Significance of 4/20

Educators, police officers, emergency personnel all can tell you they hate working on April 20 of each year.

Its an Urban Myth as to why 4/20 is so popular.

Some call it the National Marijuana Day.  Dope smokers conventions all across the backyards, basements, parks, playgrounds, etc… across the country are happening at this very moment.  School is out.  And more than likely your teenager is smoking marijuana.

Do you know where your teenager is at this moment?

We have more “work” at the school than any other day.  The schools are crazy and kids are acting like little fools.  Welcome to 4/20.

It all started with Adolf Hitler being born on 4/20!  That’s my story and I am sticking to it.

Columbine Shooting in 1999 was on 4/20.   Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris thought they would set into motion a chain of events that rocked Columbine, Colorado, the nation, and schools across the world.  The single worse school shooting on American soil.  It was horrific.  I have studied this shooting at multiple times throughout my professional career.  Each time I realize how truly sad it was.

Today I made it through 4/20 at work.  I did not have to have any students arrested for marijuana.  We had many joke about it, make rude comments, or act like fools concerning it.  But luckily, nobody went to jail.  This is rare.  I can recall many 4/20s that led to me having students carried away in shackles, leg irons, tased, gassed with pepper spray, etc…  Today was good.

I just hope the country realizes that legalizing marijuana is not the answer.  Breaking Federal Law with State Law is unconstitutional.    We are destroying society with the entitled attitude that comes from many (not all) marijuana smokers.

I’m not here to start a political debate. Just state from my small viewpoint on society.  Marijuana is creating many many problems.  If you do not agree; just keep it to yourself and don’t read my blog.

Apartment Love

When I first left my beautiful home I moved into a single 1 bedroom apartment in the only complex in my girl’s school attendance zone.  I had to get the 1 bedroom and go on a “waiting list” for the larger 2 bedroom.  At first I was a little perturbed.  They stuck me in this first floor apartment in the very back.  I was isolated.  My patio faced the boundary fence and on the other side was a 24 hour clinic.  I would never see another human being.  Sitting on my patio with wonder dog Fred was quiet.  Lonely even…  No noise…  The guy next to me backed into my truck causing a simple scratch.  He left his name on number on a note under my windshield wiper.  If I would of not got this note I would of never talked to anyone by this apartment.

I finally got to move to the 2 bedroom.  It was in the center of the complex.  Downstairs and full of the hustle bustle activity.  I’m sitting here at 7:11 pm typing this looking out my window and watching people walk by.  This place is like grand central station.  Every neighbor makes more noise than you can possible imagine.  On Friday and Saturday nights I think they have Fight Club in the parking lot.  Luckily I am a sound sleeper and don’t really give a shit about noise.

I’m actually entertained. I absolutely love to be in the center of the world.  I think I would prefer to live in a studio warehouse apartment above a bar in downtown Houston.   I will grab a beer and sit on the patio and watch the 20-somethings argue about what-nots.  Its cheap reality television for me.

My blinds in the bedroom rarely are closed.  I notice that I get ready at 4:45 AM and its still dark outside.  I shower and then stand naked at the sink fixing hair, applying deodorant, etc….  I leave the bathroom door open because it fogs up the mirror if I don’t.  I know the people in the parking lot probably get to see my ass every morning if they would care enough to get up that early for a fun show.  But due to the fact I walk Fred at 4:40 AM every morning I am all alone again.  Nobody in an apartment wakes up that early.  This is a night crowd place.  Most of the young 20-somethings go to work in the afternoon wearing restaurant aprons, tight fitting shorts, or uniforms.  I have multiple college degrees make enough money to put me in a high tax bracket and I’m living in the same type of place I drank myself silly when I was in college.

Living the dream!

I ran across this video and had to crack myself up.  I think this is brilliant.  I’m thinking of moving upstairs just to come up with these ideas.

What a way to pass time!

Soccer Season comes to an end

Readers  –

I know I have posted a few times about my daughters playing soccer and our quest for the state championship here in the little state of Texas.  Well that will end until next year!

We ran into a buzz-saw on Friday night.  A team from SW Houston came in and destroyed us.  It was not so much they destroyed us; it was the fact that a few of our players just “quit” after going down.

