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Of Politics, Sports and Sex

OK, so there won't be a LOT on here about sex, but tell the truth, that's most of the reason you entered this site, right? So, I'll slip some things in from time to time just to keep you coming...back.

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Thursday, December 8, 2011

Gives a whole different meaning to the expression about "You can pick your firends..."

I belong to a group through Trev and Emma's elementary school called All-Pro Dads and I get an email a day from them with advice on how to be a better dad and/or husband. They are usually pretty short and always have a link to another site, usually with a top ten type list of helpful hints on whatever the issue of the day is.

Today's email was thought-provoking for some reason:

Can You Affair-Proof Your Marriage?

In the book His Needs, Her Needs: Building An Affair-Proof Marriage, author Willard Harley relays the following about how affairs start:
 “An affair usually begins as a friendship. Frequently your spouse knows your lover; not uncommonly, the third party is the husband or wife of a couple you both know and consider ‘best friends.’ In another common pattern, the outside lover comes from your spouse’s family – a sister or brother. Or you may have met your lover at work.
 When an affair starts, it usually begins as a friendship. You share problems with the other person, and that person shares problems with you. As your friendship deepens, you start giving each other mutual support and encouragement, especially in regard to your unmet needs. Life is difficult. Many people become extremely disillusioned about their own lives. When they find someone encouraging and supportive, the attraction toward that person acts as a powerful magnet. Sooner or later, you find yourself in bed with your encouraging and supportive friend. It just seems to happen.”
The best way to prevent an affair is to stop it before it starts. And that means being very, very careful about good friendships with women other than your wife.

I have another idea. The best way to prevent an affair might be to not let my wife...or me either for that matter...have any close friends of the opposite gender. (If she wants to have an affair with someone of the same gender, I sure wouldn't want to discourage that!)

But kidding aside, if someone had asked me before I got married whether I thought one would be more likely to have an affair with a stranger or someone my wife knows, I think I might have said a stranger, so this theory above might have surprised, and maybe still does surprise me a little. But now that I visualize it, I can understand it. If I were the type to stray, I can totally see that happening...with Cheryl or me. I think we are all attracted, not necessarily in a physical way, to the people we choose to hang out with, and sometimes that leads to looking at them in a different way, but sometimes the two also go hand in hand, so to speak. I think it's easier to become friends with someone you are also physically attracted to at some level.

I've always maintained that I wouldn't be upset if I were to find out that Cheryl had had or was having an affair. It's her body, she can do what she wants with it. But I have a feeling that I don't ever really want to find out if I really mean that. I am more sure that I wouldn't want to divorce her for it. As we like to say about each other: We're stuck with each other. This is it for us. We really are in it til death do part us...though I think we both assume that we'll be together even longer than that. :-)

OK...enough about sex...back to posts about Christmas! Probably says something important about you as to which topic you prefer talking about more.

5th Day Of Christmas: New Traditions for your Family

Hmmm...not sure what this one means, whether it means new traditions we've recently started, are going to start this yer or want to start. But that's cool, that means I can make it mean whatever I want it to mean.

And I'm still kind of stumped. I guess we're kind of stick-in-the-muds. On the other hand, how can you have a new tradition? I remember coming up with a pair of linked personal mottos back as far as high school or college...and that is pretty far back...: Try anything once. Do anything twice and it's a tradition.

So, things we've recently done twice...CHERYL?!

Ah - here's one we've done the previous two years. We had gotten our Christmas tree every year at a place near Parkesburg with a little train you ride out to where the trees are and then search around until you find one, then you cut it down and drag it back to the train to take you back. It was expensive and the selection seemed to wane. So we started going to a new place near Paul and Suma's that we've been pretty happy with. There's no train, but there is free beer! Now that's a fun new tradition!

Oh yeah, and free hot chocolate for the kids. We haven't asked them whether they prefer the train or the hot chocolate, nor I suppose do we intend to.

On the third day of Christmas: Holiday Bucket List

Only 4 days behind on my days of Christmas...My holiday bucket list - interesting concept. The first thing that came to mind was spending Christmas somewhere else some day, like at my sisters' Laurie or Judy's, but that's not only presumptuous, it may not be practical.

That said, I think one year, I'd like not to either give or receive a paid-for gift. I'd like to make all my gifts and ask only for handmade gifts, or donations to the non-profits of the giftgiver's choice.

