January…My dad passed on.  A tough deal to be sure, but he’s in Heaven, nuff said.

February…I accidently lock my keys in my truck (with me outside of said truck) while I fold in it’s big-ass mirrors when I reach the status of “next vehicle in line” at a local car wash.  I sheephishly tell the woman who’s in line behind me “yeah…I just locked myself out of my truck (blocking the growing line of folks wanting to use this car wash) so I’m going to run home and get the extra set of keys.  I’ll be back in ten minutes.” (I rattled this off in about three seconds so I’m sure that I sounded like a blithering idiot…not the friendly idiot that I normally am).  I also ran into the gas station where the car wash is located at said at an excellerated pitch “I’m the idiot blocking your car wash!  I’ll be back in ten minutes!!”  The clerk just stood there, expressionless.

I ran home, one mile.  RAN.  In a winter leather coat, shirt and tie, slacks.  RAN.  My chest really hurt.  Long story short….I returned to the car wash as promised, with my keys with my sixteen year old daughter driving me without saying anything bad about her “old Dad losing it.” (maybe my profuse sweating and panting threw her off her usual sarcastic wit)

March…I have a stress test on my heart and pass.  The doctor in somewhat broken English tells me “Mister Ripley…your heart is fine, your brain….not so much.”  What. The. Hell?

July…I rejoin a fitness center.  Today I worked out using a machine named “Hip Abduction.”  Let me be clear on this…no one…repeat…NO ONE has ever had an issue with Rich Ripley’s hips (my big nose and loud mouth are what most folks get bent out of shape about…honestly…it is)  I saw another machine called a “lower back erection”  (and I’ll just walk away from that punchline and let my avid readers insert their own “R” rated zinger themselves).  Dead serious…that machine exists...and it doesn’t get used that much…while I’m there.  Just sayin’.

August…I make up my mind to become a basketball referee and start that process.

September…I totally blow off the college football season since:

  1. My team sucks…AGAIN.
  2. I’m studying to become a basketball official.

October….I pass my state of Iowa certification and officiate for the first time at a middle school and the world doesn’t end.  Suck it Mayan’s!!

November…I officiate a lot of games.

December…I ask for and receive an IPOD Nano for Christmas and get “technical support” from our oldest daughter (who just graduated from college).  I can now work out at the gym while jammin’ to some great tunes (note to self…quit singing out loud to Laura Branigan’s hit from the 1980’s “Gloria!”.  The folks around the weights get a little put off when I belt out the chorus).  AND I need to pay a little more attention to what’s going on around me when working out “hey ladyI ain’t done with those five-pound weights…but there’s a machine over there that you might be interested in….”

Have a fantastic last few days of 2012.  Behave yourselves New Year’s Eve and please don’t call if you need bailed out…again.  My phone will be “off the hook.”

Peace & love to you and yours,

Rich

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