Some Things Our Kids Don’t Need to Know About Us

30 07 2008

Ever wish you could answer something in a completely honest way? Maybe when you’ve filled out a job application or been asked questions by someone on a first date? There are certain situations when complete honesty is probably a mistake (unless you are a true saint and have nothing to cover up).

I’m in one of those situations currently. I was given a journal/book called A Father’s Legacy (J. Countryman Publishing) by a family member. The idea is a cool one: Answer the questions about your own life in the book and then give it to your child/children so they can have a lasting memoir to keep. It will require some work (thanks a million, Luke), but I acknowledge this is a good idea.

Another good idea would be to utilize a modicum of care in how I answer some of these questions. This book is meant for my child (or children if more come along in the future) and could very easily get passed down to their children and so on and so on. It will be important to be truthful, of course. BUT, it may be wise to keep some true things about my past to myself. How fun would it be, though, to answer some of the questions in any way that I wanted to answer them? Luckily, I have this blog space to do just that! I can save my more “fatherly” answers for the book.

From the CHILDHOOD section of the book:

“Did you enjoy reading as a boy?” My book answer will of course praise the merits of reading and refer to the joys of having The Monster at the End of this Book read to me by my mother and enjoying Charlotte’s Web on my own. This is all true, but let’s get to the nitty gritty. I will never forget reading the sex advice column in the Playboy magazine that I stole when I was about 12. (I was not the type to steal, and other than the magazine, I think I stole a piece of hard candy once, and that was about the extent of my pilfering. I stole the magazine because, at least back then, they didn’t allow 12-year-olds to buy Playboy, and Suzanne Somers was in that particular edition. I had seen Three’s Company, and I couldn’t resist.) Back to the sex advice. What red-blooded boy at that age would not be mesmerized, awed and possibly a bit overwhelmed reading advice about extra-marital affairs or understanding female orgasms? I had the feeling that I was partway in heaven and partway in hell hiding in the garage reading those pages. Plus Suzanne Somers was hot. So, I can honestly say, yes I enjoyed reading as a boy.

From the FAMILY LIFE section of the book:

“In what ways are you like your father?” The book answer will include that I am funny and determined and that I believe in God, which are all things that my dad role modeled. He was a good man. These things are true, but like any man, my late father had his own issues. Unfortunately, I may have inherited one or two or twenty of them. So what’s the real answer? I can be as stubborn as an ass, just like him. I don’t like to lose any argument and therefore can be an infuriating person. I tend to scoff at the stupid things people do which can make me a bit judgmental. I’m guessing that my kids, when old enough to understand the book, will know these things about their dad without me having to write them down! Speaking of similarities between myself and my dad, let me mention one way in which I am not similar. Why can’t I hit a golf ball the way my dad could? I don’t enjoy the game, but I probably would if I could master the course the way he did.

From the EDUCATION section:

“What did you learn in high school?” I’m sure my book answer will touch on many things regarding “responsibility” and “self-reliance” blah, blah, blah. But here, my honest answer is this: I quickly learned there was a perfect spot on the first floor of the gym where, at lunch time, one could stand and be positioned directly below the railing on the 2nd floor of the gym where cute girls often gathered to socialize and lean against said rail. Why was this significant? Keep in mind, I attended a Catholic high school where many of the girls wore those plaid, uniform skirts. That’s right, in just the right spot, a perverted young male could see up those skirts on the 2nd floor. In my defense (not that there really is one), I was certainly not the only male aware of this, and looking back, I’m pretty sure some of the girls knew too. This was vital information and made lunch time so much more fun. (Maybe actually going up to the girls and talking to them would have been fun as well, but this seemed preposterous and impossible for me during my first couple of years).

“Is there Something You Wish You Would Have Done in High School?” Yes. Keri and Christine…preferably at the same time.

From the LOVE AND MARRIAGE section:

“What qualities first attracted you to your wife?” This is the easiest question to answer both truthfully and in book-appropriate fashion. We worked together. I was impressed with my wife’s intelligence, motivation to succeed, class and humor right off the bat. It’s difficult not to be impressed with her, and if you’ve read her blog you already know what I mean. I may leave out two things from my book answer, though. I still remember those two things from our days working together as though they happened just yesterday. One is a particular time I came across her in a narrow hallway while she was making copies. She smiled and said “hi” (we weren’t dating yet). She was wearing a skirt, and as I passed closely by her (remember it was narrow), I was stunned by how beautiful her legs looked. The other time was when a discussion broke out amongst several co-workers about working out, playing sports, flexibility, etc. My future wife decided to demonstrate her flexibility by bending completely over and easily touching her toes. I believe this happened on a casual dress day when she was wearing jeans. The incident affected me in ways I really couldn’t describe here. (Really.)

