updates of a sort

I haven’t posted much in the last week or so, I was a lot there for a while and it was helpful for my mental state:) Things just got crazy with Peanut’s birthday and stuff for school and stuff for work(that more than anything). I also have to put together a proposal for a nice chunk of outside work as well, so it’ll be busy, but at the same time, good for us financially. Plus, I’m going to hopefully have a way to filter a lot of the stuff to Fae to do during the day (especially the spanish site).

Physically, I’m feeling okay. Went to Kendo last night and am not in danger of losing my arms today, so that’s a real improvement. Aidan managed somehow to break one of the lathes in his shinai so I have to learn to pull it apart, replace it, and put it back together – should be very interesting indeed 🙂 Worst case scenario, I ask Sensei to do it, but truthfully, I need to learn. Speaking of Kendo, Aidan is progressing nicely – the corrections he’s getting are being taken to heart rather than personally, and he’s making marked improvements in his footwork as well as how he carries himself in class. Plus his focus is better because he sees his technique tightening up. Hopefully sometime in the near future we’ll get gi and hakama so we won’t stick out like a sore thumb.

We took some time off during the summer and sept while they found a permanent space to practice. The place we have now is big, but has really cold floors. That being said, it’s a great space, and a style I am really starting to understand and enjoy. Granted, I still want to kick and punch, but I can do that on my own.

We’re headed to Chicago to see my sister for the weekend, so hopefully we’ll be able to relax and take a bit of time to hang just the four of us.

Happy Birthday Peanut

 

Playing on the playground
Playing on the playground

My peanut ain’t so much of a peanut no more.  Gillian turns 9 today, and man o man am I feeling every one of those 9 years 🙂  She’s the reason we moved back east, and I have to say I am glad we did.  This way, the kids have a lot more of a chance to grow up knowing their grandparents.

All of the health issues aside, she’s a delight, a wonder, and at times a big freakin pain in my ass.  I wouldn’t change a hair on her head or a second of our past.

I love you babygirl,

Daddy

Ain’t it nice?

I hung out with my brother this saturday and it was nice to just hang out and talk and eat and talk and tell the kids to go play and hang out and talk.

Haven’t had a day like that in a while. Had my best friend over on Sunday and it was more of the same.

Nice relaxing weekend spent talking about everything and sitting on my butt. My wife on the other hand, took 10 girls to go see High School Musical 3 for Gillian’s bday. Oye! The sweetest words I’ve ever heard were when she said to me during last week – “I can take em, don’t sweat it. Besides, someone has to be here from our friends get here and I think Aidan would shrivel up and die if he had to watch the movie”

Ah sweet bliss. My wife is the best 😉

Two wonderful kids

Am I biased?  Duh!  Let me tell you a little bit about my kids.  Aidan is 11, and Gillian is going to be 9 next week.  One of the things that Fae and I really wanted to try to foster was a loving, friend-like relationship between our two kids.  We wanted them to be able to count on each other, talk to one another, and if necessary, protect one another.  You shoot for the ideal situation, and hope for the best.

I can tell you that I got the best.  Here’s one example:

I’ve been trying to spend more quality time with each of them, so to calm them down and get them ready for bed, I’ve been reading to them for 30 minutes before their bedtimes.  It’s kind of an excuse to get them into bed and beginning to relax before their actual bedtimes.  I’ve been doing it for a week or two now, and it’s working well.   We usually read a chapter, I give them a hug and a kiss and then they go to sleep.  The example of my wonderful son, is we just got back from going to a haunted Putt Putt (they decorated a minature golf course – really cool) and we’re trying to clean up the house for company we’re having starting tomorrow.  Gillian asked me to read to her, because she was going to bed early because she has a soccer game in the morning.  I told her to go up and get ready and I would try to get up there in a few minutes.

“Dad, you’re busy, I can do it if you want” he says, already heading up the stairs.
“Can he Dad?” Gillian said, freezing on the way up the steps.

So I got to bustle around moving stuff into closets and wiping stuff down, listening to the kids giggle as they took turns reading paragraphs of her book.

Example 2:  Aidan was in trouble the other day.  He forgot to go to his baritone lesson and an email came to Fae and I from the band teacher.  Fae was talking to him about how he’d said he would be more responsible and more organized this year because of an issue we finally got cleared up last year, but was an issue nonetheless.  So he’s sitting there getting an earful from Fae, and Gillian is sitting in the chair next to him.  Without looking up, she pulls a piece of paper from her stack, crosses out the stuff that was on there and writes a note and slides it over slipping it under his hand.  She then goes back to her work.

The note says: Don’t cry, it’s okay, just remeber(remember) next time! (star, heart, diamond)

Sometimes I wonder which one is more mature 🙂

I love the way they crack each other up.  I love the fact that Aidan, my shy, quiet son, will shed his shell and turn into a bear when someone is being shitty to his sister.  I love the fact that she knows when somethings bugging him and does something to cheer him up or distract him.  I love how he keeps her calm, or when she starts doing the annoying, repetitive, sing the same line from a song 20000 times, he’ll put his hand on her arm and quietly tell her to stop.  I love the fact that my two children are growing up friends.

