“I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be.”
--- Douglas Adams

Friday, September 20, 2019

Monkey Boxes - All In My Head

Image result for monkey in a box

When I was in the first and second grades, I went to a babysitter in the morning and afternoon.
I would walk to and from school with a group of kids, mostly the same age as myself. There was this kid, the same kid whose spanking I had to listen to in the first grade. He taught us a a more elevated game of "step on a crack, break your mother's back."

He taught us Monkey Boxes.

Along our route to school in the squares of concrete that made up the sidewalk, a good number of them had a "+" sign in the corner. This kid called them Monkey Boxes. Upon coming upon a monkey box, the only way to pass it, was to jump over it. You couldn't walk around it, you had to jump over it. You could, however, if there was a tree root breaking the cement, jump upon the root to get across, but only with one foot, it was only a stepping stone (stepping root?) to aid you in your passage; it was not a spot to linger.  There was no real penalty to not being able to jump the entire box. You tried your best to jump over and every day tried a little harder to get across; to play the game, you just had to try. Once you did get across, however, you were met with cheers, and hearty slaps on the back.

I grew up thinking (nay, knowing) that monkey boxes were a thing, a real thing. They're all over Long Beach and easy to spot once you set your mind to it.  I also grew up thinking that the knowledge of Monkey Boxes was just as universal in childhood experiences as putting black olives on one's fingers at Thanksgiving. As I got older, however, I realized that Monkey Boxes were a small, localized game that only a handful of kids played, and nobody but me remembers it anymore.

I taught my kids about finding Monkey Boxes. They know where all the best ones are in our neighborhood. We've even found a few Monkey Curbs down by the playground. 

Monday, September 16, 2019

48.50? - A True Yet Pointless Story

Some weeks are so unexpectedly busy. Last week I went to Back-to-School night at Pua's school. I always like Back-to-School night. I love sitting in my kids' desks, leaving them a little note in their desk (You rock! I'm proud of you!). I liked listening to the teacher present the curriculum and watch their style and demeanor. It gives me a bit of insight into the person who is spending a good part of their day with my kid. I like Pua's teacher this year. In fact, I've liked all her teachers thus far.  School events I absolutely dread are General Parent Meetings. At my kids' old school they were mandatory. They were long. They were amusingly boring. I usually sat in the back and listened to music.

Anyhow, when Back-to-School night was over, Pua very sweetly convinced me to spend a bit of time at the nearby playground. Half hour later we were driving home. We had hit that point in my head where I decided it was too late, I didn't have time to make dinner; I'd have to buy it.
Teeling Small Batch Irish WhiskeyWe stopped at Lucky on the way home I picked up some fried chicken from the deli counter and a bag of salad. I also took a stroll through the whiskey aisle. I saw that my favorite hooch was on sale, and on close-out. I grabbed a bottle (should have grabbed 2, it was a great price). I had my fried chicken, I had my bag of salad, and I had my deli ham for the kids' sandwiches today (sorry I forgot to mention the ham before).

Checker scans my stuff. Scans the whiskey and it doesn't register.
Checker: It isn't scanning, do you know how much this was?
Me: $28.98
Checker nods and starts pressing buttons. No dice. Checker presses more buttons, shrugs and grunts.
Checker (to himself): $48.50, that sounds about right.
Me: Um, no, it was $28.98
Checker: ugh, OK. $28.50

I bought my fried chicken, bag of salad, whiskey (for $28.50), my deli ham, an oh yeah, a box of store-brand pop-tarts and went home.

We didn't get home until after our regular dinner time, We ate our chicken and salad. I had a glass of whiskey, and I didn't accomplish anything I had planned to do.

Welcome now my friends to the show that never ends

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Nice Pictures - Where'd you steal them from?

Some of the pictures in my blog were taken by a photographer called Julie Michele. Some of the pictures were either taken by me or someone I know. Some of the pictures were ripped right from the internet, mostly from google image searches from photographers to whom I may or may not give credit.

Rest assured I make no money from any of it.