Saturday, March 27, 2010

Geoff Goes Greener

I am not sure why this has not had an official announcement... maybe I was waiting for the naming ceremony, or a Green Party, like the Orange Party we had for the Chica Roja... tangent... Remind me to tell you about the Orange Party we had for the orange Kabota tractor we named "Chica Roja." There was a band.

Where was I?
The announcement.
I'm good.

Ta-duuhh! Tah-dah! Tuh-Duh!
Oh never mind.

Here it is!! Geoff's Green and Greener Ride.
Yes, after three years of commuting to work in the Green Goose... tangents galore! Remind me to tell you about the Green Goose, our motor home, bought ten years ago when we were seven people living in 1400 square feet, and we were in immediate need of a room addition. It's like a family member.

Where was I?
The announcement.
I'm good.

Ta-duuhh! Tah-dah! Tuh-Duh!
Oh never mind.

Geoff has been shopping. Diligently, patiently waiting for the car. Something smaller than 26'. Something to remind him of his first love. Ahem. The '66 Chevy Impala SS convertible. Remind me... never mind. So, seriously, he was very careful in his research, and very patient about the wait for the ideal gently used, super fly, ride. He lived for three years with the voice of his first real love saying things like:

Why don't you just get a mini-van?
Are convertibles safe?
Will you fit in a Mini?
Just do it already.
How about you take the Odyssey, and I'll get a pick-up?
Are convertibles safe?
For the love of sanity, please buy yourself a car.
Call James, and get a cop car. Do it.
No. No, you cannot buy a motorcycle. Why? Because I said so. (Just kidding. I used reason to squash his dream.)

The Green Goose, in case you are wondering, gets better mileage than a Hummer, but slightly worse than a motorcycle, but the big advantage is that it doubles as a programmer's week-day apartment. And if you know anything about the work hours of a game programmer, then you know they need a week-day place to "live." God blessed us with the Green Goose, and we mean no disrespect, by bringing in the Mini-Goose.

So, it finally came together... sound mechanics, clean enough interior, only slightly abused body, excellent color, fair price, convertible Mini-Cooper with a thing in the dash that tells time.

Cute, huh?

Yeah, Maria loves it. Love-love, loves her daddy's sweet ride. It's pretty much a babe magnet.

I've driven it around too. It's fun. It's small. People talk to me when they see me get in or out of this car. What is up with that?
Have you seen my car?
The Honda Odyssey, aka Jet Puff Super Fly Reliable Ride is an awesome vehicle,
and if people had more sense they would be my BFFs seeing me around town.
Never mind.

I love Geoff. I love that he has his car, the one he wanted. I love that Maria wants to ride with her daddy. I love that while he's been home, he has taken shifts on the magic-Mini-school bus. I love that he reminds me that, "It's your car too," and he made me my very own fancy Mini key to prove it.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Big News Day

A picture is worth a thousand words... here are at least thirty-four thousand words for 2102 Team Paradox, San Dieguito Academy, and NBC News in the Morning.

Go Robotics!



































Thank you Spencer and Nicole!!!
Thank you NBC!!! Thank you FIRST!!!
Thank you Team San Diego!!! Thank you SDA!!!
Thank you teachers, parents, and mentors!!!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

We Keep Springing Forward

These are the kind of posts I enjoy stumbling across... some day in the future, I will see this and recall all kinds of things, big and small, and I will enjoy remembering them. I may wish I could go back, or I may be grateful just to have survived. In the midst of our busy days, errands, challenges, and successes... there are moments, there are ideas, feelings, and milestones that are worth noting, worth a pause.

We are doing too much, as the saying goes, but sometimes "too much" is too good to pass up, so forward we go. Pushing to get to FRC Las Vegas, and juggling to be in Atlanta too. My friend Karen was right when she said, We can do this, but it won't be pretty. I think on her wisdom and humor when I look around my home, wondering if we will ever finish moving in, if we will ever achieve the comfy-settled look of an organized and tidy home.


But only a small sigh, and not a desperate or grieving sigh. I actually feel energized and motivated by our goals and plans, the goals and plans of 2102, Robotics. The disappointment about delayed domestic settling and chick postponement is fairly fleeting. The inspiration and success of the Team is invigorating, and feels more meaningful to me than finding our Easter wreath, or pruning hedges.

So, what have we been up to? Well, we enjoyed the opportunity to give family a metal-shop and robotics tour and introduction. Alright, so it's not the typical way for families to finally make the time to hang out, but I think they had a pretty good time. Alex got a chance to share his knowledge of the robot controls, the new tower, and mecanum wheels. The team got a chance to meet Spencer, and to figure out that when they are featured on the morning news, it will be like sharing cool stuff with a friend, so no worries. I was kind of imagining Jacob, Jesse, and Maria in ten years... design, build, and marketing... 2102 Team Paradox in the year 2020.

Maria thinks she is part of the team already. And fortunately, they do find ways for her to participate, to be a Paradox. Her parrot-ox dress is ready to go to Vegas.

Her hat and apron are ready too. In San Diego she passed out about eight hundred chocolate Paradox eggs in the arena... something we call Paradox Gracious Chocolatism. She is ready and stocked to show her spirit in Vegas and Atlanta.

While Maria, Max, and Alex break down the Cupid Shuffle, I've been doing some sewing for the marketing team. My blanket stitch is getting good. And plushy parrot-ox parts are definitely part of our domestic landscape. These handmade plushies are for alliance building, and diplomacy, fundraising and team creative expression, and they are hugely popular at FRC.

Speaking of creative expression I finally unpacked a gingerbread house kit. One of the few I bought for Christmas. The ones I left in the garage, when I realized and accepted that we were never going to get around to decorating gingerbread houses for Christmas. Why not Spring, and Easter? Right? Shade the frosting pink, and sky blue, find pink sugar sprinkles and egg shaped confections, and voila! A spring cottage. Maria and William supervised me and the glue gun, and once it was assembled, they set forth with decor.

It turned in to a hectic night... Geoff trying to make Alex and Max's room in to a bedroom, Alex doing homework, Max industriously turning paper and tape in to the Grand Canyon for his Arizona state report, and me trying to be a marketing mentor-blogger-domestic queen of all... Someone should have stopped us, or intervened, or something... but Easter Gingerbread, markers, paint, laundry, bills, computer files, bed frames, vacuums, and other domestic perils happen. It's messy. It's not pretty, and yet somehow it's good. huh... It's a Paradox, really. Lots of chaos-mess-stress = good memories-humor-springing forward.

Now, don't get the wrong idea about my resilience and good humor. In the middle of the hectic-chaos-mess-stress, I was probably the messiest-stress mess of all. I don't recall dropping any f-bombs, but I am glad I was not standing near an open mic, or in the presence of rolling cameras. I do look forward to a long break, to robotic-homework liberty, to really and truly being moved in, to family time spent in the same room and time zone.

And in the meantime, thank goodness for family that willingly agrees to a get together in a greasy metal shop. And thank goodness for generous friends who make the time to bake amazing snicker-doodles and puckery sweet lemon bars, then wrap them in a dear kitty box, and send them to our home. Funny, Geoff thought the kitties were named SnickerDoodle and Lemon Square. This was one delicious moment, I will never forget... thoughtful and refreshing, giving me the steam to keep springing forward. Special thanks to Minou, Sam, and Em... those sweet, furry snicker-doodles.