Thursday, October 27, 2011

I do love the drama

October 27, 2011

One of the things I enjoy doing with my free time is crossword puzzles.  While sometimes they make me feel really stupid, I can manage to get through most of them over time.  I certainly cannot do them in pen like the brainiacs out there.  And, the more you do them, you know some words are more commonly used than others, and that helps.

Every once in a while, the creator of the crossword puzzle impresses me with their cleverness.  Sarcasm is a big part of figuring out clues, and that I am familiar with, but also knowing common phrases is helpful.  Many times they will take a common phrase and alter it by one letter to change the meaning.  Those are fun to play with.

However, the creator of "Take it from the Top", Joe Dipietro, just cracked me up with one of his answers.  The puzzle is reprinted in my very local suburban paper, but originally came from The New York Times Magazine.

The clue is, "Proof that a Jersey Shore character has an incontinence problem?"  The answer is a commonly used phrase, unaltered, but taken literally.  Spoiler alert.  If you do not want to see the answer, read the rest of this paragraph with your eyes closed.  Answer, "Depends on The Situation."

How funny is that.  And sad.  These Jersey Shore people have made their way into the New York Times Magazine crossword puzzle as if they are mainstream.  Gooz, as June would say.  I am frackled, as Duffylou would say.

I had heard that Jersey Shore was the number one show amongst a very large demographic on television, and instantly I felt smarter.  Not sure why.  Can I feel superior if I continue to watch the Bengals whenever I get the chance?  I give Beth a hard time regarding her affinity for reality tv (mostly Hoarders and Intervention and People with Spending Problems), but she fires right back that sports are reality tv.  Gooz.

My favorite shows are actually some of the dramas that are popular now:  NCIS (reg and LA), CSI, House, Unforgettable, Revenge, Castle, and Pan Am.  Wow, I watch a lot of television.  Perhaps I should read more.  Or take up looking at Facebook.  Or go back to video games.  Or see what Snooky is up to in People magazine.

 Maybe my television viewing is not so bad.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Gotta catch em all!!

October 25, 2011

Have you heard enough about my son and the high school marching band?  Quite enough?  Well, too bad.  This is essentially a blog for him to read after I die in a horrible disfiguring accident, so let's keep it about him and how proud I am of him.

(I just spelled "die", "dye" up there and for the record, I would rather not anyone use RIT dye to make me another color after I am hit by a truck.  Not classy.)

Did you ever see the uplifting movie starring Michael Keaton called My Life?  It came out in 1993 and was about Keaton's character with a baby on the way discovering he had a life-threatening disease.  Keaton, not the baby.   He (Keaton, not the baby) decided to video tape pieces of wisdom for his child to watch and get to know his/her now dead father.  A real laugh riot this movie.  Anyway, that is what I thought of after my opening paragraph up there.  For the record, my birth certificate does not have an expiration date, and I do not have a countdown timer on my arm telling me that I have only a specific amount of time on planet Earth; so that was just me being morbidly funny.  And that is why you cannot drink coffee and read my blog since you may spew it on your screen with the jocularity and all.

So last Saturday was another band competition.  We traveled to Newark, Ohio for this one.  The site was Versailles High School.  I am assuming there are no classy people reading this blog, so I do not need to explain that no one pronounces it like a city in France here in Ohio.  We were at Ver-sales high school.

It was a 2 hour drive during which Beth and I were really nervous.  The drum line was going to be short two people.  The second snare has been ill, and the first tenor had a state tournament soccer game.  The young lady playing second snare has missed a couple competitions as her illness was somewhat serious (she is doing way better now), but CJ has never played in a competition alone without his tenor buddy.  And, they were trying to be the first drum line from this high school to take the "Best Percussion" award at all five of their competitions.

As it turns out, Beth and I were way more nervous than CJ was, and the drum line played that funky music like a bunch of white boys and brought home the title again.  I would put their names in here with hearty congratulations, but I do not use real names without permission.  They have given themselves nicknames based on Pokemon characters, but I do not know all of them.  So congratulations to Geodude, Squirtle, Syther, Charizard, Eevee, Arcanine, Machop, Ash, and Magicarp.  Gotta catch em all!  Done.

