Monday, June 30, 2008

...and a picture from the pool party

We had a few Jello shooters. :-)
I'm on the left.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Catching up.

I make a lot of mistakes. I do try to learn from them. Sometimes I do things I have said I would never do because I know they would be mistakes. Yet when the time comes they look a little different and not really what I was expecting. Then, in a day or two, I realize that it actually was a bad decision and in general I am both insane and delusional. I am mostly harmless though and can be marginally entertaining whilst I attempt to disentangle myself from one predicament or another.


So, this summer, like some others, is a dream. It isn't real. Just something to occupy the space and time between the end of one school year and the beginning of the next. I have to keep that in mind. I have to make sure other people keep it in mind. It isn't really me they see and interact with, it's more like virtual reality. So in the last week or so, this is what the dream looks like:

Friday a week ago was softball and then drinks and food after the game at Buffalo Wild Wings. Not so great games, but great fun, and great friends.

Saturday morning was spent with the Asperger's support group. Three hours. It is always great to share thoughts, concerns, IEP information, teacher and administrator information, books and other resources, and things about doctors and testing. Saturday afternoon was soccer game number one. Saturday evening found me in situation I've never been in before, having to pick between parties to go to. It was hard because one was the birthday party of a good friend, but it was in Norfolk. The other was a get together of various team members, but it was only two or three miles down the road (stumbling distance). I chose the latter because of distance and it was late (ie I left the soccer game at 7:30pm). We had a great time in and out of the pool and got to meet some new people.

Sunday morning I did laundry, chores, and things. I was supposed to go to a beach party, but I was tired so I stayed home until I needed to leave for soccer. Yes, another soccer game Sunday afternoon. It was our last one for the spring season. One of my team mates was really pumped up and came by yelling "shock and awe" the whole game. We were undefeated for the season. I picked up a couple of nick names, "rock" and "wall". I think I need to combine them as it would at least describe how my son sees me. He's been climbing me since he was old enough to climb and I've often felt my primary job as parent is being a portable jungle gym. I really wanted to go see Charlie Austin at Murphy's Sunday evening, but somehow I forgot all about it.

Monday was work like normal, but I did an aerobic routine at the gym afterwards. I then went down to my volleyball games at the beach. We didn't do so well, but I had a great time swimming and listening to the band afterwards.

Tuesday was a down night. Nothing planned and that is exactly what I did, nothing. :-)

Wednesday was "Bad Movie, Good Friends" night. Wow, what a bad movie too. "The Death of Ocean View Park". It was filmed here in Norfolk in the later 70's as a made for TV movie. I was actually an extra in that movie too.

Thursday was dodgeball. :-) Yep. You can see a slide show of one game from last year below. We went to the pizza place that sponsors the league, Shorebreak Pizza, after the game. We won so we get a free pizza. Friends, pizza, and beer. What's not to like?

This Friday was softball again, and our last two games. I hit a couple of home runs, and nearly pulled a hamstring running the bases. Fields with fences are easier, but this one didn't have any.

Saturday was grocery shopping and chores again. I went to a pool party at a previous co-worker's place and THAT was a great time. It was nice to see and talk to everyone. Wrestling in the pool with the kids (yes, I know I'm not supposed to), and playing volleyball in the pool. I was having so much fun that I nearly missed the baseball game at Harbor Park with my current co-workers out in Suffolk. Our team, the Norfolk Tides, lost, but the park is awesome. I know I'm getting old when everyone on the field look like little kids to me.

Sunday, today, was spent doing odd things, going to lunch in Norfolk (shrimp and grits), and in a few minutes I leave to go back to see Jeff Dunham, the comedian that plays with puppets. I'm also looking for Dive trips out of here and the Outer Banks over the next couple of days. I have a couple of days off that were supposed to be spent in Cozumel, but that is a whole other story.

Hopefully later tonight I'll get some of the incriminating pictures from the pool party and get one or two up here.

Here's the dodgeball slideshow:

Saturday, June 28, 2008


My last post, Friday June 20, was the Universe's attempt at humor and my where the hell is that damn window.

Friday, June 20, 2008

I'm glad to see....

I'm not the only one that thinks like this:

For those inclined:
The slideshow didn't make it up until late yesterday, it is in the post below, or you can see the bigger pictures without music at PICASA

Have a great Friday!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Adjustments and forward momentum

Things have been kind of busy, but I planned it that way. Friday night, after I took my son to his grandparents for his journey, I had a couple of beers with a friend and then softball from 8:45 to 11pm.

Saturday morning brought the Asperger's Support group meeting at the Chesapeake City Park. I brought my camera since my son was gone. These are just a really special group of kids. Slide show is below.

Mostly I cleaned things up during the day, then headed out for soccer at 3pm. I had a great time at soccer, and even played wing for a little while. Offense in soccer is a heck of a lot of running if you do it right. We had a lot of smoke from the swamp fires just a few miles from there, but I didn't die, yet.

