Friday, July 27, 2007

Top Sail

Did you miss me? I have been on Topsail Island for the last several days with Tom and the Girls and NO COMPUTER (though I did have a blackberry). It is late and I promise to fill you in on everything tomorrow, but in the meantime, here are a few highlights.

The sunset from "sea Tull's on the sound" on the first evening we were there:

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Ms. Bean and her dad, enjoying the surf:

From TopSail2007

This guy and his family kept us company all week:

Fish were jumping all over the sound behind the house. I finally got one to perform for the camera:

Sunset later in the week. Baby Bee noticed it first an insisted that we get some photos of the "pretty sun":

The moon. It is always more stunning at the beach:

Tom catches Ms. Bean kissing her Mom on the dock with a telephoto. This is a rare occurrence:

Tuesday, July 17, 2007


I LOVED the first 4 Harry Potter books. Tom and I honeymooned in Scotland, in part, so that I could ride the Trains and visit the Glasgow restaurants that they were "conceived in".

The 5th was enjoyable, but came out around the time that Ms. Bean was born and my sleep deprivation prevented me from really "getting it".

#6 .............. ummm ............ I couldn't get through it (though I hear that the movie is out, so there is hope).

As for #7 ............ couldn't care less. Wont buy it. Wont read it. Wont watch the movie. Fortunately for me, I don't have to. It turns out that 4 days before the book actually goes on sale, it has been illegally downloaded and put all over the Internet in PDF form for our reading pleasure. EVEN better, the spoilers are all over the Internet, and I found them ALL in 20-minutes! Here you go ..............................

Burbage dies on pg. 12

Hedwig dies on pg. 56

Mad-Eye dies on pg. 78Scrimgeour dies on pg. 159

Wormtail dies on pg. 471Dobby dies on pg. 476Snape dies on pg. 658

Fred Weasley dies on pg. 637

Harry gets fucked up by Voldemort on pg. 704 but comes back to life on pg. 724

Tonks, Lupin, and Colin Creevy have their deaths confirmed on pg. 74319 years after the events in the book:

Ron has married Hermione, their two children are named Rose and Hugo

Harry has married Ginny, their three children are named Lily, James, and Albus severus.

Draco Malfoy has a son named Scorpius

The epilogue shows all of the children boarding the train for Hogwarts together.

The final lines of the book are: “The scar had not pained Harry for 18 years. All was well.”

Plot Spoilers:

Part of Voldemort’s soul was implanted into Harry whenever he used Ara Kadvara on him when he was a baby. Harry then sacrifices himself a la Lilly Potter style, which allows him to kill Voldemort without killing himself. He brings himself back to life using a wand and a rock

Snape went to the good side (Hogwarts, etc.) because he was disgusted after Voldemort killed Lilly Potter.

Ain't the Internet great! I have saved you hours of reading. Your welcome.


4 days in a row. Anyone up with me?

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Answering the Mail

My friend Paul was complaining to me today that since I broke my finger, my blog has been in desperate need of attention.

So, not wanting to loose one of my three readers, I figured I should write about something. And, like magic, my friend Erica sent just the thing! put together an article about the Best and Worst School Districts for the Buck. It is basically a balanced scorecard where winners in the rating system are counties whose schools deliver high performance at low cost. Losers, in turn, spend a lot of money and have little to show for it. Well guess what! ALEXANDRIA VA came in dead last! Yep! We are number 97 out of 97. Alexandria's Per Pupil Spending is $11,404 (high) while our College Entrance Exam Participation Rate is only 65.00 and Graduation Rate is only 73.00!

I am feeling better about our public school decision everyday! After all, who doesn't love a challenge?

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Sisters - Part 2

When we found out that Baby-Bee was going to be a girl - I knew that giving Ms. Bean a sister would be the best gift she would ever receive. She is starting to understand that now .........

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Happy Independence Day!

Well, today is bitter sweet.
On one hand, it is Independence Day, and while I am currently disgusted with our Administration and almost everything they stand for, I am privileged and proud to be an American. So, Happy Birthday to us.

On the other hand, it is the last day of "Mommy-Daddy-Bean-and-Bee's-1/2-week-o-fun", and tomorrow I return to the "boring-bureaucracy" that is my life.

