January



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


Friday, June 28, 2013

Funny Guy Friday... Growing pains... not just for kids...

     Funny Guy Friday is written each week by my husband Mark. So, I married a funny guy...
     I was driving Grace to our church this morning where she is volunteering at Vacation Bible School. She was in a bit of a panic because she could not find her phone. Not sure why a person who volunteers to take care of young children at VBS needs a cell phone, but I suppose that the church gets  what it pays for.
     She mentioned that this was the second time in the past few days that she has "lost" her phone.
     Wow, this is kind of like when you are dating someone... and you start doing stuff without him... and you realize that maybe you don't need that boy after all... and you break up with him. Perhaps you and your phone should take a break from one another. 
     This seemed like a perfectly good analogy to me.
     Grace did not like my analogy. In fact, Grace was appalled. Of course I don't need a break. I love that phone more than anything in the world. We do not need to take a break. I need that phone. In fact, I am worried about him... and I want him with me all the time. 
     Him? Really?
     There was a time... way back when... when Grace loved me more than anything in the world. I was the man. I could do no wrong. We danced, we played, and we sang. Now her phone does all that stuff... and more. That phone can do everything. I hate him... er... uh... that phone. I cannot imagine when she brings home some "real life boy" and starts going on and on about how great he is.
     Oh Daddy, he is sooo smart. You will love him... he is going to go to law school... and he is the third best player on his church softball team. 
     Big deal. I am already a lawyer... and was All-Met in baseball... and played at the University of Maryland back in the day... and then I played softball in a real men's league. 
     Oh Daddy, the thing I like best about Frederick (I just made that name up because it annoys me) is that he never takes things too seriously and is not very competitive. 
     Not competitive? I am the king of non-competitive. Nobody is less competitive than I. Call him and get him over here... and we will play a game of one-on-one... and I will let him win. Of course, that is the only way that loser could beat me... and you will see... I am not competitive at all! 
     Oh Daddy, you will love him.
     I doubt it. In fact, I don't even know who this kid will be, but I am going to avoid the Christmas rush and start hating him right now.
     The fact is that Gracie is growing up. She is currently taking driving lessons and will be getting her learner's permit in the next few weeks. She has started to look at colleges and is hoping to leave us next year to live at some far-away campus. She may even be starting a job in the next week or two.
     Yes, indeed, she is growing up.
     I am terrified about her growing up.
     I am terrified about her driving. I have allowed her to drive in the empty parking lot at the local baseball park, and she nearly knocked over a Jiffy John. But that is not why I am terrified. I am terrified because, soon, she will be going out there. Untethered and alone. Without me.
     I am terrified about her going to college. I am sure that she will do fine, but... I won't be there. I want her to stay at home and go to the local community college for a year or two and then go off to the University. In fact, when she was fourteen, she agreed to the community college plan, and now she has changed her mind. She used to always think that my plans were the best plans. Now she is thinking for herself, and as a result, my life is going down the toilet.
     Soon, that dumb-ass Frederick will be making decisions for her. Have I mentioned how much I hate that guy?
     The other night, Grace was a little overwhelmed by the day's events and excused herself from a room full of people. She called me into the other room and kind of broke down and told me what was bothering her. The things that were bothering her were fairly insignificant, but I reassured her, and told her that it would all work out. No big deal!
     This is how it is supposed to be. I assess the problem. I come up with a solution. I reassure her, and everything works out. Problem solved! Then, I hug her and tell her I love her. All is good in the world.
     Now that I think about it, maybe her stupid phone can't do everything.
     What it really comes down to is this... I want my little girl back... forever.
     I know that this is not possible, and that she is growing up no matter what I want. She is now a baby woman, and there are many great adventures still out there for her. I also realize that I will be part of most of those adventures... just a smaller part.
     When people say that growing up is hard, I really think that they are talking about it being hard for the parents, not the kids. Heck, the kids seem to have it pretty easy. I suppose this is something that Gracie will understand when she and Frederick have their own children.
     Wow, the thought of Gracie being married and having her own kids brings one thought to my mind... Have I mentioned how much I hate that guy Frederick?
 

Friday, June 21, 2013

Funny Guy Friday... Divorce? Us? Nah...

