If Thomas Jefferson had liquid paper.

Liquid Paper is one of the greatest things ever invented. We use it to correct mistakes that we have written or typed. They even have colored liquid paper in case you are using colored paper…fascinating. So many times I have looked at my bottle of liquid paper and just said “thank you”. Not out loud, that would be insane, but I have thought it to myself.

Thomas Jefferson didn’t have liquid paper when he was writing the Declaration of Independence. Imagine the pressure–you are writing a document to the most powerful country in the world telling them to fuck off and if you make a mistake, you have to start over. You are alone in a dark room lit with a candle and as you write with your quill on the parchment words that will be forever remembered, you can’t make a mistake. I suppose it required him to think through every thought, every word in the most precise of manner. In the end, Thomas Jefferson was perfect.

What if life had liquid paper? A correction fluid that you could use to correct mistakes that you have made, or terrible things you have said and done. You could pull out the bottle of Life’s Liquid Paper and cover it up, go back, and begin again. Wouldn’t that be great? No one would be hurt, and if they were it wouldn’t last long because Life’s Liquid Paper would cover it up and let you re-do it.The truth is, when we use regular liquid paper WE know we made a mistake. WE know what we wrote under the cover up of dried liquid goo. It may not appear to the reader of your document, but you know what the mistake was.

I wonder what the Declaration of Independence would look like today if TJ had Liquid Paper at his disposal…Would he have thought twice about saying “When in the course of human events…”? Would we see correction after correction? Would the document be half as good? I don’t think so. Jefferson was forced to think long and hard about every move, every stroke. Liquid Paper would have hindered his masterpiece.

Life’s Liquid Paper would cover up mistakes, but you still would know they were there. The question is, would you take measures to correct the mistakes, or would you cover them up and hope those who view your life will settle for the change and never hold you accountable? We have Life’s Liquid Paper, but many times we don’t know it. We have phrases like “Just Kidding” or “Don’t get mad but…” or “No offense”. And we have the greatest cover of them all, “I’m sorry.” Apologies do make us feel better and they are required and the right thing to do when you do something bad or wrong. I am not suggesting saying “sorry” isn’t enough. It is though in a sense Life’s Liquid Paper. You can cover your mistakes with the phrase, but you still know deep down what you said or did. What will you do with that knowledge? Will you accept the cover up, or will you think longer and harder before you do and say something?

Our lives are like a Declaration of Independence. We write a part of our document each day and just like Jefferson, we have no idea the effect it will have on the world around us. Jefferson didn’t have liquid paper, and neither do we when it comes to living. If we took the same care in our own lives that he did when writing his masterpiece, Life’s Liquid Paper would never be necessary. I feel each mistake I make and I take steps to correct them when needed. As I continue to write the great document of my life each day, I begin to look ahead to the sentences I want included. I do not know how they will turn out, but I guarantee one thing–as I hold the quill to the parchment, I will give every thought, every word the greatest of care.

Just like Jefferson did.

Call it sad, call it funny but it’s better than even money.

“I have walked out in rain–and back in rain…” –Robert Frost

Quote of the day: “Drought my ass!” This is compliments of a customer of mine, who like me has been watching it pour for the last 18 hours. It’s incredible how it can be nearly 60 degrees on January 29th in Michigan. Well, actually I shouldn’t be surprised–Antarctica and Greenland are half gone. (Don’t tell Congress.)

Superbowl Sunday is coming up which brings me to today’s topic. The TV Commercials. There was a time when they were awesome and probably the highlight of the game. I remember Spuds MacKenzie, The Bud Bowl, Budweiser’s “WhaaaaaaatsssssAhhhhhhhp” and all the hilarious Fed Ex Commercials. The novelty was there and the commercials truly were a thing of art–quickly making their way into the American fabric by Monday morning.

Now though–I just don’t get as excited about Super Bowl Ad’s. Watching Justin Timberlake and Elton John drink a Pepsi, or Snooki doing tax forms for H and R Block just doesn’t do it for me. Actually, the last few years have been horrific for SB commercials. Let’s hope this year is different. That and, let’s hope Go Daddy spends a TON on Danica Patrick commercials again.

DO you watch the Super Bowl? If so…are you into the commercials? Do tell!

16. That is the number of times I have passed a jar of Nutella at the grocery and paused, momentarily, before walking away resisting the temptation. I just can’t get myself to do it. I hear good things. It’s endorsed by my daughter and half her first grade class…I just can’t get myself to buy a jar of Nutella or anything with the word marmalade on it.

Last but not least for now…my 2013 “recycling like a mofo” project is proceeding wonderfully. I have always recycled, but this year I am taking it to a whole new level. I’m not a Greenpeace freak who tries to fit all my garbage in a coffee can for the year. Anything plastic, aluminum or paper gets recycled…period. And that is a ton of trash. Do you recycle? Is there anything that prevents you from doing more? Does your city still make you separate items or can you toss them all in one container?

