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Showing posts from August, 2012

Charles P. Munk

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Last night Annalisse returned from her walk with Jasper and as they were heading up the driveway she started yelling, "Mom! Mom! Come and get Jasper!" I HAD NO IDEA WHAT WAS GOING ON, and thought the worst: What was wrong with Jasper? 

Apparently nothing more than a mouthful of baby chipmunk. There, on the driveway toddling along and tipping over and getting back up and shaking and squeaking was the littlest chipmunk I had ever seen. WHAT DO WE DO? we asked in panic.

I decided to take a walk down to our neighbors, who are both vets, to ask for advice. The husband vet gave me a couple of numbers for wildlife rehabbers who would come to our house to get the chipmunk before nursing it back to the wild. Since it was 8pm, though I had a hard time reaching anyone. We were worried; the poor little guy - who by now Annalisse had named "Jack" - would probably not make it through the night on his own and we had no idea what to do with him. Finally, a friend "tweeted&qu…

The Global Villager

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On Monday afternoon we took Cam back to RIT for his sophomore year. This year he is sharing an apartment with five other guys in the newish Global Village. He and another kid (that he does not know) are sharing a room, and the other four guys (he knows them: one is from Fairport and two are from Hawaii, of all places! The other guy is someone he met last year).

You should see this place: Shopping! Dining! Outdoor lounging complete with a water sculpture, fire pit and sofas! Seriously, this place is like a country club - it makes me (and everyone I know) want to go back to college.

Cam apparently has a grand plan for improving his grades this year and, while he won't reveal much, it sounds like the plans include getting up early to work out and getting a job on campus. At this point he says he doesn't want to do crew so he can "focus on getting his grades up," so that's disappointing but we shall see. If he does get his grades up it will be worth it.

As for the o…

Magical, Musical Night

Last night, on a beeeeaaauuuutttttiiiifffuuulll August Friday night we went to the Andy Gramm4er/Mat Kearney/Train Concert at CMAC. The weather could not have been more perfect and made for an ideal setting for this much anticipated concert.

The artists/band did not disappoint! Andy Grammer started the night off and played for 1/2 hour. He's an up-and-comer, and has a couple of hits out right now. He did a great job and obviously got a lot of exposure in front of the huge, enthusiastic crowd. He played for just 25 minutes then made way for Mat Kearney, a fave of ours, especially since we saw him in Buffalo last November. Mat was also awesome, and there seemed to be a lot of fans in the crowd even though he's still not super well known. I would love to see him again in a smaller setting like we did last time, that made for a really great experience.
Next, was Train (!). What a show!!! They were SO AWESOME, entertaining and engaging!! Pat Monahan, the lead singer, has such chari…

Clear The Roads!

Today the second Baker kid got her driver's permit. That makes two Bakers unofficially "on the road." Kid #1 needs to retake the 5-hour driving course before he can take his road test (the first 5-hour course expired as they are only good for one year, and this has been a long, drawn-out process...), then he'll be ready to take his big test. Kid #2 needs to get basic training and will be taking driver's ed, probably some time this fall. We learned a great lesson from Kid #1 to Kid #2: TAKE DRIVER'S ED. Without it, the insurance increase is HUGE. We chose private lessons over driver's ed for Kid #1, I think because it didn't work with his schedule at the time, but what an expensive lesson to learn. The cost for insuring him is double as a result.

Boy, all this teenage driving freaks me out. I have no idea how my father did this with three girls.

"Sh*t Just Got Real"

That's what Cam said on his Twitter account after dinner when we were discussing getting his grades up this year and what it would take? There was a bit of banter back and forth, trying to figure out what might pique his interest [let me back up a minute...he's been saying for a couple of months he's going to try to get a 4.0 this coming quarter but, since he's said similar things before, I don't really believe him. Especially since he spends every waking moment (when not with his friends) playing a game on his laptop...). Knowing that a lot of his friends have cars and he's at the age when he'd be interested in that, we agreed that if he was able to finish out the next year with an overall GPA of 3.2 or higher we would give him $2,500 towards a car next summer.
Well, that did it (whew!) - it was "on." While I'm not too crazy about being out $2,500 next summer, I really really really hope he can accomplish this goal. By next summer it will al…

Test Anxiety

Annalisse has been knee-deep in college prep activities, including the aforementioned college visits and now an SAT prep class. She's taking the ACT in September, and the SAT in October, and, like Cameron, we invested in the pre-class to give her the best advantage possible for the test. Cam took the SAT twice, and was able to increase his score on the second test as a result of taking the class. For Annalisse, it's a little more difficult and she's very nervous about the whole thing.

School has never been easy for Annalisse, having been diagnosed with a learning/processing disability in first grade. The good news is she is a great advocate for herself, understanding her challenges and using resources and tools when needed. The bad news: a test like the ACT or SAT can be a disaster for her. She's smart - she "learns" - but things come harder for her and we're all really nervous about how she'll fare.

LUCKILY, we live in an age where most colleges cons…

Senior Pictures, NYC, and All That Jazz

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It has been an eventful week with nary a minute to spare to (or to blog). First things first:

SENIOR PICTURES! Annalisse went for her senior picture shoot at Keepsake Photography last Friday and they came out awesome! Jasper came along for the shoot and, after many attempts the photographer was able to get some really good pix of them together. Here's a link in case you want to take a look; I'm not sure how long they'll be available but they are really great!! Paying for them is a little like paying a small mortgage, but hey, what can you do? It's her senior picture.

The other big thing this week was my trip to NYC for the NAGAP meeting. This was my second time in the Big Apple - you can read about my first time here. I will say again how fortunate I am to be part of this awesome group of innovative, smart colleagues and how lucky I am to be able to travel to great places with them. There is no way I could afford to go to these locations and stay in the desirable areas …

The Dog Sitters

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On Tuesday we were on the road to another college visit, this time to Dickinson College in Carlisle, PA. We went on Tuesday afternoon to stay over for another college visit day which started at 8:30am on Wednesday.

While gone, I asked my niece, Nicole, to look after Jasper. It seemed like a good idea - Nic's boyfriend, Patrick, had been bugging her to get a dog and what better experience than to take care of a really cute dog for a day or two?

Poor Nic! As fate would have it she had the pleasure of taking Jasper out during pouring down rain (after a really strong thunderstorm) for a long walk during which he DID NOT POOP. She was so worried...should she keep walking? In the pouring rain? When she told Patrick they would have to pick up the eventual poop that would occur he was appalled: "I'm not picking up poop!" - Patrick's got a long way to go until he's ready for a puppy!

Then, the next evening (we were expected home around 8:30 so Nic came over to take P…