13 December 2006


Tonight my wife and daughter will be heading to the local high school so my daughter can be sized up for her class ring.

For $200 or so we will pick out a ring made of geniune fakeonium and the precious stone, glassisious. No doubt mined in South Africa by DeBeers.

Even though it will be made of 100% manufactured material, the day the ring arrives will be a special day for my sophomore daughter - the youngest of our three kids.

She'll have 100 people twist the ring once around her finger. The 100th person - carefully chosen so as not to be Dad - will have to give her a kiss. Or so the tradition goes. I have pretty good idea who the 100th will be, and even though the boy doesn't go to the same school anymore I'm sure my daughter will find a way to make sure he's the one to apply that final ring turn. Just a hunch.

We bought our sons their high school rings, six and three years ago respectively. I doubt either boy knows where their ring is now.

The last time I can recall seeing mine, it was on some girl's finger, wrapped in yarn that was the same dark blue as our school colors so that it would fit snugly on her much-smaller finger. It was a relationship symbol. "Going steady" it was called back in those days. I'm pretty certain the girl had the decency to give the ring back to me after the big break-up. Perhaps it was even a high-velocity delivery from just a couple of feet away. That was too long ago to recall.

While the class ring tradition endures - thanks to the marketing efforts of Josten's - the "going steady" concept vanished long ago. These days "hooking up" - a much more physically intimate experience - is something one does with hardly a thought and maybe after a few beers.

Although it took a lot of hand-wringing and even some cold-sweating to seal the deal, I think I still prefer the "going-steady" concept.

11 December 2006


Bought a Christmas tree this weekend.

I was determined to find a decent tree and not spend more than $60. Somehow, I managed to achieve my goal without going to more than one place. Just very lucky I guess.

Walking through the lot I recalled the years when my mom would get on my dad for buying one of the $7 trees. "The five dollar trees are just as good," she would say.

"Just as good" was a relative concept.

Today, every tree on the lot looks just about the same and reasonably close to perfect, having - no doubt - been genetically altered to improve their shapliness.

I can recall running with my dad from lot to lot trying to find the tree with the fewest number of bare spots.

"We can just spin it around and put this side in the corner," my father would offer.

"But what about this hole over here," I'd challenge.

"I can cover that with icicles." he'd promise.

My dad didn't seem to have many hobbies, but he'd spend about a week adjusting lights, garland, ornaments and those aluminum foil icicles until every one of the troublesome bare spots was covered.

Decorating one's yard for the holidays has become a changed art as well.

Way back in the '60s a well-done display would include those monstrous three-inch-long colored lights, usually fastened neatly to the front porch bannister and around the front door. A really ornate display would include snowmen, Santas or nativity scenes made of opaque plastic with a light bulb inside.

Now, driving around my neighborhood at Christmas time I feel as though I've driven into the middle of the Thanksgiving Day parade in Manhattan.

Yard after yard is filled with gaudy, eight-foot-tall inflatable snowmen, Santas or Simpsons characters (very Chistmassie). Even more freaky is driving around during the day seeing these once-monster-sized characters reduced to misshapen sploches of nylon sprawled out on the lawn.

And then there's the all-white light displays. Nearly everyone has them. Makes the block look like a row of "fine-dining" Italian restaurants.

Make an old grouch happy. If you're going to expend the effort, put a little color in your front yard, and bring back my icicles!

08 December 2006

Welcome To My World

...and welcome to I Own A Blog.

As the blog heading would indicate, I am indeed 50 years old and a journalism grad student. If you are very clever, or perhaps just not brain dead, you'll be able to figure out which school I am attending just by looking at the title of this blog

Blogging has been my hobby for about a year now, but my other blogs are newsy and political in nature. (You can see them if you look to your right and click on the links.) I'll let my thoughts and moods dictate where this blog is going.

For starters, here are a few things that have brought a smile to my face recently:
1. My wife and kids
2. Dick Cheney suffering the slings and arrows of his political "allies" because his gay daughter is pregnant
3. Donald Rumsfeld getting the boot
4. The Christmas light display in our front yard
5. Listening to my daughter sing as she goes around the house. She has a beautiful voice, but is too shy to share it with others
6. Reading my wife's wonderful prose in the magazine she produces every month (see link to the right)
7. The Ohio State football Buckeyes on the brink of another national championship
8. The fact that I, very recently, made it to age 50 with many more ups than downs during the first 50 years

Things that have pissed me off lately:
1. Dick Cheney's daughter having to suffer the vitriol of her father's political "allies" just because of who she is.
2. Last night's Cleveland Browns' game.
3. George Bush still trying to pretend he's changing strategy in Iraq while obviously trying to blow off strong suggestions that he do so.
4. The Cleveland Browns in general
5. A head and chest cold that has lasted for about three weeks now ... and counting.

Well, the good seems to outweigh the bad, so I guess I'll quit while I'm ahead.