Thursday, May 27, 2010

School's Out!!!

May 27, 2010

Congrats to Beth and CJ as today is the last day of school before summer break.  They have very different last days ahead of them as Beth is helping high school students get through their final exams, and CJ is having field day. 

Who is taking field day more seriously this year then any other year?  Testosterone boy, that's who.  I watched him push a boy on the soccer field last week for the first time ever, and now he is taking gloves to school for the tug-o-war.  I measured him against the wall last night, as that is what we have been doing to measure his growth progress since August, 2001.  He measured 44 inches on that day, not long after we moved into this house.  He measure 66 inches yesterday.  I figure if he grows 2 inches per year (I did some rounding there for those of us Beth is not helping with Algebra right now), CJ will be 96 inches tall when we move out of here in 15 years. 

Why 15 years?  We are refinancing our house and signing the papers Saturday to get a lower rate and shorten our house loan to 15 years.  With the stock market dropping, it made sense.  We asked ourselves before we did it how long we plan on being in this house.  We decided that if CJ finishes 8th grade and high school here (5 years), goes to a local college and stays with us for some free room and board and laundry service (4 years), and then stays with us until he gets established in a job and/or relationship (??? years), we have given ourselves some cushion to be in this house 15 more years.  CJ would be 28, and we will be getting ready to be Grandpa and Grandma in our townhouse. 

It will be interesting to read this 15 years from now and see how these plans actually played out. 

If CJ is 8 feet tall in 15 years, we may be watching him sit the bench on some professional basketball team. 

So field day.  What are your memories of field day?  I loved it as a kid because I was way into athletics.  I remember trying to throw the softball farther than anyone else, or run around the school with the best time, or seeing who could jump the farthest, or who could hold them most tennis balls.  Yeah, that one was a little weird.    I was never a winner.  It was always that Jim Rice kid, or Bobby Valentine, or Jimmy Kramer, or John Hubbuch. 

Wow, I had no idea that I went to school with famous people!  Sure, I may have the names slightly wrong as it was over 30 years ago that I was having field days, but I don't think I am that far off on some of the names of the better athletes in my grade school.  I am pretty sure none of them ever went on to be baseball players for the Boston Red Sox, or Managers for the New York Mets, or Mad Money guys.  If only I were into Face Book, I could figure out what happened to these guys.

Face Book.  No, I think not. 

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

What's that sound?

May 25, 2010

Currently, I have the dishwasher running while I attempt to come up with something to blog about.  This may not seem that difficult, you may be thinking, but have you heard our dishwasher?  I would think maybe you have, you just don't know it.  It makes a sound something like that of a jackhammer drilling into metal.  I know a couple of you who occasion this blog are on the west coast, so I apologize if the sound has awaken you early.  It is 8:45 here in Cincinnati.  I think that makes it somewhere around the middle of the night out there in California and Oregon.  They say you get what you pay for, and I am paying dearly for cheaping out on this dishwasher.  It was a scratch and dent bargain from Sears/Kmart.  I found it over in a corner because someone had returned it because it "didn't have the capacity she was looking for."  Boy, am I a moe.  Fell for that sales pitch.  Perhaps it did not have the capacity for being able to hear the person next to you while it was running.  Therefore, I run the dishwasher while Beth is at work so she cannot remind me what a good deal this dishwasher was.  Every once in a while she asks if the president is landing his helicopter on our roof.  Sarcasm much?  Next time he visits, I may need to ask him for one of those presidential pardon things.

So vacation plans will be finalized today.  We leave town on Sunday June 6th, so hotel reservations may be a good idea.  I know some people prefer to wing it when they go places, but I am not really a fly by the seat of my pants kind of guy.  I like to know where we are going, when we are going to get there, and where I am sleeping that night.   If it were possible to know the name of the housekeeper and/or if the room will be clean in advance, that would also be helpful.  My family and I like to stay nice places, but our budget dictates we don't go too lavish.  Especially, since our hotel stays are going to be one night stopovers.  When we have gone to Orlando for a few days, we splurged on the Hardrock Hotel near Universal Theme Park, and it was AWESOME.  But for a one night stay in Chattanooga or Nashville, I think we are destined for the Holiday Inn Express.  They will feed us before we leave.  Did I mention that CJ is 13 and filling up with testosterone as we speak?  He eats about every 20 minutes.  He has gone from 5'5", 120 pounds to 5'7", 135 pounds in about 3 months.  Beth keeps lamenting the fact that this large CJ ate her baby CJ.  That sounded a little more morbid than she intends it.  He isn't a dingo.

