Saturday, August 19, 2017

The Man-Cub Says Aloha to Maui

It's not what you think; in this case, Maui is a fish. A Betta fish, to be exact. I bought him about a month ago, from the clearance aisle at the Hellmouth, where, he was languishing in a small container of water, waiting for his ultimate demise and the flushing that would follow. I felt bad, so, I brought him home to live out the rest of his natural life, and, the Cub named him Maui.

Since then, Maui has rebounded and appears to be in good health. He lives in his fishbowl on the mantel, but, since we will be gone for a week, there was no way that he could stay there, not with Finnigan stalking his every move. We've all heard the old saying about when the cat's this case, the cat would be home, fishing. Can't have that.

So, this morning, the Cub and I loaded Maui up and delivered him to my office, where one of my co-workers has graciously offered to fish-sit.

Now, we can leave the house without worrying about an episode of Animal Kingdom playing out in real-time in our living room. The next "aloha" the Cub says will be to Oahu.

As an aside? I'm still not packed.

But, my fish is safe. Baby steps.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Friday Favorites: The Man-Cub Edition

We begin our journey to Hawaii tomorrow; I still have not packed. We aren't actually leaving the house until late afternoon (then, driving to Neighboring City for one last family dinner with Queen B before making the five hour drive to Salt Lake City to camp out in the airport until checking in for our flight at 5:00 a.m.), so, I figure I still have plenty of time for packing.

So, obviously, I still have time to write a post about the Cub, and, since it is Friday, I figured that I would write about the things that make him my favorite son, rather than dwelling on the fact that my favorite son is leaving me (why?!!!!!). So, without further adieu...

1. He can wiggle his ears, independently of any other part of his face. This is a talent we discovered when he was no older than 3 or 4, and, it delights me to this day.

2. His infrequent bouts of temper are mild and brief. He is quick to apologize and he usually thinks before he speaks. He has never said a hurtful thing to me, even in the heat of the moment.

3. His laugh. My God in heaven, thank you for the gift of this child's laughter; it is whole-hearted and exuberant in the extreme. I challenge you to not join him in laughter when he gets going, but, I must warn you; I will win.

4. His lifelong habit of crawling into my lap to have his back tickled. He outgrew my lap quite some time ago, but, that doesn't stop him from draping himself across it and begging for a tickle, anyway. I should also mention that I am not his only victim; his grandmother and various girlfriends have also been targeted (they have always given in, too. Clearly I'm not the only sucker for his puppy-dog eyes and pout).

5. His determination to live life to the fullest and his ability to throw caution to the wind. This is also one of my greatest concerns for him, but, I have faith that he is in the care of a far greater force; I place my trust in Him and pray for His constant protection of my son.

6. He humors me. The most recent example of this being his agreeing to provide "Proof of Life" twice a day, everyday, while he is at school. I don't care if it is in the form of text message, phone call, email, Snapchat, Facebook post, a tweet on the Twitter, or a picture on Instagram; I require evidence twice, daily. He's cool with that and I love him for it.

7. He is super patient with me when explaining technology and/or how to fix something, do something, whatever. He doesn't get impatient and he doesn't treat me like I am stupid. This is especially impressive when one considers that he has had to walk me through playing a DVD on our entertainment system at least five hundred time. Also, I still don't get it, but don't tell him that.

8. He believed in Santa until he was at least eleven years old, then, he pretended to believe for a couple more years simply because he didn't want to steal my Christmas joy. It takes a lot of guts to pretend to believe in Santa when you're a thirteen year old boy.

9. Right now, he is sitting next to me, watching the original Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. And, he's enjoying himself.

10. He loves his sister. Wait, let me rephrase that: He LOVES his sister. One of the hardest things about this whole thing will be watching those two say goodbye to each other. I am not looking forward to it.

I could go on and on, suffice it to say; the Cub is the beat of my heart and the joy in my soul. I'm so very excited for his future and I know he is going to have the best adventures, and, I'll miss him. That's all. I'll just miss him. But, in the immortal words of A.A. Milne:

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Another Week on Biiiiiigggg Brother!

- Double Eviction Night!! Let's cut some of the dead weight, shall we?

- For some reason, every time I see Alex in her adventure guide gear, I am reminded of Snoopy and Woodstock.

- Elena has a lot in common with Daisy Duck. It's the lips, I think.

