There’s a little-known Louisiana statue stating that when you arrive at work in the morning, if Tab Benoit is playing on the radio, you’re required to wait in the car until the song is finished.
This morning, K woke up with a loud, “HEY!”
Scared the shit out of me, even though I was already awake.
Before I reacted, he continued.
“WHO MESSED WITH MY PANKAKES?”
The worst part about starting a new work project is getting familiar with a new office culture. It’s all over the map – from the quiet, dress-shirt wearing professional building to the noisy, jeans and t-shirt wearing software shops. This month, I started a new thing at one of the quiet, professional type places.
|The door-window. I didn’t have the nerve to take the picture from an angle where the woman who sits through there can see me.|
The building is a typical office building, with an elevator lobby that has doors to two or three different companies. The restrooms are also from a door in the lobby, and on my floor, the men’s room is a nightmare. There are two stalls and a urinal, crammed together along one wall. One is a handicap stall, but the other is tight enough to bump each elbow on each side. If I were 25 lbs heavier, I wouldn’t be able to fit back there to the urinal at all.
What makes it all the worse is that these three holes serve a whole office floor of men. At first, I was never, never, never alone in there. I’m hearing other people make the worst sounds in the world just inches away from me, while they hear me do the same.
Then, I discovered that the floor above mine is much more scarcely populated. It’s been recently renovated. There are still paint patches on the walls, and the air still smells like new carpet. Best of all, the men’s room was always empty.
It’s true that everything is a tradeoff. I found my empty men’s room, but at the cost of having the lady behind this door give me the stink-eye every day. I appear in her window from her right – where the only door is the one to the stairwell, and then she sees me walk away from her and into the men’s room. Then, we’re face-to-face through her door window as I walk back.
Her expression is always far from friendly.
Yesterday, as I was coming out, in came the guy who sits at the desk next to me one floor below. His face (and I’m sure mine too) was priceless – the shock of being discovered dashing in for an illicit poo.
Yesterday, a locksmith came to our house and made the garage locks work with our existing house keys. I can more easily fathom how we send a rocket to the moon than how man can make a lock work with a pre-existing key.
(I have nothing else to add, but I couldn’t quite fit that thought into a tweet.)
Way back in August, when filling out paperwork for preschool, one of the forms asked about any parental talents that might be fun for the class to know about. Mrs. theskinnyonbenny considered our talents, and decided that my consistent ability to pull my pants ALL the way up above my butt crack wasn’t impressive enough, so she listed me as a ukulele player.
The fact that I just had to look up the spelling of ukulele tells you all you need to know on that front.
They had a music unit scheduled a couple of weeks ago, and asked me to come by and sing. I agreed, and I was immediately karmically rewarded with an ice storm that cancelled the day of school that I was supposed to appear.
But alas, they rescheduled, and today was the morning that I was meant to appear. I procrastinated learning any kid songs until about an hour before my first preschooler gig. I looked up the chords used when playing Stewball and Twinkle Twinkle. They were all ones that I could handle, so I sat in my car in the parking lot at work, ran through them a couple of times, and deemed myself ready.
K wasn’t enthusiastic about all of this. In fact, when I dropped him off in the morning, he demanded that I not return for singing. It would have been fine with me to honor his request, but then the teachers would pen me in as a flake. I got there during snack time, and K just pretended that I was a stranger. He came and grabbed my knee when snack was over, but when I made him sit down with his class, he was done with me.
When I would sing, he even covered his ears with his hands and shook his head no.
I was thinking that two songs would be plenty, but I ran through them in about 90 seconds, and all of the teachers and kids just looked up at me expectantly for more. I asked the kids what they wanted to sing, and when they answered, I told them to sing really loud. They sang loud, and I strummed nonsense chords that didn’t go with the songs at all. We did this for three or four more songs.
Then, I let them each strum the strings, the teachers made everyone pose for a picture with me, and I screeched out of there like my pants were on fire.
On the way to school this morning, V got all excited. He was talking 100 miles per hour.
“I forgot to tell you what we had at school! REAL. ICE. Not like a cube or one of those things that hangs down, but it was round and really was ice!”
“You mean like a puddle that had frozen?”
“Yeah, there were even leaves in it!”
Poor kid. We haven’t had winter in a couple of years, which is a quarter of his life. The equivalent to me would be to go a decade without seeing ice. Even then, I don’t think I would have been that excited.
It’s pleasant and warm again this afternoon. It’s weird to think that we might have 10 more days of ice before the end of January, or we might not see it again for another two years.
“Daddy, you aren’t going to believe your eyes!”
That was my biggest smile this week. Not that I thought I would be seeing something that was unbelievable — far from it, in fact. But it was great to see V working hard at something and being so proud of what he was making.
K’s birthday was yesterday, and one of his gifts was a babyish Lego set, that builds out into a safari scene. I was busy when the boys decided to build it, and they went upstairs to try it themselves. In the hour between them going upstairs and me going up to join them, V had gone from the assumption that Lego instructions were indecipherable puzzles to realizing that it was something fun that he could do.
|Lego Jungle Camp.|
By the end of the evening, he decided to set up the scene high on a shelf. He told K that it was, “So you can see them when you’re going to sleep.” Really, it was so that Kolyazilla didn’t come through and destry the jungle camp.