That bothers me more than anything…

My two girls have grown up around me and my silly motivational speeches, quotes, videos…  They understand that integrity of playing hard on a team.  Never giving up… Fighting harder than everyone else.  I always explain that they may run into players or people that are better, stronger, faster, prettier, etc… Because you can not control that.  But what you can control and should never run into someone that “wants it more” than you do.  The heart of a champion.  The heart to fight longer and harder than your opponent.  To live harder than others… You can control that.  You can make yourself keep going…  You can will yourself to the next level.

So….  Watching my daughters get upset at the players that “gave up” was hard on so many levels… But made me proud on so many more.

Congratulations my two fabulous daughters… What you have accomplished this year is extraordinary:

  • Maintained all A and B in school.  Both girls taking all advanced level classes.  AP and Dual Credit.  R gaining 21 hours of college credit as a junior in high school.  B gaining 3 as a freshman in high school.
  • B making and dominated the varsity soccer team with her junior sister as a freshman… Accumulating 23 goals to lead the entire district… again, as a freshman!
  • R playing rock solid defense and never having her side of the field give up a goal the entire season.  Only giving up 2 goals all season as a team.
  • R making state in UIL choir
  • B becoming the editor of the school newspaper (as a freshman!)
  • B being named Athlete of the week for the entire city of Houston, Texas

I could go on with this list but you get the drift.  But whats so impressive is the fact they did all of this as their home life BLEW UP around them.  Their parents exploded.  As you can read in the blog, this past summer we went from a perfectly normal family of 4 to a divorced, divided family.  The girls living in my apartment and staying a few nights a week at their mothers 30 minutes away.

That is what I call heroic.  I can not be more proud of my two and the people they are growing up to be.

Playoffs 3rd Round

Not sure if you guys really want the “play-by-play” of my daughter’s playoffs.  But your getting it anyway!

Round 3 was two nights ago… Was a tough tough team.  We came out with a quick lead on a weakass penalty free kick from just outside the box.  Should never of been called but we will take the 1-0 lead.

Then we gave up 2 goals.  Went down 1-2.

Little B took the ball at the half-way line and beat her defender.  Slide the ball to another forward who one-touched it back to a sprinting B.  B had the center back hit her hard so she was able to spin around and kicked the ball up for a volley and blasted the ball on the up bounce into the left upper 90 of the goal from about 25 yards out.  Brilliant.  Best goal I have seen EVER by little B.  Tied 2-2

We give up a goal in the beginning of the 2nd half; down 2-3.  1:47 seconds left in the game.  The girls are all dog tired.  Big R is a wall in defense.  Sliding into girls, blocking shots with her body, chasing streaking forward all over the place.  They dominated possession.  B is getting pissed.  Many of the girls are giving up.  Cramping, our mid-fielder is throwing up on the sidelines, 2 injuries.  We have nobody to sub… Big R has to come out because both knees are bleeding and the ref spots them.  Quickly the trainer tapes them up.. Its a marathon.  Nail biter.  I have a head-ache from yelling and the tension.

1:47 seconds left, Little B takes the ball 10 yards outside the box.  Goes to her left.  Steps past a defender and the center back is rushing toward her.  She hits a hard left-footed goal just above the goal-keepers stretched hand and into the bottom of the crossbar.  Ball bounces into the ground past the goal line for a goal!  We go friggin nuts!!!  Dog-pile in the goal box.  Girls are crying… B is jumping up and down like a maniac.  I’m shedding tears high fiving my father, my buddies who all came out to watch the girls dominate… Big R races down the field in a full spring and picks Little B up and tackles her again!  Its one of the most impressive moments of my life.

Go into double over time (2 – 10 minute over times)  and the score remains 3-3.  Its time for penalty kicks to decide the winner.  Little B sprints out to the spot 1st and takes the ball from the ref places it quickly on spot and bounces as if saying to the ref, “Come on chump; blow the damn whistle”.  Whistle blows and Little B blasts it into the right corner for the first goal!  Our keeper makes 3 miraculous saves and we win the friggin game!!

WOO HOOO

On to Regional Semi-finals (2 games away from state!!).  This Friday at 4.

Both girls are in the ice bath yesterday and today… Lets go girls!

Playoffs!

