We all hate them, we all mock them and some of us actually take the time to write them. It’s the annual
bragging Christmas letter, that we send to family and other people we want to feel superior to. I present to you this year’s edition of the Christmas card letter as written from a wife’s point of view:
Dear Friends, Family and Enemies:
Wow, I can’t believe another year has come and gone. It seems like just last year at this time I was writing our Christmas letter. It’s been another amazing year for the family and while I haven’t bothered to take the time to call or even email many of you, you all have been on our minds and more importantly, in our hearts. I hope your 2007 has been as wonderful, splendid, fantastic and terrific (not to mention busy, he he,he,) as ours has.
We were so lucky to be able to begin the year with the birth of our 10th child Annabelle, or as I like to call her, Annabellicious (I keep telling hubby that just two more will make it an even dozen). She was born a beautiful girl and all the doctors say that she was the prettiest baby they had ever seen. It’s been just under a year and she can already do fractions.
Of course the twins Niles and Frasier continue to be little rascals. Who knows what they will get into next. Why just last week I caught them eating whip cream right out of the can. I mean really, can you just imagine. They’re so naughty, but I guess that’s what you get with boys. Stuart entered the 6th grade this fall and he is already doing calculus. His teacher says he’s the brightest boy he’s ever taught and he was elected school president. Susie made the cheerleading squad again and is dating the quarterback. She also got the lead in the school production of ‘Grease.’ Unfortunately we thought it a little to risqué so she decided to take a knitting class.
Harold has been an alter boy at every single mass this year and he scored the winning goal at this year’s soccer championships. Lucy’s got the lead in the community ballet and she continues to volunteer at the retirement home. Phil is a junior this year and is already applying to Harvard (I like to say he’s got ivy in his veins). Amanda just learned how to walk and Freddie is scheduled to go up in the space shuttle next year.
You’d think I had my hands full with the kids, but I also found time to donate a wing to the hospital, sew blankets for the orphanage and volunteer (again) for the church carnival. You can imagine husband’s surprise when I returned from Kenya last month with our newly adopted son. I just don’t know where I get my strength. Maybe it’s from those yellow pills in the bathroom. Oops, I guess the cat is out of the bag on that ditty.
How about husband you ask? Well, he’s been ok. The firm was doing so well that he started a second one. Husband outsourced some of the phone operators to Liechtenstein and with the money the firm saved, we built a library solely devoted to the works of Dr. Seuss and Jack Kerouac. He finally got the roof up on the ranch in Kauai and the cottage in Vale should be done next spring. I’m just glad he found the time to attend all the kids’ special events. I can’t believe he had to build our 15th bookshelf for all the awards they keep winning!
Well, enough about us. As you can tell, it’s been another hectic but quiet year. I keep hoping we’ll have exciting news to share one of these years, but I guess for now we should call ourselves the Ho-Hums. We’re just so relieved that Lucy’s surgery went well and now we can all celebrate the holidays together at the castle in Scotland. We want to wish you a wonderful holiday season and we’ll try to think about calling all of you upon our return, in February!
P.S. the dog had puppies again. I guess we really should put her in at night. Oh, I know I’m being just awful.
Thursday, November 29, 2007
We all hate them, we all mock them and some of us actually take the time to write them. It’s the annual
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
I just read an AP story saying that – are you ready for this – Iceland is the most desirable country to live in. And since I am culturally and globally stunted, this is where I begin to make fun of a country with ‘ICE’ in the name. I wonder if I’ll get as much hater-aide as I did for my anti-Clay Aiken remark yesterday? I hope so, because as the late Dale Earnhardt used to say, you know you’ve made it when they boo you. It’s when they stop booing that you should be concerned. Granted no one actually booed me and I really haven’t made it anywhere (unlike Mary Tyler Moore in Minneapolis), but I’m looking at it all positively nonetheless.
The story said that Norway had been on top (that’s what she said), but Iceland took over the honor. The US fell from the 8th to the 12th most desirable place to live. Yes, I know that is hard to believe with all of our crime, violence on TV, gambling and prostitution, not to mention Clay Aiken and Richard Simmons lurking out there! Man, I sound like my grandmother! But, rest assured, we shall once again know dominance of country-hood. I also just read that the Jackson 5, including Michael, may be touring again as soon as next year, according to Jermaine (you know, the reliable one). That and the new Star Trek movie alone should get the US back up to at least 7th, maybe 6th if the Jackson 5 include ‘Dancing Machine’ in their play list! OK, I’m kidding, we can get back to 4th if they start rocking that groove. As soon as Paula Deen opens a nationwide chain of restaurants, we will be 2nd. There is just no way we can produce enough snow to overtake Iceland though. At least that’s what they guy operating the snow machine at the local ski resort told me. I figured I should go to the experts on this…
Now on to Iceland. I just don’t know how I could possibly live there. What would I do every weekend without 2 huge lawns to mow and edge and rake? Am I expected to shave the ice instead? Will Zamboni Machines replace lawn mowers. Oh wait, that should go into the ‘Pro’ category instead of the ‘Con’ one. How will my lungs adapt to crisp, cool, smog free air? Will I go blind or into some form of shock when the air I see is not brown, but clear as the Maker intended? What will life be like without 4 hours a day of the Food Network? Iceland probably doesn’t even have a Sonic Burger or a Denny’s. Icelanders most likely don’t even know who Barry Manilow is! Although, being referred to as an Icelander might be kinda cool. It sounds like a sports team. I can’t think of any other nationality that sounds like a sports team. Perhaps New Zealanders, but I don’t know how they rank on the big list. Zimbabweans has a nice ring to it, but it’s probably better suited to being the name of a kids show. It sounds much better than the Wiggles.
