A Few Valentine’s Day Thoughts

A Few Valentine’s Day Thoughts

With today being the celebration of Juno Fructifie (and no, not the Feast of Lupercalia, that doesn’t happen until tomorrow the 15th), or St. Valentine’s Day, or Valentine’s day, or Single Awareness Day, or National Send Flowers Day, or a stupid Hallmark holiday exploiting love to make money… so a kind of National Hallmark Pimp day maybe? Anyway, I thought I’d let this piece form on its own throughout the day. A sort of work in progress concerning my mental journey concerning encompassing the random stroll my mind took today… on the day of love.

Valentine’s Day in Japan
Did you know in Japan the custom on Valentine’s Day is that only women give chocolates to men? Amusingly enough this tradition came about due to a typo from the executive of a chocolate company during initial campaigns to introduce their chocolate to the Japanese. The common practice is for women to give chocolate to all male co-workers, and to only their female friends. However when Valentine’s falls on a Sunday, instead of giving regular chocolate women will give the cheapest quality chocolate to the unpopular co-workers. So if you are a jerk at the office in Japan, you can rest assure that one of these years, if you continue to follow your jerk-like behavior, everyone is going to let you know on the same day, where you will receive literally pounds of shitty tasting chocolate that is probably more wax than it is chocolate.

I think the weirdest thing about that is that it would mean there is a company out there that intentionally creates nasty tasking, cheep chocolate so that women in Japan can purchase it and give it to some jerk on the random event that February 14th falls on a Sunday. I mean, I would think that to make their points they should just purchase and hand out chocolate flavored Ex-lax bars to the people they don’t like. I know it’s what a few girls I knew did with boys they didn’t like at school growing up… which might explain why I was so afraid of girls when I was in high school… hmmm.

I will say that in the 80s Japan did invent White Day, which is a sort of reply day for Valentine’s Day, which takes place on March 14th. On White Day the men in the office are expected to give white chocolate replies to all the women that gave him chocolate on Valentine’s Day. Still, it seems like a lot of work to make up for a typo.

Happy Shag Day
Is it just me or is Valentine’s Day kind of like the official Happy Shag Day of the year? Kudos to Valentine’s sticking to its Pagan roots in that regard. Think about it though, Valentine’s is a courting day were gifts like chocolates, flowers… or garments that are suggested to be worn under other articles of clothing, but are expected to be worn with no outerwear other than a long coat. All for the sake of setting the mood, which was set the second the lingerie was picked out.

What to have some fun? Go into a store that sells lingerie and browse. When a salesperson… commonly a woman, approaches you and asks, “Can I help you?” Tell them yes and pull something off the racks and ask her to hold it up (next to her, not in front of her – no need to come across as a creepy, well, creep) for you to look at. Then walk up and take the piece off the hanger and drop it on the floor. Take a few steps back and evaluate its appearance on the floor. If it looks good, let the salesperson know you’ll take it. Besides, you know and they know that is where it is going to spend most of the time anyway.

The point is that it seems all of the activities people partake in on this day seem to be devised as a precursor for the festivities people interact in as they wrap the day up and spent some time enjoying each other’s company. I know it’s a superficial holiday, but I like that it helps remind people of why they love the person they’re with. A day that reminds people to love instead of fight (or act ambivalent), is just pretty damn cool.

No Longer a Christian Holiday
Did you know that Valentine’s Day was removed from the Catholic calendar in 1969? (I bet we could blame the hippies.) I guess it makes sense it kept hold of many of its pagan roots, even though they tried to replace the Pagan holiday with a Christian one. I mean even eventually using the cherubim to depict that meddlesome bastard Cupid in Catholic sanctioned art during the time is a prime example of this. The only thing vaguely religious about this holiday anymore is its name. Apart from that, there is nothing religious, well Christian, about this holiday anymore. It’s one of the few ‘Pagan turned Christian’ holidays that won out in the end. Not that it’s a contest, but it’s nice to see that out of so many holidays that were adopted and revised for the changing political and religious times, that some pieces of those original works were able to survive.

