Friday, September 28, 2007

Five days off and counting...

I'll bet you all were expecting more posts from me, now that I am out on disability. To be honest, I thought the same. However, the first few days of rest and relaxation were truly that. I had no idea how worn out I'd become over the past few months. I have been a lazy ass, with my butt parked on the couch for many hours.

I've been sleeping a lot, but the sleep is erratic. I was up until 5am the other morning, and then went back to sleep once I got the boys off to school. Today is the first day where I don't feel like I've been run over by a mack truck.

Monday is my first visit to Nurse M since going on leave. She and I haven't specifically put a time frame on this leave. We've both agreed that I need to get off the vicodin. Small problem there is that the pain has been WORSE since I've been off from work.

Time will tell whether I am crazy to think I'm going back...

Monday, September 24, 2007

I'm too sexy for this blog...

How many of you blog out there? Really. Blog more than once a week, month, year, presidential administration? Have you noticed the dynamic of the various blog sites?

MySpace-Most people have under three blog entries, and those were posted within the first month of joining the site. The purpose of MySpace is to have a 'bulletin board' on the net like you probably had on your dorm room door. Everyone leaves comments, some of your friends send you a bulletin every day and if you're over 30, you're not hip.

I have a MySpace page, and I am so uncool. It's been over a year since I started it and I have less than a dozen comments. Why do I have it? For the bands, dude. That's probably the best thing about MySpace-bands create pages and keep you up to date about their concert tours and albums.

The one feature that they have that I love is that you can filter who reads an entry. Then again, no one is on there to WRITE anything, especially if they can't use L33t or text shorthand. No one's on Myspace to read entries, so you don't get complaints when you haven't posted anything.

Live Journal-This is the blogging site for intelligent people who are far too lazy to actually write. I suspect these people are all cat owners who are channeling their pet's apathy. If you see more than one entry every six months, send the poster over to Blogger, because I think it's against Live Journal's TOS to do this!

No once complains when you don't post because they know you're a lazy ass who can't be bothered to even change your mood on there, so to actually see you WRITE an entry would give the readers coronaries.

Blogspot-Where the blogger who hasn't got a huge audience but loves to write hangs out. If you click on that lovely "Next" button at the top of the blog, you'll find yet another writer. Odds are great that it won't be in English, but it'll still be readable (once you use Google's translation feature). Most people on Blogger would do well in the professional writing trades, but they have average jobs.

If they've got a sitemeter, it registers under 50 hits a day. Comments are few and far between. This is because they know most of their reading audience and the readers IM and email the responses and bitch that you haven't written anything in three days. Once they get over 50 hits a day, the blogger then moves over to:

Typepad- Where the big time bloggers play. It's not free (like the previous three), so most people wait until they're getting a bunch of hits daily and are earning more than .62 a month from Google Ads. Once at Typepad, the blogger probably will have to find their focus in order to build an audience. Suffice to say, though, the 100 or so comments an entry means that at least 1000 are reading it.

Where does this leave me? I'm a blogger, through and through. I love the fact that I can keep in touch with everyone. For the most part, I'm an open book, though there have been times that I'd love to use the blog for it's intended purpose, but can't, because all eyes are on it.

I aspire to have enough people reading it to become a Typepad girl. My personal goal is 50 hits a day and it might make the fees worthwhile. What is my voice? Bitching about my life-I'm good at it.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Teacher conference, woohoo

Whenever we have a teacher conference with a new teacher for Gameboy, there is no small measure of trepidation. He's a smart kid, but he is a handful for anyone. The best laid plans of meeting with teachers before the school year started did not go as planned. Instead, we met the teacher that used to run the program that he was to be enrolled.

Tonight, I met up with the teacher that has him for half of the day and was pleasantly surprised. It was similar to the meetings we had with his teacher for the previous two years. We talked about how much his intelligence impressed her. She told me how he was a rapt listener in class, remembered EVERYTHING she taught and had insightful answers for the questions she posed.

