Tuesday, August 25, 2009

First Day of School and stuff

Oh boy, Mom MD was not all too happy about my previous post where I mentioned that smokers can be sexy. Bad R.E. Dad! In fact to all you kids who may stumble upon this blog, please recite this message 100x "According to the Surgeon General, smoking is bad, very very bad and I'm not going to even start 'cause cancer sticks contain yucky stuff that could make my lungs look like LA in the 70's and retard my brain making me less likely to attend a mid-level university, marry a supermodel, and have a rewarding career...besides a pack of smokes cost like $8 in NYC."

Oh, and I wanted to add one additional 'Honest Scrap' - I wish that I had the ability to project five seconds into the future because I'd love to know if the person that I'm considering holding a door for intends to say "Thank You." If not, I'd have no problem letting the door go slam bam into their face.

So anyway, today was the triplets first day of Kindergarten, and the beginning of Bren's last year of elementary school. We took pictures and I've including a couple above. What was very cute was how the Kindergarten teachers came out and handed each parent a short note attached to a plastic baggie containing a tea bag and a cotton ball. The note read...

Dear Parent:
Thank you for entrusting your child to us. We promise to do our best every day to be your child's companion in learning.
After you have wiped your tears, make yourself a nice warm cup of tea. Put your feet up and relax. Then hold the cotton ball in your hand. The softness will help you recall the gentle spirit of your child. We will work alongside you this year to help your child grow.

Very sweet gesture. No tears were shed by our family, however, until I brought the note home and my Mom (the retired K teacher) read it. Here's hoping that the kids have a fantastic school year. I'm looking so forward to hearing about their first day of 2009/2010.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Honest Scrap!

Jess tagged me like forever ago to complete the Honest Scrap which of course I neglected to do, and now I have to live with the fact that I totally missed the boat (i.e. the award ceremonies).

Let's take a stab at this....

1. I've had more pedicures than I've golfed. Metrosexual debate aside...you tell me - which sounds more relaxing?

2. I was known to sing "Big Balls" by AC/DC on occasion at our college parties.

3. Half my brain believes a smoking woman is super sexy, the other half knows that it also causes cancer, emphysema, yellow teeth, wrinkles and bad breath.

4. I'm convinced that more Netflix "Chick Flicks" ended up being scratched and unplayable then the typical testosterone enhanced drama. I can appreciate a woman who not only can hold her liquor, but a DVD as well.

5. I still haven't been able to convince my Mom that I was a fat kid (as a significantly higher percentage of kids are fat these days, I was ahead of my time, I suppose).

6. Diets are much less complicated than most people realize. You simply burn more calories than you consume.

7. I'm definitely not for more governmental regulations, but I believe that lowering the drinking age to 16 and increasing driving age to 21 would significantly reduce auto accidents. Just beware of drunk teens on bikes.

8. Sean Connery was my favorite James Bond. Although "The Spy Who Loved Me" with Roger Moore was my favorite James Bond movie.

9. Speaking of a former bonds, Pierce Brosnan in "Mamma Mia" was by far the worst singer that I've ever seen in a movie.

10. The only pet I've had in the past eight years is a hermit crab, but keep in mind I have triplets!

This was kind of fun.......

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Random Tuesday Thoughts: Late on a Tuesday Afternoon

Time for yet another installment of R.T.T., yeah you know me! (my apologies, old very inside joke). I'm a tad punchy today and I can't say why?

Anyway, what's with the United States Postal Service? Back in the not-so-distant past in a previous career, I was the first to refute any claim that a lost or delayed letter was clearly a postal error. As my Mom might say "they're all messed up!" Why do I say this? Consider that both my Mom and I put a stop on delivery while on vacation a few weeks back. When we returned, both of us had other people's packages (O.P.P) and mail delivered to us. Wouldn't you be concerned that maybe, just maybe your mail could end up someone else's box? I am. This is beside the fact that for a few years I've received mail for my deceased father, and a Madeline with the same last name spelled differently who actually purchased my Mom's house nine years ago!

