Monday, May 30, 2011

Little body, Big Smiles.

We had our Grand Opening/Memorial Day sale today at the new location and after 10 hours, about 400 people, and wore out feet by the time I got to the next door neighbor's house to pick up Trot I was about as burned out as an out of shape 41 year old could feel.

That all changed when I rang the door bell and heard this little, excited voice holler out "THAT'S MY DADDY!!!!".

He the promptly hip checked their little dog Toto out of the way, threw open the door, and jumped up at me with enough force to have knocked us both off the porch.

It's moments like that I hope I can remember when I'm institutionalized at some point in the very near future.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Bug, Meet Windshield. Windshield, Meet Bug.

I don't need much to be happy. USA Today 5 days a week, time to sit down and do the crossword, Trot to make it 24 hours straight without urinating somewhere improper, and most nights during baseball season knowing I've got a Red Sox game to look forward to.

So after working 6 straight days trying to move our business, having my little boy gone for over a week now, shuffling Ang and Ciera back and forth to the airport, and having Captain Pee for Free waking me up at 3:30 the last two mornings by jamming his feet into my lower back I was highly anticipating watching the Sox play the Tigers tonight at 7.

Then, through various Facebook posts I found out the game was on FOX. Again. And my local affiliate wasn't going to show the game. Again. Just as I began to prepare my well thought out, organized, and factual based email filled with expletives to whoever the nimrod is that decided to play God with the baseball schedule at FOX I had one of those random acts of nature that actually worked out to my benefit.

The game got rained out.

Now I've got not one but TWO games to look forward to tomorrow as they play a day/night doubleheader.

My only problem?

How in God's name am I going to convince Trot that going to the recently opened pool on a day that promises to hit about 85 degrees somehow is a BAD idea?

Maybe Cartoon Network will run a 24 hour Scooby Doo marathon.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Milestones and Ulcers.

Trot graduated Pre-School yesterday and I figured I'd better document it with photographic evidence. 'Cause frankly? I'm not 100% positive I'll get another shot of him wearing a cap and gown.

He went to work with me for a total of ONE HOUR today and in that hour managed to hit my boss in the marbles, take a power walk on top of a brand new sectional, climb to the top of a lion statue at the entrance that I'm told cost around $4,000 and take a measuring tape to our new, marble topped counter that I'm guessing cost conservatively 10 grand. By the time I took him across the way to his year end party at the Bounce place I was looking for a paper bag to breathe in.

On a positive note, the last two Red Sox games have had a combined score of 28-3, advantage Sox. EVERYBODY is raking, including the much maligned Carl Crawford who has gone, by my calculations, 7 for 9 with a bomb and two triples mixed in. THIS is the fantasy league lineup we all envisioned before the year with lights out pitching and flat out carnage at the plate.

The fact they are doing it without 2 of the starting 5 pitchers?

Just a bonus.

Old Man River on the mound tomorrow night and first place squarely in the scope.

I may survive almost a week at home alone with Trot yet.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Steve Irwin had nothing on Rakes

So Rakes went to the park in Oklahoma City today.

And found a cotton mouth snake.

Thankfully his Uncle prevented him from running up to it and grabbing it by it's tail.

And yes; that gleeful smile upon the discovery of a poisonous snake?

Keeps me awake at nights.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Being a parent is rough on your ulcer.

When my sister texted Ang earlier today to let her know my niece's graduation was being moved back a couple of hours due to "inclement weather", I knew something was up.

Tornado's to Okie's are like heavy rains to the rest of us; you've seen one, you've seen 'em all.

So I sort of knew these weren't your average storms; turns out a half mile wide tornado was ripping across the plains about 10 or so miles from where my sisters, parents, and most importantly, Rakes were. 'Course he was playing "Guitar Hero" on the Wii and was oblivious (thank God) but I was a flipping nervous wreck.

Factor in I was at Ciera's 7th grade band recital at the time and IF I'd had a blood pressure thingamabob I'm going to guess it would have made my 160/112 look pretty good.