To Angela
My sweetie-baby-cutie-pie-wifey-pooh asked me if we were going to do anything for each other this Valentine’s Day in regards to a gift… I told her “sort of”. Meaning, I had a plan, but I was going to surprise her with it… meaning, you are welcome to keep reading it if you want, but the rest of this Smirk for her, about her, to her…

When you asked me what I was thinking about the other night when I was working in my office, and I started to say something and then stopped, well I was thinking about Mello Yello, yes the drink. What I was going to tell you is that when I’m at work and I get the hankering for a mid to late afternoon beverage, I go to the break room and up to the drink machine housing three rows of Mello Yello and I start smiling, know why? Because it reminds me of you.

Ever since you told me years ago that when you were a kid you would always get Mello Yello when you went to the store, and that it was your favorite childhood drink, when the thirst arises I’ll get one and take it back to my desk. Then for the rest of the day there you are, well there the memory of you is, wrapped in a plastic bottle with a small green screw top, filled with an almost florescent liquid that I’d swear glows in the dark after you crack the bottle over your knee and shake it up. The thing is, the drink is really nothing like you, mainly because you are not artificially sweet in any way. Being sweet is very much an all-natural thing for you. Still, out of all the selection available, I get the drink you loved as a child, because it reminds me of you.

I love it when I come home and find you working away while wearing one of my goofy tee shirts. Even though a lot of what you are working on is a solitary and time consuming process, I feel like you wanted me there in your day. When you raid my closet and let one of my shirts wrap around, holding you all day, and keeping you warm during those times when your office gets a little chilled, it makes me happy to see that the memory of me got to spend the day with you in that way.

I love your childlike enthusiasm for show and tell. I know every time you’ve purchased something because of that look on your face when you walk into the house. It’s not just your big eyes giving you away, but you’re whole self can barely contain the excitement you are holding inside, not just because you are genuinely excited about what you got, but because I know how excited you are about sharing it with me. That inner excitement and infectious desire to share with others is one of the things that I find so beautiful about you. When you begin to share with others, you lead, and as you lead you fill others with excitement not just about life in general, but about their own life.

Your addiction to pretty stationary is… well yes, something we both agree you have a problem with, but I get it. It becomes clear every time you use that stationary to write a letter or send a card, or create some type of correspondence that is going to fill another person with acceptance, love and joy. You get more excited about using up your stationary treasure and giving that beauty to others than you do in actually getting it in the first place. That is why I have kept every letter you have ever written me and have my office filled with the cards you have sent me.

Besides being one of the most stunning women I’ve ever seen, one of the reasons I love to watch you is your reaction to life and the joy you carry into life of all your friends… and it is an honor to hold you in that space where you are not just my love, or my wife, but as my best friend as well. Our home is always full of laughter and I love that a day does not go by where we don’t tell the other how much we love them. I know we say it all the time and thing I love most about us saying, “I love us” is that it is becomes more so with every passing day.

You want to know why I think butterflies are such a fitting symbol of you, because that is exactly what you have done to my life. My life with you has forever transformed in something more. Filled with more life, more beauty and more love than I ever expected possible. You are my butterfly, and because of that I am free. Thank you my dear, sweet, beautiful wife… my Angela. Happy Valentine’s Day, I love you.

Image Sources:
Google Images, keywords: Valentine’s Day, ex-lax, shag, Mello Yello, show and tell, and blue butterfly.

Snow Day 2010

Snow Day 2010

Well, it finally happened, the first snowfall of the season started Saturday evening and sprinkled its way into Sunday. Some of you already know that when it comes to snow, I am not a fan… and to those of you that didn’t know, now you do. Sunday started a bit late for me thanks to a fabulous evening with some friends, and a late night Castle marathon my sweetie-baby-cutie-pie-wifey-pooh and I started once we got home. See, we don’t have a lot of time… make that patience for television… commercials to be more exact.

