Thursday, December 20, 2007
One call I kind of hate taking is the one from Red Rock Canyon School. If it isn’t the scheduled therapy call at 3pm on Wednesday afternoons, it usually means Sarah is costing me money, or has kicked someone’s ass. When I got the call last week Friday evening I was reluctant to pick it up.
The person on the other line was Dr. Bob. This is usually a sign that something has happened, and it had, but Sarah had nothing to do with it. Apparently one of the new students managed to hang himself in the shower. Dr. Bob had the awful job of having to call all the parents of children under his care and tell them about what had happened, and how devestated they are.
I feel sick for the parents of that young man. I’m sure they thought sending him to Red Rock Canyon School was going to protect him from doing this kind of thing.
I’m not going to rag on Red Rock Canyon School. I’m sure they feel like crap, but there must have been some sort of lapse on their part that may have made it a little easier for that boy to commit suicide. I just know this place has done a pretty good job controlling and helping someone I couldn’t, my daughter Sarah.
This brings me to the happy-cheery part of this post! Sarah is probably 60 days away from coming home. She will get to do a home visit in about 2 weeks, then she will graduate from Red Rock Canyon about 5 weeks later. This program is designed to take about 9 months but my girl was having so much fun she hung out for 18!
We haven’t figured out what we are going to do about school. She will still have two more years of high school left when she gets back, and we are not sure if she can handle the regular public school environment. On-line school sounds like too much freedom and too easy to screw up for a teenager, especially mine. I know the two college classes I took on-line were tough.
Does anyone have any ideas out there? How do those Spears girls handle school while working? Maybe I shouldn’t ask.
Thursday, December 6, 2007
Alissa (my soon to be 7 year old daughter) - Mom, I’m going to ask Santa for a cell phone.
Sherri (mom/wife) - Santa doesn’t give cell phones to 7 year olds.
Moment of contemplation.
Alissa -Then can you ask Sarah (my 15 year old daughter) to ask Santa for a cell phone and then she can give it to me.
I think it’s funny now, but in 6 years who knows what that little diabolical fiend will be thinking.
Saturday, December 1, 2007
I thought I would share that as a Christmas idea for my blogging friends that stop by and leave nice comments. With all the downloadable music that is available, it is probably an easy thing to do. Most bloggers hang out in groups. Why not make a CD with each track dedicated to a blogger? Here is an example from my PPE list. It should be playing on the player right now.
Mocha Momma-Black Coffee Inn Bed
Queen Of Disfunction-Superfreak
Here are some other tracks that would be on my CD.
Hyperbolic Hermitage- Renegades of Funk (Rage Against The Machine). I’m not going to let her librarian persona fool me. I’m sure she is a renegade of the atomic age.
Long Drives To Nowhere- Nowhere Road (Fastball). How do you get to Nowhere? Nowhere Road.
Rantings of a Crazy Woman- Pump It Up (Elvis Costello). Kristi stopped breast feeding this week.
Seeking Camelot- I’ve Done Everything For You (Rick Springfield). G was in love with Dr. Noah Drake back in the 80’s, probably still is.
White Hot Magik- Never There (Cake). What the hell Nora, where have you been?
This Side of Patty O- Two Out Of Three Ain’t Bad (Meatloaf). Red Sox, Patriots, and Celtics.
Friday, November 23, 2007
This guy gave me a chance in this business when others would have made me wait. Sure, he made me start at the bottom, but he moved me up the ladder very quickly. I am grateful for that. I got a late start in this career and don’t have a bunch of time to burn “paying my dues”.
I became his assistant about a year and a half ago. He got me involved in just about everything there was to do about being a superintendent. A lot of these things I have done for years at previous jobs, so it wasn’t hard to pick up. Payroll, budgets, employee reviews, processing invoices and bills, daily work schedules, overseeing the work on the golf course, I did it all, all in the name of “my training”, that shit only flies so long when then the boss is putting in a 30 hour work week.
I also think he has a personality disorder. I don’t hold that against him, I don’t think he can help a lot of what he does.
I am very much a “ducks in a row” kind of guy. I like things organized, and I think my crew does too. He seems much more comfortable when the crew is spread all over the golf course, trying to get ten things done at once, never completing anything. He likes the chaos. It is also a nightmare for the foreman or assistant to try and be in all these places at once. I love my crew, but that old saying “When the cat’s away, the mice will play”, rings true with even the best of employees.
Then there are the human resource issues. He has made female employees cry. Everyone is afraid to approach him when they would have requests. He actually shook an employee buy the shoulders when she couldn’t understand what he was trying to tell her. She was too afraid that she would lose her job if she reported him, so she didn’t. I didn’t hear about it until after she was no longer an employee. She was very shy and quiet, that must have scared the crap out of her; it really pissed me off when I heard about that.
A few months ago Nelson and I reported him to HR after he had made one of the female employees cry. She didn’t even do anything. She was mowing a green like I had told her to do. He stops her. He gets on his radio and tells me it was a stupid idea to put her on a greens mower, that she can’t handle it, while she was standing there. About 80% of my crew doesn’t speak English; I guess he didn’t realize she was in the other 20%. I came to the green that she was at and drove her to her new job, she cried the entire way there.
I believe he got written up and I believe HR made him take an anger management class. When Nelson and I talked to the general manager, his immediate boss, I told him to look more closely at the maintenance department. He needs to ask more questions. He needs to be more involved. There are other things going on that are not HR issues. I’m sure the GM didn’t like me telling him how to do his job, but my boss did whatever he wanted to do and was held accountable for very little.
Nelson and I have been holding things together for a long time. We have been keeping problems “in house”, but things have been snowballing for a while and it is getting out of hand.
On November 1 a vender came into my office with an invoice for $24,000 worth of 41-0-0 fertilizer. He wanted my signature saying that we had received it. That’s fine we received it, but on October 1. I signed it with great reservation. I confronted the vender about the date change. He said that my boss had arranged for the change of date on the invoice. I asked my boss the next day about the $24,000 invoice with my signature on it, “Hey, who knows about this invoice?” “Just you the vender, and me.” he replied.
October 31 marks the end of our fiscal year. That $24,000 will now appear on the books for 2008 instead 2007 where it belongs. Want to guess who is on a bonus program? It is not me. I have known about this kind of bullshit for a while, but now I’m linked to it. I could loose my job for this. He has put my family in harms way so that he can make a fucking bonus. I’m glad that he thinks I have the same ethics that he does. That playing with the books to make a bonus isn’t stealing. I’m sure my employer isn’t very attached to that 20 or 25 thousand dollars he may get when he makes his numbers.
