Monday, March 30, 2009

Spring Has Begun

Most educated specimens denote the beginning of Spring with the Vernal Equinox, March 1, or the start of March Madness. But faithful Ford Retort readers know better.

In the Ford Retort world, Spring begins when Michael shaves his beard.

Welcome Spring!

Friday, March 27, 2009

PSA

Faithful Ford Retort readers, please indulge me a moment...

Ford Retort Public Service Announcement:

Attention the Usual Suspects: the first M Braves "Thirsty Thursday" of the season is April 9. Thank you. And please stand by.

Frank Cracks Down on Prostitutes


A tip of the fedora to Kingfish for this find.

Photoshopped or not?

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Advice to the Betrothed and Newly Weds

This explains why a man leaves his father and mother
and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.

-Genesis 2:24


As promised:
  • Have a Plan. In my humble opinion, plans are underestimated. Best I can tell, though, they'll take you a long way. A written plan will take you even farther.
  • Living Off Love Sucks. Sorry, afraid that's very true. You need cold-hard cash to buy things and pay bills. Don't fool yourself into thinking otherwise. I had (and still have and use) an Excel spreadsheet that lists every expense Jamie and I have. Every single one. And if our income (net) is less than our expenses, we have a problem. And I, Michael E. Ford, the head our household, MUST ADDRESS DEFICITS IF THEY OCCUR. By the way, we call this a budget. Budgets are a powerful tool; use them!
  • You Marry the Family. Don't delude yourself: you're not only marrying your spouse, you're marrying your spouse's family.
  • Get a Sam's Card. Buying in bulk not only saves you money, it forces you to plan your purchases.
  • Have a Discussion about Household Chores. This is one of the best things Jamie and I ever did. Long before we said, "I do," and cried our eyes out during the wedding (oh wait, that was just Jamie), we were very aware of each others strengths and weaknesses when it came to domestic duties. I basically do all of the laundry in the Ford house. Jamie does all the cooking. You know why we chose to do that? I despise cooking and Jamie detests laundry. Two-four-six-eight, it pays to communicate (cue cheerleader jump)!
  • It's Your Wedding. If you're engaged, you need to read this next sentence about ten times. Their is a strong correlation between the manner in which your family treats you/controls you when you're married and the manner in which your family treats you/controls you as you plan your wedding.
  • I Know You're Poor, But Give. Seriously now, who doesn't need more money? I want give a sermonette on giving, but it's a worthwhile thing. It also helps you learn to live on less than you make. And don't forget...giving is a lot bigger than money.
  • Have a Date Night. I never could have imagined how busy Jamie and I have become in just one year's time. It's so easy to push your spouse off to the side and never even realize. Always make time to have a date night. The dividends of that investment are invaluable!
  • Get a Winsty Baby. Not really, but he is fun!
Considering libraries of books have been written on this topic, I don't pretend that I've come anywhere close to covering it. These are just a couple of things I've discovered that have helped me. For advice on the "sensitive" issues, you probably need to come see me...

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

One Year Anniversary

Place me like a seal over your heart,
like a seal on your arm.
For love is as strong as death,
its jealousy as enduring as the grave.
Love flashes like fire,
the brightest kind of flame.
Many waters cannot quench love,
nor can rivers drown it.
If a man tried to buy love
with all his wealth,
his offer would be utterly scorned.

-Song of Solomon 8:6-7

To celebrate our one year marriage anniversary last week, Jamie and I ate at Walker's Drive In in Jackson. And we just happened to run in to some friends while we were there (wink, wink). For this to be my first time to eat at Walker's, I will admit I was not disappointed. In fact, if an evil magical Gennie came to me and struck me blind, made me deaf, and barred me from eating at Walker's...and then granted me only one wish to reverse one of his cruel punishments...I would wish that I be allowed to go back to Walker's. Seriously.

I've told Jamie a lot recently that she's the best wife I've ever had. And I really mean it. So now, faithful Ford Retort reader, indulge me.

Jamie is my wife and best friend. She is the perfect gal for me. Jamie knows me too well - she can complete my sentences before I finish them and can imitate my quirks before I can do them myself. We're so wildly different in a lot of ways that it can be hard for me to understand how we can stand each other. But we do (most of the time)! Jamie is remarkably steadfast and loyal to me. She can do the things for me that I simply can't do for myself. Jamie is strong - her spirit is strong. Her first inclination is always compassion, yet injustice infuriates her. She strives to give me her best. Jamie can always get me out of my shell, and encourages me to never settle.

