Monday, September 26, 2016

clinical.

Untitled

Fun times at our community health clinical.  Me and Kate led this morning's exercise class.  Usually, they follow a Sit-and-Fit DVD, but Kate had a different idea and found Korean morning calisthenics on youtube.  She told me that there is a particular type of Korean music that always goes along with the routine and that it's a tradition in Korea.  It was a little more vigorous than Sit-and-Fit, so these ladies (after 3-4 minutes) were like, I gotta sit down.

I have been reluctant to toot my Chinese speaking horn at this clinical.  Our other other language speakers are native in the other (their first) language and English is their 2nd language.  And I feel like I speak Chinese like a toddler.  So I didn't advertise it too much, but the resident Chinese translator is in Taiwan visiting family for a month so I got to translate the following things today:  "tap dance class" "podiatrist" "church sponsored dinner".  God, I'm a terrible translator.  Also, I got to try to explain free or reduced cost dental benefits to a resident.  First, I'm trying to understand how painful the tooth is, is it infected? a sharp pain? a dull pain?  This is difficult when I only know the word for tooth.  This poor gentleman just repeats, my tooth is (some medical word) which leads me confused, so then I ask, do you need to see the dentist today? next week? or in 6 months? Then I explain that the mobile, free dental service will take 6 months to get an appointment.  The subsidized dental clinic, you'll need to apply in person at this particular address, but that will take some time too (unknown).  Then if you need to see a dentist now, here are some recommendations, but you'll need to pay cash.  But all using the vocabulary of a toddler - so "mobile clinic" turns into "a big car which is driven by the dentist here", podiatrist becomes "a doctor that looks at your feet" (which she seemed terribly confused by, maybe there aren't podiatrists in China/Taiwan?) and subsidized turns into "maybe you don't have to pay money, maybe you do, but maybe only a little".  My classmates are laughing at me, because they hear the Chinese coming out quickly, and they are like - I thought you spoke like a toddler? But they don't understand that the first sentence I said to the resident is, I apologize in advance that I speak like a small child, but I will try to help.

Summer of smiles.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

sun.

Untitled

Edda and I went to Montgomery Mall today.  I need to buy 4 pairs of pants (probably jeans) to last me another half decade - that is the frequency in which I buy pants.  When Vince heard me packing up, he asked "You going to the mall?  Without me?"  I answered that he had work to do (English paper, science project, social studies something or other), so no hanging at the mall with me.  And he asked - could you buy me some shirts?  I said maybe.

*******

Since I go pants shopping only every half decade, I get easily overwhelmed by the number of types of pants that I can choose from.  I just want the "regular" pair.  Levi's 501?  I think that's what I want.  But now all the pants are pre-worn and strangely washed and stretchy, skinny or mid-rise.  It's not that I wouldn't wear pants with holes in them already, it's just that I don't think they will last the five years I need them to last.

Untitled

But we did score big at the Vans store.  Vince has been into Vans and they had a bunch of sale items which were buy one get one half off.  So I got ten pieces of clothing for $140.  I think he's set for the fall.  Though I think he needs more pants.  He was so excited that he started skateboarding in the afternoon.

*******

Edda and I continued our quest to eat at all the eateries at the Montgomery Mall.  We ate at the pizzeria today.

Untitled

This was pretty good though the people didn't heat it up enough.  The calzone was a little cool on the bottom.

Untitled

******

I spent the afternoon at Haines Point playing footgolf.  I couldn't resist the invitation and it was a gorgeous day.

Untitled

What is footgolf?  It's where you play golf, but with soccer balls instead.  I didn't not dress appropriately, no plaid or patterns on me.  See the Washington Monument in the back?

Untitled

Happy birthday Lael!

Untitled

Saturday, September 24, 2016

sat.