I’m sure there are plenty of Starbucks in Iceland though. And if for some reason there currently aren’t, there sure will be after word gets out about Iceland’s desirability. Living in Iceland will make it nice and easy though to build an entire crowd of snowmen and women to practice my stand-up routine in front of. I can also play Godzilla from time to time and build small cities and stuff to trample over whenever I have any pent up aggression to deal with, you know from hearing Clay Aiken and stuff like that. Oooh, and a snow fort, like the one on Hoth in The Empire Strikes Back. I just hope the neighbors don’t report me to the Iceland Police for ice building code violations. If that happens, I fear the rest of my neighbors will give me a chilly reception, or worse – the cold shoulder.
thrown together by Michael C at 6:20 AM
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
Not only was that James Bond’s reaction to hearing Honor Blackman say that her name is Pussy Galore in ‘Goldfinger,’ but it was also my reaction to reading that there will be a new Knight Rider TV movie…and that The Hoff will be in it! Granted he’ll be playing Michael Knight as the father of the new Knight kid driving the new Kitt (or something like that). The new KITT hasn’t been selected yet. As a kid of the ‘80s, I guess it was my responsibility to like Knight Rider, just like it was my responsibility to like The A-Team, The Fall guy, Airwolf, The Dukes of Hazzard, Different Strokes and Silver Spoons.
You probably know what’s coming next, don’t you. Yep, I’m wondering how all those other favorite ‘80s shows could be given a 2008 TV movie treatment. Take the A-Team for instance. Yes, Hannibal has passed on, but we could use that as the plot point. The rest of the Team comes out of hiding to reunite for his funeral and is approached by someone who needs their help and thought they might show up at the funeral. Of course Admiral Decker assumed this too, even though he is retired, so the A-Team arrives in disguises. Face’s Corvette has been replaced by a new European sports car and the famous black van is now a Dodge Caravan mini-van, with in-seat DVD screens. Also, Murdoch is now a psychiatrist, specializing in multi-personality disorders. BA owns a jewelry pawnshop and Face is a soap opera actor. Yeah, I’d watch at least the first 15 minutes of it.
I would like to see a Fall Guy reunion too. The theme song for that show was great. It was also sung by Lee Majors. Sadly, I don’t remember it well enough though (other than the blonde and the cool brown Chevy truck) to mock it. But I DO remember Silver Spoons. Ok, I remember Erin Grey who was on Silver Spoons. I think it also had some blonde haired kid in it like that dude Zach from Saved By The Bell or maybe it was the kid from NYPD Blue. It’s really hard to remember now, I mean with the Erin Grey memories flooding back and all. And that makes me think of Buck Rogers because she was in that too. I mean she’s no Tina Fey, but definitely deserves special mention.
A Different Strokes reunion would be nice. Maybe the girl that subbed for Jan (or maybe it was Marcia) in one of the Brady Bunch reunions could play Kimberly Drummond. It could be called Whatcha You Talkin’ Bout: The Different Strokes Reunion. I wonder ff both of the Drummond’s housekeepers are still around? If Mrs. Garrett is still kicking, the reunion could air the same night as the Facts of Life Reunion. Ahh, if but to see Tootie, Blair, Molly and Jo again. Yeah, I just wrote ‘if but to see.’ I thought it evoked whimsy and longing. Whatever. And no, I have not forgotten that George Clooney was once a cast member of that fine program. I just can’t see him reprising his role though. Maybe Ricky Schroeder can reprise it for him. Ricky Schroeder, now where have I heard that name before?
A Cagney and Lacey reunion might be good. They could both be retired and substitute teaching in Miami. Each week they would kick some smart wise-cracking kid’s butt and teach said kid the value of a life well lived. I’d also like to see how the kids from Mr. Belvedere and Head of the Class turned out. Wow, I watched too much TV as a kid. I’m actually starting to
wonder worry if any of my childhood memories were real or something that I watched on TV. Although I’m pretty sure I remember my Uncle jumping that shark during our beachside family reunion that one summer. He always used to wear that worn out black leather jacket. Boy was he a character.
I mentioned before I tripped the rerun fantastic that no new car had been picked to serve as KITT yet. How about a convertible PT Cruiser? Or some lowered Honda with a tale pipe thicker than the mid-section of a pig before slaughter? I guess it really doesn’t matter what they pick as long as it has that ‘woo-woo’ Cylon moving red light on the hood. The new KITT could be voiced by Steve Carell, or to really get with the times, a woman. How about Tina Fey? Actually, Barbara Bush might be ideal for conveying a stern yet caring vehicle. Or Fred Willard. Or Bob Newhart. Everything they touch is golden. I’d certainly listen to them. Although if either one of them were ever speaking to me I’d probably pass out. No, I’d soil myself then pass out. What if the new KITT was a truck and was voiced by Dolly Parton? Yeah, that would be nice. Man oh man am I fighting back the urge to make a crack about KITT having ‘airbags’ right now. Sorry, the doctors tell me I’ll grow up some day…
thrown together by Michael C at 12:28 AM
Monday, November 26, 2007
I fear that at times I am misusing the bullet. It’s just so much easier to jot down random thoughts and call it a post sometimes than crafting a spectacularly worded essay on the emotional benefits of cheese or recounting the funniest crotch hits I’ve seen on America’s Funniest Home Videos, even though all of the videos do not appear to have been taped in America.
* Why go to all the effort of decorating your front yard and roof for Christmas when you aren’t going to have the lights on at 5pm on a Sunday evening? Maybe this is the EXACT time where some people promise they will take their identical twin daughters out to look at Christmas lights. Oh, not me, I’m just sayin’…
* Does it really count when your grandmother is the one who is telling you ‘You know, you really are a handsome young man?’ I’m thinking it doesn’t.
* If a lemonaide is called 'Organic,' is it really necessary to say that it contains natural lemon flavors, natural lemon juices and real fruit? Wouldn't that be like saying 'contains real dead animal' on a package of pork or beef? You know, as opposed to seeing that last phrase on a package of hot dogs or a can of Spam.
* Do you think you should tell the rest of your coworkers that you have switched their everyday pot of coffee with Hot Rum flavored coffee? I don’t want my secretary thinking ‘the bosses never have a second cup of my coffee…’
* For the love of all that is holy, will someone please teach me how to use the Google Reader? And why is it not called something cooler like Googleader?
* Did Judge Judy REALLY have to be the first thing I watched on the new Hi-Def TV?
* I saw Rachael Ray’s face on a box of Ritz Crackers the other day. Then later that night I saw her on a Ritz Cracker ad on TV. I went upstairs and hid under the covers. The revolution has begun!
* If turkey and cranberries and stuffing are so darn great (that’s a rhetorical question), why not just make it whenever I want. It’s available and probably a lot cheaper. Plus, then you could eat it without having all that family around to ruin it.
