve any problems they might have experienced. The various IDG site implementations are available at http://computerworld.com, http://infoworld.com (scripts), http://javaworld.com, http://networkworld.com (IFrames), and http://idg.net/service_content/wp_index.html (the "home-base" site for the search).
3/2003-4/2003: The biggest news in this timeframe is that IDG laid me (and almost everyone else at my business unit) off in late April, though i'll be paid till mid-June. I'm currently looking for work in California, and am likely to stay here until at least October 2003 (when my lease is up). If I haven't found work here by then, I may start thinking about coming home. Non-West Coast friends, if you haven't visited me yet, visit soon!
Other news in these months: Adam was accepted to the Institute of Technology at the University of MN, Twin Cities (I'm really proud of him!) and attended his senior prom. He brought his friend Alex down with him over spring break, and they spent most of their visit chasing girls in the Haight. Mom got to take her first trip to the Monterey Penninsula, where she waded in the ocean and collected sea shells along the 17-mile drive.
5/2003-7/2003: I spent a lot of time looking for work, of course, and learned about some interesting companies in the Bay area. In mid-June, I applied to Stanford Media Solutions, and was called for an interview; in late June, they offered me a position! I was flabbergasted and delighted -- I had expected job-hunting to be harder, the economy considered -- and accepted the position with great relief. Since showing up there, though, I've discovered that the funding is shaky, and that a job building stuff for the backend of a news site or corporate intranet doesn't well prepare one for a job building courseware or library management tools. Thanks to all kinds of folks, especially Dan Tull, for discussing the challenges with me :-). Interested parties can view the Stanford Media Solutions web site at http://mediasolutions.stanford.edu; I haven't yet contributed to the portfolio, but I will be the tech lead for the 2 courseware products advertised in their News section. Flash enthusiasts, I highly recommend a quick visit to a site they built for Stanford's Media X project, at http://mediax.stanford.edu.
6/2003-1/2004: In these brief months at Stanford, I learned how little I know outside of the Windows-based/Domino development realm, and was grateful for the opportunity to learn a bit more about other kinds of web development. I wrote the code for the Delphi training program (maybe 15k lines of Perl) here, and also got to stretch my wings a bit in a management role, managing a group that waxed and waned from 2-8 developers over time. I did a phenomenal amount of interviewing and learned tons about project management, resource allocation, and customer management. All in all, I was getting great experience. However, my habit of being at my desk from 10 am to midnight or later, 7 days a week, and skipping breakfast, lunch and dinner, eventually wore me right out, and I was glad and startled when an opportunity to interview at Google, Inc. landed in my lap. I'd dreamed of one day being a Google-caliber programmer since 1998, when Corwin and Erik E. first introduced me to the web site and explained about Linux. I was nowhere near a Google-caliber programmer when the opportunity to work there arose, which is unfortunate, but I was hired, and the work that I was hired to do is slowly filling the (in my opinion) prodigious gaps in my knowledge and experience.While at Stanford, I had the opportunity to meet and learn from some wonderful folks, the most wonderful of whom being Aixian Lin and Diane Carr, to whom I am much indebted for their kindness and compassion. My personal life sort of faded out of existence a bit for awhile in here, but by Christmas I'd made my decision to leave Stanford for Google, and Mom, Adam, Grandma, and Uncle Tony came down to spend the holidays here. We had a great time tooling about San Francisco, and Adam learned to snowboard while Larisa and Uncle Tony skied the double black diamonds. I tooled up and down the bunny hill on a snowboard, this time, and found it much more congenial than ever previously. (I think I've found my winter mountain sport.)
1/2004-10/2004: In this time, I worked for the Partner Services and Operations organization at Google, and learned quite a lot about Unix/Linux, mysql, and data center networking, to speak broadly and generally. I also met some of the smartest and nicest folks of my acquaintance here, and my affiliation with this group has been extraordinarily educational on a number of levels. I was lucky enough, also, to be exposed to a number of really stellar programmers' work and, perhaps more importantly, to a number of novel programming paradigms. I was able to dabble briefly in Python for the first time while working with this group. I was also able to go ocean kayaking, hiking (for some value of hike) in Yosemite, and adventuring in a variety of other contexts with my new coworkers. I continued to tutor, and spent what free time I had outside of work and work-related activities quite contentedly with Larisa (reading, concert-going, hiking, tooling about the Bay Area). Larisa acquired a small grey Prius in this time frame, which we lovingly dubbed the heaplet (as opposed to the big green Chevy Astro, which was on its last legs and not-so-lovingly referred to as the heap).
