Haiku summer version

by Houston

It’s been a while since we’ve had a haiku post. For those who are not into haiku, that’s ok too. Feel free to use other forms of poetry, or prose.

Summer is coming
Share with us your summer plans
Kids camps? Travel? Fun!


211 thoughts on “Haiku summer version

  1. Want to go back east.
    Tickets are ridiculous.
    So is staying home.

    I think I have unrealistic expectations, reinforced by previous good luck. I don’t think I should have to spend $400 for a flight when I have flexibility on airport and dates. But it turns out what I think is not so relevant to airline pricing.

    A friend just introduced me to secret flyer, where they list random sales and error fares. She was just able to buy tickets for four to travel east coast to Australia for $2000. Also creating unrealistic expectations for what I should be able to do with my travel budget. Now I am obsessively checking for some interesting destination, because planning is almost as much fun.

  2. Same, here Ada.

    Trip to London planned.
    Tickets are ridiculous.
    Nashville, here we come.

  3. As I’ve shared, I hate
    Flying. We’re going to the
    Beach/Charleston in

    July with fami-
    ly. In August we’ll try camp-
    Ing near Smokies Park

    And Dollywood for
    A couple days, then zip o-
    Ver to Nashville to

    See the Opry. Right
    Now I’m just getting anxious
    For the weather to

    Finally warm up
    Another 20 degrees
    With no gross pollen.

    (the democratization of poetry!)

  4. To continue with the theme of airline price gouging:

    Airfare to Cincy
    Five hundred a piece to fly
    Conference here we come

  5. “Dollywood is on our list”

    For your aspiring
    Engineer, their coal-burning
    19th century

    Locomotive is
    An authentic historic
    Marvel by itself.

    It’s much cooler than
    Every other theme park’s
    Bland reproduction.

    These things ushered in
    The modern world…

  6. I don’t think I should have to spend $400 for a flight when I have flexibility on airport and dates.

    I don’t have time to post in haiku. We just spend over $400 a ticket to go back east in June. It’s a mega family reunion thing and there’s no way we can miss it. We got our tickets to Iceland in Feb. for a summer trip and I was amazed at how difficult it was to work the dates to get the lower fares. And that was with a 5-6 month lead time.

  7. one more month crazy
    rest of year back to normal
    then can really think

    getting old is sucky
    c6 c7 issues
    pain diminishing

    deciding whether
    to see Lisbon and Azores (pronounced A-zors to get the right # of syllables)
    when kid 2 is there

  8. That should be Coco turns seven

    Kitty on my lap
    Autocorrect on the phone
    Typos all the time

  9. Wedding in Dearborn
    Birthday with sibs in LA
    Ditch Houston summer

    Work will be busy
    Hoarding cash -fearing lay-offs
    Both kids should have jobs

    On yesterday’s post
    Had not considered college
    In benefits – thanks!

  10. Camps chosen
    Fun ones
    Band camp new this year
    Tip from the Totebag

    Camp essential
    Neighbor friends go away
    To Grandma’s
    To the beach to play

    Dollywood, Nashville
    Sounds like fun
    Not too far
    Can drive

  11. For older DS
    Lots of summer IB work
    And an internship

    For younger DS
    Planning out Eagle project
    And lots of Minecraft

  12. You’re all amazing. I’m not even going to try.

    MBT – I’m 25 min west of Dearborn. Will you have time to get a drink or something?

    PTM — !!! Details?

  13. Fred,

    If you go, compare
    The Azores to Big Island
    They’re a lot alike.

    My great-great-grandpa
    From Azores, on a whaler
    Jumped ship in Hilo.

  14. Camp must be FUN
    Otherwise no go
    Math camp, last year
    Was fun, that one
    Otherwise no go, no go

  15. Ev’rywhere you look
    Tickets are ridiculous,
    No summer trip planned.


    For fall break we’re planning to go
    To Tokyo and Kyoto,
    Try rabbit cafes,
    On old temples gaze,
    And stay in a VRBO.

  16. I’m tired of trying my hand at Haiku
    I’ll also be in Bend with DH. Looking forward to Crater Lake, so thanks for the suggestions.
    Lots of camps for DD, including her first try at sleepaway camp.

    MBT – wedding at the Dearborn Inn? Make time for Henry Ford and Greenfield Village.

  17. Sorry, that was Q1 earnings…i’m not sure on profit, but apparently they spent 1/3 less on fuel than last year’s Q1.

    I hate airlines.

  18. “Why are plane fares so expensive when fuel is so cheap right now?”

