Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Hey, umbrellas are practical

September 27, 2011

Beth reminded me this morning that last Sunday the 25th was the 24th anniversary of our first date.  Lest you get the wrong idea, she did not have her hand on her hip and was not giving me either the evil eye or the head bob thing.  I am not even sure she can do the head bob thing.  Dating anniversaries are nice, but we no longer recognize them.  Especially when you have an out-of-town wedding to attend and one of us has to work on the actual anniversary day.  Beth did promise, though, that for our 25th dating anniversary-on the 25th-a celebration would ensue. 

Before I get too far along, just in case some of you are hopeless romantics and think I should done something special for our dating anniversary; let me remind you that I drove in laws and all to the wedding.  Nuff said.

So I am now looking forward to September 25, 2012.  I can only assume that this first date anniversary will be a reenactment of our very first date.  It should go something like this:

Sometime in August 2012, Beth will have to walk in my vicinity wearing an off-white skirt and her beautiful smile, thus catching my attention.  I will then have to ask someone who knows her, "Who dat?"

I will then need to go two to three weeks of working up the nerve to ask this enchanting creature out.  I will need to pick the perfect time and make sure I am wearing my Members Only jacket (to show how cool I am), and carrying my umbrella (to show what a loser I am).  I think Beth remembers the umbrella more than the jacket, but she also thought my name was Scott, so maybe she was distracted by the jacket.

She will say yes and give me directions to her home which WILL include the fact that there is a stop sign on the way to her house at the bottom of a hill for no apparent reason, but WILL NOT include the small detail that she has six over-sized brothers at her house and a father that wants her date to kiss his ass.

We will then proceed to Garcia's for a very nice dinner and Barleycorns for a beer afterwards.  This is more difficult than it sounds since both Garcia's and Barleycorns no longer exist.  We can sit in the parking lot of both and make our own seafood enchiladas and drink from a six pack.  I am fairly certain I can no longer fit into the black Levis or the pink-striped Levi shirt I wore back then.

Hey, I worked in Yong Men's at McAlpins and got discounts on Levi merchandise.

Actually, the hardest part to reenact will be the taking her home part.  Not that I got lost or ran the no reason stop sign, it is the dropping her off part.  I don't think I can ever again go out on a date with this gorgeous woman and leave without kissing her.

 Why did I not kiss her that first night?

Please see previous reference to six big brothers.  As it turns out, none of them would have cared that much, and most of them had moved out by then.  I am really just not the kiss on the first date kind of guy.  Little did I know that Beth was wanting some of this.  I found that out on our second date. 

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Because I am a little, little person

September 24, 2011

5 people left here for Indianapolis yesterday at 3:00pm (only 45 minutes later than Steve had planned), and 5 people returned unharmed.  In actuality, the car ride up and back may have been the least confusing part of the evening.  We made excellent time, traffic wasn't too crazy, the directions were step on, and we found a good place to park.

That was when things got interesting.

The invitations had told us to be there for the wedding on a Friday night two hours away at 5:30.  We showed up a bit after 5:00.  We found that the 5:30 starting time was actually for a cocktail hour.  And with the time change in Indiana versus Ohio, apparently an hour lasts 90 minutes.  With an open bar.

What you do know about me, fortunately, is that my father was an alcoholic.  He wasn't violent or abusive towards anything but his liver, but it did make for some interesting car trips.  We once spent an hour looking for an eatery by driving around one particular block about twelve times.  Even my 8 year old self knew we were not knowing where we were or getting anywhere quickly.  I think us kids in the back seat suddenly volunteered that we were no longer hungry.  My mother did not drive (except for the time she pulled the car into the garage and went too far almost creating an addition onto the house), so we were left with impaired dad to get us to and fro, and to and fro, and fro and to, and not so much to, but more fro.

Therefore, an open bar is a weird situation for me.  My inner being, built by DNA and fueled by Jack Daniels, desperately wants to partake in the openness that is free bar.  However, my desire to be CJ's dad and not Steve's dad has me committed to setting a good example and staying sober. 

