Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Today's Workouts

The 4.3 mile work loop.
I left the office at 11am. A mile into my run, so around 11:10am or so, I see an older retired guy sitting on his front porch watching a small 12 inch TV and drinking a can of Budweiser. Probably was watching The Price is Right. That's on at 11:00 around here.
That should let you know what kind of redneck town I work in. I was kinda tired on this run. I should have stopped and joined him.

Neil Diamond Night on American Idol

Neil Diamond is still alive…who knew

He is actually only 67. It sure seems like he should be older. I spent a good part of the 70’s listening to Neil Diamond on 8-track in my dad’s car or at home. Dad also played a bunch John Denver and Olivia Newton-John 8-tracks. But through lots of therapy I’m now pretty much ok. Although on occasion I will have a Tourette's like episode where I burst into a medley of ‘Physical’, ‘Sweet Caroline’ and ‘Thank God I’m a Country Boy’. The kids just throw cold water on me and I’m good as new.

I also accompanied my dad to a few of Mr. Diamond’s concerts when I was a young lad. There is one memory that stands out most from these shows. One no amount of lsd can get rid of. Near the front of the stage were two, how shall I put this, um…upper middle-aged plus-sized women. Each had on a glittery t-shirt. One with the word ‘Neil’ on it the other with the word ‘Diamond’ on it. Ok, pathetic but not horrible. Then the lights went down and the two ladies must have flipped a switch on the back of their shirts, because the words ‘Neil’ and ‘Diamond’ lit up and started blinking. I don’t even want to know where the batteries for the shirts were. Thankfully for my 12 year-old mind, neither woman threw their underwear up on the stage. I don’t think even Sigmund Freud could have helped me recover from that.

Unlike last week when I didn’t know the songs, I’m embarrassed to admit that I know all of these songs. Why couldn’t it be Neil young? Never mind I wouldn’t want these people butchering the real Neil’s songs.

A brief recap of the performances and random thoughts about the performers and judges:

Jason Castro – The prettiest one left. No apparent talent but the tarts down in the mosh-pit aren’t going to let him go this early in the contest. He sang ‘Forever in Blue Jeans’ first. Boring but not painful. He’s wearing blue jeans…might have been more original to sing it in a tux. He’s signing ‘September Morn’ second. He sits on a stool with a guitar and sings to the young girls of America who keep him on the show week after week. Not as bad as the first song but other than tween girls, does anyone like his singing? I’d pick him to get voted off if the chicks didn’t love his pretty eyes so much.

David Cook – smug, arrogant and lousy hair (my 15 year-old son likes his hair) but the only one left who can perform. Now he’s acting like he’s in charge of the show…what a tool. He’s singing two little known songs of Neil’s. But of course I know them. He does a rocking version of ‘I’m Alive’. Not half-bad for what he has to work with. But that means it was only half good. His second song choice is ‘All I Really Need is You’. The mosh-pit girls are doing the wave (see me rolling my eyes). Lame performance. Hideous Jacket and hairdo. Of course the judges like it because he’s one of the ‘Chosen Ones’ (him and the other David). Whatever.

Brooke White aka The Virgin Nanny – Curly or Straight hair…make up your mind already. She’s doing ‘I’m a Believer’ and ‘I am I said’. First ‘I’m a Believer’. Predictable. Interesting pants…looks like a gray mermaid. She could easily be gone next week. Next she is going to sing ‘I am I said’. I don’t think this is a good choice for her. It’s a guy song. Let’s see. Here she goes. Wow not the train wreck I thought it would be. Not great but it’s ok. She may have saved herself for one more week.

David Archuleta – fake, not a sincere bone in his little body. ‘Psycho Stage Dad’ for a father. He’s going to sing ‘Sweet Caroline’ first. He might have a pretty little voice but he doesn’t have the pipes for this. Sounds like he’s singing at a beach party or around the camp fire. Now he’s going to sing ‘Coming to America’. I can’t stand this song. Go ahead and play the patriotic card. Oh the horror. Someone vote this phony off. I think I just threw-up in my mouth. He just proved he can’t sing upbeat songs. Enough of this ballad singing pansy already. Why am I watching this show? It just makes me mean. Oh yeah, I have teenage daughters that’s why I’m watching it. Of course the judges (the borderline pedophile Paula in particular) love it because he’s the other Chosen One.

Syesha – Perky and fun at times. Would make a good Broadway actress or maybe cruise director on the love boat. She’s singing ‘Hello Again’ first. Woah! What happened to the hair? Is that real? Makes her look old…and not in a good way. It appears someone has stolen her shoes. I fell asleep. Is the song over? Rather boring. Next she’s singing ‘Thank the Lord for the Nighttime’. This one’s a little better. More upbeat. Kinda fun. At least I stayed awake this time. My daughters like her dress and want it. She’s pretty but fix the hair. That’s about all the nice things I can think of to say. Simon thinks she might be in trouble tonight.

Ryan Seacrest – fix the hair already. How does this guy make so much money? What a country.

Randy – get some new material. We know everyone is your ‘dawg’ and every singer is ‘pitchy’.

Paula – what’s in that cup? Sober up already. Do you have to dance every song? It’s a long time from your Laker Girl day’s honey. You’re my age. What the heck is she wearing? Oh my! After round 1, Paula thinks Jason has sung twice already?! She needs to go to rehab.

Simon – rude and obnoxious at times but at least he tells it like it is. Quick and to the point. But please get a new shirt and button it up for the love that all is holy.

My bottom two:
Syesha and Brooke
With Syesha going home.
We shall find out tonight.
I can hardly wait.
I’m all a quiver with anticipation.

This show has officially Jumped the Shark.

Ok Donk have fun making fun of me.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

I Almost Got Some of the Mascara On My Eyelashes

Today's Workouts

7 mile tempo run in sunny 60 degree weather...near perfect. Right knee twingy. Probably from running in light-weight racing shoes on Saturday. Or because I haven't taken my joint supplements in a few months.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Today's Workouts

4.3 mile run in a hard rain...felt great...

Ironman Race Report from Last Fall

Sam thought I should post my Ironman write up from last year. And since I have nothing else to say today here it is...Apologies to those you have had to see this already on running and triathlon forums.

ChesapeakeMan Ironman 9/29/2007
Cambridge MD

2.4 miles swimming
112 miles cycling
26.2 miles running
140.6 miles total

Surgeon Generals Warning: this is one long race report. Block off an hour or two, go get some coffee and maybe a lobotomy before reading.
Rambling pre-race stuff:
Where to start? 30 years ago when I first started running? 3 and half years ago when I started biking? 3 years when I learned to swim? Maybe back in June after EagleMan when I had a good race and decided to do ChesapeakeMan for sure? I’m not really sure where to start. This journey had many influences that worked together to make this day possible. Most people who will read this already know a lot of the process it took to get to race day. The 3:30am wake-ups on weekdays, the long bike rides on Saturdays, the seemingly endless laps at lunch in the pool (not that they seemed to help much – see swim time below), or maybe the support of the world’s best wife and kids, without whose support none of this would have been possible.
Anyway I spent the past 3 months training 15-20+ hours per week to get to race day. Countless hours were spent biking and running in the dark mornings. At first these were very easy to get up for but then the mental and physical drag started to take their toll. By September 1st I was ready for the darn thing to be here already. Had pre-race goals of 1) finishing in a semi-vertical position and 2) maybe breaking 12 hours.
A friend of Sam and me was signed-up to do this race with me, but she died over the summer. So I did this race in her honor. I put her initials (S.P.) on my front wheel in red duct tape. Thanks for watching over me hon and getting me through this. We miss you!
Friday before the race:
I worked half of the day and left work around noon to come home and load up the car. My bags were already packed and my list of stuff to bring had been checked and double-checked and then re-checked just to make sure. I was almost as OCD with this as I was with checking the weather. Got the car packed and was on the road by 1pm or so for the 1.5 hour drive over to Cambridge, the site of the race. The ride over was uneventful and I pulled into the Hyatt resort complex, the race headquarters, at 2:30. Check-in took all of 5 minutes or so. This is a very small race, a little over 200 participants and that includes the swim-only people and the swim-bike people. No expo to speak of. Just a small table with some shirts, hats and other race finisher stuff. I wanted a few things but wasn’t going to jinx the race by buying them before the race. I figured I could buy them after the race but I was wrong they weren’t selling the stuff after the race. Anyway I got all my race numbers, timing chip and 5 gear bags. The gear bags were large drawstring Gatorade bags. The bags are for: warm-up gear, bike gear, bike special needs, run gear and run special needs.
After I got my race packet I drove over to Great Marsh Park, where the swim ends and the bike begins, to rack my bike and drop off my bike gear. I pumped up my tires one last time (gave them a little extra air to account for them sitting over night) and put two frozen bottles of sports drink in my bottle holders. Then I racked my bike and filled up the bike-gear bag. Put everything in the bag that I might need on the bike: shoes, helmet, shades, bike shorts, bag of gummy bears etc…Then I hung the bag on the racks at the swim exit.

