Thursday, September 26, 2013

A Week in Hades : A Redneck Renaissance Man Adventure

     I am a self-described Redneck Renaissance Man.  I feel that I've reached a balance in life that is finally allowing for some really cool stuff to occur.  I feel like my Chi and Chakra are not at odds like they have been in past years.  My parenting skills are Ward Cleaver-esque with a dash of 80s Bill Cosby for good measure.  Heck, my life couldn't be any better if I was twins.  I suppose it's like the old saying, "Even the sun shines on a dog's rear end some days."  Sooner or later, everyone experiences some good luck.  However, this week has not been shining much sun on this dog's butt.  I've had the "Beast in Me" AKA "The Wildman" show up a couple of times.  Once due to a looming Science test and Map Quiz coupled with an obstinate daughter, and another time due to County Workers getting on my last nerve.  Then to top it all off about mid-week we had the "Maddie Mishap" where we all got to spend the morning at Children's Hospital.  I've spent a week in Hades, and by Zeus it has kicked me in the buttocks!
     The week began with tests, map quizzes, and papers.  Not to mention Homestead Landscaping Duties.  I'm the head landscaper.  Upkeep of the home fires.  I'm the head home fire burner.  Taking care of my offspring.  I'm the head offspring caretaker.  And of course various other Uber Dad things.  I am the Uber Dad after all.  I'm kind of a big deal around here.  I am an intense guy when it comes to preparation.  I prepare for things like my life depends on it.  It's an illness, and OCD doesn't even begin to describe it.  I had an occasion recently to say, "While you were hanging out on some pretty college campus, I was putting rednecks in jail amongst other things.  School of Hard Knocks?  How bout the School of Knock you Out."  My preparation for the most part works, but life will throw some wicked curve balls at ya, and the above quote was the result of one of those knee buckling curve balls.  I went down swinging though.  I've been knocked down plenty of times, but I've always answered the bell for the next round.  The day of my two big tests it seemed like everything that could cause me trouble, did cause me trouble.  Jesse normally leaves me alone when I'm in "Beast Mode," because he's learned from experience that it's in his best interest to do so.  Cheryl even ignores me more than usual when "The Wildman" arrives.  Maddie has yet to grasp this way of thinking so she spent the morning messing with dear old dad with extreme prejudice.  No quarter was given by  Miss Maddie.  We had issues with books, clothes, television, Little Debbie Cakes, Milk, Jesse the Phantom Menace (Phantom Menace, because I don't think he was bothering her at all, but that didn't stop her from reporting the alleged incident to the proper authorities), and to top it all off the "Writing Your name in the Book" incident.  Cheryl does not like for me to write Maddie's name in her books for school.  This is due to the fact that I use a Black Sharpie and write MADDIE on the inside cover of the book.  Cheryl does this same action with tape, and writes her name on said tape, not the book.  This is because she believes we're going to get rich selling Maddie's books at some consignment sale.  I've never quite been able to master the name-tape thing, and to be honest it's never been at the top of my list.  Just between you and me, don't tell the wife.  I got 99 problems, but a Book ain't one.....I gotta little hip-hop knowledge.  On this morning we were behind schedule, and Maddie the star reader wanted her name on books.  She would not take no for an answer, so against my better judgment I grabbed the old Sharpie and did my thing.  I was later quoted by Jesse as saying, "Well, Maddie I hope you're satisfied.  Now your Mama is gonna divorce me.  You may even have to bail her out of jail, cause she's gonna kill me."  Believe it or not, it got worse from there, but due to time constraints I'm gonna move on.....
     The County Worker issue cuts deep like a knife with me.  Lovely and broke Jefferson County, Alabama has found enough money to lay some kind of lines all up and down Mt. Olive Road.  Someone told me that it was gas lines, but I really don't care what kind of lines they are.  They block traffic at horrible times as if they have been removed of all common sense.  They always seem to be parked in my front yard.  You see, I've got a fire hydrant in my front yard, and they undoubtedly need the water.  Out of all the fire hydrants in all of Mt. Olive they gotta come walking into mine.  I've had to raise a little ruckus 'round here.  I've found peanut hulls left around the curtilage of my home, and coke cans and other garbage just laying around.   I stood out in the driveway the other morning and just watched those guys.  I know they already think I'm nuts, because they had my driveway blocked the other day and I made my displeasure pretty clear.   I could only imagine their conversation, "Uh, Oh...There goes that crazy/wild-eyed bald guy again.....let's throw some peanuts in his yard."  This continued animosity came to a head again the other morning when the goof-balls (again using my fire hydrant) watered up the roads with their dirty messy county nastiness, and then had the audacity to stop at my stop sign and block the road.  I was running behind getting Jesse to school, and these guys had me blocked in.  Well, I laid on the horn and came around the drivers side of the big truck hooting and hollering and waving my arms at this dunce of a driver.  They gave me the, "This guy's crazy" look, but I didn't have time to spend with these wastes of oxygen.  You just don't want to fool with an unhinged Uber Dad!!  That's a fact.
     Now, we're to the Maddie Mishap.  Maddie was playing at school on Wednesday, and somehow or another she busted her eye wide open.  The altercation involved a young boy that is friends with Maddie, but I'm not really clear on what actually happened.  Something about "playing kitty" and a's a mystery.  Columbo probably couldn't solve it.  Cheryl immediately entered scared mom mode, and I attempted to calm her down as I talked to her on the phone while we were both en route.  I normally handle the big stressful events very well, because of past experiences...but it's the little incidents that really don't matter that set me off- i.e. County workers and Maddie's books.  Due to my calm demeanor and steely nerves under pressure, I was elected to drive Maddie and her mother to Children's hospital.  The emergency room of Children's Hospital is not located where it should be, let me say that up front.  I drove all the way around this hospital and I swear I didn't see any "Emergency" signs anywhere.  All this while my wife is dogging my driving by saying, "I know how my mom felt when you drove me to Brookwood when Jesse was born."  Finally, I pulled the old Xterra up to the front of the hospital, and walked my happy butt right inside and walked up to the information guy and said, "Hey Partner, where in the hell is the emergency room.  I got a bleeding baby in the car."  They guy answered me with a heavy lisp, "It's two blocks down that way."  I responded, "Well, that makes sense.  It's two blocks away from here.  I should have thought of that myself."  I left the Lisp guy, and headed two blocks to the emergency room.  They valet park you there for free by the way.  At least, I think it was free.  I didn't pay, so it was free for us.  Maddie met the doctor, and he glued her eye wound really nice like.  No stitches, but it probably could have used a couple.  The glue has worked well so far.  During this lovely excursion to the hospital I received an email from Maddie's school with the Subject line, "Disaster Preparedness."  I reckon they figured the "Wildman" was coming.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

