drwex: (Troll)
So much has happened since last update it's not even vaguely possible to try journaling it.

I'm just going to talk about the kids here for a bit )
So that's my kids - how about yours?
drwex: (VNV)
This post will discuss rape and sexual assault. If you're not OK with reading that, it's under a cut tag. If you're wondering why I (cis, able, white guy) am writing about this topic at all it's because I am determined that my children (male-bodied) are going to go out into the world with a lot more awareness and understanding of both their privilege and responsibility than my parents gave me.

As with other such posts I am particularly interested in responses from my female-bodied and -identified readers but all respectful comments and discussion are welcome.
They say hard cases make bad law )

"What does that mean" is the teenage equivalent of the preschooler's "why".
drwex: (Default)
I've caught up on reading now, so let me try to catch up on writing, some. The previous April post only covered the first few days of the month

In between there was the saga of the disappearing child, which is long and gets its own cut tag:
Read more... )

Then there was Passover, which got its own post eventually.

That brings us to mid-April, when we took a family trip to eastern PA.
Read more... )

The next weekend was intended to be the Boston version of the March for Science, but that seemed to be the "stand around for science" and there were other things and I ended up not going. I still feel ambivalent about that. I'm really failing to find a resistance group or activity that holds my attention and interest and lets me feel like I'm DOING something. I call my Rep now and then to congratulate and encourage him; most recently for continuing to try and get some measure of truth around the Trump team's involvement with Russia. There's so much going on (wrong) that it's easy to lose sight of the things I think are important. Like, is anyone else in the current Administration subject to blackmail or actively suborned by the Russians? Like, how the hell do we stop them upgefukking the next election?

More to come...
drwex: (Troll)
I want to do a calendar-based catch-up post at some point, but first a few other things-going-on-in-drwex-life:

Arisia 2017...
ADH )
New toy (oh way oh)...
I pad )
Girlfriend...
the J word )
I own a VW, and I have a kid who will be driving soon...
Read more... )

Generally, the summer chugs along. Kids will be headed off to camp soon and we might try to do adult things while they are away. They've both decided this is their summer to laze about and do as little as possible, which is generally irksome, but well, teenagers.

Happysad

Apr. 1st, 2016 11:56 am
drwex: (pogo)
Thing 2 is showing me how he is dressed for the funeral today.

Him: "How do I look?"
Me, taking a deep breath: "Like a young man."
drwex: (Troll)
for [livejournal.com profile] weegoddess particularly but others may enjoy.

My (elderly) stepmother is visiting this weekend. On our way out to the car she was paused in the basement grimacing at something.

I asked what was wrong.

Her: Ow. If it's not one joint it's another.
Me: So what's a classy dame like you doing with joints like these?
drwex: (Troll)
Last night we were trying to re-settle Thing 2 sometime around midnight-thirty. I fear he has inherited some of my insomniac tendencies and there are other complicating factors that would distract from the point of this post so, later.

As I was leaving his room having gotten him settled he said,
See you today.

I barely avoided busting out laughing, told him I loved him and he should go to sleep, and left the room. Only to squee at Pygment a moment later about our kid.

I don't know if this sort of event happens in other families, or even if it makes sense to anyone who isn't me, but I'm having a hard time putting to words how much joy I get from these little flashes of Thing2 being who he is.
drwex: (Troll)
[livejournal.com profile] davidfcooper's comment on a previous entry reminded me that I wanted to write a bit about one of the ways Thing 1 was awesome this past weekend. He agreed to go with me to the mass without complaint, including dressing appropriately. Like most kids his age he thinks shorts and tee shirts are de rigeur at all occasions and he's fought us about wearing proper (button up) shirts in the past. This time he cooperated and when we couldn't find one of his shirts that worked he agreed to wear one of mine. It's still baggy on him, but I imagine that won't be true much longer.

On the way there I told him that I appreciated his willingness and he said, "You know I don't want to go?" I said yes, and told him about a great piece that appeared on NPR's "This I Believe" some years ago: Deirdre Sullivan on "Always Go to the Funeral". It's something I believe strongly myself - you go, and you do what you can to support those who are still around because the dead won't be able to appreciate it.

This led to us discussing what the dead can or cannot appreciate. Thing 1 acknowledged that a lot of his discomfort came from discussions of an afterlife that doesn't align with what he believes and I re-shared my own militant agnosticism, of which the kids are well aware.