With that done I headed over to the house where I was staying. Friends of ours have a summer house outside of Cambridge and we stay there every year for EagleMan. Got there and un-packed all the rest of my gear and organized it. Hung out there until around 5:30 and then went back to the Hyatt Resort for the pre-race meeting at 6pm. The race director, Robert Vigorito – he organizes all the big tri’s around here, went over the logistics and answered questions for awhile. Here is some of the info we got. Jellyfish – they weren’t in the river at this time, they have been and issue in the past. Tides in the river – the tide will be going out with you; everyone should have real fast swims…yeah right. He said 2 years ago the tide was going out at the start of the race and the fastest time was 50 minutes and the slowest was 1:24. I was hoping on getting out of the water in 1:15-1:30 so all this sounded real good to me. Alas it wasn’t true. The swim times were slow.
Anyway I headed back to the house around 7pm and ate a light meal (bananas and a Cliff bar) and drank lots of water and took some salt pills. I packed all my different gear bags and made up some more drinks and froze them. 2 more bike bottles of Infinit sports drink. These bottles were going in my bike special needs bag which we would get at mile 64 of the bike. 4 frozen 7 ounce fuel belt bottles of Infinit for the run bag and 2 frozen 7 ounce fuel belt bottles of flat Coke for the run special needs bag. Then I read for awhile and went to bed at 9pm. I set my alarm for 4am, ok I set 3 alarms for 4am. I actually slept well. Only got up a few times to use the bathroom – all that water I was drinking.

Race Day:
Got up at 4am and had breakfast – 2 bananas and a cliff bar. Took a shower and then I put on my swim jammers and tri-top and threw some warm-up clothes on over top of them since it was chilly outside and real WINDY out. Packed-up the car and locked up the house and headed over to the local High School where the race would end to drop off my bike special needs, run gear and run special needs. I should probably list the race logistics here. The swim starts at the beach at the Hyatt resort. You swim down the river 2.4 miles to the Great Marsh Park and exit the water at the boat ramp. You do a 64 mile bike loop that ends at the High School and then you do a 48 mile loop that ends at the high school. For the run you do 3 out and back 9 mile loops and finish on the HS track. In other words you run down this un-shaded country road for 4.3 miles turn around and run back to the school, then lather rinse and repeat 2 more times.
Left my car at the HS and took a shuttle bus over to the Hyatt to await the start of this thing, Got to the Hyatt around 6am with an hour to kill. There was a pavilion by the beach that they had setup with music and Starbucks coffee. Got myself some coffee and then had my body marked. Race number (45) on each shoulder, age on left calf…oh and they put your number on the top off your hand. This is new to me so I ask about that one. Guy says “that’s so we can identify you if we have to pull you out of the water”. Oh, ok…um thanks…after that I head into one of the ballrooms at the hotel to get out of the darn wind. Lie down on the floor there and rest a little, drink my coffee, chat with other racers and use the potty. It’s nice being able to use real bathrooms before the race instead of waiting in porta-potty lines. I put on my wetsuit and some jelly-fish repellent that The Donk had lent me. (I have to mention The Donk in this report so I don’t cut him deep. Inside joke…don’t ask.) Around 6:45 I head down to the beach for the start of the shebang and chug down a gel. We do the National Anthem, get a few last minute instructions and then we are off. Finally.

The swim:
The start is uneventful. We swim away from the beach out into the river and hang a left and head for some distance point that I can’t see. There are lots of boats, jet skis and kayaks out there to keep and eye on everyone. After the initial “I hate swimming, why am I doing this feeling” I settle into my turtle like pace. Basically I take 24 strokes, raise my head to make sure I’m on course and then do it over and over again. I never get off course by much and I just keep chugging along. Doesn’t seem like there is much current but what do I know, I’m not a real swimmer. There is a lot of surface chop that we are swimming into. This is due to the high winds. Finally see the boat ramp and make my way towards it. Get there and try and stand up and walk up the ramp, feeling a little woozy but I manage to stay on my feet. I check my watch, 1:39:57, you have got to be kidding me (that was 86th out of 113 men). Some current. Hear others complaining about their time and lack of current. Oh well I’m a little bit behind my goal pace now. As we are coming out of the water someone yells out my number so they have my bike-gear bag waiting for us at the top of the boat ramp. They then direct me to the men’s changing tent (they wouldn’t let me in the women’s). Start taking off my wetsuit while a volunteer empties my bike-gear bag for me. He then helps me pull my wetsuit off my feet. I take off the jammers and put on my bike shorts (sorry no pictures of this), get on my socks, bike shoes, shades and helmet etc…The same volunteer puts all my swim junk into my bike-gear bag for me. The bag will magically reappear at the HS after the race. Normally I wear tri-shorts for a race so there is no changing but I figured it would be worth a few extra seconds to throw on my good bike shorts for the ride, I was right. I notice that I have some chaff from the wetsuit under one arm and on my neck. I must have missed a few spots with the Body Glide or it wore off some in the water. I then exit the tent to my bike. Mount my bike and I’m off. Total T1 time is 4:57.
Btw – 2.4 miles is a long way to swim

The Bike:
One word could describe the bike WIND. The bike course is out in the open through farm country and wetlands etc…no shelter. There were strong winds all day long, like around 20mph strong. Which are real nice as tailwinds but not as nice as headwinds. Anyway it’s the same for everyone so I just “suck it up princess” and ride. My plan was to stay in a HR zone of 145-150, which I did. That is my “I can ride a long time and maybe run after” zone. Any time I went below or above that zone I adjusted my effort. I pass a fair amount of people on the bike. That is the benefit of being a lousy swimmer; there are lots of people in front of you to pass on the bike. My bike ride is fairly uneventful. No flats or other mechanical issues. The bike works well. The race wheels are a little squirrelly in the crosswinds but nothing too horrible. I drink one bottle of Infinit each hour and after those two are gone I get a bottle of Gatorade at an aid station. They have aid stations every 10 miles or so with water bottles or Gatorade bottles. After about 64 miles I finish up lap number one at the HS. Pull into the parking lot and go to where the bike-special needs bags are being given out. They have my bag waiting for me!? Very cool. Someone at entrance to the parking lot had radioed ahead my race number so the bag was waiting for me. The race volunteer opens it up and helps me get out what I wanted. I take out 2 more bottles of Infinit sports drink and a zip-lock bag full of gummy bears. Throw my two empty bottles in it and head back out for lap two. Lap two is more of the same except I’m getting a little sore in the caboose and my legs are starting to feel the strain. The way the course is set up you hit head wind the last 12 miles or so of each lap. So we had head wind from miles 52-64 and from 100-112. When riding into the winds my speed would drop to around 16-16.5 mph. Fun times! Throughout the second lap I’m just concentrating on keeping a decent speed and getting as much fuel into me as possible before the run starts. I finish off both bottles of Infinit and part of a bottle of Gatorade. I’m also taking 1 or 2 salt pills per hour. I’m feeling pretty well hydrated since the heat isn’t too bad (it probably went up to around 78). I actually have to stop and pee twice will on the bike. I tried to go on the ‘fly’ while biking but couldn’t pull it off and had to stop on the side of the ride. Thankfully the roads are sparsely populated so I didn’t scandalize anyone. Eventually I see the HS and turn into the parking lot. Pull up to where the transition area is. One volunteer takes my bike for me (such service). I tell her she can keep it; I’ve had enough of it. Another one hands me my run-gear bag…they had it waiting for me…and points me towards the changing tent. My bike time is 5:32:16 (19.3 mph.) 18th fastest out of the 113 male finishers. And zero people passed me on the bike ride. So that was the high point of my race day.
Btw – 112 miles is a long way to bike.

