Thursday, August 29, 2013

Soap Opera Life

Good morning! Another wet day in the northeast wetlands.....mosquitoes love this kind of damp weather....breeding...hatching....waiting to launch their nasty bodies on an unsuspecting dog walker.

Anyway, yesterday marked our wedding anniversary. I cannot believe the number of years. It seems like it is so many yet it doesn't feel that way.

In other words, I have been married for more than half of my life. That's pretty nuts. I can remember the day vividly, although I am not sure if I ate breakfast this morning or where I left my car keys. But it was a gorgeous day with a beautiful sunset. Families were joined and happy. Friends were partying and dancing.

It was terrific. Last night, although I could have gone anywhere for dinner, we ate take out at home with Tink and Diva. That's what life has come down to....take out Italian (which was really good). I did not want to be wined and dined for a number or years of marriage. I really wanted to be home where the heart is and where I am most comfortable. Perhaps it has something to do with the hair that I found in my salad when we went out on Friday night.

Anyway, on to the big kid. Dad finally found a truck to transport the basement sofa to the poop deck. Yep, I'll be dragging and lifting a sofa once again as I swore that I would never do it again after the first year. If you recall, three years ago the sofa got stuck in the stairway and had to be hoisted by rope over the second floor deck with 6 guys helping out in the process. The second year, dad and the big kid pushed, pulled, and dragged it through the door of the house of mold. Now it is the third year and after a nasty custody battle for the aforesaid sofa, we left it in the house of mold for Gopher. It has been bequeathed to him. During the third year of off campus living, the basement sofa which has been in our home since we were married is headed north in a truck with his parents driving it.


Once again, a sofa has to be carried or lifted to a second floor apartment. Can anyone say: "Ouch? Hernia? Oh, my aching back?" As the song goes..."the things we do for love....."

On to the car reported earlier this week, I refused to go back to the Honda dealer that ignored me when I walked through the door. Not so proud, dad and Tink returned on Monday night and were given the deal of the century. Once the price was verified, I got an SOS phone call to bring the check book to the dealership and pick out a color. I stood by the door and refused to walk through it although Tink finally convinced me to help her to choose. Reluctantly, I picked out four colors and labeled them 1, 2, 3, and 4. After I left, Tink changed the order of colors, leading me to consider....'why did they need me to the first place?" With that said, it is three days later and we have NOT heard from the dealership about the car. Hmmmm.....There is a deposit and no car.

As far as the big kid is concerned, he lives a soap opera life as each day ends with a 'what will happen tomorrow?' On Tuesday, he met the pitching coach who is not a fan of the pitching doc. Yikes! Startled, he had a conversation with his coach who said that he wanted data to support a change in his current practices. In other words, he wants the leftie to write a paper on the merits and mechanics of the pitching doc's routines. OK, look....hmmmm....the information is available online. The head coach is already on board with the routine. The kid is in college and has to write papers for courses. Really, really? Is he going to have to write a paper to convince a prima donna coach on the value of a new system? Is his system so great that he has had a multitude of pitchers drafted by the majors? In life, don't we continue to strive to do things in a more efficient and effective way? Can't this guy open his mind and look at the data on his own? OYE!

Whew....glad that I got that off my chest. And so, that is life this week. With new starts, the door closes on the summer activities. Tink starts class next week and will be driving her new wheels in a color that she has selected. Buddy will have a sofa with a bit of a musty scent. And dad will continue to work hour upon hour to pay for it. Tune in tomorrow for the life of BP mom. The question of 'will she land up in traction after lifting the sofa up the stairs will be answered'.....


Tuesday, August 27, 2013

An offer he cannot refuse

HI! It's a quick one before I run to campus. Long day ahead...we start with a 2 hour meeting then run into another two hour meeting. At least we have dinner with the second one. The big kid just called. It seems that his time on the ranch this summer has paid off.

Now, he complains about the freshman who could not carry the weight during a drill and dropped it with three feet left. With the player dropping the weight, the rest of the squad had to wait with their weights in their arms until he could pick it up and cross the line.


