Our Lady of Fatima... Pray for us.
Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament... Hear us.
Our Lady of the Rosary... Strengthen us.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Funny Guy Friday… Love my sister Michel… er… uh… Michela...

     As I was driving down the road with Gracie and Matthew the other day, we somehow got on the topic of Grace's employment opportunities. She told me that she plans on being a mom's helper for a friend of ours all summer long. I advised her that this was fine, but next summer, she will be getting a real job. She tried to convince me that being a mom's helper was a real job.
     I explained to her that it is not a real job, it is something you do in addition to having a real job. In fact, most people call what you are doing babysitting. In fact, you have cleverly labeled your work as being a "mom's helper," but from the sounds of it, you are babysitting for kids WHILE THEIR MOTHER IS HOME! The poor mother has to make an extra helping of mac and cheese for you while you watch Phineas and Ferb with her kids, for crying out loud. You do that "job" at our house for free. 
     Grace explained that I had it all wrong and she proudly pointed out that she thinks she will make close to $500 before the summer is over. I pointed out that if she got a real job, she could make that much money every two weeks. This news struck her as being impossible. Her reaction made me think that she thinks that I don't even make $500 every two weeks. So I did the math for her... If you make $10 an hour and work forty hours a week, you make $400 a week. After they take out your taxes, etc, you will make more than $500 every two weeks. 
     Grace's jaw dropped, I thought in reaction to the fact that she could make that much money. I quickly learned that her reaction had nothing to do with money. Who would work eight hours a day? she asked incredulously.
     Oh, she is definitely getting a real job next summer.  
     It was at this point in our discussion that I advised Grace that she had just given me my topic for this week's FGF. She suggested that I write about a different topic. I agreed, as Gracie has been the featured family member in many of my recent FGFs. However, she needed to come up with a funnier topic. She immediately blurted out that I should write about my sister Michel.
     Okay…... forget about what I just wrote about Grace.
     My sister Michel is coming to town this week for my nephew's wedding. You remember Michel. She nearly killed my father while nursing him when he was on his death bed.
     Michel and I are bookends of six siblings. She is twelve years my senior, so my parents were cranking out kids at a rate of about one every two years. As a child I recall that she was a great big sister… if you consider tormenting your baby brother as being a great big sister. Don't believe me? At each period of my childhood, she left emotional scars that would have destroyed a lesser man.
     When I was two, my use of a bottle embarrassed Michel so much that she constantly hid my bottle. Oftentimes, we found it in the trash.
     Ages 2-6, she told me that I was adopted from the Indians. It was obviously true because any time I got on her nerves, she would get on the phone and speak with the Indians and tell them that they could come and get me at any time. Fortunately they never did.
     I will admit that being part Indian could have its advantages… if I ever apply for a Harvard teaching job, or if I ever decide to run for office, I can tout my Indian heritage. On a side note, could you imagine how silly academics and politicians would look if they claimed to be part Indian based on what other family members told them. Glad to say that that would never happen!
     Anyway, when I was seven, after I slayed Michel's boyfriend with a series of killer knock-knock jokes and clever why-did-the-chicken-cross-the-road scenarios, she dragged me out of the room and lectured me, complete with finger in the face. Why, you ask? Because I happened to call the guy the name of the other guy she was dating at the time. Was it my fault she was a two-timing floozie?
     Then, when I was eighteen -- eighteen years, not months -- she asked me about my new cassette that I had just bought. Oh, that's Michael Jackson's new Thriller album, I excitedly replied. Then, to my shock and horror, she proceeded to destroy it, unravelling it into a heaping pile of magnetic tape, claiming that Jackson's music was not Godly.
     I had three thoughts at the time. First, I'm eighteen. I am aware that his music is not Godly BUT I MADE THE ADULT DECISION TO BUY IT ANYWAY……WITH MY OWN MONEY. Second, this is the reaction I get from a bottle stealing, Indian threatening, two timing floozie! And third, #@$>*&^@$#$%$.
     Michel did manage to marry one of those two boyfriends. Although I like my brother-in-law (lawyer), the other guy might have been a better choice (golf pro).
