Sunday, January 31, 2010
Saturday, January 30, 2010
So since I am feeling so good about myself as a non-tv-junky... I looked at my DVR to see what shows, and how many, I record. Wow. I was a bit shocked. My DVR looks like I do nothing with my life but watch television. Below is what my DVR is set to record and my comments... and keep in mind that not all of these shows are on year round.
Chuck: the show is dorky and fun - very me.
How I Met Your Mother: less enjoyable than the previous seasons... I want to find out who the mother is!!!
The Secret Life of the American Teenager: TERRIBLE TV, but so addicting. I feel bad because I know I am about 25 years too old to be watching this show.
Life Unexpected: A new show which has been fantastic for the first two episodes.
The Big Bang Theory: Still fun.
Greek: LOVE THIS SHOW. This is my new Gilmore Girls. Perfect television.
Glee: Good, but not great. Not something I could watch over and over.
Flashforward: Love this show... when is it coming back... it is coming back? Right?!
The Middle: So Malcolm in the Middle, but funny.
Modern Family: Love it.
Ugly Betty: So sad it's getting cancelled, but it gets rid of one show for me.
Community: Thinking about dumping this soon... not very funny.
Parks And Recreation: Better than season one, but still very dumpable.
Grey's Anatomy: I should of dumped this last year.
The Office: Getting a little old.
30 Rock: Still love it... and I arrived very late.
It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia: I am surprised to say this... but I am getting tired of it.
Project Runway: Perfect!
Private Practice: So much better than Grey's.
My Boys: Horrible, but I am addicted. Did this get cancelled?
10 Things I Hate About You: Another horrible show, but I watch it.
Parenthood: Starts in March and I have high hopes.
So that is not that bad... right?
Friday, January 29, 2010
Puppies At Play is a board book written by no one, or at least no one wanted to put their name on it (cannot blame them). It's fourteen pages long and has very few words. Miles wants us to read it to him over and over and over again. There are other books he picks, but this has been his all time favorite for some time now. We are actually on copy number two because of all the wear and tear... and I suspect copy number three is approaching soon. I can recite this book, and often find myself muttering lines from it. This book might just possibly be making me go crazy.
I hope this book, no matter how tired LP and I are of reading it, leads our little one to enjoy books and finding time to become a strong reader.
I can crawl around. We can run around.
I'm all worn out! Good night!
~Puppies At Play
Thursday, January 28, 2010
Next time we want a good chili-mac we just head over to the Harmony Grill... they do it really well but this is really a dish only for the winter months.
I was never one for reading. I struggled with it throughout my elementary and high school years. I can remember being made fun of by other classmates in high school whenever I had to read out loud since I would stumble over the words... and once I stumbled, it would escalate, and soon I was flat on my face. Then the teacher would say, "Next." So I learned to be afraid of reading, and quickly learned that you can pass high school without really reading. Yep, I even did alright in English classes without reading the books. Scary. I did not do so well on half of the S.A.T.
When I was in college my older brother, for some reason or another, gave me a book to read... maybe he noticed that I never read anything. The book was Breakfast At Tiffany's by Truman Capote. Since Breakfast is actually a short story it was included with three (?) other stories. It was a very easy read and something I could finish... one story at a time. I recall it taking me a couple months to read (do mostly to my lack of attention span, not my lack of enjoyment), but I did it. I was very proud of myself.
The next book my brother gave me to read was J. D. Salinger's The Catcher In The Rye. A real book, a novel, and not a short story. Another easy read. I adored the story. I was quickly wrapped up, in, and around the antics of Holden Caufield. I read as much as I could every day, often re-reading parts since I clearly missed things on the first read. Then after a couple months I finished it. I had accomplished something I had never done before... I read a novel strictly for enjoyment purposes. I was well aware at the time that kids five years younger than me could read this book in a day, but that did not matter. I was proud, and I only wanted to read more.
To celebrate my accomplishment, years later I found, in good condition, an early edition of Catcher. I try to read it yearly, or even just pick it up and read a few pages now and then. My love of books and stories is bigger than my time for them, but I hope to one day be able to find the time. I still struggle with reading, but the more I read (and write) then better I get. I still often daydream a bit too much (usually when I am tired), but books seem to always be on my to-do list. I hope my love of books and LP's strong reading skills rub off on the munchkin since being a strong reader will take you far.
It's really too bad that so much crumby stuff is a lot of fun sometimes. ~J.D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye, Chapter 9
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
The day I made the pledge, I took American Idol off my DVR schedule and have not added it back since... But I have not missed an episode of the new season either. I am not sure why I cannot turn it off, but I just cannot seem to turn away. Sadly it seems to be better than most TV on these days (does it really?). I know I should just turn the TV off and open a book, but sitting on the couch with LP, a cat, and a beverage of choice just zoning out on television and Twitter (multi-tasking) is a fantastic way to unwind from the day (of course all of this is done after the munchkin is asleep).
