Sunday, November 16, 2008

The Death of Malathionman

In the movie “Bleak Future”, Malathionman meets his demise in a gruesome manner. If you have watched the trailer posted in the sidebar of this site, I get in a fight with the dude in the kilt. Kilt dude is mute because I cut out his tongue, so he doesn’t like me very much. I was pretty much kicking his butt, but then I got cocky and taunted him with his tongue that I had been carrying around in a jar for God knows how long. As I began to eat his tongue, I choked on it (Which is kind of funny because I actually did choke on it while filming that shot, and it tasted nasty!) and Kilt dude is able puncture my malathion tanks, giving me a bath in my own malathion juice, causing me told melt before a horrified audience.

Wear Gloves and Protective Eyewear will not meet such a slimy ending. I am just quietly shutting it down and putting away the Malathionman mask for good.

When I started a blog on MSN Spaces a couple of years ago it was just supposed to be a way to keep in touch my fantasy baseball buddies. I needed a screen name and I had all this Malathionman stuff so I thought it would be fun to use it in the blog. And it was, but the blog that I had created for my baseball buddies had became the blog for the friends I had made on-line.

As I got more interested in blogging I moved from MSN Spaces to Blogger, and started Wear Gloves and Protective Eyewear. I like this blog, but I have had this feeling for a while now that it had no real identity, other than the Malathionman, a character that most people don’t get unless they take the time to get to know me. As open and as honest as I am on my blog, I think it is hard to get past that scary looking dude in the comment section.

In case you were wondering, I am not quitting blogging. In fact, I’m going to try and step up my blogging game, but not as Malathionman. The new site will be similar to this one and the mask will be gone. I noticed that one of my friends had me listed as a daddy blogger. A couple of years ago I might have shunned that label, but I have realized that I am a better writer when I’m writing about my kids, so why fight it I’m a daddy blogger.

So, I have a web host and a domain and will be opening my new site soon. I will be going from a Blogger page to a Wordpress page. I probably should have used a free Wordpress theme to start, but I bought one that I liked and I am still trying to figure out how to customize the page. I have very little ‘code” experience. I’m sure I’ll figure it out and have things up and running soon.

I am going to leave this email for those of you who want to know my new address. Although I don’t think I said anything too crazy here; it has come to my attention that some people read this blog that I didn’t know about. And no, Jackie isn't one of them! So I would like to start the new site with more of a clean slate. I will continue to visit the sites that I usually visit and I’m sure you will figure out who I am.

Until then, you may want to try this new blog out. She is a much better writer than I am, but very new to the blogging world. Stop by and say hello.

P.S. We have a date and Sarah is coming home. I'll share details on the new site. Or you can check out the new blog linked above. :)

Monday, November 10, 2008

Thanks Dad

Do you have a stepparent, blood relative, or in-law that drives you and the rest of the family nuts?

I do, it is my stepmother, Jackie.

For years she would complain behind my father’s back, to his family, about what a jerk he was. When she tried to gripe to me about him I let her have it, “ You are preaching to the choir lady. I grew up with him. I know what he can be like. You should be having this conversation with him, not his son.”

Here is another example of Jackie’s lack of common sense.

Over the last couple of years it has become obvious to my wife and I that Jackie doesn’t care for my youngest, Alissa. But she adores my son Austin. Today she invited him to go fishing and spend the night at her house, without Alissa. Later, Alissa asked me why grandma Jackie likes Austin better than her. Nice going grandma.

After my father passed away, my sister threatened to kick her ass if she ever saw her again. I didn’t believe my stepmother when she told me that, but then she showed me the letter that my sister had sent.

My family makes great blogging material.

Not long before my father’s death he asked me to do one thing for him. I don’t know how I knew what he was going to say, but I did, and thought to myself, “Please don’t ask me, please don’t ask me,” but then he did, “Please take care of Jackie when I’m gone.” Heavy sigh, “Sure dad, I’ll do that for you.” “Thanks Tommy, I didn’t think I could ask your sister to do that.”

If he only knew, if he only knew.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

I Put My Pants On Today

I know this may sound weird, but it has been 6 months since I have worn a pair of pants.

Today was opening day at the golf course that I work at. Pants are required from opening day until Easter, after that we can wear shorts.

It always feels strange when I start wearing them again.

I just thought I would share.

Let the rude comments begin

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The 6th Letter of the Alphabet List

Peas and carrots, peanut butter and chocolate, Malathionman and Death Chick, some things just go together. D.C. is a great blogger and when you die she would be glad do your make up before they display your corpse to curious friends and family.

Sometimes the Death Chick gets a little excited abouts things and rants a bit. She accidentally (yeah right) started a meme called the F-List. I'm not sure my F-List was what she was looking for, but she linked me anyways.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Sign of the Times

My kids had a fun Halloween.

I walked my daughter around the neighborhood with her best friend and her father. When Alissa was done she took over the task of handing out the candy, something I think she enjoys just as much as receiving it.

My son is old enough now that he was able to go out on his own with his best friend. It is no longer cool to hang out with dad or the little sister.

We have lived in this neighborhood for about 6 years. It is a nice neighborhood, people would drive to our neighborhood to amass Halloween candy, but I have seen a change the last couple of years that makes me a little sad.

I bet two years ago 80% of the houses in my neighborhood participated in Halloween festivities. This year I would guess closer to 30% bothered to participate. That was still enough candy to keep our dentist in business, but nothing like it used to be.

The streets were just dark. People were not at home, at home but not handing out candy, or the house was bank owned. And there was a lot of the latter.

Are times that tough that you can’t afford to buy candy for Halloween? Maybe. The vacant homes, now looking more like haunted houses, might support that statement.

It’s depressing to think about what my house is worth now compared to a few years ago. I’m not even going to ask. We don’t have plans to move anyways...

So, what kind of candy have you been stealing from your kids this weekend? Anything with the word Reese’s has mysteriously disappeared from my kid’s bags.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Aww Shucks

About 5 years ago I was finishing up the general education credits for my Turf Management degree.

Physical education was part of those GE requirements. I would need to take 2 PE classes. Each class was only 8 weeks, half a semester.

The first class I took was tennis. This would be easy for me. I was the team captain on my tennis team in high school and I played in many competitive events when I was in my twenties.

The class instructor’s name was Wendy. Wendy was more of a personal trainer than a tennis instructor, but it was a beginner class and she had done this enough times that she was able pull it off. After a couple of days she could tell this class would not be very challenging for me. I ended up helping her teach the class. She would often pick my brain for new things to do in class and then we would try them out.

One day we were talking before class,” Hey Tom, do you need to take another PE class?”
“Yeah I was thinking about golf.”
“That’s probably some other sport you already know how to play. Why don’t you be a man and take my yoga class?”
“I don’t know....”
“It is the same time as this tennis class, starting right after these 8 weeks are over. It is always full but I’ll add you anyways.”
“Come on, come to a class that I really know something about.”
“Do very many guys...”
“Hardly any guys take this class. Just good-looking women. You should love it.”
“Don’t be a WUSS. Are you afraid you can’t keep up with a bunch of girls?”
She finally pushed the right button.
“OK, I’m in.”
“You won’t be sorry.”

The 8 weeks following the tennis class were “challenging”. Wendy was a genuine yoga instructor. I think she was teaching a power style of yoga. You had to be flexible, but most of the poses required a lot of balance and strength. She pretty much kicked my butt for 8 weeks, and I showed up everyday for it. And I wasn’t about to complain.

