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

Friday, February 27, 2009

I Can't Remember How Many Concentric Circles of Hell There Used To Be, But I Just Found One More

Last night was our time to have our family portrait taken for our church’s newest pictorial directory. Additionally, it’s been ages since we’ve had an official family photo, so we got dolled up and ready our photo shoot.

Perhaps you're picturing hip music playing and a swanky photo shoot with a photographer in a scarf and beret saying things like "show me those pouty lips" and "work it, girl" while the wind machine blows sensually through my hair.

Anyone who’s been through this experience before knows exactly what it was really like
For those who haven’t, I’ll simply share some of the quotes from yesterday to give you a feel.
“I HATE these puffy sleeves.”

“I know I already had planned for us to wear brown, but now let’s all wear black which means we need to run to the store to buy clothes hours before our photo shoot!”

“Why do I have to wear these puffy sleeves?”

“You were supposed to brush your teeth BEFORE you put those clothes on.”

“People wore sleeves like this in the 1800’s, and this is the 21st century!”

“You take that shirt off and give it to her, and she’ll give her sweater to her, and then I’ll wear that shirt...until we all change our minds again.”

“I’m pretty sure Mary Todd Lincoln had sleeves like these….and look what happened to HER.”

“We need to leave in three minutes. Hmmmm. Maybe we should all wear green.”

“These slee…”


“Welcome to your photo shoot. Just sign in here. Unfortunately, one of the photographers is sick, so we’re running a little behind.”

“Define ‘a little.’ “

“About an hour.”

“Hi, sweetie. Why, look at these cute girls. How blessed you are with four daughters. And check out those sleeves…”


“Don’t worry. In the final products, we’ll retouch those glares on your shiny bald head.”

“Can you also retouch these sleeves?”

"And this frame is made of real wood dipped in gold enhanced with silver trimmed with platinum carved by fairies and autographed by God."

“Scott, how about you go take the kids someplace while I decide what to buy. I’ve been saving my own money and this is what I want to use it for.”

“Isn't mommy done picking pictures YET?”

“It can’t be good a sign that she’s been in there a half hour buying pictures.”

“Cindy, don’t even tell me how much you spent. I do not need to know. In fact, I’ll be much happier if I don’t know.”

“Mommy didn’t say how much she spent, but she did say that now we won’t be able to buy a new countertop.”

“You can take those outfits off now. Thank you for wearing things you probably didn’t like.”

“Actually, these sleeves are kind of cool.”

[I lied about the last quote.]

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Still Not Bothering To Learn Names

[cue music]

Another week, another 12 singers on American Idol.
OK. Who am I kidding?
Take two.

[restart the music]

Another week, another 11 singers on American Idol.

[roll through the montage of the various singers. Then the music comes to a screeching halt as the video shows the 12th contestant whom I shall simply refer to at this point as "Omigosh What Is This Guy Doing On American Idol"... or "OWITGDOAI" for short.]

Oh, we shall come back to him in a moment.

In the meantime, let's meet the other contestants whose names escape me:

Girl Who Looks Like Janet Jackson From Certain Angles did really well. Unfortunately, she broke the news to me on public TV that she's not going to write me a love song, today.

Piano Dueler. I didn't know you could sing Cold Play stuff without bongos and whatnot.

Legs. She sang "This Love," and it took its toll on her.

No words.
It was like a drag queen performance without the drag.
I guess I did find words after all.

Rachel Ray's Sister With Hair On Fire. So far the best of the night, singing Heart's "Alone" and belting it out like a pro.

More-Confident Man In The Mirror. If he really wants to make the world a better place, perhaps he could start off by not singing that song. It was ok, maybe even nice, but not remarkable. He looks charming enough, though, to be in a chick flick with Reece Whitherspoon or sumpin'.

(Oooh. Remind me to record the show about blue whales on National Geographic! Sorry, back to our program.)

Short-Nighty Lounge-Singer Girl sported her planetary tattoo and looked pretty and sang cool...and danced awkwardly. I think Simon called her a "funny little thing." Apt description. Very apt.

Welder. He has a shaved head and a goatee. As do I. He's clearly going through to the next round if it's based Scottlike-ness. However, if it's based on NOT looking like a pudgy, middle-aged drunk uncle at a wedding, he might be in trouble.

