“Let’s Go – While We’re Young!”

Somewhere on the Internet I saw I shirt that read: “I speak fluent movie quotes.”

There are a few variations of this shirt that incorporate “song lyrics” and “sarcasm,” but for me – it is movie quotes. I do this all the time! Here is an example that happened to me today.

I left the house for work without my lunch. I packed it and left it on the counter in the kitchen.

I was already running late, and I debated just coming in and ordering a pizza. Knowing that we seem to have had pizza a lot lately, I decided that I would stop at the Subway down the road from work. They are usually very quick, but today was another story.

Not the Subway I stopped at – but it looks similar….

I stop there every once in a while and the guys who usually work behind the counter are friendly and fast. Tonight, there was an older lady who was working. She must have been the only one there. It was not busy, and there was a guy at the counter ordering when I got there. His order was not especially complicated, but it seemed like it took forever for the 6 inch sub to get made. It took even longer as he checked out.

When she came back to get my order, I looked at her and told her the sub I wanted and on what kind of bread. She brought the bread out and cut it, as they do, and began to talk to me about politics. I stood there looking at her as she was talking … all the while, my sub bun is sitting on the counter awaiting preparation.

She finally moves the bun down to where the meat is and asked me to clarify my order again, which I do. She asks if I want it toasted and I told her no. She puts the meat on the sub, clarifies the type of cheese I want (she had the wrong kind) and begins to put it in the toaster. I remind her that I do not want it toasted. She apologizes and sets the sub down by the veggies and again starts to talk about politics. The entire time, I am watching the clock wondering if I will ever get to work on time.

My veggies are simple: Lettuce, tomato, pickle. She puts the lettuce on, looks at me and begins talking about the government. She grabs for onions, I tell her “No onions, please.” She grabs tomato, looks at me and shifts topics. She begins to tell me that her coworkers say she doesn’t get any work done. I literally look at the clock again and start to mumble under my breath, “Come on, Let’s go! While we’re young!”

I think she has no clue that I need to get going! She grabs for onions again, and I remind her “No onions, please. You just need pickles.” She continues to talk while placing these pickles one by one by one – looking up at me and talking between the placement of each one! I am ready to scream! She again reaches for onions when she has finished with the pickles. I want to look at her and go, “Enough with the onions!!” In all honesty, I was waiting for someone to pop out and tell me I was on some reality prank show!

In the time she began making my sub, put everything on it, wrapped it, bagged it, and rang me up, I heard her talk about politics, work, her neighbor, and the state of the economy! I was in this place for 20 minutes! In that 20 minutes, “Come on, Let’s go! While we’re young!!” kept replaying over and over in my head! The line is from Rodney Dangerfield as he waits for Ted Knight to tee off in a scene from Caddyshack. While it is a very funny line from a very funny movie – I failed to find the humor in it tonight!

Rodney Dangerfield as Al Czervik in Caddyshack

How about you? What are some of your favorite movie lines that you have used in real life situations??

A Smile Amid Chaos

All you had to do this week was turn on the news, check your social media page, or surf the internet to see the chaos going on in the world. As an American, it makes me sad to see the state of the country. The division within the country is just sickening. Abraham Lincoln quoted scripture when he said:

Facebook was full of friends who stated that they were leaving Instagram, Facebook, and other social media platforms to go to MeWe and Parler (whatever those are!). I utilize the “snooze/mute” and “unfollow” features so I don’t see a lot of the content that aggravates me. However, even taking advantage of those features, I still end up seeing things I don’t want to.

When I am feeling angry or upset at the world, politics, or whatever, I need only turn to the smile of my little girl…..

Ella is oblivious to all the craziness in the world. She loves playing with mommy and daddy. She watches Elmo and reads books. She chases the cat and gets into things she isn’t supposed to. She finds joy in simple things, like me making a stuffed dog “bark” at her.

She got to go outside and sit in the snow for the first time in her life. Even though she wasn’t quite used to the snowsuit and boots – she smiled at the peacefulness of a winter day!

Having her in my life is better than any medication a doctor can prescribe! I love my daily dose of Ella – her smile is contagious!

Keep Smiling!!

Hindsight Really is 2020 – A Recap

The saying goes, “Hindsight is 2020,” and many of us are rejoicing that 2020 is really truly behind us! I often wonder if you were to make a list of positives and negatives of the past year, would one outweigh the other? What about 10-15 years ago? Was that just as bad, but we only choose to remember the good things from that year? I don’t know the answers to those questions.

In talking with my youngest son this weekend, he was talking about the last year and listing all of the bad things from it. I told him that is really is easy to see the bad things, the negatives, or the sadness we experienced. I challenged him to try to find some positives among the negatives. As we drove back to my house, we were able to do that. I told him it isn’t always easy to find those positives, and sometimes there may not be any, but to always look for them.

