Thursday, March 30, 2006

Back to the grind

For the first couple of days back from vacation I have felt a little sick. Maybe not sick, maybe awkward is a better way to put it. A general uncomfortableness that some times hurts my head, sometimes makes me nauseous, and some times just makes me uncomfortable in my skin. On Tuesday night when we were at Lamaze class I tried on the "Sympathy Belly" and with my general malaise it seemed oddly poetic. I definitely had sympathy for Kate as a six pound bag of sand sat on my bladder and the belly pulled against my back. It felt so much better laying on my side then sitting or laying on my back but it all felt uncomfortable and hot. I was wearing the belly feeling nauseous and listening to the nurse tell us about what was going to happen after Kate had the baby. It was gory and long and I felt like any progress I made in earlier classes getting acclimated to the hospital and the process was lost in that class. We left early because they were going to do a hospital tour and we had already done that. Before arriving home we stopped off at the coolest people in Indy's House and we all went to South Bend Chocolate for some choc. fondu. I felt better for the company and the chocolate and somewhat convinced myself that I would do OK again.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Surfs Up

Hawaii - Missed some days

I gave it a noble effort trying to keep up in Hawaii but the internet connection went down at our hotel so I wasn't able to keep up. We are now back in Indy and back at work and only a little worse for the wear of the loss of sleep. I will add more about the trip but you can see a couple of photos here until I get back to it.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Hawaii - Day Two

We are on Oahu Lins. I am not sure if that is what you were asking or not because I don't speak Hawaiian like you do. I have included a map with some creative Microsoft paint dots of where we have been on the island so far. Yesterday we went to the Dole plantation and went through the biggest according to Guinness, but since they just make beer they probably don't know what they are talking about. Then we went to Kaena point and did a bit of a hike to the end of the point. I ended up walking with Grandma Weezie the whole time worried that she was going to fall at any moment and I would have to fireman carry her out of there. Seems like one of her sons or grandchildren could have taken that post but I was man enough for the job. Last night we found out my brother in law Mike got accepted to a school he was applying for and so now he has a decision to make. When there is a decision to be made then a night of fine dining and pinochle is called for so we headed out to Haleiwa Joe's Seafood Grill. Last night was the first one that Kate and I made it past 9:30 and this morning we slept in until 7:30 in the morning. That is a full 2 hours longer then we have slept in the trip so far so we are getting a little more acclimated. Today has golf and shopping on tap, I think I will do the golf.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Hawaii - Day One

After 10 hours of flying we are in Hawaii. Kate and I in Hawaii, living it up like some newly wed couple trying to stretch their honeymoon well into the second year of marriage. Now we are also here with 16 other relatives of Kate including her immediate family and their significant others, grandma Weezie, uncles, aunts, and cousins but it felt like just the two of us when we woke up just before dawn and looked out our window over the bay to see the mountains taking their shape from the growing light. As the morning breeze ruffled our curtains and the stray roosters called for the sun it felt like we were alone. But then the day dawned and we were reminded again that we are not alone. Not by a long shot. But we like it better this way. It is fun to go on a morning walk with Mike and Meg and watch the sun come over the water. It is nice to have fresh pineapple and papaya with grandma Weezie and talked about when to plant our milk carton seedlings in the ground (Mother’s day). We had a good time riding over to Mandy and Scott’s and play pinochle with Tim and Deb. The variety of people and personalities make for a fun time for me. I love exploring those mildly fanatical things in our lives that we try so desperately to keep hidden. We all have them. That one thing that once we get started talking about we almost can’t control our selves. If you don’t think you have it ask your significant other what it is and they will let you know. I talked to Kate’s Cousin Sean today about his love of Kung Fu, Tae kwon do, and American boxing (that’s just normal boxing with fists as opposed to kick boxing). I asked him if he could take this stick away from me if I attacked him with it, yes. I asked him if he ever had to use deadly force, no. I asked him if he could if he needed to, yes. I asked if he was ever yelled at to sweep the legs, no but he got the reference. He lit up talking about it, and his wife interjected through out and I knew I could talk about this all day with him. I plan on exploring it more through out the week so if anyone has any questions for me to ask leave a comment. I will try to get pictures up soon but I don’t have a digital camera so I will have to rely on others.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Happy Birthday Broseph!

