Thursday, November 12, 2015

Dear New Co-Workers

Having worked at one company, largely on one team, even, you get to know your coworkers really really well.  Likewise, they get to know you!  They get to know all your quirks as well as all your strengths and weaknesses. 

It struck me recently, as I am getting to know my new team, that my methods may confuse some people.  They may seem odd.  Or, to put it better...they may seem annoying.

You see, I have ADD.  Like, the real ADD.  Not that, "Oh my, I am soooooo ADD" kind of ADD that people like to say they have when they forget to do something or to explain why they talk so much.  My ADD is legit. 

What does this mean?  Well, for one, it means I am almost always moving.  Movement can come in a variety of ways.  It could mean I am getting out of my seat.  It could mean I am bopping to the music I am listening to.  Or, the one that is usually most noticed and certainly most annoying, it could mean my legs are bouncing almost non-stop during meetings.

You see, I am typically able to manage my ADD.  However, I think it requires an outlet.  I believe this outlet comes in the form of constant bouncing or fidgeting.  The good news is...if I am bouncing, it usually means I am paying attention!  If I am not bouncing...well, chances are good that you have lost me and I am actually wondering if snails have a sense of smell. 

Another thing about me...I almost never bring my laptop to meetings.  To some, this may seem like I am unprepared.  But, really...unless I am presenting something, why do I need my laptop at a meeting.  One of my biggest pet peeves at work is when people sit there clicky clacking on their laptops while someone else is talking.  Someone took the time to meet with you and they have information that they think is valuable enough to share and you sit there sending mail, or worse, looking at Facebook. 

Also...I distract easy.  If I have something in my space that can easily pull me away from paying attention to something, you can bet your bottom I will eventually find my way to that thing.  It's not personal...it's just part of who I am.  So, I eliminate the distraction by not bringing my laptop.  I will bring a pad of paper and a pen and that's about it.  Any action items I have will be written on that pad and transferred to my task list later.  Double work?  Maybe...but more efficient in the long run.

Finally...I talk to myself.  I actually didn't realize how much I talk to myself until I took this new job.  I seem to talk to myself quite a bit.  It helps me think.  Maybe I am a schizophrenic.  Point is...I talk to myself.  And, I often have headphones on, so I have no idea how loud I am.  Sorry about that. 

That's all!  Have fun working with me!

Friday, November 6, 2015

Poo Poo Parents Say

I have definitely said at least 90% of these.

There are certain things that I promised I would never say to my kid because I HATED when my parents said them to me.  I think I have broken this promise to myself in most circumstances. 

 

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Those 5 minutes I thought my kid had been kidnapped.

Yeah...so this happened. 

I was cooking dinner one night.  Kim wasn't home from work yet.  Desmond had finished his homework and had either used up his allotted screen time or lost it.  I don't remember.  Point is, I was making him entertain himself by doing something besides rot his brain in front of 100 consecutive episodes of whatever his TV show of the week is.

Then...I made him mad because I yelled at him.  Actually, it wasn't really yelling AT him.  But, I did yell in his direction which scared him a bit.  He had a large stuffed animal on the couch and was proceeding to climb said stuffed animal.  At one point, I noticed it tipping forward and, in an instant, in my mind's eye, I witnessed him crashing forward, face first, into the coffee table.  That's when I yelled.  AAARGH!  Or something.  It was a loud yell.  I apologized, but it was unconscious as I seriously thought he was about to break his face.

Anyway...he was mad at me. 

So, I am in the kitchen and he is moping around the living room.  Finally, I hear the front door open.  He went outside. 

He does this occasionally.  I don't mind it.  He's outside.  It's a nice neighborhood.  And, I tend to peek out and check on him every 5 mins or so. 

He comes back in, mopes in the kitchen for a bit and leaves again.  This happens another 2 or three times.

Finally, 5 minutes after he mopes his way out of the kitchen and I hear the front door open and close, I go to do my check on him in the front yard.

I don't see him.

Well, maybe he's just up the street a bit.  Our house is on a corner lot and he sometimes goes digging at our fence along the street. 

Nope...not there. 

There is a missing board in the fence.  Maybe he went into the backyard.

Nope. 

At this point, my heart is beating a bit.

"Desmond!" I call.

Nothing.

I start to fast walk to the other side of the house.  Maybe he's exploring along the neighbors yard?

"Desmond!"

Nope.

Now my heart is pounding, but surely he's just hiding cuz he's still mad at me.

"DESMOND!!!" 

Nothing.

Across the street, a new home is being built.  I fast walk over there and ask one of the builders, "Did you see a little blond kid out here?"

"No."

"Shit." 

"DESMOND!!!!!!" 

Still nothing.

"DESMOND!!!!" up the street.

"DESMOND!!!!"  up the cross street.

A woman walking her dog is looking at me, perhaps wondering if she should assist.  Perhaps wondering how I could have lost my kid.

I am sweating.  My heart is beating through my chest.  Holy shit...where is my kid????  Did someone take my kid????

"DESMOND!!!!!  ANSWER ME!!!!"

"WHAT????" comes a high pitched, annoyed voice from behind me.

Desmond is standing in the front door. 

"Where were you???"  I ask, exasperated and relieved beyond description.

"I was upstairs.  I've been yelling "what?" at you!"

All of this lasted maybe 3 minutes.  Maybe 4 tops.  Not a long time at all.  But, I don't think I have ever been so relieved!  Nothing happened.  I had absolutely nothing to worry about, after all.  But, man, did I ever give that kid a big hug when I went back inside. 

I told him I was worried someone took him.  He gave me a hug back.  He didn't seem like he was mad at me anymore, either.  Although, he did ask why I didn't just check upstairs.  Good question. 

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Goodbye Microsoft! Hello Climate Corporation!

Yup...you read that correctly.  I have left Microsoft.  My 2nd home for over 10 years.  Wow...it feels weird reading that back right now.  But, it's real.  Today was my last day.  I have turned in the ol' Blue Badge and rode off into the sunset.  Well...actually, I left around 3 so the sun was still pretty high up there.  But, whatever.

I have left Microsoft to join another company.  The Climate Corporation

Climate is a San Francisco based company with an office in Seattle.  In a nutshell, they make technology for farmers.  Imagine getting to work on products that impact our every day life in fundamental ways.  I spent 9 years working on a super fancy product...Xbox.  It was amazing, it was sexy...but, at the end of the day, it was a toy.  Something only some people could afford and not everyone was interested in.   Outside of Xbox, Microsoft focuses mainly on productivity.  Our tools impact people all over the world...but, in ways that, ultimately, we could live without.  

In my new role, I will be impacting everyday life.  I will be impacting something that affects billions of people in ways that we can't live without.  If the world crashes, we can live without our computers.  We can't live without our food. 

The job is super cool.  I'll be working on college recruiting and staffing programs.  It's a lot, but it's a small company. :-)  My focuses, as I understand them now, will be on university relationship building, college hiring, and programs such as diversity.  I get to work on things I am passionate about and I get to take myself out of a comfort zone I have sat in for a long time.

