The Adventures of LatteMan....

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Tuesday, February 28, 2006

On a Stick

Well, based on the sucessful outing we had in January (sucessful meaning that LatteGirl did not freak out having a baby-sitter), we decided to try it again. Yes, it is true folks, LatteMan and the little woman are going on their second date night this year! And not only that, within the same quarter of a year.

This time however, I planned things out ahead of time, and we are heading to Bananas Comedy Club. You see, as it turns out, in a piece of rare good luck, one of my favorite comedians, Jeff Dunham will just so happen to be at the club that evening. And for the cynics out there, yes it was pure dumb luck. TheWife and her sister (the baby-sitter) set date, I just looked for something to do on that date, and there it was.

If you have never seen Jeff Dunham, you are really missing out on one funny comedian. You see Jeff is not only a Comedian but a Ventriloquist. His humor is not predictable, nor does he tend to run the same gamut of jokes, like how you will hear the same joke by various comedians, just "tailored" to them. Well, with his "pals" Peanut, Jose Jalepeno, Walter, and others. I have followed and watched him since his appearance on Comic Strip Live which was on Fox back around '89 - '90. I linked to a small clip over on the picture. It is short, but funny. There are more clips over at the website -

This post wasn't supposed to be a commercial for Jeff Dunham, but as you may have surmised by now I am quite excited about the whole thing.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Is it just me?

I doubt it, since ratings on NBC for the second straight Olympics slumped, but for some reason, the Olympic games this year gave me no reason to stop and watch.

TheWife watched some, and Tivo'ed other parts of the figure skating, which I haven't watched since Tonya Harding (then) husband tried to take out the competition. In what was probably a bit cruel bit of thinking on my part, and disgust over the attention given to Nancy Kerrigan who for a breif time became America's Sweetheat, was thrilled that after the announcers gushing praise all over her, and proclaiming her the gold medal winner after her routine, cheered when Oksana Baiul pulled off a stellar routine and yanked the gold away for herself. The last time I watched figure skating with any interest before that, the name that drew attention was Dorothy Hamill.

When I was younger, I liked watching Skiing, bobsled and Hockey. But the frequent abysmal showing by the United States turned me off to skiing. Bobsledding (including Luge) has been such a bad event for the U.S. that I never felt let down by the fact that we couldn't touch a medal, but the interest eventually waned. Hockey of course was of course fun because of the "Cold War" battles when I was younger, the "evil" U.S.S.R. hockey team that was just too good for everyone else, alway hoping for the David and Goliath scenario which was ultimately rewarded with the 1980 "Miracle On Ice" team. Since the switch to allow professional hockey players to play, it of course not only lost the intrigue it had before, but my personal favorite player, Martin Broudeur of the New Jersey Devils plays for Team Canada.

So now the games of Turin have come and gone, and I watched... not a single minute of coverage. Not live, not "Previously Recorded", not Tivoed. I glanced at the Sunday Paper to look at the medal totals. That was the extent of my Olympic interest this year.

I thought maybe it was just me, but after seeing all the articles on how poorly NBC did with Olympics ratings, maybe it is not me at all.

The great Daycare debate

When LatteGirl started school this fall, it ended the era of her at her original Daycare, which does not offer an "after-care" program. When we started looking into the after-care programs available to us, one thing became crystal clear to us. We were spoiled with the daycare center we had, and nothing else in the area even came close to the quality of the teachers, the quality of the program and the cleanliness of the 'schools' compared with the original place.

It is only now that I can laugh at how panicked we were when TheWife went back to work. We were distraugt with the though of our child spending so much time with others and not enough parent time. We worried about the spread of germs, and whether she would fit it, etc. All the typical worries of a caring parent starting to put their child in a daycare program. We were hypercritical of some things and demanded the best for our daughter. And in reality, we got it. We had (for the most part, there were several little problems, but I am speaking of the program in general), incredible good luck with caring teachers that not only did a great job of taking care of our daughter, but that she liked being around as well. When she was in the "2s Room" (she was already three but had not graduated to the "Pre-K 3s"), one of her teachers left for another teaching job. She was inconsolable for several days, as she cryed over the loss of the teacher. Nothing we could say made it better, until she latched onto the new teacher, whom she wound up liking "even more."

Then to move onto a program that has several teachers that do not even speak english all that well (which I am sorry, is important when you need to speak to English speaking children... and their parents), is not particularly well kept (it is more an "old" thing... and need of a paint job than anything else, it just LOOKS dirty, it really isn't, but the faded paint, poor lighting, etc just make it... feel dingy).

