Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Celebrate Good Times, Come ON!

It is official!

My Mukor's company finally got funding to begin making a video game. Woo-hoo! After a year and a half of no salary, he and his fellow partners can spike the football! They did it!!

The amazing part is that they did it during a time when the economy is through the floor. Video games are actually doing well during this recession, but that didn't mean publishers were willing to hand over money to new, unproven developers. But, the truth is, the talent at this company can not be denied, and many publishers took notice.

So, CONGRATULATIONS to The Workshop for taking the risk, working bloody hard, and making their dreams a reality.

I can't wait to blog about the release of their first game!!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Disneyland Burned Down

The title of this blog comes from the SNL skit "Deep Thoughts by Jack Handy":

"One thing kids like is to be tricked. For instance, I was going to take my little nephew to DisneyLand, but instead I drove him to an old burned-out warehouse. "Oh, no," I said, "DisneyLand burned down." He cried and cried, but I think that deep down he thought it was a pretty good joke. I started to drive over to the real DisneyLand, but it was getting pretty late."

Man alive, that's funny! However, today we had our own Disneyland burned down moment, of sorts.

We have lived in southern California for the entirety of the children's lives, and we have not been to Disneyland the past year (or is it "passed" year... hmm... oh bother). Considering our location, our children's ages, and our propensity for play, this gap is EGREGIOUS!

About a month ago, LittleMan and BoopaLoop wanted to have a ditch day from school. I allow one ditch day per year until Middle School when I might upgrade it to once a semester. I told the children that I was okay with them ditching school that day, but that meant that we wouldn't be able to go to Disneyland in February.

The kids' changed their minds.

The countdown to Disneyland began. One month until Disneyland! Three weeks until Disneyland! ... and so the countdown continued until today. We were to go to Disneyland today. It was a Tuesday (the perfect day to go to a tourist-heavy location - a theory I will explain in a later blog), and My Mukor was able to take the day off. Perfect!

Tuesday, February 24th arrived... and BoopaLoop has a fever! Oh, the sky has fallen! Dogs and cats living together - mass hysteria!! Needless to say, LittleMan handled it quite maturely. He only pouted about it for a few minutes and composed a song about the horror that is school. It was quite lovely. BoopaLoop handled it appropriately. She cried and got lots of snuggles from Mommy.

We have decided to postpone our Disneyland trip until next week. The forecast for next Tuesday's weather is likelihood of showers? 80%. Nice.

Monday, February 23, 2009

I don't want to marry

LittleMan and I were on our way to pick up BoopaLoop from pre-school on Friday when LittleMan made this announcement.

LittleMan - I don't want to get married.

Me - Well... that's a good thing since you are too young to be married. You're only 6.

LittleMan - [Exasperated] Nooo, mom. I mean even when I get old and grow'd up. I don't want to be married.

Me - [Not that concerned about his announcement, but I was curious] Oh. Why?

LittleMan - I don't want to yell at someone all the time.

Me - [?!?!?!?!?!] Uh... [!?!?!?!?!?!] Do you think Mommy and Daddy yell all the time?

LittleMan - [Distracted] Yeah...

Me - Really?! [!?!?!?!?!?!?]

LittleMan - [Returning his focus to me] Uh... [thinking about it] well, my friend Andrew said that he didn't want to get married since his parents yell all the time.

Me - [Oh boy!] Well, you have heard Mommy and Daddy argue before, right?

LittleMan - Yeah.

Me - But we always say we are sorry and that we love each other afterwards, right?

LittleMan - [Grinning] Yeah.

Me - [Grinning back] Well, when people who love each other live together arguing is part of it, but you learn how to argue to not hurt each other but to talk about your differences.

LittleMan - [Getting bored] Yeah...

I definitely lost him at this point in the conversation, but it got me thinking about My Mukor and I. Yes, we argue, kiss, laugh, play and all other manner of things in front of the kids, but I was paranoid that we were showing too much disagreement in front of them. I couldn't imagine that we were, but I felt like we were on notice.

The other question is do I tell Andrew's mom what LittleMan said? If it were reversed, would I want to know? I'd like to think that the answer to question two is a resounding YES, but...

Should I tell her?

Oh, by the way, I just now asked LittleMan again about marriage:

Me - Do you still feel like Mommy and Daddy yell all the time?

LittleMan - Yeah.

Me - [WOW - this is brutal] When was the last time you heard us yell?

