Wednesday, October 27, 2010

What have I been up to?

Good grief, nearly three months since my last post. As reboots go, this is turning into more Rob Zombie's "Halloween" and less Platinum Dunes' "Friday the 13th". Sigh.

Like I said, I've been busy. Since my last post in August...

That's my daughter. Literally licking the plate clean.
 Emma turned 1. Complete with her first piece of ice-cream cake. Yay!

And, I must say, I did write a blog post earlier this week. It's just that it was over at Granola Crunchiness, Marisa's (new-ish) blog.

Meanwhile, I'm slogging away at work and class, both of which keep me busy.

And did I mention we switched to a Service Electric cable modem at home because our Verizon Internet managed to not work at night for more than a month during September? That sure didn't help.

So enough with the excuses, on with the blogging.

One of the nice things in my life recently was that Marisa went to the Freedom for Family Wellness Summit in Virginia. So I got to spend the better part of three days with my baby girl, toting her around the area and trying to keep her entertained.

To the west, and Ox Hill, plus a museum!
Manassas, hoping for two Bull Run battles, but only having time for one.
  • Manassas and the Bull Run I tour: One adult thumb up, one baby thumb up, too.
  • Dinner with M's family: Thumbs-up all around.
Bonus theme song (if it works):

If not, click here! Or here.

Shopping in Chantilly:
  • C&W Used Books: Much, much better than the previous one. Mixed baby reviews. 
  • Piper Hobby shop: Not enough trains. Again, mixed baby reviews.
  • Game Parlor: One adult thumb up - I could've stayed for hours. Also, one baby thumb up - and one escape attempt. 
  • Lotus vegetarian restaurant: Excellent adult reviews. Mixed baby reviews.
I apologize for the lack of pictures. I still have to get them off M's fancy camera. So, to appease you in the meanwhile...
Bonus Emma!

Yes, she's riding a Lightning McQueen car. Em loves it, even if her mother snagged it somewhere in blatant violation of her personal no-plastic-toys policy.

Monday, August 09, 2010

Perspective with a crunch

A Britax car seat, in "Cowmooflage": It died, so that my baby might live.

So, the other day over on Facebook, I posted a status that "Perspective had slapped me in the face, and I kind of liked it."

I got a frantic call back on the 28th from Marisa. The first thing she said was "Everyone's alright." That's never followed by good news. In this case, the bad news was that there was one casualty: her car.

Apparently a school bus (!) changed lanes without signaling, cutting off a driver, who then was involved in a bit of a fender-bender with M (well, more of a fender-destroyer in M's case). This literally ended her day down the Jersey Shore with Em with a bang. And set off a round of frantic phone calls to insurers and the like. (Not to mention a rather stern conversation with the good folks at the bus company after the other driver made it clear to all involved that this was the fault of the bus driver, who proceeded to go on his merry way without so much as slowing down at the sound of a crash less than 10 feet behind his bus. There are words that come to mind. Most start with F.)

That's really not the point. The point is, my hour-plus frantic drive down to the accident scene (in rush hour traffic, no less) left me plenty of time for thinking. Overactive imagination and all.

A 2005 Toyota Matrix. Believe it or not, insurance repaired it.

And what really occurred to me, in addition to:

A) How grateful I was no one was hurt;
B) How this sort of thing only happens when you've nearly paid off the car;


C) Just how important M&Em are to me.

Not that I had any doubts before, but it's one thing to love your wife and daughter with all your heart; it's another to suddenly, involuntarily imagine life without them.

Honestly, I haven't really been depressed (much) since. I'm too busy feeling lucky.

Lucky they weren't hurt. Lucky I have them to begin with. Funny how these things work.

Random trivia: Oddly enough, it turns out I know the cop who responded to the accident and was so very nice to M&Em - she is one of my old bartenders from the late, lamented Sun Tavern Mountainside, back then a Criminal Justice student.

And remember, folks: A baby seat involved in a car accident of any severity should be destroyed as unsafe!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The bees! The bees!

Ever have one of those moments where you feel like you're in a movie?

This happened to me once before. So let's set the Wayback Machine for 2007.

I had just moved up to Sussex County and I was driving down a highway I thought was 65 mph. It wasn't. It was 55 mph, as I discovered when one of Sussex County's finest pulled me over. So I'm sitting there while he looks at my license and registration, talking about my knowledge of the speed limit or lack thereof, when...

His radio goes off: "All personnel, we have a multivehicle incident..."

He clicks his radio, says he's on it, literally tosses my license and paperwork back at me, hollers, "Slow down, sir," over his shoulder, jumps in the car, pops the lights and siren and tears off.

I was that guy. That guy at the beginning of the movie who is pulled over for some minor offense when the real villains go zipping by at 100 mph and the cop blows off the first guy to join the chase.

Pretty cool.

I was reminded of that this morning. Why?

Well, yesterday, Marisa texted me to tell me we had bees under our kitchen deck, and they had chased Norton the Dog and Oreo Cookie Kitten back into the house from where they were sunning themselves. So when I get home, she shows me the little hive under the left side of the deck, and I blast it with my trusty Raid anti-bee spray. There were also a bunch of bees around the light we put on to see the hive, so I blasted them, too. (I should mention it did occur to me that there were a lot of bees for a tiny lil' hive.)

This morning, she tells me the bees are back, worse than ever.

So thinking maybe I missed the hive in the dark, I go down to the garage (under the deck) to investigate. Nope. That is one dead little hive. So where are the bees coming from?

Then I turned around and looked up at the right side of the deck.

You know that scene in a movie where the hero kills some monster, and he's all proud of himself, and then he turns around and the monster's Mommy is standing right there, towering over him.

I felt Just. Like. That. Because the second hive was about the size of a football and swarming in bees.

Ho. Lee. Sugar.

So later tonight, when they are (hopefully) in their state of torpor, I'm going back out with my Raid...

Let's hope I don't end up like Nic Cage at the end of this little gem:

"The bees! Not the bees!"