double_mischief: (wine)
Name / Kind of Wine: California Merlot
Producer / Importer: Buffalo Grove
Vintage Year: 2004
Price: $14.75
Color, Aroma, Flavor, etc: Subtle tannins; fresh cherry, raspberry and damp earth aromas; deep flavors of ripe red fruit; smooth and rich finish.
Overall Rating: 7
Serving Suggestions: Room temperature or slightly chilled for 15 minutes. Grilled salmon, pastas with red sauce, mushroom risotto and pork tenderloin.
Comments: Very smooth and mellow for a red.
double_mischief: (fall)
I'm posting select examples of [livejournal.com profile] shadowbat's schoolwork on his LJ, for anyone who's interested.
double_mischief: (winter)
Though I'm Wiccan and observe Yule as a "religious holiday," we (my nuclear family) participate in Christmas as a secular, gift-giving winter holiday. There are many reasons for this, not the least of which is the fact that [livejournal.com profile] shadowbat's birthday is on Yule. Of course, it's been years since I've really been into the winter holidays. I used to really enjoy the festivities, but the past...probably close to decade...I have been tremendously apathetic, if not actually hostile to the idea.

Read more... )
double_mischief: (Default)
[livejournal.com profile] shadowbat went on a field trip to the symphony yesterday, and came home to tell us all how much he liked it.

This is the kid who hasn't admitted to enjoying anything since he was a zygote. He hates everything. His life is one big sucking black hole of misery, to hear him tell it. Yet he liked the symphony. Knock me over with a feather.

Next task is to figure out what he liked about it and get him involved in similar activities. Maybe music lessons, or maybe just music appreciation.
double_mischief: (Default)
Well, it wasn't as bad as I'd feared. Recent behavior issues aside, [livejournal.com profile] shadowbat's teacher (and the school counselor) agreed that he's doing much better and seems much more social and happy than he did at the beginning of the year. I'll have to decide if I want him to try to continue there next year -- hopefully getting better and better -- or if moving him to a gifted program would work better for him. Since he's not good at change, any benefits to a more structured environment may be outweighed by the fact that it's a new environment.

We brought home a copy of a poem that he wrote earlier this month. I'm really impressed; it's great work for a not-quite-eight-year-old, even if a lot of the spelling did have to be corrected by his teacher:

Black Holes - Mighty Points
Contracting mass
Gravity overpowering everything
Most high and mighty
Irresistible black power
Even sucking light from everything
Squishing suns into globes
Asteroids can't escape
Changing colors
Stripping all the gas
Shooting, voom, voom, voom
Into the giant dark mass
Blazing with light
Weak edges, strong core
Contracting mass of power!
double_mischief: (Default)
I've always maintained that communication is the most important thing in a marriage. This was brought home to me at 7:45 this morning, when the ring of my cellphone woke me from a perfectly lovely dream.

Me (drowsily): Hello?
[livejournal.com profile] onnakitty: Mom? We have a problem.
Me (suddenly very awake): What? What's happened?
[livejournal.com profile] onnakitty: Dad and I forgot that [livejournal.com profile] shadowbat doesn't have school today.
Me (trying to get past the adrenaline buzz): So, is he with you at the school?
[livejournal.com profile] onnakitty: Yeah.
Me: Okay, can you wait with him until I pick him up?
[livejournal.com profile] onnakitty: Yeah. But hurry, I don't want to be late to class.

I'm not sure whether it was a good or bad thing that they go to the same K-12 school. I mean, if they went to different schools, then [livejournal.com profile] shadowowl would've noticed that there was no one at [livejournal.com profile] shadowbat's school and called me to ask. On the other hand, if he hadn't noticed, then [livejournal.com profile] shadowbat would be stuck and alone.

In any case, I think it's time we figure out a place to put up the big wipe-off calendar so that we don't have any more problems. Or at least no scheduling/communications-related problems. :-)
double_mischief: (Default)
So, [livejournal.com profile] shadowbat (who will turn eight in a month) is having tremendous trouble in school. He is not necessarily an easy child, though he's incredibly intelligent. The school year started out badly, with his teacher calling me in for a conference before the first week was out.

