Saturday, April 23, 2016

Vegas 2012 (posting the draft)

We've been back for about a week now, and I still get back on routine. It feels as if as suddenly as I was placed in Vegas, I'm back in my old routine which feels foreign and not very exciting. But some very great memories came from this vacation. Here's are my highlights. I was going to do a top ten but felt like I would either have to inflate my list or reduce my list to fit the format, so here's to arbitrary lists in no particular order! The Beatles "Love" show. I didn't really know what to expect, but my expectations were certainly heightened. Elaine didn't even know that it was a Cirque du Soliel production until we were seated - she was under the impression that it was just four guys in wigs all along. Stepping into the theater, I was a little concerned about the nosebleed I would getting from the distance of the seats. The view seemed a little strange, obstructed and partitioned. Then the show started. There's a burst at the end of "Get Back" I think, when the stage literally explodes with action, light, and my heart just exploded right along with it. Tears just streamed out of my eyes because I was just overcome with emotion. Here was the music that I love and here were people who loved the music much more and had reimagined the song with a show. It was almost like seeing some odd alternative footage of the Beatles that I've never seen. I was listening to the album at work and it occurred to me that there were portions of songs whereby I don't even remember what happened on stage. I was just so entranced and elated that it was just a life event that took all the analysis out of me. AdventureDome We pretty much hit the midway and the AdventureDome throughout the week, but one of the days we got the kids wristbands because it would just end up costing entirely too much money to pay for each ride. The adults cheaped out since we weren't going on too many rides anyway, and half the rides would just be too small for the adults. The kids did their usual kiddy rides but Alex and Zoe actually braved the little roller coaster with smiles on their faces. It was by no stretch of the imagination a scary ride, but it was unexpectedly and uncharacteristically brave of them to pick the little coaster ride. In our eyes, they grew a little older that that. The lines were shorter as well, so they basically got off, and went back on again. Along with all the other stuffed animals they had won earlier, Circus Circus was truly a great choice for our family.

A Good A Time to Restart This Thing.

I think thinking about Tumblr to get more of an audience but really, the only person that I need to be writing is still myself. It's a therapeutic practice that allows me to express myself without feeling like a drone. But the trick of it really is to dive right back into the details that don't seem interesting - at least not for the time being. Years from now I'm sure that it'll be interesting. So here's the uninteresting bit of my life. The financial honeymoon has finally leveled out, and it's rather harsh. We are house poor, having sunk a lot of the savings into the house (ultimately a good thing, don't get me wrong) and having almost half my paycheck go toward mortgage every month. It's not like I can avoid it, if I wanted to stay in this area. It's just expensive having a 3 bedroom house with 2 dogs in the state of Washington. I bet the neighborhood has a lot to do with it. I am living in a fancier neighborhood than I deserve, but it's a good thing. I just have to worry about rich kids bumming my kids out with their privileges and iPhones. That isn't too bad of a thing. But back to the point. So when we moved in with my mom, we didn't pay rent - just the utilities, our food, and helped out whenever we could. The rent was covered, so we were doing ok. My mom started to push us out so that she could sell the house, and incidentally around the same time I got a much better paying position, so that was grand. Then my wife's stepmom passed and the inheritance came in, which helped with the repairs to my mom's house, and to get set up on our new house. But once we got a new car, paid toward the house, and took all the family to Disneyland, we're now back to level. There is no extra money floating around anymore. It's just what I earn, and what the wife earns. It's been harsh. Having to drastically alter our spending habits to be frugal again has been a tough lesson. We're recovering, but it's slow. The kids have changed in the few years I've stopped blogging as well. Currently the crisis is regarding the boy's attitude and the girl's motivation. Alex has been pretty good, keeping up with the homework to earn that screen time that he so desperately covets. He has to bear the injustice that his friends are able to play M rated games while good old Dad insists that he keeps to the Teen rating, unless he's playing with me. It's really not a real issue - I keep plenty of good games to keep him interested, but he wants what he can't have. The attitude comes about when we stand in the way of his video games - when he butts up against the rules because he's got a late assignment, or a grade below B. Then it's like a low grade conflict whereby he's passively upset that he doesn't get video games. He lashes out at my wife more than me, probably because he knows that beneath my mild irritation can be a furious hothead. It's not like I resort to hitting or demeaning him, but I do lay into him if I think he's having an attitude problem. But overall, he's doing well in school. He's trying hard to get my attention and I'm not trying hard enough to give it to him. I call it just clashing personalities. I don't know how girls are supposed to act, but I have an impression of how boys are supposed to act. And I have these incorrect expectations on him. It's not fair. I'm working on it. The girl has an interesting predicament in that she's not really indifferent when we're talking to her about late assignments - but her actions say exactly that. She had 11 late assignments over Spring Break, which she spend a good chunk of her time during Spring Break making up, and then proceeded to not hand in any of those assignments in the week she was back at school. It was just baffling. Like making a meal and then hiding it from others. It's elevated to my wife making Zoe write lines over and over again, how she should not hand in late assignments or something to that effect. I feel more distant with Zoe than I'd like, but she's just growing up. Needing me less. Getting interested in boys, as far as I can tell because she's chatting about them with Erica. The thing they never tell you about parenting is that keeping them alive is relatively easy, but making sure that they grow up to be responsible, humble, empathetic human beings is the hard part. And it's not even like they'll get rewarded for having non-selfish behavior. It just makes them better people overall. At least in my eyes.