Monday, March 31, 2008

Motion Pictures


Friday, March 28, 2008

A.J. Jacobs & The Year Of Living Biblically


A.J. Jacobs is the Editor at Large of Esquire magazine. I best know him as the author of The Know-It-All. Last night at Barnes and Noble, I acquired his new book The Year of Living Biblically.

The Know-It-All is Jacobs' jocular chronicle of his sojourn in reading the Encyclopedia Britanica from A to Z. His wit and candor are delightful. Jacobs artfully weaves fun facts, entertaining life stories, and clever commentary into a very readable book.

If you're like me (chances are, you are not), the books you read are heavy and non-fiction (you may remember my book review on Vice President Dick Cheney...I still maintain it was a good book...I'm gearing up for a new book on reforming the tax code...I'll let you know how it turns out). I have to force myself from time to time to read lighter books. Mr. Jacobs does a good job of filling the prescription for light but intelligent writing.

Now folks tell me I'm a funny writer. Compared to Jacobs? Absolutely not! A.J. Jacobs is a genuine Italian restaurant - I am Olive Garden. A.J. Jacobs is a divinely-inspired orator - I am Joel Osteen. A.J. Jacobs is intimate interaction with human beings - I am Facebook. A.J. Jacobs is a Greek fraternity - I am Civitan. But I'm certainly ok with that.

In The Year Of Living Biblically, Jacobs works through understanding the Bible. How so? He attempts to follow every rule in the Bible as literally as possible. Such rules include Deuteronomy 23:17, Leviticus 15:16, and my favorite, Deuteronomy 25:11-12. Here's a link to a video promo for the book.

I'm expecting another home run from Jacobs. And probably some food for thought as well. Developing an accurate framework to read the Bible, and correctly applying it, is a difficult, maybe impossible, task for even the most sophisticated mind. This book is a reminder of an idea of which I'm acutely aware: the line between what is secular and what is spiritual is becoming increasingly blurred.

p.s. Snerdley alerted me about the King James Version of Deuteronomy 25:11-12.

Honeymoon: There

After consulting with Official Blog Observer Joe Nathan Snerdley, I am writing this post (about our honeymoon) in bullet form. Just seems easier to me that way...
  • Rick and Barbara. They are an older couple that seemed to appear everywhere we appeared. Think George Costanza and a very uncute and tall Diane Keaton.
  • Ordering cheesecake at 3 am. This happened more than once.
  • Every night, Jamie and I shagged.
  • Jamie and I were at this resort. Beautiful place!
  • Random thought: a video of me from the honeymoon may appear on the Ford Retort.
  • Jamie and I had a couple's massage. A severe blow to my self esteem. But it was relaxing! If you do have a massage, I would highly recommend a stout Jamaican woman giving it to you.
  • While sitting out by the pool, I played sudoku. Jamie did not.
  • Jamie and I had coconut water several times. For those who are ignorant, coconut water is the liquid endosperm inside young coconuts. This stuff is very nutritious. Coconut water is isotonic (very crude explanation: electrolytes in your body don't have to adjust to new environment)....contains no fat...is very similar to human plasma. I didn't enjoy the taste.
  • Sunburn!
  • We ate and we ate and we ate.
  • Beautiful weather. The temperature hovered around 80 degrees. Occasional rain showers would blow up but end quickly.
  • Jamie took many pictures of flowers (better than me).
  • Our butler was Shelly. Sweet girl!
  • One Jamaican gentleman asked us if we had ever been to the Bahamas. We told him no. He said, "Good! They're real stuffy over there!" I found his assessment humorous.
  • Airport security was an irritation. Thankfully, we didn't have this problem. I agree with Gloria Allred when she said, "The last time that I checked the nipple was not a dangerous weapon." I'll tell you more about flight home next time.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Viva Viagra!

Viva Viagra! Happy birthday, Viagra. Somebody get the man a stiff drink...

