The Twelve Questions of Christmas

11 12 2008

It’s that time of year when good cheer is spread everywhere except in packed store aisles where shoppers’ carts recklessly crash into each other while racing around in search of those hard-to-find Christmas gifts.  It follows then, that it must be time for my wife (see hers here) and me to bust out or annual Christmas meme.  Feel free to use it; we’d love to see your answers.

1. What’s the best Christmas gift you have ever received?  What’s the worst?

It’s difficult to pinpoint the best. I probably answered differently last year, but I’ll go with the electric train set I received as a child.  It was circling the Christmas tree when I woke up.

The worst I received was while working at Goodwill.  I “won” a freaking canned ham in a raffle there.  It was disgusting to look at.  I didn’t venture a taste.

2. What is your favorite Christmas movie moment?

This one:

3. What is your favorite version of a Christmas song?

I’ll Be Home for Christmas by Frank Sinatra.  My late father, who was a prisoner of war during WWII, once told me this was his favorite Christmas song (not necessarily the Sinatra version) because of his time during the war. That always stuck with me.

4. Describe an ornament that has special significance to you.

My ravishing wife gave this one to me.  The sign says, “I burn 4 U.”

5. Have you had any traumatic Christmas-related experiences?

Just the one with the aforementioned canned ham.  I swear that thing was alive.

6. What is your happiest Christmas memory?

This year, just a few days ago, when my 3-year-old daughter sat in Santa’s lap for the first time and had the biggest smile on her face.  She asked for a “Pink girl tractor” to drive. I also remember, as a small child, lying under our Christmas tree and watching the cool patterns the blinking lights made on our ceiling.

7. Favorite Christmas picture:

This one from many years ago because it shows a bunch of my family.  Most importantly, though, it shows my nephew being a HUGE baby when everyone else is having a blast.  What a tool.  See his blog here.

8. What’s on your grown up wish list (other than world peace, of course)?

Just to keep getting to be around this beauty:

9. What Christmas TV special do you look forward to all year?

The Year Without a Santa Claus because of the Heat Miser and Snow Miser.  I’m looking forward to their new special, called A Miser Brothers Christmas on ABC Family.

10. What famous person would you most like to encounter under the mistletoe?

I’ll go with Brooke Burke.

11. What’s the best thing to do in the snow?

I always thought it was cool to build a sort of igloo out of it, dig a couple of tunnels and then make my poor cat go in it with me.  I don’t have a pic of him in an igloo, but here he is in a happier place, resting on top of one of my other nephews.


12. Favorite Christmas Quote:

I will honor Christmas in my heart and try to keep it all the year. – Charles Dickens.



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What Does Your Music Say About You and Do You Care?

21 08 2008

An iPod/mp3 survey/meme:

This week, I posted my parody lyrics for the song I Kissed a Girl called I Kissed an Earl at the risk of making people who are humor-challenged think I had kissed a man. While I have no beef with anyone (male or female) who does want to do this, I had no intention of misleading anyone into thinking that I do.

This lead to a series of thoughts about the music we like, the many varied reasons we like the music we do, and the perceptions someone else might have about the songs we choose. I did a quick survey of my mp3 player and wondered what a first time co-worker or acquaintance riding in my car would think of me depending which song on shuffle play came up first. If one were to judge me by the music I’ve put on there, I could be thought of as cool, sappy, tough, stuck in the 80s, a metal head, a nerd, a wussy or an intellectual lover of the classics (you know, like Mozart or Def Leppard). It’s a bit daunting to realize we are all a slave to the shuffle play (unless you don’t use your shuffle) when it comes to that first musical impression. So, it’s fun music survey time. Feel free to use this, and I hope others will play along nicely (or not so nicely depending on what is warranted by a particular question).

If someone new were in your car, what song on your player would you be quickest to skip out of embarrassment: While I think I have more than one song that fits this question, I think I would be quickest to skip past Windy by The Association. It’s a terribly wussified 60s love song that really should only be played if trying to seduce a female hippy (is that hippie?). Why do I have it? The “cool” answer is to say that I have it because, as a young child, I sort of inherited an old 45 record of this song from an older sibling when they moved out of the house and left it behind (probably because they were absolutely over the song). This is partly the truth, but sadly enough, I also SORT OF like the song if I’m in one of those moods. By one of those moods, I mean a running through a breezy field with a beautiful blue sky above mood. Wow, I just read that sentence and realized I must delete that song freaking immediately.

