Friday, December 16, 2011

The Annual Christmas Letter

Every year I repost this.  People enjoy it, but much more importantly, I don't have to come up with anything new for today!!

We all mock them and some of us actually take the time to write them. It’s the annualbragging 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 "the wife’s" point of view:
Dear Friends, Family and Frenemies:

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 2006 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. 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.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Top 007 Things I've Learned From James Bond (Get it? I semi-crack myself up...)

So, I'm still walking up early which gives me the perfect opportunity to watched my James Bond Films. Doing so, I've learned a few things. Pour yourself a coffee – shaken not stirred - and join me. Be warned though, shaking a cup of coffee can have disastrous consequence. Like ruining a shirt. Or pants or the arm next you...

007. A large portion of the evil doers will end up dead. Just like 'red-shirts' on Star Trek.

006. Bond will always have something catchy to say after he sent someone to their death.

005. Bond will always have something catchy to say while he's...uh, 'disrobing' his female counterpart.

004. He will never make it on time to a meeting where his boss asks him to attend. This is usually because he is wrapping up #5 on this list.

003. Identifying who you are by saying your last name first is very cool. Saying it wearing tuxedo, uber cool!

002. It seems that the only game he plays is baccarat. Note to self, learn how to play baccarat.

And the 001 thing I've learned from James Bond...

All of the gadgets Bond gets to try will one day make it to the Sharper Image Catalog.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Get Your Red Hot Reindeer Dogs!

This one is from 2006.  Whenever I read it, I get hungry...

I saw this little Associated Press story and couldn’t pass it up. Maybe it’s because I just spent three hours driving Lucy and Ethel around to look at Christmas lights. From Starbucks to Jack in the Box, food eateries try to add a little holiday spice to their menu this time of year. At one Chicago area hot dog stand, the holiday offering may be just a bit too much. The AP says that the stand is offering Reindeer Hot Dogs. They are produced in Alaska (you betcha)  and are supplemented by a little beef and pork because reindeer is apparently lean and dries out easily. That's what she said.  Ok, that one really didn't even make sense.  Sorry.  I'll be more judicious in my TWSS execution next time.

I know that deer meat is called venison, but I’m not sure what reindeer meat is called. I would suggest Prancer Pork, Donder Dogs or maybe even Blitzen Beef, but I’ll just play it safe and refer to them as Reindeer Dogs. The story didn’t mention how well the new item is selling, but my guess is not very well.

Mommy: Jimmy, would you like a hot dog or reindeer dog?
Jimmy: Wow, what’s a reindeer dog? Is it like a Happy Meal or something with a Christmas toy inside?
Mommy: Um, no sweetie. It’s ground up reindeer in a pink casing instead of beef or chicken.

Obviously the new hot dog isn’t going to be big with the 8 and under crowd. No doubt that there will be plenty of curious folks who will want to try genuine reindeer meat. Once you add the mustard, relish and onions you probably can’t taste the difference anyway. Go ahead and say it, it tastes like chicken.  The downside to serving up a holiday icon in a bun is that it might not sell, though I really like the phrase 'holiday icon in a bun.'  And then there's 'holiday icon with a bun,' which would be Aunt Bee from The Andy Griffith Show, but now I've strayed way too far off topic. The upside of course is that this guy’s hot dog stand just got a ton of free publicity that will turn into increased sales. Reindeer with your meat so light, you’ll be on my bun tonight. Sorry, I couldn’t resist that.

I think the vendor has really tapped into a new line of holiday food items though. I can just see someone offering up a Frosty the Snow Man snow cone. The tagline: it contains a special blend of the essence of Frosty with just a dash of magic from his hat. Actually, as long as it isn't 'lemon' flavored, I just might try it. Now if I could only figure out what nog is.  Actually, don't tell me.  I don't want to know...

Friday, December 09, 2011

What To Do When You Awake Before The Dead

I have been waking up between 3:30am and 5am for the last couple of weeks. And to think, I was mad at having to get the girls ready for school at 6:30am. That seems soooo late now. Years ago I wrote about “Insomnia Man” and I'm getting ready to launch Captain Slumbers Too Little and his masked partner, Lt. Graveyard Shift. Yes, those are just a working titles. Unless they grab you. Nah, I don't want to pander to my readers like that. Well, unless you think I should? No wonder I have a tough time deciding where to eat...

The first step in battling my “waking up before the alarm clock goes off” (which should be considered a sin) is to up the amount of my sleepy time medicine. Sleepy Time is not the legal name for it. The legal name is only something my doctor can pronounce. So I did that. And proceeded to wake up EARLIER than I did yesterday. I stopped taking naps for a few days, that also didn't help. Although it made me a zombie around 6pm each night. Not the good sci-fi zombie.

I could lessen the cups of coffee I drink. That was a joke. If you do that I will hunt you down and do despicable things to you. Really despicable things! Like watch Lawrence Welk on Sunday nights wearing old cardigan sweaters that smell like “old folk.” So see, messing with the level of caffeine I ingest is off the table.

This brings me to the part of the essay which I like to call “Things Not To Do When You Wake Up While The Rooster Is Dreaming.” Normally accepted things to do during this time are things like write a sappy letter to your spouse, straighten up the living room, make the girls lunch for school and read. You know, quiet but yet productive things.

