Thursday, April 29, 2010

You want WHAT?

I've been a stadium vendor for over 19 years at 4 different venues throughout the Twin Cities.  I've sold everything from soft pretzels, to Coca-Cola, to my favorite...beer.  Something happened a few months ago while working at a MN Wild game at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul that in a perfect world someone would have been videotaping so I could share it with the world on youtube.  Instead, I'll have to settle for my blog and the dozen or so of you that read it.

The money at Wild games isn't as good as Twins or Vikings, but a hockey game does offer something great to someone like me that makes his money hustling up and down stairs to sell product to fans...2 intermissions.  During the intermissions we are allowed to "set up" in the hallways and have the customers come to us.  It's sort of a mandatory work break except instead of clocking out of your job for 15 minutes and sitting in the break room, you still do your job, minus the hard part which for vendors is walking the aisles carrying your product.  People have asked me if what I'm carrying around at a Wild game is heavy.  I've never figured out exactly how much things weigh, but I can tell you that my normal load of thirty-six 16 ounce bottles of beer plus 8 twenty ounce bottles of pop isn't light.  And sometimes it's even more than that. Vikings games have halftime which is a nice break two-thirds into the event.  (two-thirds because we don't sell beer in the 4th quarter).  Baseball, which is the greatest sport ever invented...has nothing...no breaks.  When you work a Twins game you GO, GO, GO for 7 straight innings.

Back to the Wild game.   What I do when I "set up" at Wild games is stand about 3 feet out from the outside wall of the concourse on the first floor of the X.  I set my case of beer, pop, and peanuts in front of me and advertise to the loitering crowd.  "Cold beer, pop, peanuts....Hey Mich, Bud, Bud Light...Cold Beer".  I usually hold two bottles of beer at eye level to help get people's attention. When someone comes up to buy something I set down the beers I was holding on the floor in between my feet (pay close attention to that fact) and grab whatever the customer wants to buy and make the transaction.  I NEVER sell the beers I was just using to advertise because I've had people tell me, "Not the ones you were just holding".  Apparently they think my hands have warmed them up.  Maybe they have. Whatever...

So it was coming to the end of the intermission and I was getting a nice rush of customers that wanted to buy beers before the start of the next period.  I'd make a sale and then move on to the next person.  "What can I get you?"  "I'll have a Mich Light and a bag of peanuts" is a common answer.  Well, this guy steps up and once again I ask, "What can I get you?"  And he replies, quote, "I'll have what's in between your legs". 

Of course, what he meant was that he wanted the Mich Golden Light and the Bud Light that I had set down on the floor between my feet, but I pretty sure both of us realized at the exact same time what it sounded like he was asking for.

If you're curious about my reply it was, "How about some beers instead".

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Is this what vacation is for?

Since you didn't ask, here's how I've spent the first two days of my vacation:

Monday:

Slept in until 8AM.

Went to Menards with my dad.  Needed to buy some wood to build a sandbox for my girls.  Also some fencing to fix a spot in my chain-link fence where the rabbits come and go as they please.  It's their gateway into my backyard, which is where the vegetable garden was and will be again.  The little bastards helped themselves to my beans last summer and I'm not going to let that happen again.  And yes, the garden also is surrounded by a fence.  The holes were too big so I'll be upgrading that this year as well.  Seeds are on sale right now so I picked up some for lettuce, spinach, jalapeno peppers, and sunflowers.  I needed to buy a furnace filter too.  No one likes a dirty furnace.  Anyway, my dad and I were at Menards for a little over two hours.  Why so long?  If Bob Villa sneezed, the stuff that came out of his nose would know more about home maintenance than me and my dad combined.  (Personal note to my dad:  Sorry Dad.  If knowledge was based on effort we'd be hosting This Old House.  For the record, I realize that you do know much more than I do...you proved that yesterday)

Built a sandbox.  I found a guide on the internet and it turned out great.  I'll post pictures of it later.  It's 4ft x 4ft.  I used 2 x 10 boards for the sides and I'll use a piece of lattice as a cover.  Still need to buy some sand so right now it's just sitting in the garage.  Might prime and paint it tomorrow...especially if it's raining.

