Monday, October 25, 2010

I Smell Berry Bonkers ... and you? Another Manic Monday

If you're curious what that fruity smell is, don't worry, it's me.  Right now I smell like Hawaiian Punch Berry Bonkers and you know what?  It's really not that bad.



There was so much Hawaiian Punch Berry Bonkers just spilled in our office by Ryan that I indeed went Berry Bonkers myself trying to clean it up before Justin's homework got destroyed (homework somewhat safe but fruity smelling, math book ruined), before John's computer got fried (safe) and before our carpet added yet another interesting juice spill color to its original beige (hopeless cause).  

If you are ever a guest in our home... you know, for one of those fancy dinner parties you've been aching to come to... please overlook the unique look of the Count Your Beans World Headquarters office carpeting.  In fact if you know of any new carpeting sweepstakes out there that won't put me on a telemarketing phone call list until I am in my 90s, please let me know.  Thanks!



I have the feeling I'm going to be smelling berry good for the rest of the evening.  I'll just pretend it's a new bubble bath or shower gel flavor.  I usually go for strawberry, grape, Watercourse Way Rosemary Mint and peppermint with my shower gels but I'm thinking I may contact Hawaiian Punch and see if they'd be interested in an Aspierations / Hawaiian Punch "Bath & Body" joint venture.  What do you think?  Surefire moneymaker?

So it was me and the boys home alone again this evening.  John had a scouting committee meeting that he went to by himself and I had a ton of work that I had to get done for CYB.  The former I guess went successfully, the latter, not so much.  The boys to their credit did a great job behaving but there were still a lot of interruptions, a couple meltdowns, three spills and one attempt to use John's iPad to purchase over $100 (real cash) worth of gaming coins (worth essentially nothing) for one of those Zynga type farming applications that everyone in the world in my family and extended family except me seems to be fascinated with.  I won't say obsessed... well, I just did... but I'm the Aspie around here and everyone else seems to be the ones that can't avoid checking their gameplay multiple times a day.  

I briefly tried one of those games last year with John.  It was a pirate game through Zynga and Facebook and in the beginning it was kind of fun.  I quickly saw how people could get dependent and addicted to playing the game each day. Before long, I was getting tons of application gaming and "friend" requests from strangers at Facebook who I had no other acquaintance with other than "the game" and it just didn't feel socially right for me.  Some people would get really serious about their game and if you "attacked / fought" them as part of a game, would send nasty notes.  Seriously?  Because of an online game?  

Ever heard of Mafia Wars, Pirates of the Caribbean, Farmville, Farm Town, Farm Story, Vampire something or other (BITE ME!), Fashion Wars, Frontierville, Petville, Fishville, Takemymoneyville, etc, etc... 



Check out this link: The Real Reason You Are Addicted to Farmville (And Zynga is a 5 Billion dollar company -- not bad for putting out all those "free" apps...)

Some of the games are "nicer" than others.  They're fuzzy and friendly. Millions of people play.  They have a good hook.  They are entertainment for many.  

If you play these games, please don't take offense at what I am about to say.  Everyone needs to have some form of leisure activity and relaxation. If you have the time to play and desire to play and your priorities are aligned, go for it. It's not my place to tell you what to do. 

Some friendly advice? Just please don't let it take over your life and don't spend a lot (or any) of real money on the stuff.  If you're feeling you HAVE to check your game multiple times a day but you're checking out in other areas of your life, please reassess.  Please watch out for viruses and fake emails related to your game.  Please be careful about "friending" people who are going to have access to your personal information. If you do play, your kids are going to want to... and what do you say?  Mommy or Daddy can play an animated cartoon like game but the kids can't?

Hey, I like video games, I love challenging word games, strategy games, number games and even online poker before it was banned in Washington.  Don't get me wrong.  I'm truly not anti-game.  But I don't have to play them every day or multiple times each day...  Given that I'm a person who tends to have compulsive tendencies, I often recognize the signs in others.

A lot of these "social" online games encourage and reward daily players and as such, many people playing start to develop a dependency or feel a social obligation to not let down their game friends or neighbors.  They may not think it adversely impacts other areas of their lives and probably for most casual players, it doesn't.  But for those who have a tendency toward dependency... it really can have negative ramifications.  You may not see it but others will.  Just do a google search across the web and see how many people have become addicted to these things!  Zynga and similar companies make money hand over fist on these "free" app games and they do it by reeling people in and encouraging and rewarding people's loyalty. For the ones who have given money and/or lots of time to these games, it can be very costly. People lose money they don't have to spend, their grades may suffer, they may lose their jobs and they may lose relationships too... 

Sorry... lecture over... getting down from my soapbox now!  I don't even know why I went down that road.  Well, actually I do.  But I won't go there because I want to bring positive energy back into my life right now and this blog could use some good vibes too.  I apologize if I ticked anyone off but I needed to get it out.  Feel free to rant and rave at me in the comments section if you'd like. 