So, when a new series comes out that is worth watching, our friends, who do enjoy a good series from time to time, will let us know about it. Then, once it comes out on DVD we’ll Netflix it. One thing I’ve noticed with this patter is Angela’s all-at-once commitment to a series when she finds one she likes. When she gets sucked in she wants to get caught up as soon as possible. Take Castle for example, I was interested in watching the show because of my affinity for Captain Mal of Firefly fame, and as I’ve watched the series I’ve been entertained enough to keep watching. Angela, on the other hand, is hooked.

Here’s how our television watching usually goes at the house, Angela will sit on the couch and work on her laptop while we watch something and I play with her hair. No it’s nothing like me trying to French braid it, or me using her hair to make me funny mustaches, while I look at myself in a hand mirror and giggle. No, it’s just me running my fingers through her hair while we watch. So when a show catches her attention she has to see what happens next, which is her phrase of acceptance and appreciation. Every time an episode ends, she says, “Next,” and I fast forward through the closing credits to the next episode on the DVD. Welcome to this past Saturday night.

When we got home and she checked the mail to discover we had received two new disks of season two, and of course we had to watch one episode before going to bed. Four episodes later with one DVD ready to be sent back, it was about 3:30 in the morning, and I was done… mainly because I was on the verge of passing out due to the cold medicine I had taken. The thing about her watching murder mysteries is that when I decide to call it a night, I know she won’t be staying downstairs and to watch any more episodes without me. Not because she doesn’t want to stop watching them, but because she gets scared from watching them and doesn’t want to be left alone. I know, I know, but I think it’s kind of cute.

So now with all that unnecessary exposition is out of the way, welcome to my snow day Sunday, and my noon o’clock wakeup call. Taking nighttime cold medicine at 2AM is a good way to ensure that sleeping in on a Sunday is going to happen whether you want it to or not. The thing about our snow day is that, and I’m not exactly sure how, but the storm managed to knock out our internet, until about 7PM that night. Sure it was an inconvenience, but, well, here are a few things I got from my internetless snow day Sunday:

  1. It’s nice to unplug every now and again. Even though there were some things I wanted to get done, which required the internet (specifically, getting a podcast hosting site set up), it could wait, and did.
  2. The importance of knowing how to shuffle. Yes, even though my PC still worked, I chose to kick it “old school” and pulled out a real live deck of playing cards for the sake of enjoying a few hands of Solitaire.
  3. I love books. Even though they are starting to diminish in number and populate like bunnies in the virtual world, what with electronic book readers becoming the next step in literary evolution and all, a book is permanent and there for you when all the power goes out, and the batteries go dead. There is something comforting about curling up in an oversized chair and reading from a book you are holding in your hands.
  4. I still enjoy listening to mixed tapes… I have so many that have been ignored for far too long. That’s right, not only do I still have cassettes, but I still have a piece of electronic equipment that actually plays them.
  5. It’s amazing all of the things you can do with tofu when you spend two hours in the kitchen playing Iron Chef… and you already know what the secret ingredient was.

It might not seem like much, but it really was a great snow day, and I didn’t have to go out into the snow once. Not to mention, out of everything I learned that day, I didn’t have to Google a single thing.

So, how did you spend your first snow day of the season? Or if you don’t get snow where you live, what did you do the last time you had an internetless day? I am curious to know.

Image Sources:
Google Images, keywords: snow day, couple watching tv, yawning, shuffling cards, and Google it.

New Research Reveals, Dolphins Prefer Nonsmokers

New Research Reveals, Dolphins Prefer Nonsmokers

Now for the record I need to start off by saying that this research is not based in any type of scientific research I’ve come across, or made up for that matter. In fact not a single dolphin was questioned in the gathering of this research, and by research I mean the short conversation I heard while I was standing in line outside a sushi restaurant in Maui.