Those things would be all well and fine. But not for me. I like to wake up, turn the Christmas trees on Yes, I said trees with an 's.' Don't be jealous. That just the way we tumble. Maybe that should be 'roll?' Then I make coffee. After that, I turn on the tv, because gun fire will keep the whole house asleep. After that, I start a fire. Ya know, just quiet things to do.

So, if I am going to keep waking up so early, I have to change my ways. Perhaps that is when I'll receive a visit from Captain Slumbers Too Little. Oh wait, I made him up. I really have to get more sleep..

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Oh Fudge! He Bought The ‘Christmas Story’ House.

I know I'm putting up a lot of reposts these days, but some day, that will end.  I'm pretty sure.  Nah, I'm totally sure.  

Why watch a movie scene when you can own it? Who ever thought that when E-bay opened its doors (their virtual ones, I guess) that people would be buying parts of famous movies on it. That’s exactly what a man did with $150,000 dollars. He bought the house in Cleveland where Ralphie and his family lived in the movie “A Christmas Story.” It’s sure to become a cult destination and presumably all the Bumpus’ hounds are long since dead, so it’s probably a pretty safe investment. It opened for tours this past Saturday and the same gentleman bought the house across the street to be used as a gift shop and museum. The story gets better, the man also makes and sales his own leg lamps. I guess in a weird twist of fate the lamps based on the ‘major award’ that graced the house’s front window in the movie partly financed the purchase of the house itself. Only in America folks, only in America.

It’s one of my favorite movies and if you’ve never seen it, you should. It’s on DVD and TBS runs a 24-hour marathon of it every Christmas Eve. Personally, my family got so sick of me trying to sneak it on TV by changing the channel every time someone left the room on Christmas Eve that they just broke down and bought me the movie to shut me up (ha, the joke’s on them because it didn’t work). You could almost say that just trying to get it on the TV for everyone to see became my own personal Red Rider BB Gun quest. I like to slightly annoy the family by wearing my ‘you’ll shoot your eye out’ t-shirt on Christmas Eve for family pictures and I have a miniature leg lamp ornament that has its own special place on our tree (thanks Carlton Cards and your ornament makers). I’ll admit though that it does take a little creativity explaining to Lucy and Ethel (my twin youngins) why there is a fishnet stocking leg on our Christmas tree. Fortunately, it’s one of those explanations that can begin with the phrase, “when you get older…”

I guess it’s true when they say that there are some real bargains on E-bay. Wouldn’t it be neat to get to buy a piece of movie history? I think it would be a lot of fun owning an iconic home. You could stand in the driveway and wave to the people who drive by just to see it. Houses that come to mind are the Cunningham’s house on ‘Happy Days,’ Archie Bunker’s house, the beautiful home from the Steve Martin movie ‘Father of the Bride,’ (I actually know where that one is) and of course the Brady’s home on the Brady Bunch. By the way, did you know that the 'Brady' home is not a two-story house? Boy can they work wonders in Hollywood.

Of course, even though the houses may be iconic, you’d be in a little trouble if they weren’t so easily recognizable to others. Then you’d be stuck with a home you bought at an over inflated price because of its supposed fame. If that happens, don’t dare think about sticking a tacky sign up in the yard that reads, “Stop here – former home of the Cunninghams on ‘Happy Days.’ Photo ops only ten dollars.” That would be sure to tick off the neighbors. If you were going to live in one of them, tours would be out of the question, too. The family wouldn’t take too kindly to strangers traipsing in and out of the house throughout the day. I can see it now for poor little Suzy. Every time she’s in the shower, one of the tourists needs to use the guest bathroom downstairs and when the toilet is flushed, she is scalded.

So now, in addition to blogging, I’ll have to keep my eye on E-bay in case a famous house is put up for auction. I’d pursue Beaver’s house on ‘Leave it to Beaver,’ but that’s only a fake house on the Universal Studios lot. Hopefully Sheriff Andy Taylor’s house from ‘The Andy Griffith Show’ is real and will be auctioned off soon. The only problem is that the show was in black and white. Does anyone know what color it really is? I’d hate to bid on a house from a black and white television show and end up winning a house with purple trim. Maybe I’ll hold out for Graceland or that big house the President is always landing his helicopter in front of. The name of it escapes me at the moment. If it has enough room for a helicopter, I’m sure it has ample room for a bounce house. Hopefully they take Pay Pal.

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Santa Faces Possible Indictment Over Mutant Deer Discovery

A Wisconsin man discovered a deer with seven legs recently after he struck it with his truck. Perhaps even weirder is the fact that the animal had both male and female ‘parts’ (to be politically correct). The Associated Press reports that the extra legs were each a few inches long and were attached to its ‘regular’ legs.

The growing concern is that there may be something screwy going on up at the North Pole. Although no other reports of the existence of ‘genetically unique’ deer have been reported, there have been rumors. PETA officials have scheduled an ‘exploratory mission’ to the North Pole to investigate the treatment of the local deer population.

‘Obviously there’s something funny happening when deer can fly and some are born with red noses, so you have to make a connection between that and this mutant deer turning up,’ said a PETA official. ‘I don’t know what you do to get reindeer to fly, but it’s obviously harmful,’ he added.

The North Pole has remained quiet and secretive about their deer breeding practices and all reindeer flights have been cancelled until investigations have been completed. The Pole has always maintained that safety of their animals is the highest priority. Other than an ugly sleigh collision in 1973 that purportedly took the lives of three deer and a myth about a banjo-playing snowman who talks, no other reports of North Pole animal injuries or oddities have ever been reported.

