Friday, December 03, 2010

Reborn as an ant

My eight year-old had a dream where he lived to one hundred years old and then died and came back two days later as an ant who only lived for 30 days because some kid from his class stepped on him, a kid who he has seen step on ants before.
I asked if he had been taught about Eastern religion, "Have they taught you about Chinese or Indian religion?" and he said no, so this is rather interesting on a many levels.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Thank God ...

... my massage therapist asked me about my kids having a half day or they would have been left out in the cold and freaking out, because I was totally unaware of it, I knew tomorrow was a half day, but not about today.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Maybe I Should Let My Five Year-old Professionally Train for Soccer

A few weeks ago my kindergartner was offered a tryout for a local elite soccer training program, mainly off of his older brother's reputation. The practice is in another town and ends at 8pm, he gets cranky at 730 and is suppose to be in bed by eight so I passed on the opportunity.

I take the little guy to soccer training during the week after school and my wife takes him to a recreation program on the weekend. They didn't play any scrimmages during the Fall at the practice I take him to, so I saw him scrimmage for the first time in about six months this evening. Holy frickin' cow, he was a total beast, he had five goals and his side won six to three. The impressive thing was that it was a three on three game, but he was taking the ball from his teammates and they would try to get it back, so it was really like a one on five game. He of course needs to learn to better with others but I couldn't believe that he already had moves and technique and how fluidly he moved about the pitch with the ball. Soccer is his older brother's life, almost to a fault, so it is going to be interesting to see what the future holds if the little one winds up being better than his big brother at the big guys favorite thing in the world.

There's No Crying in Therapy!

I am currently in my third stint of going to therapy, since I was about 25 I have done about four years of therapy, which is a pretty lame percentage of time for someone who has a psych degree and is working to become a therapist, but anyway I cried for only the second time during a session in all those years of sessions, the strange thing is that it was after remembering that I had to quit my high school Freshman basketball team because my parents couldn't pick me up after practice and they did not bother and try to set up any alternate means for me to get home. My therapist thought that since it made me cry and I usually don't cry that it was a breakthrough, but I wonder if realizing that your parents did even a poorer job than you already thought they did really a breakthrough? Maybe I guess?

Which leads one to wonder, "How much fodder for the therapist's couch am I giving my boys on a daily basis?"

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Child’s Ordeal Shows Risks of Psychosis Drugs for Young

Digging Up Dead Friends

As we drove past a cemetery my Kindergartner said, "There are a lot of dead people." Then he asked about if they can come back, I can't remember what we answered, if we said something about heaven or not, but then he said, "I want to dig up my friend 'Jack' because I want to talk to him because he was nice."
We told him he could talk to him in his head. When he did not seem convinced we then said he could pray and have God let Jack hear his message to him.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Eight Minutes, Do Less Better

If one tries to accomplish more than one CAN accomplish, one accomplishes very little.

If we have a never ending list of things we need to do, where every one accomplishment or task completed is normally replaced by two new deeds to be done, then we are never finished, and never at peace. Somethings have to be done on a regular basis, somethings can be put off, and others have to be completed right now.
What absolutely needs to be done is to eliminate things that we only perceive we need to do, and that we really do not gain anything positive from participating in. Things that just are distractions, mindless activities or things to build up our ego.
Prioritize, plan on completing a reasonable number of tasks, again not what one wishes they could accomplish in the allotted time, or what one's more efficient sibling or friend from college could accomplish, but what you can, by using your past history as a basis, and plan accordingly.

View from the Neighbor's Deck

I am trying to get back into meditation, increasing the length by one minute each day, today I did eight minutes in the back section of my side yard, which is next to and behind my detached garage, cornered by a tall wood fence on two sides, with a row of some sort of tall thin pine trees that block it off from the rest of the side yard and make it virtually "un-visable" from the street. I am letting some very young trees grow along the fence to block the view of my neighbors.

Unfortunately a section of the fence collapsed in some extremely windy weather we've had this week, so I have a clear view of my back neighbor's deck and glass sliding doors, so I could not stand directly in middle of this basically outside room where I wanted to meditate unless I wanted people looking up from their cereal and pondering why this freak is standing motionless looking into our house. So I moved a few steps to the left to be out of their view. I would be alone with the sound of the wind, squirrels, cats, leaf blowers, tree trimmers, cars, birds and my thoughts so long as my next door neighbor wasn't hanging out on their back deck, which at this hour seemed unlikely. Six and a half minutes into my eight minute standing meditation I hear the sounds of someone on the deck, going back and forth a few times. Fuck it I am not stopping early to make some one who does not give a damn and me and my piece of mind feel more comfortable about the sanity of their next door neighbor. Ah, well, maybe they are familiar with standing meditation or wall gazing, or maybe they are not.

The point of this is that to keep my self on track I am going to blog the length of my meditation and the main concept that my mind decided to decode on ponder.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Good Taste

The other day I was playing the newest Fall album in the car and at some point my eight year-old son said, "Dad," which is usually how he starts off when he is going to complain about my music, "This music is awesome." It is cool bonding over music with my kids, though my big guy some times complains that no kids in his school really know music like he does so he does not have anyone to talk to about it but me. I tell him his classmates will eventually catch up to him a bit by middle school.


My kids school pictures did not come out too great. I felt like, life is not perfect and this is a representation of it, my 8 year-old is entering that awkward stage and sometimes does not look like the perfect little boy he use to, and he is growing his hair long again and it is now in an in-between stage, that's life. My little guy had a weird smile in his picture.
I had talked to the boys about their pictures how they were not perfect, but that it did not matter, and I pointed out some of the positive things about the pictures. They eventually came around and no longer
My wife was really unhappy with the pictures, so when we received an email about retakes she wanted to have them redone. I did not really care about it, but worried that it would send a mixed message to the kids because I had recently spent time getting them to be okay with the imperfect pictures.

Fast forward to this morning, picture retake day, basically the boys were neurotic basket cases worrying about their smiles for their pictures, and spent all morning trying on various smile faces, sometimes laughing at themselves and each other, sometime confused as to why this particular smile made them look more insane than happy (I never couched it this way though, I would say, that's not the best I've seen you make, less/more teeth depending on the smile).

