Friday, February 22, 2008

When mommies go on business trips

This is the sort of thing that happens:


I'm in Mountain View, and just got back from a full day in the archives of the Computer History Museum. I think it's a really neat place: I don't know, though, because I slipped in the back way and got a cubicle in a warren of archivists and staff, and a big pile of historical computing industry promotional materials. As well as a copy of Playboy, from May 1978, boxed up with a set of other documents, notable for being the venue in which Apple Computer ran its first paid advertisement (it's on page six, if you're interested.) I'm going to go back tomorrow as a tourist, and then up again to the cubicle on Monday.

I love it. I feel like a real researcher now. There is an archive I can visit, sit quietly with boxes of paper, hand over my pens and promise only to use pencils, sign release forms and craft acknowlegments, sifting the raw materials of my scholarship. That feels nice. Away from the now-sold house and the scary realization that our settlement is not likely to buy us the house we want. Away from looking. Away from shoveling and mid-night wakeups. Away from my pounding head cold and barking bronchitis exacerbated by cold. My lungs love rainy Northern California. I love losing myself in my work, a welcome distraction, a welcome reminder that there are things I am good at. Reading. Writing. Thinking.

Three times zones and eight hours of flying away from home, I'm excited and free, quiet and introspective, adventurous and withdrawn, engaged and interested, but risking overstimulation. I watched an episode of Angel on cable, from bed!, at 6am because I couldn't sleep anymore. I met a man, in a Google t-shirt, at the continental breakfast--he was reading a Kindle and showed me how it worked. I guess I really am in Silicon Valley, a place I know so much about from my research but have never actually seen or smelled or walked before. And here I am, in a hotel overlooking the highway.

I miss my family, yes, but it's nice to get away, you know? Nice to have the time to sit and hear my own thoughts as they work their way to the surface of my mind, nice to work them through, to sift them and consider them. To remember who I am, consciously, alone, for a couple of days. Jumping on the bed when no one can see me.

17 comments:

It's just me... said...

I love it!

Enjoy your time. Enjoy! Enjoy! Enjoy!

Plus, distance always makes the heart grow fonder and I love returning home and feeling like I cannot WAIT to get there.

Omaha Mama said...

To remember what I'm good at.
Yes, yes, yes.

I feel it. I've lived it.
I love this post.

Have fun. And please promise to share more thoughts like these?

crazymumma said...

mmmm

alone. in a hotel.

pure sheer heaven.

Angela said...

That sounds like pure bliss...all alone without the kids and joyous silence. Just read your previous post, so glad you are feeling better, glad you are getting a well deserved break.

Audrey said...

I stumbled onto your blog. Nice job. Great photo. Hope you have a super time!!

ewe are here said...

Jump away for all of us... I would love a quiet hotel room to myself for a couple of days.

Enjoy my old stomping grounds... there are a couple of things I miss about Silicon Valley, mostly the moderate climate and the easy access to the coast.

Beck said...

Hee! That sounds rather heavenly right now...
ENJOY YOURSELF.

metro mama said...

Sounds heavenly. Enjoy!

kittenpie said...

That sounds rather lovely, mimi. WHY DIDN'T YOU TAKE ME WITH YOU?!?

Jenifer said...

Now go fill up the tub! So happy for you and so jealous...a hotel alone? Heaven.

Kyla said...

Enjoy all that goodness!

Mad Hatter said...

Is your hair dark again? Just wondering.

Mimi said...

Nope, Mad, just less aggressively blonde :-) Also, contrary to what the picture shows, I continue to have a distinct nose, eyes and mouth as well!

slouching mom said...

sounds divine.

please enjoy it -- for all of us.

Christine said...

you know, i grew up in silicon valley. i sort of miss it and sort of never want to go back!

glad you having a good time. i do miss the weather intensely. . .

Sarah said...

Too funny, sounds like you're having a fab time - ENJOY!

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