Tuesday, March 27, 2012

History Revised

Grace often can't tell me what she liked about her day beyond the fact that she bullies her way into eating Nutella sandwiches for lunch everyday and gets to play outside with her friends. She is only 4.5 years old and it is like pulling teeth to get her to talk to me about school. Sixteen isn't going to be a pleasant age in our house.

When she does grasp onto a subject she likes though, look out. Want to talk about Star Wars Episodes IV-VI with a pre-schooler? She is all yours- (but you can only discuss 4-6 because my husband has banned 1-3 until "she is old enough to make up her own mind about the new movies". Whatever that means.)

Oh, and President's Day. How the girl LOVED President's Day and the two weeks of discussions about great American presidents that proceeded it at her Montessori school. We've made trips to Gettysburg so she can stand where Lincoln stood. We've gotten her into the White House to stand steps away from her president's Oval Office. (Yes, she totally claims ownership of Obama and the first dog Bo.)

This past week we took her to Mount Vernon, not to walk to halls of the mansion (which, for the record we did do), but to placate her obsession of seeing where George Washington chopped down the cherry tree. Forget the fact that George Washington probably didn't really chop down a cherry tree. Or the fact that he didn't grow up at Mount Vernon. Or the fact that this ISN'T EVEN A CHERRY TREE.

She was staunch in the notion of the cherry tree, and was convinced this is the cherry tree George Washington cut down. You got a problem with that? Because I think the may be willing to fight you over the provenance of this tree, and she's a kicker.

Thursday, March 15, 2012


The vast majority of folks I work with are wordsmiths and unapologetic Liberal Arts majors.

I solidly fall into this grouping and avoid math like the plague. In high school I bullied my way into a honors geometry class, thinking shapes were a close cousin to words, all visual and flowing lines. I was wrong. I lasted one month before I had to sweet talk my way back out of that class for fear of my GPA. Who knew a circle would have so much math behind it. The concept of Pi /π /3.14159 was one of the few concepts that left that classroom with me.

Yesterday my office bridged the gap between the left and right side of the brain celebrated 3/14, Pi Day, with a great equalizer- pie!

Wikipedia says: Throughout the history of mathematics, there has been much effort to determine π more accurately and to understand its nature; fascination with the number has even carried over into non-mathematical culture. Perhaps because of the simplicity of its definition, π has become more entrenched in popular culture than almost any other mathematical concept, and is firm common ground between mathematicians and non-mathematicians.

I'm not so sure that applies to us as a whole, but I'm sure we will all be willing to pretend we don't need calculators for simple mathematics one day a year if it involves the mass consumption of pie!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

GPS (less)

I'm solidly suburban, born and raised. OK, technically I was born in Chicago, but the residence only lasted until my hospital release. SUV's with GPS devices are my friend.

Don't get me wrong, I love cities. The crazy fast pace of city walkers is right up my alley. Gloriously tall buildings pressing against the sky encourage me to stand taller in greeting. Restaurants with Michelin ratings sing to my heart. One of the best moments of my life? Being mistaken for a New Yorker by a city native.


I have absolutely NO internal sense of direction. (Hence my love of GPS.) I pour over street maps before exiting buildings, praying I turn the right direction. The District is my foe in this respect. Straight lines, I need straight lines please!

And, apparently, my confusion isn't limited to street level. Today, *sigh*, I went the wrong way on the Metro. For 3 stops. The only plus to that ride is that the parking lot attendant must have seen the defeated look on my face and comped my $4.25 lot fee. I was ecstatic to be back in the suburbs.

Friday, March 2, 2012


I've been gone for awhile. I just feel.... burn out again. But a fun new tool at work has provided me an opporunity to blog there, so I though when they will work why not cross post? So here you go. It is the best of both worlds.


I seem to live my life a little like a project plan.
In the early months of the year I map out my milestones. The things to write on my calendar in a Sharpie to emphasize their significance. The things that keep me going, fueling me to count down the days and save my leave to spend it in big, glorious chunks:  the beach,  with friends in NYC,  celebrating my brother's marriage.

I anticipate these with almost a child-like enthusiasm amidst countdown calendars and ticking clocks and drumming finger tips. The outside world, my world, that does often times make this place feel like just a job. A means to an extraordinary end.

As I blocked off those days in my Groupwise calendar this morning, those blackened spaces have helped to motivate me. A few more sips of coffee and onto the next challenge. I have so much to get done, and only 38 days to the first milestone.