The Shoulder. She sang that she's got Betty Davis eyes, not to be confused with having Betty Davis's eyes (apostrophe) which would conjure up images of saving an old lady's eyeballs in a tupperware container in her purse. THAT would be creepy.

Hakuna Matata. That's Swahili for "Makes Ugly Faces While Singing." Sounded good except for the spots when he didn't.

OK, this next girl I can't come up with a no-name for. She sang "Drops of Jupiter" which I really like musically. The song always intrigues me with its haunting beauty. But I'm afraid to sing it myself since I fear that Drops of Jupiter might be a dirty phrase that means something I don't understand because I'm too old and un-hip to know the lingo.

Dresses-In-Black Boy. Or Spikey Hair Swoopy Bangs Boy. Sang "Satisfaction.". Over the top. Not my style, but he can definitely sing and dance and performs, and it appears that that's what this competition is about.

I thinks it's a more difficult job to predict the winners tonight, but I'll try:

Top Guy: More-Confident Boy (but it's kind of three-way tie with Swoopy Bangs and Hakuna Matata.)
Top Gal: Rachel Ray's sis
Third Pick: Short Nighty

But I'll be not the least bit surprised if NONE of my guesses make it through.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Sean Connery Is Pretty Much My Twin Brother

As I walked down a hallway in my children's school this morning, I passed two little girls who were hustling along to their third-grade classroom.

One of them stopped and grabbed the arm of her friend to make her stop too. She stared wide-eyed at me and said, "He is AWESOME!"

Contrary to what you may believe, I don't actually get that kind of response often. (Technically, NEVER.)

I had no clue how to respond, so Little-Miss-Good-Judgment got a "Well, I think YOU'RE pretty awesome, too" from me.

After their moment of starstruckness, they ran off to class, and I was left with the ponderous question, "Who in the world did she think I WAS?" Admittedly, all us bald people look alike.

Here are some possibilities. Perhaps you can think of more:

1) Mr. Clean
2) Paul Shaffer, band leader for David Letterman

3) Stephen Covey

(because, you know, third graders know so much about management consultants)

4) Yul Brynner

5) Montel Williams

6) Homer Simpson

7) "Stone Cold" Steve Austin

7) Samuel L. Jackson

8) Willard Scott

9) Sinead O'Connor

10) Lieutenant Ilia,

the Deltan Navigator in "Star Trek" the motion picture.

I'm sure there are other possibilities out there.
How 'bout you?
Who do third graders point and stare and mistake YOU for?

Saturday, February 21, 2009

No, She Didn't Say "Voldemort"

A couple of days ago, one of my girls was giving the dog commands to "sit" and "shake."

I apologize if I'm offending your sensibilities, but this child stumbled over her words and combined them into a different word that ought not be said.

I take a little pride in the fact that she has no idea what she said, that she hasn't learned the whole list of filthy words that others her age seem to know.

Of course, it's entirely possible that she knows what she accidentally said and she's thinking that DAD's the one who is pure of mind and doesn't know any dirty words.

Either way, that little hint of profanity provided us with a tender moment.

By the way, Big Doofus made some great puns in his comments below. I WANTED to say some of those things, but I have a pure and austere reputation I wish to uphold.

Friday, February 20, 2009

"water please?"

"water please?"

Those simple words were emailed to me late last night.

I had just come home from a late-night basketball game in which our home team was beaten repeatedly with sticks, noodles and pitiful glares from row 36, seat 104.

Generally, I don't expect important emails at 11:00 p.m., so I didn't bother seeing what was making my Blackberry buzz, and the message went unread...

...until I got upstairs to the bedroom and found my wife snuggled up warmly in bed with the laptop...with her mouth as parched as the Sahara in desperate need of a refreshing glass of water.

No, actually, she said she really didn't need it that badly, but I'm a good man and got her some anyway.

I just wanted to share this brief story so that you'd know that the lines of communication are still open in our marriage after all these years.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

She Probably Has Her Phone Number Written on Her Body for the Cute Young Doctors To Find

Today I'm planning on driving up to Indianapolis for part of the day to visit a friend in the hospital.