* Is Katie Couric still doing the CBS news? Is the news still happier and more perky and easier to take? That reminds me; I need to die within the next 10 years so Walter Cronkite will still be around to read my eulogy. Of course I won’t be able to see it, so maybe I shouldn’t die in the next 10 years. I could fake my death, move to NY and call myself Jimmy McJames and become Giada DeLaurentis’ Soux Chef (which I’m thinking is the kitchen equivalent of being a mechanic or handyman’s tool bitch). Don’t worry, I wouldn’t mind.
* I fear that teaching Lucy and Ethel to stand around their fake food and pretend they are hosting a cooking show was not the best thing to do. Especially when I find them ‘experimenting’ with their daily snacks. Although, I do have to confess that little blocks of cheddar cheese sandwiched between 2 Cheez-It crackers are Yum-O! Oh my God, did I just type Yum-O? OK, the death within 10 thing is looking like a good idea again.
* Does anyone else ever wonder if they will accidentally find themselves in the wild face to face with a huge feral pig…and not have a fork? Yikes!
* I think Karen Carpenter had the best female voice of the last 2-3 decades. Yeah, I know that came out of nowhere, but remember, this is random.
* Don’t ever stoke the logs in the fire barehanded. You’d think this was self-explanatory. Notice I said ‘you’d think. I didn’t say ‘I’d think.’
* If I know where my eyes are, then why is it so damn hard (TWSS) for me to get eye drops into them?
* Is it really necessary for ANY radio station to include Clay Aiken on their playlist? Talk about ruining that special holiday feeling!
* Should I feel bad that I think of the current writer’s strike as a job opening?
* If I can’t find the time to visit and comment on my favorite blogger’s blogs, will they take the time to visit mine? Man, I hope so. Will they do so if I offer a cash reward?
* I had a hot flash the other day. It really freaked me out until I realized that a few hours earlier I had turned the house’s heater on.
thrown together by Michael C at 4:48 AM
Friday, November 23, 2007
I feel I can finally write this now as Thanksgiving has passed. I like Christmas. There, I said it. I like Christmas so much that I was guilty of looking at Christmas lights earlier this week. Although, here’s food for thought: am I the one to be hated for starting to celebrate Christmas so early or should the real bottle of Hater-aide be saved for the folks who are putting up the lights and decorations early? Answer: don’t hate any of them. Hate should be saved for evil dictators, the rivals of our favorite sports teams and the high school quarterback and head cheerleader. Ok, and Richard Simmons. And Barney, depending on your age. Darth Vader was evil, but he was cool so that doesn’t count.
I actually put up my Christmas tree last weekend. However, I didn’t decorate it. I did that Wednesday night and I put up the house lights yesterday before Thanksgiving dinner. When one of our local radio stations in LA switched to 24/7 Christmas music (as they do every year) last Friday, I felt putting up the tree was OK. I tried to keep the erection of the tree (whoa, that sounds bad) on the down-low until after we all had consumed mass amounts of turkey, stuffing and holiday ads. The only problem with this is that Lucy and Ethel wanted to keep walking out into the front yard every night this week to see the lit tree through the front window. Doing this exposed our early tree erecting (sorry, can’t think of a better word) to the rest of our neighbors. I guess I didn’t help the situation when I took to quoting from perhaps my favorite movie (A Christmas Story) by yelling ‘You should see it from out here…’). For the record, I will be yelling the same thing Thanksgiving night when I get out my other Christmas necessity, my very own leg lamp replica from ‘A Christmas Story.’
Since I am baring my soul (or sole since I am barefoot while writing this) as a Christmas freak, I feel I should tell you that my birthday is Christmas Eve (did you get that, December 24th). You can email me for my address for those of you wishing to send cards…or gifts…or hate mail (I’m an equal opportunity blogger). I think this date predisposes me to an unnatural enjoyment of the holiday season. I also feel this is the appropriate time to tell everyone in blogsville that I have a Christmas t-shirt collection. Yep, you heard right. I have Rudolphs, Christmas Stories, Charlie Browns, Elf Tossing and a few others, including one for ‘hard, sticky candy canes’ (or something like that) that often makes me think I am wearing a huge double entendre on my chest.
So yeah, I think I have gotten off the point here with this post a bit, but I am one of those people that is more than willing to celebrate Christmas early. I am one of THOSE people. However, I know I do not suffer alone and I know there are others. I have always assumed I was not the only one afflicted but found out for sure when cruising THE street for Christmas light looking in our town. Every house goes way overboard so that you can hear power lines sparking and crackling for miles in every direction. I am waiting for Google Earth to post a satellite photo of it. At 9PM on a Monday night, some of these home owners were outside working on their displays and some of the houses were already done! I felt like stopping by to congratulate them but didn’t want to reveal myself as the true idiot I am looking at Christmas lights 4 days before Thanksgiving.
Though I have found a new business venture for me whenever my employer realizes how useless I am to them. Did you know that guys in trucks who own ladders are now letting people pay them to string up their Christmas lights? It would be the perfect job for me! Doing nothing but hanging Christmas lights for money? Seriously? I’m literally speechless and motionless at the possibilities. People, this is more exciting to me than my recent idea of writing a script for my latest TV show idea ‘Porta-Johnny’ about a guy named Johnny who time travels whenever he sits in a portapotty (well, the writers ARE on strike. I’m just trying to help them out). Let’s be honest, I would pay people to let me put up THEIR Christmas lights. But actually GETTING money for it? Holy cow, that rocks!!!
Since this is the first of my Christmas posts for the year, you are probably wondering what I want this Christmas. Well, let’s just say I have already started dropping hints ala Ralphie Parker and his Red Ryder BB Gun. I want a deep fryer this year.
‘You know, Wal-Mart is selling a great deep fryer’
‘I just saw an ad for a deep fryer at Target’
‘With all this counter space, I think the kitchen needs a deep fryer’
‘Well if we had a deep fryer, we could have had fried cheese sticks with dinner’
‘You want to know what a deep fried Snickers Bar tastes like? Well, if we had a deep fryer, you would know.’
You know, just subtle hints, nothing too over the top. Yep, the Christmas season is finally upon us. Let’s just see how many times I’ll hear the phrase ‘You’ll fry your eyes out' this year.