Untitled

Gym in the early am.  I usually don't go early - but when I have (usually on a weekday), there have been this group of older guys who blast music from their own portable speakers.  I was surprised to see them there today on a Sat, they must go everyday.  They are nice and jolly, but they still play their own music too loudly.  The schedule says the gym opens at 6am, but when I get there at 6am, there are already the music-blasting guys working out.  Turns out the secret opening time is 5:45 am, which is when the swim team starts practice (on Sat too?  Those swimmers are crazy.) and these are the dads (I think.).  The trick to going to the gym early (or doing anything early) is not to let the thought "I don't wanna get up" form at all.  After a while, it gets easier to dismiss that thought and there you are, at the gym super early on Saturday morning.  You can also learn to start ignoring thoughts such as "That guy is so annoying" "There is too much work, I'm overwhelmed" "This is incredibly frustrating" "I'm lonely" "I'm itchy" "I can't do this" "Other people are having more fun than me" "This is boring" "I don't wanna." "I'm failing at this" - not 100% of the time, but a lot of the time, probably 80% of the time when I'm well rested, it may drop to only 40% of the time when I'm under stress.

******

Jeremy's secret talent of loading dishwashers.  I'm impressed.  I need to learn from him.

Untitled

*******

Why did I have to go to the gym early?  B/c Jeremy wanted to go bike riding at 8 am - Go Team Science!  I got him this UCS biking jersey for his birthday, unfortunate that it's in white...I think it'll get dirty too fast.  Fancy - actually looks like a biker.  (He went with the slow group today, next week, back to the fast group).

Untitled

******

Mom, Dad, Vince, Edda and Kitachi all went out to Chinese food for lunch.  Kitachi was a good sport, trying all the weird Chinese brunch stuff - probably involving red bean paste and taro.  My mom want you to know that her shoes have memory foam in the soles.

Untitled

******

While they were out, I did bills.  Sleep Safe bed?  DENIED!  Not medically necessary apparently.  ^*&#^*!#& (Oh yeah, I'm suppose to ignore that thought.)  Gonna try to appeal.  Some people dream of an overpriced car, or a luxury purse, or a fabulous vacation.   I dream of an adult sized crib.

Untitled

******

I didn't think I was tired, but I slept for 2 hours on the couch.  Edda did not sit on my head.

Untitled

Friday, September 23, 2016

hang in there.

Untitled

Ha ha, now I'm feeling the squeeze of fall.  Lots of things happening, lots of things to coordinate.  Let's see.  Thursday, Vince had a dentist appointment.  His teeth are beautiful according to the dentist.  Naturally straight and evenly spaced.  The dentist suggested finding a wife with equally beautiful naturally straight and evenly spaced teeth and then they could go on and produce children who would need no orthodontia.

******

Back to school night was also on Thursday night at the high school.  Jeremy and I were arguing between classes.  Both of us had had a long day and we both skipped dinner.  It was a strange argument because we'd be perfectly nice and engaged during the 10 minute teacher presentations and then fall right back into arguing while we were traveling between classes.

English class, 1st period.  New for MCPS this year - no finals.  Only end of the quarter tests that are worth 10% of the grade.  Everything is on Google Classroom and kids have laptops they work on in school.

Untitled

The infamous Chinese teacher - she claims that after three years of learning simplified characters, students should easily be able to switch between simplified and traditional characters.  Sigh.  These poor kids. Chinese is so hard, so hard for kids who don't have anything to anchor anything to.  Unlike the other two languages taught (Spanish or French) there are no letters, nothing that kind of looks like English and to throw two systems of characters at them is just brutal.  Grrr..

Untitled

I was most impressed with the US History teacher who gave a very heartfelt speech about how much he loved history, how he loved challenging the kids, how history is a story about people who lived lives much different than our lives and that's worth knowing and thinking about.  Almost makes me want to learn about history.  Almost.

Our argument continued to the car, where I'd forgotten exactly where I parked the car (far away because the lot was full).  Sometimes in these situations when I'm exasperated, I irrationally tell Jeremy to find the car himself which is impossible because Jeremy walked to the school from the Metro stop.  I was the only one who parked the car.  When we got home, Jeremy was like - we are not talking to each other until we have both eaten a taco.  So we both ate a taco and then felt much better.