LittleMan - It was a while ago, but I still don't want to get married.

Me - When Mommy and Daddy argue, how would you like us to fix it?

LittleMan - Well, maybe you can go in a pattern.

Me - [??]

LittleMan - You know, you say a grievance-es and then Daddy.

Me - Huh, that's a good idea, honey. I'll talk to Daddy about it.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Follow Up

Every so often, I like to update my friends and family on what happened after I blogged about something.  So, here are five previous blogs I did that I'd like to update you all on.

Birthdays And Such (10/13/2008): I was at this time visiting with AllThingsBD's family when I turned the ripe old age of 37. (I'm 37 right?... 1971-2009... uh... not yet October, so yeah 37!) I had mentioned in this blog entry how I have a tendency to forget gift cards sitting in my purse. Well, I'm happy to say that I joyfully used the iTunes and Starbucks gift cards immediately! However, I still have my $100 gift card to Bed, Bath and Beyond sitting in my purse. I know! I'm working on it...

Imaginary Play (10/21/2008): This blog was an example of the kind of imaginary play my children engage in with myself and My Mukor. And now, 4 months later, we are reaping the costs of it. BoopaLoop is all about being silly during pretend play. She will turn anything into silliness. This, of course, has prompted the following mantra from me, "There is a time to be silly and a time to be serious. Right now, I need you to be serious."

Of Not-So-Sound Mind (11/03/2008): I remember this blog like it was yesterday. I believe all moms experience this guilt - I have infected the world with my or my children's illness, and God will punish me!! Fortunately for me, I didn't infect any of the ladies or their children at this playdate. In fact, I don't remember infecting my family - and THAT is quite a feat. But still the battle between keeping your children at home and letting them play with others when showing signs of illness is still being waged. I will still judge you if you get my children sick, though.

Just Let It Go (11/04/2008): Ah... the obsession with my children's schooling - yes, I remember those days. I'm not worried about it much anymore, and I believe that has everything to do with the fact that LittleMan is well into his 2nd Kindergarten year. I think I was still stressing about my decision to repeat him in Kindergarten that got me all worked up over this issue to begin with. Now that he seems to be exactly where he needs to be, and he seems to be "getting" things this time around that didn't click for him the first year, I am at peace with it all.

Radiation, Lasagna, and Astronauts (11/10/2008): It wasn't until I re-read this entry that I realized that my children now answer each other's questions in this crazy fashion. If BoopaLoop wants to know why something is a way it is, LittleMan will say something like, "Because the spaceships shot a laser into it making it purple" or whatever it was that BoopaLoop asked. Part of me thinks it is awesome they are trying to come up with creative solutions for these questions, but another part of me thinks we need to invest in some excellent Encyclopedias.

Well, that concludes this session of "Follow-Up". It will probably be another 4 months before the next one.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Rainy Days... Continued

I'm amazed at the power of blog dumping. I couldn't get The Carpenter's song "Rainy Days and Mondays" out of my head, and for some reason posting the video on yesterday's blog purged the song from my mind.

Of course mentioning it again here might cause the music loop to restart, but let me go on as if that's not going to happen.

Thanks to this odyssey into "Purgeville" yesterday, I was unable to stay focused on the topic at hand: running in the rain. In fact, I don't think I even mentioned running until the end of the blog.

So, before I ramble on about thoughts in my head that have nothing to do with running in the rain, without further adieu I bring you today's blog.

(Geez, what a bunch of babble already. It is like I swallowed a philosophy book or something.)

I try to run with my dog at least 4 times a week... or 3 times if I need a sleep-in day... or 2 times if one of my kids has a rough night... or one time if I decide to do some housework. It is all about my priorities.

This week my priority is exercise (unless one of the other conditions listed above changes the aforementioned priority).

I was convinced that I would open the door to a downpour outside. The weather report had mentioned that we were in for 3 rain storms coming our way - back to back. The first two storms were fairly uneventful. We had some wind, we had some rain, and we had a little bit of hail. There were moments that the rain was so intense it reminded me of Texas weather.

However, when I opened the door outside to go running yesterday, the ground was wet, but the sky was mostly clear. Sure there were a few grayish clouds in the sky, but they were small and moving overhead quickly.

I grabbed the dog, hooked on his leash, and outside we went! The first 5 minutes of the walk are always the same. If you are a dog owner, you know that there are certain spots in your neighborhood your dog MUST STOP and sniff or apparently the world will collapse.

