Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Memories of the Lucky Pumas

Good morning! The sun is back after missing for a few days in the northeast. I don't mind the rain, but it sure does get damp around here. Could we have the rain without getting wet? No? OK...moving on....

Now that the major is settled upon...and this may change over the years...although I am pretty sure that a liberal arts major means no more calculus and sciences. Therefore, I think that he is safe and will not change his mind. Remember, that will require a great deal of more thought.

He is now having a great deal of fun in the apartment with Angel and Big Red. They decided that they would create rap songs in order to battle LW's gig of waking them up at 2 am to rap to them. Buddy and Angel wanted to call themselves "DJ Gepetto and the Puppets" which I loved but they settled on another name that is more rap-like. Buddy creates the beats and Angel is working on the lyrics. Some of the beats sound like moo-ing rather than a drum. This may be something that they add to their resumes as they are searching for their post college jobs....under the category of job to gathering golf balls at the club, Buddy can add "bad white rapper" to entice business owners to hire him and pay a boatload of money just to entertain them. Who wouldn't want this guy on their staff? Just the entertainment value alone is justification for hiring him. Look at what he will bring to the organization.....

OK, so I am rambling on and on about rapping rather than focusing on looking for new lucky sneakers and making plane reservations for the Florida tournament. Why do I need new lucky sneakers? You ask this question? Didn't you read the Ohio-days? The luck is the lucky sneakers are just coverings....It's time to begin the search....

Where did the lucky sneakers get their start? If you are new to this blog, the lucky sneakers began in college as I played tennis in my Pumas. The sneakers carried me through classes (and I often needed a great deal of luck to get through them)...then out to the tennis court. The sneakers stayed with me for years even through the Grand Canyon. Actually, that is a story of its own....Having caught up on my work, I will share it with you.

Dad, Big Sis and Big M and I went to the grand Canyon together and had a blast. Big Sis posted a photo on FB two weeks ago with our group going into the GC. I looked at my feet and I was wearing the lucky sneakers.

Now I don't want to start a panic and this blog should be educational, so let me share this one solid piece of advice with you...never, and I mean never, walk down the Grand Canyon to the Colorado River without a large gallon container of water. Our group started the day with pancakes and orange juice and walked down the side of the canyon with two granola bars and one bottle of water. I saw people walk up the canyon past us as we were walking down and they were carrying gallon containers. Then the mules would pass us on the trail and I noticed that the riders also had lots of water. We didn't need that much. it would slow us down...or would it?

As fate would have it, going down was a lot easier than going up. Once we got to even ground at the base of the canyon, we realized that we needed water. Guess what? There are no 7-11's or convenience stores in the canyon (note to self....perhaps this is a money making venture for the future). We began to slow down and decided that even though we were parched, we would try to make it to the Colorado River....the going was getting tougher and tougher as we were dehydrated. We stopped a number of times and I sort of wanted to turn around. Then I heard it....yes, the helicopters lifting dehydrated, dying hikers out of the canyon...but there was more than the sound of the whirling blades sounded like...yes, I think that this is true...rattling....not seeing any babies, I knew that I was in very deep doo-doo as I began to run zig zag in the canyon in my oh-so lucky friends ran after me not knowing why...all I could shout was "RUN!!!!" I know that we were not going to out run rattle snakes, but I was going to go down lucky sneakers helped me to make it to the Colorado without a snake bite and Big Sis having to suck the venom out of my leg so that I would not die on the edge of the canyon.

once we got to the river, we looked down and said: "Hmmm, there's the river...nice...let's go." And we turned around, walked around the snake filled canyon floor, and got to the bottom of the incline. Now we were really dehydrated and my heart started to race keeping the blood pressure up. We must have dropped 5 pounds in fluid. So, the climb was un-bee-lee-vable! There were two fountains along the way, so we stopped to drink as much as we could. Big Sis had two film canisters in her pocket. We took the film out and filled them with 5 drops of water that we rationed. There was a point where I asked them to flag down a chopper...I was not proud. My desire for survival was far greater than the embarrassment of being saved by the helicopter crew. At one point, Big Sis threw the last few drops of water on my face to keep me going. Was it the water droplets or the lucky sneakers? You decide.

As we climbed out of the canyon, we all saw it at the same time....broken down and dirty, it was the most beautiful bar I have ever seen in my life. We crawled to a table, sat down, and the waitress walked over to us. Here is how it went....
Big M: "I'll have 3 beers, two cokes, and a glass of water."
Big Sis:" I'll have 4 cokes."
Dad: "I'll have 5 cokes and a water."
Me: "I'll have a coke, a sprite, a water, and a Perrier...." We sat at the bar and drank until we could no longer drink. it was a beautiful moment. I never knew that a coke could taste so good, refreshing, life saving....what a moment....

And so, friends, the lucky sneakers were born...they were dirty, torn, stinky, and very very lucky. What happened to those Pumas? Well, I still have them in a box in a safe place. These sneakers hold a special place in my heart as does all of the adventures and times that I had while wearing them....hope that you have something special like ratty, old sneakers that can make you smile....have a nice day!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

La Vida Loca

Good is another quick post since I have a boatload of work sitting in front of me. Did we have Thanksgiving yet?

