Saturday, July 08, 2017

Party Month 2017 #3: XXII

Rye Beach, Huron, Ohio

Last night I posted this image on Facebook. And I meant it as a joke, playing off the idea of look how much Lynda has changed since we first got married 22 years ago! (Because, you know . . . she's Iron Man now . . . )

But I got paranoid and worried that people would take it the wrong way and interpret it to mean that boy, how has our relationship changed and I wasn't prepared for this when we got married 22 years ago!

That ISN'T what I meant. But, let's be honest. It is still a true statement.

My 24-year-old self couldn't (and definitely didn't) know what lay ahead for him more than two decades after July 8, 1995. At the time, he was more focused on walking down the aisle to what was in front of him without tripping or looking foolish. But even with the future an unknowable thing, he need not have worried. As long as he reached his destination at the end of that church aisle, beside that altar, the rest would work itself out.

And that HAS been true.

Come what may, having Lynda beside me has made it all better, has made the harder times bearable, has made the joyful times even more joyful. Our family is all that I ever imagined for myself and it has given me more than I knew I wanted. And it all comes from saying "I do" 22 years ago today.

I did.
I do.
I will.

I love you. I thank you.
Happy anniversary Lynda--my love, my friend.

Saturday, July 01, 2017

Party Month 2017 #2


Happy birthday to Lynda--our second installment in the month-long series of celebrations that I call Party Month.

I've been fortunate enough to know Lynda for almost thirty years now and I've written about how amazing she is in the past. So, I have to be honest and say that I am sitting here trying to come up with something new to praise her for and I've struggling to avoid repeating myself. But those qualities that I have celebrated in the past remain true now.

Lynda is a wonderful friend and a great wife; she's a fantastic mom and an excellent partner. She's a dedicated and hard-working colleague. She's so great, you run out of ways to explain it. If you know her, you already know what I mean.

I know I've said this before, but this definitely bears repeating at least once a year. Meeting and marrying Lynda was (hands down) the best decision I ever made.

I love her and am glad to enjoy a bit of her reflected glory.

Here is hoping you have a wonderful birthday and that you find a bit of time to relax and reflect on what makes you so special to me and to everyone else who knows and loves you.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Party Month 2017 #1


It is the end of June, and that means that the Martin family has entered another Party Month. First up--as always--is Grace's birthday (which occurred this pas Monday while we were on vacation in Huron, Ohio on the banks of Lake Erie).

Grace is now 14 and is preparing to become a freshman in high school.

This summer she's been mostly occupied with getting prepared for her first year of marching band. She is going to play bass drum 2 (the second smallest) in the percussion battery. As is true of everything she does, Grace is working hard and accepts from herself nothing but the best performance. Her expectations for herself are high--and she is facing a bit of a learning curve as we gets used to marching for the first time (not to mention doing so with a heavy drum strapped to your upper body).

But I have no doubt that, given time, she'll be showing others how to do it right.

Grace, in other aspects of life, is doing her thing with determination and confidence. She is growing in her political awareness and her personality is changing to match. Get ready for an ear-full if you disagree with her on political or social topics. She'll be polite (to you at least--if not always to me), but she's not going to back down from her opinion and she won't hesitate to let you know what she thinks. All great qualities to have and I am extremely proud of her.

Socially, she has maintained her friendships with a strong group of middle school friends--a rarity in my limited experience. These girls have remained tight through all of the ups and downs of those most difficult school grades and I am happy that she transitions to high school with a reliable set of old friends, while beginning to meet some new band friends for the HS years ahead.

In short, Grace is awesome and only gets better as the years go by. I am so very, very proud of who she is and what she is becoming. It's great fun being around her and watching her grow.

Happy (belated) fourteenth birthday to you Grace. And thanks for kicking off another Party Month in style!

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Introducing #HatofSummer 2017

If it is spring, then it must be time to vote for the Official Hat of Summer for 2017. Please watch the video below to see what your five choices for 2017 are.

A few things to note:

1. You may vote for the #HatofSummer with the poll that I mention near the end of the video. (When I mention the poll, look for the clickable banner to appear and unfurl in the top right of the video. When you click on that banner, the poll will appear.)

