September 30, 2006

My Night in White

I took the subway into D.C. to meet up with the girls. I love watching people on the subway. There are the young’uns that are going to get their drink on or the chick that’s by herself and meeting up with friends. You know her face will soften as soon as she sees her friends but on the train by herself she has on her “Walking Face” as I call it. This is the face that says, “Don’t eff with me cause I’ll kick your ass”. I do the same thing when I’m in the city because there are a lot of freaks. If you look mean enough they might just leave you alone.

I meet up with the girls and we headed to Ozio’s. I thought I had been there before but I hadn’t. Getting a drink in there was not easy plus this was the first place we went to and I hadn’t had one drink yet to chill me out. The majority of smokers in there were smoking cloves, which smells better than regular cigarettes. We didn’t stay long before we decide to leave to find what other bars were around. When we left I realized it didn’t matter what type of cigarette it was they all smelled the same in the end and I could smell it on me.

Eight years ago I worked in this area but I never hung out there at night. It didn’t seem to have changed too much. We walked up 19th street and stopped at Rumors but didn’t go in. We continued on and I wanted to get a closer look at Luigi’s. I had been by this place so many times when I worked down here but now I know the history. My Great Grandfather had this place built for his workshop. He was a cabinet maker from Poland and many of us still have some of the furniture he made.

We decided to stop at Oodles Noodles for something to eat. I was so excited because I hadn’t eaten there in ages and I love their Noodles on a Boat. It was just as good as ever even eight years later. Next we went to Rumors. I had never been there but I had heard plenty. I was telling the girls that Rumors always reminded me of my cousins because I had heard a story of a fight they were in there and they came home with black eyes. No sooner had I mentioned this and tensions flared between two dudes but the fight was thwarted. We found our way to a table and copped a squat near the dance floor. I felt like I was in a college bar. The people were fun to watch especially some of the girls. They would walk in with their chests all puffed out. I couldn’t help but laugh every time this happened because it happened a lot. They would then stand near the dance floor and start shaking their booty. One heavier set chick in her eighties outfit would throw her arms in the air and shake her butt and she did it a lot. We had to turn away... it wasn’t pleasant.

We decided to leave Rumors and walk by Ozio to see what was going on there. On our way there we were stopped by a dude passing out promotional flyers. I kept walking since the girls took the info from him I figure I wouldn’t need it. But he called out after me, “Hey! Ms. White Pants…” I took the flyer and he was happy. Ozio was hopping and there was a line out the door and a cover now so we walked on.

We stopped at the corner outside the Daily Grill and there was a dude, who had friends inside, he crouched down like he was playing football and he was ready to receive something. So I turned and jumped into a crouching position like I was gonna run to him. He said “Come on, I got ya!” We just laughed and we walked on.

We crossed Connecticut and walked up towards Lucky Bar and MCCXXIII (1223). We met a homeless man and we all gave him a little donation and he asked us if we needed a dance partner. MCCXXII had a huge line outside and we noticed it was mostly men and wondered if they would let the women just walk in. Lucky Bar seemed pretty tame and there was a nameless place that had a small line and you had to be on a list to get in. Pam was determined to find out what this place was but the bouncer just ignored her. She eventually found out the name but it escapes me at the moment.

I was ready to call it a night and the girls agreed. The homeless man saw us coming and said how beautiful we were and did we need a dance partner. It old him he was full of it but he said “Hey, if ya’ll was ugly I would tell ya… You’re Ugly!” We thanked him and walked on.

We recapped the evening on our way to the subway and deemed it a successfully fun time. I have to say my favorite was when the dude was ready to catch me because it was the moment that made me laugh the hardest.

We said goodbye as my train arrived. I was lucky to get a seat with all the bustling with activity on the train. The young’uns were just heading out even though it was midnight and a good portion of them got off at Dupont. A man got on and started drawing everyone and even asked a woman to pose for him. Another woman noticed him sketching and decided to stand for the rest of her ride so she could look over the his shoulder and see what he was drawing. He was frantically looking up and down the train looking for his inspiration so he could sketch them before they got off at their stop. So many had left the train that he was having a hard time finding his inspiration so he put away his tablet, crossed his legs and his hands and waited for his stop.

I was beat when I got home. Read a few emails but too tired to respond so I crashed. I was hoping to sleep in but the best I can usually do is 9am if I’m lucky. When I woke up it was nearly noon. Whoa! I feel better than I have felt in a long while. Today I will attempt to hang my curtains and just chill out because tomorrow will be jam packed. I’m taking Mini Red to the Skins game.


September 29, 2006

Sleeping with the fishes??? We'll be sleeping with the sharks!!!

I have schedule Mini Red and I for an immersion tour: Sleepover With The Sharks at the National Aquarium in Baltimore. How cool is that?

I had mentioned it to Mini Red and told her they also have a Wild Extremes Sleepover in the New Exhibit Animal Plant Australia: Wild Extremes. She said she would prefer to sleep with the sharks. So today I called and expected them to tell me they were booked but they weren't. WAHOO!

I haven't told her yet and not sure when I will. She called me when her Dad picked her up and I didn't want to tell her then because I want to experience her excitement. I have been so overwhelmed with excitement that when I left the office to pick up my lunch I had a huge grin on my face and I was nearly dancing.

I can't wait to receive the information packet so we can get ready. I may not tell Mini Red until we are on our way. We'll see if I can contain myself and keep it a secret.

A Bit O Dis and a Bit O Dat

In reviewing my favorite blogs I found this article from Smouie Kablooie at Metblogs stating that Duane "Dog" Chapman was in DC yesterday. I showed Mini Red this and she cried:

"Mom this was my chance to meet him and you could have taken me out of school to go there."

"WHAT?!?! I don't think so Sista!"

This morning I stopped at Starbucks on my way in since I'm out of coffee at home (oh travesty!). I saw the homeless guy walking in that direction and I figured he would be there when I walked out of Starbucks. I debated whether I should get him something to eat or drink but I hate assuming anything. It was a good thing I didn't.

He was standing there when I walked out and I asked him if he would like a muffin or something and he said he wasn't hungry. I was surprised by this and said I was sorry but I didn't have any cash to help him out but he stopped me and said he had money but he had been up all night. At this point I was so confused and took this as a no thanks all around.

I hope I didn't offend him… he didn't seem offended. Maybe he isn't homeless but I know he lives under the highway… Oh I'm so confused. I don't understand what I could have done to help him out or if I offended him or if he was trying to tell me something else. I have a headache now.


My desk, at work, has moved, as of yesterday. A lot of people were out of the office the past few days and they came back to find one dude has left the area and now I'm nearby. On top of this we have new people everywhere. Our work areas are cubicle like (I call them stalls). If someone says something heads pop up, it reminds me of Whack-A-Mole.

This morning seems to just be in complete chaos and everyone is curious about all the changes? So Whack-A-Mole seems to be in full swing.


Trish always has interesting information. Remember the Cougar post? Well she told me about this book called "If The Buddha Dated". I expected it to be a funny little book but it's got some great information. When I bought it I also bought "If The Buddha Married" for a friend of mine.

I'm only at the beginning but I highly recommend it for more than just relationships. It is really good for a self-exploration on many levels.


My office email has an auto population feature when typing in an email address. When you start typing the name it populates from the address book. It's been noticed recently that if Red is typed in my name auto populates. Too cool!


I bought a deep auburn henna dye for my hair tonight. What's the worst that could happen? It only last 4–6 weeks. My girlfriend and I plan on trying this on Sunday. The only difference is she is covering gray and I'm talking about a temporary change of color. Everyone seems to be going more brunette lately, e.g. Cameron Diaz or Brittany Spears.