For instance, the students are currently reading 'The Skin I'm In,' a book about a young girl with poor self image. The girl speaks of her mother, but the mother does not really have a role in the book. Ms. O asked the students what the character thought of her mother and his answers had a lot of depth. He does get human interaction-he just can't apply it to himself. (I think I want to request a copy of this book-it sounded really interesting)

She got our letter of introduction about Gameboy and asked my opinion regarding homework. We wrote that we were concerned that it takes him hours to complete assignments. Ms. O said some parents insist on homework, some ask for none-what was my preference? I am of the mind that if he is retaining the classroom instruction, then we shouldn't drill the child at home. She agreed and felt that it was unneccessary for him. It really heartened me to have a say in his instruction, to know that we are a partnership for the next three years and agree on what is best for him.

The biggest relief to me is that, despite his emotional outbursts, she loves having him in her class because she enjoys his insights. When I explained that emotionally, she's dealing with a three year old, it was like a ligh bulb went on over her head. It really is hard to see a brawny 11 year old and realize that his emotional maturity is that of a preschooler-I'm glad she got the connection.

She also wanted 'the big picture' and asked about Chef Jr. We talked about how he is the trailblazer for his big brother, involving the family in scouting and generally being patient beyond his years. She got a taste of the squabbling that happens. Somehow, we got to discussing my leg and impending disability and found that she has had similar circulatory issues. She's had the sapphenous vein stripped, too. She's also been falling lately, and I made a suggestion that she keep a journal of what happens prior to the falls to bring with her for the doctor's appointment. It felt like I was sitting down with a friend and wanted the best for her. She certainly shows that she wants the best for my child.

It appears that the roller coaster ride of uncertainty has returned to the station. We're all in accord on the homework, the future FCAT testing and what works with Gameboy. I do want to have a conference with his math and science teacher next. Ms. V teaches his best AND worst subject.

Math could be his standout class, however, he basically was babysat in third grade due to poor placement. Our goof-Florida doesn't recognize Asperger's as Autism and as a result, he was in a class of 1st through 3rd grade spectrum and the teacher taught to the lowest common denominator. He did not learn his multiplication tables. Science, on the other hand, fascinates him to no end.

Perhaps this is the time to get some practical experience. I should get my hands on some teaching materials to work on tutoring him in 3rd through 5th math to get him up to grade level. Once he learns those tables, then they'll stick forever.

My other responsibility is to get the specific typing program he requested to learn to type properly. He has many teaching accommodations, but the FCAT testing criteria are iron clad. He must write his own answers. In the past, he would dictate it to a teacher, then type it out, then he'd edit the printed draft, then retype it. By the time he got to the retyping, he was tired of the material. By teaching him to type properly, he can type and edit in a more timely manner.

What a relief this conference was!

Kenny Everett - DIY Bee Gees Kit

From the annals of great late night TV, we bring you Kenny Everett.


A little backstory:
Back in the late 70's and early 80's, Saturday Night Life was the best thing going on TV. The original cast was the original NBC "must see TV". As a young teen, too young to be going out on a Saturday night (not that I had anywhere to go, anyway), I of course had to watch.

Being the night owl that I was (and still am), I'd invariably watch Don Kirshner's Rock Concert. After that show was over, NBC had this wonderful nugget from across the pond. The Thames production "Kenny Everett Video Show".

It was another wonderful import. We had Benny Hill and Monty Python. This was more topical humor. It was a rare week that I wasn't there laughing for the entire program. While I can tell you some of the ideas of the sketches he presented, this one stood out in vivid memory for 27 or so years. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did as a teen.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Hosting pictures

I've been a member of Imagestation for a few years now. It's been a good site, I use them to host pictures that I occasionally post on message boards, as well as allow friends far and wide to view. Another person hosts about a thousand pictures of mine on her site as well, but I feel like that is rude-since we aren't in contact anymore. (It's a good thing she had them, I lost a lot of pictures in the hard drive crash)

Imagestation announced that they will be shutting down. They suggest that users port everything over to Shutterfly, but I'm not thrilled with their site. This leads me to find a different site to host my pictures. But which one?

