Wednesday, August 27, 2008

1st Day

The Little One started school today. Her confidence and excitement made it so much easier for my wife and I. She'll be fine, of course, but we were understandably nervous for her being that she's boarding a bus for the first time and has to learn a whole new system of things as well as a new school and new teacher.

We thought she'd be scared. But she wasn't. She was excited and anxious to start her new adventure.

So when the time came, she bravely stepped onto the bus, turned to wave and off she went. My wife and I walked the few hundred yards back to our house and I was surprised there were no tears from the wife. We kissed quickly and off to work we went happy that our courageous little soldier was embarking on another milestone in her life.

Minutes ago, I learned my wife didn't go directly to work though. She admitted to me she was a "dork" (her words) and followed the bus to the school to make sure The Little One disembarked and made it safely into the building. Then she cried a little.

Wanna Play?

The playscape area is complete as are my horseshoe pits tucked up against the back of my property (check it out!). Anyone up for a game?

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Straightening Up

My back yard has been a hodge-podge of "stuff" for The Little One. A swing-set/slide/climber over here, a hobby house over there, a dinosaur climber way over there, a sandbox with gross sand in it tucked there and a balance beam that I built.

Not for long.

This past week I boxed in about 1200 square feet with some landscaping timbers and ordered 10 yards of playground mulch. After weed barrier and moving all that mulch (holy crap!) she's going to have one organized and reasonably safe area to play.

Plus, I won't have to mow around all those obstacles and at the very back of the area I plan on putting in horseshoe pits for the adults.

Sounds ambitious? Yeah it is. That's a LOT of mulch. Having said that, I want it done in time for a family party we're throwing Saturday afternoon at 3. I'm only about 1/5 of the way with the mulch. Throw on top of that, I'm working at the casino tomorrow night!

Its gonna look and be great when I'm done. But, boy do I wonder why I get myself into these things!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Wooo Hooo!

So last Thursday night I was in the arcade with my daughter essentially exploring how many tickets we could acquire so we could "purchase" some piece of shit that I could probably buy for a quarter. I didn't stop me from firing quarter token after quarter token into machines because, well, I'm competitive like that. I guess skee ball, Whack-A-Mole and the bulldozer coin pusher games are more about the conquest.

Anyway, the Little One climbs onto this motor cycle racer game that turns when you lean simulating the effect of really riding a motorcycle. Its costs 75 cents but since she was having a blast in "demo" mode I let her go with that to see if she'd even notice. Not once did she ask me to put money into it, although I gladly would have.

As she's moto-crossing across some ridiculous racetrack at upwards of 160 miles per hour I noticed a twenty dollar bill on the floor. I glanced around and there was nobody near so I stooped to pick it up and found there were actually three twenties folded over a single.

My first instinct was to turn it in since I'm thinking its probably some poor kid's money, but then I wonder whether the employees would just split it up at the end of the night. Or one would keep it for himself.

So I decided best course of action was to keep an eye out for anyone who seems to be looking around the floor and then I'd ask if they lost something and if they said money and had an amount close to that amount I'd give it to them. I don't need $60 THAT badly and I feel bad for anybody losing money. Upon reflection I could have asked around but honestly I didn't think of it at the time.

As we're hanging around, jumping from game to game, I don't notice anybody who seemed to be looking for anything and the place wasn't all that crowded to begin with.

When we finished up a game of air hockey (I won! I'll be damned if a 5-year-old will be me! I did let it stay close though since she kept yelling "not so hard daddy!") a thought hit my head; I had about $60 in my pocket after I spent $5 on tokens. After I pulled the pile of tickets out of my pocket I found my original money was missing!

Apparently, I had found my own fucking money!!!! Imagine if I turned it in and then had to go claim my own damn money??


p.s. Kudos to the tall kid in sunglasses that worked there. My daughter selected a kitty face with our 67 tickets but the stupid elastic was way too short and it broke when she stretched it across her not-so-gargantuan head. She got upset, of course, because she really wanted the kitty mask and I tried to explain to her it wasn't going to work but kids that age are persistent. After a time, he offered her some blow-up bouncy thing that costs 200 tickets because he felt bad for her and she really dug it.

Good karma dude! And good job! Thanks a bunch!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Men's Thong

Oh wait! I know what you were thinking. No, not those kind. These kind:

Let me say this: I don't like them. I don't like them one bit.

I know they're all the rage, but still. Men should not "flip" "flop" down a hallway. They look sloppy to me and I think of the person as a lazy oaf (right or wrong). And....they're not comfortable! I've worn them for the beach (only) and that friggin' thing between my toes was annoying in 5 seconds. Lastly, most men's feet are GROSS! I don't need to see anyones no-so-manicured toes and ugly dry heels. Yuck!

I don't like 'em one bit. I hope the fad fades quickly.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Fenway Againway

How I spent my evening.

And the Sox won 8-4.

Good seats, huh?

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

College Memory

About a year before I met my wife, I dated a young woman for a short time that herein I will call M. I quickly learned that M was all about image and look and how people perceived her/us, but she had very little substance behind her. On top of that, she was quite insecure - always asking if I really liked her or was going to break up with her and whatnot.

She was a sweet girl but I rather quickly realized the relationship wasn't going very far. On top of that, M lived with her mother, grandfather and uncle. Her mother was an odd sort, although nice when I met her. Later after we broke up I learned her mother stole M's car and credit cards and absconded to Florida wherein she rang up some rather sizable debt in short order.

Yet, that wasn't the weirdest family incident involving her.

