Tuesday, January 11, 2011

This One's For My Sis

Bet you thought you'd seen the last of me, eh? Well, not so fast my friends. Tis I, your favorite blogger. I just had a lovely chat with my older sis, and she reminded about this lovely little site that I have abandoned since last November. That is November of 2009 mind you. So I've decided to dust off the cobwebs and give it another go. As you can see from my impressive book collection, I've got A LOT of reading done. I have revamped my vocabulary in the process, so I'd suggest having a thesaraus nearby so you can keep up. To be honest it's not easy being this smart, but I digress....

Ok, 14 months since my last post. I guess I should throw in a recap. Ummmm, let's see. Moved away from Meg and Nate's (and Stella and Sam's) last December. Not easy. Had tons o' fun while I was there and laid the groundwork of being the Texas cousins favorite older cousin. Saw them all again at two family weddings, and it turns out they love everybody. It killed me to see them so happy with others...ANYWAY, got a couple of new cousins. Jack married Heidi (new cousin!), and Maria married Derek (new cousin! Also a Nub fan, so that's more like half an exclamation point) (Quick note: There will be many parenthesis. These are mostly sidethoughts (thoughts from the side) and they will be used for rants that have nothing to do with whatever I am blogging about...make a note of it) (Also, parenthesis inside parenthesis might happen frequently, check previous parenthesis for explanation)...Back to new cousins, Heidi and Derek as mentioned before and two (as of right now) baby cousins. Seth and Michelle added baby 3. They call him Carter. And Jack and Heidi wasted no time getting into the baby mix and just welcomed Emma. Meg and Nate are also expecting baby 3 this summer, so I'm waiting for my call to resume my role as Manny...not Nanny. And last, but certainly not least, I became an Uncle! Ally and Matt did their part, and now I am the proud owner of a niece. The lovely, the dashing, the beautiful Sloane. I won't go into detail, because everyone that reads this reads Ally's blog and can get way more information out of her. She is a great baby, and already laughs at my jokes, so I love her very much.

What else....oh yeah, took the assistant's job at my old course in Wamego, KS. Had a successful summer. Didn't completely destroy anything. One complaint. THE DAMNED HEAT! I guess God decided the hottest summer ever in Austin should be followed by one of the hottest summer's in Wamego. Starting to feel like I'm what's causing global warming.

And, just to put everyone's mind at ease, I was reunited with my best friend. Bob is doing fine. He's sleeping 20 hours a day, about 10 pounds overweight and loving every minute of it.

Well, guess that's good for now. Don't want to run out of material on the first one back. Who knows when you'll see another one. Could be a week, a month, or it could be tomorrow. I've got way too much time on my hands for the next couple of weeks.

Friday, February 12, 2010

My Texas Routine

***For some reason I didn't post this blog. So I'll post it now...

Hello there.
It's been 3 months since my last post and it just feels like the right time to do another one.
I'm sure everyone knows that will read this, but I am back in Kansas, back at Wamego Country Club (with a real job title), and at this current moment, really enjoying myself. My first night back here I saw a friend for the first time since I left. His first words, "I thought you said you weren't coming back."...Good to be home.
The only bad part about coming back was I had to leave the Little's. I was talking to Meg a couple of days ago, and I told her it really didn't hit me that I wasn't going to be back in Texas soon until a week ago.
I went to Austin with two goals in mind.
#1) Get a good job out of the experience...check.
#2) To be without a doubt, Annie, Luke, Stella, and Sam's favorite older cousin...Put a big check by that one.

Something I never noticed while I was there, but I was on a regular schedule everyday.

