Wednesday, December 31, 2008

I resolve to...

Give Pat Sajak more credit for his work with orphans and Vanna

Transcribe Fuller's new book into Latin and possibly Coptic.

I'm going to cure at least two viral videos before they spread beyond these United States.

I'd honestly like to ride a segway at some point in '09

...and speaking of segways, I'd like to ask Vista Print why they're so desperate to print 250 business cards for me?

I'd like to start a prodigal tribute band.

I'd like to get on Brad's twitter list

I think we'd all agree that '09 wouldn't be complete without some sort of crowning or official day given to Ms. Oprah Winfrey

I'm going to say it - less talk, more rock

I'd like to earn my black belt and then give it to someone with shoes that match

Get a Worthington Wrestling hat

I'd like open a camp, name it Puchia and then host a benefit concert for the people of CampPuchia.  I'd like  Mr. Dave Wolfenberger to play a medley of Queen and Paul McCartney tunes

Take the next step in my dream of creating Vice Presidential libraries across these United States with my Alben Barkley library in Kentucky.

Get a new nickname and then stencil the first initial of my new moniker on my shirts, Lavern style.  Right now I'm leaning towards "Alben"

Release the first case of my home style quadruple malt scotch "Alben's Quad Scotch" in local pubs across Wisconsin.

let's see here....I'm just reviewing....yup...uh huh....did I mention the segway?   Yup...good....the hat...right....Alben Barkley....I think that about sums up my '09 resolutions. 

What the heck else would I want to do?  I only have 365 days people.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

breakfast with my people

Party of twelve, your breakfast is ready.

Lot of pressure when you've got folks in from overseas for breakfast. 

This is why I'm writing a weblog when I should be sweating over the details of eggs and cooked pig products:

The friends in from across the pond live in Ireland.  This completely eradicates any pressure I might have felt about the food served.  Oh sure I've had food over in the Emerald Isle.  I have a back and forth discussion with my Irish friends about their food products.

Old joke:  What's the shortest book ever written?  Great chefs of Ireland.

I've heard the food is much better over there now.  Bobby Flay did a special on the food of Ireland last year...and it didn't look half bad.

So maybe I should stop writing and put the pop tarts away...

I've gotta represent for the good old USA.

And what's more American than Frosted Flakes?

Monday, December 29, 2008

Who Dey?

Apparently 11 teams got it in their heads that they was gonna beat dem Bengals.  I haven't read much on the 'ol weblogesphere this year about the local "professional" football team.  I don't really want to go on about those fellas...I just wanted to throw it out there.  It's still a silly cheer (as is waving a yellow kitchen towel...it's just not quite as silly).  And this isn't a swipe towards all of the "wait til next year" talk after the Super Bowl a few years ago, and after the Steelers beat up on the locals the last couple of years...it's just a thought.

I still don't understand how they can have a vote for the pro bowl before the season ends.  If there's a close call between two players and it goes to the one guy...and the other guy has 17 tackles (four of them for a loss) an interception and a fumble recovery all on the last game....well...that kind of stinks, huh?
This is another reason that baseball is screwed up (way behind the designated hitter).  The all star game is nothing more than a popularity contest based on offensive output.  It's in the middle of the year, one dimensional and sad.  The Pro Bowl is a bit better...but I still think they should have picked the team this week.  The MVP awards should be renamed - The best Quarterback or Running Back Award.  If defense wins championships, it could stand to reason that the best player on a defense will do more to affect the outcome of a game than the quarterback or running back...doesn't it?

So the Steelers are back in the playoffs...again...ho hum...Big Ben is hurt and he has an awful record when he's coming back from an injury.  They have a great record against one of the toughest schedules this year, but I'm still a bit nervous about their line.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Christmas Eve Eve

Today will be shows number 5 and 6.  It feels like it's getting a bit better each time (outside of that third show...something seemed a bit off for some reason) and it's hopefully going to continue in that general direction.
I feel like Brad's really done a great job writing/directing/running the show this year.  Last year he did great, but it feels like he's hitting his stride even more this time around.  He's put together a team of several dozen that he's really trusting to do a lot of things that a control freak would try to do by themself.  It's resulted in a lot of really cool stuff.

It's the picture of leadership (a rare commodity).  He's empowering people around him to own stuff, to be creative, and to be a part of something bigger than themselves.  I think one of the signs of good leadership is how things go when the leader leaves.  I've heard people brag about how things went downhill after they've left an organization and I think they're missing out on what it truly means to lead.  It's not about you.  It's not your talent, it's not your vision, it's not your charisma.  A well led organization should be able to move on without missing a beat when the leader leaves...if they've done their job of developing people around them...and not making it about them.

There are talented people out there that produce good to great work.  A great leader is willing to take a few hits or even have an event or a meeting that doesn't go as well...because she is willing to let others fail in order to help develop through trial and error.  It's what a smaller organization often does better than larger organizations.  The mom and pop store is more likely to experiment (risk) with new sales ideas than the huge box store. 

Giving away not just the little stuff, but even the big sale...or the big pitch...or the big meeting to people who aren't as good as you is both a sign of a secure leader,  and of someone who would rather develop people than their own reputation.  It goes from their individual ego or ownership of something, to a corporate or a shared thing...

It's been fun/inspiring/encouraging to watch young Bradley give up some of his control and really allow the folks around him to blossom.  He's developed a team and I think it shows.

Monday, December 22, 2008

All I want for Christmas...

I don't know about you, but I only have one day of Christmas.  Whenever I hear the song about the twelve days of Christmas I can't help but wonder how I've lived my life ignoring the other eleven.

But then I hear about all the crap that guy got and I realize that I have almost no use for turtle doves or a partridge...and I'm not sure this climate could sustain a pear tree.  I figure this guy loves birds and his family has no idea what to give him...so they keep throwing birds his way.  It's become a tradition and his true love just jumps on board.  "You can't ever give this guy anything, he has everything...just give him whatever you find at Birds R Us.  I'm giving him three of those hens from France, maybe even throw in some calling birds"

I'm not sure I'll get a pear tree this year, but my friend John is hooking us up with a Sugar Maple tree.  I'm not 100% sure what that is, but I know this will take our tree total up 50%.  Sounds like the kind of tree that produces pancake icing...  Maybe I'll be bottling genuine Ohio maple syrup this time next year...throw a little ribbon around that and give it that to the neighbors.

Looks like my Christmas '09 gifts just got planned...

Friday, December 19, 2008

Parker and Me

Parker and I have a stay at home date today.  She's kind of a cheap date (if you don't factor in diapers and clothes that she outgrows every 3 weeks).  We're just going to chat about the latest goings on with the foreign and domestic markets and then have lunch.

Something simple - maybe hot dogs and pretzels with a side of orange slices...

Later she'll doze off while I'm left somewhat offended that my date needs a nap.

I'll get to hang out with the boys for a couple of hours before our last ever (re)gifter practice.  I call it practice because it sounds more like I'm playing some sort of sport and less like I'm about to have someone powder my nose.

Tomorrow is Wrap it Up on the Road at an apartment complex downtown for folks with special needs....followed by....nothing.  That hasn't happened in a while.