For such an amazing gal, I'm oftentimes saddened that the best I can give Jamie is my very imperfect love. I know she deserves more than the limits of my selfishness. Love is funny thing in that way.

Is God not infinite in his wisdom? He created the supernal institution of marriage, and from it a bounty of earthly blessings do flow! Life is acrimonious and brings challenges, but we are blessed to bear it and share it with our husbands and wives.

To the love of my life: it's been a good year, so if it's alright with you, I say let's keep on going. Love you, babes!

Weekend Recap

As far I'm concerned, I can recap the weekend in two words: beautiful weather!

Saturday, I found that the grass was getting a little high, so I mowed the yard for the first time this year. I spent some quality time using the weed eater as well (you may remember this post). Since Jamie didn't go in to work until around lunch, I drove her there. And we took Winston along with us. After we dropped Jamie off, Winston and I swung by my parents house so they could see their grandpup.

Saturday evening, I went to a wedding shower for my friend Landon (let me just say: giggle boxes were active). We were living it up at this place. Landon has found this gal that wants to marry him. That's not so much the odd part. The surprising part is that she's not only very pretty, she's an all around great gal...way over Landon's head. I'm just glad the boy found someone...

Sunday, Jamie and I rested. A lot. We grabbed dinner at this place.

And so goes our lives.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Rapping Flight Attendant



Don't you love a guy that likes to have fun at work?

Bad Joke

This must be the start of a bad joke:

A 14-year-old Saginaw boy has been charged with strong-arm robbery and assault in juvenile court after he pushed a woman and broke her cell phone while taking a walk naked with a large white poodle in Hart Township Monday, police say.

Apparently, it's true.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Debt Star

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Yard Work

In a moment of the not-to-recent past, Jamie and I spent some quality time in our yard preparing the (very) little landscaping we have for the Spring (hopefully that will change soon). It was a time of pruning and much RoundUp. In addition to the productive yard work and large dose of quality spousal bonding, Jamie and I taught each other a couple of different hand signs. Let me get to explainin'.

While I cut back pampous grass with the electric saw, Jamie helped me gather it and bag it up. That's not a particularly fun job...the gathering and bagging part that is. So in an attempt to be biblical, I left the edges of the stalk uncut so that Jamie could cut them. Jamie got to cut the remainder of the pampous grass with the electric saw, and because she had so much fun operating that very manly piece of equipment, she decided pull out the blower and just start blowing stuff off the driveway. There wasn't really anything to blow off in the driveway, so I'll say she started blowing off imaginary dirt in the driveway.

After I'd had enough of the "let's use our imagination" time, I gave Jamie the universal "turn that piece of equipment off" sign to tell her to turn off the blower. You know...the "kill it" sign. You take your hand and quickly cut it in front of your neck. Well after doing that sign about five times, I yelled out, "Turn that off!" Jamie got a little peeved that I hollered at her, so I said, "I did the 'kill it' sign five times. Did you not see me?" She asked,"What are you talking about?" So I explained the "kill it" sign to her. "Oh," she said, "well here's the 'I've-had-enough-of-your-crap-and-I'm-going-inside' sign," and she forcefully pointed to the door multiple times.

Do you think that Jamie and I should take up pantomiming?.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

The Usual Suspects


Well it's been some time since all the usual suspects were in the same room together, but we managed to pull it off last Friday night. We really wanted to step things up a notch, so we attended an all-day singing and eating-on-the grounds gospel music sing-a-long (wink, wink).

If you were with Jamie, me, and all the usual suspects last Friday night, you just might have heard these things said (the statements that can be repeated, that is):
  • "I really don't type these quotes in my phone. It's called the steel trap."
  • "They bicker like they're brother and sister."
  • "Amanda told me the hired help should come in through the back door."
  • "Is that lady reading her Bible?"
  • "Jamie, don't touch the cards."
  • "In six weeks, I'm going to look like a heroin addict in rehab: blood-shot eyes, shaking hands, slobbering all over myself..."
  • "Thad's topics of conversation for the night included: Geritol, Wahabi Shriner hats, stool softeners, paisley sweater vests, the Buick LeSabre, and the way things were after World War II.
  • "Michael...now be honest...have you ever bitten Jamie?"
  • "That's not a dragon, that's a chameleon."
  • "Now everybody is going to look at my teeth from the side."
  • "Miiiissssssssstttttteeeerrrrrrrrrr Wiiiiiiiiiiiilllllllllsonnnnnn"
  • "Jamie, you're up one hundred."
  • "Go ahead and call Big Richard."
  • "That's what she said."
  • "Every time I look up, everybody is giving me high fives and I don't know why."
  • "What muscle makes your head turn to the right?"
  • "You're insulting the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit!"
  • "Raise your hand if you have a j-o-b and pay for someone else's mortgage."
  • "Does that clock say 3 am?"
  • "WAFFLE HOUSE...WAFFLE HOUSE...WAFFLE HOUSE!"
  • "John...wake up...you're home...get out of the car!"