The Run:
I head into the changing tent and strip down to my birthday suit…well I had socks on (no pictures were taken here either). Another volunteer has already emptied my run-gear bag for me and is putting all my bike stuff into the bag. The volunteers at this race were incredible. Put on my CW-X running shorts. Once again I figured it was worth the extra time to be comfortable. Lace up the shoes, grab my 4 small bottles of Infinit and stuff them in my tri-top pockets. Also grab some more salt pills and gummy bears (the gummies were the closest thing to solid food I ate during the race). Leave the tent for a T2 time of 2:32 – not too bad for me. Now comes the fun part; 26.2 miles of running on an un-shaded 4.3 mile out and back course. There are some benefits to this lay out at small races. You get to see all the racers a lot as you are going back and worth (on the later part of the bike ride I would go miles without seeing another rider). Also since at IM’s they have aid stations every mile, the race director only had to have four setup. This was actually kinda cool since you got to ‘know’ the aid station volunteers a little bit. And they got to know us since our names were printed on our race numbers. So we went through each aid station 6 times. So I start out running. I really have no Idea what kinda pace I can run so I just stay in my HR zone of 145-150. At the start that is around 9:45-10:10 miles. Which are fine with me. The first lap (9 miles or so) is not too painful. I get back to the school and head out for lap two. That is one of the negatives of this run layout, you can see the finish line but still have a long way to go. It was even more annoying after lap two. On lap two it starts to get a little tough (to say the least). My stomach is sick of sports drink so I’m taking in a little water at each aid station, some gummies, the occasional salt pill and I’m putting ice in my running hat to stay cool. It’s only in the upper 70’s put without the shade it is pretty warm out. Towards the end of lap 2, around mile 16 or so the legs start getting really sore and tired and I’m afraid I’m going to have to walk the last 10 miles which would shoot the sub 12 hour finish all to hell. The soreness and pain are bearable though so it basically becomes a metal game. Am I tough enough to suck it up and run 10 miles in pain while being really tired?
I finish Lap #2 and they have my run special needs bag waiting for me. These people are so cool. This time it’s a 5 year-old boy (with his mom supervising) you hands me bag and helps me get some stuff out of it (2 small bottles of coke, gummies and salt pills). I high-five my new friend and head back out. Thanks little buddy for your help. At this point it really stinks to be able to see the finish line over on the track and have almost 9 more miles to run. On the plus side I’m on my last lap and there are still people just finishing up their bike so it could be worse. Run by some spectators ringing a cowbell and shout for “more cowbell”. Now it basically is a total mental game. The pain is constant and my stomach is rebelling. I’m able to sip a little coke and water at times and eat one or two gummies but that’s about it. I stop at one porta-potty to pee so at least I’m not too dehydrated. All I’m doing now is trying to run from one aid station to the next. I know I’ll be able to finish the race (unless something really bad happens) but I want to do it with out walking. Note: I did walk for 10-20 seconds through each aid station so I could get fuel into me. So I run to the first aid station (Hawaiian themed), run to the second (a guy is heating up a big pot of chicken soup on a camping stove), run to the third get some more coke, run to the fourth (which is being run by the HS cross-county team). I try and talk some of the kids at the station into running the last 4.5 miles for me…no luck. I get to the final turn around (4.3 miles or so to go). I’m in the home stretch so to speak. I continue my kinda slow running (probably around 11 minute miles at this point but I’m not keeping track anymore) and my strategy of just run the 1 mile to the next aid station. I get to the 23 mile mark and realize with only a little over 5k to go I can probably break 12 hours if I can keep up my shuffling type of run. I finally get to the final aid station (mile 25). This is the Hawaiian themed one and these guys/gals have been great the whole race. They are having one big party. They have a grill going and are cooking burgers for themselves and they have a cooler full of beer! The guys are wearing Hawaiian shirts and the ladies have on grass skirts and coconut bras! I slow down to thank them for all their help. The main guy running see’s me and says “this is your last lap right?’ Yes sir it is! Then he yells out “last lap, this guy needs to get laid”. One of the girls puts a leis around by neck. I can see the HS in the distance and the lights are on at the stadium and track. I have around 12 or 13 minutes to get in under 12 hours. I pick up the pace a bit just to make sure I make it. I turn off the road into the school parking lot. I see Sam and the kids (they came down for the end – all except for Josh who is in NH at school) and my mom, my dad and his wife. I slow down enough to kiss Sam. I had told Sam since this was such a small race that they had told us our kids could run across the finish line with us. She had told the 3 little boys to run alongside me down to the track and the rest of the family took a short cut down to it. By this time I’m feeling really good (weird) and running at a nice pace. Joey, Robert and Dominic cut across the field to the finish line and decide to just watch me finish. I see Dominic (5) off to the side and kinda grab him and the two off us run the last 20 yards together. The race director announces my name and hometown and then says “and get this, he and his wife just had their 11th child. Can you believe that?” Sam had told him about that before I came into the finish. I break through the tape and its official “I’m an Ironman”. Run time 4:37:13.
Btw – 26.2 miles is a long way to run
They wrap a Mylar blanket around me and put my medal around my neck and give me my finishers shirt. Lots of hugs and kisses from the family. We get some pictures taken and then head up to the gymnasium for post-race food. I put my Finishers shirt on Robert and my Medal on Sam since she is the real Ironman of the family. I’m not real hungry at this point but I see that the massage tables are not real busy. I’ve never had a massage in my life so I head over there and get about a 20-30 minute massage. Almost fall asleep during it, it felt so good. After that I have a piece of pizza, some chicken soup, a coke and some water. Then it’s time to pack-up and get the kids home to bed. All of my gear bags are either in the Gym or with my bike. This race is very well organized. The kids help me gather up everything and we put my bike on the back of my car. Alex (17) is my designated driver and she drives me and Caleb home in my car while the rest of the brood went home with Sam in the van. I check the cell phone that was in my car and there are 18 missed calls…all from the afore mentioned Donk, now that’s love. We get back to Bowie around 9:30. I have Alex pull into a McDonalds (haven’t been to one in years) and I get 2 double-cheeseburgers off the dollar menu and scarf them down. Then we head to the house and un-pack my stuff and put the kids to bed.
Final stats:
Swim 1:39:57 86th out of 113 male finishers
T1 4:57 48th out of 113
Bike 5:32:16 18th out of 113
T2 2:32 20th out of 113
Run 4:37:13 52nd out of 113
Total Time 11:56:52
38th overall out of 113
Age-group 6th out of 24

Will I do another one? Maybe, I really enjoyed the day. It’s the training hours that are a physical and mental strain after awhile. Not to mention the strain it puts on the family. They had to put up with a whole lot this summer. They are the real champions. This was a wonderful experience and we shall have to see what the future brings. I am doing EagleMan again next June. No I need to stop typing and go work on my swimming and holding a faster run pace after biking.
Much thanks to everyone else who made this possible. My training buddies, my forum friends, all the great volunteers at the race – you guys/gals were the best and Robert Vigorito for putting on another well run race. And anyone else my tired brain has forgotten.
So that’s my story thanks for reading if you are still awake and sane.

SP – this one was for you. Peace Out.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Halfway to 80 Babe and Looking Great

Today is my beloved bride Sam’s 40th birthday.
I’ve decided to keep her after all and not trade her in for two 20 years-olds (twins…girls), like I’ve been saying for years that I would do when she turned 40. Her response was always “If you think you can handle them dear, go right ahead”. That always shut me up.

For your 40th – 40 things I Love About You.

1. I love your soul
2. I love your face
3. I love your faith
4. I love your mind
5. I love being married to you
6. I love you body
7. I love your optimistic personality…even if it annoys me at times
8. I love that you homeshool our kids
9. I love that you have faith in me
10. I love the taste of the salt on your skin
11. I love waking up in the morning with your hair in my face
12. I love your smile
13. I love your hair…even though you cut it short
14. I love you during labor
15. I love how hot you look when pregnant
16. I love that you stay home with the kids
17. I love that you support my working out
18. I love that you feel safe in my arms
19. I love how you cuddle up next to me in the winter for warmth
20. I love your laugh, the nice one, not the cackle
21. I love that you don’t like to go shopping
22. I love when you wear blue jeans and diamond stud earrings
23. I love you when you cry
24. I love that you can’t balance a checkbook and might not even know where we bank – that’s trust
25. I love to watch you sleep
26. I love that you don’t call me at work 20 times a day
27. I love how you can nurse a baby and coach a soccer game at the same time
28. I love when you make my lunch for work and put notes in it
29. I love when you rub my shoulders
30. I love when you hug me from behind
31. I love that you are the pick of the litter
32. I love when we pray together
33. I love that we are BFF’s
34. I love your eyebrows
35. I love your warmth
36. I love when you try and do new things on the computer
37. I love that you are more beautiful at 40 then you were at 16 when we met
38. I love how you are selfless
39. I love that I love your more today than the day we were married
40. I love TTN

Friday, April 25, 2008

Today's Workouts

Ran 13 miles at lunch. Did my 4.3 mile loop 3 times and then ran around the office building to round it up to an even 13. Picked up a Gatorade or water bottle after each loop. It's warm out today. The run felt good though and the pace was even throughout the run

The Good, The Bad and Now

The Ugly

12 noon – this Mass is dead or at least on life support. This one seriously needs the plug pulled on it. It makes The Lawrence Welk Show and crochet night at the local Senior Center look lively.

This Mass is sparsely filled with the people who didn’t make it to one of the other three Masses. This is their last chance to get to Mass for the weekend. It has the hung-over people who didn’t plan ahead and went and got plastered Saturday night. The families whose kids had early morning sports games and the parents, like the afore mentioned drunks, didn’t plan ahead. It has the parents of kids who woke-up sick that morning, so mom and dad had to divide and conquer and go to separate Masses. The parent at this mass obviously drew the short-straw or screwed-up really big time during the week and owed one to the other. It also has the occasional old person who probably already went to Mass that weekend but has forgotten that they already went and came again. Even my teens who like to sleep in don’t want to go to this dog (is it a sin to call a mass a dog? It’s got to be venial at the worst – someone Google that for me).

Usually there is no music at this Mass. But once in awhile there is a lone Cantor (is that the right word? or is that something a horse does?) accompanied by an organist. He/she is doing a fine job trying to lead the congregation in some hymns. But they are having none of it. Probably because most of them are asleep. There might be a few brave souls trying to sing along. But for the most part everyone is silent. It’s similar to a Fourth of July sing-a-long at veteran’s retirement home. It can be quite pathetic.

The only time this Mass shows any life is after communion when people make a mad rush for the door. Doing the old ‘dine and dash’ or the ‘Judas shuffle’ as we like to call it around these parts. The way people stream out the doors after communion, you’d think half the congregation had beans for breakfast. The parking lot can be just as bad. People are racing like Jeff Gordon to get out of the parking lot. Better watch out if you are leaving early, Granny Jenkins will run you down with her big old Buick.
Plus during football season you won’t make it home for the kickoff of the one o’clock games. Nuff said.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

I’ve Been Tagged

by The Mom over at Shoved to Them

She’s another Imelda Marcos of Running Shoes, and she better be running in them.

I should be better at this. I was great at tag when I was a kid. Being short and able to run fast was a big help.

1. The rules of the game get posted on the beginning.
2. Each player answers the questions about himself.
3. At the end of the post, the player tags five people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know that they’ve been tagged and asking them to read their blog.

What I was doing ten years ago:
Running a Christian bookstore. But not doing any running. I had hurt my knee years ago and stopped. I was also 40 pounds every than now. And I only had 6 kids.

