Saturday, July 31, 2010

Cheating - So it's OK if you BOTH do it?

Escape by Rupert Holmes played on the radio as we drove home this evening.  You know, the Piña Colada song?  We both agreed that it's one of those songs you shouldn't like but can't help it.  Two reasons, it's really just a crap song from the early 80's.  Secondly, the situation he sings about is really horrible when you put any thought to it.


At surface level, it's a sappy love song about a couple who rekindles their relationship by discovering they have more in common than either realized.  How quaint, who would have ever thought that communication and taking an interest in each other would help, if not rejuvenate, a relationship?


So here are the lyrics, provided by Lyrics Depot


I was tired of my lady
We'd been together too long
Like a worn-out recording
Of a favorite song
So while she lay there sleeping
I read the paper in bed
And in the personal columns
There was this letter I read


"If you like Pina Coladas
And getting caught in the rain
If you're not into yoga
If you have half a brain
If you'd like making love at midnight
In the dunes on the Cape
Then I'm the love that you've looked for
Write to me and escape."


I didn't think about my lady
I know that sounds kind of mean
But me and my old lady
Have fallen into the same old dull routine
So I wrote to the paper
Took out a personal ad
And though I'm nobody's poet
I thought it wasn't half bad


"Yes I like Pina Coladas
And getting caught in the rain
I'm not much into health food
I am into champagne
I've got to meet you by tomorrow noon
And cut through all this red-tape
At a bar called O'Malley's
Where we'll plan our escape."


So I waited with high hopes
And she walked in the place
I knew her smile in an instant
I knew the curve of her face
It was my own lovely lady
And she said, "Oh it's you."
Then we laughed for a moment
And I said, "I never knew."


That you like Pina Coladas
Getting caught in the rain
And the feel of the ocean
And the taste of champagne
If you'd like making love at midnight
In the dunes of the Cape
You're the lady I've looked for
Come with me and escape


And for those of you now jonesing for a brief memory of yester year (I didn't realize it was 30 years old!) here's the song on youtube.


So basically, the woman has already started searching for someone new.  She's the one who posted the personal ad.  He's obviously in need of a diversion as well as he's searching the ads as well.  But he does admit that it "sounds kind of mean" so I guess he gets a pass on the whole initiating cheating thing.


Lemme point out that she has already laid out of us that her man doesn't have half a brain, and she has no clue about any of his guilty pleasures. 


But where it gets really fuzzy for me is, after they've set the rendezvous, they run into one another at the bar.  This is a bar where for all intensive purposes they both plan on meeting a stranger and running away from their spouses.  This is a bar where, NOW, their partners are also present.


She says "Oh it's you." It continues with "Then we laugh for a moment."  This my friends is where reality and love songs derivative. Because the next line would read   "Then the moment was through."  Followed by "Here's my lawyer's number, ass."  Or maybe, "Dick, you were picking up a Piña Colada drinking whore huh?  Unlike Lorena Bobbitt, my ass won't get caught."  I mean really, how did they know it was each other?  What would make you think that your husband is the one who responded and not just out for a drink at O'Malley's?


Instead, they find it endearing and say "I never knew."  My wife and I both agreed it's just something wrong with people who like crappy alcoholic beverages.  Real drinkers aren't nearly as sappy nor forgiving.  This is why my songwriting career has never taken off.  Well that and the fact that I've never tried.


I'll spare you my ideas on how to keep your marriage happy and healthy.  So cheers to all you lovers and leavers out there.  May you find what you're looking for...even if it's not in the form you expected!

Friday, July 30, 2010

Mr. Fixit Has an Owie or Four

I think my wife may miss the exciting world outside of babies.  She asks me what my plans for the day are on a regular basis now.  She used to try to tune out my inane ramblings about work.  Now it's like manna from heaven.  Her brief glimpse beyond the bars, guards and cold, cold walls of her prison with a new born and a toddler.

Today I told her I was playing handy man.  I was going to install HVAC Air Filters and Florescent bulbs in my stores.  She was like "what, you can be Mr. Fixit at work when it's not your job, but you can't finish anything at home?"

I explained that I throw them off kilter when I stop by without obviously intruding and eaves dropping on how they interact with customers.  When I'm climbing around on a variety of giant ladders and appearing to just being there to accomplish a task, they tend to let your guard down much easier.

Yeah, so she let me know I still have some chores around the house to complete.

Today didn't necessarily kick my ass, but I certainly have several puncture wounds from the mishaps.  I also now know that a 240 pound man can be supported on a 15 foot ladder propped up on drywall.  That fact I was EXTREMELY reluctant to test, but can happily report all halting fears aside, I'm still alive and all walls are in tact.  

Back home this evening:  Normally not one to be guilted into work, I still tasked my self to accomplish something and I was not in the mood for yard work.  Ah ha! I'll find something I can do that will fill the entire living room with my efforts hopefully to be adored all the while, right?  AND the sofa seriously needed some attention.

The kiddo (21-month-old) loved the treasure hunt under the cushions.

The frame that supports the majority of our weight had dropped 3 inches and was held up solely on luck and the fabric batting that stretches below the couch.  This effer cost us around a grand a few years back and I wasn't about to let it get any worse...lest we have to purchase a new one!

I am no upholsterer, I'm no furniture maker, I'm no craftsman.  I'm just a guy who harms himself every time he attempts to use tools for an extended period of time.  No joke, I am amazed I have all my digits and limbs 30 years in!

I had to take the legs and frame apart.  I had to remove pieces that it turns out were installed by true craftsmen who covered their work so well, I didn't know there were nails used until I probably jacked up removed them.  I then had to remove a hundred or so upholstery staples.  The inside was gorgeously crafted with springs, wood, metal and fabric.  A slacker was obviously in charge of designing the support structure for the frame though.  These piss ant nails were supposed to hold three adults in place.  They failed

I got to break out the drill and everything!  Yeah, I'm a dork.

I put everything back together by the time we finished Hot Tub Time Machine.  Funny ass movie folks, really 80's camp movies were incredible and this was a true ode to them!  I even heard "Give me my Two Dollars!" on the ski slope!

All my labor was for naught!  Well not really.  I seriously feared the whole goddamned thing collapsing when I sat on it! Proud to report it did not.  I'm sitting on it now and haven't been jarred to the tile yet.  Did my lovely wife test it out?  No, she went to bed immediately after the movie ended.  Did I get any credit for the effort, let alone success?  Oh Hell No!

I don't expect praise and glory every day, but on occasion...BASK IN MY GLOW!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Parenting Advice and Milkies - Saving Every Last Drop!

Over the past few years every (well, certainly most!) one of our friends have started having babies.  With random exceptions for teenage mothers and some older (I use that term in the kindest way) mothers most of the kids in our circle are 5 and under.  Birthday parties are a nightmare blast!  Oh and frequent too!

