Archive for the ‘friends’ Category

late night pizza

14 January, 2018

in the long long ago… I was a student-coordinator at a dorm kitchen, in “in charge” when the real managers weren’t there. That left me working a lot of 8pm until close (midnight) and clean up (1am-2am, depending on your crew) on many a Friday & Saturday night. Well, never really alone, they decided that you needed at least two student coordinators to be responsible for 50 pizzas, a sandwich bar, salad bar and drink cooler.

(First, it amazes me the lack of trust they had in 20 year olds, because at this very minute there are 18 year old kids carrying assault rifles on patrol, or directing fighter jets to land at dark on a bouncing air-craft carrier. But then again, probably a kid out of book camp is more dependable than a college kid. That’s why after four years of college they put you in charge of someone that has four years of experience but no college. Sigh.)

(Second, because of late night, where re-stocking was a major part of the job, I loath all the variety sugar water beverages…twelve flavors of snapple, or Coke’s “hey-let’s get in on the fruit flavor craze Fruitopia” sixteen flavors. Look, what do you need. Caffeinated fizzy sugar water, Diet-caffeinated fizzy water, fizzy sugar water without caffeine. To this day, I drink coke or pepsi and still have a special disdain for snapple.)

So, we wanted to have a decent staff… ones that would show up, all the time, and competent.

One year, to try and make it fun, to try and get our decent staff to work instead of party on Friday & Saturday nights, we decided, without asking management, let’s do special theme nights… make it fun. Here’s a few examples, that I can remember…

  • Fisherman’s night. We did ask special permission to keep the fryers on and also serve fish and chips. And we dressed up. I bought a fisherman’s vest, cheap $10 galashes, (pro-tip, terrible idea on a greasy kitchen floor), but I still have ’em, and used them this past snowy Xmas! We pinned bobbers and lures to our hats.
  • 50s night. I bought a bunch of 50s compilation cassette tapes. We wore white t-shirts. (NOT authorized uniform). Some of our crew slicked back their hair (pro’lly using fryer grease!), and rolled up cigarettes in their shirt sleeves.
  • I’m told we did cross-dresser night. But I’ve blocked that from my memory.
  • Terrorist night… (yeah…this one couldn’t be done now-a-days, times have changed)… this one took precise timing. Most of us dressed up, black berets, black turtle neck shirts (pro tip, those get hot next to a pizza oven), we had cap guns (using markers to black out the orange bands to let cops know it’s not a real gun), we crafted “sticks of dynamite” with cardboard tubes, I think we had “Pizza Liberation Front” badges… at 9pm sharp, an expected line of customers, we waited just a minute longer than necessary, a dozen pizzas ready to be served. The terrorist came “shot” the server, possibly even with one of those cap guns, (who fell down, and loved hamming it up, (unfortunately for the person who shot the server, the server weighed 180 lbs and needed to be dragged away – to change into their PFL uniform/disguise. Our usual server, who was a petite 5′ woman refused to be shot, “I’ll dress up, but I’m not falling down on that gross floor”), and PLF members came out an quickly served pizza.
  • And of course you know you do something fun, without management knowing, you’re gonna be caught. One night, I’m walking through, checking things, looked good, things well stocked, place clean, a few fresh pizza slices available of a couple different varieties (not too much, not lacking), tables in the dining room looking good. And who walks in at 11pm. Our manager. “Welcome to Bugaloo-Night, Sir! Would you like a slice of pizza?” He was chuckling. We all had our uniforms on, but, we had crafted antenna onto our visors, with different decorations on the ends. (Evidently we were inspired by a 70s show “the Bugaloos”, I don’t know, I didn’t watch much TV as a kid.) I couldn’t believe it. How lucky were we? Everyone was actually doing what they were supposed to, and the place looked good. He smiled, had a piece of pizza, paid for it, and went home. The next day he asked what we were doing? I explained, (leaving out “terrorist night”) and he seemed to think it was a good idea.

