RED – the alternative holiday movie choice

The last few years, I’ve posted about Christmas / Holiday seasonal entertainment.  I had two years in a row about music. Then, in December 2015, I delved into the movie scene.  To keep things balanced, I feel the need to talk movies one more year.  Well, movie – singular.  And, believe me, this movie deserves a post of it’s own –  RED.

Frank (Brude Willis), Joe (Morgan Freeman), Marvin (John Malkovich) and Victoria (Helen Mirren) used to be the CIA/MI-6 top agents, but the secrets they know just made them the Agency’s top targets. Now framed for assassination, they must use all of their collective cunning, experience and teamwork to stay one step ahead of their deadly pursuers and stay alive. To stop the operation, the team embarks on an impossible, cross-country mission to break into the top-secret CIA headquarters, where they will uncover one of the biggest conspiracies and cover-ups in government history.

Yes, this is based on a DC Comic. Yes, there is a lot of things that get shot – including a snowman, reindeer, and … .  Yes, I still consider it a holiday movie as twisted as that may seem.  RED is the title. Even the name is festive. Unfortunately, it is also an acronym for Retired Extremely Dangerous.  But let’s focus on the positives here. Okay?

Christmas decorating tips from RED – the movie

Actually, it was my daughter’s idea.  She considers it a holiday movie AND we get to watch it together every December.  Any questions?

Now, just because balance is often saught, but rarely achieved, I thought I’d tip the scale with … a musical number from something  Red.

Wrapped in Red – Kelly Clarkson

Ready to navigate

As I’ve stated before, I am technologically compromised.  Though, I’ve decided it’s becoming a burden; especially this texting business and my kids.  It really does streamline communication, easing the ‘unknown’ about  a child’s whereabouts.

During the last few hockey seasons, I have traveled quite a bit and quite the distance.  Normally, I rely on MapQuest for all of my directional needs.  And, contrary to what my daughter thinks, I have always found my way and gotten her to the rink ON TIME.  Yes, I have neglected my share of  Rules of the Road.  But, who hasn’t?  Besides, “it’s not a road trip unless Mr. Thomas breaks the law.”*

Anyway, when driving at night, the need to constantly turn on and off the over head light to read the directions can be … .  ”Obnoxious and embarrassing” are two ‘nice’ words  my daughter chose to describe the experience a few weeks back when we took a teammate to the game.

So, this past weekend, I borrowed  a GPS.  Don’t worry, I still had a printed copy of  MapQuest directions – just in case.  I must say, this GPS thing was really nice.  I guess I never entertained the idea of this navigational tool, thinking that GPS was an app for the phone I did NOT own.  I  truly plead ignorance here.  Furthermore, every time directions came up in a conversation, “the GPS app on my phone never fails,” was all I ever heard.  Little did I know, few use it because of the ‘data’ issue.

The Global Positioning System (GPS) is a satellite-based navigation system made up of a network of 24 satellites placed into orbit by the U.S. Department of Defense. GPS was originally intended for military applications, but in the 1980s, the government made the system available for civilian use. GPS works in any weather conditions, anywhere in the world, 24 hours a day. There are no subscription fees or setup charges to use GPS.

GPS satellites circle the earth twice a day in a very precise orbit and transmit signal information to earth. GPS receivers take this information and use trilateration to calculate the user’s exact location.  The receiver can determine the user’s position and display it on the unit’s electronic map.

Slowly, but surely, I’m learning.  Don’t worry.  I am NOT  ’growing as a person’, too.  Fuck that shit.  I just want to get from point A to point B without being an utter embarrassment to my daughter.  Even with all this technology at my fingertips, I still feel I am often on a …

Road to Nowhere

But, that’s a completely different post  I’m certain few would navigate.  There isn’t a GPS available to ‘recalculate’  that detour.

Happy and safe travels!

*direct quote from a seasoned passenger

Once again, “Thanks Adele!”

She’s back.   I think this skit is funnier and even more appropriate than when it first aired last year.  Though I’m not thinking a song can fix everything, …  especially stupid pharmacy customers.

“Thanks, Adele!” SNL

There’s always hope.  Or a two week notice.

Happy Thanksgiving

a couch potato therapy session

In conversation a few weeks back, the topic of couples counseling was mentioned.  Don’t worry, this post is NOT about that.  Thankfully! Anyway, this dude’s friend was in a session with his wife.  By the way, there really was a dude who had a friend who had a wife. I’m fifty-one years old and I’m a guy.  I no longer talk third person hypothetically about my problems. Hell, I didn’t even do that at twenty-five.  If I have a problem with something, it’s usually pretty obvious.

