Adventures of Darth Daddy

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Hard day - harder life

Been a bit stressed lately. Money is very tight, it's hard to get out alone anymore, and the new baby is due the first week in September.

Add to this that I took the 4 yr old to dojo tonight. That isn't too bad, but after class, we were fooling around - and he threw a sai about 10 ft at me. Mini-sai his sized - but enough to crack my index fingernail and give me a hell of a blood blister under it. I snapped at him - then felt like shit. I teach my students to keep their cool, then I go and lose mine in front of them.

Meanwhile, back in Cleveland -
I've been hoping that someone (anyone) from my old elementary school in Cleveland would stumble across this blog and write me. No luck so far. So, figured I'd make another post with the school's name in it, and hope the search engines pick up on it if anyone is doing a search for old classmates.

Saint Stanislaus ( St Stans) elementary (elem) school, in Cleveland Ohio.
Slavic Village. Fleet ave and East 65th st (ish).

I've googled a few old classmates names, and always come up empty. A few I don't even know how to spell. Maria Brakavitch is one (Brake - a - vitch). I always joked around about her, and it wasn't until I moved that I appreciated how much "herself" she always was. Wish I had been better friends with her.

Catherine Grams was a sweetheart - had major crush on her - always wondered how she turned out (and why she never would go out with me). Stacey York was kinda bitchy (and really into Rick Springfield). Cheryl Lango had a feminine Napoleonic complex. I think she became a doctor. One day, a nasty note from a "mystery person" appeared on my desk, stating how people don't like other people who are boastful and braggards. Obviously meant for me (I really don't think I was THAT bad), but figured she was the sender. Munchkin overachiever. Should never dated her after Phillip Wesolowski (my then best friend) moved away.

Let's see - Eric Slesinger was nice - total jock, but a smart one. Danny Riziki was into cars and racing.

Then there was MY crew - Michael Davidson - Michael Elswick - and Donald Morton. Elswick and Morton were sworn enemies - Mike would hound poor Donald to death, and picked on him all the time. I chimed in as well, so I'm just as guilty of owing Donald an apology for being shitty to him. It was weird - Donald and I got along great when Mike wasn't around - but introduce Mike to the mix, and all hell broke loose. Davidson was an odd duck. After we graduated grade school, he seemed the one to be in the most hurry to "grow up". Sometimes it seemed like showing off.

Over time, I fell out of contact with them all. (all three, at least). Davidson was off trying to be cool - Morton dropped off the map - and Elswick and I fell out when he refused to come down to Virginia to see me. (We had a summer exchange planned, but he wussed out). The last time I saw Donald, I went to his house, and he was pissed off (or disappointed) that I had moved and not written like I had promised. Probably felt like I blew him off. I didn't - just sucked at writing letters.

There was a very VERY cute little girl who i met at the ARNCW club (referred to as the Russian Club). (I remember 2 really neat guys that worked their - Big Zeke and Little Zeke. Big Zeke was a postal worker, and little Zeke was a bald old guy that bartended). Mom was a member, and they only let members in. They had a cool pinball table -and a bowling machine that I RULED on. The girls name was Danielle.

It's a shame all the problems that people go through in their life. A shame that friends fall out of contact, and it's years later that we look around and say "Hey, what every happened to...". I look at the class pictures from St Stans, and remember those people like it was yesterday. Wonder if any of them do the same, or if I'm the sole owner of the photographic evidence that we all survived 1977 through 1984 while dealing with Catholic school, nuns, growing up, and each other.

Well, it's almost 4:30am, and we have an early morning tomorrow. We have a meeting around 9am, during which an IEP (individual Education Plan) will be created for Lance (speech and developmental delays). the time I get to sleep, it'll almost be time to wake back up. I thought that sai hit me pretty hard - just wait until tomorrow morning takes it's best shot.

Night all....

Monday, July 09, 2007

Say WHAT?!

My oldest son - amazes me sometimes. He can be yelled at several times for just making the most annoying sounds - just to make them.

And then, he can shock the hell outta me. I've been teaching the karate class how to say hello in Japanese. Also, I've added how to introduce yourself. I stuck to a simple version, but recently learned a more formal version from a video lesson. At the dojo, I taught people to say
"Konichiwa. (insert name) des." Roughly translated means, "Hi. I'm (name)".
The video version said "Konichiwa. (Name) des, dozo yurushku." (adding 'pleased to meet you).

Today, Logan walked in the room, so I said "Konichiwa, Logan-san." And to my amazement, my son responded with :

"Konichiwa, dada san. Logan des. Dozo yurushku." It took me 2 months of practice to remember "dozo yurushku", and he just spouts it out like it nothing.

LATER THAT NIGHT, as he was falling asleep, I was telling him that I loved him more than the ocean has water. (We went to the beach today). He says "Dada, I love you more than if you were in the ocean, sitting in a pile of peanut butter, in a deep deep part. Cause I can do THAT."

