Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Poked? Ouch.


So have you ever been “Poked” on Facebook? I have and I am at a loss as to what that means exactly. How I am supposed to respond? There is nothing that is really attached to it just a finger pointing at you.

Are they calling me out to fight? Are they that desperate for attention that this is the only why they can communicate for a little love, much like a mute child? If I do reply back, what kind of social obligations am I under to this person?

I never have responded to a "poke" before because if I do I am afraid what will happen after the fact. I just imagine that all of a sudden a chat box will open and I will have to chit chat with someone I only like as an acquaintance, and chat boxes I only participate in with serious friends.

It's like those people who come up to you, who you vaguely know, and they extend their arms and say, "Someone needs a hug". And inside you don't want to give them a hug but you do, and then you die a little bit inside because you have crossed a line that you really didn't want to cross just to fill someone’s need for acceptance. When in reality you want to slap them and say, “Look, Hug Whore, stop hugging everything that moves!”

And if I may just be honest, no matter how it is presented I always feel a little dirty inside after someone pokes me, a little violated if you will, like I could take 20 showers and never feel clean.

The funny thing is that after I post this I am going to start receiving hundreds of pokes from readers. And if I do, you will see my fury as I "Super Poke" you back . . . whatever that means.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Belated Christmas Blog


(I meant to post this before Christmas, so if you are done with Christmas, or you are not in the mood for something a little more serious than the regular postings, just check back tomorrow for our regular scheduled programming.)

So Christmas is here and I am sitting here at work thinking, “Maybe choosing to work on Christmas Eve was not a very wise choice.” And then I thought, “Hey may be working the day after Christmas, not a very good choice either.” Man, wise up.

This Christmas I realized something about myself. I don’t really need a lot to make me happy at Christmas. This Christmas I have done things that were “Christmasy” and didn’t spend so much time on the shopping and all that gift who-ha. I went to concerts and plays and even one snowy day I went downtown, well I actually got trapped downtown during a snow storm, but it still counts as an effort.

During my downtown snow storm experience I felt like I was the only person outside. And the snow that was falling were flakes that were the size of downy feathers. You know what I am talking about, the flakes are so big that you can actually look up and see a snowflake and follow it all the way to the ground. And if you are really quiet you can almost hear it hit the ground. And what struck me was how quiet it was; quiet, except the pounding of downy snow hitting the ground.

It reminded me of a Christmas when I was a child. I grew up in a small town and one year we had three feet of snow. That’s right three feet. One night while it was snowing we got on our snow suits and moon boots and played in the snow.

Well, when you are about four feet, and the snow level is three feet, walking is quite a chore. After about, oh, I would say five minutes of trying to make some head way, I just fell back and rested in the snow. I can’t remember if I was just so comfortable there or if I was stuck, but I remember looking up at the sky and feeling the snow come lilting down on my face. I remember it felt like the world was so quiet and that everything began to slow down. I think that at one point my heart stopped because it felt like it couldn’t compete with Mother Nature’s stillness.

I think that at Christmas time everyone needs to have those moments when the world is quiet. When you feel at peace and can pull yourself back from all the different places you have divided yourself and feel whole if only for a few minutes.

Monday, December 22, 2008

The Freakiest Excercise Video Ever

So I have already shared with you my love for infomercials which runs very deep in my soul. This video your about to see if obviously from the 80's. You wouldn't know it but there are a few clues that will help you figure out that you are definitely in the land of big hair and french cut work out gear. The clues are subtle, but if you look really close you will see them.

In her infomercial she never really shows you the exercises but just talks about how you only need to exercise for about 15 minutes a day and just breathe. Breathing is the key to your weight loss friends, I don't know if a lot of you knew that but according to this sweet sister that it the secret. I know what you are thinking, "But Rob, I breathe all day every day and haven't seen any results." Well I would tell you friend, you need to think more about how your are breathing and how your are holding your facial muscles. As sweet Greer will demonstrate. (Greer says that the facial exercise will guarantee that you will never need a face lift. But if you look at sweet Greer today...she has had some work done.)

Here are some things I love about this:
1-She is so serious about his work out and doesn't crack up midway through.
2-I think she is in her actual living room because I see a heater vent in the back.

This is one of the funniest things I have ever seen. If laughter is the best medicine, than this should cure you of all your ills.
(Please don't attempt these excercises at home as all your innards my come shooting out of your mouth.)

The Whistle: A Lost Art

Have you ever listened to “White Christmas” and heard the beautiful whistling solo? It is one of my favorite parts of that song. What says Christmas like a good whistle?

Whatever happened to the art of the whistle? I remember my grandpa had a beautiful whistle. It was almost ethereal in tone and it had such a nice vibrato attached to each ending note.

People really don’t whistle any more, ya know. We live in an age of IPODs and YouTube, so any music we want is really on demand whenever we want it. But back in the day your whistle was all you had to listen to. You would have your different playlists, and songs that you had book marked just stored up in your brain.

Before your day would begin I am sure you would sit down and think, “OK, I am heading to the gym, so I will whistle my ‘work out jams’ playlist. I think today I will start with AC/DC “Thunderstruck’”. And then you would jump on that tread mill and whistle your work out. Oh course it was really distracting because everyone was whistling at the same time on their tread mills so some of would just hum as a courtesy to others.

I think back in the day people really aspired to be great whistlers. That was looked upon with the same respect as great singers or musicians. They saw it as another instrument that you could master. I really think people considered whistling as an option for a full time career.

Can you imagine how that interview would go?

Interviewer: Can you tell me a little about your experience, and why we should hire you?
Whistler: Oh, of course, I would be happy to. Ya know I started out with Bing Crosby on his White Christmas album. He was such a great kid, and such a professional.
Uh, after that I was asked to perform the theme song to the “Andy Griffith Show”. That was such a treat to do.
After that, I then traveled to Broadway where I performed in the “King and I”. The actor who played the son of Anna couldn't whistle so they asked me to dub it for him during “Whistle a Happy Tune”. It was my pleasure to do so.
Unfortunately, due to the lack of popularity of whistling lately, I have been resigned to local commercial work. My last job was actually an Irish Springs commercial.

So friends, let’s put down our Ipods, turn off our car radios, and just enjoy the sweetness of a solitary whistle. Together we can bring back the lost art of the whistle.

If you don't think there are professional whistlers out there, well think again. Here is the video to prove it. Good David Morris, "Whistle us a song, your the whistle man. Whistle us a song tonight..."

Friday, December 19, 2008

The Gift of all Gifts Has Arrived!

Guess what I received yesterday friends? All my Christmas wishes came true. After a cold and long day at work I received...my very own Slanket.

I wear it loud and I wear it proud.

If you have no idea what a slanket is and my feelings about it please see my previous entry on the Slanket.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

ASLEEP




So I was listening to “Away in a Manger” the other day and remembered a funny experience that happened when I was about 10 years old.

First, before I go on, you know how there are two versions of “Away in a Manger” right? One has the, “ASLEEP, asleep, ASLEEP…etc”, and the other does not.

So we are sitting in church and we pull out our hymnals and the closing hymn is “Away in a Manager”. Fantastic, we thought, we knew this song from primary. Now, the one we had learned in primary was the “ASLEEP, asleep, ASLEEP…etc” version while the one we were about to sing was sans the “ASLEEP, asleep, ASLEEP…etc”.

