Wednesday, November 30, 2011

In Search of Atlantis

We went to sleep at sea with the gentle rocking of the ship and we woke up in Nassau. I’m used to going through a couple of states in a single day of driving, falling asleep in Florida and waking up in Mississippi, but it boggled my mind to go to another country on a ship in less than half a day. What’s more, I’m sure the Carnival Sensation wasn’t breaking any speed records to get us there, unlike Char who pops in the soundtrack to Pirates of the Caribbean and thinks she’s in a Fast and Furious movie.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

In All Things Give Thanks

Thanksgiving. It’s a time that forces everyone to stop and do what they should have been doing all year; give thanks. It is proof that we take so much in our lives for granted. You know that this is true by how many people whine about their lives. Allow one little thing to go wrong and their entire world comes crashing down. Yet, it’s in the sudden catastrophes that we need to stop and give thanks as well, because with the right vision within the negatives are buried positives.

Monday, November 21, 2011

“It Looks Like Alabama”

Normally, I can sleep through anything: kids screaming, rock concert, the girls asking me to take out the trash. However, if I’m sleeping in a moving car on a trip, I can feel the fluctuations in the car such as when we slow down or speed up or if we turn a corner. It was the same on the ship. I knew when we had left open sea and were coasting into Freeport and that is what woke me out of a comfortable dream. Our curtains were closed, so I couldn’t see outside, but I could feel it in the motion of the ship, the subtle changes.

Glancing at my phone, which also serves as watch, music player and note pad, I groaned when I saw it was only five in the morning. However, I slid out of the bed, trying not to wake the girls, and peeked out the balcony door. There was Freeport.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

It’s Tradition to be Traditional

With Thanksgiving coming close it brought my mind once again to the subject of traditions. I love traditions, those acts that seem to happen on a regular basis or with special ceremonies, and I have many that I hold dear to my heart such as our annual December First Party. Traditions help us remember key moments in our past that have helped shape us and point our children to a promised future. However, more than the small rituals we practice, I thought of the mindset we have as a people. Let’s face it; it’s tradition to be traditional. Traditional marriage. Traditional family. Traditional worship. Traditional Frosted Flakes. Personally, my favorite is traditional coffee, because I want mine to taste like real coffee and not vanilla ice cream. Still, the mindset of the traditional can kill; kill spirits, kill relationships, and kill growth.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

We’re Cruising Now

The four of us stood on the small balcony of our stateroom, leaning over the rail, watching the ocean ripple past us as the three-dimensional view of the Florida coastline diminished into a thin line.  We had actually done it.  Despite our fears and all of the obstacles that had cropped up, we were on a cruise and Char hadn’t passed out yet or caused a panic.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

“Don’t Be Mad”

“Ok, so don’t be mad but I have news to tell you.” That was the text my son, Nathaniel, sent me at ten in the morning. He had been gone for four days with his girlfriend, Christina, to visit Tallahassee. His mother, a Gator fan, wasn’t thrilled with the location, but it was one less person in the house for a few days, which is always a treat.

It’s funny how as parents we react differently to each of our children as they grow up. If any of the other four would have sent that text I would have gone into instant panic. Someone was pregnant? Someone was busted? Someone was stranded? Someone was all three? I have great kids; they just enjoy life as much as I do and haven’t learned the tricks of surviving without the major missteps.

Then there’s Nathan.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

The Punishment Continues

As if I wasn't being punished enough for my Ben & Jerry's addiction, the girls weren’t satisfied with just going to the gym. No, this intervention was to include dieting as well. They had joined Weight Watchers, which meant, I found out, that by proxy I had joined as well.

"Do you know how much I have invested in this?” I held my medicine ball gut out for display. I didn't need to push it out far as it already stuck out pretty good on its own. It was then that I discovered my Krispy Kreme money had gone to pay for my membership to the fitness center. That, to me, was a misappropriation of funds. Embezzling funds is a federal offense, right?

Monday, November 7, 2011

What’s That Burning?

I know I’ve said that I work out at a gym, but that to be fair, we don't really go to a gym. We are members of what is called a "fitness center". That is probably the politically correct term that replaced "gym" like Asian-American replaced Oriental. I'm not sure when people became so embarrassed of their heritage and ancestry, but somewhere along the way a gym became associated with brutish, iron-hefting thugs and had to be softened to appease the more gentle sensitivities of the easily offended. Besides, why would I want to go to a gym? It was those guys that kept beating me up in school.

Because it is a fitness center, it can now hold such things as massage chairs and tanning booths, which in a gym would probably be misconstrued as just heavier weights. The massage chair I didn’t necessarily enjoy even though I was told it was good for me. “It loosens up your muscles and helps you de-stress.”

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Not Cutting the Muster

One of the biggest wastes of time, especially in Corporate America, is meetings.  Most are merely repetitive nonsense where the big boss gets off on forcing underlings to suffer through the droning of his voice.  He believes that it’s the meetings that justify his position and the more he has the more valuable he must be.  Of course, most of the meetings are about why nothing is getting done, which can be answered by “Too many meetings.”

Going on our cruise, I thought that for four days we could escape the monotony of meetings, but before we had even set sail there was a mandatory safety meeting.  It was set up so that people in bright orange vests could tell us what to do in case of an emergency and demonstrate how best to put on a life jacket.  Of course, my first thought was if the girls had brought the right shoes to go with the standard emergency orange, but with twenty-eight pairs in our room I’m sure they could make something work.  We’d just be late to the meeting while they decided.