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31 Years of Marriage: Thoughts of an Inept Romantic

 

meandjudy

“A toast before we go into battle. True love. In whatever shape or form it may come. May we all in our dotage be proud to say, “I was adored once too.” – Gareth Four Weddings and a Funeral

“I love you. You annoy me more than I ever thought possible, but… I want to spend every irritating minute with you.” Scrubs 

Today Judy and I celebrate our 31st wedding anniversary. So I won’t be writing much except to say that I am an incredibly lucky man. I have the day off and this morning we will take our oldest dog Molly to the vet for a follow up visit about her eyes, then Lord knows what we will do. I will try to do something special for her, I am sure we will go out to dinner but I don’t know what else yet. I found out this afternoon that  what I ordered for an anniversary gift won’t get here for two months so plan worked out well.

I am a very inept romantic. Though I am very good with the English language I am not very good in how I express myself, which means that I find movies that deal with this pointedly funny.

One of my favorite movies about marriage is the classic Four Weddings and a Funeral. There are a could of great sequences in the film that kind of hit home to me. One is where Charles (Hugh Grant) is stumbling all over himself when talking to Carrie (Andie McDowell). It almost reminds me of the first time that I asked Judy out in college. I was stumbling over my words so badly that she thought I was about to ask her to marry her on the spot. I do happen to be terribly shy and back then just asking a girl to go out with me was a major adventure in fear.

Charles: Ehm, look. Sorry, sorry. I just, ehm, well, this is a very stupid question and… , particularly in view of our recent shopping excursion, but I just wondered, by any chance, ehm, eh, I mean obviously not because I guess I’ve only slept with 9 people, but-but I-I just wondered… ehh. I really feel, ehh, in short, to recap it slightly in a clearer version, eh, the words of David Cassidy in fact, eh, while he was still with the Partridge family, eh, “I think I love you,” and eh, I-I just wondered by any chance you wouldn’t like to… Eh… Eh… No, no, no of course not… I’m an idiot, he’s not… Excellent, excellent, fantastic, eh, I was gonna say lovely to see you, sorry to disturb… Better get on…

Carrie: That was very romantic.

Charles: Well, I thought it over a lot, you know, I wanted to get it just right.

The fact that Judy’s ring tone for me is the song “I think I love you” by the Partridge Family is somewhat ironic in light of both my inept attempt at romance and that scene in the movie. There is another scene in the movie that amuses me, one again because of my shyness, and I wonder if there is some truth in it.

Gareth: I’ve got a new theory about marriage. Two people are in love, they live together, and then suddenly one day, they run out of conversation.

Charles: Uh-huh.

Gareth: Totally. I mean they can’t think of a single thing to say to each other. That’s it: panic! Then suddenly it-it occurs to the chap that there is a way out of the deadlock.

Charles: Which is?

Gareth: He’ll ask her to marry him.

Charles: Brilliant! Brilliant!

Gareth: Suddenly they’ve got something to talk about for the rest of their lives.

Charles: Basically you’re saying marriage is just a way of getting out of an embarrassing pause in conversation.

Gareth: The definitive icebreaker.

We dated for nearly five years before we got married, and got married just six days after I was commissioned as an Army Second Lieutenant. Now 31 years later I am a Navy Commander and we are still married, which is kind of a miracle when you consider some of the things we have been through together and all the years that we have spent apart due to military assignments. I think since 1996 we have spent about ten years apart. Thankfully, since we are married we still have things we can talk about to get around that awkward pause.

But then seriously I have to agree with Agent Dana Scully in the X-Files when she said something that I totally agree with and which is true about us:

“It seems to me that the best relationships, the ones that last, are frequently the ones that are rooted in friendship. You know, one day you look at the person and you see something more than you did the night before. Like a switch has been flicked somewhere. And the person who was just a friend is… suddenly the only person you can ever imagine yourself with.”

Truthfully, I cannot imagine being with someone else. So here’s to us, for richer and poorer, in sickness and in health, in peace and war, may we continue to live, love and laugh together.

Peace

Padre Steve+

 

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Filed under marriage and relationships

Calling the X-Files Team: Agents Scully and Mulder Please Find MA-370

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I hate to admit it but the strange disappearance of Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 is beginning to look like an X-File.