I do not plan on adding the show to the DVR schedule... If I miss an episode, then I miss one (well, that's the plan for now).
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
Monday, January 25, 2010
.Each time my hair grows out I get to a point where I chop it off. My standard haircut aims to look like Morrissey, but it never really turns out that way. Not sure if it's because I have curly hair and this look is not possible, or that the person who cuts my hair is terrible (or just terrible at explaining that this look will not work). The end result is always too short, and too short on me means only one thing: Fat Face. I'm not fat, but super short hair makes me look like I have a fat face. Well, maybe I have fat face and short hair just does not hide it. Whatever the case, it looks like poop so I wear a ballcap. Right now most of my hats will not fit on my wideload head.
This week I am getting my haircut (first time is 6 months?) with someone new. I cannot decide if I want to go short, or if there is something I can do to keep it long. I don't mind the way Josh Groban keeps his hair (although his music makes me want to shoot myself), but I am not sure that is possible on me. Since my hair is headed in the direction of the late 1980's (think Warrant, Winger, Mr Big) I need some serious help. The fro-frizz-monster needs to end and I am not holding my breath that Josh Groban can save me.
Hope this person cutting my hair knows the headache she is getting into. I will keep you updated.
Friday, January 22, 2010
I am not a superstitious person. Never have been. Okay, maybe when I was in my single digit years, and maybe in my tween years (which were called pre-teen at the time), but I have not held on to those pseudo-spooky ideas. However the idea of superstitions are very intriguing, and a bit fun. I can easily get sucked into articles and television shows about the origins of superstitions.
Some of my favorite superstitions:
-If your nose itches, someone is coming to see you. If it's the right nostril, the visitor will be a female, left nostril, male.
-If the bottom of your right foot itches, you are going to take a trip.
[So what happens if your left nostril itches and the bottom of your right foot itches... does this mean you will be going on a trip with the man arriving at your door? Is it to Po-Po?]
-To drop a fork means a man is coming to visit.
[Another man? More Po-Po? My attorney?]
-A bed changed on Friday will bring bad dreams.
-Any ship that sails on Friday will have bad luck.
-To break a mirror means 7 years bad luck.
[What if it's a really small mirror?]
And my personal favorite...
-Keep cats away from babies because they "suck the breath" of the child.
I have though noticed in a past few weeks that superstitious signs have been popping up... just a tad late. The evening I chopped my finger a couple weeks back I saw a black cat cross our path on the way to the ER. Then on Wednesday I burned my hand and about thirty minutes later I spilled the salt.
I'm not sure what all of this means... but if it is some kind of sign from the world beyond that I should start believing in superstitions - PLEASE get your timing corrected. Or maybe this all just means I need to stay out of the kitchen.
Thursday, January 21, 2010
From the time I thought about changing my attitude I was focusing only on what I think about and what I say about (maybe write about) others. I need to find a way trim out the "he sucks" "she sucks" "they suck" "that's crap" spouts that shoot out of my mouth faster than my brain could process them. Being a sports fan it is easy to get into a routine of fun trash-talking... but then when the game is over that trash-talking continues... and then often it is not even fun anymore just mean spirited.
The other morning LP reminded me about something I never thought about - I need to change the way I look at myself. I need to lose the negativity towards myself. I get hung up on this positive self stuff as being too New-Age-y for me. Being unemployed for over a year can lead to depression... but instead I have taken to being extremely critical of myself. I have dedicated so much time to trying to figure out all of my failures and why I lack in so many areas. This constant berating of myself has worn me down in too many ways. How am I able to change the negativity that comes out of my mouth if I am not able to think positively about myself?
I do know the easy answer to feel better is finding a job. I know that if I get hired I will feel a certain self-worth that has been absent for a while. I also know that I cannot wait for others to change what is all mine... myself, my self-worth, my self-esteem. I have to realize that what good things people tell me they truly mean and that they are not just words. I need to remind myself every day that I am truly blessed to be a stay-at-home dad and that alone should fill me with more happiness and self-worth to last a life time.
"I just need somewhere to dump all my negativity."
- Van Morrison
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
So far this year I have only had two cans of Diet Cherry Coke (the pop currently in my house), and I am also doing well by stopping most mornings at one pot of coffee (which I share with LP). This all sounds really wonderful, except for the little fact that I have replaced these with tea. Lots of tea. Straight tea. No sugar, no milk. I try to drink mostly decaf, but in the mornings there is plenty of caffeine in the tea I am brewing.
I know there is this liquid called water that so many people rave about, some actually buy it in the store, but water is no fun. Sure, I understand that if you chug anything there is a strong possibility you never tasted it, but that still does not hide the fact that water is no fun. Sometimes I try to drink a glass of water while making a cup of tea, but that is a rarity. If I find myself getting the shakes later in the day, I do drink a couple glasses of water and eat some toast or something like that. I guess I am not anti-water, I just am not going to jump up and down about how great water is... and for those of you that do, please take a long hard look at yourself and see if you are lying or maybe you are just no fun.
