What a Way to End the Summer!


I don’t want this age to ever end!

That ended before it started.  Here in the Skipahsphere, summer is officially over.  Miss Madison and her troopers all start school this week, and Sloane starts next week.  So why not blow it out one more weekend like only we know how!

Due to my janitorial arrangement (that’s custodial agreement, family law dog) I didn’t get the blonde bomber until Sunday.  That didn’t stop Miss Madison and I from taking the junior BRAT rat pack sans one to take in a ball game at Victory Field in Indianapolis on Friday night.  Since Miss Madison knows all the secret handshake rituals with the Indiana State Teachers Association and it was protest ALEC’S National Conference meeting in Indianapolis week, we were treated with complimentary tickets to the scintillating tilt between the Indianapolis Indians vs. the Norfolk Tides.  Since neither of these teams has a damn thing to do with the Cincinnati Reds, I was only interested in taking in a cool evening at the yard and eating my weight in groceries.


Take me out to the ball game!

The teacher’s union was promoting #protectpubliced, I was promoting the local economy.  Me being no stranger to minor league ballparks since I live within a stone’s throw of Louisville Slugger Field and the Louisville Riverbats, I was curious to see how Victory Field stacked up (never heard a bad thing about the place).  In terms of ballpark experience, it is top notch.  Indianapolis has had many a hall of famer suit up for the franchise in their history, and there is plenty of recognition throughout the park honoring them.  The Indy skyline as a backdrop also made for a most pleasant experience.

Vicotry Field

Thankfully I hit a home run with present company.

However, the concessions at the park sucked!  Other than the Build-A-Burger stand, I’ve had better food (and much cheaper) at a spoiled Spam cook-off.  The hot dogs would make Joey Chestnut want to retire from competitive eating!  Never fear though, we all had a good time, the game went 12 innings, and the kids got to enjoy the post-game fireworks while I was on the verge of checking my eyelids for holes.  This was probably the first and last time I stay 12 innings at a minor league baseball game that doesn’t involve direct family members playing.  Although I did get to see Carl Yastrzemski’s grandson play, evidently he doesn’t hit bat like his gramps.  I don’t think grandpa was ever hitting .226 in Triple A.  We bid adieu to the Circle City temporarily, as we had bigger fish to fry in this city in the not so distant future.


Miss Madison and I said our goodbyes on Saturday as she let me participate in the first annual SKIPAH WANTS FULL CUSTODY poker charity event back in my home town of New Albany.  Unfortunately, my poker skills were rustier than the overstock of nails at an area Lowes, and I wasn’t able to add to the legal fund.  No worries, it was a good time with old friends, and actually felt good to be an “adult” for an evening with my peers.  As for the newfound charity, I’m bouncing around some ideas, because my daughter is sick and tired of living in boredom U.S.A. and I promised her I would do all I can to make sure she starts the fifth grade next year with me taking her to school.


By the end of the night those stacks weren’t nearly as tall.

She promised me she would keep up her end of the bargain and do well in the 4th grade this year.  I’m trying to get her signed up for Girl Scouts, the local academic squad, and technology club this year.  Her Girl Scout prowess is well documented, she’s smarter than the average bear, and her technology skills are well on her way to earning her a Google ninja badge! This will be no small feat for me since I am going to have do this remotely, because I’m pretty sure the Evil Empire is going to block me all they can when it comes to furthering my daughter’s academic/social advancement.  Stay tuned, it’s going to be a hell of ride for the next nine months!

Ok, got on a tangent there, back to the story.  Sunday was the grand finale to an otherwise glorious weekend.  Miss Madison and I were taking the girls to a concert!  This was going to be Sloane’s first ever, and after the last concert Miss Madison went to with Miss Madison Jr., they insisted I come instead of burning down the backyard.  While not exactly the Bee Gees live at Wembley, we were greatly entertained at the Gwen Stefani concert at the Klipsch Music Center (Deer Creek for native Hoosiers), Miss Madison is a concert professional, I’ve been to my share, Sloane took to the concert atmosphere like a fish in water and is now wanting to see Jimmy Buffett as soon as possible.  Which I fully intend to make that dream come true next year!