The sushi restaurant was in our things to do in Maui book. The place had half price appetizers, sushi rolls, and sake after 10 PM, and karaoke! I have many fond memories of karaoke, not so much me singing, but me enjoying the singing and usually attempted singing of others. This was no different; the best performance of the night was, hands down, an old gray-haired Hawaiian with a cane. He was a largish sized man who chose to sing a song by Smokey Robinson and nailed it. It was amazing that a man that size for hit notes that high. And no, the Smokey-like Hawaiian was not part of the research, but definitely deserves some recognition.

The research happened about 9:50 PM, while standing in line waiting for the doors to open. We were the fifth group in line and shortly after getting there a red convertible pulled up and three youngish kids, i.e. barely old enough to legally drink, got out and got in line behind us (two boys and one girl). I don’t think they were bad people, I just think they had a different set of priorities than my sweetie-baby-cutie-pie-wifey-pooh and I have. As we attempted to talk about our favorite parts of the day and share our excitement about going snorkeling that following morning, this threesome talked in the vibrato of children who are trying to whisper, but haven’t figured out it involves lowering the volume of your speaking voice. Also, their favorite way to begin almost every sentence was with the phrase, “Oh my god.”

Actual example:
Girl to Boy 1: “Oh my god, you look so good in that new shirt.”
Boy 1 to Girl: “Oh my god, really?”
Girl to Boy 1: “Really.”
Boy 1 to Girl: “Oh my god, thanks.”

Boy 1 then announced to everyone in line, while only making eye contact with his friends, that he needed a smoke. So he walked over to his little red convertible (no, sadly it was not a Corvette), opened the trunk, dug through a backpack and pulled out a pack of cigarettes. As he stood next to the trunk of his car and smoked the girl yelled to him, “Oh my god you look so skinny standing next to your car.”

To which he replied, “Oh my god, really?”

Which caused Angela whisper to me, “Why do they have to talk like that?”
“Oh my god, what do you mean?” I whispered back to her.

She hit me.

“Oh my god, ouch!” I said, smiling at her. (It was officially on at that point.)

Now I did not see Boy 1 drop his cigarette on the ground and get back. This was probably due to my threats and taunts of tickles directed toward Angela as she attempted to hit me again. What disrupted this playful exchange was the lady standing in front of. Seconds after Boy 1 got back in line, she walked past us and up to Boy 1, saying, “I just love your car, could I talk to you for a minute?” And she pulled him over to the back of his car for a quick chat.

I’m not sure if it was the acoustics of the parking lot being just so that the conversation carried perfectly to where we were standing, or if it was the fact that she too did not understand the volume differences between a whisper and a normal talking voice, but this is what she said, “Hi, I’m a marine biologist on this island and I know that 95% of all littered cigarettes butts end up in the ocean and are responsible for making dolphins and other life very sick. You need to pick up your cigarette butt and put it in the trash. Thank you so much.” And then back to her place in line without even a “please” or “thank you”.

Boy 1 stood there for a second, looking like he was processing what just happened to him. Then without a word, bent over picked up his cigarette butt, walked it over to the trash can and disposed of it properly. As he walked up to his friends he said, in the quietest his voice had used since we they got there, “I totally understand where she’s coming from.” Then promptly changed the subject.

Angela turned to me with her large eyes full of joy and amazement. “That is the best thing I have seen all day,” adding, “I love that lady!”

A few minutes later we were inside ordering an excessive amount of sushi and giggling at the cigarette incident and then at the tone deaf couple trying to sing some Johnny Cash song and failing at every note.

So what’s the lesson? I guess it’s… well, I mean people are going to smoke if they want to, even if everyone agrees (even smokers) it’s an unhealthy and disgusting addiction. No, I think the point is, throw your cigarette butts in the trash. Because every time you drop a cigarette butt on the ground, a baby dolphin bursts into flames… too much? Ok fine, every time you drop a cigarette butt on the ground, a dolphin has a chance of becoming addicted too. And you can get into a lot of trouble trying to feed Nicorette to dolphins… ahem, I mean, so I’ve heard (whistles innocently). Seriously, if you smoke don’t litter. Actually, just don’t litter period. The dolphins say thanks (yes, for not littering AND for all the fish).