The funny thing about all of this is that I see myself ODing on tea in the near future and will replace all of this with pot after pot of coffee - but hopefully the pop fix is gone for good.
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
This just got me thinking. How many of my friends, the "network" of people I know, have any idea that I am still looking for a job... and that I am really struggling to find a job? Besides keeping in touch with people, and posting things to FB and Twitter, what more can I do? I do not want to bitch and moan (or come across that way) every day about being unemployed and having almost no luck in the job search. So how do I balance the reminding/ informing and not the make it sound nagging/ bugging?
In 2009 I had ONE interview in Chicago. One. It's not the lack of work experience or poor cover letter / resume (I've been told mine are solid by many) - it is the lack of connections. I've been told this over and over. When a project manager position becomes open that I meet the requirements for (and also find), I am just one of hundreds who apply. I have no one to get me in the door. And being a stay at home dad has seemed to limit my social life... so my network of people seem to be further and further away.
Some think I am addicted to FB or Twitter... I might be, but I am not sure how else to let others know I am still here trying to find a job.
By the way, this marks my 500th post.
Monday, January 18, 2010
In the Vans store there are three teenage girls "working" when Tom Petty's "Refugee" comes on the stereo...
Girl #1: Who is this?
Girl #2: Ummmm.
Girl #3: I think it's the new Green Day.
Girl #2: Ummmm.
Girl #1: Really?
Sad to report, there is no official food court at Woodfield. They have random eateries scattered throughout the mall which is convenient for mid-mall snacking.
Thursday, January 14, 2010
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
I met with two other PMs at the company. They were in their (my guess) mid-twenties and had never given an interview before (my guess again). The interview did not flow like a conversation which most tend to these days. Instead they took turns reading questions from their clipboards. Important questions. Questions like: If you were a food, what kind would you be? and If we met your best friend what is one thing they would complain about you. No questions about my background. No questions about my skill set.
When they came across the question about naming my hobbies I listed off a few things and ended with the fact that I love chick-flicks. This answer triggered the first response from them which was, "Oh, then what is your favorite chick-flick?" Easy answer: Notting Hill (could of been You've Got Mail). They looked at each other and almost in unison said "Never heard of it." Ouch. I'm old. I knew right then I was probably ten years older than the two PMs and they were most likely thinking the same thing. I am sure they were looking for a new co-worker and BFF... and there was no way I was going to fill that role.
On my way home from the interview all I could think of was that my answer should of been "The Twilight Saga." I did not make it to round two.
Sunday, January 10, 2010
Saturday, January 09, 2010
But nontheless... it was a fun dinner to make before heading out for a night at the Opera House to see Merry Widow. Hopefully it's a good date night out. It will be a freezing cold night in downtown Chicago.
Friday, January 08, 2010
Parenting... it never stops.
Thursday, January 07, 2010
Sure there was blood everywhere, but it did not look that bad (it's not like I chopped my finger in half). I bandaged it up and ate dinner (which ended up being way too salty because of the ham). When the blood would not stop I went next door to my neighbor who is a paramedic. She gave me the news that I needed to go to the ER. Grand. Just at the time Miles needs to go to bed, we have to hop in the car and head to the ER.
Everyone in the ER, which was busy, was sick. I was sure I was going to catch H1N1 there and probably should of asked for a face mask for my own protection (Miles & LP got the H1N1 shot). Since I was bleeding, they saw me fairly quick (and my BP was 190/110 so I was a little freaked out) and within an hour I was headed home. No stitches since the opening was too large. They just put some medical foam on which acts like skin. Oh the inventions of science.
Wednesday, January 06, 2010
This year Illinois is looking at the second worst state financial crisis... California being first. Like many states, this year also holds elections for a Governor, a US Senator, and countless State House seats. Right now (and this could change) all I can think about is not voting for an incumbent. Period. This state is in so much debt, and the Democratic machine cannot seem to stop spending. What happens if there is another big dip in this recession?
Less spending and smaller government seem to look good right now... and at the same time health care seems good right now too (which is more spending). Maybe this is why I do not tend to write about politics.
Tuesday, January 05, 2010
Monday, January 04, 2010
Sunday, January 03, 2010
Friday, January 01, 2010
As always, black eyed peas were made since LP is from the South and all good Southerners eat black eyed peas on New Years Day for good luck. No chicken since that is back luck (they scratch backwards or somrthing like that). We tired pulled pork sandwiches since we found a good recipe in the latest issue of Cook's Illustrated. BBQ done at home in the oven is never all that great... but this recipe is pretty amazing. Liquid smoke in the brine and on the pork before slow cooking is the key. A little bit of slaw and some Corky's sauce and all is right.