Wednesday, May 31, 2006

My Most Offensive Word

There is a word that I don't think of nor use very often. When I use the word in conversation, I have a doubt about the correct enunciation but I don't worry about. I just let it rip.

The word is "SCARCE." When it comes out of my mouth, I usually pronounce it as SCAR-ce. When I do that, people freak out. What did you say? That is not even a word? It has happened a few times and I am amazed that people find it so disturbing.

My brother-in-law even gave me a grammar lesson on silent-E's and gates and all that. He told me it should always be pronounced SCARE-ce. But there are many words that break that long-vowel/gate rule; like have, give and most of all FARCE.

I'm just going to think of it as one of those "you say tomato, I say tornado" things.

Rice is Nice

Eleanor: "I'm going to make teriyaki chicken for dinner but I don't want to because I know that the rice will be gross."

Me: "You're in a rice-funk. You've convinced yourself you will always mess up the rice and you won't make any good rice until you've moved past that."

Eleanor: "I know. I have no rice-confidence."

The rice was fine.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Tragic: The Ramen Canoodler

Sorry. I couldn't help it. I just wanted to draw The Ramen Canoodler.

His fighting style is to lose miserably until his girlfriend, Sweet'n'Sour Jane, feeds him a panful of Ramen. Then he comes back with a vengeance. Let's say he is relatively harmless but, after prolonged exposure, you may suffer dizziness, headaches or heart palpitations.

Flip This

The house-hunting is a mental strain. We have seen a couple houses that we have been really interested in but they are sold within a day or two. I can handle that.

What really upsets me is when the same house comes back on the market a month or two later with minor "improvements" made and a new price tag that is $50,000 - $100,000+ more than what they bought it for. It's ridiculous. These do-nothing investors go out there looking to make a buck by buying all of the affordable housing, putting in some new carpeting or adding an asphalt parking-pad and then jack up the price.

It is difficult for us to compete because we need to sell our house and buy a new one at roughly the same time. It's tricky. It will be very hard to hit that window of time on a nice piece of property BEFORE the jerkwads put their new price on it but that's what we are trying to do.

I'm starting to strongly dislike people who try to make a living flipping houses. When we sell our house I will cut a good deal to a family who actually wants to live here and milk any investor who wants to buy for every penny I can get.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Pigskin

I realized that the company I work for deals in a lot of pork rinds. But they don't call them pork rinds. They gave them a new name that makes them sound like a little somethin' granny whipped up in the kitchen.

It's funny how well that works with people. If all food names were as honest as "pork rinds" then foods like Jello and hotdogs just wouldn't make it as household products. But throw in some food coloring and tack on an agreeable misnomer and it can be a hit.

Examples of good naming are things like "Beef Jerky." How much tougher can you get than "Beef Jerky?" Even "Ramen" noodles. Sounds like "Raw Men," and who doesn't like those? It could even work as the name as a WWF wrestler: The Ramen Canoodler. Sounds like some rugged dude who will twist you into a pretzel at the sound of a bell. The Ramen Canoodler should be the arch rival of Nacho Libre.

Bon App├ętit.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Ralph as in Puke

The other night I came home from work to find our bed full of puke. I had to sleep on the couch. Our baby was sick and then my wife got sick and last night I got sick and had to call out from work.

For a moment I got excited, thinking: Yes! A three day weekend!

I had all these visions of driving down to Zion's National Park or something like that. About two minutes later I was kneeling on the floor trying not to throw up. Thinking: That's right. I almost forgot about the dry heaves and diarrhea. I guess it will still be a while before we can take a vacation.

I'm mostly better. Still a little tired. But our daughter just threw up all over her Carebear pillow. I better go wash up all the puke-beds.

Only One Man would Dare to give Me the Raspberry: LoneStar!

I feel really bad for closet-gay people. It must be especially hard to be a closet-gay Mormon because the church tries to explain your sexuality to you. Essentially, that you are choosing to be evil. If it was as easy as choosing, there are several people I have met who would CHOOSE to be completely different people.

Until they have that option, though, they will roam the earth jammin' up the Gay-dar. But here are some tips if you are gay and wish that you weren't:

Don't make statements like:

"I am so mad I got that DWI (DUI). I could have spent that money on a whole new wardrobe."

The word "wardrobe" is a dead give away. And complaining about how you'd like to go clothes shopping also doesn't help.

Don't say:

"If God wants to marry a woman, why does he keep sending me all these bad experiences with them."

There is an 18-year-old who just got hired on at my job. Classic case:

He went home early on his second day of work because he had "a migraine." Even if you have a legitimate migraine, don't call it that. You may as well say you have pre-mentstrual cramps. Just say, "my head hurts."

He also plays the viola and talks about it non-stop. He has a second job building and repairing violas. He says he studies under the top-viola-teacher at BYU but refuses to enroll and become a music major because, "they would make me learn other instruments." This, despite his dream of becoming a professional voila player.

