Friday, November 28, 2008

I'm Having an Issue with John Denver

I’m Having Issues with John Denver. At the risk of losing any and all punk street cred I might have previously had, I totally admit that I'm having a John Denver issue in conjunction with iTunes.

Before you shoot me insulting comments and laugh behind my back, I offer a "Hell, Yes, I Likes Me Some John Denver, So Piss Off!" Plus, I'm presently listening to Foreigner's "I Want to Know What Love Is" and getting all choked up. I'm drunk on life today. It IS Thanksgiving, after all, and I have so much to be thankful for. Pass the Kleenex!

Like the freedom in America to download Sappy Shit with No Artistic Merit.

Which is where John Denver comes into the story.

My primary downloading mission was to score an mp3 version of "John Denver and The Muppets: A Christmas Together," which is my all-time favorite collection of Christmas music. I think my copy of the CD was lost in the shuffle of separating from my husband anyway.

Mission accomplished. Download the CD. Yay, me.

But then I was also looking for John Denver's "Calypso." It's 3 minutes of schmaltz unparalleled in the annals of sappy pop music, an homage to Jacques Cousteau's old ship or something. But it's a tune I've always dug. So a'searching I went.

My theory, which I have yet to conclusively prove, is that John Denver only recorded approximately 3 full albums' worth of original material. And iTunes isn't exactly going to make my search speedy and painless, because their marketing plan is to have customers like me download a dozen other songs while en route to finding "THE SONG" for which I'm searching.

In the John Denver category in iTunes, we are bombarded with the following conglomeration of album choices, and not blatantly obvious on which any of these albums might feature "Calypso."

Which would explain my music search migraine, generated by this clusterfuck of choices:

"John Denver's Greatest Hits"
John Denver's Greatest Hits, Vol 2"
"John Denver's All-Time Greatest Hits"
"The Definitive John Denver"
"John Denver's Sixteen Biggest His"
"An Evening with John Denver"
The Essential John Denver"
and "The All-Time Greatest Hits of John Denver

...with the omitted glare of not including "John Denver Walked His dog While Humming His Essential, Definitive, Biggest, Greatest and All-Time Greatest Hits."

My relative disinterest in this topic prevents me from thoroughly researching which of these "hits" are on any of the available iTunes albums. But I'm left with a vexing conundrum as to which one these clearly redundant compilations actually is credible enough to include "Calypso."

Is "Calypso" actually "essential," definitive, biggest or greatest? iTunes, where are you hiding this song? Denver's probably been artifacted into a box somewhere labeled "Caution: Quick Sand!"

I shan't give up my search for "Calypso" just yet. Maybe after Inauguration Day.

In other news, Luke, my mom and I had a cozy, friendly, delicious Thanksgiving out in Cary with my best friend since grammar school, Patti, and her husband, his mom, and their daughters. I was elected to deliver the pre-dinner prayer, which I was okay with...and silently thanked God for all the blessings I've received this year in particular, sobriety being the 1 winner.

And I'm blessed to have friends such as yourselves, regardless if some of you haven't met me face-to-face. And a healthy, brilliant, charming son. And the loyal love of friends and families.

I love you all and wish you safe travels, compassion and God's grace during as you celebrate Christmas 2008. Resolve to being open in your heart to allow God's love inside. Trust me on this one. You won't regret it!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Caution: Wet Cement

Lamb! Of! God!

Luke and I were driving home from Trader Joe's, where we scored 3 more gallons of their supremely delicious and somewhat hard-to-find Spiced Cider. So score!

Then we got Rick Rolled in our car by Rick Astley's "Never Gonna Give You Up" at Harlem and Devon! We plotzed!

We passed a construction site where workers were busily pouring WET CEMENT from the cement truck onto the frame of a sidewalk. "Hey, look, Lucas, they're making a sidewalk!" At this point, my son was more or less unplussed about it, but found the phrase "WET CEMENT" incredibly funny. Don't ask.

