Saturday, July 28, 2007

The Boy is here!

Well, call him "The Boy" seems sillier and sillier as he is getting older. Now taller than me and sprouting a pubescent attempt at a goatee he hardly fits the title of "boy".

But since he is mine.....I'll keep using the title!

My friend Jason drove me down to pick him up and then we went to see "The Simpsons Movie". It was pretty good; I'm sure it would have been much better if it had been written years ago when they first started talking about a big screen adaptation, but it was funny. Technically, it was amazing. Crisper and clearer than we have ever seen them before and in the wide view of the movie screen it seemed as if you were driving along with them as the rode the streets of Springfield.

Afterwards we had dinner and then Jason let me borrow the car for the remainder of the weekend. It has given John and me chances for long talks. I asked 1,001 questions about his girlfriend and marveled at his reactions as he answered each one. He smiled at the mention of her name and his eyes laughed as he thought one story about her after another. It is amazing to see those emotions coming from him.I kept coming up with question after question because I was enjoying watching him answering them as much as I was enjoying learning more about the girl who had caused such emotions.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

My son's visit this week has been delayed by a day due to his mother's health. She is having some major thyroid issues and John helps out watching his younger brother and sister. What a good boy!

This extra day has given me the opportunity to stage a fantastic practical joke on a friend of mine at work. Theresa is on vacation somewhere in South America. In the days and weeks leading up to her vacation we were treated to an almost daily countdown to her departure. I decided to make sure her return to work was just a memorable and wrapped her desk in newspaper.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

EVERYTHING on her desk; telephone, radio, keyboard and wrist support...

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Even all the little knick-knacks.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

As I sat there , after I clocked out mind you, and was just about to finish having only some manuals and her chair to cover; corporate stupidity hit. I was approached by a supervisor from my department who brought a message from the manager of my friends department; I was being asked to stop where I was. I had anticipated some reaction from management which is why I did not completely wrap her computer; I did not want to be accused to creating a fire hazard or damaging company equipment. I have no idea exactly what the manager's complaint was and decided to play nice and go along with the request. This was going to have its desired affect anyway.

This is, of course, another example of the corporate head being so far up its own ass. I did this not only to bust chops on a friend but as a morale boost for other workers; to bring a little smile and laughter into Shawshank. We are so hammered into walking in, clocking in, logging in and not having interaction with co-workers that everyone needs to be reminded that there are other people around them.

Friday, July 20, 2007

The Eaton Car Mojo continues!

Last night I had dinner at my friend Jason's. After dinner we piled into his car to take me home. We stopped for a moment to get something at a convenience store; a quick stop and back on the road. We weren't on the road more than a few hundered feet when he starts tugging at the wheel.

The car had died!

It lost all power and the dash was lit with all kinds of warning lights.

"I didn't do anything!" I said putting my hands up.

We rolled to a stop in a driveway to get out of traffic. Jason tried over and over again to start the car but there simply was no power there at all. In the summer warmth, even at 8PM, the car began to turn into a sauna and his 3 year old little girl in the back seat began getting antsy. He called his wife and eventually we switched off cars, AAA was called and the car went off to the garage.

When the mechanic called the next day even he was amazed at the cause of the problem. There is a switch on the fuel pump which feeds fuel into the fuel line. This little switch was broken and was, as the mechanic described it, ready to fall off. It very rarely happens and the entire garage staff had no explination as to what caused it to break.

Of course, the mechanic had never met ME!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Today my son turned 16. That was the last year that I had with my father. As John passes this year I will be in virgin territory. There are experiences I never had with my father that I will have with my son. And I am looking forward to each and every one of them.

I try to think back 29 years ago to what my father and I were to each other when I was 16. While I spent every day with my father and there was little he didn't do or let me have because of his health we were distant. In one of my journals back then I had written of how I would spend hours away from home just to avoid being around him. His stroke had affected his personality. While I can't recall specifics at the time I can clearly remember the hours I would spend sitting at school between the last bell of the day and chorus rehearsal. I would sit by my locker either reading or doing my homework all in an effort to avoid being at home alone with my father.

From about 10 years of age on my father and I always shook hands good night. I don't remember who's idea it was but I can clearly remember the first time it happened. I suddenly felt grown up. Kissing was for babies; I was a "young man" now and as I took my fathers hand for the first time I felt as grown up as he was. But that was the extend of a physical display of affection I ever got from my father. I can't remember him ever hugging or kissing me.

