Friday, July 31, 2009

Nathan the Woman

As you may have read before, people often mistake me for a woman on the phone.

Geez, now that I see that in print, it's a little mortifying. Should I be more embarrassed about this?

I call it "getting ma'am-ed." Whenever I hang up from a call at work after someone calls me "ma'am" that's what I tell everyone.

"Hey, I just got ma'am-ed."

This has been the story of my life ever since I can remember. Here's an example of how most of the conversations went when I would answer the phone (FYI, this is when I was in high school, so my voice had already gone down an octave).

Me: Hello?

Clueless Caller: Hi! Is this Sandra? (Sandra is not my mother's name, but I'm a fan of pseudonyms on this blog.)

Me: No ... but I can get her ... (This was my feeble attempt to help them save face. This way, all they would have to do is say, "okay" or "sure" and they would never have to know their mistake.)

Clueless Caller: Oh ... Is this one of her daughters?

Me: Nope. (At this point, they've dug their own hole, so I stopped trying to avoid the embarrassment.)

Clueless Caller: Oh ... well, who is this?

Me: This is her son, Nathan.

Clueless Caller: Oh!

Me: Yeah, I'll get my mom for you.

Despite my best efforts, these calls never ended well.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Disgusting ...

Do you remember this scene from A Christmas Story?

(I tried to find one I could embed, but all I could find is this one)

To many people, this looks disgusting. To those with young kids, this looks like a brilliant move to get picky kids to eat.

As much as I'd like to pretend my daughter loves her vegetables and eats everything we put in front of her, I'd be lying through my teeth if I tried. She goes through phases where she will eat regularly and then won't touch anything but milk or juice.

Recently, she has decided it's cool to take her bowl of food and dump her cup of water into it. Then she fishes around for a while and eats all the "floaties" after which she drinks all the liquid.

My wife and I can barely stand to watch, and usually just have to hope we're done with our own food before she does this. However, we don't even think of stopping her because we're just thrilled she is actually eating.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The Amazon Jungle

There is a new building here in town that hasn't had air conditioning for six days. It was built recently, but the air conditioning is toast for the entire building. From what I understand, they're getting a temporary fix, but the permanent repairs won't be finished for three months.

The other day I went up to one of the offices, and I literally felt like I had stepped into the amazon jungle. I feel bad for all the people who have to work there, and I feel even worse for the people who live in the apartments on some of the floors.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Survival Guilt

I'm struggling a little with survival guilt. That's the best way I can think of to describe it.

We've had another round of layoffs at the company I work for, and I feel bad for the people who are now frantically looking for a job while I still get to sit at my cubicle.

I'm grateful for my job, particularly since I have a wife to support and the very chatty mouth of a little girl to feed, but that doesn't stop me from feeling sorry for those who have to hurriedly polish their resumes.

This kind of thing is ugly for everyone.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

How To Article of the Week

This week: How to Stop Static on a Dress Clinging to You

I have a pair of pants that is horrible for static cling, and I always use a dryer sheet on the inside of the legs. Works like a charm.

A couple years ago, I saw a great Halloween costume. This guy had on a dark sweatshirt and sweatpants and had glued socks, washcloths and other stuff to random spots all over his sweats. He said he dressed up as "static cling."

Friday, July 24, 2009

Cult Chronicles

As mentioned previously, my sister used to be married to a guy whose mom joined a cult in Montana to protect the world from alien invasion.

Yes ... you read that right. If you missed the first story, go here.

Here's another story in the saga.

I guess in this cult, the prophetess arranges marriages for her followers. The ex-mother-in-law (we'll call her Janice), invited my sister and her husband (we’ll call him Boris) to her upcoming wedding to some guy within her cultish circles.

So, Boris dragged his entire family (wife and two kids) across the country to Montana to attend the ceremony. The morning of the wedding, they were walking across a field toward a pavilion where it was to take place. Suddenly, Janice looks at her watch and yelled, “Hurry, we have to run!” as she started booking it through the grass. Boris, who tended to be just a little oblivious, ran after her, leaving my sister to fend for herself with a baby and a toddler. As they were running, Janice kept yelling, but my sister couldn’t be sure she heard correctly. It sounded like Janice said, “Run! We have to make it before the shields come down!” over and over.

