Sunday, April 29, 2007

So What If They Hate America

I may not always agree with the message, but these guys rock! Rage Against The Machine reunites this weekend at the 2008 Coachella Music Festival. It is a 3-day event held at the polo grounds in Indio CA. Rage Against The Machine headlines tonight. I’m kind of going to be there.

The polo grounds are about 2 minutes from my shop. I think there is some paperwork that I need to catch up on, so I’m going in to catch it up. If I happen to hear some loud music while I’m doing it, so be it. I would have had all my work done last night, but I was too busy listening to the Red Hot Chili Peppers (yesterday’s headliner).

It has been a very entertaining weekend at the golf course too. Many of the homes are rentals, so there are lots of concertgoers on the property. Yesterday I had to wake up some girl passed out in the middle of number 16 fairway. Also, I was on the course about 5 AM today and there were 2 parties still going strong.

This weekend reminds me of a concert that I went to back in the 80’s. It was also a 3-day event. It was called The US Festival. My buddy and I camped out there all three nights. We were pretty gross by the end of the weekend, but so was everyone else. It was a great time.

The headliners for that weekend were The Clash, Van Halen, and David Bowie. The Clash pissed everyone off because they took forever to get on stage, Van Halen sucked because DLR was too drunk, but David Bowie put on a great show.

There were some other great bands on hand that weekend. Men At Work, Flock Of Seagulls, The English Beat, Missing Persons, INXS and Berlin were pretty good. The Pretenders, Oingo Boingo, The Stray Cats, and The Scorpions were very good. But the stand out of the non-headliners was U2. Bono really got the crowd going when he climbed the scaffolding of the stage and waved the Irish flag to the crowd. It was a crazy stunt; he was way up there and could have been seriously hurt.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Can I See Your Birth Certificate?

While watching Austin’s baseball game last night, I was reminded of a skit in Monty Python’s “The Meaning of Life.” This movie is full of gross tasteless humor. I highly recommend it. The skit I‘m thinking of is one of the tamer ones. It’s about what can happen to you if you don’t pay attention in class.

A young boy is not paying attention in his sex education class. This upsets the instructor very much. He has to stop boning his assistant to address the young man; “I’m not doing this for my own good! You must now play the masters!” Next scene is a bunch of skinny boys on the rugby field playing against a bunch of grown men. The kids are annihilated. (That was a very abbreviated version of the skit.)

That pretty much describes what happened to Austin’s team last night. The Angels destroyed them. It was painful to watch. These boys were supposed to be 11 and 12 year olds. I think 2 of them were shaving! One boy was probably 6 foot tall and 190lbs. There were at least 4 boys over 150lbs. Austin is the biggest kid on his team and he is only 130lbs. The eight remaining boys don’t even break 100.

These boys knew how to play too. Austin’s team has a hard time just playing catch. After 2 innings it was 15 to 1. There was no mercy rule, and all parents wanted it; hell the boys on Austin’s team wanted it. When they were told to take the field in the top of the third I heard, “You mean we have to play some more?” This team held nothing back. Even after they had their comfortable 14 run lead they kept stealing bases. After the 90-minute time limit had expired, they had finished 3 innings. The score was 22 to 1.

If Austin ever walks in on my wife and I having sex I will have to say, “Can’t you knock! You must now play the Angels!”

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Why I'm Not In the Pizza Business

When I was a young man I made my living in the fast food industry. My first job was at McDonalds. I worked there 5 years. I also met my wife there.

My next job was at Domino’s Pizza. I spent 10 years working for a franchisee in southern California. It was a lot of fun, and a lot of hard work. I have many funny stories to tell about my days at Domino’s. It was back when they had the 30-minute guarantee. Talk about pressure. I still have dreams about having to answer phones, make pizzas, and tend the oven, while guaranteeing 30-minute delivery. After 10 years I was pretty much capped out salary-wise and ready for a change.

My wife worked for a store called Natural Wonders. She was offered a store manager position in the San Francisco area. It was supposed to be in a place that she would possibly be promoted to district manager. We had no children at the time, and we liked the area, so we said, “why not?” It will be a great experience.

