Sunday, December 18, 2011

Chicago, Bah-Hum-Bug!

Had a wonderful weekend planned out to go to Chicago this weekend.  We had to drop Skyler off at O'Hare around 2 on Saturday and my ex had my kids so we figured we would make a weekend of it.  Cheri got online, got us a room a block away from “The Magnificent Mile” at the Sax Hotel relatively cheap, plus she got our parking half off which is a big deal in Chicago.  She had gotten us a couple of cheap meals through sites like Groupon where we got 2 meals for the price of one.  She wanted to go down Michigan Ave at night and see all the Christmas stuff.  I had Googled a card shop I wanted to hit since my local card shop sucks.  Wanted to go by Grant park and see Buckingham Fountain all lit up.  Plans of hitting the Lincoln Park Zoo in the evening because they had a Christmas light display that you could walk through and it was free.  Then on Sunday our plans were to once again head up Michigan Ave to window shop and look at the Christmas displays and hit Macy’s and “the Bean” sculpture at Millennium park.  I guess it’s called “Cloud Gate” but it looks like a big bean.

So as you can see, it was supposed to be a relatively cheap weekend.  A few big expenses but most of what we were doing was free or we had already prepaid for a couple of cheap meals as well.  At least, that was the plan.  But it went oh so wrong.

Skyler’s flight left at 2.  Now if you know Skyler, she has to do everything herself, she doesn’t want help from her parents so we are not involved in any of the planning.  But when it blows up in her face, oh course, we are to blame.  This happens over and over and yet she still refuses to let us help her plan.  Teenagers, and Skyler, are just too hardheaded and some people have to learn on their own.  So we just let her do everything and then take the blame later.  We figure when she grows up, maybe she would have learned some hard lessons.  Probably not, but we cross our fingers and hope.  This was to be no different.  We left at 11 our time, which we gain an hour going into Chicago so that left us 4 hours for a 2 and half hour trip.  All the way through Indiana, things were great.  Skyler was a happy teenager, which if you have one, know the rarity in that.  Then things fell apart in Illinois.

We hit the Skyway toll, or should I say, got in line for the Skyway toll.  They only had 2 cash windows open and cars were backed up.  We lost half an hour sitting in the line just to give them our cash so we could proceed.  Then as you get into Chicago, traffic sucks.  But I was expecting that.  We eventually get to O'Hare airport and that place was just unbelievably huge.  We didn’t know where we were going so we just found short term parking and parked.  Of course, then Skyler let’s us know that she needs to be at terminal 3 and we parked at terminal 5.  We just grabbed everything and headed in anyways figuring it was all connected (at this point we had no idea how huge this airport was) so we walked around a bit, figured out there was a train to the other terminals and hopped on it.  We got to terminal 3 and went to check in her bag, but couldn’t.  Apparently, the bags have to be checked in 40 minutes before the flight (which we didn’t know), so we missed that by about 5 minutes.  We told her to just go and we would UPS the bags and she’d have them in a day or 2.  So she gets in line for security and we left and headed out to the car with her luggage.  We get to the car and we get a call from her telling us she missed her flight by 3 minutes.  Which of course was our fault for not getting her there on time, even though she was involved in the discussion on what time we left.  After huge drama and Skyler saying she doesn’t even want to see us so she’ll stay at the airport by herself and get a later flight (oh God, the drama).  We drive over to terminal 3 and take her bags in and meet her.  And let me tell you, that freaking airport was so huge, I think we made better time going into terminal 5 and taking the train over then walking from where we parked for terminal 3.  We finally get with Skyler and she is fine now, she has a later flight, she gets to check her bag and take it with her, so she’s happy once again.  We didn’t really want to leave the airport but her flight wasn’t until 8:40 now.  And for some stupid reason, all of the food places to eat at the airport are all behind security so we can’t just go sit down and eat.  We find a place to sit and and sit for a couple of hours before Skyler decides that she is going to go through security and get something to eat and just hang back there.  So we said our goodbyes and headed out.

From the airport, we were originally going to go to the card shop, but now that it was later, and we were hungry, we decided to go to the restaurant and skip the card shop.  So we drove over to Cemitas Puebla where are first dinner was planned.  It was featured on Diners, Drive-ins and Dives for their Cemita Sandwich.  Our dinner was for 2 Cemita Sandwich’s, a plate of Chalupa’s and 2 drinks.  The Cemita Sandwich’s were pretty good and we enjoyed them but we actually love the Chalupa’s more than the Cemita’s.  But either way, it was an enjoyable dinner and nice time for us.  We hopped in the car and headed out for Lincoln Park Zoo for their free Christmas lights display.  GPS said it was an 18 minute drive.  But reality was, everybody else was going there as well and it took an hour and a half for that 18 minute drive.  We finally get there, get parked and head in for the lights.  Once again, it was an enjoyable time.  I’ve seen better light displays but it was still a nice time and something to do and we both had a good time going through the zoo and checking them out.  We get to the car, figure out how to get to the hotel and start to head out, only to be stopped at the exit to pay for our parking, so our free Christmas lights display cost us $17.  So an hour and a half, barely creeping a long in the car to get there, and now paying cash to leave.  We were so pissed.  We just wanted to get to the hotel and call it a day.  We totally forgot about going to Buckingham Fountain to see it all lit up.