When the aircraft was first reported missing I thought the aircraft had to have fallen victim to either a mechanical failure or terrorism. However it looks like that things are not what they would appear to be. The latest information has the aircraft traveling hundreds of miles in the opposite direction of its flight plan.

It has been four, soon to be five days since the aircraft disappeared. In that time there have been reports that the families and co-workers of the presumed victims have been able to get calls through to cell phones which have rang through and some of which have shown up as active on a Chinese internet provider tracker.

Frankly I don’t know what to think. The aircraft a Boeing 777-200 ER had a good maintenance record and the aircraft type has a very safe operational history. The only fatal accident occurred when a Korean Air aircraft crashed due to pilot error while landing at San Francisco International Airport. It was a testament to the design and strength of the aircraft that keep causalities to a bare minimum.

From what Interpol and other police and security agencies are saying right now this does not appear to be a terrorist incident. Of course that could change if evidence is uncovered that shows this to be the case.

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The last reported position was over the Straits of Malacca, one of the busiest maritime transit corridors in the world, but no one on the ground or at sea reported anything out of the ordinary at the time when the aircraft disappeared.

I hope, as I imagine most people hope that the aircraft made a safe emergency landing in some remote area and that the passengers and crew are safe. However with every passing day the chances of that grow more remote and personally I cannot imagine this to be the case to begin with.

Could the aircraft and the 239 souls aboard been the victim of a terrorist incident or hijacking? I assume that it is possible. Could it have been the victim of a catastrophic mechanical failure. Yes, but since it appears that it continued on for hours after its last contact with land based ground controllers I think not.

Authorities in Malaysia and around the world are checking every possible lead that might shed light on this most likely tragic situation. Nothing has been ruled out.

The are other possibilities, but all are at best speculation. Thus I wonder if we should call in Agents Dana Scully and Fox Mulder from the X-Files to figure this out.

To me the whole thing is totally weird. I want things to work out and the people traveling aboard her to be safe. However, this is very unusual. A jumbo-jet with an experienced Captain and crew making a turn away from its course without notifying ground control. That is strange.

Likewise no matter what happened I cannot help but imagine the terror that the passengers and crew felt, unless it somehow did land safely in some remote place.

The whole situation is perplexing. I really don’t know what to make of it, though for all concerned I how that the aircraft is found, and the souls aboard are safe.

Maybe we should call the real life versions of Scully and Mulder to figure this out, and I am not kidding. This is pretty weird.

Until tomorrow.

Peace

Padre Steve+

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Laughing All the Way: Padre Steve’s Favorite Christmas Films and TV Shows

christmas-vacation

Where do you think you’re going? Nobody’s leaving. Nobody’s walking out on this fun, old-fashioned family Christmas. No, no. We’re all in this together. This is a full-blown, four-alarm holiday emergency here. We’re gonna press on, and we’re gonna have the hap, hap, happiest Christmas since Bing Crosby tap-danced with Danny Kaye.”

This is the time of year that a lot of Christmas movies are shown on almost every television outlet known to humanity.  Of course there are many that are absolutely timeless such as Miracle on 34th Street, White Christmas, Dickens’ A Christmas Carol and its derivatives and It’s a Wonderful Life.

There are also ones of various religious themes, usually involving the birth of Jesus, like no duh, it’s Christmas. Unfortunately most of these films as classic as they are bore me to tears.  Yes they have nice messages and tug at the heartstrings but without wanting to sound too much like Scrooge I get bored by them, frightfully bored.

I guess part of this is a generational thing.  The ones set in the 1930s and 1940s are from a different era, an era that I know from history books and family members but not something that is a part of my life.  It’s like the film The Bell’s of Saint Mary’s is about the Roman Catholic Church of a half century ago, not the one that I know or that exists now.  They are fictional and while touching are indelibly tied to their time.  The religious themed films tended often to be major productions of the Hollywood Gospel genre, not very faithful to Scripture or the teachings of the church, not that there is anything wrong with that.  But it is certain to me that Cecil B. De Mille did not write the 5th Gospel, or the 6th Book of Moses (You have to know your Luther Bible for that one) thus I have a hard time with films that use the nativity or for that matter the passion of Christ for a quick buck.

