A Question of Ethics

So, here’s the situation (I’m so resisting typing…my parents went away on a week’s vacation…):

You’re at lunch with a group of seven people, three of whom are your guests. One of the three is a federal employee, but that doesn’t even enter into your mindset.

In the interest of hurrying the process because the service is a little slow, you get up from the table and take care of the bill. The bill is on your own credit card, but you’re going to be reimbursed by the company, so there’s really no issue with the check total.

In the next part of the meeting, in another location, the federal employee hands you a $20 and says its for lunch. You say don’t worry about it. He says, I’m fed, I have to give this to you. I appreciate the gesture, but it’s your tax dollars at work.

You say OK and take the bill — knowing that’s really the only option, because he’s not taking it back.

So, here’s what happens next.

You really have two choices.

You can keep the $20 for yourself because when you submit the paperwork, you’re getting reimbursed. No skin off your back — but an extra $20 in your pocket.

Or, you could go back to the restaurant (which would not be inconvenient) and ask them to readjust the bill and the charge by adding the $20 to the original bill.

So, what do you do? Keep the $20 for yourself or go back and ‘do the right thing’ at the restaurant?

After telling me what you would do, tell me what you think I did.

What else? I got nothin’.

Snot — and Wrinkle — Free

So, if you know me at all, it comes as no surprise that I’m a bit obsessive about ironing.

One person irons in our house — and that person is me. And, honestly, I’m fine with that. I can’t leave the house wrinkled. Anything that happens once I step outside the house is completely fair game. But, before I go out the door, I will be wrinkle free.

I’ve even — I know, I know — avoided hugging Renee because the shirt I was wearing that day wrinkled very easily. And, also right up there in one of my not so proudest moments was running down the hall to iron a tee shirt (yes, a tee shirt) while Renee was on the bed with labor pains, and we were getting ready to go to the hospital for Aidan’s impending arrival.

So, today…

I’m all ready to go. The kids are dressed, bags are in the car, I’m dressed (and pressed). And, today is a day when I’m going to be interviewed on camera for something. So, I had to look as good as I possibly could.

Then, it happened.

Erin, who has a runny nose, comes flying into the room where I am ready for a big hug. And that was fine. No worries there. I could resist the wrinkles.

It was the snot I couldn’t escape. 

Because, as part of her hug, she wiped her nose all over my shirt. Normally, I wouldn’t so much care (ok, don’t believe that), but today was different because of the camera thing.

We were starting to fall behind schedule, so I quickly put some water on the shirt and got the kids in the car. Then, I’m like, wait, this might not work, so I ran downstairs and got another staff shirt out of the laundry and threw it in the car.

Mission accomplished. Sort of.

I’m driving to work, talking to Aidan, reaching back to wipe Erin’s nose when it hits me. The shirt I just grabbed as a fail safe measure is a complete and utter wrinkled mess.

Hmmm….now what? OK, I could go to our costume shop, but they aren’t here this early. I could iron it at Tina’s (our daycare provider), but I always try to get in and out of there as fast as I can in order to prevent any separation stuff. Besides, Tina’s married to my best friend, who if he found out about this would just, well, continue to razz me pretty much forever.

Then I start thinking. Wait, Carrie (a colleague) lives like a block away. Maybe I can go there and borrow an iron? That could work.

So, I call and ask one of the strangest questions I’ve ever asked someone I work with — mind if I stop at your house and use your iron? It was classic. But, that’s what I did. Even though the snot stain was relatively small, the fact is, it was there. And that was going to kill me all day if I didn’t remedy the situation — which I did, thanks to a colleague who now might find me even stranger than I am.

Besides being filmed today, I’m also going on a boat ride with a group of guests, so this is a day where I actually have to look decent. You might think this to be a bit strange. But, to me, I met the challenge head on and solved it.

Of course, another way I could have done it was to go to our supply shop and get a new shirt. I shouldn’t even tell you why I couldn’t do that. Now I have to though, eh?

Yeah, can’t put on a new shirt without it being washed first.

Catching Up…

When multiple people say, “jeez, you haven’t posted in a while,” I guess that means something. Beyond the obvious that, actually, I haven’t posted in a while.