“The whole Santa operation is very image based and the big guy would cringe if anything happened to tarnish that finely honed image,” said a diminutive North Pole spokesperson with pointy ears. “Believe me, when companies like Coca-Cola and large department stores give us free publicity, we don’t want to have any freaky transsexual deer running around to spoil an image we’ve been perpetuating for over 100 years,’ the spokesperson added.

If anything at the North Pole is found to be the cause of the mutant deer, Kris Kringle could face stiff fines and possible prison time for the ‘cruel and unethical treatment of fictional flying animals that don’t normally fly.’ Some observers worry about the global debate that will follow over who has jurisdiction over the North Pole as it has often been thought of as international territory. Canada, Russia, the United States, Denmark, Greenland, the ACME Ice Manufacturing Company and the estate of the late Liberace have tried at one time or another to claim territorial rights to the North Pole. The most likely outcome would find Santa imprisoned at Gitmo or Abu Grahib.

This will likely be a tense Christmas for the Clauses and little children the world over as they wait to see what will happen. Those close to Santa have reported that he’s in a very foul mood and mumbles constantly saying, ‘all because of one deer, one #^%#$#%$$ deer!’ Like one Santa believer said, ‘if they use nuclear energy to power submarines, there’s no telling what they use to get reindeer to fly.’

Saturday, December 03, 2011

Scientists Prove Artificial Christmas Trees Help Promote Weight Loss

TV networks do it so I am doing it.  It's a holiday repost...

A revolutionary and landmark study was completed over the past holiday weekend and its results were announced yesterday. The San Bernardino, California based I Can’t Believe We Get Funding For This, Inc. (ICBWGFFT) research think tank has proven a link exists between holiday decorating and extreme calorie burning. It’s kind of the reverse of trimming the tree.

The research was conducted with fourteen men participating. All fourteen men ate until they became dizzy Thanksgiving Day and throughout the remainder of the holiday weekend. Seven of the men were then instructed to spend the weekend doing their normal routines while the second group of seven was asked to assemble a seven foot artificial Christmas tree complete with lights and decorations and then to string lights on their homes. The group of decorators lost thirteen pounds between Friday and Monday morning while the first group who did not decorate gained twenty. Incidentally, the group of weight gainers is now suing ICBWGFFT.

“Obviously there’s a significant link between holiday decorating and weight loss based on our highly controlled studies,” said ICBWGFFT’s lead scientist. “Everyone assumes that artificial trees are easier to deal with at Christmas time, but that is just a myth. With a real tree you just drive home from the lot or tree farm, put it up in your living room and decorate it, but with an artificial one you are responsible for lugging it around, erecting it and fluffing up all branches and tree tips before you can do anything else like adding lights or decorations,” she added.

The scientists believe that the constant motion necessary to assemble a decent looking artificial tree is equal to jogging or swimming for three consecutive hours. They observed their subjects’ non-stop activity as they made lap after lap after lap around their trees trying to make sure that each branch and tip on every single limb was positioned perfectly. The scientists also noted that the more compulsive the individual, the more time they spent arranging and rearranging the trees’ branches.

“These men would step away from the tree to look at their work, see a bare spot, and begin moving the branches again as if they just couldn’t stop working on their tree,” a scientist noted. “It’s like they were hummingbirds and had to maintain perpetual motion. To be honest with you, we’ve had a lot of fun reviewing our study subjects’ tapes and will probably submit a few to America’s Funniest Home Videos when we’re done.”

ICBWGFFT said that the more lights and decorations placed on the tree, the greater the weight loss would be. They also were able to counter the notion that stress can lead to weight gain. The holidays and decorating for them are some of the most stressful times of the year, but despite the stress the decorating men endured over the weekend, all seven subjects posted significant weight loss. Unfortunately, five of the seven subjects consumed an average of three cups of eggnog per day after the testing period and gained their weight back. Those subjects are also now suing ICBWGFFT.

Officials at ICBWGFFT celebrated their groundbreaking discovery by announcing this morning 
that they have teamed up with an artificial garland manufacturing plant in Ohio to begin selling artificial Christmas trees with 5,000 tips and the most branches possible on any commercially available tree. They hope to have the tree, named The Thinning Tannenbaum, in major retail outlets, home improvement mega stores, vitamin supplement shops, Weight Watchers and Jenny Craig by the second week of December.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

A Very Happy Birthday, Mr. Samuel Twain

I don't do 'shout-outs' on this blog, I guess that is also called 'special recognition' or hellos. Heck I don't even mention my kids by their real names! A special shout-out to Lucy, Ethel and LaVerne!! Ah gheez, I just did a shout-out!!!!!! Augh.....

But this shout-out is worth it. It is Mark Twain's (Samuel Clements) 176th birthday. Just yesterday I was writing something vaguely about 'Why I Write' and he is certainly one of the main reasons I do so. He is and always will be America's Humorist, well next to Fred Willard of course. He had something to say on everything from A-Z. Of course, he wrote a few famous books, too :)

Sitting down to write everyday, he's with me. Well, the early Mark Twain, because I really don't like to wear all white. I hope that made sense. If not, there's always Wikipedia.

Anywho, Happy Birthday Mark Twain!!!! I bet he would have a lot to say from where he is right now.  

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Why I Write

Well, I do so so that you have something to read. Please be honest, seeing a blank page would not be fun. Although you're probably thinking it would be better than how I deface the page...But it's a good question. I mean the pregunta (that's Spanish for question) about why I write, not the question about me trying to do graffiti with the written word on a blank page.

Now that I have you completely lost...ahh heck, I am too. I wanted this be a look into why I write, but I didn't think it out anymore than that. I even have my 'writing pipe,' the one I want to have in my mouth as I complete the book I promised myself. I even have a sweater (ok, sweat shirt with hoodie), booze (well, it's wine) and I contemplated getting an eye patch. You know, the things a great writer has, so that I could explain to you why I write.

It feels good (I'm talking about writing here people!!). It's like every time I have have something to say, I feel like I should write it out. The only problem with that is AS (After Stroke), I have trouble committing my words to paper. Heck, I have trouble even getting the right words out. But rather than let that deter me, I'm am just gonna write what comes to mind. You may ask yourself why would a train leave the station KNOWING that it was going to derail, but that's where the fun comes in.

Writing is for some people a dreaded thought, not something that they want to make into a habit. But even if you have nothing to say, getting it on paper is the start of you 'writing exercises.' I honestly believe that if you train a brain to sit down and write that you will and it'll become easier and more readable. Besides, doing crunches it not as fun. Well, for me.

So (here's my lackadaisical) punchline...Please join me as I figure out why I write. Besides, it's free.

PS. Tomorrow's post will be much better. I say that not knowing what it will be about. Maybe a post on the most famous train derailments...   

Monday, November 28, 2011

Will YOU Be At Your Computer Today?

Back to the grind after a holiday weekend. But this Monday has a title. It's “Buy Things While You Are At Work Day.” Apparently, that is known by SOME people as “Cyber Monday.” I guess Black Friday needed a cousin, or at least a red-headed step child. Personally I prefer Thursday's title: Take Things Back Thursday.  Only, shopping online doesn't require money. You just buy it and it shows up, right??

We spent like 52 Billion ( that's right, with a B) this past weekend. I guess over the weekend the economy turned around. But I am NOT writing this post to say people spending their money is a bad thing, especially went it comes to Christmas presents. I say the more the merrier!  

I would be more than happy to point you to some clicks for good deals. You know, if you want to buy them for, whoever... Or perhaps you want to buy something for somebody's birthday. Like a certain blog writer I know. Hey, enough of that!!! Unless you wanted to. No, that's enough!!

Happy clicking!

PS – Remember to get just a little work done today while you are cruising the intrawebs :)

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Insomnia Man

Considering that I couldn’t come up with anything else for today, I thought I would delve deeper into the life of Insomnia Man. This will be somewhat different from my usual posts and embarrassingly; THIS is my longest post to date. 

Insomnia Man (IM because I’m too lazy to type the full name) was a sheepherder until being laid off in the late 90s when computer software and technology made it possible to count sheep more cheaply and efficiently than a mere mortal could. This disturbed Insomnia Man deeply and disrupted the ebb and flow of his life, but he found work not long after in a local office complex. He would spend his days in his drab mono-colored (coloured for any of my European readers) cubicle staring at a computer monitor listening to the incessant droning native to the office environment while pushing papers and taking things in and out of manila folders because that’s what he saw those around him doing. 

Due to the lack of excitement he was used to on the sheep farm, he would often fall asleep at his desk. IM could get away with this because he always had plenty of manila folders on his desk and was never seen not clutching one. This daytime sleeping made it hard to fall asleep at night and before too long IM became a full-fledged insomniac. Well, that’s what he believed after seeing that he had a few of the same symptoms as an insomniac does on the internet. Perhaps he was too quickly convinced that he was an insomniac because he thought it made him a candidate for disability until he was laughed out of his company’s HR Specialist’s office. This made him bitter and agitated which further deterred his ability to sleep.

The insomnia didn’t bother IM too much at first because it made it much easier for him to sleep through his workday and that made the workday pass much quicker than if he actually worked straight through 8 consecutive hours. IM would spend his nights learning foreign languages by watching their infomercials or enjoying his TiVo’d episodes of ‘The Wonder Years’ (don’t we all have Winnie Coopers or Kevin Arnolds in our past). One night while craving a Chalupa, he took to the streets to find a Taco Bell. It was at this time that he witnessed his very first crime. At least he thought that the guy was breaking into his neighbors house until he called the police and they discovered that it was his neighbor’s Father-in-law trying to get back into the house because he locked himself out while house sitting. Never the less, the adrenaline rush he experienced while thinking he was foiling a criminal act now and forever would be in his blood. It was only a bonus that his neighbors later dropped the charges against him.

IM now knew what he must do. He would use his sub-super powers to prevent evil in his city by finding crime in progress and calling the police. Sadly, IM was not smart enough to realize that the crime would be over by the time he reported it. He upgraded his cell phone plan, bought a digital camera and while his wife slept one night, he assembled everything he would need to fashion his own superhero costume, although he disliked the term costume as he felt it belittled him and referred to it as his ‘Superuni.” He later realized he had no talent for combining words and just stuck with ‘My Uniform For Deterring, if Not Repelling, Because I Can’t Really Fight, Crime.” One night after driving himself to the emergency room to have his fingers removed from the cape he had accidentally sewed to them, his Uniform For Deterring, if Not Repelling, Because I Can’t Really Fight, Crime was finished.

