Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Out of school

Friday was G's last day of kindergarten. I had the day off, so Pete and I headed over to the school at lunchtime and spent a couple of hours with her class, visiting the park next to the school and watching the kids eat ice cream and blow bubbles. There is no joy like the joy of 17 six-year-olds who are blowing bubbles on a warm, sunny day in late June, especially when it's also the last day of school. I felt happy just watching them. :-)

Friday evening was the dance recital, which went about the way you would expect a recital made up mostly of three- and four-year-olds to go. About two kids in each group actually danced; the rest stood transfixed on stage, staring out at the audience like deer caught in the headlights. It was cute, though, and as the dance teacher said in veiled terms, that's what you get when you pay $40 for 9 weeks of instruction. I've already talked to her about putting G in the regular studio classes with girls closer to her own age, so now I just have to find the motivation to call and arrange it. Knowing me, that will take a while. Heh.

On Saturday, we drove down to San Diego to visit the zoo. I had intended to leave around noon, but for one reason and another, we didn't actually get on the road till after 2. We crawled from Oceanside to Carlsbad in some of the most heinous traffic I've seen in a while, and I was expecting G, who is usually an are-we-there-yet sort of car traveler, to complain. Luckily, she was engrossed in a pile of books and hardly looked up from them. By the time we finally arrived, it was so late in the afternoon that we went to the hotel first to check in and drop off our stuff. I'd chosen the hotel specifically because it had bunk beds for kids, so I was glad to see G get excited about them. We plucked her down from the top bunk after a bit and drove over to the zoo for a few hours of eating, riding the tour bus and looking at animals. We had fun, but the weather was unexpectedly cold and windy, so we left at dusk and headed back to the hotel again.

After a complimentary breakfast on Sunday morning, we got home in less than half the time it took us to drive down the previous afternoon. P, who had not been at all pleased with the hotel mattress, promptly fell asleep on the couch and stayed that way for hours while I took G to ride her bike at the park. Later in the afternoon, she and I went to see "Sharkboy and Lavagirl" -- her choice, not mine. (I was sitting there in the theater with my peanut M&Ms, feeling that little thrill of Hey, I'm going to the movies! excitement, and then I remembered I was seeing "Sharkboy and Lavagirl" and it fizzled in an instant!) After the movie let out, we picked up some new books for her at Barnes and Noble, got Chinese food for dinner, and went home to collapse.

This week is going to be all about work. I have so much right now that it feels like my head's going to explode, and you can imagine how much fun that is. However, if I make it to Friday, I get a three-day weekend to recover. Wish me luck.

Saturday, June 18, 2005


G got up way before I did this morning. I have no idea what she did while I slept, but she didn't make a mess and she didn't come in and bug me, so I'm fine with it. Go her!

When I woke up, she and I wrote and drew a book called The Adventures of Stickman, which was a continuation of a story I made up while we were waiting for our order at Z Pizza last night. After the drawing, we finished reading about the labors of Hercules in her mythology book, and that made her want to see the Disney Hercules movie, so she watched it while I took a shower. P must have sent her to clean her room at some point, because when I got out, she was cleaning -- well, half-cleaning, half-playing -- and listening to jazz on her clock radio. It gets terrible reception, so she'll listen to whatever station she can find, whether it's jazz or mariachi music or hip-hop.

P and I still haven't eaten breakfast and it's almost lunchtime (I hear some people actually eat regular meals on weekends; can you believe it?) so we've got to do something about that soon. The only other thing on our schedule today is G's dance class -- the regular class is over for this session, but they've got rehearsal for next week's recital this afternoon. I think they'll be rehearsing with the other city classes, all of which are for kids under eight, and most of which seem to be made up of three- and four-year-olds. It's a two-hour rehearsal, which seems like a long time to expect a group of kids that young to stay focused and out of trouble, but that's the dance teachers' problem, not mine.

Friday, June 10, 2005

From the pits of Hades

Ugh, what a week. I had call-in jury service all week long, which meant I never knew from one day to the next whether I'd be going in or not. I finally had to report yesterday, which coincidentally was the same day I was scheduled to get a super-deep dental cleaning.

Okay, I thought, I'll be spending all day at the courthouse, but at least I can put the dentist off for a while! Things could be worse!

Ha ha! said Fate, and promptly made me sick.

I'm sure everyone in the courtroom was glad when I didn't end up on the jury. No one wants to sit next to someone who's sneezing and clutching a damp tissue in each hand. It's still going strong today -- I woke up feeling like I'd been kicked the head, and ended up leaving work halfway through the morning. I don't know whether it's a cold or a really bad allergy attack, but it doesn't make much difference in the amount of misery I feel. It had better be gone by tomorrow, though, because we've got birthday parties both days this weekend.

In other news, I'm reading an interesting book called The Well-Trained Mind: A Guide to Classical Education at Home. I like the authors' systematic approach to learning and the idea that it can be used as either a supplement or a replacement for public/private school. I don't want to overwhelm G with a lot of extra work at home, but I think we're going to add some of the recommended books to our regular reading. You're supposed to focus on the ancients (Greeks, Egyptians, etc.) during the first four "grammar" years, and she's interested in that sort of thing anyway, so she should enjoy it. At the very least, she'll already be familiar with some of the myths when they come up in the higher grades.

That's it for now. I have to go blow my nose and whimper for a while.