The guys were dying and screaming for the player to pick it up and finish the drill as they held onto their weights. Now the season begins. Big Red and Angel are going to have a sit down with the kid to remind him that if he let his team mates down and if he cannot be trusted to bring the weight across the finish line with the rest of the guys struggling, how can they place him in a game with the bases loaded and two outs?
This is all true. According to my son, he did not have trouble holding and carrying the weight until he had to hold it for another few minutes waiting for the kid to pick it up again. He learned at the ranch to perform multiplication tables in his head to take his mind off what was going on. This seems like a really good idea. I'll try it some time when I need to distract myself. Although, I really cannot perform simple math and may have more stress as a result. Who knows?

On to Tink's wheels....we have narrowed down the competition to a Honda CRV. It's safe, large, and she is comfortable in it. It also has a back up camera which I like. Further, we got a great deal on it. Where? Well, dad went to the agency that had ignored me last week. I refused to go back, but he had no qualms going in. And they made him an offer that he could not refuse. Was Don Corleone in the room?

Anyway, it is looking like a will know by the end of the week whether or not she got the car. In the meantime,  she starts her classes next week. As the Beach Boys sing: "And she'll have fun, fun, fun until daddy takes her t-bird away..."

Off to work, I go....


Monday, August 26, 2013


Good morning to all. What a nice day! The summer is winding down and I am not-so-diligently working on my classes for the fall. The first class is on Wednesday morning...a four hour marathon with my non-English speaking students. This will make or break me. Before I go into this class, I carb up, add sugar, and lots of caffeine trickle like an intravenous IV into the system. I need it to begin and end the class. Does it hurt? hurts when I am talking to myself for four hours. It's like being at home with the kids who tuned out years ago.


With budget cuts, we do not have stools/chairs for the instructors in the classroom, therefore I would have to stand for 4+ hours. Last year, I bought my own  stool at Target and and wrote my name all over it. Then I hid it in one of our labs so that it is not "borrowed". Selfish? Uh...maybe....I guess....but come on....4 hours? TORTURE!

We begin meetings tomorrow too. These meetings lead to more meetings which lead to more work with my name spelled out in blocked letters on the top. I am always happy to help and be a team player, yet there are times when I want to put an end to all non-essential meetings since they too are TORTURE!

What else is TORTURE? Well, the drive to and from campus is 30 minutes in length without traffic, but since Wednesday's class is at 9 am, I leave at 7 am to avoid the back ups. That is TORTURE too! After all, I need some extra time to grad a Starbucks Grande Pike before class.

You know what else is TORTURE? Well, how about students who ask the same question in 5 different ways? I loathe the question: "Will this be on the test?" Let's consider this question....I am teaching a four hour class, I have Powerpoint slides, hand outs, videos, posters, and so on. I worked on 4 different ways of explaining a concept. After 90 minutes, there is always one genius who is ready to check out. Then the famous question comes.....I want to shout from the highest mountain: "Would I be wasting the last 90 minutes if this material was not important? Are you here solely to take a test and not learn anything???" Whew! Glad to get that off the chest. Realistically, I was the student who sat there and also wondered whether the content was relevant to me passing the course. I just never had the nerve to ask the question.

More TORTURE....finding clothes each season that fit the waist line....wearing heels in class....watching students sneak the cell phones for texting....watching students order shoes from Zappos during class discussions....seeing them update their Facebooks with messages like "I'm in hell...." "Rescue me!" ...."SOS"...."Professor's make up is on one side of her face...." One student raised the hand and left class two hours early one evening, then told me that he/she was going to watch Monday night football at a local bar rather than staying for the entire class. "I just wanted to be honest" was the reply. OK...this is a new era in campus life. 
The last bit of TORTURE occurs when I do not answer their emails within an hour. They get a bit 'fussy.' I believe that they think that all I do is sit at my desk waiting for them to contact me. Whereas I am totally dedicated to what I do for a living and am passionate about the students, I do take a break once in a while and get a hall pass to go to the lavatory!

And that's it...this is why work at times can be TORTURE!

However, it can also be:

I do believe that what I do makes a difference in their lives one way or another. They learn to be prompt, since I start on time and end on time. They learn to submit their assignments on time and work hard on them. I once had the nerve to send a paper back to a student and wrote in the margins: "Were you drinking when you typed this paper? I expected more from you." Harsh? Maybe, but I submit that I am there to set a high standard and therefore have to abide by it.  One way or another, this teaching thing is something that I enjoy. It changes every year with new faces and attitudes. I have to adjust for each class and therefore it is challenging and not TORTURE.
With that off my chest, it is time to finish preparations.....


