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I actually got compliments on my bathroom…

August 2, 2009, 3:25 PM

My parents came by as planned, and we had a great time. I actually got compliments on the cleanliness of my bathroom, believe it or not. It certainly pays to really give the place a once-over. Of course, my parents got advance warning that I had cleaned. I posted a status message on Facebook indicating that I was cleaning, and my Aunt Mary, whom, along with Uncle Bruce, my parents visited before leaving New Jersey, saw the status message and commented on it. And Mom noticed that I had missed dusting my printer, and wrote “MOM” in the dust, and then dusted it with a paper towel.

So we got together, and went out for lunch. We originally planned to eat at Umbertos in Wheaton, but much to our dismay, they were closed. I don’t know what was going on, because they were supposed to have been open based on their posted hours, and the restaurant was in a bit of disarray, with the chairs missing, and the tables arranged in a way like they’re doing something or other. So who knows what’s going on. This merits further investigation, but a phone call to the restaurant a few hours later got no answer, and a call to the other Umbertos in Potomac got nowhere. I hope they’re not closed for good, because that would be a disappointment. That’s a favorite of mine for entertaining, and it’s really a diamond in the rough as far as Wheaton is concerned.

So we went to downtown Silver Spring, and had lunch there instead. We went to Austin Grill, which also serves Tex-Mex cuisine, though not as authentic as Umbertos. At Umbertos, the staff consists of mostly native speakers of Spanish and converse amongst each other in Spanish, while at Austin Grill, the employees definitely speak English as a first language. But the food was good. I had the grilled chicken burrito, my father had the burger, and Mom had enchiladas. I also got a hat from the Don Strock Diabetes Classic golf tournament, which Uncle Bruce’s company sponsored.

And lastly, I passed a photo on to Mom via a thumb drive. Interestingly enough, my former sixth grade reading teacher, Mrs. Bradley, also at one time a coworker of Mom’s, now retired, is also a painter! Mom’s always liked a particular photo of mine from my Sunrise at Virginia Beach Photography set, and Mrs. Bradley has agreed to paint it. Here’s the photo:

And as the sun gets up, a man plays in the surf.

Looking back at that photo, the only thing I regret about it is that I didn’t have a better camera back then. That was taken with the original Mavica way back in 2000. Big Mavica would not come for another two years. But I’m excited to see how the painting will look when it’s finished.

And now, I have to pack for the staff retreat. See you at the Bolger Center!

Web site: Wikipedia's "Don't be a dick" essay. Good advice to live by. The essay came up because Mom was amazed by some of the driving habits of people up here, and even worse, up in New Jersey (here, they at least let you in).

Song: Singing the theme to Family Matters with accompaniment on the ukelele

Quote: "You see, up here, the horn is used for a lot more than saying 'hello' to pedestrians." - me in explaining to Mom why we blow our horns so much up here compared to Stuarts Draft, where car horns are rarely heard.