Showing posts from June, 2010

Weird, wild stuff

Last night about a half dozen thoughts were swimming around my head, most of which I considered for a blog post. At some point, or maybe just during my dreams, I thought of an actress whose name I could not figure out. I knew she played Jerry's fiancee on an episode or two of Seinfeld and was also in a movie about divorced dads. I figured based on that little info, I would never be able to figure out who she was.

Well, lo and behold, as I was logging into yahoo this morning, the number one topic in the Trending Now section was Janeane Garofalo. As soon as I saw her name, I thought, that is who I had been thinking about.

Can winning something be too far behind? I better go play the Powerball.


Earlier today, I wrapped up my second year of Vacation Bible School. Last year was a very good experience, but also quite challenging, because not only had I not taught kids since the early '90s and was out of practice, but I also was dealing with an autistic child, something I had never done before.

This year was really great. I was no longer a novice. I had taught 12 out of the 13 students throughout the school year, so I knew them pretty well. I had seven year olds, who can read and (surprisingly) are willing to act out parts from the stories (most of them, anyway). They can go to the bathroom by themselves. And best of all, I never lost anyone or even worried about it as I did last year. :-)

This is not to say that there weren't some challenging moments. A few kids would color or play their DS while we were going over the lesson. Some were unkind to others at times. A couple of them complained about various things. But honestly, those minor things hardly bothered me. I was…

Parents of the year

Some would argue that it is not up to others to decide who should have kids. Some of those same people would probably also say that it is not up to anyone to tell others that they must prevent a pregnancy, particularly using artificial means. But every time I read a story like the one I read today in the PG, I always jump to the other side of the fence.

A couple with three kids, ages two months, 15 months, and just over two years old, was charged with homicide in the death of their youngest. You can read about it here. This same couple has also been charged with endangering the welfare of children for failing to feed their 15-month-old son. One could presume their two-year old is fine since that kid was not mentioned, but I can't be that presumptuous.

An excuse the mother used is that she never received prenatal care. Apparently for that reason, she thought feeding the kid two ounces of formula a day was enough (It has been awhile since I had a baby, but aren't there some sor…

Happy Father's Day

My father lives about nine hours away, which means I don't see him much. He used to travel back to the Burgh a few times a year, but as he has gotten older and his knees and hips cooperate less, the long drive has become more difficult and has occurred less often. Last year was the first time since he moved south that he did not make back this way this way.

Fortunately, I was able to spend a little time with my dad when I went to visit my brother and his family just over a week ago, since they live about an hour apart. Of course, it is never enough, since I tend to be about quantity, not quality. But when traveling is not your thing, you have to take what you can get.

Regardless, today I am thinking of my dad. Even though our relationship has had its ups and downs (when your parents divorce, this is almost inevitable), I think we are in a pretty good place (even if we are not in the same place). I had a really great childhood growing up, the kind that most kids envy, I am sure. M…

Make a decision already

I am not the best when it comes to making decisions, sometimes even simple ones. But in my defense, I am also pretty easy-going, so for most things, I could really go either way.

I have been a Verizon customer for years. Probably since before Al Gore invented the internet. At some point during our long-term relationship, Verizon rewarded customers with a "new-every-two" deal. I swear years ago it was better, that you pretty much could get any phone you wanted once your two years were up and you signed on for two more. But phones today are so much more glitzy and complicated that there is no way they would do that now. So you get 50 bucks towards something. Fortunately, for what I want, that and whatever special they have pretty much hooks me up.

I was up for a new phone this past October. Since my phone had been working fine, I waited until just before Christmas to see what my options were. But after looking at the array of choices and pretty much becoming overwhelmed, I end…


I am pretty impatient. About some things at least. For years, I had the "pleasure" of sitting in Squirrel Hill Tunnel traffic (though to be fair, during rush hour, you actually do move a little once you get into the tunnel). The slow, often standstill, drive infuriated me for quite awhile, but then I just got used to it. You know, it is what it is. In fact, when we no longer needed to live east of the city, we actually continued to look for houses in that vicinity, which most people just could not understand.

Maybe more than being impatient is that I don't like when I think something is going to happen and it does not. I am not talking about how I NEVER win my church raffle, even though that streak continued this past weekend, what, into its tenth year. I am more referring to things I can't quite explain.

As I mentioned in my last post, I took a trip to NC to visit my brother and his family. I am happy and relieved to say that the trip went well. It was so great to…

Heading down the highway

Tomorrow, Jordan, my mom, and I will be heading to NC to visit my brother, his wife, and their kids. I am not a fan of being in the car for hours on end, and even less a fan of being the driver, which is what is about to happen. Fortunately, we are breaking our trip up, traveling about five hours tomorrow and stopping at a hotel (with a pool for Jordan) for the evening, before tackling three hours the next day. On the way back, I plan to do it all in a day. We'll see.

I know a lot of people love to travel. They like checking out new places or visiting their favorites again and again. Most people appreciate getting away from the everyday stuff. Forgetting about bills for a few days or weeks. Not working (or at least not going into an office). Having someone else make their food and/or clean up. Enjoying the mountains, the woods, the sites, or the beach. Sleeping in and/or staying up late. I totally get those things. But I am a worrier, a homebody, and a frugal person who really lik…

School daze

A few hours ago, my baby finished first grade.There she is, clearly happy to be walking into the parking lot for the final time as a first grader.

As the saying goes, it seemed like just yesterday was the first day of school, Jordan's first in a new school. She started off so excited, as you can see above, but almost as soon as she arrived at school, she was pretty nervous. The picture I took of her just before I left her classroom says it all:

Just over nine months later, she has come a long way. And so have I.

Jordan learned a lot and had fun doing it, for the most part. She started out barely being able to read, which was a big concern of mine, and ended up reading books on a second and even third grade level at times. She seemed to embrace the structure. She liked her teacher. She had fun at lunch and recess. She made a few friends. Her computer class, something she dreaded the first month, became one of her favorite classes. She eventually worked up the courage to participate…

Have some feeling, people

The P-G recently published an editorial/article from a mother of an autistic child in the Hampton School District. Apparently some parents of her son Jake's high school classmates felt that Jake was disrupting class too much and taking time away from their kids' learning, which they feared could ultimately hinder their kids' chances of getting into a good college. Not willing to own up to their feelings, these "concerned" parents sent an anonymous letter to Jake's mother Renee asking her to consider an alternative setting for Jake.

Wow is all I have to say. Well, almost all.

As I blogged about last year, there was a mildly autistic child in the vacation Bible school class I taught. It was very challenging for me, someone who had pretty much no experience in that area, but I was glad that child was able to do what all the others did that week. I think we all benefited from the experience, and I would not have traded that opportunity for anything. In fact, sev…