2023 - Week 16 - Keepin’ Calm, Carryin' On
It has been another action packed week! Still, despite everything going on, I'm doing my best to remain zen.
Continuing the format I'm settling into by recapping the week day by day:
What a day it was on Sunday. It was cloudy pretty much all day long but it's hard to have not felt like it was a sunshine-y day since it started, as Sundays often do, with Lou's delicious homemade waffles. The Hamilton Beach Double Belgian Waffle Maker was a good investment and I wholeheartedly recommend to any other waffle enthusiasts trying to waffles to a family.
The most eventful experience for me on Sunday was taking the kids, Oz & Moira, to see The Super Mario Bros. Movie. I was blown away at how little I noticed Chris Pratt's voice, though there were a few instances where I heard it clearly. The little touches, the Easter eggs and love notes, it was beautiful and the writing had plot holes a mile wide yet it all really worked so much better than I'd expected. I'd had some hope hearing positive reviews from others, but it's worth making clear that this movie blew away expectations that were actually very very very low, so it didn't have to work hard to blow my hair back. With that then said: It's really quite lovely. I'm excited to watch it again as soon as possible.
The theater where we saw it was busier than we'd seen it, even on a Saturday, in some time. It was both disconcerting and exciting to see a movie with other humans. There was a child that laughed consistently at moments that simply weren't funny thereby making the moments funny. Thanks random kid!
Monday was a huge milestone for Lou and I when we finally changed our names, officially!
This is definitely something about which I intend to write more, but the process of getting one's name changed in Washington State isn't particularly difficult, though a little time consuming. In this case we filed with the circuit court of our county and then showed up for our docket. They seem to do all name changes once a month here and we were one of many both in court and on Zoom.
The experience of sitting in a Kitsap County Circuit Court Room was interesting when compared to the various other times I’ve found myself in a courtroom throughout my life time. It's an experience I've had much more often than I would have expected when I was but a youngin’. Perhaps my other experiences in he courtroom are a topic for yet another future post. I will forever recall the vibration of the HVAC system, the sound of the speakers when Zoom announced that a recording was in progress, the stains on the ceiling tiles. These things, and the positive interaction with the judge, will likely always be seared in my memory.
It’s a huge relief.
Though it’s also a huge amount of work we’ve made for ourselves 😅
But more than anything it's a relief to feel like I'm finally who I am. It's hard to explain but the judge, who at first was mildly suspicious of my name, less so of Lou's, seemed to get it very quickly. It was pleasing, actually.
Because Eph Baum does make sense.
And I really like the name Eph.
The emotions I felt in the moment were strong, the emotions I feel now remain powerful. I feel good, and I think it's wonderful that we now get to be Eph & Lou as we continue on our journey, turning yet another page, closing yet another page in our lives.
We've been together 14 years and neither of us have liked our names. Lou in particular has had such a strong viscerally negative feeling about her given name that it's almost absurd we didn't try to do this years ago.
But for the children, of course.
Now we're just living our truth.
Oz turns 13 yeas old next year, and if they want to change their name officially at that time, we'll let them. For now we'll continue to use whatever preferred name with which they feel the most comfortable.
Not much to speak of for Tuesday. Another acting class for Oz.
Lou and I found ourselves at the Social Security Administration. It's nice that Lou's been through this name change process a few times. It's a bit of a pain in the ass, but ultimately it is worth it, I think.
Oz decided it's time for another new style so they're rocking a Slipknot shirt and spiked gauntlets
Thursday saw Lou out of the house most of the day and I was wrangling the puppy and the kiddo. To be fair Oz didn't need much wrangling as they're doing pretty with their school schedule on their own these days.
In the evening we had our final puppy socialization class. It was suggested that Ollie was the most improved❣️I would have to agree but it was almost immediate and just got better with each subsequent class.
Now we need to work on the next level of training.
We're making such great progress! We're going to have a Good Dog™️.
Friday was busy from a work perspective trying to get as much done as possible at the end of the Sprint.
In the evening Oz and I attended a meeting of Kitsap CREATE, which happens on the third Friday of each month. We became members as it's kid of a no-brainer. The group is continually recommended and showing up when asking about meeting like minded folks in the area. They seem to lack a good "maker" space, not even being able to use the term Maker™️ to describe themselves.
A significant portion of the meeting was dedicated to describing, and requesting volunteers for, a STEM Day at the Marvin Williams Rec Center on the day before Father's day from 10-6. They're going to have a bunch of demonstrations, interactive exhibits, and classroom instruction around a variety of STEM medium and disciplines.
That brings us to today. There's not much to say about today but it happened. We ran a few errands in the morning, including a trip to our local pet supply shop, Gastropup for a Wonder Walker harness for Ollie.
We took him for a nice long walk today and he's unable to pull at all with this harness. It's kind of amazing stuff. I hope it stays that way 🤞