...the awesome responsibility and convoluted adventure of two insane previously single parents navigating the trails (er, trials?) of parenting, step-parenting, and co-parenting with three, um, incredible(?) boys and a cat and a dog...well, where is the cat? Has anyone seen the cat?
After the run Sunday I crashed for a bit, go figure. :-)
We went with meetin on a 3 hour tour. Kayaking that is, in Back Bay Wildlife Refuge. We did get lost. We had the threat of a storm. We had some shipwrecks, some by accident, some planned. We had an amazing amount of fun. After the festivities we went to Outback Steakhouse and then to one of the member's hot tubs! That rocked.
Monday was volleyball, but I didn't have any energy left over for anything else. :-)
Tuesday was supposed to be a run, but it was raining. I did go rock climbing at Dick's Sporting Goods. Nothing like being taunted by some blond dread locked waif of a girl that is belaying you while you struggle to get up their most difficult wall. Knowing she can scramble up with no effort all the way to the top. I'm lucky to make it half way. The other two are no problem though. Time to concentrate on that third one I suppose.
I hope to have a slideshow posted in a moment for my photoessay for the shitty blog survivor!
Have a GREAT day! Or just have a day.
ps: What I look like with clipped head after run this morning...
I did 6 miles this morning on the boardwalk in under an hour. That is the longest run I have ever attempted, and I did it. Aside from motivational issues along the way it really was no problem. Legs and everything felt fine. I adopted a new breathing pattern that has really helped my speed and distance I think. I inhale two or three very shallow breaths, the let it out in one smooth long breath. Instead of trying to fill my lungs to capacity, I am actually trying to use as little air as possible. Sounds strange right? What I believe has happened in the past is that I was using up so much energy just BREATHING, trying to take in as much air as I could. I have huge lungs. So it was my back and sides that bothered me most during aerobic exercise. Now I feel like I can just keep going and air is just not an issue. :-)
If you are planning on taking your children to the new Harry Potter movie this summer, an activity you may want to plan ahead is to have a couple of movie nights where you watch the first four leading up to the new one. Our Meetin group here has bee doing that and I thought it was a great idea. Something to break up the monotony of summer. :-)
Another idea is to let your children watch "The Bridge to Teribithia", only stop it at the end of the day at the museum. Trust me, you don't want to go past that. Then take your children to a state park or some wooded area and just watch their imaginations unfold, stretch their wings, and take flight.
Never run 4 miles just after downing a protein shake in June heat. I spent the last mile working really hard not to throw up. Running 8 - 10 minute miles though. Raining sweat. Wish I had someone to really work up a sweat with, seriously. :-) Chick that comment was for you... :-)
Sorry about some of the negative posts. Just bear with me ok? Between the lurker lately and the pictures I found this morning while pulling the RUSH pictures off it opened some wounds I wish like hell would heal.
Wish I could talk about my work more. There I'm very upbeat and really in my element. Scanning packets and alerts like the Matrix, tracking intruders through the network and across the globe, linking seemingly unrelated events together to reveal elaborate attacks and shutting them down, and forensically analyzing file systems for overt or covert evidence. I love to think well outside the box. You would be very surprised how much of your information is available for the asking with every connection you make, whether you think your are anonymous or not. Essentially nothing is protected on the Internet. ;-)
Been going through my phone to take off pictures, etc from last night....
1st things on the phone from March this year: Deleted the pictures, but it is kind of like this...You just fell off a waterfall and crashed onto the rocks. Hard. Painful. Lost your partner and you feel like there is no hope. Then, she shows up, happy, hopeful. You try to patch your boat together and you get back on the water. The river picks up speed quickly, she jumps off and you go over the another waterfall, crash on the rocks. Hard. Painful. Drowning. You don't even want to be saved. Then she sends a picture to your phone as you are losing consciousness. She is beautiful, radiant, and she says "She thinks it will work out..." You grab hold of that hope and begin to float. She sends another picture and says "When the junk is tossed out." You begin to think, no problem, have no junk. Only, she is talking about her junk, and she won't toss it out. She wants to get back together, only, she is still dating and sleeping with other men even though she is telling you she is not. So maelstrom swallows your pride, your hope, everything, and fades to black. How can people seem so sincere and loyal, and still lie to your face, your heart, your soul. How can they seem like amazing people that you really want to be near, but poison you while smiling and telling you that they love you? How do they do this knowing there are six children's hearts and souls hanging on this too? Something I will obviously NEVER understand.
