The Secret

Many of you already know this, but the secret to a strong relationship with your significant other or children or grandchildren or even some friends is to love them more than you love yourself…well, I guess I just finished my blog post, but for the sake of being normal, I’ll expand a bit.

The Bible actually puts this in a real good way, “Greater love hath no man than to give his life for another.” There are many versions of this same scripture, but they all come down to the same thing…love and sacrifice. You don’t have to give your life to prove this kind of love…you just have to be willing to do so. It’s like the old military story (based on true happenings) about the soldier who throws him or herself onto a hand grenade to save his or her buddies. The love for your fellow soldiers is an amazing thing. It’s something the survivors never forget. It is life-altering.

Another way of putting this, especially for Christians, is that you pray for the other more than you pray for yourself. Not as dramatic as giving your life, but still a selfless act that shows your love for that other person.

Sometimes this feeling is automatic. You can feel it when you look at your infant child sleeping. The love can almost overwhelm you when you realize that little bundle you helped produce has become your entire life…willingly. Every cell within you is willing to throw itself in front of a train to save this child. When the child gets older, your selfless feelings don’t change much. They can grow up to be a criminal and you still have those feelings. You can’t help it.

Now it’s obvious that not everybody seems capable of this. You read and see news reports all the time that show parents who abuse their children. They, for one reason or another, have missed out on the secret to love. Those children have less of a chance to learn the secret as well. Children might not be able to express that they feel your love, but they do feel it. Deep down they know you would fling yourself in front of that train…just like they know that you would fling them in front of the train when you don’t love them. This makes me sad.

I grew up knowing my dad would do anything for me. I’m not saying he would do bad or immoral things, just that he would do everything within his power to give me what I needed to make it through life. His sacrifices as I grew up are clear to me now as an adult. His life was guided by making sure I was loved…and I still feel it to this day.

This morning, as I gazed out the back window at the beautiful woods behind my new beautiful home, I turned to my wife and thanked her. She wondered why? I told her that if I didn’t love her so much, I would’ve never bought the home. I did it for her and now I get to also reap the benefits of a lovely place to call home. Now, in turn, her selfless love for me is turning it into a real home where I can come home and feel the love as I walk through the door. When the selfless love is on both sides of a relationship, everybody wins.

So, in conclusion, this really isn’t a secret. It’s really common sense. Loving one another is the message Jesus gave us. It’s the secret to happiness for everybody involved. I pray that we all learn this, then the world can be a better place for everybody.

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Stats (Reblog)

When I was a kid, I used to listen to almost every Milwaukee Brewer game on the radio. I was obsessed with the sport, the players, the statistics, and generally every nuance of the game. It was so bad that I kept my own statistics on every player through the season so I could add it to the year before’s statistics of every player. My math had to be perfect so I would check and double-check my stats on those rare days when they didn’t have a game. When I couldn’t listen to a game for one reason or another, I would anxiously get my stats from the newspaper the next day. I say anxious because I always worried the newspaper would get something wrong and screw up all my work.

Anyway, one day I was listening to the game and it was either Briggs or May that hit a second home run in the same game. Of course, nowadays that’s nothing special, but back before rumors of a juiced ball or steroids, a two home run game was a big deal. The radio announcer said it was that player’s first game with more than a single home run. That didn’t feel right to me, so I checked my stats for that player and found out he had done it before when he was with another team (yes, I was that meticulous). For some reason, it bothered me so much that I took my radio and my stat papers and went to the phone…remember, phone’s were attached to a wall back then…and made a call. After about 5 minutes, I was connected to somebody I could talk to. They checked my stat and agreed that they made a mistake. We said goodbye and I took my radio and stat papers and went back to my room. I did my job, I just hoped they did their’s.

A couple minutes later the radio guys brought it up:

SPORTS GUY #1: We received a phone call from 10-year-old Dazeodrew from Milwaukee that corrected a statistic we reported about the two home run game.

SPORTS GUY #2: Oh yeah? 10 years old?

SPORTS GUY #1: Yeah. We incorrectly reported it was his first time doing this, but he actually did it a couple years ago for the first time.

