Friday, June 29, 2007

Well, it's that time!

It's almost Yabba Dabba Doo time for me, and man am I tired. My birthday was on Monday, though, so it's a good kind of tired because it was a great week!!

I am headed up to Northern Virginia tomorrow to hang out with my friend Soo. Her birthday is Tuesday, so we'll hit the spa with a bottle of wine at 11 tomorrow morning and go to dinner later all refreshed and relaxed! I see Meredith and Kerry for lunch and dinner (respectively!) on Sunday. I guess it's sayonara to the diet this weekend!

So, I'm off. If you need a little boost, click here for a guaranteed mood-lifter. Have a great one everybody!

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Long time, no Blog

Well, I've decided to post a few pictures from the last couple of weekends. I've had some great times!

As you can see (in the above picture on the dock), Liz had NO PROBLEMS playing the role of Mary Ann!

The Gilligan's Island weekend with Scott & gang was quite successful. Everyone was able to make it, the weather was beautiful, and we didn't get arrested. I did get a bit sunburned, but we were still able to make it out to dinner in DC after Annapolis at a restaurant called Rosa Mexicano. The Pomegranate Margaritas were incredible.

Captain Scott was a great sport and navigated beautifully. Because the water was so glassy going out to St. Michaels, Bill, Art and Liz had, well, new hair styles. (OK, OK, I did too, but there's a benefit to being the photographer!)

I spent last weekend at my friend Gita's house with my girls Andrea and Mary Brown. Andrea drove down from Pittsburgh with the kids. We had a beautiful lazy weekend of drinking wine and catching bugs.

To be honest, I've never caught bugs while drinking wine before. Click here to see a detailed description of why bugs are so fascinating. Gita and Matt are sure to be approached at their next Homeowners Association meeting.
We arrived Friday night and made the instant decision to hit Krispy Kreme the next morning. Brave, brave Mommies. The kids were great, though.

Matt volunteered to take Dev and Meena to a birthday party Saturday afternoon, and when Elle went down for a nap and Dane was catching bugs, we girls were able to sit under the retractable awning out back and relax!

Mary arrived with gifts of course (the witch) on Saturday night and we had a casual dinner of pizza for dinner (always easy!) and snacks.
All weekend long the kids were so perfect it was actually frightening. What was really cute is that Dane and Dev sort of switched sisters - each taking the other's under his wing. Dane caught butterflies and dragonflies for Meena and Dev hugged and tickled Elle. On Sunday, we went to a chinese restaurant for lunch and said our goodbyes ... another perfect weekend!

Friday, June 15, 2007

Bon Voyage!

Well, I'm so excited I could spit. Tomorrow I have to get up at 5:30 (that's not the part I'm excited about, needless to say) to drive up to Annapolis, Maryland. I am meeting my friends Scott, Bill, Art, and Liz to go out on Scott's boat for the day. The weather looks beautiful, despite earlier forecasts.

Scott is not afraid to take the boat out in poor weather, so when "isolated thunderstorms" were forecasted, I called his boat the USS Minnow and threw this together. Wish us luck!!

On Sunday I get to see my friend Sabrina, who I haven't seen in over a year and a half! Unbelievable. I was her mentor back in 1997 when she was 8, and last week she graduated from High School. Where on EARTH does the time go? Here's a picture of us from back in 2004 when we went to New York City.

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

OK, I can either talk about the incredibly sad funeral I went to on Sunday or I can tell you a funny story about the Luals. Hmmm? What’s that? Funny story? Yeah, I agree. Even though this is only my 4th entry and it will be the second one about the family I tutor, it’s worth it. I think it’s kind of adorable.

So here goes. Last night I actually EXPERIENCED a scene from Crocodile Dundee. Let me tell you, it was no less amusing the second time around!

None of the kids had homework, but the twins are “graduating” from Pinchbeck Elementary on Thursday, and they don’t have shoes to wear with their dresses. I said I would take them to Payless to pick up something. Next thing you know, there are 5 Lual girls and me in my little Toyota Matrix heading over to Regency Mall. (I know, I know, that’s not quite enough seat belts, but it was hard enough to leave the two littlest boys at home crying because they wanted to come too!)

