Tuesday, August 31, 2010

I'm Crooked

You ever look in the mirror, and think something just doesn't look right? I do. In fact I find myself doing it more and more. Notice a gray hair, or a slew of them, a wrinkle you didn't know was there, thinning hair, a pooch gut, you name it, I got it. But I'm not really talking about those things. Or maybe I am. I really don't know.

When I look in the mirror in the morning, I see a part of my lip a little bigger or swollen than the rest of my face. I think it is because of the stroke, but maybe it is just age, or maybe it was always there, I just didn't notice it until now. My wife, a long time owner of a "crooked smile" says, "Now you look like the rest of us... crooked." Maybe so, I know I can't really do anything about it... besides whine about it on my blog.

Or maybe there is some exercises I could do. But we all know, I'm not one for exercise. I mean it is good for you, I know this, but anything like that just sounds like work, and work for a very small, you probably wouldn't notice one way or the other, type thing... well I start doing a cost to reward analysis, and it just isn't worth it.

I do this at just about every turn in my life. More education vs. more cost for that education (without making any more money) why put myself through the pain and suffering? That is what I keep telling myself anyway. Sometimes it is easy, a new car and new car payments vs. old car and no payments. Well, since my car is still very serviceable, has low miles, I'll just keep the old one... But I really do want a two-seater convertible.

Back to my face, well the only time I have to look at it is when I look in the mirror, or a picture. My wife doesn't seem to notice, that or she is being very nice. Either way I'm blessed. And saying that, I guess that leaves me with very little room to whine, complain, or anything else. I'm loved for who and what I am. Crooked face and all. And I love my wife all the more, in fact I love that crooked smile, both our daughters have that same crooked smile. We are just crooked people, and that is fine with us.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Aw Jeez Meathead!

So my meatheadedness gets me into trouble again. Basically, the door to my camera's memory was broken. I find a replacement on eBay for $15. It is in a different color (it is sliver, my camera is black), but I don't care, it is a thing of function not form... for me anyway. So I get out the smallest of jeweler's screwdrivers and replace that door. And that goes ok I guess. Except now the camera does not work. WTF? I'm sure it is something I did, but what?



My wife offered to take it to a repair shop. They want about as much as a new camera to work on it... which is not in the family budget right now. So what to do? I really don't know. I feel like I'm on the receiving end no matter what way I go. I should have just left the broken door on, exposed my memory to the elements and enjoyed my camera. But I didn't so now I guess someone is going to get a fat wallet from me. Though I will take it apart, one more time just to see if there is something somewhere that I may have missed.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Is That A Snake???

Yeah so this is what I see when I walk out the back door on the way to my car every morning:


Not so bad right, I mean yeah, that is the pond with the alligator (that has since moved on) that killed my dog. What's that you say? In the grass? Is that a snake? I know I asked myself that very same question everyday this week...

And we have? The teenagers flip flops. Yep I have been duped into thinking I had a large reptile in my yard but really I just have a really, really, lazy kid instead. It has been a week, how long do you think it will take? I think I'll give her another day and then they'll go in the trash.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Food Fight!

Here we see my youngest, who looks to be in a food fight. But I was there, and the only person throwing food was the one in this picture...


She also looks drunk... she wasn't, just a bad camera angle, but this picture makes me laugh each time I see it.

Friday, August 27, 2010

The White Stripes: Under Great White Northern Lights

As you may or may not know, I like Jack White. I like what he stands for, the simplest of music the making of dynamic music out of something very ordinary. I feel like he is an artist and it would be hard to copy what he has done. Anyway I just finished watching this movie and I had to write about it. See what you think...


Thursday, August 26, 2010

Bob Marley: Jammin'

What other song could I end the "month" on than Jammin'? Hope you like Jammin' too.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The Epiphany Happens

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Atlanta, the Lowdown

So now I will talk a bit about some of the more interesting parts of our trip... We left at 10 AM and rolled into Atlanta around 2 PM, there is nothing more you could do about that, it is what it is, which is basically a boring ride. We decided to get a late lunch/early dinner at The Varsity. It was close to the hotel, and we couldn't think of anywhere else to eat anyway.

