Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Spam you very much

Happy Friday Everyone. While you are wasting time on the internet make sure to head over to Dad Blogs for Fatherhood Friday. Great bloggers are found it right after you read mine!

What Now?

As a little Internet experiment I am going to post the subject line of the next few spam emails I get, with my own commentary of course. While I absolutely hate getting spam, I sometimes find the subject lines to be very entertaining, I hope you do too.

ADD POWER TO YOUR HUSBAND\'S HAMMER - I don't have a husband, and if I did I don't know how powerful I would want his hammer to be...sounds dangerous!

Magic stick - Is this some Harry Potter promotion or something? My wife is the HP fan, maybe I should see if she needs the Magic stick?

Do You Honestly Think You'll Be Able To Ever Retire? - Boy, I hope so. Maybe I should quit my Starbucks addiction, that should help.

Pick your free 800% BONUS - Now we're talking! This should help me retire...suck on that emailer from before!

your score has been updated - What score...what did I miss? It's really hard to win if you don't know someone is keeping score or what it's been updated too? I hope this doesn't mess up my 800% bonus!

Bring your manhood to an unbelievable level - Don't all guys want girls to believe the unbelievable when it comes to their manhood? Me, I like working with the believable so nobody gets let down.

Discover the reliable source of cheap and quality drugs - First off, nice English! I am surprised the manager of this supplier for good, inexpensive drugs let this email fly out the door before proofreading it. I bet it hurts their business to have such poor work come from their employees.

If you have a huge stick, women will never tell you to get out of bed - Unless this huge stick can start the coffee, make breakfast, get the kids ready for school and take the dog for a walk my wife will not be allowed to stay in bed.

Find cheap alternative to expensive American medications - I think I've just uncovered the solution to our health care problem!

Fox News are liers - When did the White House start spamming, and do they know about the cheap alternatives to expensive American medications?

Get a deal on your own dance floor - Thank God, I can't tell you how expensive your own dance floor can be, and these Jazz hands aren't working on the linoleum so well.

10.31% off Halloweeeeeeeeeen Sale on Car Swag - This is such a better deal then the lousy 10% you usually get on Halloweeeeeeeeen Car Swag!

Enjoy your day everyone!


Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Fakin' it

What Now?

We have all done it. My friends did it. My brother and sister did it. My wife did it. Hell, I did it all the time. Every kid that has gone to school has done it at least once in their life. Faking sick to stay home from school. The weather sucks, you have a test you haven't studied for, your friends pissed you off the other day...whatever the reason is you just don't want to go to school and the only way your parents are going to let you skip classes is if you are sick, really sick. When you grow up and become a contributing member of society you still do it, but you call it a mental health day. You make your voice sound raspy and out of breath, call your office and tell them you just don't feel well and think it's best that you stay home. Kids don't get off so easy. Their performance is in front of a live audience. An audience that that discredits their act even before it starts, and looks for any and all flaws that might prove the performer is just "acting" the part.

On Saturday our youngest was complaining of a sore throat, upset stomach and headache and she was burning up, 102 temperature. My wife, ever the illness inspector, took her in to see the doctor right away because, in case you are unaware...there is apparently some pig virus causing a bit of a panic right now. It turned out not to be the pig thing, and instead was just strep throat. We spend the weekend in chill mode and waiting on her hand and foot, because that is what you do with a sick child to keep peace in the house.

It was determined on Sunday evening that our patient would have to miss school on Monday. It only took about 15 minuets after that decision was made for our oldest to sharpen up her thespian skills and put on her show. "Dad, stomach hurts." You could almost hear the violins playing in the background. As a veteran of such theatrics I knew what was going on here, but my wife insisted we take her seriously just in case she was indeed "sick".

Our oldest must have gotten such a good night of sleep she forgot act 1 of her show and proceeded to go about her normal morning routine, full of energy and ready for the day. After a little while the light bulb must have gone off. "Mom, stomach still hurts and I don't feel well". Really???? I immediately start with 20 questions, trying to break my daughter and make her admit this was a fake out. Again, my wife interceded and checked my daughter out. No temperature. I knew it!! FAKER, FAKER....NOW I HAVE TO TAKE HER..too school. My wife convinced our oldest to go to school but did give her a get out of school card free with promise we would come get her if she started feeling worse.

