Saturday, June 26, 2010

The 5 stages of pancake eating (according to Daven)

Daven enjoys pancakes. No, that's an understatement. Daven LOVES pancakes. That still doesn't do it justice. If there were no pancakes, there would be no Daven. The loss would be too great for him and he wouldn't be able to go on. But watching him eat (i.e. inhale) the pancakes is only part of the show. There are distinct stages that we go through when it is pancake day. I'll review each of those now.

Stage 1: Excitement-- Usually pancake day happens on the weekend when both Elli and I are home with Dav. Lately this has been harder and less frequent, so we've resorted to just making pancakes on the weekend whenever one of us has the time and nothing planned. When you announce to Daven that it's pancake day, you are rewarded with a shout of "Pancakes!" and then having him run frantically around the kitchen and the rest of the house squealing excitedly. You are now on the clock and you'd better get moving with the making and cooking of those hotcakes.

Stage 2: Anger-- No matter how fast you mix the flour and the milk with the eggs and brown sugar, it is never fast enough for Daven. Mind you he exists to eat pancakes, and he is not pleased with having to wait. I have actually debated about making the batter the night before so that it's ready to go, but have never done it yet. So about 5 minutes after announcing that we're eating pancakes, Daven comes back into the kitchen exclaiming how he wants pancakes. "A couple more minutes and they'll be ready", you reply, to which his reply is simply a whiny "want pancakes!". Best to ignore him and he'll eventually storm back into the dining room and wait for your incompetence to resolve itself.

Stage 3: Anticipation-- At this point the pancakes are cooking on the griddle and you can now ask Daven what he wants to drink. His reply more often than not is a juice box, but you can simply ignore him and fill up a glass with milk. After putting it on his spot in the table, you ask him if he is ready for pancakes, in which he blurts out a very enthusiastic "Yeah!". You then go back to your pancake flipping and get everything ready with regard to the silverware and plates.

Stage 4: ADD-- By now Daven has managed to find his trucks and what not and is busy playing with those. Even the allure of pancakes isn't quite enough to overcome his attention deficit, so although he may not have forgotten about the pancakes, he simply is too busy with other stuff to bother you about how slow you are preparing the flapjack feast. However, simply asking him to get into his chair snaps him back to the task at hand and he runs over, again requesting a juice box, and climbs eagerly into his chair. He may or may not request a fork at this point.

Stage 5: Whirlwind-- Now it's time to eat. I've always given Daven two pancakes right off the bat, but it would seem wise to just prepare and hand him 4, cause that's always the MINIMUM number he eats these days. By the time you've sat down with your own plate of steaming pancakes, he's already done and asking for more. You have to remind him to take a sip of milk to wash everything down. He does so, and then repeats his request for more. He does say please, and it's hard to resist when he smiles while he asks.

It's all just another fun activity we do. Plus Elli and I like pancakes as well, so it's a win for everyone.

P.S. I know some of you are anxious to hear about the HHH. Rest assured I will be posting something (or somethings) about the ride starting next week hopefully. It's tough because how do I put into words the single greatest ride I've had up to this point? I'm sure I'll find a way. Keep checking in!

Monday, June 14, 2010

The Doctor will not be seeing you today...

I've wanted to be a Doctor for a good long time now. It started after I got mixed up into the Med Tech field, which was about a month before I was supposed to graduate with my Biology degree. Regardless, once I got going in the lab my fascination with medicine kind of starting running.

However it took me 3 years of college to actually buckle down and study. Before that I was a C student or so. The first two years I was kind of bored with my classes and didn't try all that much. Then the 3rd year of college I made my glorious come back to baseball. That was a lot of fun however school was put on the backburner and my grades suffered because of it. Only at the start of my 4th year did a light come on. Maybe it was the classes got more specialized or maybe I just matured some. Regardless, I pretty much did a 180 and aced most of my classes. As I dove more into Microbiology, Molecular Genetics, Anatomy and Phys, and Biochem, I realized that my passion wasn't all about Micro. It was getting more into the body, and what can go wrong and how do we fix it. The idea of being a Doctor starting blipping on my radar.

But then I sat back and truly looked. Yes I was getting good grades and living up to the potential student wise that I should be. But let's face it: I pissed away 3 years of school and even if I got straight A's, the GPA wouldn't be where it needs to be. Also, I was almost done with school, I was recently married, and I was looking forward to getting out of the classroom and getting a job and making some money and not flipping textbooks. My job as a Med Tech looked stable and promising, and I was able to push the whole Dr. bit back into the recesses of thought.

Or so I thought.

The more I worked in the lab, and then even more so when I went into the BB full time and started dealing more personally with surgery and what not, the more the fascination with medicine built up. I would see new procedures I never heard of before on the surgery schedule and look up all kinds of things about it until I had a firm grasp on what the basic principle behind it was. If a patient was admitted with some sort of disease I didn't hear about, I looked that up too. It all fueled the fascination until last October I couldn't keep denying the thought of going to Med School. So I announced shortly thereafter to Elli that I wanted to take an MCAT prep course, take the MCAT, and see what happens. I had read that Med Schools like the Med Tech degree, and couple that with my work experience, good letters of recommendations, and a strong MCAT score I could make up for the lower than average GPA and put together a competitive application. The MCAT score was my key I thought, so I wanted to prepare as best as I could. Therefore I thought the MCAT class was needed to guide me to the promised land.

