Feb
19

Spring Fever

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We were blessed with a couple of beautiful (well, beautiful for February in Pittsburgh) days on Thursday and Friday.  I had originally planned on taking my kids to the zoo on Friday, because they had a teacher in-service day.  But, sometimes life throws you curve balls.  I guess that your happiness all depends on how you react to those curve balls.

Thursday started as a regular (but warm) day.  I threw the kids on the bus and headed home to do some work.  About a half an hour later, I got a call from my friend.  He had to drop something off to the school that his daughter had forgotten.  He said that the school smelled like gas, and there were fire trucks and ambulances.  He said he was taking his daughter home.  Well, I wrestled back and forth with the decision, and finally decided to just yank mine out of school, too.  I didn’t want them sitting and getting nauseous, and if they ended up with an early dismissal, I figured I would beat the rush.

Well, long story short, I got my kids, all my neighbors got their kids, and they moved all the other children over to the middle school to just kill time all day.  Me?  I took the kids to the zoo a day early.  It was 65 degrees, sunny, and we decided to have fun with our curve ball.

We had a great day.  There was hardly anybody at the zoo, and we got to watch the animals for as long as we wanted.  The kids were in a great mood, and there was absolutely no complaining or whining. (Well, there was the occasional, “Are we there yet???”  But I don’t even really hear those anymore).

Usually I make sure that I leave the zoo in plenty of time to beat the traffic.  But that day?  It just didn’t matter.  Traffic, schmaffic.  As we headed home, we talked about getting close to home and stopping for ice cream.  I drove home through Lawrenceville and the Strip, and I followed through on something I had been meaning to do…Stop at Klavons Ice Cream.  I’ve driven past it a bunch of times, but never actually stopped.  The kids enjoyed sitting at the counter, and they got to pick out some classic candy.  I even got some of those little jaw breakers in a box.  Love those.  I remember paying 10 cents at a basketball game for them.  Well, they’re a quarter now…which is perfect…because I got to say “Hey, when I was little these were only ten cents.”

If I have to get old, I wanna do all the old people stuff I can.

I’ve really been trying to live in the moment, and enjoy every single day.  It wasn’t hard that day.  So I figure, next time I’m having a hard time enjoying my day, I’ll just close my eyes and think about our trip to the zoo.

Categories : attitude, kids, school
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Feb
12

Small Rant

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<rant>

Hello?  Hello?!?!?!?!  How about when a customer comes into your store, you get your ass off the phone and give me a big cheery, “Hello!  How are ya today?”  I HATE to interrupt your conversation about where you’re going with your gang of pierced and tattooed under-21 friends (not that I have anything against tattoos and piercings…I SO don’t).  Oh wait…..I guess I DIDN’T interrupt, because you’re still having the conversation!

Tell  your friend to just hold on…you have to DO THE JOB THAT YOU’RE GETTING PAID FOR.  Ring up my shit, let me play the lottery, and I’ll be on my merry way.

</rant>

Of course, I didn’t say anything even close to this.  I smiled, I was patient.  I told her I was in no hurry.  I gave her the little golf clap version of a wave good-bye (you know…just wiggle your fingers a teenie bit).  But all those things that I wrote up there?  I thought them.  And it felt good to get it out.

Categories : attitude
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Feb
01

Harmless Fun, I Think

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Tony and I really have fun with the kids.  Mad torturing skillz?  We haz ‘em.

Last night we told Chloe that if she had been a boy, her name was going to be Cletus.  Tony kept saying stuff about chewing tobacco and missing teeth.  It COMPLETELY got a rise out of her, so we just kept calling her Cletus.  She started screaming, with extreme passion in her eyes, “My name’s not Cletus!!!”  Finally, she broke down, yelled at Tony, and said “It’s on like Donkey Kong, Dad.”

After a few kid punches and her being held upside down, Tony asked, “OK, you really wanna fight?  You wanna fight?”  She, of course, said yes.  Then Tony said a line that I’VE never heard before, but I guess he used to say it when he was a kid.  It was:  “Well then climb up my ass and fight for air.”

I about lost it.  It just struck me as so darn funny, that I couldn’t stop laughing.  Tears STREAMED down my face.  That, of course, got Tony laughing.  Hard.  The kids really had no idea why we were laughing so hard, but they joined in too.

