You betcha, we are on vacation!
Tomorrow early morning we drive off here and forget the world as much as possible. We're meeting up with a bunch of my old college buddies, their spouses, siblings, and offspring, for a week of sun and fun.
As Cartman might say, "Screw you guys, I'm on vacation."
Oh, just kidding, I'll be dragging the laptop and the blackberry, so I will check in, post, and comment as usual. Plus, I have the editor breathing for a Circle column. I need about 750 words about something ... oh, how about the fact that I'm on vacation and she isn't!
Naw, I'm not that mean. Suggest me a topic, though, I just might run with it.
Friday, June 29, 2007
You betcha, we are on vacation!
Wednesday, June 27, 2007
I need to get to posting, posting, posting. I have three or four topics backed up: local restaurant and catering reviews, a couple of rants that will blow you down, updates about my boy. I have a Circle column due in a week. But I've just been too doggone busy with anniversaries and birthday bashes and work and swim meets and getting ready to go to the beach on Saturday.
See, part of the problem is that I'm no longer the night owl of my younger years. I used to think nothing of staying up until 2:00 AM, or just caffeinating my way through the entire night and proceeding on through the next day.
No more. After TB goes to bed, I'm good for maybe an hour, and that hour is spent prone on the bed with a book.
Sure, I'll have a few orange sodas and howl at the moon from time to time. You'll see the occasional midnight post, but I'm sure my writing suffers for it.
I'm not sure how James Lileks blogs all day, and then goes home and blogs on into the night. I'm glad he does, because he's an astonishing writer, but he survives on no sleep. Not me. It's all I can do to keep up with the blogs I like reading, let alone nurturing mine with the TLC I'd like to give it.
Ah, well, it's just a hobby for now. Someday, I'll ease on in to semi-retirement by searching for every paying gig I can find. Then I'll be hard at it all day long.
Tonight, let me just crow a bit about my son, who just won both the butterfly and the backstroke in the 6 and under group in this week's swim meet. In three meets, he had two first places in butterfly, a first in backstroke, a first and a second in freestyle. He DQ'd on breaststroke for pulling his arms below his waist. Not too shabby overall. 74 points for the team.
He loves winning those ribbons, but the best part is, he's not a bit cocky about it. He remains humble and just has fun. Doing well is a motivating factor for him, but by far not the biggest one. He just likes to be busy with his friends. So I'll brag for him.
Tuesday, June 26, 2007
Venomous Kate has been dangling this carrot for several weeks now. I've considered myself too much of a doofus to get it right, but what the heck, let's give it a shot. I don't think Blogger does trackbacks, in the traditional sense, so I may have to do this the long way.
Sunday, June 24, 2007
I had an odd feeling that the 1:16 tee time today was some trick.
I noticed on Friday that the big ass coolers in the basement weren't there anymore.
Oddly, there was some Foster's Lager in the basement fridge that I didn't recall buying. I just figured that while I was in Wisconsin last week, LBB had some illicit visitors. Ah, no problem there. My bigger fear was that I bought some Foster's and just forgot.
I thought it was odd that my golfing partner drove home, about five miles or so, at 20 MPH.
Then, when we got here, there were strangers shucking oysters in my kitchen. WTF?
Then I knew . . . PARTY!!!!!!!!
And a good one it was. Whooh! Wow! Tomorrow is going to suck severely, but I guess I'll get through it.
I've been well treated this weekend.
I have a couple of VERY VERY positive reviews to put out here. One for the place we went last night, 202 Market; one for the seafood that was brought here tonight by Steve (who runs the Seafood Co. restaurant on Colonial, where Cap'n Paul's used to be). I'm going to give details and happy link action within a few days, but I really want to give better thought to my words than I'm able to offer right now.
What a wonderful, amazing, surprising, fulfilling weekend it's been here on Jefferson Street. I love my wife and my friends. I'm a lucky man.
Saturday, June 23, 2007
Yaw have been the guinea-est of pigs as I tested out all these different poll plug-ins. I think I found one that is the most stylish, easy to use, and in line with my wishes. It's up there now as the "Days" poll. Let me know if it's crap, or if you just hate these GD polls to begin with.
I'm a statistics freak, so nothing excites me more than a graph. Except maybe a box score from a Mets win.
The celebrations go on and on. Today is the big ole' four-o for me. Forty. Uggghh. I can't say that I feel forty, but I sure as hell don't feel twenty-five, either.