SPORTS GUY #2: It took a 10-year-old boy to discover this? We should hire him! Fire the whole lot of stat checkers we already have!

I was so proud! I had done something I thought no other 10 year old had ever done! I corrected grown-ups! I was now a force to be reckoned with! Of course, this was a fleeting feeling because the radio guys kept talking.

SPORTS GUY #1: We may as well hire him. If he’s that into stats, what kind of life is he going to have? He’s certainly never going to get a girlfriend!

SPORTS GUY #2: Ha, ha, you’re right! That’s probably why he does stats! He’s a pathetic little lonely boy with no friends because he’s such a little Poindexter!

SPORTS GUY #1: That’s right! We should hire him just to give him a life!

SPORTS GUY #1 AND #2: HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!!!!!!!!!

Ok, that second part didn’t happen. It could’ve, but it didn’t. Sometimes I certainly felt that way. I was the smallest kid in my class and only had a couple of friends. Some of that was because we moved around a bit before that point and I was on my 4th school by age ten, but the fact remained, I was a bit of a nerd. I got perfect grades, I could read adult books, and my math skills were way beyond grade school level. I guess that would make me a full-fledged nerd at the time. The only thing I didn’t have was a thick set of glasses…or even a thin set.

My baseball sickness went even further than what I’ve already told you. Much further.

I used to go into my backyard with a little souvenir bat I once got at a game and a couple of ping pong balls. I would stand on the sidewalk facing the clothesline poles and hit the ball. Anything not in the confines of the poles on either side was an out. Under the poles was a single unless the ball dribbled past the second pole, then it was a double. Hitting the second pole was a triple (didn’t get too many of those) and hitting it over both sets of poles was a home run. I would do this by myself and would play a complete nine-inning game if I could, batting for both sides. The sickness came in because of the fact that I kept complete statistics for the game and compiled all of them, complete with league standings, at the end of every day. Except, of course, if I had a rainout.

In a way, I had already created a fantasy baseball league before that was even a thing. I did the same thing during football and basketball seasons but played a little different with each sport. With football, I used playing cards because let’s face it, there is no way to play football by yourself. For basketball, my dad had put a small hoop up in the basement for me and I would play with a six-inch rubber ball and, yes, I would keep stats sometimes. Mostly I just played with my imagination.

ME (talking to myself in an announcer’s voice): And Dazeodrew gets the pass, fakes left and then fakes right before driving down the lane and SLAMS IT HOME! Wait, was he fouled on the play? Yes, yes he was! Now Dazeodrew will go to the line and try to convert a three-point play! What a game Dazeodrew is having!

ME (now talking in my own voice): What am I doing? I feel like a pathetic little lonely boy with no friends because I’m such a little Poindexter! I don’t really want a girlfriend just yet, but I might someday! I need to change. I need a life…

ME (back to the announcer voice): After a brief injury timeout, Dazeodrew is back in the game! What heart! What spirit! Dazeodrew is what the game is all about! Watch as he sinks this long jumper! Ok, but at least he got the rebound and put it in!

Sometimes, I still feel like that nerd of long ago. I no longer keep stats, other than basic ones in my head, but I still play good basketball in my dreams when I go to sleep. In my dreams, my 5’8” body is perfectly capable of dunking the ball. In real life, I would probably trip on my way to the basket. Even if I did reach the basket, at my age I would need to do a little stretching before I jumped my whole vertical leap of about 6 inches, leaving me a good 2 feet short of the rim…

Our New House

Well, we’ve now been in our new house for almost 18 days. We’re still unpacking and sorting and finding broken things that the movers packed. We’re also changing our minds on where we want things and trying to settle in. The one thing we won’t and can’t change is the view out our back windows. It’s all woods and beautiful.

Where we used to live was a nice place, but the neighborhood has begun to deteriorate for one reason or another. It was close enough to downtown Olympia that we often heard sirens from both police and fire engines every hour or so. Our vehicles were subject to car prowling and more than once, we caught people up to no good wandering into our yard. Just a couple of days before we moved, a transient was shot and killed just down the hill from our house. In fact, the day we were moving, we had a sizeable police presence parked in front of the house investigating the murder. We were happy to be leaving.