We make our way to the hotel only to drive around it a few times looking for the parking garage.  So we decide, we’ll drive up, ask the valet where to park.  We didn’t see a need to use a valet, we can park a car ourselves, and we were afraid that would cost us more money.  He said that they will take care of it, so we said screw it, and let him park it.  We grabbed our bags and headed in.  We get up to the desk and we are so out of our element.  Motel 6 this is not.  They tell us that they will charge the credit card another $200 for our room and then after we check out, they will reimburse everything but our room charge and anything else we get into (pay per view, honor bar, ect.)  The problem would be, there wasn’t $200 on the card.  There wasn’t barely over $100, which was our spending money.  We paid cash for the room, which took all our cash and they wanted to take our last $100 leaving us with nothing for the next day.  It would get refunded after we check out but there was no guarantee on how long it would take to show up on the card.  So how are we going to put gas in the car, or pay for our breakfast or be able to pay for the tolls on the way home.  We explained all this to the lady behind the counter, plus the fact that the room would probably be cleaner when we left then when we went in, and she took pity on the pathetic poor couple in front of her at this rich hotel and only charged the card $50 which left us $50 for the other stuff.  We’d have to pinch but we could do it, I guess, and our lunch was already paid for by one of those deals.  Just as we go to walk away, I realize I don’t have my phone and I need it to charge in the room so I’ll have it tomorrow.  So I tell the lady at the counter where it is, she calls valet and tells him and he was going to bring it to them,  who would then send it to my room.  So once again, we turn to walk away, and I remember, I didn’t have my phone, Cheri did because she was using it to get us to the hotel.  I mention it to her, she reaches into her pocket and sure enough, it’s there.  So once again, we have to be a pain in the ass to the front desk and tell them to not bother with getting the phone.  We felt like such idiots.  Like some poor, hillbilly schmucks.  We got settled and walked down to get some snack food and some supper.  Since they took most of our money, we googled for a Subway and the closest one was about 4 blocks away so we went there, 7/11 for snacks and went back to our room.

We woke up the next morning, ready to make our weekend better.  We got up and got ready and called for our car.  Went down to the front desk, checked out, and started to separate what we were throwing in the car and what we needed for the day and realized we didn’t have the GPS that we took in to charge.  So once again, we are bothering the front desk for our mistakes. Cheri goes up to the room again while I load up the car.  I load up the car, then I feel like an ass telling the valet to go park it again because we were going to spend some time in Chicago.  I know it’s their job, but we just don’t like having people do things that we are capable of doing.  He didn’t seem too happy judging by the sarcastic “No, that’s fine, we love to do this.”  Cheri comes down, no GPS.  We have no clue where it’s at.  We figure it has to be in one of our bags somewhere and head on out into the city.

Cheri was feeling pretty good so we didn’t take the wheelchair and she walked.  We walked down to Macy’s and checked out all the windows and even went in and looked at how huge that place was.  We went up to the 5th floor which was marked Santa’s Playland.  Come to find out, that’s just the holiday nickname for the toy area.  So we got back down to the floor level and had to walk around awhile just to figure out how to go out the door we came in.  We basically looked for the most decorations and headed that way and finally ended up there.  Next we walked down to the Cloud Gate which looked like a giant bean that reflects everything around it.  It was pretty big, and the reflection of the city on it was pretty cool.  We then decided to head out to where our discounted prepaid lunch was,  Donna’s Café, a jazz café.  It looked like quite a walk, but we decided to press on.  We figured Cheri would be a little wore out, but once we got there, she could eat and get some pain meds in her and would be able to make the walk back.  We walked, and walked and walked and finally got there.  It was close to an hour walk to get there, Cheri was still going, barely.  We finally see the sign for it, we get excited, and then see the sign on the door.  “Closed Today, Go Bears”  They closed because of the damn Bears game.  So here we are, heading back to the hotel, Cheri needing a place to stop, eat, and get some meds in her and of course, we have very little money because our meal was supposed to be paid for already and we had to gas up the car and pay tolls yet.  So we walked passed all these nice restaurants and eventually find a McDonalds, about 7 or 8 blocks from the hotel.  We finally eat and Cheri gets medicated.  We head out to get back to the hotel to get the car.  Cheri is moving much better now, I felt like I was almost dragging her before we got to McDonalds.  As we are crossing the river, which our hotel say just off of.  We look at the building right next door to our hotel, and what do we see, a Subway.  After walking 4 or 5 blocks yesterday to get to one.  We finally get back to the hotel, and while waiting on the car, we noticed that we could see the Subway next door from the front door that we used when we left last night.  We finally get my car, we go to grab the sweet tea cups from yesterday out of the cup holders and realize that one of the cups got punctured and the cup holder was full of tea.  AAARRRRGGGGHH!!!  Cheri is bound and determined to find the GPS so she grabs the 7/11 bag that had our drinks in it from the previous night to move it off our bags and happens to notice the GPS somehow got put in there.  Neither of us remember putting it there, but there it is.  So we got in the car and got the hell out of Chicago.

A little under 2 hours, we were finally home and glad to be.  We did enjoy our time together, we always do, especially kid free and we enjoyed Chicago as far as what we saw and got to do.  But everything else about this weekend sucked.  It was supposed to be a stress free weekend, but that was not the case.  Now we are home, I’m going back to work tomorrow, Cheri has to run the kids to school and take care of everything here.  So much for our vacation weekend.  Now, hopefully the “deposit” that the hotel charged my card, will show up some time so we can get some groceries.

Friday, November 18, 2011


One of those songs that just gets stuck in my head that I can't get out is "Sign" by Ace of Bass.  Why?  I have absolutely no idea.  I actually remember waking up with it stuck in my head this morning.  I remember humming it while I took that morning pee.  I don't believe I ever had the album, I just know it from the radio back in the day.  But apparently that's enough.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Hell of a shot!


Longest of my life

Amish dating

Random Thought

Everytime I get an Amy Grant song from her Heart in Motion album stuck in my head, I always think of Chuck & Rosie's place in Chesterfield, MO.  Right outside St. Louis.  If I remember correctly, I bought that cassette at the Chesterfield mall.  Another cassette that takes me back there is C&C Music Factory's Gonna Make You Sweat.  I remember shooting hoops there to that song.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Photo Cleansing


Spoiler alert?


The sad thing is, I actually had to explain this to a friend at work because he’s never seen any of the movies.  I thought this was hilarious.




Thursday, October 13, 2011


My Monday and Thursday evenings now consist of sitting in an elementary school cafeteria while Samantha and Trevor are having scouts.  Samantha has girl scouts on Mondays and Trevor has cub scouts on Thursdays.  They both love it.  And I get to check out the kids in a social setting.

But what I think is funny is the difference in the adults.  At both meetings, I sit with our previous neighbors and friends Chris or Lisa, depending on who brings their kids.  Now at the boy scouts, all the adults spread out and sit by themselves or some hover over the scouts because they can't apparently leave their kids alone for 5 minutes.  And vice versa, some of the boys can't leave their moms.