7:00 Wake up/Go to work
8-4 Work
4:00 Back at the house, talk to Meg
4:30 Stella wakes up from her nap and realizes that big guy that will carry her anywhere she wants is back...and there is a dog outside to go see.
6:00 Nate returns to the house from work and Little family time begins. This is when I would retreat to the "game room" to cram as much dvr'd material in as fast as possible.
6:10 Hear baby signing time intro start up and unconsciously end up back in the living room. It's like a fly being attracted to light. I had a problem.
6:30-8 Dinner, baths, playtime and off to bed for Stella and Sam.
8-10 This is when Nate would get back to work on his business, and Meg would be working on her photographs, and I would sit between them laughing like a jack ass. "HA! Did you see that?! That was the funniest thing I've ever seen! HA! Did you see that?!" They humored me, which I appreciated. "That's great Jord. Would you look at that." All without looking up at the screen. They really are ahead of their time at being great parents.

Then basically rinse and repeat the next day. Throw in a trivia night at the tavern with some friends on Wednesdays, and the rare venture down to 6th street, and my weekly regimen was complete.

It's been rough getting out of the routine. I spend a lot of afternoons in the backyard staring at Bob, tapping the side of my leg (sign for dog), and quietly saying bob, bob, bob (Stella's word for dog)...I have a problem.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Cats Don't Fail Me Now

It's been a few weeks so I thought I would update the ole' blog...and that about wraps it up. Take care, I'll update soon...
Kidding, that's my humor. I actually got on here to discuss the exciting weekend I'm about to partake in. I'm coming home! Home as in Manhattan, KS for the final home game of the Big 12 North leading Kansas State University Fightin' Wildcats...that felt good to type. As I've explained in other posts, I am the forever optimist of the football team. And this year has made me realize something. I was the kiss of death for K-State football the last three years. This could be a coincidence, but I'm having trouble believing that theory.

For as long as I could remember K-State was always good and always going to a bowl. My senior year of high school we won the Big 12 conference championship in the greatest game ever. Everything was looking up for my time in the "Little Apple". Not so fast. I spent a year at Yale, sorry, CCC and then went to K-State the following year. Something was different while I was there. Couldn't quite put my finger on it at the time, but now I see much more clearly. The football team sucked. And to make matters worse, good ole' dependable Bill retired my first year up there. Wasn't expecting that. Then a bald, chubby, articulate man started running the show. We went to a friggin' bowl game his first year. He said all the right things, and I ate up everything he had to say. So things were looking good. And then ten and fourteen his last two years (and zero for 9 against KU, MU, and NU) later and he got the boot.

Now like I said earlier, I didn't think too much about all of this. I hated not having a good football team to cheer for, but (and I thought I would never say this my entire life) it was almost basketball season. And I started to spend most of my time at our great tailgates. My roommate Trey and I know how to party, so instead of going in to the game and getting in a bad mood, we would stay outside the game and hit nails into a wood stump and drink until we couldn't feel feelings anymore. I think that's called depression...but we enjoyed ourselves.

I admit I didn't know what to think when good ole' dependable Bill decided to come back. I was nervous for him at first, because I didn't want him to suck and get blamed for not doing anything and ruining his legacy. I guess that's why I didn't get the AD job when I applied. That and they said I wasn't "qualified", and I couldn't "wear shorts to work everyday". So I told them where they could stick their job and moved to Austin. I'm glad everything is working out for everyone.
I leave town. Bill goes to work. We're on our way to being good again. He's already done the impossible and kept us out of the cellar, and has us set up to win the north...what a guy.

Living down where the expected south division champs hail from, I've had the pleasure of hearing plenty of who the Longhorns will face in the championship game. Two weeks ago it was KU...weak. Then a week ago it was Mizzou...weaker. I listen to the ESPN radio affiliate out of Austin everyday after work. One of these yahoos laughed at the thought of K-State actually winning the north and getting the privilege of facing UT in the championship game...that was my last straw. I called into the station. First I talked to a guy and told him my question for Chip and Sean, he told me I'd be on hold for about 20 minutes. I had no intention of waiting the whole 20 minutes, so I was a little shocked when about 10 minutes later I hear, "Jordan, your on 104.9 The Horn, what's on your mind?" My reply "Hello?" Once I realized I was actually on the show, I turned off my radio because there was a lag to it...that and I knew I'd be distracted by the sound of my own voice. So I asked my question. "I'm a K-Stater down here and it sounds like you guys don't expect to K-State to make it to the championship game. You guys realize we beat you in almost everything and Colt McCoy has never beat us. Just wanted to make sure you guys just weren't nervous about playing us." I do need to make a note that there was also about 30-40 ummm's thrown in all of that. But in my mind a legit question. They laughed about it and kind of agreed with me and told me to call back if we ended up making it in, so I've got that going for me. But I am glad to say they have changed their tune after last weekend. They would much rather face Nebraska who has no offense whatsoever, than face UT's "biggest thorn in their side...K-State." I've done my job.

