I won’t make my music for money, no I’m gonna make my music for me

News and notes from the Tar Heel State, folks (like you care)

We have a lottery system down here now. YAY for us. An Educational Lottery, thank you. I know it’s an EDUCATIONAL lottery because they’ve gone out of their way to stress this point. I guess this has been done so we would not think it was a “Satan is taking over the world and you’re all burning in hell” lottery. That’s how the opponents are making it sound.

What’s wrong with some scratch off games and an entry to the Powerball thing? The thing launched yesterday. The paper this morning said that by 10:00PM they had sold $6.5 million in tickets and awarded out $1.3 million in prizes. So, we’re looking at a surplus of over $5 million in one form or another. I know it’s not all going to the schools, but at least some does. And, that “some”, if you ask me, means one thing: Less of a change to raise taxes. I mean, my already ridiculously low taxes won’t go down because of this lottery, but maybe they won’t go up as fast. I’m all for keeping taxes down (see the move to NC as a prime example).

Down here, and here in Wake County in particular, there’s a crunch for schools. As more and more people like us (and by us, I mean Yankees, not repugnant assholes) move down, the crunch gets worse. We’re moving for 2 main reasons: Lower costs, better schools. The Wake County school system is among the best in the country (or so I’ve been told) so it’s a huge draw. But, there are nowhere near enough schools. So, if this lottery means that they can build schools and NOT have to raise my taxes very much, I’m all in. (See…a gambling term…boy am I clever)

If Rachel is forced to teach classes in a trailer, maybe it’s time to find a new way to fund school construction. I know that Southerners have a natural affinity towards trailers, but we don’t need to teach school in them.

Moving on to the weather…

As much as I’ve loved the weather here since we arrived nearly a year ago, it seems I should have enjoyed it less. We’re apparently having quite a drought down here. They post charts and graphs about water levels and stream flows and all shit in the paper every week. Usually I could care less. The weather is cyclical and it always figures itself out. Just last summer, they were saying that we’d be OUT of water by January. Well, I think that was water I used to flush a turd this morning, so that estimate was off by a little bit. Now, the water levels are OK up at the lake, but the in-flow is low because they didn’t have enough snow up in the mountains or something. I don’t know. What I do know is that they plan for hurricanes down here to add to the water supply. I find that amusing. It’s good planning, seeing as this is a hurricane-prone area. I find it amusing because hurricanes tend to blow shit apart. It’s like “Sorry Cletus, I know your trailer floated away in Hurricane Jezebel, but think, NoGoodDaddy can continue to flush his turds. Thanks for taking one for the team”. However…this year, the drought has me very PISSED OFF. Why? Because the pool out back can’t be filled. They drained the fucker after Labor Day and now we can’t get it filled. FUCK! I want that pool filled. I mean, where’s the kid supposed to shit all summer? In the toilet? But seriously folks…I’m mostly mad at out homeowners’ association board of idiots. These rules were in place last fall. So, when they drained the pool, they knew that unless we got like Noah-esque rain all winter, we’d be unable to re-fill it in the spring. Would it have killed them to get a cover and…cover it? Then, they’d just have to top it off (perfectly legal) and we’d be all set. So, I’m ornery about this. But, I get a feeling that the pool rule may relax. There’s no way they’re not letting all the swim clubs down here (our Y included) stay dry all summer. Think of the crime that would ensue as packs of hot, sweaty teenagers roamed the Triangle in search of refreshment.

Moving on.

Can someone tell me how this is possible?
At 5:00PM, the kid had a juice box
At 6:00 she had milk with dinner
At 8:00, she peed…a long pee…before bed
At 10:30, her bed was soaked, so we changed the sheets and her PJ’s
She also peed again
At 7:30 this morning, her bed was soaked

I don’t get it. This kid is like a camel when it comes to fluid retention…right up until bed time. Then, she lets loose like a geyser. Now, the juice box at 5 was probably not a good idea. We’ve tried to really limit her fluid intake lately after, say, 9:00AM to prevent these accidents. We don’t get it. For 5 nights in Myrtle Beach, she was wet only once. And that includes after nap time, the 10:30 check up and in the morning. Since we’re home, we’re changing at least one set of sheets per night…sometimes 2. Sometimes, I want to strangle the kid.

That’s it for the Tar Hell news.

Otherwise, it’s Friday and an interesting weekend looms. The Old Man and Miss S are here on Sunday, assuming they survive the beating from the ClaytonTwosome on Saturday. We really don’t know how they’ll respond to Miss S being in the picture. We just hope they behave.

Oh…here’s something I’ve been thinking about lately as I cruise around in my car:

There’s NOTHING on the radio down here. The AM side of the dial isn’t much better. I have 4 sports radio stations, but at most times, 3 are playing the same thing. And the other has Jim Rome. Ugh… So, I find myself listening to CDs in the car. The only problem is that I don’t like the music I have. Well, that’s not 100% true. I like my music, but I’m not always in the mood for it. It’s not always Buffett time for me. Sometimes, I’m just not in the mood. And, to compound the problem, my car stereo doesn’t seem to like playing CD’s burnt from the computer. It likes some brands of CD, but not others. I don’t get why this is. The car’s a 2000, so I guess not many people were burning disks back then. I think I may need to shop for a new stereo to overcome this problem. Then, I could make my own CDs. But, often when I do even that, I annoy myself and end up bored with the music.

So, I’m asking for musical help.

As we all know, I like Buffett. I also have in the CD holder right now some BareNakedLadies, some Bob Marley and Willie Nelson’s Country Man album (Willie does reggae (not as bad as it sounds)). The home collection also includes an extensive collection of Billy Joel and James Taylor. Other than that, there’s a fair smattering of a lot of everything else.

Based on that paltry list, who should I be listening to? I’ll add that I do not like slow music. At all. Anything new? Anything old?

I blame my parents for this (as usual). My father was always listening to classic rock when I was growing up, but in typical annoying-father fashion, he’s overdo it in the car and drum the dashboard and sing like a jackass. Hence, largely turning me off that genre of music. My mother taught exercise classes. So, she always was making tapes of peppy pop music for the ladies to jiggle to.

Then, I went to Snooty McPrepSchool where if you didn’t love the Dead or CSN (and sometimes Y) OR be a dumbass from NJ and listen to rap/techno/MarkyMarky you were left in the lurch.

I also hate Phil Collins for reasons I don’t have the time to get into right now.

These guys are cool (and I know that will not help the search at all considering their sound). I’ve heard them on radio Margaritaville from time to time and like them.

Someone out there’s got to have something for me.

Your NoGoodDaddy is asking for help. Please donate what you can.

And…for fun, I’ll be writing from NJ next time I write. Pissing and moaning for everyone!

Can’t hire no Kinjan to wear dis hat

I wear hats. Not like Shmuppie; who likes to accessorize most outfits with a hat, but just a hat to cover my awful hair. Since I roll out of bed in the morning and troll straight down here, I put one on. I keep it on through the afternoon when I shower. This way, it’s on when I’m at the gym. This serves 2 purposes…hiding my bed head and mopping up sweat. A head with less hair absorbs a lot less sweat. If I don’t have a hat on while I work out, I drip a lot. Eew.

I like to keep 3 hats at a time in the rotation. I just switched to a new set of 3. I figured you may want to know about the 6 that were just in motion.

Going away:
Low Key Water sports. I picked this one up 2 years ago in St John and it’s probably my favorite hat. Navy blue, sandwich brim, embroidered with the name and location on the front and side. It’s a good hat, but it’s been taking a beating lately and needs a rest.

My Air Margaritaville hat. This is also a good one, but not good for working out. It’s more of a low profile hat (yea folks, I know the difference…having worked for a place that sold promotional apparel). Tan hat, blue brim…washed out look. It’s got nice, colorful embroidery.

White UConn hat. Got this one a while ago. I normally shun white hats because they get really dirty, but I like this one and it’s good to wear down here…though not lately.

Coming out:

Blue UConn hat. This one’s filthy, but not as bad as the UConn hat that I got in 1989 that I believe has legs. I wore it for a summer of lawn mowing. This one’s a simple navy blue hat and has some paint stains on it.

Onion Jack hat. I don’t remember when I got this one…the 1997 or 2001 trip. Either way, it’s the opposite color scheme of Air Margaritaville. Pretty faded out and icky, but I like it.

NCL Crew Hat. Picked this one up in 2000. Navy blue, red under the bill, lots of raised embroidery, American Flag on the front. This is a sweet hat. It’s been worn a lot so it comes out only on occasion. After the Low Key hat, it’s my 2nd favorite hat.

I saw a nice hat in Myrtle Beach last week. I should have bought it. Of course, because I’m a dork, I didn’t. C’est la vie.

OK…so I’m back from the Y now. Here’s something not to do when at the Y:

I drove into the parking lot. When you do so, you pass the fenced-in kiddie play area. Shmuppie was in there playing with the kiddies (JewelrySlut was sweating to the 80′s in the gym). Shmuppie happened to be near one of the fences today so I slowed down and rolled down the passenger side window of the car. I kinda leaned across the seat and said Hi to her. At just that moment, the entire staff of the Y stopped to look at me. Here I was…man who should be at work, wearing a hat, sunglasses and a Hawaiian shirt leaning out of a car talking to little kids. I quickly rolled the window up and went and found a spot. All I need is to be branded a kid toucher by the locals.

I try to be nice while I’m driving around. It’s part of the Un-Jerseying of me that’s going on. So, when I’m driving along and there’s a red light ahead of me and people are trying to pull out into traffic, I slow down and try to wave them into the lane in front of me. I figure “I’ve got to stop anyway…why not let them in?” Well, I tried to do it today on the way home. I was tooling along and saw a line of cars trying to pull out of a strip mall into traffic. My light was red. So, I slowed down and waved the woman into my lane.

And waited.

And waited.

After maybe 5 seconds of waving at her, I started pulling forward. Naturally, she took this as an invitation to start pulling out.

So, I stopped and glared at her. Naturally, she stopped again. I waved her in yet again, this time with a little “Fuck you” in my wave.

She then proceeded to do a Raleigh special. The “Pull out halfway and stop”. This is a relative of the “Come to a dead stop before turning right”.

By now, the light is green and she’s half way out into the lane. She’s got a look of terror on her face (probably because of the look of rage on mine). At this point, I threw my hands in the air and just screamed at her. She s…l…o…w…l…y pulled out in front of me…and stopped again.

ARGH.

As quickly as I could, I pulled past her into the other lane. When I passed her, I noticed that she had a fake front license plate.

The Australian Flag

It Figures

I think I’ve got a touch of island fever

I really owe this dopey thing a real update. I’ve been quite a slacker.

Let’s see…

I’m depressed. And my hand hurts. You’d think that I would know better than to punch a heavy inanimate object. Apparently I don’t know better because I have a slightly bruised hand that will show you otherwise. I know…it’s a game played by kids, but I still get VERY riled up over it. Yesterday’s loss to George Mason was not pleasant.

Makes me think about College hoops. There’s a new series of ads out with t tagline like “I’m so and so…and I love college basketball”. Pencil me in for one. You can film me standing in “the lucky spot” (before yesterday that is) pulling out my hair, flopping down to the couch in a fit of curses, hopping around the room whooping and hollering, falling on the floor etc. It’s a show and a site to behold. JewelrySlut doesn’t see it very often though. She hides a lot when I watch the games. She knows that she doesn’t need to be yelled at because she breathed at the wrong moment and put the JuJu on the team. Because, I’ll tell you all one thing…we the fans, can impact the games. Rooting Rays exist.

But, back to topic…I really do love college basketball. It’s not the same as it was 15 years ago, but it still kicks the NBA’s ass. I hate the NBA. Won’t watch it. I don’t need to see 9 overpaid whiners watch 1 overpaid whiner dribble in circles. I prefer the college game. There’s a lot more going on. Though, it’s getting a little “stand around and watch the other guy”-ish for me. And, sometimes, I feel odd about caring so much about it. Back when I was in high school, the players were older than me. They looked older, they acted older. Now…I was out of Little League by the time these kids were born. They’re kids…yet I scream at them through the TV. They dictate my emotions. After yesterday’s loss, I was shaking and could barely speak. Back in ’04 when UConn beat Duke in the Final 4, I needed a lot of scotch to settle me down. And I don’t even drink scotch. But, goddamn if I don’t just love me some college hoops. I know they’re kids. I know that a lot of them are just waiting to get paid in the NBA. But, come November, they suck me in and don’t let go of me until early April. I really wish UConn had won yesterday. I had my celebration all planned. But, I ‘m also happy for George Mason and am now officially on their bandwagon. When the tournament starts, I root for (in this order): UConn, chaos, the Big East. Chaos won out this year.

3 more games to be played. And…early next Tuesday morning, I’ll probably sit in front of a TV, watching CBS play One Shining Moment. And… (Enjoy this one folks)…as I do nearly every year, I’ll wipe a wee tear from the corner of my eye.

Moving on from the abuse that the sentence above will generate…

Back from Myrtle Beach. We had fun. Except when the Mad Shitter appeared. Or when I was puking up my guts one night. Or for the weather.

Ah hell, we still had a lot of fun.

We kinda celebrated on the trip. HealthCareRelatedCompany gave me another stay of execution through the end of Sept. At that point, it’s either “stay on for good” or gone. The every 3 months thing is getting old for everyone. So, I have all summer to ponder life and find a job.

The ride down went OK. We stopped at South of the Border again…and again…were disappointed. Once we got off 95, it was misting a little bit, so the ride became less pleasant. It was dark and hard to see. But, we made it there in one piece and unloaded our wares.

5 nights, 3 people. We packed:
2 suitcases. One for me (a duffel bag), one for the girls (Shmuppie requires like 17 outfits per day in case of leakage) Plus, the weather was shifty so we had to plan for warm and cold.
A cooler filled with things to eat
A case of beer
A bag containing rum, 2 bottles of wine and Cokes (for mixing)
Another bug bag containing snackables
Beach Chairs
Potty seat
Laptop bag
Clothes hamper filled with games, toys and portable DVD player
Jackets

The Focus was bursting at the seams. It’s impossible to travel light when you have a child. Impossible.

The following morning we went to the pools. They enclose the semi-indoor pools for the winter. As a result, the pool room looks like a scene from a jungle movie. It gets foggy in there because they jack the pool temperatures to like 120. And, 20 minutes in, you know who dropped a deuce. Ugh. We got her upstairs and washed. We implemented a new rule “No poopies in the potty…no pool”. It worked… We sat on the beach for a while and I got a very sun burnt face.

For the rest of the trip, we did a lot of that…swim in the pools, play in the sane, go to stores (did some quality outlet shopping), ate some food, drank some booze. It was very relaxing. Other than one night of puking, it was a great time. But now we’re home.

That’s OK.

I have a dilemma. I don’t know what to do about it. Actually, it’s more of a potential dilemma.

As we all know, we’re going back to St John in August. We’re going with ChurchBomber and MerlotMan again. Plane tickets are bought, house is half paid for, car is reserved. But…MerlotMan’s father is possibly going a little senile lately and he’s also got a very old aunt with cancer. Now, they’re infinitely more optimistic than I am. They emailed to inquire about trip insurance.

Not good.

A: I don’t know if they can get it. This late in the game, it could be tough. Back in ’04, we tried to get it under similar circumstances. When we found out how sick JewelrySlut’s mother was, we tried to get insurance but were told that any claim we filed likely wouldn’t be processed. We ended up not getting it (and, unfortunately…not needing it). So, we’re looking the same thing straight in the eye. For us, the airfare was free, so it’s no big deal. They could cancel their tickets and hold the credit. The house gets sticky. I believe that if we cancel and they don’t rent it for the same week, we’re out what we’ve deposited ($1000). That’s what we’d really try to get back from any insurance place. I don’t know about it though. I’ll have to look into this more. Then, on the flip side of this is that we don’t want to lose our vacation. We’d feel funny going to St John without them. I could get us booked into a condo across the road form where we stay in like 2 seconds, but…it’s not right. So, I’m kinda scoping out places to stay on St Thomas. We don’t really want to go to St Thomas, but we do have plane tickets that are taking us there. We need to figure out what we’re doing. I don’t have a good feeling about this though. For them to mention the need to get the insurance, we could be in trouble. I just hope things settle down for them (for a number of reasons) and we can all get away. I know they need it now and will certainly need it come August.

