yesterday's activities


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A pretty lazy day. (By the way, my new resolution is that on Thursdays and Saturdays, I'm going to do my best to sleep until at 7:30. Let's see if I can do that. I also really need to try to go to sleep earlier on weekdays. If I could do 10:30, that would be awesome, but 11 may be more realistic. 11:30-12 is typical. And then I wonder why I feel tired.)

-Wrote in diary.
-Made a pot of turkey chili.
-Marked 7 short ENG 1101 papers.
-8 miles on treadmill. (It still isn't tracking mileage! Grr. Come on, fancy and expensive treadmill...this is going to be at least the second time in under a year we have to call the repair guy. Nonetheless, I know that if I do 46 mins at 6.3 and 44 mins at 4.4, that's ~8 miles.)
-Read Jennifer Silva's Coming Up Short: Working-Class Adulthood in an Age of Uncertainty.
-Tried to make plans with other moms for possible trip to NYC to see "Romeo and Juliet" on Broadway.
-Adjudicated argument between Child and Husband, who were supposed to be going out to buy school supplies. Child and Husband were fighting because Husband also wanted to drag Child on other errands, and then Child said she wanted to go back to school shopping with me instead, which hurt Husband's feelings. I also felt that if I did the 4 hour round trip to pick up Child yesterday, Husband and Child could do back-to-school shopping.
Admittedly, Child is just getting over this cold which has left her a little tired and crabby, yet refuses to let an adult pick everything out because, you know, 6th grade. And we have left this to the 11th hour, since school starts Tuesday. She and I picked a new Lands' End lunchbox weeks ago, but all the stuff like marbled composition books, pencils, glue sticks on the supply list had yet to be purchased. Finally I literally sweeten the deal by suggesting they go to Coldstone on the way home. That works.
And the peace and quiet after they leave the house is even sweeter to me than a frozen concoction! (Love my family, but the bickering makes me crazy!)


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Checked out DF in the morning. Revisited old websites prepping for road trip to Banff/Jasper.
Painted front guest bedroom, surprised by the amount of dust in a room hardly used.
Congratulated myself on "job well done",,I'm a girl that loves to use powertools to fix things (dad did teach us to be self-sufficient in that way!)
Swimming with DH.
Catch up with SIL on her news, travels, grandkids, embracing retirement herself and catching up on her reading.
DD calls, "mom I'm photographing a wedding,,,and the sun...what if..questions"...gotta love it cause it's hotter than hatis out here, reminds me of Texas somehow.
Grill dinner, watch NASCAR, remind myself that down time from lessons and coaching is sometimes a good thing,,,I always come back stronger but skiing out of state for a few months is taking over the wish list somehow....sigh. choices, choices, and more choices....
Note to self: self proclaimed happiness that we do not "have to" travel on a holiday weekend because the kids are out of school" makes me giggle with a huge smile.
Discuss plans with DH to return to Avila Beach and SLO in mid-October,,,he readily agrees and settles in for the night.


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SUNDAY--Maryland RenFest with one of Child's BFFs and her mom. And there was much joy in ChildLand. Also out to dinner at Olive Garden to celebrate other little girl's 11th birthday. It was Child's first time in an Olive Garden, and I can't say she actually ate more than a bite or two of her meal (very picky), but she loved dessert and being with her friend on her birthday. The look of sheer joy on my child's face when the wait staff came out singing "Happy birthday" to her sweet.

MONDAY--Relaxing day, plus some grading for me.

TUESDAY--Child's 1st day of school! 6th grade!
After dropping her off.
8:30ish--At water cooler at work, catching up with colleague.
9-10--Office hrs.
10:10-11:10--Library presentation.
Emails to sort out some director business. Omg, this one kid....
11:30-1--English Department meeting.
1-2:15--First year team meeting.
3-4:30--Meeting to discuss math placement.
4:30--Back in office, wrapping things up.
Note that this 8 hour workday included only 1 hour in the classroom in any sense, and 4 hrs, 15 mins of meetings. Something is very wrong with this picture.

5--Home to hear about first day of school. "It was utterly amazing." She does not lack for enthusiasm, my daughter.

6--Get ready for dance.

7-8:15--Junior 2/3 Ballet.

Home. Put Child to bed.


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Wednesdays seem to be this year's run around like chicken with head cut off day.

8:20--Drop Child at school We are nice and early today, probably in the first 15 cars.

8:30--At work.

9:10-10:10--ENG 1101. Works Cited. Went quite well, given that this is a pretty boring subject.

10:20-11:20--GLC (Gender, Literature, Culture). Discussed _Scouting for Boys_. Best discussion so far this semester. I love this class.

Lunch and prep.

12:40-1:40--20th C Brit Lit. Joyce's Portrait.

