Wednesday, December 22, 2010
I'm at home sick today and am watching the Presidential News Conference.
To be honest, I think it's kind of boring and I'm only watching it by default. I clicked on the The Ellen Show and I guess NBC deems Obama's importance slightly higher than a talk show. Is it bad that I care more about the Real Housewives of Atlanta and Kim's wig collection over how we are going to become a fiscally responsible nation or the removal of "Don't ask, don't tell"?
Sunday night we took the kids to Holiday in the Park at Six Flags. We got in a fight in line with a woman in a Looney Tunes sweatshirt and a missing tooth. This woman went all crazy on us and called Buckethead a "white trash hick that needed to get back to the trailer park" (BH did kinda dress the part: jeans, boots, Harley Davidson ball-cap, and a Carhartt jacket). I responded, "Well then, I guess we're neighbors. Need a ride home?".
She got her acid-washed pleated jeans in a bunch because BH wouldn't let her reorganize the entire line of 2,568 people to accommodate her desire that all 74 members of her family ride together. BH mumbled something to her under his breath that sounded a lot like the web address for weightwatchers.com. BH was a little excited afterwards, however, at the notion that he looked like a country hick -- "do I really look like a hill-billy?" he asked me all wide-eyed and hopeful. "Not really" -- your jacket costs over $100, so do your jeans, and I smell better than cupcakes" I responded. But then again, considering we were at Six Flags....when you lay with the dogs, you DO get fleas...
Two weeks ago, I never thought I would say this but, my Christmas shopping is done AND wrapped--with designer bows and personalized gift tags in the shapes of Poinsettias. Wow, I am SO domestic. At the rate I'm going, I might even make Santa cookies that aren't break and bake.
Since so many of you are special to me but I don't have your address because, after all, we DID meet on the internet. For all you know I'm a fat, hairy guy behind a computer who wants to make a lamp shade out of your skin and a necklace out of your teeth. But since, I didn't want you to miss out, I've attached our 2010 Christmas Card to share with you.
Sunday, December 12, 2010
In contemplating what you will be placing under my Christmas Tree this year, please remember that I am by far the most well-behaved housewife in suburbia. Although you and I both know that isn't saying much, it should count for something, right? Don't think I didn't notice Mrs. Hoochie Britches in her new Mercedes Benz driving past me while I was shoving my dog's warm feces into a plastic bag. If she deserves that, I must be getting a space ship. I mean, I scoop my dog's poop from the neighbor's yard and she hits on everyones husband--I'm clearly the better candidate. Clearly.
Santa Baby listen, I know you're busy. I mean flying across the world in one night. You're not even on first class with the warmed nuts and fuzzy socks--your job ain't easy. At the point, I'm sure Mrs. Clause is fed up with your cranky attitude and is suggesting counseling and a group reading of the "5 Love Languages". Too often, ladies of leisure don't appreciate the hard work of their husbands. I understand Santa, I truly do.
That being said, I want to make your trip to my house as easy as possible. I mean, as you can tell I put the need of others before my own. Not trying to be presumptuous, but I'm going to go ahead and attach my list below.
1.) A secret room like David Letterman's. But Santa remember, I'm an angel. I would use it for good, not for porking over-weight interns. I was thinking of possibly using it for a scrap-booking room or maybe a sauna. The possibilities are endless.
3.) Adoration from all of my Blog followers. I'm kind of like Tinkerbell; I have to have applause to live.
4.)The original Nintendo. We all know that Mario Brothers changes World's civilization for the better.
5.) A sonicare toothbrush. Not much explanation for that one. I just want to be cavity free.... see how responsible I am Santa?
6.) Please make all girls who post a solo picture of themselves in a bikini for their Facebook profile pictures disappear forever....or at least from my news feed.
7.) Edward Cullen--the vampire. Not to be mistaken by Robert Pattinson--the actor.
8.) A chain email that really will make my wildest dreams come true if I forward it to 10 other people.
Any additional items can come from Neimans or infomericals. Oh and Santa, don't forget my spaceship.
All my love,
Thursday, December 9, 2010
Having children takes Christmas and puts it on steroids for me. Not since I was a little guy in “Sigmund the Sea-monster” footie pajamas have I been so excited about Christmas. Although I am mature enough in my faith to know the real meaning of Christmas, seeing Christmas through the eyes of my kids adds so much joy to the season. I’m sure it’s the same for parents, grand-parents, and grown-ups everywhere.
