Thursday, May 3, 2012

The Music of My Life - Spring 2012

There is a very strong viewpoint about life that I have.  It's really nothing serious but it can make a huge difference in my life when I truly follow it.  This viewpoint is kind of simple and it is "Life is always better with a sound track".  When my mood is negative and things are weighing me down, there is almost nothing better than listening to music to make things better.  My musical tastes are geared towards just about any kind of music you can imagine with the exception of - country, hardcore rap and smooth jazz.  Other than those 3 categories of music I pretty much listen to anything.

What I listen too at any given time is driven by many different factors.  But regardless of what determines it my musically choices change about every 3 - 6 months.  For me this means that the songs at the top of my playlists on my iPhone/iPod are continually evolving.  Here's some of the songs that are at the top of my playlists these days.  I can always add - Move Along by the All American Rejects as that stands up there along with any song by New Order and Coldplay as one of the all-time favorites of my life.

My early morning visit to the surgeon's office turned out to be somewhat of a non-event.  They were concerned that my incision from the surgery it is still oozing a fair amount of fluid, but they at least ruled out that I have an infection.  Given standard procedures though they did put me on antibiotics.  Dr. Elliot feels that it is continuing to discharge fluid because of the extensive nature of the surgery.  If the fluid continues to "weep" from the incision into next week then they will figure out some way to reopen the incision and then put sutures in so that it will close up.  Given the alternatives they were fearing I am very glad for the outcome I received today!

The other big story in our lives today is that the work on the kitchen got started late this morning.  Around 8:30AM I received a call from the general contractor telling me that he had a crew available to start the demolition if I was ready.  I jumped at the chance to get things started.  Here's some pictures from the first day of the demolition.  I am in a fair amount of disbelief at all that is being ripped apart in such short order.  Hopefully this means by sometime next week they will be moving forward with laying the new floor!

(Family room before it was emptied and demolished.)

(Kitchen before it was emptied and then demolished - yeah, I know it looked messy!)

(The emptied kitchen.)

 (More emptiness...)

(The family room after 8 hours of demolition.)

(The kitchen after 8 hours of demolition)

(My former window seat that is on the verge of becoming the new sliding glass door to the deck.)

With all the changes now starting on the house all I can say is I am so excited.  As the days and weeks speed by as we approach summer I am getting so excited for all that is going to be going on!  Besides the kitchen work I am so utterly excited about our trip to Iceland.  Today's count until we leave is just 54 days!!!

Now that I have the trip to Iceland pretty well planned out I am already starting to think of the trip after that.  The next trip won't involve as much travel as Iceland but it will definitely be colorful and adventurous.  I am going to try and get tickets to the Burning Man Festival in the Black Rock Desert of Nevada in late August/early September.  I have never been to Burning Man but I have read so many interesting stories about it.  Additionally, I didn't realize how quickly the tickets sold out.  As of now all the tickets are sold out, but I am hoping to acquire some through the San Francisco version of Craigslist.

Going to Burning Man is not the easiest of things to do as you must bring all your supplies to be self-sufficient while you are there.  If you can figure it all out and brave the daunting nature of it all, the rewards are pretty amazing as you see some of the most interesting and amazing art.  The festival lasts for a week from the Monday before Labor Day until Labor Day itself.  The big event of the festival is the burning of "The Man" on Saturday evening. "The Man" is a 40+ foot structure in the shape of a man.  It is reminiscent of the wicker men built and used as sacrifices to the gods by the Druids of ancient Great Britain. 

Realistically I don't know that I will be able to acquire tickets, but I am going to do my darnedest to get my hands on at least 4 of them.  Two for me and Zack and then I sure I can find 2 other people to go with us. I have a few people in mind who would make the trip even that more fun! If we get to go, it will be a great way to cap off what could be the most fun and exciting summer Zack and I have had in a very long time.  I'll keep trying to get tickets through the end of July and if I haven't gotten by then I will give up for this year.  But that means for 2013 I will be online, in the queue the minute they go on sale!

If you would like to learn more about Burning Man check out their websites at the following urls.,

As we begin the countdown to the end of the 2011/2012 school year, Zack continues to rise to the challenges that are being placed in front of him.  Next week we have a review of his IEP to see if he still qualifies.  I have a feeling that the IEP will continue into next year, however the amount of support that is being offered to him is going to be dramatically decreased.  He has made so much progress this year already, that the school has withdrawn much of the support he received.  Zack is being held accountable to all the same standards and expectations to which all seventh graders are held.  For the next school year he is applying to be a "Web Leader" which is a role by which he acts as a mentor to a group of incoming 6th graders.  I am very proud of how he has grown and changed this year.  His grades still need a little work, but his overall demeanor is so much different than a year ago.

One last note: Saturday is Cinco de Mayo!  Lots of good community events are going on to celebrate the holiday.  Did you know that Cinco de Mayo is not celebrated as widely in Mexico as it is in the US?  From Wikipedia here is a common definition of the holiday:

"Cinco de Mayo (Spanish for "fifth of May") is a celebration held on May 5. It is celebrated nationwide in the United States and regionally in Mexico, primarily in the state of Puebla, where the holiday is called El Dia de la Batalla de Puebla (English: The Day of the Battle of Puebla).  The date is observed in the United States as a celebration of Mexican heritage and pride, and to commemorate the cause of freedom and democracy during the first years of the American Civil War. In the state of Puebla, the date is observed to commemorate the Mexican army's unlikely victory over French forces at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862, under the leadership of General Ignacio Zaragoza Seguín. Contrary to widespread popular belief, Cinco de Mayo is not Mexico's Independence Day—the most important national patriotic holiday in Mexico—which is actually celebrated on September 16."

Thanks and peace to all! ~J.


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