Tag Archives: Kids
Friday all the kids returned to the nest for Spring Break. I’m pretty sure Divine Providence aligned Auburn and Michigan Tech’s academic calendars this year to enable all the kids to be home at once. And as much as I do appreciate having them home, it’s not lost on me that I have to cook for 5 again, have to endure the television being on at all hours again (I don’t like to turn the thing on unless there’s something specific that I’m going to watch. I like the quiet), and enjoy bantering and what not.
I know, I’m never happy.
I think the Universe collaborated on this because I’m pretty sure this is the last time we’ll have a break like this with all the kids home. The oldest kid is getting ready to head off to Grad School, at best will be several thousand miles away from Minnesota, read “not coming home except for big holidays” and at worst might be in foreign countries, read “not coming home for anything”. I think these family reunions are close to taking on the look and feel of a real reunion, meaning once or twice a decade and or when someone dies. And since I’m probably first on that list I won’t even get to enjoy the time.
Because nothing good ever comes without a price, there is a downside to having Auburn and Michigan Tech aligning their academic calendars- graduation. Both sons have finals the same week and for the young man at Auburn that includes a final on Friday. Which means we have a clusterfuck of a logistics problem trying to figure out how to get him packed up and out of the dorm in Alabama on Friday afternoon, and into a seat for Pomp and Circumstance in Houghton Michigan 18 hours later.
Houghton BTW, one of the most remote places in the contiguous 48 states. No one gets there easily.
Actually it’s not the lad that we’re all that worried about, its how we parents are going to be able to do this. One of us will have to go down to Alabama and facilitate the evacuation from Lupton Hall. The other one of us will have to pick p Grandma at the airport in MPLS and get her to Houghton, a 7 hour drive.
At this point I have no idea how all of this is going to come together, I keep thinking about the fable with the wolf, the sheep and the sack of grain and how many trips the farmer will have to make across the river to get everyone over safely before the scorpion stings him in the back and they both drown because it’s what scorpions do… It is a situation that is that confusing.
And when my wife needs me to think clearly and come up with a solution for something like that I like to retreat into my basement hidy hole and eat tater tots and watch MASH reruns until the feelings of confusion go away or I fall asleep and nap for a few hours. Problem is there is a kid living in the basement this week so I’m stymied once again my this “full house” thing.
And.. for the 1,395th time there is water in the basement.
Mrs S and I were off at the Chanhassen Dinner Theaters for a little Lodge event yesterday afternoon. More on that even later, suffice to say while I enjoy the shows, I don’t like spending 5 hours on a Saturday in one place and the food sucks. I digress.
Water problem in the basement.. There are 11 identified conditions which can cause water to appear in our basement. Among them:
- Drain pipes not glued together- shitty contractor there, but was fixed in 2010. We think.
- High humidity- we’ve had enough condensation down there to create pretty good sized puddles that soak the carpet. Dehumidifier in stalled in 2009, re-installed (backward condenser) in 2011. Seems ok for now.
- Power outages- In the spring or when it rains the sump pump down there runs about every 20 minutes. If the power goes out… Installed a battery system in 2011. Installed moisture alarm in 2012.
- Tampon Tidal Wave- flush enough high absorbency items down the stool; hygiene products, entire rolls of toilet paper, old mop heads, kittens etc… and the main sewer line clogs which causes the downstairs toilet to explode which causes us to have to bring in Service Master which causes me to have to look up words like “coliform”.. Solution- remove all trees and shrubs between the house and the city sewer line and get the line rotorooted every year. If nothing else works please G-d let this one never happen again.
- Fast Snow Melt, frozen drain pipe. BINGO.
OK no one gives a shit about my basement issues, price I pay for living in a hole. This time around it was the fast snow melt. Good news is, both boys were home, saw what was happening and fixed the problem on their own, bailing out a flooded window well AND bypassing a frozen drain pipe thereby limting the water in the basement to the cement floor in the mechanical room.
And in that one instance making 22 and 18 years of care and feeding all worth it. I can now recommend having sons, which up until then I was on the fence about, about children in general actually. Actually the best part of this whole affair was coming home and watching the boys having a great time together solving this problem. Kidna cool, Mrs S did a great job parenting these kids.