Was a judge for the Rooftop Comedy National Comedy Competition at ACME.  It's the third year for the competition and the second time I've been a judge.

http://www.rooftopcomedy.com/college/

Tuesday:

Slept in until (I'm embarrassed to say).

Reinstalled some safety latches to cupboards in the kitchen.  It's weird that plastic can break so easily yet it can sit in a landfill and not decompose for 250 years.

Painted the walls in the hallway that lead upstairs. 

Ran out of paint because I was using what was left from painting the living room/dining room last year.

Went out to dinner with family at Green Mill.  I got a medium Combo pizza...pepperoni, black olives, green pepper, and mushrooms on hand-tossed crust.  Delicious.  After we paid the bill I suggested to my wife that we go to the Home Depot to buy more paint and to buy a furnace filter since I of course bought the wrong one yesterday at Menards.  That plan immediately changed when my wife got our daughter Anna out of her high chair and smelled poop.  Turns out the "poop face" Anna was doing a few minute earlier wasn't an illusion.  We didn't bring along the diaper bag so we needed to go straight home.  When we got to the car I was putting Megan in her car seat when my wife noticed that Anna's pacifier was missing.  This was the first emergency of the night, but as I would soon find out, not nearly as serious.  More on that later.  Now it was time to put this fire out.   We had an "almost" 2-year-old on our hands screaming for her "nooky".  I retraced our steps all the way back into the restaurant and to our table without finding it.  Our waitress was there cleaning up and she said she hasn't seen it either.  Then, without being asked, random guy that was still sitting at a table near where our table had been says, "She had it when you guys left".   Really, I said, you noticed?  He nodded.  I thanked him and left.  How weird was that?  We had absolutely zero communication with this guy for the 45 minutes we sat near him and his friend, but somehow he noticed something so utterly insignificant to his life as my daughter's pacifier in her mouth when we were leaving.  As I was walking back to the car thinking about how bizarre that whole thing with the guy and the pacifier was I found it.  It was sitting on the ground behind one of the car tires.  I told my wife about pacifier-guy and she figured he must be a Simpsons fan because Anna uses the same style as Maggie.  All I know is that this guy would be great to have as an eye-witness to an accident.  Could you imagine this guy in court?  "The 1998 blue Ford Explorer with MN license plate 205 BBM was traveling at a speed of 46 MPH through the intersection.  The brakes were never depressed as I did not see the lights engage.  The driver, a white male just short of his 26th birthday was sending a text message to his friend John, 'Dude, Ill B ther n 5'.  His index finger was one and seven/eighth inches from pressing send when he sideswiped the Volkswagen.  Yes, your honor, this is all from memory...I notice everything."

Dropped my wife and Anna off at home to deal with the diaper.

Went to Home Depot with Megan.  Purchased another gallon of Glidden Mid Day Mocha....Eggshell finish.  Also bought the correct furnace filter!

Got home and tiptoed around the dozens of toys strewn about "other living room" and noticed what looked like blood smeared across the sit-and-spin.  My wife immediately assumed it was poop.  Anna has been putting her hand down the back of her pants and at least twice in the last month has pulled out a "gift".  If I'm ever in need of another poop story I'll share more about those great memories.

