Wednesday, July 28, 2010

What do you mean you don't have a newspaper?

Some situations really strike hard to reveal how quickly our world is changing, like during my septuagenarian, non-driver mother-in-law's unexpected stay.

There have been massive power outages in the DC Metro area since Sunday when temperatures were upwards of 100 degrees and we had a sudden and violent thunderstorm. Many places around the Beltway are still without power, including my mother-in-law's neighborhood. On Monday, Monkeyrotica got a phone call from his mom that she needed to be picked up and stay with us until her power came back on.

Monday, this was fine, since Monkey had the day off and was able to get his mom, take her out to lunch and run a bunch of errands with her. When the kids came home from summer camp and preschool, they had a great time with Grandma I, showing her school projects and enjoying her company. They even watched a couple of Japanese movies with her. Tuesday morning we had a dilemma, as her power still wasn't on and Monkey and I were both going in to work. She was trying to figure out how she would spend her day in the scant minutes before I had to whisk the kids off to school and head to work.

Suggestions from Grandma I:

"I could read the newspaper or some magazines?"
Nope, we don't get a newspaper and have no magazine subscriptions, we get all our information from news websites.

"I could call my friends on the phone?"
Nope, we don't have a landline and use our cell phones at work.

"I could watch TV?"
Nope, we don't have TV, just laptops with Internet connections."

My suggestion:

"Why don't I show you how to view on this laptop?"
Oh, no, the text is too small, I can't read it or see the keyboard to type.

"Here's my Kindle, I could upload a few books onto it for you?"
No thank you.

I wound up buying her a paper and some magazines at the local 7-11 and dropping them off before I headed to work so she wouldn't be hopelessly bored. We might as well have been in Amish country for the amount of acceptable entertainments that we could have offered! Maybe we could get her one of those pay-as-you-use cell phones, so at least she could make some phone calls next time? Our home is unfortunately totally not set up for technologically unadapted houseguests.

Lucky for her, she'll be heading back to her house today. The power's finally back on, her newspapers are waiting, the TV's just an on-switch away, and unlimited local phone calls are within arm's reach.

Friday, July 23, 2010

The 2010 Dance Recital Videos! Now with more Dash!

The Dance Studio's recital theme this year was "Written Works," with our four dances referencing Eric Carle's "Hungry, Hungry Caterpillar," Marcus Pfister's "The Rainbow Fish," Roald Dahl's "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory", and Gregory Maguire's "Wicked." Apologies in advance for the focus issues in the 1st two; we are getting used to a new camera...

Dash's Dance, Pre-Ballet (adorable little preschoolers!): "Fuzzy Wuzzy Caterpillar"

Rosie's Dance, Introductory Ballet (1st graders) "The Rainbow Connection"

Rosie's 2nd Dance, Introductory Tap (1st graders): "The Candyman"

Nylonthread's Dance, Modern (teen & adult): "Defying Gravity," Glee

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Dash & friends at the Park

Dash is in the back, 4th from the right!

Rosie & the Os

Todd, Thea & Liam are posing with Rosie in the background. They joined
me for my birthday breakfast! Thanks, friends!!

Thursday, July 08, 2010

How my brain ties events together

I missed the very last final exam of my college career.

Isn't that every college student's nightmare? You cram all night, then arrive at the exam hall at the testing hour to find it deserted? But, I didn't wake up in a sweat, screaming; it actually happened.

The fact that I missed the event has everything to do with how I schedule things, with my particular way of stringing my plans to each other. I might loosely pin an event to a Thursday, but it also is stuck to other events, like "after I pick up the dry cleaning" or "before my dance class." Sometimes I might say "tomorrow" to someone, actually meaning "the next time I see you."

What happened on the day of my "Literature of the 1600s, The Awesome and the Sublime" (a class that I adored!) exam was several weeks in the making. I knew the day and time of the exam, of course, and along the way, my parents told me that they were arriving that same morning to pack up and drive me home after graduation. So, in my head, I roped those two events together tightly: i.e. my-exam-is-on-the-same-day-my-parents-arrive. However, in the weeks before said day, while I was in the midst of the other exams and projects and papers leading up to the final days of my senior year, my parents switched their arrival date. To the next day.

Can you understand what happened? I didn't see the repercussions, I just stormed ahead, with my little threads of planned events all strung together, bobbing along ahead of me, without looking at a calendar. My parents arrived. At 3 p.m. that day, I went to the exam hall. All that late afternoon, I attempted to get in touch with my professor and finally found her home number in the white pages. She and I were both distraught about my absence at the final until I remembered that I had taken her class—which was far, far outside my major—pass/fail. Her response, "Pass/Fail? Oh, OH! OF COURSE you passed!!" If I had taken the class and exam with standard grading, I would have had an A. I graduated, with one credit to spare.

This anecdote is an illustration of how I process schedules to this day. Yesterday, for example. I had a full schedule at work, and was planning to meet friends at the end of the day. The happy hour was cancelled, but I had strung the rest of my day to that event. Forging ahead, I decided to cut that thread, and tie on my usual Wednesday plan: go to the gym. I also had to collect Rosie and take her to a recently rescheduled swim lesson immediately after my gym session. Knot.

What did I forget? I had invited my dear husband, Monkeyrotica, to the happy hour and had arranged for my mom to watch the kids while we socialized. He and my mom bumped into each other at kid-pickup, while I was at a secure gov't customer meeting with my phone off. Hilarity (and many apologies) ensued.

Is this peculiar to anyone else? Is it a symptom of a right-brain thinker? Or am I unique?
Who links to me?

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