Mini Red had her second swim lesson tonight. She is doing so well and the improvements are already evident. Unfortunately, I got stuck sitting near these PTA Moms tonight. Uggggh. They were discussing belly-dancing classes. One said she made a deal with her husband to practice for him late at night if he would bring the kids to swim lessons. Ewww! That was along the lines of thinking of you parents like that. Double ewww.

September 27, 2006

White after Labor Day?

I’ve heard this rule doesn’t apply anymore. I’m no fashionista, by any means, so you tell me.

I really don’t want to risk a situation like the one in the movie Serial Mom where the Serial Mom (Kathleen Turner) kills Juror #8 (Patty Hearst) for her most heinous crime of wearing white shoes after Labor Day.

I found an article, from 2002, that says this rule originally applied to shoes but the rule seemed to have evolved to include pieces of clothing. The premise is that white keeps you cooler therefore unnecessary for winter.

All this cause due to planning a night out with the girls in D.C. this weekend so we can shake our booties. In trying to decide what to wear or what one should wear I thought of my white jeans. If I wear my white jeans I can be comfortable and any top will work. So if white is not allowed after Labor Day would white jeans be allowed since they are jeans and not just pants? They’re thicker so does that change the rule? I just don’t know.

I can see it now… I'm on the dance floor dropping it like its Hot and my white jeans are illuminating in the neon lights. The fashionistas in the crowd are enraged by my faux pas and jealous of how well I get my Eagle On. They decide they must take matters into their own hands and take a picture with their camera phone and send it into Glamour Magazine to add to the Don’t list.

This white thing has me in a quandary. Maybe I should just wear all black and not worry about it.

Oh, I hope my black pants still fit!

September 26, 2006

Apartment living can be awesome sometimes

Yesterday, when I got home there was a note. Mini Red read the note and immediately ran to the kitchen to see the new dishwasher… INSTALLED! Wahoo!

My dishwasher started acting funny a month ago so I called and reported the problem. They checked it out and left me a note that they would order a new one and install it when it arrived. Ok so I had to wait a month and wash dishes by hand during that time. No biggie in my book because they identified the problem and ordered and installed a new one at no extra cost to me.

I was so excited I left a Thank You note this morning.

September 25, 2006

The Sleepover and the Crabs!

I was so excited for the weekend. I feel like I've just been so exhausted lately and can't get up in the morning. Maybe once Daylight Savings Time kicks in it will help but that's a month away and lately Mini Red and I just can't seem to get up. I was looking forward to sleeping in on Saturday but that got thwarted (I love that word… thwart! Hehehe).

Mini Red has been begging to have her friends (two sisters) sleep over but schedules haven't allowed it. I think it also gets difficult for their Mom since their Dad is active duty Navy and he's been away. Who wants to be home alone? So I suggested they come by and I'll order pizza and us Moms can have some wine and visit. Everyone was happy and we all had a great time.

The older sister had a class Saturday morning so I had to get her up early so no sleeping in for me. I got up and fixed chocolate chip pancakes for all the girls. It's difficult when Mini Red has friends over because the apartment is so small, but then again the last apartment was even smaller and it was difficult and rare to have friends over there. So I hear when they aren't agreeing and I try to stay out of it but sometimes they get unreasonable. So I hide in my bedroom.

I got some laundry done, since I had been putting it off, before we headed out to the crab feast at Tori and D's. We left later than expected and arrived at their place around 3pm. I have never walked into someone's home and felt so comfortable right off the bat. They had several tables set up for the crab picking and one was in full swing. I was looking for the beers so I could sit down and join in. These crabs were HUGE and Meaty!!!! Yumm yumm. I have to say… my table had the best spot to pick crabs because we could see the TV and College Football was on.

Clemson kicked some ASS!! I know Brotha-Man was happy.

Ok so back to the crabs… I love picking crabs and Shortie noticed how different everyone is when they pick their crabs. Stephanie had a little bowl she would put all her crabmeat in and when it was full she would add a little butter and Old Bay then eat it. I agreed with Liz when she expressed her awe in Stephanie's self control. Liz and I would eat the meat as we got it and enjoyed the instant gratification.

Everyone shared their expertise in picking crabs. A few years ago I learned a trick to get the best bang for my mallet and knife when getting the meat from the crab legs. The crab legs have never been my favorite and they were piling up in front of me. So I did my little trick and I would offer up the legs to Karen who was enjoying the fruit my labor. Everyone was asking how I was getting the leg meat like I was so Red gave a lesson in crab legs as others joined from the other table. When I pulled out the crabmeat, in my little demonstration, everyone burst into cheers. I was startled by the response and everyone soon dispersed to have a go at it.

Mini Red didn't pick but two crabs before exploring the house. She played pool and got to know the four dogs well. Tori and D couldn't get over how well-mannered Mini Red is. She was very polite and would ask before touching anything like the pool table and she could tell all the dogs apart. I think the Dogs was Mini Red most fun part. But most of all they were impressed that Mini Red was having fun and there were no other kids.

People started leaving around 7 and I figured we wouldn't be staying late but I had two beers with my crabs earlier and wanted to make sure it wore off. Mini Red was having fun with the dogs and Na'Imah and her cousin just arrived.

Na'Imah's cousin is nearly divorced so a discussion ensued. We discussed the exes and our situations but the biggest discussion was about dating. How long to wait all depended on her own situation but I gave her some of my horror stories. Some at the table knew of my blog and quickly informed the others. Poor William was the only dude there at this point and I think he just got disgusted at his fellow man after hearing some of my stories.

William quickly befriended Mini Red and was amazed at her knowledge of Greek Mythology considering her age. He warned me I'm in big trouble because Mini Red is an amazingly intelligent little girl. I had no idea the length of knowledge she had on this subject. I guess it's a good thing I have her read before bedtime.

When we left it was almost 9:30 and Mini Red was so tired. We had such a great time and can't wait to do it again. Tori and D mentioned something about a party around the holidays. Yeah!!!

A TOG Birthday

TOG's Birthday was Sunday and he was at one of his bike shows. He told his friends he wanted a cake in the shape of a Boob.

This morning I got this email:

"Her ya go, a picture of TOG in his weekend environment, had fun on my birthday, they made me a cake that was close to a boob, they couldn't find a baker to make it, they were all scared. So they made a cake and took a picture from Playboy and blew it up and stuck it on the top. Was the thought that counted."

September 23, 2006

Apartment living can really suck sometimes

For example, paying to do my laundry can be annoying. We have one washer and one dryer for each floor and there are about 16 apartments per floor. The advantage is I can do several loads at once utilizing several floors at once. See advantages and good in everything is what I say.

Today, I was a few minutes late to switch my laundry so someone else did it because they wanted that washing machine. This irritates me when someone is touching my shit, but I was a little late. But when I show up within 5 seconds of the laundry being dry and my shit is moved again… this pisses me off.

So I left a note:

“Patience is a virtue learn it
and don’t ever touch my panties

A Drunken Dialing Slut

I am so tired today. I got to bed at a reasonable 11pm last night. I was snug in my bed when my cell rang just before 2am. WTF?!?! I looked to see who was calling and it was SLUT. Is he nuts? I’m not answering, so I side buttoned him. As I was drifting back to sleep all snuggled in my bed the phone rang again! He’s drunk dialing and I’m gonna kill him tomorrow.

SLUT got his name because his first name begins with an S and his last name begins with LUD. Our company emails used to be our first initial and last name so we started calling him SLUD, which quickly became SLUT. He likes it like that and encourages people to call him that.

