OK No Go

The week started out on Sunday night while Elise and I were playing with Maly on our bed after giving her a bath and getting her ready for bed. We were playing as usual when all of the sudden she sat up and in full and and eery Regan MacNeil style, projectile vomited the mashed peas she’d eaten for dinner.

Elise and I were dumbfounded. At first we non-verbally exchanged a golden Beavis and Butthead moment.

“Uhhh. Huh huh. She just, like, spewed all over the bed.”

“Heh. Uhhhhhh. Yeah, yeah. That was cool. Or something.”

And before we could engage in the actual parental exchange that would ordinarily express concern, she vomited again.

This time we took things a little more seriously.

Maly had come down with a stomach virus.

Monday was my first day at my new job and I was tired from the night before and kept thinking about my daughter all day. Thankfully Elise took good care of Maly over the two days following.

My second day at my new job started out with waking up, still worried about Maly’s intestinal well-being shortly followed by leaving for the office to find that someone had stolen the face plate from the stereo in my truck at some point the night prior.

Wednesday was a short-timers’ day as everyone anxiously awaited the start of a holiday weekend. I left work around 2 p.m. and headed home so Elise, Maly and I could head out to Mom’s for Thanksgiving.

We got to Mom’s around 8:30 p.m. and Elise and I ate a late dinner after putting Maly to bed. We stayed up and talked with Mom for a while before going to bed.

I woke up at 5 a.m. Thursday morning to hunt the buck I’ve been hunting all season. As usual, no dice. Still too warm outside.

For Thanksgiving Mom, Elise and I decided that instead of the usual fare, we would stew the doves that Dad shot 3 days prior to his death. That was a great way to honor him and feel that he was with us in a way.

Elise and I stayed up until midnight, watching TV. The following morning would make for our first road trip to Oklahoma for Thanksgiving with Elise’s Dad’s family for the first time with Maly.

The following morning, two hours after having gone to bed, would make for the first time your humble narrator came down with his daughter’s stomach virus.

I was up from 2:17 a.m. until somewhere near 10 a.m. on Friday, visiting the bathroom every 20 minutes. That was a blast, let me tell you. Pun intended.

Elise got sick from either 1) nerves or 2) a very minor version of my West Nile Virus and found herself in the restroom later that morning as well. Needless to say, we didn’t leave Friday morning to make it to Oklahoma for the annual Saturday Thanksgiving with the Boeckmans.

So my Mom took care of Maly most of the day on Friday while Elise and I lay in our respective death beds in the living room. We woke ourselves up to watch a gruelingly boring UT vs. A&M game and then a good Colorado vs. Nebraska game. We watched The Family Man after that and finally went to bed — more like passed out from exhaustion. Elise had ran a steady fever all day and I was physically exhausted and dehydrated. It wasn’t until almost noon on Friday until I could hold down even an ounce of water.

We were able to get a decent nights sleep last night. We spent the better part of today pulling wallpaper from Mom’s bathroom — I’m debating if I’d rather stay up all night puking or strip bathroom wallpaper. Jury’s still out on that one.

We’re all well now, thankfully.

Time to go back and win some bread

Other than the two full weeks when I worked for that start up dot com, I’ve been unemployed since September 8th. I’ve had 10 weeks to spend with friends and family.

I accepted a new job offer this past Tuesday. The last two weeks I made it a point to hang out with my two girls and do some fun things around Austin.

Last Wednesday we went for a late lunch at Sholtz’s Beer Garden. It was a gorgeous day outside at the restaurant where, just the night before, Kinky Friedman had his post-election party. We had grilled bratwurst, jagerschnitzel and bocktoberfest beer.

On Friday my Mom came to our house as her last stop on her west coast trip. For dinner I bought us all muffalettas from Cypress Grill. On Saturday we all drove out to Johnson City for Cyndi’s Mom’s birthday party. On Sunday we went to Fry’s and then back home to hang around the house for the day. Mom left late that afternoon and then Elise and I went clothes shopping at Kohl’s.

On Tuesday of this week we went to the local park and let Maly play in the gravel. She also ate chicken for the first time on Tuesday.

On Wednesday we went to Doc’s Motorworks for tampiquena steak and South Congress eggrolls on the patio.
On Thursday we went out for crab bisque at the Nordstrom Cafe Bistro and then clothing shopping for Maly.

On Friday we had lunch with Christine at Ranch 616. The girls had fancy salads and I had the quail. We went back to the mall to have Maly’s photo taken with Santa.
Yesterday we went for kolaches at the Big Kolache for breakfast then to Target, WalMart and the grocery store. Last night we went over to Marc & Cyndi’s house were I grilled coriander and chipotle dusted pork loin stuffed with garlic, rosemary, mustard seeds and green peppercorns and ancho bock mashed potatoes. The girls made a great salad with feta, almonds, purple onions and Elise made a balsamic vinaigrette.

Today we went to Zilker Park to fly a kite. Just like the last time we went to Zilker Park to fly a kite, there wasn’t enough wind. We went to Zen north of campus for a late (and horrible) lunch.

Tonight I’m just going to hang out with my girls. I start my new job tomorrow and sure am going to miss all the time I’ve had with Elise and Maly recently.

Monthly Maly Letter: Month seven

Dear Maly,

You turned seven months old today. You’re over half a year old now and you’re more amazing than I’d ever fathomed.

This month has been nothing short of spectacular and I couldn’t be more enthused about being jobless because I’ve gotten to witness all of your new and exciting accomplishments.

For your first milestone this month: you sat up on your own. Your Mom was by the vanity in our bathroom and I was in the bedroom when I turned, looked down and saw you just sitting there. I asked your Mom, “Did you sit her up?” to which she replied no. We both missed you sitting up on your own for the first time but after that first time, you’ve become a master.

Earlier this month you started crawling. You used to do your low crawl/belly flop but now you’ve got your full-on crawl down. You’re mobile and that much more independent now. I now see how I could once find comfort in setting you down at a particular spot, turn around and find you still at that same spot moments later. This is no longer the case. It’s scary because you’re able to crawl away and get into things that might hurt or scare you, but it’s beautiful when you see me, smile and rush-crawl to my feet and anxiously wait for me to pick you up and give you kisses and make you giggle.

Not but a few days after you figured out how to crawl, you figured out how to pull yourself up onto your feet. Your Mom went to get you from your crib after you had awaken from a nap and there your were, standing up on your own two feet with your hands on the crib rail for support.

You experienced your first Halloween this year. Well, there wasn’t really much for you to experience — Instead your Mom and I experienced immense laughter after dressing you up as a purple dragon. We spent Halloween with John, Christine, Jack and Grayson. Jack trick-or-treated while you sat in the little red wagon and sucked on your fingers. Next year we’ll really take you trick-or-treating. I’m thinking about dressing you up as Reagan from The Exorcist.

Speaking of demonic possession — you started growling this month. You and I play a lot throughout the course of the day and on one occasion I growled and you growled back. Since then you growl whenever you feel like… uh, growling. You’re so hilarious when you do it, though.

You’re turning into such an unbelievable and amazing person. Every day you do something new that makes me so happy and proud – they’re always small victories but those are the ones that count. Just this past Sunday you looked at your Mom and me and pointed to the overhead lights at Fry’s. It wasn’t that big of a deal to you, but for me, it showed that you’re really interacting with the world around you.

I look forward to and embrace all of your daily discoveries. I love being next to you when you take on new challenges and experience your environment. But what I love the most is when you stop for that fleeting moment and turn and look up at me sitting next to you and smile that heart-melting smile. If I could bottle and sell that sensation I would be the richest man in the world — but I would never do that because that is something meant for only me — and I love you so much for giving that to me.

I love you, Sugar.



Updates from Ft. Jobless

Not a whole lot has been going on in the unemployed life of your humble narrator.

A couple weeks ago we went to Scott & Jamie’s wedding in Brenham.  The reception was held at Welcome Hall.  The atmosphere and food were fantastic.  We left Maly with my Mom so Elise and I could imbibe.  I’m not going to name any names here but my wife had a few too many to the point where she stopped in mid-sentence while talking to Scott’s best man because she actually forgot what she was talking about.  Elise has maybe had a glass of wine or two in seven months.  I guess she tried to make up for lost time by having two cocktails and an entire bottle of wine to herself.

We headed back to Austin Sunday evening because I had to start my second week of that dot-com job on Monday.  My Mom headed out on Monday for the trip that she and Dad had set out on six weeks ago.  My Mom sent us home with her three cats to babysit while she’s away for two weeks.  Ordinarily we would have just stayed at her house, but I had a job to return to.

On Tuesday we went over to John & Christine’s and took the kids trick or treating in the neighborhood.

I quit my job at 10 a.m. on Friday.  That was a relief on many levels.  One being that I will no longer have to sit in traffic traveling from one side of town to another.  I drove downtown and met John for lunch.

After lunch I headed to the house where I packed, kissed Elise and Maly goodbye and headed to Mom’s house for opening weekend of deer season.  I got to the house around 10 p.m. on a chilly Friday night.

There’s a large buck that hangs around in the back of the pasture.  And I need to kill something.
I woke up at 6 a.m. and headed to the deer stand.  Oddly the temperature outside raised significantly over night.  I sat in the stand for a couple hours and only saw a few does and two fawns.

On Saturday evening I met John in Brenham so we could take one car to the A&M and OU game in College Station.  Just before we got to the stadium, we pulled over in the center turning lane to help a college kid jump start his stalled truck.  After our good samaritan deed, we were back on our way to the game.  Just as soon as we left helping the college kid, we get pulled over by a DPS officer.  I’m not going to name names but the other person in the car was pulled over for having expired tags.  And upon running this person’s license number, it was then found out that this person’s license had been suspended because of some unpaid citations that were mailed to the wrong address because this person neglected to update the address on his driver’s license.  The officer requested that this person exit the vehicle and step to the rear of the car.  This person tossed me his wallet and said, “Come get me out of jail.”

Thankfully this person made away with only a warning.  We went on to watch A&M lose by a point and some very bad coaching decisions, but otherwise going to the game was a lot of fun.

We walked north of campus to the Dry Bean for drinks and to meet up with some of John’s friends.  The game ended around 10:30 p.m., we got to the bar at 11 p.m. and before either one of us looked at a clock, it was 1:30 a.m.  We said our goodbyes and headed out to Brenham at 2 a.m.  We got to Brenham by 3:30 a.m. and then to my Mom’s house at 4 a.m.  John quickly found the guest bed and conked out.  I tried to sleep but couldn’t.  I stared at the ceiling for an hour and then decided to get up and go out to the deer stand.  A few does and a couple fawns.  No buck.

I walked back to the house and fixed the water hose that I apparently drove over when I got to my Mom’s house on Friday night.  John woke up and left for Austin at 9 a.m.  I then drove Dad’s truck out to the deer feeder in the back pasture and added corn and double checked the timer.

I watched football most of the afternoon.  I cooked a huge ribeye that I pulled from the freezer on Saturday morning on Dad’s grill for a late lunch.  Before starting the coals, I took the old coals and ashes that were left over from the last meal that Dad cooked for us the Sunday before he and Mom left for their trip to the west coast.  Dad cooked us all steaks.  I’ll always remember that meal.  I took those ashes and coals and put them in a jar.  I’m going to keep them and sprinkle them on coals anytime that I cook.

It turned into a pretty emotional ordeal.  There were a lot of ashes left over so I sprinkled some over the graves of family pets that had long since passed and were buried in the yard.  I had my Sunday service alone on the land that Dad worked so hard for and made so beautiful.

Needless to say, I was pretty delirious as I’d had no sleep in a while.  I hunted that evening and didn’t see anything.  I walked back to the house, ready to head back to Austin.  My bags were packed; all I needed to do is load up the truck and leave.  I called Elise and she suggested that I spend another night instead of trying to rush home at night on no sleep.  I concurred and fell asleep on the couch shortly thereafter.

I didn’t sleep well that night.  I woke up at 5, 5:30 and 6 a.m.  I decided I wasn’t going to hunt again.  I heard it raining at one point and that solidified my decision.

I left Mom’s house at 10 a.m. and got home in time for lunch.

Tuesday morning we went for breakfast at Cisco’s and back home so I could wash vehicles.  Later that evening we drove over to Kiker Elementary to vote.
On Wednesday I had a phone interview and then we went for lunch at Sholtz’s Garten and then to Whole Foods, the HoPot and WalMart.

On Thursday I replaced a lost lug nut on one of the Jeep’s wheels.  I replaced the burner on the barbecue grill and  attempted to replace the ignitor before having to leave for Tae Kwon Do.
Today I finished replacing the ignitor on the grill.  I got the Jeep inspected and my haircut.  Mom called this afternoon and is a couple hundred miles from San Antonio.  She is going to come here tonight and leave sometime this weekend to go back to her house with her cats.

So, a lot of busy stuff going on… just life.  The best part has been being able to hang out with Elise and watch Maly grow every day.  It’s going to be hard to go back to a job and miss out on Maly.

Think twice before seeking employment advice from this guy

I quit my cush job as Director of Finance for that startup dot-com this morning. After only two weeks of working there I decided I wasn’t enough of an asset to warrant giving two weeks notice. So I quit. I made sure I left on amicable terms and let them know that I appreciated the opportunity. The job was too much of a risk for me right now.

It was hard to quit – about as hard as having to fire someone. I had the whole knotted stomach, sweaty palms, quivering voice thing going. And what’s best is I quit a job without really having another job lined up. I think I forfeited my handsomely generous riches that the state provides the unemployed who apparently are expected to live off of subsidized canned tuna and creek water when I didn’t attend a “how to get yo ass a job” conference at the Workforce Commission last week.

I think I might call the Workforce Commission and tell them I contracted botchulism from all of the canned tuna and haven’t been physically able to work.

New things lie ahead.