My son then turned out G-rated Mommy/Son conversation into an unintentionally X-rated Mature! Audience! Only! laugh riot.

All while we're listening to Gordon Lightfoot's "Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald" on the radio, and I was attempting to explain the story of the song to him, with my son increasingly distracted by the WET CEMENT.

Somehow or another, the neurons in his noggin jumped from WET CEMENT to WET SEAMEN, which he repeated aloud over and over again, asking me, "Mommy, do you like WET SEAMEN?"

Barely able to steer the car without crashing into the van in front of me, I tried in vain to answer him with a straight face. "Well, I guess I do, Luke?"

But he kept repeating it. WET SEAMEN. WET SEAMEN.

"You know, men who come out of the ocean wearing their swimming trunks, like that picture you have of Daniel Craig," Luke uttered for clarification.

"Oooof!" I said. "Yeah! Then I totally like WET SEAMEN."

Now, a few days ago, Luke and I were puttering round YouTube, where I showed him a few of the dumbest music videos from the 1980's, including Bonnie Tyler's "Total Eclipse of the Heart" and The Weather Girls' "It's Raining Men," which features men in Speedos, hats, raincoats and umbrellas swishing around a miniature cardboard cityscape and romancing two morbidly obese women. Suffice it to say, the fellas in this video aren't the most...well, masculine and, uh, well, heterosexual. Blatantly so.

So Luke segues "It's Raining Men" back into the WET SEAMEN and asks me me, "Wouldn't you like to see WET SEAMEN coming from out of the sky?"

Luke: "If there were WET SEAMEN coming from out of the sky, it wouldn't be hard for you to find a husband."

Me: "Totally!"

Luke: "They should have a Comcast On-Demand channel of nothing but WET SEAMEN. That only grown-ups can watch. And WET SEAMEN Daniel Craig action figures."

(I can't even steer the car at this point. I'm laughing hysterically, and I can't tell him why. This was NOT the day to go into a diatribe about ejaculation and the vernacular nicknames for such, et al. He's only 8.)

The challenge now will be to prevent Luke from talking about WET SEAMEN at school, and at church, and to his friends, while I field phone calls from angry parents who chastise me for my son's completely inappropriate chatter.

All of this over a fresh sidewalk and a construction site....

Happy Thanksgiving from The Offbeat Drummer Mom!

Coming soon to an On-Demand channel near you.....

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Ack, a Song Evokes A Childhood Memory

Ack, a Goofy Childhood Memory Resurfaces
Current mood: crazy
Category: Games

I'm fiddling about on iTunes, mostly to keep my senses occupied and not dwell on someone (and no, You, You're not the one Im dwelling on, puhleeze), and in the iTunes Essentials. Stumbling towards Olivia Newton-John, I listened to the 30-second appetizer of "Hopelessly Devoted to You."

Now I'm trying to remember....I know I played out two relationship scenarios with both my Star Wars figure Han Solo and Princess Leia and my Barbie and Shaun Cassidy 12" dolls. (You under 30 readers can Wiki who Shaun Cassidy is.)

One of my soap-ish scenarios had Princess Leia singing "You Light Up My Life" to Han Solo (before the carbon freezing chamber scene in "Empire Strikes Back).

So that probably means that Barbie sand "Hopelessly Devoted to You" to Shaun Cassidy. Barbie and Shaun had this really drama-filled relationship, and Barbie's mom was played by my 12" Cher "action figure"

Their other pals were my 12" Donny and Marrie figures, who I kept as a couple (incest alert!). Donny and Marie were freaky dolls, whose hands held guitars (they played guitars?) with a little peg holdng the guitar in the hand. Once you took the guitar of, however, Donny and Marie were left with these total stigmata holes in the pals of their hands. Marie had an unruly mop on her head, whch I cut myself. That resulted in Marie looking like a cross between Phyllis Diller and a mental patient, largely due to the stigmata plus funky hairdo!

