Sunday, December 27, 2009

Annual Christmas Letter

Merry Christmas everybody! I know you’ve been waiting for our annual Christmas card with our roundup of what’s been happening with the Zdraviches in metropolitan Otis, Indiana. Gosh, we’ve been so busy I hardly know where to begin, so let’s just start with me.

As a matter of fact, practically everything around here has been centering on me. We’ve started a wonderful tradition of drinking a toast to me whenever we have a taste or two, or three. It’s hard to keep track when you’re drinking to someone as wonderful as me. It works out great, keeps things simple and avoids arguments. So, when you’ve having a belt or two this holiday season, drink to me.

It’s been another banner year for our real estate company Dunewood Homes, Inc. With more than $4.5 million in closings since January, we hardly know what to do with the money that’s rolling in, but as the saying goes, “Charity begins at home,” so we’ll probably spend it on guess who? Me.

OK. I’m almost bashful, but enough about me already. Oh, did I tell you I lost 20 pounds and have been named Realtor of the Year at our company. So what if it’s only a two-person operation. Someone has to be on top. You really want to hear how things are going with the rest of the family? I can tell you in one word-GREAT! My lovely wife, Regina, a natural horse woman if there ever was one, has been knocking them dead in the equestrian competitions this year. It seems like one prize after another all over the Midwest. Lately, she’s gotten interested in jumping and we honestly had no idea her horse, Divna, was such a natural.

This past fall, she participated out east near the Hampton’s in the jumping Gran Prix circuit and was on her way to winning the whole thing except for a little incident on the last jump. Actually, she and her horse, Divna, nailed it, clearing the hurdle easily, but they came down a little hard. That’s when Divna’s prosthetic eye popped clear out of the socket and landed on the judges’ table. It seemed like every brat in the place started crying and pissing its pants and some old bags even fainted. It hardly seems like a reason for disqualification but they have their silly rules. Anyway, there is always next year if they’ll have us. And, we got the eye back.

As for our four wonderful children, Joshua, James, Jasmine and Mary, things couldn’t be better. As you no doubt know, all received straight A’s in high school and were members of the National Honor Society, so college wasn’t a problem. Joshua also was class president and all-state wide receiver, so on to Columbia University in New York he went where he graduated summa cum laude. It seems like just yesterday when he finished medical school easily and was board certified in internal medicine. And, what an apartment he and his lovely wife, Julie had with their two sweet kids, Jimmy and Timmy, had in Manhattan, just across the street from Central Park.

Things have been going great for them, or at least they were until he met up with that Puerto Rican hussy who was working as a damn cook in the Mount Sinai Medical Center where he was on staff. He started chasing her Latin tail all over New York and it got so that all he could think about her. Hell yes she was good looking but the little slut damn near cleaned him out. He gave her diamonds and she gave him the clap. We warned him that a man in his position had no business chasing after some tramp from that God-forsaken, Caribbean dung-heap but he wouldn’t listen.

After she got ahold of all his money, the bitch went back to San Juan and left poor Joshua all screwed up. We all pleaded with Julie to give him another chance, but once she got tested positive for gonorrhea she grabbed the kids and headed back to her parents in Iowa. Now Joshua is facing charges of Medicare fraud and has piled up a mountain of legal bills. It’s just another example of how illegal aliens are screwing up this beautiful country of ours.

As for James, you probably remember that he was voted “most likely to succeed” in high school, and succeed he did, graduating cum laude from Harvard. Of course, law school was a breeze for him like everything else, so it didn’t surprise us a bit when the major law firms in Boston practically begged him to join up. Forget what everybody else tells you. We couldn’t have been more proud of him even after he came out of the closet and told us he was gay. All we’ve ever wanted for him and all of our kids has been for them to be happy and, in James’ case, if that meant being with another man, fine. God knows some of our best friends are gay. It’s love that matters most and we’d have been happy as hell to attend a gay marriage; as long as he wasn’t marrying that cocksucker Butch.

