Archive for January, 2009

valentines day message

January 26, 2009

When I stopped at my parents’ house to drop off my little one this morning, my mother gave me a Valentine’s Day card that my 5 year old Sammi had made over the weekend for a boy in her class.  Here’s the message to the boy:

love-note

I’m not sure exactly how she settled on the number 5, but I do know that I’m going to have a talk with Mrs. Red about what kind of TV she’s watching with Mommy.

I was really hoping to not have to deal with this for a good 5 or 6 more years…and only then with my 8 year old Megan.  HA!

Good luck, Noah.

today is the day

January 20, 2009

For some, today is the beginning of a new day in America.  For others, it’s the end of an era.  For most, today will be a day like most others.  We’ll go to work.  We’ll get the kids on the bus.  We’ll get home and make dinner, or grab a couple drinks out with friends, or pick up the kids from Gramma and Grampa’s house.  We’ll watch the news, some cartoons maybe, a crime or medical drama probably, or SportsCenter even.  We’ll go to bed early or too late or right when we usually do, with thoughts of another day and what it will bring.  Sure, we’ll see Barack Obama on the news and all over the TV and in the paper.  And for all of the pundits and dreamers and everyone else that’s been following this election and it’s aftermath and making it headline news every single day, there are going to be a huge chunk of people that are going to pass this day by as nothing more than “meet the new boss, same as the old boss.” 

But.

No matter which side you’re on or which man you voted for, today is a day of change.  We’re changing the occupant of the White House.  We’re changing our President.  We’re changing his party.  His skin color will change.  His politics, his outlook on so many things will be very different from the last President.  There’s no way that all that can happen and yet we all go on exactly as we did before. 

Some of us will think it’s worse, some will think it’s better.  Some will claim there’s no difference between George and Barack, while others will be expecting Day One to change their lives immediately.  No matter your outlook, affiliation, expectations, or hopes, this is fact – your world is going to change.  Slowly – too slowly for some, far too fast for others.  But as sure as the sun will come up tomorrow, there will be change.  Here’s hoping it’s for the better.

just get off the pot, already

January 15, 2009

Here we go again with the umpteenth round in the fight between New York State and the Seneca Nation over collecting sales tax on sales of tobacco to non-Native Americans.  It seems that New York Governor David Paterson is falling into the same trap as the last two governors in thinking that he can try to close a budget gap with cigarette tax money collected from Native American retailers on sovereign land.  I’ve written about this before, and my stance has not changed…it’s time for the State of New York to shit or get off the pot.   Pick from the following:

  • Invade.  Treaty shmeaty, just march in and take it over.  No more reservation, no more problem.
  • Set up “customs” stops on every road out of the reservation.  If the reservation is sovereign land, treat it just like Canada.  Collect your taxes at the border. 
  • Forget the whole idea once and for all and just live with the fact that you’re not going to get your money-hungry paws on that money.  Live without it.  Find the money somewhere else, or find somewhere to cut the money from.  In fact, that’s a novel idea…spend less!  I know it’s completely anathema to everything New York State believes in, but sometimes you just have to make sacrifices.

No matter what the choice is, let’s get it the hell over with and move on.  I’m sick of hearing about it every time a new governor takes office.

payback in cali

January 9, 2009

It seems that the folks that helped pass Proposition 8 this past November in Calfornia aren’t very proud of their work.  Proposition 8 reversed a State Supreme Court decision allowing gay marriage.  Now, people that donated to coalitions and groups supporting Prop. 8 are under fire, claiming harrassment and threats because their names are made public under California campaign finance laws.  Seems they don’t like the publicity, and want to return to anonymity.  I like this quote from one of the lawyers for the supporters of Prop. 8:

“No one should have to worry about getting a death threat because of the way he or she votes,” said James Bopp Jr., an attorney representing two groups that supported Proposition 8, Protect Marriage.com and the National Organization for Marriage California. “This lawsuit will protect the right of all people to help support causes they agree with, without having to worry about harassment or threats.”

Hey asshole, the people you are defending are probably the same people who refused to hire gays, spit in their faces, bullied them, denied them basic civilities, and now have denied them the right to marry whom they choose. 