So, second thing: What happens when a grandfather hands a nine year old his phone to play with? A phone with picture, video, and MMS capability? The nine year old makes a music video to send to his dad at work. :-) If you want to know what true love really is, ask or watch a child.
I'll link the video here just as soon as I figure out how to convert the format to something linkable/postable!
Was kickass. No opener. They played a great mix of the new, the old, and the stuff only Rush fans know about and enjoy. It was all just amazing music with nothing to detract from it. Three outstanding musicians doing something they obviously are masters at and enjoy.
To top it off, we had a limo take us there. The owner of the limo is a friend who is really funny, has been in the limo business a long time here, and is the one that picked up Rush from the airport. I'm saying that is the only way to go to a concert. :-)
Getting home at 4:30am has upset my time table for today. I'm off for a run now, then biking locally, then a big party! Oh, and I have to look at a house in between.
I made it through the first round of the Shitty Blog Survivor contest!!!! Next task is a picture essay of the activities I've been up to while on the Island. Totally was looking for a photo assignment! It also means a picture of the head is coming soon.
"Better Than Me" By Hinder
I think you can do much better than me After all the lies that I made you believe Guilt kicks in and I start to see The edge of the bed Where your nightgown used to be I told myself I won't miss you But I remember What it feels like beside you I really miss your hair in my face And the way your innocence tastes And I think you should know this You deserve much better than me
While looking through your old box of notes I found those pictures I took That you were looking for If there's one memory I don't want to lose That time at the mall You and me in the dressing room I told myself I won't miss you But I remember What it feels like beside you I really miss your hair in my face And the way your innocence tastes And I think you should know this You deserve much better than me
The bed I'm lying in is getting colder Wish I never would've said it's over And I can't pretend... I won't think about you when I'm older Cause we never really had our closure This can't be the end I really miss your hair in my face And the way your innocence tastes And I think you should know this You deserve much better than me I really miss your hair in my face And the way your innocence tastes And I think you should know this You deserve much better than me (And I think you should know this) (You deserve much better than me)
Song that mirrors a post I did a while back.....
"Hands" by Jewel
If I could tell the world just one thing It would be that we're all OK And not to worry 'cause worry is wasteful And useless in times like these I won't be made useless I won't be idle with despair I will gather myself around my faith For light does the darkness most fear My hands are small, I know But they're not yours, they are my own But they're not yours, they are my own And I am never broken Poverty stole your golden shoes It didn't steal your laughter And heartache came to visit me But I knew it wasn't ever after We'll fight, not out of spite For someone must stand up for what's right 'Cause where there's a man who has no voice There ours shall go singing My hands are small I know But they're not yours, they are my own But they're not yours, they are my own I am never broken In the end only kindness matters In the end only kindness matters I will get down on my knees, and I will pray I will get down on my knees, and I will pray I will get down on my knees, and I will pray My hands are small I know But they're not yours, they are my own But they're not yours, they are my own And I am never broken My hands are small I know But they're not yours, they are my own But they're not yours, they are my own And I am never broken We are never broken We are God's eyes God's hands God's mind We are God's eyes God's hands God's heart We are God's eyes God's hands God's eyes We are God's hands We are God's hands
WooHoo! Going to the Rush concert tonight with some great friends!
Running tomorrow morning early and heading to York River State Park for some biking. There is a big party Saturday night, but I don't know how long I will be there. High School graduation party for a friends niece, and not really my thing. It will be fun though.
Another early morning run Sunday, kayaking, and we'll see after that!
It's been a busy week at work and at home. Volleyball, dodgeball, houses, closed down a club with a great band and pool one night. Dodgeball was a blast last night!