So we wind up being late for school, I get home turn on the computer to blog this entry, then I get a phone call from school, my oldest son forgot to put the envelope with the money for the retake in his back pack. I find the envelope and adding to the confusion realized that my kindergartner had the 3rd grader's envelope, which was my fault. So I had to drive back to the school and straighten this all out. Which was actually pretty easy to do, just annoying.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Fear the Mind Wanderer

Letting your mind wander is a major cause of unhappiness

On Papers

My current paper writing style hearkens back to my more inefficient pre-computer underclassmen years in college. Then for a five page paper I would write about eight or nine pages on whatever moved me about the topic then make an outlines and literally cut and tape the pertinent parts of the draft into the outline and stay up all night retyping the final draft from the collage looking original.
Currently I am taking my source information, interviews and observations I had done, and writing a paper from that, basically treating all of the data as important, then going back and looking at what the professor wanted, what theories we have covered in class that seem to match up with what I have already written, once I am able to cram in an acceptable amount of applicable quotes and references, then I begin to slough off the unnecessary parts.

Hopefully by next semester I can regain the ability to make a well thought out outline in advance and then more efficiently just fill in the needed info into each slot, and writing the final draft will be more of a gentile smoothing out than an amputation of half of what I have written.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Monday, November 01, 2010

Drug experts say alcohol worse than crack or heroin

America really needs to reexamine it's views on alcohol as being the "okay way to get intoxicated" while criminalizing healthier ways, resulting in millions of people being sent to jail, thousands of people being killed in the illegal drug trade, and billions of dollars being wasted on the war on drugs and incarceration.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

More Man Than You & Other Tales of Secondary Sexual Characteristics

My son who is in third grade is kind of hairy, which makes sense because I am very hairy. The other day a male classmate of his saw his arm hair and said, "Eeeuw, you are pretty hairy!" My son looked that the boy, who he said actually had a decent amount of body hair himself, and said, "It just means that I am more of a man than you are," and the kid dejectedly let out a sorrowful, "Oh," and slunk off.

I have been trying to teach my son the art of the witty comeback as a non violent defense mechanism, and I am glad he is developing that ability. It is cute to see the difference between him and my 5 year-old who is afraid of getting in trouble for telling mean kids to "shut up," but thinks an okay response to a verbal insult is to "punch him in the penis!"

I am currently reading about adolescent development and writing a paper on it in which I had to interview a teenager. One point is that as a girl's body mass increases during puberty and they often develop a negative body image because of it (Steinberg & Morris, 2001). Reasons for this are developing earlier than their peers and the media portrayal of a thinner pre-pubescent body type as beginning the standard for beauty.
I am sure this is not new news to anyone reading this, but I find it sickening that girls in our society are lead to believe that there pre-pubescent bodies which are really their pre-sexual bodies are more attractive, beautiful or sexually appealing than their post-pubescent bodies, which by definition should be more attractive because they are now physically ready for intercourse (not mentally ready in our society of course) and childbearing. It is totally ill, a completely unhealthy view that our society perpetuates.
It seems that tween girls long to grow up to be "mature" teenagers and once they do some long to not have physically mature bodies. It is like society is set up to make us not be satisfied with who we naturally are.

Monday, October 25, 2010

My New Friend Tee Just Pee'ed on Me

I was at my older son's soccer scrimmages yesterday. I bring my 5 yr-old son sometimes because there is a playground at the field and he has some friends that are sometimes there.

Yesterday he ran up to some kids he didn't know and started playing with them right away.
About an hour later he comes up to me and I notice his pants are wet, I asked, "What happened buddy did you have an accident?" He answered, "No, me and my new friend Tee had to go peepee so we went back there (behind the jungle gym) and he got peepee on my pants."
Me, "Are you sure you didn't have an accident, it's okay, I know you don't know where a bathroom is around here."
Him, "No, Tee is little (looked to be 3 or 4) so he wasn't so good at it."
Me, "Okay well next time come to me if you have to go to the bathroom, and don't pull your pants down around strangers even if they are other little kids, and especially don't pee standing next to another kid who is peeing okay?"

Too Often of Two Minds

Something I have realised lately is that I am too often of two minds and that is why I am less efficient than I would like to be. A prime example is with my current grad school class, I love the mental stimulation aspect of it, but the time it takes away from my life I hate. Other cases are when I am say doing laundry, but can not stop thinking about other chores that I have to do, and so I only put away half of clothes because I feel pressure to move on to the next thing and accomplish more, which winds up with me actually completing less tasks and results in the dreaded loose ends all over the place.
I go into my garage and think I should ride my bike some more before it gets too cold, but oh yeah, two weeks ago my kick stand came loose and made the bike un-rideable, and I never looked to see if I had the correct tool to fix it when it happened so now it is sitting unusable because I did not follow through when the initial incident occurred.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Slow Down and Let Them Learn

I need to slow down and leave enough time to let the kids make mistakes. Just as people I know let there kids act up and then cave into them because they, "Don't get to see them much, so they don't want their time together to be spent in conflict, with the kids unhappy and crying," which I see as either a lack of will on the parents part, laziness on the the parents part, or at least the wrong way with dealing with the time crunch that all seem to unnecessarily have in our post-modern lives. Me not making my kids learn how to properly tie their shoes or having them use cups with lids because I don't have time to clean up spills in the morning or afternoon or at dinner, expresses more about me than there ability to complete those tasks.

Both of my children are perfectionists and part of that may be genetic, but I know my wife has a tendency to couch things about school in a way that would lead to kids not feeling comfortable with possibility of failing, but I have to recognize that some of my actions in trying to make life run smoothly also does not allow them to go through the process of attempting / failing / learning / and eventual mastery of a task, which teaches them it's better not to try, or let Dad to it for me because I must not be able to do it.

Nothing builds confidence like overcoming an obstacle or mastering a task.

Friday, September 24, 2010


There is a 2 year and 8 months difference in age between my two sons, aged five and eight.
So they are almost in the same age group, at least close enough that the younger one feels he can do what ever the older one can.

