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!!!!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

You're what????

Denise and I traveled all over during the first years of our marriage. We would ski in the winter, go to Cancun on Thanksgiving, Christmas in Philly, 2 Super Bowls, Vegas..etc. We were just making up for all the non-traveling we did as kids. It was after one such vacation that we decided to add to the family.

My boss at the radio station was kind enough to let me take my first ever 12 day vacation. In radio, just trying to get ONE week off involves an Act Of Congress. But, the morning show was "smokin" and she thought I needed the extended break. Denise and I packed our gear and went off to Maui, HI. It was the first time we ever traveled that far, and was worth it. I don't want this to turn into a travel ad for Hawaii....but if you can get there...haul can asap. It's beautiful!

When we finally arrived back in Houston we both came to the conclusion that we've been to some amazing places in the U.S.A....and that now would be a great time to start a family. And we did! Started right away. (I'll skip the details as my son might read this someday).

As many of you know, you're never exactly sure when the "football goes through the uprights". Well, one morning I was on the radio, and Denise showed up at the station. I should have thought that was kinda weird, because she avoided the station. In fact, she only came to work with me to see Jon Bon Jovi, or renew our wedding vowels with listeners on the radio. When she appeared in the window of the sound proof studio door, I waved for her to come in, even though I was talking on the air.

My sidekick Maria Todd was goofing around with some caller when Denise leaned over to kiss me. Now THAT wasn't out of the ordinary. She's a very romantic woman, and often kisses me or ( sorry, content deleted) in public. But when Denise leaned over to kiss me, she whispered in my ear, "I'm PREGNANT". Well, my mic was still on at the time of the secretive announcement. I was shocked by the news. In fact, I was this close to an FCC fine for cursing.....but I was able to contain my emotion as the show kept rolling along. Remember, it was a live morning show. And the biggest news of my life was just told to me...and I didn't' say a word. In fact, nobody caught on. I smiled at Denise and she smiled at me. I swiveled around in my chair to face the control board and went on entertaining Houston. Except that I had no idea what I was even saying. All I could think of was that we were going to be parents.

BTW, we kept the news a secret for a long time. Our families didn't find out until Denise was 3 months pregnant, while friends, co-workers and listeners didn't hear the news until 5 months into the pregnancy. We just felt we wanted to keep the special event as private as possible.

We eventually started to speak in "code" when talking about our future bundle of joy. We referred to the baby as "Kirby" in all public conversations. That's because the radio station call letters were KRBE. (I know what you're thinking....BRILLIANT!!!!)

Well, nine months later on a Monday morning Jake was born at 9am. He was an official "Drive Time" baby. I was soooo excited that I called into the station and told Maria that I was a daddy. To this day, 13 years later, Houstonians still stop us to tell Denise and I that they were listening at the moment I called into the show. It forever brings a smile to our faces, and strengthens our bond to Houston.

One more boss never let me take another 12 day vacation. :)

Monday, January 31, 2011

Quirks...Gotta Love 'em!

According to the Free Dictionary, a Quirk is :

A peculiarity of behavior; an idiosyncrasy

Marriage is more than just a union of two people, two families, etc. Marriage is a union of two people and their quirks! And if you're know about quirks. Not shutting out the lights when leaving a room, rolling the tube of toothpaste from the bottom-up, etc. Denise and I each have our wacky "things" that we do. And in a successful marriage, you learn to love the quirk, as you love your spouse!

I'll start out with my quirks. And just to set the record straight, quirks are just "standard operating procedure" until you get married. I can't seem to close a drawer. When I get out a fork in the kitchen, or a towel in the bathroom, I open the drawer or closet...and then "kinda" close it and move on. It drives Denise crazy! In fact, Steve Carrell also suffered from this condition in the movie "Date Night" with Tina Fey. She kept slamming into opened drawers and cabinet doors throughout the movie. Denise was doubled over with laughter when she saw that movie!!!

Have you ever met my best friend "Mr Ketchup"? He goes with me to the table practically every meal! I put ketchup on meat, fish, vegetables during breakfast, lunch and dinner. Denise used to roll her eyes when I covered potatoes, chicken, eggs and everything else in the great red condiment! And don't get her started on locking the doors! When we go out, I always make sure the doors are grabbing the door handle and pulling the door a few times to see if it's locked. OK..well maybe it's not just a few times. :) And then there's the "wet head" I talked about in a previous post. I like to get a shower before bed, but I never dry my hair. Denise used to scream when she was hugged and kissed by Mr Wet Head!

Denise has her quirks, too. She has to have a bottle of water by her side of the bed. But, she won't carry the water to the bedroom. She likes me to bring it to the night table. She'll actually walk by the closet where the water is stored...and keep going. And she has to have her 3 pillows with her when she goes to bed. The combination has to be 1) 1 long firm pillow
2) 1 long soft pillow
3) 1 short soft pillow

I'm sure that are more quirks to list. Bottom line, they don't bother us. Those "goofy" little things that we do make us unique! I always smile when I forget to bring Denise her water bottle and go get it after all the lights are out, and she
still giggles when I try to kiss her and get my wet hair in her face. 'em, and marriage will be much more fun!!!

Monday, January 3, 2011

"Honey...We Need To Talk"

"Honey, we need to talk", Denise said to me one night. The five-word bomb was dropped just before midnight. I had showered and jumped into bed to grab 4 hours of sleep before heading to the radio station for another morning show. Like men through the ages....I thought to myself,"We need to talk?". "What the heck had I done?", I wondered. Then the flashbacks began....

There was no shortage of women who had broken up with me. In fact...the break up ratio was probably 5-1. Meaning that women had dumped me 5 times more than I had broken up with them. Regardless, I couldn't figure out what Denise wanted to talk about. My mind raced through recent events that could have lead to the demise of our wonderful union. I wasn't chasing other women, slapping her around during arguments, stealing money from her to support my drug habit. Heck....I didn't even have a drug habit. What was on her mind???

"Sure, what do you want to talk about?", I asked wondering if the end was near. Denise replied," There's something that you do that really bothers me".
(Cue the suspenseful music) "When you get a shower or wash your face, and then get in bed...your hair is always wet", she said in a non-accusatory tone. That was it?
She had a beef with my wet hair? Denise added, "When I try to kiss you goodnight, I get a face full of wet-head". A huge sigh of relief come out of this worried guy. The last time a women said, "We need to talk", I was single moments later. She just didn't like a wet hair on the pillows.

I grabbed Denise and then proceeded to mop her face with my wet head. She let out a playful scream and tried to escape from my grip. I yelled out," Watch comes Mr Wet head!!!!!!". Twenty years later Denise still gets caught up in the arms of Mr Wet head. In fact, Mr Wet head has often chased her around the bedroom. She screams and laughs every time I get my arms around her and turn my head left and right, like the brushes of a car wash.

So remember, if your husband or wife says,"We need to talk", the end might not be near. In fact, Mr Wet head may be waiting to make a visit.