Any no-littering stories you’d care to share?

Image Sources:
Google Images, keywords: dolphins, standing in line, oh my god, cigarette litter, sick dolphin and litter free planet.

What’s Mine is Yours… Except when it’s Not.

What’s Mine is Yours… Except when it’s Not.

I noticed something this past weekend as I got up and sleepily moseyed into the bathroom, which has always been my movement speed of choice when I get up in the morning and move that short distance from my bed to the bathroom. Granted, there are times when moving faster than a mosey (after you just wake up) are required. Morning sickness for example, and I mean all sicknesses that happen in the morning that is accompanied by that sudden urge to draining the contents of your stomach in a manner that avoids your intestines all together.

So what was different about Saturday morning? My stuff was missing. Stuff like, my tooth brush, dental floss, stick of deodorant, and my razor. I also noticed that the one of the two drawer units we had on our counter was gone, the one that all my bathroom items were stored on. Thus began my early morning bathroom treasure hunt… well, not that I was looking for a bathroom, I had already found that. What I needed to find was my toothbrush. Some mornings I wake up with a mouth that feels like it has been marinating in a zombies nether region, and I’m sure smells about the same. Brushing my teeth in the morning is essential to my daily bad breath exorcism.

Still, having just woken up, doing a treasure hunt for your toothbrush in the confines of a smallish bathroom goes a bit slower than I would have expected. Eventually, I discovered my supplies had migrated to the top drawer of the remaining drawer set. I’m glad I found it when I did otherwise the sacrilege of my using my sweetie-baby-cutie-pie-wifey-pooh’s toothbrush without her knowledge was about to become a reality. I’m not going to say that I would ever do that, but there have been a few times over the last eight years that I have been questioned as to why her toothbrush bristles were damp to the touch even though she had not yet used it that morning. (Hey, if I didn’t tell her, you think I’d tell you?)

After our day was in full groove I told Angela about my early morning bathroom adventure, she said, “Oh yeah, I forgot to tell you, I moved all of your stuff into that drawer.”

“So what you’re telling me is that after three years being in this house I finally have my own bathroom drawer?”

She started laughing, “Actually it’s not all yours, the back of it has a few of my… well it’s two-thirds your drawer.”

“So what… when we hit the five year mark in this house I’ll finally get my own bathroom drawer?” I asked.

“I don’t think we’ll still be in this house by then.”

“So will I have so start over when we move into a new place?” I smiled.

She laughed some more and then said, “You’re going to blog about this aren’t you?

And I think we all know that the answer is to that.

It did get me thinking about the whole ‘hers, mine, ours’ paradigm in relations though. Here’s an example… our house. The house is ours. However, my office is strictly mine, mainly because it’s the only room in the house I’m allowed to decorate. The rest of the house is hers in regards to how it looks and thanks (insert deity of your choice here) for that.

She does have her office, and her studio, and her storage space, which is our storage space, but because it is full of mostly her storage she gets dibs and title ownership. We even call it ‘her storage room’ (or ‘my storage room’ if she is asking me to put something down there). The other storage room is ours, but is where most of my storage hangs out. Oddly though we don’t call it ‘his storage room’, it’s just the ‘dry storage room’.

The garage is just like our bed… yeah that needs a little explaining doesn’t it? See, she has her side and I have my side. Now I don’t know if anyone else is like this, but it’s the same side for both. She sleeps on the left side of the bed and parks in the left side of the garage. No idea if this is normal? But it does strike me as something worth smiling about.

The television room is usually ours, unless The Apprentice, Gray’s Anatomy, or one of those Wedding/Wedding Dress themed shows are on. Then the room and television and our insane collection of remotes is hers… Seriously, we now have six different remotes that litter our couch and yes we use all of them at some point depending if we are streaming movies, watching cable, or watching DVDs. Yes, I know, we have a problem and someday I hope we are in a position that we can let some of them be free and enjoy a life of independence.

