"The Muffled Cries For Help From a Daddy of Four Beautiful Little Girls"


Sunday, November 30, 2008

Dang! Shucks! Fooey! Schnagglefumble! Drats!

Sorry for my language.
I'm just kicking myself BIG time.

It turns out that my previous post was my 300th and I just totally let it slip by without even a hint of hoopla.
That's so not like me. Remember the fun we had for my 100th post? If I'd had the presence of mind to see THIS milestone creeping up on me, I assure you that I would've planned something bigger for you.

But as it is, I'll just have to throw something together real quick.

O.K. I just called around to see what kind of place I could rent for this shindig on such short notice. Apparently, a lot of places require a skoach more than 5 minutes notice, so I'll meet you all down at the party room in the back of Uncle Skeeter's Rib Shack/Bait Shop in just a sec.

[just a sec passes]

Welcome to the celebration. Unlike last time, I don't have time to ask some of you readers to take part in the planning and preparation. For decor, we're pretty much limited to what I could grab from around the house. So it's largely a Christmas-themed gala...and not a very classy one. We'd already had the van loaded with our rejects from Christmas past for delivery to Goodwill, but they'll just have to make the detour here at Uncle Skeeter's for a bit before ending up in resale heaven.

And yup, you guessed it. For food, we're having delicious turkey. At my mom's we had a whole second turkey that never even got carved, so we'll have plenty for tonight's extravaganza. And a little stuffing, some corn casserole, a half of a pumpkin pie, some green been casserole, and gravy. And we might have half of a bowl left of the world's best Clam Chowder. I'm sorry there was no leftover cheeseball after Thanksgiving dinner at the Newlands, but you should know there's NEVER leftover cheeseball (or cheese-anything) when I'm in town.

I feel awful that I didn't have time to commission one of you to put together a PowerPoint slide show with highlights from the past 300 posts. Or a stirring tear-jerker of a speech in my honor. So I'll just pick a few of my favorite posts and share why I picked them:

* Dying Dog, Raw Chicken Restaurant on Vacation, because I still have flashbacks every time I eat chicken...in a restaurant with a dog in the corner...seizing.
* Time-Traveling Hygiene Products, because most commenters agreed that I was "deadmeat" for mentioning hygiene products and tube socks. I haven't done it since...until now.
* This Tribute to my wife, because it has the world's best photo at the bottom, and the inclusion of the lyrics from "She's A Bad Mamma Jamma" put it in the running for a Pulitzer. It will also help her forget that I posted about hygiene products.
* That "Corndog" One, because I go back and read it every once in a while, and I absolutely giggle each time. I'm such a dork.
* The One Where I Try To Burn Out The Yellow Jackets, because near-death experiences help you appreciate the little things...like staying alive.
* This One Where I'm Not Really Making Fun of My Wife, because I just thought of it again last week when my daughter was telling about the time when the teacher at school turned on the TV to pop in a movie or something and Beth Moore (the lady preacher) happened to be on the channel briefly. Cindy's question for my 4th grader, of course: "What was Beth Moore wearing?" The blue shirt and grey/silver pants; my daughter actually noticed! Women are weird.
* American Idol Live Blogging, because I love to demonstrate to the world that I have no life by blogging live during that show each week it's on.
* This Vomit One, because being a parent is all about the vomit, doncha think?

Are there any that have touched a special spot in YOUR heart? I'd love to hear about how your life has been changed by what you have read here. I'm sure this blog is responsible for saving marriages, bringing prodigals home, ending world hunger, and making coffee squirt out noses onto computer monitors.

Seriously, though. Thanks for sharing life with me these last 300 posts. I'm having a blast writing mine and reading yours.

I couldn't have done it without you.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Prom Dates and Cops (Unrelated)

Part of the joy of going back to my hometown in Missouri for a holiday is catching up on what's going on locally.

For example, my mom saved a newspaper article about my date for my junior prom. She is now an award-winning literature teacher at my old high school. So you see, I'm kind of pretend famous.

Almost as cool are the police reports in a local paper written by that community's police chief. I think he enjoys his job if the following reports are any indication. These published accounts have just a touch more personality than the typical crime reports in the paper.

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• A trespassing ex-boyfriend was escorted April 11 from a home in the 300 block of Madison Avenue. Next time, police said, the man will know better than to argue with his girlfriend, especially when she owns the house.

• Officers were called to a residence in the 1200 block of Gilbert Avenue April 15 for a strange subject knocking on doors. Officers looked for the strangest subject they could find and stopped him...

• Officers raided an unsupervised teenage party April 16 on Eldorado Court. After sneaking up on the unsuspecting teens and scaring the bejesus out of them, officers notified the parents of the incognito party...
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You gotta love it when police strategy involves "scaring the bejesus out of" unsupervised teens.
I feel safer AND more entertained thanks to the local police.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

That's Just Fowl

I was doing a search for the most complicated way to prepare a turkey for Thanksgiving. Not because I actually want to engage in that kind of insanity. I'm more of a buy-a-large-boneless-chunk-of-perfectly-shaped-turkey-meat kind of guy. Actually, I love HAM; ham's already cooked so you just have to heat it up, and a microwave can do that in a pinch.

