Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Next Stop, Dysfunctional Genitalia.

Kind of a big day for the Jaypo.

Tomorrow I take my first step towards the world of the gelded. I have an appointment with the physician assistant who reports to Dr. Franksandbeans (and who I assume I get to sleep with), to discuss my impending maiming.

The smirky cow who made my appointment at the Urological Correctional Facility was very non-specific about what this PA would want to do or discuss, so I am assuming that she simply wanted a copay, and to sleep with me. I haven't discussed the matter with my wife, but I can only assume that she is cool with letting me party a bit before Dr. Smokedsausage uses my undercarriage as his personal amusement park.

I've had plenty of time to imagine this procedure, and that may have contributed to why it took me so long to make the appointment, but I am now on my way.

I think it is only appropriate to put my best foot forward, so after I finish my twelfth vodka tonight, it will be time to do some personal grooming. And as I finish writing that statement, I can't help but wonder if you knew what you were getting yourself in for when you subscribed to my work.

Despite the flood of requests, I will not be publishing pictures after Dr. Isthatallugot finishes making my farverbean holder look like an Ikea cutting board. And considering I chose to confess my lack of faith to the universe just days ago, I am also assuming that any and all higher powers will be taking this opportunity to write the next Law of Murphy as Dr. WaitwhatwasIdoing has a brainfart.

No "I pushed a bowling ball out of my urethra" comments will be tolerated.

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Monday, September 28, 2009

Faith, and the fake.

I went to church today.

Not any kind of milestone, or monumental achievement for most people, and not for me. See, my wife likes to go. And when she says she wants to go, I support her, and we go.

But I gotta tell you, with a 42nd birthday on the not-so-distant horizon, I sit here still with the same questions, doubts, and lack of faith.

After a year of blogging, I haven't gone here at all. I've avoided it. Deliberately. Because I have yet to learn the "halftime lesson" in regards to religion.

Where did Cain's wife come from?

7 days? Really?

Why should I put so much time, heart, and dare I say FAITH into something that I cannot prove, and that routinely throws so much doubt my way?

I sit in the pew, I really do enjoy hearing him speak. It feels good to support my wife, and to expose my children to something decent without jading their lessons.

But as I look around, I see the others. The people who close their eyes, say the words, hold up their hands, and allegedly feel what I do not. Some I respect, and others. Some I know who are there heart and soul, some who aren't.

The only person who has ever made sense to me was my aunt, who said, "what's the harm?" And she's right...but still that realization doesn't get me where I think I may have to be.

So I am throwing this out into the universe tonight. And I am turning off comments...not because I don't care what you may want to say, but because I hope to find an answer for myself. And honestly, after looking for a very long time, I have no idea if that answer will come. Or when.

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Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Kids and September 11th.

I know we just went past another September 11th, but I wanted this post to be a part of my blog record, so I'm inserting it today. This article was first published 2 weeks ago in DFW's NeighborsGo, a Dallas Morning News publication.

We all live with this now. It's always with us, the memory of that terrible day, where we were, who was lost.

But every year, on one day, it comes to the forefront in the news, in the schools, in our homes. And we each have to make decisions, based on the ages of our children, about how to talk about September 11.

I don't want her to be scared. I don't want her to look at airplanes with anything less than excitement, or be afraid to push the very top button in an elevator. And although I want her to understand that most people would do her no harm, you can't always tell who the bad ones are. There are plenty of years for details, for newfound incredulity and fear. The loss of childhood innocence after that terrible day is needless and avoidable collateral damage if I can simply find the right words.

So this year as my oldest reaches a level of understanding about things that go wrong in the world, she and I will sit and talk about what happened that day. And there will be things I tell her, and things I don't. She will ask pointed questions, and I will guide her to a safer place. And I will send her back to school understanding that September 11, like all days, is a time to be thankful.

Thankful for those people who put themselves in danger, to keep us safe.

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Friday, September 18, 2009

The TimeBomb That Is Facebook

You ever feel like you are walking on the ragged edge?

You oughta.

