Love. Listen/Observe/Read. Act. Repeat.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Random Thoughts from the Grassland Half

There are people who can run 37 more miles than you and still get to the finish line before you do. The last mile is longer than the first four. Stay far ahead of the guy whose t-shirt says "Pappa Joe." The LBJ Grasslands are not flat -- as in, climb every mountain; ford every stream. Don't run up a hill unless you can see the top. Trail runners will tell you "good job" even when you're walking. Compressors are just as loud on the prairie as they are next to your house. The Grasslands are also flammable. Don't get between a mamma cow and her calf. Try not to think about all the wild hog tracks you are following. You learned the best survival lessons in kindergarten: carry jelly beans and eat the peanut butter crackers at the aid station.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Overheard in the Wolfe House #168

Sam: I'm reading about an OS that can run your lights and ceiling fans and other household appliances and stuff.
Peggy: You mean, like 'The Clapper'?
Sam: What's a clapper?

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Disappearing stairs and the washing machine

When I was a little girl, I had a recurring nightmare that always began in the basement of our townhouse (We lived in Milwaukee. Townhouses had basements.)

My mother would be sorting laundry and putting on another load, and I would be playing nearby. Then, I would become preoccupied and not notice that my mother was done and heading back up the stairs.

Now, in the rules in my dreams, I'm supposed to go up the stairs first, with my mother behind me. Because if I didn't, then the stairs would disappear underneath my feet and I wouldn't be able to get safely back up.

Stuck in the basement, I would have to deal with the washing machine, which would stop being an inanimate object and become a monster. That's usually when I would wake my 8-year-old self up and try to dream about something else when I fell back asleep. Usually, it worked.

As I grew up, I learned to fly above disappearing stairs in my dreams. That felt kind of cool. Then no matter when stairs showed up in my dreams, I was always flying over them, grounding myself at the last minute, before I "fell."

Sometimes, when you're little, I think you have a better handle on the world than you do as you age.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Waiting for the cable guy

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of calling Tom "Smitty" Smith for a story I was working on. He's with the Texas office of Public Citizen and I always learn something when I talk to him.

He wasn't in the office. He was at home, waiting for the cable guy. It had been a long wait, and we laughed about how it's always that way. I shared the little known fact that the actor (Daniel Whitney) created his Larry The Cable Guy by calling into radio shows.

Sam is a huge fan of Larry the Cable Guy, though not from his stand-up or his movies, but as Mater in Cars and Cars 2. During his sophomore year, he wanted to do his final paper for a film history class on Larry the Cable Guy. His humanities professor was reluctant, I could tell. He said his subject had to have made at least three movies. Lucky for Sam, Witless Protection was coming out. I showed him the IMDB web site, and he found some older movies, one of which was at the library, so he was in business.

Sam really went after that paper. He researched the actor's biography and the nature of comedy. His critical thinking grew in the course of researching and writing that paper.

I'd learned long ago that when Sam is motivated about a topic, he will learn as well or better than any other student doing the same work in a more traditional way.

His analysis of the actor and his work almost had me respecting the guy for his talents. And then I remembered all the fart jokes.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Overheard in the Wolfe House #167

Sam: (after describing overhearing a co-worker tell a manager he wouldn't be able to work the next day) ... and I wanted to tell you that I might be working tonight, because I'm getting better at seeing context around me.
Peggy: That is awesome.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Overheard in the Wolfe House #166

Sam: Do you know about the website,
Peggy: Yes, I do.
Sam: You do?
Peggy: That's FEMA's site to help you prepare for emergencies. They learned from Hurricanes Katrina and Rita that people aren't prepared. They have some really basic ways you can always be prepared for an emergency.
Sam: Do you know that there are no less than 80 different messages in the emergency notification system?
Peggy: (face palm)

Friday, March 2, 2012

Resource Fair tomorrow

I went to this fair last year. It's huge. If it exists, you will find it here.

SEPTSA's 5th Annual Special Needs Resource Fair
Saturday March 3rd, 2012 - 10 am to 2 pm
Where: Bolin Administrative Center, 1565 West Main Street, Lewisville, 75067
Map here


Thank you to our Media Sponsor,
...for helping us spread the word and reach more families!

Exhibitor Reservation Information and Registration here
Download a flyer to print or share here!

If you have questions, contact Jeannette Robichaux at (972) 310-2922

Families from LISD as well as surrounding communities are invited to attend. There will be exhibitors relating to all ages and abilities, and everyone is welcome. We are inviting various recreation providers, therapists, summer camps, lawyers, financial planners, and professionals that serve the Special Needs community to come share their information with students and families, as well as educators.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Overheard in the Wolfe House #165

Peggy: Everybody makes mistakes, Sam. I made a $400 one when I dropped my phone. I'll never make that mistake again (shaking the Otter Box).
Sam: Yeah, my mistake wasn't so bad. It only cost $3.