About 2 weeks into the class Wendy made an announcement. She was pregnant.
This would be her third child. She said that she would still be able to teach the class, but that she might have to tone it down a bit. I’m thinking this was my lucky day. Two poses later she was standing on one leg and had the other leg behind her head.

Yoga turned out to be one of my favorite classes, and not just because Wendy didn’t lie about the good-looking women.

The last class I took in college was a nutrition class taught by Wendy. She was well into her pregnancy. I didn’t she would be there at the end of the class. She almost made it. She missed the last day, finals, to have her baby.

I never got the chance to see her again after I graduated. Until...

... Last weekend when the Pink Puppies played the Blue Angels! Wendy’s oldest was playing for the other team. I was sure that was Wendy on the other sideline. She came over after the game with her family to say hello. She laughed and told me she knew I was a coach the moment she met me, and that she had a great time just watching me with the Pink Puppies.

I noticed that her youngest was a little boy and asked, “ Is that the guy who made you miss my last day of school?”
“Why yes it is!” she smiled.
“And what’s his name?”
“What can I say, I’ve always liked guys named Tom.”

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Raise That Bar

Before the start of my soon to be legendary girls soccer coaching career, the league made all the coaches take a class on coaching soccer to eight year olds.

The instructor was some guy from England who took his soccer very serious. He was about my age but in much better shape. It looked like he still played.

He shared with us about how he has been to
Wembley Stadium to see many great football matches. The San Diego Chargers and the New Orleans Saints will be playing a “real” football game there on the 26th.

I thought he did a great job. I took a lot away from his class.

One thing bothered me though, his expectations for this age group. I thought they were very low. He didn’t think kids this age should bother with the goalkeeper and that if the kids could just dribble the ball and change direction every once in a while the season was a success.

This year the kids are using a goalie. The field they use is much bigger and most penalties will be called except for offsides. They are playing a game with a referee, but nobody is supposed to keep score. Yeah right! Those girls know exactly what the score is.

Last year Alissa played flag football with the boys. I just realized that I never posted anything about that, what a lousy daddy/evil mutant blogger I am. Her coach (coach Weed, that cracks me up) had high expectations for his team. Coach Weed had "high" expectations, I'm killin myself here. He had a playbook that he expected the kids to know, by the end of the season, they did. He didn’t coddle the kids either, he wasn’t psycho football coach, but he was firm and the kids listened when he spoke. And they were a year younger than my Pink Puppies.

So I have taken that into my first season of coaching these little girls too.

I think the Pups are the best-prepared team out there. They know what to do when it is a goal kick, corner kick, or throw in. Our goalkeepers are aggressive and do a good job kicking or throwing the ball back down the field.

Their skills are improving too. They can already dribble and change direction. I’m working on getting them to pass the ball and use their left foot.

The main thing is that the girls have fun, and I think part of having fun is being successful. The Pink Puppies are having fun, and so am I.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Lets Be Honest

Someone I consider a good friend revealed to her readers that she was a birth mom. Being an adoptive parent, I can not begin to express the kind of heart I think she has for doing one of the toughest things a woman can do, give a child up for adoption. The reason she shared this information was because the child she gave up for adoption has found her. If you click on the link you will read that mother and child are doing great.

The conditions of my adoption were different. The birth mother of my children did not voluntarily give her kids up. They were taken from her. Despite that lousy situation, I’m pretty sure my kids will be looking up their birth parents.

I’ll be honest, that bothers me. And I’ll be even more honest, it bothers me for a very selfish reason, I don’t want to share. I understand an adoptive child’s curiosity about their birth parents, but it will still hurt when Sarah, Austin or Alissa decide to look them up.

But I shouldn’t be so insecure. The birth parents of my kids are not very appealing. Both dads are in jail and mom is a drug addict.

Hopefully ALL the family involved in the above reunion are better equipped to handle the situation than I will be. I wish them all the very best.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Why I Sometimes Feel Old

It has been a very long week. I have just worked an 11-hour day and I have to rush in grab Alissa and go to soccer practice.

Austin is eager to talk to me about something, “Dad, can I tell you about my homework!” “Dude, tell me in 90 minutes,” I said as I walked out the door.

90 minutes later, to the second, I walk through the front door, prepared for excited greetings from dogs and son. The poor dogs had to wait their turn as Austin leapt from the couch with a report in his hand.

It is times like this that I have to take a deep breath and compose myself. My first thought is, “Take a chill pill Austin! I’ve had a long day and just want to veg-out for the rest of the night.” But I know he is just happy dad is home and he wants to share his day with me. He is not much different than the dogs, and I think that’s a good thing. I really love my dogs.

“Dad we did a report on Iraq today!”
“Oh yeah, did you talk about the war?”
“You knew about the war?”
“I heard about it.”
“It started March 20th, 2003”
“I didn’t know that.”
“Did you know that Iraq used to be a place called Mesopotamia?”
“Yes, I did.” Really, I did.
“Oh, is that because it was Mesopotamia when you were a kid?”
Cracks open a beer.

“Yes, Iraq was Mesopotamia when I was a kid.”

Monday, October 13, 2008

Malathionman's Horror Holiday Picks

I don’t know why I never did this before, post Malathionman’s Halloween Movie picks! Who better to know about horror than the evil mutant Malathionman?

When I sat down to think about my recommendations it occurred to me that I could categorize this list in many ways. Vampires (Bram Stoker’s Dracula), werewolves (
Dog Soldiers), and chick flicks (Steel Magnolias) are types of horror movies.

I tried to be less specific.

You may have noticed that I have recommended some foreign movies on the sidebar. I like foreign movies. If I can watch an entire movie in subtitles and enjoy it, it has to be a darn good movie. I do not watch the dubbed versions. Here three of my selections.

Ringu (Japan). Ringu was remade in the U.S. as The Ring, which wasn’t a bad movie. Ringu was a little darker, a little creepier, and no blood, just a good scary movie. It is a little dated with that whole videotape thing. Subtitles.

The Orphanage (Spain). This is probably still a new release in most of your video stores. 30 years later, a woman comes back to the orphanage that she once lived at as a young girl. With her husband and adopted son, she wants to run her own orphanage for special needs children. Like Ringu, this movie has no blood; it’s just a really good ghost story. Subtitles.

Dead Alive (New Zealand). Before there was Lord of the Rings, there was Dead Alive. I think this was Peter Jackson’s second feature film. The blood and guts that are missing in the above movies are in this one, 10 fold. This zombie comedy is one of my favorites. One of my favorite scenes is when the zombies come knocking at the church’s door. The local priest answers and decides to take the Lord’s work into his own hands and feet. He then proceeds to kung fu on hordes of zombies exclaiming, “ I kick-ass for the Lord!”
No subtitles, English.

This is my preferred “Halloween” type movie. Dead Alive definitely falls into this category, but it fit nicely into that foreign film slot. I think horror is better if there is some comedy mixed in to take the edge off; it also makes the comedy funnier, even it isn’t that funny.

Evil Dead 2. This is actually a remake of Evil Dead. Evil Dead wasn’t a bad movie, it was just more of a traditional horror movie. Director Sam Raimi remade Evil Dead with laughs in mind. It has lots of blood and gore, and that famous flying eyeball scene. It also has Bruce Campbell; he appears in many of Rami’s films, very funny guy. Check it out; it makes many must see lists for this genre.

Re-Animator. This is not a movie for everyone, but if you like Dead Alive or Evil Dead 2, you’ll probably like this too. It’s just your typical mad scientist movie. Geeky guy discovers a way to bring dead things back to life. Decapitated and reanimated evil doctor’s body walks around carrying his own head so he can kiss the girl he likes. Great

American Werewolf in London. This movie has genuine scares and laughs. The hospital dream sequence scared the you know what out of me. This movie won an Oscar for make up effects. Still one of the best werewolf transformation scenes and baddest looking werewolves to date.

