Atlantic Antic

September 28, 2007

I blog about this every year, but this year we live on Atlantic so this street fair will be right outside our door. It’s this Sunday. I can’t wait.

Here’s a picture of everything going on. Great food, great music and plenty of good beer. What could be better?



Captain Crunch

September 28, 2007

Like most parents, we have resisted the sugar cereals. Danielle started out only with Cheerios. Then we mixed in a few Fruit Loops (which today she still refers to as “rainbow Cheerios”). Finally we were visiting my wife’s sister and her boys (14 and 18) were eating Captain Crunch. So Danielle tried it.

It’s all over.

The problem is compounded by the parental convenience factor. In the morning we are typically scrambling trying to get Danielle ready for pre-school. She needs to eat breakfast. When it’s Captain Crunch, she doesn’t complain and eats quickly. We augment it with apples afterwards and make sure she brushes her teeth well, but let’s face it, the healthy breakfast just went out the window…

Alzheimer’s Woes

September 20, 2007

Some of you know that my mother has Alzheimer’s. It is amazing how many people are dealing with parents having Alzheimer’s. It’s no fun.

We moved my mom from her own apartment into an Alzheimer’s facility about six months ago. She clearly wasn’t safe living on her own, but it was hard to do. The place seemed good. It was in Appleton, Wisconsin, near where my brother lives.

But she remembered enough to know that she didn’t like it there. She just wanted to be on her own. So she started sneaking out. I have to hand it to her, she’s very resourceful. The doors have alarms so she would remove a screen window and slip out (first floor windows, but still).

This place ultimately told us that she had to be moved to a more secure facility. Luckily we were able to find a good one. Or so we thought. It was a bit nicer than the first place, more staff and they said they had experience with “wanderers”.

It turns out salesmen are salesmen, even in Alzheimer’s facilities. This was a serious case of overselling.

We visited her last weekend. She hadn’t seen Victoria yet and Danielle had been asking to see Nana. So we made the long trek to Appleton. My brother had told me that she was declining. It was very true. She knew who I was most of the time, but not all of the time. She seemed to know who Danielle was, but didn’t know her name. There was one point where she looked at my wife and had the following conversation:

“Hello, where are you from”

“New York”

“My, what a long trip. Are you here visiting someone?”

“Yes, you”

“Oh, I thought you looked familiar”

You have to laugh, otherwise you’d only cry.

But we would later find out that Mom was escaping from the new place as well. They just weren’t always telling us. She had started to get a bit manic depressive. She could be happy as a clam and then suicidal a minute later. One time she escaped and tried to go to a street and go into traffic, apparently trying to get hit. She wasn’t taking her medication, but the place didn’t tell us that.

So finally they recommended a short stay in a hospital that specializes in Alzheimer medications. They would observe her for 72 hours and try to get her on the right medication. But legally, we couldn’t just send her there. The Alzheimer place couldn’t just send her there. The only way for this to happen (short of getting her declared legally incompetent) was to let her escape again, call the police and have the police pick her up. The police could refer her to this hospital.

So that’s what happened. Her medication has been shifted to address her manic episodes. And she has been moved to a new, more truly secure place. We’ll see how she reacts to that.

But it was good to visit. Danielle got to see her Nana. Both my mom and my brother got to see Victoria for the first time (my brother will actually remember it). And Victoria is becoming a Packer fan…


US Open, Tennis and Silence

September 9, 2007

I was at the Women’s finals of the US Open on Saturday. The US Open is a great, if overpriced, event. No annual sporting event attracts more people than the US Open (it is two weeks long, after all). The American Express Gold Card gets you a shot a tickets a bit before the general public (but apparently after anyone with real connections) so we always try to go one night. The last two years we’ve picked the women’s final because it’s on a Saturday night.

The night sessions are fun at the Open. They are much rowdier, and tennis needs a bit of that. I’m not a huge tennis fan. I enjoy it, and follow the majors, but that’s about it.

This year’s women’s final was a bit lame. Henin simply stomped her opponent. At no point in the match did the outcome seem in doubt. And it always helps to have one of the Williams sisters in the final. Love them or hate them, they add a ton of buzz to the match.

But the weirdest thing for a baseball/basketball/football fan about tennis is the total silence. In between points, one person can easily yell something and the entire stadium will hear it. Try that at Yankee stadium. Imagine if at a basketball game, the crowd had to be silent during a free throw.

I was at a Yankee game with a friend of mine recently, and between cheering and general socializing we pretty much talked the entire game (ok, he’s a talker). At a tennis match you make whispered comments and only occasionally lest you offend someone.

I’d like to see golf and tennis players have to deal with distractions. C’mon Tiger, hit a 40 putt with people screaming…

Turning computers into my grandfather

September 6, 2007

A funny link from The Onion