Saturday, 30 June 2012

30 Days of Writing - #30 - It Could Have Been Worse

Our little 30 day extravaganza of posting a piece a day kind of wore me out. I feel like I've been through the wringer.

But I suppose it could have been worse.

I would have been really pressed, for instance, to partake in a 30 Days of The Wringer exercise.

What about Cheesy Mike's idea for 30 Days of Cats?

Me, I'd have to draw the line at that. Or the feline, I guess.

Or what if we had to write about horses for 30 days? I don't know if I could rein that topic in.

Or movies, or TV shows? I guess I'd have to screen my content before I posted those stories.

Or post pictures of rubenesque models. Ha! Fat chance!

I might see my way clear to write a post about Nicky a day for 30 days. There's lots that's very interesting about her. Like how she doesn't make fun of her family on her blog. Or her stiletto heel collection.

And speaking of Nicky, I'm sure she'd be able to cover 30 Days of Cheese. If she worked it right.

I could do Cheese-Whiz and Cheetos but that's only 2 days. What would I do after that? I don't think I could spread myself out for 30 days.

How about 30 Days of Food. Maybe I could swallow that. I'd be sure to devote one day to how much I hate peas.

Or 30 Days of Dessert. Could I carry off such a confection?

Or 30 Days of Deserts, maybe. But I'm wandering.

How about 30 Days of Hats? I don't know if I could sustain that for 30 days. I'd be afraid of peaking too early.

I know there's one topic I won't be covering off. 30 Days of Sausage.

You see, it really could have been wurst!

And this, thank the Lord is the LAST post in the series 30 Days of Writing hosted by our favourite sadist Nicky at We Work For Cheese. Hop on over and check out her linky thingy and see how the rest of our blogger buddies brought their series to a close.

Friday, 29 June 2012

30 Days of Writing - #29 - Breaking the Rules

I'm not really sure what dear Nicky thought
Perhaps that we were fools
But a core group of dedicated bloggers
Sharpened their writing  tools.

And on June the 1st we launched ourselves
Into an exercise like mules
We dragged our words upon our backs
Yet some posts shone like jewels.

We visited each others blogs
Left comments, many cool
Some were funny, others serious
But none of them were cruel.

Some bloggers actually stuck it out
Though some days it felt like gruel
And often there were occasions
When posting became a duel.

Like the time we roasted other bloggers
Some writers were quite fuelled
To toast and roast their counterparts
T'was like being in high school.

And now there's one more day to go
Our eyes tear up like pools
But it certainly will be interesting 
To see just who broke the rules.

I confess, I didn't break the rules. See if anyone owns up to such a transgression by clicking the link thingy over at We Work For Cheese. And we'll see you all tomorrow for the grand finale.

Thursday, 28 June 2012

30 Days of Writing - # 28 - The Turning Point

Twenty-eight days already? Geez, it seems like only forty. And this is my turning point. Sure, sure, I'll close out our little writing challenge with two more posts. But in my mind I have been coming to a turning point. And today is it.

Funny today's theme is "turning point", too. Coincidence?

Anyway, during the last 28 days I've written humorous posts, serious posts, pieces about my childhood, poetry, limericks - the list goes on and on.

In my personal life I've had turning points like returning to college after university, changes in jobs, changes in wives, births of children, deaths, a diagnosis of cancer and that list goes on and on too.

We all have turning points. Some are minor, some are major.

You can bet if I miss a turning point on the highway, it's major. Mrs. D sure lets me know about it.

Cheesy Mike's apparently experienced a major turning point. He got a kitten a little while ago and launched a blog about cats. Imagine! A cat blog. I wonder if his turning point will involve launching our next challenge? I can see it now: 30 Days of Cats.

Me, I think if I were asked about now - after 30 days of photos in April and 30 days of writing in June - I'd propose 30 days of nothing. Yeah, you heard me. 30 Days of Nothing. How cool would that be? I could use a link thingy like Nicky and as soon as participants had decided to post nothing they could link to my blog, where I've posted nothing, and leave their URL so folks could visit and comment about nothing.

I may be on to something. Then, again, I may just be on to nothing.

Okay, so time's running out. This is the third last day you can visit Nicky at We Work For Cheese and hook up with her link thing and see what turning points other bloggers have experienced.