A Few Thoughts

  • Last night, Jamie and I were roused from our slumber by a loud bang. I hopped out of bed, and did Taekwondo all the way down the hall. Somebody was about to eat a large serving of whoopass, courtesy of skinny white chef Michael E. Ford. Turns out the loud noise was because one of Jamie's nursing textbooks had fallen off a bookshelf.
  • So when I did wake up this morning, I thought to myself, "I'm glad the weekend is here." Then reality slapped me in the face.
  • I never have done resolutions for New Years, but I have developed some new habits thanks to marriage. A few: using my product (a tip of the fedora to Julie), exercising more (a tip of the fedora to Neil), and eating a piece of fruit every morning (regularity is key!)
  • During the wedding, Jamie and I became amateur meteorologists, trying to predict the weather for March 15. This woman was helpful. And what do you know, she blogs.
  • I'm plagued by the "five minute problem." Yeah, you know the one. It's where you always leave 5 minutes later than when you intended to. I plan to leave at 9 am, but I leave at 9:05 am. So defeatable, you would think.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Honeymoon: Getting There

I've always enjoyed traveling; I've never really enjoyed the traveling part though.

Jamie and I awoke at 3 am ( I don't think we actually got out of the bed until 3:30 am) on Sunday morning so we could arrive at the Jackson International Airport by 4:30 am, for our 6:45 am flight. (On a side note, is it really necessary to announce to the world on the airport sign that this man is the mayor of Jackson)? Now I'm no national security expert, but arriving at the airport two hours early strikes me as a touch ridiculous, especially at the JIA so early in the morning. We waited on the airline employee to show up and give us our boarding passes and then waited on security to show up so we could go wait another hour at the gate. Did I mention the airport was virtually empty? Of course, I expected this superfluousness nonetheless.

We arrived in Dallas at DFW around 8 am, for our 10:45 am flight to Jamaica. But we didn't leave the airport until 1:30 pm. The airplane we were going to fly had cabin pressurization issues. I didn't protest the delay that much...no need in my mind for exploding heads on account of impatience. And of course, the delay afforded us many opportunities to observe the oddballs around us. One young, shifty-eyed girl sitting next to us clearly had issues - she was drawing contorted dragons and the like on her pad. Our community of flying colleagues did not lack Jamaican hats...a little cheesy in my opinion. And yes, Rick and Barbara. We'll chat about them later. I also saw one man who had only one carry-on item - a roll of toilet paper.

Did I mention that we were flying American Airlines? You may have seen this story today. (As a preview, American Airlines had planes with other issues...and it so happened we were trying to leave Jamaica on one of those planes).

We did make it to Jamaica at about 5:00 pm. Customs was light (it's obvious nobody has ever flown airplanes into buildings there). Jamie and I opted for a private transfer from the Sangster International Airport as our resort was two hours away. When we arrived and got settled, we crashed!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Gotcha! (Part 2)

Thinking about my previous post jarred an old story lose in the depths of my mind.

I don't think it's a surprise to anybody that Bill and Hillary love to obfuscate, stretch (but mostly mangle and molest) the truth. This is one of my favorite lies Hilary got caught telling.

Gotcha!

Gotcha! I'm impressed - the drive-by media actually did some real reporting. The Clinton's aren't used to that.

Monday, March 24, 2008

I'm Back

My oh my...it is mighty difficult to re-enter the blogospehere after a week of inactivity. Now that I think about it, it is mighty difficult to do anything after a week of inactivity.

So my friend (and Jamie's friend) Brittany stopped by our apartment a couple of minutes ago. She hasn't seen me since the wedding. Her first words to me, you ask? How was the honeymoon? No. How is married life? No. Do you still slap Jamie in the face? No.

Brittany said, "So Michael, you're falling down on the blog."

Well excuse me.

For your information, I enjoyed my time off. It was good to trade in my gluttonous appetite for writing for rest and relaxation in Jamaica. Actually, Snerdley did some maintenance on the blog...actually had to fend off a few cyber attacks. But trust me - I know how long my children can go without sustenance from the Ford Retort. Remember, I do know and understand my audience like I know and understand every inch of my glorious naked body!

But I'm back.

First things first: on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, I will be writing about our honeymoon. It'll be a good time.

Faithful Ford Retort readers, I look forward to renewing the dialog. Let's roll!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Christ the Lord Is Risen Today!


He is not here, for He is risen, as He said.
Come, see the place where the Lord lay.
Matthew 28:6

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Bet You Didn't Expect This


At the risk of being accused of not having my priorities in order, I thought I would surprise faithful Ford Retort readers with a unexpected post.

