psychman1

grtyahweh@juno.com

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Final-tools 12-2pm Thursday

The tools in my life


"Aaaaaaaaah!! Damn!!!", I let out the very particular sound that only comes from an injury. I was in the attic of our new addition to our home trying to toenail in some strapping. My wife came running over to the hole in the ceiling and said, "oh lord, what did you hurt? Are you alright?" She knows the sound of that particular squeal. Hurt myself I did, I was swinging a 22oz. framing hammer, and I gave it my all. The problem was I hammered my thumb instead. She handed me a flashlight (which I should have had from the beginning) so I could inspect the damage, sure enough, I split both sides of my thumb completely open. It left streaks of blood (that shot about six inches out both sides of my thumb) on the board I was working on. I thought to myself, "wish I had a smaller hammer, didn't need one this big for this job."


Although I hurt my thumb that day, I still love my framing hammer. It's one of my favorite hand tools. It's enormous, 22oz. of forged steel, with a handle so long it looks more like a hatchet when it's hanging from my tool belt. I feel like I'm from the wild west, the sherriff in town, and knowone dares cross me if it's hanging from my side. I can start a nail with just one good tap and that baby is secure for the next "hail Mary" swing that follows. If I manage to hit it hard and true, it takes just that one good swing and that nail is buried deep in the board, as if to say, "ok, I submit! I'll do whatever you want! Just don't hit me again!"


But hand tools are not the only tools in life. I have a very sound spiritual tool that I use everyday. My faith is my biggest spiritual tool, I trust in God and God alone. I have faith that God will see me through every trial, every test, and every unpleasant circumstance that comes my way. Mankind will always fail you, but God is there for you always. I can remember the conversation with the doctor about my daughter Mariah having Resperatory Distress Syndrome when she was born. When he told me to prepare myself because we had a very sick child and the next 24 hours would decide things, I looked him square in the eyes and said, "The God I serve is above all things, I put my faith in Him, and Him alone." I called my pastor, he came, and we prayed over mariah as she lay in the incubator. Within a few hours, the doctor approached me with a dumbfounded look on his face. He said, "I can't believe this, your daughters blood counts are almost up to normal, this isn't supposed to happen this fast, I've never seen this happen in all my years of doing this work, surely your prayers must work." (I didn't notice, but at the time of our praying, he was watch us from another room.)


Then there are my mental tools. I call them "my bag of tricks", I use them every day in my life. I also use them in my line of work at The Acadia Hospital. I've learned over the years, and have developed a tremendous amount of patience with the young adults that I work with (my patience is my biggest mental tool). I can de-escalate the most explosive of people. Sometimes they are so stuck that they are threatening to hurt themselves, hurt me, or calling me a long list of colorful names. While this is going on, I'm ignoring the whole thing and asking them (in a very soft quiet voice) to tell me what's really going on, and asking them to help me come up with a plan to get them unstuck. This usually works and we end up avoiding a restaint.



There are so many tools in life, from hand tools that we use and everyone sees, to the inner most personal of tools that knowone ever knows exists. Tools makes the world go around, they keep society's working, and they keep us personally functioning on a daily basis. Tools are beautiful things, we should strive to use all that we have, and always use them wisely.

Monday, May 08, 2006

freestyle # 15

Thank you Lord!! It's over, it's over, the semesters finally over!!!!! Thank goodness, I'm so very tired. It's been a crazy semester. I finally have a new position coming up at the hospital. This will allow me to work days and study from 8pm-midnight or so, instead of working evenings and studying from midnight to 3 or 4am like I was doing. (All my postings were usually around 2am.) Anyways, I'm taking this summer off, I will do a lot of R&R. It's been fun. Take care of yourself John and SAFE BIKING!!! Maybe we'll see each other on the road someday and do the famous biker to biker wave, all the while never knowing that we just met!!

Prompt reaction #15

I'm at a loss... (actually she's got the lost)

You are so right, there are a lot of losses out there. If I took the time to share mine it would take a while, so I'll spare you the emotional strip tease and just speak of one. My lowest point in my life was when I divorced the mother of my first child. My daughter is now almost 19 and has decided just recently that she does not want her father, stepmother, or half brother and sister to be anywhere in her life. Now I don't want to sound cocky, but she will be missing out on a lot of good times. She will miss birthday parties, get togethers, and days together as a family. (obviously the list can go on and on.) I'm not sure why she would make this decision, she has told me some vague reasons, but I know her well enough to know when she's lieing, and I'm certain I don't know the whole truth. If you hold bitterness in your heart for some reason, it eats you up like a cancer. I think this is what's going on, but will never be able to confirm it. All I can do is hope that she will not cut things off to the point were she feels there is no way back. Now that's a loss.

Graf #15 evaluation

I've learned that I really like writing a lot more than I ever thought I would. I do not have any particular things for suggestions, except maybe a little more explanation into why a piece someone writes was good or needed improvement. It was a struggle for me to know you particularly liked a piece and would ask to use it in the future, I would sit and think to myself, "but why? I don't know what I did right, or why it's worthy of reading." Maybe it's the critic we all have in ourselves.


Looking back over the semester, I really disliked going back into certain memories in my life to write about different things that have happened to me. Its seems to me that I carried a particular theme in the majority of my writings. For me it was abuse, and disfunctional relationships. Although I didn't like thinking on these issues, they didn't change me. That in turn simply reinforces the fact that I know I am in charge of my own life, not some foolish painful memory. So in a way, thinking through those things and realizing I have overcome them was also a good thing. If you have any suggestions concerning future classes for this "wanna be" writter, let me know. I will be very busy over the next few years with nursing school, after that I'm quite sure I'll take more writing classes.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

practice final-Hard truths

The last thing I remember was my dad saying, "Mark, watch that car." Screeching brakes, people sceaming, and my brother flying 200 feet through the air. Mark landed on his head in the middle of route 2 in Milford, Maine. My brother would never be the same again, he had a very serious head injury, and lay in the hospital in a coma for 11 days clinging to life. When he came out of it, he could hardly talk. "This can't be, he's my big brother, he always looked out for me," was all I could think. I cried myself to sleep many nights praying he would get better.


Then he did get better, his recovery was miraculous. He was hit in the summer after his forth grade of school , he got better so quikly that he still went into the fifth grade when school started. My parents kept saying he would be fine, but I knew something was missing, he didn't like being around people any more. He looked up to me like I was the big brother, (I didn't know how to be one.)

Then came the teasing, kids are heartless bastards sometimes, the kids were so big, I couldn't do anything about it. I agonized about it, and worried for him everyday. I just waited, thinking things would somehow change and get better. I refused to solidify my mind to believing he was different. Even as a child I would not give up.


The unthinkable happened, a slap of reality right in my face, my own brother. Mark and I were argueing over something as siblings do, and he simply numbed me. It was a full front punch right to my face. I was stunned, this brother that used to watch out for my every move now hated me, he told me everyday. He was fighting at school almost everyday, he was an enormous young man, he lifted weights all the time. Once he grew in size there was no stopping him, it was as if he remembered every little putdown or remark and was out for vengence. He would beat the hell out of anyone that looked the wrong way at him. I remember thinking to myself, "your never gonna be the same again, you'll never recover from the accident."


It was the hardest thing in the world to accept. As an adult, he can't talk very well to people, once he starts a conversation he does fine for the first 5 minutes or so. He then runs out of thing to say and just simply walks off, Even if the person he was talking to is still talking. He has become very paranoid and thinks even as an adult, people are out to always get him. As of this present time, we don't talk anymore. Mark has a way of trying to ridicule people around him, and has never gone to counciling to try to improve his life. (although I've encouraged him to go many times) He still has anger outburst, (a head injury side affect) and really lives his life truly alone. I have accepted this truth, as hard as it was, Mark will never improve beyond where he is. I have had to cut him loose from any contact so as to avoid any problems he creates within the very abusive family we grew up in.


Tuesday, May 02, 2006

freestyle # 14

I'm sitting here at 3:25 pm, getting nervous about all the finals, got a lot going on at home right now. Not sure where it will all end up, bad timing with the finals next week. Oh well, you do the best you can and hope and pray that everything turns out all right. My daughter Mariah (22 months) took out the two quart container of juice from the fridge yesterday and dumped the entire contents onto the hardwood floor in the dining room. While she was doing this in her other hand was the sippy cup that she had been drinking out of. As she tipped the container in one hand, she held the sippy cup upright with the other (although they were two feet away from each other). The funny part was her expression, she seemed truly perplexed with the situation. As if to be thinking, "now I know I see dad do this all the time, I'm not sure why the cup didn't fill up, mom and dad always do it this way." She then gave me the biggest grin and said, "Yaaaa" As if she had done something wonderful, all I could do is laugh.

Sunday, April 30, 2006

prompt reaction # 14

# 62. My summer vacation......... it will be filled with a hole lot of nothing. Don't get me wrong, I will still have a full time job, three kids, a wife, mortgage, blah, blah, blah. It's just that I started school last summer, have worked full time, and taken three classes every semester since then. Needless to say in May it will be one year straight of classes and I'm pooped.

To me, slowing down to just the one job, then continueing with family stuff and so forth, will be like taking a three month vacation. I plan to golf, (if I have the money), fish, fish, and fish with my almost seven year old son. Perhaps do alot of hiking and canoeing (I'm kinda outdoorsy). The only project I have planned is to build a shed for the lawnmower. Oh yeah, and if my tenant gets out of the house in Greenbush, I plan to put new windows in it, put siding on it, landscape it, and sell it. (It's just a small house/camp, perfect for the "just starting out" couple).

Anyways, the only classes I'll have after this semester is, biology with lab, one restricted elective, and microbiology. I plan to then apply for the nursing program this September, (all of my non-nursing classes will be done).

I think that my summer in a nut shell. How about you John? Been on that bike?

