Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Special Needs Parent

My interview with Special Needs Parent was posted today if you'd like to read it. Thanks, Michele, for all the work you're doing helping kids with disabilities and their parents.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Date with Silvi

Ian met with his PT and teacher today. He's doing phenomenal with his motor skills and is at about a six-month-old level as far as his speech is concerned (he's eight months old this week). He may be falling a bit behind there, but wow, can he ever suck on his big toe, which is more than his pop can do.

Even though I had the whole weekend off of work for once, I still had to put in twelve hours today. I realized that all this overtime has been a little hard on Silvi, especially when I got a call from her at 6:30 this morning, crying because I wasn't home when she got up. So tonight was one of our date nights. She and I were planning to head back to our favorite spot, the Global Market, but she decided that a ride on the merry-go-round at the Mall of America was in order. Food Network guru Alton Brown was there signing his book for a few hundred fans, but we opted for a quick plate of greasy Chinese food followed by a carousel ride atop a broken plastic horse. But Silvi was thrilled, which is more than can said for the merry-go-round operator. I don't blame him, because really, how many times can you tell people not to step off of the moving ride before you want to run screaming from the mall with a hand full of arcade tokens and a bag of day old cotton candy?

Even though I usually try to make it home by diner each night, which often means being at work before the rooster crows, I'm still pretty shot when I pull into the driveway at night. I hate how work saps the best part of me. I remember reading a quote somewhere that when a parent gets home after work that their children receive only their temperament, not their teaching. Anyway, it's probably the lack of sleep that's got me quoting writers who get to sit around all day and imagine what it's like to have a real job. No offence if you're a writer. I'm just jealous.

I hope Silvi remembers these little date nights. They're usually the highlight of my week. That, and watching Ian suck his toe.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Sufferin’ succotash

Talking about how busy you are at work is about as interesting as talking about the weather, but, man, I'm wiped! It's been six super stressful, seditious, sorrowful and scandalous sets of seven days. I'm going to do nothing this weekend but engage in severe amounts of sedentary, succulent sleep. Sheesh!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

The Pope and Down syndrome

I am not a Catholic and know very little about Pope Benedict XVI, but came across the following while reading up about his visit to the US:
It may be worth noting that Joseph Ratzinger had personal experience of the Nazi approach to "rejects." A cousin with Down's Syndrome, who in 1941 was 14 years old, just a few months younger than Ratzinger himself, was taken away by the Nazi authorities for "therapy." Not long afterwards, the family received word that he was dead, presumably one of the "undesirables" eliminated during that time.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Twenty-four little hours

I'm putting in a 24-hour day today - continuous, that is. It started at 4am and, judging by how long it's taking to burn these DVD's here at the office, I'll be heading home around 4am. Back at 8am for a showing. Gotta love this industry.

I did, however, take a few hours away to walk to the lake on this awesome Spring evening with Annie and the kids. So many dogs to pet, swings to test, train tracks to... pretend a girl monster is coming around the corner? All righty then.

I've still got my winter legs - pasty white and as weak as Keanu Reeves' acting in Much Ado About Nothing. Time to break (hopefully not literally) out the skateboard, I suppose. Fat, long-haired 40-year-old on a longboard. You will NOT see that picture on this site.

Did my taxes a few minutes ago online to the sound of dentist drills burning to DVD. Not recommended. Hope I didn't forget to carry the 1; happy tax day.

Update: It's 4:06am. Do you know where your video editor is?

Tuesday, April 08, 2008


This is my first experience with raising a three-year-old, so there are many new wonders for me to absorb. One of them is imagination; Silvi's imaginary life is in full bloom, and I've got to say, it's more fun than chewing Hubba Bubba watermelon gum on a hot summer day.

She's constantly inviting - demanding - me to join her on her magic (towel) carpet for a ride above the trees or to hide from the beast or to sword fight against said beast, which isn't such a bad beast after all. "Would you like a cup of tea, beast?" When she's scared, like when we go into the dark laundry room, she covers her eyes with both hands as if that will somehow provide a protective shield around her.

We read to her, tell her stories and she loves scary movies that I probably shouldn't let her watch. Like the dragon fight scene (and only this scene) in Beowulf. (And I'm not that bad of a parent; I watched it first and remembered the parts to fast-forward through. No head-biting, heart-ripping or dismemberment's for my little girl. Not till she's four.)

Silvi turns three on Friday. I wonder where she'll take me this year.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Walk the line

Rainy day yesterday. Silvi and I went out for breakfast together while Annie and Ian chilled out; Annie's chin deep into a Murder She Wrote marathon on Netflix Instant Viewing. I spent much of the weekend revamping my business website, making it more corporate (gack) and minimalist. A bit embarrassed by the *yawn* booooring videos I've put up as samples, but - that's all I's gots.

Also embarrassed by the cheesy Christian videos up there, but again... Man, I've made a lot of crap over the years. Sold out to the man. That's part of the reason I've started my own company, to create videos that I can be proud of and that won't come with a warning to not watch my videos late at night or before operating heavy machinery.

Lately, I've been working with a corporation on the side that is paying enough for me to invest some of the extra money into my own projects, which is pretty stinkin' exciting. (Thanks, Jim, for throwing the business my way.) I'm looking around for a writer for my philosophy video series; need to find someone who can walk the line between curriculum and documentary. So if you know anyone...

Speaking of walking the line, I'm delving into two books in my attempt to better understand, know, learn about, comprehend, find, discover what Jesus was like, who he was/is, etc. One book was written by an atheist, Jose Saramago and the other by an evangelical Phillip Keller. When Saramago, who wrote the killer book Blindness, published his novel - The Gospel According to Jesus Christ - it was renounced as heretical by almost everyone, Protestant and Catholic alike. Not hard to see why, since, according to Saramago, Joseph was the real daddy.

Keller, best known for his classics A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23 and Lessons from a Sheepdog, is no doubt a fine writer, and more accurately reflects my own beliefs concerning these events, but, man, some of his book on the life of Jesus that I'm reading - Rabboni - is just downright cheesy. Stuffed crust cheesy. He's got Mary and Joseph sneaking lovey-dovey looks at each other, Mary not complaining (why add this interpretation) about riding - pregnant - on a donkey across the desert, Joseph a strapping tanned young man, etc.

That's why I have to read Saramago, a brilliant writer, in the other hand, to balance the story out. Same goes for a lot of other stories or books I read: If I'm holding Kierkegaard in one hand, the other hand's got Nietzsche.

Of course, I'm defaulting back to the original stories recorded by the Jewish writers of old to give me sure footing on this path, walking the line, struggling along the narrow ridge.


One of the families in our Down syndrome group lent us some of the Woodbine House books, which I still hope to get around to one of these weekends. I'm most interested right now in teaching Ian new sounds. He's got the grunting sounds down pat; if I ever need sound effects of a constipated elk for one of my videos, I need look no further.

I've been looking him in the eyes and doing the "Mamamamama" and "Dadadadada" sounds for him. Guess he thinks I sound like a dehydrated elk.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Location Scouting

Last night Silvi was my model as she and I drove around Minneapolis location scouting for a shoot I'm doing this summer.
It's a story I've been working on for a while about reconciliation between Serbs and Albanians, thus, the Serbian Orthodox Church visible in the background.

Silvi and I ended up eating at a fine dining restaurant, not by choice, but because we were both famished after walking in the brisk air and the restaurant was near by. We shared a $13 hamburger, the cheapest thing on the menu. It was a very nice date, and Silvi was excellent company. We also got complimentary warm bread.

The block down the street from the church where I hope to do some shooting.