Hay Holiday Letter of Truth (2013)
This is the holiday letter where it’s the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth of the past year.
Panera Not Just Bread
So Blade left last year for Germany for a year to study, uh, German beer, I guess. I went to visit him in Croatia while he was there with his host family on vacation. We referred to the host family as the replacement family. Christ on a cracker can those people put down the beer. “Those people” being Germans in general, and that family specifically. He’s now back home, going to school at Cascadia Community College, and working at Panera Bread. Panera Bread needs to drop the “Bread” from their name. Seriously. It’s not an Oroweat store! The serve soup, make smoothies and can sell you a spinach salad.
That’s about it for him. He’s been the most boring kid by far this last year. Well, other than his girlfriend dumping him two or three times. Yawn.
Devon graduated from UW this year. Ironically she is working for Department of Child Support in Olympia. Recall a few years back the head of DCS personally told me to NOT pay child support for her due to a procedural/court error.
Wait, first ex is the gift that keeps on giving, it just keeps getting better:
I paid a portion of the kids’ education in 2012 and 2013 and was planning to do more in 2014. So when the accountant went to do my 2012 taxes, I had to confirm for him that the X had taken the correct education tax credit (we had been trading exemptions back and forth for fifteen years per the divorce paperwork). Seems she took it all. I called and said what’s up; you need to file an amended return. Not gonna do it she said. OK, fine, I said, what if you take all of 2012, I’ll take 2013, and you take 2014? Not gonna do it (she files in April, I file in October), she retorted. So I had to write an unexpected $3000 check to the IRS, plus penalties etc. So just a few weeks ago, Blade asks me for money for winter quarter coming up. I tell him fine, I have it, but first maybe he can convince his mother that she should negotiate with me about the tax credit. He gets back a day later and says nope, she’s not gonna do it, but she will pay for school.
OK then, easy come, easy go…I definitely know when to just shut the hell up.
My middle daughter, the one we mostly forget about, Kelsey, turned 21 this year. Her sister and friends were headed to Missoula to throw her a party, starting with bar runs at midnight. Ironically, one of her nicknames is “Puke”----this is the Letter of Truth, I don’t have to make this up!
Naturally this party called for a stripper. Since I wasn’t invited to my own daughter’s surprise party(!!) I lined up a stripper to go to the house about 10pm. He was to be dressed as a cop, tell everyone there was a report of underage drinking, administer a Breathalyzer, then strip. But the damn fool quit on me at the last moment! I worked the phones like crazy and could not find a replacement stripper. I guess there just aren’t many male strippers in Missoula, Montana….
So I jumped on a plane and headed there that night, arriving at 7pm. I got a hotel room, loaded the Bee Gees “Stayin’ Alive” on my phone, and went to The Home Depot to buy blue painter’s tape. While this sounds like a murder plan, and I was planning to kill, technically I don’t think anything illegal took place.
Upon arrival at the house, there were probably 15 friends, plus her sister, her boyfriend, and her evil mother. Kelsey gave me a big hug. She had a drink scoreboard tied around her neck. She wanted to talk, and blah blah blah.
But I didn’t want to talk. I went over to the stereo, plugged in my phone, then got right in her face about an important life lesson she needed to learn. She was wondering why I was so intent, because this was a party, not an inquisition. While trying to grab the attention of the room I loudly proclaimed, “you know Dess (another nickname), sometimes life hands you lemons, and you need to know how to make lemonade”. She looked at me quizzically. “And when you really want something done, sometimes you just have to do it YOURSELF”. At that exact moment I snapped on “Stayin Alive” and reached for my belt. The girls started shrieking, her mother left the room in disgust, and Kelsey cracked up and started dancing and singing with me. “Dad, this is sooo wrong and I’m losing sooo many friends right now!”
aah, aah, aah, aah, stayin alive, stayin alive!!
Despite practicing my routine in the hotel, I forgot to grab and shake my booty, did a fairly reasonable two-foot-distant bump and grind, and of course did the scissors with my shirt around her torso. Next was the zipper tease and that’s when oldest daughter Devon starting half screaming, half laughing “that’s enough, that’s enough”!! Good thing too, cause that’s all I had. I yelled, “THAT’S how you party naked”, as I got dressed, gave her a big hug, handed her a Breathalyzer as a present, walked out the back door and flew home. Yes, a hit and run birthday strip.
The blue tape was to cover my junk, but during practice I discovered a lot of tape is needed, and it hurt, made me feel like the Michelin Man, and most importantly inhibited my bustin’ dance moves.
After three years of separation Lisa and I finally pulled the trigger on the divorce in 2013. I got some things, she got some things, but most importantly she got my favorite green step-ladder which she refuses to return!