So a couple of weeks ago I couldn’t sleep. It just hit me that I couldn’t let this go on any more. It was 2:30 in the morning when I got up. Sherri knew what I was going through. I woke her up to tell her that I was fine and that I was going for a walk, I just couldn’t sleep any more. She asked me, “What are going to do?” I answered, “I’m taking down my boss today.”
There was a small problem, who do I tell. I didn’t trust the GM. I’m sure his bonus is contingent with my bosses bonus. For all I know, he knows all about it, or just didn’t care to know. I told someone who didn’t answer directly to the GM. I told the controller our accountant. I told her about the invoice I had signed and gave her a few other venders to look at.
I knew my boss knew what was up. I’m sure the venders gave him a call. He didn’t talk to me much. He spent a lot of time with the bills and on the phone. I think he was trying to clean up his paper trail and get all his buddies on the same page, but I’m sure they all folded when my employer told them they weren’t paying them unless they fessed up to their arrangement with my boss. All I could do was wait and see how this would play out. Oh, did I mention this was all going down 3 days before we reopened from our over seed?
I figured if something was going to happen it would go down on Thursday of that week. The VP of the company that I work for had a scheduled appointment to be in town. He showed up on Monday, unannounced. My boss resigned the next day.
Now I am dealing with the aftermath of my decision. My employers have hired outside consultants to give the facility a deep anal probe with no Vaseline and unclipped fingernails. I’m sure the GM is pissed at me; nobody likes a rat. I’m sure they are not done looking at the GM too. I think he is a “dead man walking”.
I was hoping I could get my boss promoted and that he would recommend me for his old position. Now I have no reference to use on a resume since I basically screwed the two guys that I have worked for in this business. I think I could be the superintendent here, but the VP told me that they really aren’t interested in hiring an assistant for this position. That’s really rich, my boss had a very nice pedigree and look what that got them.
So it looks like I’ve set myself back a couple of years while I reestablish my reputation. I’m sure my old boss is thrashing me. The word is out. I got a call two hours after my boss quit from some guy wanting to know what happened and how he could apply for the job. This call came on my cell phone, I didn’t know who he was or how he got my number.
I will start applying at other courses as the opportunities arise, something I really didn’t want to do until now. Maybe someone will take a chance on me, but that means I will have to leave a course that I take a lot of pride in, and group friends I love to work with.
Monday, November 12, 2007
How do I know this great stuff? I have my friend Nelson to thank for that.
Back in August I took a little vacation. Nelson agreed to look after the small zoo that lives in my home. We have two weenie dogs (Splinter and Mia), two goldfish (Sally and Hammerhead), and one toad (Rosie) that Alissa and I found on the golf course.
I had promised Austin that we would go out and find a toad for him too, but that never happened.
Alissa loved that toad. She was about the size of a nickel when we found her. Like we know if it was a female. We fed Rosie small crickets and kept her in an aquarium with plenty of water. She was about the size of a 50-cent piece at vacation time.
Well I get the call from Nelson on the way home that there had been a death in the family. While he was cleaning out the aquarium he forgot to put the water bowl back in. When he came back, he found the dried up remains of Rosie.
Good guy Nelson went to Petco and purchased Alissa a frog, not a toad, to replace Rosie. He also bought one for Austin. He said that it might pass for Rosie, but that we could decide on what to tell Alissa. Rosie 1 was all gray. Rosie 2 is green with red spots on her entire underbelly. Then there would have to be an explanation for Rock, the frog he bought for Austin. I’m not sure what he was thinking.
The guys at work told me later that the poor dude was pitifully looking all around the golf course for a toad to replace Rosie. It was the running joke at MVCC for weeks. I thought Sherri had the best one though. Nelson called to talk a few days later and Sherri answered the phone, “Hey Nelson, my dogs don’t come to their names anymore.”
When we got home from vacation, the first thing Alissa wanted to do was check on Rosie. We didn’t say a word. Who knows, maybe she wouldn’t know. I thought it was working until “Mr. Helpful” Austin comes in the room, “That’s not Rosie!” The boy almost died that night.
The story we told her was that Rosie escaped while Nelson was cleaning the tank.
So how do I know that it takes about 8 hours to dry up a frog? Rock met the same fate that “Rosie 1” did this morning. Austin did exactly the same thing Nelson did. He fed Rock before he went to bed and forgot the water. You wouldn’t think they would dry up so fast. You also wouldn’t think my kids would think if they put him back in water he would come back. They did, and Rock puffed back up, just like a sponge. Close, but no banana. I got to flush Rock when I got home from work.
Saturday, November 10, 2007
In this installment of Malathionman’s Yard I would like to share with you, The Malathionman Entourage, some information about fertilizer.
When talking fertilizer, you have to know the symbols N, P, and K. N is the elemental symbol for nitrogen, P is for phosphorus, and K is for potassium. These three elements are very important for good plant growth.
Nitrogen will promote fast growth and green foliage. Phosphorus will promote blooms on flowering plants and strong root development. Potassium works on both roots and foliage. So you could say N is for the top of the plant, P is for the bottom of the plant, and K is for all the entire plant. This is a very basic interpretation of what these elements do for the plant.
Now you may ask,” What do those 3 fricking numbers on the fertilizer bag mean?” Well I’m going to tell you.
41-0-0 is the fertilizer we threw before we dropped our perennial rye seed. Remember that fertilizer, it may come up in a later post. 41-0-0 represents the percentage of the elements N, P and K that are in the bag. This bag is 41% N, 0 % P, and 0% K. If the bag weighed 100 lbs, only 41 lbs of it would be N, the other 59 lbs would be filler. If the 100 lb. bag of fertilizer had 15-15-15 on it that would mean 15% of the bag was N, 15% was P, and 15% was K. That’s 15 lbs of each element, 45 lbs of actual N, P, and K, and 55 lbs of filler.
We went with a fertilizer high in nitrogen because we were trying to grow things as fast as possible.
Now I’m only going to add one more thing to this post, not everyone finds fertilizer as exciting as I do.
FOLLOW THE DIRECTIONS ON THE BAG. Some fertilizers recommend mowing before application or not mowing before application. Maybe you are supposed to water before you apply, but usually you water in. Always use the recommended application rate, more is not always better. It is amazing how well things work if you just follow the directions.
Friday, November 2, 2007
We started going door to door at dusk, which was about 6:15. Alissa got really cranky and tired fast. She only lasted about an hour, but when we got home to hand out candy she got her second wind. She had much more fun handing out candy than collecting it. About 8:30 we ran out of candy, but that didn’t stop Alissa, she started to hand out the candy she had received that night and earlier in the week. At first I was all for it, but I finally stopped her so she would at least have something to eat for breakfast the rest of the week. :)
Monday, October 29, 2007
I had to buy a car because two of my three cars were down and we didn’t want to spend the money required to repair them. I was hoping to find a dealership that was willing to take the broken cars as trade-ins.