Five things on my To-Do list today:
1. Run
2. Cut my dad’s grass
3. Make meatballs for dinner tomorrow night
4. Hug and Kiss my wife
5. Go to Elizabeth’s Confirmation

Things I would do if I were a billionaire:
1. Buy new running shoes
2. Take my wife on a shopping spree to Victoria Secrets – ok to somewhere she would appreciate more.
3. Buy a beach house in the Caribbean – maybe Barbados
4. Hire a maid and cook for my wife
5. Oh and buy some more running shoes

Three of my bad habits/qualities:
1. My wife says I have none
2. I’m overly functional. I have to be early to everything
3. I get real cranky if I don’t get to run, bike or swim each day

Five places I’ve lived:
1. Alexandria, VA
2. Marion, AL - college
3. Harrisonburg, VA - college
4. Crofton, MD
5. Bowie, MD most of my time has been here

Five jobs I’ve had:
1. Gas Station Attendant – I’m old enough to have worked back when gas stations were full service. For you young people, that’s when you sat in your car and someone pumped the gas for you.
2. Liquor Store Clerk – while in college. Still my favorite job
3. Banker – various jobs from teller on up
4. Owed and ran (along with my bride) a Christian Bookstore for 10 years
5. Software Tester – current job

Five books I’ve recently read:
1. The Thanatos Syndrome by Walker Percy
2. Biography of Albert Camus
3. Runaway jury by Grisham
4. Sports Illustrated
5. Three Little Javelinos to the kids

Five people or communities I’m going to tag:

Sam aka My Lovely Bride
A Wink and a Smile aka The Swimmer
Welcome to my brain aka The Pastor's Wife. Who is probably wondering who the heck I am
Catherine aka The Only Pereson I Know in France
KayleighJeanne aka Oh Rats

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Famlies Welcome

10am Mass – This is the most popular Mass at our church. It’s the family Mass. There is a nursery for the little ones and 3 & 4 year-old pre-school CCD program. So the munchkins are taken care of. Of course there are always a few people who think THEIR little darlings should stay in the church for Mass no matter what – and then we have to listen to them the whole Mass. You know the ones, the kids that are talking/crying, running around, kicking the pews etc…The parents either don’t want to discipline them or won’t. Or they say things like ‘it’s important for them to be at Mass’ (as if the kids are getting a lot out of it). Of course it’s important for kids to be at Mass. But it’s also important for people to be able to prayerfully hear the Mass. We wouldn’t put up with this kind of behavior at a nice restaurant or the theater. So why do we put up with it at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass? Are we that afraid that if we politely say something we will be labeled as judgmental? I’m not talking about stoning them or sticking ice-picks between their toes (that's punishment that's more in line for spilt milk), just a gentle comment about appropriate behavior in church.

People, they are little kids, it’s really hard for them to sit quietly for an hour (heck it’s hard for me to sit still for an hour). Do everyone a favor and stick them in the nursery or CCD. My kids won’t beat them up…probably. For this reason, the geezers avoid this Mass like Lindsay Lohan avoids wearing underwear. The only old timers there are ones whose kids and grandkids are there also.

This Mass ALWAYS has music (for better or worse). One week it’s the other folk group and the next it’s High Mass with the Choir. The High Mass is really well done at our church. The Altar Boys do a wonderful job and look very professional. The incense are a cool touch. It’s just a very nice and reverent Mass.

The Folk Group's week…well let’s just say I’d rather go to a Hannah Montana concert than listen to ‘City of God’ one more bloody time. Quick someone get me a grapefruit spoon so I can puncture my eardrums. That song makes me violent. Son of Sam was forced to listen to it as a child - I'm pretty sure that's a known fact. In all fairness to the folkies, it’s the song selection not the singers and musicians. They are actually pretty good.

The third Sunday of the month is ‘Donut Sunday’. Donuts, coffee and juice are served downstairs in the basement after church by the youth group. So you get a couple hundred kids and adults hanging out and getting hopped-up on caffeine and sugar. But even on Sundays without donuts, it is very social after this Mass. Lots of people hangout in front of the church afterwards and yak it up (as in talk it up…not throw it up). It takes an extra 15-30 minutes to get out of there because of this. Some members of my family can be quite chatty at times. I’m not mention any names but they are all of the female persuasion.

Tomorrow we will cover the dreaded High Noon Mass

Today's Workouts

4.3 mile run at lunch. Fantastic weather out there today.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

My Favorite Mass

8am – This is far and away my favorite Mass. Not that I get to attend it much. It’s way too hard to get all the kids up and semi-presentable (you know: pants actually zipped up, socks that match, shoes on the right feet, underwear not on the outside of the clothes, maybe hair and teeth brushed – especially important for the ‘commie sign of peace’) by 8am. We do go as a family to this Mass on Christmas and Easter due to family obligations throughout the day. The outcome varies from tolerable to a disaster of Titanic proportions. Otherwise I usually only get to go if the boys are serving, if someone has a sports event too early that day to make it to another Mass, or if we have sick kids and the parents have to go to separate Masses.

So why do I like this Mass so much? What’s not to like? This Mass is short and to the point. 45 minutes tops. No fluff. Not that I’m in a rush. But why have all that extra filler that the other Masses have? Do they really need to sing the announcements? I guess the fact that old lady Magillicutti has gallstones and there will be a soup and salad bible study on Tuesday, sound better when set to music.
But the 8am mass usually has no music. At the most it has opening and closing songs. And the songs are actually Catholic songs…go figure. So you get the Mass, the whole Mass and nothing but the Mass.

It’s also nice to have the whole day open after Mass. You can be home by 9am and make a nice big family breakfast and then plan out the rest of the day. I don’t mean it to sound like I’m saying it’s good to get church over with and out of the way, that’s not really what I’m saying. But you are going to church so why not go early and use the rest of the day for other family activities (or maybe a nap)?

This Mass has a fair number of old people…heck they are up early anyway so why not come. These would be the old people who didn’t make it to the Saturday evening Mass. Maybe they forgot, maybe their nap ran over or maybe that early bird special was too good to pass up. Either way they are there in force. It also has those lucky people who don’t have small children any more. Or those luckier few with little kids who can actually sit still for Mass. Who are these people? I’m sure they drug their kids before church. Some type of Baby Valium. They are like Stepford Kids. They just sit there quietly throughout the Mass.????? Yes I’m jealous. Sue me.

Tomorrow the 10am Mass

Today's Workouts

7 mile tempo-run at lunch time.

In Case Any of Y'all Need This

New book explains to kids why mommy now looks like Pamela Anderson.

Do we really need this book? Have we become this vain and shallow in this country? (that's a rhetorical question) From the looks of the cover they should change the title to My Mommy Now Looks Like Barbie.

One thing I do know, we don't need this book at my house. My wife's pictures are the ones that are used by women considering plastic surgery. I mean, if you are going to get a new face or body you might as well pick from perfection.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Today's Workouts

4.3 mile run at lunch.

The Many Faces of Our Church

Masses at our church are Saturday afternoon at 4:30 and Sundays at 8am, 10am and noon.

4:30 Saturday evening Mass – This is probably my least favorite Mass to attend. Although it’s the second most crowded mass of the weekend, so someone out there likes it.

This Mass is packed with old people, young people and a few families. I guess the old people are there because they aren’t sure if they will be around come Sunday. And want to get in one last Mass before meeting The Big Guy. But you would think going to this Mass would make them late for the Early Bird Special at The Red Lobster. The young people are there because they are going out Saturday night and might be too hung-over or in jail to make it to Mass the next morning. Got to give them points for planning ahead. And the few families are there because their kids have sports games on Sunday morning and the parents haven’t found them a ride with someone else on the team so they have to suffer through 4:30 Mass too.

In the summer the level of dress goes downhill dramatically at this Mass. It is about as casual as a Dukes of Hazard convention. (scairy that they have such a thing) I guess we can be grateful that Trixie and Ronda threw on tube tops and daisy dukes over their bikinis before heading over from the pool. At least Bubba doesn’t usually wear the New Style Wife-Beater shirts to Mass…yet. You got to save those shirts for Springer and Cops.

I’m not fond of this Mass for a few reasons. First, by late Saturday afternoon I’m very sleepy. And even if the priest has a great homily that day, I’m going to be falling asleep…no offense Padre. It’s not you, it’s me. Also one of the Folk Groups plays at that Mass. I don’t do folk music…unless it’s Bob Dylan or Joni Mitchell. “Kumbaya my lord, kumbaya…" is not my cup of tea…someone shoot me in the face now. To me, mixing folk music with the Mass is like mixing spandex shorts with sumo wrestlers. The last reason is that if I go to Mass on Saturday, then all day Sunday I feel like a heathen because I haven’t been to church. Wow, that’s a lot of guilt for someone who never went to Catholic school.

Tomorrow we will cover 8am Sunday Mass.

Win Some Shoes Contest

Win a pair of shoes for your rugrat

For Your Monday Morning Enjoyment

How many cannibals could your body feed?
Created by OnePlusYou

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Today's Workouts

Actually yesterdays:
30 miles cycling
2 hours watching Joey's baseball game
6 hours working on re-screening porch - which is going surprisingly well and swear-free

Friday, April 18, 2008

Maybe Someday One of My Kids Will Have a Cool Talent Like This

This is way cooler than playing the Star-Spangled Banner on your armpits or burping the alphabet. I guess libraries aren't just for books and story-time anymore.

