September 30, 2007

New Beginnings All Around

This has really been a month of change for all of us. First, Chase "graduates" to Big Toddlers. There was no ceremony. He didn't complain. They move these guys into classes based on development more than by age. So far he's tracking perfectly with the age range as well.
Still, there are those moments that freak me out. He will sit there and have a conversation with me. He will talk in perfect syntax and inflection, but it is all gibberish to me. Then all of a sudden, he looks around and says, "Momma, where are you?" Every word perfect. I think he is messing with me.

My work took a turn when the District Manager asked me to move to the new store opening in the area. I must say I was excited to do so. I have been at this location for three years and was feeling a little bored/burned out/apathetic. This will really shake up the old location and hopefully give it a shot of newness, too. Plus I will most likely bonus here (No, the real question is how big a bonus.), where I would not have done so there.

And we are moving; something that has been in the works for a while. More about that in a different post after the move. (No, haven't moved yet. Yes, this week!)

Not to be outdone by the boys, my wife decided she was fed up with property management and followed her heart into teaching. She has always wanted to teach. And the main reason for not has come down to money.
But God always has a plan. And he always provides.
Kat's background is Theatre. She has her degree in it. She went to graduate school in order to be able to teach at the college level. That took us to New Orleans. When that fell apart, (I won't go into details) she went into property management. My job got us to Orlando. That was something I had wanted to do and was part of our plan. So she did the p.m. stuff here, but was never happy about it.
The final straw came as she was written up by her boss for being rude to a customer. This was concerning a phone call that she took with a person who had already leased a unit, but spoke little English. She kept her answers short and simple so as to not have any issues later. Since only her part of the conversation was heard, she was PERCEIVED to be rude. And her "corrective action" even said that if she were to be rude or PERCEIVED to be rude, further action would be taken.
Needless to say, this motivated her to find something else. That is when she found the opening for a teacher in Theatre and English. They were looking for someone with a costuming background. Kat had that, plus her year of grad school included an internship in the costuming department. This is a high school in Seminole County that is rated as being in the top 1% of high schools nationwide. This would be an unbelievable opportunity.
She sent in her resume, and was contacted the next day. Two days later, she goes to the interview at 8:00 a.m. She calls me at 8:30 to tell me the interview was already over. Shocked, I went into console mode, telling her that this is the first job she interviewed for and there will be other ones soon.
As we are talking, they call her. Not only do they offer her the job, they ask if she could go to orientation that day! Needless to say, she accepted. And starting tomorrow, she is officially on her own, teaching both Theatre and English.
All because she was "rude." God always has a plan, even when we don't see or understand it.

September 28, 2007

Less Packing and More Pondering

I am at that dreaded packing point. It is still a few days before we move, but I am down to those items deemed "essential for everyday existence." The bathroom and kitchen look like they were looted the day after Katrina hit. So I am taking a break to get a little internet fix before heading to bed.

Did Great Britain have some pandemic that wiped out the comedy part of their brains? (Stay with me for a second.) It seems that sometime, maybe early 80's or so, that some heinous event occurred and the entire country lost its sense of humor. That is the only thing I can think of that would cause PBS to continue to run the britcoms from the 60's and 70's. No more appear to exist past this era.
Okay, so that is sort of grumpy. I simply cannot fathom why people continue to support PBS in the age of cable. You want children's programming? Three to five other channels do that. Science and technology? History? At least 10 channels. British comedy? BBCAmerica. Hello! Some of them are from the 90's!
I guess the one thing PBS has over the other ones are cool t-shirts and mugs. Er, no. Not that either. (PBS is quickly becoming Pathetically Bad Station.)

I dream in color. I know that science poo-poos this, but really how do they know? Hook you up to some high-tech device that displays your dreams? Maybe they didn't adjust the picture correctly. Anyway, I know I dream in color because sometimes I dream I am a Smurf. And my light sabre usually is a wicked yellow. Lately it's been green.

My guilty pleasure is watching "Cheaters". That show cracks me up. Especially when the cheater gets all righteous and insulted that the cheated didn't trust them. And when there is a hidden camera at the house that captures some salacious act, but they use that huge pixelation so you can't tell what is going on. I think sometimes the cheater and co. are probably just eating fried chicken, but they needed to pad the show for ratings.
The thing that I still don't understand is how these people find time to have a double life. And what is gained by staying in a relationship that obviously isn't cutting it for them anymore. I guess they aren't thinking. And deserve to get caught like this.

And finally, after noticing a trend of bad TV watching in these last 2 posts, I need to get to bed. But first, Two and Half Men reruns are about to come on. Maybe more fodder for another inane post!

