Sunday, June 24, 2007

A Brother Is More Than A Friend: a Brother Is Someone Who Can Plan A Trip So Detailed Even Crap Breaks Are On The Itinerary!

If we interviewed 100 people who are unusually happy, I think the most prominent common denominator would be unusually good relationships. Despite the widespread promotion of materialism and vanity in our popular culture, wealth and beauty are not enough to produce happiness. In fact, they're not even necessary. What's more, bad relationships -- at work, at home, or among friends -- are a surefire source of anguish and heartache. And so would be having your picture taken with chicken wing sauce all over your face!

For most of us, what mostly determines our level of happiness are family bonds. And the most powerful of all are at the inner core of family, especially brother-sister relationships. Well today is my brother Paul's birthday. Yep, he's geein' older. Crankin' down that road to when he gets to wear Depends and pee his pants when he wants to just because he can. Although in reality, I don't think the old guy who's in his mid-fifties is going to be doing any of that all too soon. This guy runs every other day and when he's not running he's working out. And this will piss off most of you. This is a guy who still where's the same size 30 pants he wore in high school. We should all be that lucky.

We grew up in a small town in upstate New York to two hard-working, dedicated and loving parents. We can sit around and laugh at all the "beatings" we took from them when we did stupid crap but I honestly don't think he got that many. I think our parents reserved that for me! But our parents were dedicated to raising their kids in a good way. And we all turned out pretty damn good if you ask me. Out of the three of us, it was Paul who got the most out of what Mom & Dad had to offer. Sure, we all learned to work hard and enjoy life, but Paul really eminates the values and dedication that our parents tried to instill in us.

All of us have left the nest of that small town. Two of us settled in California and he decided that he'd like to enjoy life where old people go to, well, die. You know the place. It's call the plywood state. Florida. Sunny Florida. He took his wife and kids down there, planted himself in a good job, a good house and is doing well for himself. And who would have expected more?And even though he's in his fifties, he still mowes his own lawn. Hay Paul? Ever heard of a "gardener?" I'm sure you've got them down there. And at the same time you can support the immigrant population.

All three of us brothers, although geographically separated, are still pretty close. We enjoy spending time together. We enjoy playing golf and eating wings a Hooters. (that's us with the Hoother's waitress on our last visit). What's wild about the whole thing is that the three of us are different. We can get into some pretty heated opinion-oriented debates but all in all, I can't think of a time where we've ever really ended up pissed at each other. We've got a special bond and I think alot of that come from our upbringing. He was the first kid, me the last. He's anal retentive and organized beyond belief. Me? Well, if I got some of the stuff off my office desk I could probably find some space for my coffee. I wish I could be more like him in that respect as I know what he does works, it's just that I can't get myself to that level. I'm ADDHDDDADHDDAD (whatever the hell that psychobabble really means) and he's normal. Well, okay, close to normal. Our Dad passed away last year after a long illness and it was Paul who guided us all through it and made some of those decisions that people just never want to make. I give him tons of credit for that.

On his birthday, I've got to give the ol' boy some praise. And some criticisms. Although there isn't that much to criticize him for. He's earned the respect of this brother and many people who know him. He's hard working, dedicated to helping kids get educated although in today's world that's changed to glorified babysitting. He's raised two pretty daughters who've got their heads screwed on pretty well. I mean they're not using crack or anything so that's a good thing! He's got my families warped sense of humor and can laugh at almost anything. Today I reead this little joke online and I thought he'd like it so bear with me. He always loves to comment on the government and the oil companies so I think this is a good one for him...

Where’s The Oil? A lot of folks can’t understand how we came to have an oil shortage here in our country. Well, there’s a very simple answer. Nobody bothered to check the oil. We just didn’t know we were getting low. The reason for that is purely geographical. Our OIL is located inAlaska, California, Coastal Florida, Coastal Louisiana, Kansas, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania and Texas. Our DIPSTICKS are located in Washington, DC. Any Questions?

Hey Paul? See that image to the right. I know you like T-shirts so I had this one made into a sirt for you. You'd be one of the few who would get a kick out of wearing it. So, there it is. Your birthday present revealed. I haven't sent it yet as I got the card earlier in the week and the T-shirt arrived on Friday but I'll get it to you. Wear it proudly and by the way, there's an ad for my blog on the back. So you'll be my first walking billboard. If anybody else want's one, or any of the other bizarre t-sirts and products I've made, check out the DiscoverInsanity Online Store. It's full of crap like this...and some of it's funny.

Well, I could go on forever. It's easy to sit here and rant and rave every day. But today, I celebrate my brother Paul's birthday. I hope he has a good day and can kick back and relax. He deserved that at least once a year. Okay, he did that on Father's Day too. I think he does it a lot more than I do. Maybe I should learn that from him. Naaaaaaa. I like being the wired one. So Bro, (I'm being hip there) I just wanted to wish you a very good and Happy Birthday. I couldn't wish for a better brother in both ethics and character (richer ye$$, but not in character). I really do hope you have a good day and I wish I could be there with you.

So, as they sing in Mexican restaurants out here (and we know how you feel about the immigration issues): Happy Birthday to you. Happy Birthday to you. Happy Birthday PONCHITO...Happy Birthday tooooooooooo you!