     Funny Guy Friday is written each week by my husband. So, I married a funny guy...
     I spent four hours this morning in a divorce mediation. These are kind of difficult because you have two attorneys trying to get a husband and wife who can no longer agree on anything... to agree on everything. Sort of like getting a camel through the eye of a needle... only harder.
     Whenever I have cases like this, I think about my own marriage. I often say that Cheryl is the nicest  person that God ever put on this earth, so you would think that I would think... I am the luckiest guy in the world. 
     Actually, what I think is this:  When Cheryl and I go through our divorce, there is no way that this is going to go to trial! 
     I say this for several reasons. First, Cheryl is the nicest person that God ever put on this earth, so what does that make me? I will tell you what that makes me... the guy divorcing the nicest person that God ever put on this earth. Judges will be calculating my alimony payment$ a$ $oon as $he i$ $worn in.
     And if you do not think that Cheryl is nice, early in our marriage, we agreed that if either one of us ever had an affair, the other would get custody of the kids. One day, I was driving to work and Cheryl called to tell me that now that we have kids, she is reconsidering this agreement because the kids would never be the same without their father.
     Wow, that is pretty thoughtful. I immediately called her back and assured her that I did not change my mind... so if you are thinking about having an affair, I still get the kids when you move out.
     Second, I would be embarrassed to have anybody hear testimony about the stupid things that I have said and done. For example...
     Sir, is it true that you threatened to put your foot up your son's rear end?
     Well, yes but....
     And isn't it true that you actually shot your son in the rear end?
     Well, yes, but...
     But what? He asked for it? Is that what you are about to say?
     Well... if you are going to take it out of context... it sounds bad, but yes, yes he did.
     Things that you say and do that seem so cute and funny at the time, just sound ridiculous when you actually verbalize them at a trial. Typically, there are only three people then in the courtroom: a judge, a bailiff and a court reporter. But I don't care... that is three too many for me.
     Third, I am not sure that I could control myself if Cheryl said something that irritated me. Many women testify that their husbands never spend time with their kids because they are always working. If Cheryl were to say something like that about me, I would punch her right in the mouth before she could make it back to her table. If this were to occur, both of us would have some satisfaction... mine would be short term and Cheryl's would be long term.    
     Finally, Cheryl and I are both too generous and too stubborn to ever take our divorce to trial.  I would want to give Cheryl all the money and property that she would want and need. On the other hand, she tells me that if we got divorced, she would not want any of "my" money. I love the fact that she refers to it as "my" money, but my guess is that her "money-grubbing" lawyer will tell her that it is not the law.
     When it comes right down to it, there are only three things that Cheryl and I would ever fight over: Grace, Matthew and Noah. But that would be easy, Matthew would want to go with me, Noah would want to go with Cheryl, and Grace would want to go with her cousin Katherine.
     The fact of the matter is that Cheryl and I will never get a divorce. I know that nobody ever thinks that their marriage will end in divorce, but ours will not.  We are happily stuck with each other for the rest of our lives. Besides, the nicest person that God ever put on this earth has often said she would kill me before she would ever leave me.
     Seriously, why would I divorce a woman that loves me so much that she would kill me.
     The bonds of true love that will never be broken.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Funny Guy Friday... Funny Big Brother Friday?