I sent him a text message asking him if he was drunk dialing last night and forgot the time difference (he’s in CA). Ends up he’s in Seattle and was hanging with TT last night drinking and they had a list of people they were calling. TT stopped drinking at some point but kept ordering drinks and gave his to Slut along with the drinks he was already ordering himself. After a few text messages this morning Slut called and said he was still hammered. He can’t remember if he even slept last night but lost time somewhere therefore missing his flight. I asked if TT was ok to which he replied, “He’s fine. Asians can hold there alcohol.”

Since he missed his flight the only other flight was to Fresno and then renting a car to drive to Bakersfield. On top of that he’s being auctioned off at a charity event* that begins at 5:30. It was gonna be close because at some point in his travels he needs to detox. I can see it now…Slut strutting his stuff on stage sweating out his alcohol from the night before. Can you say smelly? If anyone can pull it off Slut can.

At work this morning Shortie told me her phone was ringing around 3am, YDH got a message from Slut sometime in the middle of the night. On top of that Susie came in the office today, after being MIA for several months, and she found a test message received from Slut sometime in the middle of the night.

I guess I’m on the list now, eh?

* Slut sold for $550 at the auction

September 21, 2006

Is it Fall yet?

As we walked outside this morning Mini Red exclaimed "Mommy It's Winter! I can see my breath!" I said, "It's not Winter yet but Fall is definitely coming in."

Ahh Fall. I'm looking forward to it. Last October I went to California for the first time, on business. I hadn't realized what perfect weather they have. If I lived there I would definitely own a convertible, how could you not? But this morning, for the first time I realized how much I love the change of seasons and always looking forward to the next.

Halloween is coming and I can't wait to take Mini Red to the Pumpkin Patch and maybe we'll make it to Punkin Chunkin this year. As the weather gets colder the turtle necks come out and the big blankets and this means cozying up on the couch with Mini Red.

We caught the end of the show Dirty Jobs the other night. At the end the host, Mike Rowe, steps outside the building where he's been working to say a few words. When he did it was snowing! I couldn't help but yearn for it.

It's hard to say what my favorite season is. I love the snow in the Winter, the weather warming up in the Spring, the beach in the Summer and the cooling off on the Fall.

What's your favorite season?

Tests, Police and the Zen life

This morning I was going to run and take my assessment test at the college but realized I would lose less work time if I went in the afternoon. So I turned around and cut through one of the neighborhoods. Up ahead I see a line of kids in the street. I know they are Mini Red’s classmates and I stayed my course. They start doing the Macarena in the street and the kids on the side of the street are doing it too. WTF?!?! They move out of the street with plenty of time to spare so I gave them the Queen Wave as I passed. They ALL waved back.

Work has had me a bit stressed lately so when Shortie asked me to go with her to pick up her badge for Capitol Police I said “Sure”. The building is on South Capitol and we had to drive around Robins Hood’s hood to get there. Thank goodness she knew where she was going because the traffic lights in D.C can be confusing as hell, especially with all the construction.

We arrived at the police station and as Shortie had suspected there was no parking. It would be ridiculous to pay $7 at the nearest lot when it took maybe all of 5 minutes for her run in for her badge. She doubled parked and ran down the street leaving me in the car. Her running down the street attracted all sorts of attention. One officer hollered, “Why are you running?” She yelled back, with her arms flailing, “I have to get my badge!” Another SUV full of officers yelled to the first officer, “Why is she running?” To which he replied, “She needs to get her badge!”

Meanwhile, I’m in the car and there are officers everywhere so I circled the parking area once and decided to go back to where it says NO PARKING, OFFICIAL VEHICLES ONLY! This was the only place open to double park the car. I sat there and waved at an officer before he got in his car and drove away. I mean really, what can they do? Give Shortie a ticket for double parking outside a police station where she has official business?

I left work a little early to take my assessment test. If I didn't do it soon I never would and I need to keep this momentum going. When I arrived The Dude at the desk was getting my information when Ms. Negativity came up. She said it was too late to take the test even for late starting classes. I said, "It took me twenty years to get here to take this test. Please don't turn me away." She smiled and seemed to understand and told The Dude she would set me up in the room for my testing. I was looking forward to the math portion. I did the reading / comprehension and then got to the math. Oye! It was awful. I guess I forgot a lot now twenty years later. Oh well! I look forward to the math class. I’ve been reviewing the classes for the direction I want to go and I’m so excited. Even for the required classes like Math and English.

Mini Red and I are in the midst of cleaning up and cleaning out. We are moving furniture in her room and working on a more Zen like atmosphere in our home. Mom wants to have a yard sale soon so I told Mini Red this is her chance to purge and she gets to keep the money made from her stuff. Next thing is to get more up on the walls, for this I need the folks help. I hate putting holes in the wall especially those anchor thingies for fear knocking a big hole in the wall.

Mini Red has taken the Zen thing a bit further and set up a temporary corner where she can meditate. She has a big pillow to sit on. Last night I could hear her doing her ohm sounds then ring a bell. I would think the bell would disrupt her meditation but she seems to enjoy it.

Last night I chucked so much stuff and have trash bags full of clothes to donate. It felt good taking out the trash this morning. This weekend we’ll get the Feng Shui book. I’m feeling Zen like already.

September 20, 2006

Did you know October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month?

The Domestic Violence Center in Columbia is having their annual fundraiser, Hope Gala, October 14th. The goal is to raise 125,000 this year.

Domestic violence is a big problem and so many don't realize there is help out there for them. The Domestic Violence Center is trying to change all that. So many times women in these situations feel they have no rights or they have been beaten up and put down so often they don't know any different. These are difficult situations to break free of and centers such as DVC are in need of your support to help these women and children.

The DVC has services such as helplines, shelters, counseling and legal aid, but they need your donations to help keep them going. Invest in the life-changing opportunities offered to clients of the DVC by supporting the Hope Gala this year!

Other ways to support the DVC are to make a contribution or even donating your old cell phone. Please check the website for more information.

All contributions are tax deductible.

Thank you

We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give. -Sir Winston Churchill (1874 - 1965)

September 18, 2006

It was an Irish / Scottish / Football kinda weekend

Friday, I was trying to figure out if I was gonna make the Bloggers Happy Hour. By the time I got outta work it was too late because I still had other plans for the evening. Sorry Thom I know your living vicariously through me and really wanted me to make sure Velvet isn’t shutting down her blog. Don’t worry I don’t think she's ready to do that yet.

Since Scythian was playing at Flanagan’s Harp and Fiddle Shortie and her Sister came out from Virginia to check em out. We had a great night and Scythian was awesome as usual. For more detail on our night and our stalker, Mr. PC, psuacoustician already did a great job of detailing the evening.

Saturday, I drove out to Virginia and Shortie and I went to Virginia Scottish Games. It was sprinkling but the forecast said it was going to clear up. Umm nope. It got worse before it got better but I believe that was part of the fun.

This year they moved the location and scaled it down to one day rather than two. I was disappointed there weren’t better bands and the program I bought was nearly useless. Shortie and I wanted to see the games but the program had virtually no information and there were no times set for these games. We ran into another friend who told us the Caber Toss was starting soon. We decided to grab a bite to eat before heading over. Shortie was jonesing for a meat pie and I decided to try a Bridie.

The Caber Toss had already started by the time we arrived, but we were still able to procure a good spot to watch. The first few competitors had difficulty balancing the 110 lb pole and it fell backwards. There were three rounds so if a competitor dropped the caber he would have another chance in the next round. One guy would get himself all siked up on the sidelines but he dropped it backwards twice and barely got it thrown on his third try. I felt bad for him but watching this competition I couldn’t help but think how phallic it all was. As if the man was trying to obtain an erection for the big prize to cum to fruition with the big orgasm. All this with a crowd cheering him on to boot. Ok so we know where my mind has been. Hey, if you’re a chick that has a thing for dudes’ legs well… this was the place to be.

As we were watching the Caber Toss these two guys moved in front of us. They start talking to this woman about the rules and how the object is to flip the caber 180 degrees. One of the guys says, “I tried to flip my wife once.” The woman said, “But did you flip her?” to which he replied, “Oh Yeah! I flipped her!”

It started to rain and rain good while we were watching so we decided to move along and maybe take cover and listen to the Pipes and Drums. There really wasn’t much cover but at least I brought an umbrella. Shortie and I shared the umbrella and as we walked into the Pipes and Drums area and we realized we were walking in cadence. The Bagpipes are such a cool instrument and walking through this area with so many practicing it was a really cool sound. When they get in line and the drums start up it just sends a nice little shock through ya. I was in my Celtic mode. Yes I know this was a Scottish thing but they have similarities. My Celtic heritage may only be ¼th but it all comes out in these arenas.

The rain cleared up and we watched some of the dance competition and a show before moving back around to find more games going on. Weight Over The Bar was in full swing. You would think you wouldn’t get so into it just watching but you do. The audience was fired up, probably from drinking during the rain. They were cheering on the competitors and everyone was getting fired up. It was down to two guys Beau and Drew. Drew stepped up and threw the weight over the 16 foot high bar on his first try. Beau came up and on his first try it didn’t make it. The second try he hit the bar but it didn’t make it over. The third try he made it and the cheers were deafening. Drew was the clear winner. They took the bar up another foot and Drew had three chances to get it over 17 feet. He did it on the first try. Shortie and I were done for the day so we hopped aboard the shuttle and went home.

On my way home I called Brotha-Man. He and SIL were at Bailey’s Pub and Grille in Germantown watching College Football. This was the best place to watch the three games he wanted to see and all at the same time. I drove up to Germantown and met up with them. Michigan was playing Notre Dame and this was the big game. All the dudes were real excited over this game. I had a bite to eat before we decided we were done there. I hit the restroom where there was a lady who was fascinated by the mouthwash dispenser. As soon as she walked out the door I took a swig. Every bar needs one of these suckers. Now back to Brotha Man’s for the Clemson vs FSU game. Brotha Man and SIL met in college at Clemson so any Clemson game was big and there was all sorts of trash talk between he and his friends. I love seeing him like this.

I got the tour of the the renovations going on in his Man Room. He picked a Masters Green and a wainscoting. It was impressive and I can’t wait to see it when it’s done. He was watching the game in the Man Room, which was in quite a state considering it was mid renovation. SIL and I were flipping channels upstairs watching shows such as Dog, The Bounty Hunter. Our conversation seemed to be primarily about Beth’s boobs and if they were real. They were mighty jiggly if they were fake.

Suddenly, we hear Brotha Man yelling at FSU, “OH YEAH! You’re exposed like a girl on prom night!” Clemson turned it around and came from behind to win the game. He was in his happy place. He called his friend and held the phone up to the speaker as the Clemson fight song played. Brotha Man says I was the good luck and must be present with them at their house for every Clemson game from now on.

It was a long day! I left home at 10:30 in the morning and didn’t get back til midnight. I love days like these.

September 17, 2006

A Dude Named TOG

TOG is my contact on the client site I’m currently contracted on. He is in his mid fifties, married and just sent his second, and last, child off to college.

The nickname of TOG he gave himself. When a Lieutenant (LT) said he wanted to fill a position, TOG’s old position, he said he wanted to fill it with a younger person. He jokingly said, “What am I, The Old Guy?” He started signing his emails, to the LT, as TOG. He made the mistake of telling me the story. Well not really because he knows how I am. So I started calling him TOG, but then I would tell others he knows. I don’t think they quite got it but I would get a phone call from him asking if I told this person or that person and we would laugh. In the end I believe I’m the only one who calls him TOG.

I’ve heard stories of how TOG rebelled against his father who’s was a high ranking officer in the Army. I saw the pictures of him with long wild hair. Now what hair there is he shaves and he has a white beard. He looks like a young Gandalf dressed in Harley gear and gone all biker. He loves to wear his overalls and he refrains from wearing his leather dew cap and tie dye or Harley shirts at work. We talk nearly every morning and when I ask him how he is the usual reply is, “It just don’t get no better than this!”

He’s always ready with a funny story, email or saying such as “Don’t put your finger where you wouldn’t put your nose.” His hobbies are his motorcycles. He has a Harley and a chopper he built himself and takes to bike shows. He’s even won some awards. Recently, he got a new toy... his low riding truck.

I often hear stories from the bike shows and the rowdy boys he hangs with. TOG doesn’t drink because he doesn’t need to, he prefers to sit back and watch his friends in action. He’s a reader of my blog and tells me he is keeping an eye out for a man for me. I said, “What are ya gonna do? Approach some biker dude and ask him if he’s single?” I can almost envision him doing this and it cracks me up.

He is in all sense a Good Ole Country Boy and he enjoys the simple things in life. He doesn’t let anything get to him and just moves forward with whatever is necessary to get the job done. He’s a great friend.

Keep an eye out for more anecdotes from TOG.

September 15, 2006

Tip-O-The-Day #5

"Better to be pissed off than pissed on!"*

*Courtesy of TOG

September 13, 2006

The Memorials

Mini Red and I left the office a little after 5pm. We had no problem finding a parking space on Ohio Drive. Mini Red was excited and I love watching her like this.

The first Memorial we came upon was the Korean War Memorial. I realized I hadn’t seen it except in pictures. The life size men as well as the faces on the wall were great.

We walked towards the Lincoln Memorial and Mini Red said “Look Mom there it is! Wow! That’s a lot of steps!” Earlier my friend Thom suggested I have Mini Red run up and down them since she sat in the office all day. When I told Mini Red this she said, “We can walk up together at a regular pace and you right by my side.” She was amazed at the amount of steps but excited to get to the top. The view is great and I couldn’t help but want to kick myself for not revisiting these memorials let alone experiencing them with Mini Red. She pulled out her phone and started taking pictures. They’ve all turned out fuzzy but this one is my favorite:

We headed toward the Vietnam War Veterans Memorial and I felt some funny knots in my stomach. I don’t think I’ve been here since before Mini Red was born. I was there for the dedication and I was there ten years later for the Ten Year Anniversary and Re-dedication. We immediately went to find Steve’s name on 13W. (Steve is my biological father who died in Vietnam when I was a baby. I was lucky enough to be raised by a wonderful Man who is truly in all sense of the word my Dad. I respect him more than any other man I have ever met and I wouldn’t trade him for the world.) We were searching 13W with no luck. There was a man searching the same piece of wall and he asked the name and helped us search. We soon realized I had the wrong panel and this man and Mini Red found Steve’s name on 15W.

He asked me about Steve and I told him he was and Engineer in the Army. I was telling Mini Red The Wall lists the names in order of death. When she asked me why the man answered, “If a group of men were killed around the same time it’s easier to find all their names together.” It was evident he had a group of names he had found. I treaded lightly when asking him any questions but asked him who these men were he was looking for on The Wall. He said, “They were my men. I was their platoon leader.” I couldn't help but think, "Wow!" I asked him where he was from and he said, “Missouri.” The three of us hung around for a little while and I realized he was looking for another name but at a different time frame so on a different panel. I asked if we could help him find the name. I told me he forgot a lot after leaving Vietnam including the names of his men, but over the years it has been coming back to him little by little. He was trying to find a last name of Mitchell and he knew he died in October or November of 1969. So all three of us were looking and we weren’t having any luck. He ran off to see if he could find the name listed in the books they provide. While he was gone I found a Mitchell so Mini Red and I went to find the man. He was reviewing every name in the book that was a Mitchell. We told him we found Charles I. Mitchell. He quickly located it in the book and confirmed that was him. He was remembering that he went by his middle name Irv. We walked back and showed him the name. We said our good byes and went about our quest but not after being touched by this man and his story. I never did get his name.

We walked around the Reflecting Pool to the WW II Memorial. Standing on the inside it was amazingly beautiful. Just to stop and stand there and take it all in with the sound of the water… I loved it!

We started heading towards the car but I knew there was another memorial hidden somewhere. We came upon the WWI Memorial. We walked through it, looked up into the center and took it all in before moving on.

We crossed over Independence Avenue and walked down along the Tidal Basin. We came upon the Franklin D. Roosevelt Memorial. This was yet another memorial I hadn’t seen. It was getting dark so we definitely need to get back to the car.

Mini Red may have had to hang out in my boring office all day on her day off but hopefully this made it up to her. We had a great time and plan on doing this again real soon.

September 12, 2006

You know it's going to be a good day when…

I'm on my way to work with Mini Red in the car. School is closed for Election Day and we are leaving an hour later than usual.

But today instead of burying herself in a video game or book (I have no problem with the book) she is paying attention to what I see everyday. We are driving down Connecticut Avenue and just before the circle there are police lights. Mini Red looks and reports to me the situation. Our deal is I drive and she looks so we don't slow down traffic. I hate rubberneckers so if I'm by myself I just don't look.

We have just passed UDC at Van Ness and I'm sipping my coffee when I see it. It has been so long! I motion to Mini Red with coffee in hand and mouth full. She says, "Was that Grandma Dressing Man?" I say, "YES! That was him in his turquoise suit with skirt."

I was so excited since I haven't seen him in so long. Mini Red was excited too. She had heard of him but never seen him. We did a high five as I exclaimed, "This shall be a GREAT Day! For we have seen Grandma Dressing Man." We car danced and we were happy.

Mini Red pointed out all the monuments and I learned that she hasn't been most of them. She tells me she has only seen them on TV. I now have a mission to rectify that. She was happy to hear I haven't been in the Washington Monument either. I guess when you live in the middle of it all you take it for granted.

Well isn't that a hoot… I just noticed my calendar and the Life's Little Instruction for today is "Visit your town's historical sites." Maybe we'll hit the Lincoln Memorial on the way home from work.

What’s in a Name?

For years I have use the names Dude and Chick to address people. Lately I have picked up Sista and Brotha, especially when I drive, e.g. “Let’s move along Brotha” or “Get off the phone Sista and pay attention to the road”. For some reason this keeps my road rage down.

When I ran a help desk at the Pentagon I got to know the people and I often called them Dude, unless I gave them a nickname. One man said I couldn’t call him “Dude”. When I asked why he said because he was too old to be referred to as Dude. So I started calling him “Mr. Dude”. I don’t think he liked this much either. Another guy called me so often for help and always sounded like he was whining so I named him “Waa waa”. It wasn’t long before he would call and say, “Red, this is Waa waa and I need your help.”

I realized it was rare that I used a person’s given name. So when a friend and I were discussing the fact that she never heard me say my ex’s name it hit me. If I said his name it would validate his existence. It must be a subconscious thing… go figure.

Maybe this was why I gave guys/dates nicknames. That when friends would say he was doomed since he would already have a nickname. There were the few rare cases I would mention a guy and he wouldn’t have a nickname. A few of the nicknames I gave were: The Cowboy, Boat Boy, The Brit, Hitt-Man, and Focker.

I started noticing how much I DIDN’T use people names. If I meet someone new I rarely use their name but once I do then I realize I’m comfortable with them and my psyche allows me to comfortably use their name.

I rarely use Mini Red’s friends’ names. I will call them things like Chiquita Banana or Little Mama. This has caused problems because it has become difficult for me to remember her classmate’s names let alone their parents’ names. I don’t think I can get away with calling other parents Dude, Chick, Brotha or even Sista.

Emails I tend to do a bit better but not always.

I’ve been working on using people’s names right off the bat and I’m making progress slowly but surely. So if I have given you a nickname, and you are not a possible date, this is a good thing. If I use your given name I’m comfortable with you and that means I validate your existence.

Now... If I've given you a nickname on the blog then that's a different story. I'm just protecting you and whatever silly thing you've done to warrant me writing about you. (just kidding)

September 11, 2006

Remembering 9/11

When I was little I remember overhearing the adults say, "Where were you when Kennedy was shot?" or "Where were you when the Astronauts landed on the Moon?" This, of course was before my time and I remember thinking "We don't have an event where people my age would say something similar?" Then 9/11 happened and it wasn't long before everyone was asking each other where they were and comparing stories.

Here's my story:

Six years ago today I was working at the Pentagon. Five years ago today I was working at the Washington Navy Yard.

I was just returning to my cubicle to find my cell ringing and on the other line was my friend Chrissy. She was crying and asking me if I was ok. I had no idea what was going on but she tells me about the plane hitting the World Trade Center and then The Pentagon was hit. Just as she tells me this there's all sorts of commotion outside of my cubicle and they are talking about the same thing. I tell Chrissy not to worry and I got off the phone as we all went in search of a TV.

We are huddled around this little TV and watch live as the second plane hit. As I write this I have chills remembering that moment. We are all in shock and don't know what to think as the events unfold before us.

I have friends who are still at the Pentagon and I'm worried about them. I first try calling Ra and I can't reach her. I then try Kent who doesn't sound so good. He tells me Ra was in a meeting with him but she isn't with him now. He's outside and says, "If they want to kill mass amounts of important people then they are all outside vulnerable and I'm in the middle of them!" Wow! He is so right and I realize we are all panicking. I ask him about a few other people but he hadn't seen any of them.

My next call was to Ra's Mother in Canada since I figure she will be panicked wondering about her only child. I tell her I talked to Kent who saw her and she's ok but not with him now, but I don't know where she is or if she is out of the building. She asks me if I've talked to Ra and I say, "No". To which she replies, "Then you don't know anything." I can't blame her. She's 9 hours away and completely helpless and like the rest of us she is probably in shock over the events unfolding.

The Washington Navy Yard is shut down, no one coming and no one going. I called Mom who tells me her phone has been ringing off the hook because relatives think I'm still working at the Pentagon. We discuss the situation and agree that she should go get Mini Red. OK one less thing to worry about.

I have been calling Pentagon friends non-stop trying to make sure they are ok. It's becoming useless and watching the Pentagon on TV is so disturbing. So I step outside for a cigarette and about 20 guys in BDU's go running by in cadence (or whatever you call it) carrying M16s. That isn't something you see everyday. We are under attack! What a scary thought. Was this how people felt in Hawaii when Pearl Harbor was attacked?

I don't know what to do and I feel so helpless. I can't reach Ra, Crystal or even George. Oh no! George! He probably went running into the middle of it all. George was a good friend of mine but he had issues one of which was Napoleon Syndrome. He was always ready to fix anything for anyone and he had a great heart.

August 2000 I was at a retirement ceremony and that was right where the plane hit. Ra's office had moved just a month prior to 9/11 and it's a good thing because it burned up. The plane burrowed through several rings of the Pentagon and stopped with just the nose poking through to one of the driveways within a ring and this was and area I often visited. I can't imagine what it was like to be there as the plane hit.