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

30 Days of Writing - #27 - Side Of The Road

Monday night this week my wife and I, her son and a friend of his crossed over to Ontario and headed out to Kanata on the outskirts of Ottawa where on the side of Highway 417 sits Scotiabank Place. The arena is home to the Ottawa Senators of the NHL. But this night, with hockey over and the Senators long since on the golf course, the hockey barn was home to a touring rock and roll act.

For over 2 years now, former Pink Floyd member (remember them?) Roger Waters has been on tour performing his 1979 double album "The Wall". Monday night, after travelling through here last year, Waters stopped for another performance. And what a show. I'll remember this one for a long time.

He was backed by an incredible band, including G.E. Smith the former Saturday Night Live band leader in the late 80s and early 90s. But the star of the show, apart from Waters, had to be lead guitarist Dave Kilminster who plays all of original Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour's parts. With your eyes closed you'd think it was Gilmour.

The concert was loud. At one point I registered the sound close to 100 db on my iPhone "Noise Sniffer" app. But then rock and roll is supposed to be loud, isn't it? The concert was also visually stunning combining props such as an exploding plane, a huge inflated school teacher and a roving inflated pig with projection and animation on a huge round screen and the wall, as it is built up during the first half of the concert and was torn down during the second, as well, of course, the live music.

It lasted a good two and-a-half hours after which my ears were ringing - but in a good way.

It was apt it was a concert by Waters, as it rained Monday night. And the rain affected me about as much as Waters did, but not quite in the same way. You see as I powered down my car window to pay the parking fee before the concert my automatic window blew. I couldn't power the bloody thing up. So, necessity being the mother of invention, and rain prevention I guess, I affixed several canvas shopping bags to the drivers door to keep the rain out while we went into the concert. It worked. The driver's seat remained dry for the ride home.

If you're interested, a local review of the concert is provided here by the Ottawa Sun. The reviewer was as in awe as I. Waters is scheduled to perform The Wall outdoors in July at Quebec City's Plains of Abraham. It's touted as being bigger and more extravagant than the memorable outdoor concert he performed at Berlin's wall decades ago. If he's coming to a city near you, I highly recommend you see him. You'll love it.

I took over 60 pics with my iPhone at the concert. They're keepsakes, really, but not of good enough quality for the blog. The images are from Wikipedia.

Crash down that wall and drive on over to Nicky's side of the road to see who else is still motoring along in our little 30 day extravaganza.

Oh, and don't forget to visit dufus daze today for this week's Pause Ponder and Pun caption contest.

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

30 Days of Writing - #26 - An Intervention

Yellow is mellow
Brown goes down

This relaxed approach to toilet etiquette more or less defines my laid-back week at Lake Temagami's Loon Lodge last week. The lodge is on an island, so to save water the rule is to only flush when there's a major development in the toilet bowl.

After two weeks of 30 Days of Writing I gave myself an intervention. Yep, that's right. I stepped in, dashed off a third week's worth of posts, post-dated them to run each day I was away, tore myself away from my computer and a buddy and I drove 500 kilometres north to Temagami, Ontario to sit back, relax, crack open a couple of cold ones and fish.

We arrived on Sunday afternoon. I'd already golfed in the morning and brunched with my kids and grandkids. Then I picked up my buddy and off we headed for a four hour drive to Temagami. After dinner we caught a species unique to the region - a couple of Corona.

Monday we headed into town to do some shopping. We needed groceries. Man cannot live on beer alone - believe me, we tried. We needed food for breakfasts and lunches. Dinner was provided by the lodge. Monday afternoon we came off the lake empty handed. It wasn't for lack of trying. The lodge owner had taken us out in his boat and caught two nice sized fish. However, when I manned the net on the first catch I managed to knock the fish off the hook. My buddy was able to emulate my efforts on the second catch, which must have been over 20 pounds. It was a huge pickerel. We certainly cried in our beer over that one.

The rest of the week was a lot better. We caught oodles of lake trout. We had trout for dinner, for lunch and even for breakfast. This was a good thing. Because I thought all we'd be able to say we caught was my ball cap which blew off in the boat and which we had to retrieve using the net.

Other than that, the weather was great and in our time off the water we shot the breeze, quaffed a Corona or two, complained about how much food we'd eaten at dinner, had naps, compared slogans on our t-shirts and talked about the ones that got away. All in all a great week. When I got home Sunday my wife was so excited to see me. The 2 frozen trout and half a pickerel in my cooler may have had something to do with that.