There is a lot of leash pulling by me during this time.

After we've walked a little and warmed our muscles up, we begin running. My dog is from a shelter, but I don't think that has anything to do with his stubborn and anxious personality. If there is one item that is suddenly present on the sidewalk or near it that wasn't there before, my dog will treat it like it is a ferocious beast.

One time there was a bunch of temporary NO PARKING signs that lined up our street, and I thought my dog was going to lose all of his hair. We had to stop at each sign to verify that it was in fact NOT a ferocious beast before he would relax. Why he wasn't able to extrapolate that if one sign isn't a ferocious beast then they ALL were NOT ferocious beasts, I will never know.

The other thing that freaks out my dog during our run is if someone's automatic sprinkler system turns on or off. I think it has something to do with the hissing noise they make before water is present that freaks him out. There's really nothing I can do about that. I can't have him sniff the sprinkler, so I try to reassure him that the sprinkler is in fact NOT a ferocious beast.

This solution is sometimes successful.

Now, back to yesterday morning's run. We were having a great time - no added signs, no sprinklers turning on or off, and certainly no other items that could have been mistaken for a ferocious beast.

Then it started to rain.

Well, that was pretty funny. My dog actually slowed his running pace to look up at me. His expression seemed to say, "Why are we running through this sprinkler system?" I had to give his leash a tug or two to keep him moving. Then, the sky opened up and the pleasant drizzle turned into a downpour, and we were immediately drenched.

My dog stopped looking at me. He stopped slowing down. In fact, he stopped noticing anything around him after that. We had the most pleasant run ever because he was so focused on how miserable he was in the rain he didn't have the attention span to notice our surroundings.

I hate to say it, but I had THE BEST RUN EVER that day. Maybe I should carry around a spritz bottle to use on him...?

Poor puppy.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Rainy Days and Mondays Always Get Me...

The ending word to this Carpenters title is ... "down". But I would have to disagree. At least today. However, I have that song in my head now, so I will torture you with it as well for a moment.

And now the title looks dumb since today isn't Monday.  I just realized that.  Oh well.

I once saw an interview with Olivia Newton-John (one of my other childhood idols) where she mentioned that Karen Carpenter had perfect pitch.  Can you imagine singing any song you want and being able to hit each note perfectly? I never knew that about Karen, and I never appreciated the ability to hit a note perfectly until I started playing Rock Band.

... And mention of Olivia Newton-John has caused me to post one of my favorite songs by her.

Huh... and now after hearing her sing "Magic" live, I can see why she would appreciate the ability to sing pitch perfect. No offense, Olivia.

This wasn't what I wanted to blog about.

But, I'll save my experience jogging with my puppy Travis (who turned 8 on the 10th) in the downpour for tomorrow.

Monday, February 16, 2009

What's in a name? (TAG)

MamaDB tagged me on Facebook for this adventure into all things NAME, so I decided to share it with you all rather than 40 close friends and 4 MILLION of my not-so-close friends on Facebook.  Don't you feel lucky?

And, I would like to point out, that I'm actually doing this rather than saying that I'll do it and then... NOT.  Ahem.

Tiffany Ann Tolman

WITNESS PROTECTION NAME (mother and father's middle names)
Jane Stanley

NASCAR NAME (first name of your mother's dad, father's dad, add "Jr" to the end)
William No Idea Jr. (sad to admit that I don't know my Grandfather's name)

STAR WARS NAME (the first 3 letters of your last name, first 2 letters of your first name)

SPY NAME (favorite color, favorite animal)
Sky Blue Eagle

SOAP OPERA NAME (middle name, town where you were born)
Ann Williamsport

SUPERHERO NAME (2nd fav color, fav drink, add "THE" to the beginning)
The Yellow Diet Pepsi

FLY NAME (first 2 letters of 1st name, last 2 letters of your last name)

STREET NAME (fav ice cream flavor, fav cookie)
Butter Pecan Chocolate Chip

SKANK NAME (1st pet's name, street you grew up on)
Patches Calle Marana

GANGSTA NAME (first 3 letters of first name plus 'izzle')

GOTH NAME (Black, and the name of one of your pets)
Black Travis

STRIPPER NAME (first pet and name of car you drive)
Patches Odyssey

HIPPY NAME (name of your fav perfume/cologne, fav candy)
Inis Skor

MAFIA NAME (Dad's first name, animal that scares you, add "da" in between the two)
Tom da Hornet

NATIVE AMERICAN NAME (adjective that describes you, problem body part, add "Chief" to the beginning)
Chief Bouncy Thighs

SAINT NAME (Start with "Saint", Grandma's first name, fav alcohol)
St. Jane Champagne

EASTERN EUROPEAN HOCKEY PLAYER NAME (Your first name, middle name adding "ski" to the end)
Tiffany Annski

Well, most of my answers stink, but it was fun trying to remember this stuff. Now, all you have to do is call my acccountant, and you'll have all the information you ever need to access my personal files. Yeah right...

