Sunday, July 29, 2007

Burning in a lake of fire

It finally feels like summer is kicking in for me. I haven't been doing much blogging but I've been out enjoying life now and again. For instance, we took our kids to Lagoon (Utah's sufficient arcade/zoo/theme park/roller coaster park/waterslide/historic site and purveyor of pioneer history). The furniture store gave us free tickets but we weren't going to go because we thought it would be torture standing in lines in crazy heat watching our kids have all the fun. But at the last minute we went anyhow and we all had a good time. So much fun, the kids all pitched a fit and cried the whole way home when we made them leave. For being a local gig, Lagoon is pretty impressive. It has decent rides with a lot of quiet areas tucked around. We went and found a quiet place to hang out in Pioneer Village and didn't see a soul around. When we bought some corn-on-the-cob we ate it while watching a family playing make-shift baseball in a small field of grass. I've decided I like Lagoon. It's a lot more relaxed than DisneyHell and all those others.

I've been dying to get back to Flaming Gorge and I missed my chance at the 4th of July because I thought my dad was coming to visit (he didn't), so we headed out there for the 24th of July, Utah's "Pioneer Day," a celebration of mormon's thinking they finally found a place where they wouldn't be run out of town. It's pretty much just a second 4th of July with more girls than usual walking around in bonnets.

I called up my old friend Geppetto to see if we could stay at his house. He said we could and that he also had full access to a Lotus Elise. And I had thought my trip would be cool because I was vacationing in Chaco sandals with a back up pair of Tevas.

I told my wife how I would love to move back to the Gorge. She said MAYBE should would consider moving to Vernal. What the...? Don't even compare the two. They are a world apart.

I have always felt like a superstar at the gorge. I am on familiar terms with all the local business owners, sheriffs, bishop and other members of the faculty. I show up and people hug and kiss me. They tell me they love me. Everyone wants to meet my kids and know how my family is doing. Every spot has a memory tied to it. I know as much about the dam as nearly any tour guide. I get invited to fish with river guides for free. I helped the Forest Service fix up the Swett Ranch. Like Butch Cassidy, I've been to Brown's Park 1.5 million times. I've caught frogs and snakes along the Green River. I've rafted to the islands and camped on them at night. I've sat at the top of the Cart Creek bridge in the moonlight. I've stared down and rappelled into more of those canyons than I can name. I know what many of the trails look like by mountain bike and cross country skis. I've watched the Kokanee salmon head up Sheepcreek Bay to spawn and die on more than one occassion. The list goes on and on...

My wife thinks all of that is nice, if those are your priorities in life. The real problem is... if she lived in Flaming Gorge she couldn't go to Target everyday. She couldn't buy 5 pairs of shoes and then return 4. It just isn't realistic.

I also got to go to Mustang Ridge and jump off the cliffs. This picture is of my favorite cliff in the world.

This picture was taken several years ago. That cliff no longer exists. It was smashed off the face of the earth. So now I have to settle for jumping off the next highest cliff. It's still fun and gets your blood pumping pretty good. I haven't been to the gorge since our latest kid was born and then we were in drought for years before that and these cliffs became SUPER high with the low water levels, so it's been a LOOOONG time since I've had this chance. Everyone says there are strict new rules about cliff jumping, something like you can't jump off anything over 12 feet high, but I think I should be grandfathered into higher cliff jumping rights because I've been doing it all my life. And those laws are only in place so big pussies don't have to make excuses for not jumping anyway.

I told my wife that as long as I am physically able to haul my carcass to the top of the cliffs and toss it off, I will continue to do so. She's glad the tallest cliff is gone.

It's been a good week.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

I am a snake head eating the head on the opposite side

My son has a way with words. I hope that he gets it from me because it makes me laugh.

Ethan: "Here Olivia, I'll take the trash out of your monkey's ear."

(Translation: "I will remove the pricetag from your stuffed animal.")

Saturday, July 21, 2007

So what if you can see the darker side of me

I've had an ongoing struggle with that 18 yr old guy from work. He tells me I'm the only person he can stand to be around. He says, "I'm an asshole, but this is the NICE me at work. I'm worse when I'm not here."

I tell him that he's an angry loner. And he says, "What's wrong with Angry Loners?"

And I say, "Well... they're angry. And they're loners..."

One night he pulled out a light-up keychain and said, "Check this thing out. It's cool."

I said, "Where did you get that?"

He said, "Walmart. Lastnight. At 3am."

I said, "Why were you at Walmart at 3 am?"

He said, "Because my life sucks. There is nothing to do." Later he explained it this way, "I'm 18 and I can't do anything except go to strip clubs." He is actually trying to spend his time doing worthwhile things but he can't figure anything out in that falls in that category. He doesn't want to spend all his time drinking like his friends and he already quit playing World of Warcraft.

I told him, "You really need to ask that girl out from the restaurant we go to for lunch."

Did I mention he hates girls? And kids? And pretty much everyone? But he especially hates girls. And kids. He sees them as financial death and endless nagging. It's hard to pose an argument against that. But he seems to be incapable of seeing an upside to hanging out with girls.

He asked, "Why would I want to do that?"

I said, "I don't know. Because you hang out at Walmart at 3 am FOR FUN. If you asked her out, she might at least hang out at Walmart with you."

I told him, "You two kind of look alike and they say people are often attracted to other people who have similar traits." I said, "You're both tall and skinny, you have the same kind of nose, you both seem to like wearing baseball hats..." (the girl has to wear a work hat)

He said, "We both have the same size of boobs."

I said, "So what about boobs?"

He said, "If a girl doesn't have boobs its like having sex with a man."

I said, "Don't worry about boobs. At some point in time, EVERY girl asks her boyfriend if he likes her boob-size. When she asks you that, you just say HERE ARE SOME PAMPHLETS YOU CAN READ ABOUT BREAST AUGMENTATION."

I told him that having a cool personality is much more important than boobs. He was just using boobs as an excuse. And I knew I was breaking through his shell when he asked me how much boob surgery costs. I told him that he should just ask her if she has seen "Clerks II" (one of his favorite movies) and if the answer was YES then he should ask her out.

But then he sprang back at me... "Why would people be attracted themselves? Would YOU want to have sex with someone who looked just like you?"

And I reminded him about that "Silence of the Lambs/Clerks II" line:

"I'd F*** me. I'd F*** me hard."

But then I told him that my features are much too masculine for me to ever pitch woo to my own twin.

Anyway. I'm still trying to get him to ask a girl out. So he won't be so angry. And alone.


I saw this on someone else's blog and thought it was worth copying.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Would you hold it against me?

I've been painting the ceiling at a big house all week. There is a girl who lives in the house who looks 16 but she's actually 21 and trying to become a nurse. I pretty much haven't talked to her at all until today...

Me: "Hey, if you were a booger I would pick you first."

Girl: "..."

Me: "Have you heard that line before?"

Girl: "No."

Me: "Is it doing anything for you?"

Girl: "Mmmm, not really."

Me: "A guy at work told me about that line lastnight. He said it works EVERY TIME."

Girl: "It's funny..."

Me: "Yeah. It actually sounds like a line that would work a lot better on a guy than a girl. I bet a guy would like that line. You should try it. But, then again, maybe not because that guy was giving me questionable advice on how to pick up girls."

Girl: "Like what?"

Me: "Well, he also told me it's best to pick up drunk girls. He said if you go up to a girl who's been drinking and ask her, 'what's your name?' and she answers, 'Huh?' then she's good to go. It might be good advice. I don't know. I probably wouldn't recommend doing that."

And just for all those people who freak out about it, YES! I TOLD HER I WAS MARRIED... but only after I used the line on her because I wanted her response to be genuine.

Use this advice at your own risk.

Sunday, July 08, 2007


Lastweek I went to lunch with one of my fellow painters. The cashier asked me for a name so they could call me when my food was ready. I gave her the name Chase. She said, "What?" And as loudly and clearly as I could, I said Chase again. I watched her write it down: S-H-A-N-C-E. I don't think I have a speech impediment but I could be wrong.

