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(no subject)
polydad
Okay, it's 4am and it's freezing in here, and I've already been up for an hour. Not going to make it to work today; have to wait for the furnace guy, who won't be here 'til 11am. THen an hour for him to work, an hour and a half drive to work, and I get there at one and leave at 2:30 to take Gabe to dance. I'll think about that, but an hour and a half work for three hours driving doesn't seem worth it. Except possibly in bosslady's payroll logic, in which I get paid if I show up for the day and not if I don't, despite being nominally "salaried".

Had a good talk with Ben yesterday, which surprised me a good deal in that it took place at work and at his initiative. More on that shortly; gotta go deal with a headache before it gets bad.

Headaches, and meanderings
polydad
Okay, took Ibuprofen, arthrotec, and fired up a vaporizer to help with the humidity; if my head falls off now it's its own damn fault. Still about 50F in here, though. Actually not bad, considering it's 0F outside. And going to snow like a sumbitch later in the day, if the weatherdrones are right.

Reading in Daily Kos about the collapse of the media, and how Fox, although deserving of criticism, is merely representative of a completely collapsed system. I agree; we don't get real "News" from the New York Times or PRI, either.

So, a scary idea: Democracy was never designed to give us the Best Possible Government, it was designed to give us the government we *deserve*. What if the shrubbery is what we as a nation actually deserve?

Consider: A drunken, amoral, worthless fratboy who can't find oil in Texas, win an honest election, or do anything to make his distant, affectionless daddy proud of him. Maybe that *does* look like Amerikkka. And since he doesn't love himself either, why should he be interested in anyone *else* getting any affection? Much like Bierce's definition of a Puritan: Someone who's terrified that someone, somewhere, might be having a good time.

There's a serious thought there, which I should pursue further sometime when I'm not channeling nonconsensual pain.

Teaching Teenagers
polydad
Got Zack out the door, trivially late and somewhat grumpy. I tried talking with him about moods and starting mornings, and ran into the typical "incoherence" defense. Since then I've been having fantasies about having the conversation that goes "Oh, so you're having trouble working your mouth. If I stick my fist in it and shake it around for a bit, would that help?"

That's very much the opposite of my usual parenting or managing style. But my usual low-key style doesn't seem to be getting results. My conjecture is that doing anything intense and exciting would at least get his attention, which is a necessary first step in learning anything. He seems to be building himself into a corner where he only responds to unpleasant stimuli, and unconsciously elicits unpleasant stimuli to respond to. This makes it very hard on people who would like to be nice to him. I'd like to teach him how to encourage people to be nice to him.

We'll have that conversation tomorrow night while preparing dinner. I did manage to make the point to him that if I want to talk with him I may be willing to accept that he can't or doesn't want to talk right now, but that I require that he schedule a time to actually *have* the conversation, and that I expect *him* to bring up the subject and start the conversation, since it was for his convenience that it was rescheduled. If he forgets, I'll start it anyway, but I want to give him a chance to take some initiative.

Absent-mindedness is a lovely defense. I'm all in favor of my kid having defenses -- but I want 'em to be under his conscious control, not behavior patterns of reflexive disengagement.

And yes, I know that he'll read this. He then has the *option* of responding. Perhaps he'll exercise it.

best,

Joel. Who doesn't like being annoyed, but prefers it to being dead.

(no subject)
polydad
The heat guy will have to come back tomorrow. The cable guy, however, showed, and the TV and VOIP now work. All that remains is to fight the bill for all the time it didn't.

It's amazing how emotionally taxing moving a carload of stuff can be. One carload done, however. Day going well, if not quite as fast as I'd hoped.