Month: January 2008

Well, we’re movin’ on up….(movin’ on up)

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At work today, a lady with whom I used to work sent several pointed e-mail messages to me about a meeting that I had been invited to by my boss. Being an “invitation” from my boss, I accepted. Apparently, this former co-worker didn’t like my being there and as I mentioned, sent me three separate e-mail making it, and I quote, “crystal clear,”  that the meeting was for Sr. Mgt. only and that basically I wasn’t invited.


I’m a pretty bright guy usually, and I got her intent on the first message, so by the third one, I was tired of playing and asked her if there was something personal going on that I should know about. Her reply, “It’s never personal, only business.”


This got me thinking about something. In my own personal experience, there are two type of professional women. There’s A) the seasoned professional who has raised kids and while she may be tough, she is also in touch with her softer side. Then there’s B) the youngish (under 40) woman who has never been married, doesn’t have kids and who, for whatever reason decided that the only way to survive in the business world is by putting her emotions on the back burner.


Thinking back on all of the women I’ve worked for/with, and whom I didn’t particularly care for, I discovered that almost without fail, each of them can be classified in this B) category. They have all been hard women, with little to no empathy for the people they come into contact with. And it’s not just me either, CareerMom has said on more than one occasion that she would rather work for a man than a woman and to a person, each of the female managers she’s had, has also fit this category B) description.


I don’t know why some women feel that this is necessary. Certainly there are men who act the same way, but I think that on average, there is an unwritten rule between men that says, “Hey, I get that you’re territorial and I’m not trying to get into your business. I also know that you have a family to support and I don’t want to jeopardize that. So, let’s figure out how we can work together to get this done howabout?” 


So for the person who says, “It’s never personal…” I don’t dislike you; I pity you—in a “I dislike you and pity you at the same time” kind of way. While you may very well move up the corporate ladder, I think you’re going to find yourself very lonely at the top. There’s more to life than money; just ask all the stay at home dads.


The Baby Swing Dilemma

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Once again I find myself at a crossroad where my kids are concerned. On a side note, if you never saw the 80s movie “Crossroads” with Karate Kid’s Ralph Macchio, I highly recommend it. 

Anyway, this crossroad decision involves whether or not to wean my oldest son away from the swing or not. With my first son, it was all about the swing. Swing at night, swing at naptime during the day, swing, swing, swing. With my youngest son, almost a year old now, he’s been actually very good about sleeping in his crib, only requiring the swing during the daytime and generally any time we really just need him to calm down and rest. 


This “calm down and rest” time also happens to occur every morning between 4:30 – 5:30 a.m. when we adults are still trying to squeeze a few extra minutes out of our slumber, or trying to get ourselves ready for work unencumbered by clamoring baby. However, I’m not immune to the fact that while this may work for now, sometime in the next additional pound or two, that puny Fisher Price swing motor is going to go kaput like the two before it and we’ll be left hanging with a crying baby at 5:30 in the morning. 


Personally, I’m a cold-turkey kind of person. When I set my mind to doing something, or stop doing something in this case, I just stop. I don’t dial it down gradually—nossir, I’m all about nipping it in the bud—and permanently!


CareerMom is not.


So unless I want to get into a mild argument with her over the swing, any attempts that I make to stop using it will be usurped by her at her earliest convenience. So I’m stuck over what to do. I guess like most things, you just cross that bridge when you get to it.


I also still have about 20 pair of disposable ear plugs if things get too bad.

These are a few of my favorite things…

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I have discovered something (else) too late in life that I wish I had figured out sooner: Never, and I mean NEVER, tell your kids about something you really liked as a child and that you still sort of hold near and dear to your heart because they will latch onto it like it is their own and you will hear of it to no end until you are just so sick of it, that you wish you’d never even heard of it. 


What am I talking about? Spider-Man…that’s what I’m talking about. 


It all started innocuously enough. Some kid in my oldest son’s class was already into Spider-Man and my son was only mildly interested until one day I was briefly watching (I only get to watch things briefly at my house because the instant I sit down to watch anything, my attention is diverted by one of the boys) Spider-Man the movie—the one with the Green Goblin–came on television and my son came downstairs and quietly sat down beside me to watch. Well, I wasn’t sure I wanted him watching it, so as he sat there with me, I didn’t really respond to his questions of, “Who’s that?” and “Why is that man hitting Spider-Man?” with any gusto.  

