Tag Archives: Cutting

The Things We Do For Love

Full-body hangovers suck. Especially when you didn’t even drink the night before.

I have a full-body hangover of such immense proportions that I beg for the sweet, sweet release of death that will never come, that will always be denied me by an angry and vengeful god.*

And it’s all because I love my little dudes and want them to be happy.

Today, you see, is the last day of Hyper Lad’s spring break. Hyper Lad, unlike his two brothers, loves to get out and do things in the great outdoors. Not just motor sports, but actual activities like, say, for instance, snowboarding.

Yes, snowboarding. It’s like skiing, but for the younger folks. Well, The dead-cat bounce is most important because the cat is, in fact, dead.maybe not necessarily for the young, but at least for those with bones that do not break in a strong wind. Those who can hit the ground and bounce, rather than those who hit the ground with a dead-cat bounce.

Snowboarding can look like one of the most Oh, he flies through the air with the greatest of ease, that daring young dude on his flying snowboard-ine.amazing, elegant bouts of movement when performed by a professional or someone who has practiced or knows what she is doing. Spinning down a half pipe, blowing up the sides and flipping into the air in perfect control of every motion. . . That is the image of the person on a snowboard that springs to mind when dudes think about someone strapping on the single board and hitting the slopes.

I, as should probably be exceedingly obvious by now, am not that person.

I am the person who comes around the corner and into full view of

Crashing on a snowboard hurts. It hurts a lot and, the thing about it, is that it happens all the time.
Not me, but it definitely could be.

the waiting folks in the line for the ski lift, looking good, smoothly shifts from goofy foot to the correct foot and then comes in for a nice cutting stop. . .

and catches the front edge of my snowboard on some slushy slush at the bottom of the slopes and flies in for a massive face plant onto some very hard-packed snow. I ended up with snow inside my goggles and a bruise that runs all up my entire right side of my upper body.

It wasn’t the crash that has me limping, though. That’s just the result of all the snowboarding. It uses very different muscles than does skiing. I’ve skied since injuring my knee and been absolutely fine. I am not fine after snowboarding. Not fine at all.

I groan like a zombie going up stairs, limping the entire way. Going down stairs is even worse. I’m limping and grimacing just walking and almost fell when I tried to get out of bed this morning, and would have landed on my sore, bruised right side if I hadn’t tangled myself in the sheets thrashing in a nightmare of falling.

Hyper Lad, of course, is bouncing around like he’s just been dosed with adrenaline and fitted with rubber in his joints. He’s a happy camper and, being the kind and polite little dude he is, keeps slapping me on the bad shoulder and offering to jump on my back if I want to give him a piggy back ride.

The thing of it is, I almost knew that I would end up like this, but I went ahead and did it anyway. Mostly because Hyper Lad wanted to learn to snowboard and I wanted him to have fun.

There are some who think those are the actions of a stupid dude. I do not know if I can refute that** and keep a straight face.

But that’s okay. I’m having to keep everything else on my body straight so the pain doesn’t incapacitate me.

Yep, it’s the things we do for love. . . that will kill us in the end.

Footnotes & Eratta

* There is a slight possibility that I am engaging in hyperbole for effect and humor. Slight possibility.
** I can, but mostly because I am a contrary son of an individual.

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Cutting In To The Real World

The folks who run Cutco have a rather sweet little deal going.

They’ve managed to tap into a rather energetic, enthusiastic and willing labor pool in order to push their, admittedly pretty darn good, products. With a name like Cutco, you know it’s going to be a — I’m so very sorry for this — sharp product.

It is. A sharp product, that is.

Cutco sells some very sweet knives. They’re advertised as cutting through anything and, as far as I’ve been able to determine, they really do just that. We purchased a set of these knives just after we moved to Charlotte in 1999 and we still have them. They’re still sharp as all get out and they all still work great.

No, I haven’t been paid to shill for Cutco or Vector Marketing, which is the domestic sales arm of Cutco. (Thank you, Wikipedia.) Vector is both a multi-level sales company and a direct marketing company. They recruit through the internet and from flyers and all that jazz, but what I want to talk about is their drive for student work.

