Tuesday, August 31, 2010

What makes you feel pretty?

August 31, 2010

I am waiting for test results today.  Apparently, doctors do not have to be at work until noon.  Then comes lunch maybe, and then some work before tee time.  Well, I guess they do work harder than that, but when you are waiting for test results that could possibly change your life, you really want them to get up a little earlier in the day.

So I just worked the weekend, which wasn't bad, but I was just trying to get through it to get to test result day.  When I am trying to make myself feel better at work, I wear gym shoes sometimes.  I did so this past weekend.  My gym shoes are too cool since Beth found them for me on line (maybe from JC Penny?)  and they are Adidas skater shoes.  I am not a skater boy, see you later boy, but I really like the padded tongue.  Insert your own gutter joke here.  Besides, they look really cool.

People noticed them and were way jealous of me.  What they did not know, is that these shoes are not as comfortable as my Rockport casual shoes (not complete with Velcro), but I wore them both days anyway.  When one of my team leads saw me wearing them, he commented about how comfortable they looked.  I explained that they really aren't so comfortable, but they make me feel good.  He said he knew what I meant because he has a pair of pink pumps he likes to wear around the house.  They squish his toes, but they make him feel pretty.  Classic.

So what makes you feel pretty?  Is it socks that look like your cat?  (Katie)  Is it the finest necklace in all the land?  (Beth)  Is it a fur stole made from monkey butt fur?  (Michael) -I am trying to figure out if my brother has started reading my blog.  If this does not bring him out of the closet, uh, woodwork, nothing will.  See, he plays for my team, not the pink pumps team and ...or forget it, he does not read this.

If what makes you feel pretty is sexy lingerie, and you are not a dude, pictures are mandatory.  I will send you my private email address, don't tell Beth. 

I am trying to get Beth to start commenting on my blog also.  She is very funny even though she does not think so.  She just has a tendency to drive herself crazy making her comment perfect.  As you can tell, that is not one of my criteria when creating my blog post.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The Black Hole

August 24, 2010

I am going to the doctor today to have my head examined.  Every once in a while, CJ will put his palm against my head and tell me he is using his brain sucker.  He will then make his hand play dead as apparently it starved to death.  No big brain on Steve.

The doctor will not be looking for signs of intelligent life today, he is an ENT and will hopefully find a reason for my earaches and dizziness.  I believe I have a fluid build up within my sinuses that I cannot seem to be able to relieve with medication.  It has caused me 3 or 4 infections in the past 18 months.  I can remember two ear infections and a sinus infection.  While I realize I spend plenty of time around the general public and their germs, I do not believe I should be getting infections this easily.  I am also tired of the side affects such as dizziness and ear pain, especially while I am trying to sleep.  So we will see what he finds out.

I am also hoping he can find a reason for other troubling things in my life.  I went downstairs today to take a shower and then found myself walking back upstairs still dirty.  Fortunately, I was dressed, but how much short term memory does it take to walk down 14 stairs and remember to get into the shower?  Troubling.

I also told Beth that I was hoping to blame some other things on this fluid build up, and curing this ill will solve other things.  Like repeating myself apparently.  I am hoping my eyesight will return to 20/20 when the fluid is gone.  Possible?  Probably not.  It will not stop me from  making a list of things that will hopefully be gone after today:
  • poor typing skills (I just hit spell check and the page lit up like fireflies)
  • acne (you can't have gray hair, black socks with sandals, and acne at the same time)
  • the overuse of parentheses ((((()))))
  • a quick temper
  • bad ankles and knees (a lifetime of walking on concrete floors)
  • the inability to pick out a wall color for the kitchen (if I obtain this gene, do I also have to give up my affection for boobs?)
  • my belief that it is okay to use the word boobs in my blog (I am not really sad about that)
  • the St Louis Cardinals (I know they are going to beat out my Reds, I just feel it)
  • the Pittsburgh Steelers (that smug Hines Ward just bugs me)
  • my hatred of cold weather (it is coming soon and I am not ready)
  • the dark circles under my eyes or all the mirrors in the house
  • facial hair growth (I hate shaving but would look even more stupid with a beard)
I will actually post this after the doctor visit since I will not have time tomorrow.  That way I can let you know what issues have been resolved.  Stay tuned.

All right, I am back.  We will go with the no news is good news theory for now.  The doctor conducted a serious of physical tests which he concluded were inconclusive.  The pressure reading in my ears is normal, but the vertigo and pressure I am feeling are not.  I also have some nystooptia (don't look that up, it is not correct) thing with my eyes during which they spasm when I look all the way to the left or right.  This is apparently not normal.

