Archive for May, 2012
We don’t have cable, so any news I get these days is whatever happens across my Facebook feed at the moment I’m sitting in front of it. I may no longer be the most informed person, but I’m also no longer screaming at the television in sheer frustration. I call that a win.
But even in a news drought, some sensational news stories still get through.
There’s the story about how sitting most of the day is more dangerous than damned near anything.
There’s the story that came out this spring about the dangers of sugar, and the longer, more detailed video that I haven’t watched yet (I have ice cream in the freezer I want to finish first):
Wrap all that up with chronic stress and its desire to screw with me, and I can come to only one conclusion.
I am a ticking time bomb.
It’s just a matter of time before things come to a gory end. I sit most of the day, I put sugar in my coffee and agave nectar in my iced tea, and despite years of trying, cannot for the life of me manage my stress instead of it managing me. People should wear flak jackets around me; I could blow at any time. I’ve already given up gluten, artificial sweeteners, and my sanity…what more will be required?
While I kid, I do recognize that these studies have some validity. I also recognize that they’re designed to scare the population into changing. And I also recognize that it’s very very likely that the studies might not hold up to detailed scrutiny.
Still, I think I’ll move more and start drinking my coffee black. At least until the newest study shows that black coffee causes uncontrollable and irreversible flatulence. It’s just a matter of time.
I never could understand how people could read more than one book at a time. I’d read interviews of So-And-So and s/he would mention s/he was in the middle of three different books. All I could think was, “Really? Just commit to one, for crying out loud! Read it, finish it, pick up another!”
Times have changed.
I am currently in the middle of at least four different books (print and Kindle app on the iPad), a couple of magazines, a couple hundred podcasts, and too many blogs to mention. Falls into my adult-onset-child-induced-ADHD. I figure I’ll finish them all just slightly after the zombie apocalypse.
Again, as I have vowed every summer in recent memory, I’m going to read more this summer. My Goodreads list of to-be-read is sneaking up on 600 (I really should cull that, or at the very least, organize it better so I can actually find what I’d like to read when I’m looking for something to read), I yet again have books on hold at the library which will likely be renewed the maximum number of times before being returned unread, and overall for the love of Pete I have a book problem. Too many books, not enough brain cells.
I vow this year will be different! I have no idea how.
For starters, I shall finish the four I’m currently reading and perhaps one or two of the dozen sitting in my library box.
Then I’ll have time to read this great new book coming out in July. I hear the author knows a thing or two about gifted kids.
Psst! Share your favorite read. What’s blowing your skirt up these days?
After Christmas, birthdays, Halloween, and Pi Day, Geek Pride Day is a huge deal in the House of Chaos. One of the greatest parts of homeschooling is that we can spend the time not only enjoying A’s descent into Geekdom, but stand with him and run with it. This falls under “how homeschooling supports and protects a gifted kid’s emotional status” as well as “how homeschooling allows a gifted kid the time and space in which to explore current interests in depth, knowing that at some point interests will change and new things will be learned.” There’s no way he could pull off Geek Pride Day to the extent he wanted if he was still in school. He’d want to, but the other kids wouldn’t get it and he’d be embarrassed and his anxiety would have spiked yet again.
How geeky has A become in the last several months (coincidentally, since he left public school)? Well, he can recite Pi up to twentyish digits, can’t wait to celebrate Tau day (6.28) next month, went out of his mind with joy when he got THREE gift certificates to ThinkGeek (couldn’t wait to get his geek on), watches documentaries on black holes/cosmology/theoretical physics for fun, and the greatest afternoon of the last six months was when we went to Fermilab’s family open house last month and he got to take a tour of the Linear Accelerator.
He has outgeeked his parents, and I’m drinking coffee from a Battlestar Galactica FRAK mug as I write this.
Earlier this week he sped through The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy in a few hours. At dinner Tom quizzed him on it, convinced the child had just skimmed through it and didn’t absorb the actual story. Riiiiight. A not only followed the storyline, but was applying the humor to his own life, understands a lot of the jokes his father and I toss back and forth at each other, and now knows why “42″ features prominently on my license plate. Awesome.
