Saturday, February 28, 2009

Broken Ribs are a pain

I found her upstairs looking mighty peeked. Restraining a student yesterday resulted in her having a broken rib. There she sat on her pretend couch grimacing in pain. This couch, is her couch, and it is fine with me that it is just her couch because it is one of those doll couches. When she sits on a big person couch her feet just dangle. There are times I have been mesmerized watching her tiny little feet just dangling. – She is gonna be so mad at me for writing this.
Feeling badly she was in such pain I tried to be kind and nice and all those things a mate should be. And I should say I did pretty good.
First she wanted a Diet Coke; that was easy. Then I asked her if she was hungry. “No I feel nauseous and I am so cold”. Okay, easy a couple of blankets. Tuck in her feet, things were going quite well. The not hungry thing was bugging me though. So, about then I figured she was just in too much pain to really think for herself. She needed to eat. I was sure she had been home all day and had probably ate next to nothing. So I tried a more direct approach. “I am going down stairs to make myself something to eat. I will bring you something.”
“No, I am really not hungry, I am so cold. A cup of coffee would be good” Okay there it was, that place where things start to go sideways. She’s nauseous right? She had all ready asked for a diet coke – caffeine, acids all that bad stuff, now coffee? My head was beginning to twist to one side.
For some really weird reason of which I really can’t explain, I actually thought I had a solution to all these bad choices she was making. “How about a cup of tea?” As I said it, my mind was scrambling, maybe there is something in the kitchen that will be less bad, tea is less bad right?
“No! Coffee, a cup of coffee, I am so cold!”
Sometimes we just need to take ourselves out of the game early. I had this need to fix and it had caused me to lose sight of the main objective; be kind and nice and all those things a mate should be. Without regaining my focus I continued on toward destruction. Grasping for a solution, I said the only thing else I could think of…”well how about just a cup of hot water” I thought she was going to cry.
“Can’t you just please get me one cup of coffee?” She rarely if ever yells or raises her voice. But there is that one tone accompanied by that look. It was now time to get out of the game and sooner rather than later. She might be small and have a broken rib but I am pretty sure that look could accompany her kicking the snot out me. So escape I did – hey it was all that was left. It was my only option.
I made her coffee and did a couple of other small requests without offering my better solutions.
Men, let’s talk - Sometimes it just doesn’t matter that we have the answer or can see a better solution. The right thing frankly becomes irrelevant. Even though our solutions are right and logical there are times it simply does not matter. Right does not equal useful. Yes, we want to understand our women but I am pretty sure that isn’t going to happen. Sorry, men I wish I had better news. D’OH!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Why Fish…

I have been asked, what is it about fishing? Many find it dull, boring, and frustrating. But I find a mystery in fishing and rarely do I get lost in the lack of catching.
Who can say exactly what it is, maybe it is the slight breeze brushing your face, fingers and toes numb from the cold, sun glistening shimmers of golds and yellows off rolling waves - that is magic. Then there is the silence of just the water, the pressure from the current and knowing a fall would not be good. Don’t get me wrong there is no evil on the water. It is where God can tell you he is good and you believe him because the beauty shouts it out. It is a time and place where time can stand still and God might say, look around do you see me?”
Of course there is the challenge of figuring it out. The beauty of the fly dancing out to that perfect spot, the strike when you thought you missed it, the thrill of measuring out the line while all the time keeping a smooth and silky tension allowing no slack to disrupt the music you and the fish are making. Then comes that flash of silver and you see him bull back down deep for his final run. A laugh of delight rings out over the water. Your friend might give you the thumbs up shouting back encouragement. A hundred casts, five hundred cast, a thousand casts? Who is to say what number fills a day on the water? The sun finally drops down behind the horizon and a day on the water comes to an end. Weariness is on your face as you step out of your waders and even then with painful muscles aching, you know it was good. A mental tension that was there is now gone, and a good tired has now permeated you.
It could now be a drive home or maybe sitting around a fire with a blistering hot cup of coffee with that friend who has no demands. Sure he will jab and mock that you only have fish stories and you will jab back but the smile and the bantering seals a bond and a memory of another day on the water.
By the way Homer rarely gets invited fishing.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Dating Bliss...

Dating is that special time when man meets woman and they discover the qualities of the other. I have been told the female looks for a male that will plan elaborate and expensive dates to prove he will be a good provider, put her needs before his own, shows he values her above all others, and will deeply sacrifice his own personal well being too make her the princess he sees her to be . With all that in mind I was trying to think of the one date where all those factors came into play, you know where the magic happened, that one special date that sealed the deal, the date where the doves came to serenade, the date where she knew I was the one and only for her. I have heard her say on more than one occasion that this date was truly unforgettable. So of all the dates we went on during our courting – this one jumped right to the top.
I can only imagine the phone calls to her girl friends the day after this date. You know the phone calls… the ones that women make to their girlfriends where every detail, every moment, every emotion, every gesture, every gallant chivalrous act, is explained in full vivid color. I guarantee none of her friends had dates that matched the pure viridity of this youthful escapade. If only they could have been so lucky.
Our date started out with quit conversation as my baby blue 1963 Falcon rolled us down Hwy 99. Green lights greeted us one by one. Not a red light blinked at us all the way there. It was if the green lights were sending us signals, like a precursor of good times to come.
I eased the car into the parking spot and a warm airy summer breeze filtered through the partly rolled down window. A scent of lilacs filtered in complimenting my girl’s sweet perfume as she snuggled up close - we cuddled. A kiss – an “I love you,” and then I reached over and adjusted the volume to just the right decibel to match the romantic ambience being setup by the intro music from the first of four Clint Eastwood Spaghetti westerns. It was the Good the Bad and the Ugly, A Fist Full of Dollars, Hang’em High, and then to complete the ensemble A Few Dollars more. It was magical. It was unforgettable. It was selfless. It was chivalrous, all the things that make for an unforgettable date. Those truly were the good old drive in movie days. – YES!
Oh, did I leave out my bride to be, fell asleep in the first twenty minutes of the first movie? D’OH!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Bare Stomach Volleyball...