It was a miserable day. Rain, wind, dark sky. Heck, I wanted to leave my office, go home and crawl into bed. It was about 1pm when I got the call from the school nurse. "Your daughter is here in the office complaining of a stomach ache" (how do kids know to go with the stomach way to tell if it really hurts or not, brilliant!). Again, no fever but she says she feels bad. She must have looked out the window too. And, it didn't help that one of her good friends from school left with his parents about an hour before because his stomach hurt. What to do, what to do. If I go get her I give her the knowledge that faking a stomach that hurts gets you out of school. If I don't get her I am the Dad that keeps their kid in school with a potential life threatening stomach pain. Hmmmmmmmmm, tough choice.

After I picked her up and got her home she again suffered a quick memory lapse by running upstairs and in a very healthy sounding voice told her sister she got to stay home too. Big faker! You win this round little one, but I am on to you.


Thursday, October 22, 2009

That really grinds my gears!!!

What Now?

Like all good parents who don't want their children get violently ill from the seasonal flu we scheduled shots way back in early September. The earliest we could get in to get their shots was late October. That seems a little late considering it only takes 10 seconds per kid, but whatever, we can be patient and hope Mr. Flu does not visit our house for almost 2 months. Yesterday I get a call from our pediatrician informing me they had to cancel the flu shot appointment for my kids. Hmmm, OK...."why?" I ask. "It's because we have ran out of our seasonal flu shots." says the nice lady on the other end of the phone. "When can we reschedule?" I ask. "We are not sure since we don't know if we'll be getting anymore of the seasonal flu shot." says the lady on the phone. "Ummm, OK...."what are you suggesting parents do in this situation?" I ask. "Um, could try going to a local pharmacy." said the bitch on the phone who clearly does not care if my children get sick or not. I normally hate using just acronyms in my blog posts but WTF!!!! How in bloody hell do you run out of the seasonal flu shot in mid-October? Did you not think the same number of parents would want their kids to get it, or do you think that exposing kids to the seasonal flu is a better option then giving them the fucking shot? My wife looked up reasons for running out of the flu shot and found out the same people that make the seasonal flu shot are also making the H1N1 vaccine....and we don't have that around here either.

After a week of hearing about banks making record profits but still not lending to clients and investment firms paying out their huge bonuses again I was already loosing my faith in the American Dream...then I get news that my kids can't get flu shots because they ran out!!! That shit really grinds my gears. I am normally pretty level headed and don't rant that much, but come on people!

Am I alone on this, do you feel the same way, is there something that really grinds your gears? Let me know about it and I'll post the best gear grinders in my next post!


Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Make my day!

What Now?

For most families there is a certain routine to each and every day of our lives. Of course you get the odd event that changes the daily routine slightly, but for the most part each and every day is the same. I could draw a road map of my day, give it to a complete stranger, and rest assured they could follow it just like I do without fail. It's the routine that sometimes drives us crazy, making us long for the days when you never knew which direction your life would take from the second you opened your eyes to wake up each morning. It's also the routine that reminds you what is really important in life. With that I would like to present the top ten things I look forward too each and every day, routine or not.

1. I am the first one in the family up most days to make the coffee, start the computer and let the dog out. I'm half asleep and most times wishing I was still in bed, but I love the 15 minuets of quiet!

2. My girls are usually awake about a half hour after me. They zombie walk downstairs, curl up on the couch and turn on a little morning TV. After they have woken up a little bit I take their breakfast orders. I am not the cook in the family but I am the breakfast maker. I make a bit of a production out of it by taking their orders, setting a nice table, calling them to eat. It's not gourmet, but it's good enough for me.

3. My wife is the last one up, but she deserves it. She comes down, makes her coffee and we exchange a kiss and a booty pat/grab. It could be my favorite part of the morning.

4. My wife and I take turns dropping off our girls at their school, and I love when it's my turn. To see how excited they get meeting their friends for the day is so heart warming. Oh, if I could be a fly on the wall for the whole school day!

5. It doesn't happen every day, but there are some mornings my Mom will call me to join here for coffee. We meet at Starbucks and catch up a little. I feel pretty lucky to have that connection with my Mom, and I love the coffee!!