Now at girl scouts, all the mothers (and myself) tend to sit together and we chat.  Girl scouts is a lot more laid back and the parents let the girls hang out with each other.  I've always gotten along with the female gender anyways so I enjoy the Monday nights much better than the Thursday nights.  Either way, I usually get to catch up with Chris and Lesa, but its always more fun with a group.

There are other differences but the meeting is finishing up.  In closing, if you get a chance to get your kids enrolled in scouts, you should do it.  Its pretty cheap and the kids love it.  And they teach a lot of stuff to these young minds seeking knowledge.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Please teach your kids!!

When I was growing up, I was taught to ride my bike with traffic and stay on the side of the road.  I see so many kids that wait for a car to pass them and then switch lanes and ride against traffic.  I always get pissed because it’s just unsafe.  And I get pissed at their parents for not caring enough to teach them right.

Tonight, I was coming home from picking my kids up.  I was doing about 50 mph as I came up on a kid on a bike.  I let go of the gas to let the car traveling towards me to pass him so I could merge over into his lane to pass the biker.  And no sooner then the car passed, the biker tried to cut across the lanes and I hit him.  I remember slamming on the brakes, and I remember seeing his clothes through the hole in my windshield right in front of me.  I got the car stopped and off the road and all I remember is my kids crying in the back seat.  I told them to stay there and got out and went to check on the kid in the street.  He was bleeding pretty good but not horribly bad.  I can still picture that color red on the pavement coming from his head.  It’s not the red you think it would be.  He got up and I told him to lay back down as I was trying to call 9-1-1.

In the end, they put him in an ambulance and took him away.  He was coherent and like I said, he stood up so I don’t think he was doing horribly bad for being hit by a car doing 40mph.

I still don’t know how I feel.  I feel bad for the kid, who come to find out, was 20 years old.  But on the other hand I’m pissed because he turned his bike right in front of me without even looking.  I feel bad for his parents, but on the other hand, I’m pissed they didn’t teach him any better.  So all in all, I feel like crap because I’m pissed at him and I feel bad for being pissed at him.  I thank God that it wasn’t truly a kid, because I’m still a little shaken by it.  I can’t imagine if I had hit a kid who was 10 or 12 years old.

I just hope my kids, who are asleep now, learned a lesson from this.  And I hope they aren’t scarred for life for what they saw.  Samantha had some trouble going to sleep, and she was coughing from all the crying she had done.  But I won’t be able to get the image of them looking at me with that scared/crying look when I went back to check on them after checking on the biker.  Those looks will haunt my dreams for awhile.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Michigan vs. Notre Dame


Here we are.  The day of the big Michigan/Notre Dame game.  My thoughts, I hate this game.  Why?  Because I live just outside South Bend, IN.  Which in case you didn’t know, is where ND is.  Which means, 90% of the people that surround me at all times, are ND fans.  And what do I hate the most about ND?  Their fans.  First let me say, I’m not referring to all of them, just most of them.  Some of them, mostly those in my family, I can carry an intelligent conversation about the rivalry or about the school.  But the others are delusional idiots.  They talk so much crap before the game it isn’t even funny.  YOU JUST GOT BEAT BY SOUTH FLORIDA!!!!  And you want to talk how your going to walk all over my Wolverines?  Seriously?  I wasn’t talking crap after we got beat by Appalachian State, I knew we weren’t that good.  I know we haven’t been good for the last few years.  I can admit it.  My Facebook wall has all kinds of anti-Michigan stuff on it from ND fans tagging me in their crap.  I’m all for rooting for your team, but I guess I’m just more conservative.  I can trash talk with the best of them, but I don’t.  Don’t tell me Michigan sucks when we’ve beat you 4 out of the last 5 years.  Don’t tell me your schedule is harder because you play a bunch of bowl teams but only play 2 ranked teams.  According to Wikipedia, there were 35 bowl games, that’s 70 teams who make a bowl.  We play 5 ranked teams, we play in a conference with a bunch of good teams.  You play the armed forces on a regular basis.  The fans I can’t stand are those who you put facts in front of them and they still won’t admit to being down.  I understand the media hypes you every year and you hop on the bandwagon, but it has always been this way, get used to it.  Just a week ago, some fans were saying they could see ND going undefeated.  Seriously?  Like I said before, I’m all for rooting for your team, but let’s not be ridiculous.


Just because you’re a catholic school, doesn’t make you better than everyone else.  Your old excuse of “We can’t recruit as well because ND has higher standards” doesn’t fly anymore.  You lowered your standards when you allowed Michael Floyd back on the team after suspending him for the summer, yes, the summer, you know, when football isn’t being played.  So apparently your standards are now, it’s ok to drink and drive if your on the football team, we’ll take care of it.  Michigan’s 2nd leading wide receiver got a DUI, he’s being red shirted for a year as a penalty.  He can’t play any games this year.  That makes me proud of my school.  Apparently my school has the standards you say you have.  You lowered your standards when you allowed football players to rape a student and then tried to slide it under the rug.  So apparently your standards are now, well, I guess you just don’t have any standards.  Like I said, that excuse doesn’t fly anymore.


It’s real easy to be a Michigan fan when you can see past the curtain that is the ND perception.  I am by no means saying that Michigan is perfect, all schools have problems, it’s how you handle those problems is what defines the school.  I don’t like how ND handles their problems, trying to keep them from going public isn’t handling it.  I’m not stupid enough to believe that what happened at Ohio State doesn’t happen at Michigan.  I’m pretty sure it happens at most if not all schools.  I love my Wolverines, but I also see them for what they are.  College Students.


Delusional is a word I like to use a lot when speaking of ND fans.  They believe every year is their year.  They believe they should be ranked every year in the pre-season.  The sad thing is, every year they get ranked, somehow.  I don’t know why they get so much love from the media.  All they do is feed the delusions of the delusional.  A friend of mine’s Facebook status earlier this year was, I just looked at ND’s schedule and I can see us starting 6-0.  Seriously?  I’ll give you South Florida, Purdue and Air Force.  You should be able to beat them fairly easy.  Oh wait, never mind.  But can you serious look right past Michigan State, Pitt and Michigan?  Regardless of how ND or Michigan is, it is almost always a close game.  Michigan State is ranked and has been good for awhile now (damn it!) and Pitt isn’t exactly a slouch.  Do you see what I have to deal with?