I found a nice Chevy Tahoe at a near by dealer. The price was a little more than I wanted to spend, but I really liked the car. The room inside the car and the leather interior was great, but my favorite thing was the Bose stereo system. Blondie’s One Way Or Another came on the radio during the test drive, so I had to crank it through the entire song. The salesman and I looked like Wayne and Garth jamming to Bohemian Rhapsody.
We told the salesman what kind of down payment we had, the kind of monthly payment we were looking for, and that we wanted to trade in both clunkers. “We will try our best Malathionman,” hissed the slippery salesman. About 20 minutes later slippery salesman slithered back into the waiting room with the news, “We think we can do this for you.” He got the monthly payment exactly where we wanted except for one thing; the loan was for 72 months! We had no idea they did used car loans that long.
Sherri and I looked at each other in disbelief. Although they pretty much did what we asked; we didn’t want to pay that much for the car. We had to run a few errands, so we told them we would be back in an hour with an answer.
I really wanted that car, but even I knew that was a bad deal. Sherri said I could buy it if I wanted, and I was going to, but I had some conditions. 72 months was too long, I would go no longer than 60, and the monthly payment needed to stay the same. So I figured the price needed to come down. The DVD player didn’t work, that would have to be repaired. The car needed to be detailed; there was still crumbs and trash from the previous owner in it. Lastly, I thought the tires only had a couple of months left in them, so I wanted a new set of tires. Now that I’m writing about it, this car sounds like a piece of shit.
I returned with my demands. I told him these were deal breakers. I would not drive the car off the lot without these things done. If he couldn’t do it, I understood, no hard feelings. He said he would talk to his boss. 5 minutes later slimy sales boy brings in the "closer". We go over my deal and he agrees to all my terms. I’m feeling like Donald Trump, playing hardball, making the big deal. I agree to the deal and tell them I’ll return with the pinks to my trade-ins.
An hour later I return with the pinks and my wife. We are signing papers and I noticed the price of the car remained the same. How did they shave off 12 months and keep the monthly payments the same? They lowered the interest rate. This kind of pissed me off. Why didn’t I get this better rate in the first place? Donald Trump had such a bonner over this car they probably thought they could stick him with a crummy loan too. I’m feeling like I’ve just been screwed when I say, “When will the car be ready for me to pick up?” “You can take it home now,” scumbag cheerfully replied. “Really? You fixed the DVD player? There is a new set of tires on the car?” I’m starting to smell bullshit. “Your detail is almost done. You will have to come back and make an appointment to get that DVD player fixed. What’s this you say about a new set of tires?” "You know about the tires, I told you about them, closer boy agreed.” “Oh. I’ll be right back.”
Slimy, slithering, scumbag, sales boy comes back with his sales manager. Pampas jerk says, (That would be the sales manager, not me.) “Who promised you tires?” “Closer boy.” “ He didn’t have the authority to do that. You know we thought we had an agreement at 72 months, and then you make us go to 60 with all these demands. I think we are being taken advantage of.” I’m getting pissed real fast, but I see my opportunity, “Well we didn’t sign anything at 72. Your guy agreed to my terms. If you can’t do them I’m walking.” “Hey, no need to be that way, we can make a compromise.” ”No we won’t. We are done.” I pull the pinks from his folder and walk away.
We get 3 or 4 follow up calls the next day. They do their best to try and get us back in there, but I won’t budge.
So now I’m really in a really pissy mood for the next 24 hours. It took me that long to cool down. I regroup and think about what mistakes I made while trying to purchase this car. Here are some things I learned.
1. Don’t negotiate monthly payment. Negotiate price of the car and interest rate. Almost all dealerships have a website with a loan calculator. If you know the price of the car and the interest rate, the loan calculator will figure out your monthly payment. If you tell the dealer you want a $400 a month payment, that’s probably what you’ll get, even if you can do better.
2. If the dealership has their used car inventory on-line, check the price on-line with the sticker price on the lot. I bet the on-line price is much lower. The price of the Tahoe I was looking at was $2000 less on-line. This is the price I agreed to pay; the dealer had no problem with that. I would guess there isn’t much room for negotiating on the on-line price.
With those two things in mind I looked for another car at a different dealership. I looked for a car that I liked, with an on-line price that I could live with. I found a 2004 Mountaineer with 30,000 miles for $14,000. I drove down to the dealership and checked out the car in person. The price on the lot was $19,000. I went home to do some homework.
When I got home I went back on-line to the loan calculator. I entered the on-line price, my down payment, my trade-in values, sales tax, the interest rate I could live with, and the number of months I wanted to pay. Voila, here is my monthly payment. Now I’m informed before I go to speak to a salesman.
I go back to the dealership. I test-drive the Mountaineer. I am happy with the ride. So I try my new strategy. I told the guy I wanted the on-line price, which he knew was $5000 less than the sticker. There was nothing wrong with the car. I didn’t have to ask for any repairs. I wanted blaa, blaa, blaa, for my trade-ins. I had blaa, blaa, blaa for a down payment. I wanted the best possible interest rate, and a 48-month loan. If I can live with the interest rate you offer me I will buy the car. They came back with an interest rate 1% higher than I expected, so I told them they needed to do better, they lowered it 1%. I bought the car.
I was home with the car in about than 90 minutes. It was that easy.
Saturday, October 20, 2007
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
I remember when I was in 6th grade. Someone thought it would be a good idea to show us kids Brian’s Song. It was a pathetic sight, 30 kids trying not to cry, and teachers too.
It is easy to pull the Old Yeller card when it comes to crying, but how about Lonesome Dove. It could make you cry almost every episode. Augustus McCrae and Woodrow Call are two cowboys that have a more traditional relationship than Larry McMurtry’s cowboy lovers in Brokeback Mountain. It seems ironic that he wrote both stories.
This is what inspired this little post.
My daughter Alissa is required to read every night. One of her favorite books is Love You Forever. We usually have to read it to her at least once a week. I have a hard time doing it. I can’t read it without getting all misty-eyed. If I were by myself I would just flat out cry. It’s a sneaky little book. You pick it up thinking it’s a harmless children’s book, then wham, you are reaching for the Kleenex. If you have read the book, click on the link I have provided and read about why Robert Munsch wrote it, you would probably cry some more.
Monday, October 15, 2007
There are a lot of things that can go wrong. You watch as close as you can but you have no idea if the guys throwing seed missed any spots until the seeds have germinated. Sprinkler heads can break or get stuck, causing seed to move. Weather can be suck. Equipment can break. It is a lot of long hours and stress.
