Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Memories of Cottages

I'm off to a relative's cottage Wednesday afternoon, so I probably won't post again until after Labour Day (Sept. 6).

Arthur and I are saving up for our own cottage. We haven't made a very big nest egg as of yet. In 2 years we'll be finished paying off our student loans and Benjy won't be going to daycare (gotta love the full-day of school in Grade 1). Then - we should be able to put aside a big wad every month towards our cottage. After that, it should happen quickly.

My favorite memories are of going to a cottage for two weeks every summer in Port Stanley with my parents. I loved it. And every time I go to someone else's cottage, I don't want to go home. I want one for my own.

Top 10 things I love about cottages:

1. Jumping off the dock into the lake.
2. Spending more time in the lake than on land.
3. Listening to the "cottage noises" from the dock.
4. Beautiful, brown, perfectly-toasted marshmallows.
5. Seeing all the stars that you can't see in the city.
6. Rubbing sun screen on my daughter's perfect back.
7. Jigsaw puzzles on rainy days.
8. Having no plans. None.
9. Sleeping like a baby at night.
10. Making memories for my kids.

Monday, August 30, 2004

Lazier Than Stink

I'm fresh out of blogging topics today. I'm thinking about posting about a post about a post. From Wheelson's Metrotronic blog to be exact. Funny stuff. That way, I've posted without having to really think, which sounds pretty good to me. My brain's all used-up today.

See, I bet myself that I could work the whole morning without checking my blog, and I did it. It's a big deal - believe me. I got a lot of work done too. But now all my think nuggets are shriveled up little bits of flotsam and jetsam and I need time to replenish. So, just linking to a post where someone actually took the time to think seems easier than having to think myself.

I apologize for my laziness, but I know you'll enjoy Wheelson's efforts.

Friday, August 27, 2004

How Big Is Your Footprint?

A friend at the office passed along this eco-footprint calculator link. You can take the test to see what big of an impact you have on the earth, and how many earths you'd need to support the population if everyone used as much resources as you do.

I didn't fare too well. I think it's because I live so far away from where I work (and don't car pool very often) and because my house is a pretty good size. My friend's footprint was 5.4 acres. Mine is 17.8 acres. Eghad!

Your Ecological Footprint Results
Food Footprint 5.77 acres

Transportation Footprint 4.2 acres
Housing Footprint 3.03 acres
Other Footprint 4.8 acres

Your footprint measures 70.65% of an average North American's footprint and 90.07% of an average MEC Eco-Footprint Calculation

Now choose. How much of the biosphere should be set aside for other species? 50%

Your choice means the following:You believe that every person should be able to live a satisfying life within an average of 2.72 acres.

Worldwide, the biologically productive space available per person is 2.2 hectares, or 5.4 acres.
Hence, it requires 6.55 Earths to support each member of the present human population at your standard of living.

Thursday, August 26, 2004

Adonis Continued

I saw him again 8 months later at a party held by the same mutual friends. I remember he was tanned and lovely and filling his shirt exactly right. I remember that his hair was wavy and fell in his eyes.

I also remember that I brought my boyfriend. The boyfriend he asked to move so that he could sit next to me. The boyfriend that did move so that he could sit next to me. The boyfriend I continued to date for nearly 3 years after that.

He didn't bring a girlfriend. I remember that too. But I don't remember what we talked about or how long we were there. I wish I could. He can.

I didn't see him again for a long time.

You're a Jerk, Dent

One of my favorite parenting moments (and this will give you a glimpse into why my children will need therapy later in life) was sharing the Hitchhiker’s Guide books with my son, Frankie. In particular, we both love Wowbagger the Infinitely Prolonged. We were really thrilled when we found another story about him in The Salmon of Doubt.

Well, for those of you who appreciate Wowbagger, you can download an insult generator of your own for free. How cool is that?

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

This Just In: Money Can't Buy Happiness

Our CEO just sent an email around with the subject line:

Why Money Can't Buy You Happiness. This study was attached.

Hmm. I wonder if he's trying to break the news that no one's getting a pay raise right before annual review.

What Women Want

Well, in fact, I don't know what all women want. But I know what I want. Sometimes.