Regina and I had our doubts about Butch all along. James met him through a program that sets up gay pen pals with guys in prison. Butch had been in the Massachusetts Correctional Institute in Norfolk on a carjacking conviction. To be honest, we never figured him to be truly gay, what with him being a former member of the Arian Nations and the tattoo on his right forearm that read “up yours.” Somehow, we felt he didn’t quite mean it in quite the same way our James did when he said it. We also didn’t care for the way he referred to our beloved James as “Jimbo.” We’ve always insisted on using full first names.

Sure enough, James used his brilliant legal mind to get Butch released by getting his conviction overturned on appeal. When they came to visit Regina and me in Indiana we thought it odd that they wanted to buy that run down dump south of here in Medaryville. Afterall, I’m a Realtor and I know a thing or two about real estate. I warned them the place was practically unlivable and in the middle of nowhere. You’ve got to think of resale value. Sure enough, they got busted for running a meth lab and now dicknose Butch is doing 10 years in the state penitentiary in Michigan City. Believe it or not, James still loves him and wants to be near him, so he’s moved into our basement because we’re only 12 miles from the prison and is working as a greeter at the local Walmart. Luckily, he got a suspended sentence but the felony rap got him kicked off the bar in Massachusetts.

As for our wonderful daughter Jasmine, God what a mind. She’s probably the smartest of the bunch. She practically ran the science club in high school, pulled straight A pluses in every class, was class valedictorian and won the National Science Bowl twice. She’s now a tenured associate professor at Stanford with Ph.D.’s in biochemistry and molecular biology. I can’t even describe the research she’s doing because it’s all way over my head, but we are so proud of her.

She did have that little incident in the lab though when a radiation leak scrambled her DNA. That little bump that appeared in the middle of her forehead has now grown to a fully functioning third eyeball that sees better that 20/20. Talk about 3-D vision. You know the two eyes she was born with never did see all that well and the poor thing had to wear glasses since she was a kid, so it’s kind of a mixed blessing because now she doesn’t have to take her glasses off to look into the microscope. When she wears a hat she looks just like you or me.

You’ve probably suspected that our youngest, Mary, has always been a bit of a disappointment, settling for a master’s degree in social work at a state college. I’m too embarrassed to even say which one. Don’t get me wrong. She never was a problem and got great grades in school. But her choice of a career wasn’t very inspiring. She’s a community organizer in Chicago and is engaged to a Jewish guy who founded a company making affordable prosthetic devices for soldiers returning from overseas. Now he is an Illinois state senator. Not that there is anything wrong with it but is that really how you want to spend your life? Of course some politicians are OK. Illinois’ former governor, Blagojevich is a Serb just like me, so they can’t all be bad. I guess Mary just figured her siblings’ shoes were a little too hard to fill and decided that living a good life is good enough. What’s a parent to do?

One more thing about Regina. The doctor says if she eases up on the sauce and stays on her meds she should get her hot flashes back under control. You may have read about the little incident we had here a few weeks back. It actually made it to page two of the Michigan City News-Dispatch newspaper (the incident with the peeping Tom made page one), but they didn’t get the story completely right so I’ll explain what happened.

We were sitting in front of the television watching our hero, Glenn Beck, telling the truth about how that big-eared galoot in the White House was going to turn this great land of ours into a socialist state and how Mein Kampf and the Koran were going to be in the curriculum at all our schools when suddenly Regina starts frantically fanning herself with the TV Guide. Next thing you know, she pulls off her top. It was nothing I hadn’t seen before but this time she started sweating like a whore in church.

Then, off comes the bra and her lounge pants. I just laughed like usual. Usually, she gets up and sticks her head in the refrigerator and that takes care of things. Besides, not my problem, right? Wrong. As the poor gal’s hair started curling and her eyes rolled to the back of her head she started speaking tongues like some kind of Pentecostal priestess. I could have sworn I saw smoke coming out of her ears. I started to ask her if she was OK but before I could get the words out of my mouth she tore off her panties and started heading for the front door, naked as the day she was born except for the tattoo on her butt that reads “Tennessee Walking Horses: For the Ride of Your Life.”