No, I was simply wasting time on the computer. Searching for the lengthiest-to-prepare turkey recipe was as good a time-waster as anything.

So check this out: I know you've probably heard of a Turducken which is a chicken inside a duck inside a turkey. But how about "The True Love Roast," which has a different bird for each of the 12 days of Christmas. (For those struggling with the math, that's 12 birds.)

Here is the picture of the whole flock which explains why it takes more than 45 minutes to put together and 8 hours to cook:



Any guesses on what birds "my true love" gave to me?

OK. I'll go ahead and ruin the surprise, because--quite honestly--there are some birds on the list that I've never even heard of:
1. Turkey, 2. Goose, 3. Barbary duck, 4. Guinea fowl, 5. Mallard, 6. Poussin, 7. Quail, 8. Partridge, 9. Pigeon squab, 10. Pheasant, 11. Chicken, 12. Bald Eagle

(OK. I'm kidding about the bald eagle, but that sounded more American than the "Aylesbury Duck" from the original recipe.)

If you're eating anything less than 12 different birds today, clearly you are just plain lazy.

Have a happy Thanksgiving anyway. Enjoy your loved ones, and by all means, get off this blasted computer and go eat some guinea fowl or poussin...whatever THAT is.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Lazy or Smart?

Don't you love it when little kids get into the kitchen cabinets and pull out the pots and the pans and make a mess all over?
Me neither.

There's a better use for those lower cabinets than storing noisy things.

Once our kids got to a responsible age, we found it helpful to keep all their own cups, plates and bowls in a lower cabinet.

This way, when one of them says, "I'm thirsty," I can remain peacefully stretched out on the couch and point in the general direction of the cup cabinet and grunt, "git yo'self a cup and fill it with some water."

The increase in my children's self-reliance is amazingly proportional to the increase in the my weight. Hmmmmm.
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As always, for ideas that are even more impressive than mine, check out Rocks In My Dryer for more WorksForMeWednesday ideas.

Welcome To New York, Sort Of

I just can't leave well enough alone with the crazy signs. I know there are plenty of websites where you can see wacky mistakes and curious oddities on a regular basis. Some of them I'm afraid to send you to in a link because there is no guarantee that everything posted would be clean enough for your pure little eyes.

But here's a photo snapped and emailed to me by a reader while visiting New York City.

Phooey on those who have characterized the fine folks of NYC as cold and unwelcoming. Here's proof of the opposite:

"[insert New York accent] Welcome to our fancy restaurant. I see that you are in a wheelchair. Rest assured that we have taken your every need into consideration, unlike some of our competitors who have simply widened their toilet stall or attached a railing to the wall. We, on the other hand, have an entire accessible suite with top-of-the-line accessible fixtures, brand new flooring and walls. We even have a perfume dispenser (for a quarter) placed low for your convenience..."

"...all you have to do is drag that clunky wheelchair of yours up a couple flights of stairs. We just threw a frozen roast in the crock pot, so it should be ready by the time you get back to your table."
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For some reason, Elaine from Bismark who sent me the photo asked that I not disclose her name or location. (so I made up a name and location. You're welcome, Michelle...)

Monday, November 24, 2008

Growing Old Stinks

I don't think many people would argue with the truth of the title of this post.

We had lunch with my mother- and father-in-law a while back. I mean no disrespect as I describe their conversation. They can't help it that they've reached the age when it is common to discuss the following riveting subjects (actual topics while eating out at Chili's):

bowel dissections
prostate cancer
diahrrea
broken hips
and test after test after test.

At what age should I expect to start enjoying this stuff?

Sunday, November 23, 2008

::.. :..:. : ::. ::..:.. ::.:.::.. . :. .: You Have To Touch The Screen To Read The Title of This Post

It's not like you really care about the restroom signs at our church, but maybe some other signs may be of interest to you.

I'm assuming the same company that provided us with the aforementioned grammaticaly-challenged "MENS" and "WOMENS" signs also produced the other room signs we've had for the last several years.

Like the signs welcoming members and guests to our "Worship Center." A nice bonus touch on these signs was the addition of Braille for our seeing-impaired friends.

It would've been even more thoughtful if they hadn't placed the signs ABOVE THE DOORS, out of reach of the very hands necessary for reading braille.

So whenever a blind person attends, I guess we have to whip out a step ladder so they can feel around above the doorways as they figure out what room they're about to enter...and pray to God that no one throws open the doors in their faces.

While we're on the subject, is anyone else disturbed by the braille on drive-up ATM machines? If a person can't read the buttons on an ATM machine, should he/she really be behind the wheel of a car?

I'm sure there's a logical explanation for those. Just like there's probably a logical explanation for braille bumper stickers or a braille sign that says "DANGER: DO NOT TOUCH."

[By the way, I must know: how many of you actually felt your computer screen on the title?]

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After re-reading this post, I hope other readers recognize that I'm not making fun of those with vision impairment. I'm mocking the cruel, evil sign-making industry.
...and whoever orders the signs for our church.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Tastes Better Than It Looks, But Only A Little

I watch Man vs. Wild every once in a while just to learn some tips on what to do if I ever find myself stranded in the Sahara Desert, the Amazon or East L.A. From what I've learned from Bear Grylls (that's really the guy's name, I guess), if you want to live, you pretty much have to cut open an animal, eat its organs raw and drink whatever liquids you find in there. With the way the economy is going, you may want to start watching the show.

I'd like to think I'm as resourceful as Mr. Grylls.
Today, I made some lunch utilizing whatever materials were in the vicinity. In lieu of raw yak liver, grubs and elephant dung, I was fortunate enough to track down some leftover spaghetti, ground beef and cheese among other things.

I won't bother giving you the recipe; I'll just tell you how Cindy described it:

"It looks like dog poop."

Seriously.
I took offense and said, "I have NEVER said that about your cooking."

"Because I never make stuff that looks like dog poop."

Who cares what she thinks. Bear Grylls would've eaten it...especially if he thought it was poop.
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Disclaimer: I apologize for so many mentions of the word "poop." Next time I write a post like this, I'll preface it with a warning like "Poop Alert!" so that those of you with severe poop allergies can go get your epi-pens before you read further.

Feelin' Groovy

Oh, what fun we had at the elementary school Family Retro Dance.

I couldn't find a suitable zoot suit anywhere in town, so I went with the standard unbutton-your-shirt-down-to-here-spread-the-collar-wide-and-wear-some-awful-piece-of-bling-that-screams-midlife-crisis look. I hear that was popular in the '70's.

I did pick out a lovely dress for Cindy at Goodwill. She's hot in ANY decade. Check out these mad skills I learned at the dance last night.

But as this photo demonstrates, the most important lesson learned was that deodorant is not the same thing as antiperspirant.

Friday, November 21, 2008

And This Shall Be a Signs Unto Yous

I dont gets to use my English major everydays, but every once in awhile a issue pops up that calls for a little bit of expertease.
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For the last several weeks I've had difficulty going to the bathroom at the church where I work. No, it's not a medical issue. Being forced to see the following new signs outside the restrooms is painful:

MENS
and
WOMENS

(Yes, with an "s".)

My friend Emily who works with me is just as distressed and has put a voting button on the sidebar over at her blog. She wants to see if anyone in the world thinks those signs could be right. We've debated among our staff, and frankly, I've just found it wisest to believe whatever Emily says...because she is one smart cookie. (She used to be my secretary and then chose not to be...THAT'S how smart she is, my friends.)

So in protests, until those signs come down, I shall be adding a superfluous "s" every chances I gets.

I probably shouldn't do it around the childrens; they may picks it up and makes fools of themselves.

So go and votes and makes your intelligence voice heard.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

I Blame Tim, 100%

I woke up before 6 a.m. which is really not appropriate for a man of my laziness. Unable to regain unconsciousness, I was pretty much forced to read email and check all the latest posts on my reading list.

Tim Duckabush (not his real last name, but that's what I call him) is working on improving his health. I won't give details here, because that can be kind of personal--like telling the world he wears women's stockings; I don't want to be the kind of person who shares others' intimate details with everyone. But I will say that he's asked for friends to pray for him as he tries to stick to his diet plans. I wasn't going to do it, no way. Because if I DID, I might be forced to consider my own weight gain and the fact that my metabolism came to a grinding halt 5 years ago.

This morning at 5:30, though, I read his latest post and felt compelled to pray for him. And then as luck would have it, I suddenly felt like maybe I should do something for MY health/weight as well. Seeing as how there are a group of guys that meet at our church gym to work out and exercise each morning, I thought maybe since I was up anyway...

Nothing good ever comes from that line of thought.

First thing at the gym, I weighed myself.
I actually weighed a good 4 pounds less than yesterday. "My work is done here," I thought. I guess it should be noted that I had previously been weighed with my jeans on, wallet, phone, keys, shoes, etc. This morning it was only shorts and shirt; I even took my SOCKS off. Everyone else did that, so I was just following suit. (Yes, Mom, they're also jumping off bridges later this afternoon and I'll be joining them.)

Then came the stretching. I've never really received stretching lessons, so I'm always self-conscious when I do it in front of others, assuming they're thinking to themselves, "Who's that goofball over there? Doesn't he know that he's actually shrinking his muscles with those moves? His body will surely snap in two when he works out. What a dork!"

So after a few minutes of irreparable damage while stretching, I jogged around the gym for 5 minutes to warm up. Well, I really only jogged for 3 minutes. I learned that each lap was exactly like the previous one, so I didn't see any real need to continue THAT monotony.

I opted instead for the monotony of a demonic rowing machine. I will try to recreate for you the drama and excitement of rowing for 40 minutes. It's hard to describe the thrill, but I will do my best.

Row.
Row.
Row.
Row.
Row.
Row.
Row.
Row.
Row.
Row.
Row.
Row.
Row.
Row.
Row.
(repeat for 40 MINUTES...or eternity, whichever comes first. I'm fairly certain eternity comes first in the world of fake rowing.)

Needless to say, I feel great (because it's over). They tell me that it'll be tomorrow morning when my legs will hate me and hold the rest of my body for ransom.

I don't think I want it back, so don't bother sending money.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

"Where, Might I Ask, Did You Get That Cool Scarf?"

Thank you for asking about the scarf. It's really not that big a deal, but I appreciate your admiration of its quality and appearance.

Because I made it all by myself.

Now don't look surprised. I'm a very gifted scarf-maker, and if you draw near, I shall whisper to you my secret method of scarf-making.

1) Buy 1/4 of a yard of fleece at your local fabric store, craft store or black-market fleece dealer down on 4th and Walnut. A fourth of a yard is only 9 inches, and the fabric is probably like 45 inches wide, so you've got yourself a nice long strip-o-cloth, a.k.a. a scarf and you didn't have to lift a finger.
2) (optional) Use scissors and cut several slits into each end, creating little fringe-ie things.
3) Wear it.

Yup. My neck was cold a few weeks ago, so I popped into Hobby Lobby and spent a whopping $1.29 on the fabric and walked out of the store with a very well-insulated neck.

OR...

My other scarf was even easier. Here's how you can get one just like I did:

1) Walk by Mary's office (if you don't have a Mary, I'm sure a Donna or Vickie will do) and say, "That's a really sharp scarf you have hanging there on your coat hook."
2) She then offers it to you because she has "plenty of others just like it." And she possibly feels sorry for you and your $1.29 piece of ratty fleece.
3) Wear it.

So there you have it. Two easier-than-dirt ways to have a warm (and stylish) neck this winter. Feel free to let me know of any other scarf-making or -taking methods that work for you. At this rate I'll have 10-15 scarves by the end of winter!

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For more life-changing ideas, every week go here to check out other Works For Me Wednesday freaks...who most likely spent way more on their scarves than I did.

Quick! Cindy, Look Over There In the Other Direction!

OK. Now that I've distracted my wife and made her look the other way, I need to ask a favor from my peeps out in Cyberinternetoblogoland.
We're gearing up for our 15th anniversary. When I say "gearing up," I mean that it's well over two months away. It takes that long for me to figure out how best to screw it up, and Cindy needs that much time to emotionally prepare for the disappointment of what I plan.

I've checked into a few different resources regarding traditional gifts for certain anniversaries. Depending on which one I choose to believe,the 15th anniversary could be the year to give something made of:
* roses
* melamine
* crystal
* corrugated cardboard
* velour
* particle board
0r
* cheese

(I made up that last one, but I think it's a good one.)

Actually, I think Cindy and I would both prefer spending money and time on an EVENT type gift, going somewhere and doing something instead of just another chachki.

Keeping in mind that our anniversary is right on the heels of Martin Luther King Jr Day, who knows what kind of budget we'll have left after all THOSE parties and celebrations are over.

No, seriously, being a month after Christmas is usually a financial strain on our anniversary plans. That's why last year we ended up staying home and covering ourselves in slime and getting headaches. You can read about last year's anniversary from hell as a base line while you help me plan something this year that's even better.

The things we definitely need to do (yes, I know we don't NEED to do anything. I'm using one of the alternate definitions of "need") is to get out of town. I've checked with Cindy, and she wants to go someplace that has stuff to do; a cabin in the woods with a hot tub isn't really going to do it for her, and who can really blame her after last year's lousy anniversary soak?

Keeping in mind that we live in Indiana, and that Lousiville, Cincinnati, St. Louis, Chicago and Bean Blossom are within a reasonable driving distance, does anyone have ideas of places to go and things to do to make a January get-away special?

Here's what is likely to happen if you DON'T help a brother out:

I'll surprise her by picking her up from school where's she'll be subbing, saying "Hop in the car. I've got the bags packed. We're headin' to the big city."

"Ooooh. How exciting. You are wonderful to take me away and to arrange for someone to take care of the kids."

[awkward silence. Then the next couple hours are spent back at home making arrangements for the kids while she repacks her bag because "I can totally not wear that sweater with those pants. Do you HATE me or something?"]

Finally on the road, the timing's all off, so we have to drive through White Castle if we're going to make it in time for the theater production I bought tickets for.

The rest of the weekend is filled with bad food, bad entertainment, bad hotels rooms, bad weather, and so forth. I'll try saying something like "Isn't it the thought that counts," bat my big puppy dog eyes and try to give her a peck. She'll say, "You seriously THOUGHT I would like White Castle, the stage revival of 'Ishtar,' and a Dominatrix-themed room at Fanta-Suites?"

As you can see, I need a little input in order to delay the Apocalypse just a little longer. Feel free to leave your ideas in my comments. Cindy is distracted by a shiny thing I threw across the room, so she won't be reading the comments (right, Cindy?).

Monday, November 17, 2008

Misled By Hollywood Yet Again

I am a kind of science fiction nerd. Just kind of.

I don't attend Star Trek conventions or anything like that, but I really like certain shows and movies. One of my favorite movies off all time is "Aliens." My wife even bought me the whole boxed set of the Aliens quadrilogy or quintilogy. She found it online for a good deal; I think it was perhaps one of her very first online purchases back in the day. The great thing about it is that the packaging is all in chinese of some kind and there are tons of subtitles to choose from including a couple of Korean choices, japanese, several chinese languages. Did I mention she bought it online and got a good deal?

I obsessed about the new Battlestar Galactica, staying up till 3 a.m. getting caught up on the first season on CD. I beg all of you to just watch the first 1-4 episodes and try to tell me it's not awesome.