OK, finally dad's demands clicked and the big kid listened. I got my phone call finally telling me the major of choice....are you ready....19 years in the making...lots of frozen stares...a plethora of "I got it covered" statements...multiple "I am thinking about it" it is here....the moment that we have been waiting for....I will not hold it to myself any longer...the major of choice is (drum roll please....USC marching band....Mormon Tabernacle Choir singing Hallelujah Chorus)

Journalism with a Business minor!!! What does this mean? Well, I am pretty confident this means 5 years in college rather than four (don't tell dad who already set a four year limit). Here is Buddy's rationale (and it had better be good after the lame paper that he recently sent me...'cause if that is the way that he writes, he will be living in my basement ad infinitum): "I can write when I want to..." OK, genius, so why haven't you wanted to until this point?

Journalism...very you have probably guessed, his momma loves to, I am very happy with this choice. He can also do the following jobs: blog, sports writer, marketing, and work in the front office of any baseball team. With journalistic skills, he can write books and for magazines such as Sports Illustrated. Furthermore, he can work as a broadcaster which I have always said that he has the voice for radio with his quick wit and a face for television since he has the perfect hair. If he wants to work for a baseball team, he will have the business background which pleases dad.

Come to think about it, once again, the kid is showing that he is a hybrid of his father and mother. Business for dad....writing for I consider he playing us? Is he trying to please both us rather than himself? Or is he taking the easy way out because this is what he has witnessed over the years? Once again, I don't have the answers, so I will sit back and watch and read...and pay an extra year of tuition....

As Ricky Martin's "La Vida Loca!".....

Monday, November 28, 2011

Things that I know....things that I don't know

Greetings! it has been a while since the last post for a number of Thanksgiving related reasons. First, we drove to the south for a family Thanksgiving that had us in the car for 20+ hours both ways (oy!). Second, Chill and Hunter decided to marry in the Southern Belle and Pop's home. Therefore, there were other things to consider instead of the blog, but now I am caffeinated and ready to here we go!

The week off was very nice as we were able to reconnect as a family. From the wedding to Thanksgiving dinner to a happy hour, we enjoyed each others company and made plans to get together at one of Buddy's North Carolina games. Now, that is nice!

As I spent more time with the big leftie, I discovered a number of things that I have waited to understand for a number of months. On the trip to the south, he slept more that any one in the car and perhaps more than anyone that I know. As a baby, he would take such long naps, that I had to wake him up so that he would not be going to bed at midnight, so really, nothing has changed. Since he was "sleeping" I was unable to probe him for the answers to his college academic status. He had his head phones, neck pillow, and he slept for literally 19 hours. When he was awake, he was non communicative. He did post the ride on his Facebook page as he said that he was in "misery". Hmmmm....sleeping...eating snacks....someone else driving...he was in misery?

After dinner on Thanksgiving, he was so tired that he took a nap. Afterwards, he was wide awake and we decided to do something that I swore that I would never do...go to the outlets at 10 pm to shop. It was a spontaneous decision as we drove 25 minutes in the dark of the night. Suddenly, he opened up about life. Perhaps it was his anticipation of exchanging information for Nike gear at the outlet. If this was the case, then I would do it...pick out some talk!

According to the big leftie, he is looking forward to living in the house next year with Dog, California, OC, and Swing (a member of the golf team). The current living situation has stabilized although LW has asked for unlimited "sofa privileges" and an open door policy for next year. He was also asked by LW if he could be a room mate. Buddy actually came up with a great response: "No, we are better friends if we do not live together..." LW accepted it. Then it came out that LW was very very angry that I called his mother after the faux suicide attempt. Buddy was not taking the bait to fight and said that he needed help from a health professional when he found the note. It was either call his mother or the police...choose....

Moving on...he sort of has a friend who is a girl...but not really...they are in the 'getting to know you' phase. No other information was offered.

No major has been chosen. Courses for next semester have not been selected, but "I got it covered..."

He gained four pounds while he was home. I think that I did too. I don't cook such large meals when he is away, so we all packed on a few pounds. There is now a new legend in the family. Once his dad drank six containers of chocolate milk then threw up. Well, Buddy out did his dad by eating an entire pecan pie with cool whip and ice cream. There you have it....four pounds. I was actually happy that he ate the pie, 'cause it kept me from having a piece. I guess he "took one for the team..." With great appreciation on my end (or should I say, my rear end?).

Things that I don't know:

1. I don't know his major
2. I do not know how much the house is going to cost in rent next year
3. I do not know which courses he is taking next semester
4. I do not know what his grades are
5. I don't know why he does not want to talk about his major selection.....except for basket-weaving, all dad wants is a skill....beyond a slider and curve ball.

