Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Ho ho ho!

This is Thomas' first Christmas -- and Thanksgiving -- away from the family, whilst he lives as a mountain man, working retail.  The Saturday after Thanksgiving, I woke up to a Facebook message, rather frantically asking if I was available to talk.  Unfortunately, the messages had been late the night before, and I hadn't seen them.  It took me several hours to connect with him, when he said not to worry, he'd just had a really bad day, and he wanted to talk.

Turned out that among many other things, he'd gone to work on Black Friday, only to be told that he had to be Santa for three hours.  Thomas.  As Santa.  Remember, this kid is stoic beyond definition, quiet to the point of a monk, and oh yeah, he's not a KID person.  Gotta admit, I started laughing when he told me.  I wasn't alone, because when I told Seth and Jim, they both responded simultaneously "THOMAS?  As SANTA?"  Cracked me up.  I asked if he had kids sitting on his lap and he said no, that he mainly just walked around handing out candy and asking kids what they wanted for Christmas.

I seriously could not picture this.  I promptly asked for photographic proof, because yeah, I still wasn't quite believing it..  He said he didn't have any, but he would, because he was going to have to be Santa every Friday till Christmas.  So you guessed it, that picture is the Heir to the Throne, as the skinniest Santa on the planet!

This one says it all.  Seth and I have decided that he looks definitely Grinchy:

Merry Christmas, everyone!

Monday, December 23, 2013

My Girl

This girlie, born in the midst of an ice storm 23 years ago, has grown up to be a beautiful, brilliant and funny young lady.  Proof?

I rest my case.

Thursday, December 05, 2013

Here We Go Again

The other day, I mentioned that Jim had taught Seth how to tie a tie.  The boy amazed me, really.  So today, I get a text from him.  The exchange went like this:

Seth:  Did I leave my decent pants somewhere in my room or something?  Also, are you supposed to wear the tie inside the collar flap or just around your neck?

First of all, this worries me.  What does the boy consider to be "decent pants?"  It kind of scares me to think what pants he might be wearing around Butler.  It would scare you too, if you saw just how dressed down this kid takes it at home.  The kid likes comfy clothes.  I take no responsibility, especially if he's walking around in sweats with a tie around his bare neck.

Me:  I will look for the pants.  Tie goes around the collar when it's folded down, not against your skin.

Maybe this doesn't make sense, but I hate long texts on my phone, and I thought that making it quick and dirty might get through to him.  Not so much.

Seth:  What do you mean by folded down?

This kind of reminds me of the "define what 'is' is" quote of days past.  Folded down. As in, not up.  Too bad that tie didn't come with a GPS installed in it.  I'm thinking the boy has no future in origami.

Me:  Pop the collar.  Put the tie on.  Fold down collar over the tie.

Breaking it down more.  Small words.  Short sentences.  I'm thinking we have got it now.......

Seth:  Oh.  Welp.  I thought Jim said it just goes around the neck...

He has no idea how he got this idea. He did, however, inject all the love in his heart into his response, which was given official approval of the US Marine Corps.

Me:  Look at a YouTube video.

At this point, I threw in the towel, and was pretty sure that he didn't quite understand what I was saying.  I also knew that he was likely getting ready for class, and was getting increasingly concerned at what he was gonna look like as he went out the door.

Seth:  I understand how to do it, I just thought he said elsewise.

So I guess the entire exchange may've been for nothing.  I'm still not quite sure.  I'm also not sure if he unerstands where the tie goes.  And notice, there was not one question about how to actually tie the tie.  It was only about the location of the tie, which would imply that perhaps Jim put the cart before the horse when he showed Seth how to tie the tie without making clear the placement of said tie before you start.

It's no wonder my brain feels broken some days.

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

The Monthly Hideout

I spent today hiding from the cleaning lady.  This is a monthly thing that I do, and it drives me kind of crazy.   Jim has had this cleaning lady coming by to do her thing every month or so for several years.  I told him that we really don't need her, but he said he wants to do it for me, so I don't have to worry about cleaning so much.  He even said he'd have her come very two weeks, but I said not way.  That's just too much hiding.

