Thursday, June 26, 2008

Not about day camp... and yet all about day camp

I've started two post this week about being at Day Camp. But since they were boring as hell to write, I figured they would be twice as boring for you to read. This is the second year that Fearless Co-Leader and I worked the role of Business Managers which is the sweetest gig at camp. Here's the whole week at a glance.

Monday: We were in charge of overseeing the tie-dyeing of 150 shirts. My nails still look like Easter eggs.

Tuesday: Pretended to look busy most of the morning. Ducked out of camp on the pretense of buying charcoal (which we actually did buy), but also went out for lunch and showed up back at camp in time for closing flag.

Wednesday: Went to four different stores and spent about $350 on food for...

Thursday: Cook day at camp. Some units had successful meals. Some units had disasters. The Ad Staff cooked for ourselves and it was the single best day camp lunch I've ever had.

Tomorrow: Peering into the future I see us organizing tons of equipment before Ed shows to pick it up at noon. After that we'll just wandering around until it's time to pick-up the Popsicles.

That's about all you need to know about day camp. Now to share with you the song I've had stuck in my head all damn week making me crazy. Poor Fearless also had to suffer because she had to listen to me sing it.

Friday, June 20, 2008

We camped!

We are back and we survived just fine.

All in all I would rate this trip as fairly successful. True, it was grey and cold the whole time, but it never rained beside one extremely brief shower so we were extremely lucky. The meals went over well. There was no spatting or nastiness between the girls at all. Far from it, they were all so friendly and happy with each other that they talked constantly. There attitude toward us, the poor adults, was less than warm at times, but not unexpected. We stopped taking it personally a long time ago. Our girls are not crafty and have never been, but still we try to do at least one craft on trips like this. The craft this time went so horribly bad that it very well could be the last craft we ever attempt.
An action shot of the Girl filling her air mattress. We may be Girl Scouts, but nobody likes to sleep on the ground!
I mentioned it was cold? Even so, East Harbor has a beach and the girls insisted on going. And since the new model of our troop is "Let the girls lead" we took them to the beach. The sane adults sat on the cozy sand and watched a dozen crazy girls go bounding off into the water. When they all emerged, a very short time later, shivering and blue they admitted that it was a mistake to go. I'm not an "I told you so" kind of person, but inside I was cheering. Back at camp warm showers, building up the fire and hot cocoa happened in quick succession.
An unexpected highlight of the trip was a visit that I arranged by a park ranger. We were originally going to take a tour of Toft's Ice Cream, but they cancelled on us. Plan B involved the park ranger talk. Luckily, this woman was extremely interesting and complex. She had been with the park system for 18 years and had seen quite a bit of crazy stuff. On top of that, she raced sailboats, spoke Latvian and went to Ohio State on a volleyball scholarship. The girls listened like angels, asked intelligent questions and answered her questions maturely. I couldn't have been more proud.

The grand finale of the trip was Cedar Point. Cold, grey, but the lines weren't very long. We cut the girls loose with check-in times and made a very full day of it. I rode the Millennium Force for the first time and it truly deserves the title of best roller coaster in the world. Wow!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Off Camping!

Wish us luck! The Girl and I are leaving here in just a few minutes for East Harbor State Park with the troops. The weather looks iffy at best, but not exceedingly hot, which is all good by me. This is our first ever tent camp out that didn't involve someones backyard. Can we handle it? We're about to find out.

After two days of camping we are spending the third at Cedar Point. Whether or not this is a good idea we will also soon discover as well!

Monday, June 09, 2008

Dance Recital '08

The big dance recital was yesterday afternoon. This year the whole production was moved from the high school auditorium all the way to the Palace Theater in Lorain. The reason behind the move was that this program is now so frigging huge that we needed more space for the audience. Also the way that the tickets were handled when the show was done here at home was a complete nightmare every year. The Palace knew how to sell tickets to an unwieldy number of people... or so we thought.

I bought my tickets over the phone 15 minutes after they went on sale the first day. I had to buy eleven seats and I certainly wasn't going to wait around. They came in the mail the very next day and that was one more thing I could check off my to do list.

While we are all nestled down in our seats yesterday, a very nice woman came up to me.

"Excuse me, I think you are sitting in my seat." She is very sweet and apologetic, but I'm thinking no way sister.

She shows me her ticket and I show her mine and they are for the same seat. Exactly the same seat. I look around the theater and there seems to be people having the same conversation all over the place. Some are confused, some are getting really angry. The theater has double sold seats.

My co-seat owner and I head for the box office where there is literally a mob. Angry, angry people waving tickets and pieces of paper at one lone woman with a headset on looking on the verge of tears. Finally a official looking guy shows up and announces that if two people have tickets for the same seat then it will be first come, first serve and the theater will find a seat for the second person. My double and I shrug and smile at each other.

"That's okay," she says, "I'm sure they'll find someplace for me." So I stroll my very sassy little dress back to my seat. Behind me, voices are rising and I hear a man holler something about "outrageous incompetence". Ooooh. Not good.