I admit it, some of my hatred for ND is because around here, EVERYTHING is Notre Dame.  Where is the campus, why it’s in Notre Dame, IN.  Yes, they even have their own Post Office.  The local NBC affiliate, well, it’s WNDU.  If you read the local papers, the South Bend Tribune and the Elkhart Truth, 90% of their front page will have a ND story on it.  100% of the sports section has a lead story with them on it.  I’ve always said the president could get shot and the lead story would be something about Notre Dame.  I realize it’s probably like this in most college towns, but it doesn’t mean I have to like it.  And it would be different if they actually give the love to all the sports but they don’t.  It’s all about football.  I’m not sure they even have classes over there anymore.  It may just be a football organization.

As far as tonight’s game goes, my family all gets together, Michigan and Notre Dame fans, and watch the game.  My aunt (ND fan) makes the Mexican Salad she is famous for.  And she makes a lot of it.  My family is a bunch of eaters.  I’m the thinnest of the 4 of my generation and I weight a touch over 250 pounds.  We are all over 6 feet by a few inches as well so as you can tell, we are some big boys.  I love getting together with my family to watch this game because we talk about the game.  I can say “Floyd should have caught that” and it’s not a fight.  The ND portion of the family will usually agree.  I can say “Not sure what Brian Kelly was thinking with that play call” and they’ll usually agree or give me a reason why, such as when we ran that play against whoever and it worked.  See a normal conversation about a football game.  We do all our trash talking all year round.  But they are jokes about each other’s team.  No fights over it.  No hurt feelings.  No crying.  They are realistic about their team.  When I used to say Jimmy Claussen sucks, they agreed.  They realize it doesn’t make them less of fans, they still rooted for him because he played for ND.  But they don’t have to like him.

I fear this game because rankings are out the window.  Previous records are out the window.  It doesn’t matter if we are the better team, or they are the better team.  It’s almost always a close game and it can almost always go one way or the other.  That’s why I fear this game.  Not because I fear ND.  I fear having to deal with the delusional ND fans in this area.  If they win, I have to listen to them all year.  If we win, it doesn’t mean anything to them.  They are still the better team, we just got lucky.  Whatever!  I think I could truly live without this rival.  I’m not worried about our offense, I think we can move the ball.  I liked what I saw last week.  They spread the ball around, it wasn’t just the Denard show.  I liked it.  I worry about our defense, especially our backfield against Floyd.  Maybe our defense should carry a six pack and offer him a beer.  Sorry, couldn’t help myself.  Hopefully, we’ll see a lot of this.


And maybe this guy can get a couple more touchdowns.


Maybe a couple of touchdowns and another Player of the Week award.

Congrats on that last week, Brandon Herron.

The defense looked great after his pick 6 last week.  Hopefully they don’t wait until mid 2nd quarter to show up again, otherwise it may be too late.

I’m out, got about 20 minutes or so before I leave to head to my brother’s house.  I only have one final statement before I go.


Thursday, September 1, 2011

Skyler senses

Apparently I have a super power called Skyler senses.  I can sense every opportunity to get Skyler in trouble, even while I sleep.

My wife gets out of bed and goes to the bathroom or to kick the cat out of the room and I don't wake up.  But if Skyler gets up to go to the bathroom, I wake up.  Apparently this is because my goal in life is to get her in trouble.  It couldn't be because she uses the bathroom without shutting the door.  So I hear her drop the toilet seats down when she's done.  And I hear her toilet flush.  Now mind you, our door is cracked open for the cat, and where I sleep is in a direct line with that bathroom.  Just as Cheri's recliner is a direct line to the kids room that she hears everything they do while I, on the couch, hear very little.

Last school year, Skyler was a pain in the ass to her mom.  So during the summer we agreed, that we were going to come down on her this school year so she didn't end up that way again.  Well, she came home and other than a few incidents, has actually been very good.  But on the occasions that she's not, if I mention that I think she's doing something she's not supposed to be, I get a feeling that Cheri just thinks I'm out to get Skyler.  Or if I say, this is how I would punish Skyler, I get the same thing.  So, because Skyler is really doing well this year, that's apparently cause for us not to crack down on her.

First off, let me say, I do love Skyler as my own.  I don't think Cheri believes that when I tell her, but I truly do.  And I want what's best for her.  Part of the reason I can be hard on her is because she does what she wants with very little consequences.  Now is that how you would want your teenager to be before she goes out into the world on her own?  To think she can smart off to her future professor at school or run her mouth to her boss.  To do things with little regards too those around her.  I want to prepare her for the real world.  The whole world not just her world.  Some may say it's too late because she's already set in her ways and isn't going to change.  So does that mean I should just give up?  Do you normally give up on your children? I'm pretty sure I never would have.  But it seems that I am going to have to just to keep my marriage a happy one.

For those that don't know me, yes, I am just as hard on my kids.  I will not hesitate to punish if I feel it is necessary.  And you can ask anyone, my kids are well behaved.  At least while they are living with me.  What goes on at their moms house is beyond my control and a whole other post.

Now if or when Cheri reads this, she'll say I'm saying she's a bad mother.  Because that's what I think she thinks this is about, that I'm proving I'm a better parent.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  There are a lot of things I could do or do better.  She was criticized for 35+ years so she gets defensive a lot, sometimes even when I ask a simple question. I'm not criticizing her for anything.  We just raise our kids differently, no one is saying I'm right and she's wrong or vice versa.  This about getting Skyler as well prepared as we can for the next stage of her life.  But I guess that is out of my hands now.  I really hope she is ready for that next step in 9 months or so.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

This system blows!

So I had my child support hearing today.  First, they took us into a side room with a legal assistant to get our general information and to plug our numbers into the state guidelines sheet.  It came back stating that she owed me $-2.27 so the state suggestion is that she doesn’t owe me anything.  Seriously.  Basically the guideline sheet takes my income, combines her income and then says I’m responsible as the responsible parent for the first 72% and her the last 28%.  Sure sounds right, I’m the custodial so I end up paying most of it.  I see that.  But it doesn’t take into account anything extra.  Like school fees (lunch money & book fees), doesn’t take into account that I pay close to $60 a week for insurance.  Doesn’t take into account that I paid for Girls Scouts and little league.  Doesn’t really take anything into account.  I have them 5 days, she has them 2.  But our share is equal because I make more money and actually keep my job.  Even though I pay so much for insurance, I’m still responsible for the first $600 out of pocket.  Seriously?  And after the first $600 she’s still only responsible for 50% of it.  How the hell is that fair?

