Thursday, May 31, 2007

Summer Slumber (Or Lack Thereof)

Summer vacation is in full swing at our house. For the most part that is a good thing. But tonight at 10:15 PM when DH told D2 she needed to go to bed so she could get up early, she confidently explained, "Daddy, I can go to bed at twelve thirty-four and wake up at seven twenty-nine. And that sums up precisely the problem I have with summer vacation.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Kids Say the Darndest Things

When S2 graduated from preschool his teacher presented us with a list of the funny things he had said during the school year. S2's 2001-2002 school year was obviously entertaining. Here are a few of my favorites:

"The BYU Cougars could beat the Power Rangers in football."

"My neighbor Jesse is The Farting King. His farts are long and loud."

"Bad guys wear handcuffs and live in cages."

"Girls sure don't know much."

"Miss Susie, I didn't come to school last time because I like my mom better than you."

"Is this kind of car called a mustache?" (It was really a Ford Mustang)

"If we don't wear our seat belts on the way to school, the police will come and underest us."

"My dad is very old, he's sixteen."

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Raindrops on Roses and Whiskers on Kittens

On Memorial Day we picnicked with friends. We were especially tickled to hear about our friend's son Tyler. The day before his mom had refused his request for a can of Coke. When the seven year-old asked, "Why," she simply countered with, "Because you don't need it." He then complained, "But, Mom, caffeine and violence are my two favorite things!"

Monday, May 28, 2007

Dance for a Quarter?

Most teenagers look forward to turning 16 so they can drive, but for me 14 was the magic number. Turning fourteen made me old enough to start attending church dances. Most of these festivities were held 40 miles from our home. With a collection of 7 or 8 units from our church joining together, these large youth activities had the reputation for being a ton of fun.

My stomach was in knots that June Saturday evening Mom, Dad and I drove to my first youth dance. As there was no one in our congregation my age, I was on my own walking into the dimly lit gym. A D.J. flanked by a pair of black oversized Peavey speakers was playing a Lionel Richie ballad. Kids mingled on and around the dance floor as shots of light from a disco ball dotted people, walls, and the floor.

Suddenly feeling very lost, I ran out to the hallway, found my parents, and said simply, "Let's go." My parents were not going to let me off that easily, so with Mom by my side I was coerced to return to the gym where I stubbornly played the part of wall flower. After two songs I was ready, once again, to make the hour drive back home. Mom insisted we needed to stay a little longer. She pointed out a kid named Paul that I supposedly knew when I was a toddler. Her suggestion that I go ask him to dance was met with flat refusal. After two more songs, again, I assured her, it was time to go.

Before talking her into leaving, some guy asked me dance. We danced. Then grabbing my mom's arm, I dragged her out of the gym, found Dad by the refreshment table, and at my unusually adamant insistence, we all headed home.

Having left so early it was still light outside as I sulked in the back seat of the car all the way home. In my best martyr voice I told my parents I was sorry we drove so far for something so dumb, but not to worry, I'd never ask to go to one of those dances again.

A few days later I received a letter in the mail from the one boy that had asked me to dance that night. It turns out he was a friend of Paul, the kid my parents said we knew. I was flattered that he would write, and with my parents encouragement, I attended the July dance.

This dance was very unlike the first. Having exchanged a couple letters by this point, I had an acquaintance, as well as the supposed friend from pre-school. I spent much of the evening dancing with the letter-writer and Paul, and hanging with their crowd of friends.

On the way home, (in the dark this time) I excitedly leaned forward from the back seat to relay to my mom every detail of the evening. My dad then turned to her, "Can you believe on our way out tonight Paul tried to collect on his quarters?" Mom smiled, and Dad continued, "I told him, no way. That was a deal we made for last month, not this month."

Completely confused I asked what Dad was talking about. Matter of factly, Mom replied that since he was worried about my first dance in June, Dad had bargained with Paul early during the dance last month that he would pay him a quarter for every time he danced with me.

I was shocked! How humiliating to spend an entire evening with this guy, not knowing about the prior month's business arrangement. More upsetting was the incredible fact that my parents found nothing wrong with making that kind of agreement. And why hadn't Paul found a quarter price enough to ask me to dance in June?

As if I could not get someone to ask me to dance on my own, my father was walking the halls looking for anyone he remotely knew to strike a deal. And a quarter? Yes it was 1983, but still, a quarter?

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Showering a Marriage With Love

When DH and I were engaged, as you might expect, we were regular recipients of unsolicited marital advice. Among the golden nuggets of wisdom were, "Never go to bed angry", "Love your spouse more than you love yourself", and "Pray together everyday." Our most surprising bit of advice came from our bishop a week or so before we got married. He told us to "Shower together everyday." After we were married, of course.

The first time DH and I attempted to not go to bed angry, despite a heated disagreement, we stayed up until 2 AM arguing. DH was tired and mad; I was exhausted and stubborn. Finally, we determined that we would have to go to bed angry as we were too tuckered out to scream at each other any more. Actually, I went to bed, and DH wisely slept on the couch.

Over the years (17 to be exact) I have often considered whether or not I love DH more than myself. I'd like to think that I do, but if I have a hundred dollars for new shoes, I'm going for something along the lines of the Dolce Vita Lamont-3 Pump (in black) over another stupid pair of golf shoes every time.

When it comes to things DH and I do together everyday, we are much more consistent with showering than praying. Somehow, this simple piece of advice has served to strengthen our marriage as well as maintain proper hygiene. Though some days, our showering is focused on cleanliness, not all our time in the shower is utilitarian in nature. But I am beginning to wonder if I might be a little too old for this shower sharing.

Mostly because of what happened the other day. We had only been in the shower a minute when my ear ended up horizontal under the shower head. With water rushing in at full force, I quickly averted my ear, shook my head, and with the warbling sound of water frolicking in my head, excused myself from further showering frolic.

Now I still have this bothersome liquid in my right ear. As it is annoying and painful, I'm working on every home remedy I know to get it out. I am not usually one for home remedies, and typically have no aversion to visiting a doctor.

But if I get an infection, and have to go see my primary care physician, I am not looking forward to the line of questioning: "Have you been swimming lately?" "No." "Perhaps boating then?" "No." "Hmmmm..." "All right, all right, DH and I were playing leapfrog in the shower. There. Are ya happy?"

