Monday, August 21, 2017

Pool party, eclipse, boys are gone.

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Saturday was the last day of the fair. They celebrated by silly-stringing Charlie (Mr. G). Vince got a chance to lead the parking operation by himself for about 5 or 6 hours that day, mostly in the afternoon.   It's a big deal, he had probably 20 scouts and 20 adults reporting to him, all the shifts and positions to coordinate, including Jeremy (who he sent out repeatedly into "Death Valley" - the hardest job, hustling out in the hot parking lot waving each car into a spot with a team of 3? 4?  I dunno.  I never go to Death Valley.  I think there might be some gender discrimination there).  When he got home, we gathered in sleeping Edda's room and did a post-mortem on his first management role.  Keep in mind, the boys had been together for over a week from 8:30 am - 10:30 pm and the night before, Vince had stayed at the fair until midnight riding the rides after their parking job was done.  And these are his closest friends.  Everyone was exhausted.  Vince acknowledged that there were some bruised egos - some of his friends were mad because they got passed over for leading the operation and thought they had more experience or higher elected position in the troop than Vince. Vince tried to un-bruise them. Other folks lost tempers and yelled at younger scouts and Vince had to make sure apologies were extended and accepted.  He also explained to us - and this is the craziest thing I can't believe he knows how to do - his delegation strategy.  He told us he had four assistants and he said that he gave them each important chunks of the work so that they felt like they had enough responsibility to give a good contribution and not feel marginalized and in that way they could all feel like they were working towards the same goal. Is Vince a natural manager?  It might be true.  Though absolutely no one ever ever says in high school, I want to grow up and be a manager.

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Sunday was clean up and a pool party.  We had a chance to talk to Kate.

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And Deborah.
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Jeremy is off to Monterey, CA for the week.  Lucky guy, I'd feel jealous except I know that he's stressed about work that needs to get done this week while he's at his conference.  And he has to network, which isn't so easy for him.

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I worked most of the day today, but I did step outside to look at the eclipse.  I wore my solar energy shirt - "If only there was an infinite power source that was free to use all day every day..."

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I didn't have glasses, so I just looked at the shadows on the ground.  Actually the plan was to go outside my front door, see if anyone was outside with glasses or other solar viewing contraptions and ask to borrow/look through them for a moment.  However, this plan didn't work as the only people I could see out peering at the sky were the ones I'm not entirely on good terms with.  Hmmm.  I did not ask, I let it be.

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And I ate all the ripe tomatos off of my other neighbor's vines (they told me I could, they are on vacation).

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Vince is gone this week too, he's in Chincoteague with friends and here is his viewing photo.

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At the exact moment of the peak eclipse, my quilt I sent out to get quilted got delivered.  I like it!  Now I just have to think of a name and sew a gift label on the back.  This is Edda's quilt.

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Just us girls this afternoon, we are spotty on Edda-care this week, so I picked her up from afternoon camp.

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Jeremy made fun of my cooking this week even before I started.  He knows I won't buy anything except fruit and bread this week and every night I'll go fridge/freezer/pantry diving to whittle down our supplies.  Then when Jeremy comes home, he'll sigh in exasperation and need to stock everything up again.  Jeremy likes to have things in reserve, I like just in time inventory.  If we ever ran a manufacturing company, we'd kill each other with supply chain management issues.

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Saturday, August 19, 2017

Cambridge, turkey leg, Moana.

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Jeremy went to Cambridge for work on Thurs.  Quick trip, up in the early morning, back in the house by midnight.  He took a few photos for me while passing by the MIT T-station.  Speaking of MIT, they are closing down my dorm, Senior House.  It had the lowest graduation rate of all the dorms and was well known for illicit drug use (not that I ever did any, I have yet to smoke either a joint or a cigarette.  I'm square like that) and now that my own age has shifted from college-aged to administration-aged, I'm more sympathetic to the middle aged adult point of view.    It had always had the unfortunate slogan Sport Death which was kind of OK when I went there, but is totally not OK now.  Did I ever own a Sport Death shirt?  I don't think I did.  (There was another shirt which I did own, The SPAMIT shirt which was not referring to the tinned meat). I was not in with the illicit drug crowd and I think you had to be in order to get the shirt.  Despite its reputation for misfits, I am not (and was not then) a misfit and I still loved it there.  I moved there my junior year after two years at Next House (which was the most Asian of dorms; people left their shoes outside their doors and everyone had a rice cooker).  People let you do your own thing at Senior House.  Which I did!  My junior year was my favorite year.  Gone now are the courtyard tire swing and the BBQ pit for Steer Roast.