But Sank, you have a daughter.. jury is still out on that, she’s a teenager at the moment and wouldn’t be fair to judge.
Seems that every year about this time I find a way to get sick. For this years edition of the annual plague I’ve selected a robust late harvest winter cold. It came with an uncontrollable nasal drip, very enjoyable in meetings and on the bus when you’re trying to pretend that there’s not a snot drop on the bridge of your nose, so you discretely pinch your nose, getting a wipe at the same time.
I also enjoyed a couple days of low grade fever. Nothing like little chills and shaking to attempt to gain some sympathy from a beloved spouse. You think I’d learn by now, apparently not. It was kinda fun actually, got sit in the office and suddenly break into a sweat. As my people say, do some schvitzing. Neat trick when your sitting in a meeting.
Speaking of which, damn friendly of me to go into work as Typhoid Gary. Heh.
But a fellows gotta do what a fellows gotta do.
The gift with purchase in this deal, the dry hacking cough that I’ve been enjoying. Started to wonder if I got me the whooping cough, I did just get the vaccine last week.
OK Hypochondriac man slow down.
I know, whining. Gender linked trait. But seriously, this hack has to stop or I’m going lose me a lung.
Cha-noo-kia is in full effect here at the Casa Del Sank-a-ray. For what it’s worth, we have managed to light candles every night. One night I even got the womenfolk to stop talking long enough to hear the blessings, which was nice.
For that night anyway. Nice think abotu Cha-noo-kia, I get a nice new pair of socks every night. A pack of eight socks makes a lovely progressive gift. And they’re damned comfy.
Actually we agreed on a family gift this year, a new home theatre sound system to replace my college receiver and speakers. So, off to Best Buy I went, cash in hand, ready to pull the trigger.
Problem. I’ve never bought anything over $11.00 that I haven’t researched for at least 6 months. I hadn’t really done my due diligence and when I got to Best Buy and, when offered two choices, went into paralysis mode. Couldn’t decide. Truth is, after listening to several systems I couldn’t find one that sounded even close to the quality of the sound I already enjoy so, why bother. Which could mean a gift free Cha-noo-kia.
My two sons, the ones who decided to bypass Minnesota this winter and head straight to California almost bypassed the holiday as well except at the last minute the following remarkable circumstance occurred.
They were invited to dinner tomorrow night, a full on Shabbat dinner and Hanukkah deal a one of my cousins homes. And I learned today that they’re both going. My cousin is Orthodox so they’re in for a very traditional dinner. It’ll be fun for them. It will also be the first time they’ve met anyone from my Fathers side of the Family. I’ll be curious to hear how it goes.
Nothing like the holidays to reflect on the family, since we have lots of family time to during the holiday when we can reflect. And any reflection about family time in my mind will, at some point, turn to some expression of teen angst. And when I find myself chastising my children for time spent on devices instead of tuned into family and friends I am reminded that I am that old fat ass on sofa, nose deep into my computer more often than not, and from me, they learn.
Funny how that works out.
This year the Thanksgiving prep was decidedly uneventful. I had everything under control and everything went to plan. Not one single crisis other than a couple rotten garlic cloves. Must be years of experience finally paying off.
Thanksgiving Day itself was one of those “only in Minnesota sort of days”, it started at about 70 degrees in my driveway, when I went out to get the paper it was remarkably warm. And only in Minnesota does a day like that end with an inch of snow on that same driveway and wind-chill at 3 degrees.
Thanksgiving, like all the good holidays, goes so fast. One minute I’m at the grocery store buying the supplies and before I know it we’re saying goodbye to the guests and the family is settling in for the evening’s activities, which in our case was a game of Trivial Pursuit, Sank rules.