We figured I could get a job in the pizza industry pretty easy, which I did. I went to work for Round Table Pizza. I was the store manager of the Hayward store. I really liked the people at RTP, but I didn’t like the location. I didn’t like the 40-minute drive and I didn’t like the area of my store. I had a bad feeling about taking the job, but I needed to get the job so we could move up there.

It took about 2 months for my feelings to be justified; I got robbed. I was coming out of my office when I notice my cashier with his hands up. I saw a guy in an Oakland Raider jacket pointing his gun at him. “ OMG the store is getting robbed!” I thought to myself.
“Take me to the safe mutha fucka!” I heard over my left shoulder. I turned around to see another Oakland Raider fan with his .45 pointed in my face.

As we walked back into my office the guy put the gun to the back of my head. I can still remember how hot the metal felt. I didn’t want to look at him. I just opened the safe, with the gun on the back of my neck the entire time.

I got the safe open and said, “there it is!” I never turned to look at him. “That’s it mutha fucka!” Oakland Raider fan said. There was about $400.00 dollars. “That’s it, it’s all there in the safe!” “OK asshole, you move an inch and I’ll blow your fucking head off!” Then the guy takes what’s in the safe and leaves.

I wait in my office, still on my hands and knees, until I hear one of the employees, “Tom, are you OK?” Whew, it’s over.

About 10 minutes later I’m being interviewed by the policed. The only description of the robbers I could give them was 2 black guys, medium build, with Raider jackets. That would be about 30% of the people who live in the area. Another thing they wanted to know was how much money did they get? “Well, they got about $400 from the safe, and about $80 from the till up front.” I replied. “Well that wasn’t too bad; had you made a deposit earlier in the evening?” the officer said. I sheepishly grinned, “Nope, that $3500 deposit would be in the desk that you are sitting on.” as I pull out the money to show him.

As far as robberies go, I guess it went really well. Hell, there were 3 customers in the dinning room that didn’t even know we were robbed. I was actually more nervous about 3 weeks later when I had another incident involving guns.

I knew I was lucky and that it was just a matter of time before it would happen again. That’s when I decided to move up from the fast food industry to retail! I would spend the next 8 years a Home Depot. I’ll blog about HD another day.

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Coaching Is Easy, Parenting Is Tough

It has been a year. I started blogging a year ago. I am really surprised at how much I have written in the last year. I think I have written almost as much in comments as I have on my blog. I have just as much fun doing either one. It reminds me of another anniversary.

It is also the year anniversary of sending my oldest daughter Sarah to an adolescent residential treatment center. It is one of the first things I wrote about on
my MSN site. It was a good way for me to do a little venting.

For those of you who may not know me from a year ago, I adopted all three of my kids. They were taken away from their birthmother by the county. They were 6 months, 5 years, and 9 years old when we got them. I have no other children.

This year has gone by so fast. So many things have gone on in my house other than dealing with Sarah; it is sometimes easy to forget she is still part of the family. Not so easy for someone like her little sister. She drew this picture the other day and asked me to send it to her big sister. That hit home pretty hard.
As much as I would like for Sarah to come back home, she is pretty much in the same state of mind that she was in when we first sent her there. She has been diagnosed with Reactive Attachment Disorder, Bipolar Disorder, Posttraumatic Stress disorder (from sexual and physical abuse), Oppositional Defiant Disorder, Depressive Disorder NOS, General Anxiety Disorder, and is showing signs of a Borderline Personality. That list wasn't that long a year ago. Watch out when this girl starts her period, no joke!

Truth is, I am more concerned about her coming back, than her staying there. We knew when we agreed to adopt her that she was going to be tough. The county even suggested taking just Austin and Alissa, but we couldn’t separate Austin from his big sister. She had been his mother most of his short life. Ironically, we had to do that a year ago. She required so much of our attention the other two kids were being neglected. She was also well on her way to getting pregnant or addicted to drugs. We had absolutely no control over her. We are pretty much out of funds for this school in about 6 months. I am afraid that she is coming back just as messed up as she was before.

Dealing with Austin's errant base running is much easier than dealing with this.

I think I’ll go pop a Xanax and kick some Austin butt on playstation. I own his ass on Gran Turismo 4!

Less depressing things next time I post.