Category Archives: nerds

Saturday Hobbies

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When my parents married, my father didn’t really like ‘jocks.’

He was, and always will be, a ‘nerd,’ in some people’s books. I

laugh at the line in Shania Twain’s song, “That Don’t Impress

Me Much,” when it talks about a ‘rocket scientist.’ My father

could have easily been a mechanic or a carpenter. He was good

with his hands. As a hard-working pre-teen, he hitchhiked to

Covington, KY to work, sweeping White Castle out, for his and

his mother’s rent money. Once a kindly truck driver took him,

(I have mentioned this before) to the top of the hill overlooking

the ‘ghetto’ or poor section of town. My Dad was told the magical

(paraphrased) words, “You can be somebody, if you go to this

college,” (University of Cincy) and ‘rise above your roots.’

My Dad took those words to heart.

I won’t repeat my parents’ love story but I will tell you another

facet about my Dad’s life.

He was not interested, once married to my Mom, in extra-curricular

activities. My Dad enjoyed hobbies, such as painting, building and

fixing things around the house.

Working first at Oak Ridge, Tennessee on the nuclear reactor, then

settling into Sandusky, Ohio working as a team leader at Plum Brook,

he was happy to ‘putter’ around the house, ride bikes with us, go

on hikes or build treehouses, sandboxes, bookcases or other things

that made our lives enriched. He was a Boy Scout leader for my brothers’

troop and gladly square-danced with my friends and me, at our annual Girl

Scout’s “Father-Daughter Dance.”

He was not asked to golf or go out for drinks after working at NASA all day,

since he was known to be a ‘straight shooter.’ Sometimes, my Mom will lately

wonder what would have happened with his career, had he done these simple

activities with coworkers. Would he have not chosen to retire at age 55, when

he reached his thirty years’ mark?

Later, when he wrote a semi-autobiographical book called, “Hot Lab,”

he did it under a pseudonym. He didn’t want to get in trouble, but

he predicted nuclear reactor’s breakdowns, like “China Syndrome” (film)

and Chernobyl (real life). But probably most of the purchases of his

book were by coworkers and neighbors. I was proud, at age 15, to have

been the one he turned to, to be his ‘editor,’ since he wanted it to

‘flow’ and be readable. He included a part of the semi-autobiographical

book, where the main character indulges in ‘feeling up’ a secretary.

My mother never gave it a second thought, she knew it wasn’t possible

for her husband to engage in adultery. She did get upset, during one

period of my Dad’s career, the way a secretary flirted outrageously,

with my father. There is a post, where I wrote about this, but my Mom

‘put a stop to that nonsense!’

My parents, like Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, were very loud

and raucous, at times, before I took over the editing and typing the

manuscript on one of those old black, gold letter typewriters. Maybe

it was a Royal, but it could have been a Remington?

In other words, had my Dad given any advice at all about marriage, he

would have said to be passionate, involved and ‘don’t fool around.’

I passed this on recently to my handsome son, who could easily choose

to go down the ‘wrong path’ his own father chose. My first husband,

first love and meeting on the first day of college, my only chance at

a lifelong marriage, chose after we had children, to wander off on

weekends, after work to bars and basically, not be ‘engaged’ in his

children or wife. My son is quite the opposite, works all day as a

cook (now a ‘chef’) and comes home to clean the kitchen, make dinner

and plays with his children. He loves to hike, climb on the toys and

I have two pictures of him, up in a tree, one with his five year old

and the other with his three year old girls, (My M & M granddaughters.)

So, don’t take this personally, guys. You may go off and make your wives

‘golf widows,’ and that may be their means of escaping to the grocery

store or malls, watching romantic comedies with girlfriends, or other

ways to show their freedom, too.

My youngest daughter and I watched, “The Other Woman,” movie last night

at the Polaris Rave Theatre. The audience included mostly women, along

with a few elderly couples. A lot of raucous laughter ensued! I would

recommend seeing this with a daughter, niece or if you are young, friends

who are heading to the altar. The trio of comedic actresses are Cameron Diaz,

Leslie Mann and Kate Upton. Don Johnson plays Cameron Diaz’s father. The

best actress in a comedy role, since Melissa McCarthy, is Leslie Mann! She

is hilarious! If there is a part of the movie, that will burst you into

roaring laughter is the ‘bit’ where Leslie’s character is getting ready to

be a burglar, private investigator and follow her husband around; That

sneaking ‘bastard!’ (Excuse the swear word!)

At the end of the movie, we hugged and smiled. But then, as we walked out

to the ladies’ restroom, my only ‘single’ daughter, age 28, said these

serious words, “Mom, how did you do it? How did you trust again, after

you were in a couple of marriages with men who put their own personal

life ahead of their family?”

Great question! I should not have married the fraternity man, the one

who loved the Bengals and who was the quarterback on his high school

football team! What was I thinking at age 22?

I believed that it was possible for my ex, to be like my Dad, with

absolutely no ‘frame of reference,’ and choose to be a better person.

