Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Not what I was going to say

I had originally intended to post something about politics. Then I thought instead I would post something a little more introspective. However, when the Wife got home from Maverick's baseball game and told me how it went, I knew I had to post for him.

He had a tough game today. He's still been struggling with his hitting, and swung only once today at a pitch because the Wife threatened no snack if he didn't. It didn't help that the pitcher threw side-arm with a wicked curve. But he's been struggling with hitting more with every game. The Wife said he looked on the verge of tears. She talked to him before bed and I reminded him to think of all the good things he did today in the game.

Maverick is unsure if he'll play baseball next year. He mentioned to the Wife that he couldn't remember what to do in the field. The Wife reminded him that his medication wore off WELL before the end of the game and that it's to be expected that his concentration would not be as good. She also told him not to make a hasty decision. As a matter of fact, she gave him advice I should have thought of: she told him to pray about it.

Maverick needs some encouragement. If you could please leave him some words to lift his spirits, I'll print them out for him to motivate him to keep on trying. The Wife doesn't want him to give up while he's in a slump and I don't either. If he decides on another sport later, that's fine. But he genuinely likes baseball and he's pretty good at it, if we can get over the hitting thing. So let's all build him up to be the best baseball player he can be.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Italia! Italia!

First, the cute English wife! Doesn't she look great! Of course, it helps when her team won. Beckham was impressive, scoring even when sick. My team beat Australia today, but dammit they cut it close! The scored literally in the last second of the game! 5 minutes of stoppage time were added and Italy scored on a penalty kick in the 95th minute. Freaking Italian team makes me crazy by doing shit like that! I'll probably have to leave work early now on Friday to see them beat the Ukraine. England gets Portugal on Saturday. If all goes well, both our teams will be in the semi-finals!

In other news, the camping trip this weekend was fun, if a little tiring. It would have been better if a couple of the kids were better behaved. But thier parents seem to think letting them do whatever they like (including driving a soccer ball into our tent at 6 am on Sunday morning) was perfectly fine. The boys got to do some fishing and boating (on pedal boats). Maverick almost caught one! We had it and were just about to pull it out of the water when his line snapped, hook, sinker and all. Stupid fish!

I've got some catching up to do it appears. Since I spent lunch time today watching the Italy/Australia match, I didn't get to browse my usual blogs. From a quick glance, you guys were busy this weekend! It's going to take me all night to visit you all! You people need to stop doing that to me. I don't get enough sleep as it is!

The boys also started summer camp today. They had fun so it's so far so good! Hopefully it will be a fun summer for them and an uneventful one for us. I'll leave you with a picture from the campout. A cat came around Sunday morning just before we left and was fairly friendly. Grasshopper wanted to take it home and named it Mystery. He's so creative at naming things!

Friday, June 23, 2006

Much Better Now

Many thanks to all of you for your words of encouragement during my "blue" period. I am completely (for now at least) cured. I must say that an interaction with a co-worker helped immensely. She did not do anything in particular, but we joked with each other as I helped her with her issue (she is my cube-mate on the other side of the wall) and ran back and forth between our cubes. I believe some light hearted inter-personal contact began to break the mood. The amusing cat pictures helped as well.

I've had today off since the boys finished school Wednesday. The Wife had off yesterday and I took today. Camp starts Monday. They've been very well behaved the last two days! Today we did a bunch of fun things, primarily going to the Soccer Shack, a local store dedicated to, you guessed it, soccer! I got the Wife a very cool England shirt last night at Dicks, so today I got her a matching scarf and myself an Italy jersey and Official Italy world cup soccer ball! We are in soccer heaven. Both England plays Sunday and Italy Monday. Italy plays at 11 am so I believe I'll be taking an early lunch at the sports bar across the street that day. I'll get a picture of the Wife as an English soccer hooligan and post tomorrow night.