This was the first time I had ever eaten at this place. It's a fast food place, which comes with its own issues. I would say it was mediocre at best. But it was what it was.The place is huge, I think it is the world's largest fast food joint. I really don't know, but they will ask you "what'll ya have"

I ran into this guy when we left the Varsity.


I was impressed, I mean how many "Kevrolets" do you think there are? I'd guess not too many. We checked in to the hotel (after chasing Kev to get a picture) and our room was adjacent to Turner Field, which was nice, if you wanted to catch a Braves game. We then took a hotel shuttle to the World of Coke.

Which was cool, if you like coke, or coke type products. I don't necessarily, but I know plenty who do. It did cost $15 bucks to get in. They have a better deal where you can package deal, the aquarium, zoo, CNN, some museums and the world of coke, but we only had one day, so it was this or nothing.

We then walked through centennial park, and I thought I saw our hotel... I saw a Holiday Inn not the one we were staying, but one all the same. We called the shuttle from that hotel and we were off to the concert. Afterward we had to hail a cab, because the shuttle stops running at 10:30, the concert let out at 11, do you know how many people needed a ride? Yeah, I don't know if I'll do that again. Since I didn't want to worry about driving drunk, I figured it was worth it.

The problem is, I was not drunk or even buzzed, I was stone cold sober. Because I drank 3 $10 beers, and it did not even phase me... well it did phase my pocket book. So I wasn't inebriated, everyone was gone from the parking lot, and when we finally got a cab, he stuffed two fares into 1 cab, and therefor I was sitting in the bitch seat. Driving around in the pouring rain, crammed into the middle was not my idea of fun, and of course the cabbie  had a name I could not pronounce, and he was crazy as shit. But that was the price for playing. I was simply glad that he got us back to the hotel in one piece.

The next day was spent gathering things up and heading back down the long windy road that is I-16...

Monday, August 23, 2010

Jack Johnson on Tour

So I know, this is a bit late, but anyway. I decided to tell about the actual concert first, and then the stuff that happened before/after later...

So we got to the concert an hour ahead of time, because we heard that Jack Johnson plays for the early crowd too. Well in the meantime it proceeds to rain like it is the next global flooding episode. It rained so much that Aaron's Amphitheater closed the gates (why I'll never know). So we could hear Jack playing, but we could not get in. Such is life.

Once we did get in, we were lucky enough to have a seat that was covered. Glad to have it were we, see below.


Our first band was Animal Liberation Orchestra. The band was much better than anticipated, the keyboardist Zach Gill also plays piano for Jack Johnson. I may feature them in an upcoming music blog post.


The next act was G-Love, and honestly, he was utterly forgettable. He kind of was like Jack but he had this rapper thing mixed in it. Which just made me feel sorry for him. But anyway it only took him 30 minutes to get off the stage.


Finally we got to see Jack. It was a memorable show, he did not disappoint. I took a few more videos, but every time a base note hit, my little camera just garbled it up. Which is very disappointing, since if I knew it was going to do that... well I wouldn't have bothered. But I did get one of just Jack but it was during his encore, so it was pretty loud.  Also, forgive the shaky camera work, it was the best I could do. Also by the time we got to this point, we were surrounded by drunks. Not that I wouldn't be too, it just didn't work out in my favor.




video


Here is another video, see what you think, the bass drowns out somewhat, also notice Zach Gill, somewhat steals the show.

video

All in all, a great show, though I wish they would have come to Charleston, Savannah, or even Jacksonville, FL. Still we got to see him, and I only have about 3-5 artist left to see, and Jack was definitely on that list.  

Sunday, August 22, 2010

I Subscribe to the Sun City Sleep Schedule

Last night I went to sleep at 7:30. Why? I haven't a clue. So I'm late, I'll have (hopefully) the whole break down tomorrow. Maybe...

