Monday, June 26, 2006

I was bent metal, you were a flaming wreck when we kissed at the overpass

A lot of unusual and bad things things have been happening to us lately. Just out-of-the-ordinary things and it's really starting to bother me. Like a couple of weeks ago when I accidently bumped the door to our medicine cabinet with my elbow and the whole thing crashed down into the sink and then rolled into the bathtub, throwing toothpaste and Tylenol and other bathroom stuff in every direction. And a couple of days ago, a five gallon bucket of paint spilled in our car.

Last night I spent several hours watching day turn into night, sitting on the grass in front of a gas station, soaked in Dr. Pepper, waiting for the police to arrive.

Closet-gay Brad and I went to get some fastfood on our lunchbreak. Our light turned green and we started crossing a busy intersection. I looked over and noticed that one car was not heeding their red light and was coming right at us at about 40 mph. I yelled, "Hey!" as a warning to Brad but couldn't think of any useful instructions to give him. Then the car was only a foot or two away from my door. My life didn't flash before my eyes or anything. I guess I didn't expect to die but I was thinking, "Here come the broken bones." I figured a broken arm a possibly a few broken ribs was a reasonable guess.

I think I swore when the car hit us but I can't remember for sure. I said something. Brad and I were both holding our fountain drinks during the collision and they seemed to explode. We were drenched and sticky. I later found the safety glasses, that I had up on my head during the wreck, down on the floor by the brake pedal. When the crash was over, I just said, "That kind of hurt." I was thinking that using "it was like being hit by an NFL linebacker" may be an over dramatization, but an NFL player is probably in the neighborhood of 400 pounds whereas the car that hit us is about 3000. So that could possibly be an understatement.

We were able to move our car into a gas station parking lot and we were surprised when another car pulled in behind us. When the old lady hit us, she pushed our car over into the next lane and we smashed in one of the doors on the car next to us. There were three kids under the age of three involved in the accident. I must of had the worst jolt of anyone, as the car hit my door. Afterward, I looked in the car and saw that my seat had absorbed most of the shock (the door had been pushed against the seat all along its edge). I was very proud of the 1988 Honda Accord for not tearing open like a wet paper towel.

The accident occurred about 7:40pm. The police finally showed up just before 10:00pm. At the time, I thought, "I'll bounce back. I feel bad for that lady. She probably feels guilty and just made a mistake." But when I came home and tried to go to sleep, I started changing my tune. It hurts to lie on either of my sides and to lay on my back is still pretty uncomfortable. Every time I try to sit up or lay down, there is a point where I get shooting pains and it does not feel like my neck can support my head. It hurts to turn my neck and to lift my arms. Upon realizing that, I thought, "She's old. She's had her run. She needs to park it in front of the TV. Guys like me have kids to support and I can't be jeapordizing my job by being hurt and missing work because some old lady gets behind the wheel when she's-not-all-there anymore." I will try to see an orthopedic specialist today or tomorrow, which I'm hesitant to do because I have no health insurance. I'm sure you will all say, "Her insurance will pay for it!" but it's still a pain because I will be getting the bills and her insurance company will still be talking to their lawyers trying to find a way out of it.

Here is my optomism:

  • No broken bones. I'm still grateful for that.

  • Hey, 3.5 day weekend.

  • The paint spilled in our crappy car, rather than our good one.

  • I put the medicine cabinet back together and rehung it. It was a miracle that the mirror didn't break.

  • We found a house and had our offer accepted on it. We just have to make sure the loan goes through.

    Another funny thing is that the lady who caused the crash could give a very clear description of how her daughter was reaching into the back seat to help the grandkids moments before the accident, but here is what she wrote on her statement about the crash:

    "The light turned red. They were making a left turn. I couldn't stop and hit them."

    Aside from the fact that she drew a sketch of us driving in the opposite direction as the reality, I think she was also trying to imply that we ran a red light to make a lefthand turn in front of her. To be honest, I think she was staring at her daughter the whole time and probably didn't even realize she was in an intersection.

    And while we were waiting for hours on the grass, there were a lot of rubbernecks trying to see what the party was for. A car full of boys drove by and they yelled, "Hahaha, bitch!"