She's a little spitfire. And by that, I mean that's she's little--a fairly short woman--and she can spit fire--well, not yet, but following her surgery she's likely to. She's having some repair work done on stuff involving her esophagus and who-knows-what-else, because that poor woman is just messed up inside in ways that defy my understanding.

I marvel each time I hear of the medical wonders this woman has been through, and each time God brings her through safe and sound.

She served for quite a while as my assistant here at church, which gave me a wonderful opportunity to get to know her and her story a little better. Hopefully, I'll get to spend a little time with her family today and get to know even a little bit more.

For confidentiality sake, I shall not give her real name, but some of you know who she is. The rest of you can just refer to her as "Xena, Hospital Warrior Princess."

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Cheap Art Project Du Jour

We're still in the middle of a gradual bedroom redecorating project.

It started with painting the walls years ago. Then we bought curtains. And a bedspread. Then years later...different curtains and a different bedspread. It's kind of an evolutionary thing based mostly on sales at TJ Maxx, Target or Kohls.

The new bedspread made some personal attacks on the old artwork on the walls, so the art just up and left one day. Who can blame it?

To replace it, we took the old frames and painted them black using paint we had laying around.

Then we took some scrapbook paper and cut into smaller pieces to assemble into a collage of coordinating styles and/or colors.

It really was a pretty cheap project. One of the things I like most about it is the textures in the papers. There was some with embossing, some with shininess and some with fuzzy feltiness.
Looking at it in these photos, I realize that the with the matting being the same color as the walls, it appears that the artwork is floating inside the frames. Maybe I repaint the matting (yes, it's painted because it's cheaper than buying new mattes).

I think it turned out decent enough to last the next couple of months until my wife decides the bedroom should be decorating in shades of pink and lime green.
As almost always, these crazy ideas on Wednesdays are spurred on by our friends over at Rocksinmydryer who host a list every week, except this is her last week because it's moving to a new site next week. These things happen, folks.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Not Really A LOT About American Idol

I'm not really expecting to dive head-first into live-blogging for American Idol until we get to the final 12. However, I'm cozy here in bed with a plate of cheeses, both cheddar and smoky swiss; the TV is on American Idol; my wife is blogging furiously next to me.

So clearly, I have no choice but to whip out my Blackberry and toss out a quick post.

I apologize for not paying close attention to names at this point in the game. I was told that once you name a puppy, you'll have a hard time giving it up. But if you're watching along with me, then you'll know who I'm talking about. Here are a few that stuck out (for better or for worse, mostly for worse):

* Stretchy Tight Black Pants Girl

* Something Bradddddddy

* Bluesy, Long Necklace Girl

* Home Improvement Warehouse Boy

* Not Taylor Swift

* Anoop Desai (OK. I got his name, but mainly because we rewound it to find out so I wouldn't sound racist by referring to him as "that Indian-ish" dude. Thank goodness I didn't. Whew.)

* Oil Rigger

* The Girl Who Feels Like A Natural Woman

* The Guy Who Remembered the Lyrics This Time

* Crying Drama Queen

* The Hero Guy Who Has Glasses Like I Should Get

I think I missed a couple here or there when I was dealing with the cheese and crackers, but I'm going to have to finish typing so I can dial 1-866-IDOLS-12 and vote for my glasses.

So here's who going to make it, per my prediction:
Guy: Glasses
Girl: Necklace
Next: Drama Queen

Monday, February 16, 2009

I'm Guessing She Just Came From Starbuck's

I'm not usually one to post weird videos people send me.

However, this particular one of a woman in an airport made me curious. Who knows, maybe it's all over the web already. I had the option of reading the story that went along with it to explain her behavior, but I find it more exciting sometimes not to know any background. This way, I'm free to imagine any number of scenarios explaining the hysteria you're about to witness. Since she is screaming/crying/bansheeing in a foreign tongue, it may be difficult to know which of the following may be the case:

a) She just found out her DVR failed to record the latest episode of "The Bachelor."
b) Her husband got her those nasty chalk-flavored conversation hearts for Valentine's Day when he knows she prefers the heart-shaped Sweet Tarts.
c) Sanjaya was in the airport.
d) She has a weigh-in for her wrestling match in one hour, and she read somewhere that you burn 672 calories for every minute of a hysterical fit you throw in an airport.
e) She realized that she could've saved $15 on her car insurance.
f) She forgot she was smuggling her illegal jalepeno juice on board in a used eye drops bottle.
g) She and her family are killing time waiting for their flight by playing Charades. "Rhymes with 'schmazed vunatic.' "
h) She just discovered that the clothes, hair dryer and 18 bottles of duty-free liquor she thought she had put in her checked luggage were really in her baby's stroller. So the baby must be...

Well, you watch and see if you come up with any better ideas and let me know:

Valentine's Recap

I must confess that I failed to do my all-red/pink Valentine's dinner on Saturday for the girls.

As the day approached, I just felt apathetic about all the details of working that out.
Plus, the thought of red Jell-O, cabbage, beets and salmon turned out not to be as enticing as it seemed earlier in the week.

Instead, for breakfast we had red (well, actually orange) scrambled eggs pressed into heart shapes. And a little red food coloring in their milk.

That was enough for them to give me permission to lay off the red for dinner.

Instead, I made waffles for dinner covered in strawberries and whipped cream. They were perfect, my wife said.

However, just in case that wasn't enough to satisfy the grown ups, I also cooked some steaks and whipped out some store-bought sushi.

Believe it or not, the waffle-steak-sushi combination worked. Mostly because they were all served with a heaping helping of love, the main ingredient in every special meal.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

I Hear The Floss is Really That Good

I don't usually use my blog as a forum to mock people. Sometimes it just happens accidentally, but it's not my intention.

Except today.

My father-in-law (I hope you're reading this Byron, because I love you) made an overnight trip to Ohio this week. Before he left, I asked him what the trip was for.

He'd moved from there last year, so I figured there might be some business to wrap up or an old friend to visit.

"Oh, I can't find the kind of dental floss I like here in town, so I'm going to my store in Columbus that has it."

You know, you shouldn't neglect your gums.

"So you're spending all that gas money in order to drive to the next state to buy floss?"

He just smiled like he'd suckered me into believing the most ridiculous thing.

"No, silly....
...I'm also getting some Gas-X. There's this flavor that I like that I haven't been able to find..."

He really is a cartoon character in so many ways.

Before I leave you thinking that my father-in-law is some neurotic, gassy, floss-obsessed maniac, I should add that he finally ended his charade and confessed that he was going to go ahead and meet some friends since he was already going to be in town. That's pretty smart thinkin'.

Friday, February 13, 2009

So Much For My Attempts To Be More Professional

Ironically, it's "Casual Friday," and my jeans are all filthy so the khakis are making an appearance.

Joining them are my blue Crocs because I slid them on to take out the dog this morning. Then I forgot to switch to shoes that actually go with khakis or my socks.

They don't even match my purse.

I'm simply a mess to look at.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Powerless In Indiana

Don't you hate it when you work your thumbs to bloody stubs typing away on your Blackberry, writing a blogpost about the power being out due to strong wind storms, and then the power comes on suddenly, and you don't want to publish the post as you realize how whiny it sounded, because really, how self-absorbed is it to feel inconvenienced by less than four hours without power, especially when three of those hours were spent away from home at activities?

Hypothetically speaking.

Spicing Things Up in the Bathroom

So things are a little dull in the bathroom, eh?
You have a boring mirror over the sink that has no frame and just sits there looking mirror-y?
Then do I have a quick, easy, cheap solution for you.

Here's a glimpse of our bathroom mirror before. I didn't bother cleaning it for this photo or anything. I like to be real. It's just a rectangle of mirror and that's it. It needs a little pizzazz. A lot pop. A little je nais ses qua.
I neglected to take photos of the process during the make-over. But it's simple enough, you can just imagine.

1) I bought some wood trim pieces and 4 corner "rosettes." (I think that's what those things are called. They could just as easily be calle circle-y square things.) I think all the materials cost $20 or so.
2) I cut the wood. By using those rosettes in the corner, I saved myself the trouble of having to cut angles and matching them well.
3) I painted the wood. It helps to paint the BACK of the trim too, because it's reflected in the mirror.
4) I glued each piece to the mirror. Yup. A little glue gun action and voila!

Again, I left some fingerprint smudges in to make it look more home-y.

Here's a bigger view (it really is hard to take a decent picture in a small room).
I think the frame classes up the joint a bit.
Notice I didn't include the sink and countertop in the photo, because all the classing up done by the frame would have been negated by the fact that I was too lazy to clean up all my beauty accoutrements. I did, however, include our wall cabinet dedicated mostly to pain killers and Q-tips.
There's more random ideas to make people's lives better, easier or prettier over here at Rocksinmydryer every Wednesday. But mine's the best.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

It'$ Really Be$t Not To Think About $uch Thing$

La$t night I $aw the headline online "Four Daughter$, Four Wedding$, One Year."

I checked the charge on our automatic external defibrillator before clicking on the link.

$ure enough, four $i$ter$ (there wa$ $ome $tep-family action) are all getting married in 2009.

A$ a father of four daughter$ my$elf, thi$ $tory hit a little clo$er to home than I care to acknowledge.

But I have to admit, I want them all to be as happy and blessed as Cindy and me. If that involves weddings in rapid succession, so be it.

I hear that the back room at McDonald's can be reserved for parties and reception$.

Monday, February 9, 2009

What Does Pink Taste Like?

Valentine's Day is rapidly approaching, and as a husbad of one wife and father of four girls, I clearly am not going to let this holiday slip by unnoticed.

Usually, Cindy and I celebrate with a date on some day other than February 14, if for no other reason than waits are shorter at restaurants and babysitters are easier to come by.

However, on the actual holiday, we will probably celebrate in our traditional fashion with an all-pink or red meal with the kids. It's fun to plan what kinds of food are already pink or red and which other ones can have their colors altered to fit in our requirements. Of course, red sauces are easy, and we can find reddish pasta. Red Jell-O. Red drinks. Red applesauce. Raw beef.

I'm ready to try some new things, so as we are nearing our deadline, does anyone have some genius red/pink food ideas that would amaze my little family? If we include your ideas/recipes, I'll be sure to credit you in the Valentine's Dinner Photo Essay. Maybe I'll even send you any leftovers.

I must admit, this red meal is much, much, much easier to plan than the green one for St. Patrick's Day.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

In Case You're Closely Following Our Lives Like Stalkers

As the week draws to a close, some follow-ups on this week's posts and other events in the news:

* The snowman featured in yesterday's post succombed finally to the sudden 50+ degree temperatures. I'm fairly sure his scarf, hat, and face pieces will just sit in the front yard till mowing season. That's how we roll.

* I want to thank the three or four you who took me up on my challenge to email Cindy the photo of Evil Paula Abdul. I regret to inform you, however, that she didn't have the response I'd predicted, but she did laugh and roll her eyes which is still worth something where I come from.

* In checking on our bank account, we found that our federal tax refund AND our state refund came on the exact same day. Surely it's a sign that we should blow it entirely on comic books, bubble gum and hair care products.

* Our 4th grader is being a very good music student and practicing her recorder (you know, that musical pipe thingie) constantly. Evidently, mastery of the instrument involves playing "Hot Cross Buns" and only "Hot Cross Buns" non-stop throughout the house. It's stuck in our heads, so Cindy is singing the song right now as she goes up the stairs, "One a penny, two a penny, %$#@&! buns."

Now if only next week can be just as exciting.

Biggest (Coldest) Loser

Yesterday, we finally built a snowman in our front yard. We had a blast, and when we were finished, it felt like he was a part of our family.
Granted, he was a little chubby and could stand to lose a few inches here or there.So we enrolled him in an intense weight-loss program, utilizing mostly solar therapy.
Within 14 hours, he was a different person.
I think he has the confidence now to go out in public, attend his high school reunion and wear a bikini.

Friday, February 6, 2009


OK. Seriously, folks, doing taxes can be lots of fun.

For years, my tax situation was simple; it hardly took a half hour to do my taxes, and that included the drive to the post office to mail it.