Likewise, I too have my movies that encourage Angela to keep clear of the television room until I’m done. MST3K is the main one. She either has to be very drunk or sleeping on the couch with her head resting on me as I run my fingers through her hair. Yeah if she’s unconscious, I can always get away with watching an episode with her. Sometimes it’s what you have to do so you can spend time with two things that you love… even if one of the loves hates the other loved, which doesn’t have an opinion on the matter because it’s a television show. It works well for us anyway.

What are some of thoughts?

Image Sources:
Google Images, keywords: man waking up, bad breath, bathroom drawer, storage room, and head in lap.

Oh for the love of… Us

Oh for the love of… Us

Today is one of my favorite days of the year, and it really only started three years ago. Granted, three years ago it was on a Saturday instead of a Wednesday, but it was a perfect morning. The sun was out fulfilling its autumn obligation to lightly cook the tree leaves from a vibrant spring green to an nice crunchy golden brown. The house was a flurry of activity that required me to leave the house so certain preparations could take place. Things like my sweetie-baby-cutie-pie putting on a dress… that I wasn’t allowed to see, until later that day. Yes the twenty-second of September is mine and Angela’s anniversary… mostly.

The thing about our anniversary is that it’s a two parter, since we got married one month after our 5th year anniversary of being together. So whenever I tell people it’s our anniversary I double digit it, as in, “Today is our 8/3 anniversary.” My view is that our first five years together are just as substantial and relationship defining as our three years married.

The one thing that our wedding did was give us a date that we could put on napkins and margarita glasses, which we gave to friends and family as a reminder of the day we invited them to be there while we proclaimed our commitment, love, and vows to each other to life, the universe and everything. See our anniversary prior to that was a little ambiguous. It was the month of August, as opposed to a specific day in that month. This was because pinpointing when we officially became official was officially different for each of us. I went with the early part of the month, because I had already made up my mind that I was committed to her… trouble is I never conveyed this in words. So when she asked me at the later portion of the month if we were officially exclusive and together, I gave her a loving ‘well duh’ look and explained I thought that’s what we had been doing the past few weeks.

I know people say that communication is a very important tool for staying together, which is true. However, I feel it is equally important to point out that it’s just as important tool in discovering if you are actually together or not in the first place.

Did getting married change anything? Yes and no. My perspective was that a wedding would in no way change, enhance, or alter my commitment, love, and devotion to her, and it didn’t. But I will say that apart from adding “wifey-pooh” to her pet name “sweetie-baby-cutie-pie” there was something that was there that wasn’t before. I couldn’t explain it… I still can’t, but there was something new, or maybe it was always there and I just didn’t notice it before. Angela noticed it too… truth is she noticed it first, but she usually does… it’s one of those Angela things.

And just so there is not confusion on the matter, yes, she was the one that proposed. It’s not that I was opposed to marriage, it just that… well ok, it was that actually. I had no plans, goals, or needs to go through a man made ceremony that religious people claims means something that it doesn’t. And that is also used by some to change that bright red ‘don’t have sex’ light that had been glowing in their mind as long as they can remember, to a bright (Al) Green colored light that magically turned that what was a sin the day before into an acceptable and highly recommended way to spend an evening… morning… brunch… lunch… afternoon tea… well, you get the point.

I knew it was something Angela wanted though. Know why? Because she communicated it me. (See, again with that communication thing. Very, very helpful.) So I thought about it and what it would mean to her (because I didn’t see it meaning anything to me). I just wanted her to be happy. I eventually told her that too. And then one day, after she had gotten home from a three day event in California, and listening to a majority of the other women there explaining how their husbands had ‘let’ them come to the event, she walked up to me, gave me a kiss and said, “I think it’s time we start looking for a ring.” To which I retorted, “Ok.” And that was it, we were engaged.

I know it’s not terribly romantic… come to think of it, it’s not romantic in any way, shape, or form, but I think it worked out the only way if could for us. Plus, I love being able to tell her, “Thank you for asking me to marry you.” If you are married and have not said this before, or said it in a while, try it out. Hopefully saying it will make you as happy as it makes me. Of course you can switch it up a bit in the event that you were the asker as opposed to the askee. Still, give it a try. I hope it fits.