The therapist asked the couple to think of a television show that best described their spouse.  The parameters of the request were vague – the details lost in translation.  Regardless, the integrity of the question remained – describe your spouse as a television show.

While the husband thought about his response, the wife immediately spoke up.  ”That’s easy,” she answered, rather matter of factly.  ”My husband is the static that used to appear on the screen when the reception failed.”


Needless to say, that couple did get divorced.  Though I’m not thinking ‘static’ IS a television show.  Be that as it  may, they had some issues.

I thought this was an interesting subject.  And, since this blog is all about me, I decided to ‘analyze’ myself .. as a television persona.  Back in May 2014 I posted about people as cartoon characters (you remind me of… .).  I was compared to Barney Rubble, Professor Doofenschmirtz, and Ivan the Ape.

 Unfortunately, I am not up on current t.v. shows.  Between working retail hours, hockey, and everything else family life entails, I have little time to watch anything scheduled.  Therefore my options of character choices are limited AND dated.  Also, I have a PRF – Professional Resting Face that can be rather salty and unapproachable that STAYS at the pharmacy. So, analyzing me as a complete package cam be … complicated.  Imagine that, eh?

According to …

… my sister, I remind her of Ross from  Friends.  I strongly disagree.  I am not that needy.  Or annoying – at least I hope not.  On the contrary, I am quite self-sufficient.  Luckily no one else shared her view. He was good for a laugh though.

… numerous others who will remain anonymous, I AM  House -the title character from the show with the same name.  I never watched, but heard he had an even worse PRF that carried over into his personal life.  Furthermore, I ain’t no genius.

Television characters I thought were suitable versions of myself …

… Chris in the morning from Northern Exposure  - I loved this show.  Chris played a radio personality that often rambled on about … nonsense. And, it WAS quite random.  Granted his offerings where profound and a lot less … angry.  Remember, he was a fictitious character that didn’t work retail pharmacy. Okay?

… Murphy Brown from Murphy Brown - Candice Bergen totally owned this character.  She was quite outspoken.  I can be rather outspoken myself.  Unfortunately, I am not as eloquent or intelligent as this character was written.  She had secretaries – I have technicians.  Ugh!

So, Who AM I … 

… Monica from Friends.  I never had the weight issue and she was a bit more neurotic. However, the other personality traits … .

Unfortunately, couch time IS up.  Session over.  Besides, this post topic has closure.

I’m really NOT that competitive, but … .

as seen on t.v.

 SIDE NOTE: e-mail notifications have been going to spam or not processing at all. PLEASE hit FOLLOW to reactivate.

THANKS for reading.

Now for the actual post -



The last post was a bit too serious.  Sometimes being an adult is way overrated. So, I thought I’d lighten the blog and talk about something really important.

The peanut butter and jelly sandwich

Peanut butter as we know it was invented in the second half of the 19th century. It started to gain popularity at the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893. Initially a fancy-pants sandwich, the invention of sliced bread in the 1920′s helped prompt its migration to an everyday staple.  In the Depression, peanut butter was cheap, adding to its popularity.

I ain’t no fancy-pants, but I enjoy a PBJ almost everyday.  It is SO easy to eat at work. And while driving, I might add.  Fold the sandwich bag back and start chowing – no mess AND no interference with operating motorized vehicles.  It truly is an amazing thing.

Peanut butter -

  • crunchy is my favorite - Krema  my brand of choice.  I keep it in the refrigerator until it gets half-full then store in the cabinet.  It keeps the oily consistency to a minimum.
  • my kids only eat creamy – Jif , of course.  My son’s third grade teacher nicknamed him ‘Jif’.  Even to this day, she calls him that.
  • never understood the origin of this whole peanut allergy phenomenon.  How and when did that shit happen?
  • I hate cleaning up peanut butter. What a mess.  If I get it on my hands, I feel like I smell it all day.  Gross

Jelly -

  • Grape JAM – that jelly stuff just doesn’t spread as nicely.  Granted, it’s probably juiced up with more HFCS. Regardless, jam totally … jams.
  • I love preserves on toasted  bread with butter – strawberry, peach and raspberry are my favorites – NEVER with peanut butter, though.
  • like the fun little play on words?  ’juiced up’ – grapes – jam.  (pause).  Sorry – maybe it wasn’t that funny.

 the sandwich’-

  • my daughter got the family started on this whole ‘fresh’ bread kick.  Since we live in Traverse, it’s totally doable.  There are numerous bread companies to choose from.  Now, I’m spoiled, too.
  • sourdough is my indulgence.  White and wheat are everyday alternative.  At home, I lightly toast the bread, especially if it’s not fresh.
  • I cut the crust off for my kids. Yes, I’m one of those. In their defense, the crust on freshly baked bread can be tough to chew.
  • once at work, I scarred a fellow employee for life because she witnessed me licking the sides of my sandwich.   First of all, oozing peanut butter and jelly from a freshly made sandwich is a culinary treat.  Second, it’s her fault for looking.  Last, but definitely not least, she was scarred long before that incident, okay?

