Friday, September 6, 2013

So THAT'S what you look like in the morning!


Denise and I are 2 months away from celebrating our 23rd wedding anniversary. Can't believe how the time as flown.

An interesting thing has happened in those 23 years. Denise and I never wake up together on a week day. I know that sounds weird. For millions of Americans, waking up with your spouse is a very common occurrence. Sharing the bathroom. Making breakfast. Sipping hot coffee. Talking about the daily schedules. Must be fun.

I work in the radio biz. Specifically, morning radio. That's what I've been doing since 1986. I wake up in the dark, and get to the station by 4am-ish. Shave, shower, dress and grab breakfast without waking up the wife. It sure ain't easy. Try dropping a can of shaving cream in the early morning hours. It seems to make 100 times more noise than if you dropped the exact same can, on the same floor at noon on Saturday.

The other thing about waking up in the dark is the distinct lack of conversation. I'm sure there are husbands out there who would love to enjoy silence from their wives in the morning. Not me. I've got a lot of things to say. Just listen to the radio show. There are times when a 3 hour show 5 days a week isn't enough!

Well today I got a real treat. I actually saw my wife this morning. Heck, I even talked with her in the dark bedroom as the alarm clock was blaring. Denise had to wake up early to volunteer at a breakfast event. Part of her responsibilities included making massive amounts of French Toast casserole.

It was such a great feeling to talk with her in the dark hours before the sunrise. Heck, we even kissed and hugged. There was also a high speed foot chase around the bedroom! It was sooo refreshing to move around and not worry about every little incidental noise.

As I was getting ready to walk out the door she was preparing the eggs and cinnamon bread for the charity breakfast. I've never experienced kitchen cooking operations in the wee hours. I usually just grab some fresh fruit and put it in a mini cooler.  "You know what would be really great?", I asked. What?", she replied. "What if we wake up together next week and before I leave for work, you make me a tasty cinnamon raisin french toast breakfast?". The look she gave me screamed out with "Not Likely".

Oh well, today I got to kiss my wife before I left for work. That was pretty darn exciting. Besides, French Toast casserole is just tooo fattening. :)

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Why The Heavy Breathing????

Here's a photo of my cute little princess on her birthday last Friday night. Notice the gift box in front of her? See how small it is? There's a reason for that. Let me explain.

Denise and I were dating back in '87 and her birthday was approaching. The one thing she didn't have was a decent stereo system at her place. When we'd "hang out", we had to listen to cassette tapes played over cheap little boom-box. So, I decided to crack open the wallet and buy her a stereo.

I reached out to a friend named "Mike" who was a manager at a big box stereo store for some help. He managed to pass along a little discount, so I was able to purchase a great audio system for only a few hundies (Philly-speak for a few hundred dollars). I loaded the gear into my car and had to figure out a way to surprise my girlfriend.

Denise was scheduled to be out with her friends on the afternoon of her birthday. So, I planned on getting into her apt and setting up the stereo.

-First problem: Her place was on the 3rd elevator. Do you know how many trips it takes up + down to get all the components into the room? Answer; A sh**load!

-Second problem: I worked in radio, but that was no license to hook up stereos. So it took a lot longer than expected! Think about it. Just because Jay Leno works on TV doesn't mean he can repair cameras!

-Third problem: When you're out of breath and out of shape, hooking up electronics equipment takes 4x longer!

I was breathing heavy, sweating and cussing while cutting open boxes and connecting cables. Luckily I was able to finish and get the heck out before she arrived.

Needless to say, Denise was surprised and loved the stereo! We actually kept the speakers in our house until about 2005. Heck of an investment.

But that explains why her gift in 2012 was a little jewelry box. That way, the only heavy breathing was because of.... :)

Monday, February 13, 2012

Valentine's Day 2012 is gonna be great. But Valentine's Day 1987???

Here we are at Valentine's Day 2012. The gift is wrapped. The card is signed. It's all good-to-go!

But a funny thing happened on the way to the year's big romantic holiday. I asked Denise about our first REAL Valentine's together back in '87. In fact, I couldn't remember what I bought her; flowers, a necklace, maybe a scarf???

The answer, she reminded me with a smile..was nuttin'. "Really", I said???

"That's right", she replied.

She added," I bought you 2 new sweaters from Wanamaker's department store in Northeast Philly". Denise remarked I admired the sweaters, then said that..."I'll get you a card later on".

WOW!!!! Class with a capital "K"!

Needless to say...things a have changed!