As for the wedding, it was one of the best parties I’ve ever been to, let alone thrown. And all of the credit for that goes to Angela, except the wine selection. I helped a great deal putting that together. The decorations were perfect. She had spent over a year planning, creating, and purchasing things that were on sale that she knew she’d use for the wedding, even if she wasn’t exactly sure how at the time of purchase. I knew that even though it was our wedding, it was her day. The thing about a wedding is that it’s commonly a day for the bride, and the mom’s. The men of a wedding cast are really just cute little penguin suited lawn ornaments that get to toast those who were there celebrating with them and look pretty as they waddle around in their uncomfortable suit. Oh and you get to kiss the beautiful bride every time people start making dinging noises using some utensil to lightly tap on the side of their glass, which was pretty cool. I’m a big fan of kissing my wife.

Since today is our official anniversary day, I started looking into what gift I could get her… no I am not waiting until the last minute, not completely. For our anniversary we are actually heading to Maui for a week, but that isn’t until the first week in October, so even those we have an anniversary getaway planned, it is going to be a little over a week until we get there. She was kind enough to warn me that she did get me a little something, so in repercussion I looked up to see what commemorates your eight year anniversary.

Apparently there are two lists now, the Tradition Gift List and the Modern Gift List, and just for the record, the Traditional Gift List sucks. For year one you have paper, year five is wood, and year eight is bronze or pottery. The Modern Gift list seems a bit more rewarding. Year one is clocks, year five is silverware, and year eight is linens or lace. Ok so maybe I didn’t pick the best examples. But in the Traditional list you only get diamonds on your 60th anniversary. On the Modern list you get diamonds for your 10th, 30th, and 60th anniversary. I do feel it is important to point out that these are suggestions and you do not have to follow them like ducklings following their mother across a country road. But if you need a suggestion, I think more people are going to be supportive of a list that suggests you give them diamonds at least three times in 60 years as opposed to just once.

So as part of my gift to my sweetie-baby-cutie-pie-wifey-pooh on our anniversary it to proclaim to the world, but mainly those of you reading, of my complete and total adoration and love for my wife, Angela. (This next bit is for her, but you are more than welcome to keep reading.)

To my best friend, my love, my Angela,
I know it’s a cliché, but I figure since we both love wine a fermented analogy would be quite fitting. The longer we’re together, the better my life gets. Our lives are affected by our surroundings, our moods, our feelings, the trees, the seasons, the sun and moon, and with each passing year the flavor of our life together, becomes richer, fuller, and better than I could have ever imagined. I love your infectious laugh that fills our home. I love your ability to sing Bon Jovi at the top of your lungs while playing Rock Band with our friends. I love your melting smile and endless capacity to be just goofy enough so that our time together is full, true, and cheerful. I love that a day does not go by without us telling the other how much we love them. I love your drive and determination to change the world for the better, and to help remind others how to believe in themselves and dream again. I know I say this often, and it’s because it is always true and always there in front me… you make this world more beautiful simply by being a part of it. I wuv you. I love you. And I am so incredibly in love with you. Thank you for asking me. Happy Anniversary!

Image Sources:
Google Images, keywords: happy day, anniversary, woman proposing, pottery, and I love you.

The Power of Sound

The Power of Sound

Ears are interesting things. Not necessarily because of their size and shape, and how proportional they are to your head, even though all of those to play an important role in how much you were teased as a child and is a motivational factor in whether or not you grow your hair long or not. What I am referring to the how our ears emotionally identify certain sounds and the power those sounds have to created a positive or negative reaction in us.

It was at a birthday party this past weekend and was reminded of one of my favorite sounds. The thing is I use to make this sound all the time growing up. It’s a relatively simple sound to make, one that I imagine we all enjoyed making in our youth and even during early infancy when we learned that fingers could be used to make a collection of noises when applied to your mouth. What could this sound of delight be? It’s the popping sound you can make as finger slides out of your mouth while it is pressing on the inside of one of your cheek.

