Friday, July 29, 2011

A true confession from the Hoop-lah house

Summer is a contradiction that, depending on your age, either means freedom or cruel and unusual punishment.

For kids, they’re suddenly free to do the things on their to-do list:
  1. Turn into screaming lunatics.
  2. Argue nonstop.
  3. Make a lot of noise and a big mess.
  4. Whine constantly that there’s nothing to do or nothing to eat.
For parents at home, it creates a kink in the system. When you’re alone nine months of the year, you get used to solitude. It’s lonely, but darn it, you adjust. You talk to yourself or the animals and, strangely enough, no one talks back. You get to pick the TV show you watch during lunch. No one cares when you shower or if you run errands or work in your pajamas. Repeat after me: it’s LOUNGEWEAR people!

Then one day it changes. What seems like a lot of fun slowly evolves into a “how I did get here” situation, for which your life coach advises to just hang on until August. And now it's almost here. So it was with a spring in my step that I mailed registration forms this week. I think I overwhelmed the postman with my enthusiasm; trying to hug him was probably over the top. I paid the $100 enrollment fee, bought $50 worth of school supplies (and counting), and put some money into the online lunch account. I even have my first day of school outfit and agenda planned. I am ready to go.

So when you see those parents with crocodile tears, remember we love our babies, but the first day of school is secretly our favorite holiday.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Feed the homeless dog, the universe pays you back in pie

There's nothing I like more than pie. And free pie? Try to keep me away. That's how I found myself at Village Inn late last night. Wednesday is free pie day. Every single week. Don't ask how I know that. The place is always packed. Apparently I'm not the only one looking to save a buck.

The late-night food crowd is an interesting bunch. There's everyone from large groups hungry after a night out to men by themselves, perhaps traveling salesmen or unlucky online daters. A few young families with zombies disguised as children. And employees who probably got the night shift because they make inappropriate comments with kids around. Trust me on that one.

The food is piled HIGH. And everyone is eating like it's their last meal, except for the zombies, who are asleep nose-deep in ketchup. It's like a summer version of Thanksgiving dinner - eat as much as you can, then go sleep somewhere while those fat cells multiply.

 Ah-hem . . . so this is the part where I have to admit I ate two pieces of pie. But it was FREE pie. One cherry ala mode and one strawberry supreme. I only did it to be gracious after the waitress made a mistake. What can I say? It was the right thing to do. And then I went home and went to bed.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Hump Day Hoop-lah

Ten things I learned in Minneapolis

1. These boys rock. They took second place in the Great States Tournament, which started with more than 600 teams from Iowa, Minnesota, South Dakota, and North Dakota.

2. Sleep Number Beds also rock.

3. It is impossible to sleep in a hotel room with someone who snores. That does not rock. Next time he gets the bathtub.

4. I have a soft spot for homeless dogs and their people.

5. There is still no pizza better than Ankeny's own Leaning Tower.

6. Never, ever eat breakfast at the hotel restaurant. Most expensive meal of the weekend.

7. Riding the train is a great opportunity to study human behavior.

8. Staying on the hotel's 13th floor is a little creepy.

9. It's impossible to say no to American Girl.

10. If you forget the movies for the DVD player, spend your last $15 to buy one for the ride home.
Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Hump Day Hoop-lah

This is Mike on drugs, lunging at the fool trying to take his picture.

Papparazzi be warned.
Posted by Picasa

Monday, July 11, 2011

It's a Mike Monday (minus Mike)

Mike called in sick today. Poor kitty, whatever he has, he has it bad. He's been coughing so hard. One of the Hoop-lahs insisted I take him to the vet first thing Sunday morning (think 8 a.m.). Good thing I was up. Let's just say he did not appreciate the effort to diagnose his problem.

$230 later, I think Mike has a cold.

Friday, July 8, 2011

More than a pretty face

Books fascinate me. Especially when the ones I have low expectations for end up being impossible to put down. This book fell into that category.

Rob Lowe is a storyteller, equal parts funny, smart and self deprecating. Who would have guessed? Not me. I'll freely admit I had a preconceived notion, based on the pretty-boy poster on my dorm wall, his high-profile romances, his sex tape, his gig dancing with Snow White.

But here's the thing. He seems genuinely embarrassed and regretful about the bad decisions he made. A refreshing change of pace from the "stars" of today. Perhaps it's his Midwestern roots. Or maybe he's just a guy with the ability to keep moving forward. Either way, he recognizes that nothing is more important than his family and, in fact, is grateful for them. It's nice to see that he's come out on top.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Looking good after a day in the beauty shop

It's not often that CC makes an appearance in The Daily Hoop-lah. She hates the papparazzi. But here she is sporting her new $71 haircut (yikes!). And she smells like a million bucks. The Kardashian sisters have nothing on this babe.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011


To paraphrase Jay Leno, "What the hell were they thinking?"

Casey Anthony should buy a lottery ticket before her luck runs out.

Anyone else surprised by the verdict? It left me speechless, which is pretty hard to do. I always have something to say. Now I'm curious what the jurors in the case have to say. But I will have to wait for the book since they're not talking.

I understand the concept of reasonable doubt, just not how it was applied here. Is it reasonable that someone would leave their child with a nanny but not know where they are? Is it reasonable that someone whose child was missing would be out partying? You could go on and on and on.

I can't think of a single person I know who would act in a similar way. Not one single person. What happened doesn't seem at all reasonable. But maybe that's just me.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Random Saturday stuff

We spent most of the day yesterday watching baseball. Won one, lost one. And it was hot out there. Pretty sure deodorant is waste of effort on days like that. Phew! But the bonus was seeing fireworks from the Cubs game and the Yankee Doodles Pop concert as I drove north on 14th Street last night about 10. Great viewing point. The traffic was terrible though. You could tell there was a lot going on in the metro.

Back to fields this morning and maybe this afternoon or tomorrow. Schedule depends on how they do in their 9 am game. Did I mention that we have the most technologically advanced baseball team around? Thanks to one smart Dad, who has an app on his I Phone that allows those of us at home to know what's happening in the game moment by moment at our computers at home. Trust me. It's cool.

Speaking of cool, I think a family trip to the pool is what we need today.

I took the first step in my good deed yesterday. Did you find a way to help someone else?

Friday, July 1, 2011

An ah-ha moment

It's interesting to me how on the surface things can seem so terrific, but behind the scenes the reality can be rough. Very rough. Oftentimes you underestimate just how rough it is.

You see glimpses. And you wonder. And you look away because it's easier.

Today I am not looking away. I am going to try and help. And I encourage you to do the same.