     She went on to have four wonderful daughters and one diabolical, Scrabble-cheating son. She took her experiences and killer sistering skills and used them to be an effective parent.
     She solved the bottle problem by deciding to breast feed her kids up until the age of about four. Maybe not four, but old enough for them to ask for a night cap before bed. And she dealt with the Indian issue head on by planning to live in a teepee when she first got married. This is completely true because I recall my dad muttering to himself that no daughter of his was going to live in a teepee.      
     But I will say that her relationship with her kids is based on love and trust. Unless, of course, there is a reason for her to be sneaky.
     For example, when her youngest daughter's friend posted crude messages on her Facebook, she made her daughter delete her Facebook page. After a few weeks, she allowed her daughter get a new Facebook page. But Michel attempted to secretly monitor her daughter's Facebook by pretending to be someone else. She cleverly gave herself the made up name of "Michela." You may not understand what she did, so I will try to explain it to you in very simple terms. She added an "a" at the end of her name.
     Who could possibly crack this secret code and discover her secret nom de plume? But wait, she got even sneakier… she listed her hometown, her birthday and her personal contact information. Not even the boys at NSA could unravel this mystery.
    After about eight seconds on Facebook, one of her other daughters posted this question on Michela's new page, Is that you, mom? Are you my mother? Without engaging any Facebook privacy control settings, Michela replied for the whole world wide web to see, Yes, but I'm trying to go incognito, so don't tell anyone. 
     I would request that you please keep this information to yourself. I would hate for my niece to find out that her mother was spying on her. On the other hand, if she were to uncover this espionage, and decide to confront my sister, my niece would never stand a chance. Michel is one tough broad.
     The other day, she went over to a friend's house. When she went through the door, she was greeted by the friend's guard dog. Wouldn't you know it, that dog bit her right on her rear end. Michel reported that she stayed calm and told the owner that her dog was biting her in the rear. Apparently, that mutt was attached pretty good. Horrified by this potentially disastrous attack, I asked if the dog broke her skin. Of course not, I have buns of steel.  
     I am happy to report that Michel was okay… but apparently, the dog cracked two teeth.
     We are looking forward to seeing Michel and her kids. Despite what you may have read about her, she is a great big sister. We love when she is in town, and we love spending time with her. I am blessed to have her in my life.
     And I am so thankful that the Indians never came back to get me.

Funny Guy Friday is written each week by my husband Mark.  So… I married a funny guy!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Are you still on the fence about Romney vs. Obama?

     In the presidential primary, Mitt Romney was not my first choice, as I am a Constitutional conservative, and I view him as another progressive player in the Republican establishment.
     But… at least Romney is not a Constitution-trampling, America-loathing, capitalism-hating, culture-destroying, religious-freedom-tamping, redistribute-the-wealth Marxist revolutionary statist.
     Okay, so SCOTUS ruled that Obamacare remains the law of the land.
     Romney has pledged to repeal it.
     The only positive thing about this ruling is this: It has stirred up the base. The voters are beyond angry.
     Further, once again, the progressives are naked. John Roberts is a progressive, appointed by a progressive. As much as I liked George W. Bush personally, he was a big-government progressive. And more and more the voters will understand the genesis of today's Supreme Court decision forcing us to buy a product or pay a "tax," and they will grow to understand the destructive, freedom-robbing cancer behind it… Progressivism.
     And the more the sunlight bathes these people, the more the voters won't like what they are peddling, and have been peddling for nearly a century. Freedom loving American patriots will prevail and eventually will stop putting up progressives.
     The paradigm has shifted. It isn't Republican versus Democrat anymore.
     It's freedom vs. statism.
     This November, as we look to replace Obama, the alternative may not be perfect, but the choice is perfectly clear.

SCOTUS upholds Obamacare… Constitution: Rest in peace...

     It's too early to find any details yet. But what a huge defeat for freedom. Now the state can force you to buy anything it wants you to. And the Supremes can twist it and declare it Constitutional.
     I have no words except my usual God has a plan. I trust Him.
     Dear Constitution:  There were those of us who were faithful to you. May you rest in peace. But only for a time. 
     Mitt Romney has pledged to repeal this monstrosity. Wake up people. Your vote has consequences. We must try our best to defeat tyranny at the ballot box.
