The fog

Here's the thing. I was whining about not feeling the blogging thing. It's true and it's been building. It's a number of things really. One is time. I enjoy blogging but I hate that I don't have the time I want to devote to it. As such my posts are dashed off tripe which really bugs me. There's a lot more to it than that. On all fronts I'm dealing with problems. Some larger, some smaller but it's forming a cresting wave of aggrivation. Here's the rundown;

Work is OK but I have a new Admin who has a nasty habit of making changes to production environments without telling me and during the middle of the US workday. He's in Moscow so his workday ending as mine is beginning. He tends to make said changes right before leaving. Also, this contract may/may not be coming to an end here and if so, I have to know soon so I can get my next contract lined up. Being a contractor sucks because you're looking for a job all the friggin time. It's exhausting.

Home is OK but overwhelmingly busy. Youngest is teething which means erratic sleep schedule which is killing me. Oldest is the real issue. I think I've mentioned before that he's autistic with tendencies toward OCD, ADHD and PICA. We've had him on a behavioral medicine and have been trying to manage the dosage. Since neither the wife or I are big on medicating kids (or adults for that matter), we've been weaning him off the meds for some time. We're down to 1/8th of the total dose we were doing before. Since the meds mess with your brain chemistry, it takes a long time to scale up and then down. You can't just take a full dose right out of the gate. You have to start with microdoses and increase over the course of weeks to get to the full dose. Getting to full dose has decreased some behaviors but increased others (and vice versa). On the meds his sleep cycle is more regular. It has an affect on seratonin levels which puts him in a very deep sleep. As an aside, I'll tell you that sleep disorders are very common for autistic people. When he was younger he was only sleeping 4 hours a night. He'd go to bed at 8:00 PM and be up for the day at midnight. For 2 years. Needless to say, we were nearly at the breaking point by the end of that. That was extremely stressful on my marriage and had adverse effects on my job. I was going to fail at one of those and I didn't really like my job that much anyway. I didn't get canned but everybody was happy when I left. We turned that corner and now he's sleeping 8-10 hours a night. The problem is that if he does wake up in the middle of the night, that's it for the day. He's up. So now we're back down to about zero with the meds and it's clear that he has to be on something. He is currently unteachable. He's making no progress in school. He only wants to do "highly preferred activities". He is also stimming much more than usual. Auditory and physical stims are markedly increased. He's also much more aggressive. Inability to communicate is the main cause but there are other triggers. Some are completely unknown. He’ll be playing quietly by himself in one room and for no apparent reason, he’ll bolt from there and hit one of us. The kids don’t understand. They’ve done nothing wrong. How do I explain it?


My only outlet is playing soccer which has been problematic due to some of the people showing up. As noted a significant number of the guys showing up who play a very different game than we’ve been playing. In short, they grab, push, slap and hack. That’s not the game we want to play. For example, I was playing defence against was pretty quick. It was bad enough when he kept elbowing me in the arm and ribs. Fine, whatever. Then, on one deep pass to him, I was the only one he had to beat. We were running full speed side by side. As we reached the ball, he brought his arm over the top of mine (as if making a windmill motion with his arm swinging backwarsds) and slapped me in the face and pushed me off the ball. Needless to say, I lost my shit. I squared off with him and told him if he pulled that again, he’d be picking up his teeth with broken fingers. He was much more restrained after that. A week later, same shit, different guy. This new guy is nicknamed gator. He’s all mouth and no ears. “USE YOUR BODY” is his constant shout. That’s shorthand for “use your arms to illegally push or hold him and get the ball at any cost.” Aggrivating. Another one of these jerkoffs decides to complain about the poor passing of one of his teammates telling him to “use his head” and so on. The guy (correctly) explained that he wasn’t the coach and we don’t play for him so STFU and play or leave. Another guy said we were a bunch of pussies because we complained about the pushing and crap. One of the larger guys explained that it’s not about being a pussy or not, its about the game having rules for a reason and if he wanted, they could find out who the pussy was. That put an end to that one. After that last incident, I said to the guy who organizes this that if those guys were back the next week, I wouldn’t be. He agreed and must have said something because their numbers have dropped. We’ll see if it gets better or worse over time.

All of that is manageable I suppose but I’ve become dispirited about blogging. It started out as something I enjoyed as an outlet. Lately, it’s been a chore. Why bother when there are people who are doing it better, funnier, faster, and more in depth? There’s really nothing distinctive about my blog. I don’t cover some arcane topic(s), the writing blows there’s no analysis to speak of other than some craptacular dashed off tripe. The lack of comments is a clear indicator that my posts don’t generate much thought. Traffic is stuck firmly at zero for the same reason.

Where does that leave me? I don’t have time for investigative journalism. I find local politics to be as interesting as an insurance seminar.

Work is easy to sum up in a few sentences. I make suggestions which are roundly ignored and in the long run, I’ll be proven right. I say this not with pride or a lack of humility it’s just that I’ve seen this movie before and it always ends the same way. Other news flash, users are not all that bright. Scott Adams has made millions with that simple trope and the ground has been trod flat so it’s not as if I’m going to have anything particularly new or insightful to add.

Home is fine but not all that interesting. Love my kids but they drive me crazy. See; Bombeck, Erma et al. Can’t talk about the wife because, well, that’s one of the rules.

Frankly, I’m a better reactive blogger than anything else. I do better when using other posts as a springboard for my own take on things which makes me the lamprey of the blogging world which is a dubious claim to fame at best.

