I had some dreams ... they were klowns in my koffee.

(With apologies to Carly Simon)

This is my journey through job transition from a toxic environment to a better life. Join me for a few thoughts and a few laughs along the way.
What are "klowns in my koffee"? They are the factors large and small that make you less than you are. A "klown" can be a grossly incompetent boss,
a short-sighted policy or a moronic coworker. They won't kill you, at least not immediately, but they abrade the soul
as you scrape past them to get through the day. Sometimes it's best to dump them out of the cup.


Day 64 - Kids' Day

What makes a perfect summer day? Is it the blue sky and balmy temperatures? Or the wispy breeze that ruffles and moves on?

On Saturday morning, we went to Midway Stadium, home of the minor league St. Paul Saints, for my son to compete at the sectional level of the Aquafina Pitch, Hit and Run competition. He had won the local level competition a few weeks ago.

It was a gorgeous but hot day. You'd think that a competition sponsored by a water company would give out bottles of water, but no such luck. The contest was administered by the Jaycees, the community service group of young business people.

Whenever I think of the Jaycees, I think of an incident that happened several years ago.

My ex-husband is a former professional musician who still plays in several volunteer and professional bands of different types. One of his groups was a big band in the swing era meaning of the term. They frequently played paying gigs for dances. As he was putting on his tuxedo and preparing for the gig, he mentioned that he was a bit nervous about the job. He had been told that the dance was for developmentally challenged people and he was just a little uncomfortable. He is the type of person to whom any display that is out of the ordinary is vexing.

He called me when the band was on break. When asked how the dance was going, he said that it was going pretty well and that he wasn't as nervous. He said that he and the other band members were commenting to each other that they could barely tell that some of the audience had any mental challenges, while there were others where the disability was extremely clear. He said that he had watched the seemingly unaffected audience members closely and, after a while, he was able to see their disabilities, too. He was surprised, however, to observe that mentally challenged people drank so much alcohol.

After the gig, the bandleader spent a few minutes with the band firming up the scheduling for the next job. It turned out that they had mixed up their program. The group that they had played for that night were not developmentally challenged, but were a chapter of Jaycees.

My son didn't win but tried hard. He received a nice certificate of participation and a free ticket to that night's Saints game.
After some errands and a nap, we drove back to Midway Stadium to see the Saints play the Sioux Falls Pheasants. It was truly a delightful evening. The Saints keep a continuous string of audience participation going that catches the interest of the most wiggly child. Costumed mascots wander around greeting children and giving out small toys. We sampled products and received coupons. We left with free compasses, coupons for appetizers at Chili's and free chalupas from Taco Bell, courtesy of the sponsors. The Saints played well and won, though it hardly mattered.

I don't know what a constitutes a perfect summer day but whenever you can drive home with a car full of sleepy, happy children that comes pretty darn close.

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