    Because airlines can get away with it. Mergers have decreased number of competitors.

  19. We are starting to look at summer camp. DS1 has just been accepted as a CIT for his fave programming camp and he also has to work on his research project. DS2 is going to do an architecture camp at the local SUNY – the more advanced one for high school kids this time around. Chatting with the Cooper Union rep, he learned they look at drawing skills very closely when considering applicant to their architecture program, so he may take a drawing course too. He is a good artist but has never taken an official class so he is kind of “untutored”. DD wants horse back riding camp again, and the same girls only STEM camp she did last year. I may try her with a couple of weeks of an artsy camp at the SUNY too – she has never tried that

  20. But Houston, didn’t
    You live in Japan back when?
    You must know the ropes.

  21. I won’t try to Haiku.

    SSK – when will you be on Cape Cod? That is our only trip planned for the summer and I might stay for a good portion of July if DH doesn’t mind.

    Lemon – Oldest DD is trying sleep away camp for the first time too. Only for five nights and it’s insanely expensive but she’s excited.

  22. @Mooshi – in the home country, my friends who took architecture all took a formal drawing course with a serious exam at the end. It was quite rigorous and a lot of work. They were lucky because our art teacher was very good and could help them out.
    Maybe you can find out if such a program is available.

  23. Atlanta mom – over the Fourth of July weekend. What town do you visit? We usually do Harwich or Chatham, and it is Chatham this year.

  24. Rocky, yes I did
    Planning a trip with family
    Different can of worms

    Tokyo Fish Market/
    Osaka Castle are great
    Stumped on lodging, though

  25. I am trying to figure out if the plane bringing us home from Alaska (overnight flight) as lie flat beds in first. The difference between first and coach is surprisingly small (as the overall cost of the flight is surprisingly high) so I’m wondering if it might be worth it.

    Also – at what age are you allowed to put your kids in a different class? Does that make them an unaccompanied minor if they are sitting 20 rows behind us?

  26. Camp for first two months
    August we will go away
    Lots of ice cream meals

    Three cheers for Junior
    Hoping not too much fallout
    Bullies are the worst

  27. Houston, dropping the haiku for a minute, are you looking for cheap digs? My friend Elizabeth, who lived in Japan for several years in the 80s, spent this last fall wandering around Japan with her 11-year-old daughter and they stayed in hostels a lot. You meet a wide variety of people and it’s fairly cheap. I can get more details from her about how she planned it if you’re interested.

  28. SSK – we’ll be in Brewster but will be at the Chatham parade for the 4th. My whole extended family lives in either Chatham or Harwich.

  29. Atlana Mom – Oh my gosh, we should try to meet! Let me know if that will work for you – it is funny to think that we will be in the same place at the same time – two ships passing in the night (without the tote bag).

  30. Rocky: Yes, cheap places to stay is exactly what I’m looking for. Thanks so much for the great idea. I will let you know if/when we go.

  31. Lemon – yes on the Inn.

    Risley – I would love to get together! This is doubling as a bit of a family reunion, so there are gatherings planned for much of the weekend, but in my quest for cheaper flight I think I’m getting in earlier than everyone else Friday and leaving later than everyone Sunday evening, so I think I’ll have some time. I’ll connect with you as the date gets closer and I know more when I’m attending family things.

  32. Vicksburg, Ms end of April, beginning of May; Bar Harbor, end of May; son got us tickets to Ron White’s show in AC mid June and we will probably stay a couple of nights. Looking forward to going away a couple of more times in the summer – don’t know when or where. Summer is my husband’s busy time at work so we may have to settle for a few days here and there. Fortunately there is a lot to do in our neck of the woods.

  33. Screw the high airfares —
    We’re going to Alaska!
    You only live once.

    THe RT airfare DH found from Boston to Juneau is about $550 (including taxes, fees, etc.), which actually seemed quite reasonable.

  34. OM – Are you doing Vicksburg because your DH is the Civil War buff?

    I’d like to do that. I want to start by coming down the river to see Forts Henry and Donnellson like Grant did.

  35. I am trying to figure out if the plane bringing us home from Alaska (overnight flight) as lie flat beds in first.

    Highly unlikely unless you’re connecting in LA or San Francisco and continuing along to New York. The only other option would be to fly from Vancouver to New York on Cathay Pacific in First Class.