Sank rules works like this, any pause for more than a second when answering any question and you’re going to get bombarded with hints from the rest of the players. And even with this assistance, it still takes a couple hours to finish a game. I downloaded the game onto the Xbox, a cheap $12.00 as a way to entice the teen age members of the family off their devices and come out of their rooms. Yeah I know, trading one device for another, but at least if we’re on the same device it would be a tad more interactive than closed door brood-surfing. And it was big success. Proof? The teenybopper kid asked if we could play again tonight. Welcome back to the family brood-sister.
This year the party was pretty low key, but I think we settled in a good number of participants; eight. Eight people fit around our table very nicely. Eight is a good number for a reasonable size turkey, it also allows everyone to have the very own personal side dish. I choose candied sweet potatoes, which were brought by a friend of ours, because things made by others are always better than things you make yourself, at least in my opinion.
I made my herbed turkey, this being the third year that I did herbed it turkey it’s gone through the product lifecycle; what was once “new and innovative”, then was “what we had last year” is now locked in as “tradition”. Next year I’m considering going to back to the traditional baked bird sans my sage based turkey pesto deal. I asked for a vote on this issue and apparently due to election fatigue no one was interested in taking part in having input in Thanksgiving to Be. I got 7 abstentions and one trip to the bathroom to avoid the whole discussion. I guess we’ll make a game time call next year.
Overall the day lived to my expectations; it is and remains the finest day on the calendar. Great company and food, good times all around. And no, we didn’t spend a lot of time trying to name things we were thankful for. I kinda live day to day and don’t really stop to consider that which good fortune and good luck have bestowed on me, that would require reflection and I’m not much for reflection.
I am starting to realize that even Thanksgiving is going to suffer from empty nest soon
, the days of family events are numbered. The kids are scattering fast, if the oldest realizes his dream of attending Grad School at Stanford we’ll never see him again, he’ll spend holidays on the west coast with grandma, meet a partner of some kind and we’re done. Middle kid is already making noises that next year he won’t be able to stay the entire week as he’ll want to get back to Alabama on Saturday for the annual Auburn/Alabama game, and the girl.. well I’d bet she’ll be with us for a long time to come.
And just like that the day was over. Friday we did nothing. NOTHING. I’m not going out into the Black Friday madness; I don’t consider that to be our best moment as Americans. Matter of fact the more I see people waiting in line for 4 days and then climbing over each other to get a $50 off something the more I think the country might not be worth saving. I guess if I’m thankful for anything, I’m thankful that I have been given the gift of cynicism which keeps me from considering a trip to the Mall this time of year.
We’re not quite to empty, but pretty darned close. Down to the daughter who officially started only child status this morning, her first day of high school. The quiet around here is quite profound. There’s something of what I can only describe as a lack of presence around here, the house feels a little bigger these days as there are fewer people to bump into in the kitchen, on the way to the can, in front of the TV. Things I leave in my assorted dumping spots; the kitchen counter, the valet deal in the hallway, the corner of the bar in the den, the deck in my office, those things remain where I left them.
I will get used to that part of the deal in a hurry I believe.
On the other hand there was the weekend, Labor Day weekend. By Monday I can honestly report that I was experiencing a relatively new sensation for me, boredom. It was so quiet and there was so little to do around here that I actually found myself bored. And when bored I start putzting around and before you knew it, the day was gone and while I had seemingly done a number of things, I had actually accomplished nothing, save watering the lawn.
The old saying that body in motion in stays in motion and one that is not, does not.
I get it.
I did manage a Skype session with the Alabama kid. He’s marvelous as I thought he would be. Has met a bunch of people, as I knew he would, and is talking about going on a road trip this weekend with the campus Jewish student group to Mississippi State for the weekends football game. He’ll be the first of our family to go the state of Mississippi. Neat I suppose.
I’m very pleased to report that he crossed the border successfully, met with a graduate studies advisor at the University of British Columbia, the program he wants takes 10-12 students a year and according to the professor the kids transcripts and work at Michigan Tech would put him near the top of their applicants, very encouraging for him. Furthermore the Prof said that the job outlook for his field was excellent especially if he decides to stay in Vancouver and work there. Which was awesome for the kid, he decided that he could be very happy living in Vancouver, “every view is like a postcard”. Indeed. Expensive though.. postcard views aren’t cheap as the San Francisco crowd well knows.