Monday, April 24, 2006

Prompt reaction # 13

"We are gathered here today to remember....."

My dog Spot, he was a good ol boy, never really caused any trouble to speak of, always happy to get the paper for me, always happy to piss in my shoes, god I loved that dog.

I remember the day he wiggled into the camoflage shirt I had laying on the bedroom floor, could'nt find that dog for damn near a week. Didn't stop him though, he seemed to enjoy biting the cat right on the ass. Course the cat almost turned neurotic since she never could tell what was biting her. She just kept sliding all over the house with her backside up against the wall, all the while shaking and quivering as she went. Course spot was in heat and we had several of our relatives get up and leave during their visits because it freaked them out to have some tranparent predator jigging their leg. I would mostly just say, " Oh, don't mind that, it's just ol Spot he'll be done in a minute or two. Except for aunt May, she left the house screaming some sort of thing about perverted demons, I laughed so hard I fell out of my chair. (never could stand that bitch!)

That's when tragedy struck, while I was rolling on the floor, the cat was getting her daily dose of seroquil, and spot was busy finishing off on my leg, I accidently knocked over some spot remover, never heard from the poor little fella again.

Comparison Essay # 6

"How building a bridge compares to your own life"



You almost die, life falls apart, life collapses in on you. These are just some of the comparisons I get from patients during my experiential groups. We have fun, build things, then find a way to compare it to life. Here are some direct quotes from patients that were instructed to build a bridge out of 20 staws, a 3 foot length of masking tape, and 4 sheets of computer paper. They were instructed to use all the material, could not have any extra material, and was then asked to stack small tubes of toothpaste on their bridges until they collapsed.



Staff: Today we built bridges, loaded them up until they collapsed, then counted how many items the bridge held. So someone give me an example of how this compares to you life? (hands go up all over the room)
Patient: Well, I screwed over everyone in my life, my addictions totally controlled me. I had no say in the matter. When I hurt those around me, I burnt the bridges that connected me to those people. It's just like the bridge I built here, I loaded the bridge I built here with so much stuff, it could'nt hold it and collapsed, there is no way to reconnect to the other side, just like my life.
Staff: Thats very insightful, it sounds to me like you are realizing the consequences of your actions, thanks. Someone else?


Patient: Ya, I built a really stong bridge and it held a lot cuz I've done this group before and I learned how not to do it when it collapsed on me last time. This time I did it different, this is just like my life cuz I really fucked over my dad about a year ago and really hurt him, but now I've rebuilt the bridge to him and I made it much stronger this time. Plus, I know what should or should'nt be put on this bridge and I don't overload it, just like the one I built.
Staff: Fantastic! Thank you, that was great. How about someone else?


Patient: Can I go next? It took me and the partner you paired me with to build this bridge, she had some good ideas, but at first I didn't want to listen and the bridge looked pathetic. But when I added my ideas together with hers, it worked out really well. Our bridge held the most, this compares to my life because in the past I really didn't listen to people that gave me good advise. I built my bridges in my life alone, they were not sturdy and when heavy problems came along they all crashed and burned. This is my third time here at the hospital, I'm only here for a medication adjustment. I rebuilt things in my life, only this time I listened to advice from people that cared about me. It was just like the activity we did here, you can't go through life on your own or you'll crash and burn, you need support just like I got from my partner.



Staff: You all did a great job tonight, try to understand some of the points your peers made in this group, rethinking how you do things, and realizing it takes help is the first step towards dealing with you own mental health issues. Thank you for coming to group, for those of you that can go, it's time to line up for gym.

freestyle # 12

Tired, spent, trying to stay caught up. Very concerned about the due dates on certain assignments. Got alot going on at home, (this keeps me very scattered in my thyoughts.) But, as everyone must do, just keep swimming, swimming, swimming!(Finding Nemo) I'm sure I will get through it and survive. This has been a great class, I've certainly determined that I will need to take a keyboarding class to learn how to type, or those 20 page papers in the nursing school is gonna kill me!! I guess I'll try to write my last 5 graf assignment tonight, then take my on-line exam in APII, followed by trying to do some of the final things for my i search paper. C-ya

Saturday, April 22, 2006

prompt reaction # 12

# 52 No telling what he was thinking behind those dark glasses.

I remember the lights, then the siren. He pulled me over, said I was going 42 in a 25 mile per hour zone. He had those mirrored sunglasses on, could'nt see his expression at all, kind of like he used it for intimidation. He was also very matter of fact, "drivers liscense and registration please" is all that came out of his mouth. I figured I had nothing to loose so I went for the totally honest approach. I said "officer, I'm from this area and I know full well what the speed limit is, I also know that there are alot of kids in this area and people have been driving way to fast. I have a lot on my mind today and I was very preoccupied with my thoughts, I have no excuse for speeding and I'll take whatever ticket I'm supposed to get, maybe it will teach me to pay more attention to the road." I could'nt see anything, like I said, he had no expression on his face. He simply said, "I'll be right back." I sat for what seemed like forever, and when you wait that long you just know that you're getting a ticket. When he returned he handed me my stuff and said, "I just saved you 128$, I don't usually do this so slow down in the future, and thanks for being honest with me, have a good day.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

# 11 freestyle

Mind is racing, it's late at night or early in the morning, depending on how you look at it. I'm so looking forward to this summer, I plan to fish with my son alot. Can't seem to stay focused on school, got a lot on my plate right now. Many questions to answer about life. Don't think I'll ever really know the answers. Do I continue with my nursing endeavors? Do I really have what it takes to be a nurse? Do I have what it takes in life? (sometimes life can knock the hell out of ya!) Anyways, I tend to get through just about anything, so I'll just keep rumbling along like the slow moving tank I am (most days anyways), never stopping (dont like stagnant grass under my feet anyways).

Prompt reaction # 11

# 51 c. Daylight has broken

It is full of pain, the darkness. It always has something to hide, lurking in its own dark corners like a sniffling weakling. That's why it is called darkness, it is the shadow of defeat. The stacks of shattered dreams, the endless piles of broken promises, and defeated souls. All is lost to the darkness, where men tremble, women scream, and children stand stunned and crying at what they once had, but will never see again. Twisted are the thoughts and dreams of those in the darkness. It compromises clarity, blurs vision, and brings about confused emotions.

Thank goodness for the light, light pierces through darkness as though they were enemies from ancient of days. Flowers bloom and knew life begins in the light. New hope is born, new ideas are founded, and sanity of mind is restored in the light. It clears the mind that has been held captive to fear, scatters confusion with just a look. Men calm, women scream no more, and children dance and play. All because daylight has broken (51c), all is not lost.

Monday, April 10, 2006

i search rough draft-due 041406

Our baby Mariah almost died. I rushed my wife to the hospital, it was way to early for her labor pains, I knew something was wrong. Kaileen (my wife) was admitted to the hospital and was put on complete bed rest. The doctor gave her medicine to stop the contractions and at first it worked, but the medicine only prolonged what nature had already decided. My daughter Mariah was born one month early. She would have been born two months early if the hospital stay had not worked. Now I know that perfectly healthy babies are born at eight months of gestation, but not my Mariah, her mother was given a shot to increase the speed of Mariah's lung development a month before she was born, it was'nt enough. Still there she was, picture perfect and very healthy looking. It was such a deceiving thing, not even 30 minutes later she was fighting to stay alive. She lay there in the incubator struggling for every breath. It was unbelievably hard to stand there, helpless, knowing that whatever the outcome was, you had no say in it. I felt my knees start to buckle under me and I leaned against the recovery room wall as the doctor told me Mariah had Respitory Distress Syndrome, (RDS) he said, "It's a disease that effects a babies breathing and it always gets alot worse before it gets better, so prepare yourselves."My response was a question, I said, "don't paint roses doctor, shoot straight at me with the truth". His reply was guarded, "I'm saying you have a very sick baby with a very bad disease, the next 24 hours should decide things." I remember my head feeling numb and it started to tingle, I remember staying with my wife and her family in my wifes room, I remember my pastor coming to pray over my daughter, and feeling peace about it. Everything else made no sense, and I can't remember the majority of huge chunks of time. Dealing with the concrete absolute was all I knew to do, it was also all that held me together. Then a miracle happened, within the next 6 hours or so my daughters blood counts and blood gases improved so dramatically that the doctor said he had never seen such a thing before. My daughter lived. I would like to say it was all a happy ending but it was'nt, she was still in the NICU for 8 days. She had breathing and stomach problems. Questions began to flood my mind, "what kind of problems could my daughter have down the road since she was born premature?" I was very ignorant to this, that is until we took Mariah to a yearly reunion that the NICU throws at EMMC. It was there that I began to realize that we were very lucky to have faired as well as we did. I saw some kids looking perfectly healthy, others that were not fairing so well, and even more that would need care attendants for the rest of there lives. I wondered if Mariah would have any emerging problems. I kept this question to myself, only to have it resurface in my AP I class when I read about the disease RDS, and a chemical called surfactant, it is absent in a lot of preemees which requires them to need a respirator to breath (Mariah needed a respirator). The book went on to say that preemees on respirators had long term problems, some will deal with these problems for the rest of there lives, and that the respirators themselves were the reasons behind the problems. The book said nothing else about this and I was left hanging. So this is my reason for my I search paper, I'm going to research the effects of prematurity on babies, I hope to find all the information I am looking for. I hope to get some answers.


The why:

Why I am motivated to do my I search on a topic I know little to nothing about. It interests me because it directly effected Mariah in a medical way, and therefore it has effected me in a very personal, mental, and emotional way. I had spent countless hours rocking and singing to Mariah in the NICU and if nothing else, I would just sit, think and cry, think and cry, and then think and cry. I had plenty of time to fret over what might be the overall diagnosis for Mariah, and I was scared to think she could be bothered by problems the rest of her life. If I can find all the possible information I need to satisfy my thirst on this issue, I will be much more educated and will have a clearer understanding of what to expect down the road concerning my daughters health. It would put my mind to rest.




