Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Sick Of This American Life, And I've Learned The Value Of Human Sacrifice

Funny mormon girl featured on this weeks episode of "This American Life" on NPR. She has a book called "New York Regional Mormon Singles Halloween Dance" coming out this year.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Don't Think Sorry Is Easily Said

C: "Hey Emmett, could you hand me a..."

Me: "This wrench?"

C: "Yes. Exactly. You read my mind."

J: "Was it like staring at a blank piece of paper, Emmett?"

Me: "It was actually more like reading a Dr. Suess book."

C: "Screw you, Emmett! Well... I can't be mad at you for that. That was pretty funny."

Sunday, January 04, 2009

I know that you would like, like to change me, make me soft unto your voice like a baby

I can't decide what to tell the kids when we talk about the existence of Santa Claus. They have their own theories. And I don't want to end up twisting my explanations into something ridiculous like Christmas movies that say stuff like, "Santa is a symbol of the spirit of Christmas and Christmas spirit is certainly real..." That would be going to an abstract place where a 5 year old couldn't be expected to follow.

I really hate liars and it is hard for me to hold the truth from my kids. But I also can't justify telling my kids, "The world is built on lies. Every year you get older you will see more and more evidence that the world and people-in-general are horrible. We don't have a solution for everything and often we don't even try to solve important problems. We have a lifestyle dependent on looking the other way while terrible things happen and most people aren't worth knowing."

That's cynical. I would rather let them believe in magic. They deserve to know that there is a vein of gold running through the craggy mountain.

One day, I was studying for a test for the daytime job. My daughter asked me, "What are you reading?"

I said, "I'm reading about magnets. There are lines that move out of one end of the magnet and into the other end. They're invisible but if you pour metal filings over them they will show you the shape of the lines."

My daughter stopped me abruptly, "Wait a minute... invisible is REAL?"

It blew her mind. It made me smile. Invisible is magic. Electricity is magic. Aliens are magic. The stuff in a telescope or microscope is magic. Magic is real. Curiousity is alive. Fascination is alive. I don't feel like I have the right to kill it. Maybe next year I'll tell the oldest kid the harsh truth.

When I worked at the desk job, I got in trouble at a meeting with upper-management because they lowered the education requirements and the pay-scale for the new people they were hiring and I asked them if they thought that was the best way to get quality employees. I gave some playful examples of new-hire behavior to support my doubt. I got more than one lecture about how my question was absolutely inappropriate and it even lowered my score on my yearly evaluation months later. The usually callous policy-enforcers were VERY concerned that I may have hurt someone's feelings by asking such a question. They told me I needed to think about the impact my actions might have on the feelings of people around me.

I still think I was right to do what I did and wouldn't change it. However, I've noticed that when I tell one friend about the quirky behavior of another of my friends, they are usually quick to jump to the conclusion that my quirky friend is kind of a freak. I can sit there and say, "No. My friend is cool" till I'm blue in the face but it's too late and all they can think of is the one behavior or event that puts them in the freak category.

I must say I'm a little disappointed that people could care less about a million redeeming qualities and focus on one out-of-the-ordinary thing that might put them in an unfavorable light. Take the 18-yr-old mofo for example: One time I told another friend that he has never had a girlfriend and he's a bit clueless of how to get anything started with a girl. Now the other friend seems to think the 18-yr-old has the social skills of a thawed out caveman. Mofo isn't a leper, he's just never found someone like that before. Now I see the impact of what I've said but I don't feel like I've done anything wrong. I have the ability to see the good in someone despite a perceived minor flaw. What's everyone else's problem?

I went bowling with the mofos yesterday. We're thinking about starting a league team.

My wife bought me something expensive and unnecessary for Christmas. I returned it. But later, when she's awake, I'll tell her I appreciate that she thought I deserved to be rewarded that way. I'll say, "I love you, too."

I started listening to the howstuffworks podcast. It's good.

My kids play hilarious games. Today they were playing a game called rock-paper-scissors-SWORD! I asked them, "Does sword just beat everything?" They said, "No. Axe does." One day I walked into the room and my two youngest kids were lying on the floor, twitching around. I asked them, "Are you guys okay?" They said, "Yes. We're just playing a game. It's called Monkeys-Who-Fall-Down-And-Get-Hurt."

We're taking the kids to a BBC Walking-With-Dinosaurs event in Salt Lake. We watch the short commercials with the giant dinosaurs walking around the arena. We can't figure out if they are puppets or robots or what. Maybe they are actual creatures from that movie "Billy and the Clone-a-saurus."

There is a lot to do and life is short.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Yes I Love Technology But Not As Much As You, You See

The holidays have come and gone so I figured it was time I did a post about my holidays.

Here is an actual conversation I had regarding New Years Eve:

Mofo: "Emmett, how was your New Years Eve?"

Me: "I was home with my wife and kids and I fell asleep on the couch. Then my wife woke me up and yelled, It's midnight! Happy New Year! and then I fell asleep again. Pretty cool."

It seems like I had a list of things that I learned during 2008 that I was going to talk about but I must have misplaced that list at the moment. Maybe I'll remember later.

My wife and I did see the movie "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" and here is my review of the that movie:

It's pretty much like Forrest Gump except the music isn't as good and everybody dies. It isn't a timeless movie. In fact, the movie beats you over the head with the notion that life is short, love is unsatisfying and bad things happen constantly.

Also, when you go to see this movie you will be surprised that so many people are in the theater on a Tuesday night and the girl next to you will take off her shoes and put her sweaty toe-jam feet in front of you. She also has a big cup of salt that she dumps on her popcorn so be careful not to mistake the cup as your drink because she's going to keep it in your common cupholder.

I got some cool toys for Christmas. I was happy about it. And it seems like I've seen a lot of my family lately, so thanks to them. I do have some video of Olivia and I doing a musical number in front of a fireplace in a mountain retreat and also a video of Ethan, who got up in front of my wife's extended family to do an impromptu rendition of "Disturbed's" song "Down With The Sickness" directly after my wife's aunt gave a long talk about her trip to Tibet and showed us prayer flags and rattles and stressed the importance of man's worldwide desire to communicate with God ("I want you to think about that," she said), but tonight I wanted to write instead of messing around with computer crap so you will have to wait for the videos, too.

My favorite Christmas moment of 2008 is probably when my wife was in the bathroom and I was wasting time before we went to sleep and there was some cheesy christmas movie on TV starring "Slater" (from Save By The Bell) and Melissa Joan Hart. In the movie, Melissa Joan Hart feels like a loser so she kidnaps Slater so she can show her parents that she has the perfect boyfriend and is therefore, not a loser. And at the end of the movie he decides that he doesn't mind being kidnapped and he dumps his rich, pretty fiance to spend his life with the crazy girl. Just like you'd expect to happen in real life.

Anyway, I was killing time and my wife came in the room and she said, "PLEASE... tell me that I'm prettier than Melissa Joan Hart. You don't have to say I'm prettier than anyone else... just Melissa Joan Hart, because frankly, I don't know what anyone sees in her."

I said, "No problem. You are way prettier than Melissa Joan Hart. Now you tell me that I'm better-looking than Slater."

She said, "You are better-looking than Slater."

I said, "I don't actually care if I'm better-looking than Slater, I just wanted to see if you would lie to me about it."

She said, "Well, there aren't many people in the world that are cuter than Slater."

Merry Christmas to all.