A 13-year-old boy is claiming the world record for blowing balloons with his nose. Using one nostril at a time, Andrew Dahl inflated 213 balloons within an hour Friday in the public library

Today's Workouts

82 and not a cloud in the sky. Ran extra long at lunch today to make up for not running yesterday. It was great out but I could feel the heat by the end of the run. By July I'll be begging for 82 degrees.
13 miles are in the books.

I thought I'd Score Better...Need to Start Drinking More

The Caffeine Click Test - How Caffeinated Are You?
Created by OnePlusYou

Thursday, April 17, 2008

The Papal Mass

Here are a few pictures Sam took at the Mass.

Caleb on the bus at O'Dark Thirty.

Lizzie, Barbara The Surly and Joey

Caleb (in the middle), Joey, Lizzie, and Barbara (in the front) and others from our church youth group

Joey enjoying some tasty vittles in the luxury box

The pope comes out of the bull-pen in the 9th. The Popemobile needs to be pimped out...maybe some spinners

The view from the Box of the stage and altar

Mary - worn out from helping dad take care of the baby

My reward for watching the youngins - Life is Good

Mr. Mom Has Nothing On Me

Baby Eric has been napping for almost 3 hours. This mom stuff is 'easy'.

How Many 5 Year-Olds Can You Whip?


Boobs Are Sooooo Much Better Than Bottles

The kid has gone through 3 small bottles of formula...this is for the birds. Mixing, Feeding, Washing...Lather, Rinse, Repeat.

He did eat a handful of Cheerios I threw on the semi-clean playroom floor.

TWO Poopy Diapers Already This Morning

And this from the kid who usually only goes every other day whether he needs it or not! And of course it happens when my wife and older daughters aren’t home. I can’t remember the last time I changed this many diapers.

And yes I’m a Neanderthal Sexist Pig…flame away.

Oh Sure it’s OK for Them to Make Money

But can I sell my Papal Mass Tickets? Nooooooo.

You can buy every kind of piece of crap memorabilia you could ever want and then some…but selling the tickets is wrong?! Check me if I’m wrong but didn’t the Pope just give a speech on the dangers of materialism and how we need to help the less fortunate? And now the planners in DC and NY are selling his Holiness’s likeness on everything from hats to t-shirts to dog tags to coffee mugs to bumper stickers (Honk if you Love German Shepherds) to beer bongs. Ok I made up the last one but the rest are available. Heck you can even get you picture taken with a life-size cutout of the Pope. The wife and kids will be all over that if there is one at the stadium tomorrow. I’ll post the pictures if they do. I can only hope the boys don’t do ‘rabbit ears’ behind his holiness.

Yeah yeah I know that they are doing it for good cause. It’s expensive to put on one of these visits: security, leases, tolls gas, Big Macs etc…Blah blah blah. Well at least I haven’t seen any Pope on a Rope soap this time around like I did when JP2 was here back in 95.

Sam and the older kids are there now. They just called and said they were in their seats and luxury box...some have regular seats and 2 are in a skybox. I'll post pictures and a recap of their day on tomorrow's blog.

Now to go figure out what to feed a breastfed baby...yo Robert pull some of that beef jerky out of the pantry...

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Back by Popular Demand

Write a caption for these pictures. OK so no one demanded it. I'm just bored at work. And bitter that I'm not going to the Mass tomorrow.

My wife and kids went to see the Pope and all I got was this lousy t-shirt

This guy couldn't spell 'CAT' if he was spotted the 'C' and the 'T'! Americans!

Here's $20 keep an eye on Shepard One and gas her up

Today's Workouts

Actually the last 3 days:
Monday - 4.3 mile run
Tuesday - 7 mile run
Wednesday - 4.3 mile run

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Dang there goes my plan to pay for the porch to be rescreened.

From a local news radio station's website:

Georgina Stark, spokesperson for the Archdiocese of Washington, tells WTOP, "You cannot sell a sacrament. This is a mass, so it is a sacrament. The tickets are not for sale."
“Any sale, trade or transfer is unlawful because they are the property of the archdiocese."
"Tickets are traceable," Stark says.

Well that stinks! We managed to score 6 tickets to the big shindig at the Nat’s new stadium on Thursday. I was hoping to sell them. EBay actually has a listing for Mass tickets at Yankee stadium. They were up to $146 a pop last time I checked. If I sell all 6 tics I could pay for the porch and have money left over to buy some more running shoes.

So instead of me getting new running kicks, pretty momma and some of the older little darlings are heading down bright and early Thursday morning. Yours truly, along with a large stack of DVD’s, will be watching the youngest 5 at home.

I’m sure the breastfed baby will be thrilled. Originally the baby was going to go too. But low and behold, everyone INCLUDING BABIES must have a ticket to get in the stadium. That’s a long time to go without being nursed. Especially for a non-Ezzo raised baby who is used to eating when he wants too.

Thanks again Georgina…you are a real sweetheart.
If this headline is in the Washington Post Friday morning: “Woman’s Breasts Explode at Papal Mass”. You know who to thank.

We can take the baby on airplanes without tickets; we can take the baby to Redskins and National games and to the movies without tickets. So why no Papal Mass without tickets? I’m sure baby Eric would appreciate a Papal blessing also. Come on we are supposed to be pro-life here people. Let the babies in!

Oh and on the off chance that this Blog should come to the attention of Georgina, I’m kidding dear (sorta), that’s what I do. (Just a precaution, she seems to be wound a little tightly this week. I think she’ll need a vacation and a few drinks after this is all over.) Y’all are doing a great job planning this huge event and I’m sure my wife and kids will have a great time at the Mass (after getting through the machine-gun nests, dogs, metal detectors and the strip-searches of course).

Today is Joshua’s 17th birthday.

My tax deduction for tax-day.
Josh is the oldest boy and second oldest child. He is currently attending a pre-seminary HS and will be going to college seminary in the fall. I’m sure his momma has shed a few tears today especially since she can’t see him on his birthday.

I do know that a few tears were shed on this day 17 years ago. Josh was 15 days late. He was our first home-birth (8 total have been born at home so far) and if he didn’t make an appearance soon, Sam was going to have to deliver at the hospital.
So she manned-up and took one for the team by drinking Castor Oil. Strangely enough the plant that Castor Oil comes from resembles the cannabis plant. (um if you work for the feds…I hope clicking on the cannabis link doesn’t get you sent to Guantanamo - the government is short on humor these days).

Um where was I? Oh yeah, Josh’s birth. Sorry minor flashback moment there. Anyway Sam chugged a small bottle of the vile stuff and waited for things to, um get moving shall we say. And boy did it get things moving. Almost all of Sam’s labors have been 12-hour marathons. This one was more like an hour and a half long UFC contest. He came fast and messy. And after the head came out Sam stopped pushing because she thought he was pretty much out. After we convinced her she needed to push and the midwife helped by yanking on him, he came out. He was very purple-blackish from the lack of oxygen. That may explain the ’blonde moments’ that he has. But he started breathing right away and was fine after that. Sam, who had lost a lot of blood, insisted on taking a shower right away. So I stood next to the shower to help her. Of course with the hot water and blood loss she promptly fainted in the shower. So the nurse’s husband (a friend or ours) who was downstairs came up and we hauled her out of the tub and got her into the bed. No comments please.

So that’s how Josh got his start in this world. He is now an easy-going pleasant (though very competitive) young man. Happy Birthday Son, we love you!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Write a Caption for This Picture - Contest!

Write a better caption than the one below and win glory and riches. OK not really but you will win some Mr Bubble and Lee Nails for playing the game. Just leave a caption on the comments section.

Eric get off the broom. Your mom needs to go to the store.

Pope Poor and Hungry…Who Knew

From the local Catholic rag:

“Thousands of Bags of Food to be collected for Pope Benedict XVI’s Visit”

Man times must be pretty tough for his holiness that he needs the leftovers from OUR pantry. Although that 5 year-old pate and that jar of cocktail onions that we donated did look yummy. And thousands of bags? I guess you work up quite the appetite being the spirtual leader for nearly a billion souls.
So people for the love of all that is holy, please start contributing to the church. It’s unseemly for the Pope to be eating leftovers

It’s the Irish in him

This is a picture of a sign that Robert recently hung on the door to his bedroom.

He has anger management issues. It comes from my wife’s Irish side of the family.
I’m not sure what caused him to hang it up. Maybe his Cheerios were too soggy or his little sister flushed his favorite pair of underwear down the toilet or he bet on Tiger Woods at the Masters this past weekend. Or maybe it's because the only cereal in the house is Cheerios. I don’t know. But I’m more concerned about the atrocious spelling then I am about the anger on display.

Maybe this homeschooling isn’t working for every kid in the family, at least from an educational standpoint. Dude is 8 years old and in 3rd grade. My dog spells better than that. If he keeps that up, he better practice saying ‘would you like fries with that sir?’ or ‘hi, I’m from Amway…’.

Of course if he was in state run schools he would have been put on Ritalin, sent to psychological counseling and put on the do-not-fly list. So it could always be worse.