Houston Home and Garden Magazine was kind enough to include us in their Valentine's issue.

Thank goodness they didn't ask about the FIRST Valentine's Day!!!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Happy Anniversary!! ZZZZZZ !!!

Time really flies with a Scotch in one hand...and a sexy blond in the other!

Denise and I just celebrated our 21st wedding anniversary this past Thursday. We planned on making this just as special as the 20th anniversary. Dinner, dessert, gifts...then the Fun Stuff. Well, the Fun Stuff needed a rain check.

This had been a very busy week. Denise is very involved with the Houston Ballet's largest fundraiser called The Nutcracker Market. It's a giant 4 day Christmas shopping event that draws over 80,000 people (mostly women). She was at the Market all day, every day. Me? I was just doing the usual wake up at 4am radio/TV routine. Except this week I had to take care of all the extra errands and car pool responsibilities. That meant while Denise was on her feet all day helping to raise money for the Houston Ballet, I was pulling the "dreaded 20's!!!! That means a 20 hr day. No nap.

I can usually handle ONE of the dreaded 20's...but this week, I was lucky enough to have THREE!! I know that medical school residents and Army Rangers have no problem pulling a 20 hour day...but I'm a 40+ year old radio talk show host. Give me a break.

Well...the BIG day, November 10th, finally arrived. I made sure to text our son a reminder so he would say, Happy Anniversary" to Denise. Then I called her and we talked on the radio. I'm sure many listeners were reaching for their air-sickness bag. There's no shortage of mushy-cutesy talk between the two of us, even though listeners in the 4th largest city were tuning in. I even told her on the radio that she better "watch out tonight"! Denise let out that adorable, sexy giggle that meant she understood EXACTLY what the those code words meant.

Our original plans called for her to leave the Nutcracker Market at 5pm, and then we would head out to an early dinner. Yeah. Right. The best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry. 5pm became 6pm. 6pm turned into 7pm. In fact, we didn't get to the restaurant until 9pm. I need to remind you that I have been going on 4hrs of sleep a day. I think you have a feeling about how this story is going to end. And you're RIGHT!

When we finally got home, the time was creeping up to midnight. The one thing I do remember was crawling into bed, putting my head on the pillow and falling asleep. We never opened our gifts, and we never got to the "Good Stuff". But you know what? That didn't matter. I was thrilled to fall asleep right next to my bride of 21 years. When you are in a solid, sexy, happy marriage, you always know there's Tomorrow Night!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Bitter Beer Face

I remember seeing a beer commercial on TV that featured a guy getting "Bitter Beer Face" when he consumed a lame beer. Bitter Beer Face looked like everything was puckering in! Well...I got some B.B.F the other night...and nobody was drinking brewskis.

Denise and I were attending a fundraising event. It just happened to be on a weeknight. We love to go out and socialize, but if it's a "school night" we don't stay very late. Either would you if your alarm clock went off at 4am!!! So...we hung out...had some drinks..high-five'd friends..then left around 9:30pm. While we were heading out the door, a mutual friend yelled out," Why are you guys leaving so early?" I told her,"I've got a hot wife, and an early wake-up call". I put my arm around Denise and gave her a little hug. That's when she got Bitter Beer Face!!!

Why can't people just be happy that there are actually folks out there who still dig each other? Seriously. When people tell stories of divorce, adultery, abuse,etc, listeners are glued to the details and sympathetic. Talk about love, support, passion and marriage, and you might as well swallow goldfish in front of them. You'll get the same response.."EWWWWW". Sup wit dat?

The same goes for trash talking the "Ol' ball-and-chain". If you diss your spouse to friends you'll always have an audience. If you want to empty a room, try talking to your compadres about how much you love, respect and cherish your spouse. The scramble could actually resemble yelling "Fire" in a crowded theatre!

It's time to lost the Bitter Beer Face. Next time you come across a married couple that is still in love...a simple "Nice" will suffice.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Hey Napa...We're Back!

Denise and I decided to take a little trip this summer with a visit to Napa, CA. Wine country, U.S.A. But long-time listeners/readers know that I don't drink wine. I'm a Scotch guy. So why would I burn up some valuable vacation time in this neck of the woods? To reminisce. One of the first trips Denise and I took over 20 years ago was to Napa. Back then we didn't know Merlot from Cee-Lo...but we thought it would be a good idea. In fact, 20 years ago I would go to the supermarket to buy a bottle of Beringer White Zinfandel for $4.99, and we would drink it ...WITH ICE!!! Boy..have times changed!