I have come to the conclusion that it is only a matter of time before I get lost in the specifics of all my technological fascinations, and make the whopper of all mistakes. It's kinda like when I was a kid and I desperately wanted one of those chronograph watches with six thousand functions. And when I went to my "dad" and asked him for one, he said "you know, the more bells and whistles you have on it, the more that there is to go wrong."

Well, this particular watch isn't just gonna stop glowing at some point, it has the potential to leave a crater where I once stood.

Like many bloggers, I love the feeling like I am building something. And the tools available to build a following are plenty. But those tools don't discriminate between a wife and an ex girlfriend, or between your boyz and your boss.

See, I'm a blogger. And I Twitter. And yes, I Facebook. And that doesn't even account for email, two cellphones and a texting addiction. Oops, one more...I sit by the mailbox every day waiting for credit card offers...but thats a whole other thing.

When the pieces begin to be put together, you quickly uncover pitfalls with each. And you work through the problems to put in place the safest, most productive combination possible.

On my blog, I like to think I can say whatever I want. My domain, you know? Only, the wife is watching. Sometimes other family members do. What's more, it's out there to be found by search engines. And folks I work with? Human resources? Careful...

However, on my blog I have the ability to edit, or even remove a post that I should have been more considerate about...unlike Twitter. With Twitter, once it leaves your keyboard, it's out there. Gone, and permanent. Plus, you see all those followers that you are "best friends" with? What's to say one isn't your creative boss, watching from the darkness? Much as I think I know every sordid detail about every Twitter follower, I'm also pretty sure I'm an idiot.

And that brings us to the beloved Facebook. Spouses, family, friends, neighbors, co-workers, bloggers...not to mention exes of every variety. Some of whom know about my blog, some who don't. Some who have wives or husbands who don't understand any of the social media thing, think it's stupid, and who are nervous about their newfound connections. And they should be, as divorce rates are climbing, especially among Facebookers et al, who use these vehicles as opportunities to see if "the one that got away" is at all...interested.

With Facebook, the biggest pitfall is the diversity of your friends. What is gonna crack up one is gonna insult another, and a new, even remotely attractive "friend" is potentially an invitation to the Spanish Inquisition hosted by your spouse.

For a blogger, Facebook provides an opportunity to develop more of a following of your work, and a very good one at that. Benefits can be great, mistakes can be costly. Wire in your blog using NetworkedBlogs, and every time you post, it runs on the wall for all to see. But write a controvercial piece and forget for just one second that your boss is a Facebook friend, and a wisp of smoke will be where your career once stood.

My advice is simple. Develop a list of questions to ask yourself before posting anything anywhere.

Blog - Who is this gonna hurt? Do I care?

Twitter - Will I hit enter on this Tweet and wish I hadn't? 5 minutes from now? 5 years from now?

Facebook - Is this status/wall post appropriate for Trixie, my wife, Mr. Lumberg, and Pastor Stephen?

Write 'em out. Sticky them on your monitor if you have to, or staple them to your forehead, as I have done. Take a minute, and think about it. Be as controvercial as you want to, but be ready. Mistakes are gonna leave a mark.

And that ex-boyfriend?

There was a reason why you dumped him before. Same guy.

Fatherhood Friday at Dad Blogs

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Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Kanye West is a douche.

You know, I can't take credit for this title, but I also can't give credit either. I have heard so many people say it, and they are right.

I rarely talk about celebrities, when I do it is about something I believe strongly in. And today is no exception.

I called it years ago, by the way. After his first couple of antics, I remember noticing in him an excessive moronic trait that leapfrogged many other egomaniac celebs.

And then this latest incident.

Kanye, I hope for your sake that you are bipolar, and it is your mania that stops you from being able to function like a rational human being with adequate impulse control.

But honestly, I'm pretty sure you're not manic.

I'm pretty sure you're just a douche.

It was pretty humorous to watch you try to reign in your anger on Leno when he brought up your mother. And then sure as anything, rather than simply acknowledging again that you had made a mistake and actually apologizing, you chose to craft another Kanye pity party.

I said this a couple of days ago, and I'll say it again.

You need to handcuff one arm to a publicist and the other to a life coach at all times. Or you could pay me to follow you around saying "close your mouth, douchebag". Good job security.