I guess we'll just keep and eye on him for awhile and keep him away from sharp objects and explosives.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

When Dad is in Charge

Sunday morning and most of the family is at 10am Mass. I’m going to the dreaded noon Mass with Robert (8) since he’s singing in the children’s choir today. I say the dreaded noon because the only person awake will be the Priest.
This mass is filled with old people, people who were too lazy to get up earlier but too afraid to skip Mass, hung over people and those who had early morning soccer games. So here I am at home keeping a watchful eye on 5 of the younger ones. When low and behold Cecilia (2) goes tip-toeing by and heads up the stairs. My dad-radar goes off (I thought mom’s only had this) so I follow her upstairs. She has a pair of scissors (why are they called ‘pair’?) and a pack of Sour Patch Kids candy. She was in the boy’s bedroom trying to talk (or threaten) Joey (10) into cutting the pack of candy open for her. And she was just thrilled when I took it away from her.

Such ingenuity should probably have been rewarded. But I was afraid if I gave in this time, then next week she would be taking a beer and bottle opener up to Joey’s room. And beer is too expensive for that.

The Culprit – Caught in the Act

Saturday, April 12, 2008

The Days in Purgatory Keep Piling Up aka Chore Day

I liked it better the last 3 years when I was training heavy for triathlons. That left no energy or time for chores around the house. Now that I have scaled back my OCD exercising, I have the time and the energy (but don’t tell my wife that). But it’s not nearly as much fun as running, biking and swimming. Well maybe it’s as much as fun as swimming since I swim like a dead rock. But you get my point.

I am only a handyman by necessity. As in, I can’t afford to hire people to do routine maintenance around the house. I’m not Tim ‘The Tool Man’ Taylor. Heck I’m not even Tiny Tim. While I do enjoy a new power tool every now and again, that doesn’t mean I know how to use them. When I get out the power saw; my limbs, children, small animals…they are all in danger. I’m not one of those guys who gets some sense of accomplishment from doing a project myself or who feels less manly if I have to call in a pro. I’m the guy who wants to win the lottery so I don’t have to do any projects around the house. Heck if I win the big lottery I can just move every time something breaks.

So while I’ll hire a pro to do major or real tough projects, the everyday projects I need to do myself. The latest project is rescreening a rather larger screened-in porch. Well it was kinda screened. Between the little kids and the squirrels it had more holes in it than OJ’s alibi. We have some type of mutant bushy-tailed rats around here. They like to claw their way through our screens and hang out on the porch; smoking, drinking playing cards, dirty dancing and who knows what else. I can understand the attraction of our palatial estate, but why can’t they use one of the existing holes? And why am I not invited to their parties?

This project needs to be done by April 26th. That is the date of a major birthday of someone I live with and who I am related to by marriage. She asks for so little (well besides asking for more kids) so it’s the least I can do.

A week ago I de-screened the porch. That was the fun part. I’m great at the demolishing part of a project. The rebuilding part…not so much. This weekend’s part of the project is repainting the porch and replacing the rotted wood that was found during destruction time. There is always something extra in these types of projects that isn’t planned for. The painting went ok except that every 30 minutes or so it would lightly rain for around 60 seconds. This had the wonderful effect of leaving raindrops on the freshly painted wood and also splashing mud on it. So on top of having to repaint parts of it, I now have to go to confession.

Next weekend I get to install hundreds and hundreds of square feet of screening. Stay tuned, it should be a blast and also keep the local priests in the confession biz.

Today's Workouts

31 miles cycling on the triathlon bike. Isn't she pretty? Somehow I managed to bike during the 1.5 hours that it rained today. Should have ridden one of the older bikes. It was alright since it was a warm rain. 75 degrees here today. First bike ride in 4 weeks for this slacker.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Today's Workouts

4.5 mile run at lunch. Easy paced to loosen up the old legs from yesterday's long run. Weather was great again. 70 and mostly sunny.

Since this is a semi-Catholic blog, I'll relate my running to the faith. On Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays my running route goes through a cemetery. I pray for the dead while I run through there. As my family will tell you, I have some sort of mental block and can't seem to memorize the 'Eternal Rest' prayer (we try to say it after grace before every meal). I've just shortened it to: 'God Bless the dead people'. Figuring God knows what I mean. Of course the kids have all picked up on it now and I get THAT look from the DW whenever they use the short version.

Here is a copy of the prayer listed as a public service announcement for other husbands out there.

Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them. May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.

See, short and simple (like me). Don't know why I can't remember it. Heck I can remember almost every line from Caddyshack and Vacation

Where Oh Where Has My Little Dominic Gone...

Be very glad you can’t hear me singing.

Every night before we go to bed around 10pm, Sam likes to go up stairs and check on the kids. I’m not exactly sure why. They were fine earlier when we (read she) put them to bed. Maybe to make sure their blankets haven’t been kicked off (I figure if they get cold they will pull them back on), maybe to see how cute and peaceful they are when they are sleeping (it’s about the only time they are), maybe to make sure they haven’t tried to tunnel out again, maybe to make sure they aren’t having séance and casting spells on their parents or to make sure they aren’t having a kegger and Porky’s marathon (and haven’t invited us) anyway she does it every night. Must be a mom thing. Is that it? Is it a mom thing? Or a nice person thing? Neither of which I am.

Anyway the other night Sam was pretty tired but I knew she wouldn’t go to sleep until she had checked on them. So I said I’d go do it. I know, I know, I spoil her too much. We have 2 bedrooms on the first floor, ours and the babies. There are 5 bedrooms upstairs. I checked on the 3 middle boys room first (ages 6, 8 and 10). And low and behold, Dominic (6) isn’t in his bed. For some reason his brothers (actually almost every kid) were awake. So I asked them where he was. “I don’t know. We haven’t seen him in a long time”. Thanks guys, that’s a big help. So I check all the other bedrooms…no Dominic. Hmm he did come in from the after dinner walk Sam took him on, didn’t he? Go back downstairs and tell Sam I can’t find him. She says to look under his bed since he falls to sleep in strange places at times. Like at the dinner table or on the stairs or during the Pastor’s sermon…wait I do that too…never mind.

So I trudge back up stairs and no Dominic under his bed. Ok know I’m starting to get a little worried and I get the teens to help me look for him. We finally find him, asleep and under Elizabeth’s (13) bed. He is all the way under there. Why? I don’t know. Why is the sky blue? Caleb grabs his phone and takes a picture but it’s too dark to post it here.

I debate whether to drag him out and carry him to his bed and risk waking him (plus it’s a pain) or just leave him and go to sleep and risk him waking up in the middle of the night and wonder where in the heck he is. I opt for the former cause I’m a great dad. So I slide him out and carry him to his bed and I even tuck him in. I told you I was a great dad.

The next morning I quizzed about sleeping under there. Apparently his older sisters were listening to stories on CD and he wanted to listen too. He knew they would have chased him out and sent him to bed. So he snuck in the room and hid under the bed to listen and fell asleep while there. So nothing nefarious was going on. Just another day of family life. At least it’s never boring around here.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Spring has Sprung

It really feels like spring out today for the first time. It was 72 and sunny today. A near perfect day for your favorite spring-time activity; gardening, taking the kids to the park, going for a walk, stealing the neighbors daffodils…whatever it is you like to do. For me it’s running. Actually I like to run in any kind of weather; hot, cold, warm, cool…doesn’t matter. But today was one of those days where the running would be great. Today also happened to be a work from home day and my weekly long run day…a Perfect Storm of great running factors was converging upon my lowly self. So around 11am I adorned myself with my very manly lyrca/spandex running shorts, shirt, shades and iPod – I was looking good (well better than Richard Simmons)–and headed out for a run. It was probably around 55 when I started the run and around 65 or so when I finished up. I was planning on doing 14 miles and with the increase in temps, knew that I would need some water. So I left a water bottle next to my car. I decided to run my 7 mile loop twice so I could pick up the water bottle halfway through. I won’t bore anyone with the details of an almost 2-hour run (sweet lunch break). But let’s just say it was great. The weather was great, my legs felt great (well for the first 12.5 miles they did), I only yelled at one car (for running a red-light while I was in the crosswalk) and there were no potty breaks…always a bonus. The only negative was that no one shouted “nice calves” at me.
I know this is just a boring running post that probably only one other person who reads this blog will find interesting. But I thought I’d share my love of running on a near perfect day for it.
The Imelda Marcos of Running Shoes

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Suck it up Princess!

Have you ever shouted this at one of your kids as they lay injured on an athletic field? No? Obviously you people are way too nice and are on the wrong blog. Go see my wife’s blog or Danielle Bean’s or Elizabeth Foss’ – they are nice people. So are the other parents at the games I go to, at least judging by the looks of horror they give me when I shout out things like that at my kids. Kids today are such Drama Queens and softies. I blame it on watching too much European Soccer, those French and Italians flop way too much. The Irish do too but they are falling down for a different reason.

Now of course I’m not going to yell that if there is a bone sticking out of the skin or blood gushing out like the Black Knight in the Holy Grail (“It’s just a flesh wound”).

But these minor injuries; where the kid lays down on the ground and rolls around banging the turf like he’s having some kind of seizure, puhleeze. Man Up Dude! And what’s with everyone else on the field taking a knee while the player is down (it’s not like they are praying for her) or then the parents on both sides clapping when the ‘injured’ kid hobbles of the field? What the heck is that about? If I was the kid I’d be awfully tempted to give them all half a peace-sign. If they are truly hurt they do not want all that attention – at least boys don’t.

And don’t give me the ‘a fake injury is good strategy’ garbage either. I don’t care. It’s unseemly and unmanly.

