Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Bizarro World

Apparently the pet adoption center decided that an elderly retired couple was better suited to raise Bishop than Trot and I really can't blame them.

So we're back to Phase 1 which is me frantically searching the Internet for a dog while trying to keep it a secret from the three wee people who live here.

All I know is Trot asked for a dog for his birthday and I'm pretty sure that even if it's Cujo himself that I end up with Ang is gonna make sure that kid gets a dog.

Which begs the following question; How in the name of Ted Williams did I end up at this point? One week ago I was happily wallowing on my 14 year old furniture and now I've got a new sofa, love seat, and recliner that I'm going to subject to a 4 legged animal that likes to chew on things and pee on the floor?

'Cause it seems like it was just yesterday when I was yelling at Trot for doing the exact same thing.

Monday, February 27, 2012

End of an Era

*Image courtesy of Kelly and*

In yet another sign that no matter how young I feel I'm getting older by the day, Jason Varitek will retire this Thursday.

He came in what may be one of the most lopsided trades in history and leaves with 2 World Series championships, caught 4 no hitters and wore the Captain's C with pride. He also glove punched Slappy in the game that many feel sort of got that '04 team back on track and his Jersey is the only Red Sox jersey I own.

So long, Captain.

Job well done.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Bowling. For Dummies

My little band of roaming terrors hit the local bowling alley today and proceeded to basically run amok.

First was the game room where Trot pulled his lone dollar bill out, traded it in for quarters and with the greatest confidence asked me to win him a stuffed animal in one of those Claw games that NEVER work. After trying and failing to convince him that these things are a huge waste of time and money I dropped two quarters in and while I'm trying to convince him I'm not coming up with anything I somehow manage to snag TWO of them with one try. Go figure.

Afterwords we hit the alley where I was pretty rusty but still did 156 and Trot and Rakes decided that throwing underhanded wasn't working and proceeded to chuck the thing like a shot putt before I could stop them. Thankfully I'd sold the kid behind the counter and his mother some furniture a few months back and he just gave me a smile and did the time honored "It's all good" hand motion.

It cost me $25 and a mild tremor in my right hand but all in all?

Not a bad way to spend a Sunday.

Finally, on the Bishop front we, along with several other applications are being considered so hopefully we'll hear something in the next few days. In a surprising turn of events, Ang is out in front as the one who is gonna be the most disappointed if this doesn't work out.

I've got a sinking feeling that no matter what happens with Bishop?

I'm getting a 4 legged animal to go with my 2 legged ones someday soon.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

I've Finally Lost My Ever Loving Mind

Against my better judgement Ang and I have decided to try to adopt. It's been a long period of prayer and introspection by her and a lot of pleading and crying by me, but she's completely worn me down with pleas for another little one to join our raucous band of future circus performers or as I like to refer to them "Jackass: The New Class".

Part of me hopes the adoption agency shows up for an interview, gets one look at Trot and Rakes imitating the Tasmanian Devil and running around in their underoos and decides to call the whole thing off.

The other half of me sort of misses a 1year old toddling around, peeing on the carpet and destroying anything not nailed down in it's path. So yeah, after 13 years and FINALLY getting everyone potty trained I'm willing to go all in and give it one more shot; we submitted the application just a few minutes ago to add one more member to the 3 Ring Circus we call our home.

Meet Bishop. A one year old Shi Tzu who is crate trained, has all his shots, is fixed, and if this goes through will be the first dog to need a full time shrink after Trot gets through with him.

*P.S. If you see one of the kids keep it on the down low. We're going to surprise them if it all goes through. Thank God Trot can't read and Ciera and Rakes wouldn't get caught dead reading this thing.*

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Pele Part Duh

Rakes started his last year of U6 soccer before moving up to U8 in the fall last week and as his Dad I'm thrilled he loves doing something that doesn't involve a video game or driving me to an early grave.

The fact that he's pretty good at it only makes it better; he's fast, can run for days, has good ball control and has a competitive streak a mile long. Tonight during practice they were having passing drills and Rakes was paired off with two girls on his team; at one point he was actively trying to win a passing contest somehow. He told me later that he didn't want them "kicking it better" than him.

Plus I'm pretty sure he will never be able to work some random Star Wars question into the subject of soccer, which makes it pretty much the one thing I can do with him that I won't have to mutter the phrase "I don't know, son".

So I've got that going for me.

Which is nice.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Getting Closer

It's 32 degrees and snowing.

The kids have tomorrow off from school and will spend the day cooped up in the house with me. All day.

Rakes has turned into a compulsive liar over night, Ciera gets grumpier by the hour and Trot is, well Trot.

Yet I'm close to giddy.

And that picture is the reason why. Pitchers and catchers have reported and baseball is around 6 weeks away.

It ain't bright yet but that light at the end of the tunnel?