I noticed during the summer that they we having more problems getting along, as if my older son had grown into a new stage of development, basically he's not a little guy any more and his brother is. This is both physically and mentally, he has little tolerance for his little brother's stories, or his inability to keep up in Lego Star Wars for PlayStation 2, and pretty much dominates him in all forms of competition. This results in a lot of crying by the five year-old, because he never wins at chess, or any games that take strategy, and not only loses at sports but often gets hurt while playing those sports. This takes place even when his older brother is NOT trying to hurt him due to the older son's strength.

The frustration of the Kindergartner often leads to him starting conflict (arguing and whining as well as hitting and kicking) with his older brother, which had been resulting in physical retaliation from the 3rd grader. After a number of punishments my oldest son realized that he was getting into trouble on a regular basis even though he was usually only 25% to blame for the conflicts and it has finally dawned on him that telling on his brother is a much more effective way of dealing with the little guy's anger and frustration than hitting him.

This has not only resulted in them trying to get each other in trouble* all the time, but the younger son being punished much more often than he is use to. The five year-old is usually very confident, happy and positive, and does not get into trouble very often, so he sometimes seems incapable of dealing with being in the wrong. He was use to being the "good one" and when he was not he could goad his brother into getting in trouble with him or in his stead by tricking his parents with his wails of pain.

When he was an infant/young toddler he would bang his head when he was upset, which I "cured" by using the doggy training method of locking him outside in a shed, only kidding, I would smack a rolled up newspaper next to him as I saw him getting ready to bag his head and it would startle him. He would get made because he would be half way through his wind up to bang his head, get startled and look at me confused and try again, "whack" newspaper next to him again, and repeat until he gave up on the self harming action. Well now he has taken to criticizing himself, using terms that neither his mother or I use, "I am stupid/bad, I hate myself, etc." I have talked to my therapist about this, and even though they are now diagnosing very young children with depression since he does not show any other signs of being depressed this is most likely an attempt to get a parent to soothe him and tell him his is good etc. Which of course the first five or so times I did, so he learned that the way to get out of trouble is to be verbally critical of himself. Subsequently I just tell him that I have never said he was (whatever negative thing he just said) that his family loves him, but that does not change the fact that he smacked his brother in the face after loosing at FIFA soccer on PlayStation. That he is upset and or angry and that is okay but hitting is not allowed, he can go be alone scream or lay down, or punch a pillow but hitting is not an appropriate way to deal with being upset.

He is one of the happiest, pleasant to be around people I have ever known in my whole life, but the 5 to 10% of the time he is upset, man his anger is violent and something I will have to keep an eye on.

Not that I am interested in skipping any stages of their development, I have enjoyed all of them, but I look forward to when they are seven and nine and back in the same age group. Of course until the bigger one turns ten and becomes a tween!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Youth Soccer Slaves

I saw this last documentary last week, didn't really raise my view of humanity.
Agents are getting Sub Saharan African families to pay them to take their teenaged boys to Europe to be seen by pro soccer scouts and either dumping them in Morocco and just keeping the money, or getting them to Europe and abandoning them if they do not get signed. To the point where whole youth teams have been abandoned after playing in tournaments in Europe. There are approx 20,000 young African footballers that are stranded, most from families without the means to get them home.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Preggers vs Boozers

Whilst reading the first few chapters of my Social Work text book I am surprisingly learning all kinds of things about pregnancy, like fetal alcohol syndrome is the number one cause worldwide for mental retardation. Also alcohol is tied with heroin for the most negative fetal effects caused by commonly used recreational drugs. So don't listen to the old lady who tells you oh in my day we all had a few drinks and are babies were no worse off for it.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Starting over kind of sucks

I am trying to get my reading completed for my first week of school, and I am just so damn slow, it's really frustrating! I am barely finished with my first chapter and I have another one and like five articles to read that I have to download off of the University website, but I have to get a NetID account which I have not done yet. My wife was like, that sounds better than having to buy an old Kinko's packet of copied text, and responded no way, I'd rather have everything in front of me so I can highlight it and read it anywhere rather than being tied to the computer.
Anyway I am afraid to blow through the reading like I would a novel of fiction because I really want to retain everything, but at this rate I will be weeks behind if I don't pick up the pace.

I just stepped outside and smoked a cigarillo while shooting some baskets on my kids mini hoop, which actually worked to chill me out, but not sure if that will help my reading tempo and comprehension.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Kids Have Trouble Paying Attention? Video Games May Be to Blame

My friend's band for kids "StarFish" gets props from AOL:

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

You can tell me it's okay

A conversation my eight year-old just had with his mom, in light of us having lots of "grown up" conversations lately where we need the kids to leave the room and us being stressed out by the deterioration of our relationship with my mother:

SON mom is there something bad going on in your life?
MOM no
S you can tell me it's okay
M well there is but I am not going to tell you what it is
S is it bills, is it money, is someone dying
M no
S I can give you some money if that will help
M it's nothing that money can help
S if it gets worse will you tell me
M probably not
S dad said you'd tell me if it gets worse

Sunday, July 25, 2010

The Middle Class in America Is Radically Shrinking. Here Are the Stats to Prove it click link for full article

• 83 percent of all U.S. stocks are in the hands of 1 percent of the people.
• 66 percent of the income growth between 2001 and 2007 went to the top 1% of all Americans.
• 36 percent of Americans say that they don't contribute anything to retirement savings.
• A staggering 43 percent of Americans have less than $10,000 saved up for retirement.
• Over 1.4 million Americans filed for personal bankruptcy in 2009, which represented a 32 percent increase over 2008.
• Only the top 5 percent of U.S. households have earned enough additional income to match the rise in housing costs since 1975.
• For the first time in U.S. history, banks own a greater share of residential housing net worth in the United States than all individual Americans put together.
• In 1950, the ratio of the average executive's paycheck to the average worker's paycheck was about 30 to 1. Since the year 2000, that ratio has exploded to between 300 to 500 to one.
• As of 2007, the bottom 80 percent of American households held about 7% of the liquid financial assets.
• The bottom 50 percent of income earners in the United States now collectively own less than 1 percent of the nation’s wealth.
• Average Wall Street bonuses for 2009 were up 17 percent when compared with 2008.
• The top 1 percent of U.S. households own nearly twice as much of America's corporate wealth as they did just 15 years ago.
• In America today, the average time needed to find a job has risen to a record 35.2 weeks.
• More than 40 percent of Americans who actually are employed are now working in service jobs, which are often very low paying.
• Approximately 21 percent of all children in the United States are living below the poverty line in 2010 - the highest rate in 20 years.
• Despite the financial crisis, the number of millionaires in the United States rose a whopping 16 percent to 7.8 million in 2009.
• The top 10 percent of Americans now earn around 50 percent of our national income.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Give me my time back

I have been having dealing with some serious issues dealing with my mother, her interaction with my in-laws, her thinking that she can say and do whatever she wants once she becomes upset on top of a life time of other mommy issues which I will not digress into in this forum. The point being that I have been composing a letter to my Pop (step-father) about the issues that I am upset about, since the issues my mother are focusing on are pretty far off the point.

