Friday, November 24, 2006

My Thanksgiving tradition

Like many families, mine has traditions that are followed every Thanksgiving, and our traditions are probably very similar to yours. We start out with the ceremonial preparation and consumption of mass quantities of specific foods. After that, we waddle into the family room and watch large, padded men - men who were probably bigger than us before we ate dinner - play football. And we can do that even longer now because there are three NFL games on Thanksgiving instead of two. While we're watching football, we usually have a dessert or six, and then, mercifully, the games end. After that, we stumble upstairs in an effort to go to bed, but usually fall short and pass out on the stairs. The kitchen is covered in a layer of food shrapnel which will require power tools and about a week to clean up. My kids' hair is now orange because they tried to absorb the nutrients from sweet potatoes through the top of their heads instead of through their mouths.

I'm sure your family goes through the same things, but mine has started a new tradition that began a year ago, and that is that we have a piece of the plumbing system fail. Last year, it was a clogged pipe downline from the garbage disposal. That took about three hours to find and fix. This year, it was our brand new dishwasher deciding it was no longer going to drain water out of the tub. I thought we could just leave that to Friday, but my wife informed me that if I didn't fix it, I would get to do all the dishes by hand. Since I didn't want to pass out face-first into a sink full of dish water, I decided to try to fix the dishwasher. That too was successful (the drain hose was kinked because it was too long), so I was able to join the rest of the family in passing out on the stairs.

I can hardly wait for the surprise my plumbing has in store for me next year, but in the meantime, does anyone have a sander I can borrow? I have to clean the kitchen.

Monday, November 13, 2006

You make the call

I am sitting in a Panera in Bloomington (trying feebly to get some work done) and a woman at the table next to me told me that I look like Tim Robbins (Nuke Laloosh from Bull Durham, married to Susan Sarandon).

That's a new one. I've been told I look like other people before. I apparently have a long lost twin brother living around me because the folks at the grocery store are cosntantly confusing me with someone else.

The person I have been told I look like most often is my hero, Dave Barry. Even my own son has confused the two of us. One day, when he was about 3 years old, he came running up to me saying, "Daddy, Daddy, you're on a book!" When I asked him what he was talking about, he brought me "Dave Barry's Guide to Guys" which has a picture of Dave on the cover and said, "See. There you are."

So, you make the call. Do I look like Dave Barry? Tim Robbins? Someone else entirely? Or is it bad enough that one person has to look like me?

UPDATE: 11/14. In the comments, some said I look like Potsie from Happy Days. I don't think so, but that's probably closer than Tim Robbins. His pic is added.

Stuck in Hell

Or at least Bloomington, which for a Purdue guy, isn't much different.

I was on my way here to cover the Michigan-Indiana game on Saturday when my car quit running about 10 miles outside of town. Fortunately, my wife has some family in the area and they were able to rescue me, get me to the game, and give me a place to stay for a couple of days until I could get my car fixed (fuel pump - not cheap).

I probably should have known better. My last two trips to the Indiana campus did not go well either. The last time I was here was 20 years ago and my car (not the same one) was vandalized. The time before that, I was a senior at Purdue and we brought a pep band down for the Bucket game. We were sitting in temporary bleachers in front of a 20-foot wall, above which was the stands. Someone dropped a chunk of concrete, or perhaps limestone, about the size of my laptop down toward us. It just missed hitting us (which was probably the intent).

I think the next time I get a chance to come back here, I'll just pass.