Friday, May 25, 2007

Weighty Issues

A little more than ten years ago, my sister Christine went on an LDS church mission. She was the only one of the daughters in our family to serve such a mission. This made her a bit of a novelty to which none of the other sisters, including myself, could relate very well.

While she was serving, I would occasionally think about writing her, but I was not very consistent with that loosely contrived plan. One morning, I flew to Kentucky on business. Since I was bored playing Solitaire on my laptop, and it had been months since I had written Christine, I decided I should do the charitable thing and write my missionary sister a letter.

As I typed the Microsoft Word document, I asked her some generic questions, told her about my job and the kids, and then I finished the letter inquiring as to whether she had gained any weight yet. Much like the Freshman Fifteen in college, young female missionaries have the reputation of putting on some unwanted weight as well. Thinking I was being funny with the weight comment, I chuckled to myself, quickly finished the letter, and printed and mailed it off when I got back home.

Not more than a week after that, I received a response from Christine. She began her letter early on addressing my remark about how much weight she had gained. She emotionally explained, that it had been so hard to eat right and exercise while on this mission. She described how she was too poor to buy healthy, fresh food so she mostly ate bread and pasta with a little bolgna. She said she had long since outgrown all her original mission clothes. She was having to buy bigger and bigger dresses almost every week. Even her shoe size had grown!

Completely in shock, I continued to read how she felt so terrible about herself and what this weight gain was doing to her. She confided, that she had not told anyone else in the family about this yet because she was so embarassed.

She requested my help as well. Knowing I could sew, she asked if I could make her some tent dresses, as she had gotten so large she did not even know if normal clothes would still fit her. Then she loosely sketched a small drawing of the type of dress she needed.

My heart was pounding and my hands were shaking. I felt awful for such an insensitive comment in my original letter. I immediately committed to myself, as soon as I finished the letter, I would begin to sew the prettiest tent dresses I could. I assured myself that when she got back home, we would go running together and I would help her take of the weight.

Feeling awful about my sister's predicament, and unable to even picture what she must look like so suddenly overweight, I turned the page of her handwritten letter over. It continued with the simple pleading, "Please pray for me." My heart sank. I marveled at how she could have left us less than a year ago as a size 4 and already be at this point.

Then without skipping a beat, she continued to write. "I am kidding. I have hardly gained any weight at all. Maybe a couple pounds, but I don't really know, becuase I am a missionary and don't own a scale. But it was rude of you to ask. And what is with never writing me? Ha! Did I get ya?"

At that is how I learned the lesson, the rest of you probably already knew, that it is never polite to ask someone if they have gained any weight lately.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Lost Loafer

For many years, in the family I grew up in, there were only girls. After a few pregnancies, when my mom would announce she was expecting another, invariably people would ask, "Think you'll get a boy this time?" In all, five daughters were born to my parents and the hope for ever having a boy seemed dismal. But when I was almost ten years-old, my parents had their sixth and final child: a boy.

For a mother of six children, getting ready for church on Sunday mornings was an incredible task. No matter how much preparation of bathing, washing and ironing was done the night before, Sunday mornings were still chaotic for Mom.

Dad, on the other hand, would get himself ready and then go sit in the car, parked on the street in front of the house, and honk the horn until the rest of us were sent out, one by one, after passing mom's approval for our appearance being Sabbath Day worthy. Having claimed ignorance on how to curl hair, put on a child's tights, buckle little Mary Janes, or select matching ribbons, Dad had excused himself from being any sort of help with dressing five daughters on a Sunday morning.

But with the birth of a boy, things changed. Mom committed to him a special task: before he could go out to the car on Sunday mornings, he was in charge of dressing Steven. Dad complied with this request and accepted the challenge to dress one child for church each week. So on would go Steven's Sunday shirt, pants, tie, shoes, socks and belt. A quick slick of the hair with a comb and voila - one of mom's six children was ready for church.

Once ready, he and Steven would go out to the car and with the little toddler boy sitting on his dad's lap, they would honk the horn until the girls made their way to the station wagon as well.

One particularly special Sunday, the morning process had gone about as crazy as usual, except a little worse. Dad could find only one of Steven's church shoes. Since this was a semi-annual conference meeting Sunday, Mom was particularly stressed that we all look especially nice. With the added pressure and the seemingly helpless nature of Dad and Steve, Mom finally concluded in exasperation, that if they could not find the missing shoe, Steven would have to wear his old shoes to church.

Digging through closets and under beds, Dad and Steven had spent quite some time searching for the AWOL shoe. But even with the unforeseen delay, they still easily beat Mom and five daughters to the car that morning.

After the 15 mile drive to our chapel, as we piled out of the station wagon, one of my sisters noticed Steven's feet, "Hey! How come Steve is wearing one church shoe and one tennis shoe?" Mom threw an icy glare at my dad, "Roger!?"

Dad quickly explained, "The boy has two good church shoes. Why would I put two old shoes on him? This way everyone knows we have purchased nice church shoes for him, but we only could find one of them today."

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Sweet Suckers and Green Boats

DH and I are often amazed at how easy going S2 can be. He is so kind and good-natured, you have to wonder if he is for real. We have noticed that he will do most anything to make someone else happy.

One day he was enjoying a sucker he had received earlier that morning from the teller at the bank. A slightly younger neighbor girl came over to S2 on the front lawn and expressed some interest in the sucker. S2 slid it out from his pursed lips and handed it to her. Without a moment's hesitation, she stuck it directly in her own mouth. S2 stood there briefly and then walked over to me sitting on the front steps. I told him that it was very nice of him, but he did not have to give up his sucker. He replied that it was okay and that he didn't really want it anyway. Then his bottom lip started to quiver and he ran up the stairs into the house. I followed soon after to find my four-year old uncontrollably crying in the living room for the sadness of a lost-forever sucker.

Even as a ten-year old, S2 is still often thinking more about others' feelings than his own. This week he has been working with his dad to build a boat for the Cub Scout Rain Gutter Regatta. S2 had shown me a picture of a yellow boat earlier in the week that he wanted to copy. However, when S2 and DH brought it in the house, freshly painted from the garage, his boat was green.

On the way to the store to buy some stickers for the boat, I asked S2 why he changed his mind on the color for his boat. He replied, he had told dad that green was the color he wanted to paint the boat. I wasn't convinced that was really the color he wanted. But with each question, S2 repeatedly assured me that he loved his boat, and he loved the color green, and it was exactly what he wanted.