Saturday, August 21, 2010

We Are Off, Or We Were

By the time you have read this, I will be back, or at least have started coming back. We had a blast, there was plenty of good, some not so good, and a little ugly thrown in to boot. I'll post some pictures and videos of the concert later. "See" you later, I'm posting this from my wife's Ipad, and thus it doesn't allow me certain things that I'm used to...

Friday, August 20, 2010

Classic Film Friday: Hook

This is one those movies where you either loved it or you hated it. I fall into the "love it" category. If you are going to watch this "sequel" you first need to watch Disney's Peter Pan . This movie explores what it would be like if Peter Pan did grow up, find a woman, have kids, have a job... all of that stuff and then have him go back to neverland. Robin Williams plays Peter Banning (eventually Peter Pan). And he has adjusted to living in the real world, slave to the grind, every man kind of stuff.

He forgot about his past. Captain Hook (Dustin Hoffman) steals his children to exact his revenge and Tinkerbell (Julia Roberts) helps Peter get back to neverland, get his kids back, and basically help Peter remember who he was and what he meant to all of the lost boys. Enjoy...



Thursday, August 19, 2010

Bob Marley: Stir It Up

Maybe we need to mix it up a bit...

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The Best?... That's a Stretch

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Here She Comes...

So my wife took my youngest to have her picture taken. Did you know it would probably be easier visiting every used car dealer on the east coast than trying to say no to sheets and sheets of your own kid looking back at you? Yes they (the photographers) play on your love for your kids... Unashamedly. So we bit the hook, hell we are only human... and we have grandmothers out there. So here it is, our angel.

Also if you happen to go to the mall in Savannah... just look around. Oh my god!!! I think if I just went to the mall with a camera and/or a journal and wrote down things I saw... that I should not see. Well if I weren't such a busy man I think I would make a blog about it. Boobs, ass cracks, big ginormous man boobies, a grown woman in her 50-60's scared to go on the escalator, kids dressed in pajamas... it baffles the mind. I know you can go to your local Wal-mart and see some shit, but that don't hold a candle to going to the mall. Good lord, I'm happy to just get out of there unharmed.

Monday, August 16, 2010

School's Back!

Well it is that time of year again. Kids go back to school, and traffic gets a little hairy around the arm pits. But still, I need to congratulate all parents on surviving another summer. And you get to look on in glee at your kids getting up early again, having to conform to wearing a uniform, basically they have to do what we do pretty much everyday. It is nice!

I know there was some controversy about the "pep rally" last week, face it they (the school district) bombed and maybe this will be the last time they do it... maybe. Anyway none of that affects your kid, how they will do, standards to meet, or anything really. What your kid does or does not do has absolutely nothing to do with it, so why worry?

So anyhow, good luck to all our students, you got to be there anyway, make the most of it...

Sunday, August 15, 2010

A Smile...

Do you know how much drool a kid can make? Well a lot. Basically we have a kid that has 5 yeah, FIVE teeth coming in and on top of that she has hand, foot, and mouth disease... that she no doubt picked up from daycare. Yeah, life is complicated right now.

It is hard to live with her right now. Not that I don't want to, I'm just saying it is hard. Ok this happened right as my dog died, and thus this got pushed to the back burner. Now everyone is happy and copacetic. In fact so much so that I took a picture of my daughter (the baby) eating. It seems that she smiles so big that her head becomes too heavy and her head rocks backwards. That or she just likes doing that. Anyway here you can see she is smiling and she has a mouthful of banana. Mmmmmm Mmmmmm, that is good right there.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Just in Case...

So in case you missed it... Yes Pony-Dog or any variations of it and Mad Hatter are one in the same. Why change? Because people were noticing my dog, and as I started to make a ruckus about the schools well, I felt I should mask my name... I mean I didn't want it to get out that I, the spouse of a BCSD employee, was making waves. Now I don't really care, because I don't really pay attention to all the bad things I hear about the district and my dog is dead. I'm just sayin' I've gone through a lot. I've had two kids (well my wife actually had them), I've had the stroke, and now my dog has died. Sorry to say it, but that one day at the Mayfest, was really the only thing that made me want to keep coming back.... well that and my mortgage. I'm not saying other things don't keep me here, but that was the number one thing, and it is crazy to think about now but yeah it's crazy and true.