Friday, October 21, 2011

What about Santa Grandma?

October 21, 2011

I know I promised a photo shoot, but two things have prohibited this from happening.  Number one, Jane spoke for all of you and said you like me just the way I am.  Me Steve, love Jane.

Number two, I tried to download a link to one of the Geico cavemen posing without a shirt and it was possible, but made you jump through some hoops to get to look at it.  I know you make time to come here as an aside to your busy day, so any extra time spent would not be worth it.  You get the idea though-Geico caveman.

I would never put any body shots of myself online anyway, but after I weighed myself yesterday, that seriously not gonna happen.  I told you guys that I weigh 160, but in reality I weigh 166.  I KNOW!  If they sent me to a fat farm, they would have to turn it into a ranch!  The only trip I made out of the house yesterday was to the grocery store to buy Fritos, animal crackers, Mission tortilla strips, and waffle fries.  And this was after I weighed myself.  I may need an intervention. 

What?  Guys whining about weighing 166 pounds is not evoking sympathy?  Oh. Okay.   Moving on.

Wednesday night, I had to sit Beth and CJ down and have a stern talk.  At 3:30, CJ was supposed to do homework while Beth and I ran to The Target, and by the time we returned, he was not very far along.  Distracted much?  The key to homework, I think, is to do it right when you get home since later on there is either band practice or his brain is starting shut down procedures.  This was on display Wednesday as he was having trouble doing math-his best subject-and then Beth tried to help him.  For the record, Beth is the math tutoring guru at the high school, so he is lucky to have her as a resource, but after a certain time she starts to get short with him if he is not getting it fast enough.

Finally, I explained to both of them, that being on vacation for me meant not having to listen to this kind of bickering bs. 

The great thing about these two though, is that after homework was done, 30 minutes later they were giggling together about some nonsense on You Tube.  Whew.

So last night was my turn to help CJ with homework since all it entailed was quizzing him on vocabulary words.  Other than the fact that reading CJ's writing and discerning his spelling can be a challenge, it was an easy assignment for me.  Until he got slap happy and I tried to remain serious while he gave me definitions such as this:

disposition-how I am laying on the couch right now
deride-Millennium Force at Cedar Point
antiquated-dad again

His test is today.  I guess we can look forward to another year as a freshman in high school.  Class of 2015, not so much.

The other thing he and I did together yesterday was go to the dentist.  It was his six month cleaning, but it took a little longer since he still had a baby tooth in his head.  His dentist was asking me if I wanted him to pull it, and I was all heck yeah!  That sucker should have been out of there ages ago.  Use a hammer if you have to, or some rusty pliers.  Why rusty ones, not sure.

So out it came.  Dr. L. assured me that he did not use a hammer, he finds his right elbow to be enough force to jar teeth loose.  I think he used to be a professional wrestler.  The surprise was that CJ refused the offer to bring the tooth home to put under his pillow.  I told him that since Grandma is going through this dementia thing, a baby tooth may be worth $40.  He still declined.  Too cool now for the Tooth Grandma.  Growing up too fast.

Then he got in the car for deride home.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

I, ain't got no bahdeeee

October 20, 2011

I was looking around the house wondering what to blog about today when I saw my latest issue of ESPN, The Magazine.  They are calling it their body issue and it came out around 10/17/11 (in case you are in the future).

CJ picked it up yesterday and said, "what is up with this guy!"  I will let you search it on your own as putting a link to it here means putting a link to all the photo shoot participants up, and I don't know how that will be received.  You see, they are all naked.  Hey wait, come back!  Okay, see you later. 

ESPN subtitles their article as Bodies We Want.  I don't think they even mean this in a smarmy way.  They are just assuming that we would want to look like the athletes in the photos.

