Southern Man

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Day Eight - New Year's Eve!

Whoo Hoo, it's New Year's Eve! And Southern Man more or less has the place to himself today (teen son slept 'till noon, then wandered off to a friend's house) so he did a lot of errands and related running around during the morning, then got out to The Land for a few hours of work on The Shed in the afternoon. He managed to work out the remaining problems with what he had (mostly pulling a couple of curved top plates straight again) and swore a mighty oath to construct his next structure from cinderblocks rather than wood. It was another absolutely gorgeous day and he spent a fair amount of time just sitting and relaxing. Any period of time spent at The Land always recharges his batteries, so to speak. Then, with all of the children at various parties / relative's homes / sleepovers Southern Man headed to his gf's house to ring in the New Year. He expects that 2009 will be the best year yet!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Day Seven - Errands and More

Both daughters were scheduled to spend tonight with Southern Man's parents, and tomorrow night with Southern Man's sister, so the first item on the agenda this morning was to deliver them to their grandparents. Teen daughter drove most of the way and caused hardly any terror at all. Then Southern Man went to a doctor's appointment and then met up with gf for lunch and a few joint errands. Southern Man then headed back home, roused "Bob," and we headed out to The Land, only to turn around when he got a call from his son - broken down on the highway about forty miles outside of town - and had to head out to rescue him. Kids. So Southern Man did a little work out on The Land on his own, then headed home and made some pretty good chili for dinner. Teen son didn't much care for it, but teen son's friend managed to choke down several bowls. The rest of the evening will be spent getting caught up on the mail, balancing the checkbooks, and watching DVDs - Indiana Jones IV showed up in the mail today, and there is still much Lost and House to be viewed!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Day Six - A Beautiful Day

We're halfway through the Twelve Days of Christmas! Today began with nine-year-old daughter's pedicure appointment at the local beauty parlour (she ended up spending the bulk of her Christmas Cash on the manicure, the pedicure, and a ton of makeup) and a little grocery shopping. Then Southern Man's childhood friend "Bob" called and we headed out to The Land and put in a good afternoon's work on The Shed. It sure goes faster and easier with two! And it was an absolutely beautiful day. Nine-year-old daughter tooled around in her pink Barbie Jeep, did some fishing with her pink Barbie fishing rod (do we detect a theme here?), and kept us guessing by sneaking behind us and stealing our tools. There would be pictures if the stupid digital camera was working, but for some reason it won't take a charge. Then Southern Man ended up at the local laundromat for the first time in two decades (his washing machine broke down last week) doing a bit of emergency laundry for teen daughter. Southern Man had promised to cook dinner every night this week, but fortunately everyone was content with pizza and ravioli and ramen tonight. Another good day...

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Day Five - Movie Marathon

On the Fifth Day Of Christmas Southern Man's true love gave to him - a full day with him and his children. We started off with the morning service at church and lunch with Southern Man's parents, then spent the rest of the afternoon at Casa Southern Man playing with the new "house" gifts - Harry Potter Clue (which is a blast; the secret passageways change nearly every turn) and lots of DVDs, starting with a few hours of House (Season One) and a few more hours of Lost (Season Four) and ending with the cute and likeable Kung Fu Panda. Nine-year-old daughter kept the fire going and everyone snacked on roasted marshmallows and s'mores and various other treats. And now Southern Man has retired to his bedroom and his own private movie fest of Evil Dead I and II, neither of which he has seen (but the third in the series, Army of Darkness, is in frequent rotation in his DVD player). Quite a fine way to spend a Sunday...

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Day Four - Saturday Fun

After an unhurried and relaxed morning (Southern Man's teen son cooked eggs and bacon) the two teens linked up with their pals and asked for transport to the mall, so Southern Man loaded up the truck with that Barbie Jeep, hauled the four teens (his two, plus two passengers) to the local megamall, and then Southern Man and nine-year-old daughter headed out to The Land where Southern Man worked on that stupid woodshed that he should have finished back in July and daughter meandered about all over the place in that Jeep and gathered firewood for tomorrow. It was a bit grey and ominous early but blossomed into a beautiful (if a bit chilly) day with the most spectacular winter-blue sky. Then we headed back to the local beauty salon for some touch-up work on yesterday's manicure, swung by the mall and picked up the teens (the boys saw The Spirit and gave it two thumbs down, and the girls saw The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and loved it), and headed home for an evening of cleaning up and movies and home-made potato soup and fresh French bread. And Southern Man baked a couple of loafs of his famous banana bread and whipped up a plate of chocolate-chip cookies. Needless to say, no one went hungry tonight. And the sought-for House DVDs did in fact arrive. And now Southern Man and nine-year-old daughter are having their own private Pirates of the Carribean marathon; she conked out early, but Southern Man is still going strong. Hard to believe that a quarter of the Twelve Days are already gone...

Friday, December 26, 2008

Day Three - Return of the Children

The children were returned to the loving arms of Southern Man mid-afternoon and showed off their newest gifts - teen son had converted over $500 in Guitar Center gift certificates (yes, Southern Man and his parents and his ex and her dad all had the conspiracy thing working here) into a fine new guitar and amp - but soon (and not surprisingly) the two teens scattered to the homes of nearby friends, leaving Southern Man's precious nine-year-old daughter in charge. So we went errand-running, which included a stop at the local beauty parlour where she parted with a bit of her Christmas cash for a manicure. That girl is growing up. So we spent a fairly casual and unstructured evening relaxing amid the post-Christmas clutter at Casa Southern Man. There was a bit of a fuss at Southern Man's refusal to release the basket of "house gifts" (a few board games and several movies) before Sunday, but Southern Man has these easily-bored rascals for more than a week and he's playing his entertainment cards as slowly as possible. Besides, he's hoping that the House Season One DVD set will arrive in the mail today. Of course, what they really want is Lost Season Four. Southern Man may deal those out one disc at a time over the course of the next week. Besides, he's easily three seasons behind; the kids have watched his Season One - Two - Three DVDs countless times but Southern Man hisself hasn't had the time. Maybe it will snow or something and we'll have a Lost marathon.