Along with it have come some very opposing view points on parenting and LOADS of advice.  The thing about parenting advice is it isn't relevant until you actually have the child out of the womb and in your home...without live in help like your mother-in-law or the lovely nurses from the hospital waking you up every half hour just to jack with you.  Really, they couldn't coordinate the intrusions a little better?  From Midnight to Seven AM it was not stop each night!  But I guess it's not a resort, so I shouldn't expect a $15,000 price tag for 3 days to come with a semblance of peace & quiet should it?  I couldn't imagine the hell my wife went through on top of all that.  Yes you're a goddess Tina.  Alas, I digress.  Our whole world changed when it was just us and a baby.  Suddenly all that advice couldn't be clung to tightly enough...if it could have been sorted out.  Now, with two under two...HA!

First, let me give a crude polar analysis of parenting styles (but you've already started in about advice? I'll get there...promise).  Some parents are super strict some are the super lax.  Some are all natural, hippy-esque, some are individually wrapped, pre-packaged everything.  Some are all about the routine, some are all about letting the baby choose it's course.  Some are obsessive, need the best, brand new and only the top of the line for their little angel, others understand the value of spending on the heavily used things like cribs and less on clothes that are quickly spit up on and out grown or would only be worn by Suri Cruise. We're about the middle of most of those, but we've definitely "chosen sides" on some things we deemed important. 

So advice. The whole "choosing sides" thing is hard on big issues.  I remember a one-year-old's birthday party a group of us got into a mildly heated argument about sleeping habits.  A friend who did the Ferber method of letting your baby cry it out and only checking in, not rescuing the child was breaking it down for us.  Ours was six-months-old and still in our bed...not for lack of trying otherwise.  I couldn't handle the hours of screaming...my daughter thought it was a punishment.  By 16-months she wouldn't sleep anywhere else but her crib.  The same Ferber friend also had her daughter potty trained before two-years (skinny little whip cracker also bounced back to pre-pregnancy weight two weeks after birth of their second one.  Thanks for giving my wife even more of a body image complex).  Another friend's son is nearing four and hasn't accomplished it.  There is the self-soothe technique versus the dreaded pacifier.  Cloth diapers versus disposable.  Breast milk versus formula.  Every thing is parent and child specific.

Everyone rationalizes their decision and why it was best for them and their baby.  Frankly, it's impossible to sway some folks too.  So here is an example of the poles meeting in the middle?  That obsessive, got to have EVERYTHING best for my baby and the all natural mom had a meeting and came up with the obsessive natural mother technique...for breast feeding at least.


Really odd, the stereotypical, overly obsessive, breast feeding mom doesn't do bottles at all.  The stereotypical lady who will drop $40 on a pouch to shove in their bra probably wouldn't think there was an alternative to formula. 

If you go to the website, there is a awkward informative infomercial style video.  

"As long as you have a crib a car seat and a milk saver you'll be OK."

Back to the advice.  You know, the crib actually isn't necessary, and the car seat frankly if isn't either, but you're not leaving the hospital without one.  Sure both are entirely convenient and would be ridiculous to not get, but there are alternatives.  Pretty sure that diapers and a mother are the only real necessities when it comes to babies.  But whatever, I'm not advocating overly simplified and rudimentary child rearing.  We have a ton of gadgets and gizmos that we could live without for our children.  Oh before I get any hate mail about the car seat comment, I'm referring to people without cars who'd put the kiddo in a sling and hit the subway or whatnot.  Not advocating laying babies down in the seat like the baby boomers experienced.  So maybe I needed to amend that, but then I'm already getting to specific and off point.
 
When I saw that flyer in the store, I knew I wanted to write about it.  I just didn't realize the road it would take me on.  For the record, I think this product has a great concept, but like most "this is the most important thing you can do for your child" sales pitches, I'm very cynical about their approach.  Guilt trips irritate me and rarely persuade me to follow your lead. 

What parenting paradoxes have you found?  Any sage advice?

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Busted - Mugshots Galore!

I found this publication the other day at a convenience store and succumb to curiosity's temptation.  
It is a compilation of all arrests in the Central Texas area including mug shots and bust reasons.  
I'm not sure why I was taken by it but it reminded me of the small town newspaper my grandfather had mailed to him (probably still does) when I was younger.  It was called the Sabine Index.  It covered the local news for the little area of Louisiana he grew up in.  Zwolle and Many are a couple of tiny towns in northern Louisiana south of Shreveport with literally one stop light. 

I remember his favorite part to read was the "Legals" section.  It contained all the police calls, tickets and arrests made that week.  We used to just laugh at what was essentially the news for these little towns.  Now that I'm thinking about it, you really couldn't keep anything a secret in a small town like that...especially with the local paper publishing every detail.

Well this is the exact same concept.  Muglymedia.com puts out this paper and it's essentially pages of mug shots.  But there are some "feature sections" that I'll highlight for you.  Hope you enjoy it, or at least get a snicker out of it. 
But first let's start with the disclaimer at the bottom of every page. 
"All suspects in Busted! In Austin are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
All information and photos presented in Busted! In Austin are obtained from public
documents and other public sources including police affidavits and court documents."

Important things first.  Here are your local sex offenders:
This should be a weekly mailer to everyone in the neighborhood right?

Here are the local crime stats and answers to the quiz later on.
Don't cheat, you'll ruin the fun.


Here's a breakdown of the different offenses you'll find on the
numerous pages of mug shots.
Other crimes like Theft, Assault, Disorderly Conduct and what not are just stated.

Occasionally peppered in are some articles about specific criminals in Texas.
Really, an Evil Hippy Drug Dealer?
Oh and an Angry Jealous Lesbian.
Doesn't get much better for headlines huh?

They keep coming, are you surprised?

There are of course death row stories, bail bonds ads and what not.
So why not throw in a good ole game of Whodunnit?
Good luck!  I was about 50/50.

They even classify some mug shots.
Here are some Old Farts and Whipper Snappers.

And some Funky Hair and Smiley versus Frowny Faces.

"Respect my Gangsta Fool!"

Here are your Busted Beauties.

And Handsome Hooligans.


You can really get lost in the sea of mugshot of people at one of the worst (hopefully infrequent) moments in their lives.  Once I realized it would keep going outside of Austin's Travis county and into Williamson and Hayes county I realized I am so glad I'm a fairly upstanding citizen.  I wouldn't want my sorry ass immortalized during my own moment of stupidity and law breaking.  

I'll leave you with the Missing Children shot on the back.
Gotta  keep our priorities straight here.
Funny and entertaining as this rag is, if you can help a child too.  
You know.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

I Must be on my Period or Something

Ever since Friday's emotional trauma, I haven't been all that stable.  My wife's cousins came to town for a wedding and stayed with us.  After they left we went to San Antonio to visit my Brother & Sister in law.  He just graduated Officer Medic training for the National Guard.  He was flying back home today, so it would be our last chance to see them for a little while.  I was able to keep it together for each of these "In Law Interactions."

But god help me if I didn't get all emotional around every other corner. 