Anyway, that wasn't too abstract.  I am a bit surprised that I figured out how to do that.  Go me and my mad computer linking skills.  As June Gardens likes to say, I am Abraham linkin'.

So, yes, I am stalling.  I am going to pick the hotel, but am worried that I am going to pick one that sucks.  What if there is a jackhammer right outside our room?  We are leaving town to get away from that sound.  What if the room isn't clean or is right next to the ice machine?   These things have happened.  It has caused undue stress.  Screw it, trip cancelled. 

Wait!  Good idea coming in...I'm heading for the gym.  That should put hotel picking off for another hour or so.  Then, when I get home, maybe June will have posted.  That should buy me some more time.  I will see some of you over at Bye Bye Pie shortly, and I will look much more buff.  Smell you later.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Why is summer going so fast?

May 22, 2010

I know, it has been two weeks since I posted last, but summer seems to be flying by and it is not even officially here yet.  I don't have a lot of time now either, as I need to get to work shortly.  Also, I apologize for calling you "shortly".

So let me update you on the life happenings that have gone on at the Steve house.

First, CJ (the boy) has gotten a phone.  Fancy, no, but it does have the qwerty keyboard.  Not long ago, someone had to explain the qwerty meaning of qwerty.  I find it strange that someone left-handed got to pick the name of the keyboard.  Why not a poiuy keyboard?  Looking at it, I think I see why.

So CJ with a phone.  Let the record show that his manipulative skills are top notch.  When he and I discussed who is "girl of interest" is these days, he surprised me when he let on that there was one.  Color me curious.  However, when pressed to spill who the lucky lady was, he said he would only tell me via text.  Text from his own phone.  Hmmm.  Well played.  When I relayed this info to Beth, who almost jumped in the car to drive to the store immediately for a phone?  Yeah, Beth.  Are we too involved in CJ's "love" life?  Maybe, but our love lives are pretty settled, so we are looking to branch out to live vicariously through his.  Besides, there should not be a lot of drama in the love life of a 13 year-old.  It is more fun than anything. 

Back to the black mail.  So CJ gets his phone this week and texts me with the name of the girl, and I approve.  She is pretty, sure, but more importantly, she seems very nice and has a nice personality.  If you have met my Bethie, you know these are things I value in a woman, so it is good to see CJ going down the same path.  Let the texting begin.

In other news, we participated in a volunteer event last weekend called Go Cincinnati.  It was organized by our church several years ago and has evolved into the involvement of 70 churches, 7000 volunteers, and 400 projects.  The one we went to was at The Children's Home of Cincinnati.  We weeded and did yard work.  I still have the blister to prove I did some work.  Great idea, great fun, and great people.

Finally, since I have to run in a second, if my two co-managers happen to read, good luck in your new endeavors.  Leslie is moving on to a Human Resources position at Aveda, and Tom is moving to another Target as a Logistics ETL.  It has been great working with you both and I wish you well in your new work places.  Please come visit.  Also, do not be surprised when you start to get blamed for everything wrong at our store as that is how I play the game.  Scapegoats, both of you.

Smell you later.


Friday, May 7, 2010

What baby book did you find those names in?

May 7, 2010

My son has a friend named Kristian.  Yes, I spelled that correctly, even though I wish I had not for the purposes of this story.  So, Kristian was over at our house yesterday when I got home from work.  He and CJ and Kristian's younger brother were down in our basement.  Beth was telling me this and mentioned Kristian's brother's name.  I looked at her rather strangely when she told me the name.  She thought I was upset that the boys were here, but that was not the case.  "What were their names?, I asked.  "Kristian and Ethan", she said.  Thank goodness.  I had thought she said Kristian and Heathen.  I thought the parents were trying to be funny.  I have met the parents, and while they are very nice, I did not find them to be the type of people who would name their boys Kristian and Heathen.  What if they had a couple of girls next?  Would we be meeting Pagan and Evangelica

Okay, I do not know where to go with that next, so moving on.