It's there.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Last Guy Out Please Turn Out The Lights

*Image courtesy of Kelly and*

As a guy who is pushing 42 I still like to think of myself as young. Not teenager young, mind you but young enough to get out and play ball with my sons and generally not embarrass myself young.

I think that's why I took the news that Tim Wakefield retired today so hard; he's just a few years older than me and I'll I've read about is how old the guy was and how it was time to retire and hang it up. I realize being in your 40's in real life isn't the same as being in your 40's in sports, yet it sort of harshes your mellow when a guy just a few years older than you is considered over the hill.

Wake retiring isn't just an end of an era; it's one of the last links to a time before the taint of PED's and The Mitchell Report. It's about a guy who looked like he just walked off the assembly line with his beer gut and bow legged walk who packed his lunch pail every day and showed up, kissed babies, autographed every thing put in front of him, spent more time visiting with sick kids than ten of the average players combined and then went out and threw the freakiest pitch you'll ever see that sent just about every guy who went up to the plate just KNOWING he was going to crush it back to the dugout shaking his head and wondering what the  crap just happened.

When Aaron Boone sent the Sox and Wake packing in ' 03 every Sox fan I know felt like they'd been kicked in the jimmy. Not just because they lost, but because it was Timmy who gave it up. And when they won it all the very next year I'd be a bald faced liar if I said the sight of Wake standing on the mound in St. Louis getting doused in beer didn't bring a tear to my eye. 'Cause if anyone deserved that moment, it was Wake.

So for the first time in 17 years the Red Sox won't have Tim Wakefield around. And while I grudgingly agree that it was time to start a new era?

It just won't feel the same.

Via Con Dios, Timmeh.

And thanks.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Another Ward Cleaver Moment

Looking like an extra from "Mad Max" thanks to a spill on his bike before church last night I joined Trot for lunch today. It wasn't but a few minutes in before his teacher came over and informed me Trot was on yellow for random acts of insanity in the few hours he'd been at school.

After what I felt was a really good Father/Son bonding moment where I calmly explained why it's important to listen and do what we're told and with a firm promise he'd be much better the rest of the day I left school feeling really good about how the afternoon would unfold.

Until I got home and saw the note from his teacher telling how he did a flying body roll to a classmate on the rug while laughing like a gorilla on meth.

I have no idea how this kid is going to someday graduate middle school.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Romance. Or Something.

20 years ago today I did the smartest thing I've ever done, before or since.

I asked Ang to marry me and for some weird reason known only to herself she said yes.

Two decades later here we are, with 3 great kids, a mortgage, taking kids to soccer and dance and church and wondering if I need to sell one kidney or both to pay for college for 3. Or maybe just 2, depending on what happens with Trot in the next few years; either he gets a academic scholarship or he runs off and joins the Foreign Legion. At this point it could go either way.

We've evolved from flowers and candlelit dinners and nights at the movie theater to eating at home with Sponge Bob blaring in the background and movies like "Rio" and "Toy Story". And nights sitting up late talking have turned into both of us struggling to stay awake much less try to form a coherent sentence.

But I guess being able to say you're more in love today than you were back then after factoring in all the other stuff?

Not too bad at all.

Happy Valentines Day, Ang.

And thank God it comes BEFORE baseball season than during it.

Or we may not have made it 20 years.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

The Three Ring Circus Hits The Road

Thanks to the free tickets from a very nice advertising sales lady who comes in the store, I took the kids to the circus today. And while the tigers were great, the elephants huge, the clowns funny, and the music lovingly cheesy, two things happened that really stood out and made it a memorable day.

First, there was a family behind us that, and I don't know this for sure mind you and am only guessing, was probably made up of grandparents that were second cousins, a daughter I'm pretty sure wasn't older than 17 who had a son named Bradley who get my vote for "Most Annoying People on the Planet".

I say this because the Grandmother would yell "Bradley, do you see the clowns?" and "Bradley, do you see the Tigers?" and "Bradley, do you see the elephants?" when there were so many of each out there at the same time I'm guessing Ray Charles could see that it was either clowns or tigers or elephants and he's blind AND dead.

Throw in the fact that Grandpa would give the rebel yell every 5 seconds for anything that happened (which caused Rakes at one point to lean over and ask me if, and I quote "Dad, is that guy OK?") and I was THIS close to turning around and asking him if he'd been dropped on his head at birth.

Second, the Ringmaster had a sidekick who was a midget. Or dwarf. I'm not really sure which one is the politically correct version, but it really doesn't matter. During one of the clown parts he climbed up a tower to rescue Rapunzel and once he reached the top the soaring strains of "I'm too sexy" blared out of the speakers.

And Trot, in full throttle voice, turns to me and yells..........

"Dad! They're playing MY song!"

Spring Training starts the end of this week.