So now, since I didn’t respond correctly, the Green Goblin has become “The Green Guy.” And then sometime later, my son saw Spider-Man 3 with the black suited, mean Spider-Man who has big teeth and a long tongue and now he has become “The Tongue Guy.” So now we have “Red Spider-Man” to differentiate between the black one, “The Green Guy” and “The Tongue Guy.” 


Oh and did I tell you that he wanted to be Spider-Man for Halloween, which earned him one silky feeling Spider-Man suit which he cannot stand to be without. From the moment he gets up in the morning to the moment he gets home from Daycare in the evening he wants to wear it. And I can’t blame him. If I’d had a silky outfit when I was a kid, I might have worn it too…but I digress.


So now, all I ever hear is, “Daddy, I’m going to be Red Spider-Man and you be The Tongue Guy” and we’re gonna get the bad guys.”


Now honestly, I’m all about playing with my kids and all, but there’s something about having my favorite superheroes reduced to blasé naming conventions that grates me and quite frankly, I’m tired of Spider-Man and his ilk. 


But stupid me, in an effort to move his interests along, I introduced him to another of my childhood favorites, “The SuperFriends.”  So far, it’s been tolerable, but that’s only because we’ve not yet exhausted all of the television episodes that still exist on Nickelodeon. But it’s coming. I know it is!


And not even Superman and his boundless powers, combined with Green Lantern’s power ring will be able to stop my son’s childhood enthusiasm from ruining that for me too! And I thought I HAD grown up!

Losing my religion…and my patience…and my “Best Dad” award

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puke.jpgI’m going to start today’s blog with the statement that if you’re a single parent, and you got that way through no fault of your own, you have my deepest sympathies. I say that because as of today, I am officially NOT enjoying being a parent.


The kids have been on and off sick for nigh on 4 days now. While CareerMom was in Vegas last week, I had the boys and was lucky enough to only have to clean up puke one day. Since she’s returned home, we’ve had three days of puking, cranky 11 month old and whiney, pukey 3 year old. And I gotta tell ya…I’m over it.


To make it worse, when I got home yesterday to relieve CareerMom from her day of watching the sick kids (and BTW, I was feeling really sorry for her until our oldest spilled the beans that Mimi came over and watched them while CareerMom went to the grocery store and whatever else she needed to do. And let me also mention that all last week while CareerMom was gone, the best I could get out of Mimi was an invitation to dinner on Friday night.), our youngest was in bad need of a nap and didn’t want to go down. So I listened to him cry for about 30 minutes before interceding. Asleep in my arms as I rocked him, the moment I tried to put him in his crib, he woke up screaming as if death itself was wrapping its boney arms about his little body and squeezing him. Knowing how badly he needed to sleep, I tried to leave him in his crib and TRIED to ignore his screaming. 


Having survived that, we put him in his bed around 7:15 because he was just out of it. He awoke at 8:23 screaming again and nothing would calm him down. Now this is where I officially lost it. 


I got up out of bed, put on my clothes and left. I just left the house. I could not take it anymore, and this is where you single parents get all the kudos. You can’t do this. You can’t just leave. The best you can do is walk outside. 


Luckily, good judgment got the best of me and I drove to the local drug store and picked up some earplugs. I returned home to find him still screaming and CareerMom giving him some Tylenol. At some point in the next hour he finally wore himself out and slept till 4:30 when he got a diaper change and a fresh bottle. 


But frankly, I’d rather put in a 15 hour day than go home and deal with that again tonight. I’ll say again that it’s amazing that the human species exists at all. I honestly don’t know how people raise more than a couple of kids.

The unthinkable happens! Snow in Atlanta!

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Years ago here in the Atlanta area, the weather folks predicted a major ice storm. They played it up for days and in the end, there was little more than rain. So, they’ve learned their lesson about prognosticating bad weather and it was reflected in all the news leading up to the snow we received yesterday where they calmly stated that we “might” get some wintery precipitation, but little more than a dusting of snow.


We got about ½ inch here at the house and the biggest surprise was that it stuck! Unfortunately, it occurred late in the day and by the time I got the boys home, it was really too late to get out and enjoy it. I did get a few pictures though and they got to see their first snow; so that was exciting. CareerMom is bummed she missed it.