You know those new iPhone 4 commercials with the little picture in picture video chat?  Click here.  They are totally pulling emotional heart strings.  A grandfather meets his granddaughter.  A soldier meets his baby.  A boyfriend tells his girlfriend her super cropped new haircut looks good.  A father tells his daughter she looks beautiful with her braces.  Seriously, the dad singing to his little girl to make her smile and show her braces has made me well up every time it's aired.  WHAT THE FUCK IS HAPPENING???

I've been exceptionally short tempered with my daughter too.  Beyond the dink punches and junk jabs she regularly delivers (without really knowing...I hope); I've snapped yelled at her so many times this weekend.  ASSHOLE DADDY LOSES CONTROL?

I was helping my wife write the birth story about our son to send to our Bradley Natural Birth classmates.  I started blathering on about how beautiful he was when he was born and how I couldn't imagine not having him in our lives.  Eh, Fathers are aloud to be proud right?

I hit a toad with my mower today.  Yes there was blood and guts shooting out the side of my mower and it was soooooo gross.  I felt so weighed with remorse I couldn't think straight, let alone keep the sweat from pouring into my eyes.  I grabbed the rake and went through the rest of the lawn to make sure any and all animals moved so I could continue.  SUCH A RETARDED SAP.  Well, I might have done the same regardless of the soul crushing that sent my world into chaos. 

We settled in to watch The Box (Cameron Diaz, James Marsden, Frank Langella) and one of the previews was for the Blind Side.  Sandra Bullock said her adopted son was changing her life and I teared up.  I FUCKING TEARED UP DURING A PREVIEW!!!!!  

I was laying on the couch with my daughter watching Phinneas & Ferb and found myself laughing at the stupidest of puns.  I'M BEYOND HOPE AREN'T I???



I'm sure the bottle of wine I singlehandedly polished off each night didn't help either.  But holy hell, I have got to pull it together.  I'm supposed to be watching my words and reactions, worrying about my emotions just compounds the problems.  This week better end on a good note.  Just sayin'.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Put in my Place

Ever have a reality check so severe it truly rocks you to your core?  Friday really shook me up and I'm not sure how my pieces will fall. 

I recently had an operations review of mine and a coworker's territories performance and profitability.  Our boss was present, but the rest of the folks involved have what we refer to as dotted lines.  That basically means they all think they are our bosses but we report to none of them.  There was so much wrong with the whole turn of events it'll take me forever to break it down.  So for brevity here are the main points to understand.  First, I was once in charge of both territories in question but shouldn't have been burdened with such an enormous area with no compensation or additional resources versus every other counterpart I have in the country.  Second, the other gentleman was praised for many things I actually accomplished in his territory, prior to his hiring.  Third, I was raked over the coals for poor decisions I made in my territory.  These same decisions made in his territory were praised.

After it was all said and done, I was beyond perplexed.  I couldn't figure out what twilight zone I was experiencing.  More over, one of the dotted lines has been up my ass about my territory being in a state of crisis.  I'll have you know, my territory has out performed by leaps and bounds the other plus it is profitable with a decent margin and his is not at all.  Things weren't adding up.

That effer up my ass has literally been my personal seagull via email (of course copying everyone save the president of the company) for the past two weeks.  He's been squawking about every decision and move I've made trying to fix the non-crisis crisis.  I was becoming exhausted.  I've never encountered such ridiculous berating behavior in the workforce from someone whose position could be eliminated and performed by a part time hourly clerk.  I hate the idea that he'll try to take full glory for my territory's phoenix style rise because of this incessant pestering. 

So I finally broke and asked my boss what was going on.  He let me in on the secret.  And it ain't pretty.  It isn't even rational.  It was soul crushing.  It made me cry.  And, no exaggeration, can count the number of times I've cried since I was potty trained on my hands....most of which were due to injury.

Basically, they (dotted lines) do not like me.  My boss is not sure if it was a particular incident prior to his assumption of me as a responsibility.  He is pretty confident it has a ton to do with my prior association with the former manager in charge of me and these territories.  He was of course fired and replaced by a buddy of the dotted line people (no joke, he was one of their employees they moved up as high as they could in the state before he had to move cross country.  They brought him back subverting every rule in the company to do so.)  If you search my blog for boss, you'll see that I had zero respect for the former chief.  So this guilt by association is really crappy.

My boss then had to add his own speculation as to why they may not like me...obviously he's riding in their boat too.  He basically told me I'm a know it all.  I talk down to people.  I'm abrasive.  I need to learn to keep my mouth shut.  And that in many companies trailblazers get ahead...this one is not run by intelligent folks, in fact they are threatened by intelligence.  Translation: it's all about politics. 

Basically, I have no future with my company and it has nothing to do with my above average performance and everything to do with my personality and popularity rating.  This is me that they hate.  How do I fix that?  My boss hopes that I'll use this negativity to better motivate myself.  Motivate me to find something else to do?  Motivate me to sue the shit out of them if they fire me?  Sad thing is it will probably work the way he wants it to.  Now I'm motivated to keep my head down and blow their socks off.  Damn them.  My ego did not need this assault, especially when I didn't know it existed.  Wish me luck.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Marriage: Where's the Instruction Manual?

I was chatting with one of my employees about married life yesterday.  He and his wife were married about a month before my wife and I.  The difference is we were 27 & 29 and they were 20 & 22 when the vows were exchanged.  I'm sure in 10 years that age gap will seem inconsequential, but I was certainly not the same person I was at 22 as I was at 27 so maybe it won't.

He asked why there wasn't a self help type book for how husbands can make the right decisions in marriage.  He said we should write one and make a killing because so many men need help...us included.  Sounds like a winner right?  Kinda like a book on how to run a marathon written by someone who's never even done a 5K. 

The spark of this conversation was a customer issue that we were dealing with.  A couple rented a car from an employee at one of my stores.  When they returned it, another employee was working and it just happened to be her second day on her own.  The renter's wife chewed my ear off because of how incompetent my new employee was.  And I'll leave it there (because that was the only pertinent piece of info).  This lady was bat crap crazy and loud and hoppin' mad!  The problem was a broken printer not an employee's competence level.  But the new girl just didn't know how to diffuse the situation like a seasoned employee would have.  

I asked her to come in and see the employee referenced in the marriage conversation.  There were several options to "fix" her problem, the simplest was NOT what the customer wanted.  The others either entirely inconvenienced us or half way inconvenienced both customer and us.  Both of the latter would have taken a TON of time before the problem was resolved (weeks, not minutes).  

When the couple arrived my employee explained the options.  Hubby listened attentively and chose the simplest and immediate solution.  Bat Crap was silent the entire time.  The woman's behavior over the phone before led us to believe she obviously wore the pants in the household and was a true force to reckon.  In the presence of her husband, he obviously ruled that roost.  

Back to our conversation.  I remarked that's how it works in my house too.  My wife certainly has a lot to say about every choice and we will go back and forth and she often  wins.  But she will not challenge me if I've made a final decision, especially not in front of someone else.  There is a give and take to every relationship like this.  But someone has to have the trump card and sexist as it may be, I do believe it should be the husband. 

