Saturday, October 04, 2003

I am starting to overcome my fear of libraries. I used to associate libraries with fees - I called it the "book rental place". But now that I have a PDA, I can set an alarm to remind me to turn in my books. Free book rentals!

Lately I discovered that they have videos at the library, including one that I have been wanting to see, "Outside In." It's very good. I watched it with Ginger at her house. It features several adults with ADD. One of them is a school principal who is working on her second PhD, one of them is a professional speaker who jumps around and talks very excitedly while on stage. He looked like one happy guy. Kids, you might get paid to be hyperactive someday!

Ginger also had a video from the library, "Picture of Health: Adults with ADD." Picture of Health is a series of videos on different subjects. So she popped it in the VCR, and within minutes we were mocking it, a la "Science Fiction Theater". If you are looking for a good video to mock, I highly recommend it. It's an interviewer and a Psychiatrist who works with adults with ADD, and it's very boring but still has a lot of good info. That's why we didn't turn it off, but in order to keep paying attention, we had to switch over to "Science Fiction Theater" mode.

I have wondered why we do this so often. Without warning, we will turn against any boring material in order to focus on it. And I think we've found the answer. Here's a link to a more detailed explanation:

Dr Roland Rotz believes that fidgeting and other disruptive things that ADDers do are attempts at improving focus. That's right, there appears to be a logical explanation for all the fidgeting, gum chewing, leg bouncing, doodling, etc - it helps ADDers pay better attention! He calls it Simultaneous Sensory Stimulation Strategies.

This explains why I can get higher scores in computer solitaire if I am talking on the phone at the same time. What I hadn't considered was that perhaps I am able to pay better attention to the other person if I am also doing some other activity. The challenge is to find something that will enhance, not take away, from your attention level.

Anyway, I find it fascinating and plan to use this technique with abandon in the future. A license to fidget! What could be better?

I've had a cold all week. It's getting really boring. At least I get to sleep on the couch in the living room, where I can hear the freeway better. It's much better than my husband's snoring.

People think I'm weird when I say that I enjoy living next to the freeway, but I think I figured out what it is that's so great about it. Other than the fact that I can be on the freeway within 2 minutes of WAKING UP, it's free white noise! We live about 4 blocks away from a freeway overpass, so the acoustics are particularly good. There's a good echo under there.

I know that some people don't think that's a good thing, but I say, Don't knock it till you've tried it.

OK, it has been awhile since my last post, but nothing bad happened to me. (See last post). Unless you count camping. Truth be told, I only go camping because of peer pressure and because it's an opportunity to take naps. Lots of naps. But the rest of it is bad. It's sort of like being locked outside.

This particular campground has a sign in the entrance that says, "Please don't feed the raccoons." What it didn't say was that raccoons are capable of feeding themselves, opening coolers and digging around for apple danishes.

Every night, there were several raccoons circling our campsite, creeping in closer and closer. They weren't afraid of us at all, and you could tell that they were thinking about apple danishes and wondering if we had any.

This campground was on the ocean, so I was excited about that. I hoped I could spend a nice day on the beach. But here's the problem I always have with camping on the Oregon coast: The beach is not nice. It's windy and cold, and if you're lucky, it's foggy by about 3 pm.

So I walked down to the beach with some friends, and watched their kids throw sand in each other's eyes while I shivered. I wrapped up in my blanket, which I had been hoping to use as a beach blanket. At least it served a purpose.

Then we walked back to the campground and spent the rest of the day in a very cold, shady campsite. At a certain point I could not stand the cold any longer so I took a nap, just so I could warm up in the sleeping bag.

By the end of evening, Ginger and I were pretty restless. Then she had a popcorn craving, and before I knew it, she was in her van, starting the engine. The campground was just outside civilization and she just knew there was a Jiffy Pop in town with her name on it.

I wanted to go with her but with the way she started the engine, I wasn't sure if she was going to wait for me. Her husband was hurriedly getting some of his possessions out of the back of the van, the exhaust blowing out on him.

And then we were out on the open road. As we were leaving the campground, Ginger said, "Well, we just proved to everyone in the campsite that we have ADD."

When we came back, her 4-yr old son was sitting by the fire with a sad look on his face. "Momma, the coons took the van away. With our beds and everything!"