“What do you think is most important in maintaining a healthy marriage?” The book answer will include important things like trust and commitment. My real answer here? Being willing to help her with blog wording and titles and recording sporting events to watch later when she’s gone to bed instead of trying to watch them when she’s awake.

From the PARENTING section:

“What has been the greatest challenge of being a father?” My three-year-old daughter is great and is a nearly constant source of smiles and happiness. That is very, very true. However, if I were to answer this question with nothing but the truth, I would have to say it’s a challenge to remember those smiling times and to keep my cool when she decides it’s time to climb something inappropriate in a store (say, a display of breakable items). It’s usually at this time when she is very good at calling bluffs. When you have a cart full of items that you really need to purchase (or at least think that you do) and you warn her that you’re going to take her immediately home and give her a time out if she doesn’t listen, she knows that you’re not really going to do that. That’s when she looks you straight in the eye and defiantly pronounces, “I want to go home. I want a time out.” This eventually leads to an all-out screaming, public fit in which she does the kid universal turn-her-whole-body-into-deadweight-jelly when you try to pick her up off the floor while you get disapproving glances from non-parents. I get a little angry just thinking about it. Probably time to move on to the next question.

From the CELEBRATIONS section:

“Do you remember particularly special birthday gifts you received?” Hey, I got some cool stuff as a kid, like the Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots or the Miner 2049er game for my Atari system. I’ll probably put those down in the book. However, I can’t help but also remember some of the items of clothing that my mother, bless her heart, made for me. She was great at crafty things like that, and it helped out the family financially whenever she made clothes instead of buying them. The problem is; they weren’t always the coolest styles. You can see one of the outfits in a horrific picture buried deep in this post.

From the LIFE EVENTS section:

“Has there been a political event in your lifetime that made a strong impression on you?” Yes, the Watergate scandal. I could write in the book how I learned that politicians are not always looking out for us and how the media serves as a sort of watchdog for us. In reality, though, what I really remember about that time was how mad I was that it was the ONLY THING ON TV ALL DAY FOR WHAT SEEMED LIKE AN ETERNITY. There was no cable at that time. We had the three networks and PBS. I needed my cartoons, man! All of the shows I cared about were preempted for the Watergate hearings every time I turned on a tv. At least it made me get out and play more (I was already the type of kid who liked to play outside, but it was nice to have a little mindless tv time now and then.) What kid would rather see the face of John Dean instead of Bugs Bunny or Batman? Exactly.

From the INSPIRATION section:

“Who were your role models when you were young?” I’m going to have to write about teachers and my parents in the book, and they certainly were role models. However, the truth would also include Fonzie, rockers like the dudes from Night Ranger or the Scorpions, and maybe, since I loved scary movies, someone like Jason Voorhees. I think I’ll leave these out of the book so I don’t make my kids think that I’m a leather-jacket wearing druggie who sticks axes in people. Yeah, I’ll stick with the parents/teachers answer.

The more I think about my Playboy-stealing, scary-movie loving, skirt-looking-up, Batman-watching days, the more I wonder if I really should be parenting anyone. Then again, my daughter seems to be doing amazingly well in spite of my shortcomings. Have to give my wife credit there. Maybe this whole journal/book idea to give to your kids was someone’s idea of a sick joke.

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Guys: Top 8 Ways We Enrage Women

7 07 2008

Women. I love them. They are amazing, creative, resourceful, beautiful beings. I’ve been fortunate in my life to somehow charm a handful of them who, for some reason or another, thought I was better than I actually am. This has culminated in the crowning achievement of my life: Being married to this woman.

Life with a woman is certainly much better than life without. However, there are times when men and women mix about as well as a dried-up tent filled with fireworks and a lit, gasoline-soaked rag. Guys seem to have an innate ability to make women angry. It has been my experience that there are actually 4,523 ways to tick off a female, but there are eight (call them deadly guy sins, if you like) that consistently get their panties in a twist.

1. Other Women: Guys like to check out women in restaurants, at church, in the grocery, on the street, at the gym, and at parties and events (yes, even cute moms at kids’ birthday parties). Face it: Guys like to look at women, period. This can really irk the woman you happen to be with, even though you really like to look at her, too. In fact, you probably can remember the first time you ogled her with an unhealthy lust in your heart. Still, nothing seems to get us into more trouble. We can try explaining how we just can’t help ourselves, but it doesn’t seem to calm the storm that makes up the emotions of a female. Since giving up this hobby is not an option, there are several ways guys can at least lessen the likelihood of a full-blown argument.