IM was now free to patrol the streets at night looking and listening for crime. He found that the longer he went without sleep, the harder it was to walk or drive straight and trust what he was seeing. Unfortunately, he missed more crimes than he prevented and was asked by the authorities to stop searching for crime after striking a group of elderly women leaving a bingo game one night. In time, the police dispatchers stopped taking his calls and then became further irritated when they had to dispatch officers nightly to get him off the yards of the town’s citizens. It turns out that those Neighborhood Watch programs really are effective. But then, how difficult is it to spot someone in a mask and cape with big ‘ZZZZs’ on their chest peeking in through your neighbor’s window.

Times were tough for IM. Then when having to go to the grocery store for his wife one day (despite his insistence that he needed to try and sleep during the day because he did really important stuff at night like Elvis used to), he realized that he actually did have an almost superpower. The bags under his eyes had become so big that they repelled the sunlight allowing him to not have to squint, just like the pro athletes who paint black streaks under their eyes before they compete. Now he could seek out and report crime to the authorities in the daytime too.

Insomnia Man patrolled the local streets day and night unsuccessfully for over 20 years. Then one day his social security check began arriving and his wife retired. She insisted that they buy a motor home and travel the country (mostly to escape the constant ridicule for being the wife of the sleepless caped idiot). While driving the motor home, he fell asleep at the wheel driving through Needles, California and was hospitalized for 8 months. Ironically, that day driving and the ensuing 8 months was the best (and by best I mean only) sleep he had experienced in 23 years. After recovering; they retired to Florida, took up lawn bowling and he now falls asleep at 3PM everyday while watching ‘The People’s Court’ in his recliner.

It’s still a sore subject for him when his grandchildren make fun of Insomnia Man. Except for the one grandchild who is afraid of sleep and found Insomnia Man’s Uniform For Deterring, if Not Repelling, Because He Can’t Really Fight, Crime in his grandfather’s attic one day…

Friday, November 25, 2011

Seeing Red And Green On Black Friday (More Red Than Green Though...)

*This is the start of year when I rerun some holiday reposts, but I promise to have a few new ones too...*

We made it! It’s the day after Thanksgiving and while all of us are still stuffed from yesterday’s dinner, we are either taking advantage of the day off or working amid diehard holiday shoppers (with another belt hole added to our belts). Retailers call it Black Friday and I call it the beginning of the holiday madness. Radio stations start popping in a Christmas tune every few songs and our neighborhoods start to transform into festivals of light.  Or light orgies, but that may lead to some unexpected consequences, so, we'll just stick with the use of festival of lights...

All throughout the land wives woke up early this morning to get a jump on their holiday shopping. They promised to be back by lunch but will probably not make it back by dinner. The muffled mumbles of men cussing as they try to untangle the mess they made when they put away the Christmas lights last year can be heard from every mountaintop. Thousands of turkey sandwiches have already been eaten today and if you want to go to a local shopping mall this evening, you’d better plan on being airlifted in.

I’ve never chosen to partake in the chaos of Black Friday, but I have participated in the holiday light shuffle. First I budget myself 2 hours to find the box I put them in last year. Once I find the box, which is always the last one you’d think to check, I spend another two hours untangling them. My violent light untangling usually results in a few broken bulbs. That’s ok, it just adds to the several I’ll need to replace once I plug the string in anyway. Then comes finding the ladder and breaking a few more bulbs as I try to string them up.

When all of that is finally done, I can step back from the house and into the street to admire my shining beacons of the holiday season. That self-adulation is of course quickly cut short when I notice that two more bulbs have gone out. But a-ha, that’s just part of the game. That’s why I won’t put my ladder away until after Christmas this year. Now the lights won’t be able to beat me into a deranged and mumbling lunatic every time another one burns out. Strangely enough, I look forward to my annual showdown with the lights.

This year I decided to copy almost everyone else around me and buy the red and green landing lights for Santa. I thought my girls would get a kick out if them, and of course I knew that I would enjoy them. My only fear now is that I have a lighted runway leading straight to my front door for errant drivers and very lousy private pilots. Hopefully the lighted candy canes and nutcracker soldiers will deter them.

By the time today is over, everyone who has shopped and decorated will be exhausted and slightly on edge. In each of their minds, every minute of the frustration was worth it. Especially for the ten people across the country who were lucky enough to find the last ten "Whatever It Is This Year Elmo" known to man. Now if you’ll excuse me, my turkey sandwich is ready and I have to figure out how to plug another 1,000 lights and a sleigh into a surge protector that is already full. You can plug one full surge protector into another, can’t you?

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

These Are Not The Turkeys You Are Looking For...

I know I started with a quote from Star Wars, but isn't ANY holiday made better by Star Wars?  "This Sleigh Is Not The Sleigh You Are Looking For?"  "This Easter Bunny Is Not The Easter Bunny You Are Looking For?"  See, ANY holiday.  

This post is about the President and Turkeys - Not The President Is A Turkey, because I don't get political on the blog.  I like to keep it good-natured and offensive to no one.  Sooo, what religion are you?  Just kidding.  President Obama did something this morning that all Presidents since Truman have done.  No, he did not drop an Atomic Bomb and he did not let a celebrity sleep in the Lincoln Bedroom.  What he did, was pardon 2 turkeys.  He saved them from the butcher's block.  Liberty and Peace are free to spend Turkey Day the way they want to, which I am pretty sure does not mean being roasted or fried.

A few years ago, President Bush sent his pardoned turkeys to Disneyland.  Which was great because the week after Thanksgiving we were at Disneyland and saw one of them.  And then I noticed the Turkey legs for sale at a few select dining places at Dland and wondered if that is where the other turkey went.  I guess you had to be there to find it funny...

