For Tina’s birthday, we went to dinner and sat next to a train wreck

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Last night, Tina and I went to dinner for her birthday.

The outing cost us nearly a million dollars.

Why, you ask.

Well, I’ll tell you.

As we pulled out of our gated area of our condo, I managed to bump the back of our car into the fence. It broke our back tail light costing us a cool half million.

We had reservations at Rick Bayless’s restaurant called Topolobampo. It’s a “Mexican” restaurant in which Bayless has successfully convinced the masses that this joint is a high-class, high-dollar establishment.

Great service, great food, great wine and great drinks come with a pricetag.

There goes the other half million. 

We enjoyed a prix fixe multiple menu-item tasting option that was ah-mazing.

As is with most downtown locations, you usually eat close to your neighbors’ table.

Our neighbors were a table of four. They were two couples who never met each other before.

We tried not to listen in, but it was difficult not to hear parts of their conversations.

The couple on my side of the table was newly engaged and from out of town. Tennessee perhaps. But they were in town for a long haul.

The couple were on the older side, late 50s maybe. The man was generally average looking. A bit of a belly under his polo shirt. Glasses. A slight beard.

His partner was a slightly overweight grandma with short hair. She had a large red leather purse under the table that featured a Cadallic metal emblem as a clasp.

On her ring finger, there was a diamond no less than four carats.

I don’t know if you’ve ever seen a four carat diamond, but they are exponentially larger as they go up in size. A two-carat is 250% larger than a one-carat. A four carat is 690,000% larger than a one carat.

No lie.

The other couple were suburbanites. They were attractive. Well groomed. The man looked like a typical, church going, high-income guy with glasses, beard, turtleneck and jeans.

His wife was petite, curly-haired (which I love), and attentive to the conversation. She was a conversation builder.

The wife on my side of the table was a conversation murderer.

She was on her phone looking for pictures of what she was talking about. She didn’t listen to the conversation. She kept receiving texts that she looked at instead of her table mates.

This lady was getting plowed on the wines she was served.

The more she drank, the louder she told her stories. She insisted on telling the whole restaurant about her canines.

She owned three dogs named after wines: Merlot, Grigio and Sauvignon.

The guy on the other side of the table joked, “You don’t have one named Sangria?” Ha ha.

Her husband said, “Not yet!”

Ha ha.

The pinnacle  of their conversation was when they talked about getting sick on vacations.

Four carat diamond lady said that once she got sick on vacation.

So sick that a doctor had to come to her room to give her an I.V. because she was so dehydrated, from you know, barfing and shitting.

I just so happened to be biting into my short ribs and Tina just so happened to be biting into her aged Rib-eye steak that was so — fucking — tasty.

But the seasoning that Rick Bayless didn’t count on was our neighbor explaining that her sickness was from swimming with the dolphins in a dolphin tank and opening her mouth too much while swimming with them.

This lady got the shits from dolphins.

And I was biting into scrumptious morsels of short ribs.

Let me be clear.

I hate that lady.

And her four-carat diamond.

And her Cadillac emblem purse.

Cadilac emblem on bright red purse.

Remind me not to tell you about how she’s getting her varicose veins lasered off while she’s in town as well.

Especially while you’re biting into the best dessert you’ll probably never have again.

 

 

 

 

A real letter to real parents canceling school for a fake end of the world

Dear Chatfield Families,

We apologize for the late email, but we need to share some important information with you regarding all schools in Lapeer County. The decision was  made by the Lapeer County School Districts to cancel all classes and extracurricular activities on Thursday Dec. 20 and Friday, Dec. 21. Because the entire
county is cancelling classes, The Chatfield School must also cancel classes for Thursday, Dec. 20 and Friday, Dec. 21.

The decision to cancel classes is not an easy one. After the recent events in Connecticut, there have been numerous rumors circulating in neighboring  districts about potential threats of violence against students.

Additional rumors  about the Mayan calendar predictions and related violence have caused significant disruptions in several Lapeer County Schools. These rumors have been thoroughly investigated and determined to be false. We are pleased to report  that at Chatfield there have been absolutely no threats of violence and students,  staff and parents have acted admirably. In fact, we anticipate that many of our
students and staff will be disappointed that school has been closed.

Please reassure your children that treat street, reindeer, and trolley rides will be rescheduled for a date in early January. We wish you all a peaceful and joyous holiday vacation and we look forward to seeing you on Monday, January 7th ready to begin a new year of learning! 

 

Read more:

 

Adoption, better than anything else

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You have to go to Vimeo to watch this video. But do me a favor.

Wait.

Do yourselves a favor.

Watch it.

It’s the story of a family with 9 adopted kids.

It’s a beautifully done video. But it’s an even more beautiful message.

Adoption, its very essence, is why I choose not to believe.

When you’re adopted, you are chosen. When you are chosen, you are loved. And when you weigh the warm love of reality with the cold, absent love of supernatural, there is no comparison.

When you tell me that God’s love is unconditional and I compare that idea — you know, the one with hell and heaven and non-believers are separated from Him — with the idea of human love and compassion.

When human love and compassion surpasses God’s version, there’s something wrong with the latter and everything right with the former.

Keep a box a tissues handy.

Let’s break this down a bit

Okay, so Freedom From Religion Foundation doesn’t have the best reputation with the FOX Newsers.

I get it. You get it.

The group, led by David Silverman, ask that public property offers equal space for a verity of religious or non-religious beliefs.

The conversation is a tough one, I’m sure.

Both parties feel they are protecting their cause.

But listen to the conversation itself. Even if you can’t understand what they’re talking about. Just listen to the rhythms and flows. Listen to it for the sarcasm and the malice.

I’ve had this type of conversation a lot. You know, you’re trying to stay reasoned and the other person is either laughing or hiding behind interruption.

I’ve been to counseling, and I’ve been to couple’s counseling. I strongly recommend both.

One of the beneficial aspect of couple’s counseling is learning validation and listening. I know too many people who don’t listen. They interrupt. They spend more time coming up with something similar from their own lives and not coming up with another question to make the speaker feel important and listened to.

When people don’t confirm others thoughts and conversations (i.e. blurt in stories, don’t ask for more clarification, don’t respond with a synopsis of what the other is trying to say), I shut down. I get bored. I turn off. What’s the point of talking if your “listener” is always talking over you?

What’s the point of conversation if someone laughs, scoffs, or responds with anything other than a headshake and at least the appearance of lingering on every word?

These hosts on these shows are other people’s role models.

And it’s no wonder the conversation turns to shouting.

How pathetic.