Sunday, October 26, 2014

Inspired to Build a Community

Friday afternoon, lunch break. I had just sat down in the break room, laptop in front of me with plans of banging out another page on this literature review that has been all consuming lately. My phone rings, and strangely, it's my friend, Jenn. She honestly has NEVER called me in the middle of the day.

The reason for the call is one of her coworkers, whose son is, like GameTeen, on the Autism spectrum. Alas, the coworker has no local support network. To be honest, I don't, either, but I've cobbled a pretty good one on the Internet over the years. 'M' and her husband need help in finding an appropriate school for their son, as the local school district hasn't met the son's needs. They've mirrored our path through the educational system, with their son clearly needing a one to one aide. The school district keeps on stating that their son must stay in a school which triggers meltdowns. Not very logical.

They've contemplating moving, as they both are professionals that can find work in their respective fields anywhere in the US. The question is where might they find the right schools, clinicians, and support community? Not a simple task, as there are no known resources from any of the national associations that attend to their son's diagnoses.

So, the three of us met for lunch, and talked things over. The simple answer that came to mind is to pull together the people I've met over the years in a Facebook group and share what we know. It isn't an answer, but it's a start.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014


One of my friends and fellow coworkers is a volunteer with a local cat rescue organization. Since she started with them, she has fostered a few kitties to keep them from being euthanized at the local high-kill shelter. Spay and neuter your animals, people!

Several weeks ago, she went to take pictures of the kitties after work and found that one of the little guys was slated for euthanization the next morning. She signed the papers to foster and posted a picture on the way home of the little guy, perched on her shoulder. She'd left her carrier at home, because she honestly was not expecting yet another foster to come back to her apartment.

That picture cracked me up, for the little guy looked like Toothless from "How to Train Your Dragon". He came home with the name Toaster, and the next morning at work, we were talking about various names, and I suggested Java for the black as night kitten.

Then I heard stories about the little guy and was absolutely charmed.

Which is why he came home with me two weeks ago. After trying on several different names, we realize that Java fits him perfectly-he seems like he is hypercaffeinated. Even better, it has a somewhat techy feel for a house of techies.

So, meet Java.

Looking at the paws on this guy, he'll be HUGE. Scamp, who always seems kind of small to us (because he's a puffball who is skinny underneath) now seems like a behemoth. Next year, they'll probably be the same size...

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Nails and More Nails

I've had quite a few trips to Mandi that I haven't blogged about, so a round up of all those trips is in order: First, today's manicure. She'd done some marbling on another client's nails and offered to do mine. I think we needed more contrast and she agreed, so we'll try it with the next visit.

I think I'd mentioned that she returned to being a nail tech after several years away, raising her daughters. In that gap is when gel nail polishes took off, which means her return involved trying out three different types of UV Gels-and having a large palette of colors to choose from. (Get ready for a fourth to appear soon, as Essie joins the market with UV Gel polish soon!).

Anyway, because she's a latecomer to it, she didn't know that CND's Shellac line really played up layering to make new colors. I shared my links and was a bit disappointed that Hillary at Solessence has really moved away from the color swatching she'd done a couple of years ago. It's really tricky to navigate to find those images with layers. Anyway, I picked two colors and explained that it really would work, starting with Plum Paisley and topping with Romantique.

It is a little subdued as compared to my usual colors, but I like it. There were many compliments and a few questions about what color it was. The one picture is from my drive to the salon. My nails are far longer than they usually are here, and I had them cut back to the sportier length I prefer.

I've said it before, the Gelish colors seem to wear on my nails the best, getting to three weeks between visits without a single nail peeling. It seems that this is the case for nearly all of Mandi's clients, so she is working on building her Gelish color selection. I loved this Sea Glass, especially with the layer of glitter.

This is Gelish My Favorite Accessory, also with a nice dusting of glitter.

I want to say this is Gelish Hello, Merlot, but I need to double check this. It may be Shellac, but I can't remember using Shellac in the recent past, except for the one layering visit.

Let's just say it is nice to have a steady paycheck and visits to my nail tech!

Wednesday, September 03, 2014


At my job, there are two of us working with our client university. That university, rather than use our very nice, in house recording studio, opts to tape lectures on site. While there are two of us, that means we swap off months in which we head to the northeast.

My coworker, a former classmate and friend, is scheduled to travel next week, as I went last month. In planning this trip, one of his questions was "Will the leaves be turning yet?" Normally, this early, not really. Last week, we started working with our next round of instructors and set two weeks of taping, one in mid-October, and one in November. The October one probably will be just past peak color, so I offered for my coworker to go. He moved to Florida as a teen, and it had been years since he'd seen fall foliage in all its glory.

This gives me the November sessions. It wasn't until I agreed to it that I realized, hey-I'm heading out of town for Election Day. For the second time in my life, I will be getting an absentee ballot.

The first? We were in the midst of moving into our new home in Maryland when the deadline to change our address passed. I worked in Tyson's Corner, Virginia, now lived in Frederick, and was still registered in a DC suburb. Heck yeah, I took the absentee to avoid the beltway traffic to get to the polls.

It will be kind of strange to not watch my local election returns, though!

Sunday, August 17, 2014

The Different Path

My Facebook feed is full of pictures of freshmen arriving at college. I never realized how many people I know with kids the same age as GameTeen. This week, it is apparent that I know about two dozen friends and former classmates with 18 year olds of their own.

Meanwhile, tomorrow, mine starts 10th grade. Mainly because when we enrolled him back in public school last year, we placed him in 9th grade to catch up on the academics that weren't a focus at his private school. Still, he matured while there, so it isn't a total waste of three years.

It's kind of surreal, to observe this juncture and realize that this is where life is definitely different for our family. GameTeen might go to college someday, but the reality is that he will do so close to home if it happens. He has the intelligence to do it, but none of the other skills. Maybe he'll gain those in the next three years, but I'm not betting on it.