This had us so upset, the decision was made that TheWife would switch to part time employment, so that LatteGirl never had to spend more than two days a week there, and then as little time as possible. On the two days a week I pick her up, I rush to get there as early as possible, so she is spending no more than two hours there after school on those days.

But now, after nearly six months I have come to some conclusions, including one that we once again over reacted. She really enjoys the couple of hours she spends there, has several new friends and gets along well with the teachers. I get along as well with most of the teachers, although admittedly I am still a bit frustrated with 1 that speaks with such an awful accent, it takes a minimum of three attempts from her before I can gather enough fragments together to figure out what she is trying to say. What drew me to this startling revelation? Well fortunately for me (and more UNfortunately for her and her daughter), the recent problems that have besieged Miss Zoot and NikkiZ with there daycare have make me put into perspective how good I really have it.

Friday, February 24, 2006

This vaction is so going to suck for my diet

We started planning for a spring getaway weekend for the family. The Wife has already decided on the destination. Drumroll please... Hershey, PA.

What better place to bring a child on Easter weekend than to the U.S. Capital of Chocolate?

Of course I will be in charge of "watching her sugar intake" as we tour the Hershey's Chocolate World and such as the wife goes to the spa for a Chocolate Wrap or a Whipped Cocoa Bath.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

blogging via avantBlog

Why? Because I can. Standing here, waiting on my bus home (while it is still light out to boot), and thanks to wireless technology, I can still post. Of course this probably puts me up there on the geek scale, but at least I am not one of those people I used to work with that would be standing at a stall taking care of "business" in one hand while reading or responding to e-mail with the other. I mean seriously, what can be so important that you can't wait until you're finished using the facilities ?

Tuesday, February 21, 2006


Thank God I'm Back To Work. Painting the Main Bathroom, Living Room (still in progress), and many many other chores that the wife had lined up for me, has me so glad I am back at work, so I can recoup, a bit from it all.

So far this is a like a dream come true. I was still able to have breakfast with TheWife and LatteGirl before I headed off to work. Even got a solid nights sleep (after all the work around the house, they were as wiped as I was yesterday, leading the whole house to retire early for the evening).

Still have some cookies to send out, and now I will have the time to do them without having to chose between baking and sleep.

I am also going to be putting together a few recipes for the cookbook over at Mom is Nutz. If you have some time, please consider sending a recipe or two along. I am so looking forward to the publishing this eclectic collection of tastes from around the blogsphere.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

What I will miss when I return to work

I have taken advantage of the opportunity afforded to me and walked LatteGirl to and from school a number of times since I have been home (it would have been more, but TheWife wanted to keep things in the "usual routine" during this time).

I tell you it was was weird. I now know what my wife went through on the first day of school back in September. Watching my little baby girl wave good-bye to me, line up with her classmates, and head off into "big girl school." It was all I could do to keep myself from crying.

I can be such a wimp sometimes.

Valentine's Day Review

I know you are all wondering, "What did Latte Man get his wife for Valentine's Day?" Well, I will now end the suspense. But before I do, please allow me to point out up front, we have some ground rules that have always applied to Valentines Day. No Roses (because it is just stupid to pay such a premium for roses), and no giant extravagent boxes of chocolate.

So, with that being said, I will tell you what the Latte Man did for Valentine's Day. We started things out with a bang with the New Pink Motorola Razr phone. I of course had to provide all the pink accessories as well, including the newly released matching Pink Bluetooth headset. And nothing this pink or girly could of course be allowed to be purchased with also getting the hot pink carry case for the phone.

I sent her off to work with those gifts. When she arrived home, she was greeted by 2 cards (one from me, and one of course from LatteGirl). Two "small" boxes of chocolate (hey, I never said, I didn't find ways around our rules), and a bouquet of flowers that LatteGirl picked out (no roses).

Finally just before the day came to an end, I pulled out one last final gift. Nothing as fancy (or expensive), as the earlier gifts. I found a frame that said, "Mommy and Me" in which I placed a picture of her and LatteGirl in from last summer. I think with that gift, I could have forgotten all the others and still made her day.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Oh Snow it didn't...

Much to LatteGirl's chagrin, we have had a mild and dry winter here in NJ. But that was rectified this weekend with 20" of snow (before drifts, which seem to love my house).

So, I have spent the better part of 3 days now, shoveling snow, and entertaining LatteGirl in the snow. I did fine enough time to get some chores done around the house.

This was critical as TheWife was sick and bedridden over the weekend, and there would have been hell to pay if things weren't kept up on.