Microsoft has been amazing to me.  I have zero hard feelings.  I grew more in my first year at Microsoft than I did in my 5 prior years recruiting.  My life is so different now.

Ten years ago...
  • Desmond wasn't around,
  • I was married, but not to my current wife,
  • I had 2 cats and an adorable puppy with perfect eye sight and a weird itchy problem we couldn't figure out,
  • I lived in Tacoma,
  • My list of close friends was almost 100% different (save for the longtime besties like Eric, Liz and MichaelPaine),
  • I was in the Navy Reserve,
  • John Paul II was the Pope,
  • George W. Bush was just elected to his 2nd term,
  • Pluto was still a planet.
Whether or not to leave Microsoft was a super hard decision.  But, it's the right one.  It's time to grow and it's time to evolve.  Microsoft is on a great path and I plan to continue to be a Windows/Xbox/Bing user for a long time (Windows Phone, on the other hand...well, I may have already switched there). 

I'm excited!  I'm ready to go!  Let's do this!!!


Tuesday, October 6, 2015

#Batgate

So, let me get this straight...

An AMAZING play by Kam Chancellor leads to a fumble which goes into the end zone.

KJ Wright, surrounded by nobody, bats the ball out of bounds.

And, everyone is screaming because the Lions should have won the game? 

I acknowledge that a rule was broken.  But, in this case, it's a dumb rule.  The rule is for punters who are in the end zone trying to get a kick off.  Should the kick be blocked or the kicker fumble the ball, the officials don't want them doing something to avoid the safety.

This wasn't the case in this play.

If KJ didn't touch the ball and it went out of bounds, no penalty.

If KJ picked up the ball and ran out of bounds, no penalty.

If KJ even ATTEMPTED to pick up the ball, was unsuccessful and the ball went out of bounds, no penalty. 

So, it's the simple act of him pushing the ball out of bounds that everyone is crying about. 

Now, I know I am a Hawks fan and I understand my bias here.  I always try to remove my bias, but I acknowledge that it is hard to do in this case.  But, even as I try to put myself in the other teams shoes, I think I would simply shrug my shoulders and say, "Oh well." 

I would not be crying about "Batgate" and talking about how the Seahawks stole the game.  Because they didn't.  The Seahawks made a great play.  The game ended on that play.  The rule is stupid and the foul wasn't flagrant.  Let it go and focus on that awesome forced fumble.  Because that is what everyone should be talking about!!!

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Conversation Pieces - Constitootion.

This happened a while ago, but it popped up on my Facebook memory feed, recently.  Too good not to post.

Desi: "I'm glad that I live in America because I can say 'stupid' and not get arrested!" (apparently, he learned this from a Capitan America book.)

Me, seeing a great opportunity for a civics lesson: "That's right! It's called 'Freedom of Speech' and it's one of many right we have written out in a big document called the Constitution!"

Desi, laughing: "Part of Constitution sounds like toot!"

Friday, September 18, 2015

Monster Squad has come to Netflix

What is Monster Squad, you ask?  Well, it's a story about a bunch of friends who have to save their town from monsters.  Or something.  I used to love this movie as a kid.  But, I admit...I don't remember a ton about it.

One thing I do remember, however, is that the single greatest line in movie history happens in Monster Squad.  Better than, "Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn.". Better than "Life is like a box of chocolates.". And better than "To Infinity and Beyond."

Ladies and gentleman...I give you, the greatest line in movie history:


Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Conversation Pieces - Marriage

We were eating lunch at taco time.  I was enjoying a delicious taco.

Me: "I love this taco.:"

Desmond: *looks at me funny*  "You love it?"

Me: "Yeah...I love it so much, I am going to marry it."

Desmond:  "Really dad?  You're going to get married 3 times?"

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Teachers and stuff

It's September and you know what that means!  It's time for the annual Teacher Strike!

This time, it looks like there are 2 districts striking.  Pasco and my home town of Seattle.

This is a real hot button issue for me.  I frequently disagree with my liberal friends and neighbors in the area.  Also, I know quite a few teachers who have strong opinions on this.  When you hear me vent about striking teachers, I can understand how you might think I am "anti-teacher."

But, that couldn't be further from the truth.  I am VERY VERY pro teacher. 

So, I felt moved to write a post to my blog because that's what I do when I have something I want to say. :-)

Here are the fundamental reasons why I oppose teacher strikes:
  1. Teachers are public employees. 
  2. Teachers are salaried professionals.  Why do they even have a union?  They're not machinists or plumbers.
  3. NOBODY is hurt by teacher strikes except the parents and students.  Districts are given their money from the state.  Teachers will still get paid.  Districts will still get paid.  In the meantime, parents need to struggle to find and pay for child care and the kids get to go even longer without their education.
  4. On average, teachers make good money and receive good benefits for 9 months of work.
Ok...I hear people yelling at me already, particularly on the 9 months of work and the good money part.  But, I want to point out that I said, "on average." 

You see, here is the thing that pisses me off most. 

There are some amazing teachers out there.  AMAZING!  These teachers are not paid enough. 

There are also some crappy teachers out there.  These teachers are paid too much. 

How do we determine good teachers from bad teachers?  I don't know because teachers don't want to be evaluated in meaningful ways.

See...my problem ultimately comes down to the union, not the teachers.  Because of the union, no meaningful criteria can be used to evaluate a teacher.  Therefore, there is no real way to determine who is an excellent teacher and who sucks.  Also, because of the union, so much focus is put on seniority over talent.  I don't care if a teacher has been teaching for 30 years.  If that teacher is not as good as this younger teacher who has only been teacher for 5 or 10, they should not be making as much money.

Why can't we run education more like a business?  If there is a teacher in Minnesota who has received multiple awards and has lead 100% of their students to passing grades and is largely seen to be amazing, why can't we offer this person $100k/year? 

On the flip side, why can't we fire the English teacher who plays movies in class every day? 

We have failed our teachers.  Our good teachers.  We have failed them because we let the system get to this point.  I know it's not PC to say, but when you have a job that pays you $60k a year, gives you 3 months off in the summer, 2 weeks for Christmas, 1 week for min-winter break and another for Spring break while offering you incredible job security, it's really not that hard to attract people. 

"But, teachers teach because they have been called to!"  Yes...some of them have.  But, many of them haven't.  Many of them like the easy paycheck and 3 months plus of vacation time.  And frankly...many of them weren't smart enough to be engineers.  This was my problem when I was studying to be a teacher.  We have lowered our standards for teachers and because of this, talent is going down. 

The teachers at Desmond's school have been called to teach!  They teach in a small private school where I am willing to bet they make less than a public school teacher.  They seem happy to be there every single day.  They are not striking today.  They are in class teaching. 

