New Orleans

So I’m going to Nawlins starting on the 6th and I’m pretty excited.  The Microsoft BI Conference is in New Orleans this year, and we decided to spend the frequent flyer miles for a ticket for Fae so we can hang out, kidless, for a week in NO.  I lived in Houston for 5 years, Fae for 10, and neither of us has been there.  Go figure.

So, for all of you out there, has anyone been there?  Need suggestions of things to do and places to go.

Being your own worst enemy

Well this person is getting this and I’m not.
This person is doing the wrong thing and I’m not going to say anything because I don’t want to get into that mess.
She’s paying more attention to him than to me.
I want what he has.

I have a really bad tendency.  It’s the tendency to do things cyclically (i think I spelled it right but it doesn’t look it) and spiral down into poor me, everyone is planning/plotting against/excluding me.  I have a bad tendency to be jealous, to project my thoughts into situations – sometimes without knowing what is really up, and just grind my own psyche into the dirt.

It’s all related to my physical well being.  My elbow has been hurting for the last 15 months or so, and I have to get cortisone shots every three months.  It’s keeping me back from really letting loose with any exercise because I’m always wary of hurting it and needing another shot.  So I haven’t been doing Kendo much, and now that we aren’t going anymore, I’m worrying about what will fill the gap.  So I take two oreos and worry about it a few hours later when I have a can of coke and a butterfinger.  Which makes me feel fat, which depresses me, which puts me in a bad mood, which makes me think that everything is being done to screw me.

It keeps me down for periods of time now, depression, anger, frustration, worthlessness.  It’s ultimately all tied to one thing – did I go and “get my rah rah’s out” as my sister puts it.  Did I find some physical release for my energy, some way to channel some of that nervousness and frustration into some other task.  I’ve always felt better when I’m doing martial arts, but we’re kinda tight right now so not having to pay for Kendo is actually a pretty good thing.  The issue is, how do I start working out by myself, and continue it?  How do I get off my ass and go outside and practice the kicks and punches and blocks for any period of time without someone to do it with?  Sure, I could ask Aidan, but at the same time, I want to be the student, the kid, the one who’s being given direction and goals and things to shoot for by someone else.

I’m a follower who’s trying to become a leader and sometimes I just don’t know how to start.  But maybe that’s the crux of the issue.  Maybe it isn’t that I haven’t found the right person to show me how, but that I shouldn’t be looking for someone to show me, I have to become that person.  I’ve got a lot going on at work, some big projects that we’re about to kick off, and I have to tell you, it’s scaring me and at the same time, I’m really excited.  I’m not afraid that I can’t do it, or that I think it’ll be a disaster.  I have enough confidence in myself that I know when it comes down to it, I’ll always get the job done.  I have already done so in the past, but it’s so foreign to me in a way, so against my nature.  Not necessarily against my nature, but DEFINITELY outside my comfort zone, my little safe box.  I think it’s always easier to follow than to lead, but the things I want to discover about myself and really TRY are ALL outside my box.

As a type B personality….but as I type that, I’m not even sure that’s true.  I think that I have been hiding behind that – that I am a follower, a calm representative of a team waiting for instructions, someone who feels better when I’m told rather than just doing, or telling someone else.

Am I more comfortable there tho, is that the root of my frustration?  I know I make good decisions at work, that’s the interesting part – my type-B follower mentality is virtually gone at work, and has been for some time.  Have I already made the necessary changes and I’m just sitting here whining about something that really isn’t an issue, except in my own head because I’m feeling depressed and fat?

Fuck this.  I’m going to get my weapons and go outside and work out.

update: 2:16pm

meditated outside for about 10 min
warmups – stretching, jumping jacks, etc
10x front, side, round kicks
2 katas(forms)
all of my weapons techniques which took a while 🙂
and I decided that I would run to really work up a sweat –

1.5 miles, half walk, half run. Feeling like I can’t breathe right now, but I emotionally/mentally feel a lot better.

I love my son

I’ve been noticing lately, that come Tuesday, Aidan’s not feeling well, or has hurt himself, or needs to take a nap.  I was sick as a dog two weeks ago, they didn’t get home in time last week, and when he walked through the door today after school, he was SO tired.

We’ve been taking Kendo together for about 2 years now, and I had a feeling that he was not into it anymore for a while now, but when I asked him, he’d always disagree – “No no, I really like it, it’s fun, I’m looking forward to it next week”, but I could tell his heart was in it.  I”m not going to convince him not to go, but today I asked him straight out – “Do you want to stop?”

He wasn’t sure what to say or think, so I let him think about it, and went downstairs.  I heard him talking about it with Fae for a bit, and then the slow steps came down the stairs and he sat across from me.