He called this morning to tell me that his arm does not hurt...which means that the physical therapy has worked. He promised to call later with his course selections. You see, dad drove him back to campus and had "The Talk" with him. I doubt if he said that he was going to cut him off if he did not get his act together, but apparently it made an impact. So, I will wait to see the results of the discussion.

And there you have it...things that I know....things that I don't know (the list is longer).

I wish Chill and Hunter the best that life has to offer.....

By the way: Buddy took the old Walmart $5 fake tree that I had in the basement and put it up in the apartment. He sent a photo of the tree to me which is situated adjacent to their Katie Perry poster. Next to the tree sits Irene. She too is decorated with lights.....having fun in college...that is what it is all about AFTER you pick a major

Enjoy the day!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Ways to make him talk!

Tuesday: I have been working and preparing for Thanksgiving, that I have not had the opportunity to write, so please forgive me. As Thanksgiving approaches, I am so grateful for all of my blessings. It is such a special day.

On to the Buddy-front. Guess what? He got his new phone! On Saturday, tech support suggested he give them $45 and they will send a new phone as a replacement. Even tough we have phone insurance (absolutely necessary for these two kids), somehow $45 flew out of my pocketbook. I looked at him and commented that when he was around, I gained weight and lost money rather than the opposite. His response was to laugh as he transcribed the numbers off my Visa card.

And so life goes on. When he arrived home, I had a brief orientation to the house. I introduced him to the sink, dish washer, trash can, recycle bin, garage door opener that also closes, dog's leash, television remote that also turns the TV off. It seems that he had paid attention to 25% of the orientation and demonstration as the water bottles are on the floor, crumbs are found all over the place, television is left on, and house is open while we sleep at night. It's good to have him home!

As of today, there has been no announcement of a major ...stay tuned. We are going to spend 13 hours in the car driving south together and he cannot escape my presence. I might be able to use torture techniques to pry the information out of him. These techniques include but are not limited to: listening to Christmas songs from North to South Carolina, singing church tunes off key, talking about my past life as a tennis player, describing to him in detail what I do for a living, and how to get a job and keep it when he is home, and Budgeting Money 101. Before his eyes glaze over, I may be able to get him to talk to me about his future which may or may not include baseball. Hey! I am a good listener....try it! I can also be kind and compassionate....I can also hold back on criticism and the way, no one knows him better than I do....More later!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Meeting Irene

Saturday: It's the day after we picked Buddy up at college and brought him home. Since he did not have a functional phone, Tink and I had to go and knock on his apartment door. I really did not want to do this...really...I know what his room and closet look like at home and I was not in the mood to see that his domestic skills were also limited at his winter residence too. Lo and behold, I was pleasantly surprised by the state of the common area. It needed a good vacuuming but was on a whole...'not bad'.....There was a bit of an odor that I attributed to running shoes but did not say anything since he and Angel had cleaned the place in anticipation of us stopping by. While there, I met the group's inflatable doll dressed in a baseball uniform. Her name is Irene. After exchanging pleasantries with Irene, I wished her a Happy Thanksgiving and we were on our way. He looked healthy and was happy to see us. After strategically placing his laundry bag into the trunk, we were on our way.

Unbeknownst to Buddy, we planned on stopping to see his future house that he is going to share with three other guys. Set four blocks from the campus and two blocks from the bus stop, we slowed the car down to take a peak. Since the big kid was not pleased that we were snooping around the place, we kept the visit short. Ok, here is my take on it: it's not bad. It is a four bedroom brick house with a backyard and a porch. Buddy plans on sitting on the porch and hanging out. Apparently the porch was the big draw as well as the proximity to campus. Of note, we have had patios and decks off the house for years. He has never sat out on them just to chill. He has walked across them but never just sat there to think or read. This is a new Buddy...I think...One who likes to sit outside and read. ?Huh? Naw...Although maybe he just wants to sit there, watch the people go by, and whittle while Dog plays his guitar and they sing country music together about the girls who did them wrong....

By the way, once the four guys break up at the end of the year, who gets custody of Irene?

Phone-less again

Friday: Good Morning! It's a very special day since my little boy is coming home for the week. This afternoon dad, Tink, Diva Dog and I are going to pick the big kid up. Naturally, there will be drama as it began last night with the every other month conversation that begins with: "My cell phone is not working...what should I do...?"

Here is my question: "Why is he the only kid on the face of the planet with three new cell phones per year?" How and why does this happen? What is he doing? Keep in mind that he discovered that cell phones do not work in the rain. I am glad that he shared that one with me. I will keep the phone in my pocket during the next down pour.

Other explanations for his need for a new phone include:
1. "A drunk kid knocked the phone out of my hand at a party and it broke into a million pieces..."
2. "My cell phone's battery no longer charges..."
3. "I think that I left my cell phone in Iowa..."
4. "My cell phone keeps dying while I am talking to you..."
5. "Someone stole my cell phone..."

And so the cell phone saga continues as he called dad last night to complain once again guessed it! His cell phone! He used Angel's phone for this phone call about his phone (a bit redundant) at least he has access to the rest of the world. By the way, he must be dying without his ability to send his hundreds of texts each day. Got to go....

