Sunday, October 25, 2009

Scent overload

Has anyone else noticed that it is almost impossible to buy anything these days without some sort of scent? When did we get to this obsession with perfumed everything? Even soap doesn't smell clean enough and has to have a 'fresh' scent! I like the smell of soap.

Barring bad b.o., what is wrong with people smelling like people? Smell is one of our strongest memory senses, yet it is almost useless these days. Would you recognize your significant other's scent? It should be appealing. Who decided 'male' (or 'female' for that matter) was a bad smell?

Why is it that you can't walk into a store without perfume assaulting you from all sides? There have been stores I've had to walk out of because the perfume is so overwhelming. And I have some allergies, which means I can't breathe in them.

At RAIN: A Tribute to the Beatles, a woman got out some hand sanitizer in the row in front of us. My throat closed up a bit and my sinuses stuffed up because her hand sanitizer had to have a pretty floral scent. I would hate to be more allergic to scents, like a former co-worker, and have to leave an expensive show because someone was inconsiderate.

Yes, there are icky smells, but we are losing the smells of so many interesting things. It's hard to enjoy the aroma of a good meal when it is being drowned out by scented candles and the perfume on the diner at the next table. At least we don't have to worry about the malodorous stench of cigarette smoke.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Learning curve

A few weeks ago, we took all of the cars away from Wil (and Sam by extension, unfortunately) because Wil has been acting up, running off in stores and parking lots, laughing at punishments. It was time to do something that would sink in. Even though he isn't a bad kid, we decided to nip the bad behavior in the bud and he loves his cars, so giving them an extended time out while he earned them back seemed a good way to go.

It's been a rough few weeks. We had a few days early on where he managed to earn some of his larger trucks back, then a week and a half of bad behavior. The last 2 days seem to have been a bit of a breakthrough.

Wil understands that his cars are in time out. That's an established punishment for the rest of a day if a toy misbehaves (is used in misbehavior like being thrown). I think the trick here was to create the link between 'if you keep doing what you are doing, you will get a time out' and 'if you get a time out, you don't earn any cars' to 'if you keep doing what you are doing, you won't earn any cars.'

I think one of his a-ha moments was last night. Sam dumped a box of blocks on the floor; Wil was upset for some reason that I haven't figured out. Wil picked up the blocks, put them in the box, and put the box back on the shelf of his own volition. Without being asked. And immediately earned a car (his school bus) right then and there. Bingo! If he does something good, he gets a coveted car!

He was pretty good the rest of the evening, so I let him pick 10 small cars (he has enough that we have to do them in batches or he may never earn them all back) before he went to bed. Today he was pretty good again, so about half an hour before bedtime, I let him pick another 10 small cars. He was ecstatic to play with them again. He knew exactly which ones he wanted.

I've felt bad for Sam since he's being punished by Wil's bad behavior. Today, he was really good while we took one of the cats to the vet, so I let Sam earn his school bus today. I think it's fair that they both can get a reward for good behavior. I'm also trying to reward more good behavior rather than just an absence of bad behavior. I think that is a little more concrete for them. Let's hope they earn all the cars back soon. I really don't want to keep them in the holding tank forever!

Saturday, October 17, 2009


We saw Rain: A Tribute to the Beatles last night. Excellent show! Considering we were born after the Beatles broke up and two members are gone, this is as close as either of us will ever get to seeing them in concert - and it was thoroughly enjoyable.

I think the costume changes to illustrate the eras was a wonderful visual cue to the attitudes of the time. There were also 3 projection screens which showed scenes from the original Beatles concerts/shows, RAIN re-enacting famous pictures, or other graphics during the music. Between sections, the screens showed scenes of the time while playing contemporary music (early rock 'n' roll, Buddy Holly, etc, leading up to the Ed Sullivan Show segment at the beginning; Summer of Love, protests, Jimmy Hendricks leading into the Abbey Road era). It was a nice way to transition time and set the scene, making the music more relevant. It's amazing what a good job of re-posing pictures they did, inserting RAIN. Some were hard to tell the difference.

This really was much more than a standard impersonation - Chris and I decided after the show that it was much more like a re-enactment. Awesome, awesome show. Yes, there were songs they didn't do, but they hit most of the important ones and there just wasn't time for everything. Our incomplete Beatles library is almost 10 hours of music.

What a great show for homecoming weekend!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Walk on by....

I thought I would catalog some of the places I walk in town, double stroller and all:

To the post office (.6 miles from home)
To Barnes & Noble (~1.2 miles from home)
To the mall (I don't know that I've tracked this, but I guess ~1.5 miles)
To Marsh (~1 mile from home)
To campus (2-3 miles, depending on where on campus, from home)
To Eastland Plaza (I haven't tracked this, but my guess is ~1.8 miles)
To the park (~.5 mile from home) and often on to Bruster's (.7 miles)
Past Eastland Plaza to the credit union (not sure, but maybe 2 miles)

I've also been known to take the bus downtown and walk to the farmer's market, the library, or other destinations, usually only a few blocks from a bus stop.

Some of the walks we've taken include the B-Line Trail, a campus woodland tour (we need to do the campus limestone tour in the spring), downtown historic tour of the square, and laps in College Mall.

People always think I'm crazy, but this is how I get exercise. And if I can get somewhere without taking the car, it saves on gas.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Tired of poop

It's been a long week.

We got two new kittens last Wednesday, Dinah and Cole. The other cats have been a bit upset, although they will eventually adjust. But, the new kittens have created some clean-up around the house. We're not completely sure if it was the kittens, the older cats, or a combination, but we woke up Thursday morning so a steaming pile in the hallway. Then Sam's bed became the alternate litter box Friday morning. I think we've discovered at least part of the problem: I caught Roarke, our alpha, guarding the stairs to the den so the kittens couldn't get to the basement and the little box. So, we're working on making it easy for them to go and keeping bedroom doors closed for a while so they can't leave messes on beds.

Friday Sam woke us up at 4 am throwing up. He only threw up once more, after lunch, but he definitely didn't feel good and was clingy and cuddly all day. He did have a low-grade fever in the evening.

Sunday, Chris woke up with a stomach bug. Sunday was a very bad day, because stomach viruses are "fast and furious". He had to take yesterday off work and class and is just starting to feel hungry and eat again.  At least he's able to clean up after himself, because I was getting really tired of cleaning up poop and puke.

So, it's been a rough week. Chris still has a major project at work this week. Next week will hopefully be better.