What song or songs is/are most “atypical” on your player? This has to go to Abba’s Take a Chance on Me. (Yes, I know, based on my previous answer, you’re thinking, “That’s not atypical at all for this pansy.” But, I promise, it really is.) I put this on after the brilliant use of it in “The Office” when Andy tried to woo Angela by harmonizing to the song with a friend who was on the phone. Loreena McKennitt’s The Mummer’s Dance is a close second.

What song(s) on your player turns you on? I’m going with I Want You to Want Me by Cheap Trick, probably just because of it seeming like a good “make-out” song from the past. I think Alicia Keys sounds hot on No One as does Shakira on Whenever, Wherever (probably simply because she’s Shakira). Also, since I’m actually more a rock guy than anything else, I’ll say Gasoline by Seether (that’s not really a recommendation if you’re in more of a romantic mood, but I love the sound of the song).

If you wanted to get a member of the opposite sex in the mood, what song would you program to come on when they are in the car? Easy. Ain’t that Loving You? by Lou Rawls. Very smooth (him, not me).

What is the longest song on your player? I think it’s Blackbird by Alter Bridge. I wrote more about it here.

What do you think is the silliest song on your player? Jive Talkin’ by the Bee Gees

What did you most recently add to your player? Several Katy Perry songs

What did you most recently delete? Already covered this: Windy

What is your favorite song on your player that is from a movie? Dream Warriors by Dokken (from A Nightmare on Elm Street 3) but also a couple of the instrumental songs from the miniseries John Adams by Rob Lane and Joseph Vitarelli. The songs are patriotic in nature and in the classical style. If you’re a fan of big, sweeping cinematic music, check it out.

Is there a song on your player that is only there for someone else’s benefit? I have a few for when my wife is in the car (like Jason Mraz). Also, my three year old daughter is a huge fan of a song called Spell by Marie Digby so I’ll have to leave that on there.

What song or artist do you find yourself skipping most frequently and therefore should probably delete? I think I keep skipping Billy Idol lately.

Without cheating, start your player and list the first 10 songs that come up in random play.

Fake It – Seether

The Secret of Life – Faith Hill

Nights in White Satin – Moody Blues

The Interview – AFI

Here We Are – Breaking Benjamin

Take Me Away – Avril Lavigne

Lovin’ Every Minute of It – Loverboy

Wanted Dead or Alive – Bon Jovi

Takin’ Care of Business – Bachman Turner Overdrive

SupaSaturation – Dizzy X

Let’s hear your answers! Don’t be shy. Add a question or two to your survey!





Bookin’ It: A Literary MeMe

21 02 2008

From Shakespeare to James Patterson: It’s time for a book survey. You guys know my charming wife and I like to come up with memes. She thought we should do a book one, and I thought that was a very good idea. Feel free to use the survey; we always enjoy reading the answers of others! Sorry about the length of my “answer” to #1. (I’m taking a brief break from blogging about my current health, but for those wondering there was no new news today. An Ice storm shut down doctors’ offices early today.)

1. What is your favorite passage/line from a book? I love the Pendergast books by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child. Pendergast is a difficult-to-summarize, eccentric, extremely intelligent, usually mild-mannered, nearly albino FBI agent who does things differently than anyone else. Here is an excerpt from Brimstone:

The Sergeant took a detour around the lawn and cut behind a small duck pond and fountain, keeping out of the way of the SOC team. As he came around some hedges he saw a man in the distance, standing by the duck pond, throwing pieces of bread to the ducks. He was dressed in the gaudiest day-tripper style imaginable, complete with Hawaiian shirt, Oakley Eye Jacket shades, and giant baggy shorts. Even though summer had ended over a month ago, it looked like this was the man’s first day in the sun after a long, cold winter. Maybe a dozen winters. While the Sergeant had some sympathy for a photographer or reporter trying to do their job, he had absolutely no tolerance for tourists. They were the scum of the earth.