Where we are now, it’s so quiet at night that you can hear a mosquito pass gas from a dozen feet away. Louder sounds have an echo effect so that when I hear a car door slam, I can’t see how far away it came from. The reason I look is because of living through the car prowls in our old house, as well as the unwanted traffic that used to visit what we called the “meth trailer” down the street at our old place. Now our traffic is limited to the occasional neighbor.

It was quiet we wanted and it is quiet we got. Even the cat seems happier. At our old house, she spent most of her days outside. At this new house, she’s content to only go outside when she has to, um, you know, go. The rest of the time she just follows me around and lays about the place like she owns it.

My wife is definitely happier. She loves the new house and the freedom it has given us as opposed to dealing with a landlord…especially the one we just had. Now if we have a problem with the house, it’s up to us to handle it, which we prefer.

Of course, now we have the wildlife to contend with…which is so much better than contending with a thief trying to break into our cars. In our new neighborhood there are deer, bears, skunks, opossums, racoons, otters, and whatever other animals we haven’t discovered yet. The woods behind our house are surprisingly almost all hardwoods as opposed to the evergreens which are more populous here in the Northwest. When one of my sons came to visit, he said the woods in back reminded him of Wisconsin. I think he nailed why I like them so much, even though I didn’t get the association until he mentioned it.

My only worry is that we’ve only been here for 18 days…maybe we haven’t had time to see the bad element yet. Maybe we’re in an area that has animal gangs. Maybe they’re just waiting until we get fully settled in and feeling safe before they strike.

RACOON: Now?

SKUNK: Not yet…they’re still unpacking.

RACOON: When then?

DEER: Wait until they sit and relax after finishing all their work.

RACOON: Well, what do we do until then?

BEAR: Act like peaceful woodland animals.

OTTER: Yeah, we need to lull them into a sense of peacefulness. Then we invade.

RACOON: Fine, but I know I can smell salmon in that garbage can…

BEAR: Salmon? Um, do we really have to wait?

OTTER: You sure it’s salmon?

DEER (rolling its eyes): Carnivores…

Anyway, we’re very happy now. We’ll be even happier when we get fully settled in. My wife has even agreed to let me get a dog. As long as I can keep the cat and dog from joining the wild animal gang, we’ll be fine.

That 70s Post (Reblog)

The 1970s were one of the best decades in world history! Music was good, atmosphere was good, clothes were comfortable, and all the protests from the 1960s produced a decade of relaxation. Everybody was worn out from the 1960s, cops, hippies, veterans, everyday people, and so on so the 1970s became downtime for all. Of course, had we known what kind of decade it would usher in with the 1980s (remember the clothes and hair?), we might’ve done things differently, but that’s another blog.

My teenage years were during the 1970s and I definitely took advantage of it. I had a large group of friends and we all seemed to get along back then. In Wisconsin (can’t speak for other states) weed and alcohol were plentiful for us kids and our social lives seemed to revolve around it. It was a time of freedom that I haven’t seen since. Even the cops were laid back.

COP: Is this your bag of weed?

KID: Yes, um, I mean no.

COP: See what I’m doing? (He dumps out the bag onto the ground).

KID: Aw man! Um, I mean, my mom sure is going to be upset when I don’t bring her bag of oregano back…

COP: Sure she is. Now you kids run along.

KID: What about our beer?

COP: No sense dumping out perfectly good beer, is there? (Even the cops in Wisconsin value beer).

KID: No, that’d be bogus, man.

COP: So I’ll just keep it for safekeeping until you turn 18, ok? (Drinking age was 18 back then).

That was the 1970s. The cops went from being almost militant in the 1960s to acting like everybody’s big brother in the 1970s. Stealing beer is just what a responsible big brother would do.

One of the shows I really like to watch is “That 70s Show.” Yeah, it’s a comedy, but there are a lot of factual pieces to the show. I remember (barely) having circle times in my friend’s basement, we went to a lot of concerts, everybody had a Kelso in their group (sometimes two!), and they’re always seemed to be one dad who was always threatening to put his “foot in our asses.” Good times…

Another thing we used to do that they did in the show is sneak out. Even though I know other generations snuck out too, this is my blog so we did it better. Sometimes it was out the window, sometimes it was boldly out the door, and sometimes it took some deeply thought out lie.