  36. If you’re willing to connect in LA or SF you might be able to get a good deal on Jet Blue Mint:

  37. Beltway express lanes
    Ten miles in just ten minutes
    Worth 15 dollars

    Could not help thinking
    This is freaking amazing
    Wish we still lived here

    Almost as much fun
    As TSA Pre can be
    At a busy time

  38. In the retiree summer (May through Sept) I have 7 excursions/trips planned, 5 with airfare. Most expensive is 570 per person roundtrip to pacific north west on Alaska Air (going to one small airport). Cheapest is DC 150. Coast to coast or ill served airports tend to run more than 200 each way with tax nowadays.

    The trips:
    Visit sole remaining uncle in Philly for his 90th birthday
    See son and significant other who are starring in a play in Northern Calif.
    With husband – testing the geezer travel waters
    French Canada Road Scholar.
    DC to see daughter perform static circus stuff and then play bridge
    Cape Cod to play bridge and walk on beach
    Columbia River paddleboat cruise

  39. Mjilo, yes my husband is a Civil War buff (actually he is a history buff and has extensive knowledge of a lot of battles throughout history). We are waiting to get to Vicksburg to decide which river tour to take, The only problem with tours is my husband is not shy about correcting the guides when they give erroneous information. Yes, my husband is right when he corrects them. I have checked the facts a few times. I generally tip well at the end of the tour.

  40. Lark and Rhett – I have started checking the airplane make when I book trips to and from Texas. The first class fares are random (to me, anyway), and there is usually at least one plane a day that has the lie flat beds. If it works for my schedule, I do it, especially when the price is right!

    We are flying home from New York this summer, and it looks like most of the non stops from New York to SF (on United or American) have the lie flat beds now in first. I will have to check my points!

  41. Atlanta Mom – sounds like a good plan. Costofcollege has my email, or I can get yours from her if you like. I have to make some hotel and rental car reservations, but it all seemed so far away, and I just realized that summer is coming!

  42. “Beltway express lanes
    Ten miles in just ten minutes
    Worth 15 dollars”

    That’s what my Dad says, specifically “It just goes on the EZ Pass, it’s not like you’re paying it right then.”

  43. I went for a villanelle:

    My oldest son is old enough to drive
    Or will be, in a month, permit in hand;
    O, what a parlous time to be alive.

    Is this a set of skills in which he’ll thrive?
    A thorn-free path for knowledge to expand?
    My oldest son is old enough to drive.

    To sign him up for lessons I’ll connive;
    He would be loath to study at my hand.
    O, what a parlous time to be alive.

    Will driving class encourage him to strive?
    Or will it be like running through dry sand?
    My oldest son is old enough to drive.

    Into these murky waters we must dive,
    And hope to make it safely back to land;
    O, what a parlous time to be alive.

    Next month the big half-birthday will arrive,
    And with the written test he’ll make his stand.
    My oldest son is old enough to drive –
    O, what a parlous time to be alive.

  44. WCE, I think the winner should be Debbi, as in Dallas.

    Do you name your equipment? Is it a photoresist stripper?

  45. another twin mom
    new york too much traffic day
    took subway all day

    I am depressed about this summer. I know it is selfish, but this was the summer of me due to the milestone bday. As of right now, we canceled our trip, and our family vacation is on hold. We don’t have anything booked, and when I try to speak to DH about it – he said that we can’t fix this right now due to inlaws. Since most of my friends have the same bday, I am just going to try to make the best of living here, and I will play tourist in the city with my friends and family.

    DD will beat her usual sleep away camp, and I can’t believe this is already the 4th summer.

  46. Finn, Debbi is in the lead to join Ami, Brandi, and Candi. Formally, we don’t name our equipment. Informally, well, my world is diverse.

  47. Milo, once I got on the express lanes it was awesome, but finding the entrances was a challenge. Google maps seems to be unaware of their existence, and so I drove around the Tyson’s area till I stumbled upon them, at which point my phone went into an infinite rerouting loop till I could shut it off.

  48. “I generally tip well at the end of the tour.”

    I bet you’re the only one tipping at all, most of the time. I don’t recall ever tipping on tours.

  49. WCE – I think that you should lobby for equal time for male adult entertainers. After all, they did it for tropical storms. Dicki or Dusti might work.

  50. ssk– Dusti? Glad to see you’re not gender biased.

    WCE, I retract my earlier suggestion. You should definitely consider the other gender.

  51. Scarlett – Do you have the special EZ Pass that you can switch over to HOV so it’s free if you have 3+ occupants? That’s how we usually use the lanes, and oh what a great feeling that is!

    “Wish we still lived here”

    Maybe we could switch.

  52. Again I am astounded, Milo. I always tip the guide, boat captain or bus driver (not a museum docent, and not if the tour is arranged as part of a package and it is expressly stated that the tour company agent is tipping the local guides).

