Sunday, January 31, 2010

Angry Spouses

Tina and I have been pushing each other's buttons the last couple days. She pregnant, so I guess that makes me the dick head. I think travel and the baby being cranky today has pushed it over the top though. So, I picked up the In-Laws at the airport this afternoon. They had to see us snapping at one another. Never a good thing to have witnesses, especially those who know you, to couples spats. In the airport the other day when I had 2 hours of sleep, I was an ass and didn't care because who really could judge me that I was ashamed to see later?

So, we get back after dinner and Mother-in-Law starts to lay into Father-in-Law. Guess the apple doesn't fall to far from the tree. What was the one-sided spat about? Yes, one sided because F-i-L just clams up and takes it, which I think might make it worse. It was about M-i-L's In-Laws. Damn this is a vicious cycle no?

I actually think bickering is a sign of a healthy relationship to a degree. If you didn't care, you wouldn't try to get the other person to see your side. It shows passion for the relationship. On the other hand, yes it probably harms the bond a little too. Oh well, we are the creatures we are and we've chosen our partners, for better or for worse.

Here's a Picture of F-i-L with a local/national celebrity they met in the airport on the way in to Pittsburgh. Yes that's Big Ben (Ben Rothlisberger)! He flew over here with them from their lay over in Chicago...supposedly he was checking out M-i-L as she pulled her sweatshirt over her head, semi-flashing him. Too Funny.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Groundhog's Day is Almost Here!

My mother-in-law has semi-obsessed about going to Punxsutawney, PA to see Phil, the groundhog come out of his hole at Gobbler's Knob since I've known her. That said, probably since the movie came out in the 90's.
Last year on Groundhog's Day, my wife looked up the town and the ceremony. We booked the hotel the cast and crew stayed in while filming the movie the next day.

So, here I am sitting in Pittsburgh, PA three days away from Phil's big day! We flew up on Friday and spent today visiting my family in Central PA, showing off the kiddo and my wife, whom they've all never met in person.

I learned so much about my family's history today. Johnstown where my mom's mother's side of the family hails from is full of loads of interesting history. From the World's Steepest Vehicular Incline Plane to the 3 major out of dozens of floods to the valley. A town called Berlin (yes, my daughters name) is home to the Whiskey Rebellion during our nations early days is right around the corner. Just south of Johnstown is the site of the 9-11 Flight 93 crash and the Quecreek Mine Rescue from a few years ago. We'll be visiting all of this in the morning, and I can't wait.

This is an utterly silly trip, but getting to visit with the elders of my tribe and seeing some of America's history and traditions first hand will go down as one of my favorite vacations! I will want to come back and visit the Eastern Side of PA where the earliest days of the United States began along with the Pennsylvania Dutch country, where my ancestors had roots. Who knew this state had so much going on?

Friday, January 29, 2010

O Beer, O Beer, Where Doth Thou Hide

Where do you get beer in Pennsylvania? I went to the gas station across the street from the hotel and found nothing. I was also picking up some soap, so I figured, I'll just get some at the grocery store. Again nothing. Odd. I told the clerk I was from Texas and had noticed there wasn't beer in convenience stores or grocery stores. I asked him if it was only available in liquor stores. He laughed and said that liquor stores don't carry beer.

OK, so yes my next question was, so, where do you purchase it?

But here is what went through my mind before that question came out of my mouth. In a state with monumental unemployment rates and utterly wretched winter weather that lasts more than half the year, why would you make purchasing beer so friggin' difficult?
His answer, you have to go to a beer distributor. He did tell me I was lucky I wasn't in Philly, because Pittsburgh had a store where they actually sold beer. I got to the store after the GPS got me lost in some back part of the Bayer Aspirin campus. It turns out it was right next to my hotel. And they had gone out of business. NO beer for Dorn.

I grew up in Oklahoma, domestic beer is sold in convenience stores and grocery stores, but due to some backward prohibition law still on the books, it was half the amount of alcohol as in other states. Imports were available full strength in liquor stores but were not available cold.