Thursday, February 12, 2009

That's What Friends Are For

I have been struggling to keep the house livable (forget hospitable) ever since we decided to save money by doing without a housekeeper. That was back in November 2008.

I am still mourning the loss.

As you know from earlier blogs, I am not a housekeeping guru. In fact, calling me a "homemaker" might be a stretch, but thanks to MamaDB and her infinite wisdom, we have come up with a plan that helps keep our heads above the chaos the children bring - and helps me retain my "Homemaker" status.

We trade off cleaning each other's house.

I'm not talking about her coming over to my house while I go to the spa or anything like that. Every Thursday, we clean her house or my house, and then the following Thursday we swap. And what does the visiting helper receive as thanks (aside from getting the same treatment at their own home the following week)? A home cooked meal for both families!

It is the best system. I actually look forward to Thursdays. I look forward to cleaning! CLEANING!! It is amazing what I'm willing to tackle when I have friend to complain, joke and chat with.

For me, the best part is that there is no set plan as to what we will be cleaning. One time I arrived at her house to find that she needed help assembling a bedroom dresser. She came over at my house, and I put her to work reorganizing my medicine cabinet. It feels like I'm doing my Spring cleaning in tiny doses spread out over time with a friend who makes the whole experience enjoyable!

And I don't feel overwhelmed.

I'm surprised at how much I enjoy reorganizing and cleaning her house. I think it has a lot to do with whom I'm cleaning with. MamaDB allows me to bully her into throwing stuff that needs to be tossed away, and we laugh at how clumsy we can be at times. And after a busy day of cleaning, I feel a huge sense of accomplishment.

The only rule we have is that neither one of us want to see or touch the dirty underwear. Everything else is fair game. We begin at 10 AM and go until 12:30 PM at which point I leave to pick up my daughter from preschool. We then relax at our respective homes until 3:30 PM after which we get together again to finish the cleaning or project we started until it is time to make dinner.

I then go to sleep feeling exhausted and satisfied with my day. It amazes me how much of motherhood is a marathon and not a sprint. I don't feel like I've accomplished much at the end of the day if all I have done is taken care of the children. I think any feelings of accomplishment regarding mothering will come when my children are older.

Right, Mom?  I mean, how old are you, and have you felt that accomplished feeling yet?

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Eye Of The Tiger Supernatural Style

My Mukor is a huge fan of science fiction. We've seen all of the good ones on television (Battlestar Galactica) and the bad ones (Space Above and Beyond). I usually sneer and scoff at whatever show he is torturing me with, but every now and then a show will win me over.

One such show is Supernatural.

This show is geared towards teenage and college-aged girls. The lead actors are nice looking young men (they are 15 years my junior), and they rescue the world from the ultimate evil: demons.

One of the lead characters has a fondness for rock'n'roll music from the 70's and 80's. He drives an Impala, and his music blares whenever he and his brother (the other lead actor) are in the car. In a recent episode, they added an out-take to the end of the episode that had me laughing in delight. The brother who owns the car has been given the unnatural fear of EVERYTHING. He tries to battle the growing fears in this episode by staying in his car listening to his tunes. Well, instead of doing what the script asked for (which was to lay down in the car), the actor decided to do some improvisation.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

"Nothing to see here! Please disperse!"

On Wednesday, January 29th at 7:45 AM, I was driving through most of Los Angeles to get to a tennis match. Our tennis team tries to arrive at the home courts by 8:45 AM to warm up before the match. Usually, my trips are uneventful except for the usual road rage drivers and traffic jams. However, the morning of the 29th was chaos.

There is a major freeway interchange that I and about 3 million of my closest friends in Los Angeles use to get to everywhere ELSE within the Los Angeles area - the 405 N/S and 10 E/W Interchange. As I was driving along, I tried to keep my eyes on the road and on the cars ahead of me - but that morning I noticed that there was some kind of temporary sign that was flashing information. I did NOT notice it in time to read any of the message, however, but I tried to be idiotically optimistic that the information wasn't too important.