  53. WCE, there is a practical benefit to naming equipment. We named equipment of which we had multiples, and that made equipment discussions much easier, e.g., in discussions with maintenance techs, schedulers, production supervisors, etc., everyone knew exactly which piece of equipment was under discussion when we referred to it by name.

    Thinking back, strippers and aligners were the most likely to be named, since those required the most redundancy.

  54. if you buy cave tickets would you tip the tour guide? or for a free distillery/brewery tour?

    I never have

  55. Meme – So if you go to one of the Newport mansions and take the guided tour from the Historical Society rep, you hand her $5 at the end?

    On the Civil War topic, you take the ferry over to Fort Sumter and get shuffled into a group to be shown around by one of the U.S. Park rangers, and you hand him $5 afterward?

  56. Or maybe A should’ve been Andi. And thus D would be. . .

    Why the need to end with an i?

  57. “The only problem with tours is my husband is not shy about correcting the guides when they give erroneous information”

    my DH does this too

  58. With ranger tour guides, I’m pretty sure you’re supposed to put a donation in one of those boxes in the Visitor Center in lieu of tipping. I don’t think they’d accept a tip.

  59. Milo, there are no HOV lanes in our neck of the woods so we don’t have the special Ez pass. How is that system enforced?
    We also don’t tip on tours, though it’s obvious that others do. I dislike the whole concept of tipping and wish that it could be eliminated. Just pay your employees a fair wage.

  60. tipping at restaurants, do you calculate tip before or after tax? we usually tip 20% of total (after tax)

  61. Scarlett –

    How will Virginia State Police enforce the E-ZPass Flex on I-95 to catch cheaters?

    When the E-ZPass Flex interacts with the overhead toll gantries, it sends a signal to the computers inside the police cruisers to denote the trip is an HOV3+ trip. A special light can also illuminate to notify the officer that an HOV3+ trip is in progress. Then, as on I-66 or I-395, the officer will check to see how many passengers are in the vehicle.

    Remember — during morning and afternoon rush hours, HOV restrictions are in place on I-395 from Edsall Road to the Washington D.C. border. If you’re caught cheating on either the 95 Express Lanes or the 395 HOV Lanes, the ticket is $125. A second violation is $250; a third, $500; a fourth, $1,000.

  62. I don’t tip park rangers; however, we always make sure to put money in the jar toward the upkeep of whatever attraction we are visiting.

    I don’t think tour guides, bus drivers make much money and depend on tips as part of their compensation. I thought it was expected to tip. I generally tip $ 10.00 for each of us (generally a 4 hour tour) and add a little more if my husband has been nit picky with the facts and correcting the guide a lot. I know it seems absurd to tip more for a lot of erroneous information but my husband can be relentless if someone spouts wrong info. He doesn’t do it to be mean or a show off – thinks he is helping.

  63. I guess my rough understanding is that it’s a question of whether the person is making their living off guiding, or whether the person is employed by / volunteering with a park / nonprofit institution that you’re visiting — so for park rangers or docents it would make more sense to drop a couple of dollars in the donation box, but you’d tip your horseback ride / whitewater rafting / bike tour guide, the driver / guide on a 4 hour bus tour even if it’s of a national park, your guide at a natural wonder or scenic location that’s available to the public only on a commercial basis (e.g. cave on private land).

  64. “tipping at restaurants, do you calculate tip before or after tax?”

    I use that as leeway for adjustment. If we did things that made the bill cheap, like drink water, kid’s meals, etc., then tip includes tax roughly, and maybe a little extra.

    If we had alcohol, desserts, etc., then I might not do the full 20% including tax.

  65. ” He doesn’t do it to be mean or a show off – thinks he is helping.”

    same with DH, he says “I would want to know if I were the one telling people incorrectly”

  66. Lauren – I’m always up for a show or dinner if you’ve got the ‘can’t escape NY blues’.

    So far I’ve planned the kids summers, but not what DH and I will be doing while they’re away. Sadly I expect it to be nothing special. We also have no family vacation planned. We may take a long weekend at Great Wolf Lodge or Hershey but that’s not really much of a vacation.

  67. I hate tipping, but I do tip the occasional tour guide. Thinking back to recent vacations, I tipped the tour guide when we did a boat tour of the Everglades (they are 3rd party, not a Park Ranger) and I tipped the guide when we were in Mexico and took a bus tour out to some ruins and what not. In both instances I very much enjoyed the tour and felt the guide went above my expectations. If I had gotten to the ruins using my own transportation I wouldn’t have tipped the ruins guide. I also don’t tip the brewery guide or the Newport mansion tour. Apparently my tipping requires transportation, but I never really gave it much thought.