Now, not so much. I don't even know if I will get the chance to go to another one, but if I still live here... I doubt I will go. People used to leave notes on my car and we couldn't take the dog anywhere without being mauled by a crowd. Now? Not so much. My wife is a little bit closer to the top, but with no real money to show for it, and really who needs the headache?

I'm just spouting off I guess, putting a negative spin on things because I feel robbed... by who? Life? God? Myself? Who knows. I know I won't ever compete for the ugly dog again, and I guess that is making me apathetic to the whole situation, and that is the kind of funk that I really don't need. There are more sock puppets, in case your wondering but none as close as pony-dog was to me. Maybe I need to create a new one...

Friday, August 13, 2010

Classic Film Friday: Cheaper By The Dozen

Well what can I say about this movie? It is so not the the Steve Martin movie. It is based on the real life experiences of Frank Gilbreth (Clifton Webb) and his wife Lilian (Myrna Loy) and their 12 kids. You'd have to be crazy to have 12 kids, but I think that goes without saying. But anyway, see how they do it... but also know this aint as cute and cuddly as the Steve Martin movie.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Bob Marley: Three Little Birds

So in my continuation of Bob Marley month, I present "Three Little Birds." This song means a lot more now, than it did just last week. Don't worry about a thing, everything is gonna' be alright. I won't say that we are all better, but as time goes on... it hurts a bit less.


Wednesday, August 11, 2010

If You Aint The Lead Dog...

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

We Asked For This...

So with all this dog stuff, my daughter the Songbird, does something so innocent, so loving, so child like, I can't even describe how it makes me feel. She left a single rose, that grows in our yard, on Thumper's grave site. She left a rose and said "Thumper, my good boy, I love you. Goodbye" and that is just a 4-year-old speaking from the heart. I'm proud of her, I'm sad as I think of Thumper, but so proud of her. Of the people I've confided in, most say "I would kill the alligator." Well, I sort of had that reaction already, when I was fishing the body out of the water.

But would that change anything? Not in the least. The gator was just doing what the gator does. We wanted the house next to the lake, with that lake, pond, lagoon, comes some expectation of risk. I knew that when I bought the place. If I would have ever thought that I'd lose my best friend because of it, maybe I would reconsider, but what is done is done. Lord as much I would love to punch the reset button, I know there is no reset button.

Back to the Songbird and the situation we find ourselves in... We went to Michaels and got one of those cement stepping stones to forever remember him. You can see it below.


It is by no means perfect, but neither was he, which makes it just right. I still haven't come to terms completely with how he died and what went wrong, but I'm learning. At least now I got it in here, and the stone, and the countless others who have taken pictures of him. And that is good enough.

Monday, August 9, 2010

We're All Fat... Maybe

On the way to work I hear this story about how we are fat. Well, honestly I know that I'm fat. Not fat guy big, well I guess that term is relative. I'm not like those fat people they show on TV or in print. If that means anything. They also lauded Colorado, because it had the lowest percentage of fat, or obese people. I feel somewhat accosted by all of this. I'm 6'4" and 275 lbs. Do you know how much weight I'd have to lose? About 75 pounds (that is to be considered "normal" 25 pounds if I just want to be "overweight"). Now I know I could stand to lose 10-20 pounds, but I don't see how in the hell I could ever lose 75.

I'd be miserable. I only eat twice a day (yes I know, that messes up my metabolism) because I'm a type 1 diabetic. I have to account for every carbohydrate ingested. So I just don't know what to think about being fat, if I'm listening to someone who may or may not suffer from the same condition.

Back to Colorado. I've lived there, specifically the Denver area. It gets hot there, but it is a dry heat. Right now we've been under a heat advisory since April, or whatever (yes I meant it in jest, but it is hot in the south). And though I see plenty of walking trails... or sidewalks, who the hell would walk on them in the heat of the day? I know it will not be me. I've been a heat casualty before, I don't want to go through that again.