He wrote me a letter about what's going on so I wanted to get a few thoughts down in to the letter I was already composing. So rather than packing for my family's imminent vacation, or doing the dishes, or watching that netflix movie that my wife wanted to see that she will never make time for, so I need to watch it soon and mail it back or it becomes a waste of money, or giving the kids a shower like I am suppose to on Wednesdays, I am cranking out my random thoughts on current family events and 41 years of family dysfunction while temporarily verbally ushering out the kids from the office so I can concentrate, and keeping my eight year old at a distance since he is prone to over the shoulder reading.
Then my wife calls me into the bathroom because my 8 year-old is crying because of problems he is having in creative writing at art camp. They are working on a news paper and the class is for 8 to 12 year-olds, he doesn't understand what he is suppose to do and is basically afraid to ask questions. So her goes another hour of asking 5o questions to fully understand what is going on, partially reassuring him, partially kicking his ass about not coping out, telling him it is a teachers job to explain things to you, if you knew how to do everything you would not have to go to school, the teacher knows you are eight and do not know everything, everyone gets confused, everyone makes mistakes, if you spell a word wrong Google will usually come up with the correct spelling and ask you if this is what you meant to write, etc.

I really should learn to not procrastinate, because at the later moments of preparation for doing something I am damn near guaranteed that someone member of my family will do something unfathomable, become dramatically ill or die, really piss me off, one of my kids will hurt himself, have an accident not making it to the toilet or wet the bed, or a spider will be hanging over my wife as she falls asleep and she will scream for me to run to her rescue ...

Saturday, July 03, 2010

Friday, July 02, 2010

Is that why you yelled $#(%!!!

A few weeks ago my 8 year-old son forgot a book at school he needed to study for a test. He was getting very upset. That same night I misplaced something and was yelling at myself about it.
I went over to him and said, "See there is no reason to get mad at yourself, everyone looses things even daddy, I just lost something too."
"Oh, is that why you just yelled 'shit'?"
"Uhm, yeah it is. You are not in trouble, but you are not allowed to say that word okay, I am sorry that you heard me say it."

Friday, June 25, 2010

Hold On To This ...

My wife brought my youngest son into bed with me this morning before she went to work. It is the first day that both of my boys have off for summer vacation, so I do not have to get up as early as I have been. So I hug my son but then he realizes that his mother is leaving and he fully wakes up and starts to go after her. I let out a little grumbly moan of disappointment, and he turns back and says, "Hold on to this," and gives me a hug and a kiss on the cheek and then proceeds downstairs after his mother. A few minutes later he asked, "Are you still holding on to it?"

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Stream of Constant-ness / Pictures of You Two

Today, well, Monday, was the first day home on Summer vacation for my 5 year-old.
The last two months he has been asking when will school be over and talking about how he is ready for school to be over.
And now that it is over, he spent the whole day talking about his friends, asking me to call his friends' parents to set up playdates.
I had forgotten that he constantly talks, non-stop, continuously, really, on and on ... I was checking emails and told him I needed to concentrate so I could finish more quickly so we could hang out, but being five he did not understand that what I said meant that he should stop talking.
So I had to ask him to stop talking for a few minutes, I did not blow up at him about it, though I know I have been short with him on this subject in the past, however I can remember how it stung being a child and my mother asking me to stop talking so she could finish paying some bills. I have never been an extremely talkative person, so she did not have to shut me up very often, but I can tell that the lack of rarity, or familiarity with being asked to "Just please stop talking for a minute," has not made it a more comfortable situation for my recent pre-school graduate.
This situation is some what of a trade off for not constantly having the TV on to distract him. I do not plan on the TV being his summer long companion so I just have to remember to be sensitive to his feeling and needs while he is not mature enough to be in tune with or situationally infer my feelings and needs.
At one point he said, "I just want to do anything with you." So I integrated him into my chores, unloading the dishwasher, sorting and putting away laundry, sorting change into piggy banks, etc. and he was into it, though not as much as being into playing of course, he did like the idea that he was earning "points" towards getting his allowance by helping me out around the house.


For some reason on Sunday on the ride home after seeing Toy Story 3 my kids were talking about my wife and I being dead. It may have had to do with us not getting them any candy from the concessions stand, or it may have had to do with the Andy character growing up, toys being thrown away, etc. As my 8 yr-old was talking about something with us being old or dead and the Toy Story plot, my 5 yr-old said, "When you guys are gone I'm just going to look at pictures of you two all the time."
I had a hard time not crying after hearing that.

I really wish my kids did not have a rather full understanding of death at such an early age. Although it may help them to deal with the issue better through out their lives.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Waitlist 2010 / Accepted 2011

Oh yeah, I got wait listed for 2010 for the MSW program I applied to, and accepted if I choose to go in 2011, which is what I choose, I do not deal well with major life situations being up in the air, so I would rather know when I am starting rather than wait around for things to shake out.

Night and Day / Fear of a Wood Floored Planet

I have been trying to get more sleep to enable me to be more productive during the day when my boys are at school.

Yesterday my pre-schooler said he stepped on a staple when he was at school and it went into his foot. He said they were had to take off their shoes and just wear their socks when they were practicing their dance routine for graduation.

He did not seem hurt, and his teachers are really good at informing us when the students get hurt, and I figured that he would be in huge amount of pain if he had a staple in his foot so I basically did not believe him, and made him continue jogging his laps around the house.
Twice a week I have he and his brother jog around our house for exercise.

