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Thursday, July 21, 2005

About halfway through this very difficult Thursday, I was ready to give up. Nothing was going right, and I canít even tell you how many times the Boss phoned to tell me I was doing something wrong. That makes a guy feel good, you know? Especially after I told him to leave me alone so I could finish the quarterly taxes and get ready for the audit. Thatís the time I really need some guidance about how to do my job better.

He even acknowledged that the things that were wrong werenít my fault. I was getting bad information, and we all know what becomes of garbage in. (Hint: garbage out.) It was my fault for trusting the bad information I guess. I should have been reading peopleís minds. Thatís how I would have known that when they wrote ďnorthĒ on their time cards, they really meant ďsouth.Ē If Iíd picked up on that subtlety, I wouldnít have to go back and redo six weeks of cost reports, changing north to south.

Really, I was ready to cash out, take my losses and live in the branches of the old oak. What I really wanted to do was scream, but I wanted to do it without anyone hearing me so that I didnít have to explain myself to anyone. Instead, I just had to scream silently.

Needless to say, I wasnít up for being social tonight. I wasnít even sure I could form complete sentences. But there are some situations where grammar takes a back seat. Dakota doesnít have much use for sentence structure, so when he answered the door at Tammy and Davidís tonight and said ďhi,Ē my troubles began to melt. Kind of like lemon drops.

As bad as my day was, Tammy had a worse one. She took herself to the doctor and immediately had to turn around and take Aiden. (Hideous diaper rash, the poor baby.) She had so little time in between that I was on alert to pick Dakota up from school, although in the end she managed. She always seems to manage, somehow.

So she invited me over for salmon tonight, except that they forgot to take it out of the freezer so she picked up steaks instead. Only when David went to fire up the grill, it was out of propane. He had a backup plan, the old-fashioned barbecue. He filled it with charcoal and then couldnít get his lighter to work. By the time he did, it had already been decided that we (that is, he and Aiden) would pick up spaghetti from Maryís Pizza Shack. I could have been disappointed, but Maryís has great spaghetti, and I wasnít really there for the food anyway.

Itís been a while since Iíve been there for dinner, and Iíd forgotten how chaotic things can be, with four (oops, still only three) kids and a big, tail-whapping dog. I suppose if you live in the middle of all that commotion every day, you might not appreciate it as much as I do. Little boys, in case you donít know, have a hard time moving from place to place without running. Often they have a hard time communicating without shouting. Sometimes they need a time out; sometimes the adults need one.

But theyíre good kids, all three of them. Aiden doesnít drink face first out of the dogís water dish because heís bad; he does it because thatís the way Titus showed him how. D.J. doesnít talk nonstop for any other reason than that he has so much to say itís hard to get it all in before bedtime. And the only reason Dakota throws rocks is... Well, I donít really know. He just likes to throw rocks, I guess.

Anyway, it was fun. Probably more fun for me than for Tammy and David, but Iím not even sure of that. I think they secretly like all that excitement. If they didnít, why would they be having another one?

21 July 2005

Sleeping Aiden.

I donít want to leave you with the impression that things were out of control. Tammy and David have a handle on things, and they absolutely know what theyíre doing. Iím glad itís up to them to make it work, though, because in their situation Iíd be lost and overwhelmed, instead of merely a bemused spectator. As badly as my day started, and as horrible as most of the middle was, I canít think of a better way it could have ended.

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Since the Giants have a well-earned day off (cough), Iíd like to answer some Viewer Mail. I got a search hit earlier this week for the question, Why shouldnít you make the first or third out at third base? This is a question dear to my heart, because some jerk at a Giants game implied that Eric and I didnít know what we were talking about when we brought it up in the course of the game. Itís really kind of simple. You donít make the first out at third base because your team can use an out to move you from second to third if it wishes, and second base is already scoring position. And you donít make the third out at third base because itís not worth the risk, since with two outs there are nearly as many ways to score from second as from third. Itís okay to make the second out at third base. That shows hustle. Thatís being aggressive. Thatís the way you want to play.

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One year ago: Familiar
"Even Aiden has learned to tilt his eyebrow already. How long can it be before he starts rolling his eyes? (Probably not long, considering he has two older brothers.)"

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