Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Dear Santa ...


Perhaps last year around this time you read my mock article about work conditions in the North Pole? If in anyway that offended you or your elves, I express my deepest regrets. With the recent downturn in manufacturing and pressure on labor unions from big business, perhaps the timing of my post was insensitive. I'm writing today to make amends - please accept my most sincere apology.

In keeping with my sense of contrition, I am going to write a letter of thanks rather than of wants. To be honest, I have all of the things I need and want, or at least rationally could use. I have no need of, to quote from The Grinch, packages, boxes, or bags. In a season too focused on "getting", I would like to give thanks for what I have already.

First, I have a most wonderful home. It is secure, in a wonderful town full of remarkable people, many whom I call friends. Sure, it has some peeling paint, a few drafty windows, and some mismatched fixtures. But it is not a mere house; it is our refuge and escape. We all sleep peacefully, each of us surrounded by comfort. What more could I dream of?

Secondly, thank you for my son. He is perfect in every way, meaning that as far as people can be perfect, he is wonderfully real. He is healthy, optimistic, athletic, respectful, and courageous. I watch him grow with a sense of awe and wonderment, knowing that I couldn't be more blessed.

But I am more blessed, as I also am graced to be the father of a beautiful daughter. She is wise, philosophical, clever, and strong. She is emerging as the kind of young woman anyone would like to know, a balance of beauty and ability - with a slice of humility - that forebode great things. A unifier, she is not so interested in the little things like labels, fashion, or popularity. Rather, she seems to see one's soul and she measures it carefully. Woe to those who pose as something they are not!

Lastly, Santa, I give thanks for Mrs. Odds. She is beyond description as a mother, friend, and partner. We have gone down many roads together, and when I stumble, she lends me her strength. When I am angry, she is calm. When I am silly, she is patient. When I joke, she laughs, even when I'm not a funny as I think I am. She is hot, too, but as gentlemen we'll avoid the details, right?

So, as you and the elves prepare to bless the world with presents, tidings of joy, and special memories, perhaps you can give a little more to some soul other than me, as I already have the gifts I cherish most.


Mr. Odd

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Life and Small Things

Mr. Odds has been a busy, busy fella'. Funny how normal life can be so full of ... things to do, places to be, people to see. Tonight sort of became the night I had to at least write down, for others to know, that my cup nearly runneth over. We Odd folks just had a night out, but it was slightly more special than some other nights out.

My niece came out from the big city to stay with us, the third time she's done that this fall. When I was in college, I NEVER wanted to hang with oldies like us, but she's her own judge, jury, and executioner. What makes this small thing no such thing is how she found herself in Beantown, a freshman at one of the great schools. She got here without her dad's guidance, love, and company. Her mom clearly picked up the slack, but the deck was stacked. See, her dad's life was shortened through a barbaric act of violence six years ago (he'd be 47 for those who keep score). She could have gone off the rails, but somehow she didn't. Instead, she is a happy frosh doing the college thing, visiting her aunt, uncle, and cousins for a simple night out on the town.

For her uncle, though, it ain't no small thing. It is a miracle from the wreckage of my brothers untimely death. A mundane, everyday miracle to be sure, but nonetheless I can't believe my beautiful niece just broke bread with my two little Odds, who everyday are less little. When did she grow up? When did my own kids become so grown up? How did I get a chance to be more than an uncle to her? How lucky am I that Mrs. Odd gets it? I once hoped and prayed my niece would see us as her family, in our boring grandeur. I didn't pray for big miracles, I prayed for small ones. And this one prayer may have been granted.

I think, now, I may set my eyes higher. I pray I'm there to walk her down the isle for her wedding, or at least there to watch her mom have the honor. I pray I see her full of life, happy and fulfilled. I pray she is as whole as she can be. I pray that my brother knows I'm still here for him, doing what he should be doing. I pray that if things were different, he'd have done the same.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The Best of the Best

Perhaps you missed the big political headlines earlier this week, so let me get you up to speed. Just eighteen short months from the next presidential election, and a bevy of national Republican figures are jumping into -- and in some cases officially not jumping into -- the race to challenge President Obama.

