Noise Irritates the hell out of me.

Holy shit, my 9-year-old son is driving me nuts.

We put him on restriction the other day after a bunch of stuff happened - coming home from friends late, lying about something else, instead of bringing something to his room and putting it away he stashes it in the hall closet instead. That's not what's bothering me though.

You see, he is one of those kids that always has to be making noise even when doing something quiet, like reading. Singing, talking, mumbling, tapping - those kinds of things. In fact, his energy output usually distracts him from whatever he's doing. Which means when he's doing homework, chores, or even sports he needs constant and direct supervision to keep him on task. It's like trying to tame a monkey that's on fire.

At this point, I'm sure you're wondering if there's something else going on. Plenty. Trust me. He's been going to therapy since last year, which has helped somewhat.  But we've gotten to the point that we'…

Dangerous Driving

Strange thing happened yesterday. 
It was Saturday morning and I was off to a karate lesson at American Martial Arts. I hadn't eaten or had a cup of coffee yet - not sure what I was thinking because well, everyone knows you can't kick ass on an empty stomach - or without having coffee first. It's science.

I pulled into the drive thru at the coffee place and came out the other side, now armed with coffee - the cup locked and loaded in my cup holder, and a sandwich in my right hand. With my free hand, on the wheel, I turned the car onto the road and continued my drive, occasionally taking a bite.
Are your ready for this? Sometimes, I'd set that delicious breakfast sandwich down on my lap, pick up my coffee and take a drink, and then set it back down again....only to pick the sandwich back up and take another bite. Whoah. Mind = Blown

This all happened while I careened perilously down a public road in a one-ton missile like a regular Evil Knievel - who just happened to t…

A Fairly Children's Tale

A revisioning of a classic fairy tale.  Once upon a time...  Once upon a time a young girl named Abby who was quite pretty, had always wanted to become a cheerleader. She liked gymnastics and was quite good at it – but this was different.
One day, she went to the cheerleading practice and talked to the new volunteer coach and asked if she could join. The coach said, “First, I’d have to talk to your Grandma and make sure it’s okay.”
“Okay,” said Abby. “I just need to ask my Grandma first.”
With great speed, Abby ran home to her Grandma and told her.
“Grandma! The cheer coach wants to come talk to you about me joining the team!” she exclaimed.
“Okay, dear,” said Grandma. “That’d be fine.”
The next day, the coach came home with Abby.
“Ma’am, are you a part of the PTA?”, the coach asked Grandma with one eyebrow raised. “We ask that our parents be involved in the school if the student joins team events.” It turns out that the volunteer coach was also the PTA president.
“Well, no. I’m not. But I g…

The Search for Enchantment: Part Three (Dreams)

What Dreams May Come
After an evening of intense writing and playing guitar (and singing) that followed a meditation session in the park earlier that afternoon, I fell asleep as soon as my head touched my pillow. And I slept great. 
The dreams were so intense. I rarely recall a dream. At most, maybe a snippet for a brief second - but one in its entirety? Never. 
It was so vivid, I had to write it down as soon as I woke up. It wasn't just vivid but incredibly strange. Check it out.  Into another realm.
I was in a large room – a bunk room, I think. I heard something a few bunks over from where I sat, and as I looked up, I realized that there was a massive Black Bear there with his back turned. Luckily, he was preoccupied with something, for the moment. It was huge and probably would have stood close to fifteen feet tall on its hind legs. A magnificent beast. It didn’t take long for him to notice me, and I turned and bolted for the door but he followed.
With the bear in pursuit, I w…

The Search for Enchantment: Part Two (Music)

Music is the Language of the Soul One of my favorite hobbies is playing guitar and singing. I've been playing for over twenty years and I've become good at it, but not great. Nothing I'd ever pursue professionally anyways. It's just something I do for my own well being.

That evening after I pumped out an essay twice the length that was required about my enchantment experience in the park earlier that day, I pulled out my guitar and began to pick away at the strings. I was still feeling somewhat euphoric. It hadn't quite worn off yet. 
I plucked away at a succession of minor chords and had a great little rhythm going. It sounded pretty good. I kept at it for a little while but I needed to sing too. 
I opened up my internet browser on my computer in front of and looked for some guitar tablature that fit the moment. I don't recall what I had picked but I played it. And well. 
I went for the next song with the same result. Everything seemed seemed easier. 
When pl…

The Search for Enchantment: Part One (Meditation)

The beginning of something bigger... What a strange 24 hours. It started yesterday afternoon when an assignment for my Mythology and Symbols class required me to do an enchantment exercise. It was meant as a way for us to break away from the left brain control and focus on the right brain instead. Leave behind our leashes to the outside world and attempt to become closer to the real world and all of the living things around us. We had to find an area where we could be close to nature. Sit next to a tree or by a creek, and just listen and observe for an hour or two.

An hour or two without checking my phone? Yikes.

Part One: The Journey Begins I tried the backyard first. We live right next to a busy intersection and the constant vehicle noise, loud music, people talking, dogs barking - well, you get the point. It was just too much for me. So, I went and drove around looking for a park that was away from things.

I didn't have much luck with that at first either. Things seemed too n…

Swimming in Saddam Hussein's Pool

Ahhh... Where Freedom Rests...  This meme has been floating around interwebz lately. It was a place I had nearly forgotten about. But, I was there once. 
It was 2004 and the insurgency in Iraq was in full swing. The Military Police unit that I was in was spread thin and spread out all over the Baghdad area, which means our trucks were on the road constantly. Since ambushing convoys with IED's, grenades, and occasionally small-arms fire was the insurgencies favorite tactic - it means my shop stayed extra busy and worked around the clock to keep our guys and gals on the road.