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PHOTO, KIDS (permalink) 02.19.2016
the kids are alright
in case you were worrying for alex based on his sour demeanor in yesterday's family gallery entry, worry not. our aleo is fine and well. he was just mean-mugging the camera before his first day of middle school. in evidence.

anfer is also fine and well.

PHOTO (permalink) 02.17.2016
a new GALLERY IMAGE was posted today.


PHOTO (permalink) 02.16.2016
the 2016 everyman is underway

KIDS (permalink) 02.15.2016
bella's school held its second dance of the year and instead of engaging in that awkward, premature pairing off, bella and a group of six friends went as a collective. before hand they all got gussied up and went to a group diner at a local pizza place. at school they discussed their plans to marty. she suggested they make a reservation given the weekend night and they might not be the only students from the school with the particular place in mind. they agreed that that was a great idea and looked the phone number up immediately (on one of their phones). then just before dialing, one of them asked, what do you say when you want to make a reservation. i am forever intrigued by watching people feel their way through what, to us old folks, are elementary tasks we routinely and effortlessly perform, i love the innocence of it. and i'm not saying i didn't fumble my way through many a life lesson because i did. you just forget about them in time and having kids lets you walk those steps again. and that is what marty did here, walked them through the act and language. then the boy called and got hit with a "oh, sorry we don't take reservations" which then exposes these elementary tasks as not so basic after all.

after getting that sorted out they started asking how much money they each should bring. when you're talking about young people who don't work yet, it's hard to casually tell them to just bring 20-30 dollars as not everyone has open access to money whenever they want. and, the last thing you want is six to eight fourteen year olds sitting at a table on a restaurants busiest night without enough money to cover a check let alone tip. marty and i talked this predicament over and she came up with the idea of stealthily covering the meal for the kids so that when they went to settle the bill, the waitress got to say, this has already been taken care of. marty managed to pull this off but when the waitress passed on the news, the kids with their small fistfuls of proudly acquired fives and tens, were not elated but instead a little dismayed. it turns out they were very excited to be covering their largish restaurant bill, their first largish restaurant bill, on their own. what is it they say about best laid plans?

but, here is where things take a turn and why marty and i really like this particular set of friends bella has recently started running with. after the waitress delivered the news and walked off, instead of stewing on the disappointment and letting it sour their night in any way, one of them said, "well, we can't buy OUR meal but that doesn't mean we can't buy A meal." so they looked around the busy restaurant and picked out a table they would buy a meal for. in the end they selected a woman eating alone with her two young children. when they waitress came back they pointed her out and said they wanted to buy her dinner but that the waitress/hosttess wasn't to tell the woman who did it.

and that is what they did. i won't get into how i would have reacted in a like situation but i can promise you that a fourteen year old troy would not have been buying some stranger dinner with what would have been perfectly good-arcade money.

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