I tried most of those movies above on my kids and I can safely say yours won’t like them. Here are some movies that most elementary age kids won’t get too freaked out by watching.

Ghostbusters. Classic 80’s movie period.

The Monster Squad. A boys club team up with Frankenstein to battle Dracula, Wolfman, the Mummy, and Gill-Man.

Gremlins. More 80’s more fun. I think monster movies were friendlier in the 80’s. Everything today seems to be pretty shocking.

Bleak Future doesn’t make my list recommendations, but you can rent it! I am a member of Blockbuster Online. While looking for something to rent I was shocked to come across Bleak Future. I am even listed in the cast. So if you are feeling brave, check it out and see the Malathionman in action.

Feel free to throw any of your Halloween favorites my way. Chances are I've seen it and have an opinion on it.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Pink Puppy Training

Coaching my daughter’s soccer team has been ... different. Any coaching I have done in the past has not been for little girls. I would have used the term “little girl” to motivate teams that I have coached in the past.

Coaching girls is different, but my toughest problem has nothing to do with gender. Amanda and Dorian, the identical twin sisters are my biggest challenge. It is bad enough telling them apart, but these girls are wild animals. Any lapse in action during practice results in hair pulling, cartwheels, or somersaults.

I played soccer in elementary school and all the through high school. I know how to play the game. I also know talent, and these girls are pretty good.

I enjoy coaching, and I really enjoy coaching players.

Besides Alissa, my favorite player is a little girl named Malia. She is the smallest player on the team, but she has big game. It’s not that she has the most talent; she just plays harder than anyone else. Its like she is playing with a chip on her shoulder, trying to make up for her size.

This may sound bad but I do have a least favorite player. I won’t say her name but this sweetheart really pushes my buttons. This pink puppy likes to correct me. I don’t know many adults that like to be corrected by an eight year old.

“Amanda, I want you to take the corner kick.”
“Excuse me coach but that’s Dorian.”
“Is that right Amanda? Are you Dorian?”
Giggle, giggle, giggle, “Yes.”
“Told you.”
“You sure did. Why don’t you go take a lap.”

Monday, October 6, 2008

Longest Month of the Year

The longest month of the year for me is October.

It is the month my golf course closes for over seeding.

What we basically do is dry up all the warm season grass and scalp it to the ground. It is a very dusty job. A lot residents leave town because the grass in the air is too much to handle. I just stock up on allergy medicine and try to stay awake while I’m operating heavy equipment.

We will hopefully have the scalping done in one week. We work dawn till dusk until it is.

Next we reseed the course with about 110,000 lbs. of cool season grass. Another 3 days, dawn til dusk.

That leaves 20 days of worrying about if that seed is going to grow. Waiting for that first sign of life can seem like an eternity. Like waiting for water to boil.

Like waiting for me to post

Sunday, September 28, 2008

If They Can Get Batman Right...

I made a cd for my daughter a couple of months ago.

While I was looking for songs, I thought it would be fun to look them up on YouTube. I wanted to see what, or if any videos had been made for these great songs.

What I found was pathetic. Now that I think about it, most of the early MTV videos are dismal too.

I think the world of music videos should do like the world of movies, remakes! There are so many “older” songs that tell wonderful stories; they would make super music videos. Or maybe a music video was made and it just didn’t do the song justice, remake it.

One of the music video stations that still play music could easily make a weekly show out of this idea. Maybe they already have and I’m just out of touch, its not like I’ve watched MTV or VH1 or whatever in the last decade.

Here are four songs I found on YouTube.

A Boy Named Sue- Johnny Cash
Long Tall Glasses- Leo Sayer
Space Oddity- David Bowie
I Don’t Like Mondays- The Boomtown Rats

I really like all four songs but don’t like the video on them. These could be great music videos if done right.

Anybody else have an old favorite (music video) they would like to see made or remade?

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The Wrath of Mrs. Khan

I was whining about my daughter’s class last week.

The school has started sending the second graders in Mrs. Valasek’s class to a second grade math class. The teacher’s name is Mrs. Khan.

Mrs. Khan has a little problem with germs. On Alissa’s first day in her class she sent her home for coughing in class. She told Alissa that she didn’t want to catch her cold. I think she may have been joking, but Alissa didn’t understand and thought she was mad at her.

So she spent the rest of her school day at work with me, not a cough all day.

The principle of my daughter’s school called us yesterday. He said he had an opening for her in a second grade class if we wanted it. “Why do you say it like that?” I asked. “Its Mrs. Khan’s class,” he replied. “She is a little ...ridged.”

As you may know, we are trying to get Alissa into a different class. But this seemed a little weird. It sounded like the principle wasn’t sure this was a good idea.

We asked the school counselor what she thought about the move. We gave her the low down on Alissa and that we thought she might need a teacher with a little softer touch. She agreed, and we will just continue to wait for a different class to open up.

Feel free to ad-lib a Star Trek 2 line except it is Mrs. Khan instead of (Ricardo Montalban) Khan.

For example- “Math is a dish best served cold.”

Sunday, September 21, 2008

The 100 Million Dollar Question

I was eating lunch with a couple of guys from work. Midway through my Cobb salad one guy says to the other, “Let’s ask Tom.” These are guys are stereo-typical so I’m thinking, “Here it comes, Ginger or Mary Ann, fake ones or real ones, tan lines or not.”

“Tom, if you won 100 million dollars in the lottery, would you stay with your wife?”
“Dude, you didn’t even think about it.”
“I didn’t have to.”
“Did you have to think about it?”
“If she bought the ticket, heck yeah I’d stay with her!”
“Wow, you would have to think about it?”
“I have asked about 10 guys the same question and you are the only guy who answered yes without hesitation, and only one other guy answered yes.”
“Does that make me weird?”
“Blow me.”

It was really disappointing to hear that from one of my friends; not that I was weird, but that he would hesitate when asked that question. I’m not even sure he answered yes.

I really can’t imagine what my life would be like with out my wife in it. I guess I was lucky to find the right person at such a young age. I remember seeing her for the first time when she was sixteen; she looked like she was 20. I thought to myself, “I’m going to marry a girl just like her.” I married her 3 years later and today is our 23rd anniversary. I think I’ll give her a card with a lottery ticket in it and hope that she won’t have any tough decisions to make.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


“Is this Alissa’a Father?”
“Hi this is Rick from Alissa’s soccer league!”
“Cool. When is practice?”
“Well, I’m not her coach, I’m the commissioner of the league.”
“We can’t find a coach for Alissa’s team.”
“And because people often confuse me for David Beckham you think I know how to coach soccer?”

It is true that Rick couldn’t find a coach, but turkey balls actually said, “ I thought maybe because you were older than the other dads you could better manipulate your work schedule.” “Thanks Rick, let me turn up my hearing aid I didn’t catch the last part.”

I got the call 2 nights ago. First practice is tomorrow night. First game is a week from Saturday.

Right now we are team number 48, any ideas for a team name? I bet someone can guess what a bunch of 7 and 8 year old girls are going to name their team.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

As Good As It Gets

It is a school night and I am lying next to my youngest Alissa. It is tough getting her to go to sleep. One thing that seems to work is when I stay with her until she falls asleep, half the time I fall asleep before she does.

Tonight was tougher than usual; unfortunately these nights seem to be turning into the norm. Alissa’s mood swings are extreme, yelling, screaming, and crying one minute, laughing and singing the next. It is almost impossible to control her when she is on the wrong side of that pendulum.

I have come to the realization that she has bi-polar disorder and possibly reactive attachment disorder too.

How do I know this? From experience. In addition to the bi-polar and reactive attachment disorders, my oldest has also been diagnosed as a sociopath with a borderline personality. Combine that with a lifetime of neglect and abuse from her birthparents and you have one really messed up teenager.

When we adopted the kids we knew we would have problems with the oldest, we just didn’t know it would be this bad. The therapist we were seeing asked us if we had to take Sarah. (This was an option the county made available to us.) I will admit that it has been hard to bond with Sarah, but there was no way we were going to tell her, “We don’t want you, just your little brother and sister.”

So we tried our best to keep these three kids together. Unfortunately, we ended up putting Sarah in a residential treatment school when we couldn’t control her any more.

Sarah is 16 now (17 in January) and she has been gone for 2 years. We keep in touch with weekly phone calls and visits to the school periodically, but we can feel her becoming more distant. She still says that she wants to come home, but the thought of her coming back is frightening; it was that bad before we sent her away.

Is she better? Yes.

Will she be able to handle a public school? No.

Will she ever let us be the parent? Doubtful.

Is it time to bring her home because it probably isn’t going to get any better? Possibly.

Does that scare me shitless? Definitely.

That being said, we don’t want her to turn 18 in this school and then tell her she is on her own. She was dealt a crappy hand and deserves better from the family that she has always wanted, but doesn’t know how to live with. And to be fair, we didn’t know how to live with her either.

We hoped that Alissa, being the youngest (6 months old when we got her), would be less maintenance; this is beginning to look like wishful thinking. We thought most of Sarah’s problems were a result of the years of drug, physical, and sexual abuse from her biological mother. It now looks more like personality disorders passed on by her biological mother and father.

My kids have the same biological mother. Sarah and Alissa have the same biological father. Austin has a different biological father. Austin does not appear to have any of the personality disorders that the girls do; I guess there is something about that combination of DNA between Sarah and Alissa’s biological parents. We only have three of birthmother’s 6 children. Of the remaining 3, one was born retarded and given to the county because she couldn’t care for it. This was also a child from Sarah and Alissa’s father. Another child lives with his birthfather (father #3). And her newest addition (father #4) was born after Sarah, Austin, and Alissa were taken away from her. The county has let her keep this baby.

It is fair to say that I have bonded the most with my youngest Alissa. If you have read my blog with any kind of regularity you probably already know that. It tears me up inside when I see her in a rage that she can’t control. I try to stay calm because I love her and I understand that she can’t help it. I have not been as understanding or fair towards Sarah. It is for this reason that I am probably more willing to let Sarah come home, even when the chances of a happy ending are slim. Sarah knows Alissa is my little girl; I want to at least give her another chance to just be my daughter.

Alissa and I were driving around town the other day. While we were stopped at a signal I turned to look at her. She had her headphones on and was singing some Hannah Montana song. She smiled at me and continued to sing. I thought to myself, “I love this little girl so much, I’m going to write her a poem.” I don’t know where the hell that came from but that thought really popped into my head. Did Sarah ever have a parent feel that way about her? Did she ever have a parent look at her and melt inside like I do when I see Alissa run home to see me after school?

When Sarah does come home I will try to look at her with a different pair of eyes.

Green eyes, red hair
Tiny freckles everywhere
Green eyes, red hair
Born with attitude to spare

Green eyes, red hair
Clean your room and make the bed
Green eyes, red hair
I'll probably cry the day you wed

Green eyes, red hair
I love the girl that drives me mad
Green eyes, red hair
I thank the lord that I'm her dad

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Tough Crowd

Those Canadians are a tough crowd.

It is an election year in Canada this year too. I think the voting process in Canada is cool. The campaigning starts about 5 weeks before the election. It seems like we started a year ago here in the US. And instead of two real candidates you get three! These guys don't mess around with slinging mud at one another, they sling shit!

My buddy Nelson is from Grand Prairie and he likes to fill me in on what is happening in Canada from time to time. He shared that with me today. We both agreed that we would vote for Harper just because he ran the ad.

Sunday, September 7, 2008


A couple of weeks ago I was on vacation with my family. This year we rented a van and hauled the kids, the grandma, and the dog up to Donner Lake. Yes, kind of like the Griswolds, except grandma and the dog made it back alive. Grandma took the brunt of most of our jokes but she was a good sport and offered to ride on the roof whenever we needed her to.

The car was full and the mood was tense for the first 90 minutes of the trip, at least it was for me. It takes a lot of effort to get this freight train moving, and I usually don’t relax and settle in until I get to highway 395. This is when my vacation starts, at the junction of interstate 15 and highway 395.

This desert highway is the road to many fond memories in my life.

When I was 8 years old my father woke me up in the middle of the night to pack me into his ‘70 Barracuda for our first father-son fishing trip. He didn’t tell me what we were doing and to try and go to sleep. I slept for a couple of hours but woke up when my dad cranked the 8-track tape player, the group Creedence Cleerwater Revival, the song Travellin’ Band. I think he was excited and wanted me to wake up; I didn’t mind and I like CCR.

My dad told me about our trip. We were going to a place he used to go to when he was a kid, Rock Creek Lake. Rock Creek Lake is about 45 minutes north of Bishop, CA. and about 45 minutes south of Mammoth Mountain. Over the years Sherri and I have caught a ton of fish out of the crystal clear waters at Rock Creek Lake.

It was still dark, and the Cuda was flying. “Slow down dad! Please don’t hit that rabbit!” were thoughts going through my head, but would never say. He never slowed for a single critter, but we managed to avoid them all. I was relieved.

I think we were in Lone Pine when the sun finally came up. I was surprised to see snow on the mountains in the summer; you would never see that in southern California. ”Holy shit! 45 cents a gallon!” my dad bellowed, “We’ll gas up in Bishop.” I think it was 43 cents a gallon in Bishop, much more reasonable.

We stayed 3 days and 2 nights at Rock Creek Lake. Our campsite was next to an outlet creek from the lake. I caught my first fish in the lake and many more just from our campsite. I used worms and salmon eggs, bait that still works for me today. The sun and mosquitoes did a number on me. At the end of 3 days I was sunburned, mosquito bitten, and filthy (no showers), I was ready to go home.

The ride home from RCL is about 5 to 6 hours, an eternity for an 8 year old. I think my dad was shooting for 4 hours, I think the CHP thought those were his intentions too. “Shit! I knew I should have kept it under 90!” my dad whispered as he pulled over. The CHP stood at his window and asked, “Do you know how fast you were going sir?” “95,” my dad replied as he showed him his badge. “Pomona Police? You know sergeant Hannibal?” asked the chippy. “He’s my boss,” said my dad. “Try to keep it under 80 officer Johnson,” the CHP smiled.

The two knuckleheads bullshit for another 20 minutes and probably lost whatever time my dad had saved while speeding down highway 395. I watched my dad’s speed the rest of the way home; he was just under 80, like a good boy. We didn’t talk that much but it was understood that mom wouldn’t know about that little CHP thing.

My father and I made 3 more trips to RCL, all of them before I got married. When he was diagnosed with esophageal cancer I tried to get him to make one more trip. It was literally one of the first things that popped into my mind. One of the first things that I thought would give him and me comfort. He said it was a great idea but he kept putting it off until he was just too sick to do it.

As a teenager I made a couple of trips with my friends, no parents, fun, very fun. Sherri’s family is very familiar with Bishop and places to go along the 395, so the tradition of camping and fishing along that highway continued when I got married. Each trip I would be surprised at how things have changed and haven’t. Each time that pleasant feeling, as I turn off the 15 and head north on to the 395.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Double WTF!!!