The Guy (pun intended) is everywhere anymore!


I had no idea Sloane was channeling her inner hippie for her first concert!


Not too shabby hearing her live, definitely not a product of auto-tune.

I need to check with local Indy weed dealers on what is hot right now, because I didn’t know Gwen Stefani brought out the finest and funkiest of marijuana strands.  I think we all were a little giddy by the end of the night from second hand inhaling of Mexican Spider Bud, The Shit that Killed Elvis, Authentic Californian Medicinal, and whatever other strands of the hippie lettuce were being toked on.  I only know of these because of the internet….pinky promise!  I don’t know how the corn and soybean crop is going to be this year in Hoosier land, but the cannabis consortium seems to be doing just fine.

About it for tonight, Sloane and I have a few more days of action packed fun to see to before I send her off to the fourth grade.  Too say this was a most memorable summer would be an understatement.  We didn’t make it to the Taste of Chicago or St. Louis like originally planned but time and finances can kick you in the rear at times.  I’ll take the Pepsi Taste Test Challenge for father of the year for using the summer to fully enjoy my daughter time against anyone else that has a b.s. custody arrangement that their child hates.  Now off to get those fliers printed for my next adventure in fundraising to get my daughter back permanetly!

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  2. Seriously, you are such a freaking good dad! Honestly, I don’t know much about your past regarding the nasty divorce in all, (perhaps the wise crack sarcasm, but I’m the same way, so I find it enjoyable) but you rock at parenting. Now that I have over-inflated your ego to gastronomic proportions, it’s a bummer the food stunk at the field. Normally those are the best hotdogs. Overall, I think the affair went well. And yes, Middle school such for girls. I salute your little one…and you.

  3. I loved this post then and I love it still today 🙂

  4. You make everything funny! Don’t what I’ll do if you ever stop making fun of lawyers.

  5. the end of summer is so bittersweet, they grow up way too fast and they’re grown before we know it. AND it makes me sad that I don’t get to see her more than half of the time because of our split custody. Fingers crossed that fifth grade is a different story for her and for you!

    • If I have to sell an organ I’m raising the money to afford another custody battle! The last one damn near broke me (actually it did), but spending last week with Sloane and hearing her tell me how bad she wants out of Kentucky made the losing battle worth it and the impending battle to come my new life passion!

  6. Sounds like lots of fun. I like Gwen Stefani (or at least I liked No Doubt!). I never, ever got the hang of poker. I’m good at shithead (no idea if you guys have that), but you really can’t make your fortune on that. Or at least if you could, you couldn’t look cool doing it! I forgot how early school goes back for you guys. Ours only finished end of July & won’t be back until early September.

  7. I hate to think of summer ending and since I no longer gauge mine by the school year I refuse to think about it. I’m enjoying another month of summer before I’ll concede. Sounds like you and your family gave summer a great send off, Gary.

  8. If Summer is over for you Gary it must be on its way to me in Australia. Spending time with your children is precious they grow up too fast. I’m now on to spending time with my darling grandson another wonderful time of life.

  9. I have three daughters. Every age is great.

  10. Victory Field is always a good time. I agree on concessions though. It sounds like the rest was a blast.

  11. Those end of summer memories were the best, they stick with you for your whole life.

  12. So glad you guys made some great memories!😎

  13. Gary, You know how to have fun and that’s a great gift in life.

  14. One thing you can do, when questioned about your prowess with your daughter is print these logs out and share them with the judge. Give her a camera to document her world, make sure it is a filmless camera, they are cheap now and easy to use. Have her photograph the things in life that are important to her. She should keep a log of what she does when away from you. Tell her to just write about her world, so that you can share the information and won’t miss a thing. Also, take a parenting course if they have one for parents at a local school. It looks great on paper to a judge and will give you countless things to write about. People forget there is more than one way to raise a child. Each child is different. You can feel relief that your daughter will have none of some actions and can get advice about other things.