And so, the kids are where they’re supposed to be and we’re back here transition to a quieter lifestyle. Our food bill is cut by 2/3. Good news I’m now planning more trips to Treader Joes and Byerlys for groceries now that I don’t have to purchase in bulk to feed a couple bottomless pits.
This is going to take a little bit adjustments me thinks, having a only child and semi-empty house. I’m already dreading this time four years from now when the last kid is gone. That’s going to be really strange.
Little drama to deal with.
Mrs S and the Eldest, while on there way west for the college send off broke down in Bozeman MT. Unexpected 24 hour and 2G delay while the Audi was repaired. *sigh* Lots of rejiggering scheduled and flights home, meant that Mrs S would not be home Wednesday night, new date and time; Thursday late.
High school orientation here I come. First time I’ve ever been to an orientation for any school. that’s really Mrs S’s prevue. I wouldn’t ask the right questions, and frankly my ADD patience quotient is about 11 minutes for any one activity, and this one was planned for 2 hours.
So off we went. High School. Except for the theatre and the athletic venues I’ve never been to the local high school. One of the those buildings I’ve passed every day for 17 years but had no occasion to go in.
Now I do.
Orientation. One hour in the theatre listening to the Principal, the Assistant Principal, the Assistant to the Assistant Principal, the Principal Assistant to the Principals Assistant and the School Nurse. Interestingly enough, or not, they all had the same message, do your best and get involved. Except the Principal who also had about 20 minutes of content on how great a school we have here in Apple Valley. Awards in athletics, academics, and arts, clubs to cover every interesting including surprisingly, trap shooting.
Sounds like our local high school has quite the program. Of course we were second to Rosemount in enough things that I did start wondering about the possibility of open enrolling at over there, it’s only 15 minutes away.
There were more than a few kids there with both parents, in by cynical jaded view “must be their first kid”. Sad eh? My daughter was embarrassed by my mere presence and I was constantly coached about how to behave, like “don’t arrive in the theatre more than a nanosecond early, say three steps behind me, and no touchie. Figgas. Actually Dad, would be best if you pretended you didn’t know me.”
I actually don’t know per se, when asked by another parent I hadn’t seen in while about her I replied she was 14 years old. My math was wrong. Parents should know better but doing the math from her Bat Mitzvah last year and I came up with 14. Forget that she was two weeks short of 14 at that event and is now 15. Oh well.
The actual ‘listening’ part of the presentaion began speech by one of the activities directors at the school, 3 minutes of content sandwiched around 15 minutes of useless examples of abot points that I didn’t really have shred of relevance to anything relative to the first day of high school. Life lessons? Sure, but in the same way that elderly neighbor offers up advice after her third sherry. Interesting but lacking that certain relevance I like.
I wrote a line of “Z’s” on the program and showed it my daughter. “Great example Dad”. I roll like that sometimes.
“No idea what he’s talking about”. More bad leading.
Clockwise to the First number.
Round the world the other way to the second number.
Clockwise again, straight to the third number.
And then back to zero.
“Whoa.. whoa whoa dude” She looked up at me in HORROR. I broke one of the cool rules, I had questioned the kid. “Stop it DAAAAD”. “Dude, there’s no back to zero” “I know whAT I’M DOOOOOIIIINGGGG”. She can’t get the thing opened. Lean in, hands behind my back, whisper into the back of her head “no zero, don’ go back to zero”.. which she did and which worked. Imagine that, old dad sporting a clue.
Along the way one of her pals came over and the talked about how cool their lockers were. Purple. Big enough to get into kinda, “Don’t be jumping in there now” I said “the Seniors will be stuffing you in there soon enough.” “Daaaad they don’t do that.” OK that’s what they told me exactly 36 years ago when I was a freshmen.
Teacher meet and greet was up next. They’re nice. I met the science teacher who inspired Nate to pursue a career in Geology. He was happy to hear that he had an impact, “so many leave here and do nothing with their lives”. Whoa there Mr. Science your infectious enthusiasm is showing. Moving on. Now many of the kids teachers, well, looked to me like they were just about a year out of high school themselves. Inmates running the asylum.