Perhaps the biggest surprise non-candidate for the Republican nominee was former Governor Mike Huckabee. In a statement released to Faux News, Huckabee's press secretary Eileen Wright said, "The Governor decided the time to run isn't now, especially since four of the seven likely voters for the Governor moved to Idaho and declared themselves Sovereign Citizens. Additionally, polling data indicates most Americans would vote for themselves rather than waste a vote."

Following soon on the heels of Gov. Huckabee's first and probably last smart political decision, Donald "The Donald" Trump announced he, too, would not enter the fray to become the next former Republican candidate for President. Pundits on both sides of the isle speculated that Mr. Trump would indeed run, if for no other reason than to plug his show Celebrity Apprentice. But in a statement announcing his non-candidacy, he stated that he wanted to continue to make gobs of money by hawking crappy properties and manipulating the court system to, as he put it, "Bugger the working class 'til they pronounce me King of Siam." Interestingly, NBC announced it is renewing Apprentice because they litterally couldn't find any other quality programming. Apprentice will anchor NBC's fall Thursday line-up, when executives at the ailing media giant hope the show can buoy several new shows, including Lepers 'n Love, When Hairy Becomes Sally, and Erectile Malfunction: The Hans Ruffer Story. When reached for comment on Mr. Trump not joining the Repulican slate, Democratic staffers at the DNC broke into tears. Rumors continue to swirl, however, that "The Donald"'s hair is still continuing to explore a run for the White House, given that it was polling several points higher than the head it rests upon.

These two latest announcements leave RNC insiders anxious about the dwindling field. Some have expressed serious concerns that every eligible candidate is withdrawing, leaving them stuck with Sarah Palin ... again. One staffer, who asked for annonimity because of fear that Mrs. Palin would hunt her down and kill her with a big-ass gun, said, "Sarah Palin is Satan's Bride, and even Beelzebub is scared shitless by that souless harpy!" Other RNC insiders fear that the early exit of party favorites such as Haley "Even Too Redneck for Southern Men" Barbour and Mitch "Who the Hell Are You Talking About?" Daniels opens the door for former Governor Mitt Romney, who insiders worry is literate, experienced, and telegenic. Pollsters indicate likely Repulican voters prefer to vote for candidates they can identify with, which makes Romney an unsavory choice. Says one insider, "Mitt is smart, doesn't watch NASCAR, and eats with utensils; the typical Republican voter just doesn't understand that fancy college talk, neither."

The big winner of the week was, of course, Newt Gingrich. In announcing his candidacy, he spoke to reporters about character issues that have dogged him throughout his careers, especially in terms of extra-marital affairs. "I'm not perfect. At least five or six interns turned me down while I was Speaker of the House." Gingrich's wives, ex-wives, girlfriends, one-nighters, hookers, and former President Clinton all hailed the news. President Clinton was overheard praising Gingrich's move, stating, "Ha! Dogged by character issues? Newt-baby has sure dogged some characters. Maybe him winning will put the gap in my character into perspective. Huh-huh, "the gap" ... get it? The gap..."

Monday, January 31, 2011

Super Powers

I love superheroes and superpowers.  Maybe because I grew up with "The Savage Sword of Conan" and Christopher Reeves, and I was at the opening of the modern Batman series.  I love "The Watchmen" and dream of flying without mechanical assistance.  I used to imagine longingly of having a magic ring that allowed me to become invisible, especially when I was a gawking, awkward seventh grader.  I still wish I could stop time and watch "Groundhog Day", wondering what I would do with a do-over, over and over.

The other day I struck on the magic power I would want, if only one was allowed or gifted.  I've given up on flying because I have a clumsy streak.  I can see me taking off on my maiden flight and immediately crashing into a transformer or a low flying Southwest flight or a goose. Splat. Either me or the goose. And invisibility?  Kinda' creepy for a forty-something sneaking around, don't you think?  And stopping time?  I'd get older while everyone else was frozen in space.  And it would get boring and too quiet pretty quickly.

No, my superpower du jour is ... heavenly singing. First, I can't sing. At. All. Babies cry, birds fall stone dead from the sky, and loved ones reconsider their relationship with me.  Secondly, singing - music in general - universally makes people peaceful, happy, and joyous. Sure beats beating my enemies to a pulp or lopping off their heads. And lastly, I could sing myself onto American Idol.  And I'd win.

And winning is fun.