I also liked Star Trek: The Next Generation (TNG), which is pretty much the only Star Trek I watched consistently. However, I tried to like Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. It was just a little too unfamiliar for me, so I never got into it.

There was one particular character I remember, Constable Odo, who was a shapeshifter, or changeling. I believe his natural state was a blob of liquid plasma, but he could become any form he wished. Normally, he was in a humanoid form. (I think the script probably called for more airtime as the blob, but the pool of liquid protoplasmic actors is limited in the Alpha Quadrant.)

Here's a photo of Odo from his high school yearbook.

Changelings were very intriguing. Odo had to revert to his liquid state every so many hours to recharge or something. As a liquid he could slip through keyholes and under doors. Very useful skill no doubt.

So you can imagine my surprise when halfway through Angelina Jolie's newest movie "Changeling," it still hadn't been revealed who the shape-shifting alien was. I had lots of guesses including the police chief, the little boy and the 11th telephone operator down the line on the switchboard.

Then during some critical courtroom scenese, it seemed obvious that the defendent was about to liquify.

But he didn't.

Turns out that the Universal Pictures probably just used the title "Changeling" as an attempt to lure sci-fi fans to a movie THAT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH SCIENCE OR FICTION!

It's a true story about a mother in L.A. whose son disappears and the police department--in an attempt to prove that they can get the job done--find her son, only it's a totally different boy. She struggles to prove that the boy is not hers, but the harder she tries, the more the police department is able to demonstrate that she's delusional, and she gets placed in an pysch hospital with others who have bucked the system.

It's an intense movie, and I really really liked it a lot. You should go see it.

But be warned: there are absolutely no Klingons, no time travel and Scotty ain't beamin' nobody anywhere.

Well, I didn't stay all the way to the end of the credits, so I suppose it's possible that at the very end the police chief liquified and went down a drain or something and escaped through a wormhole.
Dang! I should've stayed just in case.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

I Hear It's Warm In Belize

Is it cruel to stop feeding and watering my dog during the cold winter months?

Then maybe he wouldn't have to go the bathroom, and I wouldn't have to take him out to pee when it's freezing and/or snowing. I'm sure there are solutions to this like doggie diapers or litter boxes or doggie catheters, right?

He's had a few "accidents" inside lately...like peeing on our guests' coats and purses that were sitting right next to the door this weekend. But I have to admit, if my options were either to go out in the cold or pee on the guests outwear and accessories, it'd be a tough choice indeed.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Something Borrowed, Something Ewwwwww

Having four daughters, I'm likely to have four wedding$.

Therefore we often find our$elve$ having intere$ting conver$ations about marriage and wedding$ and the merit$ of having only mint$, nut$ and cake at a reception.

Since none of the girls are even interested in boys yet, most of these conversations usually are met with a "whatever, dad" or "ewwwww" or "why can't you just ask how school was like normal parents?"

My most recent talk was with Cassie.

"So, Cassie. That song on the radio mentioned how the girl's boyfriend asked her dad for permission to marry him. Do you think your future husband will ask ME?"

"No."

"Is that because you're going to find someone all rebellious or non-traditional."

"No."

"Are you going to elope?"

"No."

"Are you even going to get married?"

"No."

"Are you going to live at home forever with us?"

"No."

"Are you and your sisters going to share a cool apartment?"

"No." (Don't worry; a non-no answer is coming soon.)

"Are you going to go away to college and never coming home again?"

"No."

"Are you even going to move out?"

"No."

"Are you just going to wait for us to die so you can inherit our house?"

...slight pause...
"Do I get all your money, too?"

And you thought she didn't have any dreams.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Preparing For Our Interview On Larry King Live

Several of you already know my dear wife Cindy. While there are many things you can learn about her from reading her blog, there are some things that you can only know by asking the man she's been married to for the last 15 (almost) years.

Well, here's a "meme" (that's Norwegian for "I don't know what else to write about so here's a list of questions someone else came up with"). She answered these questions about ME, so it's only fair for me to return the favor.

1. She's sitting in front of the TV, what is on the screen? I could pretty much narrow it down to "Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders," "The Office," "Heroes," "Dancing With The Stars," "Big Brother," "Amazing Race," "ER," "Grey's Anatomy," "Cold Case," "Without A Trace," "Lost," "American Idol." I'm just waiting for someone to create a reality show about singing cheerleaders stranded on an island, forced to live together in an ER with paper distributors with superpowers who do constant voice-overs while learning the Foxtrot and solving crimes from 20 years ago. The best of all possible worlds.

2. You're out to eat; what kind of dressing does she get on her salad? She likes to mix it up. Just when I think she's going for a raspberry vinaigrette, BAM! she orders the bleu cheese.

3. What's one food she doesn't like? Peas. And bananas. And milk (by itself). That's obviously three different foods, but they occupy the same corner of the food pyramid that Cindy would label "Ick."

4. You go out to the bar. What does she order? Lettuce, tomato, maybe eggs, cucumber if they have it. It's a salad bar, right?

5. Where did she go to high school? Some school in Painesville, Ohio. Riverside High? All I know is that they were the "Beavers." (Don't bring up her unfulfilled dreams of being a Beaverette.)