I'm looking for a group that plays Ultimate. I think there may be one in Norfolk that plays Sunday afternoons.
Green circle Cardboard Neptuness Warm white mocha voice Randomness conjoins
Soft hum engines City noise not so loud Peaceful lull Easy gentle kiss
Passion tea, passion tongues Salt lick lips Margarita memory Fullness and warmth
Smooth sun skin Dreamcatcher eyes catch me Indigo star-sky Old smiling karma~ I have always been yours.
She is the ocean, or reminds me very strongly of it. She is beautiful, She is stormy, she is calm. She is mysterious and wonder full. Her hair is the color of ocean sand. Her eyes are ocean green. Her smile is the noon time sun, Her smile is warm, inviting, tingling, desiring to see it over and over, basking in it is happiness She is mine, or I am hers, or some semblance of them both.
The zephyr breeze is cooling, Her hands are all the warmth I need. Too much to eat, too much coffee to drink, Never enough of her.
The circles of intimacy and trust
The circles of intimacy and trust Not giving into worldly lust Standards raised in humbleness Lest pride and plague befell us.
The circles of intimacy and trust About doing right and what's best
Conversation I had with a friend's daughter who is Brandon's age: One night while sitting on the kitchen floor of the unfinished kitchen with Phoebe a very interesting conversation ensued….
Phoebe was discussing a story she had written in 2nd grade the previous year. She was telling me that she had also drawn a picture to go with it. She said she really enjoyed drawing. She then drew her picture again. It was a picture of a giant sundae (a statue in her story) with a huge spoon in it. Phoebe was very proud of her drawing.
She then started drawing on the other side of the page. She drew chaos. It was a veritable maelstrom of colors in a widely varying circular patterns all drawn continually on top of each other. I told her that it looked very pretty. And it did. She said, "That’s what grown ups say when they don't want to hurt your feelings. I made something for my dad and he said that's nice Phoebe, but he just didn’t want to hurt my feelings." Hmmmm.
I then said to Phoebe, "Well, your drawings are very colorful. Your swirls look to me like what I would envision the emotion of confusion would look like. It reminds me of confusion. Very chaotic, intertwining, and not being able to tell one thing from another." I told her, "Some of the best known artist are able to capture emotions with their pictures and the people that look at them can FEEL that emotion. That is what your picture did for me, it made me think of confusion." She beamed. She said, "I'm not a very good artist though." I said, "Well, it takes practice. Like all things, if you enjoy doing it, then the more you do it, the better you will get."
Phoebe's attention was then captured by a bead on the floor. She started pushing it down one of the troughs between the square tiles in the floor. Phoebe said at that point, "This is my life. I just keep going straight. I'm not able to turn left or right. I have no choices. I just keep going straight."
Putting my finger on a point in another trough, I asked Phoebe, "Would you like to get to here?" She said, "Yes, but I keep going straight."
I then said, "Well, you do have a choice. You can keep going straight until you reach this junction, and then you have a choice. You can go left, right or straight. It just may take a while to get there." Phoebe thought about that for a minute, as was I, trying to keep ahead of her. I thought of Robert Frost's poem 'The Road Less Traveled.'
Gaining what I thought was a little inspiration I said, "You know, this is very much like what one of my favorite poets described in his poem 'The Road Less Traveled'. He started with "Two roads diverged in a yellow wood." This is a little like what you were saying. You keep going straight for right now, but one day you be at a place where you can make a choice. Robert Frost then said that he was sorry he could not travel both because he was one traveler. So he looked at both of them very carefully because he wanted to make the right choice for him. He liked the one that was "grassy and wanted wear" because it looked like it was less traveled. He also said that knowing how way leads on to way that he would probably never come back to that point so he knew that he had to make a good choice."
Phoebe looked up at me and said, "I want to take the road that has the most people. And I want to take the high road, not the low road." I told her, "Well, at the point that you get to make your choice, you will have lots of reasons for choosing one road over another. Robert Frost wanted the road less traveled, and when he looked back he was very happy with his choice. Someone else, like you, may come to the same point and say, 'I want the higher road.' And therefore at the same intersection, many people will have many different wants and will choose a path for many different reasons, all based on what they want."