My three year ordeal with the FAA over getting my airplane rebuild project certified ended when I sold it for parts. I lost north of $20,000 on that disaster. So in May I found a flying amphibious boat down in Florida I wanted. It was disassembled, so I had it shipped up here. After putting it back together and test flying we found all kinds of little peculiarities, making it the first airplane I have truly been intimidated by. It didn’t help that two of the first five landings were partial power emergencies. I wanted something different from the sexy, fast, responsive, fun RV-6, and I sure got it. Reading pilot reviews from this Brazilian import I see I am not the only person underwhelmed by its characteristics. I am consoled by Charles Lindbergh because The Spirit of St Louis was apparently a flying turkey. It handled poorly, was fundamentally unstable, and the forward visibility was via a periscope. And he learned to love it. Alright, he tolerated it for 33 hours anyway. I guess I will learn to love it. Hopefully.
No means NO
My “friend” Jessie has chickens. Many chickens. City of Seattle doesn’t allow urban chicken farmers to have roosters. So the roosters must be kept, uh, quietly. Her rooster is named Roo, and he is a fine rooster and a very loud rooster. He has a much quieter son named, fittingly, Mini-Roo. She has pretty well turned the garage into a chicken coop, and been slowly making it soundproof so poor Roo doesn’t have to sleep in the car. Again, I gently remind you this is the letter of TRUTH. That’s not a misprint; the car.
When Roo is taken out of the car he is ready for the morning rape. Standing tall, feathers fully back, he chases each of the ladies around, until, uh, completion. Mini-Roo is not so interested in rape. He believes each hen is worthy of respect as an individual, and believes that no means no. Or he is gay. I personally believe the latter because he makes less noise and provides emotional support instead of torment. Plus he doesn’t rape his sisters, mother, and kids like Roo does.
So despite best efforts to quiet poor Roo, the neighbors complained, the code enforcement officer came, and gave her 48 hours to either make rooster soup or move them out of the city. That’s right, both roosters were then moved to my house. Well, as you know, having two roosters and no hens in one coop is not great, so we had to get a rescue chicken. Rescue chicken was full of fleas, but she was fat and full of personality and lays eggs like crazy. So my one hen was laying eggs all over the place and her EIGHT hens were not doing squat because they didn’t have a rooster. So Mini-Roo was moved back to Seattle in direct violation of municipal code, and the hens started laying because he really communicates and does not objectify the ladies.
Speaking of Animals
Almost-20 year old cat Raffi died in June. But not before quietly shredding six or eight blankets and comforters, pissing all over much of the carpet and pooping on the remaining, in her last days. So I removed the carpet where it was trashed, have crappy 35 year old carpet where it wasn’t, half of a room with new laminate, and particleboard and plywood floors elsewhere. At least the dirty paint matches up well. All this doesn’t matter because I can’t see the floors in a few rooms due to airplane parts and receipts and files and computers. Receipts and files you say? Since I took over the apartments in the divorce, turns out the computer files couldn’t be transferred. Quicken and I have had endless discussions about their older and newer versions of property manager software being completely incompatible. So meanwhile I can’t print, can’t get to the data, and basically look at the bank statements to see who has paid rent. Lisa essentially handed twenty boxes of files over and said see ya! I stand proud, however, in my deep belief that using this obsolete software and allowing it to bottleneck my business is the righteous thing to do. Paying a bookkeeper $250 to get it over with is insanity to me. Then what would I complain about? Ugh, however, starting in 2014 I will be trying to convert to a Mac and fresh software, which will even further complicate things I am sure. Nah, I’ll probably let it ride for another year.
Diesel, I am so sorry
I have a new love. You schlebs all proud with your no-torque, inferior mileage, low longevity, environmentally noxious gas-powered cars simply wouldn’t understand, but I have only had diesel vehicles for many years. They can burn diesel, or bio-diesel, or cooking oil, or motor oil, or whatever you have. And hybrids? Phh. Shameful compromiser of the worst kind, the entire lot of you. At least have the nerve to pick a method and go with it. And a hybrid SUV is like a compromise upon a compromise. A little bit of everything and good at nothing. Well, Jessie got a Nissan Leaf this year. And it was love at first drive. Talk about torque. 100% at zero RPM. Just plug it in. It’s almost free to drive. Completely quiet. 100 miles of range. Oh, and did I mention no maintenance? Not LOW maintenance, NO maintenance. How much maintenance do you do to your cordless power drill? I let my Diesel Power magazine subscription lapse. That’s all you need to know right there. I now see the world in a completely different way.