So I'm getting married today.

All plans and activities have been pleasant and without incident. Yesterday evening, we had a delightful rehearsal dinner at the Fairview Inn. Many kind folks said a lot of nice things about Jamie and me. Most of it was true.

And I haven't really been nervous. My guess? At some unknown point today, I am going to experience a cathartic moment. Just warning you...it won't be pretty.

I think it's time to start getting ready. Need to get my hair and makeup done. See you around!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

The Final Hoorah...But Only for a Week or So

Well, I believe this is my last post for a week or so. Everybody keeps saying something about a wedding. Some thoughts:

  • Several friends of mine are questioning the existence of Joe Nathan Snerdley, Official Blog Observer. Andrew suggested to me he doesn't exist. Folks, he is real and is alive and well. Snerdley will mind the blog in my absence.
  • Our family has been explaining our wedding/reception to my cousins Caleb (age 5) and Collin (age 3). We've certainly made our explanations very simple. We told the boys there is a party after the wedding ceremony, and the party will have cake and music and food. Caleb wanted to know if he could have ice cream with his cake....certainly seems like a reasonable request to me. But Collin is on to something. He wanted to know if there would be a space jump or animals at the party. How awesome would that be if we had a space jump at the reception.
  • Several folks have scolded me about the infrequency of my posts. Even Snerdley got a little sassy with me about it. All I can say is I know, I know. Trust me...things will improve.
  • Jamie and I have been taking leisurely walks along the Natchez Trace in Ridgeland. Superior stress relief!
  • This may be an adequate substitute for the space jump.
Faithful Ford Retort readers, the first three months of blogging have been a lot of fun. Crazy things have happened. People stop me on the street to ask for autographs and pictures and the like. But you know me...I don't do it for the fame. Behave yourself in my absence!

The next Ford Retort post will be written by a married man! We will continue our dialog soon.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Presidential Primary

The esteemed State of Mississippi held its presidential primaries today. Since Mississippi has open primaries, I voted for Hillary Clinton in the Democratic primary.

As an avowed conservative, you might imagine that I had a difficult time voting for Hillary - nope. And I'll tell you why.

It's because I'm irate.

If "independents" can cross over and vote in the New Hampshire Republican primary to select our nominee, you can rest assured that I'll be crossing over and voting in their primary.

My local polling precinct is at a church (so much for that separation of church and state stuff). How ironic as my mission was divine! As I approached the Democratic sign-in area, my arrival garnered some odd looks from the poll workers. I guess I just look conservative. They knew what I was up to, but my warm smile and quick wit disarmered them. And of course, I knew the super duper secret pass phrase to vote in the Democratic primary. After I singed in, I said, "I don't know about you fine folks, but I'm ready for change." When they heard that, they dutifully nodded in affirmation.

My efforts at chicanery were in vain as Obama still won the Democratic primary in Mississippi. But as a consolation prize, I did get to vote against Bennie Thompson.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Marriage License

Jamie and I picked up our marriage license last week. At the courthouse where you apply for a license, you will find the above sign strategically hanging on a wall. Amen and amen.

Word on the street is that this time next week, I will be married. How about that!

Friday, March 7, 2008

Hillary Nutcracker


Check out this site. Apparatuses such as this summarize Hillary's appeal to middle America.

I might give one of these to Joe Snerdley, Official Blog Observer of the Ford Retort, for Christmas.

Now somebody needs to commercialize Rush's testicle lock box idea.

More Honey Roasted BBQ Sauce


On a day that isn't far from this one, my friend J.P went out of his way to make me happy. Knowing what a difficult struggle it is for me to acquire Honey Roasted BBQ Sauce from Chick-Fil-A, J.P. picked up a packet and left it on my windshield. He is just precious, isn't he!

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Confession: A Ford Retort Exclusive

You may recall that one of last week's posts contained the revelation that I would be simultaneously revealing a deep, dark secret to the blogospehere and Jamie. Ladies and gentlemen, faithful Ford Retort readers, buckle your seatbelt because it may get wild.

Jamie and I are different (I doubt anybody fell out of their chair when they read the previous sentence). One of the many ways that truth manifests itself is in housekeeping. I like to throw stuff away; Jamie does not. If it's useless to me, I throw it away. No questions asked. Another fact that you need to know about me...it's crucial to my confession...is that I am very bullheaded.