Yeah, these are the folks who recruit from high-school seniors and on college campuses across the country. I can’t decide who has it better: the student or Vector/Cutco.

Apparently the student/sales force gets paid by the appointment. That is, if they can get in and make their sales pitch, they get paid. If they actually sell some knives, they get paid more. 1729_p1

Since these are either high-school students or relatively young college students, they’re not known for having friends with a great deal of disposable income, nor a desire to own a complete knife set for their kitchens. If they have kitchens. Which means that the first place most of them head is toward parents of their friends.

All of which might explain why I’ve got knifes coming out my ears. Well, not really. It’s just I keep getting hit up by young student/sales people rather regularly. Apparently I’m a bit of a soft touch. Though I’m getting to be a slightly harder sale these days.

I only now got off the phone with another young dude who went to school with one of my sons. Apparently, Cutco now allows the sales force to make its pitch over the phone as long as the pitch-ee has a high-speed internet connection and can click themselves through the Cutco website.

Gotta say, though, I can’t decide if I like the in-person or the phone pitch better. I mean, the phone pitch means I can do something else while the student is talking, which is good. However, the in-person pitch means I can stare at the student really intently and ask misleading questions which can make the student more than slightly crazy, which is fun. So I guess they both have their upsides.

And the students, good dudes and dudettes all, are doing the best they can with what they’ve got to work with. It’s not their fault the script calls for them to sound like doofi.

Either way, it’s at least 45 minutes I get to hear about the virtues of a never-dull knife. Now if only they could make the same claim about the product pitches.

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School’s Out. . . For Summer!

Yeah, dudes. Today is the last day of school for students and teachers who are part of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg School system.

Which means that Hyper Lad and I are free for the next couple of months.

Well, really, Hyper Lad is free. I’m just sad.

As you might remember, I’ve been working as a Title I Tutor at Awesome Elementary here in Charlotte for the past almost complete school year. And, honestly, I don’t remember when I’ve had a more fun work year.

It was a treat, a joy, an appallingly wonderful experience to interact with these little dudes and dudettes, their teachers and the school in general during this school year. I really had a hard time holding it together over the last week or so as I considered that this might be the last time I see some of them.

The deal is that the funding for my job is from a federal source, which means it’s not the most stable source around. It could have been offset by the state, but it’s cutting more than 400 teacher assistant and tutor positions around the state in the coming school year. Personally, I think that’s extremely short-sighted. They’re exchanging a happier future for a slightly more solvent present, all so they can avoid making the hard choices like antagonizing their major campaign contributors by making the rich pay their fair share.

I’ll get down off my soapbox now. Sorry.


With the funding for my position gone, so am I. Which means I won’t be around to watch as the younger kids keep growing and learning and turning into young men and young women. I won’t get to watch the fourth-graders prepare themselves to become middle schoolers.

I enjoyed working with all of these students, but there are a few that will remain my favorite. These are kids who really worked hard, who had a spark in their eyes, who loved to learn, or learned to love it. These are the kids who had to overcome even more obstacles than did most of the kids at this mostly-poor school.

I watched them overcome so much, and helped as much as I could. And now I’ll not get to see them as they keep working and keep growing.

Oh, I will be back at least a little bit. I mean, I just can’t go cold turkey. But I’ll only be there as a volunteer and not there as a worker or someone who sees them everyday.

Still, I can’t thank the teachers, students and administrators from Awesome Elementary (known in it’s more everyday guise as Huntingtowne Farms Elementary School). I really feel like I should have been paying them over the course of the year. I’ve come to care about them more than I ever thought possible. Come to depend on seeing their smiles and hearing their voices.

And, for me, as of today, they’ll all be gone.

I don’t pretend that any of them will really miss me, or wonder all that much about me come next year, but they will be on my mind. Dwelling in the small space they dug for themselves deep in my heart.

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