1:45-2:45--Office hours. I actually end 5 mins early because only 1 person has showed up and I need to get gas in my car, and I just don't see when else this can happen.

3--Pick up Child.

3:30--Get ready for dance.
4:30-9--Child has dance!
4:30-6--Junior PT rehearsal. (This will eventually be focused on the hip-hop routine.)
6-6:45--Junior Int Leaps, Extensions, Turns.
6:45-7:45--Junior and Teen PT rehearsal.
--15 min break--
8-9--Junior Int Tap

I go home, put in 90 mins on the treadmill, shower, and come back with an apple in time for the break. She is in good spirits and winds up loving the tap class, which I had been worried would be too late and just too much.


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Thursdays are my "day off" from parenting responsibilities. (Wednesdays are my husband's.) I think it is important to have a day to regroup.

5774. 2-3 years ago, I would have spent the whole morning in temple, no question. Now...well, I should probably do a bit of introspection about that at some point. Part of the problem is that my congregation went under and I haven't found a new one. I feel guilty, but I did go to work.

11:30-12:45--Academic Planning Committee.

1--Skin doctor for cancer screening. I pass inspection.

Read a lot of Margaret Atwood's new book.

Graded in the evening.

8:30--Dropped Child at school.

9:10--ENG 1101. Debate on Kony 2012. Also wound up having significant and unanticipated side discussions about Syria, as this whole question of "Should the United States try to solve problems in other people's countries?" somewhat unites the two issues.
Very interesting dynamic in that class. The German House director asked to take the class and I let her in. She is terrific, has a ton of leadership, and sets a good example...but I think she may slightly intimidate some of the less academically prepared students because she is so much more worldly and sophisticated.

10:20--GLC. Another great discussion of _Scouting for Boys_.

Lunch and prep paper topics for 12:40 class.

12:40--20th C Brit Lit. Joyce.

Try to wrap up work for the day by 3.

Grocery shop.

Home. Deal with neighborhood association business.
Watch Star Trek Voyager with Husband and Child.

Watch USDSC livestream!!!
Wake up relatively early to study for my integrated pharmacology test on Thursday. Make okay progress.
Go to lunch with the parents because it is free and they are awesome.
Dad helps me move the last of my furniture (end table, desk drawers) into my apartment.
Go to the mall with Mom- buy some candles and then off the the grocery store to get blueberries. While at the mall, mom convinces me to buy new standard dress now, rather than wait because I have my eye on a couple of specific used dresses that I'll be really sad if they aren't available later. Email contact people of said dresses.
Grade papers, ugh. Next time, I'll make the right answers shorter so it takes less time.
Eat dinner with parents again (because if I am buying this new dress, I"m officially poor so free food is even better, especially when cooked by mom). Watch a bit of Burn Notice with the parents then off to teach the kickoff lesson for my new team!
Kickoff event went well, danced a lot, went out for drinks and pizza after, so lots of fun


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small errands in morning to prepare for Canadian Road Trip.
Work out, better walk now cause the heat is definitely here.
Head up to Step Dad check on him, visit went rather well, better than most - surprised but glad.
Home for lunch, catch HBO special event - Marilyn Monroe..WOW, this was really good, not the standard issue, I'm amazed as
I sit and watch the various actors narrate her diary notes and set the caught up in her "other" self story I am.
Neighbor children ask about Pool Swimming...YES,,,,,jump off,,,,have fun....
Pick the last pumpkin that has turned color far too fast and of course,,,my tomatoe plant NOW decides to blossom with tomatoes...of course, now that I'm leaving for a few weeks.
Try to plan out the return to lessons and possible comps - although the brain is wandering through,,,the....where can I travel now mode!!!
Sister invites me to go with her to the opening of the Memorial at Ground Zero in 2014...hmmm hmmmmmmmmm.
Quiet evening, gardening, cutting back, cutting down and speak with DD! Good way to end the day.


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Read lots of Atwood's MaddAddam.
Cooking, laundry.
8 miles on treadmill.

Family Fun Night: Saturday night football game at the college--our first night game, as we just got lights. Big social event for the school...though not a good football game for the home team.

Really a nice, relaxing, re-charge the batteries kind of day, like what a weekend should be. Don't get these days enough.

Finished Atwood's MaddAddam.
More laundry.

To Junior and Teen performance team pool party. The host had a very fancy and lovely house and outdoor area, like something out of an upscale home catalog, in a new development. They live about 50 mins from where I live, so driving there, 3 hr party, and driving home took up pretty much the whole afternoon...but it is important for Child to have these friendships and for me to get to know the other moms.


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the short story; two comps back to back...the thrill of victory, the agony of defeat...currently up to my elbows in catching up with the rest of my life and trying to also get some rest....more when it seems sensible to be sitting around on the computer....might be a to a nap


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8:20--Drop off.