Whatever you do, do it quick. Your douchiousness is solidifying you as the joke of the music industry.

Of course, you could cash it all in and become the new Massengill spokesman.

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Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Mike Tyson is a Dead Man

Late in the third round, Mike bit my precious little girl on the ear. When she turned to compliain to the official, he suckerpunched my princess and knocked her silly.

You've made some bad choices in your life, Mike, but to take it out on a kindergartner... You just crossed the wrong Daddy. I'm not much of a fighter, but I'm a helluva biter...and I think I can take you. And if that don't work, I'm going straight for your testosterone-shrivelled raisins.

Yes, I'm full of crap. Again.

My little girl has her Daddy's agility, and a habit of stopping her momentum with her face.


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Las Vegas on $1 a Day. Part 2.

Yesterday I set the stage a bit for what Vegas has become and the cost to enjoy it. Today I want to share what happens when the price tag is removed.

Arrive at the Vegas airport way too early, since I can't afford the good flights. Despite my early arrival, my two friends pick me up in a stretch limo, and begin to tease me with what is to come. Ten minutes to the front door of Mandalay Bay, and I turn away the bellman who offers to take my bag for me. Really not used to being pampered. Plus I didn't want to part with the $5 tip.

My weighty pals escort me to the room where I'll be staying after bypassing all the people waiting in the checkout/checkin line. Whales don't wait. Up the private elevator that only stops at floors 60-62. The penthouse floors. Nice room on 60, fantastic western view of the mountains, far above the apex of the Luxor Hotel, reminding me how high 60 floors is.

Up to 61 to Whales-R-Us. This is the suite that the guys are sharing with the bachelor. And since I had never been to a room like this, and knew that no one would probably believe me, I took video. 4600 square feet, which makes it larger than the two floors of my house ADDED to the single floor of my last house.

Finally, up to 62 to see the hospitality suite, fully stocked with free food, drink, and huge living spaces/media areas to accommodate any need I might have to get drunk and watch football all day. I didn't of course, but I damn well could have. Not to mention, access to this room means I don't have to shell out $35 for the breakfast buffet each day. Again, not that I would have, the Luxor has a McDonalds, a fact I monopolized on a couple of times...Ok, a lot.

Spent the first day doing some unprofitable gambling, and riding back and forth in the limos to the airport to pick up additional members of our party. Dinner at the House of Blues with two great friends, listened to some live music, gambled some more, fell down exhausted late that night. Great first day.

That brings us to Friday, which ended up being the best and worst of the trip. Showed my rookie colors but good.

Due to a time change and the excitement (not to mention trying to sleep with a shrimp PoBoy and several Crown and Cokes lodged in my gullet) awoke way too early. Went to breakfast, Starbucks, and on to sign up for the only poker tournament I would be able to play on this trip. Ended up finishing around 12th out of 50, so a good effort, but no payday.

And then it started. Went to join our large group who were now launching into their day at the 3 Card Poker table. I sat, bought in, ordered my first double Ketel One and Sprite (no fruit please, ma'am), and began to play. And the run started. Now, I find 3 Card Poker absolutely mindless. VERY little strategy, you just keep doing the same thing, and hoping for good cards. And for once I got them. A LOT of them. I hit pairs, flushes, straights, 3 of a kind a couple of times (pays 30 to 1), AND hit a straight flush at 40 to 1. The whole table was running hot, and we had every chair locked up.

And all the while, I was drinking. A lot. Anyone who knows me knows I am not the loudest guy at any table, but on this day, well, I was. We all were. But mostly me. I was winning in Las Vegas for once, playing with the big boys, and I easily had the best time gambling I ever have.

The dealer at one point said, "Sir, you are going to have to keep it down".

"Am I the loud guy at the table?"

"Yes, Sir."

"I'm that guy?"

"Yes, Sir."

"Hey everyone!! I'm THAT guy!!" And I was so proud...I had never been that guy before.

At least, that's what I'm told I said.

Because at some point, I stopped being able to remember what was going on. I remember going to the High Limit slots, living vicariously through those who could afford to play there, and then I was in my room where I'll spare you details of my exploits. But the idea was that we would all be meeting for a fantastic dinner at StripSteak that night, and when my roommate walked in the room later on I assumed it was time to get ready for dinner. Only dinner had come and gone.

