Sunday, May 30

Sometimes, Things Just Work Out Ok

Had a nice breakfast with my in-laws yesterday. We went to a little breakfast place called First Watch. I don't know if they are a small chain, or what, but the do the breakfast/brunch/lunch thing and that's it. This trip was my first time and it wasn't bad.

So, the van has it's appointment for Tuesday at the garage. In the meantime, we weren't sure about what to do. I made a call to Sis, as we had borrowed their van previously for a couple days. Turns out, they are able to loan it again to us. Thankfully, that helps our transportation of the family around for the rest of the weekend, and until we can get our van out of the garage. I am starting to worry about making this trip to Indiana driving our van, since it has seen the garage going on 4 times already this year. Sis and BIL offered to let us use their van for our trip (obviously leave ours with them) as it is a newer vehicle, and I am sure is bound to get somewhat a little better gas mileage. I sort of shucked an answer, putting that on the backshelf until I knew what was going on with our van. It is starting to sound a little more like a good idea though.... I just don't know yet.

The daughter is clearly an emotionally-mixed teenager. Aside from them telling me the orientation at the college was good, and they learned a lot of info, I haven't heard much. She is excited about the laptop we gave her for graduation (especially the wi-fi card in it) and has only mentioned there is no sound. I think she just needs to plug in headphones or speakers though. I will have to check. But she has gone from the "happy" extreme to the "self pity" one. My FIL's age is catching up with him. Without disclosing much, because I don't know all the details, it is getting to the point where his driving ability is getting to be impaired. The MIL will need to starty doing their driving for them. Well, FIL's car is a stick, which MIL can't drive. Their other vehicle is a full-size van. So, longer story shorter, they now have another vehicle that is an automatic. The manual drive, they are literally GIVING to my daughter for school. Only, she has never driven a stick shift. Now, those of us that can, remember our first times driving one? We never learned it in one day, especially not in just a 20 minute lesson. Well, the Wife took her out for about 20 minutes yesterday, driving at the local park, and on sidestreets. I guess at one point, she stalled out making a turn, and was flustered (I am guessing there was some light traffic behind her) because she could not get the vehicle re-started - probably due to the combo of clutch in to start, and feeling "rushed" to complete the turn, and learning the combination of gas/clutch ratio needed to not stall again. Supposedly, she tried like 20 times, and could not get the car going, so the wife took over, and they basically quit that particular lesson. So they get home, and the daughter is slamming doors, and "Oh pity me - I failed and can never learn to drive a stick" even after repeatedly being told to NOT slam doors, and neither of us had ever learned in one complete sitting how to drive a stick perfectly. Damn kids...her especially I just want to smack the stupid shit out of sometimes.

Indy 500 is today. I might be out at the pub to watch. Haven't decided.

Tomorrow we are headed to Sis' for food and family in the afternoon. I hope you enjoy your day!

Tomorrow is Memorial Day. Be sure to take part of your schedule, and remember our vets, home or away, alive or dead, for our freedom.


Saturday, May 29

Fricking Roller Coaster!!

The week had started off so well... Son graduated 6th grade on Monday. Daughter graduated HS on Tuesday. Wednesday, we finally took a breather from all the end of school year activities. Thursday my wife and Daughter left for Tucson, for a two day trip for Orientation at the UofA. I was left home in charge of the boys. Nothing too bad, except the family vehicle was gone, so we weren't going anywhere. Good thing Pizza Hut delivers!

Things didn't start going sour until my Wife checked in that evening. Seems the van had started "running rough" at stops once they got to Tucson. I was worried all until they came home on Friday. Van running worse, engine light on, "mis-firing" or who know what. I got an opening Tuesday for the garage.

This morning we are heading to breakfast with my in-laws. More later...


Wednesday, May 26

Graduation pics

Here are a few pics of my past couple days. First is Ralphdood IV graduating 6th grade. He gave the valedictorian speech for his class....

... he received his diploma for 6th grade ....
... and was photogenic enough to allow us this picture. Look out Jr High girls! He's available!!

