Tuesday, November 25, 2014

You're under arrest!

Helloooo....Sorry about the sporadic posting but this is my very busy season plus we have some honored guests stopping by on Thanksgiving for a meal or five..... That's right....over the rivers and through the woods, they will honor us with their presence as they brave the stupid, stinking elements known as SNOW! Oye!

No worries. If we are snow bound, I have food and beverages to last until the next millennium.

The big kid?

Oh yeah....I had a sighting on Friday night for an hour. Since then, I have not seen him. He has been cutting apples at the bakery. He had 80 cases of apples to peel and core.

He comes home after I am in bed. He awakens after I have left for work. When I return home, he's gone. I would think that he really is not here except for some forensic evidence located strategically around the houses such as empty water bottles strewn on the floor, granola bar wrappers appearing on every table rather than trash can, and the food that was left in the oven for him has been eaten.

Needless to say, when he calls me, he is salty.....and so, I give it right back to him in a therapeutic, 'get your act together' way.

Why is the post title 'you're under arrest?'


As you know, the big guy has one thing on his mind...baseball....when it comes to details....nope.....

And so, rather than paying for his meter with a quarter a few months ago, he let the meter expire....now, here is how it went....

1." no quarter....OK, it's me. I will park my dad's car in this space anyway. No one will give me a ticket....because....I am me.

2. Oh, a ticket.....no worries....I'll just file it where I file everything else....in the back of my dad's car with the rest of the trash.

3. What do you mean, dad? You have a notice to pay $84 for unpaid parking tickets? Wow. Yes, I will take care of it.

4. What did my dad want me to do? Oh well, got to work on my shoulder strength....

5. Dad, why are your neck veins sticking out? Really? There is an arrest warrant out for you in the university's borough for unpaid parking tickets? The fine is now $118.00? Geez.....

6. The world is conspiring against me.....this is so unfair. "

And so, the Thanksgiving table will be full of mirth and joy as I see my son for the first time since the arrest warrant came to my home.  After my touch with the legal system after the debacle surrounding the unpaid damages to the poop deck as well as dad's first and hopefully only arrest warrant, I am looking forward to some peace and quiet and holiday cheer as the topic of conversation will be how one large left handed kid has thrown his folks under the legal system bus. We will laugh...we will cry....we will scratch our heads and thank the Lord for our blessings......each one of them...the ups....the downs....joys...sorrows....and most of all....family.

With that said....my son is a great guy....super kid...wonderful son....and often like his momma, an air head when it comes to completing details. In other words, I hope that he chooses a career that has nothing to do with minutiae or bomb making....


Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Whining, whining, whining

Ok, it's official. I am being driven to the brink of madness by two little pups. Why? Wellll......

My new little divas (yeah, one is a male) has their 'surgeries' on Monday. Given a clean bill of health with a new life of never reproducing (like the 19 great Dane puppies in York, PA), these lil dogs were sent home with pain medication and head cones. Did I say head cones? Yep.....What drives a puppy crazy?

I suppose it is the inability to take naps, cuddle with their sibling, run around the back yard, and be playful. What does the surgeon recommend? Head cone for ten to fourteen days, isolation from their beloved sibling, and rest. The head cone is driving them nuts as well as not being able to run. So, what do they do?

They whine....and whine....and whine....and whine some more. They whine during the morning. They whine during the afternoon. They whine in the evening and during the night. In fact, it is non-stop whining....24/7...like CNN...all news....all the time....in the BP mom household it is WNN AKA Whining News Network....Whining 24/7.

Last night as I returned home from my 12+ hour marathon teaching day, the pups were whining. After a walk and some food and pain medicine, they were placed in their separate crates and proceeded to whine all night. Tink took them out at 2 am. I took the 3 am and 6 am outings. They just cannot get comfortable. At midnight, I asked dad to turn off the television.

"Can't. It's drowning out the whining,"

Nice...so I am listening to reruns of the King of Queens where Carrie acts as a mentor to a troubled teen and Doug's truck gets stuck at a fast food drive through with the whining in the background. Let's say, not a pleasant night.

And now, Tink and dad are leaving for a few days to travel south leaving me with the "woe is me" twins. I really feel for them, but the surgery had to be done. The cones have to be on their heads. They have to be separated. And now, I need pain medicine! Do you think that they will share?

This is tough, 'cause my Tink who is my right and left arms with the puppies will be gone. It's up to me and the dog walker to help the puppies get through to the weekend.

 'Cause when Tink returns, I am headed to the Motel 6 to get a few hours of uninterrupted, whine-free sleep. I wish that I could ignore it, but I love the little pups and they are telling me that they are in pain. If they are in pain, I am in pain. See how it works with me?