I don't look fat, I mean, I look big, I am big, but aside from a bit of a pooch around my belly (probably a little too much beer) I look normal, no triple chin, no thunder thighs, I don't need a horn to back up, I can see my feet, with the exception of the beer gut, I seem to be normal, hell I test normal too my cholesterol is 154 (with the help of cholesterol meds because of my stroke, I'll always take it).

Which brings me to the whole cost thing, well according to the BMI thing, I have been overweight for some time. So this is to blame for my diabetes? I thought it was because my white blood cells saw my pancreas as an enemy. Now I know it was just because I was fat. The stroke too, I think it was because I gave myself too much insulin. Nope it was because I was fat... Whatever.

It goes on to talk about kids. All of my kids are normal to underweight and they eat the exact same stuff I eat. Do I think that there is a problem with obesity? Surely. But unless we can look at it from just a perspective of numbers and charts we will never solve this problem. And really I have a problem with the numbers anyway, my kids are underweight, while I am obese, I know that it really doesn't add up, so I take it with a grain of salt, but still the problem, if there is one, won't be fixed by only looking to lower BMI.

In fact I've done a little hurting around and I found this site and this site (politics aside) seem to have a much different take on the "obesity epidemic". So now I'm even more confused then when I heard the story on the radio. I am, I am not... who cares at this point? All this is really doing is elevating my anxiety level, and that is never good.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

And So It Was...

Well, I guess it finally happened. I let my dog live un-tethered as it were. My wife always advised against it. She was right, clearly I was wrong. Now I have to somehow explain to my 4-year-old that Thumper (her “good boy”) isn’t coming home. She knows, but she really doesn’t know why.

I’ll never forget how when you would tell him to sit, he would get in a seat, how he won and lost the ugly dog contest, how he pranced around like a pony, basically how he was our dog. I’m not really one to pine over my dog, but you have to admit, he was unique… and incredibly stupid. I guess that is why I am so upset. I thought of how it is the teenager’s fault, how it is my fault, how it is the stupid dog’s fault, or even the alligator’s fault. But no matter, it won’t bring him back.

I think about how violently he must have gone. How cruel sipping water out of the pond, only to be gobbled up by a waiting alligator. That’s what I think happened, but I really don’t know... So I found Thumper’s body in the pond. I also found the alligator that killed him. I really don’t know what possessed me, but I was bound and determined to get the body back out of the water.

Why? I don’t know. But I was damned if I was going to let that alligator have the rest of my dog. So I got some rope, tied some weights together and fished his body out of the water. The smell would knock you over, but I pressed on. I took his body back to my house, and I started digging a hole. My teenager helped, while crying and telling me how sorry she was.

It was just too gruesome to take a picture of him. Basically his back end was gone, and there were teeth marks all over his body. Really it was bad. So now I’m forced to wonder, what have we learned from all of this?

  • Keep your dogs on a leash at all times
  • Respect Mother Nature
  • Love your pets, because you just never know when their time is up


Finally here some of his best pictures and movies. I wish I had more but I'm glad to get this.

Here we see the "Good Boy" getting acquainted with the Songbird.

Here he is with the teenager, (she wasn't a teenager then though)

Just chillin' with his butt in the air.

Trying to be My Little Pony, We told him to sit, you see where he sat right?


Xena (the schnauzer) and Thumper chase each other around.


Laying out, working on the tan.

Looking regal. Hurry take a picture.

This is one of my favorites, he is really yawning, but it does look like he is laughing. Maybe he is talking from beyond the grave... Never stop laughing.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Goodbye

Friday, August 6, 2010

Pause

I need to just pause for a day or so... given the circumstances I'm sure you understand...

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Bob Marley & The Wailers.: No Woman No Cry

You must think I'm crazy. Well I might be, but this song is older than me... this isn't Classic Music Friday... no, but Reggae is one of my wife's favorite genres, and this month is her birthday... so in honor of her birthday every Thursday in August, I will show one of the hits from Bob, and today's pick is: No Woman No Cry.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Just Lookin' For Someone...