But this year the 2 turkeys will be at Washington's Mount Vernon (why do the first couple of Presidents live in a home that is named?  Oh, and Elvis!).  They will be on hand for the Christmas celebration (open to the public) at Mount Vernon.  I sure hope that the celebration is fun and that the turkeys do not have to cross the Delaware!  BADA BUM BUM...That was a joke, but me explaining that it was a joke probably lessens the impact...

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Call Me The Clean Up Man! But Don't Say I Suck...

Interesting title, huh? What do I clean up? What do I suck at? If you were thinking a vacuum cleaner, you'd be absolutely right! Scary huh? Well, I mean it's a scary thought that you think like me. Vacuum’s aren't scary. Unless your vacuum cleaner starts to eat up a rug. Well ya know, that's just an 'example.' I should stop using air quotes because they make me look guilty...

I like vacuuming. In fact, I spent an hour of today assembling a vacuum (it says a few minutes to get it ready, but I have trouble reading their manual. It's in English). Then I spent over an hour vacuuming the house. Of course when the kiddos get home I'll have to vacuum again...

I don't know why I have a fascination with this particular household appliance. Maybe it's because you run it over the carpet and can see or listen to what it picks up. Don't you feel like you are the master of your floors with that type of power? Uhhhh, nah, me neither. (Is me neither correct? When I think I've made a grammatical fa-paux I like to ask. Hopefully it shows a little bit of an intelligence as opposed to writing it and not asking).

Anywhoo, that's all I have to say today. Bet you want that 5 minutes back. Well, I DON'T GIVE REFUNDS!! Now, you can say I suck...

Monday, November 21, 2011

I’m One Of The Ones You Hate This Time Of Year

This is a repost since the kiddos are home.  But come on, you still want to read it. Right??  Yes, of course you do.  See, I'm brimming with self-confidence.  Right??  See that was a joke!  Right???? 

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 this weekend. 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. 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 to undertake.  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…

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Oh My God, They're Turkeys!!!!!

I cannot enjoy the Thanksgiving holiday without remembering possibly the single funniest moment (at least for me) in television history. Of course I am speaking about the famous 'WKRP' In Cinncinati turkey drop.  The episode was called “Turkey’s Away” and originally aired in 1978. For me, the staples of Thanksgiving have now become turkey, turducken, can-shaped cranberry muck, pumpkin pie and this WKRP episode. Perhaps the only other Thanksgiving television episode that comes close is the ‘Cheers’ Thanksgiving food fight.
It is uncommon for me to talk to someone who doesn’t remember part of that episode. Each year morning radio DJs all over this country will invariably refer to it or play a clip of it during their day before Thanksgiving radio show.  The segment where WKRP’s reporter describes the Thanksgiving Day promotion is absolutely hysterical and invokes memories of older historic radio broadcasts. Perhaps the most memorable line (although there are many) from that episode is the vivid description ‘they’re hitting the ground like sacks of wet cement.’ That’s usually the line most often repeated by DJs. As the radio promotion from hell unravels, Les Nessman even compares it to the Hindenburg tragedy.
Most of us can be thankful next Thursday for many, many things. Some of them are big and some of them are not as monumental. This 30-minute episode of television reminds me that one of the things I am most thankful for is our ability to laugh. So, whether you are traveling or preparing the big holiday meal, take five minutes to relax and enjoy this gem from a Thanksgiving long ago (at least by TV standards). If you are stressed out preparing for the big day or just trying to get over the river and through the woods or over the highways and through the stop lights, watching this will definitely help you settle down. Enjoy…

"As God is my witness, I thought turkeys could fly." -I feel your pain, Mr. Carlson.

Top Ten Mistakes “My Friend” Has Made As A Dad.

I am using “air quotes” in the title to this post. I couldn't find much to write about this morning and the Little One keeps asking for food and asking to see The Wizard Of Oz (wouldn't it be great if they combined the two.) 

Actually, that's not really that great an idea. So, I figured I would list some of the other mistakes “my friend” has made. And yes “My Friend” is actually me. I know you're shocked..

10.  I use food as a bribe. It makes her happy which makes me happy.

9.  One day when I'm wunning (walking with a little running mixed in) with her in the stroller, I decided to stop at the park. We had fun, UNTIL IT WAS TIME TO LEAVE (and I had none of what I'm speaking of in #10).

8.  We made a slide out of furniture. Men, do not do that with your kids...especially when you let your child take the fall for it.

7.  Do not EVER let your children take the fall for something that you “may have” done.

6.  When your child asks “what can I eat,” I've have learned NOT to make it candy or chocolate every time. Because then when Mommy gets home she says “Mommy can I have a piece of candy?” It ruins OUR little secret...

5.  Do not dress your child in stripes and plaids together. I only did it 5-7 times. I don't know what the big deal is...

4.  Never let your child break a bone. Believe me, it hurts you more than the child.

3.  Never let your child climb up into your “daddy chair” to watch TV with you when your are watching something about the Civil War. If you do, just tell her that the bodies are just “laying down” when she asks.

2.  TV is NOT a baby sitter! Especially when you're child is hiding behind a piece of furniture doing something you had hoped she would do on a toilet.

And the number 1 mistake:

While I did say that TV is not a babysitter (I did say that, right?), keep Barney from ever touching your kid's eyes. If you don't, YOU will want to go blind...and deaf.    