Thankfully, all the storms went west and north of where they were. And it's not like if I'd have been there it would have been any different; the storms would have still came and I'd have still been freaking out.

But something about your son being in the path of something that devastating and the feeling of total, 100% helplessness turns me into a jangling ball of nerves.

If somebody ever invents that plastic bubble that is 100% effective I'm buying that bad boy in about .10 seconds.

And I don't care if I've gotta take out a second mortgage to do it.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Nacho Libre, Part Dos

*Photo courtesy of my sister Sheri and her trippy cell phone*

3 days in Oklahoma and Rakes looks like a 7 year old version of Jack Black.

Watching the games without my running buddy just isn't quite the same.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

How was YOUR weekend?

I had been feeling "weird" for several days and when I finally saw a doctor I found out my blood pressure was a robust 160/112. Which I'm guessing would account for the whole "weird" thing.

Then yesterday was the last day at our current location for the store and we'll spend the next week frantically moving all the remaining inventory to the new spot as well as unloading however many loads of merchandise we've got coming in this week so we can be open for business by Memorial Day.

Combine all that with the fact I'm on some kind of blood pressure medicine that may be dropping my bp but at the same time is causing my intestines to sound like Jeff Bridges in "Dumb and Dumber" and my local FOX affiliates brilliant decision to NOT show two teams that haven't played each other at Fenway Park in over 90 years to show us 2 teams that play 6 times EVERY year and well.........

8 o'clock can't get here fast enough.

Even though it IS on ESPN.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Away. But Still at Home.

Rakes and my parents stopped for the night in Tennessee and I called him on my way home from work.

Me: "Hey little man. How are you?"

Rakes: "Me and Poppy are watching the game. Jacoby is on first and Pedroia is up".

Me: "That's great. Are you having fun?"

Rakes:"Yeah. Are you watching the game?"

I may have created a monster.

But as JB told me on the phone tonight?

The next 6 years or so are gonna be AWESOME.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

So Far Away From Me

For the last 3 weeks or so Rakes has plopped down right next to me and watched the first few innings or until 9 o'clock, whichever came first, of the Red Sox games with me.

He's asked me who is hitting, pitching, where is Papi, and why does that guy sitting behind home plate look like Princess Leah with yellow hair. He's high fived me, asked 4,000 times if 2 and 1 means 2 strikes and 1 ball or 1 ball and 2 strikes, and wondered aloud how many pieces of gum do I think Francona chews in a game.

He's also knows who everyone is by sight except for Salty and Tek (I think the mask throws him off) and he even asked me the other night "Why doesn't Matsuakara(his pronunciation) just throw a strike? From the mouths of babes.....)

Tonight I drove my newly found game watching partner to my Mom and Dad's house where he will leave out around 4 a.m. for Oklahoma and my niece's wedding where he'll be the pall, I mean ring bearer for her wedding next weekend.

For the first time in his short 7 years I won't see my little buddy for 2 solid weeks. Yeah, he'll have a great time with his cousins and yeah he'll get to see and experience a lot of stuff he hasn't ever seen.

And I'm truly happy for him.

But I'm really going to miss my little man.

Thankfully, I'll still have Trot.

Vegas is currently laying odds on whether he kills me or I kill him first.

If you're a bettor, take the odds and Trot.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Breakfast with Trot

Trot had a Mother/Father breakfast at school today where I tried to sit with him at his table and was informed that my seat was for "Toria" (his friend Victoria). One day he's running into brick walls and the next he's Don Juan all of a sudden.

Anyways, he made me and his Mom a place mat where on the back they asked them questions about their Dad. I was sort of nervous about this because I was certain there was going to be a "I like to watch my Dad scream bad words at the television when the Red Sox are on" but thankfully he left that out.