    Yes, we all know the world is full of insensitive retards. That doesn't even make a good story:

    "Guys, do you remember that time we saw that unimpressive car accident and I yelled, hahaha bitch! at a random group of people standing in a parking lot? That must have been the funniest thing I've ever done."

    If someone had plowed into that car, just as he yelled it, THAT would have been interesting.
  • Sunday, June 25, 2006

    Not Far From the Tree

    The other day, Ethan approached his mother and asked, "Do we have an umbrella?"

    Eleanor said, "Yes."

    Ethan asked, "Is it big?" The answer was yes.

    Ethan asked, "Can I use it?"

    Eleanor asked, "For what?"

    Instead of answering, Ethan did a pantomime act of clutching to an umbrella, swinging from side to side and falling gently out of the sky and down to earth.

    Eleanor asked, "Are you going to jump off of your bunk bed with the umbrella?"

    Ethan nodded.

    Eleanor told him, "Using an umbrella as a parachute is just pretend. It only works on TV."

    Ethan seemed to accept that response and ran off without further request to use the umbrella. A few moments later, Eleanor heard a loud thump and a sharp cry of pain from Ethan's bedroom. When Eleanor looked into his room she saw our son lying partially on his pillow on the floor next to the bunk bed.

    Eleanor smiled and asked him, "What happened, Ethan?"

    He said, "I fell on my pillow. It was slippery."

    Apparently, Ethan had given up on the umbrella idea but had continued with Plan B which entailed tossing himself over the bedrail and landing delicately on his cumulus nimbus pillow. He found the reality to be that his pillow is little more than a glorified door mat and offers little in the ways of being a safety device.

    When I put Ethan to bed that night, I jokingly piled up three pillows on the floor near the bed and said, "Hey, do you want to jump on these?"

    Ethan looked at the pile and said, "No. I think it will make my stomach hurt."

    Alright then.

    One of my favorite things in the world is when we ask Ethan a question and he answers with a game of charades. The other day we asked him what he wants for his birthday and he just answered "Waaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!" as he acted out cutting down a tree with a chainsaw. He was nice enough to finish off the act by specifying that he wanted a TOY chainsaw.

    I guess kids are just cute. I woke up yesterday when Ethan was trying to get into our bedroom. Eleanor was getting dressed and was blocking the door with her body, "Who's there?" she asked. Ethan responds, "Your son." He gets so formal. He calls me father a lot. Jonah, on the other hand, calls me da-doo. After Ethan woke me up, I got up to use the bathroom. When I got the hallway I was met by my daughter, Olivia, who held up her hand in the "hang loose" sign and zealously told me to rock on.

    Thursday, June 22, 2006

    There's a dead hobo on the patio and an old barbed wire on the funeral fire

    We sold our house. It was easy. We set our "lowest acceptable price" about $20,000 higher than what is reasonable and our broker offered the house to an investor as is. It sold right away without even being listed for sale.

    We could have done a few days worth of work and asked for another $5000 but it really isn't worth it. Having the house sold AS IS takes a lot of pressure off of us to do the myriad repairs and improvements that we've been avoiding. Now we get the pleasure of trying to BUY a house in a market gone mad. Most likely down in Saratoga Springs.

    If we sold to a family I would have sold for less. The upside to selling to the investor is that they will let us rent the house until we find a new place to live.

    I'll keep you posted. Sorry, I've been too busy to write.

    Tuesday, June 13, 2006

    Finding He-mo

    Today, I hope you showed up to my blog thinking that guys are awesome and girls aren't because that's what we are talking about. I wanted to take a snap at another movie that everyone loves: Finding Nemo.

    Would it surprise you to learn that the story was written by a man for men? There hasn't been a proclamation to this effect by the author that I know of, but take another look at the movie. Are there ANY strong female role models? Let's review:

    CORAL (Marlin's Soon-to-be-eaten Wife)

    I think Coral came across as insincere and unappreciative of her wonderful husband's accomplishments in providing her with an oversized home with a fantastic view of the drop-off. Can you believe she had the nerve to speak against Marlin's desire to name ALL of their children Marlin JUNIOR or Coral JUNIOR by suggesting they name one Nemo? Me neither. Women are impossible, but at least she chose a boy's name and got eaten in a timely manner.