My doll-playing s a child was always really reality-based. Lots of school, lots of dates, all the fantasties I wanted to enact when I grew up (except maybe the having Cher as my mother). It wasn't quite as serious as "Barbie and Shaun Are Audited by the IRS, but you know what I mean.

And my mom made a lot of Barbie's clothes. She funked out in the late 70's/early 80's

Funny how songs can spark a cavalcade of memories...

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Survey To Do So I Don't Drive Myself Insane Thinking Tonight

Where is the last place you drove?
Home from St Paul with Luke

What color was the last food you ate?
Chocolatey brown, though it wasn't chocolate

Have you ever wanted to be a school bus driver?
Golly, no

Who is number 6 on your top myspace friends?

Have you ever seen them when they're drunk?
Mico's usually drunk when I see him. And we met in person for the first time in a bar, so you do the math.

What would you do if a mouse ran across the floor right now?
I would invite him to visit the squirrel in the attic.

What did you do Sunday?
I slept late since I worked Saturday night, went to my mom's and then attended a Thanksgiving dinner for local International college students at my church

What about today?
I went to see my son perform at his school's chapel service, fielded Comcast fixing my internet (AGAIN), chatted with Tania and Brad online, went to the grocery store and listened to my son crab.

Who is number 5 on your top myspace friends?
Super Juls

Could you stand to be locked in a room with them for a solid week?
I think we'd die laughing, so send the coroner.

What is the last song you listened to?
"Grow Old With Me" by Mary Chapin Carpenter

Name a random song recently heard:
"Don't Look Back in Anger" by Oasis

Have you ever snuck into anyone's house?

Have you ever been bitten by anyone?
Heh, I've been engaging in said masochistic play since a boy in 1st grade was vampire practicing on my neck.
And I have no shame!

Have you ever played match-maker with your friends?
Yes, with disastrous results

What's your middle name?
That depends on who you ask. Sometimes it's "Caroline," sometimes it's "Miklasz.

How many books have you read in the last year?
I've started about a dozen and finished 2.

What color are the last shoes you wore?
Black and white

Who is the last person you hugged?
Cathy, I think

When's the last time you studied? mean studied something other than Daniel Craig's eyes? It's been a while

Can any of your relatives draw/paint?

Has anyone ever called you a slut?
Wait, I think "slut" should be another one of my middle names. Seriously, yes.

Are you wearing socks right now?
Yeah, it's chilly

Of your top myspace friends, which guy are you the most comfortable with?
Craig, Bradand Mico

Which girl?
Tania, Juls and Amy

All of them rock!

What is the last movie you watched?
"Christmas on Mars"

What is the last caffeinated beverage you drank?
A Really, Really Strong McDonald's coffee

Do you know anyone that works at a movie theater?

What about a hospital?
Lots of people, including my mom

Has anyone ever accidentally bit your tongue when you were kissing them?
...and purposely!

Who's bed besides your own were you in last?
My boyfriend's

What color shirt are you wearing?
A red one underneath a gray one

Has anyone ever asked what color your shirt is?
...only my color-blind father-in-law

Have you ever wanted to be a vet?

Where did your last kiss take place?

What about the one before that?

What kind of job does your father have?
He polishes the pearly gates.

Have you ever fed ducks?

Who were the last 3 people to text you?
Christopher, Patti and Brad

What does the 5th text in your inbox say? Who was it from?
I erase them after they've been read

What does the most recent text you sent say? Who was it to? '

Has a stranger ever asked if they could take your picture?

Set your music player/ipod/mp3 to shuffle.

What's the first song that plays?
"Closer" by Nine Inch Nails

What's the first lyric of that song?
"You let me violate you...."

Would it be weird if your ex came up to you?
Uh, no. He does that almost every day! Then he shakes his head in bewilderment and raises one eyebrow.

Is there someone from your past that you're still attached to?
Most of the people in my past are still attached to me in some way.

How long does it usually take you to fix your hair?
20 seconds, tops?