When I pressed further, knowing that he had probably gone along with the only color readily available in the garage so as to make DH's job easier, he firmly stood his stance. "Mom, I love green! It's just what I wanted. We are so lucky that was the only color we had, because green is my third or fourth favorite color!"

I think I could learn a lot from S2, because I am not nearly easy going. For example, no one has ever heard me confess, "I love senselessly dirty clothes. I love to do extra loads of laundry because someone wears something for 4 minutes and then throws it on the floor. It is really my favorite thing! It's exactly what I always wanted."

How's that sound? Are you convinced? Yeah, me neither.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

NYC: Alien Sightings and MetroCard Malfunctions

New York City is a favorite vacation destination for DH and me. We've been several times and enjoy taking our friends with us as well. On those trips we play the knowledgeable, know-the-city-like-the-back-of-our-hands, tour guides. Truthfully, DH is the real tour guide, I just tag along to eat cheesecake and do some shopping.

We are also expert on doing NYC on a budget. Which means no shopping at Burberry, standing in line for hours at Times Square for discount theater tickets, and rarely taking a taxi anywhere. When we first arrive in the city, we each purchase a multiple day, unlimited ride, MetroCard. This way we can rely on the NYC transit system and our two feet for virtually all our travel needs. While it is my opinion that the Subways in the Big Apple are generally confusing and crowded, with DH's impeccable sense of direction, they are more than doable.

On a trip a few years ago, we brought several couples along with us including Janna and Troy. (You remember Father Love, right?) They were enjoying the long weekend trip, but Janna had routinely struggled with her MetroCard. Somehow the timing of swipe and then walk through the turnstile had eluded her completely. More than once she had improperly swiped only to bruise her hip, slamming into one of the metal rotating arms of the turnstile. She'd swipe, bruise, swipe, bruise again, and then start swiping furiously. At some point she'd get a valid swipe, but in her fury, would miss her chance to enter through the turnstile. By this time, we would all have long since passed the seemingly simple test of MetroCard usage and were lined up waiting for our train.

Once the MetroCard was successfully swiped to travel in a certain direction, it could not be reswiped for 15 or 20 minutes. So Troy would have to go back to the turnstile and through the bars hand Janna some coins, and lovingly talk her slowly through the MetroCard vending machine process, so she could purchase a one-time use MetroCard and, hopefully, gain entrance to the Subway platform with the rest of us.

If this had happened once, it would be funny. But this exact scenario occurred numerous times throughout our trip. And it seemed the bigger hurry we were in, like if our Subway was already approaching the platform, the less likely Janna would be able to successfully maneuver the turnstile requirements in time to catch the train. But we were all on vacation, not racing to a job interview, so we didn't mind too much.

On Sunday morning of this particular trip, we were making our way back to the hotel from church. As we went down into the Subway tunnel we were reminded that there is at least one time when the New York City Subway looks like a ghost town. That is Sunday mornings. As we neared the silent platform, Janna and I were right next to each other at parallel turnstiles. Suddenly Janna's screaming voice echoed, "Debbie! Look! It's..." and then she started to furiously swipe and attempt to walk through the turnstile. Banging her hips one after the other, in her futile attempts, she did not slow down her swiping efforts. After each swipe, she'd look up and shout, "It's...oh my gosh!" She would then again bang a hip on an unmoving bar. Undaunted, she'd swipe again, "I can't believe... there is..." and again, a jam. "That guy..." she swiped, "...from TV..." another bang.

I had managed to make it through the turnstile without incident, and looking around to see what Janna was loudly freaking out about, on the nearly empty Subway platform, just as Janna, still stuck on the other side of the entrance, finally spilled out, "...from 3rd Rock..." I looked up to see John Lithgow passing right in front of me. He tipped his head slightly with a polite greeting while trying to hide his smile. I replied with a big grin and a thoroughly enunciated, "Hello," as he passed. Our exchange was not more than a few seconds.

Once again, Janna was permanently stuck at the turnstile and after we all quietly (except for Janna) watched John Lithgow walk away, we finally handed her a few quarters so she could purchase another Get-Out-of-Jail-Free MetroCard.

We thought we had lost sight of the famous alien, until our train approached. As we hopped on, we noticed a few cars ahead of us, Dr. Dick Solomon had boarded the very same train. At each stop a couple of us would peer through our train's open doors to see if he had exited yet. We continued this little game all the way from Lincoln Square to Times Square. Finally, our lookout team spotted him leaving the train. "Should we exit too?" we wondered. "Or should we give the poor celebrity his space?" While debating our options, the doors of the Subway closed. With our decision made for us, we looked up at a map to see when our own exit, which should have been near, was approaching. Just then DH, the Tour Guide, shouted, "Hey that was our stop too!"

The missed exit automatically meant more walking (in our church shoes) than we had planned, or trying to get Janna to pass through the turnstiles again. We opted for the Sunday stroll.

Monday, May 21, 2007

The Church of Free Glazed Donuts

For many years in Iowa my dad was the leader of our church "branch," as our little congregation was called. In those days, it was common for congregations of our faith to hold yearly fund raisers to raise money for local church activities. One year, it was decided that our branch would sell refreshments along the route of a well-attended annual summer state-wide bike race.

The church members did much to prepare for the large undertaking. We were a small group so everyone's help was needed. There were signs to make, tables to haul, refreshments to purchase, and a stand to man in anticipation of the hungry and thirsty bikers.

A very cool and shady location along the bike route was selected. With beautifully painted signs posted along the route, tables set up with an array of refreshments, and plenty of beverages on tap, early one Saturday morning, our congregation stood ready to service the athletes.

As the Iowa summer sun rose, we were more than pleased with our selected sunless spot we had nicknamed Shady Grove for the day. The heat and humidity intensified and we were confident our green grass and well treed refreshment stand would be the one selected over any other by the bikers. In fact, we began to worry we might be too successful. Had we purchased enough goods? Would we sell out in only an hour or two and have to pack up early?

Soon the first bikers were spotted. We ran to the edge of the street to see their bikes coasting down the hill before us and swoosh, they flew past our stand and coasted half way up the next hill before they started furiously pedaling again. Unfortunately, they were not the only bikers that day to forgo a rare easy coast halfway up the next hill. And so the day continued with most bikers by-passing Shady Grove nestled, yes among the trees, but also at the valley of two rather sizable hills.