It was exactly what we needed.  These winter blahs were broken, even if it was only for fifteen minutes.

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Jan
27

Bite Me, January

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Just like many other Pittsburghers, I’m about done with winter.  Just sayin.

I keep looking at the ten day forecast to see if I have a 45 degree day to look forward to (sad, but true).  You wanna know what’s even more sad?  I don’t have a 45 degree day to look forward to.  But, I have plenty of other things to keep my mind off the weather.

My classes started on Monday.  They’re both online, two programming classes.  One is Visual Basic and the other is Java.  The Java book?  It’s gigantic.  I think it weighs more than Chloe.  So, just another thing to do during the day.

Every day that I’m on the new laptop, I discover something else that I don’t have on it.  Yesterday, it was the font I use for Downey’s House stuff.  Not a big deal, took me 2 minutes to find it, download it, and install it.  But I’m always wondering…”what do I need to download today?”  I never thought I’d be so busy without having a regular 40-hour-a-week job.  I’m at the restaurant 3 or 4 days a week, but that’s only for about 3 hours at a time.  The rest of the stuff gets done from my kitchen table.  But then there’s mom stuff…girl scouts and cookie sales, volunteering at school (which, for me, means orchestrating the Valentine’s Day party for Chloe’s class and helping once a week with computer class), homework, baths, signing up for softball (mental note:  do that this weekend), cleaning up messes.  I’ve been making a bit (just a bit) of regular money from my websites, so there’s maintenance to do on that.

Is there somewhere I can buy a couple more hours in the day?  Please?

But I’m not complaining…not one bit.  How awesome is it that we have our own business?  It’s awesome that I don’t HAVE TO HAVE a 40-hour-a-week job.  It’s awesome that we have two great kids and we can afford to do all this extra stuff with them.  And if my house looks a little messy?  Well, it’s still awesome.

So, dammit, have an awesome January day.

Categories : life
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Jan
22

Ugh, Lesson Learned

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Thursday I was just going about my normal morning activities.  I woke up, had some coffee, took the kids to the bus stop, and came back for a little morning restaurant and a second cup of  joe.

As I was recording the sales for the restaurant, I went into my Quickbooks to enter some deposits.  when I went to save it, everything hung up.  I ended the program, started it again, and the same thing happened.  My laptop had been sitting for a while without being turned off, so I figured a re-start was in order.  As the laptop went through the process, I took a pee, smoked a cigarette, and sat down to get back to work.

Except for one thing.

No windows.  No nothing.  Not a blue screen.  Just…nothingness.

So, I re-started, when through some functions and saw that my laptop thought I didn’t have a hard drive.

Huh?

I hop on the desktop, googling where in the hell my hard drive even is, and how to take it out.  I thought that it may have just become disconnected, because there was some heavy banging happening the day before (that’s a different story).  So, I find out how to remove it, and I did that, and put it back in.  I crossed my fingers, started the computer…and…..nothing.

My heart stopped.  Just a week ago, I was thinking about how I really should have a back up routine.

But I never quite got that far.

I called my baby brother at work, telling him that I had a technical emergency, and could he pretty please help me, because he’s technologically awesome.

Long story short, my laptop went to the computer hospital (my brother’s house) in hopes that he can recover some (all?  Maybe?) of my files from my hard drive.  It’s definitely a physical problem (not a virus, or something like that).  He’s been known to get everything off dead hard drives before, but he made no promises.

The silver lining?  Well, I got a spiffy NEW laptop.  And new Quickbooks.  And new Microsoft Office (I was using 2002, I think).  And I treated myself to Adobe…the big one…at the student price (a savings of $1200 at Staples).

I still keep thinking, “Oh, I’ll get that phone number off the….oh…wait…I can’t get it off the laptop.”  Ugh.

Here’s the order in which I set up the new laptop:

  1. Set up email
  2. Join online back up service
  3. Install Norton

I will never, ever, ever go without back up again.  Just gotta add it to my desktop.  It even has an app for my phone.

And I love, love, love my brother.  I mean, I did even before all this, but this makes him all sorts of “superman-ish.”

GO STEELERS!

Categories : life
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