Don't know where he got THAT one from - but I get the message loud and clear.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Before the fireworks start

Well, it's Tuesday night, and tomorrow is the 4th! I'm planning on taking the family to the local park (the kids call it the Tubbie Hill) for fireworks tomorrow night.

We would have had swim class on Wednesday morning, but those pricks at the Y decided to cancel classes. I don't get it - cancel 10am classes because people want to see fireworks at 10PM.

Had a nice night at the dojo tonight. Last night was the first weapons class. Started working on proper bo ediquette and taught a few opening steps for their first kata. A number of kids showed up last night for their first class, and had no idea to bring a bo with them, so my class was small (another instructor took the non-weapon using students).

Tonight was another night of younger, and lower belted students, so I kept it fun and very basic (covered a few stances and a few blocks), and of course - UKEMI! (rolling and falling ---mostly rolling). Can't belive that a large number of styles (and dojos) leave ukemi out of their practices. Hell, if it weren't for the ukemi part of the training, I'd need to hire a chiropractor. It's amazing what a few forward and backward rolls can do for reliving stress on a cramped spinal column.

Well, the boys are asleep, and I'm hungry - so off the fridge I go. Wish me luck!
ps. No gummi bears for me tonight!

Monday, July 02, 2007


Lottsa work, and not much interesting to report.
We picked up a small green fishing pole at a yard sale for Lance ($3.50).

The boys are taking another swim class at the YMCA. Let me tell you about that friggin place. I want it GONE. Not just our membership canceled, I want it torn down and turned into a parkign lot for a McDonalds or a strip mall. We go in last week for the kids swim class, and Wayne at the front counter decides to pester us (after we walked away) about some updated phone number. THe wife gives him our same home phone, and he stares at the computer screen, and says "we already have that one". So I send the wife and kids off (running cover for them) and try to deal with Wayne as best I can. I tell him that if there is already a number in the system for us, and we gave him the same number - it makes sense that the number on file IS a current number. As the account is PAID up to date, good bye and don't bother us with updates.

We go to leave, and instead of "Have a nice day", we're greeted again with Wayne. This time he wants to know "Do you have a funny message on your home answering machine?" (I do indeed). I start to joke and say "Dude, why did you call us when you know we're not home?" Then I hits me - this asshole is checking up on me. His response was that he "needed to confirm the number we gave him". I asked "What the hell - you think we gave you a bogus number - after it was already in your system?" He says "Well, some people do."
I am proud of myself. I felt at that point I had to choices - 1 :was to pull Wayne over the counter and beat the ever lovin shit outta him. or 2: stare at him with a "what the fuck?" look on my face until he felt uncomfortable. I chose the second. I don't know if I have the will power to repeat that generous display of good decision making.

I tell you - stay clear of the YMCA. Buncha assholes. Let me clarify - buncha retarted money seeking assholes. I picked up a sheet from the Indian River YMCA - it was a double sided sheet that had activities (for the summer) for kids. every single one had a cost for it. They started at around $40 and went up to $120, It was more if you didn't have a Y membership.

I just glad that the wife was with me this time - I've told her about how much I get screwed with by Y people - this time she got to see it first hand. At the end of summer , I'm going back to Bally's. Shitty water in the pool - dirty locker rooms - dorky jock staff members - but less shit to put up with than the ymca.

I've had a checking and savings account at Chartway Federal Credit union for going on 15 years now. When I had excellent credit, I applied for a car loan - they offered me $100 and said "good luck". When I wanted a home loan, the offered me $1,000 and said "good luck". When I wanted to open a savings account for my son, they lost my name on their sign in sheet, and made me wait and hour and a half in their waiting area. They "lost" the sheet I signed in on, and made me sign in AFTER everyone else (during that time frame) that had come in.

When I started my magic business, I needed a business checking account. They told me to fuck myself. They said they had too much to do to bother with a small business like mine. When I dusted off the account last year - and went in to by the kids bonds at the counter (3 times), they charged me a $6 "you bothered the cashier" fee. They terminated my credit card account, so now I can't make my payments online (OR in the branch).

Having had enough - I went there to tell them that they were all FIRED. They told me that I couldn't do that. Check this shit out - In order to close out my checking, savings (and my sons savings account), they had to transfer all the money into the savings. Then they had to withdraw $1 from MY account, and deposit it into the kids account to make it "active", so that they could withdraw all $6 and close his account. Then, withdraw all but $5 from my savings account, because they refused to close my account. REFUSED! Because I still am paying on a $300 balance on the credit account, they said I HAD TO keep the savings account open. What the fuck do they think $5 is going to do for them. Insure that I make my payments ontime?!

I made THEM do all those transactions, so that they wouldn't slap me with a $6 service charge as a counter fee - then take that $6 from my $5 account, and charge me an overdraft fee of $35. You laugh, but they would do shit like that!

What's more - the entire time I was there - they never ONCE asked me "Why" I wanted to close my accounts. Customer Service is dead. If you don't believe me - get a Greenbriar Family YMCA membership, or a Chartway Federal Credit Union account.
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