Today was a day filled with fruit as well. I had lunch with the boys at my parent's place. The have two cherry trees, one which is ready to pick. So I picked me about 6 pounds! I absolutely LOOOOOVE cherries. We also went strawberry picking! The Wife has already made a batch of freezer jam. It's simply YUUUUUUMMMMYYYYY! We're also going on an overnight camping trip with Maverick's cub scout den tomorrow (Saturday). The weather is going to be in the mid 70s and dry. Perfect camping weather!

On a slight downer, I got an email from one of the members of the church band that is on the parish staff. Things are not looking good on that front right now. We need to meet to discuss what we're going to do. I feel the Spirit leading me towards something, and I've had some growing dissatisfaction with what we've been doing, so I'm praying on it and just trusting the Lord.

To end on an up note, though, I got an email out of the blue today from a guy I played in a band with back in college. I haven't heard from him in like 15 years and I get an email today basically saying "Remember me?". It took me a minute. I opened the email because he mentioned some the name of a good friend of mine, so I knew it wasn't spam. After I thought a moment, I went "Holy shit!". I haven't had a chance to email back, but it's cool when a blast from the past reaches out.

So hope all of you have a good weekend! Mine will be filled with camping and the World Cup! Forza Azzura!

Thursday, June 22, 2006


The last few days I've been in a really antisocial mood. Pretty much I want everyone to leave me alone. I have no idea what precipitated this mood, but I'm having a hard time shaking it. It makes it difficult to do my job, as I'm supposed to help people and fix thier PC problems. My tolerance for issues that are more of a user training/not following policy is VERY thin. I've managed to be polite, but it's been difficult. I've taken the unusual (for me) action of actually shutting my door part of the day. I usually have an open door policy that if I'm at my desk, I'm available. This week has been more of a "go away" type of week.

Even at home my patience seems to be thinner. Last night after Grasshopper's soccer game (during which he played well) I wasn't in a mood to talk to anyone. I have no idea what's going on, but have been praying for it to pass. So if you care to care to lend your thoughts and prayers, I would appreciate it.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Wellness GIFTS Retreat

Before I talk about my weekend, I'd like to do a couple of shout outs. I got a card and picture today from my best high school and college pal Scott. He got married on May 27 in St. Lucia in the West Indies. So congrats to him and many happy years to he and his new bride! Wished I could have been there but he understood both the monetary and familial issues. Second, I was taken to task by one of my former Navy buddies, Dr. Bry (just got his PhD, congrats to him!) for my post about Zarqawi's death. He being a staunch conservative and me being a bleeding heart liberal, we had many words for each other. All respectful, of course. However, he felt that I implied that our troops on the ground in Iraq were acting "cowardly and evilly" in following their orders. I will apologize publicly for giving this impression. It was never my intent to criticize those service members doing their jobs. I know exactly what they're going through and the difficult task they have. I have the upmost respect for them, all through the ranks. While I highly disagree with the policy they are supporting, their job is to execute the foriegn policy of the United States and they do it the best they can.

Now, on to the weekend. Our camping trip was a lot of fun. We arrived Friday evening and checked into our cabin, which again was totally awesome! We were much better prepared this time, since we knew what to expect. Saturday was full of activities for the boys. The theme this year was space and there was lots of space themed activities: making rockets out of pop bottles, making spaceships out of cardboard boxes for racing later, etc. Due to the heat, the boys spent a lot of time in the pool and less on activities, but that's ok. The Wife and I got to attend a very interesting workshop on bullying and how it affects you kids. The best part was the interaction with other parents. One said it best: "This is a weekend where I feel totally ordinary as a parent". It was great to talk to other parents that understood our issues. I also realized what a wonderful school district we live in. Many other parents had horror stories of dealing with teachers and districts that didn't understand their children's disabilites. We've never experienced any of that. I never realized how lucky and blessed we truly are.