So my sister loves to sing and was always such a good example of just singing with all your heart and soul. Even if she didn’t know the song she would always just give it her all. I, on the other hand, realized that this was different than the “Away in a Manager” I was used to singing in primary so I just sang it very timidly.

It was getting close to the end of the song and we all sang “…Asleep on the hay”. The chorister cut us off and there was silence. And then next to me I heard one clear voice sing, “Asleep”. Yes, it was my sister singing loud and singing proud.

I just remember every eye in the congregation was turned to the Abney’s pew and my sister’s face being bright red.

Ah such a great Christmas memory.

Monday, December 15, 2008

For Your Safety. . .

So today I went to the orthodontist to get my permanent retainers put on. It is always a highlight to get new retainers on, as many of you know. So you can imagine how excited I was to see good Dr. Jensen again. Maybe I was a little too excited because I had to go peeps bad!

So I ran into the office building where my "orthodont", as I like to call him, resides searching for a bathroom. I quickly found a bathroom but to my horror I realized that it was locked. "This can't be right I thought", and threw my shoulder against the door, and again the door did not budge.

I was almost to the point of bursting, when I put my head down and went into battering ram position. Now with my eyes at that level I saw a sign on the door that said, "For your safety this bathroom is looked. Please see your health care provider for a key."

What!! I tell you what will be a safety issue, how about wetting myself and then sitting in the ortho chair and being electrocuted. Now that's a safety issue. Am I right?

I mean really what is going on in these bathrooms that our very safety is at stake here? Does a gun go off when you flush the toilet, or is there some sort of lunatic that lives underneath the sink that randomly dishes out swirlies to unsuspecting patrons?

So finally I sheepishly and very tightly walked into my "ortho's" office, and like a three year old asked if I could go use the bathroom. "What's the magic word Robbie?" the receptionist replied. "The magic word is pee, and if you don't give me the key to the bathroom right now, you are going to have a puddle of magic right where I am standing. OK? OK."

I proceeded into the bathroom with caution. I had my key chain pocket knife extended, ready for anything. But when I got in the bathroom there was no one waiting to give me a swirly, and no gun went off when I flushed. In fact it was one of safest bathroom experiences that I have ever had. It even smelled nice, like country harvest.

So it begs the question, why must my bathroom protection be regulated buy my health care provider? Any guesses?

Thursday, December 11, 2008

The Reverse Trike Master

Isn't it amazing how your paths cross with people. I serve on a committee at work were we talk about how we can make our place of business a healthier place to work in.

Today our discussion turned to safe modes of transportation. We were supposed to be talking about healthy eating but some how a guy on our committee always gets off topic and goes on and on about ridiculous things. Last time he suggested we put Gatorade in the drinking fountains. Your tax dollars hard at work folks. Whenever he goes off we say, "Thanks, for commenting...(awkward silence as we glance back and forth at each other)..any way...", and then we get back to the agenda.

So there we all were talking about wearing our seat belts and coming up with a campaign to get people to use their blind spots, when "Random Man", as I like to call him, said that we should all start riding our bikes to work. But then we patiently reminded him that it's mid-December and thin rubber wheels and ice are not a safer mode of transportation...(awkward silence as we glance back and forth at each other...sigh..)"Any way."

But he was not deterred by our "glancing" or our frustrated sighs. He said, "Safety wouldn't be a problem if you rode a motor bike with three wheels like this gentleman", indicating the man sitting next to me.

Let me pause here to refer you to a previous blog called "The Reverse Trike". I talked about this mysterious man who dresses as a hard core biker but rides a motorized trike. So you can imagine when I found out that the man next to me was the before mentioned mysterious trike rider. Needless to say I was intrigued. He said that the reason he traded in his Harley for this motorized trike was because it was safer in the snow.

Safer in snow? Back up the bus there son. Now this begs the question, why is this man driving anything that resembles a motorcycle in the bitter winter wind of Utah, with black ice? I don't care how many wheels you have black ice is black ice. And the wind chill factor must be so intense you would freeze your toes right off, amongst other things. I mean, I can barely walk from my front door to my car door without four coats, and my electric blanket cranked on "High" (Sometimes I forget to pull in that electrical cord and it drags all the way to office. So embarrassing.)

But while I was criticizing this man in my mind I thought maybe there is something that I am not seeing. Then my thoughts turned to how this man could ride his trike during the winter months. Perhaps there is some sort of a bubble that you can put over your trike when it gets cold, like the ones you put on swimming pools or tennis courts in the winter. You know what I am talking about?

So after doing some research there is actually such a thing. It is called the "Bike Bubble".I am thinking of getting this for my "hard core trike" friend. That way if he chooses to ride his trike in the snow he can stay warm and toasty in his trike bubble.

And hey, if you run into something like an elk or a Yeti, you could just bounce right off into a snow bank. Fantastic!

Ah, science, what will they think of next.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

The Slanket Experience

Friends I love an innovative, and creative product. You know I do! Which explains why most of my Saturdays are spent watching infomercials (The magic bullet just came out with a new juicer. Check it out. It's gonna be big. Oh, and don't even get me started talking about Ronco Popeil's new pasta maker.)

So my co-worker came in last week and told me she saw the funniest thing on QVC called the Slanket. I was intrigued. "Show me this Slanket that you speak of.", I told her. So we went to the QVC website and friends here is what we found.



I immediately fell on the floor laughing because who in their right mind would drape themselves in a velour sheet and walk around their home this way? I mean that is why our society manufactured ginormous blankets so we wouldn't have to look like this guy laying on his couch when friends stop by unexpectedly. Can you imagine the embarrassment you would feel if your roommate brought home a date, and there you were wearing your Harry Potter glasses in your Slanket, lounging on the couch? Go ahead, try to explain to your roommate and his date why you are wearing a fleece dress. Go ahead. Try it.

So about a week after this little laugh fest, I went over to visit some of my friends and they were all wearing some very interesting attire. I couldn't put my finger on what it was that made it so interesting, but they looked like they were wearing some sort of fleece toga. It took me a minute and then I realized why their outfit looked so familiar. That is when it hit me friends, all of them were sporting the...Slanket.

I don't know how you would react in that situation, but I just broke into laughter.
But my laughter was short lived as they offered me their slankets to try on. My laughter quickly melted into tears of joy as I realized how much I needed the Slanket in my life.

It was so warm and cozy and came over my feet, my feet people. My feet never fit underneath a blanket due to my long, muscle laden body (Until you are 6'5 you will never know how hard it is to find a blanket long enough to cover your entire frame. Most of the time you have to assume the fetal position and have you big feet hanging outside the warm goodness that is the blanket.)

So I thought this might be a great gift for me and my long torso-ed friends. But, to my dismay, everywhere I looked...SOLD OUT. That's right friends, apparently this is a hot item for Christmas this year and it is on back order everywhere.

So I now, after wearing my first Slanket, can fully endorse this product. I know that is what you were waiting for before you ran out and bought one. So stay glued to QVC because who knows when they might offer you a screaming deal on a Slanket.

I was saddened by the fact that I would be Slanket-less this Christmas as I couldn't find one any where. But the Slanket Gods have smiled upon me this year. Because guess what my co-worker got me for Christmas this year?

That's right, a Slanket.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Twillight The Movie: Seriously?