Thank God.

Friday, February 10, 2012

And Away We Go

Sometimes, well MOST of the time, I feel like I'm in a car just starting down this really HUGE hill and as I hit the breaks I realize that they don't flipping work.

One day Ciera is in her room playing with Barbie dolls and the next she's buying this really pretty dress that makes her look like she's 18 and makes me feel like I'm 75.

Tonight Ciera went to a Valentine's Dance at school in a limo with about 12 other giggling teens and I'm reminded with the subtlety of a Mike Tyson punch to the Nether Region that my sweet little baby girl isn't so little anymore.

At least I've got Rakes and Trot to keep me sane.

Oh, and I believe all the kids call this a "photo bomb".

 Sweet Holy Moses I'm not gonna make it to 60.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

13 Again

As a lifelong fan of professional wrestling (more of a sideline fan now. I sort of keep up via the Internet but don't watch much anymore unless the kids turn it on) I had a nice surprise today.

I'd already met Sgt. Slaughter in the store a few years ago and today Don Kernodle came in and bought a recliner.

And even though he's in his 60's now and I'm 41 all of a sudden I was 13 again and visiting my Aunt in Virginia during the summer where I could watch all the guys from Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling that I read about in the magazines growing up in Oklahoma.

Just goes to show that even though we get older that little impressionable kid inside doesn't truly ever go away.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

The Material Girl Couldn't Top This If She Tried

After sitting through Madonna and a bunch of other people I'd never heard of the other night I got to thinking about the Super Bowl halftime acts over the years.

Thankfully I was too young to remember Up with People and was too much of a metal head at the time to enjoy most of the late 80's/early 90's. The Stones looked old, Bruce rocked, and Prince was fantastic if you like Prince.

For me? Hands down the best halftime show was performed in the shadows of 9/11 when everybody was expecting terrorists to bomb every place where a ton of people were gathered and the Super Bowl was as big a target as any.

4 guys from Ireland rolled into the Big Easy and on a day when the Patriots FINALLY won the big one delivered the most stirring tribute to those who died that horrible day before or since.

I really wish Roger Goodell read this blog.

P.S.? When Bono opens his jacket at the end?

Still gives me goose bumps.

Monday, February 6, 2012

There is a Light at the end of Winter

I just saw Scenic Lowell on my television and Truck Day is this Saturday.

Short of Trot and Rakes suddenly getting Perfect Behavior awards at school, Ciera deciding she's just not going to date until she's 30 and hitting the Lottery?

I'm pretty much set.




Sunday, February 5, 2012

Future Nerds

5 minutes before the Super Bowl, a 50 inch flat screen tv with HD directly to their left, and Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum are playing video games and watching Lego Batman videos on the computer.

There are at least 2 human beings on earth who don't buy the hype.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Spreading the Love

Apparently Rakes' adventure with the bus driver yesterday was only a prelude to today, as Trot came home for the first time on red.

Red is the kindergarten equivalent of 3 strikes so this was a pretty big deal. Apparently he not only decided not to listen to his regular teacher but decided the music teacher needed a good old fashioned headache as well. The weird thing is he HATES having to move his pin, yet some inner voice that I'm sure one day will lead him to plant M 80's in the High School toilet just won't let him NOT get into trouble.

I keep telling myself that maybe he's just getting it all out of his system now and that one day in the future, as we  gaze at his College Diploma while celebrating him being the valedictorian of his graduating class that we'll look back on all this and have a good laugh.

Somebody's gotta win the lottery, right?

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Rebel. With a Cause.

Sometime around 3 p.m. each day I call home and ask either my Mom or my Father in Law how the boys are and did they have a good day at school. Today, my FIL informs me he had to talk to the bus driver; seems as if Rakes was throwing spit balls at some other little kid en route to home.

Being that he sits in the second seat behind the bus driver the fact he thought he could get away with this without the driver seeing him makes me wonder if he thinks he's just that slick not to get caught or the bus driver is a blind, blithering idiot.

Turns out, this is the second time he's gotten in trouble and if it happens a third time he gets to go visit the principals office. It also means he would be banned from the bus for a week and I'd have to leave work, pick him up, drive him home, and then go back to work.

This episode follows a week of being on blue, a second taking away of a yo-yo he's not supposed to have at school, and staying up last night until 2 playing his Nintendo DS that he somehow found in it's hiding place and smuggled up to his room.

I'm sort of scared to ask my Mom if this reminds her of anyone she once knew.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Hump Day

You know it's gonna be a LONG day for Heckle and Jeckle when the last thing their mother says to them is "If you even THINK about coming home on any other color than green today you can forget about seeing the outside world before next Wednesday".

Seems like their wish of each being named "Class Clown" in the yearbook this year just got blown to smithereens.

Along with my wish for an ulcer-free Spring.