 

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Bright

12 January, 2018

tonight, my wonderful roommate from the long-long ago visited

Me, MyBetterHalf & ex-roommate watched “Bright” the Will Smith fantasy-buddy-cop movie

It was entertaining and fun

If you hear the phrase “We’re not in a prophecy, we’re in a stolen Toyota Corolla” and think, yeah, that sounds like a phrase I want to hear in a movie, I recommend. If that sounds just too cheezy, well, you’re right.

TLC Baby-Baby-Baby

11 January, 2018

My BFF from High School and I were at a party once in college, (he was visiting Seattle). A new song, by a new girl group, “Baby-Baby-Baby” was on. I said some disparaging remark, and he told me “Shut up. Listen.”

I’m glad he did. I listened. It’s a beautiful.

weekend

3 December, 2017

yesterday… after a bit of weeping and gnashing of teeth, MrC and I spent the day working on his room. After the weeping and gnashing, all went pretty good and we had some good times. We delivered a ThomasTheTrain set, that we as a family had years of fun using, to MrC’s BFF’s little sister. Hope she likes it. And more likely than not, MrC will play with the trains more, now that it’s at his BFFs house.

Got a package of GROO comics that my brother pilfered from me thirty years ago.

Last night… I love the zen of my family for Christmas tree shopping. Or maybe it is faith. Or maybe it’s we realize Charlie Brown’s tree was awesome because of love, and we have love, so whatever tree we pick will be great. MrC REALLY wanted to decorate last night. But it was soaked.

This morning, we were tired and skipped church. So we decorated the Christmas tree. MrC then decorated his room. (We had to coax the ten year olds to join us, “just hang ten ornaments on the tree please.)

Today, MsS had GirlScouts, MrC went to his BFF, MrG had a soccer game.

Tonight, whilst MyBetterHalf had bookclub, me and the childrens had a snowball fight in MrC room. Teams of two. One team on the bunkbed, the other on the floor. Mostly hiding behind pillows, no charging into no-man’s-land. MsS got me twice. No fair, she smiled at me, and was so cute, I smiled, then she pegged me in the chest. The other time, only my foot was out of cover.

After that, I left to read, and the three of them kept having rambunctious fun. Loud singing. Dancing. Stuff crashing. Laughing.  Times like this make me happy that I said “no more electronics tonight” and then was strong during the weeping and gnashing of teeth.

🙂

 

Tori Amos

1 December, 2017

I am thankful to my roommate of the long-long ago who introduced me to Tori Amos.

Around that time Ms Amos had a piano version of “Smells Like Teen Spirit” on the radio…and I thought it was bad. And would pro’lly have written Ms Amos off.

But, you live with someone, you share radio / CD player in the dishroom for 40 hours a week…  I learned that Tori Amos is great.

 

weekend

8 October, 2017

MrC & MrG had soccer games, at different times, even.

MrG went to a b-day party (they played soccer) and then to Husky football with his mommy. So…what to do… I called up MsS-BFF and MrC-BFF, they were available, so I took them bowling. Then they asked for a sleepover, sure, why not.  (The childrens were helpful at getting chores done right after soccer, so I was in a good mood!)  They played, I joined them for a game of Apples-to-Apples.

Mostly things went well at bedtime, …except, MrC woke with a bloody nose. Twice.

I taught Bible class to elementary kids (and a few younger). About manna.

Went back to Bob’s Pumpkin patch…did the big corn maze. And I decided, I’m just gonna follow MrG. After a bit a few other did too, from our group. One mom said, “I’m counting on you to get us out of here.” And he did. With a little smile on his face.

Mexican food for dinner.

Then a soccer club board meeting.

catching up “Castle” and TWD

7 October, 2017

“Castle” by David Macaulay was one of my favs when I was young, I must have checked it out half a dozen times when I was in early elementary school. And so, I am sharing it with my childrens. I highly recommend. (Read it, it may save your life someday!) 