He agreed and said his wife lets him make all the decisions.  And then when something goes horribly wrong it's his fault.  He then proceeded to tell me about his wife dropping her iPhone earlier in the week and shattering the screen.  This cost them $50 to fix.  He didn't say a word for two days.  Then the seed of superiority he suppressed burst into a full grown tree right out of him.  He pointed out that if he had done the same thing she would have harangued  him forever about being so stupid and costing them money etc.  This enlightenment was not met with even the slightest glimmer of appreciation.  In fact, I'm pretty sure he immediately saw the error of his ways.

I told him about how my wife loves to point out when I'm wrong or have made a mistake.  But I'm a total prick for pointing out if she is or does.  This is when he decided we need a help guide for marriage.

I said that for men, marriage success can't be taught by another male (or female for that matter).  Women are all entirely different and each have varying degrees of reaction to every incident they encounter with their partner.  You can't teach intuition and experience.  You can only warn and hope others take heed.  That's what Maxim is for. 

Men are like dogs in marriage...in need of training.  We only know our boundaries based on how we were punished or praised as we crossed or respected them.  You piss on the carpet and have your nose rubbed in it, you're not likely to recreate the scenario.  But some people never learn right?  Not necessarily, sometimes the scenario is out of our control.  Those situations receive lesser punishments or worse depending on who made them out of our control.  Others are repeat offenders intentionally because they realize the punishment is not as bad as not having the experience.  But, I digress into specific generalizations.

There is far less thought put in to keeping a happy home from the husbands side of the house.  We learn to keep in step with our partner.  The exact opposite of a dance while at home.  You dance, in public.  When dancing, the man always leads.  The key thing to remember about dancing is that, the whole point is to always make the woman look beautiful.  She minds your step by being a split second behind you.  You know what makes her shine and throw in the occasional spin to twirl her dress and hair. 

Mixing my metaphors in a way with dog training and dance, but the important things to take away are that tit for tat always comes at the price of someone's sacrifice of pride.  That and I'm only three years in, so before you take these words as gold, you'd probably do best to find an older dancing dog to hit up for advice.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Lonestar Beer Bottle Caps

Most people toss their beer bottle caps in the trash as soon as they crack them open.  Unless you're a dorky frat guy who smashes them into the post of his bunk bed(no, I was not that guy, but definitely knew him) Sometimes however, beer makers have a little fun with their freshness savers. 

Sam Adams brags about their awards under their bottle caps.  (The do have a lot of them to boast)

Lonestar Beer has a different approach.  They put little puzzles under their caps.  You know the kind you used to find on kid's menus with activity pages.  Here's an example. 
Erie Canal
Get it?
Picture of an Ear + The Letter E
Picture of a Trash Can + The letters AL
Ear + E Can +Al
Erie Canal

Yeah, so it's kinda mean messing with inebriated folks, but who doesn't enjoy jacking with a drunk really?

I remember the same concept on Red Dog beer when I was in High School. What? No, I didn't drink under age, I was a bastion of chastity and virtue.  I must be misremembering.    
This guys is actually selling these on Etsy

So unless you're halfway through that magnum of wine by 11 am on a Thursday (because of course you've been waiting breath abated, to read this as soon as I post it) You shouldn't have nearly the problems we did at the time. Have fun.

So here's where I admit a bit of failure.  
I have no clue (well half a clue) 
what these mean.

Oh and note there are only 10 caps.
We started out with 12 
but didn't notice the game on the first two.
Not rumaging through the trash for my blog.
Yeah, I'm a slacker.

So I was going to post a link to Lonestar Beer's Website, because I don't know how many of you have even heard of THE National Beer of Texas, let alone have drank it.  That's when I found it.  They actually have the answers on the website for you in case you're just that obsessive type.  (obviously, I fit the bill as I'm writing a blog post about it).  They even have an app for that!  Genius!  I'll be checking up on the three that made no sense to me.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

How Do You Roll?

I purchased my second Groupon ever yesterday.  Groupon is a company that rips off helps local businesses by offering massive savings to get folks in the door.  The idea is that if you try the place on the cheap, you'll be back again and again.  Check it out at www.groupon.com there is probably one for your area.  Speaking generally, they set up a deal with a vendor so that you can purchase a "gift card" worth $20 that you only pay $10 for.  That's 50% off!!!!  What's in it for Groupon?  They go to a company and say "OK, if we get 300 people to purchase this "coupon," the deal is on.  We'll pay you 50% of what we collect.  When it works (and with food it often does...not so much on photography, massage and other services) the people who purchase it get an awesome deal.  The vendor (restaurant establishment) get inundated with "new" customers.  The raw deal for the vendor is that if they only get 50% of 50% that means for every $20 worth of food they provide, they're only collecting $5.  But if the idea holds true, then that's 300 new people and $1500 in their pocket, right?

So I've seen groupons for things I'd like, but was leery until a restaurant I frequent popped up a few months ago.  Pita Pit is right downtown and has pretty good food, so I jumped at the opportunity to get my lunch on the cheap.  Hummus and Baba Ganoush is even better half off!

Yesterday's caught my eye as a company concept that I'd thought of a few years ago but obviously never did anything with it.  It's called How Do You Roll, it's a sushi shop where you customize your roll ala Subway. 

When we lived in Tulsa, my then girlfriend (now wife) and I worked around the corner from a place called The Atomic Burrito.  No it doesn't exist any longer and with a name like that I'm sure you're shocked.  Honestly, it was phenomenal food.   The guys running it were way ahead of their time.  Originally it was a standard faster food Tex-Mex restaurant.  They flipped the concept to be a build your own Burrito, Taco, Quesadilla, Salad Bowl facility.  Think Subway with flavor, fresher ingredients, meat that's actually cooked in house served in a tortilla.  We now have a couple places like this all over called Freebirds and Chipotle.

When my wife and I began making sushi at home, I told her this would be a great idea for a restaurant.  Sushi Freebirds-style.  We even had a sushi party a few years ago where we taught others how to roll them and they loved being able to choose their own stuffing.  Well, that's another great idea I shouldn't have sat on. 
Ah well, I'll be enjoying some customized sushi today!  Thanks Groupon and How Do You Roll!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Russian Parasailing Donkey

Don't know if any of you caught this news story.  I ran across it on BBC News. 

Yup, that's a Donkey in the Air Screaming for dear life.
 
I'm not advocating animal cruelty in any way.  But this type of crazy crap coming from Russia just doesn't seem that strange.  I mean really, vodka courses through their veins.  Is it really so hard to imagine how this went down? 

