Saturday, September 29, 2007

Take It On The Other Side

A little while ago I was watching that old 80's movie "Flash Gordon" with my kids. I thought it was funny AND disturbing that my daughter became more fascinated with the princess daughter of the evil Ming The Merciless who is very well defined as the slut of the movie even more than she cared about the main characters of the film.

When the slut wasn't in the scene, my daughter would constantly ask, "Where is that other girl? What's that other girl doing? Why don't they show her?"

And if I had to venture a guess as to what the slut was doing when she wasn't on camera, I would guess she must be... shopping for fabulous outfits?

I believe that this was actually the next scene with the slut after my daughter requested her presence:

If you ask most guys, there are likely to tell you that it is a no-brainer that slutty girls are vastly more interesting than conservative girls. It's a fast and easy answer but I don't think it's true. I think a girl needs to be MORE than just skanky to be interesting and fun to be around.

If the show "Elimidate" has taught us anything (which it probably hasn't), it's that the slutty girl rarely wins in the end.

So there is more to the evil princess than revealing clothing. In fact, if it wasn't for her than Flash Gordon would have been dead within the first 20 minutes of the movie. Thanks to her insatiable appettite for blonde meatheads, he saved every one of us!

I don't know what to tell my daughter about the evil princess. She's actually one of the good guys in the end.

Friday, September 28, 2007

The roof has a hole in it and everything is ruined by the rain

For the past three days we have been re-roofing my wife's parent's house. It's kind of hot and tedious but we've tried to make it as fun as possible without nailing ourselves to the plywood.

It makes me imagine the dawn of humanity when the very first people got together to take a vote. The elders said, "We are here to choose between a land of flat, level surfaces or this second option that we simply call, Slanty-World."

And even the Cro-magnons voted for the land of flat surfaces. I think it was a wise choice on the part of our ancestors because it would be really annoying to always be in a world of slants. For one thing, your tape measurer would constantly be rolling away. And it wouldn't be worth diving for. You'd just have to watch it roll and bounce down the slanty surface until it ultimately bounces into the wisteria vines, over and over again. That would be so annoying.

And when the wind picked up while we were laying some tar-paper I made up a new super hero (based on my brother-in-law): Eric, The Human Paper-Weight. Which also led to the creation of another super hero: Crabman/Paper-Weight Hybrid, which is pretty much just a Human Paper-Weight who occassionally crawls around like a crab and occassionally lifts his pinchers up over his head and claps them open and closed like that Zoidberg guy on Futurama.

An aluminum vent came flying at my head on a big gust of wind and I had to catch it like a frisbee. That was an exciting moment.

Now I bet you all wish you could come over and help us roof. But you can't. Sorry. It's only for off-the-wall super heroes.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Come On, Add It Up

My wife is always worried about our son not having any close friends. I told her I made my first best-friend when I was in second grade. She said it was the same for her. Now our son is in second grade and he doesn't seem to be hitting it off with anyone yet. We even tell him we'll buy him prizes if he makes an effort to be extra friendly to people (Just meaning he says 'hello' more and holds the door open for people and stuff).

He complains a lot about school being so boring, which we all know is true. And I tell him that that is why it's important to make some friends. I tell him that anytime you ever have to do anything in life that you don't enjoy, it's better to have a friend or someone to talk to around. I tell him that's my method of getting through working so much, because I certainly don't enjoy that.

But yesterday I walked him to school. I like to wait for him to enter the building before I leave but I told him, "You don't have to stand here with me. You can go play."

But he stood by me. And after a few minutes I started to recognize all the same kid faces from last year. And I noticed the only game that anyone plays here is the "kick and slap" game. There was one kid standing by himself against the wall near the door. I said, "Why don't you go stand by Skyler. He looks lonely." So Ethan did. He went and stood right next to him and waited patiently. Skyler was still lost in space and he stayed that way until the teacher came to collect them. I told my wife about that later and she told me that she has gone through the same thing a few times and that Skyler ALWAYS snubs Ethan.

