Thought of the Day, Sep. 22

With today being my 5 year wedding anniversary, I wanted to do something with a little more sensitivity than just saying Happy Anniversary, so to sweetie-baby-cutie-pie-wifey-pooh let me just say: It was only half a decade ago today that my life was forever altered like a magnificent unicorn with a pair of lavender colored crystal wings body surfing on a was rainbow wave of flowers and heart shaped boxes of Godiva chocolates. As we shared our vows with one another, the sky was filled with the joyful tears of 1000 cupids happily weeping, as they contemplated retiring since they would never ever again be part of a match so perfect. Every time I think of that day it is as if the Goddess Gaia herself etched our love into the fabric of time to resonate to future generations on Earth and throughout the cosmos so it could be a beacon of truth that love exists and is attainable.

So today, as I look back at the past 5 years, if I could I would create a chariot or love, made out of agarwood with silver inlays, and emerald trim, drawn by a million giant butterflies all attached by a harness made from the hair of every My Little Pony ever created. Then I would don a golden spray tan and cover myself in a toga made from Michael the Archangel’s own silk robe and then circle the globe professing to every living thing on this planet that this day forever be remembered and cherished until the end of time itself. So, umm, yeah. Happy Anniversary and stuff, honey.

Sometimes the Crap has to Stop

Sometimes the Crap has to Stop

When you find yourself entering into a long term relationship, you discover that there are certain jobs associated to ones role as male or female. My Smirk on throw pillows is a prime example of this. As the male in the relationship I am in charge of things like taking out the trashcans on garbage day, and bringing them in when I get home that evening.

I’ve also learned that I am the token electronic guru in the relationship. If a new DVD player or sound system needs to be hooked up to the television, it is up to me to do so. I am also the tech support guy. I am in charge of making sure my sweetie-baby-cutie-pie-wifey-pooh’s antivirus software is up to date on her computer and that all her updates are installed. If the internet goes down, I am guaranteed to hear my name echoing throughout the house followed by, “The internet’s not working!”

Then again, she is the laundry leader and is always so good about making sure I have a laundry basket full of my clothes for the upcoming week. The basket usually gets slowly emptied throughout the week, although every once in a great while I do get around to putting my clothes away in my closet. I’ve noticed it’s much harder to find things when I do that though.

She is also the website guru, and it is thanks to her that I have my own website to share with the world. She knows all about the hosting, and name purchasing, and widget and themes installing. She can even help do some HTML coding if needed, which I’ll admit is something I really don’t care to know. She is also the life giver, as in she waters our . . . her plants to ensure their life continues. After her last trip (a three week stay in North Carolina) I picked her up at the airport and first thing she said when she walked through the door was, “It’s so good to be home.” The second thing she said was, “Did you even water these (plants) while I was gone?”

To which I honestly replied, “Oh yeah, we have plants.”

So after 10 years of being together there’s a certain understanding of who does what when it comes to household chores. And yes occasionally there are some things you are in charge of for a week because you lost a bet, but for the most part we know and adhere to our roles, until last week when a new one trickled into our lives by way of a leaky toilet. Apparently it was my job to fix it, which was a bit of a surprise to me.

My logic was that Angela’s dad is a builder; he has built homes for most of his life so it seemed to me that having her ask him what might be wrong would make the most sense. From her perspective, I needed to call my brother, who has been a home owner much longer than we have and has probably dealt with this type of situation before. You can see how we found ourselves at an impasse as to who was in charge of fixing this problem.

The deciding factor happened as a result of Angela pointing out that she had a conference coming up, which she was getting ready for and that if I had enough free time at night to play games on my PC then I had enough free time to fix the toilet, which she was working in her office. Emotionally, this did not feel right in any way and I strongly disagreed, however, logically she did have a pretty sound point to which I conceded. Damn you, logic!

After studying the inner workings of the toilet’s tank for three whole flushes, I shut off the water and emptied the tank. Then I removed a few screws and with the top piece of the part of the tank that seemed to not be working I set off to Lowes to see if I could find a replacement piece, or at the very least get some info on the matter.