So, here I am. Recommitted to you. Again. Yes, we’ve gone through this routine before. And we’re going through it again. And if you stay with me, you’ll be better for it. (Well, no guarantees, but it sounded good.)

Therefore, without further adieu, a few randoms to get things going again:

I heart Jennifer Nettles. I’m not a country guy at all. But, I’m better than that. I’m a Sugarland guy. I love this band. It’s the only country act I dig. Her voice just, well, does something to me. And, actually, let’s talk about this for a second. They aren’t a band. It’s all Jennifer, all the time. Sorry, Kristian, but you can’t come close to her. You may write some of it, I don’t even know, but Jennifer is the reason I love the band — and probably a ton others. And when I saw them Friday night (for the second time), his effort to be in the limelight with her was incredibly distracting. Her, on the other hand? Well, she can distract me anytime.

We won’t talk about the Patriots on this blog until next year, OK? Good.

Mad props to one of my most loyal readers, JenBun. You know, this is what blogging does. Here’s someone that I probably would never be connected with. Yet, here we are. I’ve been a horrible reader and commenter lately, but JenBun stands and delivers every time. I write something and she comments. And I love that. Something is here that she likes, so she comes back. Who am I to argue? Point being, she’s fun, and she’s always here. That’s a good person — regardless of in real life or just, you know, this blogging thing.

Why is that four year olds not only have the ability to blow you away with everything that comes out of their mouth, both good and bad? Aidan, love him. I mean beyond love him. You all know that. But this weekend? Wow. Renee and I were, how can I say it, tested. Only a million times.

I won’t give you some of the bad stuff he’s said — mostly talk back smart aleck kind of stuff. But, here’s a good one. “I like Wednesdays at school the best. Because it’s in the middle.” So, at four, he’s mastered the concept of hump day.

Pushing Daisies is required TV watching for anyone who reads this blog.

I owe you an update on Forty by Forty. Soon. Let’s just say things will be better when ice cream can no longer be purchased. It’s not that bad of an update, but I’m definitely in a rough patch. The cider donuts aren’t helping either.

Molly is getting married in a few weeks. And I’m beyond thrilled to be there.

Well, I think that’s enough of me for now. What do you think?

Thanks for sticking by me. I’m doing my best to make you proud again! 🙂

Perhaps the Best Aidanism Yet

So we still work on the bathroom thing. When Aidan has to poop and pee, he’ll usually stand first to pee and then sit for the poop.

If he doesn’t stand first, then he’ll sit down and ask Renee or me to tuck his penis so he can do both at the same time. We’re trying, obviously, to make sure he does the tucking, that we aren’t necessary in that process.

So, today, I’m in the bathroom with him. He goes standing up, then sits to poop and he discovers he hasn’t finished peeing yet because he says to me:

“Daddy, tuck it. Tuck it like an excavator digging a deep, deep hole.”

I mean, could I have made that up?

Making Us Proud

So guess who started five-days-a-week nursery school today?

I look at this and think….is he 4 or 14?

Regardless, he made us proud today!

More Death

Dear Cancer,

F You. No, scratch that.

Fuck you.

Now I feel better. Well, not really, but that helped.

How can you be happy with yourself? Honestly? How can you take any joy in what you’re doing to families on a regular basis?

Because I don’t get it. I didn’t get it when you took my Dad. Nor did I get it when you took another friend.

And I especially don’t get it now, Cancer.

Not when I just found out that a woman I knew in college (a year ahead of me) passed away in June from colon cancer. At age 39. Leaving a husband. And two kids.

Her name was Janet R., Cancer. I’m not sure if you introduce yourself to each person that you take away from us. But, let me tell you this, as much as you’re an ass, you should get to know Janet. Because if you did take the time to get to know these people, then maybe you wouldn’t take them from their families and loved ones any more. You’d see how special Janet is and you wouldn’t want to disrupt all the good she was doing for her family.

I haven’t talked to her in a long time, and I’ll admit to not even knowing she was in your grasp. But, let me tell you this, you big creep, when I got word yesterday that you took Janet from her family and friends, I sat at my desk for 10 minutes and couldn’t do anything.

And then I started to remember Janet as I will always know her — vibrant, vivacious, friendly, giving, witty and just an absolute delight of a person. And, to add to her charm, a little nutty, too.

