Saturday, December 8, 2012

Dreidel, dreidel, dreidel...

December 8, 2012

CJ is shooting pigeons today.  It's not like he has never shot anything before.  I have seen him shoot countless men-all in self defense mind you-playing video games.  Plenty of zombies as well.  But pigeons? 

Ah, with a camera, some of you have surmised.  Because you are so clever.  No, CJ is going with his girlfriend and her dad today to shoot pigeons. 

Apparently, her father likes to shoot weapons and has taught his daughter how to handle a gun.  Whenever the topic came up before, Beth and I would dismiss the shooting talk assuming her dad would never want to take CJ along and ruin their father-daughter bonding.  However, CJ got an invite this week.  He looked at me and asked if he could go.  Beth wasn't there so I knew I could not provide him with the final answer, but I assumed a trip to the firing range to squeeze off some rounds from a glock would not be harmful.

Before we go any further, I should make known my stance on gun control. 

I have no stance.  I have never had to take a stance.  Most people have their opinions about stuff formed by influences in their lives.  Or the Internet.  Either their parents pass on their opinions, or there comes a turning point in your life that shapes your opinion.  If you know someone who has been shot and better gun control laws could have saved them, I would guess you are rather anti guns.  If you have ever been attacked by a bear and a gun would have saved your life, you are probably pro guns.  If you ever had to listen to your neighbor's new dog bark all day every day, you may be pro guns.


But I am trying to find a way to purchase mail order doggy downers without it getting traced back to my account.  Perhaps I should not have shared that information on a blog.

Anyway, my dad taught me as much about guns as he taught me about camping which is the same amount I learned from him about tools.  Nada.  Zilch. 

Fortunately, I have never been attacked by a bear.  I was once attacked by a bee, but I fought him off with an open Ketchup packet much to the chagrin of the gentleman sitting next to me at the picnic.  He looked like he had been in a gun fight after I got rid of that bee.  If I had fought it off with a hand gun, I am quite sure this man's family would be anti gun.  Guns don't kill people, bees kill people.

But I digress.  It seems that Beth has had no opinion formed about guns in her lifetime either, except that someone used one to shoot JR and that Gibbs is really good with a sniper rifle.

So we said yes.  I mean, who is going to miss a few pigeons?  Mr Girlfriend's Dad said they only cost $10 to shoot at like 90 pigeons.  And CJ should not expect to hit any anyway.  Apparently, pigeons can be pretty crafty in flight.  So what's the harm? 

So he is going.  I have offered to take him out this morning to Bass Pro Shops to purchase one of those plaid hats with the ear flaps.  Or one of those barn jackets with random patches on the sleeves.  He has declined my offer.

Beth has shared two pieces of advice with him regarding today's activities.  First, don't shoot any humans.  Second, don't get shot by any humans.  I would rather he not get shot by any pigeons, but I am being told their primary self defense mechanism does not involve weaponry.  I guess we will find out.

So CJ leaves in an hour if you have an opinion you want to share.  And in case you are love all animals including flying vermin, please reread my title before yelling at me about CJ shooting live pigeons.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

What if we each only get one wing and keep flying in circles?

December 5, 2012

Beth and I were discussing, ever so briefly, Bret Bielema this morning.  He just received a $700,000 raise.  Who is he?  He was the football coach for Wisconsin and is now the football coach for Arkansas.  He was making 2.5 million at UW and Arkansas is going to pay him 3.2 million.  Dollars.  American.  Per year.  Beth's observation was that the $700k is really going to be a life-changer for Bret.  (I used the sarcasm font up there.)

Isn't it strange how that kind of money could totally change one person's life while hardly altering another's at all? 

I am not saying Bret's life while not be changing.  I have been to Madison, Wisconsin.  I once lived in Bemidji, Minnesota and drove from Cincinnati to Bemidji a couple times.  Actually, I drove there once in my car, once with a U-Haul, and once with Beth.  So 1+1+1 is...carry the 4...3 times.  I had to use my toes.  Bemidji is 1001 miles from Cincinnati, so let's be crazy and call it 1000 miles.  Madison is 500 miles from Cincy so I would use my protractor and  make that my halfway point and sleep over there.  The hotel was right down the road from the university so I would get exposed to some of the college town while foraging for food.  A lot of pizza joints.  Anyway, it seemed like they lived and breathed for the Badgers there.

I have never been to the home of the Arkansas Razorbacks, Fayetteville, Arkansas, but I am guessing it is different than Madison.  Therefore, Bret is uprooting his family and life to switch jobs.  Life-changing.  That is supposed to be one of life's stressors, changing jobs and moving, but whether you do that with 3 million or 2 million should not matter, right?

To finish this thought (thankfully, I know), Beth was worried today about eating sushi with her coworkers for lunch since we just ate out at Chipotle last night.  Not because of the food, but because of the money.  While I assured her that the $10 would not break us, it amused me that she was worried about ten bucks while somebody in the news was getting a ginormous raise. 

Anyway, speaking of Beth, I need to find her a Christmas gift idea today.  I only need the idea since I am contemplating waiting to see if we are all alive on December 22nd before I buy any gifts.  This makes sense, right?  Here's the scenario.  Life on this planet as we know it is ending.  As we all die, I look at Beth and utter, I love you, and isn't it good that the money is still in the bank and I didn't waste it on a gift?

Speaking of me and logical thinking, here is what else I was wondering about concerning the end of the world.  Is God ready for the number of guests that will be coming?  Usually, He and St Peter have a fairly normal day at The Gates deciding who gets in and all.  Every once in a while they have an unexpected rush like when some misfortune hits such as the horrible typhoon in the Philippines.  However, what happens when all 6,973,738,433 of us show up at the same time. Who plans for 6 trillion guests?  Even if God is all-knowing, how many sets of wings can you get ready by the deadline?

Of course, the entire population of the Earth will not be converging on Heaven.  Some of us are on our way to Hell.  I am not worried about Satan's end-of-the-world prep though.  I imagine there is plenty of fire and brimstone amassed and sleeping arrangements are not the host of Hell's biggest concern.  "Oh, you aren't happy about having to share quarters with Stalin and Manson?  Work it out, we will be here a while."

Saturday, December 1, 2012

This title is for Beth and has nothing to do with my post. Afghan girl beheaded after refusing man's wedding proposal.

December 1, 2012

Welcome to December.  Traditionally this is my least favorite month of the year.  Right there with January and parts of February.  Hate the cold, do I.  It really has little to do with the holidays so much.  Yes, retail will beat the love of all things holiday out of you, but if Christmas were truly in July, I may not hate it so much.  I would have hung lights on our house if I could have done it wearing shorts and a tee shirt.  If I had a time machine, I would revisit the birth planning schedule for Mary and Joseph. 

What do you mean I need to reread the Bible?  Immaculate what?

So here we are at the brink of coldness.  Beth and I keep coming out from under our couch blankets long enough to tell CJ how we will be moving somewhere warm someday and he keeps telling us how disappointing that will be for him.  Drat.  At what point do we say screw him and leave town for warmness?  Time will tell if we ever do.

As for this past week, it was a bit strange for me as it pertains to work and sleeping.  Someone was on vacation from our overnight shift and the new assistant guy gets to fill in.  That was me if you haven't been paying attention.  I looked at it as a good training opportunity to see what our o/n team actually does and what kind of things go on in a CVS at 2am.

That is what I am here to tell you about.  Approximately none of you care about the other stuff, but Beth and CJ somewhat enjoyed the stories of 2am CVS customer interactions.  So here is what I can tell you.

The main request in the wee hours of the morning is Preparation H.  If you think about it, for those of us who work "normal" hours, it would take a lot to get you to leave your house in the middle of the night to go shopping.  Pain in the posterior region qualifies.  I had 3 people request the Prep H.  One dude, when I asked if I could help him find anything, said he would rather not say.  I told him that I was probably going to have to ring it up, so unless he was going to boost it, he might as well tell me.  We found it and hopefully he is sitting easier for it today.  Another woman also requested some Preparation for her H, but added that she also needed an applicator this big (insert picture of person doing the $5 foot-long pose).  She told me she did not want to tell me why she needed this Black Forest on Italian sized applicator, and I told her whatever she had going on was between her and her horse.

There are customers who shop in the middle of the night regularly.  I suppose they have 2nds shift jobs or insomnia or good reasons to do so.  One lady has a route with three stops on it during which she feeds "her" stray cats.  She was especially giddy for somebody up at 3am.  I sold her one of those 5' Santas.  Better to get rid of those things since they freak you out when you think you are alone in the store and you turn a corner to find Santa staring at you.

Another lady was making a purchase to solve an ailment she had.  She was reading on line what some of the causes of her eye pain might be.  I looked down to see what she was purchasing.  I expected to see stress relief meds, or something for dehydration, or saline eye drops, or a pirate eye-patch.  What I did see was a pregnancy test.  "Oh, I said.  Really?"  Color me alarmed because I have had some eye pain lately.  I thought it was fatigue or too much caffeine, but perhaps not.  I immediately went to pee on a stick and am relieved to tell you that I saw the minus sign.  Or the plus sign.  Not sure which one is good news when you don't want to be pregnant.

Anyway, the clincher story is not good timing if you are eating.  As you may have figured out, some of the people who have to stop by The CVS in the middle of the night are ill.  One child in particular had apparently eaten several meals and then had an upset stomach.  You can see where this is going.  Sometime during their stay in the store, he morphed into an oscillating sprinkler of vomit.  Pleasant, I know.  Thank goodness that the carpet in CVS is actually laid in squares.  I had to remove 8 squares of 2x2 carpet and hose them down.  My math degree tells me that is approximately 32 square feet of chicken noodle soup.  Fortunately, I am not one of those sympathy barfers.  Turning into Bob Barfer would not have helped the situation. 