After the girls got their teeth brushed it was time for them to head up to bed.  Got to the top of the freshly/partially painted staircase when I noticed some more blood...this time on the wall about 18 inches up from the floor.  Then one of the cats, Rocco, ran by and answered the mystery of who was bleeding.  (disclamer:  things are about to get graphic)  All four of Rocco's paws were covered in blood.  After I got him out of the our bedroom closet I saw something so disgusting, well, let's just say it was an image that I pray will someday leave my memory.  All of the hair and skin was missing from the end of his tail and blood was dripping from the end of it.  I picked him up and ran down to the basement because I figured if he was going to keep bleeding I didn't want any more of it to get on the carpet.  At this point, it was a little after 8PM so I had to google "emergency pet vet" in my area and found one just a few miles away.  I brought him in and they told me his tale had been "degloved"...probably from getting caught or stuck in something around the house.  Unfortunately, this isn't something that can be fixed with some antibiotics and a bandage.  They told me that his tail needs to be amputated a little past where the degloving had occurred.  They put together an estimate and it's a lot, but not too much.  So that's where I am right now...sitting at home waiting for the phone to ring.  They said they'd call me before they start the surgery.  When I get him home he'll have to take antibiotics and painkillers AND have to wear on of those halos so he doesn't lick his tail.  Poor guy, I feel so bad for him.  The only time he meowed was when we were in the car on the way to the Animal ER.  I read online that cats act perfectly normal when they're in a lot of pain.  It's instinct, to keep larger predators to know they're not at full strength.  Who knows when this night will end.  Good thing I'm on vacation....

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Is this today?

That's the question my 3-year-old daughter recently asked me? 

My answer was, "Well Sweetie, today is always today...unless it's tomorrow...which would make today, yesterday."

Yeah,  that should clear everything up.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Don't eat the orange snow

You'd never be able to tell that I'm married if you looked at the floor of my car.  It's an absolute mess.  Whatever wrapper my fast food meal was packaged in inevitably ends up there.  Sometimes I even have fun with it and 'no-look-pass' a McDonalds cheeseburger wrapper into the back seat.  I was looking for some gloves a few weeks ago and found a Sports Illustrated from August 2009.  The garbage collection in my car does come in handy if I ever need to dispose of a chewed piece of gum.  In fact it's road-safe.  I don't even have to divert my eyes from traffic.  All I have to do is reach down and grab whatever is at the top of the pile to wrap around the gum. It never fails because there's always something handy.  After the gum is safely covered so that it won't stick to anything...back to the floor it goes.


I have to say that it is embarrassing to have to turn down the "complementary" car vacuuming at Jiffy Lube because it's so messy.  More than once I've told them, "Don't bother".

Anyway, I hit up the drive-thru at  McDonalds yesterday and got my favorite fast food breakfast:  The Egg McMuffin combo meal with orange juice and another extra Egg McMuffin.  I'm capitalizing Egg McMuffin because much like "Doctor" or "President", it deserves the respect.  By the time I got home I had finished off everything but approximately 4 ounces of juice that of course I left in my parked car.  I've made the mistake of leaving a cup of orange juice in my car too long in the past.  So long that mold had formed an organic cover over the remaining juice.  Disgusting, I know.

Well, I wasn't going to let that happen this time so when I got home today I grabbed that cup along with my jacket and work bag before exiting my car.  I thought it would be best to dump out the rest of the juice before I threw it in our garbage bin which I've been keeping right outside the garage.  I say,  "I've been keeping right outside the garage" because just like Eddie Murphy's character in Coming to America, I am in charge of garbage.  In hindsight, why did I think it was necessary to I dump it out?  Would 4 ounces of orange juice in the bottom of a family sized garbage bin ruin the rest of the trash?  It already smells like used kitty litter and diapers.  If anything it would probably temporarily make it smell better.

If it would have been water that I poured into the snow next to the garbage bin I wouldn't have thought twice about it, but since the juice turned the white snow a yellowish-orange color I immediately thought...that looks like pee.   Not a healthy pee.  More like the urine that came out of someone showing signs of dehydration, but pee nonetheless.

I'm going out to Rick Bronson's House of Comedy at the Mall of America tonight to see Dave Attell.  I'm also going to be drinking a few beers.  In moderation of course since I'm driving.  Before I leave tonight I'm going to point out the yellowish-orange snow to my wife.  Either that or tell her to read the blog.  I'm still waiting for her to sign up as a follower.  In any case, anyone that's spent a night out on the town drinking beer before a long drive home knows that a full bladder can creep up on you.  My wife has definitely watched me do the "pee-pee dance" while praying a red light would turn green.  So how does this all tie together?   It sounds ridiculous, but I don't want my wife to see the tinted snow tomorrow and assume I couldn't make it into the house to empty my bladder after a night of laughing and drinking.  She probably wouldn't, but I can't take that chance.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

where's the camera?

