Friday, August 25, 2006

Kappa Sigma Gamma Mixer

We did it! We did it! Thursday was the last day of Jen's summer session. She had a couple hellish days of exams. And was over. It's been a long six weeks for all of us. Now we're off for two weeks.

But before we head out for a bit, the Kennedy School of Government had a little party for the mid-career students. I had met some of the Jen's classmates at various social events. They have an afternoon social every Friday (or Keggers on the Quad, as I call it.) But this was a chance for everyone to cut loose. With booze.

We were fortunate that our good friend Joel and his fiancee Lani volunteered to babysit. This was our first date night in Cambridge without the kids. Woo-hoo! So we put on our finest threads and headed out:

The party was fun. Jen has been a little surprised at how conservative a lot of her classmates are, many seem to be from the military or the Israeli defenses services. So at the party, Jen could heard to exclaim random things like:

"That guy over there is in charge of the Iraqi cultural ministry..."
"That guy is running for president of Azerbaijan..."
"I just danced with the head of China's finance department..."

That's Jen dancing ironically to "Shook Me All Night Long." Yep it was that kind of party. And here are your future world leaders shaking it to "YMCA."

Well, that's it for now. We're taking off today for Vermont. We don't even know where we're heading or what's there or where we're staying. Ben and Jerry's. Mountains. Ben and Jerry's. Who knows? We've been too busy to plan anything.


On Wednesday, we took a little tour of Fenway Park. The Red Sox had recetly completed an epic five-game collapse against the hated Yankees. They were out of town by now, so I took the kids on a guided tour of the ballpark. Both seemed to love it, though a man yelling over the PA system made Liam a bit nervous. Still hoping to get them out to a game before the season ends.

Here they are sitting on the Green Monster:

Hey, Toto. We're not in California anymore...

This past Monday marked the homestretch for the summer portion of our excellent adventure. This was the final week of Jen's summer program. The weather has cooled considerably. And I got some glimpses of some of the big changes that lay ahead. All in one wacky day.

The day started with a sharp reminder that we're no longer on the left coast. Our Monday routine has included a trip to the main Cambridge library for singing and story time and then a walk to a nearby park. I parked in front of the library, put some money in the meter. As many of you know, we've raised Kalian "diaper free." So I took her out and put her on her portable potty to pee. Then Liam came out and said he had to pee, too. So I let him sit on the little green potty on the sidewalk. As he was sitting there, a large woman came running across the street screaming that we couldn't that! She claimed she was a Cambridge police officer, but was dressed in shorts and t-shirt. We'd been there about 1 minute, and she claimed someone had filed a complained in the library.

She insisted that if Liam had been a little bit older, we'd be breaking the law. But she wouldn't tell me which ones. I refused to give her my name. And when I asked for her badge or some ID, she refused to produce them. She said the fact that she had a walkie talkie should be enough proof for me. Okay. Anyway, we just walked away from her and into the library. I figured if we were such scofflaws, she could bust me in the library in front of all the other moms and nannies and lead me out in handcuffs. We never heard from her again.

Anyway, the late afternoon was much more enjoyable, as we had wonderful visit from an old friend from North Carolina days, Kathleen Hannan. Kathleen is a wonderful spirit, but also an amazing singer/songewriter of both adult and kids music. Liam especially was quite excited by her visit. He's been listening to some tapes she's made since he was born and was eager to jam:

Kathleen is working on a new kids album which we'll say more about when it comes out.

After Kathleen's visit, I had to rush over to my first meeting for Kids' Coop Cambridge. We just recently found out we got a spot there for Kalian, and I'm very excited. Basically, there are 15 families and 19 kids involved, mostly three and under. Kalian will go three days a week for three hours. It costs almost nothing. But the main requirement is that I work one of the three days and perform an additional job. In this case, my job is to be a board member and be the recording secretary, which involves taking the minutes. As for my caregiver shift, I either have to bring a snack, plan a craft, or be the cleanup guy each week.

It sounds great. But as I've gotten all the materials, regulations, curriculum, etc., I've been a little worried about how much work is involved. If this all lines up, the Coop will leave me with about 5 free hours each week during the days. I'll have to see if all the outside work makes it worth it. But I think it will.

That said, I think it's going to be a great thing, for me and Kalian. The board meeting was interesting, even at three hours long. It's clearly a group of parents that' s a little closer to us politically and socially than a lot of the folks we've met so far. I've been hanging with some of the spouses from Jen's program, who are wonderful people, but who tend to be from military backgrounds. The Coop, I think, will be a nice balance to that. One of the main Coop board members has been an organizer of a lot of anti-Iraq war stuff in Cambridge.

So the first meeting was a nice introduction, and hopefully it'll work out. People were very supportive when I talked about Kalian being "diaper free." Definitely a good sign.