So this weekend I'll get to see my first game of the year. And I'll be able to test my theory on me being the black cloud that refused to let the football team be good while I was around. And if it turns out to be true...screw it. I'm going again next year.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Big Sis Lil' Sis

Today is a big day in the Hills family. The baby, aka Laur Laur, aka Lauren, has finally turned the big 2 1. Never again will she order a Dr. Pepper when we go out to eat...yeah right. This monumental day has got me thinking back to the good ole' days when my two sisters and I were the three amigos, or two enemies against one, or every man for his/herself. Let me start from the beginning.

For three years, Ally and myself were the best of friends. Playing, laughing, talking about life...good times. Then we found out another being was to be joining our ranks. Immediately I think, little brother. I can't describe the excitement I was feeling. A little brother to toss the football around with, or go down to the fishin' hole for the afternoon or just hanging out, irritating the holy hell out of our older sister. In my mind I already named him Michelangelo, after my personal hero at the time. (Teenage mutant ninja turtles was my life.) Then, on a brisk Sunday morning in October, Grandma Dean was at our house waiting for Ally and I to get out of bed. She had big news. Michelangelo was here! We raced to the hospital to meet him. I already had my introduction planned out. A friendly punch to the arm to show him I liked to have a good time, but also to show who was going to be running the show once he got out of this hospital. What happened next is somewhat of a blur. A lot of people standing around handing this fluffy pink blanket around and kept saying, "She's precious, or she's so cute." First thought...I'm in the wrong room. Then I was handed the fluffy pink blanket, and I'll never forget it. Mom said, "Jord, this is your baby sister." I replied, "Come again?"
Oh cruel universe, you've done it again! So with a strong face, I left that hospital and vowed these two ladies weren't going to hold me back. I had to find something to use against them and to protect myself. I decided right then and there, I would use all of my power to be...the funny one.

If I were to accomplish this feat, I had to put every ounce of strength into it. I had to be able to take the criticism, the questioning looks, and the always hurtful phrase from Ally, "Don't laugh at him, you'll only encourage him." But I think what helped me the most was accepting humility. That, of course being that not only would I share a room with my older sister, but when she'd had enough of me, she got her own room and I was placed on the bottom bunk of the craziest woman in the house...Michelangelo. It was really hard to explain to my buddies that the memorial dedicated to New Kids On The Block/Hanson was not my doing. And the little kid that always had a jar of Jif, can of pringles, and atleast four cans of half drank pop was just my little sister getting herself mentally prepared for her ninth showing of Peter Pan in the back room...it was actually an amazing performance.

The three of us were actually decent to each other. I don't remember too much bloodshed so that has to be a good thing. But somewhere along the line, Ally and I found new common ground...that common ground's name was Lauren. Anything Lauren did, we found to be hilarious. This always resulted into Lauren running to Mom to taddle...this never got old. We even got Mom to laugh a few times after explaining what Lauren actually did. Then something crazy happened. We all grew up very fast. At some point in all of this growing, Mom and Dad did a wonderful wonderful thing. They moved Lauren in with Ally and I got my own room...just a very classy move on their part. These were trying times for my sisters. Well, more so for Ally because Lauren had this issue of talking in her sleep....I witnessed it a few times from my bottom bunk. She would start talking to the wall, or act like some form of an animal, then I would try to wake her up and she'd start yelling at me like I was the crazy one....really good stuff.