The front runner is Flikr. I notice a lot of the bloggers I read use them and it seems so easy to use. However, no one I know IRL seems to have it. Shutterfly has not impressed. I noticed Da Mooch has Fotki, which I'd never heard of prior to him linking me pictures of the new house he and da wife are building. If this blog keeps spiking more readers, eventually I may switch to typepad, and they host pictures as well.

What about you guys? Who's hosting your pictures? What do you like or dislike about your hosting service. Why should I choose to use what you've got?

Monday, September 17, 2007

Coping 101

I have a day off. Lately, that means I've taken ill in some fashion. That probably would explain the aura I've got right now. Damn, it's almost 6pm, and I thought I'd escaped it this time! It's making typing interesting for sure.

Disability begins next week. My boss contacted HR today and they are FedEx ing the forms. The call went out to Nurse M. Apparently, the practice charges 25 dollars for these forms to be filled out. Instead, she gave me her fax number to complete them and return to my employer. An indication of how much she likes me: she told me to do it this way so I don't have to pay the 25 bucks! Hmm, I think I need to bring a batch of brownies or cookies to my next appointment.
As far as work goes, I feel bad. I've been hoarding my vacation time to use in the first 8 days of my time off. The company counts sick days in the payroll budget for the store, but not vacation pay. This sucks-not only does someone have to come in to cover for the sick person, the sick person's hours are included in the day's tally. I suppose it is to discourage us from using the sick time. In any event, I've got six days of sick time that will be counted against the store's payroll for the first week I'm out.

Today, Gameboy is really pushing my buttons, acting rather like Veruca Salt. He denies this, of course, but he sounds a lot like "but Mommy, I want it NOOOOOOOOOWWWWWWWWW", whiny inflection and all. Today, though, I've got the best coping strategy.

I was 'talking' in an online discussion group about under rated Bands and pulled out to listen to the ones I contributed. I'm listening to the tunes and the child whines away. I don't hear it and he gets it out of his system. Horrible parenting or sanity saver? I think it's the later. Listening to October Project sure helps calm the savage beast that I can be. (Next up, more under rated bands: Marillion, Rush, and Echolyn)

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Summer breeze, blowing through the jasmine in my mind

Lately, I've been reminiscing about my childhood and events shared with my parents. For two people who worked full time (plus), they each made efforts to do things while we kids were off from school. A sampling:

The restaurant mom worked in was closed Monday nights. For a time, she'd pick up a bartending/bookkeeping job on Mondays at a bar in Baldwin. Summer was different, she'd be home Mondays (and many a Thursday, too). We'd have dinner out at the picnic table on the patio and at least one of those nights, after dinner, we'd head down to Newbridge pool for a swim.

The green flies were abundant (the pool is right on the canals leading to the Great South Bay), but the breeze off the bay made even the hottest summer night quite pleasant. Mom would sneak in her white wine spritzer and camp out under on of the canopies with all the towels with her cigarette in hand. She'd finish the smoke and a drink, then she'd come join us in the pool. She loved it. You could tell, because she'd be singing off key the whole time*. We'd frequently stay until the pool closed at 10pm. If she'd had a good week waitressing, we'd stop by the Carvel on the way home for Brown Bonnets or Flying Saucers.

Once in a blue moon, this would be altered by a trip to Jones Beach. As none of her cars would have air conditioning, the drive down the parkway would involve rolling all the windows down . The wind whipping by and the smell of the ocean were intoxicating. We'd head to Field 4, enjoying a trip through the tunnel, a walk on the boardwalk and the smell of french fries from the concession stand. To this day, twilight swims are magical to me, especially on those rare occasions that I can get to a sandy beach.

Dad's summer routine also involved a lot of swimming. His years of being a mailman made him an early bird, which meant his days off were no different. Sunday mornings, he'd be at the front door before 7am, sometimes just before 6. Sleepily, Giggles and I would head to the car for that same trip down to the beach, but in the daylight to Field 6. As this Field had the shortest beach, it was the most popular. Many times, the parking lot would be filled to capacity by 9am.