The Wife and I also got to chill out some. We watched the first half of Italy vs USA (I could dedicate a whole post to that, but suffice it to say my heart was with Italy, but I'm incredibly impressed and proud of the American effort). Rocket races were in the afternoon. Grasshopper won his race! They had three lanes and had to avoid meteors (someone throwing balls at them), comets (silly string), and refuel (3 cheeze balls and a half glass of water) before crossing the finish line. It was a hoot! We also had a nice candlelight dinner with the other parents (the kids had a pizza party outside). We had an excellent veggie lasagne and stimulating conversation with a couple from Buffalo with two autistic boys and a mom from a neighboring county also with an autistic boy. We finished off the evening with star gazing.

Sunday was a little more relaxed. We skipped the last workshop and took a hike while the boys did activities. I got a chance to watch a little more soccer before we did the big rocket launch. This brought up one of the few disappointing parts of the weekend. Last year, the assistant assigned to the boys was awesome. He made sure the boys did lots of cool stuff and kept them interested. He guided them and actaully had fun with them. Our assistant this year was more of a babysitter. She was nice enough, but just seemed to follow the boys around. If we were nearby, she seemed to look for a reason to wander off. The biggest dissapointment was with the bottle rockets. The boys wanted to do something else when they were making them on Saturday. Sunday comes along and they realize they didn't have one. Grasshopper especially wanted to make one and we figured they could do it during craft time. They were told, sorry, that was yesterday's project and we can't do it now. You should have seen Grasshopper just before the launch. His head was down and he didn't want to go. I'm sure they could have accomodated the boys if someone pushed. Our assistant last year would have. I made him feel better by buying him a Nerf rocket from the camp store.

The only other downer was the weather. It was sunny and 88 Saturday, sunny and 93 Sunday. While I appreciate the sun, it was a bit too hot and humid. It made it a little harder to be outside in the middle of the day when it's scorching and you're wearing a purple T-shirt. But since it was 65 and rainy last year, this year was definately better. I'll finish up with a couple of pictures from the trip. All the pictures can be found here. Is my woman hot in a tankini or what?

Thursday, June 15, 2006

On Vaction

Just wanted to put up one more post before the weekend getaway. A few quick orders of business.

First, I have a new link on my side bar, it's for Lex, who I found through Jude. Lex rocks, and is English besides (though not currently residing there), so she's a right fine lady in my book. So go check out her blog. Obey!

Next, please go visit Aimee. She's totally overworked and underappreciated, so she's taking a well deserved break from blogging for a little while. Go show her some love and support people! Again, Obey!

Lastly, I must thank Julz for the mound of Def Leppard CDs she sent me. I've just begun to go through them, starting with Yeah. Don't know if it's going to make me as big a fan as she, but hearing lots of different styles of music is giving me lots of ideas for new arrangement of songs. I must ask, though, to all you Lep fans out there: Who is singing Stay with Me? Cause man that voice is ROUGH! It's really straining to get some of those notes. It doesn't sound like Joe Elliot, so I can only assume it's either Viv or Phil. Anyone? And Julz, I'm not sure who does the next tune you put on there, but the vocal track has my worst pet peeve as a musician and music lover. You can hear EVERY TIME THE VOCALIST BREATHS IN BEFORE SINGING A LINE! That is SOOOOO annoying. I'm sorry, but I can't beleive producers let guys get away with that. You don't see Freddie Mercury doing that. Hell, you don't even see Joe Elliot doing that. Listen close. Once you notice it, it's all you can hear.

Lastly, on the musical subject, I've got two songs nearly complete! Or, at least I should say, the lyrics complete. I blame, I mean credit, Lois for the new method I'm using to approach song writing. The last two songs I've written (3 if you count the Possum Lady song) were actually from lyrics provide by Lois. I normally start with the music and then write lyrics, but lately I can't really come up with any riffs I like. So I've done just the opposite. Just write words, and later figure out the music based on the rythem of the lines. So far I have one song complete with lyrics and some of the chord changes. I have another song almost written, with no chords at all.

Anyway, tomorrow will be spent packing for the trip and doing all the last minute things. Weather is supposed to be 90 Saturday and Sunday with no rain, so it will be just the opposite of last year, which was 70 and rain. Hope everyone has a good weekend! I'll be posting stories and pictures next week!