So, after working hard to deny a certain segment of society the privileges that the rest are accorded, all that these people want is be left alone and allowed to live their lives free from threats and harrassment from others who don’t agree with their choices and beliefs?  Sounds like you made your own bed very nicely.  Time to lie down in it.

night court

January 6, 2009

I actually have to go to court tomorrow night in the lovely Town of Brant, in connection with a couple of traffic tickets that I acquired a couple months ago on Route 5 near Evangola State Park.  One was for speeding – 56 in a 45.  The other was for an expired New York State inspection.  Never mind the fact that the speed limit on Route 5 between Hamburg and Brant changes between 40, 45, 50, and 55 mph about 10 times.  Bah.

Anyways, I have a question for my lawyer friends, if there are any out there:  If the ticket shows the infraction date as November 6th, but the date was actually November 9th, will that get me out of the thing?  The speeding ticket has the right date, but the expired inspection ticket is dated incorrectly.  In my humble opinion, that discrepancy should invalidate the entire proceedings, but I admit I’m biased. 

And yes, I’ll bitch that if the cops have nothing better to do on a Sunday night in November than sit and watch a practically deserted stretch of road for speeders, crime must indeed be down.  Again, I just might be a little biased.

new year’s eve 2008

January 1, 2009

It was the most exciting one we’ve had in years.  Me, the wife, and kids all headed over to my good friend Paul’s house for the evening.  The kids got completely stoked on regular Pepsi, cupcake frosting, and the company of 9 or 10 other kids.  My wife spent the evening discussing me with the 3 other wives, while me and the other three husbands watched some VH1 top 100 list and reminisced about concerts, music in general, and the drunken indiscretions a few of us had shared in years past.  Funny how now that I have been sober for 4+ years all of that shit seems to make great conversation.

By the time midnight came and the ball dropped, most of the kids and couples had gone.  It was just us and the hosts and our kids, and I realized how lucky I was to be in the company of such wonderful people: one of my oldest and greatest friends, his wonderful wife, my beautiful wife, and our complement of well behaved though ludicrously wired children.  I finally had a New Year’s Eve that seemed really right; I enjoy being home with my family for the event but I’ve always felt that it’s an occasion to celebrate with others.  It was nice to be with other families and share it all with kids and grown-ups alike.  There may be a time when I want to leave the kids home and enjoy the night with my wife somewhere, but not just yet.

Surprisingly, we were home and settled in for the night by about 1:00 am.  I sat on the couch after the wife and kids were settled into bed, thinking that it’s about time we got this New Year’s Eve thing right.  I smiled to myself, turned the light off, and shuffled off to bed to rest up for 2009.

i want to be a loser

January 1, 2009

January 1 of any year is when a lot of people start self-improvement, often framed as resolutions.  Often, these resolutions are made in haste and abandoned just as quickly.  Lack of planning, motivation, realistic goals, or company is often the culprit.  I’ve been trying to avoid the resolution thing for a few years because I always fall into one of those traps. 

This year, I am resolved to lose weight.  I say that even though it’s not the product of an actual “resolution”, but rather the result of a cool idea that my cousin decided to try and has invited me to be a part of.  We’re going to do a sort of Family Biggest Loser.  Ten members of our family are going to participate at $100 a person, and we’re going to crown a champion in 5 months. 

The idea is that we all weigh in this Sunday, to begin.  Then we’re going to have weight-ins every three weeks or so, with cash prizes to whoever lost the greatest percentage in that span.  The rest of the cash will go to the two or three Biggest Losers at then end of the 5 months.  Notice that this will get us into the beginning of June, just in time for summer and right about the time many of us are breaking out shorts and swim stuff and wondering why the hell we have to go up another size in swimming apparel.

What’s awesome is that it’s not just the thirty-somethihngs that are participating.  The ages of the 10 of us are anywhere from 25 on up to 60.  We all have different circumstances; busy parents, retired grandparents, single folks, desk jockeys, skilled trades, former star atheltes, former band geeks, you name it.  Some will diet, others will exercise like maniacs, most will combine the two, and we’ll all probably feel a lot better about ourselves for this.

So this addreses a bunch of the “resolution” pitfalls:  It’s well planned.  It’s geared towards a long-term, realistic goal.  There’s real money to be won.  And there are 10 of us, so we’ll have a lot of company in our diet and exercise fun – or misery, however you look at it.  Hopefully, we’ll all be succesful, because that’s going to be the real prize for all of us.