Monthly Archives: September 2009
I was extremely busy yesterday. When I’m busy at work, the hours just fly on by. It was after 2pm before I realized what time it was and sat down for a very late lunch.
About 10 minutes into my lunch I received a phone call from Rugrat’s mom.
Apparently, Rugrat (who is 10, by the way) and some girls jumped the school fence yesterday at lunchtime. They then proceeded to cross a highway (not a road…but a HIGHWAY), enter the parking lot of a truck stop, and then threw rocks at the building next door.
Let me correct that…RUGRAT threw rocks at the building, not the other girls.
Just to make matters worse, the building next to the truck stop was a police safety house (which is a house and/or business for use by children whenever they feel unsafe in a community and can be a house, a shop, or a business).
She doesn’t have an explanation.
So once the girls got caught, they were all taken back to the principal’s office and spoke to him one at a time. The versions were all the same except for Rugrat’s, who said that there were boys there that threatened her if she didn’t throw the rocks. The other girls said that they were there alone and there weren’t any boys there.
The principal then took Rugrat down to the police station so she could apologize, in person, to the police chief. Needless to say, she got pretty scared. On top of that, he ended up telling her about all of the dangerous things that could have happened to her: being hit by a car, kidnapped and/or hurt in some other way at this truck stop…on top of telling her that she would have been held responsible for any damages that took place because of her vandalism.
The principal gave all of the girls the same punishment: a week of “community service” around the school grounds, detention after school for a week, and no recess/lunchtime outside at all.
Obviously, there would also be punishments laid out by the parents.
That’s why Rugrat’s mom called me, and I’m very thankful she did. We discussed the situation and she suggested a punishment: no television, no Nintendo DS, no computer, and no playing with her friends for a week. We knew that she’d be upset, but at 10 years old I think that’s an appropriate punishment.
Her mom called me again last night. Rugrat’s step-dad had come home and, after discussing things with her mom, suggested an alternative punishment. Seems that Rugrat is going to be involved in soccer this year and they were going to go buy cleats sometime this week. The new punishment suggestion was no TV/DS/computer/friends for three days, and then she would have to do chores around the house to “work off” her cleats.
We all agreed on the punishment (her step-dad is a solid guy and the three of us get along rather well) and thus it was delivered. I wasn’t involved in that conversation, but her mom told me that they ended up having a great conversation with her. They really believe that she understands what she did was wrong. Between their conversation with her and the police chief’s conversation with her, her mom thinks that Rugrat truly gets how what she did yesterday was extremely dangerous.
My worries on this are many. My fear is that Rugrat is making the “wrong kind of friends” at school and is too concerned with trying to impress and/or show off for them (remember, she had problems making friends at her new school last year). My fear is that Rugrat is going to go down the wrong path and there’s nothing I can do about it.
I know her mom and step-dad care. I know that they love her very much and are doing their best to provide a good example for her. But I’m scared that she’ll no longer be the sweet, innocent girl that I’ve known for 10 years.
I know I’m not to blame, but I think about how things may have been different if I didn’t let them all move away six years ago. If I had only fought harder for them to stay, maybe this wouldn’t be a problem.
On the other hand, maybe this is a one-time-only situation. Maybe she’s been “scared straight”. Maybe I’m just worrying too much.
I really don’t know why it is what it is, but it is.
My son…Ankle Biter…is beginning to turn into a “too good to be true” type of kid when he’s with me. Sure, there’s the whole “he’s not talking yet” thing…but other than that, he doesn’t give me any problems or hassles. I mean, his version of a tantrum is to pout and curl up in a ball for a few minutes quietly.
“The terrible 2′s”? It didn’t really happen for me.
And now that he’s three, I’m fully expecting the “terrible 3′s” to take effect. But thus far, I don’t see that happening. In fact, he’s seemingly becoming more and more awesome with each passing week. Here’s what happened this past weekend…
I went to visit my parents on Saturday. Normally he’ll sleep for 15 minutes or so in the car on the way there (it’s a 50-minute trip) but he didn’t that day. While at mom and dad’s, he became a bit over-tired and antsy…but he was still well behaved. Sometimes kids can get crazy to handle when they’re over-tired…not Ankle Biter…not on this day. At one point he actually did something that made me stop and just soak it in for a minute. Y’see, there’s a picture of him and Rugrat together and a picture of me and Rugrat together from last year sitting on the ledge of my parents’ living room window. AB actually leaned on the ledge to look out the window, but paused to look at the pictures, too.