Bunch of drunk Russians get together to celebrate the purchase of their new private beach. 
Dmitri: Dudes our beach is the awesomest spot in the tundra.
Vlad:  Yeah, this is going to be a cash cow.
Boris:  We should totally advertise on those late night infomercials.
Oleg:  Cheers (raises vodka bottle) comrades.
All Drink
Dmitri:  Damn that's the juice of life!
Boris: We are geniuses!
Oleg:  Imagine all the bikinis and hot asses on the frosty sand!
Vlad:  Cheers to us! (raises vodka bottle)
All Drink
Oleg:  We will be kings of the beach.
Dmitri: I got it, let's fly plane with banner to advertise.
Vlad:  No, no, fly banner on back of parasailer on back of boat.
Boris: That's it, genius! Cheers! (raises vodka bottle)
All Drink
Boris:  Wait, Wait, the beach has asses right?
Vlad:  Oh dude, yeah!
Oleg:  Fly an Ass in the air!
Dmitri: Everyone will flock to our beach for asses!  (raises vodka bottle)
All Drink
Vlad: I'll call my cousin with a donkey farm!
Boris:  Is ceiling spinning?
Dmitri: Drink again. (raises vodka bottle)
All Drink
Oleg:  Yes book a donkey. (raises vodka bottle)
All Drink

No way I was going to attempt typing in a Russian accent.  Just use your imagination.


The quote "The donkey screamed and children cried" truly made me laugh.  I'm sick I know. 

The police were complaining that no one "had the brains to call the police."  They all just stood around and took pictures.  Remember what I said about vodka in their veins?  I guess America isn't the only country raising apathetic jack asses.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Peep Shows, Oh the Roads We Travel

I received this email today.
Holly from the Girls Next Door is performing a Peep Show in Vegas.  In case you've missed this incredible piece of pop culture.  Check out their Wiki page.  (That's about the cleanest page I found on them).

Here is the timeline as I see it:
- Basically a few lovely ladies posed in Playboy. Not going to presume how a serious daddy complex affected them  prior to this point.
- Hugh Hefner took a shine to them and make them "His Girls."  How gross is it that he actually has ranked girlfriends who are not only aware of one another, but actually live together and hangout with one another.
- E! decided the retards with big boobs would make for great reality TV. Sadly, they were right in line with what America craves...and not the pervy guys, women LOVED this show.
- Hef and the girls broke up...AKA he found new pootang. 
- Kendra and Holly each got their own reality shows.  Not sure what happened to the third. These ladies have continued to plague our TV with their stupidity and we continue to eat it up. 
- Kendra made babies.
- Holly went back to what she does best.  Gettin' Nekkid and gettin' paid for it.

That is where my email fits into the timeline.  According to the info provided on the travel package website, this is a "Peep into Fame."  So lemme get this straight, you're booking a Vegas Vacation actually centered around going to a strip club.  Isn't this one of the "What Happens in Vegas..." experiences that "Stay in Vegas?"  Not the central theme...unless of course it's a bachelor party!

Don't get me wrong, it's not the actual peep show that's odd, it's that Holly hasn't actually done anything to "better" herself.  Porn leading to fame is the ultimate Holy Grail.  This woman definitely drank from it.  And that is supposed to be our peep into fame?  A woman taking 10 steps backward from fame and using it to promote a dying industry.  Well, I guess there really isn't any different from the Governator, Gene Simmons or any other fame whore. 

Saturday, July 17, 2010

The Luxury of Parenting

I was holding my 10 day old son earlier thinking about how fragile he really is.  He literally needs us to do everything for him.  Food and diapers are the obvious things.  If we left his hands free he'd scratch his eyes blind.   He already rolls over, he could easily suffocate himself if we weren't paying attention.

It got me thinking; infancy is a luxury we have as humans that people don't quite realize and seldom appreciate.  The top of the food chain really has it made when you consider their natural enemies.  Viruses and accidents aside, humans have nothing above them on the food chain.  Yes a lion (or spider for that matter) could kill you in a heartbeat, but we aren't designed to be lion kibble. 

Deer are designed to be eaten.  Their numbers are prolific.  Their role is to feed larger animals.  Their children would then by design be in terrible shape if the mother had to coddle the child for 18 years, no?  These creatures drop from the womb with the ability to walk, eat and understand their parents instantly.  Sadly, they don't develop much beyond that.  Sex is about the only real change they will ever have in their lives from birth. 

An elephant, bear or lion on the other hand has to be raised for a considerably long time by comparison.  This is because a giant rabbit isn't out trying to kill them or their offspring.  They have a freedom because of their power and rank to actually raise another hunter instead of creating a survivor. 

Like any creature, shit can happen to jack with this concept like a hyena snagging a lion cub or something, but for the most part it just doesn't happen often enough for them to be a true threat. 

The protective mother instinct is stronger the longer they keep their kids too.  You don't see salmon sticking around to knock some bear skull while their eggs hatch and grow.  A bird will fight an intruder to the death though, until the kids learn to fly.  Then it's back to normal til the next mating season where those kids become rivals.  Really strange to think about honestly. 

Our children are utterly defenseless till they're nearing 10 or more (some 30 but those are the exception, not the rule...hopefully).  About the time we are hitting puberty and capable of producing offspring we could technically survive on our own.  Granted, society pushed it out farther for our own good, but the capacity for self preservation is there long before it's used.

We as humans just have the opportunity to be parents longer than most.  We have the chance to actually train a person to enter the world instead of throwing them to the wolves.  I'm not discounting the joys of parenting or childhood or even missing the big picture that we are the sentient beings on the planet.  I just think it's incredible how each creature is designed to care for it's young in similar fashion based on its rank.  Conversely we are weaker and more vulnerable as infants and youths because of what we grow into.  There is a pecking order that goes beyond physical strength or wits, it's in our very biology.
This was one of my son's security monitors he wore at the hospital.  It set off alarms if we got near any exit with him before we were discharged.  Aside from the aforementioned accidents and such, our biggest threat is ourselves.  These security measures are proof of that...oh and any news station at any given moment.  Makes you wonder what is really ahead of us out there in the proverbial food chain.  The damage we can do to ourselves is horrendous, just imagine if there was something bigger and inclined to ruthlessness.  Ah well, that's a philosophy debate for another time. 

Friday, July 16, 2010

Eclipse, Yes the Twilight Kind

Took advantage of our last night with live in baby sitters this evening.  I took my wife to see the latest release of the Twilight Saga, Eclipse.
I've openly admitted reading the series to my wife last year.  I'm really not ashamed, it's crap writing, but for my first set of books to be read aloud, it wasn't the worst choice.  This means I actually know the story and what should and shouldn't be in the movies.  I'll leave my opinions of Stephenie Meyer's piss poor writing ability alone as it compelled us to read four books over the span of two weeks.  It's also created a teen phenomenon that must be acknowledged if not respected.  This post is dedicated to my dislike of modern movie effects/looks.

No it's not an orange and teal color palette film like Daybreakers and Tranformers.  If you have no clue what I'm talking about you might pop over to Into the Abyss, he'll break it down for you.  And no, it's nothing to do with the incessant stream of 3-D movies that just keep coming...seriously even Harry Potter is coming out in 3-D as the primary release.

There is something odd going on with the whole look of the film though.  I've noticed it in others, but only on the big screen.  Everything is entirely grainy.  So much of the screen was blurry.  My eyesight is not in question, I swear.  I think there is something going on with the conversion from digital recording to film for the projectors.  This is entirely a guess, and if you know the real reason, please feel free to break it down.  Just keep in mind I am not in the industry nor am I very technical, so use layman's terms if possible.