It has been a whirlwind of a week!  Soccer playoffs, new girlfriend, Easter, shopping, work, practice, etc…  Therefore, I have not had time to update my blog.  I want to… I have been thinking about it but just have not had the time.  Which is all good.

Lets break it down:

Soccer Playoffs:

The girls are playing tonight at 7 in the third round.  They have won the first two games.  I posted a blog before the 1st round here.

We blew out the first round with a 8-0 victory.  My little B scored 2 goals in that route.  R was bored in the back and didn’t let anyone take a shot the entire night.

The 2nd round was a tough game against a solid team from a town north of Houston.  Two of their players have verbal commitments to Texas A&M.  So what???  Our girls were a little intimidated at first.  Both my daughters came home and said that the team was down on themselves and they didn’t think they could win.  Luckily my oldest, R, started telling the girls “we can do this”.  (If you don’t know R was a freshman 2 years ago and our team went to state and lost in the semi-finals.  One of the top 4 teams in the state of Texas… so, she has been there.)

Game day.  It was a defensive battle and we went down 0-1.  I watched the body language of our team slouch and give up.  R yelled at her teammates to fire them up.  She ran out of position and sprinted past an opponent and blasted a ball at the half-way line into the goal box.  It was a moon-shot… This gave time for little B to run underneath it and collide with the goalkeeper and another defender taking them down to the turf as she headed the ball into the back of the net!  We were instantly tied and the girls did a “dog-pile” ontop of B.  Amazing…  Then the team loosened up and we scored another quick goal and then little B put another ball into the back of the net for a win of 3-1.

Little B was player of the week in the main Houston newspaper today.  Pretty impressive for a freshman.

Tonight we play another town’s team that we should beat.  They happen to be in our district and we have lost one and won one against them.  This is labeled the “rubber match”.

New Girlfriend:

Yes, I use the title.  It fits.  We are having a blast.  Meeting each other’s families, kids, friends, etc.. Laughing all the time… Watching movies and sports with each other… Just spending time enjoying each other’s company.  I’m excited and for the first time in a long time looking forward to the future.

Easter:

The new girlfriend and I went to church together.  Both of our kids were with their other parent.  So that was quite nice.  Then we all got together with my girls and went out to my parents for Easter Dinner of pulled pork sandwiches.  The girlfriend past the last test… My mother… lol

Work, etc.. all the same…

I’m off to route my girls on to victory!

Sundays in the South

For 25 years my Sundays in the South were just like the Shenandoah song.  I would relax at my nice home, pet my dog on the head, kiss my wife, laugh with my girls, and grill something on the patio grill.  All the while sipping ice tea and listening to smooth music.

Sundays in 2015….

I wake up and make a pot of coffee.  Turn on ESPN and start watching college basketball.  My team, Arkansas Razorbacks, sputter against Kentucky in the SEC Championship game.  I then watch the Rockets barely skate by the Clippers… Both of the girls invite their “boyfriends” over.  SO my little two bedroom apartment with no grill is overrun with testosterone.  I crack up thinking how the boyfriends struggle to talk to me.  Their mouths are dry and they stutter their words.  But they try.  That’s all I can ask.

The kids all take my larger car to the pizza store to buy takeout…

My new girlfriend who has touched my heart brings me a “care package”.  A home cooked Italian meal with all the fixings!  salad, garlic break, and a little pastry of desert.  I can not believe how lucky I am.  This kinda thing does not happen to 45 year old opinionated divorced fathers.

Everything is just smooth…. Then Fred the Wonder Dog throws up on my ottoman.

My new Sunday in the South… I wouldn’t trade it for anything at the moment.

Mrs. Walowitz died!!!

A television legend died today!  This is tragic news.  Big Bang Theory actress Mrs. Walowitz died.  She was the unseen voice of Howard’s mother.

Often you could hear her yelling from upstairs in that HORRIBLE voice.  I have nightmares of that voice.

Last week the girls are playing soccer against one of our district rivals on their home turf.  The parents of our girls and myself sat on the home side with the opponent’s parents.  Below us was an old lady that yelled and cheered for her team the ENTIRE game.  Her voice was rough, nasal, sounded like gravel and gave everyone a headache.

