Wednesday, October 31, 2007


Gee, is that a shock?!

Again, this year I went all out. First was a party this past weekend. We had 15 people here; most from my Trek club and two friends from Tampa. As I said to them, "My friend's house is yours!"

We had a great time with food, costume contest, a showing of "Monster House" and lots of friendly conversation. For decoration we had come up with the idea of floating Jack O'Lanterns in the pool. It worked out so well. My son John and the neighbor's daughter did the carving and we put glow sticks in them for light. There were two of them that sunk down below the water with just the stems sticking out, but, because they had the glow sticks in them, they continues to glow under the water!I wore my "Planet of the Apes" makeup which meant another yearly shaving of the beard.

Here is a link for photos from the party.

Since I had already shaved off the beard, I decided to put that to good use since Halloween itself was a work day. Here is how I went to work today!

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

As you can see, I was well within dress code and was allowed to stay in my outfit all day. The jokes flew all day of course. It is getting harder and harder to top myself each year. I'll probably need all year to come up with something.

I can just hardly wait for the damned beard to grow back in!!!!!!!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Well, here's something that hasn't happened in quite a long time.

I was sitting watching TV earlier tonight when the phone rang; it was Julie. No, that wasn't what I was talking about. As the conversation went along she asked what I was doing for the evening and wanted to know if she could take me up on an offer for dinner.

Up[ until now, due to work schedules, her kids, illness and more we have been doing little more than lunch together almost every day. While that isn't a bad thing, of course, it is little more than a rushed 30 minuets trying to digest and talk at the same time. No the best way to get to know each other.

I had occasionally made suggestions and we would have tentative plans but something would seem to come up. And just like I worried how much my son might have been drifting apart from me I also worried that things might never really take off with Julie. All those worries flew out the door the moment I got that call.

Well, the worries went out the door and panic took over!

We agreed on dinner and she ended up having to bring two of her daughters with her; oh, good....the kid test! I hung up the phone and raced through shower, shave and finding something to wear. I think I was ready within 8 minuets when it took her almost an hour to arrive. She had Olivia her 18 month old Gerber Baby of a child and Nicki, her 5 year old clone. A 2 foot tall carbon copy of her mother, she played the shy child, hiding behind her mother every step of the way into the house. The minuet she saw my Spongebob Squarepants throw pillow and all of the stuffed animals and doll house in the girl's room she was apparently sold on me.

We went to the local Carraba's when I continued to win Nicki over. The waitress gave her a pile of pizza dough to play with and we spent the evening making all kinds animals but somehow making nothing but animal's butts. She laughed out loud at using the word and with the twinkle in her eye a child gets when they can get away with something a little "bad" with the approval of an adult. Yes, I seemed to have won her over.

Julie, on the other hand turned red each time her daughter said the word "butt". My 16 year old parenting skills might have earned me some points with her as well.

Time will tell.

Something else that hasn't happened in a while was the first kiss. There's this wonderful moment in Woody Allen's "Annie Hall" :

Hey, listen, listen.


Gimme a kiss.


Yeah, why not, because we're just gonna
go home later, right?


And-and uh, there's gonna be all that
tension. You know, we never kissed before
and I'll never know when to make the right
move or anything. So we'll kiss now we'll
get it over with and then we'll go eat. Okay?

Oh, all right.

And we'll digest our food better.




They kiss.

So now we can digest our food.

I had something in mind to say. Not quite as clever as Woody Allen, but still, I thought, cute and humorous enough to break the tension of the moment. Or, so I thought.

What happened? Well, let's just say it may need a re-write. We talked about it a little and I hope there will be a chance to have a do-over for that moment. We both agreed it had been a while since we've dated and that may have led to some nervousness on both our sides.

Again, time will tell.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

I can tell I am NEVER going to grow up.

On Tuesday I rushed to the store to buy Kid Rock's newest CD "Rock and Roll Jesus". One of the cuts on it is "So Hott". It is a heavy rock flavored song that kicks off with a thumping drum intro, rolls into screaming guitar and lyrics that are juvenile and sexist.

I sat there in my car with the music blaring as loud as I could make it. The speakers crackled as the sound overwhelmed them. The rear view mirror shook in rhythm and my seat vibrated with each hit of the drums. Kid's voice screamed and I'm sure I saw someone in the lane next to me sneering at me the same way I find myself doing at ghetto wannabe's with their bass boxes the size of Connecticut. This time, though, it was me being the noise nuisance.....and I didn't care.

The driving strength and raw quality of the song energized me. I felt adrenalin in my blood like I hadn't in a long time; and then, I remembered. Kid Rock had tapped into a memory from when I was a hormonal teenager listening to Kiss' "Flaming Youth". It was a little know track buried on the 2nd side of "Destroyer" that was released as a single but only got to #73 on the charts in 1976. To me, though, it was an anthem. It was as close to pubescent rebellion I had gotten at 14. Every time I had some disagreement with my parents I would close the door to my room and put "Destroyer" on the record player dropping the arm on "Flaming Youth". Whatever my seething anger aimed at my parents was channeled through that song.

My parents think I'm crazy and they hate the things I do
I'm stupid and I'm lazy, man, if they only knew
How flaming youth will set the world on fire

As I sat there in my SUV with Kid Rock shaking my car the each side on every side of me, I felt that same adrenalin I felt back in the small bedroom with the light blue walls covered in Star Trek and Kristy McNichol posters. In some posts I have bemoaned the fact that I am not in the same position in life that others my age are. As I sat there swinging my shoulder length hair to such a ridiculous song it didn't matter to me. I was alive and a piece of music had revived a primal reaction. There are some in my life who haven't had a primal reaction in years. I felt sorry for them and reveled in what I was feeling.

On a side note, "Rock and Roll Jesus" is easily Kid Rock's best work. There is classic rock, hip hop, country and heavy metal all mixed together proving that this guy is a real artist. To see how far he has come from scratching beats in Detroit clubs to such a well rounded musician is amazing. If this doesn't get an Grammy there is something wrong in the universe.

If you'll excuse me I'm going to go driving around in the car listening to the CD an annoying as many people as possible.

Monday, October 08, 2007

I apparently have a new addiction.


I can't stay out of the pool. I have been in almost every day since moving in. Even on days when it rains I try to get some time in the pool. The weather here in Florida does make this easy as day time temperature is still in the 90's. However, the times when it rains more than one day in a row the water temperature does chill of a little.

But still I go in.

I have taken some days to lounging in the jacuzzi with a cigar. I use an old SPAM tin as an ash tray. If balanced just right it floats upright in the water.

I have learned to look before getting in the pool. After all; this is Florida. I went to get in the Jacuzzi recently and there was a small land crab sitting at the bottom. After some careful manuvering hand skimmer I had lifted him out of the water and tossed him over the hedge in to the canal. I'm sure he was pissed off. Not as pissed off as he had been if I hadn't noticed him before sitting down in the Jacuzzi!

Julie says she is expecting to see my hair turn blonde any day now. Another friend at work was kind enough to point out that "the grey hairs don't turn color like that any more!"

My son even had the last word about the pool recently in a conversation that brings into question the odd of his reaching his 17th birthday. He was supposed to come up here this past weekend but had to cancel at the last moment due to ROTC obligations. Since it was school related I was the understanding father but took advantage of the opportunity to bust his chops.

He took advantage of the conversation to prove genetics.

ME: That's OK. I'll just stay here this weekend and relax in the pool.

JOHN: I have a pool, too.

ME: Mine is bigger.

JOHN: Yeah, but I have friend to go in mine with me!

My only consolation is that he is so much like me it must drive him mother nuts!