WTF in bold letters! WTF in italics!

Last year I was a little disappointed with
Alissa’s teacher. So you can guess how happy I was when we walked over to the school last weekend to see who her new teacher was going to be and found out it was the pickle lady again. But it gets worse.

My daughter’s school has put her in a combination 1st grade/2nd grade class. There are 15 first graders and 5 second graders. I guess the first grade class was short on students and the second grade class had too many students. This was their solution.

The principal let Miss Valasic hand pick the five 2nd graders that would be in her class. We feel so lucky.

Alissa thinks this is great. The other four kids were good friends of hers last year.

I think Miss Valasic handpicked 5 little teacher’s aides.

How much attention are those kids going to get in that class?

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

No, It Wasn't Weed.

If you read the comment from Sarah in my last post you may be wondering about “the package” she was talking about. I guess Chris is the only one wondering since he was the only other commenter.

When I got back from vacation there was a plain brown package waiting for me in the mail. Usually when I get these kinds of packages they have a Columbian postmark. But it didn’t. This package came from the lovely state of Maine.

Cool, this package came from Sarah!

Sarah is a blogger I came across while clicking on that “next blog” button on Blogger. I left a comment, that I’m sure was rude, and now I bug her on a regular basis.

Sarah likes to knit. I try, but I can’t even pull off a basic purl stitch.

Frustrated, I e-mailed her. I wanted to make something cute for Alissa and needed help. Sarah said, “Step away from those circular needles rookie. I’ll make something special for that red haired princess of yours!”

So she did. And here it is.

Look at how clean that room is!

I think a few of my readers already visit her blog. But if you haven’t, do it! And ask her to knit you something!

Thanks Sarah! Now that I have your address you should be looking for that package from Columbia.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Orville Would Not Approve

It is always a good idea to take an extra day of vacation just for putting things back together after the trip. And I did just that. We got home late yesterday and just chilled the rest of the day. Today we emptied and returned the rental car. We also did a ton of laundry and unpacking. It has taken most of the day and I don’t have too much time to compose one of my normally brilliant posts. But I do have time to share a little snippet from the vacation courtesy of Austin.

One of the hard things to arrange on our trip was a motel that allowed pets. We decided to bring Ernie along for the ride. We only needed the room for one night. The rest of the trip will be spent at our friends cabin at Donner Lake. You can probably guess what kind of place we had to stay at. Mandalay Bay? Nope. Holliday Inn? Nice try. How about the Vagabond Inn? YES!

This place was nnniiiicce. Austin thought the Vagabond Inn was very cool. As he was checking out the bathroom he declared his love for the place, “Dad! Check out the toilet paper! It’s folded like a fan! Hey look, they even left us bags for our popcorn!”

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Road Trip

I think the title explains It all. Making that annual trip to Truckee. We know someone who lets us use their cabin for free, SO WE USE IT! Bringing the laptop, don't know if I'll use it much. Someone might make a post for me, but they are pretty busy. So don't expect too much action around here the next week. Gotta go, I'm getting the stink eye from my better half.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Like a Good Neighbor, Malathionman is There.

Ernie has a friend that lives across the street. Her name is Shasta. She is also a Labrador retriever. We have known Shasta’s mommy and daddy for a couple of years, but really didn’t talk much until we got our Labrador retriever. We wish we had taken the time to get to know them when they first moved into the neighborhood; they are a really nice couple.

About six weeks ago RNC started their family the Malathionman way, with three. The difference is they didn’t adopt. They had triplets instead.

They have had family and friends over to help out most of the last six weeks. We figured that they were getting hammered with visitors so we didn’t want to go over and sneak a peek at the babies until most of that was over.

One thing I had noticed over the last few weeks was that they weren’t able to get any work done on their yard. I thought it would be nice if someone took care of that for them until things got a little more normal for them. Yeah right, like anything will be normal in that house again. But I wasn’t sure how it would be received. I didn’t want them to think I didn’t like looking at the long grass in their front yard. I just wanted to surprise them with something nice. I thought about it for a few days and finally decided to go for it. The next morning after finishing my yard, I grabbed my stuff and Austin and walked across the street and cleaned up their front yard.

I was very proud of Austin. He was very into this random act of kindness. And so was RNC. They were very thankful. They tried to pay us but I would take the money. I told them this was on me. I did tell them that Austin might consider doing their yard on a regular basis. They offered him $20 a week. I told them he would take $10; diapers are going to be expensive. Austin is happy too, he only gets $5 a week from me for the work he does around the house.

It has been about 3 weeks since we became better friends with our neighbors. And it has really paid off. They have had to leave town a couple of times and needed someone to take care of Shasta. They came over and asked, something they have never done before. We were happy to do it cause guess who will take care the frog, lizard, fish, and two weenie dogs while we are on vacation next week? RNC.

Here is the baby announcement that they made themselves. I thought it was pretty cool.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

I Could Just Lock the Door

My youngest Alissa has been spending too many nights sleeping in my room. She will start in her room, but usually ends up finishing the night on the floor next our bed.

She has been asking us if we would let her do a sleep over at her friend Kylie’s house. We have been reluctant to give her our blessing because she has had such a hard time getting through the entire night without our company.

Alissa is also very concerned that Austin has got to sleep over at his friend’s house a lot this summer. She doesn’t think it is fair that he should have more fun than her.

This is a discussion I had with her in the car last week.

Daddy can I talk to you about something?
Sure, what’s up?
I really want to spend the night a Kylie’s house.
You know how your mother and I feel about that.
Yeah but I don’t think you guys have thought this out.
If Austin stays at Jake’s tonight and I stay at Kylie’s, you and mommy can have privacy.
What do you mean privacy?
You know...
No I don’t. Yes I do, but this is too much fun.
...You can kiss!
Awww man that’s gross!
Honey, I have a cold. Mom won’t kiss me. Maybe next week.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Why I Kiss My Wife Goodbye Everyday

3-year-old Lennon came into the play station room (Sarah’s vacant room) and asked,
“ Can I play with you?”
“You know who Tiger Woods is Lennon?” I asked.
“Best Golfer,” he smiled.
“You want to play Tiger?” like I didn’t know the answer.
Bigger smile.
“OK, you be Tiger and I’ll be Natalie Gulbis, she’s hot.”
“Hey Tom,” Lennon’s 6-year-old brother Lux enters the room. Today he sounded older.
“You want to play or just watch me thump your brother with a girl?”
“I’ll play but I don’t want to be a girl.”
“That’s cool. Is John Daly manly enough for you?”
“I don’t know.”
Daly it is. ”

I’ve known Lux before there was a Lennon. My kids love these boys like brothers. It has been a couple months since I’ve seen them. They are usually with their mother Jen when she comes to baby-sit for Sherri and me. But Jen hasn’t worked for us this summer.

Back in June, Jen’s husband Jeremy was killed in a car accident. His car was hit head-on by a drunk driver.

Of course the drunk driver was able to walk away.

Jen had to ID her husband’s body on the side of road at 3:00 am while Lennon was asleep in the car.

Jeremy worked at a local casino. He was car-pooling home with some other workers. One of these workers called the casino from the accident. The casino called Jen and said he was going the local hospital. When she called the hospital they said he wasn’t there yet. So she packed up Lennon and headed to the hospital. Lux was in Colorado with his grandmother.

She had no idea it was this kind of accident. The casino didn’t give her any details.

The only way to the hospital from Jen’s house was highway 62. The same highway Jeremy takes home. Arriving at the accident was unintentional.