Sunday morning I first got out to try and surf, but lake atlantic was having none of it. I came back and framed my son's art work and made it out to dodgeball practice. They invited me out to a small beach on Broad Bay so I joined everyone out there. Mostly I just slept in the sun. I was in the water about five minutes when a jelly fish attached itself to my side. Usually they just slide past, stinging as they go, but this thing essentially ran into me and stuck. It was painful. I got out of the water and I went back to sleep. :-) Some of the folks were going out for sushi afterwards and I told them to call me. Mostly out of curiosity because I didn't know any of the sushi places were open Sundays. The first one we went to was not, so we started driving until we found one. It was ridiculously marvelous sushi. Seriously.

Mondays are volleyball at the beach. We won two and lost two. We had a nice swim in the ocean afterwards with dinner and music at Mahi Mahs. A local group called Plastic Eddies. Any group that plays Counting Crows is ok by me. About ten minutes after we got there the wind from the icy depths of hell kicked up, nearly took out the patio umbrellas, and left everyone shivering and asking for the check!

Tuesday was Big Bad Voodoo Daddies at the beach. That was awesome, er, while it lasted. I had to leave early to help a friend's softball team, but when I got there they had more than enough people. I wish they would have called, I was having a good time at the concert.

Wednesday was supposed to be meet and greet for dodgeball, but other plans came up and those went longer than expected.

Today is the first night of dodgeball games. It will be fun if not mostly immature. :-)

I'm trying to stay busy to stave off depression. Forcing myself to get out amongst folks to keep from really becoming introverted as is my tendency. I'm up early and late to get some time to ponder, reflect, and look for a balance or contentment with how the things that are mostly outside of my control are affecting me right now. I'm not where I want to be in many areas, but some of them are not entirely in my control.

And....the slideshow!

Friday, June 13, 2008

thoughts on father's day...

It's the way you hold my hand when we are out,
It's the way we run, laugh, sing, and shout,
It's the day to day memories we make and do,
That I want for Father's day from you.

There is no gift or other token,
There is no nifty phrase that's spoken,
There is no tool or toy that I could use,
That's any better than the time I spend with you.

Day to day I get to see you grow,
Increasing all the things you know,
I pick you up when you fall out,
That's what fathers are all about.

And if I love and raise you well,
You'll have your own kids this to tell,
And I'm sure you will certainly agree,
That every day is Father's Day to me.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

End of the year, the line, etc and other things

So my son brought home certificates today for Honor Roll in the fourth quarter and Honor Roll for the year! I'm very proud of him for the effort that he put forth this year. I am hoping that next year will be even better.

My son's fifth grade class put on a full production of Tidepool Condos as their class play this week. ALL BY THEMSELVES. This means that they did the directing, set, costumes, and choreography entirely themselves. It was a musical by the way. They did fantastic! They are the Math and Sciences Academy, so the play carried and Eco-awareness message. It was amazing.

For my son tomorrow is fifth grade graduation, a pool party, and then a journey to his mom's for the summer. While we will both miss each other, we both know we need a break. He is excited about seeing his mom, I am excited about having some time to myself.

I've looked at my calendar and time to myself doesn't mean alone, it means sports and other activities. I'm trying as much as I can to get out in social groups and just do things.

I have some personal goals that I would like to accomplish over the summer. Learning to really surf is one. Diving on a U-boat is another. Getting back into working out regularly and eating better is on the list too. I have professional goals I want to accomplish over the summer as well. We never really know what life will bring so I'll deal with things as they come.

I guess I'll clean my house too. :-)

wiedersehn, wiederschreiben, wiedersprechen....Habst du gute zeiten.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

I'm exhausted...

The temperatures here this weekend were over 100. Records were broken. It's not the heat its the humidity right? Well the humidity was pretty high up there too. But Saturday didn't start off in the heat.

Saturday morning was my son's first piano recital. He did fantastic. Before and after the recital we were running around preparing for our camping/snorkel/dive trip.

We went to Lake Rawlings, about two hours from here, in the middle of southern Virginia. It is a fresh water lake that used to be a rock quarry. They have stocked the lake with fresh water clams to clean the water, two varieties of fish, and a lot of stuff to look at. It is essentially a Scuba Park. Parts of some movies have been filmed there (The Replacements). You can camp, swim, snorkel, kayak/canoe, or dive there.

We did an afternoon dive, some snorkeling, a night dive, morning snorkel and fish feeding, and a morning dive. It was my son and I and my friend Dave and his daughter Ariel. In the 100+ degree heat the water was extremely refreshing. Any time we moved outside we started sweating rivers. At night the heat and humidity dropped. I slept with the rain cover off of my tent and fell asleep on top of my sleeping bag staring at the stars. I loved it. My son loved the smores and at various intervals would sound off quotes from the movie "The Sandlot."

Our night dive was the first for Dave and my second. It was my first without a large group. I "lost" Dave once, but it turns out he was there, I just missed his light somehow. Once we were done we just kind of laid back with our gear in the water and just watched stars and shooting stars for a bit.

I finally got my son to snorkel! Once he did what I said he loved it. We fed the fish in the morning and some of those pictures are here.

