On my way home from work yesterday there was a car in front of me with a bumper sticker on it that I managed to remember, which is a feat in itself: Stupidity is not a handicap, so park somewhere else.
I don’t really have any comments on it, and it really isn’t related to my last post, from whatever eon that was posted. It just struck me as really funny at the time. Of course, it was also Friday afternoon after work and I was on my way home, finally. That could have had something to do with it.
I have started to revise Aithin so it fits in better with the series, and that’s taking up a lot of my time, so I haven’t been posting, or writing back to friends that I should be (so, so sorry, P. and V. I will really try to get on it this weekend, if you happen to read this). I’ve been going to bed late, which has been catching up with me and I’ve been tired at work, which is never good.
Luckily the thing with work that required my most immediate attention happened last week before I was so worn out–my little guy pulled his button out for his feeding tube–always one of my worst nightmares–and I managed to stay calm, follow his protocol, get gauze and paper tape from the nurse’s office, rinse the button off and put it in a bag, everything. His mom was called and she was there within 15 minutes (the stomas, they’re called, the little holes in the stomach or wherever they happen to be placed, start to close within half an hour to an hour). She put it back in (we aren’t supposed to, even if the parent tells us we can) and she took him home. So here I am. I lived through it. I’m thankful he pulled it out and I didn’t. Oh. I suppose that’s now my next worry. That I will pull it out. Well, I know what to do now. Oh good grief. I just had to think of that.
Truthfully, other than working and writing, I haven’t been doing much else. Reading as well. Not going to the gym. Bad, bad Wendy. I told my co-workers it’s not my fault–to go to the gym I need to go straight on the road leaving school, and my car keeps turning right onto Crescent Ave. to go home instead. I truly do need to work on the things I have at home, though. My elbow isn’t happy with me, and I know it’s because I’m not doing my exercises at home. The stuff at the gym is aerobic stuff, the stuff at home is to keep my strength up, and that’s really important. My elbow reminds me, I get upset because it hurts, exercise some at home, then don’t again. It’s ridiculous. I think it’s a combination of anger and frustration working itself out. Will I have to do this the rest of my life? Just because I had surgery on it? That doesn’t seem fair. But what is, really? All I know is that it makes me cranky, which makes me stubborn, even though it’s to my own detriment. It’s so stupid. I’ve asked myself before, if you had to, say, give up chocolate because you’d die if you didn’t, would you? My answer was always yes. Now I think I’d probably cheat every now and then, even though I knew perfectly well I shouldn’t. The brain is a wonderful instrument for coming up with excuses and reasons for not doing things.
The brain is also good at deluding us. I don’t know if this is deluding myself or not. I spend so much time with my little guy at work, I wonder if I start to imagine that he can do more than he’s doing, or if I’m just imaging it, or if I’m just around him so much I read him better. We had our first tiff last week. I still have no idea why. I asked him if he was angry at me. He said yes. I asked him if he wanted me to move away from him, he said no. He was making all these noises I’d never heard him make–he was truly very upset. I still don’t know what exactly happened. I think he was mad at me, but he also didn’t feel well. I found out he overheats easily later on, and he did feel warm that afternoon. But having to ask yes and no questions or limit choices to two objects because he prefers to use his head to answer–I want to find a way that he can communicate more easy, and reliably, with other people. He’ll give me one answer and someone else a completely different one, and he’ll refuse to give me the right answers if someone is watching. Yet I just have this very strong faith that he is smart and I just need to find a way for him to express that. So I decided to use a touchscreen and asked my teacher about using the Edmark reading program with him, a computer based reading program. She said sure, so I started it last week. In all my grand plans I had overlooked one very important thing. He didn’t know how to use a touchscreen. They are so awesome I can’t even begin to extol their virtues enough–you very securely velcro them to the front of your computer, an iMac in this case, plug in the USB, calibrate it to the screen, and lo and behold, you can use your iMac like an iPad or whatever else you touch to operate. It took three days, but on Friday he finally activated a video on his own when I had to help someone with something else for a minute, and he did it more than once. I was so happy–I had finally showed him why I needed him to learn how to use it–showed him how the Edmark program worked and that I thought he could learn to read. I don’t know what he thinks about the idea. Probably something along the lines of, “Whatever you think, Wendy. Crazy lady.” (rolls eyes when I’m not looking) Of course, when I was lip-synching Abba (one of the video choices) and making him laugh hysterically, I wouldn’t blame him. We were the only two in the room, so I felt alright getting a little carried away with the rock star performance and the good old hand microphone. I also had chosen that day to fix my hair a little differently than I usually do, so it looked a little like I had two somewhat curly ears, so it was more like a mad spaniel lip-synching to Abba.