Digression/backstory: I used to believe in G-d. I was raised conservative Jewish and believed in that telling of the origin stories and construction of the universe as semi-mythical and that the truth values assigned to the literal words of the Bible (or Torah) were less important than the teachings and values those words gave. Then around age 19 I lost my faith. I still understand that it exists and that other people have it, but I could not maintain mine in the face of there being no evidence for G-d's existence. Still, I had to (have to) agree that lack of evidence is not always evidence of lack so I can't be atheist either. I am agnostic, and militant about it, which is to say I believe that I don't know, and you don't either! < /end>

Thing 1 opined that G-d likely existed because why else would so many people believe in it? This led to a brief discussion of how the popularity of a belief is not a worthwhile measure of its truth value. I reminded him that for a long time people believed black folk and white folk shouldn't marry. People even published "scientific" papers that "proved" colored folk were inferior. I reminded him that people will believe things that help them defend their own preconceptions and he agreed that the so-called science about people of color was indeed people making stuff up to protect their own (racist) assumptions.

He also seemed willing to agree that therefore, the fact that a lot of people believe in G-d wasn't actually helpful in deciding for himself whether it was true. He admitted that he wanted the world to be more like D&D cosmology, which admits of the existence of many coexisting divine beings. We got sidetracked then into a discussion of the history of D&D and religion and how having "angels" and "demons/devils" in the game caused problems in the past.

I suspect other people have these kinds of conversations with their kids more often, but Thing 1 has a strong reluctance to talk about what he thinks or believes so it's a rarity to find him open to discussion. Then we got to the church and things there mostly got dropped.

I did catch him eye-rolling at some of the priest's assertions about our friend enjoying the afterlife, though. Kids developing their own ideas is awesome and I love watching mine going through it.
drwex: (Troll)
Change is changey.

Stress is stressy.

I would love to stop being bombarded by "BUY ALL THE THINGS" emails.

I would also like to be able to sleep more than five hours at a stretch. This may be related to the above.

On the plus side (because comma dammit I am not going to wallow in the negatives):
We discovered the water heater problem before it exploded all over the place.

I have a job that lets me afford unexpected big house expenses

We managed to make progress on things (where by "we" I mostly mean Pygment). Some of the wood is split and stacked. The tub is cleared and refilled and ought to be balanced by tonight. The garage mess is slightly more sorted and consolidated. Kids' summer camps (inorite isn't it insane to be doing this now?) is largely sorted out.

There was D&D and it was good despite my being grossly unprepared.

Thing 2 is still basically an awesome kid despite the days of fighting and going off the rails AGAIN.

Thanksgiving went OK. Hearing the stories of folk who were without power for multiple days makes me even more thankful.
drwex: (Troll)
At dinner, we're contemplating who's going to put tip money on the table.

Me: I forgot to get cash.
Pygment: (pulls out money) I didn't.
Me: *filches a 20*
Pygment: Hey! You took my money!
Me: Where do you think that money came from in the first place?
Pygment: The bank!
Me: How can you still have money? You're out of checks!

(context: earlier that day we'd discovered that we were in fact out of checks - Pygment had to order more.)
drwex: (pogo)
(you thought I was kidding?)

Last summer there was of course a Fourth of July. We went to a friend's house for a picnic and to watch the fireworks more or less from their front lawn. Unfortunately the fireworks weren't very good so I expect this year we'll go back to one of the better local town shows. We still have this theory of taking the kids to see the Esplanade show but it'll have to wait until 4oJ falls on a weekend or something where we all don't have to get up the next morning. It's on a Friday this year, so we'll see.

We went touristing in Vermont while the kids were at sleep-away camp. That included dinner at a nice restaurant that has its own glass-blowing facility in its basement, and lots of scenic gorges. (Yes, the scenery was gorges.)

We also did a nature walk that included a lot of mushrooms. The woods were quite wet and shady, which I'm sure the fungi enjoyed but made photography a little trickier. I think I did OK, and Pygment spotted a tiny red lizard that held still long enough for us to get a couple pictures.

We also visited a graveyard - the Taftsville burying grounds. It was kind of different from what I'm used to - the graves were mostly along winding paths, with only the newer ones in open-field areas. It was also surprisingly devoid of religious iconography. Dates seemed to be recorded meticulously, but births not so much. And of course it was all very male-centric hierarchical.

Photographing in graveyards is one of those things everyone does, including me. I don't think I got it right this time, and the hazy cloudy light didn't help. I'll probably try again.

Later in the summer we took a family vacation to Cape Cod. We stayed in Sesuit, at a place that was essentially an upscaled motel.

The whole family went to the nature museum, which included a tidal pool, several aquaria, a fledging perch for salt march birds of prey (though by August only the last one was still in the nest), and a walkway that you could follow across the marsh and out onto the beach. Someone had made a recreation of a Native solar calendar out of local stones but I couldn't figure out how it was supposed to work.

Photographically this was a fun challenge. Going from the macro up-close images of things in the pool to the distant bird perch (I wanted a bigger lens) and then trying to do some landscapes... it was tough. I'm still never sure what I'm supposed to be framing when I set up a landscape shot.
drwex: (pogo)


Soon you will all be subjected to "this is what I did on my summer vacation" pictures.