I am normally that quiet guy with the sense of humor that catches you off guard.  Me in college, was occasionally that guy you didn't know could be so outgoing and funny.  At least I'm guessing I was funny since I was often told, "Steve, you were so funny last night!"  I never wanted to ask what made me so particularly funny last night because I could not remember.  I did not want to know whether they meant funny ha ha, or funny peculiar.

So I drank nothing but sodas and water.  I took the opportunity to point out relatives to CJ (from Beth's side of the family, of course) whose lives had been influenced by alcohol.  See your Uncle there with the crutch, he used to have a job making 6 figures, and he is currently homeless.  His good friends casino, alcohol, and recreational drugs helped him with his life choices.

See that Uncle, your grandma says the only time he has worn those shoes is when he has been to a wedding or stood before a judge.

Both of them were drinking. 

I really hope the evening made an impression on 14 year old CJ.

Some of you may be wondering what happens next at a wedding with a 90 minute cocktail hour, BEFORE the wedding. 

Well, the ceremony took place and lasted about 11 minutes.  It was nice, but really just served as an intermission before everyone was ushered into another room for the reception.  We were not allowed to eat food as the bridal party was rehashing the ceremony for a bit, but there was still an open bar. 

Finally, around 8:00, I was able to get some food.  I know this does not sound late to any of you, but we normally eat between 5 and 6 and are ready for snacks at 8:00.  Thankfully, the food was good and the wedding cake was cupcakes that no one seemed interested in.  CJ and I may have gotten a good sugar buzz going for the ride home.

I did get to visit with folks, everyone we ran into made over how tall and good looking CJ was getting, and the bride was beautiful.  Her husband really out kicked his coverage, but that is all I will say about that. 

They had a table set up asking people to write down keys to a good marriage and tie the answers to this fixture.  I wrote that the husband needed to learn the phrase, "whatever you want dear is just great with me".  I noticed another person had written, "lather, rinse, repeat".  Hmmm.

I wonder if this was written by the best man (who made the longest best man toast in the history of the world) who ended his toast with the lovely sentiment, "may all your ups and downs happen between the sheets".  Beautiful.  Let's drink to that.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Roadie resume building 101

September 20, 2011

This past Saturday I got my first chance to be a roadie.  For marching band, they actually call it the pit crew, but it is the same dealio.

As you know, my son plays drums, more specifically quads, in the local high school marching band.  As a freshman, he is new to all things band competition.  As his parents, Beth and I are new to being band parents.  Therefore, when someone said I or we should help with the pit crew and said how fun it was and how great the food was, I was in.  Did I mention that they mentioned food?  That usually gets me unless they also mention Fear Factor.

So here is how the days goes for a band parent/pit crew member. 

Show up at 1:00 with 3 pounds of ham.  This was not a requirement for everyone as that would make for a rather boring buffet.  That is what we signed up for.

Load band equipment onto trucks for 90 minutes.  This includes the bell kits/xylophone looking things, the brass instruments, the drums, and the uniforms and such.

Drive 90 minutes to Circleville, Ohio.

Unload all things band from the two trucks.

Eat sandwiches and side dishes prepared by band parents.  Yum.

Carry and guide percussion instruments to the field.  This is the interesting part as the rest is mostly fun grunt labor.

As members of the pit crew you have to take your specific instrument (the gong for me) out of the trailer and place it in its specific location where the pit will be using it.  HOWEVER, if you set one foot on the field, your band loses points.  This was very good information to have as I could have easily seen myself turning my backside the wrong way to place my gong and dangling onto the field.  Yikes.  (Taken out of context, that is a weird sentence).

Then the band performed and then we scurried to remove the pit and skedaddle.  If the performance plus set up/take down time surpasses 15 minutes, you are once again penalized.  We made it.

