28 May

why uncle buck is one of the greatest movies of all time

Last night after my family finished watching Forrest Gump on ABC Family for the 5 millionth time, Uncle Buck came on. Amelia and I both remembered watching it when we were kids, so you’re darn skippy we were going to subject our almost 17 year old to it as well. Why? Because it’s possibly one of the greatest movies of all time and I wasn’t reminded of that until last night. The deal-maker was when it made my surly teenager actually LOL.

Buck1
For starters, the cast.

  • John Candy: If you don’t love John Candy, I don’t love you. Uncle Buck was right smack in the middle of his career and he’s perfect as the occasionally drunk uncle who makes a living illegally betting on horse races in ways that aren’t exactly legit.
  • Jean Louisa Kelly: She plays the surly teenage girl that all John Hughes movies have. Later, she went on to star as the teenage trollop in Mr. Holland’s Opus.
  • Macaulay Culkin: C’mon, it was before he got all hyped up in Home Alone, starred in Michael Jackson’s music videos and got arrested on drug charges.
  • LAURIE METCALF: Starring as Marcie Dahlgren-Frost. “Dahlgren is my maiden name, Frost is my married name. I’m single again, but I never bothered to remove the frost. And I get compliments on the hyphen.”
  • Pooter the Clown: It doesn’t matter who that was, because every movie should have someone in it named POOTER. However, this actor did go on to play roles such as Usher (not the Raymond variety), John (three times), Angry Bar Guy, Cop, Cabbie, Male Hostage #2, Janitor, Stalker, Beat Cop, Mugger, Bum #3, Man #1,Rude Dinner Patron, and most recognizably, one of the bad guys on Dumb and Dumber. Dreams do come true when you start your career as POOTER THE CLOWN.
  • That’s pretty much it. The actors that play the mom and dad? They don’t even have Wikipedias. That says a lot… except I don’t have Wikipedia.

For seconds, the hilarity!

  • Uncle Buck’s car backfires so loud that it scares people into thinking someone’s shooting up the school. That was funny in 1989! (True story: the sound was created using a gun shot and a firecracker.)
  • He threatens his niece’s boyfriend (named Bug, of course!) with a hatchet.
  • He also threatens Bug with a ritual killing.
  • He threatens to shave his oldest niece’s head while she sleeps if she doesn’t go bowling with him.
  • He talks dirty to a washing machine and almost gets maced by Jackie from Roseanne in the process.
  • He offers the elementary school principal to take a quarter and go have a rat gnaw the mole off her face. THAT’S HILARIOUS.

Listen, in on way, shape or form is this post sponsored. I mean, who the hell would sponsor it? I just find it important that everyone go watch Uncle Buck right now. Or The Great Outdoors. Or Cool Runnings.

 

 

07 May

back to the baby posts: it’s a boy

A couple of weeks ago, my wife had some blood drawn for a test that would check out this baby’s chromosomes and just make sure everything was what it needed to look like to be nice and healthy. And at that same time, they also had the ability to find out of the baby was a boy or a girl if we wanted. YES, WE WANTED.

Last Wednesday night, the three of us were at dinner when Amelia got an email that our test results were back. She tried logging in to her healthcare provider’s website, but because the test came from a lab outside of our healthcare system, it was some weird attachment that we couldn’t open. BOO for technology! The next morning, we called to find out the details. The person that answered the phone wasn’t a nurse or a doctor and couldn’t help, but she said she’d have someone call back. That just meant I sat at my desk and did nothing but look at my phone. Luckily, my co-workers understood.

Phone rang. I grabbed it and busted outside to the lobby. The conversation went like this:

Me: Hello.

Something, something, something.

Nurse: Everything looks great with the tests.

Me: Yep, okay.

Nurse: Do you want to know the sex?

Me: Yes.

Nurse: Are you sure?

Me: Yes.

Nurse: Well… (pretty sure there was a 23 minute pause) it’s a boy.

And then I may have screamed and squealed. And it’s not because I wanted a boy, because I didn’t care. I just want a baby and I’m pretty sure I would have screamed and squealed if it was a girl, too. Just knowing that little blob of see through skin had something to make him a little bit more real was just amazing.