I have to put in a plug for two of the pages I use a lot at work: http://www.priorywoods.middlesbrough.sch.uk/ and http://www.helpkidzlearn.com. Priory Woods is a school in the UK, and they provide resources, free, for people with disabilities to use. If you go to their site and hit “resources” then go to the selection that has “videos” in it and then choose “You Sexy Thing”–I don’t think you’ll be disappointed. You have to watch the whole thing, though. Maybe I’m just easily amused. I thought it was hysterical. (Have I mentioned there’s a reason I work in elementary?). Helpkidzlearn has a bunch of games and other things that are sort of fun to mess around with even if you’re an adult. You have to register for their page, but it’s also free. They have free examples of their games that you can play, and then they also sell software. These two sites provide such a cool service for those of us in a school system that doesn’t have much money, and finding free things like this are like finding treasure. If anyone else happens to know of some good sites for free, touchscreen compatible online programs, please let me know.
OK. Off of that little rant or whatever, but I love those sites and use them all the time. Along with Starfall. Ok. last one. There really are a ton of them out there, my co-worker was using one that looked cool and I asked what it was then promptly forgot. I don’t know why forget things like that but can remember that Airedales were originally bred to be police dogs. Why? Why do I remember things like that? Or that my baby sister who is turning 21 this year was born the night Silence of the Lambs swept the Oscars. Maybe I should get her a copy for her birthday. <g> Not sure she’d appreciate that. Hm. Sorry if you’re reading this and I just ruined your birthday surprise. 🙂
Did I mention the travesty that has happened to me with Lady GaGa (see, I don’t even know how she spells her name)? Went to Helena’s talent show and there was a girl, a 6th or 7th grader, I’m imagining (sort of hoping, I guess) who did a lip-synch/dance (very slinky, hence my previous comment) to a very catchy song that I sort of liked. All I know about current music is that Adele is popular, bunch of girls did songs by her. Oh, I did talk about this, because I mentioned that Helena did Feelin’ Groovy. Now I don’t remember exactly what I said about the song the girl did the dance to. Or if I even mentioned it. I asked Helena who it was, and to my horror, it was Lady GaGa. It was driving me crazy because it was completely stuck in my head. Finally, the next weekend Helena stayed with us I gave in and bought the single on Amazon. I’m not getting into the Amazon is the devil battle. iTunes will only let you burn something to CD seven times. I’m sure there are ways for people more clever than I am to get around it, but I don’t buy music from iTunes anymore. Anyway, now I have it so I can happily listen to it very loudly on my way to and from work. I still have E.S. Posthumous and Muse in the car as well, to keep people confused. And Arcade Fire. I know there are six CDs in there. Oh, the mix that has Alejandro and Gorillaz’ Clint Eastwood (another one I can’t explain). Maybe the others are Muse as well? I did have Songs from the Wood in but took it out for the mix CD. I was in a hurry on my way to work (our weather has been odd. Ice on the windshield one day, snow another (not enough for a snow day, however), just condensation another–it’s enough to make you crazy).
I was actually looking for songs that had a strong beat to them for another kiddo in my class who I’ve been trying to teach to hit his padded desk in rhythm to music instead of hitting his wheelchair or other less desirable things. He was sick all week, though, and I have to compete with either Dora or Elmo and Mr. Noodle about halfway through (no Gorillaz in the classroom, just in case anyone was wondering. I did censor what I took in. It’s unfortunate. I think he’d really like that one. It’s got a great switch of beats to it. I’m not entirely insane, though.)