You can see the answers he gave above and in short order my favorite color is blue, I loathe spaghetti, we don't have a real soccer goal, and unfortunately I'm not 5. This only underscores the fact he's not only a serial urinator, he's also REALLY unobservant. Although he DID say his Mom was 10, so I've at least got THAT going for me.

One day, when I look out the kitchen window and see him burning down the woods behind our house, I'll look over at the picture they gave me for my Father's Day present where it's written on the back "I love my Dad because he loves me" and it'll be the only thing that keeps me from sending him to reform school.


Monday, May 16, 2011

21-20 in your program. #1 in your heart.

*Image courtesy of Kelly O and*

I think. At this point, I'm not really sure about anything. Have you ever tried to yell, curse, jump up and down and lap your living room while trying not to wake up 4 people?

It's not as easy as it sounds.

Daisuke walks 3,459 batters?

No problem.

Sox leave the population of New Zealand on base?

No worries.

Down 6-0 in the fifth, Daisuke off to the showers, and they come back and win 8-7 thanks to a wall ball double from Gonzy?

This team is George and Wheezy Jefferson on steroids.

We're moving on up, baby.

.500 and Off and Running.

*Image taken from*

Watching the Sox fall behind 4-1 last night while Jon Lester did his best Paul Byrd impression I oddly enough didn't get worried. Maybe it's the fact they started the year off so poorly or deep down I knew THIS team doesn't panic or maybe I've just matured (Obviously it wasn't answer #3) but whatever the reason last nights series sweeping game didn't have me curled up in the fetal position.

So when Lester settled in and Youk, Papi, and Salty went yard and the Yankees once again imploded I wasn't shocked but relieved they FINALLY got to .500 for the year.

Best part of the night?

50,000 people yelling their heads off and Pap stops to tie his shoes.


Saturday, May 14, 2011

Don't worry. The ER is on speed dial.

Today, in what I'm assuming will be the first of MANY times Trot turns to his brother and utters "Hey Rakes. Watch this" the following happened.

He got ready, closed his eyes, and took off running full speed.

Right into a 3 foot tall brick wall bordering my Mother-in-Laws back porch.

I'm honestly worried about him starting Kindergarten. His teacher is going to take one look at him and immediately call DSS for a house call.

Johnny Knoxville better have an heir lined up for "Jackass".

'Cause if he don't, Trot very well may take the reins one day.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Long Days, Longer Nights.

I couldn't post last night due to Blogger being down for some reason and tried to get on a few times today with no luck. So I figured I'd better try and get one up while I could.

Sox start a 3 game set with the Yankees in New York tonight and I'm pretty sure by the end of the weekend I'll be chugging Maalox and eating Tums by the fist full. Doesn't help that tomorrow night it's on FOX and Sunday on ESPN, which means both games SHOULD be over by 2 a.m.

Time to put on the big boy pants, fellas.

It's go time.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Taking my Victories wherever I can.

As the Red Sox go down in flames against the Blue Jays to the tune of 9-3 heading to the ninth inning, I comfort myself with the following.

Trot has now gone a solid week without wetting the bed.

Yep. THAT is what I'm hanging my hat on.

Come July when they are in first place and making the Yankees look like a AA team I won't remember this blip in time.

At least that's what I keep telling myself.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Julian Redux?

*Image courtesy of Kelly O and*

I have no basis for this and it's probably all in my head but every time I see Red Sox relief pitcher Alfredo Aceves on the mound I immediately think of Julian Tavarez.

Don't get me wrong; as far as I know Alfredo has never rolled a ball to first base, sucker punched a guy in Spring Training, or petted a teammate like a cat in the dugout.

Yet it wouldn't surprise me if he threw at a guy, said opponent charged the mound, and Aceves pulled out a barbecue fork and went after him like Abdullah the Butcher vs. Carlos Colon.

Or it could just be Trot has finally sent me off the deep end.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Killing me Softly.

Players win and lose games, not umpires.

I get that.

I also get that part of the beauty of the game of baseball is the human element; replay only for home runs and that is exactly the way I'd like to keep it.