Another topic he brings up is how he likes to crochet beanies in his spare time. He's making one for a guy at work.

Also Don't:

Walk behind me, proceeding to say, "Emmett has 'shampoo commercial hair.'" Four times in the space of a minute. I heard you and I chose to ignore you.

Don't:

Spend a lot of money on expensive, stylish safety glasses so you can look good working in a warehouse.

He also said, "It's funny to hear you talk about your wife because you look younger than I do."

I said, "I pretty much look the same as the picture on my first driver's license. Same haircut and everything."

He said, "You must have been a super-stud."

Not a good sign.

He and I both probably weigh about 150 but he expressed concern over the amount of "carbs" in my dinner.

There is so much to cover but this should be a good start.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Hanging Chad

I told you about the guy from work named Chad. He is the one I've been seeing about starting a band with. He's been calling a lot lately wanting to get together but I'm never around when he does.

My wife said, "There are a few messages on the answering machine from Chad from the furniture store. One of them is normal and the other one, he sounds like a nervous telemarketer wanting to know why you quit and how the job could have been better."

I laughed and said, "I can see Chad doing that."

And Chad called again yesterday, regarding "jamming." So this morning, my wife said, "Chad is on the phone... from the furniture store." And she pointed at the message she took yesterday: "Chad. Jam."

I answered the phone.

Him: "Hi, Emmett? This is Chad from the furniture store. I am doing a survey of employees that have recently quit and wanted to know if there were any particular reasons why you left."

Me: "Is this multiple choice? Mark me down for: It sucked ass."

Him: "What? No, it's not multiple choice. Just any reason you can think of."

Me: "Is this Chad? C'mon. Stop messing around. What have you been doing lately?"

Him: "Yes, it's Chad. I've just been working."

Me: "Me too."

Him: "So why did you leave the company?"

Me: "Um. The benefits were too expensive."

Him: "Okay. Well, that concludes my survey. Thank you."

TWO CHADS? Calling at the same time from the same company for completely different purposes? I thought there was no such thing as coincidence. Oh well.

A Degree or Two Off

My wife is feeling the sting of not finishing college. She is a "Para-Professional" (fancy talk for "teacher's aide") at an alternative high school here in the city. She has been working there for five years and she enjoys it.

People have asked her for years (myself included) why she does not finish school and become a legitimate teacher, as she seems to love her job. She usually responds that she would only want to teach in the program that she is currently working, and after finishing school it would probably take her entire career to obtain such a position.

But the teacher she works with has been very sick and even had to resign due to his illness. It's bad. He tries to force himself to continue but most the time he finds it is too difficult even just to walk to his car.

I wish I could blab about the teacher's name because it's funny, but this is the internet and I don't want to be broadcasting his personal info all over. Anyway, the teacher has not been able to make it to class since before Christmas. My wife has been running the class. The school brings in substitutes but they are more of burden to my wife than a help. They basically get paid to sit there all day. Sometimes they even sleep in class.

This has added some stress in our lives because now my wife has to cover extra hours. The program is for students who work full-time and only show up occassionally. It gets very complicated and overall, my wife has 85 students that she is responsible for. Most of them are trying to graduate or pass the GED by the end of the year. (The school is ranked in the top ten in the nation for keeping kids in school, as opposed to dropping out. I think they say the drop-out rate in America may be up to 30% of high school students.)

Of course, my wife is not appreciated for anything she does. The administration all acts like it's just part of her duties to take over for the salaried teacher. My wife get's annoyed by it but she knows that she is there for the kids and that their HS degrees are more important than unappreciative principals.

It is funny and it makes us want to kick ourselves because, in seeking out a new teacher to run the class from now on, the principals are constantly coming up to wife, "You don't happen to have a 4 year degree do you?" They ask her just about every day. If she did, they would give her the job. Pretty much her dream job. But no. It is not meant to be.

The pen is mightier than the sword and a piece of paper can be stronger than the Great Wall of China.

Just a Man and his Will to Survive

They worked me really hard tonight. It got me thinking:

Practically everyone would be grossed out at the idea of drinking a bucket of monkey snot. But if you were dying of thirst out in the desert or lost at sea, eventually everyone would drink it, were they were fortunate enough to find such a bucket.

Things like that should be the prizes for the "challenges" on Survivor. Then it would be worth tuning in to.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Movies I SHOULD Hate but DON'T

TWISTER

Helen Hunt kind of bugs me. And Bill Paxton will always be the mean, older brother from Weird Science to me. Or that punk guy that gets killed at the beginning of The Terminator. Throughout the movie, TWISTER, I'm sitting there hoping Bill will stay with the sex-therapist. The risk vs. the reward of what they are trying to accomplish with tornados isn't very convincing... and yet, through it all, I have seen the movie several times and I still don't hate it. There must be some subtle underlying aspect I like. C'mon, it's not like I like Congo.

