Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Yodle Eh Heeee Hooo!

     Sometimes we find ourselves walking on unstable ground.  Heart rate slightly elevated, we press on, leading our followers into potentially harmful territory.  After a peroid of time, familiarity tends to mask the potential hazards and the elevated heart rate becomes the norm. The thought of searching for a more stable foundation on which to walk never seems to occur to us because we are so focused on  tiptoeing through the self induced road blocks of our every day lives.

     When the ground that we walk on finally gives way and begins to crumble around us, we have one of two choices to make as I see it.  We can ignore it and keep going like a man who refuses to stop for directions, because admitting that a wrong turn has been made would be too harmful to his pride.  Or, the second and much wiser decision would be to get ourselves and our followers out of the path of the avalanche before it completely consumes us all.

     If what I am talking about sounds completely stupid, it is.  If you think I am talking to you, I am.  I wont pretend to have all of the answers or to even be wiser than anyone else.  I include myself in this and my own poor decisions too.  I just think that our time here on earth is so short that we should be doing everything we can possibly do to make sure that we live it to the fullest and spend as little time being unhappy or angry as we can.

      We are never alone.  There is always someone who is willing to help push us in the right direction.  Our loving families, our loyal friends, trained professionals, you get the idea.

    You are never as hopeless as you feel.  You are much more powerful than you give yourself credit for.  I even believe that to a certain degree you control your own destiny. 

     Get out there and create some happiness for yourself for crying out loud.





Sunday, December 27, 2009

     Before you call me an idiot, let it be known that for as long as I can remember, I have always worked the day after Christmas.  That being said, and my ignorance now exposed, you will understand why I would willingly go with my wife to the mall on December 26th.  What an idiot!

     Somehow in the midst of all of the parking lot chaos, I was able to score a spot right up front which gave us an overwhelming feeling of optimism.  Maybe this isn't going to be so bad, I said as we slapped each other a victorious high five.

    The game plan was simple, we were to go get a couple of links taken out of  my new watch, grab a quick bite to eat and then over to get an iced coffee.  The problem with this simple plan was that everybody in the free world had the same simple plan.  Well fed,, well caffeinated and well entrenched in this endless sea of shoppers clinging to what was left of the holiday atmosphere and racing to find the perfect sale item to spend their gift cards and Christmas loot on.

     In the middle of all of this pandemonium, I just had to pause a moment to observe the different types of people around me.  I do this every time I am at the mall, which isn't very often I must tell you, but it always gives me a bit of a chuckle.

     You will always run into the group of 5 to 8 teenage boys who haven't quite grown into their ears yet but they think they are the coolest with their hats turned sideways and pants much too large.  The heartbeat of  mall life clumps to the rhythm of high heels on the tile floors as the over dressed runway types sache much too seriously and full of themselves from one high end shop to the next. And then there is us, we are the stroller pushing, people watching, overbearing kiosk salesman avoiding people who never want to be there as much as we thought we did before we actually got there. 

     What I have taken from this experience is that next year, we will wait a few days before venturing out into the retail world.  I must admit, much to my friends' dismay I'm sure, it really wasn't all that bad.


Friday, December 18, 2009

Good Lord! That's Not Funny

     I bit my lip today, I bit it hard enough to bleed.  Have you ever had to behave in a professional manner with the taste of blood in your mouth?  No big deal right?  We bite our lip, it hurts, we bleed a little and then we move on.  But I did it a second time, in the exact same place.  This time I blamed Jesus Christ, or so it seemed because His was the first name that came to mind and then escaped my mouth as I doubled over from the pain.  This time the blood was too much to ignore and my lip began to swell to a point where it felt like I had a marble between my cheek and gums.