Another kid eventually came and said hello to him but then he immediately got in a slap fight with a giant girl on the other side of Ethan. I looked around for anyone who I thought might be worth playing with and found nobody. Ethan didn't look sad but he stood there looking around like anyone who is forced to wait for something they don't want. I thought to myself, "What would I do in his situation?" And quickly realized, I would do exactly what he was doing.

It made me feel bad for him. If you want to find an upside, maybe this isolation-in-a-crowd will give him that good kind of cynical-salty-sea-dog personality and make him more of an individual inside. He just stood there that whole time, like he was doing his duty and I'm proud of him for it. At the last minute when they were filing inside he turned and waved to me.

After school, I went to the office to give them some lunch money. I took Ethan outside and asked him to show me where he had recess. They have to run to the opposite corner of the school. Which we did. We ran along the edge of a huge field of grass and Ethan did a hop, skip and jump thing across a long row of green plastic sprinkler boxes. When we got to the playground he literally DOVE into the gravel pit and tucked into summersault. He showed me each piece of equipment on the playground. He climbed to the top of a ladder and said, "This is what I like to do." And he jumped down like he was driving his fist into the ground, sending a spray of gravel everywhere. Like something The Hulk would do. He also showed me how he likes to "swim" through the gravel. I must say that he is a surprisingly CLEAN kid considering his playground habits.

The point is: He's a fun kid. I don't know what the problem is with those other kids. I guess it's his fault that he feels a moral conflict at the idea of walking up to another kid and slapping them across the face. You know, for fun. Like normal people do when they get together with their friends.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

More Than Meets The Eye

I told you that I can't get "Transformers as drawn by girls" off my mind, so I took PsychoIntern's advice and looked some up on I'm sure there is art on there by girls much better than this but I liked scrolling through and picking out the ones that I could just tell were drawn by girls without checking:

(I tried to get links to each picture but Deviantart wouldn't let me cut and paste and when I typed the URL's out by hand and tried to re-enter them into the browser, it said the files could not be found. But the pictures are saved with the title and artist name so click on them and check the URL or hover over them and you should be able to get that info if you want to find the artist on Deviantart)

I feel a little better about things now. A weight has been lifted. Thanks for the idea Psycho.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

What's Weak this Week (More Blabbing about Work)

A month ago, if you would have asked me, "Emmett, do you think that you will ever in your lifetime clean up a meth-house?" I would have laughed and quickly responded, "I would never expect to clean a meth-house within my lifetime." But, for about a week we spent our days cleaning up a meth-house (we refinished the cupboards). Now I can say I've done that. Cross it right off the list. It's done.

I start my new daytime job next week and I'm staying on part-time at the furniture store. Mostly for the money, but also because it's a low-stress insurance policy in case the new job isn't as great as it seems. But maybe there's more still.

Last winter, I talked about a guy named Isaac, who people called Lazik, because of his Coke bottle glasses. He bought himself season tickets to the Utah Jazz games and got a new job washing cars. But every couple of weeks he comes to the furniture warehouse just to hang out. He was there lastnight. We were eating dinner and one of the mofos says, "What's that kid doing here?"

I said, "He must not have many friends."

Another mofo said, "Maybe he just comes here to get treated like shit."

I said, "This place definitely has it's own unique flavor of treating people badly. It's the only place I know where you can flip someone off who you've never met before and it just means, 'Hello and how are you today?.'"

Here's another example:

We've been having wet weather in Utah the last few days. The other night I went into the office to give my bosses some information:

Me: "Hey, you guys left a big skylight open. I'm getting rained on in aisle 123."

And let me tell you that it's a strange experience to be comfortable in the knowledge that you are driving your stockpicker INSIDE a building, safe from the elements outside, and then for a stretch of 15 feet you are getting rained on from a hole 50 ft above you in the ceiling.

Boss #1: "There's a vent open?!?!"
Boss #2: "No, Emmett, you didn't see anything."
Boss #1 to Boss #2: "We'd better get up there and close it."
Boss #2: "I don't want to climb my fat ass up there in the rain. My shoes will get all wet."
Boss #1: "No, we'd better go close it. Thanks, Emmett."
Boss #2: "Fuck off, Emmett."
Me: "You're welcome."