********

On the morning run, a huge spider web.  Finally fall running weather is coming back for sure.  This was the first run since May or June that I didn't bring any water with me.

Untitled

******

Friday night dessert.  This is what my mom served for dessert.  Taro and red bean paste.  Chinese people are not very good at dessert.

Untitled

*******

Friday night lights!  Wootton vs RM at Wootton.  We know where each of us stands.  Drove by to find out my beloved Patriots were down 6-14.

Untitled

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Surprise!

Untitled

It's been a long day, but look who surprised me!  Beth was in the area and dropped by to say hello.  We really are almost related to each other.  Not only do we have Rett Syndrome in common, but her cousin is married to my mom's college roommate's daughter.  Said college roommate let Donald live in their Los Altos Hills house's outdoor shed for a few months when he needed a place to sleep.   So, you know, we are family.  <3

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

grandparents.

Untitled

Bob and I did an early 4 mile run on Monday.  Holy cow, can this guy run.  It was very humid as you can see.

*****

My dad is a rockstar when it comes to helping Vince out with Chinese/math.  Chinese class is frustratingly inconsistent, but Vince is acing those two classes, no problem.

Untitled

******

Monday night was date night.  We haven't had one of these for a long time, trying to work out the evening childcare issues....  We went over to Lael's apartment and tried on some of her small hats.

Untitled

Then we met Rachel's dog, Hugo.

Untitled

And we played a very heated game of Trivial Pursuit.  I'm was a embarrassed to find out that I was the only person who knows the movie the Aristocrats.  And that I did not know Moby Dick was a sperm whale.

Untitled

Untitled

Then we took public transit home.  Some difficulties navigating Google map's suggestions, but we made it home by midnight.

Untitled

*****

This afternoon, Dad brought over Mom to help figure out some of the tricker math problems.

Untitled

Really, nothing makes them happier than working through the toughest of the high school math problem sets.  I used to take all the hardest problems to them when I was in high school and watch them argue over how to solve the problem.  Now Vince gets to see them do the same thing.  They don't give up.  Some grandmas bake you cookies.  Others rotate a line around the origin for you.


Sunday, September 18, 2016

sunday

Untitled

Vince came home from a scout canoeing trip.

Jeremy cleaned the garage workbench.

Untitled

We said goodbye to the dishwasher.

Untitled

Gong gong helped Vince with his Chinese project.

Untitled

Bob, Katherine, Louisa came by to celebrate....

Untitled

Gene's 80th birthday!

Untitled

Here we all are!

Untitled

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Saturday.

Untitled

Donald in SF this morning.  Is he wearing a puffy jacket? Where in the US is it cold?  #3 in line for the "stupid iPhone" <- his words, not mine.

******

This week, Jeremy decided to meet up with the Potomac Pedalers, the biggest bike club in the DVM. It's so convenient, one of the weekend group rides meeting up at Wootton - approx 2 miles from the house.  He RSVPed and they were suppose to email him the route, but he got no email and as he set out in the morning (note that the bike is leaning up against our old stinky dishwasher), I wondered if anyone else would show up.  He did make up his own ride route in case no one did show up.

Untitled

Off he goes!

Untitled

He texted me his safety beacon - so I tracked him and he did meet up with some fast folks who then encouraged him to ride hard for 70 miles.  Something he really wasn't intending to do when he left the house.  Jeremy sent a text at the first stop - "Wow, this is hard work."

Untitled

He PRed on every Strava segment he had every ridden on before.  He said that this week's ride was harder than last weekend's century.  I hope he sleeps well tonight.  I videoed his crazy leg twitches that continued after he got home.  Of course, everyone else showed up with a carbon fiber road bike.  Jeremy showed up with his heavy touring (albeit expensive and saved for many fun fund months) bike.  To which Jeremy came home and told me, I think I might have to buy a new bike.  Ha ha ha.