At the close of a long, disappointing day, after everything was cleaned up and accounted for, we realized that our fund raiser had barely broken even. A few extra goods were returned to suppliers, but some perishables were considered a loss. Among those perishables were boxes and boxes of glazed donuts. One of the church members offered a large freezer in which to store the dozens and dozens of donuts.

For the rest of the summer, Sunday afternoons were a little different. After church services concluded, all the children ages 1 - 18 were invited out on the side lawn, where we were greeted with several boxes of freshly-thawed donuts. Taking no regard for being in our Sunday best, we gobbled up the sticky sweet treats with delight.

One Sunday a traveling church authority had come to visit our branch from several miles away. He happened to have brought a couple of his young teen-age sons with him. When services had concluded, like clockwork all the kids went directly outside to await the no longer surprising dispersal of treats.

My dad made a quick appearance to supposedly check on things. The two visiting boys had also made their way outside and stood on the edge of the lawn a bit bewildered at the boxes of donuts lined up and the children freely taking the confections by the handfuls.

Quickly noticing their wide eyes my dad stepped alongside them and offered, "You boys seem a bit surprised. Everything all right?" "Yes sir," they responded. "It's just..." "Then my dad pressed, "Don't they do this at your church?" "No sir," the boys responded slowly shaking their heads, unable to take their eyes off the lawn filled with children and donuts. Not willing to let such easy targets off so easily, my dad continued, "Really? Huh. All the kids here get free refreshments after church every week. Just ask 'em." And then he abandoned the amazed boys and ran off to sneak his own handful of complimentary sugary pastries.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Cell Phone Aids Teen in Reaching Superstar Status

Ever since S1 started high school last fall, DH and I have been adapting to parenting a growing teen-ager. Changes in our rules began with extending his bedtime by two hours. In addition, his new found manhood afforded him other privileges as well. We let him fly across the country for spring break to visit friends in Florida, he got his Learners Permit to drive a car, and we bought him a cell phone.

With all these new found opportunities, S1 has handled them with surprising care and maturity. Except for one time. Not long ago, S1 was sitting in class when his cell phone, which he claims he thought was set to silent mode, started playing a very loud, nifty little tune. Not even initially aware that it was his offending phone, his pants sang the not-so-original musical selection for almost a full minute. With no one quickly silencing the singing cell, the teacher was not impressed.

Finally, S1 caught on as to his musical pocket and was able to silence the noisemaker. The instructor questioned, "Who's cell phone was that?" Never able to tell a lie, S1 quickly admitted, "It was mine."

The consequence for a noise-making cell phone in her class is well-known, even celebrated. "Well class," the teacher responded, "Do we know what that means?" A cheering room of 15 and 16 year-olds started waving their arms in the air. With everyone in smiles, she reminded S1 of the clear policy and then confirmed, "You do understand?" "Yes, I do," he obediently replied, with a hint of a smile. "They'll be here tomorrow then, right?" she verified. S1 agreed, "Yep tomorrow, no problem."

S1 exited with the other students when the bell sounded a few minutes later. But he did not sulk out in shame for disobeying a class rule. Instead, he was accompanied by classmates giving him high fives, exaggerated thumbs up, and chummy pats on the back. They were all eager for the punishment scheduled to be delivered tomorrow.

Being chastised for having a ringing cell phone at school was not the penalty. Not even close. Delivering the promised goods the next day to his class was no penance either. Explaining to his mom, on a night when she was doing payroll for four restaurants, that she needed to stop everything, drive to the grocery store before it closed, and purchase 33 glazed donuts (one for every student in the class as well as the teacher) - that was the punishment.

Unable to drive himself, and with no more than $3.75 in his wallet, this discipline was clearly not for the now famous S1. The only person suffering this consequence, was yours truly.

On the following day, yours truly let the teacher know that she did not appreciate a policy that creates a celebrity out of the offender and causes havoc at home. The teacher said to yours truly, welcome to parenting a high schooler.

Thanks to Carol for the inspiration for today's blog.

Friday, May 18, 2007

One Last Jab

Apparently, the word has gotten around that DH can not be trusted at the local Bob's Big Boy. Yes, we are all a bit embarassed. As if he didn't learn his lesson 20 some years ago. And now I promise this is the last time I will mention it. Sorry, honey, just had to get in one last comment. The book is closed. Done. Finito.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

A Cash Cow

Every now and then I start to get melancholy for the years I spent growing up in Iowa and Pennsylvania. In those days, if there were any towns with people, stop lights, or businesses, my parents managed to live as far away from them as humanly possible. We usually dwelt somewhere on the edge of town, over the hill from a field full of stinky cows. And when the wind blew, even the slightest bit, we were reminded as to who our neighbors were.

Living in such rural areas, typical part-time jobs were difficult to come by. My senior year in high school, I landed a coveted job at the County Market and bent over backwards to make sure I was the best cashier they had, so as to not jeopardize my minimum wage position.

My younger sisters, however, were not so fortunate. With no McDonald's or car wash in town at which to seek employment, they were forced to be more creative, or desperate, depending on how you looked at it.

As an Agriculture Economics scholar, my dad always had the beat on local agriculture opportunities. One day he came home with a profitable pile of crap. It wasn't really crap, not literally. It smelled much worse. It was a 5-gallon bucket reeking of rotten cow that he firmly planted on the front porch.

Then he called all the girls outside. With the last screen door bang, we were finally lined up along the railing with our noses in an exagerated pinch so as to mitigate the odor as well as show our disdain for the interuption.

Standing above the bucket, Dad explained that he was able to attain this pile of used cow magnets for free from a nearby butchering facility. The used cow magnets had been salvaged from old dairy cows' stomachs. After some explaining, we understood that every dairy cow had one of these 3-inch missle shaped magnets crammed down their throats to permanently settle in one of their stomachs. Then, for the lifetime of the cow, the magnet would keep small metal pieces of barbed wire, and nails, and who knows what else from wearing holes in the cow's stomach lining. Typically, when the old dairy cows were finally butchered, the used magnets were discarded.

In a moment of pure genius, Dad realized we could clean of the metal shavings and cow guts that coated the magnets and sell them back to the local dairy farmers at $2 a pop. New cow magnets at the time cost double that, so there was a potential for quick sales and good profit

At this point, I loudly excused myself, overly stating I was late for work at my real job.