But then I graduated from highschool.
After that, I had more jobs and got married and started producing babies like some mechanized assembly line. So now it takes a little bit longer to do our taxes. But thanks to TurboTax, it doesn’t take as long as I fear each year.

I used to buy the CD for TurboTax, but I have since learned the joys of the online service. (I have it bookmarked. I’m not sure of the specific address, but you can find it at www.intuit.com.) The great thing about the online service is that I can do a little at home, do a little at work, do a little on vacation, do a little in the bathroom or anywhere I am when the mood hits me. And I think that regardless of CD or online, it will pull all your old info from the previous year. It even showed me how much I had entered last year in areas like mortgage interest or retirement savings.

The coolest part is the scoreboard at the top that shows your refund as it goes up or down with each figure you enter. It feels kind of like a game on “The Price Is Right” when those numbers spin and you wonder how high they’ll go before they stop.

I know a lot of people gather all their materials and do their taxes once they have everything they need. Sure, that probably is efficient in its own way. This year, though, I chose to enter information online at TurboTax whenever the various bits of info got here. So if I got a W-2 at work, I hopped online quickly and entered the info. Later, I’d receive some charitable info at home and enter that. Sure, it probably took more time total, but I was able to do it here and there when I found a couple minutes to spare. But I didn’t have to look ahead and plan some horrendous work session to churn it out.

In fact, in some ways, it feels like I never really even did our taxes. However, the fact that a chunk of moolah was just deposited in my bank account this morning confirms it. I submitted them online last Wednesday, and I just got my refund today. That’s the quickest yet for our family.

Maybe we’ll celebrate by going to White Castle tonight for dinner since Cindy was deprived of that on our anniversary last week.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

"I Saw An Evil In Her Eyes"

You probably don't spend your evenings glued to the TV watching "American Idol."

Yeah, me neither.

Except I do.

And tonight I am so glad I did, because we were able to witness the intense drama that is "Group Week" when all these divas and soloists are forced to work together with strangers and try to still sound good. It works for some...but not so much for others.

And when they sink, well, clearly it's because Paula is evil. Best quote of the night was the young man who got the boot and then explained that he saw a side of Paula that he never knew was there.

"I saw an evil in her eyes."

When the producers replayed some close-up Paula footage, sure enough. There was the evil:

Cindy and I laughed so hard at this shot on the TV, that I had little choice but to rewind it over and over and over and over. She laughed more and more each time.
I guarantee you, if you copy this photo and insert it in an email and send it to Cindy, she will wet her pants.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Daddy's Little Secret--Works for Me

My intention a few years ago was to compile a book filled with helpful ideas for dads.
It would be humorous yet poignant.
It would have easy recipes and cleaning hints.
It would have shortcuts and advice.
And it would be titled "Honey, I Fed The Kids...and Other Miracles of Fatherhood."
But then I started to blog instead.
I still hope to write it. After all, we dads need all the help we can get. When the dreaded moment comes, and Mom has to be out of town overnight, every dad cries inside like a baby.

But here's one little itty hint for surviving a weekend like that.

I'm a minister and pretty much am expected to be at church on Sundays. (They like me to show up through the week too it turns out.)

But without Mom there to dress 4 little girls--this was when they were all preschoolish age--panic could have set in. That's no small feat. Not only did they have to be dressed, they had to be dressed WELL and acceptably enough for public consumption.

Instead of the catatonic rocking route, I chose the road less traveled.

I simply dressed them the night before at a leisurely rate and put them to bed in their cute dresses and jumpers. Mission accomplished.

We were at church even EARLIER than if Mom had been there to help. (Nyah nyah nyah nyah nyah.)

Feel free to use my idea, dads, but don't make the same mistake I made. Don't go bragging to all your wife's friends about your sneaky plan. Just keep this between you and me...and the kids. Tell them not to tell Mommy or else they won't be able to have ice cream for breakfast next time Mommy's gone.

For more Works-For-Me-Wednesday ideas, check out the party over at Rocksinmydryer.

25 Things About Me

Maybe you tagged me to do this. Maybe you didn't.

But you'll have to suffer through it like everyone else. So just sit down and pretend to enjoy getting to know me better.