You see, the first I heard of the cleaning lady was when we were first dating.  He told me that Big Boobs was coming over the next day.  Whhhhhaaaaat?  Well, you know, he's a Marine, so you never know what's gonna fly outta his mouth.  He explained that the first time she had come over to clean, she got talking to his late wife.  One of the things that she saidin that first conversation was that she had had a breast augmentation done.  And then she lifted up her shirt and showed her.  As in, new client.  New cleaning lady.  New client now face to face with the girls.


This more than freaked me out, but it wasn't an issue because I wasn't usually here when she came.  I was living in town, I was working days.......no big deal.  Our paths never crossed.  Well, now I live here, and I work later in the day, so I'm here when she comes.  The first time she came after I moved in, Jim was still home recovering from his knee surgery.  I wasn't here, for some reason -- maybe a doctor's appointment or something, but he was alone with Boobs.  Thank God, she didn't show him her ta-tas, especially because it was the first time he'd actually met her, despite her tenure here.  He did say that she had talked his bloomin' head off.  As in, nonstop talking.  She was here talking for an hour before she started working, and then she forgot to do things like empty the trash in the bathrooms and vacuum some of the upstairs.

The next time she came, he suggested that I just flat out leave the house.  Now we were not only afraid of the boob show, but we weren't sure she'd get any work done.  Given the fact that I work from home, he wanted her long gone before I had to start work, so not giving her a chance to engage was the best way out.  I spent the afternoon hanging out with a friend. and came home to a nice clean house.  Jim reported, however, that Boo had gotten out of his cage sometime before she got here, so when she opened the garage door, he took a tour of the yard before she could coax him in.  Oh well, at least he didn't bite anyone.  He may or may not have seen her boobs.

Well, it's a pain in the patootey to hide every time she comes over, because she is always an hour or two late, so I don't know when the leave the house, nor when to come home.  Jim has somehow brainwashed her into thinking that I absolutely cannot be disturbed if I am in my office, so I usually just take the dogs and lock myself in there whilst she cleans.  I try to do it before she gets here, because if I don't, it's a nonstop barrage of meaningless chatter until I can get the door closed.  I literally hide in there organizing, surfing the web, playing Candy Crush, listing sewing patterns, doing actual work, or whatever else I can think of until she is long gone.  Heck, today I came home and she was still here.  She was upstairs, so I made a sandwich, grabbed a drink, and went into my office.  Never saw her at all, but she chattered away until the door closed.  No word from Bandit if he got an eyeful, but I will say that he refused to come upstairs while she was there, ran upstairs and then refused to go downstairs till she was gone.  It all seems rather suspect to me.  That poor cat.

Monday, December 02, 2013

Tie One On

I know I mentioned that Jim's goal was to teach Seth to iron over Thanksgiving break, but yeah, it didn't happen.  Not yet, at least.  He did, however, teach Seth to tie a tie.  Listening to a Marine on a good day is an interesting thing, but this just cracked me up.  Imagine yourself as me, sitting in the living room, TV on, listening to two guys with severe ADHD trying to perform a semi-complicated feat.  Now, add to it that Seth is standing in front of Jim watching.  Jim is right handed.  Seth, who is ambidextrous, does the majority of things left handed.  I'm just not so sure that this is going to work at all, but Seth is standing there, intently listening.  This, in and of itself is something of a miracle.   He must REALLY have wanted to learn.

