Saturday, June 09, 2007

I Just Like this Photo

Originally uploaded by Food Fanatic
I shot this photo last weekend at my friend Tambri's dance school recital. This is Tambri coaching her 3-year-old dancers through the song, "Mr. Sandman."

Friday, June 08, 2007

Sometimes I Surprise Even Myself

This summer I suggested that we not push Nate to get a job. He needed something to keep himself busy, though. Just something to be productive.

Nate has been open to working, but each time we talk about actually going out and applying for jobs, he's had a somewhat violent reaction to it. Finally Mensa Boy said he thought it was the actual talking to strangers and asking for something that might be the problem. Nate is not terribly assertive. He's also expressed concern about boredom. He doesn't want to run a cash register for hours, or stack boxes, or make pizzas. He wanted something interesting. Boredom is really his biggest concern always, which my principal friend Kathy says is common with gifted kids.

It's been easy to knuckle under to his willingness to seek a job because any job he has will have a profound effect on my own life. I would be responsible for driving him to and from said job. And the job would probably take at least 20 minutes to get to, and 20 minutes back. Twice each shift. That's time I'd just as soon not spend driving around in the heat.

So I told him I'd give him a 'bye' on this job thing if he found a way to volunteer. I said he needed to find something that would occupy him 15-20 hours per week. And then I suggested the school.

So for the last two weeks, Nate has been going to our elementary/middle school and being an errand boy for the staff. He has sat with kids during summer school as they work on their reading, supervised bathroom breaks, served snack, shredded office papers, organized keys that have been turned in by the staff, and stacked textbooks.

One day last week the principal told me that they were all arguing about who got him the next day.

He's grumpy each morning...struggling to get up and have breakfast so I can get him the school by 8. But by the time I pick him up at noon or so he's in a good mood, feeling pretty good about what he's accomplished and full of stories of joshing with the staff. One day this week I dropped him off and asked my friend to be sure he got a ride home, as Mensa Boy and I were going to be gone for the day. As I signed him into the computer for the day, I entered his name in as "Dontleave Mehear" and he wore that nametag all morning. Kathy fed him Japanese for lunch and dropped him at home.

I think it's a good experience and will probably keep him occupied most of the summer. We have a lot of moving going on in the school buildings this summer as the high school moves to a new building, renovations begin on the old building to make it into a new middle school, and classrooms are shifted around in the current elementary building.

The downside to this volunteering is that Nate gets no money. For stuff. Like taking his girlfriend out to dinner when she comes to town (she lives an hour or so away), or just to buy things he wants.

One of the items that he kinded of needed was a new mp3 player. His was not compatible with Napster and it's pretty much worn out. It doesn't hold a charge very long. Nate will be going to the Rotary Youth Leadership Awards conference at Erskine College next week and I knew he'd be missing that mp3 player by the end of the first day. It only charges by plugging it into a computer, which he won't have.

So I bought him one. I told him it was an "in-kind payment" for his volunteering at the school. And he's been a mother's helper for me in the afternoon, taking the little boys to the pool for a while most days, doing dishes, handling the bird feeders and anything else I can throw his way.

This is his last summer as a kid, I figure. And probably the last summer I'll have with him here. Might as well make the most of it.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Just a Day of Play

Originally uploaded by Food Fanatic
Mensa Boy and I played yesterday. We went to Boone and kicked around in a couple of shops and had a nice lunch at Bistro Roca in Blowing Rock.

We enjoyed the shadows on this sidewalk and had to stop to photograph it.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Hidden Treasures

Originally uploaded by Food Fanatic
I shot this photo a couple of weeks ago at my friend Tambri's dance class. Buddy Chris was sitting at a table doing some bookkeeping and I started just shooting around.

This photo came out completely black. Normally when that happens I just delete it without looking at it. But for some reason I opened it in Photoshop and lightened it to see what I had missed.

And there she is!

Today Mensa Boy and I will drive up to the mountains for the day. He has to deliver a preview copy of the magazine to an office up there, so I'll ride along with him. We never had time last week to celebrate our anniversary, so we'll stomp around on some trails and have a nice lunch on my dad, who gave me 50 BUCKS to blow! Thanks Dad!

After we get back this afternoon, I'll go to Chris' (this Chris pictured) Jazzercise class. It will be my 100th for the year and she'll present me with my 100 Club shirt. Chris was the one that got me started with this kind of exercise a few years ago, so it will be fun to get my shirt from her.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Random Nitpicking

Originally uploaded by Food Fanatic
Here's another concert photo I shot at the Franklin Graham Festival in Virginia Beach a couple of weeks ago. This is Dennis Agajanian. I love his instrumental stuff. His vocals? Not so much.

And now for the nitpicking part: Here is some text from a Washington Post News Alert bulletin I received yesterday:

News Alert 2:15 p.m. ET Monday, June 4, 2007
Rep. Jefferson Indicted In Corruption Probe
List of 16 alleged violations could keep Louisiana lawmaker in prison for up to 200 years.

Hmmm....keep him in prison for up to 200 years...that would be a trick.

Yesterday as I was driving to home from Target I saw a sign that announced a new building in Blakeney would be opening the "1st quater of 2008."

And Saturday as I drove to the recital in Fort Mill, I passed the HomeArama location...several extremely expensive homes on a home tour...there was a sign tell visitors where to park for "shuttle's."

There's more. There's always plenty of nitpicking for me to do, but my mind is blank.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Secret Service Man

Secret Service Man
Originally uploaded by Food Fanatic
Here's a secret service agent talking to his lapel at the Billy Graham Library Dedication on May 31.

One of Mensa Boy's colleagues came up to him and told him that he thought the secret service was working on a plan to have him removed from the event.

Yesterday in church a friend came up to Mensa Boy and said, "So! Big deal on Thursday, huh?"

"Yeah!" MB replied. "Did you know Thelma Lou from Andy Griffith was there?"

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Ballet Vengeance

Originally uploaded by Food Fanatic
Yesterday I hung out all day with my friend Tambri's dance kids as they rehearsed and then put on their recital.

Yup. Me.

Little girls

I know...I know. But I had a lot of fun. It was hard work, but not as much for me as sound technician and photog as it was for buds Tambri, Chris and Rena. They were wrangling little girls and parents. The only thing I wrangled were stuffed rabbits for the magic act.

This little girl is in the Wee Ballet class. The song is "Leavin' on a Jet Plane." I don't remember at all what part of this song needed this facial expression!