We were supposed to go to Marc Cohn in downtown Norfolk at 4pm, but that didn't happen. We got home about 2:30pm and I crashed while Brandon went to visit a neighbor. I'm getting ready to crash again.



Monday, June 02, 2008

An IEP, Art, a diagnosis, and still a lot of questions

Brandon's art. He never ceases to amaze me:

Friday we had our IEP meeting at the school my son will be attending next year. I had just received the results of his most recent testing from the psychologist. They did give him a diagnosis of Asperger's. The IEP went much better than I was anticipating. I think it is going to be a challenging next couple of years for my son, but I think he is in the best place to deal with that challenge. The counselor assigned to my son has over a decade of experience working with asperger's and autistic children. It was amazing to hear how she deals with some of her students. Finally someone that really get it. Not to distract from the truly awe inspiring job my son's current teachers did this year. To have gone a whole school year where I got very few calls from school is something I cannot fathom. It is really just now hitting home for me how very well he did in school this year. Next year may be different, but I'm holding out hope that it will be different in a good way.

A number of thoughts and things have come up lately that put me in a fairly melancholy mood today. Part of it has been pondering this song:

Big blue skies and an open field
My right hand on the steering wheel
Two young lovers runnin' wild
We bought string and a brand new kite
We couldn't wait to watch it fly
But it flew too high, it flew too high

Here comes the wind let your string unwind
Run as fast as you can in your mind
Back to a place that you never forgot
Before everything was lost
I don't remember when we ran out of rope
When we did we lost all hope
And we just stood there cryin'
That what's we learned about flyin'

So I took your hand and you took mine
And we waltzed togheter in time
But looking back I guess I didn't know
That I was in love and you were letting go
It's funny how your mind plays tricks on you
Seemed like the higher and higher we flew
You took off and I was made of stone
I was made of stone

Here comes the wind let your string unwind
Run as fast as you can in your mind
Back to a place that you never forgot
Before everything was lost
I don't remember when we ran out of rope
When we did we lost all hope
And we just stood there cryin'
That what's we learned about flyin'

Here comes the wind let your string unwind
Run as fast as you can in your mind
Back to a place that you never forgot
Before everything was lost
I don't remember when we ran out of rope
When we did we lost all hope
And we just stood there cryin'
That what's we learned about flyin'

Sunday, June 01, 2008

My "Pampered SPA" weekend...

Started Friday with two hours of kinetic extension therapy to loosen the muscles and open the capillaries for the rest of the weekend.

I had ancient far east temperature treatment sessions throughout the weekend at varying intervals.

Saturday morning was a 45 minute vitamin D saturation treatment (done in stages). Simultaneously there was a cardiovascular treatment performed, and a sodium purge.

Saturday afternoon was a 1.5 hr session of the same morning program.

In between the morning and afternoon sessions there was a massage and muscle pain inhibitor treatment.

Sunday morning I got to sleep in late. But late in the morning there was a 1hr Vitamin D saturation, cardio treatment, World Consciousness Movement session, and a sodium purge session. I also got a heated foot exfoliation and massage.

Afterwards there was a mineral soak followed by a 15 minute deep tissue focused massage with another muscle pain inhibitor treatment.

This was quickly followed up by my last Vitamin D saturation, cardio treatment, and sodium purge session, duration 2 hrs.

I also watched and listened to soothing and rejuvenating meditative world view building programs throughout the weekend too.

I'm now tired, but relaxed and ready for the week!

So what is all this? I'm sure you're dying to know so that you too can have a weekend of catered spa nirvana right?

Kinetic Extension Therapy = Softball, specifically swinging the bat because I could not really throw since I pulled a muscle in the middle of my back Thursday. Note to self, swinging bat aggravates pulled back muscles which directly resulted in various follow on "Treatments"

Far East temperature treatment sessions = Bag of ice in the middle of one's back for anywhere from 5-15 minutes followed by a heating pad for about the same exposure time.

Vitamin D saturation treatment = Sun exposure (with Bullfrog 30 SPF Mosquito repellent waterproof sunscreen)

Cardiovascular treatment = running (Jogging saturday morning, soccer saturday afternoon, beach volleyball Sunday morning, and soccer again Sunday afternoon)

Sodium purge = sweat

Massage therapy = two baseballs, parallel, with me laying on top of them, either side of my spine. A couple of physical therapists told me about this years ago. They said to use tennis balls, but I don't have any. I control pressure in various, but the overall effect is good. At least until the feeling comes back in. I can't turn enough to see my back, but I'm pretty sure I didn't bruise it.

Muscle pain inhibitor = favorite self medicating sports injury drug.

heated foot exfoliation and massage = the truly hellish temperature of the sand while walking on it and trying to play volleyball on it. However, when you enter the zen meditative trance that hindu yogi's get to when walking across heated coals, you find that the sand isn't so bad and it slightly improves your volleyball skills.

Mineral Soak = swim/wade in the Bay/Ocean after we realized it's just too hot to play.

World Consciousness Movement = Volleyball.

Forgot to add this earlier....
World view building program = Southpark, last couple of episodes of season 8.

:-) Hope you had a great weekend and that you will have a great week!!!