THE BRADY BUNCH MOVIE/A VERY BRADY SEQUEL

When the movie came out I wrote it off as nonsense. I was right, but after being subjected to reruns on HBO the humor sunk in: The family oblivious that the 60's were over. Jan on the brink of insanity and hearing voices. The part where she growls in a monster voice, "It's me. The NEW Jan Brady." Cracks me up.

Our old neighbor, Jon, from Flaming Gorge used to walk around singing Greg's hokey song, "Clowns never laughed before... ponies never ran..." That may have something to do with it.

Last week, I accompanied Ethan's kindergarten class to the Hogle Zoo. When we were riding the school bus back home all of the windows were down. (I had flashbacks of Ms. Dickerson bundled up in her winter coat on a sub-zero morning riding the bus through those colorful canyons with her window down while everyone behind her froze). Anyway, it was windy and my hair was blowing everywhere. A kindergartener yelled at me, "You're hair is blowing all over."

And I almost yelled back Shelly Long's line from the sequel, "It's a good thing I use Aquanet!" I didn't... because I'm much too cool for that.

In summation: I like the Brady Movies. Can you believe the dad is Lumbergh from Office Space?

GONE IN 60 SECONDS

The premise: Some dork has to steal a million cars in one night or his brother gets it. It sounds like something I would hate. But I watch it and it doesn't seem to bother me. I might even go so far as to say, "I enjoy it." Must be Nick Cage and Angelina... and all those cool cars.

LEGALLY BLONDE

Watched it with my wife. Reese Witherspoon is just too likable. And she ends up with a guy named Emmett.

TITANIC

A lot of people don't like it. I like it okay. I like Kate Winslet and I used to hate Leo but he won me over by making some decent films. It was the first movie I saw with my wife, before we were dating and stuff (I still sat by her).

FROM JUSTIN TO KELLY

Okay. I just put this in here to bother Minnow. I haven't seen the movie. I would expect to hate it but who can say until we all sit down together and watch it.

More Wicked Witchery than Stevie Nicks

The 3-year-old is getting too smart. We may have to destroy her for the good of mankind. The other day she used SARCASM against me. She's 3. Barely 3!

Olivia: "Where did mommy go?"

Me: "She ran inside the restaurant to get you a burrito because you're being a whiny crybaby."

Olivia: "I'm not a whiny crybaby. I'm Olivia (pronounced "Owivia")."

Me: "Yeah, but 'Olivia' is spanish for 'Whiny Crybaby.'"

Olivia: "Funnyyyyy."

Me: "What did you say?"

Olivia: "Funnyyyyyy, dad."

And today her mother confronted her about a puddle of urine on the bathroom floor.

My wife: "Olivia, who peed on the floor in the bathroom?"

And in the same manner her father defended himself against interrogation in high school, Olivia said, "Maybe it was you, mom."

But we found your soiled undies in the bathroom trashcan, little girl! You're busted and you aren't going to talk or smile your way out of it!

Friday, May 19, 2006

Head Full of Suds

When I was reading about secret societies, they included a lot of essays on brainwashing and manipulation. Some guy who ended his name with PhD says he is a professional hypnotist/therapist and that he would like to implement laws to prevent the use of the tactics he uses in his profession. He says it would be useless to try this, though, because too many lawyers, government and religious agencies all currently use those methods to suit their needs. He talks about effective ways of speaking, use of lights, music, chanting, conjuring fear and guilt, sleep and food deprivation as ways to manipulate and control people. He says the worst people of all, though, are the True Believers. These are people who WANT to be told what to do. Basically, they don't want to think, they don't want to make an effort, they just want to follow some rules and be praised for it.

It's kind of like that Carrie Underwood girl from American Idol:

"Carrie, you have just attained worldwide fame and a million dollar record contract. You are the It-Girl. You can go anywhere and do anything. What do you have to say?"

"Jesus, take the wheel!"

Fantastic, Carrie. That took a lot of guts. Heaven forbid you actually BE SOMEBODY or take any responsibility for what you do. I don't think that it is a lot to ask for you to know and like yourself and to know why you do the things you do. If YOU can't do it then why would God want to know you?

Try to come up with a better answer than: "For God."

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Why don't those stupid idiots let me in their crappy club for jerks?

Since "The Da Vinci Code" movie is coming out this weekend, I am making another attempt to read the book. A lot of people that I know like the book. When I first tried to read it, I found it smacks badly of typical suspense. For some reason I find one-page chapters annoying and insulting. Like the author thinks I have the attention span of a... hold on, let me read this pop up. I think I just won a plasma TV. Okay, what was I saying?

Anyhoo, I WILL read the book but it may take some effort on my part. I know it's a personal problem.

But in preparation for the book, I did snoop about looking into secret societies. Becuase that is the intrigue of the book. The book claims a thousand-year-old society, Priory of Sion, included the likes of Leonardo Da Vinci, Isaac Newton and others (the Catholic church, apparently). If suspicions are correct, these people were not geniuses. They were the lucky "Grand Masters" who were credited with the wisdom passed down to them through the society.