So that is CVS in the middle of the night.  See what you are missing out on.  I am back to day side this week.  I had my assessment with my district manager on Friday and it went well.  There are no openings currently for a store manager, but she wants me to be ready for when it happens.  She feels I am ready now and I think so too.  I know God has a plan, so we will see how it all plays out.  I will keep you informed.  Until then, let's just enjoy December and get ready for the holidays. 

Sunday, November 25, 2012

If I did have a time machine, I would buy young Beth an Easy Bake Oven.

November 25, 2012

Yesterday Beth and I had a tiff.  It happens rarely, but it does happen.  We have been knowing each other for over 25 years.  Even best friends have disagreements.  This one was very similar to many of the other ones we have had.  While not going into all the details, I will give you an oversimplified version of what our arguments entail.

As you men know, spats with your wife require the use of a time machine.  Even though you may be debating a current event, at some point in the debate, something from the past is going to be brought up.  So here is the background information.

Last year at Thanksgiving, I still worked for The Target.  Being brand loyal and all, I selected a Target ham for our Thanksgiving meal.  Actually, in retrospect, it was probably purchased more around Christmas time after the hams were on clearance and we still had pallets of them in the stockroom.  Anyway, I bought one.  It was not good.  It was too bland which means it tasted too much like ham.  No honey glaze, no pecan flavoring, no pineapple, nothing.  However, being stubborn, I made myself and CJ eat a good majority of this ham.  Beth backed out after her first couple of samples.  She was plenty brand loyal to Target also, but she was much more loyal to her taste buds.  And way smarter than me.  For her to continue eating this ham would have been an insult to the lives given up by Porky and Charlotte and whatever farmyard oinkers you have read fables about.

So CJ and I ate ham.  Ham with potatoes.  Ham with eggs.  Ham sandwiches.  Ham with pasta.  Ham with ham as a side.  Good God.  You get the idea.  So I would guess sometime in February I uttered a phrase suggesting that I may never eat ham again.  Something like, "I may never eat ham again!"

Fast forward to November at Beth's workplace.  Someone brought in samples of ham and turkey from The Honey Baked Ham store.  It was delicious apparently.  Beth then suggested we have ham for Thanksgiving.  Okay I said.  But you know how it is, I did not say it loud enough or with nearly enough passion.  Beth then remembered how I had declared my loathing for ham earlier in the same calendar year.  She then said, "Oh, that's right, you hate ham." 

What I should have said was, "No, I hate Target ham."  What I did say was, "No, ham will be fine."  The word fine is never a good endorsement.  Have you noticed that?  When is fine good?  Maybe with a ballpoint pen, but hardly any other time.  Telling someone you are fine is the same as telling them, "I'm not good but I will not burden you with my troubles." 

So saying ham would be fine for Thanksgiving was wrong.  I totally own that one.

So we had turkey for Thanksgiving.  The whole dinner was awesome and prepared by a woman with a badly sprained foot.  It also took shopping trips to several stores to make happen.  Even all the leftovers are gone already which means we enjoyed them so much we were willing to eat it for every meal the past couple days.  Way past fine, that meal was.  No, I am not sure why I am talking like Yoda.

Therefore, I am publicly stating my private apology to Beth for our tiff yesterday.  All the things that surfaced were either my fault or the fault of our parents and baggage from the holidays as kids.  No time machine can go back and fix those things.  Holidays are stressful.  The good news about those, for me anyway, is that they are not my fault.  Talking them out helps lessen their affect.  That is what we did. 

I am sorry sweetie for yesterday.  Let's not do that again for awhile.  XOXO

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

November 22, 2012

Today is weird.  It is 5:45 in the am and I am up, but not exhausted or worried about work.  I left my CVS around 6pm last night.  Yes, my name is on the front of the store just like that strange Bonnie lady riding her segue through her CVS.  The store had been busy, but not crazy.  I got the 3 day ad set up in a few hours and have no concern that it hasn't been signed by the overnight team.  If I were to choose to be worried about something, it would be the lack of Juke Boxes for the ad.  We only have one juke box, 2 microwaves, and 3 popcorn poppers left.  Do we need more than that?  I do not know.  I had no idea we would sell out of universal remotes or Easyfeet so quickly in our last ad.  People still need universal remotes?   And clean feet?  Who knew?

So my boss and I were looking at each other in wonder yesterday as we recalled our past retail lives.  He was a store manager for Kroger and you know my history.  We both feel truly blessed or lucky (not sure his religious brand loyalty) to have chosen a new career path.  Therefore, as I drove home last evening, I felt myself actually looking forward to a holiday with my family.  Beth is cooking for the three of us and we will be stopping by her mother's house later for a visit.  It should be a great meal and a good day.  My one concern about the meal, as we speak, is that there seems to be a piece of pumpkin pie missing.  Have any of you seen it, or CJ?  If I were a detective, he would be the primary suspect.

Do you plan on shopping tonight?  I have decided not to.  I was going to look for an iPad 2 for Beth at The Target since she cracked her screen on her current one, but she says she does not want it and it costs $399 and then you get a $60 gift card.  If not that then I am not sure what to get her.  She got excited about the Barbie multi-princess pack in somebody's toy ad, but I am going to guess that she wanted to get that for the nieces and not herself.  Same deal for the Barbie head.  Creepy.

It has also been a difficult year to choose what to get CJ.  His birthday and Christmas fall within five days of one another so he typically gets a nice combo gift.  Last year was a computer.  Other years have included game systems and the like, so he usually does quite well for himself.  However, this year he wants for nothing.  His friends are getting iPhones.  He admits he needs another distraction like dogs in our neighborhood need one more squirrel to move in.  The only thing I can think of is possibly getting concert tickets or something.  We are huge fans of a comedian named Mike Birbiglia (ready the Google alert) so I may see if he is on tour this coming year. 

I may go ahead and shop around for that now since everyone is still asleep and the computer has decided to become difficult.

So Happy Thanksgiving to everyone and I sincerely hope you have plenty to be thankful for this year.  God Bless.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Wasn't one of the Powerpuff girls black and blue and puffy?

November 20, 2012

Good morning.  I have the day off and Beth said I could not rake leaves today (she doesn't want me to get sick before the holidays) so my task list is rather minimal.  Eat snacks, play Black Ops, blog, eat snacks, clean cars, buy more snacks, fix the clogged drain in the bathroom, and get some Chipotle for dinner.  You may notice that I did not include dusting this table and keyboard in front of me even though I could write my name in the dust right now.  I figure it has a lot to do with the angle of the sunlight coming in the room.  If I wait a couple hours it won't look so dusty. 

My new blog will be called "How to avoid pesky housework".  It will include tidbits about closing shades so the sun won't show the dust, don't do push ups so you don't see the filth under the couch, and don't do yoga so you can't see the cobwebs forming in the corners of the room as you pose like a warrior.  Coming soon to a book store near you.

Speaking of push ups, I had once told Beth that we would know when CJ had an interest in girls by how he acted.  I knew from being a boy 50 years ago, that boys change their demeanor and actions when they notice the female form for the first time.  For me it meant a lot of hair pulling and pushing girls down on the playground.  College did not go well for me.

However, for CJ it has been a bit more of a grown up reaction.  More grown up than hair pulling?  Hard to believe, I know.  What I have noticed is that he cares more about his appearance. 

If you are the parent of a tween or teenage boy you know that getting them to shower or brush their hair or put on deodorant or change their underwear is not accomplished without constant reminders.  What I have learned recently is that when said teenager has a beautiful girl he is smitten with, he wears deodorant and brushes his hair.  He uses the face cleaning pads you bought him for the acne breakouts.  And he challenges his old man to a push up contest since he has been working out.  He loses, but he challenges.  And he vows for a rematch. 

Great.  Now, not only do I have to keep doing push ups, but for those of you with reading comprehension skills, you know that I may also need to clean under the couch.  Not only are teenagers expensive to feed and clothe, but they cause other issues too.  Is it worth it?  You better believe it is.

In other news, as most of you know, Aunt Beth is rather enamored with her niece Julia.  So much so, in fact, that she attempted to break her own foot this week. 

CJ had gone to an ironically named cast party Saturday night after the completion of the high school production of Our Town.  He was going to be out late.  I was sleeping as I had just worked an exhausting 45 hour work week.  (Threw that in for my ex-Target peeps).  Beth was staying up late to be the pick up mom.  However, being in her mid-forties took over and she fell asleep sitting cross-legged on the couch.  Her foot must also be fortyish since it fell asleep too.  At 12:45 CJ arrived home having secured a ride with another party goer.  Beth, in a semi-asleep startled state (Alaska I think), jumped off the couch only to have her foot decide standing was not in its best interest.  Down she went. 

I would take a picture of her foot since she seems to be showing anyone that will look, but she is at work and you may want to eat lunch later.  It is black and blue and puffy.   However, thankfully not broken.  CJ and I are especially grateful since mom in a cast means boys doing the laundry. 

I have offered to purchase Beth one of those walker on wheels things where you put your knee on the padded seat and push yourself around with the other leg since we sell them at CVS and they are in next week's ad (spoiler alert!), but Beth has declined my offer.  And proven to me that her fist is not broken.

