Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The Ragsland Exchange

So tonight the boys and I are watching Wheel of Fortune.

I solved the puzzle with only about 10 letters showing: AN UNFORGETTABLE ISLAND EXPERIENCE.

The boys and I were talking about how I would so win if I could get on Wheel. Jake asked me how my friend Sherri did when she got on and we talked about that a few minutes when finally someone solved the puzzle. It happened to be a prize puzzle where the winner got a trip to Hawaii's big island to stay at the Hilton Waikaloa Village. As they were showing the clip of the resort, I told the boys that I'd been to Hawaii and that's where I stayed.

As they were watching, Zac turned to me and said, "You know I stayed up all night the day before you came home from that trip."

I asked, "Because you missed me so much?" and Zac replied in his usual teenaged-I-don't-like-my-parents-way, "No, I was just up all night." He then went back to the dining room table to finish his homework.

Jake leaned over and whispered to me, "He stayed up all night because he really did miss you."

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

All the Single Ladies

Check out this video. In my recent memory, I don't know if I've laughed as hard. And I certainly hope this family submits this video to America's Funniest Home Videos.

I originally saw this clip on a blog called "Notes to Self." If you have a moment, go over there and check her out. The author's name is Kyran Pittman. She's an ex-pat Canadian who married a man from Arkansas. She is also the daughter of noted poet, Al Pittman.

Her words are like a soothing balm.

Friday, September 25, 2009

School of Rock

Today started just as an ordinary day, with a few changes...or also called A Day In the Life.

I got up early. George slept in. I showered. I woke up Zac. He was annoyed that I didn't wake him up earlier. He wanted to ride the bus to school.

The bus came about 6:35. I woke Zac up around 6:15. He hustled around, got dressed, got his PE clothes, and gathered up his homework. He was outside by 6:33 waiting with Haley, our next-door neighbor, for the bus.

I finished cooking breakfast (breakfast tacos). Zac assured me he would eat breakfast at school. (He's reading over my shoulder and confirmed that he did eat at school. He just called me a weirdo.)

I sat at the computer and caught up with my internet friends Suburban Bliss, McK Mama, McVal, and The Reluctant Optimist, among others.

George was still asleep. Before you go and judge him for sleeping in, I think this was the first time since May he'd slept after 7:00. I went and started getting dressed.

Jake woke up around 7:40 and stumbled into my bathroom. I encouraged him to lay down in bed with Dad for a little while longer. He got up around 7:55 and started getting dressed. I went and got his breakfast together for him.

We left the house at 8:20. The usual talk ensued:

"What time is it?"
"Are you speeding?"
"Did you get my ______ in my book sack?' (You may use your imagination to fill in that blank. It's been everything from homework to field trip money, to a love letter for Joselyn so far in his scholastic carreer.)

I dropped him off at school at 8:36. School starts at 8:40.

I got to work at 8:45 and did the usual. I helped a couple of customers, answered the phone and answered their questions, (self-storage is very mysterious), ran some diagnostic junk on the computer. My co-worker, April came in at 12:00 for me because we were closing on our refinance on our house at 2:00.

I booked home to find some papers I needed to complete the cashier's check I needed for the closing. Naturally, I cannot be trusted with such an important piece of paper. I'd had it in my hand just the day before, knowing that I needed it today, I set it aside. I think I set it in the pile of papers I threw away, because, you know, I was multi-tasking and cleaning out my important paper basket while I got all of my stuff together.

I called George to ask him if he would come home to help me look for said important paper. He was at Jake's school giving him a Tylenol and making him drink a bottle of water. The school had called me while I was still at work to let me know that Jake was in the office complaining of a headache. I asked them if I could bring him some Tylenol, they said sure. I had a lot to do today and didn't need an ill child on top of it all. I figured he was a little dehydrated because he didn't drink anything in the morning before he went to school.


George told me to forget about it and meet him at Sammy's for lunch. George had a cup of seafood gumbo and I had the shrimp salad.

We went back home and tore it apart looking for the important papers. We did not find them.

I had to sign an affidavit of loss at the bank. They made the cashier's check for the closing.

We closed on the house. Dude. 4.875% for 15 years! I told my mom that I felt like a real grown-up today. I shopped a good mortgage and really scored a deal.

Anyway, we got all of that done and went home. The boys got home from school and we pittled around.

