One of These Things Is Not Like the Other…

I got up early this morning to do some reading…keep up with current events, that kind of thing…I came across some headlines that for some reason I just felt didn’t belong together…

Miscommunication Is the Biggest Threat in North Korea-U.S. Standoff

or is it this…

N. Korea Claims It Tests H-Bomb That Can Fit On Intercontinental Missle

how about this one…

Why It’s So Hard For U.S. Spies To Figure Out North Korea

or is it this spine-tingling revelation…

A Wine Crisis Is Gripping Europe

With all due respect to the grape farmers…the wine makers and wine drinkers of Europe…KISS MY ASS! Kim Jong Bad Haircut says he has the ability to deliver a hydrogen bomb on the head of a missle!…

One of the largest cities in America has just experienced flooding described as “of biblical proportions”…and I’m supposed to be worried about whether Europe has enough wine to drink? I think you can tell my choice for silliest headline of the weekend, right?

And whoever placed these news headlines together, as if their somehow equally important…under the heading of  WORLD NEWS on the Comcast homepage this morning…your design page layout choices are Priceless …absurdly so…and you might want to find another job, or al least work on your sense of proportion…

A Presbyterian In Catholic Purgatory…

I didn’t know I could do this…as a Presbyterian, the last thing I thought I would ever find myself doing is bringing up the bread and the wine for Communion in a Catholic Church…I mean, is that legal or even covered under canon law somewhere?…I’m pretty sure over in South Jersey my long-departed parents turned over in their graves…don’t get me wrong, my parents didn’t hate Catholics…to be honest, they didn’t always get along with our neighbors who were Methodist…I think they just thought Catholics were a little too showy…too in your face…always the nicest church…a crucifix instead of a cross…the best carnivals…

Anyway, my wife and I (me?) went to the late Mass a couple of Sundays ago…and as usual, we arrived early…as we’re sitting there, my wife praying the rosary…me, using the time not to pray, but to stare blankly and judge the other parishioners now arriving in their best Sunday shorts, t-shirts, and flip-flops…,at least I had the decency to rock a nice collared shirt…this guy comes up and asks if we would like to present the gifts for Communion…before I can tell him he’s got the wrong guy, my wife gladly volunteers us…

“I can’t do that”, I quietly protest to her after he leaves,”I’m not even Catholic.”…

…since mostly my wife, and somewhat me, have raised our kids to be good Catholics, which they make you do when there is a religiously mixed marriage…it’s become a standard excuse I Continue to use to get out of attending holy days of obligation…giving up cheesesteaks during lent…and working a booth at the church carnival….

“Won’t my Presbyterianism somehow spoil the Body and the Blood?”, I panicked. And my wife, in the snarkiest tone possible and with a look usually reserved for my 20-something year old son after one of his occasional transgressions says…”Don’t worry, the priest will transform it…pretty sure the congregation will survive you bringing up the wine.” It was about here that I realized we were doing this…so I chose this moment…this issue…to make my stand…”I’m not taking the wine…if I spill it on the rug, there won’t be a baptismal font deep enough for me to hide in.”

And that ended that…my wife had just gotten me to choose how I wanted to do the thing that I was fighting her about doing…

…after all these years…had she finally started me on the road to Catholicism?…and my eventual visit to Purgatory?

 

AAE8D80B-9AFF-4358-BFDB-57730E80F855-22537-00000CC8B6C031A6

Who Is White America…It Ain’t David Duke…

My apologies to President Trump and all of the other Washington politicians calling for unity and understanding during the violence that took place in Virginia this past weekend.

I will not…befriend or defend a neo-Nazi…I will not try to understand the alt-right movement…I’ll never tolerate a hate-mongering member of the KKK…I won’t listen to a creep like David Duke exercise his First Amendment right…he, who calls himself and his knuckle-dragging idiots “White America”…Duke says he helped Trump win the White House and that his group was going to take America back…like then candidate Trump promised they would…

We the People need to re-define what Nationalism is…what a Nationalist stands for…this current brand of Nationalism is divisive…exclusionary…and about fear mongering…and if allowed to go its own way, will be destructive…have we already forgotten what domestic terrorists like Timothy McVeigh are capable of?…

I wonder…how many other Timothy McVeighs were in that mob on Saturday?…does that question cause you to  Prickle  at the thought that someday these Nationalists just might show up in your town?…on your street?…

An Idiot’s Guide to Grilling…

It’s not real difficult…cooking on a gas grill is really a fairly simple thing to do…much easier than trying to cook with charcoal and lighter fluid…unless you’re an idiot like me…

There are just 3 simple things I do before slappin’ the meat on the grill…if the wife wants grilled vegetables or seafood she’s on her own, those aren’t my things…but, before I start cooking the 3 steps required are…

clean the grill grates with one of those hard-bristled brushes…turn on the gas to the burners…press the igniter button…then enjoy some delicious cooked meats in a Jiffy…am I right?…unless you’re an idiot like me…

Last night, my kid’s girlfriend stopped over…what better time to throw some sausage on the grill?…and after wasting 20 minutes defrosting 2 packs of frozen meats, I made my way outside to the grill…

I turned on the gas…I cleaned the grates…and I depressed the igniter button…in that unfortunate sequence…

