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Monday, March 28, 2005

Daddy, can we go home, now???? 

Boy, I must be crazy. I plan on taking the kids with me on March of Dimes' WalkAmerica, in April. I'm quite sure we son't make it to six full miles. I'll be happy with two miles without whining.
Because of Terrible T's very premature birth, I think that this is a great cause. I have no idea whether or not the March of Dimes was instrumental in saving T, but the same type of dedicated doctors and nurses definitely played important roles.
Click here... right this very minute, to sponsor me. It doesn't have to be a lot. Every little bit helps.
Also: The person who sponsors me at the highest level (ties to be broken in a random manner) will win a prize! of my own devising (meaning it'll be cheap).
Of course, if I don't know you, I may not be able to get the prize to you. If such a thing should occur... well... tough titties.



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Thursday, March 24, 2005

Obladi Oblada 

I’ve been sick, this week. No surprise. Marc came home from Washington D.C. with some virus. He’s gotten over it, but, now Alex is sick, Grandma is sick, and I am too. We haven’t visited Grandma since our return from Gainesville, last weekend, so she can’t blame us for what she’s got. Shit’s just going around, I guess.

Good News: University of Phoenix has finally added a couple of Math courses to their Upper Division curriculum. This means I won’t have to try to CLEP the Math test or go to another school to take a Math course and then have the credits transferred. By mid-June, I should be (finally) finished with my Bachelor of Science in Business Management. And if I don’t screw up horribly, I’ll end up with a really good GPA.

I suppose I’ll have to go out and get drunk.

Oh. BTW: I have been submitting more pictures to the Mirror Project. You can see all of my pictures, here. I’ve recently started to add the word “fuzzy” into the text or the title of the submission. I doubt that many people will be doing searches based on the word “fuzzy”, but it’s kinda fun to stack the deck, when they do.



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Monday, March 21, 2005

And Time Continues its Inevitable March 

What a weekend!
Thursday at about 8:30 PM: I bring Frances, big tank and all, to Irene's house so she can watch her and feed her over the weekend. I check her computer to see about Marc's flight. It's going to be late. 11:30 PM: Marc arrives at Ft. Lauderdale International Airport from his Washington D.C. field trip. I'm in bed by 2:00 AMish.
Friday we wake up early to get ready to go to Gainesville. Damn. It always takes so much longer to get ready than it should. We're on the road at Noon. About six hours later....
My sister Beth has a roast waiting for us. Alex won't eat roast. She's eats Challah and butter. Beth and I then go on a wild-Rich hunt. My brother-in-law Rich took a bus up to Gainesville and we were supposed to meet him in a certain parking lot. I hadn't brought my cell phone. I didn't know Beth's was broken. No phone. We're running a bit late since we passed our turn and had to look around for that particular parking lot. Meanwhile, Rich decides it's too cold to stand in the parking lot waiting for us. He heads over to the nearest open building. We drive all over the place and finally stop to go to a pay phone and call Terrrible T, who is at Beth's with the kids. We finally have him cornered, beat him about the head generously, and toss him into the trunk, so he can't get away. Rich has to call my niece Laura to tell her she doesn't need to pick him up. Rich had already started the ball rolling on his Plan B. Another late night.
Saturday, we drop Rich off at his property so he can work on building his garage. The rest of us head to a plant show. Nice. Except now Marc is feeling ill.
Rich is visited by a University of Florida professor and two busloads of students who want to see the pair of burrowing owls that just happen to live on Rich's property. Cool. One of only three known pairs in that part of the state. Richard continues to build without cutting off any vital body parts.
Marc and I stay home while the girls (including Laura) go and do some girlie stuff. We watch Daredevil, which could have been a pretty good movie without its star. Actually, I thought that it wasn't quite as bad as everyone else thought. Beth bought it for $1 as part of her registration in a DVD club. Daredevil = $1.00. Works for me. We could have watched Master and Commander, but I didn't want Marc to have to see a kid his own age getting an arm cut off.
We pick up Rich and go to dinner (excluding Laura, who had too much homework) at a really nice Japanese Tepanyaki Steak House. Even Marc enjoyed it. Thank you, Tylenol.
Sunday we go out for breakfast. Biscuits the size of saucers. Alex eats a biscuit with butter. No. She doesn't. Not really.
We head on over to the Museum of Natural History. Bio-bugs, Bones, and Butterflies. Wow. That place has really expanded since the last time we visited.
Then came the long ride home (Rich included, hitching the return trip). It's about 9:00 when we finally empty most of the car...
... so I can drive over to Irene's and rescue her from Frances, our killer tortoise. Not one poop out of that girl. I have to wonder what gifts she left for Terrible T, today, now that she's home.

Today: Up at 5:50 and at work before 7:00. >sniff<
Alex was complaining, last night, that she'd caught whatever it is that Marc brought home for us, from Washington. And now I've got the sniffles.