So, we kept growing and before we knew it, our big sis was ready for the next step...college. It was strange not having Ally around. I still remember Lauren's and my first day of school after Ally left. We were both sitting in the truck waiting for her to drop us off at school. Three hours later we realized our mistake and I took over the wheel. And in doing so I found new respect for my older sis, because Lauren even at a young age had a habit of saying she was just about ready which usually meant give me another half hour. But in her absence Lauren and I found our common ground...we became TV and movie junkies. You put us in a room and we can act out every line verbatim from a number of TV shows and movies...as long as it's the office or dumb and dumber.

The growing continued, and before I knew it, I was on my way to college. After a year at the prestigious CCC, I matriculated to K-State and the family get togethers were usually held at football games, or during the holidays. And I found out something very cool. When we all get together, we are a fun bunch of people. I guess since I was around it everyday growing up I took it for granted, but now when the five of us get together we have the best time.
Example: Josh and Jenna Stacey's wedding. The night before everyone went out to have a drink and hang out. We got a huge table and had like 20 or more people there for a few drinks and a good time. At some point, Mom, Dad, Ally, Lauren and myself moved away from the crowd to the end of the table and it was non stop laughter for the rest of the night.

So the growing continued and Lauren made her way up to K-State. Her first two weeks there, I saw her everyday. No complaints, even though she was using me for the internet it was still good to see her. Then she made a lot of friends, and apparently found the internet elsewhere. We could go two weeks without seeing each other...again no complaints, mainly because if she was coming to see me it was always for cash. I feel terrible about it now, because deep down I know I was paying for her addiction to Dr. Pepper, Jif, and the very deadly can of Pringles.

So I guess this brings us to today. I finally got my brother when Ally married Matt, so I don't hold that against Michelan...I mean Lauren anymore. The only bad news is I'm not exactly within the three hour driving distance to be with everyone to help Lauren celebrate, which is a huge bummer. But, all it really means is that it gives her a few weeks to be physically and mentally prepared for when I do make it up there. Because it's not just about the drinking...it's about turning into a jackass and dancing up a storm purely for the enjoyment and entertainment of your family. Like I said earlier, you've got to be able to accept humility.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Uncle Primo: Child Protector

This weekend I am logging in my most hours as child protector on my own. Meg and Nate are going to a party out of town, so it will be me and the kiddos from the early evening and throughout the night. You might have noticed I call myself the child protector, that's because I feel the term babysitting is a little too feminine. I've also been called a manny...so from here on out, I am the child protector. Make a note of it.

I am looking forward to this challenge. I am confident in the abilities I have been training for since I arrived here. My first order of business will be choosing my favorite cousin for the night. Stella and Sam will compete in a few events and finish with an obstacle course at the end and the winner will be crowned my favorite for the rest of the evening. He or she will get almost all of my attention, while the loser will be shunned and ridiculed for such a poor performance. They gotta learn they have to earn my respect.

My only worry is a poopy diaper. You would think I have mastered this art by now....I have not. I have put one diaper on Stella, and the finished product turned into what the kids call these days, a low rider. Since that unfortunate episode, I have not been asked to change a diaper again. I think this mainly has to do with my ability to hand off the child that does the dirty deed and run like hell. My dear cousin Seth told me all of the horror stories of newborn baby doo doo and how it resembles black tar and smells just as bad. That was all I had to hear. If Stella or Sam even passes a little gas, I simply lay them on the changing table, yell for Meg or Nate, and hide in the closet, garage or whatever tight space I can fit myself into without being noticed. This has been a highly affective maneuver. I know what your thinking...What will you do if they fill their drawers without someone to help? Way ahead of you my friend. I have purchased plastic jumpsuits for the little tykes. Just your basic, run of the mill jumpsuit that happens to have cuffs located on the wrists, ankles and around the neck. That way no smell can grace us with its presence. I bought two for both of them. So, right before they go to bed, I'll take them out back and hose em' down real good. Then slip on suit #2 and it will be time to hit the hay.