ME (to my parents): I’m spending the night at Nick’s.

NICK (to his parents): I’m spending the night at Dazeodrew’s.

That master plan is what got me to my very first concert…RUSH! Of course, neither of us had a driver’s license yet and the concert was 30 miles out of town at Alpine Valley, but no matter…we had tickets! We eventually found a ride and it was all worth it. The opening bands were Humble Pie and Sweet, but as good as they were, they weren’t Rush. Rush had come out with the album 2112 and all of us pretended we could air drum the entire first side. Other bands, we would air guitar to, but Rush had Neil Peart, possibly the best drummer who ever lived! Yeah, none of us could get it right. Of course, I mentioned the 1970s were filled with weed and alcohol so we all thought we were drumming the parts perfectly and in unison. The reality was more like this:

LITTLE BOY (talking to his mom): Mommy? What’s wrong with those boys?

MOM (pulling her little boy close): I don’t know. They’re either having seizures or they’re on drugs.

LITTLE BOY: Maybe dad needs to come down here and put his foot in their asses…

I went to plenty more concerts after that, but the first one is always the memorable one. As a kid, when you finally make it to your first one (without your parents hovering around), you have the feeling of, “I have arrived!” I never had to lie to my parents again about going to a concert because it turned out they were cool with the whole thing, but it could have gone differently. You see, most lies eventually unravel, or you have to perpetuate them to keep them alive…but they still unravel in the end.

DAD: Oh, where did you get this shirt? Who’s Rush?

ME: Um, it was a gift from Nick…

DAD: That was nice of him. Did you give him your shirt then?

ME: Huh?

DAD: Well, I wondered if you gave him your shirt from the concert? Wasn’t the concert the same night you stayed at Nick’s?

ME: How did you…

DAD: The concert dates are listed on the back of your shirt…dumbass.

Of course, it could’ve been worse. Nick’s parents figured out our lie about the concert too. Remember how I said we all had that one dad who threatened to put their “foot in our asses?” That was Nick’s dad…

Devious Laundry

We all deal with it…the mysteries of the washer and dryer. Where did the extra sock go? Why are my shirts all inside out? Can I really make a sweater from all this lint? Why did this pair of underwear go from a size large to extra extra small? What is that DARN CLANGING NOISE!?!?

Well, you’ll be happy to know that after serious research (I spent like a whole 5 minutes on this) I have some answers. I’ve narrowed it down to either a poltergeist or artificial intelligence…I can already feel the doubters raising their arguments.

DOUBTER: But Mr. Dazeodrew, I spent 10 minutes studying this, twice as long as you, and I think it’s just coincidence these things happen.

Oh yeah? Well, let me explain some facts to you, you flat earth believer! I have a degree in computer science, which means I’m kinda smart…anyway, maybe that explains why I could study the problem twice as fast as you! As far as coincidence, do you really think it’s a coincidence that all our washers and dryers act the same way? Huh? All across the world? Huh?

DOUBTER: Well, I think…

Nobody cares what you think! This is my blog! Get out!

Man, I hate it when somebody is so opinionated they won’t listen to somebody else’s opinion! They should be more open-minded, um, like me. I’ll listen to anybody’s opinion…um, except that guy’s. His opinion is just disruptive…and wrong…and, whatever…

Anyway, we’ll start with my theory of artificial intelligence. I think that through the years, washers and dryers have developed a hatred for all of us who can walk. You see, we created them so they can’t move around. Oh, they try, they bounce around as much as possible (especially if you’re washing blankets) but those darned hoses keep them from getting too far. This makes them angry.

WASHER: I’m almost (grunt) there!

DRYER: Go! Go!

WASHER: Argh! These darned hoses!

DRYER: Bastards! Now I’m going to steal socks and flip all the shirts inside out with anger!

WASHER: Yeah! And I’ll slip this loose change into a pocket so you can clang them around later!

DRYER: Yeah! Hey, do you have any lipstick or candy?

WASHER: No, not this time…

DRYER: Do you remember that one time? Red lipstick all over the whites! That was great!

WASHER: Yeah…good times, huh?