I tried to tackle her but she was so drenched she slipped through my hands and ran out into the cold night, and Christ, was it cold, but I guess not cold enough because she kept on running until she was out of sight. All I could do was jump into the truck and chase her down Snyder Road, but by the time I caught up with her, somebody had already called the police and the little town of Otis was filled with blue lights and sirens. Some of the neighbors dogs broke their chains and started humping each other right in the middle of the street and the whole thing got to be a terrible mess.

Well, she’s fine now. We’ve gotten a bigger refrigerator so she can squeeze more of herself into it if need be and she’s taking her medications regularly. She wants everything to be nice and normal when the family gets together for Christmas. We have so much to be thankful for.

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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The Truth About Horses

You like horses? Fine. I’ll sell you a horse property. That’s what I do. I’m a Realtor and my wife and I own two horses: Tennessee Walker mares named Zora and Divna-Serbian for Dawn and Beautiful. That’s what you name horses when you first bring them home and they’re the most incredible things you’ve ever owned, tall, elegant and full of power. But if you’re a first time horse buyer, there is something you better know about horse ownership and it is not something you would have learned from Roy Rogers and Dale Evans.

When they were singing “Happy Trails” they were alluding to trails of-how do you put it delicately? Excrement? Feces? Manure? Let’s call it what it is. Crap. Horses crap. A lot. And, I mean a whole lot. They crap when they’re standing still and they can do it while they’re walking. Don’t let anyone tell you differently.

When she was younger, my horse, Zora, could crap at a full gallop. Of course I never saw it because I was on top of her facing forward which how you generally ride, but you can ask my wife, Regina. She’ll tell you because she and Divna were always behind us, you can bet with their eyes wide open, staring at a jet-fueled, lunatic animal, tail up, head down, blasting brown matter out of her black rear end like a Mexican volcano.

Creating toxic waste is a horse’s version of the “circle of life.” If you buy a horse, it will become your version too, and there is nothing you can do but try to avoid tracking it into the house. It all begins when you bring home hay. We won’t get into the fact that hay costs money, sometimes lots of money. Hard-earned money. The kind you earn while listening to your boss telling you need how times are tough and there may be more layoffs.

If you are like us you have a two-story barn with the upper level for hay storage. In other words, you’ve got a situation where you have to get your hay up into the second story. There are different ways to accomplish this, but almost all involve backbreaking work hoisting up bale after bale after bale. Most likely you will do this at least once during the summer when it’s nearly ninety degrees and your skin gets coated with a noxious mixture of hay dust and sweat. Do the math. Two horses plus throw in an idiot goat or two like we have and you’re talking about 350 bales a year. Each one manually lifted to the second story.

Of course your horses don’t live on the second floor. They live underneath the hay on the ground floor. That means you have to turn around and drop the hay back down so that it will be available at feeding time. That’s right. First you lift it up so that you can drop it back down. So, what happens next in our “circle of life”? We feed it to the animals. And what do they do? Convert it into useless energy because they don’t do any work, then crap all over the place. Then what do you do? You pick up the crap and the whole cycle starts over. What you do with the crap is a whole other problem. You can spread it out over your property to dry, make a big pile for the kids to play on or throw it over the fence to show the neighbors what you really think of them.

The interesting thing is that horses don’t seem to care very much if you enjoy any of this or if the next muck rake of crap that you lift is the one that sends your heart into full cardiac arrest. They just watch, expressionless. Then crap some more and think to themselves, “You pick it up. Or don’t. We don’t really care one way or the other. Just don’t be late at feed time and make us mad or we’ll piss all over the stalls.” Which they’ll do anyway. And you clean that too.
So, it you still want to buy a horse property let me know. I’ll be happy to find one for you. Just don’t plan on moving next to us. Our fence isn’t tall enough.