     Funny Guy Friday is written each week by my husband... So, I married a funny guy...
     I don't know much about the internet, computers, or iPhones. But this I do know, NSA's PRISM program is bad!  It is really, really bad.
     The federal government has access to all of my phone calls, emails, texts, computer searches, and facebook posts.
     But I don't really care about all that.
     I care that they can read all of my Funny Guy Fridays.
     They tell me that they are not really monitoring all of my thoughts. And they are not really listening to all of my conversations. And they are not really reading all of my text messages.
     But can I trust them when they say they are not reading all of my FGF posts? Perhaps. I mean, practically speaking, what could they do with all of this information?
     But... if they are not telling me the truth... Big Brother now knows the following, and more:
   - that I declared war with a mouse that I compared to NFL running back Reggie Bush. By the way, I crushed Little Reggie, both figuratively and literally.
   - that I cheat at our family pumpkin carving contests.
   - that I don't know how to install a car seat.
   - that I am not the spiritual head of the "holiest family."
   - that I never do confession correctly.
   - that I am not as popular as I think I am.
   - that I nearly got a divorce because my wife's phone went off in church.
   - that I planned my own funeral.
   - that I told a bunch of recovering addicts that I would kill for the caffeine in a Dr. Pepper.
   - that I thought I was being recruited by Michelle Malkin.
     The list could go on and on, and, as always, I blame Cheryl. Not because she makes me do stupid things. I did stupid things long before I ever met her. No, I blame Cheryl because it was her idea to start a blog.
     About three years ago, Cheryl informed me that she was going to start a blog about faith and politics. Wow, two light topics that are easy to agree on. She was sure that people would love it. I agreed, but I had one little suggestion... let me write a weekly column so people will actually read the darn thing! 
     Cheryl is able to see how many people read her blog each week, and I'm not bragging or anything... okay, I may be bragging a little bit... but she may get only five or six hits Monday through Thursday. Come Friday, that number typically reaches a lofty 100.
     That would be... Funny Guy Friday!!!
     I remember reading Cheryl's first few entries on her blog and thinking that none of her stuff was funny. In fact it was depressing. Get this, in one of her silly little entries she wrote about tyranny and an ever growing government that continues to intrude on our lives. For lack of a better description, she is kind of like one of those crazy conspiracy theorists.
     Kind of funny when you think about it. Ha ha ha ha....
     Whoa... wait a second... wait one darn second.
     Something just occurred to me... this is what Cheryl was talking about.
     A government that sees all that we do, reads everything that we write, and monitors all of our conversations. Dang! I should have read her stuff, and then I would have been prepared for this invasion of my privacy.
     And as you all know, I am a very private person... loathe to share the details of my life with anyone. Except, of course, you, my loyal readers.
     Every Friday, I picture you all sitting down to breakfast, okay, maybe lunch, or more likely, dinner, and pouring yourself a cup of coffee, and logging on to see if Cheryl has finally posted Funny Guy Friday.
     I picture you chuckling and calling your loved ones into the room so you can share a good laugh. Perhaps some of you call a neighbor or two and share my weekly goings on.
     Look, I get it; this is good stuff... and I really expose myself to you, my loyal and beloved readers.
     But one thing is certain, I never intended to expose myself to the creepy spy guy at NSA who is assigned to me. I picture that guy, sitting in his secret little basement cubicle, laughing his butt off as he takes notes about how I asked the checkout girl at Toys R Us if she had "Double D's."
     You know, another thing just occurred to me: perhaps I should not use the expression expose myself and the Double D reference in consecutive paragraphs.
     This is embarrassing.
     I hate my spy guy at NSA. I don't want him reading my stuff anymore. It's not right, and I will not stand for it...
     What's that? Anyone can log on and read my stuff at any time? You mean if you google yahoo bing Cheryl You Are Mine, Cheryl's blog and Funny Guy Friday will appear? You mean to tell me that you don't have to be a super spy to hack into my wife's "semi-private" blog?
     You know what this means?  This means that millions, if not billions, of people can read how I shot my 8-year-old son in the butt with an air soft gun. In fairness to me, he did ask for it... but no matter!
     This is bad. This is really, really bad. In fact, it is worse than I ever imagined, and, to be frank, this is extremely embarrassing.
     Millions, if not billions, of people have the capability to read my weekly posts... AND I AM ONLY GETTING A MEASLY 100 HITS A WEEK!
     In the grand scheme of things... that is not a lot of loyal readers.
     Something has to be done about this. Perhaps you people can share it with more of your loved ones. Perhaps, you can call more of your neighbors.
     Better yet, I can create a secret database that taps into everyone's computer activity, emails, phone calls, and text messages. This will give me the ability to monitor everyone's likes and dislikes. I can see what organizations people belong to and what topics they support. I can see what articles they read and what shows they watch. I can see who is hanging out with whom and where they go. I can see where people shop and how they spend their money. I can even figure out what doctors they see and what health issues they may be facing.
     You can see the obvious benefit of my having such a wealth of information, can't you? I could take all of this metadata and pattern my FGF posts accordingly. I am sure that I would score way more than a 100 hits. Oh... and it would be for your own good. For your enjoyment. You'd thank me.
     Oh, and I forgot to say... Don't worry, I promise not to abuse this information.
     Fortunately, our government has made a similar promise not to abuse the information that they gather. I mean, we live in America, right? This type of abuse would never happen here.
     Seriously, could you imagine if some big government agency with access to all of our personal information, abused their powers? What a nightmare that would create!
     In closing, I wish to apologize for next week. You see after more than three years of posting FGF every Friday, I may not be able to get to it next week. You see, I just received a notice that I am being audited by the IRS. As a result, I will be spending the week looking for the receipts for my church donations, my donation to the pregnancy clinic, as well as my political donations to local conservatives and to the Tea Party.
  So accept my apology... I am sorry. In more ways than one.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Funny Guy Friday... Mom... can we pleasepleasepleasepleaseplease get a dog?!