Look at this and tell me it’s not totally awesome?
On the way home he fell asleep before we even got out of the town limits (i.e. about 10 minutes into the trip). I took my time getting home and he slept for about an hour. When we got home he stumbled out of the car and into the house. I looked at him and asked him if he was still tired. He nodded his head so I walked him down to his bedroom for another 40 minute nap.
Now, this may not seem odd to most…but he hasn’t been napping at the babysitter’s (or with The Ex, for that matter) in about three weeks. The last time he napped? Yep…when he was with me two weeks ago. In fact, the last time he had an hour-long nap at the babysitter’s he ended up being awake (and apparently a little monster) until almost 9pm that night…with his mom. But with me on Saturday night? The kid was amazing. We played…we changed into pajamas…we watched some Kung Fu Panda…and he had NO problem climbing into bed with a smile on his face by 7:40pm.
He woke up around 7:05am on Sunday (he slept in until 7:20am the day before) and I was a little concerned about what we would do for the day. I initially wanted to go to the zoo but the wind was pretty cold and he was still enjoying the new Thomas the Tank Engine train set that my parents gave him for his birthday. So after a breakfast of waffles & strawberries, we settled in for the day.
This is where Ankle Biter became the coolest son EVER.
Around mid-morning I popped some popcorn for a snack. He settled in on the couch with me as we proceeded to watch SportsCenter. Now, I’m not one to normally watch sports when AB is around…normally we’re watching cartoons and such. But I wanted to “test the waters” and see if he would possibly be a sport fan. Needless to say: mission accomplished.
So with his ESPN football jersey and sitting on the couch with dad, we watched SportsCenter before watching the NFL network’s morning coverage of the day’s games. Since I’m a massive NFL fan, my hope from DAY ONE of AB’s life on this earth would be to have a son that could hang out and watch sports with me. No…it’s not because I’m a huge sport guy or anything. I rarely watch hockey, don’t care too much for baseball, and haven’t really been into NASCAR for eight or nine years (I used to be a huge fan). But it’s one of the things my dad NEVER did with me. He wasn’t a sport fan at all (unless you’re a fan of curling) and I grew up watching sports alone in my room. It’s not a big deal or anything…there’s certainly no resentment. But it’s definitely something that I want to share with AB as a bonding experience.
Yes…he watched football ALL AFTERNOON with me. I had a potluck of things going on in three different rooms to make sure he didn’t get bored. In my bedroom was a Shrek marathon playing on the DVD player (I’ve got all three on one disc…it comes in handy). In the spare room (normally Rugrat’s room when she’s visiting) was his Thomas train set and some music I had playing in the background. In the living room was the bulk of his toys, the couch, NFL football, and me. He went to all three rooms all day and was just the best-behaved kid ever. Sometimes I’d go play with him in the Thomas room…sometimes I’d watch Shrek with him in my room…and then most of the time I’d play with him in the living room.
I made supper for us and we both sat on the couch watching the games. I really felt like a million bucks because he seemed genuinely interested in the game. Of course, he was also mimicking me and how I ate…which brought about a chuckle from me.
So when I took him back to his mom’s last night, I explained how awesome he was all weekend. She was concerned about his napping, but I told her that I had no issue at all getting him to sleep. She asked if he acted up at all over the weekend…I explained that other than not eating a lot for lunch (he ate really good at breakfast and dinner), he was the perfect son all weekend.
Which makes me wonder…am I doing something RIGHT here? Why does she seem to have problems in certain parenting areas but I don’t? Sometimes I worry about doing things wrong but apparently I’m not too shabby at this whole “dad” thing.
So yeah…it was a GOOD weekend.
After 19 seasons, Survivor has really gotten to the point to where there are two schools of thought: you either still like it or you think it “jumped the shark” long ago.