The Legend of Kitty Branch Ethel

     A wise man once said, "If you're lucky enough to be fishing, well you're lucky enough."  I said that, but the idea was borrowed from a T-shirt I saw in Orange Beach, Alabama.  The shirt's message had to do with being lucky enough to be at the beach, but I twisted the message to serve my own purposes.  That's just how I roll.  I'm a creek bank fishing savant.  There's not many places I'd rather be than propped up on a creek or river bank with a fishing pole in my hand hoping a fish will rise.  Yesterday, I decided to pursue my love of fishing with my favorite fella, Jesse Christopher Perry, and I would not be denied.  My will would be done!  At least if the women in my life signed off on it.
     The morning started off with work, and lots of it.  I had to write a few pages about ethnic cleansing in post war Europe, study Environmental Science for an upcoming test, and master an ancient map of Rome and the Mediterranean world.  Once the mission was complete, I knew what had to be done.  I had to go wet a hook.  I was jonesin' for a fishing trip.  Both Cheryl and Maddie had prior obligations, but Jesse and I were free and willing.  I got on the horn, and contacted my older brother Frankie, who is a fish-whisperer in his own right.  The plans were made, and I began to ready myself for a Fishing extravaganza.  Rod and reels rigged up, tackle gathered, and hot dogs put in the sun to thaw.  It's a universal bait, and like the "master key" of the water.  I've caught many species of fish on hot dogs. (Species is on my Environmental Science test by the way, so I know what I'm talking about here.) I began to go through the house like a man on a mission barking orders for my fishing partner to ready himself.  Cheryl in her usual wit said, "Just chill for a second.  We didn't know you were gonna mobilize that fast."  I did mobilize quickly however, and now my master plan was in place!
     Witty wife aside, Jesse and I started our journey to the Warrior River where the mythical "Monster Cats" reside.  Legends abound, and stories have been passed down for generations about these Warrior River catfish.  My brother claims there is a River Monster named "Ethel" that will break your rod in two, and is uncatchable.  Challenge accepted, Ethel.  Your days of running "Kitty Branch" are at an end.  You tell Ethel, "I'm coming, and I'm bringing Hell, and Jesse, with me!"  This place is called Kitty Branch for a reason, and there are catfish aplenty to be sure.  We stopped in Rock Creek for night crawlers (big ole worms, if you didn't know), mainly for Jesse to catch some bream.  Tough youngin' J-Jam is, but he's not Ethel ready just yet.  The place we stopped at was all out of night crawlers, and I wasn't sure what the "Fishing Spirits" were trying to tell me.  Either go home now, you can't handle Ethel or nobody's been fishing lately that's why they don't have any worms.  The Autumnal Equinox guided me to the next stop in West Jefferson County for two boxes of night crawlers.  Yep, it's on Ethel.  I will not be denied.  Upon arrival at Kitty Branch, my brother in true "Ancient Fisherman Mojo" called to the fish with what he called a "Message from above."  He threw bread into the water to stir up the fish.  This is like Emperor Palpatine saying, "Rise, Lord Vader, Rise." to a young Jedi formerly known as Anakin Skywalker.  We spotted a Cat the size of a small boat!  Would I lie about something like that?  The quest for Ethel had begun.
     It was tough going for a while, and we didn't catch anything for about an hour.  At this point, I pulled an old school rabbit out of my hat.  Spitting on the hot dog along with the "Fisherman's Prayer" are two parts of the guaranteed catching a fish Triumvirate.  The third part involves stirring up the water with something that will definitely get the attention of the fish.  It's an ancient fisherman secret, but if you've drank a cup of coffee, a diet coke, and two waters you should know where old "Iron Bladder" is going here.  My trifecta of fishing brilliance worked and we started catching fish.  I then employed my boat house maneuver and hooked my first monster cat!  These are blue-channel cats, and they put up quite a fight.  Once you get them on land they'll talk to you too.  As a "River Bank Master" I know exactly what they're saying, but I'll never tell.  Would I lie about something like that?  Now, I'm going to skip ahead a little bit here, and get to the star of our show, Ethel.  That's right, I hooked her.  I caught her inside the boat house while trolling the bottom with my spat on hot dog.  The waves the fish produced moved the whole boat house, muddy water boiled up and splashed my legs, and the roar was deafening.  This was gonna be a fight!  I set the drag on my reel, and here we went!  Like riding a wild bull, I dug my spurs in and held on for the full eight second ride.  Ethel fought, thrashed, and rolled.  I used all the fishing magic that I have learned from my father and brother before me.  This was my moment.  This was my time to take my rightful place in the pantheon of River Masters!  I saw the white of Ethel's belly and the size of the monster as she broke the water, and it was a gargantuan sight.  I knew that I had her, and as I reached down to grab the line to pull her from the watery depths.  The line broke.  Broke with my hook still set in Ethel's massive mouth.  It was the line that broke, but it may as well have been my heart.  I was crushed.  I looked around for my brother and son, but no one was there.  Jesse was inside eating Kit-Kat's, and Frankie was watching Football.  As these things normally go, I was alone.  The only witness to my exploits was Ethel herself.  I'm sure no one will believe my story, but Ethel knows.  She knows I had her.  I was this close to catching a monster.  You can't say that every day.
     That's the story of Ethel the River Monster.  She has earned my respect, and I have to admit defeat.  I lost the fish, but let that hook in your mouth be a reminder of the day you came up against the PerryDawg.  I'll be back to get ya!  Demon Cat beware.  This is not over by a long shot!  You may have won the battle, but I'll win the war.  You will be mine Ethel!  Oh yes!  You will be mine!  Well that's about all I got. I have to make my witty wife happy here and say, "No animals were harmed in this adventure.  We catch and release.  Most of the time."  Ethel got harmed just a little, didn't you hook mouth.  I want to thank Frankie for being my River guide and Mark and Peggy for purchasing property on the legendary Kitty Branch!  Next time, victory will be mine!  I'm out.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Rapunzel and The Morning Come Apart