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Parental Vault of Responses

Good Morning! Today is Thursday and my looong day, so I will keep this relatively short....Bye-bye Tink (she's on her way to school now).

As Thanksgiving looms large, Buddy is preparing to come home. Tomorrow we will pick him up and have three uninterrupted hours of conversation before we speak through texting and his closed bedroom door. However, before we leave, I want to see the "palace" that he is going to live in next year with Dog, California, and OC. All along, his plan has been to live with Dog and California, however OC is new in the equation. They have been playing "musical room mates" for the past two months. Each week, the fourth room mate has changed. His friend, Einstein had to bow out because he had signed a two-year lease last year and did not realize it (oy!). His other high school friend fell through for another issue. Angel and Big Red are moving on to another group of guys. And so it goes, we now have OC who is from southern California. Furthermore, it has been reported on a number of occasions that California will be drafted by a Major League team this year and therefore will pack his duffel bag, blankie, and cleats and head out of town without looking back to say buh-bye!

I suppose I am thankful that Buddy has so many room mate options. I pray that he is not making a mistake like he did this year, 'cause the late night calls are not fun to answer as he complains about rapping, odd behaviors, and food hoarding. All of these experiences, however, will make him a man. He needed to live with people that he did not get along with in order to develop the skills that he will need in life. We do not always have the luxury of working with people that have similar temperaments, values, and personalities...therefore, he is learning to cope with a variety of stressors with the guidance of his parents. In contrast, we have had to develop a litany of rebuttals to his usual: "you will not believe this one..."

Some of our responses that are in the parental vault include:
-"Get over it"
-"Tough one, Man, what are you going to do?"
"No, the trainer is not a 'weight-Nazi'...."
-"Say a prayer..."
-"uh huh....uh huh....hmmmm...hmmmm"
-"Get over it..."
-"Didn't I tell you that this will backfire?"
-"No, the teacher does not hate you. You are one person in a class of 500. He does not know who you are..."
-"Next time, open the book and read it before you take the test..."
-"You do not have to go to every party that you are invited to...."
-"Get over it..."
-"I did go to college, you know..."
-"This will pass...."
-"Be careful and think this one through...."
-"Don't do anything stupid..."
-"Get over it..."

And so, these experiences certainly add a layer of spice in our otherwise quiet lives. Therefore as Thanksgiving approaches, I will continue to count my blessings beginning with the big kid and Tink. Dad and I are fortunate to have the unpredictable wackiness in our lives and will never stop being grateful.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Shrimp and cookies

Good Morning! I have not been a faithful blogger these days since work has been all-consuming. To be available for travel in the spring to watch baseball games, I have loaded my fall schedule with additional courses. In other words, I have doubled my usual work load and have been drowning a bit. I am not complaining since I have chosen this path. Initially, I thought that it was a great idea.....Now that I am in the midst of it, I am still happy that I made this decision.

And so, where do we stand with the latest course of events with our favorite D-1 left handed pitcher? Well, life has normalized for the big kid. He continues to train each day and complains about the strenuous work outs. Last night he shared that the trainer to encourage full participation divided the team into two groups who compete against one another. For twenty challenges, his group lost. At the end of the challenge, the losing team would drop and do ten push ups. By the time it was over, he had completed twenty sets of ten push ups. Yes, by doing the math, he did 120 push ups on top of the 90 minute work out. Is he tired? Sure....however, I doubt if he can lift his tooth brush today because his arm is so sore.

Let me also update you on the housing situation. As you know, the Dunkin Donuts apartment fell through and so did my plan to buy some of its stock since those guys can eat.....anyway, for three weeks he has searched diligently with Dog and California to find a decent place to live. What does the term 'decent' mean to him? Basically it means that there is a bedroom, television hook up, cable, and a bathroom. That's all he requires.....yet, for some reason, they have signed papers (they are still underage and need my signature) for a decrepit house four blocks from campus. According to the big leftie, he can walk to class and then take the bus to the stadium. Goodie! I asked him to send a photo to me in order to gain my approval and for some reason, he has not had the time to do it. "Mom, it's not in good shape right now, 'cause the guys are not taking care of it..." Hmmm...he refuses to take a photo today which tells me a number of things...

1. the house has been falling down
2. it has been condemned
3. it has police tape across the front door
4. it is actually a mansion and I am going to have a huge monthly bill to maintain it.

Once again, I have gone on record to appeal for good common sense and not rent a house. Live in an apartment....stay in the dorm...houses become the place to go to can still be busted for having parties...under age drinking is illegal....what if someone brings something into the house that is illegal? Are you crazy? As I used to say when they were kids: "when did you lose your hearing? 'cause you no longer listen to me...." I am not sure of the day that it happened but my only relevance seems to be editing (perhaps revising...rewriting...enhancing...) term papers the he sort-of wrote as he eats his cheeseburger while sitting at the bus stop waiting for a ride home. Don't tell me that my kid cannot multitask as he writes with his iPod blaring into his ears.