It's been a great weekend. We went to a cocktail party last night, but came home on the early side. Slept in (which means 8:15). Piddled around the house a little, then I had a $10 Lowe's gift card to blow so I went to get some herbs. They were all dried out, and they didn't have what I wanted anyway, so I came home with some tiki torches.
LBB and TB gave me some nice gifts, even though I said all I wanted was "low bills". There was a nice shirt and a pair of pants. Also, something called "Red Hot Mary", which is habanero Bloody Mary mix.
Then I went to Kroger, where, I actually got carded buying beer. Great day in the morning! On my 40th birthday, no less. I almost reached over the counter to give the cashier a big wet kiss.
After lunch, we went to the pool, where they had a band and cheapo oysters, wings, and draft beer. They were even selling jello shooters, but I passed on those. It was like a big beach party.
When I got home, there was a dude mowing my lawn. That never happens, so when I looked at him funny he said, "Happy Birthday!"
My son is having a sleepover with a friend tonight, and he's already gone. We are going to try out a new joint downtown called 202 Market. I've heard good things, so I'm looking forward to it.
Then tomorrow, I have a tee time at 1:16. Is June the best month ever, or what?
Life is good here on Jefferson St. this weekend.
OK, the polls have closed and it's time to give you the answer to this.
Of the five choices, the lie is . . . #4. I have never been left handed.
I do love the pickled peppers.
My grandfather was born in 1855.
My middle name is Scott, but it was supposed to be my first name.
And we almost never go to the movies. The only ones I can recall seeing since we moved here 12 years ago are: Leaving Las Vegas, Seven Years in Tibet, The Polar Express, and Cars. Pretty lame, huh?
Friday, June 22, 2007
Today marks eleven years for LBB and me. I'll spare you the details of how all this began. Let's just say it was somewhat complicated. We have our moments, but she's still the one for me. I can be penurious and arbitrarily cantankerous, so I'm thankful she puts up with it and sticks around. Here's to you, LBB!
Wednesday, June 20, 2007
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
I'm spending a few days this week in lovely and fun Madison, Wisconsin, for a training class. I don't think I have ever been in Wisconsin before. From the little bit I've seen, it reminds me of Western New York.
Of course I'm staying in a hotel in the middle of an office park complex, but there are farms everywhere: next to the airport, within the Madison city limits, surrounding the office park. It's a pretty, pastoral, lushly green place.
It's nice to be here in June.
This made me think: what states have I been to? Looking at the list, I think I need to travel more. I don't count flyovers, but drive throughs are OK. Here's where I've been:
Alabama, Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, and now Wisconsin.
That's 30 of 50, but I'd like to see the rest, so I better get moving!
Where have you been? (Or not been, if it's easier.)
Saturday, June 16, 2007
The conspiracy last night turned out to be that several of the neighborhood hens got together and planned a surprise guys night out. Six of us were picked up and transported downtown to an excellent local steakhouse. Although steaks are the specialty, I was in the mood for something different, so I had crab cakes. They were delicious, but I was hungry again a few hours later.
So we tore through a couple bottles of wine and a whole bunch of beer and had a fine time. The wives didn't have transportation home arranged for us, so, since we all live only a mile and a half from downtown, we decided to walk. On the way, one of the guys decided to stop at the Getty Mart for a 40 of Colt-45. Can you imagine?
The walk recharged us nicely, so we stopped off at the local watering hole for a couple more. It was a good night, and to my surprise, I woke up this morning feeling A-OK. I thought I was going to be a total wreck.
Friday, June 15, 2007
I had thoughts of making homemade pizzas tonight, but LBB told me that wasn't happening. She said I had to take a shower (I had gone to the Y), get dressed, and be on the front porch at 7:15.
Then about 6:30, my boy suddenly got invited across the street.
Something is up.
I guess I'll find out in about 10 minutes.
Clown? Gorillagram? Lap dance? Publishers Clearinghouse sweepstakes? What might it be?
Thursday, June 14, 2007
I thought this looked like fun. Found it over on Electric Venom. The deal is, I'm going to list five things about myself. Four are true and one is a big fat lie. You have to tell me in the comments which one you believe is BS. Then, if you want, play along on your site and link back here.
1. I love pickled jalapeños right out of the jar, and I can tolerate whole raw habañeros.
2. My given first and middle names were reversed by a clerical error in the hospital when I was born and it was never corrected.
3. My maternal grandfather, if he were alive today, would be 152 years old. I'm 39.
4. When I was a teenager I taught myself to be right-handed.
5. I've been to the movie theater only four times in the last twelve years.
Wink, wink, whattya think?