Seattle teachers are on strike.  Skipping out on their responsibilities to their students.  Already talking about how they don't earn a "living wage" and how they will likely ignore the courts if they are ordered back to work, trying to lump it under civil disobedience.  You know, like the civil rights and anti-war movements.

I fully support the raise that the Seattle teachers are looking for.  But, only for those that deserve it.  Show us who those are and I will gripe less.  Find other ways to get your point across besides these illegal and annoying strikes and I will be first in line to support you.  In the meantime, I will complain like I do every single year.

Bottom line from me: Great teachers deserve great salaries.  Bad teachers deserve to be fired.



Monday, August 24, 2015

Dad of Divas...Dads in the Limelight!

There is a really great dude I follow on Twitter names Chris Lewis.  Chris and his wife are the parents of two girls and he keeps a blog called Dad of Divas

One of the features of Chris's blog is a series called "Dad's in the Limelight."  A few months ago, Chris pinged me on Twitter and asked if I would like to be a part of this series.  I was like, "Heck yeah!!!" 

The post went up this weekend!  Go check it out here: http://www.dadofdivas.com/dads-in-the-limelight/dads-limelight-limelightdads-jason-pankow-jpankow-dadchat

Now, it was written a few months ago, so obviously some things have changed.  Like, you know...me getting married and stuff.  Not to mention that Desmond starts the 1st grade next week.  Can you believe it????  First Freakin' Grade!!!

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Seahawks Training Camp

Last week, Desmond and I went to Seahawks Training Camp to watch the Hawks practice!  We went with our buddies Duncan and Duncan's dad, Kevin. 
 
 
Big blow up helmet thing. 

So...there is a story with this pic.  At some point, when we were talking about training camp, Kim made a joke about how Des was supposed to make sure I didn't run off with a cheerleader, or something like that.  I don't totally remember.  I just remember Kim saying something about keeping me away from cheerleaders.  So...when I tried to get Desmond to take a picture with me and the SeaGals, he refused.  "Kim said No!"  Later, he was like, "Why did you want to have your picture taken with the SeaGals so badly?" 


No reluctance to have his picture taken with Blitz.

Here, they are trying to make a "12."  Duncan is the 2.  I think. 

Autograph time sucked.  So much pushing and shoving.  Desmond doesn't like crowds to begin with. 
 
Then...it got worse when Russell Wilson came over.  See that arrow?  That Desmond.  He didn't get any autographs.  And, in the process, he got smashed into the other kids. 
 
I didn't want him to leave without any autographs, so I made sure he got at least 1.  You can see just how impressed he is by it.  In case you can't tell, this is his, "Seriously, Dad?" face. 



Monday, August 10, 2015

Ok, Ok!!! Here are some wedding photos!

I know it's taken me forever.  These are only some of the many many photos we have.

Keep in mind, we spent almost 2 weeks in Hawaii.  So, there are photos on top of those photos, as well.  Here are a select few of my favorite from the day of the wedding. 

Chatting it up with my boy before he officially gets a step-mom
With said step-mom.  He got to see her before I did.

 Said step-mom knows our little man. She made him his own special boutonniere. (also...bewbs!) 

Dad...check out the boutonniere Kim made me!

 Chicks dig this part where they get to surprise the groom. I promised I wasn't going to cry. I cried.

Needed a picture of that boutonniere.

 Pankows

With the newest Pankow

Romines

One of my favorite pics of the day. 

With the new in-laws.  I couldn't have asked for a more amazing pair!

Smooching on the bench, overlooking the Pacific.


 I love this one.  It might be my favorite.

Most of the pre-wedding pics involve some form of smooching. 

This is what the guests had to look out. I apologize for blocking the view during the ceremony.

Walking down the aisle with my best-little-man. Who is still checking out the boutonniere.

This is Kale (Kah-Lay).  He plays the conch.  He also officiated.

Kim and Clark walking down the aisle unsuccessfully trying not to cry.

Desmond gets a lei, too!

I think she likes me. :-)

More smooching.

 The wedding coordinator photo bombed this shot!  But, I liked it too much not to post.

Signed, sealed and delivered about a week later!

Cool dude in his cool wedding shades.  Desmond was in charge of handing out the bags for the kids.  Bags came with shades, bubbles, a beach ball and a mini lego set, of course!

 Our guests!!!

My #1 favorite picture of the day!

These chairs were totally rad!  I don't think these 4 moved from them the whole time. 

This is totally my favorite picture from the day!

And, I close with my favorite! 


I don't know how the wedding could have been more perfect!  It's not in the pictures I have yet (I think Kim's dad got some, but I don't have his photos, yet), but instead of a cake, we had a Shave Ice truck!  What a hit!!!

Now, Kim and I are trying to figure out how to renew our vows every year at the same place. 

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Wanna see our early eHarmony coms?

I just finished sending eHarmony our "story."  When I was done, they sent a little info graphic of our communications with one another.  Thought people might be interested.  It's kind of adorable.

A few notes:
  1. Kim found me. 
  2. She decided to skip over the regular eHarmony process and jump right into email.
  3. There was a gap of about 3 weeks in communication.  This was right after Satchmo died (but, I didn't tell Kim that).  I wasn't really thinking about dating.
  4. Once we exchanged emails, eHarmony was done for us.  You don't get to see the non eHarmony coms.  Too steamy! 
Here you go!

Kim:
Hey Jason, I'm kicking it on my couch with a cup of coffee scrolling through my "what ifs"....great Saturday a.m. entertainment! I came across your profile and was struck by the first line of what you are looking for. Simply put "someone awesome". I have a wall hanging next to my bed that reads "Wake Up And Be Awesome". If more people would abide by that simple rule, the world would be a better place. I'll stop rambling now. Just wanted to say hello. What plans do you have for your weekend, besides being generally awesome? Kim

Jason:
Hi Kim, I need a wall hanging like that! I would have to agree with that statement. I chuckle a little at online dating because you are supposed to define your perfect partner. That's a lot of pressure! Our individualities are what make us great...or rather, awesome! Why cross anything off the list without seeing the whole picture? My weekend was loaded, but fun! I coach 4-5 year olds in soccer and we had our first game. The kids picked our team name before the game. We are the Unicorns! I should mention that my team is made up of 80% girls. The boys groaned a little at the name, but majority rules! Today I joined a buddy at the Seahawks game. Those are always fun. And, you. What kind of awesomeness did you partake in? Happy Monday (likely by the time you read this), Jason

Kim:
STOP IT! My soccer team when I was 5 was the Unicorns and we were anything but magical. My dad was our coach and I was just in it for the orange slices, capri suns & stickers. I don't think we ever won a single game but I was none the wiser. I had a pretty low key weekend. Dinner with some girlfriends on Friday night. Did laundry, ran errands and paid bills on Saturday. Then spent yesterday watching the Hawks crush the Jags, followed by the Emmy's. I've been SO awesome the last several weekends in a row that it was a much needed a break. I've been traveling a ton - Portland, Eastern Washington, Delaware, the beach at Westport and getting ready to leave on Thursday to visit some friends in Minneapolis. I don't usually travel this much but 4th Quarter is going to be crazy for me at work so I'm trying to pack in as much fun right now as possible. I actually laughed out loud when I read your profile about your dog that is allergic to humans. Amazing! What kind of dog? Hope you have an awesome Monday, looking forward to getting to know you! Kim P.S. I'll eat your olives....

