Saturday, July 30, 2005
Friday, July 29, 2005
Thursday, July 28, 2005
“So, I had to run out at lunch today to buy my kid his birthday presents, right. I go to Wal-Mart and I get him a few things and I realize I should run over to Target, because they have a better selection of toys he would like. On my way to Target I stop at Burger King to pick up lunch.
I pull into the Target parking lot and I see a space open right up front. I pull in and figure I would finish my lunch while sitting in my car with the AC on. As I am pulling
into the parking spot I see this old guy kind of wave to me but I don’t think anything of it. He waves to me again so I waved back. So, I am sitting there eating my cheeseburger when the old guy walks over and get into the passenger seat of the car. He sits down and says, “That Air conditioning feels good.” I didn’t say anything. I don’t know why.
So then the old guy says,
I said “A cheeseburger”.
The old guy says “From where?”
I said, “Burger king”
Then the old guy starts telling me that he ate at the diner this morning so he is not hungry and he tells me what he had. We had this conversation while I was finishing my burger.
After like 2 maybe 5 minutes I finally say to the old guy. “Sir? Who are you?”
The old looks over at me and says. “Oh my god! I thought you were my son picking me up.” I couldn’t help but start laughing in the guys face. He was embarrassed. I was embarrassed because I am so into my lunch that I let some stranger sit in my car with me and carry a conversation. I felt bad for the guy. But then I am thinking, maybe this guy is the front man for some carjacker. Or maybe he is setting me up to be robbed. So I got a little freaked out.
Just then a car similar to mine pulls up, and a guy gets out. Now I am thinking I am going to be robbed. The old guy gets out of the car and the man that just pulled up says, “Dad? What are doing?”
I started laughing hysterically. I felt bad, because maybe the old guy had Alzheimer’s or something. But his son is all embarrassed. The Old guy is all embarrassed. And I realized that the old guy just thought I was his son picking him up. He just wasn’t paying attention. But the entire time he was in my car he didn’t
look over at me. You would think my voice would have given it away.
Then I am thinking Why Did I sit there and have a conversation with him?
I keep laughing about this story even though it was told to me last week.
Tuesday, July 26, 2005
We don’t have a fence. Each of our neighbors, left side, right side and back, all have fences.
Sunday I am out back spraying weed killer when I hear a lady call to me.
“Excuse me.” She said peering through a large hole in the fence in the backyard.
“Yes?” I responded while trying to cover my pasty white, shirtless chest.
“Hi, “she said, “I’m Dot (not her real name). I live here on this side of the fence. I don’t know if it was you that I talked to after the hurricane, but this fence needs to get fixed.”
“Hi. I’m Bill. I just moved in a few months ago so it was not me you talked to. I am under the impression that this fence is yours.”
“Oh. Well I thought it was yours. It is looking pretty ratty and it needs to get fixed.”
“When I bought the house I was told it was your fence and that all this landscaping on my side was done to hide the fence.”
“Well maybe we can work something out to get this fixed. You should see it from my side. It looks horrible.”
“Okay. Let me look at my deed and paper work and I will see if the fence is mine. IF it is, I will try to take care of it but I have thousands of other things to do first.”
She shook her head, “Well I'll check my paper work and let you know if it is mine. Sorry we are meeting under these circumstances.” She turned to leave.
“Don’t worry about it. We’ll figure something out.”
Two things come to my mind after this conversation.
1. I am totally embarrassed about not having a shirt on for the first time I meet a neighbor.
2. This skank called the HOA to report the fence.
I put on my shirt, grabbed the digital camera and went on a mission. I took pictures of the fence from my side, through the holes in the fence and over the fence. This fence clearly goes all around her property. I walked around the block and took pictures of the fence, in the same “ratty” condition on the front of her house. On the right side of her property are fence posts that match the fence in the back. I was gathering evidence.
Monday, Lauren goes out to get the mail and on our doorknob is a flyer for a fence contractor. Coincidence? I don’ t think so. I think one of the board members of our HOA is a fence contractor. Or, maybe, DOT herself is on the HOA board. There is a conspiracy going on here.