At this point I figured it was a good point to leave Phoebe to her thoughts so I suggested that we go upstairs so that I could find her mom, and Phoebe could get ready for bed.
The first hurdle I encountered this morning for my run was me. I didn't want to get out of bed. I said I would do it later. Just a few more minutes. I woke up from a vivid dream at 4:00am and couldn't get back to sleep so I needed that sleep. Well, at 5:00 am I jumped the hurdle and got up. A few ounces of water and I was getting dressed. Stretching was harder than I thought too. 30 minutes on the elliptical did some good I suppose. That and running/jumping in the sand for volleyball.
The second hurdle I encountered this morning for my run was me. Walking down the driveway and knowing what was in front of me was intimidating. I was going to extend my run a little this morning and I ached. I dodged that hurdle, saved it for later, and started out.
The third hurdle I encountered on my run this morning was me. The first block was spent trying to decide if the pain was going to be worth it. The joints, especially the knees are really protesting all the recent activity, but I am convinced that it isn't going to get better unless I push it. I bulldozed that barrier and plunged on through.
The fourth obstacle I encountered on my run this morning was me and an accidental lake. The water main broke and the service road was a lake. There was a police patrol car to dissuade traffic. So do I divert? Nope. Water or not, I'm going through. Another bump waded through.
The fifth obstacle I encountered this morning was me. When I was nearing my normal turn I was thinking I could extend the run another day. I stuck to my plan though and scaled that cliff.
The last impediment I faced this morning was me. When should I stop running? The main road, the normal point, or somewhere in between? Stopping before the finish, the real finish is an illusion so I closed my eyes and jogged through the facade and completed the task.
In most things, the only real barrier is ourselves. I keep telling my son this, but I have to remember it for me too. As Chuck Swindoll said once "Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it." Find the right view and the right intention, the hurdles will come, but you will see how to clear them and have the power to do it.
Sunday was a great day all day. The run was fantastic. Who knew there were hills in Va Beach? Not really hills though, slight inclines and declines. You can feel them though. The declines are great, but on the inclines I just lower my head, lean forward and push through. Dodgeball is a literal blast. We start Thursday and we have a great group of people playing. After playing basketball for 25 years, shifting to volleyball is taking some work, but I'm getting it. Three hours of pickup games Sunday helped. Helps to have the ocean to soak in between games. There was a good break on the outer sandbar that had me wishing I had brought my surfboard. I will next time I go out. A group of us met at a friend's place Sunday night to have a "fix the hot tub party." The food was fabulous, the hot tub kind of caught on fire, but we ordered a new circuit board for it, then played the "Battle of the Sexes" board game until...sometime.
Began Body for Life Monday with decent workout. Upper body. Then Volleyball. We went 1 for 3, so not very good. We get better with every game though. A group of us then went to Mahi Mahs, listened to the band Plastic Eddie (which were pretty good), had a few drinks and some dinner, and broke for the night when the band packed up.
I could not get up this morning to run. I barely made it to work. My body is in high protest right now, but I'm sure it will catch up. I did my aerobic for BFL tonight though.
I'm putting an offer on another house. I hope it goes well. It is a lot cheaper than the first one. It isn't as big, but probably perfect for Brandon and I.
There is a lot to finish the week out with. :-) Hopefully I will be packing too!
Something to think about:
Be HERE now. There are many ways to say this, but the only thing that really matters is this moment. The next will come, or not come, but you can concentrate on that when it gets here. The past is gone and can't be changed, but remember the past can affect the present, so be so very careful what you do HERE now. You only have influence over the present. This is where and when you can act. This is where and when you make the difference you want to make in this life. So what do you do in this moment? Do you act solely for you? Do you act for others? Do you act for everything? Some things we do not have a choice in. The more material possessions we have, the more of this moment they take up. The more superficial things or people we have around us, then the more of this moment we need to concentrate on them. The more we have going on around us, the less time we get to spend in our moment on the things that REALLY matter. So what REALLY matters to you? There is no right or wrong answer, it is your choice.