Here are some guidelines*:

  1. If, upon seeing me teary-eyed, your first instinct is to back away. Don't. Give me a hug and ask me what's wrong. Tell me how wonderful I am. I know you think that I'll think you're being patronizing. And I might. But I'll forgive you faster than if you just walked away.
  2. If I seem amorous, take advantage. My mood could change. Quickly. Too late. Move on.
  3. I will ask you why you said sorry to me when I was angry. I will get even more angry if your answer begins with "Because you seem to think..."
  4. Your friends are morons. I will be in a bad mood if you make me spend time with them for more than 20 minutes. I will be in a bad mood if you invite them into our home or go out with them when I don't have plans or it is inconvenient for me. Unless they're married and their wife isn't pathetic. Then we can see them as a couple, but only when I feel like it.
  5. It very well could be hormones. But don't bring it into the conversation. Believe me. You will regret it.
  6. I won't ask you if I look fat in these pants if you stop digging those overalls out of the trash.
  7. I love you. Shut up and give me a hug.

*Guidelines may (and will) change without notice.

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

He's a She

I just got back from the vet. Both of the kittens are female. Looks like Zoro may need a new name. She behaved not too bad considering. OK - I was wearing a long heavy sweater and wearing leather gloves, AND had her wrapped in a towel. Still - I'm proud of her. Sweetie was her usual charismatic self.

Left Hand, Right Brain

Have you noticed that a disproportionate number of software developers are left-handed? I haven't done a scientifically accurate study or anything, but it seems to me that there is a higher percentage of left-handedness among software developers than among the general population.

This supports my theory that software development is more of an art than a science. It's all about right-brained creativity.

Benjy is left-handed. She wants to be a ballerina (what 4 year old girl doesn't?), but maybe I should convince her to be a programmer. Hmmm.

Monday, August 23, 2004

American in Canada

Ha! It looks like I will qualify to submit an absentee ballot for the US federal election. For those of you not in the know, I was born and spent a good deal of my childhood in the great state of Michigan and currently hold dual US/Canadian citizenship. I was never interested in voting until this whole fiasco with GWB started up. I’ll do my part to make sure Kerry wins.

Friday, August 20, 2004


I was late getting to the office this morning because Arthur smells too good. It’s the same reason I was late yesterday and the day before. Arthur needs to keep his good smells to himself in the morning. In particular, his back which always smells like baking cookies. But only in the morning. And only his back. What a lucky combination of sleep smells to wake up smelling like cookies. Also, he’s very warm. That, mixed with the smell of clean sheets is exactly what I need to fall back to sleep after the alarm goes off.

That’s why I married him. But, if I’m going to get up in time for work, I’ve got to start feeding him garlic the night before.

Thursday, August 19, 2004

Of Buddhists and Big Macs

Watching this feature on CBC last night about how Tibetan Buddists aare generally happier, calmer, and less stressed than most people in the Western World got me on to my traditional rant, which I will share with you. It is this: we in Western society do not lead meaningful lives. We have more than everything we need, and we’re just not happy.

Basically my argument is that we’ve completed 1 to 4 in Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, but instead of pursuing self-actualization, we’ve embraced consumerism. It’s all we have left, if you believe the media. The Western world has long focused it’s attention on material gain, but for much of it, we had religion, which at least gave us some sense of our place in the world. In recent times, many of us have shrugged off the confines of religious belief, and this has left something of a gaping whole in our understanding of ourselves, out priorities, and the world around us.

Now, we’ve become obsessed with the acquisition of material goods as a way of filling that void. It’s become ridiculous. We work outrageously stressful jobs so that we can make money so that we can acquire more “things” that we are told will make us happy. Of course, they don’t. So, we work even harder so we can buy better “things” only to find that those don’t really make us happier either. We consume and consume and are completely defined by our work. What’s one of the first things you ask someone when you meet them? “So, what do you do?” I mean, it’s even one of the main profile questions in Blogger, for Christ sake! Go to other parts of the world where people aren’t as stressed, and no one asks you “what do you do?” It’s immaterial.

Now, everyone’s on Prozac or Ritalin or Valium to control depression, anxiousness, malaise, etc. You just don’t see a lot of Buddhist monks on Prozac. Why? Because they know what’s important. And having the latest PDA, Audi, or trip to Mexico just isn’t it. I’m not saying we should all quit our jobs or go back to believing in a God that, quite frankly is as plausible as Santa Claus. I’m saying the Buddhists have it right. We need to become more introspective, more aware of the “real” world around us, more self-aware, more kind, more tolerant of others, and most importantly, more willing to create meaningful contact with other human beings.

