Sunday, June 28, 2009


Let's just come out and say it: I like to play jokes on people. It invigorates me. It brings together the power of wit and laughter. For the last month, I've been planning a good one on Leni. The plan was to have a friend, who is pregnant, take a pregnancy test and give it to me. I was then going to use it to let Leni believe that I myself was pregnant and then enjoy his reaction - whatever it may be.

Whatever grand reactions I had conjured up in my head, this was what ensued early on Saturday morning:

Maggie: "Leni wake up"
Leni: "What?"
Maggie: "I've been feeling different lately. Long story short, I took a pregnancy test about a half hour ago and I can't get up the nerve to go look at it myself. I wanted to just take it without telling you so that if it was negative, you wouldn't have to worry, but I just can't look at it. I need you to look at it for me."
Leni: "Well that's a way to wake up"

Leni goes into bathroom and comes back

Leni: "Babe I think you should make a doctor appointment and get a legit test done because this one is are you doing?"
Maggie: "I don't"
Leni: "Maggie it is going to be fine. I'll get a really good job when I graduate and I will have started it already. Whatever happens, we can handle it!"
Maggie: "You are absolutely no fun."

Leni did say my acting skills were very good but it didn't turn out to be any sort of consolation for me. When else has a wife ever been irritated at husband for being so loving and supportive? As utterly disappointed as I was for my fun being ruined by someone else's good character....nevermind...I was going to come up with something good that has come of this but I just can't think of any.

Keep It Real!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Living in a Powder Keg and Givin' off Sparks

Some might remember the song, "Total Eclipse of the Heart" by Bonnie Tyler. This song was a hit in 1983, 2 years after my birth. Just a month ago, someone with a stroke of genious, a hint of creativity, some audiovisual skills, and a heap of hilarity dubbed over the somewhat creepy music video of the aforementioned song and posted it on YouTube. The new video uses the image from the old one and new lyrics which describe exactly what is taking place in the video.

This video has brought more laughter to my life than you will ever know...until you watch it.

Watch it now, thank me later!

Keep it Real!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Day of the Dad

I feel as if Father's Day is often overshadowed. Restaurants advertise gormet brunches on Mother's Day. Retailers run advertisements for special sales to get us to purchase things for our moms. Churches even sometimes hand out flowers to all those moms on Mother's Day. But does Father's Day get the same attention?

To honor my own dad, I'd simply like to share a couple brief but good stories about him from my memory.

  • After my birth but before my memory kicks in, my father (and mother) decided to play a cruel but funny joke on my poor Aunt Ann. At a pre-dertermined time, my mom called my aunt and said something along the lines of, "I don't have much time. The fire department is here. If Jim calls you, tell him I have the kids and the dogs and we are safe." My mom then hung up. Right on schedule, my father called my aunt about 10 minutes later and said, "I'm standing in front of my burning house. Have you heard from my family?" I don't know to what extent the joke played out after that but I do know that for years we received phone calls in the middle of the night from an unknown caller who hung up after we'd answer. This was long before Caller ID so we can't prove anything but we are convinced that it was my aunt getting back at us.
  • As a small child, my mom once told my brother and me that very small fairies lived on our placemats at the dinner table and that if we were to put our elbows on the table, it would kill them. I assume that this was a story that she had grown up with as well. After my mom had finished telling the tale, my father wasted no time at all. He immediately begun POUNDING his elbows on the table while shouting, "Die! Die! Die!" Perhaps a little morbid for small children, and somewhat less supportive than my mother would have preferred, but we all thought it was hysterical!
  • For those of you who don't recall, my father is an Episcopal priest and co-officiated our wedding with my Father-in-Law, also an Episcopal priest. One of my father's responsibilities during that event was to give Leni permission to "kiss the bride". Those weren't the words he used however. Instead, he chose these: "Leni, you may now kiss my daughter"
Much about my father is a mystery and I learn more about him every time I hang out with his side of the family who seem to be more forthcoming with the details of his childhood than he usually is. Regardless, I owe more than I could ever give to my dad in a lifetime of trying. Thank you, Dad, and have a restful and enjoyable Father's Day!

To finish up some blog-keeping, some of you have asked for the solution to the riddle on my most recent post. The answer: a quarter and a nickle. I said one of the coins wasn't a nickle....the other one was! If you guessed correctly, I know that you are intelligent and/or you are a fan of the hilarious sitcom, Scrubs.

