five things, april 25

1. I think the very first thing I have to do is thank you for all of the wonderful comments and questions you left on Cal's post yesterday. He can't wait to answer each one of them, but his mother made him because we got home late from a baseball game last night and there's homework yet to be done. We'll work on it over the weekend, so check back Monday to see his heartfelt thanks and answers to any questions you may have had.

2. I think one of the best things about my day yesterday was when my drive home from dropping Neel at work was slowed by a beautiful white duck who took his (her?) time crossing the road in front of me, changed his mind halfway across and waddled back again. I think it was ruined by the guy in the huge truck who couldn't wait 30 seconds and had to speed around to get past me and scared the duck. Thankfully he didn't hit it. What a jerk! Was it really necessary? We both got stopped at the same stop sign, so it wasn't like he got anywhere any faster than me. Jackwagon. To cheer myself up, I've watched this video over and over again.

3. I think yes. It was my birthday this week. Possibly one of the most unceremonious birthdays I've had in awhile. We spent the day in Richmond, so all eyes were on Callum, and that's okay.  Some years are like that, I guess.

4. I think was the one of the weirdest things to happen to us in awhile. We checked in late to our hotel Thursday night, and had a room high on the 8th floor with a view of the capitol. Neel left our keys with the valet for them to park the car. We'd been in the room awhile, all changed into jammies, when Cal called from the window, "Papa, can you come here real quick. Someone's in our car." So Neel pulled his pants on, shall we say, super quick, and bolted downstairs as fast as the super-slow elevators would take him. The clerk who checked us in was asleep at the desk. Cal and I watched the whole thing from our window. Neel stride across the street to the car, the guy in the car (it was the valet) jump out of his skin, Neel tear open the door and yell at the guy in the car. Those of you who have met Neel may have a difficult time imagining this. After Neel came back inside, he woke up the clerk at the desk, and uh, explained the situation to him.

We worked it all out the next morning (and didn't pay for parking, by the way), but: creepy, weird, and strange.

5. I think I can speak for both Christine and me that we're having such fun continuing on with #perception_collection. We're going to showcase some of your photos on Monday, and in the meantime, keep 'em coming! Every day you're inspiring me and pushing me. It's been great!

five things, april 18

1. I think I'm so thrilled that the day is finally here! Hooray for #perception_collection! I had such fun working out the details of this challenge with my friend Christine that I just know the next two weeks are going to be a total blast. I've actually been in a teeny Instagram funk this week, overworked and underpaid, I guess, and I know that this project is just what I need to get me going again. Your enthusiasm for it has inspired and delighted us and I can't wait to see what interpretations of the prompts you come up with. And Petra (and anyone else for that matter)... never fear! Instagram isn't the be-all-end-all. If any of these prompts inspire you, go for it. If you pop some #perception_collection inspired photos up on your blog, we'll be sure to share them too!

2. I think I was thrilled to have the opportunity to speak before the Chesapeake Bay Art Association this week. I mentioned in my Instagram (maybe it IS the be all end all?!) photo that I was stepping out of my comfort zone, but the truth is, I actually really enjoy public speaking. When it's on a topic I care about at least. Since they asked me to come and speak about blogging, well duh. I feel pretty strongly on the matter. It was wonderful to be in a room filled with great, creative minds, and they were an awesome, receptive audience. We may even be able to add some new bloggers to our ranks. Wouldn't that be terrific? I am all about people telling their stories. More! More!

3. I think that Cal wanted me to let you know that he'll have a blog post for you about his time in Richmond next week. And I still have his graduation post waiting in the wings. Re-entry is hard and middle school is harder. Baseball and homework before blogs, sadly, but with a four-day weekend looming, I plan on holding his nose to the grindstone. Mine too, I guess.

4. I think we're going low-key for Easter again this year. As usual. With no family in town, we're usually on our own for the holiday (that just means more ham, right?), and that will call for mostly food and quiet. We're meeting friends for Indian on Saturday, and I'd like to get a walk in on the beach, but other than that, I guess I'm good.

5. I think I'm baffled that my son is considering taking German over French in school next year. They had their language presentations on Wednesday, and he says that German is the front-runner. It's pretty funny. All the language departments do presentations showing how "cool" the program is and how fun it would be to take "their" language. German! White water rafting! Spanish! Argentinean zip lines! While there may have been information about the actual languages and what you learn in the presentations, that's not the takeaway of the two 14 year old boys I talked to. I think Cal's drawn to German for a couple of reasons. 1) A guy teaches it and 2) mostly girls seem interested in French. But never fear. I'm pulling in the big guns. I told Erin.