Last night was CJ's band concert.  He plays in both the concert band and the jazz band.  He is a percussionist.  They played a total of six songs, and it sounded good.  The eighth grade band then played seven songs and were not too bad either.  Kristian came with us, just to watch.  Not too sure how many good friends there are out there like that.  He is a really nice kid (unlike his heathenistic little brother).  Beth's mom also made it.  It was a nice evening.  CJ even remembered his music.  Kristian became our photographer, so when I get those photos downloaded, I will add them in.  All the cool kids brought their stadium seats to use on the bleachers in the gym.  Yes, I was the only cool kid there.  I could tell everyone else was quite jealous.  I'm 45 now, I would rather be comfortable then cool.  Plus, I have never been cool, so I might as well go with comfortable.

Thank goodness the day ended well as it did not start out that great.  There were all kinds of service issues to rectify at the store today with our coolers and freezers, and it isn't always fun to jump through the hoops it takes to get things fixed sometimes.  Then, right before I left, I found out a coworker I like working with may be leaving.  I have helped to train her and gotten to know her, so it was disappointing to find out she may be moving on.  I wish her well and am happy for her, but getting new managers all the time can get a bit old.  For now, her possible departure is a secret, so don't tell anyone, 'kay?   Thanks.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Those carrots must be working!!

May 2, 2010

I have been watching some television and playing some video games this afternoon after church since the rain has come and any outside activity has been cancelled.  I referreed a couple of soccer games in the rain yesterday as our local high school has synthetic turf.  I made $50, so there was dinner money and Chipotle money for the weekend.  CJ was supposed to have had 2 games this weekend, but they were at schools with grass fields, so they were washed out.  The video games have been quite relaxing, and have kept me away from the window where I could probably actually see the grass grow.  I put the weed 'n feed on my lawn last Tuesday, unbeknownst to Beth.  Don't tell her, kay?  She would never figure it out, even though I cut my yard the same day as my next door neighbor and mine is now twice as tall as his.  "Perhaps we just have healthier grass", she might think.  "Perhaps it got a better night's sleep, or its mother held it more as a grass seed".  She is really pretty, so she might be that dim.  What guy would be so lucky as to have found a bride that was both pretty and smart. 

So I sat down to the computer as it was time to break away from the television.  Somehow that makes sense.  Anyway, as I looked at the screen, all the letters looked bigger.  Now I am not that good looking, so I must be really smart.  (Or perhaps Beth went oh for two).  Therefore, I have figured out that I can read everything on the computer better.  I can only assume that the carrots I ate for dinner the other night just kicked in.  Carrots are good for eyesight, I read that somewhere.  Perhaps, if I go eat another big bowl of carrots, I can see through walls soon, so efficient was that one helping of carrots.  Maybe my genetics have just kicked in and if I go eat some applesauce, I will never have to go to the doctor again.  All the wives tales are coming true for me.  It couldn't possibly be that Beth has made some adjustment to our font size and made it bigger.  I know I am ready to ditch these reading glasses.  Yes, I needed them to cut my fingernails this morning so that I would not sever a fingertip.  Yes, I realize that it was a short time ago that I needed my glasses to work on the crossword puzzle.  However,  I know I can see the screen better now.  Wait, maybe it is the combination of carrots and video games.  What do you think?

Okay, I know what you are actually thinking, and yes, I will choose a more exciting topic next time.

Before I go then, I will formally announce the end of Beth's birthday month.  Her birthday was Friday, April 30th.  I got her a Bye Bye Pie canvas tote.  She loved it and it arrived on her birthday.  I was a hero.  Write down this birthday.  We also took her to The Cheescake Factory for dinner.  Delicious! 

Now, to formally annouce the beginning of Mother's Day month.  I have a week to come up with another perfect gift for Beth.  Actually, CJ has to come up with this one.  She is HIS mother.  Sweet relief for me.  I think CJ is thinking mom needs a puppy.  He may be going for the last laugh after all.