Jason:
Hi Kim, I have to apologize...work and life have kept me a wee bit busy and eHarmony has taken a bit of a backseat. :-) It sounds like your Unicorns and my Unicorns have a lot in common. We've had 3 games so far and we've scored 1 goal. I think everyone's still having fun, so it's all good. But, I can tell they're getting a bit frustrated. The snacks are indeed the favorite part, though. My dog is indeed allergic to humans. I had never heard of such a thing before. Since we diagnosed Quincy here, I have met 2 other dogs with the same allergy. WTF? I'm thinking about opening a doggie commune somewhere where they can all run free without being all itchy. I'm off to Las Vegas next week! Attending the LinkedIn Conference. It's really just a reason for a bunch of recruiters to get together and party. Still...I'll make sure to learn one or two things to keep my boss happy. Happy Saturday! How's your weekend looking this week? Anything exciting? Jason

Kim:
Hi Jason! No need to apologize. Life should take priority over online dating...just means you're being awesome. I wish I were jet-setting to Vegas right now! Instead I'm in my office gearing up for what will probably be the most challenging 3-months of my career. I work in the Health Insurance Industry and needless to say, everyone hates us right now :) Do you work for LinkedIn? Maybe when my Insurance career falls apart you can hook a sister up with new JOB. Kidding. In all seriousness I love my job and have total faith that we will come out of this on top. I've been with this company for 8 years and they've been good to me. I may just have to amp up my Happy Hours to get through it. If you'd like, you can email me at xxxxx@gmail.com - and now you know my last name so let the internet stalking begin. Have fun in Vegas and put $5 on black for me. I won $500 at pull tabs this weekend so I'm on a bit of a hot streak. Kim

Jason
Your last name is gmail? That's totally rad! I will definitely shoot you a mail. Connection is spotty where I am, so it will likely be later. I am xxxxx@yahoo.com. Whatever...I set it up in college. This, too, gives you insight into my last name. I assure you, I am NOT the Jason Pankow from Atlanta with the creepy mugshot. We are not related...that I know of. I do not work for LinkedIn...better. I work for Microsoft in the newly formed Devices and Studios Group. This is essentially the business that builds all of Microsoft's hardware (Xbox, Surface, etc) and the game studios. I too love my job. And, I am in Staffing, so I am the right person to talk to about a job. :-) My business rarely comes up in political circles, however. I don't envy what you guys are dealing with, right now. I put $5 on black at your request. It landed on Zero. Go figure. First coffee is on you. ;-) Happy Wednesday! Jason Pankow (but not the creeper from Atlanta)


Friday, August 7, 2015

Things That Make Me Smile - Derek Hough

I don't watch Dancing With the Stars.  My folks watch it religiously.  Kim watches it occasionally, but she doesn't watch a ton of TV in general.  I was more of a So You Think You Can Dance, guy.  But, I just can't really commit to any more shows what with my ongoing relationship with The Walking Dead, Game of Thrones and Agents of Shield.  

But, when I do see DWTS with Kim or my folks, I am always amazed at the talent of Derek Hough.  It's clear to me that he has a ton of talent.  I enjoy watching him every time he's on.  He makes those lame ass D-list celebrity women look amazing!!!

Anyway, here is a routine my dad sent to me a while back.  I still go back and watch it here and there because I so enjoy the way they pull it off.  It's not the first time this trick has been done (See Fred Astaire), but it is one of the best.  The way they move seamlessly from one wall to another.  The way one is on the floor while the other is on the ceiling.  It truly well done.

Enjoy!


Thursday, August 6, 2015

I am Literally Sick of the Word Literally...wait...no I'm not!

Have you noticed an uptick in the use of the word literally?

I feel like literally 2/3s of the population of the world has added the word to their routine vocabulary. I hear this word used literally 5000 times per day. So, if you use it and you think you see me literally roll my eyes at you, you're literally correct...I did roll my eyes at you.

The thing is, literally 99% of the time, the word is misused. But, actually, no it's not. Because, the world "literally" literally means "exactly."

I am kind of a grammar nerd (Note...I said grammar, not spelling...so, if I misspell something, that's because spell check didn't work properly). I poke fun when people use the incorrect form of they're, there or their. Or, when someone says, "I could care less," when really they mean they "couldn't care less." But, my new pet peeve is the word literally.

THERE! Just now...outside my office, I heard someone say the word! I LITERALLY just heard the word used 30 seconds ago!!!

Yesterday, met with a financial advisor.  Kim looked at me as I rolled my eyes after he incorrectly used the word. 

The other day...was at a work meeting and heard it used at least 4 times by the same person.

Here's the thing. As I mentioned, "literally" means "exact." It means that something happened EXACTLY the way described. So, if you say "I have seen Monty Python and the Holy Grail literally a thousand times!" you are saying that you, without exaggeration, have seen that movie 1000 times. That would be about 1,516 hours and 67 minutes of Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Over 63 days of your life. More than 2 months straight of African vs European swallows and the Knights Who Say NI! Come to think of it...I think I literally have seen that movie 1000 times.

Why? Why is it being used so much? Is it just an easier emphasis than saying something like, "I laughed so hard that I figuratively peed my pants?" I mean, if you only figuratively peed your pants, maybe the joke wasn't actually that funny, so you decide to tell people that you, a grown adult who has been potty trained the majority of your life actually pee-peed while dressed? I mean, if you didn't, the joke obviously would be worth telling.

Anyway, it's time for a friendly reminder. Please stop incorrectly using the word "literally!" In fact, just stop using it so much all together. Even those who are using it correctly are overusing it. Seriously...it's not like the word "is." We couldn't get very far in life not saying "Is."

I once saw a comedian do a stand up routine about the word literally, but now I can't find it. If you know where it is, post it in the comments section. In the meantime, here is a video of politicians literally misusing the word "literally."





I am literally getting back to work, now.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Why I won't vote for Chris Christie

Ok...I will admit at the top that this is probably a stupid reason not to vote for someone.  But, here goes.  I won't vote for Chris Christie for president because of this:



That's right...I won't vote for Chris Christie because he's a Cowboys fan.

This is particularly disappointing for me as, 4 years ago, I was convinced Christie would be my candidate.  I loved his politics, I loved the way he stood up to special interests (especially the Teachers' Union), and I just generally liked his way of dealing with the stupidity that is often the American political system.

Bridgegate came up and I didn't care!  Was he involved?  Maybe.  But, so what. Minor in the grand scheme of things. 

But, this Cowboys thing.  I can't get past this. 