     A few hours went by and I was so busy with my work that I had almost forgotten about the entire incident.  That is until it happened a third time, I mean how could I avoid it?  The inside of my lip was so swollen that it was resting between my teeth.  I looked up to Heaven with that look of complete disbelief and feeling of betrayal.  You know the look, it's the look that you get when you find your best friend and wife in bed together, that look you get when the cool kids at school leave a bag of flaming dog crap on your front porch and then ring the doorbell.  The only word I could get to come out of my mouth as I was swallowing the blood was, "REALLY?!"  That's what I said, but what I was thinking was, "That was completely uncalled for and it's totally not cool even if You are "THE LORD" or whatever."  And then I thought to myself, can this guy read my mind?  Is he going to be mad because I am mad at him?  Am I still going to get presents on His birthday or did I just blow it?  But no, I am the one bleeding here and in a considerable amount of discomfort, so I have a right to be upset.  But then again wait.  How could I be mad at Him for anything?  How could I even mention something so trivial as my bleeding, swollen lip to a Guy who gave His own life so that my sins would be forgiven?  Furthermore, the amount of pain that I was experiencing was laughable in comparison to that which he had endured. So, after wiping the tears that had welled up in the corners of my eyes (yeah, it really hurt that bad, it's a deep bite) and spitting the mouthful of blood into the trash can by my desk, (it was too much to swallow at this point) I laughed it off, looked up to Heaven again (why do we always assume that Heaven is directly above us?) and winked.  Let's face it, I've had this coming for awhile now so it should come as no surprise that this would be my debt to pay.

     You're a funny One Mr. Christ, and if I don't get a chance to talk to you before Friday, Happy Birthday..................................We're cool right?   


Thursday, December 17, 2009

Congratulations! Here's A Meatloaf

     On Monday night, I got a text message that simply said, "Baby Time."  I would be willing to bet that everyone in the neighborhood got that same text at 8:40PM.  Our neighbors and good friends Brian and Gina had their baby, their fourth baby actually, and as you can imagine, we are all so happy for them.

      So is it a global tradition or just a local one here amongst our friends and family that when a new baby is born and has come home from the hospital, friends and neighbors prepare a meal for the family as a nice gesture and to lighten the load of the  parents while they adjust to life with a new person in their home?

     My wife, being on top of things like this as she tends to always be, decided last night to make a meatloaf and mashed potatoes with fresh green beans for our dear friends on their first night home from the hospital.

     Everything was going according to plan, green beans cut and steaming on the stove, potatoes boiling in a big pot, and the meatloaf baking in the oven.  What great friends and neighbors we are, wouldn't you agree?

     There was just one problem, one that we didn't see coming, but when it did it hit us like a ton of bricks.  The smell of this meal had begun to permeate throughout our entire home.  It was a glorious aroma and we hadn't actually planned our own meal for the evening.  There was no way that I was going to let this batch of culinary wizardry leave this house.  Baby or no baby, this was my dinner, Gina and Brian would just have to fend for themselves on this night and that was that.

     Not a sliver of guilt, zero remorse and a full belly.  We are terrible neighbors and even worse friends, but when it comes to delicious flavor, good will always takes a back seat.  Congratulations Brian and Gina! 

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Everything's Better With A Doughnut

     Think about this for a second and you will see that it's true.  Everything's better with a doughnut.

     The Titanic sunk to the bottom of the ocean.  No matter how you say it or whether or not you knew someone who went down with the ship,  this is an absolute tragedy.  But to hear this news with a jelly doughnut in your face, while it's equally as tragic it's a lot more delicious. 

     Stubbing your little toe on the leg of the coffee table is one of the worst household pains that one can experience without any real bodily damage, think about it and you'll know that I am telling the truth.  It's the kind of pain that makes you want to use foul language and spit on your own carpet.  Again, take the same scenario and insert a bear claw.  There is no less pain and you still want to use foul language but you don't because you have a mouth full of deep fried flavor.

     You come home from work to find that your spouse has packed up and left you while you were gone.  Oh Crap, I'm really going to miss her/him you'll say, and you will mean it.  You totally didn't see that one coming and you feel like there's a hole in the pit of your stomach.  Mmmm, well at least he/she didn't take this apple fritter.  An obvious oversight that you will take advantage of and for just a moment the void in your soul will be filled. 

     I am not a scientist nor a therapist, so if you try these methods and they fail to work for you, please do not try to hold me responsible.

     Today's topic was brought to you by a complete lack of anything useful or productive to say, but this cinnamon roll is fantastic.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Festival of Lights

     A couple of days ago, actually the same day as the great Griswaldian Christmas light fiasco that I spoke about yesterday, we went to enjoy The Festival of Lights.  They do this every year at The Mission Inn, not far from where we live.  This place holds a special place in our hearts for a few reasons.  My wife and I stayed in the historic inn on our wedding night before flying off the next morning to go on our honeymoon.  The Christmas light display that they manage to improve upon every year is truly a sight to behold.  And this year, our 8 year old daughter had a chance to be a part of the festivities with her school choir. 