“Dad, I don’t know about Kendo, I like it, and I want to keep going….” and he let it slide.

“Buddy, look at me.  If you’re going because you think i’ll be upset or disappointed in you, then you’ve got it wrong.  I go because I get to spend me and you time, I could care less what we do as long as we do something.  If you want to stop, then we can, but we can find something else to do together.”

“Um, well, yeah then.  I think I want to stop, at least for a while” and he starts tearing up.  I move over to the other couch and before I know it he’s practically in my lap.  You have to understand, I’m a big dude, but he’s not too small anymore.  He kept saying “I don’t know why I’m upset or crying” to which I explained that he had built it up so much and not wanted to talk to me about that the relief was overwhelming.

That and he still thought I was disappointed in him.  Which I obviously explained I was totally not 🙂

So he goes up to finish his homework and I start looking around for my taichi dvds to see if he’s interested in that when he comes down and says he wants to take a Parkour class.  For those who don’t know what it is, go here:, it explains it.  Simple explanation, it’s using the urban environment like a big gym and jumping, running, flipping and doing tricks with what’s in the neighborhood.  So we start looking at videos of the stuff, trust me, go to youtube and look it up – sick stuff, and after about 15 min or so, I tell him to change, and we head out to one of the parks in town to do some stuff.

Keep in mind, I’ve been in bed for about 3 days and I’m finally starting to feel like a sub-human, so getting my carcass up and out is a process indeed.  We proceed to do jumps and small little tricks and interesting stuff on the jungle gym and just have some fun.  He was breathing heavy and was favoring one knee after about 20 min, but we did it and it felt good.  I talked to him about commitment and sticking with things, but I want to see how much he can accomplish just getting outside and doing this stuff, because truth be told, it was a lot of fun and actually loosened up some muscles in my back and legs 🙂

We’ll see.

Aidan’s a poet:)


By Aidan Cushing

Inspired by Robert Frost

I peer down into the foreign realm,

And see the crafting looking back.

An adventure, with me at the helm,

An adventure does no book lack.

Maybe this time I am a lifeguard

Spending my days in the sand

Or maybe even a lazy dog.

Laying around in the yard.

A pirate, a robot, a ninja too.

You can find it in a book.

All kinds of stories for me and you.

Just go to the library, and take a look.

As I peer into this foreign realm,

I think of my next adventure.

Where I am captain at the helm,

Reading is my knowledge quencher.

back up your stuff and other stuff

okay, so this really sucks. I got hacked. Someone or something put something on every single php page on my website that caused browsers to forward onto another site. Not fun.

So I’m back to square one, oh goodie, lucky me. It’s cool tho, I’ve been wanting to make some changes anyway. So I’ll be playing with some settings and putting together my portfolio – websites, resume, etc so I can generate more work.

On the elbow front – I’m going to have surgery on my elbow, prolly mid june. The doc recommended it since I’ve been going for cortizone for a year now, lucky me. I’ll post more as it gets closer. I am doing it in mid june because I’m going to New Orleans for a conference 2nd week in June. Bringing the nice lady who lives in my house and puts up with me, we’re going to walk around in the French Quarter, looking for ghosts 🙂

“Daddy, I’m too hot!”

It’s 10:30, Gillian has been in bed for almost two hours and she’s awake complaining about the heat.  We’d been out all day and so I figured the AC was just catching up and it’d be cool fairly soon.   She and Aidan were lying in bed with no sheets or blankets, sweltering.  I fell asleep a little while later with visions of having to pay 5k for a new AC/heating unit dancing in my head.  Not the stuff dreams are made of.

Fast forward to 1am.  Fae wakes me up by fruitlessly searching for the remote because she can’t sleep either and I’m sweating.  WTF?  I go downstairs to check the temp and it says 71, and it’s quite comfortable downstairs.  I get a drink and head back upstairs and with each step, I’m feeling a degree of heat go up.  Okay, what the hell?  I feel the register that’s right near the stairs, very little coming out.  I feel the one downstairs right at the bottom, plenty.

Great, the AC isn’t pushing out enough to get upstairs.  New AC….wait a sec.

If your unit is set up anything like mine, we have these big long rectangular boxes in the attic with plastic ‘sleeves’ coming out of the sides to bring the ac/heat to the bedroom registers.  Problem is, you’re not supposed to pile anything on top of the boxes, even tho they’re really sturdy.  Oops.

