Our Christmas Letter

[This is a virtual repeat of a post I made to LITL (my other blog) a couple years ago. Time constraints force me to steal from myself. I hope I don’t get caught by me.]

afp2Well, it’s been a whole year since our last Christmas letter.  It seems like no more than twelve months.  How time flies!  We hope your holiday season is filled with great memories, lots of fruitcakes, and few incidents with law enforcement.

Although we haven’t seen many of you in the past year or even the past decade, we just knew you’d want to hear all about our family.  It’s been a busy year, which is why we haven’t visited or written or called any of you.

Once you read what we’ve been up to, you’ll understand.  We sure do!

Billy is our big boy, having just turned 46.  We love having him back at home after his dishonorable discharge from the Merchant Marines last May.  His telemarketing job selling pharmaceuticals has been going fine.  He works so hard, making calls into the wee hours.  Don’t be surprised if you hear from him some night!

Bobby, now 45, is doing great!  His parole officer has nothing but good things to say about him.  The ankle bracelet – which he wears around his neck just for fun (what a hoot!) – is due to come off any month now, depending on the next hearing.  Another good sign: He’s thinking of starting his own religion!  He’s always been the most spiritual member of the clan.

Bonny (our surprise!) is 8 already.  Hard to believe it’s been eight years since she came into this world in the middle of a monster truck rally. (In one of life’s fun coincidences, that’s where she was conceived!) She’s really sprouted since last year.  At 5’10”, she’s able to play youth hockey with the older kids.  All those “vitamins” (supplied by Billy) have really paid off.  She’s also taking belly dancing lessons and is active in local politics.  As you can tell, she keeps us on our toes!

Dad is still unemployed after the fish and bait shop went belly-up six years ago, but he keeps himself plenty busy in the garage with his little projects.  We still aren’t sure what he’s up to out there but as long as he’s occupied, we’re all happy.  Also, as long as the wind is blowing in the right direction, we don’t get the smells or smoke in the house as much.  The great thing is that the most interesting people are always coming by to visit him.  One gentleman with an eye patch and kerchief (Bonny calls him our pirate friend!) drops in daily, carrying the same worn valise.  He must be a very good friend.

Mom passes her time keeping house, playing cards with her friends, and adding to her collection of vodka bottles.  It’s amazing the variety and quantity of bottles out there and she’s always looking for more!

Have a great Holiday Season.  Never forget the reason we celebrate: so we can fill our homes with junk that will break down by this time next year.  Then we can start it all over again!  Woohoo!

All our love…

Where, oh where did my money go?

[As threatened, er, mentioned in my last post, the idea of losing ten mill a day is too funny to pass up without elaborating on. So, here I go, elaborating. It’s a lot like writing, but easier.]

losemoneyThe first day it happened, I thought, “What the heck, it’s only $10,000,000.” The second day, I was a little more concerned, but didn’t lose any sleep over it. After all, Stephen Drew makes $10M a year and he’s batting 21 points under the Mendoza line. How much can it be worth?

After a week of losing ten million bucks a day, though, I was beginning to think maybe I should give this issue some thought. You know, ten million here and ten million there and pretty soon your talking about real money. This was a situation to be taken seriously before it became a real problem.

After looking in all the obvious places – my pants’ pockets, those little car storage compartments, the washer and dryer, under the bed – I was still several tens of millions in the hole. I know what you’re thinking: “No big deal.” But it’s the principle of the thing. Besides, you never know when you might need a hundred million or so. It would be embarrassing to pull up to a toll booth and come up a few million short. After all, I don’t have E-ZPass.

Still, it’s only money. Did you ever balance your checkbook and it was off by a few million? Yeah, me too. It happens all the time, but I never pay it any mind. I figure it’ll all straighten out in the next statement or two. Then there was the time I tipped the waitress at Applebee’s and accidentally put an extra seven zeros after the amount. I could have kicked myself, but these things happen. Besides, the service was very good.

I’m not one of those crazy OCD types who has to know where every million bucks goes. Come on! My time is worth more than that. If I worried about every million dollars that passed through my hands, I’d never get anything else done.

Some people tried to convince me that members of my family were bilking me of my money. The thought never received even a moment’s consideration. Can you imagine suspecting my own family of trying to cheat me? Accusing them would irrevocably sever our ties. Money comes and goes, but family is one nonnegotiable constant in my life. I’d never imperil my relationship with my family for money, no matter what the amount.

No sane person would.