Why do my neighbors break the CC&R's? Call me crazy, but some prospective buyers specifically search for homes in subdivisions where homeowners do not allow their friends and relatives to park their R.V.'s on the street in front of their homes. We were such buyers. We don't appreciate having boats, business trucks and tow trailers on the street or the driveways for that matter........it's against da rules. I do not have a problem with grown-up toys, but please go live on a street that people aren't concerned about it or move further out onto some acreage.

I'll have to admit that Disneyland might be the "Happiest Place on Earth" after all. Seriously, when the family went a few weeks back, we had an absolute blast. The five-year olds walked the entire day and went on (almost) every ride we threw them on. No fear, no crying except after the Indiana Jones ride when Vivi said kind of a matter of factly "Daddy, that was scary...let's not go on that ride again." Lines were long, temps were high and the wallet took a major hit, but all in all, I'd say given the smiles and excitement totally worth it.

I can't believe how quickly the summer has vanished. School begins for our sixth grader and three Kindergartners a week from today. This will be the only year that all our kids will be attending the same school. Like most parents, I've tried very hard to make this final summer week as boring as possible especially for Bren the sixth grader so she can get into that scholastic frame of mind. The triplets will actually be split up with Alec and Vivi going into one class and little miss go-getter JuJu going into the other. JuJu and Alec have no fear, but Vivi might need a slight push come the first day of school. To be continued.......


Saturday, August 15, 2009

Pet Store Antics #1: I really don't hate birds.

I mentioned in an previous post that I worked for a pet store for a couple years during college. Until the past year or so I had almost completely forgotten painful hamster bites, overpriced mutts and the stench of aquarium water changes those warm cuddly creatures. Recent family excursions to the poor man's zoo our local pet stores have stirred memories filled with long hours of snagging five cent feeder fish with a freakin' holey netcustomer service with a perpetual smile.

OK, the kids want a living breathing animal and I'm trying desperately to delay the inevitable as it's common knowledge around here that R.E. Dad will feed, bathe, and pickup the shit I will be the primary caregiver. Yeah, the hermit crab has it's limits....

Enough about the present. Let's fall back into the late 80's before the big-box retailers had a strangle hold on America. I worked for a mom and pop company...we'll actually no mom just pop due to a recent divorce. This fairly young hipster dufus with zero knowledge of pet care budding entrepreneur actually owned two stores and I often found myself at the smaller store closer to campus. Now, there was a "GM" who was actually quite "petwise", but after the owner gave him a truck he seemed to spend most of his time driving to the big city to retrieve tropical fish and marijuana supplies.

Almost overnight I became the king of the dipshits unofficial assistant manager who still made about a nickel about the minimum wage. Don't get me wrong, I was NO animal expert in any sense of the imagination. In fact, I pretty much deferred questions to my fellow oppressed pet store co-workers who each seemed to specialize in a certain type of animal. Let's talk about "Bird Girl."

Bird Girl - She loved all types of birds. She hand fed birds. She trained birds. She called me at home from the store to tell me about depressed birds, lonely birds and birds under the weather. One summer evening she called to tell me about a very sick bird that had to be euthanized. I said OK, I'll snap his little neck in the morning okie dokie, tomorrow I'll shove him out the back door and hope he survives the mean streets of Chico. She said "Oh, no - you must come right now and take care of him the most humane way possible...he's in a great deal of pain."

"Uh, come again...how do you waste a bird?" *Disclaimer to all those who know this subject better than I.........this was what she told me to do......she was the bird expert, not me. Don't contact some bird rescue society, please*

So how did I do it? Well, she said to place the bird in a plastic bag, walk out to my car, turn on the engine and place the bag over the tailpipe. So I did .... and it worked bye bye birdy. Long before Jack Kevorkian became a household name, there existed a pet store employee who hoped he ended a bird's life the most humane way possible. At the very least, he earned the respect of "Bird Girl."

This was Pet Store Antics #1.............just one story of many.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Dear So and So....Numero Tres

I know that you just couldn't wait any longer. It's time for another installment of "Dear So and So." Perhaps I'll start a mini "So and So" marathon.

Dear Ju Ju,

I know you believe that those red bumps on mommy's and daddy's faces are mosquito bites. Often times that is the case, but once in awhile our faces and those of teens and adults around the globe break out causing pangs of stress, anger, bitterness, and shame. When your first pimple arrives one day in the distant future understand that we've all been there. Dermatologists don't recommend that you "put the squeeze on the zit" so to speak. This may leave permanent scars on your face.

