Saturday, April 26, 2008

On Hanging in There

I've been doing a lot of thinking these past few days about the notion of optimism and yesterday's post may have betrayed my natural inclinations on the subject.

So it was good therapy yesterday to follow up on a tip that I caught reading Sports Illustrated in the waiting room of my doctor's office. When I got back to the house, I retrieved a bookstore gift card from last Christmas and purchased The 33-Year-Old Rookie. By the end of the afternoon, I'd finished it.

If the films Bull Durham or The Rookie resonated with you at all, I'd recommend this story without hesitation. Chris Coste (pronounced "Coast") spent 11 years in baseball's minor leagues. Normally a player who hasn't made the major leagues after 5 or 6 years in the minors starts looking at other career paths.

There are several refreshing aspects to this book. One is that Chris wrote it without the help of a ghostwriter. He also clearly appreciates how fortunate he is to play baseball for a living. He has faith in his ability, but he seems to do so without ego. And while baseball locker rooms and dugouts are certainly not repositories of good taste and polite conversation, Chris does a good job of keeping the vulgarities to a minimum without excessively sanitizing the atmosphere. I'm encouraging my 11-year-old son to read it.

And even though Chris doesn't play for the Angels, or even the Dodgers, I'll be rooting for him.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Hoping Against Hope

This "demotivational poster" from one of my favorite web sites pretty much describes the frame of mind that I'm trying to fend off for the moment.

Last Wednesday evening, Amy and I (along with my Father who came along to lend moral support) showed up to the City of Fullerton's Planning Commission meeting ready to clear the final hurdle to get our remodel project off the ground. The Planning Department's staff report recommended in favor of granting our request, so things were looking good. 

Okay, we showed up…too bad the commissioners didn't. Well, 3 of the 7 did, but four were needed for the necessary quorum to have a public meeting. So our item is continued to the next regularly-scheduled meeting on May 14, when the Amerige Court project, a 9-story monstrosity to be built immediately behind the site of my former studio in downtown Fullerton, will also be before the commission. That is sure to bring an angry mob of citizens to the council chambers to witness our little mini-drama.

In the words of Lloyd Bridges in the film Airplane, "I picked a bad week to stop sniffing glue!"

Monday, April 14, 2008

John's Fundraising Hair Raiser

The boy did something remarkable this past Sunday. He's been growing his hair for the past two years. Perhaps the notion entered his head when his sister donated her long brown hair to Locks of Love with several of her sixth grade friends. He's two years younger and now it became his time and for the past couple months he's been looking forward to the day when his hair reached the necessary 10" in length for it to qualify as a donation.

Before going to church, his Mom put it up into 24 ponytails and he went to church like that. The kids in the youth group were having a fundraiser immediately after the service to to raise donations for the Fullerton CROP Walk coming up on April 27. John managed to make his donation do double duty. He sold opportunities to cut off a ponytail for a suggested $1.00 donation, although the total reached $103 after all 24 were snipped off. A No. 2 buzz completed the job immediately after lunch.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Progress of Sorts

After a series of setbacks, we got our first sign of things headed in the right direction today. There were notices posted in the front and postcards in our (and our neighbors') mailboxes giving official notice of the hearing of our case before the Planning Commission.

I can't imagine that anyone would show up and actually object to our improving our house, not to mention the neighborhood.

"A request for a Variance to construct a 723 sq ft habitable addition (1st floor 195 sq. ft.; 2nd floor 533 sq. ft.) including two (2) new bedrooms on a triangularly shaped lot approximately 3,175 sq. ft. in area. The project proposes to provide approximately 746 sq. ft. of open space (a 25% reduction of the required 1,000 sq. ft.) and have a floor area ratio of .54 (an 8% increase of the maximum floor area ratio of .50) on property located at 700 N Hall, at the eastern side of the intersection of Grove Place and Hall Avenue, abutting the Fullerton Creek Channel."