Happy Thanksgiving

Ordinarily, I’m not really that big a fan of Thanksgiving.  It’s just too much…too much family, too much food, too much noise.  In past years, I’ve always wanted to simply avoid the holiday completely and not be involved.  I’d prefer to simply sit silently in a corner somewhere and ignore the commotion.  Unfortunately, that was pretty much NEVER an option.  However, the last couple of years have slowly been turning the tide on my curmudgeonly ways.  Last year, as you may remember, we were blessed with family in Flagstaff and a wonderful meal to share.  This year, we’re spending the big day in Knoxville with family and by most advance signs, it promises to be yet another wonderful day. 

Last night, we relaxed by an outdoor fire beneath a beautiful starry sky.  This morning, after a wonderful evening of sleep, my daughter and I sat down to start our own tradition of watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.  Unfortunately, she did not share my desire to engage in this tradition and after being fussy for a few minutes, she decided to spend her parade time passed out in her bed.  Well, she is a little young to really enjoy the parade, so I’m hoping that maybe in a couple of years, we can really settle into this particular tradition.  As it is, our hosts, N. and H. have made everything perfect and the magnificent meals continue to appear as if by magic.

So, it seems that, slowly, I’m becoming more involved in the holiday spirit.  This can’t be all bad.  It would be nice to enjoy the holidays for a change.  But let’s not jump the gun…Christmas is the true test.  This is usually the downer of the holiday season…but I have a sneaking suspicion that this will be a different year as well.

See you in the funny papers!

3 a.m. automatic

This morning, after Ivy’s 3 a.m. feeding, I lay back down in the bed and realized that I had forgotten to post yesterday.  Another year, another incomplete NaBloPoMo.  C’est la vie.  This is typically the time of the month that I miss a day, so at least I’m consistent in that regard.  It’s possible that I should attempt a different month, one in which there is less to do regarding work, church, and family.  It actually works out as well, because I wasn’t sure how I was going to fit posting into my Thanksgiving schedule what with being out of town and all.  Now, I don’t have to think about it.  So, you probably won’t hear from me much at all next week as I’ll be on vacation.

I did finally get a large project out of my office this morning thanks to some help from some co-workers Aside: Thank you S. and T. and a helping of coffee and Green Day channel on Pandora.  Also, my culinary skills are blossoming…I created a French onion soup the other night that was pretty fantastic if I say so myself.  And, C. and I made my mother’s chili for a Farkle party this evening.  Sure, chili’s not all that difficult, but I know I made it right because it smelled magnificent.  In addition to that, C. has become adept at making baby food, sweet potatoes and butternut squash at the moment…we’re planning to add peas to the menu possibly this weekend sometime.

Also, I may have forgotten to mention that we’re all completely in compliance with the government mandate to be vaccinated against the “pig death flu.”  Really, it turned out to not be that big a deal, but it resulted in my having both that shot and an inoculation for seasonal flu as well…for the first time in my life.  I’ve always been of the mindset that if I don’t get the flu shot, I won’t get the flu, which is not a rational argument, but has functioned surprisingly well for the last 35 years.  Still, I want to believe that getting these vaccinations will keep me from looking like the picture below:

Swine FluSee you in the funny papers!

NaBloPoMo 2009 – STL

This morning I had a topic all picked out for today’s post and now, for the life of me, I can’t remember what it was.  I have the same problem sometimes when I’m not near a computer and then when I get to the computer I forget what it was I wanted to research.  It’s a pain in the ass, getting old that is.

I’ve had a few days that have been really amazing as far as my stress management is concerned.  I’ve accomplished quite a few things at work that had been surfing my desk for way too long.  We’re still coping with IvyCat waking up in the middle of the night that I’ve sort of just made peace with and I’m trying to adjust my sleeping needs to her schedule.  I’m sure that’s not the proper way to do things, but it’s what I need to do to cope.  I’m hoping that the holidays will enable us to recoup some lost sleep.  Of course, I’m already imagining what a hectic schedule it’s going to be both for Thanksgiving and Christmas…still, it may be fun.  Hopefully, the joy of a child will balance the chaos of the season.

