Looks like I'm doing weekly postings. Well, the bite has mostly healed on my arm, and Isaac has not been foolish enough to try again. His brainstorms are still going and he's not resting all that well, but he remains cute as a bug. His tendency for saying "HI" to the world continues unabated.
We took Bella to a Girl's Highschool Synchronized Swimming event on Monday, and she sat watching it all with her inscrutable "observation mode". No visible reaction to positive or negative, but her attention was fixed... like a cat watching a bird through a window. She didn't want to tell us what she thought about it either... Until the next day. Pamela held both arms out with her thumbs out, pointing sideways. Bella took the hands and rotated them to BOTH THUMBS UP. Sometimes you need to give a kid a tool to let them say what they need to say. The variable thumbs is a pretty good indicator for Bella.
For my own part, I was completely amazed by the Synchro: There was some pretty good stuff, and some pieces where you learn that unsynchronized swimming is just sort of a mess. The highlight for me was one where 3 girls did an extended piece to the theme to Requiem for a Dream. That movie, if you don't know, is a tragedy following the descent into drug addiction and complete life ruination of 4 people, but with some stunning visuals. What had me almost dying were some of the moves the girls were doing - clock movements with their legs (from the "shooting up" scenes), chopping movements at the arms (allusions to needlework I imagine) and in one dramatic move, gripping the forearm firmly while the hand falls limp, and casting the limp arm away - a clear allusion to Jared Leto's loss of his arm to gangrene in the dramatic conclusion. Oh I'm telling you, I had no idea Synchro was capable of such narrative!
Continuing back in time - Mother's day was fun for all: My gift was to take care of the kids from the night before through the night past, and all time in between. Pamela got a nice long snooze in, breakfast in bed (though this wasn't THAT relaxing since both kids insisted on snacking with Mom, and messing up the new sheets), a trip to the Arboretum, and general relaxation. At the Arboretum, Isaac said "Hi" to every single person there. And some more than once. But he brought a huge smile to so many faces, it just made me laugh.
The night before (Saturday) was a meeting of the Summit Hill Scotch Whiskey Society. YES - my love for scotch has emerged from the basement, and I'm now meeting with other like-minded individuals in large St Paul mansions. This was around 40 people from investment bankers to firefighters and all points in between, congregating in the 3rd floor ballroom of a grand dame of Summit Avenue, sampling some delightful and rare drams. Of course Ant and Chicken were there as well. As I was the driver (and the next day was Mother's day), I took it good and easy... and had no regrets.
Back to present day now:
After a delay in getting some gravel, we're back on track with the yard recovery efforts: The new brick front walk was 90% laid today and will be complete tomorrow... and already it's an incredible improvement to the house - this grand brick promenade leading up to our stairs is truly a red carpet welcoming the world. The bricks are an impossibly deep red, they're clay, and have naturally rounded edges, so it looks quite ancient and proper.
The back garden is coming together as well, thanks to Pamela's efforts: That horrible basketball court is gone, and in its place beautiful black dirt and two 4x16 raised planter beds. We'll be growing all SORTS of things back there. I think we have 5 different varieties of tomatoes going in... and of course many herbs.
My materials showed up today: I'm an ordained Reverend in the Church of Spiritual Humanism. My next step is to get registered with the state (and I have all of the proper documents, including my certificate and my letter of good standing). So if anyone needs marrying, let me know. I specialize in those ones where people fly the reverend to Tahiti for the ceremony, by the way. I'm very good at those.
Oh and a few work notes:
The creative work I alluded to last week was well received by all parties, so it felt pretty darn good. Now I just need to cobble together a 45 minute presentation about a project I haven't actually done yet, and deliver it to >50 peers in 1 week. No problem. That one has finally begun to emerge from the cooker (or the cocoon) and the words were flowing today... I should have this in the can by the end of the weekend.
After two weeks of no travel, it's off to Madison for one night tomorrow, then another week here, and then one-nighters for the next two weeks, Portland and Seattle. I have some new contacts in both markets and will be working hard to build those up. Ah, this crazy life I've signed up for!