I have a lot of reading and reviews to write. I’m in a catch 22 situation with NetGalley–I need to have more reviews to get eGalleys. Some publishers have given me some anyhow (thank you Harper Collins for letting me read Froi of the Exiles, even though you turned down my other requests). I was dying to read that one. I’ve read one I’m in the middle of writing the review for. I’m making it too complicated, I think. It’s a book that’s already out, and I actually really liked it. I haven’t mentioned it here because I’m supposed to send the reviews of ARCs to the publisher first. It’s also M/M. Some people might have a problem with that. I’ll just label any reviews for those at the top that they’re M/M and anyone who doesn’t want to read it can happily go on their way. I have characters in my series who are gay, which is why I started reading more of it, then I liked it because if it’s done well, it’s nice to have a different perspective on romance. I’ve read books that aren’t flagrantly M/M, but the main male characters are involved, and I’ve read reviews that said, “Well, I was reading it, and it was a really good book until…” and that just frustrated me (it happened to be a series I really like, by a reasonably well known author, and she’s on the last two of the series, which makes me sad, but you can only work with characters if they’re willing to work with you). But to each their own. My characters don’t really show it, because they aren’t demonstrative when others are around, but even if there isn’t anything in the novels (which is always subject to change), I thought it would help in understanding their characters better–yes, I did say I am reading about other fictional characters to better understand my own fictional characters. That part is non-fiction. I have no friends that I know of who are gay. So if I really screw things up, it’s all the other fictional characters’ faults. <looks both ways> I think that’s non-fiction. Is it fiction or non-fiction to blame something on an imaginary friend? Or just a childhood phase? Now, bear in mind, considering the review I just wrote for Carrier of the Mark, I am not copying characters. They are my characters, and they had better damn well stay my characters, with all their angst, etc. intact. I have known them a long time, and if they slip into someone else’s book I will be pretty upset. Traitors.
No, I think what I like about M/M relationships in novels is that I don’t know what the “perfect” relationship is, so I’m not disillusioned by anything in having to come back and face the real world myself. I mean, I’m not completely stupid, I can figure out when the author is writing something most likely not very real/likely to happen. I think. Does that make any sense at all? Probably not. I get tired of reading about all the impossible romances between men and women (that’s why I put them in my books–rolls eyes). If it’s a relationship between two men, especially a good, kind one that just happens to be semi-perfect with perfect sex, etc. I can relate to their emotions but not bring it back to myself in my own relationship and impossible to reach expectations there. It’s more of an escape. Psychologists are going to start trying to figure out how to get in touch with me now. Sorry. I already have one. I haven’t discussed this particular topic with him. I might bring it up next time I see him just to get his opinion. Now I’m curious. I never really tried to analyze why I like reading them. And is isn’t as if I’m eschewing (that is such a weird word, I just had to use it) other fiction with M/F relationships. Boy, between this and the quote I put in my review, I’m really going to have people wondering. No. I am very secure, well, as secure as any woman can be, in being a woman. Trying to fight against what I’m “supposed” to look like to be desirable. Where society throws in your face that if you don’t look like you’re twenty you may as well just give up and sit in the corner with the dust bunnies. The fact that no one notices me anymore. Which would be at least flattering. I guessed I’ve crossed a line somewhere. I don’t feel my age. People think I’m younger than I am. I tell them it’s just my immaturity. I think it’s because I generally tend to confuse people with my sense of humor, am not afraid to be silly, or make a fool of myself. The latter is fortunate, since it seems to happen more often than I’d like–I can act like a cat who’s fallen out of a chair and quickly starts to take a bath–“Oh, I meant to do that.”
I suppose I shouldn’t complain. Men I don’t know open doors for me fairly often. It’s just that they’re in Second Grade. <g>