Dad's analytical mind proved successful on this front. He ensured we arrived early, and we'd never be further back in the parking lot than the third row. We'd get the coveted spot at the beach next to the largest lifeguard stand, always on the right. This meant we had nothing in front of us but beach and nothing to the left but the roped off lifeguard area.

Dad and I always had a book with us, sometimes the Sunday paper (at this point, Giggles really hadn't been much of a reader). There would be a cooler with Diet Cokes, grapes, bananas, plums and other snacks. I'd have a transistor radio tuned to Casey Kasem and would doze off and on while "American Top 40" played. When the show was over at noon, this usually meant it was time to head over to Freeport Rec. (I think Dad enjoyed AT40 as much as I did-though he never said. Had he not, we would have left before that number one song played each week)

Back up the Meadowbrook Parkway we'd go. We'd laugh at the inevitable traffic jam in the opposite direction, headed down to the beach. Ha ha, we just spent 5 or 6 hours down here and you won't be on the beach for at least another hour! Sometimes, if we were heading further north, up to the mall, we'd find the traffic jam went as far up as the Southern State parkway. Hard core beach fans, willing to sit in a five mile backup for some coveted time on the sand.

As if 5 or 6 hours on the beach with SPF 4 wasn't enough, the trip to the Rec meant Dad got in a two hour workout and Giggles and I got more swim time in the pool. I was not lucky enough to inherit Dad's olive complexion like Giggles-many of the Sundays meant that I was pink or possibly red on Monday. Meanwhile, the two of them got the perfectly sun kissed look I have never in my life achieved.

The neurologist's suggestion of getting in the salt water got me thinking of all the time I spent with my parents waterlogged when I was growing up. Now Chef Jr can hold his own and Gameboy really wants to swim. It gives me hope of sharing the joys of summer Sundays with them, too.

**When Gameboy was an infant, anytime I got him in the water, I'd bounce him to the sounds of me humming "The Mexican Hat Dance". It wasn't until Mom got in the pool in Florida with the boys a few years later until I realized why I did it. She'd done that with each of us kids every summer at Newbridge. It just seems to fit together, like peanut butter and jelly.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Spelunking the internet

It's always interesting what one finds when looking for something completely different on the internet. A song has been in my head since a friend's admission of infatuation with someone otherwise spoken for. So, off I go, searching You Tube to see if I can find the Roches'
"The Married Men" to send to the friend in an email.

No, it's not on You Tube, but over 25 years has not lessened the memories of their eponymous release. These women are the shining example of well crafted three part harmonies and sarcastic lyrics. One of my sisters had the album in heavy rotation in '79/'80, so much so that I remember ALL of the lyrics from the album.

Of course, the YouTube mining expedition didn't find the cut I was looking for, so I went to their website to see if they had some snippets. Something to send to the friend (alas, I'll have to point her to the lyrics). As is typical, I had to nose around their website.

What I found is the Paradoxical Commandments and anyone who knows me will probably read the following and agree that this sounds like something I would say (though not nearly as eloquently). Kent Keith wrote them in 1968. I've never seen this before, but I have to give him a lot of credit for putting something so simple and profound into words.
  1. People are illogical, unreasonable, and self-centered. Love them anyway.
  2. If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives. Do good anyway.
  3. If you are successful, you win false friends and true enemies. Succeed anyway.
  4. The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow. Do good anyway.
  5. Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable. Be honest and frank anyway.
  6. The biggest men with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest men with the smallest minds. Think big anyway.
  7. People favor underdogs, but follow only top dogs. Fight for a few underdogs anyway.
  8. What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight. Build anyway.
  9. People really need help but may attack you if you do help them. Help people anyway.
  10. Give the world the best you have and you'll get kicked in the teeth. Give the world the best you have anyway.
So, here's to spelunking. Like exploring a cave underground, sometimes you don't find exactly what you expected-but what you found should be shared with others. Thanks, Mr. Keith.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

The Archaeological Dig, Otherwise Known As 'Cleaning the Kid's Bedrooms'

Today, I had a glorious plan in mind. In it, the boy's rooms would have floors you can SEE, rather than ponder their existence. What color is the carpet in them? If I didn't remember that the builder made me choose the same color carpeting for the entire house, I'd be hard pressed to tell you.