2. If that is hard to do--or if you are watching the video on a cell phone (where these items are not touch-functional), there is a separate link in the video "dooby-doo"--that spot below the video screen where informational text is displayed. That link will take you to a Survey Monkey poll that allows you to vote there for one of the five #OfficialHat2017 options.
You can also click here to go to that poll.

3. If you have no previous experience with my #HatofSummer video campaigns, you can click here to see the full playlist of previous #HatofSummer efforts.

I do mean it when I say that I want you to share this year's #HatofSummer video. Post it on your own Facebook page. Tweet it out. Put it on Tumblr. Let other people know. The more votes, the more fun.

You can vote as many times as you like! Stuff the ballot for the hat of your choice.

Here is this year's choices:


Sunday, March 05, 2017

MaY Cellphone Watch: "Ovulation Day"


Recently, Lynda and I have been watching Mad About You reruns. This is one of our favorite shows. But . . . looking back on it, you see how the plot of this show (as with many others) would have been utterly destroyed had they only had a cellphone.

[Season 4, Episode 10] "Ovulation Day"

In Season 4, the show shifted a bit and there was more emphasis on the improving careers of Paul and Jamie (she started working for the Mayor, doing public relations with her old partner and always friend Fran; he began working with the Explorer Channel brainstorming film ideas and then directing them for the network)

But, while they are adjusting to the increased pressures and more hectic pace of new job responsibilities, they also have agreed to start trying for a kid . . . because, television.

Thus we get this episode, in which Jamie begins the drama by stopping Paul from sexing her up because it would be a wasted effort, since she is not confirmed to be in ovulation. The comedy train speeds up as they go about their day, growing more and more sexually frustrated. (For instance, Paul is forced to edit documentary footage of horses mid coitus and other footage of pipe drillers literally laying pipe.)

Jamie has promised to give Paul an immediate phone call when she confirms that she is in ovulation and then they will meet back at the apartment for some Afternoon Delight. She gives Paul a beeper and makes him await her alert. During lunch, Jamie meets Paul's sister Debbie, who uses this opportunity to inform Jamie that she is coming out as a lesbian (pretty groundbreaking for 1995). When Debbie describes her first same-sex experience with her new girlfriend Joan, Jamie takes a great deal of delight in the details . . . if you know what I mean.

But . . . after lunch, Jamie confirms ovulation and uses a restaurant pay phone to call Paul at work and tells him to get home quickly. Paul hops on the train and is confronted at every turn by beautiful women in short skirts and low cut blouses . . . because, TELEVISION!

Jamie beat Paul home, find that he nightgown needs washing and rushes to the laundry room. Naturally, she gets trapped there when the doorknob breaks on the inside. But don't worry . . . because the washing machine is working and vibrating . . . if you know what I mean. She escapes the laundry room when the nosy British women opens the door to do her own wash. Jamie rushes back upstairs, she and Paul prepare to get busy . . . and then Joan and Paul's parents arrive. Naturally, this derails all of Paul's sexual mojo and it looks bleak for our two randy heroes.

In the end, after some mid-90s over-reaction to lesbianism on the part of Sylvia Buchman, P & J are alone again and it isn't long before they get their groove back . . . if you know what I mean.
How a cellphone would have helped: This may be the most cell-phone impacted episode of Mad About You ever. First of all . . . beepers are completely out of the picture. P & J would either have called each other directly on their mobiles or used a simple text. (And this would have been when the peach and the zucchini emojis were still in their original design, so that would have helped keep their libidos in gear as well--if you know . . .  yeah, I think you get it.

Also . . . Jamie would not have had to use a restaurant pay phone to tell Paul that she was ovulating. AND, when she got trapped in the laundry room, there would have been no time wasted lamenting the situation or being resourceful with the vibrating laundry machine. Jamie would simply have called/texted Paul to come and rescue her. And . . . most likely, they would have taken advantage of the situation and gotten down to business in the laundry room right then. They could have avoided the interruption with Bert, Sylvia, and Debbie--but they might have run afoul of the British woman.

So, a very significant episode for our cellphone watch purposes.