Garage Parking


I believe my favorite thing about having a house is having a garage. I do not jest. When I lived with my parents, the number of vehicles in our family exceeded the number of garage spots. So I parked outside in the driveway. When I was at this place, they didn't provide me with a garage. And when Jamie and I lived at our apartment, covered parking was not afforded to us.

Unfortunately though, I have experienced a problem with my garage. The garage door works. The garage is plenty big for two vehicles. The garage is not full of junk. Yet my lovely bride has a tendency to park on my side of the garage. To be painstakingly lucid about the problem for Jamie and faithful Ford Retort readers, I have created the above graphic to illustrate the issue at hand. While I park in the center of what is "my half" of the garage, Jamie seems to have a natural proclivity to encroach into my territory.

If you think that it's juvenile that I'm territorial about our garage, hold your tongue before you pass judgment. It's not an ego thing; I guess it's a convenience thing. You just can't imagine how irritating it is that I have to enter and exit my vehicle through the passenger-side door. Peeving! Rankling! Vexing! Among other things, doing so wrinkles my clothes (another personal peeve).

To rectify the contorted situation, I had Jamie follow me out to the driveway one evening, and I gave her a tutorial entitled, "Parking Your Vehicle Correctly: It's the Loving Thing to Do." I gave her very detailed instructions, informing her that our garage affords us the privilege of having a minimum of four feet between her vehicle and mine. This privilege allows me to take advantage of a delightful luxury of my vehicle: the driver-side door.

I choose to leave you with the graphic I've created below. Again, I want to be painstakingly lucid for Jamie and faithful Ford Retort readers. This is how it should be. This, then, is how you shall park in the garage.

What Wondrous Love Is This

Here's a beautiful old hymn entitled "What Wondrous Love Is This." Best I can tell, it's a hymn that was popularized in the Sacred Harp tradition of choral music. And you know me (and this gal)...we love a good hymn!

What wondrous love is this, O my soul, O my soul!
What wondrous love is this, O my soul!
What wondrous love is this
That caused the Lord of bliss
To bear the dreadful curse for my soul, for my soul,
To bear the dreadful curse for my soul!

When I was sinking down, sinking down, sinking down,
When I was sinking down, sinking down,
When I was sinking down
Beneath God’s righteous frown,
Christ laid aside His crown for my soul for my soul,
Christ laid aside His crown for my soul.

To God and to the Lamb I will sing, I will sing;
To God and to the Lamb I will sing;
To God and to the Lamb,
Who is the great I AM,
While millions join the theme, I will sing, I will sing,
While millions join the theme, I will sing.

And when from death I’m free, I’ll sing on, I’ll sing on;
And when from death I’m free, I’ll sing on.
And when from death I’m free
I’ll sing His love for me,
And through eternity I’ll sing on, I’ll sing on,
And through eternity I’ll sing on.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Winston is Sick

Jamie and I have sick baby. A sick Winsty baby, that is.

Yesterday around lunch, Jamie calls me to inform me she thinks there is something wrong with Winston. According to Jamie, Winston had a persistent dry hacking cough and was attempting to vomit. His breathing was also distressed.

"Well how's he acting," I asked. Jamie said he didn't seem upset. So I told her just to watch him. He probably just swallowed something he wasn't supposed to. A couple of minutes later, Jamie called me in tears and says she thinks Winston can't breath. "Well where is he," I asked? Jamie said he was outside laying down on the patio chez lounge that we have on our back porch. So I said, "Well just take him a martini and some really sheik sunglasses and he'll be alright." Click...she hung up on me.

It wasn't two minutes later that I get another call from Jamie. "I need to do something with Winston. I think there's really something wrong." I said, "Load him up in your vehicle and take him to the vet. Call the vet once you've left and let them know you're on the way." After we established that was the best plan, Jamie asked me how she's going to get Winston in her vehicle. I told her, "Put him on the phone, and I'll explain to him what he needs to do." Click...she hung up on me.

Two minutes later, my phone rings. Believe it or not, it's Jamie. "I can't find my keys," she exclaims. "Where are they? You had them last night!" I said, "Hun, I don't know where they are. I'm at work. I'm sorry I can't help you look for them. Just keep looking!" She then asks me what she's going to do if she can't find them. "Well grab your canteen, put a saddle on Winston, and ride him in to town." Click...she hung up on me.