And then on to the show...I think we're maybe already at 10,000 tickets claimed.  I had a friend call me and ask for ten seats together at the Sunday night show and made some calls...and was laughed at.  I have less than zero pull apparently.

All this to say that my time with my little girl starts right now...and I couldn't be happier.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Golf anyone?

Just received a gift from my partners at the golf range.

Oh sure, I own a golf range.  It's not all mine, I have a few partner.  I've never met them and don't really know any of their names...but I own a stake in a driving range in Dublin, Ohio.  Grandpa gave it to me years ago because I'm the single greatest grandson you'd ever want to have....or maybe he was just one of the all time great grandpas...  I've had the stock for a decade or so and it's paid me about 2-4% a year on the investment.

Not so great.  Typically I get a year end letter letting me know about all the problems we've had and why next year will be better.  It never is.  Who can complain about a random check coming in the mail at the end of the year though?

...and so now I got an early Christmas gift from Grandpa...

Thanks Grandpa.  I'll slice a few drives for you...

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Things I'm learning while appearing in a play/mashup

1. The director totally thinks he's in charge.
2. They're really into the "lines" and the "script"
3. If you're in a scene, there's no such thing as a timeout
4. They not only want you to know your lines, but they want you to know them in order
5. They're really into practicing; only they call it rehearsal
6. Key grip is code for guy who throws meatball subs into the crowd during the big car chase scene...and at no point does he hold or grip a key
7. The Gaffer is the fella that is paid to give Joe his half hour shiatsu

just saw this...

Monday, December 15, 2008

saving some cash

Stuff I bought this weekend:

A $6 bottle of laundry detergent
6 packs of gum that cost over $1 each at most stores
a family sized frozen meal that goes for over $3
A giant bottle of juice that goes over $3
two containers of sour cream that are normally over $1 each
two oral b pulsar toothbrushes that are normally $6-$7
8 deodorants that are normally about $2.50 each
a box of 50 kitchen trash bags that goes for around $8
A bowl like can of beef stew that costs $2.75
two candy bars for the kids (they were giving out bags of candy to people and I promised them I'd save them a bag...but then they decided to give those out to...they're some pretty good kids) that are 2/$1
A bag of Ore-Ida steam and mash potatoes - I think those are $2.50ish
2 boxes of cereal that would cost around $4 each
2 boxes of Pop Tarts that would cost around $2 each
3 bag of candy to fill up the kid's stockings -$2 each

I'm guessing I'm forgetting a few things - the totals were almost exactly $100 before coupons.

I paid a total of $5.38
I should also mention that I left Walgreens with a $5 gift certificate...so I'm really sort of out 38 cents.

The first question people always ask is, "so how much of that stuff would you normally have bought?"

Honestly, not much.  Before, we bought generic paper towels and toilet paper...and whatever was on sale for a lot of the other stuff.  (you won't see those on the list because we have so much stored away)  We just started using Viva paper towels for example- they're the single greatest paper towel you could ever use...but they're WAY expensive.  We wouldn't have bought those, or a lot of the other stuff, because it was so expensive.  Annie was able to stock up on some stuff two days ago that she never would have bought before, but with the coupon and the sale...it was free. Now we can stock up - we have enough razors, shampoo, conditioner, soap, toilet paper, trash bags, kid's soap & shampoo, toothpaste, toothbrushes, and cereal to last us through the winter...of 2010.

This is stuff we will definitely use.  Not only did we save a ton of money this weekend, but this is stuff that will save us money 6 months from now when we're still not buying deodorant or toothpaste.  Our only issue now is finding space for all of our free stuff.

And we can donate some of this stuff.  We can also use the money we're saving to give to something that will last a lot longer than toothpaste or delicious tarts that fit right in your toaster...

Friday, December 12, 2008

Home Skool

I was talking with a young fella about home school yesterday and I was reminded of a skit I saw on SNL recently.  They were mocking the home school kids and it wasn't that far from how I viewed home schoolers 8 or 10 years ago.

I didn't know much about home school and certainly didn't understand how it worked.  In Pennsylvania I met a bunch of home school students and was surprised by how emotionally mature many of them were.  I just sort of assumed they'd be socially awkward and a little behind.

Some of them are.

That's just it though, some of the folks at my local public school are socially awkward and academically behind.  Some of the folks at the local private school are too.  Some are smart, some aren't.

I'm not sure how to measure how effective it is - but we can look at the actual numbers.  Home school kids test higher nationally than both private and public school kids on the SAT's and the ACT's.  I don't know of a teacher that wishes they had more students in their classrooms or one who would deny that one on one attention definitely helps.  Academically it's hard to argue against it (unless we just want to argue based on opinions).

I coached at a school for a while that was undefeated in one sport.  They were the best...almost.  They went to the state championship three years in a row...and lost three years in a row to a team of home school kids that put together their own team.  They'd known each other for years and played together as a team.  They were decent athletes that weren't drooling down their shirts every time a cheerleader walked by.

All of this to say that I'm not sure I had it right - in fact I was way off base.  That's what we do when we put people in a box...

Plus, who doesn't want to be class president, vice president, and homecoming king every year?

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Spitting Image

I got caught spitting yesterday.  It's something I do when I'm fighting a cold, or foo.  I've had this sore throat, all over achy thing happening lately.  This usually comes with flem and lots of sneezing. 

For me, flem goes hand in hand with spitting.  Typically I like to do this in the privacy of my own making.  I'll open the car door and let loose, maybe go around the corner....real spy kind of sneakiness.  Yesterday I turned and let loose before I walked into my office...and saw a friend of mine.  She just sort of gave me the good morning hello...but I felt a little naughty.
Not Fuller at a nudie beach naughty, more like the guy adjusting his swimming suit parts and getting caught...kind of naughty.

I'm not sure why - seems perfectly natural...just kind of nasty.  It's not my fault, I blame the rhinovirus and the Smokey & the Bandit movies.

So I'm thinking about getting a spittoon...something classy...maybe brass with a state flag on the front.  Not Ohio, who has an Ohio spittoon?  Now you're just being silly...

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Christmas Gifts

What do you get the person who has everything?

Well if they really do have everything, then it's impossible to give them anything...because they already have every single thing...which means you have nothing....and that stinks...why should they have everything?

but if they have a lot of stuff and you're stuck on what to get them, you could get them a...

Homemade coupon book good for things like hugs and cleaning out their car.  They'll thank you, turn in their hug coupon, and then promptly lose the coupon book.  In four months when they want their car cleaned, they'll look for it and then ask you to clean it without the coupon.  Your answer?  "Sorry, I need to make sure the bar code matches this exact offer."

You could give them a gift certificate to a store with a little note that says, "I felt obligated to give you a gift because I figured you'd give me one...but I didn't really want to get creative or put a whole lot of effort into it.  Merry Christmas!"

You could give them tickets to the ReGifter!

You could make a donation to a not so local charity in their name.

You could make a video tribute to the all time greatest star of ours, or any other, generation.

Problem solved - You're welcome.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

This weblog was sponsored by the exclamation point

I can't figure out how Sesame Street was able to get the alphabet to sponsor their show.  Actually it wasn't even the entire alphabet, it was typically just one of the letters.  I could see how 26 letters might get together and pool their resources...maybe try to get their name out there, but just one?