I, however, am someone who actually stopped watching it for a few years because I got tired of it. I didn’t like the characters and found most of the people dull (not to mention the challenges didn’t interest me at all). I started watching again a few seasons ago when Rupert Boneham was on (Pearl Islands in 2004, I think), and have been watching faithfull ever since. I loved the All-Stars version and really enjoyed last season in Tocantins, Brazil (c’mon…it had COACH!!)…so I was definitely looking forward to last night’s season debut.
Needless to say, I wasn’t disappointed.
Last night’s episode centered around one of the most intriguing characters any reality show has ever had: Russell Hantz. Apparently, Russell is a multi-millionaire oil company owner from Houston, Texas and isn’t playing the game for the money. No…Russell is playing this game specifically to raise hell and try to win by being the dirtiest player in the history of the game.
Let’s start off with his bedtime story, shall we? While the Foa Foa tribe were cuddling up on their first night, stories were being passed around in an effort to get to know one another. Russell’s story was heart-breaking. He was living in New Orleans when Hurricane Katrina hit. His house was right next to the levies when they broke. As the water was rushing into his house, he didn’t know what to do next. It was him and his dog and his trusty ax…because being a firefighter, he knew that an ax may come in handy. So the water was rushing in faster than he could have ever anticipated and he scrambled to go up the stairs. He looked down into the murky waters for his beloved dog…but he was nowhere to be seen. He had to fight his way out of the roof of the house with his ax before finally being rescued.
Russell has never been a firefighter, didn’t lose a dog to Katrina floodwaters, and has never even lived in New Orleans.
Yes…I think it’s safe to say that this man is the new hell-raiser on Survivor. I mean honestly, this was the greatest lie told since Johnny Fairplay informed the group that his grandmother had died. But alas, he wasn’t done here.
His plan was to make his fellow teammates weak both mentally and physically so he could take advantage of them. He snuck out to the fire in the middle of the night and emptied out all of the water bottles. Yes…even his own. ALL of them. He then decided to burn random personal effects just so it would cause issues. Example? He burned a pair of socks belonging to Jaison…one of the big physical threats in the game. The next day Jaison was saying that his feet were starting to get blisters and didn’t know where his socks were.
In addition to that, Russell began making one-on-one “final two” deals with every woman on his team. He proceeded to call them weak, stupid, and pathetic. This guy was really firing on all cylinders, calling it the “Dumb Ass Girl Alliance“. Seriously.
When one of them, Marisa, told him that it concerned her that he was talking one-on-one with so many other people (i.e. she was questioning her own alliance with him), he immediately went on the warpath. He went to everybody in the tribe and told them that Marisa was coming after him and really wasn’t a person on the tribe that was to be trusted. Most of the tribe believed him, so when the Galu tribe won the immunity challenge, it all but spelled the end of Marisa’s time on Survivor.
While Ashley got a few votes, it was Marisa that ended up being voted off first.
Random thoughts from last night’s episode:
- The “other” Russell (yeah…two people with the same name this year) was voted leader of the Galu tribe, while Mick was voted leader of the Foa Foa tribe. Russell #2 (also described as a “better looking Lennox Lewis”) was doing a pretty good job leading, where Mick was pretty much a non-factor.
- SHAMBO!! This woman is an ex-marine with a mullet that would have even made Billy Ray Cyrus back in 1992 go “DAAAAMN!!!” Why the name “Shambo”? Well, her real name is Shannon and she loves wearing a headband like Rambo did back in the 80′s. Thus, she’d rather be called Shambo throughout the game.
- First impression? Shambo is a moron.
- First impression? John, the rocket scientist, really needs to STFU. Over-talkers can be early-exiters on Survivor.
- If you’re gonna trash talk another team before an immunity challenge and call them “losers”, then you better back it up and actually WIN the damn thing. Idiot.
- Ben’s got an attitude that’ll earn him enemies quickly in the game.
- Betsy might be too smart for her own good…beware of Russell!!
I thought it was a great season premiere…99% because of Russell. I mean, where do you FIND somebody like this? I initially thought that he would be playing the game too hard too quickly, but now I’m fascinated to see just what he’ll be doing next!