Traffic was slow, as to be expected during commuter hours, so I moved over a lane. As I transitioned into the new lane, I realized I had just missed yet another temporary sign warning the world at large of something up ahead. In my defense, these signs were about as high up as my minivan cab, so I know that the cars in the lanes to my left had no idea there was even a sign erected must less able to read the information on it. So, I convinced myself that the information wasn't that important or they would have made the signs bigger, right?

WRONG! As I approached the off-ramp to the 10 East, I finally realized what all of the signs were saying - the 10 East was closed. Okay... that's a problem. I was forced to take the 10 West, which was in the opposite direction I wanted to go in, but I figured I could just turn around at some point and head East.

NOPE!  As I traveled on the 10 West, I saw that the CHP had diverted all East bound traffic on the 10 to the 405! Yikes, this was worse than I realized. I took the first exit off of the 10 West as I decided to take side streets to get where I needed to go. Unfortunately, everyone and their mother had this great idea and were doing the exact same thing. Thank goodness I left so early. I arrived at the tennis courts at 8:50 AM - a little over an hour on the road to go 18 miles to my destination. Whew!

After the match, I turned on the radio and discovered that this is what happened.

Listening to the news report made me realize how lucky I was that the worst thing that happened to me that morning was being delayed to my tennis match 5 whole minutes.  Oh, woe is me.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Such a generous child... or not

Over the weekend, LittleMan decided to experiment with the scissors, glue and printer paper. Being a non-crafty-type mom myself, I did the best thing I could do for him - I got out of his way.

After about 30 minutes of snipping and mumbling, I wandered into the dining room to see how Little Man was doing.

Me - How's it going?

LittleMan - Good!

BoopaLoop - Good! [She was in charge of glue. Fortunately, she actually got some glue on the paper.]

Me - Wow!  What are you guys making?

LittleMan - [Trying to fold a piece of paper into eighths] Letters. Mom, I want to mail these to the children that are starving in another country.

Me - [?!?!?!] Uh... okay honey, but we have to find an address for those children.

I know! I'm a dunderhead!! I was so perplexed by my kids' behavior that I didn't even congratulate them on being generous or for thinking of others. I was completely flummoxed.

BoopaLoop - We put our coins in the paper.

Me - You did! Wow! May I see?

I picked up one of the four "letters" that had been glued together (that's right GLUED!), and I shook it. Sure enough, there was one or two coins rattling around inside.

Me - Well, you know another way you can send money to kids that really need it?

Both kids stop what they are doing to look at me.

Me - We can give your coins to a charity or to people who do nothing more than make certain your money gets to the children that really, really need it.

The kids follow me to my computer.  I look up charities on the American Institute of Philanthropy. My first thought was to donate to Compassion International, but I wanted to check on the charity watchdog site first to see which charities were well run. Compassion was given an A-, but there was another charity that expanded their support to more than just young children. At the Christian Foundation for Children and Aging, we could instead pick a teenager or elder person to sponsor, and they received an A+.

However, the whole point of this was to have my children pick who they wanted to help, so they picked to sponsor a child. So, for $30 a month, we are now sponsoring a child somewhere.

Me - Okay, that's it!  We will receive a letter from this charity letting us know who the child is we are sponsoring. And, when we pay them money every month, Mommy and Daddy will take out some of your money from the piggybank! You'll be helping this child too!

BoopaLoop - [Got bored half way through my Internet search]

LittleMan - [Walking away] I don't want to do it. I've changed my mind.

Rats, I knew I should have just mailed the glued letters to my mom.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Crazy Restaurant Guy

In our infinite wisdom, My Mukor and I decided to go to a popular restaurant on a Saturday night in Los Angeles. For those of you unfamiliar with the craziness that is Los Angeles, on Friday and Saturday nights most popluar restaurants will have a wait time of 30 - 45 minutes before a table is available for 4. There are some restaurants that have an even longer wait.

Having lived in Los Angeles for some time, we have learned a few short cuts that shave five or ten minutes from the wait time. One of these short cuts is what we call the bail-and-park. The bail-and-park is where one adult dives out of the moving vehicle to put your party's name on the restaurant waiting list while the other adult parks the car.

I'm usually the designated "bailer" while My Mukor is the "parker".