December 31, 2019

As the world awaited 2020’s arrival there was great excitement. Many said, “This is going to be MY YEAR!” Others looked at the new year as a clean slate from 2019 (which they wanted to be over). I recalled the quote from country singer Brad Paisley, who said, “Tomorrow is the first blank page of a 365 page book, write a good one.” We looked at 2020 as a year of happiness, recovery, new opportunities, new adventures, and so much more! 2020 had other plans.

2020

Looking back at 2020, the absolute high point was the birth of our daughter, Ella. NOTHING tops this moment! The blog announcing her birth was one of the most read of the year.

My first daughter. Daddy’s little girl. My wife, Sam, was just amazing throughout the delivery. It was the first time I had witnessed natural child birth and I was in awe of everything. My heart was overflowing with happiness. What a day!

This month, Sam and I were talking about what to do for her first birthday. With Covid, there is not a whole lot we can do. We are probably not going to throw the big party we wanted to, but we are working out plans for something special to mark the occasion.

Covid-19

I can’t even imagine if Ella had been born a few weeks later. By the time March arrived, the whole world was talking about Corona virus and Covid-19. Everything started to shut down in an attempt to “flatten the curve.” Our sleep labs closed and we were deployed to the hospital Labor Pool. During my time there, I heard stories and witnessed things I will sadly never forget. With a new baby at home, my constant worry was that I would bring it home to her. I eventually snapped. The doctor called it Acute Stress Disorder and she took me off work. I was out on FMLA for 6 weeks.

Finding the positive in a negative – I got to spend 6 weeks with my daughter. There are countries that allow both parents to stay home with their newborn child for a year when they are born. I wish the United Stated allowed that. There are so many wonderful moments that happen in that first year. It is a shame that we have to go back to work while our babies are still so young.

Another positive: As the curve flattened, I officiated my first wedding for my friend, Theresa from high school. To say I was nervous is an understatement, but all went well and I didn’t mess anything up too bad. It was nice to see other friends from high school at the wedding, too. It was a bit weird, as there were many masks in the crowd, but that had kind of become the “norm.”

Division and hate

2020 brought more division and more hate. There has always been division in politics, but it seems that both parties hatred for each other was over the top. I’ve heard a lot of mudslinging in ads, but the stuff being said was brutal. The politicians seem to have forgotten who they are supposed to be representing and working for – the people of the country!

Everyone was offended by everything in 2020. Social media was full of arguments, name calling, and much more. Really, the media just continued to “feed” the public and make everyone more angry than they were to begin with. Jim Morrison of the Doors once said, “Whoever controls the media, controls the mind.” Noam Chomsky takes it a little further:

I had to finally stop watching the news, and scroll past so many posts from friends. I couldn’t take it. It is totally ok for you to be passionate about your beliefs and your political stance. If it is different than my stance or beliefs, that’s ok, too. You and I can agree to disagree. I was saddened that so many friendships were broken because of the difference of opinion. Friendships that have lasted 30+ years ended because of this, and that breaks my heart. If only more people thought like Thomas Jefferson:

Blog Milestones and Hits and Misses

In 2020, I celebrated two years of blogging. I wrote my 300th blog. I still wrote many movie blogs and music blogs. The music blogs slowed as I started to neglect Tune Tuesday. I tried something new with Friday Movie Quotes, but that didn’t seem to go over too well, so I stopped. Most of my blogs were ramblings about my life and of course, my daughter.

The other blog that got a lot of views was my recent blog about the loss of my friend, and high school band director, Tom Shaner. I posted a link to this on my Facebook, and his daughter also shared it, so many people I didn’t even know read it. I received a private message from his brother who told me that he really appreciated my blog and how it enlightened him on the impact he had on his students. When I finished writing that blog, I didn’t think it did him any justice, but that private message proved otherwise.

Conclusion

As I look back on 2020, I see life’s “circle.” The high point of the year was the birth of my daughter, while the low point of the year was the passing of my friend, Tom. Life and death. A new life enters the world, while an old one leaves the world. Happiness and sadness. As life moves on, the circle continues. We see new births and new deaths.

A pastor once told me that birth is the beginning of death. You begin to die the moment you are born. There is truth to that. So as we look on the new “book” that is 2021, and we begin to write on the blank pages, let’s try to remember the words of actor Michael Landon:

Here’s to a Happy New Year for all of us!

Weekend Wrap Up

Michigan weather has been just beautiful the past week or so. It looks like we’ll have one more nice day and the temps will drop. Saturday, while the baby was napping and my son was doing homework, I went out and cleaned up the leaves from the driveway. Later that afternoon, my kids and I got to get out and take a walk around the neighborhood. He enjoys pushing his sister in the stroller. It is a good time for us to just catch up.