“Hey. You.”

The man looked up.

“What do you think you’re doing? Don’t you know this is a crime scene?”

“Yes, officer, and I do apologize—”

“Get the hell out.”

“But Sergeant, it’s important the ducks be fed. They’re hungry. I imagine that someone feeds them every morning, but this morning, as you know—” He smiled and shrugged.

The Sergeant could hardly believe it. A guy gets murdered and this idiot is worried about ducks?

“Let’s see some I.D.”

“Of course, of course.” The man started fishing in his pocket, fished in another, then looked up, sheepishly. “Sorry about that, officer. I threw on these shorts as soon as I heard the terrible news, but it appears my wallet is still in the pocket of the jacket I was wearing last night.” His New York accent grated on the Sergeant’s nerves.

The Sergeant looked at the guy. Normally he would just chase him back behind the barriers. But there was something about him that didn’t quite wash. For one thing, the clothes he was wearing were so new they still smelled of a menswear shop. For another thing, it was such a hideous mixture of colors and patterns that it looked like he’d plucked them randomly from a rack in the village boutique. This was more than just bad taste— this was a disguise.

“I’ll be going—”

“No, you won’t.” The Sergeant took out his notebook, flipped back a wad of pages, licked his pencil. “You live around here?”

“I’ve taken a house in Amagansett for a week.”

“Address?”

“The Brickman House, Windmill Lane.”

Another rich asshole. “And your permanent address?”

“That would be The Dakota, Central Park West.”

The Sergeant paused. Now, that’s a coincidence. Aloud, he said: “Name?”

“Look, Sergeant, honestly, if it’s a problem I’ll just go on back—”

“Your first name, sir?” he said more sharply.

“Is that really necessary? It’s difficult to spell, even more difficult to pronounce. I often wonder what my mother was thinking—”

The Sergeant gave him a look that shut him up quick. One more quip from this asshole and it would be the cuffs.

“Let’s try again. First name?”

“Aloysius.”

“Spell it.”

The man spelled it.

“Last?”

“Pendergast.”

The pencil in the Sergeant’s hand began writing this down, too. Then it paused. Slowly, the Sergeant looked up. The Oakleys had come off and he found himself staring into that face he knew so well, with the blond-white hair, grey eyes, finely chiseled features, skin as pale and translucent as Carrara marble.

“Pendergast?”

“In the very flesh, my dear Vincent.” The New York accent was gone, replaced by the cultured Southern drawl he remembered vividly.

“What are you doing here?”

“The same might be asked of you.”

Vincent D’Agosta felt himself coloring. The last time he had seen Pendergast he had been a proud New York City Police Lieutenant. And now here he was in Shithampton, a lowly Sergeant decorating hedges with police tape.

“I was in Amagansett when the news arrived that Jeremy Grove had met an untimely end. How could I resist? I apologize for the outfit, but I was hard-pressed to get here as soon as possible.”

“You’re on the case?”

“Until I’m officially assigned to the case I can do nothing but feed the ducks. I worked on my last case without full authorization and it, shall we say, strained some high level nerves. I must say, Vincent, running into you is a most welcome surprise.”

“For me too,” said D’Agosta, coloring again. “Sorry, I’m really not at my best here—”

Pendergast laid a hand on his arm. “We shall have plenty of time to talk later. For now, I see a large individual approaching who appears to be suffering from emphraxis.”

A low pitched, menacing voice intruded from behind. “I hate to break up this little conversation.” D’Agosta turned to see Lieutenant Braskie.

Braskie stopped, stared at Pendergast, then turned back to D’Agosta. “Perhaps I’m a little confused here, Sergeant, but isn’t this individual trespassing at the scene of a crime?”

“Well, uh, Lieutenant, we were—” D’Agosta looked at Pendergast.

“This man isn’t a friend of yours, now, is he?”

“As a matter of fact—”

“The Sergeant was just telling me to leave,” interjected Pendergast smoothly.

“Oh he was, was he? And if I may be so bold as to inquire what you were doing here in the first place, sir?”

“Feeding the ducks.”


