Tuesday, January 16, 2007

An X-Ray of the Oven

The first picture of my niece/nephew.
Methinks it may have a tail.
And an obscenely gynormous head.

In other words, a real looker.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

'Tis The Groundhog Season

I love writing Christmas cards. I love buying them. I like everything about the whole damn process. This year, we elevated the experience to a new level and made our own cards, thank you Shutterfly. We live in the desert, so what better picture to adorn the front of a card than a bedecked cactus.

Yeah, you're thinking "Like that hasn't been done before" to which I would respond, "Shut the fuck up." Anyway, back to my story of Christmas cheer. We spent a Saturday afternoon averting park patrol in the Phoenix zoo, searching for that perfect cactus Christmas card cover. We'd skulk around looking for a Saguro, making sure there were no nearby observers before we unloaded two grocery bags of decorations.

After much deliberation, we decided on a picture and I ordered 30 cards for the holiday. Even if I had free reign to all 30, I'd have to omit some people from the distribution list. The friend guillotine rears its ugly head.

The cards finally arrived last week and they were perfect. I might have squealed once or twice when I saw them.

Michael: So how many cards do you think you'll need?
Chris: I thought you were sending them.
Michael: I am. For my friends. How many do YOU need?
Chris: One. Wait. Maybe two.
Michael: What about your grandmother, brother, parents...
Chris: Okay. Three. Why are we sending cards again?
Michael: Because it's important to stay in touch.
Chris: Uh-huh. Can you address mine?

His cards are still sitting on his desk, untouched. So if any of his friends happen to read this, please know that Chris means well. He is just communicationally-card challenged. You'll eventually get one, it just may be Groundhog's Day by the time he mails them.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

2007 Annual Budget

For those of you that know my sister, you'll know she's not a quantitative gal. Excel? Sounds like a gay bar. Depreciation? Sounds like a skin condition. So when she was asked to provide a 2007 spending budget for work, I am sure she nearly dusted the floor, save for the fact she had on a smart new skirt/jacket ensemble from Ann Taylor and refused to get it dirty.

Now- she has landed a job to make any normal human being jealous. She currently manages marketing efforts in Latin America for a telecom/data provider. Trips to Mexico, Venezuela and Brazil, short work days, constant social interaction, fancy hotels.

I hate her.
But as her dutiful brother, it was not my position to judge. Merely to help with her mathematical shortcomings. So I present to you MFM's 2007 Budgeting Plan.

Monday, December 04, 2006

We Got Spirit, Yes We Do.

I think I felt it coming on about noon yesterday. I’ve been avoiding it thus far, but crumbled under the pressure of my random visit to Homo Depot. I was only going to buy extension pruners (no comment) but made the fatal mistake of parking next to the Christmas tree stand. Kids were running in all directions with sap-covered hands and demonic smiles. Couple that with the incessant ring-ring-ring-ring of the Salvation Army donation ringer and I didn’t stand a chance. The holiday spirit is on, girlfriend.

I am going to temper it, though. I am really going to try. But with our house, it’s a travesty not to decorate the hell out of it. I mean, it’s a two-story craftsmen that begs to be decked. Last month, we cleaned out the garage and removed eighty years of build-up, abandoned furniture, old tools… AND five storage tubs filled with multi-colored Christmas lights. Apparently the previous owners switched to Buddhism or something. Chris saw the look on my face and told me that I could hold on to them, but c’mon. That’s like leaving a recovering heroine junkie alone in a medivac tent. The second he left me alone I would have been hauling ass to Lowe’s to buy a backup generator, extension cords, and industrial-grade stringing wire.

So I am going to play it cool this year. I bought three-pointsettias at the nursery yesterday and put them outside. That’s so tame it’s almost agnostic. And I thought we could maybe buy a wreath. A small one. For the front-door. But only if Chris doesn’t mind. And maybe an animatronic lighted reindeer.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Thanksgiving with the Walkers

Tomorrow, Chris and I fly back to the East coast to spend the first holiday together with our respective families. We’ve been a couple for two years now, but have always celebrated the holidays apart. Maintaining separation around the holidays is the only way I’ve deluded Chris into thinking my family is (somewhat) sane.