At first we were all silently cussing her because she would not SHUT UP.  By the second half of the game we were cheering her on.  It was impressive how much she cheered.  Her cheers were always super positive.  Never spoke down on the our team and really were there to motivate the opponents.

One of the mothers on our team leaned over to me and asked, “Do you watch Big Bang Theory?”  I replied that I did.  She then said, “That lady sounds EXACTLY like Mrs. Walowitz!”

I laughed for an hour.  She did.  I think she was Mrs. Walowitz.

Now today I read that she died.  Tragic.

Big Bang needs to come find this lady to fill in the role.  Nobody would ever know the difference.

10 reasons shorter men are hotter than tall guys

I like this…

Grilling in a skillet

Grilling in a skillet

The last few posts have been filled with sorrow and melancholy.  Okay, lets be real… It has been a rough ass week!

So, talking to Melly last night we started talking about food.  What does a newly single bachelor eat?  I posted a blog entry not too long ago about my food budget.  But seriously, what can I cook?

Back in the married days…. (Remember I had 21 years X 365 = 7665 days…)  I would often grill.  That was my form of cooking.  Truthfully, I grilled maybe once or twice a week!  I was a wizard.  I had a sweet set of tongs (not thongs).  I could cook the best steak, chicken, fish, pork chops, etc…  I could slow smoke a brisket, ribs, or a chicken.  I had more fun messing with new recipes.  My favorite was the Beer-Butt Chicken.  The girls first noticed the Beer-Butt Chicken when they were little bitty carpet rats.  They loved it because they got to say, “butt”.  Then run off getting lost in the carpet and giggle.  T would looks exasperated with me and I wouldn’t run off but would stand there and giggle.

Back to the point…

The state of Texas has as silly law against grilling in apartments.  But what I don’t understand as I drive through my complex is every other patio or porch has a grill on it.  But I have never smelled anything grilling… What gives?

SO here I am in the apartment with my $5.00 red skillet and a tub of Smart Balance fake butter.  I am ready to cook road kill.

I was trying to think of a good list of what I have cooked in the past 6 months I have been living the single lifestyle.

  1. Spaghetti. I buy the jar of regular meat sauce, fresh mushrooms, ground turkey (a habit from T… I may switch to ground beef next time I’m shopping), onions, and spices. I did purchase regular noodles for a dollar. I recognized the noodles T would buy for $3.75. Some sorta wheat thing. YUCK
  2. I can put chicken breasts in the skillet with butter and spices… Then cut it up and put ontop of some egg type noodles. Again, I find the bag of noodles for a dollar. I’ll usually cut up some mushrooms, veggies, etc… Pour some white sauce from a jar. I find it next to the red sauce for spaghetti. Taste like a small touch of heaven.
  3. I have bought and thrown pork chops in the skillet. Those are divine.
  4. I usually go out to eat or am able to score some leftovers from visiting my mom.
  5. If I go out I often get a take home box. Never did this before but heck I’m thinking another dinner can be had!
  6. I have gone to the Mexican restaurant around the corner from my apartment a few nights and sat at the bar and make friends with the bartender and wait staff. They have a smorgasbord of nice televisions mounted all throughout. This is a great place to sit alone, watch a little sports, and eat. I will usually order fajitas for two and bring half home for another meal.

As you can see of my sad pitiful list; I need some help.

I don’t appear to be losing any weight.  I actually gained back a few of the pounds I lost during the separation.  So I feel pretty good.

What do other single guys do?  I am tired of smelling up the apartment and setting off the smoke alarm constantly grilling in a skillet.

skillet

Walmart, My Saving Grace.

  Walmart, My Saving Grace

Think on this, for the next 3.5 years I am chained to this lovely apartment.  It is two bedroom apartment on the first floor.  Has a nice little patio that has the most breath-taking view of the parking lot.  I am able to sit on the hard plastic chair and allow the gods of wisdom and inspiration to cast lightning bolts of knowledge into my entire being.   Why am I imprisoned here?  This is not where I am supposed to be!!!  I am a professional, 44 year old relatively wealthy man.  I have a 401k that will enable me to retire at 54.  I play golf, fish or hunt most weekends.  I drink Vodka martinis, smoke cigars with my buddies while sipping Drambuie, and wear sports coats when I go out on the town.  I now live like I did 24 years ago in college.  I am thinking of buying a funnel to drink my beer out of.  Maybe buy a pack of Ping-Pong balls for nightly games.

drambui beerfunnel

After the split of my wife and I, we sold our beautiful home we had built and she scattered off to a cheaper area of Houston.  It was up to me (why?) to stay in the high school attendance zone that my girls attend school.  They cannot move due to the state of Texas UIL rule in athletics.  If you are on a varsity sports team and move you are required to give up a year of eligibility.  B has 3.5 years left of high school.  Archaic rule.