If he were from Dallas, that would be one thing.  If it were another team besides the Cowboys, that would be another.  You see, you can support your childhood team if you grew up away from home.  I still think it's bad taste for a governor when you have 2 teams playing in your own state, but whatever.  I could forgive it.

Or...if it wasn't the Cowboys...say it was the Dolphins or the Bengals. Then, it's harder to call bandwagon.

But, the Cowboys.  They are the biggest bandwagon team in football.  Just like the Redsox or Yankees in baseball.  Just like the Lakers in basketball.  He jumped on the "America's Team" bandwagon. 

Should he get props for staying on when they sucked?  No.  Because they were still the bandwagon team, even when they sucked.

And then, he became governor!  His state hosted a Superbowl, for crying out loud!  One of his local team has won 2 Superbowls!!!!  He has been given every reason to join his people in support of the local team and he hasn't done so because he chooses to remain on the bandwagon.

How can I trust a politician who has no loyalty to his home?  How do I know that he won't be cheering for Team North Korea at some point?  How do I know that he won't be hugging Putin when Team Russia makes it to the playoffs.

Nope...not me.  Chris Christie does NOT get my vote. 

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Where did this brat come from????

My kid is a huge negative nelly, recently.  Like, HUGE!  He complains about everything. 

Ever since summer started, he's seemed to get more and more bratty.  We had a great trip to Hawaii.  At one point, he was so super sweet, he was even talking about how much he loved the beauty of the islands.  What 6 year old talks about the beauty of the islands? 

Then, we get back and he gets to spend a week with Grandma.  No parents to say No to McDonalds or a new lego set.  Just Grandma doing what she does best...giving him every thing he wants.

Followed by another vacation!  10 days with mom touring beautiful nature spots like Yellowstone, Crater Lake and the Biggest Ball of Twine in Minnesota.  Actually, I think that one was closed when they got there.

Hiking, swimming, smiling!  He came back with a  ton of stories.

Then, he gets back home and BOOM!  Capitan Crabby Pants.

This weekend, he wanted to make "Smoothie Ice Cream Cones," a snack he learned from school.  Unfortunately, due to circumstances of the day, our day didn't end until 9 PM.  I offered to make them with him in the morning.  He proceeds to stomp to his room, slam the door and barricade it with every item from both his bed and hamper.  Refuses to come out. 

Then, today, even worse.  We had a landscaper come and clean up our yard (long story here as yard maintenance is supposed to be covered by the rent, but the dude hasn't shown up in forever).  Desmond has a place in the yard he calls his "special place."  It was full of weeds.  They cleared out the weeds!  Desmond is super pissed, now.  Complaining about how they "Killed Planty!" and ruined his special place. And, I'm not talking about simple complaints.  I am talking about stomping, scowling, snotty tone, folded arms, ignoring, everything that I hate rolled into one not-quite-tantrum.

He's getting on everyone's nerves!  What the heck is going on here???

Anyone want a kid?

Island Wedding Memories RULES!!! Yelp SUCKS!!!

Getting hitched in Maui isn't easy when you live in Seattle.  Therefore, having a wedding coordinator on site is pretty essential. 

The coordinator Kim found, Leah Robb from Island Wedding Memories, was rad!  Here is the review I posted on Yelp:

I just got hitched in Maui last month.  The day was simply perfect.  In every way.

The main reason for the perfection was Leah Robb.

Obviously, planning a wedding from across an ocean is difficult, so we knew pretty early that we needed a coordinator.  My (now) wife found Leah through a referral.  Where we had previously been doing a ton of our own research and were going into a destination wedding knowing very little, Leah was quick to identify our needs and guide us through our process.

Her first, and easily her best, recommendation was the wedding site.  Had it not been for Leah, we would have never found our site.  And, it was amazing.  So amazing, that my wife barred me from posting pictures before the ceremony because she wanted a breathtaking experience for our guests when they arrived the day of.

Next, we gave her our budget and she gave us suggestions.  Instead of constant negotiating and adding/subtracting various different costs, she put together suggestions for catering, photography, decorations, floral, etc, all within the budget we gave her.  We simply had to pick our favorites.  And, again...all services on the day of were spot on.

We even had some quirky requests.  We didn't want cake.  So, she rented us a shave ice truck!  This was SUPER popular with the guests.  We wanted to have yard games for the kids.  Done!  Some of our guests had dietary restrictions.  Handled!!  Perfect, I tell you.  Perfect!

Leah was professional and fun. Seriously.  She made us laugh and she made the day 100% stress free.  Arriving in Maui was more stressful than the actual wedding day.  Guests arrived at 3 and there were still people hanging on until the last shuttle (arranged by Leah) left at 10.

Perfect!


____________________________

Now, for the complaining part.

Yelp sucks.  Like, really really sucks.

I never used it before now.  I would read reviews, but I wouldn't post.  I have been hearing a lot about how they may or may not play favorites with certain posts, but I didn't really care that much. 

Until now.  You see, Leah Robb was an amazing coordinator.  Like, super fantastic.  Our wedding day went off without a hitch.  It was as perfect as it possibly could have been.  If there were hiccups, we didn't see them.  In fact, the only thing I noticed that wasn't 100% on point was that the Shave Ice truck (yes, we had shave ice instead of cake!) parked in the wrong place.  But, the only reason I noticed was because, 2 days before during our walkthrough, Leah told us the truck would park somewhere else.  I can pretty much guarantee that nobody else noticed.

Let me back up a little.

Kim found Leah through a recommendation.  As with most of Kim's decisions with the wedding, my input was, "That sounds great, honey!"  Such was the case with Leah.

One day while I was bored, I decided to do a Yelp search on Leah.  I found that she was indeed listed.  And, she was ranked with only 1 star.  ONE STAR!  In case you're not familiar with Yelp, that means she sucks.  This made me nervous.  Did we just hire a crappy coordinator to run this important day?  I brought it up to Kim and she basically said, "Oh...well, we already gave her a deposit."  So...there we are.

Fast forward.  As I mentioned, the day was amazing!  We could not have been happier!  I was so happy, in fact, that I was inspired to create a Yelp account and post a review for Leah!  It was not fair that she was represented on Yelp by these 2 crappy reviews.  Especially when you read the review.  Seriously...one person was mad because the wedding party wasn't paired up properly.  Um...hey wedding party.  Maybe you could have pointed that out to her.  Regardless, not a reason to review someone with one star.

Kim and I both wrote 5 star reviews!  It boosted Leah's average to 3 stars.  Still not as good as she deserves, but whatever.  It's better than 1 star.

I popped back onto Yelp today, about 3 days after I posted.  Leah's score is once again 1 star.  Both my review as well as Kim's had disappeared.  What the hell?

It was then that I noticed a little drop down category called "Other reviews that aren't recommended."  You have to click to see these reviews and they don't factor into the final score.  Both of our reviews are in this category.  So, neither of our glowing reviews made it in to impact Leah. 