My sisters balked at the idea of cleaning the powerful, stinky, slippery magnets, but without any other options, after a few days, they finally dug into the bucket. Slowly, at first, they began scrubbing the bodily remnants and carefully removing the metal pieces that stuck like super glue to the powerfully strong magnets.

Amazingly, they got very good at the chore and were soon easily making much more per hour than the $3.35 I received from the grocery store.

Soon we had cow magnets in various stages of cleanliness, filling buckets across the porch and yard. In fact, they were so prolific, when Grandma Terry came to visit, she managed to snag a few and crochet covers for them. They made the dandiest refrigerator magnets ever! You could put a semesters worth of school art work under one of those and it held as firmly as if you had nailed the papers to the fridge.

But mostly those crocheted cow-turned-refrigerator magnets held my sisters' lists. Lists of how many cow magents they had cleaned, multiplied out to determine how many dollars they had earned. My meager County Market checks were held up by the thin, cheap magnets that came with the phone book advertising the town plumber.

The Perfect Prayer Prank

DH has only a mild history of being a jester. But the few gags he has done have been well executed (putting aside the obvious Bob's Big Boy incident, of course). Evil scheming authored the Greeny Companion Gag he pulled on some poor lad in England.

In the late 80's DH went to England for two years to serve a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Donning the title of "Elder", this was to be two years of spiritual growth for an otherwise immature 19-year-old. It is common to be paired with another young male "companion" and together they were to spread a message of Christ and the Gospel. For the most part, that was the lofty work DH was involved in during those two years. But that is not to suggest he was a perfect saint

After DH had been in England for more than a year, he received a new companion fresh from the United States (aka "A Greeny"). Fighting a terrible case of jet lag, this new missionary was not very successful at avoiding the urge to doze off during what should have been wakeful hours.

Soon it was Sunday morning which for two missionaries, obviously meant time to attend church. Sure enough, once the opening hymn was sung and opening prayer was given, this new messenger to England was sound asleep in an awkward upright position. DH, let the poor boy snooze for some time. Amazed at the young man's ability to be so soundly slumbering during the middle of the morning, DH quickly developed a not-so-righteous plan.

During a lull not more than half way through the Sabbath Day meeting, DH gave the inexperienced missionary a huge elbow and whispered, "Elder, the Bishop just asked you to give the closing prayer." Abruptly brought back from dreamland the obedient missionary promptly walked to the front of the chapel, stood at the pulpit, looked over the unsuspecting crowd, then bowed his head and eloquently prayed a blessing on the congregation to close the meeting.

A bit bewildered, the Bishop stood up. As the newly hazed missionary walked back to sit next to DH, who was doubled over in pain trying to silence his body from exploding in hilarity, the Bishop quickly suggested, "While our new Elder has given us a closing prayer, I think we will keep going for at least a few more minutes."

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Gahanna Police are Punk'd

There has been a bit of a ruckus at the house because of the latest news story to hit the headlines. Originally brought to my attention by David, the news flash has since been confirmed by USA Today and even my own local paper. Apparently someone has succeeded, despite DH's botched attempt in 1985, to place a fiberglass Big Boy statue atop their local high school.

The antic was executed by pranksters in Gahanna, Ohio. I'd say the Gahanna Lincoln High troublemakers are obviously more sly than DH and his buddies to have successfully carried out the caper. DH contends that there is simply less policing done in Someplace, Ohio compared to San Clemente: The Heart of Southern California.

Besides the obvious similarities in the stories, I am perhaps most amused by the statement from Gahanna Police Lt. Jeffrey Spence, in which he suspects this "may" be a prank by seniors. On second thought, DH may have a point about the policing differences between the two towns.

As they clearly need a little jump start, allow me to help out the Gahanna Police Department. While I have no intimate knowledge as to the corny event in their town, this was definitely a prank by seniors.

That narrows the town of 32,636 down to about 275 people. Delete the girls and you are at about 140 students. Cross off the valedictorian and choir president and now you have 138 possible suspects. Nix all the names of students in the computer and physics labs during the next pep rally and there is your list of about 100 likely offenders.

Begin your investigation with the basketball, football and wrestling team captains and anyone with access to a Ford F250 with bolt cutters as well as pulleys and ropes hidden under the backseat.

There. That little tidbit should get the Gahanna Police Department on track. And perhaps they'll even be successful at making sure some poor seniors get criminal records for life.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Me No Comprenda

Have you heard of the French dialect called Shiak? It is a mix of English and French and is supposedly a hot thing with the youth in various parts of Canada. Thanks to Eve's help I even have an example for you:

English: Pass me the ketchup please.
French: Me passer le ketchup s'il vous plaît.
Shiak: Pass moi le Ketchup, s'il vous plaît.

It seems a bit like the Spanish-English combo that I hear in the Western United States. And that is pretty hip right now too. But just for the record, my mom and my grandma were speaking Spanglish first. Back in the 70's. Long before J-Lo or anyone else hopped on the bandwagon.

My mom took Spanish in High School, and since my grandma taught school in heavily populated Spanish-speaking areas of California, she naturally pick up the language. So with that in common, when my grandparents came to Iowa on their yearly visit, Grandma and Mom could discuss all sorts of secret surprises, right in front of us. And try as I might - I could never figure out what was going on. Their discussions would go something like this:

Mom: Las niñas are aburrido.
Grandma: Ah. It is time for trabajo.
Mom: But qué will keep them ocupado?
Grandma: How about: limpie the bedrooms.

I would listen intently, hoping someone was buying me new curtains for my bedroom. Instead, my sisters and I, as payback for our professed boredom, were soon knee-deep in cleaning behind our dressers and under our beds.

Later the conversations would continue:

Grandma: Linda, it is very caliente.
Mom: Yes, Mom.
Grandma: Perhaps abuelo should compre some helado.
Mom (not as fluent as Grandma): Abuelo?
Grandma: Si, Linda. Have you forgotten so much of your Spanish already?
Mom: Abuelo...Abuelo...
Grandma (a bit perturbed, pointing to Grandpa): Ron, Linda.
Mom: Ohhh abuelo. Si, now I remember. It is caliente. Helado? Las niñas would be so feliz!