I went to bed last night wanting to have a really good day.  Today is October 25th. Happy Birthday to those celebrating today... especially one of you out there!  You know who you are! 

It is also a month before Thanksgiving (and my own birthday, gobble, gobble) and two months before Christmas.  Yikes!  I need more days in this month!

Last night didn't end the way I had hoped but I had positive expectations for today.  I was awakened by John coming into the room and sitting down on the bed with a very serious look on his face.  An incident had happened at school.  At first I was scared.  Was someone hurt?  Sick?  Then John explained to me the content of a phone call he just had with a teacher and I knew it was going to be a day of challenge.  



Calls and emails from the teachers.  I'm beginning to know them more intimately than most family members and friends...  The incident itself was one of those things that parents of school-age children with autism and Asperger's would probably understand and relate to, especially if you have children sensitive, passionate and determined.  While these can be very good qualities, they can also lead to challenges, especially if a child is embarrassed or feeling blocked or backed into a corner.  You know what can happen, right?  It's hard enough when it happens at home... in a restaurant (how many of us really go out)... at someone else's home (that's assuming one is invited to other people's homes), at church (yep... well at least God understands), at the grocery store (that one really sucks...) but at school with one's peers around, well... that is another entity entirely.

I'm not going to go into the specifics of the incident itself because right now that's not important and I want to protect the feelings of my son should he ever happen onto this blog.  I love him so much now, yesterday, tomorrow, forever!  I get it!  I understand!  I love you!  I get you!  I wish I could take what happened back but we have to look at these things as learning experiences and opportunities to turn adversity into growth. Easier said than done but I have faith!

I may talk about it later in a dedicated blog about school and school challenges because I think it's an important topic that many Aspierations readers can relate to or at least sympathize with.  I will just say that for now, what happened was heartbreaking both to me and to John.  Sometimes you think you're making so much progress... and then out comes a big WHAMMY who takes away your progress and leaves you wondering what in the hell just happened?



I will also say that I think things are rectified with the teachers to the level that all will be okay for our son to return to school tomorrow.  I am hoping and praying that tomorrow will be a better day for him.  The last few days have been an avalanche of rough challenges.  He's had lots of hugs, lots of pep talks and I told him the tough streak was over and starting this minute (the time we were having the conversation), it was going to be a better day. 

The thing about days starting out kind of badly for me is that it seems to have a raining, pouring, torrential rainstorm, hailing, showing, gigantic snowball type effect.  Mondays are usually our busiest shipping days and so I always have busy Mondays but today there were a crazy number of questions, issues concerning things beyond our control ("thank you, dear vendor..."), odd requests and a higher than quota number of daily life around the house issues.

Right now the kids are in bed, perhaps even sleeping.  I really should be using this time to go back to work but you know what?  I just don't feel like it right now.  Since Donald Trump isn't around to say, "You're Fired", I'm going to cut myself some slack, do this blog and then take a long luxurious shower where I will replace the ever so delicious Berry Bonkers smell with that of strawberry, raspberry or fresh vibrant mint.  I may even put on some music in the background, dance off my derriere and sing my standard playlist a few times.  Then it's a glass of wine, some chocolate, some late night romance... 

Hmm... I think at this point, I'll be happy just to get to the shower part and maybe catch Hawaii Five-O on TivO.  Of course there is always "The Event" which is taking a monumentally long time to get going... soon to be a non-event in our viewing playlist if something more exciting doesn't happen.  With all the hype it got in promos, I really expected more.  Now Hawaii Five-O... it's not the same as the original of course but I like the banter and chemistry among McGarrett and Danno so far.  It's a break from Criminal Minds...

Now why I am digressing here?  I guess I really don't want to get back to those email.  Speaking of which, I did recently assert myself and put myself out there again. (See my blog, "From The Heart of Someone Who Has Loved and Lost") I'm glad I did and the door is always open.  

You know, I think it is kind of fitting that Hawaii Five-O is on the same night that I got drenched with Hawaiian Punch Berry Bonkers.  What would be even cooler is if I won an all-expense paid trip for the family to Hawaii!  Snorkeling in Maui, luaus (watch out for my belly dance!!), the smell of the flowers... 
I've always wanted to stay at The Four Seasons Resort in Lanai, the Lodge at Koele or the Manele Bay and do some of those amazing outdoor adventures and play on some beautiful golf courses.  I may not be into "camping" so much but I do have a frisky risk-taking spirit and would love to try zip-lining, parasailing, scuba-diving and a whole host of other "Amazing Race" kind of outdoor adventure activities.  Then send me back to my nice hotel and give me a great massage!  



Okay, it's been quiet for 20 minutes now.  Work or shower and relaxation?  Which will it be?

Leave me a comment if you want to know which way I decided!!

Best wishes for a terrific rest of the week.  Meltdown-free!
Karen

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