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Forza Azura!

I've got the World Cup fever. I've always been a soccer fan, but when the World Cup comes around, it goes up a notch. This year's even sweeter since Grasshopper is playing soccer. He's getting better every game. So between his games and matches on TV, I'm in soccer heaven. I got to watch most of the games this weekend. I didn't get a chance to see yesterday's games, you know work and all, so I missed the USA's dissapointing loss to the Czech Republic and more importantly, Italy's win over Ghana. Of course, I'm a big fan of Italy and look for them to do well each Cup. I'd try to be a USA fan, but they're just not that good. Not to mention, growing up in an Italian immigrant household, how could I be anything but an Italy fan?

We're also pulling for England in our household since the Wife is of English decent. They also won this weekend, but it wasn't pretty. I'm not sure if they're just not that good, or they're not giving it 100% in the first round. Many teams will kind of coast in the first round and get just enough points to make the next round, then put on thier A game in the second round. We shall see.

In other news, we're going on our second annual Wellness Gifts retreat this weekend. For those of you that were readers this time last year, it is a weekend camp for families with special needs children. The camp assigns respite providers for the kids to give parents a break to hang out, discuss the challenges they face, go to the spa, whatever. The kids had a blast and are looking forward to it. I'll be posting pictures next week. Right now the weather looks good so please pray for no rain. We got a cabin again this year so rain wouldn't be a big deal, but many of the activities are outdoors so it would be nice if the weather cooperated.

Also, a friend of ours is a reporter for the local Catholic newspaper, the Catholic Courier. He has two boys diagonsed with autism so he's doing an article on it. He interviewed us for the piece and arranged for a photographer to take some shots of us. It should be in next months edition. I'll let you know when it's published. He's a really good writer so we support his work.

This week at work will be nuts. I'm interviewing for a new help desk tech, and the number of candidates is staggering. We recieved over 160 resumes in 3 days alone. So if you know anyone that's a computer geek and lives in the Rochester area, tell them to email me and I'll give them the link to send in thier resume.

In closing, I'd just like to say: Italia! Italia! Italia!

Update: Two quick things I wanted to add. The first is a joke I stole from Larry the Cable Guy: Two guys are out hunting and one is looking through the scope on his gun. He turns to his pal and says, "Dang, I can see you're woman cheating on you with another man right now!" His friend gets real upset and tells him, "I want you to shoot her in the head and him in the private parts." The hunter with the gun goes, "No problem. I can do that in one shot."

Also, this was an ACTUAL objective sent to me on a REAL resume. I file it under the Best Objective Ever! (BTW, I won't be interviewing this particular candidate):

To break all records for network stability in your company, thereby creative a productive and skilled workforce that can generate even MORE customers, Increase support for internal clients and provide better support for your customers. This strategy will help make more profits for your company.

Now, I have a BIIIIIIG ego, but even I would not put something like that on my resume. The candidate should have just said "I will rock your network!". Not to mention, his grammar sucks. Please note the use of the word "creative" instead of "creating".

Friday, June 09, 2006

Call Me Crazy

I'm probably going to incur a lot of wrath for this post, but I'm quite annoyed about this so I'll post it anyway. After all, it is my blog and I can say what I please.

As many of you know, the noted terrorist al-Zarqawi was killed this week. There has been much rejoicing in the media since the story broke. Everyone is talking about it. Average people are glad. The Embassador to Iraq said the US's goal the entire time was to kill him. And just this evening, ABC News named the special forces unit that killed him their Persons of the Week.

Is it just me, or is it really sick that we are spending so much time, effort, and jubilation on the death of another human being? Because I find it sickening. I'll be the first to admit that al-Zarqawi was a bad guy and didn't deserve to roam free. He's either killed or ordered killed a large number of innocent people. He was a terrorist, and does not deserve any support for his ideology.