I do know Da Vinci was kind of fruity. His "Mona Lisa" painting became famous, not because it wow-ed the crowd, but because after he painted it, Da Vinci would carry it around with him everywhere he went. To the point that people would stare and ask, "Why is that dude always carrying around that painting?" There is a rumor that the painting is a self-portrait. A portrait of how Da Vinci would look as a woman. That theory might be in the book. I haven't read it so I don't know.

From what I have read, the FreeMasons are into white and black magic as well as negotiations with alien beings. I read a story about a girl who had escaped from a Mason-run drug house, where they kept doped up kids incapacitated so they would do anything and then they pimped them out.

People seem to believe FreeMasons essentially control the world and have done so for hundreds of years. That the layout of Washington DC was designed by Masons, which is why the White House lies at the base of a pentagram (when the streets are viewed from above). Masons love their symbols. It was suggested that the Revolutionary War was even part of a movement by the Masons (Ben Franklin, Paul Revere and George Washington among them) to shake up Englands widespread rule. They also like to suggest that the pyramid and eagle seals on the US dollar are Masonic symbols. Among other things, one Mason founded the Mormon church which currently thrives and makes use of similar rituals here in Utah, and another Mason went on to found the Ku Klux Klan.

It was suggested that all religions are just retellings of previous religions, many of them with interesting links between to eachother. Stories like the origin of Christmas, which was just a Pagan Winter Solstice ceremony (celebrating the end of winter's dying and the beginning of spring's rebirth) with the antlered god, like Pan from greek mythology, removed and a baby Jesus thrown in. All the other symbols seemed to have remained. Trees, deer, Santa and such. This change was made by Romans. There was also stuff about rain being the "sperm of God" which fertilizes the Mother Earth and a bunch of stuff about mushrooms and how people used to think they were magical because they didn't realize they were reproducing by use of spores.

I also thought an explanation of the Egyptian pyramids being recreations of volcanoes (wombs of the earth; thus the root 'pyra') was interesting. They also said the Egyptian calendar begins and ends in August, which is why the Sphinx has the head of a virgin (virgo) and the body of a lion (leo). Apparently, most secret societies love the Zodiac.

There is also the "Skull and Bones" society, created at Yale in the early 1800's. In the beginning they were believed to have ties a large opium smuggling ring. In the last century, members of this group are believed to have funded our major wars as well as political candidates. John Kerry and both George Bushes are part of this society.

So I guess secret societies do rule the world. If you don't have one, you're not with it and you're going nowhere. I really don't think there are any secrets we could learn that would really change your life. We are putty in the hands of the elite, regardless of what name they go by. To watch The News, you would think any Democrat and Republican who happened to end up alone in a room together would totally duke it out. But look at Bush Sr. and Bill Clinton holding hands and skipping around the world together. Why? Because they are the winners in our society. They may disagree on some things but, to take a step back, our society will give them money, a place to live, body-guards and immortalize them for as long as we exist. They like things just as they are.

My favorite secret society is "The Management." You know when you go in a public restroom and they have those paper things to put on the toilet seat. They always say, "Provided by The Management for your protection." Those faceless people are at least out there helping people. I mean REALLY helping people.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Refrigerator Real Estate

Maybe I'm just a little stressed lately, but tonight I came home from the store with drinks like juice, milk, Gatorade and such and almost swore when I looked at the food stuff on the tall top shelf of our refrigerator. That's the most valuable real estate in the fridge. Get out whipped cream! Get out old spaghetti sauce! Where did this ziploc bag of pasta even come from?

It's hot outside and I'm all about the drinks.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Dr. Hottest-Thing-On-Skates

Another show that died before its time: Dr. Katz. Season one is out on DVD. Examples of what made me laugh:

Asking his unemployed son about his plans for the night:

Well, I have plans. They're just not that complicated. You know... take a shower... clean up. Just lie on my bed... feeling clean.


About clothes shopping with a friend. Specifically, for overalls:

"What goes with this?"

"Uh, I don't know. They're overalls. I guess a banjo. I know what doesn't go with it: Jobs and women."


About watching an opera:

"Look how much work it takes to bore ME."


Perspective between men and women:

"Women will always say, 'we look at guys sexually, too.'Women have no idea. They have no clue what-so-ever. It's like the difference between shooting a bullet and throwing it. If women had any idea, even for a second, of how men really look at them... they would never stop slapping us."

Jerk at 3

I really do try hard not to fill my blog with gossip about the freaky people I meet everyday but this scene just cracked me up when I got home tonight.

This 3-year-old is one of the wild kids from next door. One prime indicator that you are a bad parent: YOUR KID HAS A MULLET.

Earlier today, this kid took the gardening tools we gave our daughter for her birthday and threw them in a nearby irrigation canal. When I retrieved the tools from the water he came up to me and said, "Ha, ha. Your shoes are wet." Then he stuck out his tongue and yelled, "You can't catch me. You can't catch me." I could have caught him, of course, but I wanted to give him every opportunity to run far, far away. I told my kids to stop playing with the neighbors.