Once inside I made my way to the plumbing section and found a guy in a red vest and a name tag, two encouraging signs that he worked there. I told him I was having some trouble with my toilet and he asked me to explain the problem. Here’s what I said:

“The long white piece on the left that has the long stick and the floaty ball on the end doesn’t stop. When I flush the water starts to fill up, but once it gets to the line on the middle white drainy pipe a shhushhhh blub, blub, blub noise happens and the floaty ball holder piece starts bubbling from the bottom as water keeps coming in until it starts draining at the top of the middle drain thing.”

His response:
“Well I really don’t know that much about plumbing, but you could try replacing the piece that is bubbling up. I don’t think it that’s right.”

“Umm . . . okay. Thanks.” And I did just that.

Once I got home with a new floaty ball holder piece I started dismantling the old one from inside the toilet. Soon I discovered that part of it unscrewed from the bottom outside of the tank. I check my tool supply and as it happened I had nothing that would fit it, so there was no way to unscrew it. It was after ten at this point so I called the repair job for the night. I told Angela if she needed to bathroom that she had better use one downstairs since the one I was working on was not user friends at its current stage. I left all the pieces of the toilet littered across the floor as a reminder that the toilet was not to be used until I had a chance to work on it again. I then washed my hands four times (since I had been playing in toilet water) and watched some television.

The next day, on my way home from work I picked up a wrench and once I got home finished removing the old piece and installing the new one. “Damn I hope this works” was all I could think of as I sat and watched the tank of refill with water. I had fully drained the tank once and really didn’t want to have to do it again if this didn’t fix the problem. It involved using a sponge and sopping up all the water that didn’t get sucked out when I flushed. Sure, playing in toilet water as a three year old was awesome, but once you are in your thirty’s it does lose all its appeal, and is actually kind of gross.

I squeaked a little in joy when the water level stopped at the designated line on the drain tube. I gave it one flush to test the waters and again it stopped at the designated ‘water stops here’ line with no bubbles and no additional filling. I had fixed our porcelain throne! And you know want? It felt pretty good too. It’s not something I’d ever thought I’d have to do, nor is it something I’d want to make a habit out of doing, but it was satisfying to know that I had gotten something what was misbehaving to function properly. The way I see it, we should all be proud of our accomplishments, no matter how trivial they might seem. You took the time to make things better, and to that I say well done.

Image Sources:
Google Images, keywords: battle of the sexes, dead houseplants, looking inside toilet tank, and kid playing in toilet.

Copyright © 2012 Richard Timothy

Primping for the 4th, Unintentional

Primping for the 4th, Unintentional

You know how sometimes you’ll make a statement that you were in full support of, but then find yourself in a situation where that previous statement becomes null and void. I think the most common example of this is the morning after a night dedicated to the mass consumption of alcohol. I had a roommate that would wake up at least twice a week and mutter, “I’m never drinking again.” Usually it just took offering him two aspirin with a can of beer to wash it down to change his mind, but every once in a while he meant it for at least a day.

Well, yesterday I found myself it this type of situation, except without the hangover, or the night of drinking, or the alcohol, or . . . okay it had nothing to do with that type of situation. See, in a past Smirk I talked about my first and only experience getting a pedicure. I had no plans on ever going through that experience again . . . at least that was the plan until my sweetie-baby-cutie-wifey-pooh felt compelled to get one yesterday as part of her birthday—and well, umm . . . so maybe my toenails are now blue and have glitter on them, but in my defense it was her birthday.

It wasn’t as painful as last time, which was about 5 years ago, and that was a definite plus. For the record though, I am never doing this again . . . you know, unless it’s my sweeties birthday, or I lose a bet or something.

This experience was very different from last time for a few reasons. First, I was not at a beauty school being worked on by some shy girl that was clearly not keen on poking, prodding, picking, clipping, and rubbing my feet. This time it was a place in the mall and was staffed by Asian women who spoke in broken English.

