Thursday, September 29, 2005

And the children shall lead them

Even if you aren't a football fan, this is a great story.

Weis uses play called by 10-year-old boy dying of cancer


HatTip to Long or Short?

I score a book

buyafriendabook.comApparently Map was so impressed by my getting her a book that she sent me a book in return! The book she sent is the new book by Umberto Eco. Regular readers of my blog will recall that I enjoy reading his books. The new book is The Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana and it looks outstanding. I can hardly wait to start it.

So as you can see the good karma of BAFAB week works! So run out and buy a friend a book just because.

Spam Comments

I got my first spam comment. I deleted it within a minute of its being posted because I get an email to let me know that a comment has been posted. If this continues I will have to turn word verification on.

Update: Got a second one (3:20 PM). I think I must have been noticed.

Update II: Got a bunch more so I turned on word verification. The worst part was that the spamming comments were on my salute to the World Trade Center. Some people just suck.

Back to school night

Sing it!!Last night was the first parent/teacher meetings at Beth's school. It was an opportunity to meet Beth's 8th grade teachers and get an idea of the kind of work that would expected of her for the year. Michel couldn't go because she wasn't feeling well (more on this later) so I went alone. Beth's teachers are all very nice. I think her French teacher wants to adopt her. ;-) The French class is going on a trip to Quebec at the end of the year so she told us a little about that as well. All her classes seemed like a reasonable amount of work. Her english class involves a lot of reading. Beth is expected to read at least 1,000 pages each quarter and write about what she has read. Her science teacher was especially mice. Beth is taking 9th grade science so she has to take the Regents at the end of the year. Her teacher kept telling us not to worry that all his students do very well and he could tell that this class was going to work very hard because he saw a lot of dedication. The science teacher, by the way, looks exactly what a science teacher should look like. He reminds me of those pictures from the Apollo missions showing the scientists at the Houston Space Center huddled around a monitor.

When I got home, Michel told me that she was feeling very ill and wanted to go over to the ER. So we grabbed the kids and drove over. Once Michel was checked in we gave her some money and our new portable DVD player along with some I Love Lucy DVDs and I took the kids home. Michel was released in the middle of the night and she decided to walk home! It's only a 15 minute walk but still... Anyway, her neurosurgeon's office called and he doesn't think it is related to the shunt so the search for the source of the pain continues.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

A blog of a different color

Yes, you are at the right place. I got tired of the lighthouse/nautical theme and went with something more basic. I'm not sure if I like the color so that may change again but I will leave it this way for now to see if it grows on me.

Beth and her music

Meteora - Linkin Park Fallen - Evanescence American Idiot - Green Day
Linkin Park makes me feel old. My daughter likes them (they are perhaps her favorite group right now) but they sound like nothing more than noise to me. I feel like my father is taking over my mind as I am tempted to tell her to turn off that "crap". In fact, I actually went in her room and turned her music down! (Not that it was particularly loud but I could hear it.) I think Beth actually likes that I don't like her music. She's just a few weeks away from being a teenager and she needs some independence... something that is hers and not her parents.

In general, Beth has wonderful taste in music. Her favorite groups are The Ramones and The Clash, two groups that Michel and I both love. We watched a TV program on the old punk rock scene and Beth was fascinated by the punk groups like The Dead Kennedys and Black Flag. So even though Beth is OK with liking the music we like, she doesn't want us to like the music she likes... if that makes any sense.

The group Evanescence is a group that Beth and I both enjoy although she doesn't mind that I like them. The lead singer, Amy Lee, has a very nice voice and the music is well done. The group learned the lesson of Nirvana and goes for the slow start, fast and loud finish.

Green Day, though, is a group that I really like but that Beth doesn't want me to like. What I like about them is that they are more like the old punk groups only with more musical talent. ;-) Their songs are political, reminding me of songs like "Bonzo Goes To Bitburg" by The Ramones or "Holiday in Cambodia" by The Dead Kennedys. "Holiday" is a solid punk rock song about the evils of the Bush administration. Even if you are a GWB fan, punk is supposed to be anti-government so that is irrelevant.

The best part of this is that Beth is truly developing her own style. Her musical taste is her own and is not simply a rehash of whatever her friends like. Beth is definitely her own unique individual with her own likes and dislikes and is not just a member of the crowd. She makes me proud.