You could tell the parents though, just look for the folks sporting the tattoos. Jaysus H. Christ himself peeps. Ladies, ya absotulty HAD to get ink on that sun-damaged old leather you call skin. And then you thought spagehetti straps were the right think to wear to your kids school? I don’t want to see 3/4 of a rose peeking up over your 36 longs. No good. And you Dad’s my age, with the barbwire bicep and f’n lightning bolt calf there, the one that’s been inked onto soft flabby skin, bad. And while i’m at it, would kill a parent or two to acutally meet the schools minimum dress code? I mean come on, this this ain’t the gawddamn Walmart Layaway line here, class up a bit.
I’m done. For now.
I like the school, big open spaces, art classrooms that dwarf anything I had in school, a state of the art theatre, so different from high school in California. Our classrooms all opened to the outside where there were covered walkways. Inclement weather was rain and wind, no problemo. I like he big closed in spaces, I expected to see Molly Ringwold and Judd Nelson come waltzing down the stairs to the Psychedelic Furs. Hey Hey Hey Hey…
Ran across the Po-Po liaison, hope never to hear from him. He looks like a regular teacher except for the Glock on his belt.
French class. Right next door to the German class. I hope the enrollment in German isn’t more than the classroom can handle, there’s a bit of history there that no one wants to see. Except maybe the Japanese classroom across the hall. They might not care if you know what I mean.
So after a walk to the classes, I made her do one more circuit, in order of her day. I’m soo good. After a run through the activities desks it was over. 2 hours of orientation and we were good for now. Until Mrs S starts asking questions about details, then I’m screwed, I’ll tell her what I remember, which I’m sure will come to me over the course of a couple weeks or so, it always seems to work that way.
Once aspect of parenting that I have NOT had to deal with or react to yet, dating.
We have not used the girlfriend word around our house yet. Or the boyfriend word, but on that score I think we’re a long away. I hope we’re a long way from it.
In my more lucid moments I feel really for sorry for the significant other my kids might bring home with them. Dealing with me takes years of experience and I wouldn’t really wish it on anyone. I drive myself crazy half the time, my curmudgeonly attitude makes me a serious pain in my own ass, I can only imagine how others would deal with me.
Not to mention that in every interaction in my existence I’m looking for a chance to sharpen my trusty rapier of wit if you know what I mean. They say it takes 10,000 hours to be an expert at something. That’s 10,000 hours of purposeful practice. On that score when I think of my skills only a couple come to mind where I might be at the 10,000 threshold.
- Being a smart ass.
- Bass fishing.
- Playing the major blues pentatonic scale on a guitar.
- Driving a manual transmission.
- Backing boat trailers into very tight quarters.
In terms of actual value added to the human experience, I’d have to say the boat trailer thing is probably my most crowning achievement. You do NOT have to wait behind me on a busy Saturday at the ramp, I’m efficient and I’m good, nay I’m really really good. And every weekend in the summer I back my boat down my driveway, negotiate a 90 degree right turn and put it in the garage into the slot allotted. Only once in 12 years have I hit the lawnmower or the side of the garage.
In terms of the skill that brings me the most satisfaction, gotta be the smart ass thing. I can come up with a witty, to me anyway, response to anything. I can deliver at any level of raunch or properness you might care to impose. I am, that good.
Which is why I pity the significant others my kids bring home. Especially the first one, the one before Mrs S hears me and yanks on the choke chain to make me behave. I suspect that the kids will probably let her know before they let me know that they’re going to bring someone home. That way she can put me on the short leash and give them advice on how to make the proper introduction.
“Let the old guy sniff the back of your hand first dear”. I can hear it already. “Don’t say a word for the first few times, until you hear how conversations with him go, he ain’t right.” finally “Bring him a treat.. a 16oz tumbler of ice marinating in bourbon is a good start. He’ll like you then.”
And under no circumstances pet that little dog of his. If the dog likes you however, you’re golden.