Three minutes later, yes...Jamie calls me. She found her keys and put Winston in the very back of her vehicle. She was on her way and she called the vet. "They told me they'd be waiting outside for Winston when I pulled up," she said. I asked, "Do you think they'll have the code cart and stretcher waiting for him?" Click...she hung up on me.

It turns out that Jamie's maternal instincts were correct. Winston does have a severe respiratory infection. The vet shot him up with apparently very expensive antibiotics and gave him oral meds as well. Winston still has his cough...it's pretty bad...Jamie wasn't lying. Think of a barking seal. That's what it sound like. But with some TLC, the Winsty baby will be back to normal.

One Year

The other day, a friend commented on how "low-key" the Ford Retort had been for the last couple of weeks. I had no choice but to agree. I explained to her that some days I can crank out post after post after post. Other days, it just ain't gonna' happen. But I won't proffer excuses. Let's just step it up.

Sunday, March 15, 2009, marks the one year marriage anniversary of Mrs. Ford and me. Hard to believe, is it not? I started to ruminate on all the prodigious thoughts I had to offer about marriage, particularly related to being married to a fine guy like myself. After a little more thought, I'm opting to post an entry later next week entitled, "Advice to the Betrothed and Newlyweds." The post will be advice to the betrothed and newlyweds. For the weekend and Monday though, I'll share a few recent stories about Mrs. Ford and me. Should be a good time.

Let me go ahead and let you in on a little secret about a one year marriage anniversary. This really took me by surprise. Did you know that around one year of marriage, all of the light bulbs in your house start burning out? I am so serious...you would not believe how many light bulbs I've changed over the last week. Really odd if you ask me. Good thing you stopped by and did.

Monday, March 9, 2009

A Quirk By Any Other Name

Quirks...idiosyncrasies...eccentricities...peculiarities...

Whatever name you best relate to, you know what I'm talking about. We all have them. Some are harmless; some are irritating. Some are cute; some are grotesque. And apparently, some are worthy of lists on Facebook.

Jamie tells me that the latest Facebook social virus involves listing twenty-five random facts about yourself. So in one of her latest blog posts (programming note: I do not endorse or promote the content of jamiebford.com), Jamie takes the liberty of twisting the concept and compiling a list of twenty-five random quirks about me, Ford Retort author Michael E. Ford (in the interest of full disclosure: I am married to Jamie).

Several of the facts on the list most likely are true e.g. number two. I will not go on the record and say that a couple are true e.g. number one. Some are egregious lies e.g. number twenty. Then there's number twenty-four. If you read it quickly, you may have missed it. Let me explain.

I have a deep-seated fear of ordering a meal at restaurant and not being unable to find a seat. Seriously. It terrifies me. How terrible would it be to walk in a restaurant, order you meal at the register, only to whiz around the restaurant unsuccessfully looking for a place to sit? Really, there are very few prospects that make me sweat more than this one. And the bad thing is I start obsessing about my chances of not finding a seat out in the parking lot.

Honestly though, I don't think this has ever happened to me. So I can't really blame this fear on a previous bad experience. Even now, I tremble as I've typed. I can visualize it now: I walk in to...oh let's say Newk's...and place my order. I fill up my drink and look out over the dining area. It's packed. There's no place to sit. Everybody is pointing and laughing at me. I retreat to the corner to wait on a seat. But ten minutes later, they bring out my food. Where am I? Standing in the corner...seatless. The wandering server says, "Sir, would this happen to be your food?" I reply, "Yes it is, but I can't find a place to sit." Then the server explodes in laughter and yells out, "You fool! What type of moron can't find a seat?" And I quickly plead, "But it's not my fault! I can't make these people get up!" Suddenly, the server exclaims, "Well....it looks like you'll be eating on the FLOOR," and throws my food down... Oh the humanity...

Scared yet?

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Bumper Sticker

Monday, March 2, 2009

Hair


Now that my hair is beginning to gain some substantial length, I took a couple of minutes earlier this evening to try out some new hair styles. As of now, I'm wearing my hair basically the way I've always worn it - but I'm brushing it all back.

In the middle of my styling experimentation, I find what I think might be an acceptable hair style. So I prance out to the den where Jamie is watching television and ask, "What do you think?" Jamie's face morphs from the "I'm casually watching television" look to the "I think a meteor just hit our house" look. After a second or two, she says, "You look like Sonny Bono," and redirects her gaze back to the television. I maturely retorted, "Well The Bachelor sucks," and walk away.

How does she even know who Sonny Bono is?