Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Not to sleep, perchance not to dream

I am having a killer sleep disorder these days, despite using my apnea CPAP thingy. I seem to wake up every hour or two with regularity, then take a while to get back to sleep. I think I've figured out what's going on. The doc from the sleep clinic told me a few weeks ago that the brain during REM, dream sleep is physiologically indistinguishable from the fully awake brain, so it's very easy for it to wake up during odd dreams. As you, my gentle readers, are aware, my subconscious mind has a habit of screaming at me in the form of dreams. About a week ago, my therapist made some connections about some of the Toby-and-Adam stuff going on in my head, and commented that it would be interesting to see how that would play out in my dreams. The underlying issue is a painful one that goes way, way back into my own early childhood. This current sleep deprivation phase began either the night I spoke with Therapy Guy or the next night. I'm thinking that I subconciously don't want to have any dreams, so I wake up whenever I get into the REM state. Whatever, it sucks out loud.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Haiku again

Two subjects are currently dominating my conscious emotions. One is present everywhere in the local environment; the other is more personal to me.

water, gone
silent city
hear, darkness

solitary hammer
trailer in the driveway
block by block

father's silent grief
sinks into the earth
love hurts

father's optimism
solid as the earth
love sustains

Thanks for the push, Andrew.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Fun with Santa

St. Mary's Autism Conference

DW and I spent the last few days in Alexandria, LA, seeing our boys and helping set up for the 1st annual St. Mary's Autism Conference. The school is looking to have its autism center serve as a resource to help school systems in the area train educators in applied behavior analysis (ABA), the only scientifically validated methodology for educating autistic children. This first conference pretty much went over the basics of ABA, and there was a fascinating presentation on brain science. Most of the participants were from school systems in CenLa, but there was a strong presence from St. Mary's new partner, Tulane Medical School, and I saw a couple of people from the U. of Southern Mississippi.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Toby and the Pope

Toby in the reception room at St. Mary's Residential Training School. The portrait to the late Pope's left is Bishop Herzog of Alexandria, who is President of the St. Mary's Board of Directors. Posted by Picasa

I saw this postcard yesterday at the gas station, and thought how fun it would be to take my kids to something like this. Coincidentally, later yesterday, I was asked by someone who knew nothing about my picking up the card whether some of my recent angsty attitude was caused by not being able to do "normal" things with my kids. Posted by Picasa

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Donnie Darko

I saw this movie for the first time this morning. Holy freaking hell! How did I not hear about this back in 2001, when it came out? I realize I was in the midst of a family crisis, but still.

Anyhow, this is the story of a mentally ill teenager who hears and sees a 6 foot tall bunny rabbit, whose instructions lead him down interesting paths, into time travel and a parallel dimension. I'm going to need to watch it over to refine my thinking about the plot. There is quite a lot to talk about regarding mental illness, loneliness, alienation, manipulation, sacrifice, redemption, destiny, and truth-seeking, and there's a killer satire on pop feel-good self-help programs. Jake Gyllenhaal is excellent as Donnie, and, on the DVD cover, he looks a bit like our gentle reader Craig the Filospher. The direction of the film keeps the viewer off-balance, just like the story itself does, and the movie makes good use of music. Very nicely done. Posted by Picasa

Friday, January 20, 2006

St. Tammany Parish--it's like a whole other country

I saw a Texas flag atop a construction project in Slidell this morning. I concocted a story that the powers-that-be in Parish Government were so offended by the Chocolate City speech the other day that they formally seceded from Louisiana and annexed us to Texas, and that, henceforth, we will no longer be known as a suburb of New Orleans, but rather, as a suburb of Houston. Posted by Picasa

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Is he really THAT bad?

Okay, so the caption actually refers to Hurricane Katrina. Posted by Picasa

Monday, January 16, 2006

Birthday boy

Toby on his ninth birthday, Jan. 14, 2006. We had a busy weekend, chasing trains all over creation. Posted by Picasa

Splash! There is plenty of organic matter to throw into the canal these days. Posted by Picasa

Playing with a present he selected himself. Posted by Picasa

Friday, January 13, 2006

Adam at church

 Posted by Picasa

We just discovered this program in Adam's latest school art project pouch. Anyhow, this is pretty creative--I don't doubt that Adam enjoyed carrying something like sand or dirt in the church procession. Posted by Picasa

Thursday, January 12, 2006

God Save the Queen

"God save the Queen
she ain't no human bein'"
--The Sex Pistols

I had a dream about H.M. the Queen a couple of nights ago. No, it wasn't one of those dreams, thank goodness. DW and I were seated at the Queen's U.S. memorial service, which, as a favor to President at the time, was being held in a sports arena at the University of Oklahoma. I was debating whether to stand when the procession entered the arena, as we threw off the royal yoke of oppression in 1776, but the news coverage of the people in London who had refused to stand at the procession there made me think that maybe I should stand. The non-standers were portrayed as gutter punks and other scum. I didn't want to be counted in their number. The procession began to enter, and I had to make my decision. That's when the dream ended.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

I just got me a scanner

Randy, 1964 Posted by Picasa

Randy & Dad, 1964 Posted by Picasa

Randy, 1964 Posted by Picasa

Toby with Irv Smith of the Saints, who was traded to San Francisco shortly thereafter. Fall 1997. Posted by Picasa

Toby with Melody, his excellent day trainer. Posted by Picasa

Shameless plug for my kid

Toby's artwork appears on St. Mary's note cards, which can be purchased for $10/box through the development office at (318)445-6443. Posted by Picasa

Adam in the classroom. Posted by Picasa

Monday, January 09, 2006

Santa,Schmanta, just give me some toys.

Subdued. Posted by Picasa

Angry. Posted by Picasa

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Mending fences

Katrina is almost officially over at our house. Posted by Picasa

We spent the better part of the weekend patching our fence. There are a few adjustments left, but it was a larger engineering project than I initially contemplated. Nevertheless, I'm determined to get over my poor homeowner self-image, and this fence-mending project is a good start. Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Cheesy dream

I was in my hometown of Ponca City, Oklahoma, which was in the midst of a cheese crisis. It seems that all of the world-famous cheddar cheese produced in the town was infected by a lethal bacteria. People around the world were sick and dying, and the reputation of the town was ruined. I, however, was immune from the bacteria. I paid a visit to the old Miller Market grocery store, and walked all around the town with a giant slab of cheddar cheese in my hand. I would pull of a bit and eat it, just to show off my immunity. I was really cocky about the whole thing.

The funny thing is that Ponca City produces no cheese products of which I am aware. DW's hometown of Logan, Utah, however, produces quite a lot of cheese. DW once worked in the mold room of one of the local cheese factories. Yummy yum yum!

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Randy in outer space

This morning, I dreamed that I was in an astrophysics class. The professor was instructing us in how to fight an interstellar thermonuclear war. She was drilling us on how to climb across the ceiling while collecting and defending stars, planets, and galaxies. There was a film shown in which there was a simulated interstellar war being fought, and the instructor had a sense of urgency about her. Beneath the ceiling was a typical auditorium classroom. During lecture, we used textbooks, but I don't recall any details about them.