And what’s with all the snacks and drinks at each game. It’s like a buffet at the Golden Corral. Some of the teams my kids play on assign 3 parents per game to bring food items. One to bring oranges for halftime (already sliced of course), one to bring drinks for after the game and one to bring a snack for after the game. I’m surprised someone isn’t assigned to bring Kleenex in case one of the little darlings needs to blow his nose. It has gotten ridiculous. Kids even bring snacks and Gatorade to practices now. A few years ago one of the boys joined a new soccer team and at the first practice the coach announced “…and we won’t be doing any of this snack nonsense for the games…” My kind of guy.

When I was a kid you might have brought an old milk or soda bottle with you that had some water in it or the coach might have had a water jug for the game. But that was it. No fruit roll-ups or grapes or Power Bars. (Now it’s one thing if it’s really hot out there and/or a long game/pratice. I do realize the importance of proper hydration.)

When I was a kid here is how the conversation went on Saturday morning before my games:

Me: ‘dad my game is this morning can you drop me off’? (note that I didn’t assume he would be at the game)

Dad: ‘Ride your stinking bike. What did I buy it for you for anyway?’

Me: ‘but it’s 2 miles!’

Dad: ‘it’s good for you, builds character’

Me: ‘but what about bullies?’

Dad: ‘ride faster’

The things that go through ones mind during their lunch time run.

Today's Workouts

4.3 mile run at lunch to loosen up the old legs.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Dad she’s going savage…

Is a frequent refrain heard around these parts. No it doesn’t refer to some wild she-beast on the prowl (although that’s not too far off). No it was my precious 2 year-old Cecilia aka Monster Baby aka Hunter.

Hunter is the nickname her brothers gave her when she was around 8 months old and starting to crawl. They said she would crawl after them like she was stalking her prey and they were right, that is exactly what it looked like. And she is still doing it.

One of the joys of ‘work from home days’ is that I get to see this side of her more. This morning she was whacking Robert (8) on the back with a large rubber sword. Of course the boys all think this is funny and laugh at her which just encourages her. They felt the same way about Mary (4) when she was 2, now they just think she is annoying. In a year or two they will feel the same way about Cecilia but they will have created a monster by then. Cecilia doesn’t have Mary’s sweet disposition. She will be the little sister who beats the snot out of her older brothers. They will rue the day that they spoiled her.

As I type this she is running around outside with no shoes or coat on. Not a huge deal except that it is 40 and drizzly outside. She had them on when she went outside a while ago. Why are they off now? She probably didn’t like the color of them or maybe they were to loose or too tight or maybe she is just plain ornery, I imagine that comes from my wife’s Irish blood.

How can children from the same parents, environment etc…be so different? Just one of the fun things about having kids; seeing their multiple personalities – um, not multiple within the same child.

Cecilia is our 10th child. I’ve decided that every 10th child is a lemon. There should be a child lemon law like there is for cars. I mean seriuosly, you can return a car within the first year or 10,000 miles - whichever comes first - why not a kid?To prevent this in the future; we have decide we are going to stop having children at 19. It is such a relief to finally have a number when people ask how many we are planning on having. Of course without having had Cecilia we wouldn’t have gotten to #11, Eric, the easiest baby out of the bunch.

Lest anyone think I don’t love Cecilia, and in case she reads this someday and decides to come after me, I love her with my whole heart. She is one of the funniest kids to watch that we have ever had – and watch her you must. CeCe, mom and dad love you so very much.

Ok that’s enough, I need to go corral the little princess and bring her inside before the neighbors call social services – again (kidding).

Hunter - wrecking havoc since 2005.
At least our windows are getting cleaned.

She'd make a great Mother Superior

Today's Workouts

7 mile run at a good pace during lunch time.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Today's Workouts

4.5 mile run in the rain at lunch time

Homeschooling from a dad’s perspective…or pass the paddle the Principal is home from work.

Should we homeshool or not? We get that question from time to time. While I can’t make that decision for you, here are a few thoughts from one dad’s point of view.

Homeschooling is a lot cheaper than Catholic schools but more than public schools. Catholic schools are around 5k for k-8th and 10k+ for 9th-12th grades in our area (your results may vary). So 13 years of schooling X 11 kids X $5,000-$10,000 = Are you out of your freaking mind? So Catholic schools aren’t even an option for our family. Homeschooling costs as little as few hundred dollars a year. Especially if you build up a nice family library.

I’m not that impressed with the Catholic schools anyways. Maybe the education is better than at public schools (I hope so for the $$$ they charge) but the behavior of the kids doesn’t seem much better than of the public school kids. Not that homeshool kids are all little angels either. Sometimes I can't tell any difference behavior wise. It basically comes down to the parents.
Plus a lot of the Catholic schools around here are Catholic in name only. Friends of ours are constantly complaining about them and taking their kids out and either homeschooling them or sending them to the public schools. And if they aren’t complaining about the costs or lack of true Catholic teaching, then they are complaining about the 2-3 hours of homework in the evenings. Heck you can be finished homeschooling in 3 hours a day. Plus you get the added bonus of no PTA meetings or teacher/parent conferences.

As parents we are the ‘primary educators’ (in quotes cause I hate that term) of our kids. In other words we are responsible for them. Not the government or some paid professional (although there are lots of great teachers out there). But even if we choose to send our kids to school we are still ultimately the ones who have to answer for how they turn out. And I’m not just talking about how smart they are, what college they get accepted to or how much their future jobs pay. We are talking about what kind of people they become and the future of their souls. It’s a huge responsibility. One best not pondered too much if you want to sleep at night.

For Sam and me the decision was easy and it was made even before we were married. And it has to be a mutual decision; it’s not going to work if both aren’t in agreement, its way too demanding for that. But so far it has turned out great for us. The 2 oldest have each graduated HS 2 years early. The first is finishing up her second year at the local community college and will be transferring to a four year college in the fall. The second is at a pre-seminary and will be attending a regular seminary in the fall. Each has done very well on their SAT’s and in their college course work. The other kids are all on track to finish 1 or 2 years early. And all do well on the standardized testing for what it’s worth. So your kids aren’t going to turn out stupid cause of homeschooling, they may for other reasons :).

Don’t get me wrong it’s not a piece of cake. As husbands we must support our wives. I’m assuming that the wives are the main ones doing the teaching. If you as a couple decide this is the way to go then you have to support your wife as best you can.

No coming home from work and complaining that the house is messy and dinner isn’t ready – guilty of that myself. You have to be willing to put up with a little more mess around the house, a little less fancy cooking, more housework for yourself and helping out with the schooling when needed. And yes that can be annoying at times, tough, deal with it.

There may be days when your wives will question the decision – they may question it every hour of the day and curse your name for agreeing to it. But they probably do that for other well deserved reasons already so what’s one more? Just be there for them and be supportive. Sometimes they just need to vent a little bit about why little Johnny at age 8 still can’t read, eats paste and boogers and exposes himself in public. While the neighbors 8 year-old at the swanky private school is fluent in French and can solve quadratic equations. Don’t worry I’m sure your son will be able to whip theirs in sports at least.

My kids seem to enjoy it for the most part. They complain on occasion but they complain about everything on occasion. The industrious ones are working on their school right after breakfast and are done before noon. They then have lots of play/free time, after chores are done of course. The lazier ones might still be doing school work when I get home from work (you know who you are). But none of them hate it. At least I think they don’t hate…I’m afraid to ask.

What about HS you ask? What about it? Lots of parents school the kids through the 8th grade and then put their kids in a high school. Others school them all the through high school. We happen to use tutors. Our HS age kids go to tutors 1 or 2 days a week. You are an adult, you will figure out what’s best.

So whether you are doing it for spiritual, social or educational reasons; or all 3 like we are, I don’t think you will regret trying it out. It’s pretty darn cool when you little one sits down to read you a book and it’s your lovely bride has taught them how to read. Anyway the schools will always take the little darling back…I think.

Honey, I don’t say it enough. I love you and appreciate all you do. Especially schooling the little balls of sunshine.

Last night's birthday dinner

Was meatloaf, at the request of the birthday girl. I used 8.5 pounds of ground beef. And no it wasn't a big party. The only extra guest was my mother. And while she can eat, she doesn't eat THAT much. Plus the 16 year-old son is away at school. We did have leftovers but not a ton. Just a glimpse into what it is like to feed this group.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Joe's First Mass

Joey served his first Mass this morning and did a great job. Caleb served with him along with 3 other boys, 2 who are friends of ours. Joey got to ring the bells during the consecration. Although I think I embarrassed him when I shouted 'More Cowbell'! Anyway joey did great. Here are a few pictures.

Joey in his dress...I mean robe

I hear you are looking for a few good monks.

Happy Birthday Barbara

Barbara is 12 years old today. She is #5 of 11. But she is also totally herself. It seems like just yesterday Sam was trying to push her out. She was a stubborn one during labor. That stubbornness as stuck around. Sometimes in a good way, sometimes in a more trying way, but never in a boring way. She is truly and original. She is a wonderful person and great helper to her mother and me. Always ready to play a game with or entertain the little ones, sometimes to the detriment of her school work. But I’m thinking that creating bonds with her siblings is a little bit more important than worrying about dangling participles or who was the 21st President of the US (Chester Arthur). I’m sure others will disagree with their ‘education is so important’ mantra. And that is fine for their families; we have our own way of doing things.

She is also a goof in the best sense of the word. With her silly faces, great sense of humor and saucy attitude. Hopefully she will channel it for good and not the over throw of the free world.