The lady that worked on my feet made up her mind what my toenails were going to look like even though Angela and I had mentioned at the beginning that we wanted matching colored toenails. Oh no, purple toenails were not acceptable for my toes and my “toe lady” (I’m not sure of the correct term to use here) informed me repeatedly while working on my toes that I needed to get fireworks painted on my big toenails.

When the time came for me to get them colored, the lady working on Angela’s toes was using the purple nail polish that I was expecting to be used to paint my toes. Instead of waiting my “toe lady” went to the wall of colors and grabbed the bottle of blue fingernail polish that she wanted to use for my toes, and a bottle of glitter polish.

When she came back she held out the blue and informed me, “You get this color.” She then sat down and got to work painting my toes. Then she asked me again while nodding her head up and down in a no so subtle attempt at Jedi mind control, “You want firework?”

She clearly had her heart set on painting a scene of fireworks exploding in the night’s sky. I figured, why the hell not, gave up and conceded to her “suggestion”.

As she started painting the scene on my toes, exclaiming, “See, I told you, firework beautiful!” the stranger sitting to my left finally lost her cool and started giggling. This in turn got Angela and I laughing as well.

My toes are now ready to celebrate the 4th of July. I haven’t felt this patriotic about the holiday in years. Who knew that getting theme nail polish would help out with that?

I love my wife and was happy to get my toes done with her in celebration of her birthday. I just hope she never has the urge to do an impromptu legs waxing one of these years.

Image Sources:
Google Images, keywords: sleeping in funny positions, pedicure tools, and
a picture Angela took using her cell phone.

Copyright © 2012 Richard Timothy

I’m Happy and I Know It

I’m Happy and I Know It

I don’t know about you, but when I am placed in a situation where I’m introduced to things, usually music, in a non-formal manner, I am left to rely on my own musical frame of reference. Non-formal introduction are those where I hear a song I like on the radio, but the DJ never announces who the artist is. Another example is when I’m watching a commercial or tv show and I hear a song that I find delightful, but have no way of figuring out who sings it.

There are also the unwanted non-formal introductions to music, which is commonly introduced to entire city blocks by young kids that roll down all their windows while some crap music is played as loud as the cars inefficient sound system will go. The good thing I’ve found from these experiences is that most the time you can’t understand a damn thing because the subwoofer installed in the trunk is making the entire car rattle every time the base drum is hit, which is usually quite frequent.

In the past I’ve mentioned that Angela has a surprising affinity for music that I am not partial to. Apart from her love for butt rock bands (aka 80’s and 90’s rock or hair bands) like Bon Jovi and Guns & Roses, she also has the occasional mood swing and gets a rather strong hankering to listen to R&Bish, hip-hoppy, poppy, dancey type music. Things like . . . well I really don’t know, but everyone once in a while when we get in her car to go somewhere together she’ll start up the car and some song starts loudly blaring—GAGA! Yeah that’s one of those dancey music people she listens to.

She’s usually quick to change the station, but every once in a while she’ll wait for a few seconds and she sings along to the tune. Clearly she listens to this stuff more than she admits, or it could just be that their lyrics are so redundant that after one listening, you pretty much have the entire song memorized—that’s right! I’m talking to you Black Eyed Peas and your I Got a Feeling song.

So the other night while we were sitting on the couch watching tv, some redundant commercial came on, you know one of those obnoxious ones that comes one every single commercial break. To avoid paying attention to the inane ad Angela said in a tone that suggested she was singing to herself, “I’m sexy and I know it.” Left to rely on my own musical frame of reference and promptly and loudly clapped my hands twice.

She looked at me a little surprised and confused and asked, “What was that?”

“I was taking part in the song,” I replied. “If you’re sexy and you know it, clap your hands . . . right?”

She laughed at me. Then laughed some more. Then stopped laughing and looked at me, and then promptly started laughing at me again. All the while a smirk stayed on my face while I waited for an explanation.