Living in Texas, I guess I've been spoiled. We have beer and wine in grocery and convenience stores. Hell most grocery stores have a better selection of them than liquor stores do. But my favorite is our drive through liquor barns. You literally drive into the store and they give you what you want, load it into your can even get margaritas to go! Love this state!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Grandpa's Life Before He was Grandpa

My eleven-year-old sister is taking a drama and speech class this year. Her assignment this week was to interview someone who lived during the Great Depression. My Grandfather fits the bill. Actually, all of my grandparents fit the bill, but Dad's dad is the only one old enough to remember it. If you think about it, hunting someone down you know who was alive in the 20's and 30's isn't something my daughter will be able to do in 10 years.

So, when I lived with Grandpa, he and I would talk about life before children and even Grandma. I was sharing a story with Dad once that made him say, "I never knew that." I could tell he was a little jealous that I had a relationship with his father that he didn't. But really, that father role wasn't there when I lived with him. Yes he worried about me and tried to guide me in the right directions, but ultimately, we were roommates. I enjoyed learning about Grandpa's dating life. Didn't really like talking about his military tours. He loved talking about his and Grandma's life prior to children.

My sister asked about the Depression and technological changes in his lifetime. As far as the Great Depression, he said his family had a working farm that provided all the food they needed for the family. He remembers his mother feeding hobos and other people migrating west who would hop off the train and them not fearing any criminal activity. They weren't really affected during the 30's, but then again, he was her age, so he may not have seen the overall effects.

As for technology, I thought his recollections were funny. He remembered being 7 when they got their first radio. It ran on batteries that they had to replace every other week. At that time a kid in his class talked about new technology they were coming out with that had a window that you could see the people on the radio while you listened. He said all the kids in his class just laughed at this guy. It wasn't until he was an adult that he finally saw a TV. It was then that he realized television was what that crazy kid in elementary school was talking about.

Breaking the roles we conform people into (Parent, Grandparent, Spouse, Child) is very difficult. The idea of my Father as a young stoner is hard for me to wrap my mind around. I can see his looking at his father as a man, before he met Grandma, would be difficult.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Civics Quiz

PEW research website has a political IQ exam on their site. I took it and scored 10 out of 12. I was pretty happy with my score. I didn't know how many troops are in Afghanistan nor who the Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee is. I do not think I am an average ignorant American. I was afraid though as the questions kept coming that I would get PWNED by the website and have to hang my head in shame. Where do you rank?

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Where is James Lipton When You need him?

Every Interview on Inside the Actors Studio, hosted by James Lipton, he always ends with the same series of questions. These include: What is your favorite curse word? If Heaven exists, what do you want to hear God say when you reach the Pearly Gates? What sound or noise do you love? and What is your least favorite word?

I've watched the show for over a decade now and absolutely love it. That however is not why I'm here today.

What sound or noise do you hate? This is why I logged on today.

I used to think it was the sound of my daughter screaming/crying. Seconded only to silence when she should be actively playing...thus meaning she's found something/gotten into something she shouldn't. Alas, this evening has clearly laid out the definitive answer to this question. For the umpteenth time this month Berlin has taken a drink of mine or my wife and dumped out, where ever she found it.

So, the answer would be: The sound of liquid hitting the floor while my daughter is out of sight.

Soda has sploshed the couch. Lemonade has doused the floor. Milk has crept under the rug. Water has nailed the wall. Beer has saturated a photo album. Tea has covered a pillow. Orange Juice has infiltrated clean socks. I could go on, but my mental stability is quavering under the flash of memories.

As I cleaned up tonight's tea disaster from under the couch, side table and pillow, James Lipton and his parade of actors was what amused me amidst sopping up a child's innocent discovery of cause and effect.

As an aside, did you know James Lipton is 83 years old? Wow!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Happy Birthday Billy!