     There was a chill in the air, a chill by Californian standards anyhow.  For those of you who actually get to experience the seasons and changes in climate and color of leaves, you can understand why we would be excited to pretend that winter was upon us.  We didn't have to shovel snow or de-ice anything.  I didn't have to put chains on my truck tires (thank God, because I don't have chains), but we did bring our jackets and I did duck into a gift shop to buy a beenie to keep my head warm.  Talk about being at the right place at the right time.  It was the beenie that  I have pictured in my mind for a long time as being the perfect one for me.  The right stripes, the right style, the right colors, and only $7.  Glorious!  I think I said it out loud, startling the girl behind the counter who hadn't noticed that I had ever even entered the store. 

     So there we were, celebrating our faux winter, listening to 3rd graders rocking to modern Christmas tunes, and taking in the spirit of the holiday season.  It was perfect.  We had such a good time as a family, doing what families do, regular families, Norman Rockwell families, families from the 50's who weren't in such a damn hurry all the time and actually took the time to enjoy themselves. 

     The "funk" that I have mentioned being in recently has suddenly vanished.  I find myself in the mood that I have been trying to find for some weeks and it feels good. 

     It's funny and actually pretty amazing what 4 Christmas songs, a good $7 beenie, just hanging with family and 50 gazillion lights can do for a guy's outlook on things. 

     Hello Christmas Spirit.......Where the Hell have you been?!......Happy Holidays my friends.



Friday, December 11, 2009

The Tangled Webs She Weaves

     Yesterday, I went outside to deck the house with Christmas lights.  I'm a bit late to the show this year, but there's been a lot of the plate so cut me a little slack.  The truth about me is that I am not very organized, but when it comes to my Christmas lights, I am as precise as a surgeon.  The outdoor lights spend their 11 month slumber neatly placed in their own storage box in the garage.  A place for every bulb and every bulb in its place because I would hate to have to deal with a tangled disaster next December. 

     The box was open, I had my high powered staple gun ready to rock and the lights were well on their way to showtime.  There is one shrub in front of the house where 2 sets of hands come in, well, handy I guess.  The shrub is close to the side of the house so I usually stand on one side and hand the strand of lights to my wife on the other side and together we wrap the lights around said shrub. 

     Things were going very well, that is until the wifey came around the shrub and handed me what looked like an electrical nightmare.  This is not how I handed them to her between the wall and the green leaves less than 12 seconds ago.  No, what I handed her 12 seconds ago was as well organized as a perfectly rolled up garden hose.  The picture above is what was returned to me, delivered with a guilty and apologetic smile followed by an outburst of laughter from both of us.  "What the Hell is this, Griswald?" I asked once I was able to breathe and the cramp in my side had given way to the tears rolling down my face.  She had no explanation for what had happened and was saved by the ringing of her cell phone.  Off she scampered, and there I stood alone with my bulbs and wires.  THANKS HONEY! MErry christm....................



Monday, December 7, 2009

Aaaaay, I Had A Good Laugh

     I've been in kind of a funk lately, a bad one that has lasted a bit longer than some of my funks in the past.  I haven't had anything to laugh about really, or should I say that I have not seized the opportunity when it has presented itself because of this dark, unrelenting little funk.

     That all changed at 3:27 AM this morning when I rolled out of bed to get ready for work.  Yeah, 3:27AM, I work at 5AM on Mondays, it's brutal for a night owl like myself.  Anyway, at 3:27 this morning, I lumbered into the bathroom to brush my teeth and go pee,(not neccessarily in that order).  That was when I looked in the mirror and realized that my hair had decided to style itself under the curtain of darkness while I slept.  It looked as if all of the air in my head had begun to deflate from my left ear at an extremely high psi.  All of my hair seemed to stand straight up from the left and then took a hard 45 degree turn to the right.  Keep in mind I am not by nature an early riser, so I happened to notice this anomaly with one eye closed and the other reluctant to function at such a ridiculous hour.  But this was too good, I had to take the opportunity to crack myself up and I went for it with all of my heart.