2F0198F6-2BD2-433B-B0BA-85FAA9430BD1-5608-0000030ABEC69897have you ever heard of the Darwin Awards?…given to people who’s natural selection (unfortunate demise) serves as a warning to others…and if you’ve been paying attention to what you’re reading, by now you know how I almost became a Darwin Award winner…

because while you can always brush…turn on the gas…press the igniter button…you can even turn on the gas…press igniter button..then brush…unless you’re an idiot like me…

don’t ever turn on the gas first…brush the grates second…and press the igniter button last…unless of course you want to catch fire…and you’re an idiot like me…2324E6DC-7D80-435E-80F3-1D51BA44F50A-5608-000003066E1A44CC

I’m okay…my Neo-like-from-the-Matrix-movie reflexes allowed me to bend away from the fireball spat at me from the inside of my grill…leaving me with only some singed hair…which smells really bad when it’s burned…and the subject for another long-winded blog post…and yes I know…I should always keep a fire extinguisher nearby for emergencies…just like me…

I Know She’s Holding Out On Me…

My wife’s walk-in closet fell apart last weekend. Again…her walk-in closet, no longer able to endure the stress being placed upon it…collapsed.

Now, I don’t usually look into her closet, but when I heard the sound of broken shelving and twisted metal…not to mention her scream for help…I reluctantly went up stairs knowing exactly what I was about to see…

And still I was shocked. 

My wife has always been a working professional in the drug industry, so she has many suits and other clothing stuff that business professionals wear. When you combine that with clothes for different seasons, physical changes, age, and the fact that she is a self-admitted pack-rat…we still have the megaphone high school cheerleaders yell into sitting in my garage…that we brought with us from New Jersey…that she brought with her to our house in New Jersey…from Pennsylvania…after we got married…by now you get my point.

She’s bought more suits and clothing than I could ever think possible. I think she also suffers from paralysis by analysis when it comes to what clothing to get rid of, be it out of style, no longer fitting as it did when purchased…whatever…

As much as her vast wardrobe shocked me…nothing could prepare me for the shoes. The Imelda Marcos shoe museum should have so many shoes. Which brings me to the title of this post…she said she counted 208 pairs of shoes…I know there’s more…I think she only counted the ones in her closet and our bedroom…I don’t think she’s gotten around to the other rooms yet. I’m willing to go out on the limb of a shoe tree that she has over 300…

If you’re shocked by that number…welcome. If not, then you’ve probably wasted your time reading this.

Upon seeing the destruction and the hopelessness of her closet, I agreed to go out and help her get the materials needed to re-build a closet capable of standing up to such pressure…

While I was thinking local home center, 2×8’s, 3/4 inch plywood, hex bolts and drywall screws, she had a different idea…The Container Store…with it’s fancy wire racking, various types of boxes and containers…expensively fancy stuff…nice to look at…and not made of wood like I suggested…all the salespeople were closet consultants and not some guy wearing bib overalls like at the home center.

In conclusion…my wife took the opportunity to donate clothing and shoes to various charity groups in need of women’s clothing…something she admits she probably should have been doing all along…so I guess it all worked out in the end…

I just don’t understand why she’s giving me a hard time about my 8 pairs of shoes…hell, 2 of them can’t even be worn in the house…

I’m No Gardener Either…

Of all the things people have called me…master gardener isn’t one of them. My 2FE43938-E665-468D-868B-37BB2E6FDE85-2145-00000172701E5C7Dhouse…is where flora and fauna of many types go to die…brutally choked out by the things that thrive at my house…the common pokeweed with its delicious appearing, yet poisonous berries, and the ability to climb higher than the 5’11” I am…and how in the name of Jerry Baker…(apparently he’s a master gardener of some popularity and shouldn’t be confused with the televangelist Jim Baker)…did I manage to get Canada Thistle in my Pennsylvania yard?…thistle is migratory?… like some sort of goose?…and yes, I grow the equally annoying and harder to remove, bull thistle as well…my yard has no prejudices.

No spring or summer would be complete without the annual battle with my true F255F762-76BA-4FAA-8213-36971858854D-2145-0000013C14D2C86Anemesis…poison ivy. I pray every day…whatever bird, rabbit, deer, or other woodland animal that Amble onto my property daily and plant that vile weed into my yard…die a thousand deaths for all the pain, itching, swelling…the doctor’s visits…the steroid treatments…all of it…for what they put me through…

That’s right…I’m no master gardener…if it was up to me, I’d mow it all over and throw down grass seed.

You Wanna Know Why I’m So Miserable?…

Improper food handling. Improper food handling by poorly trained food preparation people.

On Saturday, I stopped at my local convenience store on my morning commute …ordered my raisin bagel toasted with butter…then like an idiot, I sat and watched as a poorly trained food preparer, while buttering my raisin bagel, stopped to grab an oversized handful of pickles he must press with his gloved hand into a little container, which he then handed to a customer who was not me…and then he re-commenced buttering my toasted raisin bagel…WITHOUT RE-GLOVING!

I watched, in my morning zombie-like state…knowing what comes next…that first flavor-filled bite of toasted raisin and now pickle juice bagel. Ahhh!

When you change from one food to another in food prep…you have to re-glove!!!…it’s food handling 101 for crying out loud…

I guess I should be somewhat happy…at least he was wearing one of those beard condoms, so I didn’t have any of his beard hair on my toasted raisin pickle juice bagel with butter…10474075-E503-4372-98B6-8E9C4E324F86-1660-000000FBDAAD94BB