OK Thanksgiving with balls

Elise and I left Friday afternoon and drove the 494 miles to Okeene, Oklahoma for the annual Thanksgiving weekend at Grandma Boeckman’s farm house. Elise’s dad is the oldest of nine siblings. That makes for a lot of people under one roof.

Friday nights at Grandma B.’s have been consistent in the five years that I’ve been spending the weekend with Elise’s family. The women are inside, catching each other up on the happenings of the past year, talking about life, love, families and developing plans to end famine in poor countries.

The men spend all night in the basement drinking beer, smoking, farting, exchanging crude jokes, falsified hunting stories, farting, drinking, playing darts and farting. Darts weren’t the game de jour this year…

This year, it was ‘Balls’. It was decided to call this game ‘Balls’, instead of ‘Ladder Golf‘ because, well, better jokes come out while playing a game of ‘Balls’ where players throw two tennis balls linked together with a nylon rope onto the rungs of a furnace safety cage. No punches were pulled. All ball jokes were told. Dirty balls. Blue balls. Whacking balls. Balls on the floor. The game is called ‘Balls’.

Our game of ‘Balls’ turned into a late night tournament. The elder team was named ‘The Old Farts’, the younger team was dubbed ‘The Teeny Weenies’.

It was one of the more interesting experiences I’ve had during Thanksgiving in Okeene.

and that’s not that old

My boss’s 10-year-old stepdaughter comes to the office every day around 4 p.m. after school lets out. I make it a point to visit with her for a couple minutes because she’s a really sweet kid. Except for today.

I hadn’t seen her in a while and when I did today, this was our conversation:

Alexis: “Hey, you grew a goatie!”
Josh: “Yes I did.”

[There was a brief pause while I helped her hang her school award on her cubicle wall]

Alexis: “I think you should shave it off. It makes you look old.”
Josh: “But what if I am old?”
Alexis: “You’re only like fifty… and that’s not that old.”

[I walked away feeling old.]

Turkey Day 2004

I’m laying on the couch, one eye is trying to go to sleep, the other is watching the Bears and Cowboys game.

Elise and I cooked Thanksgiving dinner for my parents this year at our house. We had a Cajun fried turkey, wasabi mashed potatoes, Monterey Jack green bean cassarole, stuffing, biscuits and butter lettuce salad with toasted pecans, red pear and crumbled goat’s milk feta cheese. Elise and I split cooking duties and didn’t let mom or dad lift a finger. I think we did really well.

We stayed up until 3 a.m. this morning trying to make kolaches. Well, Elise made kolaches. I supervised and told Elise what I would do. I obviously didn’t supervise well enough because we accidentally used baking soda instead of baking powder.

Elise is dead-set on learning to make kolaches. She and my mom are in the kitchen, trying another recipe.

I absolutely suck at baking. I told Elise early in our relationship that I thought it would be cool if she would learn to make kolaches. Six years later, she’s giving it a whirl. These Czech pastries are a comfort food for me. I honestly don’t think I can fit another bite of food into my stomach right now.

We’re off to Okeene, Oklahoma tomorrow morning for the annual Boeckman Thanksgiving festivities. More food and the only way to burn off any excess calories is to drink beer and play darts in Grandma’s basement.

Mexican lasagna, argument, baby, argument

John and Christine came over Monday evening because we try to get together once a week to have dinner. Monday’s get together was thrown together last minute. While driving home from work, I called Elise to tell her that John and Christine were coming over at 7:30. I asked if she would make the Mexican lasagna that we had recently bought ingredients for. She said she would as I had to run across town to get some Christmas shopping done.

I get home at 7:15. No Elise. No Mexican lasagna. I called my wife to find out when she would be home. She was stuck at the office. I had to make dinner. I found two Mexican lasagna recipes on the same page of the cookbook Elise wanted to use. Confusion ensued. I called Elise to ask which recipe to use. You see, Elise is (or was) very ‘by the book’ when it comes to cooking. When I cook, I base the meal on a recipe but improvise a lot.

I became flustered as this meal wasn’t from a recipe that I had chosen. It was a simple recipe but still, one that I hadn’t planned.

Since I thought I had to prepare the meal ‘by the book’ because it was Elise’s choice of recipe, I didn’t improvise (much). I would have made the lasagna more spicy. I did slice jalapenos and served those on the side.

Anyway – the meal was good. Everyone liked it and I took 70% of the credit and left Elise with the other 30% for her choice of the meal.

John and Christine left and Elise and I jokingly bickered about how I became flustered, didn’t improvise and had to call Elise for help with the recipe. She said I didn’t have to go by the book and that she is starting to improvise as well. It was a stubborn, still jokingly drawn-out conversation.

Christine went into labor the next day. It is speculated that the spicy meal from the night before might have helped induce labor.

Since I like to cook, I thought about creating a nice little placcard to hang above the stove that would read something like: “Chef de Cuisine Josh Janicek – specializing in fanciful fare that might induce labor”.

I mentioned this idea to my lovely wife. She then wanted MORE credit for the night before’s meal. Jokingly stubborn bickering ensued. Again.

Nice to meet you, Jacky

John Robert Engler, Jr. was born today at 3:45 p.m. at St. David’s Hospital in Austin. A gorgeous 7 pound 2 ounce baby boy with a head full of hair. I’m so excited for John and Christine right now. You can see more photos here.


Elise is a manager who happens to work late nights and weekends. This provides her with the opportunity to sleep in on weekdays every so often. She has taken a liking to the hit television show Dawson’s Creek. I slept in earlier this week because I was up until 3 a.m. trying to patch the leak in our attic. I woke up that morning to Elise watching Dawson’s Creek.

I had the iBook in bed with me so I could catch up on some work since it would be a couple hours before I would be in the office. Elise said she wanted me to download the Dawson’s Creek theme song, “I Don’t Want to Wait”, by Paula Cole. I didn’t download it for her.

This morning I was shopping music on iTunes. Elise walked into the living room, made breakfast, sat down and said “What happened to my Paula Cole song?”

I heard: “What happened to my pile of cole slaw?”

I wondered, for a moment, why my wife would be wanting cole slaw for breakfast but just wrote her off as being weird.

We have an interesting way of communicating.

Good Charlotte concert

Elise and I went to the Good Charlotte concert last night. So did a lot of parents. I had no clue GC was a pop boy band. Little girls were running rampant in the Austin Music Hall. By boy band I don’t mean N’Sync – Good Charlotte is more punk/rock but have a large pre-teen/teen fan base. Regardless, it was still a good show. Except when the 12 year old girl came running by, flailing her arms about in a GC crush frenzy and knocked the beer out of my hand.

It was a good show. I enjoyed it as did Elise. She didn’t want to go but did only to support her 14 year old girl-of-a-husband. In the end, she said she really liked the concert and had acquired a respect for Good Charlotte as a band.

Funny thing about concerts – you can’t go to a concert and not spend over $100. I think the 2 tickets I purchased last month were somewhere around $70. I drafted $40 from the bank before the show and have $2 left this morning. I kept having to replace spilled beers due to small flailing females.

All-in-all, good show. We had a lot of fun. Being there made us feel old – but at least we’re still hip. Do cool people say ‘hip’ anymore? Is ‘cool’ even a word anymore? Hang on, I think I have some notes on what’s rad and what’s sad in my Trapper Keeper.

Meeting not bad and a purple toe

My meeting this morning wasn’t bad at all. I slept like crap last night though. My boss is straight-to-the-point: “We’ll get it fixed. Now go fix it.” ;-)

In other biological news: On Tuesday, Clyde and I had our regular two sessions of sparring. We decided it would be to our benefit if we practiced sparring with our right foots forward as we both favor our left legs for fast kicks. With both of us using our right legs up front, we’d have to get used to using them.

I, still favoring my left leg, used said left leg for power kicks. I kicked Clyde somewhere in the mid section and immediately felt a sharp pain in my left big toe. I babied my left foot for the rest of the night.

I missed TKD on Thursday because my toe hurt. Today, after half of my foot reached a nice purplish-black, decided that I broke my toe. It’s pretty gross looking. I’d take a picture, but I gave my camera to John so he can take pictures when the baby’s born.

I’m walking out the door now – I have to pick up Elise from work then we’re going to see Good Charlotte at the Music Hall.

Friday’s aren’t supposed to be stressful

I came home from work this evening and logged on to my work computer to, well, work. I got an e-mail from my boss. I have a “first thing tomorrow a.m.” meeting per his request. It’s not going to be a good meeting.

This is after I got a response from a sales report I sent him this afternoon. He asked what numbers I could pull off before the end of the month. I wrote him back and basically bit off more than I could chew. Just after hitting the send button, I looked at my desk calendar… “Shit, I have 5 working days left in the month. Where the hell did November go?”

October’s outside sales weren’t hot at all. I’m feeling it now. I’m in a crunch and I have this meeting in the morning.

Not looking forward to tomorrow morning.

Wolverine the pacifist

I had a weird dream this morning just before the alarm sounded. I was walking down a busy street just past dawn when I suddenly turned into a variation of Wolverine. I screamed and stammered violently down the street. I became extremely hungry. I walked into an animal shelter and with both hands, skewered two large dogs (I think they were Rottweiler/Pit Bull mixes) just below the base of the neck. I immediately ate half of one of the dogs. An employee from the animal shelter nonchalantly advised me that I ought not do such a thing again as it is frowned upon by most of the employees.