Cast your line over to We Work For Cheese and check out the link thingy to check out other bloggers' interventions.

Monday, 25 June 2012

30 Days of Writing - #25 - Worst Christmas Ever

Two years ago I wrote about the worst Christmas present ever. Some of you may have seen it then as part of a Tribal Blogs Blog Carnival. If you didn't, or can't recall it, sit back, relax and enjoy this little reprise.

Remember Ralphie in the movie A Christmas Story? His Aunt Clara sent him a bunny costume. Yeah, it sure sucked to be him.

Hey sometimes Christmas doesn't work out for some of us. Look at my grandsons last Christmas. Things went from this... this...

Heh, heh. That's one picture my daughter doesn't want to share too widely. So keep quiet about it, okay?

When I was a kid, Christmas was such a special time. The snow outside, the tree, the lights, the food, visiting relatives and neighbours. And of course the presents.

My own kids loved Christmas too and would pore through the Sears Wish Book Catalogue as soon as it arrived in the mail, dog-earing pages upon pages of pictures of gifts they wanted for Christmas.

And they were pretty lucky. They usually got most of what they asked for. Today the grandkids are luckier than ever, although the twins last year had more fun with the boxes their presents came in than with the presents themselves.

Myself? Not so lucky. You know there should be a ban on certain items that parents get their kids for Christmas. Yeah, you know. The stores should stop selling certain things during the month of December.

When I was a kid I'd ask for a tricycle, or a wagon, or a Meccano set, or some such thing I'd have my heart set on.

I'd be up ahead of everyone else Christmas morning to see what Santa had left under the tree. I'd check out the name tags to see what presents were for me and I'd even shake a package or two to see if I could guess what was inside.

Slowly but surely the rest of the family would start to stir, and gather around the tree. I'd be so anxious I'd almost wet myself. C'mon guys, let's get going.

And then I'd be given the honour of opening the first gift. I'd tear the pretty bows and ribbon to shreds and rip off the wrapping paper to expose a medium sized box.

What the heck could it be? I hesitated. Was it the toy truck I'd asked for? Maybe it was a Davey Crocket hat - cool. I slowly lifted the lid of the box and peeked inside to see...sox and underwear!

"Um, ah, gee, guys, er, thanks a lot. It's, ah, just what I wanted."

And I must have sounded pretty sincere, because I got that same gift almost every year until I left home at the age of 20.

But I never ran out of sox...or underwear.

Just what he wanted?

Some of you may wonder why I haven't been around to your blogs lately or replied to comments on my posts last week. Well, I took the week off and went fishing. Yep, a week with no internet. No blog, No Facebook. No e-mail. It's taking me a day or two to recover you understand. But I've replied to all your comments and soon I'll be stopping by your blog. And tomorrow I'll tell you all about my little fishing trip. Remember the movie Deliverance? Yeah, it was nothing like that.

Meantime hit up Nicky's link thingy over at We Work For Cheese and see what everyone else's worst Christmas was like.

Sunday, 24 June 2012

30 Days of Writing - #24 - Roast or Toast Another Blogger

There once was a girl named Nicky
Who a bunch of bloggers thought was a sicky
She coerced us to write
30 days was our plight
In her honour I eat something sticky.

Nicky, of course, Works For Cheese. So a "toasted" grilled cheese sandwich is an apt response to today's prompt. Hit up the links on her blog to see how the remaining cheese lovers reacted to today's prompt. 

Saturday, 23 June 2012

30 Days of Writing - #23 - Stiletto Heels

Stiletto heels?

What do I know about stiletto heels?

They're for women. Sure.

And perhaps transvestites who want to impress.

But guys?

No they're not for guys.

Unless beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

And guys admire girls who wear stiletto heels.

But who looks at women's feet?

Not me.

For me there are other things to admire.

Way above the feet.

I'm no heel.

Indeed, I've been told I'm a real sole mate.

And if a woman needs a lift.

I'm happy to pump her with compliments.

Or slipper a gift.

Like a pair of stiletto heels.

See what heels the other participants are over at We Work For Cheese. That's Nicky's blog, our Queen of heels.

Friday, 22 June 2012

30 Days of Writing - #22 - Like There's No Tomorrow

What would I want to do today if there was no tomorrow?

Good question!

There's an expression "dance like there's no tomorrow".

I could do that. But then I'd be awfully tired.

I can't dance.

I don't dance.

I have to drink a bit before I can dance.

Like there's no tomorrow.

I'm okay.

As long as I don't drink like there's no tomorrow.

Now dash like there's no tomorrow over to We Work For Cheese and check out the link love Nicky's got going over there.

Thursday, 21 June 2012

30 Days of Writing - #21 - Favours I'd Ask of Satan

In no particular order:

That there be no such thing as  high cholesterol.

That I could drink as much as I wanted without a hangover.

That I'd win the lottery.

That I could sing in a supergroup featuring Bob Dylan, Neil Young and Eric Clapton.

That I could sing.

That my wife let me buy madras shorts to golf in.

Head on over to We Work For Cheese to see what the rest of those yahoos would ask of Satan.

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

30 Days of Writing - #20 - Going Solo

Here's a bit of a twist. My response to today's prompt of "going solo" is actually about a solo going in partnership.

Yeah, when I saw the prompt, I immediately thought of Napoleon Solo. Remember him? I'm probably showing my age here but Napoleon Solo was one half of the television team known as The Man From U.N.C.L.E. U.N.C.L.E. was an American television series that ran for 4 years on NBC in the mid-60s. I remember watching it. It was a serious - more or less- counter-balance to the not-so-serious Get Smart which I also watched without fail.

Solo was the character portrayed by Robert Vaughn. The series initially was to be built around him and was developed by Ian Fleming. Yeah, that Ian Fleming. The man responsible for James Bond.

Turns out, though, that a scene featuring a Russian agent named Ilya Kuryakin went over well with viewers and so the two were paired and the rest is history. Kuryakin was portrayed by David McCallum who, these days, portrays "Ducky" on NCIS.

The thing I remember about McCallum is his haircut. Nobody I knew - on TV or in real life - had a haircut like that. It was pretty special.

You can see it in this clip from the show where McCallum shows off not just his hair but his singing ability with Miss "These Boots Are Made For Walking" Nancy Sinatra...

This was much more fun than going solo!

See who else is flying solo via the links at We Work For Cheese.

And check out this week's Pause Ponder and Pun caption contest at dufus daze.

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

30 Days of Writing - #19 - Camels

One hump or two?

I always wanted to say that. With today's prompt I get the chance.

It's the only camel joke I know.

I sat on a camel once. It was Tel Aviv in the mid 80s. I was a parliamentary journalist at the time and somehow got myself invited along with a bunch of travel writers on a whirlwind tour or Israel.

Marvellous country. I got to float in the Dead Sea, melt in the heat of Masada, visit the birthplace of Christ, walk the way of the cross and, best of all, sit on a camel.

The camels were there largely for a photo op.

"Get your picture on a camel."

And I got some great pictures, although I have no idea where they are these days.

I had a cheap little Kodak instamatic camera, as I recall. A point and shoot. No zoom.

So I had to get in close to get a good picture of this camel.

But this camel didn't like me getting in close and let me know it.

In the blink of an eye my eye was covered in camel spit.

Yep, this dromedary drooled all over my face.

It was a popular phrase at the time but I found no comfort in it.

After how that ungulate ingrate treated me, I wouldn't walk a mile for a camel.

Now hump on over to We Work For Cheese and see if the other participants in this writing challenge walked a mile for a camel.

Monday, 18 June 2012

30 Days of Writing - #18 - Setting Sail

Set sail? Set sail? C'mon, who ever came up with that prompt? I don't even own a boat. How could I set sail?

The closest I've come to setting sail is going fishing. And in 2009 I wrote a piece about it called Fishin' Buddies.

And it goes like this...

For about 8 years now several of us have been hitting Lake Temagami in northern Ontario for a week of fishing in late June/early July as soon as bass season opens. The characters change a bit from year to year: another friend, a brother or two but the two mainstays have been me and my buddy Pierre. Some years we catch a ton of fish and others very few. But at the end of the day the beer's always cold and they have to carry you away from the dinner table 'cause the home-cooked meals at the lodge are to die for.

