Archive for May, 2009

Rookie in Training

This afternoon was the big day in which I had to train the new employee at the store.  I must say that I was really impressed.  By the time 9pm rolled around, he had learned A LOT.  I began by taking him on a tour of the store… all the departments, the walk-in coolers, the backroom of doom, and the milk crate/smoking cage (something my young protege was quite curious about since he is a smoker).  Since it was graduation day, ALMOST everyone needed the day off.  This was one of the reasons I was training today (I would have been by myself for 7 hours).  I taught the basics: milk and egg filling including rotation, floor cleaning, phone etiquette, bagging and carrying out groceries.  I was actually surprised how busy the store was not only with the last minute graduation card pick up.

At the beginning, I had him watch as I waited on customers.  In the early evening, I noticed that the ground meat was REALLY low, so I told Nate to stand by the register and to call when a customer needed waited on.  At first, he was apprehensive to say the least.  I told him that he would be fine… I knew he could do it.  After paging me three times to the front, he was ringing up transactions by himself.  As long as they involved cash only, I was ok with it.  Anything beyond that (check, credit, food stamps, or WIC) he was to call me right away.  By the end of the night, he was taking check transactions.  I was really impressed.

I asked him to demonstrate how HE would answer the telephone.  Without any training, he picked up the phone and said “Kaiser’s… may I help you?”  WOW!

All in all, a totally rewarding day.  Hopefully, he retains what he learned in such a short time.  I’ll find out Tuesday.  Sometime, I will need to show him the basement of doom.

Cosmic Bowling That Was Not Out of This World

Tonight after I got off work, I headed over to meet a group of family members and some friends of my visiting cousin for a night of fun-filled cosmic bowling.  However when we arrived, it was soon discovered that cosmic bowling is on FRIDAY night.  Ok… but two lanes were reserved for SATURDAY night at 9.  Someone had called earlier in the week to hold the lanes and was informed that cosmic bowling was indeed on Saturday.  Someone was asleep at the wheel.  We asked them to locate the reservation list for Friday night to see if they had put the name down and misinformed our party.  The sheet from last night could not be located.  Ah… c’est la vie…or group of 10+ got  three lanes and bowled three games.

I asked Megan to join us after the Weekender’s evening of Belly Dancing and we shared a lane with my sister.  I did break a hundred (too bad this was after the two games were added together).  For our final game, I got a score of at least 120… let’s see if I can get someone to post a reaction to this 😉  If not.. then it will be my story and will stick to it.   OK, OK… I cannot tell a lie… we decided to change our order for the final game… and Megan (as me) got the 120+ but the third game was my best so at least I improved.  But it was a fun time

Risky Business

One of the highlights of a lot of weeks is the semi-regular game night.  A bunch of friends gather to play a WIDE assortment of games.  I think we have barely scratched the surface of the game closet.  I love all types of games (Monopoly not so much… think I mentioned that before).  Tonight was memorable for two games.  First was Cranium Pop in which I elected to give a humming clue to the name of a movie.  We needed one point to win the game.  However, I elected not to do a charades version of the movie in question.  So, I began to hum the old Bob Segar song “Old Time Rock & Roll.”  And hummed, and Hummed AND HUMMED. I even began clapping in time to the song to get the full effect, to no avail.  I ask you… how many movies feature that song in a memorable sequence?  The only scene I could think of to reenact is the scene from the movie in which the song was used and I was NOT going to do that… besides there was no couch to dance on in the room.  However, somehow, the opposing team also failed to get their points so it came back to our side and we won.

Another game was one that has been threatened with banishment into the “Jamiahsh banned game pile”.  Three for All involves a series of three words which the reader tries to get his teammates to say which then leads to the word that ties the other three words together.  For instance:

milk…dark…white = chocolate

After defeating our opponents, I became the delegated clue giver for the next round.  Kind of like hosting my own game show.  For some reason, the score was much closer.  Honestly, I don’t know if my friends get annoyed with me or not.  Maybe I should try a different approach next time and “let the wookie win” whoever that might be.

Munchkin Junction What’s Your Function?

To wear out a thirtysomething who went along with his niece nephew and their eighteen year old babysitter.  Elizabeth, Noah, and Nate showed up around 12.30 and asked if I wanted to go across to the school playground.  Since school was still going on, I suggested going out to the park across town.  Elizabeth and Nate go to a neighboring school that let out yesterday and big brother had to go to school for a work day.  Being outnumbered, we decided that I would drive the two or three blocks to the park.  Really fun times, but got wore out.  One of the first things Elizabeth asked me to attempt was the swinging tire.  BIG MISTAKE!  Nate had to help me get out of it.  Later, we played some hide and seek amongst the pirate ship (AAAARGH!), wooden car, and drawbridge.  I think I was the ultimate victor since no one was able to find my spot.  We also had fun at the old water sput… one of the things you actually have to pump to get the water to come out.  Elizabeth and Noah got a little wet with no help at all from me (ok… maybe a little) but I would not complain if I had gotten a little wet…. it would have felt good.  I even slid down the slide to depart the  ship and join in glorious battle or to at least cature the scalawag who was firing cannons at me.  After discovering that the batting cage was not working, it was time to return.