Update I: Beth read this and agreed with the statement, "I think Beth actually likes that I don't like her music. She's just a few weeks away from being a teenager and she needs some independence... something that is hers and not her parents."

Update II: Beth reminded me that "Know Your Rights" by The Clash is another good example of a political song.

Buy a friend a book

buyafriendabook.comThe lovely and talented Debra Hamel, author of Trying Neaira, has been promoting BAFAB, Buy A Friend A Book Week. Next week is the second BAFAB week so you still have time to participate. BAFAB is simple... buy a friend a book for no good reason other than that they are your friend. You can read more about it on Debra's BAFAB web site. I bought a copy of Assassination Vacation by Sarah Vowell for a friend in San Francisco. I hope Map enjoys the book!

Update: if you blog about BAFAB week, you could win 4 books!

Monday, September 19, 2005

Avast, me hearties!

Sing it!!
It's International Talk Like a Pirate Day today so get out there and talk like a pirate. So, all ye land lubbers, hop smartly and start talking like a pirate unless you're a no good bilge rat. Arghhhh.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Music Therapy

Sing it!!If you recall, Mikey was in Newsday back in May because of his involvement with music therapy. The music therapist who works with Mikey is John Carpente who started The Rebecca Center for Music Therapy at Molloy College. John is currently attending Temple University for his PhD. John's thesis is about Mikey and he has posted it on the web. I thought you may be interested in reading about Mikey and about the many benefits that music therapy has provided to Mikey. Creative Music Therapy with a Boy with Multiple Impairments: Stepping out of isolation into new experiences.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Back to school

Yesterday was the first day of school for Beth and Mikey. Beth only had a half day. Today is her first full day of school. Apparently her first day was a great day. Turns out that her friend is riding on the bus with her. Last year the friend's mom drove her to school every day but this year the friend is on the bus. The school did make a mistake in her schedule. Beth was supposed to be in 9th grade science (Earth Science) but they had her in 8th grade science. We spoke to the guidance counselor and everything should be OK now.

Mikey's first day was a full day. Because we changed his school so late, the bus wasn't settled so Michel had to drive Mikey to school. She said that Mikey went right off to his class without any complaint. He had a great day in school and his teacher said that he was right on target. He sat and observed everyone and didn't have any issues or problems during the day. I think that this school is the absolutely right choice for Mikey.

Friday, September 02, 2005

The prince returns

Mikey came home on the bus Sunday without any problems. He had attached himself to his counselor and stuck with him like glue. We had a copy of the schedule and it looked like fun. A lot of running around, playing in the pool, and other phsyical activites. Mikey loves running around and playing so this was perfect for him. Plus after 12 hours of running around, he was ready to sleep at night. Michel only called the camp three times to check on him. I spoke to the man who runs the program and he told me that Mikey did great and next year they look forward to having him for two weeks!

Mikey came home to his new big boy bed and his first night home he jumped in and went to sleep without any trouble at all. We did put a gate at his door because we are afraid he might wander off if he woke up in the middle of the night.

So everyone survived camp week and we are getting ready for school. Michel went to the CSE meeting the other day and everyone agreed that Mikey should go to AHRC. Now we are all set for a great year.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

New Orleans

Support the Red Cross in their efforts to support the victims.

Time to eat

We got a call the day after we dropped Mikey off at camp. He wouldn't sit at the table in the cafeteria to eat. He ran off to the corner and sat there away from everyone else. They wanted to know if it was OK to let him sit in the corner by himself. We thought this might happen because Mikey gets nervous around crowds so we told them it was not a problem. In an earlier post I mentioned Mikey's anxiety issues and crowds are an issue with Mikey. Of course, it is possible that Mikey was aware of what happened to Wild Bill Hickok when he didn't sit with his back to the corner.

They told us that Mikey was adjusting very well otherwise. He slept in a regular bed although the counselor did push his bed up against Mikey's bed because Mikey wouldn't stay put and it did take Mikey awhile to fall asleep. Mikey has been sleeping in a crib at home because we were worried about him not staying in bed and wandering off. With the adjustment to a bed at camp, we thought this would be a good opportunity to get Mikey a bed. So Mikey will have a surprise when he gets home.