It still to me, constantly amazes me! (I mean, who “falls in love” on

the first day of college, age 18?!)

My second husband, came from a family of a father with a stepmom, who

met all the qualities of the “Evil Stepmother.” She had cream carpet

upstairs, so she put the three boys in a cold, cement basement with

beds and an area rug. They were aged 3, 5 and 7. I think about my

wishes for ‘saving him’ from his past. You cannot sometimes ‘fix’

someone, no matter how hard I tried to pour love, sex (lots of it!)

and my family who accepted this ‘broken man.’ It didn’t work.

You may wonder where I am going with this, I am heading to the humorous

part. My daughter will find a much better man, having my life to be an

example of ‘don’t do as I did, do as I say…’ policy.

She sees her brother doing a great job, braiding My Little Pony’s tails

and manes. She knows a Doctor, who she worked for as a babysitter first.

Later, she worked on breaks from college, in his office. This man will

be one she can focus on. He cherishes and adores his wife and kids.

And, yes, on Saturday mornings, he walks the two boys down the street to

eat breakfast at Hamburger Inn. He allows his wife and baby daughter to

sleep in, to indulge in a few extra minutes of rest. While he is ‘building’

two fine, young men by setting an example of a good husband and father.

While building a relationship with his family, he is also setting a role

model for my daughter. My children had a grandfather, but no great fathers,

to set these examples for them.

Here are two golf jokes that are stories, but not true! Mom found them:

1. “Ed and Nancy met while on a singles’ cruise. Ed fell head over

heels for her.

When they discovered they lived in the same city only a few miles apart,

Ed was ecstatic. He immediately started asking her out when they got

home.

Within a couple of weeks, Ed had taken Nancy to dance clubs, restaurants,

concerts, movies and museums. Ed became convinced that Nancy was indeed

his soul mate and true love. Every date seemed better than the last.

On the one-month anniversary of their first dinner on the cruise ship,

Ed took Nancy to a fine restaurant. While having cocktails and waiting

for their salad, Ed said,

‘I guess you can tell I’m very much in love with you. I’d like a little

serious talk before our relationship continues to the next stage. So,

before I get out of my jacket a little box for you, I think it is only

fair to warn you, I am a total golf ‘nut.’ I play golf, I read about golf,

I watch golf, in short, I eat, sleep and breathe golf!

If that’s going to be a problem for us, you’d better say so now.”

Nancy took a deep breath and responded, “Ed, that certainly won’t be a

problem. I love you as you are and I love golf, too. But, since we’re

being honest with each other, you need to know that for the last five

years, I’ve been a hooker.”

Ed said, “I bet it’s because you’re not keeping your wrists straight

when you hit the ball.”

2. Subject: Golf Joke

“Wife: ‘Where the heck have you been? You said you’d be home by noon!’

Husband: ‘I’m so sorry, honey… but you probably don’t want to hear

the reason.’

Wife: ‘I want the truth, and I want it NOW!’

Husband: ‘Fine. We finished in under 4 hours, quick beer in the club-

house, I hopped in the car, and would have been here at noon, on the

button. On the way home, I spotted a girl half our age, struggling

with a flat tire. I changed it in a jiffy, and next she’s offering me

money. Of course, I refuse it. Then she tells me she was headed to the

bar at the Sheraton Hotel, and begs me to stop so she can buy me a beer.

She’s such a sweetie, I said ‘yes,’ before you know it– one beer turned

into 3 or 4. I guess we were looking pretty good to each other. Then she

tells me she has a room there, less than 50 steps from our table.

She suggested we get some privacy while pulling me by the hand.

Now, I’m in her room… clothes are flying… the talking stopped…

and we proceed to have sex in every way imaginable. It must have gone

on for hours, because before I know it the clock says 5:30.

I jumped up, threw my clothes on, ran to the car, and here I am!

There. You wanted the truth. You got it!

Wife: Bull —-! You played 36 holes, didn’t you?!”

Hope you got a few laughs out of these! Imagine, my Mom (age 86),

saving these for me to share with you!

Trip to the Kingdom

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In the course of my Wednesday evening, I had the pleasure of the

company of my two grandsons from my oldest daughter. They are

adorable, as all children are when related to yourself! I play the car

game, “My father (or mother, grandfather, uncle…) owns a grocery

store and in it, he sells… ” and we give a beginning letter or the first

letters of the product or item. We were heading for a 20 minute

away Burger King play area. They love the crowns and they were

getting strawberry milkshakes. Mom (my oldest daughter) gave

the “okay” since they had already eaten supper!

That night, we were teaching the four year old that the letter “C”

doesn’t just make a “K” or “S” sound. We told him that it can make

a “ch” blend sound. I gave him that explanation as a “hint” when he

had asked, “Is it edible?” So precious,to think they can learn such

things so young, don’t you think? And, he was off asking about was

it a drink or was it candy?, etc.  By the time we told him about the

“ch” sound he asked, “Is it chicken?”  We were so proud of him!