  • Pick the appropriate time and place. You might get away with a quick glance at a beautiful woman when you’re at a Halloween costume party. Your wife/girlfriend is probably in the right state of mind to understand that you’re going to look at the woman from down the street who is dressed in the French Maid costume. It sort of goes with the territory. However, a long stare at your wife’s cute third cousin at a funeral for your wife’s great aunt is not going to go over well.
  • Don’t stop and stare in an obvious, guy-like manner. Use either the “extreme eye slide” where only your eyes and not your head move in the direction of the other female or the “tie your shoe and sneak a peak” maneuver in which you crouch down and pretend to tie/fix/wipe something off your shoe while quickly looking in the direction of the woman in tight shorts a few feet away. These won’t actually fool your mate, but she MIGHT appreciate the fact that you at least tried to be subtle.
  • Under no circumstances do you ever look at another woman when your wife/girlfriend is pregnant, menstruating, recovering from some sort of facial surgery, or has just eaten dessert and is therefore feeling “huge” and unattractive. During these periods, you just have to fight the urge. For those of you who feel you are in a relationship with a woman who is always in one of the aforementioned states, you’re just out of luck.

2. ESPN CLASSIC: Most women hate watching most sports. Most guys like watching most sports. Most woman hate it when most guys watch most sports. Follow? However, women and men have come to friendly truces in this area. The men will watch some sports and sacrifice others while the women will either learn to enjoy some of the sports or will find other, more important things to pass that time. However, this truce becomes null and void if and when the women catch the men watching a sporting event from the past. Men call them classics while women call them old reruns. Women can understand a guy’s yearning to watch their team play in a current NFL playoff game. They cannot, however, understand why a guy would rather watch a tennis match from nearly thirty years ago rather than go shopping with them. Guys, your only hope here is that she won’t notice it’s a rerun classic. However, it’s not easy to pull this off when the guy is wearing tight shorts and using an old wooden racquet.

3. We Just Don’t Understand: Guys (well, most guys) at least have gotten the message through their heads that when a woman says no, she means no. (Those public service announcements may actually be working.) However, we are still clueless as to the more subtle messages we receive from the women in our lives. For example, we still can’t figure out when she said she really, really didn’t want anything for Valentine’s Day that it meant she AT LEAST wanted chocolates, a card, and dinner out at a nice place. We also don’t understand that we are never supposed to agree with her when she says some article of clothing is not flattering on her. On a related note, never fall for the “Which one do you think looks best on me” trap if out shopping for clothes. When you say, I like the red one, what she will hear is, I think you look ugly in the black one. Similarly, even if she told you that you didn’t have to go to a family event with her, you saying: I just don’t feel like going to that get-together today – you go, is the same thing as saying, I hate everyone in your family, and I’d rather stay home and poke my own eyes out than go there.

4. The Kids Are Fine: Sometimes, a guy’s parenting style is, how should I say it…more laid back than a woman’s. This, when noticed, does not always go over well with the female. The following things could instigate disharmony in the home:

  • Letting your kid ride the bike inside the house. The woman is likely to point out that some things in the house are actually breakable and besides, those bicycle tires probably rolled through bird poop yesterday. Everyone in the house may come down with bird flu, and you won’t have that nice blue vase from her great grandma Helga to cheer you up when your sick in bed because your kid bumped into it with the Huffy while spreading disease through the carpet fibers.
  • Women don’t seem to think that Shaved Ice/Hawaiian Ice treats are a substantial dinner. (Even if it’s a cool half and half mix of black cherry and lemon sour.) Your kid will love you for this decision, but that actually just makes matters worse when your wife insists that some carrots be consumed and the kid screams, “I like Daddy better!”

5. We Don’t Care about Carrie, Samantha, Miranda, Charlotte (though she is hot), Emma, Mr. Darcy or Lizzie: We don’t want to see the Sex and the CIty movie or any 4-hour documentary about the life of Jane Austen. We don’t want to read newly discovered letters from Jane Austen to her sister. We get offended when we realize our woman is not thinking of us when she buys an “I heart Mr. Big” coffee mug. We don’t get all misty-eyed and fuzzy inside whenever Colin Firth gets yet another movie role playing the same damn character. We don’t want to re-watch the DVR’d Oprah where Sarah Jessica Parker discussed fashion and the screaming audience members were given free DVD’s of the final season of the SATC tv show. Yes we can tell you who won the 1982 World Series and in how many games, but we sure as hell don’t know which season Carrie and Aidan broke up and why.