Probably not the response YOU would look for from your boss at your job but it's actually kind of nice because you know that people aren't harboring bad feelings towards you. They have no problem yelling there bad feelings at you.

One time I did get worried because of this loud-mouth spazzy straight-edger kid because he came back from break and started yelling, "Fuck this job! This place fucking sucks and all you motherfuckers are assholes!"

That's pretty normal for him. You only have to worry about him if he STOPS yelling and cussing and throwing things around.

But at the end of that rant he looked over and saw me standing there and then he added, "Except for Emmett. He's cool!" And I worried for a minute about being singled out as The Nice Guy. But I think we've all learned to tune that guy out anyway.

I took pleasure in it lastnight. Zack-Morris-with-a-Lobotomy isn't allowed to work by himself. Which means EVERYONE takes turns working with him. He's worked with every single mofo in the place. At the end of the shift lastnight he came to me and said, "You know what I've realized. That YOU are the only person in the whole warehouse that people don't talk bad about. All of these guys complain about eachother all the time but nobody ever complains about you."

I said, "I'm glad to hear that." And I choose to believe it because it's not the first time in my life that I've heard that.

Then Zack added, "Not like me. Everyone talks bad about me here." He was smiling when he said it because we all know better than to REALLY value what the mofos think.

I said, "They like giving you a hard time. But they actually like you. They wouldn't have anything to talk about if you weren't here."

He said, "But they're laughing at me. Not with me."

There isn't a believable way to argue against that. I said, "It's an act, though. They all put up a front because they like picking on you. They like acting tough. They like you."

I even get asked on a lot of Man-Dates from a lot of different mofos:

Do you want to go hiking?
Do you want to go to the Waffle House after work?
Do you want to come to a poker game on Sunday?
Do you want to come over and watch movies this weekend?
We should go see Bourne Ultimatum.
You should get X-Box Live and play Halo 3 with us.

All of those things sound like fun but I'd rather do them with my family. No hard feelings. I told my wife's brother that my wife wants to see Bourne Ultimatum really bad. He said, "Did you tell her to shut up and get back in the kitchen?"

I joked, "Yeah, I did. I said, 'I've got an Ultimatum for you... my dinner on the table in one hour.'"

When I repeated that story to my wife later, she didn't find it all that funny.

I did go to the Waffle House with them on Saturday night. One of the guys started talking about buying some special green herbs. He said, "I've been meaning to ask Kwame where I can buy some."

Another mofo said, "Why are you going to ask Kwame?"

The first mofo said, "Because he's black and he listens to reggae music. He must know where to get some."

The second mofo said, "You can't assume he knows where to buy drugs just because he's black and listens to reggae music. Look at Emmett, he's Indian but that doesn't mean he's out hunting buffalo everyday."

I added, "And I don't have any peyote on me either, fool. But I bet any of employees at this restaurant could probably hook you up."

Mofo #1 gave me a black eye playing basketball lastnight. It's only the second black eye that I've ever had. The first one happened when I was in fourth grade and I was running with a bunch of kids, racing to line up at our classroom door after recess and a girl fell on the backs of my legs and knocked me down. When I got up, I had a black eye.

But try telling that story to elementary school kids. It translates directly to: EMMETT GOT BEAT UP BY A GIRL. So I don't really like telling that story. I also got accused of wearing lipstick in first grade cause I put on some chapstick in front of my classmates. I'm sure they were all just jealous and would have happily eaten that chapstick if I offered it to them though.

When the guy elbowed me in the face, I said, "You're a jerk if you make me show up to my first day at my new job with a black eye."

But here's a thing that I don't like about myself. I rarely get visible bruises. I get banged up and hurt all the time and I get stomping mad because I go to inspect the wounds and there's nothing there. I got hit right in the eye with an elbow harder than anyone has ever punched me and there is just a little red mark under my eye. If it was impressive at all I would post a picture but it's less of a blemish than most pimples I get. Yet, it still hurts when I talk or open my mouth.