Later, I heard Ethan crying in the driveway. He told me the 3-year-old had punched him in the eye. He wasn't crying because he was hurt. He was crying because he wanted justice. But I reminded him that I had told him to stop playing with those kids earlier in the day.

While I was having this talk with Ethan, my wife was breaking up a fight between our daughter and the neighbor-boy, again, over the gardening tools. When my wife pulled the shovel out of their hands, the 3-year-old boy stuck his tongue out at her and then flipped her off. She told him to go home and started laughing about the finger gesture. Just to make good and sure, the 3-year-old boy turned and flipped her off again as he was walking home.

Tonight, he was just hanging out in his moon-boots. What fate is worse: A little jerk becoming a big jerk? Or a little jerk becoming road kill?

I'll think about it for a day. Seeing his dad smacking him in the yard isn't any consolation. Yesterday, my kids were eating popsicles on our front steps when one of the neighbor boys jumped from a moving car, TWICE, in order to avoid seeing "Nanny McPhee" at the dollar theaters with his family.

The day I move cannot come soon enough.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Look at the Size of that Tan

Have you ever watched an old Western or Adventure movie and, while the heroes are killing off the natives, some small part of you is thinking: "I wish I had skin pigmentation more like those technocolored non-christians."

If so, there is a business in our neighborhood that may suit your needs. It's called "Savage Tan."

Maybe it's not the look you are after, though. Maybe you like the feeling. Maybe long winters give you an inkling to wrap yourself in aluminum foil and cook yourself at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. And maybe you are a vampire who doesn't like sunlight.

If so, there is a business in our neighborhood to suit your needs, too. It's another tanning salon called "Bake in the Dark."

These businesses may have the market cornered on appealing to your deepest desires, but I think they could take it a step further. If people are accepting of those salon names then surely people could accept a name like "The Tumor Garden" or "Face Like a Weather-Beaten Wallet."

My Friend, Gordon, is excited for the release of a "tanning pill" that has been in development for years now. All the color without the skin disease. He says researchers have also noted side-effects of weight-loss and increased labido. It sounds way better than some lightbulb bed in a stripmall. Hopefully it will be approved for use soon and put the lame-o's out of business.

Golden Kid Gloves

I knew I had it in me. I was watching my kids this morning and I had another one of those selfish experiences where I wanted to eat breakfast so I cooked some french toast.

Our 10 month old was sitting on the couch and I was nearby on the loveseat eating off a paper plate. I saw our baby move closer to the edge and he sat teetering for a moment like Humpty Dumpty. Then he pitched forward and looked to land directly on his head. Without hesitating I thrust myself off the loveseat and slid across the floor like an allstar outfielder. I've got roadrash on my knee and elbow but I was able to get my hand under the boy before he hit the floor. My french toast went everywhere.

Even though I saved him from a rough landing, he decided to cry for awhile anyway. It was redeeming though, after I had to stand there like a dunce when my daughter went rolling into the bog. I had the same impulse then but my brain quickly killed it, informing me, "This isn't a pile of french toast... it's a baby. You stay put."

I think I would do well if I had time to play on a sports team.

In other Sports news... Ethan did well in T-ball this week. It was the first week his coach actually pitched it to him in a game and he smacked it to third base on the first swing. When he was on base, I saw him talking to the opposing teams second baseman: a girl with a pink glove.

I asked him what they talked about. He said, "She's a Shark. I told her we are The Rockies... because we rock."

He's already smoother than his dad.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

The trick is only pick on those that can't do you no harm, like the drummer from Def Leppard's only got one arm


This piece of art is a collaboration by the two older kids. They brought it to their parents, smiling, and said: It's a Nerd Whale.

I think the circle around the eye is supposed to represent the whale's glasses.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Equal Time for Plum Smugglers

I decided to grant Sculplin his request for boys and their boys. It's not as much fun because the short of it is: Naked guys are gross.

You can touch a boob and it's not a far stretch from an affectionate "arm around the shoulder." If you touch a guys uglies a good hand washing is in order. People talk about guys being sexually stimulated by vision and girls another way --- maybe some day we'll figure it out and we all pray it isn't a big wad of money ("security," they like to call it). Without seeing the research, I am willing to agree that they are on the right track. It's hard for a girl to go wrong with cleavage. A guy with socks in his trousers is likely to get attention, but is it good attention, Tom Jones?



Probably not. I'm guessing a 9/1 opinion ratio of "creepy" to "all that." Better to be like the South Park guys and jest with the issue. Most girls seem to prefer a sense of humor to an actual scary bulge.