This is coming up because there’s been some weird goings on around the Casa Del Sank-A-Ray, of the sort that I’m always the last to know about. Clandestine phone calls, ducking out of family stuff to answer a text, and hushed conversations in hallways and at the end of the driveway. Yea, I see them out there talking and glancing back to the house to see if the fat guy is watching.
Something’s up. And most telling, cellphones, which I would usually find laying all over the house have been judiciously guarded and worse, password protected. That’s never happened before.
Oh something is definitely up.
Last night I asked in my own loving way, because I’m feeling left out.
After the lad checked out for yet another phone call. On return to the table I gently asked “What the hell, are you making an arms deal or is that some Columbian drug cartel you chatting with?”
Dead silence. Fear in the kids eyes told me there was some ore in that rock. “Or are you talking to..” pause for effect “a g i r l”… I was like so damned pleased with myself. I was on to something.
Then the side of my head got really really hot, Mrs S across the table had turned on The Look. Caught me square. Burning flesh, singed hair, calendar on the fridge behind me burst into flames, dog ran for cover, daughter jumped up and ran to do the dishes un-nagged for the first time in 2 years.
Kid looked at me and said… “huh?”
They say that your children watch you all the time and emulate what you do. Kid learned, he did exactly what do when his Mom asks the hard questions like “Did you fill my car with gas like I asked” or “What is this $30.00 charge on your hotel bill for ‘premium package’? And why did you only watch if for 3 minutes?” You know, tough questions like that.
I’m back from my trip into Uptown. Turns out the 420 thing was accurate, there weren’t that many folks out and about, but the 20 something crowd isn’t exactly known for the being early risers. I myself was up at the computer this morning at 5:02am. that’s the gift G-d gives the aged, my gender aged anyway, more productive hours in the morning.
So I went down to Fifth Element up there in big time Minneapolis. I made time for a stop at Spyhouse Coffee because one should be caffeinated before one attempts to fit in with a cool crowd. Plus I figured the coffee shop was a good place to ease into the 20 something set. Upon entering Spyhouse I was immediately blinded by the light of hundreds, maybe thousands of glaring white lit Apple logos from all the laptops where the black wearing cultists were all trying to update Facebook at the same time. This is what we’ve come to, chat on Facebook to the person across the table also looking into a Mac something chatting back.
I now felt come what better since I decided a few weeks ago that Apple products are now “symbols of corporate greed” and Microsoft is the new cool, I should take my PC in there open it up and see what happens. On second thought I’d probably be strangled with the headphones from an iPhone and I’m pretty sure there’s an app for that!
Fifth Element is across the street from Spyhouse. they have a neat flat black sign on the front which I was told by my son is part of the color pallet called “murdered out”, friendly color pallet Murder. It is easy to manage since it has one chromatic hue, black. Seems they use for hairdye, nail polish, clothing, cars, walls, and anything else that will hold the color. Easy to dress when you only wear black. Believe me, I know.
Since the last time I was down there a new underwear shoppe has opened next door. Hustler. Not sure if there’s a connection with Larry Flint or not and the place was locked up tight even, wait for it… the BACK DOOR. Thank you very much I’m here all week.
They undie shop doesn’t open until afternoons. Turns out having sex in wild outfits probably keeps one from getting up early more so than say, smoking dope.
Which BTW I almost said, when the kid made the comment that the “420’rs wouldn’t be up early ‘cause they were stoned all day yesterday.” I almost said , “smoking dope isn’t like drinking you aren’t going wake up with hangover.” But I caught myself, because his next question would be “How do you know”, followed up by his mother “He doesn’t DO YOU”. and then I’d have to come clean about all the Cheech and Chong movies I’d watched as a kid.. or would I???
Anyway Fifth Element was pretty packed at 9:15 this morning.
One more thing, what kind if record store opens at 9:00? On a Saturday? When I was growing up Tower Records, the biggie in Stockton opened at like 6:15 pm or something. Ok maybe not that late but I think they went Noon to Midnight. Who gets up at 9:00 am and thinks “I gotta go get me the new Musaf disc and 8 cans of spray paint ‘cause I gotta art in me and I gotta get it out?” oh “yo”.
