Archive for the ‘friends’ Category

Mr Cuddles birthday

3 March, 2018

MrC celebrated his birthday at his gymnastics place.

It was great, after a week of mid-winter break, we were gonna tire them out and get them back on a normal sleep schedule. His two best friends, plus a few others were able to join.

The staff had them run an obstacle course, with crawling over, crawling under, crawling through, balance beam, parallel bars then jump into the pit of foam. Many times.

Then they bounced on a 15 yard long trampoline line, doing different hopes each time.

Then rope swing over, and drop into, the pit of foam blocks a couple times.

Then, all the kids got foam blocks, and threw them at MrC who was swinging over the pit, while they sang happy birthday to him.

Dinner, he picked the resturaunt.

Next day at school, me & MyBetterHalf served treats (healthy, well, at least the first ingredient listed was a whole grain, new nutrition rules to follow if we want to qualify for federal dollars at our school district. Which is good.)  MrC seemed subdued. Maybe because he had a sub, and things were going normal, or maybe because his class is rambunctious, and he wasn’t the total center of attention for a few minutes. I dunno. I felt a bit sad for the boy.



problem solving

18 February, 2018

yesterday, (after a morning of chores, room cleaning, projects-with-parents, math music and reading) the childrens biked by themselves to the park. I followed along, walking, and was happy to see they were using good street crossing. They zipped around on the path for a bit, whilst I talked with my mom, and then wanted to bike through woods.

In the woods, they took the path less traveled, and had to cross a narrow bridge made from a couple of 4x8s. I asked how they did it. Teamwork. I wish I had been there to watch. I’m very proud of them, working together, without a parent around.

…and other stuff from yesterday…

Me and MrCuddles are very similar. Lots of interests and lots of projects, which leads to disorganization. Yesterday, I suggested to him, “since we are so much alike, we can help each other get organized.” He was happy to help me organize a bit, before he went to a sleepover.

MsSqueaky is inventing a math game, to help MrC with his multiplication. She told me she was surprised she got the highest grade possible in music. I told her I wasn’t, because she sounds good, and I have been surprised how quickly she is making good sounds. And she went off to a sleepover.

MrGrunty, the boy is in a “i don’t wanna do anything (except play on computer)” phase. He was very much against the family bike ride, but I forced him, and after a few minutes was very happy running around and playing with his siblings. He had fun biking at the park. I set up a play-date with one of his best friends from soccer. We brought a basketball and a couple soccer balls. I went to read, Esperanza Rising, while they played one on one. Soon, I saw they they were a team against another pair of boys. After an hour of play, MrG told me “that was fun”. Then they shot goals against each other.  Then back home to play Xbox soccer & football. Then back to Matthew’s, where I got caught up in watching a KingArthur movie. Yup, much better than letting him mope around all day.



Seattle Women’s March 2.0

20 January, 2018

MyBetterHalf and I took the childrens to the Women’s March. They really didn’t want to go, but got ready in an alright fashion. We talked about why we are marching, one child said “because women are paid less then men”.

But…as marches go, (or maybe it’s just liberal marches that are disorganized, run late, no real plan, no one in the back can hear the speakers, not enough exits…this worries me for the 2018 elections), it was a lot of standing around, and it was cold (well, cold for Seattle) and a bit of drizzling (well, constant raining if you’re from other parts of the country), and they were bored, and hungry, and wanted to go home.

But it’s important to show up, in person, and say “I agree”.

late night pizza

14 January, 2018

in the long long ago… I was a student-coordinator at a dorm kitchen, in “in charge” when the real managers weren’t there. That left me working a lot of 8pm until close (midnight) and clean up (1am-2am, depending on your crew) on many a Friday & Saturday night. Well, never really alone, they decided that you needed at least two student coordinators to be responsible for 50 pizzas, a sandwich bar, salad bar and drink cooler.

(First, it amazes me the lack of trust they had in 20 year olds, because at this very minute there are 18 year old kids carrying assault rifles on patrol, or directing fighter jets to land at dark on a bouncing air-craft carrier. But then again, probably a kid out of book camp is more dependable than a college kid. That’s why after four years of college they put you in charge of someone that has four years of experience but no college. Sigh.)

(Second, because of late night, where re-stocking was a major part of the job, I loath all the variety sugar water beverages…twelve flavors of snapple, or Coke’s “hey-let’s get in on the fruit flavor craze Fruitopia” sixteen flavors. Look, what do you need. Caffeinated fizzy sugar water, Diet-caffeinated fizzy water, fizzy sugar water without caffeine. To this day, I drink coke or pepsi and still have a special disdain for snapple.)

So, we wanted to have a decent staff… ones that would show up, all the time, and competent.

