Friday, June 19, 2009

38 special

My wife turns 38 on Saturday.

It's not a milestone birthday, say like 40, 50, etc. But this is a unique milestone for us.

For you see, it was five years ago today when I asked her to marry me.

How we met was easy enough. We both worked at The Ann Arbor News (which sadly is going to fold July 23). Conversation wasn't a problem, since we immediately had something in common. But as we continued talking, we discovered other similarities:

We're both Catholic. Our mothers came from large families. And we both love The White Shadow (that old 70s show about inner-city basketball coach Ken Reeves and his Carver High School team. A show that was light years ahead of its time. Make it must-see TV).

Romance was in the air.

Surprise, or no surprise

My plan to pop the question was to throw her a surprise birthday party, and then seal the deal.

One problem: She told me a few weeks before her birthday that she hates surprise parties.

Damn, I thought. I'm marrying a psychic.

So, trying to think of a place where we could celebrate her birthday and I could pop the question, I suggested we travel to Niagara Falls. The falls has a nice blend of kitsch and romance.

She liked that idea. And so the plan was in place...

Ring a ding ding

I had purchased the engagement ring from Lewis Jewelers in Ann Arbor a month before and had been hiding it in my sock drawer. To get the ring sized, I noticed the fraulein (the German term for a single woman. At this time, she was. Future blog posts will reference her as the frau) was wearing a ring on her left ring finger.

Cleverly, I played with her fingers and managed to slip the ring off her finger and put it on my pinky finger the Wednesday before I purchased the ring. For you see, she has very svelte phlanges. I do not.

It fit perfectly.

The following day, I went to Lewis and made the purchase. A platinum band with two alexandrite stones (her birth stones) with a diamond in the center. It was and still is a beauty.

The fraulein had called me and found out that I was in Ann Arbor. She was working at the News downtown when she called.

"Where are you?" she asked.

"On Stadium Boulevard," I said.

"What are you doing down there?" she asked.

I made up a little lie on the spot to keep what I was doing a surprise. "The post office in Ypsilanti ran out of stamps, so I went to the post office on Stadium to pick up some stamps."

She found this so amusing she told one of the editors about this. When I realized what she did, I called up the editor to explain it was a surprise and I made up a story to keep it a surprise.

Crisis averted.

Will she or won't she?

We had dropped off Anakin, our trusty labrador retriever, with Tim Martin, a former colleague of ours at the News. Tim, of course, knew of my plans and did a good job of keeping it quiet.

After a fine drive through Ontario up toward the falls (getting lost along the way, thanks to bad directions on my part), we reached our hotel. The pressure to keep the secret was starting to become overwhelming, so I decided to ask when we were settled in our hotel room.

When we got our luggage in the hotel room, I had her turn around. I got down on my knee and asked.

I had to wait for her to overcome her surprise and shock to receive my anticipated answer.

Which, of course, was yes.

So, frau, love of my life, here's to our five years of when you would become my wife.

And here's to your 38th. May it be a special one, indeed.

Love you.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Where's the beef?

I'm not that big of a fan of fast food.

Usually, I just brown bag my breakfast/lunch/dinner to eat at my desk as I read, edit, design pages and listen to people complain.

However, when hunger strikes, because of the hours I work (basically all hours) and because I usually want to save some money, I'll grab something on the go.

My needs are simple: Two hamburgers, two cheeseburgers. Doesn't matter if it's from McDonald's, Burger King or Wendy's.

Not great, but what's even worse is fast food not prepared correctly.

The Hamburglar strikes

It was Saturday. I was doing my usual routine: Scanning the wire for any news, sizing up the page dummies and breaking down the News' Sports section for Sunday.

It's a routine that usually takes me 45 minutes. About the time for me to scarf down some burgers.

Before work, I stopped and picked up my two hamburgers and two cheeseburgers from the McDonald's on Washtenaw and Huron Parkway. Set me back $4.13.

I get in, start my routine and scarf down my burgers (I eat them in this order. Hamburger, Cheeseburger, Hamburger, Cheeseburger. Weird? No. Obsessive-compulsive? Of course).

I get to my last cheeseburger, and lo and behold, it's anything but.

No heat.

Worse, no meat.

The worst job in the world

I'm pissed, of course, and my first reaction is to call and bitch. Then, I recall working fast food.

I worked at a McDonald's from my sophomore year of high school to my freshman year of college. I hated it. Hated it. HATED it. There isn't an occupation more hazardous to your physical or mental health. For all you dorky teenagers out there, find something else before it's too late...

The smell of french fries is awesome, but do you want to smell like one? I didn't think so.

So, I kept my fast food experience in mind as I voiced my complaint. The manager, who identified himself as Kevin, calmly took my name, assured me of one cheeseburger the next time I visited and apologized for the inconvenience.

Tuesday, I got my free cheeseburger, which I ate in four bites.

Worth every Penny Nickelbuck (a select few will get this reference, unless you're clever).

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Hello, World Wide Web

What have I gotten myself into?

The short answer: The blogosphere. The long answer: I have yet to find out.

My name is Steve Warns. I'm 34, married with a loving, beautiful wife, a loving, beautiful child and a loving, beautiful (at least according to my veterinarian) labrador retriever.

I also have a mortgage, but it's neither loving nor beautiful. Actually, it's manageable. So, I can't really complain.

The title of my blog "Spinnings of a desk jockey" is meant to be clever, for I work behind a desk for a living. I am a copy editor and page designer for The Ann Arbor News, a newspaper that sadly is going to fold July 23. I don't, however, own a turntable. My taste in music is kind of lame and not very much up-to-date. I don't care, though.

I have to say it's a great profession. I get paid to read, watch sports and watch TV when it's necessary.

I've been thinking of starting a blog for a while, and now I feel the time is right. I'll write about anything and everything, and I encourage you, the Internet stalker, to respond to my posts in kind. So, thanks in advance for reading. I look forward to posting more in the future.

Until next time. . .