When my kids were pre-K, we bought them a wooden play-fort/swing-set combo. The store told us the time for an individual to put it together was about 15 hours. I quickly pulled out the checkbook and did what any manly man would do – I wrote a check to have someone else put it together. Only problem? They were filling up the slots of the ‘construction crew’ and the only one we could get was December 19th – almost a week before Santa’s arrival. So, we booked the crew and, on the morning of the 19th, a small contingency of capable and friendly Hispanic men spent a couple of hours building the play-fort. Problem was – the kids saw it all. “What is going on Daddy?” “Why, those men are putting together one ofyour gifts from Santa – a PLAYFORT and SWINGSET!!” I said. “ YEA!!” they both exclaimed, jumping up and down and running around in glee. “But, how did Santa get it to us early? Doesn’t he deliver his toys and gifts on Christmas Eve? Who are those men?” I could tell their little minds were processing, looking for inconsistencies in my carefully laid out explanation. “Well, you see children, those are some of Santa’s elves – here to do some big manual labor and build the swingset for us.” “Oh, cool!” they shouted – “yea for Santa’s elves!” Whew – problem averted – yea for Santa’s elves at $25/hour.
Fast forward to the following week. Driving by a home construction site in our neighborhood, my daughter yells, “Daddy, Daddy!! Look at all those elves – somebody’s getting a whole house for Christmas.” Didn’t quite know how to recover from that one (how do I redirect that not all Hispanic construction guys are elves?!?!). And man, don’t even get me started on how hard I had to work a year later to try to convince my son that we were not, in fact, at the North Pole – we were in Cancun and no, Santa’s elves do not love tacos and the Macarena.
I hope you all have a Merry Christmas, and when you sing Feliz Navidad, raise a Corona to Santa’s elves everywhere.
Tuesday, December 7, 2010
This weekend we carried out a "Gardner Family Tradition"-- The Green Jello Mold with Pineapple bits.
No, not really. But we did go a pick out an ornament for the Christmas tree. Buckethead and the kids have gone and picked out an ornament every year for the tree. Since this was my first year, I knew I had to be very particular on what ornament I picked for mine.
It HAD to be the best. It HAD to be "special".
After perusing the aisles of Hallmark for "the one" I finally set my eyes on the ornament that had JPO written all over it. It was beautiful. Amazing. A reflection of Me. A memoral ornament that could truly show case the memories of the year, 2010. It was like finding a needle in a hay stack.
But, guess what? I found the Needle! Drum roll, please. Cue the fog!
I found a Bella and Edward ornament from the "Twilight" series. It made me happy. Buckethead took an antacid and then proceeded to shake his head at me. He told me I was such a kid. I disagreed and then he took me to dinner where I made one big straw out of three.
Sunday, December 5, 2010
Sunday, November 28, 2010
Monday, November 22, 2010
As I watched him walk towards the line of men, I was reminded of how blessed we are and how we are to use that to be a blessing to others. Soon a crowd surrounded this little boy who said yes to the calling of Jesus. He didn't let his fears deter him from what he needed to do.Instead, he just went to those precious people who had absolutely nothing to give in return and he showed them that they were "inscribed in the palm of God's hand". He gave to them and wanted nothing in return. The gift was the giving.
And as he walked back to the car, I wept. I wept for the lowly and the weak; I wept for those people who did not have a home, a bed or a family; I wept because life sometimes isn't fair. But those tears were also filled with such pride and such love that filled my heart for Mitch. For the heart of a child who loves Jesus and loves the people that Jesus' loves. At 9 years old, his heart was breaking for what breaks our God's heart. It was one of my most cherished moments.
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
Sunday, November 14, 2010
Happy Birthday love of my life! I'm so proud of the man that you are and I think you're really hot, too!
Sunday, November 7, 2010
Friday, November 5, 2010
Buckethead here – JPo’s loving husband and occasional guest blogger. JPo has been extremely busy lately – job, life, and our TiVO is filling up with shows that have to be watched before they get deleted – PRIORITIES PEOPLE! But she misses each and every one of you and wishes she could spend more time with you here in bloggerville.
Today, I’m going to channel my inner Barry Manilow and talk about L-O-V-E. No John Wayne Marlboro Man stuff here – ooeey gooey, Lucy & Ricky, Mickey & Minnie kind of love. Get your Ben & Jerry’s, put on your PJ’s, jump up in the bed, light a candle, and read on!
Do you understand love? In my life, I have known 5 types of love (wait, all you perverts --- don’t jump ahead!!). They are:
(1.) The love of family,
(2.) “puppy love”,
(3.) brotherly love,
(4.) the love of JPo (my wife), and
(5.) the love of God.
They are different, and yet they are the same.
My best friend in the world is G-man. We’ve been best buds since 6th grade. Together, G-man and I have climbed mountains all over the world including Kilimanjaro in Africa. We’ve got each other’s back. I would take a bullet for G-man, and he for me. We share tents together. We pull each other’s finger. We do life together. I love G-man.
My wife is JPo. She excites me like no other person on the face of this earth. You should live in my shoes for a day. Catch her smiling -- it’s intoxicating. Watch her doing a little happy dance at the thought of a fun evening. See her sing in front of the mirror as she get’s ready. Notice her tender heart for others, animals, me – all of life. Listen to her tell a funny story. Let her compliment you. Check out her quirks and funny personality traits. See her in her night gown…okay, that one is only for me! I trust her heart. I crave her. I want to be around her more than anyone. I want to be a great man for her. I want to pursue her. I love JPo.