She pulled over to ask if Jeremy was on his way. The CHP asked her to wait in the car. She did, for almost an hour. They finally did come back to tell her that Jeremy had died at the scene and that he was still there. She chose to ID him there. They drove her home.

A week later she drove by the accident site and found personal things from the car still lying around on the ground. She picked it all up.

Jen wasn’t just our babysitter. She is Sherri’s best friend in the desert. I had met Jeremy a couple of times through the years, but wouldn’t really say we were friends. I knew him more from stories that Sherri had told me; stories Jen had shared about Jeremy that weren’t that great. They are about 10 years younger than Sherri and me. So we would hear these stories and shake our heads, “You’ve totally done that!” “ No way, I’m not that dumb.” “Uh yeah, you are.”

Tonight was the first time I had scene her since the last time she had babysat for us. It was awkward. I had to acknowledge the death of her husband. I tried to give her a hug, but it didn’t feel welcome, so I think it came off weak, like a limp handshake. I hate limp handshakes.

So I let the girls talk and bond and do what girls supposedly do best, communicate!

I would then focus my attention on something I can deal with, her sons. We played Tiger Woods and Ape Escape 3. I even let them win. We talked about kids stuff. Dexter’s Laboratory or SpongeBob. Does Lux like Alissa? Or does Alissa like Lux? We didn’t talk about their dad.

I’m sure they are going to have lots of guys trying to be father figures. I’ll just be the same silly guy they are used to. If they ever want to talk about dad it will be their choice.

I wondered what they were thinking while they played with me. Dad and me used to play video games. We don’t have fun like this at home anymore. God I miss dad. Tom sucks at Tiger Woods.

You hear about these kinds of tragedies all the time, but it really doesn’t hit home until it happens to someone you know, not even family, just someone you know. I may have to let Austin beat me occasionally with his new golfer, Caroline. :)

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Mr. Popularity

Remember this little guy? Ernie was a Christmas present to the wife and kids. But he also has another job. He “works” with me at the golf course.

Last winter we had a problem with migratory coots. Hundreds of these coots try to make MVCC their home for the winter. They are a huge problem. All they do is eat our newly seeded grass and crap all over the place. The members wanted the coots to go away. When you buy a membership for $80,000 and pay monthly dues of $850 you don’t want to have to putt through bird shit.

Nelson thought getting a “bird chasing“ dog for the golf course would help, but he didn’t want to take care of one.

Sherri wanted a Labrador retriever, but she didn’t think we had a large enough yard to accommodate such an energetic dog.

Like peanut butter and chocolate, the my two problems turned into an unbeatable combination. Both my family and the members at MVCC love Ernie. Sometimes I think more than me. When I get home from work, “ERNIE! YOU’RE HOME! Oh, hey dad.”
When Ernie is with me in my cart members will stop me, “How is Ernie today?” God forbid they ask how I am. That’s OK; I love the BIG guy too.

One of our fertilizer vendors has asked local golf courses with dogs to submit pictures for their 2009 calendar. So I am going to send in a picture of Ernie. I thought I would post the three that I have narrowed it down to and let you guys, “The Cult of Malathion” help me decide.




This may be my favorite, but I'm not sure it is "calendar" material.

Monday, July 21, 2008

The Difference a Dollar Can Make

Summer is a very expensive time for the Malathionman household. The electric bills are usually over $400 dollars a month and we need to pay for daycare since the kids are out of school. We had a great inexpensive sitter set up for the summer but her husband died in a car accident a few weeks ago. So we had to do find someone to watch the little angels real quick.

I was ready to ask one of the guys hanging out at Circle K if they wanted to make a few bucks, when one of the ladies at work said her 19-year-old daughter wouldn’t mind watching my kids. Her daughter Nylet had applied for a job at my golf course earlier this year and didn’t make much of an impression on me then, but she didn’t make a bad impression, so she was in. She would get $8.00 an hour; work 9:00 am to 2:00 pm, 3 to 4 days a week. I would even give her a ride home if she needed, because she did not have a car.

Nylet did fine the first week. The house wasn’t too messed up when I got home. The kids were alive. The dogs were too. I was pleasantly surprised.

Week two didn’t start off very good. When I arrived at work at 5:00 am I said good morning to Nylet’s mom and asked if everything was a “go” for Nylet to be at my house later that morning. She looked at me kind of funny as said, “Yes!” I knew that was a big fat NO but decided to let it play out. Sure enough I got a call from Sherri a couple of hours later. Nylet had forgotten about babysitting and was stuck at her friend’s house without a car. My wife, who was just stepping into the shower and had to be at work by 9:30 was tickled pink about the situation and told me, “You hired her, you handle it.” I did, but it was a pain in the ass and I wasn’t very happy with Nylet.

The rest of the week was OK. Nylet showed up like she was supposed to. The house was OK, but definitely NOT as nice as week before. I had to drive her home everyday, which sucked. And the kids kind of whined about Nylet not going outside to play with them. She said it was too hot. This is coming from the girl who wanted to get a job working landscape on my golf course. I didn’t like the direction this “work” relationship was headed, and I didn’t want to tell Nylet’s mom her daughter was a sloth, but I kind of think she already knows it.

The next week Sherri was off, so we didn’t need a babysitter. We simply told Nylet we would call her when we needed her. We would try to find someone better the week Sherri was off, and we did. We will use Nylet when the new girl is unavailable.

The beautiful and angelic Caroline is the 20-year-old daughter of one of Sherri’s employees. She is home for the summer from college. As you can tell we love her. For $9.00 an hour Caroline drives her own car to my house. She also uses that car to take the kids to the movies, swimming, and to the park.

When I come home from work the house is always immaculate. Instead of her ass planted on the couch watching TV, feeding her face while the kids are in the other room, maybe I won’t be using Nylet again, Caroline is doing something with the kids.

I also think Austin is in LOVE. I understand. She is pretty cute, she gives him attention, and he is a 12-year-old boy.

Last night he asked me to try out a new racetrack he had made on the Playstation. I laughed when I saw the name of the track. It was called “Caroline.” I HAD to point out the name and start teasing him about it. While he emphatically denies any feelings for his new babysitter I hear a voice in the hall, “Austin and Caroline sitting in a tree...” Austin had to stop and address the instigator, “MOM!”

Monday, July 14, 2008

I Did Mocha Momma

Today I am guest posting at Mocha Momma's Blog. I was very flattered that she would ask. I don't know what she was thinking.

I Like to Make the Girl Sing

One of the great pleasures that I get from being Alissa’s dad is listening to her sing. When she has the headphones on she sings without realizing that the people around her can hear her. When she was younger it was Veggie Tales Songs. Now it is Hanna Montana. :(

I sing in the car when she is with me, but not with anyone else. Sometimes she will sing with me if she likes the song. So I decided to make a fun CD of “old songs” that she would sing with me. The trick was to try and select songs that I thought she would sing. I did pretty good. I was 8 for 9. She doesn’t like “Joy to the World”. I thought all kids liked “Joy to the World”. Her favorite song is not really an oldie, but it has the oldie sound. It is called “Chick Habit” by April March. You will find on my player if you want to check it out.