Jimmy Kimmel’s mother saves the Emmys

Kimmel is comic genius here, sparing no one and no ‘condition’.  Great slam on the EpiPen controversy, too.

Keep calm and jam on!

Welcome to the Grand Cliche’

Consider the follow statements:

  • “It’s a known problem.  All available resources are working on it.”
  • … appreciates everyone’s understanding of their need for privacy at this time.” Angelina Jolie – a statement released
  • I’m just happy to be here.  Hope I can help the Ball Club.”

Bull Durham ‘cliches’

What’s really being said:

  • “You’re fucked.  No one is going to help.  No one really cares.”
  • “It’s none of your damn business.”
  • “I so deserve this.  Hmm…  I wonder what endorsements I can snag.  How’s my hair?”

Oddly enough people don’t want to hear what’s really being said.  Instead, these generalized cliches of well-being satisfy inquiry, calming situations with ease.  How does this happen?

I have no fucking clue.  But I want a piece of action.


Life IS all about being prepared.  Seldom, though,  am I ever prepared.  Especially for life’s ‘special’ moments when my guard is down.  So, I fuck up.  A lot.  Even worse, I know I’ve fucked up, saying what I really wanted to say.  Even, even worse.  I continue to talk.  Immediately, I transform into this, … this bumbling idiot simply because I wasn’t  prepared for an awkward inquiry in an unsuspecting place.

Until now.

First, let me qualify something.  I really don’t care what people think.  But I am tried of being that  bumbling idiot. Recently, I was clued in on this use of  cliches for self-preservation technique by a dear friend of mine.  It seemed simple enough.  When I thought about it, I already used these ‘statements’ at work.  Retail pharmacy loves branded salutations.  Since I am the model employee, I, ah, modified corporate’s version. The “it’s a known problem.” works amazingly well.  Oh, one more secret.  Along with being prepared with the proper arsenal of verbiage, composure is of utmost importance.  Delivery needs to be spot on.

Grand Illusion

That’s really what this whole concept is – an illusion. But whose illusion is it? Once again, no fucking clue. Not mine. YET!  But, I have learned that saying what was really being said has way too many ramifications at times.  Luckily, the cliche’ fixes it all.

So bring it. I may be an old dog, but this is one trick I will learn.

Welcome to MY Grand Illusion

In pizza we crust

No, this post is not about pizza.  Instead, I decided to use that title to introduce  yet another commentary on those ‘words of wisdom’ that grace marquees around town.  And, let me tell you, I had a plethora of ‘pearls’ to pick from.

My mind is like a steel trap – rusty and illegal in 37 states

Every time I drove by Roy’s General Store and read this, I chuckled.  Especially when I discovered the identity of the Marquee Madame at this particular establishment.  I think she is illegal in 37 states.  Remember, she once posted  the only thing hotter than our  cashiers is our coffee. Yeah, … .

I know this is quite shocking, but I know nothing about hunting or trapping.(sarcasm intended) I do know that November 15 IS like a National holiday here in Northern Michigan – opening season for deer hunting. But that’s about it. That’s why, I was curious if, in fact, steel traps were illegal as stated.  And,

… they’re not.  Only eight states have banned or severely restricted the use of the leghold trap. But as of 2005, the steel trap is illegal in 90 countries.  That’s something substantial.

ten fast facts about trapping

I have no idea where ’37′ came from.  Maybe the rustiness of her steel trap?  Still, …  ’37′ works for me.  Even if it is incorrect. Saying illegal in 8 states is pretty unremarkable. And, it’s all about the drama, right? ( heavy sigh )

Be that as it may, I can’t hold  such an indiscretion against her.  She produces some very humorous maxims.  In pizza we crust is damn funny!

If you want to be certain to get the last word – apologize

Well, that’s complete bullshit.  So, passive-aggressive in my opinion.  I’ve written before that I am not the best communicator.  But that’s usually in small talk, mingling crap situations. I’m not that interesting of a dude to sustain idle chit-chat for extended periods of time. But, when real shit needs to be discussed – I usually speak my mind.  This can be … unfortunate.  I do, however, recognize when I’ve faulted and apologize accordingly.  Though, I would never use an apology to manipulate a conversation.