So the next steps include some exercises to do at home, a diet change,, and then an MRI.  I cannot have the MRI until next week, so I will be doing some eye exercises, some head exercises (my cranium is too fat maybe?), some sitting, some standing, and some moving about.  I will then stick my whole self in and shake it all about.

Actually, I will do things like changing from sitting to standing and back again with my eyes open, then with my eyes closed.  I will need to shrug my shoulders 20 times.  I will neeed to walk back and forth across the room 20 times with eyes open, and then with eyes closed.  I will then need to ice any body parts injured while doing it with eyes closed.  Finally, I will need to clench and unclench my buns several times.  No, not really.

The diet change is no added salt.   Does this mean I cannot add salt to the peanuts I have been shoving in my pie hole today?  Probably.  That would be wrong.

I will let you know more when I know more, but it will be awhile.  You know how things go with tests and doctors and results.

The main relief I am feeling is that it can't be a brain tumor.  I saw the movie Phenomenon (do do dah do do) with John Travolta in which he had a brain tumor.  He got really genuis-like smart.  You can tell very easily that I am not genuis smart.  Uh, doy!

For instance, one of the instructions is to prop up pillows so that I sleep at a 45 degree angle.  Can I borrow a proctractor?  How is this supposed to happen.  I may lay awake all night trying to do the math.  Woe is me.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Maybe I am tore up from the floor up

August 22, 2010

I was watching the end of the movie Juno yesterday when CJ wandered into the room.  I have seen the whole movie before and really enjoyed it, but yesterday I tuned in near the end.  Fortunately the part I did see included my favorite scene. 

There is a part where June is troubled by the relationships she sees breaking up around her.  She goes into the kitchen where her dad is repairing some appliance on the kitchen table, and he asks her what is troubling her.  She explains that she wonders if any relationship ever actually works out.  Her dad asks if she is having boy troubles and includes that he thinks dating a boy in her present condition seems a little wrong.  (She is pregnant, if you have not seen the movie.)  He defines it as skanky, skeevy, and tore up from the floor up.  I love that!   He goes on to give June the perfect fatherly advice about relationships which answers all of her life's questions.

That is the kind of dad I want to be.  One who has all the answers to life's questions, but can still be funny in the process.  It is a tough balancing act that plays out way better in the movies.

As we wrapped up the movie, CJ asked me how June got into her condition.  Hmmm.  I wondered if my 13 year old meant, "How did she get pregnant?", and in what way did he mean it?  Did he need the meat and potatoes of the birds and the bees?  Did he wonder how someone so young was able to get pregnant?  Did he wonder why she was pregnant but giving up her child?

I found out later that he was asking what happened to the father, but that did not calm my brain down.  I know we have to start talking about this stuff more, but he only wants snippets of it.  I have not figured out if he is just uncomfortable with the whole topic, uncomfortable discussing it with dad, or fatigued at my use of sarcasm in every discussion.

What I am learning is that there are times when being funny works, and times when not so much.  When he had a bad day of school on Friday, it was cool to joke about cow farms, finding ponies, and having a couple beers to take the edge off.  But when discussing anything to do with girls or sex, humor is not working.  As we headed off to the local street party dance last night, I asked him if he had his wallet, his phone, and his condoms in case he got lucky.  He gave me that look and asked mom if I had a mute button.  What?  That is funny stuff right there.  Okay, maybe only to me.

So, I will keep learning and maybe figure it out as I go.  Or perhaps it will be like trying to figure out women, it will remain one of life's mysteries.

To close with something else I am finding hilarious, but CJ does not, here are a couple of photos of a bad hair day.  That is funny stuff right there.  The look in photo number two is him asking mom (with his eyes), "What is so funny?"

Saturday, August 21, 2010

"Oh! Luke and Laura were today's Carrie Underwood and Mike Fisher!" Who?

August 21, 2010

Yesterday I had to go to a training session for The Target.  Target is very good about HR friendly stuff when it comes to personal development.  We do leadership statuses during which we discuss our strengths and developmental opportunities.  I am rather old school as I prefer to be out on the sales floor filling and helping guests and making sure things look good, but I understand the need to get personally developed.  Therefore, even though yesterday was the end of a week that was very busy, and I would have been better served to be in my store helping people, I was scheduled for a training class.

