Saturday, August 22, 2009

Getting ready for a test and other stuff

Just chillin'. We had Riley's 5th birthday the other day and he's upstairs now playing Superhero Guess Who? with Marci and Haley. I just dominated him at it so I'm free for a minute.

I have a "test" today. At the suggestion of a friend, I applied for a job with the city of Seattle as a Parking Enforcement Officer (re: meter maid!). I get to take a test today that focuses on "Numerical Coding and Proofreading, Parking Enforcement Law Interpretation, Map Reading, Math Aptitude, and Spelling." Seems easy enough, right?

If I pass this test (70% or higher to move on), it's onto an interview. After that comes an agility test, then a background check.

Of all those, I'm sure I would pass the background test with flying colors. Here's hoping I make it that far!

In other news, I've been taking pictures like crazy and am way behind on editing them (prettying them up) for public consumption. I was invited to a party last week for a bunch of kids at a place called 1-2-3 Bounce. It's basically a warehouse with a bunch of "bouncy house" type toys inside. Pretty clever, if you ask me. No inventory or stock, very little overhead.

Anyway, the pictures were pretty good. I still need to work on getting better at what they call "tack sharp" photos. Some turned out really clear, but for the most part, my technique (or lack thereof) is causing me some grief.

On the music tip, things are pretty quiet. Lund Bros. haven't played since early July. We have no shows, and Sean is (or was) in Costa Rica for a few weeks. I've put out some feelers to clubs but have gotten no responses.

The Scheme is down now, too. Gregg's thumb is healing and we've rehearsed a few times, but David is out of town for another week. We should be revving that up again next week and hope to have some shows booked for that soon.

In the meantime, it's Sunday Morning Worship Rock with Emmaus Road. It's not my first choice, but it keeps my fingers busy.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Orange fleece sweats

We went over to Mom's house today. She had a big ol' bag of Dad's old clothes she wanted me to try on/give away. Dad was a pretty flashy dresser. He liked bold colors. Yellow, red, green, pretty much all the primary ones.

In this big bag was a pair of orange fleece sweatpants. Bright orange. I don't recall ever seeing Dad in them and I wasn't too keen on them. Riley, however, put them right on, pulled the waistband up to his shoulders and walked around. I had no camera, but it was pretty funny. Haley found a purple pair and did the same thing. She looked like Barney.

We ended up bringing a few things home and Riley had those horrible orange sweats with him. After a shower, he was pestering us about what to wear to bed (he likes to know what temperature to expect so he can dress accordingly). He started to almost cry (I thought he was tired and frustrated because we wouldn't tell him how to dress) and said, "I keep thinking of Tai Yeh," which is what he called Dad.

He then said he wanted to sleep with the sweats because they reminded him of his grandfather. I asked him why, and he said, "They smell like Tai Yeh."

I took a sniff.

Sure enough, they smell just like Dad. LOL. Now, I don't know if Mom just took them from the closet and didn't wash them and it's the smell of the house, or if she washed them and put them in the bag and it's the smell of her laundry. But, dammit, if those sweats don't smell just like Dad.

I had Haley smell them and she agreed, but she's still having some trouble with Dad being gone, so she just wanted a small whiff. I took a few more smells and it was uncanny.

Anyway, I thought that was pretty cool tonight.

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Just saw an old friend

My old bass is back up for grabs over at I traded it away for what seems to bring most visitors to my blog, the Lakland Duck Dunn Skyline bass. The guy I traded it to sold it and now the guy who bought it is selling it again.

If only I had some extra $$$ laying around...

Friday, August 07, 2009

Screaming and yelling, screaming and yelling

What is with all the screaming and yelling?

Haley had a nice day today. We all went on a walk with Bella and it was great. Marci got to spend a few hours one on one with Haley and they went to lunch and ran some errands. Afterward, they came back and Haley, Riley and I watched The Iron Giant as a little summertime movie treat. We had a nice dinner, bath and then it was storytime...

And then the wheels fell off.

Haley just started apologizing for something. "I'm SORRY!!!" Thing was, she wouldn't tell us what she was apologizing for. This went on for a little while. It escalated until she was pretty much out of control. She was (and still has been) screaming, hyperventilating, crying, etc., and simply won't tell us what it is she's apologizing for.

I went in her room for about 20 minutes, doing my best not to lose it. I told her to tell me what was bugging her. She made some stuff up. I tried to question my way around what was bugging her but she wouldn't tell me. She started coming up with excuses why she didn't want to tell us. I told her it was starting to become an issue of trust; if I couldn't believe or trust what she was saying, that could lead to big problems down the road.

I gave her a few more minutes with the hopes that she'd say something, but she'd just hyperventilate some more and say, "But, but, but, but," and not say anything at all. She started an old trick of hers, saying that all she needed was a hug and I told her that I had a big problem giving her a hug when she was in this state. I told her I had to go take a breather and suggested she do the same. So I'm here, venting, taking a breather, hearing her wailing a bit and hoping that she'll be calm when I go back upstairs.

I think I'll give her about 5 more minutes. What is it with 7 year olds??

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Allergies? What's up with that?

I am not an allergic dude. At least I wasn't. I used to be allergic to cats. Then I met Marci and her 3 cats and somehow developed immunity. Nowadays, I'm fine around the one remaining cat.

