Wednesday, July 27, 2011

not like the other . . . yet again

Moments ago, The Boy put his book down and asked if his bath was ready.  He apparently didn't actually make it to the bath.  I can hear him playing with Big Brother.

I'm going to step away for a moment and remind him of his cooling bath water and will take up right there when I get back.

And I return, several hours later, having washed hair, allowed computer time, and texted Big Brother.  I thought he was in his room, and I wanted to tell him his brother was out of the bath and that he needed to get into the shower.  He was already in the bathroom though occupied in other pursuits at the time.

And all of that is finally done, they are in bed, yet I can still hear them talking.  I'm not even a little worried, but we do need to start soon getting ourselves back to school hours.

I mentioned earlier that The Boy's bath was ready, and I came back into the living room and told him so.  He was sprawled on the sofa reading an Akiko book.

Big Brother is a somewhat self taught devourer of books and words.  He's been reading since he was four and with little prodding on the part of me or Momma.  We have always been available and willing, but we've always tried, in that true unschooling spirit, to not help when it wasn't wanted or helpful.

With The Boy we wanted to be the same, but like so many kids he just wasn't into it in the same way.  He really didn't want help unless he did and then only on his sometimes (always) strict and difficult to understand terms, so all the lessons we thought we'd learned with his brother were of no use.  We remained available and willing, but he always seemed as if he knew he could put it off and that we'd continue to help him.

With the boys' transition last winter from unschool to public school, lots of things changed, and one of those changes was that The Boy, so far a slightly interested, beginning reader was having to read and to learn to read very suddenly.  And he took to it like a pirate to booty.  He brought the books home that he'd worked on at school, and he sat and worked on them and read them to us.

He still sometimes would prefer to have some reading done for him, but he's been doing it for himself as well.  He attempted to read Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea recently and didn't get very far.  I'd playfully suggested it one day, knowing that he'd likely enjoy the story but that the language would likely be a bit much for him.  He did ask me to read the first chapter for him.

He also spent some time reading the Frog and Toad books recently, but I don't know that he ever really read them.  They went from one house to the other a couple of times, but each time they seemed to sit in the same place until they traveled again.

I've suggested he read any number of books over the past few weeks.  I don't want him to have to relearn anything as he enters school again, but as importantly I want him to realize joy in reading.  Mostly I suggest books when the code words "I'm bored" actually mean, "it sure would be nice to play some video games."

Also, he does love a good story.  His bed time reading is The Silver Chair at my house, and at Momma's house they're reading Farmer Boy.  The Silver Chair is one of the Narnia books, while Farmer Boy is Almonzo Wilder's childhood before he goes west and meets Laura Ingalls.

And tonight, even though it was bath time, and even though I worried I'd have a cold bath to rewarm, I let him read.  It took him a while to read through the first chapter, but he did, and maybe he'll remember tomorrow that Akiko has just set out on an adventure, and maybe he'll be interested enough to continue the story.

I don't care if he becomes the reader his brother is, but I want him to read.  It really is the best thing since whatever was before sliced bread.  But then I'd argue that sliced bread isn't that great an invention, but that just opens the door for all sorts of nonsense about expediency versus quality along with the increasing pace of our lives.  And I'm just not doing that one right now.

My point is that he sat (sprawled, knees and elbows everywhere) and read the kind of book you need a bookmark for.  I'll rewarm a bath for that.

p.s. I hate using the phrase "worked on" along with the word "reading," but it really is apt.  It just makes it sound so . . . and has connotations of all the evil gschool stuff one might have heard me preach not so long ago.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Bike and test

If this works you can see a pic of my bike. I've published a test post using my mobile device before, but I'm now testing an app that I hope makes this easier. Also I'm working on getting his blog back to some kinda something again.

fights in fridges

Yes, it's noon here in beautiful (if humid) east TN, and yes, I've been up for about an hour.  I have made coffee, pooped, smoked, checked my phone, cleaned the two refrigerator shelves I've been ignoring for far too long, wiped out inside same refrigerator, and found a small sword stuck into part of the vent system.

Relax, it's a Playmobile sword, so the danger is minimal, but still . . .

I asked the boys about it, but neither of them remembers playing with Playmobile toys in there, and certainly neither remembers leaving a sword.  It may well remain a mystery for the ages, but I would like to know who's been fighting in the fridge.

like a something doing something

I've always edited for content those things I've sent out into the world before.  I may have not always edited or chosen as well as I could, but I've also set myself up as being better than I really am in real life.

I'm not nearly as soft spoken or as well thought out.  There isn't much of a filter out with friends or even at work.  Work is easy because we're all a bunch of losers on our way to hell anyway.  Actually we're a fairly random sampling sort of place with too many people who are in bands.  It'll be hell night at work if they all played a show together.

I also talk a lot at work, and probably you can't really imagine what a lot means in this little story, but it's a near constant aural barrage on my coworkers running the gamut from t.v. theme songs from my childhood to a constant dissing of any music playing that I don't like which is tempered by my witty way of sometimes singing with rather bawdy false lyrics replacing the actual ones.  I also might sometimes be a little forward with some of the male servers.

In all these instances my desire is to amuse, to give a worthy laughing dialogue to a sometimes monotonous yet often horrific duty in our kitchen and dining areas.  And as for being sometimes too friendly to the boys, I must say I think it's part of my job to let them actually know a homo and to be forced to deal with me on my terms so that they are nudged toward the realization that gay people are just as obnoxious and normal as they are and to get over any lingering nonsense.

I include nearly anyone in my joking and say things that are often over the line of decency, but my intent is never to hurt anyone, and when people realize that I'm really a decent guy they tend to cut me more slack than I deserve probably.  On some level I like to make sure that as many people take the fall as I can possibly squeeze in.  We all have some stereotype we can fit, and it's my job to remind everyone that it's only funny if anyone can fit into it.  Or I'm just making that up to pump myself up.

So we finally get to the point of my meandering.  Bob Vander Plaats runs a "family" group in Iowa that thinks that gay people are really not good at all.  He's a far right social conservative that led a campaign to have judges removed from office because they voted to allow marriage equality in Iowa.  He's on a mission from god to be as big a douche as he's capable of to gay people.  

He was caught on video reacting to a joke that suggested that in Iowa one is unable to enjoy a cigarette but that loving gay couples are allowed to marry.  I'm lifting the story from Box Turtle Bulletin, so click on their name for their take on the matter and more of the story plus links to why this guy Bob is an ass and why they hate the joke and his laughter.  They also have video.

I don't get the joke at all.  I'm not from Iowa, though I do have an aunt and uncle and possibly some cousins there.  I met them once many years ago, and they seemed like decent people.

To be honest the actual joke goes as such, in Iowa you can't smoke a fag, but you can marry one.  And perhaps my not being of Iowan heritage I'm unaware of some nuance that renders this joke unfunny to me.  And that's why I hate it.

Oh, I also hate that the guy laughing at the joke isn't getting it either.  I'm sure you can still smoke cigarettes in Iowa . . .

. . . unless the meaning of the joke is that it's unlawful to use a firearm to shoot a homosexual.  That might be another nuance of the joke as "to smoke" is popular parlance for shooting someone or something with a firearm.  That totally moves the joke along, because then you're suggesting that actually shooting someone for being gay is cleverly juxtaposed against basic human dignity and equality.

Wow, now I get why it's funny.  Man do I feel silly.