So this weekend I happened to catch "Twilight" the cinematic spectacular that seems to have captured all the women that I know in a vice grip and will not release them back to reality.

In a previous blog, I have openly admitted that I have read all four books in the "Twilight" series. I found the first books pretty good so I went into the movie thinking with all the technology we have available to us, this movie should rock. Well friends I left feeling something was a miss, but I couldn't put my finger on it.

After some serious reflection I have put my thoughts about the movie into some talking points:

Point 1- At one point Edward tells Bella she is his own personal brand of heroin. Is that supposed to be flattering? I may be new at this love-ease, but really? Heroin? Since Edward has been alive, I don't know, like 200 years, I would expect a little bit more thoughtfulness on his part. Comparing a girl to an illegal substance may not be the best way to get her to go out with you. I am just sayin'.

Point 2- Again, I hate to belabor this point but, WHAT IN THE SAM DOES EDWARD SEE IN BELLA? I don't know this Kristin Stewart who they got to play Bella but she has as much personality as a rock.
Am I really to believe that all these guys at school want to take her to prom, and these girls want her to come pick out prom dresses with them. Where ever she goes she comes off so lethargic and uncaring. And we are supposed to believe that Edward can't help but fall for her?
I could be wrong but I like to ask girls out that have a personality. That's just me.

Point 3- If you were Bella wouldn't you start to wonder if Edward liked you for you, or if he was just attracted to your smell. Wouldn't that be a kick in the teeth if one night Edward showed up and said, "Bella, you are such a nice girl, and I have really enjoyed our time together, but really I am just using you for the sweet smell. Sorry."

Point 4- So I admire Edward for wanting to push Bella away because he knows he can kill her if things get too close. But Bella tells him she can't live without him even though she knows that she is tempting him to kill her and start sucking human blood again.
That seems a bit selfish doesn't it?
I mean, isn't like the equivalent of dating someone who is extremely addicted to, oh let's just say heroin. But your whole life centers around wearing perfume that smells like heroin. And the heroin addict guy your dating says I can't date you because when I am with you and you wear that "heroin eau de toilette" it makes me want to shoot up again. And then you say I don't care if you destroy your life and mine by becoming an addict again, I have to be with you, and I am willing to take that risk.
Do you see where I am going with this? Doesn't sound like they are looking out for each other, does it? Kind of co-dependant.

Point 5- What is up with Jasper's hair? I am not sure who was in charge of wigs in the filming of Twilight but they need to be fired. Don't you laugh every time you see Jasper walk on the screen? He looked like he was strung out on heroin, or heroin perfume, I am not sure which.
We are supposed to feel sorry for him because he is still transitioning as a vampire but seriously he was just comic relief for me. Check out this photo. I mean can we really take this guy seriously?

Thank you for indulging me.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Christmas Specials


A few days ago "The Grinch Who Stole Christmas" was on your local ABC affiliate. I love this cartoon. Don't get it confused with the Jim Carrey train wreck known by a similar name. Friends it has been some time since I have sat through this jem of a Christmas special. What a great message it has. Remember? I will quote it for you if you don't...

He HADN'T stopped Christmas from coming! IT CAME!
Somehow or other, it came just the same!
And the Grinch, with his grinch-feet ice-cold in the snow,
Stood puzzling and puzzling: "How could it be so?"
"It came with out ribbons! It came without tags!"
"It came without packages, boxes or bags!"
And he puzzled three hours, till his puzzler was sore.
Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before!
"Maybe Christmas," he thought, "doesn't come from a store."
"Maybe Christmas...perhaps...means a little bit more!"
And what happened then? Well...in Whoville they say,
That the Grinch's small heart Grew three sizes that day!


Friends, maybe Christmas means a little bit more.

These past few months I have had the opportunity to make some new friends by being part of Savior of the World. For those not from the greater SL area it is a play that depicts the birth of Jesus. And for me this Christmas time means a little bit more because I have realize that there is hope in the world because of the Savior.

I have also realized that lately there are still some great people in the world who are trying to do good things and live good lives. I happen to know because I am friends with most of them.

Sometimes, I feel like there isn't a lot of hope left in the world and there is just a lot of ugliness to be found (I attribute most of that to Brittany Spear's new album) but when I get to perform in Savior of the World I feel hopeful, and the future looks bright.

So thank you Dr. Suess for the Grinch who inspite of his bitterness found the true meaning of Christmas. So, if you will, stand where you are and call in a co-worker or two into your office. If you have a little Christmas tree or aloe plant join hands and circle your tree and/or plant and join with me in the singing of the Whoville Christmas anthem. 5-6-7-8

Fah who foraze!
Dah who doraze!
Welcome Christmas,
come this way!
Fah who foraze!
Dah who doraze!
Welcome Christmas,
Christmas Day!

Welcome, welcome!
Fah who rahmus!
Welcome, welcome!
Dah who dahmus
Christmas Day,
Is in our grasp,
So long as we,
Have hands to clasp!


Fah who foraze!
Dah who doraze!
Welcome Christmas!
Bring your cheer.
Fah who foraze!
Dah who doraze!
Welcome all who's,
Far and near

Fah who foraze!
Dah who doraze!
Welcome, Christmas!
Fah who rahmus!
Welcome, Christmas!
Dah who dahmus
Christmas Day,
Will always be
Just as long,
As we have we
Welcome all who's,
Far and near.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Wal-Mart Fury

Remember that time last night when I went over to the Wal-Mart to buy a single gift card. It was around 9:30 pm so I was just going to run in, grab, and go. Once I got to the check out counter I got behind a woman who seemed to have very few items, so I jumped behind her.

Friends, she was a talker and she was telling the cashier all about her shopping expeditions throughout the valley. About the screaming deal she got a on a new coat and new doggie doughnut for her Yorkies.

At this point I began to get a little impatient because ya know it was getting late and I needed to get home. But some how in my mind I imagined that she was probably not married and she was one of those people who considered her yorkie's her children, and dang it, she just need some good human contact at her local neighborhood Wal-mart to ease her lonliness. Man I am so chariable. . .but then I notice she wasn't wearing a wedding ring. What?

Now I was getting very impatient and angry, but I noticed that she was almost done loading up the fishing tackle boxes she had bought for . . I don't know her dogs or something. And I thought to myself, Rob you can do this. You can make it without knocking over the magazine rack or kicking the big bin full of bouncy balls as I have done in the past.

As she slide her debit card through the machine I thought, I am in the home stretch. Then the cashier said that her card wasn't working. So I thought oh too bad she will have to come back later. But this woman would not be deterred from her fishing tackle box purchases. She said I've got cash. No problem, right? How long does it take to whip out a stack of twenties and close the deal? Well, when you have to count out exact change, apparently it takes a little while.

Well, oh I don't know, I would say about four hours or so later, I sat staring at the magazine rack waiting for any excuse to pick that thing up and hurl it across the aisle, destroying the fresh baked french bread that was just brought out.

Yes, she had actully dumped out her coin purse and was counting out pennies so she could have exact change.

Oh man, at this point in my head I am screaming at the top of my lungs at this woman, swear words that I didn't even know that I knew came blaring through my head, and my heart was just pounding with rage. Who did this women think she was to take up my valuable time like this?

