Saturday, March 22, 2008

Saddlesore Surprise

Yesterday was Kailey's 9th birthday (last year of single digits, Kiddo), and Diane came up with a great idea. She made some reservations and told the girls to get ready for a surprise. Their only hint she gave them was the clothing they had to wear, which should have been an obvious tip-off: jeans, their cowgirl boots, and cowgirl hats. Let's just say that the girls aren't very good guessers.

Kyra's contribution: "Where are we going? Jeans-R-Us?"

I looked up at Diane and shrugged, "Well now what are we gonna do? She guessed it!"

Kailey's guess, as Diane slathered her in sunscreen, was "We're going over to Grammy and Papa's house and hanging out in their backyard." She clearly doesn't have a firm grasp of the concept of "surprise", which made the surprise all the more special.

There is a horse stable a couple of miles up the road on the way to my in-law's house. We've driven by it roughly a hundred thousand times in the four years we've lived in Tucson. Yesterday, we pulled in. And the girls freaked.

Now THAT'S a SURPRISE. Diane's folks met us there, though her mom didn't stay to ride. We signed the release forms, fitted the girls with riding helmets, and mounted up for the trail ride. Kailey was up first and was matched with a horse named Rooster, though he should have been named Turtle (he was slow), or Turkey (that's what he acted like, giving Kailey some problems on the trail).

Kyra was next and her horse was Sardine. He too gave her problems. I think both of the horses knew they had inexperienced riders and just dared the girls to take control of them. One of the wranglers eventually gave Kyra a stick to use as a switch to keep Sardine from stopping too much.

Papa climbed aboard Big Boy, Diane was matched with Geronimo, and I was destined to wander through the desert on a horse with no name. Kidding. My horse was named Major...or "Major Pain" as the wranglers called him while I threw my leg across the saddle. They weren't kidding. As soon as they led him into the line for the ride, he began nipping at the butts of the other horses, which would make him a "Major Pain in the Butt". I think he was testing me and eventually behaved as I continually pulled back on his reigns.

It was a beautiful Spring day for a ride; sunny, but not too hot with temps in the low 80's. We were out for about an hour, which was just about right. Any longer and I probably wouldn't be able to sit today.

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The girls had a great time despite their cantankerous mounts, and Kailey proclaimed the experience as "the best birthday ever!" I'm glad, Sweetie.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Somebody Up There Hates Me

I was home relaxing and enjoying my day off yesterday afternoon when the phone rang. OK, that's a lie. I was simultaneously cleaning house and bribing the girls with promises of treats if they'd join me by cleaning their rooms. Then the phone rang. It was my supervisor. "Crap," I thought as I answered with a myriad of catastrophic work situations dancing through my head. "Hello?"

"Hey, it's me...don't worry, I just wanted to be the first to tell you the big news."


I could almost feel the sarcasm dripping through the receiver. He proceeded to inform me that the company that owns the station where I am currently employed is in the process of purchasing the station at which I was previously employed. He thought that was pretty funny. I, on the other hand, do not. There is a very simple reason I left that job...I didn't enjoy working there because it was an intense and stressful environment. And now that intense, stressful environment is walking right back through the door.

Time to update that resume.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

It Only Gets Worse From Here On Out

Diane was in the kitchen one night last week, slaving over the stove preparing dinner for her less than thankful family. Kyra walked in, looked at her and cocked her head to the side.

"Was it bad-hairday-at-work day today, or what?" she asked.

Diane spun around and dropped her jaw. "What?"

"I said, 'Was it bad-hairday-at-work day today, or what?'" Kyra repeated. "What? It's just a joke!"

Yeah, like THAT softened the blow.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

The Ones I DIDN'T Use

A couple of months ago, I was invited by one of Diane's extended family members to open an account on a new family tree website called It's a pretty neat little site where families can upload pictures, share time lines of significant events in their lives, and just generally keep in touch...which can have its ups and downs. It's family, you know. Shortly after I joined the site, I sent out invitations to several other family members to join as well. One of those invitations went out to my brother, and while most of my family members replied by joining the site, my brother's invitation went unanswered.