Yeah, I know. That was a crappy punch line, but hey, cut me some slack. I’m busy cutting out ads for deep fryers…
thrown together by Michael C at 8:59 AM
Thursday, November 22, 2007
Today I ask you, is there a better American holiday? After all, today is actually centered around the theme of a MEAL!! Well, and being thankful for stuff, but we all gather for the MEAL!!!
I'm a foodie as I know many of you are, so it makes today all the better when we get to dive into the meat, the sweet cranberries, the green bean casserole (ok, just the fried onions on top) and the tasty pies. Yes, this is a fine day. So enjoy your Thanksgiving, remember to be thankful for what you have and...
I gotta go. I can smell turkey...
thrown together by Michael C at 10:12 AM
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
President Bush carried on a tradition yesterday that dates back to Harry Truman in 1947. He pardoned a turkey (and it’s backup) for Thanksgiving, thus sparing them from someone’s dinner table. The two birds, Flyer and Fryer, were set to spend the day at Disneyland as grand marshals of a Thanksgiving Day Parade instead of at the bottom of a pot of boiling oil.
However, calamity ensued late Wednesday night in California as the two pardoned turkeys arrived at Disneyland. The park's officials realized that the two birds were not Fryer and Flyer but two larger birds named Yum and Me. Phone calls were immediately placed to the White House to advise them of the mix up but it was too late. Fryer and Flyer had already been ‘processed’ and were almost ready to be served at both the White House as Turduken and at a local Washington DC shelter.
“All I can say is oops,” said a White House official. “There was a mix up after the pardoning ceremony and Fryer and Flyer were accidentally placed back into the wrong holding pen. I guess things like this happen all the time; these birds all look the same. They sure smell good though,” he added.
Asked whether or not the bird that was still going to be served at the White House as part of Turduken, which most believe to be Flyer, the official stated, “well, he has already been prepared so it would be a shame not to go ahead and eat him. We’ll just be more careful next year.”
The White House released a statement this morning that condemns the careless judgment of the turkey handlers. The release said that plans are already in motion to prevent this from happening next year. It calls for a congressional hearing and investigation, an improved ten-step post-pardon ceremony turkey handling process and possibly the formation of a new cabinet position to oversee all meaningless Presidential traditions. Lastly, the White House has promised they will use turkey shaped tofu for their dinner next year to make up for accidentally eating the official national turkey.
“We all feel awful about the mix-up. We will not smile, laugh or show excitement in any way as we try our best not to enjoy this turkey while we are eating its succulent and tender meat. Mmmmmmmm, tuuuurrrrkeeeeeeey,” said a drooling White House official.
(and sorry I haven't gotten around to everyone's blogs lately)
thrown together by Michael C at 5:46 AM
Monday, November 19, 2007
I posted this last year and I think I'm going to make it my Thanksgiving blogging tradition to post it each year. Why? Because it's such a great Thanksgiving moment...and yes, I'm very lazy.
thrown together by Michael C at 2:15 AM
Friday, November 16, 2007
I am about to be given the gift of time. It will be approximately 5 hours every Sunday, 3 hours every Saturday and 2 hours every Friday night. Are the twins beginning some sort of extracurricular activity? No. Did I lose my job? Not yet. Am I out of charcoal for the grill? Well, almost, which reminds me…but that’s not the answer either.
The NASCAR season is just about over. Or, you could say that the checkered flag is about to wave on the NASCAR season, but that would be lame. Although I just did say it. Oops. At any rate, the last races for all three series that I watch (yes, there are actually three major series competing. You don’t get that with your little stick and ball sports) will be run this Friday night through Sunday evening. When you throw in qualifying shows, pre-race shows and post-race shows, that’s at least 15 hours a weekend I am about to get back until early February. While I should probably be excited by this dramatic annual turn of events, I am more nervous about how that time will be spent. I realize that for most people getting more time in the weekend would be a blessing. What sucks is that my left thumb and index finger are just getting into mid-season shape. Gone is the agonizing pain experienced when I use my TiVo’s remote. It has been replaced by a slight tingling sensation and I am currently navigating through commercial breaks quicker than I have in the last three racing seasons. It’s really a shame to have to call it quits when I am running like a well-oiled sports watching machine.
Knowing that I should put this newfound time to better use, I sat down last night and prepared a list of things that could (or need) to be done between next Sunday night and the 2nd weekend of February. And let me tell you folks, it’s a very long list. Did you know that they give kids homework in Kindergarten? Heck, did you realize that Lucy and Ethel are now in Kindergarten? I missed that somehow, though I have been told they started Kinder somewhere between lap 85 of the Pepsi 400 at Daytona and lap 219 of the Chicago race. I’m not quite sure how I missed that.
I also have new grass that has reached the heights of a resting hippo propped up by bricks on top of a suspension bridge (ya know, for comparative illustration). It seems that this grass needs to be mowed. The scuttlebutt around the house is that we may or may not have a fully-grown golden retriever making her home in it too. And if that wasn’t enough, I keep being told that I was hospitalized during the August Watkins Glen race weekend. This probably explains the substandard food I vaguely recall tasting while watching those races.
Obviously experiencing the shock of having so much more free time can be dangerous, especially for someone with a weak heart, so I am going to start out utilizing my new free time very slowly. The first non-race weekend happens to be Thanksgiving weekend so I can devote myself to holiday decorating and shopping. Fine, I’ll be honest: I am going to be eating lots of things containing turkey, turkey byproducts and things inspired by turkey. I call it Turkey Marathon week. You’ll know I’ve reached the end of Turkey Marathon week when I am pureeing it for use as a coffee creamer. Don’t
gag chuckle, the taste grows on you after the first 5-6 cups.
It has occurred to be that I could use the extra 15 hours each weekend to begin a new hobby. Currently, the closest thing I have to a hobby is blogging and arguing with my twins that I am in fact ‘in charge.’ Obviously you can tell that I am in need of a new hobby, or a ‘real’ hobby. There are a lot of things that I am interested in. I am tempted to make small ships inside of glass bottles that you always see in tourist shops in coastal towns, but I can foresee myself being heartbroken and inconsolable after wrecking the first ship while trying to cram it into said bottle. Perhaps I could call the first miniature ship I build the ‘Edmund Fitzgerald,’ which will then help me better accept the fact that it is wrecked.