Or maybe the cute girl in the background who seems to typify most of the country - not even paying attention

Newt Gingrich

I don't know which part I like best about this picture - Newt with his demonic laugh or the guy in the background, summing up perfectly the way we all feel about the possibility of Newt being elected President in 2012.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Second Day of Christmas: Budget-Friendly Ideas

Assuming this is meant to be Christmas-related...of course the very most budget-friendly idea is to spend less on Christmas. It's kind of a running joke with Ev and Liss that every year, Cheryl and I announce somberly that this year, we are really cutting back on Christmas presents and this year we mean it! But then the piles under the tree are as big as ever. It just never seems fair to the younger kids that the older kid/s got the full Christmas and then we started cutting back by the time the younger kids bothered to show up.

But that aside, the thing we've done, and by "we", I mean Cheryl, is that about 4 years ago, she spent every available hour in the weeks leading up to Christmas making some simple drawstring Christmasy bags to "wrap" everything in. Of course, I say they are simple, because I wasn't the one making them. They are really cool, and they sure make the wrapping process so much easier and faster.

They save us a fair amount on wrapping paper and related supplies, but that said, I think the main reason Cheryl made them was for environmental reasons, so there are fewer trees cut down and plastic-ish wrapping paper hitting the landfills.

A reminder we all need from time to time

In case you get down sometimes about President Obama, and let's face it, we probably all have been from on occasion.

Interesting. Makes me realize that in actuality, his actions are the polar opposite of his soaring campaign speeches of 2008, and I don't necessarily mean that in a bad way. Where his speeches were all about hopes and dreams, his actual leadership style is all about the pragmatic and the art of just getting things done, even if the results aren't as perfect as any of us, or either side of the political aisle would want.

One thing we all have to admit. He gets results. And from my point of view, he gets a lot of results I heartily approve of.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

First Day of Christmas: Favorite Local Non-Profit

I'm glad this was the first one on Barbara's list, because it was easy for me to answer and helped inspire me to try to keep up with her. My #1 sort of doesn't count, since it isn't exactly Christmas related, so I'll list a few:

1 - West Chester Friends School

I have to list them first, both because it's true, and because I'm the (unlikely) President of their Board of Directors, a position I take very seriously and am trying to give as much time to as possible without infringing on family responsibilities which are primary, or work, which leads me to:

2 - North American Land Trust

Probably should be #1 since they are my employer and a really great organization that every single employee is extremely proud to be a part of. We 11 employees have been here together for so long and work so well together that (cliche alert) we really do feel like family. And yeah, that means we piss each other off on occasion, but also have a great deal of love and respect for each other.

3 - Downingtown Friends Meeting

Where I've been going to Quaker Meeting since I was 2 months old, according to my Mom's journal (she made me a copy - I didn't peek - honest!) and also an incredible loving group of people that I am fortunate to be able to have as F/friends. I often find myself guilty of putting the members and attenders on a pedestal, which I enjoy, even if it means they disappoint me sometimes.

4 - Lords Pantry

OK, now this is probably more along the lines of what Barb was referring to. This is an incredible group of local hard-working volunteers trying to keep up with the overwhelming need to feed the hundreds, if not thousands, of hungry families in one of the wealthiest counties in the country, and maybe the world.

Your turn - even if you aren't local to Chester County. Which are your faves local to you?

On the first day of Christmas...I procrastinated...but it's a McVickar Holiday Tradition!

With inspiration from my blogger friend, Barbara Bradley Hoyer, and her post here:, I am going to start my 12 days of Christmas here on December 1st, partially because that seems a logical day to sart, and possibly because I've procrastined. I'm also going to skip weekends and december 9th, because I don't anticipate posting on those days.

Here are the topics she suggested and the schedule I'll try to keep to:

December 1: : Favorite Local Nonprofit

December 2: Budget Friendly Ideas

December 5: Holiday Bucket List

December 6: New Traditions for your Family

December 7: Holiday Memories

December 8: Favorite Cookie Recipe

December 12: Favorite Recipes

December 13: How you Green the Holidays

December 14: Favorite Local Place to Visit

December 15: You decide the topic

December 16: Your Grown up Christmas List

December 19: Open House (Show off your decorating!)

I hope folks will comments either here or on my facebook page:!/jmcvickar with their own answers!

Not that you spend much time looking at his hair anyway

This is solely for your benefit, Laur: