Month: January 2006

  • Don is going to stay behind to take Dmitry to school, while I'm going
    to try to be at the MEPS office in Dallas about 8 a.m.  He'll
    follow, trying to be there by 9.

    Aaron has already called to arrange to collect the computer.

    And so the waters gently close over Charles' head, and he hasn't even left the Metroplex yet. 

  • I took Charles to the recruiting office a little bit ago, and met his recruiter.  A nice man.  He'd met Alex this morning up at Heights, for he attended the brass quintet's performance this morning for the music department and Navy ROTC.  The recruiter was then driving Charles to the hotel (which name I forgot to get, and Charles hasn't his cell phone, I don't suppose....dang!), planning to arrive about 3:00 p.m., so presumably they're almost there.

    [worriedly]  Don and I are hoping to be present for Charles' swearing-in tomorrow morning, but it might occur too early for us to make it.  To be really safe, we should be there by 8 a.m., but that's when Dmitry needs to be at school, and the MEPS office is in Dallas, plus that's rush hour.  Soonest we can probably be there is about 9 a.m.  Most likely 8 a.m. is the earliest the swearing-in would take place; ISTM when it was Alex it was usually closer to 9.  We'll see!  Charles is to call if we miss it.

    I tried hard to snag a photo of him entering the recruiting office, but the stinker was too quick for me; all I could manage was the back of the recruiter:

    Looks like this is actually happening.  He gave me his set of keys, told me Aaron would probably be by for his computer, left his debit card, etc. 

  • This evening we had the family over for a "Hail and Farewell" party for Charles; I made a gluten-free brownie trifle (thanks for the brownies, Elaine!) and a lemon meringue pie for it.  The trifle turned out pretty well, I believe, but the pie was a bit runny.  Tasted alright, though.  Dmitry took stock of the increasing crowd and skedaddled for the solitude of his room, the turkey.

    I love this photo of Charles trying to fix one of the toys, and Brianna running like the wind on the left.  And here's one of the almost-recruit with his youngest nephew, Bryson, and his grandfather:

    And to make the party even better, Alex and the gang showed up! 

    As you can see, they settled right in; here's Tammy chatting with Kirstin:

    Aunt Jeanne greeting Alex:

    John, the trombonist, wound up being a hit with the small fry; here's Benjamin whispering to him....

    And Margaret insisted he give her a flip:

    One last shot of Charles with his Aunt Jeanne:

    It was a heck of a party, believe me when I tell you this.  ;^)

  • Speaking of chicken and dumplings, I put the link to the recipe over in the Cookbook section on the left, along with another chicken recipe, this time with black beans and rice.

  • This evening Don and I drove over to Arlington to take in the Navy Mid-South Brass Quintet's performance.  It didn't attract a lot of people, but there were some, and the ones who were fortunate enough to be in attendance enjoyed a crackerjack show:

    It was a terrific program, featuring everything from "Tonight" from West Side Story, to a Duke Ellington piece, to a marvelous piece entitled "Exaltation," composed by a man about Kirstin's age, with whom Justin (the male trumpet player) used to play.  Mostly it would be Justin or Alex who interacted with the audience between numbers:

    After the concert - or recital - attendees came to the stage to chat with the musicians:

    The Navy Mid-South Brass Quintet:

    From left to right are:  Laura (who is the unit leader, deciding upon the repetoire, etc.), Justin, Alex, Tammy, and John.  They are each of them remarkably gifted musicians, and simply super people....Alex's lines have indeed fallen in pleasant places.

    Or as he put it, "I can't believe I'm getting paid for this!"

    Earlier in the afternoon Alex and Justin came by to visit and check email, having gone to The Original Mexican place and stuffed themselves with fajitas, and slurped a 'rita or two.  Believe it or not, they'd eaten to the point they both turned down freshly baked thumbprint cookies, which I'd baked because of  Charles' leaving'll be awhile before he gets them again.

    Charles came home while the guys were here, and had more Boot Camp Wisdom provided for his edification.  His edification, and Alex and Justin's amusement, each coming up with warnings for him regarding the injections he'll receive, how he'll be hauled out of bed at a hideously early hour and the difficulty of making a perfect mitred corner, how he should drink only water and eat lots of fruit, avoiding sugary stuff and soda, etc.