I tried golfing once but kept trying to swing the clubs like I would swing a baseball bat and it blistered every finger on both hands and I can tell you that vicious rumors can be directed at people with blisters on every finger. Being able to build things has always intrigued me. The only problem with that is I don’t follow directions very well and promised several members of my family, a few good friends and a couple of social workers that I would let other people build things after I assembled the twins’ wagon one Christmas and we had a little ‘issue’ with a stray wheel getting away during a leisurely wagon ride. There was also an issue with a play set, tricycle and that sparking episode with the motorized bikes that they received last Christmas. Let’s just say that the term ‘hot rods’ now has a new meaning. I can also now tell you that companies don’t usually place extra parts in their packages; they are usually meant to be included in the final completed piece. Huh, who knew?
Maybe I’ll play it safe and enroll myself in a culinary school. Surely, with the current writer’s strike the Food Network would be interested in a show solely about cheese. Now that folks, is time well spent…
thrown together by Michael C at 12:03 AM
Thursday, November 15, 2007
Did you ever stop in the middle of getting dressed for work, say ‘screw it’ and throw on a pair of shorts and a t-shirt, head downstairs and play with the kids for a little while longer?
Did you ever find yourself watching your young child (or any young child of importance in your life) and just get lost in wonderment and amazement at their growth, ability, happiness, innocence and freedom from concern, only to be interrupted by the same amazing young child saying ‘uh, why are you staring at me?’
Did you ever pull up to a bumper to bumper line of commuters on the way to work in the morning and fight the urge to turn around and just keep driving in the other direction until you end up somewhere either familiar or entirely new?
Did you ever worry that you are doing something that is 180 degrees from what you should be doing? I mean 90 degrees is ok, but 180 is really pushing it. And let’s face it; at 360 degrees, we’re all just running around in circles.
Did you ever find yourself completely unmotivated at work and start watching everyone around you working as hard as they can only to feel more unmotivated than before?
Did you ever try to break up the aforementioned period of unmotivation by launching something into your coworker’s cubicle?
Did you ever forget to TiVo something and then everyone at work is talking about how great it was when you get in the next morning?
Did you ever get busted by HR for blogging at work and ask the HR investigator if he at least found your blog entertaining since it had taken up so much of his time?
Did you ever trip during your morning walk in front of dozens and dozens of early morning commuters and then find yourself asking odd questions for the remainder of the day while listening to your mix CD of ‘ballads’ by Willie Nelson?
thrown together by Michael C at 7:22 AM
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
thrown together by Michael C at 5:50 PM
Monday, November 12, 2007
According to a Reuters news story from Monday, an international panel has asked the US government to reopen its UFO investigations. It also asked the government to open up its ‘Elvis is Dead’ file and to publish all of its research on the Flying Soda Bottle phenomenon. I however am going to focus on the UFO thing, although for the record, flying soda bottles can count as UFOs. There is however no truth to the rumor that the same panel has asked the government to open the doors to Hef’s Playboy Mansion.
A lot of people have reported seeing UFOs. Sometimes they are witnessed by groups and other times by lone individuals on dark highways in backwoods. Although it is somewhat embarrassing, I am going to use this blog to say that I have had my fair share of UFO sightings. I realize I may be ridiculed, but I have seen more than one UFO. Since I have shared that fact, I guess I should go ahead and give you the details of the sightings I have experienced.
- September 17th, 2003. During a feeding for my twins there was a soft dull rumble followed by what can only be described as something resembling egg nog mixed with cottage cheese is flying across the room. I was too horrified to reach for my camera.
- July 4th, 1996. During our annual 4th of July softball game I was playing centerfield. I momentarily took my eyes off the game to look at a girl strolling by the park. Next thing I know I hear a big ruckus and look up just in time to see an unidentified sphere just seconds before it glances off my head. This was followed by lots of laughing so I decided not to report it. There appears to have been many witnesses as the sighting is still referenced to this day
- November 3, 2002. While changing one of my newborn’s diapers, I turn away from the stinky subject and turn back around just as I see something streaming through the air. It was a yellowish liquid and therefore does not qualify as a traditional flying object. However, I saw it and that is all that matters.
- August 5th, 1997. While driving south on Interstate 15, I look up just as a UFO is striking my windshield. The same windshield I had paid to have replaced just two weeks prior. Damn UFO cost me a $150 deductible…and I never even saw it, just its aftermath.
- Thanksgiving, 1983. After the family meal of turkey, pie and a few libations, my drunk Aunt decided to show us her ‘special’ trick. This time, the UFO looked to be of the dental variety. It flew across the room and I have not been able to watch Florence Henderson do a Polydent commercial since.
- March 13th, 2007. During a ‘team building exercise’ involving nerf guns while we were supposed to be on a conference call, I hear a pop and just as I look up, I see a UFO sailing over my cubicle wall into the crowded public lobby of my office. We all scatter quickly. The UFO was never returned to us.
- September 29th, 1996. It is my first day of golf class so that I can complete my coursework and graduate from college. I am practicing my golf swing with a 3 wood while lined up with 22 of my classmates. Next thing I know, what looks like the same 3 wood is hurling through the air directly to my left. I notice that my hands are now suspiciously empty and thinking of nothing else to say, yell ‘fore!’
- June 6th, 2007. While teaching Lucy and Ethel how to hit Whiffle Balls off a tee, I am struck quickly and violently by a UFO in the Manitalia. This UFO sighting felt like it was followed by an alien probing. It hurt. That’s why I don’t talk about it.
thrown together by Michael C at 5:54 PM
Friday, November 09, 2007
As the random thoughts begin to build up in the head, one of two things can happen. You can internalize them and eventually forget them, you can keep adding to them so you are replacing the ones you’ve forgotten about or you can share them with other people and call it a blog post. Wait, that’s three, isn’t it? See what happens when the randomicity builds up?
So, I guess it’s time to commit them to paper and call it a blog post. Unfortunately, I have already internalized last’s week’s list of random things and they have all been forgotten. Perhaps it’s better that way as it gives people less to hold against me if they are ever looking for dirt. And here we go…
* Is it really a bad thing when the manufacturer of a drug for constipation lists diarrhea as a possible side effect? Isn’t that more or less the goal of the med to begin with?
