Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Time to Play

I got a new toy.

This was a completely unnecessary purchase on the part of my wife and I. I didn't really need a new toy, but living life as a male in West Texas meant that something was seriously lacking if I didn't own a truck.

I had a small truck a few years ago, but we outgrew Lao Che (the Isuzu) and traded it in for a more family friendly Jeep Liberty. Since then, the urge to own a truck has been ever present. This weekend we ran across a pretty good deal.

Meet, Shaggy! Shaggy is a 1986 Ford F150 XLT Supercab with a V8 and only 56,000 original miles (as verified by a mechanic who said there was no way this engine has 100,000 miles on it.) I bought it from a co-worker, who bought it from the original owner. For nearly 20 years this truck was just driven to work and back.
As with most of us over time, there are a few cosmetic issues that need to be ironed out. I had the motors for the electric windows replaced yesterday, and if you'll look closely at the windshield, you will see a piece of duct tape holding the bracket for the new rear view mirror in place. (Have I ever mentioned that you can do anything with duct tape?)

Shaggy didn't officially get named until Monday afternoon. We had the truck for three days and I thought we were going to call him Mater, a name which my daughter really liked, but after sleeping on it, the offspring decided we would be better off naming the newest family member Shaggy. Afterall, our other vehicles are named The Mystery Machine and Scooby. So ... Shaggy it is.
And now I can truly say that I am living the American Dream -- three automobiles in the garage and only two licensed drivers. What more could a guy ask for?

Friday, March 23, 2007

Random Thoughts

I sat in the doctor's office yesterday. Nothin' major, just a routine check up so he can tell me that I still have diabetes and that my cholesterol is still too high ... for someone with diabetes that is. Normal people would love to have my cholesterol level, but I guess I'm abnormal.

As I sat in the waiting room, I pulled out my textbook to catch up on some reading for my class later that day. I had to chuckle to myself. Unfortunately, I was all alone in the waiting room, but I was wondering how much fun it would be to sit in the waiting room of a doctor's office, reading a text book about death and dying and spouting off statistics to some poor old lady sitting beside you?

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

The Pink Room

I’m a guy.

That’s never really been in question. I enjoy backyard barbecues, playing sports and napping through Sunday afternoon golf tournaments. I take care of the lawn, pay the bills, do minor house repairs. I watch ESPN as I’m getting ready for work every morning. I enjoy action flicks and watching things blow up. … just guy stuff …

I’m secure in my manhood, so it doesn’t bother me to drive a minivan or let my daughter dress me up like a princess. But this weekend I did something that I’m not sure I would have considered doing in years past … I painted my daughter’s room.

This was no ordinary painting project. About five years ago, when my daughter was 2, we moved into this house. It’s a simple, good sized, two-bedroom facility. In our master bedroom, we have two closets, a king size bed, two bed-side tables, two full chests of drawers, a bookshelf, sofa, treadmill and a fireplace. And we still have plenty of room to maneuver. My daughter’s room isn’t much smaller.

The color schemes in our house are rather interesting. Our bedroom has grayish paneled walls with hunter green carpet. It doesn’t really match the beige carpet that is in the living area and small hallway leading to our bedroom. My daughter’s room has the same paneling, but it was painted an off-white color. On the floor, however, was break-out-the-shades electric blue carpet. When we first looked at the house, we walked into this room and my daughter immediately began running in circles and calling it the blue room.

We have always wanted to renovate her room, but we waited several years for her to get past the drawing-on-the-walls stage of life. She did a pretty good job of marking up her room. We didn’t say much, because as long as she wasn’t writing on the other walls in the house, we were happy. We knew we would be painting her room at some point. That point was last Saturday.

As always happens when I begin a project, it tends to grow exponentially and become a true beast. Not only did I end up painting the room, but we decided to pull out the electric blue carpet and re-finish the original hardwood that was underneath. Let me tell you right now that polyurethane is a mad-dog killer. A friend of mine once said in college that chemicals only kill the weak brain cells. I’m sure I lost a large portion of atrophied cells as well as some that I was using on a regular basis. My poor cats didn’t have much to work with in the first place, but survived the fumes fairly well after moderate freak-outs.

Once the floor was finished, it was time to paint. I know what you’re asking, ‘Why didn’t you paint before you did the floors?’ That was my original plan, but as I said before these projects tend to grow exponentially. As it turned out, in order to avoid paying a full weekend rental for the floor sander, I had to get it finished and returned on Friday. Therefore, the painting was pushed back to Saturday.

The true test of masculinity came in the form of painting. Being a father, I tend to spoil my child and give in to her wishes in matters that I don’t deem overly important in the greater scheme of life, such as which fast-food restaurant to eat at, which children's movie to rent and so on. This non argument centered around color. Her choice of color … pink!

Not just pink, but by-gosh, hide-the-women-and-children pink! Pink on steroids! A cotton candy machine with delusions of grandeur, trying to take over the world. Pink! Pink! Pink! With, of course, tasteful purple curtains selected to match her new butterfly themed pink and purple bedding. All-in-all, a $60 painting project turned into a $400 remodeling weekend. … And the room is now pink!

When the lights are off and just a little ambient light filters through the purple haze splashed across the windows, the room comes to life with an unearthly pinkish glow that escapes through the gaps below the doors. The unholy hue reaches out its tethered paw in an attempt to spread its aura to whatever comes within reach. The filtered pink and purple light against the dark wood floors has an almost black light affect on our solid white cat. He becomes a odd yellowish tinted fur ball that is just short of an ethereal glow. It's weird.

But while pink is not my first color of choice … in fact it is nowhere on my pallet … my daughter is happy and she is no longer sleeping on the couch in our room. Last night we returned to our normal bedtime routine of reading her a story (or two), having “mommy time,” saying a prayer then clicking off her pink bedside lamp and tucking her in while Billy Idol sings her to sleep.

… and all is well.