My Little Rock Star

pout.jpgYesterday I had to take my daughter to the doctor’s office for a cough she has had for a week and has since given to my wife and I (or the other way around). If you were to observe my house, you would hear a chorus of coughs; first my daughter, then my wife, and then I will cough. Fun times. My daughter even seems hoarse when she coos, the poor little girl.

So, while my wife went to a doctor’s appointment on her own, I was drafted to take our daughter to her appointment. First, I got her all bundled up in her coat and attempted to put her in her car seat, which has become much more challenging recently. I got her in the seat and before I had the chance to buckle her in, she shimmied herself to an almost laying position. After repeating this about ten times, I finally got her strapped in and we were on our way, and yes she was the inspiration for my story the other day.

On our way to the doctor’s office, I stopped once because I had one of those new dad questions : “What if I made the seatbelts too tight and she stopped breathing?” I could see her in the mirror we have fastened to the back sear of the car and she was just staring forward, and not making any sounds. I pulled off the road and tickled her cheeks a little, fishing for a smile, and then got back on the road knowing that everything was alright. She fell asleep soon after that.

At the appointment, my daughter was checked for all of the usual symptoms and everything checked out fine. I was told that it was probably a cold and they don’t have any medicine to give her. So basically, we just have to wait it out. The worst part was when the doctor had to remove wax from her ears, which caused her to cry hysterically. It is so tough watching you daughter cry like that, with no way to comfort her. I wiped her little tears off her face and held her for a while and she was o.k.

Once the appointment was over, I decided to change her diaper before our drive home. My daughter had other ideas. Getting her diaper off was the easy part, as she laid on the table checking out all of the neat lights in the office. Next, I attempted to put her new diaper on, but every time I got close to fastening one side, she rolled over and grabbed the paper on the table, sometimes ripping it and sometimes just pulling it toward her mouth, smiling the whole time. Then, I would take the paper out of her had, and of course the tab on the diaper would come loose. She even managed to rip a whole piece off, and attempted to eat it. After about ten minutes of this, I finally got the diaper fastened and her clothes back on, though not before she made a pretty good mess of the office. I guess she decided she was going to trash the office to get back at them for hurting her ears, like a rock star trashing their dressing room after a particularly raucous concert.

Overall, it was an interesting trip to the doctor’s office. I was exhausted after just that little trip. I don’t know how my wife does it every day.

The Line

Today I was inspired by a post at The Clarity of Night in which Jason talks about his “line”, “the place where only you can pass and everything else is left behind”. I thought about this and I think I know my “line”.

In high school I was neither one of the cool kids. I played sports, but I definitely wasn’t invited to all of the parties. Nor was I one of the outcasts, one of the people who unfortunately, everyone dumped on. I would say I was either in the middle, or in the “upper bottom” of the coolness scale, not that it mattered to me. Anyhow, because of this I didn’t have a great amount of confidence. That is, unless I was playing street hockey.

When the Elementary school in my home town was built in the late 70’s they decided it would be a good idea to include a decent sized skating rink. This skating rink was really just a parking lot with a 6 or so inch high barrier that allowed them to fill the surface with water in the winter, allowing people to ice skate. In reality, they almost never flooded the surface, due to “insurance liability”.

Anyhow, my friends and I discovered this deserted piece of pavement would make a great place for street hockey and played there whenever we could. We were able to play there for free and no one ever seemed to complain. I guess they were just happy it was getting some use. The only trouble we ever made there was when someone was dumb enough to park directly behind one of our goals, I guess they saw us playing and thought their car was immune to hard, rubber hockey ball clanging off the doors. Sorry!

Whenever we were skating on that surface I felt alive. You could probably see the confidence in my body language from a mile away. Each game we chose different teams among us, so you were never quite sure who you would be skating with. However, we always played with the urgency of Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals. Though there were usually five to ten people with me on a particular night, I always felt like myself while playing street hockey. I felt ALIVE.

We haven’t played street hockey there for a few years. Everyone has grown up and we have started having kids. Recently they did a major remodeling of the Elementary School, which decimated the surface we used to play on. I haven’t had the heart to look at what it has become, even though I visit home often. We play Ice Hockey now, but it isn’t the same.

Some day I hope to get the group together to play a game of street hockey, at least somewhere near our old “Arena” if only to feel that feeling I had as I skated up and down the pavement, looking to score a goal one last time.

It’s Hard out Here for a Baby (Creative Carnival)

I have finished my entry for the October Creative Carnival at Write Stuff. Again, I went for laughs with this piece. I hope you enjoy and let me know what you think:

It’s Hard out Here for a Baby

Life isn’t easy for a baby. No one seems to understand me. Sure every once in a while they do something amusing and I flash them a smile. Overall, however, these so-called grownups, the people are supposed to be in charge, don’t seem to know what they’re doing. I hope it isn’t like this my whole life.

Just the other day, my parents were preparing for a trip to the grocery store. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy watching them run around the house, gathering diapers and bottles, and always forgetting something. What makes me mad is when they strap me into that horrible chair, which if it’s use wasn’t banned by the Geneva Convention, it should have been. The seatbelts always scratch my neck and keep me from touching my toes, which I would have you know I just recently discovered. On top of this, they pick me up and put my stupid chair in the car backwards, so the only thing I get to look at on the trip is the back of the car!

Whoa, look at that! It’s my hand…Cool…

Sorry, where was I? Oh yeah. I was strapped into the seat on our way to the grocery store. I cried for a while just to let them know I wasn’t happy with the whole seating arrangement. After that, I figured I could use a nap and just as I was dozing off, the parents were jerking me out of my car seat and into my stroller. This contraption might be a pleasant change if it wasn’t so filthy from being in the trunk of the car all day.