The course did help a lot. My brain remembered lots of stuff, it was just a matter of pulling back up to the surface. I improved each week, studied hard, and saw my practice test scores reflect the hours of putting my nose to the grindstone. As the date got closer to the test, I got less and less worried. "I know this stuff" I thought. I worked harder at Organic Chem and Biology to make up the slack that I would have from Gen Chem and Physics. I even took a whole week off of work so that I could do lots of review and tie up loose ends. The date was nearly here and I felt good and prepared.

Test day came one Saturday. I opted for the afternoon session which started at 1:30pm. I got to the testing center around noon. I found a place to eat and tried to remain calm. I went into it feeling great. During the test I was good and focused, and thought that I paced myself well. I had about 5 minutes left after each section so I was right on the mark with that regard. When it was all over, I couldn't get a read on how I did. I told people I either did really well, or bombed it big time. But I honestly thought it was the first scenario, in that I did really well.

I needed to score slightly above average in order to make a competitive bid. The scores weren't gonna be released for about 3 weeks, so I just tried to go about my business until that time.

When the day finally came, I was checking about every hour or so for a score. And at 2:30pm on May 11th, my score was finally released.

And my dream of being a Doctor was instantly shattered.

I haven't told anyone my score except Elli. I needed slightly above average. I didn't even come close to average. I have no idea what happened. When I saw the score, I was in nothing more than shock. I remember swearing out loud and struggling to wrap my mind around the number I was looking at. Life sucker punched me. Bigtime. When I went home and told Elli, I remember saying to her that I felt like I let everyone down. Lots of people were rooting for me and saying what a great addition I would be to the field, and even though I joked that this was all for not I truly believed I would at least be able to be in contention. With the score I received though, it wasn't even worth doing the application.

I was at rock bottom morale wise, but Elli quickly started picking me back up that night by looking me in the eyes and telling me that I didn't let anyone down and to never say that again. She wasn't the only one. Throughout this journey all of my friends have rallied behind me and encouraged me to go for it. They all asked how the class was going, and after I took the test they were on me every day asking me if I heard anything yet. And when word started getting out that I bombed the test big time, I was instantly flooded with the same people telling me to keep my chin up. No matter what the test number was, it means nothing as far as what type of person I am I was told. I was reminded to take stock of what I had: a very supportive and loving wife, a healthy and spirited little boy, a great network of friends and family, and a stable job that allows me to provide for all of it.

I consider the whole experience a success. Yes I wish I would've at least been able to get to an interview for Med School. However this situation really let me see the big picture. Life delivered one hell of a sucker punch, and it floored me. I struggled to get up from it, but then I was offered a whole bunch of hands to help me back up. These same hands then dusted me off and pointed me back in the right direction to look at life right in the eyes and ask it, "Is that all you got?"

If you are reading this, chances are you were one of those hands. And for that, I sincerely thank you. What's next for me? I'm not sure yet. I'm kicking a few ideas around but nothing big and exciting. Mostly for now I want to sit back and put in hours at work and be a good family man. With Elli graduated from Nursing School, this is the first time in our 11 years together one of us hasn't been in school. So we're looking forward to slowing things down and having a little bit of peace and quiet.

Although that won't last long if at all. We have a toddler son who turned two last March and knows only running as his speed.

And Elli is due with our second in January.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Light/Lite/Crappy Beer...

Light beers are only good for one thing: funny commercials.

Both Bud Light and Miller Lite have commercials that are hilarious. Even Keystone Light recently released the "Keith Stone" commercial. Funny stuff. But that's it as far as positives from me about light beer.

Listen up Nancy's. If you have one of these can's of weasel piss in your hand, you do not get to do the following ever again:

1) Insult other people drinking beer, especially real beer. Ever notice how no one with a bottle of Summit or a mug of Guinness ever gets made fun of?

2) Complain how you'd better slow down so that you don't feel like crap in the morning. You're basically drinking water so you're fine.

3) Say how "absolutely destroyed" you are when drinking your barley flavored water. No you're not. Stop it.

4) Demand that other people drink more. One can of real beer is basically 4 of yours put together. We're drinking plenty. You're the Girl Scout of the crew.

5) At most you may have a slight headache the following morning, but you do not get to compare it ever to the massive hangover those of us professional drinkers experience from time to time.

However, those with a lite brew in hand are allowed to do the following:

1) Fetch the real beer for the real drinkers.

2) Wear a skirt.

3) Put a lemon wedge in it. Hey, I do it with water sometimes so why not give a little taste to that goat spit you're drinking huh?

4) Tap the top of other lite beer drinkers bottles. It's funny to see the reaction of the victim and it's not wasting actual beer.

5) Buy drinks for everyone else (Appendum: It IS acceptable to complain about free lite beer. It's that bad).

Grab a Stout, slug it down, and experience what beer is supposed to be you ninnies.
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