I don’t think I can interexchange the G-man and JPo descriptions above, although you should see G-man in a night gown! Different.
I choose both of them. I choose them. I choose to love them. Not just because of who they are (which alone would be worthy), not just because they love me (which is the greatest compliment and puts wind in my sails) – but because, I see them both as a gift. A gift from God.
Sorry, but I’ve got to put this in guy terms. I love cars. If I could, I’d own 100 or more. Fast ones, classic ones, off-road ones, luxury ones. I’ve owned some amazing cars: Convertible Porsches, BMW’s, Range Rover, Harley Davidson motorcycle – but my all-time favorite was a candy-apple red 1967 Mustang that I drove in high school. I owned a silver 1967 Mustang GT convertible as an adult, but the candy-apple red one was my favorite.
“Why?” you ask. “Because is was your first?” No – because it was a gift. My first car was purchased, lovingly restored, and given to me by my grandfather, Pop-Pat. Pop-Pat is huge in my life. I miss him daily. He was larger than life in my eyes – capable of doing anything. He was, perhaps, the coolest man I have ever known. And this man, my grand-dad, made me a car. ME! I loved it.
I loved the smell of the car. I loved the sound. I loved the freedom it gave me. It didn’t go fast at first, until I found out my loving grandfather put a governor on the carburetor to limit the speed. Then, upon removal, it went REALLY fast! I made lots of memories in that car – like the time I revved the engine up to peel out in front of my friends – only to blow gasoline all over the engine and catch the car on fire. Don’t worry, after running around and screaming like a 10-year old girl, I put the fire out.
But mostly, I loved the fact I could see the “hands” of my grandfather all over the car. He crafted part of the heater with a Folger’s coffee can. My interior could reach a balmy 206 degrees Fahrenheit in 21 minutes! I loved the car because it was a loving gift from a loving man. I was, in summary, grateful. It was a gift I couldn’t fathom – and the hours spent pain-stakingly crafted – every little detail in love and care for a grandson. I miss my Pop-Pat so much just typing these words.
And this brings me back to love – whether from JPo or G-man: what a gift. And the giver? None other than the Creator of the Universe. To think that God loves me so much to bless me with G-man, or JPo, or others in life – ME! I can’t fathom it – I can only be grateful and return that love, and cherish the gift. Like the Mustang, I see the “hands” of God all over the loved ones in my life. And to think God loves me this much – ME!
These people aren’t perfect – they blow gasoline all over things and catch on fire on occasion – but to me, considering the gift – I love them, and I wouldn’t want anyone else.
Choose to love people – see your loved ones as a gift. You have been blessed with real love – not fake, fading, emotional, fickle worldly love (aka “as seen on TV”), but REAL love. REAL love isn’t perfect, but something wonderful. REAL love can hurt, but it’s oh so worth it. Put yourself out there – love, and be grateful for the “gift” of others in your life. Be thankful you are so loved by the Father.
I close with an excerpt from a great children’s book my Mom read me, and I in turn have read to my kids. The story illustrates that love isn’t a feeling, an emotion, or fading. It’s a process, a choice and a gift.
THE VELVETEEN RABBIT
The Skin Horse had lived longer in the nursery than any of the others. He was so old that his brown coat was bald in patches and showed the seams underneath, and most of the hairs in his tail had been pulled out to string bead necklaces. He was wise, for he had seen a long succession of mechanical toys arrive to boast and swagger, and by-and-by break their mainsprings and pass away, and he knew that they were only toys, and would never turn into anything else. For nursery magic is very strange and wonderful, and only those playthings that are old and wise and experienced like the Skin Horse understand all about it.
"What is REAL?" asked the Rabbit one day, when they were lying side by side near the nursery fender, before Nana came to tidy the room. "Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and a stick-out handle?"
"Real isn't how you are made," said the Skin Horse. "It's a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real."
"Does it hurt?" asked the Rabbit.
"Sometimes," said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. "When you are Real you don't mind being hurt."
"Does it happen all at once, like being wound up," he asked, "or bit by bit?"
"It doesn't happen all at once," said the Skin Horse. "You become. It takes a long time. That's why it doesn't happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand."
"I suppose you are real?" said the Rabbit. And then he wished he had not said it, for he thought the Skin Horse might be sensitive.
But the Skin Horse only smiled.
Tuesday, November 2, 2010
Have you voted, yet? If not, what are you waiting for?
I did! I called 5 times and voted for Bristol Palin and Jennifer Grey....oh, wait, wrong election. Oops! It's easy to confuse a general election and Dancing With the Stars, right?? RIGHT??!
Anways, go out and vote. Vote Republician; vote Democrat or vote for Pedro! But if you don't vote, you can't complain. And life's not fun if you can't bitch about something.
My motto for the day: "If you can't say something nice about a democrat, come sit next to me!"
Happy Election Day friends!