Before the point of total melt down it was finally my turn. As I walked up she grabbed my arm and said, "Honey, I am so sorry that took so long."

And then I patted her on the hand and said with a smile, "It was no problem, I was happy to wait."

Isn't so funny how we love to please people inspite our true feelings? Sooo funny.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Stage Fright


So I just went to the restroom and to my surprise there was no one in there. I love having my pick of the urinals and being solo in there. There is no greater feeling than having the bathroom to yourself.

We have a total of four urinals in our spacious bathroom. So I pick my favorite spot, right next to the wall. I pick the wall because I feel that it allows for a greater sense of privacy and security.

So as I am "doing my business" someone walks in and comes to use the urinal right next to me. "Dude, there are three other urinals waiting to be used, why stand right next to me? Get thee hence." We did have a nice partition separating us but even with that we are shoulder to shoulder people, literally. It was a little tight but I thought this is going to be OK I am still focused, we have a job to do here so let's just getter' done. . . and then he started talking.

Now, his conversation wasn't just a, "hey what's up" or "how ya doing", he started in on a whole conversation about work and his job responsibilities, his thanksgiving plans, and asking how I was enjoying my own job. I tried to keep my answers brief hoping he would get a clue, but no, he continued talking.

So I was done before him but he kept talking while he was doing his thing. And so after I washed my hands I felt confused about the protocol in this situation. Should I just leave while he was talking or should I stall and wait until he finishes talking? So finally, after what seemed to be a thirty minute communique, while their was a pause I just wished him a good day and ran out.

After today's experiment in awkwardness, I feel like we need to set up some guidelines or rules, if you will, to be posted on bathrooms universally.

Rule 1-You should never sit or stand next to anyone who is going the bathroom if there is another stall or urinal available. If there is a buffer toilet then by all means take it. Even if it is a child's toilet or handicapped stall, jump on it! This is a critical time and people don't want to feel crowded. We all need a little more space in there. Please oblige us.

Rule 2-Never, ever start a conversation with the person next to you once you start doing your business. If you are mid-conversation on your way in or a conversation starts up while washing your hands, fantastic. But let's be serious, your mind and thoughts should be on the task at hand and not on the weather or your plans for the weekend.

I am sorry to send buckshot into such a wide and diverse audience but I don't know how to get word out otherwise. I know that the majority of you are good people who are not "stall crowders" or "toilet time talkers", so please just spread the word.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Thankful

Today I am grateful for good co-workers. I work in a very diverse environment and I have learned to love my co-workers very much. We work well as a team and received an award this year for our contributions to the Sheriff's Office. And even though we all have very different beliefs about life, religion, and politics we all still have mutual respect for each other and love to torment each other. We call each other brother and sister and we call our boss our mom. If I can't find one of them I just ask my co-worker, "Hey where is your sister/brother?"

However, just as in all families your siblings can be little stinkers as well. For example, during the week of the BYU and Utah game I was out sick and they thought it would be a fun game to do some redecorating while I was away. Here is my angry face.



Those crazy kids. They are incorrigible.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Giving Thanks

This week I am just sa' thankful. I feel like I need to express that and maybe give back to all the I have taken this year. So all my blogging this week will be dedicated to all things that make be weep for gratitude. I am grateful for the following things in no particular order:

Friends- I have been so blessed with such great friends. I know full well that I am not the best friend in the world. I don't call, due to my fear of phones, and I am not really sure how to reciprocate in a friendship. But with all my faults my friends are so good to me. And sometimes talking with them I say to myself, wow I am friends with some pretty amazing people who have done some pretty amazing things. How did I get so lucky? Thank you my good friends.

FACEBOOK- On the topic of friends, this year I am grateful for Facebook. I thought I had lost contact with many of my friends from middle school,high school and Ricks College. But because of Facebook I have found some long lost friends that I thought were lost forever. I don't look at Facebook everyday but it is just nice to know that if I wanted to contact on of my over 200 friends, I could.

Daybreak- I just moved out to a little development called Daybreak which looks just like a movie set. I openly admit that Daybreak is almost too perfect with perfect homes lawns and people. But my favorite thing about Daybreak is the great places to walk. I love to get on a path and walk around the lake, or go to the edge of Daybreak and look across the the valley to look at the east mountains. It is amazing looking at the moutains from the west side. It is so beautiful.

More to come....

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Reverse Trike

So every day when I leave work there is this guy who pulls out of the parking structure wearing all this hard core biking gear. He has his leather chaps, his thick soled boots, and his leather jacket with the skull on the back. He looks like he could kill you with one look.

And then he comes pulling out on this little gem. And every time I see him I have to laugh because . . .what is that thing.
I mean if you are going to look like a mean biker then buy a hog already and lets be done with it. But if you are going to be scared to buy a real motorcycle than just be content to call it what it is, a safer, environmentally friendly, motor trike. And don't try to fool us by wearing that biker gear. Just put on your Birkenstocks, and paint flowers on your cheek and truly embrace your pansiness.

While I am on the topic of silly modes of transportation...Have you ever been on a running trail minding your own business and someone comes behind you ringing their bicycle bell going like 3 miles an hour on one of these beauties?


Maybe, like me, you are curious as to why they are dressed in full on spandex tops, biking shoes, aerodynamic helmets, gloves, and, yes, Lycra biker shorts with the cushion in the crotch. Why do they need that cushion on their crotch when they are reclined for the entire ride? Is that odd to anyone else?

I could see if they were wearing that gear in a vigorous bike race and trying to beat a land speed record but they never top 5 miles an hour. Who are they kidding wearing all this speed gear when they are going just for a nice gingerly bike ride?

I don't know why people feel like they have to dress hard core when their not, and they have no intention of becoming so. I feel like I need to pull them aside and say, "OK Friends, here's the poop. You can't wear this gear unless you are seriously going to push the 5 mile an hour mark. OK."

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Sicky

So last night I didn't sleep very well. Could it have been the protein shake that I had last night around 7:00, or maybe running to FHE in the cold without a jacket that caused my to freeze. It is hard to say, all I know is that I woke up with a sore throat and feeling like everything was out of focus. Like I was viewing everything through a thick pea soup.

You know that feeling? Where you are not down in bed sick but are more bugged by the potential of an illness. And if you are really quiet you can actually hear your body fighting off infection.

How could this happen I have been taking Xango juice for the last three days. Isn't that the cure all for any ailment? Mr. Xavier Xango please explain how I got sick with all those fruit pieces and bitter juice in my system. I even took it with a vitamin for good measure.

My neck hurts and I feel that my eyes are swollen like overstuffed peppers. I can't wait to go home so I can crank the heater, get in my overstuffed down coat and fall asleep on my ottoman.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Hangin' Tough, NKOTB Style

So one of my friends invited me to attend NKOTB and I thought to my self that is some good blogging material waiting to happen. And friends, my eyes were opened to a world a never knew existed, the world of 30-33 year old New Kid's fan. They are crazy! I had to put in ear plugs because their screaming got to be too much. The funny thing is that all the people there were my same age because the New Kids were popular for only a couple of years. So either you knew who they were or you didn't.

I have chronicled some of my favorite pictures:
This picture is pretty dark but if you will notice what she has in her hand. It is a naked Jordan Knight barbie of some sort. She proceeded to hold him around the waist the entire evening. You have to admire the stamina of that sweet sister.