How often have you walked down the street and avoided making eye contact with someone walking 2 feet away from you? How weird is that? It’s part of our whole culture of isolating ourselves and our stuff from each other. We interact at superficial levels now – customer service calls, PTA meetings, speed dating, mass seminars. Real human interaction has come to a standstill. Ironically, through the anonymity of the Internet, many of us (myself included) are reaching out and making “real” contact with complete strangers while foregoing the intimacy of actual human contact. These are strange times we’re living in. Pass me the Prozac.

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Funny Joke

I don't normally post jokes, and certainly not ones about someone else's countrymen. But, I thought this one was pretty good. It's from my Mom. Thanks, Mom!

The last 4 ex-U.S. Presidents are caught in a tornado, and off they whirl to OZ.

They finally make it to the Emerald City and came before the Great Wizard. "WHAT BRINGS YOU BEFORE THE GREAT WIZARD OF OZ?"

Jimmy Carter steps forward timidly:" I've come for some courage."

"NO PROBLEM!" says the Wizard. "WHO IS NEXT?"

Reagan steps forward, "Well........., I.......I think I need a brain."


Up steps George Bush Sr., sadly, "I'm told by the American people that I need a heart."

"I'VE HEARD IT'S TRUE!" says the Wizard. "CONSIDER IT DONE."

There is a great silence in the hall. Bill Clinton is just standing there, looking around, but doesn't say a word.

Irritated, the Wizard finally asks, "WHAT DO YOU WANT?"

"Is Dorothy here?"

Mistaken Identitiy

Heh Heh. Some guy in the line at Tim Horton's asked me if I was a nurse today. He thought I looked familiar. I thought it was some kind of strange pickup and gave him the shrug off.

It's only several hours later as I sit here at my desk that I realize he likely works in the same hospital as my older sister (we look disturbingly similar, all three of us). She's not a nurse, she's a pharmacy something-or-other, but it all makes sense now....

Tuesday, August 17, 2004


I can't help but notice how disgusting my keyboard is right now. Did you know that your keyboard likely has more germs living on it than a public toilet? Nice.

Monday, August 16, 2004

My Adonis

He arrived late to the party. I'd already been heavily into the punch by then. His skin looked very tan against his white T-shirt. He was fit and beautiful and he knew it. He owned the room.

I was drawn to him immediately. We all were. And when he talked, it was like there wasn't anyone else in the room. He was so sure of himself. He knew who he was, and he didn't care if you liked him (but he knew you would). I melted. I was his. We talked most of the night.

And then he said those magical words. "My girlfriend..." As soon as he said it, he knew he'd blown it. The magic was over. Too bad. The vodka made it easier to recover, thankfully.

Having recognized his blunder, he made a quick exit and I went home alone.

I didn't know it then, but we would meet again. And eventually, against my better judegement, I'd marry him.

Heard Today Before Work

"Mommy, you look different today. I like your hair up like that," says little Benjy.

"Thank you! I thought I'd dress up today," replies Mom.

"Well, you look different. You look..." Benjy hesitates

"Pretty?" Mommy supplies.

"No, that's not it." she answers.

SW Stalker Seeks Recently Heartbroken SWM

Here’s something I just dug out of the archives of my brain. It was stored under high school mysteries.

There was this girl, well woman now, really, who’s shadowed me all of my high school dating existence. I don’t know why and probably never will.

We went to the same school from the ages 10 to 19. I wasn’t great friends with her, but we shared some mutual friends, so I hung out with her off and on quite a bit for 10 grades (high school went to Grade 13 in Ontario until 2 years ago). I even visited her in the hospital in the 11th grade when she tried to kill herself. Apparently, she was also bulimic, but not very good at it from what I could tell. That’s a different post, though.

Anyway from the time I was 16 until the time I was 19, I dated these fellows:

Elvis (yeah, I’m not kidding), Anthony (broke my heart), Shane (bastard), Chris1 (geek), Chris2 (nice geek), Todd (sweetie), Jerry (eye candy). I can’t remember if this is totally accurate, but it contains the main gist.