This is getting rather lengthy so I will sign off.  Let me see what is next on my list.  Aaah yes, snacks.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Everybody going to have a good time

November 14, 2014

I have no plans to ever divorce Beth, but if I did, the reason line would simply read, "Party Rockers in the House Tonight."

It's not that Beth had a party last night and Jon Bon Jovi just would not take the hint to leave.  Excuse me Jon, we are all out of queso. 

The fact of the matter is that I have had an ear worm all day of little Julia channeling her voice through Aunt Beth singing some LMFAO lyrics.

Beth assures me it is adorable and I would like it if I had ever heard it, but I'm not buying it.

So has everyone else shirked their housework today to play some COD Black Ops II?  I sure have.  I did not think it was going to be an issue until I swooped into the dining room and saw something move in the corner.  Since I am home alone, I took issue with that.  Then I realized it was simply the dust bunnies circling the wagons as they planned a coup.  Since their numbers were nearing something that could take down Gulliver, I thought I better break out the vacuum.

I made the purchase at my old Target this morning and got to see some of my former coworkers.  Man I really miss those guys, but not so much The Target.  They remembered me and treated it like a celebrity sighting similar to when Nick Lachey or Tonya O'Rourke stops by.  I know you don't know Tonya, but look back at some early posts of mine and my affection for her is explained.  Fortunately, she never reciprocated or turning her down would have made for an awkward situation.

While at The Target, I was made aware that some of these guys have taken to reading my blog.  I was actually told this as I texted with a past coworker who has moved to Columbus but shares the same Xavier alumni status as myself.  Since I knew she was someone I could celebrate last night's victory with, I texted her.  She let me know of the blog stalking.  I did not believe her since I have never seen a lot of action on Feedjit suggesting an increase in readership and have certainly never seen a comment from these stalkers.  However, I was assured today that some of them actually do read.  One even used the term witty.  I'm guessing they did not read yesterday's post.

Therefore, my first reaction when I heard this was concern.  Had I said anything that may have offended upon my departure?  I had no reason to, but could something have been taken wrong?  Sarcasm is sometimes misunderstood.  Nonetheless, they assured me that nothing like that had happened.  Good. 

Therefore, I will include in here, out of earshot, that I was a little upset with the people I saw today.  They looked a little too good.  The store looked too good.  It was fairly obvious that I have not been missed.  The team lead I used to call Yoda had lost weight and looked happy.  The Manager of the front also looked thinner and tanner, and not stressed.  The team out on the floor looked like they had no worries about next week.  All the while, I looked in the mirror at home and saw that I still have gray hair and pimples and dark circles.  Not fair.  Especially the gray hair with pimples part. 

Perhaps I need to return to The Target.  NOT!!!!!

I know that things are good for me and I am certainly not hoping that things are bad for my old work mates.  I hope all of you in retail and elsewhere are ready for a good holiday season filled with blessings and good tidings.  You know, comfort and joy and all that.  And if you are expecting company-aka Jon Bon Jovi-make sure you have plenty of queso.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Some updates

November 13, 2012

I spoke with my sister yesterday and got some updates on her crazy life.  I do not know how much I have shared with y'all in the past, but her life is pretty nuts. 

Her husband is an Army Ranger and on active duty.  He has never been stationed anywhere overseas crazier than Qatar, but has had to travel plenty while stationed here in the states.  The post he had in Georgia close to home closed and he got moved to one of the Carolinas-five hours from home.  Ft Bragg I think.  He has been trying to get closer to home and fought the army red tape and finally succeeded.  As of last week he got stationed within two hours from home.  Yay!

My sister, who attended the University of Cincinnati and graduated with a degree in Interior Design, has been a stay-at-home mom since her children were born.  She has done some freelance work, but with three children under nine and three puppies under foot, I don't think she finds time to freelance anymore.  Add in a husband gone five days a week and it can't possibly be done.

My sister is also the owner of the child who visited us and came away with a leg that really hurt.  She left Cincinnati with a cast.  It has been removed and she is fully healed.  Life may becoming more normal at their house.  All she has to do now is read my blog, eat bon bons, and prep a Thanksgiving meal for her whole family and my brother and his family.  No big deal.

As for Thanksgiving plans here at our house, we are not sure.  A couple years ago it was Steak n Shake, and last year it was a forgettable experience at Cracker Barrel.

The thing that will be strange this year is my schedule.  For the first time I can remember in the past 25 years, I do not need to open on Black Friday.  CVS is not the number one spot for most folks on Black Friday-unless they need smokes and a Mountain Dew to get them going.  Therefore, CVS is is running their big ad on Sunday 11/18 to try to catch the shoppers getting prescriptions filled before the holiday.  Pretty smart I think.  And for me, that means I am working the least amount of hours I can ever recall around Thanksgiving.  I haven't completely wrapped my brain around it, but I could get used to it.

Can you believe all the big box stores are opening either at 9pm Thursday night or Midnight?  At what point have the big wigs decided that the employees don't matter anymore?  What kind of holiday will it be for those folks who have to work overnight on Thanksgiving?  Good gravy.

Beth just got home for lunch so I will go keep her company for a bit.  Xavier plays Butler at 4pm if you are interested in rooting on the Muskies with me.  If you are rooting for the Bulldogs, sure you will probably win, but will you feel good about it?  Yeah, I guess you will. 

Thursday, November 1, 2012

I'm wearing two hats..

November 1, 2012

...and neither one is a sleeping cap.

Last night was Halloween.  It was cold and wet here in Cincinnati.  I can think of no description in which cold and wet is portrayed as a good thing.

In the movie Good Morning Vietnam with Robin Williams, he is giving the jungle weather forecast as hot and wet, "Which is great if you're with a woman, but horrible if you are in the jungle."

If you can think of a favorable weather forecast for cold and wet, let me in on it.

So we had about 1/3 the normal amount of trick-or-treaters at our house.  I have a basket full of non-chocolate candies left over.  Sad to look at really.  Of the goblins we did have last night, I estimate there were 20 teenage girls.  If you were ever wondering what candy snack to serve at a teenage girl party, go with Pixie Stix.  Of the 20 girls, 18 of them snatched up some Pixie Stix.  It was as if they were about to debut as a toddler with a tiara.

They went after them like Mike Birbiglia's father reads war novels, aggressively and passionately.

Each year Beth and I debate who our favorite treater was.  It is usually more of a challenge since there are around 300 overall contestants and half are under the age of 10.  We usually have an award for over 10 and one for under 10.  It is very unofficial, but the winner gets a Snickers Slice n' Share bar to be handed out on All Saint's Day.  For some strange reason none of them have ever tried to claim their award.  Good thing since one of those giant candy bars wouldn't last 15 minutes in this house.

So without further ado, last night's award goes to....Lightning McQueen!  Ta da!

This little dude was TOO excitied to be out and about.  He bounced up to our door, said his lines perfectly, and then started to bounce away.  I think he caught on that Beth and I had been smitten with him and fed into our rapture as he was leaving.

 "I am Lightning McQueen on the bottom and I have Lightning shoes and I am wearing two hats.  One is a regular cold-weather hat, and one is a Lightning McQueen hat.  Bye.  Happy Halloween!"

OMG!  Come back here Lightning!  You need another Pixie Stick.

Another sad reality about last night was that it was CJ's first Halloween night not spent at our house.  At 15, we did not expect him to go trick-or-treating.  However, he usually sets up camp in the basement with a buddy or two and the number ebbs and flows as friends stop by.  Not last night.

He was at his friend who is a girl's house.  There was a small gathering and they watched Avengers.  Perfectly wonderful event, but Beth and I were very sad to know our little dude was not here with us.

Around 8:30, I left the house to go to work.  At The CVS, just like The Target, you have to change over from Halloween to Christmas ASAP.  Halloween goes half off at midnight and surely customers will be wanting there Holiday popcorn tins starting November 1st.  The difference beween The Target and The CVS was that our changeover last night took 5 of us 7 hours.  At The target, it will take 7 people 5 days provided they ever sell all those costumes.

I returned home to our casa around 5:30 and have slept a couple hours.  My brain does not take well to sleeping in the daylight.  Check back in with me around 5:30 pm and see who is a little dozzy.  Until then, no critiquing of my spelling nor my grammar.  Keep in sleep.  I am running on Pixie Stix and Sweet Tarts here.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Have you ever heard of a napkin, son?

October 19, 2012

My peeps are off to school this Friday morning and I do not have to be at (or to) my pharmacy training until 10am; therefore, I have time to chat at (or to) ya about what is up here at our house.  Exciting stuff, let me tell you. 

One thing I know about working at the pharmacy is that there are no free samples, so stop asking!

Another thing I know about my family is that CJ is growing up way too fast.  His sense of humor is awesome and quick.  You should hear CJ and Beth having a conversation.  The two of them are way funny without even trying.  An example?  Okay.

Beth and CJ are in the car on their mile long journey to the high school.  Their route takes them on our side street which is not so busy and makes a turn onto the the main street which is quite busy just before school is set to begin.  At the aforementioned turn, Beth realizes that she has forgotten her glasses.  Rather than go around the block to retrieve them, she jokingly suggests that CJ hop out of the car and run back to the house to secure her glasses.  All the while she would simply park the car on the main street with her blinkers on until he returned.

His prompt reply was that he pictured himself returning to the vehicle just in time to see the angry mob pulling her body through the driver's side window.

Are children really that anxious to get to school?  Actually, their parents are that anxious to drop them off at school.