     Long ago, I lost faith in our civic leaders. The party of evil vesus the party of weaklings. But I will try anyway. I pledge to do the right thing and let the chips fall. This November you have a choice to make… again. Will you stand with those who wish to enslave you? Or with those who work to preserve your freedom.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Funny Guy Friday…..I meet with the County on the 20th!

     Funny Guy Friday is written each week by my husband Mark.  So, I married a funny guy…
    Our first year of homeschooling has come to an end. I think that the year was a success, but who am I? I am just the dad. The real judge is some lady from the County. We, and by we, I mean Cheryl, are required to make a presentation to the County detailing the year's progress. Kind of a daunting task but Cheryl was determined to make it the best presentation the world has ever seen.
    Cheryl worked day and night to get this project completed. She had taken photos of everything they did this year, downloaded them into their own little files, made little notes and footnotes explaining the photos and printed them all out. She documented the books and materials she used, catalogued all of their work, and printed it all out into one master binder, including their best work samples. It was truly amazing.
     The problem with the best presentation that the world has ever seen is that it takes time to complete. Time, that quite frankly, Cheryl did not have. I mean she really didn't have anything to do for herself, but she did have stuff she had to do for me. In the twenty years since we've been married, we have developed a routine: I get home and she is there to do whatever it is that we are going to do… together.
     For the better part of twenty years, Cheryl has not worked outside of the house. When we first got married, she worked at the Department of Labor. She had the greatest boss in the world. On one occasion, in the middle of the day, I called her work and her boss picked up the phone and whispered, hello. I asked why he was whispering and he told me that Cheryl is asleep in the office next door, and I don't want to wake her.
     Eventually, we decided that she would scale back her hours every time that I got a raise so, believe it or not, she ended up quitting that job. Who quits a job where you can sleep all day? The obvious reason for this arrangement was to have Cheryl home to raise the kids. At the time, we never contemplated her homeschooling. But even while homeschooling, she was home and ready to play when I came home from work.
     But that all changed a few weeks ago when she started her little semester project. I would come home, and she would be sitting on the same couch in the same position, tapping away on the same computer. I would ask what was for dinner, and she would say Gracie threw in a pizza. 
     But I hate boxed pizza.
     Well, I am busy, followed by the eight words that will ring in my ears for months to come… I meet with the County on the 20th!  
      Wednesday, June 20th, was D-Day.
      At first, I thought that her determination would last a day or two. Cheryl has a tendency to zig zag. You know, start a project and then another project and then still another without finishing any of them. I figured she would be back to normal in a few days. Then days  turned into a week, and then a week turned into a month. Admittedly, I got a bit antsy and tempted her with offers of fun ranging from dinners to games and shows. She was not biting!
     She accused me of not being supportive, but it had nothing to do with being supportive and everything to do with… uh… with… er… uh... with having her available to me whenever I want her! There, I said it. She is mine and she has always been mine, and this "little project" was messing everything up. That sounds bad, doesn't it? Well, I don't care.
     She told me that if you had a big trial and spent weeks getting ready, I would not be tempting you and trying to get you to stop working. 
     Let me say this about that… I have represented people that could go to jail for twenty five years and haven't spent anywhere near the time preparing for those trials as Cheryl did putting together this presentation. That sounds bad too, doesn't it? Again, I don't care.
     I was not the only one to be shunned during this time period. About ten days into the project, Cheryl's sister, who also homeschools, called the house excited to tell Cheryl that she had chosen a new curriculum for next year. Cheryl is always ready to blow off whatever she is doing to talk to her sisters. I mean, the house could be on fire and Cheryl would take that call.
     I was shocked to hear Cheryl tell her, Look, I'd really love to hear about this, but I am meeting with the County on the 20th! Gotta go! I'm not sure, but I even think that she hung up on her right then and there. This was getting out of hand.
      When I was a kid, and had just started playing sports, my three brothers and I had to get physicals before we could try out for whatever sport we were playing. I remember being so anxious about those exams. On the day of the exam, my dad would trek us all down to our doctor in Washington DC; and the doctor would walk in the room, weigh us, measure us, pinch our stomachs and write down that we were healthy. I think the whole exam cost my dad $10 and took three minutes each.
      I tell that story because I was pretty sure that the lady from the County was going to pinch Cheryl in the stomach and tell her she was doing great. This whole preparation thing was just so unnecessary.
     Well, the big day came, and Cheryl was up early getting all of her ducks in a row. Apparently, the previous five weeks had not been quite enough time to finish. Her meeting was scheduled for 10 a.m.
     I asked Cheryl if this were going to go all day. She advised that each kid was allotted twenty minutes. TWENTY MINUTES, THAT'S IT!  You spent all that time for twenty minutes each! Oh yeah, she was going to get her stomach pinched for sure.
     Cheryl called me when it was all over. Surprise, surprise, the lady from the County told Cheryl that it was the best presentation the world has ever seen.
      I am very proud of Cheryl and the kids. Homeschooling presented them with a host of challenges, and they conquered them all with great success, including doing the grocery shopping, playing the theme from Swan Lake on the piano, identifying shark fossils, conjugating the verb "to be," dissecting an earthworm, showing why lava doesn't dissolve in water, preparing nutritious meals, and whittling soap into a fish, just to name a few.
      Having said that, do you know what the best thing about the first year of homeschooling is?
     It's over, and I have my wife back for the summer!

For what it's worth… A sum up of current events...

     Okay… So I haven't posted political in some time.  But now that my homeschool adventure is finished for the summer, I have some free time.  There is always so much being thrown at us, that it's tough to keep up.  So here's a quick and dirty little sum-up on just a few news items… for what it's worth.
     1. The Obama Administration's DOJ, under the leadership of Eric Holder, orchestrated a corrupt gun-walking scheme, that has resulted in Mexican drug cartels using thousands of these weapons, completely untracked. I blogged about this a year ago, here. An American border agent and hundreds of Mexicans have been murdered as a result. Operation Fast and Furious was always about gun control. Plant the guns; then grab the guns. And the ends would justify the means to these ideologues. Now Obama and Holder are crying "privilege." They are nothing but Nixonian hypocrites.
     2.  Last week, the president once again, disregarded federal law, for his own greed for power. This time ordering his immigration department to cease deportation of people trespassing illegally on American soil. Two things to know here: He doesn't care about the plight of these people; he simply wants votes. But more importantly: he doesn't give a whit about Congress or the Constitution's separation of powers. He fancies himself the king. And he behaves like an anarchist. Neither bodes well for our Republic.
     3.  Freedom of Religion is under assault by this administration and its willing accomplices in the media and the culture. Good for Catholics for pushing back. Obamacare needs to crawl back into the pit from which it came, and leave Americans to live their lives more freely. This November, Catholic swing voters better decide whom they wish to serve, God or the state. No excuses.
     4.  The Middle East has been on fire for some time, but one of the places to watch is Egypt. The so-called Arab Spring ousted Mubarak, and ushered in the Muslim Brotherhood. The Administration and its media raved about this new era of "democracy." However, the thing to remember is that Democracy is nothing more than a mob rule means to achieve one's ends. The Founders specifically warned against Democracy. It isn't wonderful when it leads to totalitarianism. Egypt hangs in the balance between military rule and an Islamofascist thugocracy. The world watches.
     5.  Billionaire financier and radical leftwing activist George Soros is evil. Be wary of anything he is connected to. 'Nuf said.
     Do your research. Pay attention. And always watch the other hand.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Funny Guy Friday… This. Means. War.

     Funny Guy Friday is written each week by my husband Mark. So… I married a funny guy...
     Several months ago, I went to the drug store with a singular mission in mind… to buy myself a hair brush. I did not need anything fancy, just a brush that I could call my own.
     You see, every morning, I would wake up, get in the shower, wash my hair, towel dry and then blow dry my hair. Time after time, when I would go to dry my hair, the brush I had used the previous day was no longer where I had left it. This would give rise to the naked hunt for the stolen brush. I had gotten tired of the naked hunt.
     Once I purchased my brush, I announced to the family that this was my brush and it was not to leave my bathroom. I even thought about getting one of those little chains that the bank uses to keep people from stealing its pens, but I was afraid it would limit my brushing range. Besides, I felt that my special announcement was enough to carry the day.