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Coffee. Yep, That's It. Just Coffee

I WAS going to write my thoughts on the greatest album never to be released (The Beach Boys Smile). After 40 plus years it was finally released 2 weeks ago, but I will save that for another day. This morning I will pontificate on coffee. Actually you could say that coffee is what powers my posts most mornings! Is pontificate too strong a word when talking about coffee? I guess I could sermonize about it. Is sermonize a real word? It must be because spell check didn't flag it...granted they do spell check 'awesomesauce,' which is a real word.

You know I like coffee. A doctor would most likely say I'm addicted to it. But addicted is such a strong word. So, I shall use the phrase (I can't get out of bed without it). There, that's MUCH better (I'm talking myself into THINKING it's better. I can talk myself into many things. Such as 'that dress looks great' and Don Ho is a musical genius. But, back to coffee...

I wondered what would make the world a happier (and jittery) place? Free coffee. I think that every place of work (ironically abbreviated as POW...) should have a coffee pot and make it available to each employee and everyone who stops in. Of course they may stop in because they have free coffee, but hey, what a great ploy to get people to stop by. This idea should be added to every library, doctors office, gas station, basically everywhere. Wouldn't that make the world and the people in it happier, more peaceful and probably more productive? Yes, until the caffeine rush is gone, but then we could all sleep from about 2pm on. BWAHAHAHA.

And please do not worry about Starbucks. They'll still have people who pay for their coffee. Because, ya know, Starbucks is the world's oldest profession...(oops, pardon the reference.) There was even a Starbucks in the Bible!! I'm sure it's in there. Well, there was probably one in there. OK, it's 50/50 that it mentions one.

There are other things that could be offered with the free coffee. Wouldn't the world be that much more happy with free lobster, bacon or cheese? Or, all 3. Perhaps they could pay somebody to give back rubs (I don't like them, but I am writing this post for all of YOU..). Yes, that's a great idea. If every place in the world gave out free back rubs and cups of java, they would be helping out the world's economic crisis. That would be at least one more paid person at EVERY business. Except for me (because I care about YOU), I would do it for free...

PS. I started ads on my blog...I wonder what ads will appear with this post :)

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Christmastime Is Here. Well, Depending On Your Perspective

I wasn't going to bring it up but Christmastime is here. No, this post will not trash Black Friday, Cyber Monday or Broke Wednesday (I made that up, but you know what I'm saying). Neither will this post address the Christmas items being displayed in September at local stores. This post is about how I start early for Christmas. If you want to stop reading now, that's ok.

For the two of you that are still reading, you get a gift. 300 pennies!! I start playing Christmas music on November 1st, well that's after my Christmas In July celebration. Should I call it a celebration if I'm the only one around to celebrate? But when I play it, I have to do so secretively. Not everyone is shined up like a Christmas tree (I made that up, too. In fact, I'm not even sure that was proper English, or Espanol for you Spanish speakers) when they hear Christmas music, especially before Turkey Day.

But now, I can play it in the open. In So Cal, KOST 103.5, started playing Christmas music 24/7 today. It's their 10th year. In fact for a number of years they have played the same song to kick it off. And guess what, it's Barry Manilow (don't say a word...). Seriously, DO NOT SAY A WORD!!!!

Maybe the Christmas Bug affected me a little differently. My birthday is Christmas Eve, so maybe I am predisposed to being a Christmas fanatic. Or, maybe I am just off my rocker. By 'rocker,' I mean that I think Barry Manilow and Harry Conniff are rockers in the musical sense. I'll let you or my psychiatrist figure that one out.

In fact, I think Christmas Eve is just the start of Christmas, not my birthday. We put up our Christmas Tree this past Sunday. The family let me do that. Probably cause I get this look in my eyes starting on November 1st. Or perhaps it's because I whine daily about decorating until I finally get to. But, they set a limit. I do not get to decorate it...yet. BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAA.

Monday, November 14, 2011

To Be Thankful...kind of

What is Lawrence Welk doing on this post? I promise to get to that.

It seems like a lot of people are on Facebook. I know that you know that there are, I just wanted to make sure you were listening. I am a Facebook addict, if you didn't know that. Actually if you didn't know that, you've been hiding in a cave, or maybe a sewer pip, if you are wanted by a large posse. That was a Moammar Gadhafi joke, see I DO read the news. I just read it after everyone else does...

You are probably wondering what this post (like all of my others) is about. Sorry, my mind tends to derail often...and I can't help but write down EVERY thought I have (btw, I need to do laundry...). This post though is about being thankful.

A lot of people on FB (which is Facebook, but I love abbreviations, I mean abbrevs) are taking November to list each day one thing they are thankful for. So, I thought I would make this post about the things I am thankful for, and it only took me 3 paragraphs to say that. I am making head way. It used to be 5-6 paragraphs until you were able to figure out what I was writing.

I am thankful for many things. My health, my family and all that other stuff that I'm legally supposed to say, but my thanks goes deeper. I am thankful for the auto-timer on my coffee maker. Because once I stumble downstairs the aroma begins to wake me up. I am thankful for Englebert Humperdink and Lawrence Welk (if you are on FB, you'll know why). Having the Force flow through me is a positive thing too. That's kind of a joke. OK, I'll be honest, I'm not joking...

