Category Archives: Family / fun

Bad spleen joke of the day

spleen.gif

From the “weird search engine terms” category, I noticed a few hits from people searching for “spleen joke.”  Because you can’t start your week without a good spleen joke, right?  So I’m re-running this 2007 gem as a courtesy.

OK, it is more of just a pun, and the “of the day” part is a stretch.  This is probably more of a once-in-a-lifetime thing.

Actual conversation:

Daughter:  My friend’s uncle found out that he had more than one spleen.

Me:  Well, then he has some ex-spleening to do.

You can start groaning . . . . . . . . . . now!

There was an episode of the TV show House where the patient had too many spleens.  I was surprised they didn’t work this joke into the dialogue!  Can’t you just see Dr. House saying that?

Feel free to share your own spleen jokes and/or odd search engine terms from your blogs.

Subtle, Facebook. Very subtle.

It was my youngest daughter’s 20th birthday recently.  The Facebook birthday reminder (not that I needed one — I’m pretty good at remembering things like that) noted the following:

[Your daughter’s] 20th birthday is today.

Give her Jamba Juice

[Your daughter] likes Jamba Juice

Well, she does like Jamba Juice.  Who doesn’t?  I have fond memories of stopping by there to pick up a bunch of Smoothies at their ballet studio on Saturdays when they were rehearsing for shows like the Nutcracker.  So I sent her a note that said, “Maybe you should get a Jamba juice? That suggestion had no effect on me whatsoever.”

The next day Facebook had this message in the birthday reminder section:

Reminders

[Your daughter’s] 20th birthday was yesterday.

Give her Jamba Juice for her birthday

[Your daughter] likes Jamba Juice.

So I sent another note that said, “LOL – and they are still reminding me today!  OK, OK, I’ll buy you a Jamba Juice!  Tomorrow they’ll probably have one that says “[Your daughter’s] 20th birthday was two days ago . . .”

You know where this is going, right?

Yep.  The message on the next day:

[Your daughter’s] 20th birthday was 2 days ago.

Give her Jamba Juice for her birthday

[Your daughter] likes Jamba Juice.

I’m pretty sure that tomorrow’s message will say, “[Your daughter’s] birthday was 3 days ago and you still haven’t given her a Jamba Juice.  What are you, a deadbeat dad?  Now give her a Jamba Juice like we told you!” Or possibly, “[Your daughter’s] birthday is 362 days from now.  Give her a Jamba Juice.”

I’ll let you know if/when this ends.

P.S. To Facebook: I like Jamba Juice, too.  Please remind people of that on my next birthday.

—–

Bonus section: Speaking of smoothies, I’m sure you are all interested in my latest recipe.  I decided to add beets.  Well, not multiple beets, or even a whole beet.  Just part of a beet (a whole one had a little too much flavor).

  • Milk or green tea
  • Carrots
  • Spinach
  • Beet
  • Banana
  • 2 types of frozen fruit (apples, blueberries, peaches, etc.)
  • Protein powder
  • Oatmeal

I drink half in the afternoon as a snack and half for First Breakfast each morning.

More on ballroom dancing

An RKO publicity still of Astaire and Rogers d...
An RKO publicity still of Astaire and Rogers dancing to “Smoke Gets in Your Eyes” in Roberta (1935) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

No, not moron ballroom dancing, although that’s what I sometimes feel like when learning new steps.

I wanted to follow up on my original post with some additional thoughts on the hobby we started two years ago to celebrate our 25th anniversary.

We take lessons several times a week (they have group classes nightly from Tuesday through Saturday and we take at least one private lesson per week) and venture out at least a month.  Our favorite place is in the Heights where they have big band music and a variety of dances.  It is a great deal — only $11 per person and you can bring your own snacks and drinks.

We are taking at a Fred Astaire studio close to our house.  We’ve been really pleased with the instructors.  Very thorough and friendly.  If you tell them we referred you it is only $25 for a startup package with two private lessons and one group lesson (and they give us a free lesson). It is $50 without a referral.

One tip that could really help you: Once you’ve learned a step, make a video from your camera phone of your instructor showing your partner.  Then you can watch the steps and know you are practicing it correctly.  There have been many times when I thought I remembered it correctly but ended up practicing the wrong thing, which takes twice as long to un-learn then re-learn.

Also – and I realize this goes in the Captain Obvious category — it makes a huge difference if you practice new figures.  It doesn’t have to be a lot of time, just a few minutes on a couple occasions as close to when you learned the steps as possible.

And note that dancing makes you smarter!  Seriously, a New England Journal of Medicine discovered that something about the rapid-fire decision making involved in some forms of dancing has a profoundly more significant impact on reducing dementia than other forms of exercise, and even twice as much as reading.

