Monday, October 31, 2005

Buy a House and We'll Give you Cookies

Being part of a new neighborhood brings with it certain time-tested traditions or obligations. In specific terms, I am referring to the congenial tasks of taking a “baked good” to other neighbors. Having moved into a new/still being constructed neighborhood and being one of the first residents, it has been a challenge to find that opportune moment when both parties involved in the exchange of pleasantries are present.

Last Sunday, I began pulling items out of the pantry, fridge and cupboard to gather together the elite components for making chocolate chip cookies. I mean, what better “baked good” is there to use when introducing your family to strangers? If aliens landed on Earth (in the US) I’m sure the government’s first response would be to shanghai Mrs. Fields or the Pillsbury Doughboy into the Whitehouse to mix up a batch of chocolate chip cookies to present to the newfound neighbors. It would not even be too far fetched to assume that the aliens just might have their own space-alien chocolate chip cookies for us to eat. (We all saw E.T.’s reaction to the Reese’s Pieces and those were mostly peanut-butter flavored) Do you think he would have left Earth had Eliot dropped chocolate chips in the forest instead?

So there I was measuring out my sugar, butter, vanilla, flour, etc. thinking to myself, “These are gonna be great!” In went the whole bag of chips (milk chocolate, can’t stand the semi-sweet: let’s keep it real) into the mix. Several minutes later, out came those, oh so hot, sweet and gooey chocolate chip cookies that just beg for an ice cold glass of milk to go with them.

After they had a chance to cool slightly and sampled properly for approval, we placed some on the traditional disposable plate and covered them with plastic. We rounded up the kids, got them in their shoes and herded them out the door and down the street. Much to our dismay, the intended target was not at home. We returned the plate of offering into the basket beneath the stroller and proceeded to another street in hopes of finding someone that had moved in. On the next street over, we saw a car parked in a driveway. We had hope! A lady exited the house and proceeded to walk in our direction. We quickly exchanged formalities and discovered that she and her husband were just looking at houses in the neighborhood. We wished her well as she turned away and our nine year old daughter called out to her, “If you buy a house, we’ll give you some cookies!” Another testament to “kids say the darnedest things”. We just hope the lady was too far away to have heard because otherwise we would probably have all sorts of new neighbors, including ones from outer space, lined up outside our door waiting for their plate of chocolate chip cookies.

Now pass the milk. Please!

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Halloween Robbers

As a favor to a friend. I post this picture of Rosie

This story was featured in Newsweek, USA Today, The Washington Post, The Daily Harald, Chicago Sun, and the National Enquirer. Because I have a friend that subscribes to each one of these, he gave me the heads up and the two of us are now in the process of notifying the nation to bring this alarming story to your attention and if we all band to gether and pick a day to not do any business with any lawyers, we can force them to succumb to our demands and leave the frivolous lawsuits to single-celled spineless avian flu viruses that are bound to wipe out at least 2/3rds of the world's population.

AP: Holoween Robbery
The fun of Halloween has been sucked dry by the now infamous Mrs. Schtick, of Salem California, who has officially filed a law suit against her neighbor. The suit basically explains two specific grievances. First, there is the complaint about how the scary music that her neighbor, Mr. Rapsody (now known as the defendant), was playing on the night of October 31, 2004 which caused Mrs. Schtick such undue anxiety that she was unable to sleep that night and as a result, it affected her ability to safely drive her kids to school the following morning in a responsible and alert manner, which of course, resulted in her crashing her car head-on into a parked school bus while it was in the process of unloading kids at the school (the drop off for the bus is a one way zone).

The second grievance is related to the panic attack she suffered when she went to Mr. Rapsody’s home (October 31, 2004) to complain about his scary music. She pressed his doorbell, which set off a loud buzzer and switched on a flood light simultaneously. She claims that she is now seeking therapy to help her overcome her now uncontrollable panic attacks when ever she hears a sudden loud noise (like when she crashed into the school bus and when the crash set off the horn in her vehicle, which I think caused her more embarrassment than anything).