Have you ever dyed your hair?
Not since I got pregnant in '99

Have you ever dyed someone else's hair?
Luke's, temporarily, for last Halloween

Do you ever go in pet stores just to look at the pets?
No, I'm usually there to buy bird food

Have you ever ran over a turtle?
You don't find many on the streets of Chicago just wandering around. But if I go to OK City for New Year's I will let ya'll know if I see and/or run over any.

Do you actually read surveys that other people post?

Have you ever recorded yourself singing?
Of course I have

Have you ever been bitten by a cat?
Cats usually hiss and claw at me.

What about by a goose?

Do you ever watch Saturday Night Live?

Has anyone ever called you emo?
No the words "I am Sofa King we Todd did" out loud.

Did you get it?
Yes, and my son then repeated it out loud! And Brad uses those stupid lines all the time (Sofa King Tall, Sofa King Clever....)

Have you ever played that joke on anyone?
God, no.
It's always played on me!

Do you think anyone will actually read this survey?

Have you ever dated someone and later found out that they were gay?

Do cocky people annoy you?
If they're being actual cocks, yes.

Doesn't it suck when really intelligent people get addicted to drugs?
It sucks but it's an unfortunate by-product of genius.

Do you personally know anyone that is in a band?
Most of the people I know are in bands.

What color shirt are you wearing?
I thought this was already asked...

Have you ever had a pet goat?

Does anyone on your top myspace friends play drums?, Drozd, Jonny, Jim DeRo, Robbie, Butch, Neil Peart and Klipf

What about guitar?
Yes...Drozd, Brad, Jonny, Mico, Chris Stevens, Robbie, and the bands

Is it annoying when ur hanging out with someone and they text other people?
No...not really

Out of your friends, who is the best singer?

Has anyone ever just broke into song?
Anyone? Ever? Sure!

Do you regret kissing anyone?
Not really

Do you regret not kissing someone?
Well....maybe...I sort of regret not sitting on his lap TO kiss him when he asked me to.

Have you ever cussed someone out ?
I do that every 10 minutes!

Who will be the next person you text?
Probably Tania

Thanks, God! You Reign!

Thanks, God! You Reign!
Current mood: grateful
Category: Religion and Philosophy

The Praise Band is embarking on some new material for 2009, yay!

One of the new songs we're doing is Matthew West's "You Are Everything," which I heard for the first time today during Luke's 3rd Grade Chapelpalooza. I'm passing along the lyrics because I think it has a very positive message and certainly strikes a chord with me...."more than just a beautiful mess."

You Are Everything

Matthew West

Coming to a Praise Band Near You!

I'm the one with two left feet
Standing on a lonely street
I can't even walk a straight line

And every time you look at me
I'm spinning like an autumn leaf
Bound to hit bottom sometime

Where would I be without someone to save me
Someone who won't let me fall

You are everything that I live for
Everything that I can't believe is happening
You're standing right in front of me
With arms wide open all I know is
Every day is filled with hope
'cause you are everything that I breathe for
And I can't help but breathe you in, and breathe again
Feeling all this life within
Every single beat of my heart

I'm the one with big mistakes
Big regrets and bigger breaks
Than I'd ever care to confess

But you're the one who looks at me
And sees what I was meant to be
More than just a beautiful mess

Where would I be without someone to save me
Someone who won't let me fall

You are everything that I live for
Everything that I can't believe is happening
You're standing right in front of me
With arms wide open all I know is
Every day is filled with hope
'cause you are everything that I breathe for
And I can't help but breathe you in, and breathe again
Feeling all this life within
Every single beat of my heart

You're everything good in my life
Everything honest and true
And all of those stars hanging up in the sky
Could never shine brighter than you

You are everything that I live for
Everything that I can't believe is happening
You're standing right in front of me
With arms wide open all I know is
Every day is filled with hope
'cause you are everything that I breathe for
And I can't help but breathe you in, and breathe again
Feeling all this life within
Every single beat of my heart

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Area Woman Brews Underwear; Boyfriend Proclaims "Good to the Last Drop."