I can't get through to anyone and I need to cool my jets. I can't concentrate to get any work done and I've already called my office to give them my status. I went to another building and sat outside with a bunch of the guys from the HVAC contractor and I just smoked. At noon they opened the gates to let people leave. I decided to bide my time and wait. I knew Mini Red was taken care of and there was no use getting in the middle of the traffic chaos. So I continued to sit outside talking to the HVAC guys.

About 2pm I couldn't wait any longer and decided to leave. I drove down M street past the Wharf and there wasn't a soul on the road. It was all so surreal like I was in some movie like Night of the Comet. I was at a traffic light under 395 waiting to turn and I hear this horn. It scared the crap outta me. It was a military vehicle like a Hummer but open in the back and full of soldiers. They drove around me and continued on to their destination wherever that may be in the city. The light turned green and I continued by the Tidal Basin. I looked over the river to see the Pentagon burning. It was so scary to see because it made it all so much more real. I just wanted to get home, which didn't take very long.

I finally heard from Ra and she had walked home to Rosslyn after snatching money from one of the facilities guys I had introduced her too. She left so fast there was no time to grab her purse, ID, cell or any money. About 6pm I reached Crystal who had walked to the King Street Metro and took the subway home. I knew Kent was ok from talking to him earlier. Now I just needed to hear from George. He wasn't answering his work, cell or home phone. It wasn't until 9pm he finally picked up his home phone. I'm afraid I may have even yelled at him but he just laughed.

George had done exactly what I was afraid of and went in to resolve. The Pentagon evacuation instructions had everyone convene in the center. They knew this was wrong for sometime but had never updated the instructions posted around. George dove into the center and started directing people. I was relieved he was ok and he was exhausted. He was only at the Pentagon for maybe another year before he left for Germany and we lost touch.

The next day I went by Ra's apartment to check on her. We went to the roof and we could see the Pentagon still burning. She tried to go back to work a few days later but the place smelled like burnt flesh. Her boyfriend came to DC to fly her back to his home in Texas. She needed some time off.

These were some scary times in many of our lives. Ra, Kent, George and Crystal no longer work at the Pentagon. I am fortunate to have been in the Pentagon prior to these events and even though much has changed the inside is still the same, or so I'm told. The shops, CVS, the places to eat and all the different modes of transportation around the inside, such as the carts and bikes. The section that was hit was rebuilt in record time.

For several weeks after everyone was so kind to each other. My commute was so pleasant but eventually, everything went back to normal. Except… there were flags everywhere. The commute went back to normal but as Americans we always loved our country but now we loved it even more. Our sense of pride has been elevated and that grows every year when we commemorate 9/11.

A Pentagon Memorial is in the works. To donate:

September 8, 2006

The Buoyancy of Mini Red

Tonight was swim team tryouts. Mini Red has been getting better with her swimming and dreams of being on a swim team. So tonight we went to Montgomery County Aquatic Center for Mini Red’s swimming to be evaluated.

I signed her in and sent her off to wait on the bleachers in the swim area. She quickly made a friend, as she always does. About the time they gathered the kids there was a meeting for the parents. I felt like a deer in headlights since this swimming is all so new to me but this is something Mini Red really wants to do. So as a Mom I want to give her this.

I really feel she needs experience with sports and to be active. Flag Football never really panned out and she was dancing on the field because she never really got it. Basketball… she never got it either. With football and basketball I had a hard time watching, especially basketball. I played basketball through High School and even though I wasn’t very good I really tried and I loved the game. It was obvious Mini Red only played basketball to hang with her friends. At the first basketball game I was the only Mom yelling because the others didn’t know the game… at all. I got them all yelling at least “DEFENSE!” and “GET YOUR ARMS UP GIRLS” by the end of the season.

After that first basketball game I was so tense I just wanted to go home and have a beer. After the last game the entire team and parents went for pizza and all the parents had beers. You want your child to do well but you can’t control everything. You have to let them do their thing no matter how bad it might be. So quite often during the swim team try-outs I had to walk away or I might have started yelling out instructions like I did during her basketball games.

At the parent meeting I learned that they would make recommendations as to which level each child belonged. They even mentioned Swim Montgomery for those who need work on their swimming skills. I also learned the cost of swim team and I nearly slipped outta my chair but I composed myself. I had done some calculations, in my head, and was trying to figure a way to afford this since this is something Mini Red really wanted. After the parent meeting I called Mom and told her the price and she nearly yelled when she said, “What! That’s crazy! You can’t afford that and you will just have to tell her no.”

She was right so I headed back in to watch Mini Red swim some more. They had the kids doing the butterfly and Mini Red had never done that but damn if she didn’t give it her all and smiling the whole time. I knew she wouldn’t make swim team so I checked out Swim Montgomery on the board. This would be perfect! Twice a week and they help them reach the skill set necessary for swim team. Plus… I could afford this and she will get exercise and do what she loves to do… swim.

Swim Montgomery is just what they recommended. If she had made swim team and I had to deny her then I don’t know what other program I could have put her in. This couldn’t be more perfect. The next step is to actually get IN. To get IN we have to be at the aquatic center on Monday morning at 6am. Mini Red went a bit wide eyed about the time but when I asked her if this program is what she wanted she gave me a big “YES”. I pointed out that we should be able to sign up and get her back to her bus stop and still be on-time for school and maybe if we get signed up quick enough I can get her a treat for breakfast. Mini Red had the biggest smile on her face and that’s all I needed.

Tip-O-The-Day #4

Every once in a while I come across a really good tip from my Life's Little Instruction Calendar Volume XI. Here are two:

July 28th
Remember contentment is found in relationships, not in places or accomplishments

September 8th
Life is hard; don't get soft

September 7, 2006

I'm ready for some Hockey!

Pre-season is fast approaching with the first game, for the Washington Capitals, on September 20th against the Lightning. Regular season begins October 5th against the NY Rangers.

Last year I had a hard time getting into the games even though I started the season at a game. I lucked out and one of my company's VPs gave me tickets for the first home game. With the strike the year before I was ready for a hockey fix.

During the strike my one saving graces was my cousins played hockey for VA Tech. I missed the days when they played in the beltway league but college hockey was cool. There was more violence and some of these boys were such drama boys and fit in there perfectly. The advantage of college hockey is you can stand right at the glass and Mini Red loved this. My cousins were always throwing her in the air and getting wild whenever they see her. So when she stood at the glass they would skate by real fast and smack the glass with their stick. It would scare the crap outta her but she loved it, or should I say she loved the attention. We only wished VA Tech played in our neck of the woods more often.

Wow! I'm checking the Caps roster and so many are missing. I knew Bondra left, they needed to let him go so he could really have a taste of what his talent could accomplish. But where is Peat and Halpern? I have some research (catching up) to do. At least Zubrus is still there but gone are the days of Kelly Miller and Adam Oates.

The best fight ever seen was the P.J. Stock vs Stephen Peat. It’s said they got off 70 punches in a minute. They looked like Rock'em Sock'em Robots. Check it out:

In November of 1999 I was given tickets for a Caps vs Dallas game. I grabbed a few people from work. Donnie had such a good time he wrote about it and emailed it out:
Hockey game last night

So Red from my work scores some free tickets to the Caps game last night vs. the defending Stanley Cup champs, the Dallas Stars.

So myself, my wife Rose and fellow partner in crime Chris Korte head off to happy hour with Red at this place called Chevy's in Pentagon City. Chevy's has dollar off margaritas and the chips and salsa and chix quesadillas quickly begin flocking to the table. The best part was as we were about to leave I was waiting for Rose to come back from the bathroom and I spot her meandering through the tables and there is this blonde lady in front of her who thinks I’m staring at her...she walks up to me and says, “Are you Jim?” I was tempted to say, well we all know what I was tempted to say but instead I sorta looked at her and was like “uhm, no not Jim” and Rose says “got a blind date?” turns out she does and we wish her luck and head to the game.