Next we have my daughter graduating 12th grade. Here she is performing with the Vocal Ensemble as pre-ceremony music. They also performed during the ceremony. A little blurry as we were so far back, but they had Jumbo Screens they televised on to help.
As I said, seating wasn't prime for us, so pics were from the jumbo screen. Here she is accepting her diploma
... and here is my little girl, all graduated!
We weren't allowed tons of time to hang around afterwards. There was yet another HS ceremony following hers, so we needed to leave. We were able to get a few other pics (with grandparents, boyfriend, etc) and I'll even throw this one up of our family.
Now, the rest of this week should be easy, I say easy, and I hope easy, but that prolly won't happen. Wife and daughter head to UofA for orientation on Thursday morning and it will be just us boys for 2 days. I am already planning on pizza party Thursday. We are stuck at home as the Wife will need the minivan to get to Tucson (she hates my car).  Enjoy your hump day!


Tuesday, May 25

Things Come Slowly To a Stop

It is nearing the end of the month finally. Everything having to do with school is almost over, and not only are the kids anxious, I am as well. I feel slightly worn out from all the activities that have been happening over the past two weeks. I think back to my HS days, and I don't recall all these extra events (though I was only in band, not 3 extra-curricular classes/groups) and there was only one of me graduating.

Last night my oldest son, Ralphd00d IV, graduated from 6th grade. Personally, I don't see the big deal about that particular accomplishment, but then again, times have changed. Maybe it is a big accomplishment considering the way state and federal gov'ts fund schools, and the lack of proper teaching because we have to deal with ESL and other illegal issues that slow down the average student's learning. Either way, his ceremony, which was for only 2 classrooms at the school, took 2 hours. They made every student participate in a song, dance, or recital of a poem, quote, etc. And each time there was a quote, or recital, they had to have some other student come up and repeat the damn thing in Spanish. Fucking stupid. I am proud of my son though! Valedictorian for his class! I took pictures, but my hands shake so bad they didn't come out super great. Hope to post in a couple days.

Today is my oldest, and only, daughter's (Ralphette's) graduation from HS. I get to be in charge of making all the boys be ready in a timely manner, and have her at the location at the time designated prior to the ceremony. Unfortunately, only a limited number pf people can attend (by ticket only) so some of the family will not be able to see it. Afterwards, we are going to dinner with the grandparents (both sets) and her boyfriend. I am thinking Lonestar, but it is up to the daughter. I am sure we will have pics of this all too to share.

The boys have half day of school and are done. Daughter has the ceremony this afternoon, and is done. School events will be over.

This weekend brings up a time of families getting together and celebrating with barbecues (as we are doing) and other events. The Indianapolis 500 is on Monday. I love that race! We are getting together at Sis' for carne asada and eatings. We also celebrate my oldest son's, a nephew and a neice's birthdays together. I need to check on the ice cream cake too...crap - forgot about it.

After that June is here and I need to start getting things together for our trip to Indy. I know I need to get the van in for a tune-up and an oil change prior to leaving. Also need to see about at least the front tires being replaced. I'll start packing too. A month early? Sure! I'll pack in clothes I don't need until the trip, as it saves me time later. I know I will be looking for stuff the Wife thinks we will need, or the kids, etc in the "extra" time it gives me.

Alrighty, gotta run. The daughter has a vocal ensemble sound check this morning prior to the ceremony.


Thursday, May 20

It's like a vacation, except it sucks

Day Two of being sick I thought would be alot better. I woke up feeling better. But it was the calm before the storm. Again I slept literally all day. No I am back to the headache and achiness, feeling sick to the stomach. I just wish it would end.

The daughter, being the type of person she is, decided to push my buttons while I am sick. Not smart. Now WWIII is going on at my house.


If I ever get sick again ....

I spent yesterday with the Wife. No, not like the quality time we should be so lucky to get, but there was a lot of bedtime. We were sick. And Ohhhh, I don't think I had been sick like that in along time! Seems the middle son brought a "bug" home as best we can figure. He was sick Saturday. Then the youngest was sick on Monday. Yesterday was our turn.  We are talking, not holding anything down, in or otherwise. You ache all over, fever, tired, sleep all day. Yeah, can definitely say I caught up on all my sleep.

So this morning, I am less achy. I actually feel like maybe trying to eat something. But still have a bad head ache.

Tonight is the son's last concert. Monday is his graduation from 6th. Tuesday my daughter graduates HS.


Tuesday, May 18

Sleep Illusion (ya know, where I thought I was getting sleep)

Another early morning. But I finished my book by Jim Butcher "Changes". I love his Harry Dresden, Wizard, series, and am looking forward to the next one this November. Now, back to "Shadowrise" by Tad Williams, unless I find something better at the bookstore.