     For several months, things went as planned. The brush resided in the bottom drawer of my vanity and was there at the ready. Life was good. Life was peaceful.
     Until this week!!!!
     On Monday morning, I woke up, got into the shower, washed my hair, towel dried my hair and then went to blow dry my hair… no brush. How could this be? I made my announcement and everything.
     The hunt was back on and I immediately went to my first suspect, Gracie.
     My baby girl looked so sweet and innocent snoozing away with her covers all snug and tucked under her chin. I stood there and looked at her for a few seconds, remembering the good old days when I would come home from work and she would entertain me with her rendition of a new cute song accompanied by a twirling dance. Or she might dazzle me with her vast knowledge of colors or letters of the alphabet. She was so smart, so cute and so talented. As I lovingly watched her sleep, I could hear my little girl belting out a chorus of The cannibal king with the big nose ring, fell in love with the dusty mai-ai-aid… or Twinkle, twinkle little star. 
     I was thinking how I love her more than words can say!
     And then I saw it.
     That little witch stole my hair brush!
     This act of insubordination was akin to the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand. You remember that… it started World War I. This war was on, and Grace would soon find out that if you take one of mine, I'll take two of yours.
      I rescued my brush from enemy grounds, and under the cover of early morning darkness, while the opposing army slept, I took both her blow dryer and her curling iron.
     As I completed my mission, I was greeted by my lovely wife. As is the case with all great Generals, the support of family is crucial. In some ways, having Cheryl as an ally was instrumental to the success of this mission. I eagerly explained Grace's act of war and my counter attack. As I spoke, I could hear a confident, diabolical laugh rising up from within me. Okay, it was more of an amused giggle, but it was a confident, amused giggle.
     My lovely wife's reaction was a bit unexpected, and by unexpected, I mean completely expected. She was not supportive at all. In fact, she called me a name and told me that my idea was ridiculous. I quickly responded with Nuh-uh… besides... she started it!
     So now it was clear, I was on my own. But I was not deterred. I have done stuff without Cheryl's support in the past (nothing immediately comes to mind, but I am sure that I have). I placed the stolen items in my room and advised my Benedict Arnold of a wife that if she knew what was good for her, she would remain neutral. I was not above taking her stuff, if need be.
     I left for work that morning with only one regret. I wish I could have been there when Grace finally woke up and discovered that her stuff was missing. I was sure that there would be wailing in the streets and gnashing of teeth when she discovered that she was going to be inconvenienced and that she was going to have to travel half-naked down the hallway. I love the smell of desperation in the morning; it is the smell of victory. I was sure that she would call my office waiving the proverbial white flag.
     I would have to wait until mid morning to get my response. It was not the lily-livered response that I was looking for. In fact, the message that she posted on my Facebook page was a bit shocking. THIS. MEANS. WAR.
     I don't think she had really thought this through. I have tons of stuff at my disposal, and she has just a few items that are in her bedroom. If I stole two of her things to every one she stole from me, this war would be over in ten days. This was like a fly declaring war on the swatter……unless, of course, she had something else in mind.
     I got home early that day and found her lying on my bed playing on her ipod. I snuggled up next to her and she ignored me, continuing to play on her ipod. One would think that this was part of her strategy, ignoring her enemy, but I knew better. She ignores me while playing on her ipod even in times of peace.
     I broke the ice and asked how school went that day, and she advised that she still had some work to do. This begged the question Then why are you lying on my bed playing with your ipod? 
     As principal of our little home school, I advised her that it was in her best interest to get up and get back to work. As she left the room, she turned and she smiled. She never looked prettier. How could someone so sweet and so innocent be involved in this type of ugly struggle? Is it possible that I have overblown this hairbrush thing? Then with a twinkle in her eye, she said, I like home school a lot better when the principal is not home! 
     Ouch! A dagger.
     Maybe her strategy has nothing to do with taking any more of my stuff. Maybe she is content to break my heart. Again, I quickly responded, Oh yeah?… well… then... you uh… can… uh... quit home school and go back to that public school! 
