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Today is BigBob’s birthday! In honor of the occasion, I decided to participate in an exercise that originated at GoodFatherBlog.com.

1. He’s sitting in front of the TV. What is on the screen?

If he is by himself, he’s watching anything having to do with Nascar or The History Channel. If he’s watching television with the boys, they’re engrossed in a Comedy Central program or Adult Swim on the Cartoon Network. They love “Family Guy.”

2. You’re eating in a restaurant. What kind of dressing does he get on his salad?


3. You’re in a restaurant and he orders a drink.  What does he order?

Budweiser or brandy and water unless we’re in a Mexican restaurant, in which case it’s either a margarita or Corona.

4. Where did he go to high school?

Amos Alonzo Stagg High School, Stockton, California, class of 1969.

5. What size shoe does he wear?


6. If he was to collect anything, what would it be?

Anything and everything — literally — related to the Dales Earnhardt, i.e., Dale, Sr. and Dale, Jr. He even has a fishing lure with a “3” (Dale, Sr. drove the “3 car”) on it. No joke.

7. What is his favorite type of sandwich?

He’s not a fussy eater, so it could anything from tuna fish to ham, turkey, salami . . . even bologna.

8. What would this person eat every day if he could?

Dry roasted peanuts washed down with Budweiser.

9. What is his favorite cereal?

He doesn’t eat cereal. He always has toast and coffee.

10. What would he never wear?

An earring.  It would look silly with his cowboy boots and Budweiser belt buckle, after all.

11. What is his favorite sports team?

He isn’t passionate about any sport except auto racing, but he does like to watch football when he has a chance and cheers for the San Francisco 49’ers.

12. Who did he vote for?

Obama, of course. And against Proposition 8.  He’s come a long way, baby.

13. Who is his best friend?

Steve or Gary.

14. What is something you do that he wishes you wouldn’t do?

Prove him wrong. Actually, we’ve been married so long that many of the things that used to bug him are non-issues now.  For instance, he used to argue vehemently with me when I would tell him that he was driving in the opposite direction of our destination. He has no sense of direction. After fighting with me and always losing, he finally learned to just listen to and trust me.  One day, he went somewhere with #1Son.  When they got home, they were still laughing.  Apparently, neither one of them could remember where they parked the car.  As they wandered around looking for it, #1Son said, “Damn you, Dad.  I got your sense of direction.  Thanks for that.”

15. What is his heritage?

On his father’s side, a combination of German, English, Irish, etc. His father had a ruddy complexion, reddish hair, and freckles. His mother was Spanish, so he is half Spanish and looks remarkably like his maternal grandfather.

16. You bake him a cake for his birthday:

And he knows he has stumbled into the wrong house. Has never happened. Will never happen.

17. Did he play sports in high school?

No. He always had part-time jobs and was into cars, smoking cigarettes, chasing girls, and cruising Pacific Avenue in Stockton in his Dodge Charger . . . while smoking cigarettes and looking for girls, of course.  George Lucas is from Modesto, California, just a few miles south of Stockton and “American Graffitti” was inspired, in part, by the Pacific Avenue cruisers.  Here in Lodi, we dragged School Street after high school football and basketball games. I once had seven of my friends crammed into my 1963 Chevrolet with me.  Fortunately, my father did not find out.

18. What could he spend hours doing?

Messing around in the garage. Doing what, I don’t exactly know. Nor do I care. He has his Nascar stuff, including his car magazines, my father’s tools, a giant counter/workspace, and a refrigerator in which he thinks he’s hiding the beer (but I know it’s there) out there. The only thing that would make him happier would be a drain in the middle of the garage floor. Since the floor is tiled, the dream is all he has.

19. Does he like his job?

Despises it. Always has. He started college, but wasn’t serious about his studies, so his father decided to help him get a job with the same company by which he had been employed for about 30 years. His mother told his father not to do it because she was certain that once BigBob grew accustomed to the income, steady employment, and excellent benefits, he would never go back to school. Guess who was right? The job gave him the money he needed to put gas in the Dodge Charger, buy cigarettes, and rent an apartment . . . and the rest is history. He has always told both of our boys to go to college — and that he will tell the folks in personnel vile lies about them, thereby destroying any chance of them ever being hired, if they try to get a job with the same company.

20. What is one unique talent he has?

His sense of humor is completely off the wall. He comes up with some unbelievable one-liners right out of left field, catching me totally off-guard and I just fall down laughing.

He also nicknames everyone. And I do mean everyone and everything. For instance, he is the one who dubbed my father’s car “the Kennymobile.” His place of employment is snarkily referred to as “The Happy Place.” And my nickname is “Moi” which makes no sense, but he won’t have it any other way. When we were dating, he said something to which I responded a la Miss Piggy: “Moi?” He started calling me “Moi” and, even though I protested because it means “me” in French, he was relentless. I gave up trying to explain to the jeweler why BigBob insisted that he engrave “To my Little Moi” inside my wedding ring!