So it's not much of a black eye. I'm glad in regard to the new job but I feel like I should have more of a battle scar to show off.

How was work for you this week?

Monday, September 24, 2007

When you're riding home tonight, make for the bridge with all your might

I was hoping for another month of Summer but it looks like winter is at our door instead.

The best part of school picture day: FREE COMB!

Some terrific radiant humble thing-a-ma-jig of a pig

The latest thing I have been doing to drive my wife to her wits end:

Talking like Templeton the rat from Charlotte's Web

My favorite line to quote is: "It says crunchy."

I think it mostly annoys her because she thinks my impersonation is lousy. But I think it's

Double E
Double R
Double I
Double F
Double I
Double C, C, C

Hey, what's that sound coming out of the hole in the wood?

A couple of days ago I thought I would commit to a blog project using a minimum of 51% of my ass. I thought I would write and perform a "Hey There Delilah" spoof for the people in blog-land.

So I pulled out the guitar for the first time since last winter and figured out the chords for the song (D, F-minor then G, A, Fm, A). I even wrote out some lyrics. I didn't finalize them but here is what I was playing with:

Hey there, Delilah
Are you tired of hearing this song?
It was cool when I first wrote it
But now it seems its dragging on and on
and on and on and on and on
It's my only song

Hey there, Delilah
I guess I'm sorry about the instance
When I tried to teach your cat to swim
Despite all his resistance
In the pond out back
It was wrong of me to use a gunny sack
And that's a fact


Hey there, Delilah
I know times are getting hard
And I hope that you don't freak out
When you get the bill for this guitar
I used your credit card
I found it in my wallet
Isn't that bizarre?
Yes, how bizzare


You can run to any town
And I will come and track you down
I'll walk to you and live in your crawl space
And I will build a shrine to you
with jelly beans and crazy glue
A tribute to your smiling angel face
Your tasty faaaa-ah-a-ah-ace

Anyway, I didn't have much time to practice and it was hard to remember all the new words. I also realized that if I did this, then this is the kind of company I would be keeping on Youtube:

I decided I would pass on that idea. So don't ask.

But a day or two later my 2 and 4 year old kids knew I had the guitar lying around and they came busting in and demanded that I play it. The 2 year old seemed to want it the most and he made me finger the chords for him while he slapped the strings.

Then my 4 yr old daughter said, "Play a song, Daddy." And, of course, I started playing "Hey There Delilah" and my daughter got all excited and said, "Daddy, I like that song. It's the song where the guy sings all the OH's."

Then she asked about the guitar that I was playing. She said, "Is this Ian's guitar?"

I said, "This is grandpa's guitar. Ian's guitar is that blue one over there."

She said, "Where is your guitar, dad?"

I said, "Mine is that pile of junk sitting over there."

She walked over to my old beat-up guitar and put her hand on it lovingly, "I like this guitar, Dad. It has good songs on it."

Maybe that's why my spoof didn't sound right. Maybe it was waiting to come out of the old clunker.

P.S. I don't know why but I also wrote the first couple of lines for a Kelly Clarkson parody:

Here's the deal
We're not even friends
You changed my diapers
Now I buy you Depends
Yeah, yeah
Since your my mom

But to write more I would have to learn more words to the song and I doubt I would even learn the music for this one. I guess I figure if I write about it here then these weird ideas will stop floating around in my head.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Horrible, Horrible Freedom

I'm ripping this off from another blog but it's too funny not to share with my friends. It's "Choose Your Own Adventure Books" that never made it.

Not all of them are funny but there are some good ones, such as:

What did one astronaut say to the other astronaut?

We like Ethan to talk to us about school so we ask him basic questions everyday just to see what stories he'll tell us. I don't know if he just likes messing with us or if it's just his personality but this is the kind of answer he usually gives:

Me: "So what did you have for lunch today, Ethan?"

Ethan: "Today we had a choice of Riblets or Chicken Drummies."
(He ALWAYS tells you the options)

Me: "So what did YOU eat?"

Ethan: "I had a hotdog. They were out of Chicken Drummies."

He cracks me up.