It was 1am.

I missed dinner. Not only that, I missed the whole night. The real irony was that years before my wife and I had made the same rookie mistake...clearly I never learned the lesson.

But the upside, I checked my pockets...and found some very large chips.

So I got up and went downstairs in an utter lack of sense and personal show of defiance, to go play some more, and pushed on through for the next 24 hours. And what a day, Saturday. Great breakfast, went for a hotel walk with my good friend, met the guys for wings and beer at noon.

And then, the next surprise. A high roller cabana complete with drinks and masseuse at the private pool for the day. Slightly overcast to cut the heat, fantastic staff to cater to every whim, and plenty of...well...nice Godfearing folks to look at.

Dinner was another treat, off in a limo to Koi at the Planet Hollywood resort for sushi and saki, treated by a new friend. And finally, it was back to the Foundation Room at the Mandalay, where exclusivity is the game, and an inner area called the Buddha room had been reserved for us again.

All the while, I held onto my winnings as tightly as my impulses would allow. I gave some back, sure, but in the end, for once in all my visits to Sin City, I came home a winner. And though she didn't actually say it, I think my wife was actually proud of me. For everything but drinking all of Las Vegas' vodka on Friday afternoon. Whatever.

In the end, you can probably guess what the retail cost of a weekend like this would be, and it sure as hell isn't a dollar a day. And I am eternally grateful for an experience that I would never (be able to) purchase for myself. And I know the next time I go I'll be trying to sleep in a cramped room at a cheap hotel trying not to think about the $100 I lost.

But today, I'm a winner.

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Monday, September 14, 2009

Las Vegas on $1 a Day.

You know, I just laughed even writing that title.

Have you been there lately? The place is not exactly set up for person who doesn't have money to spend. Or lose.

I started going to Las Vegas back in the early 1990s. I remember when the Excalibur Hotel was the tail end of the strip, and there was not much else around it. Downtown had no Fremont Street experience, and it was advisable to be packing when you went down there. I also remember walking into Ceasar's Palace before they built the mall, and being quoted $45 for a night's stay. I also remember trying to decide if I wanted to splurge on that room, or if finding the Super 8 for $19.99 and saving those precious dollars for the $2 Blackjack table was a better idea.

One day some of the powers that be decided that Vegas could be "family friendly". They started building more and more giant themed resorts with world class amenities, things to occupy and satisfy all ages and lifestyles, and when people started coming, they started moving the prices up.

Today, though the Strip has gotten longer, the hotels have gotten even bigger, there are more rooms in Las Vegas than there are poker chips. They decided that Disneyworld is for the families, and have returned to their Sin City roots. On a Saturday night you can barely find a seat at a table, and if you find Blackjack for less than $15 a hand, you had better sneak a picture, because no one will believe you. And the only people who don't pay $250 a night on the weekend are the locals, and the whales.

For those who may not know, a whale is someone who gambles big, and is treated like royalty when they come to play. Comp'ed flights, limos, rooms, and more food and alcohol than the seven deadly sins advise. Whales are the stuff of legend for some people, but I happen to know two.

So this weekend I was treated to a bachelor party for a really nice guy, hosted by two whales. I lived a piece of their lives for 4 days, and in the process, may have ruined this city for myself by setting the bar for Las Vegas stays incomprehensibly high for a bluecollar fellow like me.

So I learned that you can't do Vegas for $1 a Day...I know, shocker. Maybe I should have titled this post "What you bring to Vegas Stays in Vegas". win.

Interested to know how the whales roll? Tomorrow I'll give you a look at some of my trip highlights, wins, losses, and guppie mistakes. Including video. I smell a subpoena.

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Thursday, September 10, 2009

I'm a Geriatric Hot Piece of Ass.

As I was washing my daughter's face recently, she stared at me intently. Obviously concerned and formulating a question, she finally found the courage to ask,

"Daddy, what are those lines on your head?"