Temagami is about an hour north of North Bay and for us about 6 hours from Ottawa. The first year I ventured forth I didn't know a bass from my ass, had to get Pierre to worm my hook and if I caught a fish, forget it, someone else had to take it off the hook! And clean it? Yeah, good luck with that.

I've come a long way since then. I can bait my hook - using rubber worms. I call it the prophylactic approach to fishing. Don't laugh, you'd be surprised at how many fish I've caught practicing "safe fish"! And this year, after 8 years on the lake, I've cleaned fish! It helps when everyone else refuses to do it and you want fish for dinner! Just give me a sharp knife and watch me go. I'm a clean and gut master.

Over the years, we've had a lot of fun and some interesting experiences. For example, several years back Pierre and I were out in the boat one afternoon when for no apparent reason the engine stopped. Try as we might we couldn't get it going again. So we paddled across the lake to a dock and prevailed upon the owner of a cottage to use his phone. We called the lodge owner where we were staying to see if he could come and get us. 

As we waited it started to rain and by about half an hour later when the lodge owner arrived in his boat it was pouring. As the cottager, the lodge owner Pierre and I huddled over the engine the cottager innocently inquired "Does this boat have a kill switch?" A kill switch is a safety feature. You attach the ignition key to your life vest so that if you fall overboard the key is yanked out of the ignition and a switch flips to stop the engine. Pierre said quietly, so quietly we could hardly hear him "Oh, shit!" As the rest of us looked on, drenched to the skin, Pierre flipped the switch, turned the ignition and the boat roared to life. It took him the rest of our stay to live that one down back at the lodge!

All in all though it's a great guys' week away. And truth be told our wives appreciate a week to themselves too!

Set sail for We Work For Cheese and link up with Nicky and Mike to see how the rest of our merry blogging crew dealt with today's prompt.

Sunday, 17 June 2012

30 Days of Writing - #17 - The Awkwardness of the Common Banana

So we're more than half way through our little romp
Of 30 days of whacky word prompts
Today, however, dear Nicky's a real brute
As she prompts us with a type of fruit.

An apple a day keeps the doctor away
Or at least that's what some people say
And oranges are like sunshine said Anita Bryant
And I drink orange juice as my eggs I fryant.

Kiwi is cute don't you think?
And I'll eat a strawberry in a blink
Grapes, cherries - they're great too
They all make you regular, they really do.

But there's a fruit for which I feel sad
Particularly on this day that honours Dad
Though that has nothing to do with how I feel
Although like a certain fruit it holds a lot of appeal.

See I like bananas. I like them a bunch.
Sometimes in a peanut butter sandwich, I'll have one for lunch.
And as I sit here today relaxing, listening to Santana
I wonder who ever came up with such a silly prompt as "the awkwardness of the common banana"!

Okay, now that we got through that, two things: 1) head on over to We Work For Cheese to check out the links and see how other bloggers dealt with this prompt; and, 2) check out dufus daze for this week's Sunday Funnies.

Saturday, 16 June 2012

30 Days of Writing - #16 - Hanging Out In The Cemetery

I'm going to warn you right now. This isn't going to be much of a humorous post. When I first saw today's prompt I got a bit of a lump in my throat. And I wondered if I'd really be able to bring myself to write what I'm about to share with you. I don't talk about it much. But I live with the memories of death every day. So you see, I don't hang out much at cemeteries. Too many bad memories.

My Dad died at 55, after his third and fatal heart attack, and my Mom a little over a decade later at 66 of kidney problems. Her last years on dialysis weren't fun. My former mother-in-law died one day apart from my mom. That was a fun week. My sister-in-law died of cancer a couple of years back, too. That was a big loss to our family. Because she was so full of life, right up to the end. And Mrs. D's Dad died at the outset of our relationship, 12 years ago. A very difficult time for her and her family. But worst of all, for me, was the loss of my eldest son 20 years ago.

Michael was 18 when he passed away in a single car crash on the highway near where we lived. He wasn't wearing a seat belt and flew out the front windshield on impact. I'll forever live with the sight of two Ontario Provincial Police Officers showing up at my office with the news. And of going with them to identify the body. And of telling my then-wife and two children, all in separate conversations, what had happened that morning on Mike's way to school.

But while I think of the denial and long-in-coming acceptance of what happened that day - for all of us, although who can really ever accept such a thing  - I also think of the good things, the many good things Michael brought to our lives. And I think of them every day.

