Inflatable Insanity

Today is my weekly trip to Inflatable Insanity with my son, Morgan. This is a business with those inflatable slides, jump houses and obstacle courses you see at fairs. They have them inside a big room, and rent them out for parties. An awesome idea, if you ask me.

Since Morgan has autism, I can’t take him to a regular place without watching him like a hawk, and probably having to explain to the other parents that he has autism, has problems with social situations, has no concept of personal space or how to interact with others, etc. It’s OK the first couple of times, but just gets tiring after a while. especially when people give you “The Look”, i.e. why did you bring your son out in public, why can’t you control him, and all that other bullshit.

Anyway, Inflatable Insanity has an hour set aside for “Special” kids, so I can take him and everyone else has a kid with some sort of problem, be it autism or something else. No need for explanations, no wierd looks, etc. The kids have loads of fun, too. Best of all, it’s free because the owners have a child with autism in need of some playmates.

Everyone wins all around, but Morgan wins most so I will drag my sorry ass there every Sunday no matter what.

Buy vs. Rent?

Ok, I don’t get the deal with renting songs vs. buying them on iTunes. If I spend a year renting songs, I have access to a huge number of songs, its true, but when I stop using the service the songs are gone.

For the sake of illustration, lets say I pay $10 a month to rent songs. I just pulled that number out of thin air, btw. That’s $120 for year of access to any song I want to hear. Now, what happens after a year if your music service goes out of business or you decide you don’t like it any more? You’re stuck with nothing.

If you spend that $120 on iTunes, you now have 12 albums, or 120 individual songs. They are yours to keep, even if you never visit iTunes again!

I just can’t see spending the money. But what the hell do I know, I live in an apartment.

Morgan’s MRI

This is a bit of a rant, so bear with me. Morgan’s MRI was on Tuesday. I took the day off work to go to the hospital with him and my wife. Now, I spoke to his teachers at school and told them he would be out on Tuesday. I also called their absent child hotline. The school set that up so they would know if a child was really out of school or was missing. Not a bad idea. I don’t have a problem with it. I also let the bus dispatcher know that Morgan wouldn’t be riding the bus on Tuesday. So what annoys me is that I have to send a note in to school with him the next day to excuse his absence. I don’t get it, but then I guess I don’t have a bureaucratic mindset. Plano schools are supposed to be the best in Texas, and I believe it, but sometimes I have to shake my head in wonder at some of the things they do.

Rant, part two: We got to the hospital at noon (for a 2 o’clock procedure, more head shaking). When we were checking Morgan in, we found out that this MRI was going to cost us around $230. The lady checking us in said that it was about 10% of the real cost of the procedure. Apparently we have to pay 10% while our insurance picks up 90%. Now that’s a good deal. I know that. It just pisses me of that yet again, we get blindsided with a charge I didn’t budget for. I just have to wonder why no one bothered to tell us. The treatment coordinator must have known. The person who pre-registered us the week before knew. HELLO PEOPLE! A warning would have been nice. Had I known, I would have scheduled it for just after payday on the 15th, when I could have actually afforded it.


Fortunately, that’s the last test as far as I know. I love my son and I don’t begrudge him the tests. We need to know if he has anything other than autism. Still, it would have been nice to deal with people who understand that not everyone has $230 to throw around like it was nothing.

Rant done. I feel much better. Thanks for your attention.

I don’t know when we’ll get his results from the MRI. I’m expecting them back soon. Also, once we got into the hospital and the procedure started, the nurses and doctor were just great. Everything went smoothly and Morgan was in and out by 3:30 p.m. A very pleasant experience all around except for that first part.

So Far So Good

For those of you who don’t know me, my son was diagnosed with Autism in June of 2004. We got him in to see a neurologist last week and he recommended we do some tests. So, last Tuesday night we traipsed off to Medical City Hospital in Dallas for an all night EEG.

That was about as fun as picking porcupine needles out of your butt. I felt so bad for the little guy. He had these electrodes attached all over his head, they were glued on tight because he had to sleep with them on. He had a long, long sock over all the wires and covering his head with a little area cut out for his face so he couldn’t get to the electrodes and pick them off.

Needless to say, he was pretty traumatized by the whole thing and let us know he didn’t like it one bit, screaming all the way. My wife and I had to hold him down while the nurse put the electrodes on, put a piece of gauze with a horrible smelling chemical glue over the electrode, and blow dry the gauze to set the glue. The bright spot that Tuesday evening was that he was tired out and went to sleep right afterwards at around 9 p.m.

Unfortunately for us, he woke up at 4:30 a.m. the following morning and wanted the electrodes off! We stayed in his room that night. I slept on a chair while my wife slept on the pull out bed they provide.

We kept him occupied all morning until 9 a.m. when they came in to remove the electrodes. He didn’t like that either…

Just before we left, his neurologist came in and told us the EEG was normal. Hooray!!!

Next Tuesday is the MRI. He’ll be sedated for that, and they’ll take some blood while he’s under for other tests.

What the heck happened to TSS?

The Screen Savers used to be my favorite show. I never missed it. When I got my Tivo, I really never missed it. Now, it seems like a pale shadow of what it was. After Megan left, it was going downhill, but Patrick and Leo still managed to keep it going. Then, after that stupid merger with G4 TV, everything went to hell. I liked the show because it had adults on it, talking about adult topics. This is probably why G4 got rid of everyone over 20 on the show, though.

Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against 20 year olds. I was a 20 year old once. They are nice, and their belief that they can still change the world keeps me feeling that maybe they’re right. However, when it comes to The ScreenSavers, their interests are not my interests.

Just thought I’d lament something that I used to look forward to. I’m going to try and catch an episode in the near future to see if it has settled down into something watchable, but I don’t hold out much hope.