Tales Of The Golden Flunky

Okay, this will be one of my bi-monthly rants, so if some – read: most – of you want to ignore this, feel free. Either way, I had to get this off my chest.

So Kyle got his first job Monday. He was bored to tears sitting home during the lockdown and decided it would be in his best interests to take a dip into the shimmering pool of capitalism. He applied for a job at our nearest supermarket at the deli counter.

I am specifically not mentioning the supermarket chain because at least two people there are despicable halfway-humans.

Kyle worked about six hours the first day. One of the guys in the deli section trained him for a few hours to get him used to the machines, slicers, and dealing with customers. It seemed everyone there was nice and helpful, at least during the first day.

Yesterday was his second day, and when he walked into the supermarket at 8am – which is entirely too early for Kyle – there was an older woman at the deli. The trainer from the previous day was too busy to help Kyle. Anyway, as the day went by, the woman refused to help him, and worse, berated and yelled at him for asking questions. Remember, it was Kyle’s second day…

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Would You Please Pass The Jelly?

My family and I have been vacationing at the shore since I was in grade school. Despite being deathly afraid of sharks, I usually spent the entire day in the water.

In my decades of shore attendance, however, I have never seen – or even heard – of something like this.

Kyle was on his boogie board Saturday afternoon, catching some decent waves. I was walking the beach with Princess P, and when we returned to our spot, we saw Kyle wearing a towel, and his bathing suit was on the ground.

I looked at Kyle, and he said, “Try to guess what happened.”

Me, being me, I thought he had a bowel accident. I was wrong. His story was incredible.

“I was riding the boogie board and enjoying the waves, when a wave wiped me out. When I recovered, I felt something in my bathing suit pocket. I touched the pocket and realized a jellyfish slipped in there. So, I freaked out, and slowly walked to our spot, put a towel around me, dropped my bathing suit, and walked to the ocean.”

“When I got to the water, I dropped the bathing suit into the waves, and started moving it back and forth in the water. The jellyfish slipped out – it was one of the stinging ones – and floated away. I haven’t out on my suit since then.”

I asked him if he was stung, and he said, “No. I walked very slowly to the spot, because I thought if I ran it would have gotten me.”

The ocean was filled with jellyfish Sunday afternoon, so Kyle decided he’d stay on land most of the day. Weirdest story I’ve ever heard.

Almost…

Kyle’s first two lacrosse games did not go as well as he would like. Their schedule began with Huntingdon College (AL) and Hendrix College (AR); two very powerful teams. They were outscored in those games by a combined score of 41-3.

Tuesday was a chance to get back on track against New York’s Hilbert College.

The University of Dallas men’s lacrosse team produced a six-goal run in the final 10 minutes of Tuesday’s game versus Hilbert College. Already having surpassed its season total of goals at the start of the last quarter with seven, Dallas (0-3) rallied back with a trio of goals in two minutes and put another three goals from 4:10 to 2:12 left to nip a 14-7 gap to 14-13.

The issue with Kyle’s team isn’t talent; it’s manpower. In lacrosse, each team has ten players on the field at a time. Kyle’s squad has fifteen players on the entire roster, so Kyle plays approximately fifty-five minutes of a sixty-minute game. That’s not an excuse, just a point of reference…

Continue reading “Almost…”

A Programming Note

Mrs. Earp is on Facebook, and she posted this photo of Erik and Kyle at Dover International Speedway in 2011. Erik was 7 and Kyle was 10. It popped up Wednesday on one of those flashbacks, so she sent it to me.

(You can click the photo to embiggen.)

I posted this because I’ll be scarce the next few days. Mrs. Earp and I will be headed to fabulous sunny Texas for the University of Dallas’ Parents Weekend.

I literally cannot wait to land in Dallas – our plane leaves at noon – and it’s quite possible I may stay there, quit my job over the phone, and abandon my house.

Unlike our recruiting visit a year ago, I’m leaving the laptop home, and while I’ll have posts set up for the weekend, I won’t be on much. Between the festivities and the kids’ demand for Texas souvenirs, we’ll be rather busy.