Baignoire

Sitting here watching the Scripps National Spelling Bee (not sure if it was taped prior or not… OH, it is live) but the staged musical bumpers are getting rather tiresome.  Get on with the competition already!  It almost seems like a televised round of golf with the commentators including Tom Bergeron (of Dancing with the Stars and America’s Funniest Home Videos (IS THAT STILL ON) fame… why?).  The audience is dead silent until a comment is made.  One speller very humorously attempted to spell her word and after said “DING?” indicating her belief that she mispelled the word.

The gentleman who announced the words attempted to put the spellers at ease with some of the sentences he used with the given word.

“Enough of this low-carb garbage!  Bring me the palatschinken.”

There were at least two words that are types of cheese: neufchatel and caerphilly.  Someone must have been hungry when they made the official list.  Two the three final spellers were friends who moved away from each other and met again on the national stage.

The winning word: laodicean spelled by a young Kansas girl named Kavya.

One word prompted me to make this post: baignoire.  It is derived from the French meaning either a box in the lowest level of a theatre OR a bathtub.  The pronouncer failed to give the second definition.  No numnah this year.

However You Spell It

I used to enjoy a good afternoon of Monopoly, but as I grew older I discovered that it takes FOREVER to play and who can actually say that they have ever played a full, complete, by the book game?  In any case, here is a bit of useless trivia that might come up on a night of fun and games.  Which is the only property on the original Atlantic City edition of Monopoly to not be named after an Atlantic City location?  Marven Gardens is a housing development in Margate City, New Jersey and is not located in the Atlantic City limits. It is on the border of Margate and Ventnor City (there must be a Ventnor Avenue 😀 )… hence the name Marven Gardens.  Another bit of useless trivia: the Monopoly game has mispelled the name for the decades in which it has been produced.  Charles Darrow’s mispelling “M-a-r-v-i-n” was copied when Parker Bros. bought the game rights and a formal apology was made to the residents of Marven Gardens in 1995 (better late than never I guess).  I was recently introduced to a new Monopoly card game entitled MONOPOLY DEAL which does not take the never ending hours of the traditional ( board game (or one of the hundreds of variations).  If you can name any pop culture creation I am sure there is a version or soon to be… let’s make a list:

  • Star Wars Original Trilogy Edition
  • Star Wars Episode I Edition

A Weekend of Fun and Remembrance

Sunday after I got off work, I had a familiar sight on the caller id.  Soon after I got home, I was on my way to Hillsdale, MI to Silo’s Fun Park.  Quite a place: go-carts, bumper boats complete with squirting action, mini golf (did not endulge… the bumber boats were fantastic).  On the way there, we got separated from the lead driver when we did not make it through a red light; however, we soon found out thst they were in the drive thru of a rather sloooooooow Burger King.  DING!  I can see if they have the elusive Spock glass.  On the drive-thru menu there was the ad for the cups so… I asked if they had the commander’s cup.  “Sorry, we are done selling the cups.”  OK… we would like three cherry slushes.  “Sorry, we only have coke and orange creme.”  SUE BK for false advertisement.  But Silo’s was a ball.  I loved the bumber boats with the added thrill of being able to shoot the others.  Even the fountain under which I got a good dousing more than once was fun.

I did rather well on the go-carts until the final lap.  I was ahead of my three co-racers until the final lap when something went awry.  All of a sudden, I was slowing down and finally came to enough of a crawl to just make it into the stopping point.  I believe I was third of our group.

After the fun was done, treats finished, and elaborate gumball machine was watched, we set out on the return journey to the sound of Little Shop of Horrors playing in the car.  If I can’t be in Joseph this summer, I can devote extra time to the audition for the next show. After dropping Megan and Carol off at their car, I went to the nearby BK and completed my glass collection and got some dinner.  The price was good so I got a full set so I could have one to keep and one for use..

Today being the day in which we honor all those who have fallen making the supreme sacrifice in order to defend our country, I walked along with the high school/junior high band, Scouts, and American Legion in their parade to the cemetery for services.  I had to question the director’s decision to play while they marched into the cemetery.  I think the one time a marching band should be solemn and relatively silent is while marching into a burial site.  I remember entering to a slight cadence by a drummer tapping lightly on the side of a drum in order to keep the marchers in step.  The ceremony consisted of patriotic readings, music, and a salute by the American Legion. My favorite part, as it has been for as long as I can recall, is the floral tribute by the children.  Armed with bouquets of flowers, many little ones from the Scouts to toddlers (who were assisted by parents) stormed the makeshift stage.  I often wonder how many actually realize what the flowers symbolize.  Hopefully as they age, they will come to understand that they are remembering those who have been lost in defense of freedom at home and abroad.  May we all do so.

