Holidays, Work

Happy Holidays!

Ah, the holidays always bring out the “best” in everybody.

We made a quick stop at our local Dollar Tree for some stuff we needed. As usual, we ended up with more than we had come for and spent much more than the name of the store implies.

Anyway, at checkout, there was a guy arguing with the cashier about his lost receipt. Apparently he was trying to show her that he was overcharged for the Thanksgiving card he just bought.

At Dollar Tree. Three days after Thanksgiving.

The cashier continued to ring up the customer in front of us while she tried explaining the cost of the card, with tax, to the other guy. But he wasn’t hearing any of it, and he just kept arguing.

It was going nowhere and I had had enough.

“Hey man, if I give you $1, will you shut up?”

Mind. Blown. The dollar would have covered twice the cost of what he was arguing about. But he insisted on getting his proper discount. Not only that, he then got pissed that I got involved and called me an asshole in front of my family.

I smiled and turned to Ann.

“Reminds me of our neighbor — an angry drunk.” Then I looked at him, still smiling.

“Happy holidays, sir. And Happy Thanksgiving.” He didn’t know what to say and by then the manager had come over to smooth things out with him. And Thanksgiving had long passed, so in your face, Tipsy McStagger.

Look, I don’t normally get involved in petty shit like this but dude was being a complete jerk to the Dollar Tree employees, none of whom make diddly-squat at that job and none of whom should have to deal with bullshit from people like this any time of year.

But at the holidays, the number of idiots increases exponentially. Come on, dude. Dollar Tree. You’re arguing over a lost receipt and fifty cents at FREAKING DOLLAR TREE.

So I had to say something. And in the end, I didn’t offer him the dollar because that would be better spent elsewhere.

Like on these killer candles!


So to all of the employees at my local Dollar Tree, I’m sorry you had to deal with the moron. But I’m not sorry for saying something in your defense.

Because I’ve been there. It’s not pretty.

And now you have a story to tell when you get home.

Holidays, Music, Uncategorized

My Spotify Christmas Playlist

I’m taking a break from my evening job searching and doing something a little fun instead.

I’m putting together a Spotify Christmas Playlist and you, gentle readers, can listen to it by clicking on a song below (provided you have Spotify).

At this point I’m up to 35 songs but many more will be coming. It’s definitely an eclectic mix of genres and songs which, if you know me, isn’t that out of the ordinary. It also includes “When Christmas Comes to Town” from The Polar Express which pretty much turns me to mush every time I hear it. You can read more about it here.

So sit back, download Spotify if you haven’t yet, and enjoy!

Economy, Holidays, Shopping

Happy Black Friday, Suckers!

I know there’s no lyrical correlation with today but I can’t think of a better day to post this video.

Photography, Wordless Wednesday

Wordless Wednesday: Christmas 2006

santa 2006 hi-res

What happened to my little man?

Family, Fatherhood, Holidays, Parenthood

If I Knew It Was This Easy…

The list of Anthony’s Christmas gifts was pretty extensive this year:

    • An Android tablet
    • Nintendo DSi XL Mario Kart bundle
    • Telescope
    • A pair of spy glasses that captures video and still images
    • Remote control car
    • Lots of clothes (which he was thrilled beyond belief to receive)
    • Angry Birds stuff that ranged from school supplies to clothing
    • Kinectimals game for Xbox 360
    003 lores

    Anthony takes Steve the Cat for a ride

    And even with all of that, what do you think he favors playing with the most?

    An empty cardboard box converted into an airplane with the tool set we got him. The “propeller” is an old toy he’s had since he was around 3 years old (he’s almost 8 now).

    I think my shopping list for Christmas 2012 is already done.

    I hope everyone had a nice holiday. I don’t go back to work until January 3rd which is cool because I’ve been fighting a cold or something and it just won’t go away. Kind of sucks to have this happen over my vacation but I’m doing my best to get better; I’m just extremely run down at the moment.

    By the way, this is the first time I think I’ve mentioned Steve the Cat, who we adopted after we put Ozzie to sleep earlier in the year. His original name was Tommy but it just didn’t seem to work for me. One day I just blurted out “Steve, knock that off!” and it stuck.

    So welcome to our lives, Steve the Cat. You don’t know what you’re in for 🙂

    Holidays, Life, Unemployment Files

    Making It Better

    To say that it’s been a rather tough year for us would be absolutely correct* but despite it all, we’re managing to pull through and remain optimistic.

    And I’m thankful to have found a couple of jobs that have definitely helped out. But while I do have some income, Christmas is going to be a little skimpy for Ann and myself. As for Anthony, well, he’ll be fine. I’d rather see his face light up on Christmas morning and I can assure you that it will.

    One thing I told Ann I wanted to do this year was buy a real tree rather than go digging in the garage for our artificial one which, after a year in storage, is probably mashed, squashed and mangled. There’s something about a real Christmas tree that adds a nice touch to a home—even when your little demon of a cat decides to make it his plaything.

    So with the little money we have, Ann and Anthony went to Lowe’s and picked up this little gem:


    It’s not the biggest or the baddest Christmas tree you’ve ever seen by any means but it brings us just a little more joy in closing what’s been a pretty crappy year.

    And if this little tree is all it takes to bring a smile to my family’s face, then that’s fine with me.

    2011 will be better. Trust me on that Smile

    *I will wrap-up the good and bad of the year in a future post
    Holidays, Life

    Christmas Spirit

    I was feeling a little conflicted about writing tonight but I’ve got a little time before um, Santa arrives later.

    I went to the hospital today to see Mom for a bit and while she is progressing as well as expected, it’s still hard to see her lying in that bed totally helpless. Maybe it’s because this is the woman that raised her two boys single-handedly without asking for any help, that worked multiple jobs to keep things afloat, that bought whatever it was my brother and I needed in order to survive.

    Or maybe it was just because of the timing of her surgery and its proximity to Christmas and knowing she won’t be sharing it with us this year.

    Whatever the case may be, while I had been good emotionally up to today’s visit, I began to sob as I sat next to Mom.

    It was a mix of emotions: anger, sadness, furstration (frustration, apparently to the point where I forgot how to spell the damned word). I had bottled all of these up for so long in my efforts to be the strong father and husband I am supposed to be but as Dr. Laura is fond of saying, “I can’t fix normal.”

    Mom consoled me as she lay, telling me it’ll take some time but she will get better. I know it’s true but it’s still difficult and I won’t believe it until she’s home and well.

    I stayed with her for a few hours until I had to get going since Ann’s folks were taking us to our traditional Christmas Eve dinner. I had mentioned that I still had to head over to the cemetery to say hello to Dad and grandfolks. She told me to bypass the trip; I shouldn’t subject myself to any more emotional violence for the day.

    I pulled up to the cemetery gates and meandered right to Dad’s gravesite. It began to sprinkle but it didn’t matter; the tears welling in my eyes were already turning my vision to mush.

    “Chistmas is gonna suck this year, Dad,” I said as I looked down at his headstone. “You’re gone, Mom’s in the hospital…neither one of you is going to be with us this time.”

    The rain began to fall a bit harder and I was getting pissed off, but not necessarily about the weather. “This fucking sucks, Dad.” I said my goodbyes and left.

    Before I left for the hospital, Ann had reminded me to head over to Walgreens to buy The Kid those crazy Bendaroos he’d been wanting so badly. They would make a great stocking stuffer. So I pulled into the only space I could find and entered the store.

    I grabbed the last box and saw the lines were way, way long. I then wandered over to the photo lab–there was nobody in line there–and paid for my purchase. I thought that was pretty sneaky, and those people are probably still waiting in line.

    While getting back into the Escape, I noticed something on the ground next to my door. I didn’t notice it when I stepped out to go into the store which made things even more surreal. I picked it up and thought, “The Kid will probably like this.” He likes when I find random stuff.

    But I’m not so sure if this was random. I then sat in the truck and thought to myself, “…oh.” I was pretty much speechless after that.

    So what was it that shut me up?

    Continue reading “Christmas Spirit”