So off I went to learn about generational differences and then learn how to organize my time and resources.  I figure it was a big step in the right direction for me that I knew when and where the meeting was.  In the past someone would have called me and asked where I was.  The meeting is about to start, where are you?  So compared to that, I am way more organized.  Who needs a meeting?

However, when I arrived in the meeting room, I understood why I was there.  The first two hour training session was called Understanding Generational Differences.  I looked around the room at all the 20-somethings and realized I was the elder.  I would be the representative of someone who had heard of radio.

So we were asked to clarify what era we belonged to.  There were the Veterans, the Baby Boomers, the Gen Xers, and the Millennials.    I played along and classified myself as a Baby Boomer even though the cut-off date was 1964 and I was born in 1965.  There were a couple of Gen Xers in the room and the rest of the group were Millennials.  I decided to go older because we had started the exercise with a checklist of names or events and had to group them by era.  I could overhear all the questions being raised.  Such as:

Who is Benny Goodman?
Who is Harry Belafonte?
What is the big deal about a Luke and Laura?
MTV used to play videos?
Is that related to Friday Night Videos?
Why would someone pay $1000 for a VCR?  Was it a collector's item?

Please shoot me.  I would say to Dr. Kevorkian me, but no one would know what I meant by that either. 

Some of the group was trying to say they weren't really that young, they were born all the way back in 1987.  1987?!!!?  I was graduating college in 1987!  I have clothes older than you!

So here is what the majority of the class learned about having to communicate with my era:
  • Speak loudly so they can hear you
  • Do not ask if they were in a flood, they wear their pants that high on purpose
  • Keep the aisles clear so they can get their walker through more easily
  • Don't stare at that hair growing out of the place hair does not normally grow
  • Know where the Depends aisle is in your store
  • If they ask where light bulbs are, don't ask if they helped invent them
  • Records were like big Cd's
  • When explaining the cameras, start with why there is no slot big enough for the picture to come out of
  • Don't call the ladies "ma'am", I'm just warning you
  • If you are working the drive thru, that motion they are making is rolling the window down
  • You too will make a noise someday when you get off the couch
What am I forgetting?  Please help the young whipper snappers who may read this blog communicate with us old folk.  And just in case, here are Luke and Laura to explain the whole title dealio:



Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Have you seen the muffin man?

August 17, 2010

Today is one of the most saddest days of the year for Beth and CJ.  Day one back at school.  Alarms have gone off, showers have been taken, doughnuts are being eaten, and they are getting excited.  Well, not too excited.  They are taking it much better than I would if I just had the entire summer off.  I am quite sure I would have developed pink eye, had some bad pizza last night, or run off with the gypsies.  Not these two, they are downright giddy to go back and see their friends and learn about Algebra.  They are looking for the pony.


Haven't told you that story yet.

I had a talk with my team last week about choosing the correct attitude when they come to work.  I also had a mirror in front of myself during the talk so that I would also see the coming workload with my half-full glass.  This week is the start of school and the last minute purchasing of school supplies for many K-12 parents, AND the start of college for many local colleges.  Combining the two perfect storms makes this the 6th busiest week of the year for my Target.  The other 5 weeks are around the holidays.  That tends to make this week a bit crazy , so choosing the right attitude is key.

Therefore, I have asked everyone to look for the pony.  You see, there are generally two kinds of people.  There are the ones you can put into a room with a pony and toys and such and they remain sour that at some point the pony is going to poop.  There are others that get put into a room with a pile of poop and start shoveling because they know there has to be a pony underneath there somewhere.  Thusly and therefore, whenever I see one of my team leaders having a bad moment, I ask them to look for the pony.  Beth and CJ are pony seekers.  I am trying to be more like them when I grow up.

Speaking of growing up, I really felt like I was gaining weight earlier this week.  I stepped on the scale once, but I found I was still 155 pounds.  I have been within 10 pounds of that weight since high school.  I thought I was gaining weight since my pants had fit a bit more snugly than usual that morning. 

You could see my muffin top sticking over the edges of my belt.  Quite the image, I'm sure.  However, since the scale told me I weighed the same, I just chalked the moment up to being a little bloated that day.  Too much Chipotle the night before perhaps. 

So, on Saturday, CJ had an event to go to.  His friend from school had had his Bar mitzvah that morning, and there was a party celebrating the event that night.  It was cause for nicer attire than the shorts and tee shirts CJ has been wearing all summer, so Beth went looking for his khaki pants.  She called me at work to find out if I had seen them, but I had not (or so I thought).  She later called me back to let me know she had found them in the laundry pile.  Ohhhhh. 

