Monday, October 22, 2007

Nerf Gun Party!! For Aidan's 8th bday party it was all about boys running and shooting. What more can a boy want?! Aidan and I were floundering for party ideas so we turned to Pete who didn't hesitate at all and promptly offered up his take on every 8yr olds dream party. All attendees would be presented with Nerf Guns and the party would be spent using them for various games. They started off with target shooting from progressively further away. They moved on to a game that involved a few unarmed contestants trying to snatch a couple of flags before being shot. I think there was a who can shoot highest and farthest game. They finished with a capture the flag game. Poor kids had to put their guns down and play that one as tag. The kids had a great time and sure did a lot of running around. Not only was Pete a great master of ceremonies, he even made the cupcakes with the kids the day before. I organized some snacks, procured the weaponry, sent out the evites, and made the frosting. The kids decorated the cupcakes. This was the easiest party yet. Aidan had 8 of his buddies (all boys of course). He had a hard time waiting for the party to come. He was showered with cool gifts and has spent all his free time since putting together legos and playing with the other toys. He has been kind enough to share many of his gifts with his brother. Tomorrow is his "real" birthday. It can't come soon enough for him - there is that stack of presents from family still to open!! I also need to try to locate a restaurant that serves his favorite "calimari" - or failing that we'll head to Park Chow - a favorite.

Monday, October 01, 2007

The power of the few. Or maybe the power of the peon. Anyway - power to me! Last year I decided that I would join our school's Safety Committee. Mostly because I think pedestrian safety just outside school is a bit lacking. We have a nice overpass near school - but it is down the hill. Across the street to the uphill side of school there isn't even a sidewalk. So people jaywalk. But this is one of the few stretches of uninterrupted street in the city - a whole fast curvy, hilly, and often foggy mile. I decided to pursue trying to get something done about it. I downloaded a bunch of addresses off the city website, wrote a letter, and mailed it off to 20 or 30 people. Interestingly we never heard a peep back from the school district folks. Our district supervisor on the other hand has been GREAT (note to self - send him nice thank you card!). Wish he was my district super but my district stops just short of the school - or he would totally have my vote. Anyway, he put some pressure on the Department of Public Transportation (DPT) and we just learned that in the Mayor's Budget there is a line (or a few lines) for us - including new sidewalk across the street, a cross walk, and some traffic slowing techniques. Yippee! Of course it may still take years to actually get anything and the budget could be revised - but everyone told me that there would be no hope of getting anything real done. We also have a super principal at the school that has worked hard to follow up with DPT and he coordinates with the police to get someone out writing tickets to speeders periodically (which seems to slow traffic down enormously). I was tickled pink as they say when I heard from the nice DPT woman that we actually might have something in the works. It seems like they have already done some preliminary work on it. Apparently they never have projects specifically earmarked in the budget but instead have a general funding amount that projects have to duke it out for. We're still going after a state grant to help fund the project altho I don't think we

actually NEED such a thing. Yippee!