     Funny Guy Friday is written each week by my husband Mark. So, I married a funny guy...
     There is a chink in her armor.
     She is beginning to crack.
     The kids and I are one step away from imposing our will on Cheryl. The only thing left to do is to name the new pooch. But she is not quite there... yet!
     For the past few weeks the kids have done a full court press in an effort to convince Cheryl to get a puppy. For years, Cheryl's response has been a resounding NO! And I capitalize NO because that is the way she says it. She can be very loud with her NOs!
     Cheryl was not always anti-dog. In fact, when we were first married, I was already the proud owner of a beautiful Golden Retriever named Justice. Justice was the... best... dog... ever!
     Pre-Cheryl... back when Justice and I lived alone in my/our cool bachelor/puppy pad,,,, Justice was obedient: he would stay in the fenceless yard in one spot until I told him he could move. He was smart: he was able to open the French doors with his nose whenever I locked myself out of the house. He was gentle: he would lie next to my infant nieces and nephews with one paw on their blankets. He and I were best buddies.
     Then Cheryl came along and changed everything. It wasn't that Cheryl did not like Justice; in fact, she did. The problem was that Justice did not like Cheryl. And he certainly did not see the need to listen to her.
     This put me in a very difficult position, and I must admit, I was torn. I mean, I liked them both, but I had spent more time with Justice, so I kind of felt that Cheryl should have made some adjustments when she moved in with us. On the other hand, Justice was a dog. Still, Cheryl was new to the house.
     Whenever Cheryl would call Justice, he would just look at her, ignore her, and then lie down. Then Cheryl would call me over to call him, and he, of course, responded immediately. This is not unlike my children.
     When I was not home, Cheryl would try to fake him out. She would call my name and ask that I come get Justice. This worked for awhile but ultimately, he caught on. Then she took the ruse a step further and she would go and open and close the front door and shout out a fake Hello Mark, can you come get Justice. This worked for a while, but ultimately, he figured it out. Then he was back to looking at her, ignoring her and plopping down.
     I must admit, I admired that move because there were plenty of times when she was ordering me around and I just wanted to look at her, ignore her, and then plop down.
     Anyway, the two of them ultimately worked out their differences and they became good pals. In fact, we got a second Golden Retriever, but two dogs proved to be not twice the work but more like ten times the work.
     Our second dog was named Quincy and he was one of Justice's puppies. That's right, Justice was obedient, smart, gentle... and a stud. Actually, the stud story was one of the most horrifying experiences of my life. I got a call from a Judge who had a female Golden and he wanted to get our dogs together. No problem, I can drop off Justice anytime, just say the word.
     Not so fast Mr. Pimp, the Judge admonished. The two dogs need to get to know one another and go on a few doggie dates.  Really, because I always assumed that dogs just kind of encountered one another behind the dumpster and let nature take its course.
     We took Justice to the Judge's house two or three times before the big day. On the way over, I told Cheryl that this was a drop and run operation. I did not need to be a witness for this event in my dog's life.
     As we arrived, the Judge asked Cheryl if she would like to tour the property while his wife and I got the dogs prepared. Prepared how? I knew the for what part, but what did they want me to do to "get him prepared"?  We had rehearsed our exit strategy, so you can imagine my shock and horror when Cheryl hopped out of the car and said sure, no problem.
     No problem?... Oh I see a big problem!
     When Cheryl and the Judge returned from their walk, there had been little action. I can't say I blame the two dogs because there was an audience. Who cold perform under those circumstances. Then the Judge said the words that still ring in my ears to this day:  Mark, why don't you get in there with them? Seriously? In the pen? With the two lovebirds? That is exactly what he meant.
     As I stood there, I found myself patting Justice on the head and assuring him that he was a good  boy. I felt sorry for him and knew that he wanted me out of that pen as much as I wanted me out of that pen. We left him overnight and things must have gone well because they had twelve puppies.
     STUD indeed!
     About ten years ago, after Justice and Quincy died, Cheryl swore off getting any more dogs.
   Cheryl held fast on her no dog stance... up until about six weeks ago when friends of ours purchased a Cockatoo or something like that. It is a dog, not a bird.
     Actually, Grace advises that it is a Cavapoo... a mix between a King Charles Cavalier and a Miniature Poodle. He is a little guy and perhaps the best thing about him is that he takes little poops (that was Noah's joke). Oh, and he is a girl named Maui.
     Anyway, Maui is cute as a button and Cheryl's heart is beginning to melt.
     I must admit, this is not my first choice in dogs. I don't want a dog that you can pick up and use as a dust rag. I want a real dog, about 80 pounds. A gentle giant whose bark sounds like he would eat you rather than lick you to death. I want a dog just like Justice.
     The problem is that if I were to get a dog just like Justice, I would have to get rid of the wife who is just like Cheryl. In fact, she is exactly like Cheryl... and I am not quite there... yet!
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