And, before you think this post is all about me and my pit crew performance, here are the results the band achieved at their first performance of the year:

First Place Band, Class B
Best Overall Color Guard, Class B and C
Best Overall Music, Class B and C
Best Overall General Effect, Class B and C
Class B and C Grand Champion
Best Percussion (CJ, the drum line, and the pit rocked the house)-they tied another Class AA band for the best score out of 21 bands.

They also received a Superior rating which has qualified them for state.

If some of this is confusing to you, welcome to the club.  I am starting to understand some of it, but the end result is that they brought home 6 trophies and did fantastic especially considering this was their first competition of the year.

Congrats to the Marching Mustangs!!

After the awards, we drove home and unloaded the trucks again and then got to our own home around 1am.  It was exhilarating.  Can't wait to do it again.

Now, if I can just find some liniment for my aching biceps.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Why was George Clooney at The Target?

September 15, 2011

Yesterday at The Target was fairly busy and the workload typical with two semi-major exceptions.  The first was that Target released a new line to Target by the well-known Italian designer Missoni.  Yes, I know that it is a team of designers, but that is really not the point to my story.  Nor is my point about how crazy people went for this stuff, cause they did. 

As an aside and obvious contradiction to my point that the release was not the point, I knew this line would do well.  I have learned to judge the popularity of "the next big thing" by whether or not I find it appealing.  If I think it is odd looking or even ugly, I know it will do well.  Other than my ability to pick an awesome wife, I have no sense of fashion or awesomeness. 

I think Missoni is interesting, but nothing I would wear or have in my home.  Whenever I see the trademark zigzag print, I think of Charlie Brown.


You may have to right click on that link and then click upload to see it.

I once gave a female guest a hard time about the outfit they were purchasing (how to help guests 101 on display there), and she felt free to tell me that she refused to take fashion advice from someone who wore the same clothes everyday.  Touche.

So the beginning of my workday had me rallying my team to fill in all the empty space where the Missoni product had sold. 

Then came the phone calls for interviews.  This sometimes happens during the holidays as TV news gathers info for seasonal shopping stories, but it does not usually happen in September.  However, due to this big release making national news, the local news wanted in as well.

Since I was really the only manager in the building yesterday, I had to field some of these reporters and their questions.  The first interview was with this young lady for WLWT Channel 5.  Her name is Valerie Abati.  She was very nice and weighed about 75 pounds.  Here is her picture since some of the guys in the store were jealous that I got to speak with her.


She is an experienced reporter, I decided, since she interviewed guests about Missoni, but not me.  She knew who belonged on camera and who did not.

However, another reporter from WCPO Channel 9 came in and wanted to interview me as a follow up to a national survey regarding seasonal hiring.  She came in and she took some store video and then hooked me up for the interview.  I have been interviewed before, and they generally ask you about 10 questions, your answers take about 15 minutes, and then you watch the news later.  For me, that usually means they can scratch together about 30 seconds of quality material.

The same thing happened last night as Beth watched the news.  After first wondering why George Clooney was being interviewed and identified as me, she put on her glasses and realized it really was me.  Fortunately, she recorded it because she blinked the first time and missed it.

So there I was on the television last night.  If you stop by, I will show you the recording, otherwise, you may be able to find my name (spelled wrong) mentioned in a story, but the video was not saved for posterity.  I am pretty sure it will not go national.

I sincerely hope it won't since as I watched myself; I could actually see the wheels turning in my head wondering when she was going to be finished so I could get back to work.  Also, the content of what I said may or may not have been entirely accurate.  It is weird what your brain tells you to say versus what actually comes out of your mouth.  Phenomenon, do do da do do.

I figure if you add all my TV interviews together, I should accumulate enough for my 15 minutes around 2022.  By then my hair may be as gray as George's.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

So that is what little girls are made of

September 4, 2011

I picked up CJ from his sleep over yesterday around 11:30am.  As we were going to McDonald's for a healthy carry out lunch, I quizzed him about the night and it went well.  They watched a couple movies including Paranormal Activities (which made everyone jump at the end), and ate lots of cookies.  Good thing I was taking him to Mcd for a bit of nutrition in his life.

