Sunday, February 28, 2010

A Rough Night

Yesterday, Oliver had a multiple-meltdown afternoon. We went shopping around 4 and stopped in a Barnes & Noble for coffee and cookies. He got completely wild after that (he wanted to go to the kid's section of the bookstore and we didn't have time to go there) and threw himself on the ground. I picked him up and he hit me. Several times, about the head and the neck. He also tried to pinch me in the neck, which he knows drives me crazy and also hurts!

I sat him down on the sidewalk for a timeout. After a few minutes, I asked him if he was able to control himself. He said, no. So I picked him up and brought him to the car.

He tried to blame it on the sugar.  "The sugar made me act bad."  We told him, angrily, that he's in charge of his own body and nobody makes him behave badly except himself.  He was silent after that.  I could just feel him fuming in the back seat.  

We were planning to go out for dinner, but we told him that we might have to cancel our plans because of his behavior. Meltdown. Timeout. A few minutes later, meltdown again. More hitting. More timeouts.

After some discussion amongst ourselves, we decided to cancel going out to dinner. Which was punishing ourselves, really, but it's awful going out to dinner when he's being wild and uncontrollable. Plus, we wanted him to see hard consequences of his bad behavior. He needs to see that sometimes, just saying he's sorry doesn't fix everything.  So we told him about our decision and of course, he melted down again. Wild sobbing, more hitting, more crying, more throwing of things. 

It lasted all the way until bedtime, when he hit me on the way into the bedroom. He went to bed by himself for the first time in forever. (Which caused him to whine, "I want somebody to snuggle up with me!" It was a pretty drastic punishment, in his mind. One of us always lays down with him at bedtime.) Sigh.

And then at 3 am, Mrs. B started puking. She's got a nasty stomach bug and a fever to boot. She's upchucked a couple more times and she's been in bed all day. (it's 10:30 Seattle time, and she's still in bed.)  So it's just been me and Oliver together all morning while she recovers.   

Good news is that Oliver's behaving much better today. But there's no way in hell I'm dragging my poor pukey wife out to dinner tonight.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

An Open Letter to NBC

Dear NBC Programming Geniuses,

I live in Seattle, less than three hours away from the site of the 2010 Olympics. Yet I cannot watch the Olympics events live - most of the major events appear to be tape delayed. I could read news stories, Tweets, blog posts and Facebook reports about the opening ceremonies, and even watch video highlights - but I couldn't see it in my own home on my own television until three hours after it had already happened.

You have ruined the Olympics for me. I intended to make this an opportunity to share the joy of the Olympics Games with my son. But the opening ceremonies, which started at our traditional dinner time, were tape delayed until after our son had gone to bed! So instead of sitting around the television that night, watching the opening ceremonies unfold, I was forced to record it with TiVo and show it to him the day after. The Olympics are no longer a family event for us. Thanks, NBC.

And then there's the constant irritation of watching events hours after they happen. By the time I saw Apolo Ohno win his silver medal, I already knew how the race was going to play out, thanks to the internet. Do you people not know that the internet exists?! There is no suspense, no drama, no excitement. Why watch, when I can just watch the highlights on YouTube?

Do you see what you have done? You have ruined the entire concept of the Olympics as a must-see event? You're killing your audience. I don't even feel compelled to watch the coverage at night - I can just scan the internet and find out what happened. By delaying the coverage, you're destroying the reason we watch. Your asinine decision has made me see the Olympics as a giant inconvenience, not a worldwide spectacle. I think more about NBC's terrible programming decisions than I do about the actual competition of the Olympics.

I have been watching the Olympics with my family since I was seven years old. You have successfully ruined a family tradition for me, and ruined my love of the Olympics games by making them inconvenient and pointless to watch. You should all be ashamed of yourselves.

Disgustedly Yours,

Sky Bluesky
Seattle, WA

Saturday, February 06, 2010


It's a small thing, but I'll share it nonetheless.  I just broke 300 calories burned on our elliptical machine.

No, wait a second.  It's not a small thing.  This is kind of a big deal.  

We have an elliptical machine in our house.  (It's this one, if you're curious.  It's fantastic, and also has a relatively small footprint in our office.)  

When we first got it, my goal was to use it two or three times a week.  It typically was, like, once a week.  Twice if I remembered.  There was too much to do, tv shows to watch, books to read, dessert to eat.  I kept not doing it.  I kept finding excuses not to.

And also (cue whining), it was hard!  I was out of shape.  I had asthma.  My legs weren't used to exercise.  When I started, I could only do twenty minutes.  Sometimes, I would have to stop because I was gasping for air, even with regular pulls from my albuterol inhaler.  

But I got stronger.  Twenty turned into twenty-five, and twenty-five turned into thirty.

Then thirty started feeling easy.  I could burn through thirty minutes fairly effortlessly.  Now, I'm doing forty minutes and ... well, I'm not going to say I don't break a sweat, because I sweat like John Edwards in a room full of videographers.  But I can do it, and I can do it comfortably.  

What's also different is that I want to get on the elliptical now.  Every other night, Mrs. B puts Oliver to bed, and those are the nights I work out.  That means three or four times a week, and that's happening every single week.  Last week, I hopped on the machine four times for an hour and 45 minutes total, and burned 762 calories.  One recent week, I did two hours and twenty minutes on the machine, and burned over 1000 calories.  

It's a routine.  It's something I look forward to, not something I'm avoiding at all costs.  I like that.  It's a good feeling.