After getting a good buzz on we head over to the MCI center in downtown DC...well sort of, we first tour the ghetto that is known as south east. Anyone ever visiting DC should use a rule of thumb to stay away from streets named Florida ave and any numbered street under 12. I was not in the least bit worried until Chris headed in the complete opposite direction from what my spider sense was telling me. Rose and Red were in the back of the car and did not get the added bonus that I had as I watched Korte's 90 accord running on empty this entire time. We finally stop at a random Amoco station and I'm sent out of the car to ask for directions. There are three people available to ask, one guy is looking me up and down the entire time and actually says, after he pulls the blow pop outta his mouth, “Nah man, never heard of it.” Keep in mind that this is the equivalent to living in New York City and never having heard of Madison Square Garden. The big lady with him, who reminded me of Nell Carter, said to just turn around and drive up the way we came and not to go on Florida Avenue and we'd run into it.

We arrived 5 min. into the first period! I managed to nurse my buzz with only three $6 beers during the game and thankfully Rose was happy enough with one and to split my last one a bit. Let me tell you how much fun a hockey game is sitting in like the 20th row! I’ve never been to a game that wasn't in the 400's section of either the MCI center or USAir arena (the old venue). You can FEEL the checks and actually see the puck at all times. It took me until the third period to begin heckling the random Dallas fans that showed up, but I got my licks in...In fact there were a couple of moments that the arena was just quiet enough that I’m sure Brett Hull heard me calling him a scrub. The game was a 2-2 tie, 4 on 4 overtime is sorta exciting the caps even got a power play towards the end.

But does the fun end with the game? Hells' NO! Outside the MCI center near the metro, THERE IS THIS ENSEMBLE of trombones, tubas, drums and other cool instruments playing jazzy stuff. We are metroing back because Korte is off to some random midnight concert with his “hommies” in the city. Korte is 21, white and thinks his Dad is Kenny G. So we hang for a while do some dancing in the streets of DC and leave a buck or two before heading home.

It was good times… Thanks Red!


September 6, 2006

I GOT IT! I know who Baby Suri reminds me of

Don't get me wrong Baby Suri is a BEAUTIFUL baby but like most people something seemed a bit peculiar. So this evening as Mini Red is watching Addams Family Values it hits me.

Pubert Addams! The Baby, who is played by two girls, Kaitlyn & Kristen Hooper.

Baby, Baby, Baby!

Incase you missed it Baby Suri was unveiled tonight on CBS Evening News With Katie Couric. I really never cared but when Katie Couric stated the photo was coming up I just couldn't move.

"Photos of Suri with her parents in a photo shoot by Annie Leibowitz will appear in print in the pages of Vanity Fair magazine out Wednesday."

Speaking of babies as I was watching Miami Ink I was touched to see Ami babysitting Yoji's little girl. Nothing hotter than some macho dude caring for a baby.

The artists' on the show are amazingly talented artists. But sometimes there is the ridiculous like on tonight's show. Their local celebrity came in to have her famous grilled cheese tattooed on her chest. WTF!?!?!?

She sold the grilled cheese for $28,000! WTF?!?!?!

September 5, 2006

It feels like a Monday... Doesn't it?

It's cold and rainy and in all accounts a Monday except it's Tuesday. The nastiness of the day has overridden the fact that we had a three-day weekend. An extra day off work should put anyone in a good mood.

Not this chick… Well… except for Johnny's comment on the last post. Thanks dude!

Right after I got home yesterday Mini Red arrived with her Dad who has a knack for pissing me off. They were supposed to get Mini Red a book for school but his excuse was "I got her other stuff at the Renaissance Festival instead." WTF!?!?!?

So I take Mini Red to get her $5.99 book that's needed for class, we run some errands and I took us to dinner. I decided to give Bertucci's, at White Flint , a second chance because that's the kinda cool chick that I am. Yeah… ummm… Nope, they screwed it all up again. Mini Red looks at me and says, "They're annoying you, aren't they Mom?" I replied, "Yes, but I'm not going to let it get to me." There will be no more attempts in satisfying my carb craving there after giving them a second chance.

Our conversation turned to the weekend. She was beat tired after the Renaissance Festival on Sunday and said it just wasn't as much fun anymore. No Mud Show, No Wooden Horse ride and Hack and Slash have the same show as the past few years. So Mini Red requested that she and her Dad not go on Monday as originally planned. As our conversation got more involved I learned of more reasons why she didn't want to go. I wish I could put give more detail but let's just say he isn't make the right choices. Mini Red is ok but now it's my turn and I will do whatever is necessary to make sure she is safe and happy.

Last night did not go well and Mini Red and I discussed this situation for a good portion of the evening. This led to many tears but a plan to maybe try and help him, but more importantly make sure she is safe.

So with the cold and the rain and the impeding situation I am not a happy camper today. But wait there's more! I read one of the blogs I frequent often, MiniJonB, to find his statement on how he is 36 and this is twice as old as 18. Then I think "I'm 38, twice as old as 19. So I have known my ex for half my life. Ugggggh."

What a depressing day this has turned out to be.

Maybe a pillow fight with Mini Red is in order tonight. I recently came up with a new move that cracks her up. I do the Karate Kid Crane holding two pillows and attack her. She laughs so hard she can barely move. I need any advantage I can get since she is now older and bigger and has become quite the opponent.

Wish me luck on all accounts, especially, my impending wrestling match with Mini Red.

September 3, 2006

Labor Day Weekend Fun at Seacrets

I must forewarn you guys this is probably what is considered a drunken post.

Last night we all went out for Happy Hour and to catch some football from a different angle (at the bar). Mom Catches sight of this young hottie dude. She says he would be perfect for me. I explain that he is too young. She says, “But he would be fun.” To which I replied, “Yeah maybe for one night!” She says “No one night stands!” We heard him talking to some chick later on and I pointed out that he had no brain.

Some older dudes walk in and neither have rings. Mom is itching to approach them for me. Thank goodness Dad stops her. She says she just wants me to be happy, but I told her I don’t need a man to make me happy. I went on to tell her that at this point I really don’t even want to deal with any men because they are too frustrating.

This morning I did some serious walking with Dad on the boardwalk. I was amazed at how it looked after Ernesto’s visit. There was sand everywhere! It looked like a blizzard hit but instead of snow it was sand.

I think everyone got up but then took a nap. I did in a wicker chair and now my back and neck aren’t feeling so good but the rest of me is. Hahahaha

We all headed out and the plan was to go kayaking with the folks kayak and jet skiing. But the earliest we could procure some time for the jetskiis was 3pm and that was the set time for the bikini contest at Seacrets. Heaven forbid the boys miss that. So we have a time of 10am set for Monday morning. We did a little kayaking and this was a first for me. I need to work on my rowing but not bad for my first time.

We get to Seacrets and find Brithe-Man and his wife. They saw my Mom and I Kayaking past just a little bit earlier. We get going on the eats and the drinks and everything moves forward quite fast. I lost track of how many Pain In De Ass drinks I had.

The sights can be quite amusing at Seacrets such as this comb-over with a tail on one of the skinniest dudes I think I have ever seen, Others were over heard saying “I wish he would put his shirt back on.”

Since it’s the end of the summer there is a group of guys all with similar t-shirts. They all had something different on the back with a number. One said Tripod and Mom didn’t understand what that meant. I was about to tell her and ever one yelled “NO!” I whispered, “Three legs.” She got it immediately. Thank goodness!