My brother-in-law joined the armed forces last week. Actually he joined the National Guard a few months ago. He left for officer training last week. This is the closest I've ever been to a military enbarkment. My Mom's older sister and her husband were both in the army. Her brother was in the navy for a couple years. My biological father was in the air force. Mom technically joined the air force, but my NON-ABORTION kept her out. Both my grandfathers were in Korea in some shape or form. The before mentioned Aunt's children both joined the force. Cousins of countless stature and Mom's next younger nephew also joined the army or marines recently. In summary, my family is not afraid to join the military.

Fuck. Why does it have to hit so close to home? Aunt Angie, Cousins Brian and Wills plus Bro (i-l)Billy over in the middle east or where ever else seriously scares the shit out of me.

This post is for all of my family who have served our country and all of those who have experienced similar service to the USA. I have a respect for you that you may not realize or appreciate. I wish you all the most safety and prosperity in your service to the fantastic country we love. GO USA, Go Troops!!!!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Your Safer Banking Solution

Somethings have to be seen to be believed. My aunt found this "piggy bank" at an estate sale. It is cast iron with working parts. It is a white dentist pulling a tooth from a black man's mouth. The dentist is half crawled up on top of the guy in the chair. You put the coin in the dentist's pocket and press the button to engage the action. As he removes the tooth, the patient falls backward. As that happens the dentist, holding a bloody tooth, also falls back and the coin drops from his pocket into the bank. I couldn't quit laughing. Berlin kept clapping to have it go again. It makes a loud knock as both players fall backward. I'm sure there is a bad racial undertone that I don't get.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Yu Hab Willy Gud Wepatashin

I was helping out one of my locations today and felt so sorry for the operator. This Korean lady couldn't decide on a vehicle to rent. They went back and forth between cars and finally ended up going with a larger vehicle than she'd originally requested. I delivered that vehicle to him because she wanted one that wasn't on his lot.

To begin, she had already shopped the competition and found a rate $200 cheaper. So she hounds this guy until he agrees, thinking he'll be adding coverage to make up for the loss. She gets there today after exhausting him for a week and lets him know her friends recommended she work with him. She tells him "yu hab willy gud wepatashin."
For those of you sensitive to racism, screw off. What is it with Asians? From the f*ing Middle Easterners to Indians to East Asians, there is no price to low that they will not continue to insist there is "something you can do" to make it lower. So someone tells you that "you have a really good reputation" means that you've given the impression that you hooked someone up at some point. These are supposedly the world's brightest people, yet they do not understand the concept of profit. Hum, aside from the sweeping generalization, it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be.
So after having severe issues understanding the concept of a push button start Altima, she then made him come out and adjust her mirrors because she couldn't figure them out.

I'm entering his contract at this point because we've had to discount it to the point he didn't know if she was coming or going. Guess what, her piece of shit insurance agent, not the guy who ever sees the claim side of an accident (especially in a rental car), told her "of course you are covered." So because of his insistence that what he provides is anything less than gold, she opted not to cover our vehicle. I'm now asking why the hell I'm discounting what totals $350 after taxes and whatnot from her rental if we didn't get anything of value on it.

As I ask my rhetorical questions, she calls him again. She cannot figure out why the car keeps going to 5000 RPMs and is insisting it is broken. (I drove this car, it had 123 miles on it when I got out and was in perfect working order) He goes through a series of repeated questions to try to find out if she is in Drive, Neutral or Low Gear. Ultimately culminating in him shouting into the phone as she becomes utterly frantic "DO YOU SEE A D ON THE GEAR SHIFT OR ON THE DASH?" "ARE YOU IN DRIVE, ARE YOU IN D? DO YOU SEE A D OR AN N OR A L?" He finally discovers that she is still in the shopping center and walks out to her.
She was in Low Gear (1st gear for those of you who don't know). Asian Women Drivers. Helmets and Athletic Cups should be issued for free by Asia to all other drivers on the road.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

What's in my Water?

Got an email forward that claimed :

"In a number of carefully controlled trials, scientists have demonstrated that if we drink 1 liter of water each day, at the end of the year we would have absorbed more than 1 kilo of Escherichia coli, (E. coli) - bacteria found in feces. In other words, we are consuming 1 kilo of poop."