You may have seen my photo on this blog in a couple of previous posts, and I assure you I am fully clothed in all of them.  However, if I were to choose to pose au naturale, I would look something like Blake Griffin on this magazine cover.  We both have two legs, two arms, and a head.  I think we both have the same quantity of muscles in our body, but there seems to be something wrong with his.  It's like he is swollen or something.  Perhaps he is allergic to fruit and just ate an apple.  Perhaps he should see a doctor.  Where did his fat go?  I use my spare fat, blubber if you will, to keep me warm in the winter.  I realize he plays in Los Angeles, but it gets a little cold there, does it not?  Gonna freeze to death, this guy, in 50 degree weather.  We should start a telethon.  Call in your Twinkies pledge now.

For the record, I did work out last night.  I did like 30 push ups and 60 abdominal exercises.  I checked this morning and I still do not have a six pack.  Got a one pack going on down there.  How many sit ups does a guy have to do to get a little definition?  Like 300?  Forget it.

Beth will be excited because Apolo Anton Ohno is in there.  Not that she is a big fan of his or finds the little dude attractive, but she truly enjoyed seeing Cincinnati Red's pitcher Bronson Arroyo in a store and saying he had a haircut like Apolo Ohno.  Oh no is right.  I think she still chuckles about it from time to time.

Finally, while there are naked females in there that are surfers, soccer players, hockey players and such; there is also a female bowler in there.  Her name is Kelly Kulick and she goes 5'7", 160.  Without the bowling ball.  She says bowlers, in general, are not known for being in great shape, but she has worked really hard to get stronger and better.  She does look it, as she is rather defined.  And I think it is awesome that being 5'7" and weighing 160 pounds is worthy of posing in a magazine naked. 

I go 5'10" (with shoes on), 160, so I am going to get the camera and get my pose down going.  Tune in tomorrow for the photo shoot layout.  Gather round, grab a milk shake, and try not to laugh so hard that it comes out your nose.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Victory at Bandusky

October 19, 2011

This past weekend, I chaperoned the marching band trip to Sandusky, Ohio.  It was a special trip for the band as they got to perform at an OMEA competition at Perkins high school, stay at Castaway Bay hotel, and go to Cedar Point amusement park.

It was an early morning call time on Saturday-6am.  We loaded the trucks, trailers, and buses and got on the road around 7am.  I was one of two chaperons on bus number 3 (which is apparently the cool kids' bus) and we headed out.  Unfortunately, we watched as bus number 2 blew a tire about 45 minutes into our trip.  Thank goodness buses have 6 tires, as 5 of them still went round and round.  However, I guess there are rules about driving a long distance on 5 good tires while the 6th makes the same sound as when you drive over those grooves on the side of the road.  You know, the ones that wake you up if you are catching some zzzzs while driving and start to head for the abyss on the side of the road?  So we pulled into a truck stop to switch buses.

Grace was with us as this only took 90 minutes and high school kids have the ability to stay out of trouble for 93 minutes.  I am not sure why Grace Kelly was there, but she is always welcome.

Therefore, we made only one more stop the rest of the way (at McDonald's in Mansfield, Ohio) and made it to Sandusky's Castaway Bay around 1:30.  The 90 minutes we lost were supposed to have been part of 3 hours free time the kids had at the hotel, so we were not in danger of missing our competition time.

We met for food and a precompetition talk at 3:30 and I found one of the motivational speeches quite interesting.

When your band gets judged at a competition, the judges use tape recorders during your performance.   They then make their comments available to you afterwards.  Apparently, one of the judges at a previous competition had said that they should play their music so well that the crowd would want to throw their babies in the air.  I am not sure where this judge grew up or if this actually a common practice anywhere, but it was a memorable critique.

So one band member got up in front of the group to give his motivational speech and remembered this comment.  He tied things together very well for the group as everyone was expressing concern about the 30-40 mph winds.  He explained that they needed to play so great that when the crowd threw their babies in the air it was worth it since there was a possibility that the wind would blow their baby away and they may not get it back. 