She was referring to simple brow lines, of course, but the fact that they deepened when I concentrated, or was angry, finally gave her the courage to ask about these troubling marks. The wonderful skin that her mother had given her seemed to now be her benchmark, and Daddy looked different.

"You know, honey, when you get older, you start to get lines on your face that show how old you are. And how smart." And after sufficiently tickling her to let her know I was just being playful, she moved back to more comfortable conversation for a 5 year old, mostly potty humor.

But, it's out there. I'm showing some age.

Years ago I took a trip to the Bahamas with my three best friends, and spent a top five day on a $15 booze cruise. On that day, Tommie, the most good natured and outgoing of my crew, struck up a conversation with a middle-aged couple from New York, Bob and Terry. Tommie was always talking to strangers, but I remembered thinking that on a boat full of young, attractive, drunk women, Tommie managed to find the 50-something couple with the Jersey shore tans and kids in college.

A couple of years later, Tommie mentioned Bob and Terry again, and I recall being increduled that not only had he traded contact info with them, he had stayed in touch with them all this time.

So fast forward with me to present day. Last month my wife and I managed to get away to Vegas for a few days minus the kids, something we had not been able to do in over 5 years. We got an upgraded room and some special attention thanks to a close friend, went out to dinner, and got up when we wanted. For a couple who had been tortured with 3am awakenings by our daughter for years, this proved to be a heavenly break, and a chance to simply act like a couple for a few days.

Having decided not to spend much time gambling, we got up each day, headed down for a leisurely breakfast, and then headed out to Mandalay Bay's stunning collection of pools. And after a couple of days worth of poor pool selection, we finally honed in on a corner of the property that was our speed.

As our skin bubbled in the desert sun, we sat in the pool, and began chatting with a young couple, roughly in their mid 20s. They were attractive, clearly smitten with each other, and infectious. And after making each other laugh a few times, I waited for one of them to start making those uncomfortable motions indicating a departure. But they didn't. They stayed. And we stayed. And ten minutes turned into an hour, and then into five, until the sun chased us back into the airconditioning.

We parted ways that afternoon, but made plans to meet up late that night for a drink up in The Foundation Room, where we again had a great time enjoying the view and talking. We finally left them that night after trading contact info and promising to keep in touch. Just really fantastic people. Young, energetic and full of love and optimism, already with entertaining and interesting life stories to share, with their whole promising lives in front of them. The wives ultimately had to pull the husbands apart at the end of the evening, we were having a hard time tying up our conversation.

The next day I thought a lot about them, and something my wife asked while on a bathroom break from the pool the day before.

"Don't you feel old?"

I didn't. And I don't. I still feel like I'm 22, and most of the time, act like it. But my daughter's concerned look about the lines on my head and my wife's question got me thinking about this wonderful couple we met again.

Because I'm Bob, of Bob and Terry from New York, in this equation.

I'm convinced of it. Age is really only a state of mind. Even if your body is failing you and your face wears the roadmap of the places you've been. If you have been doing it right, your inner self is a collection of your experience and the proof that over the years you have become the best you.

Life's greatest irony. You become the best you right before you die.

Fantastic to meet you, Jason and Lauren. Please keep us up on your lives, and put us down for dinner when you come through Dallas. Please feel free to review some of what I have written about parenting anytime you need effective birth control.

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Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Gotta Go To The GD Potty.

Oh Sweet Mary take me.

If my son tells me he has to go potty one more time, and then proceeds to sit down, let fly ONE DROP, and then ask for a jelly bean, I am gonna make "going postal" look like a geriatric badminton match.

I love that he is interested in the project, I admire his desire to use his God-given tool, now that he knows it has a use other than tugging.

But I am a selfish human male, and there is only so much I can take.

I just keep watching this video, and it keeps making me smile and forget how much I want to throw every fucking potty into the middle of the cul-de-sac.

For more Wordful Wednesdays, please go visit my friend Angie,
who is a tiny redheaded package of AWESOMENESS.

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Sunday, September 6, 2009


There's a moment in every day that reminds me...why.


Welcome to Sunday Citar! This blog quote meme was created by Tabitha @ FreshMommy. You can stop by her blog to see the quotes and photos that she and everyone else is loving right now.