He didn’t become known as “BigBob” until I graduated from law school and went into private practice. A former partner began calling him that because he was only about 5′ 5″ tall and found himself looking up at my 6′ 2″ husband in order to carry on a conversation. The name stuck.

21. Did you buy him a birthday present? If so, what is it?

Are you kidding? I wouldn’t have a clue what to buy him because it has to be Earnhardt-related. So he will find something on Ebay or another website. I’ll know when he has selected his present because I’ll receive an email telling me how generous I was this year.

Happy Birthday, BigBob!


  1. I also left college and was told it was a big mistake because I would never go back. It has been 29 years since I quit and I do regret it even though I have learned a lot on my own. I figure until I am put in the ground I can still go back.
    I just love your comments about your husband. In your comments about the birthday cake, what he does in the garage etc you can tell that you love him very much. It reminds me of a comment a friend of mine made when her husband asked her why she never made him a birthday cake from scratch like his mom used to do. She told him who did he think she was frickin Martha Stewart and she would bake the cake as soon as he turned into George Clooney. She told me the comment was said with love because her hubby is one of those guys who can never get the words I love you out. They have been married 30 years and are perfect together.
    So Janie, I think you definitely got a keeper especially with him not minding your friendship with Clint. I envy women who are blessed to find the right one, being single isn’t easy there are more frogs out their than there are princes.

  2. JHS

    @Marianne: I find your comment about Bob “not minding [my] friendship with Clint” interesting. First of alll, BigBob was also his friend. He went to Clint’s Ranch with me on many occasions. But more importantly, I find the idea that a woman and man can’t be friends or, if they are, the friendship has to be approved by one or both person’s spouse(s) intriguing. It’s a quaint notion, I guess, but one that I have never endorsed, embraced or applied in my life. It is none of BigBob’s business whether I maintain friendships with men or women. I couldn’t care less if he has friends who are women. I’m not threatened in the least, nor is he. I don’t ask BigBob for “permission” to do anything. Never have. Never will. The day I have to get another person’s “permission” to make decisions about my own life and relationships will be a cold one in a southernmost location. Reminds me of a few moments of a Dr. Laura broadcast I heard (involuntarily) recently that I keep thinking I will write about when I get time. I find Dr. Laura ridiculous most of the time, btw.

  3. I didn’t mean to offend you. I am not married but I have had friends whose spouses discuss who their friends are etc. Maybe the husbands feel threatened by their wives having male friends and vice versa. I really don’t know.
    Again, I am sorry if what I said bothered you.

    • JHS

      @Marianne: Don’t be silly! You didn’t offend or bother me!

      I am an unrepentant feminist and was raised in a household where my parents were far ahead of their time in the manner in which they dealt with each other. My mother, in particular, instilled a sense of independence in me — in all aspects of my life — and encouraged me to never be subservient to a man or, for that matter, any other person. So when I hear women say things like “I have to ask my husband” or “I hope my husband doesn’t mind if I . . .” I find myself shaking my head in bewilderment. It would never occur to me to ask BigBob for anything other than an opinion. Just because I would like to hear what he thinks. Not because his is going to be the final word. ‘Cuz that isn’t gonna happen. 🙂

      Ironically, my sister is very submissive, subservient . . . it is unbelievable to me that two people grew up in the same household and turned out to be such opposites. She would constantly say things to me like, “Oh, I’ll have to ask _____” or “I’ll check with _____.” She could never seem to get out of the house and away from him to the point that I finally gave up on ever having any kind of quality relationship with her. I would call and invite her for lunch. Look up to see her walking through the door of the restaurant with him tagging along. Or when I would suggest that we’d get together, she’d turn around and ask him if he wanted to go . . . even when I never invited him. I only invited her. It was so aggravating and infuriating, but I think the worst moment was when she wanted to bring him along to meet with the financial planner to talk about my parents’ money. I put my foot down and told her there was no way he was going to participate in the discussion. My father, in particular, never could stand him and I knew that he would spin inside the wall of the mausoleum at the thought of my bro-in-law having anything to say about his hard-earned money. My sister is an intelligent woman, but my bro-in-law is a self-appointed expert on everything who knows a lot of nothing. Still, I can’t count the number of times I listened to him put her down right in front of us. He even criticized her cooking while we were all gathered at the dinner table — on more than one occasion over the years — and she is an excellent cook. I’ve never written about the complete and total disintegration of my relationship with my sister. Someday I will, perhaps. It’s pretty sad, actually, but the relationship was totally toxic to me and I had to break free of it for my own sake and the sake of my family.

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