Up until yesterday the weather had been more than cooperative with my life.  I was able to rake leaves, enjoy time outside, and my commute had never been better.  But, yesterday, the rains came and it was cold and I was miserable on both the ride to and from work.  I thought I was getting sick from it, but that diagnosis may have been a bit premature.  I seem to be better today.

See you in the funny papers!

NaBloPoMo 2009 – KAN

It is finished.  I completed my goal of running the mileage between Louisville, Kentucky and Pittsburg, Kansas in memory of my dear friend, Melisa Augustson.  If you’d like to read more about Melisa, the article about her death is available online here.  It’s been a long time, a broken ankle, and even a premature finish from last week…but it was definitely worth it.  I have a new goal in mind, but I may wait until December to let you in on it.  Actually, now that I think of it, I have two goals which will coincide with each other.  And, now that I have you salivating at the thought of what they might be…I’ll be leaving you to wonder to what new limits I can push myself.

Below is the final map for this goal.  It’s not really important what it looks like except to show you the distance is no small feat.  I hope you’ve enjoyed following me on this trek and I’m excited to begin anew on another one.

582 Miles - GOAL COMPLETE!

See you in the funny papers!

NaBloPoMo 2009 – COL

It’s been a Monday…but a very productive Monday.  I made some very good progress on a project that I hate.  I was able to make a flight change for an individual that gives him more time with family over the holidays and it only cost the change fee, which is really nice.  It’s been relatively quiet around the office today which has been very good.  I’m tired today, but I think it’s because IvyCat the munchkin has a cough which keeps her up at night…consequently keeping me up at night.  I feel bad for her, but I wish she had the wherewithal to just cough and then go back to sleep.  On the other hand, she really has taken to solid foods Aside: well, one solid food, sweet potatoes and, honestly, by the time she gets it, it’s not really all that solid anymore and I’m hoping that bodes well for future nights where she might learn to sleep more than 4 or 5 hours in a row.  Wouldn’t that be awesome?!

Christmas is coming, as is Thanksgiving.  I’m looking forward to Thanksgiving as we’ll be in Knoxville, TN for a couple of days visiting family.  My Christmas list has now been published…so I hope Santa is reading it wherever he might be.  If you’re interested, I can certainly provide you with a copy.  Let me know!

Hopefully there’ll be a running update tomorrow.  I really don’t know if I’ve met the goal yet.  Last week’s running was subpar and I think I need new shoes Aside: ON THE CHRISTMAS LIST! because my knees are not responding well to the beating they’re taking and I don’t think it’s the extra mileage.  That’s it for now.

See you in the funny papers!

NaBloPoMo 2009 – OAK

NaBloPoMo2009I come to you today with the ubiquity of “Single Ladies” by Beyonce.  Seriously, this song is everywhere.  First, I assume it was the video of the song itself.  Then, it made an appearance in Glee Aside: Yes, I watch Glee.  It’s fun.  I hope it doesn’t become TOO dramatic though. and simultaneously was an internet sensation with the famous dancing baby.   Kanye made a complete ass of himself over this video, and it’s no “Thriller” let me tell you that.  Next thing you know, it’s popping up in other television shows, and most recently was heard as the “bouquet-toss” song at a wedding. Aside: Congratulations C & S…it was a lovely wedding, and you two make a wonderful couple. Finally, as I was wandering the web looking for something to write about, I found it mentioned…ON A WELSH BLOG.  I mean, c’mon.  Is there no place that this song/video reaches?