A has dressed the part of a geek today. He is wearing a Pi shirt, where the symbol is made up of a gazillion digits of pi (purchased from ThinkGeek with his gift certificates). He has on his Geek Pride Day button from ThinkGeek. On his wrist is a ginormous spy watch, also from ThinkGeek. He has an Apple drawstring bag filled with the following items: an old BlackBerry he bought at a yard sale, a portable doorbell that sounds like a phaser, a copy of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, his iPod Touch, and yes, a towel. I only wish it said Don’t Panic.
I am proud to say that my oldest son is a hoopy frood who really knows where his towel is.
I have a new BFF. Allegra. She’s a tough broad, able to vanquish dandelions without breaking a sweat. It’s a tough road for her right now, as The Great Snotting is still running amok, but I have faith in her abilities.
Breathing well has taken on a new urgency as of late.
I have a flute student.
There was great rejoicing in the House of Chaos once the new student was confirmed. Teaching flute lessons, my first love, works so well around homeschooling. And I like being my own boss.
There is one niggling problem, however.
My back. It tingles and goes numb just randomly throughout the day. I’d think it was nerve damage from years of playing, but I haven’t had a marathon practice session for awhile now, at least since having kids. I suspect it has more to do with hours on a computer plus poor posture plus lack of exercise plus the mild scoliosis I’ve rocked my whole life.
Looking back, flute probably wasn’t the best choice for me, strictly from a physical standpoint. Jaw problems, shoulder issues, neck pain…then again, maybe I should just take better care of myself.
No matter. With stretches and patience, my flute and I will have great fun rebuilding a flute studio. And then the tingles will be from the music being made and not the nerves screaming in pain.
We live on what is quite possibly the friendliest block in this village of twenty thousand people. We had barely opened the first PODS last summer before neighbors were coming by to introduce themselves. With the exception of the one dude across the street who keeps cutting through our backyard, everyone here is awesome. Especially the kids.
Our neighborhood in CO had a gazillion kids, but I’m convinced we lived on the one kid-less block in the whole subdivision. The kids were all around the corner or on the next block; the boys could never look out the front window to see who was outside playing. It’s very different here. Lots of kids on the street, and the boys are always out playing. One thing, however. They’re all girls. Yes, my dear boys are the only specks of testosterone on this block. It’s not an issue right now, they’re all still young and get along, we’ll see in a year or so. The girls range in age from 7-11, and are all beautiful inside and out. I’m hoping they teach my boys a thing or two get your mind out of the gutter. My boys need females other than me smacking them upside the metaphorical head.
This afternoon A and I walked down to meet J at the bus. He bounded off, followed by the five girls. Four of them stopped dead, dropped their heads to their knees to grab a handful of hair in a ponytail, and cried out, “A! Watch this! 3…2…1…UNICORN!” They popped up with a unicorn-like handful of hair grasped at the top of their heads.
The boys just stared at them with that look dogs use when they’re just so confused because they don’t know if you’ve thrown the ball or where it went or please just give me a treat rub my belly. Me? Laughing hysterically. When I could finally breathe, I had to ask if they were rainbow farting unicorns. They all affirmed that they were, indeed, unicorns of the rainbow farting variety.
I live on a block with rainbow farting unicorns. Life is good.
Of course I had to show them the lock screen of my iPhone:
I love my block.
The rains came.
And the woman, who saw her former state burn through drought, rejoiced, for there would be green and lushness and no water restrictions.
And the rains continued to bless the woman and her land.
And while the rains continued their gloomy raininess, lo the dandelions blossomed. The yellow and the fluffy, they conspired and arose. And arose. And arose some more, until they reached the overly high knee of the woman.
And the woman said, “Hark! The dandelions must be driven from the land! The yellow and the fluffy alike! For I have no beater to raise upon cement blocks to complement this infestation!”