We all know if the shoe was on the other foot and she had custody, I’d be paying out the ass on top of still paying the insurance.  I wouldn’t take home enough money for my family to survive.  So even though I beat the odds and as a father, I have custody.  The odds are still stacked against you, as long as your not the mother.

In front of the judge, I pleaded my case and was awarded a little bit of support, just over enough to pay the kids lunch money each week.  Yeah, that’s it.  What’s worse, we all know that eventually even that will stop because she can’t keep a job longer than a few months.

This system blows!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Prison life for 40 hrs a week

So today, at work, because we have elementary aged workers who write on the bathroom stalls, the company decided to take the doors off the stalls.  Not the walls, just the doors.  So explain to me how that prevents people from writing on the stalls.  All you did was stop them from writing on the doors.  Oh, and by the way, thanks for punishing the rest of us.  I guess since I'm being punished then I should go ahead and write on the walls so I actually do something worthy of punishment.

"The people" decided that was ok and just started locking the restroom door.  Well, until "the man" found out and instructed maintenance to pull the lock off the door.  So now I'm just waiting so see what the next retaliation is going to be.  To be honest, I'm afraid to go into the restroom tomorrow morning after 2nd and 3rd shift find out about it.

So, basically, work has become prison.  And like prison, even the innocent get hurt.  What can you do?  Other than keep your cheeks together and hope you can hold it till you get home.  Stupid kids.  I seriously hope I wasn't that stupid at their age.  I probably was, but I hope I wasn't.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Do you know what those 2 lines are for?

Is it really that hard to park a car between 2 lines?  Apparently it is because it seems many people can't do it.  I understand sometimes you just didn't get the right angle to make the spot, but that doesn't mean you just leave your car like that. There's this thing called "reverse," all cars have it.  Put your car in reverse, back out and straighten out.  Wow! Can it really be that easy, you ask?  Yes, it can be and you only lost 1 minute of your precious time.  The people at my apartment complex are just dicks.  Between parking horribly and parking in the handicap spots, it's just ridiculous.  The lack of concern for anybody but yourself will always piss me off and it's only getting worse.

While in Ann Arbor last weekend, we were all standing in a line that ran through the parking lot.  First, this guy parks his truck between the lines, "Hooray" then procedes to take out a table and take up a 2nd spot to set up his lunch with his family.  Asshole.  Then a little later a guy pulls in and takes 2 spots, gets out and just stands there with his vehicle.  Doesn't have a care in the world.  Stands there with this smug "I'm better than the rest of you" look.  Asshole.

Is it truly that hard to think about someone else other than yourself? In case you hadn't noticed, your not the only person alive.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Should be, should be, I'm not

I'm caught up at work and normally at this time, I'd be reading.  But I'm at that stage between books where I haven't started the new book because I'm not all that excited about my next book.  It sounds like a good book and I want to read it, but I just can't get it started.  How long have I been in this stage? A couple of weeks.  If I could just make myself start reading then I would be fine.  I'll most likely get into the story and I'll start picking it up every chance I get.  It's the getting started that gets me.

I'm the same way with kids movies like Disney or Pixar put out.  I know I'll like it, it's just getting me to throw it in the DVD player and watch it.  I usually tell my wife, "this is a movie you'll have to make me watch."

Now I'm out of stuff to blog about.  Maybe I'll start reading now. Maybe!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Trip to the Cove


Samantha had a girl scouts night out at Coveleski Stadium last night. I decided that

185384_2333437977149_1285791816_32896178_549722_nTrevor and I would go and watch the game. We invited grandma and grandpa to go with us too. We met the troupe before the game and Samantha was off. Their plan was a parade around the field pregame and then after the game, they were going to camp out on the outfield and watch a movie on the scoreboard screen.

When I got the kids back from their mom’s, Trevor looked like he was going to crash. He was exhausted, and it showed. He slept all the way there in the van. And then, after we ate, he fell asleep again for about 3 innings. After the game, we watched the fireworks and headed home.

281753_2333437577139_1285791816_32896177_4841506_nIt was a great evening, I had a good time with Trevor, I need to get out with the kids more often. I wish I could afford to do that kind of stuff all the time. I’ll have to figure out some more things to do that doesn’t cost much. We’ll be going to Michigan stadium on Sunday and I’m looking forward to that as well.

I picked up Samantha this morning and she said, after they got all the camping stuff up, they headed up to the concourse and got pop and popcorn. Then went down to the field to watch the movie but due to technical difficulties, they weren’t able to watch it and they gave them a fifteen minute warning before they shut the lights out. The leader said that sucked because here they had popcorn and pop and next thing they know, they are all supposed to go to bed. Samantha said she had fun though so that’s what counts.

223787_2333438457161_1285791816_32896180_3211297_n 262895_2333438857171_1285791816_32896183_4932926_n

185296_2333439497187_1285791816_32896184_5997189_n 285401_2333439897197_1285791816_32896185_4308077_n


Update - Some pics from the troop leader.

Work blows, breakfast good

I have decided that I'm going to use this blog as kind of a tumblr account where they post odds and ends whenever they come across something. Or if your more familiar with, like a twitter account without be limited to 140 characters. I figured I won't get any complaints, considering I get very little traffic.

Work sucks. I know, everybody says it but it's my blog so I get to complain. Where I work, the worse the employee you are, the less you have to do. If your a good employee, means you get to do your work and the bad employees work. Some people get away with everything, some people get away with nothing. Don't even get me started on what happens when your sleeping with a foreman. They tell some people "I'm sorry, we don't hire family anymore" then they hire somebody else's family member. It's ridiculous. I just do my job to the best of my ability and try (sometimes not very well) to keep my mouth shut.

Today though, we got a surprise from one of our customer. They supplied breakfast.