At first he seemed in pain, but very quickly was back to normal so I thought he was trying to get out of doing laps.

Fast forward four hours and we are getting ready for the boys to shower and he complains about his foot and when we look he has a centimeter long dark wood splinter buried in his foot. I asked him if the teachers helped him and he said they did not. I asked if he told them and said he did not, "They would not help or do anything about it." I explained to him that he was totally wrong that they would help him, which they would.

FUCK I was so wrong in my assessment, I really should have looked at his foot straight away, which I normally would have done, being a bit of a worrier when it comes to their health, but we were outside and my gut was feeding me bad information.

It took us at least 30 minutes to get it out because my son operates on a dramatic level that is usually only seen in operas or from the mouths of young broken hearted teenage girls, he was wailing the whole time, often when we were not even touching his foot. He got himself so worked up that he was pouring sweat and shaking and screaming at the top of his strong little lungs.
And when I say we got it out, I mean most of it, the hole looks dark, so their may be another thinner sliver of wood in his foot or their is just dirty wood residue in the wound.

After all of this I still had to give them showers and shower myself, so being worked up from the situation I did not get to bed any earlier than normal.

Then this morning my wife wakes me up at 5:15 and says, "Our 2nd grader wet the bed and I am going to workout at bootcamp, so you have to get up and help him."
Great, my sleep was encroached upon at both ends.

My pre-schooler is now afraid of wood floors, which we have a lot of in our house. I spoke with the teachers at his school and they said that they will not make the kids take off their shoes anymore, and that they wish he had told them because one of them is an EMT and would have had no problem cutting out the splinter seeing how she has performed emergency surgery in the past.

So the morals to this story are when it comes to health issues always believe your kids, they may not communicate exactly what happened to them, but if they are bringing up an issue there is a very good chance that something is going on, and regularly remind your children to tell their teachers, baby sitters, basically what ever grown up is responsible for them at that time, when something bad happens, be it bullies, boo-boos or uncomfortable interactions with weirdos and to tell them right away.

Saturday, June 05, 2010

Really, you are going to wear that?

It has been hot and humid as all balls lately, and yes a world completely made up of testicles would be disgustingly clammy and uncomfortable, why did I leave the moderate and foggy shores of San Francisco?

My house is disaster post my preschooler picking up lice from his school, a situation like many that is so traumatic that even though there are tons of interesting and even funny stories generated from it, I just don't bother blogging about it in detail because living through it once was enough.

So my laundry in garbage bags in various places in the house and it is super humid so I am not phased by my only available shirt being a sleeveless Adidas t-shirt. It is not a tank top, I will not be exposing my hairy Neapolitan descended shoulders, it is just a t-shirt with no sleeves.

My five year old sees me after putting on the shirt and says:
Dad are you really going to wear that to my school?
Me: Yes I was planning to
Him: laughing, Into the school?
Me: thought bubble, "great I need to hit the weights more or maybe get my shoulder and arms waxed, or both."

Monday D-Day or G-Day

I called the admissions department for the MSW program I applied to and they said they will start completing their review of the applications this coming monday.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Hits From the Palm: 2 year old notes about dying

this passage has been sitting around in my palm pilot since at least 2008:

Before I had kids the idea of dying was palatable to me, you get old, you ware down, you kind of get tired of things in general, and then you're ready to go.

Now I find the idea that death is an inseparable part of life horrific, I guess I didn't love myself, or life in general nearly as much as l love my kids and wife because the idea of my children having to sit through my funeral is the most inconceivable heartbreaking things i can think of until i think about the fact that my boys will one day die as well.

I have come to understand the profoundly deep love that parents can have for their children, and there was no way to understand prior to having children, which isn't a put down to people without children, or a condemnation of their ability to love, somethings have to be experienced to be understood. It's like when you see a Hollywood rendition of an alternative lifestyle that you are familiar with; punk, stoner, club kid, whatever, and you realize that the writer has no first hand knowledge of their subject matter, "No self respecting punk would dress like that," or "Nobody acts like that when they are high."

Having a second child really taught me how one's capacity to love can grow exponentially.
I have always intellectually thought that one can have almost infinite love to give, but pre parenthood it was mostly tied to some sort of poly-amorous concept.

So basically I don't want to die, ground breaking I know.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Sadly now I know why all children in 3rd world orphanages have shaved heads and the literal meaning of nitpicking, hasn't been a fun last 27 hours.

Friday, May 14, 2010

If they could always stay little

The end of the school year is fast approaching and with it my pre-schooler's graduation. I am experiencing very different emotions with his graduation than I did for his older brother's. The first time around I was excited for my little guy to be growing up and heading off the primary school, now I am afraid that I will be balling at the graduation. It reason must be that this is my youngest and we do not plan on having anymore children, so will always be our baby, and if he is growing up then I surely must be growing old.
Also he is so damn cute and one day he will not be, in the same way at least. Public grammar school also means a less supportive environment for him, homework, dealing with bad kids, over worked teachers, and having to actually make it to school on time!


We've had a few deaths in the extended family, bad allergies and illnesses being passed around, I have mostly successfully patched the thin spots in my front yard and have had the backyard sodded, my 2nd grader was "recruited" for the local travel soccer team's U8 development academy, so with the rec league team I coach it's soccer four days a week including twice on Saturday!

I should be hearing about my graduate school application soon.

So things have been busy I will hopefully be able to get back to posting on a more regular basis.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Death in the family

My mother just called me to tell me that a cousin of mine just died, she was in her 50's and had all kinds of medical problems, she recently had a leg amputated due to a childhood accident it had given her problems her whole life, she was actually happy to have it removed and was doing well beside her diabetes. It is ironic that she died from a heart infection stemming from a bunch of recent dental work, some medicine she is on was ruining her teeth and she finally got approval from medicare (or whatever med agency was helping her) to get her teeth worked on. So she was going back every week to make up for lost time. She was feeling bad yesterday and died while getting dialysis at 4pm today. My mother called me a half an hour ago, my wife won't be home for another 30 minutes, so I can't really reflect on this in peace cuz I got the kids and have to make dinner.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


My big guy has been on a tear he had 5 goals in his last two futsal games, in one they were down 3 zip, he somehow got kicked in the face on the sideline in the first half, then after sitting out most of the half started the second and took a nasty fall onto the hardwood floor and sat out most of the second half, he pulled himself together and asked to get back in and helped lead a come back to tie game at 5-5 with two late game goals. He ended the season with a hat trick in a blow out season finale.
After opening the outdoor soccer season with a only an assist in a loss, he followed up with hat trick in our second game and two goals in the third game.