So enjoy your weekend – I know I will – and I’ll be back live Monday. God bless Texas!

True Detective Stories

Work yesterday was fabulous! For the first hour it was just me and one other detective, the previous shift left us with a robbery, an aggravated assault, and a missing person with dementia. So, you know, the usual.

While entering these jobs into the database, I came across a theft from auto report. I usually skim those, since the story is always the same. “Dude-Bro states someone entered his vehicle and took his protein powder, yadda, yadda, yadda.” This one, however, was… different.

While this report did feature a Dude-Bro, the items missing from his vehicle included a high-end camera, two designer watches, a pair of diamond earrings, and – wait for it – $15,000 in cash.

I mean, I don’t want to call the guy a liar, but I can’t think of a way to finish that sentence.

Oh, this is unrelated, but I have a Kyle update. Yesterday as I was driving to work, Kyle sent me this text message:

“For lunch they had… chicken fried steak. UD wins!”

When I asked him if it was good, he replied, “Surprisingly, it was very good.” The kid is practically a Texan already.

He’s Officially On His Own

Mrs. Earp arrived home yesterday at 6pm, none the worse for wear. Apparently it’s hot in Texas in August. She claims she didn’t cry when she left Kyle at his dorm, but I’m suspicious of that.

Anyway, here’s a summary of what went on during Kyle’s first few days as a college man. (You can click the photos – like the one of Kyle at the Tower – to embiggen.)

Kyle’s roommates are from Texas and Massachusetts. They get along well, and are both wicked smaht, but they’re homebodies. Kyle spent most of the 12-14 hour daily festivities at the many locations on campus, while his roomies stayed in the dorm. That’s not a shot at them – they’re very nice – but Kyle is a social butterfly.

Kyle had to get a key chain for his dorm key, so he decided on the one below. Apparently, the Lone Star spins; a feature which made Kyle very happy.

Kyle in his ridiculously small dorm room. There are three students living there, and it barely has enough room for two. Next year he moves into the newer, larger dorms, so it’s a temporary problem.

Notice the Thin Blue Line flag above. He asked for one as a graduation present, along with the one below… Because Texas is freakin’ awesome!

This is the Tower, the centerpiece of the campus. During some events, the students split into smaller groups. Every group had a funny name. Kyle’s was “Scholars With No Dollars.” Julia liked the female group, “The Towerpuff Girls.”

During lunch Saturday, Mrs. Earp and Kyle walked into the cafeteria, and Kyle was flagged down by a table of girls. He dumped Mrs. Earp and walked over to eat with the hotties. I don’t blame him.

Besides his lacrosse teammates, he is making many, many friends, both men and women. He seems to be more outgoing than he was in high school, which is a good thing. Later Saturday, they attended a church service in the gym. Mrs. Earp said most of the others were dressed in Sunday best, while my family was dressed, um, comfortably. At one point, it came to a part where you kneel, and Kyle figured they would sit, because there were no kneelers. Most of the Texas people knelt on the floor. Mrs. Earp muttered, “You’ve gotta be kidding me.”

Now maybe my Texas friends can answer this. I know it’s Texas, but is it really like that in most churches? For a northeastern guy, it’s, well, different.

Kyle sent me a text string Friday night, and complained most of the people at Dallas were “much smarter than me.” He seemed really down, and I did my best to reassure him. College is scary, but he’s a hard worker, and will do just fine. I saw very little sleep Friday night, stressing about how he was feeling. On Saturday, Mrs. Earp said he was much better, and at one point said, “You know I’ll be fine. You don’t have to worry.”

We’re parents. We worry from cradle to our grave. It’s our job. That said, I think he’ll be okay there. He is totally in love with Texas, UD, and the people. Plus, his home lacrosse schedule is nowhere near as tough as last year’s.

Well, They Made It

Sorry for the disappearing act yesterday. It was a stressful twenty-four hours.