6. What size shoe does she wear? Ha. That's a funny one. I wonder if she's ever blogged about her shoe size. For the longest time she was wearing size 8 or 8 1/2. Then she actually went to one of them fancy schmancy stores where they have employees who assist you, bring you shoes from the back room AND even measure your feet. Turns out she's a 6 or something crazy like that.

7. If she was to collect anything, what would it be? Babies from around the world. Live babies. To adopt and raise...not just to hold for ransom, of course.

8. What is her favorite type of sandwich? Tough one. She can do gyros, loaded veggies from Subway, artichokes at Penn Station. Mainly, she likes any sandwich that someone else is making for her.

9. What would she eat every day if he could? Chocolate. And she does.

10. What is her favorite cereal? The only kind I've ever seen her eat is granola-ish stuff. It counteracts the chocolate, I believe.

11. What would she never wear? The first outfit she tries on. [sigh]

12. What is her favorite sports team? Indiana University Hoosiers. You should see her foam at the mouth when we go to a basketball game.

13. Who will she vote for? Palin in 2012.

14. Who is her best friend? She has too many to list. We stress with our daughters not to get hung up on a "best" friend. The chicks in our family are too good to share with just one lucky friend. If we were in Sunday school, I would answer "Jesus."

15. What is something you do that she wishes you wouldn't do? Snort through my nose/throat to clear out the gunk collecting back there. Crunch. Sniff. Pretty much anything I do that makes a noise.

16. How many states has she lived in? Ohio, Tennessee, Indiana, Florida. That would be four...not counting the state of wedded bliss.

17. What is her heritage? She's a mixed bag of Sunni Muslim, African-Irish, Burmese-Latino...with just a hint of Pennsylvania Dutch. Actually, she's just pretty stinkin' white. German? Irish?

18. You bake her a cake for her birthday; what would it be? Lopsided. Undercooked.

19. Did she play sports in high school? Only if yearbook staff is a sport.

20. What could she spend hours doing? Blogging.

21. What's something cool about her? Literally? Her feet are freezing cold, and she gets them all over me in bed. Figuratively, something cool about her is her ability to ask great questions. Whether you've just met her or have known her forever, you can talk with her for hours, and she will learn all about you from questions like "what's your favorite thing about yourself?" or "what's your favorite thing about ME?"

Me, Myself and My Laptop's Camera

OLD PREVIOUSLY UNPUBLISHED POST.
It's just been sitting around in cyberspace waiting for a slow day here.
So how about I press "Publish" right...about...now...

----------------------
Well, the girls are having fun outside on the trampoline and pool (yes, I've given them permission to jump from the tramp to the pool. Cindy's out of town, so it's not like SHE'S going to have to make the emergency room run). I guess it's just me and the camera...and perhaps a few of the following handsome friends:

Here's my friend Fritz...Usually, an hourglass figure can be hot and sexy, but probably not when it refers specifically to the HEAD.

No party is complete without a big-brained know-it-all like Niles, as long as it's a party with Trivial Pursuit or a full-contact Math-Off.


Thimon ith getting over a nathy little sinuth infecthyun.


This is Vincent, with a look that is a cross between "WhatyoutalkinboutWillis" and Sam the Eagle from the Muppet Show.


Yes, Rico, the face lift WAS successful.

Now you just need a chin lift to bring it all back together.


Gerard (pronounced with the hard "G" for no real reason) has been doing some eyeball exercises to improve his vision. He may not be able to see BETTER, but things do look BIGGER at least.

Thanks for indulging my silliness. Don't worry, I'll be back tomorrow with a discussion on quantum physics to make up for the time you just wasted here today.

And if any of you ladies out there were hoping I'd give you the numbers for some of these hot guys, forget it. They're all happily married to these hot chicks...

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Would You Like A Mushroom (Cloud) With Your Order?

I'm always in search of knowledge.

I love Google. It answers all of my important questions. And since I have a Blackberry, I need not wait even a second for the answer to life's most pressing mysteries.

For example, I had an intense NEEEED to know the history of Guantanamo Bay and why in the world the U.S. has a base in Cuba of all places. Google helped me figure it all out, and then I was able to finish my lovely dinner at the fancy restaurant.

[BTW, we lease the land for a few thousand dollars a year. Cuba doesn't wish to honor the lease anymore because it was agreed to long, long ago before Fidel Castro was even a twinkle-o in his father's eye-o. (Like my use of fake Spanish?) So Cuba hasn't been cashing our lease check in forever. Wikipedia tells me the checks are sitting in Raul Castro's lower left desk drawer. Has anybody told these people that those checks are usually void after 90 days?]

Well back to my quest for knowledge.

I drove through McDonald's on my way to the local Center for Plasma Donation and Advanced Vampire Activities. There was some kind of gas tanker parked behind the restaurant. In addition to whatever the giant main tanker-tank held, there were also several portable tanks. I assume those contained the C02 for the soda fountains.

The presence of the truck and tanks was nothing unusual. But the dense smoke/steam/fog pouring out from under it made me wonder whether or not I should hightail it out of there. Also, it was hissing menacingly. In movies, that noise usually precedes explosions and death.

So do I stay in line...and die? Or do I pass up on a double cheeseburger and live?