I am way thankful for Netflix's streaming thing. I am sure there is a techno term for 'thing,' but you know what I am talking about. Hair mousse is something I am thankful for, especially if you have ever seen my hair when I wake up. Music is something I'm very fond of. And let's not forget bacon and cheese (the big BC...'cuz you know, I like to 'abbrev' things). I could live on just those two staples! Of course I wouldn't live long, but I'd die happy.

I would have liked to be thankful about driving, but...

See, my thankfulness has many levels. Maybe not as many as Donkey Kong. Can you tell I stopped playing arcade games around the time of the Atari? And on a serious note, I am thankful to be able to write. There was a time when I didn't know if that would happen again. Oh one last thing, I 'm thankful for my 3rd daughter looking like me. Finally, some representing of me!! Did I say that right??

Thursday, November 10, 2011

YUM!! Yummmmmm---meeeeeeeee!!!!!

I will tell you now that this is a repost.  But it is a delicious repost!!  Did that make you want to keep reading?  I hope so...

While perusing around online this morning, I came across a mention of a new take on turducken, which is odd considering that turducken itself is a new take on something. This creation was called turgooduccochiqua.

Now here is where I need to you to follow closely, because things are going to get confusing fast. A turgooduccochiqua is: a quail stuffed inside a cornish game hen that is inside of a duck, which resides in a chicken that is nesting inside of turkey. But hang on there because we aren't finished yet. All of those fowl ingredients (Get it? Fowl as in foul?) are then stuffed inside of a goose, which really brings that phrase from "We Wish You A Merry Christmas" that says "the goose is getting fat" to mind. Though in this case the goose is getting morbidly obese, but that's no fun to think about when eating. Oh yes, as if that wasn't enough meaty goodness for you, apparently the whole frankenbird is lined with bacon between all of the layers.


Ok, that was me allowing you to catch your breath and truly savor the ramifications of such a delicious food concoction. It might just be the greatest newly devised food of this new century and quite possibly the best offered since the Campbell's Soup Test Kitchen gave us the green bean casserole with those Durkee Fried Onions on top or even spam or maybe even bacon salt.

One thing is clear however, we need to encourage Americans to keep experimenting in such bold culinary fashion. After all folks, America is a country founded by explorers and pioneers and that spirit needs to be nurtured. In the kitchen.

To say that I enjoy food is about as much of an understatement as saying that Copacabana is a good song (it's one of the greatest songs ever with its drama and anguish and suspense all set to a disco beat - to help you with the understatement comparison). All of this cramming of other meats into dead turkeys makes my mind wander dreamily to other food cramming and stuffing possibilities.

Could you just imagine the Scallshrobster? You're right. You probably can't because I haven't told you what it is. It's shrimp stuffed inside scallops that yes, are stuffed into lobster. Then there's the Cheese Hamfurter. This one is pretty self-explanatory. It's a hot dog stuffed inside a hamburger. You'd think this one would be a no brainer during America's Christmas - The 4th of July. Well actually, I guess December 25th is America's Christmas, but just saying "America's Birthday" seemed so bland and trivial.

Oh, how about the Keyconut Pie? A layer of coconut cream pie on top of a layer of Key Lime pie. This one might be an acquired taste, but then so is the music of The Ray Conniff orchestra and chorus and I've learned to love it. I am sure there is something involving bacon that could be thought up, but then bacon tastes good on pretty much everything. Cheese, another addiction of mine, would also be a good universal food pairing candidate. Wait a minute that could give us Chacon Bombs. Little cubes of cheese wrapped inside little strips of bacon and rolled together - hence the bomb label. Well, that and the fact that bombs can kill you, though perhaps just a little quicker than downing several chucks of cheese and bacon at the same time.

I would love to continue this fantasy stroll down the lane of crazy food hybridization, but 1. I don't think I used hybridization correctly just now, and 2. I am getting very, very hungry.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

What a Great Fall Morning!!

It's windy and cold and I've got Christmas music playing and I'm drinking my coffee and the baby is watching cartoons. It's the perfect morning. Well almost. The baby is watching Barney. And my baby isn't really a baby anymore...but, I've got the Christmas music and coffee, so it's all worth it.

Oh, and I've got my lady leg lamp from A Christmas Story set up by the computer. Actually, it's always by my computer. It's giving off the 'soft glow of electric sex.' Well, the soft glow of a midget because it's the smaller version. I'm writing today because the twins will be off from school the next 2 days. While that is exciting, it's also scary. What am I gonna do with three children by myself and I can't drive anywhere. Seriously, what am I gonna do??!!! :)

I thought about writing this post on my new favorite kitchen appliance, my French Coffee Press, but I not sure that something without a chord to plug in qualifies as a kitchen 'appliance.' It's my new favorite kitchen gadget, that's fo sho!! I think that means 'for sure' or 'for show' or possibly 'for shoe.' I'll let you decide.

But anywho, back to my French Press, which actually was made in China. But I think a China Press is a wrestling dum dum. This is the way to drink a cup of joe!!! And I love the crema (the foam on it). I think I like it because it's the olden way to do it. Like back in the 70s. 1870s?? And it's like coffee that I can actually produce. Well not the beans, but I push the lever and add the water. Altho, when I get a coffee grinder, I'll even have more to do in the making of a good cup of coffee.

If you can't tell, I really had nothing to say in this blog post. It's funny that having nothing to say actually took me 5 paragraphs to say it!! So, I will return to my great morning and my Chinese French Press. Now off to get a coffee grinder and the other long lost kitchen appliance I want...a deepfryer!!!