Yeah, heading off to Barnes & Noble today. Why? My oldest son turns 12 today, and I thought it would be good to search out a book for him. I am thinking, I heard some good things about Brad Metzer's (sp?) new one called something like "Heroes for a Son" from over at "Poop and Boogies" blog (you can find it on my sidebar). So, he turns 12, I go book shopping. Heh, I hope it is like that every year. So far, all mu kids enjoy reading, and I hope they never change.

1998. Seems so long ago. You can tell it has been awhile - I am skinny.
Now, he enters 7th grade this fall. Here's one with him and Grandma (Reverend Mother) at the district concert.

Yup. They are all growing up fast. Since I hadn't put it up yet, her is the daughter in her home-made prom dress, and another of her and her boyfriend.

Alrighty! I am off to do some book looking, drop off the Wife's early ballot, hit the bank, and I am thinking Subway for lunch.


Monday, May 17

Starting the week off

Mondays suck so bad. Why do we always say Mondays are bad? We enjoy the time away from work enough? I don't know. Hell, I ain't working so why they still seem crummy to me? This one started off bad. I thought it was a good thing I don;t have to take the Daughter to early hour anymore, and get that extra hour or so of sleep. Except when I got up, my back is hurting again. All I can figure is I slept on it bad or something. So now I am hobbling around the house, and can't sit more than a couple hours at a time. I know it will clear up in a couple days, but still.

Tonight the Daughter has an awards acknowledgement at the school. Obviously I did not go, and have the two younger boys here at home. The Wife went with the oldest son. I hope they are picking up dinner on the way home.

I went out Saturday, and had too much fun. AT one point, we dropped off my car at home so I wouldn't have to drive later, and ended up closing down the pub. I had fun, but the softball games at 8am Sunday morning were not the easiest thing to get up for, but I made it. Couple hours later, and 2 wins, I was up at the pub again. though the rest of the team went somewhere else. So I just had one and went home.

Oldest son has his last concert this week. Daughter graduates next week. Things feel like they are slowing down a bit. I am looking forward tot he family trip in July, and have started my lists of things to do, get done prior to leaving. Of course, I never get them all done. Then there is the list of things to be sure we take, be sure we do, another for what we may have time for, or can visit on the way home. Yeah, I will probably misplace them all in about a week.

So, that's how my week is starting. Time to get off this chair.


Saturday, May 15

A Moment for Myself

Welcome to Saturday EARLY morning. Again, my sleep schedule has not corrected itself all the way, but we are making progress. Today I was only up at 5 rather than the usual 3 or 4am. All in all, I like that time in the morning... not much of internet traffic, so I can kind of chat with some people back East without many from here jutting in, or taking my attention away from the convo. My house is quiet. Kids and Wife still asleep. I sit here with my iced tea, or soda, and go thru my email, reading articles, classifieds (on and off internet), and catch up on some of my blogging. It's nice, but I think I would rather sleep in til about 7'ish before I do this stuff.

Last night was my niece's performance in her first school play. She did a wonderful job (of course)! She played the part of the Sour Kangaroo in the "Seussical Musical" her school put on. We had front row seats, and I might have enjoyed it more (considering it is a kids play - off-key singing, bad acting, wrong lines, etc) if the mics they were using would have worked better. Seemed half the main characters had their mics off, or something, and even sitting in the front row, I was having a hard time hearing (duh! I am deaf it seems). All in all, it was a nice performance for a $4 entry fee.

Tonight is my Daughter's final Prom at her high school. Her boyfriend of the past year is taking her. One of her friends is coming by today at some point, so the two of them can do whatever girls do to get ready - hair, make-up, gossip, etc. The Wife has the camera, so I am not worried of missing anything. I may have pics late tonight.

SO, that means today is mine. Aside from this early morning time you and I may be sharing together, I have plans for the day. A group of friends are meeting for breakfast (more like brunch) about 11 my time, then play some Golden Tee video golf and have a few brews. Gets me out of the house whilst the girls do their giggly stuff.

About a week and a half until the Daughter actually graduates. Most dad's would feel a bit of sadness at their 'little girl' hitting this stage of growing up ... yet, nothing has bothered me yet. I don't know if it is the past year's worth of the issues we have had (read : fights, arguments, and me just plain not caring anymore) that is the cause of it, or if it just hasn't hit. Guess that is something to watch for, not that I expect it. Her only plans this summer are to lounge around and do nothing til fall... not exactly making me happy.