In other CJ news, he has a girlfriend.  It has been an interesting journey as his father to see this all develop.  When you look at your child through parentally rose-colored glasses, you think they are handsome, funny, and well-mannered.  At a certain point, you start to wonder if the rest of the world sees them that way.  I have especially wondered about the well-mannered part during a meal here at our home.  But I have also wondered if the opposite sex thought he was easy on the eyes or if they turned away and said a prayer for him.  Recent events have confirmed the former.  I don't know what it says about my sophomore son that he has a giggly group of freshmen girls who wave at him goofily or talk to their friends about stalking him.  I overheard this conversation and was amused rather than frightened thus proving that I am his dad and not his mom.  Last year, in celebration of Lady Gaga, there were Facebook posts from couples who were involved in band romances.  Clever.  Now my son is involved in one himself, though not on the Facebook.  Neither he nor this young lady are on Facebook which counts as one point on the plus side of the ledger for her with me.  She also scores points for being tall, cute, polite, hard-working, athletic, and did I mention cute?  She also seems to be rather enamored with my tall, unkempt, socially akward (when it comes to females), and gamer of a son.  More points for her.  The only points against her have to do with the fact that she is the only child of a father who goes about 6' 5", 220. 

As CJ and his friend Rowen went off to visit this young lady and her friend at young lady's home, I reminded CJ of the father's size and recommended that no matter what happens, his pants stay on.  OH MY GOD the groans from Beth.  Can you believe she was worried that I may have embarrased CJ?!  Has she never seen a Ben Stiller film?  Inevitably, something gets spilled, or a dog jumps on your pants, or something happens that involves the removal and subsequent cleaning of said pants.  That is what I was referring to.  Gawd, y'all need to get your minds out of the gutter.  I am all about the preservation of CJ's young life versus ginormous father catching CJ with no mas pantalones.

As for band season, while this one has not been as suceesful in terms of hardware as last year's campaign, it has been fun.  It has also been thrilling to see this group develop from a slow beginning into a band that qualified for state and has put on a great show.  They got to perform at Ohio State University last weekend and then see the OSU band perform as well.  The OSU band did a video game-themed routine that has over 13 million hits on You Tube.  The link is below and isn't great for sound quality, but the picture is what is important, especially the galloping horse around the 6 minute mark.

We are off to Versailles, Ohio for a competition tomorrow.  Pray for dry warm weather.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

I never had a Hershey Bar before..what do they taste like?

October 9, 2012

I know I haven't posted in a while cause I have been busy starting a new job and all, but I wanted to get a couple messages out there to the universe.

First, Happy Birthday Mother!  My mother's birth day was 10/9/29 thus making her 83, you know, if she hadn't died in 1991.  Therefore, she is not actually 83.  However, there is still a reason to say happy birthday as she is still watching over me.  I can feel it every time I work hard against my will, do good dad, and whenever I walk past a piece of paper on the floor.  As a birthday present today, I neither swore during the Red's loss or walked past any stray pieces of paper. 

Training is going well, thanks for asking.  It is inventory prep week and that is going well also.  I have received positive feedback from my new district manager and that is always welcome.  I have also gotten some insight into black Friday with CVS and it will be different.  I work with a manager who used to be in grocery for 21 years.  His biggest day was the day before Thanksgiving.  He amused me with stories of customers coming in looking for specific turkeys.  "I would like an 18 1/2 pound turkey who was raised by good parents, has 4 drumsticks, all white meat, and was left-handed."  I am forever grateful I never worked in grocery.

In other news, I visited my peeps at The Target the other day and they told me about a new guest service initiative called Vibe.  It allows the team members to take more on themselves to make the customer happy.  An example given was opening a bag of cookies to let someone know how they taste.  Beth has jumped all over this idea.  She has plans this weekend to try out some new makeup, taste some muffins, sleep on a new pillow, and listen to some CDs.  A monster has been created.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Anyone need their flowers watered?

September 7, 2012

As the vacation/unemployed week comes to a close, I am using the time to finish up some little projects around the house.  Usually, when I am on vacation from The Target, all I want to do at home is lay on the couch and watch sports or bad movies.  Or that show Las Vegas.  However, since Las Vegas is currently not on the air in Cincinnati, and Steven Seagal has gone into retirement; I have chosen to actually carry my weight around here.  I only weigh a buck fifty-five, so don't expect to be too impressed by this list.

Yesterday, I finally put an end to our see-through windows in the basement.  We used to have shutters covering them from the inside, but they did not go with the remodel.  The windows we have are basement sized, so not too big, but they border the neighbor's driveway and they could look in if they wanted to.  Using the shower in the basement has recently meant an opportunity for voyeurism.  Not any more.  You can buy sheets of light-filtering frosted film that you just cut to size and affix to the window.  It took me about an hour but looks really good.  Now if you want to look in, all you can see are silhouettes.  Even if we are naked, you can't tell so much.  I am guessing my neighbors are wondering why I carry the garden hose around the basement so much whenever Beth and CJ are not here.

Earlier in the week I cleaned the laundry room which involved vacuuming, getting rid of cobwebs, and then mopping the floor.  It needed it and now I don't have to do that until we move someday.  If the neighbors were peeking through the windows while I vacuumed, they may have been wondering why I needed a garden hose while I vacuumed.

You know about the couch cleaning.  The verdict is still out by the way.

Currently, I am washing a couple loads of towels.  If you are reading Beth, I only used 2 capfuls of the HE laundry detergent, not to worry.  Per load. 

I always try to do something wrong when I am using the washer so Beth doesn't expect me to help with the laundry anymore.  Do you think she is on to me?  Sorry, honey.  This is how my father raised me-women do the laundry.  I should not have to do it since I have a garden hose.

JUST KIDDING!!!!!  Do not call Susan B Anthony and have her throw dollar coins at me.

To prove my point, I think it is perfectly okay that Beth cut the grass last night and I trimmed it today.  I think she managed to steer the mower around the yard even without know, garden hose. 

Beth cuts our grass since over the past few years my allergies have gotten so bad that the grass allergy typically would manifest itself into an end result of bronchitis or a sinus infection.  Finally, Beth decided she would rather cut the grass herself than deal with my sorry sick back side.

Cutting and trimming can be an adventure since we are trying to be green.  The mower is battery powered and the trimmer is electric.  The planet has to know I love her if I am willing to deal with the extension cord wrapping around the drain pipe, the trimmer line running out half way through trimming, and then the sweeping with an old-fashioned broom.  It actually isn't too much of a hassle to do the manual sweeping since I see my neighbor across the street has to pull out his gas-powered blower every time he accumulates twelve leaves in his yard.

That about wipes out my list of things to be done.  I need to go swap out the towels to the dryer.  Anyone seen the crayons I sometimes accidentally drop in there with them?

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Anyone got an extra hazmat suit?

September 5, 2012

Hey, have any of you guys ever looked at Kristina's mom's photo diary?  She is up there under the 10s of people who follow this blog and she has a photo diary of her daughter (I am guessing Kristina) and she is adorable.  I think she is around 5 now and I think lives in Yugoslavia, maybe.  Anyway, have a look.

As for life in Cincinnati, I did something very exciting today.  No, not the Red's baseball game (though I did do that), but I tried something with our couch.  It requires a backstory though.

Every time I lay on our brown couches in the living room, I get bitten by mosquitoes.  Before you ask, no they are not bedbugs.  Even though Cincinnati is the bedbug capitol of the world (go us!), I know these critters are not the problem.  I am the only one in our family that ever gets bitten on these couches.  Beth is convinced that I am clinically insane.  However, I have visual proof of the bites.  I laid there one night for an hour or so and ended up with like two bites on my elbow and one or two on my neck.  I also had several hundred on my brain as I could not get past it.  I was completely psyched out.

Here is a backstory to the backstory.  Whenever we go outside and are near grass, I get bitten.  Like chocolate is to Mama Cass is like how I am to mosquitoes.  Nice current reference.  My blood is delicioso is what I am trying to say.  I can walk to our shed and back and my ankles are chewed on more than a turkey leg at Disney World.  Beth and CJ can roll in the grass naked and not get bitten once. 

So they cared not about our couches.  I, however, cannot lay on them anymore.  Beth has suggested a professional cleaning and some therapy sessions.  However, as I was speaking with a young lady who fosters children, she mentioned how she has to deal with the whole bedbug thing.  Pleasant for her-not.  Whenever her current foster child returns from his mother's house, she has to take all his clothes and stuffed animals and put them in the dryer on high heat for 30 minutes in order to kill all the bedbugs.

I am making myself itchy simply by continuing to type bedbugs. 

Anyway, I thought what the heck?  Maybe I should try to dry the couch.  It took me awhile to shove the whole thing in there, and the dryer will never be the same, but I did it.  In reality, I took the covers off the cushions and dried them for 30 minutes.  I haven't laid on them yet to find out, but I intend to soon.  Beth does not know I did this, but will soon.  When she reads this. 

If you read about a man in Cincinnati getting committed to the loonie bin by his wife against his will, you will know that she has read this post. 

So here me and my bottle of Benadryl go. Off to have a relaxing time watching television on the couch.

Or maybe I could wear a suit like the boy from the plastic bubble...

Monday, September 3, 2012

Boil some curtains and tear some water into strips, I am going into labor!

September 3, 2012

Happy Labor Day y'all.  It is raining, everyone in my house is sleeping, and I am up by 7am.  I find it difficult to celebrate Labor Day by sleeping or sitting around.  I have decided to celebrate the true meaning of the day by going into labor.

