Iron Chef Nights

Several years ago when Chris and I worked at the Delphian School, we hosted Tuesday night dinners with the other you staff. There was a group of us that would have dinner each Tuesday and trade off cooking. It was a lot of fun. But then we moved farther away and some of the other people moved to New Hampshire and it just fell apart.

But a few months back Chris had the idea to start a similar thing up again, but instead of just trading off the cooking, it would be potluck style with a theme (like the show Iron Chef on the Food Network). So she emailed around and got a bunch of people intested.

We’ve had two of these now (one of which doubled as my birthday party), and they are a blast. People come with all sorts of food and everyone gets together at one of our places and eats and talks and has a good time.  And since a lot of us are a bit older and have little children, even they get to come and share in the fun.

I’m looking forward to the next one. I think the theme is apples and it should be good!

Gas Prices

I think it’s funny (though not really) that we now view gas prices around $3.25 as low. What a joke! It’s definitely lower that the $4 we were approaching/hit, but it’s still ridiculously high. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that gas is quick to follow the increase in the price of barrels of oil, but quite slow to follow the deline. I’d love to get a copy of the plans and programs that some of these high oil executives are operating on. I think they’d make interesting reading. Almost as interesting as those behind the banking/money industries!

Dealing with Daphne

I don’t know if this is true for all kids, but I remember Brett going through this phase and Daphne is definitely going through it. It’s the phase of “deal making”. She understands well enough now that we can really talk with her. So now when we want her to do things we can tell her and she will usually do them as he’s very into trying to “he[l]p”. But there are sometimes when we really need to make sure she gets something, or it’s something we think it’s unlikely that she’ll just accept or do. On these occasions, we’ve started to explain things to her really well in succint steps and get her to agree to each step. It’s very cute.

Examples:

Mom/Dad: “We’re going to put your shoes on now, but you have to keep them on, ok?”

Daphne: “K”

M/D: “We will get food, but first we have to buckle the car seat, ok?”

Daphne: “K”

M/D: “I’m going to go to the bathroom and you need to stay here, ok?”

D: “K”

M/D: “And you can’t cry, ok?”

D: “K”

And she does a really good job of keeping her word. She tries really hard to do what she’s agree to do or not to do. It’s sooo cute to watch her try not to cry when she has agreed not to. She gets this HUGE bottom lip and holds it back as long as she can. It really makes you not want to go do what it was that you needed to leave to do.

Daphne’s Learning to Talk

Daphne’s really starting to learn to talk. Before it was a word here and a word there. But she’s picking up about a word (maybe more) per day. She’s starting to work on two-syllable words and joining them together to better get her point across. Sometimes I have a really hard time understanding her because I am trying to figure out what she is saying using on the words that I think she knows, but she is actually saying something totally different using words that I didn’t think she knew yet. It’s quite exciting and very cute.

Canceled Flights

I’m once again off to DC for work, but on the way this morning I got a call from the person that booked my ticket for me that the airline had changed my itinerary and I was going to spend the whole day and night in airports and airplanes and not get there until tomorrow morning. Needless to say this wasn’t workable either from a work standpoint or from the viewpoint of keeping my sanity.

So first off, I should say that this was with US Airways. And so far I have been quite unimpressed with them as an airline. They charge for everything. First checked bag: $15. Drinks on board (like water and soda): $2. Snacks on board: $5. It’s brutal. Instead of handling the tough times airlines are having by having good service and promotion, they just are opting to charge for everything.

So back to this morning. Here I am in the car already to go to the airport and I get this news. I was going to be early anyway so I just decided to handle it once I got there and I told myself to remember that it wasn’t the people at the desk in Portland that made this blunder so I shouldn’t take it out on them–though I was prepared to do so if things didn’t get sorted out.

But I got there, and the ladies were very nice. They ran through all sorts of scenarios to try to figure out how to get me there, including trying to book me a hotel (at the airline’s expense) in Baltimore so that I could fly to that airport. Finally we found a flight on American Airlines that I could get on that would get me in only two hours later than I was going to be, plus I didn’t have to fly on US Airways (saving the baggage fee and I should get some drinks in flight!).

So here I sit waiting for my flight having averted what could have been a very disastrous and upsetting day. And I wanted to point out that while I think US Airways as a whole is a crappy airline, the individual agents in Portland were very nice so it worked well to not lose the individuals within the conglomerated mass.