I'm no expert, though. The ancient Greeks seemed to prefer the male form to the female. Michelangelo's "David" is a piece from the Renaissance in Italy (c. 1500) but a lot of the Roman stuff was copied or heavily influenced by the Greeks. There are several depictions of "David" from several different artists, many of which show David standing over Goliath's severed head. I think this version is supposed to exude the psychological tension before the fight. There is more emphasis on David's juevos than muscle bulk and even less on the sling with which he will slay the giant. Yes, naked dudes have been glorified through art for thousands of years.



When the Greeks occassionally immortallized a woman, it was usually more of a full figure than it was skin and bones, as we all seem to prefer these days. If you go tens of thousands of years into history you will find statues similar to "Venus of Willendorf" all around the world. Who's that girl with the junk in her trunk?



Testicles are more gross than interesting. Best to keep them tucked away. Inventing a pair of "wonder-briefs" would be a horrible idea.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Benchwarmers

We went and saw the movie "Benchwarmers." It's good for a laugh with an overly-cheesy, Adam-Sandler-signature, happy ending.

The hard part of the movie was listening to the 20-something girls behind us talking for a quarter of an hour before the film started.

Example---

Girl 1: "Oh. I saw 'Aquamarine.' It was so cute. I really liked it."

Girl 2: "But if you read the book, you know they changed some things."

Girl 1 (defensively): "Why would I read a kid book?"

Girl 2: "I don't know."

My wife just laughed and enjoyed it while I tried to find a happy place in my mind.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

The Chip Stain's Grease Will Come Out in the Bath

I finished my last night of moving furniture. The job involved some heavy lifting and putting up with a rough group of people, but mostly it was just a lot of driving around on a lift or tug. It wasn't unbearable and I would have to see it was probably more entertaining than most jobs.

There was a freaky little guy from Texas who never shuts up and always drives into poles. A couple of days ago I went up to a coordinator to ask for a laser scanner (you can't work without one). A few seconds later, Texas, comes rolling up and asks for a scanner, too. I asked, "They didn't assign you a gun either?"

He said, "Gee, Emmett, do you think that's why I just came and asked for one. Think, Emmett. Think!"

The coordinator starting laughing and asked him, "Did YOU just tell EMMETT to think?" That is probably as close to a compliment as I will get from them. I also took it as a good sign that they had me training new people even after I gave them my two weeks notice.

Later in the breakroom, I asked Texas, "So are you loading trucks and pulling the 800's?" Meaning: Are you pulling furniture off the shelves where they keep the big stuff like the tables that crushed that dude to death a year ago.

Texas said, "What have I been doing for the last 3 days, Emmett? Where have you been?"

I said, "Do you think I'm your secret admirer or something? I don't follow you around to see what your doing? I know you've been loading but have you been pulling the 800's for the last 3 days?"

Texas: "No, just tonight."

Me: "Alright then."

Then we all went downstairs to check our stats for the night. Texas said, "Look! Someone is only moving 6 (pieces of furniture) an hour! David R.. Who is David R.?"

Everyone stared at him but no one seemed to want to say it: "David R.. You're brother-in-law. The husband of your wife's sister. The guy you moved to Utah to live by. The guy who told you get a job here." I was really, really, really starting to worry that I would never meet a normal person from Texas.

I was tempted to tell Shrek that I would be making an additional $3 per hour at my new job, which by his math is an extra $18,000 per year. I tried to take a cart full of furniture but my gun told me that Shrek already had the load entered into his gun. Shrek said, "Didn't you see me smiling at you when you pulled up to the cart?"

I said, "Yes. I just figured you were wetting your pants or something."

There are a couple of compulsive liars there. One guy who talks about how he slept with his school teacher all through highschool and bought her a car only to be dumped when he reached legal age. Another guy goes on and on about how cool his car is, how he collects and races cars, how he has a second job testing rocket fuel and how he will sell me a 2005 Toyota Tacoma with 80K miles on it (that he won in a shopping mall sweepstakes) for $500. I said, "I will bring you the money, you bring the truck." He said it will take him awhile to rotate the truck out of the warehouse where he stores his cars. If he sells me a truck matching that description at that price it will buy him a lot of credibility.

Chad is cool. He is the bass player for the band I auditioned for. That whole thing is still up in the air but Chad said maybe we should form our own band on the side. I see how things pan out in the next couple of weeks and then I will take matters into my own hands. But Chad is very animated. Everytime I pass him in the warehouse he does something like chirp like a dolphin or push out his chest, show a lot of teeth and act like he's chewing gum (I think he's trying to look like a valley girl or something). The other night, the bosses were tearing into us, "We have a lot of work to do. It can be a long night or a short night. It's up to you." And Chad put on an idiot face, straightened his arms and faced his palms forward and said in a goofy voice, "Well then I think we should make it a long night." It probably doesn't read very funny but I laughed pretty hard when he did it.

Toward the end of the night my gun stopped working so I went to find that techy coordinator. We were driving towards eachother and he was holding his middle finger high in the air before him for quite some time. When I flagged him down he just said, "I wasn't flipping you off, that was for the guy on the forklift over there."

I said, "No. My password stopped working." He said, "Oh, let's go take care of it."

