Friday, April 30, 2010

Captain's Blog: The Infamous Friday Nebula

Stardate: 1-800-SAVEUSQUICK

We have entered the infamous Friday Nebula and bizarre things are occurring all over the ship. After turning my back briefly, the sink is overflowing with dirty dishes. The Advanced Math teacher booklet has mysteriously vanished. Wailing babies are heard echoing through the corridors. Someone has eaten all of the banana bread.

Worst of all: no one wants to take a nap but the captain.

When will it end? Will we ever escape...the Friday Nebula?

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

There's No Place Like...

I can now understand why people get those handy little GPS units. Talinda had one, I'm happy to say. She and her husband have named their little electronic helper Richard. He was invaluable on this trip.

There Talinda and I were, in the bowels of downtown Chicago. If you're not a person who jogs around downtown very often, it's easy to get turned around. Not that Talinda couldn't handle driving part. She did. (I was there for moral support, cheering from the passenger seat.) Generally you do okay if you just keep moving. But if you don't know your way around and you have to find a specific address and get your car parked nearby, it can be a little dicey when you don't do it every day. Throw in a baby in the back seat who really doesn't want to sit in her car seat any longer and a better-be-there-on-time appointment, and little beads of perspiration begin to break out on your brow as the clock ticks on.

Richard helped us numerous times as we wove through the streets. The only glitch was that Richard doesn't have eyeballs. He didn't notice that he was trying to route us to turn right onto a street that was clearly blocked off with large orange signs that said "DO NOT ENTER." But, polite as ever, he pleasantly rerouted us when we ignored his instructions, and we arrived safely at the desired destination after more turns.

We finally discovered a parking place where they charged something like a mere $15 an hour to wedge Talinda's SUV into a space on a lot never designed to hold that many cars, but it was right across the street from the building for her baby's audition, so hey, no complaints from us. An hour later, we were on the way back to the burbs, mission accomplished.

Tonight as I listened to the birds in my back yard competing with the roar from I-90 a mile or so away, I found myself quite happy to reflect that I live nowhere near the loop. Love the museums. Lots to see. Endless restaurants. Probably a shopper's paradise for people who like to shop (not me). But when the day is over, there's no place like home.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Driving School for Parents

Since I have a child entering driving school soon, I was wondering why they don't have a driving school for the parents of soon-to-be-licensed teens. Certainly there are a few things that we need to learn, too. The DMV could make a mint with a required parent-of-new-drivers course. Here are some suggestions for material that such a course might cover:

• How to remain calm while hurtling down the road with a teen at the wheel
• How to scream in muted, non-threatening tones during high pressure situations
• How to avoid duress while your teen parallel parks for the first time between a jaguar and Mercedes Benz
• How to bribe your spouse into riding shotgun in your place
• How to install an ejection seat in your car for quick escapes

And last but not least...

• How to pray effectively as a parent of a driving teen

(Somehow people forget all about that separation of church and state business when there's a teen behind the wheel. Same tendency when they're in a jet with engine trouble.)

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Captain's Blog: Sunny Day

Stardate: Sunshine

I took a deep breath today of 20% oxygen, 78% nitrogen, and a little less than 2% other gases. It was great. I could smell things and breath again. There's nothing like a head cold to make you appreciate not having a head cold.