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Vince has been gone all week at the fair.  I wake him up in the morning, then he usually goes off in a carpool, though sometimes I drive him and he's away until 10:30 pm.  I see him only for a moment each day.  So when Jeremy was in Cambridge on Thursday, Edda and I went to Habit Burger.  We are making it a habit.

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Today, Jeremy worked 10 hours at the fair after doing a long bike ride.

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I told you I got myself a corn dog a couple of days ago.  Jeremy got himself a turkey leg.

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As I'm typing this, the scouts are parking the final cars of the year.  They are closing shop.  Tomorrow is clean up and a pool party.  Vince is tired but, I think, quite pleased with his work.  This is the third year he's done the Ironman challenge.

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The final flag lowering.

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I facetimed Donald today right before he went out on a ride.  What's with those glasses?

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Donald caught me while I was making a run to the liquor store at 10:30 am on a Saturday.  When I showed him my loot, he asked if I was planning on partying like a 23 year old.  I am.  I am indeed.  With a margarita in a bag.

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Edda and I spent the day trying out new videos.  Edda's videos are so old now - Finding Nemo, Madagascar, Totoro.  We really need to get some new ones into the rotation.  We tried Moana today.  I had heard great, great reviews about it, so I was optimistic - at least for me to enjoy it.

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But it wasn't as enjoyable as I thought it would be.  First of all, I was trying to nap at the same time.  Second, Edda tried sit on my head and then whack me every 5 min to complain that it was a new movie and she did not like it.  Not one bit.  And I thought Maui was annoying and what's the deal with the intellectually disabled chicken?  After the movie, I read some articles about HeiHei, the short-end-of-the-stick sidekick and how awesome he is as metaphor for difficulties in life but I just really didn't get it.  Oh well.

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Thursday, August 17, 2017

Mattress, going out for dinner.

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Maxi is claiming our old, discarded mattress.  It's a hand-me-down IKEA mattress from Seth and Christine.  I think they slept on it for 10 years before they gave it to us.  We slept on it for another eight years?  It was time to let it go.  Jeremy had been asking for a new mattress for a least a year now, but I couldn't decide which mattress to get until I visited Lael in NYC.  She had bought a Nest mattress after going to Manhattan and trying out all the mattress-in-a-box companies that had showrooms there and she even planned a route for me to retrace her mattress pilgrimage.  I tried out her mattress in her apartment and declared it good enough.  My early birthday gift arrived yesterday, compressed and vacuum sealed in a box.  We used the chair lift to get it up the stairs.  Ahhh, sleeping is my most favorite hobby.

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Jeremy took us ladies out for Chinese food tonight.  We haven't taken Edda to A & J's in a while...

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Request for love & good thoughts.

Please send all your love and good thoughts to Molly, Edda's Rett sister.  She's back in the hospital fighting a systemic infection following her spinal fusion.   xoxo.

Monday, August 14, 2017

US Citizen, corn dog, leader!

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Guess who just joined this f*ed-up country of ours?  Eliana!  We are lucky, lucky to have you.  <3

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I indulged in my one fair-food item today - a corn dog.  I could tell from the first bite it was not very good, I watched them take the corn dog from the pile and pierce toothpick holes into the corn crust and refry it in an attempt to bring it back to first-time fried goodness.  I probably should have thrown it away and gone to another vendor (or waited until it was super busy to get a true, first fried corn dog) since I get only one fair-food item a year, but I had walked all the way out of the fair proper and to the boy scout seating area and only had 10 minutes before my next traffic flagging shift, so I ate it. And the mustard was a little runny.  Strange.  I hope it doesn't make me sick tonight.


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I worked 6 hours at the fair this afternoon, 30 minutes at a flagging station, 30 minutes chilling out on our folding lawn chairs in the shade.  I am not accustomed to being bossed around by my son.  "Mom, could you please work the exit lane in 10 minutes?  Don't worry, I can explain it to you."  Huh?  And then 10 minutes later, there is a group yell - "All adults who have been given assignments, leave now to go to your spot."