"Will someone give me a shot of something!"

"This is your fault!  You did this to me!"

Obviously, I have never been in labor and get all my references from movies or comedians.  My lines above do not reflect Beth In Labor.  15+ years ago, she was a real trouper and did not utter either of those sentences.  I would not do well giving birth since I have to ice my knee after taking a bike ride.  Labor pain may be somewhat more significant and they do not make ice bags with wings.

Enough about that.  I decided yesterday that I was going to write a post dedicated to my ex-coworkers and include a link from the sermon yesterday at church.  We are in a current series called "How to Like Your Job".  It has been excellent so far and they would truly get something out of it.  However, I will not do that in this post as I was going to email them the post and the whole labor joke at the beginning would ruin my good faith credibility.

Therefore, we can discuss how Labor Day came to be.  My family and I raised this question yesterday and I will take credit for being the one closest to the correct answer.  While there is some debate around who gets credit for the idea, it was started by a man or men involved in the labor movement.  He is a summary of their purpose:

"It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country."

Since this is not an actual English paper, I will not cite my reference. 

Wait, what if this gets published? 

Okay, I got that line from a United states Department of Labor web page answering the question, The History of Labor Day.  Yes, I know that is not a question, what's your point?

The tribute started in 1882 in New York City and was originally going to always be on September 5th.  However, in 1884, they decided they wanted a 3 day weekend so they could attend a fireworks show or watch NASCAR, and the rest is history.

I should have been a teacher, no?

Here is a final thought around labor.  The elections are coming, in case you had not heard, and there is much talk about whether the economy and the jobless rate are better or worse due to 4 years of an Obama regime.  I will submit for you my first political opinion on this blog.

We were at the mall last night taking a walk.  We like to do this around closing time so that Beth can grab a Starbucks before they close and then we can walk the mall as it thins out.  This also gives us the chance to relive the memory of taking toddler CJ to the mall either before it opened or after it cosed so he could walk around and wear his self out.  It is a good tip for those of you with small children and malls.  Hotels like Embassy Suites work well too since the hallways aren't one way traffic.  Anyway, when we would walk the mall with baby CJ before it opened, he would walk up to all the stores he knew had train sets only to find them closed.  He would then, very dramatically, hold out his arms and declare, "All the stores are closed!" 

That was not my political opinion.  I have decided that perhaps the economy is not as bad as the Romney people want me to believe.  My source for this is the restaurants at the mall.  There are two and they were both PACKED last night.  We were not going to eat there, but we stopped in The Cheesecake Factory to pick up a carryout dessert.  30 minutes later we had it and were on our way home.  The place was stuffed with patrons and the crowd waiting outside was substantial.  The same scene was repeated at The Red Lobster we passed on the way home. 

If everyone is out of work, how can they all afford to go out to eat? 

Since it is very likely that this blog will get picked up for an Obama commercial, perhaps I better go back and check my resources.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

This body will have to do.

August 28, 2012

Three more days.  Then The Target and I will be exes.  How awkward will it be when we see each other on the street?  When I shop, should I continue to visit my ex Target, or should I start seeing her sister-other Target near our house.  What if things with the ex go so much better after I'm gone?  What if she gets a better boyfriend and corrects her imperfections and tries things with him she wouldn't try with me?

Actually, my replacement is a female, so I guess my ex is changing teams.

Personally, I went on a bike ride today to improve myself so I look better with my new girlfriend-CVS.  I rode to a park about 2 miles from here, used the pull up and push up stations at the park, and then rode home.  As I rode up the hill back to our street, I was thinking that perhaps this old body would have to be good enough for my new girl.  I mean, I took this one with me to the interview.  I am pretty sure she wasn't intoxicated when she decided she liked me and asked me out again.  The lighting in the room was pretty good.  I don't think she was just coming off a tough break up.

Perhaps CJ is right about me when he says my brain is not wired correctly.

In other news, the end of a decade party is after work on Friday at a place called Willie's near our house.  If you want to join us for happy hour, it lasts from 5-7.  I can't stay long as CJ and the marching band will be playing at the home football game for our high school at 7:30. 


Saturday, August 18, 2012

Anyone need some red polos?

August 18, 2012

I have some news.  I have kept this news from you for a couple days in order to not jinx it.  I have a new job. 

I am going to be a store manager for CVS/Caremark.  Here is how it all happened.

While I was on vacation-one I decided to stay in Cincinnati for instead of leaving town-I received a phone call from a recruiter.  For those of you not in retail for the past 25 years, this sort of thing used to happen all the time.  Retail chains would expand into a new area or experience some growth in a particular region and start making cold calls to existing retail managers in that town.  The premise would always be that they were just asking if you knew anyone who may have just left your organization or something like that, but the reality was that they were asking you if you were interested.  Retailers have not been recruiting much in that manner over the past 10 years since growth is not as common and there are plenty of candidates coming fresh from college.

Fresh from college has been Target's approach the past 5 years or so evidenced by my peers.  In my store I have worked with approximately 20 young men and women who have been between the ages of 22 and 25.  I have been the father to these children over these years though I think some of them would have referred to me more as a weird uncle.  To be clear, I am not the weird uncle who ends up with his trunks floating in the family pool, but more the uncle who is always talking about his war stories from Viet Nam kind of uncle.  Of these 20 young people, only about 5 are still with Target.  Young people have more options than old people.  Working at The Target is tough.

So as you may remember, I was recently turned down for a promotion.  I have also recently had a second knee injury.  Those two things have lodged into my brain as signs that I need to look at the next 10 years and see how Target plays into my plans.  10 years is just an arbitrary number since I just had my 10 year anniversary of working at Target.  Anyway, I have wondered how many years these knees have left in them doing this sort of work.  10 more holiday seasons, 10 more inventories, 10 more back to school seasons, 10 more years of guests losing their carts or not being able to find twine at The Target. 

The direction this was leading me in was retirment.  No, not anythime soon, but how soon could we have enough money together for me to retire from managing at Target and do something less abusive on my person.  That meant staying at Target until CJ was done with college and then stepping away.

THEN, a dude named Barrett was calling me on the phone and telling me he had found a resume of mine from 11 years ago from or one of those job search web sites.  It was so old it did not have Target as a previous employer and I had an AOL email address.  When was the last time you heard, "You've Got Mail!"  Unless of course you were watching Tom Hanks court Meg Ryan in the "old" movie, You've Got Mail.  I had to look that up.

So Barrett and I chatted (while I pictured him in a tweed jacket)  (and pants you perv) and he told me about CVS and asked if I wanted to interview.  Why not.  I had two phone interviews and an in person interview with a district manager who LOVED me.  During each of these interviews they tried to scare me about the hard work that being a manger at CVS entailed because it was so hands on.  Really?  Have you met me?  Oh, I guess not.

So, while this is scary and a cut in pay for a couple years, it seems more me.  I am searching for happiness and a new challenge.  I hope I have found both.  There is a 12 week training program during which I will be working 40 hours per week.  My income will be supplemented by the 125 hours of vacation time Target still owes me.  I will see my family at Christmas.  Weird.  I really hope to start blogging about great new things for my new work life.  We will see.

This is all dependant on passing my drug test though.  Does excessive caffeine show up on a drug test?  God, I hope not.

Yesterday 3 big wigs from Target called me or stopped in to see me to try to convince me to stay.  They would push through my promotion, transfer me to another store, buy me some artificial knees, whatever it took.  Too late.  Why do we always wait to see the value of good, steady, dependable people until it is too late.  I am guilty myself.  Something to learn and grow from for all of us.

My last day is August 31st and I start anew on September 10th.  Ready or not life, here I come.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Adios Fifi

August 8, 2012

Fifi just left.  Sniff.

Fifi is the pet hamster of CJ's friend Rowen.  We hamster-sat Fifi for the past week.  She is an example for Beth and myself as to why we should not buy a puppy.  How can we fall in like with Fifi after just a few short days together?  She is a hamster.  She is a nocturnal rodent who sits in a cage and runs on a wheel in the middle of the night.  Yet, here are some of the absurd things we have done for Fifi.

First, we read the food list of what hamsters can eat and what causes hamsters to run to CVS for some Pepto.  Broccoli, cauliflower, celery-yes.  Watermelon-no.  We noticed that after a refreshing meal of broccoli or cauliflower, Fifi would go on a 20 mile run on her wheel instead of her normal 10.  Therefore, Fifi got a fresh vegetable every day.  Sure, her owners left us with a Tupperware full of hamster food, but she just didn't seem to like only having a seed-based meal instead of adding a starter salad. 

Second, Beth made sure that Fifi had a fresh cotton ball for her stay.  Rowen's mom suggested that Fifi likes to have a cotton ball and Beth supplied one.  Hamsters, as it turns out, do not use cotton balls to remove their makeup at night.  Cotton balls serve as a nest maker.  A nice soft nest.  Fifi has built one in the corner of her cage where she can shield herself from the light during the day.  She has really made a home for herself down there even though the cage is akin to a hamster prison cell.  I think she has a picture of either Alvin or Simon on her little prison wall down there.  (I can never tell those two rodents apart, and yes, I know they are chipmunks.) 

Lately, in the middle of the night Fifi has been making a different sound in the middle of the night.  Instead of the normal marathon wheel running session (her time in the prison yard working out), she has spent more time in the corning making a scratching sound.  My guess is that she has gotten hold of a spoon and is trying to dig a tunnel.  I am very curious to peek under the cotton nest to see what is going on.  Beth would rather be Colonel Klink over there and not notice that the whole Stalag is standing over there in the corner having a smoke at the same time.  "I SEE NOTHING!"

