Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Fond Fairwell

Well, it's apparently over with. The house I grew up in finally sold today, my brother calling to confirm the signing of the papers this afternoon. I'm pretty sure that the three lots that made up our property will be split up, the old 1926 house and the detached garage demolished and most of the old orange, avocado, mango and other trees will be pulled up and thrown into the landfill.

It's a bittersweet event for me, but then most events are. I've always tended to get emotional over inanimate objects with no perceivable soul. I've said goodbye to a 1971 Ford Maverick, a 1978 Pontiac Grand Prix and our 1998 Toyota Sienna over the years and gotten misty-eyed each time when I bade them fairwell. The house is a little different, granted, having been in our family since 1944, first purchased by my grandfather, then my parents after his death in 1948, then sitting silent and empty since my mother was moved out to a home up in Tampa after my father's death. Still, perhaps it is a bit foolish for me to get sentimental over a tiny (by today's standards), un-air conditioned, dusty old relic with jalousy windows and a single bathroom that was certainly not soundproofed.

I'll certainly enjoy the half of the sale proceeds (after taxes, of course) that I'll be getting soon. I'm sure my parents never would have guessed that the old place, in a run-down, ungentrified neighborhood in Sarasota, would ever have sold for what it did today, but I think that, wherever they are, they're happy that it did, just about the last asset they can pass along to their two sons to help with their financial security. After all, they were the soul of the old place.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Eating Out

Oldest Blue shocked us all last night by asking for us to go eat out "as a family". Of course, it was a ruse to simply eat out as opposed to eating something I might throw together, which lately has been tomato soup or some such concoction, since I've been under the weather for the last week or so. Anyway, we decided to honor the request and hit the road.

We went to a local Italian eatery which we've enjoyed now for a while and seated ourselves at a booth. The waiter was a very nice young man who took our orders promptly and brought them back pretty quickly. In the meanwhile, we did our family bonding thing, talking about odds and ends of things.

The food came and was rather here and there in terms of quality. It all LOOKED good at least. Littlest Blue had gotten manicotti, taken a couple of bites and declared that something was not to her liking. Mrs. Blue took a bite and agreed with her, so I took the next bite and figured out that there was a bit more than the usual amount of fresh parsley in the cheese stuffing. It was, I agreed, a bit off-putting.

My meat lasagna was just about that; ground beef and lasagna noodles, not much in the way of cheese (except on top) or sauce (not even as much as they've usually put around the perimeter of the noodles). Usually lasagna has layers of sauce, cheese, meat and noodles repeated three or four times. This one seemed to be noodles, some meat, noodles, some more meat and finally topped with some cheese. It was OK, but for the money we paid it should have been a lot better. My garlic bread (little pizza rounds with cheese and garlic) was much better, as was my salad. Mrs. Blue's salad and bread sticks (same thing, just no cheese) was also quite good, as was Oldest Blue's calzone.

Oh well, at least I'll get some money back for college expenses, since this place contributes to UPromise, which puts a percentage of the bill into a college savings account. We're probably over $160.00 by now; that'll pay for a book (maybe) by the time one of the girls goes to school.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Back Again

I seem to keep taking time off from updating the narrative, but things just keep getting in the way. Everytime I think about doing something, either my ADD kicks in and I shift gears to some other thought or I just keep thinking that I don't need to be doing another long rant about how stupid some situations around me continue to be. Maybe this time I'll break it down into smaller, more digestible parts.

I like jellybeans...but why, oh why in God's name do they persist in making licorice ones?

Tom Delay is least from the current political scene, but I'm sure we'll get more than enough of him when his cases finally come to trial and his crookedness is finally revealed in all its glory.

I haven't been to Utah since I was a kid...but I'd like to travel there if for no other reason that to get myself a six-pack of "Polygamy Beer" with the best tag line I've seen in a while; "Why stop at just one?".

Some of the best political commentary is on bumper the one I saw the other day that said "Don't blame me, I didn't vote for him, his daddy or his brother!".

Just because you find it on the Internet doesn't mean its someone in my office found out recently when they posted something purporting to be a "1895 8th grade test" that they downloaded, printed out and posted in the Men's Room bulletin board (I'll let you figure out just where THAT is!). The test was supposed to be from Salinas, KS and was so hard that someone with three or four doctorates today probably couldn't finish it. Fortunately, someone else looked up a site that deals with "urban legends" and found out that the "1895 test" post is almost certainly faked by someone with either a sense of humor or an agenda about "Why Johnny Can't Read".

Personal updates: Littlest Blue is sick as a dog with the stomach flu, Bigger Blue is still looking for a job, Mrs. Blue loves the new van and is looking ever forward to her youngest sister's return to town and I'm still waiting for my parents' house to sell and waiting to get over my current bout with sinusitis or just plain old Tallahassee pollen. Had to pay for a new capacitor for our heat pump (I looked "capacitor" up in an Internet dictionary--seems it comes from a Latin word for "costs an arm and a leg") and looking forward to paying for our TV to be repaired, which I'm sure will be quite reasonable (i.e., more than I want to pay, less than it would cost to buy a new one).

Until next time...