OK, on to the big kid who also has been whining in a distance.....this week is "Omaha" week where the team arrives at the field at 5 am and are run through a series of complex, rigorous drills, puke, then leave the stadium at 6:30 am and head to class. They hate this week as well as any other week where they train and do not play ball. Everyone despises it.

Guess what?

The Czar is not at Omaha week. He is away for the week cruising in the Caribbean. Yes, you read this correctly. He has delegated Omaha week to his minions and   is stuffing his face at the all you can eat shrimp bar on an ocean liner. Can anyone say: "Disengaged?"

Can anyone say: "Inappropriate?"

Can anyone say: "Sheesh?"

My BPM is as follows.....

WTH? That's right....WTH?  As a person who has coached, played sports, been the chair of an academic department twice, and holds a doctorate in leadership....I say (as the late, great John Pinette) would say: "Nay, nay!"

He expects the respect and regard of his players when he abandons them in minus ten degrees in the middle of the night for a week in the sun? Oh boy, he is not gaining fans on this team. In fact, this latest arrogant move may be his downfall as players and parents who may have supported him in the past are now disgusted.

Me? I have been disgusted for a year. My level of disgust does not fluctuate. It is clear that he and I do not see eye to eye. The only thing that I want from him is for him to give my son a fair shot. Aside from that, he can eat all of the shrimp on the boat.

Yikes! It's quiet downstairs. I better start grading before the whining begins again.


Sunday, November 16, 2014

Funding has been cut off

Good morning! It's cold outside and the pups do not like it at all. In fact, they have decided that they would prefer a warmer powder room and therefore are using their crates and playpen for their toilets.


 Fun, eh? I can tell that they hate the cold weather because they lift their legs up so that they do not have to walk on the cold ground. Diva-like behaviors, wouldn't you say? 

What is going on? Well, lots of work which hopefully will calm down in a week or two. I have been teaching three 3-credit courses in 6 weeks. This is an accelerated format and with that, everything is due on top of each other.

So, each week, there is a mountain of papers to tackle. I also teach another semester-based course and a clinical practicum that begins at 6 am and ends at 1 pm every Thursday. It has been challenging but worth the effort as I prepare for the spring.

The baseball schedule has been published. No Florida trips this year! That's right. No Florida! Sheesh! As Andy Williams sang: "It's the most wonderful time of the year...." with a trip to Florida....no Florida....North and South Carolina....Texas...Virginia....Iowa....yep, Iowa....and my favorite....O-hi-ooooo! Actually, Ohio trips are not that bad. Fortunately and finally, the Big Kid has hit his stride and will be pitching on Friday nights or Saturday mornings.

This eliminates the guess work out of planning trips to his games. In other words, I will not be traveling during the week any more and only on Fridays. Even better.....he will not be in the bullpen (hence, my pen name) and be on the mound from the very beginning of the game. Whew! How about them apples? Uh-huh....finally....the eagle has landed and the boy hits another milestone goal which is to pitch on Friday nights. This is huge! More about that later.....

On to other things...he has had a bad week....very salty since he has had to pay for everything (with the help of my American Express card). His loan came through and now he needs another one to pay living expenses. He is salty because he had been promised a scholarship which did not come through, but he had already committed to the university. Then his parental four year scholarship ran out as he entered his 5th year. He had been repeatedly warned that the funding was coming to an end but never really considered that his dad would pull support. Surprise!

Anyway, he has had a major attitude problem because he blames us for his financial difficulties when all along it has been his 'failure to plan'. Hey, I have paid for everything from lessons to physical therapy to Texas trips and a month of housing and living expenses, to Ohio for three months to Illinois for another three months. I continue to get bills from old landlords for damages and the magistrate for unpaid parking tickets. In a word: WE ARE DONE (Ok, that's three words....nonetheless...you get my point).

This week had been a tough one as he was exhausted from training, school projects, and being broke. He was angry and peeved....then it happened....he found someone who was in more dire straights than him. Suddenly, life is not that bad. In fact, he is a happier, more content guy. In other words, the phrase, "There by the grace of God go I" never rang truer.....and here is the story.....

A home town freshman has been having some problems. His mother stopped me and she told me that he was struggling at the university. "What a coincidence. So is my kid. Perhaps they can commiserate together. Tell him to touch base with my son." And so, he did...the Big lefty reached out to the young frosh and told me a story of angst, insomnia, and a very stupid reason for using pot.

Here it goes....the frosh had been busted by campus police for pot. The kid swears he uses it to sleep since he cannot sleep in the dorms. Ok.....uh huh.....

