111 Things for Which I Am Grateful

24 11 2008

(See my wife’s list here.)

1.   Good brain functioning

2.   My kidney-donating sister, and the other siblings who were also willing

3.   My daughter’s hugs

4.   My wife’s intelligence and wit

5.   Old Chicago pizza

6.   The actions of Jesus

7.   Scary movies

8.   Logan’s Roadhouse chili

9.   Pastors who are able to move me

10. My daughter’s joy while trick-or-treating

11. Jolly Rancher Pink Lemonade suckers from my daughter’s trick-or-treating

12. Mistletoe

13. My nephew’s sense of humor

14. Passing hidden radar guns while going the speed limit

15. Breaking Benjamin’s music

16. Great daycare centers

17. Good doctors

18. Gentle dentists

19. People who adopt

20. Movie popcorn

21. Exciting books

22. My wife in skirts

23. Comfortable shoes

24. Good in-laws

25. Antibiotics

26. ESPN radio

27. College basketball buzzer beaters

28. MP3 players

29. Christmas lights

30. Summer

31. The way my daughter likes to shut every door in the house

32. The men and women who fought WWII

33. 30 Rock

34. Peaceful, sleeping pug dog at home on a chair

35. Less news about Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan

36. Chuck and Shandi on Lingo, but especially Shandi

37. Good friends playing fun games

38. Free tennis courts

39. Hilton Head Island

40. Nice strangers

41. Living in a place that’s kind of like a small town and city all in one

42. Sinatra Christmas songs

43. Great writing pens

44. Wrinkle-resistant clothing

45. My wife’s smile

46. Naps

47. People who give good haircuts

48. Libraries

49. My daughter’s cherry-scented shampoo

50. The Opryland Hotel

51. Chicken and dumplings

52. My wife’s photographic eye

53. Open highways

54. Good, kind-hearted family

55. Guitar solos

56. Well-acted plays

57. Emails

58. Cool late night radio talk shows

59. Drive-in theaters

60. When you wake up feeling great after the flu bug has passed

61. Microwaves

62. Dishwashers

63. Packages in the mail

64. Health insurance

65. Soft, fat pillows

66. Warm blankets

67. Snow days

68. Kissing my wife on New Year’s Eve

69. Memories of childhood pets

70. Believing in heaven

71. People who stand up to bullies

72. Tears of joy

73. Eyesight

74. Starburst fruit chews

75. Grilled cheeseburgers

76. Tall trees

77. Orange juice

78. Granny Smith apples

79. July tomatoes

80. Bikinis

81. Hardwood floors

82. Good neighbors

83. Safe roads

84. Police officers

85. Being out of school

86. Volunteers

87. Going on dates with my wife

88. Windows

89. Cures

90. Being unique

91. My wife’s determination

92. My daughter’s assertiveness

93. Remote controls

94. Air conditioning

95. Heat

96. Educational t.v.

97. Mysteries of the world

98. Freedom

99. Starry skies

100. Forgiveness

101. Creativity

102. Penguins

103. Programmable thermostats

104. Hand-written love notes

105. Purring cats

106. Fireworks

107. Surprises

108. The sound of crickets

109. My daughter’s breathing when she sleeps

110. Smoke detectors

111. Being touched





Mary Ann or Ginger: A Valentine’s Day Survey

1 02 2008

My wife and I created a Valentine’s Survey. Use it if you’d like. We’d love to see your answers!

1. Describe your favorite romantic/love scene from a movie.

I’ll go with Kate Beckinsale and John Cusack in Serendipity. They spend a long time looking for each other and finally get to kiss outside amongst falling snowflakes when they connect. (There is always that Phoebe Cates scene in Fast Times at Ridgemont High, but I’m going for “romantic” here.) I’ll give a runner-up prize to the band chick and the dork in American Pie. You can’t beat her taking charge and ordering him to “Say my name, bitch!”

2. What was your worst Valentine’s Day experience?

Hmm, probably a first date with someone I thought I might like that I worked with. However, she turned out to be kind of scary needy. She had set up a hotel room for the night, but it was shared with her friend. When we got there, her friend and a guy were making out on one bed. My date went into the bathroom and came out in lingerie. OK, for the guys reading this, I’m sure you’re thinking, “where’s the bad part?” I’m telling you, there was nothing “hot” about this as she was very immature and annoying. I found some excuse to get out of there after awhile. I remember her saying, “I blew it, didn’t I?” which made me feel bad.

3. What is your favorite restaurant for a Valentine’s dinner out?

One in my hometown called The Cork and Cleaver. It’s intimate and has great steaks.

4. List a hot/romantic line from a song that you like.

Even though I’m mostly a rock guy, I like this one from an old Sinatra standard:

Who Cares to define, what chemistry this is, who cares with your lips on mine, how ignorant bliss is….so long as you kiss me, and the world around us shatters, how little it matters, how little we know.