One year, to try and make it fun, to try and get our decent staff to work instead of party on Friday & Saturday nights, we decided, without asking management, let’s do special theme nights… make it fun. Here’s a few examples, that I can remember…

  • Fisherman’s night. We did ask special permission to keep the fryers on and also serve fish and chips. And we dressed up. I bought a fisherman’s vest, cheap $10 galashes, (pro-tip, terrible idea on a greasy kitchen floor), but I still have ’em, and used them this past snowy Xmas! We pinned bobbers and lures to our hats.
  • 50s night. I bought a bunch of 50s compilation cassette tapes. We wore white t-shirts. (NOT authorized uniform). Some of our crew slicked back their hair (pro’lly using fryer grease!), and rolled up cigarettes in their shirt sleeves.
  • I’m told we did cross-dresser night. But I’ve blocked that from my memory.
  • Terrorist night… (yeah…this one couldn’t be done now-a-days, times have changed)… this one took precise timing. Most of us dressed up, black berets, black turtle neck shirts (pro tip, those get hot next to a pizza oven), we had cap guns (using markers to black out the orange bands to let cops know it’s not a real gun), we crafted “sticks of dynamite” with cardboard tubes, I think we had “Pizza Liberation Front” badges… at 9pm sharp, an expected line of customers, we waited just a minute longer than necessary, a dozen pizzas ready to be served. The terrorist came “shot” the server, possibly even with one of those cap guns, (who fell down, and loved hamming it up, (unfortunately for the person who shot the server, the server weighed 180 lbs and needed to be dragged away – to change into their PFL uniform/disguise. Our usual server, who was a petite 5′ woman refused to be shot, “I’ll dress up, but I’m not falling down on that gross floor”), and PLF members came out an quickly served pizza.
  • And of course you know you do something fun, without management knowing, you’re gonna be caught. One night, I’m walking through, checking things, looked good, things well stocked, place clean, a few fresh pizza slices available of a couple different varieties (not too much, not lacking), tables in the dining room looking good. And who walks in at 11pm. Our manager. “Welcome to Bugaloo-Night, Sir! Would you like a slice of pizza?” He was chuckling. We all had our uniforms on, but, we had crafted antenna onto our visors, with different decorations on the ends. (Evidently we were inspired by a 70s show “the Bugaloos”, I don’t know, I didn’t watch much TV as a kid.) I couldn’t believe it. How lucky were we? Everyone was actually doing what they were supposed to, and the place looked good. He smiled, had a piece of pizza, paid for it, and went home. The next day he asked what we were doing? I explained, (leaving out “terrorist night”) and he seemed to think it was a good idea.



12 January, 2018

tonight, my wonderful roommate from the long-long ago visited

Me, MyBetterHalf & ex-roommate watched “Bright” the Will Smith fantasy-buddy-cop movie

It was entertaining and fun

If you hear the phrase “We’re not in a prophecy, we’re in a stolen Toyota Corolla” and think, yeah, that sounds like a phrase I want to hear in a movie, I recommend. If that sounds just too cheezy, well, you’re right.

TLC Baby-Baby-Baby

11 January, 2018

My BFF from High School and I were at a party once in college, (he was visiting Seattle). A new song, by a new girl group, “Baby-Baby-Baby” was on. I said some disparaging remark, and he told me “Shut up. Listen.”

I’m glad he did. I listened. It’s a beautiful.


3 December, 2017

yesterday… after a bit of weeping and gnashing of teeth, MrC and I spent the day working on his room. After the weeping and gnashing, all went pretty good and we had some good times. We delivered a ThomasTheTrain set, that we as a family had years of fun using, to MrC’s BFF’s little sister. Hope she likes it. And more likely than not, MrC will play with the trains more, now that it’s at his BFFs house.

Got a package of GROO comics that my brother pilfered from me thirty years ago.

Last night… I love the zen of my family for Christmas tree shopping. Or maybe it is faith. Or maybe it’s we realize Charlie Brown’s tree was awesome because of love, and we have love, so whatever tree we pick will be great. MrC REALLY wanted to decorate last night. But it was soaked.

This morning, we were tired and skipped church. So we decorated the Christmas tree. MrC then decorated his room. (We had to coax the ten year olds to join us, “just hang ten ornaments on the tree please.)

Today, MsS had GirlScouts, MrC went to his BFF, MrG had a soccer game.

Tonight, whilst MyBetterHalf had bookclub, me and the childrens had a snowball fight in MrC room. Teams of two. One team on the bunkbed, the other on the floor. Mostly hiding behind pillows, no charging into no-man’s-land. MsS got me twice. No fair, she smiled at me, and was so cute, I smiled, then she pegged me in the chest. The other time, only my foot was out of cover.

After that, I left to read, and the three of them kept having rambunctious fun. Loud singing. Dancing. Stuff crashing. Laughing.  Times like this make me happy that I said “no more electronics tonight” and then was strong during the weeping and gnashing of teeth.



Tori Amos

1 December, 2017

I am thankful to my roommate of the long-long ago who introduced me to Tori Amos.