So, now it’s a baby boy and we can call him he and we can quit racking our brains for names for girls or boys and we can get him a little brother t-shirt and BABY BOY BOW TIES.

Our next appointment with our midwife is in a week and a half, where we’ll for sure get to hear his little heartbeat again. Then we have to wait until the day after Riley’s 9th birthday to have our second ultrasound! That’s June 11th for those of you who don’t have my first born son’s birthday on your calendar. And when we get that ultrasound, this little booger will be HALFWAY COOKED. It feels like forever, you know?

I keep telling Amelia that I want him to be born now because we have so much stuff to do. But then she reminds me that he doesn’t have any functioning organs and we can see through his skin. That doesn’t sound like the best plan.

29 Apr

how to make your employees want to come to work

I don’t write about work very much in great detail, because, you know, firing and stuff. However, today is a little different. Today marked my one year anniversary at my current place of employment. It’s been a year that’s flown by, but it also seems like I’ve been here forever. Both of those are awesome things. And there are awesome things that this company does for their employees that I’ve never seen done before. For me, they’re things that make an impact on me, make me want to stay here and would likely have made me want to stay at any employer. So, bosses, employers, managers, etc., here’s my advice, from both an employee and an HR standpoint, to you:

Recognize Your Employee: Not just at their yearly review, but regularly. Money and gifts and prizes are not required. A “hey, great job working with that customer!” or even just a “thank you so much for your help with this insanely boring spreadsheet” goes a lot farther than you think.

Use Manners and Be Nice: I get it. You want to tell me to do something and you’re the boss. Got it. But if you say things to me like “Do you have some time to help me with this?” or “Could you please type up these 540 pages of mindless drivel?”, I’m going to be happy about helping you because you were nice to me. You’re asking me and you’re not telling me, and it makes me feel like you really do appreciate my time and skills.

Offer Training and Growth: But only if someone wants it. There are people out there that are really good at one thing and they love it. They don’t to learn more things. As long as that’s not effecting their job or your company’s bottom line, that’s okay! Not everyone wants to be a CEO and we still need people like that. The employees that want to learn and grow just want to know that option is available. Let them shadow another department or visit another location if you have one. They don’t have to take advantage of any of that, but having the option makes a huge difference.

Help them Find Passion: Don’t think passion projects, because that phrase makes me want to hurl. My VP recently enlisted my co-worker and I into expanding our diversity. I’m passionate about that and I’m excited. Your employees may find they really love training people and that can work to your advantage – win, win! Maybe someone’s extremely into research, so take advantage of that, too, and have them do it for you. Passion -> excitement -> engagement. I promise.

Ask for and Listen to their Opinions: You don’t have to agree with them at all, but if you are truly hearing what they’re saying, it goes a long way. You might want to engage them a little bit, so they feel heard. Taking the time to listen to their ideas, opinions or concerns gives employees the feeling that they, along with their feelings, really do matter to their leader and ultimately to the organization.

This isn’t an conclusive list and I only play an HR person 40ish hours a week, so feel free to take this word for word or with a grain of salt. More than anything, treat your employees like people. The way you work it out is totally up to you.

28 Apr

goodbye first trimester!

I always feel weird writing these things from a non-pregnant partner’s point of view, because it’s missing all of the details that moms search for, like “round ligament pain” or “puking on the side of the freeway”. (My pregnant wife would have searched for the first thing, by the way. The last thing is all me.) However, I also know that when we first found out we were expecting I couldn’t find a single place online where I could commiserate or learn from non-pregnant partners – moms, dads, what have you. So, boom.

Today, our fetus is 13 weeks old.

Amelia had a blood test last week (due to her ADVANCED MATERNAL AGE) just to test for any weird chromosomal stuff, since insurance pays for things like that when you’re 82. Along with that, they’re also pulling DNA, which will identify the sex of the baby. That test was on 4/23 and they said we should have the results in 7-10 days. Essentially, I’ll be celebrating Cinco de Mayo by knowing whether or not I’ll have a son or a daughter come late fall.