As I preprared to Google "steam pouring from gas tanker behind McDonald's will I die," I thought I'd give my intelligent readers a chance to clue me in.

After all, I assume some of you have worked in either the fast food or death tanker industries.

Were me or my fries ever in any danger?

I Am Not A Monster

Dear 2nd Grade Teacher,

In case you need help piecing together the facts, here are some additional insights beyond what you have witnessed first-hand.

Last Friday when I showed up to watch my daughter give her presentation, maybe she hadn't noticed I was there or something, because at Q&A time, she didn't call on me when I raised my hand. Then she burst into tears the moment you said, "Let's have one last question. It will be from your dad." I assure you it is not because she's afraid of me or anything like that. The moment was so awkward with all the weeping over the fear of dad asking questions, I worried that you might think that she's used to questions from me like "Where's my beer, you worthless..." or "why do you keep hanging my shirts on WIRE HANGERS?! No wire hangers ever!"

And then she was absent the following day and came back the day after that needing to go to the nurse for the blood squirting out her chin. She had simply slipped and bumped it on the kitchen table. Honest.

I actually have a very weak uppercut, so I can assure you I have NOT been beating or intimidating my daughter. I'm not that kind of guy in spite of all the evidence over the last few days.


And so help me, if you breathe a word of this to the authorities, I will hunt you down. I know where you live...

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It's just a rough draft. I probably won't really send this letter. I just needed an outlet for my paranoia.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

I'm Sure It's Delicious

While on the hunt for a good Snowman-related craft for lots of kids, I stumbled upon an interesting concept on a website.

Snowman Poop.
Essentially, it's just some marshmallows in a zip-loc bag with a catchy poem about having been naughty and only deserving snowman poop. ("I hear you've been naughty, so here's the scoop: All you're getting from me is snowman poop.")

Clearly, this is not a craft we'll be doing with our children AT CHURCH, what with that whole philosophy of separation of church and poop.

Also of note is the "Related Articles" list on the snowman poop webpage. Not surprisingly, there was
* Reindeer poop
* Elf poop
* Grinch poop
* Panino Mediterraneo -- Mediterranean Sandwich

That kind of makes you wonder what you were eating last summer on that cruise of the Greek isles, eh?

Maybe you're Greek and can clue us in to what a Panini and holiday poop have in common.
Or maybe you have some genius snowman craft idea.
I'll take either in my comments.
Really.

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For other ideas, mostly unrelated to poop, check out these WorksForMeWednesday ideas... from a gazillion relatively nice people.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Cast List Posted

The Role of Queen Elizabeth I

will be played by

Cheddar is excited to get this role.

Almost as excited as he was to get neutered today.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

"The Anxiety. It's KILLING Me!"

I really, really love how my wife verbalized her feelings following this week's elections on her blog yesterday. Many of you have probably already read it and know how perfectly she's put thoughts into actual words.

She cracked me up, though, as she was watching different local and national races on the computer and on TV. With only a small percentage of returns in for some races, she'd bite her nails and shudder and talk about how nerve-wracking following all this was.

So when you read her very-well-written (perfect) post that I wish I had been the one to write because it's good enough to be published in a serious magazine or something, you can appreciate it even more fully if you knew that several hours earlier, all she would've been able to get out was:

"Oh, no....oh, yes. Wait, that's just 4% of the precints, so anything
could happen still. Wait, it's updated. Now what does THAT number
mean? Oh, my heart can't take this all night! What if he
loses? What if he wins? OH NO! OH YES! O.K. if he can
just hold this lead, that'd be great. But I wonder what precints these
are. And what if it ends up too close to call? Oh, I can't stand the
pressure. The stress! How do the candidates handle this on election
night? Maybe I should start drinking. This is hard. Oh my oh
my oh my oh my..."

And you don't even want to know how she is during the results shows for American Idol.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Radio Active

Sunday morning on the way to church, I was listening to a local radio station.

When one song ended, I heard some coughing and some whispering like there was a live microphone without the DJ realizing it.

Then she began to read a commercial announcement about an upcoming community event. When she messed up, she started over...several times. After FOUR MINUTES of working on this one ad, she said, "There's just no way that's going to fit into 30 seconds."

Duh.
I caught on by then that someone had accidentally popped in the tape(?) of the rough original recordings for promotional announcements instead of the final edited ones. Accidents happen.

I could not change the channel, because I did not want to miss something being said like:
"What's that smell? Did someone just cut one?"
"Omigosh. Did you see Suzy's hair today? It is hideous!"
"[on cell phone] Yeah, here's my credit card number, and expiration date, and secret code number from the back."

Do you guys have any ideas of what else might be funny and/or awful to say in the recording room if you didn't know it would accidentally be broadcast? Or maybe you've been caught with your video camera or speaker phone on or wore a live microphone into the bathroom?

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Thanks... I Think

It is flattering (usually) when someone says that something reminded them of you.

For example:

"I saw a beautiful sunset...and it made me think of you."
"I met a really intelligent person at work today...and it made me think of you."
"Brad Pitt called today...he made me think of you."

And then there's Gayle and her comment on my last post:

"I posted a new poop story today and thought specifically of you. I aim to please."

Truly, I blush. I must return the compliment...