I don't really even know where to start with this one.  Something so strange happened to me last week during a trip to my local Target that I'm still having trouble understanding.

I'll set this story up by saying that the reason I was making the trip to Target was to buy a new toilet paper holder.  Without fail my daughter Megan drinks too much water right before bed and then has to get up at some point during the night to use the bathroom...a.k.a. "go potty".  Unfortunately, the following has happened a few too many times.  My wife and I will be sitting on the couch watching TV and we'll hear Megan's footsteps go from her bedroom to the bathroom...not hear her go back...one of us (normally me) will go up to check on her and will find her sitting on the toilet crying because she can't reach the TP.  Sad, I know.  I'm 5'11'' and even I have to stretch to reach the roll so for little Megan it's impossible without getting up.  Sorry about that visual by the way.  So after the most recent episode of "crying 3-yr-old on the toilet" I decided to do something about it and install a new TP holder closer to the throne.

I figured that now that I had a solution to this problem I better take care of it as soon as possible so the very next day I stopped by Target on my way home from work.  I made my way to the bathroom aisle.   Anyway, the first couple TP holders I picked up were $17 and way too fancy for a bathroom that hasn't been updated since 1974 so I kept  wandering down the aisle until I got to the $5 holders that are made out of plastic and then coated with silver paint to look classier than they really are.  When I first got to the bathroom section there was one other person there looking at products on the other side of the aisle.  She was doing her thing and I was doing mine.  We didn't talk or make eye contact for that matter, but once I made my way down to the end of the aisle where the cheapie TP holders were located I suddenly had more company.  A guy that was probably in his 20's that looked like he must have taken a wrong turn to end up in the bathroom aisle, came around the corner and stopped right next to me.  And I mean RIGHT NEXT TO ME, like in my space right next to me.  The moment I saw him, we did make eye contact by the way, I had this weird feeling..  I don't know if it was the way he looked at me, how he was dressed (oversized white jacket and baggy pants), or the fact that he was about two inches from me, but something didn't seem right. He looked that the type that grew up attending Lutheran private school, but now listens to hip-hop and smokes menthol cigarettes.

Anyway, like I said he stopped right next to me and started looking through the clearance products.  The whole time I kept thinking, "What could this dude possibly be looking for?"  The shelves were practically bare.  There were a few glass shelves for sale and maybe some towels and a few other things, but I'm telling you, in my mind there was NOTHING there that this guy would be shopping for.  The way he was picking up all the clearance items and looking at them and quickly setting them back down it seemed like he was going through the motions...like he was acting.  And bad acting.  The quality of acting I'd compare to what you'd see in a porn movie or maybe Hayden Christiansen in the Star Wars prequels.  It was like he was just picking things up to look busy.  This guy was way too close to me and acting way too strange and it was really creeping me out.  What was up with this guy?  I swear I felt like he was screwing with me.  It was all so odd.  I seriously felt for a second that there had to be a camera filming this whole thing to capture my reaction to the "way-too-close-shopper".

I'd had enough and since I already picked out what I came there to buy it was time to go.  I clearly took too much time analyzing the situation because right before I turned to walk away my new bathroom aisle "friend" ripped a long, juicy fart.  He didn't laugh or acknowledge what he just did and neither did I.  Where's the camera I thought.  This had to be a joke.  There was no way he thought I didn't hear it and there was no way it was an accident.  It was surreal.   I wanted to say, "you've gotta be f'ing kidding me".