  68. For those of you with husbands who correct tour guides – did you catch the Modern Family episode in Australia where Phil kept asking the tour guides questions he already knew the answer to? Tour guide – “And yet another question you answered yourself.” So funny.

  69. July busy with
    guests and trip home to the States
    Come fall, AFRICA!!

    For Europe/London
    Norwegian Air, pay in NOK
    Same flight more in USD

    US/Europe Flights
    Check Norwegian, Wow Air and
    Icelandair, free stops

  70. Great writing HM.
    We will go down the driving road soon enough. I hope it will be a better experience than teaching them to ride bikes. They had training wheels for ever and nearly drove me to drink.

  71. Houston, is the trip incidental to the college tour, or vice versa?

    We’ve kept a window after summer school open for campus visits for any school DS is especially interested in, but he’s said he’s seen what he needs to see for now, and would rather wait for acceptances before scheduling a trip expressly for a campus visit.

    He’s still very much open to campus visits incidental to travel.

  72. We probably tip on the before the tax – not sure. My husband tips 30% now and we try to leave the tip in cash.

  73. Finn – I was thinking of a girl, like Dusty Springfield. I can picture a cowboy type fellow named Dusti, now that you mention it!

  74. Summer rugby league
    Petite, dainty, blonde daughter
    wants to try something new

    Active middle daughter
    Volleyball, swim team, work, fair,
    Please pass driver’s test

    Little bro summer
    Tag along with the older two
    wants own activity

  75. My sister did rugby in college one year, despite being not the right physical type (long-limbed slender build instead of sturdy) and she enjoyed it.

  76. “On the Civil War topic, you take the ferry over to Fort Sumter and get shuffled into a group to be shown around by one of the U.S. Park rangers”

    I’m doing this tomorrow! The plantation tour guides, who were very good, didn’t seem to receive many tips even though there was a prominent sign informing us that tips were accepted.

  77. MBT – the airlines are so sneaky. For a while I had been finding that I wasn’t penalized for buying one way tickets: sometimes I knew the date that DH and I, or even DS were making one half of the trip, and I could go ahead and buy that ticket immediately, then buy the other half when the plans were solidified. I just tried that on a trip to visit my family, and the two one-way fares were definitely more than the round trips. It may be a coincidence, or that they are going back to their old ways.

    I remember years ago buying separate tickets to fly from Dallas to Kansas city on Southwest (I think?). You weren’t allowed to buy one ticket with a stop in the middle – something to do with flying from Love Field – so I had to pretend I just wanted to hang out in the Oklahoma City airport for an hour.

  78. CoC – Did you do Middleton or Boone Hall?

    The latter made me feel like I kind of got hoodwinked, since the aspects of it that seem so quintessentially antebellum-plantation were built in the 1930s. But it was cool seeing the set up that’s been used in so many movies and shows.

  79. Milo, Magnolia. It was not that impressive, but the tours were good. (Of course, I don’t know enough about history to catch tour guides’ errors.) Maybe my expectations were unduly high or maybe this time of year the grounds are less impressive. But I’m glad I went..

  80. Ris, if you aren’t asleep preparing to wake up at 3 to continue writing your next novel already, what I heard from the school after their “Who Shot John Inquest” is that Junior walked into school today– a little bit late. Of course, I drove him.

    Junior encountered Bully and a bunch of kids in the hallway. Bully was in full throat saying mean things to all the kids in the hall. (Remember, all these kids are “in” that school for something. They all know each others problems. Sorry. I mean “idiosyncrasies”.)

    So Junior went up to Bully (a friend) and told him to knock it off. Bully took a swing at Junior and missed. Junior kicked him in the balls. (Somewhat like taking a gun to a knife fight, I guess.)

    Mrs. Snoopy was alerted by tattletales and emerged into the hall to see Junior connect. Junior was marched to the principal’s office. He would say nothing. The kids in the hallway were quizzed. Some of the younger ones were still crying. (After all these years of Mothers telling them they’re just fine!) It was reported by the witnesses that Junior was mad because of the things Bully was saying. The teachers were all proud of Junior but couldn’t say so. I guess it was all was like driving through a red light camera with your pregnant wife delivering in the back seat.

    Nobody– especially me– was pissed at Junior.

    I expect to be sued for testicular trauma in Civil Court by Monday.