Monday, July 25, 2005
Sunday, July 24, 2005
Friday, July 22, 2005
Mom sent out an email to my siblings. Part of it read …"we will have a family get together to welcome the Florida (our Last Name), who will be visiting for a week. Hope the date is good for all. This way everyone will have a chance to touch base with the family, and see how Maxfield has grown. It will be casual. We'll have food and drink. Not sure yet what the menu will be. Time wise, it will be afternoon say, around 2:30 or so, till whenever. Please let me know if you are coming. "
I think it is very nice that my mom is arranging to have a gathering for us. It will be easier than Lauren and I trying to visit everyone while we are there. My other brother’s have already started with the barrage of comments.
Lawn Whisperer replied to all: "This is an outrage! How come he gets a special day? Memorial Day, Labor Day, Presidents Day, and Bill Day. That is amazing. Bill, you should be honored. Jim never had a Day, and Tony (brother in law) has yet to have a Day. That is impressive that you leap frogged those two. August **st is now Bill Day. The same guy that makes fun of us over the internet. The Blogosphere is filled with jokes about us, and incriminating pictures because of Bill, but he gets a Day. I am not jealous. No."
Dan replied to all: "I moved to Florida for a short period of time..............YEAH, NO PARTY
I have been in New Jersey for 12 years now, and not once has someone had a party for me because I moved out of state............NO PARTY Bill, who must be MOM'S 2nd favorite son, has been gone for maybe 4 months and is getting a summer bash. I think we should make it just like old times and get a little rowdy so the Police Department have something to do on that weekend. I hear it has been a little quiet around there since we all moved away with the exception of Mike and Baby Jesus (The Favorite)."
I have not heard of any other fall out from my other siblings.
John (LW) did call me to tell me he is calling his local congressman to see if it can be a National Holiday. He said, "Oh I am wiriting it in my calendar right now. Next year there better be a Bill Day."
I know I am loved.
Thursday, July 21, 2005
Wednesday, July 20, 2005
Tuesday, July 19, 2005
Monday, July 18, 2005
Jim and Uncle Jerry came by the house and visited for a while. It was nice for Max to see some of his relatives, although he was acting all shy for most of the visit. During our conversation Jim mentioned that he is getting much more insight into Lauren from the stuff that I post here. We also had dinner with Jim on Sunday night.
He is doing fine and he flies out today (Monday) I am now relinquishing all responsibilities of my 30 year old brother, who is married and has three kids, back to you.
During the visit my Uncle Jerry mentioned that he has seen me more in the past few days than he normally would see me if I was living in Pennsylvania. He, as well as my dad, tends to think that I am anti-social when it comes to family functions. Just for the record, for 8 years I worked in the nightclub and restaurant business I rarely attended family parties and functions because I had to work. If the party was in the afternoon, I was usually asleep because I worked until 4 in the morning. If the party was at night, I was working. I had to make a living.
Also some family functions are based around events that either do not interest me such as the yearly 4 day golf outing (I do not golf as of yet), the family fantasy football league (I love fantasy football but have never been invited to be in the family league) or engagement parties, which I feel, is a strange party to have.
I have 8 siblings who are all married, 19 nieces and nephews, 22 aunts and uncles by blood or marriage, and 45 first cousins. I have made attempts to attend every graduation party. I have been at every one of my first cousins weddings (those that have gotten married). And I have made attempts or have attended every other type of party that comes around. That is NOT anti-social. Sure I am the co-founder of the 56 Minute Rule ©1985-2005, but hey, I try.
56 Minute Rule © 1985-2005
My brother John, AKA the Lawn Whisperer, and I, in our teens established the 56 Minute Rule. For events and parties that were going to be attended by a lot of people we would show up and leave in 56 minutes. We established that 56 minutes is the perfect amount of time to:
1. Greet most people
2. Have a soda or cocktail
3. Eat a snack
4. Work the room so people could see that we were at the event
5. And say goodbye to people that we did not greet.
56 minutes is the perfect amount of time to make a presence and have people see you and then leave to go do other things. There is an art to it. We perfected it. This may sound anti-social but there are people who would not even attend these parties. That is anti-social.
I am not mad about the observation of being anti-social. I am just trying to clarify the situation.
On another note, Emily is coming. Not the hurricane. My mother-in- law, Emily. If it was the hurricane we would be busy nailing plywood to the windows and making sure the house was secure. Since it is the mother-in-law, Emily, we are busy cleaning and vacuuming and making the house sparkle. I am not sure which requires more work.