Wednesday, June 13, 2007
At the playground yesterday, a friend who admits to enjoying this blog, concurred with me that I've been pretty slack in my posting lately.
Yes I have. Tonight, all I did was resurrect something I started on Saturday and then forgot about. I didn't bother adding any links, which would have been easy. I didn't even change the posting date.
I don't know why. I've been tired, uninterested, and uninspired. I haven't really cared a great got-damn. I even opted out of my Circle column for next month.
There are stories of TB's exceptional swim meet results, but that will just have to wait, along with other fun tales from Jefferson St.
For now, forgive my absence. This shall pass.
Saturday, June 9, 2007
I stayed up late one recent night listening to some old stuff, but it's a little different because I was searching on Rhapsody or elsewhere for my songs.
I used to spend hours and hours and hours playing vinyl records, replaying them, over-analyzing them and just otherwise wearing them out. I would stare at album covers and read liner notes like they were classic novels. CDs, or possibly my age, killed that fascination. Have you ever tried to look at lyrics on CD inserts? Squint squint squint and give up, said the tired ole' fart.
My two-hundred or so records were ruined over time by cat piss. That's a long story, but when we moved to our current house, I decide to chuck them all into the dumpster. We didn't have a functional turntable anyway, but we tossed some classics.
The first record album I shelled out cash for was Kiss Alive! I was about eight or nine at the time. Soon after getting into that, my Mom said that my brothers had left some records in the house when they moved out. (Background: when I was 9, my brothers were 24, 26, and 30, in ascending age. I was quite unexpected, as you might guess).
Some of the records they left behind left a huge impression, though: The Beatles "Abbey Road". Sly and the Family Stone, "Stand". Strawbs, "Witchwood".
What an amazing bunch of things to listen to. I learned a ton about music, just from what was left behind.
Remember back in the 1980's when sound quality was the important thing? OK, I was a nerd Rush fan, but it was still impressive to hear digital recordings for the first time.
Now the important thing is just portability. We are accustomed to planned obsolescence, so we don't mind it in our music, either. MP3s don't have the same quality as an original track from a CD. They aren't as fun as queuing up a record on a turntable. Still, they have the advantage of ease and portability.
Ahh, I'm turning into a sentimental old wreck, but I do miss discovering new music on the radio and heading to Caldor to buy the record. Caldor was a Poughkeepsie rival of K'mart, and they went out of business a good long time ago, but they had a decent music section in my pre-teen days. At least as well as I can remember.
Friday, June 8, 2007
You know, I'm going to be one in a billion saying I don't give a crap about Paris. But the truth is, it's not like I completely skip over it when I'm checking all my news sources. It's not what I want to blog about, though, so consider this an experiment in blog traffic.
Thursday, June 7, 2007
After a big whoppin' party last week, it's finally TB's 'real' birthday today. What a day! Of course it was a school day, but it was also the day of his kindergarten play (two performances, 10:30 and 2:30!), swim practice after school, and then the birthday activities.
I'm not sure who's more worn out among the three of us. He wanted to go out for barbecue for supper and then have a few friends over for popsicles. Good idea, since it's hot hot hot this week.
So the adults had a few orange sodas of our own and we had a nice time.
We missed G'diddy a good bit today. We didn't talk about it much, because G'diddy wants people to have a good time, but it was a little different without him. Oh, hell, everyday is different, but it's OK.
I wanted to carry on a bit more about my boy but I'm tired. He's getting to be so much not a little kid anymore. I know, he's only six, and he's cute and all that, but a big ole' six year-old gaseous gorilla leaping on you in the morning is quite different than when he's two or three.
I tried to take a decent picture tonight to post for his birthday. It didn't work out too good, so, now that it's almost the last day of school, here he is on the first day of school. My boy. I love him dearly.
Monday, June 4, 2007
You parents with a brood of kids, and from my perspective that just means two or more, are going to call me a whiner, but it's been a busy evening here on Jefferson Street.
Got home about 5:30 from work. TB had a tee ball game at 6:00. Got his uniform out of the dryer and hurled it at him, ran upstairs and got dressed myself, fussed at LBB because she wasn't ready yet, and headed out to the garage to search for TB's ball glove.
