Tuesday, July 29, 2014

A Summer of Swimming

When this summer started, I made it my goal to go to the local pool once a week. I didn't quite make that because of storms and heath issues, but we've gone quite a bit.

The last few years we haven't gone swimming much at all and when we were at Disney last year, Emily kept getting out of the pool to wipe the water off of her face. She had fun but she hated being splashed, especially in the face.

I knew the more we went to the pool, the better she'd be with water. She has loved the pool, though her swimming is still not great. I was super proud of her that she put her face in the water a few weeks ago and last Sunday, she went under. I had to hold her and go under with her, but it's progress!

I think swimming is a skill that everyone should have. I'm not a strong swimming but I know how to do it. Next summer, we'll probably get Emily into actual swimming lessons now that she's less afraid of the water.

The local pool closes for the season on August 15th - I'm hoping to get a couple more trips in before the summer is over.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Firefly Online

Image: www.facebook.com/FireflyOnlineGame
Like most geeks out there, I've been watching the news coming out of San Diego Comic Con for the last several days. The news that excites my Browncoat heart the most is the fact that the whole cast of Firefly is lending their voices to the new MMO, Firefly Online.

Talk of the Firefly Online game has been floating around the internet for years. I love MMO's so I'd know that I'd want to play if it ever came a reality. Seemingly, soon we'll be able to all be Big Damn Heroes in cyberspace.

I have been trying to pre-register for several days and the site has been down. I went to the developer's Facebook page and found out this morning that the website had crashed their ISP and got them banned. We Browncoats are certainly mighty.

As soon as the site is back up, I, along with other Browncoats, will pre-register. And eagerly await the day when we can play in our favorite universe!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Weird Al

Image: www.facebook.com/weirdal/
I've been a Weird Al Yankovic fan for many years. Even before I was a filk fan, which came later. I loved Weird Al's song parodies, often more than the original song.

Like other Weird Al fans, I've been enjoying all the new videos from his new album. Eight videos in eight days, I think, was a great idea to get the stuff out there. My facebook and twitter feeds have been full of Weird Al all week.

It reminded me of the time that I saw him in concert - before I was a fan of his music.

When I was younger, the old Monkees tv show started doing re-runs. My sister and I became big fans so when the Monkees did their tour in the mid-80s my parents got us tickets. It was at the Allegan County Fair, I believe.

We waited excitedly for the Monkees to come on (sans Mike) when the opening act came on. It was Weird Al! This was the first time I heard of him and his music, but he was very popular at that time. A lot of people in the audience were there to just see him.

I didn't get a lot of it and was a bit confused by the parody of it all. When I got a bit older, I started to actually become a fan of his.

I look fondly back at the time when I saw him live. I know he sang "Like a Surgeon" but I don't remember any of the other songs. But if he toured again, I might go see Weird Al - as a fan this time.

Friday, July 18, 2014

The Isolation of Chronic Pain

Image: http://chronicheadaches.files.wordpress.com/
I talk about my chronic pain a lot, but a lot of time my words are guarded. I try to not to seem too depressed about it, because I've lost friendships in part because of my chronic pain.

Yesterday my pain levels were very high. The highest they have been in a long time. I couldn't do much beyond lay in bed and watch TV. Emily joined me for a while and colored while I watched TV. I managed to get out of bed to make dinner, but that's all I did yesterday. I even missed Todd going to work because I was napping and that made me sad.

On high pain days, I try to stay off social media because I don't want to complain too much. But that just another thing that isolates me. I don't have a lot of real life friends so most of my friendships / human interaction comes from the internet. But I also don't want to lose the friends I have now.

I worry that Todd will leave me because of my pain too - though he's been around since the beginning of it and stuck around so far. I've already lost friends, family, in part because I deal with this invisible illness.

The invisible part makes me isolated too. I don't look sick, even yesterday when I was considering going to the ER because the pain was that bad. I don't look like I feel - if I did, I'd have a huge head wound. As it is, it's all internal.