Today was my 8th consecutive day at work; I will not have a day off until this weekend, maybe. I got home after dark, and was pleasantly surprised with dinner waiting for me on the table. Dinner was great, but the special “slushie” Sherri had waiting was even better. The kids didn’t get why I got one and they didn’t.
Now I think I'll put the kids to bed, grab another "slushie" and see what kind of dress Edyta wears tonight.
Sunday, October 7, 2007
I hope my oldest daughter has set a different tone.
About four months ago my daughter Sarah had a major set back in her quest to come home from Red Rock Canyon School. This weekend we got a very encouraging report from the staff at Red Rock. Sarah has rebounded to the place she was before the setback, and is probably in a better state of mind than she was before.
After the altercation, Sherri and I stopped our weekly therapy phone calls. We also stopped the two personal phone calls that we made every week. We told her that the ball was in her court. She needed to figure out when she wanted get out of there and do what it takes to come home, until the staff tells us there is a significant change there will be no more phone calls. We do keep in touch by e-mail, but do not discuss therapy issues.
It took a few weeks, but Sarah finally reengaged in the Red Rock program. It looks like she may have been feeling too much pressure from mom and dad. Eliminating the phone calls has apparently eliminated that pressure. I’m not sure when we will start talking again, but it sounds like it is going to be sooner than later.
After the last post I made about Sarah I didn’t care if I talked to her again. It has been really hard to bond to this girl, but every time I get good news about her I can’t help but hope for the best. I still want things to work out for us as a family, but I guess if we can just get her through her teen years free of drugs and not pregnant, that would be an accomplishment all in its own. And that just might have to do.
Thursday, September 27, 2007
In this picture I am going to inspect the putting green for stress or disease. As you can tell it is real tough work. It sucks when I actually have to get out of the golf cart that I drive around all day.
Getting out of the cart doesn’t really suck. I liked doing the manual labor when I was on the crew. I liked to walk mow the greens. I got a kick out of making sure that my greens had the straightest lines and cleanest edges.
I also liked to mow the fairways. Driving that big fairway mower is pretty cool. You also get to do that whole straight-line clean edge thing, just on a bigger scale.
I think you have to be a golfer to appreciate the job that I have. I love to golf, so it is safe to say that I love my job. My only regret is that I didn't get started on this career earlier. Both my father and father inlaw were big golfers, neither one of them got to play at my golf course. I would have loved to be able to share my golf course with them.
Monday, September 24, 2007
I don’t know how this always happens, but I had to take Alissa to her friend’s birthday party while Sherri was at work. The party was at a place called Pump It Up. Pump It Up is a place that specializes in bouncy fun!
Your child and their guests get to enjoy a private room filled with all the best bouncy toys you can think of. They had a giant slide, an obstacle course, and the biggest moon bounce I have ever seen. These rides were so big that they even allowed the parents to jump in them. Game on, I’m all over that.
So I kick off my flip-flops and started attacking the obstacle course like Nitro from American Gladiators. I always have an American Gladiator outfit in the car just for times like this! Kids are flying, moms are screaming, other dads are cheering as I annihilate this wimpy course. Then all of a sudden I hear a loud whistle. It is the teenage boy that monitors the kids, “Dude, you can’t be in there.” “And why the hell not?” I responded, “You guys said parents could play too!” “It’s your nasty ass toenails, they are too long, they might pop the rides, and I don’t even want to talk about that toe fungus. I think you can get a prescription for that.” the pimple faced punk replied. “You really should go to the private room for dads.” “Really? Where is that?” “Follow me Nitro.” Me and all the other dads follow “Spicoli” back to a black door marked private.
The private room was actually an arena filled with cheering and screaming dads. They were cheering for the two Victoria’s Secret models wrestling in a pit of lime jello. I think one of them was Tyra Banks. She had 30 lbs on the other one and easily won.
The ring announcer then steps into the ring, “Can we have a volunteer that thinks he can handle these two ladies!” Everyone stops and turns to look at the guy wearing the red, white and blue leotard. Then the chanting begins, “Nitro, Nitro, Nitro…..” Some dreams do come true.
I’m going to describe the match as efficiently as I can. Bill Murray, John Candy, Stripes. Do I need to say more?
When all the fun was over, me and the other dads joined the birthday party, again. We were just in time for cake and ice cream. There was a different private room for present opening and cake eating. The Pump It Up crew took care of serving the cake and singing to the kids. I was impressed. I went to this girl’s party last year at Chuck E Cheese. This year’s party was much better.
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
Sherri was shopping at the local grocery store late in the evening. The meat department was getting ready to close when she asked for 2lbs of hamburger meat, the 15% fat kind. The butcher made her an offer, “ It’s the end of the day, do you want some 7% for $1.99 a lbs?” She thought that was great, “Alright, give me two lbs.” He responded, “I only have about 10lbs, buy the rest of it and I’ll give it to you for $1.79 a lbs.” “Deal.”
Last night we are all enjoying the spaghetti dinner Sherri had prepared when she makes an unpleasant discovery. Sherri is chewing her mouthful of food when I notice that she pulls something that is not spaghetti out of her mouth. We examine the object closely and determine that it is part of a band-aid. No one in the house has a cut, so we can only make the assumption that it came from the butcher. NASTEY! I already had finished my plate, the kids didn’t care, but that pretty much finished dinner for Sherri. The leftover spaghetti found the trashcan. The other 8 pounds of meat are still in the freezer, but I think it is going to magically disappear someday.
On a side note:
My wife has a gift for finding “nonfood items” in her food. Glass, hair, and fingernails are all things I can remember her finding in her dinner. Claim Jumper, Red Lobster, and Outback Steakhouse were the restaurants we were at when she found these items.
I’ve watched her eat. She looks at almost every bite before she puts it in her mouth. I almost think ignorance is bliss in this case, because once she finds something she is totally grossed out and can’t eat a thing. God only knows how many body parts I’ve eaten over the years, and enjoyed them too!
Sunday, September 16, 2007
Church here in the desert is pretty slow. About half of my church leaves town for the summer.
Church here in the desert is also pretty casual. It is usually at least 110, so people dress to stay cool. Especially the ladies.
Today was an exceptionally "scenic"day. The sun dresses were out in abundance. It was a great day to be a guy.
A guy can usually catch a casual glimpse of an attractive woman and its no big deal, but today, I flat out was caught staring. I wasn't even going to deny it.
