Tuesday, May 31, 2005


Today is Tuesday and we have been in California since Friday. THIS IS AWESOME.

I should warn you, Lorenzo completely intends to create an entry, so this will only have partial coverage of the vacation.

We are in Anaheim and have spent two fantastic days at Disney. My knees, hips and legs are throbbing from a second day of walking, but it's been great.

Friday, we flew AA from DFW to Long Beach and drove to Temecula where Jesse/Jan live. We got to meet Lorenzo's nephew Jayden and the kids really enjoyed playing with him. He is three, so splits the difference between Alex and Meghan nicely.

We spent Saturday at Chez Martinez, with the exception of a trip to 3 wineries. Temecula has quite the wine valley and Lorenzo and I tasted quite a few. It was a sunny but cool day, so the weather was perfect. This kids played at the house while Jan, Lorenzo and I ventured out.

Sunday was more relaxing and more wine. This time, we went to 5 wineries. The smaller ones were definitely the best. We tasted a strawberry champagne, a pineapple champagne and a rasberry champagne. (I spelled raspberry wrong on purpose...It was actually spelled wrong on signs in the winery. SHAMEFUL!) We also tasted this fantastic late harvest....It was like CHOCOLATE. Yes, we got some of that. Wonderfully, we found some great deals on wine in the local Long's. You can save a ton of $$ if you buy in the drug store when possible. Long's has great deals. When we got back from the vineyards, we warmed up the hot tub and had a soak. What a wonderful way to end a weekend.

Monday - project Disney. We started with a last breakfast at Chez Martinez. I found it funny that Alex wanted to know when we were going to eat out. I suggested he buy the family a meal, but he didn't think that was funny. After a good breakfast we headed out.

It took about an hour to get from Temecula to Anaheim. No traffic and no issues. We checked into the hotel and headed to the park. Wonderfully, we could literally walk from our hotel to the park. We rode a number of rides. The crowds weren't bad at all. The weather was really pleasant, too. We enjoyed the Disney park and had a great time.

Today, Alex and I spent the day at California Adventure. We rode a number of rides twice. The crowds were non existent, so we could walk on to most everything. What a great, great day. To those wanting to visit Disneyland, remember that CA kids don't get out of school until June, so Memorial Day week is a great time to visit. Also, CA Adventure has less congestion than the traditional park. PLUS, it's newer.

Tomorrow, we are heading to the beach and aquarium. Thursday, we're heading home to TX.

This has been a great trip.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005


I just have to share three funny Meghan stories.

First, as you may know, Meghan's vocabulary is growing by the day. She has been saying shoes and toothbrush and Maggie for quite a while. I was disturbed however that she wasn't saying mommy. She had da-da down. She even has a version of Alex. Mom, however, seemed out of the question.

In the past week, she has fixed that. She has found a way to get my attention, and mommy isn't her first choice. No, instead we get the full body MA! A picture is worth a thousand words. Imagine a 2 foot girl standing at attention and yelling MA. When you don't answer, she comes closer, MA. If you still don't answer, she'll come closer still MA!

It can be quite comical for the one viewing the event.

Story number 2
Lorenzo and I have fought for years about the proper placement of blankets and sheets on the bed. I prefer a neat bed. Blankets smooth, sheets tucked, general order. Lorenzo prefers chaos. He believes the sheets and blankets should roll with you when you move. That creates a very messy bed and frequent sleep fights.

We have noticed that Alex is a chaotic sleeper too. He rolls and moves and creates a very messy bed. We hadn't noticed a Meghan pattern until recently.

Meghan is a neat sleeper. As Lorenzo put her to bed last night, she first arranged her pillow so that Buzz Lightyear was face up and vertical. Then she laid down and pointed to the blankets. Lorenzo covered her up, but the blankets weren't straight. She directed him to fix the problem. Yes, she is a neat sleeper, like me.