One of my favorite Janet stories is her recapping her experience dealing with a flat tire. When she took out the owner’s manual, she looked under “H” to get the process under way.

Why H, Janet, I asked.

For how to change a tire.

And she was serious.

What I also remember most about Janet is that she never just called me Mike or Michael. She always — like every time — used my first and last name. That was just her thing. And I loved it. She’d do anything for anyone. That’s just how she was. Didn’t matter if she knew you for 10 years or 10 minutes, once she knew you, there was a connection.

Her husband and kids must be amazing people. Because that’s the way Janet is. A great friend, and I’m sure an even greater wife and Mom. And now you’ve ruined that. Not just for her, but for her family. How can that possibly make you feel good, Cancer?

I just don’t understand you, Cancer. And I’m to the point where I really don’t even want to try. Not if you’re going to keep doing this stuff — taking good people for no reason. I mean, seriously, can you give me a good reason why you took my Dad? Why you took Janet? I don’t think you can.

If you ever take me, Cancer, it’ll be the last thing you do. Because if I ever meet you first hand, I’m going to kick your pathetic little cowardly ass.



This Isn’t a Political Blog — Honest

Ok, so I said I’m not that political, yet here’s another post about it.

As I said, I’ve voted democratic my entire life — in everything. Yet this year, it’s not that easy for me.

I’ve always liked McCain — particularly after seeing him in person at a Town Hall Meeting about eight or nine years ago when I was still living in Vermont. (Side note: I do recall thinking then, wow, this guy is old.)

I may not agree with him on everything, but I look at him and go, you know what, this guy gave it up for me. And you. And everyone else. And while I know that alone shouldn’t get him elected, it’s an important thing for me. Especially this year.

Obama — well, he beat my girl. But, besides that, there’s just something about him. Something that makes me go, I’m just not sure about this. He’s an amazing speaker. He truly is. But has he done enough before this.

Back to McCain, the Palin thing intrigues me. It really does. And not knowing anything about her, I wanted to hear her speak and see how she carries herself on no doubt the largest stage she’s been on. The jabs aside (and I didn’t like Obama’s either), I thought she did pretty well.

But, here’s the point of my post. What do you hear about? Don’t talk religion or politics with people you like. It can get crazy.

This morning, thanks to Facebook, I found two people who I completely dig saying that last night didn’t do much for them. And that’s totally fine. It really is. How someone votes isn’t going to change anything in terms of whether or not someone is a good person or a bad person.

But it’s just interesting. That each of us can look at this so differently. That’s all I’m saying.

I don’t know who I’m voting for. I really don’t. But, I can say this, for once, I’m actually enjoying the process of seeing our system in action.

Sickness — Again

So Aidan has bronchitis.

This is a recording.

He had it in August. He had it in February. He had it once before that. He has it now.

Oh, and an ear infection.

And, sweet precious Erin? Gook (is that how you spell it?) coming out of her nose all day after not sleeping incredibly well last night.

But, alas, here I am posting this because both are sleeping right now if you can believe it.

Oh the joys.

Leave Her Alone

I’m really not an incredibly political person. I’m a registered democrat. And I do vote.

I’ll get as informed as I can before the election, but I can’t get into the entire process as much as some. Which is fine.

Hillary was my girl. Once that went the wrong way, I went looking for a candidate.

I’m not sure I’ve found it yet, but a couple of interesting things going on — for me, anyway.

I love McCain’s pick of Palin. I admittedly don’t know a lot about her, but I like what I’ve heard/read to date. She, to me, represents change a heck of a lot more than Joe Biden does.

But, my point here, based on the title of this post — leave her daughter alone. I turned on CNN tonight to catch up on Gustav and I see ‘breaking political news’ across the screen. Then, Campbell Brown, who I normally love, goes on and on and on about Palin’s daughter’s pregnancy.

It doesn’t matter. It shouldn’t matter. In fact, I hope it actually rallies people around her.

I’m for the media’s rights in most cases. But, cases like this make me embarassed to say I was a journalism major. Of course, what they’re doing now isn’t really journalism.

And, to be balanced here (balanced…there’s a journalistic idea, eh?), Obama’s response to the Palin issue was first class all the way.

That’s all.

Gosh, I don’t feel like my normal self even writing about this, but it’s been bugging me, so there it is.