The woman I was staring at was wearing a red sun dress with very thin shoulder straps and the top was barely holding in her breasts. She was very tan, but her boobs weren't! You could see that much. I think my mouth was actually open in amazement when I got an elbow in the ribs from Sherri.
So basically, I was caught checking out babes at church today, with my wife standing next to me. I'm pretty much going to hell.
Friday, September 14, 2007
It is tough being Malathion man's neighbor. I sometimes pee in the bushes and I walk around taking pictures of their yards so that I can rag on them in my blog.
This guy has a huge tree problem. His tree is way too fricking big. You can't see this in the picture, but the roots are tearing up his driveway. They will soon be messing with the foundation of the house. There is also too much shade. Nothing will grow under that tree.
If I turn around 180 degrees, you will see what his neighbor is trying to do to fix the same problem.
As you can see he had no grass from the lack of sun. He still hasn't fixed his bigger problem, the roots. Also, he has left a huge frame that will fill up again and keep the grass from getting any sun.
The real fix would be to remove the entire tree. Start over and plant something that doesn't grow so big.
Also, if you are going to trim your tree, leave some foliage. The more the better. Plants can't make food without leaves, duh. This tree will have to use up stored food to crank out some leaves. Once the leaves are out, the tree can start making food again, but it will be stressed out for quite some time because of all the energy it used to get to that point.
While I am talking about trimming, take a look at the house across the street. Does this guy want a tree or a hedge? If that empty frame across the street gets cut down to size, a dense canopy will begin to grow like they have here, but don't take the hedge clippers to it!
Tree trimming should be an "as needed" job. If the canopy is hanging too low, trim up the low hanging branches. If there is too much end weight pulling down a branch, remove the end weight. Fruit trees are a good example of this.
A rule of thumb about trimming is, do not remove more then 25% of the canopy when trimming. Don't let your tree overgrow the area that you want it in and you shouldn't have to worry about that rule.
Lastly, do your homework before you plant a tree, don't take the Home Depot guy's word for it. How big is this tree going to get? How fast does it grow? Is it evergreen or deciduous? How much water will it need? Think about these things before you invest your time and money on a tree or plant for that matter, then your nosey neighbor won't talk trash about you on the internet.
Monday, September 10, 2007
Saturday, September 8, 2007
I make it a point to look out for my crew. The occasional box of doughnuts in the morning or ice cream in the afternoon goes a long way towards making these guys want to work for me. My boss says, “Save the receipt!” I tell him the treats are on me and I want the crew to know it. Buying sweets for the crew doesn’t give me a free pass to act like a jerk, I still have to treat them with respect, it just reinforces to them that I appreciate their effort. When you are a white male, and your crew is entirely made up of Hispanics that speak very little English, you better be able to convey that message.
Nelson takes these kinds of lessons from me, and I sponge information about golf course maintenance from him.
Last week, the mechanic at my course was challenged by his brother who works at another course, to a little game of softball. Nelson and I were invited to play. No other managers were invited. I thought that meant something and that we should go. I did have plans to see The Bourne Ultimatum with Sherri that night, but I cancelled on her so that I could do this. I felt that it was one of those times were it was just the right thing to do. Sherri understood, but I had to take her to the movie the next night at a later time (7:30pm). This sucks because I get up a 4:00am, but it was all worth it. The movie ruled, and the game was a blast.
Nelson drove us to a park called The Armory. This was not a place a couple of white guys would normally hang out. “ Dude, I’m not getting out of the car unless I see some of our guys.” I said. Luckily we saw some familiar faces, so we parked as close to the field as we could and got out.
I don’t know why these guys picked this park to play at. The Armory should have been called The Cow Pasture. The dirt infield was overgrown with weeds and grass. There were many holes in the outfield and infield that someone could easily break an ankle in. There was also a light pole in the middle of centerfield that came into play a lot; it was like 20 steps behind second base.
This game had a large turn out. It wasn’t the amount of players; it was all of the friends and family that came along to watch. There were probably about 30 people just to watch, and party.
The game turned out to be no game at all. MVCC opened up a can of whoopass on Sun City. We scored 10 runs in our half of the 1st inning and never looked back. Things stayed friendly and both teams had a good time.
After the game, it was “Get your picture with a couple of white guys night.” All the ladies had cameras and wanted pictures with Nelson and me. We posed with the ladies, we posed with families, and we even posed with the other team. It all made us feel very welcome, and glad that we decided to go.
Tuesday, September 4, 2007
Ms. Valasick sat behind her desk and waited for her new students, and their parents, to come in. She didn’t leave her desk to great us. We walked up to her throne.
“Good morning, we are Mr. and Mrs. Malathionman, this is Alissa.”
If Ben Stein had a sister, she would sound like this, “Hello, I’m Ms. Valasick. Alissa, pick a colored stick from this jar, match it to the colored spot at one of those tables and take a seat. Here is your name tag, please put it on.”
We do as instructed.
Sherri is doing her best to get Alissa excited about class, but things are getting misty in a hurry. As I watch the tears forming in both Sherri and Alissa’s eyes, I can’t help but think this woman could get off her butt and try to make my daughter feel a little more comfortable in her classroom. It didn’t happen. I felt like shit leaving, but Sherri had to go before she really started to cry and that would make things even worse for Alissa.
I made sure I was there when she got out of school. I wanted to see how Ms. Valasick was interacting with the kids, and I wanted to give my little girl a big hug.
I watched as Ms. Valasick let each child out of the classroom. Each child got this option at the door, “High five, handshake, or hug.” Alissa chose hug. It all sounds nice, but with that Ben Stein voice and the going through the motions hug she got, I still wasn’t impressed. I wish “needle in the eye” was an option.
Sunday, September 2, 2007
I started this blog for my fantasy baseball friends. It was supposed to be used as place for us to talk baseball and possibly make trades in our fantasy baseball league. I think some of the guys read it every once in a while, but it has basically evolved into something I didn’t intend it to be, a place where I tell stories about what’s going on in my life. Why would I think anyone gives a rip about that?
One thing I have discovered since I started this blog is that I enjoy writing. I think my writing has improved too. I think I could go into more detail when I’m telling my stories, but I’m not sure my readers enjoy the real long post.
Sometimes I don’t have any funny stories to tell. I’ll sit in front of the computer and try to think of something, but I usually just skip posting until I have something in my head ready to go. I bring this up because I often wonder what people like to read about when they come here. I like to write about my family, but for the sake of this “writing thing” I’m asking for some other ideas.
Here are some things that I can write about without bull shitting you, BASEBALL, THE ANGELS, FOOTBALL, GOLF, GOLF COURSE MAINTENANCE, COOKING, PARENTING, ADOPTION, MOVIES, MUSIC, MANAGEMENT, LAWN CARE, GARDENING, PESTICIDES (Besides Nora, how many of you know Malathion is a pesticide?), HOME DEPOT (Worked there 8 years.), DOMINO’S PIZZA (Worked there 10 years.), AND MARRIAGE (Married 22 years.).