And so Grandpa would get the treasured chore of walking us to Penn Drug Store in the 95 degree heat with 80% humidity for twenty-cent ice cream cones. And we would be completely surprised, not knowing if we were going on an errand to pick up some extra broccoli for dinner or what.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Opposites Overcome

When DH and I were first married, we did not have a "song". I joked that our song was Paula Abdul's, Opposites Attract. We have since snagged a song to call our own that is much more fitting, but there is some merit to claiming the Paula Abdul mildly popular hit instead.

Mostly because we are not the picture perfect couple. DH is tall; I am short. DH is blond; I am brunette. DH has blue eyes; I have brown. DH is athletic; I received only one ribbon (4th place Honorable Mention) in 5 years of swim team. However, our incompatibility goes much deeper than these examples. And we have had the Newlywed Game losing streak to prove it.

Our friends Janna and Father Love (as Troy prefers to be called on this special game night) host an annual Newlywed Game. Every year Janna chooses great questions. At least I think they are great, but they often embarrass Father Love.

Tonight's favorite was: As a player on the field of love, what penalty will your wife say you’re most likely to be called on: •motion in the backfield •rushing (or) •illegal use of hands?

A close second was this inquiry: Exactly how long will your husband say he can go without playing leap frog before his personality starts to change: •hours •days •weeks • months?

I should explain that during part of the game, one of the couples had a young daughter in the room, and so we had to use code words. What I'm really trying to say is, in case you did not already know, "leap frog" does not really mean the childhood vaulting yard game.

Typically DH and I do not fare too well on these or any such questions. Over the years I have come to realize that DH has no idea what color my toothbrush is, nor does he have any clue as to where the craziest place is that we have ever played leap frog. And sadly I don't know what animal DH's mother-in-law reminds him of, nor can I correctly recall the oddest place on his body I have ever seen him shave. And so it has been the running joke that DH and I always come in last or close to it when we play the Newlywed Game.

Well tonight we turned everyone's heads. Not because we did not finish last, and not because we did well. But mostly because we won!! Woo hoo!! That would be as in 1st place! I'd say not bad for a couple of polar opposites.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Four Winns Forlorn

Somewhere in the comments of this blog, despite my claims otherwise, David contended that there is no such thing as a "dumb boat."

Before we bought our wasteful watercraft, a friend offered a good measure as to whether or not we were prepared for boat ownership. The test goes as follows: Start by flushing twenty dollar bills down your toilet every night. Continue this game for one week. Spend the second week flushing hundred dollar bills down the toilet. At the end of the two week test, if you found such activities to be enjoyable, then you are an ideal candidate for boat ownership.

DH figured he'd pass that test with flying colors so he bought a big 'ol vessel.

In the past seven years, we have realized boat ownership is more expensive than flushing twenties and hundreds down the toilet, but is also a bit more fun.

However, with four restaurants, we are running thin on money to flush down the toilet as well as time to enjoy the process. So, alas, our boat is for sale.

I thought the day DH decided to sell the boat would be a happy one for me. But as I nostalgically rummage through pictures to post on our listing, I'm feeling twinges of sadness. Wistful for a dumb dinghy. Can you believe it?

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Not Even If You Were the Last 11 Year-Old On the Earth

Every Friday, while the rest of the 5th grade had Reading, I went to Problem Solving. I met in the elementary school library with two other students, Bobby Rasmussen and Jeff Dean for this unusual class.

Each week, in a secure manila envelope, we were given a problem to solve as a group. We were to do our absolute best work and place the completed assignment back in the envelope and close it securely. At the time I honestly thought they were looking for kids for secret government work. And even if I was not selected, I figured it got me out of class, so I was game.

Working independent of any teacher supervision, so as to not taint our results, one week our problem was somewhat as follows: We were to imagine that the people in our problem solving group were stranded on a deserted island surrounded by massive waves and man eating sharks. The paperwork went into great detail about the natural resources and climate of the island. Our assignment included making a list of ten things that would make it possible to ensure our survival.

Our hour long strategy session started out as you might typically imagine. However, early on we debated just exactly what would secure our survival. I argued we needed to feed, clothe and shelter ourselves until we could alert someone to rescue us. Bobby and Jeff insisted we were destined to remain stranded and we needed to consider what would allow for the survival of the human race on the island.

Below knife, tarp, fishing pole, matches, and other such items we had one line left for our tenth requirement for survival. I wanted to write 'flares'. Bobby and Jeff wanted to write 'sex'.

Since sex with either one of them was not even a remote possibility in my mind, as designated scribe, in my neatest cursive, I wrote 'flares.' Bobby grabbed the paper from me, erased it and in crude, firm pencil wrote 'sex'.

I adamantly disagreed and informed them that if we were truly stranded on such an island, I would never agree to continue the human race with either one of them. They insisted that I would have no choice; it would be my obligation to have children. And so a loud and boisterous argument ensued.

Stubborn and strict in my stance, I would not be swayed. While Bobby passionately pounded his farm-hand fists on the library table and Jeff tried to argue with logic, I folded my arms and refused to budge.

Even though we were explicitly told not to discuss answers with our teacher, before securing the envelope, I took our paper and showed it to Miss Langston. Pointing to Bobby's dark penciled 'sex' on line #10, I explained my dilemma.

I stood with my heart pounding awaiting her verdict. She considered all agruments and then agreed I could change 'sex' to 'flares' since I was not physically capable of creating life at this point in my life.

I stuck my tongue out at Bobby and Jeff, and scored an imaginary point for my personal victory of deserted island celibacy.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

It's All About Me

I spend a lot of time talking about, and even embarrassing, a lot of people on this blog. Well, in response to a tag from Eve, I am going to present you with some little known facts about myself. Even if you think you know me well, you may be surprised at the following list:

1. I spent my childhood summer days daydreaming about being a princess. I envisioned gorgeous gowns in every hue bursting from large gilded wardrobes. I would live in a castle with servants and visit with rulers from around the world. I was very certain, there had been some terrible mistake and I was not really designed to weed the strawberries, shuck corn, snap green beans and can tomato sauce all my life.

2. We did numerous garden chores on summer mornings, but always went to the community swimming pool in the afternoon. I was even on the town's swim team for several years. In all that time, I placed only once. I have the fourth place white ribbon to prove it. Of course, only four girls competed in the 100 Meter Breaststroke that day.

