Saturday, October 30, 2010

How To Article of the Week

This week: How to Make a Simple Sound Pipe from a Plastic Straw

I can only imagine how this sounds. The alternate title for this one could be: How to Lose Friends and Irritate People.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

How To Article of the Week

This week: 9 Tips for People Watching without Being Creepy

Since it's impossible for me to read a book in an airport (because I always end up people watching for 40 minutes at a time), this would be seriously beneficial for me to read.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Deadlines and Drama

It's amazing what happens to this blog when I have giant deadlines at work and midterms for my first graduate class.


Hopefully it will calm down by next week.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Men and Women: Mars and Venus

Recently, my wife got a book as a gift from her sister-in-law. She finished it, so it is my turn to read it.

This morning, I read a paragraph that made me laugh, and for all the men out there, I feel the need to post it here. It's from Enchantment by Orson Scott Card.

Disclaimer: This is not how I feel about my conversations with my own wife ... (Love you, dear!)

"Maybe she'd tell him what this message meant. Though, more than likely, Mother would simply go enigmatic on him, give him one of her inscrutable smiles and tell him that if he didn't already understand, he never would. Women always said things like that, and it made him crazy. It's as if every conversation with a woman was a test, and men always failed it, because they always lacked the key to the code and so they never quite understood what the conversation was really about."

I immediately had visions of spies trying to decipher encrypted messages without a codec.

So, to all the men out there, be careful. It's a war zone.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

How To Article of the Week

This week: How to Save a Wet Cell Phone

I have severe toilet issues, so I don't know what would happen if I ever dropped a phone in the toilet.

I'd probably just move.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Too Much Love

At my previous job, I had a good friend who was also a client. We talked on the phone regularly.

One day, I was in a particular hurry with a project, and he called to discuss. As we were wrapping up, I was affirming answers to his questions while simultaneously drafting an email.

At this point, you should be seeing red flashing lights and hearing a loud buzzer with a computerized voice yelling, "Danger! Danger!"

I've never been the most gifted at doing two things at once. When I write a paper for school while watching TV, I inevitably start quoting the cast members in my homework.
(End Tangent)

We were just wrapping up, when the following came spilling out of my mouth:

"Yep ... K ... Sounds good ... Yep ... Ok ... K, Love you, bye."

How's that for professional?

I should write a book or something, so I can gain my rightful place as the Miss Manners of the business world.

The guy was really good natured about it, which was a double-edged sword. On the one hand, he quickly forgave me. On the other, I had to deal with months and months and months of emails and phone calls from him where he would always say:

"Love you too."

That's just a little too much love spreading around for my taste.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Encore: Extrovert with a Capital E

You know how I'm an extrovert? With a capital E?

I found out from my neighbor (a college professor) that he uses me as an example of extreme extraversion in his classes when they take and discuss personality tests.

Evidently, when we first moved into the neighborhood, he and his wife would always be able to tell when I got home from work to find my wife still running errands because I would always call them or drop by with some inane question or random comment.

Now, in order for them to see a pattern, this would have had to occur ... often.


What's worse, I have no memory of this, and I like to think I'm at least marginally self aware.

I'm thinking of getting a paper bag permanently attached to my head. It would be fitting, since who knows how many other people I keep hounding when (heaven forbid) I have to spend more than 2 minutes by myself.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Lost in the Maze

Our church building is ... unique.

I think at one point it was a functional/logical building, but those days are a dim memory. It has all the typical features of an Mormon meeting house, the chapel, the gym, the classrooms, the offices for church leadership, and pianos all over the place, but sometime during its long history it got remodeled.

My best guess is that a chimpanzee got a hold of the blueprints.

Now, it's like a rabbit warren, and anytime there new family starts attending, they get completely lost. My wife still has a hard time telling which way is north once she gets into the labyrinth of hallways.

But my favorite part is that whoever drew up the plans forgot one of the hallways. There is a classroom connecting two parts of the building, but if the room is being used, people have to trek outside to get around it. As someone who hates the snow, I'm not looking forward to this winter.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

How To Article of the Week

This week: How to Do Laughter Yoga

I'm sure this is helpful, but the first time I heard of this, I lumped it into the "Oxygen Bar" category.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Extrovert with a Capital E

We took a personality test in my class, and we just went over the results.

When I opened the packet, the first page had a scale showing how far to one side or the other I scored in the four categories.

One of them was Introvert/Extrovert. When I saw my score, I was just a little embarrassed. I was as far over to the Extrovert side as the test allows.

According to the results, I should be one of those manic spaz-oids on a permanent caffeine high.

But then I thought about it and realized it's probably right.

I spend all day talking to students. When it's time to go home and I'm in the car by myself, what's my first impulse?

Call someone on the phone.

When I get home and my wife and daughter are out running errands, what is my reaction?

"Dang it. I'm by myself."

When my wife and I are in bed reading, what inevitably happens?

My book ends up on my lap while I continue my verbal diarrhea. My wife either makes a noncommittal grunt of acknowledgement every once in a while or she politely sets down her book and smiles at me with a strained expression, waiting for me to finally run out of steam.

I guess the title and subheading of my blog are just as applicable today as they were when I was a kid.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

"No, I say it by myself"

That is what my daughter told me this morning when I tried to help her with prayers.

She has developed an independent streak recently, and for those of you who know her, you may find this laughable.

"But Nathan, she was already stubborn/independent/bullheaded/insert-your-own-word-here."

Yes. I know.

We thought her previous "tude" was as pronounced as it was going to get. Evidently, the universe wanted to show us just how wrong we were (which seems to be a common theme in my life).

Needless to say, I wondered how well this prayer would go and how soon it would degrade into a monologue about her favorite toys and her current duties as a princess/queen/prince/mommy/dragon/monkey/frog/insert-make-believe-character-here.

Instead, we were pleasantly surprised when she rattled this puppy off:

"Dear Heavenly Father,

Grateful ah Food,

Grateful ah Dresses,

Grateful ah Shirts,

Healthy and Strong,

Grateful ah Rainbows,

No Kitties,

Grateful to color the knight, the elephant princess, the king, and the zebra queen,

In the name of Jesus Christ, amen."

(The reference to coloring has to do with some wood cutouts my wife got at the store for 49 cents. They are a hippopotamus knight, an elephant princess, a lion king and a zebra queen. Don't ask. Just nod and smile.)

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Mustaches and Skinny Jeans

Evidently, I have missed another memo.

After spending a few weeks on campus, I've noticed a much higher percentage of mustaches going past me in the halls. Most of the ones I've seen around here are scraggly ones that are either completely uneven or not full enough to constitute more than peach fuzz.

Now, don't get me wrong, I have a good friend who's dad has a mustache and he looks just great. There are a few people (i.e. Tom Selleck) who can pull one off, but for the majority, it looks like one of those fuzzy caterpillars crawled up and took a nap on the guy's upper lip.

When I asked a kid who is completely up to date on current fashion, he told me it was more than a local thing. Mustaches are coming back everywhere, right along with skinny jeans.

Thinking about this is about as soothing as staring at this picture:

You're welcome.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

How To Article of the Week

This week: How to Sew an Elephant Cushion

... because I've always been wondering how to make an elephant head cushion.

Friday, October 1, 2010

If only I had this kind of creativity

I recently discovered an artist named Kumi Yamashita. She does all kinds of stuff, but she works a bunch with creating artistic shadows.

Go here and click on "Selected Work" for more examples (and be sure to read the descriptions of each one to see what materials she used (i.e. military boot prints to create portraits).