- How many freaking sweaters did Kevin take into that house?

- Cody is going to marry Jessica....suuuure he is.

- Jason's "x-treme" costume is probably not the most ridiculous outfit he has ever worn; he is a rodeo clown, after all.

- Dear Mark: Elena is really not all that into you. Love, America.

- Dear Houseguests: Paul is going to run away with this game because you are all idiots. Love, Someone With More Than One Shared Brain Cell.

- Mark is really good at puzzles, this is a surprise.

- Josh sucks at puzzles. This is not such a surprise.

- Matt also sucks at puzzles. Good thing he's pretty.

- See, Mark? Even Julie Chen doesn't think Elena is that into you.

- What a sadly disappointing Double Eviction Night.

- Seriously Why am I still watching this show?

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Better Late Than Never, I Supose

Last night we attended the annual end of season baseball ice cream social at the high school. The social usually takes place in June, well before the seniors have scattered to far-flung corners of the world; this year, not so much. In fact the Man-Cub was the only senior left to attend the event.

Mikey and Tones both left the day after our luau. The other four seniors departed earlier this week. To say that the coach's planning was somewhat poor would be a vast understatement, but, at least we got to see the Cub pick up his final varsity athletic letter of his high school career.

I just wish the parents of my other boys could say the same.

As an aside, isn't it ironic that the cafeteria's welcome-back-to-school decor this season was done in a Hawaiian theme?

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

It's all Fun and Games Until Someone Pulls a Hammy

Did you see yesterday's post? 7 days until the Man-Cub officially becomes a college freshman, y'all. And, a resident of Hawaii. And, I become an empty-nester with no babies to spoil.

But, we aren't going to talk about that anymore (Head. Sand.).

This past Sunday, the Man-Cub played in his last baseball game. He almost didn't get to play-the team was lacking enough players due to vacations, and other commitments. But, Hugh swooped in to save the day, donning his old baseball pants and cleats and taking up a bat like it was second nature.

Well, second nature until he hit the ball and then had to actually run to first base, at which point he pulled his hamstring in a major way, leaving him limping to the base rather than running.

Luckily, the opposing team's first baseman has a terminal case of the butterfingers that day, and, despite moving at a crippled snail's pace, Hugh made it to base. The crowd went wild! Well, mom and I were the crowd, but, still.

It was a nice way for Hugh and the Cub to spend some final quality time together before we leave for Hawaii. And, even though Hugh has spent the past two days icing his leg and popping ibuprofen like it is candy, I don't think he would have missed it for the world.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Denial Ain't Just a River in Egypt

The Man-Cub checks into his dorm 7 days from now.

I'm going to let that sink in for a moment.

7 days.

I am...not ready. And, by not ready, I don't just mean mentally and emotionally, I mean logistically; the Cub has not packed a single item for the trip, we only just ordered his bedding and bathroom linens from Bed, Bath & Beyond on Saturday (we are utilizing their Pack and Hold program, which enabled us to pick everything out and to have it pulled for us at the store on Oahu, where we will pick it up next Monday), we haven't shipped a single box of his other possessions to the island (including any school supplies that he will need), and we haven't even looked into ordering his books.

I feel like putting all of this off for as long as we have has been sort of the clearest act of denial in the history of denial, and, that's not good.

It's time for me to pull my head out of the proverbial sand and get to it.

7 days. Jeebus Cripes.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

In Which We Pig Out

When I awoke to cloudy skies on Friday, I was certain that our luau was doomed. After all, it had rained almost incessantly since the beginning of August, so, why should that day be any different? And, although the forecast had promised sunny skies and warm temperatures, I know as well as anyone that Mother Nature doesn't follow the instructions of meteorologists and their fancy science crap.

So, I did what any self-respecting party planner would do; I prayed. Hard.

And, the good Lord did not disappoint me; he sent clouds, sprinkles, and gusty winds throughout the day (scuttling my plans to cover the tables with nice tablecloths), but, when 6:00 rolled around, the skies cleared, the sun shone bright, and, the winds died down to a light, refreshing breeze.

I never had a doubt.

None of my irrational fears materialized, either; people showed up (over 70), the pig was perfectly cooked and there was more than enough of it to feed the masses, and, most importantly, everyone had a good time. Oh, and that damn cake worked out. All in all, it was a perfectly well executed luau.

Not bad for a Colorado native and a transplant from the Big Apple.