Thursday, September 30, 2010

Stunted Development

When I was 11 years old, my parents moved to Utah for 3 years, which really did a number on my friend quotient.

This is one example of what happens when a tween has too much time on his hands. For more stories, go here or here.

It was my first winter in Utah. My first winter with the chance of snow. My first winter dealing with temperatures below 50 degrees.

Watching snow fall for the first time outside made me feel like I'd accidentally chugged a bottle of cooking alcohol. I couldn't stop running around the house, looking out through all the windows. Finally, I yanked on my black sweatpants, which I stylishly paired with my black sweatshirt and accessorized with the trendy moon boots my mom bought for me at K-Mart.

Let's just say that there are pictures of this fashion crime against humanity, and they will never see the light of day. EVER.
(End Tangent)

Then, I bounded outside into the snow, armed with a shiny new snow shovel. After my mom burned through a couple rolls of film, documenting my embarrassing wardrobe choices for posterity, I got to work.

... And the fun lasted for about 5 minutes.

Once the snow started to melt on me and soak into my remarkably absorbing ensemble, I got pretty miserable and had to head back inside ... with the walkway only half finished.

This was the beginning and the end of my love affair with snow. However, it was not the end of my poor cold weather fashion choices ... (Was that foreshadowing? Maybe I should write a book or something.)

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Head Scratching Compliment

The other day, my wife and I were talking about how many people say our daughter is pretty. These comments happen regularly and are usually sparked by her curly hair.

Below is the joke I made and my wife's response:

Nathan: ... But, she could still turn out like this (Doing my best "The Price is Right" impression to display my face).

Wife: No, you would make a pretty girl.

Nathan: Um ... thank you?

But seriously, I'm just glad my daughter takes after her mother in the looks department. It's going to make her life much easier.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Guaranteed Entertainment

I'm completely impressed by the music videos for OK Go.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

How To Article of the Week

This week: How to Build a Simple Wood Truss

I don't think words like "simple" and "wood truss" should ever be in the same sentence.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Real Life Super Powers

I'm jealous.

One of my old co-workers has a wife with an astounding super power. He told me about it, and I would normally have immediately assumed he was lying. But this kid makes Mother Teresa look like she had a shady past. So, I have no choice but to believe him.

Which means I'm jealous. (And with that jealousy, let's just be glad I didn't compare him to me and stuck with Mother Teresa.)

His wife has a super powered nose. She can smell when ants are in her house. She can also smell when people are getting sick.

Are you kidding me?!? How cool would it be to be able to go around telling people that they are about to get sick?

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

When all you sing is a D ...

Carrot Jello posted this video, and I had to steal it.

My wife and I have a running joke that in our hymn book, the alto's favorite note is the D above middle C.

The tenor line is usually better, but it's been known to get stuck on the G.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Stunted Development

When I was 11 years old, my parents moved to Utah for 3 years, which really did a number on my friend quotient.

This is one example of what happens when a tween has too much time on his hands. For more stories, go here.

When I got to Utah, I was in the final year of elementary school (6th grade), and my social studies teacher had a unit on the medieval period. We had all kinds of projects, and one of them was to draw a picture of a medieval castle.

I went home fully expecting to dazzle her with my crayon skills, but when I got done with the picture, it was only 3:30 p.m. and I found myself facing 6 hours of either watching paint dry or playing Skip-Bo with my parents.

In an effort to fill the void, I decided I wouldn't just settle for a drawing of a castle. I would make one out of sugar cubes. My mom (the saint that she is) went to the store last minute and cleaned them out of every box of sugar cubes they had. She also had to load up on Elmer's glue.

Once I had all the supplies, I got to work, and 5 hours later, I had a file box sized replica of a medieval castle.

But I didn't stop there. Then came the accessorizing.

I dragged out my LEGOs and set the stage for an epic medieval battle on the walls and in the courtyard of my new masterpiece.

I may have even reenacted a few scenes (allegedly).

The next day, I proudly staggered in under the weight of 8,000 sugar cubes, and I seriously don't think my teacher knew what to do with me. I got an A on the assignment, but I'm sure there is a note lurking in my permanent file about how I need some help socializing with the other children.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Hand Tap Dancing

This video makes me want to find a hand tap dance class.