George and the boys left for baseball practice and I went to the grocery store. While I was picking up the 7 things on my list (which turned into $150 later) I heard this kid saying "Dad, can I get a Pepsi?! Dad! Dad, can I get a Pepsi?!" and I thought that it sounded like something my kids would say/do. Well, when I looked over there, it was Jake! yelling at George for a drink. I don't think I'll ever forgive those kids for demanding Pepsi products. I'm a very loyal Coke person. I think they just do it to annoy me.


I went home and started dinner. I watched the replay of "Fast Forward" and watched "Glee" that I had recorded from earlier in the week. I think I'm going to like "Fast Forward" and "Glee" is easily one of my favorites this season so far.

So the boys got home and of course George changed the channel. He did change it to Palladium, though, so it wasn't all bad.

The boys got in the shower and we watched the first part of the concert on Palladium: Rush. I had to pause it for the boys. They were about to receive an education from the finest in rock music.

We watched and listened to Geddy Lee sing "Tom Sawyer," which, if I remember correctly was the first song played on the juke box we had in the cafeteria when I was in 8th grade. We contiued to marvel at Neil Peart's primer on drums for the solo section of the concert and were dazzled by the guitar stylings of Alex Lifeson. All the hits were there, Limelight, Spirit of the Radio, Tom Sawyer, Working Man, Fly By Night. Oh My Gosh. It was a time warp.

To the boys' credit, they recognized the greatness. They watched the entire concert and were duly impressed. Zac begged for drum lessons and Jake dragged out his guitar and played the 3 chords he knows (C, G, and D) while singing a song he made up. It was awesome.

We had HOMEMADE chicken parmesan for dinner.

I call it an excellent day.

Friday, September 18, 2009


I'm sure President Bush was behind this, you know, because he doesn't care about black people and all.

Sunday, September 13, 2009


What you’ve all been waiting for.

Or maybe not. I’m just hoping that I can give this story justice. I’ve been teasing it long enough that it’s probably lost it’s humor.

It’s like when the movie Home Alone came out. George’s dad had seen it and did nothing but talk about how funny the movie was, how he was laughing so hard he was crying, and that it was now his favorite movie. When George and I finally got around to seeing it several weeks after it’s release, we didn’t find it nearly as funny as the people, especially George’s dad, who had told us about it.

So, with that in mind I will tell you about when my mom got in the fight with the other fan at Jacob’s game this summer.

It was crazy hot here at the beginning of the summer. The temperatures had been at or above 100* for several days, with about 2000% humidity. It was the type of day that everyone, including myself, believes we have all the time here in south Louisiana. Having lived here now almost 6 years, I’ve learned that the summers here aren’t as bad as the rest of the world thinks.

Anyway, it was crazy hot, over 100*. We were at a 7-year old tournament in Donaldsonville, LA. This park where we were playing was horrible. There was absolutely no shade, no stands except some small stands directly behind home plate, and not much space between each field. I’m not sure if hot and cramped describe the park well enough.

Several people brought their own EZ-UP tents for shade and placed them in the designated areas to watch games. When we entered the tournament a couple of weeks before, all of the parents received a packet of instructions from the D-ville park. The instructions were all of the usual things: no profanity, yelling at the umpires was grounds for ejection, etc., etc. One unusual piece of information pertained to the use of EZ-UP tents. It stated (and I’m paraphrasing) that if you put up a tent for your game, you must remove it when your game is over or allow the next team’s fans to use it. No big deal, right?

Well, our game came up. The game before ours was an 8-year old game. There were a couple of grandparents for that team who had their tent up on their team’s side of the field, which, after their game, became our team’s side of the field. They left their tent up and in that place because their other grandson was playing our team in the next game, but they had the other dugout and didn’t want to move it to the other side. As it turned out, their 8-year old grandson had the game after ours too, so they were set for 3 games in a row. Ordinarily it wouldn’t be a big deal, except that the day before they were also there and thought the Zachary fans, very rudely, moved their chairs from under the tent to set up our own chairs. We did move their chairs, but we were under the impression that, according to the tournament rules, we could use their tent if it was left up. So you can probably tell by now that their feelings were already hurt and they were on the defensive.

When we were setting up for our game, they made it very clear that they were not moving. They had set up for the 8-y.o. game, the 7-y.o. game, and the next 8-y.o. game because their grandsons were in all those games. They were in the front of the tent very spread out and right next to the fence. We reminded them of the rule that they were supposed to share their tent with the next game if they didn’t move it. They said fine and pointed to all of the area behind them.