And yet, life is not all fun and games as I edit his papers. Last night, I met two friends for happy hour. Ok, it was really supposed to be 'happy' two hours which turned into 'sad two hours' where we intended on taking on the world's problems and solve them over hummus and a plate of nachos. I had not seen the one friend in a year and looked forward to catching up. Tragically, over the years she has had her troubles and woes as her ex-husband and beloved daughter committed suicide close together in the past five years. She shared with me last night that her son's high school best friend, a law school student committed suicide last week. Her son is in a funk and does not understand why this continues to happen to him. It's not about him, it's about the person who can no longer take it and therefore takes his or her own life. They are sick and depressed and feel that they have no other options. It's a moment of madness. On the other hand, LW manipulated his room mates to spring into action to 'save his life'. What they did not know at the time is that he never intended on taking his life. I am not going to judge, BUT when someone even remotely talks about suicide, someone must listen. The wrong people to ask to provide therapy is a group of under aged guys who only care about eating, sleeping, and baseball.

And there you have it....this is what makes life what it is....a blend of happiness and sorrow. There is no perfect life...and yes, life is not fair. If it was there would be no hunger, poverty, mental illness, or homelessness. We would be eating shrimp and cookies all day and always be able to pay the bills. I guess this is why Thanksgiving is so important. As I am grateful for what I have, I am also grateful for what I do not have....

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Hidden Treasures

Good morning! I am happy to be typing again. Life has been hectic with all kinds of work and family related events that have been distracting and fun at the same time. We gathered together last week to fight against lung cancer in honor of BIG M. Approximately 50+ family and friends were active in fund raising by participating in a sponsored walk and 5K run. After working hard to raise donations, it's only fair that we have a party afterwards...right?

The second gathering was to support adults living with autism. AALIVE (Adults with Autism Living with Independence, Value and Esteem) sponsored a beef-beer style of fund raiser that generated funds to support people living with autism. The PC term is 'people with autism' rather than 'autistic people'. AALIVE sponsors and funds a multitude of events for individuals who are in need. There are trips to the ball park, fishing and crabbing, and ice shows that are funded by this organization. The amount of good that this grass roots group of individuals does within this community is humbling and admirable.

As Thanksgiving nears, the college kids who are organized have rides home for the holiday. Where does that leave Buddy? I am sure that he is under the assumption that we will drop everything to make the drive to the mountains to pick him up and then drop him off again. I am so happy that he is going to be home for a week. He will drop his clothes off in the laundry room, text the posse, take a nap, roll out of bed, and grab the car keys from Tink. After a scuffle, his size alone means that he will win the war and be able to take the car on his journey. Tink on the other hand will be standing in the kitchen wondering what happened to her wheels. Yes, it will be good to have him home. Dad has a list of chores that he will ignore and I will probably land up doing such as the fall clean up outside while I am stringing lights onto the bushes for Christmas. The big kid has it all figured out.

Yet, there will be the usual complaints: "I have no money....I am tired...There is no gas in the car....why do I have to eat dinner at home?....why is there no food in the house?....I have to make my bed?...when did you find the cigar wrapper in my sock drawer?"

When indeed? OK, here is how it once again went down...I needed a long pair of thick socks to wear to the lung cancer walk since it was soooo cold. Naturally, I went to his sock drawer since the baseball socks can cover almost my entire leg. As I rummaged around a bit, I grabbed a sock that crackled. Knowing that cotton does not make noise when squeezed, I investigated the suspicious sock like CSI or Castle would. Lo and behold...a cigar wrapper was stashed in the sock. Yuk. A cigar? Really? Come on dude....a your mouth...nicotine....yellow, decaying teeth? Yum...

So, there you have it...contraband found in yet another sock. He really should find another place to store these things. Now that I have all of the clues, I can safely say that this kid is the worst at trying to be bad. It is like he is asking to be found out OR he is too lazy to hide the evidence! Years ago my dentist told me that he found condoms behind the electrical outlet wall plates. Now, that is sneaky! I have not had any suspicion to look there although I had one moment when I thought the contrary. I went into his room to check for old clothes for the homeless in his closet. There was a pile of clothes on the closet floor that I began to delve into and I pulled out a woman's brassiere, Yes, my mind went numb and I slowly took deep breaths. As I thought of a multitude of scenarios, I realized that the bra was Tink's and she threw her clothes into his closet so that I would not be harping on her to pick them up off her bedroom floor. Very sneaky...although my heart did stop for a moment when I wondered why this particular pink bra was on the floor of my son's closet. was his sister's... and... yuk! it was his sister's. If he knew that she was storing her clothes in his bedroom, he would not be pleased. Yes, this can be an odd household!

In conclusion, I will try to be more faithful to this blog. It has been an emotional week for a number of reasons that caused me to think about other issues. One day, I may write about them but until then, let's just say that it got very ugly in our region. But life goes one....yet on a positive note, Little A (my sweet little niece) scored the winning goal and led her soccer team to victory. Now, that's what I am talking about....