I love donuts.  I could eat lots and lots of donuts.  They brought in a crap load of donuts and I mean a crap load.  I’d guess 8-10 dozen per shift.  Usually when this is done, on the rare occasion it does, nobody tells us up on the line and by the time we get downstairs and realize they are there, they are almost gone.  But our line leader happen to be in the break room when they brought them in, so he grabbed a box and brought it upstairs before everybody else got their hands on them.  So I had a whole box sitting in front of me.  The box looked to be about 2 dozen.  And these are the only 2 I ate.  It was a fight not to go back and grab more but I heard Cheri in my head saying “your going to feel miserable.”  And I knew she' was right.  So all I had were these 2.  And when I went to break, I decided to eat part of what I brought for breakfast to counter the donuts.


Orange Juice in the green sippy cup and peaches in the blue one.  Yes, I said sippy cup.  Don’t judge me!  They don’t leak in my lunch box and they store my OJ and fruit without making a mess.  But it’s healthy stuff, that counter’s the bad stuff, doesn’t it?  It does in my mind and that’s all that counts.  How many guys do you know drink OJ every morning and has fruit a few days a week with his oatmeal?  I’m allowed a donut once in awhile, damn it!  Is it really going to hurt my girlish figure.  No, it won’t.  I’ll still be fat with or without the donuts.

Back to work related, they cancelled Saturday so I’m done for the week.  I got 51 hours in, I started out great (35 hours in the first 3 days) but only 16 in the last 2.  I have 12 vacation days left and I lose them and get more on October 10th.  So I’m thinking about taking 12 Fridays off and working 10 hour days Monday-Thursday so my checks will still be the same.  Just a thought, can’t decide if I want to do it or not.

Monday, August 8, 2011

This week :’(

I know I haven’t posted much.  But considering I don’t really have any readers, nobody is there to notice anyways.  It’s hard to type out something deep and meaningful when nobody is really going to read it.

Cheri had her tonsils out and her uvula shortened last Thursday.  She did great in the surgery, I knew she would.  She came home and has been healing rather quickly.  She was eating pancakes and eggs later that day.  She hasn’t had much pain at all so I’m really happy for that.  She was really worried about the pain.  She’s pretty tough, so I figured she’d get through that anyways.  What we weren’t counting on was her lack of sleep.  She hasn’t been able to sleep hardly at all.  I’m not sure she’s slept over 2 hours since the surgery.  I hate to see her so tired and drained.  I would love for her to be able to sleep one solid night.  Just so I can see the happy, cheery Cheri that I love.  At least once before all the kids come home and everything gets busy again.

I started working more hours again this week.  I hate doing that because it means less time with Cheri.  This time will be worse because before I was going in early last time, which meant I was just taking sleep time away from our time.  But this time, I’m staying over after work so it’ll take away our time.  But we need the money, especially since I got lazy last week and took too many days off.  So there won’t me much “us” time this week.  And I’ve got plans away from Cheri on Friday night and Sunday.  Friday night I’m taking my son to the local minor league team’s game where it is Girl Scout’s Night where my daughter will get to walk around the diamond in a parade before the game.  Cheri may decide to come, we’ll see how she’s feeling.  Then on Sunday, the kids and I are going to Ann Arbor for Michigan’s Fan Appreciation day.  It’ll be the kids first trip to Michigan stadium.  I’m excited to be there and for the kids to see it.

Saturday, July 16, 2011


“An employee at a Taco Bell in Alaska was sentenced to one day in jail for throwing a taco at his manager. He’ll spend the whole day pleading with fellow inmates to think outside the buns.” -Jimmy Fallon


I’ll take Star Wars any day.



Since September 11, 2001, Americans have come together as never before in our generation. We have banded together to overcome adversity. We have weathered direct attacks on our own soil, wars overseas, corporate/government scandal, layoffs, unemployment, stock price plunges, droughts, floods, fires, mad cow, SARS, high gasoline prices, and a myriad of economic and physical disasters both great and small. But now, we must come together once again to overcome our greatest challenge yet.

Hundreds of Professional Football players in our very own nation are going to be locked out, living at well below the seven-figure salary level. And as if that weren’t bad enough they could be deprived of their life giving pay for several months, possibly longer, as a result of the upcoming lockout situation. But you can help!

For only $27,080 a month, about $902.75 a day (that’s less than the cost of a large screen projection TV) you can help an NFL player remain economically viable during his time of need. This contribution by no means solves the problem as it barely covers the annual minimum salary, but it’s a start, and every little bit will help!

Although $900 may not seem like a lot of money to you, to a football player it could mean the difference between spending the lockout golfing in Florida or on a Mediterranean cruise. For you, nine hundred dollars is nothing more than a month’s rent, a mortgage payment, or a month of medical insurance, but to a football player, $900 will partially replace his daily salary.

Your commitment of less than $900 a day will enable a player to buy that home entertainment center, trade in the year-old Lexus for a new Ferrari, or enjoy a weekend in Rio .


Each month, you will receive a complete financial report on the player you sponsor. Detailed information about his stocks, bonds, 401(k), real estate, and other investment holdings will be mailed to your home. Plus, upon signing up for this program, you will receive an unsigned photo of the player lounging during the lockout on a beach somewhere in the Caribbean (for a signed photo, please include an additional $150). Put the photo on your refrigerator to remind you of other peoples’ suffering.


Your NFL player will be told that he has a SPECIAL FRIEND who just wants to help in a time of need. Although the player won’t know your name, he will be able to make collect calls to your home via a special operator in case additional funds are needed for unforeseen expenses.

Remember, a lifestyle is a horrible thing to waste…


I would like to sponsor a locked out NFL player. My preference is (check below):

[ ] Offense [ ] Defense [ ] Special Teams [ ] Entire team

Please charge the account listed below $902.75 per day for the duration of the lockout. Please send me a picture of the player and my very own Roger Goodell (NFL Commissioner) pin to wear proudly on my hat (include $80 for hat).

