Community - December 29, 2010

Barbara Wood: A fond look back at the year that was

Dear friends, family and loyal readers: 2010 has been quite a year for our family.

The eldest redhead, after working for two years as a graphic designer in Manhattan, quit her job so she could spend a year in the Netherlands as an au pair. She works only 15 hours a week and has lots of time off to travel. Judging from the photos on her Facebook page, she is having a very good time.

The middle redhead graduated from San Francisco State last December and spent six months trying to find a paying job. By July he had done so, in the process fulfilling his childhood dream of someday working in a cubicle. The technical writing job seems to be exactly what he was looking for, something that pays well yet doesn't require a lot of effort.

He is still living at home, but vows that he will move out soon so he can: 1) Get a large-screen television. 2) Get a faster Internet connection. And 3) Eat more meat.

The youngest redhead seems to be quite happy at Berkeley where she is majoring in Society and Development and living in a student co-op on the north side of campus.

She had been studying Swahili with a goal of doing environmentally sustainable development in East Africa. If she can get into Spanish next semester, she says she will drop Swahili and do environmentally sustainable development somewhere they speak Spanish.

She has a boyfriend named Woodrow who is a poet majoring in philosophy, and although we have not yet met him, I do have an image in my head of what he looks like.

Dan has continued to referee AYSO youth soccer. Apparently he enjoys having parents scream at him, question his judgment, and argue with him while he runs up and down the fields, either in pouring rain or broiling sun.

He still writes software that is used in integrated circuit manufacturing plants, but recently as a side project helped a friend develop an iPhone case with a built-in bottle opener.

My major accomplishment of the year was learning how to drive like a maniac. I developed this habit when I found myself commuting four days a week from Woodside to an office near the San Jose Airport. In the 6-1/2 months I made this commute, I morphed from a timid and careful slow-lane driver to an aggressive, lane-swerving idiot, shouting into the Bluetooth cell phone receiver clipped to my visor while drinking coffee and cursing anyone who had the ill judgment to drive either slower or faster than I was.

Fortunately, I quit the job before crashing, and instead, I hope to spend more time riding my new one-speed bicycle on the beautiful streets of Woodside, courteously dinging my bicycle bell to warn chatting hikers of my impending need to share the street with them.

Unless, of course, they really need me in San Jose, in which case I will try very hard to leave myself twice as much time as I actually believe I need to get there so I can mosey along in the slow lane.

Barbara Wood is a freelance writer, photographer and gardener from Woodside.


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