However, while in Vegas, CareerMom has had the dubious honor of sharing the Caesar’s Palace gym with none other than the Democratic hopeful Barack Obama. They both hit the gym early yesterday morning at 6 a.m. when it opened. Knowing that Obama smokes (yes ladies, that’s where his apparently intoxicating voice comes from), I’m a little surprised to hear he works out, but good for him. Course…it doesn’t change my view about him any, but at least he’s into fitness.


That’s about the only view we share. 


Oh and if you’re wondering, CareerMom says, “I’m pretty sure you do like, three times more weight than he does.”

Ha! If only we could settle political differences with a “lift-off,” where whoever lifts the most weight wins…that would rock! 

“Oh, I’m sorry Hillary, that puny squat simply isn’t going to get your universal health plan passed. Newt out-squatted you by 200lbs!”


I’m gonna smile about that thought all day…

Just keeping my big mouth shut

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I work out in the gym about 4-5 times per week, going on nearly 15 years now. Since I’ve been in the gym for so many years, I’ve created an “as-of-yet” unpublished list of Gym Etiquette rules and whenever someone violates those rules, I get really annoyed. 

Topping the Etiquette list are:

* not using a towel (there’s few things worse than getting on a machine or bench and finding a wet, sponge-like spot of sweat on the bench where the previous person didn’t use a towel…ugh!)

*  standing right in front of the weight racks when you are exercising (hey, others are working out here too ya know!)

* sitting around on a machine doing little more than people watching or reading the newspaper  (really folks, just stay home…)

* talking on the cell phone (OMG! Get a life. Can’t you go 45 minutes without talking on the cell phone?) 

My workout routine typically consists of 2-3 days of nothing but weight training, and then usually 1-2 days of half cardio/half weights. When my knees and back aren’t bothering me, I’ll jog for my cardio; otherwise I’ll use the elliptical. Regardless of what I’m doing, I always have my headphones on blasting my favorite tunes, but sometimes when you’re right next to someone being loud, you can still hear them. 

The other day my knees were bothering me and I opted to use the elliptical machine rather than do my usual 2 mile jog before hitting the weights. I had been on it for about 10 minutes and I was in the zone. I mean, the music was pumping and I was tranced out staring at a spot on the wall across the gym. Peripherally, I could see people coming and going and part of me noted that someone got on the machine beside me, but I didn’t wanna ruin my buzz by looking, so I just ignored them.

About five minutes later, I noticed that I could hear this person talking on the cell phone. Trying to ignore them, I turned my music up and worked even harder. But like all annoying things, such as the theme song from The Wiggles, once you’ve noticed it, it’s in your head and you can’t ignore it. So, I turned my head to give the person next to me my most menacing stare, only to see that the person beside me was…drumroll please…CareerMom, my wife. Of course I didn’t say anything to her, opting rather to keep the peace and say, “Oh hi, didn’t realize you were there.” 

I have since noted that she has a habit of talking on the cell phone while on the elliptical machine and while this still annoys the crap out of me, I just make it a point to avoid working out next to her. Needless to say, she has also NOT seen my Gym Etiquette guide, although I am tempted to print it out and just leave it lying about the house somewhere. But that would probably be mean…

Adventures in single parenting…Day 2

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Well, last night was blessedly uneventful. My youngest son was in a fairly decent mood, but wasn’t much into eating anything we were having (chicken and dumplings w/veggies). Both boys were in bed by 8:30, leaving me alone to enjoy catching up on the new Terminator: Sarah Connor Chronicles on FOX (and Wow! Summer Glau…if I were 24 again and single…)


My youngest woke up at 4:30 and I never got back to sleep after that. He woke up again around 6:30 a.m. and when I walked into his room, my first thought was, “Poopy!” But after pulling his diaper off and discovering there was no poopy, I started sniffing out the source of the smell and discovered he’s puked on himself. I suspect it was when he was having a coughing fit. So, I cleaned him up and it was off to daycare.


So, I’m calling Day one a rousing success, and I pray that Day 2 goes as smoothly. I’m planning…oh, it doesn’t matter what I’m planning because the best laid plans get laid to waste when kids are involved! 


Meanwhile, The Weather Channel is calling for “wintery precipitation” Wednesday night and possibly into Thursday. Now normally I’d be all, “Whoa! That’s Great!” Except for the fact that I’m working from home and if the roads are too icy to risk going out on, I’m having to use a vacation day and I’m sittin’ home with the boys. However, given the inaccuracies of our local weather professionals, I’m not rushing out to bulk up on milk and toilet paper. 


I may regret it later, but right now I’m betting on it just being cold.