Homer moments have come my way at times without my having a clue…
A few years back, sitting on the front row of the bleachers, waiting for my 14 year old daughter to finish her volleyball practice, I was quietly and indiscriminately reading my Louis L’Amour book. And, as you know being a father of a teenager is tiring and sleep is something we get when and where ever we can. Well I was getting sleepy and my butt was getting quite sore sitting on those wooden bleachers. There, not 20 feet away, was a carpet that had been rolled up. It looked like it would be a near perfect pillow. It called to me. So with as much stealth as a 30lb over weight 45 year old white guy can muster, I gracefully moved toward the carpet gently laying my head on it. Casually, I slid my Louis L’Amour book over my eyes and within seconds I was deep in the slumber of a beautiful dream.
Now before I proceed - there is one thing you should understand. This volleyball practice was a special practice. My daughter was getting ready to start her freshman year of high school and had been given the honor to come practice with the varsity. Needless to say my daughter was anxious to make a good first impression. Oh… I guess I should mention that she begged me to not come into her practice but that would have been crazy. Drive home, wait 20 minutes, and then drive all the way back and pick her up? That was not going to happen! Totally illogical – who would do that?
What did not come clear as I slumbered into my dream, was that as I slid down into my blissful position my sweat shirt slid up exposing about 8 to 10 inches of my 45 year old, hairy, stark white belly that had not seen sun light for several years. Everything would have been fine but the light reflected off my belly causing eye pain in one of the girls. The girl in shock and holding her eye stumbled over to my daughter, “Look at your dad!”
Well I was asleep so I cannot be sure what horror my daughter experienced at that exact moment but I do know I woke up from a not so gentle kick to the hip and a hissing voice saying, “dad wake up.”
Well let’s just say the ride home was not dream like or blissful. I belly laughed as I listened to my daughter’s rendition of the experience while she cried. Oops! – Another Homer moment.
FYI – My wife took my daughter to volleyball practice after that.
The great things about these experiences, as us men get older and the stories get retold at family functions, the stories become badges of honor. The belly laughs get to be enjoyed over and over.
What is it about us men? It seems we can’t help ourselves from seeking out such priceless moments. D’OH!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Refrigerator Doors

I guess my most recent Homer experience was two Saturdays ago. I decided to change the direction our refrigerator doors opened. I have wanted to do this for a while - 12 years, but who’s counting. You see we had a house fire which in part required a new refrigerator and when the new refrigerator arrived the doors opened toward the eating area instead of the kitchen. Well that’s not very efficient is it? Of course it’s not. Regardless, we as a family adjusted to the awkward opening, and the changing of the door opening on the yard stick of priorities, sat at about the 28” mark. Hmmm…I guess that means 28 inches equals 12 years, 2 inches per year. (Yeah that’s about right. There’s some Homer logic).
Okay, sorry back to work. Of course my tools were laid out in perfect order. The thought of removing any of the items from the inside of the refrigerator door crossed my mind but why would I do that? A total waste of time! Like most men I am into efficiency. No real man wants to get bogged down with unreasonable and wasted efforts.
All was going extremely well. When in entered a house guest, a young lady in her early twenties - D’OH! I had the top freezer door off by now and was working on the larger bottom refrigerator door. Of course in her curiosity she kept asking ridiculous female questions. “Like, what are you doing? Do you want any help? Do you want me to hold the door? Don’t you think you should take all that stuff off the shelves from the inside of the door?” Yeah, right why would I want her help? I know what I am doing. Doesn’t she realize, I have lived like at least two life times compared to her one measly short life? I know things!
I guess it was either her endless questions or the weirdness of a young attractive female talking to me. Regardless I must have lost my mind - I pulled the main pin out of the top hinge. Yip, you guessed it. The door fell smack right on to the floor. Pickles, mustard, mayonnaise jars, things that had been in the refrigerator before she had even hit her teen years, all went flying across the room. She screamed and then began laughing a little bit too hard. Of course, she had to remind me she had just asked me if she could hold the door. What a mess. Well thankfully my niece came in soon and rescued me by taking the house guest some place young women go on Saturday mornings, probably the mall or maybe to get their nails done.
Who cares right? Just being free of idiotic distractions I now was able to focus and complete the task.
My only issue now comes when late at night and the lights are out. I reach for the handle of the refrigerator door, It isn’t there…D’OH!