Side note: I wish that somebody in TheWalkingDead had read Castle when they were young.

I’ve no intention on watch the rest of the season of TheWalkingDead.

I hate baseball bat dude…. “I’m a super powerful bad-ass, and I have a loyal army that I lead…oh, you killed a bunch of my people, I’ll kill one of yours… oh, little Rick Jr just machine gunned my people, OK, I’ll take him under my wing…”  That guy is an idiot.

Oh.

I see now.

Idiot-Negan is the evil opposite of idiot-Rick.

I can see how someone might flock to a dangerous leader in times of crisis, if he kept them safe. But if he keeps letting his people get killed through stupidity.

Oh for f’s sake… I can just see it now… Trump tweets about TWD, “Finally, Hollywood gets what real leadership is like. Negan is strong leader. Rick isn’t so innocent.”

what I would like… humanity to pull together… and maybe Survivor / Gilligan’sIsland their way to a new tomorrow. What changes in society would there be if you zombiefied when you died. “Good night grandma, don’t forget to lock yourself inside your room.”

I can even see violence breaking out between competing groups… “hey this is our hunting grounds”… But just cannibalism for the sake of “worser” BigBad-of-the-Season. Meh.

AND for freakin’ frackin’… has none of the survivors ever read a book about a castle??? Every season the zombies burst through a flimsy wall. Did Rick look at the lovely wall by Deanna’s husband and say, “yup, this would totally stop the Governor and his tank?”

And in closing, Carol Ms “Hi-class-today-we’re-gonna-learn-about…are-they-gone…alright-kids- these-are-machetes…”  for President 2020. Because she’ll know how to survive in an apocalypse.

  • I’m sure all the gasoline, bleach, toilet paper, batteries, eye-glasses, tampons, condoms, aspirin, toothpaste, blank paper, pencils, guitar strings,… are gone.
  • Libraries are mostly burnt out.
  • How many people get botulism by poor canning?
  • How much non-GMO corn seed is out there in the world?
  • Blackberry vines should be covering most of the streets.
  • What happens if you get pecked by a crow that was chompin’ on zombie.

Wouldn’t you kinda have to be fascist:

  • “Roll call, where’s Bob? Security go check on Bob!”
  • “Nope, fertile women are not allowed to go out on patrol.”
  • “sure he beats his wife…but he’s a doctor, so we try to ignore it.”

Note…this was written in the middle of the season, and then I discovered one of the characters has a tiger. So I watched. Because. TIGERS!

I fear tigers. Two stories, which I pro’lly have told….but, hey, you’ve read this far, amirite

Christmas visiting my brother, in SanDiego. We went to the zoo, great zoo. We were in the valley of the cats, looking around, cool, the sun starting to set, and the tigers started to roar. My instinct was LEAVE NOW. I held MyBetterHalf’s hand, and pulled on her to get her walking a bit quicker. I wanted out of the valley. NOW. There was no rational, “this is a zoo”, there was primal flight signals going off in my brain.

At a different zoo, (Isaquah has a zoo!!), at Christmas. Me & MrC were hanging out by the tiger, in a cage. I was cool. I realized it was a thick cave. I was staring at the tiger, maybe trying to get over my fear. And it noticed my stare. It stared back. It did not blink. Were were close, and I could realize that the tiger was at least seven or eight feet long, and those iron bars were only a few inches thick. I gathered MrC and we wandered off down the path. Just don’t agitate a tiger. OK, lesson learned. And I looked back, note, we had walked away for about a minute. And the tiger was still staring at me. GET OUT NOW, was my emotion.

catching up – Memorial Day weekend

3 October, 2017

Sunday – friends visited, we fed them burgers and hotdogs. I and another dad escorted them to TwinPonds, where most of them played soccer, but MsS and her friends went off to hangout by a stream, and get their shoes (or cast!) all muddy.