6. We Think We Know Where We’re Going: Guys don’t like to stop and look at maps or, God forbid, ask someone for directions. Never before has the saying, “Life is a journey, not a destination” been more true than when a man is trying to drive to a new place. Our sense of adventure kicks in. Sure, we’re just a guy with his wife trying to find a co-worker’s house for a dinner and game night, but we suddenly feel more like pirates traversing the open seas in search of treasure whenever we hit an unexpected “road closed” sign. While the woman would like to take the easy way out and simply pull into the Marathon station on the right, we men know that it is much more satisfying to let our sixth sense kick in and figure out the maze of little-used side streets by using wind direction, instinct, and landmarks. We know we’ll get there eventually (although we can’t promise that we won’t pass through a few extra states on the way).

7. We Look Pretty Good with Some Gray Hair and a Wrinkle or Two. Women are irate that men have a decent shot at actually getting better looking with age. Terms like wise, handsome, stately, gallant, and dignified are often used to describe older gentlemen. This is especially true in Hollywood. Men like Clint Eastwood, Robert Redford, Harrison Ford and others continue to be sex symbols, while actresses over the age of 24 may have to start settling for parts as grandmothers or wicked stepmothers. Diane Lane, however, is doing her best to change this attitude. At the risk of doing number one on this list, here is a picture: wow. (I may get away with this, as I think my wife has an innocent woman-crush on D. L.)

In the interest of fairness, I thought about posting a Robert Redford pic here, too. Then, I thought, hey – I’m doing a blog about what makes women angry. Why stick a guy pic in just to appease them?

8. Talking about how good the hot wings are at Hooters: The wings are awesome. Let’s get that out there right up front. However, spending time trying to convince your woman that the two of you should eat at Hooters because the wings are delicious is like saying strip clubs are a good place to go because they play really good dance music. (Who doesn’t find themselves tapping their fingers when You Shook Me All Night Long comes on?) Try as you might, your woman is not going to believe that you are more focused on these…

than these…

If your wife likes to blog, you might want to try my latest tactic. I’m trying to convince her we should go to Hooters so that she can write a funny blog about the experience from a woman’s point of view. Guys, keep checking her blog to see if I’m successful.

There they are. Eight ways to incite rage. Take them for what you will, but for God’s sake, don’t discount their power or consequences, or you could be looking at a long, cold few days of couch-sleeping. For those of you wondering if I wrote this big long blog just to have an excuse to post a picture of waitresses from Hooters, the answer is: Maybe.





My Family Portrait

9 02 2008

Allison, my beautiful wife, draws pretty well. Our daughter enjoys watching Allison pencil pictures of our family. Check out Allison’s latest artwork by clicking here.

Then, tell me if my attempt below measures up. Which is better? I think it’s a close call.





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 Life and Death of My Father, a WWII Veteran and a Great Dad

24 12 2007

There are relatively few of the noble people who fought the Nazis left in this world. This past year, my father died, and he was one of them. I am lucky that I have never been in the position to make the sacrifices he and so many others made. This is my first Christmas with no parents here on earth (my mother died a few years ago). I miss them both. I decided to post something I wrote the night before my father died along with a wedding picture of my parents.

August 30, 2007

A Man, My Father

As I contemplate the impending passing of my dad, many thoughts pass through my mind. He was a man who loved God, loved his wife, loved his children, and loved golf (not necessarily in that order).

Born on May 13, 1924, many of Dad’s formative years were spent during the great depression. Consequently, he was a man wise with money and willing to find many ways to make an income. He caddied, worked as a delivery man, owned restaurants with my mother, and eventually retired from Prudential, where he worked the insurance game.

He was also known to occasionally take money from the poor saps who made wagers against him on the golf course. Dad was not averse to following the ponies or checking on an over/under on a college basketball game. I took special pride in being the only 2nd grader at my elementary school who had a working knowledge of point spreads, pools, and daily doubles.

Despite this vice, as some would call it, my dad was a consummately moral man. He was serious about teaching right and wrong to his children, and he passed on the importance of being a good, God-fearing person. My rear end was going to be in church every Sunday; that was NOT something that was up for debate.