These sweet girls are my favorite. You will notice that they are also carrying fulling clothed NKOTB dolls, the shirts they bought in the sixth grade, and yes you are seeing correctly they have books with them about each member of the band. I don't know if they were novels but it seemed like there was one in there that I saw that appeared to be a murder mystery with a young Joey Mac as a teenage sleuth. Intriguing.



I have to say that I didn't know a lot of the songs that they performed but one of their last songs was "The Right Stuff". I rose to my feet and immediately all the words came back to me. They even did the side to side dance that I memorized from their video. I was in rare form. I tried to picture the move for your viewing pleasure.

Isn't amazing how music can transport you to a whole different time and place. As I listened to NKOTB I was transported back to my middle school where we lined up in huge lines and just toe touched side to side to their music. And you were considered a good dancer if you snapped with your side step, because you know that took a lot of coordination. Where the slow dances was full arms length apart, with the boys hands on the shoulder and girls hands on the hips. Ah good times.

New Kids on the Block's music took me back to that time of innocence where life was so good even though I felt so awkward the majority of the time. And even on those days when I felt so gawky and awkward I could put on "The New Kids", stand in front of my mirror, and do the the side hop pendulum move right along with them(I hope you all know what I am talking about, if not look up one of their video and it will become very clear what I am talking about) and for that moment I felt like I was pretty tough stuff. I may not have been the most popular or athletic kid in middle school, but at least I was cool enough to "Hang Tough" like the "New Kids".

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Nervous Laughter

Do you ever start laughing at inappropriate times? Sometimes I get nervous laughter when I shouldn't be laughing. And it isn't a few sputtering laughs mind you but deep belly laughs that have to be stifled under the guise of coughing, or tourettes syndrome.

I have been known to laugh at funeral viewings, hospital visits, and my ultimate weakness is bad musical numbers. This week musical numbers have proven to be my nervous laughter kryptonite.

I was volunteering at this $100.00 a plate charity event enjoying my steak and chicken when they announced a special musical number. I was caught off guard and knew I was in trouble. The singer started with a story and then the music started behind her and then she flowed right into her song. Now, let me tell you this as friends, if I don't look at the person I can usually put my head down and act like I am pondering the powerful lyrics of the song by occasionally nodding and touching my face. Unfortunately for me, if any one looks at me or attempts to talk to me, during the music, I shatter with laughter. So my friend, who is sitting next to me and didn't know how weak I was, leans over and attempts to comment on the music, and I just bust. I am covering my mouth and shaking violently and have to excuse myself to go sit in the hall to contain myself.

Then, I finally think that I have it contained, but as soon as I walk in the room and make eye contact with my friend I bust again and have to fake a cell phone call to exit the room again.

After the initial humor of the situation I always feel so bad for doing that. I have sung in front of people and would be devastated if I looked out and saw someone laughing while I was singing. How can I stop doing this? Is there something that can ebb the pain and embarrassment I am causing these powerful singers who feel it is appropriate to talk with music playing underneath? I am begging you all for help.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Church Products




So yesterday at church I was watching the speaker start crying and as she reached down to grab a tissue I notice something funny. The tissues were called "Heavenly Soft" tissue. No joke.

And then I went to choir and we were singing out of a book called "Hymnplicity". Interesting.

The day was complete when I looked over at the Relief Society President's pumps and etched on the side was "Easy Spirit". What kind of message is that sweet sister.

Forgive me but that is just too much.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Musicals


What is it about a musical? I must confess that I do enjoy a good musical. Last night I went to see my cousin, Debra, in "Into the Woods" at the HCT. She was great and was the perfect Cinderella.

As I watched I noticed an interesting thing about myself. I am not content to just watch and enjoy. I feel like I need to immerse myself in the play. In my mind I was singing the songs and doing the dialogue with the actors. Secretly wishing one of them would become violently ill or twist their ankle. The director would come into the audience and say, "Friends we have an emergency. Is there an actor in the audience? I say, is there an actor who can jump on stage and fill in for (fill in the blank of the character)?" I would nonchalantly rise and jump in and save the production. I would be discovered by the producer of Feature Films for Families and be in the next "Liken" video. Ah, if only . ..

I was on a date last night so I couldn't do this next part, but after a musical I have been known to spontaneously burst into song. . .and dance, but only after certain musicals(Singing in the Rain, and West Side Story). I usually sing all the way home in full voice, sometimes throwing in some hand actions or jazz hands as it were. It is not at all safe to drive that way but doggone it, I can
hardly contain myself.

I think most people see me as very controlled and very even tempered. I try to act that way most of the time so I don't draw attention to myself. But when I see a musical, that "in control" person melts away and all my inhibitions come down and I feel so liberated that I could just sing and dance the rest of the night. Then I wake up the next day a realize that maybe I went a little overboard when I hitched kicked off that man's bumper and landed in the splits. Then I vow to be in control and not let that side of me show. . .well at least not until the next musical.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Daylight Savings. Must we?

It being an election year I am thinking that next year we proposition to stop moving our clocks forward and back. My body is freaking out. From someone who has a hard time sleeping any way this makes it all the more difficult.

Everyone tells me that we get an extra hour of sleep but really that only works for the first Sunday and then after that your body thinks you are staying up later and so that makes you more tired.

I also hate coming out of work when it is dark. I just am not as productive after work. I all I wan't to do is go home and sleep.

On a more positive note, it is snowing today. Not a light, pithy snow, but big flakes. The kind of snow you can sit on your couch and watch for hours. It reflecting off the lights outside and gliding to the ground. It makes me want to make crafts out of macaroni with the heater blasting.

Actually that is what I am doing right now. I am under my desk, shoes kicked off, sipping some hot chocolate with marshmellows, wrapped in my down coat. My boss keeps walking in looking for me so I invited her down to watch the snow with me. She said that she would be back in a minute with a warning. I am thinking that she means a warning for loving the snow too much. But if loving snow is wrong, I don't want to be right.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Christmas Music Continued

So I turned on my radio this morning and guess what, apparently FM 100 is now playing Christmas music non-stop. The world has turned upside down.

So it being an election year I wanted my voice to be heard so I emailed the radio station to find out what the sam is going on.

Here is how it went down:

Good Kozy-

I really have enjoyed your station and your different variety of music
that your play.
I was wondering what is up with the Chritmas music in Novemeber? I can
understand after Thanksgiving hearing Christmas music but it seems too
soon.
I am just curious as to why so early?


Hey Rob,

I appreciate your note about the Christmas Music.We know it seems
early but listener input has been overwhelmingly in favor of starting
now.Partly because it's been a tough year for a lot of people.They
may "need a little Christmas, right this very minute."I hope that
when you are ready for some Christmas music, you'll give us a try.

We wish you and your family a wonderful holiday season.Thanks for the
time you've spent listening to KOSY.

Jeff Cochran
Program Director
KOSY 106.5


Whoever is giving imput that they "need a little Christmas right this very minute" needs to check themselves. Ya know friends sometimes we don't get what we want even in tough times. That is what old Halloween candy, and Red Bull are for. To tide us over until Christmas comes.