Saturday, August 24, 2013

Eating cake and pulling weeds

Hey! It's a beautiful Saturday in the northeast! Finally...low humidity, blue skies....I want to be outside and not running errands....

What kind of errands? Oye! Well, we are still looking for Tink's new wheels. Got to test drive three more cars. When Tink and I went to the Honda dealer last week, we were ignored by the sales personnel, so we left without seeing a car. I am actually shocked seeing that there must have been 10+ sales reps in their glass enclosed offices. They never got up to greet us or ask us to add the leather package to the car that we were going to buy. I am not anti-Honda. On the contrary, I am not happy about being ignored. This type of salesmanship does not bode well for me since we would have to deal with them for service after the purchase.

And so, we are off to look at, sit in, and see these vehicles. I would rather watch the grass grow one blade at a time, but it is a necessary evil and I want to do it right.

I finally stopped crying last night. It was so spontaneous, I am not sure why it happened. Hormones? Sadness? Fatigue? I don't know. A ma has to let her kids go. That is the natural way of existence. Did the cavemen live with their mommas until their wives threw them out? Remember the TV show, The Waltons? Both grandparents lived with John Boy and his siblings and parents. I am not keen on this type of living arrangement. I need my space and not have Mary Ellen busting into the bathroom to put on her make up while I am tweezing the know what I am sayin'?

Besides, the big kid wants to buy a plantation in Georgia (don't ask) and have Angel run it for him. He has so many big dreams, I do not believe that he has 'live with mom' on his bucket-list. And if he does, I am sure that his future wife will have something to say about sharing her kitchen with BP mom and her cheesecakes.

Speaking of cakes, the big kid did something that melted my heart. Before he left, he said that he had a surprise for me. "Check the fridge after I leave..."  And once I returned from work, I walked to the garage refrigerator and first thought that he left a bottle (or box) of pinot grigio for me to drown my sorrows....But no! It was not was the almighty vanilla vanilla cake from the bakery with a note that said "thanks for all the love and support...." What a guy! He knows his momma better than anyone. On the way to campus one day, I told him that Happy Birthday was my favorite song. Why? 'cause after you sing it, you get to eat cake. It's perfect! Anyway, the cake was so great. I am truly touched by his gift and am happy that he appreciates everything that we have done for him as parents. This is nice. Now, I am pretty sure that he is ready to launch and buy his plantation in Georgia.

It's time for me to do some weeding. The weeds are taking over the flowers so I can get some exercise this way. I am trying to heal the tennis elbow with rest, so certain work outs are banned. I can't run because of the knees. And the Y shuts down today for a week of intensive cleaning. Therefore, working around the house will be my source of cardio....pretty lame, I know. But it's all I have today besides walking around the auto mall.

Have a great day! Par-tee...enjoy! Eat cake!

Friday, August 23, 2013


Good morning! Or is it? Maybe....not sure....the big kid is leaving for college today and for some reason the faucet of tears has been flowing. It's crazy. We have been doing this for years, but for some reason, this time seems so permanent. He has grown into the young man that I wanted to see. he is polite, kind, respectful, funny, intelligent, and self deprecating. This is all good. Yet, he has to leave. I know it. But for some reason, the tears are flowing like a leaky hose. I cannot stop them. it's not like sobbing, boo hoo tears. It's just down the face...drip...drip...drip. I cannot stop them. Even if I think about something else .....guided keep coming. Now I am worried that I am going to be dehydrated since I am losing so much fluid. My eyes look like I have not slept for days...gotta try to Preparation H to decrease the puffiness before going to work today.

Why am I sad? Ahhh...good byes always are tough for me. Especially after spending such a great deal of time together over the last few weeks shopping and planning the apartment, dinners, and activities. I wish that I could stop, but even my computer keyboard is wet right now and I am afraid that I will electrocute myself. I can see the headlines....."BP mom  shocked by her own tears...." OK, this is crazy. It has to stop. But he leaves today after I go to work. AND I am going to campus on Monday to drop off the sofa. So, what's up with mom? I wish I let's consider other options.

Why would a momma cry knowing that her child is living his dream? Actually there is no reason for this....