9, 9:20, 9:40--ENG 1101 appts.

10:20--GLC. Great discussion of The Dangerous Book for Boys.

Lunch and prep break.

12:40--20th C BRIT LIT. Great War lecture, Siegfried Sassoon's "They."

2, 2:20, 2:40, 3, 3:20, 3:40, 4--ENG 1101 appts.

4:20--Scamper across campus, drive home.
4:30--15 minutes of transition time.

Pet store on way home, at Child's insistence. She wants to get "fish furniture" for her classroom fish tank. I think that is such a funny term.

Put Child to bed. Am exhausted, but wind up staying up a bit working out possible plans for "Romeo and Juliet" trip.

Also get forwarded some sad news. The woman who directed me in the first production of VagMon has passed away from pancreatic cancer. She was a great person, a feminist, a community activist, a gadfly, a wild and rebellious woman. She was 71.

Child a little upset because she doesn't have a recorder and music and aaaah. I had told her I would get her one from a colleague who had kids who also had to have a recorder in school, but didn't realize this was an "emergency." (Which of course it is not. She can go one music class day without a recorder. And she could have mentioned this yesterday rather than the pet store thing.) I follow up e-mail the colleague.

8:20--Drop off.
8:30--At work. Colleague gives me the recorder, which apparently she has been carrying in her book bag for a week, but just kept forgetting to put in my box. I phone Husband, because even though I'm only working a half day, I'm booked solid until 1. He says he can run it up.

9, 9:20, 9:40--ENG 1101 appts.

10:10--GLC flex session with counseling services and Res Life. The best part was the role play roommate conflicts. My class is awesome.

11:25--Faculty meeting. This includes training about what to do if a shooter is on campus.

1--Home. Shower, change.
1:30--Drive to studio.

2:30--Double Nik lesson of much excellence.

4-4:30--Chat w/Nik.

4:30-5:30--Drive home.
5:30-6--Eat, try to relax. Not helped by kitchen sink being broken and accidentally spritzing self with water.
6-6:30--Get Child ready for dance.
6:30-7--Drive to her dance studio.

7-8:15--Child's ballet class. Thank goodness she winds up liking this instructor, who is a new one for her. :)

Put Child to bed. Then self.


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the short story; two comps back to back...the thrill of victory, the agony of defeat...currently up to my elbows in catching up with the rest of my life and trying to also get some rest....more when it seems sensible to be sitting around on the computer....might be a to a nap
Mine is a few days, although lots of travel back to back,
Packed, varoommmm varoooommmm - ready to go, turn key in ignition...and hear the dreaded, click click click - silence. DH looks at me, I look at him,,,we are still in garage of our home.
Get jumper cables - battery starts,,,,and now we are off and driving.
Drive through 15North Vegas (ahhhhh the 25 story ferris wheel for Ceasars Palace, yes, you can see it from just about everywhere), Mequite - hit with rain like God zipped open the skies, through Saint George - while we both voice - "thank goodness the battery is holding a charge" would be awful to be in this rain.
Get to Cedar City, just missed a Shakespear play, darn it,,,it's the season there.
Next morning, work out with DH - at fitness center since it's raining cats and dogs!
Call AutoClub as we, yet again, get set to leave and "click click - dead"....DRAT IT ALL.
3 hours later...we are on the road.
Who knew ...???!!! that our battery was under the back seat and not the hood....
ok, so I laughed...out of sight of husband,,,,,geezzzz,,,throw him a bone, he tried at least.
Into Pocatello Idaho where the hotel has one new clerk on the desk and while she is doing well - the line for check in is out the door. Really it is. Weird room, closet (well, it wasn't a closet - it was more like a very small space) next to shower but inside the bathroom. ODDDDDD is all I can say.
Walk to dinner - dH blood pressure is up,,,really up....hmmmmmm, we go over his "menu" items and what he ate for the last few days. AHHH HAAAAAA!!!!
Up early and on the road to Helena Montana - stopped at Bannack State Park just west of Dillion Montana, fabulous place to photograph a ghost town. The buildings are well preserved although they just had a huge mudslide last week. It was a good thing to get out and stretch and walk, got some fabulous shots and watched some rebuilding going on. Amazing weather! the sun feels really good.
Drive into Helena - check in, and walk to the historic district, check out window shopping, have really great food at the Fusion Grill across from hotel and a good glass of Santa Barbara white. Swimming in a perfect temperature pool at hotel and sit in the Jacuzzi for a spell. Pull out a good book for the evening and remember exactly what happened on 9/11 without fail all those years ago. Love recharging the energy with a long walk and relaxing dinner after a day(s) of driving and touring. More to come - Lettbridge Canada on the horizon while hunting down DH French Canadian roots..bits and pieces showing up...