I am willing to write about more serious topics like politics, religion, and race/discrimination issues, but I get the impression people come here for a “light read”.
So friends, give an evil mutant a shout. Let me know if there is something you would like me to tackle. You would be doing ME the favor.
Friday, August 24, 2007
We spent our vacation in two places, Silver Lake and Truckee. We have friends that rent a cabin near Donner Lake, which is really close to the town of Truckee. Our friends, Jerry and Wendy, are like grandparents to the kids, although I think they prefer aunt and uncle.
Jerry and Wendy thought it would be nice if they took the kids to The Donner Party Memorial, so Sherri and I could relax a little. The Donner Party may be something only us Californians are familiar with, so this might not seem funny to a nonresident, or it may not seem funny at all. I’m kind of twisted so I think it is funny. Here is the conversation I had with Austin upon his return from The Donner Party Memorial.
Hey dude, how was the exhibit?
It was ok, that Donner Party was a really terrible thing.
What was so terrible?
Just that all those people died.
That’s all that you took away from that exhibit?
No, Wendy let us get some stuff from the shop. I got some postcards, a t-shirt, and I was hungry so I got some jerky.
You went to The Donner Party Memorial and got some jerky?
So, you got some “Donner Party” jerky?
I hear Donner tastes kind of salty.
No I think it tastes like teriyaki.
My mother-in-law Mary also came with us on our trip. She stayed at Silver Lake in the RV while we drove up north to visit Jerry and Wendy. She also brought her dog, Bogie. Bogie is a two-year-old Shitzu. Austin and Alissa LOVE to play with Bogie and his monkey toy. Bogie likes to do more than play with his monkey toy. I have never seen this before, but I swear the dog was humping the damn thing. I asked Mary, “What the hell?” she replied, “ He has lots of toys, and that’s the only one he does that to.” I respond, “Remind me never to pick up that monkey again.”
Later that day Austin is playing with the dog, and yes, he was playing with the monkey. Usually that means tossing the monkey down the hall for the dog to chase. Fine, I’m not too grossed out by that. When Austin put the monkey in his mouth and started having a tug-o-war I had to make it stop,
Dude that is grosser than you want to know, give the dog his monkey.
OK, it’s funny when I give it back. You should see what he does.
I’m afraid to ask.
He humps it.
OK, so you know what he does to it?
And you still put the monkey in your mouth?
Go brush your teeth.
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
Her first cast was almost Barbie’s last. I explained to her that you held down the button on the reel and let go of the button as you cast the rod forward. Probably trying to get a little extra on her first cast of the day; Alissa rears back and fires the rod forward, letting go of everything and sends Barbie flying into the lake. Half expecting this disaster, I was ready to retrieve her rod if it went swimming. Daddy saves the day.
Her second cast was almost her last. After another quick lesson on how to cast, Alissa quickly gives it another try, before I can get out of the way. She set her worm filled hook into my arm, not my sleeve, my arm.
Two bathroom trips to the shore and about 3 hours later, I catch the first fish of the day. It was about a 2 lbs rainbow trout. I was lucky and had hooked it in the lip, so I let it go. This was a total bummer to Alissa; she didn’t understand why I let it go. She was also getting very tired of not catching anything. She was getting ready to call it a day.
We agreed to fish for 30 more minutes, then we would call it a day. 25 minutes later I am watching her bubble start to move side to side. I point it out to her. I tell her to watch the bubble closely and be ready if it to goes down. 15 seconds later, boom, the bubble dives under the choppy water. She was ready, and she did a great job, she landed the fish all on her own. All that Alissa needed me for was to take out the hook.
I had done a good job removing the hook, so I asked Alissa if she wanted to release her catch. I think you can guess the answer.
Monday, August 20, 2007
Actually, I know what was going on. My friend Kelly was nice enough to find time for my little blog and me while I vacationed in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. I was flattered when she accepted my invitation to be my guest blogger. She is a very busy woman and one post would have been great in my eyes, but she cranked out three. Thanks Kelly.
Not that Kelly needs my help plugging her site, but I encourage any of my readers that haven’t checked out her non-porn site to go to the links in her second post here at WGAPE. I did, and I listened to the entire hour of the radio interview. Kelly, it was nice to put a voice on that ugly mug of yours, and if you were wondering, I always sound like the Malathionman in that Bleak Future trailer.
I had never listened to a blog radio show before; it was pretty cool. The topic of the interview was The Inclusion and Exclusion: Where Are the Bloggers of Color and Why Aren’t We Reading Them. At the BlogHer conference in Chicago last month, some marketing “pros” wanted to know how to tap into the mommy blogger market, Kelly asked these marketing pros, “When will the diversity come into play?” She could not get a response. Now they are the topic of conversation on many of the diversified blogs out there, probably not the reaction they were looking for.
Damn it Kelly for making me have to think! First the big words, now this! I feel like an insensitive evil mutant with a bad case of hippopotomonstrosesquipedaliophobia.
Hey Kelly, a marketing agency for a sex toy company sent me some free butt plugs.
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
eating way too many fried foods
taking mediocre pictures
getting hooked on new websites
working on freshman schedules
trying to get ready for a Podcast with Kristen Chase
trying to write for BlogRhet
continuing to stir up my own corner of the blog world with issues of race and blogging
putting together a panel of women (and men!) to discuss the issues of race and blogging at next year's BlogHer conference
getting continous wedgies from sitting at my desk
working on "chair ass" at said desk
getting to know my new computer (it's black! whether it's a "he" or "she" is still up in the air)
wondering where the hell the blogging community has disappeared
clipping my toenails and leaving them here for Malation Man to clean up later
drinking my new favorite beer, Red Stripe
cutting up pears and fancy goat cheese to go with Red Stripe
What have you been doing or are all the bloggers on vacation with Malation Man? Are y'all fishing? Covering yards and houses in toilet paper?
Sunday, August 12, 2007
Nothing, I tell you. NOTHING.
This fall I'm planning on catching up on some good television that I've missed for the last two years since I've been taking classes. One of them is The Office. It's one of my favorite shows I've caught up on because I've blindly bought the DVDs and then I started reading Dwight's blog. Speaking of awkward segues that make reference to aforementioned television shows...
Question: If I told you that I have some upcoming projects and you'd have to go read them in other places, would you?
No? Ok. I'll try another one after this cute anecdote.
