Sunday, October 21, 2007

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

My work week began with the realization that some of our current week's crop of cabin leaders are a bit ineffectual. The sixth grade campers, despite the fact (or maybe because of it) that they're all from catholic schools, wasted no time in taking advantage of their leaders' meekness. I think we have things whipped into shape now though. That said, there also had been some vomiting. Last night, at 1 in the damn morning, I found myself washing bedclothes and bleaching a mattress. At least tonight's puker made it to the bathroom.

Willow was a little bit under the weather on Monday, and now Nate shows signs of having a cold.

Way back on Sunday, I took Willow up to the city to see Om play at Amoeba Records. I had mentioned to her that Al (from Om) had helped us move to our current abode almost six years ago (damn, has it been that long?). This information, despite the fact that the moving had transpired before she was born, made Willow really excited. She was dubious about the actual music at first because, despite that fact that I put earplugs in her ears, it was loud - even though we were at the very far end of an immense store. By the end though, we had inched our way forward and she was nodding her head in time to the music. Afterwards, she got to meet Al, which she thought was really cool.

Okay, since I'm at work right now, maybe I'd better go chase some Raccoons or something.

Friday, October 12, 2007

The coyote came back last night. After the kids had all been sent to bed, one of the cabin leaders came to the camp office and informed me that some boys needed to use the bathroom but were afraid to leave their cabin because a coyote was standing outside. I went over and saw it step out of a pool of light near the hillside amphitheater, and vanish down the hill. One of the teachers went with me as we tried to spot it again, but we didn't find it.

The funny thing about this is that camp code for going pee is "chasing a coyote." So, if you think about it, the boys couldn't chase a coyote because they were afraid that a coyote would chase them.

I thought it was funny anyway.

It rained again overnight too. Nothing like the storm a couple of days ago though.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

I saw a coyote out on the field this morning. I heard it before I saw it though, yapping and yipping at something unseen, or maybe just for the sake of doing it. Some of the campers, just waking up and on their way to brush their teeth, stopped and watched it with me for awhile. Eventually, it wandered off into the forest. Fifteen minutes later, it was replaced by a Cooper's hawk. It's a busy field out there in the morning.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Well, it certainly rained last night. After eleven, the wind picked up even more and the rain started. At a few minutes to midnight, the power flickered off and on. A couple of minutes later, the power went out and stayed out until 4 AM. I turned on a flashlight in the camp office to act as a beacon in case any campers woke up, and sat there in the semi-darkness wondering why the back-up generator hadn't kicked in. Later, one of the teachers came in to let me know that the alarm system (which is located in the teachers' room) was beeping. I want in and soon figured out that the beeping stopped if the "alarm silence" button is pushed. Then I got some intermittent sleep, waking up when the power went back on.

In the morning, while talking to our facilities manager, I found out that a malfunction in the alarm system had registered as a "pull" down at the fire station. The fire engines were already on their way up the hill to our site when a call to our facilities manager let them know that it was a malfunction. In other words, my night was almost more interesting than it was.

I finished more homework today. Sophie is currently plowing through a weeks worth of homework in one go. She's starting to lose focus though... Rick has six pennies. He gets 3 more. How many pennies are there in all? I think I'd lose focus too.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Alex turned 11 today. He got a camcorder. We ate cake. Jen took him out for dinner while the rest of us stayed home. It's not often that anybody in this house gets the one-on-one experience. I think everybody would be less grouchy if it happened more often. It is quite hard to schedule such things though.

I'm at work right now. I just did some online work for my class, to the soundtrack of the wind gusting through camp, taking leaves and anything else not nailed down with it. I love this weather. There's even a promise of rain in the forecast. I'll believe it when I see it though.

I think I'll go read awhile. I connected with a homesick kid earlier tonight - he's reading Pullman's The Amber Spyglass at the moment. It's good to be able to discuss literature with fifth graders. We're both looking forward to seeing The Golden Compass (the first part of the trilogy) when it comes out in December.