  81. So Anon’s kid punches a bully and it’s all “get him to a therapist, or he’ll be a juvenile delinquent forever!” but PTM’s kid kicks a bully in the nuts and he’s a hero?

  82. Milo. I haven’t been here for a while, and I don’t know what Anon.’s thingee is. The only thing I can say is that Junior’s school has this all pretty much on tape (without sound, unfortunately) but they could see the before, during and after. That combined with the witness reports pretty much vindicated him. Still, he was punished. Both boys were.

    And don’t worry. Junior is seeing a therapist and will be doing so for so long as I have influence.

    I also fully expect to be sued.

  83. Good for junior!!!!!!!!
    Is this the final month in this school, or is he already in the new school?

    ATM, thanks….we should plan something for this summer. We can try to see if anyone else in NY metro wants to join us.

  84. I think that the reason is the bully (tried) hit PTMs kid first? I dunno. Also maybe anon was worried about heir kids behavior and PTM was not-signaling underlying issues? PTM did not ask if there is cause for concern.

  85. Finn: We are visiting relatives who happen to live in Nashville. We would not be visiting Nashville to tour Vandy, as it’s higher on my list than DS’s. : )

  86. Today DS’s bus had a kid throwing an apple which created a mess. He reports hyper behavior on the bus but no bullying or taunting. Sometimes things thrown in the bus have sailed out of the bus into traffic. The kids have been giving a talking to in the past but after a hiatus the bad behavior returned.
    Spring, as a parent who is an orthopedic surgeon and saw kids jumping from a wall remarked is a good time for business at his office.

  87. PTM – I certainly have no beef with it, and Dell is correct about the distinctions.

  88. Spent today at a historical reenactment type place with the kids, and never thought of tipping the guides – it is a volunteer job for seniors in the early years of retirement and not a tip jar sort of place.

    We tip the tour guides we are paying directly, like our guide and driver in Asia, and I would tip in a commercial venture like a whitewater rafting trip.

  89. Summer is so long
    Never enough camp slots for
    Ten weeks with three kids

    Oldest has four weeks
    Middle four camps in six weeks
    Youngest still too young

    Want to go to Maine
    DH says no, let’s try
    Texas in August


  90. Missed haiku party.
    In Maine soaking in the surf
    I get paid for this.

    Big trip to Boise
    No other summer plans yet
    Can’t wait to relax

    Oh naive young mom
    You have a nonstop toddler
    You will not relax

  91. As for tipping, I think other posters have articulated the difference between commercial tours and other sorts of guiding. A civil war river tour as was referenced in the first post is the sort of activity for which I would tip. A paid employee who escorts a group around an old house or controlled access caverns for which admission is charged or in a national park, no. Volunteer guides, money in the jar by the entrance.

  92. Rhode: we packed painters tape for travel with mobile toddlers. When you get to the hotel, you can just tape shut anything that the kid shouldn’t have and tape over exposed outlets.

    Kids 1 and 2 left the tape alone, kid 3 followed us around pulling it all off.

    But might work for you if your DS is the right type or can’t reach the tape :)

  93. Junior’s behavior was both understandable and exemplary. He did not initiate the conflict, but stepped in on behalf of others who were apparently not capable of standing up to the bully themselves.

    He also did not initiate the physical confrontation, but took necessary and effective action, exhibiting some quick thinking, to ensure none but the perpetrator suffered physical harm.

    He also does not, to my knowledge, have a history of instigating confrontation.

    A lot of us cheered Anon’s son for standing up for himself, but were concerned about long term impacts. I have similar concerns about Junior, and hope this does not get him labeled a troublemaker.

  94. I apologize, Milo. I guess I’m a little sensitive Junior is generally very peaceful. This was well out of his behavioral norm.

  95. PTM, I think a couple things informed Junior’s actions:

    1. An instinct for self-preservation, and quickly ascertaining an effective way to maintain that.

    2. Empathy for the kids being bullied.

    Both are indicative of your success as a dad.

  96. Sorry to add a sad topic to the thread, but I made the hard decision today to transition my mother to hospice. The palliative care team thinks it is a matter of days, but she is a fighter and may fight until the end. It is harder on my kids than my dad’s passing as they were not as close to him.