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However, every year, there are several Christmas movies and television shows that I cannot live without seeing.  Of the television shows my all time favorite is A Charlie Brown Christmas and How the Grinch Stole Christmas.  As a kid I had a deep affinity for both Charlie Brown and Linus. The frustration of Charlie Brown with the commercialization of Christmas was something that resonated in me at a young age and still does today. If you want to see this just look at my articles on Black Friday.  Likewise Linus’ reading of the Luke’s account of the Angel’s message to the shepherds always brings tears to my eyes.  There is something about the sensitivity of Linus to the actual Gospel message that resonates in my heart.

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As for the Grinch, and I mean the television Grinch where Boris Karloff voiced the part of the Grinch not the Jim Carey movie version, it has always been a favorite of mine.  I find the plot of the Grinch to steal Christmas from the Whos of Whoville to be a masterful account of how the message of Christmas can touch even the smallest and coldest of hearts.  Of course I absolutely loved the Grinch’s dog “Max” a dog whose loyalty to the Grinch reminds me of my dog Molly.

As far as movies are concerned I watch Scrooged staring Bill Murray and National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation staring Chevy Chase with almost a religious reverence every year.

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I relate to the main characters in both movies.  That’s not necessarily a compliment to me. Bill Murray’s Character in Scrooged pricks my cynical nature and there are times that I almost need to cover my eyes when in Christmas Vacation where Clark Griswold kicks the decorative reindeer and sleigh across the lawn when he can’t get his house lights on.  His rants when his Christmas Tree goes up in flames and when his family tries to leave the house are so close to the way that I can act under the stress of the holidays that is scary.  Since Judy says this is the case I know that I am not imagining this.

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Three other films that get me are Home Alone and A Christmas Story and though it is not really a Christmas story Trading Places staring Dan Aykroyd whose Christmas season meltdown is at the center of a film about the greed of certain parts of the American financial sector.

These are what I grew up with and which were the films about Christmas as it takes place in the United States that I became an adult in that typify my era, not that of my grandparents.  I think that is why they are my favorites and not the classics of a bygone time.

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Of course there is the Festivus episode of Seinfeld that is almost scary because of how close to home it hits. There are times that I think we only lacked the “feats of strength” and the Festivus Pole to complete the picture.  Sticking to Seinfeld I always feel a twinge of sympathy for George when makes up a fake charity called “The Human Fund: Money for People” to give to his co-workers at Kruger Industrial Smoothing. There are times that I am tempted, but thankfully never will do something similar.

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Finally I like the X-Files Christmas episode How the Ghosts Stole Christmas where Ed Asner and Lilly Tomlin played ghosts in a haunted house that Agents Scully and Mulder get trapped in while investigating a case. When I go shopping anywhere this time of year I am quite fond of Agent Scully’s comment to Mulder: “Sorry. Checkout lines were worse than rush-hour on the 95. If I heard “Silent Night” one more time, I was gonna start taking hostages.” 

Okay, so these are not the classics of a bygone era, but they are my classics and I will enjoy Charlie Brown, Linus, the Grinch, Clark Griswold, Frank Cross, the Costanzas Agents Mudler and Scully and the rest of my warped favorites as I continue to rediscover the joy and hilarity of Christmas as we celebrate it in the United States. After all, to quote Clark Griswold “We’re all in this together.”

Peace,

Padre Steve+

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Filed under christian life, faith, film, Religion

Pondering the Imponderables of National Security Leaks and Condiments

There are times when try as we might the deepest secrets of national security are made know.  Such was the case last week when the wife of Britain’s MI-16 spy service posted photos of the reclusive spymaster in his Speedo on a beach on her Facebook.com page.  Needless to say it is not good when every potential and enemy sees their enemy in such a revealing garment which most men who are not young good looking world class swimmers should never be seen in public in.  So the dear wife of the British spymaster has blown his cover in a big way.  Now Al Qaida will be staking out Brighton Beach or the French Riviera for a chance to schwack him, or at least give him an atomic wedgie as they no longer need simply to see his face but now know what the rest of his body looks like.