Now, my side of the family likes to joke around, and that includes practical jokes. I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to "entice" my brother to join the website. So I found a picture on the internet (that doubled me over with laughter) and posted it as his profile picture on the website. It might have looked something like this:

Well that apparently wasn't enough to bring him out of hiding. Not "outlandish" enough. So I added another:

Now, my brother is typically someone you shouldn't screw with. He gets even...times ten. I think at about this time I received an e-mail from my mom reminding me that I was playing with fire, but I didn't listen. This was too damn funny. And he still wasn't joining. I decided to up the ante:

Finally, last weekend, he joined the site...and got his revenge. But instead of adding pictures, he added events to my timeline. So right along with significant life-events like my wedding day and the birthdays of my children, I now had new events:

  1. Alternative Experimentation
  2. I Came Out of the Closet
  3. I Strangled My First Prostitute
Oh, and one of the nice little features about using that I didn't realize, or at least overlooked, is that whenever you make a change to your profile or to someone else's profile, anything at all, they NOTIFY THE WHOLE FAMILY. And by the WHOLE FAMILY, I mean anyone even remotely linked to you. Diane's 16th cousin 400 times removed? Yeah, she knows my brother is a freak and that I strangle prostitutes. Greeeaaaat.

Shortly after I stop laughing at my brother's additions to my profile, I notice that my profile has not one, but TWO messages from that family member who invited me to join the site in the first place. She also sent me a personal e-mail. She was not a happy camper, and the whole frickin' extended family now knows it. And while I was thoroughly pissed off with the way she chose to handle the situation, I decided, with a little prodding from Diane (who was just as pissed), to let it go (until now) for the sake of "family harmony". Yes, I'm a "high-road" kind of guy.

But here's the real problem. I still have all of these pictures assembled for my beloved brother, and I now can't display them for my family to enjoy without other "family members", most of whom I don't even know, getting all bent out of shape. So I guess I'll just have to post them here. So without further ado, here are the one's I didn't use:

So, there you have it, the rest of my pics of my little bro. And if anyone doesn't like it, they can...

Friday, March 07, 2008

Gag Me

Most, if not all, of us have those gross little habits that we'd rather keep to nose pickers, zit poppers, booger eaters, belly button diggers, and toe-jam harvesters know who you are. There's some twisted sense of gratification that comes from the engagement of these habits. And some some of us don't care at all. My sixth grade math teacher used to sit at his desk and dig earwax out of his ear with his car keys, oblivious to the twenty horror-stricken, open-mouthed eleven year-olds staring at him. I can't tell you how many times I've passed someone in the car mining for nose-gold, as though their cars were an impenetrable refuge, impervious to the eyes of casual passers-by. Some people are blessed with an amazing lack of self-consciousness. Their blessing is our curse.

Kailey is bordering on developing a nasty habit that we need to nip in the bud, pronto. Her habit? Tonsil digging. No, I've never heard of it either until I witnessed it with my own eyes. Kailey's tonsils look healthy. They're not swollen or infected, but they are filled with this white, cakey, chunky, disgusting crap. And I don't know if it's just food that gets trapped there or whether her tonsils are secreting the junk, but regardless of the source, it's gross. Kailey's favorite pastime has become grabbing a handful of Q-tips and digging that crap out of her tonsils. I can't watch her do it. It activates my gag reflex and makes me want to puke. And I can't understand how she doesn't make herself hurl.

Now don't be mistaken. Kailey isn't merely scraping the stuff off the surface of her tonsils...SHE IS DIGGING IT OUT FROM UNDER AND BEHIND THEIR VARIOUS FOLDS. And when she digs out a particularly large chunk of crap, she brandishes it like an Olympic medal. "Look what I got, Daddy!" she gushes as she waves a Q-tip with a dime-sized chunk of tonsil-jam in my face. Then I run for the john.

We've got to put a stop to this. Healthy or not, those tonsils have to go. We need to get her into the doctor to see if there isn't something she can do about it. In the meantime, I would be perfectly happy, even proud, if Kailey moved on to a more normal disgusting habit, like nose-picking.


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