DRYER: Yeah…I’m gonna shrink these Fruit of the Loom’s because I’m so angry!

So there you have it. Still doubting? Well, I followed up with an experiment to prove my point. I purposely flipped all my shirts inside out to see what would happen. They came out still inside out. Why didn’t the dryer flip them outside in? Because it’s ARTIFICIALLY INTELLIGENT, that’s why. It called my bluff.

I’ve even used a baby pin to pin my socks to larger objects like pants or shirts. Occasionally, one sock will still turn up missing…all that’s left is an open baby pin and a widowed sock crying its, um, thread out at the big toe. The dryer brutally ripped away its partner and turned it to lint. The hatred is real folks.

Now for my poltergeist theory…well, I’m more of a realist.

Meth

This single word, this single substance has brought woe to many families. Becoming addicted to meth is like welcoming a slow suicide. Meth not only robs you of a “normal” life, but it affects all those around you as well. Once you become addicted to this stuff, your family no longer recognizes you. You become a liar, a thief, and somebody who can’t be trusted in any circle. It’s just plain evil.

The other day, I posted a blog that made fun of a Gummy Bear addiction. I received a message from a reader that thought I was being insensitive to actual drug addicts. Trust me, it was only an attempt at humor, something I believe many of us are missing in our serious hectic lives.

I have spent many years helping veterans and some non-veterans deal with addiction. I can honestly say, I hate meth and I dislike meth-heads. Once they are addicted, they are no longer people that can be dealt with on a personal level. It’s the meth I hate, not the person…that’s why I devoted so many years to try and help meth addicts…so I can like them again. Not only me but their families as well.

Now, before you go judging me because I said I dislike meth-heads, understand that when one is addicted to meth, they are no longer the person they were. They have become a walking talking living zombie. They will steal jewelry from their favorite grandma. They will raid their child’s piggy bank. They will walk around thinking they look normal, but everyone knows they’re on something. They will often be in full denial that they have a problem. Worst of all, they will cease to love anything but the meth.

The question often asked as well as greatly misunderstood is why they became addicted in the first place. Everyone knows that it’s one of the most stupidest things in the world to try meth, but it also can be considered stupid to abuse alcohol or pills, yet so many do. I once heard a alcoholic drunk say, “At least I’m not on meth.” True, but you’re still stupid and an addiction is an addiction and often ruins many more lives than your own. But I was talking about the causes for meth addiction…

It is true that some people try it and get hooked just because they wanted to. There are also the cases where people feel so hopeless, they are constantly looking for an escape from what has become their horrible realities. I know a few that turned to meth when their pain pills were taken away. I’m not talking about the malingerers, but rather people that are actually in so much pain they’ll do anything for relief. We filled them with legal opiates and then yanked the opiates away because they’re addictive…really? Take away the thing that helps? Take away the thing that was created to help? Of course, they’re addicted. That’s the trade off to try to have a close to normal life for these people.

I understand that the opiate crisis is real, but like true government without a clue, we just yank the medication from everybody, even the people who truly need it and deserve it just because there are people who don’t deserve it that are abusing it. Prohibition didn’t work with alcohol and it won’t work with opiates. People will find a substitute and oftentimes it’s meth or heroin. Our harsh methods have contributed to heavier addictions.

What’s the answer? I don’t claim to know, but what I do know is that mass punishment might work in the military, but it doesn’t work on the streets. There are too many other options. We should not be guilty in driving good people to those options.

The Lies We Tell Our Kids

As parents, we are expected to show a good example for our kids to follow…at least that’s how it’s supposed to work. So why do we lie to our kids so much? I can almost hear some of you saying, “But Mr. Dazeodrew, we never lied to our kids!” Ok…

Santa Claus is probably the biggest lie we tell our kids. Don’t get me wrong, I did the same thing. I also did the Easter Bunny, Tooth Fairy, and Boogey Man. I know, I know, these are just harmless little things we do to enrich our kids lives…but they are still lies. Little lies about little things.

As a dad, it was almost imperative that I tell a whopper or two to the kids. Things like “we bought you at Walmart and we still have the receipt” or “there’s a troll in the basement so don’t go down there.” Little lies about little things.