Don’t get me wrong, it’s a catchy tune, and the dance is certainly entertaining…but must it be everywhere?  Plus, I realize now that I’ve merely perpetuated the popularity by adding it to this little known corner of the Intertubes.  If there were a way to link this video to environmental conservation or world peace, either would be accomplished by next Thursday, guaranteed.  I’m certain, as well, that the “tin hats” will have linked it to some global conspiracy by the Obama administration Aside: You know that Beyonce is Obama’s Secretary of Dance to enforce left-wing anarchy in school children.  As a challenge, I dare you to go the whole week without hearing the song or seeing the video pop up somewhere.  If you listen to “mainstream” radio, this will be impossible.  If you watch network television it will probably be very difficult.  And, if you are ever on the Intertubes, you’re screwed already because, below, for your indoctrination into the Obamanator’s Death Panel Squadron of Socialism, I present Beyonce’s Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)

See you in the funny papers!

NaBloPoMo 2009 – SFG

NaBloPoMo2009Last night, I participated in a once in a lifetime event.  It’s not often that these sorts of things come around, I believe that’s why they’re called once in a lifetime.  Anyway, before I tell you what it was, I have to tell you how it came to be.

Every summer, my dad and I make a trip together to a couple of major league ballparks.  You may have read about this before on this blog.  The point of this event is for me to collect a hat from every major league ballpark…the ulterior motive is for my dad and I to spend some quality time together.  Nothing says quality time like a drive through Iowa.  Anyway, for the last few years this has been our tradition and I believe that we have both enjoyed it immensely.  Well, this summer, due to forces beyond our control Aside: Okay, not completely beyond our control.  I mean, I was involved in the baby making, but I’ll spare you the details we were unable to make our usual trip.  Now, my parents are some of the most generous, well-meaning individuals you will ever meet.  Never, and I do mean NEVER, have they let me or my sister down Aside: except that once when I locked myself out of my house and they weren’t home…but I digress and truly we have never wanted for anything in our lives.  That’s not to say we’re spoiled, but we received gifts well beyond their means at times and I hope we never forget that.  All of this brings me to the story of last night.Hank Aaron -- Living Legend

In lieu of a baseball stadium trip this summer, my parents saw fit to purchase for me a genuine Louisville Slugger, autographed by my favorite player of all time, Henry Aaron.  This was no small deal.  This official bat was one of a very small number created by the Louisville Slugger Factory & Museum and had both of his contract signatures on it, Henry Aaron and Hank Aaron, as well as a personal autograph by the man himself.  Well, surely this was more than enough to please me and I was astounded by the gift, not the least of which because I did not expect it.  However, it doesn’t end there.  Last night, my dad and I went down to the Louisville Slugger Factory & Museum and enjoyed a ceremony in which Mr. Aaron was given the “Living Legend” award.  This award was bestowed on him, not only because of his baseball prowess, but for the manner in which he persevered through intense racism in pursuit of one of baseball’s greatest records, and because of his work with the “Chasing the Dream” Foundation.  To stand in the room with the man as he lauded one of the batmakers, Danny, telling that he had done his job well brought tears to my eyes.  I was truly in awe of the man whom I’ve admired for many years.  But I was even more proud to be there with my father who may never have hit a major league home run, but stands tall in my eyes and heart.

I love you Dad.  And thank you very much to both you and mom for such a wonderful gift.  I truly will cherish it forever.

See you in the funny papers!

NaBloPoMo 2009 – PHI

NaBloPoMo2009I was reading over some old blog posts from a few years ago and I ran across a couple of things.  First of all, I did a lot of the same things I do now and I was, apparently, bitter and rant-filled about the same things.  So, let’s hear it for consistency. WOOT!  Secondly, I happened upon an old meme called THE FRIDAY FIVE which I enjoyed quite a bit.  Plus, now that I have a bit more of a following and with the ease of Facebook for people to enjoy my blog that much more, I thought I’d resurrect the Five and see how it goes.  This Five is in honor of the impending holiday season:

THE FRIDAY FIVE

What’s your favorite holiday…

1. Song? I’m a sap.  I truly love to hear Bing Crosby sing “White Christmas.”  It’s my favorite carol of all time.  I like to sing along.  I also like to hear my wife’s families’ version of “Blue Christmas.”  That one is always a crowd pleaser.
2. Movie or TV Special? If there is a better movie for the holidays than A Christmas Story, I’ve not seen it.  I could watch that film for days and not get tired of it.  Plus, some have said I even look like Ralphie…which I don’t think is necessarily a compliment, but I have to admit to a certain resemblance.
3. Memory? Oh, there are so many good memories.  Last year, for Thanksgiving, we visited family out in Arizona and they took us to the Grand Canyon which was an amazing trip.  Plus, the food and the company were amazing.  And, then there was the year that my great aunt spent the entire afternoon telling us that a bone-in ham was the best to get because it stayed juicy and had a better flavor.  Not a year goes by when we don’t talk about having a bone-in ham.  Finally, there was the year that my sister surreptitiously made a recording of her, me, and my mom making cookies and the hilarity that ensued when there were no potholders and we had to get the cookies out before they burned.
4. Baked good or dessert? Speaking of cookies…let me say this, I used to love cheesecake.  It was my favorite dessert of all time.  But, I had the best cheesecake in South Africa on our honeymoon which effectively ruined all other cheesecakes for me.  I’ve not been a fan since.  However, I digress, cookies on the other hand I relish.  My mother makes the best chocolate chip cookies you’ve ever eaten.  They are delicious and I horde them with an unknown ferocity.  I wouldn’t even let my niece have one when mom made me some for my birthday.  That’s how much I love these cookies.
5. Each year, what’s the one moment that let’s you know it’s the holiday season?
This is hard to pin down what with the ever changing decorations that appear and disappear in the stores.  However, I believe there a couple of harbingers.  One is Stan.  Stan lives for decorating his house for Christmas.  Just the other day, I saw him stringing lights around the windows.  It can’t be too much longer before the giant plastic Santa goes up on the roof.  The other is the appearance of apple cider at the supermarket.  When you see apple cider, you know the holidays are a-coming.

Make sure to post your own answers in the comments section.  Enjoy your weekend!

See you in the funny papers!

NaBloPoMo 2009 – PIT

NaBloPoMo2009Do you ever find yourself wondering if maybe there are alternate realities?  I’m talking of places where you exist, but where everything you know is different.  Different city, same you; different language; same you.  For example, what if, in another dimension, there is another me, just like me now, who lives in an alternate dimension or at the very least on the far side of the universe.  And, what if that other me is wealthy?  Or what if that other me is a slave?  Or what if that other me is a silicon-based life form bearing no resemblance whatsoever to anything that we, in this galaxy, understand or recognize?  Honestly, I don’t know where all this is coming from.  It could be that I have nothing to write about, it could be that I’ve seen too much Stargate, it could even be that my alternate dimension me is trying to contact me via “faster than light” telepathic impulses to guide me to a future that only it is aware of.  Like as not, it could be that I wandered through some psychotropic haze on my way across campus earlier today.  But, just for a second, imagine what it would be like to meet an alternate you.  Sort of Back to the Future, but different.  Would you be friends with you?  Would you own you?  Would you play fetch with you?  Okay…sorry, now it’s just getting too weird.

So, I don’t know what all that was about.  I think, really, I just needed to let off some steam and not think about work for a second.  I had a literal shit-ton Aside: That’s reverse metric of things to get done today.  Some of those things were accomplished, others were dented…still others my computer would simply not cooperate in order for me to advance beyond staring dumbly at the screen.  I’m looking forward to an evening of relaxation…however, I know that Mount Saint Laundry is calling from beneath the basement stairs and the treadmill has been sorely neglected these last couple of days, so the relaxation may have to wait for a while.  But, tomorrow’s payday and it’s only 7.5 work hours til the weekend.

See you in the funny papers!