Sunday, October 02, 2011

10/2/2011 Acoustic assault!

Any parent endures the subject of this post ("acoustic assault") but this time, I'm doing it the other way: I'm assaulting the acoustics in our family room. My Mom pointed out, "you're not going to solve this problem with any one thing, it needs to be a combination of factors."

So I took my unemployed time and a cavalier attitude to my usual austerity and went to town at Pier 1 Imports. This resulted in a whole lot of goofy pillows, all placed up high in the hopes of absorbing the insufferable echoes in our family room.

I doubt it makes much difference by itself, but when my ears are ringing I get some comfort just looking over at all those silly pillows.

I also got a few new placemats. (Katrina was happily setting the table voluntarily!)

I really did lose my mind. Normally I'd never get a useless froofy pillow like this -- but guess what. It's Katrina's favorite, and you know what, now it's mine too! It's really silly but quite eye-grabbing!

I offset the bingeing with some real purging today too. We had a "dump day" today, which means as Sunnyvale residents we are allowed two weekends a year of free dumping at Sunnyvale's world-class dump and recycling center. Usually you have to pay to dump stuff, and a lot, but we save our junk for these semiannual resident passes.

I thought at first I'd finally get rid of a few leftover pieces of lumber from various remodels, but this turned into filling our pickup with stuff that's been hidden for years. I'm so good at storing stuff that I don't even realize how much we have.

I got the boys involved, and Julian in particular was a real help -- not just the "oh isn't this cute that the kid thinks he's helping" sort of help, but real help.

Gabriel was helping until he thought I told him to throw away an old Shark "dustbuster" thing, when I'd really told him to just put it down and help me, and that he could have it, but only in the garage. When he came back out and understood that he could have this useless rundown appliance, he was thrilled. He spent the rest of the day in the garage, taking it apart and trying to get its motor out, and later said he was able to get its motor running. I was truly impressed at how he turned junk into an all-day project, and how excited he was about taking something apart to get to its motor.

Julian too was very involved in this garage project, but just like Julian, he was more motivated by feeling like he was really helping. That's an important key to him I think -- now, how do we harness that to keep him out of the principal's office?

First day of new job tomorrow, I'm VERY excited!!


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