I took only one picture yesterday and that was in the van on the way there.

I didn't any take pictures during the show, not because of any restrictions (there were flashing cameras the entire time), but because whenever the Girl was on the stage I started weeping copiously. Truly. During the number when she's up on pointe, I had myself worked up to one big heaving sob. I can't help it. I usually cry a little bit, but this year I was really pathetic. Proud mommy overload. She's just looks so grown up when she's dancing. She's a long way from this blurry five year old getting ready to leave for her first recital.

I did take pictures at Picture Day two weeks ago, pictures of her getting her picture taken. Here's her ballet costume.

And her jazz costume which I had to completely remake because it was entirely too big for her. Thank goodness it's black!

And here's the pointe costume along with Girl Who Thinks She Lives At My House #2.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Summertime in spades

When summer vacation starts around here, we don't mess around. School ended at 2:15 and we all came to a grinding halt. Hence that is why you get to read about the last day of school two days later.

On Wednesday they had the awards ceremony at school, which despite how they attempted to streamline the whole process it was still tediously long. They called all the kids up alphabetically, so if we were seated more near the door and less behind a wall of people, the Man and I could have slipped out exactly one minute after the program started. Next year, better planning.
The kiddos both got awards for have giant hard working brains which makes this mommy extremely proud. I'm still not exactly sure where all this big brained activity comes from. These two get grades that neither of their parents even came close to in school. Is it a twin thing? Whatever it is, I hope it lasts.

So here's the girl with her awards already poised on the couch for the next three months. The purple one is the big brain award. She also has student council, drama club and a cheesy little palm tree trophy for being in that play last month.

And the boy. Big brain, drama club, cheesy tree and again this year, perfect attendance. What is wrong with this boy? He is also camped on the couch for the summer. Right after this shot he asked me to bring him a freeze pop. Summer is here!

Secret Post: I'm not supposed to write about this but it's such a strange story that I must. I'll be very vague so no one will know what I'm talking about. There's this writer that I know who had a poem published in a fairly well known magazine. A few days ago he got a letter in the mail from someone who also tried to publish a poem in the same magazine, around the same time, about a similar topic but theirs was rejected. This other someone just wanted our writer to know that "I think my poem is better than yours". It's was a fairly polite letter in total, so it doesn't fall into the catergory of hate mail. I guess you would have to call it "Critical Mail" if anything. But in any case, it was a first.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Turning Japanese

I can't write long because lately, meaning this past week, all of our extra time has been taken up with watching Japanese television.

We didn't have G4 as a channel for awhile but since they've rearranged the cable line up it's back. G4 is a very grown up channel as is evident by the commercials, but these Japanese shows are just plain fun. They grab you and make you stick in front of the TV for huge amounts of time.

Ninja Warrior is a show where they start with 100 contestants that have to get through 4 stages of obstacles. The first stage is so tough that usually only 2 or 3 people make it through. The next three stages are so impossible that it just takes your breath away that anyone can get through even a fraction of the course. I sit on the edge of my seat during the whole thing. I cheer when someone succeeds and it breaks my heart when someone almost makes it and falls just short.

Unbeatable Banzuke has these intense challenges that competitors have to get through. It's not uncommon for no one to succeed for the entire show. Today's show had a hand walk challenge and a stilt walking challenge. They were both so tough that I probably couldn't even handle doing the courses on my feet!

I've got to get back to the TV now. Check a little out for yourself.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Praying Mantis Attack!

Okay, it wasn't an attack. Nothing like it in fact but this story does have to do with insects in large numbers.

Saturday Grammy and Poppa called with big news. The praying mantis pod that they found a couple of weeks before had hatched and there were hundreds of praying mantis babies in the jar! Later on in the day we went to see the insect explosion. It was true, there were hundreds of tiny, tiny praying mantis in a jar. The pod was attached to a twig and there were plenty of the bugs hanging around on that and everywhere else in the jar. I've got to say I found the whole thing a bit too creepy. I'm not anti-bug or anything. I've never been one to scream and run at the sight of a spider, far from it. I've frequently been known to capture spiders and other bugs and then release them back outside instead of squishing or flushing them. My charity towards bugs isn't understood by most, but it makes me happy. But that said, all these little praying mantis was really giving me the heebie-jeebies.

They were passing the jar around, peering at it from all sides and taking pictures while the little fellows climbed up and down the sides of the jar and the twig. Wasn't it time to let them all go? Yes, out into the yard we went and opened the jar between two large hosta. They didn't flee immediately, but just ambled about and most of them stayed in the jar for a good time longer. Once they were out walking around on the wide flat leaves, I felt much more comfortable with them. Now they were just cute little baby bugs. I actually let one walk around my hand. They were so small you couldn't even feel them moving across your skin. There little heads, only the size of pin, would turn when something moved behind them.

We caught a dozen of them back into cup and brought them home for our own flower garden. I hope I see one again once they are all grown up!