Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Insanity rules

At least in my household it does. The last week and a half has been a blur, and the next few weeks should follow suit as well.

Friday morning was spent dropping off the boys at school then spending the next 2 1/2 hours researching, gathering documents, and printing out letters. Then off to pick up the youngest and whiz back home in time to meet Dan as he returned from work. Quick check to make sure I had maps, camera, knitting (in case there was time to kill), aforementioned documents, water, and phone numbers and out the door I went. Traffic wasn't too bad, thankfully, but it still took about an hour to get to our advocates office. Then some knitting as I waited. The next two hours were filled with all that is bad about the Board of Education in California and more than I ever wanted to know about appealing a legal decision. Sad that we had to get that far in order to try and meet our son's needs, but there it is. So we're learning about Special Education law and advocacy along with the ever popular "what the heck is Autism, and how does that affect my family?" part. From there a fast (well, slow, as the freeway was barely moving) trip to my Dad's house in order to swap bags of stuff, hug, and high five before leaving to volunteer.

The LA Supports LA event was huge. HUGE. They were expecting 400-500 people: this is what the restaurants involved were told to expect when they made up the samples for everyone. Total count was over nine hundred people. At $100 and up per head plus the silent auction I believe they made far more than the original million dollar goal. The airport hanger was packed and people were still buying tickets two hours after the event started. The food ran out about halfway through since there were so many participants, but the wine continued flowing so everyone stayed happy. I ended up out in front for much of the evening collecting tickets from a seemingly endless line of people. All the volunteers were running around like crazy. Six hours after I got there things were finally wrapping up and I hobbled out to the car, exhausted. Caught up with my buddy Chris Cognac who helped organize things and we marveled at how well it all went. It still boggles the mind that all of this was put together in less than a week's time. What a great thing, and how heartening to see that people want to help and actually do something.

Got home at midnight and rolled into bed. Realized later that all I had eaten for the entire day was a Jack in the Box Spicy Chicken Sandwich (yum!) and three bites of an asian chicken salad grabbed during my bathroom break while volunteering. Oops. The next morning was spent with a mob of angry home owners. Ah, the joys of living with a homeowner's association, especially when you're on the board. No, we don't spend meetings scheming on how to make life especially horrible for all of you - hello, we're homeowners, too! I love people who whine and complain and moan about how horrible everything is but somehow can't find the time to go to homeowner's meetings and actually air problems at a time when, oh, we could look at fixing them. Two hours later people seemed far more satisfied and we agreed to have another meeting next Saturday. I'm making scones of some sort for fifty.

The rest of Saturday was all about recuperating. Lots of cleaning up the house, list making and planning. Planning for what, you ask? Planning for this. I've been wracking my brain, trying to think of ways to help those affected most by Katrina when we don't have much in the way of money to donate. Volunteering? Sign me up! Goofy pictures with food? That I can do. I figured I'd donate the $10 required to enter, get the pictures together, and be done. Getting everything in on time was crazy (ever try to locate a saxaphone on a Sunday? Fake teeth are also oddly difficult to find, even right before Halloween) and incredibly fun and I knew my friends would have a good laugh.

I was one of the four finalists in the first round.

OK, then. Cooking I can also do. Pictures....I'm working on that part. Looks like the first assignment is Po' Boys. I've never eaten one, but they look delicious and I'm currently scouting recipes and mulling over ideas. Have to put it together by Sunday.

In the meantime, we've had Occupational Therapy for the oldest, the first two days of real, actual first grade homework (collective gasp here), volunteering at the library, work on my halfway finished Sockapal2za socks (due tomorrow), make Mexican goodies for my youngest's preschool class on Friday, more volunteering, test knitting....there's more that I'm forgetting here, I'm sure. Saturday night I'm going along with my friend Jennifer to her husband's cooking school final - four courses of asian dishes. Can't wait for that one :-). And of course, Sunday is the final day to complete the Po' Boys.

As usual, I am insane. But only in the very best of ways.

(I don't usually link to anything political here, but this was something I had to share. Figuring out who dropped the ball and how is going to take years to really figure out but this is what has bothered me most since the hurricane: where is the very human reaction to such an incredible tragedy? Genuine emotion, even a little, would have gone far right now.)