Instead of walking around him to leave I turned and escaped the other way.  I wouldn't have been surprised to turn the corner to find one of my friends laughing hysterically at such an awesome prank, but no..just me and my $5 toilet paper holder.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

a look into the bedroom

When I got home from work today, my wife asked me if I had any idea what time she woke up this morning.  Of course I didn't because I leave my house each morning for work around 5AM...well before any sane person that doesn't work morning radio would care to be awake.   Also, I'm a very heavy sleeper.  I set 3 alarms to wake up each morning and even then I occasionally need a nudge from my wife and a "your alarm is going off" to finally open my eyes for the day.  My deep sleeping has been such a problem that before I met my wife I would set two alarms, one on my watch and one on my clock, along with setting a timer on a lamp that was next to my bed.  Right around the time my second alarm would go off the 60 watt light bulb in the lamp would turn on that was right next to the bed.  Ridiculous...I know.

Anyway, my wife told me she'd been up since 3:30 because that was when our daughter Anna woke up because she couldn't find her pacifier.  Anna will be 2 in April and she still uses a pacifier.  "Still" isn't totally accurate because for the first year of her life she didn't even use one.  Unfortunately, now she loves it and whenever she realizes she doesn't have it she immediately calls out, "nukky...nukky".    My job during the night is to go into Anna room and give her a pacifier.  We've learned that is too difficult to find the lost pacifier and much easier to give her a new one so we now keep a clean one next to our bed.  I have absolutely no problem getting back to sleep after a visit into Anna's room, but my wife is different and last night was worse because she kept hearing "noises".

So wife my told me with Anna waking up, all the noises she heard, my alarm going off a little before 5, and then Megan waking up before 6AM, she had a pretty rough night.  On a side note, what does it say about my wife's confidence in me as her protector that she wouldn't wake me up to check out the mysterious noises that spooked her enough not to fall back asleep in the middle of the night?

I asked my wife for the one-thousandth time, "If it's the middle of the night and you're so tired, why can't you fall back asleep?"  This was when she added a little more to the story.  Apparently right around the same time she heard all of these noises that were scaring her, she also smelled something that almost made her vomit.  For a moment she thought she could actually smell whoever had just broken into our house.

Of course what really happened was the noise was ice/snow falling off of our roof and the odor was me farting in my sleep.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Red Hooded Sweatshirt

So, I was in the room in my house my wife calls the family room the other night when I came across a red hooded sweatshirt while folding some clothes.  I say, "my wife calls the family room" because I refuse to.  As much as I love my family, calling a room in my house the "family room" is too precious and suburbanite for me.  I'm still in denial that I'm not raising my kids in St. Paul.  When I need to differentiate between the TWO LIVING ROOMS in my house I simply point or say, "no, not that one, the other one".

In any case I picked up the red hooded sweatshirt that I received as a Christmas gift from my mother-in-law several years ago and realized that I can't even remember the last time I wore it.  At some point over the last couple years my wife started wearing it, washing it, folding it, and keeping it with her clothes.  Anyone that sees me on a daily basis in the winter knows I wear a hooded sweatshirt on average about 4 out of 5 work days.  I love them.  They're so damn comfortable and functional.  I'm saying this to emphasize the point that it's not easy for me to just give one up.  Even if it is to my wife who happens to look really good in red. 

So as I was folding the shirt I told my wife that I was taking it back...I was going to start wearing MY SWEATSHIRT.  She just shrugged her shoulders and told me to go ahead and that she never actually claimed it as hers.

That was easy.  Red hooded sweatshirt and rightful owner reunited at last.

When I put the sweatshirt on yesterday morning I immediately noticed that something didn't feel right.  It wasn't as soft as it used to be.  It didn't even fit like I had remembered.  It felt foreign....like I was wearing someone else's clothes.  I assume the dozens of cycles in the laundry since the last time I wore it have everything to do with that.

Unfortunately, that feeling never changed throughout the day.  By the time my wife got home yesterday afternoon I had washed the sweatshirt and put it back in HER part of the closet.  Happy (early) Valentine's Day Sweetie....The Red Hooded Sweatshirt is yours.

Here is Adam Sandler's ode to his Red Hooded Sweatshirt.  Enjoy.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qi_m_-5M2tw&feature=related