Where does the letter V get it's money anyhow?  Oh sure I could see an M pulling some serious scratch just on their McDonald's residuals alaong...but V?

I also sort of wonder if Sesame Street sort of painted itself into a box by only using letters, and the occasional number, as their sponsors.  I'd have liked to see some other sponsors every once in a while.  Maybe Ford wouldn't be in the dire straights their in now if they'd thrown a little cabbage that way.  I guess we'll never know - Ford sponsored American Idol and you don't see R looking for a bailout plan these days,  do you?

I think I've made my point.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Day off

Today I'm hanging with my homies.  I'm going to chill out and kick it old school.  I'm not entirely sure what that means, but I know I don't have to be at the Vineyard for another 11 hours.

So I'm sending Griff off to present his report on Ireland to the good folks in his second grade class.  Did you know Ireland is the only country to have a musical instrument as it's national symbol?  True.

I'll wrestle Cooper (I'm 7 & 3 against him this year) and tickle Parker.

Annie is headed to hang out with her gal pals and I'll try to memorize 9 pages of the script while the kids nap.

Actually I should probably get on that now before they all start their day with their traditional running, jumping, screaming, pre-breakfast ritual.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Tom Cruise

I'd like to propose a couple of changes.  I think it's high time we renamed the rooms of our collective houses.

Bathroom?  I have three of these "bathrooms" and only one bath.  Oh sure I've got a shower in another, but that's a showerroom at best.  There are a few things these rooms all have in common.  A toilet and a sink.  I'd call them sink rooms, but then what is the kitchen if not a sinkroom?  I think the obvious here is to start calling it the toilet room, or commode room.  I work in a building with 6 "bathrooms" and zero baths.  We're liars perpetuating a hoax as old as time itself.  I'm sorry to be a part of that.

The living room should be called the room that you don't use....or really live in.  The family room can be called the tv room.

And what's the deal with master bedroom?  Really?  You're the "master"?  It's embarrassing.

Hallway I'm cool with.  Always have been.  Makes sense.   I say we keep it.  It'd be silly not to...

Thursday, December 04, 2008

workin' man

I kind of feel like you'd have to have a couple of things going for you to be considered a "real man" or to have a job "where you actually work".  I have a friend just became an electrician and got me thinking about him pulling out tools and occasionally getting zapped.  I used to work landscaping and was a city worker for a summer...but now I sit in front of a computer or meet with people throughout my day.  No tools.  No zapped.

So what makes for a real-workin-for-a-livin job?

1.   You can't sit in front of a computer for more than 20 minutes a day.
2.   You probably need to have some sort of work gloves and possibly some boots.
3.   There should be a large grouping of your colleagues around a sandwich truck at lunchtime.
4.   No one would ever refer to another worker as a colleague.
5.  At some point someone should pass you a thermos full of something.
6.   Occasionally there's going to be fights and they will never be followed by a hug.
7.   At no point will you teach about communicating with one another.
8.   Someone's probably packing. 
9.   If you're going to paint something, the brush better be at least 4 inches wide.
10. and you won't feel compelled to make a list 10 items long...

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Cold = bad

The globe seems to be cooling.  I'm not so much a winter coat guy, but yesterday I made an exception.  It was stupid cold outside.  (this is where the people from Michigan and New York can tell me that it was crazy hot yesterday and where they're from that was tennis weather)

I miss the spring. 

On my top five least favorite things (not having to do with Dan Akroyd - he gets his own list) I'd have to include sitting down in a cold car and waiting for it to warm up.

I'd rather string cheesy huge red, green and yellow Christmas lights all over my roof.

I'd rather sing Christmas carols door to door.

I'd rather have my jaw broken, reset and then find out that "it didn't take".

I'd rather go back to highschool, quit everything I was involved in and join the marching band just so I could wear those hats.

I know a few people that have those remote starters for their cars, but I don't know anybody that actually uses them.  This magical devide allows you to simply press a button from the comfort of your own home/office/spa/dude ranch and allow your car to warm up while you play euchre inside.  And still...they don't use them.

It's like they have the winning lottery ticket, but they're holding onto it for another day.  It's like Mr. Bob Saget called to hang out and they're not sure when they'll call back.  It's like Ms. Oprah Winfrey invited them over for flapjacks, but they're not so sure they're hungry.  It's like they're listening to Tom Sawyer but then they turn it off right before the drum solo.

So sad...sad indeed...

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

The Big Screen

I'm off to work and then to play.  I had Thursday and Friday off, went and made crafts and wrapped presents at a group home on Saturday, and then had Monday and Tuesday off.  Basically I've been out of the office for a while.  That means 100+ electronic mail messages and voice mails.  Jealous?

Then I'm off to make movie magic.  I say things like, "when are we filming?" and am told that we're not shooting with film...  So then I say, "when are we taping?" and apparently we don't use tape either...I'm dumb.
 
We're using some sort of magical digital camera that captures the sights and sounds of what will soon be
The ReGifter (coming to a theater near you....assuming you live near the Vineyard in Tri-County). 

This year there will be six shows.  And by shows I mean plays...but with video...actually a lot of video.  Brad would call it a mashup of film and live theater.  I'm never sure what mashup means so I just nod, smile and make some remark about his capri pants. 

Each of the six shows will be ticketed and you can reserve seats here.  The tickets are free so you can think of it as a buy one get one free sale and you've got a coupon for a free ticket which makes them both free...and you can actually get as many as you want...so it's like you've got a lot of coupons. 

Why would you have a coupon for a play? 

weirdo...

Monday, December 01, 2008

Those who can't...

I'm off to the West Side Montessori.  Today I'll be spending the better part of the afternoon with friends Missy, Joe and Isaac teaching the art of improvisation. 

Oh sure, you say, what could someone really learn from improvisation?

Isn't improvisation something that simply bursts out of your soul?  Doesn't it just flow like the river Euphrates?  Isn't it something that you're born with and can never, ever learn?

I have no idea...that's why Missy is there.  She can teach them stuff while I do my spot on Al Roker.

And now back to you at the news desk Matt...

Friday, November 28, 2008

You're welcome

Having given thanks for the year, I feel it's time to now give out thoughts.   For me the day after Thanksgiving is Thoughtsgiving.  I know it won't become official until Hallmark creates a commemorative candle or Peanuts make a Thoughtsgiving Day special.

I wonder about holiday food traditions that don't show themselves the rest of the year.  Let's use the can shaped cranberry sauce that I see once a year.  Once.  That's it.  Either it's good in May or it's not.  I'm not sure you could say that it's good one day of the year but it's not so much any other time.
It's in a can so it's not a freshness issue.  I think it's all in your head.  I point out your head and away from my head mostly because I don't like the stuff in May or November.  Oh sure you can point back at me and say, "what about your annual Secratary's day apple sauce lunch?"  Well, you've got me there fella. (it's always the fellas that point out my hypocritical holiday meal leanings)

and now a few recipes:

Stuffing is composed of bread cubes, onion, celery, seasoning and salmonella.