I remember that while I was dating Anthony, having this funny “puke” feeling when I saw her at the local mini-mart and she had “Tania loves” on one Converse sneaker toe and “Elvis” on the other. I mean, how many Elvis’s are there in any anglo town? I thought it was weird that she would date an ex, as my friends didn’t usually do that to each other, but what the hell. She and Elvis became really good friends, from what I’ve heard. Anyway, she went on to date Chris1 not too long after we’d broken up.

I started to think then that it was a bit weird that she’d dated two of my ex’s, but I didn’t think much of it since I hadn’t dated either of them for very long, nor had I “done it” with them (in retrospect, I’ve decided that if you can’t say the word “sex” out loud, then you’re likely not mature enough to be having it).

She went on to have a serious relationship with Chris2, which I found extraordinarily creepy, as we’d been quite an item. That was at the height of her bulimia. She never went for Todd (who was by then in university), or Anthony (he had transferred to a different high school in Grade 11) but when Jerry and I broke up after the prom, he told me that she tried to seduce him shortly thereafter. He thought it was funny, but it just reaffirmed my paranoia. Apparently she also hooked up with Shane after our romance ended rather surreptitiously for reasons that I can only describe as “very bad.” I don’t know if she had the same problems with him that I did, but that’s a different story.

Anyway, at the time, I had no idea why she would want to date these guys. In retrospect, I think she had a lot of self-esteem issues and these guys were all readily available and recently rejected. They were all from our high school, and I had broken up with them all rather spinelessly and without thought for their feelings. I always wondered if she nursed their wounds and commiserated with them on what a nasty bitch I was. I used to think that I was just being paranoid and arrogant, but now I’m not so sure.

Sometimes I think about that whole thing and wonder if I should get her number from the last remaining high school friend that I still semi-contact and give her a call to find out what the hell all of that was about. But, then I think that it’s not important enough to worry about. And it isn’t. It just makes me shake my head a bit and smile. I'm also really glad that Arthur and I never dated in high school.

Sunday, August 15, 2004

Growling Friendly, Like

Update on the kitten front for those who aren't sick to death of hearing about it. Sweetie loves the brushing. So does Zoro, but he's not so obvious about it.

Zoro either hides in the corner, or in his carrier. He doesn't run away when I brush him, though, and his quiet little motor turns on. As soon as Zoro starts purring, then Sweetie purrs for no reason and pushes his head against my hand. He wears his heart on his sleeve, that one does. It's very cute.

By the end of this week, I think we can consider them family members. :)

Saturday, August 14, 2004

Marineland Sucks

For those of you who have seen the Marineland commercials, don't believe them. They are marketing geniuses. Basically, everything you see on the commercials is all that there is. It hasn't changed much since I went there when I was 12 (that's 21 years ago, for those counting).

They pimp out their animals to the guests. You can buy food and feed bears, deer, killer whales (I'm not kidding), and Beluga whales. There must be twenty bears in their exhibit, and they're all begging for food. It's really sad.

The rides need some work. You know a ride is not good when your 4-year old tells you "that was lame." But the SkyScreamer was very good, and almost worth the 2 1/2 hour drive to Niagara Falls. Arthur wouldn't take us to actually see the Falls, though. Pity. Frankie and Benjy haven't seen them. Maybe next time.

Friday, August 13, 2004

Kittens: Renamed

My children, dears that they are, informed me that Graffiti and Scribbles are "lame" names. They've compromised on Sweetie for the nice cat and Zoro for the aloof scratcher. The names have stuck.

When we got back from Marineland today, I played with Sweetie - he/she likes to chase a fuzzy ball on a string. Then, SUCCESS! Sweetie let me brush him and started purring! I picked him up and continued to brush/pet him and it didn't go too badly. Zoro didn't bite me when I brushed him, but his hackles went up!

P.S. - we had to move them out of our ensuite today - the last couple of nights they've made so much noise that Arthur slept in the spare room. Also, the kitty litter smell was not great. They're in the kids' bathroom now with strict orders to Frankie and Benjy to use our bathroom instead.

P.S.S. - I'm very happy with the progress today but a little worried that Zoro won't come around. Hope he does soon.

Thursday, August 12, 2004


One of my kittens is nicer. The other one is not. The nice one, who plays dead when I catch him, I have decided, gets the better name: Graffiti. The one that scratched me unmericlessly and bit my hand is stuck with Scribbles. It was his choice, really.

