04 August 2011

Randomly Ruminating...

...my brain is full of non sequiturs.  Read on...

In the midst of registering my sweet little man for school this year, I got to cogitating.  A great education is completely unrelated to how much a school may (or may not) cost to attend.  Really good schools can cost a small fortune (McCallie & Girl's Preparatory in TN), or they can cost next to nothing (Great Hearts Academny in AZ).  I mention these schools because they are the ones I know, and their reputations are not earned by the $$ that goes into the school, but rather by the stellar graduates they produce - on a regular and consistent basis.  This is a great thing, because it means that a top notch education is available to anyone who has the wherewithal to seek it out and obtain it.

I have had a singularly frustrating week this week, and it has been largely due to the ineptitude of government.  It all started with needing to get licensed here in Arizona, and get our cars registered here.
  • Monday (Day 1) - Arrive at the DMV that really isn't the DMV because it is third-party outsourcing.  Can they register my vehicles?  No...systems are down statewide.  Went to Phil's office to print the sheef (reem?) of registration paperwork for Cody's school, filled it out & dropped it off, only to learn that I had forgotten one essential item - his birth certificate.  Aarrgghh!!
  • Tuesday (Day 2) - Took the birth certificate to school.  Hooray - officially registered now.  Arrive at the "not really the DMV" only to learn that I could still not register our vehicles.  This time because neither vehicle is in my name, and because I need to have emissions testing done on mine.  I don't suppose this information was available on Monday, right?  OK, what about getting my license?  Not there, but the licensing office is down the road, and I'm given a map...to the COMMERCIAL licensing office, which of course does not apply to me.  OK, where do I go?  Back in the direction I came from to the Motor Vehicle Division...oops, wrong again.  This is another third-party that only does tags & insurance...but hey, it's cleaner than the first one, and I'll go back to it when I have my documentation.  Cross the street to the DMV (finally) only to find it overflowing with people because of the system failure on Monday.  In an building with 133 maximum occupancy, they were at or exceeding those numbers.  It was packed, hot (because the a/c was fritzing), stinky (what do you expect?), dirty, and noisy.  I tried, but when I realized I LEFT MY LICENSE AT HOME, I gave up and left.  Aarrgghh...again!!  Too late to do emissions.  Went to Walmart to get Cody's school supplies, and two hours later (and some $$$ later) we got home...exhausted.  
  • Wednesday (Day 3) - Forgot to get Phil to sign the paperwork for the tags, and he's in downtown Phoenix all day at a job site.  My bad.  Got the emissions testing done, then off to TJ Maxx (my favorite store...yay!) to get drawer organizers for the gargantuan task of getting my kitchen organized.  <-- Progress, but this is going to take a while.
  • Thursday (Day 4) - SUCCESS...FINALLY!!  Not only did I get both of our vehicles registered (wow, was that expensive), but I also am officially licensed to drive in the state of Arizona.  While this is all good, it does highlight the complete inefficiency of government.  Why could not most of this be done online?  It was just paperwork and fees, for heaven's sake.  As a reward to my long suffering 6yo, who patiently accompanied me on all of these excursions, he is now happily playing in the Chick-fil-A playground while I'm taking advantage of their Wi-Fi and drinking a (well-deserved) Diet Dr. Pepper. :-)
In light of the above, I am even more thankful than I already was for the relaxing weekend we spent with our much-missed friends, the Kriegs.  What a fun time we had...celebrating sweet Cody's 6th (yes...6th) birthday with a yummy meal, a "made with love by Mandi" birthday cake complete with dinosaur decorations, and a birthday present worthy of the happiest of happy dances (Rex from Toy Story 3).  We also got to see the Detroit Zoo, which was a cool outing made even cooler by a fabulous dinosaur exhibit, had yummy Mexican food for dinner, and then watched Sherlock Holmes (a fantastic movie).  The kids & guys got to swim while we grown-up girls got pedicures & laughed riotously over yummy Pei Wei food.  An evening of pizza & kidlet movies (Mater's Tall Tales and Three Little Pigs & a Baby), then church the next morning that fed my soul with a good Sunday School lesson and great sermon.  We hauled a** to the airport (with a quick stop at Culver's for lunch), and made it through security with lots of time to spare.  Kudos to Mark for the outstanding driving.  We are so thankful for y'all, and can't wait to return the hospitality (we recommend a winter visit!).

So as I'm sitting here watching my kiddo play and letting my ice cream melt, I am thinking once again about last night's Skype call to my parents, and how surprised I was when Taylor came in to say hello because his voice is so much lower than it was the last time I saw him.  That is a rather sad testament to how long it has been.  At least a year and a half, maybe more...

It is HOT outside this week - fluctuating in the 108-116* range.  Ridiculously hot.

I am way behind in my reading for this year, making it very likely impossible to reach all of the goals (or complete all of the challenges) I set for myself.  My main reading goal is always 100 books, not counting any of the reading I do with or to Cody.  I'm about halfway.  The best I've done in the past 5 years is 84 books in a single year, and this is a paltry number compared to some readers I follow, who complete each year with 200-300 books under the belts.  I want to hit my target at least, and I'd like to do that every year.  There is still time to ramp up the effort, so I'm going to try.

I've gone up from a 1.25 magnification in my reading glasses to a 1.5 this year.  Aging sucks.

My interest has been piqued in kinesiology...specifically how it could benefit me with some of the health issues I have.  I've wondered...because when things seem to be long term or chronic, and medication seems to be a permanent fixture, it causes me to ponder if there are other (more effective) solutions.

Since it's past 4:30pm and I've yet to open a box today, I'll leave this to be continued...hopefully tomorrow.

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