  97. Wow Austin that’s very difficult. I hope her days are peaceful. Take care of yourself.

  98. So much loss, Austin, one on top of the other, and such rapid changes from week to week.

  99. Austin, thinking of you, and I’m sorry that you’re going through so much right now

  100. Came back tonight to complain about art education. I don’t understand why it is so expensive to get enrichment classes in Art – seems like in a world (supposedly) full of unemployed artists, I could sign up my child for a one hour class that costs less than $20/hr. When swim lessons, martial arts, and tutoring are cheaper, I find the whole thing curious. I would like my oldest to get some dedicated instruction, but am not sure of the value at the prices being charged (we have a few art and crafts studios that offer classes, so there is competition, and the two serious art schools charge about the same).

    Anyway, this is relevant to MooshiMooshi. It seems there are a lot of online drawing classes. If your son is reasonably motivated, that might be the easiest way for him to get a rigorous education – craftsy and markkistler are the two I am looking at, though neither are particularly geared towards children.

  101. Sorry to hear the news Austin. Did not realize your Mom’s health had deteriorated so much.

  102. Tipping tour guides – this is where my introvert shows. DH and I have NEVER taken a tour of anything with a guide. I think I did an audio tour of the Louvre when I was in HS (I would have taken the French one at that point), but no other tours that I can recall.

  103. Ada, art classes are even more expensive here.

    I was talking to our school art teacher about it and she said it is a combination of the cost of supplies and the mess. She offers private classes and parties but has a hard time finding a place for them, and often uses someone’s garage where spilled paint won’t matter.

    If you can get a few neighbors together in your new place and have a suitable space, you might find it cheaper if you host it.

    I just buy art supplies and make the kids paint in the backyard so I don’t need to deal with the floor. So they don’t paint much from October to April :)

  104. Austin, I am so sorry. The others are right – you have had such a difficult year. Please take care of yourself.

  105. In personal downer news, I just learned that the accomplished, brilliant, accepted-at-all-the-HSS’s daughter of a good friend has anorexia. I had really hoped that 40 years after my own high school cohort fought with eating disorders that girls wouldn’t still be subject to these horrible pressures about their appearance.

  106. Rocky, one of my cousin’s college aged daughters struggles with that. She was in an athletic scholarship, and came home at Thanksgiving incredibly thin. The daughter was in denial, so her mom agreed to stop worrying about it if the dr said her weight was ok, so the daughter agreed. The dr had her admitted directly from his office – wouldn’t even let her go home and get anything. If it helps any, she is doing better weight-wise now. It is a very difficult road, though. My sympathies to your friend.

  107. Ada, do the online courses have critiques? That is the most important part of any serious art course

    My mother was an art teacher. She had her MFA and a serious art education under her belt. When she took on private students, she charged similar prices to music teachers. I think she was every bit as skilled as a music teacher. I wish she were around because she could have worked with my kid. But I am willing to pay what it takes for good art classes. It is the critique that is key.

  108. I did take a drawing class for adults myself at a university, back pre-kids. I really appreciated it. I like to think of myself as a decent artist, but that class really pushed my skills upwards

  109. I’d like to take a drawing class. I can’t draw at all. I’m okay with being critiqued, but I don’t want a letter grade. I just don’t.

  110. Holy crap!

    If Milo is one of the most popular boy names, this site has really taken off!

    Good job, WFI and CofC!

  111. The names seem about right. The only one I haven’t run in to is Arabella. I really like Ezra.

    And I changed my name!

  112. But there’s more than one person in NoVa! Which one are you? Give us a hint.

  113. Austin – I’m so sorry. What a tough year you have had.

    I went to high school with an Ezra. I have started seeing a lot of Asher’s on FB. My husband wanted to name DD#1 Adeline, he loves that name.

    Ada – even the art teacher led class at the after school program at my oldest’s school is about $20 for the hour. I don’t think the projects they do are all that great but DD loves it so I keep paying for it. The art camps here run about $70 per day for 6.5 hours but they’re obviously breaking for lunch and also a “movement class”.

  114. DD – I think it is based on what people click on in the site. They have another list that is more traditional names that I believe is based from SS.

    My former name was another nickname for the same formal name.

  115. I was partial to Eleanor but I didn’t want the shortening to Ellie. My DS has friends who go by their first and middle initials “JB” for example. He was thinking of going that route.

  116. I love that name Ezra. My boys have names in that genre (not Ezra, but that name was on our list of possibilities, also Ezekiel)

  117. Louise- I like Eleanor as well, but I didn’t want the shortening to Ellie. My kids all have names that don’t really shorten, guaranteeing that they will end up with some other form of nickname!

    I have seen a LOT of the names on that list among my kids’ friends, but no Aurora or Arabella.

    Austin– I am sorry to hear your latest update.

