Mutually Exclusive

So last week I penned about the paradox of having two techie teens who don’t necessarily always fit nicely into a stereotypical box.  But wait – – there’s more!

Not only are the boys paradoxical within themselves, they also are so radically different from each other that I often wonder not only if they come from the same gene pool, but perhaps from the same species!

Case in point:



Laid back and easygoing

Hyper and always moving
Thoughtful and cautious Lives for the moment
Social butterfly Bit of a loner
Wants to blend into the background Always the performer
An old soul Forever a kid at heart
Wants to change the world Wants to change the channel
The devil is in the details Can never see the forest for all the trees
Lover of words and pictures Lover of science and imagination
A thinker A doer
Vegetarian and pacifist Happiest when fishing or shooting his air rifle

I’ve often thought that these two young men needed two complete sets of parents to figure out how to yo-yo back and forth between their particular personalities and differences.  Add a couple of disabilities to the mix, and you’ve got a smorgasbord of potential screw-ups in the parenting department.

I’ve made the sad mistake of trying to parent them the same, and I’ve made a similar mistake of trying to treat them as individual entities.  The truth is, they are individuals, but they also share a heck of a lot – – same parents, same house, and because we have always homeschooled – – many of the same experiences.  So the balancing act comes of understanding that they are forever intertwined, but still are always trying to find themselves. 

Heck, I’m an only child, and I’m still trying to figure out who I am.

Think it will all come out in the wash??

Thinker vs Doer


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From My Linear Brain To Yours

Dustin, over at one of my fave new blogs: The Writer’s Technology Companion, posed a contest disguised as a question yesterday…

Where Do You Get Your Ideas? [for writing]

You see the prize for the contest is a free copy of iMindMap software (retailing imindmap at over $200).  And mind-mapping is an incredibly powerful tool for some people.  H-T, my right brained, visual kiddo is a master mind mapper.  I’m not sure if people with dyslexia find it easier to mind-map or not, but he just “gets it”.  He can come up with fifteen solutions to a problem by just mapping things out.

My brain looks at his brain and just shakes its head. 

You know those timelines that teacher’s love so much?  That’s how my brain works.  Left to right.  Beginning to end.  Even the most creative story writing I have ever done has been by starting at the beginning, and writing chronologically right to “THE END”.  I may have a general outline of where the story is going to go, but most of it gets figured out along the journey.

So where do my ideas come from then?  If you don’t brainstorm, or mind-map, or use graphic organizers of any sort, how do you know when you have a creative idea? 

Well, I’ll tell you.  When my actual thinking brain is on, I only think sequentially.  But when I am in “off” mode (loading the dishwasher, taking a shower, running errands) the most wonderful random thoughts just pop in my head.  Sometimes they stick, sometimes they go down the drain with the dishwater.  But when they stick, I jot them down somewhere, and thus begins a blog idea, a story idea, a solution to a problem at work. Recently, I was snapping green beans and got the greatest idea for a new homeschooling article! 

Now, granted, I can’t really take credit for something that randomly pops in my head.  People who mind-map and brainstorm actually work for a living.  I just catch whatever random radio-wave happens to come along on my frequency.  So it’s cheating.  Possibly even plagiarizing if the radio wave came from some guy down the street who was busy mind-mapping and carelessly left his window open. 

timeline1_thumbnail I can live with that.  We left-brained people gotta take our inspiration where we can get it.

If you would rather get your ideas the legal way, head over to TWTC and get in on this great contest…

Newsflash: Rogaine Stocks Fly Through The Roof

Once in a long while the earth produces a human being who is a visionary.  An out-of-the-box thinker.  Someone who can see the big picture and theorize about upcoming trends and changes. 

I happen to be lucky enough to have one of those in my very own household.  Because of homeschooling, our youngest son has had the freedom to become something of a “Thinker.”  You know him as “H-T,” but the world will one day know him as the “Boy Who Foretold World Baldness.”

I’m afraid it just isn’t ethical to keep all this knowledge within the family anymore.  I feel it is my duty to inform the world of what they may or may not want to know about the future that awaits us.  May I introduce to you the theories of the 21st Century Nostradamus…


H-T believes that although geologic evidence shows that asteroids have created havoc on earth every 65 million years or so, we can stop looking toward the skies with our telescopes and asteroid armor.  The fact that we are thousands of years past due for our latest impact, H-T says, means that the source of all those previous rock fights has probably shifted somewhere else in the universe.  I gotta tell you, I am really relieved about that one, because I have my eye on that proposed shelter space in the back yard for a whirlpool!