And yes. I still have time to think about Dad. Lots.

Example



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Thursday, March 17, 2005

Bye, Dad 

It feels weird.
Dad died, yesterday.
And I don't really feel much different.
Sure, I'm sad. But I'm also relieved that he left us before it became too painful and uncomfortable for him.
I didn't see him, after Saturday. He still looked pretty good. But I think I'll remember him by the last photo I took of him.
I'll post it when I get a chance. For now...
On with life.



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Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Good bye Dad, We Hardly Knew Ya 

I sat here a bit wondering what to write. But what does a person write while waiting for a parent to die? Dad's been on a hospice program for well over a year. He's 82 and all too near 83 years old. So it's not like we haven't been expecting his visit from "The Big D".
But it's close, now. Oh so ever near to happening. And though I didn't think I'd be this way, it's all I've really been thinking about while I'm not concentrating on work. Or helping Alex with her homework, or cooking dinner, or taking Marc to the airport, or trying to escape into a good French film.
I know I'm rambling.

I want to ramble.
I think it helps.


Mom called last night to tell me that Dad's kidneys have failed him. Expected. It just goes with the territory. He's not eaten nor has he had much to drink since two Saturdays ago. What's it like to not eat for over a week? Does he even care?

Did he know it was me, when I visited this week and I could actually feel him holding my hand when I told him I loved him?
Did I tell him that for him or for me?

I didn't wish him a swift death and a ride to heaven. I don't believe in heaven. So I just wished him comfort and he really did look comfortable and out of pain.

I worked today. Terrible T called me a number of times. Every God Damned time the phone vibrated I figured that it was my Mom calling. She could be trying to call me this very second, to give me the news. But I'm tying up the line. And I'm charging the cell phone... and it's off.

Is Dad dying this very moment, or will he last a few more miserable days? Hopefully, not miserable for him. But certainly for us.

Tomorrow, I'm back to work. To try to keep my mind on my work and feel for the tell-tale vibratory buzz of my Motorola V-Something-or-other. The inevitable call.

Right now I want to sleep for a few days. But duty calls. Alex needs a bath and Ivette needs me to show up for my participants tomorrow... bright and early with a smile on my face.

I saw Wil Wheaton acting out a part as a crazy homeless man, a few days (or was it years?) ago. Great job. But I wonder if I could do better.
I'm an Ac-tor!
Every day I show up for a class I play the "happy-go-lucky corporate trainer" who thinks the company he works for is the cat's pajamas and that all of his students are the brightest and the best of the best even when they don't know their computer mouse from a fluffy cloud.

Sometimes I really could not care less. Luckily, this week, the students are catching on quicker than I'd expected. And Ana's kinda cute. And I love the way one of Jo's eyes is often looking off in another direction.


I wish I could look in some some other direction, right now.

My eyes are burning. Am I just tired, or did I stare at the sun, again?



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Friday, March 11, 2005

A Letter To Wil 

Wil,
You tell us (we who frequent your blog) that you read all of the comments and Track-Backs. And I prefer to believe you. I’ve tracked back to your blog before. I screwed up the track -backs, the first few times, but Haloscan helped me figure out what I’d been doing wrong. So, I have to assume that you’ve been here before (not that you’ve left any comments).
After reading today’s post, I have to say I disagree with one point about your performance on CSI, last night: I do not agree with Nolan. Not exactly.
I do not think that Walter was all that scary. Certainly Creepy. But, scary? Not quite.
I’ve been trying to think of a way to describe it. Maybe tense. Better yet - intense. I wasn’t exactly scared of Walter, but I couldn’t help thinking that he was an over-tightened spring, ready lash out unpredictably at anything. Filthy, disturbed, argumentative, and potentially scary. Potentially dangerous. With virtually nothing but a few minutes of screen time, you gave us a character to remember.
I was amazed at your transformation. Little Wesley Crusher mutated into a mentally unbalanced homeless man. Just like the real ones we see all too often; wandering the streets with their collection of personal possessions stuffed into an old Neiman Marcus shopping bag. sad
Had I not read your blog... had I not seen your name in the credits... I would have waded through the show utterly oblivious to the fact that that was Wil Wheaton hiding under the scraggly hair and behind the demented sneer.

"My! Name! Is! Walter!" Creeeepy.

Until last night, I was a CSI virgin. The characters were new to me. The directorial style was new to me. The visual momentary flashes of possibilities were ingenious. I guess I’ll have to watch again.
But it wasn’t just you, Wil. The other actors shined, too. That fratricidal 14 year old is liable to give me nightmares. He made me wonder what it would be like if my 11 year old took a pipe to my 6 year old.

Shit.


Now that’s scary.



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Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Just When you Thought it was Safe to go Back to Weston... 

