Catching up and checking in

Apr 20, 2006

I’ve lost track of Erin as she’s disappeared into the law library to prepare for her exams next week, but as she’s beginning to face the intensity, I’m starting to settle down after a busy few weeks in which I talked about blogging to two j-school classes, the AMA Medical Communications Conference and yesterday’s Leadership Triangle fellows. I also had a brown-bag chat with the SPIRE postdoctoral fellows about medical journalism and science communication on Monday, and a few weeks ago I was intereviewed for The Story with Dick Gordon. Add to that a very busy workload and project-heavy summer ahead at my day job.

I also turned 36, celebrated Anna’s fifth birthday, left a card on Erin’s pillow for her 33rd, and honored my mom on her 60th. Oh, and I can’t forget building a website for my dad’s congressional campaign.

Amid all that, I missed getting a reservation for the visiting StoryCorps mobile recording booth, though during my trip to Phoenix, my brother Nick and his wife, Staci, hosted a fantastic afternoon BBQ, and I talked with my Grandmother Clarice about her parents’ first-born daughter, also named Clarice, who’d died at age 6 in Johnstown, Pennsylvania. “I sometimes think I’m living some of the years she didn’t get to live,” grandma said to me. “Why else would I be so old?” She’s 94.

Unfortunately, I didn’t get anything out to promote my own StoryBlogging project, and have missed a great opportunity to piggyback on the StoryCorps/WUNC publicity campaign. (I am hoping to convene a committee of interested bloggers and oral historians soon to get the StoryBlogging effort rolling.)

Now, I’m looking forward to enjoying this awesome place in which I live. As I told the Triangle Leadership fellows, my expectations of North Carolina being a sleepy, stultifying Southern experience were blown away when I first arrived here in 2001. There’s so much to do and see and hear and experience here, and I continue to act on the lesson my parents taught me: make the most of every place you find yourself in.

Tonight, I took the girls to Weaver Street Market for the kickoff of the 11th Annual Piedmont Farm Tour. We’re looking forward to seeing lots of sheep and goats and chickens and pigs this weekend (I still dream of raising goats and making my own cheese). We ran into Paul Jones there, who mentioned he’d used one of my blogging presentations for a recent class because I wasn’t available to speak (I was in Arizona).

There’s plenty more to do this weekend: the NC Festival of the Book has a good lineup—I’d love to catch the chat between Pat Conroy and Doug Marlette. Conroy has an amazingly broad vocabulary, and I’ve enjoyed his books. Also this weekend is the Shakori Hills Grassroots Festival. And if you need more, the Independent always has the rundown. There’s just no excuse for staying in this weekend to watch television. (Well, the high price of gasoline may be a good reason, but if we stay home the greedy oil companies and their Republican mafia will have won. Then again, they’ll win when we go to the pump, too.)

And I’m just looking at the bulletin of the NC Museum of Art, which has Salif Keita and Ozomatli performing this summer.

Did I mention how busy I am? I’m swamped, but loving it.

Anton Zuiker

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