Porno comments

I have been getting a number of comments to my postings on this blog in Chinese. I just commented to one of the comments asking that they post an English translation, then I remembered babel fish, in one comment they were talking about my tribe's milk? and here is a translation of another comment:
How does the big milk younger sister paste the chart area 0204 movie watching dew point autodyne immoral woman female student to console oneself the pornographic station adult to laugh at the av violent snares of love to like the video beautiful woman lascivious av adult pornography telephone spicy younger sister video chatting the sexual relationship sentiment color vcd self-consolation chart obscene beautiful adult forum Taiwan pornography forum adult chatroom autodyne bare female to paste chart video adult free a piece of movie Ms. av adult net adult pornography pornography Taiwan spicy younger sister vesicle the pubic hair pornography news bare female autodyne pornography movie a piece of forum sexual affection skillful beautiful woman to escape the bra personality color heaven av portrait pornography video to chat makes love the video adult movie bedroom drama sentiment color to chat the net hot sentiment color Taiwan female superior sexual affection secrets Taiwan av female superior masturbation self-consolation movie

Why would they post porno stuff to my blog, no one is looking at my comments section looking for porn

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Budding Evil Genius

My 5 yr-old son has really shown a propensity for manipulating his brother and test his parents' boundaries. The other day as we are leaving to take his older brother to school right before we get to the door he says uh-oh and pulls a lego star wars figure out of his pocket and very visibly puts it on the kitchen counter. His brother was already in the car. About three minutes into the trip he tells me that his brother has a star wars lego figure in the car, knowing that house toys are not allowed in the car with out parental approval.
I get on his brother's case about knowing he is not allowed to bring toys, particularly very small easily breakable ones that they love, in the car or outside of the house, and I point out that his brother remembered to leave the toy he was playing with at home.l
I forgot to have him hand the toy to me, so of course he took it into school anyway, and let some kid look at it at the end of the day and lost some rare character's light saber. After getting his teacher to unlock the classroom and let us look for it, to no avail, I tell him this is why you shouldn't bring collectible toys out of the house, and he says, "I wish I never listened to my brother." I ask why and he says that his brother told him they should sneak the lego figures into the car so they could play with them.
So he told him to bring it in the car, had me watch him not bring his in the car and told on his brother for bringing it in the car, all in a ten minute span. Sounds like a set up, right.
I asked my therapist, who has written a number of books on children, if she thinks it was possible that my 5 yr-old actually planned this out to set up his brother? She said yes particularly if he has done anything like this in the past. They both tell on each other all the time, and he has manipulated his older brother into adding him in a number of sneaky endeavors, the biggest of which usually involve snacks, like discovering a hidden cache of gummy fruits that were destined for birthday party gift bags and getting his brother to open them because at three years old he did not have the strength to do so himself. There was also the time where he showed his brother that they could eat Easter candy without permission if they hide the wrappers, again he needed his brother's help opening the candy.

So yeah, I think my little guy is capable of hatching a plan to get his older brother in trouble. Since then I told my 2nd grader to just tell me if his brother tries to get him involved in any other schemes that he fears will get him in trouble and sure enough almost once a day that little mind is hatching some devious plan to advance his goal of world domination over candy, toys and video games.

A side note to his thinking ahead, this morning he asked me if we were late to pre-school and I said not really and though he usually is pushing to make it on time, he seemed bummed, so I asked him, why did you ask and he said, "I want to be late, if we are late to school that means I don't have to go for as long." I said wow, yes you are technically correct.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

More than 1 million baby slings recalled

We used a Baby Bjorn and it worked fine, however I would say you have to really careful about the position of your baby's head and neck, which you should be careful about at all times really.

Monday, March 22, 2010

School Board

My 2nd grader goes to a school that has an international studies theme. The aforementioned cuts have resulted in his school loosing it's foreign language program, which only consisted of Spanish. I have heard that only one grammar school in the district, the largest, will keep it's foreign program. Now this does make some sense seeing how the highest number of students will have access to the program at this school. However, with our school's theme being international studies would not it make sense for us to have a foreign language program? My boys are worlds ahead of where I was at their age with Spanish, having started with some instruction in preschool and having it twice a week in grammar school. Back in my day we were not able to study foreign languages until high school which has left me knowing a bit of French and Spanish vocabulary but not being anywhere near fluent in either language. I mean if they had to cut science programs from all but one school wouldn't it make sense for that one school to be the Math & Sciences magnet school? It sucks too because though my son stresses out about it, he is doing really well in Spanish and is at the point where he can go up in front of the class and recite a couple of paragraphs of information in Spanish without reading off of note cards. That will be lost if he does not have Spanish at school for the next three to six years. Also he has interest in learning other languages, if he is able to continue Spanish for the next three years he can gain a pretty good grasp of the language and move onto learning another in middle school. It looks like another case where if parents can afford it they will have to dip into their own pockets and pay for private instruction if they really want their child to gain knowledge outside of the three R's, or learn a sport, or get daily exercise, or participate in the arts .... double merde!!

Friday, March 19, 2010

File Under, This Can't Be Good

From the Office of (my town's) Superintendent of Schools:

(My Town’s) State Aid to Drop 60%

After months of awaiting word from (the state capital), (my town) was notified Wednesday that the school district will receive 60.1% less funding next year.

Fewer dollars next year – a total loss of $5,488,485 – means that some programs, services and staffing will have to be eliminated, school officials say. At public meetings over the past two months, administrators and Board members have warned repeatedly that there will be reductions in programs, services, and personnel, both in the schools and at Central Office.

The next meeting of the Board of Education will be on Monday, March 22, 7:30 p.m., in the ____ Annex.

How does a School Board operate with that kind of loss of funds? One of the reasons we chose to move to this town was all of the diverse programs that the school have. I was looking to sign my 2nd grader up for his schools orchestra next year, who knows if that will even exist anymore after these cuts.