Alissa’s and Malathionman’s Sing A Long

1. Chick Habit- April March
2. Stuck in the Middle with You- Stealers Wheel
3. Long Tall Glasses- Leo Sayer
4. ABC- The Jackson Five
5. I Can See Clearly Now- Johnny Nash
6. Joy to the World- Three Dog Night
7. Misty Blue- Dorothy Moore
8. Lean On Me- Bill Withers
9. Build Me Up Buttercup- The Foundations

Saturday, July 12, 2008

He's Still Making Movies

Brian O'Malley. The teenager that used to make and deliver pizzas for me back in the 80's and early 90's is still trying to make it in the movie business. August 14th his new movie Audie And The Wolf, a movie that he wrote, directed, and produced, will be premiering at the 2008 Downtown Film Festival in Los Angeles at the Los Angeles Theatre. I'm very excited for him. Compare the Audie And The Wolf trailer to the Bleak Future trailer. Its a big upgrade! He has REAL actors that you should recognize too! Christa Campbell, Rance Howard, and Richard Riehle all have parts in this film. Go to this site and click on all the links.

I think it real interesting to see how they try to sell these small movies.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Yeah, "Plumb Me"

I snapped this picture today. I'm not sure why I found it so amusing. I guess I just have a weird sense of humor. But then again you probably already know that.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Squishy Between Your Toes

I remember camping outside in the backyard when I was a kid, pretty fun stuff. Austin tried it with Alissa a few months ago, that didn’t fly. Who do you think got scared and wanted to come in after 30 minutes? Not the little girl, it was the big brother. So when Austin asked if he could do it again last night, except this time with his friend Jake, I figured he better “man-up” or he would never hear the end of it. He did.

I thought these boys had it pretty easy. Look at that nice tent! When I was a kid we had to use blankets and tarps that we tied up between trees. It was more like a fort than a tent. I don’t know if you can see in the picture, but they have an extension cord running into that tent. They wanted a fan and music for the night. At 10:00 pm I went out tell them to turn the music down and found them both dancing in the yard. I’m not sure what to think about that. I guess it is just cute.

I had fun sneaking outside to eavesdrop on their conversations. Lots of “dudes” and “you farted!”

I also had to have a little fun at their expense. I wasn’t going let the sprinklers run while they had power out there, but I did make sure the dogs made plenty of trips outside during the night. They thought it was funny when the dogs would try to get in, but I knew there would be little surprises waiting for them when they got out of the tent.

Austin was the unlucky victim. I never recommend walking barefoot in my backyard. :)

Friday, July 4, 2008

F**K the Cheep Stuff!

This Forth of July I am home with the kids while Sherri is at work. She is off at 4:00 and will be home in plenty of time for 4th type festivities, but I wanted to try and make sure she didn’t have to do much when she got home. Just kick back, relax and wait until it gets dark.

As soon as Sherri was off to work, the kids and I went into action.
The first stop would be Stater Brothers Market and pick up stuff for dinner. Tonight will be a pretty simple meal. Rib eye steak (on sale $3.70 a pound), salad (romaine mix, tomato, green onions, cucumber, and avocado), and sliced fruit (watermelon and pineapple). I was hoping I could get all the drinks there, but they didn’t have the most important beverage, so I just got the beer and juice boxes. Total cost, $50.00. Not so bad.

Next stop would be the fireworks stand, fun, fun, fun.

“Daddy, buy the Mega Block Party! Mega Block Party looks awesome dad, buy that one!”
“How much is Mega Block Party?”
“$500 dollars sir.”
“We’ll take Block Party”

Total cost, $89.99. Ouch.

Last stop was the most important. I needed a bottle of tequila, but not for me, it is for Sherri. Stater Brothers didn’t have the right kind of tequila, just cheep stuff. I ended up going to Smart and Final, Costco was closed. Sherri likes an occasional margarita, and she likes them with good tequila. She likes Cazadores. Cazadores is not the most expensive tequila, but it is not cheep. I like Cazadores because when ever she has these margaritas there is a reasonably good chance I will get lucky later in the evening. Why mess with success?

One small bottle of Cazadores, $30.00. Worth it.

Friday, June 27, 2008

In My House

I don’t normally lock the front door when I’m home during the day, but I’m thinking about it.

Hi Mr. Johnson.
Hey Kiley.
Is Alissa home?
No, she went to the store with her mother.
Could you please tell her I stopped by?
Sure, would you close my bedroom door, I’m going to change my clothes.

I guess its cool that the neighborhood kids are not afraid to come into my house, but don’t parents feel uncomfortable about them doing it? When I was a kid I had a couple of friends that would let me in the house without knocking, but that was a different time. I don’t even let Alissa play out front unless someone is with her, and she must knock before she enters someone’s house.

When I was a kid, “Go outside and play!” was what most of us heard all summer long. Occasionally my dad would say, “Here’s 5 bucks, go buy me a carton of smokes and you can get ice cream with the change.” You can’t do that today when you are only 8.

Today parents are singing a different tune.

“Don’t go near that guy in the van with the little dog.”
“No, you can’t use the restrooms at the park, you’ll need to come home.”
“Stay away from that guy collecting aluminum cans.”

I have actually said all three of those things. :(

Google Readers, can you guess what Mary Jane Girls song is playing on the player?

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Don't Let The Smell Bother You

About 7 years ago I gave up all of my privacy. That would be when the county of San Bernardino gave Sarah, Austin, and Alissa to us. They were 9 years, 5 years, and six months old. At first it wasn’t too bad, but now that everyone is used to each other my privacy no longer exists.

My youngest, Alissa has no concept about my personal space.

I get home from work about 15 minutes before the kids get home from school. It is one of the few quiet times I have. It’s a great time take a dump, in private. Don’t you love it when there are kids outside the door asking you questions or they are whining about the other kid to you and all you are trying to do is not make loud farting noises while they are standing there?

When Alissa came home from the last day of school, she wanted to show me what she had made in class for me. It was a Father’s Day card. She was very excited. She was so excited that she couldn’t wait for me to get out of the bathroom.

The master bedroom has a “closet/stall/booth” whatever, with a sliding door that doesn’t lock. I hear my spastic little girl cheerfully burst into the house and come straight to the bathroom. Funny how she knows where to go.

Daddy! Look what I made for you!

The door slides open a crack and she waves the card in the room.

That’s really cool Alissa! Thanks!
I made one for my dad too!
Oh, that’s nice. Who is that?
Hi Mr. Johnson.
Its just Kiley.
Oh, OK.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Its (I'm) Not Unusual

All of us have them, guilty pleasures. Guilty pleasures are things we like to eat, watch, listen to, or do, that may not be considered mainstream. Something you may not share with someone until you get to know him or her better. I have lots of them. And as I get older I have come to realize that it is silly not to share fun, quirky, things about yourself, it makes you more enjoyable to be around. Who really likes that quiet dude that just keeps to himself? Sure there may be some laughs at your expense, but it will pay dividends in the end.

Today I am going to share one of my guilty pleasures. In the future I may share some more. Feel free to make fun or share.

I grew up in the 70’s and 80’s. There was a lot of great music in the 70’s and 80’s, or at least I think so. But there is one guy I secretly listen to. Tom Jones. I actually have a Tom Jones play list in my Rhapsody library.

When I was a kid I remember my mom watching This Is Tom Jones every week. I think this show was so hilarious, the Vegas-style singing, the ladies throwing under garments on stage, cheesy skits; it was total 70’s. Only Tom Jones could pull that routine off and get away with it.

I dig that even today he is doing the same thing he did back then. I also think it is cool that many younger artist have done work with him. It’s a sign of respect for the work that has done in the past, and proof that he is still cool.

One of my favorite Tom Jones appearances is in the movie Mars Attacks. It is a small cameo towards the end and I believe he has the final scene. I really liked Mars Attacks; it’s not a movie people mention when they talk about Tim Burton films.

So there it is; I have a man crush on Tom Jones, not Tommy Lee Jones, whom I think is cool too, and if you think about it he does have the same name.