My main concern is this reoccurring nightmare I've been having as of late. This is pretty bizarre so stay with me. After Meg and Nate leave, everything is going to plan. Then the next thing I know I wake up in a daze and my feet and hands are tied up. After I get my wits about me I notice Stella and Sam huddled in the corner having a very intense conversation. When they realize I'm awake they make their way over and start making their demands. Oh, before I forget, Stella has a British accent and a very foul mouth, and Sam (who is walking around pretty well for a four month old) has what I'm guessing to be a Brooklyn accent and also a very foul mouth. I say Brooklyn because he keeps telling me to "Fogetaboutit", or "You talkin' to me?". He's very cliche. Anyway they make some outlandish demands of staying up until 10 and getting all the treats and milk they want. After I reluctantly agree, I usually snap out of it and wake up in a cold sweat...Spooky stuff, right?

This has me a little paranoid at the moment. So every time I've had one of them alone, I get in their face and try and get them to admit this plan. I'll yell, "Alright, the jig is up!", or "I'm on to you, Little!" and wait for a reaction...nothing. I've tried turning them against each other...nothing. Either I'm dealing with some seasoned pros, or a one year old and a four month old...I guess time will tell. But as God as my witness, I will be ready. I feel like my only option is to literally put anything that could be used against me on to the counters. They might outsmart me, but they still can't reach that high...yet.

Stella/Sam: 0
Uncle Primo: 1

That is my nickname if you weren't aware. Primo is cousin in Spanish, and after I heard Nate's nickname was Uncle Tio, which is uncle in Spanish, I thought this was the next best name...Has quite a ring to it...Someday, many years from now, when the kids are older someone will ask who that is as I walk by. They'll look up, pause for just a moment and say, "That's our protector...Uncle Cousin."

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

My Brush With Death

Well well well, bet you thought I forgot about this blog, huh?...well, I did forget about it. I was catching up with my big Sis's blogs and realized I had not done one in awhile. Ally happened to mentioned it, so I am acting on it, and boy do I have a story for you...are you ready?
I almost died this last weekend...I'll give you a second to soak that one in. Now when I say almost died, I really mean I caught the flu that is floating around and was quarantined in the game room (a.k.a. the attic) here at the Little Inn. And I wasn't really close to dying...but I felt the need to grab your attention from the get go.

Now I know what your thinking, it was probably the swine flu. I can assure you it was not. I did have a craving for pork products, but besides that, it was just your basic symptoms. Upset tummy, tickle in my throat, uncontrollable sneezing and sniffing, slight paralysis in my lower extremities due to no movement whatsoever. So I kept myself in a benadryl haze for a few days and bounced back by the end of the weekend.

This couldn't have been better timing, since the Austin City Limits festival was going on last weekend. I had planned on making an attempt to go, but instead I laid in the exact same position for hours at a time. I did enjoy the daytime TV. Nothing beats starting the day with the price is right, moving on to back to back to back to back court TV programs, and then getting into the real TV shows in the evening. This went on from Thursday til' Sunday. So, what I'm trying to say is, I got ALOT accomplished.

I did watch the K-State come out victorious in the inaugural Farmageddon. I felt bad since I thought I was watching a high school game the entire first half...A little too much of the 'dryl. But I snapped out of it to see us lose the lead, tie it up, take the lead, almost lose the lead and miraculously block a PAT. I am a Hills, so whenever we watch our beloved Wildcats there is a lot of emotion in the room...emotion being cheering, booing, screaming, swearing, hitting, biting, crying, hugging and then a few beers to calm the nerves and get ready to watch the game. So for the first time in my life, I sat in stunned silence when we blocked the kick...I think it was because normally if a K-State game is going to end that way, we always lose. But not this time, Farmageddon '09 was our destiny. So, my optimist side is back and thinking we'll upset one team, and beat a couple of crappy Big 12 teams and possibly go bowling...a guy can dream, right?