BUT, he was still a human being. Some will argue he DESERVED to be killed. I counter with the statement that there is no such thing as some DESERVING to die. No one has the right to play God and take the life of another. It happens, both intentionally and accidentally, in peace and in war. And it is ALWAYS tragic, regardless of which side you're on. I won't even speak to the fact that we're so proud of our soldiers for dropping a bomb on our most hated enemy. He didn't die while we tried to capture him or anything. We simply wiped out the building he was in from above and never mind any collateral damage.

And before you all accuse me of being some liberal commie pinko, I remind you I spent 5 years in the Navy and served in the first Gulf war. I would have felt horrilbe if I had to kill someone, but I would have defended my ship and my shipmates if I had to, and attacked the enemy if ordered to do so. Cause it was my job. But my conscience would still have bothered me, even then.

The bottom line is that I cannot in good conscience celebrate the death of another, regardless of who they are, even if they are an "evil" human being. And I find it very sad that our society is so pleased with itself for this man's death. No talk of how it was unfortunate but necessary, no words of sorrow for his family that this drastic action had to be taken, no nothing. Except to say that we hunted a man down like an animal and blew him to bits.

I hope Americans are proud of themselves. Cause I'm not.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Keep the Faith

I posted previously about my trepidation with the Alive at Five group at church. We met Tuesday to discuss it. Overall, it was a positive meeting, but the future of this group as a part of our parish is still possibly in doubt. We discusses scaling back Masses to once a month instead of once a week. We were having trouble finding preists to say the Mass of quality. It will be easier on a less frequent schedule and we can make more of a special occasion out of it with more music and stuff. And we all know more music is GOOOOOOD. We also discussed the band playing other events and inviting youth groups from other parishes as well to swell the numbers and further spread the message.

It all sounds good, but it turns out our youth coordinator may not be 100% behind us any longer. She's upset with some of the staff for not taking a larger role in coordinating the Masses. I understand where she's coming from to a certain extent but I think playing politics can get in the way of what our real goal is: to reach more people and get them to want to stay in the Catholic Church to meet their spiritual needs instead of going to another (that is non-Catholic) church that can meet their needs.

In a way, this all ties in to the general lack of motiviation and inspiration I've been feeling lately from a musical perspective. I mean, it's been fun but something has been lacking. A weekly grind was certainly taking its toll on me, but there was more. So I've been just leaving it to the Spirit to move me and guide me. And I think I hear the Spirit calling me again.

It hit me just yesterday: Keep the Faith. It's a great title for a song. It's a great message. It's inspired me. So I have "officially" started the Keep the Faith Project. I have NO FREAKING IDEA what this project is or where it will go. I know I'm not ready to record another CD, but this is another project of the Spirit, and I'll try to go where the Spirit moves me. I'm excited about it and am reflecting on it whenever my brain has quiet moments, meaning, whenever I'm not actively using my brain. For example, I was mowing the lawn today. A nice activity that disengages your brain and allows you to think about other stuff. And this is what hit me:

You gotta keep the faith
Through all the doubt and all the pain
Through all the trials that come your way
Just keep your thoughts and hopes on Me
And soon your hearts will be set free
Just keep the faith

It's the chorus of the song that will become Keep the Faith. There's no music yet. I'm not overly concerned about it. It will all come together on its own time. I have 3 other titles as well for songs: "Faith on Fire", "Come and Worship the Lord", and "Me, My Guitar, and My Lord". Don't ask me why but that's what hit me. Again we'll see what comes of it.

So keep the faith, my dears, and may the Lord grant you peace and tranquility.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Celebrate Natasha (then a rant)

In case anyone noticed, Tuesday (tomorrow) is 6/6/06, or obviously, the Day of the Devil, BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! So hopefully everyone is celebrating in the most benignly evil way they can (hey, as a Christian, I couldn't really request you worship the Dark Lord, right?). Anyway, if you want you can get a T-Shirt from Hell, Mich. stating you've been to Hell on 6/6/06 for the low, low price of $6.66, of course.