OK, seriously, I don't believe even 10% of what I see in an email even if they claim checked it out. But if there is some truth here....friggin' eww!
We have a water dispenser in our house and two 5 gallon containers that I refill at the Glacier dispenser every week. I don't want to think about bacteria growing on those containers if that is a possibility. But because I hate how bad for the environment regular bottled water is, I think this is a healthy compromise.

I will drink tap water if I have to, I'm not a total freak about it, but prefer filtered or bottled. Austin has problems at the end of dry summers with a horrific algae bloom on our reservoir. The water is undrinkable and any restaurant that uses tap in their sauces and what not are no longer places I visit. Fire Bowl Cafe is one of them, the awesome Vermicelli Singapore was forever ruined when I consumed the algae tainted funk!

I'm curious about what is actually in the Glacier water or the bottled/filtered water versus the horrors lurking in the tap. I'll probably get distracted searching for this answer and never really discover anything, but it does make me want to stick to beer, wine and tequila from now on! Cheers! contaminants

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Vampires are NOT just a Fad

Watching Better this morning and they asked a question to Ethan Hawke regarding his new movie Daybreakers that I’ve heard asked in some form multiple times. Has The Twilight Saga sparked this vampire craze of late? He kinda dissed the teeny bopper flick and spoke about making this film in the Friday Night Fright Flick genre. OK, Twilight definitely sparked a bandwagoning effect with Vampires. That said, Hollywood always does this with multiple genres. Vampire flicks have been around forever but more so, the last 20-30 years there have been vampires on big and small screen all the time.

The following is not an exhaustive listing, but should prove a point that a Mormon writers books (I’ve read them all and did enjoy the overall story but think she is a crappy writer) and subsequent movies that have all the angst and non of the sex or blood that revolves around the vampire culture, is not why America and the world are fascinated with the fanged antiheroes.

Lost Boys
The Hunger
Bordello of Blood
Vampire in Brooklyn
The Dark Shadows
Buffy the Vampire Slayer
TV Buffy and subsequent Angel spin off
Bram Stokers Dracula
Dracula, Dead and Loving it
Interview with a Vampire – Hello? Mother F*ing Anne Rice has make a living off these guys!Queen of the Damned
The Blade Trilogy
James Woods’ Vampires – fun memory in the theater…OK, TMI
The Underworld Trilogy
Salem’s Lot
30 Days of Night
Van Helsing
TV’s True Blood from another set of vampire novels, only they don’t chintz on the sex!
I’ll admit that Vampire Diaries book to TV show was probably directly ripped off of Twilight.
Cirque Du Freak

So maybe we’ve come along way from Nosferatu of the 1920s and Bela Lugosi’s Dracula, but these disco balls with inner turmoil has done more to crush the vampire legacy than revive it. Viva, er…Morte le Fang!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Royal Caribbean Cruise to Haiti

Royal Caribbean has received some flack for traveling back to Haiti. In general, the media seemed to not be on their case, an amazing feat. But recently a few Cruise Passengers blogged about their disgust and a posting by a critic/journalist/whatever has lambasted them for the decision. They decided to return to the northern coast of Haiti as one of their ports of call.

Unlike most companies who bury their head when negative publicity rears its head, the vice president actually spoke out in defense of their decision. The gist was that they are bringing relief and aide along with economic benefits to the island. He also said that they are in the business of enjoyment. For 30 years they have been traveling to Haiti and delivering vacations to people around the world.

So why in their darkest hour should this revenue stream end? 500 Haitians are employed by the cruise line and it's passengers while they visit. These passengers who want to go somewhere else and thus take money from Haiti. They don't want to feel guilty that 100 miles away from their party, people are devastated.
I don't know the refund policy, but I doubt it's without penalty. I would not be in the group with guilty consciouses. If I had paid for the trip, I would continue on the trip. Rhetorical question time. Did people stop traveling to America when Hurricane Katrina hit? Did people stop traveling to America after 9-11? Hell, did people stop traveling to Louisiana or New York for that matter? No, air travel stopped, but folks still vacationed. People outside of and within America still enjoyed themselves. We were all somberer, we were all humbled to be in the presence, but our lives didn't stop. Why is this island different? Do you think the Dominican Republic, Haiti's neighbor who shares the island, suddenly shut down? If you do, you live in Pollyanna's world.