    Your relaxed but carefully allowed freedoms that you have enlightened her life with are good parenting. You’ve set standards for her, told her you believe in her, given her the independence to succeed and giving her support even from afar. Fourth grade is indeed the year that giftedness starts to excel in girls. Being in the technology club, the computer club, Girl Scouts, theater or drama or any music if they have it, a writing club, all of those things should give her some stability and outside fun. We had a Science Club for just girls until the boys parents appealed to the school board. We had to give the club up.

    When they do her testing this year (if they didn’t do it at the end of) get the scores. If they are 96th percentile or above, get her into gifted services. Miss Madison can help you there. Sloan’s classroom teacher is also a good one to lean on. It’s those test scores that make the difference. Oh, and writing samples that show unusual comprehension of a subject. There should be a national test you can rely on.

    I found that when the girls hit the middle school and early high school years, the best way to deal with them is with humor. I used to offer my daughter a chance for raw meat when she lost control. The whole thing is that most girls are overtired, overworried, and very conscious of their physical looks. I know you can handle that. Not giving them a chance to dwell on adult emotions in a young package helps too. I did have to give my daughter one sit down, where I told her I loved her, I wanted her to be successful, and that I didn’t deserve to be yelled at. It worked. I also picked her up one day, she was so bitterly angry and rightfully so, so I took her to a state park and found a tree that she could climb. She thought I was nuts. I told her she needed a little oak and druid in her life. She laughed so hard.

    Good luck in your hunt for custody. Keep the bitterness at bay, after all the Evil One did one thing right, you bet: your daughter.

    Tell Miss Madison I think she’s wonderful.
    Ann WJ White

    • Thanks Ann, great advice and over the course of two years I’ve used most of it :). My day will come just have to play the long game. Sloane wants to live with me, told everyone she wanted to, and still was forced against her will to relocate in Nowhereville, KY.

  15. Wait. It’s over? Summer is over? It can’t be. Not so soon. Nooooooooooo!

    • Somebody got the bright idea in Indiana to start school in July a few years ago, granted Sloane goes in Kentucky but in my day you got a whole three months for summer break!

  16. Nothing like a little free weed at a concert. Especially Gwen. 🙂

    Hope you and the hippie enjoy the last few days!

  17. The only special weed I ever ingested was by eating a brownie over at a friends house in grade school. Her father indulged in it on a regular basis. (I was unaware of the fact, or I would not have eaten a brownie there!)

    4th grade was fun for me while I was growing up! Was the year I started attending gifted classes for those few of us who could read while chewing gum! Some of us had IQ’s off the charts. I was in the genius IQ range back in those days, if you can believe it! Girl Scouts were an important part of my growing up. Learned First AID and how to make my own clothes with the group!

    Later on in high school, missed the highest ACT score on record for our school by a single point. (Hadn’t had geometry, yet!) Took calculus instead.

  18. Such fun!
    I loved my girls’ playfulness at 9, too. It IS a good age 🙂 Sloane’s inner hippie makes me GRIN 😀

    “..the cannabis consortium” LOL!

  19. A great summer Gary – where did it go? 🙂

  20. Wow, your summer WAS fun! Such great memories you will have. Love Sloane’s hippy look, she’s very cute with that bandana! As she gets into 4-5th grade, these will be the years when she will blossom in intellect. Sadly when they hit 6-7th grade, all girls turn into snarling psychopaths who either argue and shout or slink off and sulk by themselves. Enjoy it while it lasts. I speaketh from experienceth. My 28 yr-old daughter finally leaves the nest in two weeks to go work in a state mental hospital as a recreation therapist (making $$$$). Love to be a fly on the wall there. Always enjoy your posts, Gary!

    • Thanks Terri! I just need her to hit age 12 too get what she really wants! To move from Boring, USA and live with me. I am fully aware of the hormonal stage, but I’m going to enjoy it while I can 🙂

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