Friday, January 27, 2012

Were the7 Dwarfs related?

January 27, 2012

Did you ever try to take a nap and your brain got in the way? 

I worked late last night and got up with Beth and CJ before they left for school today.  That equates to about 6 hours of sleep.  Actually, that isn't bad, but I have to work late again tonight.  Two midnight closes in a row is hard on this old man.  So I tried to take a nap this morning.

I turned on our electric blanket that we use as a mattress warmer, and I did not drink coffee.  And I laid there.  My body was comfortable with the situation, but my brain was AWAKE.  Oddly enough, dwarfs were running around in my cranium.  Even though they are height challenged, they were not literally running around inside my head.  I was simply thinking about dwarfs.

Why?  Two reasons.  First, I watch the drama Once Upon a Time and the 7 dwarfs were introduced last week.  Second, the crossword I am working on now is called Snow White's Employment Agency.  It asks questions like, What is a bad occupation for Sneezy?  Answer, Floral Arranger.  Clever, right?

But let's look more closely at the dwarfs in the drama I watched.  The first thing you will notice, is that these dudes are not all that short.  They are about the same height as Snow White.  Most of them would still need help dunking a basketball, but they sure aren't joining the wrestling circuit anytime soon.

As an aside, I worked for a boss once who was very afraid of midgets-or little people.  It is difficult to be politically correct sometimes when the people in question still call themselves midgets if they are on the midget wrestling circuit.  Probably not the most accurate source of political correctness, but still.  So this boss of mine went to King's Island for Fear Fest and did okay with zombies trying to eat his brain and IRS agents looking at his tax return, but then they had little people wrestling, and he lost it.  Like clowns for some people, I guess.

Anyway, Snow White's friends helped rescue her and Grumpy from a jail cell last week.  The dwarf leading the rescue team was little known, and apparently long forgotten, Stealthy.  Yes, Stealthy.  He gets killed during the rescue attempt, thus leaving us with only 7 dwarfs-Doc, Grumpy, Sleepy, Dopey, Sneezy, Bashful, and Happy.  So Stealthy?  Not Sneaky?  Really?  Apparently, a bad occupation for Stealthy is sneaking through the King's castle.

So here is your challenge, should you choose to accept it.  Rename the dwarfs.  It needs to be similar to the Stealthy versus Sneaky debate.  For instance, shouldn't Grumpy actually be called Cantankerous?  His nickname would be Tank?

If your brain is currently snoozing, like I wish mine was, wake it up and give it a challenge. 

Next week, the reindeer.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Or I could rent a U Haul

January 24, 2012

A guest called the Target yesterday and spoke to the phone operator.  The guest told her that she had received some great guest service while in the store including a tremendous checkout experience with a gentleman she thought was Indian.  The operator relayed this over the walkies and I replied that it was probably me at the checklanes.  In reality, we have a gentleman named Nalin that works as a cashier who is awesome and has worked at our store for years.  All our regulars know him and love him and he is very Indian-like from India.  Therefore, me claiming this compliment as my own was obviously me up to no good.  The operator said she was pretty sure it was not me, but as a check, could I say something in Indian.  All I could come up with was, "Maize, you call it corn."

Of course, about 5 people my age even knew what I was talking about.  It was an old commercial for a butter substitute, Mazola maybe?  I will look it up.

1976!  Are you kidding me!  Why can I not remember the 3rd president of the United states, but I can remember a Mazola commercial from 1976?

As a wrap up to this story, Beth suggested that I should have said Chicken Tikka Masala as an example of the Indian language.  While my family loves Indian food, I am not sure much of my crowd would have gotten that one either.  Do you think they use Mazola margarine on Indian food?  Probably not.  By the way, if you are using my blog as a scholastic resource similar to Wikipedia, the official language of India is Hindi.

So tomorrow is my birthday.  I will be 47.  Beth went to the mall last night to try and find me a gift, but came home with a sample from Sephora.  Not for me, I am a Winter and the colors look like somebody that is a Spring.  Besides, whenever I try to apply makeup, I end up looking like Dee Snider from Twisted Sister.  Not a good look.

Buying gifts for me is never a satisfying experience.  What do you get the man who wants for nothing.  However, I am going to use my day off today to try to think of something I want.  I gave Beth a couple of eyebrow lifts when I was thinking of what I want, and her initial reaction was, "Ooooooh, gross!!"  Now, why would her instant reaction be, that I am a creepy perve.  I was thinking a little candle light, some soothing music, Breakfast at Tiffany's, some good conversation, and some cuddling.  Perhaps she will even let me paint her toenails.  Maybe that is the gross part, I do not know where her mind went.  I have never even seen Tiffany's toes.

