Monday, August 31, 2009

Why my oldest brother will probably never sit next to me ...

My oldest brother was 20 years old when I was born. As a result, he was already out of the house by the time I have any memories.

One year, when I was a little kid, my family all piled into our van to pick him up from college. It was 12 hours of monotony ... 12 hours of staring out the window, counting the 132,725th weed passing by on the side of the road.

Because of this blog's title, you can all guess what my problem is.

I was in a van with a neverending monologue and a captive audience. The rest of my family had been living with me, and they all knew how to survive by ignoring me and periodically muttering some non-committal grunt of acknowledgement to keep me thinking they were actually listening.

My dear, sweet oldest brother made the mistake of claiming the seat next to me for the trip home. By the time we pulled into our driveway, he stumbled out of the car, dizzy from the 12 hours of verbage I had just spewed at him.

That's when my other family members realized no one had told him how to survive a trip with me.

He has since learned his lesson.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

How To Article of the Week

This week: How to Make S'more Cupcakes

I had to post this one because these sound so stinkin' good.

Friday, August 28, 2009

The Asians love me now

I've never really had a problem with comment spam. Sure, I had the occasional comment that was obviously someone trying to push their Web site (one that would probably shut down your computer with all the viruses just waiting for you to click on the link), but nothing with any consistency.

Until now.

I guess one of my posts is really popular with Asian spammers.

I don't know what it is about this particular Matt Koval video, but yikes.

I get a new spam comment in some language I can't read every day now. Just on this post.

As a result, I've had to turn on comment moderation. I only turned it on for the older posts, but that way I don't have to go onto my blog to delete them and can just reject them from my email.

And, I hate to say it, but clicking reject on these is oddly satisfying.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Embarrassing Confession

I like putting ketchup/catsup/catchup on my steak instead of steak sauce. I prefer it on meatloaf, roast beef and pretty much any other red meat.

Let the mocking begin ...

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Grandpa gets the credit

My daughter is really good at assigning things in the house to different people. She will regularly point at my wife's shoes and say "Mommy!" or my belt and say "Daddy!"

It should also be noted that I hate mowing the lawn. I get tired of watering it to make it grow only to go around cutting it back down.

It seems like an exercise in futility.

I was neglecting the lawn a little when my wife's family was in town last week, and my father-in-law did me a huge favor and mowed it.

Yesterday, my daughter and I were in the kitchen, and someone started up their lawn mower. My daughter's head jerked up, and she yelled, "Bacca!"

(Bacca = Grandpa or Grandma)

So, after all of my work over the summer, Grandpa gets the credit for mowing the lawn.

Do you want to know what I get credit for?

Every time the bathroom door is closed, she points at it and says, "Daddy."

Monday, August 24, 2009

The doctor said I'm "impressive"

Four years ago, I told my friend I thought I had a deviated septum. She told me I had to go to a doctor and get it fixed. Her exact words?

"It is SO worth it."

(Yeah ... so is exercise, and I avoid that like the plague.)

I put it out of my mind for a while (four years, to be exact), and tried to accept my status as a chronic mouth breather.

Just in case you didn't click on the link, here are the symptoms of a deviated septum:
1. Difficulty breathing
2. Nasal congestion
3. Frequent nosebleeds
4. Frequent sinus infections
(End Tangent)

Recently, I've been getting nosebleeds about every month, so I finally saw a specialist this week to find out if I really do have a deviated septum.

After going through all the x-rays and poking and prodding, the doctor finally appeared to discuss my options.

He launched into it, and I had to stop him and ask, "Wait, do I really have a deviated septum?"

His response?

" ... oh yeah ... an impressive one."

At one point, he asked the nurse if I tested positive for a sinus infection, and she said yes.

What? A sinus infection? I thought it was just another Wednesday.

So, not only did I impress the doctor with the deviation of my septum, but I also found out there is a reason I feel crappy all the time.

My surgery is scheduled for October.

In the paperwork, they have a list of stuff I'm not supposed to do. Here is my favorite one:

"You will need to avoid glasses or sunglasses which rest on the bridge of your nose for two weeks. We will instruct you in the method of taping the glasses to your forehead to avoid pressure and pain on the nose."

I think I'd rather be blind for two weeks.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

How To Article of the Week

This week: 10 Ways to Get Gum out of Your Hair

I remember having to get a buzz cut after one incident with a particularly large piece of gum.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

College Oops

During my freshman year of college, I lived in gender-segregated dorms, and one day I lost my ring (for you Mormons out there, it was a CTR ring). I looked everywhere for it.

I went to my classes, did my homework and tried to figure out where on earth I could have dropped it.

That night, my whole dorm floor got together for a meeting. The floor captain/chairman/president/sucker got up to make some announcements, and my eyes started to glaze over with the discussion about noise curfews and cleaning checks.

Then, he said something that pulled me back to reality. I looked up just in time to see him make a face like he had just eaten a couple dozen sour lemons and say, "We found this ring ..."

I jumped to my feet and said, "Oh, that's mine. Thanks."

The guy just stood there, looking baffled, so I grabbed the ring and sat back down.

On my way back to my seat, he said, "Oh, it was so small, I thought that was a girl's ring."

I thought that was why he was so confused, so we all had a good laugh about my skinny fingers and wrapped up the meeting.

The real reason he looked at me like I had three heads?

He found the ring in the dorm showers. He was trying to figure out how on earth a girl got in the bathroom long enough to shower without anyone noticing.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

5 Years

My wife and I recently celebrated our 5-year anniversary.

On the one hand, I can't believe it has already been 5 years, but paradoxically, I have a hard time remembering what it was like to be on my own.

