What's New? 2006-07-18

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What's New? 2006-07-18

 Tuesday 18 July 2006
  Thanks to one of our fellow Hapkidoka we're at the recently re-re-re-named AT&T baseball park. Robert, a season-ticket holder, couldn't make it this evening, so we're here to watch the Giants vs. Brewers. We didn't actually get to our seats, but instead we spent some time at the seats along the causeway (shown here) before heading out to get some tasty ballpark snacks.

AT&T park: our seats

The kids love the playground (which I hear is open to all for free on days no baseball game is scheduled at the park). Here's Lila and Isaac coming down the big slide.

AT&T park: playground
 Monday 17 July 2006
  Today is yet another Spare the Air day. Here we are on BART, heading somewhere. The kids look so harmless...

Isaac & Lila on BART

We're not spending the entire day and night on mass transit, though, because we have to head back to the YMCA Presidio pool for another swim lesson. The kids absolutely love being in the water! Here's Isaac with his teacher, Jason.

YMCA Presidio pool: Isaac

Here's Lila with her teacher, Vio (?). We tried swim lessons last summer, at the Mission pool, but the cold water was quite a disincentive. This adult pool is warmer and the kids pool is much warmer.

YMCA Presidio pool: Lila

One down-side to the Presido pool is the management: they're rule-happy. As another parent mentioned to me "there's got to be twenty pages of rules posted on the walls!" which isn't far from the truth. (This float can only go in that pool, that float in this pool, etc.) I'm glad he mentioned it; I was afraid it was my usual disenchantment with over-management. (Even the staff have come over to apologise for their own managers. Hamstrung is the word I'd use to describe their sad state. The lifeguards spend so much time worrying about and enforcing silly rules that it's only a matter of time until they're distracted from the job of saving a life. Disclaimer: I was a lifeguard for several years.)

Parents are taking their families to the less rule-bound YMCA Embarcadero pool, which we've not yet investigated.

 Sunday 16 July 2006
  Today we returned to Sigmund Stern Grove to see the Makaha Sons of Ni'ihau and San Francisco's own Hālau 'o Keikiali'i. Here's Lila blowing a kiss on-stage, with Rose in the background.

Stern Grove stage

In the afternoon we headed over to Krispy Kreme to see manager Floyd's latest diorama and to enjoy some sugar-glaze-drenched wonderfulness. Rose attacks:

Krispy Kreme donuts
 Saturday 15 July 2006
  This morning we headed out to Bladium, in Alameda, to celebrate the birthday of one of Isaac's school-mates. Here they are on the ice-skating rink:

Bladium: Isaac

In addition to the rink, Bladium has several soccer fields, a playground, and a rock-climbing wall. The kids were mesmerized by this student, who was learning how to scale the boulder.

Bladium: wall-climber

Being in the East Bay, we decided to make a day of kids entertainment by heading over to the Oakland Zoo (and the rides area, just outside of the zoo). Here's my family on the roller coaster.

Oakland Zoo: roller coaster

Lila and Isaac decided that they wanted to ride the train all by themselves. So, for the first time, we let them. Here they are, departing the station.

Oakland Zoo: the train

Neighbors have arrived. Here we are on the carousel: Isaac, Lila, Jonah, and daddy David.

Oakland Zoo: carousel; Isaac, Lila, Jonah, and David

The kids continue their streak of independence: here they are on the cable-car nide with mommy Sally.

Oakland Zoo: Lila, Sally, Isaac

The lions seemed to be their favorites, although the camels and giraffes were close contenders.

Oakland Zoo: lions

Continuing to maximize our time in the East Bay, we continue onwards and downwards to Foster City, where we rendezvous at a family-friendly diner. From left are Lila, cousin Jessica, Isaac, cousin Matthew, grandpa Marty, Zadie Leonard, Bubbie Marion, Rose (partially hidden), Auntie Mindy, and Unky Neil.

Union City: Malkins meal

This may have been our longest day in the East Bay. We didn't get back until late at night. A very worthwhile day. Isaac said it was his best day of summer.

 Friday 14 July 2006
  It's been about six months that our family has been doing Hapkido. Today Lila and I are taking our green-belt test. (Isaac is lagging a bit behind because (1) he hasn't been going daily, choosing instead to do art, and (2) he took off three weeks to walk with Rose during our classes. He's back, he says.) Here the class lines up at the beginning of the test, higher ranks at the front.