     All of what follows is true.  The names have not been changed.  Our only hope here at the home office in Mount Olive, Alabama, is that someone can learn from the following events.  In the life of a family, children are supported by two separate but equal groups...Moms and Dads, and each have different ways of communication, discipline, support, motivation, etc.  The main idea is to come to some sort of happy medium between the two care givers.  This story has nothing at all to do with any of that.  This story could make a grown man scream and cry, and it almost did.  This is one morning in the life of a regular dad, and all I can say is "Be afraid, be very afraid."  The best way to describe what is about to be re-told is a quote from my wife and son.  Jesse told his mother the other night, "Mom, we're studying idioms at school."  My bride then told my first born and heir to my kingdom, "Take a picture of your father and take it to school."  The idiom speaks.
     The morning began with the alarm clock at 0500 hrs., and Saint PerryDawg (me) hit the floor running.  Running to make coffee.  My wife had to leave bright and early for delivery of goods to some consignment sale deal and a meeting at work.  I sat in my La-Z-Boy for a few minutes drinking my coffee while watching a documentary about Sam Peckinpah on the Western channel.  This joy was not long for this world, and I decided to attack the day.  Shave, shower, get dressed, and begin laundry was the first order of business.  Then on to studying a map of Europe for a Map Quiz on Friday.  My daughter woke while I was reading a little bit of Roman History that had a Spartan slant, I was disappointed.  I prepared breakfast for Maddie, and got her settled watching her morning television programming.  I noticed that the sink was full of dishes, and started to wash the dishes.  The first dish I tried to put into the dishwasher was repelled by the presence of clean dishes and the red light saying "Clean."  I emptied the dishwasher.  Filled it back up again. It was time for Jesse to wake and bathe.  I provided the incentive for his movement.  I attempted to get Maddie dressed, and I noticed her fingernails looked like that guy in the Guinness Book of World Records with the gnarly fingernails.  I cut her fingernails while she asked me questions about hair bows.  I then adjusted Jesse the fashionista's choice for dress.  I tried to make sure everyone was properly attired and ready to go.  Brush teeth?  Check.  Hair fixed? Check.  Shoes on?  Check.  We gone.  No we're not.  Maddie wants books, Jesse can't hear a word I'm saying cause he has those earphone things on, and all this is happening while Diego is singing some horrible song in the background.  I began a bit of a rant.  Ranted briefly.  Basically, incoherent ramblings of a mad man with a lot of grunting.  The kids pretty much ignore me anyway so it's all good.  I compared myself to Job and Mother Teresa of Calcutta before we were actually able to leave.  The journey begins.
     I had to drive my wife's Prius on the morning journey, because she had my Xterra for hauling of consignment sale stuff.  The Prius doesn't like me, and it doesn't hide the fact that it doesn't like me.  The car mysteriously locks doors or won't unlock doors when they're supposed to be unlocked.  At this point, I almost took the door off the hinges to get Maddie and her books in the car.  Jesse just gives me that look and rolls his eyes.  Maddie, immediately recognizes that we are in Mom's car, and wants her Rapunzel CD to listen to, because it is located in the Prius.  I wanted to listen to Sports talk radio, but not on this day.  I got Rapunzel.  We dropped Jesse off, and he sprinted, to get away from the car.  I've never seen him happier to get to school in his whole life.  We drive away, and after a couple of miles some woman named Queen Golf-ball and her horse named Maximus were doing something.  Maximus has a Roman feel to it, so my attention was peaked.  "Are you not Entertained!!??"  No, I'm not, sorry Maximus.  Rapunzel sucks.  Maybe it's the hair, and how does she wash that stuff?  Rapunzel, "Let Down Her Hair!", right into a horrible traffic jam on good ole I-65.  I took a back route, and Rapunzel was at an end.  I switched to Sports Talk Radio all covert like, but Maddie caught me and said, "Hey!!  I want Rapunzel again."  I tried to switch back to the CD player, but it was on another CD.  It sounded like a cross between the Indigo Girls and the Dixie Chicks.  Some kind of tree-huggin' hippy chick crap that Cheryl listens to.  I attempt to change the CD back to Rapunzel, but I cannot.  Literally, there is not anything in this vehicle that clearly identifies how to switch the CD, and I hit every button on the dash.  I just kept hearing ole Tree Hugger sing, and Maddie was becoming restless.  Like I said before, this car doesn't like me.  The traffic was at a stand still, and old Iron Bladder (Me) had to go "See a man about a horse." However, unless I wanted to be arrested, there was no where to see said horse at the moment.  At this point, I've accepted my fate.  I am praying for a meteor shower or an invasion of hostile Aliens to put me out of my misery, but unfortunately this doesn't happen. I duck and weave my way through more obstacles, and I finally arrive at Maddie's school.  I pick up Maddie and her books, and head to the door.  I realize at this moment that I have forgotten the code to enter.  This place is locked up like Fort Knox, and I got nothing.  The code has recently changed, and I don't know what it is.  I was able to get to my trusty iPhone, and checked my notes, and luckily it was there.  Thank you Steve Jobs!  I got her inside her class room, and her teachers commented on how pretty the flower in her hair was.  I didn't know she had a flower.  I also noticed, she had seven necklaces on, and bangle bracelets all the way up to her elbow.  Damn, missed that.  I apologized for Maddie's odd appearance, and I was off again. This time all solo like!!!
     I had my doubts about surviving on this morning, and there were a few moments that I thought all hope was gone, but I persevered.  I've had worse days, but for whatever reason I decided to write about this one.  I like to say that, "I've walked through the valley of the shadow of death, and did not fear evil, but those kids will scare the hell out of ya."  We're just Livin La Vida Loca around the Perry house, and I wouldn't have it any other way.  I'm out.