We are there with 9 other reviews that aren't "recommended."  Many of them Great reviews!  In fact, if these reviews are counted, Leah's average would be 4 STARS!!!

What the hell, Yelp?  This basically makes me conclude that your service is bullshit.  And, while I have watched your little video and understand the supposed logic, it is clearly proving to be bullshit in this circumstance.  Your algorithm is crap. I currently have zero trust in you as a referral service based on this. 

Monday, July 13, 2015

Pardon my anxiety...please pass the Xanex.

So...I've been living with anxiety for a few years now.  Honestly, it all started during my divorce and has never really gone away.  I stress about everything. 

After a few very uncomfortable and unwelcome panic attacks, I finally went to the doctor for some meds.  I don't like brain meds.  Never have.  But, when you break out into a cold, dripping sweat giving a presentation you have given 10x before to a room of college students, you know it's time to do something. 

Kim came onto the scene after the anxiety started but before I was on the meds.  So, she's gotten to see all sides of it.  In fact, it was being with her that made me realize something was wrong.  It wasn't natural that I couldn't sleep at night because she was friends on Facebook with an ex.  Or because she said something that was completely normal but that something in the back of my mind meant she didn't actually love me and was only settling for me because she couldn't find something better. 

Anywhoo...it's mostly under control now, occasional panic attack over something stupid like finding a parking spot aside. 

Really, why I am writing this isn't because I have anxiety.  It's because my friend Maegan recently sent me this blog post and I needed to share because it is pretty spot on!

From a blog called Sober Chrystal, I give you the following:

10 Things You Should Know About People With Anxiety

Anxiety makes daily life a real pain in the ass for everyone involved. We all feel anxious from time to time, but people with anxiety disorders have a hard time controlling it. There are at least 40 million American adults living with an anxiety disorder (source: National Institute of Mental Health). It might be helpful to know a few things about us anxious folks, since we are everywhere. My assumption is that you want to help someone you love if you are reading this – if you’ve never experienced it, you will probably never understand anxiety and that’s okay. You can still be helpful through the unfolding of it. Keep in mind that no experience is the same. I’m not speaking for everyone with anxiety, just doing my part to increase awareness. If I scare the shit out of you, you’re welcome.

1. It has nothing to do with you

Our anxiety has nothing to do with you, however directed at you it may seem. Anxiety is a constant mental battle that manifests physically, or does it start in our bodies? Either way, being miserable in our own skin makes it hard to be pleasant sometimes – and we might not even realize what’s happening. Irritability is a near constant in my world, so while it’s possible I’m annoyed with YOU, don’t take it too personally. Hopefully I don’t seem like a complete asshole, but if I do, just be happy you’re not me.
MjAxMy1lZTE0NGM4ZWJiM2JmMGI5
www.someecards.com

2. We know we’re irrational

The epitome of anxiety is this: Knowing, as you’re freaking out, that there’s no reason to be freaked out, but you can’t shut it down. Some of the emotions we entertain are like the fruit flies currently invading my kitchen – they’re tiny, annoying, and useless, yet we can’t seem to take our focus off of them until they’re all dead and gone. Sometimes a worry can start being legit, but we take it to an epic and destructive level.

3. Anxiety hurts

Physically

The physical toll anxiety takes on my body is the most frustrating aspect of anxiety for me. Anxiety is really physically uncomfortable – it doesn’t hurt the same way for everyone.
  • Hot and cold flashes – When I was working in customer service, I ran into my favorite teacher from 3rd grade! Rather than act like a normal person, my body flushed over in a cold wave of terror and then I was instantly a hot mess of dripping, beastly sweat, a stuttering fool with horrific red blotches on my chest. Awkward. That was bullshit – I experience similar moments regularly.
  • Racing heartbeat, palpitations – Heart palpitations feel like having a goldfish flopping around in my chest. I even visualize the scaly thing in there and start to wig out even more. There have been several times when I’ve been close to dialing 911, but instead I sit in paranoid silence, waiting it out, realizing I’m not ready to die.
  • Feeling restless or on edge – If you see me in the same spot for more than 20 minutes and I don’t look like I’m in agony, consider it a small miracle.
  • Easily tired – I’m always spent. There are multiple reasons for this, but anxiety is one of them. Fighting anxiety is like being in a constant state of fight or flight and takes its toll daily. I rarely get to take naps with two small kids all up in my grill, but when the opportunity knocks, I indulge and it feels so luxurious.
  • Muscle tension and pain – My jaw is so buff from clenching my teeth, I’d put a pit bull to shame. My chest, shoulders, and neck are always tense. Massages can be helpful, but I’m so paranoid about letting one fly, I don’t get very relaxed.
  • Intestinal shit – Speaking of letting one fly, I can be  a gassy gal. 1 part genes, 1 part anxiety. I probably have IBS. This is a overshare, but my husband can tell when I am constipated. Isn’t that nice? Sometimes, if I’m a bit unruly, he’ll ask, “Have you pooped lately?” At least he pays attention.
  • Knots and stomach butterflies – I eat to cover them up and then I don’t shit them out. Good stuff.
  • Dizzy, light-headed – Makes me feel incapable at times.
  • Numb or tingly – Usually my arms or legs get pins and needles and that’s when I recognize I need to sit down for a few minutes and chill.

Mental

Many thoughts, emotions, and behaviors revolve around anxiety. I’m too exhausted from listing the physical symptoms to delve into these much, but here are some common symptoms:
  • Obsessive thinking
  • Compulsive behavior
  • Difficulty concentrating – I don’t play cards or board games because I just can’t focus.
  • Memory problems – Sometimes I have a hard time forming thoughts because my brain and body are so concentrated on the sustained anxiety. This is why I can’t tell a story to save my life, turn into an inarticulate moron during job interviews, and repeatedly ask if anyone has seen my phone. I go blank during any type of confrontation and could never EVER be in a debate club, no matter how passionate I am.
  • Irritable

4. Social situations can be torture

I'm leaving early!
www.someecards.com

Although avoidance can lessen anxiety in the short-term, it doesn’t work for actually living life.  I’d probably be a hermit most of the time if I could. I’d just sit in my house, back out of plans, and be happy as a clam doing so. Back in my drinking days I’d “pre-funk” before every type of social event so I was loose, less self-conscious, and more outgoing. Now that I’m sober, my pre-funks consist of mostly internal freak-out sessions over shit that will never happen. I secretly hope shit gets cancelled all the time and would even welcome a hearty cold if it meant I could stay home.
Because interacting with people can be so anxiety-inducing, we are picky about who we let close. We put up walls for those who don’t make the cut to keep ourselves safe.

5. Don’t try to talk us out of it

panic attack
www.someecards.com

The worst feeling in the world is when someone tells me to “get over it” or “just relax.” These statements make me feel like I’m broken and alone, and show a blatant misunderstanding of the nature of anxiety. Believe me, if it was that simple, I would have done it already. More often than not, there is no logical reason for my anxiety, it just is. There’s a fine line between talking me out of it and helping me. “Let’s get down to the bottom of this, why are you anxious?” That’s what my well-intentioned husband says, trying to get me to put it into words so he can help. It has helped a few times, but most often my mind goes blank, my body gets tighter, and I feel even more like a freak, especially since I was trying to hide my anxiety in the first place and got called out on it.