By the way, what’s up with the grocery store? It all seems pointless to me. Can’t you people be like the rest of us and eat the natural way? I don’t get my food off some shelf at the Piggly Wiggly, if you know what I mean.

My parents managed to go through every aisle of the store and pick out all of their food without banging my stroller on anything too often. Of course they forgot the one item they were buying for me. I tried to tell them they forgot diapers, but they just wouldn’t listen. They thought I just wanted to be held. Whatever the reason for the miscommunication, it means in a few hours I will be strapped into the seat again and paraded around the store.

Anyhow, I haven’t eaten in two hours and fifty-five minutes, and it doesn’t seem like anybody notices. Enough of this, someone better feed me soon… “Waaaaaaaa!”

Puddles

On my way to work, I drive by a local High School. From what I can tell, a lot of the students walk to school, something I never had the option to do when I was growing up. A group of three girls– an athletic girl, a preppy girl, and a goth girl all high school age– were crossing the street in front of my car as I waited at the stop light.

As they approached the other side of the road, Athletic Girl pointed and seemed to say something to the effect of “There’s a gigantic puddle in our way!”. I’m not really sure what she said, as I was listening to th comedy station on XM Radio. At this point I started to get interested. “How are they going to get across that puddle?” I thought to myself.

Athletic Girl was first to make an attempt to cross the puddle and she was quite successful. She simply took a running start and jumped the puddle, narrowly avoiding a shoe full of mud.

Next, it was Preppy girl’s turn. Though it was probably 45 degrees Fahrenheit this morning, Preppy girl was wearing sandals, which are probably not designed for long jumps. Still, I expected her to attempt the jump anyhow. Instead, she tip-toed through the puddle, making sure not to get her jeans wet. At least she wasn’t wearing socks.

Finally, it was Goth Girl’s turn to navigate the puddle. Acting as though the puddle wasn’t even there, Goth Girl simply walked a straight line through the puddle, not acknowledging the fact that it would probably be several hours before her socks and shoes were fully dry. She would rather suffer the dampness of her footwear, than give the puddle satisfaction of knowing it affected her.

This all happened in a matter of minutes, but it made me smile. I imagine I would have attempted to jump the puddle, but there is something to be said for not letting obstacles get in our way. It was also interesting to see how three different people tacked a problem in different ways.

Oversize Load

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I was driving to work today and I passed a large 18 wheeler, with a banner on the front and back that said “Oversize Load”. I started to feel a little bad for the poor 18 wheeler, having to go through life labeled in such a fashion. It’s probably bad enough to be an 18 wheeler and always having to worry if will fit in a tunnel or overpass and not being able to park in a normal parking space. Then people decide to smack that “Oversize Load” banner on it as if they’re saying, “Make room for the big truck!” It’s just not right. I think they need a more politically correct sign than “Oversize Load”. Maybe something like “spacially challenged” would be more appropriate.

Fastest Growing Blogs

WordPress.com has a new site where they list the fastest growing blogs in their system. For a brief period of time today, this blog was in the top 100 English language blogs. The highest ranking I saw was #89, woo hoo! Their stats are updated every 6 hours, so I am no longer in the top 100. Just so you know, I am not bragging or anything (especially since my most viewed post, by far, is the one about The Death of Garfield). I just thought it was interesting. For those who care, here is the proof:


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Yes, I am out of blogging ideas today 🙂 .

Creative Carnival at Write Stuff

They are hosting a Creative Carnival at Write Stuff. The prompt for October is “Write from a child’s perspective”. Entries are due October 14th. All you have to do is write based on the prompt and post your entry to your blog. Then, send a permalink to the post to the folks at Write Stuff. After that, they will post all of the entries on their site which should generate traffic to each writer’s blog, as well as provide feedback for the writer.

I plan on creating an entry for this. I already have a pretty good idea of what I want to write about. Check back here to read my entry. This should be fun.

Victory and Home Brewing

Well, it turns out I’m not a jinx. The Pittsburgh Penguins soundly defeated the Philadelphia Flyers 4-0 last night. The Penguins played a pretty good game, killing 10 powerplays. The only alarming thing about the game was that the Penguins committed 10 penalties. They will need to reduce that number if they plan on winning many games.

Also last night I was able to start brewing my own beer using Mr. Beer, a home brewing kit my friend gave me as a gift for being in his wedding. The process wasn’t too difficult, just a little time consuming. It probably took me about an hour and a half to do all the steps (a lot of the steps are just waiting).  It takes a week for the beer to “brew”, then another week for the bottling process.  So in a couple weeks I should have my own beer.  I will let you know how it turns out.

The NHL is Back!

pens_300_small.jpgTonight is opening night for my beloved Pittsburgh Penguins. Though the Penguins are not supposed to make the playoffs this year, I am optimistic as they have some good young players on their team. We will see what happens. To make things more interesting, the Penguins are playing their cross-state rivals the Philadelphia Flyers. When I was in college, half of my friends were from the Pittsburgh area and half were from the Philly area. There was always much trash talked when the Penguins and Flyers met. Even today, I may send a little note to the Philly guys if the Pens can pull of the win.

As in years past, I will be watching the game with my friend Brian. Over the years we have watched Penguins games many times together and with other of our friends. It seems like every time we get together to watch a game, the Pens usually lose. That said, it is tradition to watch the first game of the season together and we must follow tradition. In years past, we used to eat Pez to counteract the bad luck (I’m not sure why). Anyhow, I take full responsibility if they lose.

Let’s go Pens!