3. It was during Summer Driver's Ed when I was 15, that I almost ran Mr. Whithoff and a few other unlucky passengers off a gravel road. I had apparently garnered too much false confidence in my newly acquired driving ability and took a hair pin turn on a gravel road at a very unsafe speed. Now I know why they have the emergency brakes on the other side of the Driver's Ed car.

4. Shortly after moving from Iowa to Pennsylvania, I won the high school Voice of Democracy speech contest. In so doing, I presented my speech at the District Competition: "A few months ago, my family moved to a new home in a new state. Much like our forefathers who came to this great land, I faced a new life full of uncertainty and opportunity..." Yes, I had intentions of being the first female U.S. President. Now I'm afraid Hillary will beat me to it.

5. I took three years of the highly useful language Hebrew in college. I was going to be a diplomat to Israel someday, or something. I was not blessed with a gift for languages, hence my college transcript boasts 26 credits of 'C's'. Shalom.

6. I lived a very safe life until I met my husband. It was not until after I married DH that I got my first cavity, first speeding ticket and first broken bone.

7. I was a caller on Dr. Laura's Radio Show several years ago. I called in with an extended family concern. She yelled at me, used the 'B' word in reference to me, and told me to mind my own business. But I still listen to Dr. Laura almost every day.

8. One of my life goals was to be on the Jumbo Tron at a Utah Jazz game. I finally accomplished that goal about two years ago. Some photographer fed the mammoth-sized screen a very grainy picture of me sitting up in the nose bleed section, holding a poster that read, "Harpring Is The Court King." I was having a great hair day, but due to the greyed out fuzzy picture, it was to no avail.

Now, I am tagging anyone that wants to be tagged. Post eight little known facts about yourself in your own blog. And hurry, cause I can't wait to read 'em!

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Slow to Spot Celebrity Sighting

Several years ago George, my father-in-law, who knows just enough about popular culture to get himself in trouble, was walking Main Street in downtown Park City, Utah. He saw this tall dark-haired young man with a curly blond male companion walk by. Immediately, he realized the brunet looked very familiar.

George turned around and shouted, "Hey! I know you!" Surprisingly, the two kept on walking without even flinching. George started after the young adults insisting, "Stop! You with the dark hair - I know you from somewhere." Not at all deterred by their refusal to slow down, let alone turn around, George continued now almost in a jog, chasing after the mysterious people. His rantings continued as well with, "I think I know your dad. What's your name? Hey! I'm talking to you! Who are you?"

Finally, Joey Slotnick turned around and revealed, "His name is David Schwimmer". George's eyes looked up and to the left as he scratched his chin, trying to recall any Schwimmers he might know. Joey, by now exasperated, added, "He's famous; he's on Friends." Shaking his head, the helpful friend turned around and ran to catch up with the Ross Geller look alike.

A few months after that David Schwimmer appeared on The Late Show with David Letterman. On late night television the Friends star complained about being harassed every where he went, including a trip to Utah for the Sundance Film Festival where this older guy would not stop insisting that he knew him somehow. who could that have been?

Monday, May 7, 2007

Fame and Fortune

A special thanks to McGlinch for today's graphic. I made a request on his blog for one of his doodles and while he has no idea who I am, and has no hope for any type of compensation, he did it! So here is my custom Cinco de Mayo Bajio Dude. Isn't he awesome? That'd be he as in both McGlinch and the Bajio Cinco de Mayo Dude.

Our lives may never be the same. DH was on the news. And no, the local burger joint did not report a missing mascot.

In celebration of Cinco de Mayo, DH was laughing it up with a local mid-morning news crew. Showing off some delicious shrimp tacos and tasty green chile chicken salads, we hope all of Utah's taste buds started watering for the fresh fare of Bajio Mexican Grill.

While I should be happy for the free advertising, I can't help but be a bit jealous. After all, DH has become famous. But I am still living in obscurity.

Several years ago, I really thought I had dreamed up an invention that would guarantee us incredible fame, as well as fortune. It was a Saturday night at dinner with our friends when, after securing iron clad promises of secrecy, I first divulged my incredible vision.

I described my idea for a piece of electronics for the television. It would be a computer of sorts, that connects to your TV. Using the remote control, you could access an interactive screen with television programming. Via the guide you could easily select shows to record to the unit's built-in hard drive. Then you could access them at any time from a menu listing all your recorded programs. Pure genius. I know.

But my friends, as well as DH, did not seem overly impressed. They kind of stared at me with confused faces. "What?" I insisted, "Don't you think we'd be rich? It's the best idea ever!"

What followed next was my dinner companions providing me with a brief explanation of a product called TiVo. Honestly, while I can't live without it today, I had never heard of such a thing before that evening.

I guess it's a good thing someone made my brilliant TV recording invention, because now, just in case we don't ever receive a fortune as proof, at least we'll always have the video recording of DH's 15 minutes of fame.

Saturday, May 5, 2007

I Am Not Braver Than a 4th Grader

Have you watched that new game show, "Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader"? People come on the set trying to answer 1st through 5th grade text book questions for a shot at a million dollar prize. If they do not succeed at winning the grand prize, they are forced to admit on national television, "I am not smarter a fifth grader." We've watched it a couple times and get a bit of a kick out of how dumb people can be. And just like D2 thinks I should try out for American Idol, S2 thinks I need to go on the game show. Mainly, because like most of you, I am smarter than a 5th grader.

A couple days ago, S2 had a book report due. He needed some help making a poster and since reading is one of my assigned subjects, I was it. We believe in specialization in our home. DH tutors for Geography and Social Studies homework, S1 helps anyone needing assistance with Science, and I am the contact for English, Math, and all projects requiring creativity.

As it turns out the Reading assignment was more closely related to Science than English or the creativity parameter, so I should have passed it off onto S1. But at the time I had no idea it was going to be a problem.

S2's book report was based on a informational text about vipers. Not as in the sexy fast cars, but as in the slithering asps. So we wrote facts on paper strips, found pictures on the Internet, made a poster, used some craft paper, glue and scissors and had a grand ol' time.

Everything was hunky dorey until bedtime. As soon as my eyelids snapped shut, which they do about ten seconds after my head falls on a pillow, I began dreaming about vipers. Such visions continued all through the night. There were vipers sliding their way through my lawn, along my driveway, and up the sidewalk. The worst was when the venom spouting reptilia began closing in on my porch. Those viper facts about deadly poisoned fangs and quick-to-strike breeds were doing me no favors during my sleep. I was trying to crush the creepy killer snakes with a shovel. I pounded mercilessly, but the venomous creatures seemed unfazed by my powerful blows.