10/2004-5/2005: In October of 2004, I switched groups at Google, and now work within the Enterprise Support Organization, primarily with the Google Search Appliance. My current coworkers never cease to amaze me in their stalwart work ethic, formidable intelligence, incredible decency, and general goodness. The group is extremely busy now as the Enterprise business grows, and I am once again learning quite bit, this time about hardware, Appliance networking, and system administration. I'm lucky enough to occasionally work on the support.google.com/enterprise web site, and occasionally host product webinars for new GSA customers. I also was lucky enough to go campus recruiting for Google in this time frame, and had the pleasure of interviewing some very sharp folks at the University of Minnesota.
In February 2005, Larisa's mom became quite ill, and Larisa decided to move down to Texas to be with her parents for awhile. This means that I'm living alone for the first time, and it's been a mixed blessing, teaching me a good deal about my personality, but at the expense of various internal reserves. Jen Fierke and Angela Vetsch came out to see me on two April weekends, and I was very glad to see each of them in their separate visits. I visited Alcatraz with Angela, and was quite intriged by the experience; I should quite happily go again with any other visitor; speaking of which, I once more encourage my friends from Minnesota and Washington (and other non-California locations) to come out and visit, if the spirit moves you. I did make it out to Texas for May 10, Larisa's birthday, and saw the Alamo, but failed to catch any fish in Canyon Lake, San Antonio.
5/2005-9/2005:this time has passed in a bit of a blur. i'm getting a bit more accustomed to living alone, and keeping mighty busy. i was delighted beyond measure to stumble into a few lovely musicmaking opportunities out here in the bay area, mostly through the good offices of a fellow Googler by the name of Pablo Cohn, a kind and wonderful gentleman. Miss Dee Duckwall, nee Budde, came to see me in august, much to my extreme delight. we had a good ramble around the mt. tamalpais area, and many evening adventures, and a mini-musickmaking with Pablo, and listened over and over to hooley in the house by macalla. i found myself involved with a neat little endeavor under the auspices of okashi studios, with my friends Andrew and Colleen. i made it out to the MRF for a wee bit of musicmaking and wandering, though i didn't get to see everyone i'd hoped to :0( Adam Michael Lawrence Bacchus turned 21 on 9/7, and i came home to visit with him awhile; for his bday, he asked for a jam with some other folks, playing music, and i was delighted to fulfill his wish. i also had the pleasure of a trip to duluth (my first ever) and to the north shore of lake superior (another first, hopefully the first of many to come). Jay Koosman and the lovely Misses Dee and Anika Mara Duckwall, many thanks to you for this experience!
comic aside: at gooseberry falls, i was wading in the little rapids near the foot of the upper falls, barefoot-shoes-in-hand, and i slipped and fell in; the falls claimed my left shoe, but my phone, camera, and hat escaped, wet, but unscathed. Jay was kind enough to chase my shoe down the falls, but it was nowhere to be seen; we surmise that it filled and sank, and now rests in peace at the bottom of some lower-falls pool.
in other news, Larisa has passed the patent bar exam!!!, and is applying to law schools; the heaplet, may it rest in pieces, was totalled in an accident, but happily the driver (Larisa's mom) is fine. Aristotle Tutors (www.aristotletutors.com) groweth apace, Emily Ann Groff has written once or twice, i hope someday to visit Charleen van Horn, i was overjoyed to see Brie Monahan at a performance of The Buddha Prince (gorgeous and moving, pictures forthcoming?), Jen Fierke has volunteered to help with the flooding disaster in new orleans. i will be 30 in not too long.
9/2005-3/2007: Yaar! I haven't done a particularly exemplary job of keeping this timeline up-to-date, but my livejournal (sharlabacchus.livejournal.com) helps fill in some of the gaps.
Important events in this timeframe, let's see... the one that's impacted my life most, I suppose, is an autoimmune disorder I've developed, which was detected in December of 2005. I've been diagnosed with an autoimmune inflammatory condition that affects my eyes and thyroid, thus far.
The eye condition is referred to as uveitis; the name indiates swelling of the uvea, a layer of the many-layered eyeball. It would be roughly accurate to think of this as "rheumatoid arthritis of the eye"; the autoimmune system stops being able to recognize eye tissues as healthy citizens of the body, and sends out white blood cells to fix or destroy healthy eye tissue. This can cause complications that ultimately lead to blindness; I'm fortunate in that I have only lost a little vision in my left eye, and that this may, eventually, be corrected with an adjustment to my prescription lenses, once my eyesight stabilizes.