One night we were going out. I had borrowed my dad's pickup truck and their driveway sloped away from a rather busy road. As I was backing out of the driveway and trying to make some haste, I moderately spun my wheels and kicked up some of the driveway gravel. I wasn't hot-dogging nor being "cool" or anything and I imagine this must have happened countless times in the past.

Later that evening, however, I got a stern lecture from dear old granddad about showing off and driving recklessly, etc. While I apologized I also tried to explain how it happened but he didn't want to hear of it. Since I was raised right (I suppose) I took the verbal assault from my elder, rolled my eyes and moved on. M tried to defend me as well, but it seemed she was rather afraid of her grandfather.

Perhaps two weeks later, I went to pick up M again and as I approached saw two cop cars with strobe-lights a-blazing as well as a small group of people were disbursing. I assume they were neighbors. I thought about just driving by and calling with some lame excuse but then I saw M on the lawn discretely waving to me. I stopped, she jumped in my truck, and off we went.

After ten of fifteen minutes of driving I said something along the lines of, "Since you're not going to volunteer the information, I think I have to ask: What the fuck was going on there?"

After a few beats, she replied, "I'm soooo embarrassed! My grandfather and my uncle got in a fight and my grandfather shot my uncle. Only in the arm but he went to the hospital in an ambulance and they took my grandfather to jail."

Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa????? I thought. But remained silent in thinking, wow, that could've been me, huh?

This all came to light after recent thoughts of escaping from the relationship but the time was now near to do some actual planning. But I let it go that night and in a few more weeks the opportunity presented itself.

I was in college at the time and rented a small lakehouse with a group of friends. One night I had plans to go out with a buddy but as I stepped out of the shower I could see her car in the driveway. I quickly dressed thinking the door knock would come in seconds but it was actually quite some time. When it came, I let her in but explained that I was headed out and didn't have much time.

"I'm worried about our relationship" she stated. Mind you, we really only had a few dates. Maybe five. We hadn't really had intimate contact or anything of that sort. Just some dates. Movies, pizza, mini-golf and fireworks.

I was leary of where this was headed. "Ummmmmmm.....okay?" I think I responded.

"You're going to break up with me, huh?" she said.

I lied. "No. Not really. Why?" I have no idea what I meant by "not really" in that case, but that's what I said. Normally I would think she was perceptive about me not being terribly into her, but she always seemed to think I was one minute from breaking up with her. Even when I wasn't.

"I don't know. I just think you are. You know, with my grandfather and all that." I learned he was out on bond and one thing I was sure of is I wasn't going to be around that crazy bastard again. She could meet me wherever we wanted to go. Screw being a gentleman and picking a lady up at her door as far as I was concerned.

Details of our conversation after that are a bit sketchy but it went on forever! It was never a fight, just more of the same thing over and over again and it was getting annoying and frustrating. Plus, I was really feeling pressed for time. So after a while, I guess I just gave up. "Yes. Okay then. We're breaking up." There ,I said it.
I guess I felt the time to seize the opportunity to finalize what I know would come eventually. Let the fireworks begin.

"Okay" she said. After a long, long pause and through teary eyes, she said "I know you need to go but can I just sit for a while?" What? No fireworks? No screaming? No crying? Just seeing her sit there made me feel horrible, but she wanted to stay?

Of course now I'm thinking she could trash the place or burn my shit or whatever. But she still seemed sweet and I really, really had to go so I said "yes". Perhaps it was a good instinct on my part, I don't know, but there was no catastrophic ending wherein she spray-painted my walls and tore up my bed or whatever. When I got home later that night (I didn't have any fun!) she was gone. That was it.

I actually had very little contact with her after that. We had a mutual friend who sort of kept me abreast of M's life but not much else.

Flash forward two years. At this point I've been dating my now wife for about a year. One day she asks me, "Do you know M?"

"Yeah" I said. "I used to know her. Haven't seen her in a long time though." I had no idea how much my wife knew about us but was curious where this was going.

"We work together in (a residence) Hall at (college). She said she dated you for a while and thought you were great".

Errrrr???? I thought. Thought I was great? I didn't think I handled things with her so great. But it was nice to know. "Yeah, she was a nice kid. It just didn't work out, you know?" I think I told her the grandfather story at that point.

The two stayed friends for a couple years in what to me appeared to be a totally non-awkward situation and later I learned M got married and was leading a reasonably productive life.

And years later, the lovely Mrs. Blogger and I got married and lead our own productive lives.

Man, if that situation doesn't make me appreciate my wife's family though.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Careful! Careful!

It drives me nuts when drivers in other cars are ridiculously cautious. I constantly find myself muttering "Go ahead. You can turn a bit. It won't tip over." Or, worse, saying repeatedly, "Gooooo! Just go! What are you waiting for?" Plus, I think if everyone drove aggressively, traffic jams and slowdowns would greatly diminish. Unless, of course those aggressive drivers crash. Nothing fucks up traffic like rubbernecking does.

Anyway, this morning on our drive in to work (Mrs. Blogger's car is in the shop) we sat (im)patiently behind a car at a gentle stop sign as she waited for every car in view to go by. Including cars not even in her lane, it seemed.

Her: Damn! I could have gone five times already

Me (Pointing at large semi driving past): I could have gone in THAT!

Her: Yeah? I could have backed it into the road.

Me: Right. Or we could have done five Chinese Fire Drills by now

Her: And we could have done them with The Little One (possibly the pokiest kid ever).

Finally, the woman went. And we were on our way.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Brett Who?

So my New York Jets picked up some new guy in a trade?

An individual named Brett Favre?

Never heard of him.

I sure hope he's good though! My 4 and 12 team from last year needs all the help they can get.