I thought about that the other day, so I pull out the ladder, climb up, push the trapdoor up, and I’m blasted by cold air.  Ah, the attic is nice and chilly.  Shit!  The box nearest me is more of a rhombus than a box and where the segments come together the tape has separated and cold air is blasting out.  DUCT TAPE TO THE RESCUE!!!  YAY!!!  I taped the hell out of it after pushing it back into the shape it’s supposed to be in.  Went down, felt the registers in the kids room.  Hmm, definitely more, but still not much.

Scramble back up the ladder, yeah, it’s about 1:40am at this point, and I took a better look.  The one end had some stuff on it – just a box, some books, a tv, and like 3 sleds – not much 😉  Moved all of that to a chorus of Fae saying “You okay” and “What are you doing” and snores.  Moved it all out of the way and reached behind the end.

There was a hole the size of a football there the end had collapsed and air was rushing out of it.  To the point that there was condensation on the end!  Pushed everything back into place, twisted myself up like a pretzel so I could reach, and used about half the roll of duct tape.  Big roll too 🙂  Felt all around, didn’t feel any cold air.  Checked the sleeves, they’re all cool, in fact one is kind of inflated so I take that as a good sign.

I climbed down and went to check the registers – Aidan’s rolled up in his sheets and blankets shivering.  Felt the register, full blast baby, OH YEAH!!!!

So I put the AC to 70 instead of 65, turned the fans on ‘ON’ instead of auto so they’d cycle the air around and crashed for 4 hours before waking up to go to work.

What a pain in the ass, but you know what?  I FIXED IT!  ME!  I figured out the problem and did something about it.  Forgetting of course that I’m the idiot that put all that stuff on the end and made the hole, but at least I fixed it 🙂  Sitting in my nice comfortable living room right now 🙂  YAY ME!

The big question is, what is my electric bill going to look like this month now that ac/heat isn’t blasting out into my attic.  Oye 🙂  kinda looking forward to seeing it.

What am I going to do today?

Sleep in late, CHECK!

We went to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden (again, why isn’t it Botanical?) yesterday for Sakura Matsuri 2010 with our friends yesterday, very cool indeed but WAY too crowded.  We walked around all day and saw demonstrations and met people and stared at people in strange costumes 🙂  It was fun, but was a long day.  My hips and ankles are killing me today, but it really made me think about what kind of shape I’m in and what I want to do about it.  Not only that, but what is important to me and what I want to do with my life.  We got in after running around all day, so we were all exhausted and everyone fell asleep really quickly, except me.  Still got 8.5 hours of sleep which for me, is amazing.

So what am I going to do today?  Aidan called his friends to see if they wanted to play D&D today, but he’s sick and a bunch of them can’t make it, so that’s scratched for the day.  Can’t say I’m totally disappointed, but it would have been fun.  It’s beautiful outside and my elbow isn’t screaming at me, I might go out and do some kicks and punches.  Seeing the students at …okay now this is just freakin creepy.

There was a demonstration by students from a karate school in NYC called Seido.  I wanted to link it here, and when I went to the page, in big print is the opening of the newest branch – in Elmsford NY – 10 min from where I work.  I can’t afford it right now, but that’s weird.  I was impressed by the discipline and focus of the students and wanted to smack two or three wise-asses in the crowd for making stupid comments during the demo, but I was taken in by how they held themselves.

No, I’m not going to run out and join Seido Karate today, tho a large part of me wants to.  What I’m going to do today is make pancakes for my daughter because she just woke up and is expecting them.  Here she comes and is smiling at me saying “What?” from the stairs as she collapses on the couch.

Have a great day y’all.  I’ll try and post what I get done today.

Today is the day

Today is the day I’m going to stop fooling myself about my story.  It’s not going to get written by itself.

Today is the day I’m going to start meditating on a regular basis so I can get my head in the right place.

Today is the day I’m going to begin eating right and exercising on a regular basis.

This is it.  And I wanted to write it down so I can guilt myself into a habit and continue the habit because I’m 41, feeling old and feeble, and I’m done waiting for someone else to do it for me.

Yeah, I’m good at that.  I put off what I can as long as I can and hope that someone else will do it or it’ll magically resolve itself.  That’s why I began just writing the other day and have done so almost every day, even if it’s just “All work and no play makes jack a dull boy” – can you name the movie?

We went to the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens (why it’s not botanical, I don’t understand) with our friends and had a really nice time walking around and seeing the workshops and demonstrations.  The Seido Karate demo and the Tea Pouring ceremony were my highlights.  It was a japanese festival for the 100th anniversary of the gardens, and I’d really like to go back some day when there aren’t thousands of people because it’s a really pretty place.  I’d really like to see it in early spring for the Cherry Blossoms blooming, I think we’re going to plan for next year.

Hope this finds everyone healthy and well.