But in the name of Ron Luciano, Joe West has missed at least three 3rd strike calls and even called a foul tip on a ball that Ray Charles, Stevie Wonder, Helen Keller, and Ronnie Milsap would have gotten right.

And at least 2 out of the 4 aren't only blind, they're DEAD.

Hats for bats, hit the mascot, and If you build it, they will come.

Extra Innings at Fenway.

Get the Cardiac Paddles warmed up.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Yet Another One of My Harebrained Ideas.

Yesterday was my Saturday off for the month, the weather was beautiful, and I decided to take the kids fishing at one of the local lakes.

Like most of my ideas this was great in theory and not so great in practice.

Five minutes after throwing our lines in the water Trot was muttering "There are no fish in this pond". My response that it was a lake didn't really reassure him. 5 minutes after that he had to pee.

5 minutes after we got back, Rakes had to pee. In the meantime, the three of them had cast out approximately 5,000 times and some little kid on the other end of the pier had spotted us and was in the process of telling Rakes he was 12 years old and had been to the moon. Throw in the fact his idiotic parents had let him bring his bike to the pier and I'm just about ready for a straight jacket.

So it should come as no surprise that when Trot grabbed the back of his pants and informed me he had to go poop right after I discovered he'd broke his fishing pole we'd used approximately TWICE I felt like Bruce Willis in the middle of "12 Monkeys".

When we finally trekked back from the bathroom (No going #2 in the woods, no matter how much Trot begged) I found Ciera laughing hysterically while Rakes made crazy motions with his hands at the little kid while his parents cheerily argued away about how the husband was in no way/shape/ or form going to, and I quote "Your dingbat Mother's house tomorrow".

The next time I hear somebody say "Fishing is relaxing" I'm gonna drop kick 'em in the gibleys.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Mayberry meets Fenway.

There is a guy, we'll call him Otis (not his real name of course) who comes by the store almost every day. He drinks like a fish, lives with his sister, and roams the neighborhood every day until his sister returns home from work. She won't let him in the house unless she's there, so he's sort of left unchecked.

He takes out the trash at the restaurant next door and in return they feed him breakfast. What he does the rest of the day is a mystery except he usually stops by the store to tell some stories about driving to New York overnight or to California in 6 hours and asks us all for a dollar.

To his credit, he doesn't make up some lame excuse about needing the money to buy food or diapers for his 8 kids. (he doesn't have any kids, but tells us he does; the number varies between 3 and 10, depending on how deep in the bag he is at the moment) Nope, he straight up admits he's buying a bottle with it.

The only other time I see him is at the end of our parking lot directing traffic into and out of the 6 lane street in front of our store. I pray to God these people realize he's blotted out of his mind at the time 'cause otherwise it'll look like that episode of Sponge Bob where he ends up directing all of Bikini Bottom into one gigantic pile up.

Today, after yet another of his incoherent visits where he downed the contents of one of those airplane size liquor bottles one of my co-workers made the comment "he's probably happier than all of us".

Now, I don't think a raving alcoholic whose eyes are the color of Curious George's buddy The Man With the Yellow Hat's lid and who upon counting down from 10 before downing his bottle missed 8, 5, and 3 is "happier" but I get what my friend was saying. Otis has no clue gas is $4 a gallon or we're in 3 separate wars. He probably has no idea who Sarah Palin is (he IS lucky) or how some lunatic opened fire on those people in Arizona and killed Dallas Green's granddaughter. He doesn't worry about paying the mortgage or kids college funds or if the Red Sox are ever going to reach .500.

In many ways, he's like a kid; gets up, does his thing, and goes to bed without a care in the world except for where his next bottle is coming from. And except for the fact it's a race against time to see which goes first, his liver or his mind, you ALMOST envy the guy.

I don't know why this hit me like it did today. I've seen this guy almost every day for the last 3 years and I've never really thought this deep about it. Maybe it's the Red Sox scuffling so bad. Could be the fact Trot, instead of calming down seems to be channeling his inner Bart Simpson more and more every day. For all I know it's Ciera turning into a teenager and me turning slowly but surely towards middle age.