The band played so well that they brought home 7 trophies.  My favorite two were the best percussion for their class and best overall percussion out of all the classes.  I beamed with pride at my freshman percussionist out there.  Sure, I was happy for the whole band, ecstatic even, but it is always gratifying to see your own kid and his line mates win big when you know they have worked so hard for it.  Yay!

Then, Sunday, we went to Cedar Point.  I have never been, but have heard it to be better than the local amusement park, Kings Island.  I found this hard to believe since KI is a bit more nationally known.  Evil Knievel performed there, the Brady Bunch did a show there, and KI has been mentioned on CSI and other shows.  Still, plenty of people have told me the coasters are better at CP.  It turns out to be true, at least for me.  In general, the coasters are faster, longer, and a smoother ride.  At 46 that last quality is important.  The weather was pretty crappy on Sunday, but that kept the crowds down,  I got to ride 6 or 7 rides in the 5 hours we were there.  This would not have happened on a good weather day.  I truly enjoyed the rides even though it rained while I was on a couple of them which makes it feel like you are getting hit with ice pellets during the whole ride. I would have even been willing to throw my baby in the air on a couple of them.

On the bus ride home I was revelling in the day.  The win, the behavior of the kids, not sharing my seat on the bus, and my life in general; when suddenly I noticed the bus driver's head bobbing.  HELLO!!  From my angle, it looked like me driving late at night with the nodding off every 10 minutes head bob thing.  Alarm bells went off in my head as I remembered the safety instructions he was required to give me before we started the trip.  Pull the red button and the bus will stop.  I had laughed it off when he had told me this, but suddenly it seemed really important.  I repositioned myself such that I could spring into action from my seat two behind the bus driver in case I had to jump up and grasp the wheel.

I eventually, scooted up close to the driver and asked if he was okay.  He said that he was, that he had to keep checking stuff, and thanked me for asking.  I returned to my seat and watched him some more.  From my angle, I could not tell if whenever he looked down, he was checking his side mirror or closing his eyes.  I wished I had watched him more on the ride up the day before.  I was more worried as he adjusted his window and air conditioning as that is what I would do if I were trying to keep myself awake.

Fortunately, we were only 100 miles from home, so I only had to watch him for 90 MINUTES

As you may have guessed, we made it home safely.  I was not called into action, but I assure you I was ready the entire time.

Therefore, I would like to thank some individuals personally:  Mark and Cherri for organizing the trip, CJ for behaving himself and making me proud, Zane for surprising me with his stellar conduct, and the good Lord for making neither Billy nor me a hero on Sunday.  I am truly blessed.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

I am getting a new pole today.

October 4, 2011

This is my sister-in-law, Betty, when she found out.

Then she kinda came around to the idea.

This is actually what is happening.

We are getting new utility poles on our street this week.  Can you tell which one is the new one?  There is one down the street that is no longer a straight line at the top.  Around where the oil-drum looking transformer box is, the pole has bent to about a 15 degree angle.  Seems like a good idea to change them out.

You can probably tell that I have found some photos we had not imported to the computer as I imported my new pole photo.  There were some from my niece's wedding and some of CJ and the marching band.  Here are some wedding photos:

As brides go, Miranda was not all that unfortunate looking.

Can  you tell that CJ is still a little awkward around females?  He is somewhat handsome though.

Beth managed to look even more beautiful than the bride.  Our smiles reflect the best man's speech as it entered its 2nd hour.
CJ and his quads.  And a bothersome facial hair.

When the photo was smaller, I did not notice the face scratching.  I thought he was playing his drums.  There is not a good photo of him playing, but I am leaving this photo up since he is looking good in his uniform.  He doesn't read my blog, so do you think I should post it to his Face Book page and tag the rest of the band?

Did I actually just use any social media lingo correctly?  I may have just outed myself that posting and tagging is not going to happen.

I am going to ask the pole planters how long it will take for the new ones to take root.  I will let you know what I find out.

The formatting is way off on this post, but the more I try to fix it, the worse it gets.  I am giving up for now, so I hope it is still semi tolerable.