Place was pretty packed. This time however, among the minions of black clad, backwards hat wearing kids with full sleeve tats and fucked up hair, there were a couple’a older dudes, like me. I was also wearing black by way, gotta fit in. I think they were closer to my age than they were to the other folks in that they had gray goatees, as do I. When my wife says it’s ok to grow one. Which isn’t all that often unfortunately, again with the “owned” thing
What I had however, which NO one else did, was a list. One should never go out without a list. Mine had the following five items on it:
The italics are my stream of conscious musings on these things.
Eyedea and Abilities: First Born. Very clever play on idea. At least I hope that what it is. I had a cousin name Edna and I have to tell you, if they’re naming themselves after some chic named Edna, well lets just say that on my list of things you’ll never hear on the news, right after “Black man falls through the ice” is “And your new Miss America, Edna….”
Felt: Felt 3. I noticed in the bin that Felt have two other albums out. Felt 1 and Felt.. I forgot the name of that middle one, should have written it down on my list. BTW dudes, Chicago did the same thing back their time up to Chicago X, at which point the record label said NO MORE, you’re screwing up the catalogue. Because names are harder than letters in the music world. And my world BTW.
POS: Ipecac Neat. Again clever. Most people, myself included prefer our Syrup of Ipecac over the rocks. It’s taster when it come back up and it’s still nice and cold.
Face Candy: This is where we were. Face Candy? Put that on the list of band names that I wish I had come up with. I can hear it now, opening for the Rolling Stones, Apple Valley’s own FACE CANDY. Maybe if I stopped tucking in my polo shirts and wearing crocs to work I’d have cooler ideas.
I Self Devine: Self Destruct. Again with the damned titles. Self Destruct was going to be the title of autobiography now I’ll have to find something else, bastards.
The draw this morning at Fifth Element was five albums for $10.00. A heckuvadeal. I was so close to asking the very pretty girl with the skyline of Minneapolis tattooed around her bicep where I could find these albums, but I’ve been in record stores before and figured it out. Fifth Element is run my the folks at RhymeSayers, a local recording label. All of these disc’s were in the RhymeSayers bin. It was all coming together for me, this… was an old fashioned sale. I get it now.
The store is pretty cool, graffiti art on the walls clothing, cd’s, vinyl records and lots of cans of spray paint. Spray paint being the medium of the this genre. yes it was cool, probably too cool for me actually as I never have felt comfortable in the place since I was asked a year ago if I was “5-0”, mistaken for an undercover cop during a BluePrint concert.
But the good Lord has a way of soothing ones heart and whilst I was standing there in line, with my black tee shirt all tucked in nice an neat, bald head and extra-fat guy tummy hanging out, a fellow who even I would say was somewhat less cool than I came wandering in to the store.
No kidding, older dude, he had those glasses that get darker when you go outside, like the serial killers and mid 70’s gym teachers like, and he was carrying with him a box of Yehuda brand Matzo’s. He was chomping away on them. Now despite the fact that his sweater shirt was un-tucked and he was wearing some black, even I am savvy enough to know that no one and I mean no one should be seen chomping on matzo’s in a public place a week after the end of Passover.
Come on Dude.
I feel cooler already.
Tonight I saw in on my 96 consecutive Seder, maybe give or take a few. We’ve been doing two a year for the last 48 odd years. I love Pesach, I love Seders, after Thanksgiving Passover is my favorite holiday. Coincidence that it’s really the Jewish version of Thanksgiving; family, meals, prescriptive food. Of course Pesach is a little more formal than Thanksgiving, we actually have a script to go through. We have the pre-meal program, lots of stuff to go through, including the story of the Exodus.
The most popular line in the Seder is of course “Dinner is served”. After dinner there’s a few other things to do, including some games and fun traditional stuff to do. Among them of course is the all time favorite from the Pesach greatest hits collection- “Echad Mi Yodea or Who Knows One”. You go around the table and repeat “Who’s knows one, I know one”.