Friday, July 15, 2005
She usually asks me about colors and ideas. We exchange ideas. I offer my opinion my ideas. Then we go with HER idea and her opinion. I realize she has a better eye for this type of stuff. I also realize that she watches way too much HGTV. I could swear Max knows the theme music from Design on Dime.
The living room is just white. It is a big room. So it is a lot white. Lauren decides that two of the walls will be painted a tan type color. I call the color Almond. It is not the color of the outside of the almond but more like the inside. The other two walls will be painted a dark earthy green from the chair rail to the ceiling and the bottom half will be covered with fabric. Some type of starching process that will make the fabric stick to the wall like wallpaper, which I am sure she saw on Designer Finals, or Devine Design or Decorating Cents (do you see a pattern here).
Lauren went and picked out a plaid fabric that she liked and got six yards for 12 bucks. She held it up to the green wall and asked what I thought about it. Now I know full well that what I say usually does not matter but I looked at it and due to some of the red in the plaid pattern I said, “I like it, but it looks like Christmas.” She looked disappointed.
“Really? You think? Hold it up there for me so I can look at it from over there.”
We changed places in the room. I held the fabric to the wall.
“You know Bill, I think you are right. I will have to get a different fabric.”
Did you hear that everyone. I was right when it came to decorating and design. Woo Hoo. On the rare occasions that I am right, I usually perform a little happy dance and sing an incoherent happy song. But this time I did not. I was stunned because she agreed with me on the design. I felt like Christopher Lowell.
Lauren went out the next day and spent more money of fabric so maybe I was not a winner after all.
Thursday, July 14, 2005
Since it was hot and humid I was quite sweaty and gross and I jumped in the shower. While I was in there Lauren returned and started calling my name.
I called out from the bathroom, “I’m in the shower!”
Her and Max enter the bathroom. “Bill if the guy behind the counter at Publix offers Max a cookie, this is why you should never say chocolate chip is Okay.”
I slide the smoked glass door to get a better look. Max is standing there, all smiles, covered in chocolate. His hands spread wide to show me all the chocolaty goodness in between his fingers. Clumps of chocolate were freckling his face and hair.
“Take off his clothes and give him to me. I will clean him up in here.” I said.
Lauren removes his clothes and hands him over to me so I can use the hand held showerhead to rinse him down. “I am going to bring the bags in." She said and she left.
I get him all cleaned up and dry him off. I wrap the towel around my waist and take Max into the bedroom. I need to get dressed so I could take him upstairs and put him in his pajamas. I turn to get my socks out of the drawer when I hear Max giggle. I turn to see what is so funny.
There, standing in the middle of my bedroom, Max is laughing at the stream of pee that he has discovered coming out of him. He looked like one of those cement fountains. The expression on his face is like “OH that is what this does”. As he is piddling on the hardwood floors, he decides to see if he could catch it. He was like a dog chasing its tail. He is following his own stream of pee.
“Max, NO!” I yelled just a little too late.
His feet caught the puddle and like cartoon character trying to run, his legs are moving but he is not going anywhere. I could have sworn I heard the Scooby Doo running sound effect, doodleloo doodleloo doodleloo doodleloo. And before I could get to him, he crashes down in his own pee, landing on his knees. He started to cry.
I pick him up to check to see if he is injured. He seemed fine. He was dripping with pee. Now since I picked him up, I am covered in pee. We both needed to take showers again.
I am sure glad he is not at the age where I would have to kiss his knee to make it better
Tuesday, July 12, 2005
Lauren and I were married 3 years ago today. I proposed to her in December and 7 months later we were married. I am sure there are all types of weird, dramatic, hectic, catastrophic and funny wedding stories out there. But I laugh every time I think of our wedding and figured I would share.
When Lauren and I decided to get married we both agreed that we did not want a long engagement. We were already “living in sin” for a few years so it would be easier to plan. We also agreed that we wanted an outdoor wedding with casual dress, picnic type games and karaoke. Neither Lauren or I are big fans of Karaoke but we both knew that our families would have fun with it as well as not too many weddings let their guests be part of the entertainment.