“Feeding the ducks.” D’Agosta could see Braskie’s face flushing. He wished Pendergast would hurry up and pull out his shield.
“Well, sir,” Braskie went on, “that’s a beautiful thing to do. Let’s see some I.D.”

D’Agosta waited smugly. This was going to be good.

“As I was just explaining to the officer here, I left my wallet back at the house—”

Braskie turned on D’Agosta, saw the notebook in his hand. “You got this man’s information?”

“Yes.” D’Agosta looked at Pendergast almost pleadingly, but the FBI agent’s face had shut down completely.

“Did you ask him how he got through the police cordon?”

“No—”

“Don’t you think maybe you should ask him?”

“I came through the side gate in Little Dune Road,” Pendergast said.

“Not possible. It’s locked. I checked it myself.”

“Perhaps the lock is defective. At least, it seemed to fall open in my hands.”

Braskie turned to D’Agosta. “Now, at last, there’s something useful you can do. Go plug that hole, Sergeant. And report back to me at eleven o’clock sharp. We need to talk. And as for you, sir, I will escort you off the premises.”

“Thank you, Lieutenant.”

D’Agosta looked with dismay at the retreating form of Lieutenant Braskie, with Pendergast strolling along behind him, hands in the pockets of his baggy surfer shorts, head tilted back as if taking the air.

2. What do you consider the best film adaptation from a book? What do you think is the worst film adaptation? I have a tie for the best: To Kill a Mockingbird and Seabiscuit The Worst: Along Came a Spider (a really good book in the Alex Cross series by James Patterson but a below-average film)

3. What is the first book you remember reading? Other than picture books, it was Charlotte’s Web.

4. Did you have a favorite kids’ book as a child? The Monster at the End of this Book. My mom read that one to me often! You have to enjoy lovable, furry old Grover being inadvertently afraid of himself.

5. What book did you hate reading for a school assignment? I’ll say Beowulf, even though it is actually an epic poem.

6. What is the most recent book you read (or are currently reading)? Lost by Michael Robotham. It’s a good thriller so far.

7. What book would you most like to see turned into a movie?

8. What book did you cheat and read the “Cliff Notes” version? I know I did this a time or two. I want to say I did for Shakespeare’s King Lear. I hope no one can take collage credits away from me now.

9. What book would you never read again, no matter how much someone was going to pay you? I’m not counting ones I couldn’t finish. I’ll go with The Camel Club by Baldacci. It’s not that it’s terrible; I just expected more from him. I felt this one jumped the shark a little.

10. Are you more of a library or book store person? I like both, but the library is the best.

11. Have you tried audio books? Do you like them? I use them all the time while driving for my job. They are great. However, I have difficulty staying focused enough to keep track of an audio book if it’s something really complex, like a novel that takes place all over the world (for example, R. Ludlum).

12. Has any movie ever inspired you to then read the book on which it was based? Yes. The Bone Collector is one.

13. Describe a passage from a book that made you cry. The surprise ending of The Wedding by N. Sparks. It’s the sequel to The Notebook.

14. What is your favorite book series? Again, I love the Pendergast novels by D. Preston and L. Child. You have to try them.

15. Describe your favorite place to read. Near the river or on a beach when the weather is just right. If there is a pretty girl (like my wife) to glance at from time to time, that’s even better.





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.)





How Well-Rounded Are You?

6 01 2008

Don’t misunderstand the title. This is not a ploy disguised as a blog to get women to post their measurements (if you feel you must, I guess I won’t stop you. No guy measurements, please, though my wife might enjoy). Instead, this is a survey. How many of the following 40 things have you done? I’d like to see the answers of others, and feel free to copy this survey.

Have you:

1. Been to a play: Yes, many. This is one of my favorite things to do. I enjoy professional plays, but I also enjoy seeing a high school play once or twice per year at my wife’s alma mater.

2. Bungee jumped or something similar: Only if climbing up on a garage roof is “something similar.” I’m more of mental thrill seeker than a physical one. Sports is probably the closest I ever got to “danger.”

3. Been a mentor/big brother/big sister: Sort of. I do this in my work, but I don’t think I ever did this on a volunteer basis. It’s an awesome thing, though.

