Thursday, April 28, 2011

No love for Latin

April 28, 2011

When I got home from work yesterday I discovered that CJ was in a lousy mood.  As you may know, he is a teenager.  Therefore, a lousy mood would not be unusual, you might think.  However, this is CJ.  He is sometimes irked, occasionally frustrated, from time to time angered, and now and again bothered.  Rarely is CJ in a full out lousy mood. 

As it turns out, he had received a poor grade in Latin class on a homework assignment.  Is eram tristis.  I think that means "he was sad".  It's all Greek to me.

In my school days, I studied Spanish.  While I realize that Latin is the base for a lot of languages, including Spanish, it has not allowed me to either speak Spanish to anyone or help CJ with Latin.  No hablo el Latin.

So Beth talked it out with him for awhile, and then I spoke with him a couple minutes on the way to his drum lesson.  The most disappointing thing for CJ right now is that he wants to do well.  I was glad to learn that he wasn't upset because he thought Beth and I would be mad at him.  It is much better that he simply takes pride in doing well in school. 

Unfortunately, the reasons that he signed on for Latin in the first place have come back to haunt him.  (I thought haunt was a clever choice since he is being haunted by a dead language).  First, the Latin club is the biggest club in school and seems to have the most fun.  They go on trips, have bonfires, play laser tag, and throw Christians to the lions.  (No Christians were harmed in the writing of this blog).  Second, some of his best friends signed up for Latin, including his "girlfriend".  Please keep in mind that he is 14 and having a "girlfriend" is VERY harmless at his age.

I know some of you watch MTV and the news and know that plenty of 14 year olds are trying to figure out how to be pregnant and in the 8th grade, but EEWWW!  That is hopefully not normal.

 I am guessing CJ has never even held hands with the young lady, much less any canoodling.  Again, EEEEEEEWWWW!  Skyping and texting and seeing each other in Latin class are pretty much the extent of their relationship thus far.

So how did we get CJ out of this lousy mood last night.  Well, Beth was the antidote when she explained to CJ that he was not only in a class with several above average scholastic performers, but if he was worried about looking stupid in front of his girlfriend, he needn't fret.  She went on to explain that girls rarely concern themselves more with how smart their boyfriend is, but more so with how cute he is.  He should be fine in that category.

Her final piece of evidence came, apparently, when I turned my back from the conversation.  She made some gesture to CJ, in order to prove her point, that she finds me to be way cuter than smart.  Huh?  I am not as think as she dumbs I am. 

Thursday, April 21, 2011

The gods must be crazy, they need Peeps!

April 21, 2011

CJ has a friend named Noah.  We drove by his house yesterday to see if his family had a big pile of lumber outside their house.  For the month of April, we have already exceeded the normal rainfall amount by 5+ inches.  The month is not over and we have rain predicted for Friday and Saturday.  Year to date, Cincinnati has exceeded normal rainfall amounts by almost 8 inches.  It is rather depressing. 

It is not that rainy days and Mondays always get me down, it is that our basement has suddenly resembled a submarine hit by a torpedo.  Well, not exactly.  There is not water gushing through portals or from the ceiling, and no one is planning on diving into the ocean to retrieve a lost locket.  Talk about your mixed movie references.  No, go ahead and talk about it, there are more sure to come.

Anyway, we have spent the past 2 days sucking water out of our basement carpet again.  Which is always a pleasure after you just spent a couple lovely nights losing sleep due to thunder storms and tornado warnings.  We have lined up appointments for basement water-proofing people to come and extort money from us.  Can't you picture them rubbing their hands together singing, "I love money, lots  and lots of money...".  I know I can.

So we will see where that goes.  I never really thought I would be retiring from The Target at 55 anyway.

Speaking of The Target, GO BUY SOME EASTER STUFF!!!  Why does everyone wait until the last minute.  We have Easter grass, plastic eggs, fluffy bunnies, and baskets for everyone in the tri-state area.  And their brother's kids.  It should make for an interesting next couple of days as we try to keep that area full while guests trip over each other trying to put together the perfect basket.