My questions are as follows:

  • What are the long term health affects Mariah may experience due to being premature?
  • Can I expect medical problems down the road for Mariah?
  • Does it involve the vision? I've heard, (unsubstantiated rumor), there may be a yes answer to this question.
  • Are there allergy problems?
  • Are they food related or histamine (environment) related?
  • If there are allergies, what can be done?
  • If there are allergies, do they outgrow them?

The what:


What I know about my research topic is very small. Some of it was just plain common knowledge. Other information I heard just by word of mouth, (I work around alot of nurses, although not NICU nurses).

1.) I know Mariah was born premature and was on a respirator to keep her alive.

2.) I know just by common knowledge that premie babies can have problems for the rest of their lives.

3.) I also know Mariah had a disease called Respitory Distress Syndrome, and that babies outgrow this disease if they live.

4.) I know that the respirator kept the alvoli sacks in my daughters lungs open so she could breath.

5.) I know that the respirator that kept my daughter alive can ironically cause long term problems in infants (per my AP I book).

6.) I know that her body was not producing enough surfactant, a substance that allows the lungs to inflate at birth and stay inflated (thus the need for the respirator).

7.) I know that some children are born several months premature and are in need of a respirator for weeks, sometimes even months. Comparatively, she was on the respirator a short period of time.


The search:

My search methodology was entirely internet, I am very non traditional and am afraid I do not get very much spare time. This simply meant that trips to the library or interviews with nurses or doctors was not possible.

I found the searching to be extremely frustrating. Googling was agonizing, and I changed the wording of the search several times. What was particularly hard was finding information on the eye problems in preemies. I found an article that gave the name of the eye problem, and then was able to specify the search. The majority of the sites I reseached was not helpful at all, I had to sift through alot of infomation, for alot of hours, before finding things that pertained to my questions.


What I learned:

I learned that my daughter is in much better shape than I hoped for. Although she was born at 36 weeks and was considered a preemie, I learned that a lot of the complications that a preterm baby has involves babies that are born alot earlier than the 36 weeks Mariah was born at. Here is what I learned and the answers to my questions.





  • Question: What are the long term health affects my baby may experience due to being born premature?
  • Answer: It appears that do to todays modern techniques used in the NICU, the medical community has greatly reduced the long term problems of babies that are born premature. There is (and will always be) on going debate as to what particular treatment is best. But the message I read over and over again was that it was always in direct relationship with the period of gestation in which the infant is born. For Mariah, lung development were the main concern. Jennifer Lauren Lee of the DAILY BRUIN CONTRIBUTOR has written: "Visual problems, brain disorders, chronic lung disease and learning disabilities are just some of the problems that approximately 100,000 "preterm" babies – babies that are born less than 37 weeks into a pregnancy, instead of the usual 40 weeks – suffer from each year." jlee2@media.ucla.edu (Asucla student media.) This is an obvious yes answer, but again, every child is different.
  • Question: Can I expect medical problems down the road for Mariah?
  • Answer: No, Mariah was born at an average weight, although early, she was only classified as a preemie by one week (36 weeks). Her lungs improved quikly. About 12 percent of babies in the United States are born preterm. Of those, the majority (84 percent) are born between 32 and 36 weeks of gestation. About 10 percent are born between 28 and 31 weeks of gestation, and about 6 percent are born at less than 28 weeks of gestation.All babies born preterm are at risk for serious health problems, but those born earliest are at greater risk of medical complications, long-term disabilities and death. www.marchofdimes.com

    Question: Does it involve the vision?
  • Answer: Yes, Retinopathy is a disease that affects the development of blood vessels in the retina of the eye. Premature babies that need oxygen run the risk of developing this disease. However, there also appears to be a lot of other factors. Although there has been a correlation made between premies who receive high levels of oxygen and ROP, there appear to be a variety of factors that may account for development of ROP. These include, in addition to birth weight and gestational age: elevated blood carbon dioxide levels, anemia, blood transfusions, intraventricular hemorrhage, respiratory distress syndrome, chronic hypoxia in utero, multiple spells of apnea or bradycardia, mechanical ventilation, and seizures. (Ophthalmology Associates Homepage, 1997) So the answer is mixed, it appears that prematurity and oxygen treatment plays a role in the disease. Mariah was premature, had supplemental oxygen, and had developed RDS, (three of the eleven factors listed).

  • Questions: Are there allergy problems?
  • Answer: None in Mariah that I can uncover, my daughter has allergies to dust and dust mites. I could find no conclusive studies or evidence of any kind to indicate her premature birth was the cause of the allergies.

What to do with it

Well first of all, I will sleep good tonight. I have stressed over this for months and months. Doing this isearch has actually given me some piece of mind. I now know that Mariah was not born so young or at such a small weight that she will have eye problems down the road. This is very relieving to me. It was one of my biggest questions. She actually functions well above her developmental range for her age, so I do not see any delays due to her being a preemie. I did learn that there are some areas I could be paying more attention to in helping her with her allergies. Particularly in her bedroom. This was a great experience for me.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Freestyle # 10

Went to Mardens today, found some really cheap golf clubs. I bought a few, I don't know how to play, only tried once. My son though is really into it. I'm not sure why he got hooked, but he did. A friend at work loaned me a junior I set last year and the rest is history. After exausting myself by running out in the backyard to retrieve balls every third hit we invested in about 40 golf balls. To my amazement my son hit about 50 -80 balls almost everyday last summer and he's only 6! This year is no different, yesterday I bought a junior II size 6 iron for him at Dick's Sporting Goods. (he out grew the other set) I won't buy the whole set until I'm sure he likes it. Anyways, as far as I can estimate he hits about a 75-100 yard shot when he gets a good rip on one. Then does this cute "I hit a good one dance" while saying, "ok dad put another one down." I bought some clubs for me to see if I can gain the same interest. Frankly, even if I hated it, I would do it to stay close to my son, this is the age in which we need to form bonds stronger than ever to establish pathways of communication for the rest of life. Whenever we part for any reason, he says to me, "Best friends?" and I answer, "heart to heart." My son started this about a year ago, out of the blue he stated to me, "we're best friends, and we're heart to heart daddy." It stuck. I pray when he is 25 he can say the same thing, time will tell.

Prompt Reaction # 10

# 44 "They say the best things in life are free"

Could'nt agree more. You don't have to buy happiness, contentment, peace, love, hope, I could go on and on but so I don't sound like the transcipt of a "chick flick", I'll just stop there. My daughter is at the full blown belly laugh stage, throw her in the air and just as she peaks the top, she lets out with a beautiful laugh. I think she gets that slight butterfly feeling like we get when we drive over a " yes, maam" on a winding dipping old back road. It's a contageous laugh, my wife and I laugh almost as hard as she does. No, you can't buy that.

My son is at a problem solving stage, (6 years old) I challenge him everyday to think through a situation rather than just leaving it be. The other night, we were getting ready to visit some friends of ours. Our friends little girl also happens to attend the same school as our son Brian and they are very close. My son has an internal turbo button I think he pushes every night at exactly 4:58 pm. This boy goes into high speed everything, he bounces like a richocet all over the house. I have to focus really hard to keep a lid on it at times (and to try an snag him as he speeds by), and also find creative ways for him to vent all of this energy. He tries really hard to control this, and for a six year old does quite well. After appoximately 27 appologies to his mother and sister for his behaviors, and an elapsed time of about 45 minutes, he has settled down and it's over. Well this night was no different, so as I noticed he was showing all the advanced signs of going into warp speed, I asked him to think about what we could do together to help him stay calm. I stated, "you know we are going to your friend Abby's house, and you can't run around there like you usually do. What would happen if you can't control yourself and you dissapoint mom and dad by the way you're behaving?" "I guess I would have to come home", he said. I agreed, and asked him what we should do. He looked up at me with the most sincere face and exclaimed, " Wait, wait, I have an idea! You can bring the blue car by yourself, and that way if you do'nt like the way I'm acting, you don't have to watch, you can go home instead of me." I heard my wife errupt in laughter and realized she was listening from the other room. I have to say I was speechless and would have fallen over if I were not sitting in a chair. I thought to myself, "Now that's problem solving at it's best!" It was so funny, these are the kind of things that are the best in life. And yes, they are free.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Example essay # 5

I'm not sure why people are so abusive to others, some say it is because the abuser was themselves abused. This is true in some cases, but I have to ask, " where does it all begin? Someone, somewhere, at some point, decides to abuse but was not themselves abused.

Take my mother for example, her impatience hurt alot of people. My brother had a significant head injury that effects his level of funtion even as a grown man. As we grew up, this did not stop this evil person from constantly choosing his head to be the punching bag when she got angry. One time it was over a piece of dental floss that was not disposed of in the way she thought it should be, it was laying on the toilet. Apparently my brother threw it into the toilet to get rid of it and missed. She grabbed him by the head and shoved his face within three inches of that floss and screamed, "its right there, jehova, can't you see it!" My brother really could'nt see it, he has bad eye sight from the injury, and did not have his glasses on. He was squinting really hard, and trying like crazy to find the floss. But he was'nt finding the floss quik enough for her standards, just as I reached my hand forward to push it in the flush for him she drew back and smashed him right on the side of the head, all the while screaming, "Hurry you dumb retard, I have'nt got all day!!" Inside I remember thinking, "you bitch! that's right were he landed on the ground, that's his injured side! Leave him the fuck alone!!!" When this woman talks of her childhood they are wonderful stories, full of fun. She never spoke of her mother losing her patience or hitting her in the head.