In other news, Maverick is back in the saddle. He had his first baseball was today and he appears over his fear of the ball. He had a hit that drove in a run, scored a run, and struck out swinging in 3 at bats. Not bad And he never backed out of the box. Grasshopper is doing fairly well with soccer, but he spent a lot of time today spectating instead of participating. It's ok, though, he had fun and I'm working on him.

Now the real point of this post: How Congress is Wasting Our Tax Dollars by Wasting Their Time.

What, pray tell are they wasting their time on? Instead of dealing with serious issues like the war in Iraq, immigration reform, or universal health care? No, they spent today and probably tomorrow taking about A CONSTITIONAL AMMENDMENT TO BAN GAY MARRIAGE!

And are they talking about it because its a "serious" debate. Nope. They're talking about it because it's an election year. They all know it will never pass. But our illustrious Republican leaders and President need some sort of issue they can go back to their conservative "value voters" base and say they did something. "Look everyone, forget about how all your kids are dying in Iraq and the whole country is a mess, be tried to keep fags from getting married!"

The sad thing is that I bet voters will fall for it. Cause nothing says Commie Pinko Fag like a Democrat that is willing to uphold the rights of citizens to enjoy the LEGAL freedoms (and burdens) of marriage. I think you all know where I stand on this subject. It is not the role of the government to legislate morality. There's no way they ever can. So let's just stay out of it. Even the most liberal politician out there is not saying that every religious institution must recognize gay marriages, just THE LAW. Which is supposed to be independent of religion, is it not?

It just pisses me off so much that we're spending so much political energy on something so stupid and irrelevant to the lives of most Americans. Because, let's face it, if Adam and Steve, or Edie and Eve get married, why should I care? How is it going to affect my life, my faith, or the way I raise my boys? Other than I might (gasp!) have to teach them tolerence for others values! Oh the horror of it!

BTW, a prize of unspeakable value (that is, it's value is so low we shall not speak of it) to anyone that can tell me the reference I stole the title of this post from. Good luck!

Also BTW BTW, stupid blogger crashed when I tried to post this. Luckily I managed to copy it to my clipboard before trying to publish (habit now). Stupid blogger!

Sunday, June 04, 2006

17 Years of Bliss

The Wife and I celebrated our 17th wedding anniversary yesterday. Actually, we celebrated it Friday night but the actual date was yesterday. I'd like to begin by saying that it seem like just yesterday that we were married and yet it also seems like we've been married forever. We've had a lot of ups and downs over the years, but I love the Wife as much, if not more, today than the day we wed. I still cannot imagine having anyone else as my Wife and wouldn't want anyone else. I count myself lucky every morning I wake up with her by my side. But enough mushy stuff.

We went out on Friday and had an actual DATE! We went out to dinner at a local bar/resturant place with a semi-50s decor. We had a very nice meal and then went to see The DaVinci Code. Not a bad movie. The thing that amazed us afterward is that we didn't talk about the kids at all! We talked just like a normal couple would! It had to be the first time since the kids were born that this happened. It was so refreshing! I cannot remember the last time I got to just enjoy being with the Wife.

Saturday was to be filled with many activities: golf for Maverick, haircuts for everyone in the family, a soccer game with Grasshopper and a baseball game with Maverick. Well, it rained pretty much all day. Golf was cancelled due to the course being too wet. We did get our haircuts in. The Wife took Maverick to the baseball game. There was supposed to be a baseball clinic for scouts where they get to practice with some of the players from the team. They got to meet two pitchers, but the rain prevented the actual clinic. Then the game was postponed because of rain.

I took Grasshopper to the soccer game. It was raining for that too, but a soccer game goes on no matter the weather. I should have known it was going to be a bad night when the shuttle that was supposed to take us from the parking lot to the game was taking FOREVER. We got to the parking lot 45 mintues before the game and got to the staduim just as the game started. It was the first home game at the team's new stadium and was sold out. We found our seats and the rain not only kept coming down, it started coming down harder. We ended up leaving at half time cause I couldn't take being wet any more and Grasshopper was starting to shiver.