* Do student drivers REALLY learn how to drive in true traffic conditions when driving a car with huge ‘student driver’ signs all around it and the hazard lights on while riding the brakes? Judging by the degree of caution with which everyone was driving around her, I’m really guessing not.
* Taking fashion advice from a 5-year old wearing a feather boa, pink tights and brown cowboy boots is never a good idea, especially when it is fashion advice about ‘office clothes.’
* Why do I keep buying all of Garth Brooks’ ‘new’ CDs when they all contain the same old material? I mean I’m now starting to sing ‘I’ve got friends in OLD places…’
* Why do I get hungry when I get bored? Why can’t I get the irresistible urge to exercise or something like that?
* If you EVER spill something in your lap at work, be careful how much you clarify that you actually spilled something. Saying it too many times gets people suspicious as to what you are hiding.
* ‘We’ve got a long way to go and a short time to get there’ is a VERY underutilized business catch phrase, especially when associated with discussing progress towards sales goals.
* For a fun time at work, sit at your desk in front of your computer keyboard and sway quickly from side to side like Ray Charles used to. Then, when someone asks what you are doing, in a laid back voice just tell them that ‘I’m really feelin’ the work today baby’ and follow it by leaning back, clapping, kicking one leg in the air and laughing. I’m mean not that I’ve done this or anything. I’m just sayin’…
thrown together by Michael C at 12:28 AM
Thursday, November 08, 2007
I’m not the best golfer, but I imagine that if I became President I would start winning a lot more rounds. The same probably goes for bowling and baccarat. Granted I’ve never played baccarat, but that’s because I don’t own a tuxedo. If I was President, I would have to have a tux and then I could play baccarat more often. Although this fun would be more than tempered by the fact that I would be required to wear suits or just pants in general. It seems that most Presidents consider relaxing clothes to be slacks and a polo shirt. I got news for ya, that is what I always thought ‘dressing up’ was. Man, it must suck to be President.
As fun as I previously thought it might be to become President, think of the liberties you give up by becoming the leader of the free world. It’s rather ironic when you stop to think about it. For example, does the FBI monitor your emails and computer usage in the White House? Because if they do half as good a job as my employer’s HR Department does, forwarding funny emails and the ‘Check It Out, I’m The President And Now I Order You To Read My Blog’ blog would most certainly come to an end. One can only assume that getting to watch 4 hours of NASCAR every Sunday would end too. To get on their good side though, I’d invite the FBI to come up and watch the Office and 30 Rock in the White House theater every Thursday. I’d even serve Juju Bees because everything is more fun with Juju Bees.
Then comes the eating stuff. It HAS GOT to be a perk to be able to have a chef at your beck and call. What worries me though is if the chef ever cuts you off and is forced by his job contract to stop you from eating too much. ‘Sorry Mr. President, you’ve had a few too many Monte Christos tonight, why don’t you head upstairs to the residence and get some rest. When that happens you are left trying to smuggle food into the White House, which only gets the food delivery guy jumped by the Secret Service. It’s an ugly vicious cycle…
If you become President, people start caring overnight about what you have to say. This means that you need to be very careful when speaking your mind. We all say things in private that we probably would not say in public. When you become President, there will always be someone there to take note of your thoughts. Once again, if I were President, I could instantly damage the United States’ agricultural industry and the efforts of parents everywhere who try in vain every night to get their children to eat vegetables when I am overheard saying ‘dangit, not green beans again. You know how much I hate eating vegetables. Why isn’t there more fried food on my plate?’
There is one perk of being President I could get used to though. That would be getting to attend sporting events and throwing out the first pitches and saying ‘Gentleman, I am the President, now please start your engines…’ Yeah, that would be fun. I’d be concerned about inviting all of the winning teams to the White House for photos though. I’m a very harsh sports fan (just ask Jeff Gordon – yeah, that was me yelling at you in September at the California Speedway). There is no way I could invite a sports team I did not like to the White House without expressing my dislike for them. I don’t think a President would be thought of very highly when he whispers to the team captain something like ‘enjoy your time here because I root against you and if it were up to me you’d be picking up trash on the highway’ or ‘you know you only won because you cheated, right) in between photo poses.
Yeah, perhaps the presidency is not for me. Not that I’d ever GET elected. As soon as the press and the guys hired by the opposition to dig up dirt on me come across my blog, I’d be finished. Seriously, I did an entire post on eggnog not long ago.
thrown together by Michael C at 12:29 AM
Wednesday, November 07, 2007
I read recently that there was a small town listed for bid on E-Bay, if I read correctly (since I can no longer locate the story, but I swear I’m not making it up). Apparently it was just a few buildings but because it used to have a post office it can be considered a town. How cool would it be to own a town? Very, I say. I could buy a town and join the ranks of other famous town owners like Kim Basinger and even Walt Disney. I know Walt did not own a town, but I am choosing to give him credit for Disneyland.
When you buy a town, I wonder if you get to rename it. I hope so. I’d hate to spend that type of money and be stuck with someone else’s town name. I think I’d call it something that would be easy to read on a small map and could be readily understood by everyone passing through. The name of my town would be Michael’s Town. I realize it’s an exclusive sounding name, but the town would be very inviting and open to all. Where the money would come from to establish this town is beyond me, especially after paying to obtain the town in the first place. So, we’ll just assume that I have the money to both buy AND fix up the town. To help you better imagine my town, I am trying for something between Mayberry and New Rochelle (bonus points to anyone who knows what show was set in New Rochelle), although I’ve only seen both of those towns in black and white, so maybe I should shoot for Oz. That had plenty of color from what I remember.
That all being said, I would commission a beautiful sign at the border of my town welcoming everyone. I would seek out corporate sponsorship to somehow offset the cost of the sign (and the town), so the sign may read something like: ‘Welcome To Michael’s Town, sponsored by Coca-Cola and presented by Procter and Gamble.’ Yeah, corporate sponsorship is always a last result, but think of what the additional funds will let me do with my town.