It took us about a month to find a place we were happy with and had a decent date available. Six months is considered short notice in the wedding industry. We found an art center that had really nice land, a sculpture garden and a pavilion type facility that we could use (in case of rain) and we set the date for July 13th.
Over the next month or two we hired the caterer and the photographer and the DJ/ Karaoke guy. They all said that six months (now four) was short notice but since few people get married in the middle of July because of the heat they could accommodate us. I heard many comments from family and friends.
Comments like, “Are you nuts? An outdoor wedding in the middle of July?”
And, “You guys are going to bake in that heat.”
As well as, “Do they have at least have air conditioning?”
Due to the fact that we were not getting married in a church we needed someone to officiate. We found an ex-priest on-line to handle the ceremony. He was still licensed in the state of PA to marry people. He was busy but the date was okay and he would be there.
In an effort to keep cost down we were prepared to handle everything that we possibly could. I use the term “we” very loosely. We (Lauren) made all the decorations and centerpieces for the tables. We (Lauren) designed and made the invitations. We (Lauren) planned out the layout and use of all the space. Most of the supplies were purchased online. Lauren even bought her dress on-line. Lauren and the bridesmaids also made all of their own bouquets. Just so you know Lauren is very talented.
Fast forward to June.
Lauren and I wrote our own vows. Not individual vows (her to me and a separate one for me to her) but joint vows that we both agreed reflected our relationship and personalities as well as what we thought we should promise each other for the rest of our lives. The only catch was that the priest who was officiating our wedding wanted to approve them to make sure they were acceptable to the sacrament of marriage. I called the ex-priest so I could discuss the ceremony.
He was not able to take my call.
He was dead.
Passed on a few weeks ago.
No one told us. He did not have us penciled in his appointment book. This could have been a problem.
I called the on-line service where I originally found him and asked for a replacement. It took a day or two but someone finally called us back. Another ex-priest. He would squeeze us in. Catastrophe averted.
Fast forward again.
July 13th. I dropped Lauren off at her parents at about 8 am. I had to go to Target to purchase a Croquet set and a Horseshoes set so I could set them up in the fields around the art center. The day was perfect. Sunny. Breezy. 85 degrees. No threat of rain. I went home and relaxed (not really), showered and headed over to Bob’s (my best man) house where all the groomsmen were to meet to get ready. The groomsmen were, of course, my 7 brothers.
It is during this “get dressed” time, that traditionally, my family, the brother’s, prepare for the Toast over a game of beer pong. It has been a tradition since Dennis, the first to get married, that all the brothers would participate in the toast ( It is really a Roast of the bride and groom) Boundaries are established at “get dressed” time as to what can be said in front of the 150 some odd guests and what cannot be said. We call this “In bounds or Out of Bounds.” It is also during the “get dressed” time that final jokes are added to the toast as well as a check of any and all props that are needed for the toast are checked (Yes you read that correctly. I said PROPS). A few examples of what was done at previous weddings of the brothers.
1. Lawn Whisperer met his wife while working at UPS. So we arranged to have a UPS driver show up at the ceremony to deliver the rings.
2.Brother Kevin’s wedding was a Black and White theme, so in between the church and the reception we changed our ties and cummerbunds to red and green plaid and put red and green polka dots on our shoes.
3.Pat’s wedding we were drawing a map of all the places he got into trouble as a kid.
4.Michael’s wedding roast was a Game Show.
My brothers show up. Already boozing. They apparently met at someone else’s house to determine the “In bounds/Out of bounds” rules. I was the last of my siblings to get married, so, this was an event. I started to get a little nervous because I did not have an inkling of what the toast would consist of. Sure they would make jokes about me collecting comic books and my fascination with superheroes and cartoons. Jokes about Lauren being an artist and a black belt. Jokes about theater. But, it may have all been “Out of Bounds”.
We arrived at the art center and there were so many last minute details that had to be done. We had to set up the chairs for the ceremony. Nine guys in tuxedos working in the mid-day sun. I had to set up the picnic baskets around the fields of the art center. I had to fill them with cookies, crackers, candies, wine and Slim Jims so the guests could snack as they wandered through the gardens. I had to get the DJ the CD’s for the music he was to play for the ceremony as well as the “DO NOT PLAY THESE SONGS” list Lauren and I prepared. If someone wanted to hear the Electric Slide or Achy Breaky Heart they were going to have to sing it Karaoke style.
