May 1, 2006

The Weekend Recap (With Cameras and Pants)

I don't know what it was like in your neck of the woods (sheesh, I sound like Al Roker), but it was a wonderfully gorgeous weekend around these here parts (sheesh, I sound like John Wayne, who is, I believe, the exact opposite of Al Roker). Let's recap, shall we?

As I mentioned on Saturday, I went out and got myself a new toy. Despite the fact that I frequently have to remind myself what SLR stands for, I've wanted one for a while. I threw caution (and money) to the wind, broke down and bought the Nikon D50. I've gotta say, it's pretty darn cool. By the end of the day on Saturday, however, Beth was shooting the middle finger every time I aimed the camera her way and I stopped taking pictures of Mia for fear of blinding her with prolonged exposure to the flash.

Sunday brought the Easter celebration that had to be rescheduled. Mia wore another cute dress (pictures coming soon) and was an absolute angel, playing with everyone and everything despite the fact that she'd had only a crappy nap on the drive over. People, my daughter is the sweetest, most adorable thing on the planet.

Now, those two events do not a weekend make. There was plenty of other stuff, like the fact that Beth and I finally finished off season three of 24 which we started, I believe, before Mia was born. There was a little bit of house hunting, just for fun (damn is it expensive to live here). We also managed to pick up all the cat stuff which depressed me to no end. There was one thing, however, that sucker-punched me in the emotional gut.

There are tons of kids - of all ages - in our neighborhood. It's a great neighborhood for families. On nice evenings, like Saturday, it seems as though the entire neighborhood turns out to hang out. Some kids across the street are into skateboarding, like I was when I was a kid (for the record, I had a kick-ass Vision Gator which I loved but never quite mastered). They've got a ramp and all kinds of other crap. I'm sure it's fun. But it's not fun for us to listen to at 10:00 at night. By the time 10:30 rolled around, I'd had enough. I got out of bed (because, yes, I'm old and I was in bed at 10:00), put on my pants (because no one - not even kids - respects a pantless man and, frankly, I don't want to be known throughout the neighborhood as The Mean Guy With No Pants), marched outside and told them to knock it off. They seemed surprised, like it was unreasonable. But they stopped. I walked back inside, got into bed and turned to Beth. "This sucks," I said. "I just turned into the guy I hated when I was a kid."

Such is life.

Posted by Chris at May 1, 2006 7:11 AM

I can relate to your "Mean Guy" story. I always have to be the "Mean Lady" I have a husband who works unbelievable hours -getting up anywhere from 1 to 2 AM and putting in 14 hour day- so I'm always having to lecture people about calling our home after 8 PM or making ridiculous amounts of unneighborly noise (like Jackass Boatguy, who only checks the engine on his boat after 10 PM on Sundays). Meanwhile, he of the 4 hour night is Mr. Nice Guy, who won't say anything to protect his own precious sleep.

We're forunate enough not to have teenagers in our neighborhood right now, but until last year when our neighbor's youngest went off to college, we were constantly experiencing the joy of her friends flying down our street at 50 mph (we live on a very short cul de sac -I was always waiting for them to hit a tree at the end of the street) with the stereo booming so loud that you'd think the Air Force was running maneuvers on our roof.

So the short comment that I should have left instead of rattling on?

I'm with ya Mean Guy. I've got your back. LOL

Posted by: HR Mommy at May 1, 2006 7:25 AM

I was *maybe* 20 the the first time I was 'Mean old lady'. Honestly, I think a good deal of it has to do with parenthood. It's all about the sleep now!

Posted by: Contrary at May 1, 2006 7:43 AM

We were lucky when I was a kid in that we lived in a cul-de-sac and most everyone tolerated the kids. Our parents made us come in at dark, though, so I guess that's why we never had a mean guy in no pants. However, when I turned 16, a neighbor called and said, "You'd better talk to that boy who drives the white pick up truck and tell him to slow down or I (he said with emphasis) will talk to him FOR you.