Then there was the time her compulsiveness exploded on to the scene. We broke through a frozen lake, (more a local pond we used to skate on). My brother and I had our little sister with us, she was quite young and we had to keep a close eye on her. Looking back it seems she was way to young to be alone with us, this did not matter to mom because any time we were out of her hair was great for her. We were all jumping on the ice in unison, (never do this if you do not no the thickness of the ice) all of a sudden it sounded like a collison of cars and everything seemed to collapse. It was slow motion, I remember grabbing my little sister and throwing her as hard as I could onto the bank of the pond, my brother got up to his kness before jumping out. I unfortunately got wet up to my chest, I was laying on a piece of ice, I could just reach my brother's hand and he pulled me in from the bank, he most certainly saved my life. I grabbed a piece of the ice we were on to bring with me, and we literally ran all the way home. I thought if I could somehow show her the ice I might be saved. I thought if I could rationalize with her, I would'nt get a beating. I was wrong, she freaked, even as an adolescent I knew enough to be thinking, "what the hell is wrong with you, we could have died, it was an accident, should'nt you be glad we're all still here?" No, that was not the reaction, she did'nt care about the thickness of the ice, or the fact it was winter and being wet and outside could be the death of a person. She was mad because we got water on her floor, mad because she would have to clean it, and mad because she had to stop getting the table ready for dinner, "and now everything will be off" as she put it. I took a beating from a dust mop handle because she said I almost killed my sister, made the whole family late for dinner, and because I needed to pay for upsetting her day. When she spoke of her upbringing, she always talked of a supportive mother, who was flexible and understanding.

One of worst moments I ever experienced was a day she had one of her sudden outbursts of anger. Usually if you could run really fast you could get out of the way in time. We went to the mall with our dad. We had a great day, he was in a good mood for unknown reasons, looking back I would have to say it was because she had stayed home. It was very fun, we got a treat that we never get, icecream. I remember I got a vanilla one, and it was SO good. My dad got them for us as we headed home in the car, and we were just finishing them as we pulled into the driveway. As we entered the house, my mother greeted us with a smile and asked what we had done for the day. (when she wanted to be nice, she was real nice) Dad mentioned the mall, and the icecream, all of a sudden my dad was on the floor. My mother had hit him as hard as she could in the face, it was so hard it took his feet right off from under him. He looked up at us and quietly said, "run kids run". Run we did, she never got a hold of any of us, but I heard her screaming and calling him a selfish pig because he did'nt bring her home any icecream. Again, as a young person, I still had the insight to think, "it would have melted before we even got home with it you fucking nut job!" Ask her about her upbringing, and she says her family was very giving to each other.

After meeting her parents and siblings, I would have to say it was all true, she had a pretty descent upbringing. I take pride in the ability to see through people to their real intentions. (hey, years of growing up under the roof of that woman has given me that gift). Sure, every family has it's skeletons, but her family was pretty functional. Yet my mother is one of the most abusive, mean spirited people I've ever encountered in all of my life. To this day, I have never allowed her to hold a single one of my children, and I call her on behaviors. This angers her tremendously, but all she does is deny them. (I'm to big to hit now) She usually never speaks to me if we happen to find ourselves anywhere near each other. The bright side of all of this is the fact that I am well aware of what happened to me as a child. I have never, nor will I ever let my mothers abuse define the kind of person I am, or the kind I will become (life is constant change). At some point people have to make a conscious choice to take the path of an abuser, my mother is one of those people.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Contrast essay reaction # 14

Found it to be a very interesting read. I wanted to read on and on to find the results of the next comparison. It was funny at some points, but makes a person realize that it takes all kinds to make the world go around, and that everyone has their own personal good and bad points.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Freestyle # 9

Early morning hours again, aunt died and my wife has been asked to do a reading, I've been asked to sing an old song for her service. "The green green grass of home." It has been done by just about everyone who was anyone. I've heard Kenny Rogers, Elvis Presley, Tom Jones, Merl Haggart, and Jonny Cash to name a few. One of the sons dropped by a burned copy of Merl Haggart's, it was the best version I've heard. I've got it down on the guitar, it was one of my wife's aunts favorite songs, I'll re string my guitar tomorrow so as to avoid any mishaps (broken old string) right in the middle of the moment. Service is on Saturday, may not post much over this weekend due to my wife needing my support. Anyways, I just dropped my bike off at friend and friend to get serviced for the season, it was such a great 40 mile drive! I did not want to get off, but I will pick it up next week and she'll be ready for the season, I'll ride her up till December if the snow holds off. My mind is getting groggy so I'll go for now, I need to look at revamping one of my essays.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Prompt reaction # 9 pick a prompt #883

I picked this from the link, it is # 883

"Three flights of stairs moved him through the four stories of the house". He knew he was on his own, his partner turned back moments earlier when he heard his low air warning go off. Something told him to press on just one more flight and he would be at the top anyways, the building was cleared of people but he could'nt stop. Then he heard it, a very faint cough, then a cry, cough again, then nothing. Years of training simply took over, the room he entered was burning as he kicked the door in but that did not concern him, getting that child did. He checked the usual spots such as closets, toy boxes, under beds, nothing. About 30 seconds had passed and the room was filling fast with smoke. He checked the last doorway of this apartment, another kitchen area! Good! He reached under the sink and felt something soft, yes! there she was, she started screaming at him, (imagine what a firefighter looks like to a child with a breathing tank, mask, and all the thick clothes on). he did something he was trained to never do. He took off the mask, and she saw his face, this calmed her down. He grabbed several hand towels that were hanging at the sink, wet them, wrapped them around her, and headed out, all the while she was breathing his air. At the bottom of the stairs, he collapsed into the arms of other men who were on there way up to find him. The girl lived, he spent two days in the hospital, but recovered fully. Thank God for men and woman who risk their lives everyday to save us.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Comparitive essay #3

Bathroom Etiquette

We are such creatures of habit, with all are hang ups, and preferences. Lets take the bathroom for example. I was a single man before meeting my wife, and very set in my ways, I think she forgets this.

When I awaken, I brush my teeth and clean the sink until it glows, all the while wiping down any and all water spots. My wife on the other hand never wipes up her toothpaste, she simple waits for it to become part of the porcelin. Our lavender top has grown two inches taller since we've been married, and the bowl more shallow every day. The water spots on the mirror she just forgets about those, if I didn't wipe them off it would never get done.

Now the toilet paper is my domain. If I even bother to put it on the dispenser, I'm an over the roll kind of guy. I've been like that since I was in utero, why mess my perfect system. Had I known I was marrying one of those nuerotic under the roll people, I may have had to reconsider some of my options. Why in the world does she put it on the dispenser anyways? Its gone in twenty minutes we have toilet paper gremlins in our house. I believe we go through approximately 89 rolls per month, that's some serious wiping.

The clincher is the toilet seat, I have a question. Why must I be the one to compromise? I believe if Adam and Eve had an out house she would have said "Don't forget to put the seat down when your done"! I got my wife though, whenever she used the bathroom in my apartment as she was coming out I would always say, "Don't forget to leave the toilet seat up when your done". People should leave things the way they find them, I just figured that it was my place and my toilet, so it was my rules. No, no that is not how it worked at all. It was no more than a week in our marriage when at two in the morning I was awakened to the yelps of a dog getting run over in front of our house, or so I thought. Actually, my little beauty had tried to pull a "sit and go in the dark". You guessed it I had left the seat up and she had bottomed out literally. Although she's a petite woman, I thought I would need a come along to wench her out of there. Then she says "just when I think I've got you figured out, you do something that totally suprises me". Yeah, "right"!! She's really thinking, "just when I thought I had you trained the way I wanted, you proved to me you've got a long way to go".


Well, it's been nine years now, she still leaves her petrified paste in the sink, and ignores our mirror. But yet I still load the toilet paper over not under (If I load it at all). As for the toilet seat, I've been trained to leave that sucker down, however I'm passive aggressive, I close the lid as well. Hey, If I got to put one down, I'll at least make her pick one up.

Classification Essay #2

What kind of a mood am I in tonight? I love the skill of playing guitar, and the feeling of accomplishment it brings. I've had five hour jam sessions with my friends and have had as many as eighteen guitars in one room. The sweat, blisters, the sore joints, and the grins, its worth it all.

Will I play my Interna spanish guitar? It has such a smooth, mellow sound. The strings seem to court each other in a melodic ritual. Never over stepping each other but rather blending perfectly together. It brings out such feelings of peace and contentment within me. I'm reminded of the new man I've become, how I blend perfectly with my wife and new family. I'm so laid back now, tender to my children, soft spoken, and So much in love with my Lord and savior Jesus Christ (no, I'm not one of those fanatics). The guitar also has a much wider neck, which makes it easy on my sore old hands, hands that used to be out of control but know love to hug. Its so light weight and easy to hold, reminds me of how I love to hold my wife, its a great guitar. No, I'm not in a melow mood.

Maybe I should scream out a rip with my Kramer electric. It's for those nights of pent up frustration, or those days full of stress and extra energy. Like the days I used to be a very rebelious man. The days I used to embark in things not quite legal, kinda the wild days. Its a different me when I play it, even though I'm a different man than I used to be. It still brings out a wild side in me. I just plug it in and start jumping and playing. I don't stop jumping until I can hardly breath and my shirt is stuck to my body from perspiration. It's painted light blue with a semi-transparent over coat of a soft red. If you look at it one way its blue, but check it out from another direction its red. It has a single Humbucker pick up (this is what sends the sound from the guitar to the amp), a wammy bar, and has very clean crisp tones. But add my digital processor and distortion pedal and you would swear you were at a metalica concert. No not tonight I'm not in a metal banging mood, I need satisfaction.


