kites in kaiser!As I dream of summer break, I think about how part of winter break was about getting business done: post-Christmas cleaning, pre-tax season and end of semester filing, and dreaded errands and appointments. The most dreaded of these tasks: flu shot and annual mammogram. I try to think strategically. Which one do I want to do least? Which one will hurt the most? The answer is the same, so I go to get the flu short first. I half-lie when the cheerful nurse asks if I am sick. I am at the tail end of a cold, but I am going to cross this visit off my to do list today.


Because this is my first flu shot, “Joy” walks me through the steps verbally: “First I am going to pinch your arm; now, you should feel the cold liquid under the skin. All done.”


I realize two things as she practically offers me a lollipop:

  1. I shouldn’t have made the easy stop first.
  2. That was fast. I have plenty of time; I don’t need to rush to radiology.


So even though I have been lost in my own neighborhood (once or twice), I decide to take a tour through the corridors, mostly to see if I can find color and story, families in the throes of something interesting that I don’t quite understand.


In one of the narrow connecting bridges between buildings, I suddenly enter the blue at almost the same altitude as a soaring lion kite and several sailing others. These kites all seem so much bigger here. I am a small swallow in a fantastic aviary.


No I am not, I’m lost. And I still have to present myself for the mammogram.

kites in kaiser1

Jury Duty

jurydutyA colleague asked me what I did over the summer.  For a minute, I could only remember going to Mexico and heading to the desert to visit the family.  The month after returning from Oaxaca, what did I do beyond return to the desert and head to Lake Tahoe?

Then, I remembered the week I was in jury duty limbo, calling every other day to see if I would be needed, planning only so far in advance, and keeping just one of my fingers crossed that I wouldn’t be subject to a questionnaire or voir dire.  The other part of me welcomes civic duty and is intrigued by the opportunity to see how the truth unfolds.