At the end of the night, when he came around and told us all to go home, he added, "And thanks for working here, Emmett. Dick!" And he drove away. The other boss said I was welcome to come back anytime I want.

At the new job, I get all the free chips I want or I can buy anything the company makes for half off or better. The company owns about 80% of what you see in the chip aisle at the store, including nuts and beef jerky. They gave me four t-shirts and a thick hoody. And they gave me $75 for work shoes that I bought yesterday.

I mentioned how Ethan takes pride in wherever I work. Apparently he told that trashy neighbor of ours. She talked to my wife about it today. She said her husband has applied there six times and can't get on. Better than that, when I got to work yesterday the boss said I didn't have to break down boxes of chips. I got to be the guy who goes up high in the racks and sends all the chips down the conveyor belt. The boss said, "They told me you had good potential so I'm here to test you out."

All the jobs are hard because you CAN do them fast, which means you SHOULD do everything as fast as you can if you expect to be made permanent. Like running 20 feet instead of walking it every chance you get. My boss seems cool and I was happy to find out he was from Texas because I was close to posting a blog about how only freaky people come out of that state.

It seems to be a higher quality group of people, but they still swear and talk about sex a lot. There is a girl named Paula from Cambodia that I worked with for half the night. She looks like she's in her twenties but she has three teenaged kids. Even she joked to the boss that she would "shake her booty" and give him a lapdance on his birthday (it was HER birthday yesterday).

At the end of the night she told me to go ask one of the guys loading a truck if he needed help (which I didn't know how to do). I did. He answered, "Yes, but I don't think you're professionally trained to help me." And then he just walked off. Soon, Paula saw me straightening out some carts and asked me why I wasn't helping him. She took two minutes to show me how to load a truck correctly. I purposely loaded the truck as fast as I could just to show the other guy that he was a jackass for dismissing me. I beat him (not that he knew it was a race).

Everyone who works there seems pretty cool and disturbingly happy. You have to wonder if the secret ingredient in all of their food is Prozac. I asked one girl, "Do you ever get used to the greasy potato smell? Or can you smell it for years?"

She said, "It's not that bad."

I said, "I know. But do you get home and your husband tells you you smell like greasy potatos?"

She said, "I don't have a husband."

I said, "Do you get home and your cat tells you you smell like a greasy potato?"

She said, "I don't have a cat. It's just me and the ghosts."

I said, "Do you get home and the ghosts tell you you smell like a greasy potato?"

She didn't answer, because other people started teasing her about being a lonely old crone.

Anyway, it seems like a good job. I'll probably remember more later but I have to go now.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Hooray for Boobies!

I've been really busy lately. I'm in the middle of switching jobs so I'm working about 60 hours this week. I was thinking about my blog and how I've been pretty self-centered with it. I used to like throwing in tidbits of fiction I just made up but I haven't had time. Lately, it's just been about what I've been doing from day to day. So here's a post just for the readers.

I wanted to talk about something that everyone enjoys talking about. I already used "public restrooms" and I wanted something more endearing than boogers or vomit and I decided on boobies. And it's not just guys that take an interest, even my highly conservative wife, mother-in-law and sister-in-law will talk at great length about boobs. I will refrain from calling them tits but I will also shy away from "breasts" as my wife would have me call them. Feel free to replace the word "boob" with any euphemism you like. But don't doubt my ability to suck the fun right out of this topic by referring to them as mammaries. Stay in line or I'll do it.

If you are going to be disappointed that I'm not going to post any nudity, just remind yourself: This IS the internet. Boobies played a D-sized roll in keeping the internet alive before it had anything of girth to offer common folks.

First, I am not going to attempt to tell you which boobs are the best. Deciding for yourself is an important and fun part of what makes life worth living. But I do think one trip to awfulplasticsurgery.com should make you think twice about making alterations.

Yes, you can be like Britney and have (ghetto)fabulous, larger-than-life warheads that look like they are going to wipe out civilization as we know it with a circuit-frying electro-magnetic pulse:



Or you can be like Britney and be fabulous without being so "in-your-face." The term "quality, not quantity" (should that have a double-T in it?) comes to mind:



Girls with small chests should not feel bad about themselves, as they seem to in american society. You are still women. I had a teacher for a "German" class in college who was very flat chested. I think she stopped thinking about boobs altogether because of what she lacked up top. As a result, the Frau would constantly come to class with no bra. Those memories will forever stand out on a cold day in my mind. I think the whole class was like a deer in the headlights on those days. I'm not saying the boobs make the woman. Quite the opposite.

I like boobs but I don't think girls should obsess about the them like they seem to. It's strange to see a "Hollywood" party on television where every woman there seems to have implants (I watched a biography of Gene Simmons on A&E). It's degrading to boobs, like they are just a purse or something.