I walked off with dog blood on my face and chest.

[Jump to next dream scene]

I’m my regular self. I’m riding a bicycle on the shoulder of a frontage road. It reminded me of the northbound frontage road of I-35 just before the Ben White intersection. I witnessed another bicycler get assaulted by a group of guys in a blinged out blood red Cadillac Escalade. The Escalade pulled up in front of the bicyclist, the rear passenger-side driver held 4×4 from out of the door and the driver slammed on the breaks, knocking the bicyclist off of his bike and onto the pavement. Four guys, all of different races exited the vehicle and began pummeling their victim as he lay on the concrete.

I continued to ride along as I didn’t want to draw attention to myself.

[Jump to next dream scene]

I’m still riding my bicycle. Three people are walking along side of me. I can’t make out two of the individuals. The only one I can remember is my antagonist. He’s a black male in his early 20s. He keeps harping me about something and I keep trying to pedal along. Finally he becomes to much of an obstruction so I get off and begin walking my bike. He stays right along side of me, egging me on. I don’t know what he wants from me and I’ll I’m trying to do is keep from getting into a fight. I try to be rational but he won’t hear it. His two cronies (one of which I think was a female) maintain their positions a few steps behind us. I keep telling him that he’s not going to get anything from me and that I’m not going to fight. I tell him that fighting won’t accomplish anything. I finally make it to some sort of empty venue. The place was either some sort of depot or the box office side of a stadium. The facade was a deep red. My antagonist was still there. I was nervous and scared. I woke up.

When life hands you lemons…

…Take those lemons, squeeze them in a fist full of JB Weld and thumb tacks and shove ’em right back in life’s ass.

We found a leak in our ceiling in the kitchen late this evening. I’ve been up in the attic all night trying to find the source of the leak. I found a leaky PVC pipe. I thought the leak was coming from a joint in the pipe. I took a plastic plate, two tubes of JB Weld and a fresh roll of duct tape into the attic to fix the problem. I quickly realized that the leak is coming from the seam where the roof meets the PVC pipe – not the joint in the pipe.

I have a 90% chance of rain tomorrow and a roof that needs to be inspected. I’m pissed. I’m frustrated. Work sucks. Thanksgiving traveling plans are frustrating. Buying Christmas presents… leaky roof… Riley has a cold…

I have to go crawl up into the attic now and empty the bucket we’re using to catch the drip. I have to set my alarm for 4 a.m. so I can empty said bucket again. I can’t sleep. Arrrrghhh.


I’ve given up on IE. I spent approximately 3 hours today trying to get the new feel of the website to look right in both Firefox and IE. It won’t work in IE. So download and use Firefox. Janicek.com looks fine in Firefox and Safari. As of right now, I’m completely ditching Microsoft’s Internet Explorer at home. I’ll have to use it at work for test purposes, but will hate every minute of it.

Cigars, Satellite Cafe, garage door opener

This weekend has been gloomy. I came home from work on Friday evening to a wife in the kitchen cooking spaghetti with homemade meat sauce. After dinner we watched Ocean’s 11 and Elise bought plane tickets online for our Christmas trip to Des Moines this year. I’m glad Elise shopped for the tickets because had it been left up to me, I would have just bought whatever to get it done. Elise saved us $250 by being patient.

On Saturday John came over and we went to the Oak Hill Liquor Store to buy cigars for the soon-to-be new arrival. John went home and I organized the garage so we can park the X and Jeep. Very tight squeeze.

Elise went to work for an hour or so. When she got back, we headed out so I could get my hair cut and to do some shopping. We went to Sam’s to buy floor mats for the truck. We left with no floor mats but a new trash can for the kitchen, 50 pack spindle of CDRs, toothpaste, soap, paper towels and jeans for Elise. We went to O’Reilly and Auto Zone for a new windshield wiper blade for the X and wiper refills for the Jeep. That took forever. We also looked for floor mats at both stores. We decided to go back to Sam’s and buy the set of floor mats we saw there.

We went home and tried to decide what we wanted to make of our Saturday evening. We went to Big Lots to do some browsing. We splurged. A 25′ extension cord and cinnamon waxed dental floss for $5. Not necessities, but when you find yourself in Big Lots, you’ll find something to buy. We had a nice, quiet dinner at Flip’s Satellite Cafe. After dinner we walked over to Blockbuster and rented Old Yeller. I had accepted the fact that I might get a little choked up during the viewing of this movie. I didn’t. It was pointed out that it had probably been 20 years since I had last seen Old Yeller. Still a great movie nonetheless.

Today is rainy and cold. Elise is writing down recipes so we can go grocery shopping. I think we’re also going to buy our Christmas present for each other – a new garage door opener. I’ve given up on having it repaired. I damn sure won’t be calling Gordon’s Overhead Doors. Ever.