Then I pull out the prize of the night, my Yamaha flat top acoustic, my baby. She was a starter model. However, she has her own personality, from the way she ages, from the type of wood, to which section of the tree was used to build her. I have played with men that owned $2500 guitars and every time they jammed with me they couldn't wait to play her. Her sound has gotten better with time. My guitar carries a ring throughout her body for what seems like an eternity. There is such a feeling I get when playing her. She takes me places I could never go alone. I've come along way in my life, and this guitar has always been there, she was my first. I find my self in a hotel room in Rockland doing an out of town job, she comes along to keep me company. These were the not so good days, she has seen me in bad places, with bad people, all of whom are serving time now. She was in the room when I left my daughter with her grandparents, telling her I would be staying with her all night, only to go out clubbing with some friends after she fell asleep. I came home to face a six year old girl who was very much awake, sitting on the couch at 3 AM crying because she was alone and her daddy had lied to her. She has seen me on bended knee heart broken, asking my daughter for forgiveness and promising to never drink again (I've kept that promise). She has a scar on her face from a little three year old (same daughter, Whitney), who dropped something on it then looked at me and grinned, all I could do then was laugh. She reminds me of how far I have come. She has been with me for many years. Oh the stories she tells, as I pick up the guitar my wife and children sit at my feet, all cuddle together and listen. Yes this is perfect, my night belongs to her.

Graf # 13 Research History

I would like to say that life is one big beautiful research success story, I can guess that this is said often. Maybe something like, "life is a big research adventure!" No, that's not my research history, my research was survival. I had to research what was allowed on any given day in the house I grew up in. It was always very confusing because one day things were allowed that you thought you could never do in a million years, only to get beat the next day for doing the same thing. So my research was to feel the breeze of the first lights mood and stay clear of it for that day, or be prepared to run like mad.

I researched how to stay warm when locked out of the house at 6 years old in the winter with my brother and sister and told to "go play". Only to get in trouble later for getting wet (I thought wet and snow went hand in hand).I researched how to hide the problems from all the neighborhood kids. I always showed up at their houses, and never invited them over to my place. I researched how to lie really well (saved alot of beatings), I researched how not to cry and take it like a man (brought on a few extra beatings). My research taught me things, like how I could block out noise at night when laying on my bed (cover your ears, hum a tune, and slowly rocking back and forth), how to sleep with my back to the wall, and how to duck for cover.

As I got older, I researched how to buy my own car at 14 years old (paper route), only to have my father tell me he would winterize it, then let the motor freeze up and crack. Got a second one though, and learned how to never depend on people, how to sneak in at 3 am when I was never allowed to leave, and how to fight really good with my fists. Researched the army, and the coast guard at seventeen, decided against it. Researched and found that I would rather be anywhere, with anyone, than at home. Researched drugs and alcohol, not bad. I could live with it or without it. The older I got, the more I lived with it.

As time went on, I researched parenthood. I did this by watching others and acting out the way I thought it was supposed to be done (knowone ever showed me how). Never needed a research on a good work ethic, Father showed me by never being around and always working. Researched spirituality (for me, it is God), I found out He had alot of things planned for me, If I would just give Him the time of day, and the time for research.

Then things began to change, I researched acceptance and found I could get along with people. I researched self control and found that someone can say a rude thing to me, and I'll just keep my mouth shut, look at them, and grin. I researched peace, and found out I could stand through any circumstance. I researched faith and have come to believe in a devine purpose greater than mine. I researched forgiveness and found that clean and sober feels really good. I researched social skills and found out I could carry on a conversation with someone without that "nervous sick to my stomach" feeling anymore. I researched education and found out I am smart, I am not the dumb person my parents said I was. I researched love and found the love of my life, my other half, my soul mate. I researched parenting skills and found out that I'm a really good dad.

So my research history has been survival, and change, all wrapped in to one. I hope this was a much different spin than you've ever had before concerning this assignment, it is all very personal to me.

I search "what"

What I know about my research topic is very small.

1.) I know my daughter was born premature and was on a respirator to keep her alive.

2.) I know just by common knowledge that premee babies can have problems for the rest of their lives.

3.) I also know my daughter had a disease called Respitory Distress Syndrome, and that babies outgrow this disease if they live.

4.) I know that the respirator kept the alvoli sacks in my daughters lungs open so she could breath.

5.) I know that the respirator that kept my daughter alive can ironically cause long term problems in infants (per my AP II book).

6.) I know that her body was not producing enough surfactant, a substance that allows the lungs to inflate at birth and stay inflated (thus the need for the respirator).

7.) I know that some children are born several months premature and are in need of a respirator for weeks, sometimes even months. Comparatively, she was on the respirator a short period of time.

Friday, March 17, 2006

freestyle # 8

My wifes aunt is dieing, I believe that she is in her eighties. She has lived a long life and it's her time to turn the page for the new chapter to begin. It is particularly hard for me to watch my wife and the family go through this. She (the aunt) has wasted away to a very thin frame, she is hospitalized, and is unresponsive even as I write this. She has had her morphine increased as a comfort level. It will be soon, if it happens over the weekend I will not be posting anything. I never had a close family, my relatives could call and tell me an aunt was dead and my reaction would be, "oh, well let me no when the funeral is and I guess I could try to make it." I don't mind that. But what I do mind is seeing my wife grieve. When she cries, I cry, when she is quiet I don't speak a word, when she gets tired from the endless hours at the bedside, I hold her. This is the first time since I've known her that she will be losing a family member. Trust me, with a family the size of hers, she has been very lucky. This is very new territory for me, and even for my mother in law. My wifes mother has 4 siblings and this is the first one that will pass away, it will hit her hard, and I'm worried about her. They have all lived into their 70's and 80's. What's really getting me is the emotions of it all, I feel some of what my wife is feeling. I've lost my own grandparents and have not felt like I do now. It seems that I've grown so used to seeing such an unbelievably tight knit family that now that they are hurting, I am hurting also. But in a weird way, It makes me feel like I kind of belong. Sounds strange, I am 40 years old, and I've
never had a real family. Then it takes my "aunt in law" to show me that I'm more a part of this beautiful family than I ever thought I was going to be. Can't explain it really, God works in mysterious ways. Just needed to get this off my chest.

Prompt Reaction # 8

The things I see....


I take a spring stroll, I don't do this often enough. Usually pushing a baby stroller, I like it though, it slows me down enough to just look around. Winter is beautiful, spring is just as nice, yet with a certain grossness to it. I see the litter that people leave around their yards, (mine included) I wonder if the folks throwing out their cigarettes as they drive along are really dumb enough to think that if the snow covers it, it must be gone. There are enough of the butts alone to start a land fill. Or perhaps the old refrigerator or couch, no really, "I'm sure that this old road is not even town attended. We should just dump them right here!!" Could a person really think this with a clear conscience? Here are just some of the things I see when I walk in the spring.

one condom (used)

seven aluminum soda cans

one old work glove

one bungy cord (could'nt resist the urge to help myself to it, the hooks were still good)

a childrens size sneaker (very old)

one heck of a big dog turd

deer tracks

old tire (with rim) Cause heck, why pay to dispose of it when not only can you pitch it, but you
also get to watch it role, Yeeehaa!!

I'll mention the 587 cigarette butts again. (No, I did not really count them)

Oh, and by the way, did I mention that I stepped in the middle of that island of a turd, picked up about 28 butts on the bottom of my shoe just as my daughter began gleefully yelling, "I pee!", "I pee!" (see freestyle #6).

i would like to say that everyday is a "heaven to me " moment, but today, it just simply was'nt.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

I search background/ Intro?

I rushed my wife to the hospital, it was way to early for her labor pains, I knew something was wrong. Kaileen (my wife) was admitted to the hospital and was put on complete bed rest. The doctor gave her medicine to stop the contractions and at first it worked, but the medicine only prolonged the course that nature would take. My daughter Mariah was born one month early. She would have been born two months early if the hospital stay had not worked. Now I know that perfectly healthy babies are born at eight months of gestation, but not my Mariah, her mother even got a shot to increase the speed of Mariah's lung development a month before she was born . Still, she was born perfectly healthy looking then within a matter of the first 30 minutes started a downward spiral. So there she lay in the incubator struggling for her very life. It was unbelievably hard to stand there, helpless, knowing that whatever the outcome was, you had absolutely no say in the matter. I felt my knees start to buckle under me and I leaned against the recovery room wall as the doctor told me Mariah had Respitory Distress Syndrome, (RDS) he said, "It's a disease that effects a babies breathing and it always gets alot worse before it gets better, so prepare yourselves."

Mariah was a preemee, nothing stopped this fact, so dealing with the concrete absolute was all I knew to do, it was also all that held me together. But questions lingered in my mind, "what kind of problems could my daughter have down the road if she was born a preemee?" I was very ignorant to this, that is until we took Mariah to a yearly reunion that the NICU throws at EMMC. It was there that I began to realize that we were very lucky to have faired as well as we did. I saw some kids looking perfectly healthy, others that were not fairing so well, and even more that would need care attendants for the rest of there lives. I began to ask myself if Mariah could have any emerging problems. I kept this question to myself, only to have it resurface in my AP I class when I read about the disease RDS, and a chemical called surfactant, it is absent in a lot of preemees which requires them to need a respirator to breath. (Mariah needed a respirator) The book went on to say that preemees on respirators had long term problems, some will deal with these problems for the rest of there lives, and that the respirators themselves were the reasons behind the problems. The book said nothing else about this and I was left hanging. So this is my reason for my I search paper, I'm going to research the effects of respirators on premature babies, I hope to find all the information I am looking for. I hope to get some answers.

I search "why"

I am motivated to do my I search on a topic I know little to nothing about. It interests me because it directly effected my daughter in a medical way, and therefore it has effected me in a very personal, mental, and emotional way. If I can find all the possible information I need to satisfy my thirst on this issue, I will be much more educated and will have a clearer understanding of what to expect down the road concerning my daughters health.

