Monday, November 29, 2010

I'm Dreaming of a...

Tonight while riding in the car with Grant and Grace, we heard an ad for a local theater showing the holiday classic, "White Christmas." Grant's comment?

I'd like a "Brown Christmas" or a "Black Christmas" better.


Friday, November 26, 2010

Understanding Time: Toddler Style

Imagine Grant's utter disappointment when he realized that all the times I have said that Christmas comes after Thanksgiving did not mean that Christmas comes right after Thanksgiving.

At least wrapping gifts today seemed to stop the tears. And, yes, Grace is in Grant's old pjs, so I am aware she is walking around in an outfit that says, "Cute dude."

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Why This Blog is Lame and More Bathroom Stories

So you may be thinking right now, "Why do I keep checking this blog? They rarely post more than a few sentences, and I can only take so many pictures of their kids hugging each other or laying on the couch."

Valid concerns. All valid concerns. Well the reality is that we've found ourselves severely time crunched this fall. Now that I'm starting to get my job figured out, my goal is to return to more regular posting. So stick it out, and I promise you that the reward will be far from substantial.

In keeping with my theme of "distressing bathroom incidents" (see here and here), I had yet another bad encounter with the bathroom this week.

The facilities at my new job are, let's just say, less than appealing. In other words, you go in there with what I call the "rock festival port-a-potty" mentality instead of the "taking a break from work" mentality. You go in, work as quickly as possible, and then evacuate before someone comes in to mess the place up.

It's not that the bathroom isn't functional or is dirty, it's just that it provides little comfort as an aid to the task at hand. First, as you walk in, there's a noticeable gap in the door to the stall. If you walk into the bathroom at the wrong angle, you're guaranteed to make just enough eye contact with the person in the stall to warrant an introduction and some pleasantries. This is unacceptable.

Additionally, the sink in our bathroom is some sort of water saving nightmare that shoots about 10 small, powerful streams of water out. If you actually put your hand under it, it simply deflects the water all over your shirt and pants. Not cool.

This week the facilities management people installed one of those motion sensors in place of a light switch. Now when you walk into the bathroom, the lights kick on. Clever. And green.

I noticed this as I entered on Monday morning around 8am and thought it seemed like a good idea. I made my way to the stall. After a relative few minutes considering how I would spend the rest of my day, the lights went out.

It was so dark. I can't even tell you how dark it was. I considered for a moment what was occurring, hoping it was a momentary issue. But then I realized, with horror, that the light sensor features a timer to kick the lights off. Oy.

I thought about waiting until someone entered, but there were some issues. First, at 8am, there is a chance that it could be a while before anyone else enters. Plus, if they do come in, how do I play off sitting alone in the bathroom, in the dark? With the crack between the door and the wall, they're guaranteed to notice my presence when they come in. How does "the new guy" explain sitting alone in a dark, cold bathroom successfully to his co-workers?

I decided that I needed to take action. The first option was to finish up in the dark and make my way out. I quickly discovered that my relative newness at this job and building left me unable to perform this task. I very nearly ended up with one arm in the toilet while trying to feel my way around.

My next thought was, "I have to get these lights back on." I considered whether I could throw a shoe over the stall wall and get it in front of the sensor. Unfortunatley the sensor is placed on the back of a wall by the entrance, so unless I could "bend it like Beckham" this was not an option.

My only viable option was to gather myself up and make my way over to the sensor. I won't go into details, but let's just say that I prayed for a few seconds that nobody, I mean NOBODY would come through the bathroom door. I moved across that bathroom like Usain Bolt.

I later found out that the timer had been "miss set" to a very short time period, which made me feel better about the whole situation. I also discovered that there's an override switch on the sensor, which I will now use every time I enter the bathroom, no matter the task at hand. No good happens in a bathroom in the dark. Just ask George Michael.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


Flow chart: cavity in tooth--> filling in tooth--> crown on tooth--> root canal on tooth--> bacterial infection in tooth= no frickin' fun.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Big Kid Getaway

Bret and I headed out of town on Friday night for Louisville. I AM IN LOVE WITH LOUISVILLE! We ate great food, stayed at a great B&B and shopped at the neatest antique stores (my favorite). We love our babies, but it felt great to get away for a night and a day, have adult conversations, adult beverages, and watch HGTV (granted, a bigger deal for me than for Bret). Louisville is our new favorite city. No, really: IT WAS FAB!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Friday, November 12, 2010

Happy Belated Veteran's Day

Since yesterday was Veteran's Day, I first just want to thank all of the veterans that I've known or to which I'm related. You all deserve our gratitude and thanks, and I hope you all had a wonderful day. Now, I have a couple of observations regarding this observance.

First, one of the things I've gotten used to while working downtown is the large number of "homeless" people occupying the streets of downtown Indy. (I put "homeless" in quotes for a reason which will be apparent later.) When I was younger, I don't ever remember seeing individuals asking for food, money or beer out on the streets of downtown Indy. In fact, the first time I really remember seeing a homeless individual was on a trip to San Francisco, a city which has turned homelessness into a viable profession.