I decided to take advantage of the weather and get the Christmas lights up. The more I thought about what I wrote in a recent blog, the more I was convinced that putting up the lights early would bring about some happiness in a year that has really sucked. My son and I strung all the lights out on the side porch. The nice temps made it easy to do and with him helping, it only took me half the time.

I got some of the decorations up out front, but I have a few bad strands that I need to check fuses on before I string them up. I am thinking of adding the strands of white LED lights that I had strung along the fence for our 4th of July party. I usually only put the lights along the rails on the porch, so it should be pretty easy.

After I dropped my son off and the baby woke up from her nap, we spent most of the day outside. We took our stroll through the neighborhood and walked a bit longer than normal. I had to laugh because when we got back home, she totally kicked her foot up like she was relaxing!

After our walk, we played in the leaves (until she tried to start eating them), played on the slide, sat on the trampoline, and then just sat in the grass. She was standing next to me in on the back lawn and I looked up and saw our shadows. For some reason, looking at them it hit me how fast she is growing up. I can’t believe she will be 9 months old tomorrow! The shadow was a reminder to enjoy every little moment like this…

Heavenly Jeopardy?

I have never read a bad thing about Alex Trebek. Every interview I watched of him, he always seemed like a wonderful man. With his passing, there has been an outpouring of wonderful tributes to him by celebrities all over the country. A friend pointed out that Trebek and the great Sean Connery passed away within a week of each other.

One of my favorite sketches on SNL was Celebrity Jeopardy. Will Ferrell played Alex Trebek and Darrell Hammond played Sean Connery. In the sketch, Connery has this unreal hatred for Trebek and always made countless jabs about Trebek’s mother. It was always a treat to see Norm MacDonald playing Burt Reynolds in these sketches.

I always waited to see how Connery would take a category and make it dirty – for example:

Real Category: Let It Snow. Connery asks for: Le Tits Now

Real Category: The Pen Is Mighter Connery asks about: The Penis Mightier

I truly hope that SNL doesn’t miss the opportunity to do some kind of tribute to Connery and Trebek this week. I can see a Heavenly round of Celebrity Jeopardy with Ferrell, Hammond, and MacDonald being very funny!

Same Old Lions

Sunday, I got to see bits and pieces of the Detroit Lions game. It was awful, as usual. I saw this on Facebook today, and had to share. I know that this is totally supposed to be more of a political jab, and I am not posting it to be political, I just thing it is pretty funny!

The Election

It was certainly great to hear that voter turnout was so good. Whether your candidate won or lost, if you voted, you did your part! Over the past couple decades, we’ve seen a lot of division. We’ve seen a lot of lost trust in the system and the government. With every election, I hope and pray that the elected officials will do something to bring us together. I may have posted this picture before, but I thought it was one of the most powerful that I had seen this year:

In 2016, after the election, I wrote something on Facebook. It came up in my Facebook Memories today. It is worth sharing:

Maybe we are family. Maybe we went to high school together. Maybe I went to college with you. Maybe we worked together. Maybe we bowled together. Maybe you and I like the same movies or music. Maybe we met at a conference.

However we met, however we know each other, you are here because you are my friend. You and I are Americans. We are citizens of the greatest country in the world. One of the great things about being an American is that we have the freedoms to believe what we want and vote for who we want. We don’t always have to agree. I say this because no matter where you stand as a Republican, Democrat, or Independent…..as a Baptist, Catholic, Lutheran nondenominationalist or Dispensationalist….. heterosexual or homosexual …..male or female…..employed or unemployed….union or nonunion…..I don’t care!!! You are my friend and I am glad you are my friend. You have the right and the freedom to believe what you want and voice your opinion. Knowing that we may not agree is ok with me. There are other things we have in common that led us to be friends. I haven’t deleted any friend or family member because of their vote, because of their faith, because of their sexual preference, or because of their job or financial status. Thank you for being my friend.

Life would be pretty boring if we were all the same! A quote from Andy Hargreaves came across my timeline today and I want to share: “If we were all on the same page, no one’s reading the whole book”!

So what if your candidate lost? So what? One of the first thing I learned as a kid was there are winners and losers in games and elections. So what do we do now? You take the words of a pastor friend of mine who reminded me that “The guy you voted for may not have won, but you should still pray for him.”

So that’s what I am going to do. Here are the Bible verses to back that up:

I Timothy 2: 1-3

I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men;

For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.

For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour;

God Bless America!

We Need A Little Happy…

Let’s face it, 2020 has kinda been a crappy year. As it draws to a close, many of us will be glad to see it go! Sure, there have been high points, but the bad has outweighed the good throughout most of the year. Covid-19, quarantine, the election, political ads (on TV, radio, and via text message), politics in general, loss of income, unemployment, businesses closing, to mask or not to mask, hate everywhere, and the list goes on and on.