Unfortunately there was a security breach in Padre Steve’s household as the Abby Normal Abbess aka “Judy the Snitch” revealed something that the government has been concealing from you for many years.   Of course she could not help herself in being a snitch since she was the youngest child in her family, save her Pug Susie.  Since the damage to yours and mine national security cannot be undone now that she has posted for the world to see, I am posting the link to her article in hopes that the knowledge of the leak and the official explanation from Padre Steve will defuse this crisis.  The link is here:

http://abbeynormalabbess.wordpress.com/2009/07/09/steve-ketchup-and-national-security/

Now the official explanation:  Catsup packets and other condiments are indeed to reserve currency in case of a meltdown in the world economy.  Since many in the world are fearful of a worst case scenarios like the Great Depression or the hyper-inflation period of the Weimar Republic the world leaders decided that condiment packets that are found in fast food restaurants from Atlanta to Zagreb would do in a pinch.  Now this has not been announced anywhere and will not be officially as it could cause a rush on catsup futures which would further destabilize the already fragile world economy as McDonalds, Burger King and other fast food giants would be forced to close stores and lay off employees to find the money to keep the catsup bins stocked.

For those that don’t know the Germans have ascribed a monetary value to catsup and other condiment packets.  Back in the old days if you went to a fast food place or an Imbiss (a little snack bar often found in small towns) you would pay 5 pfennings for a packet of catsup.  Today with the advent of the Euro the last time I was there they cost 10 Euro Cents, which is about 14-15 US cents at recent exchange rates.  Some US fast food franchises now charge for more than the two or three packets that they might normally give you.  I found this out when I looked in the bag with my “to go” order and seeing that there were not enough to have extra to add to my stockpile, I asked for more and was told that it would be an additional charge.  Knowing what I know I paid for the extra.  Many fast food restaurants now have copied what Wendy’s has done for many years and instead of giving you packets of catsup as a “dine-in” customer now supply a pumping station to the catsup tank located below the store, which a couple of times month a tanker truck filled with catsup pulls up to about 0300, or 3 AM and fills up the secret tank.  This is one reason McDonalds is replacing its older buildings, it is cheaper to build a new building with the tank than renovate.  It also provides them cover of plausible deniability should people ask when the parking lot is ripped up and a tank is being installed.  These catsup tankers are unmarked for the reason that the restaurants and the government do not want you to know what is really going on.  Most of these are owned by the Heinz conglomerate whose owner; Teresa Heinz Kerry is married to a member of the US Senate and former Presidential candidate, Senator John Kerry.  By doing this the government and the restaurants are allowing themselves to stockpile catsup packets for the coming time when they will be needed.

Now you probably wonder how you can verify what I am saying.  If you have a friend or family member in the military or employed by a Federal or State law enforcement agency and visit their home or ride in their car, look for their secret stash.  After reading what Judy wrote on her blog, Judy’s cousin Diana recalled a visit to her daughter Becki who is a senior Law Enforcement official in a Federal Government agency with an astronomically high security clearance. Becki also has a drawer full of catsup and other condiment packets.  The light went on for Diana and she knew that indeed that Judy had unearthed a dark secret.

I’m sure that this post will also give the Bible prophecy addicts something new to ponder in relationship to the scriptures which talk about in the end times a bar of gold will buy a loaf of bread and stuff like that.  It is likely now that this is out there that books like The Late Great Planet Earth and parts of The Left Behind series will have to be re-written.

Additionally survivalists and militia movement members who have long suspected a government conspiracy will begin to stockpile catsup packets and begin to hijack restaurant re-supply trucks to make off with cases of catsup and other condiments and even Al Qaida my start targeting Heinz, Hunts and Del Monte catsup plants around the country seeking yet another way to undermine US and world economic security.

So that’s the story.  There will be a cover up of course as there always are, when asked government spokesmen and women will claim ignorance or deny the story altogether.  But now you know the dirty little secret. As we know from Agents Scully and Mulder in the X-Files the truth is out there.

Peace, Steve+

Note:  I gave a bad title to a post a couple of days ago.  It is the “Visit to Super Holy International Temple.”  It is quite funny and quite profound in its own way and I hope that you look it up if you din’t think that the title sounded too interesting. I was told by a reader that it reminded him of the book “The Shack” which I have never read.

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Filed under Loose thoughts and musings, national security, Political Commentary, purely humorous