Finally, the other kind gesture we performed for our house guest was to temporarily place her in the hamster relocation program.  While my niece Julia was here, there were times we grew fearful that Fifi would be scooped up and later turn up missing.  Instead of living in the front room of our house, Fifi became Pepe for a couple days and moved to our bedroom.  Behind closed doors, Pepe was safe and not just another notch on Julia's "look what I found" belt.

Rowen's mother was convinced that there was no way a 4 year old would have been able to accomplish this feet, but Beth and I know better.  We have seen Julia in action at the rabbit farm with the sign clearly posted, "Don't touch the rabbits."  Yet, every 15 minutes my sister was heard to the utter the statement, "Julia, please put the bunny down." 

We also heard the story of Julia walking into the family garage holding a reptile and telling her dad, "Look, I caught a gecko!"  Catching a caged hamster would be child's play for this mighty hunter.

Thus, an assumed identity was forged and Fifi went a way for a couple days.  And today, Fifi/Pepe left us.  Beth needs a hug.  We are absurd. 

Then to top it off, much to the protests of Beth and myself, Rowen's mom decided we needed to be compensated for our hamster sitting.  We tried to explain that keeping a hamster for a week without having to clean the cage was not a big deal.  However, you know who had his hand out?  CJ.  Dude.  A lot of hard work went into that $20, huh?  If we had left it up to him, Fipe would be missing a limb right now after either having to gnaw it off for some food or after having met up with the hamster hunter.  Another life lesson accomplished.  Good grief.

Buy Pefi.  Sniff.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Apparently a hunger strike is out of the question for me.

August 7, 2012

Right now I am fasting.  I know you think I am protesting against the man or some worldly injustice, but actually I have a physical today.  In order to qualify for discounts on my insurance plan, a yearly physical is in order.  Plus, at 47 it is a good idea to see the doctor regularly anyway.

My appointment is at 10:30, so no coffee or food until we are done.  Even the hamster food is looking tasty right now.  In order to prep for this yesterday, I went on a juice fast with Beth.  She has watched videos about this and read a lot as well, and has actually been on a 3 day juice fast before, so I figured what the heck.  She has a nice juicer, has perfected some delicious concoctions, and could also mix in a juice smoothie.  I was ready.

We had enough ingredients in the house for a morning juice drink consisting of kale, Fuji apples, a bit of lemon, and carrots.  Quite tasty.  Oh, by the way, I had some juice made from the coffee bean early in the am as well.  On a juice fast, it is important to caffeinate.  I read that somewhere.

A midday smoothie consisted of frozen bananas, mango, pineapple, almond milk, and Chia seed.  Thank goodness we got one of those Sponge Bob Chia pets last Christmas to cut down on our Chia seed purchases.  This smoothie really hit the spot after we cut the grass together.

In order to have the ingredients to juice in the evening, we had to go on a grocery excursion.  Beth has been wanting to visit a store on the outskirts of Cincinnati called Jungle Jim's.  This place carries foods from all over the world and boasts a variety of fruits and veggies at low prices.  It is a 30 minute drive or so, but off we went.  The trip brought us some good news and some bad news.  The bad news was that they do not carry a good selection of kale (the main super food ingredient when you are juicing), and the melon selection was not that much better then around here.

The good news was that I no longer have to drive to Jungle Jim's.  Beth's juicing needs can be satisfied near us in the form of Kroger's or Trader Joe's. 

So as the day progressed, here is what I can tell you about an all juice diet.  There was one thing I found myself missing by the end of the day-FOOD!  Not sweets or junk food, just something to chew on with sustenance.  I am weak.

In reality, I think I could do it if I had to-like my jaws were wired shut-but it would be a difficult cleanse.  I really did start to feel changes in my person.  I will never know how far I could go with fasting or how much my body could benefit with a cleanse, but I can understand the potential merits.

I did not see it through last night since I was staring at no food past midnight for approximately 11 hours.  Therefore, I ate some blue chips and a veggie pattie last night.  Crazy, I know.  It was one of those Morning Star patties with some Veganiase, mustard, and pickles.  My beef eating father must roll his eyes in his grave.

Actually, my father's teeth were so bad at the end of his life, that most of his meals consisted of cigarettes, Dunkin Stix, and bananas.  I bet if Beth had juiced them for him he would have been thrilled.

Hmm, Dunkin Stix.

I gotta go tear some cabinets apart.

No, I can be strong.  Just 3 more hours.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Family picnics are not a good place to score some digits.

August 6, 2012

The pain of August is setting in for us.  I only have 3 days left of my vacation and Beth and CJ start school on the 15th.  Both of them have decided that they would be okay with another 3 months away from school.  I have decided I would be okay with another week away from work.  Maybe we like it here too much.

When CJ was little and Beth would smother him with kisses, he would tell her that she loved him too much.  While that is not possible, perhaps we love not working too much.  Since we do love getting paid and eating food and living in a house, I suppose we will return to work.

Thanks to any of you who said a little prayer for my sister and her family as they have made it back to Atlanta and her leg is doing fine so far.  They have to wait until this Friday to cast the leg so that all the swelling goes down, but they are doing okay so far.  Julia can only take children's Advil for the pain since the prescription medicine makes the itching worse.  Pink was right when she said that morphine makes her itch.  I thought she just said that since what she wanted to call the nurse rhymed with itch.  Not so.

Last night we braved the potential for rain and went down to Paul Brown Stadium for the Bengal's practice.  We had fun, parked for free, (score!) and got souvenir Bengals cups for a mere $5.50.  Oddly enough, the Diet Pepsi does not taste better if you pay more and drink it out of a fancy cup. 

This week has also reinforced some life lessons for CJ that I am always grateful to be present for.  I sincerely hope all these lessons pay off since there will come a time when I will not be with CJ and he will have a decision to make.  Our first job is to protect our children and take a similar oath to that which doctor's take-first, do no harm-so this week gave me further glimpses into this truth.

The head coach for the Philadelphia Eagles is a man named Andy Reid.  he has done very well for himself coaching football, and other than that, I do not know much about his background.  I have read that his son has had issues with drugs and alcohol and Coach Reid has tried to help him, but his efforts came to an end this week as his son died.  He was only 29 years young. 

I just read most of an article about a 22 year old soccer player for the Columbus Crew who died this past weekend after being found in a bar.  No further details have been released as yet. 

While both of these events are beyond tragic for the individuals, I cannot imagine what it must be like for their parents.  God blesses you with this little bundle of poop and slobber that you made out of clay, you feed it, clothe it, take it to Build-a-Bear, teach it not to run out into traffic or watch Roseanne sing the National Anthem; and then you lose them well before their time to go.  I don't know how life goes on after that.

Therefore, as we sat at the practice last night and the drunk guy was yelling "That's Armon Binns, he went to UC!" every time the receiver caught a pass (like 20 times), I was glad to see that CJ thought this guy was an idiot for showing up at a practice, or any social event for that matter, half in the bag.  His behavior did not make CJ think alcohol makes you have more fun at an event. 

We also went to a family picnic on Saturday.  I warned CJ ahead of time that family picnics are not the place to try to pick up girls (unless you live in Appalachia), but we did not discuss that he would see some free-flowing beer.  To be fair, I had a couple myself because there is an expectation that I carry on conversations at functions such as this, and I come out of my reserved shell better with a couple of beers.  However, there was the opportunity to watch as, for some people, a couple beers turns into a dozen beers and behavior changes.  What may not have been acceptable conduct at 1pm was off the hook at 6pm. 

Look, I am not judging these folks since they can lead their own adult lives and know what their own definition of fun is, but a 15 year old boy needs to see that the decisions we make about what we put in our body can affect the outcome of our lives.  Drugs and alcohol can change the way you make decisions, excessive sweets can make you gain weight, too many Mountain Dews can rot your teeth, and too many White Castle sliders can increase the amount of time you spend in the bathroom. 

Please God, help me to continue to teach CJ lessons that will make him a better person, please protect him from the harm that can come his way whether it be through his own decisions or the decisions made by others, and thank You for the grace you have shown me in my life thus far.  Amen.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

It took more than a pea to bruise the princess

August 2, 2012

The much anticipated return visit from my sister and her family from Atlanta abruptly ended today.  It all started well enough as they arrived Monday night after a long drive, but still liked each other.  Beth had prepared the sleeping arrangements superbly.  My sister and her husband were going to use CJ's bed and the 3 twin mattresses were adorned with sheets for each child-Mario for Ben, Brave for Mary, and Hello Kitty for Julia.  They were a hit and all slept well Monday night.

Tuesday, we went on an excursion.  We started at Sawyer point which includes a walk across the Purple People Bridge.  We then relocated to a newly built splash fountain area called Smale park.  We picnicked and there was much rejoicing.  We split up Tuesday night.  The boys went to the Reds game and the girls went to the mall.  I am pretty sure the girls had fun and my two nieces came home with new Brave slippers and a Hello Kitty doll from Build a Bear. 

CJ, Ben, Ben's dad and myself got to the game early enough to try out some of the family friendly activities.  Ben got to hit at the wiffle ball field and then we all took the slide down to the batting cages and took a turn.  45 mph was plenty fast enough for us older kids.

Tuesday night came and went and we moved on to Wednesday.  After a carefree morning, we went to the park at the middle school.  Big large fun was being had with turns at hitting the wiffle ball and a romp around the playground.  The last activity of the morning included a ride across one of the apparatus.  Unfortunately, Julia fell off said apparatus and hurt her leg. 