I’m a good son-in-law. Wanna know why? Well, this weekend, my father in law’s driving up from FLA. He’s unloading stuff from his house and Quasi has been trying to get some furniture from him since literally 36 hours after Mom died. (He’s tactful that way). JewelrySlut’s got like 2 boxes of stuff that she needs; mostly old photo albums and stuff like that. So, the old man’s renting a van and driving up. Since he is already renting a vehicle for 5 days or so, and Quasi’s loathe to pay for anything, I decided to cash in some points for the Old Man. So, I was able to get 3 of his 4 nights for free using my Hilton Honors points. Ain’t I swell? And, to make this interesting, he’s bringing Miss S with him. Miss S, you ask? Yup…the Old Man’s got a girlfriend. JewelrySlut and Shmuppie met her when they were in FLA a few weeks ago, and reported back that the 2 of them are very happy and that Miss S is a very nice lady. JewelrySlut’s also very happy for her father. It’s good that he’s got someone to be with. We were all worried that he’d end up alone, sitting at home with the dog, just being a cranky old man. But, we’re nervous about the reception they’ll get over at Casa Retard. It could be ugly down there. We hope the 2 of them behave and act nice. But, I could see Quasi and Dingaling just being downright mean to Miss S. This could be very ugly. We’re not even sure if the 2 of them understand that the Old Man and Miss S are “an item”. We don’t think it’s gotten through their skulls yet. This could be fun. I get to meet Miss S on Sunday. She’s apparently a good cook. So, I need to cook up a storm to impress the new lady. I don’t know what to make. I’ll have to do something nice for them.

I think I may be getting bronchitis.

I’m also probably hitting the road next week.

Hooray…another week of this thing turning into the Tales of the BitchyDaddy. Everyone’s favorite blog!

I have other things to write about…but I need more time to come up with good ways to write them. Until the time comes that I can process a thought, you’re all stuck with drivel.

And you’ll hear those hot lines hum

A quick update before we leave for a few days at the beach.

Got extended again…through September. I’m negotiating some sort of stay bonus of severance package thing to make sure I’m still financially solvent should the job market get hinky.

Now, I admit, I hate HealthCareRelatedCompany. They make me angry. I’m also headed back no the road soon…for like 2 months. I’m also ghastly underpaid.

But, I get to spend another summer at home. That means that every day at quittin’ time, I can walk out the back door and go see my girls at the pool. That’s worth a lot more than money.

Than again…I wonder why I even try looking for a new job. It seems that the act of looking is an exercise. The Gods need to know that you’re looking. Then, they decide how to align the stars for you.

Case in point:

A guy I used to work with LastJob went to Arizona.
He knows I like UConn. We used to abuse each other about it.
He also now works for NewCompany (the marriage of This Old Customer and That Old Customer).
He was in their Edison office last week. They (the half that is known as That Old Customer) do our checks for HealthCareRelatedCompany.
My name came up because they all know me there from a former lifetime (I almost got a job working for them a ways back)
He emailed me.
He learned that I now live in NC (we haven’t spoken in like 3 years)
The sales manager from our Boston offices at LastJob is now working down here in Greensboro for this NewCompany thing. He’s got my resume.
Something could come of this.

Nothing may come of it, but my resume is in some good hands now. I don’t want to work in Greensboro, but they must have clients in Raleigh. Maybe they’re hiring. Maybe someone they know is hiring.

I don’t understand how networking ends up working, but the fact that UConn beat Arizona a few times in the early 00′s may have gotten my resume into the right hands.

If I were to give a lesson, it’s that you should never think that what you’re doing right now is pointless.

Everything seems to happen for a reason. At the time, it often seems unrelated to anything, but somehow…it relates to everything.

“All things serve the Beam”

Well, I got to get going. I have to load up the car and head South.