Here comes the big guy who takes the young man under his wings.

"Here is how it goes." he says. "You will stop using pot and begin to make better choices. In return, I will open up a world that freshman cannot enter, especially freshmen who are not athletes." The campus culture revolves around athletes, especially the elite ones....

"I will mentor you and take you places. Tonight, I will take you to an exclusive party held by the cheerleaders. Remember, you would not gain access to the party if you do not enter with me. The quarterback of the team and football players will be there. If I see you with a joint, we are through."

And with that, the young 18 year old swore off pot. Here is the question: "Is the attraction to cheerleaders more powerful than the attraction to marijuana?" In a word: "I THINK SO" (again, three words, but you get it).

And so, to end this story, I give a big shout out to Dr G who helped to straighten out the big kid after he shared his stories of eating ketchup and jelly sandwiches. Another shout out to the little frosh who needs an older guy to help him to figure out life. Can we say "the blind leading the blind?" No? OK, who cares.

Gotta go!

Go Eagles!

Sunday, November 9, 2014

A clear violation

Hi! It's Sunday morning and I thought no one would be up as I ventured out with the pups in my lumber jacket robe and grey and white flannel pjs. Much to my dismay, the roofers were at the neighbors house hanging the new gutters. Yep, I have yet another show for people that I do not know. I am going to have to charge admission. As time goes on, I care less and less, which could be an indication that I need a net thrown over my head.

How is the big kid? Well, I don't know. He has gone underground and has not called since I asked him about tuition, the parking tickets, and his rent.  When he does not want to do something that he is supposed to do, he hides from us. Yep, he can hide but we find him....after all, he still uses the American Express card, so I know if he is eating and driving around campus.

I do know that he is swimming this month as part of his training. At first, he thought that it was a great idea until he tried to make it across the pool once. Then the arms and lungs began to burn and he decided that it was stupid. Since he has no power, the trainer continued to torture them as they swam 25+ laps. I wonder how he did not drown. Did someone throw a life preserver into the water to save the guys? I believe that pitchers are not aquatic. Without gills, they run the risk of going down.
Actually, I wish that I could have witnessed this exercise. I definitely would have laughed.

The semester is starting to wind down, so it will be interesting to hear how he is doing besides to yoga and 100 in history. After all, the Czar has violated a federal law FERPA and has kept any of the players' grade point averages under 3.0 on the white board. That's right. The players' private academic records are transcribed where anyone can see them with their names right next to the averages. As a professional academic and parent, this is a huge miscarriage of justice. The Czar is not only bullying them but humiliating them too. let's consider baseball as a job. OK, not only are they spending 40+ hours training and playing ball with nationwide travel but they are also full time students with full time academic loads. They play ball, go to class, lift weights, practice, go to study hall, study, write papers, take tests, eat and sleep. That is their life. Therefore, with a schedule like that, something suffers. For some it is school; whereas for others, it is baseball.

The big kid did something incredibly intelligent. he took a photo of the white board and ha sent it to his father. In other words, the Czar could be immediately fired for this violation and the kid has an ace card to use if he needs it. Hopefully, he will not, but just in case, he can and will use it.

"nuff said...the pups need some attention.


Friday, November 7, 2014

An Albino deer, two puppies, and one crazy lady

Wow~! I cannot believe that I have not posted in two weeks. Thanks Wildcat for encouraging me to get back to writing. Honestly, I have not had time. In my spare time, I try to sleep. That's it.

What has been going on? Wellll...fade to black....

As you know, we adopted two puppies in July. They are young, excitable, and still not house broken. Dad has been known to let them out of their crates and not take them outside. To thank him profusely for the freedom, they proceed to find unique places to empty their bladders. if that is not enough, they will squat and ....well, you know what happens next.

They know about their powder room on the outside of the house but still do not have total control so they let it go....Diapers....I am thinking...diapers.....probably for me as my head explodes and I lose all control of my body parts. According to every book and website that I have read, if a puppy pees or poos in the house, it is the owner's  fault. Yep, that would be me.

Dad insisted on having the carpets cleaned. I thought that it was a foolish request since the pups were....well....the pups.


Yet, I acquiesced and guess what? I need them cleaned again.....sigh......I still love my puppies and so happy that they are in our lives. We have to be patient and persistent. This morning I took them outside and boom....they go crazy! It seems out little albino fawn was in the backyard. What the albino deer does not realize is that this is the pups turf...no trespassing....so they took off to scare away the deer...all four pounds of them. I took chase in my lumber jack red bathrobe, ripped Sperrys and Boscov gray and white flannel pajamas with two prayers....one...that I catch the dogs before they met up with the deer and second....that no one in the neighborhood is looking outside at me as I run in my robe with the glasses on.....ripped sperrys untied and hair sticking up from the short night's sleep. And then it hit me....I don't care. What if they see this crazed woman, inappropriately dressed chasing two yapping dogs and an albino deer.