Can't wait to see the pictures!

Posted by: Emily at May 1, 2006 7:44 AM

I've turned into the Mean Lady way too many times... I've come to terms with the fact that I've turned into the person I used to hate when I was a kid.

Posted by: amber at May 1, 2006 7:47 AM

I had to go out last night at 9:45 and ask the neighbor boy to please either get off of the 4-wheeler or take it to a friends house, because my kids and I needed to get up early and wanted our sleep.


So see, it's not just you.

Posted by: Alissa at May 1, 2006 7:55 AM

How old were the kids? If you tell me they were under 14 or so, my next question is gonna be, where the hell were the parents? I'm not trying to sound all bitchy and mean, but 10 is kind of late to be out -- even if it is just in the neighborhood. As for feeling old and turning into guys you used to hate, it's the circle of life. Just think, in 20-some years, those kids will be thinking the exact same thing.

Posted by: pea at May 1, 2006 8:08 AM

I'm about *this* close to being the mean old lady to the people down stairs. They start blaring the bass at about 9am. I'm usually still asleep then. Shut up.

Posted by: Autumn at May 1, 2006 8:08 AM

blah. I know what you mean. I've become the "turn down that music I can't hear myself think!" woman.
It sucks. But seriously? With loud music? I can't think! Even my mp3 player is turned up that loud. *sigh*

Posted by: Pamalamadingdong at May 1, 2006 8:24 AM

Yeah I resigned myself to being the cranky neighborhood bitch who will complain about the music or noise a couple years ago. At first I was embarassed but then I realized that these people don't care about me or mine so why should I care about how they view me? Screw 'em. I'm tired and cranky and they're gonna hear it.

Posted by: Nic at May 1, 2006 8:29 AM

Hey don't feel bad...I'm 23 and already called the cops on our 3 neighbors. They have dogs that they like to take outside around 6AM and just let them bark until they let them back inside the house. Needless to say, after notifying the police there is no more barking at 6AM. Sometimes you just gotta do whatcha gotta do.

Posted by: Michelle at May 1, 2006 8:30 AM

I always seem to fly the other way. What's up with that?

When I was a kid, in the summer, we ruled the nights. Of course, times were different then. Our games were for the most part quiet and didn't involve loud music. It was four full blocks of running room for hide-and-seek, red-light, green-light, tag and teepeeing. We could run in the neighbor's backyards, climb their fences, eat any fruit or veggies we found in their garden. Knew all their dogs and cats. Pretty much we ruled the place. When we did play music, it was when we drove out to the lake and parked at a cove where there was no campsites.
We'd lay on spread open sleeping bags, gang of nine or ten and count stars until the wee small hours. Man, I had the best summers, I'm so glad I have those memories.

Posted by: wlfldy at May 1, 2006 8:33 AM

Love the picture of Mia, btw...

Posted by: wlfldy at May 1, 2006 8:34 AM

I'm about to buy the Nikon D50 (the one with the extra lens,) and I'm glad to hear you really like it.

Posted by: Washington Cube at May 1, 2006 8:46 AM

In our neighborhood we always rode our bikes and skateboards & skates in everyone's driveway. Now I see some kid biking through my yard/driveway and it makes me nuts. But I always have pants on when I give them the stinkeye.

Posted by: wordgirl at May 1, 2006 9:13 AM

Hey, I'm only 20 and I stare out the window each time I hear middle school kids outside just to see if they're causing trouble. they never are. they're just walking around... like i did when i was in middle school and didn't have a car

Posted by: Denise at May 1, 2006 9:15 AM

The D50 ROCKS!!! And SO MANY cool accessories (which are ALMOST as good as shoes you know!!)

The mean guy with no pants... HA!! I think it's actually worse to unthinkingly spout something you used to hate to hear one of your PARENTS say!! (You know, the ones you SWORE you'd never say!!)