Dressing is cooked outside of a turkey and is composed of stuffing minus the salmonella.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Corporate Sell Outs

You think I'm going to let myself be bought out by the Man?  Oh sure Mr. Man, I'll buy into your corporate holidays with all the fixin's.

Please Dr. Butterball, prescribe for me a prescription...to my woes.

This holiday has been brought to you by the letter "M" as in money, as in Macy's, as in leMMings.

All about thanks?  Pilgrim please!

So enjoy your mashed dreams and your cranberry guilt.  Take your hopes and aspirations and stuff them up the insides of an over-testosteroned chicken wanna-be.

Not me.  I'm rockin the vote.  I'm fighting the good fight.  I'm saying "no more" to the hate crime of injustice that screams at us with the only possible conclusion being Consumer Madness Friday.  Not this guy.  Oh no.  I won't buy into your holidays sister Kroger/Meijer/Piggly Wiggly.

-this message brought to you by Nadar/Gonzalez 2012

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Giving and Receiving

There is an apartment complex in town that is set up specifically for adults with disabilities.  A few of us are going to go to the complex - Geir Apartments - and help them wrap gifts, make crafts and decorate cookies for the holidays.  And by "a few of us" I mean that I'm hoping there will be a few of us...

I'm pretty sure this will be one of the greatest things I do this week (love my wife, love my kids, watch Sags...) and I'd love it if you joined me. 

Society has largely marginalized many of the folks living in this complex.  I'd like to spend some time with them... and if wrapping presents and making crafts is a decent way of doing it...I'm in.

Keep in mind that I have a benign tremor and that I'm about as crafty as Candace Bergman (famously uncrafty).  It might not be pretty.

So, if you'd like to join me - let me know and we'll hang out and ice cookies together.  We have all the supplies ready to go...I just need you.

Monday, November 24, 2008

kids

I have a few fairly solid thoughts on kids.

1.  If you were force fed baby food out of tiny jars full of strained nastiness, you'd probably be fairly picky about what you ate for the next ten years too.

2.  Kids were created to peak in their cuteness at the exact same time that they peak in their loudness/crankiness/unreasonableness.  This keeps you from putting them in timeouts for 23 1/2 hours a day.

I'm not sure I have much written date to back either of these thoughts, but if you'd like to come on over and see for yourself...we live in front of the purple mailbox in the Dub-C.

Friday, November 21, 2008

QCP Tonight - 8:00 - 6543 Montgomery Road

So tonight we'll take suggestions from the audience and turn them into performance art.  It's sort of like when your kids take all the tongue depressors and turns them into bookmarks with crazy jiggly eyes on them.  At first you think it's crazy that they would do that to your tongue depressor collection, but then you realize that you really do love those crazy kids and it's worth five bucks to see them perform improvisationally...

I just coined a word right in front of your eyes.  This is sort of the weblog version of what you could see tonight. 

We live in a golden age my friends...a golden age...

Thursday, November 20, 2008

my 1,004th best post

um...I guess I've passed the one thousand post mark.  I just pulled up my account and saw that I had 1,003 posts on this blog.  I feel like I missed an important event in my relationship with blogspot. 

I'm not sure if I should send flowers or just sort of ignore the event like it's not really that big of a deal to me.  Maybe I could just casually mention in conversation how cool I think it is when other web-loggers don't make a big deal out of their first couple thousand posts.  But I'm sure I'll hear it, "Oh Steve just bought Typepad some flowers and sent a nice note".

I feel like it's too late at this point.  I should probably just take my medicine and shut up.

Forever I'll remember my TexMex post as number 1,000.  Oh the memories...the OhioMex reference...the mariachi band...

On an unrelated note - Big improvisation happenings tomorrow night at Ballet Tech.  I've been told that it starts at 8 and is gauranteed to be awesome or Joe will refund your five bucks.
SHOW INFO!
Friday, November 21
Ballet Tech Cincinnati
8:00pm
6543 Montgomery Road
Cincinnati, OH 45213
513-841-2822

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

not so secret service

President elect Obama has a new nickname.  He's "Renegade" when the secret service is talking about him on their fancy walkie talkie ear phones.  This was all over the news yesterday.  His code name is Renegade so that no one will know who they're talking about....unless they happen to read or watch tv.  They also have given R nicknames to the rest of his family just to further confuse the bad guys.

Wouldn't the secret service be better off keeping the code names in code?  I'd also think you'd name one guy Renegade and his wife Spatula or Hulk Hogan... just so there was no confusion.  I'd like to think you'd want each family member to have a very different code name and that would avoid any national security situations.  You'd hate to put his daughter on Air Force One because you forgot that he was Renegade and she was Radiance.

Because I've finally decided to not run for the office I'm going to go ahead and let you in on the Murphy family code names.

I, of course, would have been known as "Sags".  Annie would be "Coccia House".  Cooper would be "Coop De Ville", Parker would be "Parkin Link" and Griffin would be "Captain Von Scooberstein"

We're still working on an Aunt Peggy name...

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Trading Spaces

Annie wrote about this yesterday, but I want to give you a slightly different perspective.  For Griffin's 8th birthday we celebrated by giving him a completely overhauled room.  And by "we" I mean Annie.

She took our spare bedroom (also known as Grandma's room) and transformed it into Griff's new room.  He's been rooming with Cooper via the bunk bed for all of Coop's life.  The times they are a changin'.

She went with a skateboard motif.  She bought some signs, made some posters, and that's about where I would have quit.  She was just getting started.  She made two shelves out of skateboards.  She made a headboard.  I didn't know you could do that.  I'm still not sure it's legal. 

She painted the outline of a skateboard fella on the wall and there was a matching quilt special made by grandma.  This room is awesome.  When I came home there was still the same general non-skateboard theme to our room...I'm just saying that I've never really had a room this cool.  I'm a little jealous.

I have the best wife and Griff has the best mom - that's the bottom line.

Monday, November 17, 2008

back from Hope

And I'm back.  I left Texas at 5a.m and arrived in the heart of it all around midnight. 

I'm not sure I want to ever be a trucker.  Oh sure, I'd love to have a "handle" and wear trucker hats.  I guess I'd also wear trucker shoes, trucker socks, a trucker watch...you get the point. 

So I drove through Texas for the first time...and Hope, Arkansas.....and Little Rock....and Memphis. 

I can now say I've been to Oklahoma...and I know absolutely nothing about it.  That's sort of one of those check the box situations.  I've been there, but I just sort of drove right through it.  It didn't really affect my life and I didn't really experience it the way that I could have.

I spent more time with friends in Austin and Kansas City than anything else.  It was great to see so many old friends and was inspiring to be around my friends who are living radical lives of faith.  These guys live out all of the things we read in the Bible and talk about in church.  They don't just talk about the easy or fun or seeker sensitive parts of the Scriptures and they press into something much deeper as a result.  I found a group of folks that "fear man" much less than I tend to.  They're not wrapped up in looking cool (especially Luis) or ashamed to live out whatever they feel like God is calling them towards.  They're the opposite of much of American spirituality and look both out of the cultural loop and in the affecting the world around them loop.