     This immediately made me think of two things. First, I need to work on my comebacks. And second, Grace and I both knew that the public school comment was just an idle threat. You see, Grace still has a mother, and I still have a wife, and both her mother and my wife are very happy with the whole home school thing.
     My heart can't take this. This war has to end.
     I consulted Cheryl on an exit strategy. Buy Grace a hairbrush! she advised.
     That's it? I buy her a hairbrush. Good thing that Cheryl is not in charge of our foreign policy, or we wouldn't try to stop Iran from developing atomic weapons; we would just give them some of ours. No, I can't buy her a hairbrush… but Cheryl could.
     Of course, this would require some back room negotiations and would have to be done without my knowledge or consent. This could work… but the brush could not be traced back to my administration. I advised Cheryl to use cash to purchase the brush but not my cash. I needed plausible deniability. She would have to borrow the money from Matthew.
     I was sure that peace was just around the corner with Grace.
     Unfortunately, it seems that there's another battle brewing on a different front.
     Yesterday, I was lying on my bed, minding my own business, when Noah came running out of my bathroom waving my hairbrush in the air as he ran into his room, yelling, What you gonna do now, Daddy? 
     We are one step away from a nuclear option. NO HAIR, NO BRUSH!
     That's right... I shave everyone bald and nobody needs a brush. A bit drastic, but it ensures the peace for the rest of our lives… unless something else were to come up that would cause a conflict in our family.
     Nah, what are the chances of that happening. I mean seriously... what could be more important than a hairbrush?

Friday, June 8, 2012

Funny Guy Friday… Our Royal Palace

    Funny Guy Friday is written each week by my husband Mark.  So… I married a funny guy.
    I have to question how anything ever gets done in our home. The other day, we were getting ready to leave the house to go to Matthew's doubleheader. I had made sandwiches and put together some food to eat between games. I asked Grace to go and get the cooler and, if necessary, to clean it out. After about five minutes, Matthew came into the kitchen and asked me if I could, you guessed it…….clean out the cooler.
    Gracie heard the request and got very upset with Matthew, and questioned why he would interrupt me and ask me to clean out the cooler. A bit confused, I asked Grace since I had asked her to do this very job, why then would she turn right around and ask Matthew to do it. I mean if I had wanted Matthew to do it, I could have cut out the middle man and gone right to Matthew. I never thought that this was the type of job that you sub-contract out to your younger brother. When she confirmed that I had asked her to clean the cooler, I questioned why she would then go ask Matthew to do it. And out of curiosity, why would she be mad that Matthew wanted to sub-contract the job back to me.
    In a very honest moment, she gave the obvious answer.  I just don't want to do it!  And I didn't want you to know that I don't want to do it.  Plus there was a bug in it; I think it was a gazillapede.  That must have been some bug.
    After the games, we stopped and bought some steaks to grill. Everyone helped prepare a delicious meal, and the kids actually set the table---not the counter where we normally eat, but that laundry storage table that we keep in our kitchen. Who knew you could eat off of that thing?
     Anyway, after dinner, I was exhausted. It takes a lot of energy to coach a double header! Like a King, I announced that Cheryl and I were going to go and sit in the living room and the kids were to clean the kitchen. In actuality, I was going to go lie down, and I couldn't really order the Queen to clean the kitchen, so I included her in on my anticipated nap and turned to the bourgeoisie to get the job done.
     As Cheryl and I laid on the couch together, we recalled the days of yore when we would get a pint of Ben and Jerry's Chunky Monkey ice cream and snuggle on the couch and watch TV together. Chunky Monkey is banana ice cream with chunks of chocolate and walnuts. I don't like chocolate and Cheryl does not like walnuts so it was the perfect ice cream to share. We had it all…..ice cream, nuts, chocolate and two spoons. We were in love without a care in the world…….nor did we have a kid in the world. Kids ruin everything.
    As we laid there reminiscing, Noah was the first to crash the party. He was appalled that his parents were lying together on the couch. He decided to join in. Actually, he decided to climb on the back of the couch and dangle his feet over us. Although he typically is the best helper when it comes to cleaning, he was not interested in the kitchen project. Since he is the youngest…..and the cutest……we excused him from his duties. However, his new found free time came with a price. He was ordered out of the room to go practice piano. He climbed off of the couch and sulked away complaining about not being big enough to practice by himself.  Too bad, go practice.