To make this sound I highly recommend you wash your hands first. Hands are mischievous things that have a tendency to go places and touch things that not even a hand should touch. After washing your hands… you know, you might want to brush your teeth as well. At the very least I’d suggest gargling with some mouth wash. This, however, is dependent on if and what you have recently eaten. Once your hands and mouth are both properly sanitized for some friendly interaction, open your mouth and insert your index finger pressing it firmly against the inside of the cheek or your choice. Note: you will want to use a left to right system for this, i.e. if you use your right index finger, press it against the inside or your left cheek. Close your mouth around your finger so that no air can escape out of your mouth and then breathe out so that your mouth fills with air. As the pressure builds up, slide your finger along the side of your cheek and out of your mouth. As your finger exits, your mouth will make a loud popping noise.

There is another way to make this noise, which does not include any fingers in any mouths, and it is in this context that this sound that brings a smile to my face every time I hear it. It’s the popping sound a cork makes as it is removed from a new bottle of wine. Whenever I pull out a cork from a newly opened wine bottle that sound hits me in the face like a cream pie of pure joy. I’ll bet that anytime Dionysus makes a trumpeted entrance into Mount Olympus the horn section is a symphony of the cork popping sounds. It truly is one of my favorite euphoric sounds. And it is for that reason alone that I hope the screw top bottles in the wine world remain more minimal as opposed to becoming a standard.

Some other noises I love, that always put a smile on my face:

  • The knock at the door when I am expecting friends to visit. I hear that knock and know who it is. I can’t help but smile as I walk up to the door to let them in.
  • The sound of my sweetie-baby-cutie-pie laughing. Especially when I am in my office working and I can hear her downstairs laughing at something she is watching on the television… or YouTube. Her laugh is very infectious and fills me full of smiles.
  • The song Glósóli by Sigur Ros, and even though I have no idea about what the song means (because it is performed in a foreign language) it always gets me smiley and feeling better about life, the universe, and everything.

Now to give a little yang to this yin topic… or is it the other way around? Either way, I figured it would only be fair if I offered a handful of sounds at make me my skin crawl, my teeth clinch, and the desire to have the connection from my ears to my brain to be severed. These sounds include:

  • Frost being scrapped off of car windshields while I am sitting inside the car. Oddly, if I am the one outside scrapping of the windshield, I have no problem with the sound, but if I am sitting in the car and someone else is scrapping, I have turn up the heater and car stereo, and to stick my fingers in my ears to try to drown out the sound.
  • Adults’ using baby-talk while conversing with other adults. This creates a very spontaneous and unrelenting desire to slap these adults in the face until they stops. I’m all for mimicking babies in their underdeveloped oratory as an attempt to get them to smile or giggle, or as a deterrent to get them to stop crying. When adults, actually let’s make that anyone older than three, starts using a baby-talk voice to ask for anything, everyone in ear shot is going to want to beat you until you promise never to talk like that again.
  • The knock at the door when I have someone coming over that I am not particularly fond of. I hear the knock and I know who it is. I always have to try really hard to put a smile on my face as I walk up to the door to let them in.
  • Radio commercials that use car horns in their commercial. I have, on more than one occasion, discovered that my middle finger becomes loaded and is ready to go off at a moment’s notice as a result of radio commercials honking at me during my drive to work. Freaks me out more often than not… between those commercials and the tedium of morning radio DJ’s I’ve pretty much stopped listening to the radio altogether.

The thing about euphoric sounds is its all relative, and no I’m not talking about any of my cousins… but then again, you might… I could go back to that door knocking experience with people at your door that you don’t want there. Well there you have it some of my yin sounds and yang noises.

What are some of your sounds that bring either joy or grumpiness… or some variety therein?

Image Sources:
Google Images, keywords: big ears, mouth popping sound, opening wine, scraping ice, and joy.