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Friday, September 4, 2009

Kids, Parents, and Sports: It's Their Turn.

This article was first published last week in DFW's NeighborsGo publication, and on Today it is used as my offering for Fatherhood Friday. Let's see how many uses we can get out o' this puppy.


Somewhere today a kid is stepping onto a playing field. Her first soccer game in her speedy pink shoes, his first freshman at-bat. And that standout day will be punctuated in some cases not by how well your child played, but by how you led them to the field.

We have all seen the stories in the news, tragic in some cases, about parents who went too far. And yet, most of us consider those cautionary tales as extreme, and nothing like what actually happens at our kids' games. I gotta tell you, though, some of the rest of you aren't impressing us much either.

Do you remember what it felt like to be eight years old, standing on that mound? On that field? Were you standing there wondering what flavor slush you would get after the game, or were you sick with worry about what your Dad would say about the grounder you fumbled? Or if he'd start trouble with that guy in the stands. Again.

It's been awhile, I know. Maybe 20 years? maybe 30? You didn't get picked, you struck out. One second, one lapse in concentration and that ball went sailing by, much like your youth. I hope for the sake of the relationship you have with your child that you finally realize this cold hard fact. It is no longer your turn to play. It's his.

I've heard some of your pathetic arguments. Competition builds inner strength and commitment. Scholarships aren't given to the weak and carefree. Talent is wasted without focus. I have news for you. If you put that kid on that field, he will learn with your help, or without it. And he will love you for your guidance and encouragement, or hate you for being the embarrassment at the game instead of the father who should have been.

Sports didnt get hyper-competitive, my friend, you did. You invented the two-a-day, the club team, and the smack-talk. Sports turned into stepping stones for higher education, revenue generators for schools, proving grounds for respect and adoration, and the place where parent-child relationships went on the disabled list.

Rein it in. Pull it back.

I know this is tough to accept, but this isn't your turn at bat, it's his. If he catches the ball it won't make up for the one you dropped. The only thing you can do to help that kid now is to develop his sportsmanship, and pure love of the game. The good news is that after all these years, you will get to play this time. And you can play really well, or you can really strike out. The only way the "w" in the win column will be yours today, however, is if your child feels your pride and encouragement no matter what happens at the plate.

Your kid and I are both hoping you'll just do your best, and have fun.

Fatherhood Friday at Dad Blogs

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Tuesday, September 1, 2009

TT - No Time For Flash Cards

I kinda missed Tuesday's Tribute. I only do them from time to time anymore, but certainly when I came across No Time For Flashcards recently, I knew it was a well deserved Tribute opp.

In my current wild and blinding Twitter addiction I recently was adding folks left and right to follow those who seemed to have something special, in the hopes of developing some new relationships and growing my Twitter following. That is to say, I was looking for people who seemed to make their 140 characters really hum. And I came across a woman named Allison who everyone seemed to know but me.

After a little investigation of her website, I realized I had found a gem...she has a fantastic blog, an amazing personality, and a very large following. Turns out I am last to know. Again.

Allie's blog is a wonderful collection of reviews, craft projects, parenting advice, activities, and my personal favorite, songs. You see, she sings them...on video...and they are infectious.

Now, poor Allie thinks I'm a stalker, I'm sure. Because I have been tweeting about her, talking about her blog, and now here's a Tribute from some random guy on the internet.

I promise I'm not sitting outside your house in the rain with a drenched candle.

I just wanted you to know that the fun that my kids and I had together tonight was because of the work you have done.

So, Thanks Allie. And please ask around...I'm odd, but no psycho.

Allie's Blog:
Allie's Twitter: @NoFlashCards

ONE MORE THING!!! My friend Em is starting her Comments for Cans drive today over at Life, Liberty and The Pursuit. PLEASE go see her, leave a comment, and make sure you're following her blog!!

Tuesday's Tribute

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posthumous pointer
To laugh often and love much; to win the respect of intelligent persons and the affection of children; to earn the approbation of honest citizens and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to give of one's self; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to have played and laughed with enthusiasm and sung with exultation; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived - this is to have succeeded. - Emerson