For those of you who just celebrated Passover, I think you may have missed the Torah stories about how the holy spirit was kept at bay from your newborn sons by having chocolate bunnies under every bed.  I read it somewhere.  I may have also slept through portions of my world religions classes.

And if you worship gods, perhaps you are unaware that all the natural disasters the world is going through right now have everything to do with you not sacrificing Peeps to the gods.  They are going crazy because they really love to see Peep chicks expanding in the microwave.  No longer do they show their dissatisfaction with the Earth by throwing pop bottles from they sky.

I think there is a very good reason I do not have a job in advertising. 

Insert CJ update here.  He has another track meet today in which he is running the 800 meters.  2 laps around a track for those of you not currently practicing the metric system.  I told him a good time would make the Easter bunny bring him an extra nice Easter basket.  I got the look.  You know, the one from a teenager who can't believe he ever fell for those fairy tales.  Especially the one where we were spending the night in a hotel or at Grandma's house (for what reason I cannot remember), and I told CJ that the Easter bunny had tugged on my sleeve in the middle of the night asking where CJ was...

A Target executive named Leonard died this past week of a heart attack.  He was around my age and he was yet another man around my age who suffered a heart attack or sudden death.  It is happening way too often (I am in my mid forties), and we are saying a silent prayer for Leonard's family which included a wife and two young children. 

What this has continued to do is make me realize I am not to take life for granted.  So if CJ is ever going back to read the archives of my blog (which translates that CJ is stuck at an airport with only wi fi and no other means of entertainment), I want him to know that he was very cute at Easter time when he was little.  I used to make a map for him and leave it on the kitchen table from the Easter bunny.  This would lead him on a hunt through our house ending in the hidden location of the ultimate treasure, the Easter basket.  I think he even played along with me a couple years after his friends clued him in about basket delivering bunnies so that he could revisit the treasure hunt.  I miss that little dude.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

For all you whackers out there

April 12, 2011

So I stole this Feedjit link from Katie's blog,, cause I really like the idea of seeing where people were looking in from.  To be honest, I did not steal it.  She still has hers and I have mine and there is no need to call the legit Feedjit authorities. 

Surprise! There are lurkers out there who read this blog without commenting!  I had no idea.  However, I am puzzled.  Why no comment?  Do you actually read, or do you show up thinking you are Abraham linking to some other blog and then end up on this piece of drivel.

Oh my goodness!  I should really learn how to use computer software.  In order to do some research for this post, I found that you can dig into Feedjit enough to see where from or why for readers have ended up on your blog.  Wow, technology.

Thus, I want to thank some of you who actually pull up my blog to see if I have posted in order to read it...and I hope you don't get jobs or anything more important to do anytime soon.  I also want to thank, and I will start looking into someone's blog entitled  Several of you have found your way here from there.  I know I did some posts about our kitchen remodel and this may have some relevance, but obviously I do not spend much time in the kitchen anymore.  If you are checking in to see if we ever actually finished the kitchen, well, no.  Not yet.  The major stuff is done and almost paid for, but the walls are not painted.  Actually, as CJ pointed out to Beth the other day, they are painted, but they are white with sample dabs of green and gray splattered about.  (Hint, do not mention this to Beth or she may punch you in the face.)

A somewhat disturbing finding, is that my post about having a hot wife has lured in many a lurker.  I have a feeling they did not stay long since there are no photos of said hot wife in sexy lingerie.  Wherever Dammam, Ash Sharqiyah is, or S√łgne, Vest-Agder, I apologize if you were hoping for something else when you got here.  There are plenty of free sites for that sort of thing, or so I hear.  Maybe they mistyped since typing with one hand is rather difficult.