*****

Meanwhile, I spent the day studying (and procrastinating by shopping for earrings on Etsy).  I'm not inspired.  So boring.  Just so so boring.  I'm thinking I might be willing to get a C in the class to not study anymore.

Untitled

******

I did go out to dinner with my lovely Rett mom friends, Marta and Laura.  There was a moment involving fruit emojis which sent us all laughing so hard.  Don't worry, I'll send you naughty fruit emojis too if you ask.  ;)

Untitled

And we ate a chocolate mousse as big as our heads.

Untitled

Friday, September 16, 2016

friday.

Untitled

Somehow the dogs know that it's Friday night - time to go to mom's for dinner (and have a plate of Chinese food).

Vince is off canoeing with the scouts this weekend.

Untitled

Dinner was delicious.  Dad is doing much better, though his butt still hurts.

Untitled

Edda was extra messy at dinner, she seemed to want to eat, but then she spit her food out.

Untitled

Good night loves!  See you on the other side.

Untitled

Thursday, September 15, 2016

vince & ruby

Untitled

Vince and Ruby - Chinese project.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

44.

Untitled

I'm 44 today.  Now I've know Jeremy for half my life, I met him in Brady's graduate level fluid dynamics class this week 22 years ago.  I do not like celebrating my birthday, but I did extra nice things for myself today.  I'm lucky in so many ways, I feel fortunate to have lasted another year and I'm looking forward to the next one.  I try to be grateful for all the things I've been given which far exceed the things I have given away.  One of the amazing things I've been given, of course, is my own life, and for that I thank my mom and dad for everything.

We started this morning with the birthday breakfast.  This is the trouble with having birthdays so close together - we just had a birthday breakfast last week!

Untitled

I asked for the classic birthday breakfast sandwich.

Untitled

I opened my gifts, the Born to Run book was a surprise gift from a friend.  Jeremy got me the other two things, Commonwealth which was just released yesterday from one of my favorite authors -Ann Patchett.  I read Bel Canto in Taiwan when I was very lonely and had 4 month old Vince on my own during the day when Jeremy was at work, and it was a fantastic book.  I've also loved a bunch of her non-fiction work, especially the one about her friendship with Lucy Grealy.  Her other fiction work, to me, has been so-so, I did read a number of them, but I didn't feel that always-reaching-for-the-book feeling that I like to get.  But this one got fantastic reviews and is her first semi-autobiographical work of fiction, so I'm hoping that it'll do it for me.   Jeremy also got me a mic - in anticipation for doing interviews?  Maybe a podcast?  We'll see.

Untitled

I took the day off of work and I spent it socializing.  In the morning, I met up for coffee with the moms from Edda's class.  Of course, within 3 minutes of sitting down, we talked about seizures and g-tubes as if we were talking about soccer games and homecoming.  I'm so happy to have some moms in class.  Maybe we'll do something special for class this year.  We'll see.

Untitled

At 11 am, I opened my laptop to check in on Jeremy's AMA (ask me anything) on reddit.  Reddit is a little like a free-for-all forum where everyone asks questions and answers and the most popular ones get "upvoted" and moved up the "page".  I upvoted everything and he said it reached the front page.  Jeremy said this two hours on reddit exhausted him for the rest of the day.  I'm sorry, this photo just highlights how dirty my laptop screen is.

Untitled

Then I went to lunch with the friend who sent me the Born to Run book.  I know she doesn't really like to have her photo taken, so I took a photo of the dessert I had.  We went to this new place in Rockville which had fabulous food, but terrible service.  I think we had to wait 20 minutes for our sandwiches (delicious!) and it took 10 minutes to actually pay.  So delicious and disappointing at the same time.  Lucky for us, we had no pressing engagements afterwards, so we happily spent 2 hours sitting and chatting.

Untitled

Dad still is in a bunch of sciatica pain,  Vince helping him do some PT moves.  Dad has a plan in place - we are keeping our fingers crossed that it all resolves soon.

Untitled

Finally, a quiet moment & Jeremy sings me happy birthday.  <3  Good night!

Untitled