Jonathan Michael MacDonald Bray. Jonathan because that's what my then-father-in-law called me and we thought he'd get a kick of making that his first name. And he did. Michael because we liked the name. MacDonald because that was my then-mother-in law's last name.

It caused some confusion for Mike at school that his first name was Jonathan and his teachers thought he should be called that. But Mike was up to the challenge. Indeed, his teachers wanted to put him in the special advanced class. He was a bright kid. But he was well adjusted. Mature for his age. And while the other kids were very bright, they weren't as balanced as Mike. So giving in to Mike's wishes, we let him off the hook and he didn't have to be known as, how he put it, "one of those egg heads".

And we often kidded we'd named him appropriately with the MacDonald's moniker. He loved that food. Hell at, 14 or 15 he was working there and would come home smelling like a hamburger. It was before he could drive, so I'd pick him up when the store closed every night.

And he learned to drive early, taking Driver's Ed at school. We were happy to pay. It meant a big discount on our car insurance. When he turned 16 one of our cars was a Ford Tempo. It virtually became HIS car. And he loved visiting his friends and going to school in it. And he wasn't going to wait to get his license. t would take 2 or 3 weeks before they could test him at the License Bureau in town. So Mike phoned around to some of the smaller towns nearby and found one that could take him the next day. So Dad and Mike made the hour or so trip for the test.

He was a great son and - one couldn't ask for a better one - and wonderful brother to look up to for his two adoring siblings, then 7 and 5 and now 31 and 29 - and also great kids. Their brother would be 38 in September.

Two quick stories about his love for music, my music. When he was a baby, we woke up to an odd sound coming from the family room. Mike had crawled from his bed and had taken all of my LPs out of their covers so he could play them on his music box Fisher Price record player. Needless to say all the records were scratched and had been played for the last time.

When he was older, around 13 or so, we had just moved into a new house. It would be the house he would live in the rest of his life. One day I was walking around the corner to the mailbox and saw in the field across the street a broken vinyl record. I glanced down at the label and thought "Hey, I have that record." Except when I went looking for it I couldn't find it. After about the third discovery I started to catch on. I asked Mike if he knew anything about it. Straight as the day is long he said "Sure Dad, my friend and I were throwing them in the field. They make great frisbees."

Mike loved music. In that regard the apple hadn't fallen far from the tree. But so much for him liking MY music.

Tomorrow's Father's Day. And the rest of my kids will be here. You know, I think Mike will be too.

Friday, 15 June 2012

30 Days of Writing - #15 - First Place

With today's prompt we're half-way through this infernal blah-de-blah, blah, blah. And there are other bloggers blah, blah-de, blah, blah. Yak, yak, yak @ We for For Cheese where Nicky is yakety, yack, not talking back. (I hope.)

Nicky and I go back a couple of years. We were members of Tribal Blogs before Jenn and the girls over there went all commercial on our asses. Jenn, blogs for money. As Jerry Seinfeld would say "Not that there's anything wrong with that." But I know I sure don't blog for money, although if you want to send me some I can give you my address. And I don't think Nicky does either. Hell, neither of us can afford a blog makeover. Isn't it obvious? But Tribal Blogs just isn't average Joe blog-friendly any more. Hell, they even hid their forum so their new serious corporate customers couldn't read my punny  comments.

Now last year, guess what?  Tribal Blogs had a Blog Make-Over Contest. During the competition Nicky and I engaged in quite the dissing match (with a 'd") and dragged our blogger friends into it leaving comments on our blogs, on Tribal blogs, and on Twitter and Facebook. Oh I pulled out all the stops. Here's an example from Facebook from last September of the lengths Nicky and I went to for votes - even for just one from our pal Michael Whitman-Jones - to win First Place. The names have not been changed to protect the innocent. Well except mine:

Yoo-hoo.Nicky-and Mike, you out there? I just wanted to bring this to your attention. Have a nice day.
30 ·  · 

You know, I always thought there was something fishy about that contest. Neither Nicky nor I won First Place. We tied for second. The only other blog in the competition, something called  Salmon like the Fish got the makeover. But that dissing contest brought us closer together. That's right. Nicky and I have a great relationship as a result and continue to tease each other when the opportunity presents itself. Don't we little Greek Cheese Loving Lady?

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