While avoiding work today, I found out that in regards to taming the kittens, I have done absolutely everything, almost, but not quite completely and utterly wrong. Apparently my kittens could be called wild, and there is a whole approach to taming feral kittens of which I was heretofore unaware.

Having chased them around the basement for 45 minutes, and enduring multiple lacerations about my fingers, palms, wrists, and lower arms, they are now secured in my master ensuite and pretty pissed. They shall remain there until they can be called part of the family. In general, family members do not bite each other nor hiss when hugged. They also do not wedge themselves under the hot water heater.

For an hour, I read to them from The Salmon of Doubt (which had been mercifully returned to the big city library). They didn't attack me and barely hissed, so I'm taking that as a good sign. Incidentally, this was my first recitation in that bathroom and the acoustics are pretty good.

After we drop Frankie off at karate, we're going to go to the grocery store where I will procure some Heinz babyfood (I'm thinking beef and chicken) as a treat for them for not biting me anymore today.

Template change

Modified my blog, but the changes are just until I can find something more original without havign to do a lot of work. :)

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Yes, I'm That Oblivious

OK. So I'm not original, or very observant. Diva Drip just clued me in to the fact that the blogger ads at the top of your blog change with your posts. Thus the Keanu Reeves DVD ad at the top of my blog. (Not sure about the Ted Greene one, but I'm guessing it's because of my post on Bill & Ted).

Who's got the inside track on how that ad changes? Is it purely on posts, or is it only on posts that get lots of comments? I'm curious, because I've written way more about cats recently than Ted, and yet here's this ad about Ted (and not even the right Ted) but no mention of cats or cat-related products.

Hmmmm. It's all a mystery.

Update: I guess I talked about cats enough, as there's now an ad for declawing alternatives. Mystery solved.

The Kitten Situation

The kittens are getting a little braver. We were able to chase them up to Frankie's room. One of them made a kamikaze dive off the stairs and I caught him/her in mid-air. The other one wedged itself between Frankie's bed and the futon we store under it.

But I held on to the other kitty and we pet it for about 15 minutes. Then I let it go. It didn't try to leave, and at first I thought it was because he/she was enjoying the rub, but it turns out it was sheer terror. :(

They spent the better part of the evening wedged under Frankie's bed. Then, they scampered downstairs and used their meow radar to locate each other in the dark main floor. It was pretty cute.

I know many of you want to know about the name situation. As it stands, I think I'll be going with Graffiti and Scribbles. Don't know which one is which yet, but as soon as I can put color-coded collars on them, that situation will be resolved. Benjy has announced that she will continue to call them Pumpkin and Sweetie, and Frankie has continued to throw out suggestions for alternate names despite my resolve on the aforementioned monikers. Arthur is pulling for Harry and Lloyd (thanks Jennie!) but the rest of us used our Security Council vetoes on that one.

I'll post some pictures of them as soon as I can get them out from behind the furniture.

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Hope Beyond Reason

We adopted Dumb and Dumber (from my previous post) to fill the void left from the disappearance of our last beloved cat, Sally.

She was three years old, and possibly the best cat ever. But about a month ago, she went out for the night and never came back. We thought it was coyotes living in the cornfield behind us that must have gotten her, but this story gives me hope that she might return some day.

Monday, August 09, 2004

Meet Dumb and Dumber

I adopted twins yesterday. Psycho, evil, black twins with extra toes. When I left this morning, they were hiding behind the couch. We haven't named them because we can't catch them to see what sex they are.

No - I'm not crazy (or at least no crazier than before this post). They're 8-week old polydactyl kittens. All black. Both of them. They were raised in a barn and don't like people very much. My daughter thinks they hate her, and I had to explain that they hate everyone equally right now. Once they've settled in, they'll only hate Arthur.

Last night I could hear a plucking sound like they were scratching a screen. I came running down, and the obviously dumber of the two (most likely the male), had scaled the screen door all the way to the top and had wedged himself between that door and the glass door. He had a really good grip (I'm guessing it was his extra digits) and we had to nearly saw him in half to get him out.

What was he thinking? That the screen was easier to penetrate near the top? And if he did get through, it's a bit of a drop. Not a lot of fore-though there. Good grief. The smarter of the two just watched from the safety of the kitty litter (which they apparently know how to use).

Then, they cried for their mother and ran around knocking things down most of the night.