So people toughen up, pour yourself a Red Bull, wrap yourself in a blanket, and gorge yourself on Halloween until Thanksgiving is over and then it will ok to listen to your precious Christmas music. But until then, suck it up and stop your crying!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Christmas In November

So I was driving the day after Halloween and I decided to turn on the radio and listen to some tunes. My radio was tuned to KOSY 106.5, a radio station that I love for it's easy listening and light rock favorites. To my shock they were playing "All I Want for Christmas is You" by Mariah Carey. I thought it was a mistake so I kept listening to see what they played next. Mariah was followed by "Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer". During the break they said that they will be playing Christmas music from November 1 until the end of December. What? Does that seem a bit premature to any one else?

I like Christmas music very much but in the right time and place. I feel like poor Thanksgiving gets passed over when we just go right from Halloween to Christmas. And plus, we all need some transition time from the celebration of evil and the dead to Christmas where we celebrate peace and good will to men, right? I mean it takes me at least a month to wash off my "goth" eye make up and let go of "The Monster Mash".

How can we be so callous as to forget our sweet pilgrim ancestors who came across the ocean on the Nina, the Pinta, and the Santa Maria? And what about the Indians who brought food to our poor pilgrim friends to distract them while Pocahontas and John Smith went to make out at the old willow tree. These are things that are apart of me in a very profound way, and I for one, feel it is important to teach these things to our children. Because just as Whitney Houston has said, I believe that children are our future.

So KOSY 106.5, can we hold off on the Christmas music until November 28, please? If not for me, then for the children.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Breast Cancer Walk: Win, Win, Win,



So I have a problem. I am very competitive. But not like competitive in normal things, like football or basketball, but in things that I probably shouldn't be competitive about, like chess and charades. For example I get so competitive at board games. I can't tell you how many fights broke out in our home because of the game "SORRY". You know that game where you would almost win and then your opponent could send you all the way back to the beginning. Oh the frustration this would cause. I would try to be diplomatic but in the end I usually would end up kicking the game into the wall.

Well today was one of those days when that random competitive gene came bustin' out all over. This afternoon the county sponsored a Breast Cancer Awareness walk. I always like to support the county events because I serve on a healthy lifestyles committee, so I felt like I needed to go.

As I arrived I realized I felt unusually out of place. First, everyone was wearing pink and I was wearing... well, it wasn't pink. Secondly, I was one of maybe five males in a sea of pink laden females. When you are a non-pink, six, five male all attention immediately falls on you. I felt very aware of my non-pink status. I also felt the females questioning eyes wondering, "Why is this tall man walking for breast cancer awareness. Is he some kind of pervert or something."

After we all got registered and gathered at the start line they said "go". Now keep in mind we were just doing laps inside the county building at an easy trot. I don't know what happened. Once I heard the word "go" my brain went into animal survival mode. I was pushing past people, edging people out around corners, throwing elbows. I was a force out there as I was speed walking.

Sometimes I would get stuck behind a group of sisters just chit chattin' away, talking about how cute their pink hats and shirts were, and I would blow right past them. In my mind I would scream, "This is for Breast Cancer Awareness ladies. Let's move ladies, move, move."

I would tailgate the casual slow walkers until I rounded a corner and then I would cut them off and leave them in the dust. So long suckas! I was amazing, weaving in and out of people, and dodging the self-examination pamphlets. I was in rare form indeed.

In the last stretch of the walk I was on fire, but there was another guy with a pink tiara close behind. He was pushing to pass and beat me, but I held strong. As I rounded the last corner I nudged him into a drinking fountain. Victory! The prize was mine.

You ask the question,what prize Rob? I will tell you...a pink ribbon and a breast cancer self-examination pamphlet. Was it all worth it you ask? Definitely yes will be my inevitable answer. I have never felt so fast and powerful in all my life. There is something about an average man competing against non competitive slow people that makes you feel like you are an amazing athlete.

So thank you pink ladies. Thank you for making me feel like a man today in a very non-man like setting.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Cruel and Unusual



So on my way home each night I drive by a vitamin store where there is an interesting person dressed as some sort of bug. I want to say that it is a giant tick, with giant teeth and angry, angry eyes, but I cannot confirm or deny what kind of insect he is. "What does this "thing" have to do with vitamins?", I ask myself every night as I drive by.

Usually the tick, as I have named him, is very energetically waving and jumping up and down trying to get people to pull in and buy some vitamins. But yesterday as I drove by he was just standing there. No waving, no jumping just sort of limp. All of a sudden my heart broke for my little tick friend. I want to believe that he was crying in his costume because after cleaning up the stock room, his boss said that it was time for him to strap on the tick costume and drum up some business. My little friend, after giving the tick marketing strategy all that he had these last few weeks realized he was not in the mood to strap on the 50 lbs costume in the 80 degree weather and dance around in rush hour traffic. Or he could of had diarrhea it's hard to say.

What kind of a person or business makes their employees dress in unusual costumes, stand outside in the blistering cold or hot of Utah to drum up some business? This seems to be a troubling trend that I am seeing more and more on the street of Utah.

There is a particular company in Utah called Liberty Tax Services who I take particular issue with. During the tax season they hire people, men and women mind you, to dress as the Statue of Liberty with the torch, crown, and toga to stand on the side of the road and wave in business. Keep in mind that January and February are the coldest months of the year in Utah and so most of the "Lady Liberties" are very wide looking due to some down coats layered underneath their togas. Frankly they can barely raise their torch to wave at all with all those layers.

Everyone has their own style of waving people in. Some put on their IPOD and "booty pop" with their torch, while others like to do the ever so popular "point at the driver and wave" technique. No matter how they spin it I feel embarrassed for them. Much like I feel embarrassed for waiters at restaurants that have to dance to "Greased Lighting" while you are trying to eat your appetizers.(See Blog post "I wept for them" for my feelings on that topic)

I thought about why this exploitation of employees bothers me so much and I think it goes back to an experience I had a couple of years ago. One of my co-workers was let go from our company and I knew that she was looking for other work. Well one day as I was driving down State Street, I saw her, yes, dressed as Lady Liberty, except she was not dancing around, rather, her head was down in shame,obviously embarrassed about having to stoop this low for a paycheck. Even now, all these years later I get upset thinking about my friend at what I am sure is one of the lowest moments of her life.

Friends let's stop supporting organizations that make their employees dress up to drum up business. I feel like it so exploitative and unethical. I mean these are people we are talking about here. We have People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) but what about our own kind. People for the Ethical Treatment of People (PETP). Together we can help our friends dressed as bugs and national monuments. Let it begin,and let it begin with me.

10/29/08 Update- I drove by the tick man on my way home yesterday and to my relief he was back waving and bouncing around. He must have just had diarrhea the other day. Thank goodness.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Smokers


Is it alarming to anyone else how many people are still smoking? I mean with all that we know about the dangers of tobacco and how it is the most preventable cause of death, you would think people would not want to light up ever. I exclude those people who are of an older generation who thought smoking was glamorous and gave you fantastic skin and hair. But the people of my generation should know better.

Today two things happened while I was walking in the inner city on my lunch break that got me thinking about this.

Incident #1- As I was walking someone drove by and flicked their cigarette butt out of their window. Seriously? Why is that OK? I know these are normally reasonable people who wouldn't dare to litter otherwise but what is it about a cigarette butt that changes these reasonable people into litter bugs? It makes me so mad! Buy an ash tray buddy!