Monday – Memorial Day

We went to a Memorial Day service at a local cemetery. The weather was beautiful. The childrens didn’t really want to be there, I tried to tell them “it’s a little like church, and will be about an hour”. That didn’t improve their moods.

Back during Gulf War … for awhile I watched PBS, every night, and they would have a “roll call of the fallen”, and a few moments of silence for each service person who died in active duty, their rank and age. I don’t know which made me more sad. The eighteen year old kids who were killed in combat. Or the 34 year olds, wondering if they were leaving behind little children. At the Memorial Day service I saw a woman with alone with two young children, and I wondered if her husband died protecting America.

Please take this time to listen to Kate Tempest’s “War Music at Tongue Fu”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dH797RUNJIY

Well, listen if you feel like crying.

After we, and MrG’s BoyScout Den, visited Paul Allen’s museum of WW2 planes up in Everett. Fascinating and interesting machines, which is cool, that were built to kill people, which I kept thinking about. There was a room dedicated to the question of “Why War?” Which was great. Back when I was a kid, it was simple, we fight the bad guys, because we are the good guys. In only eight years our BoyScouts will be old enough to enlist.

Me and MrG play a bit of Madden, we’re in the same league and my team is, on paper at least, about 10 stronger than his. We finally matched up against each other in a league tournament. For some reason, I threw two interceptions. He tried to capitalize, but only could get two field goals. His last chance, he played careful, and got a third field goal and was so very happy, loudly laughing and dancing around his room.

MrCuddles and I had a nice afternoon while the rest of the family was at the park. He said he was getting tired, and wanted to go lay down in parents bed, I took a book down there. After a few minutes, he ran off to get five books so he could read too.

last week in review

23 April, 2017

Friday, April 14th:

MrCuddles declared this “the best day ever. I had two parties, one in class, one in reading group. I had an Easter Egg hunt (afterschool). Three recesses. I watched a movie (“Into the Woods”). And I went home. Eight things!!!”

MsSqueaky & MrGrunty walked home after school. By themselves without any adult supervision. Are you proud of the parents for being so brave. When asked if he wanted to, MrG’s face just lit up like Christmas.

Saturday, April 15th:

MrG had a football game, so we rudely forced MrC and MsS to go. While there, during the practice, they entertained themselves by playing on a huge empty soccer field, jumping in the long jump pit, climbing over a steeple-chase-hurdle, going to top of the stands and kicking their shoes down.

Easter Sunday:

Church. And then the childrens were very helpful in getting the house prepared for company to come over. I thought the dinner went well. I did some prep the night before. I tried to go with a Mediterranean theme… yeah, I know, that’s a big area… Moroccan spices on the beef, Greek spices on the chicken, hummus, tatziki,  fruits, vegetables, … it was a relaxing dinner and evening with our friend Meighs.

Monday, April 17th

We did some chores, some reading, some gardening… and then grabbed a couple friends and headed south. Played & watched a tree get cut down at Seward Park. Had baklava. Went to GasWorks. Then Fremont & The Troll. Told them about Stalin, and asked “would it be fair if Messi & McDonald’s worker got the same pay?”  No!!!!  “But if McDonalds worker messes up, somebody could get sick. If Messi messes up, then it’s just a game.”  But anybody can cook a burger, and nobody can play like Messi.  Had gelato. Home to watch “MaryPoppins”  (or maybe “Willy Wonka”).

Tuesday, April 18th

Chores, reading, …then to Volunteer Park. First stop, the botanical conservatory. I liked it. The childrens got bored pretty quick. So I told MrC “find ten different flowers”, and MsS, “find ten different leaf shapes”. And MrG was looking at cactus, and I told him to look for Fibanacci numbers on the rows of spines. That kept them busy for a few minutes. Climbed the water tower, then got bored. I told them to look around. Then I sneaked down, they didn’t notice for a few minutes, but I’m proud they used teamwork, didn’t freak out, MsS & MrC took one flight of stairs, MrG the other, they kept calling out to each other checking on each other. MrG was not amused and scolded me. Then we wandered down to Broadway for lunch, a quick drop by an appartment building, “Look, mommy & papa used to live there.” (They didn’t care.)  Treats.  Home for watching “Willy Wonka”.