    She's so lovably forgetful and absent-minded. But still, every man has his limits and even Marlin must confront her about being a "delay-causer" and basically tell her that she is a detrimental obstical to everything he is trying to accomplish in life. Then Marlin turns into a total douche and let's her tag along just because she's dumb and can't keep from hurting herself. She's good for a laugh.


    Remember? That crazy fish from the dentist tank who thinks her reflection is alive?

    PEACH (the starfish)

    She's just as loud as any over-bearing mother. Luckily, like any self-respecting girl would do, she muffles practically everything she has to say behind an air-tight seal against the wall.


    The pint-sized, brace-faced, fish-killing nightmare. Pure evil backed by the "Psycho" stab-music.


    Even that adolescent octopus points out her own physical imperfections and the methods by which she decieves others (especially men) from noticing her stubby nub.

    Shall we compare these losers with their assumed cartoon internal reproductive organs to the MALE role models in the movie? Let's see... who were the strong, nurturing, good-hearted MALE figures of the film? Oh yeah, ALL OF THEM. From the thoughtful uncle/dentist, to the intrigued pelican, to Gill (a second father), to the school of Moonfish (who come to Dory's aide when Marlin points out how annoying she is), to a surfer turtle and his favorite son, to sharks that want to better themselves, to a ray who is passionate about teaching, to Marlin, himself, whose only crime is loving-too-much... there are only good things to say about the male figures in this movie.

    Like Dre said, bitches can't hang with the streets. Move over Bacon, here comes something meatier!

    Monday, June 12, 2006

    Saturday, June 10, 2006

    A Severed Crab Leg?

    What lies on the bottom of the ocean and twitches?

    Tuesday, June 06, 2006

    Take a Hint

    I was filling up the van with gas the other day when some speakers overhead started playing that song "Do You Love Me? (Now that I can dance)."

    What a goofy song. I wish so bad that a girl answered the question at the end of the song...

    "You broke my heart because I couldn't dance but now I can really move... Do you love me...?"

    Then the girl says something like:

    "Well, I tried to let you down easy by saying I already had a boyfriend and you just kept bothering me even when I said I was washing my hair, or doing homework or hanging out with my REAL friends, so I just made up a stupid reason like, 'you can't dance.'

    You are definitely clumsy and socially inept, but I couldn't care less about your dancing. You're pudgy and pasty and you live with your mom. You're Instant Message ID is "Shortcircuitjohnny5."

    No way in Hell! I was trying to be nice but look what you made me do. Now Mash Potato your way out of my face."

    Last Work Rant

    It's no good blogging about work anymore; everyone there is normal and boring. I don't know quite how to handle it. They just show up and work hard. The management likes to say "We work hard, we play hard." I know the first part is true. I don't know what they mean by the second part.

    The best and worst parts about my job:

  • Worst--- THE DRESS CODE

    I come home all damp with sweat and covered in a moderate amount of grime, but heaven forbid if my company t-shirt comes untucked from my khaki pants.


    Everyday at the start of our shift we receive stern and all-too-serious warnings about racoons and their sinful, devious plans to get their rat-hands on our precious food products. Keep the doors and windows closed! You can't see them... but they're out there! Plotting. Scheming. Biding their time.

    When the warnings are extra-serious they will also include squirrels and foxes in that woe-begotten grouping. I asked what our response would be if such a tragedy was ever to occur...

    When I attended "orientation," they sent people in from every department to talk about the company. The only fat guy in the place showed up and said, "I work in the quality department. I bet you think my job is to hang out in the back and taste chips all day. It is!" He certainly is a jolly fat man.

    Apparently, one of his job duties includes roaming the aisles of the warehouse with a bb-gun to smite our many enemies.

    Another thing I enjoy about work is when we move the delivery trucks. You get to go outside at the top of a grassy green hill, under the mountains and over the city. The trucks are a cross between a U-Haul and a city bus. If they would let me borrow one of the trucks when I move, it would be one of the coolest job perks ever. Not likely.

    Sometimes we move the trucks in the day but mostly it's at night. You sit staring at the city lights out of the giant windows with the door wide open and the night air rushing in. It's peaceful.