We’ve recently become addicted to ABC’s Sunday night drama, “Brothers & Sisters”, in part because it reminds me so much of my own family dynamics: In the Walker family, no secret can be kept for longer than one episode, steel-plated body armour is a preferable substitute for thick skin, and drinking at any hour is the only acceptable breach of etiquette.
Can I get an Amen?

We've got two nights with his parents.
One night with mine.
And one night in a hotel to decompress.
Gobble. Gobble.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Am I Nancy Pelosi's Love Child?

It felt like Christmas morning when I rolled out of bed. I knew the election results would be good- we stopped watching CNN last night after the polls confirmed that the Democrats had control of the House. (Although, Andersen Cooper could have told us that the Nazis had thrown a coup and we wouldn't have cared, really.) We didn’t know the extent of the power shift until I logged on this morning. Of course, my first inclination was to call all the Republicans I knew. All four of them. Since we already gave Darin unmerciful shit this weekend for hiding in his log cabin, I immediately moved down the list and gave my parents a call.

My mother answered. She’s no politico, but I still managed to do a little elephant stomping.

Then she completely stunned me.

“Did you know your father dated Nancy Pelosi?”

My dad has “Upstate Conservative New York Republican” built into his genetic code. The thought of Nancy and Steve shagging at the drive-in was as bizarre as George Dubyah making out with Natalie Maines from the Dixie Chicks.

But then I got to thinking… what if Nancy Pelosi WAS actually my mom? Now, I’m not trading in my own mother- she totally rocks. But, c’mon- having a mom emblazoned with the title of “Madame Speaker” is pretty close to rock-star status.

Maybe I will just start calling my mom "Madame Speaker" for the hell of it.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Tribal Membership

Last night, Darin, Chris and I headed to the Arizona State Fair in search of the Pet Shop Boys. The state fair has been in full-tilt for a month, complete with dueling Ferris wheels, deep-fried coke vendors, and a host of dirty animals. The fair has also hosted numerous concerts throughout the month, and last night night was the Phoenix stop-over for the Pet Shop Boys' Fundamental tour.

The three of us thought the Arizona State Fair and the Pet Shop Boys made strange bedfellows, but then again, it was the wild, wild west. Reserved seating cost only 20 bucks, and for the chance to see a major band playing less than two miles away, we couldn't pass it up.

In my 30 years of concert attending experience, I have never been to a show that started remotely on-time. But with less than half the venue filled, the Pet Shop Boys were obviously anxious to get the hell out of dodge and the house lights dropped promptly at 7:02pm. The three of us were still shuffling to our seats as the crowd erupted around us, queens hopping and clapping like epileptic rabbits. We sat down to catch a breath and recover.

The first song began. The back-up dancers took to the stage. The crowd quieted in hushed expectancy.

Then I felt it.

tap. tap. tap.

I turned, only to set my sights on a rotund, one-eyed, heavily pierced Native American woman. Let's call her Woo-Woo.

Woo-Woo, in heavy whisper: "OMG! Have you seen Pet Shop Boys before??!! I have. I have seen Pet Shop Boys, New Order, Depeche Mode... I LOVE THEM ALL."

I nodded. I shot my "I don't give a shit but how nice" smile, and turned back around to focus on the concert.

Darin and Chris both shot side glances, acknowledging that I had indeed found a new girlfriend.

Then it happened again.

tap. tap. tap.

Maybe Woo-Woo thought we got off to a rocky start and wanted a little more slap and tickle.
I turned around.
She leaned in.

"Are you two together?" she said, nodding to Chris.

She flipped a thumbs-up, extended her hand in a handshake, and blurted, "I love your kind! All of your people. You're just great!!"

I think I heard Darin swallow his tongue.

I nodded in acknowledgement. I mean, I like my people, too. I felt like I had exclusive membership to the tribe. I know she had good intentions and didn't see that she had indirectly shot the gay tribe down. But Woo-Woo only had one eye. I'll blame it on her tunnel vision.