Today turned out to be a much nicer day. We went to visit friends and got interviewed for an article in the local Catholic diocese newspaper. Our friend is a reporter for the paper and is doing an article on autism. His two boys both were diagnosed with PDD-NOS like Grasshopper so he thought our perspective would be nice. He'd thought about telling the story in the first person but his paper don't play that. After the interview we had a wonderful lunch (ham panini's, YUM!) while the kids played. It was supposed to rain all day but the sun came out and it was just beautiful!

Overall, it was quite a nice weekend, excepting the rain ruining our sporting event plans. At least I had a really nice evening out with the Wife and the boys had a BLAST with their babysitter. It made up for any other disappointments.

So a final Happy Anniversary to the Wife. I love you more than I can express, even in song. I can't wait to see what the next 17 years and beyond have in store. Cause as long as I have you, they're bound to be the best days ever. So how's about a big moose kiss!!!

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Good and Bad Things

We have a ritual at dinner time where everyone says 3 good things and one bad thing that happened that day. It allows the kids to realize that there are more good things in our day than bad, and allows for family conversation. I thought I would throw out a couple of mine for today.

Good thing 1: Maverick was in a 24 Game tournament. For those not familiar with the game, it's a card with 4 numbers of single digits. You need to use a combination of addition/subtraction/multiplication/division to manipulate the numbers to get 24. See the link for details. Maverick placed in the top 6 in his grade at school so he got to participate in the district wide tournament. And placed SECOND!!!! We're very proud of him. We seriously thought he could win it cause he's so freaking fast at these things. You barely have time to look at the numbers before he's got the answer. Mind like a steel trap or something. He was very pleased with himself and rightly so. Also, he was not at all dissappointed that he didn't win. He even felt bad for his buddies that didn't do as well. Now there's a good kid.

Good thing 2: The grass I planted over the weekend (and killed my butt muscles hauling dirt for) is starting to sprout! I've seen a few little blades of grass poking their heads out of the dirt. I just need to keep watering now. Nice that I actually managed to get something to grow, as I have a black thumb instead of a green thumb. I usually end up killing plants.

Good thing 3: The Wife and I are going out for dinner and a movie tomorrow night to celebrate our anniversary. We'll be married 17 years. Our anniversary is actually Saturday, but she's taking Maverick to a baseball game and I'm taking Grasshopper to a soccer game, so there'll be no time for us. No sweat going out a day early. We got a sitter for the boys and it's off we go. Perhaps I can persuade the Wife to wear her hot new red dress, at least during dinner and the movie ;).

This leads me to my bad thing (Wife, please do not read this rant until Saturday): Have I ever mentioned how much I HATE looking for greeting cards? I mean, of course I'm going to get a nice card for her. For birthdays and anniversaries I don't go for the stupid funny little card. Those are special days and I want to find something that expresses my sincere emotions to her. The majority of the cards out there are so fucking sappy! Oh my God, I can't believe the tripe that these guys write. Have the cards are overly sentimental, to the point sounding like bullshit, the other half look like they're written for the guy that only says I Love You once a year through a card. And I swear, if I read another card that says "You're my soul mate" or "You're my best friend" I'm going to start breaking shit.

I find this idea of the "soul mate" to be hyped up Hollywood dime store romance kind of stuff. I mean, who really SAYS to their spouse "you're my soul mate". It's so freaking cliche. And I HATE being that cliche. To call The Wife my best friend cheapens the relationship for me. My best friend is the person I go hang with so we can talk about music, women, and sports while drinking cider on tap at the pub. I would leave my best friend IN A SECOND to be with The Wife. My best friend is the person who calls me to come hang and I turn him down to be WITH THE WIFE. She's so much more that a best friend that the only real words that can express it are to say she's MY WIFE. Being able to say that means more to me than words can express.

Anyway, I did manage to find something (shhhhh, don't tell her) that came close to the correct sentiment. I think next year I'm going to suck it up and create my own card. At least it will say what I really mean.