Are there times when they fight and bicker, yeah, but it never gets mean.  They’re never disrespectful to one another which is a thrill.  They annoy each other at times, but they never fight.  And that’s the key that just occurred to me.  They really don’t fight.  He’ll yell her name to get her to stop doing something or vice versa when they’re being annoying, but it’s never gotten physical, and they’ve never gotten into screaming crying fights or anything like that.

I love the fact that from where I’m standing, it’s not much of a stretch for me to believe that Fae and I are doing something right.

My new Hero

I’m not one for news, I rarely watch it because for the most part, it’s too damn depressing. I’ve enjoyed Keith Olberman from time to time, but I am never really in once place long enough to sit and watch it.

Rachel Maddow has a new show on MSNBC that it on right about the time I’m about to go to sleep so I watched it last night. Wow, this woman is not only really smart, but she doesn’t take anyone’s shit, and she’s pretty damn funny. She was sparring with Pat Buchanan last night (since this is my blog and I can say what I want – He’s a tool and a total mouthpiece for the Republicans) and just watching her reactions, I have to say I really like this woman a lot. She doesn’t hold anything back, she thinks Palin was a bad choice and practically laughs in his face when Pat tries to defend her as a good choice.

This is not a Palin rant, don’t worry. It’s more about how a smart person(man or woman) is stepping up and telling people who are full of this just that, that they are full of shit. Of course she does it nicely, but she is refreshing in that she doesn’t hold much back.

It also happens that she’s totally anti-McCain/Palin so her points are pretty biased, or maybe that was just because Pat’s a tool. Looking forward to seeing her tonight.

The other interesting thing about her is that she’s only been on the air a very short period of time, and in that time has garnered a LOT more audience that she should. As my wife describes her(and i’ll said it a little more nicely) she’s Keith Olberman with different plumbing and boobs. I’ve always liked him, so it’s no wonder I like her too.

Internet relationships

Oh stop, it’s nothing like that.

I went to James Madison University from Sept 91-Dec of 93. Went to some other schools before that, long story I don’t want to go into right now 🙂 While I was there, I started playing MUDs and MUSH and through a great series of events, I met a woman online before the internet really existed. At that point we were all getting into having school email accounts, and posting things on bulletin boards, and everything EVERYTHING was done with this thing called a modem.

I played this online, text based, roleplaying game with people from all over the country, in fact it was everywhere;There was a guy from Denmark and a girl from Australia that used to stay up really late or wake up super early just to hang out. Yeah, I know, The height of the social scene.

A good friend of mine and I had always talked about how you can or can’t tell emotions from an email or from text scrolling across the screen – cool thing is, he made it his masters thesis 🙂 I Still to this day think you can totally with some people, and not with others.

I’ve been thinking about all this lately and realized that the internet is really, truly a social phenomenon. I just spent 20 minutes talking with MammaDawg about books we’ve read, books we’re waiting for, etc. I’ve never met her, she lives on the other coast, but I felt comfortable talking with her.

Mike, over at Unraveling Mysteries emailed me after I had missed a few days of blogging to make sure I was okay. I talk about Dad stuff with RagingDad on his blog and my blog all the time.

And Facebook? Oh lordy don’t even get me started. But that’s a different phenomenon. That’s a reconnection, rather than a connection. I’ve found everyone from almost all of my ex-gf’s to a guy who I was in CUB SCOUTS with (Hey Kev), but they are all people I have known before.

I think the internet allows us to find people who we are compatible with, can share thoughts with, or even in Mike’s case – mess with, when the Sox pound the crap out of the Angels. But that being said, it’s a catalyst for communication across space like never before. When the hell would I hang out talking to, or even meet, a guy from the other side of the US who smokes cigars, likes the Angels, and has completely opposite political views? Or a woman who is talking about her family and how her Brother is being a pill, or just checking out RagingDaughter Connie’s latest pic to admire how adorable little girls are.

I have always said that this blog is for me, but admitted that I like feedback(no, that is not me soliciting for feedback). It’s the excitement of getting an email from the blog that is a comment from someone about something you’ve written, or thought about. And they agree wholeheartedly, or vehemently disagree. You’re making a connection and forging a relationship no matter how deep or how slight. I find myself opening outlook each morning, and perusing several of the sites I enjoy (including my newest fascination, the Bloggess herself), and spending some time every night rereading the posts and responding to them.

Why? Why do I care what is going on in these peoples lives? People I will probably never meet, and yet care about. Get sad when I find out something bad that’s happened, happy when something cool as hell happens. I’m still investigating all that in my head. This post is part of it, and the main reason I blog. It’s helped me to iron out some of the millions of random fired thoughts in this big mush back in my head.

And it’s not even just the people who come to my blog and draw me to theirs. It’s the people who are commenting as well. I’ve got an interesting mix of friends old and new, fellow bloggers, random posters who followed a comment I made on another blog, and just people who find me using google.

I’m not even going to mention how often I update my twitter account, and how often people remark on it on Facebook. That’s just a rabbit I don’t even want to look at, stay in the hat fuzzy white creature of doom 🙂

How do we Elect a President?

My 11 yr old, in studying for a social studies exam, wanted to know more about the process. They covered the whole thing in school, but he started asking questions about popular and elector voting – because he wanted to know more, not because that part was on the test. How cool is he?

Anyway, we did some research, but I just came across a really good video that explains the whole way things are calculated, and it does it nice and clearly.