It's ironic.  We often try so hard to be relevant or with it and we are....and see little bits and pieces of growth here and there.  It's collateral growth.  Do something big enough or often enough and you'll generate some stuff every once in a while...but is that what we're called to?

I often just sort of drive through the Christian faith and can tell people I've been there...but it's not the same.

Friday, November 14, 2008

TexMex

I had my first taste of authentic Tex-Mex food last night.  Apparently that's Mexican food that you eat in Texas or Texan food that you eat in Mexico...one of those.

I went with the Mexican food eaten in Texas.  We went to a party and were greeted on the lawn of the house by a mariachi band.  I'm guessing the Tex-Mex authenticity factor will never be more greater in this reporter's lifetime...
I will say that Annie makes some sort of combination of tortilla, salsa, chicken and cheese that rivals that of the Tex-Mex variety.  She rarely dresses up in a sombrero and seranades the meal with mariachi music, but her Ohi-Mex food is pretty solid nonetheless.

I'm looking forward to someday eating authentic Ohi-Canadian food.  I imagine it would be some sort of fried salmon with ketchup.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

not so big

Everything is big in Texas?  My queen size bed - it's queen sized.  I checked.  The sink in my hotel room - also queen sized.

I'm not saying they don't have large objects here, but don't kid yourself...we've got some large things in Ohio too.  Have you seen the big butter Jesus in Ohio?  How about our Super Walmart?  Don't forget about that hole in my roof?  What do you have to compete with that Texas?

That's what I thought.


Sure I'm relatively new to this lonestar state (side note - I've seen hundreds of stars....not so lone, is it Texas?) and I'm sure I'll learn a lot about...um...oil?  Maybe see a shirtless T.O. doing sit ups?

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

moveon.texas

I'm headed to Texas to see some more friends.  I hated leaving home and after only a few days here I hate leaving K.C.

I can't imagine describing these past few days in a quick blog I write as I head out the door...so maybe I'll give it a few days.  I'll just say that it's incredibly inspiring/encouraging to be around these friends and see their lives in the midst of a culture/context that's totally out of my realm of day to day existence.  A friend recently was talking about how we tend to marginalize God/church/prayer and put together little pockets of entertainment or scheduled services/meetings/God moments and if you do some good things and say some God things...well some folks will be inspired and grow a bit.  It's largely collateral though...I don't think it's enough.

Maybe we've lived in the 20/80 rule for so long that we've accepted it?

See what I'm doing here?  I'm trying to sum up 10,000 thoughts in a quick blog I write as I head out the door...

The bottom line is that I've learned in Kansas City that they have a small group of people who regularly meet with the simple goal of putting together the most disgusting Indian food you've ever experienced.  And they do it very well...

and maybe I went a little overboard on these/things, huh?

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

love the people, hate the food

I went with a couple of friends to an Indan restaurant yesterday.  I've decided there are a few things I'd like to do before I ever eat Indian food again.

-watch a stranger vacuum their house
-pull the chair out from under Anderson Silva
-go through another election
-eat Irish food (and that's saying a lot - think boiled meats)
-eat German food (think Irish food shoved into animal casings)
-shave Michael Moore's back
-listen to a boy band sing O' Canada
-put together a 2,000 piece puzzle that's a picture of Mickey Rourke playing Uno
-watch Leatherheads
-go to the ballet in an uncomfortable suit sitting next to Jane Paulie who is crying about the beauty of it all
-start an improv troupe with Paulie Shore, Dan Akroyd and Nicolette Sherridan
-stick Indian food in my eye

I guess I'm trying to say that it just wasn't for me.  The entire buffet smelled awful and I lived in fear that whatever I was scooping onto my plate was the very substance that caused the smell.  Sweet sweet Chipotle, where have you gone?

Monday, November 10, 2008

What up Chief?

I brought the luck of the Irish to Kansas City.  To be accurate, I brought that luck through St. Louis (they were losing 40-0 when I drove through their fair city) and then to K.C. (they only lost by a point)
Imagine how bad it would have been had I not been here.
I came here with my new best friend, Garmy.  She's a British girl that Brad introduced me to via a videotaped introduction.  She tells me when to turn and how many miles I have until my next exit.  I brought her to work with me on Friday and she said, "recalibrating" six times.  I've been driving to this particular work place for three years now and have tried four different routes.  I finally have it down and this uppity British machine tells me I'm wrong six times.  On the last turn she told me I was driving through a field.  Apparently she can't see access roads.
-
I gave her another chance.  I brought her to K.C. and she's great if you don't know where you're going.  I needed something from the drug store and she took me right there.  She took me on a detour that that jerk Mapquest had no idea even existed.  I'm taking her to Dallas and then to Austin and then she's back to hanging out with her friend Jana.  Thanks Jana, by the way.

To be honest, I'd rather get lost with Annie and the kids than have this electronic direction finding machine help me to make good time...

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Why ya trippin' fool?

I'm going on a roadtrip in a few days and I'm in search of a Garmin.  If only I had my own Garmin and could plug in "find Garmin" and then I would drive to one...and then I would have two Garmins...and if I had two I'd give you one.  If I only had one I would probably still let you borrow it.

Want to be like me? 

And speaking of Garmin - I'm not really just talking about Garmin.  They're the Kleenex of the GPS world.  If I want a tissue, I ask for a Kleenex.  If I'm looking to borrow a GPS to go to Texas - I ask for a Garmin...but you knew what I meant, didn't you?

You're so smart (you future lender of a GPS you)

My friend Brad just made an excellent video using a Garmin (I'm literally just thinking of this) - maybe I'll go find out if it's his...or someone I know...or can steal from.  And this is how I process out loud (I talk out loud while I'm thinking of a blog post...and I wake up the kids whenever I use exclamation points).

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

on hold

I listened to this message every 25 seconds this morning - "please unplug your router and wait one minute before plugging it back in if you haven't already done so"

Out internet was out.  I called the company in charge and they put me on hold.  After ten minutes I took a shower.  After the shower I picked the phone back up and was still on hold.  As I was getting dressed they picked up.  They'd done the message about unplugging my router aproximately 43 times by then.

So the guy comes on the phone and tells me to unplug my router...

seriously

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Votin' day

I'm off to elect the next president of these United States.  Annie already went - she's about an hour more patriotic than me.  Joe is four days more patriotic than me because of his voting early, and all the people voting 30 or 40 times today are 30 or 40 times more patriotic than me. 

I'll be glad to see the signs and stickers go away.  I finally decided that those are really for the people putting them up anyway.  I'm just not sure that anyone has ever been convinced that they should vote for a candidate because someone put a sign in their yard, or on their bumper.  It's not something you do to get people on your side, it's more a way of telling the world, "I'm voting for this person and this is my way of telling you...and I'm proud that I am...and if you aren't...well...you're a stupid head!" - or something like that.

Anyhow - today is the end of all that...or at least I thought.

We have a 24 hour Obama channel.  It's literally on 24 hours a day (I'm not talking about the networks) and has been running for weeks...or longer on the Dish network (channel 73) and is still on the schedule to play tomorrow.  They're going to continue the biggest and most expensive campaign in the history of the world - past the election!?!?!  You can tune in tomorrow and watch a 24 hour campaign commercial...huh?