Wed – they went to Mariners game with MyBetterHalf, I had to work.

Thursday – they went downtown wtih MyBetterHalf.

Thursday night: MyBetterHalf went off to bookclub, me and the childrens had a fight over doing chores. After a bit, MrC told me, “chores are kinda fun”. After it was over, MsS told me, “my teacher tells me when you get upset to take a moment to breath deep.” Then we played a map game. Then they wanted to put on a show for me, they wanted to sing “Sweet Home Alabama” but kept laughing to much to get past the second word. I pulled up the video, and then showed them a bunch of vids of songs I like.  They picked some too, MsS “Fight Song”, MrG “24k Magic”, and MrCuddles, Journey’s “Separate Ways”

Friday, they went for a hike at Snoqualmie Falls.

Saturday – we forced them, they protested the whole time getting ready, but eventually we got to the March For Science. They seemed alright with it. We were chilled by rain, but powered by donuts. My favorite sign: “All the good signs [Ar].”

 

 

 

recently

13 April, 2017

the evening of Wednesday, April 5th

  • MrCuddles demonstrated his kung-fu and broke a board with a kick for me
  • MrGrunty and I played catch while talking about if Mr Westbrook would get the tripple-double record for the season  (he did!!!)
  • MsSqueaky and I went shopping for her very own pocket knife. The BoyScouts issue all third graders a knife, GirlScouts…knives aren’t priority. Took her to sporting goods store. The big and scary looking / military style / hunting style she didn’t want. She ended up with a small SwissArmy knife. The guy at the store was very kind, “take your time, not every knife is for every person, get one that is right for you.”

the evening of Thursday, April 6th… me and the childrens spent a bit of time drawing together at the dinner table.

the morning of Tuesday, April 11th

  •  MsSqueaky first words in the morning “Papa are you feeling better? Is your headache gone?”  (Previous night I fell asleep way early with a bad headache.)
  • MrGrunty was first one awake, and was reading. He seems to have found a good book, and is doing more reading without us asking him to. Then when he saw me, his first words were “can I give Sophie a treat?”  Awww…he’s getting more familiar and liking our pets more.  Why I remember, when he was a toddler, and Sophie was AFRAID of kids (MsS would grab for her) Sophie-kitty and MrG surprised each other in the hallway, and had a little stand off, neither sure how to react. Sophie then got brave and advanced. MrG fell on his butt. Sophie sauntered past, sashaying her big fluffy tail.
  • MrCuddles was asking what college he would need to go to to be a “fire fighter, police officer and construction worker.”  I encouraged him to start with an EMT training.

Morning of Wednesday, April 12th, on ride to school MrG asked who was going to be in the family book club. We all said “yes” and he was happy that we would participate. I pointed out that we had already read a book as a family, “Ivan” and “HarryPotter” the fourth graders said.  “And ‘Goodnight Moon’, I added. They laughed.

<sadness warning>

Wednesday evening, fears from a ominous & vague post on TheFacebook confirmed, an ex-co-worker had committed suicide. We worked together in the kitchen for a few years, he was surly, and loyal to his friends, loved to shock people with his jokes, loved the SuperSonics and heavy metal. I hope and pray, that after “Guido” insulted St. Peter for an hour, then told St. Peter a bunch of offensive jokes for an hour, that Guido was allowed into heaven, so he could finally play with his daughter who was born asleep less than a year ago. I still don’t know what to say. We weren’t close, even back when we worked together. I’m more sad than I would have thought. Sometimes demons win and humans lose. Sometimes it’s not fair. And it’s scary, I have had a pretty good life, how would I react to depression, death of a child, war, debilitating disease, death of a loved one… I dunno.  Sometimes people do stupid things. Rest in peace, Guido.