With all the running around, I had no time to get nervous. Before I knew it, the ceremony started. The bridesmaids all walked up the aisle toward the giant oak tree we were to be married under, to the soundtrack of the “Princess Bride”. They all looked great in their individual dresses of their choosing. I started to sweat. Then as the music changed over to Sinead O’Connor’s “In This Heart” I held my breath.
Lauren emerged from the around the corner and looked absolutely stunning. I started to cry but blamed it on sweat in my eyes as I asked for a handkerchief from Bob. My brothers started laughing at my emotional state until they all caught a glimpse of Lauren. The place was silent for the next 30 seconds as she strolled up sunlit path. Breathtaking.
There were a few readings. One was from the “Velveteen Rabbit”. We exchanged rings and vows. We kissed and were married.
After appetizers and pictures and moving all the chairs form the ceremony to the reception area, we were “introduced” at the reception. At this point each one of my brothers left the art center. I knew, after taking part in 7 other weddings that they were preparing for the toast. I just did not know what they were preparing. Following are the pictures from the toast. I have tried to cover the identities to protect the drunk and silly.
Anyway the guests had a great time. Lauren and I laughed and laughed. People played horseshoes and croquet. They ate. They Drank. They Sang. They danced.
Needless to say it was one of the funniest, best days, ever, of my life.
Monday, July 11, 2005
I saw this sitting in a tree down the street. I had to take a picture of it.
From the Homeowners Association Newsletter.
“BE AWARE---Have you noticed a larger number of hawks in our neighborhood these days? We don’t mind them hunting for mice and snakes, BUT they will swoop down and pick up kittens and small dogs such as Yorkies, too, SO-keep an eye on your tiny pets.”
I think this may solve our snake problem and possibly our Cat and Yorkie problem.
Saturday, July 09, 2005
Friday, July 08, 2005
Max has discovered that his farts make us laugh. Not so much the fart but the face he makes when one trumpets out his tiny cheeks. So now anytime he lets one go, he waits for us to laugh, and then, after showing how pleased he is with himself, he tries to squeeze out as many more as he can. When he's all red-faced & can't get anymore out, he tries to mimic the sound with his voice. Such the comedian.
Thursday, July 07, 2005
"Why do you want to paint it? It looks good the way it is. " I replied.
"Really? You think? I was thinking maybe we should paint it blue."
"Blue? Blue? You want to paint it blue? It is fine the way it is."
"Bill, Do you really like" she asked "the pinkish color that it is right now?"
"Pinkish?" I said. "Our front door is not pinkish. It is wood color. Like Cherry wood."
"No it's not."
"Yes it is."
"No it's not!" She said.
"Lauren, I come in that door everyday." I was positive. "It's wood color."
"No it is not."
"You know what I will make you a deal. I am going to get up and look at the front door. If it is NOT wood color you can paint it any color you want."
Our front door is now BLUE.
Tuesday, July 05, 2005
Bill: Hello. This is Bill. Can I help you?
Lauren: Guess What I am looking at right now.
Bill: Hi Lauren. Uhhhh? A dirty diaper?
Lauren: NO. I am looking at a 3 foot black snake that is sitting on our front porch!
Now I know that my wife hates snakes. Hates them. Hates them. Hates them. She is deathly afraid of snakes. So what is the first thing I say when I find out there is one on the porch?
Bill: Did you take a picture of it?
Lauren: You're kidding right?
Bill: No. I can put it up on the website.
She seems agitated now.
Lauren: Bill I am not going to...Fine. Where is the camera?
Bill: It is upstairs. Next to the computer.
Lauren: I cannot believe I am doing this. You should see the size of this thing.Where is the camera? Oh never mind I have it. I was going outside to fix the..OHSHIT! Now the cat is outside. Bill this is so gross. Stop laughing. It is not funny.I cannot believe you are making me take a picture. You know how much I hate snakes.Oh. Oh. It just moved.
Bill: Did you take the picture?
Slightly more agitated.
Lauren: YES. Is that all you are worried about? How do we get rid of this thing?