Posted by: Deepblue at May 1, 2006 9:24 AM

Your new toy kicks ass. Sounds like a mostly good weekend. And I can't wait to see tons of Mia pics.

Posted by: Carrisa at May 1, 2006 9:26 AM

okay, dude. you mean all those shots you were taking before was with an everyday camera, and you JUST got a SLR?! amazed...

and so full of camera envy i can hardly speak...

Posted by: suze at May 1, 2006 9:35 AM

Being mean and cranky is a privilege of getting older. You've worked hard and earned it - enjoy it. And then go take a nap. ;)

Posted by: Traci at May 1, 2006 9:41 AM

how jealous am i??
LOVE that camera.
my dad has the d70 and i use it like mad whenever i go to visit him.

Posted by: ali at May 1, 2006 10:23 AM

Ah, welcome the cranksters club--minus the drug paraphernalia. You know I became a member of that too around 29, but as my son got older I let a lot more go.

I will say that was too late even for a weekend. Children want to have discipline and that goes for teens as well, this boy has no boundaries. Who might be his friend.

Posted by: Michele at May 1, 2006 10:25 AM

Yes, you do have to wear pants to be taken seriously. And I don't think you're mean guy. Sleep is important, and it's not like it was 8:30 or something.

Posted by: bad penguin at May 1, 2006 10:29 AM

hey, it happens to the best of us. i once stuck my head out my apartment door to say "hey... you kids knock that off!"

i was so ashamed of myself

Posted by: jodi at May 1, 2006 11:01 AM

Love those angel eyes!

Posted by: Dolly at May 1, 2006 11:07 AM

Nice camera... and the shots we've seen so far, are really good. Hubby's looking to replace a 35mm film for a digital, since that one died, and he has like close to 3000.00 in lenses and such. Don't remember what the camera is though...

I'm like everyone else... I'm the mean lady. Went off on friends of my daughter one day... Gee... our car was the only one to get egged that year on Moving/Mischief night... Hmm...

Enjoy the new toy, can't wait to see more shots.

Posted by: Karen at May 1, 2006 11:12 AM

Dude, I hated that pantsless guy. At least you can know you're not to that point yet. Oldishness does come in bits though, totally. I've recently taken to, instead of getting out of the way, slowing down ridiculously when someone comes up too fast behind me in the left lane because WHO THE HELL DO THEY THINK THEY ARE?!?!?

Posted by: andy at May 1, 2006 11:40 AM

Dude, I hated that pantsless guy. At least you can know you're not to that point yet. Oldishness does come in bits though, totally. I've recently taken to, instead of getting out of the way, slowing down ridiculously when someone comes up too fast behind me in the left lane because WHO THE HELL DO THEY THINK THEY ARE?!?!?

Posted by: andy at May 1, 2006 11:40 AM

Dude, I hated that pantsless guy. At least you can know you're not to that point yet. Oldishness does come in bits though, totally. I've recently taken to, instead of getting out of the way, slowing down ridiculously when someone comes up too fast behind me in the left lane because WHO THE HELL DO THEY THINK THEY ARE?!?!?

Posted by: andy at May 1, 2006 11:40 AM

OH my GOD, i'm a spaz. Please tell me you can fix that, pants and all?

Posted by: andy at May 1, 2006 11:41 AM

ooOoOOoo... have fun with the SLR. i have a canon myself. you never realize how easy digital is until you try your hand at SLR... of course, that may just be me.

Posted by: b at May 1, 2006 11:50 AM

Such is life, is right and you seem to have a pretty awesome one and yes a very, very adorable daughter.

Posted by: Jenn at May 1, 2006 11:56 AM

I think pea got it right with "the circle of life" (I can just here Hakuna Matata playing in the background). Those who did it to you had the same thought (at least once), and sometime in the future, those kids that you sent packing will have the same thoughts when they eventually do it.

Oh, and I am SOOOOOOOOO jealous on your new toy. Congrats and enjoy it.