I hear large things being blown across camp now. I'd better go nail them down.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Three mornings a week, when all four kids are in school, I get a couple of hours by myself. These days, I usually use this time to catch up on much-needed sleep. Today, I'm fashioning yet another "to do" list and listening to music (without anybody yelling at me to turn it down). We spent yesterday over the hill at G's place in the woods. The kids outnumbered the adults 2 to 1, but were generally well-behaved. I say "generally" because Sophie proved to be the exception to that particular rule, but perfection, as always, is an unattainable goal. Of particular interest to the kids was the zip-line. Even Willow managed to hang on as she went zipping down the hill. The Amazing Flying Four-Year-Old. It was good to get away for awhile.

I took another Thursday night off this week; this time to go see Finntroll at Slim's, in San Francisco. This marks the second Thursday in a row for live, Finnish entertainment. Finntroll manage to mix Finnish polka rhythms with death metal, which to most people reading this probably sounds quite unappealing. I had a blast though. Also, I think it's the first time I've heard a band advocate the eating of Christians. Those Scandinavian heathens - what will they think of next? This was the first heavy metal show I've attended in a long time - the last one being Celtic Frost a year or so ago. I definitely still appreciate the energy. Anything that makes an almost-forty-year-old feel like a kid again is a good thing. I even contemplated going into the pit (despite the "no moshing" sign, there were lots of people flying around). I nixed the idea after realizing that I was too encumbered by 21st century gadgetry - cell phone, I-pod, digital camera, etc. Sometimes I long for the primitive days of the 80s and 90s when all I had in my pockets were my wallet and keys. Sometimes. As it was, I placed myself right next to the pit because that's where the best air circulation is. Of course, you've got to keep your arms up to deflect people back into the melee. Greg showed up about half way through, and due to my thermos of coffee, I was able to give him a ride home (actually, I dropped him off at a coffee shop). Without coffee, I find myself just a bit too tired to do much these days.

But now it's Monday. I've got photos to post, but at the moment no way to post them. Our main computer has taken a turn for the worse. Now it won't shut down, and the monitor only displays the little mouse arrow. Not sure what to do about that. Curse my luddite tendencies! Life goes on though. Dishes need cleaning. Laundry needs doing. Class assignments need attention. I've now got less than a month before I take the CSET. Better get moving here.

Currently listening to: Sunburned Circle "The Blaze Game" (on the main stereo too, since the kids are all sitting in little desks in classrooms.

Monday, October 01, 2007

So, in addition to my car not working, our computer has decided not to let us go online. It's a good thing that Jen has two laptops. She's been using her work laptop and leaving her other one at home for me to use. I've been using it mostly to do assignments for school - answering random questions for my CSET preparation class and doing online assignments for my teaching credential class.
The computer problem is also why I haven't uploaded any new photos lately. Of course, working nights doesn't give me as much opportunity to take photos either, so it's really two factors involved in my Flickr page stagnating. Sorry.

In addition to work and school, I did manage to get out and see Circle at the Bottom of the Hill in San Francisco on Thursday night. The opening bands were pretty good, especially Triclops!, who were refreshingly manic. Circle, of course, topped them both with the most varied set I've yet seen them do. They did everything from prog rock and tongue-in-cheek heavy metal to punk, with a silly wresting moment thrown in for good measure. It's good to see such an excellent band with a bizarre sense of humor. I feel like I got the best of both worlds.

Then, on Saturday, I went to my first actual class down in Monterey. I had to get up at 5:30 in the morning, which wasn't fun, but once I got there I was feeling a bit better. We spent the day learning about how to teach students to read.

And finally, yesterday, Willow and I went to the open house at my work. Kids who will be coming up to science camp (and a few who've already been) showed up with their parents for some welcoming fun and festivities. I led a hike, since I don't really get much chance to do that for the time being.

Speaking of Willow, I've got to go pick her up from school now. Bye.