Incident 2- So next to my building their is a senior housing project. They have a little section outside with two lovely tole painted ash trays(everything looks better when it is tole painted you'll find). They all gather out there and talk and smoke, and smoke and talk. I am happy that they have each other at this point in there lives. Again, I don't fault the seniors for smoking because they unfortunately got caught in the lies of the tobacco company all those years ago about how glamorous smoking was, and that tobacco contained essential vitamins for a fit body and a great smile.

Across the street from the sweet seniors is an apartment building that probably needs to be torn down. It look like an old mental hospital with huge window that are covered up by the likes of "My Little Pony" and "Hannah Montana" bed sheets. And no lie they still have smoke stacks, yes, smoke stacks. What? Are we living in a Charles Dickens novel? Who has smoke stacks any more? That was so 100 years ago, get with the times people. I always see shady people going in and out of there. One time I was running on my lunch break and someone pulled out of there in a beat up truck. He offered me his 64 oz Super Big Gulp. When I declined, because you know it is hard to run with a 64 oz Super Big Gulp in you hand, he threw it at me and drove away. True story.

So as I am walking toward the sweet seniors smoking area I see a man leaving the shady apartments heading for the tole painted ash trays. I thought this was going to be trouble so I slowed my pace so I could see what he was doing. Then I saw him rummaging through the ash tray looking for a cigarette that had just enough tobacco left that he could smoke. He found one and lit it up and started smoking and then walked back to his apartment.

You know I would rather walk on my tongue than to criticize others but that cigarette has been in a seniors mouth. And that senior could possibly be caring some serious illness. And now that serious illness could possibly be inside of this stupid man. And now he is going to have to spend his money on doctor bills instead of buying new curtains for his dilapidated apartment.

I know that it is an addiction but there is a line you cross when you have to dig through a senior citizen's tole painted ash tray so you can get your fix for the day. Come on bro' get it together.

Katie Holmes

Perhaps you caught Kaite Holmes-Cruise as I did on "Eli Stone" on Tuesday night. In case you missed it, check it out.


Is it possible that we have underestimated Katie Holmes? Who knew she could sing like that?

Now I will be the first to admit that I have never seen any thing that she has been in that has made me think she was anything spectacular. Truth be told I have only seen her in "Batman Begins" and snippets of "Dawson Creek" when my parents weren't home, so I am not an expert on her career by any stretch of the word. But with that said, man, I got to admire any one who can dance and sing like that.

So, thanks Katie for giving me a little bit of a surprise on Tuesday night.

And mostly thank you also for giving me a great idea for our Daybreak 13th Ward Talent Show this year.

Does any one know where I can get a black leotard and a fog machine?

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Twilight



So friends I have to confess that I have read all four books in the Twilight series. I have retained my "man" status inspite of all the estrogen that these books seemed to ooze.

I thought I would share with you my thoughts about these books because I think as a man I have some unique insights that maybe a female may not see because she is so blinded by that Edward guy.

I will admit to you that I loved books 1 and 2. As a man I liked the intensity and also the dynmics of vampires and werewolves living miles from each other. I thought to myself, "Hey, This Stephanie Myers, she's alright."

Then book three surfaced and I can't tell you how many times I was so angered that the whole book revolved around Bell and her inability to make a decision as to who she was going to have a committed relationship with. Seriously, Bella? Is it that hard? And must we spend 500 pages of a book going back and forth about who she likes when those 500 pages could have been used to have a battle sequence of some kind? I know Bella is a fictional character but there were times when I wanted to reach through the pages of the book and slap this girl around and tell her to stop messing with Edward and Jacob's heart. And while I am on the subject what in the world do these two guys see in Bella? She is uncoordinated, by her own admitance she is not that great looking, and has the personality of a rock. So what is compelling these to guys to drive so hard to the hoop to vie for her attention when really they could have any other girl in the free world? Would love to know.

As a man I can tell you Edward was not the right guy for Bella. I know he won her over in the end but Jacob clearly was the better choice. Maybe my hatred was kindled because Stepanie Myers would always go into overkill discribing what Edward looked like. Using words like, "chisled", "granite", "cold" "sweet smelling"and "coco colored eyes". Ya, Steph I get the idea babe. You don't have to describe how good looking he is every over page. Edward is good looking, yeah, I get it! And need I remind all of you he is a VAMPIRE? How in the world do we all of a sudden feel comfortable around someone who at any moment can kill you? Seriously.

Back to Jacob. He is a mans man. Just chill. Not high maintenance like Edward. Just has to roll out of bed strap some pants around his leg and just go commando. Another thing, why does Bella want to cuddle up to something that is cold and granite-like. I have lived in the northwest and it does get chilly up there and you do not want to spoon with a ice block when it starts raining up there, trust me. You want something warm up against your backside on a cold rainy night and that person is clearly JACOB.

Book four was a little better for me but still lacked the intensity of the first two. My same frustration from book three was realized when she wanted to have feelings for both Jacob and Edward even when she was MARRIED. And again I wanted to reach through the pages and shake Bella and say hello you can't have it both ways. Sacrifices need to be made in relationships. Make the decision Bella, stop being such playa'. And lets be honest as much as I liked Jacob in the first books, in book four he was an idiot with Bella. And yet for some stupid reason, which I can never figure out, Bella just laughed it off and they were friends again. What? Wouldn't that have been a good time to end it with him or have him killed or something?

In books 3 & 4 she teased us all thinking there was going to be a huge battle and lives would be lost but when we finally got to the battle there was no one who died. Everyone just walked away unscathed. It was so anticlimatic. In all great novels and movies someone of worth must die. Look at StarWars, Harry Potter, and the NeverEnding Story (remember when Atreu's horse dies in the swamps of sadness? That was heavy stuff.) Steph don't tease me with a battle and then drop the ball, that's all I'm saying.

I know I will get some angry comments about this blog but it just goes to show you that men and women can read the same story and get completely diffent feelings about it. I had to get these feelings vented because I have carried this anger with me for a long time and it needed to get out. Men want the action, women want the romance and that is why will will never have world peace. Something to think about.

Monday, October 20, 2008

I Heart the Jazz


So my co-worker is obsessed with the Jazz insomuch that she has a life size cut out of Karl Malone that stands next to her by her desk. It is so realistic that sometimes when I get here in the early hours of the morning I forget that Karl is just a cardboard cut out and think he is some sort of cat burglar. I get so startled sometimes I dive behind the desk and then foolishly realized that he isn't attacking but just standing there motionless. Oh, Karl, why must you scare me so?
So on Friday my co-worker brought in some Jazz jerseys that she had collected over the years. We needed the Jazz paraphernalia because part of the before mentioned recruitment commercial for our office took place at a Jazz game. She handed me a jersey to try on and well ...the picture speaks for itself. I think it was a child's large. We all laughed. It was so funny. Sure I couldn't breathe but come on, what is some blacking out among friends.
I strutted around the office for about 15 minutes and then I couldn't get it off. I seriously had to go into the superman stance with arms out to have my co-workers peal that bad boy off. Ah good times.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Jail Commercial


Friends, today at the Jail we were filming a recruitment commercial for our office and they needed someone to fill in for a prisoner. So I immediately jumped at the chance to stretch my acting prowess. They were anxious to get filming so I only took two hours to get into character. Usually, I demand at least five hours but it was per diem so I let it slide.