Your Name: ____________________Telephone Number: ___________________
Account Number: __________________Exp.Date:_______

[ ] MasterCard [ ] Visa [ ] American Express [ ] Other

Signature: _______________________

Alternate card (when the primary card exceeds its credit limit):
Account Number: _______________________ Exp.Date:_______
[ ] MasterCard [ ] Visa [ ] American Express [ ] Other

Signature: ______________________

p.s. If you have a little extra, please enclose for the cheerleaders. Contrary to public opinion, cheerleaders are people too


It’s not real, but I’m having a Taco-mergency right now.


This sun really likes the heat.

I love these auto corrects.







Thursday, July 7, 2011

Samantha’s party

We had Samantha’s birthday party at my great aunt’s house because she has a pool.  We got there and the kids headed straight for the pool.  Now, when we were there on the fourth for the annual July 4th get together, I tried to talk Samantha into jumping into the deep end without floaties on her arms.  She can swim, she’ll go off the diving board with floaties, she’ll even swim in the deep end without the floaties.  So since, no one was at the party yet, I had her follow me to the deep end, then told her to jump in.  Which of course, she didn’t.  She cried, bargained, ect. ect. for a while.  I kept telling her she had 2 options, jump in or I throw her in.  After 20 minutes, I threw her in.  She floated up and realized she could do it.  By the time we left the party, she was jumping off the diving board.  So yeah, I’m a mean dad, but I accomplished what she was afraid to do.  I knew she could do it, and I forced her to do it.  And she’s better for it now,  At the end of the evening, she was shouting “daddy, I faced my fear” and she’d jump in.  Score one for bad parenting.  Here’s the pics from the party.  Cheri was going to try to get one of her jumping in, but got tired of waiting on her to do it, by the time she realized what was happening, she got the after math.  Which is the first pic.


I’m not sure what that look is, but it’s funny.

IMG_0230       IMG_0231

IMG_0232       IMG_0233


She got a bunch of Zoobles, whatever those things are.  But that is what she wanted.  Instead of the traditional cake and ice cream.  Cheri took ice cream cones, put ice cream in the bottom of them, and made cupcakes to go on top of the cone.  Very yummy and they were a big hit with the family.

And of course, I have to post this picture of Randall jumping in the pool.


Look at that face, lmao.  The really funny thing is, I don’t think he knew I was taking this picture, that’s just the face he made.  If your reading this mom, make sure Randall see’s it.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

MSS, that’s me

MSS is what my wife and I jokingly refer to when I do something that she would have done. Something that she would blame on her MS. It stands for Multiple Sclerosis Spouse. We have taken this diagnosis pretty well, I think. It helps because it was somewhat of a relief because she was diagnosed with AS before and this explained why all her meds before this would only work for about a month or two and then stop. Of course, soon after the diagnosis, while receiving her medical records from down south, we found out she was actually diagnosed 4 years ago and was never told. I think she took that news just as hard as the actual diagnosis. And it didn’t help that some of the meds they gave her for AS actually causes MS. She was more upset that she could have been better off for the last 4 years than she was, She took it in stride, it effected her, but I’m not sure she’d admit that. She doesn’t like to show weakness emotionally. I know she’s afraid, I’m afraid. We’ve talked about it some and we both fear the future. Although I would think her fears aren’t all the same as mine, but I believe she has more than she’s sharing.

My fears – I joined an MS website and I like to read the section called caregiver. Technically, that’s what I am. And that scares me. I’m not exactly known for taking care of anything. I’m more known for being lazy. Now it’s possible that I’m going to be the one taking care of another adult in the future. So yeah, that scares me. It’s in the future so I have time to adjust to it, and I’m certainly not going to run. For now, I’m just the muscle. Carry things & give back rubs. I worry about her. But she can still take care of herself.

My fears – The biggest triggers of MS symptoms are heat and stress. The heat we can control by not going out in it. Some heat is out of control such as her body overheating after showers or getting dressed but there isn’t much we can do about that. She has to shower, she has to get dressed. And she’s been dealing with those symptoms for quite a while and as much as they suck, she gets through it. My biggest fear is the stress. We can’t make it financially on my salary alone. Her getting disability is on hold, we are waiting on a court date which could take up to 3 years to get. I have a court date to get child support in August. We have never seen any child support for my stepdaughter. I was working overtime for a little bit and they took away my food stamps and medicaid for the kids. It seems like every time we try something to get some extra income coming in, or to get help, we get kicked in the ass. And my ass is getting sore

My fears – A quick summary for those who don’t know our story. Cheri and her 16 year old daughter moved up here a little over a year ago. Cheri is very happy here, Skyler isn’t. And she likes to put that stress on her mom. She blames me for everything, which is fine, I’ve got broad shoulders. But she is intentionally making her stay here miserable for herself. She won’t make an effort to do anything, she is depressed. Which is understandable, except all this is adding more stress on Cheri. Cheri blames herself for turning her daughter’s world upside down. And Skyler is happy for her to take it all in and feel bad for her. All she wants to do is go back to Virginia, she doesn’t care that this is the last year she’ll have to spend with her mom before going back to college. Don’t get me wrong, she loves her mom. I have no doubts about that. But she is a typical teenager where all they think about are themselves. If we would allow it, she’d move back to Virginia tomorrow. And I’m pretty sure, we would hardly ever see her again. Cheri can’t make the trip down there anymore, and I’m sure she won’t make an effort to come up here. So all Cheri wants, is one final, good year with her daughter. But that won’t happen as long as Skyler only thinks about herself. I really don’t care if Skyler makes herself miserable, it’s her choice to do so. But Cheri doesn’t need the added stress of seeing her daughter so miserable. Her selfishness pisses me off to no end. And I know Cheri is tired of hearing me complain about her, and it kills me not to say anything to Skyler. But I keep my mouth shut, and watch Skyler walk all over her mom, disrespect her to no end, do whatever she wants. And I have to sit and watch while Cheri takes it.

My fears – That people don’t understand this disease. That because we turn down opportunities to do things doesn’t mean we don’t want to do them, that sometimes, it means she can’t do them. I read on the MS site where a lot of people lose friends and family because they just don’t understand this invisible disease. That just because she looked fine last time you saw her, doesn’t mean it’s not kicking her ass today. We don’t have to worry about friends, neither of us really have a bunch of them anyways. At least none that we hang out with.

