Archive for family

Easter greetings

Posted in culture with tags , , on March 24, 2008 by mrbitterness

Happy Easter, fellow readers. We had the all-but full holiday experience this weekend, from a Good Friday service (where we ducked out after communion so the kids wouldn’t keep wailing over the sermon), through to Sunday dinner at great-grandmother’s house. Good times, good food, some Egg-Hunt overtime with Kodi and JD: An enjoyable celebration all around, enhanced by the relative of all stops. Drive times and gas prices can play havoc with holy days if you let them.

So here’s my Easter Sunday anecdote, largely unrelated to the holiday (unless I devise some connection as I write). It starts a little shaky, but don’t worry. Nothing gross.

My 4-year-old, complaining of a tummy ache, made a run for the bathroom after lunch. “I have to poopoo,” she announced unashamedly.  When I went to check on her, I noticed only a couple squares of toilet paper remained. After checking a few places under the lavatory, I called for help.

“Nanny, where do you keep the extra toilet paper?” I asked, using the only name my to which my grandmother will respond.

“It’s under the sink,” she called back, “but you’ll have to tear off the part the mouse chewed up.”

She was explaining herself all the way up the hall. Nanny’s old fashioned, and proud of her clean house, but few things can resist a rodent in search of a warm burrow.

“It’s on the other side, Sugar,” she said, as I started blankly into the first cabinet I opened.

I opened the other door and saw the TP roll. It had been nibbled and torn to a few inches deep, but salvageable for our purposes. I reached out to grab the roll and SNAP!

The rat-trap popped out of the cabinet from recoil, almost hitting my eye. Nanny had just reached the door when I discovered the trap she’d so cleverly baited with a roll of Charmin. Don’t know if I’ve ever seen my grandmother laugh harder. She bent over and propped her head by the sink.

“The look on your face,” she said, before more laughter cut the sentence short. “I’m sorry! I forgot … to tell you.”

Kodi had a few more minutes left in her business.

“What was that Daddy?”

It’s hard to explain an old fashioned mouse trap to a 4-year-old girl who loves all animals and watches Mickey’s Clubhouse every day.

It’s supposed to catch the mouse’s tail, I told her, but it almost got Daddy’s fingers instead.

“Would it have hurt?”

It might have. I’m really glad I didn’t find out. Once we finished Kodi’s business, I went back to the dining room. Desert had been served, but the family was too tickled by Nanny’s story to start on the Brownie Delight.  Good times.

I very happy Easter. Hope all of yours was too.


‘Insourcing’ America’s unskilled jobs

Posted in culture, politics with tags , , , on December 28, 2007 by mrbitterness

I recently spent a good chunk of time unemployed. I’d been canned from my second straight newspaper job, positions that’d likely been doomed from the beginning. I didn’t think newspapers were for me any longer; I no longer enjoyed doing the thing I’d spent my life planning to spend my life doing.

Never good at math, or sales, or many things other than writing, reporting, Quark and Photoshop, I had counted on a construction job helping me feed my family as I figured out where to go next. I’m no carpenter or strongman, but I’m not afraid of sweat or sore muscles.

But guess what? Nobody “hires” general laborers anymore, the pick them up at Home Depot after their lumber’s all loaded. So Ace’s little tangent on immigration caught my attention.

Ace of Spades HQ

It really seems rather un-American to decide that lower-class workers are just too damn greedy and too darn well-paid and that jobs that in the past would go to them will instead go to foreign-born illegal migrants. Outsourcing put a lot of formerly American jobs in foreign countries. Now even the jobs that must be done here and cant be outsourced are being filled by foreign workers anyway through connived nonenforcement of our laws — insourcing, if you will.

That’s what I’ve been screaming, I said. I managed to find a soft landing before crawling back to a newspaper, tail between my legs.

I  recertified as a lifeguard and took a college job fishing spoiled preteens out of the country club pool (a different kind of wetback job, I guess). But it was pretty bleak there for a while.

I would’ve toted all the lumber I could find if it’d made life easier for my wife and family.

In the words of David Lee Roth, might as well jump!

Posted in family with tags , , on December 28, 2007 by mrbitterness


She didn’t actually do the jump/split (whatever it’s called) in unison with the other dancers, but …

It was obviously their fault for jumping too soon, so I cropped them out of the picture.