 Here's the blow by blow:

::Jim takes tie in hand.  Puts it around his neck and adjusts it slightly, whilst it it untied::
Jim:  "You put it around your neck like this.  Now, some people will say you have to get the ends even.  That's bullshit."
::makes a few moves -- remember, I am behind him so I can't see exactly what he's doing::
Jim:  "Pull it tight. Not too tight.  This is not a lynching."
Jim:  "Before you slam it tight and shut, you have to make some adjustments.  This is where it gets cute. The Marines put what we call a dimple. You see this length here."  ::indicates end of tie, I think::
Seth: "I've heard many things about where that goes."
Jim:  "The only thing you do is take it and put it through like this."  ::puts it through the tag::  "That's all it's for.
It's still not tight.  So you still got plenty of room to tighten this up to make it smaller. The key thing is that you can just leave it like this and take it off."
::takes it off and hands the tied tie to the boy::
::Checks the tie on the boy::
Jim: "What we can do is this.  Take that off."
Seth: "How do you loosen it up?"
Jim: "Pull on this piece de resistance....Don't hang yourself!"
::adjusts tie::
::undoes tie instead::
Jim: "Around, up and through, pull your loop out like so, put your tie through.  Now again, it's pretty short."
::takes it off and adjusts::  ::hands tied tie to the boy::
Jim:  "Nonononononononono.  YES.  That's a boy.  Tighten it.  Is it tight tight?  Now, this is where it's supposed to hit.  It needs to be shorter.  You don't want to pee on it.
::takes it off::
Jim:  ::glances at TV:: "Dammit, the Colts are gonna lose this game."
::puts tie on himself::
Jim: "Now, when you get done figuring this out........::tying:: Here.  Try that.  Ah, nope.  Too short. Too short."
::takes it off again and hands it back::
::more adjustments::  :hands it back::  ::silence::
Seth: ::looks at TV, where there's a commercial for Elementary playing:: "Wait, there's two Sherlock shows?"
Jim:  "Yeah yeah, that's the modern one.  Fix your collar. "Is too long?  Fix your collar.  Look up. ::Seth looks at ceiling:: Not THAT high."
Jim:  "You said to look UP."
Jim: "What the hell are you DOING?"
Seth: ::tie is now tied, and tucked into the top of his shirt:: "Tucking it into my shirt?"
Jim: "What the HELL?"
Seth: "I like how it looks."  ::please note, it it fully tied, and tucked against his chest, inside his shirt::
Jim:  "That's an ascot.  You're not Richie Rich.  Take that out of there."
Seth:  "I like how that looks."
Jim:  "To get an ascot, you basically get a scarf and poufy it up.  You're not poufy.  Now, where's that other tie.  The one you wear to funerals?"
Seth: "The yellow one?"  ::note to self:  we now wear yellow to funerals::  :Seth dons a vest::
Jim:  "Yeah, that one.  Where the hell did you get THAT?"
Seth:  "YOU picked it out!"
Jim:  "I did?  OK.  That's a nice tie."
Seth:  "So I need to pouf it up then?
Jim:  "NO.  You are NOT POUFY.  What, are you gonna wear it?"
Seth:  "I'm not planning to like, go in this, but I want to see what it looks like."
Jim:  "Now, see where that one is?  Same thing.  See this tag?"
Seth:  "Do all ties have that tag in them?"
Jim: "Yes, unless you rip it off when you're drunk. Now, put the tie inside the vest."
Seth: "OH.  That's what I was thinking about.  Not that ascot thing.  Putting it into the vest.  Not the shirt."
Jim:  "Thank God.  Where's your scissors, Lisa?"
Me:  "There's a crappy pair of scissors here.:
Jim: "Yeah, just give me the crappy ones.  ::glances at TV again:: What?  Tennessee has the ball.  What a pile of crap.  Now, what you have on you right now is that you are dressed up enough to go to a wedding.  Except the jeans.  ::note, he has gone from a funeral to a wedding, with just the addition of a vest::  You clip the tie bar to your shirt so it keeps your tie down like this.  The tie bar thing you can wear anywhere you want.  Tradition says the Marine Corps wears it in the middle. Now you don't have to tie a tie for the next four years."
Me:  ::trying to point out the obvious fact that Jim has just tied both ties:: "You know, you were supposed to TEACH him to tie the tie.

They both look at me rather crazy and say, "HE DID."  And I'll be darned, that kid took an untied tie and tied a perfect knot with no direction, and full approval from the Chief Warrant Officer.  Guess that shows you what I know.