And to end this on a good note, I am going to the pub today!


Thursday, May 13

Mid-Week Check-In

(Sigh) I am tired. Somehow I have managed to skew my sleeping schedule. Last night I was in bed by 11'ish, up again at 1:30, and in again about 5. Then back up about 5 minutes ago. Now I guess I need to stay awake all day in order to be tired enough to sleep tonight. I dunno.

Went to the son's District Honors Orchestra concert last night. IT was a bit misleading. My son plays French horn, and only played in two of the five pieces played. It was that way for all the non-stringed players. Which made me want to inquire 'Why bother having the brass in it at all then?' though I sagely kept my mouth shut. Yes, I know, hard to believe.

Yesterday we got the first few announcements out for the daughters graduation finally. Thought I would never see them going out the door.

Tonight the daughter has a Theater Awards Banquet (which parents are not invited too). Weird. The oldest son has a parent/student orientation at the Jr. High he will be going to this fall. Tomorrow is the niece's play. As I said previously, busy week. And my sleep schedule is skewed.


Tuesday, May 11

Busy Ain't The Word For It

Sunday, as we sat down for a bit of Mother's Day lunch at Wendy's (hey, the Wife chose where we ate) I started getting the details of things going on this week. I sighed. I mentioned that everyone needed to remind me of all the "goings on" when we got home, so I could write them all done. After all, I never remember anything (unless it is useless trivia). And, so of course no one reminded me, and I have been trying to complete the list myself. I get tired every time I look at it, let alone add to it.

Monday night was clear. Ended up being a good thing too, because I was in bed by like just before 9pm. I was beat. Tuesday (today) the Daughter has a Vocal Ensemble, Choir and Orchestra concert tonight. Afterwards, she and the boyfriend are going to dinner. I have already asked if I could NOT go. I know it will put me to sleep. Wednesday is the oldest son's District Honor Band concert. Something is going on Thursday too, but I can't remember what. Friday is my niece's first play. Saturday is prom for the daughter. Next week is just as busy with graduation prep stuff. Just think, 2 weeks and I can relax a bit, make that after Memorial Day weekend.

Wow, I had something of a post idea going on, but my mind just suddenly went blank. Maybe it will come back in a bit and I can continue...


Saturday, May 8

I Got Lost on the Way

Well, sure feels that way this past week. I haven't been able to direct my attention to this site, not that I would have alot of anything to talk about.

Still trying to get the daughter to get her damn graduation announcements out in the mail.

Boys got their school pics in, so I suppose I will have them scanned and put up soon.

Stuman wants to take me out to lunch sometime. He's always griping about money, so I don't know why he is offering to pay for my lunch. Seems there is a Toby Keith bar and grill place over near his side of town, and he went there for lunch today. Says they got a plate there called something like the "100 Ouncer" and it costs $30, you have like an hour to eat the whole meal, and all you get, if you eat it all, is a $15 off coupon for the next visit. I'm thinking, 100 oz of steak? No. But he said it is like 16 oz fries, 10 oz bun, etc.... whole meal though. He said he couldn't imagine anyone eating that much, but wondered if I would do it, and that is why he is offering to buy my lunch, to see if I can. I told him to talk to my in a couple weeks when he can afford it, and we can set up a date. I wanna see if I can too.

Other than that, this week has been a slow one. Just biding time until the vacation trip.

Funny, that Stuman called about the lunch thing, shortly after that I got another call from "Pure Fitness". Seems my BIL and Sis had put me in for a guest pass there (2 free week membership basically) back when they joined and now they are needing people I guess. They finally called me up to see when I wanted to come in for my "evaluation". I think I may schedule that for after that lunch. Lord knows I will need it.


Monday, May 3

It's Been a Weird One

The last few days have been really weird for me. I have been sleeping way too much, and my sleep schedule is going all to hell. All because of this damn nice weather we are having here in AZ. Yup, 70's, sun shining, wind blowing...wait. Wind blowing? Allergens all over the place.

Yeah. I been taking my allergy meds, and they make me drowsy. Heck today alone I slept about 4 hours on top of the regular nights sleep I got.

Needless to say, it's going on midnight now and I am tired, but can't sleep. Warm milk ain't helping. Maybe if I go play WoW or read Facebook entries for awhile...