    Some things about my coworkers:

    Paula (from Cambodia) is the nicest one. A lot of the people get mad and blame all of the problems on "the new people." (Is it MY fault we're behind or is it because the conveyor belt broke down ten times in the last hour? jerks.) When I don't understand and do something silly, Paula just smiles, involuntarily, like she's watching a four-year-old trying to tie their shoe.

    Doris. Man is she bossy. She would step over her dying mother if she thought it would improve her numbers. She's been working here for 5 years. She was all excited tonight about being at 103% of "company expectations." Not a good sign. She is hard to understand and vague. The first time she spoke to me, I had to wonder if she was hitting on me. She said, "You don't speak spanish? You look like you do. I thought we could stay up late and speak spanish to each other."

    How many times has someone said THAT to you? Sounds like a pick-up line to me. Even when she says things like "crunchy cheetos," it sounds like she's speaking spanish: Crun-chichitos. She gets frustrated with me.

    There are some huge polynesian dudes working there, too. One of them talks like my three-year-old in a Rocky Balboa, slurred baritone. He doesn't speak in complete sentences. He'll say, "Seh-tu? Seh-fo?" And you're supposed to know to respond, "Yes, I loaded truck 72 and 74." He's huge and looks like a steriod monster with solid black eyes and dirty dreadlocks, but he's actually one of the nicest and most helpful guys there.

    Dave is another huge polynesian. He speaks louder and clearer than anyone I have ever met. He speaks like he's trying to lecture 500 people without a microphone. He'll ask you where you went to high school and when you finish your answer he will describe his own high school experience, like you asked him the same question back. He's interesting.

    Chris is a "Return Missionary (Mormon, of course)". He came home after six months, instead of the usual two years. He said he just didn't want to do it. After all those years of growing up, he didn't feel like going right from high school to a strange land (South Carolina) and working 24 hours a day at studying scriptures and changing people's religion.

    I said, "Well, you gave it a shot." I told him how I knew one guy who served a full mission but came home disappointed that the entire process kind of boiled down to manipulation. He said he worked it out to a complicated script and pattern of reasoning and it worked nearly every time. He said he was disappointed because it was more like selling a used car and less like connecting with people or even helping them. Chris said that was probably true, but that the manipulative part of it was the part he liked.

    He said coming home from his mission was probably as much work as just staying on the full two years. He said the leaders in his mission would sit him down over and over and give him talks about how he wasn't just failing his mission, he was also failing as a role model for all his little brothers and sisters. When Chris continued to insist that his heart was simply not in it, his mission president pulled out the big guns and told him, "If I hadn't finished MY mission, I never would have met the people and made the connections I needed to make millions and millions of dollars." Luckily, the church had always taught Chris to value salvation over worldly wealth and the threat bounced off of him like sinners bounced off the bouyant belly of Naoh's Ark.

    Chris still feels guilty. I really like him, though. I told him I would set him up on a date with my sister-in-law, except he didn't finish his mission and that just doesn't seem like it would go with the ideal fantasy that she is trying achieve with her life. No dice, Chris.

    The Texan: one of my bosses. I don't think he means to be a jerk, he just sort of has a knack for it. When I can't duplicate the speed he has attained in 3 years of work within a few hours, he encourages me to work harder with key phrases such as: "You suck, again, Emmett."

    He asked me about being Indian. He said, "Are you a reservation baby, Emmett?" I said no. I said I lived near the reservation for about 7 years but not on it. I told him that my father and little sisters live on the reservation. He asked, "Why?Because it's cheap?" in a jerk-tone. I said, "To make a difference, I guess. He's the first medical doctor in the tribe's history. He's managing the hospital the tribe built." And after so many questions that led up to that moment, that answer seemed to kill his curiousity. He just said "oh" and completely stopped talking to me. Maybe he just didn't like that the conversation didn't go where he thought it was. It is a little annoying to me that the conversation probably would have continued if I had answered something like, "Yeah. Dad just drinks all day in front of the television, waiting for his unemployment checks to show up in the mail."

    I don't the Texan realizes how he comes across. I sense he's got some problems going on in his personal life that he doesn't talk about. He told me his wife graduated from the high school where my wife works a few years back, because she was having his baby. Sounds like a good starting point for a stressful marraige.