See, [livejournal.com profile] shadowbat doesn't suffer fools gladly. He's also a very structured child who doesn't like surprises or spontaneity, so when the teacher failed to follow her written schedule for the day, he called her an imbecile. (Yes, that was the word he used; his vocabulary is astounding.) In the next few weeks of school, he got into altercations with several other kids (some of whom were breaking rules, and he tried to call them on it). We've been working on teaching him to be more zen about things, but...

Anyway, so this morning I got a call from his teacher. She wanted to let me know that he'd been written up several times this week for poor behavior, including threatening the teacher's aide with a pencil (telling her he would kill her if she didn't leave him alone) and refusing to put on his seatbelt while in the school van on a field trip. ::sigh::

I talked with him, and he fully admits the anger and the threats, but firmly denies the seatbelt allegation. I tend to believe him, if only because he freaks out if I start to move the car before he's got his seatbelt on. He claims the belt was on and that he told the parent chaperone this, but they either didn't believe him or misunderstood him or something. So that I'm going to back him on when we go in for conferences on Tuesday.

As far as the rest... Well, we're going to continue to work on anger-management strategies and see what can be done to help him learn to deal with things in a productive manner. He spent about a half hour sobbing in my arms this morning, telling me how he just couldn't control it when he got angry and that it all seemed to just spill out. I'm trying to get him to recognize the build-up of anger before it gets to the point of explosion, so that he can calm himself down, but it's tough going. I'm thinking about trying to get him into meditation or yoga as a way of focusing himself; I don't know how successful that'll be, though, because I'm miserable at meditation myself.

I've also restricted him from television and video games for the rest of the school year--more as a preventative measure than as a punishment, because I'm still trying to figure out whether or not there's a correlation between his television viewing habits and his hostility level.

I wish kids came with an instruction manual. Or that they were all the same, so that once you've had one and learned all the tricks, you were set. ::sigh::
double_mischief: (pic#)
Went last night to see Love Actually with [livejournal.com profile] valdurfee and [livejournal.com profile] zzzzzzboop. I really enjoyed it and will probably go again with [livejournal.com profile] shadowowl, who didn't get the option to go last night as it was a Girls' Night Out.

It reminded me of Magnolia, except that Love Actually was good. I've heard complaints that it was too fragmented, and that it seemed like the director was trying to keep too many balls in the air at one time, but I didn't feel that way. The flow from one "love" to another seemed to be smooth, and I was never lost nor did I feel like I'd been cheated out of seeing anything important. I have to admit that I wasn't quite sure about Colin's storyline; I kept expecting the gorgeous Wisconsin girls to turn out to be a dream he was having on the airplane, or perhaps hookers. :-)

And I was enamored of the kid - Sam - who was so serious about being in love. That's my...well, I was going to type "seven-year-old," but was suddenly brought up by the fact that he'll be eight in a little over a month. Wow. Anyway, that's my son, all overly serious and intense and so sure about how he feels. Not quite so British, though, but he's working on it. :-) I loved Sam's step-father letting him make a run for it at Heathrow; that's probably the kind of thing I'd do with my kids. But then, I'm a closet romantic!

Val and I were commenting on the choices the various characters made throughout the film; if I were choosing between Emma Thompson and whatsername-the-bimbo...no contest. Emma is smart, witty, gorgeous...the bimbo was a skank. I think that men often fail to think with the appropriate head in situations like that. ;-) (And of course, I couldn't fault the bimbo for trying for Alan Rickman; even as he gets older - and despite the fact that he's not aging as well as, say, Sean Connery - he's still sex on a stick. Yum.)

Keira Knightly's size is beginning to worry me, though. She's even thinner than my daughter, [livejournal.com profile] onnakitty, and I didn't think that was possible in someone who doesn't have an eating disorder. She did say that she'd lost a lot of weight while filming Pirates of the Caribbean, though, because the shooting schedule was so busy and she had so many active scenes - she apparently really got a good workout every day.

So overall, Love Actually gets a thumbs up. The next thing I go see will probably be Master and Commander.

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Katya

July 2011

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