Our family is in disarray still between school starting and me switching up jobs. I currently have 3 jobs. Anyway, things seem to be changing for the better. Gradually. Very gradually.

Do you know people who just sort of hick-up out of nowhere? Just one little hick-up in the middle of when they're talking to you and then you don't hear it again for a couple of days? That's how our daughter is, except she throws up. Just here and there, when the moment strikes her.

I asked Ethan, "What's your favorite thing about school?"

He thought about it. Hmmmm. Then he turned to me and said, "Getting up to get a drink of water."

I said, "You can take a water bottle to school if you want to."

He said, "Nah. I like getting up."

It must be hereditary or something.

Anyway, things haven't quite improved yet but they are bound to improve at any second and this inspires me to give the world a bunch of advice that it didn't ask for.

Advice #1: The importance of bathing and showing up to work.

It doesn't sound like much but I think this piece of advice is the primary component of what separates winners from losers in Western Society. To most people it sounds simple and unhelpful. Almost like COMMON SENSE or something. But there are many people skulking around who have heard of these things.... "bathing" and "showing up to work".... and they think they SOUND LIKE good ideas. But at the same time, it's just not a lifestyle that interests them. They think of these habits as details. In significant details.

I've mentioned several times throughout my blog that I hate empty promises. But I PROMISE people this: If you CURRENTLY are not bathing and showing up to work regularly and from this day forward you BEGIN to do these things, your life will improve by leaps and bounds. You have my word.

Advice #2: Recognizing a bad date.

I know a guy who has yet to realize the benefits of Advice #1. One day he was telling me how excited he was for a date he had arranged that evening. I remember how he looked. Grinning and stinking. It's the happiest I've ever seen the guy.

The next day I asked him, "So how did your date go last night?"

He said, "Hmmmmm. I think she might be a lesbian. She didn't come right out and say it, but she mentioned 'her partner' a few times."

Knowing his fragile emotional state due to his avoidance of Advice #1, I decided not to heckle him. I said, "Oh. What did you guys do?"

He said, "We went to Barnes&Noble and looked at art magazines. She's an artist, too. But she says that ever since the 'Transformers' movie came out, all she draws is Transformers."

People. I would love... I would PAY MONEY to see pictures of Transformers as drawn by a girl, letalone a lesbian. Ever since I heard about this I've felt like I've been missing out in life by not seeing these pictures. But part of me knows it will never happen.

I told my wife about it and said, "Maybe if I asked Holly, she would draw me some Transformers. I would pay her." (Holly is one of my wife's dearest friends from childhood and a bang-up graphic designer. And I should probably clarify that she is NOT a lesbian even though my friend Sandskier jokingly accused her of such the first night he ever met her.)

My wife forbade me, "You can't go bugging Holly to draw you Transformers. She's busy and it's a dumb idea."

She's right and I wouldn't want to pressure Holly to waste her time on me but, you know, if Holly is reading and ever gets bored between now and the day I die and ever thinks to herself that she would like to give me a heartfelt Christmas gift and can spend an hour doodling a Transformer... I would love that. But I would never want to pressure her.

I just said, "You know they would be CUTE if she did, though."

Now I'm WAY OFF on a tangent. The point is, if you would like to settle down and start a family some day, and you are heterosexual, then avoid dating homosexuals. And come up with a better date than looking at magazines at a book store. But first and foremost, you should bathe and show up to work.

And given how hip gay people tend to be, why can't they think of a better term than "My Partner?"

Monday, September 17, 2007

Next In A Long Line of Easy Posts

Check it out. Aunt Dianne came through with that picture of our camping trip where Jonah made me ride him around on my bike the entire time. Sorry if you can see the dust. The scanner works greats on all those imperfections.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Have To Believe We Are Magic

And While I'm hanging out on Youtube, here's a little something:

Rose said, quote: My Time Has Come At Last

I realize that I talk a lot about music that probably isn't worth mentioning while all this time I've never mentioned one of my favorite bands.