Since this is really only a cool topic to me, I will just share one more.  Someone found me by searching for "Rolando Frias weed whacker".  I think the actual link between a Rolando Frias and weed whacking had something to do with a marijuana drug sting operation.

And there I have my answer.  The people who find my blog are on drugs.  Or should be.  Or want to be after they waste precious moments of their lives reading through my odd life.  You have my apologies.

Oh, before I forget, here are a couple CJ updates.  At his first track meet, he ran the mile in 6:38.  He finished 9th out of 20 runners on a cold windy day.  Nice job CJ!  The discus portion of the meet was cancelled due to 2 inches of water in the discus circle.  I think this would have made the competition more exciting, but the event host thought not.

There was also a music competition this past weekend in which CJ competed with a solo snare drum piece.  This is the same competition that CJ practiced for last year, but did not participate in due to losing his music.  All went well this year and CJ scored the highest score possible and was said by one of the judges to be the best prepared competitor in his group.  Quite the difference a year makes.  CJ, I am proud of you and special thanks goes out to his instructor and his mom who helped get him prepared.  Awesome job!

Time for me to go look a the rain some more as I can actually watch my grass grow right now. 

See how I included another grass reference to get more readers?  I do know my audience.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

And the ACM award for the best song writer goes to....

April 5, 2011

Back to life, back to reality.  Except for the fact that I only had to work one day before I have today off.  Whew!  However, that is the beauty of having a vacation, I used vacation days to miss 5 days of work, and now I am back on my normal schedule-which includes having Tuesdays off.  It will also include working the next 6 days, but I think I am ready.

So today, I have finished taking care of the dishes, dusting, and vacuuming.  I have found directions to CJ's track meet this afternoon, which is in Wyoming.  I have never been to one of the square states, but it should be fun.  I suppose I should google the weather out there so I know how to pack.  Getting him there by 4:30 could be an issue, but I do have an extra hour I think.  Are they 1 or 2 hours behind us in Wyoming?  I guess I better google that also.  As it turns out, the speed limit on most of Interstates 74 and 80 is like 200mph, so we may be okay.  Mapquest says it is 19 hours, but I don't think they are taking into account the time change.

What's that sweety?  Wyoming High in Cincinnati?  Oh.  io.

So the trip is actually 20 minutes and the temperature is about what it is at our house, so we will be chilly, but otherwise okay.  CJ is running the 1600 and throwing the discus.  Results to follow later.

I have also watched a couple shows I DVR'd. (one of the best inventions, EVER!)  I watched the second half of the national championship game between Butler and UConn.  Congrats to UConn and Brittany B, who won the pool at work.  (No money exchanged hands in the playing of this pool, BTW).  I also watched the ACM awards show.

Are any of you country music fans?  I am not so much anymore, but I was intrigued by some of the performances that were scheduled.  There was a period of my life that I listened to country music.  I was lured in by country hotties like Shania Twain and Faith Hill, and stayed loyal for a while due to the quality of the voices in county music.  Artists like Martina McBride stole me away from rock and roll for a bit because they could really sing.  Sure, there were still a lot of lyrics and songs about lost love, lost horses, drinking, and life in the south, but that doesn't really differ that much from any other genre.  You could just understand the lyrics most of the time. 

I cannot really get into the current most popular artists-Taylor Swift and Miranda Lambert.  I admire these young ladies for their song writing abilities and that they can really entertain, but their voices are not as good as I like to listen to.  Taylor may be calling me mean next.

I should not say I grew up on rock and roll though.  My parents were into Big Band music.  Tommy Dorsey, Glen Miller, and Lawrence Welk.  I could dance a mean waltz.  Please, don't picture it.

Our radios did not have FM as far as I knew.  AM radio did play music back then, but it was soft rock favorites like John Davidson, Pat Boone, and The Carpenters.  We did rock out to Elton John and Captain and Tennille when the groove really hit us.  Who knew that muskrats had feelings?