Posted by: Latte Man at May 1, 2006 12:13 PM

That moment - when you're the one telling someone to be quiet instead of vice versa - really is a soul crusher. When I realized that I had gone to the other side I was sad for about a minute, and then I was thankful for the peace and quiet so that I could get a good night's sleep. I think it's a fair trade-off.

Posted by: Jessie at May 1, 2006 12:15 PM

well, at least you wore pants. ;)

Posted by: Dawn (webmiztris) at May 1, 2006 12:37 PM

Oooh! Keli and I finished off season 3 of Jack (as we call it), also! Did you nearly pass out by that last scene with Chase and him in the science room of the middle school? Ack... How did Beth take it?

I hated it. And poor Tony! :( heh.... okay okay. It's only a tv show.

Gotta admit that there was some cheering going on in our house when a certain someone got punched in the face, though. I won't say who cheered loudest.

Posted by: Keri at May 1, 2006 2:06 PM

i hated myself for weeks (and still do) the first time i turned into that neighbor who yelled for everyone to quiet down. It sucks, but i suppose it is part of growing up...especially with kids. At least thats what i tell myself so i can sleep at night after telling my neighbor (again) to please turn his music down, its keeping me and my son awake.

Posted by: kristied at May 1, 2006 3:09 PM

Well, you're not like the ending of a Scuby Doo cartoon: "You pesky kids!"

And thank you, God, for wearing pants.

Posted by: kristen at May 1, 2006 4:22 PM

Great pic... We got a D70 last Christmas and we LOVE it... love it.. love it. (SLR = single lens reflex... fyi) Awesome...wait until you need to shoot motion.. LOVE it.

You ain't mean until you sell out your punk rock soul and you call bylaw on the punk band across the street. (Seriously at 11 p.m. at night I didn't want to hear it pounding in my chest... wth bad punk... turns out five other neighbours had complained as well.)


Posted by: Nat at May 1, 2006 8:32 PM

We have a few kids like that in our neighborhood. And actually we now have a peeping Tom -- an autistic boy who likes to walk up to our house and look into our windows. But hey, that's not so bad. I get really uncomfortable when 9-year-old Autistic boy stands out on his front porch at 6 p.m. wearing nothing but his tightie whities...

Posted by: Lisa B at May 1, 2006 11:24 PM

You have my sympathy. I am quickly becoming the "scary mom" on the block, so I feel your pain. ("Scary mom" is inevitable when the neighbor kids reguarly see you in combat boots and BDUs.)

Posted by: Ginny at May 2, 2006 1:02 AM

You're only old if you are always scary-pantless-guy and never at the noisy table when you go out with friends. If you start shushing people your own age, you kow you are in trouble.

That being said, I find myself telling my husband to turn the tv or music down way more often than yelling at neighborhood kids. And with a near-on-year-old I'd yell at just about anyone for an extra hour of uninterrupted sleep.

Posted by: Annie at May 2, 2006 1:24 AM

Ach, I totally know! At the tender age of 32, I wonder how I so quickly became the person who refuses to adopt the "noise" on today's radio stations and will only listen to my old 80's cassettes. And when I hear teenagers speak, I wonder if I ever sound that way. And while I assure myself that I used far less annoying slang, I know that I tell myself a lie.

And if I feel this old, I can't help but wonder how old I seem to those who fall chronologically below me.

Posted by: Amanda Marlaena at May 2, 2006 2:37 AM

Heheh, you're a grown up now Chris! A responsible daddy and yes, to some a mean old guy! :)

We've done some househunting too. We had the same conclusion! I can't believe the city I live in is that expensive. Are you looking to buy a bigger house? More kids on the way? ;)

I'm sorry you had to put away all the cat stuff. I can't imagine how that must have been like. Hugs to you!

Posted by: Sweety at May 2, 2006 3:07 AM

my love... we are going to be talking as I am thinking about the D50 for my birthday!

and I love it, cant wait to see teh finger photos of Beth on Flickr :)

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