Well it took her a year of lawyer searching and hatching out a plan to bring this lawsuit to court. Her day in court is set for this October 31, 2005. She is asking the courts for $1,250,000 (which she claims will help pay for her car and therapy sessions and all the other usual demands). So Happy Halloween everyone. Enjoy it while it lasts.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Special People Left Un-checked

In a world of uncertainty there is a need or there should be a need for “special people”. I’m not talking those with special needs or those that people get all goo-goo-ga over; I’m talking about individuals that sometimes are best left out of the public eye but we never manage to do so because that would be inhumane, assuming that you could actually lay your hands upon the person. In the life of semi-sane full time student, full time husband and father, I have become acquainted with just such a person and he has begged for his chance to tell a tale, as the case may be. With some trepid reservations, I give you, lippi:

On a recent blustery and stormy day, lippi found himself surrounded by little dust devils that danced and spun in random or pointless directions. when the rains began, the dust devils died, slowly, oozing into mud to await a later resurrection from the sun and wind. not quite three full days after the expiration of the dust devils, lippi created a 'lil number he calls "dust devil to go: in all environments". true to his form, lippi danced in an ever dizzying, random, pointless direction everywhere he went that day. upsatairs, downstairs, bathroom, kitchen, outside, garage, even the store. people around him stared in amazement equal to lippi's own amazement three days earlier. sure, things were tipped over, knocked off, stepped on, broken and left for dead, the human dust devil never tired until that fateful moment, across the street, in the yard of Mr. and Mrs. Gwenston, did lippi find himself on their lawn at the exact time that the sprinklers came on. The "dust devil to go: in all environments had forgotten, just one dust devil weakness and in such negligence found himself "oozing into mud", sprawled out on the grass, waiting for the sun and wind...and world to stop spinning.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

The kitty chronicle continues to unravel into many threads, waiting to be re-woven into a new pattern. Our Jane-doe kitty passed away less than two days after being found. The following morning after taking the kitty in we noticed that she was in a lethargic state, neither eating nor drinking. We proceeded to take the kitty to the vet who delivered a split prognosis. She did not have leukemia, worms or FIV (which are supposed to be common in feral cats); however, she was extremely dehydrated and malnourished. The vet helped us realize that the odds of the cat surviving were slim. We began giving medications to the kitten using a dropper and tried to get liquids into her and at first we had hope. By the morning she was still alive, but stiff and lethargic. Within the first couple hours she passed away and now lays buried behind our home.
In the best interest of those in my family, we proceeded to a pet store and bought a beautiful little gray female that is quite healthy and full of spunk. Now the debate comes in deciding indoor/outdoor living, names, etc. and hopefully moving on and attempting to adjust to the newest member of our family.

p.s. I do not intend to use this blog as a feline forum. There are many other things that will come.

Friday, October 14, 2005

The last thing I expected after a long day at school was to find out that my wife would be indefinitely late in picking me up and she wouldn’t specify why. So I found myself grading papers for yet another hour of the day. No big deal. Little did we know what was in store for us because of this delay.

My wonderful wife picked my up and made the return exodus back to our humble abode in southeast Lubbock. As we turned into our developing neighborhood we saw to our surprise a little, scrawny, frightened looking white kitten with a hint of Siamese, crossing the street right in front of our mini-van. Now anyone who knows me well, knows that I have not had a cat since I was twelve and until recently had never wanted another. (I was never able to bond well with cats and besides, men are not supposed to like cats anyway because a dog is man’s best friend. However, I wasn’t ready for another dog either because I hate scooping poop). As I said, until recently I had not wanted a cat. My wife and I had talked off and on over the past year or so about having a pet other than our fish and had decided to wait until we were more settled, until the kids were a bit older, etc. Yet here was this, make Puss-in-boots from “Shrek”, with his oh so cute-n-cuddly eyes look like a ferocious beast, kitten, so alone and scared and in desperate need of food and love. My kids (I’m sure you can hear them pleading, oh please daddy can we keep him?) rarely hold so much power over me, or maybe it was just the power of the kitten . . . So I broke down and proceeded to lure the kitten to us with a can of tuna and the kitten came.

The kitten is now in the safely of our back yard, still looking so adorable as we search for a vet that can give the shots and do the “Bob Barker” treatment as Donkey likes to put it.

So now it looks like we will be having a cat again and now I sit here typing this post eating a scrumptious cinnamon role that my wife baked (that is why she was late picking me up because they were in the oven) and ponder about what predicament I just got myself into.