Thursday, March 11, 2010

Windows Update

After about two weeks away from it I am back to working on the essay for my graduate school application. Initially besides directly answering the basic questions that they require you to cover in the essay I had just been downloading all kinds of experiences, anecdotes, traumatic stories and whatever else from my life that I hope at revision time I could craft into a narrative that will convey that while I have not been working the in the field that I have chosen to seek a masters in and frankly I have not been working outside of the home practically at all for 7 years, I do have the life experience to meld with my undergraduate psychology degree that will make me a good candidate for being accepted into a competitive Master's of Social Work program.

So I am 75% through the unfettered emptying my brain of every possible story and angle that I could possibly use to help me with this essay, and after two weeks of snow storms, school closing, and just being generally busy, distracted, uninspired and then ultimately a little scared to stare at the screen tasked with writing an essay that will determine my future and career, I sit down today a couple of hours later than I planned and start trying to get the process going again. There are five questions that have to be answered, I'll focus on first one because it is shorter, more simple, basically why did you choose this program at this school?
After about 15 minutes of things finally start to flow and then bzzzap, the computer starts to shut down, fuck am I going to loose everything? I got a update warning when I first logged on, which I chose to postpone or delay or whatever the choice for do it later was, I did not realize that it would comeback and not give me another chance to approve or deny the update.

This gave me flash backs to college and my work as an editor when cpu problems usually meant if you didn't save the file as you were working you would have to do it all over again. Well luckily things computers are better than when I first started using them because after a couple of minutes everything turned it self back on and all of my updates to the essay were still there. Still it's a reminder to save my file as I go along. Seems like a good time to break for lunch

Monday, March 01, 2010


I took our family car to the shop today for a few minor things and a weird whooshing sound that started a few days ago. It wound up being the water pump, which was going to take a few hours to fix, so I needed my wife to come home from work, so I could use her car to pick up the kids from school.
I told this to my 2nd grader as when I picked him up, but he often does not listen very closely. When we pulled into our driveway he said, "Where exactly is our car?"
I said, "It is exactly in 'town X on street Y.'"
He said, "Why did you say exactly?"
Me - "Because you did"
Him - "What does exactly mean?"

Monday, February 22, 2010

Friday, February 19, 2010

More Daddy Rock

My second grader recounted a conversation he had with one of classmates who is also on his basketball team,
"Does your Dad wear earrings?"
"Is he a rocker?"
"Ahh no, well yeah, yes he is."


That is better than my pre-schooler's friends who told me I was a girl because I wear earrings as I drove them after school to our house for a playdate.
I told them there logic was faulty, if that was true then what about this, "Do your mommies have hands?'
"Do you have hands?"
"Well you must be girls, you must be mommies because you have hands."

Rather than learning the error of their initial logic they all began hiding their hands in the sleeves of their winter coats to show me they were not girls.

Daddy Rocks!

My boys were away at their maternal grandmother's for Valentine's for a few days, (cue porn music, bow-chicka-wow-wow) when they got home they were so excited to be back it was really great. Even though it wasn't boy's night, one of two days a week where we play video games together, I let them play Lego Star Wars II while I was making dinner.
I heard my big boy make a plan with the little one, "Let's go upstairs and say ..." I thought did he say ... then they march upstairs chanting, "DADDY ROCKS, DADDY ROCKS!" and gave me a big group hug.
It was really nice to see they missed me and being home, especially since their grandma's is a basically a rules free zone of constant TV, fast food, and not having to finish your vegetables to get dessert.

Now three days later they are back to making up songs about how I am mean because they can't play video games before school ("but Dad its an educational one!").


I am working on my Master's application personal statement right now and went from cranking rough draft of a heart felt retelling of my turbulent home environment and neighborhood growing up, memories flooding back, too many for this format but get them all down, edit it later. Making the connections of how these experiences led to my world view and how that world view will help me to help other and make the world a better place ... to I want to help people so they are healthy ... why are my answers so dumb now, oh, it's an hour past when I normally eat lunch and all I have had the past four hours is coffee, time for a break.

Monday, February 15, 2010

The Childhood Obesity Dilemma: How Something So Simple Got Complicated


I am currently filling out a graduate school application for a MSW, and there is a field that asks for honors. The first thing that came to mind was Dean's List, maybe but probably not those lame Key Club honors, but when I saw what they listed as the examples: ABRCMS, DAAD, FAMU, Fulbright, IRT Consortium; I realised that they might not view my lame Dean's List achievements as honors.
Any advice from ya'll out there on the "interwebs"?

I am definitely fearing that to get accepted to a competitive program I will need to put in a few years of dues working at DYFS to up my Social Work street cred.

Honestly if I could get a legit MSW from Git A Degree Online In Yr Boxers University, (GADIYB U for short) I would, but my research into those Online schools came up with them lacking, and a bunch of annoying sales-ish calls from "counselors" who seemed more like once promoted telemarketeers.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Duct Tape is there nothing you can't do?

About a month ago I started noticing a scrapping sound every time I drove into or out of my driveway. After a week I looked under the car and saw that there is some kind of cover underneath the front of my car and it was coming loose.
With closer inspection I noticed that a number of screws had come out of this under-covering causing it to hang down. I kept saying to myself when the weather gets better I will try to do something about it.
The weather kept getting worse. Today I had to park illegally in a pay parking lot to drop my preschooler off at school. The lot was not shovelled out so I had to park on top of a bunch of hardened snow. It may just have dawned on you, but it did not dawn on me that backing up over said snow with this thing hanging from underneath the front of my car may be troublesome.
Well after hearing the crunch, followed by the now constant scraping sound I new cold weather or not I could no longer procrastinate on taking care of this issue.
I could not find any left over screws that fit the bill, so as it has on countless jobs before, duct tape leapt to the rescue, lets just hope it will hold up through the snow and sub-freezing temperatures.

Adjustment Disorder

... don't ever take seven years off of working, damn near impossible to get your mind back into the regular work world groove, especially when you view it as a rut ... when i lost my theater rating / secret shopper / spy gig i should have looked to get something new right away ...