More to think about (and more on this later I think):
The Four Noble Truths 1. Life means suffering. 2. The origin of suffering is attachment. 3. The cessation of suffering is attainable. 4. The path to the cessation of suffering.
The eightfold path: 1. Right View 2. Right Intention 3. Right Speech 4. Right Action 5. Right Livelihood 6. Right Effort 7. Right Mindfulness 8. Right Concentration
:-) And in the true Buddhist spirit...I shaved my head. Well, a #2 comb. I may go lower, we'll see. Was tired of dealing with my hair. It was getting really thin anyway. No, I'm not turning completely Buddhist, but I feel like there is much to learn so I may be spending some time thinking and reading about it over the next few weeks. Really the religion/philosophy mirrors others. Letting go of material things comes to mind first. The way you treat others comes to mind next. The words are just words, it is the connection they embody that is important.
THE TRUTH SHALL SET YOU FREE Search and know the truth for your life.
*Oh, and I've been tagged. As soon as I figure that out I should have another post with weird facts about me since I am a bit weeuhd.
Word to the unwise: "And feeling good don't ever cost a thing," Home by Chris Daughtry. If you feel like you need to continually win over the person you love with sacrifices and things, they probably don't love you back.
Most of us at times: "Much better to face these kinds of things with a sense of poise and rationality," I Write Sins not Tragedies, Panic! at the Disco. I am particularly guilty of this, losing my poise and rationality.
:-) : "Shoot a canon through it," Where do you go by Sister Hazel. Yeah, see above. Don't light the fuse, you will always regret it later even though it can be the absolutely right thing to do. The Universe has a way of dealing with most of these things.
Hold on: "And even when your hope is gone Move along, move along just to make it through," Move Along by The All American Rejects. This is when you most need to get up and get out. Accomplish something, even if it is just a walk around the block, a nature trail, a mall. And keep doing it.
Butter was great last night. Have to see if Jesse Chong is playing tonight at Murphy's. Maybe Charlie Austin will make an appearance (best fiddle player around). Did a 3.5 mile run this morning. Getting better and faster. Didn't make it through my playlist either...so not too bad. I'm drenched now though. I started a couple of hours later today and the sun steams into you this time of year.
Off to look at some houses and play dodgeball/volleyball and fix a hot tub.
Getting back into Body for Life with fervor tomorrow.
There are times that I truly wish they would combine the two days and just make it Happy Parents Day. In most cases, both Dads and Moms make a lot of sacrifices to raise their children. Both parents work really hard to ensure their children grow up healthy. Where this isn't the case, then you usually have one parent that is trying to fill both roles. A parents day would fit better.
Being a father is a tough role. To all of the dads out there that are trying to make a difference in the lives of their children, whether you feel you are successful in every area or not, you should know that your efforts are noticed and appreciated far more than you may ever realize. Happy Fathers Day to you all.
This kind of love makes me feel ten feet tall It makes all my problems fall This kind of trust helps me to hold the line I'll be there every time
This kind of love is what I dreamed about Yeah, it fills me up It leaves no doubt This kind of love it's why I'm standing here It's something that we can share I can't get enough of this kind of love
This kind of hope is what I try to find And now I can't deny I believe This kind of faith is so unshakeable It's unmistakeable It's bigger than me
This kind of love is what I dreamed about Yeah, it fills me up It leaves no doubt This kind of love it's why I'm standing here It's something that we can share I can't get enough of this kind of love
Your love can move a mountain It makes my world go round Its always there to guide me I'm so lucky that I found
This kind of love it's what I dreamed about Yeah it fills me up Well baby it leaves no doubt This kind of love it's why I'm standing here It's something we can share I can't get enough of this kind of love This kind of love
I had a great run this morning. I started with a really good stretch, at least for my joints. I doubled my distance keeping the same time, 30 minutes. I'm still running slow, but half as slow as I was. Maybe I was running half as fast as I normally walk? :-) At least it felt like I could keep going. I even doubled my pace the last half of the last lap, and it felt awesome!
