...in which Ms. A goes back to school.

Rockstar Reader
Originally uploaded by Cheryl Rollman.
This week Ms. A filed all her paperwork and registered for classes that she'll be taken through Austin Community College to start and then Texas State University to complete her degree. She'll be taking a mix of psychology, sociology and education classes and work toward a degree that will get her a social worker type job.

We're all very excited for her. This also means that most of her old student loans are paid or paid down to the point where she qualifies for grants and other aid. And if she gets a teaching degree, there's a program that forgives old loans.

Her father is a special ed teacher and I think the teaching gene might run in the family. I hope she does well and it actually made me start thinking about finishing my degree. Though how a BS in Musical Theater is going to help my IT career is beyond me.

Carry on.


Reviews: Fringe & Dollhouse

Yep, these shows ended about a month ago, but TVZ has finally run the reviews I wrote for them. Now that we're knee deep in summer TV watching, I'm hoping nothing major starts and I have more time to be with my kids, do some drawing, muck around with Lego and see some movies.

I'm still stinging about Fox deciding Dollhouse was a better product than Terminator: The Sarah Conner Chronicles, especially seeing how much flak the movie received. It's not like I didn't like Dollhouse, it's that I thought the Terminator show was much better.

Still, Torchwood has a mini series out in mid July, The IT Crowd has another series out soon and there's a lot to catch up on over at Hulu. I'm also watching Battlestar: Galactica again from the beginning with a friend who's never seen the first couple seasons. It's fun and I forgot what a good show BS:G was even at the start.

Make sure to head over to TVZ, though, for more news, polls, reviews and commentary.

Carry on.



Group hug!
Originally uploaded by xadrian.
Lil Miss Austin has officially graduated to third grade. Yesterday was their awards ceremony and today is the first day of summer break. She received several awards (as most precious snowflakes do nowadays) but singularly she received a Literary Academic award for being the best writer, poet and storyteller in her class. She's also on the Honor Roll and received straight A's.

And for the next three months it's all going to ooze out of her brain like melted cheese.

The BGF has made a few friends over the last year, a few of which have kids so there will likely be a lot of time spent with these folks or at least days when LMA and her brother are either away at a friend's house or entertaining at ours. Now that we've discovered roller skating, I might get her a pair of skates and go with her around the neighborhood. Plus there's swimming and fishing and sleeping late and watching cartoons...

...it sucks being a grown up.

Also momentous is Miss LA's family being in town for the weekend. Their youngest is in Austin to see a concert so they paid us a visit last night and we had fun eating vegetarian TexMex, drinking and playing Apples to Apples. Ms. A and Miss LA got more of a commitment out of the parents to attend their ceremony/party on New Years. They are very Catholic (she was raised as such) and so ideologically this is very hard for them. But the most important thing is that their daughter is happy and to that end they agreed to at least try to attend and raise a glass in celebration.

If you're in Austin and you want a good show, come by our house while these two are making dinner. It's cute to watch them fight about who's making drinks, who needs to stop cleaning and who's family is crazier. I need to film it and possibly pitch the entire house as either a reality show or at least a family research institute.

Happy Friday y'all.


Roller Skating

Roller Skating
Originally uploaded by xadrian
Lil Miss Austin went skating.

Remembering back, I honestly don't think she's ever been skating. She's never owned rollerblades and I the time I think we took her ice skating was a time before she was born.

It's been a long time, for either of us. Let's just leave it at that.

I'm a fairly decent skater. I can go without falling for a long time, turn around, move backwards for a while, stop, etc. All the basics. I know enough that before we left, I told LMA that she didn't need a helmet because she was going to fall on her butt.

A lot.

I tried to emphasize "a lot" because that's what you do when learning to skate. Your body, used to walking, doesn't understand it needs to get over your feet more and the skates end up shooting out in front of you. She must have falled a couple hundred times and I'm not even joking. However, she weights 50lbs and her butt is about 20 inches off the ground, it's not like her dad's nearly 200lbs ass is crashing onto the rink. But repetition did start taking its toll.

The party itself was typical kid chaos. In two hours, tunnel vision parents try to cram in a meal, some social time, a gift giving venture and the celebratory singing of good wishes to the guest of honor. Add eight wheels per kid and turn up the music.

I was the only parent who skated. A few others were in the rink with their precious snowflakes making sure they didn't get hurt. I have an issue with this and part of it comes from the fact that when I was a kid, if you didn't have skates on, you weren't allowed onto the rink. Now people are just strolling around out there.

The other reason is if you're going to experience something with your kid, do it with them. Don't just hold their hand, play WITH them. I can understand a bum knee, but if you can't participate, don't hover. If for some reason I couldn't have skated, I'd have sat my butt on the side lines, not wandered around behind them as the puttered along, holding their shoes. I won't go into a moon jump, but that's a logistics thing. They don't make those for dads such as myself.

What surprised me the most was how taken she was by this activity. She fought through round after round of tears and spills and crashes only to fight it off and nearly scream, "I want to skate!" She's fairly sore today and I know she used muscles she hasn't before. I know my inner thighs are sore and she said her hips hurt a lot. The sideways motion of skating is brutal on those muscles if you don't do it regularly. But despite what was some severe twists and wipe outs, she soldiered through as though at any moment the skates were going to be removed from her feet.

So much so we're thinking of taking her to the Austin Derby Brats Jr. Roller Derby practices and seeing about being a regular skater. Of all the things I've thought about what LMA might like to do, I'd never imagined she wanted to skate. We'll see how it goes.

I really hope she likes going because I like it too. Ms. A can't skate because of her knee, but I know that any activity that doesn't cost $1000 in registration or equipment and that the kids like, we're going to let them do it.

Plus it may be something she can do over the summer.