There's a dude you would never let next to your lady, even if he is your brother. Mark exudes what I would like to define as "Trucker Sexy". He looks kinda creepy at first and then damn fine after a second or two. You feel dirty for even seeing it but it sneaks up on ya. Happy Birthday Mark, I love you, I miss you and I am very proud of you. You are a good man and I hope you have a great day today.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Maybe I need to go Down Town

I know the “My life is like a Seinfeld episode” has been done to death but there are times when you really experience the genius of that show because of how true it is to day to day life. It is a show about nothing and some how we have all found our selves saying “this is just like that time on Seinfeld when….”

Well yesterday was the first day in my new job. Same job really just different title and people dislike me a bit more. I spent most of yesterday trying to figure out how my job had changed and what it was I was supposed to be doing on an hour by hour basis. I felt like I missed some key instructions somewhere along the lines and there was something terribly important that I was meant to be getting started on but I don’t remember or know what it is. I felt like George in the bottle episode.

After spending most of the morning not really doing anything I was told that I did a good job with my first day and that the abandon rate was already starting to go down. Well excellent, yeah I was working on that pretty hard so good thing that worked. The good news is I now know what it was I was meant to be working on, now I just need to figure out what I did to have any influence on the abandon rate so that I can replicate it. I am now going through the paces I went through yesterday in hopes that will trigger something. I’m just not sure how studying Spring Training box scores effect anything, but then again who am I to argue with success.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Birthdays and broken things

Friday was Kate’s Birthday, she turned 24. Keith tried to tell me, he sat me down in his office and gave me one piece of advice above all else but I didn’t listen. He told me that the morning was the most important time on birthdays. Start the day with something special and she will know that she is special to you. I had flowers waiting for Kate at work, a funny card and good book for when she got home, and a 5 hour spa day including a pre-natal massage to give her over dinner at the Greek restaurant. But I didn’t do anything special in the morning, apart from sing happy birthday to her when the alarm went off. She got up and I laid there for a little longer, sleepy from the late night at the Man Shower. When she left for work Friday morning she was in tears. She didn’t feel special because I didn’t listen to Keith.

The rest of the day went really well and soon Kate was feeling over whelmed with just how special she was to me. We had a great dinner and Saturday morning was a fun time of really enjoying each others company over the morning paper and rearranged drawers. We made plans to meet Kate’s Parents for a birthday lunch and were teasing each other into the garage where the all the fun came to a sudden and abrupt end. There in front of us was our Honda Civic with a smashed passenger window and most of the front dash destroyed and missing. The car ransacked including the glove box where my mom’s iPod, inscribed on the back with “To Softshare’s Lady of Song” used to be. This is the second stereo to be stolen, third time our car was broken into, and fourth crime we have experienced since moving to Fountain Square.

We called the police but they didn’t come, took a report over the phone. We planned ways to booby trap the car so that we could catch a thief. We raged against humanity and cursed the neighborhood. We called the insurance company and went to lunch. Life goes on, stuff gets replaced and we fight to make sense of the broken world we inhabit. Kate and I pray for each other on the drive up to her parents and remind ourselves just how blessed we are. House, two cars, good job, great friends, family that supports us, baby on the way. It is just stuff, broken tainted stuff. The garage needs to be fixed, the neighborhood needs to be fixed, the world needs to be fixed. I start with the garage and head to Home Depot for the parts and wonder where the store is that has the parts to fix the neighborhood. Hopefully they are having a sale and we can stock up.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Happy Birthday Dad!

56 now and still rolling with the lovely ladies.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Happy birthday Beautiful

"I'm almost a quarter of century old!"