This morning, Riley woke us up at 5:16am to tell us he had to pee. Super. After that, my nose started running and I started sneezing. Then I got all stuffed up. Awesome. I have no idea why. The trend continued all day into the night.

I took a Claritin D in the morning. No use, really. I took an Allegra tonight. That helped a little, I think. In the meantime, my nose is all dried out from the blowing and my throat is sore from the sneezing (and it didn't help that I had Scheme practice tonight and sang a bunch).

My dad had horrible hay fever in the springtime and as far as I know, Mom has no allergies. We just had the kids tested this week and it turns out both are allergic to grass (great. Seen our back yard? All grass!) and Riley is just a tiny bit allergic to cats and dogs (isn't irony grand?). Marci has in the past year developed serious allergies to beans and nuts. It's really lame.

Anyway, hopefully whatever's in the air decreases tonight and tomorrow so I can get back to some semblance of normal.

Now how about that? Blogs every day this week! Go me!

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Riley's action packed day

I started my day by taking Riley to Children's Hospital, currently known as Seattle Children's, for his weekly speech therapy session. He usually spends an hour there with Miss Wendy and she plays games with him. Only there is a lot of speech involved and she really hammers him with corrections and suggestions. It's pretty intense, and I'm 37. Imagine Riley being 4.9 and I wonder how he feels.

Anyway, today he was a bit distracted. I think it had something to do with being up late last night (we went to a party at a friend's house) and he didn't actually fall asleep until 10:30 or so. He was tired and he said his head was hurting. During his session, he ended up laying on the floor to alleviate the ache in the back of his head. He told me (and this wasn't the first time) that he wished he had a rolling bed so he could move horizontally (again, to relieve the ache).

After the session, we went to "Five, down", which is how Riley refers to the cafeteria location, as it's a floor below his therapy. I got him a bowl of pasta and he chowed down. In between bites, he'd ask to take a break. He just looked worn out. I asked him if sometimes he wished he could just hang out at home instead of going to doctors and hospitals all the time. Of course he said yes, and that made me a little sad.

From there, it was back home for a bit before we loaded up again to go to yet another therapist, this one of the occupational variety. He spent about 45-50 minutes with Miss Jessica working on things like opening packages, writing, squeezing dough. His fine motor skills need work and that's the kind of thing Jessica works on.

Since we've been seeing these two therapists, Riley's speech and motor skills have improved dramatically. It's pretty incredible to see and hear his progress. We are very fortunate to have these people helping Riley. It's great to know that he'll be able to master most of the things that other kids can master; it'll just take him a little longer.

We ran a few errands later and made it home for dinner. His wheels finally fell off at bedtime. He was so exhausted (huge dark circles under his eyes) that he pretty much screamed for 10 minutes before going to bed. And this is from a kid who pretty much never screams about anything anymore.

I just have to remind myself sometimes that when I was 4 going on 5, I was usually just hanging around the house, playing with my brother (only one at the time!), or doing whatever 4-5 year olds do. Riley has gone to the doctor in his almost 5 years more than I have in my 37. We just hope he continues to improve and the doctor visits will be for follow-ups only, and nothing more.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

It's done

I finally finished painting a neighbor's house today. It took about 3 weeks or so, with me doing what I could when I could, but it's done. White on white, kind of a pain. But then, when I thought about it, I realized it could've been worse, especially if he wanted me to paint the trim a different color. As it is, I didn't have to worry about anything other than painting that house white.

Next project, weeding Mom's yard. Joyous.

Monday, August 03, 2009

Hiatus over

Ok. I took an unexpected hiatus. It wasn't planned or anything. I don't even know if you could call it a hiatus, actually.

I've just been lazy. There it is. I've had plenty of time in front of this computer, but I've been lazy.

So what have I been up to the past month? Here you go, in no particular order:
  • Stayed in a yurt (look it up).
  • Walked the dog.
  • Lost my temper with the kids.
  • Got a library card. Back in the day when I applied for a card, it took a few weeks to be mailed home. Now? Fill out a form, pick a card and, pow, it's yours. Pretty cool.
  • Read a bunch of Cesar Millan books.
  • Played a gig at the Sunset for the first time in a long time, and it was only 5 songs!
  • Played with the Scheme for the first time since Gregg sliced his thumb, and it was only 5 songs! :)
  • Bought a DSLR (used) Canon Rebel XT.
  • Got in some hot water for buying said camera.
  • Sold bass effect pedals on craigslist.
  • Painted neighbor's house.
  • Sweated a ton when the temps were 100+. Gave thanks for buying a room AC unit when Marci was pregnant with Riley.
  • Hung out with my brother, who was in town from Ireland.
  • Went to the new Spaghetti Factory in Tukwila.
  • Applied for a bunch of jobs.
  • Did not get invited to any job interviews.
  • Questioned my abilities to find a job.
  • Saw a movie with Haley on the hottest damn day of the year.
(Firefox just crashed! Unpossible! But, Blogger autosaved so I am back to entertain you!)

So in between all those activities and happenings, it's not like I haven't had time to post. I just haven't been motivated to do so. I don't know why.

Anyway, I am going to try to be a better blogger, for my own sanity's sake and for the meager entertainment for others. Believe it or not, for reasons unknown, people still check this blog. I guess that's cool, right?

In the meantime, here's a picture.