Oprah used to be able to come up with a show every year about her favorite things.  I am guessing she would have no trouble coming up with a plan for her birthday.  Is this because she had money and no children?  Is it because she was, and still is, a woman?  I realize I have very few female readers and even fewer (like zero) male readers, but is it this difficult for everyone to come up with a birthday plan? Does it correlate with having children, or money, or male parts? 

I am going to guess it is just me.  I have never enjoyed getting gifts as they were usually accompanied by feelings of guilt that people spent money on me.  Therefore, I never made it easy to pick out something.  And, I do not have a hobby or pleasure activity.  I have had my sports teams over the years, and am still rather loyal to most of them, but tickets to go see them are expensive.  And then what if they lose?  Getting and wearing or flaunting paraphanalia of my teams has never been a good idea since they usually lose more than they win. 

I am neither a techno geek (technology, not the music) nor a clothes hound.  I don't play golf anymore or go on trips with the boys.  I like spending time with my family and seeing them be happy.

I sound like the type of person whose name you would dread pulling out of the secret santa hat.  You can either pity Beth for wanting to get me a gift and having no idea what to buy, or you can pity me for having to live with me all these years.  Actually, don't do that, I am good.  I am living the good life over here. 

I am going to pick up some Indian food, get a dessert they can stick 47 candles in, and get some make up that will make me feel pretty.  I hope the mall has some courtesy wheel barrows.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Did somebody step on a duck?

January 20, 2012

Happy Birthday dad!  My father has been dead for several years, but January 20th was his birthday.  He was born in 1922, so today he would have been 90.  I am fairly certain no one would have called him "90 years young" like Willard Scott used to do on the morning news show.  He never looked young, but he was a good dad.

In other, not so birthday depressing news, January 18th was my sister's birthday.  She does not want me to tell you she turned 43, so I won't.  She bought herself her first box of hair color for her birthday, so I decided not to try to top that with a gift.

As for news about me, I was considering starting a Twitter account.  I solicited a very small sample size to see if it was a good idea.  I sent this text to Beth and CJ, "Im poopin.  Do you think I should start on of them Tweeter Accounts?"  So far, I have two votes "NO" and am forbidden from taking my phone into the bathroom anymore.  By the way, don't tell my sister that the bathroom is where I sent her birthday text from.

Another time I thought I was hi-larious yesterday, was during a Target visit.  We have visits in January called Bounceback.  Groups of visitors go to each Target to see how they bounced back from the holidays.  My Target was visited on Wednesday, and I was one of the visitors on Thursday.  We went to 4 stores, and I toured the salesfloor at each and told them what looked great and gave them some things to focus on for the first part of the year.  At one of the stores, I toured with two ladies named Crystal and Jewel.  At the group recap at the end of the visit, I thanked Crystal and Jewel for leading me on the tour and asked if Diamond and Pearl were too busy to have joined us.  Apparently, I should keep my day job and not go to any open mic nights this weekend.

After rereading, I should also not try to be an English teacher since saying the group recap was at the end of the visit may be a bit redundant.

One cool thing yesterday was that we traveled as a group to the four stores in two vans, and the van I rode in had a DVD player for us kids sitting in the back.  The movie playing was Caddyshack.  The timing worked out perfectly as the movie began right when we left the district office and the credits were rolling when we pulled back into the DO parking lot.  Caddyshack is a classic, and I have been talking about watching it with CJ now that he has turned 15 so he would no why we use some of the expressions we do.

Cinderella story, I don't think the hard stuff will be coming down for a while now, why would you kill all the golfers, etc.  For some of you this brings back some memories.  As I watched the movie, I still found it amusing and was pleased that the language was not as bad as I remembered.  It was rather scandalous back in the day, but pretty tame by today's standards.  Then came the scene with the main character caddy and the Judge's daughter.  Topless female nudity.  The question was raised in the van about whether I still wanted to have CJ watch this movie. 

Two schools of thought were considered.  One, I could skip this scene as none of the classic lines we remembered came from this scene.  I could not tell you much about the the dialogue for some reason.  Second, perhaps CJ should see some boobies.  I am guessing he has not seen any yet, so why have his first time be accidentally seeing them on Grandma or a 43 year old Aunt in the shower. 