4. Read at least one of the classics (War and Peace, The Great Gatsby, The Red Badge of Courage, Beowulf, Crime and Punishment, etc): Yes. Off the top of my head: Beowulf, Wuthering Heights, Gulliver’s Travels, and Macbeth.

5. Stood up for someone publicly: Yes. I remember coming to the aid of a kid who was being bullied a couple of times.

6. Been on a major roller coaster: No thank you.

7. Been to a drive-in movie: Yes, quite a few times. This is one of the best things to do on a nice summer night. They are really dying out so if you have one near it, give it some business.

8. Done something at a drive-in movie other than watch the movie: Sadly, I don’t think so. I guess I like movies too much!

9. Done volunteer work: Yes, but I am ashamed to say that I haven’t really done that much. A few things for church and once delivered Thanksgiving meals to those in need.

10. Given at toast a wedding, a eulogy at a funeral, or some similar, meaningful speech: Yes on the toast, and I think a yes on the eulogy. It wasn’t officially the eulogy, but that’s basically what it was.

11. Been to a major sports playoff game: Yes. St. Louis Cardinals game 1 of NLCS against the Mets (in 2000, I believe.) My Cardinals lost that game and the series 😦 Also some time in the early 90s, I think, I was at the sweet sixteen regional in St. Louis. I believe the teams involved were Kansas, Indiana, California (Jason Kidd), and Louisville.

12. Thrown a costume or theme party: Yes, my wife and I had a blast hosting several couples for a murder mystery party that had a 50s theme. I recommend this!

13. Been on or near the set of a major motion picture: Nope. I missed my chance in the 80s. A good portion of A League of Their Own was filmed where I grew up. Tom Hanks, etc were there for quite awhile. I never got in on being an extra, though.

14. Taken a compliment well: I think so at some point. This is difficult though, isn’t it?

15. Planted a tree: Yes, about a year ago (a river birch).

16. Been stung by a jellyfish or something similar in/near the ocean: Yes. Jellyfish got me several times on vacation last year. There was a major explosion of them where we were!

17. Quit a crappy job: Yes. I’m not the type to do this without some big-time planning and another job lined up, but I did in the 90s when I just could not stand to set foot in the place anymore. I’ll just generally describe it as an advertising sort of place. The morale and environment sucked there. I stayed way too long (several years). At some point later on, I got myself into grad school to try to avoid this same type of situation again.

18. Been on a blind date: Yes. Mine wasn’t great (probably mostly due to my own shyness), but it wasn’t a nightmare or anything like that.

19. Done something kind and unexpected for a stranger: My wife and I left a greeting card saying something like, “Have a great day” on a parked car one time. Hopefully whoever it was got a smile out of it. (Nowadays, it probably just freaked them out and made them look over their shoulder for the next week.)

20. Had a major surgery: Yep, kidney transplant. I plan to blog about this at some point.

21. Taken a car/truck road trip that covered at least 6 states: Yes. As a child my family drove to the Grand Canyon, which covered at least 6 (may have been 7). My wife and I just missed last year (and will again this year) when we were in 5 states on our way to Hilton Head.

22. Been in 4 or more countries: Nope, just the U.S. for me.

23. Spent New Year’s Eve somewhere special: Well, it’s obviously “special” to be anywhere with someone you love on New Year’s Eve. However, to answer what I think is the spirit of this question, I don’t think I ever have.

24. Visited an ancient landmark: If the Grand Canyon counts. I think it does.

25. Been face to face with a celebrity by chance: Yes. In St. Louis in church, we realized were were a few feet away from Steve Garvey. (For those of you under 35 or not at all into sports, he was a very famous L.A. Dodger who was charismatic and appeared on tv shows, etc). He was friendly and nodded, etc on his way out. It was a few hours before a Cardinals/Dodgers game. Come to think of it, we were in a famous, very old church at the time so maybe this sort of applies to the previous question as well.

26. Given to charity in the past two years: I’m sure we don’t give like we should, but, yes to the Humane Society and to a children’s hospital. (Let’s just say it was NOT an amount that would get anything named after us.)

27. Helped a stray animal: Yes! We possibly saved a cute stray dog and ended up finding the grateful owner a day later. Actually, it was the relative of the owner; the owner was gone on vacation, and the little guy had accidentally gotten out. We found him running down a major street.