On a side note, teen son and I attempted to take down nine-year-old daughter's trampoline. Attempted is the key word here. We could not get the main ring apart to save our lives. Oh well, it was fairly torn up anyway so we tossed most of it in the bin, and Southern Man will put a new one up (probably at The Land) sometime next summer.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Day Two - Christmas Day

Day Two of Southern Man's Twelve Days of Christmas was spent lounging around with his gf, not doing much of anything at all. Why this unseasonable lack of energy? Two words:

House marathon.

Yes, we are addicted. And yes, we spent the entire day doing little other than watch House. And have a delicious dinner of roast and potatoes and onions and carrots and peppers and all of the other good things that go on a roast and a nice bottle of wine for her / a beer for Southern Man. All in all, a fine, fine way to spend Christmas Day. And Southern Man gets his kids back tomorrow!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Day One - Christmas Eve

For Southern Man the Twelve Days of Christmas starts today, Christmas Eve, when he has his three wonderful children for a few hours (not to worry; he gets them back again soon) and ends eleven days later on Sunday, January 4, when he surrenders them back to his ex. And it is also an excuse to write something on the 'ole blog every day. So...

After a frantic morning of last-minute Christmas shopping, Southern Man returned home, set up the gifts for his children, and eagerly awaited their arrival. They did indeed arrive and were most excited and pleased by their gifts, and we just fooled around (while teen daughter took it upon herself to assemble her little sister's new Barbie Jeep) until time to go to Southern Man's parents (known to their g'children as Papa and G.G.) for the traditional (and much looked forward to) Christmas Eve family gathering. This includes reading from Luke Chapter 2 by all of the children (the count is seven now, or six as one of Southern Man's nephews is old enough to have left childhood behind), far more food than anyone can possibly eat, a great slide show on the DVD player and excellent photo books from
shutterfly (both courtesy of Southern Man's sister), a gift exchange (we draw names Southern Man's sister assigns givers and recipients, and there's a $30 limit, but everyone cheats and goes over, and everyone buys something extra for Southern Man's parents), and stockings stuffed with anonymous (or at least pseudo-anonymous) gifts. And everyone had a most excellent time. Believe it or not, there are those who actually dread family gatherings during the holidays. Southern Man can't get enough.

And after returning the children to their mother for their trip to her dads there was one more late-night gift exchange with Southern Man's gf, who is doomed to become Mrs. Southern Man next summer unless she comes to her senses before then. And thus ended another wonderful Christmas Eve. Southern Man cannot begin to count his blessings, so he will simply say
Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Personality Disorders

Southern Man stumbled across a post a while back that described the symptoms of "Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder." The author claims that if any four of these are true, you may indeed suffer from OCPD...
• Is preoccupied with details, rules, lists, order, organization, or schedules to the extent that the major point of the activity is lost.

• Shows perfectionism that interferes with task completion (e.g., is unable to complete a project because his or her own overly strict standards are not met)

• Is excessively devoted to work and productivity to the exclusion of leisure activities and friendships (not accounted for by obvious economic necessity)

• Is overconscientious, scrupulous, and inflexible about matters of morality, ethics, or values (not accounted for by cultural or religious identification)

• Is unable to discard worn-out or worthless objects even when they have no sentimental value

• Is reluctant to delegate tasks or to work with others unless they submit to exactly his or her way of doing things

• Adopts a miserly spending style toward both self and others; money is viewed as something to be hoarded for future catastrophes

• Shows rigidity and stubbornness
Well, Southern Man scores 100% on this one: a solid eight for eight. Just so you know.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Movie Review - Four Christmases

So last night Southern Man and his gf decided to go see a movie at the opulent Warren Theatre, where the balcony is for grownups only and they bring food and adult beverages right to your seat, and the movie selected was Four Christmases with Vince Vaughn and Reese Witherspoon. Vince and Reese portray a happily unmarried couple who ditch the usual Christmas family festivities to have their own private holiday fun but when all outbound flights are cancelled they get caught in a live interview on local television, thus condeming them to visiting all four of their (divorced) parents in one day for Christmas. It is mildly entertaining; one can see most of the set pieces coming a mile away and there is the usual modern-comedy overreliance on body function humor but there are a few clever bits as well. Vaughn's character turns out to be something of an ass (no surprises there, that's the kind of role he plays) but manages to redeem himself, sort of, in the end. It's the sort of movie to watch on late-night cable when there's nothing else on.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Concert Review - Trans-Siberian Orchestra III

This is the third time Southern Man has seen TSO (first review here; apparently Southern Man forgot to post anything for last year's visit). The show was, as always, top notch. They did the same Christmas program they did the previous two years, and then a nice set of classical rock. Southern Man's gf enjoyed it very much, so he's pretty pleased about that. Alas, Southern Man's daughter was a bit miffed about not going this year (going this year was kind of an impulse thing) so he will have to remember that for next season. Anyway, if they're playing in your city it's worth the trip.