I'm not saying people should just forget the devastation, but the world doesn't stop spinning when someone dies, when a dictator slaughters his minion, when a guerrilla army annihilates fellow citizens or even when the unemployment rate hits all time highs. Bleeding hearts need to gain a better perspective on the world and focus on their own impact and how they can help. And Kudos to Royal Caribbean for sticking to their guns!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Every Man Jack

Product Review time! I recently purchased a shave set set at Target that included: shaving cream, aftershave lotion, face wash and shampoo. I originally went in for aftershave and body wash. I'd run out and also didn't care for my last shave gel purchase. So I was wandering around the aisle checking out products. I know, right? I'm 30-years-old, shouldn't I have a set of products that I go to without thought?

Ha, that's where my lovely bride comes into this scenario. I'd been using Nivea aftershave balm for a decade (along with a couple different colognes) and one day, five years into our relationship, she tells me she hates my scents. WTF? 5 years and you hate the cologne and aftershave I use? WTF? So I've since replaced my cologne, but haven't settled on an aftershave in two years.

I've tried many and liked few. Along the way, I've also tried a variety of different shaving creams and gels. Turns out I don't like the gels and this last product really put that into perspective for me.

This kit was from a company called Every Man Jack in Signature Mint. While on the aisle I smelled their Citrus Body Wash and it was intoxicating, but expensive, so I passed, but it is a really cool bottle. So when I saw this four pack for $10, I figured why not? DAMMIT is why not!

The shampoo and face wash are worthless. I'll probably give them to a bachelor buddy of mine who will just see it as free shit and not care about it the way I apparently do.

The Shave cream is what really threw me for a loop. Gels don't really foam the same way a Barbasol type of cream does, but they still have volume when they go to task. I've used the old school soap shavings in a container with a barbers brush and will admit, I dig it, but there is more effort there than I can justify spending $1 on a can of Barbasol. This crap is hard to describe. It doesn't lather, it coats. I don't shave in the shower, I use the sink before. Normally you can just run a razor head under water and your hair and shave cream disappear down the drain. This stuff required heavy water pressure and shaking. I gave it a dozen tries before I've decided to write this. I haven't held a hatred for a product ever really. This stuff gets a trophy for my first loathing of a toiletry. Bizarre and mundane, yes, but they do say the devil is in the details...
The aftershave lotion that got me to this point is nothing to write home about, but is definitely the best product in the package. My official ruling, DON'T WASTE YOUR MONEY. Every Man Jack has a few decent products, but the bulk of their line is crap.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Did You Know that Humans Age?

We went to a 3-year-old's birthday party today. Like my daughters and another friend's coming up next week, it was held at one of those inflatable play centers. When we arrived my friends wife immediately challenged he and I to a race through the big obstacle course. First of all, I'm out of shape, I knew it would be difficult. Second, we were in socks sliding everywhere. I was not, however, prepared for the tendon splitting, bone grinding, excruciating pain of jerking my knee to the wrong side of my leg.

I've dislocated both of my knees before and had surgery on the second to prevent it from happening again. That my friends is the one I jacked to hell today!

Because I can't play on the floor with her, my daughter has been exceptionally difficult today. She's basically spent the last 6 hours whining at me. A pregnant wife has a shorter nerve than usual, but it isn't as short as mine as I trip over everything and twist my unhappy joint in painful directions. Getting old SUCKS!

So, a Rabbi, a Priest, and a Horse Walk into a Bar

NBC needs to take a good long look at its future. I'm not in the business, so I can't speak to the actual ramifications of anything here, but it seems NBC has an opportunity to shake things up.