But, that couldn’t be true, right?

Huffing and puffing, they all stumbled into the pavilion and took their seats. In relief, Janice turned to my sister and smiling, whispered, “We made it!”

As everyone in the cult started chanting, Janice explained why they had to hurry, and my sister found out she HAD heard correctly. Janice wanted them to make it to the building before the shields came down to protect them from the dangerous aliens who wanted to stop all of this from happening.

My sister couldn’t believe it. She glanced out the open doors and saw the trees, the grass and the blue sky. The only thing missing was the shield.

My brother, who tends to be a little irreverent, said she should have gotten up and poked her arm through the doorway.
(End Tangent)

Needless to say, the ceremony itself was just about as logical as an invisible shield made by the chanting audience.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Another Matt Koval Video

It's been a while, so here's another video from Matt Koval.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Dear Weather,

You and I have had a great relationship this year. While the constant snow shoveling in February and March was a little disappointing, you really came through for me this spring. Everyone complained about all the rain you kept dumping on us, but I knew you were just trying to keep the 100 degree temperatures at bay.

However, it looks like our honeymoon period is over and you've decided to start clipping your toe nails in bed and leaving hair all over the bathroom sink (figuratively speaking of course).

What's with the blistering heat at 9 a.m.? Did I leave the toilet seat up?

Please talk to me. I'd rather you not give me the cold shoulder (or hot shoulder in this case) until October.

(And for all you Nacho Libre fans ...)
Hug hug, kiss kiss, hug hug, big kiss, little hug, kiss kiss, little kiss,

(This is a sad first attempt to copy one of Holly's memos to the universe. Since it is woefully sub par, Here's the real thing.)

Saturday, July 18, 2009

How To Article of the Week

This week: How to Make a Fake Wall You Can Crash Through

I don't know what you'd use this for, but ... you're welcome.

Friday, July 17, 2009

First night away from our daughter

For my wife's birthday, I planned a "Weekend Getaway" for her. It's not really the full weekend, but it will be overnight, and that is something we have never done with our daughter.

I think it will be good for my wife, but I'm a little worried that she won't be able to sleep or relax and enjoy herself while she's away from her baby.

Here's the schedule:

Dinner at a nice restaurant
Dessert at a gelato place

Breakfast in bed
A hike to some really cool caves in a mountain nearby
Lunch at my new favorite sandwich place

A huge thank you goes out to Marisa and her husband who will be watching our little spitfire while we're gone.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Cult Chronicles

My sister's ex-mother-in-law joined a cult that protects the world from alien invasion.

One day, she was riding in the car with my sister, and she said, "Do you see those clouds?"

My sister looked out the window at the white, puffy clouds and said, "Yeah, they're beautiful!"

To which her ex-mother-in-law replied, "Well, those aren't really clouds. They're actually alien spacecraft, sent to observe us."

My sister was speechless.

So, now I have to ask. How would you have responded?

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

My Wife's Birthday

As you've probably noticed, I don't attach names of my family and friends to stories on this blog. It's not that I don't love and adore them. I'm just a little paranoid about this thing called the Internet and how easy it is for someone in Sri Lanka to find out all kinds of information about me.

I know it's probably more likely to get struck by lightning twice while eating Twinkies at a Kenny G concert than to have something bad happen because I leaked a name, but it still creeps me out a little.

Still, this story has to have my wife's name in it, or it won't make any sense. So here it goes ...

My wife's name is Krystal.

She's always had a hard time getting people to spell it correctly because for some reason, everyone likes to spell it C-R-Y-S-T-A-L.
(End Tangent)

So, here's the story.

My wife recently had a birthday, and she LOVES Dairy Queen ice cream cakes. As a result, it has become a minor tradition to get one for her each year.

When I got to Dairy Queen, I picked a cake with a blank top so they could write, "Happy Birthday, Krystal!" on it. The Dairy Queen employee, who is not a native English speaker, had me write down exactly what I wanted the cake to say on a piece of paper. He then asked what color I wanted the message to be.

"Blue ... or purple ... or pink," I said.

He gave me a confused look, and said, "Krystal ... is a girl?"