I'm not liking them too much right now, but I'm hoping we can all come to some sort of agreement soon. For instance, if they stop crying and maybe don't climb the screen, then I'll, say, continue to feed them and scoop their pooh. Whatdya think?

I was really excited about getting them - I was all pumped and hopping around and saying to Arthur every 5 minutes, "Aren't you excited about getting them?" And he would look at me deadpan and say "I'm happy that you're excited. Is that good enough?" (Arthur isn't a cat-person (and he recently found out that he's also not a dog-person either)).

Anyway - the actual purpose of this blog is the name issue we're having. Benjy wants to name them Pumpkin and Sweetie. Frankie wants to call them Zoro and Puss N' Boots, I want to call them Loki and Bartleby, and Arthur doesn't care (although he thinks Imwith and Stupid would be funny. Argh!).

Does anyone have a good idea for names for identical black cats of undetermined sex that have extra toes and are real hellians? If so, send them my way!

Friday, August 06, 2004

Cutest cutie ever Posted by Hello

And The Answer Is...

You all know about my Arthur - husband, chef, father, mini-van driver -he's all those things and more.

Well, now he's a blogger too! He's been pigeon-holed into calling himself Arthur since that's what I already call him here - but he's playing along wonderfully. Not too many posts up yet, but it's coming along. Check him out.

Thursday, August 05, 2004

The Top 5 Pretend Boyfriends

Whilst playing darts in our garage, Ford asked us "Who's your top 5?" (that's top 5 stars you're allowed to sleep with (with your spouse's permission) if you should ever come upon them (no pun intended).

I chose, in VERY specific order:
  1. Matthew McConaughy
  2. Owen Wilson
  3. Colin Firth
  4. Hugh Grant
  5. Jude Law

Arthur went "all time" which means that I don't have to worry about half of them, as they're very much deceased:

  1. Marlene Dietrich (DEAD)
  2. Rita Hayworth (ALSO DEAD)
  3. Angelina Jolie (Smugly Alive)
  4. Sophie Morrow (Arthur is too good looking for a French chick to be attracted to him)
  5. Carrie Ann Moss (Yeah, well, she's pretty hot)

If I was going "all time", I would have included Cary Grant, but I wanted to keep my options a little more open. Not sure what I'd say if I met one of my "5" walking down the street, though.

"Hi, you don't know me, but you're on my "List" and my husband says it's ok if I sleep with you. Why are you backing away? Where are you going? Hey! Wait!"

Saturday's Pig Roast Tally

  • Pig: $150.00
  • Spit: Borrowed
  • Wood: Free
  • Stuffing: $9.95
  • Baste: $20.00
  • Dragging the ripe carcass to the curb on garbage day: Priceless

Hauling that bag of 5-day old stinking pig carcass to the curb was an entirely new low for me. Phew! I have new respect for non-swine eaters.

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

Oral Ode

Oh tongue,
I am sorry
That I overused you last night
When I indulged in too many
Salt & Vinegar chips.

You won't work
For me.

You say you are tired,
But I need to have lunch,
And speak at a meeting.

Please, oh please,
My overworked friend,
Take off your wool sweater,
And be your old self

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

Family Reunion 30-Second Recap

As you know, Arthur and I were foolish enough to host a Saturday thru Monday reunion for his father's family this past weekend. I'm exhausted, which I'm taking as a sign that I had a really good time. Arthur's family was pretty funny and they certainly know how to have a good time.

Here are some reunion take-aways that you can keep in mind for your next family gathering.

1. Nothing in the world removes purple popsicle from a suede couch. Nothing.

2. Ditto with vomit containing said victuals.

3. Enjoy your uncle's homemade wine in moderation (thus avoiding #2).

4. Your favorite lawn chair will always break, and you will be in it when it does.

5. Kids with water guns run faster than uncles with beer.

6. Alcohol consumption and lawn darts don't mix.

7. If someone pisses you off, hold your tongue and remember that you won't have to see them for another 25 years.

8. The people who did nothing to help with the meal are always the first in line to eat it.

9. Keep an air freshener in the bathroom for Uncle Hank's morning constitutional.

10. Aunt Jo will not see the humor in putting the roasted-pig's head on a stick and quoting from "The Lord of the Flies."

Also, I might point out that if your last name is White, you should avoid putting signs on your lawn that read "White's Reunion" or "White Party" - it sends the wrong message to your neighbors.