Now the reason this story is so cute is because this is the first time they have ever been to a Mall. EVER. Can you imagine? It’s a little hard to picture that a 15 year old, a 14 year old, twin 11 year olds, and a 7 year old who have lived in the US for 3 years have never been to a mall. I’m sure some of you have already guessed which scene was reenacted by now…

That’s right - the escalator. I spent almost a half hour watching them go up and down the escalators. They had never been on one! They looked just like Mick Dundee as he comes off the plane and stands at the top of the escalator in the airport. Do you remember? He looks at the steps, steps back, looks around, and then finally sort of “hops” onto that first step … then he’s about a third of the way down before he starts to smile at his achievement.

Can you imagine? Dangling your foot… one goes by “… maybe the next one … no, that was too fast! And what’s with the moving handrail?” …the adrenaline induced by the constant fear that another shopper or – God forbid, one of your sisters! – is coming up behind you! It was marvelous to watch. The oldest girl wanted no part of it so after one round-trip, she hung out with me upstairs overlooking the chaos below. Predictably, about 5 minutes into it, they came up with the idea of going up the down escalator and down the up escalator. That revelation was funny to see, as well. It was a good night.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

The "Next Blog" button is quite addictive!

Since I'm new to having my own blog, I'm paying particular attention to what is on my screen when I view my blog. I discovered the Next Blog button, and I'm totally addicted! It's AMAZING to see how many of us are out there, and it is incredibly interesting to see the themes. There are a lot devoted to entertainment, babies, Christianity, sports, and sex. The most interesting part, I think, is how many different languages are represented.

It reminds me of an old SNL skit. Do you remember the one with Gilda Radner and her husband (Dudley Moore)? They are advertising this vacation package where you don't actually have to go anywhere; you just get in an elevator and press the button. On one floor, Dan Ackroyd hunting bears in Canada or something, then the next floor they are on some exotic vacation beach, etc.

That's what "Next Blog" seems like to me... like I'm leaping all over the globe and landing in the computer of someone I've never met - probably will never meet - and getting to learn about stuff that was important enough to those guys to put post it on the Internet.

Pretty neat stuff.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Is screaming at refugees a sign you're tired?

Personally, yeah. I think it is. I tutor the most thoughtful, intelligent, hilarious, hard-working family of Sudanese refugee children in the world. OK, I haven't yet met all of the Sudanese refugees in the world, but I'd still lay money that this is the best group there is.

Somehow, however, that didn't keep me from getting into a screaming match with one of them last night. The worst part is that I AM the adult! I'm the one who has eaten properly, has gotten a reasonable amount of sleep and does NOT have to take the Virginia Standards of Learning tests the next day. Still, I couldn't help myself. So there's a new rule when Princess Anne comes to tutor: if anyone says "will you please just tell me the answers" I walk out. I have no excuse for raising my voice, but I stand by my conviction to actually force these kids to LEARN something. I'd rather finish 4 of the 20 homework problems that are assigned and have the child able to do his/her own work by the last one than push through all 20 where no one learns anything.

PS - is it bad that I don't stop them when they call me Princess Anne? Yeah, you're right. That's probably not right.

Monday, June 4, 2007

My initial post

This is my very first rant. That's what blogs are for, right? To rant?

I'm not sure how strong this particular rant will be, because the only reason I signed up for this account is to comment on my friend Susan's blog ... OK, I got something.

Aunt Crazy, what did you do at work today, you ask?

Well, I'll tell you. I took a defensive driving test online. Now let's just - for a moment - ignore the fact that the whole IDEA of taking any kind of driver test online only is RIDICULOUS. I'm more furious about the fact that I am a Senior Tax Technologies Analyst working for the Electric Company. They would NEVER let me operate a vehicle! And in the two years I've been with this company, I've NEVER driven so much as a rental car! I even take the bus or my bike to work.

So out goes 32:05 minutes of my life that I will NEVER be able to get back again.