After waking up the next morning, I was completely exhausted, but relieved to be in suburbia where vipers do not typically reside. I resolved right then and there, I will not be doing any more 4th grade Reading homework. I asked S2 at breakfast if he slept okay, or if he had any bad dreams. "I was just fine, Mom," was his reply.

So apparently, while I may be smarter than a 5th grader, I am not braver than a 4th grader.

Friday, May 4, 2007

Accent Agitation

We have some family visiting this week and one such visitor is Frank from Massachusetts. He is as New Englander as they get. Well, there may be some Newer, but not more Englander. I love listening to Frank's accent. Maybe today, I'll ask him to say, "Park your car in the garage," just so I can get a kick out of hearing, "Pawk yer cawh in the gawrawge."

While I may find amusement in Franks accent now, when I spent a summer working at The Lobster Pound off Highway 1, a few miles outside of Camden, Maine, such an accent sometimes caused me grief. It would not have been so bad if Barb, the lead hostess, and Bob, the kitchen manager, were not both employed at the lovely tourist attraction where I had sought summer employment in between college semesters. In any other part of the world, Barb and Bob employees cause no problems for their coworkers. But for an outsider in New England, both names are seemingly pronounced the same: "Bawb".

One day, the owner of this beach side seafood serving establishment told me to take something urgent to "Bawb". I asked, "Is that Bob or Barb?" He repeated with disgust, "I said, Bawb!" I still did not move, and carefully emphasizing the subtle, or not so subtle, differences in the vowels of their names, I again asked for clarification, "As in Barb or Bob?" Not the least bit amused and losing he patience, he shouted, "Take this to Bawb! Now!" A little frightened, I was still honestly clueless as to who I was to go to and insisted, "I could take this to Bob," as I looked toward Bob's office. "Or I could take this to Barb," I continued, looking in the direction of the dining room. As I searched his expressions for some hint of which way I should go, he simply concluded, "Why doncha just take it to Bawb like I asked ya." And then he walked away.

Ah, don't you just love New Englanders?

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Liza Look-alike

While I have suspected the resemblance for some time, these photos prove my suspicion. Born seven years after our "baby," last summer we were blessed with a new baby in the family. Just like Liza, our D3 is beautiful. And the similarities don't stop there. The most obvious, of course, is that each has a beautiful and famous mom. Okay, I admit, I'm no Judy Garland, not even close. But D3 is a deadringer for Liza, and like Liza, D3 is also the center of attention wherever she goes.

We have known D3 to be a show stopper almost since the day she was born. DH did not believe me one morning last June when I said today is the day I'm having this baby. He had a restaurant only one week from opening and knew the baby could wait until after opening day. So off he drove, 40 miles away. Thank goodness for a believing neighbor with a car that drove me to the hospital later that afternoon. And if DH was irritated and annoyed at having to leave contractors unsupervised, abandon a to-do list ten pages long, and then drive through rush hour traffic to come to the hospital for the baby's birth, I didn't notice it. Not at all.

My two rules are that he be present for conception and then again for the delivery. After all, that really isn't asking much.

As I reflect on the past 11 months, I've come to realize that D3 isn't so much of a show stopper as a show starter. It has been constant fanfare since that day last June, and I am happy just to be somewhere in the credits.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

On Missing Out on All the Fun Stuff Like Speed Skating and Dirty Toilets

Do you see that lovely picture right there? Everyone is so happy. Obviously having the time of their lives. That is a picture of a once-in-a-lifetime event at the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City. DH, because he is the master of all relationships, scored us and our friends incredible tickets to a sold out speed skating event. Scored us tickets, as in for free! What an incredible day!

Or at least it would have been. If we had been there. As luck would have it, I landed an intense flat-on-my-back case of the 48 hour flu a mere 24 hours before the incredulous event. That's right, not a very favorable math equation.

So look at the picture again. Uh huh, you do notice, I am not there. And poor DH, so loyally stayed home to rub my back while I barfed, so he's not a part of the memorable festivities either.

That rare winter Olympic speed skating event happened to occur on one of the sickest days of my life. But then so did my wedding.

While such illnesses do not seem like ones worth dwelling upon, on a day like today, when I feel headachy, queezy and weak, it helps me. It is good to remind myself I could be missing more than just in-laws coming into town. That would be in-laws with multiple esses, as in DH's parents, and DH's birth mother and her husband.

Yes, you counted right, that is two mother-in-laws, not just one, that might see my dirty toilets, if I don't find a way to will myself out of bed to do some housework.

And if I don't find a way to get out of bed and clean? I'm sure, just like my loving friends at the Olympics, someone will take pictures of my dirty toilets and e-mail them to me. So it will be just like I didn't miss a thing.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Terror in the News

It is not often that reading the front page of my local paper puts a pain in the pit of my stomach. But yesterday morning, that is exactly what happened.

The title of the article read, "Google Deal to Tap into Public Records." I was immediately tense, and a brief glance confirmed my worst fear. California is one of four states to work with Google to remove technical barriers hindering the search of public records. While it seems legal records are not part of the deal, I'm afraid that day is inevitable. And I am terrified, because of the skeletons lurking in DH's closet.

You see, I would not want my friends and family to easily access the story of how in a botched high school prank, DH and his accomplices stole a twelve foot Bob's Big Boy statue and attempted to place the goofy icon atop the San Clemente High School. In their foolish, confused minds of youth, they thought that since their soon-to-be-alma-mater had prime freeway frontage, this would be the most hilarious joke ever.

Perhaps if they hadn't chosen the most policed night of the year, AKA graduation night...
Perhaps if they had not yet successfully placed the sculpture in the pickup truck...
Perhaps if they could have at least made it out of the restuarant parking lot...
Perhaps if Bob's Big Boy had not been valued over $2000 (making this more than just a misdemeanor)...
Perhaps if DH had not turned the legal age of 18 two short months prior to this stunt...
Perhaps if DH had not spent a terifying night in the Orange County Jail...
Perhaps if DH's parents had hired a high-powered attorney (like his buddies' parents did)...

Perhaps then this would be a fun, laughable memory.

Instead, the opportunity for this and more of DH's follies, to be readily visible on the Internet, causes my stomach ulcers to rekindle with firey strength.