There might be some spoilers for any of you who have not seen the film, in what lies below.  If you're really concerned about me ruining the movie, a.) you're not a fan, otherwise you'd have seen it before me.  In that case, shut it.  b.) If you haven't read the books to know what's coming, please refer to point a.

Then there was the action.  Vampires are VERY fast.  So at the beginning when the Cullens and Wolves are chasing Victoria, the action was so swift it looked entirely CGI (yes, I'm sure it was partially, but this was over board).  The graininess didn't help here either.  During the huge fight scene at the end, I have the same complaint.

Now here's what will get me in trouble if any of you lovely people are true fans of the films.  The casting of the Cullens is just wrong.  These were supposed to be beautiful people, painfully beautiful.  So breathtakingly beautiful the whole town was intimidated.  While EVERY SINGLE ONE of the actors are gorgeous people, the makeup and crap hair ruins them for me.


Here's where I show how I know WAY too much about this series and how gay I really can be.
Edward is supposed to have copper curls, and as a red head, I'm not the happiest about his brown shag (even with the the highlights in the latest film).  I'm glad he kept his shirt on in this one, dude has a creepy boy chest with hairy nipples.  So much for Bella's perfect man.

Alice and Emmet, while sized wrong work for me.  This movie especially did the trick.  Emmet looked the best he has in any.  Alice's hair was more pixie-ish  which is really what I had envisioned.

Rosalie was supposed to be the most beautiful. While the chick is hot, she's just not all that and a bag of chips like she's supposed to be.  This film more than the others I noticed how horrible her eyebrow color is compared to her hair.  But the freaking nose was what killed me.  The thing was an odd gray color with mounds of makeup deforming it.  Her hair was cute when it was up during the flash back and braided during the fight.  I can't believe I'm actually criticizing this lady, she really is pretty, just not Rosalie.

Esme, while she is supposed to be older, she really looks it...really.  During the beginning's chase scene she looked deformed by the blur...no bueno.

Carlisle's hair has been gross in all three films.  Why would they have chosen such an unnatural yellow?  It's just jarring.

Jasper, now there's one I hated in the first couple films. I don't know what I expected but it wasn't this guy.  This movie though had him as a more central character, so maybe that's why the change was so noticeable.  His hair was different, basically the same cut as his "mate" Alice.  Then there is the new accent.  It follows the books, but I wonder if anyone had read ahead to know he should have had a Texas drawl from the get go?

Bella looked her finest in this film.  Not like we really know what she should look like.  Stephenie Meyer intentionally left her a blank slate so any woman could project herself on to the character.  (Maybe I give the woman too much credit there, she might really just view women as nothing compared to the love of their lives.)  But her wig was so entirely distracting.  I couldn't figure out what I was actually looking at at first, but I guess Joan Jett did have super short hair compared to Bella. 

Charlie and the wolves were fine, I guess when you don't have the same opportunities to jack it up when they use human skin tones.  Billy telling stories by the fire looked especially real.
Renee looked really good.  But when she gets up from her chair her thong is hanging out the top of her mini skirt.  You have to ask why.  They choose every wardrobe piece and use a critical eye in every scene.  Why make her mom a middle aged whore?

Speaking of undies hanging out...Jake anyone?  His briefs were bunched up over his shorts in the back during every scene.  They had to make that call right?  You wouldn't have a man half naked the entire length of the movie without considering the fact that his underwear was hanging out.  Just odd.

My wife hated the switch to Bryce Dallas Howard, she really liked the look of the old Victoria.  I didn't mind.  But she's got some funky ass eyes.  They are so big the lids form a square around them.

So how hypocritical am I?  Out of shape no body criticizing some of Hollywood's most beautiful.  I have to say that as far as clothing style and enjoyable characters, I'd choose to be the Volturi hands down...especially the scene where they have their hoods up crossing the field...hot. 
Know that all of these criticisms aside, the movie was still my favorite of the series.  Even with the gayest of gay scenes ever.  Edward and Jake were in the tent on top of the mountain with Bella asleep snuggled into the same sleeping bag as the wolf to warm up.  The boys in the love triangle were discussing their situation.  It was a super intimate sharing of emotions between the two leading men.  Seriously, the back and forth close ups of the two in the tent, one shirtless was intense.  Brokeback Mountain only wishes it could have had the same effect with nearly the exact set up.

Anyone still with me?  Tell me what you think. I can't believe I am using my 200th post for my retarded analysis of this franchise.  But it was my choice and here it is. 

Thursday, July 15, 2010

They Walk Among Us

There are crazies everywhere.  I'm starting to think that I might be the common denominator here.  Every where I shop, they do too....hmmm.

Outside 7-11
So how do you think this went down in their head?
It's not the handicapped space, but it is their exit spot.
There was obviously an open spot right next to him!
Some people just don't give a damn.
 Outside of another convenience store.
This Town Car driver was popping on his hub caps.
I guess previous experience has taught him
not to leave his valuables out over night?
I don't know why this weirded me out, 
but it just got me the other morning.
I really hate bicyclist who flip flop between
pedestrian and vehicle.  Pick one mo fo!
You don't get to ride through when there isn't traffic
and then stop me from turning right just because there is!
 You know, the cards alone could startle some.
Looking at this, I wish I'd at least peeked 
inside a couple of these.
What the hell are two bananas doing here?
Guess they just didn't make the cut from the bunch.
Probably a produce worker around when
they chose the bunch huh?  
OK, I have to admit the first time I saw Huggies Denim Diapers
on a friend's baby, I thought "how cute."
The commercial though makes me want to puke.
"My Diaper is Full...Full of Fashion."
Gag me.
Guess if you're going to pay extra for them, you should show them off!
Clothe your damn baby!
Who doesn't want to be a disco ball at some point?
Work it buddy.
Oh and that toupee is totally natural looking!
This poor woman.
She had 3 daughters with her who couldn't find it 
in their hearts to guide her in the right direction?
She's obviously injured her arm.
But having your suspender shorts open so you can expose
your arm out the bottom of your shirt???
She must be lost, this is Wal-Mart attire,
not fit for a Coach store...albeit an Outlet.

Folks, they walk among us.  At least we can feel a slight sense of superiority at their expense.  Happy Friday!  Oh and way to go BP? I'm really surprised it was within my lifetime.  I imagined a future where we had a giant La Brea Tar Pit on our Southern border that I could take my grandkids to visit!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Outnumbered: Two to One

Aw crap, I made my wife cry tonight. 

We have four generations of women in one house right now.  My daughter, wife, mother-in-law, and grandmother-in-law.  My son and I are seriously outnumbered on the ovary count. 

I'm going to quote my mother-in-law from an entirely unrelated conversation today, "Women may have girlfriends but we really hate each other." She then looks over at her daughter (my wife, just in case there was any question about nonexistent sisters) and with a patronizing wave of the hand, says "of course family is different."

I beg to effing differ! 

The past week my mother-in-law and her mother have been so gracious and kind enough to watch my daughter after our baby boy was born and my wife recovered in the hospital.  They've been around this whole week so I could go back to work while they looked out for my wife.