I explained to the guy I was with that I give my last name, Chase, because it causes all sorts of problems when I try to leave my first name, Emmett.

Pretty soon, I heard an old man behind the counter calling a customer to come get their lunch. He yelled, "Shawn-say! SHAWN-SAY!"

I asked him, "Is it possible that that food is for Chase?"

The old man (who I believe was the owner of the restaurant) glared at the girl behind the cash register. He said, "Damn you, you had me over here thinking I was looking for a woman!"

I sure am glad I didn't try to give them my first name. I would probably be better off to revert to my teen-aged ways and leave names like Iceman, Uncle Fester or Monkmeyer.

Once I was in a fancy store and tried to leave the name Iacocca on a whim. Then the lady asked me to spell it and totally busted me. It's quite unconvincing when someone asks you to spell your name and you respond, " think."
I mentioned earlier that I have to do testing for a job I'm trying to get. I probably don't need to study but I am anyway because I want the job. After doing some studying I've found that I still rock at algebra. I do find little things that I never seemed to have learned before, like how to turn a repeating decimal into a fraction. So that's good.

The other part of the test is Reading Comprehension. I have to say that there isn't really a way to study Reading Comprehension. And, in my opinion, the questions they ask don't actually test your comprehension, rather, they test your ability to feign interest and hang on every word of a boring, boring story.

Here's an example:

Pretend I have just told you a long, tedious anecdote about a week I spent at my Aunt Alice's farmhouse last summer. Now answer these questions...

Q. What were the names of the four kittens living in the barn?
A. Ruffles, Whiskers, Socks and Puff Catty. Okay, that was an easy one.

Q. On what night were the cats fed fresh entrails?
A. Tuesday nights, because Aunt Alice makes fresh kidney pie to serve at the local VFW hall every Wednesday. Duh!

Q. What brand of tractor does uncle Remis use on the farm?
A. Trick question. Uncle Remis only uses mules.

Q. What day did Uncle Remis plan to harvest his crop?
A. Normally, it would be under September's full moon BUT THIS YEAR Mars would be in the night sky two days previous on the same weekend Remis Jr. would be in town, plus Uncle Remis was due for surgery on his bunyon on the night of the full moon, so the answer is... September 12.

What? You didn't absorb all of those details in the 5 minutes you were allotted to read about the most exciting week of my life? You don't care?!?! Sir, if this were the 1800's I would challenge you to pistols at dawn!

So boring. They could try to spice it up a little...

What satanic cult did Aunt Alice regularly attend?
Which visitor slept with the farmer's daughter?
Which organ did the farmer remove as punishment?

Reading Comprehension is more like a test of tolerance and one's ability to pretend to care.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Glistening white, triangular tooth, open up a can of tomato juice

I can't afford a monstrous playground for the kids to put in the backyard, but on the 4th of July we did buy them a tire swing to hang from our apricot tree. The ropes that came with the swing were short, so I bought an extra 12 feet of rope so we could hang the swing from a high branch.

When I got the swing all put together we had one of those rare moments where my wife is impressed with my abilities as a dude.

She asked, "Where did you learn how to tie these knots?"

And I got to give a manly response, "That's a rock climbing knot."

The sweet, innocent Utah-girl in my wife goaded her to ask, "You didn't learn that knot in the Boy Scouts?"

And I got to give the super-manly response, "No. I got kicked out of the Cub Scouts when I was a kid, remember?"

They said it was because I missed too many den meetings but I like to believe they kicked me out because I looked sooooooooooo bad.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

I like what you've done with the place

We were painting an office building the other day:

Adam (my brother-in-law): "Have you been in the bathroom here? It's awesome."

Me: "Really? What's so great about it?"

Adam: "They have a toilet plunger and a can of air freshener... anything you can think of. They thought of everything."

Me: "Either that or they've just learned from experience."

So the people have spoken. Why is it so hard to find a stainless steel or jewel-encrusted plunger THAT WORKS?