6. I get to pick up our girls from school each day and my youngest rides a bus from her kindergarten class to the main school. I make sure to be there waiting before the bus pulls up so I can wave to her (and all of her classmates) as the bus drives up. When she gets off the bus she runs to me yelling "Hi daddy!" in the cutest voice ever. Those are the moments that just melt my heart!

7. When we get home from school and before my wife comes home from work I have my opportunity to work out. It is my time for me and I love to work up a good sweat. That one hour each day makes the other 23 so much better in so many ways.

8. When my wife gets home from work I get my kiss and booty pat/grab for the second time of the day, but since it's been about 8 hours since I last saw her I milk it just a little bit longer. If not for the kids wanting 100% of her attention I would carry her upstairs and do very adult things with her....but, that is not the life of a parent so I gladly step aside and give in to MOM time.

9. After dinner, game/movie time and book reading it's time to put the kids to bed. My oldest, in an attempt to stay up longer, will give me about a weeks worth of information all at once. While I know this is a going to be prevention exercise, I just love listening to her. It's really my best opportunity to hear what is going on in her world straight from her.

10. After the kids are asleep and the house is quiet again it's just me and my wife. Even if numbers 1-9 on my list don't fulfill my day like normal I know that this one will. I almost hate going to bed knowing I have to wait so long for that time again, but when it comes it's so worth the wait.


Friday, October 16, 2009

Let the music play

What Now?

I am sitting here in my office listening to trying to decide what to write about. I love pandora! My wife introduced this music web site to me a few months back. She knows how much I love music, all music. I can listen to just about anything, it just depends on the mood I'm in. This time of year usually makes me drift toward the crooners. Singers like Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole, Tony Bennett...the good old boys. My favorite is Dean Martin. GOD I LOVE DEAN. I recently heard my favorite Deano song "Sway" on a car commercial. Even a techno, funked up version gets my blood going. I mean really, dim the lights, start up a few candles, pour some big glasses of red wine, start a fire and turn on Dean Martin and enjoy the company of my beautiful perfect night!

There are other times when nothing hits the spot like some hard rock. Give me AC/DC, Van Halen, Motley Crue, Def Leppard and Kiss when I just gotta rock. It could be mowing the lawn, going for a run, cleaning out the garage...sometimes I gotta turn it up and let it go! When I wanna rock, I believe these too be true:

1. If it's too loud, you're too old!
2. It's better to burn out than fade away!
3. She's Knockin' me out with those American thighs
4. I get up, and nothing gets me down. You got it tough. I've seen the toughest around.

My senior year of high school and first couple years of college were dominated by the rap music. From Young MC's "Bust a Move" to Public Enemy's "Fight The Power" and everything in between I loved it all. My last couple years of college and first few in the real world were all about the Seattle Grunge scene. I lived in the Pacific Northwest so this was my music. One of the best concerts I have ever seen was Pearl Jam in Seattle for their Vs. tour. It was the last show of that tour and it was AMAZING! Eddie Vedder beat a hole into the stage with his mic stand and crawled down it after their last song. For their first encore the whole band crawled back through the hole to get on stage and they played "Jeremy" the time I thought it was the greatest thing I had ever seen.

As the years passed I took my turns with pop country during the Garth and Shania days. I rocked hard to the rap/metal bands like Limp Bizkit and Kid Rock. These days I try to keep up with singers like Jason Mraz and Jack Johnson when I just want to mellow out. And I have even found kids music that both my girls and I can enjoy like Lauri Berkner and Justin Roberts.

To me all music is good music and without it our lives would be rather dull and quiet. Oh, Pandora just played the Elvis version of "Fever".....nice! I think of "sexy time" whenever I hear this song. I need to send my wife a quick email now, then I gotta figure out what I'm going to write on this blog...until then I'll just "Let the music play, she won't get away, This groove she can't ignore, she won't leave me anymore - No, no, no!"


Wednesday, October 14, 2009

I am the biggest loser

What Now?