It is nice to cut out in the quite calm of the early morning. The sky begins to light up, the Earth herself begins to warm. The dew is lifting, the air is still cool and clean going into my lungs. The birds and squirrels are chatting fervently as they gather food for the day, none of them paying me much mind. Occasionally I overtake or cross another person out for a morning walk. I haven't seen any runners yet. They are probably scared of this large lumbering person trudging about so early you know. The playlist is on low volume, just enough to hear and enjoy, but still listen to the morning sounds, and most importantly for cars. Cars sure don't listen for you.
The Playlist: How to save a live The Fray Superman Five for Fighting 100 Years Five for Fighting Where do you go Sister Hazel
Mostly just "How to save a life". It is about a counselor trying to reach a difficult child. Like me trying to reach my son.
Well, it is Saturday. I think we are going to get a cheap breakfast then come back to wait for his mom! She is supposed to be here at 8:30.
Motivate! Go listen to some music! Run! Bike! Hike! Chores! Swim! Hang-glide! Butter is at the 7th Street stage tonight at 7pm. Jazz at 31st Street!
And awesome recommendation for boys and girls...Nickelodeon's Avatar. You can get the series from iTunes, and you can probably find it on DVD. It is well worth it.
Not so much so. The movie, Fantastic 4 rise of the silver surfer, just was not that great. It was not as good as the first one, in my opinion. The company was good, and Brandon enjoyed it, so it was a good last night here for him.
We're packing up and getting ready for the summer!!!
WOW. I haven't had a week at work that has been this difficult in a long time. Not difficult in a bad way, just a lot to do, a lot of heavy thinking. The wine helped some, but last night I just vegged.
Going to take my son to dinner his last night here and then to see the fantastic 4 movie! WooHoo! We have a group going with some other children so it should be a "Fantastic" time....that's punny! sort of.
My son is staying with his grandfather for the next couple of days. :-)
No hang over this morning, it took almost three hours to consume the bottle. :-)
I did sleep well though. Certainly didn't want to get up. My run will have to wait until this afternoon now.
And good news: Saturday evenings through the summer, the 31st street stage has a jazz group starting at 7pm. Sitting out in the little park next to the beach, enjoying the last of the summer sun for the day, letting the evening breeze off the beach cool you off, and just chilling to some good jazz is a great way to end any Saturday.
Yesterday was a killer day for me at work. Today has got to be better.
A bottle of Chianti to make the world a little brighter.
A whole bottle.
Enough to make me wonder what the hell I'm typing here.
I'm definitely buzzing right now. My teeth are purple. I'm ready to confess lots of things...just ask. :-) LOL
I ran this morning. Going to run again tomorrow. I listen to the Fray, How to save a life the whole time. That is my theme song with my son. You should get it too.
I recommend Da Vinci Chianti. Should be able to get it anywhere, but definitely at Kroger. Delicious. Only $12 a bottle here. So, I drank $12 tonight. I wasn't planning on drinking the bottle, just a glass or two.
I put a contract offer on a house tonight. I doubt they will take the offer. $40K less than what they want. But I am a single parent, one income, it is what I can afford. We'll see. They leave at the end of the week for Ohio. The house has been on the market since January.
Ok going to bed now, have to get up tomorrow and run, but need to run one more lap than I did today. Today was an awful day at work. So much to do, lots of emergencies.
Over and out, will write tomorrow, but not inebriated. It's too hard to read and type at the same time....the damn screen keeps moving.
I am the apothecary. I have a very large assortment of drugs in my cabinets now. I really have to take time to read them when I need to pull the various ones out for me or for my son. I actually have two sides, one of prescription drugs, and one for over the counter.
How do you teach a child the value of hard work and a job well done? How do you teach them to review their own work and be able to judge when it is done well? I've spent over four hours now going in and out every five minutes telling my son that the leaves that needed to be raked in the backyard are not done, that there is nothing to be frightened of, showing him how to rake under bushes, re-instructing every ten minutes or so, and so on.