My questions are as follows:

What are the long term affects of respirators on preemee babies?

Are there medical problems down the road?

What particular medical problems?

Does it involve the vision? I've heard, (unsubstantiated rumor), there may be a yes answer to this question.

Are there allergy problems?

Are they food related or histamine (environment) related?

If there are problems, what can be done?

If there are problems, do they outgrow them?

This is just a start and I welcome all your input.

Freestyle # 6

My daughter had a "code Brown" yesterday morning, it was one of the the funniest things I have ever seen in my life. About 6 AM my wife and I awoke to my daughter yelling " I pee!", "I pee!". This is our obvious indicator that Mariah wants to use the bathroom. She is 20 months old, and we have never sat her on the toilet, she simply watched her brother and at 17 months, just simply looked at the toilet, pointed to it, and stated, "I pee". After that, we just started putting her on when she indicated. She would go to the bathroom, clap her hands to applaud herself, say "yaa!", then get down and wave bye- bye to her dissappearing accomplishment as it flushed away. Well, yesterday she payed us back for all the easy going that we have had. My wife entered the room and all I heard was , "oh, dear! Brian, I really need your help!!" It was unbelievable, Mariah had managed to get out of her one piece zippered pajamas, and pulled off her completely filled diaper. But my little snuggle-boo did'nt stop there. She then grabbed handfulls of the stuff and decided the end of her crib was her new canvas and she the art student. Apparently at one point, she wanted to test its gravitational pull because there were gobs of it scattered around the floor, I practically had to clean a path from the door in just to get to the crib without stepping in it, it was like a mine field. By this time my wife had plucked her out of the crib and was starting to shower her, when I went in to survey the scene, it was priceless, she had it on her cheeks, in her hair, and still had one hand completely full with it. All the while, my little one is yelling so proudly, "I pee!", "I pee!", and giggling like she had just done something beautiful. I love children, they are full of such honest emotion, until someone shows them any kind of right from wrong, they'll just wing it, all the while feeling great about themselves and what they have done.

Intro # 2 classification essay

I love to play my guitar, although it has been hard to find the time. I pulled it from the case and noticed the dull color on the strings around the frequently used frets. Sweat from your hands tend to break these babies down, particularly the high E string. It does not favor time, it will almost always break when tuning after storing it for a prolonged period of time. What type should I use this time to restring my guitar?

intro # 1 classsification essay

I pull my guitar from its case and start a fimiliar tune, then as I suspect, the age of the strings show true and I hear that snap. Its time for new strings, but which should I buy, there are so many to choose from.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Graf # 12 Cassification reaction

They were an interesting read, although I am not sure if I grasp the full idea about a classification essay. They all seemed to be very sexest.

Freestyle # 7

Took my motorcycle out of the basement on Thursday, it snowed.. shoot!! Anyways, its sitting in the front yard calling to me, well,... not really,.... but I sure can't wait for the day to come. Maybe this Tuesday, when I have an evening class, I could take a ride without having to bring my two children (I don't have a sidecar :)). It is quite early in the morning (3 am) and I just got done my shift at work, I pulled this up from where I had it saved a few days ago as a draft. I wanted to get this freestyle posted so as to stay current, I posted the two intros for the classification essay but I don't know if I'm doing them correctly. Mind is racing with questions, wish I had a switch to shut them off, or at least a filter. Will I find enough info for the i search paper? Will I have the courage to apply for the nursing program this year (only seven months till its application time again). Actually I am sure I will apply, but as odd as it sounds, I'm already thinking about whether or not I could swing all the studying with two young children and a full time job. My wife says it's as good as done, since I however am the one who will be in the thick of it, some days I wonder. I think I would not be human if I did'nt question my own ability. Well, I'm getting blurry eyed and I still have to drive home, (I'm in the hospitals computer room) so, I'm outa here.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

prompt reaction #7

# 29 for want of a nail..

I like this prompt, it reminds me of how important it is to pay attention to the little things. Like the saying, "you can't see the forest for the trees". We can get so busy in our lives that we dont take a look at the whole picture. For example, a business doing the same thing, the same way, for years only because, "thats the way its always been done", and in doing so, they step right over a dollar to save that little dime. I think sometimes I get so wrapped trying to problem solve a situation that I try to take care of the symptoms rather than attacking the real problem, all for the want of my horseshoe nail.

Prompt reaction #6

#27 The safest place in the world... is silence. It is never fully appreciated. I like the silence in my car when I pull in to my house after a long drive, shut down the motor, and just sit. I'm in a rural area so the inside of my car is completely silent. Just stop and really listen to it. No murmuring people, loud children, or out of control animals under your feet, just pure innocent, calming, silence. It's a beautiful thing. Keeping a silent tongue is a very safe thing to do. Ever open your mouth and stick your foot so far down it that your sure it would take a team of surgeons to get it out? I sure have! Then you kick yourself 100 times over by re-accounting the conversation and imagining that you said the right thing rather than the wrong. God gave me two ears and one mouth, the way I figure it, I should listen twice as much as I talk. I try to practice this, and have intentionally kept quiet, only to later find that if I had opened my mouth, it would have been another trip to the OR. Silence is a safe place for me, I like it.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

graf # 11 metagraf

We don't get much time together, my wife, children and I. I was watch Starwars episode two with my wife andchildren, then followed that up with yet another sci-fi kids movie. All the family has left now for a birthday party, I would have went except for that pesky eng.101 course that I thought I could handle on the web. Opened it up to find that I am way behind and am trying hard to catch up. My mind then drifted, I sat in front of the lap top but looked beyond it out into the front yard thinking, "I don't care how cold it is , if all that snow would just leave, I could get my bike out." Then wow, it hit me, I could write the graf about my love for bike riding. Started, re-started, went to the bathroom, started differently, saved different intros and outros, then just kept writing. I almost fell asleep at the keyboard (bed at 430 am, up with family at 700am).
Left it in the middle for a while, wisely saved the draft every few sentences,(wifes advice) came back to find the connection gone. (Reminder to self, give big kiss to wife when she returns). I think I struggled to much with it, I think it's a little sappy. If I could change it, I would take some of the whole "one with the bike crap out." (although some people may enjoy that feeling). i'm not sure it is worthy of sharing. In some places maybe not sappy enough. What do you think?

outro for cause essay

I like riding bikes so much that I plan for my next bike to be a Harley Davidson. This will be a considerable investment but one that is well worth it when we are talking about a true love, a passionate persuit. I can't wait to bring one of those magnificient machine to life, letting it rumble me down the road as we begin our brand new relationship, as we begin to feel as one.

intro 2 cause essay

I start getting anxious as soon as the snow starts to melt. Frankly, even if it's twenty degrees out I still want to hop on my motorcycle and go for a quilk little spin. I'm a biker, it's in my blood, it's what I am, it's what I'll always be.

five graf cause essay 2

I love to ride my motorcycle, when I was young, my dad sold motor cycles as a hobby. My brother and I were on dirt bikes at a very young age, and my dad always had an endless supply of different models for us to try. This had led to my having a literal craving to own a street bike for many years. Three years ago, I took the step and bought a street bike for personal, as well as practical reasons. I plan to keep this bike for a very long time.

The practicality of owning a street bike is undeniable. My model is a Kawasaki Vulcan 500cc. I can take a pasenger along with me, I can find a parking space just about anywhere, and my bike gets 56 miles per gallon. My insurance is one third the price for my bike than for my mini van. The investment needed to mainain a motorcycle is minimal (not alot of parts that break on a bike). But even with this fact, I purchased an extended protection plan that includes all oil changes for life, and three full services. After this riding season, I will be in the black with this plan, the third and final full service and all the oil changes from then on will be freebees.

The feelings I get when riding is very personal to me, I love to take slow summer drives on the old back roads of Maine that I never knew existed. I love the challenge of navigating my bike around Maines infamous potholes, the curvy dipping roads, some of them were certainly put in where old woods roads used to be, with no ryme nor reason as to what direction they went. I like the spring with all the new life bursting forth around you. Particularly though, my favorite season on my bike is fall, no Maine june bugs almost knocking you off your bike. The scenery at foiliage season is truly breathtaking. I follow particular trees on my rides, watching them change day by day from their calming greens, to the ever slight yellows, blazing orange, then to the drying red.

As I sit so close to my engine that shoots me down the street, I feel a connection to the machine, as if she and I are one. When I turn she turns, when I lean she also leans, when someone comes close to cutting me off and I need to make a fast exit, she always wisks me away to safety. I feel an incredible sense of freedom when riding, it's as though I can fly and knowone has authority over me. It reminds me of some good times when I was younger. I'll take all the good memories I can get.