My Mom’s favorite was the pervert:

She had talked to him last weekend and he is a freaking riot. Mom found out he teaches 8th grade in the Pocono’s. If his students could just see him now. He brought whipped cream with him. He had it allover his face after spraying it on some chick and licking it off.

Some obscenely gross skinny chick came up to him and wanted him to lick the whipped cream off her but he said no. He sprayed it on himself, instead, to have her lick it off. Either way it was a bit gross because she had something on her lip.

As Mr. Pervert was dancing around getting people going crazy … here comes this chick. At first she is dancing in the water but came up to the shore line to dance with Mr. Pervert. The funny thing about this chick is just an hour earlier she said she was classier than the girls in the bikini contest and would never behave the way they are behaving and dancing.

She calms down and soon finds the Jersey Boys. But then she starts dancing around them again and grinding against each one. Hey if I were younger and had her body I might have tried. Well… no maybe not but they were some hot boys.

A good time was had by all. The folks came home and I followed soon after. Brotha-Man and his wife along with my sister and The Boyfriend are still there watching football.

I think the highlight of my day was the crab toast. I wish I could have eaten more since no-one else would. Exactly one year ago today my sister-in-law ended up obscenely sick. There is still a debate over the cause… whether it was the Dirty Bananas (alcohol) or the Crab Toast.

September 2, 2006

Ernesto visits the O.C.

Ocean City, Maryland came through fairly unscathed.

We waited til early this morning to make the drive and arrived around 8am. Best drive ever... well... I slept, or at least tried to. I went with my parents to reduce the amount of cars. Plus I'm the only one by myself. I guess you could say I will be the seventh wheel this weekend.

We arrived to find some damage:

After seeing this we knew we had to check out the beach. We knew the waves would be impressive but didn't expect the sight we got.

Today, will be a lazy day of watching college football. I already put in my vote to go to Smitty McGee’s for crab dip and beer while watching the games.

September 1, 2006

At what age do you start letting go? I'm not ready for this!

I have to wonder if I'm being overprotective of Mini Red and this could ultimately be my demise with her as she gets older.

With school starting I'm a little uncomfortable with the bus stop. Last year the bus stop was just out front of our building and I would let her go on her own. This year it’s a few blocks away. So in the morning I drive her to the stop. Monday, I picked her up from her stop and Tuesday, I let her walk but met up with her as she walked home. She was not happy with me and wanted to walk on her own. By Wednesday I was dropping her off and letting her come home on her own.

Today, I hung out so she didn't have to stand in the rain. She got out of the car about five minutes before the bus was due. Out of the seven kids at the stop Mini Red was the only one with an umbrella. WTF?!?! I could tell she started to realize she was the only one with an umbrella and if she put that umbrella down then I was gonna be shooting out of the car to remedy that thought. Am I being over protective? How could those parents let their kids stand in the rain with no protection?

The bus arrived and all the parents, that were there, dispersed. I turned on the radio to hear about the kids who were hit by a van while standing at their bus stop. WTF?!?!

This is not helping Mini Red's case for independence. But then again it didn't help when she got out of the car and didn't look both ways when crossing. Thank goodness it was another parent. Mini Red realized what she did, or rather didn't do, and I know when she saw that car she heard my voice in her head telling her to look both ways and check out her surroundings.

She is the youngest one on her stop so she can't compare herself to the others. I'm sure this year will be full of her wanting her independence. But for me… she is all I have and I can't risk it, especially, if she can't show me how responsible she can be.

This is a BIG year for us both.

A Mid-Week Night Out

Wednesday was the big night… Baltimore’s Funniest Person at the Baltimore Comedy Factory. My Sister and her Boyfriend arrived and we all ate lasagna. I have to admit it was pretty good even without the fresh garlic.

My Sister was going with me to the comedy club and The Boyfriend was babysitting. I told The Boyfriend that Mini Red’s bedtime is nine but since it's a special occasion later is ok. As a Mom I understand that I’m the strict one but when others come in, like The Boyfriend, I almost expect them to let her break the (minor) rules and that helps them bond. Plus if I get a special night out why shouldn't she get some perk for the lapse in routine.

Baltimore is not a fun place to drive. I got directions from online and gave them to Sis to direct us. The directions said to take the MLK exit and then take the Conway exit. Ummmm there was no Conway exit. We ended up in the worst part of town and it was a bit unnerving. I pride myself on having a good sense of direction but my Sister had that part down this night. We made a left and as we drove through this neighborhood I was scared. At a stop sign Sis saw some police but I refused to stop. I hadn’t seen them and just wanted to get out of there and fast. We saw a mainstream street and hit that. This street took us back into the city. At this point it’s about 8pm and I’m sure they won’t let us in. We drove down one street and as we were getting into another bad part of town we came across Lombard Street and headed back into town. Wahoo! We found it! Finally! We parked around the corner in a garage and I was ready for a beer.

We walked in and the show hadn’t started. Adam a/k/a YDH was in his zone so I just tapped him, waved and walked on. I introduced my sister to many of my co-workers before the lights went down. There was a great turn out from our office and Adam has lots of friends who came to support him.

The first guy gets up there and talks about how he hasn’t done stand up in 14 years because he was married. He talked about divorce and dating again and dating via the internet. I think most of my co-workers turned around to look at me when he mentioned My sister thought this was hilarious. Ok… so I did the online dating, who hasn’t these days?

The show was great and Adam did great. He was a little nervous at first but he got hold of it and took off. In the end we all voted and Adam got second place. He will be performing again and I can’t wait to go again.

We were out of the club before 10pm and worked our way to the B/W Parkway. Our next stop was Ra’s house so we could be at the house with the kids and Ra could go visit her husband in the hospital. They have no idea what is wrong with him. They have tested for Lime Disease, West Nile and Malaria… all with negative results. They are waiting to get the results from the spinal tap to see if he has Meningitis. I really hope they figure this out soon. Anyhow, she tells us to never mind because her neighbor helped her out earlier in the day and family was on their way from Canada to help her out. She sounded much calmer and that is such a relief. I wish I could have been more help but between work and Mini Red and her kids schedules nothing seemed to work.

We got home about 10:30 and it wasn’t difficult to figure out Mini Red was faking sleep on the couch. Mini Red and The Boyfriend had fun. They watched The Adventures in Babysitting and Mini Red pointed out all the Chicago sites from our visit there.

We didn’t want to get up in the morning but we got moving with our typical routine. Me getting ready hollering at Mini Red reminding her of everything she needs to do. We were right on time… or so we thought. Mini Red suddenly stopped and said “7:22!” AAAAAGGGGGGHHHHHHH!

The bus picks her up at 7:15. Talk about putting us in panic mode. I drove her to school and we were still trying to figure out where both of us lost track of an hour. She signed in as late because, of course, everything under the sun got in our way of getting there in a timely fashion. They asked for the reason for the tardiness and I said, “Pillow fight, Mom, alarms, Mom, traffic, Mom, trash pick up truck and… Mom!” They laughed and Mini Red told me when she got home that this one won’t count. This is a relief since three tardys and she gets detention.

At work I congratulated Adam on his performance and what is up next for him. I told him about The Boyfriend babysitting and he offered to do the same sometime. Mini Red is such a cool kid and at such a fun age. I’m sure she would love to hang with Adam, since his desk is one she primarily hangs at when she comes to the office. I’ll never forget the day he made Mini Red his secretary. She was answering his phone and delivering notes to other office mates for him.

Tonight Mini Red and I were both beat and chilled out and watched a movie. Mini Red got the best idea and grabbed what was left of the vanilla ice cream and two spoons. I suggested she throw some raspberries and blackberries in there. It was the best way to end the day.