Posts Tagged ‘friends’

Ten Signs That Facebook Is Taking Over Your Life

April 26, 2011

by Thomas M. Pender

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10.)      Whenever someone tells you good news, you immediately stick your thumb in the air and cheer, “Like!”

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9.)        You become frustrated when you realize you don’t immediately know what’s going on in the daily lives of your 350 closest friends.

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8.)        You have no qualms about raiding your friends’ real address books to find new friends.

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7.)        You feel personally slighted when someone tells you they went out to dinner and a show . . . but the “news” is over two days old!

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6.)        When someone shows you pictures of their family members, you can’t resist the urge to comment on each one.

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5.)        While you talk to folks you know, you find yourself glancing to the right a lot, waiting for ads to pop up.

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4.)        You feel a tremendous urge several times a day to announce to everyone you know how you feel, what you think, how you vote, what you did last weekend, what you’re doing next weekend, what foods you like and dislike, and your children’s latest bowel movements and other accomplishments.

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3.)        Discussing the latest activities of your acquaintances seems rather flat without 30 pictures to leaf through.

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2.)        It honestly bothers you when you don’t know your stepbrother’s and paperboy’s favorite bands and political views without actually asking.

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and

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1.)        When filling out official forms, you have to stop yourself from filling in your middle name as “KingOfHisDomain,” “DangerPuppy” or “PartyGurl.”

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Poem For You

April 11, 2011

by Thomas M. Pender

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As a student of God
And a friend of Jesus
I am ever in awe
Of all things made
By the Lord
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I respect all creations equally
But I’ll admit I have my favorites
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Sunsets on lakes
Crickets on July evenings
Chocolate
And eyes like yours
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Laughter among friends
Quiet times by firesides
Hugs
And smiles like yours
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Strangers who help
Children at play
Music
And people like you
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Whenever I witness
Those favorites I love
I remember to thank
The Creator of all
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But He hears my thanks most often
During the times that I am with you
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written by t. michael pender  2/5/93
©1993 T. Michael Pender.  All rights reserved.

Ten Daring April Fool’s Day Stunts

March 28, 2011

by Thomas M. Pender

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10.)     Siphon your neighbor’s gasoline out of his SUV, then sell it back to him

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9.)        Call up the local branch of the IRS, claim to be your boss, and say, “Betcha can’t find the $500,000 I hid in offshore accounts before April 15th!” and hang up

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8.)        Drive in reverse facing the opposite direction of traffic on a major highway until a state trooper stops you.  (Don’t forget to take a phonecam shot of his face when you yell “April Fool!”)

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7.)        Guys: Go to a gym and pick out the biggest, toughest-looking guy on the free weights.  Run at him and hug him, kiss him hard on the lips and yell “Baby, the new bed looks faaaaaaaabulous!”

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6.)        Gals: Go to a gym and pick out the prettiest, shapeliest woman in aerobics.  Act as though you’re walking past, then stop suddenly, look at her and say loudly, “Gary?  Gary Campbell?  Is that you?”

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5.)        Put an ad in the paper to sell your co-worker’s car, and seal the deal in the office lot, where he can see you

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4.)        Arrange to get all your close friends served with pink slips.  (Don’t tell them the joke until they’re in line at unemployment!)

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3.)        Break into two neighbors’ houses and swap out their furniture

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2.)        Jump around at work, waving a lottery ticket in the air and declaring, “I am so outta here, you losers!” . . . then go back in the next day like nothing happened

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and

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1.)        Before your spouse gets home from work, move your kids, pets and all your belongings to a third floor walk-up in Peoria, Illinois

Freeze Framing All I Ever Wanted

March 24, 2011

by Thomas M. Pender

To me, and most people I’m sure, songs are like tickets to a time machine.  When you hear songs from your past, you remember where and how old you were when you first heard the song, or when the song had an impact on you.  There are several songs from the 1981-’82 era that remind me of short shorts and lines of dancing girls.

For a shy teen who couldn’t form a coherent sentence around girls – especially “older” girls! – it was pretty convenient to have a big sister who captained our high school’s pom pom squad during her senior year.  For several weeks during the summer of 1981, a line of girls paraded past our living room and into our spacious back yard.