Jay took over for Johnny under, from what I understand, similar circumstances as how Conan took over fro Jay. More force than choice. Dave has been left with his dick swinging in the wind for a couple decades now. So, I've always enjoyed a few of Jay's signature skits, like Headlines and Jay Walking. Other than that, unless I really want to see the musical act or interviewee, I've watched Dave. Dave's shticks have never been wham bam, but I will usually tune to him to over Jay for his interviews. I do remember though, mocking NBC for trying to make Jay appealing to the younger audiences.

Conan has always been funny. Craig Kilborn had the charm. Now Craig Ferguson is the king of Late Late Night for me. Jimmy Fallon has been good, but his forced laughter and SNL rip off material doesn't really do anything for me.

So during these folks' reign others have popped up and popped right back out, yes I'm talking about you Chevy Chase! Bill Maher found acceptance on premium television. Jimmy Kimmel, well, he's Jimmy Kimmel. Chris Rock excelled, in my opinion, on Comedy Central. Now TBS has wised up during the struggle and brought on a new late night champ in George Lopez. No matter how boring and irrelevant her weekend show is, even Wanda Sykes is on board.

The day time folks don't do the comedy song and dance nor do the Larry Kings and Barbara Walters of the world. But really do any of them DO anything different from one another? They all flex their abilities and entertain through a series of interviews to draw the viewers in to watch advertisements.

I think NBC should just revamp the time slots, break the mold and come up with something original. Jay was just the Tonight Show an hour and a half earlier. Conan was just a hyper version of his old show. Seriously, make the news at nine like Fox does. Do a throwback variety show from 10 to 11 and then run a talk show. Why not rip off John Stewart/Stephen Colbert fake news slash talk show that Comedy Central has PWNED the other stations with. Just riffin' here, but why would you try to go back to something that obviously wasn't working either? Are the executives just trying to get fired?

Friday, January 15, 2010

Helping Haiti

A friend of mine's wife is a loose cannon mentally. I'm not really sure what her problem is, but she's got some serious control and trust issues. My friend is no saint in the relationship, but he's not fully to blame. This lady truly has the best of intentions most of the time, her execution is just sometimes questionable.

So, she is a trauma nurse, and a really good one at that. She is in her zone when things are happening and really is someone that other nurses could learn a lot from. She even does legal nurse consulting and has yet to lose a case because she's that good.

She is half Haitian. She speaks fluent Creole. With the massive earthquake in Haiti, she really feels a true need to go down and help. I would too. If they were my people, I spoke the language and had her incredible training and experience, nothing would stop me from going down there.

She has a three-year-old son. First negative to leaving for an extended trip to save the world. Her mental ability to deal with all of the death is the true underlying problem. She and her husband doubt she'll ever be the same. I think she will be better for it. This is what she does. The experience, in my opinion would help her grow as a person and learn humility and appreciation for all that she has. Her husband made a good point to her yesterday. He told her they would need help for a very long time and that waiting a little while so the massive death toll won't affect her as badly.

I'm in agreement with him that they will need help for a long time. Hell the Tsunami in Thailand and Katrina in New Orleans are still receiving aide. I just think it will be more difficult dealing with the depression of the survivors than the worry of what is going on with their loved ones. I do not envy their decision.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

PR is Back

Watched the season premiere of Project Runway tonight. There are some really talented folks on again. I can't pick a pony this early on. That said, the Models of the Runway was easy for me to pick the losers. Brandise has some serious attitude problems. She thinks she knows it all and that her age makes her superior. I'm not going to knock the age thing, but what the hell is wrong with her chin? It looks like she has a growth just below her lip. And when she hit the runway instructor class and said she had more experience, she had to know it was a challenge she was going to lose. Seriously, daddy should probably be locked up for that kind of damage. Yes I'm being catty and very judgmental, oh well. I do like the brunette from Ohio and the Asian with the super sexy voice, hope the go far. I see the Russian Blond with confidence issues being sent home early though. And what was with Ping making her dance on the runway, she'll get someone kicked off if she has them do it again! We'll see how it plays out. Glad the shows are back!

Monday, January 11, 2010

What Am I Doing?