I rather like this one. Composition, lighting, depth of focus are all what I wanted. Had to tweak just a tiny bit in Lightroom.
drwex: (VNV)
I've been playing Bioshock 2 lately and acquired the spear gun, with which I shot a mook through the skull pinning it to the frame above a doorway. Pygment's response? "AWESOME!"

This afternoon I came home to a card that said:
"Guess who loves you today"
and inside, "Same persons who love you every day, but today you get a card."

(Originally the card had been in the singular but she edited it and got the kids to sign it as well.)

I. Totally. Win.
drwex: (pogo)
Dog: excellent. She's been with us a month and fits us quite well. She's learning more of what she needs to know; Pygment completed one set of classes with her and will do another set to work on additional things. The kids adore her and she is getting used to being with a family. Pygment thinks it's hilarious that I'll (sometimes) let Holly lick my face, which I generally don't let humans do.

Job: Good. We had a group reorganization that included a virtual promotion. My part of the group (the design team) is largely unaffected. The scattered development people have been coalesced into a group headed by an experienced dev manager. The company had a senior VP leave - he was buddies with the recently retired CEO - and promoted to the SVP spot someone whom I've interacted with tangentially on a few projects. When I stopped by to congratulate the fellow on his promotion he mentioned that he found me to be "a good listener". Unexpected kudos about things I have had problems with = win.

House: is. Projects are mostly on hold or done. Going to use the "wallet" tool to solve the yard mess problem. Party season is upon us and that makes me like my house more. We do have to solve the problem of party noise keeping the kids awake, though.

Car: I've largely settled on the VW (diesel) Jetta SportWagen. I'm a little concerned about the lack of diesel filling stations near me, but I'll cope. I'm wrangling with the sales people this week to get numbers I like. The 2014 model is not a big improvement and they admit to having 2013s they'd like to move; also looking into a low-mileage used. If this falls through the Prius V Hybrid is my backup plan. The V series is larger and has a wagon-sized model with quite respectable mileage. It has approximately zero acceleration, though, whereas the Jetta has torque that makes its small engine perform. Either way I'm looking forward to 500+ miles per tank range.

Family: mostly mending. Thing 1 is finally past whatever triggered his massive asthma setback. Thing 2 has finally kicked whatever persistent eit he came home from summer camp with. Unfortunately he gave himself a major case of sinusitis and is now under care of an ENT to get that dealt with. Pygment's various issues are varied - ask her for details - but nothing immediately crisis-forming. My mother continues to... well, vegetate. Which sucks, but doesn't suck more than it has for the past couple years and the intensive attention from hospice seems to be good for her.

Details on request.
drwex: (pogo)
We're back from our family trip to Cape Cod; earlier this month we took an adult vacation to VT.
Three towns, compare and contrast )
So that's my summer, in sociological terms. How was your summer?
drwex: (VNV)
We had to give Carly back. I haven't said a lot about it, but Carly is the dog we adopted about a month ago.
This will be long, so I cut. Nobody blames you for not reading. )
drwex: (Whorfin)
I'm about ready to throw in the towel on another of my enlightened parenting experiments. It goes something like this:
We cut because we care; if you care to read that's cool, too )
drwex: (Default)
two good, one bad - how does this balance out?

I have been so exhausted that both Friday and Saturday nights I passed out and slept for 7.5 hours. That's not much by normal human standards but it's more than I've done in a while. Of course, getting more sleep just made me feel more tired. I think I managed a couple hours of nap as well. Then last night I slept really poorly. Lots of wake-ups, never seemed to fall into a full deep sleep. So of course I'm wiped out today.

Almost everything this weekend: Cancelled. Punted Pride, punted the kids' thing. Did wear my "It's OK to be Takei" shirt (http://www.itsoktobetakei.com/ - just being helpful here, folks). Went to the one event that was once-in-a-lifetime and saw good people for a while; sadly, forgot my camera. Had planned to take the kids to movie afterward but they were sufficiently unpleasant that we punted that, too.

Sunday playdate for the kids was also more tiring than expected, so we shortened that. Unfortunately some combination of all these things caused both kids to be flat-out obnoxious and bratty way more than usual which, on top of already tired. Yeah, you can see where this is going.

Still, I live. First world problems and all that.
drwex: (Default)
The weather went from "hey, what's that bright warm thing I haven't seen in a long time?" to "OMG my joints are really not liking this crap could it stop now please?"

L really did poorly this weekend. I can't tell how much is him being actually unwell, how much is him mirroring Mommy's overt illness signals in an effort to get attention, how much is recalcitrance over homework he would rather not have to do, and whatever else. I don't think he's actually random - he just changes his responses so rapidly and fluidly it's hard as heck to tell what he's actually up to.
Saturday plans collapse, I go to a party, and have an interesting conversation with my son )
Sunday everything was supposed to happen. Lots did but not as planned )

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