 

New things:

  • Can current pee and scratch itself, making this mom super proud.
  • Cartilage is being replaced by bones and RIBS are forming to protect the tiny little organs that are actually starting to work on their own.
  • And hooray for their intestines finally being on the inside!
  • This baby has a mouth that’s opening and closing and if the baby’s anything like this mom, it’s probably going to be open all the time and that closing part isn’t all that important.
  • The weirdest thing for me to grasp? This tiny being already has formed fingerprints!

Size from head to butt: 3 inches. Also 3 inches? My… nope, never mind. But if you fold a dollar bill in half, that’s the same size as this baby. It’s the same length as my pointer finger. Do you have a business card? This baby is just a smidge smaller than your business card. That’s kind of nuts.

Here’s the most up to date science-y looking and generalized picture of our baby (via EHD.org):

three-month-fetus

Your key to weirdness in the above photo: forehead (1), elbow (2), rib cage (3), right knee (4), tiny foot (5), right balled up little first (6), little baby back (7) and hip for shaking (8).

Baby Upgrades: 

  • Crib purchased! It was agonizing. I’m not kidding. We looked online, we looked in baby stores, you name it. We ended up using an IKEA gift card we got from Cindi and Adam for our wedding and putting that towards a nice little Swedish crib.
  • Big brother is getting into this little sibling. He picked out a puppet for the baby at IKEA and he had to try out SEVERAL before he found the right one. He’s also planning on bringing over some other puppets from his dad’s house, so he’ll be able to have a bigger selection.
  • We’ve been pre-approved for a car loan to add a second car along with our second child. We have a few ideas of what we’re looking for and we’ve been needing a second car anyway. Now we just have to find one that holds one teenager, one car seat, one large dog, one small dog and whatever the heck else we need when we travel, and yet still get decent gas mileage.
  • We got a new Lazy Boy reclining rocking chair and an awesome area rug, so our living room is not only baby friendly, it’s also grown up looking, too.
  • We loaded a car full of crap to the dump this last weekend, too. We’re in purge overload, but everything we purge, we’re just replacing with baby stuff. I blame Children’s Place and it’s evil 40% off codes that I use to buy all their clearance things. I got another email today, but I looked and I have literally bought everything on clearance that’s gender neutral.

That’s a lot. Oddly enough, it’s actually going really smoothly. Like really smoothly. I can only imagine that when we have our Level 2 Ultrasound on May 23rd, we’ll find out there’s a twin in there or something.

24 Apr

the last year has seriously flown

My desk on the last day at my last job.

Exactly one year ago today, I was at the Imperial Room with co-workers from my previous job, and I was in the process of getting absolutely obliterated on drinks that I couldn’t keep track of at all. Later, I would puke on the back porch. My wife would probably tell you more about that if you wanted the details. The hardest part for me was leaving some of my co-workers (the non-homophobic ones) and the CEO, who was an enormous catalyst in my professional growth over those five years. The easiest part for me was everything else. I won’t go into detail, but I’m sure you can read them in my future memoir and it will likely take up 43 chapters with very few pictures.

And since then… man. You know how they say you shouldn’t do ALL OF THE LIFE CHANGES at once? Well, screw that. In the past 365 days, we’ve done some things.

  • I started a new very awesome job.
  • We celebrated Minnesota legalizing gay marriage.
  • We went camping.
  • I started going back to school.
  • We went to Vegas.
  • We got married.
  • We saw Macklemore.
  • We went camping again.
  • I went to Missouri in October.
  • We went to Missouri for Christmas.
  • Amelia started going back to school.
  • We went up north for a cabin weekend.
  • The Kid switched schools.
  • We got pregnant.

I don’t necessarily know that the next year will slow down with things on the agenda like going to Montana, graduating with my AA in Liberal Arts, going to New York, buying a new car, starting my Bachelor’s program, and having a baby all on the agenda for the next six or seven months.

When I put it all into perspective, I can’t wait to come back and look at this post again in 365 days when we’ll have an almost six month old and a 17 year old a month away from graduating high school.

This is probably a gimme, but I’m pretty happy with this life of mine right now.