Really...after reporting it to the rest of the neighbors for a good laugh, it will be forgotten....or will it? Will I be the crazy lady with the lumber jack robe and messy hair running after her dogs? probably......

How is everything else? Hmmm......Well.....Bullpen Grandpop had a spill in the driveway ten days ago and shattered his hip. He has fallen before yet has only ripped his pants. This time, it was much more serious and he needed an ambulance trip to the ER where he was admitted, had to be cleared for surgery, rods and pins surgically in place....and released to a care facility near the house. It has been another ride as BP Grandmom spent nights and days with him. Thankfully, my brother Uncle F, took a shift and stayed one night as Grandmom finally got a good night's sleep. You see, Grandpop gets a little confused in the hospital and needs constant support. His confusion is usually sweet as he has to get ready for church or prepare the kitchen for breakfast. He needs assurance that he is in the hospital, will be out soon, and can go to church upon discharge.

Anyway, his head has cleared in the care facility and Grandmom has returned home to bed. Now everyone is happy and getting some well deserved rest. Get well, Pop-sicle! You  will be dancing in no time!

On to the Big Kid....where to start? Well, with my workload and Pop's issues, I have not been a terrific parent listening to a  son complain. He was home over the weekend, but I missed him since I had to help dad in the south with some estate issues. However, he is plugging along and called me yesterday that he earned his second 100 on a test in his college career! Now, for you incredibly intelligent genius types who yawn when you got a 100 in a test, this is huge for him and us. Yes, this deserves a cake or 100! I am glad that he was able to experience such a high. No, the 100 was not in his yoga class but in history...that's right....history....you memorize facts....then answer the questions about wars and presidents....

Back to yoga...if he doesn't score an "A" in that class, then I will have to find him.....stick my index finger in his face and make some noise. Anything lower than an "A" in yoga is un-acceptable!

He is still costing us money. How? Well.....

I got a bill from the university borough. It seems that the 25 cent parking meter was ignored as well as subsequent bills....my bill for 25 cents is $84.50. Yep.....that's right.....84 dollars....let me at him!

Then....we got another one....then there is a bill from the old landlord for $200+ to fix the bathroom mirror....shall I go on? No? feeling queasy? I am going to have to find my Pez dispenser with valium before the he finishes school.

Baseball! Yes baseball....I have been incredibly preoccupied so I have very few stories, but the team had to sign a document saying that if they were injured, they had to go to the university doctors. This is probably due to my kid who ignores them and comes home. Although, he has been justified since they almost ended his baseball career. With that said, if they are caught, they will be cut....

So, why does this matter? Are you ready?

Last week, he drove home. Not to see me, but to see Yoda. It seems Yoda is the only one who can reassure him that he is alright. It is a sweet relationship as Yoda approaches 80 and is considered the Big Kid's best friend and confidant....nonetheless, he stopped to see Yoda who was seeing other patients.

Yoda introduced him to his mentees as the lefty who plays up north.....Yoda then cleared him for play. As the big kid left the complex, he called and said that if any of the other guys talk to his coaches, he will be cut. I asked him how this could possibly happen but he remained paranoid....justifiably so....in fact....

On Monday, the trainer stopped him and asked him why he saw Yoda over the weekend! That's right. They all knew that he sought Yoda out on Saturday. He replied that he was home visiting Pop-sicle and saw Yoda's car at the complex, so he stopped in to say hello. Inside, he was nervous as )*%* as the trainer got angrier....."What's wrong with your shoulder? Why didn't you come to us?" Blah, blah, blah?

How did they find out? Is there a homing mechanism in his car? Does the KGB follow him home? No one knew except us....and Yoda's mentees who attended a conference, saw the university guys, and mentioned that they had seen him! Yep, word got out...it was leaked like Snowden's Wikis....the kid broke policy and was now in trouble.

Dad suggested to the worried lefty that he be angry and that they had no right questioning him about his whereabouts over the weekend when he returned home. It was a violation of his privacy and yes...a HIPAA violation.....with that said, it seems to have died down.

OK, I have written enough, right Wildcat? I promise not to be offline again for so long. Today, I would love to return to a normal schedule, get to the gym, make some soup, and see Pop as he takes his new hip for a spin. He's a tough ole dude....yep, that's my pop.....and mom...after all, she is the fuel in his gas tank.....

Time to run.....or actually, I am too tired to run....how about if I limp along......later!