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Keep Your Nose Clean

The system is corrupt, and I really don't know if it will ever get any better. I'm talking about the school system. Things I hear, things I see, I thought that if enough people from up north or out west moved here, eventually our schools will have to show improvement. Now I don't really feel that way. They will always have back scratchers no matter what. I don't think that if you kids goes to this school as opposed to that school his/her education will be that much different. I think the most important educational thing you can do is provide your kids with support. Know what they are doing, help if possible, make sure they are doing homework, make sure they are ready. If you do that, your child will succeed.

That is the best advice I can give. Not that joining your kids SIC or PTO is going to make a difference, because it really isn't. Focus on what you can change, not the test scores for the whole grade or school, but your individual child's strengths and weaknesses. I know that sounds somewhat hokey but it is true. If you know your kid struggles in math then it may make sense to make sure he/she is doing his/her homework and monitor his/her grade a bit more closely. Talk to the teacher, I'm sure they would like to talk to you.

I think I am too close with my wife being a teacher to other teachers to do much of anything. You may hear some under currents of this or that, but you or I can't really change that. Just make sure your kid is doing all that can be done, the rest will take care of itself.

Monday, August 2, 2010

No, No Kid of the Year Awards Here

I have to say, I don't know if I am all that great of a son, or if my wife is that great of a daughter. See both of our dads are addicted to the TV. They have to have it on... and pretty much fall asleep once a certain time goes by. And neither of us care for it much. I heard stories about how my grandfather always had a drink in his hand, wasn't very loving or supportive, and was an asshole to any and everybody.

Neither or our fathers is that bad but, is the TV taking up their time making it just as bad? My dad put in movie after movie after movie, because he thought I would love to see them. Heck, I didn't drive 12 hours to see a movie. But how could I tell him that? I couldn't... so I watched movie after movie.

My wife's efforts didn't end so miserably, but I think that is because we had her father on the plane to see us, instead of us at his place. We took out all the variables. No other people to interfere, at our house so the kids could do as they always do, we cooked and cleaned, it was a much better arrangement for us and for her dad.

That's not to say everything went hunky dory, it is just the actions were very minimal. Back to my dad, things ended on very bad terms. I'm not even sure if I'll see my father alive again. Maybe that is a bit harsh, or maybe not... I really don't know. But it is clear the man who raised me is not the man I saw a few weeks ago. But I can't say I'm the same either. We give and take, and maybe we all get along.

It really tares me up that we have this sense of conflict. Because I don't think it is about arguing about this or that. It should be, "Hey I haven't seen you in a long time, come in, sit down, tell me how you've been, let me tell you how I've been, Look I got a new car, boat, riding lawn mower, whatever. Hey would you like a drink?" And we have pleasantries until I leave, because it might be another 3-5 years before you see me again. Instead we are reminded why when we were teenagers we wanted to leave so bad. I hate that. And then there is the healthy dose of guilt that parents may not intend to give, but they give it none the less, and now you know why I only come around every 3-5 years... which is in and of itself a reason to feel the guilt.

Maybe next time we meet in a neutral location and if anyone has to leave, it is much easier... and hopefully closer to home.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

We're Going Out

All right, listen up. Me and my wife are going out. It is for her birthday. Where are we going? Well it is here. Yes it takes some doing. Actually it takes a whole lot of doing. Being that it is a two-day trip. First we have to take the time off from work. Then we have to find a reliable person to babysit. Then we have to actually drive 5 hours. Then well, then my wife will get what she wants. It is not very often that I can provide something like this. I sure hope the show is worth it. It is almost like we are in out 20's again. With help of course.

Anyway we were talking and the subject of what you want to do before you're 40 came up. There's 5 years for me and 1 for my wife. She said I'd like to go to a Jack Johnson concert. And so it was that he is in concert, just not around here. So we have seats: Section 103, Row M, seats 15 & 16, toward the front, because by god, I aint gonna' have my wife sit in nose bleed section seats. And thus we have ourselves a trip. A happy birthday trip.

August 20 can't get here fast enough.