5. What is the cheesiest aspect of Valentine’s Day?

The Valentine’s cards that say things like, “You’re my every heart beat.” Just once, I’d like to see one that says, “You really help with my digestion, honey.”

6. Did you have any elementary school traditions for Valentine’s Day?

We passed out Valentines to each other. I think we included candy. I hope we did. It was a Catholic School so we probably went to mass as well!

7. What fictional character do you have a crush on and why?

The original Charlie’s Angels. When I was a kid, I could barely handle it when it came on. I think my parents tried to keep it from me, but we all have our ways! I actually liked Jaclyn the best.

8. How old were you when you had your first, real kiss? Was it good or bad?

6th grade. It was pretty good!

9. Describe the most uncomfortable crush someone has had on you.

High School. I had a lot of phone calls from a girl who always said she needed help on a homework problem. The phone calls would last forever, with me saying very little. I recall literally being able to set the phone down to go get a drink, and she would still be blabbing when I picked the phone back up. I should have been more assertive.

10. How long did your first heartbreak last?

First time I felt “heartbroken” was back in elementary school so I don’t think it lasted more than a day.

11. Do you prefer to give/receive: a) jewelry b) chocolate c) lingerie d) tools

I like giving a, b and c.

12. If you are male, do you prefer Mary Ann or Ginger? If you are female, do you prefer McDreamy or McSteamy?

Mary Ann.

13. Would you rather be broken up with by: a) phone b) text message c) in person d) email e) carrier pigeon

Carrier pigeon. I’d have to give the chick credit if that happened. (Plus, you could get dumped and dumped on by the bird…that’s like killing two birds with one stone. Sorry, couldn’t resist.)

14. What is your favorite Valentine’s Day candy?

Peanut M&M’s (any color, even Valentine-colored.)





The Twelve Questions of Christmas (Survey)

7 12 2007

The 12 Questions of Christmas (My Wife’s Survey)

  1. What’s the best gift you have ever received? How about the worst? Best is a tie: The mp3 player from Allison (my wife) and the other is when my nephew, Luke took a novel/story I had written years ago and had it bound and made into a book. He even had appropriate cover art put on it. Worst would be a canned ham, yes canned ham that I won at a company Christmas party raffle when I worked at Goodwill. It was covered in some kind of sickening gel. Who thought of that? It would be better to have someone win a card that says, “Sorry, you didn’t win a gift, but at least you don’t have to touch a canned ham.”
  2. What is your favorite Christmas movie moment? In It’s a Wonderful Life, when young adult George and Mary are sharing a phone while listening to the guy Mary’s mother wishes Mary would date. George and Mary want to kiss each other, and the tension is so thick that they are literally shaking from the desire.
  3. When do you open gifts? I am a Christmas Eve sort of person (or earlier!)
  4. Do you believe in Santa? If not, who convinced you that he’s not real? Metaphorically, I’m a believer! However, to literally answer the question, somewhere around age 6, I approached my mom and told her I had been thinking about how Santa could cover the whole world, etc and assured her I wanted to know. Then she filled me in.
  5. What is your happiest Christmas memory? I’m sure the “Best Is Yet to Come” (as Sinatra would sing) since Abby our daughter is just beginning to understand that Christmas is something special. For now, though, I’ll go with lying on my back near the tree as a kid with the tree lights on and all other lights off. The lights made cool multicolored designs on the ceiling.
  6. Describe an ornament that has special significance to you. One that Allison gave to me a few years ago. It’s a s’more that looks like a snowman, and it says, “I burn 4 U.”
  7. What famous person would you most like to encounter under the mistletoe? This one: mistletoe
  8. When it comes to decorations, are you a Griswald or a Grinch? More of a Griswald.
  9. What is your favorite version of a Christmas song? My dad once said his favorite Christmas song was “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” as it was significant in his memory of being away at war (WW II) and wishing to be home for the holidays. I love Sinatra’s version of this song, and I still get goose bumps when I hear it.
  10. Have you had any traumatic Christmas-related experiences? Well, the canned ham….more seriously though, I am a graduate from the University of Evansville and have followed their basketball team since I was little. When I was 10, the whole team was killed in a plane crash just a week or so before Christmas. That was very sad. Here is an interesting article about it: UE tragedy We are actually watching, We Are Marshall right now, which is about a similar tragedy that killed that school’s football team. (As an aside, my answer to question 7 is in that movie.)
  11. What would be an appropriate gag gift for most of your friends? A New Kids on the Block cd.
  12. Would you rather be a partridge in a pear tree or a lord a-leaping and why? I’ll go with the lord a-leaping (and I’d dunk the basketball while yelling, “In your face! Oh and Merry Christmas.”)







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