My neighbor's son came over to play for awhile yesterday while I had a houseful of relatives for my Grandma's birthday (Give a shout out to Maggie for her 90th, would you? She's all over this blog stuff and reads me religiously. No. She doesn't. But it would be nice anyway and you could leave more $10 words for the owner of this blog.) and he said this to me: "I'm for serious." That's my new favorite phrase and I'm going to inject it into the vernacular in an attempt to get other adults to talk like three-year olds.
Question: Did you know that I have a podcast coming up and you can hear my midwestern vocalization in real time? I do! It's a broadcast on race and blogging involving Glennia and Jason on Kristen Chases's blog radio show. Click here to bookmark the page and come back Wednesday night from 9-10. Oh, come on. The new fall line-up hasn't started yet and you know there isn't anything good on television just yet.
Plus, you can call in and get on the radio. Dwight would find that hysterical.
Just for fun and to combine my granny's birthday with how I spent my evening after a long day of partying (read: watched Season 2 of The Office) I've linked a clip for you that's one of my favorites.
Listen to my radio broadcast or no cookie. For serious.
Saturday, August 11, 2007
For the time being, my own blog is "broken" and that has hindered me from telling all these great stories because I can't even get into it easily myself. There's the one about the guy who stalked me at the park and gave me the creeps (unless that was you, MalationMan, in which case dude, what an asshat you are) or the fact that I ate nearly an entire gallon of ice cream in one sitting or maybe the time last week when I spent the evening quoting So I Married An Axe Murderer. They're all quite interesting stories. At least, I can make them interesting. Sometimes I do better to tell stories in person but I can't quite do that yet. My Superpowers don't yet allow me to teleport into your homes (and prisons - I know that's where a lot of MalathionMan's readers are) whenever I choose.
I'm here now. You can rest easy.
To begin my week of hijacking this mofo I thought I'd introduce myself to his readers. Hi, I'm Mocha Momma. I've got this blog over here and sometimes I write about education and other times I write about my three kids or sometimes I post pictures (but I took them down not too long ago and am now starting to put some back up) and other times I discuss inappropriate things that my father would croak if he heard me discussing but that my mother seems to enjoy. Recently, I've stirred the proverbial ($10 Word #2) pot and discussed the taboo topic of race, but I sure enjoy saying what's on my mind.
He said I could write anything and now that I am afforded that sumptuousness ($10 Word #3) I have to admit that I'm stumped. It'll come to me, I'm sure. The point is Mr. Vacation has left me in charge and we're going to raid the fridge, use permanent markers in the living room where there is fresh paint, and have a party.
Leave some $10 Words in the comments so he has to look them up when he returns. In the meantime, sit down for a cuppa or a very dirty martini (Belvedere vodka , thankyouverymuch) and I'll make us some snacks and find those markers so we can make a mess.
Get back to me on the pink & bunnies & sex toys.
Tuesday, August 7, 2007
On this same trip last year I took a great picture of my son fishing. I like it so much I’m going to share it again on this blog. It may seem like a normal picture of a kid fishing on a pier, but you have to look a little closer, there is a ray of sunshine coming from his butt crack!
Anyways, while I’m gone, there will be a guest in the house. My guest is a much better writer than me. They sometimes use big words that I have to look up when I read their blog, but that’s ok; it is always a great read. I am not going to say who the blogger is. How they identify themselves is up to him or her. Enjoy the change of pace and I will see you in a couple of weeks.
Monday, August 6, 2007
I just don’t understand why kids get in to the kind of trouble that they get into these days. My parents neglected me just as much as any other kid and I didn’t feel the need to deal drugs or shoot anybody.
The kind of trouble I got into was harmless.
1. Once my friends and I got busted for trespassing at the local rock quarry. We were climbing the giant sand piles and diving off the top. The cops were cool; they just took us home and laughed with our parents about it.
2. We did a lot of T.P.ing. Never less than a 12 pack of TP. It was an honor to have your house T.P.ed by my gang of troublemakers.
3. Probably the nastiest thing my friends and I did was cover my buddies piece of shit Pinto with tampons dipped in ketchup.
Nobody got hurt, nothing got broken.
I was a teenager in the late 70’s and early 80’s in the very same area this movie takes place. I was born in Pomona, CA. My dad was a policeman in Pomona. I played high school soccer and tennis against Claremont High. I delivered pizzas to the Claremont Colleges. I now live in the Palm Springs area. All three of these places are featured in this movie. It was weird to see these places that I look at fondly represented in this type of a movie, a movie that is all about drug dealers, potheads, tweekers, racists, kidnapping and murder.
Probably more disturbing than the kids in this film were the parents. Every parent in this movie played a key role in how his or her kids ended up. I always have to remind myself that it is my job to pay attention to my kids and do my best to make sure they stay out of harms way. That means I can’t always be my kid’s friend.
Wednesday, August 1, 2007
Malathionman was a little frisky last night. He was not going to be denied his manly needs, and he wasn’t, but there was a price.
I go to bed about 9pm. 9pm is not too late. Can you guess what happened yet?
Things were just starting to get heated up and we hear, “Can I sleep in here tonight?”
Sherri gets up and puts the little darling back to bed.
Thinking, “Oh well, so much for that.” I roll over to go to sleep. Sherri comes back a few minutes later. I was WRONG! That’s right, Malathionman has got it going on, and just as Malathionman was about to be going off, “ I’m still scared.”
I’m not sure she was talking about a bad dream. She could have been talking about what she was seeing.
My wife says she reads my blog, but I don’t believe her. I should know if she is telling the truth after this post.
Check out the poll on the right side of the page.
Tuesday, July 24, 2007
I think we are going to keep the team together and play more after this season is over. This has inspired me to try and get into a little better shape. It is my intention to just loose some bad habits and get my big butt moving more. Hopefully that will help me get around the bases a little faster.
My wife told me that she supports me 100%. In fact, she’s tired of supporting 100% of me, she would prefer to only support about 80% of me, if you know what I mean. :) Anyways, she came home with some new “stuff” for people who are trying to diet. Stuff I’m not sure I’m going to try.
This dietary aid is supposed to block the digestion of fat. So I guess what happens is that the fat you eat just passes through your body, this may cause some unpleasant side effects. You may poop your pants! The instructions actually tell you not start using the product until you have an entire day that you can stay home, just incase! Sherri is so supportive; she is going to try it out first.
How many guys can say their wives would do that for them? I’m so lucky.
Wednesday, July 18, 2007
“Hey guess what, I’m going to be on the news.”
“Why? Did you snap on one of your customers?”
“Nnnoooo. We talked about bird x.”
