Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Guilty pleasures

Yesterday, I read a post on another blog that indirectly reminded me of one of my guilty pleasures--bad television. DW and I watched "90210" religiously in its early years, and we occasionally looked in on "Melrose Place." We liked "90210" better, because it took itself rather seriously, which made it the funnier of the two shows. Last year, I had a thing for "The O.C." I remember one evening in law school when a friend and I stiffed our study partner, but left a note on the chalkboard stating, "Shatner's on TV--need we say more?" Indeed.

Last week, I watched season one of Showtime's "Weeds" in a mini-marathon. It's like "The O.C." on crack. The premise is that a suburban L.A. widow goes into the marijuana business to keep herself and her children living the lifestyle to which they have become accustomed. It's really all about the desperate obsession of some folks with maintaining appearances. There's a lot of wretched excess and socially unacceptable behavior on the show (apart from the whole pot thing), so, of course, I'm looking forward to season two.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

A great moment in bad timing

Today, the locally based Ochsner hospital/clinic organization announced that it is purchasing three hospitals from the Tenet Corp., including Memorial Medical Center in Uptown N.O. Ochsner has a good reputation locally, and I use their services myself. Anyhow, in about an hour, the Louisiana A.G. is holding a news conference regarding a doctor and two nurses who are charged with murder for euthanizing patients at Memorial in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Ethical and criminal issues aside, that's not the kind of public relations issue I'd want to deal with regarding a new acquisition.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Pirates of St. Tammany Parish

Toby likes to sink this ship indirectly, by jumping and creating waves that flood the boat through the windows. Posted by Picasa

it's listing! Posted by Picasa

success! Posted by Picasa

Monday, July 10, 2006

dharma warrior

I attended a one-day sesshin at the local Zen temple yesterday. It's always difficult to let go of my usual, everyday concerns, but I had a few fleeting moments in which I was able to drop off mind and body and just drift in the flow of the moment. But then those everyday thoughts and concerns would push back into my head. At least some of those everyday thoughts were pleasant:

zen retreat
enlightenment approacheth
i want to get laid

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Two steps forward . . .

We had Adam home for the weekend, then spent yesterday afternoon with Toby in Alexandria. I reported to a few of my gentle readers in another forum last week that Adam had vocalized the tune of "B-I-N-G-O." Saturday morning, he watched my lips as I sang that to him, then he resonded, "B-I-ehh-ehh-ehh." This is the first time that Adam has uttered any discernible language, and thus it is a huge effing deal. I almost cried, quite honestly. I credit the applied behavioral analysis training program at St. Mary's for this development--that program forces him to attend to the adult trainer acrosss the desk from him during some pretty intense sessions. Adam fought like hell against this for several weeks, but now he pretty much goes along with the program. Anyone who has tried to start an ABA program with an autistic child can attest to the difficulty in getting it underway. On the flip-side, Adam's stereotypically autistic traits are kicking up again. He played at the park by making tiny piles of sand with the post-Katrina fill along the walkways, then taking those piles and sliding them down a slide. He insisted on buying several bottles of Pepsi products every time we went to the store, then arranging those bottles on the kitchen counter. Also, he got very agitated at the store the other day when he noticed that the lettering on his favorite automatic door had been covered. Overall, however, Adam is making progress. He's struggling, but he is trying hard.

Toby overcame a big fear yesterday. After a half-hour or so of watching the doors on the hotel elevator, he had me pick him up and take him inside the elevator. We rode up and down for quite a while, with Toby learning how to operate the thing. We also had a lengthy swimming pool session in a pretty wild pool. Unfortunately, Toby's wasteline has thinned, and his swimsuit came off. I managed to get it back on, but it kept falling, so I couldn't toss him into the air as I usually do.

DW had an odd throat ailment the other day. Her throat was aching on Friday night, then it swelled up so badly during the day Saturday that it almost closed. Adam and I had to run her to doc-in-the-box Saturday night, where she got a steroid shot that made things all better. It must not have been contagious, as I'm just fine.