13 who knows 13
13 I know 13
13 are the attributes of God
12 are the Tribes of Israel
11 are the stars in Joseph’s dream
10 are the commandments
9 are the months before birth,
8 are the days to the brit milah
7 are the days in a week till Shabbat
6 are the orders of the mishnah
5 are the books of the torah,
4 are our matriarchs,
3 are our forefathers
2 are the tablets of the commandments
1 is Our God who is in the heavens and on earth.
Well, overheard at our house this year-
“Hey who knows who wrote the 13 attributes of G-d?”
“My favorite Jewish philosopher?” They got it then. Maimonides.
“Hey, who can name the 4 matriarchs?” “Ooo I can Dad, Sarah, Rachel, Leah and uh.. Miriam?” Sigh.. that was a miss but she was close. Excusable kinda.
“Hey who can name the 12 tribes?” Blank. “Who can tell me how they were named after?” Red had that one, “Joseph’s brothers?” Yes.. Names? And to be honest I couldn’t name them without some help.
But I can assure that Jacob did not name a kid Aztec or Zulu, two of the names that came up this evening.
I’m considering asking the religious school for a refund. Mrs S pointed out that the point of Seder is to pass just this sort of information along to our kids. And with that in mind, the failure might be on me.
I guess that means we need to go back to the Seders of my youth, hours long, boring as hell, if they aren’t going to drink knowledge you switch to instilling it.
Or maybe we’ll just keep slacking off and pour another glass of wine. I’ve lost this generation, I get the Grandkids one day. In the meantime, anyone for another matzo ball?
War Eagle everyone.
If you happen to see the middle kid it would be entirely appropriate that you greet him with War Eagle, the official greeting for members of the University of Auburn family, also happens to to be the rally call for the schools athletic teams.
All this means good news at the Casa this week, middle kid has been accepted to Auburn University. We thought we’d wait to see where else he got accepted before we commit, to make sure he selects the school that’s best for him. The kiddo however, was waiting to see if he got accepted to Auburn to see if he had to apply anywhere else. Not exactly my advice to be totally honest. But.. it worked out for him. He applied for early admission. The university web site said early admission kids would notified between October 15 and February 1st.
I explained to him that the letter would probably come later than sooner, that’s kinda how this stuff works, and that he should buckle down and work up the essay he needed for some of his other choices; Oregon, Cal, Minnesota, and St. Thomas. I think Illinois was on that list at one point as well. Write up the essay dude, don’t put all your eggs in one basket.
The letter came October 17. Way to go Auburn, way to screwup my plans. Still you want to make sure dude, lets follow up on the other schools and make certain you have some choices, you want to make choices. He had me send in the deposit October 18th.
So, basically it’s a done deal. Auburn here we come, or rather “he” comes, I won’t be going down except to drop him off, and if it works out, maybe to catch a football game at some point. That’s a long drive. But to his credit there is a method to his madness, apparently he gets priority for housing based on how early you begin enrollment. I can’t imagine there is anyone earlier than our guy, I’m thinking he’ll get the penthouse room on the Quad.. something called the Quad being his choice.
So as of this time next year, we’ll have one kid in Michigan, one kid in Alabama and one kid upstairs on an iPad.
Before we look forward to reuniting the family here in St. Paul, oldest kid is starting to look at Grad Schools. Grad School!! Kid has good taste believe me, but he also has the grades to back up his dream, which at this point is Leland Sanford Junior University in Palo Alto California. That Stanford. Second choice BTW, The Colorado School of Mines in Golden Colorado followed by the University of California in Berkeley California.
Here’s what I’ve noticed about all these schools, The mean distance between Minneapolis Minnesota and all of these places, about 12oo miles. In other words, the long term prognosis for Sankary kids in Minnesota is poor. I don’t know what the future looks like, Mrs S and I staying here and Minnesota being the central point for family visits and summers at the lake? Will the kids wind up somewhere near each other and we go there, will Mrs S’s disdain for Winter finally predicate a move to warmer climes, will the lure of California and family draw us back, the future is not clear at the moment.
I’m seeing change in the wind folks, the future will be exciting, hopefully not too exciting, but the more things change, the more they stay the same.
Or something like that.