“Bird X? What the … oh I know, is Bird X some militant pigeon that craps on everyone’s car? Or maybe Bird X is the pet of Racer X; that would be really cool. Speed Racer was OK, but Racer X was cool. I could see some sort of hawk with the same mask as Rex Racer…”
“ The interview was about bird excrement.”
“Your first appearance on TV is all about bird shit?”
“It’s a big problem here at The Gardens. Tenants pay a lot of money to have the poop cleaned off their store fronts.”
“Why are they interviewing you about it?”
"The Gardens just installed some sort of sonic bird repeller. It’s basically a way of getting rid of the birds without killing them. I’m a store manager here and they wanted my take on the new gadget.”
“What if the sonic noise drives the birds crazy and they start to attack?”
“Why do I bother?”
“That would be cool.”
Friday, July 13, 2007
The last time I saw my grandmother alive was at the adoption party we threw for my kids. She acted normal, but I didn’t think she looked that good. About 3 weeks later I got a call from my mother informing me that Nan had gallbladder cancer. She must have felt like shit that day at the party, but she didn’t complain a bit. She smiled and greeted people all day long. She loved to entertain and she was in her element.
I am going to “Reader’s Digest” the chain of events while Nan was in the hospital.
1. Cancer was inoperable.
2. Doctor said she could have 6 months of quality live. (She was 82)
3. Grandfather accepts the diagnosis. My mother does not.
4. My mother gets my incoherent grandmother to give her power of attorney.
5. Mother changes doctors without grandfather’s knowledge.
6. Big fight about how Nan will be taken care of.
7. Nan goes on dialysis.
8. More fighting, mom accuses grandfather of trying to kill Nan.
9. I keep calling to find out when I can come down and visit. I am told it would be best if I waited till she got home. She didn’t like to be seen in this condition.
10. Fighting continues aunts and uncles are now involved. Old accusations of abuse from grandfather and uncle are brought up.
11. Nan no longer can stand the bullshit going on around her. She demands to be taken off dialysis. She wants to go home.
12. I get a call from my mother at 9 pm, “If you want to see Nan she is home, but in a coma, she could be gone any time now.”
13. “WTF mom. I live 3 hours away. Why am I just hearing about his now?”
14. One hour later, Nan dies at her home in Laguna Beach while her children fight about shit that happened 45 years ago, in the same room where her body lays waiting for the mortician. I turn around and come back home.
Really, I’ve left out a lot of gory details, I would have preferred to skip it all together, but it was necessary to lay that nasty foundation so that I can get to the funny stuff! “How can things get funny after that episode of Jerry Springer?” you ask. Don’t forget, we still have a funeral to go to!
OK, at the time most of this stuff didn’t seem that funny. After the fact I laugh at most of it.
Nan died on Palm Sunday. She was Catholic and wanted a Catholic funeral. My mother and sister wanted the funeral ASAP because they could no longer stay in town. Finding an available Catholic priest so close to Easter was tough, but they did. Instead of taking the time to do things right, my grandfather had to slap together the funeral by Wednesday. Many of Nan’s friends that would have wanted to be there missed out because of such short notice.
When I arrived at the funeral home Nan was already on display. This was the first time I had ever seen a dead person. Very odd, very not the person I knew. Problem was Nan didn’t want an open casket. Gramps freaked when he showed up, and immediately had the casket closed.
Nan was very Irish, so she would have liked this, the priest’s name was Father Flanagan. I think Father Flanagan was pulled out the retirement home to perform this service. I think I could smell booze on his breath when I met him before the service, and I think he farted as he walked up to the podium. It was brutal having to watch him look at his note cards every time he had to say my grandmother’s name.
Two other people spoke at the funeral, my sister and my uncle. They hate each other.
My uncle was ripped when he got to the service. As he was slurring his way through the few things he had to say, his alarm went off on his wristwatch. He tried and tried, but couldn’t turn it off, so he waited, we all waited, for it to shut off. I heard some dude in the back whisper, “Time to wake up dumbass.” I’m having a hard time not laughing.
My sister was next up, what a bitch. She was the stick stirring the shit at the hospital. She said many nice things about Nan, and then she launched a scud at my grandfather, accusing him of cheating on her. A lot of people wanted a piece of her after the service.
I got to meet my aunt for the first time. She is my mother’s sister. She ran away from home as a teenager. Apparently ripped uncle was sexually abusing her. She was eventually put into a mental institution. That’s what they did to runaways back then. She ended up marrying a nurse that worked at this institution. Nan and Gramps didn’t speak to her for years, not because the man she married was older and was supposed to be her nurse. They disowned her because the man she married was black.
Family breakdown- Gramps was a widower before he married Nan. He had two sons from that first marriage. Nan was widowed twice before she married Gramps. She had one daughter from each marriage.
Now the funeral goes to the cemetery, where I get to meet some more family. My mother told me that I would be carrying the casket with a few of the men. As I approach the casket there were two men standing there I had never seen before. The first guy was wearing jeans and a nice dress shirt, looked normal. The second guy was a little different. He had a black hat with black fur around the brim and a big black feather on the side. His suit was black with black fur lapels. He also had a nice cane to go along with his ensemble. Did I mention they were black? Sherri whispers to me, “Who are those guys?” I reply, “I think they are my cousins!” They were.
Now this gets really weird. After the funeral I am talking to cousin Huggy Bear. Did I forget to tell you he brought two girls with him? He did. Anyways, I am having a really enjoyable conversation with him when he says, “ You know we have kind of met before.”
“Really, when was that?”
“When you worked at McDonald’s”
“I was a teenager when I worked at McDonald’s”
“I know, I was a teenager when you took my order.”
“And you knew who I was?”
“Yup, I knew all about you. Mom told me everything.”
“And you happened to be in town?”
“No, I drove 90 minutes to check you out.”
“ OK, I think I hear my wife calling me.”
We hung around a little longer, but that was pretty much the end of the weirdness. My mother and sister still don’t talk to my grandfather. Unmentioned uncle has died of liver cancer. Runaway aunt lost her nose to skin cancer a few months ago. Runaway aunt and abuser uncle seem to be friends now, and I haven’t seen stalker Huggy Bear around.
Did I mention I spend a lot of time with my wife’s side of the family?
Saturday, July 7, 2007
On a side note, my daughter thinks I’m weird for taking pictures of the barbeque.
“Daddy, why are you taking pictures of your meat?”
“Uhhh no, actually I’m taking pictures of the barbeque.”
“Why are you doing…oh I know, it’s for your blooooggg.”
“Yyyeeesss it iiissss.”
“That’s silly, you blog about everything. Look, there’s a piece of dog poo. Why don’t you take a picture of that and blog about it?”
I’ll have to think about that.