Realizing there was no regular coffee in my apartment soured my morning.

Realizing there WAS coffee in my clean underwear jazzed up my afternoon.

I have a very, very hard time maintaining composure and staying all firm and Mommy-like when Luke misbehaves, mostly because his antics are just "Really Fucking Clever" with a dash of "OMG, You're A Genius, Why Didn't I Think of That?"

Lest we forget that on the off chance he misbehaves during school, his pranks are labeled "Only Your Kid, Miklasz."

Today's was more "Why Does the Basement Smell Like the Fields of Costa Rica?"

Backstory: While there are adequate laundering machines in the basement of my apartment, it is more economical, not to mention sanitary, to do my laundry at my mom's townhouse. The load of whites/towels/socks/underwear (washed on hot) was transferred from the washer to the dryer before I picked Luke up from school, leaving the remaining cold/colored load to wash while I was gone.

In the interim, Luke and I both got haircuts, amid whiny protest on his part (see previous blog).

Luke (in whiny tone): "But Moooommmmm, I like my hair fluffy. I hate getting a hair cut."

Me (combative): "I know, son, but your hair is too long. It looks messy and unkempt. You'll look much neater with it cut."

Luke: "You think I'm UGLY."

Me: "No, I think you're very handsome. Just messy."

Luke (crying): "I don't tell YOU when YOU have to get a hair cut!"

Me (not believing I'm using this line): "That's enough. I am your mother, and if I say you're getting a hair cut, you're getting a hair cut."

Luke (Drama! Get popcorn!): "You're a M-E-A-N-I-E."

Me: "Is that one of your spelling words for this week?"

Luke (indistinguishable): "Wahahwhahshahwahahwah."

Me: "Whatever. We have to go back to Grandma's and change the laundry loads."

Parenting Lesson #1: Get as many of your household chores completed and errands run while your child is at school.

...though scheduling conflicts and other obligations often prevent this lesson's fruition. Still, make as many stops as you can in your alotted free time...
Parenting Lesson #2: Especially grocery shopping! Never, ever, under any circumstances, allow your child to accompany you to the grocery store. You'll thus save about $75, three hours and you won't leave kicking yourself for not having checked if Excedrin is on sale.

Making a list, compiling coupons and cross-referencing ingredients for easy meal planning will greatly reduce your ratio of staple versus impulse buys, which brings me to...

Parenting Lesson #3: Kids have sticky fingers. To a child, anything that is not boxed, bagged, frozen or otherwise secure is up for grabs. Not saying that kids are chronic kleptomaniacs, but let's just say that the lines between product sampling and grand theft aren't crystal clear.
Parenting Lesson #4: For the love of God, double check your child's pockets before laundering his/her clothing.

My failure to abide by the aforementioned lesson is why I found a total of about 2 dozen coffee beans at the bottom of my mom's washer and dryer today. Hazlenut coffee beans! I, in effect, brewed our underwear! :)

The River in Reverse

The River in Reverse
Current mood: annoyed
Category: Life

When I was a kid, I had an obsession with audio tape recording my family and friends (usually without their knowledge). These candidly captured conversations sometimes resulted in utter hilarity; other times, a spark of wisdom that would have otherwise been forgotten.

One such spark was courtesy of my grandfather, Chuck. "Pap," as we called him, was generally pretty stoic and quiet, distant and stern, commanding respect. Underneath his persona, however, he was a total softie.

After dinner, the family sat gathered around my great aunt and uncle's dining room table in Mountain Home, Arkansas, on a steamy July evening. Life moved less chaotically in Arkansas, even though Aunt Bernice and Uncle Jim operated a large dairy farm and managed several thriving crops. Following a late evening repast of the farm's bounty, my grandfather sighed over his coffee and dessert and said simply this:

"Another day shot off to Hell, isn't it?"