I've hit a wall of depression lately. I've had no professional motivation. No motivation to improve my health, I'm actually heavier this month than I was through the whole Holiday Season. Home hasn't really changed, but that's kind of adding to the problem. I don't think I need to talk to a counselor or anything. I just need to get some positivity in to my day to day. I'm only 30, I shouldn't be dealing with this crap yet. UHG, I need some help.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Jack's Got Her

My 14-month-old daughter could say Da Da very early on. Jack was her second word. Jack is my cat and when she says it, it comes out closer to Yak, but who's going to correct her? She's got yeah, no, and ba (not sure what it is, but she says it for lots of stuff). She will also hold an "MMMMMM" but can't make a clean break and say Ma Ma. The random gibberish is my favorite, but I'm not sure it is anything.
She gets what we say now, arms up, go pick up your ___ and whatnot. But her one true obsession is Jack. That elusive housemate who is so reluctant to interact with her. She says Jack at least 1000 times a day. She offers him gifts like her toys and pacifiers. I think my wife is jealous that he and I got first billing. But lately I'm jealous, because she has gone months without saying Da Da. Jack, your day's are numbered brother!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

My Sock is Wet

I just stepped in an ice chip puddle in my kitchen. My sock heel is wet. I'm watching a game I'd given up on that suddenly turned around just to be knocked back down. Please dear bob, let Texas win, this town needs the excitement. This man needs the joy of knowing everywhere I visit tomorrow will be in high spirits. I'll be wearing green tomorrow and call it either envy or luck o' the Irish. The latter, the latter, the latter. GO UT! I've been playing around on Facebook all night with my family and friends back in Oklahoma who HATE Texas. I don't want to eat crow at all. Turning back to the game now with fingers crossed that Jordan Shipley will be the new glue that Colt once was. HOOK 'EM HORNS!!!!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

I Just Scored a Bimbo!

We just signed Mrs. Baird's Bread as an account for my territory. They are owned by Bimbo, a Mexican bakery chain similar to Little Debbie. I was stuck on a conference call with some royal jack asses as my Sales Manager was telling all of us about her latest wins for our territories. She signed Mrs. Baird's, but her boss and her kept going on and on about Bimbos! I know what these things are because I've seen the little packages in the stores down here for the last 5+ years. I remember laughing the first time I ran across the little pink cakes with a bear on the front that simply read BIMBO! So, no one on the call seemed to get it, what Bimbo really was. They just continued explaining to the point that Bimbo was every other word and I was loosing it.

It instantly flashed the greatest moment in one of our training classes where one of my counterparts in Houston was role playing (professionally, not professionally). She was trying to explain what a GPS was, but seemed to lose the term navigation while doing so. She is using hand motions while saying, "it's a personal device, that you, you know, stick it in?" I literally fell out during the course.

This image with the bimbo discussion had me gone. I laughed and couldn't stop for what felt like hours. Thank god for mute buttons!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

The Definition of Crazy is...

For the last couple months my daughter has been walking while holding our hands. She has gotten used to only one hand, but prefers both. Berlin has taken a few steps numerous times over the last month unassisted. It was so much fun the first night she did it because she was going back and forth between Tina and I laughing and clapping each time. The day after Christmas, I put her on the floor of my brother-in-law's house and she walked 7 or 8 steps. She did this a few times and then just gave up.

Each step of the way she's protested the recreation of the new act. It took 8 months for her to crawl. For the longest time after, she would lift her feet off the ground every time I'd hold her hands to try and get her to walk. It was cute, but really it was her definitive rejection of forward progress. Then overnight she was OK with the assisted walk. She's been standing up on her own since before she learned to crawl, but never did anything but reach higher objects with it.

So, once I got her to hold a TV remote while I held the other hand, she was excited, like she knew it was the next stage. That was over Thanksgiving. She refused to do it when we got back in town. She'd grab my leg if I wouldn't give her both hands. When she got the 2 or 3 step dive behind her, she refused to do it again for 3 weeks.

She demands it often and pulls me up to help her walk all the time. She gets really pissed if I don't let her walk when she wants to, but I have to hold her hands.