This will be my fourth season this summer, I cant wait. I'll save gas, get to smell the great spring, summer, and fall air (I ride March to November). I'll be begging my wife to tell me of something we are running low on in the house, just for an excuse to ride to the store and back. And those memories, that familiar feeling, will visit me once again. I love to ride my motorcycle.

intro1Cause essay

I bought a motorcycle, it was the open rode feeling that got to me. you can dart to and fro with such freedom, it's as if you were flying. This coming summer will be my third season on a street bike and I can't wait for the snow to finally leave. I'm getting cabin fever and need to feel that breeze against my body.

freestyle #5

"Lifes most embarrassing moments"


When I first met my wife, we became just mere aquaintances. But as time grew, so did our interest for each other. I'm a sort of stubborn fella, and I think it took me much more time to warm up to kaileen than it did for her to me. Back then I did'nt socialize very often, and going to visit any of her family was just simply out of the question. But my wife, none the less would always invite me, and encourage me to go to the "get togethers" that her family had. After the first year or so of our marriage, I one day mustered up the courage to go with my wife to her sister and brother in-laws house to visit and play cards. I needless to say, was so nervous I felt as though I was going to puke. My brother in-law did'nt help things much, he's a short, skinny little guy with a joke for everything, and has the thickest mustache I have ever seen in my life, it's huge. He buys magnifying glasses to read with from a drug store (you know those kind, they're 2 inches thick) . When he looks directly at you, it looks like a bull frog peaking up at you through a couple of inches of ice on a frozen lake. After a short period of time, and alot of awkward conversations latter, we began playing cards. They were all very patient with me, (I had never played a hand of cards in my entire life, I still remember the game, it was 3 13). The conversations were slow and quarded, so they could all take their time to check me out, kinda get a feel for me. It was at this quiet moment that one of my wifes nephews said something that I felt was particularly funny, as I tried to stiffle a laugh the unexpected happened. Let me just come right out and say it, I cut a huge fart! I mean it was monstorous! One of the children cried, my wifes hair was blowing sidewards from the breeze, I thought the family would think someone blew a tire out in front of the house. It was one of those echoing kind, as if you backed your naked backside up to a hollow luan interior door and just "let'r rip!" To make matters worse, I tried to stop that bad boy mid blow!! (never try this, God never intended for these kind of gases to be held inside) All that did was create such a pressure that it changed it's tone right in the middle, as if I was trying for my own rendition of the national anthem. After the mushroom cloud settled there was complete silence, knowone moved, knowone spoke, everyone just stared at me. I had no idea what to do, I was mortified, I just stared straight ahead which was where my brother in-law (Don) was sitting. Then all of a sudden, Don peaks up over his cards (all I could see was this huge mustache and four inch round eyes!) and with a very low raspy voice says, "Welcome to the family!!!" Then a table full of 13 of my new family errupted in laughter, it was just what I needed to break the ice, I felt alot better after that laugh, and I realized I had just passed some kind of weird test. Kaileen and I have been together for almost nine years now, and Don and I are quite close. To this day the majority of times we meet, he opens up with a "welcome to the family".

Prompt reaction #5

This story begins... 25d.

First alarm rings...if I could chuck a pillow with marksman percision, I would crush that evil thing. I instead (do to my honeys pictures and delicate nicknacks) choose to stumble to the clock, a simple slap later and I get another nine minutes of sleep. Falling back into silence within the first 30 seconds that my head hits the pillow. I do not get the sleep, my children are up and running, Mariah's jumping up and down in her crib and my son is in the bathroom. I try to prompt my boy into getting dressed without assistance while I tend to Mie-Mie (that's what I call her). The morning routine is the usual, the occasional outburst from the 19 month old, my son fights with me to watch tv instead of eating his cereal. All in all we make it to his school on time, he gives me the huge hug good bye, and I'm off to other races. No, not other races, just routines. I like them, they give me security, I'm one of those "like to know where and when everything will be happening"kind of guys. I'm still spontaneous, it's just that lifes expectancies can be a blessing to a needed piece of mind. Although this one day in particular, I had a jolt to my daily grind. I was putting along in my car "stinky", (dont ask, the whole family calls her this) doing my usual gawking when the car in front of me (actually a jeep) stopped for a stop light. I'm sure you can guess what happened next, (although I would like to say that she stopped quilk, or that she was trying desperately to miss the nun that was helping the blind lady cross the street) I ran smack into the back of her (I thank God the children were not with me). The impact was very small, but enough to run the front of my car under the spare tire that was mounted on the back of her vehicle. This seemed to push her forward a little as well as lift her backend up, then it awkwardly settled back down. My embarrassment was enormous, but my concern for her safety far outweighed my embarrassing moment. As she got out, I yelled to her, "are you ok? I'm so sorry, I can't believe I just did that to you!" Now I'm a little cranked from the idiotic thing that I just did, and feeling stupid, but the true shocker is what happens next. This woman looks directly at me, makes full eye contact, and says with a very soothing, calm voice, "Yes, I'm just fine, everything is alright." I again, refusing to believe the obvious, and fearing an "oh, my neck!!" scam, asked her again. "are you sure you're ok? Did I hurt you in any way?" As I was saying this, I squatted down to look at the back of her vehicle. "Sh#t", I mumble quietly under my breath. She heard me, and as I got back up she stepped closer, this time she gently put her hand on the outside of my arm, it was such a soft touch that you knew it was meant for nothing but support. Then she says, "don't worry about this old thing, there's no harm done here, everything is just fine". (I'm thinking to myself, "compared to stinky you got a rolls royce.") Then I realize that she has'nt even glanced in the direction of the damage, only directly at me, as if realizing I was visibly stressed, and rather than concern herself with the replacable materialistic things in life, she choose to help another person she saw struggling. The fact that I was the one who just struck her automobile was'nt even of concern to her, but making sure that
I was ok was. Now as quilkly as I met this woman she disapeared, she left me with a smile and one last remark, "well, take care of yourself, and have a much better day." With that she jumped in her vehicle and off she went. I was very humbled that day, I had an intimate moment with a total stanger, and in that moment she gave me the gift of yet another lesson on the importance of kindness. We should always treat others as we would want to be treated, regardless of the circumstances.

Reaction cause essays graf # 9

So many to read, I particularly found the one concerning domestic violence to be quite unenjoyable (made me sick to my stomach). Yet it is such an important issue to know about, it cannot be kept silent. The girlfriend who's boyfriend had the little girl is a selfish, ignorant, individual, she would'nt have lasted 10 seconds with me when I was raising my daughter alone! Sounds like the six year old was more mature than she was.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

freestyle #4

"I dont know"

Here I sit at 2 am trying to catch up. Wow, bad night at work, one code, (very bad one) I hate those. You hope like heck that knowone gets hurt, and pray even more that it's not you. It all turned out ok, except it was literally on a flight of stairs, I'm so sore now, back aches, leg got banged hard, jambed a finger on something on the way down, not sure what. It was so weird to be laying at an angle on someone, trying to immobilize them and prevent someone from getting injured. I've pondered what it would be like to code someone literally on a flight of stairs, unfortunately now I know. But the great news is, all is safe, and except for a bump or bruise everyone was fine. Anyways, my mind is spinning as I consider this course and my future. I'm positive nursing is for me. However, this course is stirring something from inside of me, I can hardly find the time to get out this laptop, I get home from work and am beat, must do homework, (1am-3 or4am is my quiet time, my me time, my study time) then rise at the crack of dawn to care for my children. Did I mention I type unbelievably slow, I fell very intimidated by these assignments, I dread getting to this blog site but yet when I start writing It feels great. My mind feels like it comes alive, like all that thinking and racing that goes on in my head as meant for pages. My wife read some of the blogs I wrote and cried, she says I should have been a writer and that I missed this true thing in my life, (very bias opinion) I just said, "Nah, you just want the money! Ha! Oops, now its 240 am, (see, 40 minutes just for this) and I gotta get up at 6am to get the kids ready for church. I just let my mind go for this freestyle, hope you dont mind.

Person Graf #8

Some people are just so darn good at what they do, ever look up to someone like that? Someone who made the job look easy? I new just such a person, his name was Matt. Matt works as a psychiatric nurse at a hospital were I also work. Psych. nursing is especially difficult, not only are you a medical nurse, but you also learn to master phyciatric treatment administered to very sick individuals. His specialty was dealing with an angry potentially violent patient. First there was his voice tone, the louder a patient began to shout, the lower and more quiet his voice became. He was an expert at problem solving and providing alternatives for an angered patient, this often times prevented a physical intervention in which the patient would calm and then agree to some form of resolution. But what I love the most about this guy is his ability to determine when to put a patient into a physical restraint. First of all he's enormous, very physically fit, and unbelievably fast. One time a young adult became very upset and threatened to stab any staff that tried to approach him (he had a very sharp pencil in his hand). He then stated he had every intention of killing himself. As this was happening, and as several staff were trying to talk the young man into putting down the pencil, Matt just kept sliding closer and closer to the patient. All of a sudden, Matt just simply says,"John,(made up name for confidentiality reasons) so what you trying to tell me is".. then they were on the floor. Matt had the patient in a restraint, I immediately dove for the hand with the pencil, and everything worked out well. Another time Matt said to a patient who was holding about one dozen staff at bay, "hey, are those your shoes?" as the patient took his eyes away from staff, again, on the floor they were. I've witnessed, or been a part of, countless numbers of times in which Matt waited until there was no other alternative, selected the perfect moment, and provided safety for someone who was out of control. I try to use his techniques, I try to model my de-escalation skills after his. I admire Matt and all the hard work he does, just don't look down if he asks what kind of shoes you're wearing!