Kyle and Mrs. Earp landed safely in Dallas yesterday at 3pm. Traffic getting to the airport was awful, and it took me over an hour to get them to the terminal. (Rush hour in Philly begins at 6am and ends at noon.)

Southwest is still our favorite airline.

After packing the Family Truckster, the kids said goodbyes. Kyle hugged everyone, and, as predicted, Julia was the most emotional. She left this for Kyle, hidden in his laptop bag….

Then this was inside.

Today is move-in day, so they’ll be busy sitting up the room, meeting his roommates – one from Texas, one from Massachusetts – and Kyle may meet his lacrosse coach as well. The parent-student orientation is Friday and Saturday, then Mrs. Earp comes home Sunday – Party at my house this weekend! Monday will greet Kyle with concussion protocol tests, student-athlete orientation, and checking out the babes.

On Tuesday he will receive his work-study assignment – and classes begin Wednesday.

Counting Down…

Oct. 28, 2018; Denton, TX; North Texas defeated Rice 41-17 at Apogee Stadium. (Mandatory Credit: Dominic Ceraldi)

I just wanted to let everyone know the rest of the week will be a juggernaut of stress and excitement.

Mrs. Earp will be taking Kyle to Dallas for orientation Thursday, and I will be Mr. Mom from Thursday through Sunday. (I had to take off three days from work, but it was unavoidable.) I’ll be driving them to the airport – jealously – then back to the Earp Ranch to run things and make sure the kids aren’t eating sugar and flour for dinner.

Not that my meals would be any better… or worse.

For his part, Kyle is handling this pretty well. I think he’s both scared and excited, as most of us were, but I’m sure he’ll do fine. His one roommate is from Texas and is majoring in Physics. The other is from Massachusetts, and he, like Kyle, is a Boston Bruins. I guess Kyle will have a Philly/Boston/Texas accent in four years.

I’ll be posting all week, but my commenting and responses may be spotty at best. I’m writing this Monday night and there are still a ton of things to do, and I just emailed all the medical paperwork for lacrosse.

Oh, and regular readers know Kyle isn’t going to the University of North Texas, but this girl was really stunning, so there ya go.

Busy Weekend

I realize not many people will be headed here on Memorial Day – hell, I’ll barely be around – but I wanted to explain why I’ve been scarce this weekend. Last weekend, we bought tickets to see the Philadelphia Union soccer game. We haven’t been there in a year or two, and Kyle and Erik really wanted to go. Well, we were in luck, because the Union had a buy tickets, get another game’s tickets free deal.

Talen Energy Stadium – above – is gorgeous, and a terrific soccer venue. Sadly, the Union lost Saturday night, but it was Dollar Dog Night, so while the loss was not fun, our stomachs were full. (The Union are still in second place in the east.)

This weekend, the NCAA Men’s Lacrosse Finals are back in Philadelphia. (They’re here in 2020 as well.) We never miss the lax championships when they’re in Philly, and we spent Sunday seeing the Division II and Division III title games. Before that, however, we attended Fan Fest, where we had some really cool opportunities.

Like, say, getting our pictures taken with the NCAA Division I Lacrosse Championship trophy.

The boy on the far left is Jake; one of Kyle’s oldest friends, and a former lacrosse player. I considered hugging and kissing the trophy, but I didn’t want to be brutally beaten. There’s more below the fold…

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Senior Prom 2019

As Kyle closes the book on high school, he had one more social event to take in before he heads southwest: the senior prom. The prom was held at The Water Works, which is on the banks of the Schuylkill River near the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

As with the freshman dance and the junior prom, Kyle asked a friend to go with him. We’ll call her “J,” because she’s quiet and reserved. Kyle and J met each other in grade school and remained friends afterward.

J has been to our house often, usually while Kyle’s male friends are over, when she needs to “get away” from her girlfriends. So, she’ll hang out, play air hockey – usually besting Kyle – and watch TV. She is arguably the nicest girl you would ever want to meet. Good kid, good family…

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