This happened around noon and we went home.  We struggled to decide if the crying and drama about her leg was actual injury or princess drama.  How we were hoping for princess drama.  Finally, at 3:00 we decided it was better to visit an emergency room at 3pm than it would be at 11pm. 

Thank God we did not wait until 11pm since it turns out poor little Julia has a broken leg.  Seriously, the girl who insists on jumping from the 5th stair or off the back of the chair or chases snakes for fun, has broken her leg by falling off a piece of playground equipment.  Damn!

So she has a partial cast because they can't set and cast it here and expect her to see her local orthopedic in Atlanta later.  Thus, they are on their way back to Atlanta.  Please say a prayer for her and her family that she can survive the trip and each other.  Me=not jealous.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

But not slippers, that would be ridiculous

July 24, 2012

Last night several of us from The Target went out to PF Chang's to celebrate the last few days of one of our coworkers.  She does not have an expiration date on her birth certificate so we were not celebrating her last few days on earth, but she is departing our store on Friday.  She is headed back to California since her fiancee just got a job back there.  She has only been with us 8 months, so we have not gotten too attached.  I guess maybe I should limit that assessment to myself as I did not socialize with her as much as some of my coworkers did.  Nonetheless, she will be missed and I wish her the best.

There were several good stories bantered about at our end of the table.  There were 12 people there at a rectangular table so you do end up separating yourselves into "ends" and carry on conversations with those who can hear you.  My boss ended up at the other end and the interns had to sit near him.  That is the way it should work as the interns need to pay their dues by sitting near the boss at social functions.

So at my end, aka the end with the cool kids, I learned about the lives of the couple across from me with 3 children including vomit and cute little girl stories, and I learned about the dating life of a single young lady in Cincinnati. 

I will share one of her stories with you.  After closing at the store one night last week, she decided to go see the midnight showing of Batman.  Personally, midnight is well past my bedtime, but when you are in your early 20s, not the case.  She went home and changed into her lounge pants and a tee shirt and headed off.  The movie theater she chose ended up to be near a lot of restaurants and bars where being out at 12am is not uncommon.  Therefore, she was noticing the crowds and the way people were dressed.  The female bar crowd had on their short skirts and heels, or skank-wear as she called it.  However, as she walked towards the theater, she still heard guys call out that always affective pick up line, "Hey baby!"

She looked at these guys and was all like, seriously, I am wearing sweat pants.  Why not hit on the skanks over there.

We analyzed this for her even though I am not sure she was looking for that kind of feedback from us.  It was determined, beyond the fact that apparently she is attractive enough in sweat pants and a pony tail to draw attention, but more importantly, women in skimpier clothing tend to give of the "taken" vibe where as sheila schlepping on in wearing pjs and no make up is most likely available.  Better odds for dude and his clever pick up lines.

I don't know how many of you are single that read this, but I thought I would pass on this dating tip.  If you are going out to bars all dolled up looking for Mr Right and not having any luck, then next time you may want to try this.  Pony tail, no make up, your favorite bubby pants.  Perhaps even glasses if you own them.  Let me know how that works out for you.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Who's going to save her tonight

July 3, 2012

I am going to tell you two stories today that will contrast each other a bit.  The first one is going to speak to my relationship with Jesus and the second will let you know why I am going to hell.  So if you are freaked out by stories about Jesus, just stick around and you will identify more with the second story.  If you are prim and proper and smell like roses and don't think people should ever be devilish, then what the h-e-double hockey sticks are you doing reading this blog?

So to get to the point, I told y'all how I did not get my promotion.  I will not bore you with the details as to why, but I will throw in an editorial comment that it was hogwash.  I have gone through the stages of grief after finding out (surprise, anger, denial, anger, more anger), and have recently arrived at acceptance.  Here in the acceptance stage, I am finding some peace.  The reason surrounds the fact that I know in my heart that I am not fulfilling the real reason why Jesus put me here on Earth.  I have always decided that my greater purpose was to be Beth's husband and CJ's dad because the two of them are going to do great things.  CJ will grow up to be something special and my job is to turn him into a good adult.  "Not too much pressure on your kid there" Beth would say.  However, this thought had more to do with me not knowing who I really am and less to do with CJ's destiny for greatness.

You see, I have long been happy at home and am forever grateful for my life inside these four walls, but once I leave the house I think I should be doing something else other than simply providing income for our lives.  Then came this promotion opportunity.  I took this to be the sign that being with Target and concentrating my time and energy on Target during the day and my family always, was my purpose.  Why would God want me to get this promotion if Target was not my second life?  Then, I did not get this promotion.  Did I mention that I was angry and confused?

So I worked Saturday night and got home after midnight and my family was still awake.  I knew this meant everyone would want to sleep in Sunday morning and church was probably not going to happen as I also had to work again Sunday afternoon.

Sunday morning, CJ got a text from his friend reminding him to feed their cats while they were out of town.  So CJ was up.  Beth was up and was suddenly dressed for church.  I looked at the clock and was surprised to see that we were actually on pace to be ready for church earlier than usual.  Okay, I guess we're going.

We got to church and the first speaker on stage was a woman named Dani.  The first thing she spoke to was getting volunteers to sign up for a new project called CityLink.  It is a center getting built that is going to help a lot of poor people in Cincinnati escape poverty.  I will not break down the whole premise here, but it is something I have thought very long and hard that I could contribute to by helping people learn how to apply for, interview for, and keep jobs.

So there was God telling me that my life is about something more than Target and I instantly signed up for the training classes when I got home.  As you go through your lives each day, please take time to notice the small signs you are being given as to what God has in store for you.

Story number two involves my sweet wife Beth.  Everyone we meet thinks she is the nicest person they have ever met.  Polite, nice, gentle, yada, yada.  So CJ, sweet Beth, and myself were on the way to church one morning.  We were driving behind a brand new Camaro.  CJ is 15 and starting to notice cars.  This one was pretty slick.  I was asking CJ if he liked it and of course he did.  I explained to him that having a car like that would surely get him noticed by the ladies.  Doing my job to make him a better man-yes I am.  Beth explained to him that he should not be interested in girls that wanted to have relations with him based on his car.  Whatever.  As she was finishing this story, we were stuck in traffic such that the cars coming at us were sitting still in traffic right next to us.  I pointed to a little girl (little as in toddler age still in a car seat) who was staring at the Camaro.  I said, "See, she likes it."  Beth looked at this cute little girl and spouted out these word, "Well, she's a dirty whore."

As Steven Tyler would say, she's my a a a an-gel....

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

As Nancy Kerrigan would say, Why? Why?

June 26, 2012

It will be difficult to ask the question I am about to pose without sounding biased, but here goes.

What is it about Walmart that shoppers like so much?

I am sure you know by now that I am a manger at The Target and by law am not allowed to think Walmart is awesome, but that is not why I am posing this question.

I have had the "pleasure" of being in a Walmart twice in the past 3 weeks.  The first visit was just a look around of a nearby Super Walmart to see what they look like these days.  I had not been to one in years.  Beth and I walked the store for about 30 minutes and saw plenty of shoppers.  I assume it was a fairly typical Walmart with plenty of bulk displays, aisles that were difficult to navigate, and team members you could only identify as employees due to their blue vest.  They certainly weren't there to make sure I was getting any assistance.

My second visit was to a different Walmart that has been around longer-probably close to 15 years.  Beth wanted to buy a certain product that you can only get on-line or at Walmart, so we went to the Mart.  It only cost $5, so I had no objection.  As we entered the store, we were greeted by the greeter and the 75 other things going on at the front door.  We then looked for a sign leading us to the HBA dept and found one.  We followed the sign and ended up in automotive.  Now, I can handle a map (up to and including folding it back up), and I can read; so I am positive I did not mistake the words "Health and Beauty Aids" and the arrows pointing that way as the message, "Car products over here y'all."

Anyway, we turned around and finally found foot care products in an area that looked like it had been temporarily staged out in the middle of nowhere, and Beth found her product.

As I continued to look around, I could not believe how many items the store was out of and how dirty it was.  This included the team members who were dressed mostly in jeans and flannel shirts and had on a name badge.  Wow, did I feel like a snob.

Before I ask my question again, let me admit one thing.  The prices there were better than at The Target.  I saw several things that were better prices than what I know them to be at my store. 

And, I will allow that not every Target looks as good as mine or every Walmart looks as bad as the one I was in.

But great googly moogly, are prices alone the reason to shop there?  For anyone who shops both places, are you saving enough money to put up with the mess and the countless guests wearing wife beaters and their NASCAR colors?

Snob much?  Why, yes I am.  Judgemental?  You are right again-I judge people and I am mental.  Target loyalist?  You betcha. 

On that last note, I am still a loyalist today even though I did not get my promotion yesterday.  I am still a little bitter about the circumstances, so I will not blog about it now.  However, it is not something that has me job searching.  And, if I do ever start job hunting, I can guarantee you, I will not be looking for a job at Walmart.  I realize I am old enough to qualify for the greeter position, but I do not look good in a wife beater and a vest.  Seriously, who does?

Sunday, June 24, 2012

My Brother was Alway a Big Fan of Dee Snider

June 24, 2012

My brother is in the hospital.  I spoke with his wife yesterday and she said that he will be released today or tomorrow.  He lives down in Louisville, KY, so if you are near Baptist East hospital can you stop in and say hi for me?  People in hospitals love drop-in visitors dontcha know. 

