Saturday, August 30, 2008

Danger Zone

I did something today that no father should have to do with his kids.

Think a minute.

It's worse than what you are thinking.

Yeah. Back-to-school shoe shopping.

Brings chills right?

I have a 15-year old daughter, a 13 year old son and a 9 year old daughter. Pretty formidible task, I'd say.

We first tried our luck at a place called "Famous Footwear." See, to me that name means you're likely to find name-brand shoes right? In reality, that place carries one size in every style. Thousands of shoe boxes on the shelves, and only one size to choose from, at least where the girls' shoes were concerned. It's not like they're sold out, they have very few empty spaces on the shelves. It's ridiculous to see 20 pair of size 3 shoes in one style, unless your school allows kids to wear silver shoes, that is. Those you can find in any size.

My son managed pretty well. He's not too particular in his choices...luckily I did check his selections and found 1 size 10 shoe in the box with a 10 1/2.

For me, it solved the mystery of where all the crack-heads disappeared to: they're all merchandise managers at "Famous Footwear."

Kohl's made it easy. Every shoe in the department was loose on the floor. A good chance to play Treasure Hunt. Find an actual pair of shoes.We found "High School Musical" brand sneakers for the 9 year old.

PayLess was more like "Buy Less" in my case. Walked out of there practically empty handed. I mean, there's a Lippy in the store just looking to fork over cash, and they didn't want any of it from me!

The 15 year old found a pair of black flats at a store called Mandee's. And then a woman I quickly grew to love informed said 15-year-old that the "Converse" Chuck Taylor's were up front. What an eye-opener that was though. When I was 15, those suckas were $9.99 a pop. Now they're $49.99. Incredible what a desperate man will put up with in order to just go home.

Forgot to get myself a pair though.

Oh, and Blogger still thinks I'm a Bot.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

So Here We Are...

I can't believe how fast time goes by when you're not checking the clock. I don't want to write all that stuff about "how busy" I am, I've been, because sometimes that sounds like you're trying to make a hero out of yourself, when in reality, it's more likely that I'm just a lousy time manager.

Another year has gone by since my friend took her life. I liked to write about her every year, and I missed that opportunity this time around. I promise her a beautiful, lengthy memorialization next year.

I'm making a go of the new career. I'm not knocking the cover off the ball by any means, but I am following the right path, it seems. I just attained my first promotion. The promotion doubled my pay scale, so that means it really matters. I look at my kids, every night. Every single night. And while they are lying there sleeping, it reminds me of just how much they depend on me, and also reminds me of the responsibility I absolutely have to to live up to. So there's no time for the "victim" mentality. Things took a wrong turn, and I was feeling wronged. Yeah, and that will buy about half a cup of coffee and little else.

So that means a lot of hours, a lot of work, a lot of aggravation. And only a little blog time. It's funny how much you can miss that.

Some other things I miss:

  • Music. Music I looked forward to driving to; music I couldn't wait to buy. This isn't the lamentations of an old fool looking for the Beatles to come back. I was always a huge Popular Music fan, very progressive, always on top of the latest. What we're being fed now is crap. Pure, adulterated techno-tweaked garbage. I can't wait for the next "movement."

  • French Fries. Fresh sliced potatoes (ok maybe frozen, alright?), deep fried in vegetable oil. And that's it. No sprayed-on seasoning (I'll do that myself pal)and better yet, no sprayed-on starch or whatever the hell that gunk is. It turns the fries into finely seasoned styrofoam. Yuck, barf, whatever you want to interject there. Gimme potatoes and oil and maybe some salt. I'll worry about my own arteries.

  • Human face-to-face conversations. You know, the ones that aren't interrupted by cellphone calls. See, if we're chattin', and that call comes and is more important, that's your prerogative. But I'm done and I'm walkin'. These damned things have become like baby pacifiers for grownups. People can't seem to be off them for more than a minute. Technology isn't always great, I guess. I see them lining up outside Walmart every morning here, so they can get inside and start making their cell calls. Just friggin' stupid, in my opinion.

So what else is going on...? I don't think my interest in a Presidential election has ever been this low at this point. I hope it gets a little more engaging before November. I don't want another vote of mine to be cast for the lesser of two evils.

Oh, and, I think giving someone a "self-help" book is somehow contradictory, don't you? There's a group of folks I spend time with, and lately they've been on this whole "improvement" kick. I don't think that's bad at all. Heck, none of us is a finished product. But one of the ladies was talking about it, how she was going to fix a lot of things about herself. She then listed all these traits, habits, etc., about all these other people, and how they annoy her. And while she stated that she was going to be sure not to do any of those things herself, I couldn't help but think there was just one more correction she might want to consider, you know?

Hmmm...I'm also having a problem with the commercials from the drug companies lately. There's one where the woman is discussing an asthma drug, but she's a silhouette. You can't see her face or anything. She's like a spectre. Kinda like those idiotic Charles Schwab commercials, where they turned everyone into cartoon characters. And this other commercial, for some fibromyalgia medicine; they have probably the most annoying woman I've ever encountered as the spokesperson. I wonder if that's how they cross-market drugs? You'll need to buy the company's tranquilizer after a few viewings of the fibro drug commercial.

Oh alright, it's not all bad, ok? I'm just letting loose a little. I would love to ask you this: Is being feminine and exclusive trait? I mean, if a woman is all feminine, pretty and elegant, does that somehow detract from her other qualities? If she has pretty hair, can she not be smart and strong? Is femininity a bad thing to admire?

I'll leave ya with that. My many self-improvement categories include one for talking to much. I'm working on it.