I'm back "home" in my office at Weston. Preparing for yet another new class to instruct as part of The Big Project.
I'm starting the class on Monday and some of the course materials are still changing... not to mention the target audience. I am so confused about the entire affair. But, as always, I'll do my best.
Luckily, a "Subject Matter Expert" (SME) will be in class with me. Un-luckily, the SME has little experience with an entire piece of process we're attempting to teach them. Hence the quotes around "Subject Matter Expert". Not that it's her fault.

Are there hit-men for really bad project managers??? I'd love to take up a collection and hire one. Heck, I'm sure I'd collect more than I usually do when I have to sell stuff for my kids' school.

Footnote: Check out the section: "But at the Beginning" on this grammar web page before faulting me for using "But" at the beginning of a sentence.



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Friday, March 04, 2005

Welcome Home Martha! 

Domestic Diva Martha Stewart has returned to her home from the grueling five months of hard time she carried out at Alderson.
Reportedly, the first thing she did when she arrived at her modest little mansion was to cook up a perfectly fluffy French omelet. She then put on her white glove and inspected the house to ensure that the housekeeping had been satisfactory.

After a quick visit to the hidden safe in her 50 square foot walk-in closet, Martha reappeared donning her simple-yet-elegant diamond earrings.
“It was wonderful to finally be able to sit down on a toilet seat when taking a shit,” she confided to a friend.
She then apologized to the friend for having used such vulgar language.

We are all happy to see Martha come home. Her stock rocketed during her extended visit to Alderson, so she won’t likely be bothering her friends for a handout, any time soon. She may even have started a trend, according to the article appearing at JohnnyDakota (borrowed from the Borowitz Report).

Crime surely does pay.

The only downside to Martha’s house arrest is that she will only be allowed to work outside the home for 48 hours each week. We hope that Martha can find enough to do, since she was used to working over 83.5 hours per week and there’s only so much a diva can do in her own (almost spotlessly clean) home. Her outside work is likely to include dinner at The Four Seasons with her newest partner, Donald Trump.


“This partnership is almost perfect.” said Martha in one of her first post-prison interviews, “I only wish Donald would get a damned haircut.” She then apologized profusely for using such vulgar language. “I suppose I picked up a few bad habits at Alderson,” she explained as she stood at her pantry door, waiting for the guards to open it.



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Thursday, March 03, 2005

What Passes 

“Goodnight my angel now it's time to dream
And dream how wonderful your life will be
Someday your child will cry and if you sing this lullaby
Then in your heart there will always be a part of me”
Billy Joel


I often wonder what life would be like if I weren’t a father:


I can do without the TV and the enlarged 3D collection. But the thought of a day without Marc or Alex is actually painful. Marc’s going on a field trip very soon. Man am I scared. Not for him, of course, but for Terrible T and me!

I also wonder what I’ve given my kids. Is it enough? Would it ever be enough?

  • I’ve given them both a bit of my ridiculous sense of humor.
  • I’ve given them some of my bad habits. (“Alex, don’t pick your nose.” Daddy, don’t pick your nose!”)
  • I gave Marc “Happy Talk” as a nightly lullaby.
  • I gave Alexandra “That’s Amore” as her nightly lullaby. Hell. It was the only song she’d ever let me sing to her.
  • I’ve given them nearly unconditional love. (Yes. I will love you when you put your damned shoes away!”)
  • I’ve given them Ray Harryhausen and FLUXX.
  • I’ve given them my flu.

I only hope that someday, when they have kids of their own, they’ll pass down a bit of the same.




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Tuesday, March 01, 2005

That Star Trek Kid Gets to Play a Homeless Psycho! 

I like to think of Wil Wheaton as my little brother. Not because I'm such a big fan of his work, but because I'm proud of his growth as a person and a father. He seems like a really cool dad. Certainly cooler than me.
So... when I read his Blog, I'm always looking for good news and interesting family stories. The good news? He landed a role on CSI. I've always thought he could end up a pretty good adult actor, if given the chance. He was pretty darn good in Stand by Me.
I know it can be difficult to make the transition from kid-star to adult actor. Look at Diff'rent Strokes: Todd Brideges got arrested, Gary Coleman got laughed at, and Dana Plato got dead. After doing some porn. Not particularly good transitions.
Helen Hunt, Kurt Russel, and some others did fine. And many others transitioned into non-acting jobs.
Wil has somehow managed to stay on the fringe and continue to keep a fan base, of sorts. And he's continued to learn how to hone his acting skills. Obviously CSI thought he'd be worth a try. They even put him into a role that would stretch his skills and surprise their audience. He doesn't play a highschool genius or a young up and commer.

He plays a dirty psychotic street bum.
Now that sounds like fun. I've never seen CSI, but you can bet I plan to tune in!



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