The only thing I can think of is that he's running for President of the world and there's a secret election happening some time in the next month? 

You heard it here first.

I'm off the cancel out Lohan's vote.

Monday, November 03, 2008

leadership

Who dey?

Who dey think gonna beat them Bengals?
The Ravens - Titans - Browns - Giants - Cowboys - The Girl Scouts - Jets - Steelers - Texans - Jaguars

I haven't heard as much Bengal's chatter on the 'ol blogosphere this year for some reason.  Having said that, I saw something admirable out of them yesterday.  I was watching Chad Johnson get open (typical) and then Ryan Fitzpatrick overthrew him.  After the ball was overthrown Chad stood out there holding his arms up as if to say, "I can't believe you blew this throw - I could have scored a touchdown and then done the my parents didn't hug me as a child so I badly need attention dance"

It was classless and he was showing up his quarterback.

Fast forward to a shot of him on the sideline talking with someone.  A few seconds later they showed Carson Palmer walk up to Chad and say something into his ear...and then you saw Chad walk up and throw his arms around Fitzpatrick.  Carson is out for the season, but he was still leading his team and telling a player to stop showboating and go make up with the quarterback.

The difference between Carson and Chad was that Palmer cared about the psche of the player more than how it made him look.   The worse Fitzpatrick looks the more people will miss and appreciate Carson.  He didn't care about that.  He cared about the person or the team more...maybe both.  He led.

I'm still not a fan - but it was impressive.

Friday, October 31, 2008

UC vs. SFU VIP


UC/SFU - who can beat up a Bull?  A Bearcat, that's who.  Actually I have no idea...and I never saw a Bearcat at the game, but I did notice the robot from Futurama and Santa Claus at the game.

Keep in mind that the South Florida Bulls might possibly be one of the top five college football teams in Florida.  They were ranked #23 in these United States and are the south's answer to the Philadelphia Phillies and all of their northern pride.
The game was a bit sloppy at times (we counted 23 turnovers) and had some incredible highlight reel catches (as shown by my camera/phone/palm pilot) (ok, I gotta be straight with you...I got that pic off the interweb)
In the end - the Bearcats marched to victory.  I think we have the makings of the National Champions - assuming they don't count much of the first part of the year and our offensive line gets a lot better at drive blocking...and our safety would start playing safety...then we're practically the best team ever.
At some point I'm pretty sure I saw the unibomber at the game.  I saw him writing up something about an east coast bias in the polls and then went off to send a note.
And Leah has sort of a crush on the Futurama robot...

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Collecting dust

My first collection was one of ticket stubs.  The prize ticket I had was of a Notre Dame game my dad gave me.  It had a full color picture of the three Notre Dame captains and was really a pretty cool looking ticket.  I collected concert tickets (the Kinks, the Romantics, Billy Idol, every Irish folk band ever), sports tickets (lots of Reds, OSU football and the occasional hockey ticket) and any other ticket I could get a hold of.  You could see a trend towards the end where every ticket looked the same.
 
I blame ticketmaster.  I was to be nobody's ticketslave and either I was going to fill my ticket book with Pearl Jam tickets or move on to a new hobby...
And so I collected coins...and baseball cards...and some football cards...
I've had other hobbies, interests and passions (although I'm not sure I was ever really passionate about collecting tickets) but lately I haven't been playing racquetball, obsessed about any team or taken on any big projects at home.  
I have been using coupons though.  I bought 11 tubes of toothpaste, 15 bottles of orange juice and lemonade, 5 deodorants, five bags of chicken flavored rice, 16 rolls of toilet paper, 4 2-liters, and 2 shampoos - all for $2.60.  That was pretty good.  I'm not sure it's a hobby, interest or passion though - it's just fun to see how much free stuff I can get with coupons.
I don't think I'll be headed to the coupon collecting conventions anytime soon though.  Chris, you'll have to go it alone my friend...

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

traffic jamin'

It’s time to rethink traffic lights.  We’ve been on  the Red, Yellow, Green train for a while now and it’s time to get off the bus…or train.  Who am I kidding?  I’m not riding a bus or a train, and what would that have to do with traffic lights anyhow?
I like the color thing, I just think it might be limiting.  Three colors?  We can do better than that.
We don’t even have to think any more – we’re on autopilot.  Let’s put down our ipods and start focusing on signals once again! (too much?)
I say we go with Red, Blue, Yellow, Green and a question mark.
Red means stop – no change there.  

Blue means that you should probably stop but we’re not going to get legalistic about it or anything.  Who are we to judge?

Yellow means speed up – no change there.

Green means go celebrate the Irish and all that they’ve contributed to our society – again with the no change there.

The Question mark is sort of like a wild card.  You should probably slow down because there might be another car coming, or a train…or a bear…you just have to play it out and see what happens.

I’d also like the traffic cops to wear giant foam fingers announcing their sports allegiance when directing traffic.  Seems like it would make the whole traffic jam a little sportier – and who doesn’t like ending with a pun?

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Twofor

I've decided to make Tuesdays -Two for Tuesdays in November.  I've felt guilty about not givng October a clever theme (Rocktober, Proctober, Captain Spoktober, Remember to change your clocktober) and feel like making Tuesdays "Twosdays" might make up for it.

So here's the deal - you get two gems for the same price as one gem on Monday or Wednesday.

That's almost double.

Yesterday you got a history lesson - today you'd get double that.  I'm not saying that it'll be two history lessons, but it could be.  I'm just saying that you're getting twice the value on Tuesdays in November. (I'm also thinking through a "Snovember" theme - but that's up to the globe whether or not it's going to continue the trend of not getting any warmer this decade)

This feels a little like the episode where the Fonz was mid-air over the trash cans on his motorcycle and we had to wait a week to find out if he plunged to his death...but you're just going to have to tune in next week to see Twosdays in action....it'll be my Fonzie jumping the trashcan moment...

Monday, October 27, 2008

thinking through my week...

If I knew how to find it, I'd post a link to the SNL skit with the 43 year old guy going trick or treating while he's getting his predator signatures.  Sadly I do not have that technology, or more accurately, just can't find it online...but what's not funny about that?

Having said that, let's talk about Halloween.  In much the same way that we celebrate the true meaning of Christmas most of us celebrate the true meaning of Halloween.  Halloween was originally an irish tradition (you're welcome) and was a night when the dead would visit.  It was sort of like their one night to party with the alive folks where everyone brought chips, salsa and sold pampered chef products.  They'd take turnips and rutabagas and hollow them out and stick a candle in there to light their way.  Often the dead would show up late and drunk and offend the host(s) by bringing friends that weren't really on the list.  Eventually they started dressing up their friends in costumes to get around any uptight hosts and it became a hilarious tradition once the dead figured out you could team up with your date for the night and have theme costumes (he's bacon and I'm an egg! - she's an electric outlet and I'm a plug...get it?!)

Eventually the candy companies took over and in their attempt to make this holliday evil created "fun sized" candy which is anything but fun...

Don't let them bring you down America.  Take back this precious holiday and get back to your roots.  Eat some soul cakes and talk about those evil English and their silly hats.  Carve up some rutabas because what's more fun than saying rutabaga?  I dare say nothing...