28. Dated someone you met online: Yes, once. It didn’t end up being THE relationship, but it wasn’t a bad experience overall.

29. Won money on a long shot: I’ve done the horse races a few times, but I don’t think I ever won on a big long shot.

30. Won your office/family/friends NCAA tournament pool: Yes! That was fun.

31. Won an award/medal (even if something “small”): I received recognition for a short story I wrote in college (it was accepted to a national conference), and I won “Best Sports Writing” award at my small college paper once!

32. Driven a foreign sports car: No. The closest to that for me is riding in (not driving) my brother-in-law’s classic Corvette.

33. Been in the front row for a concert: I think I was for Joan Jett when she played at my college.

34. Attended a symphony orchestra performance: Yes. I enjoy that even though it isn’t the type of music you’d generally find in my cd player.

35. Caught a criminal in the act and did something about it (reported it, smacked them in the head, etc): Other than traffic violations, I don’t think I’ve witnessed anything like this.

36. Sung solo on a stage: Nope. Just school plays as a kid, but I wasn’t solo (thank goodness!)

37. Witnessed something supernatural: I don’t think so. I have a brother who saw a UFO or something weird like it one time a long time ago.

38. Covered for someone (who deserved it) at work: Yes, a great co-worker (and a hard worker) who needed a little nap one time on a third shift job.

39. Overcome a major fear: Sure. See my last blog about the spider.

40. Mailed a surprise care package to a loved one: Yep, my wife has gotten a candy care package in the mail at work a time or two. She has returned the favor as well.

Anyone else care to post answers? I’m curious!

Regarding question 33:





2008 New Year’s Survey: Avoid Ex-Girlfriends and Broken Cell Phones

22 12 2007

It’s time for an original New Year’s survey for 2008 that My wife and I had fun creating. (Feel free to use if you so desire). Happy New Year!

1. How many times will you break and/or lose your cell phone in 2008? Between my work and personal cell, I’m going to say 1 time. I’m TRYING to be careful with them.

2. If for one year (2008) you could choose to be any age, what age would you be and why? I’ll go with 23. Old enough to have some knowledge gained, but young enough to still have some “stupid” fun as well. (p.s. I still want my wife with me even though I hadn’t met her yet.)

3. In past years, what New Year’s resolution did you break the fastest? Probably trying to quit drinking soft drinks. I used to be the king of Mountain Dew (and Ski, a local drink). Now it’s caffeine free, Diet Mt. Dew.

4. Who do you NOT want to see in 2008? A couple of particular ex-girlfriends. Probably wouldn’t be pleasant. I’d rather not see any “news” about Rosie O’Donnell, either.

5. On New Year’s Eve, do you:

a) Fall asleep at 9:00 p.m. (like you do any other night.)

b) Barely make it to midnight with your significant other/family.

c) Hit the town like a party animal until at least 1:00 a.m.

I’m a b. sort of guy the past few years. I look forward to banging some pots and pans at midnight with my daughter when she’s old enough (a few years to go).

6. What word or phrase will you hear your significant other or best friend say most often in 2008? My Wife: It’s going to be great to have another baby!”

7. What 2008 movie or book are you most looking forward to? Well, it’s definitely NOT the new Rambo. However, I’ll go with Harrison Ford in the new Indiana Jones movie. Haven’t heard a bunch about it yet, but I’m optimistic at this point. I’m also a big Agent Pendergast fan in the Douglas Preston/Lincoln Child books, but I do not know of one to be published in ’08.

8. Are you more likely to get fired from a job or get a big promotion in 2008? Big promotion. (Unless I get fired for focusing too much on my blogs! Just kidding, this is strictly a night/weekend thing for me)

9. What new thing would you mix with chocolate in 2008? A kiss from my wife after she’s just had hot cocoa.

10. What celebrity headline do you foresee in 2008? I predict Anne Heche will be romantically linked in tabloids to both Hillary Clinton and Mitt Romney within a one-week period (just before the season finale of Men in Trees). Like Brangelina, I can already see magazines nicknaming the couples Cliche and Miche.

11. How many people will you romantically kiss in 2008? The perfect number: 1





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.”)