Wednesday, October 20, 2010

And on to less serious subjects...

The last month has held some exciting news.  Goren and Eames are coming back to Criminal Intent!  It's as though the universe smiled upon me and gave me eight more chances to see my dream team together.  As much as I love D'Onofrio's work, I'm a huge fan of him and Erbe together, and was nervously biting my nails as I waited the three weeks it took for her to sign her contract.  But now it's done, and I'm anxiously awaiting the spring season.

In the last year, going through withdrawal of my two favorite detectives has been difficult..  I've been entertaining myself with the web.  It's amazing the things you can see on the internet.  It never ceases to amaze me some of the things people create in the name of fandom.  I've kept up on articles about my two detectives, but have wandered onto some other fan sites that have been, well, interesting, to say the least.  Most of them have made me laugh, because they're so overtly sexual in tone.  I mean, entire posts and pages of pictures of D'Onofrio's crotch?  Really?  And great discussion about dimensions as well.  I always wonder, if you really met him, is THAT what you'd be focused on?  How would that go?  "Hi, I'm (fill in the blank)...would you mind dropping 'em?  Nice package."

When D'Onofrio and Erbe unceremoniously left CI (or were actually not invited back), irritation among fans was high.  Several fans created a "binder project" with letters, drawings, etc. to show the actors their appreciation of their work over the years.  Although I thought the idea in and of itself was a nice one in general, I didn't think it was appropriate in this case and here's why:  both actors have dealt with stalkers.  D'Onofrio was stalked and his life threatened by a stalker several years ago.  Since then, he's exercised more caution for himself and his family.  Just this past April, a man was arrested for stalking Kathryn Erbe and attempting to contact her and her family through facebook, among other means.  He had stalked her on the set, had pictures taken of himself, Erbe, and his child together, then photoshopped his child out of the picture and posted pictures of him and Erbe together.  As nice as the idea of letters of appreciation are, I can imagine that as a human being, your first reaction is to protect yourself and your family.  The reality is a book full of devoted letters and drawings is bound to bring about anxiety along with appreciation.

Everyone's entitled to fantasy.  Sure, if you want to take a bajillion photos of an actor and focus on his privates, knock yourself out.  It's a free country, and I'll be honest--when I come across that stuff, I find it so silly I usually crack up.  But I can't imagine for a minute actually looking a person in the eye and trying to have a conversation after spending extensive time cutting and pasting their privates all over the web.

So maybe fans should be just that--fans, being careful not to blur boundaries between an actor's work and reality.

Okay, off my soapbox now...enjoy your crotch viewing and have a nice day!

Friday, October 15, 2010


Raising a child with varying emotional and behavioral diagnoses is a challenge, no doubt.  Actually, raising any child is a who have different disorders just take a different path.

Sometimes, depending on the disorder, the path goes up mountains, down through valleys, crosses oceans on a rickety boat and requires tremendous skill and dexterity.  Other times, it's like skipping through the park.  I think when you're used to sailing on a rowboat through a hurricane, you're so much more thankful for those days you get to skip through the park.

I actually shouldn't call it days, because with my son, it's often moments.  We have skipping moments mixed with mountain climbing followed by swimming the English Channel and finishing with watching the stars.  You just never know what life is going to bring with that kid.

Today we had a wonderful skipping through the park moment.  I'm so thankful for that, and for him to experience that success.  He came home from school and announced that his dad and I would be proud of him, then produced two school papers that had been graded 100%.  Yes, I was proud (insanely proud, actually, because although he's incredibly bright he struggles to interpret information and get it on the page accurately).  But more than my own pride, I was so pleased for him.  The sound in his voice--that he believed in himself--was worth a million bucks.

I've blogged for over a year now about our much this child struggles, my fears and dreams and wishes and goals for him.  His fears and dreams for himself.  A year ago he was in a residential facility, struggling with daily living and making appropriate choices that should have been easy for a child much younger than him.

And today he brought home two 100% papers from school.

God is good and we are blessed.  My son is an inspiration to me, and I'm so proud to be part of his matter where it takes me.

Thursday, October 14, 2010


This morning I had a meeting at my children's new school regarding my son's IEP.  There apparently had been some confusion and the school was "unaware" that he had an IEP.  I could launch into an irate tirade about this, especially considering we gave them a copy when he was enrolled, but I won't.  It's not really what I want to write about.