What do you do with the pain of the empty space left by the betrayal of someone you put your hopes and dreams into? What do you do with the pain of seeing your child deal with the loss and total abandonment of someone he dared to hope would be his mother and five siblings? What do you do when everything around you reminds you of this person and the colossal failure of the relationship, and the utter uselessness of all of the sacrifices you made for them? Yes, this still haunts me everyday. Especially on days like today where there are outbursts when there weren't the first part of the year, and he had a Family to draw strength and reassurance from. If your family abandons you, what hope can there possibly be? If your brothers and sisters can no longer speak to you or see you, what do you do?
We all like to have choices. We just may not always like the choices we have. My son is having a hard time learning that given a set of choices, if he doesn't choose one, one will be chosen for him. Should he choose to fight that, then all choices will be removed from him. His failure to follow directions also leads to a loss of choices. He did not bring home a sheet of paper that allowed him to make choices for lunch this week. As the cafeteria is closing out for the summer, they had to know ahead of time what the students would be eating. Because Brandon didn't bring the sheet home or make a choice, the choices were made for him. He did not like the choice that was made and exploded on impact. He hit, kicked, and bit his substitute teacher. He had to be forcibly removed from the cafeteria. He was so violent that his shirt ripped and he now has bruises on his arms. This is a pretty typical Brandon explosion. So I was called to leave work to come get him. He is now not allowed to come back to school the last few days of the year. He will now miss his end of school parties. His dad is not very happy with him. His choices went from plenty to nil because he could not follow directions. Such is life.
The contest has begun. I think everyone considers me an underdog, which I am! But it will be fun while it lasts. :-) Check out the link on the right column below. I am probably out of my league with the other fantastic people that are participating so check out their blogs!
Journal for week 1 and Slogan!
Shitty Blogs Club: It is real. Reality ain't pretty, it's shitty. :-)
Looking at some of the other blogs, and blogs around the net, I find that there is a bit of honesty and truth out there that isn't readily evident when you are with most people face to face. We tend to be a bit reserved in person. But reality isn't so polished for most of us. I think most people have a bit of turmoil, doubt, fear, etc in their lives. We also get to share our victories, real or imagined, our hope, and the great things that happen to us as well. Reality is just messy, an amalgamation of good and bad things that make up our lives. Our ups and downs. Our successes and mistakes.
It was a sort of busy weekend. We were geared up to go kayaking Saturday afternoon, and then chill out at the beach to a live Jazz band right on the boardwalk. And that is exactly what we did. The kayaking was supposed to be out in the ocean, but the wind kicked up and it was too choppy. So we went up Owl Creek, by the Virginia Aquarium (or whatever it is called now). As you can see from the picture below, Brandon just laid out and napped. :-) I should have worn a hat as I got a little sunburned on my head. Brandon said "I'm glad I have a full head of hair." Yeah, laugh it up fuzz ball. :-) The jazz band was great too. A few people from the kayaking group met us out there. Sunday morning we thought about trying to get out in the ocean again, but it was kind of dreary. We did some chores, watched a few episodes of the Avatar season 2, and then headed to dodgeball practice. I got a haircut in between. Dodgeball was a lot of fun. It looks like the league will be too. The rest of the afternoon was spent doing chores.
We had our first volleyball games tonight. Beach Volleyball. We did pretty well. We went 3 and 1. Brandon got to jump in the water, and he and I spent a little while playing stickball with a stick he found and a raquet ball we brought with us. Not a bad end to the night really.
Maybe ocean kayaking on Saturday morning before his mom gets him? We'll see. Have to see what bands are playing this week too.
As you can see we had quite a large group. This armada was actually missing two kayaks. One stayed back to help another.
My son's new favorite game is Scrabble. Tonight was kind of cool because I was building a word a little at a time and getting ready to nail one that would give me two triple word bonuses...Okay, not really sure what the official rules say about it, but it was exciting for me to think of multiplying the large word score by SIX! Brandon was stuck though. The word was reviews, and all I needed was a 'P'. Brandon knocked his letters over and I saw he had a 'P'. He was a little frustrated at not being able to create the words he wanted, and he wasn't really seeing his opportunities. So I mentioned that he could put one letter down and make the grandaddy of all scores. He looked around and he found it! 96 points for putting down one letter. He was thrilled. I had to help him on a few others. When we stopped, he was definitely ahead. We actually used all but one letter a few nights ago in a game. I have a huge dictionary that we use to look up word meanings and stuff too. In all it is a lot of fun. It is one of my favorite games, Boggle is another. Sure, neither are super exciting, but putting things together, puzzles, etc, opportunities to stretch my brain a bit...I'll take them, especially if my son is in for it too.