Hapkido: Lila & Mickey's green-belt test

Here's Lila - middle of the picture - demonstrating her competence with the pinans (forms). Remember, she's still four years old, almost the youngest in the school. Hardcore, you are, daughter of mine.

Hapkido: Lila & Mickey's green-belt test

Miles Ceralde is the uke (attacker) for my defense. I had planned on making my motions slower and more deliberate, but in the heat of the moment I ran through them at full speed (which worked, but wasn't as elegant as I wanted to be). This was the first belt test for which I wasn't at all nervous (until the moment I stood up).

Hapkido: Lila & Mickey's green-belt test
 Thursday 13 July 2006
  We've been trying to get the kids to a playground (or beach or park or whatnot) every day this summer. I had to work (from home) today so Rose took the kids. I didn't see this ride but it looks interesting.

another playground, another ride
 Wednesday 12 July 2006
  The Parkside branch of the San Francisco Public Library has hosted a good number of events for the kids this summer. Today we went to see the Lizard Lady. Here's Lila having a constrictor draped around her (while Isaac gazes upward and Rose grins in the background).

Lila with Lizard Lady, Parkside Library
 Tuesday 11 July 2006
  Sigmund Stern Grove offers mid-week kid programs in parallel with their free Sunday concert series. Today Hālau 'o Keikiali'i, those fine folk who run the Kaleo Café, are in force to lay a little hula on us. We learn to perform one song, with three different stanzas (and three very different moves).

Stern Grove: Hālau 'o Keikiali'i

During intermission Lila and Isaac beg to explore Stern Grove, so we traipse through the paths. It's all good, for the most part, except where thoughtless slobs have broken beer and wine bottles. A pox on them.

exploring Stern Grove

I have no idea how we got here, but once again the kids are digging through the treasures of a Chinese candy shop on Clement Street. (The boxes are not usually there; arriving wares.)

Clement Street candy shop
 Saturday 8 July 2006
  One of the major reasons that we elected to live in San Francisco is that the grandparents are here. (Rose's have been here for decades, Dad finally moved in 2002.)

It was a good decision: the kids love being with their grandparents. Here Lila and Isaac spend a morning making breakfast with Bubbie. It was a different pancake recipe than our somewhat involved wet-part dry-part routine, but the kids learned the new way.

Lila & Isaac cooking with Bubbie
 Thursday 6 July 2006
  Since we first explored it, several weeks ago, Isaac has been begging me to return to the wonder of wonders that is Boudin Bakery, on Fisherman's Wharf. He loved the gondola system they've rigged between the bakery and the retail side. This morning it worked well to have breakfast out of the house, so into the car we go.

Unbelievable luck: not only do we find a parking spot across from the bakery, in the crowded heart of Fisherman's Wharf, but it's a broken parking meter! Jackpot! (That red thing is our car.)

Boudin Bakery, Fisherman's Wharf

Inside we choose a table right by the bakery, where we can enjoy the smells of the fresh bread and Isaac can keep an eye on the goings-on.

Boudin Bakery, Fisherman's Wharf

There's a museum tour, upstairs, so we fork over some dosh and see exhibits and learn a bit more about baking bread. Here's Rose sampling breads and toppings at the end of the tour. (They really need an espresso machine up there, IMHO.)

Boudin Bakery, Fisherman's Wharf
 Tuesday 4 July 2006
  Jacob Mazzullo's girlfriend is visiting San Francisco. Today we got to spend a bit of time with them. You can see who each of the kids adopted.

Lila & Jacob & Isaac & Nicole

Jacob asked for a nice dinner, but not too ethnic. Tasty and acceptable to all? No problem! How about Il Fornio, the Italian place everyone likes? Mmmmm, everyone happy.

Jacob & Nicole at Il Fornio
 Monday 3 July 2006
  Today is game day at the house. We picked up Arthur's Library at a garage sale (because the kids like the books and videos) and we've been playing it frequently. It's a dressed-up theme version of Concentration, with lots of parts to set up and clean up.

Isaac plays Arthur's Library

Sometimes Lila makes up her own ancillary rules, like requiring all the pieces to face a particular way, or be ordered by height, or something beyond my comprehension.

Lila  plays Arthur's Library

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