Babs Happy Birthday, we love you and hope that you have a great day and year ahead.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Thanks...I Think

Well your prayers, pin-sticks in the voodoo dolls, or dancing around in loincloths and antler headdresses (or Saturday night as it’s known around here) worked. There was no rain.

So it was off bright and early (6:30am) to Caleb’s soccer tournament at some polo grounds around 60 miles away. Probably the only time my ‘white-trash’ self will be at a polo ground. Although riding around on a horse and whacking at balls with mallets sounds kinda cool. Maybe I could sell my bikes and buy myself a polo pony. I do look good in chaps – sorry you clicked aren't you?

Unfortunately for us we lost 1-0, so the tournament was over for us. On the plus side, we don’t have to go back up there early tomorrow morning and can go to church as a family in the am. That is a huge deal since, Joey (10), is serving his first Mass at 8am tomorrow. He just became an Altar Boy on Holy Thursday. Caleb will be serving with him. And it’s also Barbara’s 12th birthday.
I also got a few jobs done around the house; picked up a new ‘old’ couch (which I’ve moved 10 times already – maybe my beloved is preggers and hasn’t told me yet), cleaned out the garage and, um…well that’s about it. Did I mention I cleaned out the garage? Well half the garage anyway.
On the downside, Joey was supposed to have his first ever baseball game this morning. They canceled it due to wet fields, from rain earlier in the week. The dirt infields were pretty muddy but I’m betting the boys would have had a blast – the moms – not so much.

As a side note: how can the weathermen possibly be so wrong so often and still stay employed? They make politicians look reliable. It was supposed to rain all day and night yesterday and today as well. We got squat. I’ve gotten wetter trying to potty train the little boys. If I was wrong that often at my job we’d all be living in a refrigerator box. Ok maybe a dishwasher box, one can dream.

Weather Dudes, Saturday is my ‘cycle outside with my friends’ day’. For some bloody reason I trusted your forecast and made other plans. It turned out to be partly sunny and 65 – near perfect. Thanks a lot! A pox upon you, your kin and even your pets (especially the cats).

That's it for now. Time to go watch the final four games, even though my bracket is in the toilet.

Today's Workouts

6 mile run while waiting for the soccer game to start. Explored the country roads near the polo grounds.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Phooey on April Showers

It’s rainy today and supposed to pick up this afternoon and into the night and Saturday morning.
This is bad for several reasons:

  • Caleb (15) has a soccer tournament. Normally I wouldn’t care if it got rained-out but they will just try and cram all the games in Sunday instead or move it to another weekend
  • Joey (10) has his first ever baseball game. I would hate for him to miss this. Especially since we just spent $30 on a cup to protect the possibility of future grandkids. A worthwhile investment.
  • The kids will be inside all day and this means they will be bugging us to watch TV all day. Or worse Sam will pull out the dreaded board games…Oh, the humanity.
  • I won’t be able to go cycling. This is a major bummer since my biking buddies really look forward to riding with me each Saturday. It’s the highlight of their week.
  • Although the outside honey-do list chores will be on hold the same can’t be said for the inside. And with 13 people living here, the place takes a beating. I did write the check for the plumber the other day. That should buy me some time.
  • May flowers are overrated. I mean show some consideration for those who are allergic to pollen

So pray, do your sun-dance or stick a pin in a Willard Scott voodoo doll…whatever it takes to get me some sun!

Today's Workouts

4.3 mile run at lunch in the new kicks. Easy run to loosen up the legs from yesterday.

Must come from their mothers side of the family

Cecilia: (2) “I’m hungry”

Mary (4): “Just send her out in the woods with a gun to look for animals”

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Another Work From Home Day

…or as I like to call it…”I’d Rather Set My Hair on Fire and Put it Out With a Hammer Day”. OK it’s not that bad, more like being ‘Pecked to Death by Chickens”.

So far the major benefit is that I appreciate my bride (Sam) even more. Staying home with these little buggers everyday could drive a person to substance abuse. It’s a wonder Sam isn’t in rehab with Lindsay and Brittney – or whoever is the celebrity of the week to enter rehab. These kids could cause Mother Teresa to curse like a drunken sailor. (No offense MT – um, I guess that is Blessed MT to me)

The noise is constant here. Sometimes it’s a low rumble like dump trucks on a distant highway. Other times it’s a high pitched shriek like a cat being neutered with a weed-whacker (which is entirely possible around this place). Even when they aren’t home it’s still noisy from the residual echo-affect (or is that effect – I always mess that up – darn public school education). Kinda like putting your ear up to a conch shell.

Now I understand why Sam practically attacks the mailman (not for THAT, this is a PG rated Blog…ok maybe PG-13 at times) for adult conversation. I’m the type that only needs around 5 minutes a day of conversation but even I’d be jumping the mailman for a chat after hanging around the kids all day. For someone who is, shall we say a tad chattier than I, it must be maddening. This may explain why the UPS guy doesn’t deliver to the door anymore and just slows the truck done to around 40mph and pitches our packages onto the front lawn. Coward!

As a side note: a plumber is here re-bolting one of the toilets to the floor (there are a lot of butts around here). Anyway he had to turn the water off to the house. The boys and I are having a blast (no pun intended) using the trees out back for a potty…the girls are just standing around with their legs crossed…Cowards!

Today’s workouts: ran 12 miles. The first 7 miles Robert (8) rode his bike with me. He did great.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Today's Workouts

2.2 miles in the early am to try out a new pair of running shoes.

4.3 miles at lunch to try out the other new pair of running shoes.

Yes I got 2 new pairs of running shoes in the mail yesterday. My wife calls me the Imelda Marcos of running shoes. :)

A day in the life of working at home

5am – Sam gets up to go on treadmill for an hour – I stay in bed to keep it warm for her in case she changes her mind.

6:15am – Sam heads to 6:30 Mass. I stay in bed to listen for little ones waking and so the bed will still be warm when she get home from church.

7am – Sam more than likely comes home from Mass, I'm not sure since i'm still asleep.

7:30am – I get my lazy rear out of bed and take a quick shower so I will look somewhat presentable at 8am Mass.

7:45am – yell at 2 teens that are coming to Mass with me to get ready. Notice that they are already up and ready. They are coming with me since they are meeting a carpool after Mass that will take them to homeschool tutoring classes for the day.

7:50am – yell at teens to get into car

8am-8:30am – Mass

8:30am – 9am – go to grocery store to pick up milk, eggs etc for Sam…cause that’s the kind of guy I am.

9am-9:30am – make breakfast and coffee for myself.

9:30am – sit down in living room with laptop to start work.

9:31am – surf internet. Check out the blogs I like to read, running forum etc…

9:45am – holler for some to get Cecilia (2) off the counter cause she’s eating jelly and peanut butter out of the jars, and I'm too busy working to get her.

10am – do some work and wonder how I am still employed

10:30 – read short book to Cecilia

11am – noon - go running. Run 7 miles with Joey (10) riding along on his bike. Brief stop at mile 5 when Joey crashes bike.

Noon - 12:30pm – shower and then eat lunch.

12:30pm – sit back down in living room to work.

12:31pm – post on blog about my run with Joey. Wonder how I am still employed, hope boss doesn’t read my blog.

1pm – try and help Barbara (12) with fractions to decimal conversions…open calculator on computer to figure it out. Then continue working.

2pm – listen as Dominic (6) reads me a new book he just learned how to read. He messes up a lot of the words, reconsider this homeschooling thing. Just know I’ll be canned in the morning.

3:45pm – lay down on couch for 15 minutes before phone meeting because I’m tired from my run.

3-4pm – lock myself in the baby’s room for a phone conference with 15 or so people from around the country.

3:30pm – Sam leaves to go pick up teenagers from tutoring thing. Puts on DVD and leaves younger kids sitting in front of it so I won’t hurt them if they come and interrupt phone conference. You Social Services types, I'm kidding about hurting the kids...sorta.

4pm-5:30pm – done ‘working’ for the day. Watching Cheaper by the Dozen (so stereotypical) with the 7 youngest while Hot Momma is doing pickup duty for some of the older kids. I hear baby Eric crying but can’t find him. It’s kind of a muffled cry. Finally determine he’s rolled/scooted under the couch (he doesn’t quite crawl yet). Pull him out and vow kids to secrecy about the incident. Kids rat me out within 30 seconds of mom’s return. Work on dinner while watching movie.

5:30 – 6:00 pm eat dinner with the little darlings. Yell at a few for spilling the milk I bought this morning and yell at most for not eating their veggies.

7pm – Sam puts baby to bed and takes 2 older kids to CCD and then goes to her chick bible study thing.

7:05pm – loud children wake up baby.

7:06pm – Give fussy baby to one of the children that awoken him. Tell him to feed him leftover noodles from dinner.

7-9pm – Spend 2 hours on the internet and phone with Verizon Wireless trying to add a couple of phone lines when I should be doing some work to make up for the lack of work all day. Wonder if an order of contemplative monks will take me. I’m pretty sure I could stay celibate for at least a few weeks, um make that days.

8-9pm – Try and watch American Idol while dealing with Verizon.

9:15pm – Try and give baby a bottle of formula but he wants momma and the real goods…can’t say I blame him on that one.

9:45pm – Sweet wife gets home and is promptly handed crying kid.

9:46pm – Go sit on microwave while it’s on high power.

10pm – Go to bed and wonder how I am still employed.

10:01pm – Dream of tomorrow when I get to go to office for the day.