Chris spent the day investigating some game stores and miniatures rules with Rick so I alternately worked oncatching up on Green Ronin stuff and doing fun or interesting things with Kate. One of the things we did was head down to the Sound Transit Safety Fair, where Martin Luther King Jr. Way was closed off for a few hours and there were safety and information booths, bands and student performers, and speakers as well as a light rail car parked in Othello Station and open to the public to roam through. I took many photos with my phone but haven't begun to mess with them to see if they turned out, let alone if I can get them off my camera. I spent much of my time at the street fair talking talking to State Rep. Zack Hudgins who was on hand because transportation is one of his key concerns in the legislature. I took the opportunity to ask Rep. Hudgins if it was likely that we were going to see relief from the "rental" tax on car-sharing programs like Flexcar and Zipcar and he admitted that no, especially with the projected budget deficits the legislature was not going to be in a position to offer any tax exemptions, and went on to explain that before the state budget situation he wasn't in favor of lifting the tax. While I was disappointed that the situation isn't going to be resolved in the way that I'd like, I'm all too aware of the forces that pull our representatives in government one way and another and I accept that they often have to jockey for position and influence, anticipate the ways in which well intended legislation can be abused, and keep an eye on several competing interests at once. Goodness knows, I'm certainly not cut out for politics. Hudgins was quite open and spent an age talking to me about all sorts of things: light rail and car-sharing, Proposition One (the new transit vote) this fall, lead testing (he was aware of the "lead in the pipes" issue that broke here at New Holly), the increase in crime, violence, gang activity, and drugs here in the south end combined with the lack of services and how that's impacting the community spirit in New Holly and the neighbors who are going to be surrounding Othello Station when the light rail finally starts running. I found him open and honest and willing to go into as much detail as I cared to hear (he apologized a couple of times, saying he didn't want to be a "wonk" when he felt he was getting too deeply into detail but I assured him that I was really enjoying it). Didn't always have the answers I wanted to hear but it was always stuff in the realm of disappointing but not outrageous.
Chris came home from his gaming sojourn just in time for me to run off to the store to pick up a few things and then Kate and I were out for the rest of the night on a babysitting favor. We got to spend time with a sweet little girl of nearly seven months old who reminds me SO much of Kate as a baby. I could go on and on about the ways in which I see these children as being similar but mostly I was pleased that my baby-minding skills aren't too rusty. She went to bed like a dream (which I was pleased to reassure my friends when they called in for a "Nervous Parents" check-in) and made one tiny squeak over the monitor when she turned over or hiccuped or something. Kate really wants to start babysitting herself and I thought it would be fun and interesting for her to see a little bit of what it takes while there's an adult at hand and, indeed, she was interested and happy to be along. Extra bonus, my friends repaid my favor with ice cream! Not just any ice cream, but Molly Moon's Salted Caramel which my whole family just loooooves.
Today was a casual day of catching up on computer work combined with cleaning and purging around the house. I currently have three big garbage bags of clothes and shoes to go out to donation, boxes of books to go out, and we noticed that one of the shelves in the office is sagging precariously under its load of books and games so those are getting a good culling as well. I feel like I got a good deal accomplished without knocking myself out completely and heading back into the land of the permanently exhausted. Also got some homemade dinner (baked "manicotti" made with no-boil lasagna sheets, from a recipe I saw on America's Test Kitchen) which was awfully nice and got thumbs up from the whole family to boot.
Tomorrow it's a date with our nutritionist and then I go in for a battery of allergy tests. I'm tired of the low-level allergy symptoms I suffer with constantly and my sinuses have definitely become a huge problem this year that has dragged on. Time to take more action.
Finally, I also heard from my mom again about my grandma. Grandma waqs moved out of ICU, which is absolutely cause for celebration. She had her first round of dialysis and that has also seemed to improve her recovery as the pain killers and anesthesia that were lingering in her system are now (finally) being processed out. She's still very weak but got up for a short walk (to the door of her room and back) which she was utterly unable to even consider on my last day in Arizona. Thanks again to everyone who has been keeping her in their thoughts, prayers, and well wishes. I'm cautiously optimistic that she'll see a better recovery from here.