After I had given our name to the hostess of the restaurant, I took the fancy pager (estimated wait time: 15 minutes) and stood next to the bar to watch the local news playing on one of the huge televisions.

Suddenly, I heard a voice behind me...

Random Guy: Why, hello! [Touched my shoulder]

Me: Hi! [With exuberance]

This guy looked vaguely familiar, but I couldn't place him. However, his greeting reminded me of how my former coworkers greeted me, so I figured it was someone from there.

Instead of hugging this guy, as I would have almost any of my former coworkers, I tapped him on the chest with my hand.

I don't know why I did that.

My only excuse is that it seemed like a fairly benign greeting assuming this was I guy I knew and just couldn't immediately place. As it turns out, when the guy smiled after I tapped him on the chest, I really, honestly, and truly had NO IDEA who this guy was.

Random Guy: [About to give me a hug before seeing the look of "Who the heck are you?" on my face, but he was still smiling] Karen?

Me: [Smiling back] Nope.

Random Guy: Are you... [sure? was what he was about to say - like I was a blind date who suddenly decided to play a cruel joke or something on him]

Me: [Before the guy could embarrass himself further by completing his suspicious question, I said] I haven't seen any other ladies hanging around here. You should try the bar.

Random Guy: [Looking completely confused] Oh... yeah, thanks.

He walked away while I was battling complete mortification. I TOUCHED the guy for crying out loud in a familiar and friendly way! On the CHEST!! Oh, shoot me now.

Meantime, My Mukor and kiddos hadn't yet entered the restaurant. My pager buzzed. Our table was now available.

As the hostest walked me to our table, I noticed Random Guy walking back to the entrance of the restaurant scanning the bar and looking completely lost and confused.

To make a long story short (too late), I waved to my family as they arrived, and I proceeded to tell My Mukor all about what happened. He, of course, thought it was hilarious.

Later I saw Random Guy at a table for 12 people celebrating a birthday. He seemed to know everyone there, so what is the deal?

Is Karen his blind date to a birthday party?

I dunno, but it was weird.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Domestic dispute

About a week ago, I was getting ready to play in a doubles tennis match when two of the ladies declared their need to use the restroom before we played. This is a fairly common occurance before matches; however, I refuse to engage in this ritual. I am not a lemming, darn it!

Anyway, while myself and the other lady were waiting for the other two to return, we heard a man shouting. I couldn't tell where the shouting was coming from, but my first guess was that someone was experiencing EXTREME road rage. As the shouting continued, I rolled my eyes more and more convinced that this person was just venting.

I walked over to the water fountain to fill up my water cup when my heart dropped at the sounds that immediately followed the shouting. It was the sound of leather or flesh pounding on flesh, and after each whack came a terrifying "YELP!"

There were about 6 or 7 of these whacks, and each YELP got more shrill and terrifying.

I asked to borrow the other lady's cell phone, so I could call 911. The operator greeted me, and I explained that I was reporting a potential domestic abuse. No, I have no idea where the incident happened. No, I can't see anything. No, I don't know if the victim was a person or an animal.

I felt impotent.

As I am typing this, I can remember the feeling of my heart dropping into my stomach. Dread. Anger. Helplessness. These are not pleasant feelings. There was nothing more I could do.

When the other two ladies returned, we began our match. We were about 1/2 way through the 4th game, when we noticed the LAPD helicopter circling above our heads. This is the officer they sent?

I couldn't tell for certain if this helicopter was there because of my call or not, so I decided to err on the side of helpfulness. I stuck both of my arms out in front of me, I bent over at my waist, and I kicked out one of my legs behind me to point the helicopter in the direction I heard the YELPS come from.

I doubt this was helpful, but we all got a good laugh out of my charades.

The helicopter circled above us a few more times before flying away. That's it?! Nope. A couple of games later we heard police sirens.

And rather than feeling happy that the police were acting so quickly to a phone tip, I was hoping that this poor excuse of a human being didn't have children. I was afraid the police would find this jerk, discover that he had been beating the family pet, and now, the children would wail as their beloved pet was removed from the home. What happens then? Aren't pets considered property? Would this jerk lay into one of his children now that the pet was gone?

These are the things I think of when I decide to intervene on something I have so little information on. I think it is a reflection of the state of our system that I have so little confidence in it. I don't think the system would actually be better for the victim or victims in this case than if they stayed in an abusive home. How sad is that?

I probably don't need to worry though.

I doubt they found the guy.