It started at 10am, this wonderful idea of mine. Of course, the boys thought that they'd just *pretend* to be cleaning (Chef Jr) or outright complain that cleaning was boring (Gameboy). They probably figured Mom would tire of telling them that there would be no TV, games or out of the house travails until and unless the rooms were clean. Ha ha ha ha....WRONG!

The stalling tactics, of course, are many. Hunger, bathroom, need to get dressed (like that's ever stopped these two before), hunger again. Round about 11:40, I venture in to see their efforts after Chef Jr has appealed to me several times for some help. If they'd made a dent, I sure couldn't tell.

I start helping Chef Jr, while giving Gameboy guidance from the hallway. See, younger child has this thing about Mom coming and tucking him in and giving him a kiss goodnight, which I have not been able to do in weeks (months?), due to the detrius littering his floor. Gameboy could care less. I start lobbing lego into one bin, cars into another, and making noticeable headway. The mess in his room easily falls into several toy categories, so sorting into various Ikea and Rubbermaid bins is moving along. Ed wakes up and observes that Gameboy really needs more help: Chef Jr is capable at cleaning his room, and has proven this on many occasions.

This so aptly stated, my attention is turned then to Gameboy's room. He has a smaller room, as he is more likely to accumulate STUFF. Random stuff. Unidentifiable stuff. The stuff that archaologists would ponder if our house was left intact for several generations unmolested. Let's take a tour, shall we?
1. Under the bed. Items found: Ritz Cracker sleeve wrappers (4) and box (all empty); Hannaford Hamburger Bun plastic package (empty); the wrappers that once contained Tootsie Roll midgies and Super Bubble Bubble gum (also known as the gum that is harder to chew than I'd imagine a tire would be); various Pokemon cards; the partial remains of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (chapters 1-4 still in binding, rest of the contents MIA); several pages from various gaming strategy guides; and various other unexplained toy parts, some partially chewed.

Archeological interpretation: Carb loading reader of eclectic media with indiscriminating palate. Jaws of steel, as evidenced by gum and toy consumption choices (it should be noted the child does NOT take after his mother on the TMD front). Not a person who is likely to keep anything together, as noted by partial book, card collection and pages from strategy guides.

Continuing onward, Gameboy is asked to collect all possessions from under and behind the nightstand, the floor the right of his bed and from under his dresser. We then find:
Many Lite Brite pieces (which have never been actually used by either child in the aforementioned Lite Brite, but have provided them hours of enjoyment in ways such as: lining them up on the floor in various color combinations, leaving them strewn all over the house, and finally, watching mom and dad step on them and scream in pain); more Pokemon Cards; Magic Wand made at Harry Potter release party; more disemboweled books and game guides; papers from school (last year); various coupons from swag bag from his 5th grade banquet (most now expired); socks; underwear; two more empty sleeves from Ritz Cracker packages and several more unidentified toys.

Interpretation: Child has eaten more Ritz Crackers in one room than mother has eaten in the last three presidential administrations, has a fascination for pointy plastic pieces that are meant to be arranged in a black plastic field that has not been unearthed in this room, and shows propensity for saving objects that have shown no purpose to examiner or anyone other than resident of room. He has an alarmingly large collection of child's meal toys from the early part of the new millenium, especially since parents hardly cave on purchasing the meals for him(note: mother will purchase herself McD's Happy Meals now that they have apple slices and milk as meal choices). Apparetly, child discovers the toys under mother's car seat where she attempts to hide them in vain attempt to save them to use for trick or treaters this Halloween.

SIDE NOTE: Okay, I have to wonder after looking at all of this stuff: what the heck are they thinking with half of these happy meal/kid meal toys, anyway? We had some scary looking chicken/human hybrid (multiples of this thing, even), wearing some weird Hula skirt and posed in a most awkward position that would cause any of us to spend MONTHS in the care of a chiropractor. No idea what marketing tie in THAT was, but whatever it came from, it must have gone direct to video(Do not pass go, do not spend two months at the cheap movie theatre, either.)