As we were talking, I also warned him that at some point he was going to be asked to try on some clothes, and if he did so willingly, he could avoid his self a mall shopping trip.  Me, providing awesome father-son advice since 1996.

Good thing with the warning as he was asked right after the Big Mac (which does have vegetables on it), and he obliged.

Therefore, he got to stay home while Beth and I went all over God's creation shopping.  The good news is that I now have pants, a shirt, and some shoes that I can wear to the wedding.  Whew.  All I have left to find is a blazer that will not cost me $200.  Apparently, prices have gone up since I last purchased a sports coat in the 1990's.  CJ has an outfit also.  We are so close.

We also fit in some grocery shopping and some Starbucks.  Not to mention the quality time Beth and I had fueled by a goal and some caffeine.

As we finally returned home from our trip, a conversation started amongst the three of us that included talk of Beth's death.  I have no idea where this came from, perhaps we were having a discussion about a  Disney movie.

 Look it up, almost every mom dies in a Disney movie.

This is where it gets funny....stay with me.  Fortunately, CJ assured Beth that he would rather she doesn't die anytime soon.  Beth took the opportunity to remind me that she wants to be cremated.  I assured her that I would make sure it happens, right in our back yard if necessary.  CJ thought the neighbors may wonder what is going on, especially when they see the flames and smell the coffee and chocolate.

There may soon be a family film about a boy who gets punched in the face.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

My hips would tell all sorts of lies

September 3, 2011

It is Labor Day weekend.  I'm guessing that there are no neonatal nurses with the weekend off.  

I have the weekend off since I am not needed for any labor at The Target.  We are in the middle of clearing out the back-to-school stuff and getting ready for the Halloween stuff.  By September 16th, you should see plenty of costumes, decor, party supplies, and candy in your local Target.  And Christmas lights.

No, I do not know why.

Remember when school did not start until after Labor Day?  Because we were all farmers and needed the extra day light to bring in the crops?  Of course, we then had to be in school until the end of June practically, but starting school in the middle of August just seems wrong.

This weekend, I need to buy an outfit for my niece's wedding.  She is getting married in Indianapolis on September 23rd.  Since my work attire lacks variety, I have not worn a coat and tie for a long time.  I cannot even remember the last time, but it was probably for a funeral.  During the anti-hoarder summer purge of 2011, all my remaining dress pants, sports coats, and suits went away.  Most of them were the wrong size or had holes in them in places clothing should not have holes.  We are not talking about arm holes, we were looking through crotch holes and such.  Even Spencer Gifts-tacky gifts and crotchless underwear since 1963-would not sell you a pair of dress pants with easy crotch access.

I know a family wedding is the best place to meet eligible chicks, but I am taken.  Thus, I will stop speaking of pants with holes in the nether regions.  Too late, I know.

It will be interesting to go shopping with Beth and CJ today for a couple reasons.  One, CJ slept over with his fellow drum liners at a buddy's house last night.  For those of you who have been around a while, you know that CJ does not actually sleep over.  He wakes over.  Or something like that.  I took him for breakfast one time after he had a sleep over only to watch him fall face first into his pancakes.  We bonded, but more like bonding his face to the car window since it was covered in syrup instead of having one of those father-son bonding moments. 

The second reason it will be interesting is that while CJ and I are almost the same size now, we will not be getting the same size clothes.  We are almost identical in height and I have him by ten pounds.  However, he still has a butt and I do not.  I am quite sure Beth will feel free to point this out at some point.  "Those pants are nearly the same, but CJ's look better in the back.  Do you think yours are stitched wrong or something?"  Uh, no.  CJ has back and I got nothin.  When I do karaoke at the reception, no Shakira for me.

Crazy thought coming in, what if we get matching outfits?  Brilliant!!!  We will look like the Warblers have shown up to sing at the wedding.  Except we are not gay.  And cannot sing.  Otherwise, just like the Warblers.  Man I have great ideas.  I really should write this stuff down.