6. Panic attacks are real

I remember when I thought that people who had panic attacks were legitimately crazy. How can you be so whacked-out that you lose bodily control in a terrorized panic over nothing?! This is where there’s a huge disconnect – it can make sufferers and their loved ones really frustrated. It’s really hard to understand and even harder to describe. A panic attack can come out of nowhere or it can be fear-induced. You can maybe feel it coming or suddenly it’s happening, taking your breath away. Either way, once you’ve experienced one of these bad boys, it’s like a mission in life to never ever have another. Panic attacks are so scary! To me, it feels like my body is completely out of control – sweating, fuzzy headed, pounding heart, blurred vision, shaking, gonna shit myself – sheer terror. I had my first panic attack at a grocery store in my early 20s and it was so unexpected and terrifying, I felt like I’d lost a bit of my sanity, never to be found again.

7. We have moments of brilliance

When we are aware of our anxiety and working on it, we experience glowing moments of perfection. These moments come and go and sometimes we shock the hell out of ourselves with our amazingness. I’m not always a total freak. Especially since I’m getting older and caring a little less about what people think of me. I’ve managed to reduce the frequency of some of my more useless agonies, like the torture of walking through the cafeteria at work to get some damn food. Sometimes I can actually get in and out of there without feeling a thousand eyes upon me, waiting for me to trip or shoot a boogie out of my nose… I consider these moments huge successes for me. Don’t always assume we are having anxiety. The last thing we want is for you to approach us like wigged-out weaklings, plus it could totally deter a brilliant moment or just piss us off. If we have shared some triggers with you, then it’s cool to be mindful of them, otherwise, let us be. And don’t push us to get better. We are handling it and always trying to be better.

8. We are grateful people

We are grateful for our moments of brilliance  – for every time we overcome a situation – we experience intense relief and these moments accumulate. We are also grateful for those people in our lives who try to understand and work with us. I never take for granted those who are there for me and are genuinely interested in my well-being and happiness. My circle may be tiny, but it’s solid. I’m most grateful for my mom’s unwavering support and for my husband’s patience and commitment to me.

9. We know living with us is hard

My anxiety is our anxiety, sorry
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As long as you know that we know, and we’re working on it constantly, you need to allow the process. We know how much of a burden our anxiety is, and we do not need a reminder. I know the consequences of my anxiety are annoying, frustrating, and sometimes hurtful. Try being me. There may never come a day when I’m fully composed or uninhibited – that ship sunk when I got sober. I consider myself a positive person, but anxiety breeds negativity – it just does. Again, take a step back and be grateful you aren’t me. Your patience and compassion are appreciated. Remember we are always working on it and we are worth it.

10. We want you to learn more

Whatever you can do to learn more about what anxiety looks and feels like in someone’s everyday life, the better. You don’t have to be able to relate to us, in fact I’d rather not subject you to that – a general understanding will do. Compassion goes a long way.


Here are some ways you could potentially help someone with anxiety:
  • Be mindful – Knowing some of their triggers may be helpful. When we’re dining at a restaurant, my husband takes the seat that’s facing the crowd, so I can either look at a wall or fewer people. It makes me nervous seeing people and eating in front of them, so he shuts it down every time. I appreciate it every time.
  • Be proactive – Take steps to help mitigate the anxiety or lighten the load. My husband does a lot of the talking in social situations and helps me out when I’m fumbling for words (except for when Roger Goodell asked me how I liked the NFL and I froze like a fool, LIKE A FOOL! – I’ll agonize about that until the day I die!). Actually, he talks more than anyone I’ve ever known and rarely shuts up – I’m almost always grateful for it.
  • Find compassion – If you can’t find compassion, keep your thoughts to yourself. I don’t like to hear negative shit about people who struggle with this shit like I do. When people like us hear you judging so-and-so for not wanting to hang out or for being weird or socially retarded, we’re subconsciously understanding that it’s not okay that we’re that way. So, no matter how whacked someone may seem, maybe if you just let it go and move on with your life, we’ll all be a little lighter. It’s sometimes second nature to make fun of shit we don’t understand, just consider your audience. If we do it, it’s okay though.
  • Compromise – We aren’t as social as my husband would like to be and he doesn’t complain about it – having said that, he’s a social freak and that shit needs to get locked down anyway. I need my down time and he knows that’s important to me. I can’t always be “up”. It’s not in my nature and doesn’t serve me.
  • Touch us – My husband often rubs my hand while we are driving around in the car, knowing the extreme effect it has on my well-being. Ahhhh. It can change who I am in a moment. Touch is powerful. Touch is survival. I need more of it.
  • Remind us to breathe – “Take a deep breath” – My mom is so good at reminding me to do this. One deep breath can completely turn a moment around. I need this reminder more often.
  • Laughter is the best medicine –  We are always winning when we’re laughing! I find it soothing to watch mindless comedy on TV. Being gassy comes in handy, too. Sometimes I act a fool, like a giggling, immature school girl…you might not get it, but I do, so let me have it! Sit down with your anxious friend and watch some good ‘ol Tommy Boy or I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry. Light moments are fun.
There are no cures for anxiety disorders, but there are many ways to find some relief. No one disorder or management of it looks the same as another. I hope you learned something new about people with anxiety, I know I did by putting it into words for the first time. If you struggle, I hope you find the help you’re looking for. If you suffer from knowing one of us, don’t be a dick and try harder to understand. If you question something, ask me. I’ll tell you what I know after I’ve obsessed about it and rehearsed my answer for a few months, then spell-checked it and re-rehearsed and then contemplated if it was too late to answer.
Thanks for reading,
Chrystal

Monday, July 6, 2015

Why I won't vote for Rick Perry

I started this back when Rick Perry announced he was running for President.  Kinda late now, but whatever.

I will never vote for Rick Perry for anything.  There are multiple reasons, but all I need is one.  And that one is this video:


 

Why, you may ask?  Simple. 

"You don't need to be in the pew every Sunday to know that there's something wrong in this country when gays can serve openly in the military, but our kids can't openly celebrate Christmas or pray in school."

Ummmm...our kids can openly celebrate Christmas AND pray in school. However, religious celebrations can't be mandated by the school so as to not alienate the non-Christians or the non-praying students.  But, that's not the real issue.

But, that's not the real issue.

The issue isn't even that he's basically coming out against gays.  People do that all the time.  I don't like it, but, depending on their other stands on the issues, by itself it's not a deal breaker for me.

My issue...this video to me basically says that gays can't love the country enough to serve in the military AND alludes to the fact that they can't love God or be loved by God because they're gay.  He does this by (somehow) comparing gays serving in the military to prayer in school.  What does one have to do with the other?  Unless you think they are basically the same topic.  Kinda like I am in one small department of Human Resources, gays in the military is another small department of God Hates Fags. 

