The Joy of Middle School Theatre

Watched a middle school production of “Mulan Jr.” this afternoon. I think the audience had as much fun as the kids, especially when there was a technical problem with the music near the end that left them standing center stage with nothing to do after the defeat of the Huns. After about 20 seconds (which feels like forever on stage) Li Shang looks at the Emperor and says “so…how’s China?” to which the Emperor replies “better, now that you’re here,” but everyone was already laughing too hard by that point to hear the rest.

The teacher had enough of the laughter from the cast and audience and leaned in from the side to kick off an acapella version of their song. Big finish, show’s over, then we all had to wait for the cast to gather onstage for their official cast photo, taken by a mom with her iPhone, before we could leave the bleachers.

Middle School musical theatre is so good.

A tip of my hat to friends and the Astros

I’ve been a Dodgers fan all my life. I remember being the only kid in my class, less than 80 miles from the Bay Area, rooting for LA in the 1988 World Series. I was really excited to finally get to see them win another one this year in an excellent series against Houston, so naturally when my friend Charleen — a proud native Houstonian — tweeted a friendly challenge, I accepted.

In hindsight, this is one reason why I don’t bet anymore. 🙂

Thirty–six minutes after game 7 finished, the hat was on its way. We didn’t know when we’d meet up, but the deal was that I’d wear my new hat at the next WordCamp we attended. I assumed it would probably somewhere in Texas next year, but with some unexpected travel, it turns out I and my family were able to make it to WordCamp US in Nashville. On the second day, I got to sport my new lid.

Me and Charleen posing together while I wear my new hat

It did the job. Over the rest of the day, I was congratulated on my team’s win and my nice hat by:

  • Another Dodgers fan. ☹️
  • A Yankees fan. 😏
  • A heckler. 😶
  • A drunk dude yelling “GO ‘STROS!” on the sidewalk in downtown Nashville. 🙃

This hat’s going in my collection of good stories and good friends.

Cat attack!

Jessica heard a thunk earlier today and found the bird nest that’s normally on the back porch light slightly askew. Robins built it when we first moved in, but a pair of finches have taken residence there in the recent weeks. I thought I saw them feeding hatchlings a couple of days ago, but never could get close enough to look inside.

The nest sits awkwardly on the lamp after the initial (presumed) attack.

Tonight after dinner, I saw the cat Joanna saw in the backyard earlier today, perched on the window ledge and getting ready to jump up into the nest. I shooed it away, but I think the damage was already done. I hope the little ones got away.

This is the part the finches added on to the existing nest, now upside down on the back porch.

Depression sucks

There’s no logical pattern to when PTSD symptoms will hit me, but I can usually tell when depression is on its way over. I try to ignore it, but like a socially awkward friend that just doesn’t read body language, it just keeps creeping over to say “hello”.

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Awkward smiles on the zoo train

So here I am, lonely but constantly with my daughter whom I am responsible for caring for while my wife is out of the country. Not impossible, but spending time with her does not abate nor negate the loneliness I feel. The nagging feeling that I’m doing it all wrong: that I’m not doing enough work to stay employed, that I’m not spending enough time making quality memories for my daughter. That she’s seeing me in tears more often than I’d like, and that she’s not crying half as much as I am and what kind of man cries more than a 4-year-old girl every day, and how can I be honest with her that I’m sad for me and happy for Mommy at the same time and no, she won’t be able to join us for dinner because she’s touring a famous crystal factory in Ireland and I miss her, too, sweet pea.

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Jessica and her dad enjoying a lifelong dream together

Depression makes me relive all those feelings and conversations at the same time, all jumbled together and without regard to reasonable rest times between rounds, or where I am at the moment. On the phone with my folks wishing me happy birthday? Bam! Can’t speak, eyes are leaking. Ordering a sandwich at Chick-fil-A? I’m sure the nervous teenager won’t mind that I’m crying as I add a large lemonade. Some work needs to get done because people are counting on me, but typing from the fetal position is a challenge, I tell ya.

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So depression sucks. It’s sneaky, but not necessarily unanticipated; it’s like a fight that is planned in advanced, but the date keeps shifting so you’re never really rest for it. The fighters prepare as best they can, but even seasoned fighters will tell you plans change when you take that first hit. Well I’ve been getting beat up for three days and it’s time to fight back as best as I can: more meds, more focus, more snuggles, more coffee, more playtime, tea time, and doll time. I may not win the fight this time, but I’ll keep swinging as best as I can. If I’m alive after, I can count that as a win.