    Charles appeared undaunted, but by the time they were finished I was utterly appalled ("In firearms class, whatever you do, do NOT point the barrel of the gun to the left or right....they'll shoot you!").

    Oh dear, oh dear.  How I wish his boot camp were over

  • What an evening!  Don had been running a bit of a fever and coughing yesterday, and a couple of the grandkids have been under the weather, so we decided to push Charles' Hail and Farewell party from tonight to Tuesday evening.  Instead we invited the Navy Mid-South brass quintette in which Alex plays to come for dinner, since they drove in today from Tennessee, as they're playing this week at various high schools and universities.

    Big ol' mess of chicken and dumplings, fresh green beans with carmelized onions, and cherry pie disappeared like winking.    Plus, Charles received the benefit of much advice as to how to get along best in basic, which appeared to boil down to: Shut.  Up.  Do not come to their attention. Just do your business and stay low.

    Yeah.  Charles.  Shutting up, doing his job and not attracting attention.  Uh huh.

    Then they surprised us by unloading their instruments for an impromptu concert, right there in our living room! 

    Bet y'all have never had an official Navy brass quintette play a concert in your living room.

    It was fun!  Now, of course, the kitchen awaits. 

  • Having an old filling drilled out to be replaced by a crown is not my favorite way to start a day.  

    I hate going to the dentist.  Hate it!  I require a CD player, headphones, and nitrous oxide to get me through the ordeal.  Having had all those, I managed to make it through, but am now waiting for my durn mouth to quit being numb.  Ick!  I also can't stand that creepy-crawly feeling as the Novocaine wears off.

    Now I'm hungry, but daren't eat until my mouth has fully woken up again...tried eating with a numb mouth once - many, many years ago - and still recall the chewed up inside of my mouth I had to suffer through as a consequence. 

    Teeth!  Bah.  Humbug. 

  • Well, finally....!  This morning's e-mail brought a lovely, long message from Svetlana!  

    It's been ages since we've heard from her, outside of a Christmas e-card back in December.

    The first week of December I sent her a (I thought) beautiful, dressy black skirt and blouse, along with black stockings, so she'd have a nice outfit for the New Year, which is Russia's big holiday.  It arrived on January 9th.    Took over a month to get there! 

    She bewailed the tardiness of the mail system, but said it fits perfectly and makes her look "womanly", as the online translator put it.  Said her friends at the hostel at which she lives couldn't believe it was her when she put it on, and they took her picture so she can send it to us.  Now if only she had an occasion to wear it!

    Today she's taken a bus for Cheboksary to visit; it's been hideously cold (I mentioned that earlier), so everyone's been hunkering down and not going outside more'n strictly necessary.  She received four 5's (A's) and one 4 this past semester, so her monthly grant will be reduced.  :^(  On the bright side, she now is the proud owner of a secondhand computer, so we hope emails will be more frequent.

    The morning email also brought an ecard from Dmitry's friend, Elena, in Michigan.  She's making mostly A's and B's with one C....she finds chemistry hard.

    Chemistry?!?  We're trying to get Dmitry to really grasp pre-algebra and Elena's studying chemistry

    Yesterday was Dmitry's first day of tutoring in math, meaning he stays at school until 5 p.m.  He was not enthusiastic about the experience, feeling from 8 a.m. till 5 p.m. is too darn long a school day.

  • Sometimes people are so flippin' stupid they make me
    blink.  I daresay by now everyone's familiar with the French woman
    who was mauled by her dog so badly she received the world's first face

    Worked great, apparently!  She looks normal again.

    So she's taken her brand new lips and resumed smoking, which is,
    according to the lead surgeon who performed the groundbreaking
    transplant, "...a problem."  It impairs circulation in the tissues
    and raises the risk of rejection, an episode of which she suffered just
    last month. 

    Let's see here.  She owned a dog that literally ripped her face off, and she's taken up smoking again.

    Not the brightest bulb in the pack, is she?