Friday, October 24, 2008

Scout's Honor

Periodically I'll get a call to come and do a skit, talk or tap dance at a local function.  Last week when I got a call from the Boy Scouts of America to come and tell ghost stories around a camp fire, I suggested that this particular troop call Joe the Pastor.  Turns out they had...and he said the same thing, only in my direction.

He won.

I said the thing you should never say, "This isn't really my thing, but if you get in a bind...call me if you're desperate".

They were.  Apparently that's why they were calling me.

So I had the story about the guy with the dog getting carved up and finding a note written in blood on the wall - one about the ax murderer in the backseat of the car - the bloody hook on the car door handle...
and then I got to thinking...

These kids are about Griffin's age.  I'm not sure I'd tell these scary campfire tales to Griff.  So I called the lady at scout headquarters (her living room) and ran one by her.  If she could have punched me in the trachea through the phone, she would have.

"you can't tell those stories!  They'll have nightmares for weeks!  Why don't you tell some stories that sound scary, but have a funny ending?"

So I went to my "stories that sound scary but have a funny ending" file and pulled some out...

Turns out it was kind of fun.  I like spinning the occasional yarn and doing it in front of a bonfire with a bunch of young 'ens is a decent night out. 

On an unrelated note, Steve J. Fuller passed me a copy of chapter one of his book.  You can read it here.
It's actually really good.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

The Nuremburg Soup Trial

I just received possibly the greatest e-mail since the one where I found out that I was picked by a prince to be the sole inheriter of a lot of money.

Not only am I soon to be rich (all I had to do was send them some of my info - how great is my life?) but tonight I will be dining on possibly the greatest soup of this generation.  The soup nazi ate some of this and immediately apologized for his goose-stepping, prison camp soup.  Martha Stewart had a bowl and immediately went back to jail and shanked her old roomie.  Rachel Ray gives it two "yummos" and Bobby Flay threw himself down on a broken bottle of hot sauce during a throwdown with this soup.

Not long ago one of my favorite authors penned this insightful article about this very soup.

Tonight I dine with the greatest of joy.  This stuff is so good it makes me want to smack Emeril 17 times while shouting Bam!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

and this is why my wife is awesome...

problem solved...
 
now I can just start up the 'ol car in the comfort of my own garage...
wait, that's bad too
Either way, I'm looking at a car that will be snug as a bug in a rug.  Do you really want bugs in your rugs though?

Dancing with my car

I'm a few minutes away from engaging in something I detest.  There aren't many things I like less than running out to my car, unlocking it and then starting it....only to run back into the house.  Seems like I'm wasting some momentum in that whole interaction.

Warming up my car on a cold morning is one of my top four least favorite activities.
1.  vomiting nothing (also known east of the Mississippi as dry heaving)
2.  vacuuming and/or ironing
3.  going over to Brad's to hang out only to have him show you his latest line dancing moves
4.  Warming up the car
5.  watching any show with the word "dancing" in the title
6.  why am I still making this list?  I was really just talking about the top four?  I hate it when I do this...

So today wouldn't normally be that bad.  Someone in Michigan right now is saying, "that's not cold, cold is when you lose an appendage and don't feel it because you're out tanning" and that's when I answer, "yeah, but your football team is a bunch of stupid heads" and walk away triumphant in our superior football and weather....who's the big winner now Michigan?

I won't have to de-ice the locks or scrape the windows - it's just that today is the beginning of future such outings...at least I won't be dry-heaving while running out to the car...

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Praying to Oprah

I've heard it said that you can discover who your "god" is by looking at your palm pilot.  I think what they're saying is that if you use a daytimer or no calendar at all you're an atheist...or an agnostic at best.

Hold on -I'm not sure that's right -  Maybe the point is that the thing(s) that you spend most of your time pursuing are typically the things that you worship/and or live for.  They are your god.

I'm not sure that adds up - unless a lot of us are worshipping St. Mattress by spending roughly 56 of our hours in a typical week sleeping.  I don't know if I know anyone who prays, studies the Bible or reflects on God for that many hours...except for you.

So even if it doesn't add up - you've got to throw in the tiniest possibility that we do tend to focus on the things that are, in fact, the most important to us.  We might make our list of priorities with God first, family second, The Office third and friends fourth...maybe even throw work in there somewhere???  I think we'd make that list in more of a wishful way.  It's what we want our priorities to be, but not necessarily where they are.

If you spend more time listening to Oprah than to God - well that's gotta say something about Steve...right?

I recently had a friend tell me that "we get as much of God as we want"

"Huh?"

"Yup"

"oh....huh....maybe that's about right"

There's often a difference between belief and action and I'm not sure it's much more than verbal.  I say one thing and it really has absolutely nothing to do with what I truly believe.  I do another and it has everything to do with what I believe.

faith without action is like the funniest videos in America without Saget - it just doesn't work...

Monday, October 20, 2008

C.P.P.

If you feel like today would be a good day to pal around, but you've got no pal...I happen to know one.

I'm not just talking about any ol' pal.  This isn't like one of those pay pals either - because if you're paying, he's not really your pal...he's a pro.

I live with a certified peer pal.  Griffin was selected to go through Peer Pal Training and is now the proud holder of a Peer Pal Certificate.  If a new student moves into Freedom Elementary School and is in need of a pal...who you gonna call?  That's right, you want somebody that's been trained.  You want someone qualified.  You need someone who has taken the necessary course work and has the credentials that you want in a pal.

You'd call Griff.

What has two thumbs and is a pal's pal?
This guy












(the one in the middle - the other two aren't to be trusted....until they get picked and trained as pals)

Friday, October 17, 2008

I let the dogs out - me, me, me (they really had to go)

I've been doing the math and it turns out that a dog year = 365 days.  I've spoken to a few and apparently they go by the same Gregorian Calendar that you and I work with.  They're not wrapped up in printing calendars like we are, but the facts remain...same basic deal.

Sure they're still pissed about leap year, but thats one that they gave us.  They originally wanted a day that lasted a day + six hours once a year...but that's just stupid.  No offence, but dogs sometimes make really silly suggestions.  This is largely why they've decided to just go with our definition of a year.

This whole one human year equals seven dogs years silliness, well that's for the birds (don't get me started on those coo-coos).

It's insulting - it's condescending - it's irrational - and it's largely a slap in the face to dogs everywhere.

It's time to move on.  It's time for truth.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Wednesday part II

Thursdays are for suckers.  You can let The Man try to pull one over on you if you like.  Sure, everybody celebrates Thursdays...just try it...try it...try it...

Oh no, it's not a fake holiday trumped up by Hallmark and all of those fancy e-card sites with their adorable talking kittens and dancing hippos...no, they'd never try to get you to buy into their day just to make a buck...no way.

Thursday?  Really?  Are you really going to try this?

Wednesday is hump day. Friday is a celebration of all things complete.  Thursday?  It's the week telling you, "Hey, it's not the beginning of the week...and not really the end either...so suck on that lemmings"

Are you going to take that?