Customer Technical Support Team Leader, Tier I

Today I found out that I got the job as Team Lead, a process I have been chronicling a bit on this site. I accepted the job and will officially start on Monday March 13. I am pretty excited and very honored to have gotten the job. Part of me wanted the ability to work from home but I know this is the better opportunity and the wiser choice. One really cool byproduct of starting Monday is that I will get paid a bit more to go on Vacation in two weeks then I was going to get previously. There is something really satisfying about a raise kicking in while on vacation in Hawaii. Oh had I not mentioned I was going to Hawaii in two weeks. Hmm must of slipped my mind.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Man Shower

You have all been to one I’m sure. The cutesy little party with silly games and pastel wrapped presents. The mom-to-be in the middle of the room opening up onesies and bibs with things like “Momma’s Boy” or “I heart Guts”. The baby shower is part of the American fabric and tradition to sometimes to be enjoyed but often endured as a rite of passage into motherhood. Well there doesn’t seem to be a father’s equivalent. I know that some couples do a joint shower but who are we kidding, that is for the mom all the way and just a clever way of getting more presents. My friend John and I, in an effort to have our own party, have come up with what we mistakenly called the “Man Shower”

The first question of course was “why in God’s name would you call it a man shower?” and that is a great question. The whole thing conjures images of hairy over-weight men in towels that are two small and nobody wants to see that, least of all John and myself. I can only plead temporary insanity with the title, as it was the first thing that came to my head when I was asking another father if he was going to make it to our event. John was both horrified and hysterical when he heard what I called it and try as we might to change the name it has stuck. The only thing to do now is embrace it and move on.

While we are not interested in the games and silly presents we are interested in having something that marks this time in our lives. Something akin to climbing on to our chairs and yelling out for all to hear, take notice, there is something special here, something different and we want to recognize it and celebrate it. So we gathered up all of the fathers that we know and love in the Indianapolis metro area and invited them to Deano’s with a simple proposition: If you give us good, practical advice and share with us the things that you wish you knew when you became a father we will give you beer. Mmmmm beer!

Women are so much better at offering up and accepting random advice and sharing wisdom on just about anything. As men we need to be a little more intentional and tonight at Deano’s is John and I being intentional. Bring us you words of wisdom, your funny anecdotes, and your tried and true processes that you have learned and we will give you tall frothy mugs of oat soda. The tough part for me is that a number of the guys that I would like to hear from (Bing, Esse, Mark B, Keith, Allen, Rob, BenO, Jeff, Kyle….) are not in the Indianapolis Metro area. So I can’t offer you beer in exchange for your pearls but I would still like to hear from you. If you are reading this and your name appears above please help me out. If you’re a father and your name is not above it is a horrible oversight that can be chalked up to not enough coffee and the early hour and I would like to hear from you as well.

So tonight we will have our Man Shower and I will be prepared with note pad, cash from the corner ATM, and ears to hear what will be said. I am excited about tonight. It seems special to me, it seems some how other.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Breathing, Bonding, and Bazbeaux's

I want to be tough. I want to be known as the strong, reliable guy that people lean on when they need to. I want to be tough, but I’m not. I pass out when giving blood, I faint when getting a flu shot, I turn green when Mark talks about his surfing accident, and I get asked to leave when the nurse can’t find Kate’s vein and tells me that I am doing more harm then good standing by my wife. It is time to toughen up. I have a baby coming and I need to be there for Kate, in the room, in the moment, strong and supportive. It is not a macho thing or a “Man” thing. It is not some elaborate pissing contest where I show I’m tougher then some other person. It is personal thing, a family thing, a marriage thing.

Last night we had our first Lamaze class at Methodist Hospital. The class is energetically run by Penny Lee. Penny Lee is a nurse in her 50’s that has seen it all. She is short and round with little legs. She looks like an orange with tooth picks for legs and arms and she has an infectious energy that makes the uncomfortable chairs some how nice. We watched videos on common discomforts and worries and saw actual footage of a baby being born. That part actually came out of left field. They were talking about the stages of labor and showing this computer animation of the process and then cut to woman screaming with legs open and a head coming out between her legs. I think they purposely did that to catch the guys off guard. It worked.

Through out the videos and the graphic talk of needles, pain, and tearing I was going through the mental obstacles of toughening up. I would try to visualize the process as much as I could before getting nauseous or faint. I was able to bring myself back a couple of times but the needles are still a different story. I think as long as I am not in the room when they give Kate the IV I might be ok.