We actually spent Independence Day morning at a pretty cool park. I found this quite preferable to the DC-fire works alternative. Not that I have always disliked the "firework shuffle", but since the District started checking bags and eliminated the beer trucks - I really don't see the point. It still goes on though, as evidenced by the fact that we saw people setting up camp on the GW Parkway at 0800 this morning! Since the fireworks generally start just after 2100, they are in for a LONG day of sunburn and mosquito bites! They must be more patriotic then we are.
Early this morning we took the girls to Clemjontry Park. I have been reading about this park for a while, but since it was off the beaten path, it took us a while to get there. It is a Fairfax County Park which was built to accommodate children with disabilities (we went with my Friend, Lara, and her daughter, Annie). Now, anyone that knows me, knows that I am no fan of Fairfax County. Their schools are rigid, their roads are primitive and their people are too Conservative. However, when it comes to this park, they got it right! The kids LOVED it! Of course, I forgot to bring my camera so I missed Ms. Beans constant smile ................ but we will go back.

It is HUGE and has every kind of sensory and motor skill equipment imaginable. My description would not do it justice, and you will just have to go! There is no reason to be afraid, it is barely in Fairfax County, and most of the people I met there were from Arlington and Alexandria. I suspect that the people from Fairfax were setting up camp on the GW Parkway at the time.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

The National Zoo and Huntley Meadows Park

Tom and I certainly are enjoying out time off with the girls!

We have been to the National Zoo, Green Springs Gardens Park, 2 neighborhood playgrounds, Huntley Meadows Park, and several local restaurants, and its only Tuesday! The idea of going back to work makes me want to cry, but, there is a silver lining ................ we leave for a 1 week bonus vacation in 2 weeks!

I am including photos of the zoo and Huntley Meadows Park in this post. The photos of Huntley Meadows don't do it justice. We went entirely too late for decent shots, and, baby bee had a meltdown and required carrying for the last mile of our visit! Important tip ...... when visiting this location .... DO NOT FORGET YOUR STROLLER!

The National Zoo - Visited 6/30/07

Huntley Meadows Park - Visited 7/1/07

Enjoy! D

Monday, July 2, 2007

Mamablogga's June Writing Project

I have been following the mamablogga group writing project for a while. I have been thinking of attempting one of their essays, and today I finally decided to give it is shot. And, just like in High School, and in life, I missed the (1 July) deadline! Fortunately, Mamablogga gave extension, and as long as I recognised that I was not eligible for the prize, I can still play! Since I never win anything, I agree to the conditions.

The June theme for the Group Writing Project is “Three things I want my kids to . . .”. We are supposed to add the verb, and any conditions that we like. I am already confused ...........................

Ok, here goes:

Three things I want my kids to do ................. but will never say to them .......or out loud ..................

1) Be irresponsible between the ages of 22 and 27 - There is no reason not to test the waters, follow "The Dead" (or whatever the 2025 equivalent of that is), loose yourself in Europe, or try your luck as a starving artist in New York when you are young. That is what those years are about. I want my girls to have those experiences, I want them to be the kind of people that are shaped through those experiences. I don't want them to settle into a boring job, with boring people, because they "need the health insurance". Life is too short. You only have those years to test life. Enjoy them and learn from them

2) Politely and articulately question/challenge teachers, professors, and other authority figures - It took me until I was 30 before I realized that people in power, are not necessarily bright, intelligent, or "right", they are lucky. I want my girls to challenge things that they don't agree with, argue for what they believe in, and ask questions when they don't fully understand the position of a tired teacher or arrogant politician. I will gladly visit the principle (or the court house) and stand behind my girls for taking a position they believe in and holding the line. They will learn to respect themselves for it, and others will as well.

3) Don't make decisions based on what they think that Tom and I WANT them to do - Tom and I don't know everything. In fact, we know very little. We always do what we think is best, and we advise the girls like we think we should, but right now they are 2 and 4, and I can already think of at least 12 things I did wrong last month. Only they will know what is right for them, and if we give them a decent foundation, they will be capable of making themselves happy. And growing to become happy adults, is all a mom can ask for their children.

Sunday, July 1, 2007


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Green Springs Garden Park

Several years ago, before I had the girls, I had an interest in Floral Photography. During that time, I discovered Green Springs Garden park, which is a little gem off of Duke Street behind the Goodwill. Tom and I fell in love with the park, and eventually decided to get married in their Gazebo. The day was perfect, and the flowers could not have been more spectacular.

So, now that Ms. Bean has an intense fascination with Weddings and everything bride (I guess it is a 4-year old thing), we decided to take the girls to the place "mommy and daddy got married". The pictures I got of the girls we mediocre. The photo's that I was able to get when I wasn't shooting the kids, or chasing after them, were actually decent.

Since I have been looking for a reason to dive into Picasa, I am sharing them here.

I need to spend a lot more time behind a lens.