Wednesday, November 9, 2011


Good morning! As I was drinking the perfunctory coffee, thousands of black birds descended upon my house and backyard. It was reminiscent of the movie "The Birds," but we were safe in the house and not locked in a glass phone booth. Diva Dog was not pleased that our feathered friends were on her turf without her permission. Needless to say, it has been a noisy morning! The birds were not angry or attacking like the Hitchcock movie, they were looking for some food and perhaps a worm or two or three...yum. In some cultures, the worm is a delicacy. In the past, I turned down a plate of ants that were seasoned and sauteed, so I think that I can safely cross the worm sandwich off my list too.

I am avoiding the usual college baseball update for a number of reasons, largely to to the three phone calls that I received last night from one cranky left hander. I do believe that if I hear that 'life is unfair' one more time, my head will explode into a million tiny pieces of gray matter. My office will be littered with cranial debris and impossible to clean.

He was peeved because he has a test, paper, and project due this week and he had a tutoring appointment at 8:30 pm which interfered with his nightly X-Box game with Angel. Actually, he didn't say that, but I pretty much figured it out on my own before the head exploded.

Therefore, I will write this one more time....this is college. College is considered higher education, a level above high school and two levels before your doctorate. A person needs a college degree in order to make it in our society. If he wants manual labor in which he does not need a degree, so be it. Laborers make our country what it is and serves as the foundation. However, he would much prefer a job in which he calls the shots. This won't happen after college unless he owns a business. In that case, he will never ever play X-box again, because business owners must work to earn a pay check (check with dad and see how many times he has played X-box or even knows what one is).

Why do I write in a tirade format? Well, it seems that someone wants something without working for it. He does not want to stretch (beyond his left arm) to see what he is academically capable of accomplishing. Guess what? No one really enjoys work over play (unless you are Buddy's dad....). However, we do it to keep a roof over our heads and food in our mouths. When he called last night at 8:30pm, guess where I was? That's right...working and trying to catch up with my projects. Guess where dad was? Yep, he was working too. He arrived home at 10:30 pm and left this morning at 8 am after using all of the shampoo (I'll live).

With that said, once the projects and tests are over, he can relax again and enjoy some free time. Yes, free time is important and regenerates the brain, so I do not minimize its importance. I just want someone to come to the realization that school is not easy....and life is actually quite fair. By working hard, a person can accomplish their goals whether they are athletic, academic, or personal. Creating a work ethic will help to alleviate the crankiness associated with going the extra mile. Besides, if he does not take that extra mile, he will not be eligible in the spring. Everything works together for, get over it!

And so, I share a bit of BP mom wisdom with someone who has heard it and forgotten or does not want to acknowledge the conversations. However, the bits and pieces that he has heard and embraced has caused me to be one happy person. All in all, that is what he is...a good person who is stressed right now and needs a bit of a break. When a person works hard, he or she has to play hard for balance and harmony....whether it is baseball, tennis, running, knitting, or X-box; somehow, we need that down time so that we can be ready for stressful times. And so, I am off the computer to exercise.....
Have a great day!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

When did they stop listening?

Good morning! Tink just ran out of the house to her class and she is once gain...late. Don't speed!

Buddy is once again the same Buddy that I have known over the years. Now that he no longer has fall ball, he is settling back into training and class work. If all this is true, why oh why does he wait until the last minute to study and write his papers? It's not like he is living on a farm and has to milk the cows and plow the fields before he walks down the dirt road to catch the school bus a mile away in the dark. I can't figure it out because it hurts my convoluted way of thinking...'cause no matter how many flaws I have (don't ask dad how many)I know how to be on time. Two weeks ago, I taught my students "Lombardi time". It means that you show up 15 minutes before the start or you will be considered late. They understand the concept after one hour, so why don't my own children get it after 20 years living and listening to me? Could it be that they stopped listening to me after the age of five? perhaps...I no longer have an impact on their way of thinking. I wonder what Dr. Spock (not Mr. Spock) would say about it? Is there evidence to support that kids stop listening to their beloved parent at a certain age? I should do the research, but experts may not like what I disclose.

For example, our favorite leftie still does not have a place to live next year. Why, you may ask since he was on fire to leave the place on the outskirts of town after the first day? Well, he found his place over the Dunkin Donuts. The students who are currently living there decided to renew their lease about a month ago. Since he was upset about this turn of events, he stopped looking thinking that a beautiful place will magically appear. Actually, my take on it is that he wants the broken down house in the middle of town that the Dog claims has "character.". Since dad and I already said "no" he will wait and wait until there are no other options and have to take the place since it is the last one left to rent. Do I know my kid or what?