Today is an audience participation day, my friends. Bring me your best comments and I will shower you with love and gifts. Or just love. Yes, probably just love because I am short on cash. Not like, stalking love. Friendly love that makes you smile. I forgot what I was talking about….

A $6.00 lesson.

My daughter and I have a bi-weekly tradition of skating which is quickly providing me with an enormous amount of aches and pains.  I overlook them, because…well…I am getting a chance to skate with my kid and you can’t replace memories like that.  Still, I hurt.  Today, I took a tumble for the ages, landing on my wrist and elbow.  I’m not going to get into details or even complain but let’s just say, it hurts to type.  I simply must blog though.  I am devoted, if anything. 

When you are 21 and fall to the ice, you get back up and keep skating.  When you are 41 and fall on your wrist and elbow, the following things go through your head.

1. What the hell am I doing on ice skates at age 41?

2. Why does it feel like a truck just ran over my arm?

3. If I tell my seven year-old we have to stop skating, will she cry?

4. Do I smell pizza and beer?  That would be awesome right about now.

After skating, we went out for frozen yogurt at a place called Koala Berry.  Maybe you have a Koala Berry where you live, or a place similar.  You choose from 15 or so amazing flavors, then dump about 100 ounces of toppings at .45 cents an ounce on top of it, then eat like you’ve never had a sundae before.  I went for the birthday cake flavor with hot fudge and peanuts and crushed kit kat’s.  A simple, yet delicate blend of sugar, sugar and sugar.  Yum.

My daughter picked a flavor called root beer float.  She added a variety of candy, hot fudge, marshmallows and Sour Patch Kids.  Gummy bears with a sour kick from hell.  I first had Sour Patch Kids while on a movie date in high school.  They were so incredible, I quickly ate two bags and forgot who I was out with.  On ice cream though?  I asked my daughter if she was certain she wanted to add them to her already (rather disgusting) ice cream.  She nodded in the affirmative.  I swear I saw one of the sour patch kids cringe as she sprinkled them on top.

We let our kids top their sundaes because they need to learn about failure on their own.  We need to let them do it, because without the experience of Sour Patch Kids, Root Beer Float and Hot Fudge (and marshmallows and kit kats and M and M’s), they can’t learn for themselves that some things look better than they taste. 

After three bites of her $6.00 sundae, my daughter was done.  Chalk it up to experience, I guess.  Maybe I’m a sucker for her deep blue eyes.  Maybe I just can’t tell her no.  One thing we both realized today–a Root Beer Float flavored frozen yogurt with the toppings mentioned above is something you try once in your life and then never again.  Like sticking your finger in a light socket or zipping up a little too fast, all it takes is one time to realize you never need to do that again to be happy!

Sadly, I did notice a gummy worm and crushed candy cane compartment close to the Sour Patch Kids.  With 14 other flavors of frozen yogurt left to try plus a ton of other toppings, something tells me we are in for a great deal of $6.00 lessons in the near future.

This is why we parent.  🙂

And the forests will echo with laughter.

There’s no better sound than the laughter of a child. 

A few months ago, my kids were spending the weekend with me and we were sitting around the Princess card table eating pizza.  My daughter looked at me and asked if I would go to the bedroom and get her the remote control car.

I asked her why.  She wouldn’t answer.  She looked at my 2 yr old son and he looked back at her.  Nothing.  They were both stone-faced.

“Please just go get the car, daddy.”

I got up and walked to the bedroom and reached down to pick it up.

The car moved before I could grab it.  I tried again.  Same thing.

At the table, my kids were laughing hysterically.  Their father had been the victim of a well-thought out practical joke.  I looked over and saw the control, held by my daughter, under the table.

This is why we live.  This is why we parent–for moments like this that you simply cannot script. 

I wasn’t going to blog tonight, but I ran across that car while prepping my house for their arrival tomorrow.  Lately, I’ve been packing away toys my kids no longer play with.  This little 5 dollar piece of plastic isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.

Here’s to the laughter of children and what I hope is a lifetime of well-coordinated practical jokes between the three of us.

Be well.

In my thoughts I have seen rings of smoke through the trees.

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Ever have a day when you just want to make a silly face and laugh at the world? Sometimes a funny face and a good giggle is the best medicine.

I’ve read a lot of wonderful posts today and I drank 2 mugs of black tea. This alone has changed my life for the better. I feel more positive and I am pumped with antioxidants. Here is one example of a super post I came across on my reader today.

I’m going to keep this post short and sweet. I want to thank the 67 people who follow my blog. It means a lot that you stop by and read. I’d love to hear from you! Always feel free to stop by and give me a shout.

It’s a cold wintry day today–I’m about to go outside and walk in the snow. It doesn’t get much better than that! What do you like to do on winter days like today?