He was having trouble keeping food items down and had some lower stomach pains.  It took the doctors a couple of days to figure out that his intestine was twisted.  I am not sure if it was his small or large intestine, but does it matter?  I asked my S-I-L how an intestine becomes twisted.  Was he doing yoga?  A lot of barrel rolls?  Misunderstood the phrase "getting your knickers twisted"?  Listened to too much Chubby Checker?  They do not know how this happens.  Sounds painful though.

So he had surgery to untwist and it went well.  Thank you God for taking care of my brother.

In other news, obviously CJ is pretty concerned, aka losing sleep, worrying about his Uncle Mike.  I am hoping to insert a photo here, but I have to wait until Beth leaves the room, and then I have to find the cord thingy.  If there is no photo, use your G-rated imagination to see that CJ is in blanket/pillow heaven sawing some logs.  He had some friends sleep over Friday night, so he is catching up on some zzzzs.  Still kinda cute for a teenager, I think.  When he wakes up I need him to sign a waiver.

Having a large teenage was very helpful yesterday.  I was doing my effing physical therapy bike ride when I saw some neighbors trying to move a couch through their front door.  They are older and were struggling.  I stopped to ask if they needed help.  They did not decline and I assessed the situation.  It was a rather large 3-cushion couch with flowers on it.  No, the flowers are not important nor do they add weight, I am just painting you a picture with my words.  Just like Hemingway.  The husband, Joe, was having some issues lifting his end.  I ran home to collect my boy and the both of us managed to maneuver the couch through the rabbit hole into the living room.  To be honest, I did not think it was going to happen.  However, since Joe and his wife, Audrey, had moved the couch from the back porch to the precipice of the front door, we had to give it a shot.  Audrey had just repainted the two front rooms with her son's help and this floral couch was going to be the finishing touch. 

The reason this is blog-worthy is that Joe is 95 YEARS OLD.  Good grief.  In 48 years, I will be as old as dude who just moved a 3-cushion couch from his back porch to his front porch.  I do not know how old Audrey is, but let's say Joe robbed the cradle and married someone 20 years younger.  That means Audrey was repainting the two front rooms at 75 years old.  Yes, with her son's help, but considering their ages, their son is probably in his 60's.  Man I need to take care of these knees. 

For the record, I asked CJ to sign a waiver and he did.  I caught him right when he woke up.  His attorney has still not allow me to post the photo.  Something about losing the trust of the boy who was willing to sign a blank waiver.  So I will publish this post without the photo, but check back later and see if the photo gets added.

Darn lawyers.

Friday, June 22, 2012

I'm More Mature Today Than Yesterday

June 22, 2012

Here it is, Friday of vacation week already. Vacations go so fast it is ridiculous. Of course, having Target things to do on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday did not help slow the week down at all.

As for Target Tuesday, I think my interview for the real promotion and real pay increase went well. I checked my email on Wednesday and Thursday and heard nothing, but I won't take it personally just yet. They way I feel about it is that if the interview I had was not good enough, then I am not what they are looking for. Unless I went all Robin Williams and snorted some cocain prior to the interview to become "out-of-body fun guy", I cannot be more smiley than I was. One bit of feedback I received the previous week from my district manager was that I do not smille enough during the interview.

Let's see, tell me about a time when you had to organize your time and resources to accomplish a difficult task. Me answering, DM feeding back-hey you could have smiled right there. Really? Are you sure I wouldn't have appeared Charles Mansonish with an innapropriate smile just then? Whatever.

I had my doctor's appointment on Thursday for my real knee issue, and it went well also. The doctor said I do have some fluid, but since I have only been on the new anti-inflamatory a few days, we need to give it more time to work. His physical exam led him to believe that there is no tear. Thank goodness. I am now supposed to treat with some active rest. That means okay to walk, not good to use stairs, ladders, kneel, or do any deep knee bends. I think I can handle it. I even did a little bike riding since that activity is supposed to provide some physical therapy. I do not ride often and both my knees were like, "What the Eff!"

In other not about me news, CJ turned 15 1/2 on the 20th. No, we did not celebrate, but the significance is that you can get your driving temps here in Ohio at 15 1/2. I asked CJ if he wanted to get his temps, and he declined. He amused me when he pointed out that it's funny how the state thinks that on the 19th he is too immature to drive, but on the 20th, here's the keys.

I asked him why he declined the temps and he gave me a very legitimate reason. You remember how there used to be Scared Straight show? They send juvenile delinquents to prisons to have inmates scare them into not wanting to go to prison. It is also a good premise for preventing teenage pregnancy. No, not the prison thing, but having teens work a couple days in a day care. Not a lot of unprotected sex after that.

CJ's scared straight moment occured when he rode to see Great Aunt Rhetta with Beth and Grandma. Beth drove, but that does not mean she was in charge of the vehicle. Beth is neither the most confident drivier nor the best with directions to the West side of Cincinnati, so Grandma copilots. However, rather then choosing the most practical or direct route to the destination, Grandma chooses the one with the best visual aides to stories about her childhood or people she knew. It has a tendency to take you through congested, hard to navigate parts of town as well as Interstate 75 at rush hour. In addition, if grandma died on the way (God forbid), Beth and CJ would be hopelessly lost.

Needless to say, CJ has decided that he does not belong behind the wheel of a car just yet. He learned some new curse words on the trip as well. I am sorry I missed it.

We have 4 people using our wi-fi right now, so Blogger is acting strangely. I am going to go ahead and publish so you will be able to see what my posts would look like without spell check. I am not as think as you smart I was.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Is getting older awesome? That depends...

June 12, 2012

The Target continues to be a great source of constant entertainment.   However, to make sure I still have this form of entertainment, I need to keep it as a source of income.  Therefore, on my day off today, I have an interview at the district office for a promotion.  In reality, it is a mock interview for a real interview for a mock promotion that pays like a real promotion.

Confused yet?

My real interview is a video interview with the group director on June 19th.  In order to prepare for that, they put us through mock interviews, which happens today.  I am typically pretty good at mocking people so I do not think today will go all that bad.

As for the mock promotion, Target has different pay grade levels and I am interviewing for a pay grade level increase.  I would still be doing the same job, but for more money.  It is supposed to be a reward for doing a good job at your present level even though you have declared that you are not interested in getting a real promotion to a Store Manager type position.  I know it sounds complicated, but it all makes sense somehow.  We will see what happens.

Either way it works out for me so I can continue to help guests at The Target such as one adorable lady I helped last week.  She had done a fair amount of shopping already.  See full shopping cart as Exhibit A.  However, she came to me with her hands all flappy as her cart had come up missing.  This happens on occasion as a cart attendant or team member will become overzealous about policing an "abandoned" cart.  Or sometimes another shopper will mistakenly take the wrong cart and move on without realizing it was not theirs. 

Fortunately, this guest had her purse on her shoulder, so it was just merchandise that was missing.  Rather than having to reshop for all the things she had already selected, I tried to help her find her cart.  I did find it in another part of the store and returned it to her.  She was grateful and gave me a little smooch.  What would Beth think, you may be wondering, about the smooch?

Well, since it was Beth who had lost her cart, I think she will just continue to be grateful. 

Getting older happens to all of us.  Beth and I were remembering last night how CJ had once worn diapers (Huggies I think), that had the baby Muppets on them.  That seems like a long time ago.  Pretty soon, Beth and I will be getting sized for Depends.  That may not be all bad though if they start making Depends with Muppets on them.  Who were the two old guys in the balcony?  Statler and Waldorf.  Depends with Statler and Waldorf on them. 

Good idea, yes or no?

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Gregory House was not a real person? Wha?

May 29, 2012

Beth and I have been faithful viewers of the show House for several seasons.  I think we have seen almost all the episodes either during their actual season or in syndication.  We really loved the beginning seasons and tried to tolerate the last couple.  It was easier in the beginning to get past the fact that he was an ass because the writing was so good, the diseases so puzzling, and the characters so lovable. 

Lately, every time they tried to make us understand House or his ways, he ultimately made a decision based on what was good for him and only him. 

I am sure there are many women and caregivers out there who love House, but that is purely because you think you can save him.  Or change him.  Ask Wilson and Cuddy if you think that is going to happen.

As for puzzling diseases, I am sure they could have puzzled us for several more years, but it has really become tiring for me to watch them be so wrong for 50 minutes and diagnose Sarcoidosis and Lupus, and some STD only to finally get to the actual problem.  He inhaled a stick. 

So last night we watched the finale, finally.  We missed it the actual night of and forgot to DVR it.  Beth had to sign us up for a free trial of HuluPlus to watch it. 

So there we were, watching the dark puzzling end of House.  We had fallen for many of the spoiler alerts previously, so the suspense was gone.  We knew House was not going to die or go to prison, but that was it.  And the characters that they had come back for cameos were interesting, but without Cuddy, ultimately unfulfilling.

It was time for the show to move on.  I am glad we don't have to watch Wilson die.  And I am worried about the diagnostic center at Princeton Plainsboro.  Will Chase be able to become House?  How many times did House come up with the answer to the puzzle by staring off into space and seeing some clue while his team cleaned up the latest spewed blood from the patient.  I am not sure Chase can make that happen.

Perhaps I have not fully separated the show from reality just yet.

What were your favorite House moments?  Mine were when he worked at the clinic and spent the 5 minutes with a patient.  Something funny or interesting typically happened in there that got wrapped into a tidy package much more quickly that the patient upstairs.  And, it rarely turned out to be something ending with -dosis.