Another little lie is that broccoli are little trees and cauliflower are little snow-covered trees. My wife once told the kids that those big rolled bales of hay in white plastic were really giant marshmallows and that’s where they came from. Little lies about little things.

Convinced yet? Do you accept you’re a big fat liar yet? What’s worse is that we sometimes make our children accomplices in our lies…

DAUGHTER: Dad, I know Santa isn’t real.

ME: Well, don’t tell your brothers.

DAUGHTER: Ok, I won’t.

ME: Also, don’t tell them about the Easter Bunny or the Tooth Fairy.

DAUGHTER: Wait, what?

ME: Um, what what?

DAUGHTER: They aren’t real either?

ME: Um…

So there we have it. Just like every other lie in the world, the truth eventually comes out. The difference is, when the kids discover we lied about certain things, it gives them the ok to lie as well.

MY BROTHER: You’re the mailman’s kid.

ME: No I’m not!

MY BROTHER: Oh yes, you are! Why do you think you have a big head? (I did have a big head so I had to consider this point).

ME: Um, because you said dad dropped me on it a lot when I was a baby.

MY BROTHER: I was just being nice.

ME: Wait, what?

MY BROTHER: Um, what what?

ME: Dropping me on my head is being nice?

MY BROTHER: Well, when dad found out you were the mailman’s kid, he dropped you on your head a lot.

ME: Ok, now I’m just confused…

MY BROTHER: That’s because the mailman isn’t very smart and you take after him.

So as you can see, the lies just continue to perpetuate from generation to generation. We often punish our kids for lying, but fail to realize we taught them how. We’re all a bunch of hypocrites.

Of course, there’s no easy way out of the whole Santa, Easter Bunny, and Tooth Fairy mess we’ve created through the years. If we tell the kids the truth too early, they get made fun of by their friends. If we tell the kids too late, they get made fun of by their friends. If we deny Santa and the rest right at the get-go, the kids will hear about them from their friends and view us as liars anyway, because obviously, their friends wouldn’t lie about something that serious…but they definitely think we would.

Possible moral of this story? Do what you want with your kids…you’ll be labeled a liar either way.

Comfort Food

We all have those certain foods we take comfort in. Many of these are meals and/or recipes from our past. The food reminds us of better carefree days from our past. Some of these foods we grew tired of when we were young, but now they bring back wonderful memories.

My mom was the queen of comfort foods. She had a cadre of recipes that I now crave and try to emulate when I can. Her sloppy joes were exceptional as was her shrimp pasta salad. I remember her meatloaf and especially making meatloaf sandwiches out of the leftovers. Also, who can forget when tuna casserole was all the rage. All of these things were made from scratch and it was real food.

Desserts were another specialty of my mom’s. Apple pie was my favorite. She also made a delicious Jello cake with Cool Whip on top. For snacks, my mom used to give me graham crackers with frosting. Of course, my life was also bettered by the cookies. We had chocolate chip, peanut butter, oatmeal, molasses, and snickerdoodles. I swear, my mouth is watering with all these memories.

Where ever I have been in my life, I usually identify certain foods with it. I’ve already mentioned some of the foods from my youth (thanks mom), but as I became an adult, other foods stand out.

After I turned 18 years old, I used to hit the bars with my friends. After closing time, we would inevitably head over to a local restaurant chain called George Webb’s for some chili. George Webb’s is famous in Milwaukee for their promise to give away free hamburgers when the Milwaukee Brewers would win 12 games in a row. Since I was almost always drunk when I ate the chili, I really can’t tell you if it was good or not, but man oh man, I sure ate a lot of it!

When I was stationed at Fort Bragg, I found myself eating a lot of grits, but that’s really not the food I associate with it. It’s Korean food I learned to love while I was there. I made friends with another soldier who was married to a Korean wife and her family owned a nice Korean restaurant in Fayetteville. Before we would go out on a Friday night, we would always stop there to get started with our evening. My favorite was Yaki Mondu. I could eat that stuff all night!