Eventually, once the laughter became more of an occasional giggle, she explained that there was a current song titled Sexy and I Know It by some LMA-something group that was making the rounds on the radio.

And even though I had never heard this song I insisted that I like my version better, and you know what? She completely agreed. This made me happy—so I clapped my hands again, twice.

Image Sources:
Google Images, keywords: listening to radio, black eyed peas, and clap clap.

Copyright © 2012 Richard Timothy

Men Hate the “What are you thinking about?” Question

Men Hate the “What are you thinking about?” Question

Men hate the “What are you thinking about?” question. It is the ultimate battle of the sexes question. Having experienced the last 38 years as one belonging to the male gender, let’s just say I’ve picked up a few things about how my mind works and assume that that is how other male minds work as well . . . usually.

Men hate the “What are you thinking about?” question because we know it’s a test, and even if we’re implicitly told that it is not a test, we still know it’s a test. Sometimes we’ll attempt to confirm that we are thinking about the person who asked us that question. Sadly, we aren’t always believed when we give this answer. The thing is that this is literally the truth, due to how our brains have a tendency to work.

When men are asked, “What are you thinking about?” we instantly begin, regardless of what we were thinking about the second before, to think about the question itself and wonder why you are asking us that question.

See, we are thinking about you.

The question women really mean to ask is, “What were you thinking about just then?” because that would mean you want to know what we were thinking about prior to you asking the question. We figure this is what you probably mean, but we are a little more literal minded and chances are we’ll ruin the mood if we answer that question the way you intended it.

It’s not that we are thinking disgusting things, angry things, inappropriate things, things that make us smirk, or naughty things, well sometimes we are on those last two, but most of the time we not thinking of anything to evoke mushy feelings in that exact moment. Instead we are thinking of a very random topic that is vaguely related to the moment.

Here’s what I mean:

The other night after, you know, my sweetie-baby-cutie-pie-wifey-pooh and I were cuddling and she asked what I was thinking about. Of course my reply was her, but what I was really thinking about was playing basketball in the shower.

How is this possibly related to our prior activity? Simple, I was a little sweaty, which got me thinking about getting up and taking a shower after we cuddled a little longer. The thought of the shower got me thinking standing in the tub, the very tub that our two and a half year old nephew uses to take baths when he stays with us. We have all these toys that frequent the tub as a result and one of them is a little hoop with suction cups that you can stick on the wall. The hoop comes with three balls that float in the water and can be used to shoot into the hoop. It was a toy that I would have loved as a kid, but would still probably get a kick out of playing while taking a shower. And THAT is how I ended up thinking about playing basketball in the shower when my dear wife got around to asking me what I was thinking about.

You can see how the mood might have altered if I had answered that question honestly. And chances are most men are thinking of something as equally random as that when they are asked “THE” question. You can now see why we almost always choose not to answer the question honestly.

Most men know that women want a feeling/emotion filled answer. The trouble is that most men rarely think that way. We would love nothing more than to listen while the woman talks about their feelings and leave us to our obscurely connected thoughts about a seemingly random topic instead of being slapped out of thoughts by a question about what we are thinking, which you really don’t want us to answer honestly.

As much as men would love for the “What are you thinking about?” question to never be asked again, we know it’s just not going to happen. I would, however, ask that you don’t question us when we give you a loaded answer; because even if it sounds loaded or rehearsed, it’s going to be sweeter, more endearing, and a hell of a lot less random than the truth.

Note: Should you ask a man “What are you thinking about?” and he responds with, “Nothing” or “I don’t know” please do not pursue it. Chances are they were so caught off guard that you sprained their brain a little and they need a little while to reboot. Just take the lead and tell them what you were thinking about and ask if they agree. Changes are they will and they will love you that much more for not publicly calling them on it and just letting it go.

Image Sources:
Google Images, keywords: man rolling eyes, what are you thinking about, couple in bed, and man shrugging shoulders.