Story number 3
There is a story about a young red headed girl from North Carolina. When she was about 2, she spent a week with her Aunt Betty and Uncle Murray. Betty and Murray were farmers and they had hogs. At the time, they were raising chickens too, so breakfasts were really good down on the farm.

According to the story, one morning, after spending a week with Aunt Betty and Uncle Murray, that young red headed girl was eating breakfast when her mother returned to take her home. Her mother was horrified to find her young girl standing up in her chair with a mouth full of sausage, chewing as she held an additional piece of sausage in her left hand and grabbed for a third piece of sausage with her right. Her mother admonished her behavior and told her to sit down.

Murray stopped that young mom and explained, if he had to kill another hog that young red headed girl could have as much sausage as she pleased.

Now, to the present. This morning, I made eggs, sausage and toast for breakfast. I made 7 sausage patties believing that should be plenty for the four of us. Alex had a piece. Lorenzo had a piece. I had a piece. Meghan had the remaining four. I believe the little red headed girl lives on in Meghan.

I hope you enjoyed the stories.

Monday, May 23, 2005

Congratulations - Not so perfect attendance

Alex graduated today. Lorenzo video'ed it and I took pictures. If you haven't been to a kindergarten graduation, let me paint a scene for you.

First, the location? The cafetorium. That word in itself sends a picture. Yes, it's an elementary school cafeteria that has a partial stage at the front. You're wondering, what does that mean, Lynn? Well, on the wall opposite of the lunch line, there is a large curtained area. There is a stage, if you can call a four foot deep raised platform a stage. Hence, cafetorium.

There were about 40 chairs lined up for the graduates to wait for their diplomas. There were tables with stools (child sized stools-says my rear) for the audience to watch. They played Pomp and Circumstance as the kids entered. You should have seen the smiles and grins. These kids were definitely proud of themselves, but not near so much as the parents.

The principal introduced herself and the teachers. Then, there were awards to be given. Now, I distinctly remember the Perfect Attendance awards from my school days. There were about 8 children who received these. (Please note, Alex wasn't one of them. There are ND games, you know!) Keeley Elementary also has citizenship awards. I remember those too. BUT, I don't remember the Not So Perfect Attendance Award. This award went to children with only 1-2 absences. Are we going too far with awards, here? What's next? The almost Honor Roll.

Finally, for the diplomas. These kids moved fast. 40 diplomas in about 5 minutes. I am not kidding! I literally missed a picture of Alex shaking hands with the principal. The camera couldn't focus fast enough.

I guess that's a sign of the year in general. Alex has finished kindergarten and when I think about it, the year really did fly by, like the diploma ceremony. I know he's six and a very big boy now, but I do distinctly remember him being unable to hold his head up. When I took him to school in August for his first day, I thought I wouldn't stop crying on the way to work. I wasn't sad, just emotional. Today, it's the same.

Lorenzo says I'll be a real wreck in another 12 years. True, but I'll still have the fast and un-focused memories of diplomas rushing by.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Gucci bikini wearing Oprah roadies

Yesterday I was on a flight from New York to Dallas with a group of Oprah roadies. Apparently, Oprah will be in Dallas at a convention this weekend. Her pre-work group was on my flight and surrounding my seat.

Please bear in mind, these people were clear to say they worked for the magazine and not the show. There were 7 people in all. I was amazed at the amount of fashion magazines and technical gadgets they all carried. These people were all 25 or younger. They were all in jeans, so I originally assumed it was some kind of "friends from college" trip.

They are staying at The Crescent. They were looking for good bar/restaurants and shopping areas. Interestingly, they wanted cowboy hats. When I told them finding a true cowboy hat in Dallas would not be easy, but they should instead go to Fort Worth, they were very disappointed.

The most interesting tid-bit I learned was that apparently the men in the group (a very fashionable pair, indeed), were looking forward to wearing their new Gucci bikini's. Yes you did read that right. Imagine, my inability to hold in a laugh.