Around that time Ms Amos had a piano version of “Smells Like Teen Spirit” on the radio…and I thought it was bad. And would pro’lly have written Ms Amos off.

But, you live with someone, you share radio / CD player in the dishroom for 40 hours a week…  I learned that Tori Amos is great.



8 October, 2017

MrC & MrG had soccer games, at different times, even.

MrG went to a b-day party (they played soccer) and then to Husky football with his mommy. So…what to do… I called up MsS-BFF and MrC-BFF, they were available, so I took them bowling. Then they asked for a sleepover, sure, why not.  (The childrens were helpful at getting chores done right after soccer, so I was in a good mood!)  They played, I joined them for a game of Apples-to-Apples.

Mostly things went well at bedtime, …except, MrC woke with a bloody nose. Twice.

I taught Bible class to elementary kids (and a few younger). About manna.

Went back to Bob’s Pumpkin patch…did the big corn maze. And I decided, I’m just gonna follow MrG. After a bit a few other did too, from our group. One mom said, “I’m counting on you to get us out of here.” And he did. With a little smile on his face.

Mexican food for dinner.

Then a soccer club board meeting.

catching up “Castle” and TWD

7 October, 2017

“Castle” by David Macaulay was one of my favs when I was young, I must have checked it out half a dozen times when I was in early elementary school. And so, I am sharing it with my childrens. I highly recommend. (Read it, it may save your life someday!) 

Side note: I wish that somebody in TheWalkingDead had read Castle when they were young.

I’ve no intention on watch the rest of the season of TheWalkingDead.

I hate baseball bat dude…. “I’m a super powerful bad-ass, and I have a loyal army that I lead…oh, you killed a bunch of my people, I’ll kill one of yours… oh, little Rick Jr just machine gunned my people, OK, I’ll take him under my wing…”  That guy is an idiot.


I see now.

Idiot-Negan is the evil opposite of idiot-Rick.

I can see how someone might flock to a dangerous leader in times of crisis, if he kept them safe. But if he keeps letting his people get killed through stupidity.

Oh for f’s sake… I can just see it now… Trump tweets about TWD, “Finally, Hollywood gets what real leadership is like. Negan is strong leader. Rick isn’t so innocent.”

what I would like… humanity to pull together… and maybe Survivor / Gilligan’sIsland their way to a new tomorrow. What changes in society would there be if you zombiefied when you died. “Good night grandma, don’t forget to lock yourself inside your room.”

I can even see violence breaking out between competing groups… “hey this is our hunting grounds”… But just cannibalism for the sake of “worser” BigBad-of-the-Season. Meh.

AND for freakin’ frackin’… has none of the survivors ever read a book about a castle??? Every season the zombies burst through a flimsy wall. Did Rick look at the lovely wall by Deanna’s husband and say, “yup, this would totally stop the Governor and his tank?”

And in closing, Carol Ms “Hi-class-today-we’re-gonna-learn-about…are-they-gone…alright-kids- these-are-machetes…”  for President 2020. Because she’ll know how to survive in an apocalypse.

  • I’m sure all the gasoline, bleach, toilet paper, batteries, eye-glasses, tampons, condoms, aspirin, toothpaste, blank paper, pencils, guitar strings,… are gone.
  • Libraries are mostly burnt out.
  • How many people get botulism by poor canning?
  • How much non-GMO corn seed is out there in the world?
  • Blackberry vines should be covering most of the streets.
  • What happens if you get pecked by a crow that was chompin’ on zombie.

Wouldn’t you kinda have to be fascist:

  • “Roll call, where’s Bob? Security go check on Bob!”
  • “Nope, fertile women are not allowed to go out on patrol.”
  • “sure he beats his wife…but he’s a doctor, so we try to ignore it.”

Note…this was written in the middle of the season, and then I discovered one of the characters has a tiger. So I watched. Because. TIGERS!

I fear tigers. Two stories, which I pro’lly have told….but, hey, you’ve read this far, amirite

Christmas visiting my brother, in SanDiego. We went to the zoo, great zoo. We were in the valley of the cats, looking around, cool, the sun starting to set, and the tigers started to roar. My instinct was LEAVE NOW. I held MyBetterHalf’s hand, and pulled on her to get her walking a bit quicker. I wanted out of the valley. NOW. There was no rational, “this is a zoo”, there was primal flight signals going off in my brain.

At a different zoo, (Isaquah has a zoo!!), at Christmas. Me & MrC were hanging out by the tiger, in a cage. I was cool. I realized it was a thick cave. I was staring at the tiger, maybe trying to get over my fear. And it noticed my stare. It stared back. It did not blink. Were were close, and I could realize that the tiger was at least seven or eight feet long, and those iron bars were only a few inches thick. I gathered MrC and we wandered off down the path. Just don’t agitate a tiger. OK, lesson learned. And I looked back, note, we had walked away for about a minute. And the tiger was still staring at me. GET OUT NOW, was my emotion.