My fears – That Cheri will have to rely on me more and more. Because I know how much she loves to do things herself. I have to make her get me for help on things because she just sometimes can’t admit that it’ll effect her body the rest of the day. She overdoes it now, I can’t imagine how bad it’ll be if she ends up having to do less. Not to mention, having to rely on me scares me. For the reasons listed in my first paragraph of my fears.

My fears – I have plenty more smaller ones that I won’t go into now. This post is long enough. But one thing I don’t fear, is my love for Cheri. We will get through all of this, now and in the future. We will continue to raise our kids and live our lives. Because one thing I know, is Cheri won’t go down without a fight. She hates feeling this way and will do anything she can to not feel that way. We will survive and live our lives doing it.

Friday, July 1, 2011

I want to be rich!!!

I know, everyone does.  But I don’t want a fancy house, or cars, or boats, or whatever, you get the idea.

  • I want to be rich so I can take care of my family.
  • I want to be rich so I can afford gas in my car.
  • I want to be rich so I can afford to have birthday parties for the kids.
  • I want to be rich so my wife doesn’t feel guilty for not working.
  • I want to be rich so we don’t have to scrape just for grocery money.
  • I want to be rich so I don’t have to worry about medical bills building up.
  • I want to be rich so I don’t have to field phone calls from people wanting money.
  • I want to be rich so I can be the friend helping other friends.
  • I want to be rich so I can actually use my vacation days for vacation days.
  • I want to be rich so I can stay home when I get sick.
  • I want to be rich so I can afford new clothes for the kids every season.
  • I want to be rich so I can afford future medical needs.
  • I want to be rich so I don’t have to get pissed at not receiving child support.
  • I want to be rich so I don’t have to worry about checks bouncing every week.
  • I want to be rich so I don’t have to wear the same clothes I’ve had for years.
  • I want to be rich so I can afford to go with my wife to her doctor’s appointments instead of work.

I take that back, I don’t care about being rich.  I just want enough money to survive comfortably.  Enough to not have to worry about not having it.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

I love my wife

I know, everyone says that.  But I mean it too.  Not only does she take care of this family.  But she does it all with MS (Multiple Sclerosis).  She’s probably had it for years even though she was just diagnosed a few weeks ago.  She was diagnosed with other things before so through all that time, she was on meds that would help for a month or two, then stop helping.  Well, now we know why.  They weren’t treating the right disease.  It sucks that the diagnose was that, but our hope is, now that we know what it is, maybe she can get the proper help.

Even though she doesn’t sleep worth a crap at night (I still say it’s because she’s in bed with me).  She wakes up every morning and wakes me up.  And for the last few weeks that’s been at 4:20 am.  Then she tries to sleep a little bit before having to get up to get my two kids (8 yrs. & 6 yrs.) up for school.  Takes Samantha to school, comes home and then takes Skyler to school, then comes home for a few hours before taking Trevor to school.  In between all that, she’s making sure they are fed and looking good.  Then a couple hours afterwards she picks up Samantha and Trevor.  All this while some days she can barely move without pain, days where her head hurts so bad she looks drugged, days where she’s so exhausted, it’s all she can do to just get up to go to the bathroom.  Then after everyone is home, she makes supper.  Not always just 1 supper as Skyler doesn’t eat meat so she cooks 2 meals for us.  But that isn’t all I love about her.

She is so strong, when she feels so weak.  So smart, even though she feels like her mind is failing her.  So loving, when all she feels is pain.  She has taken this diagnosis in stride and just keeps plugging along.  She complains about the pain, who wouldn’t, but she never says “Why did this happen to me?” or “What did I do to deserve this?”  She just keeps going and tries to do all she can.  I have to tell her to stop and I get on her all the time for not asking for help.  I have to tell her it’s ok to not go to the kids games because it’s 100 degrees out.  That it’s ok to sit on your butt once in awhile and just take it easy.

The worst part is the rest of us in the house take advantage of her and she lets us.  The kids are horrible about this, but I don’t think all 3 have a clue what she deals with on a daily basis.  2 are just too young to understand, and the other is afraid to admit that it’s happening to her mother.  Even I’m guilty of this, I try to help out and I think I do help some, but she always does things for me that I could do for myself.  I tell her to leave it for me, but I know she won’t.  I need to just take over and do it for myself.

I won’t even get into what she deals with emotionally with dealing with certain family members of hers, or either of our exes, and even myself and the kids.  The whole time she deals with those emotional rollercoasters, she deals with this ugly disease.  But I believe that things will get better, because I can’t see why this awesome woman was brought into our lives, just to suffer with pain and anxiety.  I see her strength fighting this disease the whole time.  And I will be by her side the whole way.

So in closing, I love my wife, not only for the love she shows me but for the strength she shows everyone else.  She doesn’t even have a clue how strong she is, and I love her for that.  My job as her husband is to make sure she knows how special she is to me.  I don’t always show it, that’s my flaw.   A flaw she more than makes up for with all the ways she shows me that she loves me.  I will try to live up to her expectations because it’s the least I can do for my wife, the love of my life, my everything.  My heart and soul belongs to her.

I love my wife!

Feel free to follow her blog at

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Quick humor

Just something real quick before I head to bed.


How can you not laugh at that.


I love this because my daughter has an iPhone and while I’ll admit they are great phones, the fact that it has cost me more money than my wife and I’s droids because everything that goes with it has to be “apple”.  I haven’t paid for 1 app on my phone but she’s had to buy a few of them that were free to Droids.  Not to mention the jacked up chargers you have to pay $20+ because it has to be an “apple” charger.  I can get one for my droid at dollar general.  I hate things where the only thing that goes with them is there stuff.  Purchase our item, it’s the best.  Then have the small print saying, but it’ll keep costing you bit by bit until you smarten up and buy something else.



Don’t they know Taco Bell isn’t real mexican food.  Mexican’s don’t eat there.


Always good advice, but I hear that’s where lawyers come from.


Ya might want to look behind you.  Better yet, that face your making, you may not want to publish this pic.  Oh wait, too late, never mind.


He really likes the weather.


I’m heading off to bed now, hope I made you at least smile.  Sorry about the lack of posts recently but I’ve been exhausted with working a bunch of overtime.  Till next time.