"I am the biggest loser!" That is what I either say out loud or think to myself every time I join my wife to watch that show. Why, oh why, do I watch it? It is her favorite, the one show she will make time to watch during it's regularly scheduled broadcast without wishing she could zip past the commercials with the help of the DVR. She has been a fan of the show since it's first season with that pudgy, blond female comedian as it's host (wonder what she is up too now?) She got me hooked in about 3 seasons ago, what the fuck?!?!?! How did I, a consumer of fine television, get sucked into watching this crazy world of 18 hour a day workouts, blatant product placement, two gender obscure trainers (she is way more masculine than he is!) and some chick who's day job is playing a train wreck on one of the still remaining noon time soap operas (and how in the hell did I know that was her day job????).

Not only do I watch, but I also get into discussions about the show with my wife. She is really into it, and so am I. For some reason I care if a constant only loses 4 pounds after spending their last chance workout playing tug-of-war with the manly Jillian while she screams "why the f$@k are you so fat you fat fatty fatterstein!!" I censored the bad word in this sentence because you can't say "fuck" on TV. Last night we cheered, yes, stood up, clapped our hands together and verbally cheered when the biggest girl on the show dropped a 16 spot to give her team the big win. WHAT IS THE MATTER WITH ME? I haven't cheered that loud while watching TV since Micheal Jordan sank the game winning shot against the Jazz to win his 6th NBA championship. But here I was, standing in my nighttime uniform (that being t-shirt and flannel pants, you know...what you where after you get out of your work clothes but before you get on your sleeping uniform. My wife wears a hoody sweatshirt and chino pants. It's our thing.)

One of the contestants didn't even know there was a cash prize for winning....he was just happy to be there to loose weight. WOW, that guy is clueless. My wife has a plan to gain a shitload of weight, get on the show, loose it all and then pocket the $100k. Yes, we had that conversation, and yes...I think she may be a little serious about it.

I can't really explain my fascination with this show. If I could then I would be able to tackle other time sucks like Facebook, bubble shooter, TMZ, The Twilight movies, Jon and Kate Plus 8, The National Enquirer (do you qualify to be a reader of this publication if the only time you look at it is in line at the grocery store, hmmmmm?), boy band music, the local paper obituaries and city council meetings. I don't know and I probably never will....thus, I am the biggest loser!


Monday, October 12, 2009

Separation Anxiety

What Now?

Since we moved into our current house about 5 years ago our two girls have shared a room. The upstairs has the master suite (or the adult playroom as I like to call it), another large room and a smallish room plus another bathroom. The bathroom is plenty big for both girls and even has two sinks, not that they ever use it. I basically share a bathroom with three women. Sometimes I think I should take over the girls bathroom, but that is for another post.

We decided it made the most sense to put both girls in the big room and use the small room for toys, games, puzzles and all the other things we are accumulating as parents. Our girls are only two years apart (7 and 5 for those keeping score at home) and get along like best friends 90% of the time (the other 10% they are mortal enemies sworn to destroy each other). This set-up has worked out great for us but my wife and I knew a day would come when our oldest would want her own room....and my friend, it seems that day is now!

Our oldest has been dropping hints for a couple of weeks now. "Dad, when I get my own room can I paint it a different color?" "Mom, how old were you when you got your own room?" To be honest I didn't think she would want to move until she was a little older and that these questions were just that, questions.

Well, she flat out said this weekend she would like to move into the toy room and make it her bedroom. We even inflated the guest bed (yeah, we use a blow-up bed for guests...guess who doesn't like guests???) and put it in the toy room so she could try it out. It didn't take long for redecorating and wall color planning.

My wife and I say it every day "The girls are growing up so fast, can you believe how big they are getting, did you hear what she said...damn, it's like she is a teenager already!" This move for more independence is just further proof that we can't stop our little girl from growing up, we can only hope to contain her (EPSN reference for those of you keeping score at home). My biggest fear is how our youngest is going to take this move. She clings to her older sister like gum on the bottom of a table. While big sister is ready to spread her wings and fly a little higher, little sister likes keeping her feet on the ground in the same room together.

One of the positives we see is the ability to put the girls down for bed a different times. Our oldest struggles a little having to go to bed as the same time as your younger sister, but unless we want meltdown mayhem each and every night we have to keep it that way. Also, I see this as a real opportunity for our youngest to find a little independence for herself. She will always be the baby in my eyes, but having her own space may be just what she needs so she doesn't always feel like the baby.