As a favor to me, God had placed my bedroom at the back corner of the second floor of our house.  This gave me a wonderful overall view of the rhythmic exercises of a dozen girls in shorts.  Some thirty years later, Santana’s All I Ever Wanted, The J. Geils Band’s Freeze Frame, and Hall and Oates’ You Make My Dreams (Come True) remind me of these weeks.  In fact, the first and third titles seem appropriate, too!

I was not a perverse lad.  I just got crushes and kept my mouth shut about them.  In the fall of 1981, I wrote my first poem, and found there an avenue to express my affections in a personal way, but while spectating the summer dancing in the back yard, it was just a matter of watching and enjoying.  Okay, there may have been a smidgen of amateur coveting, but it was the most innocent kind.

I was not one to attend sporting events, but I did see some performances of my sister’s crew that year.  I knew all their names, and what it was that I liked about each one.  It seemed to me that there must be a law somewhere that cheerleaders and pom pom girls had to be cute.  (Of course, my cootie-laced sister didn’t count.  Yuck.)  What I really enjoyed during those summer rehearsals was that the pretty girls of Waterford-Kettering High School were talking to me, and they were nice to me!  True, we hardly had extensive, meaningful conversations, but you’d be surprised how deep and inspirational a simple “Hi, Tom” can be when accompanied by a smile. . . . and if a similarly nerdy friend is standing next to you in the hallway when such an event occurs, you can practically feel the respect intensifying.

Eons later, all this comes back to me when one of these select few tunes escapes my car’s speakers.  Just a note or two, and the smile returns.  I can even recall a few specific dance moves during specific lines of specific songs.  I remember the rehearsals and the high school gym performances, the faces of the girls, and I’m younger immediately.

Songs are cool that way!

An “MRS” Conundrum

March 23, 2011

by Thomas M. Pender

Today, I’ll address the ultimate curiosity: the opposite sex.  Long ago, I concluded that men will never understand women, and women will never understand men, so we should all do ourselves a tremendous favor by not trying to do so.  I do not post this as a complaint about women, but as an example of my personal head-scratchings over the fairer sex.

I attended homecoming and prom with friends that agreed to accompany me, but the first time I went on a real date, in which I asked a woman I had just met out and she accepted, was during my first year in college. We were introduced at a party during spring term, and I called her the next day.  Over the next two weeks, we saw quite a bit of each other.  She told me she was dating two other students, one a senior and one a junior.  This didn’t bother me.  I told her as long as she didn’t discuss me with them, or them with me, that was fine.  At one point, she told me that I was the most mature man she’d ever dated.

Then, she dropped me like a hot rock.

Listing her frustrations of the day to me over the phone, she quickly mentioned “I’m dating a freshman.”  I stopped and asked why that was a problem.  She invited me over that night, we watched a sitcom, then she ended the relationship.

Perplexed, I asked my friends Tracey and Kim, who I had gone to high school with and who lived on campus, what had just happened.  Without needing time to think, Tracey said, “She wants her MRS degree.”  Kim nodded.  Apparently, when some college coeds near graduation, their thoughts turn to marriage.  Being younger than this gal, I was not in the running to be a professional by the time she was ready to say “I do,” and so I was summarily fired.  The fact that I was more mature than my older counterparts was not relevant in this race.

I wasn’t so much angry as I was confused.  The woman knew I was a freshman the night we met.  Why agree to date someone you would not consider marrying, if your mind is already on the engagement ring?

Again, I have no answers and expect none.  It’s a “woman thing,” as there are many “men things.”  This is just a fine example of the ultimate “curiosities” that we engendered humans have to face and contemplate in our travels.

Good luck to us all!

One Perfect Day

February 10, 2011

by Thomas M. Pender

Freshman year at Michigan State was one of the greatest years of my life, full of new and rich experiences that I never would have encountered elsewhere.  I have many fond memories of that year.

And of that one day in April 1985. . . .

Spring term was fantastic.  After three months of shin- and knee-high snow, seeing my own breath day and night, and having to thaw out my nose after any simple walk, the mercury finally climbed, the coats disappeared . . . and the festivities began.  Most of my and my floormate cohorts’ winter festivities were limited to our dorm, so once the grass was revealed and growing, we hit campus!