And that was it. No prologue or epilogue, merely an astute observation, forever captured by my eavesdropping. Ping!

Reasons why today gets categorized in the "shot off to Hell" pile, and it's not even 10am:

1. I'm out of regular coffee and felt too lazy in yesterday's cold/rainy climate to drag myself out to procure more, thus I'm running on decaf today. [Shivers]

2. Luke was hopelessly incapable of rousing from slumber this morning, despite vocal warning bells from me every 2 minutes. Consequently, he was 5 minutes late for school and had to snarf his breakfast in the car. When, by his own undoing, he started to whine and cry about being tardy for school, I quickly remarked that I had no interest in his teary-eyed blubbering, which only served to make him cry more loudly. He's lucky I brought the car to a complete stop in the parking lot before I quite literally threw him out the door. I'm already giddy with anticipation of his next onslaught of hysterics when he realizes that after school, we're going directly to see The People Who Cut His Scraggly Mop of Hair.

3. My best platonic guy pal and I are trying to solidify some kind of plan to visit one another during the holidays. Logistics are difficult because he lives on the East Coast, but has family he's visiting in downstate Illinois; furthermore, we're trying to decide if a New Year's road trip to Oklahoma City (to see the Flaming Lips) is mutually do-able. Whereas his planning sees fit to leave things at a "we'll see," I generally prefer a bit more structure and finality. Indecision breeds anxiety, and Lord knows I have enough of that already going on.

4. Whereas God forgives me of my sins upon my repentance and erases them forever from my roster of transgressions, my on-again/off-again/on-again boyfriend felt the need this morning to remind me of mistakes I've made and already apologized for, with a delayed-reaction moment of hurt and anger. I'm cutting him some slack, since he does have a lot of emotional processing on his plate, but I fail to see how reckoning the ills of yesterday will serve to foster a positive tomorrow. What's worse is that he cringes at me airing our dirty relationship laundry on social networking sites, so I'm sure the salt will keep on pouring onto an already delicate wound! Yowsa! (*For the record, I haven't actually aired anything private on any social networking site; Blogspot is a blog-hosting platform and not a social networking site.)

4.5. Thus far, the only creature on Earth happy to see me today has been my parakeet, Nitwit, who is staying at my mom's, whom I visited when I dropped off some laundry this morning.

5. I re-posted one of my personal ads here in Chicago in an effort to try and meet some new people/make some new friends. One respondent, I thought, liked my writing style and what I said in my profile, so I answered his email with some brief introductory pleasantries, stated my name and said, "And you are?..." His reply? "A jerk." Well, great! Now that we've established that, how's about dinner?

6. I'm bracing myself for one of my ex-husband's famous "See Below..." emails where he dissects personal and custody scheduling topics bit-by-bit, offering his responses callously if not always constructively. But historically, his claws only surface after the noon hour, so I have a little time to prepare and seek shelter.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Thelma & Annie

Thelma & Annie
Current mood: eccentric
Category: Friends

I don't routinely answer my cell phone when the incoming call is from a number that I don't recognize coming from one of the suburban area codes.

If memory serves, I was most likely bored and a skoash curious when, last week, I broke from the norm and answered a call from the 847 area code. On the other end of the line was a really confused sounding elderly lady, looking for someone named "Jesse Palmer."

(For clarification purposes, that's not me.)

Confused Elderly Lady dialed her phone correctly, and chances are the customer who had my cell phone number before me is this Jesse Palmer person. This didn't stop Confused Elderly Lady from calling me another handful of times, increasingly apologetic, so I asked her what her name was.


"Hi there, Thelma, I'm Andrea, which I think I told you the last 4 or 5 times you called me, and I'm still not Jesse Palmer."

Thelma's kind, gravelly, grandma-next-door voice and evident lack of knowledge about telecommunication in the 21st Century tugged at my heart, so when she informed me that the Yellow Pages (they still publish that thing?) were also of no help to her, I volunteered to use This Wacky Internet Invention Thing to assist her in locating Jesse Palmer, who is her tenant and still owes her November's rent.