My advice, don't listen to the doctors. The ONLY good thing about having a zit is running into the bathroom, peering into the mirror, zeroing in on the bugger and squeezing it into oblivion! Crap I probably said too much. You're only five. Hope I didn't traumatize you.


R.E. Dad

Dear Honda Corporation,

The sticker mentioned that my '09 Pilot would probably get 22 MPG's on the highway and 16 MPG's. I realize that this is JUST an estimate, but if I drive exclusively in the city I get about 12 MPG's. That isn't too good or even close to 16 MPG's. Back when I spoke with your salesman, he liked to discuss the engine's ability to switch to three cylinders to enhance fuel efficiency, etc. I just want you to know that I'm now feeling disappointed and a bit mislead.

Perhaps you should mention that the 22/16 figure applies only when the vehicle is on cruise control and set at 50 miles per hour or coasting down a hill for the entire tank of gas. Maybe, you should add another category to highway/city.....the suburb which would include an even lower figure to account for frequent stops at school, gunning it around town to complete errands and idling in the drive thru.

Just a suggestion,

R.E. Dad

Dear President Obama,

You're not fooling anyone with your Universal Health care ideas. Why don't you fix social security, medicaid and medicare before even considering embarking on this endeavour?

R.E. Dad

Monday, August 10, 2009

Tripletisms 8/10/09

I was just playing my new favorite game on Facebook. Nope, I'm not talking about Mafia Wars or Texas Hold 'Em. I'm referring to the "Friend Suggestion" area. After a while those 'friend' suggestions really get out of hand, so I like to see how quickly I can "x" out of them before more 'suggestions' are made by FB. Think Robert Hays' character in the 1980 movie "Airplane!" during that one scene at the airport where he ends up beating up flower children, Hare Krisnas, and anyone else who stood in his way. Why would I want to be a friend of a friend's sorority sister or a fan of the Boston Celtics?

That's right. I was going to list a couple "tripletisms." by my soon-to-be Kindergartners...

*Walking around Balboa Island last week (doggie poopy on the sidewalk)*

  • Julia - "Ah, don't step in the dog poop!"
  • Alec - "Gross"
  • Vivi -"Super Gross"

*Yesterday morning on the patio (I'm explaining to my Mom about Julia's Nightmare)

  • R.E. Dad - "She woke up crying and totally out of it"
  • Grandma J. - "Nightmare?"
  • R.E. Dad - "I'm thinking so, but she was totally delirious....she finally said "I shouldn't have poured all that water." "Whatever that means...????"
  • Alec - (in his deep voice with a slight lisp due to a chipped front tooth) "What's a nightmare?"
  • R.E. Dad - "It's a bad dream where you wake up scared and feel bad"
  • Alec "Oh yeah...I had one of those last night...I see a robot in the park and he shoots me dead"
  • R.E. Dad/Grandma J. - "OHHHH"
  • Alec - "That's my nightmare!"

*This A.M. at Pre-school* (Vivi comes over to give me a hug good-bye)

  • Vivi - "Dad you smell like a fart!"
  • R.E. Dad - Vivi, I don't think I ever will smell good enough for you!!!
  • Vivi - "Uh huh"

Gotta go and pick up Bren from the airport. She's returning from a week in Vegas Baby! (at her Grandma M's place)...

Friday, August 7, 2009

Miscellaneous Bologna!

How does this happen? My blog is currently the #1 hit on Google for the quote "I've been living a lie and it's time to come clean." I'm not making this up. For me, the post from which I made this lighthearted admission was meant to be comical, but for many individuals who search the Internet this quote represents a confession. These souls are dealing with emotional pain and turmoil and seek to finally alleviate their pain, suffering and guilt. As my Grandma Edna used to say "the truth will set you free..."

In case you're wondering....this isn't a lead in to a R.E. Dad confession! Heck no, any lapse in judgement leading to an incident of questionable morality or possible illegal activity will be taken to my grave, thank you! I have nothing to say. I didn't bring this up to talk about myself anyway. Just an observation. OK?