They are called dEUS and they are from Belgium, I believe. They don't sell their records in America so they don't get any exposure on our side of the pond. But if you like good music please check them out. They have a variety of styles and they are kind of artsy so they are bound to have something you love. And hate. Give them a listen:

Say to yourself, "It's just a show. I should really just relax."

This is just a public service announcement to let the world know that the cast from "Mystery Science Theater 3000" is still trashing movies for the masses at I thought their samples for "Point Break," "Top Gun," and "X Men" were pretty good.

They are also riffing TV shows like "Lost" and "Grey's Anatomy." Here is the sample from "Heroes."

Thursday, September 13, 2007

This is OUR hill and these are OUR beans

For some reason summers are always hard on our family; Especially August. I guess there is always so much to do and so much change for people when August winds down. This last month has been really hard for us with more obligations than any two working people could ever be expected to handle. Along with the little jabs life throws at us like the bad wind that came and blew down my gazebo:

I guess that's what I get for shopping on clearance.

My big announcement is that I have a new job. A good job. It pays better than my old desk job. And I get to buy new tools. Soon I will be one of those special people with Health Insurance again. And I won't have to pay a dime for it. Health Insurance doesn't make you feel so special when you have it but it's a pain when you don't have it. People look at you as if you're telling them you're heading across the Sahara Desert with no water when you tell them you have no insurance:

"What insurance do you have?"
Paaauuuuusssssseeee. Beads of sweat. Lowered voice, "How are you going to pay for this doctor visit?"
"The kid was fine when I brought him in for his check up. What are you planning to do to him while he's back there? Will I need a loan?"

Anyway, the Brotherhood has eyes everywhere and I finally have something to lose again so I'm going to avoid talking about the new job as much as possible. But I will say that people who administer drug tests for a living shouldn't make small talk. And while they're making inane small talk, they shouldn't interrupt themselves to bug their eyes out and say things like, "Wow! It looks YOU needed to go more than you thought."

The ray of light in our life has been our family. Our parents have done all they can for us and our kids have been almost just as helpful. They are funny and sweet. Jonah jumps on and off of everything. He even goes out of his way to create a reason to jump. And with every jump he opens his little two-year-old mouth and releases a, "Hup!" It's funny.

Olivia is hilarious. The other day I asked my wife if she had a dollar so I could buy myself a drink from the vending machine at work later in the evening. My wife said, "Here. Just borrow a dollar from Olivia." And she took a dollar out of the soup bowl that Olivia uses as a bank.

A few days later I gave my wife a dollar and said, "Here, give this back to Olivia for me." My wife went into my daughter's room to return the borrowed dollar and Olivia saw her and asked what she was doing. My wife explained that I had borrowed the dollar and was now returning it.

Upon hearing this, Olivia jumped up and yelled, "Yes! I knew it! I knew I had more money than you guys!" The sad thing is, depending on the day, she was probably right.

A little later, my wife were in our living room and our daughter came into the room with her soup bowl full of money. She said, "Here you guys. You can have it."

I said, "No. That's your money. You should keep it."

She said, "No. I don't want it. I want you guys to have it."

And I pulled rank as Dad, "Go put your money back in your room."

She went and put the money away and it was a little while before we saw her again. Then she returned with THIS PICTURE SHE DREW:

Olivia drew a picture of her parents. Look at them, they are elated. They are ecstatic. They are beyond themselves with joy because their daughter has given them all of the money in her soup bowl. Look at all of those coins on the ground. She even gave them the green rectangle dollars. Have any parents ever been as happy as Olivia's parents? Probably not. Olivia's parents are so happy because she has bestowed them with her boundless treasure. She knows it and she is proud of herself.

Here is something that Ethan and Olivia made together. It's an American Robin. Ethan made the bird using paper, Scotch tape and scissors. Olivia colored the bird. Both sides. And pretty accurately.

They have drawn some other awesome pictures that usually include princesses locked in towers, dragons, skeleton witches (because everything is in its ultimate form of scary when the word "skeleton" preceeds it) and ninjas.

Ethan has his way with words. He says to my wife:

"I love you like I love Zonk (his salamander)."

My wife, "Really?"

Ethan, "I will ALWAYS love you like I love Zonk."