I wear a size 34x30 khaki pant, and CJ wears a size 32x30 khaki pant.  Ohhhh.  I was not livin' large that day.  I had not expanded my domain.  I had actually fit into pants 2 inches smaller than I normally wear.  Who hearts himself for being able to eat a bag of chips and not fatten up.  Having a tape worm has proven to be quite lucky for me.

I just saw my family off as they departed for school.  I took a paper towel with me to soak up the tears since I will miss them sooo much.  What is that sound in the back ground?  Silence.  Weird.  Hmmm.   It actually is rather weird.  What was that sound?  Did you hear that Bethie?  CJ are you shooting your Nerf gun in the house again?  I'll be right back.

There is no one here.  Just me.  And my thoughts. 

All right, I do have to cut the front grass and go to the doctor today.  I am having my head examined.  I have had fluid behind my ears for a long time and it is causing problems.  I am going to see if my doctor will drill a hole, drain the fluid, and fill the hole back up with some wood putty.  I hope someday to be a real boy.  I am going to check in with Katie and June, so I will let you know what the doctor says, hopefully tomorrow.  And there is one doughnut left. Num num num.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Stop! Or I'll spray you with chocolate!

August 8, 2010

Beth and I know that someday CJ is going to do something wrong.  He is going to get in trouble for being immature or stupid or both.  We thought last night might have been the time. 

This week, CJ has attended Tech Camp.  He has been on the lighting crew for a play put on by middle schoolers.  He has had a good time and learned some things as well.  We saw one of the performances and it was very well done.  Last night was the final performance.  Beth and I had already attended Thursday night, so we dropped CJ off and went on to service.  Part way through the service, Beth checked her phone, grabbed my leg, and motioned me to follow her out.  As we were leaving, she said that CJ had sent a text to pick him up and he would explain on the way home.  While there were an infinite amount of possibilities, we were sure he was either hurt or in trouble.  Beth texted him back and asked if he was okay.  He said sorta.  It took 15 minutes of angstful driving to arrive and find him sitting outside the auditorium.  He looked way guilty.  As he got in the car, we asked what was wrong, and it turned out that he was ill.

THANK GOD YOU ARE JUST SICK!  Great parenting at work right there.  He then explained why he was sick.  No, it was not the 4 pieces of pizza he ate before we left.  Please do not call social services on me.  It turns outs that CJ was in the balcony where the lights were, when he heard a friend mention the word chocolate.  Remember when you were 13 and ate 4 pieces of pizza and still had room for chocolate?  Always room for chocolate?  Okay, so he started jogging down the ramp towards the backstage area, and the chocolate.  He rounded a dark corner and heard his friend say stop.  He tried to stop, but had been jogging downhill with a belly full of pizza.  He did not stop.  Therefore, friend sprayed him with chocolate flavored Axe, right in the mouth.  Not as tasty as you would think.  CJ started to have trouble breathing and then got nauseated.  That is when he texted Beth.

So he came home, took a shower, swallowed some Pepto, and laid on the couch a few minutes.  He realized that he was starting to feel better, so he asked if he could go back and finish his work with the lighting for the play.  I drove him back, and took the opportunity to ask if any of the girls in the play had become suddenly attracted to him after he had been sprayed.  He rolled his eyes since he is not at the stage where he particularly cares if the girls are attracted to him, but it turns out that they were not.  Just a tip in case any of you were hoping to attract multitudes of women by spraying yourself down with Chocolate Axe.  You may be better off just rubbing yourself with a Snickers bar. 

Now, without further ado, here are the pictures of the kitchen with completed counter tops and back splash.  The counter top is Formica, the sink is a Sea Salt colored Kohler, and the back splash is subway tile. 

There will need to be some color above the cabinets on the wall and on the other walls.  Right now we are leaning towards a color called Lime Wash.

The face plates are getting spray painted white before they are rehung.

It turned out fantastic.  We are thrilled and excited.  Over time, you will see some new accessories and paint and stuff, but right now the big stuff is done and the bank is broken.  I may have to fight for space on the corner next to homeless guy.  All my money is gone, please throw me a nickel.  Or 200 nickels.  How much money is that?  Enough to live on? 