Thanks to Kate for posting it on her blog.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

How To Article of the Week

This week: How to Use Assure, Ensure and Insure

My mother, the grammar queen, would be thrilled to know I'm taking up her torch.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Easy Listening = Slow Death

For about three weeks, the speakers in our office ceiling haven't been working.

I've been giddy the entire time.

Don't get me wrong. I'm a big fan of music, but the only thing that comes through those speakers is easy listening. This wouldn't normally be a problem because I can appreciate all kinds of music. I get that from my mom who loves all kinds of music and even owns an album called (and I'm seriously not kidding about this) Deep Breakfast. One of the songs on the album is affectionately called Celestial Soda Pop.

For those of you bored enough to click on the link ... you're welcome. Your ears will never be the same.
(End Tangent)

Yesterday, the speakers suddenly switched back on, and by the 8th rendition of "Have you ever been in llllooooooovvvvvveeeee?" by Celine Dion, I was about ready to declare martial law in the office and start stringing barbed wire around my door.

When I worked in this office as a student employee, I became convinced that the radio station had a tradition of playing Bette Midler's "Wind Beneath My Wings" every hour on the hour. I kept a tally one day and during my 4 hour shift, I remember hearing it 6 times.

And in case you don't remember some of Bette's finer moments during that song, the parts that made me wish I was tone deaf were when she went sliding slowly into some of her notes toward the end. "Ffflllllllyyyyyyyy! ... Fffllllyyyyyyyy! Fly high up in the sky!"


Pardon me while I go look for a blankie and one of my daughter's old pacifiers. I feel the sudden need to curl up in the fetal position.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Huff and Puff

My daughter loves when my wife tells her the story of the 3 Little Pigs. In fact, she'll often ask my wife to blow down several of her imaginary houses per hour. This means my wife spends much of her day getting lightheaded and nearly passing out.

"Huff and puff, mom."

Little does my daughter know that her father has started huffing and puffing too.

Now that I have a new job, I've decided to park my car in a lot that is not right near my building. This forces me to get out and walk for a minute before I sit down to my desk.

Being as skinny as I am, I forget how out of shape I am until I have to walk more than 3 feet. I can only imagine how comical I look as I stagger up the last flight of stairs, doubled over and wheezing as if I'd just completed a marathon.

Still, I'm crossing my fingers that someday I'll be able to walk up a hill without feeling like I should have invested in one of those Life Alert necklaces.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

How To Article of the Week

This week: How to Check a Microwave for Leaks ... with your cell phone

I had no idea you could do this, but I think I'm going to try it out.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Insight into Asperger's Syndrome

I may or may not have mentioned this before, but I have a bunch of nephews and nieces with some form of Asperger's Syndrome or Autism. They are both on the same spectrum, and they are both social disorders. If anyone knows someone with these disorders, you'll probably enjoy this Q&A of a little boy and his mother. This is from Story Corps, which is a group that has placed sound booths in various public places and encouraged people to use them to record anything they want.

Then they put a few into videos and added animation.

Here is the Q&A:

And in case you want to see another one, this one is pretty good too:

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Stunted Development

I grew up in California, but for about three years, I lived in Utah with my parents. These three years were right during those awkward "tween" years (from ages 11 to 14), and I moved into an area where none of the groups of friends wanted to take a chance on a lurpy kid severely lacking in any athletic ability.

So, I spent a lot of time by myself. This was socially dangerous because it was right during the time when kids help each other move beyond pretending, wearing capes and playing with LEGOs. I didn't get the memo that these things were suddenly not that cool anymore, so I had a grand time being a kid for longer than I should have and was probably a major embarrassment to all my older siblings.

The result?

I could fill an encyclopedia with all my embarrassing/stupid stories from this part of my personal history.

(Let's just say that some of them really do involve a cape.)

In the coming weeks, I'll try to relate some of these stories (similar to my other series, "Cult Chronicles" and "Office Outtakes"). These won't be as funny, but I'll put them all under the title, "Stunted Development."