There would definitely need to be an old-fashioned main street in my town complete with gazebo where people could perform and public celebrations could be held. It shall be called the Chevron Gazebo, presented by Frito-Lay. My town would also need a gas station, bowling alley, laser tag facility, mini-golf course, bounce house birthday place, movie theater, town hall, fire house and old-fashioned candy store/malt shoppe (notice the fancy ‘e’ on the end there?). Oh, it would need a Bar-B-Ques galore, too. Seriously, have you ever seen a town without a Bar-B-Ques Galore? Ok, a SUCCESSFUL town without one. And a Chili’s. Every town needs a Chili’s. How awful would it be to live in a town where you couldn’t drop everything and go order an Awesome Blossom whenever you felt like it? Maybe they can get a way with that stuff over in Crapsville, but most certainly not in Michael Town.
Since I paid for the town, I believe that entitles me to mayorialship (my word, but feel free to use it). Having never held public office, I don’t know what my mayorialship would require of me, but I’m hoping it’s stuff like judging pie eating contests, beauty contests, figuring out how to spend the town’s money and lots of ‘official’ afternoon naps. I’m also counting on an oversized pair of scissors I can carry around for official ribbon cuttings (and for use as a theft deterrent and my lawn care/shrubbery needs). A sash that says ‘Mayor’ would be pretty snazzy too. I’d like a top hat, but if I have to choose between them, I’ll take the sash.
I suppose folks are going to want to live in my town, so a homebuilder would be necessary. And once you build homes, you need grocery stores and sprinklers and a newspaper. Then comes a police force, schools, eventually an airport, a dump, a hospital and then a McDonalds, though not in that order, so you can call off your lawyer goons Mickey D’s. Wow, this is going to get expensive. I think the first thing I’ll do as mayor will be to pass a law declaring that deficit spending is ok and that I will need to raise taxes. To avoid having too high a tax rate I will open corporate sponsorship up to all public facilities. The school can be sponsored by Elmer’s glue, the police station by ‘Cops’ on FOX, the dump by Hefty Trash Bags and the airport by Southwest Airlines. For fun I could try to get Burger King to sponsor McDonalds. Lastly, I would consent to Terminex Pest Control sponsoring the mayor’s house. Imagine how cool the house would look with a big plastic bug lying on its back on the roof. We can put a red nose on it at Christmas time.
On second thought, just thinking of all this stuff is making me tired. Perhaps I’ll just buy the town and ‘flip’ it for a profit. I’ve watched people ‘flip’ properties on HGTV, so it can’t be too hard to unload a town that I paid way too much for, right? Oh crap, now I’m gonna be paranoid.
thrown together by Michael C at 12:03 AM
Tuesday, November 06, 2007
Well, ok, Brandy and I have declared it to be TWSS Day. Since the day incorporates bloggers from both the US and Canada, I guess it’s an international day. The use of TWSS has really taken off thanks to Michael Scott of The Office. It’s something I can remember saying as kid, but then I said a lot of things when I was a kid like ‘awesome,’ ‘gnarly,’ ‘totally awesome’ and ‘scrumptious’ (although I think I only said that one once…I got some stares, felt uncomfortable and removed it from my vocabulary forever).
Since it’s International TWSS Day, I thought I would take the time to inform you about how and how not to use such a powerful phrase. Having the ability to say TWSS is an amazing responsibility because if done correctly, you are guaranteed laughs. And these aren’t just ‘being polite to a strange foreigner who speaks another language’ laughs, these are strong, forceful laughs that can only come when witnessing someone on the receiving end of physical pain (especially in the Manitalia area) or when you hear something dirty (which since I am not podcasting right now, should be said long and drawn out as if Austin Powers was saying it – dirrrrteeeee).
Once you have mastered the use of TWSS, you will notice that your quality of life improves dramatically. People will begin saying TWSS and then suggest TWSS lines to you, as well as think you are the funniest person they know. Now granted, there is more to life than being funny…wait…no there isn’t. Think of all the doors you can unlock by being funny. Well, you can’t unlock any doors, but I am speaking metaphorically of course, which I find is much easier than speaking in, oh let’s say iambic pentameter. Sometimes I speak in pirate-ese, but that’s a whole different issue, matey. Arrrrrr. Sorry.
OK, enough of the benefits of TWSS. Now let’s get to the meat (TWSS) and potatoes of the issue. Below is a list of the incorrect ways to use TWSS and that is followed by the correct uses of it. Just remember, I am giving you the keys to a lot of power here, so use it responsibly and have fun. Definitely worry more about the fun part than the responsible part because I find that being responsible rarely leads to having fun. Unless you are a nun. Then it’s more like a ‘habit.’ Sorry, couldn’t resist…
The INCORRECT uses Of That’s What She Said:
I can’t believe she’s dead. I never got to know her (Actually, this would be a great use for TWSS, except you could only say something like this when someone has died and I’m pretty sure it’s still not funny to laugh at death, although seriously, who didn’t let out a little chuckle when the Wicked Witch yelled out ‘I’m melting.’)
Don’t go in to see the boss this morning, she really blew her top (Ok, again while I intended this to be an incorrect use of TWSS, anytime you hear the word blow or a derivative of, it’s a great time to use it).
I have been stricken with a horrible disease (sorta speaks for itself I think).
It is now 12 o’clock (I gotta admit, if you can use TWSS here, you should be writing this tutorial).
I’m spent (hmmmmm, another toughie. This one could go either way).
I need to get out the hose to water the lawn (actually, I’m still giggling at this one).
And now the CORRECT uses of That’s What She Said:
She told me to remove that immediately (this one is golden. If you ever hear it, first hug the person who said it and thank them for setting you up perfectly).
I just couldn’t get up this morning (you know you are in the zone whenever you can use the words get and up in the same sentence).
She told me she likes it (do I really have to explain why this one is so good??).
I need to sharpen my pencil (hehehehehehehehe)
You are amazing (this one fits into the ‘compliment’ category of TWSS).
Ok, I hope that helps. Basically, if you say ANYTHING that can be considered dirty (do you remember how to pronounce it?), you have walked into a perfect TWSS moment. However, there are times where even though you have been given a golden TWSS opportunity, you still should not say it. These times include moments when you may be in church, around an HR representative for your company, around children (trust me, I made that mistake twice already) or possibly on your deathbed, but I guess that last one really depends on how you want to be remembered. To be honest and if given a choice, I just might have that be the last thing I ever say.
