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Friday, June 24, 2016

53 Months


It's been an interesting couple of months. About six weeks ago, Erik's colleague was called to jury duty. He mentioned this the day before he went off, leaving the department momentarily scrambling to cover his class that day. This was accompanied by the mild sense of forboding that comes with a call to jury duty: is this one day, or the start of something much bigger? Well, indeed, the colleague was called to be on the jury for the following four weeks. He didn't mention when asked that there might be consequences like there's no one to sub for things like Organic Chemistry and he had 90 students finishing the final four weeks of a year long cycle. He just figured he had to do it so he did. It wasn't til about ten days in that he started realizing what he'd done. For the first two weeks, Erik managed to cover teaching all of his classes and all of that guy's O-Chem. The rest of the department pitched in as they could to teach his Gen Chem classes. Then Erik had a conference to go to (and present at) and other folks had stuff come up, and suddenly classes were getting canceled right and left, material was being taught in a scattered and underprepared way, and he had little idea what they'd learned in order to write exams. I feel sorry for any of those students who have to go forward in a Chemistry or medical major. Yes, jury duty is a responsibility, but it's also your responsibility to speak up and say, "It would have this impact, and I could do this during my summer vacation instead and not harm anyone." But I'm also fairly certain he didn't want to lose his vacation time to jury duty so... things happened. This also meant that Erik was now teaching two additional days a week at 7:30 a.m., leaving me to get Athena to school four out of five days all on my own. I was displeased. 

But, we survived it. Much like Dickens season where it seems fine at first, then strangely gets harder and harder to keep up on the basics by the end and you feel like you just need a week to catch up on all the weird stuff the fell to the wayside. Luckily, just as that concluded, Erik's mom came to town and we did get almost immediately caught up. Ah...

There were birthdays! Erik and I are both May birthdays, so sometimes we opt for a party together and sometimes not. This year I organized an escape room game for his birthday at Ryptic in San Mateo. It was super fun and we got out with time to spare - 47 minutes! To make it extra fun, our GM was Mae Linh. It was a treat to get to see her (and Mike too!) outside of con.

Winners!
Of course Erik asked me a few days later, "So what do you want to do for your birthday?" I said, "Uh... well, the escape room was fun. Want to do that again?" So off we went to the Real Escape Game in San Jose for another thrilling adventure. Technically we didn't win, but we still had a good time and we'd figured it out, but we hadn't figured out the sole working solution the room would accept. 

This was followed with Mexican dinner at home and a few rounds of CodeNames. Now having played it a few times, we finally succumbed and bought a copy.

We participated in the Tesla Family Fun Run. Here I learned that 5k sounds far, but it's actually less than I walk on a normal day. I also got to walk on our test track for the first time. It is steep. Cars go fast. Erik got to walk through the factory (and even see stamping in action!) and Athena rolled on her balance bike like a pro. Then there was a a bounce house and a helicopter and other fun stuff. We retired to Rubio's for lunch and promptly bumped into the Famdamily - Chris, Jen, Adam, etc. A tasty lunch was had and we headed home. 
At the starting line
Off we go!
Goofing with the Model S on the track
Steeeeep!

Bounce!
 
Helicopter!
The Fox's have started hosting movie nights in their front yard. We opted to let Athena watch The Princess Bride with us. She's scared of shows with bad guys, so I was ready to eject at any time, but amusingly, the Peter Falk asides like, "She doesn't get eaten by the eels you know." actually helped break the tension for her. I could feel her start to tense up in my lap, and then he'd break the tension for Fred Savage, and it would work for her too. Totally awesome. The movie doesn't look the least bit dated. The only thing I notice now is how completely freaking useless Buttercup is. She's so bloody helpless it's painful. But, otherwise, it's still an amazingly perfectly delightful movie, and Athena liked it. Win!

We went to Derby Day at the Hodges and enjoyed good times with mint juleps, large hats, and horse racing. I bet on a horse named Danzing Candy just because I loved the name. It was a treat to see their place and see Cliff and Debby. Their twins are now 4, and they've welcomed a new little boy to their home too because they're braver souls than I. 
 
Hats and mint juleps!
We hit the Sunnyvale Art & Wine festival on Sunday this year. We quickly found Athena Lendvay, who had both Lorelei and Connor in tow. We toured around and got them a couple rides and got faces painted for Lorelei and Athena. A few small purchases made and a trip through Target and we headed back home. That's when I realized my sunblock was totally inadequate. For whatever reason, the sun bit a lot of folks I know that weekend, and at least my burn was far less bad than James at work who dozed off on the beach in Santa Cruz. Still, sunburns are evil. 
Train!




Rainbow unicorn fabulousness
Finally, on June 8th, Karen arrived. We were so happy to see her. Oh my goodness. The wheels were coming off the wagon. Athena took this picture on the way home from the airport:

Yay! You're here! 
The big highlight of the trip this time was Athena's first ballet recital. My mom made it down for the recital too, so Athena had a big cheering section. She and Clementine were completely adorable. We had dinner afterwards at Orchestria Palm Court, which I absolutely adore. Their rib eye is so very tasty and the self-playing turn-of-the-century instruments are a delight. I still want to go back with everyone in nineteen-teens fashion for an ice cream social. (Seriously - banana split brulee. So much joy.)


Me and my teddy bear

There were many other fine adventures including:
  • Videotaping the choreography. Editing is still pending. 
  • Rachel's birthday party where we played games and took turns getting a massage from Serita.
  • Angele's client party at Campo di Bocce which involved a good many of our friends. :)
    (Also, Athena is getting pretty good at bocce. She was throwing far better than me.)
  • Going to see my former intern in Rent at SJSU.
  • Cordelia's birthday party at Pump it Up, where I bounced myself senseless again, like you do.
  • A run to Alameda for the Fezzi Cast Party, Pasta Night, and Arielle's birthday party. 
  • A night of Gent's and Estrogen combined, with dinner for 18 at Chevy's in Union City. 
The summer school session starts Monday. We're ready.

Wonder Woman!

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