    Thirty seconds later, Grace busted in with her regular complaint about emptying and loading the dishwasher. Before she got to her complaint, she too registered shock and horror that her parents would actually lie together on the coach…. snuggling like you are all in love and stuff.  She mentioned that we should get a room.  WE HAVE A ROOM……WE HAVE  A HOUSE WITH LOTS OF ROOMS……WHY DON'T YOU STAY OUT OF OUR ROOMS WHEN WE ARE IN THE ROOMS TOGETHER…..WITHOUT YOU…..AND WITHOUT YOUR BROTHERS!!!
    Anyway, it appeared that Matthew would not do the simple chore of unloading the dishwasher. If you are noticing an uncanny ability of Grace to delegate, you would not be wrong. She loves to to be the boss. Unfortunately, she does not command the respect of her underlings. Actually, she does not have any underlings making it tough to be the boss.
    Of course, Matthew had to defend himself from Grace's slander so he joined the fun. As he entered the room, he too looked confused and asked, What are you and Mom doing? 
     Really? Really? Is it really so crazy that Cheryl and I would lie together on the couch? Oh yeah, remember that nap thing that the King was going to enjoy. Not so much.
     I asked Grace why she could not load the dishwasher. Because it makes me throw up!  Really. Wow, I have never seen this phenomenon. When have you ever thrown up when loading the dishwasher? Well….er, uh, never….But I would if I had to do it! So what I am hearing is that you have never done it, but if you had done it, you would have thrown up. Correct. Let's check this theory out; go load the dishwasher and call us when you vomit.
    After practicing the piano for what seemed like 8 seconds………mainly because it was 8 seconds, Noah returned to the living room. Now we had a full house, a pair of parents and three kids, all in the King and Queen's living room.
    None of them would leave, so the King flexed his muscles and ordered everyone out of the room and to report to the kitchen and to the piano. Unfortunately, the mood was broken….. and we did not actually have Chunky Monkey ice cream…..so Cheryl opted to go help Noah despite my urging to stay. Noah is sneaky cute and she was falling for it. I was left all alone.
    It is lonely being King. I had very few options available so I did the only thing that I could do to help me out of this pitiful situation…..I closed my eyes and took a nap.
    When I woke up, I left the living room and went through our kitchen into the family room where the kids were watching TV.  I recall the kids going in and out of the front door a couple times and was a bit irritated that they were so loud that they interrupted my short little nap. I looked at the clock and was shocked to find out that I just taken two hour nap. Matthew had left and come home from a friend's home. The door opening and closing was him leaving and him coming home……two hours later.
     A bit groggy and confused, I got up to go to the kitchen for some water. The royal kitchen was a royal mess. It seems that we were not as precise in our instructions because all they did was move the stuff off of the laundry table onto the counter. They claimed that we only asked them to clear the table and they did, in fact, clear the table. I suppose they would have been justified to put everything in the bedrooms as long as it was off of the original table.
     At this point a ROYAL PROCLAMATION came down from on high. The gang of three cleaned the kitchen. Nobody complained, nobody sub-contracted the work out, nobody supervised. And get this, Grace never threw up.
    Although there are times when our house could be cleaner and the kids could listen a little bit better, we do all right. Even better than we did before we had kids. It turns out that a full house beats a King and Queen……with or without some Chunky Monkey.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Funny Guy Friday… Confabs with comrades...

    Funny Guy Friday is written each week by my husband Mark.  So… I married a funny guy...
    I remember a time when I was asked by my boss at the State's Attorney's Office to wear a pager so I could help with charging and processing some folks that were planning to protest outside of an abortion clinic. Two thoughts went through my mind. First, one of my life's goals was to make it through my adulthood without ever having to wear a pager. I mean what a pain in the butt those things were. You had to stop what you were doing, get to a pay phone-----you remember those things don't you---- and call your girlfriend, boss, mother, father, whomever. Besides all that, why do people have to be in contact with everyone 24 hours a day. I was sure that that concept was never going to last.