Or at least swim with them. Scuba diving is a new thing for me, at least since the fall of 2004 when I got certified. I did this CRAZY thing of finishing college classes, working full time in Maryland, and getting PADI Open Water, Nitrox, and Advanced Open Water certified all at the same time. The idea was to dive the Spiegel Grove in Key Largo in January 2005. Which we did. So, Scuba became another activity. Once you get past the constant fear of exceeding some limit or running out of air, it is actually a lot of fun. The fish pretty much think you belong there and treat you like one of them. It is the oddest thing to be in the murky mid atlantic next to a wreck, and these fish just look at you almost like they are curious. I've had a few even try to use me as shelter. To which my next thought is, where is the bigger fish that is supposed to eat them, and do I look like I might be on the menu? In Cozumel once, I saw a school of fish like the shape changers from "Finding Nemo". My first thought was, it looks like a buffet, where are the dinner guests, and I don't want to be here when they get here.
So I got an underwater camera in the fall. I'm still working out the kinks, but this is the first time I have really used it underwater. Lake Rawlings is a cool spot just south of Richmond that many dive shops use for certification dives. It is enclosed, well supervised, and is a fairly safe place for your first dives. The lake is populated with various structures specifically designed for your certification. It makes it rather ideal for cash strapped folks that want to brush up a bit on their skills without traveling to far away lands. The opening scene from "The Replacements" was filmed there. The lake was a rock quarry that was used for building part of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel. During the digging they sprung a leak, opening the aquifer, and the pit filled with water.
A friend from work just got certified and has only been on one dive. I'll dive anywhere just for the experience, and I was itching to use my camera! So the middle of last week we said, "We're going!" And we did.
Brandon wanted to snorkel. It was raining off and on as the remnants of some tropical depression rolled through. In between dives I got him out there to snorkel. He was pretty scared. He did pretty well, but the fish kind of freaked him out. I don't think he expected them to come right up to him. He has heard several stories of fish bites, etc, so he was really afraid of them. Not to mention the water was pretty cold.
Got up at 5am. Made coffee. Woke up boy. Picked up friend. Drove to Lake Rawlings. Made two dives. Drove back. Looked at houses with real estate agent. Adjusted pictures from the day. Too tired to write anything else! More later.
Well this morning we had the meeting for the IEP. More behavior charts, daily visits, etc. Brandon threw a pretty big tantrum this afternoon though. He pulled a girl's arm, kicked over a desk, screamed, all because he wanted to use the computer. They called me to come get him. Good thing I was almost there anyway. He is suspended for Monday. Time to get him to mow the grass with a pair of tweezers I suppose. Two more weeks....I am so not going to make it.
His vice principal did a phenomenal job of talking with him while I was there. I was awed. He was very responsive, which is unusual for Brandon. I was glad to see that.
He took a nap when we got home. I wanted to as well, but I had phone calls and such to make.
We strapped the kayak to the car and went kayaking at the state park around the corner. That was awesome. Another amazing evening. We saw a few Ospreys, a few Blue Herons, and an Eagle. The Eagle was huge. Brandon touched some barnacles, we raced a few boats, and we met some more great people. Brandon also managed to find an oyster, which we have to break open to see if there is a pearl in now. :-) Have to remember to do it first thing tomorrow, otherwise it will start to stink.
We went to my softball games after that. I so wish we had gone to Huey Lewis instead, but I was obligated. Tomorrow is running, biking, prepping for scuba Sunday, and Butter/better than ezra/sugar ray concert at the beach, shrek 3, and dinner. Something like that. If I fill my days up with stuff, maybe I won't feel so depressed right?