Fortunately, none of us had eaten lunch yet.  Scenario number two was dismissed and we decided the fast forward option should be utilized.  Considering the group of guys I was in the van with, this was actually a fairly mature decision we came to.

I also scored a free lunch at Applebees yesterday.  Woot!  Kudos to Applebees and their 14 minute express lunch guarantee.  9 of us got our lunch right at 14 minutes.  Impressed we were.

I am off today, so if you need anything, give me a call.  Otherwise, it should be a good day since, I'm all right, don't nobody worry about me.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Where did you learn that young man?!

January 14, 2012

It is Saturday and I do not have to be at work until 3pm.  It has finally gotten cold here and we even have snow on the ground right now.  One of my current coworkers has just moved here from California and was excited to see snow for the first time.  I wonder if she still is.  As I was driving home yesterday, I was noticing that the type of snow we have had the past two days is the kind where it comes down sideways since the wind is blowing and it kinda scatters about and does not ever end up on the front of a greeting card.  In the movies, you see the snowfall that people like, big flakes drifting down and landing softly on your tongue.  If you tried to catch the snow we had falling the past couple days on your tongue, there is a very good chance your tongue would have blown off and stuck to a pole somewhere.  Not good greeting card fodder.

Any of you who may have been around this blog for awhile may remember that my son, CJ, used to be in the Latin Club at his high school.  He joined in 8th grade while he was taking Freshman Latin and really enjoyed the club.  They did all sorts of fun things from laser tag to bonfires.  He did not enjoy the class so much as the teacher is very tough and there was no way his parents could help him learn Latin.

I was a proponent of learning Spanish as that is what I took in school and remember a few words.  Especially the important ones.  Bano-bathroom.  Bendejo-ass****. 

Actually, I just looked it up to see if I was spelling it correctly only to find that it is Pendejo, not Bendejo.  Apparently, I would not have been all that helpful if CJ had wanted to swear at his Spanish teacher.  Nice.

So CJ dropped Latin this year since he worked his pend off to get a "C" last year, and GPA does matter more than laser tag.  We figured at some point he would be very disappointed when he did not get to go on the summer Latin club trip to Italy.

Yesterday, the list came out of students that were going to make that trip this coming Summer.  He asked Beth if any of his Freshman buddies were on the list and there were a couple. 

Sidebar, the two that are going are friends of his named Ted and Graham.  Whenver they are over here I call them Teddy Graham.  For some reason, they do not come over very often.  ???

So CJ's reaction to Beth was, "Oh, that's great!"  Beth looked at him quizzically.  She said, "What is so great about that?"  He came back with, "Mom, I can be happy for other people."

Excuse me?  Where did you learn that from.  It was like when your child comes home using foul language and you find out he learned it from kids on the playground.  Or that commercial for marijuana (I think it took an anti Mary Jane stance) where, after some badgering from dad about where the teen learned how to smoke the ganja, the young man bursts out with, "FROM YOU, I LEARNED IT FROM YOU!" 

I am searching my past parenting skills to see if somewhere along the lines I taught CJ to be happy for other people.  So far I have been unsuccessful.  Maybe he learned it on the playground.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Nanu, nanu

January 10, 2012

We keep a dry erase calendar on our fridge on which we write my schedule, upcoming band events, appointments, etc.  Beth asked me to update it today so as to clear the part off that said "winter break".  Who is sad that break is over?  Could it be Beth and CJ?  You betcha.

The good news about updating the calendar, is that it now extends through February 11th.  Can you believe it is that close to February already?  We have not even had snow here in Cincinnati yet.  The forecast calls for it on Thursday, but this past weekend, it was almost 60 degrees outside.  Global warming much?  Thank you The Baby.  I translated El Nino for you in case you don't speak the Spanish.

I am hoping for a return to work/life balance this month even though my store is going through a remodel.  I worked way too much in November and December and it really hit a tipping point last week.  The workload was extreme, I was tired, and I may have gotten a little cranky at work in the middle of it.

My boss had a sit down hour long conversation with me yesterday coaching/criticizing my crankiness.  I will paraphrase the end result for you.  Steve, you care too much and try to do too much yourself.