Although if I had to guess?

If the Sox were in first place I don't know that I'D know gas was $4 a gallon.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

The Tarp is on the Field.

I think I'm going to equip my saint of a Mother with a portable camera and microphone. She picks up Trot from school 4 days a week and then watches the kids until Ang gets home from work, and her "conversations" with Trot usually verge on the surreal.

A couple of weeks ago it went like this:

Trot: "Nanny, did you hear about the tornado that picked up that house in Elon and dropped it in South America?"

Nanny: "South America?"

Trot: "Yeah. You know; it's on the map."

Today, she called me to relay the latest. Thank God she has a healthy sense of humor.

Trot: "Nanny, when you die who is going to pick me up from school?"

Nanny: "I don't know, Trot. But I hope it's a REALLY long time from now."

Trot: "Nope. One more birthday for you and that's it."

I keep telling myself that there is a chance one day he'll come up with a cure for cancer or invent some new machine or maybe even become President.

But deep down I know he'll end up videoing himself shooting bottle rockets out of his butt or lighting farts on fire or in the best case scenario?

He'll be like his Dad and marry WAY over his head, have a couple or three kids and spend the next 20 years taking it day by day and just trying not to screw anyone or anything up too bad.

Rain Delays make me introspective.

Sue me.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Gimme 3 Steps

*Image courtesy of Kelly O and*

King Felix? Check.

Jared "Spicoli" Weaver? Check.

Dan Haren? Check.

They just beat three of the best pitchers in the American League three nights in a row and Gonzo hit his first home run at Fenway.

To quote Daniel Russo from one of the best 50 films of all time, The Karate Kid?

It's comin' around.

Monday, May 2, 2011

If you need me, I'll be on the Grassy Knoll.

Honestly, I don't know what is wrong with people.

We kill the single biggest symbol of evil in the 21st Century, a man responsible for thousands of deaths over the years including the ones who died on one of the darkest days this country has ever seen, and instead of celebrating the fact we turn into Oliver Stone?

I just don't get it.

Look, they wouldn't say the man was dead if he wasn't, you know, DEAD. 'Cause that's a pretty easy thing to disprove. You're either dead or you aren't; this isn't The Princess Bride where you can be MOSTLY dead. And I'm also fairly certain the President wouldn't announce he was dead unless he was 1000% and if you're wrong you're getting audited for the rest of your life sure. And you don't, and I mean DON'T fly a team of Navy Seals into ANOTHER COUNTRY and risk starting World War 3 with a nuclear armed sovereign territory if you aren't pretty freaking sure about what you're doing.

Why no pictures? So every wing nut around the world doesn't have THAT to rally around. No burial plot? Yeah, like any country with half a brain would let us drop THAT corpse off. If in fact they gave him a proper Muslim ceremony before dumping him into the ocean?

Well, I'm gonna go out on a limb and say he probably wouldn't have done the same if given the chance.

This is like catching Hitler, Mussolini, and Stalin all in one and for some reason every body thinks we need to put him in the Smithsonian to prove it.

It's days like today that make me love baseball even more.

A wise man once said "You see the ball, you hit the ball, you catch the ball".

I'd say we did all three.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Carl Walks Off

*Getty Images provided the picture*

I honestly thought Pedroia was going to tackle him before he rounded first base.

When Carl Crawford lined that ball back up the middle and the Red Sox walked off for the first time this year, all of a sudden that headache I've had since Friday and Rakes' field trip didn't hurt quite so bad.

Gas is almost $4 a gallon? Big deal. Trot may still be peeing the bed when he goes off to college? So what.

Dirty Water was playing at Fenway, Jon Lester was giving Crawford some bruised ribs with the way he was wailing on him, and David Ortiz's smile could have lit up 5th Avenue.

I love this game.