September 25, 2007

Packing and Pondering

Long month.
We are moving, so pretty much all spare time is taken for packing up all our stuff. And throwing out all the stuff we don't use. George Carlin talked about the difference between stuff and s***. Stuff is what you have; what you own. S*** is what someone else has. Right now, I feel like I have a bunch of s***.

Random ponderings:
Live Free or Die Hard is THE BEST TITLE EVER. I haven't seen the movie yet. Don't really need to. It has Bruce in it and is in the Die Hard series. I will own it soon enough. And wear out my DVD player watching it over and over.
Runner-up title: God May Have Forgiven You, But I Won't. I think this is both a movie (Western, of course) and the title of a song (Country, of course).

It is cheaper now to buy a new printer than to buy the replacement inks. How messed up is that? Soon, someone will come out with disposable printers. Worked with razors and cameras.

I love Mythbusters. But I want them to tackle the similes. You know, are foxes really crazy? Are tacks sharp? In truth, I think the show may have run its course. Some of the things they test anymore don't grab me like they used to.

Okay, enough. Be back soon!

September 14, 2007

Why America Is The Way It Is

Just so we are all starting at the same point, here is the underlying assumption made: I (and you) already know this little gem of wisdom. This is simply to help vent and rant.

At the "nationally branded" department store tonight - Not that one, the other one. Yes, bulls eye. - I witnessed that well known struggle of mother and child where said child goes ballistic because said mother tells child "No". This child wanted a toy. Mother said she already had a similar toy. Child counters with "But this one does 'Y', and mine only does 'X'!" Then mother says the immortal words, "You think money grows on trees? Do you know how hard I work just to put food on the table and clothes on your back? You don't even say 'Thank you' to me!"

Well, of course not! This child has been given no reason to be thankful! You have made her feel like she is the center of the universe! You have given to her at every other turn, you have taken her to wherever she has needed to go, and you have never taken the time to explain to her what her limits are!

And mainly this is due to the fact YOUR PARENTS treated you as the center of the universe. You have only perpetuated the myth.

My parents taught us the value of money very early on. We were not "given" an allowance. We had chores to do. If we did the chores, we received compensation. They explained this is why people must work. If you did not work, you did not get money. If you have no money, you did not get to buy things. And we were taught what tithing was, and we had to give 10% each week.

Unfortunately, too many Americans feel that they are "entitled" to a certain standard of living. Far too many people do not know that what "VALUE" is. Far too many are given things, money, food, shelter, etc., when they haven't earned it. Far too many do not comprehend that these things have no VALUE to them. They do not understand that these items will not bring them satisfaction. They have lost the VALUE of their humanity.

Before anyone goes off about "widows and orphans", I am all for giving a helping hand to get people back on their feet. We all need that from time to time. Unfortunately, we have created an entire industry based on the down-trodden. Instead of bringing people up, we keep people down. We give and give without thinking of the consequence it has on the recipient.
Even FDR recognized that during the Great Depression, people would work in order to get help from the government. The creation of the Public Works Administration did more than give people jobs. It helped revive America's economy.

My ranting aside, I fear for the America my child will grow up to find. We have to do something now to break this cycle of entitlement. We have to show our children that path may be harder, but earning what you have is far more fulfilling. We have to teach them what VALUE truly is.

September 03, 2007

Avenging My Brother

It was already dark when I arrived in Casper, Wyoming. I burst into the Flaming Mongol restaurant, pushed the Maitre D' against the wall, and snorted, "Where is he?" Stunned, he acted like he didn't know what I was talking about. That's when I raised him off the floor and pressed my elbow into his Adam's apple. He pointed a shaky finger towards the back of the restaurant to the door marked "Private."
I kicked the door in and surprised the three Asian men. They were gathered around a desk covered with drugs, guns and money. The two younger men went for the guns. But before either could pull a trigger, I emptied my clip into their torsos. Stepping over their bleeding bodies, I walked towards the older man. He cowered behind the desk. I changed the clip in my pistol as I stared menacingly at him. I reached over and pulled the old man up by his shirt until we were eye to eye.
"You remember this man?", I asked. I shoved a picture of my brother in his face. Trembling, he muttered, "No."
"Take a closer look. Last night. He ate here." That's when I saw the look of recognition come over his face. I punched him in the nose. The blow knocked him into the wall and he slid down. Fearfully, he held his nose, blood covering his hands and shirt. I caressed my pistol and stared down at him. I turned and started walking out.
"The next time he asks for duck sauce and you give him sweet and sour instead, I won't be so nice."