Monday, September 16, 2013

15 Quotes that Sum up the Weekend

     The following list of quotes happened this past weekend, and I believe it provides a very nice window into the events that occurred.  I would like to thank all the participating quoters that added to this blog.  That's pretty much it.  I got nothing else.

#1- "How many nights can you smack people?" -Cheryl while watching Friday Night Smackdown

#2- "Choke Daddy Out Jesse!" -Maddie, when an impromptu "Rasslin" match broke out during Friday Night Smackdown.

#3- "Don't grow a beard when you're older.  Have a goatee or something.  You'll look me." -Me, explaining to Jesse why not to grow a beard while watching a DVR'ed episode of Duck Dynasty.

#4- "No, you'll look like a bald weirdo." -Jesse's response to #3

#5- "I swear this lady standing by the fence said Amen!, after you finished you're pre-game speech thing.  You had some fire and brimstone going there coach." -Frankie (My brother) at Jesse's football game Saturday

#6- "I'm a thief of footballs." -Jesse after his second or was it third interception this year.

#7- "All I saw was Maddie's cotton candy shaved ice sticky hands, and the tent that those people put up in front of me." -Cheryl, when asked if she saw the above mentioned interception or if she was moved by the pre-game motivational.

#8- "14-0...What the hell!  Are you serious!  What has Coach Saban been doing since last year?  This is just a replay of what happened last year." -Me, while in the drive-thru at KFC getting food after Jesse's game listening to the Alabama game.

#9- "I guess I overreacted a little." -Me, after BAMA scored 35 unanswered points

#10- "I swear if I was Vito Corleone I would have Luca Brazi break Johnny "Flippin" Football's legs!  I can promise you that!" -Me, after Johnny "Flippin" Football brought A&M back yet again.

#11- "The tock needs to click." -Me. obviously stressed about a certain game that just did not want to end.

#12- "Shut up, Dad!" -Jesse, watching the same game.

#13- "612 yards....well, you know half of that was due to some kinda Johnny "Flippin" Football sorcery.  I think he dabbles in black magic." -Me, analyzing the Crimson Tide's 49-42 victory over Texas A&M.

#14- "I'm tired, I want to go to bad.  I've had a long day." -Maddie, after all the football madness

#15- "I was filling out Maddie's Pre-K registration stuff, and it asked questions like can she identify opposites and past tense?  Can she speak Spanish?  Seriously??  I skipped over to the part that asked, Can she throw a ball....." -Cheryl, filling out insanely ridiculous Maddie school paperwork.