And the woman drove her chariot to The Lowe’s to procure The Fertilizer and The Dispenser and The Sprayer. And she returned to her land with a plan.
The Mowing of the Land commenced.
And it was good.
The woman rejoiced in the clean-cut landscape. The dandelions, the yellow and the fluffy, had been driven from her land.
But sickness descended upon her house that very evening.
The dandelions, the yellow and the fluffy, called upon The Four Winds to exact revenge upon the woman and her firstborn son.
The Great Snotting began.
The woman and her firstborn son sneezed and snurked and hacked, cursing the dandelions, both the yellow and the fluffy. They raised their kleenex-filled fists at the sky as they swore to take a bloom for every sneeze.
It was a dark day.
But hark! Hear the man return from The Business Trip! The man not afflicted with The Great Snotting!
And lo, the man ventured forth to Fertilize and Dispense and Spray the dandelions, both the yellow and the fluffy.
And it was good.
How are you?
Three little words. A set of words, formed into an innocent question, the answer to which no one really cares to hear.
Is the answer “Fine” or something else?
“Busy.” “Tired.” “Crazed.” “Stressed.” “About to crack over things no one outside my familial walls would understand or even care.”
Has anyone ever answered something positive?
How are you?
We ask the question as a cultural courtesy. We need something to say, you see. Can’t just say, “Hi! So good to see you!” Or “I was thinking about you the other day.” Or “I’m so glad you’re here.”
Could we come up with a different question for those we haven’t seen in awhile, or for acquaintances we barely know?
Maybe “Hey there! What have you done lately that you’re proud of?” or “Dude! What’s the best thing in your life right now?” or ”Hi! How are your bunions?”
Those questions, while a little more probing and honest, are a hell of a lot more likely to get a real answer than the typical “How are you?” That merely puts the weight of how honest an answer do they want on the person about to answer.
Because I’m not fine, I am busy/tired/crazed/stressed/about to crack over things no one outside my familial walls would understand or even care.
But dude, my bunions have never been better.
Sometimes so many things hit all at once with such intensity that you can only hold on and hope for the best. Time flies by, both hours and days disappearing. So it has been for the last two and a half weeks here at the House of Chaos.
- The book is done. Sweet glory hallelujah, yes! It’s done…except it’s not until it’s printed. But! I’m happy anyway.
- A and I have had a couple of Come to Jesus meetings over homeschooling. He seems to think that it’s mostly watching videos on whatever his current obsession is, I disagree. We are still hammering out a compromise.
- Tom and I realized that life is short, dishpan hands crack and bleed, and that we’d rather do damned near anything than a couple hours of dishes every day. Our new dishwasher came on Wednesday and I’ve been doing a happy shake-and-shimmy dance for the last few days.
- Tom resigned from his job of 12 years and began a new one today. Because the internet is very visible and this blog is no longer as anonymous as it once was, I can only say that it’s a good thing for him. He got tired of being Angry Dad, his patience exhausted by the end of the day. He worked his ass off the last two years to make a difficult situation better and finally came to the conclusion that his family and mental health had to come first.
- My high school band director is retiring, and I was thrilled to be at his last concert this week. It was like a mini reunion of my old band friends. He taught at that school for 29 years. Dang.
- I am on the hunt for gainful employment. I am qualified for precisely nada. This does not sit well with my psyche. Or my wallet.
- While I love my dog, I’m about to “take her to the farm.” She used the basement as her private commode again the other day. Several times. Not all times were…ahem…solid. It’s the only carpet in the house, and it’s brown to boot. Halfway through cleaning it up I ran out of Spot Shot. I borrowed my parents super-sucker-wet-dry-kinda like a carpet cleaner-vacuum…and it broke. I think I’m cursed.
- I fell off the crazy wagon and hit my head: I am having a yard sale in a couple weeks. I dare you to ask me how prepared I am.
And that’s only part of the insanity over the last sixteen or so days.
I need a nap.