Lucky for Thelma, I'm well versed in the particulars of both rent dodging AND locating people via the internet, so this mission was turning out to be more the fulfillment of destiny than a cure to boredom. Sort of. And it turned out that Thelma's son's wife's sister's friend's mother is also named Andrea, so, well, there, surely the cosmos had aligned the universe so that Thelma and I could become the best of friends.

During one of our conversations, Thelma mentioned that Jesse said he worked at a place called The Last Detail in Evanston, that did car detailing. No such business is located there, though I did stumble upon something similar in North Chicago, which is close to the Wisconsin border.

Having already spent an inordinate amount of my Saturday bounty hunting for Thelma, I called her back with the information I'd gathered and wished her luck in both her search for Jesse and his deadbeat pocketbook. I'm sure she would've been happy to yack at greater length, but I had band and church, so I left a message on her answering machine (which no doubt still uses actual tapes).

So she called me back...again. This time, I let it go to my voice mail, but I'll be saving Thelma's message for eternity. She was just too cute. So cute and old-ladyish that I'd have to have been just a complete bitch not to have helped her out. Which, of course, I'm not. She thanked me "so, so, so much" and remarked at what a "dear, dear, sweet girl" I was to take the time to assist her, and that "you just don't meet people any more who are willing to help out a complete stranger."

None of my grandparents are still living, so I totally envision taking Thelma a plate of Christmas cookies and noshing over tea about the cold Chicago weather, what's on sale at the grocery store and the benefits of wearing support stockings (her, not me).

Jesse Palmer, if you're out there, I'm gonna find you and shake you down till you pony up the dough you owe my new friend. Thelma, you're very welcome...I got your back.

Friday, November 7, 2008

"What Will I Be?"

My son's teacher has the class writing daily journal entries, which makes THIS blogging mom all sorts of happy. She is pleased that his writing voice continues to develop and that his true personality and humor are coming through.

One task for October was to brainstorm about your future. Under "What Job Might You Like?," Lucas offered the following possibilities, with my opinion in parentheses.

1. The Army (Um, son? No.)
2. Grocery Bagger (Definite part-time possibility. The kid's aptitude at the self-checkout is a marvel.)
3. President (I assume this means "...of the United States," but I require clarification.
4. Security Guard (Securing whom? Or what? Again, not a terrible choice, but in fairness, his only experience with "security guards" is watching the ones who are asleep at their posts during "Batman," who allow mayhem and crime to run rampant in Gotham.)
5. DUCT TAPE GUY (Oh, THAT duct tape guy. Huh?)
6. Astronaut

Luke was asked, "What kind of family do you want?"

He said, "A nice family with 3 14-year old sons."

Interesting. I assume Luke's not completely aware that this goal necessitates his wife having triplets. And if Grandma Me is being considered as a potential babysitter, we're going to have to have a talk.

Next topic.."What Will I Be Doing in 25 Years?"

Luke's version:

"I will be going to the moon to discover space cheese. Once I have it, I will go to the store and convince the manager to sell it. If they start selling it, I will offer to be a grocery bagger there. If they do not sell it, I will go away to the Army and never come back."


One of his other stories sparked the memory of a writing assignment I, myself, had in fifth grade...Luke's was "Aliens Visit for a Day." Mine was "The Rock Band Journey Visits for a Day."

But my favorite of the October journal entries has to be this one:

"Most people think being scarecrow is an easy job. Actually, it's a really tough job, because scarecrows have to stand still but somehow scare away pests. He can never go to sleep in case of mice at midnight or crows at 1:00 am. Scarecrows have to always be scary and mean and can never ask anyone, 'Do you want a latte?' They can't blink, which will get very painful--especially when you've already lost your eyes. They get bothered all day by birds, mice and bugs. They look scary and rough."

A latte? Is he for real?