I still wake up every morning in shock that I actually got her to say yes. She is my match in every possible way, and I can't think of a better person to deal with all my eccentricities.

She is a saint, and I'm lucky to have her.

I've always said that my dad had an extremely important trait. He had the uncanny ability to marry beyond his station, and he passed that down to each of his sons.

I'm living proof.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

How To Article of the Week

This week: How to Choose a Surfboard for Your Dog

First, I'd have to get a surfboard for me ...

Then, I'd have to get a dog.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Cult Chronicles

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

For more crazy stories about this, go here, here or here.

And, here's another one:

It was a normal day, and the last thing my sister expected was a surprise phone call from her mother-in-law (now ex-mother-in-law, we'll call her Wanda).

Here's a rough idea of how the conversation went:

Sister: Hello?

Wanda: Hi, this is Wanda. I've made a discovery and I wanted to tell you about it.

Sister: (Already flinching internally) Oh, really? What did you find out?

Wanda: Well, I was gardening this morning, and I was thinking about the mysteries of the universe, and then ... I saw my shadow.

Sister: (Trying not to say, "Yeah, the sun tends to do that sometimes.") Uh huh.

Wanda: I saw my shadow, and I could tell from the shape of it that in one of my past lives, I was a polygamist male.

Sister: ... Oh ...

I defy you to think of a politically correct way to respond to that.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

My daughter the fashionista

The other day, my daughter decided my pajama pants needed a little embellishment.

Thankfully, we don't own a Bedazzler.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

I hope I'm not jinxing myself

Have you ever found yourself telling someone how lucky you feel because something hasn't happened to you (i.e. your tires haven't gone flat, your roof hasn't caved in, your pants haven't ripped in public, etc.) and within the week, you get a nice taste of humble pie (i.e. all four tires burst while driving to work, you get an unplanned skylight in your bedroom, your pants mimic those breakaway pants for gym by ripping cleanly up the sides, etc.)?

I'm going to attempt to say something here, for the record on the indelible Internet, and I just hope it doesn't jinx me.

It has been forever since I've been tagged with one of those random self quizzes, requests for a blurb from the book closest to me or any of the other million varieties of blog tagging.

It might be because no one reads this thing, but I'm not going to lie. I kind of like it.

All those random tags remind me of email forwards. And email forwards are quickly slipping into the category of telemarketers who call during dinner.

So, at the risk of this blowing up in my face, I'm going to go out on a limb and say how lucky I feel for not having to fill one of them out.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

How To Article of the Week

This week: 7 Steps to a Perfect Fake Tan

I would love to darken my pure white skin, but this still looks like too much work. I'll just stick with blinding everyone at the pool.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Vendor/Client Relationships

I don't know if anyone will get it, but this video made me laugh ...

... and also made me a little depressed. If it wasn't so true, it wouldn't sting as much.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

One thing you shouldn't say at a funeral

My grandma lived in one of those towns where most of the population had AARP cards and qualified for the senior discount at the movie theater.

A number of years ago, she passed away, and my entire family descended upon the unsuspecting populace for the funeral.

The running joke my childhood friend always loved was telling me that my family could populate its own third-world country.
(End Tangent)

When we all arrived at the funeral service, I'm sure all my grandma's elderly friends were trying cope with the background noise that naturally follows 60+ people. Several of us were already seated when my nephew walked into the room.

This nephew is one of many who has Asperger's, a social disorder on the autism spectrum that can make social interaction difficult or awkward (as you'll see in just a minute).
(End Tangent)

The following is my best attempt to give you a mental picture of what happened next:

My nephew, who looks like he was transplanted into our skinny, dark-haired family directly from Sweden, sauntered into the room as if he owned the place.

There he stood at the back of the church with his little hands planted on his tiny hips.

And, loud enough for the entire room to hear, even without the help of their hearing aids, he blurted, "Okay ... where's the dead lady?"

I don't even want to tell you how many heads whipped around.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Cult Chronicles

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

For more crazy stories about this, go here or here.

And, here's another one:

At one point, my sister got a phone call from her ex-mother-in-law (we'll call her Enid). Enid mentioned she had been saving up some money for my sister's two kids to help with college. However, she called to say she found a better use for it.

Apparently, one of the members of her cult bought a submarine and was having it shipped from the coast to his ranch in Montana. He planned to submerge it underground to prepare for the coming apocalypse.

I can only assume they think the aliens will eventually get around their chanting barriers and attack us all.
(End Tangent)

Thankfully, this guy wasn't being selfish. For a modest fee, namely two college funds, Enid was able to secure spaces on this modern Noah's Arc for her whole family. On one of their visits to see Enid, my sister even got a tour of the "bomb shelter."

And let me just tell you, she and her family will be HOOKED UP. While the rest of the world will be wishing they had made an impulse buy when they saw that submarine on sale at Costco, they will be waiting it out in style.

When my sister told me about all the amenities, and I began to wonder if I could just move in tomorrow.

Here's the short list:

  • A 7-year supply of food
  • Medical supplies
  • Separate bedrooms with bunk beds for family privacy
  • A living/community area
  • Kitchen facilities
  • Bathroom facilities
  • A school room
  • Curriculum materials
  • And don't forget guns! Lots and lots of guns.
These people thought of everything!

... but I wonder if they get HBO ...

Monday, August 3, 2009

I never knew I needed one of these ... until now.

Will someone please tell Santa I've been good this year?

... and then ask him to bring me one of these with my name on it?

Warning, LDS-specific joke: My brother wants to get one of these with his bishop's name on it and take it to a ward potluck. He figures everyone will think the bishop brought it when they see it sitting on the table.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

How To Article of the Week

This week: How to Start Living in a Tiny House

The concept is cool, but I think I'd get a little claustrophobic after a while.