Thursday, June 24, 2004

My worst birthday... (so far)

I think this was my worst birthday. I didn’t have the right attitude all day and things people would do, or not do just seemed to rub me the wrong way.

It all started when I got up. I made some remark like “What, no French Toast?” I always have cereal for breakfast, and it would have been nice to have French Toast that morning. I made the same comment on Father’s Day. I guess nobody got the hint. My fault. I should have said before I went to bed. “You know what I would really like for breakfast? French Toast”… Oh well. Like I said it’s me fault. I shouldn’t be so selfish and think that anything special should be done for me on my birthday.

I worked all day. That can really ruin a birthday.

I called home a few times during the day. I talked to my son. He never said “Happy Birthday.” That bothered me. My daughter called me once to ask me something. She said Happy Birthday. That was nice.

I talked to my wife around 3:00 pm. She asked what I wanted for my Birthday dinner. Three o’clock and she’s asking me what I want for dinner… I had to play a concert that night. I said grilled hotdogs. I think I said grilled hotdogs for three reasons. One, I knew I didn’t want to eat a lot before the concert. Two, I like them, and three, I felt kind of worthless at that moment and hotdogs seemed appropriate.

I got home. My wife didn’t get home until after 5:00 pm. She was carrying a package. I guess she found some time after work to finally go shopping for a birthday present. I think she had already purchased one thing all ready. These were just add-ons.

She also bought the hotdogs and buns. I opened the grocery bag. I looked…. She bought the cheap Oscar Meyer wieners. How appropriate… I felt kind of cheap, but something in the back of my mind was hoping that she would buy nice big fat “Sam’s Club” kind of Hotdogs. My fault… I guess I should have told her what kind of hotdogs I wanted.

After dinner I got to open my presents. I should really step back here… I just got a new car. While thinking about getting a new car, I said to my wife. “Don’t get me anything for my birthday. We’ll be spending enough on a new car.” … I opened the first few gifts. They were perfect. Nice and small and cheap. And I actually wanted them. Then I opened up my “Big” present. It was a new HP Color photo printer. I should have kept my mouth shut and just said “Thank you.” Instead, everything seemed to build up at that point. I’ve said repeatedly that I don’t want anything new for our Computer. That thing is so fragile, and loading anything new into it will cause it to have problems. I’ve told them that repeatedly, and they went and bought me a new printer. I wish they would have stopped at the soup ladles, video cassettes and CD holder.

Also, I’ve had conversations with my wife a couple of times about Photo Printers. They cost too much to print photos on those things. The paper costs a lot and the ink is ridiculously expensive. I can go to the drug store and get pictures printed for less money and not have any ware and tear put on my hardware… why didn’t she remember those conversations.

Thousands of other people would have loved that Photo printer. I looked at it as a total insult. Nobody listened to me.

I got home after the concert. I was looking forward to eating some birthday cake. It was about 9:15 pm. I sit down and wait and wait. My wife is busy doing something in the garage. I finally got up and went to the garage and said something rude like “Do I have to ask to have my birthday cake.” We then ate the “fake” cherry cheese cake. It was good.

I wish I could do that day all over. I’d try to do things differently and not hurt so many people.

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

I don't like birthdays...

Today I turned 43. Where are all of the years going? It seems like just yesterday, I was a boy crossing the street at Honey Creek Parkway on my way home from Third grade (the second time through). I remember thinking to myself… I can’t wait until I’m 16 and then I’ll be able to drive.

Then I remember the afternoon I graduated from 9th grade. I was on my bike riding around the teachers parking lot at Alexander Bell Jr. High. I remember thinking to myself… the next time I step into a school, I’ll be in High School.

Then I remember freshman orientation at UW-Milwaukee. I was confused. The guy taking us around asked, “Do you have any questions, like where’s my locker?” I thought to myself… yeah, where’s my locker? I didn’t realize that we weren’t going to have lockers anymore.

Then I remember graduating from college. I had a job lined up in Fond du Lac. I remember walking down the isle at the Arena when I saw one of my teachers sitting right next to the isle. He said to me as I passed, “So you think you’re graduating?” What did he mean by that? Did I fail his class? That night, I made a trip to UW-Milwaukee to check the final exam scores posted outside of his office. Good, I didn’t fail. I did graduate.

Now, I’m sitting in my cubical at work, thinking where did all of the time go? Who am I? What do I want to do for a living? When will I die?… and how???

I don’t think I like birthdays anymore.

Tuesday, June 01, 2004

A Great Weekend

I had a great weekend. It actually started Thursday afternoon and lasted until Monday afternoon. I went on a mini motorcycle vacation with my brother and nephew. Our destination was Corbin, KY to meet up with a bunch of Sport Touring guys. We weren’t planning on hanging out with them, but it was a convenient excuse to ride around that area of the country.

Thursday evening we made it down to southern Indiana and spent the night at a Lee’s Inn. We’ve stayed there twice before. This time, the lady checking us in was one of the least helpful people I think I have run across in the hotel business. We asked for a Roll-away bed. Her response was “We don’t have any.” Then, as if thinking we would mention that we knew they had roll-aways, she said… “They are all being used.” By the looks of the parking lot, we could see that they only had about 6 rooms booked that night… I guess everyone had a few roll-aways reserved.

We are pretty laid back people. We didn’t make a fuss and headed to our room.

They really need to do some cleaning in that place… and replace the carpet. It’s going down hill fast.

Friday was great. Just south of Cincinnati we got on twisty, hilly roads and spent the next 400 miles having fun making our way to Corbin. Mark had a small problem on one of the turns, but after helping him lift pick up his bike, things were back to normal. We got to the hotel in Corbin in the early evening.

Saturday was another great day of riding. I think we put on another 400 miles enjoying some of the finer roads in Kentucky, Tennessee and Virginia. It was almost as if these roads were made for motorcycles. Some of the hair-pin turns would have been difficult to negotiate in a car. I was beat after that full day of riding.

Sunday we started our ride back north. We saw some pretty country and had some fun going around some twisties. Rain caused me to have to slow down quite a bit in some of the sections.

When we got into Illinois, the trouble started. We were in the middle of farm country with nothing but corn as far as you could see. The skies looked threatening and with out warning we were right in the middle of it. Incredible winds from the left with downpours of rain and hail… then the wind started coming from the right. This was no good. Lightning hit about ¼ mile ahead of me – right where Matt was. He came on the radio screaming. I couldn’t understand anything he was saying. I could barely keep my bike upright. There was nowhere we could go. I’ve never been so scared on my bike.

We found a small bar and went inside to get out of the rain. I’ve never was so happy to be in a smoke filled room as I was standing inside that no-name watering hole.

After it stopped raining, we headed north. As we got into Camplaign, IL, the skies looked worse than what we just were in the middle of. Mark made the call to get off the highway and head to a KFC. That was the smartest decision of the weekend.

On Sunday we headed home. I was home around 2:00 pm.

Even with the bad weather, I had a great weekend. Memories from these last few days will be with me for the rest of my life.