1. I know just enough about Feng Shui to be dangerous when I visit your home and rearrange your furniture,
2. ***deleted because of it's graphic nature and because it involves my wife enjoying popping my zits*** New Safe, Non-Repulsive Replacement Fact: Bacon is yummy to me.
3. Being one of four boys, I was grossly unprepared for the raising of four girls, but I'm learning.
4. I know how to braid my girls' hair. I can't do a real French braid, but I can try and get pretty close...maybe a Belgian Braid? Or a Dutch Braid?
5. I took 12 years of piano lessons.
6. You can't tell.
7. I took 0 years of guitar lessons.
8. You can tell.
9. I love cheese. I honestly can't say I've ever met a cheese I didn't like. I even like stinky cheese. Possibly because there's a greater chance I won't be asked to share.
10. I can't wear low-rise jeans. Well, technically I CAN. I just care too much about your retinas to risk having my muffin-top burned on them.
11. I once memorized a whole book of the Bible in a challenge against my youth minister...who I don't believe bothered to memorize any of it. Some people just know how to push my buttons.
12. I can fall asleep just about anywhere. I shouldn't, but I do.
13. I must add something new to a recipe in order to make it my own. Cheese usually does the trick.
14. The only bone I've ever broken was my thumb while playing backyard football.
15. I don't know how to play football.
16. My first pair of glasses in 2nd grade came with a handy Fred Flinstone case and a free 10-year supply of self-esteem issues.
17. I think I need a second round of esophogeal stretching. Either that or I'll have to start chewing my food to keep from choking.
18. My favorite color is red. (I know that's a very boring fact, but when you buy me a new car, that fact will definitely come in handy.)
19. Falling asleep late at night on the couch with the TV on is a luxury for me.
20. I like to diagram sentences.
21. I was studying Communications and Public Relations before I decided to go into the ministry.
22. I attribute Laura Rich in Mrs. Fillmore's 3rd grade class for my life-long love of redheads and my eventual marriage to redheaded Cindy.
23. I desperately want to go snow skiing. Right now.
24. If you serve me scrambled eggs WITHOUT cheese, I'll be polite and eat it. But I may not stay at your house again.
25. My favorite sound in the whole world is my wife's laughter. I could listen to it all day.

The juju spirits require that I "tag" 25 people to write 25 things about yourselves.

Rather than mention 25 by name, I'll just say that if:
A) Your name starts with a consonant
B) You are wearing long sleeves
C) You have had the chicken pox,

Then consider yourself tagged...for what it's worth.

Monday, February 2, 2009

The Reason Behind The Shutting Up...

I mentioned in my previous post how my with-it wife uses the phrase "Shut UP" in much the same way you might say "Get Out!" or "No way!"

What I DIDN'T mention was WHY she said it most recently.

At dinner, while we were celebrating our anniversary the way mature, classy, dignified folks do (which means "over a steaming pot of melted cheese fondue at a restaurant", of course), I gave her a new opal ring.

And the automatic response from her was "Shut UP!"

It caught me off guard, because that's the same response I got from my suggestion to eat at White Castle (greasy little burgers) for our anniversary. Only there was a slightly different tone and inflection.

Fortunately, after 15 years of marriage, I'm able to discern the difference.

However, I'm still working on distinguishing the nuances of "Get Out," "No way," and "Clean up after yourself" in their varied uses.

Shut UP!

We used to tell our children that "Shut up" was not a kind thing to say.

It was mean and evil, and the road to hell was most assuredly paved with people who said it (and you thought it was paved with good intentions).

Recently, though, my wife has taken to saying the phrase...but not in the the "shut-yo-mouth-or-I'm-going-to-shut-it-for-you" kind of way.

Instead, she uses it in the hip "nuh-uh-are-you-kidding-me-that-is-unbelievable-you-best-not-be-toying-with-me" kind of way that peeps be talking these days.

This just proves how cool and hip and young at heart she truly is.

Cindy, you're much cooler and hipper and younger-at-heart than that waitress for our anniversary dinner. When you told her it was our 15th anniversary, she shouldve said, "Shut UP! There is NO way you've been married longer than 5 years. I mean, have you seen your smooth, young skin in a mirror? Seriously, have you even graduated junior high school yet?"