Finally, since this post is not nearly long enough, I want to appease my one true faithful reader, 12days, and put in a picture of Beth.  I found out that she had one taken yesterday when her long time friend, Rena, came by for a visit.   Here they are:

Since you know I prefer brunettes, obviously she is on the right.  Rena is very cute, but Beth is even cuter.  There are a whole bunch of extra pixels because the two of them were going to go in the witness relocation program, but changed their mind.  Or this was an older camera and the photo did not translate very well.  Definitely one of those two reasons.  You pick.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Walk it off

August 3, 2010

Last week ended with us doing a couple of actual vacation-type things.  Friday night we went to the Reds game and had a great time.  The only thing missing from the game was a win for the home team.  The evening started with us being prepared with drinks and snacks.  You are allowed to carry in unopened drinks and bags of snacks.  You really can afford to go to a baseball game these days if you plan ahead.  And if you don't drink beer at the game.  A beer is, wait for it, $8.  Yeah, a bottle of beer you can get at the grocery store for less than $2 will cost you $8 at the game.  Ouch.  Plus, beer would not go well with the snacks we bring, other than the peanuts.  Our other go to snacks are sugar covered orange slice jelly candies and Twizzlers.  I do not partake in the candy stuff, so I made the mistake of buying Red Vines for Beth and CJ once....just once.  Talk about a stare that would kill.  The skinny is that Red Vines taste like flavored turpentine.  I am not sure how they know what turpentine tastes like.  Perhaps they swallowed some paint and needed to counteract it.

Anyway, the other shocking thing about our start to the evening was that we left early enough for the drive and walk to the stadium to be casual.  The last couple of times we went, there was rushing.  Steve does not like to rush to a ballgame.  Neither do Beth or CJ, but they also do not care if they are in their seats before the first pitch.  Steve likes to see all the pitches.  So we got to our parking spot with plenty of time to walk to the game and be in our seats with peanuts in our mouth before the first pitch.  Nice.  The game itself did not disappoint through the first 9 innings.  There was a clutch game-tying home run by the Reds, and a home run saving catch by the Reds' right fielder.  We witnessed this with 40,000 other fans.  It was the biggest crowd we have seen a game with.  It really added to the excitement.  Then they lost.  Oh well.

Sunday included a trip to the city of Columbus for the Jeff Dunham concert.  If you do not know who he is, google him.  He is a comedian/ventriloquist who has been doing an act for 30-40 years.  And he is hilarious.  What we did not realize, was that the show's venue was at the Ohio State Fair.  I have never been.  The last state fair I attended was in Kentucky, over 30 years ago.  My memories of it were that it was smelly.  Hay and farm animals.  Smelly people in wife beaters.  A side show of circus freaks.  And that was just the general admission crowd.

However, we figured attendance at such state fairs was probably down, and Columbus was probably a much more uppercrust type crowd.  Wrong on both accounts.  For a Sunday night, the crowd was huge.  Some of the patrons even smelled good.  However, the animals were not good smellin'.  Since I am not a frequenter of state fairs, I am not one who understands the need to have farm animals on display.  If it is anything like Charlotte's Web, maybe they still do judging for best pig, biggest heifer, and furriest lamp.  You got me stumped.  I may be looking at it all wrong though.  I am fairly certain when we passed the sheep pen, a couple of the sheep looked at each other, made a face, and gave each other the universal sign for "boy they smell funny".  You know, the hand waving in front of their nose gesture?  Yeah, I think they did that.  And me without my camera.

We got to the fair early enough to eat some dinner, so we walked along the feeding grounds and selected some of the best the fair had to offer.  Steak on a stick (tasty), grilled chicken sandwich (way tasty), french fries (oily), and deep fried buckeyes.  If you are not from Ohio, or have never heard of buckeyes, they are balls of peanut butter covered in chocolate.  Then you deep fry them.  Tasty, and good for you.

We purchased 5 buckeyes for $5, and left CJ alone with them at a picnic table.  As we started to walk away to purchase the steak and chicken, we had a moment of clarity.  Beth turned to see CJ about to stick the fresh from the deep fryer buckeye right into his pie hole.  She stopped him and warned him about the potential for burn blisters and the subsequent skin grafts.  She gave him a final look and said to him, "what do you think I will say to you if we come back and you are in mouth pain?"  He looked at her and came up with an answer.  "Walk it off." 

Who needs comedians with CJ around? 

In case you were wondering, the deep fried buckeyes were delicious.  They also sold deep fried Snickers, Pop Tarts, and human fingers.  We did not try any of the above, but even the finger would probably taste good deep fried in grease.  Perhaps next year. 

What is your state fair like?  And what would your favorite deep fried morsel be?  Let me know.