If the broom fits – ride it

Initial reaction: so dumb.  Especially since this very office marquee once posted - Never play leap frog with a unicorn.  Even dumber.  Then I read it again and … .  Holy shit! The subtle, understated message was revealed in one epiphanic moment. (Pause) Sorry, it wasn’t that profound.  I just got carried away. I still think it’s funny.  Even funnier – mentally add a coma and one simple word.

If the broom fits – ride it, witch

I am just being festive, okay?  Halloween is less than two weeks away.  Otherwise, a similar sounding word would’ve definitely been inserted, of course.  But, for now, I’ll remain festive.


all about swagger

Apparently there is a new dance move.  Well, it’s not really new.  The craze has already come and gone in my household.  Truthfully, I think it’s come and gone a few different times since its debut.  It was quite the ‘thing’ at the Summer Olympics.

The Dab

Considering I’m always behind on the latest trend. the fact that it’s come and gone is nothing new.  Remember, I still wear corduroy. Especially on November 11.  According to a girl I work with, corduroy will never be back in style.  She suggested a bonfire for the corduroy clothing items I own.  Goodwill has … standards, too. Or so I’m told.

To be properly educated, I searched ‘dab’.  Contrary to what I expected, ‘dab’ is really not a noun – like the Dab.  It’s more a verb – think action: the art of dabbing.  So I went with that and was … concerned at my expanded search.  I was even more concerned when my son actually knew what I was concerned about.  Even more concerning, he wasn’t concerned AT ALL.

Hint: it has nothing to do with mountain biking.  Or dancing.

  • A dance craze that originated in Atlanta, you don’t just do the Dab, you feel the Dab! Let the beat guide you and when the drop comes in, you tilt your head into your inner elbow while simultaneously lifting your right forearm, sneezing is a good example. The Dab is all about swagger, there’s nothing cool about whippin’ your head aimlessly.

Betty White dabs, baby

  • To touch one’s foot to the ground while bicycling. Considered to be a lost style point among trail riders, mountain bikers,bike polo players, among others.  Sometimes called a “foot down.”
  • A new form of smoking weed. Instead of smoking the buds of the marijuana plant, kids now smoke the oil from it. It does get you way higher, but also may cause more harmful mental effects than it does good ones. A “dabber” is a dentistry looking tool for scraping the oil out of the oil slick.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – damn kids.   Anyway, … .

I, of course, want to focus on the dance trend. I have never and will never dab.  Hell, I’d probably throw out my back if I even tried.  Of my three kids, my youngest dabs the best. My son thinks he looks cool, but my youngest actually has sharper reflexes.  My middle child doesn’t succumb to peer pressured type crazes. Funny fact: A few months back I took my daughters to the theater.  My son was there seeing a different movie.  When my youngest made eye contact with him, they ‘dabbed’ hello.  Consequently, his dab nearly took out the innocent bystander next to him, but we all got a chuckle out of the incident.

Strike a … dab.

Happy “you guys” days

I think I’ve mentioned this before – I AM a Hallmark slug.  Truthfully, I concentrate on two occasions – birthdays and anniversaries.  Yes, I buy the baby card, congratulations on surviving High School and indulge in Hallmark holidays that occur periodically throughout the year.  I even posted about the ever changing, alternative greetings available for Mother’s Day. (Simply stated 05-7-2014)  Note – still on the fence on this issue.

For this post, I wanted to focus on the anniversary card.  Usually I have a generic stack of 0.99 centers that have the simple, equally generic wish.

Happy Anniversary – Flintstones style

However, for family members and other suitable recipients, I look for something more appropriate.  And, just like the Mother’s Day greetings things have … changed.  No longer do I have to read through paragraphs of nauseating verse.  Shit, after twenty plus years of marriage some couples have nothing described in any card choice whatsoever.   Sending a couple going through counseling a card that reads -

Still happily married, still adorably in love.
Happy  ”you guys” day

- isn’t the best idea.  Furthermore, I don’t even think “you guys” is proper English. (sarcasm intended)

Luckily, Hallmark actually has a suitable, encouraging option – a ‘difficult year’ category.  Or cards that have verse describing what it’s really like being married for twenty plus years.  And, I gotta tell you, there is nothing ‘adorably’ about it.  Furthermore,, all these cards are written in proper English.  Fear not all you delusional romantics that are probably still single or honeymooners, there will always be the cards with nauseating verse.  That cost $5.99 each, of course. 

Have no idea where else I’m going with this, so I’ll stop. If not,  my rant will become what I don’t want it to be – negative.  You see, like Hallmark, I AM real.  I’m just kicking myself that I never purchased stock long ago.

Happy Anniversary – LRB

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