I had to explain that she is a girl, but she likes blue.

He then took the cake back with him to work his magic. I stood there for about 10 minutes and started to wonder if he was actually eating my cake rather than writing on it.

When he returned, he was SO excited and was grinning from ear to ear. As he handed me the cake, he said, "I used all different colors. Is ok?"

As he passed me the cake, I almost didn't notice the bright blue, red and green lettering because this is what I saw:

In less than a second, the following thoughts raced through my head.

1. I don't think I ever mentioned red or green in the color scheme.
2. There is no way he's going to be able to stuff a "Y" in the spot where the "I" is if I ask him to fix it.
3. I really don't want him to disappear with this cake for another 10 minutes.
4. This will make a great funny story for later.

So, in response to his question, "Is ok?" I said with a smile, "Yeah, it looks great!"

When I got home, I told Krystal I'm relieved that I went to Dairy Queen that day. If I hadn't I would never have found out that all this time I'd been spelling her name wrong.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Cult Chronicles

I was just reminded about my sister's ex-mother-in-law, and thought she would make a great set of recurring posts.

If you step back and think about her story, it's actually really sad, but we had to cope, and finding the humor in it really helped.

The Background:

My sister's ex-mother-in-law was a very religious woman. She lived in Arizona and aside from her two adult kids, she had one still in high school. While visiting Utah, she picked up a book in a religious bookstore called "The Lost Teachings of Jesus." It turns out the book was planted by a cult based in Montana. She read it, liked it and began studying with the local chapter in Arizona.

Long story short, she got her last child to graduate high school early and sent her off to college so she could leave her husband and join this group up in Montana.

The Story:

This cult's job is to protect the world from alien invasion.

I guess we all need to send them a thank you card or something because it is definitely working.

I haven't been invaded yet. Have you?

So, how do they accomplish this?

They chant.

Along with some other pretty wacky behavior, I have a number of funny stories to tell.

Periodically, I'll post these stories as Cult Chronicles until I run out of material.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Coping Mechanism

My daughter is right in the middle of the terrible twos. I have a sinking feeling she will stay there until she's old enough to get her drivers license, but I'll keep my fingers crossed that I'm just being pessimistic.

Still, when her world is suddenly swirling down the toilet (which happens every 10 minutes), she has surprisingly found a good coping mechanism.

When she first starts to lose it, she crumples to the floor sobbing in complete defeat.

Then she cries, "Banket!?!"

Which means one of these:

After which she cries, "Fwend!?!"

Which means one of these:

With her blanket and stuffed animal in hand, she is now ready to quietly weep until she can gain some composure.

Then, just as suddenly as it started, it is gone. The sun comes back out, birds begin to sing and all is right in the world once again ...

... at least for the next 10 minutes.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

How To Article of the Week

This week: How to Make an Object Float in Claymation

Just be sure to give me a little credit when you're a huge claymation film producer.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Nathan = Prince Eric

My wife called me at work yesterday to tell me a funny story about our daughter.

They were reading one of her books (The Little Mermaid), and one of the pictures showed the statue Ariel has of Prince Eric when his ship sinks at the beginning.

Immediately, my daughter pointed at the statue and yelled, "Daddy!"

At first, my wife tried to correct her, but that rarely works out thanks to her prevalent stubborn streak.

So, there you have it.

I may even get my name legally changed to Prince Eric. It's definitely much better than Jack the Pumpkin King.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Someone get me a cane

On Sunday, I tried lifting a stackable chair and threw my back out. Not only am I a wimp, but I'm now sporting an 80-year-old shuffle.

Pretty soon I'll be complaining about teenagers these days and their obnoxious habits ... oh wait, I already do.

Pretty soon I'll be wishing I could eat dinner at 4 p.m. and be asleep by 7 p.m. ... oh wait, I already do that too.

Pretty soon I'll be telling the same story in 5-minute intervals and will continually forget how old I am or where I put my keys ... oh wait, is that strike three?

Anyone for a game of shuffleboard?

Afterward, we can head to the cafeteria for some Jello.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

How To Article of the Week

This week: How to Fuse Plastic Bags Into a Laptop Case

Have at it, if you really want to try this.

P.S. Happy Independence Day!!!