A note on the etymology (both for posterity, and to ensure that anyone reading this who has habitually bloodshot eyes sees their eye doctor): I was working pretty long hours in 2005, and noticed (as did many of my friends and loved ones) that my eyes were constantly bloodshot. This didn't alarm me, but I found that no amount of rest or sleep changed the redness of my eyes. My vision was not affected at the time, and the condition wasn't acutely uncomfortable, so I left it for a year; but in November of 2005, I was recovering from a high fever and noticed that I couldn't see my computer screen clearly. A visit to the optometrist showed that I'd rapidly "lost" ~2 "points" of vision in both eyes -- my prescription was -7.75/-8 in October '05, and -10 or thereabouts after my fever. With the help of my optometrist, and in spite of the bumbling of various ophthamologists, I was lucky enough to stumble along to the Proctor Foundation of UCSF, a group of doctors who specialize in treating this disorder. There, I was diagnosed and treated; prednisilone eyedrops restored my right-eye vision, though my left remains slightly sub par. (Homily: consistently red eyes are worth seeing an eye doctor for. A couple of simple blood tests can help determine whether there's any autoimmune inflammatory condition present, and it's terribly important to be treated, if so!)
My first round of treatment for the underlying autoimmune syndrome (which has yet to be officially labeled; various doctors have kicked around all kinds of theories, from lupus to sjogren's syndrome) involved a low-dose chemotherapy regimen. It affected my health fairly severely, and I was effectively working ~3 days/week as the dose was raised from a few tablets to a rather uncomfortable injection. After a few months, the chemotherapy caused a little liver damage, and was discontinued in June '06, much to my relief. Boundless thanks to Emily Ann Groff, Brie Lindsey Monahan, Jen Fierke -- all my friends and coworkers, really -- are in order; so many people helped me through this time, with visits and rides to work and massive doses of tea, sympathy, and encouragement!
Currently, my autoimmune treatment regimen consists of anti-inflammatories, and an autoimmune suppressant called mycophenolate mofetil (brandnamed "CellCept"). It's generally used to prevent rejection of new organs in organ transplant recipients by suppressing the autoimmune system. The combination does seem to be helping to stablize my eyesight; however, I have a reasonably high frequency of "flares", and that indicates that the condition is not "in remission" at present.
Recently, routine bloodtests showed that my thyroid had stopped functioning (for the medically interested, it was a TSH test, and showed a TSH of 31). Less routine tests showed that I was generating thyroid antibodies, which apparently indicates that my addled autoimmune system no longer recognizes my thyroid gland as a healthy citizen of the body :0( This is unfortunate, but easily treated with synthetic thyroid replacement therapy. Alterations in the thyroid treatment do seem to affect my mood and energy levels rather severely -- sometimes I'm vibrating like an electric toothbrush, at others I fall asleep at my dining room table. My hope is that this will settle down into a comfortable rhythm soon. At work, what with the limitations of my health, I've moved to a training role -- I train new hires in the areas where I can provide worthwhile guidance, and provide pointers to other subject matter experts where possible. Again, my workplace and coworkers have been exceptionally kind and patient; I'm terribly grateful.
Ergh, that's enough with the health stuff! Other news from the past couple of years: health notwithstanding, I managed to march in the 2006 Pride Parade, as a contingent monitor, with a contingent from my office; the little red pickup truck has been retired, and replaced by a cheap-but-functional grand am; with lots of help from Adam+visitors, I built and filled a redwood planter in the back garden of the San Mateo apartment; possessed by heaven-only-knows-what (under the influence of low thyroid?), I bought a foreclosed-upon timeshare in Lake Tahoe; Uncle Tony got divorced; I had the floors in the Maple Grove house recarpeted; and in general, I suppose, life went on :0)
More current news: Adam will graduate from the University of MN in May; Mom's trying out a new diabetes medication called Byetta; Larisa has just about completed her first year of law school, and is participating pretty avidly in the ragtime circuit, performing at festivals in Eau Clair, Sedalia, and Lake Superior. I've had many recent adventures with visitors -- most, I think, are well documented on sharlabacchus.livejournal.com. Mr. Corwin Brust and Ms. Dee nee Budde got married!, and I performed the marriage!, in December 2006. Ms. Angela Vetsch and her husband Mr. Dan Tull are about to become parents for the first time (as is Corwin) -- this is unbelievably exciting news for me, as I'm contstantly worried that none of my kind and wonderful friends are passing on their splendid genes :0) In February, I went recruiting in Europe, and was in Philedelphia, Chicago, Dublin, London, and Madrid in the space of five days. I was pretty much toast by the end of the trip, but I was grateful for the opportunity. I hope to revisit some of these places for holidays, eventually.
and now, the standard "watch this space for more news"; you might also step out to sharlabacchus.livejournal.com. or, you can write me for more news at email@example.com.
or, you can just write me -- snail mail is underrated. email me for coordinates :0)
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