Monday, January 25, 2010
The Greatest Show on Earth, Lake Tahoe, and General Malaise...
We went to the Greatest Show on Earth this weekend, and got to see all of the amazing things that they do at the Circus - and for some reason, as you get a little older, and you see folks on television get run over by tanks, or crushed by buildings in Haiti - watching a midget intentionally get shot out of a cannon kind of loses its steam - and did you know there are protestors now at the Circus - they stand out front and hand out fliers about elephant abuse and dead baby tigers and child molesting clowns...not quite the way to endear themselves to me, handing literature to folks and holding up signs about animal abuse in front of a crowd of kids excited about going to see some entertainment that is right up their alley....
It was the battery recharge I needed this weekend - sticky, gummy cotton candy, and popcorn cooked with real coconut oil - you know, the stuff they banned from movie theatres because folks were dying in the seats after eating the mega tub refill with butter flavored grease, the overpriced toys for the kids - and hell yeah, they actually have a Wii game - and now I actually have a Wii game - but it was great to see the kids watch the activity going on beneath them, the clowns, the confetti, the motorcycles jammed into the ball of death, the animals, the sounds of laughter and ooh's and ah's - all of it - you just soak that stuff up - and it makes things a little bit lighter to carry for a little while. I wish C & C could have gone with us, and enjoyed the weekend - I think her big day is this Thursday, and I am pretty sure that it ain't gonna be easy - but the best part is that it is some closure, before the rest of the fun begins. Sort of like the circus - alot of things going on in a confined space, with a bunch of people paying attention and screaming and shining their bright lights into your line of sight, but with a tint of hope that things are going to be better than they were, and some anticipation of what is coming next. The best part about all of it - is that it is all controlled, they have done the tricks a hundred times before, and unless one of the animals goes nuts, or somebody pukes twizzlers all over your lap - then odds are, things are going to work out just fine.
Lake Tahoe is supposedly beautiful, and skiing at Heavenly is supposedly great - and with enough Hilton Honors points, Delta SkyMiles, and American Express Reward points (I don't know if I am supposed to say that these are trademarked or not) - you too can go there and invest $43.00 in a rental car (for the days that you could not get free) on your way to Vancouver for work. I am looking forward to skiing for a day, relaxing for day, and from the looks of things, feeling pretty uncomfortable for three days. Gonna be great, I can feel it. But with that being said, I can generally revert back to a pretty selfish place, ingest large amounts of beer, and whittle away the hours on some mindless form of entertainment or just sit in a hot tub and knod...I will probably have some good stories to share, and I imagine they may be funny, and I will probably have to edit a few of them, but hey, they call that poetic license - and I intend to use quite a bit of it. Being a little nervous about getting on a mountain for the first time in a couple of years should be interesting, the knees are a little older, the eyes are a little worse, and snow is cold, so I am actually feeling some caution about taking the first lift to the top of the mountain without hitting the bunny slope for a run or two...that's always a good time, sliding by the four year olds on your back as they do that wedge thing down the mountain...it's gonna be a good trip. (Clicking my heels together...)
So now the general malaise part - this is one of those weeks where I get to be home - and they are always good weeks, generally they are spent with kids, and we come up with some exotic event to go to, or cook something we have never tried before, or just do anything to get out of the nine hundred square feet of paradise that I currently call home (a two bedroom apartment is small enough for one person, throw in two kids, and there you have it...a shoebox with three shoes) - this weekend being no exception (refer to the above summary, I repeat myself myself)- I sent the email below to my now anorexic ex, (double pits to chesty is blaring in the background - and this hurts my ears - between the chocolate guy and the double pits to chesty I am really beginning to wonder what the demographic is for that Axe stuff - just a note - if you are over 17, and wearing Axe body spray, then odds are you are probably pissing off everyone in the elevator with you) - but anyway, I send out the email below after picking up my son, driving by the house, and seeing the gate to the privacy fence at the house that I pay for (yes, I pay for it because of them, and because I can't get her to buy me out - that's a good top ten list, maybe as I go through this blog, I will type in some of those...) - you know, like my girlfriend said, it probably was not the best idea to send this when I am trying to get her to make a decision on the dependent status of the children, but it irks me to no end when I see a little bit of ghetto in everything that I own (note - yes I own it, I just don't live in it - another top ten list - eventually, someone will read this, and put it all together - MAIL ORDER BRIDE AND PRENUPTIAL) anyway - here is the email - enjoy it, I can be an unemotional letter writer, but get the point across pretty clearly....