I currently do not listen to country music because I have sports talk radio and christian music on most of the time.  There have been a lot of actual sports to discuss of late, and I like the uplifting modern christian music.  I love being reminded of all the great graces bestowed on me-evidenced mostly by Beth and CJ.  Exhibits A and A1.

However, I saw the lineup for the ACM awards included groups I used to like such as Martina, Sugarland, Ronnie Dunn, Sara Evans, and Carrie Underwood.  I was then able to fast forward though the commercials, the awards, and the emcees.  I can't look at Reba without remembering a guy I worked with 20 years ago who used to cross dress like Reba for a show on the weekends.  He may have actually been hotter than her....uh, so I heard.

So then I saw the performances.  Jennifer Nettles of Sugarland was very good.  She can sing and entertain.  I was disappointed with Carrie Underwood and Martina McBride because their songs did not really show off their incredible singing voices.  Underwood's performance with Steven Tyler was very good though.  Sara Evan's song was kind of a downer, and Ronnie Dunn's solo was well done, but I wanted a bit more from him.  Have you ever heard the song Believe?  That is what I expect from Ronnie Dunn.  Hard to live up the that all the time though.

So that was my one night stand with country music this year.  Does that sound like a song idea?  I could throw in some moonshine and wear a cowboy hat?  Think about it y'all.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Vacation, the sequel

April 3, 2011

Since everyone loves hearing about somebody else's vacation, here we go with vacation, part two.

The key to a great vacation, as it turns out, is not the attractions or the weather.  Sure, those are important, but who you are with is the key.  As I said yesterday, we had some bad weather days-total wash outs.  We were also trying some new things on this trip that we have never done before-different hotel, rental car, Cocoa Beach.

There were times when we did not know where we were going and got lost.   I prefer to look at a map and figure it out, like an adventure.  Beth prefers to Google or, GASP!, pull over and ask someone.  I am sorry dear, I am a dude,  we do not pull over and ask people which way to go.  Did Lewis and Clark have people to ask?  Would Daniel Boone have become famous if he could have just Googled how to traverse the Appalachians?  Did I not mention we were on an adventure?  And yes, I bet Daniel Boone did curse when he passed them same tree three times, but he did not let that slow him down. 

Unfortunately, I am finding it more difficult to read a map and drive, especially without my reading glasses.  There was one time when we were like three blocks from our hotel and could have just made one turn to get us there, but we panicked and turned around to go back to point A, ask for directions, and get to point B.  I may have grumbled a bit, especially when we got to the hotel and I figured out how close I was to getting us there without help.  It was as if Admiral Perry was within a couple miles of the North Pole when his wife talked him into going back to Canada and asking someone else how to get there.  Is any of that historically accurate?  Probably not.

Anyway, within a few minutes of being at the hotel, we were all once again joking around and speaking with one another.  I know other families who would not have liked each other again so quickly.

You also want someone like Beth with you on a trip when you are stuck in a hotel room all day.  If you are sitting on this weird couch all day and trying to figure out what is bothering you about it, you need someone to point out that it looks like something from a Dr Seuss book.  Let me see if I can find a picture since we never thought to take an actual photo.

I think this link is for the promotional photos of our hotel.  They are fairly accurate except they make everything, especially the pool, look a bit more glamorous than they are.  However, photo 5 almost shows the Dr Seuss couch,  The color and shape were a bit strange. 

Since these photos are now our vacation photos, you will see in photo 8 the very nice kitchenette we had.  This saved us mucho money on meals and Beth did not even almost catch the hotel on fire while fixing bacon.

Photo 10 is of the breakfast bar where we dined like swine every morning.  Good eats on the cheap. 

Photo 18 is the only thing I really wanted to do, but did not get the chance.  The weather did not cooperate enough to be both warm enough and sunny enough to lounge in the shallow end of the pool.  No skin cancer this trip.  Rats.

