On vacation with my mom

sea nettle
Originally uploaded by Liz Henry.

I’ve been at a conference and have plenty to say about it, but not right now from my mom’s conference hotel in Monterey. Moomin is asleep on the floor behind the bed on a nest of pillows and blankets, surrounded by stuffed animals old (Pecky the penguin, the Bunny in the Hat, and another bunny) and new (a magnetic flippered turtle and a small penguin to be Pecky’s friend).

I can’t believe that in the giant crowded aquarium we ran into Squid with all the kids + extra and a babysitter helping out, and then my friend Heather who was at my mom’s conference & who I’ve known for a zillion years and should have guessed would be here! We met as the giant octopus writhed and snapped its tentacles. Some random other woman in front of the tank was sighing a little and agreed with me that we’d dearly love to stick our arms in and pet the octopus, bonding with it, letting it get to know the taste of our skin with its weird alien suckers….

I just paid 10 bucks from the hotel and taught my mom more about Flickr and LibraryThing and wikis and what an API and an RSS feed are and all that kind of stuff. Can’t believe I haven’t done it before this, but last time I saw here was when Moomin was in the hospital and I was too stressed to think of fun computer stuff.

OMG it’s fun to hang out with my mom. She’s hilarious and a little bitchy about life and yet full of enthusiasm and wild determination to photograph particular fishes, cussing them out when they don’t cooperate perfectly. And suddenly I realize we have many of the same mannerisms. You may now picture my cool mom hopping around with her phone aimed high, cussing out a giant sunfish and a whole tankful of fidgety moon jellies! While we were doing that, my sister sent a photo of herself frowning mightily because she was stuck at work and couldn’t be with us. I wonder what Moomin thinks. In his world, grownups come with Razr phones surgically attached and a strange madness seizes them when they’ve been offline for too long; they babble of free wifi and drag him around on a quest for Internet cafes…

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