    I notice all the girls and the old man do the crappy job that nobody likes almost everyday. So does the closet-gay guy. All the able-bodied men do the jobs that require fast-walking, heavy-lifting and high-reaching. I also notice that, despite the high percentage of polynesian and mexican workers, there are none that I know of in middle-management positions. The Texan was promoted from our team. He was one of the only white guys on our team before us new-hires arrived. The brown guys that trained him have two years experience over him but no promotion. The Texan also likes to encourage us to work hard by repeating over and over that it took him a year to be made a permanent employee. Another coworker clued me in that he leaves out a significant detail: The Texan accidentally crushed somebody's Mitsubishi Eclipse with a company delivery truck not long after he was hired on.

    Maybe I just have a gloomy outlook, but I'm not expecting this job to take me places. The last thing I expect when I go to ANY job is justice or equality, all I want is money to pay for my basic needs and time to spend with my friends and family. It will do for now.
  • Saturday, June 03, 2006

    Friends Forever

    My sister got out of the Navy and, by some lapse of judgment, has decided to move to Utah. I'm glad. My brother flew to Florida last week and drove across the country with her and the kids. My sister is staying with us in our little cottage until we can buy a larger house. My blogging will not be as frequent as people are sleeping in the room with our computer (I came to realize that this room is where I do nearly all of my writing, drawing and music stuff).

    We are excited for our kids, as they will now have lifelong friends closeby. No more hanging out with the wild boys. Ethan told me the other day that one of them had been choking him with his legs while the other one threatened to pee on him. Ethan wasn't tattling, just describing his day. He said he yelled at the boy not to pee on him, so the boy peed on his bedroom floor instead. It's anywhere, anytime with that kid.

    I've been watching all of the kids all week. I took them into the mountains so they could walk on the snow and throw rocks in the raging creeks. I did have one difficult day:

    We want to sell our house very soon, so we hired a company to come refinish our peeling bathtub. We checked with Re-Bath and their salesman was rude. He told me our bathroom was "NOT inviting" and that I basically couldn't afford NOT to pay him $4000. No sale, Re-Bath.

    The company we did hire sent a guy over promptly at 9:30am. A few minutes after he arrived, my nephew Aaron went running into the bathroom and threw up down the back of the guy's legs. My wife chased him into the bathroom and started apologizing and trying to help Aaron as he spewed over and over. The bathtub man was very non-chalant. He said, "Don't worry about it. It didn't get on my clothes. Just my legs."

    With no concern for the puke he went on to make chit chat with Eleanor, "So how long have you lived here? Where are you from?"

    To me it sounded like: "Yeah, I just got puked on. It happens more often than you might think. What's your sign, baby? My horoscope told me this would happen."

    But he went on working with the tub and Aaron kept throwing up. Eventually, the bathtub guy told us we should leave because of the fumes. We packed up all of the kids and went to get some lunch. When we got home the bathtub guy was finished and gone and we opened all the windows and doors and hung out in the yard.

    By then, Aaron's sickness was coming out of both ends. Of course, all of this would happen on the ONE DAY where our bathroom was out of commission (I never put our downstairs bathroom back together). Aaron had to hose off in the back yard and I got him some clean clothes. Then he went downstairs and laid down.

    Soon enough, Aaron came running upstairs to use the bathroom. I said, "Just try really hard not to touch the bathtub." The guy said we couldn't use it for a day and a half. Aaron tried but failed. He closed the door and all the sounds that issued forth were bad. I opened the door and the scene was the very definition of "explosive diarrhea." All over the room, including the tub. And that was just round one.

    I felt really bad that the tub wasn't working and I just kept handing him sopping wet towels and telling him to clean up his legs as best he could. He was worried about what would become of the tub and I told him just to worry about getting himself cleaned up. Worse yet, I was supposed to drop off all of the kids with Eleanor at her school. It was the last day so she HAD to get in grades and credits for all of her students. Then I was supposed to drop my brother, Joel, off at the airport and then head to work myself.

    At this point, I called Eleanor and told her what had happened. She laughed at the story but said, "I'm coming home. I'll finish grades tomorrow."

    Needless to say, work was the relaxing part of my day. The bathtub cleaned up fine and looks better than ever.