Thursday, December 24, 2009

The Christmas Tradition

In the Solomon household, we have, like many other families, our own holiday traditions that we must keep, because it's The Law. Such traditions include running around like maniacs on Christmas Eve (although I personally tend not to do that - that's what Amazon is for, darnit - the exception being that I decided to bake oatmeal cream cheese butterscotch bars, so I needed to run to the grocery store today for a few items); wrapping presents; doing the last minute baking or decorating of baked goods (frosting the cookies; making marzipan for the fruitcake); going to Midnight Mass. (A number of years ago, the first year I moved out of my parents', I was living in downtown Allentown, where my parish was the seat of the diocese, so Mom, Oma, and I went; the bishop was the main celebrant. This was a glorious Mass; all the stops had been pulled out.)

Most importantly, it's time for decorating the tree (generally after dinner) while listening to Johnny Mathis. Apparently soon after they got married, my father introduced my mother to the requirement of listening to Johnny. Mom, of course, threw up her hands in despair but couldn't talk to Dad out of it, so the tradition has stuck for the duration of their marriage (40 years this year). Justin and I used to groan each year, of course - was Johnny Mathis ever cool? - but now it's part of the tradition; Justin especially has grokked on this and has been known to insist on said music even when Dad expressed ambivalence.

The only thing that disappointed me during my visit to Salt Lake last week was that I didn't have any Johnny Mathis in my iTunes collection, the result of which being I couldn't indoctrinate Ed; the poor guy doesn't know what he's signed up for. Today I found two of Johnny Mathis Christmas collections and imported them into iTunes, so next year I'll be better prepared.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Utah Trip Highlights

I've spent the past week in Salt Lake City; tomorrow I'm heading back to Allentown. It's been a really good week; I'm surprised how much I liked it here. Everyone is insanely friendly, like while I was stopped at a corner, waiting to cross the street, a random woman in a car going around a corner looked out at me, smiled, and waved. I took pictures. (Not of the friendly people.)

  • Saturday: Ed surprised me with a Christmas tree, already set up at home, so we acquired some ornaments, put on music, and decorated the tree. 
  • Monday: lunch at the Lion House Pantry; Black Holes at Clark Planetarium; Christmas lights in Temple Square. I got a bit sappy, but it was just so pretty, one of the best Christmas displays I've ever seen.
  • Tuesday: I got to sit in a cockpit of a CRJ200. This was extremely cool, getting to see and touch a whole bunch of controls up close. I let Ed to the talking and otherwise shut up, smiled, and tried to look professional so I'd look normal. Yay for escort privileges into otherwise restricted areas. (Also! I got to sit in the captain's side! Yes, I'm dweebing out. Deal with it.)
  • Also Tuesday: a really nice dinner at Log Haven. We drove through the mountains to get to the place, and the further up we drove, the more snow appeared; the trees looked very lacey, the higher up we drove. Walking through the parking lot was a bit tenuous (huzzah for snow at high altitude), but dinner was amazing, and the surroundings were quiet and peaceful and beautiful.
  • Wednesday: Antelope Island State Park. Got started a bit later than originally planned, but it was beautiful out. We practically had the place to ourselves, so we tromped around and attempted to find the alleged buffalo. (We finally saw one in the distance.) I've never heard such absolute silence before. 
  • Thursday: Watched a Mormon Tabernacle Choir rehearsal, which they apparently open up to the public regularly. We heard "Carol of the Bells" and "Hallelujah Chorus" (which was amazing to hear live), and a few other pieces.
  • Friday: an organ concert, given by organist Bonnie Goodliffe, at the Conference Center. This is one impressive organ, by the way. 

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Fun With Work

It's been a really long time between updates, which is not always a bad thing (and sometimes it's necessary if nothing much has been happening), but I've been a busy girl lately.

Work at the daycare is (I think) going well. It's a very physical job, but I've finally begun finding my metaphorical groove; I'm more comfortable with the kids, they're more comfortable with me, we're getting to know each other, etc. I'm especially close to a very sensitive four-year-old, M., who can manage to push all my buttons pretty easily, although I have to pretend otherwise if it's a matter of discipline. He wants me to sit with him constantly; wants me to pick him up; wants to sit in my lap; wants to cuddle. I am more highly bothered when I see him cry, although I've made him cry a few times by disciplining him, but more than any of the other children he seems to need my approval, so I'm trying to be careful. One of my co-workers remarked, "He's really taken to you, like white on rice."

A few weeks ago, I applied for a part-time adjunct position at LCCC. About two weeks ago I was called in for an interview; about a week and a half ago I had the interview, and the very next morning I was offered a job of teaching two classes: ENG 100 (Fundamentals of Writing) and ENG 105 (College English I).

I'm now in a position, though, of deciding if it's possible to work both at the daycare and at LCCC. I suspect not: The classes that were offered would require me to leave the daycare about an hour early twice a week, and it doesn't seem too possible to find coverage for that remaining hour and 15 minutes; working part time doesn't appear to be a viable option, either. Teaching two classes at LCCC pays more than full time work at the daycare, plus there's an extremely good chance I'll be working back in their writing center, either as a tutor, or assisting them in growing their writing center. I need to give the daycare three weeks' notice, so I'll have to make a decision imminently.