On a heavier note, my cousin who moved with her husband and daughter to Alaska had to return for a few weeks following the passing of Rich’s father.  They flew in last night around midnight after Rich returned from Afghanistan.  Ironically, a few weeks after he returns to the Army, Rich will be back for the arrival of their second child.

The Third Smallest Town In Texas

WOW… how hysterical!  I continued my part in establishing relations between the WCCT and the Village Players by attending a production of Greater Tuna.  I’m not sure if there could be a less politically correct, laugh out loud play.  Taking place largely at radio station OKKK (get it?) operating on 250 (help me out here Mare) watts in really backwater, hickville Tuna, Texas, two actors embody 20 citizens of the town.   Travis and Alex… man I don’t know how they did it… had accents for each character that were perfect and mannerisms that were a hoot.

Some of my favorite characters:

  • Bertha Bumiller (married to Hank who is a member of such civic minded organizations as Smut-Snatchers and a committee to reduce the number of blacks in literature which has banned such books as Roots, Huckleberry Finn, and Romeo and Juliet.  And the group is also looking into Shakespeare’s other works)
  • Stanley Bumiller (son of Hank and Bertha a juvenile delinquent)
  • Charlene Bumiller (high school senior daughter who has been trying for 7 years to be make the cheerleading squad with no success whatsoever but seems to be the town’s poet laureate)
  • Jody Bumiller (youngest child has a pack of 8-10 dogs provided by “puppy pusher” and humane activist, Petey Fisk who has a speech impediment)
  • Reverend Spikes (Baptist minister and leader of the Smut-Snatchers.  Alex delivered IMHO the finest speech in the play by eulogizing the greatness of the deceased judge)

During the extraordinary amount of costume changes, there were PSAs broadcasted.  One of my favorites was an ad for Spatula Warehouse where if you buy 10 spatulas you can get one for a penny.  Definitely not for everyone, but if you can put aside most of your morals and are able to laugh with the play as they satirize almost every politically correct thing imaginable then definitely look for Greater Tuna and its sequels.

No Go JOE :(

Well… it is official.  I have the results of the audition for the summer production of Joseph.  I don’t know what to feel somewhere between total bewilderment and depression.  Not because I do not know what part I might have gotten but that the show was totally cancelled because of “lack of bodies.”  I cannot believe that this area does not have enough talent to fill the roles of the show: it has been done in the area at least twice in the past 10 years by two different community theatres.  It is just a weird feeling knowing that a show was cancelled BEFORE it was even cast.  I just hope that the theatre can put this behind them and move on to their next musical production.  I really am upset about this and to say that we should move on and think about the next production is not helping a whole lot because I really did want to be a part of one of my favorite shows and hopefully be in it with one of the best performers and friends I have ever known… but there WILL be another time for that.

Doomsday In Smallville

I can accept most things concerning the long, tedious 8 year run of Smallville… For example, character introductions much earlier than acceptable for the sake of increasing ratings.  For another, the Incredible Hulk meets Superman interpretation of Doomsday  HOWEVER, when viewers have been waiting all season long for what is supposed to be the much-anticipated knockout/dragout battle of Clark Kent’s life (still just Clark, no suit, no secret identity except for his moniker of The Red-Blue Blur) and they get next to nothing… well.  All season long, the arrival of Doomsday has been announced… even going back to the finale of Season 7.  And we get two minutes of less than thrilling spectacle.  This creature was supposed to be the end of Superman and it was handled poorly.  Sure there was a super catch of a flying automobile, rescuing a small child, a few big explosions, but that was about it… LAME!  I had been waiting all season for that.

Oh, yeah.  For two years, one of the comics mainstay characters has been a part of the show (even if he was once again one of those aforementioned too early to come to the canvas characters).  Jimmy Olsen was killed by Doomsday.  At his funeral, we find out that the characters name was Henry James Olsen.  The character’s younger brother is given his camera.  The new character’s name? James Bartholomew Olsen: the cub reporter of the Daily Planet.  UGH!

Next season, the show is moving to Friday nights which is typically the graveyard of network television.  Will I watch?  I have my doubts.  I enjoy Elsewhere stories as much as anyone, but I see this turn of events as an insult.  And on Thursday nights in the 8PM time slot… some teenage angst drama featuring vampires.  At least my other favorite show is still looking bright.

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