Not me mister.  I'm moving on.  Today is Wednesday's not quite as good sequel.  It's Fridays prequel and it's dead to me.

Not today Thursday, not today...

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

You don't have to give him an H middle name

We named our oldest son Griffin.  We have a friend named Evan Griffin and we liked the idea of having our kid having the same name.  Having said that, we probably wouldn't have named Griff after Evan if his name was Gern Blanston.  Cooper wasn't really named after anyone, we just wanted to yell, "Coop" and have one of our kids appear. 

At some point we were watching Waiting For Guffman and liked the name Parker...and now we have one.

We have some friends that went with all Biblical names for our kids.  I say that if you're going Biblical (Griffin's  middle name is David...so there's that) you should go big.  I'm not saying that you should name your kid God, but what's wrong with Jesus?

I know a bunch of Peters, Pauls, Davids, Johns and have even met a few guys named Moses...but no Jesus.  O.K., I know one Jesus but I don't have a "Jesus" on my phone speed dial list.  I'm just saying that I don't know anybody that named their kid Jesus.

It's too late for us (maybe?) but if you're thinking of baby names - let me save you $17 on a baby book - Jesus is a very respectable name.  People tend to like him and while it's a very well known name, it's also a very uncommon name.

Who is going to beat up Jesus?  If you're playing dodgeball against Jesus, are you really going to throw a ball at him?

Who gets invited to every birthday party and is the class president every year?

Your kid - that's who...

you're welcome

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

New Days Resolutions

New Year's Resolutions are so 1996.  Everyone has said, "I'll start _______ on Monday" - how lame is that?  Sure, you could start a new plan in November...but really?

I'm making new day's resolutions today.

On Tuesday, October the 14th 2008 I resolve to make some resolutions.

I plan on using the word pandemic.

I'd like to have thai food.

I think today I'll have a couple of sticks of chewing gum and blow a bubble at an inappropriate time.

I'll crank up the air conditioning while driving with my windows down and scream, "I've always hated polar bears anyways!"

I'll fight apartheid and wrestle with voter fraud.

I'll call today, "Super Tuesday" and throw confetti on people taking coffee breaks.

I might just do a jig and tell people I'm embraccing my inner Mickey Rooney.

I'll tell a fake story about stick fighting Steve in Thailand and end it with, "I guess you had to be there"

I'm going to mime, mime, mime!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Books I'm not reading right now

__________(fill in the blank) for Dummies - my always-using-his-intro-to-Psychology-class friend tells me that labeling oneself as a dummy will eventually lead to hepatitis C or watching Mtv reality shows.

Mein Kampf - that guy is a really bad dude. I'm just not sure we should buy his book.  I don't care what Brad says...

Any comic book or graphic novel. If a picture equals 1,000 words - well who has the time to read a book with 250,000,000 words?

Fuller's book - it's not out yet, but I'm waiting.

Anything on Oprah's list. She doesn't control me...does she?

Any e-book.  I hate squinting at the screen and it actually costs more to print all those pages.

The book of love.  If I don't know who wrote it, I'm not reading it.

I'm not reading a lot of books.  I just had recently heard that we're supposed to have these book lists on our blogs.  Blogger hasn't been sending me the notes on what to have and not have on my blog, so I'm out here on an island just trying to figure it out.  They won't return my calls either.
Prima Donnas.

Friday, October 10, 2008

I feel like dancing...I think I'll go to the prom

hatin' armadillos

As far as the East is from the West - that's how much better the second episode of The Office was than the first.

and if the Christian Slater vehicle, "My own worst enemy" is half as good as Kuffs - well sign me up Mister...and make room for a fella named Emmy to stop by Slates...

Thursday, October 09, 2008

the trivialist of pursuits

What was John Wayne's real first name?

What's the point difference need to be if you were to tech fall a wrestler?

What's the deal with the first episode of The Office this season?

Spell C A N T E L O U P E

Stacy - a boy's name or girl's?

Name two things that don't taste better with bacon.

What two members of The Monkeys auditioned for the role of The Fonz on Happy Days?

Why are the New Kids on the Block back?

Who let the dogs out?  Who? Who?

Robert Zimmerman's stage name?

If a train left Chicago going 75 miles an hours towards New York - and at the same time a train left New York going 65 miles per hour headed to Chicago - wouldn't it make more sense to just fly?

What movie is this from?
'Visions are worth fighting for. Why spend your life making someone else's dreams?'

What number am I thinking of?


Why did the caged bird sing?


Who was the winning quarterback of the first two Super Bowls?


Why haven't they made The Godfather on ice?

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

keep on truckin'

I think I'll join young Steven and move on for awhile from talking about the election.  It's beyond getting old. I've honestly not met one person open minded enough to walk out of a conversation and say, "you know what, I've changed my mind now that this has been openly talked about"...on either side....so what are we doing?

I've heard for weeks  folks telling me that "you hate liberals" even though I've never said anything about either them being a liberal or hating liberals.  Living in a stereotype box gets tiring.  Beyond that - it's a step higher to actually discuss issues than to watch hilarious videos about non-issues...(that sadly will sway the kids)...it's still frustrating and old.

If we're just trying to win our side of the argument - I'm not sure that's a win at all. 

So I'd rather start talking about Griff's baseball team and my new leg waxer.  It's time to start talking about Ron Pallilo and how sound energy will save a planet...but not ours sadly.

I'd like to wax poetic about what the expression "to wax poetic" actually means.

I'd like to buy the world a diet coke and then lecture them on the dangers of aspartame.

But most of all, this political talk has me thinking that I've ignored one of the all time greats for far too long...

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

all you need is love?

love is all you need if it is patient, kind and not self seeking...

love means discipline & love means forgiveness...

love leapfrogs mercy and goes straight to grace...

if by love you mean putting off your needs and focusing on the needs of others...well I agree...

love get messy...

love is sometimes words, but most often action...

love is anything but platitudes and promises...

love takes time and can be given at first meeting...

love is not superficial, gimmicy and doesn't always appear on the surface to be nice...

love can mean consequences that you don't necessarily want or feel like you need...

love is a father in a hospital waiting room and a mother waiting by a phone...

love sees beyond partisan squabbles...

love doesn't always seem to win...

love is Courtney's last name...

nice doesn't come close to love...

I agree that love is all you need if you really know Love...

Monday, October 06, 2008

cold at the moment...

I feel like we're jumping around with this temperature thing lately.  I've been looking forward to shorts and a sweatshirt weather for a while now and don't feel like we've actually landed on it yet....at least not for more than 20 minutes at once.

We went from mandatory air conditioning in my car and house to scrounging through my car looking for a coat during Griffin's game.  I learned my lesson and wore jeans to the next game...and was hotter than Brad in his spandex bike shorts.  The next day I was looking for my ear muffs...because that's how comfortable I am wearing protective ear wear.

I wake up cold and go to bed warm.  Years ago I installed a digital thermostat so my house would figure out when to turn on the heat or the air conditioning.  Turns out that I still had to get up and switch it from air to heat.

I'm looking for a nice steady temperature range somewhere between shorts and a sweatshirt and shorts with a long sleeve T.  The bottom line is when you have legs like these you've gotta share them with the world.