Don't get me wrong; I love my father and miss him every day. He still affects my life almost three decades later. Someone once said that the thing they remember most about my father was how his big, loud laugh would fill a room. Almost immediaetly I made a conscious effort to alter the way I would laugh and to this day take a moment to make sure I'm putting the right amount of effort into a laugh and drop my voice down an octave before even a snicker leaves my lips.

I use these experiences as a guide to my relationship with my son. I end every phone conversation with him with the words, "I love you". When he is here, or when I drop him off, I always hug and kiss him. I can't do alot for him financially right now, but I try to make up for that emotionally. I guess, after all, that's the more important anyway.

I never drove my father anywhere. I never cooked for my father. I never bought my father a bourbon. I never watched my father dance at my wedding. I never introduced my father to his grandson. I look forward to my son wiping out each one of those statements.

Sunday, July 15, 2007


That is the number of Drunken Dialing Calls I received last night from my friends at Shore Leave. I even got one conversation in from the one member of the crowd who seemed to have been the most pissed off at me; I am sure it was because of the rum that she even got on the phone with me!

Friday, July 13, 2007

The Friday the 13th Effect that has plagued this year's trip to Shore Leave seems to be waning. Through a last minuet email from a friend in that area I was able to hook my friends up with a room in the Hunt Valley Inn for Saturday and Sunday night. This being most important, since Saturday night is PARTY NIGHT at Shore Leave.

I can already tell that the guys in the group have gotten over it for the most part as they we have talked over the phone and they are joking already with me about the whole situation. I am sure they still want to use their tazers on me, but they have moved on. My other friend....we shall see.

Meanwhile, I sit here trying to plan a financial strategy to be there next year no matter what. Of course, if that series gets picked up I could possibly be there as a guest next year!!!!! Yes, some people have career goals in the entertainment industry of fame and awards; I want to be a convention guest!!!!!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

There has been a curse on this years trip to Shore Leave and today was the worst.

Each year, in anticipation of the convention I call the hotel early in the fall to reserve at least three rooms. I do this in case there are other friends who want to go or if some in our party end up with enough money to want to have a room to themselves.

Two weeks ago I had called the hotel to release the two unneeded rooms. Since I was not going this year I decided to make things a little easier on the ones who were attending to have as many little details taken care of as possible. One of these details being a mini-refrigerator for out diabetic's insulin. I started to get into an argument with the person at reservations as he kept insisting that the hotel did not have mini-fridges. I was at work and could not get into the full shouting match I usually do with hotel staff so I let it go. Until today.....

I called the Hunt Valley Inn to change the name on the reservation over to one of my friends attending. I gave them the reservation number. After a few moments of silence, "Sir, what is the name on the reservation?" I gave her my name. More silence, then, "When and where is that reservation?" I answered her to which she stated, "Sir, that reservation is for a hotel in California in November!"

I think I could actually hear my blood pressure drop.

Did I mention the convention is THIS WEEKEND!!!!!!!!

I went back to me desk and did some research and here is what appears happened. I had looked up the phone number for the Hunt Valley Inn using The search did pull up the Marriott Hunt Valley Inn but it also called up the Hampton Valley Inn. I copied down the wrong phoine number and called and made my reservation. While I would swear that I specifically asked about Shore Leave and the room rates were what I expected. So, I happily went along my merry way the past 10 months secure in the knowledge I had reservations for this weekend.


I immediaetly called my friend JIm and broke the news to him. If he had not been surrounded by a dozen or so PAL kids I am sure he would have let fly with a number of colorful metaphors. OK, iot would have been enough to make a sailor blush!

I feel like absolute shit about this. I feel as if I have let my friends down. Friends who have each, at one time or another, helped me when I needed it. I know it was accidental but it does not take away from the nasty feelings I have over this.

I try to point out the positive side of this in that the mistake was found before they arrived or else they would have had to search around blindly for another room. This way, they have a room....although a mile from the convention.

With my cancelling, my son not attending, and the airline changing reservations twice; this has been one for the books. I have not talked to any of the others who are going since I dropped the bomb on Jim. I have also put pout a call to anyone with a last minuet cancellation so, with any remaining luck, something might happen to change things.

Meanwhile.....I'm crawling under a rock.

Sunday, July 01, 2007