These two women (wife and her mother) each have entirely opposing their own unique personalities, likes and dislikes and ideas on how everything should be.  What they absolutely have in common is an incessant need to be the center of attention, to always be right and dangerous semi-aggressive/passive-aggressive oscillations.  I'm positive my father-in-law and I each subconsciously adore the diva side of our spouses.  That said, it is what keeps us on our toes at all times to maintain these relationships. 

Each day has come with its own battles between these two, all entirely blow out of proportion, but blow ups nonetheless.  Tonight was no exception aside from the fact that I ultimately ended up being the one yelling at my wife. 

The why is inconsequential, but it stemmed from all of the above.  So here I sit at eleven thirty at night writing my blog because I'm too proud to apologize to a woman who has postpartum hormones raging every which direction.  Now that I've written these words (and trust me, there has been conversation between us about all of this since it happened) I shall retire and find my groveling knee pads that I thought were put away for at least a couple more months. 

Wish me luck!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Obnoxious or Ingenious?

Sometimes an idea comes along that makes you realize actual real life application is never really considered.  Kinda like my Grandpa's RV's bathroom design.  Once you're in you cannot close the door without standing on the toilet.  Or how bout Apple's iPad?  This giant internet viewer does not allow you to use more than one app at a time?  iPhone is the same, fine, but a $500 piece of equipment that is essentially a giant phone with no phone functionality?  There are scissors packaged in that impenetrable plastic that require you to use scissors to open it.  You get my point, a product design so retarded, you just want to destroy it and/or torture the designer!  What could possibly be that bad you ask?  (Even if you didn't, I'm going to tell you.)


The movie Despicable Me has some little yellow pill shaped characters called Minions.  They speak shear babble.  If you've turned on the TV at all in the last couple months or gone into a fast food joint, you've surely seen them.  

So Best Buy has created an app for smart phones called the Minionator.  It translates the nonsense to hilarity.  So what's the problem?  You use it during the film.  So while people are in the theater you will get to see folks using their cell phones.  

At the beginning of every movie they talk about turning off cell phones, silencing yapping teens and gagging babies.  So who the eff decided this was a good call?  I'm sure some genius pitched it to Best Buy as "You want to be ahead of the curve right? People use their cell phones 24/7. So why not incorporate their movie enjoyment into a multimedia experience?"  You know why?  Because cell phones in movie theaters are horribly distracting.  Shame on you Best Buy for being trailblazing jack asses. 

Admittedly, it is designed to be used during the end credits.  So how many jack asses will be flipping through their phone or downloading it during the film to have it ready for the credits? 

Can't imagine what this could lead to.  Direct translation of any foriegn language in the next 007 movie, read by James Earl Jones of course?  Oh, what about a "Pop Up Video" style in movie extra about the filming of the last Harry Potter!  Technology is great, but sometimes we just need to step back and evaluate the total impact, not just the immediate pleasure...you know kinda like they should have done to heroin back in the day.

Any retarded product designs that annoy you?

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Mamas Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Lohans

Our son came into the world on Tuesday!  Four red heads under one roof.  We are officially a flock of freaks.

I've been talking to my wife's grandmother about parenting and the joys and horrors that come along with it.  As she strolled down memory lane talking about her children and their follies and triumphs, my mind began to play out possible futures for my own brood.  I'm not neurotic like "Boy you're going to Purdue and then on to NASA, ya hear?"  But my mind did take its own dark stroll down the dark path of worst case scenarios and found myself thinking about Lindsay Lohan.  I know, I could stop there, it's pretty self explanatory right?  But what fun would that be?

So Ms. Lohan has really done a number on her life huh?  Her early fame gave her LOTS of money and attention.  The partying and what not isn't really that alarming.  It's a typical road most teens go down.  The difference is she has all that money to step it up a notch or fifty.  She's publicly ruining her credibility.  Even people who DO drugs and/or drink to excess (the majority of early twentysomethings) chastise her. Actors and directors won't work with her because she's just a mess.  This is the crap that back in the day (Judy Garland and Marylin Monroe) would have been covered up by the production companies.  Now in the TMZ, E!, ET, Perez Hilton, Rag Mag era, this is out there for all to see.

So what's your point Dorn?   The point is, while their daughter is twisting in the wind, her parents are using her fame and poor decisions to their advantage.  Before you think I'm going down this road...Everyone is responsible for their own actions.   She should serve time and have her license permanently taken away for the stupid shit she's pulled.   Dina and Michael Lohan have made a fortune representing, managing and pimping out their daughter.

Michael was on Fox News a couple times this week and literally made me want to puke.  He got offended when Shep Smith asked him about partying while his daughter was on trial.  He dropped the F-Bomb and stalked off the set.  Apparently that wasn't on the approved list of questions.  I don't get it, he's AN ABSOLUTE NO BODY being interviewed about his daughter, why is this a man they have to use kid gloves with?  Why Sean Hannity brought him back to clear the air is beyond me too.  Is he supposed to be conservative or something?  Is he a regular commentator?  What ever, I don't care for the station, but it got me riled up enough to decide this was going to be my blog post. 

Dina got her own reality show just because she is Lyndsay's Mother!  But I guess if you can get your own reality show because you're daddy was one of OJ Simpson's lawyers 15 years ago, any thing is possible. 

These two people forgot their role in all of this a decade or so ago.  These are her parents.  These are the ones who were supposed to teach her how to be an adult.  I'm not saying they should have kept her from experiencing life.  She is a very wealthy girl after all, there isn't much controlling that.  But they were too busy profiting off her to notice they hadn't finished their job.  The girl has been working since pre-puberty.  They've been racking up the coin ever since.  When she started to fall apart, they spun that in their favor.  They both, Michael especially, tout being in the spot light to try to help Lindsay.  That's a load of crap.  They've been out for themselves from the get go. 

We as parents have a responsibility to educate our children.  We are responsible for calibrating their moral compass.  We must ensure they know how to handle situations with grace or at the least not get themselves jailed or killed.  Someone needed to be guiding this girl during her life, not just putting a camera in her face. 

I can't believe I'm halfway defending this girl.  I don't think her parents are responsible for her actions, but they certainly are to blame for her not knowing how to restrain herself.  She's a train wreck and without Robert Downey Jr.'s talent, she's shit out of luck I'm afraid.  He's one of the few who could turn that kind of turd into gold.  Enjoy your state housing Ms. Lohan, we'll see you in a few.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Career Changes & Semantics

I was talking to a coworker the other day and he remarked that he wants a career change.  His level of management is higher than mine, but ultimately we do similar jobs.  We are mid level managers in corporate America.  I asked him what he wants to do.  He said he'd like to be a general manager of a Gym.  I asked him why and he said it's an environment that would be more fulfilling to him.  Sure fine, not my cup of tea but it got me thinking.  That's not really a career change.  It is a different venue, but he'd be doing the same crap.  Managing employees while ensuring quality product is being provided with a healthy profit.  I'll give him that our specific industry is Travel and Personal Fitness is a change, but that's the extent.  He'd still be working for someone else and managing others. 