  118. Atticus was definitely popular with the hipster crowd for a while. Until Atticus actually was found to be a jerk in the new book. Whoops!

  119. Silas seems like a tough name to have for a little boy.

    Austin, I am so sorry about your mom.

  120. Some of our relatives name a recent kid Eleanor, and shorten it to Nora. Personally, I like Nora a lot more than Eleanor (which for some reason reminds me of another name I hate, Alice)

  121. My cousin named her dogs Atticus and Radley. She’s a big To Kill a Mockingbird fan I guess.

    I really liked Eleanor and Evelyn when we were having our youngest but DH didn’t like the nicknames so we went with something else. Dh said before we had kids that he wanted our kids to have names that could be shortened because his name couldn’t be and he always wanted a nickname as a kid. However, there were so few names that we agreed on that it ended up only one of the kids has a name that can be shortened.

  122. @RMS – you should look at the craftsy classes. They look serious enough and clearly no grades.

    @MM – my kids are younger than yours, but I don’t really see the role of critique in beginning art education. If your son wants to take a drawing class, he will be learning to draw realistically. There will also likely be a lot of exercises to learn basic techniques. Most people don’t need a lot of feedback to know if they are doing that well or how they can improve. I never had any real critiques until I was in college. I think that’s appropriate. Feedback from peers is not valuable until your peers can talk with some knowledge about art, ideas and workmanship.

  123. I know an Eleanor nn Nora. I really like it. Plus a bunch of formal named Nora(h)s. And Ellies who are really Eleanors. And a ton of Evelyns nn Evie.

    My kids have family names that are traditional sounding. All go by a nickname.

  124. On my end of the block we have a Finn, a Silas, a Hugo, a Simon, a Grayson, and a Milo. All under 2.

  125. Love hearing people’s baby name choices. Would love to know what names posters here have for their kids, but see the obvious flaw in that. Acquaintance gave birth to “Ansel” recently – love that.

    Met a few Axls and an Atlas recently.

  126. Are Finn and Grayson boys or girls? I know girls (as well as boys) named both, along with Carter.

  127. In great Southern tradition style, we gave one of ours maiden name as a first name, but it could be shortened to a normal sounding first name, which was my intent. Example (not real, but very similar): Williamson/shortened to Will. Of course, he insists on being called the full name, so he’s one of those Southerners with a weird name that Mooshi makes fun of. :)

  128. My granddaughters were named – eldest with obscure ethnic version of beloved late great grandma’s name ending in a – cadence Sasha Jefferson. Second another obscure same ethnicity name also ending in a, same cadence. Third a 3 letter trendy name originally from same ethnicity ending in a, but also old fashioned English like Alice or Harriet, pronounced in the English fashion, not original language fashion, same cadence. DIL has family with old homes on Prout’s Neck, ME, so clearly not her ethnicity. What a trooper.

  129. That list seems like it’s just a list of the hot/trendy names for the white upper class/UMC,

  130. Lark, I had planned to do the same thing, but my husband ended up over-ruling. We ended up using first names of my grandmother’s two brothers, so his names match his fair skin/red hair. The boy that moved in next door to where we lived at that time and became son’s best friend ended up having the maiden-name name, so for simplicity sake, I was glad we hadn’t used it.

    I am a fan of more traditional or family names, but do love seeing the names people pick. My daughter’s name is not particularly common in classrooms but is definitely not uncommon. My son has a name that was in boys top ten for decades, so nothing original.

    NoVaKate – I had planned to use a version of Kate because that is 2 family members’ name and I’m very fond of it. But my daughter was born around the time every friend and relative was using a variation of Caitlyn/Katelyn, so I had to go with secondary choices.

  131. It is funny to me that Nora and Kate are popular choices now. They are my name and my sister’s name, and we hated them growing up. Kate was better than Nora, but I remember a few years back when I met a new mom who told me her baby’s name was Nora, and I said to her “oh, why would you want to give her that name?” I apologized immediately and explained my history with the name, but she never liked me after that. We used to call them maid’s names.

  132. I think that baby name list is for the UK. I’m pretty sure a top baby name for the US would still include Michael, and for 2016 might include Stephen.

  133. My niece decided that she was lesbian but wanted an androgynous name so changed it to Milo.

  134. NoVaKate, did you “strut” onto this site in your early posts?
    Lark, we did the same thing. Southern to the core.
    Austin, so sorry to hear of your loss. {hugs}

  135. “Atticus?? Atticus?? Is everyone suddenly on a Harper Lee kick?”
    Or maybe Downton Abbey. Isn’t Cousin Rose married to Atticus?

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