On your mark, get ready to race…

Monster Jam, Anaheim Stadium, Anaheim, CA

Image courtesy of Flickr

My eldest son is currently enrolled in year-round school which means that he goes to school for nine weeks and has a three-week break. As our day jobs don’t provide the same flexibility of schedule (especially after two weeks of snow days), and because the last time we left kiddo unsupervised for a significant period of time he racked up over $90 in app store charges (time to change ye ole password), we decided it was best to find him some alternative dedicated care for his next break. Thankfully his various grandparents offered to take him in.

We packed his bags and sent him on his way leaving his brother, aka my Little Lord Tyrant, as the sole representative of their generation. I’ll refer to him as LT from hereon for simplicity. Based on previous days apart, I had expected LT to wander around the house in search of his brother. There was wandering, but it wasn’t in search of his brother, it was in search of his brother’s things. It was enough to make me wonder if LT had actually been the one to purchase all those apps in the first place (he is diabolical like that).

Being a second born myself, I thought at first how nice it must be for him to be the center of mommy and daddy’s attention for a few days, but as they say, power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. “Blaze! Bouncy Tires,” my boy demanded for the 100th time in two days (the DVR is both blessing and curse). Resistance would be futile, and everyone knew it.

For those of you who have not had the good fortune to have caught this show, it is about a monster truck named Blaze and his monster truck friends who have adventures structured around words like adhesion and inertia (it’s actually a pretty good show…on the first few viewings). Each episode features a song about the episode’s topic, many of which catchy enough to remain stuck in your memory for the next fortnight, but not enough for you to particularly enjoy them being there.

The show has only been on the air for a single season meaning there are only a few episodes, but as far as my son is concerned they could have stopped at one, “Bouncy Tires.”

Summary:

Human mechanic orders tires that bounce instead of roll (why these were originally ordered is never explained. There are also tires covered in feathers. It is best not to question her supply chain management strategy). A talking truck which looks like a dinosaur installs them without mechanic’s permission and without understanding the consequences. High stakes drama (gasp – will Blaze reach his friend in time?!?) and problem-solving ensues.

As the theme song began, I desperately sought a diversion. Thankfully I recently received a copy of “What If” by Randall Munroe. The book’s tagline states it is a book about scientific answers to absurdly hypothetical questions. Yep, that’ll do.

Speaking of questions, why is it that children so love watching a single show over and over again while the same activity threatens to transform an adult brain into a quivering pile of gray pink goo?

The answer (according to The Atlantic) is because repetition is the easiest way to process information. There is so much their growing minds are trying to process day in and day out that seeing the same show, or reading the same book for the millionth time is like a vacation. Repetition then is chocolate for your brain. Yes, it can potentially cause rot and decay if used to excess, but can make a number of new ingredients a lot less threatening.

“Here, try these roasted grasshoppers!”

“I’ll pass.”

“They are covered in chocolate…”

“How much chocolate?”

“Triple dipped.”

“Hmm, maybe just one.”

Full disclosure – I’ll try any food at least once (except dog – you have to draw the line somewhere).

As I mentioned last week, I have finished rewrites for my second novel and am in the process of polishing it to a high gloss (or at least an eggshell finish), but then what? Do I wait for feedback and give my creative mind some time off? That would be the easy thing to do, but then it would make getting back into the creative habit that much harder. Like LT, I have to keep up my routine. I guess then the only choice will be to begin work in earnest on my next project while I wait.

…1, 2, 3, Let’s Blaze!

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9 thoughts on “On your mark, get ready to race…

  1. Very true that getting momentum and maintaining that momentum is a tough task, but congratulations on putting finishing touches on your manuscript! I’m just randomly going around wordpress blogs looking for other writers in similar spots and stumbled onto your blog. I just finished up a rough draft of my manuscript that I’ve been working on for over two years so I can empathize with the struggle. I like your blogging style it’s easy to read, I decided to follow. Wouldn’t mind it if you checked my blog out as well and provided any feedback that comes to your mind. And I definitely wouldn’t mind having another follower at all! Best of luck having success with your writing projects! 🙂

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  2. It’s not just kids who enjoy repeated viewings of the same {movie/TV show}. My ex-wife was the same way. As a result, I can recite most of Bring It On, Sweet Home Alabama, Legally Blonde, Mean Girls and Honey by heart.

    I am not proud of this fact, by the way. I probably wouldn’t have minded her habit so much if she’d had a similar affinity for “Goodfellas” or “Taxi Driver.”

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    • Yeah I guess I can’t complain too much. I’ll watch whatever spin on Pride and prejudice Hollywood wants to throw my way, but in my defense they usually don’t have the same risk of ear worm.

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