Good evening. It’s been a long, boring week of work, and I’m glad it’s over. Unfortunately, I’m on call so I’ll probably end up getting paged at least once this weekend. I guess that’s the price I pay for getting to work from home. Well, it’s been over two months since my last blog entry and the soccer season is in full swing and baseball season starts next week and softball the week after that. I’ll be chauffering kids to practices and games 4 days a week for the next two months, but I love it. It’s the only social life I have. Geez, that’s pathetic. Does every middle-aged parent become virtually friendless over the years, or is it just me? Today is Michelle’s payday, so she’s taking the family out to dinner tonight. She picked Sunday night when we went out to Kobe Steakhouse for the teppanyaki grill and sushi, so I get to pick this time. The crappy thing is that I’m jonesing for a taco burger from Taco Via, but I feel like I need to pick some nice sit-down, order-a-cocktail kind of joint. The Taco Via is out in Lee’s Summit on M-291 highway. It’s just a franchise Mexican place, but the food is terrific. I feel a little uncomfortable with the decor, but the employees are friendly enough to make up for it. The place is just covered in fundamentalist Christian artwork and posters. They kept up the nativity scene 3 months after Christmas, and only took it down so that they could replace it with the three crosses and purple robe for Easter. I’m definitely not telling these folks about my religious beliefs. I’d have to put up with “that look” every time I went in there from now on. You freethinkers will know what “look” I’m talking about if you’ve ever come out of the closet to a fundamentalist acquantaince. I was the same way when I was in my teens. I wasn’t a Christian, but I did believe in a personal god, and when I met someone who said they were an atheist, I just couldn’t grasp what they were trying to tell me. “Seriously, how can you not believe in God? Are you just yanking my chain?” At the time, the concept seemed so self-apparent that I was just baffled. Now that I’m on the other end of this kind of transaction, I can see the look forming in their eyes, and it is a dreadful thing to see. A very religious friend of mine thought he would try to offer some comfort to me when Jacob was in the hospital getting his appendix out. He tried to have the “come to Jesus” talk with me and asked me if I believed in God. I told him that it depends on what you mean by God, and if you mean an old, white-haired man that lives above the clouds, then, no, I don’t believe in God. My wife and I haven’t been invited over to their house since, and 3 years later, conversations tend to be short and superficial when we run into each other in public, and I still get the “look” from him and his wife. Oh, well, what are you going to do? Pretend to believe something that you don’t? Not me, fella.