For Christmas, Jamie had a specific set of decorations that I truly loathed. The offending decor? A set of red Christmas flowers (fake ones) that she put in a vase. Let me repeat that I truly loathe these flowers. They are ostentatious. They are ugly. They are glittery. They are garish. And for some reason, they really grind me gears (I may bring this us with my therapist). These hideous abominations just scream "trashy redneck." At the risk of being redundant and belaboring the point, let me reiterate that I hate those flowers ("those flowers" will hereafter be referred to as the trashy red flowers).

Of course Christmas has come and gone. Christmas decorations have all been put away. So I thought...

One night last week, I was treading through Jamie's apartment, and lo and behold, in the guest bedroom closet, the trashy red flowers were laying on the floor, staring me in the eyes. Huh.... I can only assume we forgot to pack them away in January. But as I looked at the trashy red flowers, a wave of emotions overcame me. I remembered the embarrassment and ignominy I felt every time I had to walk by the trashy red flowers. I felt anger and rage. And I felt the need for revenge. After that moment, I don't recall many details. Everything started to move in slow motion.

I grabbed the trashy red flowers. I distracted Jamie. And I told her I would be right back.

I put them in the back seat of my car and headed for the dumpster. Something sinister had overtaken me. I started to put my vehicle in reverse and of all the things I could have done at that moment, I did only one thing.

Laugh.

I began to laugh hysterically. It was a sinister laugh. Like the Joker. Do you remember a time when you did something really bad and intellectually understood that your actions were morally reprehensible, but laughed and gloated anyway because it felt so damn good to stick it to somebody (that may only be me)? Ah yes...

The last thing I remember was pulling up to the dumpster and throwing the red trashy flowers away. I may have blacked out at that moment.

I quickly rushed back to the apartment. When Jamie saw me, she asked about my disheveled appearance. I told her that a ravenous baboon attacked me while I was on my errand, and I fought him off. She accepted my story without any further questioning.

Hang on. Let me collect my thoughts. I am shaking. Snerdley, get me a warm rag and a glass of water!

Jamie, I am so sorry I threw your trashy red flowers away (actually, I'm not). Maybe next Christmas, we can acquire Christmas decorations that are palatable to both you and me. This would without a doubt be a rewarding experience as we continue to reconcile our personal preferences.

Textual Revolution

I agree with this gentleman's post on texting. I must say, he is clever. But note the title of my post...I can be clever as well!

In reviewing Scott's blog, a inner conflict surfaced. Should I post less often (Scott has posted 6 times this year. I have posted 83 times.), but have meatier posts? Or do my (mostly) short vignettes suffice?

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

I Forgot

Snerdley just beamed me a message reminding me about the big secret I am supposed to simultaneously reveal today to the world and Jamie. I forgot! Let's push that back until tomorrow...

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Donating Blood

Yesterday morning, Mississippi Blood Services called me and asked me to donate blood on behalf of a pregnant mother. I told the curious lady I would do my best to do so that afternoon (in spite of the impending inclement weather). Before I ended my phone call with her, I asked again for whom I was giving blood. The amiable lady stuttered a second and admitted that my name simply appeared before her on some list. Comforting.

At 4:30 pm yesterday afternoon, an elderly gentlemen and I were the only two individuals donating blood. He finished before I did and the phlebotomist gave him the usual spill. But he wasn't listening.

"Sir, don't exercise for twelve hours. Keep the bandage on your arm for at least two hours. Eat a good meal tonight. Be aware that alcohol will affect you twice as fast as it normally does." With those last words, he blurted out, "Good! It's been a long day." I like the way that guy thinks.

In lieu of my previous story, I must inform you of this warning from the FDA concerning the consumption of alcohol:

The overconsumption of alcohol is major factor in dancing like a fool, getting slapped by a member of the opposite sex, and telling your friends that you're in love with them,

Monday, March 3, 2008

iBand


That's kinda cool. My response: this!

Get Your Brain Reved Up On a Monday Morning


"A funnel that fits over the genital area allows both men and women to urinate standing up, although they both have the option of sitting down."

If you're like me, your synapses don't fire quite as fast on Monday mornings. Check out this article for maxiumum neurological stimulation!