Thursday, September 12, 2013

War Pigs in a Prius

     Since my Uber Dad turn several years ago there has really never been a dull moment around La Casa de Perry.  There is always something going on, and normally these occurrences can have a little bit of humor to them.  Hence, this blog.  I have absolutely enjoyed my time as Jesse and Maddie's dad so far, and I look forward with much anticipation to continuing my beloved job.  Maybe one of these days when my kids have kids of their own, they'll let the old man babysit.  Then I can do it all over again.  Regardless, I'm trying to absorb all these awesome days and nights now!  This bunch of mine are quite the company let me tell ya!  Cheryl and I are what I would call "blessed" to be sure.  George Bernard Shaw once said, "A happy family is but an earlier heaven."  I agree, but on the other hand Cary Grant said, "Insanity runs in my family.  It practically gallops."  Either way.  We good.  This particular post is a mash up of sorts.  Recent events include, but are not limited to:  Listening to War Pigs while riding in a Prius, funny tasting freezy pops, and "Mad Dog" Maddie the wrestler.  So with no further ado.  What is ado and why should we not have any further of it, anyway.  I may have said that before, but it bears repeating.
     My wife, Cheryl is as Liberal as the day is long.  She's a Democrat, a Vegetarian, and probably missed her chance to be a tree hugging hippy to be completely honest.  But, I love her, regardless of her political affiliation, what she eats, or hippy or no hippy.  Heck, I had my Summer of Love back in 1991- but that is another story that does not bear repeating.  So, Cheryl could not wait to go out and buy one of those hybrid cars that you can drive to China and back with one tank of gas.  I'm more of a Pick-up truck or old beat up Chevelle kinda guy, but that's neither here nor there.  She bought this vehicle a few years ago, and except for being extremely small and not having a whole lot of pick up, it's been a pretty good car.  The problem is that sometimes I forget I'm driving a Toyota Prius, and it's really hard to look cool driving a Toyota Prius.  I'm the kind of guy that will play his music really loud in the car, and sing along at the top of my lungs.  I've been known to do a little car-dancing too, and I got some moves for your average white boy.  The other day I was rocking out in the car, and several great songs came on back to back.  I had some Pink Floyd, Bon Jovi, a little RATT, and finally to top it all off Black Sabbath hit.  Not just any Black Sabbath song mind you, but the mother of all Black Sabbath songs...War Pigs!  I was getting into my rockin' in the car by this point, and banging my head and all that stuff.  For a moment there it was like a flash back to 1988 without all the hair.  I was carrying on something fierce, and then I pulled up to a red light.  The look on the face of the passengers in the car beside me was priceless.  It was one of those moments when you realize you're being watched, and are all of a sudden a little self-conscious.  I can only imagine what they saw though, a big bald-headed man banging his head, screaming, hands in the air, eyes wide open with a crazy look.....all while driving a Toyota Prius.  There you go.  It's a shame Jesse wasn't with me.  He gets embarrassed when I turn Guns 'n Roses up too loud dropping him off at the school.  Of course then I have to do the loud, "I Love You Man!!" To embarrass him further.  Well it's all good I suppose, and I'm cool with it.  Funny, the stuff that you're cool with as you get older.  I'm gonna keep on rockin', and to quote Jon Bon Jovi, "I'm gonna live while I'm alive, and sleep when I'm dead!"
     I don't know about you, but I love me some freezy pops.  I can eat untold numbers of those frozen sugar water, should be a controlled substance, full of empty calories, bits of awesome.  Jesse, Maddie, and Cheryl all like them too.  We don't buy them as much as we once did, but every now and then we'll get a few.  I'm a freezy pop snob to be honest.  The dollar store brand is not up to par.  Fla-Vor-Ice leaves me wanting more.  The ones with half creamy goo gunky stuff are just gross.  My all time favorite freezy pops are Otter Pops.  Ya'll know the ones I'm talking about....they had characters that went with the flavors.  You had Sir Isaac Lime, Strawberry Short Kook, Louie Bloo Raspberry, and Alexander the Grape just to name a few.  Those things were top notch as far as freezy pops go!  I have to admit though the best freezy pop I have ever had was given to me by my Sister-in-Law in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  These things were freezy pops on steroids, and were about a yard long.  Tasted amazing!  She had to special order the things, and the Cream Soda flavor was to die for!  The other day we were hanging out around the house on a Sunday evening, and Jesse found the remnants of some older freezy pops in the freezer.  I don't really know how long they had been there, but I can't really see how those things can go bad.  He cut the end off with the scissors and went to town, but shortly after starting to eat the treat he said, "Dad this freezy pop tastes like pool water."  I said, "Really?"  Jesse then went on to say, "Yea, it tastes really Mom."  As if Mom wanted the pool water flavored freezy pop in the first place.  This is similar to the children wanting to spit stuff out, and it always seems to be Mom's hand that catches the spat food.  They don't come at me with that stuff.  I don't do spit in the hand.  Anyway, point is..freezy pops are awesome, as long as they haven't been in the freezer since George W. Bush was in office.
     I have a guilty pleasure of watching "Rasslin" on TV.  I grew up watching the likes of Tommy "Wildfire" Rich, Buzz Sawyer, Austin Idol, "Bullet" Bob Armstrong, and Ric Flair.....Woooo!  These days my favorite by far is CM Punk, and I really get a kick out of watching these guys.  It's mindless fun.  Kinda like a soap opera with violence.  I mean good fake violence.  Well, not fake.  Choreographed.  Jesse was really into watching the stuff for quite a while, but lately he plays his Minecraft or whatever you call that computer game.  Maddie, on the other hand will put you in the figure four leglock in a heartbeat.  My little girl is quite the master of the squared circle.  She knows all the moves.  She knows how to do a tomahawk chop, and she'll even try a choke slam if she's feeling frisky.  I've seen her climb the couch and try to fly off of it like Jimmy "Superfly" Snuka.  Big Mama Buzzkill always halts the nonsense before someone gets hurt.  Maddie has a flying headbutt that is something to behold.  A thing of beauty, really.  Jesse gets in on the action too, and he still pays attention while playing on the computer.  Jesse is more of a finesse type, but Maddie is a pure bruiser.  She's a brawler, and you better watch yourself, cause she'll put the smack down on you before you know it.  If you smell, What Mad Dog Maddie is cookin'!!
     You know what I've come to realize....I've got the best job in the whole world.  No doubt about it.  Movie Star?  Got nothing on me.  Pro-Football Player?  Small potatoes.  I get to be a dad, everyday, all the time.  I'm a rich man.  Not monetarily mind you, but rich in a philosophical sense.  Philosophy don't pay the bills, though.  Big Mama Buzzkill does that.  I'm out.