So herein lies the issue.  He is not wrong.  While I do not want to be told that I care too much, because that is something I really thought was a good thing, perhaps I am wrong.  Caring so much has led to issues/problems.
  1. By the time January rolls around, I am exhausted
  2. I have a temper, and I have trouble controlling it when my filter is overloaded
  3. I get a martyr complex during which I think I have to solve all the problems and do not ask for help (I always wait for help to be offered, and guess what, IT NEVER IS!!)
  4. CJ does not want to get a job because he thinks it could only lead to stress and worry
That last one is the problem.  It's not that he should not expect work to come with certain amounts of stress or challenges, it's just that people handle it differently that his old man.  My work/life balance has been worse in the past, but the constant in my retail career, and the challenges I have faced, has been me.  Everywhere I go, there I am.  I need to rewire my brain.  Perhaps some electrodes or some sort of exorcism.  I have demons.

It's like the good demon and the bad demon are both sitting on the shoulders of my brain and telling me what I am doing wrong.  Neither one seems to have the right answer.  The difference between the two is that one tells me I am doing it wrong and the other says I am doing it right.  The one who agrees with the outside world, let's call him Mork, knows for sure that there is a better way and that all I have to do is find it.  The issue is that Mork has hidden the secret answer on the planet Ork and only Pam Dawber can help me find it.  I have no idea where she is.

The other demon, who I will call Steve, has been wired to think there are only two ways to get the job done-the right way and the wrong way.  Mork even told me yesterday that there may be times when I will have to settle for less than the expected standards.  Beg your pardon?  Since when?

How do I go back in time and tell the mother that raised me that less than perfect is okay?  How do you get a mentor for that?  Anyone on the LSU football team feeling good about their season today?  Undefeated, beat all comers, until the national championship game.  Worst game you played all year on the most important day.  National Champ RUNNER UP.  Are you okay with that?

Obviously, Demon Steve has not bought into the theory just yet.  Let's try a different source.

Excuse me, Charlie Sheen, do you have a moment?

 Have you seen Pam Dawber? Can we hire NCIS to look for her?  Shazbot!

I am open to any and all advice.  I have given Steve the day off, Mork is listening.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Please do not resolve to wipe less this year

January, 3, 2012

Hello y'all.  Long time no contact.  This has been one of the more difficult holiday seasons I have ever had, and I have had 24 of them.  You consumers are difficult to figure out.  Take the past two days for example.  Sunday was January first and I expect none of you to go shopping early in the morning.  I realize that New Year's Eve means getting your party on and regretting it the next morning.  I have never understood waking up the first day of the brand new year, the "this year is going to be different "year, and you are already regretting choices.  You drank too much, ate the wrong things, swapped gum with the wrong person, etc.  Fun times.   Anyway, so you wake up Sunday morning, and feel like crap.  Good start to the year.

Little did you know, I expected you to come to The Target around noon.  I know there were several significant football games to watch Sunday, but locally, the Bengals did not play until 4:15.  Therefore, I am ready for you to be here between noon:o'clock and 4:00.  Where were you?

Somewhere besides The Target.  Fine, I got a lot of work done.  Maybe this potentially challenging week will not be so bad.  Wait a darn minute.  I did not get the memo that ALL of you were coming shopping on Monday.  I am not ready for you on Monday.  Does no one work on January second?  Just me, and ER nurses.

So yesterday was cray cray.  Check your urban dictionary to find out that cray cray means the second level of crazy.  While we never made it to the third level of hell yesterday, we certainly made it to the second level of crazy.

The saving grace during an especially challenging portion of the cray, was a team member wondering why we were putting in all the extra effort for a bulk toilet paper display.  Earlier in the day I had explained to the team that New Year's sales meant healthy food, vitamins, workout clothes and gear, storage bins, and leftover holiday clearance.  I neglected to mention toilet paper.  Thus, when he asked if this bulk display was because people tend to wipe more in the new year, I tried to explain it away by pointing out that some of the healthier foods produce more personal movement.  If your resolution this year is to be more regular, we have some of your needs covered at The Target.

In other news, a new holiday tradition was started at our house yesterday.  Beth and CJ built a gingerbread house.  It was CJ's gift to mom for Christmas. 

The cane is for the blind kitty to the left of the door.  You can see math skills at work with an exact color pattern running along the eaves of the house.  And Moosen.  To completely understand CJ's fascination with this word, you need to know the works of a comedian named Brian Regan.  Here is the routine in question.

This routine makes me laugh until I cry every time. 

So later in the day, CJ mentioned to Grandma that this was a new tradition for he and mom.  Mom got a little verklempt.  It was a kairos moment for her.  Our pastor would be in love with her right now.  I will explain another time.  The end result is that CJ does not need to put this photo out on the social media just yet.

Happy New Year everyone!!