I admired my Dad more than he ever knew for his religious conviction. I remember when I was a child, and he could no longer kneel in church due to the growing severity of his arthritis. I always worried that people in the surrounding pews would mistakenly think Dad was just being lazy or lacked devotion. Now I am sure no one at that church ever thought that about him.

Dad was blessed with a keen wit. I will never forget, many years ago when Dad answered what was obviously a call from a telemarketer. The caller was trying to convince Dad that a “special deal” could be had if Dad could correctly answer a trivia question. The caller then asked Dad if he could name the “Bluegrass State.” Dad quickly answered “Utah.” After the surprised telemarketer hemmed and hawed a bit, he asked Dad if Dad wanted another guess. Dad dryly stated, “No, that wouldn’t be fair” and hung up.

One of the most incredible parts of Dad’s life was his service to the country he loved whole-heartedly during World War II. Dad saw friends demolished by bombs and even experienced a shell land in his foxhole. Luckily for us all, it was a dud. Dad was held prisoner of war by the Nazis and survived interrogation from a German commandant despite not telling him what he wanted to know. Tom Brokaw said of the men and women from this time, “It is, I believe, the greatest generation any society has ever produced.” I concede that I am a little biased, but I would tend to agree.

Nearly forgotten memories are returning to me like a flash flood: Dad working in his garden – Dad poring over a racing form at the local horse race track – Dad making his famous chili – Dad watching MASH or Barney Miller on TV and laughing that contagious laugh of his – Dad making the day of his grandchildren as they raced around the house while Dad called out the race-horse nicknames he had given each one of them (“Little Scratch” was one) – Dad giving me heck about the brown spot in the back yard where my wiffleball home plate and batter’s box were located – Dad requesting my assistance with resetting the clock on the VCR (I felt important back then as I was the only thing standing between my parents and a migraine-inducing digital clock blinking 12:00 for infinity).

Easily the most lasting memory I will have of this man will be a simple, yet magical one. He was a true father, and nothing was ever going to change that. He will be missed greatly, but I know that he has a nearing tee time on the most beautiful golf course he has ever seen, and he will be playing pain free for the first time in decades. Enjoy it, Dad.





You Did What in Her Dream??

8 12 2007

Another of my nephews just tied the knot. The occasion set my mind to musing about marriage and relationships between men and women. Despite spending many years trying to figure these out, I can’t say I’ve reached full understanding at this stage. However, there are a few things that I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that the man MUST do:
1. The man must always apologize for any bad dream a woman has that in any way involves the man doing something unsavory (saying something mean, flirting with another woman, leaving his girlfriend/wife, not saving the woman from a monster, etc). Do us guys have any control over the subconscious mind of a woman? (Are you kidding, we have no control over the conscious mind, so forget the subconscious.) No, but we must apologize anyway when the woman wakes us suddenly to tell us what we just had the nerve to do in her dream. If we do not, we are likely to get an arms-crossed stare until we say I’m sorry. Just get it over with and tell her you’ll never do that in her dream again.
2. Always be ready to act when the woman is feeling uncomfortable in any eating situation, even in obscure, unexpected moments. For example, you find yourself on a date at a Mexican restaurant, and your wife/girlfriend, who was famished after having only an instant breakfast for lunch, just happens to finish her plate quickly and, for once, beats you in doing so. When the waiter (not the one who brought the food or subsequently cleared the woman’s plate from the table) sees you still working on your plate and sees an empty spot in front of the lovely young lady, and that waiter mistakenly believes the lovely lady perhaps never got her meal to begin with (because she could not have finished it already), step in and quickly assure the waiter that everything is copasetic so that he will not continue this line of questioning. Then, quickly assure the lady that she looks beautiful, that you are just eating uncharacteristically slowly (perhaps because you are mesmerized by what she is wearing…more on that below), and that she had every reason to be hungry since she had been practically starving herself all day, slaving away on the stepmill at the gym, etc.
3. When your wife/girlfriend tries on a new outfit for you, it will take a minimum three times repeating that you like it (possibly four if the woman is feeling “fat” that day). Phrases such as, “Yes, I mean it; it looks great” and, “No, I am not just saying that” and, “Yes that color is awesome on you” will be necessary on your part. Also, the man must look directly at the outfit for no fewer than three seconds before saying anything, or he will definitely hear, “You didn’t even look at it.” When you hear this, you have failed and must start the outfit-viewing process all over again (possibly with shoes added as a punishment for your lack of attention the first time). As you can remember from the days of Pacman, Donkey Kong, and Galaga, it stinks to have to start a phase over again when you thought you were so close to completing it.





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.”)