He is also in the process of choosing his spring courses and MUST declare a major. Will he share this information with me? Nope, not until he desperately needs something from me and I will hold it over his head until he talks...I may have to use some Gestapo methods of getting him to 'spill his guts'. When I was a kid with 5 siblings, we would fight on the floor of the living room, incapacitate our victim, then use 'water torture' to get them to talk. Water torture is not 'water boarding', it is more like using droplets of water on their face or taking a feather and tickling their face until they can't stand it anymore. My brother in law Big M with his three older brothers would tie their baby brother down, put peanut butter on his stomach and let the dog lick him. To this day the story makes me laugh. yet, all five brothers grew up to be normal and happy guys who survived the battles in their own living rooms.

Back to Buddy...all of these tactics will not work. I doubt if I can 'crack' him with standard techniques. I may have to use some devious methods to procure the information that I crave. Or I can wait until he decides to share this confidential information with us. Number two sounds like the best plan. Dad already told him that he gets four years of college with his money, then he is on his own. What do I say about that statement? "Yeah...right..." If his little 6'4" boy with the curve ball, big eyes, and killer grin needs or wants an additional year of higher education, dad will dig into his chinos and pull out his platinum card. Perhaps the tuition money can be translated into air miles to use to celebrate when both kids are finished with college. The plan is to fly to an undisclosed location with the gps system on the cell phones turned off. They can check in once a day while I hang out under a palm tree with my margarita. Although by the time this happens, I might be ready to climb these palm trees....

Friday, November 4, 2011

Truman and MacArthur

Good morning! As I worked my way home late last night, I received a call from a tired college student. "Could you please edit my paper? It's due tomorrow first thing in the morning..." Sigh...sure, it's only 11:00 pm and my mind has a few cells functioning, let me get to it.

So at midnight,I had the pleasure of reading and editing a five page paper on the Truman-MacArthur relationship and how the President eventually fired the war hero for insubordination. It was a fascinating read, yet I am not sure how much I helped with the editing until I saw that American was spelled in the paper with a lower case "a" rather than a capital "A". No? Right....I immediately woke my brain up to at least capture and delete spelling errors, double negatives and faulty grammar. The paper was back in his box by 1 am all pretty and coherent (I think).

After brewing the coffee this morning, I received another call thinking that he was calling me to thank me profusely for reading, editing, and improving the document and all he wanted was to speak with his father. "Where's dad?" he asked. Not wanting to be or even capable at that moment of witty, biting sarcasm, I gave him the perfunctory answer: "" "Just called it and no answer..."

As the brain began to work its way to lucidity, he gave me the breakdown of his day....I have physical therapy, class, lunch, then playing video games with Boston....sounds like a fun time. "Hey, did you get the paper?" He replied: "Yeah, thanks".

Yeah, thanks? Yeah, thanks? That's it??? No, "oh mom, thank you from the bottom of my heart for taking a paper that I wrote in the bathroom while shaving my two whiskers and turning it into a document of pure reading pleasure! By the way, where's dad?" Nope...nothing...nada...

No problem, BP mom loves helping her little guy whenever he needs a bit of assistance especially in the editing department. I may not be able to throw a curve ball, but I can certainly read and edit. As the conversation continued, Buddy captured my attention with the sentence: "It is done..." What is done? Truman fired MacArthur? Your eggs are done? PT is done? You made your bed this morning? What is done?

He continued: "LW knows that we are not living together next year." Wow, this is huge news.... AND he was going to share this news with his dad know, the guy who was asleep last night at 1 am. Apparently, Angel and Big Red had the "talk" last night and LW took the news in stride. In fact, he did not react but mentioned that he was going to live alone and not have any room mates. No rapping...just...."I had other plans anyway..."

And so, the break up did not make the newspapers and history books like the Truman MacArthur fall out. There was calm on the battlefield as the war was over. A peace treaty was signed and the guys saw serenity at the end of the school year. I promptly went into full BP mom mode:"Perhaps, one day, you can actually be friends...."
"No, mom, that will never happen...sheesh..." Is that the line that Truman used when he relieved MacArthur of his duties? Maybe....

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Square roots and shoulder pain

Good Morning! It's a beautiful day in the northeast and since it is my loooong day, I will keep this one relatively short.

Today, the Big leftie has a math test. He is going to fly solo on this one since he could not be bothered with a tutor. Dad and I are suspicious with this new found mathematical independence and quizzed him on it yesterday when we discovered the news. You see, the BP mom family (except for dad)are mathematically-challenged. We understand our strengths and weaknesses and addition, subtraction, multiplication, algebra, and trigonometry are definitely not strengths. Isn't that why God invented calculators? OK, big guy...let's see a strike out on this test....

As far as the shoulder is concerned, I am concerned. He met with a doctor yesterday who diagnosed the problem as tendonitis and calcium deposits. As a person who has had bouts of tendonitis, it does not go away like a cold. Tendonitis is insidious and lingers well past its welcomed stage. It is the house guest that would not leave. You sit on the sofa yawning at midnight and tendonitis stays there chatting about how it wrecked the lives of numerous ball players and moms who try to stay healthy and in shape. I am not a fan of tendonitis but it is treatable and if the kid has to have it, during the off season is the best time of the year.