My wife, "Thanks."

Ethan, "Do you love me as much as the bunnies?"

My wife, "I love you more than the bunnies."

Ethan, "Do you think Zonk would cry if I died?"

My wife, "I would cry if you died."

Last night Ethan called me at work. He said, "I miss you. I want you to come home."

Thinking out loud, I said, "I might be able to." Because it was my day off.

Ethan said, "Good. Go tell your boss."

Then I had to say, "No, I'd better stay till we're done working. I'll stay home tomorrow night."

Ethan said, "Okay. But I wish tonight was short-day at your work."

I said, "Me too."

I woke up one day and it was the quiet of morning. The curtains were closed and there wasn't any noise. I found Ethan sitting quietly on the couch. I couldn't tell if he was half asleep or pausing in cosmic reflection. I sat quietly, too.

After a minute, Ethan turned to me and said, "One day you are going to get really old and then you're going to die." It was a hard thing to argue with so I just said, "I know."

Then Ethan said, "And then I will live for a long time and then I will get really old and die, too."

I said, "Yup."

He said, "After I live for a long time and then die, I'll come to Heaven and look for you."

I said, "Okay. Do you want some Fruit Loops?" But I was really wondering if a day would ever come that he would ever think to say that to me again. Because deep down I think that is what every parent wants to hear.

I don't think he'll ever say it to me again so I'll just remember it as it was that day, in that dark and funny way. Maybe one day I'll remember it and it will make me laugh and cry. Maybe when I'm older. Right now, a bowl of Fruit Loops sounds pretty good. But damn if little kids can't drive daggers into your heart. He always tells me he misses me and that he worries about me when I'm gone. Feels like he's stealing my lines as the caregiver.

The point is: My kids are cool. A lot of people can't even begin to grasp that concept.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Riding the train down from El Barrio

There is a guy at work who looks like a hispanic version of the "Soup Nazi" from Seinfeld. He is the first generation of his family in the United States and is very proud of his mexican heritage.

He's funny because he likes to have deep, meaningful conversations even when nobody is willing to listen to him ramble. And he chooses to talk about things that most people aren't interested in. Like tortillas. He'll talk for hours about tortillas. He says things like, "It's a sin to cook a tortilla in the microwave." I don't prod him for more information but if that is true than the catholic church is even stricter than I previously believed.

He also talks about "Spanglish" a lot. It sounds like this when someone speaks Spanglish, "Ba la da la ba CAR INSURANCE. Ba la da ba la da BLOCKBUSTER VIDEO." He says that when people speak Spanglish it is because of their own ignorance. He says there are words in the spanish language so you can say practically anything but people aren't willing to learn any words they don't already know and they end up speaking Spanglish. Lazy and ignorant, he says. He tells me, "You will never, EVER hear ME speaking Spanglish."

A little while ago I was working with a temp from Mexico. He spoke very little English and I speak very little Spanish but we still seemed to get along pretty well. When I work with mexicans I try to speak in Spanish and English just to make sure things are getting done right. This temp starting teasing me because he heard me say "kwa-chro" instead of cuatro (which should really be said more like kwa-throw) and he started speaking in ebonics, saying "fo'" instead of four. After that I kept saying kwa-chro on purpose and then adding little touches like saying "Uno-cientos" instead of "cien" (one one-hundreds instead of one hundred).

We saw the Hispanic Soup Naze while we were riding around and I explained how he felt about Spanglish. The temp agreed. He said it is a dumb way of talking. He said he's heard guys on construction sites using words like "truckay" for truck and "rightay" for right (as in, right-handed).

Later, I was still working with that temp and I was yelling out instructions, using words like frente, en medio y atras (front, middle and back) and the Soup Nazi heard me. His face lit up and he yelled, "Emmett! You're learning Spanish. That's great!"

I said, "Yeah. This guy is teaching me all kinds of stuff! He taught me TRUCKAY, he taught me RIGHTAY..."

The Soup Nazi didn't saying anything to that. He just shot me an icy stare with those spanish eyes that seemed to say, "NO BIRRIA PARA USTED!"