The things we experienced this year have messed with the mental health of all of us. Depression and anxiety diagnoses have skyrocketed. We are going bananas being cooped up in our homes. We miss the interaction with friends and family. We miss being able to go and fellowship with our church friends. Our children are lacking personal interaction with friends. This year has left so many of us scarred for life!

I don’t know about you, but I am physically exhausted by it. I “snoozed” so many friends who were posting countless political things on Facebook. I had to. Come on, how many times has someone’s post on Facebook about an issue changed your mind or your belief about something? I understand that everyone has a right to their opinion, and I am entitled to mine. The wonderful thing about our country is that you and I can share different opinions and still be friends!

What amazes me is how there are some people who just can’t be happy unless they are voicing their disgust about something. Those things don’t even have to be “hot topic” things, like what I mentioned a few paragraphs ago. Here’s an example:

A friend of mine posted the following on Facebook:

“What the hell is the matter with people? I can’t believe that people are already putting up Christmas decorations! Trees are lit and in front windows, lights are strung along the gutters, and the blow up Santa’s are sitting on lawns! Radio is already playing Christmas music!! Stop the madness, people!!”

My response to this is simply this: why is this such a big deal to you? Is it hurting you? How does a blow up Santa on the lawn of someone who doesn’t even live in your neighborhood affect your life? It seems like you were just looking for the next thing to complain about, and this was it.

2020 has so many things to look back on in disgust, so I welcome anything that would bring happiness! We could use a little happiness. We could use something to brighten our world. We need happy songs. There’s a song that says “give the world a smile each day.” Maybe if we spent a little more time smiling at one another, there wouldn’t be so much hatred in the world.

You know what? I’m not going to live my life like Debbie Downer (or whatever that SNL character was called). It’s pretty easy to find things to bitch and complain about (pardon my French), but it’s just as easy to find things to rejoice in. If you can’t find happiness – find a way to spread it! Be nice. Be kind. Smile.

To those who are already spreading joy with holiday lights – bravo! Thank you for making me smile!

To those who are walking around grumpy, angry, and looking for something to complain about…. take some advice from Bobby McFerrin:

As Political As I Will Get

Angry!

I try to stay away from politics. It is one of those things I don’t like to talk about – even more so today with the atmosphere in the world. So, here is just a few quick things that fall into the “political” realm I wanted to write about.

Text Messages

It’s bad enough that I get spam text messages about renewing my car insurance, claiming the big prize I supposedly won, and other obvious phishing scams. Most of these texts are addressed to “Edna” or “Sarah!” In the last 4 months, I have been getting 3-4 text messages a day asking me if I have registered to vote, who I am voting for, and various political stuff. As fast as I can mark them “spam” there are more that come in! I have blocked at least 200 numbers!

Shaq Votes

48 year old Shaquille O’Neal revealed that he just voted for the first time. Does anybody else find this sad? I couldn’t wait to turn 18 and vote. It’s a privilege and I am glad to do it. I just found it strange that he’s never voted before. To each his own, I guess.

Debate

Here’s a thought to all present and future candidates for whichever office you happen to be running for: Tell me what you are going to do for ME!

I didn’t see much of the debates. But what I did see was each candidate bashing or name calling the other. It was literally like watching two 4 years old children argue over a toy. It is disgusting! It’s embarrassing!

There is so much mud slinging in the political world. We get it – Republicans hate Democrats and vice versa. Do me a favor – tell me why I should vote for you and not why “the other guy” is an asshole! Give me a plan for what you are going to do to help make the world better for me and my family! It’s not rocket science.

The Fly

If you want further proof that the debates are a joke, take the recent Vice Presidential debate. No one is talking about any of the issues that were discussed. The ONLY thing I have heard people talk about (in and out of the media) is the stupid fly that landed on the Vice President’s head! Really?! THAT is what you took out of the debate??!!

Craziness in Michigan

This week here in Michigan 13 people were charged for plotting to kidnap our Governor! This is the stuff you see in movies! The FBI stopped the plot and these guys were arrested. I was floored when I saw this! Michigan Governor Whitmer said, “I knew this job would be hard,” in reaction to news of the arrests. “But I’ll be honest, I never could have imagined anything like this.”

These guys were serious, too. They planned on storming the state capitol and starting a civil war according to news reports. They even staked out her vacation home! If that doesn’t tell you the state of political affairs in the country, I don’t know what will.

November

I can’t wait for the election to be over. But let’s be honest, no matter what the outcome is – someone is going to have a problem with it. There will be a whole lot of backlash from whatever happens. More disagreements, more hatred, and more division. Sigh.

And that, my friend, is as political as this blog will get.