After all the show and tell we got on the floor and did some stretches to ease Kate’s discomfort. Most of the other guys in the room were too cool for school and didn’t join in on this part. I had some discomfort of my own and welcomed some stretching. There was one that was particularly great: Back to Back, butt to butt, locking elbows and leaning forward. This stretched Kate’s back nicely and the back to back felt great on my back as well. Then we did some breathing exercises and I was breathing right along. I don’t get the macho fa├žade of the other guys in the room. Would it kill you to have a little empathy for what your wife is going through right now? Do you look silly on your hands and knees arching your back with your wife? Yes, but so freaking what. Just do it, laugh about it later if you must, but do it! 5 minutes on the floor doing silly stretches and breathing will go very far and showing your wife that you are in this whole thing together and that she means infinitely more to you then looking cool in front of a bunch of guys who shouldn’t be paying attention to you anyway. That’s just my thoughts on it, I could be wrong.

After the class we went to Bazbeaux’s for pizza and basked in the night, in the pregnancy, in each other. It was a fun night and I think I made some progress with my strength.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Weekend things

It is amazing the new life old friends have to power to bring into your life. I think this weekend for Kate was just such a phenomenon. Jen and Audra came down from the twin cities to gawk and ahh at Kate's belly, our quaint house, and our great friends. After a week of wrestling with promotions and interviews it was nice to unwind with hours of heavy conversation on relationships, economics, gender roles, wal-mart, and what a great guy I am! Ok so I made up that last part but I think that Kate would have said if pressed.

I still haven't found out about the job status yet but word is that it will be this week for sure. The talk around the office is that there is paper work to be done but no indication on whose behalf the paper work is for. It will be known soon enough. For now I field calls like the one I got today by a guy who had our Beginning Unix book. He was upset that the instructions on the CD were in German. "What kind of back-ass-wards company do you run there!" the guy said to me on the phone. "Sir, can I have you look at the middle of the screen where it lists the languages and go ahead and choose one of the ones you do understand. I'm sure you'll find dumb red neck listed there somewhere." Some people are so sensitive. He thought I was calling him a dumb red neck but that was not the case, I was merely pointing out an option for him.

As Esse would quote "Thank you Come again!"

Thursday, March 02, 2006

I made the cut

I am intimately familiar with cut lists. All of my basketball playing life has been formed around whether or not my name was on that list. Some times the name on the list means your in, sometimes it means your out, but you stare at it for what seems like hours processing. With basketball teams there was always multiple cuts and I don’t think I was ever cut on the first one. I am not a great baler but I can dribble and run at the same time and you would be amazed how many people try out that can’t do that. Making the first cut usually isn’t that much of a distinction.

Well now I am up for this new job with four other guys and there is a two interview process. All four get the first interview and then the top two get a second interview. I guess there was already a cut that happened to get it down to four but today we found out who made the cut. As I came in this morning I was feeling a strangely familiar twinge in my stomach. I would get this when ever it was Report Card day or when the cut list was posted on the Gym. I wasn’t getting my report card so it must be cut day. Opening up my email I saw the message letting me know I had moved on to the next round of interviews. It is down to me and another guy but I don’t know who that guy is (officially I don’t, but I have a pretty good idea who it will be.)

So the final round happens tomorrow morning with one of the big wigs of the company. An East coast guy that some find hard to be around because he can be caustic and combative, the interview is scheduled for an hour but I have been told that it will probably go longer. I am really excited about this one because of the challenge of it. I will be brushing up on my Interview for Dummies though just in case.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

This made me smile today

Some of my favorite people.

Update: Choices

So I think I now know which one I am rooting for. Even though it means less money and it will be a little harder financial I would rather work from home for less money then at work for more. That does little to change the situation other then to clarify my own feelings about it. I will try to get the job in my interview because I am competitive and I can't not try for something, that just isn't me. If offered the job I will take it, I'm not going to turn it down just so I can work from home, I don't think that is a wise decision regardless of where my feelings are. So with an hour before the first interview I know where I stand and I am going to go in there and make it a tough decision for the managers. If they don't pick me it will be because some one was better qualified or had a kick ass interview because I'm gonna be compelling, I'm gonna be good.