Next, we focused our energies on the closet. More of the items listed above, and then some rope; baby toys(what is up with THAT?); various lunchboxes; more dirty clothing; several stray Capsela pieces*; a Phonics bus*; and plush characters from Pokemon and Sea World.

Interpretation: Child does not let go of any toy, especially toys that were purchased by uncle and aunt that are childless and do not understand the concept of "child is more intelligent than the average kid his age" doesn't mean you buy him a toy designed for a kid five years older, because said child will blow a gasket when he can't get the toy to WORK properly because he lacks the emotional maturity of that age, his own age or even a kid five years younger. This means the 80 dollar science toy that would have been perfect for him right about now is )four years after purchase) reduced to several pieces that child chews on.

NOTE: Yes, that is a huge bone of contention for me. The disadvantage to living hundreds of miles from family is that they had no clue of the meltdowns we endured in the name of 'but, he's so SMART'. Nor did they get the concept of 'call to check sizes' before telling one whole side of the family that my kid wears clothing 4 sizes larger than he actually did, though only one person (if you must know, the smart one, Giggles) bothered to check because those sizes didn't *sound* quite right.

Net result of today's exercise? Two kids who spent over six hours in their rooms, three bags of garbage and the discovery of medium gray carpet underneath it all. I later reward one child with time playing the Game Cube, his brother asks to watch.

They later undo any goodwill I might have had for their efforts by doing their best to ignore my call to bed by saying "but he's not able to save right now" I was in the midst of reading an interesting blog and didn't catch the time until I found that an hour had passed and they still 'hadn't reached a saving point' on the blasted game.

When I notice my oversight and go into my room, I find that he'd passed THREE opportunities to save and decided not to, figuring that I wouldn't notice. Ahhh, but I did and called him on it. Not only did they do a chore they despise and spend a good chunk of the day doing it, but they succeeded in lying about whether he'd arrived at a point where the game could be shut off. No games for lying, thanks.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Rack em and stack em*

(*term used by many busy airports when they can't allow all the planes to land as they arrive in their airspace)

The doctor's appointments, that is! Wednesday, I saw the neurologist. Thursday found Gameboy meeting his new psychiatrist and today, it was my turn (again) with vascular.

The upshot of things is that I will be taking short term disability from work, probably four to six weeks. I'm being nice-I'll wait until the assistant manager returns from his vacation. It is a relief, since the past few months, when I'm scheduled more than three days in a row, I'm dragging myself into the store. I enjoy what I do, but the pain makes it less than fun. Today is day number four and I'm grateful for a three day weekend to rest this leg up.

The neuro wants me to find physical therapy with a pool and wrote a script for three times a week. Last night, I did some PT work on my own and it is abundantly clear how tight and tense the left ankle is. Baby steps-at least I'm not hurting from that today. I am sporting a new ace wrap and it's rubbing. Lovely.

Gameboy is also in a holding pattern. His new psychiatrist wants to see how much of his current behavioral issues at school are due to him testing the boundaries of the teachers and how much is from his doses/medications needing to be changed around. We'll head back in about five weeks. She's good, looking at the whole picture. We told her how much weight he's gained in one year, she commented that one of his meds can be the cause, but asked about his eating habits.

We told her of the recent (past six months) development where he hides under his bed with food and gameboy. We will find empty boxes of cereal or hot dog bun wrappers that had been purchased the day before. He truly gravitates towards carbs, and eats like an animal who is afraid that his meal is going to be taken from him.

The doctor suggested removing the offending foods from the pantry, which I am all for. She felt that the whole family could benefit from this change-she's right. Chef Jr. does like his junk food, but he'll be equally likely to request fruit or cookies. Gameboy will go for the cookies every time.