     I struck the Fonzarellian pose, we all know the one, when he is in his office, aka the mens restroom at Al's Diner and he goes in with both hands to make the neccessary adjustments to his hair only to realize that, "Aaaaaayyyy", it's already perfect.  I laughed out loud for a good couple of minutes, trying to stay as quiet as I could so to not wake up the wifey.

Sometimes it's the simple things isn't it?  A much needed laugh and a good start to what turned out to be a pretty decent day.  


Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Haunted By The Holiday Spirit

     So today, I got up early as planned.  Wifey just about jumped out of her socks to see me out of bed so early on my day off, knowing that it is not my day to get up with the kids, which means getting our oldest off to school.  How I was able to pull it off is a mystery, but I never question a good thing.  See, I was up on time because we had planned the night before to go out this morning to get all of the Christmas shopping done.  We shopped and shopped.  And when we were done with that, we shopped some more.  All the while I pretended to enjoy it.  Target, BevMo (that was fun), Costco, Toy R Us, Baby's R Us.  Truth is, I didn't care where we were or what we were doing, I just missed hanging out with my wife.  Life has been so hectic with work and the kids and so on, that we seemed to have forgotten about each other lately.  What a perfect day, just to be able to enjoy one another's company.  Not to mention that 95% of the shopping is done.

     We managed to get the Christmas tree all set up tonight too.  Quite a festive turn of events considering that both of us have been so burried in our work and soccer games and school events and so on.  And that's when it happened.  The explosion of laughter that came from the area of this very computer was deafening.  It seems that wifey had posted on Facebook that we had spent the day shopping together.  Some of my friends have since caught wind of this info and are not very pleased about what I have done to the sacred bond of manhood.  I have broken a cardinal rule, it's true.  I did it knowing that the risk was great and that the chances of escaping without incident were slim.  I was called out in public.  A slight breeze picked up at the gallows confirming only that I would swing like a pendulum when the verdict was read and the execution was well, executed.  I faught the good fight, I tried to plead my case.  It was no good, I had put us all in a bad spot and surely justice had to be served.  If I had done it, then there would be no doubt that the rest would be expected to do the same.  The bond was broken, the circle of trust had been infiltrated by evil.  I took my lumps, I paid the price, AND I ENJOYED EVERY MINUTE OF IT!!!  Sorry guys, I'll see you at the poker game on Friday right?..........Guys?......Hello?...........Shit!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Blog About Nothing

     When you write a blog that pretty much talks about nothing, one would think that the bar is set pretty low, and the expectations would be even lower.  Safe to assume right?

     Day in and day out, I manage to get something posted on my little Seinfeldian blog about nothing in particular, with pictures that pertain to that nothing in particular in one way or another.  For a while this has been a pretty successful approach, that is until a few days ago.

     Ever since I decided to write that book, I have drawn a complete blank when it comes to writing anything at all.  The quality of my blog about nothing in particular is beginning to decline, (I didn't think that could be possible), the pictures that pertain to my blog about nothing in particular don't seem to be having the same pop or relevance that they normally would.  What is going on?  Could it be that I have spooked myself with the thought of writing a book?  Fear is a writer's worst enemy, Stephen King even said so himself.  I have the ideas, I have them all lined up in my mind, that is until I sit in front of the keyboard.  This is when my mind starts moving much faster than my fingers can type.  The thoughts that seemed so clear to me 5 minutes ago start to look like sdpfwpwdtmprq erdgtwnrpgpwreutepgdnwerhgh as soon as I try to put anything down. 

     Does this happen to you?  Is this just part of the writing process that I am not accustomed to?  Please tell me that this will pass and that at the end of it these thoughts will flow freely to paper.  Please tell me that this blog about nothing in particular will continue to be fun and that the groove will come back.  Of course it will, this is ridiculous. 

     The book has a forward by the way.  It's a full page now, which doesn't sound like much, I know.  I have had to rewrite a few times just because I would think of better ways of saying what I wanted to say.  I guess this is  part of the process too.

     Thanks for lending an ear.  I will be back with better stuff soon, you can rest assured.  Goodnight.