One particular Friday morning, I awoke in a great mood.  I only had one early-morning class, and then it was officially the weekend.  My mood escalated when, exiting the shower, I heard a rarely-played favorite song on the radio.  This, I said to myself, is going to be a great day!

Upon my return, my fellow collegians who were smarter than I and didn’t have Friday classes were gathered in their traditional morning spot: Sitting on the floor outside of the dorm rooms at the end of the hall.  Here, cigarettes were smoked, beer was used as an awakening tool, and the mysteries of Life were discussed.  Ignoring the cigarettes and beer, I thoroughly enjoyed getting involved in the discussions.  From the basest human depravities to the deepest thoughts of holy men, the topics were a grab bag from the cosmos, and the sessions were never boring.

On this already good day, one of our floor demigods (meaning he was a sophomore!) sparked up in the middle of our musings.  Looking out the window at the bright spring day, he announced, “Let’s play whiffle ball!”

Being the deep-thinking scholars that we were, we instantly jumped up and got the tools for such a childish excursion together.  In under ten minutes, we were out in the courtyard between three dorms, divided into two teams, and enjoying our lives.  Our mannequin-torso mascot had been drafted into acting as our umpire, and with a Frisbee for a home plate, the game was on.  We played on and on for hours, until our stomachs told us it was time for lunch.

The early afternoon was spent plotting our adventures that evening, as there were plenty of gatherings that night being put on by the acquaintances of at least one of us.  As soon as day turned to near-dusk, we were off!  The first stop was at a higher floor in our 12-storey dormitory.

Here, we bumped into an adopted sister, “Holly with a Q.”  She mentioned that she had seen our whiffle ball World Series that morning, and produced a picture she had snapped out her window.  Past a bordering tree, home plate could clearly be seen.  There, our mannequin umpire viewed the game, my roommate Jeff was bent to retrieve a foul ball, and a stick-like figure stood in a half-shirt and shorts, celebrating his mock athletic prowess.  I still have this photo.  It is one of the best pictures of me in my skinniness, and a fond memento of the day!

Not being a party animal myself, but a standard fixture at each gathering, I enjoyed tagging along to each venue. Such jaunts gave me my first exposures to fraternity houses (which reeked of stale and spilled beer) and campus apartments.  In one such apartment, I was introduced by one of the hosts to a quintet of coeds in one corner of the room.  Shaking hands all around, the fifth young lady started a conversation by asking me about my floor name “Spike” and its origin.  During this talk, she maintained possession of my hand.

Alcohol be damned.  Now I, the teetotalling freshman, was having fun, too!

Unfortunately, my compadres were not sensitive to my golden moment.  Mere minutes later, they were ready to converge on the next target, and they waved me to the door.  Figuring this would be our last moment together, I turned to the charming young lady and said, “They’re taking me away from you.”

“Call me!”

Another moment frozen in time.  A girl wanted me to call her!  I loved college.

The rest of the night is a bit less sharply remembered, as I was spending my time trying to keep that girl’s name in my head, despite all the outer noises and distractions.  Against the odds of my limping memorization capabilities, I did actually remember her name.  We ended up going out twice in the weeks that followed.

Collapsing on my bunk late that night — or rather, early the next morning — I realized that I had a bit of foresight in me.  It had turned out to be an even better “good day” than I had predicted!

Ten Fun Things About Unemployment

January 25, 2011

by Thomas M. Pender

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Recently laid off for the fourth time in under three years, I write and post this to keep my own spirits up, and hopefully those of others in my same situation.  I wish us all amazingly good luck in the very near future!

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10.)      Adrenaline rushes of fear keep your skin clear and younger-looking.

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9.)        Every so often, it’s good to weed out your fair-weather friends!

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8.)        You become exempt from contributing to the destruction of the ozone layer because you can’t afford gasoline.

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7.)        Getting laid off is a unique opportunity to become the world’s next multimillionaire by inventing something amazing from common household items!

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6.)        Humility is a wonderful quality in a human being.

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5.)        All those little things you hated about your job?  Gone, overnight!

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4.)        Finally, there’s enough time to write that novel!

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3.)        You become an expert comparison shopper, if only by force.

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2.)        Night terrors ensure that you don’t oversleep.

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and

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1.)        You learn to appreciate every precious second you are alive on this earth . . . after spending three hours in the unemployment office waiting to talk to someone for five minutes.