Pause a moment: before you read between the lines and think I'm steamed as I came in the door and found my son not yet in his uniform, well, yes, in fact I was, BUT, I realize that in spite of the fact that my wife works at home, she often has a busy workday, too. Also, she takes care of a million other things around here, including letting my boy play with his friends at the playground after school most days. Well worth it. Still, I thought we were in a time crunch, so I was in a minor twist.
Turns out, we made it right on time.
Game went great, as they usually do in games where they don't keep score, so we stopped for a Slurpee on the way home.
Oh, by the way, I passed the Tuna Treat sign again, and as it turns out I quoted it a bit wrong the other day. What it actually says is:
BEAT THE HEAT
Which makes even less sense.
When we got home, I had a couple emails to answer.
And I wanted to mow the lawn tonight, because tomorrow evening I want to play golf, and then Wednesday we have tee ball again, and Thursday is TB's real birthday, and then Friday we have tee ball awards and ice cream, and the mowing needs to be done before the weekend because after the day long rain yesterday, it's going to be a miserable project by Saturday.
Woe is me.
And then the other thing is that LBB had book club tonight, so she headed out as soon as we got home.
Well, the boy had supper before the game and a Slurpee for dessert, so he was in good shape. I was hungry but determined, so I started up the mower to at least get the front done. It was about 7:45 at this point. Then, all sorts of children start appearing from their various houses. TB is bugging me to go across the street. OK, go, but watch out for that bus coming down the hill, and we are going in for a bath in five minutes! Five minutes, you hear me!
Finished the front yard, anyway. See, I have a double lot, so it takes an hour to mow the whole yard, or at least two to do a good job with the weed whacker, etc.
So the front yard is done. By the time I coaxed TB back over here from the neighbors, it's 8:30, so now he needs a bath and stories, and I'm starving by this point. A Bud helped calm my appetite, so we read a fun book about pirates and chatted about the school day and then it was lights out.
This was one of those moments you want to remember, though: I went to give him a kiss goodnight on the cheek. Sometimes, now, he's too big a boy for that, so he rolls over and says "Ewwwwww!". This time, he just turned away a little so I missed him, but I figured he got the point, so I went to turn off the light and turn on the radio (he likes soft hits "Sunny FM" for his overnight listening).
So as I'm walking away he says, "Daddy, you missed."
"I know. Good night, Sweetie".
"Try again," he says.
Huh? So I went back and he stuck out his little cheek and let me give him a peck, and then he gave me a huge spontaneous hug, and, awwww, shucks, my big swimmer, ball-player, favors his Momma, soon to be first-grader, is still able to melt his Daddy into a puddle with the simplest little gesture.
He went right to sleep then, so, I'm working on some mac and cheese now, at about 9:45.
See it was a busy night here on Jefferson Street. So now, all you parents, let me have it for complaining!
Saturday, June 2, 2007
Remember this? I just listened to a few songs from this album, and boy o boy did that bring back some strange memories. I was 13 when this record came out. I had only recently figured out that the rising and falling . . . as it were . . . had a direct cause and effect.
There was this 15-year-old girl up the street. I tried very hard to get to the bus stop in the morning early to maximize my time with her. She skipped school a lot though, so sometimes I had to ride my bike past her house a couple dozen times a day to check up on her. Usually she would notice my persistence.
She loved this Loverboy record. I remember a whole bunch of summer nights sitting on a stone wall in front of her house with a boom box, just playing this tape over and over, talking about whatever. Best song was Take Me to the Top. When we got tired of that tape we listened to this one:
Nothing came of this relationship . . . . until a couple years later, and that turned out to be the quick end of it.
Funny where music can take you: memories, or to more deeply re-live the past; usually just to think of the next old, good song.
I'll sound like an old fart if I say our kids won't have the same experience with popular music, but you know what? They won't! But that may not be bad. We had a few AM and FM radio stations to listen to, and those had far more latitude to play what they wanted, but today, if you like a certain sound, there is a place to find it. It may be on the computer instead of the radio, but it's there. The ability to dig deeper into your tastes is greater than ever.
But I do fear the shutdown of free airwaves. That's a topic for another day, because I'm not of the XM world quite yet. For now, I'm enjoying that time of night when I'm free to listen to whatever I please . . .
After tee ball this morning it was starting to get rather hot. On the way home we passed a deli/restaurant that is quite well known for it's sandwiches. I should have taken a picture, but the sign said:
BEAT THE HEAT
WITH A TUNA TREAT!
We should have stopped, because there is nothing more refreshing on a hot day than a tuna sandwich.
Ooh! Unless they have tuna popsicles!