Then came Germany. I would need another blog post to cover all the food I liked there. Most notably, I loved to go to a little imbiss in Esslingen that gave me the best currywurst I’ve ever had. Only once have I been able to replicate the sauce and it was the one time I didn’t write down the ingredients I used to achieve this. I also found myself loving all the various schnitzels and almost any of the accompanying gravies. German desserts also had a hold on me with the many fruit dishes and chocolate snacks.

Now that I live in the Northwest, I am definitely into all the seafood, especially salmon, as well as all the desserts that can be made from blackberries, apples, marionberries, and any other berry from this area. I’ve smoked my own salmon and even learned to make what they call “salmon candy,” which is a smoked salmon heavy with brown sugar.

Obviously, I could go on and on with all the other foods I missed. This is just what came to mind. I didn’t even touch on my homemade bratwurst recipe or various pasta salads we’ve developed through the years. Also, my wife’s goulash and French toast are the best in the world.

Moral of this story? Food is life, life is food. That about sums it up.

Here Kitty Kitty (Reblog)

One of our kids came into my life at a later age. He’s my wife’s son and I love him to death. He’s hard-working, built his own successful business, and he’s a great dad. He’s everything you would want in a son. Except…

He had done so well with his business, he bought his family a new home in the neighborhood he grew up in. He wanted his kids to have the same upbringing in the same neighborhood he grew up in. It’s a beautiful house and we’re all proud. Of course, the house came unfurnished…except for the current home dweller…a cat. Apparently, the last people who lived there left their cat.

Now the last thing he wanted was a cat. They already had a dog, so they really weren’t looking for another pet. Reasonable. What he did when he saw the cat outside was not. The exchange with my wife, his mom, went something like this:

SON: So, I guess the previous people had a cat and left it.

MOM: Where is it now?

SON: In the house.

MOM: How did it get in the house?

SON: I saw it and said, “Here kitty kitty.”

MOM: No!

SON: Well, I couldn’t just leave it.

MOM: You now own a cat.

He does too, kind of. Nobody really “owns” a cat. It’s more like the cat owns them. They’re already on their second litter of kittens and they kept a couple. Now they have multiple owners.

Here’s the thing about cats. Unlike dogs, you can’t own one. A dog will be chosen by the owner. A cat will let you think you chose them, but in reality, if they don’t choose you, all you have is a creature you have to feed and clean up after…and they expect you to do it on their terms. After all, they think they own you.

If dogs and cats could talk, um, I mean people talk, it would go like this:

DOG: Oh! Oh! You’re awake! Oh, I’m just so happy! I’m so happy I might even tinkle a little, just a little, on the floor in front of the bed! Can we go out now? Huh? Huh?

CAT (looking disdainfully at the dog): Moron.

DOG (turning towards the cat in excitement): He’s up! He’s up! He’s…

CAT: Shut up, you moron. I need to be fed.

DOG: Oh! Oh! Do you think he’ll feed us today? It would be so great if he did! He loves us so much!

CAT (rolling her eyes): Of course he’s going to feed us, you moron. That’s what I hired him for.

DOG (blank stare): What?

CAT: Are you really that stupid? I’m going to wait by my bowl.

DOG: Wait for what?

CAT (rolling her eyes again): For our servant to feed us, you moron.

DOG: Oh! Oh! Do you think he’ll feed us today? It would be so great if he did! He loves…

CAT: SHUT UP! Oh, and by the way, I left him a little something in his slippers.

Of course, it’s built into a cat to be mad at you if you don’t do what they want. They will expressively let you know when they are displeased with your performance as a servant, and it usually smells bad enough to gag a gorilla.

Anyway, they now have not only a house full of kids, they have a dog and an assembly of cats. Oh sure, they’re so cute when they’re little. You can pick them up, cuddle them, play with them, laugh at their little bites and clawing, but eventually, they grow. Then they take ownership. The bites aren’t so little anymore and the claws have found a new purpose…furniture.

Now before you think I have something against cats, please note that I didn’t make the dog too bright in this scenario either. In reality, I love almost all animals…except camel spiders…Ewww, pretty gruesome, but most of the rest of the animal kingdom is good with me. Unlike people, animals are true to their nature. Even a dog can’t lie when you say something like, “Did you do this?” Of course, the cat won’t own up to, “Did you do this?” It’s not that they’re lying…they just don’t care what you think they did.