In closing, don't forget to get your swine flu shots. If you can avoid shaking hands, or being sneezed or coughed on by some form of a swine, you should come out of this mess with a clean bill of health...but no promises...it's a sick world out there.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Every Man A Wildcat

A friend of mine from down here in the land O' the longhorn had the nerve to tell me I might enjoy a UT tailgate as much as one back home. I attempted to joke with the guy, telling him he didn't know squat about tailgating. Then he asked me to give him some examples of a K-State tailgate and why they are so great...three hours later he acted like he wasn't impressed. So I told him one tailgate that always stuck out. This was easy. November 11, 2006. KSU vs. UT. My younger sis, Lauren came up to see if KSU was where she wanted to be when she went to college. There really was no other option, so this was just a good excuse to go to a game with her big bro. We showed up a few hours in advance...I drank...a lot. We went into the game. Beat UT, stormed the field and had a great time. Then, for good measure I told him what I did the next year when we beat UT again, which ended up being the same scenario as the first except apparently I stormed the neighbors yard...and then their living room...in other words, an equally good time. His rebuttal, K-State sucks and we have a very old man for a coach...real classy guy. Then I said some things I now regret, he countered with some phrases I hope he regrets...Then I don't really remember what happened after that. Everything kind of went red and hazy...when I awoke the next morning I was in the backyard with all of my K-State gear on...and my friend hasn't been much of a friend as of late...he had it coming.

After this little episode it really got me to thinking. The old saying is true. Every Man A Wildcat. This has been preached to me since birth. And I guess that's the reason I am the forever optimist that every K-State football team will be the surprise team of that year and somehow, someway make their way back to a bowl game and get people to say, "Oh yeah, these guys were good not too long ago." But after spending that opening college football weekend exactly 676 miles from where I normally would be on a Saturday morning, and then watching my beloved wildcats get beat by some form of a Ragin' Cajun, I finally took a step back and told myself, "It might be a while before they get to where they need to be." It is a very hard pill to swallow. I didn't agree with what old Ronald was trying to do when he was around, but even then I still thought during those three years, we always had a chance to be pretty good. And by pretty good, I mean if we didn't have to play any kind of defense (which we didn't), we would be owning the Big 12.

I do understand that I am apart of the spoiled Wildcat generation. The part that is accustomed to bowl games every year and not being apart of any kind of shellacking or ugly, ugly, ugly loss to some team from Louisiana. (It looked like a bad high school game) I will never be able to fully understand what my parents and all other fellow K-Staters went through B.S. (Before Snyder or Bull S**t, whichever you prefer...still taking into account this is a family oriented blog.) These people in my eyes are the greatest fans you can find. Going through that bad of times and still being a fan is amazing to me. But I was lucky enough to witness how badly all of these people wanted to win. Going to some great games...Nebraska 1998 and 2000, both great games, all the glorious KU beatings, Texas 2006, sorry Meg and Nate. And then when our family (Who, by the way, are probably as big of K-State fans you'll ever meet) brought our horrible curse to the bowl games, which we would drive very, very long distances to watch, and then get to see a different team show up and get their arses handed to them. But during all of those bowl games I would always get the chills. Seeing 45,000 K-State fans at the Cotton Bowl, or 40,000 at the Alamo Bowl, and around 35,000 at the Texas Bowl, I got to witness first hand how much K-State football meant to so many people. I also got to see how these people would react after coming so far to see so little. Needless to say, I learned the true art of cussing at K-State bowl games.

Despite those games, and the outlook of this season so far, I will still support this team as if we were in contention of going to a good bowl game. That right there is called great parenting.
So Wildcat faithful, know this. When all these hippies down here don their burnt orange and sing their fight song (which by the way is to the tune of I've been working on the railroad...found that out last weekend at the bars and made fun of it until the large Texan decided it wasn't funny anymore), yours truly will be purple clad roaming the streets and doing the wabash all by my lonesome...but I know you will all be there in spirit...that meaning with some form of an alcoholic beverage in hand...Go State!