This theory, which I freely admit I don’t understand more than five or six words of, involves the ability to change history by traveling back through time in a “pocket universe,” which I gather is some sort of alternate dimension.  Hey, if I could take back that frizzy perm the week before 9th grade class pictures, I’d get in anybody’s pocket.elmer fudd


Theory #3 involves the changes that will begin to take place in human anatomy and physiology.  H-T foresees the human species growing larger heads to accommodate brains that will be growing to keep up with quickly advancing technologies.  But at the same time, they will be trying to adapt to the rising temperatures created by Global Warming.  Therefore, larger heads and less body hair will be the new fashion trend in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue of 2,343.


H-T firmly believes that at the rate the continents are moving each year  – – 1 to 10 cm – – (so that explains that woozy feeling I get when I stand still!) they will eventually all bump into one another at some point in the future, creating a repeat performance of Pangaea.  That means we’ll all be getting a little closer, and needing a little more Arrid Extra Dry, folks! When I asked him how he could possibly know this to be the case, the following conversation ensued:

H-T: “Mom, don’t you understand the 12 Monkeys paradigm?”  (Yes, he said paradigm.)

Me: “Uh, no.  Were they a music group from the 70’s?”

H-T: (Rolls eyes)  “It says that if you put 12 monkeys and 12 typewriters in a room for 1,000 years, eventually one of them would write Hamlet.  It’s the same way with Pangaea.”

Me: “Oh, that paradigm.”  (Looks for the scar on back of H-T’s scalp where the aliens implanted the chip)



you guys wanna know MY theory? 

I think that homeschooled kids may rule the world one day. 

And that they will be the ones with the fattest, baldest heads of all.  THE END.

Wall-E…A Right Brainer’s (And Left Brainer’s) Dream Come True

I’ve taken all the tests…all of them, trying to figure out just exactly how my brain works (or doesn’t).  And all of them tell me the same thing.  I’m extremely left brained.  For those of you who don’t quite know what that means, I’ll give you a quick infomercial.  Left brained people, like me:

  • Respond to verbal instructions (i.e. do not use pointing, grunting, hand gestures, or facial expressions if you have something important you want me to know.  You must use your words!)
  • Problem solve by logically and sequentially looking at the parts of things (i.e. I can’t put a peanut butter and jelly sandwich together unless I have specific step-by-step instructions)
  • Looks at differences (i.e. overthinks everything)
  • Is planned and structured  (i.e. I love to plan; I hate to follow through with said plans)
  • Prefers established, certain information (i.e. we would like the term “grey area” politely removed from English vocabulary)
  • Prefers talking and writing (i.e. see “planned and structured” above – – we are useless)
  • Prefers multiple choice tests (i.e.  this is how my husband proposed: “Would you like to A) Marry Me, B) Marry Me, C)Marry Me, D) Marry that guy you used to date who turned out to be an alcoholic and a bum”  Hey, I know the correct choice when I see it
  • Controls feelings (i.e. closed off and in need of constant anxiety medication)
  • Prefers ranked authority structures (i.e. I do my best work in school and/or prison situations)

Yep…this pretty much defines me to the Nth degree.  And it really irks me.  I long to be the creative, right-brained gal who sees the big picture, and takes life in stride, and doesn’t sweat the small stuff – – heck, doesn’t sweat, period!  I have always looked for any sign that proves that I might have just the teensiest bit of right-brained DNA in me.  To no avail…until yesterday!

image Yesterday, we headed out to our local arts cinema (you know…the fun sit down cinemas where you can eat pizza and sip wine, and not see much on the screen, but it doesn’t matter cause it’s so cool to be there??).  Well, our arts cinema is trying to go a smidge more “mainstream” and “kid-friendly” this summer, and has shown movies like Indiana Jones, and now…Wall-E.  Well, H-T has been watching the Wall-E trailers for almost three months now online, and became convinced that it was going to be Pixar’s crowning achievement.  So, he dragged us along for the ride.  And what a ride!

Wall-E is a visual masterpiece.  The entire first half of the movie is almost entirely without dialogue, and relies on incredible animated images to convey the story of this plucky little robot in his desolate existence on an abandoned planet Earth, and his determination to make a romantic connection with the new robot on the block.  I could see why my extremely right-brained kiddo was drawn to this story – – it was a spectacle of visual stimulation.  But I loved it!!  I was mesmerized by the scenes, the story, and the emotion that was wrapped up in the almost wordless animation.  It was my holy grail – – the proof I needed that there is some little spark of right-brainedness buried deep inside that logical grey mass of mine. 

So, the moral of this story?  Whether you are right-brained or left-brained you will enjoy Wall-E, so take those little gremlins of yours out to that overpriced, over-commercialized place called your local movie theater, prop them up with some popcorn and a Coke, and prepare to be spellbound for an hour and a half or so.  You’ll thank me later….