What struck me yesterday was that suddenly every person asking for a handout downtown just also happened to be a veteran. While I don't doubt that some of these individuals are, indeed, veterans, I strongly suspect that some were of dubious intent.

Secondly, Erin, out of the kindness of her heart, gave a full bag of tortilla chips to a guy in the median near our local Costco yesterday. She felt bad for him, so in the spirit of giving, she gave him a bag of chips the size of a garden leaf bag. (It was from Costco, you know.)

A few moments later, she spotted her bag of chips still in the median (opened, but not empty), and the "homeless" individual who had asked for help was boarding a nearby city bus. And not only was he boarding, but he was hooking a rather nice bicycle to the bike rack on the front. The discarded, barely touched bag of chips and the nice bicycle might suggest that this individual wasn't as hungry as he initially seemed.

So I realize it's the spirit of the act which counts, but those were supposed to be MY tortilla chips. I'M THE ONE who now doesn't get TORTILLA CHIPS with my lunch next week.

Apparently there was some discussion amongst the occupants of Erin's vehicle as to whether she should have stopped to retrieve the partially eaten bag of chips.

Let me make something clear. I don't really want to eat from a bag of chips that my kid's hands have been in, let alone some lying sack of, well, tortilla chips who was hanging out in the median of a local city street. I'll take my bag of chips unopened, thank you. (And I really prefer Pringles anyway, if you want to know the truth.)

Thursday, November 11, 2010

New Hair Cut

Grace's hair was starting to get unmanagable (read: put it in a pony every day), so she got a little haircut (read: Mommy in the kitchen with scissors)!

She's just too cute!



Tuesday, November 09, 2010

New Found Love

Wanna guess Grant's latest fascination?
Yep, dragons. Such a boy.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Dates With the Elderly

As most everyone that knows me is aware, I'm pretty much a total music geek. To this day, I buy quite a bit of music, still go to an occasional concert, and still enjoy finding new music to listen to in my spare 15 minutes a day. Frequently my love of music rubs my wife the wrong way, mostly because I enjoy some pretty noisy bands and she'd rather me spend the money on a more suitable family hobby. To both, I say "Balderdash."

Over the course of the last 15 years, one of the bands that I've followed pretty actively is called Guided By Voices. I became aware of GBV in 1994 when they were sort of the "next big thing" in indie music. Their songs were short, sounded like they came straight out of England circa-1966, and were frequently recorded using the highest fidelity portable tape recorders and wax cylinders available. In other words, they were gloriously noisy.

Over the years, I'd estimate I've seen GBV over 30 times, in part because they're from Dayton, OH which is relatively close to home, so they play in Indianapolis frequently. Erin and I famously spent our New Year's Eve in 2004 attending their "final" concerts in Chicago, an event which lasted about eight hours in total, spread across two evenings.

So imagine my excitement when someone offered GBV a fat wad of cash to go back on the road for one last round last month. I was thrilled at the opportunity to see a band that I love, one last time, so I plunked out $80 for a pair of tickets to a show last week in Bloomington, IN. I heard rumors that the guys in the band weren't necessarily excited about going back on the road, something I didn't really get at the time.

In retrospect, I should have known that buying two tickets was a mistake. After the middle-of-the-night extravaganzas in Chicago a few years ago, I was pretty sure that getting Erin to join me was an impossibility. But if there's one thing Erin detests more than GBV, it's waste. So when we were unable to unload my extra ticket last Friday night, she joined me for the concert.

The whole experience turned out to be a little weird for me. First, as we walked to the club, I noticed that Erin was wearing very hipster sneakers. I commented as such, and she replied "I thought they'd be comfortable, but I really should have brought my orthotics." Discussing your shoe inserts pretty much kills any hipster vibe you might be trying to cultivate.

Prior to the show, we ducked into a cute little restaurant for dinner. I opened my menu and found words like "sprouts," "tofu," and "curd." More like "crud," says I. Somehow wifey had lead me straight into a vegetarian lair. With waters already on the table, I began a sprint for the door, only to hear our malnourished waitress try to yell, "But we have salmon!"

After informing Erin that I wanted a burger on a bun with just a smidgen of blood pooled on the plate, we made our way to a place which not only served me just what I wanted, but did it with a 64 ounce beer. Perfect for concert going.

After dinner, we made our way to the club where we found seats along a wall with a good view of the stage. No way were we standing for three hours. GBV came out and sounded fine, but it just felt...weird. The guys in the band are all over 50 now, and you sort of got the feeling that they would have preferred to be relaxing at home. Plus, I'm not 21 anymore. I kept thinking to myself, "How is it possible that it's 11pm, and they're just starting? I'm exhausted."

In the end, Erin left about an hour in to wait things out at Steak 'n Shake. I left after the main set, missing, as I later found out, about an hour's worth of encores. But for the first time, that didn't bother me. I was tired, I wanted to get home before 3am, and I didn't want to spend the rest of the weekend tired and grouchy.

We got home to the empty house (the kids were with grandparents), Erin curled up with her orthotics, and I plopped into bed and watched a little bit of PBS. And you know what? I was fine with it. I have great memories of all of those concerts, and I still love the music, but I'm suddenly aware that it's 2010 and not 2000. And it's time for somebody else to be 21.