Personally, the strangest thing about boobs is when you are a (male) kid and, here and there, you see bare-breasts in movies or whatever. When you are young you don't realize that they make these movies using the hottest models they can find:



Then comes a day when you see an actual real-life nude woman. For me, it was growing up in northern California where hippies and tree hugging people loved to swim naked in the rivers. It was just as common as not to show up at the swimming hole and your mom would have to yell at people to put their clothes on: "I have children here!"



There is an unmistakable awkwardness and deception to seeing nude models in movies and thinking they are what is "normal" and then seeing a bunch of naked dirty-haired granola girls stumbling along the banks of the Trinity River. Mind blower.

Lastly, in our society of repressed and raging emotions, it wouldn't be a good idea to have girls walking around topless. However, it is still male-driven sexism that girls are taught they MUST cover up and be ashamed of their bodies. Unlike us manly men who can let it ALL hang out.

I thought this post would be a good idea mainly so if I ever run for public office I could say it was things like this that made me lose rather than the fact that people don't agree with my political views.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Movie Music

When I worked at the box loading job, they gave me a gift certificate to Best Buy. So I did what any normal person would do and used it to buy a 3-pack of horror movies. One of the movies was "Donnie Darko."

I wouldn't necessarily recommend watching the movie, it's okay. Let me know if you want to borrow it. The movie is funny here and there but I liked one scene, in particular. The scene should have been the entire movie; everything else could be cut.

It's the scene where they play the "Tears for Fears" song, "Something happens and I'm head over heels..."

It starts with the kids jumping off the school bus in their uniforms and follows Donnie into the school. Then you see a bully walk past and sneer at Donnie and then the camera follows the bully. He sneers at an uppity teacher holding a book entitled "Attitudinal Beliefs," she sees him and walks off in a huff. The camera shows Donnie's love interest staring at herself in a mirror in her locker then back to the bully as he snorts something up his nose. A teacher walks by and watches the bully as if the bully is tying his shoe. Then you follow the teacher outside where an overweight girl who is picked on throughout the film is sitting at the base of a statue: the schools mascot, a muscle man with a bulldog head. Then you see the uppity teacher introducing Patrick Swayze (the author of "Attitudinal Beliefs") to Drew Berrymore (the English teacher; a cute head between two giant shoulderpads).

Then you follow Drew Berrymore past a group of little girls practicing their block-and-dodge-boxing dance routine for their performance group, "Sparkle Motion," and into English class where the song ends, "Funny how time flies."

If the one scene was the whole movie then the movie would be interesting. The movie has a lot of weird stuff in it, like it's all leading up to something deep and life-changing, but it never arrives anywhere. The overall point of the movie seems to be: Maybe people would be better off if you were dead.

It was made by the same people that make those "Final Destination" movies. Go figure. But I really think filmmakers should incorporate good music into more movies. If Spongebob can do it, the rest of Hollywood should be able to as well. Funny how movies like Shrek and Ice Age (that Rusted Root song is cool) can do it so well while movies for adults usually fail in the worst way.

Desert Oasis

For Olivia's birthday, we took the kids to the Tulip Festival at Thanksgiving Point.

They have an elaborate wall of waterfalls. It sure beats looking at the sagebrush, but I still think it's funny that somewhere on the grounds there is a big lever labeled "Waterfall ON/Waterfall OFF."

I guess the point is: Life is what you make of it. Sometimes it's a huge fiberglass waterfall that only runs during business hours.

Monday, May 01, 2006

I Don't Need No Leather Jacket, I'm Warm When I'm With You

Today was my wife's uncle's birthday so we went to eat some cake with him. He's a nice guy who doesn't have any kids. He's old and bald but still seems like a kid himself.

At the company where he works, the top sales-person gets to take home the company Hummer (H2) every month. He has taken it home a few times. He decided it would be cool to bring it to the cake party. Not to show off, more like the way he will show up to a Christmas party with an X-Box and say "Who wants to play?" He just kind of likes to share new gadgets and such and have fun.

After I ate some cake I went in the yard and was playing baseball with some boys. My wife came out of the house with the keys to the Hummer. She said, "I think Clyde really wants you to take it for a drive." Everyone else had taken it cruising around the neighborhood. I told my wife, "I'll do it but only if you come with me."

The gear shift looked like the throttle for a cruise ship. My wife said, "What are these things?" I said, "Those are the vents for the air conditioner." Hummer style! I was disappointed to find no controls to inflate/deflate the tires from the cab.

It was fancy. It had LCD screens in the headrests and DVD all over. The navigation system was cool but you can get that in any car. My head was nearly against the ceiling, it drove like a tank and I cringed at Clyde's tales of the $80 fill up at the gas pump. The mammoth size didn't seem to serve any reasonable purpose.

I'm happy with my Jeep Cherokee. It has headroom, power, a decent stereo and sheepskin seat covers from Costco. It gets double the mileage. My daughter frequently repeats the story of how I once picked her up from dance class and let her ride in the front seat without her booster chair. She says the Jeep is hers. Best of all: The Jeep is paid for. Now I know.