Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Happy Birthday Mr. Mayor

December 20, 2011

December 20, 1996, aka, the day the Charles Joseph turned zero.  My little boy turns 15 today around 6pm.  Beth has told him he would have to wait until 6:00 to get his present as that was his actual birth time, but he threatened to take away hugs for a month.  He will be receiving his gift after his History final at 10:30.  It is 8:00 now and CJ is in the middle of WWI, or The Depression, or The Roaring Twenties; but I gotta believe his brain is not all in.  He has been waiting for his birthday present for months and today is the last day of finals before a nice long Winter break from school.  If he can distinguish Herbert Hoover from a vacuum right now, I will be impressed.

His present is a new laptop.  We did not go top-of-the-line as he really wanted, but we were dangerously close for awhile.  Our original thought was that the computer we purchased now would be the one he takes off to college.  Then it delta dawned on us that our current laptop is only a few years old and is already out-dated.  College is too far away for this present to still be college worthy 4 years from now. 

It is strange for someone my age to see technology advance so quickly now.  Every time you turn around now there is a new Ipod, LED/3D television, or computer processor.  I remember upgrading from the $1000 computer with the flux capacitor processor, to the Pentium to the Centrino to whatever there is now.  When I was young, technological upgrades went from outdoor to indoor toilets for everyone.  Calculators went from the desk top to your pocket.  Photos popped right out of your camera and you shook them like a Polaroid Picture.

So, in two hours, my little boy is going to bust in the door, throw his hoodie on the floor, dump his shoes at the back door, leave his back pack in a pile in the dining room, take his socks off and leave them somewhere as yet undetermined, forage through the "hiding place" of his present, and start the disc back up process.  He may never eat again.

I hope to eat one last supper with him by getting his favorite meal as carryout for tonight.  We love an Indian restaurant near downtown called Ambar.  Their Chicken Tikka and Chicken Tikka Masala are to die for.  Yum!  Perhaps if he does not eat, there will be more for me.

Therefore, I would like to take this time to wish my favorite kid a most Happiest Birthday.  I have given you many nicknames over the years including:

  • CJ Destructo-since you always delighted more in knocking the tower over than building it
  • Charlie Joe-since you remind us of both your Grandpas at times
  • Colby Jack-due to the "CJ" thing and your tremendous love of all things cheese
  • Mayor McCheese-since your are a friend of the people and, the cheese thing

However, we continue to promise to never call you Charles, or Chuck, of CJoe, or late for dinner.

We also promise to continue to love you forever and to never forget the cute you even when you stop being so cute.

  •   I will always remember the infant who said the word "ham" while I was reading to him about Sam and his eggs.
  •  I will always remember the knock me over hugs you would give me when I would come home from work and you were a toddler. 
  • I will always remember you initiating hand holding with me and mom at Winton Woods as we walked along the lake. 
  • I will always remember the face you would make when someone would "gobble, gobble" at you around Thanksgiving.
  • I will always remember you giggling when Cookie Monster would shake his whole self over your head.
  • And, I will always remember you putting the cologne on your face while looking in the mirror and then screaming because it stung.

Hey, wait a minute!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Apparently there was no class at XU or UC on Saturday.

December 11, 2011

For those of you who are not sports fans, the next few paragraphs are going to read like a lot of blah de blah blah.  I am using this forum as my "personal" diary to voice my frustration with the basketball game I watched yesterday.

Xavier and the University of Cincinnati played their annual crosstown shootout yesterday and XU won 76-53, but no one cares about the score.  They had a brawl at the end of the game that was both ugly and embarrassing.

I am a graduate from Xavier University back in 1987.  I LOVE Xavier basketball.  As much as I have tried to not let it happen, the performance of my favorite basketball team affects my mood.  I realize the stupidity of this when I watch Beth worry about stuff somewhat more important like the international finance market and how it affects our 401K, but I cannot help myself.

So there I was yesterday, prouder than I have ever been of my team during the game-for 39 minutes. 

They played their best game of the year and they did it without any of the thuggish behavior that has occurred in games past.  Sure, you could tell there was some woofing going on.  Trash talk is part of the game sometimes, especially when you get a bunch of 20-something men together.  In fact, I sometimes walk through a Walmart and trash talk the managers there.

Nice smiley face on your name tag!

Made in America, whatever!

Did Kathy Lee design your outfit!

Okay, I have not been in a Walmart in decades and I do not know from trash talk, but that is somewhat my point.  I understand that college boys who came from different backgrounds than I, may go about things a different way than me.

 They may listen to rap music.  They may refer to themselves as gangstas or talk about putting the other team in a body bag-metaphorically; but that is where it needs to end.  Especially when you are on full scholarship representing a university on a court in front of paying fans-AND THEIR CHILDREN. 

You want to fight somebody during or after a game?  Go back to your neighborhood playground.  Don't get paid to represent my school, where I would love my son to go for free, and then instigate or participate in a brawl.

Good Lord!

It was like watching my son being born...and then finding out I wasn't the father.  (No, this did not happen to me). 

Watching the game was like watching boys learn how to play tough and SMART and like the better team, and I was proud to be their fan; only to find out at the end that they were not proud to be my team.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Idiot prevention devices, priceless.

December 6, 2011

The rain has stopped for now which is good because Noah needs some time to finish his work.  We have had over 96 inches of rain this year in Cincinnati which is 30 inches more than a normal year.  I am hoping that means we are due for some dry times as continuing this trend with cold weather coming would spell disaster for this town.  Cincinnatians do not handle snow well.  That is partly due to the fact that the temperature is usually hovering around the freezing mark and the beginning of the precipitation is usually in the form of ice.  Ice under snow is bad news. 

Couple that with the reality that drivers around here have issues with dry pavement and you got trouble right here in river city.  When we get bad driving conditions here, there are two types of drivers that hit the road.  The first thinks you have to drive 20mph and keep your right turn signal on the whole time, and the second takes a toboggan approach and drives faster so you can get to the bottom of the hill quicker.  These two techniques do not mix well.  Like ice and rain.  Or fire and rain.  James Taylor was on drugs, right?

Part of the issue is that a lot of us drive SUVs now.  I have one too, and I realize that I count on the 4 wheel drive feature to keep me out of trouble.  I drive up a hill in the rain counting on my 4 wheel drive to kick in.  This is a feature I do not understand.

The vehicle's computer is so smart it can sense when it needs the other 2 wheels to have pulling power.  I don't understand it, but I am forever grateful for how smart vehicles have become.  Whomever came up with the feature that makes the car ding at you when you leave your lights on-love that person.  And the person who made it so that you cannot take your keys out of the ignition unless your car is in park.  Hugs.

I know it is sad that I need these features, but I do.  Every year, around this time, I used to have an issue with my car.  Every year it came down to me being tired and burned out and doing something stupid.

Like the one year when I tried to leave work and my car would not start.  It was late at night and I ended up having to stay over at one of the other manager's house since I worked 40 minutes from my apartment.  That meant wearing the same clothes to work the next day and not shaving.  I looked good.

"Fortunately", the store for which I was employed, had a auto repair place attached.  They towed my car into the garage.  They came to find me later with good news and bad news.

Good news:  The reason your car would not start is that you left it in drive.

Bad news:  The fee for being an idiot is $25.

I figure whatever I have had to pay extra for in a vehicle over the years for features that protect me from idiot fees, have probably balanced out.

That was a nice gramatically correct sentence, huh?

I am going to take care of some Christmas shopping and wrapping before Beth get's home.  Don't tell her, but I am getting her a piece of chocolate but wrapping it in an extra large box.  Snicker.