The woman I met with was very nice, and it was the first time I had ventured into this particular school.  Considering it's very large--four floors with eleven hundred students--it seemed new and clean and well-organized.  Everyone was polite and pleasant, including the security guard (security?!? yikes!).  Overall, I got the impression that it's a decent urban school.

Afterwards, I came home and took my dad to the grocery store.  He likes to shop on Thursdays because he gets a senior discount, and so off we went to his favorite store.  He usually uses a motorized cart these days, as he can't stand for very long without fatigue in his legs and pain in his back.  So I basically followed him around, helping him find whatever was on the list that he couldn't reach.

We came home and I unpacked the groceries, checked my email and message boards, and began to write this blog.  In another fifteen minutes,we're off to the neurologist so she can monitor how my dad is doing regarding his gait.  He has had difficulty with walking and balance.

This time in his life is difficult for everyone.  It's hard to watch people you always saw as being strong and competent slip into a level of no longer being able to care for themselves.  But one of the life lessons I'm learning is to enjoy the time I have left with him.  No day is one to take for granted.

We might have months or we might have years.  Either way, I'm thankful for his good days when he's sharp and can joke with me and carry on conversations.  I'm sad for the days when he can't and devastated for the days that bring increasingly more tests and more serious prognoses.  But we've got each other, and that counts for something.  I'm thankful for that.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Life Lessons

Okay, so it's been forever and a day since I last wrote on this blog.

Life's a funny dog.  This has definitely been a year of upheaval for me.  A year ago, my son was in a residential treatment facility and we were dealing with the ramifications of that.  I was loving my job and busier than ever at work.  My daughter was struggling in missing her brother at home.  My husband was working part time while looking for a job in his field.

Now I've left the job I once loved, moved halfway across the country to live with my aging parents and help care for my father, who is pretty ill.  My husband and I are both currently unemployed but both kids are doing better than ever.  Weird.

Oh!  And who could forget...on the fringes of my life, my love for all things Criminal Intent, and a year ago when the series was massacred with a quick, unceremonious exit for my favorite detectives.  Now both have signed back on for an eight-episode final season.  It's like the TV gods smiled on me.

There's a lesson in here somewhere, I just know it.  I'm still figuring it out.  But here are some of the things I'm learning.

1.  Never underestimate your kid.  Just because he struggles in one setting doesn't mean he'll struggle forever.  And kids can rise to meet some amazing challenges if given the opportunity.

2.  Never pass up time with your loved ones, even if it's painful.  I'm well aware every time I look at my father and he's having trouble walking or remembering things or performing basic functions, that he is in the process of dying.  I know it, my husband knows it, my mother knows it.  I'm not sure he knows it, though.  But every Tuesday he and I have a lunch date, whether he's sharp as a tack or having trouble recalling what's going on.  And I know that when the time comes, I will cherish those moments with him.

3.  Don't underestimate yourself.  In this job market, I took a job initially that seemed safe and I had done it before.  It was during the second day of training that I realized how much I had changed in ten years and how unhappy I would be trying to return to myself ten years ago.  I ended up turning down the job.

4.  Don't be too picky.  On the other hand, I'm so incredibly ready to get back to work.  I miss being useful, being involved.  Finding something useful to do with my time is critical to my well-being.

5.  Nobody's meant to cocoon for forever.  Just as butterflies metamorphose, so do we.  I spent three months holed up, depressed and trying to come to terms with the changes in my life.  One day I suddenly realized I was free to do whatever I needed to do, and what I needed was to get out and breathe.

6.  Family is everything.  Both extended and nuclear--family means the world to me.  I love my kids and my husband tremendously.  As difficult as all these changes have been on all of us, I feel so blessed to have made the changes with these people.  That despite the fact that I'm far from a perfect mom and wife, I have three wonderful people who love me and I adore them, more than ever.

7.  Everybody needs space.  I thought at first it wouldn't bother me at all to live with my parents again.  I was helping, right?  What I've learned is that everyone gets annoying after awhile if they're too close to you in proximity.  A separate home is a top priority as soon as we can do it.

8.  It is absolutely possible for hell to freeze over.  After all, Goren and Eames are back on Criminal Intent.  Need I say more?