But then when I said, “No but you are getting this!” When I gave

him another hint, “It could be white, orange or yellow,”  he lost

track of the letter and shouted, “Mac and cheese!”

And, my word was ‘cheese’ so we gave him ‘credit.’ We play taking

turns guessing. Otherwise, his older brother, age 8, Skyler, would

“win” all the time!

We had driven halfway down the road and Micah said, “We saw

two movies, Nana, in this month.”

I asked, “Which ones and give me your reviews.” Skyler chuckled

but Micah asked, “What’s (has trouble with r’s) ‘bevoos’, Nana?”

I replied, “Tell me what they were and whether or not you like

them. Reviews mean, if you could tell a friend, would you say

you liked them?”

Micah asked Skyler, “Which one do you want me to tell her about?”

Skyler answered, “Whichever one you want!”

Micah said, “Nana, you would LOVE the movie, “Despicable Me 2!”

“Why did you like it so much?”

He thought a minute, “Because the bad guy isn’t as bad as he was

in the first one. This time you know he is not so mean, he likes the

little kids a lot.”

He added, “It is so funny!”

I asked, “Micah if you could give it stickers would you give it 3 or 4?”

He said, “Well, Nana it should get 10 stickers!” (So cute, huh?)

Next Skyler told me all about the movie, “Monsters University.”

He really liked it because it “is not for babies. It was very smart

and had a lot of fun things. A boy when he is on a school field

trip, rode a bus to visit the Monsters, Inc. company. There he

sees a guy named Frank who is able to be a good ‘scarer.’

Then, the boy grows up wanting to become a scarer, too. Did

I mention he is a boy monster? Anyway, he goes to college

called Montsters University. His roommate is named Randall

Boggs and looks like a chameleon monster that is like one of

those guys on that show you like, Big Bang Theory. What are

they called?”

I said, “They are scientists but can be considered ‘nerds’ or

they also are “Trekkies” like your Poppy in Dayton.”

Skyler said that he liked all the guys like Sulley who is kind of

rude and “obnoxious.”  He added, “This is a mature movie, not

for babies.”

I questioned a little about the old characters from the first movie

then asked, “What would you say for a rating system? I usually

use the newspapers to rate using four stars as the best… How

many would you give this one?”

“Nana, you have to give it 10 stars, because it is at least as good

as “Despicable Me 2!”

To summarize, both those mentioned animated movies should get

as many stars as possible and they are highly recommended by a

four and eight year old I know!

We arrived at the play area, snagged their shakes and I bought a

complete meal, Whopper Jr., onion rings with zesty sauce and a

large iced vanilla coffee. The boys took their shoes off, stopped

and asked, “Can we take our socks off, too?”

“Sure, we will use wipes after you play and clean up before you

go home.”

They proceeded to ask me to take a picture of them with their

crowns on their heads. I sent it to their mother and stepdad,

to their aunt (my youngest daughter who called them “precious”

in their crowns) and since Lenny had been texting me, I sent

him a picture, too. He pronounced them “fine looking kings!”

Lenny told me to tell them “hi” from him.

Next time they got out of the play area, having been down the

slide and making friends with other children, they asked about

the picture, I showed them the texts back to them. Skyler read

them to Micah.

“Mommy says, ‘awww!'” and repeated Aunt Felicia’s words to

Micah, but when he got to Lenny, I had to tell them that he is

who I am seeing now.

MIcah groaned, “What happened to Mark?”

I repeated what I told him a few months back, that we had

retried and made an attempt to be boyfriend and girlfriend,

but once all the effort to “catch me” was over, he turned out

he wanted to be with his ex-girlfriend of more years.

I explained that sometimes the longer time you are with a

person, the better you like them.

Skyler, a little too wise for his age, added, “My big sister

Breanna, for example went back to her old boyfriend

since he lives closer and is more convenient to where

she is now. (His half sister is a high school graduate

and off to Dayton to work and lives too far to see

her local boyfriend here in Delaware.)

The analogy was sort of enought to satisfy them

and answer the question.

But both boys came to a very nice and sweet conclusion:

“Lenny better be good to you, Nana! We don’t want you

to cry!”

On our way back to their house, we played “My father owns

a grocery store” and Skyler ‘stumped us.’ Turns out I could

think of tons of fruits and foods with the first letter “A” but

could not think of any vegetables. Micah “gave up” fairly

quickly but I kept racking my brain (feeble as it is sometimes!)

When he gave me a “hint” which we allow one for adults and

3 for kids, Skyler said, “You need them to make guacamole!”

Oh!  I forgot that he would know that avacados are a vegetable!

And I forgot that avacados are in his range of knowledge, too!

On the way to and from the kingdom of play and fun, we had

the most amazing conversations.

Relationships are always so special when children are in the car

and we are’media free’and captivated by their thoughts, vivid

imagination and conversation.

conversation