Since it looks like there is no way to prolong this move any further we are going to start to make the change this weekend. Moving beds, clothes, books and a couple of very heavy pieces of furniture will begin on Saturday morning and should be all completed by Sunday evening. That will be the true test for both girls. As for me, I think I need to buy a magazine rack for the girls bathroom....I'm feeling the need for my own form of independence.


Thursday, October 8, 2009

Loving the Fall

What Now?

I am a HUGE fan of the Fall season. I always have been and always will be. My wife kind of dreads the Fall because of the colder weather. My kids want to blow right past Fall and get to winter. For me, give me Fall anytime. Why do I love it so much, well....let me count the ways:

1. The scenery. Where I live it gets just beautiful this time of year.

2. The start of school. Not only for my kids, but the local university and it's surge of students bring a energy to our town that I love.

3. The soups. Colder weather means more soups at meal time. My wife makes great soup and it's a lot easier to enjoy when there is a nip in the air.

4. The wardrobe. My cold weather wardrobe is so much better than my warm weather one. Sweaters, jeans, cords, jackets....I'm much closer to a J. Crew model in the Fall than I am in any other month.

5. The county fair. Have I mentioned how much I love the fair?

6. Football. Enough said!

7. Halloween. My second favorite holiday during my most favorite time of year. Dressing up, candy, parties....and the kids seem to like it as well.

8. The coffee. I really don't like my coffee on ice, but I sweat like balls if I drink hot coffee in the summer. When the weather cools down I like my coffee HOT, like my wife!

9. The beer. My favorite beer of all time, Kona Brewery's Pipeline Porter is released in the Fall after disappearing from the shelves in the Spring and Summer. I've already gone through two 6 that was a fun night!

10. The pumpkins. The past couple of years we have grown our very own organic pumpkin patch. It is great fun for the whole family and we take great pride in it. This year we started seeds inside at the tail end of winter, got them in the ground in the spring, and just cut them off last week. I am very proud to report we had our best crop yet, including 3 weighing in at 84, 90 and 104 pounds respectively. Now that is a big pumpkin

For these ten reasons, and many, many more I pronounce my love for the Fall! Now, time for a coffee run!


Tuesday, October 6, 2009

WND Updates

What Now?

I think Tuesday is a great day to lay down some updates from from previous blog posts, so here goes.

1. Trip to the county fair - I received a lot (and by a lot I mean about two) of comments from parents telling me how much they dislike the good old county fair. One even went as far to say that they hate Disneyland too, like you can just lump the happiest place on earth with the freak show county fair. I know there are some families that are not into the mouse house...but our family is not one of them. In fact we have a trip planned there this December to celebrate our girls birthdays. The one downer is the price of food, I must say. You could eat all night long at your local county fair for the price of one meal at Disneyland...and almost get as sick.

2. Screaming soccer child - We have had three games since the devil possessed that little girl on our team, and I am happy to report she has been exorcised and is back to her normal sweet self, kind of. My wife, the assistant coach of the team, did have to get a little stern with her during one game. After it was over my wife had that "I'm going to kick that little girl into the goal" look....but cooler head prevailed. Another game tonight....hope full there will be no bloodshed.

3. Doctor visit - After poop smearing a piece of cardboard, getting my junk groped and welcoming Mr. Gooey Finger into my most private of privates....I have high cholesterol again! I was on medication for it about two years back, and it really helped. After loosing about 25 pounds with diet and exercise I thought I could go off the medication and all would be good. Wrong! I am here to tell you that genetics trumps good living. So now that I am back on medication I'm thinking of kicking back on the couch for about a month eating nothing but donut holes and cheese wiz. Suck on that genetics!

4. Home alone - My wife got back from her trip late on Friday night. The house was stills standing, the kids were still breathing, and I was still sane. I don't know how much longer it could have gone that way without her there. I'm glad you are back B, I love ya so much!

OK, that catches everybody up on my little life for the past couple of weeks. Have a great Tuesday and catch y'all next time.


Sunday, October 4, 2009

How to be a good father

What Now?