With that said, there are a number of ways to treat it. The coach mentioned that he has had it for years and gave him some exercises. The doctor suggested a number of remedies from rest to possible arthroscopic surgery to remove the calcium. Before anyone approaches my kid with a knife, I want the following: an XRAY, MRI,traditional therapies, physical therapy, massage, rest, ice, and motrin. Oh about a second opinion? Whereas it is true that these doctors see many athletes and work to get them back on the field, I worry about their motives and whether they will send him back out too soon. After two team mates had the "Tommy John" surgery last year, it can be suggested that perhaps they are too eager to get the kids back out into play before they are ready. Therefore, Buddy's uncle the orthopedic surgeon will be conferring with the team doctor and nothing will be done unless he understands and approves it. You see, Uncle G has the kid's best interest at heart and not the team's needs. I am not anti-team medical team...just wary....and a mom....

And so, the off season continues with the focus on rehab and books. Have a great day!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Angry red birds

Good morning! Happy day After Halloween otherwise known as All Saints Day... We had our usual cadre of ghosts, wonder women, and ninjas. The neighborhood is safe for years to come with this eclectic group of kids. I am still not sure what an "angry red bird" is, but he looks fierce.

This morning, I got two angry calls from two guys who at times can be construed as 'birds'. First call: it was dad very upset, hostile, and calling everyone 'idiots'. Second call: from an incensed college baseball player who also called everyone 'idiots'. Keep in mind, I did not have the coffee yet to process who were and still are 'idiots'....and now that I have had a full day's worth of caffeine, I will share the story with you....

The term 'idiot' in the BP mom household can have a number of meanings. For example, an 'idiot' can be the person who is driving unsafely behind a BP mom car and is basically in the trunk rather than at a safe distance. An 'idiot' can be the bank who charges an extra fee for a person to take their own money out through a ATM. Further, an idiot can be a person who gives you a bad hair cut with crazy bangs. Lastly, an idiot can be the poor clerk who puts the eggs at the bottom rather than at the top of the grocery bag.

I, personally, have been an idiot on more than a number of occasions. OK, let's be real, I do something idiotic every day and my ego will only allow me to share one or two. Once, I dropped Buddy off at a birthday party a day early....that was pretty stupid. Another incident was when I tried to show off my culinary skills as a teenager and heat Chunky soup up and pour it on noodles and call it "noodle surprise." My boyfriend at the time ate the whole thing and wanted more. In hindsight, he was either very nice or hungry. I should have married him...oh, wait....I did. To this day, I have never served noodle surprise again. The last incident occurred when the school bus did not come for Tink in the morning, so I called the bus company to pick her up. She insisted that she did not have school, but I knew better....lo and behold, once she was on the bus, I looked at the schedule again and she indeed did not have school. After searching for her over an hour, she was returned to the house safe and unscathed. On the other hand, I was a blithering mess because I did not listen to my child and knew better.....uh huh...

Back to other idiots who do not live in my called in a state..."those idiots have ruined his arm..." Five minutes later, Buddy called: "Those idiots ruined my arm!" The story is as follows: Buddy has been lifting weights in an attempt to build muscle. However, the trainer is not aware of the special weight training techniques used by pitchers and one size does not fit all. Buddy, as a quiet kid and not wanting to ruffle feathers, followed the graduate student's advice and aggravated his arm.

Also, as fall ball was ending, he threw two days in a row without proper warm up and stretching...therefore, he now has pain when he pitches. From the sound of the symptoms, I think that he has tendonitis and needs to be seen by someone other than a 22 year old grad student who has a B minus in his major...perhaps someone who has earned through years of education and training, a "MD" or "DO" after his or her name.

And so, calm as I was ('cause I am BP mom and it does not do anyone any good for me to lose my cool), gave Buddy a deadline: "You have until 4p this afternoon for a college related plan of action. Your coach or trainer is to schedule a MRI or appointment with the orthopedic specialist OR I am coming to campus." This was a promise, not a threat. No one, not the coach, trainer, or surgeon want me on campus, 'cause when pushed, I can be formidable. No one messes with my kid's head or arm and potential livelihood at this stage in his career. Remember when he was hit in the head by a line drive and the doctor said that he was fine and did not need any further tests? Yes, that was the year that the actress died after falling on her skis and did not report her headache. I was not going to go in that direction. And so, I took him for an emergency CAT scan and had to pay the bill since I went over the head of the doctor. At least I knew that his head was harder than I thought....

With that said, I just received another call from the big leftie....he also remembers the blow to the head and how the doctor was nonchalant about the injury. Therefore, I suggested that he speaks to his uncle who is an orthopedic surgeon to develop a plan of action to present to the physician. At least, he will have an idea of what is needed and can mention that he has conferred with his uncle. And now, we wait until late this afternoon for word on diagnosis and treatment. I will be wary of recommendations and will do my own collaboration with local experts on the matter. He may need some physical therapy, ice, or rest....whatever it is, I am on top of it....yep, I can be one angry red bird too....just don't ruffle my feathers....