Photo 21 shows the basketball court where Beth and I watched CJ attempt a half court shot approximately 30 times before, "HE SHOOTS, HE SCORES!!  AND THE CROWD GOES WILD!!"  Fun to watch.  Weird to watch too as it dawned on me that my little boy is big enough to make a shot from half court.  Would someone find my walker with tennis balls on the bottom for me?

Nice vacation pix, huh? 

So the moral of my story, is that the reason we had such a good vacation, is that the three of us were there.  I have heard about people sitting in paradise who had a bad time because they did not get along.  Or a snake offered one of them an apple.  I think that was in Cancun, not sure.

We are off to the grocery now as we cleaned it out before we left.  Cannot live on, ironically, apples and ketchup.  Talk at you soon.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Well, knock me over with a feather!

April 2, 2011

My sister is a follower of my blog!  I obviously have not been here very much of late, so when I checked in today, I noticed I was up to double digit followers.  Who could this new person be?  Kathy?  I have a sister named Kathy?  But she never reads my blog.  Hmmm.  Wait, that picture looks like my hell-raising niece, Julia?  I guess Kathy has decided to check in here every once in a while.  Awesome!

We have returned from spring break.  We were in Orlando, Florida from Sunday though Friday.  Great time was had by the three of us.  While the weather was not perfect-two rain out days Monday and Thursday-we managed to get along and fit in all the essentials of why we went there.

Essential One:  We visited the Harry Potter portion of Islands of Adventure at Universal.  Beth had a desire to ride Harry Potter.  She did and his wand will never be the same.

 Actually, the village was something to marvel at.  The ride was also quite entertaining and worth the wait.   Beth did not hurl-win!  None of us got injured (the ride shakes you up quite a bit as you play virtual Quidditch).   A drink called Butter Beer was consumed and was voted worth the $4.50 it cost by CJ (who did not actually break open his wallet for it). 

I think we would have enjoyed it even more if any of us had ever read a Harry Potter book or watched a Harry Potter movie.  No, we never joined that cult.  We may have then understood why grown adults were wearing shirts that said they were Muggles or Buggles or something Uggles.  Children were way excited to get dad to shell out $30 for a plastic broomstick.  You would have needed the broom to sweep up my marbles if CJ wanted one of those.  Yeeesh!

Essential Two:  Ride the Hollywood Rip Ride Roller Coaster at the other Universal park-the name I never remember....Universal Studios.  I always think it is something trickier than that.

This is an excellent roller coaster-long, fast, and smooth.  And we only waited 30 minutes to get on.  Recommended.  We have learned that we really love the older Universal Studios park better than the newer Islands of Adventure.  It is laid out in a much easier to navigate pattern, it has more rides we like, and no area gets as crowded as Harry Potter land or the Incredible Hulk ride over there at IofA.

The other thing we like about US, is that we have a running competition on the Men in Black ride.  You use lasers to shoot aliens and it keeps score.  If aliens ever invade Earth, draft CJ into your military, not me.  He smoked this old man this trip.  However, if you just need a stand in movie star for your war against invaders, I'm your best choice.  There is an attraction called Disaster at US, in which they cast audience members to help film scenes from a disaster movie.  A couple years ago I was cast as the hunky stranger and this year I was caught on film during a crowd shot.  The camera loves me, what can I say.

Essential Three:  Stick our toes in some sand. 

We drove over to Cocoa Beach on Wednesday and sat on the beach with some Cincinnati friends of ours for a few hours before the storm blew in.  It was not overly sunny that day, but the temperature was perfect, the conversation was good, and CJ played in the ocean with buddies until the sand got into his trunks so bad that we could have built a castle in there.  Chafing much-ouch.  BTW, 14 year olds do not let mom apply lotion to their tenders anymore.  Probably a good thing Mrs. Oedipus.

Okay, before this post gets too long, I will end here and tell you more details on another day.  Besides, I need to check my email and see if William Morris is looking for me.