Sunday, September 8, 2013

The Uber Prognosticator: My Picks for Week 3 (Because I Can!)

     I know what you're thinking:  Football picks?  Isn't that a little bit off topic for this blog? is, but I can kinda do what I want around here.  There's really no rules to this blogging stuff.  I'm a no rules kind of guy anyway.  I've survived on my wits and instincts this long (sort of).  Just a warning:  I'm no Jimmy the Greek here so Please no Wagering!  The fearless prognosticator was undefeated last week.  Mainly because I didn't make any picks, but that's only a formality.  On to the picks!

#1 Alabama vs. #6 Texas A&M- It's my policy to never pick Alabama games, because of the potential jinx I could place on my beloved Tide.  I will say this though:  This game has Karma written all over it.  Johnny Flippin Football has been dancing on thin ice for quite some time now, and I believe a comeuppance may be in order.  Karma is a female dog.  C.J. Mosely may give Johnny an Autograph of his own though.  Just remember, Nick Saban is pretty good in revenge games.
The Verdict: No pick due to superstition.

#2 Oregon vs. Tennessee- Quack. Quack.  The only way Tennessee makes this interesting is if Peyton Manning suits up for the Volunteers.  Oregon wins going away.
The Verdict: Oregon 49, Tennessee 10

#13 South Carolina vs. Vanderbilt- The Ol' Ball Coach should have the Gamecocks ready after the loss in Athens.  Clowney runs wind sprints this week, and maybe he finally shows up in shape.  Vandy is tough, but they're outmatched here.
The Verdict: South Carolina 28, Vanderbilt 14

#25 Ole Miss vs. Texas- Texas lost to BYU.  Ole Miss has got the guy who coached in the "Blind Side" on the sideline.  As much as I want to pick Ole Miss here, I can't.  Ole Miss will play well, but they're still Ole Miss.  Texas plays much better than last week.  Altitude maybe?
The Verdict: Texas 28, Ole Miss 21

#20 Wisconsin vs. Arizona St.- Wisconsin is like my second home so I wanted to pick the Badger game.  Da Badgers will put a whoopin on Arizona St.  You Betcha!  On Wisconsin!
The Verdict: Wisconsin 35, Arizona St. 7

Auburn vs. Mississippi State- The Gus Bus is rolling, and Auburn is 2-0.  Everything in my head is telling me to pick Mississippi State here.  It's true, I really don't like Auburn, and I normally wouldn't pick Auburn for any reason.  However, this Auburn team has confidence, and this Auburn team also has talent.  Raw talent, but talent nonetheless.  As much as it pains me to say it Auburn takes this one.  Don't get too cocky though.  It's a long season, and it only gets tougher from here.
The Verdict: Auburn 28, Mississippi State 17

Morris Blue Devils vs. Southeastern- I've got to say this Morris bunch is for real.  High powered Offense and a Physically dominating Defense!  These fellas can really get after it.  Morris is undefeated on the year at 2-0.  I'm not really sure what Southeastern's record is, but I'm sure they are a fine football team.  Those Blue Devils are a fierce bunch, and I can't really pick against ever!  Rock on boys and Play like Champions!
The Verdict: Pain for the Opposition!  Blue Devils Win!  Also, a very loud bald man is liable to give a rousing, inspirational, and motivational Pre-Game speech.  Heck, that's worth the price of admission.

     Well there you have it, all games picked.  No reason to watch any football this weekend, because you already know the outcome courtesy of "The Uber Prognosticator."  On a side note, if BAMA loses Saturday in College Station things will get tense around here.  I won't climb a clock tower with a high powered rifle or kill any trees or anything like that, but depression will likely set in.  To all my BAMA brethren:  September 11th would have been Coach Bryant's 100th birthday, and I've got a hunch that he's already put a word in with the man upstairs about the Tide needing to win for his 100th birthday.  Sounds reasonable to me.  Roll Tide and Go Devils!

Friday, September 6, 2013

Eating Like a Boss!