Hopefully you are reading this from Wear Gloves and Protective Eyewear, and not from your Google Reader, so that you can enjoy the macho goodness that is Tom Jones.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Flies With Fresh Breath

The bugs in the desert are pretty bad in the summer. It is better to say bugs are bad in the summer for everyone. This has to do with high temperatures that encourage insect eggs to hatch. Our problems insects are crickets, roaches, ants, and flies, pretty common stuff.

I have a Qualified Applicators Certificate from the State of California. This means I could get a job with ORKIN if I wanted, but I enjoy the free golf and lunch where I work too much to consider it. You would think I could handle killing my own bugs but I have an exterminator do it. He does a real good job with the crickets, roaches, and ants, but the flies are still a problem. With three dogs you can probably guess why.

Sherri and the exterminator (Ray) are real close. If she sees anything crawling around the house with more than four legs Ray gets a call. She asked Ray if there was anything he could do about the flies. Austin thinks Ray should do a better job keeping the dog dung picked up. Ray thinks Austin should pick it up twice a day instead of once. I agree with Ray, but when the dog takes a dump in his room he still has a hard time finding it and dealing with it, so I don’t think twice a day is going to “fly” (get it). Ray’s other suggestion was just as helpful, pay $75.00 a month for his special fly treatment.

Friday night Ray gives Sherri a call. What’s up with that? He tells her that he heard about a different, inexpensive way to kill flies in the yard. Spray your yard with Listerine. Something in the antiseptic kills the flies, and it is also safe to spray around pets and plants. Just put it in a hand sprayer and apply it full strength.

I think it sounds stupid, but Sherri hates flies more than decaf, so she is “all in”. Saturday morning she buys two gallons of Listerine, mint flavored, and sprays the yard herself. I won’t participate in such witchcraft I may lose my QAC.

I won’t say it was a total success, but I will say it did put a dent in the fly population. I think the results are going to be short lived. The sprinklers should wash off most of the mouthwash in a day or so. I will say if are you going to entertain in the yard and you have a fly problem it might be worth spraying the night before with some cheap .99 Store mouthwash. I don’t think flossing will help.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Would You Tell Your Boss?

If you have ever read Wear Gloves and Protective Eyewear you may know that I like to talk a lot of shit. Or maybe I should say I talk about shit. Maybe you’ll remember We Have A Plunger Just In Case and Butt Plug Not Included. In the fine tradition of those great entries I bring you Would You Tell Your Boss?

I have an employee his name is Reyes. He is what we call an irrigator. His job responsibilities require that he work a lot by himself. We need to be able to trust him to keep busy and do an honest days work without much supervision. We have found that not to be the case with Reyes. He appears to be getting very little done, and what is done is done half-ass. (Half-ass would be a technical term we use in the golf business.)

I have made it known to Reyes that I’m not satisfied with his job performance. He said I had some sort of problem with him and complained to my new boss. Mistake. Now my boss holds him accountable for every minute he is on the golf course. Reyes is now freaked out that he is going to loose his job, he should be. He calls me and reports to me every little thing that he does. Things are better, but it has gotten a little extreme.

As I am driving to the clubhouse to get some lunch I come across Reyes driving back to the maintenance shop in a hurry. He pulls me over to talk.

Hey Tom I gotta go home.
What’s the matter?
I’ve got real bad diarrhea and I shit my pants.
REALLY. I shit in my underwear a couple of hours ago so I threw them away. Now I’ve shit in my pants....
Stop stop stop, enough, don’t get out of your seat. Just go home. Call me tomorrow if you can’t come in. I’m going to lunch now. (Yum.)

Later that day while I was washing my hands in the bathroom. As I threw away the paper towel I noticed a pair of underwear in the trashcan. I was curious, but not that curious.

Monday, May 19, 2008

It Really Better Not Be A Tumor

I made a reference to the movie Kindergarten Cop in the title of a post a couple of weeks ago. I thought I might clear that up today. Sometimes I assume that everyone will know what I’m talking about when I drop a line from a movie. I don’t know why, but sometimes people will stare at me blankly when I say, Tito Puente's gonna be dead, and you're gonna say, "Oh, I've been listening to him for years, and I think he's fabulous."

At the same time that I had written that post, my wife was really sick. She was having a hard time standing up without getting dizzy and falling down. It was so bad that she couldn’t drive. I had to take time off of work to get her to the urgent care center.

The PA that looked after Sherri ran many tests. He couldn’t figure out what was wrong. Finally he said he wanted to do a CAT scan. He said she probably just has a virus, but wants to do this to make sure it is not something else.

We grab our paperwork and head out to the Lucy Curci Imaging Center. It was time for school to get out, so we had to pick up Alissa on the way. Austin would be home later.

Alissa was all questions on the way there. Why are both of you picking me up from school? What’s wrong with mommy? How long are we going to be? Can we have ice cream on the way home? It was all cute until I pulled into the parking lot and noticed that the Lucy Curci Imaging Center was really the Lucy Curci Cancer Center. Sherri noticed the look on my face and gave me that don’t say a word in front of the little girl look.

I am now waiting with Alissa in the lobby for Sherri to get her CAT scan. We are doing her home work, talking about her day in school, and I’m dying inside. My little girl has no idea what this CAT scan is for. What the hell are we going to do if the person that holds this family together has cancer? What’s Sherri going through in the other room?

Sherri comes out after about 15 minutes and we wait to hear from the technician. It didn’t take long, maybe 10 minutes. The technician says that we would have to go back to the urgent care center and discuss the results there. Give me a break. So we go back to the urgent care center.

Everything was fine, no tumor. But we still don’t know what is going on. The PA gives Sherri a prescription for motion sickness, and it has kind of helped. He thinks it is a virus and that it will pass.

Sherri is now experiencing some numbness and tingling in her arm. She has now seen our regular doctor and told him everything that has gone on for the last 2 weeks. He thinks that everything is probably related to a possible neck injury she sustained at work. We are now waiting for an MRI approval from her workman’s comp carrier.

All I can say is, “At least its not a tumaaa.” (my best Austrian accent)

Monday, May 12, 2008

Maybe That's Why We Don't Talk.

While doing my Mother’s Day shopping (for my wife) this week I saw a lot of great gift ideas. I spent a lot of time trying to decide what she would like the most. This is hard to do when there is a 7-year-old girl who wants to go home and play, instead of shopping for mommy with you.

I always try to pick something nicer than what Sherri would normally buy for herself, or something she wouldn’t normally buy for herself. I finally decided on a skirtini and a pair of shoes to match.

While driving home I thought about what I might get for my own mother for Mother’s Day. I don’t really talk to my mom much anymore, so I don’t put the kind of effort that I should into her gift. I know that sounds bad and I have come to realize that maybe some of my previous efforts at her Mother’s Day gifts may have contributed to our lack of communication.

Here are some examples.

I'm sure I saw some of this stuff in her bathroom. So when I saw it at the store I thought, "Hey, mom uses this stuff. I'm sure she would love getting some more for Mother's Day!"

OK, so mom has a little moustache, some sideburns, and ... a beard. No biggy. This Epilady thing takes care of all of that. I think it takes care of armpits, legs, and other hairy spots, if you know what I mean. She haaaad to think this was a great gift. The salesman said it actually feels good when you use it too!

When I was a kid, I KNOW I saw one of these in her bathroom. I remember asking what it was. She said it was a massager. I also remember it was boring looking and white. Now that I'm older and wiser, I thought it would be funny to remind her of that fine mother-son moment with something a little more colorful. I'm sure she was all laughs when the UPS man needed her to sign for the package.