As discussed in our phone call, there are some routine maintenance items that need to be performed on the house. These items, if left unchecked and unrepaired, will lead to larger amounts of damage to the home down the road, and if routine maintenance is not performed, major repairs will result, and I will protest my portion or responsibility for those repairs. Furthermore, liability that exists in the backyard in the form of hazardous conditions present a risk to me in the form of a lawsuit if an injury occurs. I am more than happy to repair minor items, assuming that you will purchase all necessary items. I am documenting these items as a precaution from any major repairs that might arise from the lack of routine maintenance. These items are as follows:
1. The Swingset presents an obvious injury hazard. It needs to be removed.
2. The trampoline no longer has an appropriate amount of padding around the springs. This should be remedied, or children should not be allowed to play until this risk is addressed.
3. There was an inappropriate amount of trash and debris in the yard. Screwdrivers, stakes, empty food tin cans, and other items pose a very large hazard to children who may be playing in the backyard.
4. All of the flower beds in the backyard need weeding, mulch, and routine maintenance. I have performed these tasks three times in the past year, and you need to be more diligent about routine maintenance.
5. The stucco on the corners of the houses needs to be repaired again. This will prevent leaks and other damages caused by open areas for insects to get into the home. These were repaired three years ago.
6. The windows need to be siliconed around the edges. There are signs of water damage appearing around the windows. These were caulked three years ago.
7. The screen patio needs to be repaired. All of the screens were intact one year ago, and should be restored.
8. The concrete on the patio needs to be patched and the surface painted or sealed. Cracks lead to water seepage, in turn, increasing the size of the cracks in the patio.
9. The dryer vent appears to be clogged, presenting a fire hazard.
10. The attic access should be repaired with either a piece of sheetrock or plywood.
I would like to perform an internal inspection of the home this week at your earliest convenience, and list those items that are presenting signs of lack of routine maintenance. As you are aware, these repairs are your responsibility, but I am, as joint owner, more than happy to assist in the repair of the items if the materials are purchased. These should be remedied in the next thirty days.
Thanks in advance for taking care of these issues, and keeping the property at an acceptable and safe level of care.
Now, this may seem like a normal routine letter for most folks who actually have jobs in the business world, and own half of a house (and therefore half of the risk) - but my god, did I get a tongue lashing for this one. I heard more "f" bombs drop from her mouth than salmon eggs at a fishery (no pun intended) - and patiently and calmly asked her if she had finished her spurious and gratuitous use of flowery language - apparently she had not, I got the good ole - I was your wife and friend for twenty years line - I suppose I should have said that for six of those you were a piece of the furniture, but that was going too far, and besides, the couch was easier to motivate and move, and certainly more comfortable to live with (hence the reason it is in the apartment with me),but all things ended well, she paid $60 for an hour of talking to a guy who gets paid to talk to you, and I got the point across. I also got a good "Gary set me straight...sorry for bugging you earlier", which, in ex-wife speak, means "Kiss my ass you prick, and make sure the child support is on time" - I guess the worst part about it is that I really do have to protect myself against that sort of thing, it seems like it pays to be a little clueless and extremely helpless, and I suppose, that is what bothers me the most about it. None the less, there are bills to pay, and ski mountains to ski, and kids to raise, and lawsuits to file, and blow pops that still may have some gum in them worth chewing...
Until next time...