I must say, I was thanking god for my MP3 player, for it allowed me to tune them out. I didn't know how old and un-cool I had become until I sat amongst these "cool" people. Unfortunately, the battery died in my player about an hour into the flight. I left the headphones on, however, and pretended to sleep.

Dallas, I hope you're ready for this group of cowboy hat searching, Gucci bikini wearing Oprah roadies. It should be an interesting weekend.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005


I did a lot of running/walking this weekend. Worked out Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday along with being the ref for my son's soccer games on Saturday and Sunday. My shins and ankles hurt. When I was in marching band in college I used to get the same pain in my shins because sometimes we would practice on turf. For some reason the combination of the tennis shoes I wore and the turf would just kill my shins. Didn't happen all the time but when it did I hated it, much like Monday.

Sunday was go, go, go, one thing after another. As we (meaning my family and I ) enter the summer months I am finding we are getting a lot of use out of our new grill. This past Sunday we had over Lynn's book club for dinner and discussion. While I am not officially a member I know all the folks that come over so I don't really have to read the books :) This club has slowly evolved to a movie club since most of the members have not really been reading the books. I think they should rename it a media club since they have already covered two forms of media, each of which are on the opposite sides of the spectrum, books and movies.

I will be missing trombone practice this week to attend the high school graduation of my Aunt's daughter, thus my cousin. The size of her graduating class?


Mine was 492. I remember this because I had to include it on the college applications I filled out and because I had about ten copies of my transcript laying about my senior year in high school. Weird how we remember strange details of experiences that we have. Now this being a very private school and Catholic, the ceremony is actually a Mass and Graduation all in one. Should be interesting.

Less than a week til Alex graduates Kindergarten. He is excited as he should be. And who wouldn't? He is getting this ceremony, a small reception at the end, and he gets to pick the place where we have dinner that evening. Not to mention the pizza party at his school the next day (Would love to see that lesson plan. Activity: eating pizza. Relevance to curriculum: None what so ever). AND he is traveling to CA the day after school gets out to go to Disney. This kid is living a charmed life. The one let down is that they will not be wearing gowns or mortarboards. Bummer.

Lynn is in New York today and tomorrow leading the corporate struggle involved in selling Dr. Pepper. She will be back tomorrow night at which point I will have only one demand of her. To snuggle up to me in bed when she gets home. I hate sleeping without her as I tend to wake up a lot when she is not there. Just does not feel right.

I am thinking of doing some audio blogging while we are in CA. I have not tried it yet and it sounds like a cool feature. Stay tuned.


Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Goodbye and thanks for all the fish....

I saw Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy this past week and really enjoyed it. It has been a while since I had read the books and it was nice to see the characters on the screen. There were a few cameos as well. The Marvin the Robot from the BBC series was in the movie as was the actor who played Arthur Dent in the same series. Douglas Adam's widow and daughter are also in the movie but in a very brief scene.

Alex is graduating kindergarten on May 23rd. It is pretty exciting. I am curious to see if they are still handing out the Bachelor of Rhymes diploma I got when I graduated.

The infamous Notre Dame ticket application has been sent back to the ND ticket office requesting a total of 6 tickets. Hopefully we get all six.

I got to see some very short snippits of Star Wars Episode III recently and I was very impressed. It was a short scene with Obi-Wan and Anakin fighting. It was so fast and intense. Unfortunately I will not be able to actually see the movie until a couple of weeks after its release. In the past I have worked the weekend before the release with allowed me to be off for the actual release date. No go this year. But I imagine I will see it for download on the internet this week or next.

I was told by someone that Oregon Rieslings are awesome. Well I had one on Mother's Day and wow! It was really good. Gonna have to plan a trip out there at some point. Till then I will just go back to Best Cellars, the wine store where we got it.

I had a physical recently and I am one healthy specimen. Normal blood work and outstanding blood pressure. I even got a tetanus booster. Not painful going in at all but by the 3rd day the injection site hurt like hell. Thankfully you only need a booster every ten years.