I never want sympathy, but I'd love to be able to talk openly about how I'm feeling. I'd like someone or someones who I could text and not worry that I'm being too depressing. But that just leads to bad things. I've lost two "best" friends in part because of my chronic pain, and that hurts a lot. I'm not perfect and goodness knows that I've made mistakes in my life, but nothing to warrant the pain and isolation that I suffer from.

I do have good things in my life and I try to focus on that. I still can work, I have Todd and Emily, I do have friends in my computer and my health, while crappy, is better than other people's out there. I just wish there was a way for me to be honest with how I feel everyday, with the highs and the lows. But for now, I will probably stay a bit guarded, no matter how isolating it may be.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Herself the Elf

Image: http://cliqueypizza.files.wordpress.com/
Over the last few years, several childhood favorites have been rebooted. With the huge success of My Little Pony, it's not a big surprise that other classic cartoons are getting new shows. Just today, it was announced that Rainbow Brite is getting a reboot.

I liked Rainbow Brite and My Little Pony, but I would be very surprised if my favorite 80's show got a new century reboot. That show was Herself the Elf.

I'm not sure why I loved Herself the Elf so much, but it was a great show. It was a little dark, though the characters were cute. It felt a little like the Rankin/Bass Lord of the Rings cartoons. Plus it was very much a fantasy which has been my preferred genre since I was small

Too bad Herself the Elf faded into obscurity, so I don't see it coming back. There are a handful of YouTube videos out there so I can relive my childhood if I want. 

Does anyone remember Herself the Elf?

Friday, July 11, 2014


Yesterday after work (and after our power came back on after a brief outage), Emily and I sat down to watch the classic movie, Ghostbusters.

She really enjoyed it. She loved the Staypuft Marshmellow Man at the end - she described him as cute and smiling and evil. She wasn't scared at all by the ghosts in the movie. Immediately, she wanted to watch Ghostbusters 2 once we were done.

She liked Ghostbusters 2 even more - because of the baby. She danced and sang with the Ghostbusters theme song and once Ghostbusters 2 was over, she wanted to watch it again.

I'm really glad that she liked it!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Classic Geeky Movies

I tweeted the above tweet last night. I was kind of joking about Ghostbusters being a classic when I first tweeted, but the more I thought about it, it really is.

I'm 37 years old and my youth is behind me. I don't feel that much different than I did when I was in my twenties, so it's hard to believe that it's nearly been 20 years since I graduated from high school. I'm firmly in my middle aged years and I want to share my favorite things from my younger days with Emily.

Emily is five now so she's old enough to see some of the classics. We've already watched The Dark Crystal, and she really liked it. Her favorite parts were the ones with Fizzgig. She's not scared by much so it didn't scare her at all.

Today we will watch Ghostbusters, which is one of my all-time favorite movies. Other classics on the list are Star Wars, Labyrinth, Goonies, and The Last Starfighter. All geek staples from the 70's and the 80's.

I hope that she'll like the movies that I love. I've been holding back from showing her Star Wars because I may feel a bit crushed if she doesn't like it. Plus I can't find my DVD of A New Hope. But since it's suppose to be stormy this week, it's a good time to start watching some classics.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014


As a kid, I always loved fireworks. I didn't like the noise so much when I was younger, but when we went to Disney World I got over my fear of the noise. My mom had told me that if I didn't put my hands over my ears, we could stay to watch some cartoons at the Main Street Cinema.

Since then, I always loved watching fireworks. Generally I'd see them at Tulip Time and at the 4th of July. My uncle was the head of the FOP in Bay City for many years when I was a teenager, so we'd get to sit really close for the fireworks every 4th.

I never really thought anything about the booms I'd hear at night around the 4th. I actually like hearing the sounds through my open windows as a kid. And then I had a baby of my own.

The moment I had a tiny being that didn't sleep very well, I hated the booms I'd hear at night. I'd curse the people setting them off, especially the ones who would do it really late at night.

Thankfully, Emily is a pretty sound sleeper now. But every time I hear fireworks at night, I cringe. I don't want her to wake up because my neighbors are shooting off fireworks at all hours of the night.

Being a parent really changed my view lots of things, including fireworks.