     I think I've mentioned before that I am a 41 (almost 42) year old college senior.  Like many college students I have a meal plan that goes along with tuition, and I try to take full advantage.  Those that know me, know that I REALLY like to eat.  I'm a fan of food, and I like to think that I have a refined palate like a Chef de Cuisine as set forth by The Brigade De Cuisine rankings in Paris.  I googled it.  That's not information I would have just known, but thanks to Google I can look like an expert in the culinary arts.  Anthony Bourdain I'm not.  This past week I had a couple of really interesting culinary adventures.  First, I want to discuss a trip for Indian Food with the Roman History guys (Shout out to Tim, Carl, Kerry, and Tim's friend whose name escapes me at the moment.)  Then I will go on to tell of my introduction to The Commons on The Green.  Bon Appetit!
     This past Tuesday after the Roman Republic class taught by the world famous professor of awesomeness Dr. Ward, a bunch of us History guys got together to go eat some Indian food.  The destination was Taj India on the Southside of Birmingham.  Taj has been a favorite of mine since I went there on my first date with the lovely Dr. Cheryl Perry before I became her trophy husband.  Well, we decided it would be best to car pool to the restaurant, because the parking situation at Taj India in the Western parking lot is less than stellar.  Somehow, the whole crew ended up in my 2003 Nissan Xterra.  It's hard to get five grown men in a 2003 Nissan Xterra.  Even harder still with the various obstacles that are present in my back seat.  Dora dolls, Big Time Rush books, umbrellas, football equipment, car seats, and a French fry or two blocked the way to a comfortable seating arrangement.  By the way, Tim is pushing 7 foot tall, and neither Kerry not I would be what I would call small men.  Carl and Tim's friend (Whose name still escapes me) are of normal size, but it was still a challenge to fit the whole crew in the Uber Dad Wagon.  There were some anxious moments, especially in the back seat.  I had it worked out so Tim would be in the front seat, and I was driving (It's my Ride after all)....That's my contribution to Physics, and I owe it all to that Physical Science class that I dropped.  That's all I got, sorry Stephen Hawking.  Jumping ahead to the food now.  Indian food is awesome!  You have to be aware, though, that you may get a snort of something that has a little kick to it.  Some of that stuff will light you up, to be sure.  This place is an Indian buffet so there are many opportunities to come across The Devil's Curry!  My go to food is Saag.  It's a Spinach Dish that is absolutely amazing (Thanks Cheryl!)  I'm also a fan of both Korma and Curry.  On this day I ate my weight in Saag.  I weigh about 215 by the way.  It had a little bit of a kick to it, let me tell you.  I think all of us may have had a bit of Gastro-Intestinal distress after our gluttonous display at the Indian buffet!  That could be a song.  We finished up, and I delivered those fine fellas back to our home at Heritage Hall, and I was off!  I was off to see some heartburn medicine.  The heartburn medicine that I normally take requires that you drink a cup of water.  I did this, but that is the last thing you want to do after eating spicy Indian food.  The water must adhere to the spice and causes a combustible chemical reaction of heat that will bring some pain!  I'm no Chemistry guy, but this stuff was lethal.  I felt full and on fire.  I was full of fire, basically.  I struggled waiting for Jesse in the car pool line at school.  100 degrees with 100 percent humidity with a body 100 percent full of spicy Indian food is a recipe for disaster.  I was able to survive, barely.  On this day I was scheduled to work out.  My work outs are pretty hard core, high impact, weight lifting, circuit training, make your ass quit awesome.  I'm really serious about my workout stuff so I got after it anyway.  Indian food possession or not.  The word tenacity means:  persistence, determination, perseverance, doggedness, strength of purpose, stamina, staying power, and I could go on, but you get the idea.  It took all the tenacity that I have ever mustered to make it through this work out.  The fire from the Indian food almost beat me, but tenacity got me through.  My wife would say "stupidity" got me through, but I like the word tenacity better.  Regardless, the suffering was worth it, and next my Roman history brothers and I will take on Thai food.  Did I mention that Thai food can be spicy?
     I spent all last year as a student and the only place that I ate on campus was Hill Center.  I heard whispers about a place called "The Commons on the Green."  I kept on eating my Western Omelets at Hill Center until they shut the place down.  They really shut the place down.  It's set for Demolition.  This year I finally decided to seek out this supposed Mecca of a college campus eatery the Commons on the Green.  I found the place easily,  I just followed my keen sense of smell, and it's right across from Heritage Hall, so it's not like it's Atlantis or anything.  The first impression was of silver serving trays full of BBQ right beside a huge Pit Smoker thing, that smelled amazing.  This was outside the actually eatery mind you.  I continued on inside passing flags, and large windows surrounded by nice architectural features.  Nice presentation, to be sure.  I walked inside and the atmosphere was equally as impressive.  I continued walking my happy self into the belly of this culinary beast, and a voice said, "You have to pay before you can go in."  I skeptically replied, "What exactly am I paying for?"  The answer was simply, "You pay 7 dollars and then It's all you can eat."  I looked this kind lady in the eye and said, "OK, my mistake, Thank you!  Thank you so very much!"  I wanted to say, "I Love You," but I thought better of it.  I ate my 7 dollars worth, and probably about 70 more.  This boy can eat.  I am very pleased that I can call "The Commons on The Green" my friend.  To quote Doc Holliday as played by Val Kilmer, when asked why he was following Wyatt Earp to the ends of earth while suffering from tuberculosis, He said, "Wyatt Earp is my friend."  The statement was made, "Hell, Doc I got lots of friends."  Doc responded, "I don't."  Ditto.  Well said, Mr. Holliday.  That's not a food specific quote, but I believe it fits here.  Good food is my friend.
     That is the end of our culinary adventure, and I don't know about you, but I'm hungry.  I may visit the Commons on the Green for breakfast this morning.  I hope everyone has a fabulous weekend and eats some fine cuisine.  I would highly recommend Taj India, by the way.  Happy Friday!