Be well.

Listen to the rhythm of the falling rain.

There is nothing better than sitting back on a cold, wintry day and listening to Big Band music.  I am an avid listener and have always loved its calming effect.  That was a great era of music.  I often close my eyes and just think back to that time and what it must have been like to live through it.  Families struggled economically, they were torn apart by war and everybody had to do their part to conserve, build and defend.  

Through it all, they managed to live simple lives with simple pleasures.  Love meant something back then and so did communication.  It’s all they had really.  People had letters, telegrams and their voice.  Sometimes I wonder if it was better back then, despite the war and working certain jobs out of necessity–not because you loved your work.  

I have an ID card on my desk at work which belonged to my Great-grandfather when he worked at the docks in Toledo, Ohio.  Although I never knew him, I can bet the farm he hated that job but was eternally grateful that he had one for his family.  It was a difficult time back then.  The Depression hit families hard.  I remember listening to stories my Grandfather told about receiving free food and other handouts–and recalling how low he felt taking them.  I keep that ID card on my desk to remind me that we don’t always get to do what we want in life–especially in terms of a job.  Sometimes, circumstances force us to change gears and call an audible.  I look at the ID card every day at work and remember the sacrifices my ancestors made for their family.  It motivates me to try harder for mine.

If you haven’t given Big Band music a try, please do.  It’s wonderful.  I listen to my XM radio (40’s on 4) all day long at work.  I get a kick out of it when older customers stop in and can’t believe a young sprout like me listens to such music.  That’s funny to me, because I’m 41 and hardly a sprout anymore.  And, you can be any age and appreciate great music.  

Music makes us remember, appreciate, laugh and cry.  It makes our minds wander and dream.  And to that, I say, Amen.

be well.

An Interview with LOL.

Recently, I had the pleasure of sitting down with LOL and conducting an interview.  The following is a transcript of our talk.  Enjoy!

Irish: Welcome, LOL!  It’s sure great to have this chance to finally meet you.

LOL: LOL.

IR: You have become such a large part of the fabric of the Internet.  How does that make you feel?

LOL: Well, at first I was excited, because it’s tough for abbreviations to become famous.  My cousin, “as-if”, tried to make it big, but some jerk programmer took “AI” (Artificial intelligence).  So he was screwed.  Now though, I just kind of take it in stride. lol.

IR: I have to be honest.  I go to great lengths to avoid using you in any situation.  I rarely ever lol, and I think most people overuse you.

LOL: lol.  See what I did just then?  I didn’t think your comment was funny at all, but I still lol’d.  That’s why I love me.  People have no idea if I am being sincere.  I’m mysterious that way.

IR: There is a rumor out there that you and ROFL truly hate each other. 

LOL: First of all, if you are on the damn floor rolling around and laughing, you better be having sex or tripping on some kind of mushroom.  Nobody rolls on the floor laughing.  ROFL is a phony.  Don’t even get me started on ROFLMAO.  That phrase just plain pisses me off. 

IR: I have to agree with you on that one.  So what do you do at family reunions?  I mean, you are bound to run into ROFL and ROFLMAO at some point.  Maybe at the buffet or during the family picture? 

LOL: lol. ROFL isn’t invited to our reunions anymore.  At the last one he pulled a prank on my uncle LMAO and it got pretty nasty.  ROFLMAO isn’t related to me.  That is an an abbreviation invented by people from the south who are still pissed they finished in second place during the Civil War.  I bet you didn’t know that.

IR: I honestly had no idea!  How interesting!  Are you into American History at all?  It sure sounds like it.

LOL: I hear that Grant LOL’d when Lee thought he could take Gettysburg.  I also heard that Washington LOL’d when his wife Martha thought one of the Minutemen had a thing for her. 

IR: I have to say, you are more intelligent than I ever thought you would be!  Are there any other acronyms or abbreviations that you think will make a splash in 2013 and beyond?

LOL: Yes…SPITTAA

IR: ???

LOL: Stupid People Interviewing Things That Aren’t Alive.

IR: Clever.  Is it true that lol is a slight laugh and LOL means I am just busting a gut?

LOL: Yes.  If you just lol, it means that you found it mildly funny. A lot of people don’t know that and it pisses me off.  LOL means you almost peed yourself. 

IR: There needs to be a public service message about that, I think.

LOL: Yes, Irish…we need to get the word out to all the school kids in America on the proper use of lol.  lol.  Maybe after that we can teach them how to write a sentence or do a math problem.  That would be cool, don’t you think?  lol.

IR: You are just dripping with sarcasm tonight.  One last thing.  I hear that you and IDK are dating.  Any truth to that rumor?

LOL: Idk.

IR: Yes.

LOL: Right.  I said, Idk.

IR: I know, I asked if you were dating.

LOL: ROFLMAO.

IR: You suck.