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Vince, though reluctant to run for any formal position of power, is apparently showing some leadership talent in this boy-led parking endeavor.   Who knows where he got it from.  I think neither Jeremy nor I have this particular thing that Vince has.  He's even tempered, outgoing, helpful and doesn't seem to be nervous about making a decision.  He can keep everyone in good spirits when communication breaks down or when there is a crisis of some sort.  Parking cars does not sound like a complicated, logistical, and contentious operation, but there is a lot going that I as an adult volunteer don't even understand.  There are 5-6 kid stations and 4-5 adult stations that have to constantly be staffed in 30 minute shifts.  The kid positions are ranked by experience, the little kids get the easier & safer jobs, the older kids get the more dangerous job of directing cars into spaces.  Kids working directly with drivers end up getting yelled at a bunch.  Vince & company estimate it 1/70th of cars will yell at you. As the lot fills, and it can do that quickly at certain hours of the day, the kids have to decide how to backfill in empty spots to keep the line going quickly enough so that it doesn't back onto the main roads just outside the fair.  They have to decide how many parking teams need to be deployed and keep track of who is in what position (using the whiteboard and magnetized names) and how long they've been working.  There is also a regular water delivery to each station that happens mid-every-shift (hence the driving of the golf cart) and equipment (lights, walkie-talkies) to maintain.

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I hear of Vince's leader-ing only second hand from other parties who are closer to the action, so I made some effort today to spy on my son in action.  Honestly, I saw him mainly laughing at youtube videos, making faces on Snapchat and throwing trash at other scouts.  Though certainly, he did confidently tell me what to do and when.  I'll try to spy some more tomorrow - my last shift!  Woo hoo.

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Sunday, August 13, 2017

Tony & Tash, hipster steak, sexy light up safety vest.

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Tony and Natasha came over for dinner on Saturday night.  We were there at their wedding many moons ago (the kids were in the wedding party) and they are about to have a baby!  Very exciting.  By chance, Jeremy ran into Tony downtown and then we arranged for a dinner together before the baby is due.  We talked a lot about doctoring (Natasha) and lawyering (Tony) and lots of non-work stuff as well.

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They brought some pastries with lots of cream.

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Meanwhile on the left coast, Donald went to visit Mom & Dad on the outskirts of Portland.

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Donald took Mom and Dad to hipster sandwich shops:

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And hipster steak shops:

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And fixed all the Wifi dead spots in their house.

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Then back in MD, while I spent the weekend working, the boys went back to the fair to drive the golf cart:

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Deliver water:

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I can only think of one word when I look at this photo of Jeremy.  Sexy.  Rawr.

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Vince took all our Christmas lights and hung them up at central command, Baker.  I hope we get them back sometime.

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And I got to play with a kitten.  Violet.  Meow.

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Friday, August 11, 2017

Molly, Soojung, Fair/carpools.

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I spent over 4 hours driving on Thursday to get a subset of the usual suspects together.  I first drove to DC to see Molly who had her spinal fusion two Fridays ago (she looks really great!) and to pick up her brother and sister and bring them to Woodbine to see Soojung's family.  Kevin played the ukulele for me.

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At Soojung's house, Kichul showed me his MacGyver-ed artificial pancreas which can automatically work with his glucose sensor and insulin pump to (almost) effortlessly control his sugar levels.  He even got a pal to three-D print the purple case so he didn't have to use a Tic Tac box.

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We spent the day just hanging out.  Playing Wii.  Eating snacks.  Teaching Argo how to recognize seizures in Alice.



Soojung played the ukelele for me (2nd time in a day!  not bad).

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There was some frisbee playing.

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And goofing around.



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Then I drove Sophie & Rory and Vince back to Gaithersburg to drop Vince off at the MoCo fair, then to DC to drop off S & R, then back to the fair to pick up a carpool's worth of kids.

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At noon today, I loaded up an entire vanful of boys to take them to the first shift at the fair.  This is the first summer these boys are in charge of the whole operation.  They are the "older boys" now.

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I saw a two-week old lamb.

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I got to drive a golf cart.  If you noticed, I have not done much work this week.  I'm doing other things like driving a golf cart around.  Work awaits me this weekend.

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