Did you watch the premier last night? What did you think of Survivor: Samoa?
I’ve been a fan of Big Brother since its inception. I’ve watched almost every single episode of every single season with only a few exceptions (the last three episodes of the “All Star” season being a prime example). While I’m not stalker-ish to want to pay to watch their live feeds or “Big Brother After Dark”, I consider myself a pretty big fan of the show.
So having said that, let me be clear when I say that Jordan Lloyd is the most improbable Big Brother winner they’ve ever had.
Don’t get me wrong…I loved watching Jordan this year and I truly believe that she is one of the most friendly, genuine people they’ve ever had on the show. And I don’t want anybody to confuse the words “improbable” with “undeserving”…but with the exception of the last week, she did absolutely NOTHING during the course of the entire season. Her “country bumpkin” personality isn’t an act…that’s truly who she is. Her intelligence? Well…I think to say she’s no Einstein wouldn’t be a stretch. In fact, up until the competition she won against Natalie last week, I really didn’t think she could win anything at all on her own because she was that dumb. She still may be, but she was smart enough when it counted.
And as much as I enjoyed Russell as a player, the fact that he called her “fat” really bothered me over the course of the season. Even during an evening meal out with my parents last night brought forth my dad telling me that he thought Jordan had gained weight over the summer.
I’m stunned, people.
Jordan is drop-dead gorgeous. She has curves but is FAR from being anything close to fat. If you can rock a bikini, you’re not fat. Period. Just because she’s not a toothpick doesn’t mean she’s not stunningly beautiful. But maybe that’s what our society has come to…analyzing everybody and expecting perfection when, in reality, very few of us look that way and most people throwing stones don’t have a place to do so.
Anyway, so let’s review: Jordan is kinda dumb, very beautiful, and super-friendly. Not really the kind of winner Big Brother ends up with…but she made her case pretty well last night (in between her super-long ramblings that went on and on and on) and if I were sitting on the fence, I would have probably voted for her based on her arguments. Of course, Russell and Kevin both thought that they were voting “strategically”…but Natalie did nothing of note in the house except lie to everybody about everything and only won one competition. Not really the stuff made of BB champions.
At the end of the day, this was a pretty interesting season. It wasn’t the best season by any means, but here are some of my highlights:
- “The Square Root of All Evil” Ronnie. This guy played too hard too early and got burned HARD for his efforts. You can play both sides, but to burn half the house in the first two weeks just isn’t a smart play. Normally the harder you play, the quicker you exit.
- “The psycho” Chima. Please…to see absolutely NONE of the house guests defending her at all last night speaks volumes. This woman was a primadonna and really shouldn’t have been in the house in the first place. Thousands of people would love to be on this show and to simply give up a legitimate chance at $500,000 and act like a bratty school girl elicits ZERO sympathy or empathy from me. She deserved the boot and I was happy to see her go.
- “The sneak in your bedroom while you sleep and stare at you stalker” Lydia. Tell me that Jessie won’t feel a bit uncomfortable when he watches the show back and sees Lydia sneaking into his Head of Household room while he slept just to stare at him. CREEPY.
- The “coup d’etat”-using Jeff. Definitely a fantastic power play and the smartest move of the game. Well…the 2nd smartest.
- “The lie” from Kevin & Natalie. THIS, my friends, was the smartest move of the game. Poor Jeff…sitting there with Jordan believing that Kevin would never lie to him. With one more week in the house another power player like Natalie could have been evicted. Even if Russell had come after him two weeks later, at least Jeff would have had a better chance getting to the end knowing he was going to be attacked up front instead of being stabbed in the back and not seeing it coming.
- Ahhh yes…Mr. “both my muscles and my ego are bigger than my brain” Jessie. This guy is a tool. He was a tool on previous Big Brothers and he’s a tool now. Is he an attractive guy? I would think so, yeah. But you have GOT to be turned off when you hear him talk, right? C’mon ladies…I would think that you’d be smart enough to see through the looks. Wouldn’t you? I mean, Jordan’s hot but I could never date her…she’s just too dumb for me. Isn’t it the same thing? Looks can only take you so far.