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

prompt reaction #4

# 16 "Pretend someone is writing about you, now be that person"

As I sit in this class waiting for it to start, I notice he has beaten me here again. It seems he has no where to go. I can't imagine coming in as early as he does. I remember once he was late (for his timing, still 15 minutes early for class) and came through the door like a bull moose. First, there is the odd shuffle he sometimes has when he is walking, it's as if he's the baby bird just shoved out of the nest and is speeding toward the ground flapping like crazy all the while knowing there will be a sudden thud at the end. He only talks to 1 or 2 people, and only sits over there with the other students who usually get 100's on their exams. He stares at people alot, kinda like he's trying to figure you out, makes me very nervous. If you make eye contact with him while he's staring, he just smoothes it over by giving you the head nod as if to be saying hi. Then he follows it up with a slight smile, but only from the sides of his mouth, he'll then quickly look away. He gets very disheveled, when class starts and the teacher is lecturing is when he decides to pull out everything he needs for class. He starts with looking at the bookbag (bright yellow, L.L. Beans) and staring at it as if to say, "I know I paid for the "open yourself up" option, why won't the darn thing work?" After a few seconds in this catatonic state, he unzips it, pulls out several books that have nothing to do with class, and gives them the, "how did you get in there look," but it does'nt end there. He then goes in for round two, and thank goodness the second attempt is always successful. As he puts the correct text on the table, he knocks several pieces of the extra literature onto the floor, and has to push his chair backward (making that disruptive scrapping sound)across the floor to get an angle on his runaways. There is a part of me that finds him quite entertaining, and charming, (in a Magoo sort of way) and another part that gets very annoyed. On several occasions the teacher has waited for him to quite down, giving him that polite, fixed gaze with her pleasant smile. Then very softly asks, "are you all set? I wanted to wait until everyone was ready." Everyone ready? How could she say that, what she should really say is, "just waiting on you pal!" I'll bet what she's really thinking is, "please God, make it stop, I can't go on like this!" She must have birthed 17 children, because I see the patience of Job here. When he asks a question, it's so deep I can't follow it. Although, that 100's table all seem to nod their heads in approval. Oh shoot, just got my exam grade back, a 68. Maybe I should talk to this guy, maybe he could give me some help.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Freestyle #3

"leave your mark"

Just sitting, writing, and thinking about life. Ever wonder what everything is for? I used to wonder that all the time, I was very lucky to find my peace. I see so many others just searching, searching, searching! I got so overly involved, I started to feel like the smallest mouse in a big rat race being consumed as anothers meal. Ever wonder if you will ever make your mark in life? Maybe you'll be someone important, or rich and famous? I gave up on that notion a long time ago, I learned where to leave my mark. It will be a small mark, I plan to create my own heritage, I have a wife that shows me how much she loves me every day, what a gift. She has no idea just how much it means. I try to explain it to her, but I'm afraid I fall way short of its real significance. I have beautiful children, and they will know what it is like to be in a loving home, supportive, nurturing, and most of all, forgiving. My children will not carry a cycle of hurt, and pain, and pass it down through the generations. No, it all stops here, with my realization that life is full of change. If I try real hard, I can change mine for the better. Now don't get me wrong, I don't live in a fantasy world, my life will always have its challenges, its ups and downs. I will always remember those little eyes are watching, and most importantly waiting for my example, well that just makes me want to be a better man. I want my children, and someday grandchildren, to know were I stand on morals, commitments, and values. I will give them a firm rock and foundation to count on when they need direction. That's what I will do, that is my mark....I guess it's not all that small of a mark after all.

prompt reaction #3

"The man no one knew"

As I seem to recall I was 11 years old when I saw him, he came riding into town on a pale horse, and no one seemed to know who he was. A stranger was not a new thing around here, come cattle driven time the town fills with strangers. He was early, the cattlemen would'nt be through til another week or so, no one seemed to rekon why he stayed round. He was a quiet fella, stayed to himself, never went to the saloon to wiskey up, or visit the woman. Maw said he was up to no good, "always peeking around the buildings, just aint right." as she put it. Then came that time, and our usually dead town was thriven on fast tempered men, wanten a break an raising hell to get it. Sherriff was usually pretty busy with the usual things you'd spect from that sort of crowd. The occasional drunken fight in the saloon, or taking a gun from an angry cowboy that just lost his take in card game. Paw was the barkeep so I got to stay up late, usually watching the happenings from the second floor railing. Then it happened, the doors to the saloon opened slow and in walked the stranger, he didn't say anything just yelled out a name. Hank Roberts!? A man playing cards from the other side of the room answered as the music stopped and people began clearing a path between Roberts and the stanger. "Who's askin?" He replied, barely looking up from the cards. Several men (I counted 5, but as stories go, someone even said there were 10) stood to assist Roberts. The stranger did'nt say all but one word as people began screaming and ducking for cover. " ... "Death". As guilkly as he spoke it, he drew a pistol in each hand and began shooting. The men around Roberts dropped faster than a jack rabbit. The smell of gun powder was so strong were I was hiding, it almost burnt my nose. It was the strangers powder, the men never got off a single shot. The only one left was Roberts himself, staring at the stanger, and still sitting at the table. "Should'nt have done what you did," the stranger said. Roberts jumped to his feet with a look of fear in his eyes screaming, "You!! But you're dead!!" It was to late, before Roberts even fully swung his coat out of the way of his gun the stranger dropped him, it was over as fast as it started. The stranger turned around to walk out and I yelled out to him from behind my hiding beam, " why'd ya do it mister!?" I aint never gonna forget what he said, this time his voice was scratchy and scary, "some people just need a good killen." Then he looked up at me and said, "you go on home boy , aint nothing to see hear." Two hours later a posse came looking for the Roberts men, they had killed a family three towns back (A man a woman and their two children) and had stolen all the cattle. The family did'nt have much, no relatives in the area, heck the men said all they owned was their cattle, and that one pale horse.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Things graf # 7

"What's this Daddy?", my six year old son asked me with great enthusiasm.
He was curiously examining the contents to a very old jewerly box that belonged to a now deceased grandmother. Somehow during the course of the funeral and saying my goodbyes it managed to find its way into my possession, kinda like my own piece of Nanny Runnells to have with me. It came to me empty, but over the years I had thrown trivial pieces of jewelry in it. But my son held up a medal with a ribbon attached to it, it was an accomplishment I had long since forgotten. I did'nt know the medal was in this box, it was quite tarnished, and the once bright red, white, and blue ribbon had started to turn to a dingy brown."Oh, that's just something that used to belong to your dad", I explained. The closer I got to the old box the more I began to take notice of its contents. The first thing that struck me funny was the Evil Kenevil (not sure of the spelling) watch. I could not believe that I had managed to drag that around for the 30 years since it had been made. But there it was, a Bradley watch with the date 1976 printed on the face, and a picture of Mr. Kenevil doing a wheelie on his motorcycle, cape trailing behind. My old high school ring was also there, about a dozen 50 cent John F. Kennedy coins, One 2$ bill, a bunch of shooting medals, several old watch bands, (I have no idea why I would have put them there), and several earrings that I used to wear. I explained each item to my son, he asked several questions about the shooting medals, then felt of each one closely as if he had found a great basket of gold.
"But daddy, you forgot to tell me about this one". As he held up the medal with the ribbon my mind began to drift back 23 years, and I began to remember how I managed to earn that medal. When I was 15 years old, my older brother and I started shooting at a junior rifle range. We went twice a week and both had paper routes to fund our membership dues, and pay for ammunition. We shot 22 caliper rifles at targets 50 feet away, and was allowed only official peep sights on the rifles. I remembered how important it was for my brother and I to go, any time out of the house was less time abused. My brother, being older always had a bigger route than me, so he always had more money. Sometimes I would'nt have enough, so my brother would pay my way then complain, "well, you're gonna have to pay me back!!" Funny thing, he never asked me for it the next time I got my route money (he did this for me for years). When I was 16 I competted in the club championship, it was for all ages and anyone could win. You shot three rounds of ten shots in four positions. There was prone, sitting, kneeling, and the final, and toughest, standing. It was just you and the rifle (nothing to lean against). The competition had a fierce turn out, and by the end of the day (and to everyones amazement, including my own) I had managed to win the championship. I can't explain how it happened, the club instructors said they could'nt remember anyone my age ever winning before. Not only had I beaten all the 16 year olds, but I also held off the 17 and 18 year olds, they were the ones who usually won the competition. I'm sure to a lot of people that day this was a small thing, but to me it was tangable. It was my reality, my proof. I had just proven to myself that there were liars in this world, people who meant you harm. The best thing was, they were wrong. (I'll call them the voices) No, they are not in my head, they are very much alive. I gained a little insight that day, I believed their cruel words just a little less than before. I tucked this revelation deep inside of me and showed it to knowone, when I struck out on my own at 18 it helped me get through a lot of things. I knew I could make a life for myself because of that one medal. I know it sounds sappy, but it's true, and very real to me even to this day.
"Daddy?" His cute little voice snapped me out of my day dream, "Are you gonna tell me daddy?".
"Oh, that's just something that used to belong to your dad".
"O.k., so can I wear it?"
"Ya honey, you certainly can", as I pinned the medal on his little shirt, he looked up at me and exclaimed, "now I'm just like you daddy, pretty cool huh?" Then off he ran to play in his room with his new found treasure. I remember coming out of my half dream state and realizing there were tears in my eyes. I think I will tell him some day what the medal really means to me, maybe, when he's 16.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

unique graf #6

Sometimes my mind races faster than I care for, this has good and bad points. Some days it makes it very hard to concentrate, other days I can hear the five other conversations in a resturant (even tell you what they are talking about) all the while paying attention to my own. I love motorcycles, really fast old cars, and guns (Yes I own a few, and yes they are locked way away from my children). I sing at my church alot. As a matter of fact, I have sang in front of 850 poeple with no problem, but being in a small crowded room of stangers makes me really uncomfortable. I love working with the adolescent to young adult population (16-24), they are great. Being around other adults is not my favorite thing to do, sometimes their conversations are so critical of others that it makes me cringe, and makes me nervous (just imagine what they say about me when I'm not around). I love to play my guitar for my 6 year old. We bought him a drum set, and a small guitar, he tries to play with me. (I do not do this anywhere near as much as I should). My family is my life, don't get me wrong, I'm not a co-dependant who has to have somebody to revolve around or die of lonliness. I've been the route of being alone, I did'nt mind it at all. It's just that I never had a family, so I appreciate my wife and children more than they will ever know. I love to smell my children, I'm sure this sounds weird to you parentless folks, but those of you with children know what I mean. When I get home from work it's usually 1 in the morning (or so), I go into my 19 months old room, lean into her crib, and just take a sniff. That little baby smell is incredible, then off to my sons room to give him a sniff as well (since there is no crib railing to navigate around, he also gets a hug.) I have not drank or drugged in13 years. I would rather hide away with a movie and my family on a Saturday night than anything else in the world. I will not argue with my wife in front of the kids. I love football (don't watch much), and my favorite color is black. Oh, one more thing, dogs rule!