I think I’m just going to refocus myself a bit. The big news stories are probably going to get a pass unless I can think of something I really want to say instead of my current position in which I feel compelled to say something.

Bear with me dear reader(s). Suggestions for improvement appreciated.


Update 10/3/07:

Thanks everybody for the comments. I wasn’t fishing for compliments but rather, inspiration. I appreciate the former and I think I’ve found the latter.

Kavips: You flatter me overmuch.

Comments

mkfreeberg said…
Must be the blood we all have on our hands as a country.

No, seriously, I have some words of encouragement and advice to offer, and I hope they help. For one thing, I can identify with each and every single paragraph. Well, not the soccer since my outlet is bicycling. And there's a pattern with that kind of thing, with me...I tend to start with the premise that people are dicks, and anything that is likely to metastasize into a source of frustration with the addition of people acting like dicks, is something I'm not going to do unless I want to be frustrated. It's not wisdom or prescience. It's cynicism. Where there are people, I figure there are dicks.

You know my thoughts already about PDD-NOS, and it's obvious our situations are different. That's a win for me. Another win for me is my kid isn't acting nearly as weird as he used to. He's learning that when you have a natural inclination toward more book-smarts, you have to light the candle at both ends and concentrate on your people-smarts as well. I can't call this immaturity like everyone else so blithely does, because I'm still learning the same things at 41 that he's learning at ten. Beyond that, I have no words of wisdom on that front because your son has a real need for special care, whereas mine's just a goofball.

Well, I do have one thing. Through the years I have found the "contract" is key. Every new activity, every movie I enjoyed that he hasn't seen yet, I present as an option. If I can see he might be bored with some piece of it, just let him know up front, then let him make the call. I have been flabbergasted at what an incredible difference this makes; all he has to do is understand in advance what challenges wait, and his attention span grows by leaps and bounds. Simply put, he just doesn't handle "surprise" tedium well. Obviously, he'll have to grow out of that before reaching adulthood, but the way I see it that can be easily managed...and, of course, without such a "program" I'd be resigned to letting him watch Japanese cartoons and nothing else.

On the work thing, all you can do is document stuff. That's only useful if you think you're job is in danger because of lack of a paper trail, which is a situation it doesn't look like you think applies to you.

I doubt any of the above will help you much. What follows, I think, probably will: Limit the blogging to the "Why in the $#!@$#@#!! isn't someone else pointing this out already???" stuff (otherwise know as "am I the only one who thinks xxx" stuff). If that means not a word for three months, then so be it. You're not here to keep us entertained, m'friend. We'll find a way to deal. I just like coming by here because you're one of about five-or-fewer that, according to my mental diary, are likely to say something interesting, profound and thought-provoking. That doesn't mean you're letting me down if you skip it for awhile. Don't stress.

Hope that helps.
Hube said…
Duff: As you may guess, I totally agree w/you about the soccer situation. My own experiences almost mirror yours to a tee. It just ain't worth it. To this day, my left sinus is STILL f-ed up because of that head butt I took to the face -- a play that was completely avoidable if the guy who did it wasn't an a-hole.

About the blogging: I recommend narrowing your focus. That's what we've tried to do. Personally, I like to cover cultural matters (like race, political correctness and even comics) over political ones because they interest me so much more. I, like you, also find local politics dull as dirt.

Pick one or two things that really interest you and blog just (mostly) about them. And do it only when you have time. Don't feel obligated or it's not worth it. That's a big reason I shut down my original blog.
kavips said…
Just a casual observation.....I got more out of your blog than any of the others around the horn......

You talk about content....there was far more in your post, than others on line.

You, perhaps accidentally, have shown us stoicism...(your work)...resilience.....(your first born).....self respect....(standing up against soccer orcs)....flexibility.....(you are still married).....and above all, honesty.

Sometimes one can sit in a seminar, and as one learns, say that's interesting, and catalog it in someplace to be forgotten.

Other times, perhaps in church, something will be said, and it goes straight to the core of ones being. Whoa.....that's me....I don't like what I am seeing.....

Your post, at least for me, fell into the latter category. We may have foiled on issues that really amount to little, in the past, but in reality, we are both human beings trying to keep our heads above the waters of fast changing times.

Your problems echo mine. Most pertinent is this new morality that negates "rules" and instead rewards 'breaking them'. That, is a deep societal symptom that shows its face not only on the soccer field. It could be called the defeat of "classicism," in deference to the rise of "barbarism."

That same tendency is prevalent in most workplaces. Wisdom is unappreciated. Whatever the head hancho's "My idea" is, at the moment, becomes the measuring stick of merit......we have dissolved into tribalism.....

It is obvious from your history, that you remember fondly, the classic value system that was predominate during our formative years....

Your choosing to drop the dosage of medicine for one, shows the world this: that you care more for your first born, than you do for yourself.....you put his long term well being above yours...

In my eyes, that makes you a hero.

I guess what I am saying is this. Whatever are your titles, whatever it is that you do, has little relevence in this world of 6 billion people......

But, what you are......has the most profound influence....

At least it affected me.

I'll finish with this: Sometimes, as was Frodo Baggins, we are given a quest, that only we, as one individual, can fulfill....Dare walk away, all hope will fail....
Keep blogging along these lines if you dare....you are on a journey that inspires us all. As did kings bow down before the perseverance of Frodo and his friends, so do we feel awe for what you and your family have gone through.

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