As a general rule I try not to give too much thought into what I hear from the sit-coms I watch when it comes to my life. There are the exceptions like how I felt when my wife and I had our first child, I remembered this exchange from "Cheers":

Norm Peterson: Coach, you've had kids. Does a baby change you?
Ernie 'Coach' Pantusso: Are you kidding Normie, it can't even change itself.

Or the time my wife and I were about to have sex for the first time I thought of this little diddy from "Seinfeld":

George Costanza: Why do they make the condom packets so hard to open?
Jerry: Probably to give the woman a chance to change her mind.

Well last night while watching my new favorite show, "Modern Family", I heard another one, and this one really hits home. It was said by Jay Pritchett, played by Ed O'Neill of "Married With Children" fame. He asked this question at the beginning of the show - "what does it take to be a good father?" God, don't we all want to know that!!! After 30 minuets of pure funny he answers his own question with this - "90% of being a good father is just being there."

So simple and so damn true. I consider my Dad to be a wonderful father, but if you ask me what exactly I learned from him, or what great things he told me, or what my favorite all time memory of my childhood with him was it would probably take me a while to think of something, and more than likely it would be only be half right. The one thing I know for certain is that he was always there. When things were good, bad or ugly, he was there. And back when I was growing up not all fathers were like that. Most moms stayed home to raise the kids while the dads worked long hours only to see their kids about an hour out of each day. Being an accountant meant long hours during tax season for my Dad, but he spent most of those hours working when we were in school and after we had gone to bed.

I don't think it's any surprise that many kids that have issues or problems live in homes where either the father is hardly around or gone forever. When I go to pick up my girls from school I know the kids that don't have fathers around just by the way they act, and I feel so sorry for them. Not that single mothers can't raise good kids. It's done all the time. But, I think that is a small minority.

I want to be a great dad. I want my girls to always love me and want me to be around. I know that will not always be the case. I can already sense my 7 year-old is getting that "dad is such a lame ass" attitude about her. There are going to be a lot of things that are going to be out of my control, and I accept that. But, the one thing I know I can control is to be there for my kids. It may not always be convenient, or necessary, or interesting for me...but I will be there.


Thursday, October 1, 2009

Home Alone (with the kids)

What Now?

As part of her job my wife has to travel every now and again. It's really not too bad, maybe once a month for a day or two at the most. This summer we actually used one of her longer trips as a little family road trip. It was blast for the kids and we got to hang with her the whole time. Yesterday she left for California and won't be home until late tomorrow night so that means it's just me and the kids. I have been alone with them enough to know things will be fine, as far as keeping them safe, feeding them, bathing them and in general making sure they are in as good of shape when their mom gets back as they where when they left. They may get to stay up a little later than normal, or eat at McD's once or twice, or even watch a little more TV, but for the most part they will be no worse for the ware. They will have their moments when they will cry and want her home like, NOW....but like anything else with young children once their mind focuses on something else they will be fine.

I on the other hand will be counting down the seconds until her return. Don't get me wrong, I understand that her job requires her to travel, and right now it's her job that is keeping our family afloat, and for this I am truly grateful. I just hate not having her around, even for one night, let alone three. I will fill my time cleaning the house, doing laundry and even getting some yard projects taken care of that have been on my to-do list since Spring. It will pass the time and I know she loves coming home to a clean, calm home. I like doing these things and I know she appreciates me doing them. But I truly miss her. Maybe I am odd because I really don't have anyone else to talk to about the things we talk about, which is everything. She is my best friend, my career councilor, my bartender, my health care expert, my cheerleader, my exercise partner, my TV guide and the person who keeps things hot when it's "business time!"

That is a lot and she manages to do it all while still being the best Mom on the planet, a critical employee and a terrific sister, daughter, daughter-in-law, grand daughter and friend. I know I have written other posts in the past talking about the amazing woman, but in my mind I don't write enough about her and how wonderful I think she is. It really can't be put into the right words or talked about enough. She is simply the best.

Before her work trips she goes into a sense of dread, not wanting to leave but knowing she has too. I hope she knows how much her family will miss her, how much we appreciate her, and how happy her husband will be when she gets home. I miss you B, and I love you so much. Can't wait for tomorrow night.