Shots from the real estate agent on our old house:

house house2 house3 house4 house5

So when I embarked on this rental adventure, I soon discovered there is only one apartment complex in the school attendance zone.  I jumped on the first place they had which was a tiny 800 square foot one bedroom apartment and got on the “waiting” list for the next two bedroom.  The one bedroom was my home for a couple of months.  Very quiet, very small.  When the girls came to visit they had to pull out the couch bed.

On December 19, 2014 we moved to the two bedroom and the girls moved in 3-5 nights per week.  This place is in the center of the complex.  Party central I should say.  We went to the mattress store and purchased a couple of single beds for the girls.  Great Christmas presents!

aprt3 aprt2 apart

Apartment aka, Bachelor Pad and Fred

I have labeled this place the Bachelor Pad.  Very original but hell it fits.  Adopted dog, Fred, and I are living the dream right here in apartment heaven.  I can hear all these 20-somethings fighting in the parking lots, babies crying in the apartment next to me, and the best is the herd of cattle that run above my head in the middle of the night.  LOVING IT.  I am not sure what is sadder; the fact that two nights ago two guys were actually beating the hell out of each other disturbing my patio view OR the fact I did not react because it was in the middle of my Rockets game.

But I will say, the 55 inch flat screen appears so much larger in the living room of this place.

Now for the kitchen!

When I first arrived to the kitchen I was lost.  What am I supposed to heat up my macaroni and cheese in?  Off to Walmart I go.  I find that you can purchase anything there!  I was never much of a shopper.  Honestly, I only shop online.  But hell I need a pot and pan!  AND geez is this shit cheap!!!  I remember purchasing a set of cookware for my wife off her Amazon list back a few years ago that was over 400 bucks!   She ripped me off!   I got this sweet set of red pots and pans for $55!!  I also got a badass wooden spoon to stir my vittles for .99 cents!

Each day presents a new problem.  I am slowly building up my arsenal for battle so I can defeat these problems.

The other thing that cracks me up is the grocery bill.  I had never shopped for groceries before this split up.  I am not helpless; I had been to a Kroger or something and walked in for a bottle of wine or a twelve pack of beer.    SO I am not a complete imbecile.  The budget for the food was always around $600-$800 a month.  I paid the bills and noticed T always kept it in that area.  I shop now for the girls and I and swear the budget is only about $400 a month.  What the hell was T buying???  There are so many more snacks and drinks in the apartment than were ever in the house!  I have stockpiles of things.  I’m lost as to understand what she spent all the money on.  I try and buy healthy stuff.  But I noticed the bread she purchased was in the isle for over $3.  I buy the wheat bread for $1.  What is the difference?

As for toilet paper and paper towels… after a bad experience I understand now why you purchase the top name brand stuff.  I bought some cheap toilet paper thinking I was savvy… whooo hooo.  Lets just say that my ass is used to soft stuff.  I think I am in love with Charmin Ultra rolls.  Paper towels that are cheap absolutely suck!  They can’t do anything.  So Bounty it is.

Kitchen supplies are slowly building.  My first experience with a can of vegetables was a nightmare.  I realized in the middle of cooking that I don’t own a can opener!  I sawed that bad boy off with a buck knife.  The next day I grabbed a can opener on the way home from work at Walmart.  The little guy that welcomes me at my local Walmart is named Tom.  We are buddies.  He knows all about my hardships and just shakes his head laughing at me every time he sees me walking in.

“What shit did you stumble in today?”  Tom usually asks.

“Tom, being single sucks…”  I snort back. “here is a $20, have a Merry Christmas Brother…”  I say as I pat him on the back and amble lost into the comfort of what has become my saving grace, Walmart.