So, good luck, enjoy and Happy International That’s What She Said Day! Now, I am off to try to publish this
informative instructional bogus article in Wikipedia. I’m really excited about it…and that’s what she said.
thrown together by Michael C at 7:24 AM
Saturday, November 03, 2007
Because I want to spare you from experiencing some of the things I endured over the last few days, I post “Things I Learned This Week” each Saturday. I hope that knowing about at least one item on this list will make your upcoming week much easier.
! I learned that eating a peanut butter cup just before drinking my daily V-8 is like suicide of the taste buds.
! I learned that even if I haven’t eaten since 5:30 in the morning, taking a piece of the twins candy to snack on while they are trick-or-treating will still get me ‘talked to’ by some other parent who has no idea how hungry I am. And I swear that the fact that they were Milk Duds played no part in me needing to eat them.
! I learned that I can bake a pumpkin pie. That’s it, no joke for this one. Well, I did learn I could bake a pumpkin pie and not burn anything down, although next time I should remove the pumpkin skin and not fill the pie crust to the very top. I also learned that if I am going to go around bragging about making a pie to everyone at work that I had better bring that pie in for everyone to try.
! I learned that my coworkers are not yet ready for Christmas music on November 1st. Those fools!!!
! I learned that the best way for me to apologize to or ask forgiveness of my coworkers is to first put several drops of eye contact drops (wow that sounds redundant) in my eyes prior to approaching them. Why did no one tell me about this stuff? It’s amazing. Well, I mean it’s amazing for the fake crying thing. It hasn’t done anything for my red, dry and itchy eyes.
! I learned that I should not act too cocky before attempting to try something I have never tried before when with my coworkers. This is especially true when I find myself drag racing stock Pontiacs against other people from my company at the NHRA drag racing track prior to this weekend’s NHRA Winternationals. Who knew there would be a 60-year-old schoolteacher racing me and who knew she’d win. Now, please keep in mind I have nothing against school teachers or 60 year olds, but you’d think my reaction time would be quicker than hers. And no, my coworkers have not stopped reminding me of this fact.
! I learned that chugging eggnog after exercising in 85-degree heat is not the best way, or even the 26th best way, to quench one’s thirst.
***I got to do my first guest post over at AndreAnna's blog today. Feel free to check it out. I'd like to think I conducted myself in a dignified manner when handed the reins of someone else's blog. Or did I? Bwahahahahaha!!!!!!***
thrown together by Michael C at 1:11 AM
Thursday, November 01, 2007
I have been trying unsuccessfully for too long now to come up with an idea for a television show. I have thought of ‘Guess The Grilled Portion Of Meat,’ ‘How Bad Does This Stink,’ ‘Sitcom Travel’ and stuff like that, but I think I might finally be on to a winner. OK, close your eyes and picture this. Wait, don’t close your eyes, you wouldn’t be able to read my idea. Ok, read my idea THEN close your eyes. Yeah, that’s better.
Picture a group of writers in a TV writer’s room (I know, I’m using pretty sophisticated show business lingo, try to keep up) just off of a main stage. The main stage shows a group of folks. The folks are standing in a restaurant. Is the suspense killing you? I’m trying to draw it out, can you tell? Hey, did you hear the one about the…? Ok, I’m sorry. I’ve drawn it out enough. The restaurant is your run of the mill choke and puke serving lots of things that are fried, cheesed, salted and meated. However, there is a difference here. It is a reality show about a restaurant. BUT…the reality is scripted because in my sitcom, a network test panel determined that reality shows were not ‘real’ enough so the network is now writing the reality scenes for the reality show about a real restaurant that isn’t real at all. The only thing is, the public thinks it is reality TV and that the restaurant is real. Is it making sense? I hope so because I got lost about three sentences ago…
I’ll call it ‘Made To Order,’ but the name of the show set inside the television show I am proposing is called ‘Beyond The Kitchen.’ The writing staff on the show trying to write the reality show is made up of former chefs, a past reality show contestant, a former writer for Law and Order and a lawyer, hired by the network. None of them get along and the lawyer is a pipsqueakish guy who is always worried about the network’s liability. The former reality show contestant is always trying to get battles and challenges into the restaurant show that could get people injured or that are way to over the top, like sharks in swimming pools and ‘see who can go without squirming the longest when hot coffee is poured in their lap.’ The former law and order writer makes everything overly dramatic and still thinks he’s writing lines that will be delivered by someone like Fred Thompson. Lastly, the former chefs write only about how great their recipes are and how well received they are by the reality (fake) customers.
The make believe reality show that my show is about becomes a huge hit and the writers, actors and network have to continually find new ways to convince the viewing public that ‘Beyond The Kitchen’ is truly a reality show. A food critic turned TV critic (played by someone like another of my heroes, Christopher Walken) is convinced that the show is made up and is constantly on the prowl to prove his theory (picture the old neighbor from Bewitched). The former Law and Order Writer devises a plot to kill the TV critic and then has to be shadowed by someone from the network at all times to ensure that he doesn’t actually kill off the TV critic Law and Order style.
As part of the fake show, the public is invited to vote on something that they want the fake reality kitchen staff to experience each week. The voting options are things like a kitchen grease fire, spoiled potatoes, bad milk, irate customers, etc. What the public doesn’t know is that the writers of the fake show always ignore the voting since it’s ‘just for show’ and go with the scenario they want. At some point in the first season of the fake show, ‘Beyond the Kitchen’ is nominated for an Emmy. The network lawyer/script writer experiences horrible nightmares about the morals of possibly winning and accepting an Emmy for a show that is deceiving the public. In his dream, his conscience finally reminds him that he is a lawyer (no offense, I’m just catering to America’s TV viewing stereotypes) and he finally has a pleasant dream. In that dream, the show wins the Emmy and he, the late Supreme Court Chief Justice William Rehnquist and the late Johnny Cochran all dance in a field of wildflowers with the Emmy while Louis Armstrong’s ‘What A Wonderful World’ plays in the background.
And that is my latest idea for a television show: a TV show about the behind the scenes happenings of a fake reality TV show. I realize it might seem risky sharing my ideas so publicly because they could be stolen or adapted without me getting credit. However, I’m hoping the genius of my plan is that my show idea is so complicated that it can’t be retold correctly. And if for some unforeseen reason it can be, well, I’m screwed…
thrown together by Michael C at 12:52 PM