Speaking of quotes, I never realized how often Mom MD and I actually quoted lines from the late John Hughes' movies. Recently, we were stuck on that scene from "Sixteen Candles" when the handsome Jake knocks on the Bakers' front door..........

Love me the (character) Long Duk Dong. He wouldn't be "PC" in 2009, but in 1984....it was ALL good and the Earth still rotated on its axis, the birds still sang at the break of dawn, and John Hughes was creating teen movies that defined my generation. Rest in Peace Mr. Hughes. Without your vision, the only teen movies we'd be remembering from the 80's would be those Porky's movies.........Yikes!

Speaking of R.I.P, I wanted to give a shout out to my late Dad. Happy If-you-were-still-alive 75th Birthday! Brenna loves to practice on your Steinway! You'd be so proud of her like Mom MD, Grandma and I are.

Have a fantastic weekend everyone..........

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Dear So and So....Numero Dos

"The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated." - Mark Twain

Oh, how I've missed the blogosphere the past couple weeks. No, I haven't died or worse found outside-the-house employment. The family recently returned from a week at the beach down in So. Cal. My Mom decided many moons ago that a vacation down on the tiny resort island named Balboa near Newport Beach would represent an excellent family escape from the ordinary. So she sprung for a place and the rest they say is history, but might I add our family's trip....was extraordinary!

Now back to the "Dear So and So" created and inspired by Kat who has chosen Fridays as her day to correspond to the various "so and so's" in her neck of the woods across the pond.

Dear owner of the Shell gas station in remote area off Interstate 5,

We realize times are difficult and the other two gas stations at this exit have closed, but pony up the $1,500 to fix the compressor on the A/C. The young man Mom MD spoke with works 10+ hour days/6 days per week during the hottest times of the day. Customers come and go quickly and it isn't too much of an inconvenience to use the hand dryer instead of paper towels in the bathroom, but this guy is minding the store ALL day. Please give him a break not to mention a decent health care plan.

R.E. Dad and Mom MD

Dear TSA at Orange County Airport,

I know you were only doing your "duty", but you absolutely broke my five-year old son's heart when you confiscated his brand new snow globe after searching his tiny backpack. Alec probably spent twenty minutes looking for the perfect souvenir to bring home from Disneyland. Yes, I suppose the liquid volume was slightly above 3 oz, but I highly doubt a sealed globe with pirate treasure and floating gold flakes posed any threat to national security. Rules are rules I suppose, but I'm thankful I wasn't there or I'd probably be writing this from jail.

R.E. Dad

Dear Three Sisters who bought Mom's house,

My Mom might be one of a few surviving members from the generation that values honesty and integrity above all else....when issues were either black and white..... who understood the significance of eye contact, a verbal agreement and a firm handshake.....a generation that might include the oldest baby-boomers up to the youngest from the "greatest" generation.

Even though you're old, I refuse to include you. You didn't treat my Mom the way she deserved or expected to be treated. In fact, she probably let her guard down BECAUSE she thought you three were just like her. Mom was mistaken.

What am I talking about? Oh yeah, I'm referring to the $4000 credit she "gifted" you for the phantom repairs that weren't necessary. Remember how you said the roof needed replacing and the heating and air conditioning needed to be repaired? Wrong cupcakes! The roof dude actually said the roof had three plus years of life remaining and my Mom FIXED the A/C three days before she moved out despite you having a Home Warranty in place. Did your agent even mention this to you? Did she ask nicely if the $500 repair to the A/C could come off the $4000 "credit for nothing?"

This was the same agent who FORGOT to check the requirement for Section 1 repairs and begged our agent to not tell you (to save face). Back to the $4K...turns out this money went directly to your contractor via escrow to help defray the cost to YOU for a new kitchen. By the way, thanks for rubbing that in my Mom's face as well. I have to say that it was very difficult for Mom to "sign and approve" a contractor's bid that had NOTHING to do any repairs knowing that her money went directly to your remodel.

Hope you don't burn yourself on your new stove

R.E. Dad

**For my readers.....sorry about the r & r, but my Mom wouldn't let me send a "real" letter to the sisters or their awful agent.**

Dear So and So...