Adjustment Disorders

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

One Served

About three or four months ago when my little guy was still four years-old he was doing that repetitive question asking thing they do when they want something. I do not know if they think they are wearing you down, if they forgot they already asked, or if they think you forgot they already asked about xy&z.
So after asking about xy&z a zillions times my son runs up the stairs and tracks me down thinking maybe asking me on a different floor will net a different result to his question. I have no recollection of what the question was, can I play video games, can I have a cookie, can I have juice instead of water are some of the usual suspects.
He runs up to me and I cut him off saying, "No honey," he interjects, "But Dad you don't know, I am asking about ...," I then finish his sentence, "You are asking about xy&z, which you have asked me about five or six times and the answer is still no."

His response, "Oh man, I just got served!" and dejectedly went back downstairs with his head hung low.

We had heard someone say, "You just got served" a few weeks prior to that, but my little guy had not used the phrase before or since.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


too bad

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

They are trying to blame it on the girl! / God forbid we have knowledge

I have this graphic novel bible from when I was a kid and my wife is as I type, reading it to the kids before they go to bed. She was starting at the beginning, you know on the first day, blah blah blah ... I did not realize that I had a problem with that story, well, I never thought the world was created in six days, but some of the creations of God seem to be out of order, but that's not the point here.
I over hear my wife reading about the garden of Eden and the forbidden fruit, and I began to rethink my "okay-ness" with teaching this stuff to my kids. I have always planned to teach them about Christianity because it is the religion of our culture and families, when they ask questions I answer them in a very non-fundamentalist way, the stories in the Bible are mostly stories that teach one how to live a good life that is respectful of others, and not an actual history. Some of it may have happened, some historial events probably did, but the main take away are the morals of the stories.
Once they get old enough to comprehend other theories on life and religion I will help them find something that suits them, we are sort of Episcopalians, if they like that fine, if not that's fine too.
So after the Adam eats the forbidden fruit, my 7 year-old says, "They are trying to blame it on the girl."
So I hopped up and went to the boys room to add my two cents, I said to my wife tell him the truth, she said I did they are trying to blame it on the girl, I said to him do you know why? Because women are evil!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Only kidding, I said because men originally wrote this story and rather than splitting the blame equally they chose to blame women, but it was really both of their faults. I was so proud that my seven year-old could see through the BS when so many adults can not.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

One Legged Freak!

My 2nd grader was walking down the hall at school and he saw a boy that he use to have Taekwon-do with. The boy does not have the lower part of one of his legs, I do not know exactly how far down his leg goes, but while they were in class together he use to have a prosthetic leg.

I can remember my son asking me all kinds of questions about the boy while his mother/nanny (?) was sitting next to us, I tried to answer them the best I could but I know I was over compensating because she was next to us and came of sounding like a PC PTA member that Mike Judge would make fun of on one of his cartoons.

Anyway, now the boy uses some form of crutches, I imagine it must be a financial hardship to keep buying new prosthetics for a growing child. One of my son's classmates saw the boy and yelled out to him, "Look a one legged freak!" My son told him that's not cool and told the teacher on him, she did speak with the boy, but my son was mad that he was not sent to the Principal's office.

I was really proud of my son for not only feeling compassion but for standing up for another person, not because they were friends (they are not) or he had anything to gain, but because it was the right thing to do.

Married in the Playground?

My PreSchooler was worried that he was now married because a girl (the one whose name I confused when talking to her mother a few months back) was told by one of her friends that she should kiss my son, so she walked up to him while he was playing and kissed him on the lips.

He was truly worried that because of the kiss being on the lips it meant that he was now married, "I don't want to be married Daddy."
We told him that it was okay, he was not married and if she tried to kiss him again he could just tell her to stop before she got too close.

My older son was totally freaked out by this whole situation, long after my little kisser was over it, he was very indignant about it, "My brother is only four no one should be kissing him!"
My wife and I teased the seven year-old, "Why are you so concerned, what are you jealous that he had his first before you did?" As you can imagine that did not go over real well with.

Scientists link plastics chemical to health risks

LONDON - Exposure to a chemical found in plastic containers is linked to heart disease, scientists said on Wednesday, confirming earlier findings and adding to pressure to ban its use in bottles and food packaging.
British and U.S. researchers studied the effects of the chemical bisphenol A using data from a U.S. government national nutrition survey in 2006 and found that high levels of it in urine samples were associated with heart disease.

Bisphenol A, known as BPA, is widely used in plastics and has been a growing concern for scientists in countries such as Britain, Canada and the United States, where food and drug regulators are examining its safety.

David Melzer, professor of epidemiology and public health at the Peninsula Medical School in Exeter, England, who led the study, said the research confirmed earlier findings of a link between BPA and heart problems.

The analysis also confirmed that BPA plays a role in diabetes and some forms of liver disease, said Melzer's team, who studied data on 1,493 people aged 18 to 74.

"Our latest analysis largely confirms the first analysis, and excludes the possibility that the original report was a statistical blip," they said in a statement.

BPA, used to stiffen plastic bottles and line cans, belongs to a class of compounds sometimes called endocrine disruptors.

The U.S. Endocrine Society called last June for better studies into BPA and presented research showing the chemical can affect the hearts of women and permanently damage the DNA of mice.

"The risks associated with exposure to BPA may be small, but they are relevant to very large numbers of people. This information is important since it provides a great opportunity for intervention to reduce the risks," said Exeter's Tamara Galloway, who worked on the study published by the Public Library of Science online science journal PLoS One.


U.S. environmental health advocacy groups are urging a federal ban on BPA.

"There's enough research to take definitive action on this chemical to reduce exposures in people and the environment," Dr. Anila Jacob of the Environmental Working Group, a non-profit organization, said in a telephone interview.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is considering whether any action needs to be taken.

U.S. government toxicologists at the National Institutes of Health concluded in 2008 that BPA presents concern for harmful effects on development of the prostate and brain and for behavioral changes in fetuses, infants and children.

Canada's government plans to outlaw plastic baby bottles made with BPA. The charity Breast Cancer UK last month urged the British government to do the same because they said there was "compelling" evidence linking the chemical to breast cancer risk.

Experts estimate BPA is detectable in the bodies of more than 90 percent of U.S. and European populations. It is one of the world's highest production volume chemicals, with more than 2.2 million tonnes produced annually.