We're all in holding patterns on different fronts. Ed's playing the waiting game on a couple of job prospects-hopefully, he lands one soon.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

A big sigh of relief

Yesterday, I visited the neurologist. I've had some new symptoms crop up that I wasn't sure were due to the RSD or inidicative of something more. Thankfully, he ruled out other issues, since they are only occurring in my left leg. Phew.

For now, I suck it up and deal with the pain as best I can. I don't want to shell out the 500 bucks for the deductible now, only to have to do it again in January. The plan is to limp along (ha ha) until then. He strongly urged trying physical therapy in a pool, or at the very least, get myself into a warm body of water at least three times a week.

Basically, if I don't improve with a few months of PT, the nerve blocks are to identify which nerve is causing me all this fun. If they work, after a few of those, then the nerve will get cut-no more pesky pain impulses. Sounds good to me, especially since the leg has been quite insistent that it is HERE and it HURTS. Oy.

I mentioned Nurse M and Dr J's opinion of going out on disability. His thought was perhaps I can work part time, like 4 hours a day to reduce the stress from this darn thing. I doubt that my employer would be amenable to it, but I'll ask. RSD causes a vicious cycle. Stress makes it worse, and the work problem (not liking my shoes) stress me out. The money situation stresses me out. Life just stresses me out. This is normal for anyone, but when you combine it with RSD, comes to visit you. :)

We've got answers, to a degree. Now I find PT that has a pool or bug the in laws until their pool is not warm enough to swim in. After many rounds of PT for the wrist, I know the drill. Pronate, supinate. Yay.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Sea World, once again

This past weekend, I was lucky to have two days of the three day holiday off with the kids. In years past, that would have meant we ran our butts all over creation having a ball. Now, not so much.

To be fair to the kids, I got my butt off the couch and ventured over to Sea World with them. It's nice that we've got annual passes to a local theme park. We venture forth at our leisure, or in my case, as much as the leg will allow. So, off we went for a few hours of fun Monday.

For a holiday, the place wasn't as packed as I would expect. That said, I think we are starting to see the slowdown of vacationers from elsewhere. There were several encounters with 'vacation daze'*, but we were unscathed by the experience.

On the agenda was seeing on of the shows we had not seen before, Clyde and Seymour take Pirate Island. Front row seats, courtesy me using the walker to get around now. The pre show consisted of a young man in mime white face parodying people walking by, leading people to their seats (by taking them out the other exit of the theatre and generally being silly. Honestly, Tom the Pirate mime was the best part of the show.

The show contained some of the worst acting seen this side of the Atlantic. The young man who is supposed to be shipwrecked laughed his way through his lines and never was in character. The young lady playing the captain appeared to have taken lessons from the Bill Shatner school of acting. One or the other wouldn't be bad-but together, they couldn't hold anyone's interest. Only the deckhand was doing a decent job of following the script! The animals, of course, were quite endearing. I think this one will be a pass in the future, unless I go see the mime and then leave!

The stadium exit brings us out right by the Penguin house. Both boys love this exhibit, so we spend nearly an hour learning more about penguins. Afterwards, we got on the Skytower for a view of West Orlando and Sea World itself. Progress on Aquatica is quite noticeable now. Chef Jr is very excited to see this-he taught himself to swim because he saw the tubes of the water slide last time we did this! Motivation is a beautiful thing.

Sharks was the next attraction on the agenda. The kids again can spend hours looking at the fish here. The walker saved my sorry leg and foot here, as there is no seating anywhere and my boys will spend ages viewing the scorpion fish, barracudas and 'lettuce fish'. I parked myself under an AC vent. Ahhhhhhhh.

We all want to see Believe, which is starting in about a half hour. On the way, I pick up my free beer and then get in line for a soda for the kids. This was one of the few stands in the park that did not take credit and I'd only brought my id wallet. The young lady told us to take it anyway. Way cool.

Believe has changed since we last saw it, but it's still a great show. Sea World takes the pre show time to salute members of the military with Here's to the Heroes (free admission to active duty armed forces). No matter what your position is on the Iraq situation, it is hard to see nearly half the audience stand up as active or retired military and their families and not get a little misty eyed. It sets the stage for you to get caught up in the amazing things the whales do in the show.