    The second thought that went through my mind was that it was going to be awkward helping the police charge and process my brother. I was pretty sure that he was going to be on hand at the protest.  Fortunately, when I advised my boss that I may have a conflict, he recognized my conundrum and got some other poor soul to take the pager.
    But that seems like eons ago. My brother never got arrested and the 24 hour communication cycle is now a fact of life. Although pagers have gone the way of the Dodo Bird, everyone owns a cell phone. This, of course, means that everyone is only a click away from everyone else. Oh what sweet felicity.
     This brings me to my cell phone. As you all know, I am 4G worthy with an iPhone that does it all.  It has multifarious operations. It can make and receive phone calls, get emails and  text messages. I can get information off of the internet, check the weather, or go on facebook. I can take photos or make a video. It can do it all. Although I do think things are getting out of hand and that some people are a bit immoderate with their phones. Believe it or not, this morning, I got a text message asking me to call the person that sent me the text message.
     I texted back: I got an idea, call me instead of texting me and asking me to call you.
     Despite all of the great things that my phone can do, nothing beats the games. I believe the kids are calling them "apps" these days.
     Currently my favorite game is Words With Friends. WWF is just like Scrabble. You get seven tiles that coordinate with the letters of the alphabet. Each is assigned a point value and the board has spots for double and triple letters and words. At this moment, I have about 15 games going. I have games going with people that I know and some that I don't know. I have games going with Swtilah, Sheilapeela, MrMet, X-tile and a series of other friends and strangers. My strategy is pretty simple… put letters together that sound like a word, hit send and hope that the made up word evokes a "sending word" circle response. When this happens, I feel as though I just split the atom. When my opponents successfully implement this strategy, they are just getting lucky with made up words.
    Because my opponents seem to get lucky more often than I, I have considered invoking the Use it in a Sentence rule. If you can't use it in a sentence, you can't use it in the game.  Never mind that I can't use most of my made up words in a sentence.
    For example, the word QAT.  Who knows what that means? If you held a gun to my head and told me to use QAT in a sentence, the best I could come up with is the following:
     Qat hitting me in the head, it hurts. 
          Perhaps the biggest expansion in my vocabulary as a result of WWF comes with two letter words like TI, ZA, QI, EE, DI, ER, AY, EN, and NE. Not sure what they all mean, but who cares, if they bail me out of a jam.
     But it is not just two letter words that would creep into my daily use…..you know….if I ever…..you know…..took a second to look up their meanings. My personal favorite is TONEARMS. This resulted in 18 points for my opponent. Although, I did not look up this word, it did prompt me to try a similarly themed word---NICEBUTT. Unfortunately, NICEBUTT is not a word.
     And I hate it when I use a word that scores me a plethora of points and then my opponent uses that same word for his turn. It is unfair, and frankly, it borders on cheating. It is my made up word, not theirs. There is no way that they could possibly know what AERIEST means, and there is no way they could use it in a sentence. I can:
    It was easy to breath in the living room because it was the aeriest room in the house. 
    Cheryl thinks my time with WWF is just a bootless errand. She thinks my time in the morning would be better served if I were to get showered and get ready to go to work. Her response is vexing to me. Sometimes, she can be a pain in my facet joint. Frankly, I find her attitude a bit pestiferous. If she keeps it up, she may find herself in the quod. 
     Frankly, Cheryl's negativity is expected. She has never supported my well thought out plans for self improvement. For instance, when I attempted to increase my math skills using angles and vectors by playing Angry Birds and Bubble Burst, she poo pooed the idea.  When I attempted to memorize all the trails in Temple Run, she was dismissive.
     She has never understood my intellectual pursuits, and I find her behavior to be a bit churlish.
     As you can see, my vocabulary has blown up as a result of WWF. Coincidentally, this all comes at a time when the National Spelling Bee has been taking place in our Nation's Capital. I snickered when I heard how simple the final word---GUETAPENS---was. Seriously, could it get any easier? I immediately identified it as a French based word.
Here, I will use it in a sentence for you. Remember, it is a French based word…….
I am out of ze pencils, could you guetapens.  
     See, where would I be without WWF.
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