So, now, all I want to do is catch up on some sleep.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Maybe their logo should be a turtle

Last Friday, I packed up what was personal belongings I had left, and shipped them out via FedEx "Home Delivery" (a.k.a. FedEx Ground), rather than having to deal with figuring out how to get them across town, onto a bus, etc.

Well, apparently that 12 mile ride between midtown and my house somehow managed to take 6 days to arrive. 2 miles per day? I mean seriously! And to make matters worse, I was unable to track the packages. When I checked online, it stated that the packages were not in their system. Natuarally I called the old office to bitch about them not sending out the packages (and them of course being quite confused since they were).

I find it simply amazing. Now I did not expect the packages to arrive next day (even though they really should have considering the distance involved and the fact that it was over a weekend), because hey they charge more money for "next day service". But six days is just unbelieveable.

I am afraid to look in the boxes and check the condition of the items inside. But I guess I had better.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Now that didn't take so long...

Well, the concerns over unemployment are (at least for the momment) over, as I have secured a contract for the next six months, at a very substantial wage to boot. I guess I should go back and thank my former bosses for giving me the boot and forcing me to get my job search into gear.

I will be working a grand total of 7 miles from home, with normal working hours. Beside the obvious benefits of less commuting time, and less wear and tear on me, it will now also provide enough time for me to consider running for councilman in my hometown. Something that I have been pondering lately. Before I was unsure how I would find the time to mount the drive to get enough signatures to get me on the ballot. Now I appear to have that time available. Quite exciting indeed.

Today, I am relaxing, baking and shipping out cookies that are long overdue to a few people.

I will have a week's "vacation" and then back to work it will be. If you can call unpaid time off with a huge list of chores lined up by one's spouse a vacation that is.

Now, to go read some blogs until the timer goes off :)

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Ups and Downs

Well, I had a really good first interview on Wednesday, followed by a second interview that I left feeling far less confident about. It is a really good opportunity that could make my life so much better. Less hours and working for better people. OK, so it would be a little less money, but I would save almost as much by not having to commute into NYC.

Will just have to cross my fingers and see what happens. I am supposed to get a call one way or the other tomorrow.

In the mean time what I am struggling with most is how to deal with LatteGirl. I do not want to give her my stress, but by the same token I have never lied to her. Oh sure, I have omitted things, evaded questions, but never outright lied to her about things. She has of coursed queried as to why I have been home so much more, and while I have told her, "I am looking for a better job" which is true, it is obviously omitting. I feel bad about it, but on the other hand, I feel that she doesn't need to know EVERYTHING... at least not yet. Does she? Am I silly for even feeling bad about it?

Oh well, thank goodness it is Thursday. Perhaps bowling will take my mind off of things and get me to relax just a little. I don't like the feeling of uncertainty.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

What next... Senior Citizen Early Bird Specials

Well the events of the past couple of days sort of took my focus off of "Date Night" which isn't really all that bad a thing.

But since I was asked...

Date Night was both good and bad at the same time. Let's start with the good. Kudos to those that pointed out that as kids get older, the same separation issues that I had gotten used to were not there this time. When we told her about it Saturday morning, LatteGirl let out a cheer, and started a little song and dance about her Aunt coming over to play with her. Now, since our dinner reservations were not until 7 PM, my sister-in-law did not arrive until a little after six. For several hours beforehand, LatteGirl continuously asked as to when her Aunt would be arriving, and then added, "Next time, could you go out a little earlier so I would have more time with my Aunt?"

Dinner was enjoyable, although we did have to wait a bit for our table (so much for reservations). The food as always was fantastic. Now here is where things got a bit shaky. We spent a good part of the evening talking about LatteGirl, and little bit of politics (as they affect funding for programs that affect our daughter... see the circle we were going in). Upon completion of the dinner we did not know what to do with ourselves. Since we had to wait for our table, we would have had to wait for the late show to attend a movie or the comedy club, which are the two things that we tend to do with nights like this. She didn't feel like going shopping (which shocked me first, and then was a bit of a let down because I thought that the opportunity to hit Target without the "Can I get..." and "How much longer?" would be a good thing).

So what did we do?

We headed home. We were back in the house by 9PM. We got a recanting of the past couple of hours from LatteGirl after she said good night to her Aunt. Then LatteGirl and TheWife were off to bed.

So, I guess now I we can move on to the next step. Looking for early bird coupons in the paper and hitting the 4:30 buffet for dinner so we can be home in time for the evening news.

I know I turned 40, but I feel like we are getting old a little fast. Or maybe we are just so used to rushing home and next time we will be more relaxed. I guess I won't know until next time.

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