Throughout the day, the heel and leg were 'announcing their presence with authority', and by the time Believe was over, I was done. Thankfully, the kids don't have a problem with the announcement that we were heading out. We detoured to the dolphin nursery, so I can have a sit and they can observe some more. It was feeding time, so the babies were very active.

A pointer here: go to the other side of the tank, away from the entrance. The dolphins all poked their heads up and looked at us crazy people saying hello. There was a young couple, me and the boys and we got a lot of attention from these beautiful creatures.

The ride home was uneventful and thankfully free of the jams that seem to fill I4 in the evenings. I am paying for all the walking around still, but you know what? It was worth the great day we had. Gameboy talked incessantly and Chef Jr didn't listen to me when I'd tell him to stop doing things, but that just means it was an ordinary day. In an extraordinary place.

*Vacation daze-that stupor that afflicts travelers. They walk slowly, with an alarming ability to come to a dead stop right in front of you. Driving, they change lanes and slow down in the process. Dazed people also have an alarming ability to hit my bad ankle with their strollers.

OK, now I'm REALLY mad...

to borrow a line from "Animal House".

I have had my Netscape email account since 1998. Yep, almost TEN years. In that time, I've been able to accrue a vast many email addresses. I've saved tons of emails in it. Hundreds, perhaps thousands (because I am a packrat that way). The email address has hung on through four moves and two presidents. It is not exactly accurate, because after six years of working for the mouse, I am sick of the character contained in the address. However, it's what everyone is used to-so I've kept it. It should be noted that I didn't create folders for one or two emails from someone, so there were things contained in that inbox since 1998. Really.

Alas, with the stupid upgrades they've done to the stupid fargin Netscape, if I did not save an email into a folder, it was deleted. Yep, anything over 60 days gets dumped. Unless you don't bother reading it-then it stays with you forever, like luggage.

Why am I ticked? I found an old friend on myspace. Yes, I have a myspace account-shoot me. Anyway, his account is set up that you need to know his last name OR email address. Duh, his last name is part of his screen name. Nope, doesn't work. Okay, email addy. I remember that it's his favorite amp, but @mac.com? @msn.com? Dunno. Hmmm, should check his web page and see if I can email him through that. (Update: I did contact him through his webpage, but the story is still a good message)

Let this be a cautionary tale to you-DON'T leave your emails unsorted into folders if you use Netscape's web mail. It is yet another reason to use my Gmail account. Besides, I lurve the character I used for that one. She's way underexposed by Disney standards, anyway! :)

Netscape, why boast that people can store soooo much email if you'll arbitrarily delete it from the inbox after 60 days?

Saturday, September 01, 2007

10 years

Yesterday marked 10 years that Ed and I have been married. We marked the occasion by treating it like any other day.

The week was filled with the usual crap:

1. Dealing with yet another RSD flare. Of course, after the last incident of running out of meds, I was proactive in calling Nurse M. When she and I spoke last, she had said she'd call in a prescription to the pharmacy for me. Alas, two days before I was to run out, we went to Target. No prescription. I left a voice mail for her.

She later left me a voice mail that I should be running out that day (Thursday). This was true, I had two pills left. However, we were heading into a long weekend and I did not want a repeat of the last occasion of not having any meds-especially with the flare this week. Lots more stabbing and stinging. I see the neurologist on Thursday.

2. Gameboy is having a rough adjustment to middle school, and on Thursday, the teacher withheld a device he uses to complete writing assignments. Things progressed from that and he received In School Suspension for Friday. What's worse is that he was not released to his bus. Thank God for his bus driver. She refused to leave the school premises without him, since she knew she'd dropped him off in the morning. (She's a tough cookie from up north!)

3. Chef Jr. is definitely showing the ADHD signs. I tried to get him an appointment with Gameboy's new psychiatrist, but the practice recommended the ADHD specialist. He'll get the full gamut of testing. I think this year, he is learning he can't get by on personality alone-and his behavior is taking a nosedive. The appointment can not come soon enough!

Same old, same old on other fronts.