On this trip we flew into San Fransisco, and headed to Sausalito for dinner. Now, let me explain that women in Houston put on make-up to take out the trash. In Sausalito...women probably don't put on make up for their weddings. Here, it's flip-flops, pulled-back-hair, and no freakin make up, PAL! We stopped for dinner at Feng Nian for a great Szechwan Mandarin meal, got back in the car, and didn't stop until the Hyatt Vineyard Creek. We hit the rack, and got ready for an exciting day of winery tours.

The trip to Napa 20 years ago had Z-E-R-O planning. Denise and I got in the car, and drove down the main road where all the wineries were located. We'd pull over, sample wine, get back in the car, repeat! Not this trip, it was planned out like a fine military maneuver. We visited Silver Oak, Round Pond, Palmaz, Darioush and Joseph Phelps wineries. Private tours were arranged ahead of time. Denise and I arrived at these locations at a pre-arranged time, and representatives would be waiting to greet us. At Round Pond and Joseph Phelps wineries, we ended up eating and drinking for more than 3 hours. At the end of each visit, we couldn't resist buying wine to share with our friends and associates back in Houston.

It was soooo romantic coming back to Napa in 2011. Denise and I held hands...kissed..and often said," Do you remember when we went to that place...". We were able to enjoy hours of wonderful memories. All married couples should return to "that place" where they traveled early in their relationship. If possible, leave the kids behind and act like honeymooners again. Denise and I are no strangers to checking into hotels as honeymooners!!! Try it. You're not exactly lying. You and your spouse may not be recently married, but you can always ACT like honeymooners. And that's way more fun than fighting on vacation.

BTW, sooo much has changed in Napa since we last visited 20 years ago. First of all, the number of wineries has almost tripled, so plan out your visit. Second of all, the number of restaurants has also exploded. May we recommend Redd, Mustards Grill, and The Rutherford Grill. Mustards and Rutherford Grill served such large/tasty portions that Denise and I split all of our main courses. Seriously...these places serve a lot of food. And sharing meals leaves more $$$$ for buying wine.

When you're done reading this blog, go online and start eye-balling the website featuring the location of your "first" trip. Go back and look at the old photos and videos, and get off your rear end and make it happen. Go back in ensure and loving future with your spouse.

Monday, May 9, 2011

The Story From Today's Radio Show

When I told Denise that I posted the story of how she told me she was pregnant, she asked if I added the "phone call" incident. I laffed and told her I forgot about the "phone call". So I told the story on the radio today. Here's the recap.

Denise was glowing at 8 months pregnant. We were on our way out to grab a bite at a local restaurant called Carrabba's. Just as we were leaving the phone rang. I stopped to answer it. "It's either your mom or my mom", I said. How did I know who was calling? (I'll get to that in a moment) "Let it ring", she said, "They can leave a message". She added, "Honey...come on...I'm hungry". Did I listen? Nope!

We had 2 phone lines coming into the house. One was called the dork line. That was given out to about 50% of the people we knew. Most just used our cell phones. The other line at the house was called the honey line. It was only used by Denise and I to call each other. And both our moms had that number. So.....if the phone was ringing, and Denise was standing there, it was a 50/50 chance of it being her mom or my mom. So I answered the phone and was stunned to hear a voice I did not recognize.

"Sam?", said the woman's voice on the phone. "It's me, Sandy!", said the stranger. Now keep in mind, Denise told me not to answer the phone. I should have listened to my wife. When I said,"Sandy?", Denise said "Sandy?" and stopped to look at me with less-than-loving-eyes. Sandy was THE Sandy from the blog entry of Sept 22, 2010. She was the Jaguar-driving-condo-livin hottie that flipped out on me because I didn't want to marry her. Now she's on the phone with me while my very pregnant wife is standing there. Boy...was I starting to sweat!

She asked me how I was doing? Was I still in radio? In Texas? Still married to what's-her-name?, etc. I answered, "Great. Yes. Yes. Denise". She told me she just got divorced, had a few glasses of wine and decided to give me a call. Of course, I had just one question for her, "How the heck did you get the super-secret honey line?". She told me she called my mom and said she had to talk to me asap. (thanks mom!)

I hung up the phone, hugged my wonderful pregnant wife and went to dinner. Denise just smiled. And that's one of the big reasons why I love her soooo much. She could've yelled, thrown a fit, lost her temper, etc. Instead, she realized that an old girlfriend still had the hots for her hubby...and that was just fine with her!

BTW, we changed the honey line number the next day!!!!