Why would a momma cry when her senior in college son leaves to finish his degree? It's not like he is going to the Amazon to observe the chimps.

Why would a momma cry when her child is evolving into a wonderful person who has to leave home? After all, do I want him to live in my basement and eat bags of Doritos when he is 30?

It's crazy and I have no answers. So, I will let the tears flow since I cannot stop them. And move on to the fall activities like looking forward to football, pumpkins, colorful mums, and work. Ew...did I say work? Yeah, I did. It's time for me to get off my butt and return to my profession. It is also time to delete Candy Crush from my tablet. I downloaded the game in May and am on level 103. It look many hours of diligence to get that far. I actually gave up watching television. Crazy? Yes....can I stop it? Uh, can I stop these idiot tears? Answer: I am going to try.

By the way, I have had to stop yoga since I have a bit of elbow tendonitis. This cannot be good. After all, the tendonitis affects yoga and tennis. Could I have gotten it by having my arm up in the air as I played CC? What a dolt! I need a life....time to volunteer and get off the sofa.

It is also time to let go......

Is this post rambling? Yep...sorry...with my brain firing in 90 different directions, I now have a reason for the tears. I am slowly going nuts. Time to go back into the classroom and regain my flow of ideas.

With that said, I have to scoot to work. Peace!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Down to three

Good morning! Well, it's final....the cord has been pulled....the car is dead. RIP. The big kid took the license plate off the back and it is waiting for the hearse to take it to its final resting place. I can't even visualize where it is going to go. After all, if we sold it, I would have made sure that it went to a deserving family who would take care of it and change its oil every 3000 miles. But I have no control over this situation, so I am going to block it from my mind. Good bye, old friend.....sniff....
So, what happens now? We are down a car. The big kid needs one. Tink needs a car. I need a car and so on. I guess that this means car shopping, which I hate. Replacing the blue SUV will be tough. The new one will have to sing to me. I am not sure whether any car could hold a candle to it. But we will try.

Possibilities include:

A Kia....from what I understand the Sorrento (?) has a 98% safety rating and is the right price.

A Honda CRV....nice looking wheels...sweet ride...a Honda

A Nissan Rogue...rented one last week...not impressed, although the rental had 48,000 miles on it, so it could have been abused.

 Porsche Carerra.....Kidding....
That's it. We are down to three choices. What do I look for in a car? Hmmm...color....heated seats....leather...navigation....sun roof....air conditioning, front wheel drive. Does anything here have to do with performance? Uh, no.

Do my needs reflect superficiality? No, they reflect comfort. Yet, I am not going to be driving the car so I will keep my mouth closed (yeah, sure...OK, I'll try to keep my mouth closed).

As soon as I can get Tink out of bed, we'll go to test drive these vehicles. She is going to be the primary driver, so she has to feel comfortable in the seat. Ultimately, she will make the decision.

let's reflect on Tink's life and a kid, I was in line to drive the green paneled FORD LTD station wagon that could fit 13 people comfortably. Any more than 13, we would be squished. It was an easy ride, although hard on the eyes.

Then I shared an orange VW Dasher with my brothers.


This lead to quite a few heated arguments.

Also, the Dasher was not reliable and would break down at worst times such as during a downpour and in the middle of the night. Have you noticed that they do not make Dashers anymore?

During that era, my dad pleaded for us to buy a K-car. Remember those?   No, well think about the ugliest car on the road, throw mud on it, take off the wheels, and toss a visually challenged blue haired 90 year old in the front seat and you have a K Car. I put my sneaker down on that one.

When it was time to buy a new car when I graduated from college, I bought a maroon Datsun. It was cute and had everything that I wanted (at the time, I had no idea what heated seats were and only dreamed of a sun roof). Then I had a head on collision with an older gentleman who had to avoid another older gentleman was he pulled out of a parking space. The car, being tiny, was totaled. Boy, was I sad. We were only going 15 miles an hour which then told me that some of these cute cars are not safe. Which is why....

We are going for safety. No matter how safe we are at driving, we need to be prepared for anything. Hopefully, we will not have to test its quality in an accident.

Ok, enough about cars. I am back at work and now have lots of paperwork to do to prepare for my first class next Tuesday. I am really going to miss summer.....Time for one last party.....
Take care!