Gayle, next time I collect my dog's poop in a plastic grocery sack and twist it up and dangle it from my car door handle (which I have done at least 3 times at soccer games this year), I will definitely think of you too.

Good Morning, Alfred Hitchcock

Sitting in the living room this morning, Cheddar (the dog) heard a noise.
This is not altogether unusual. It's fall, and every time a leaf drops in the yard, he makes a beeline for the front door to welcome it to his world.

It's quite an endearing little routine...except for the fact that it's annoying. Even if we weaned him from his leaf obsession, there would still be the deer to be barked at.
And the squirrels.
And the cars.
And the moths.

And the air.

Today, though, the noise he heard was squeaky and very loud. It pretty much sounded like a parade of 250 cars who all had their brakes adjusted to sound just like mine.

When we got to the door, we saw a scene from a horror movie: We were glued to the front door for 10 minutes or so.
None of us wanted to miss it in case something really dramatic happened.

But unfortunately, we didn't see any babies carried off by the birds.

And the lady trapped in the phone booth didn't freak out as much as we'd hoped

Monday, November 3, 2008

I Shall Not Be Voting This Week...

...because I enjoyed some early voting last month. While some of you may choose to vote twice or more, I'm not down with that.

O.K. I must admit that many people who read this blog have grown accustomed to me writing about things that are either:

a) funny
b) stupid
c) weird
d) embarrassing
e) cheese-related
f) all of the above

Therefore, I feel I must warn those of you who wish not to read my personal opinion on a serious subject that you can just come back tomorrow when I return to the inane. Who knows, maybe I caught someone off-guard a couple weeks ago when I mentioned politics and abortion. It is definitely a hot-topic, and many people have made conscious decisions to avoid the issue altogether. If you don't like the subject or don't wish to read a post that might differ with your views, here's your last chance to click away.


...5

...4

...3

...2

...1

O.K. for those of you who risked it and stayed, I want to confess that I think for this go around I've turned into a "single-issue voter." I was tempted to think that this might be small-minded of me. So you see, I'm open-minded enough to consider that I might actually be small-minded.

While I absolutely understand that many many people do not consider abortion to be wrong because they do not consider the unborn child to be alive yet, I do. And while I understand that many many people cite lots of benefits of abortion--some of them really noble--it doesn't make something I consider wrong to be right. We just have a fundamental disagreement on wrong and right.

(I really think someone of you don't like reading this kind of stuff. Seriously, come back tomorrow when I'm back to my normal self.)

I'm not violent. I'm not going to bomb a clinic or kill an abortionist. And I'm not going to call a woman who's had an abortion a murderer. According to the laws of our land, she's done something perfectly legal for now, and many people determine what is right or wrong by looking to our nation's laws to guide them.

Unfortunately, we keep learning of new and more horrifying ways to get the job done. Partial-birth abortions and live-birth abortions have sent shockwaves through the pro-life camps and caused them to feel even stronger about their stance, fearing that it looks like it's getting worse.

(Remember. You can click away if you don't like this drivel.)

As long as an unborn child is viewed as simply tissue that a mother can choose to get rid of, it probably doesn't matter to the doctor if it is removed by crushing the living tissue, sucking out the insides of the living tissue, or burning the living tissue with chemical solutions. If it's not a little baby human, it really doesn't matter at all. When you take my appendix out, I won't care how it's done. Granted, my appendix doesn't respond to my voice while it's still inside me, so there might be some differences between an appendix and a baby/fetal tissue.

I suppose 150 years ago, if all slave owners were kind and gentle plantation owners who treated their slaves like family with love and respect, slavery might have endured longer. And if abortions were performed "humanely," it might not draw as much attention from opponents. But as it is, we have legislators that continue to fight for people's rights to increasingly horrific methods of abortion. They're pretty much begging for me to vote against them.

(You're still reading? You can always hit backspace and go to your previously-viewed page.)

But let me be completely honest with you. If I had been raised generations ago on a plantation with slaves, there's a very good chance that you'd never convince me slavery was wrong. And if I had been raised in a different family today and had been exposed to many good people who benefitted abortions, I might be embracing abortion today as well.

So I will seek to understand even more those who disagree with me. They really are smart people who have given the subject a considerable amount of thought.

And I will use my opportunity to vote for what is important to me.

I WISH everyone in this nation agreed with me 100% and felt exactly the way I do about everything, but if that were the case, there would clearly be a shortage of Velveeta, and its price would surely skyrocket.

So there you have it. I'm a single-issue voter, it looks like.

Now if there ever were an anti-cheese party, I might be a two-issue voter.

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Tomorrow: No political stuff whatsoever.
The next day: Probably not then either.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Not That You Were Asking

In case you have a separate calendar where you keep track of my life and what I'm doing when I'm not here to blog about it, Cindy and I have been getting our crafting groove on.

I'm secure enough in my masculinity to admit to spending a week helping Cindy prepare for the Tri-Kappa (KKK?) craft fair. Mainly, the fact that I own a John Deere mower trumps any decoupaging or needlepoint I may be forced to do. Also, I get to apply glue with a GUN. I'm still awaiting the development of the Glue Rifle. It can't take much longer, can it?

Pictures of cool crafts are forthcoming.