Saturday, November 26, 2011

Strike a Pose...

We are having a great time visiting the boys' grandmother in South Carolina for Thanksgiving.

As proud parents, we of course think that Danny and Benji are adorable enough to be catalog models, but, apparently we are not serious about this or else maybe we'd find pants that fit Benji and a shirt that fits Danny right?

Hope you all had a happy Thanksgiving and had plenty to give thanks for. As you can see, we sure did. -Monica

Monday, November 21, 2011

DC Department of Doh!

This is a story of a little blue car. His name is Rondo, and when we bought him I wisely got a low interest loan from my Credit Union. After religiously paying off the loan for a few years, I got something called a "lien release letter".

This is a good thing. It means that the bank says that we are "Even Steven" and I can now get the title to little Rondo in my name.

After doing some research I got to this link where I learned that I would have to go in person into the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to one of the Service Locations and give them the letter, some money (which my Credit Union covered after much discussion) and in about a week, they would mail me the new title.

Today I was in the area of the main DMV and brought everything along I needed. The woman at the information desk sighed in a bored voice and said "we can't do that here". Turns out that I'd have to go to a Service Center. Silly me. I tried to explain that the main DMV is listed under Service Locations on the web site regarding titles. I could tell my observation was of no interest to her. "You have to go to a Service Center she said again, waving on the next customer while shoving a brochure in my hand.

Turns out that on the DMV website if you go into each facility listed under Service Locations , you'll see a list of what you can and cannot do at each location--some of which are called Service Centers (which is not what the information about titling says). It's completely illogical in my opinion.

My transaction involved entering information into a system, accepting payment and issuing me a new title later.  Why this cannot be technologically accommodated at the main DMV is beyond me. It's not like I expected them to whip up a title for me. I know that it's a process that takes time and new titles are mailed. But seriously? It feels more like 1984 than 2011 (and not in a good way).

So some fine day I'll go to a service center that the web site says can handle this transaction. I wonder what the problems I'll encounter there the day I go? I can only imagine.

Good thing we are not thinking of selling little Rondo. But I'd sure like to get his "birth certificate" with me listed as his owner. Is that too much to ask? -M

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Someone takes getting his hair cut VERY seriously.

But Benjamin recovered nicely as you can see.

Bring it on Old Man Autumn!

Last weekend the boys enjoyed a little fun in the leaves when their Nana Ulli came for a visit. Looks like more fun on tap for today with all the wind we've had in the DC area this week. Probably twice as many leaves down as last week. They are going to be SO EXCITED! -M

Friday, November 11, 2011


Every year on Veteran's Day I think of my dad.  He pretty badly wanted out of a difficult life at home and managed to enlist at 16. Still not sure how he got away with that. He had terrible vision in one eye--Amblyopia I think it was called. It meant that the eye had a visual disorder but looked normal. When it came time to take the eye test he cleverly passed it. When they told him to cover one eye and read the chart he covered his right eye with his right hand. He did great. Then they told him to do the same with the other eye. He just used his left hand this time and covered up that same right eye. Again he did great. He must have really wanted into the service.

This all happened in the 1950s and before too long, before he met my mom, he was shipped overseas to Korea. As war was never declared against Korea--it was actually a police action, but if you asked my dad, he'd tell you it was a war.

I only ever remember catching bits and pieces about his experience there. I know he was a telegraph guy. Knew Morse Code perfectly and for the most part worked on intercepting messages. I recall that he sometimes had bad dreams and I don't know if it was true or I imagined that his angst came from having been in a truck when the driver was shot. If the driver had slammed right they all would have plunged off a cliff. But he slammed left and the rest survived. He was in the front cab as I recall the story going and it was pretty traumatic for him. Again, since he hardly ever talked about the "non-war war" I sometimes wonder if I imagined all this.

I do know for a fact that in the 1990s after the Korean War Memorial was built in Washington my dad came to visit and we went for a walk there. (I'm glad they don't call it the Korean Police Action Memorial) For those of you who don't know this memorial it's just a few steps from the Vietnam Memorial by the Lincoln Monument.  He thought the artists did a great job of creating it. It's right near DCA National and very often you hear aircraft overhead. Spot on. Kind of startled him I'm pretty sure. He said that it was funny that most people think Korea was hot (maybe they confuse it with Vietnam, which by the way was also a police action as war was never declared) but he said it was SO cold all the time. That was his memory.

Dad figured he'd just stay in the military for his whole career but after he got married and us kids started coming along, I guess a better paying job was needed. He did stay in the reserves and every summer for two weeks he'd go train as well as several weekends a year. I was a kid in the 1960s and I think I remember mom worrying that dad might have to go to Vietnam but I'm grateful that that never happened. I'm sure he was too.

So on this 11th day of the 11th month of actually the 11th year of this century I salute my dad and all who have served. Like it says at the Korean War Memorial "Freedom Isn't Free". -Monica

 My dad Joe a few years before he enlisted in the Army

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Mommy, Benji's playing with his oatmeal...

Mommy on her way into the dining room: "Danny, remember how we've talked about tattling? You only need to tell if someone is in danger or breaking someth..."

"Oh for the love of God Benjamin! Really? Really?"

I'm not sure if there was danger or anything being broken, but I'm kinda glad Danny alerted me to this. You know, before it got out of hand. -Monica