Career change in my mind involves an entirely different role.  You know Doctor/Nurse, Artist, Motivational Speaker, Teachers, Writer, Sales Person, Manager, Truck Driver, Small Business Owner, Electrician, Construction Worker, Tech Support, Chemist, Petroleum Engineer, Politician, Accountant, Lawyer, Geologist, Actor.  Those are all different careers from one another. 

I'm not saying the change wouldn't be good for the psyche.  It just isn't really a change change. More like a displacement.  Am I off base here?

I guess that's what middle aged people consider a career change.  I remember one of my interviews for this job.  I was leaving a sales position with a giant computer manufacturer and going into a district management role.   The gentleman I interviewed with asked about my "career change "and how I was going to handle the transition.  I told him that my past experience of restaurant management was going to tie in directly with this design.  That the account manager (corporate sales) position I was leaving would never amount to anything beyond a sales job.  I was looking to actually use the skills I know I can excel at and actually motivate people to perform at their best.  He stopped me and said, "no, I mean computers are very different from car rental.  How are you going to adapt your prior knowledge to our industry." I told him that the product didn't matter.  I'd be dealing with the people who sell it, not the merchandise itself.  I can learn this industry just like I did the computers.  I wasn't an expert before taking the last job.  He said "it is still a concern that you are coming in with no industry experience."  Pea Brain.  Obviously I got the job despite his reservations.  I've done pretty well too.

I wish my coworker the best and in no way diminish the desire for change and relief, but I just think it is short sighted as to what he actually hates wants to change about the job.  He really just wants to work with people who are good looking and fit and not actually have to work be free of responsibility.  I'd recommend he open a strip club but his wife would kill me for the thought.  It really would be the epitome of perfection for this guy though. 

I've been considering becoming a teacher for the past year or so.  I'm just worried about going back to school and still supporting my family...especially on a teacher's salary.  I need to make this decision before I get too old to do anything about it.  That is a career change.  That is a life change.  That is terrifying yet exciting.  Here's to finding the best path for yourself and those you drag along with you!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Happy Independence Day!

Glorious experience today.  His voice dripping with sarcasm. The consumerism side of any major holiday leaves a lot lacking.  Christmas for example can be down right depressing as you see parents and loved ones struggle.  Struggle to either a.) come up with any idea that shows they know the gift receiver beyond their sex. (Yeah, I'm talking to all you ugly tie and cheap tool set givers out there.) or b.) to spend the adequate amount of money to prove their love.  Yes that was a throw away example and I know it, but it's just getting the point across that we over think and spend when it comes to quality family time...even those fabricated by a Hallmark holiday.

I took my 20-month-old daughter with me to buy some fireworks.  We went waaaaaaay out of town and hit several different fireworks stands.  The first had a mile long line and there was no way I'm going to wrangle my holy terror for an hour standing in line.  The one across the parking lot had no one in line but also nothing on the shelf....go figure.  We continued to drive around podunkville.  The locals were obviously congregating for their own fireworks show.  We drove LITERALLY 2 miles per hour down main street while some jerk off searched for an available parking spot.  I probably wouldn't have been as irritated if my daughter wasn't whining from boredom and my bladder wasn't about to explode. 
So we get to the next shop and it's a large fabulous air conditioned facility.  It was actually overwhelming, so many choices and I didn't have a clue what they did.  Funny, you'd think they'd just make signs like

 These are great for little kids
These Explode in the Sky
These will ruin your sidewalk with little black spots
These are just loud and not much else
These should be illegal, so buy them while you still can
These will make you look cool to your neighbors
These will make your neighbors want to kill you
These will guarantee a trip to the ER tonight

Seriously?  Would that not make the shopping go immensely faster? Tons of color and crazy names, but not one description...ok aside from sparklers.  We left this place when I over heard a sales person say they were out of the little chickens, snakes and tanks.  If you don't get those references, your parents must have let you play with more dangerous toys when you were a kid.  I loaded the kid back into the car and drove across the street to the next outdoor stand.

The line wasn't bad, about 20 minutes and we were being served.  My daughter is adorable and extroverted and knows no stranger.  This made the heat and bladder compression bearable as she flirted with others in line.  The dude behind the counter helped me pick out a ton of kid friendly America rocks celebratory favors.

We pit stopped at McDonalds so daddy could go and picked up some fries for the ride home.  Ah, simple pleasures to keep the lil 'un occupied.  An aside, she's learned the letter M is for Mommy, so she points out EVERY M she sees and says momma.  It's cute, but Cheese and Rice there are 40 dozen M's before you even get through the door at Mickey D's.  

2 1/2 hours after departure we were back with our booty.  We coated ourselves with bug spray and headed outside.  I lit a sparkler for my wife to entertain the kid while I set up a spot in the yard to light shit on fire.  Kiddo immediately picked up a piece of the sparkler that fell as it burned.  Luckily no blister, but little bit of crying. 

The first thing I ignited taught me something new.  The giant empty flower pot I flipped over to use as a stage is made of Styrofoam.  Why I didn't connect with this as I picked up what should have been 40 pounds that was actually only 10 is beyond me.  So my flower pot now has a hole through the bottom, well a second really the first was there from the manufacturer.  Looks suspiciously similar.  Maybe there was never supposed to be a hole at the bottom, maybe it was another firework display gone awry in the plant.  Eh, probably not, but it would make me feel way less stupid.  So I snagged a couple cinder blocks from the garage.  Do you ever wonder how or why people just randomly have cinder blocks available?  Aren't they for commercial construction and corpse over a bridge disposal?  No? Must just be me.  

My little girl DID NOT like my next decision.  I picked up one of these lady bug things.  Remember, there are no descriptions, lots of warnings, but ZERO heads up to what you're in store for on the package.  This thing whistled at top octave and decibel and shot up in the air like a friggin' rocket (no, it was not a rocket, it was literally shaped like a lady bug).  She burst into tears.  Great job dad.  So I chose what I thought would be less loud and still keep her interested.  The chicken DID NOT lay any eggs.  Instead he just exploded.  More tears.  Fantastic.  We went back to the sparklers for a bit, no tears but she did break for the nearest exit upon seeing them.  Christ, I'm traumatizing my child!  I decided she needed more control over the noise and gave her some pop its.  You know, those little white tear drop shaped bags of rocks and gun powder that you throw at the ground or friends and it snaps (Jesus that description is terrifying)?  Yeah, no, that did not make her more comfortable.  Instead she began bawling and clawing at the door knob. 

OK, fireworks are done!  We came back in and I flipped on the Capitol Fourth of July Special that Jimmy Smitts was hosting.  Well I'll be damned if the fireworks on TV didn't make her start whining.  Damnitalltohell!  I've made my child hate fireworks.  Bad Daddy.  Bath time came around and then bed time.  She's spent the last two hours waking up crying, presumably because of the fireworks still going off outside.  Cheers to another self-induced sleepless night.  Happy Birthday America!  Better luck next year, huh?