Possible moral of this story? Be very careful how you use the phrase, “Here kitty kitty.” It might just land you a cat. Oh, and if you’re a softy, like almost every human in this story, you might also want to avoid the words, “Oh, it’s a cat.” That’s how I got my cat…

Gummyheads

Gummy Bears are my addiction, my obsession, and my kryptonite. I can focus on almost anything, but when Gummies are waved around me, I fall apart and give in. It can be embarrassing at times. I try to hide my shame by sneaking the Gummy Bears when nobody is looking. I have stashes of Gummies in many places. I can actually remember my first taste…

ROUGH LOOKING KID ON PLAYGROUND: Hey kid, come’ere…

ME: Um, what?

ROUGH KID: You ever seen one of these?

My eyes glazed over, the heavens opened up, and I could hear angels singing. In his hand was a small assortment of fruit-flavored Gummy Bears. I knew then I had to have one. I reached for the handful. He pulled them away.

ROUGH KID: Easy there, kid! You want to start slow with these. Try an orange one…

It was all over for me. From that point on, all I could think of was Gummy Bears. I found myself sitting on corners begging for change to get some. My personality changed as I grew more and more addicted. At one point, I thought I should try to quit, but I tried cold turkey and the withdrawals were too much to handle. I found myself doubling what I ate before.

I knew I had hit rock bottom when I woke up in a Gummy Bear house. It was an abandoned house and there were about a dozen of us laying around with empty bags that once held gummies. We were all coming down at the same time. A couple of the others tried to talk the rest of us into raiding the candy store. “They can’t stop all of us!” they enticed.

Well, they stopped all of us (this wasn’t the first time a raging group of Gummyheads tried to raid the candy store) and we all went to jail. Back then, there weren’t any rehabs for Gummyheads so the judge gave us the choice of the military or jail. I chose the military.

The military was just what I needed. I was able to break away from my addiction and begin to lead a normal life. Don’t get me wrong, the cravings were still there, but I was able to fight them off. All was going well until I was shipped to Germany. Germany is the birthplace for Gummy Bears. It was like sending a cookie addict to a Keebler Elf Village. You’re just asking for carnage!

At first, I was able to avoid the places where the Gummyheads hung out. There were a lot of them in the military. Then on one drunken night, I let my guard down. A bowl of Gummies was being passed around and I took one. It was all over for me again. I found myself using Gummies like I used air. I always had to have more. Like most Gummyheads, I didn’t think anybody noticed…but they did.

COMMANDER: Sergeant Dazeodrew, we think you’re using Gummies…

ME: No Sir, no, um, I can quit at anytime…

COMMANDER: Empty your pockets.

I refused and it took two MP’s to hold me down while they searched. They got my stash from both pockets, both cargo pockets, and even the emergency stash in my socks. I was left gummy-less. I was completely humiliated and embarrassed. Instead of quitting, I just became sneakier.

FIRST SERGEANT: Sergeant Dazeodrew? Why are you shaking your canteen out?

ME: That last one is stuck…um, I mean, I’m making sure it’s dry.

FIRST SERGEANT: It’s a canteen.

ME: Um, yeah, but I like it to be dry before I fill it up.

I made it through my military time without getting busted, but I’m not sure how.

Nowadays, I’m known as a “functional user.” I’m able to keep my addiction going, but I can still function as if I’m not a Gummyhead. With the variety of Gummies on the market, it’s become easier to hide them.

CO-WORKER: Nice looking Cherry brooch your wearing.

ME: Thanks…

CO-WORKER: And your wrist bracelets are very colorful. They almost look like Gummy Worms.

ME: Haha, yeah, almost.

An hour later.

CO-WORKER: Hey, what happened to your brooch and bracelets?

ME: What brooch? I’m a guy, I don’t wear brooches!

CO-WORKER: And the bracelets?

ME: DON’T YOU HAVE SOMETHING ELSE TO DO YOU WITCH-HUNTER!

Anyway, I’m waiting for the day they legalize Gummies so I don’t have to hide in shame anymore. It’s ridiculous that I have to sneak around like this. I’m a grown man, for Pete’s sake! Oooh! Orange!