So for the last couple weeks, I've tried in vain to get her to walk again. She's 14 months, so I'm not rushing this, but I am pushing her. She will stand there when I let go of her hands and think about it, giggle, do the shy cheek to shoulder routine over and over and eventually just crawl over to me.

Tonight was no exception. But I was playing one of her toys that sings and she started dancing. Not the shaking the booty or waving her hands or twisting her shoulders like normal. She was holding on to the ottoman and lifting her feet one by one to the rhythm. She did this for 20 minutes the first time and about 2 hours later did it for another 5 or so.

I thought it was the perfect time to try unassisted walking again. She began spinning her feet like Fred Flintstone in the air so that by the time I'd gotten her balanced, she only had to reach out to complete the transaction. It was adorable, but holy hell this child is stubborn. I swear she is choosing not to walk.

I know everyone says she'll never stop once she does and then my life will be hell, but I'm ready for it. I want her to just trust herself and do it. Ah well, it will happen when it happens.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Housewives...the REAL Real ones

My wife is a housewife or stay-at-home-mom. Not one of the filthy rich skanks you see on Bravo, a real flesh and blood woman who is married and stays at home to take care of the kid. That's about where it ends. Tina doesn't really keep up with the house work. She does put forth about as much effort as I do. That is SOOOOO not saying much.

When I get home, I cook dinner because she doesn't like cooking and I do. I've literally only had my wife make dinner that didn't come from a Papa John's delivery driver less than 5 times in 7 years.

The thing that blows my mind is the fact that when I'm not cooking, 3/4 of the time I'm home I'm on baby duty. It's like I'm being punished for not being home with her all day.

I'm not saying I don't see how she can be exhausted after 8 hours with her, but FUCK! We're going to have two of these running around the house soon. I don't know how we are going to not kill one another this time next year.

Oh well, I guess I shouldn't gripe, at least I know Berlin is being taken care of and it's not like I'm not used to living in a less than presentable house at this point. (Awesome, as I'm typing this, Tina is asleep and Berlin just farted on my calf...I love my life).

Saturday, January 2, 2010

It's All or Nothing

My daughter is going through an absolutist stage. When she's done with something, it can't just be set down on the table next to her. It has to be thrown on the ground, out of sight. If I offer her a slice of banana while she has a pacifier in her mouth, the pacifier is spit out and then thrown straight behind her. Eating a cracker and reaches for another, she'll immediately throw the first out of sight and focus on the second. Same with toys or what ever we are working with. I'm not saying she can't play with lots of stuff at once. She'll play with puzzles with multiple pieces or a pile of bath toys no problem. What I don't get is how final some things are to her.

Now, she throws stuff on the ground all the time, it's what she enjoys I guess. But seriously there isn't having two conflicting objects at once at all. One at a time period. Maybe I'm over analysing it, but it feels like the beginning of an OCD.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year!!!

2010 is here and here's wishing the best for the world! Knocked out a bottle of Champagne last night with my wife last night as we rang in the New Year. It was nice and mellow. Tina and I played a couple board games. Berlin, loved the little taste of champagne (bad daddy, I know) had us play her latest game most of the night. Like every child she loves books read and reread over and over. But she's come up with a new game that fills her latest obsession/skill-development. Shove crap in a container! Sounds like marketing gold, huh?

We have a couple of plastic containers with attached lids that we use when we work out to hold water. Berlin has commandeered one as her new toy. She takes wooden letters or plastic shapes and what ever else semi little toy she can find, pacifier included and shoves them in to it. We call out the shape, color, or letter as she's putting them in. We close the lid and shake it or spin it, but make haste with emptying the container back out. She immediately wants to do it again!

The wooden letters have been fun too because she will had one of us a letter and we make the sound and go through as many words we can that begin with the letter. More challenging than I'd ever imagined!

All of this lasts for less than 15 minutes each, but has become her new routine with us. I can see her little mind working constantly, even on autopilot as she crams the stuff in the container. Truly inspiring and scary that we are responsible for her development. This time next year though, she gets to start teaching her new little sister/brother!