Thursday, June 30, 2011

I'm Pretty Stoked!

I'm 40 years old and in just four days, I will be sitting in Section 119, Row R, Seat 7 of Arvest Stadium to watch my first ever baseball game, the Northwest Arkansas Naturals versus the Corpus Cristi Hooks, along with my beer-chugging wife and kid. Mrs. DMG is getting stoked, too. "What sport is it we're going to see?" she asks. I say baseball and she returns a blank stare as if I had said jai alai or lacrosse. I regret that I won't be able to explain much as we watch the strange and enigmatic game, but I'm sure we'll both enjoy it ignorant as we are to the rules and objectives of the whole affair. My boy does have some understanding of baseball, well, of softball anyway. He knows that when people are playing softball at Tyson Park we are not free to roam from dugout to dugout drawing pictures of kayaks in the dust. Dugouts have the best dust! Other than that, softball seems to have escaped him just as it has escaped me. But no matter, maybe we'll catch what I know to be called a foul ball (I do know something about baseball; it's not like I was raised by Mormons or something!), though I won't be bringing one of those webbed cowhide things baseball players put on their hands just to prepare for that eventuality. But yeah, my boy is also getting stoked about seeing his first baseball game a full 34 years earlier in his life than me in mine. We're winding him up about it but at the same time being very careful not to mention that there will also be fireworks after the game, which I should not have just written because the wife and I both harbor this silent suspicion the little shit knows how to read already and is playing us both like chumps.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Cool Product Pick of the Week

My Mom was up from Houston for a few days this week and was sporting one of these cool ID bracelets from Road ID. I thought it was a great idea and had to have one, living on the edge as I do. Why just last week, or maybe it was a month or two ago, I was standing just ten feet from the edge of Hawksbill Crag, the most over-photographed geological feature in all of Arkansas. The week before that, or perhaps last fall it was, I scrambled up a 45-degree rock slope for several meters at Devil's Den State Park. One tiny slip and it is not inconceivable that I could die somehow right then and there, with my wallet locked in my car a third of a mile away at the trail head. First responders would have no hope of ever figuring out who I was. Well, I for one refuse to die anonymously, which is why I'm not leaving the house for the next ten days until my Road ID bracelet is delivered. It's just not worth it!

The laser hack who actually prints this bracelet probably thinks the last two lines are a joke. The real jokes are the second and third lines which contain completely bogus phone numbers. I snatched them right out of the air! Imagine some first responder, bless his soul, hearing, "There's no Cristina at this number and I don't know any Dave. Sorry." Wouldn't that be hilarious!

Jewish Temple Grandin

For a kid with a supposedly severe language delay, my boy comes up with some pretty kick-ass wordplay, so much so that I now rely on him for the names of all of my blog entries just like I did on this one. It used to surprise me when he shouted "Madagas-truck!" upon seeing a muddy vehicle next to mine, but not any more. I've come to expect it. Actually that's not true. I was surprised when, after spinning his globe between Central Asia and South America for several seconds, he busted out some "Colombistan is close to Paklivia." I'd been using his love of geography to teach him beside, next to, between, close to, and far from, whatever the grammatical term is for such things, you see. It brings me great joy, really, to see my son's utter disregard for the conventions of communicative speech. He could give a rat's ass whether his words communicate a useful and accurate message; his purpose with speech is simply to entertain himself (Just like me, I might add.) When his therapist is working on him with yes/no questions, he first thinks for a second to make sure he understands the question, which he always does. Then he considers whether to answer the question and whether to answer it correctly. He answers correctly just often enough to have her continue the game because he likes the game. The rest of the time he either answers incorrectly or--and this is his favorite thing to do--he makes up his own yes/no question and answers it himself. "Can you drink a peanut butter sandwich? No! You can't drink a peanut butter sandwich!" He grins ear-to-ear at his wonderful creation. What a joy it is to see my son raise his middle finger to all those who say he ought to be doing this or ought to be doing that, even as I am one of those people. He lives his life on his own terms and I respect him for it very much.

Here is Jewish Temple Grandin herself:

What a remarkable woman!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Dave Mows Grass on Anxiety

It's a real bitch. Actually just a mild annoyance. For me at least. I don't know how others experience it. Mine is sub-clinical. In intensity at least. Maybe not in duration. Mine has no beginnings and no ends. It is continuous. It is a mild and continuous annoyance. Mostly I just worry. About everything. Actually that's not true. I don't worry about everything. I only worry about absurd hypotheticals. Like at work. They have this lift thing. It's anchored to the floor. The anchors did not look adequate to me. The engineer who designed the lift thing is extremely competent. He assured me the anchors were adequate. That was seven years ago. The lift thing has not fallen. The anchors have not loosened. The engineer was right. The anchors were adequate. The lift thing is not going to fall. Ever. I know this to be true. Still I worry. I worry that the lift thing will fall. It will not fall but I worry that it will fall. I worry that it will land on my legs. Below the knees. I worry that my legs will need to be amputated. Below the knees. Actually I don't worry about that. I worry that I won't be able to roll my kayak with both my legs amputated below the knees. Actually I don't worry about that. I worry that the outfitting which would allow me to roll my kayak with both legs amputated below the knees would not attach reliably to a polyethylene kayak. It's hard to glue things to polyethylene. I worry that I would miscalculate the placement of the seat. That I would miscalculate the trim adjustment needed to account for the missing weight of my lower legs. I worry that wave surfing would be difficult with improper trim. I worry that worrying about kayak outfitting difficulties following an accident involving a falling lift thing will cause me to loose sleep. I worry that loosing sleep will cause me to be sleepy at work. I worry that being sleepy at work will prevent me from reacting quickly when the lift thing begins to fall. I worry that I will not get out of the way. That it will land on my legs. I worry all the time. I worry about absurd hypotheticals. It is a mild and continuous annoyance. Anxiety is a mild and continuous annoyance.