There are few moments of talking about different ways to get rid of it. I start asking the guys at work for ideas. They tell me the black snakes are harmless.
Lauren: Do you think if I sic the cat on it?
Bill: No. The cat does not have front claws. Spray it with the hose.
Lauren: I am not going out there to get the hose. OH MY GOD!
Lauren: It just moved again.
Bill: Look just get the cat and go inside and if it still there when I get home I will try to get rid of it. The guys here say they are harmless.
Lauren: Ok. I got the cat. I am soooo grossed out right now. I knew they were down here but I did not know they would sit on our porch. (shudder). Eeeewwhhh.
Bill: I will take care of it when I get home. Brian at work says that snakes take care of the mice. Lauren: I would rather have mice. I got to go. Seeya.
I hang up the phone and start telling the guys that my wife has a serious phobiaof snakes. She hates them and that they totally skeeve her out. When the phone rings again.
Bill: Hello. This is---
Lauren: THE FUCKING THING IS CRAWLING UP THE WINDOW. I SWEAR TO GOD THIS THING IS AFTER ME.
Bill: It's crawling up the window? Brian at work says "No Way a snake is climbing a window.
Lauren: I SWEAR TO GOD BILL! I peeked out the shade to see if it was still on the porch and I couldn't see because of the angle, so I pull the shade all the way up and THERE IT IS ON THE FUCKING WINDOW. IT IS LOOKING RIGHT AT ME!
Bill: Okay I will be right there.
Lauren: It knows I don't like snakes. Hurry up!
Bill: Okay. I will be there in 5 minutes.
Well of course I get home in 5 minutes and the snake is nowhere to be found. Lauren was freaked out but okay. And the best part, even when she was totally panicked she managed to take pictures of the snake on the window. After we laughed about the snake incident. I said "Can I blog about this?"Her response, "Yea. Go ahead."
See Pictures Below.
Monday, July 04, 2005
Today is my Mom's Birthday. Since my Mom was born on the Fourth of July we always had a family picnic in honor of her. This is the first year I have missed it in 35 years. We went to the home owners association annual kid's parade. Our neighborhood has all the kids decorate their bikes, wagons, skateboards and dogs and they parade around the neighborhood.
Lauren mad Max a covered wagon and we joined in the parade. Afterwards they had water ice and watermelon for everyone. It was nice.
Friday, July 01, 2005
Who ever named Florida the “Sunshine State” was full of shit. They should be sued for false advertisement. Since the end of May it has rained nearly everyday. It is pretty much like clockwork. Around 4pm and until about 7pm there are showers in Orlando everyday. It has something to do with the heat and the cool air from the east coast clashing and the area they hold their battles is Orlando.
They could have called it the “Critter State”. There are critters everywhere. Lizards, frogs, skinny squirrels, and bugs. Normally I would not call bugs critters, but the size of the Palmetto bugs make them critters. I posted a picture of one that was in the pool that was (no exaggeration) 4 inches long by 2 inches wide. The picture does not do the size of this thing justice. I tried to put my foot next to it so there would be a comparison shot but the thing swam away. I got a little freaked out and ran.
My job allows me to drive around the state. I was in the Southern East Coast area the other day (Palm County, Boca Raton, West Palm) and there are many signs for Okeechobee. I think Okeechobee is a Native American Seminole word that means either “Construction On Highway” or “Sitting in Traffic”.
Speaking of the Seminoles, did you know that they have opened a few casinos in the state? Named after of course their legendary leader the great Chief Hard Rock Café. There is one in Tampa and another in Hollywood FL.
Air conditioning is sometimes more important than food, water or personal safety. While I was driving back home from Southern Florida I realized that the fan to the blower for my AC was not working right. I of course was driving through a storm when this happened. I couldn’t put the window down because of the rain, although my car leaks which is another story. I was sweating something serious. I played with the controls. Hoping that if I clicked the knob fast enough between level 1 and 4 it would miraculously kick back on. No luck. I tried to switch between the seat vents the floor vents and the defroster vents. Nothing. Of course I am doing this while driving. In a storm. Going 60mph. Finally in frustration, I hit the dashboard with the outer edge of my fist and Ala Arthur Fonzerelli, it came back on. I will be trying this on Jukeboxes in the future.