Copyright © 2012 Richard Timothy

A Few Sparks from this Year’s Ignite

A Few Sparks from this Year’s Ignite

To those that have been following my Smirks for the past few years know that once a year my sweetie-baby-cutie-pie-wifey-pooh puts on a woman’s conference called Ignite Your Spark (my Smirk from Year 1 and Year 2). The desire, goal, hope, dream for this event is that it will give the women attending a place to remember their greatness, find their voice, be reminded of their beauty, and know their worth. In short it is a conference dedicated to empowering women.

Even though I may be estrogen challenged, I can tell you that every man that attends the conference (there where around six or seven of us) got value and worth from the event as well. Embracing your live and who you are as a person is not a woman-only concept and with each presentation I attended, there were nuggets of wisdom, little quotes that get you to think, or, as Oprah and coined it, “ah-ha moments” that stick with you, and if you integrate them into your life, they can make your world a better place.

I did have a few ah-ha’s this year, like always, and I even had a Smirk come to me in the middle of the conference as well. Something I consider true for everyone, even though most people would choose not to talk about it. For now though, here are a few of “ponder this” one-liners I wrote down:

100% of us want to change the world, but 80% of us are not willing to change our world.
I liked this one because I’ve been there. Hell, I even still visit from time to time. I’ve spent time in a place I didn’t want to be in, with a person I wasn’t sure I liked at the time, which turned out to be me. My theory is this, if you are not inspired by your own life, how are you going to use it to inspire the lives of others? I’ve changed from those old uninspired days. I’ve worked on and made a life that I love, and it’s from the joy that I’m able to focus on the joys of life in my writing, and from that I can bring joy to the lives of others, which, in my own small way, makes the world a better place.

One of big things about these types of events is that it can help remind people of their own worth. People have a tendency to forget how brilliant and amazing they are, that they have a voice and something worth saying. I know some people do great things and keep it to themselves, hence that section on donation forms for non-profits and such that specifies you want to keep your donation to be kept anonymous instead of drawing any attention to yourself. There are times when I think people should own when they do something they’re proud of, and it’s ok to let others know it too. At this year’s event Angela and I both chopped off our hair and donated it to cancer patients.

Our hair will be made into wigs for patients who have lost all their hair and cannot afford to buy one. It felt good to cut my hair. Truth is I would have been perfectly happy to cut my hair about eight months ago, but in order to get it to a donateable length I had to put it off for a while. My new do does look great though, and this is something I’ve always wanted to do. I’m no longer shedding all over the house, and it’s something I’m proud I did. So acknowledge yourself when you do something great, you deserve it.

As for the Smirkful epiphany I had at the event . . . have you ever been to an event/conference where you have your own room where the event is taking place? Ignite was at the Marriott Hotel in downtown Salt Lake City, and since it was a two day event, we had a room there for a few days. During lunch on the first day, I went up to our room and had this thought, which I do believe is the number one best part about having your own room at a convention . . . you have a private place to go when you need to release a little backed up air that you’ve been keeping tucked away inside you for the past few hours.

I don’t think anyone will admit that this is the best reason for getting your own room at a convention, but let’s face it, if you do go to conventions, it is. How many times have your been walking around from meeting to meeting, or setting in multiple training sessions and then when you get a break you make a little pit stop at your room and the second you get in there and the door latches behind you, you just cut loose. I do think the buildup is a result of the carb-only continental breakfast you get complimentary with your room. Even if people won’t admit it, deep down they know it’s the truth.

If you want to know if any of your friends have taken a gas break at conventions, have them read this Smirk, chances are if they start laughing at this part, they are guilty of the hotel room pass and dash. And if you have not yet gone to a conference that takes place in a hotel, when you do, splurge and get a room there, it take off a lot a pressure . . . trust me.

Image Sources:
Pinup Jane (who took amazing photos for the Ignite Your Spark conference), Ignite Your Spark website and Google Images, keywords: happiness and passing gas.

Copyright © 2012 Richard Timothy