Here’s where it begins to get a little fuzzy.

I was the team’s scorekeeper and had to be able to see the game, so I wiggled my chair in there next to grandma. I was sort of under their tent and the one next to us straddling the poles. My mom, on the other hand, was behind them and couldn’t see anything. I scanned the fence and noticed that if the dad who was standing at the fence scooted down a little I could get my mom’s chair in right next to grandpa. He, happily, moved down and helped me get the chair in and mom sat down.

As mom was settling in, she said, in a louder than normal voice, “We could all get in under this tent if these people weren’t so hateful.”

Grandma said, “We’re not hateful, it’s our tent.”

Mom replied, “Well the tournament rules state that if you leave your tent up, the next team’s fans may use it.”

Grandpa said, “You all can go ahead and use it, but we’re not moving.”

Mom said, “Well you’re supposed to move for the next game.”

By now, the whole tent was in rapt attention to the conversation between my mom and this couple.

Grandpa’s voice getting a little louder, “We don’t have to move the tent, this next game is ours too. Our 7-y.o. grandson is playing in this game, and our 8-y.o. is playing again after this game. We came all the way from Gonzales to see our grandsons play in these games.”

Mom, getting more and more aggravated, said (something like), “Well good for you, my other grandson is playing a tournament in Gonzales right now and we’re missing that game for this one. We came all the way from Zachary for these games and I came all the way from San Antonio, Texas to see my grandsons play baseball this summer.” (Read that with all the sarcasm you can muster).

**Aside** Zachary is about 50 minutes from Donaldsonville, and Gonzales is about 20 minutes from D-ville. You can figure for yourself how far San Antonio is from D-ville. Nevermind. I’ll figure it out for you--7 hours, 49 minutes, according to the map on my iPhone. Did I tell you that I have an iPhone?

Grandpa replied, extremely rudely, “Well why don’t you just go back to San Antonio, Texas?” (Again with the sarcasm!)

Mom said, “I only get to see my grandsons play ball once a year. I don’t intend to miss their games. And as a matter of fact, why don’t you go back to Gonzales where you came from?”

All this time, mind you, I’m sitting next to grandma, and, obviously, we’re going to be sitting next to this couple the entire game! The other parents on our team were speechless as we surrounded these folks.

Thankfully, the game started and we were able to focus on the game. At some point, the daughter of the grandma and grandpa (mom to the ball-player grandsons) came over to visit her parents on the opposing side. I'm not sure how the conversation came around to this, but she reminded all of us Zachary people over there under the tent that we moved all of their chairs out and replaced them with ours. Then someone from our team reminded her of the tent rule. Oh brother, I was afraid it was about to begin again. She laughed it all off and basically counted it up to super hot weather and high tensions for the games. Of course, we all knew better.

We got them though. The Zachary 7s won the game something like 14-2. It was a 10-run mercy rule game. that I write this and read over it...I think they think we must be like the Kenner team!!!!!!!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Rage Against the Machine

Check this out. I think I may be on a GOVERNMENT WATCH LIST!!

I'm sure Barack Obama is really interested in Zac's iPhone, the boys' baseball games, and what I watch on TV.

You know, with the imminent threat of terrorists, the spiraling down of the economy, and what not, checking in on what I'm up to is a matter of national import.

P.S. Click on the image to enlarge. The entry in question is the second one on the list.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

The Ragsland Exchange

Tonight we were watching Neil Young's Prairie Harvest Home concert on Palladia. Or whatever it was called. I kept commenting to George that every Neil Young song sounded alike. George is a HUGE fan of Mr. Young, so I occasionally indulge him. Anyway, he said something about his 21 year-old daughter finishing her last year of college and how he wrote a song for her. He called it an "empty-nester" song and compared it to the songs he used to write for girls when he was younger. So I asked George if Neil Young was married, figuring such a HUGE fan and all, he'd know. He did not. I looked for the tell-tale wedding ring and finally noticed it.

All the while, Zac, waiting to jump into the conversation said, "He must be married, he's got a daughter."

I, the ever-realist, said, "Well, sweetness, you don't have to be married to have children."

To which Zac replied, "Oh yeah, he could've adopted her."

I don't yet have the heart to tell him otherwise.