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August 24? My last post? Oy... who can remember? There were some lessons, I got my car serviced, I went to gyro and the Rolfer, dropped my father at the airport (92 years old, and off to Europe), went blues dancing with a buddy who'd never danced blues before and she went gaga over it. And now we're up to Saturday 8/31, when I drove to Newark Airport, parked my car, got on a plane, and flew to London.

Sunday 9/1: Arrive Heathrow 10:30; get coffee, buy wifi, sit and wait for father's flight from Ireland; pick him up, go for lunch (fish and chips; what else?), then cab to flat; we've rented a flat for the 5 nights, it was cheaper than 2 hotel rooms, and it turns out to be magnificent, once we get in; scope out neighborhood (adjacent to British museum; coffee-and-pastry place one block away, supermarket close by, win-win), eat a sandwich, go to sleep
Monday: Duty visit from long-lost relatives, which I'm looking forward to about as much as root canal; father arranged this long ago, and since we have the flat, with the magnificent kitchen, with cooking tools etc., I make lunch and figure it'll be over soon; turns out, the long-losts are DELIGHTFUL and we have a smashing good time; they're basically my age, smart, funny, clever, accomplished women; so much for my apprehensions
Evening: we walk around the neighborhood and have dinner at a magnificently wonderful Turkish restaurant; this costs about the annual budget of Andorra, but wotthehell
Tuesday: long slow wakeup, then a bus to the Victoria and Albert museum; on the bus, the man sitting in front of us gets chatting; long story short, we spend a good chunk of the afternoon talking, he's fascinating, eccentric in a very British way, charming, and with a good story to tell; eventually, I break away from him and see the wonderful clothing collection, which is why I went to the museum in the first place;
Bus back to the flat; nap
Dinner and theater; Italian restaurant in Piccadilly; this time, it costs about the annual budget of Belgium; theater is amazingly bad, conversation on the bus home is fun


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Long slow wakeup
Walk next door to British Museum; holy cow
Walk back to flat; nap
Theater: Top Hat, the stage version of the Fred-n-Ginger film, and it was delightful
Cab back to flat; pick up sandwiches; dine elegantly in the kitchen for slightly less $


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Long slow wakeup
Bus to National Gallery; there's some amazing art in this museum
Afternoon Tea, the whole 9 yards; sandwiches, scones, pastry; who can eat all this? wrapped up pastry in a napkin and stuffed it in my purse for the train tomorrow
Walk through Chinatown on the way to the bus; stop and pick up some takeout b/c we know we'll be hungry by 9pm and have no food in the house; clearly, when eating in London, eat Chinese, b/c it's very good, and it's very cheap; also, the waitress treats my father with respect and care -- a win, for him; he's getting tired, and traveling for over a week is starting to have its effect
Bus to flat; nap, pack, eat, z


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Cab to St. Pancras; Eurostar to Brussels; meet Claudy, after some confusion; Claudy is a friend of my father's who is a WWII historian, and now comes the interesting part of the trip: Father in Belgium
<background> during the war, father was part of the 8th Air Force, flew clandestine missions to the Resistance, very scary stuff, straight out of the movies; about 12 years ago, some Belgian Resistance members found father online, brought him to Belgium, gave him a medal, and he's been going back to Belgium ever since, being honored, every year he's been able; several years ago, he was "collected" by some people who own a WWII museum, a b&b, and a farm; they adore him, feed him, house him, and are thrilled when he comes to their once-a-year re-enactment and wreath laying ceremony; last year, they noticed he was frail and emailed me and invited me to come with him; who's gonna turn that down? NOT ME<end background>
Claudy drives us to small town of Borlo, Belgium, where our hosts are thrilled to see Gene; I think they worry that every time they see him will be the last, IYKWIM; we are shown to our rooms and then hang out in the tavern; b&b has its own beer; that is the last time I will mention the beer b/c you can imagine what it's like to have fresh Belgian beer, and I'm not gonna talk about the food, either, b/c Betty, the owner, can really freakin' cook, and the food is all fresh, farm-raised, etc.
Most of the people in the tavern are in WWII uniform; re-enactors, what can I tell you; the waitresses are in Rosie the Riveter costumes; this continues throughout the weekend, the staff in period costume and the customers in uniform; I have clearly gone through the looking glass
Dinner, chat, beer, z


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Claudy picks me up for a tour of Bruges and Brussels; we get back to Borlo in time for dinner; the first day of the re-enactment was busy, and the tavern is packed with WWII soldiers


Wreath-laying ceremony, very moving
And the rest of the day, drinking beer in the tavern with new friends
Pack; try to sleep, not happening; up 4:30 for pickup to go to airport at 6

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