Mary left this fantastic comment on the last post:

I just got back from a ballroom dance party. Love it! It’s good exercise, fun, mentally stimulating, expressive, and it makes me happy. :)

It also teaches me a lot about the Christian marriage dynamic. In ballroom dancing, as in Christian marriage, the man leads, and the woman follows his lead. They work together as a team, both being equally important and necessary to the dance, but with distinct roles. The man needs to lead gently, but firmly, making his intentions clear and doing his best to bring the best out of his dance partner. The woman follows the man’s leading, being sensitive to what direction he is taking her in and going with the flow of the movement he initiates. Much courtesy and grace is needed from both parties. Both will make mistakes. The key to getting the best out of one’s dance partner is encouragement for what they do right, coupled with diplomatic suggestions for improvement. Without the encouragement, the suggestions for improvement don’t go down as well. If one party gets the dance completely wrong, the other party has to stop them and gently indicate what it should be. Sometimes, there are times when the man gets the timing wrong. The woman can help him with the timing. But at other times it’s best to just keep going with the beat in his head. It feels frustrating sometimes but it works out better than struggling with your dance partner.

I’m single, but the above looks a lot like the Christian marriage dynamic to me.

I’ve used that illustration when teaching passages about Christian marriage, such as Ephesians 5.  Anyone who has danced realizes how chaotic it would be if there was no official leader.  Yet the notion that you are competing with your partner is foreign to dancing.  You are most clearly a team.

World’s most famous Italian Greyhounds! Probably!

Admittedly it is a niche category, but I’ve got the evidence to back up my claim.  My all-time favorite picture of my dogs was used on a t-shirt sold by Aerie (a girls’ clothing chain owned by American Eagle).  Now they are all over North America!  My daughters were excited when the salespeople said it was their favorite shirt (without knowing it was our dogs).

Click the picture for a larger view.  A shot of the t-shirt is in the upper-right.  Wishbone and Xannie are in the back.

It was one of those rare shots where they actually look posed (seeing the other shots from that day will tell you that it was a random event to have them looking the same direction and to be positioned like that).  We just had the patio put in so it is perfectly white, and the lighting was just right.

They did turn Wishbone into a girl on the t-shirt, but he hasn’t noticed and I don’t plan on telling him.   Shhhhh . . .

P.S. Here’s another secret: We don’t think Xannie is all Italian Greyhound.  We think she is part stuffed animal or possibly part skunk.

Houston Repertoire Ballet: A Celebration of Dance–April 9 & 10

If you are in the Cypress, TX area and want a little culture this weekend, check out Houston Repertoire Ballet: A Celebration of Dance.  It is your best fine arts value.

My youngest daughter will be doing her last performance for HRB, then she’ll be retiring from ballet and doing the college thing.

 

Spring 2011 ad  2

 

The professionals featured in the show are from the American Ballet Theater in New York City.  Jared Matthews used to dance with the Houston Repertoire Ballet.  He is a really down to earth guy.  The last time we were in New York my oldest daughter checked with him to see when he’d be performing (the girls have had the good fortune to be onstage with them many times over the years).  He went out of his way to get the girls and their friends discount tickets to the show at the Lincoln Center, plus 15th row seats to watch a rehearsal and walk backstage.  Jared and Yuriko both took time to give her a lot of good career advice over the years.  It is always nice to see people who are that good at something yet are still humble and approachable.

Here they are on So You Think You Can Dance.

 

 

Tickets available here.

Italian Greyhounds = Best. Dogs. Ever.

At least for our family.  Here’s a good overview of the breed.

My favorite picture of our two:

dogs-06-004.JPG

A few years back we were watching a dog show and eagerly anticipating the Italian Greyhound’s appearance (doesn’t everyone zero in on their favorite breed?). The announcers typically say complimentary things for each breed, noting their intelligence, loyalty, skills, etc. Here is the sum total of what the announcer said for the Italian Greyhound (IG):

[Pause] They are the dogs that love to be loved.

We just laughed. That’s it?! They "love to be loved?" Well, I suppose he was right. They love to sit on your lap and be petted. You can pet Xannie (short for Xanax, the anti-anxiety medicine) for thirty minutes, then as soon as you stop she’ll look at you like, “Make with the petting!” They will get up as close to you as caninely possible. They can usually be found sleeping in a pile on top of each other or on top of you.  They make great napping buddies. 

They aren’t stupid, but neither are they the sharpest knives in the drawer. They are extremely friendly (my vet says he has been bitten by every breed except IG’s).They are incredibly fast. I love to watch them run. They are very low maintenance. Their fur is so short they don’t even need to be brushed and they rarely need baths.

They were certified as therapy pets, so used to take them to nursing homes with the girls (they have now retired from that).  Their temperament is great for these settings.  They make great icebreakers.  The residents loved to talk about their dogs.