You can say I'm stretching, but I don't think it's really that much of a stretch.

I am also not ashamed to admit that I am a Christian.  But, I am also not afraid to say that I will NOT vote for Rick Perry.  Ever. 

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Oh hey...I'm married

Got married, recently.  But, you probably knew that.  I suppose you would like to see pictures.  Well, you'll have to wait.  Right now, my new wife is making me clean the garage.  Who does she think she is? 

Here's one to tide you over.  More forthcoming in the near future.  Patience!

Friday, June 19, 2015

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Off to Hawaii...and Matrimony!

This morning, I depart for the beautiful island of Maui.  I am traveling with my fiancĂ© and my son.  While I am there, however, I plan to ditch the fiancĂ© and come home with a wife!   

If you want to follow the shenanigans on Instagram, you can.  Simply follow the hashtag #PankowEverAfter.

If you want to buy us a gift.  Don't!  Just give us money. :-)  That way, you don't have to wonder what we want.  You can do that here:  https://www.zola.com/registry/kimandjason

If you want to steal one of us away from the other, you are welcome to assuming your name is Jennifer Lawrence (for Jason) or Jason Bateman (for Kim). 

Otherwise...I may post periodically while I am there.  But, most likely I will just put up one big post when we get back. 

Tootles!

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Kingergarten comes to an end!

Well, phase 1 of 13+ of what I like to call "Desmond Gets Edumacated" is complete!  Kindergarten has come to an end!

The end of school was celebrated with mass, a dance, playground time and that's about it!  Here are some pics:
 
End of school mass!
 
Huey, Dewey and Louie...aka Wyatt, Desmond and Braden. Kindergarten buddies/troublemakers.  
 
Desmond and Ms. Zbaracki, the saint who put up with his antics and got him ready for 1st Grade.

Two ridiculously good looking dudes. 
 
And...here are a couple videos captured by The Great Jodie O'Toole (TGJO'T).
 

 
 
Here's what I learned from Kindergarten. 
  • My kid is SMRT...I mean, SMART!  I knew he was smart, but he's smarter than I think Kindergartners should be.  He catches me off guard sometimes.  Part of that, I think, is that he is learning things I don't remember learning in Kindergarten.  But, I am often pleasantly surprised. 
  • Volunteering is fun! But, also very time consuming.
  • Moms wear yoga pants a lot...but, don't actually go to the gym.
  • The 6th grade teacher has a lot of MILFs checking him out every morning.
  • New group of friends = new people to invite to hangouts and parties.
  • I have no idea how to help with Math.
That's about it. 1st grade, next year!  Mrs. Gazewood. 

Friday, June 5, 2015

Things That Make Me Smile - Dogs and Fireworks

Not all dogs cower when fireworks go off, apparently. 

Happy 4th of July From...A Wiener Dog
*Watch AFV Sunday nights at 7/6c on ABC*
Posted by America's Funniest Home Videos on Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Only 9 Days of Kindergarten left!

OMG!  It's hard to believe.  I almost have a first grader.  It feels like only a couple days ago that I was uploading this post. 

We just got Desmond's class picture. 


Sorry for the poor cropping.  I just took a photo of a photo.  Haven't actually scanned it, yet. 

But, this picture helped to validate something for me:  school uniforms are awesome!  I mean, look how adorbs this kids are!  And, not once did I ever hear about how so-and-so has this awesome shirt or these amazing shoes!  It's perfect! 

Ms. Zbaracki and Mrs. Morley have been great!  Desmond has been a handful, I am sure.  And, I know Ms. Z can sometimes be strict.  But, I think that it's been a good combo.  She has really helped to prepare him for what to expect in 1st grade and beyond.  And, I am grateful! 

9 days left.  Judas Priest!  Soon he'll be driving.

Friday, May 29, 2015

Things That Make Me Smile - TNG Edit 38 - "Riker" Episode 1

Imagine what a spinoff series involving Commander William Riker from Star Trek - The Next Generation would look like.


Thursday, May 28, 2015

When Fr. Rudy blessed the car

Recently, in my Facebook feed, I noticed that a friend's automatic car window wasn't working.  It was stuck in the down position.  I hope it didn't rain on them!

This reminded me of a time long, long ago!  In a faraway land called Lake Havasu City, AZ.  My mom was driving one of those long ass Oldsmobiles.  You know...the one you can now see a jazzed up pimp driving down Hollywood Blvd with fuzzy dice in the mirror? 

It wasn't a new car.  In fact, if I remember correctly, it was a hand-me-down from my grandparents.

Anyway, for those of you that don't know about Lake Havasu...the place is literally hotter than hell.  No...this is not an improper use of the word literally.  Lake Havasu City literally reaches temperatures that would make the devil run for air conditioning. 

One summer, the window stopped working.  It stopped working in the up position.  Therefore, there was no rolling the windows down.  This wasn't super horrible while driving as the car had A/C and the windows needed to be up for that, anyway.  But, it meant that you couldn't roll the windows down when you parked, meaning that you got into an oven when the time came to get back into your car.  I wish we had put a thermometer in the car.  I bet it was reaching 500 degrees. 

Another memory...this was in the days of VHS.  Video stores would leave examples of tapes left in the car.  Warped, black, nasty VHS tapes that had melted due to the hear.  You melt it, you buy it, was the message.  Don't leave your VHS tapes in the car!

Back to my story.

The family was taking a trip somewhere.  I have no idea where.  But, it was a long drive.  Probably Phoenix or Vegas or something.

At my church, we had an awesome priest named Fr. Rudy.  Great man, that Fr. Rudy.  Very big, too.  Big like buff!  Dude worked out!

Anyway, Fr. Rudy was a great guy and he was a friend to my family.  Not that all priests aren't friends to their congregation, but I like to think that we were special. :-) 

Months after the window stopped working, Mom was picking me up from something at church.  Don't remember what.  Alter server practice, CCD, something.  Fr. Rudy came out to say hi. 

Mom mentioned that we had this trip coming up.  Fr. Rudy says, "A trip?  Well, maybe I should bless the car and pray for a safe journey." 

Ok...what could it hurt?

Fr. Rudy busts out some holy water and sprays it on the car.  Some definitely hit the passenger side window, the broken one.  He says a prayer.  We all say Amen.  We drive away. 

Mom makes a comment to me, "Wouldn't it be funny if the window started working after that?"

"HA!"  I laugh.  And, I push the window button down. 

Window opens. 

Our mouths both drop into our laps.  No Way! 

I roll the window up.  It goes up all the way.  I roll it back down.  It goes down all the way.  Up, down, up down.  Window is working again! 

That's the story.  Totally true.  Window worked until my folks got rid of the car. 

I miss that Fr. Rudy and his magic God powers!


(Note...not the real Fr. Rudy)