Monday, September 2, 2013

The Return of MIA the GPS in: The Appalachian Adventure

     Well, we woke up to a rainy Labor Day around here and it could possibly hamper our plans for frolicking!  I love to frolic, and I am a champion frolicker from way back.  However, that is not the reason for this post.  Frolicking aside, I would like to share a story that involves my old friend Mia the GPS.  Mia may be a bit on the cranky side, but she does know her stuff.  This past Saturday Jesse's football team, the Morris Blue Devils, had a game in Appalachian.  Never been to Appalachian, so I had to call in the assistance of Mia.  The Blue Devils won, by the way, 28-14 and all of those young men played hard and got after it.  I was proud to watch those fellows play the wonderful game of football like they did, and they deserved that great win!  Jesse played well and had several tackles (I think 4, but it may have been more), blocked like a boss at fullback and wide-out, and had an interception at the end of the game to seal the deal!  It was probably already sealed, but it was still exciting!  That's just half of the story, and they say the journey is half the fun.  So let's experience my journey to Appalachian!
     The morning began with the lovely Cheryl programming Mia to take me to Appalachian.  Maddie was concerned about Mia going with me, and was quoted as saying, "Mia will be sad going with daddy, because he's not nice to her.  He's mean to her."  In my defense, I know my relationship with Mia has been strained but I'm willing to admit that she knows where she's going, and she better cause after all she's a GPS.  Mia's route was odd, and it was going in the opposite direction of where I thought we should be going.  I was skeptical and I thought about winging it, and using my phone with Jesse as navigator but then I remembered something my Mother in Law (Arlene) said about Mia.  She said, "You need to do exactly what Mia says!"  She's like my mother anyway so you gotta listen to Mama, Right?  I began to accept my fate, and understand that Mia is like all the other women in my life and they just want to tell me where to go.  So the journey began, and we headed South when I thought for sure Blount County was North, but again, I'm no GPS.  I decided I would follow Mia to the ends of the earth, and there were times on this trip that I thought we were there, let me tell you.  I started to become concerned when I saw a sign that said, "Chattanooga."  That would have been OK if we were playing a youth football game in Tennessee, but I was trying to get to Blount County.  Mia had us go way back in the woods, "God's Country" to be sure, and at one point she said, "In one quarter mile turn right."  We were so off the beaten path that I thought, "Unless this football field is behind that trailer over there we can't turn right!"  I was wrong (go figure) and there was a place to turn right that just appeared out of nowhere.  I had jumped to an inaccurate conclusion (surprising I know.)  Mia then decided to take us up the side of a mountain.  Seriously, straight up a mountain, I kid you not.  Thus, the whole Appalachian destination, I guess.  At one point near the top of the mountain we passed a "Snake Crossing"- seriously.  Then as we winded around this mountain pass (Reminded me of some places in Gatlinburg in the Great Smokey Mountains) we saw two trucks blocking our way.  They didn't seem like they wanted to move.  One of the guys looked like Grizzly Adams and the other looked like Vincent Price.  I thought, "Well, it's all over now, I reckon.  I've seen "Deliverance" and I ain't no Ned Beatty.  I'll go down swinging.  I'm bringing the pain."  I swear I heard "Dueling Banjos" playing.....Really Loudly!  Luckily, the trucks allowed us to pass.  False alarm.  I started to wonder, "Where in the Hell are we, anyway!"  I began to think that this was Mia's revenge for the whole calling her drunk thing in a previous blog post, and then she said, "Turn Right and you have reached your destination."  Amazingly, poof, we're at Appalachian High School.  This was kind of like an out of body experience or something, because I can't figure out how we got there but we did.  Thanks Mia.  We should work on our relationship, and I'm willing to try a little harder to get along.  You could have avoided the whole Mountainous terrain thing, though.  Just saying.
     A thought occurred to me Saturday Night as I was watching the mighty Crimson Tide of Alabama dismantle Virginia Tech, and I noticed that my lovely wife Cheryl was asleep.  Sleeping during a BAMA game is just wrong, and something has to be wrong with that sort of behavior.  The thought I'm referring to is that "Opposites Attract," and sleeping during a football game while I'm yelling at the TV screen is a prime example of this.  Some other evidence of this is that Cheryl, "Opted Out" of History while pursuing her PhD.  Seriously, opted out of History.  For the love of Zeus!  That is just wrong.  She's a vegetarian, and I'm a fan of the "Holy Cow Special" at Hamburger Heaven.  She watches shows like:  Design Star, America's Next Top Model, What Not to Wear, Project Runway etc.  I watch stuff like:  Ancient Aliens, America Unearthed, and Modern Marvels (The show on "Dirt" is Top Notch by the way.)  Cheryl lives in a land of rainbows and Unicorns, and believes that people are inherently good.  I trust no one, and understand that world is an arm pit.  The bottom line is that regardless of all this disagreement about politics, beliefs, football, and other stuff I still feel like I found the one I'm supposed to be with.  Thus, Opposites do indeed attract.  You can't really get more opposite than us that's for sure.  I hope she feels the same way, and I know I'm not easy to get along with but the good normally outweighs the bad.  That's all I guess.  How in the Heck can you opt out of History, anyway.  More importantly, why in the world would you want to?  No George Washington, No Ancient Greece, No Rome, No Louis XIV, and no Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek......That's hard for me to wrap my head around.
     Well there's my story and I'm sticking to it.  This weekend saw a big win by those Blue Devils, a Big win by the Alabama Crimson Tide, the Wisconsin Badgers won too (I have to give them props, cause I feel like I'm at least part Wisconsinite) and now it's time to frolic, rain or not.  Looking forward to it!  Everyone out there have an awesome Labor Day, and we'll catch you on the next episode!  I've got to prepare a History Lesson for Cheryl....We gone!