Thursday, June 19, 2008

Don't Tease Me!

My new place has this great kitchen area which is always a great place to scavenge for food leftover from a meeting.  This morning, there was a box of Dunkin Donuts and a plate of some kind of sticky pastry available to everyone because some morning meeting was canceled.  By the time I got there, the donuts were gone so I went for the sticky pastry.


Few things are as much of a letdown as free food that isn't prepared to your liking.  You ever see a tray of sandwiches but all that's left is the veggie wrap?  Or leftover pizza but the only thing available is the thing with ham and pineapple?  Man, this day had better improve fast!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

I Love Stupid Signs

Spotted on a broken door at the Starbucks on 42nd Street, across from Grand Central:

I love stuff like this.

Maybe It's Not So Stupid After All

There are lots of things I used to sneer at as ridiculous.  But then I had kids and suddenly, stuff started to make more sense.  Oh I still sneer at them but they make more sense to me.  Giving kids trophies just for showing up was one of them.  It seemed silly and didn’t really teach the kid about working hard to achieve a goal.  But if you’ve ever seen the look of disappointment on the face a kid who tried his best but still failed, you realize that some lessons just don’t matter.  ADHD was another one.  Before becoming a parent, I thought ADHD was just something parents hid behind to explain away their inability to control their kids.  Then I experienced it first hand and praise the medication that’s out there.  And I’ve lost patience for any parent who says, “oh I’d never medicate my child.”  Yes you would if it would make his life easier.

The latest thing is the preschool graduation.  It’s taken me awhile to come around on this one because it just seemed silly and unnecessary.  Making parents to take time off for some totally invented occasion felt a little Hallmarkish, you know?  And Hallmark sells preschool graduation cards.  I know because we got one for my daughter.  I was right there in the middle of the throng of smiling parents and videocameras with a goofy grin on my face as my little girl walked down the aisle with her classmates, sat down and sang a song from “Seussical”.  And as I fought back the tears I felt coming on as the ceremony wrapped up, I realized that as ridiculous as the whole thing was, there was nowhere else I would rather have been.  

I Really Like Free Candy

I work with a guy who has diabetes.  He has a gumball machine in his office and he keeps it filled with jellybeans and other assorted candies, presumably in case of emergency.  He’s been on vacation for the past couple of weeks but his office has been unlocked and I’ve been going in, using a penny from the dish on his desk, and getting some candy.  Stealing candy from a diabetic.  Is that wrong?

The Branch That Broke The Camel's Back

I’m cheap.  Most people would agree with this self-evaluation despite the fact that I never seem to have any money.  The reality is that I’m cheap when it comes to things I need.  I’ll throw away smaller amounts on little things like songs on iTunes or a $10 pair of sunglasses.  But I hate spending more than $40 on sneakers or jeans.  That explains my lame, outdated wardrobe.

Being a suburban homeowner has made it hard to be so miserly.  Fellow homeowners know that anything that needs to be fixed in a house will cost some major coin.  Just this year, the dishwasher and the hot water heater died.  I’m pretty sure either the fridge or the dryer is getting ready to go.  And I don’t venture out on my deck without shoes.  It’s because of all this that I’ve held off on having my trees pruned.  I bought one of those things that have a sharp saw at the end of a 16-foot pole and I’ve balanced precariously at the top of a ladder in order to do some of my own pruning.  But every time there’s a big rainstorm or some wind, I find huge limbs all over the driveway, the front yard, the back yard.  I’ve actually been hoping to avoid paying a tree service thousands of dollars because I figured all the dead branches would just fall off by themselves.

Then this happened.  

What you’re looking at it the latest limb to fall from my trees.  I’ve seen them standing up out of the ground before.  But this one is at least 12 feet long.  It took a lot of work getting it out if the ground because it had planted itself a few inches in.  Well, if branches that big are falling from the sky, it’s time to protect my family, my car, my house and the house of my neighbor (one of the trees looks like it was going to land on it).  And now I’m $2500 poorer.  But there are still several trees remaining, which is great because I’m going to need them to hand the clothesline once the dryer dies.