Keep It Real!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

It's Getting Hot In Here... drink your H20!

It's true what they say about Texas. It's so hot that the birds are using potholders to pull up the worms. The trees are whistling for the dogs. The farmers are feeding their chickens crushed ice to keep them from laying hard-boiled eggs. I was going to mention that one could make instant sun tea but, as you may have noticed from my most recent post, I have no problem whatsoever with that. Want to know the worst part about the heat? It's not even at its worst yet!

A good friend and co-worker, Greg, and I have been testing some of our staff. The riddle is as follows:

The worth of two coins adds up to 30 cents. One of them is not a nickel. How is this possible?

If you know the asnwer to this question, I will know two things about you:

1. Your intelligence level
2. What you do (or do not!) watch on television

Only the truely worthy will understand this.

In other news, I heard from Leni recently. He has been in New Zealand with his father and brother for a week and has yet another week to go before coming home. They sound like they are having a magnificent time. Below are some photos from the trip:

Either the beginning or end of a multi-day hunting trip

Landon and Leni on the trail

Paul and Leni getting some lobster from a vendor after the hunting trip

Keep It Real!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Successful Shakedown

Don't worry, I did not spend the weekend shaking down kids for money although it might make for a profitable side-business. It is amazing how much money kids bring to camp each week to spend in the camp store. You'd be absolutely shocked.

Anyway, a "shakedown" for those of you who don't know, is the term used by off-road enthusiasts for the inaugural trip for a newly created or rebuilt off-road vehicle. In our case, this weekend we took a rebuilt and modifed 1987 Toyota 4-Runner out on the trail for the first time. Leni has been working hard the last few months to get this thing up and running.

Shakedowns make me incredibly nervous. What if it doesn't start right? What if something breaks in the middle of a trail? If anything is going to go wrong, odds are, it'll be at this point. Guys who like to go four-wheeling often LOVE this. I can understand it too....the rush if having to fix something while on the trail...having few tools at your disposal and no parts store nearby. But if you are just an innocent bystander like myself along for the ride, its a long time to wait with no tools or skills to offer to help speed things up. Anyone who knows me knows that I like things to happen fast and I like to stick my nose in there and do whatever I can to make that happen. Being on the side of a trail watching a couple guys struggle to fix a broken truck may very well be one of my many personal hells.

What is it about this sport that is so appealing? Some of you who have never been involved with anything like this may be asking yourself the same question. Let me break it down for you:

Step 1: Start by buying a second (or in some cases, third or fourth) vehicle. It is probably rusty, inoperable, and has been sitting under a tarp in some guy's field for over a year.

Step 2: Pay a ridiculous amount of money to have it shipped to you if it was located far away

Step 3: Figure out how much money the "new" vehicle is worth and then go ahead and spend about 4 times more on new performance parts for it

Step 4: Calculate how much time it will take to finish the project and tell everyone when you plan to have it done.

Step 5: *Finish* project only after you have far surpassed your projected finish date by 2-6 months and have spent about twice as much money as you planned.

* The term "finish" in this case is to be used loosely. In most cases, it will merely mean that the vehicle starts, at most, 50% of the time and ocassionaly leaks fluids and spews ugly black smoke out the tailpipe. Nothing on the dash will be trustworthy including speed and fuel. Make doubly sure you do not report this information to any other possible drivers.

Step 6: Take "finished" truck to a place to drive it off-road. Drive it so hard that you break many of the expensive parts that you spent the last few months of your life putting into the truck.

Repeat steps 3-6 as needed

Being a penny-pinching tight-wad, you perhaps can see how it has taken me some time to warm up to this new part of my life, now that I have married one who is SO into it. I can hardly afford it and when anything goes wrong, there's nothing I can do to help with it. Awesome. But perhaps that is just part of marriage. Throwing money at stuff you don't care about to make your spouse happy. Can't wait until it's my turn :)

Here's a picture of Leni driving his "new" truck over a rocky obstacle:

Huge props go out to Leni on the great performance of this truck! No break-downs, no suspicious noises, and no having to pull it off its side because it flopped over (although we did have one tire up about 3 feet off the ground at one point!). Maybe next time, we could do without the couple small flames we saw!

Keep it Real!