I was then whisked away to wardrobe and, wow, I don't know what prisoners are complaining about. They get to wear one of the most comfortable outfits I have ever had the pleasure of wearing. It is all loose and flowy, no sharp zippers, or unruly buttons, you just slide it over, pull it up and your done. No hassle, No fuss. I would love to work in a uniform like that.

And the foot wear, oooh, talk about comfort. It felt like I was back in the 80's when I would break dance in my back yard on my sheet of cardboard. And that color, friends, you are never going to lose those shoes any where, am I right? And they are so easy to work with, all you have to do is slide those bad boys on and you are set for a day in solitary or a brisk walk around the yard. The only thing that I would have preferred is some Velcro. That way if you kick some one your shoe won't go flying off, am I right? Man, if I had a dollar. . .

By the way, the tan knee high dress socks are all me baby. I just wanted to class it up a bit. I call the look "Jail Business Casual".

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Bathroom Horrors


So the other day I went to the local library to pick up a book. It had been a long day at work so I just wanted to come to this sanctuary of quiet and relaxation to unwind. As I was there I needed to use the facilities, so I walked into the stall to do the "hula-who" .

I flushed the toilet and to my horror I realized that the water wasn't swirling down the drain, as I was accustomed to it doing before. That's right, it was coming up. Friends, there is no greater fear in life then knowing that in a matter of seconds everything you just deposited in the sewer bank will quickly be refunded all over you patent leather shoes.

All of a sudden I went into panic mode, reaching for the plunger. . .but nothing was there. Running to turn off the water. . . not visible. Not knowing what else to do I started reasoning with the toilet.

"Please don't do this to me. I had a hard day. Not know. . .not today."

That didn't seem to work and the water began to swell like a bubble on the verge of popping so I instantly went to prayer mode.

"Lord, please don't punish me in this way. I have tried to be good today. OK, I did gossip a little about my co-worker, but seriously this seems a bit extreme on the punishment side of things! Really!"

The tidal wave did not ebb. So I began to blow furiously on the water. Hoping that just a little bit more pressure on the surface might be enough to dislodge whatever was clogging this ceramic beast. These efforts also proved futile.

Not knowing what else to do and feeling so anxious I began to run around the stall like a caged animal. Clawing at the sides of the stall hoping that someone could rescue me from my own watery grave.

Finally, I admitted defeat and slide down the side of the bathroom wall rocking and crying and waited for my own personal "Poseidon Adventure" to begin. I plugged my ears and closed my eyes as I watched the water get closer and closer to the rim, nearing the brink of over flowing. And as the water was reaching the rim. . .it stopped. The slightest breeze would have sent it over the edge. So I breathed a sigh of relief and slowly gathered my self and as carefully as possible exited the stall.
Friends, prayers are answered. Just as Michael McLean says, "Even thought it's hard to find the words, (especially when you are panicking in a bathroom stall) You're always heard, your not alone." Oh, it is so true. Thanks Mike.
I thought about telling someone about the problem in the bathroom but why? How could I be so selfish as to deny some special soul the opportunity to increase their faith in the power of prayer as I had just done. What kid of person would I be if I denied a good brother this lesson in humility. A man is never as humble as when he has to tell the head librarian that the toilet has just exploded all over him. That is strength I tell you, pure courage. Ah, bless his heart. God speed brother!


Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Crazy People Around My Office

I work in a seedy part of town but sometimes as a government worker I like to get out among the people I serve. So every afternoon I go for a walk in the neighborhoods around my building. There are moments when I walk down a street and either fear for my life or just have a good laugh at what goes on around me. I also get my nose full of some very strong odors. Such exotic smells like urine, dog poop, and ahh my favorite, rotten plums that not only smell but also stain as well. That is a killer combo.
Today as I was walking I noticed a girl behind me who was dressed just like Madonna from the eighties. You know? Ratty hair, puffy skirt, and yes the black lace gloves. She even was sporting a side pony tail with a bow. That's right friends it was a spectacular piece of work. Now, I am always supportive of those who want to dress wildly. Shine on you crazy diamond, I always say. And then the swearing started.
From behind me I hear son of a "boom", son of "bang", Mother "chucker"etc. She wasn't using her inside voice either, friends, she was shouting it to the rafters. I was curious who she was addressing with such strong obscenities but as I looked around I saw no one. Could she be shouting at me? I was just minding my own business. Couldn't she see I was just trying to reach out to her and all the other Madonna look a likes roaming the streets of South Salt Lake? Must she bite the hand of one who is trying love her crazy self. Seriously, WWMD (What would Madonna Do?)
I started to feel bad but as I turned to head into the government center she turned the opposite way. I realized that she wasn't talking to me after all, she was talking to some invisible person who was obviously giving her a bad time. Whew, thank goodness! She wasn't yelling at me, she was just crazy.
What a relief. My charitable walking can still continue.

Monday, October 6, 2008

It's alway fun to shoot a gun, to shoot a gun, hooray! It's always fun for everyone to shoot a gun.







Friends-

I don't know if you have had the thrill of shooting a gun. I highly recommend it. I have never been a gun person. Growing up my dad always had guns and we would go up in the mountains and line up cans and shoot them down. I remember that I always had a healthy fear and respect for guns because my dad owned a gun that would bruise your shoulder or knock you on your can. And after all that I could never hit a target. I would try and try but I couldn't come close to hitting can or a bulls eye let alone the paper it was printed on. Guns always seemed so big and powerful and I was so small and seemed to tip over easily. I must of had a lot of fluid in my brain, I did have a large head as a child.

When I graduated last year with my MPA, as a gift my father gave a 9mm hand gun. It was one of those gifts that your receive and politely say "thank you", but in the back of your mind you are thinking, "What in the sam am I going to do with a hand gun? I can barely manage to drive safely to work. Can I be trusted with all this lead and steel?"

After, I went shooting the first time all the fears that I had as a child left. I don't know if the fluid had drained out of my head or I just got stronger but I was a pretty good shot. Don't misunderstand I still have a healthy respect for a guns and still feel the weight of having a weapon in my home, but there is also an empowering feeling of knowing how to use a gun.

So last Friday my co-workers and I went up to the range and did some shooting. It was really empowering to shoot with real life police officers. I held my own and I want to say they I earned some respect points from them. I don't like to toot my own horn, but . . toot, toot.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

I Wept For Them

Friends, I went to dinner with my family and as soon as I walked through the door there was a group of waiters doing a line dance in front of our table. So we all had to wait for them to do the "grapevine" down the row so we could get to our table. It was like the people version of "Frogger". You would take two steps, and then the waiters would come dancing back, so you would have to take two steps to the side and then one giant step forward, and then finally we had to dive into our booth before they came down the isle again doing the "Cotton-eyed joe".

We finally got seated and I noticed one waiter who wasn't lovin' the line dance. I think he must have been new because he didn't know all the steps and he hung his head down because you know he felt a little stupid. I am sure he was thinking, "I wish I would have known I had to do a line dance as part of this job before I was hired. I just wanted to pay my way through college and now look at me dancing myself insane." Ah, bless him.


It has really got me thinking about all the times I have been to a restaurant and have felt so embarrassed for the employees when they have to dance or sing to the guests. I weep inside for them. Who are these employers that are making their employees do this? It makes everyone feel uncomfortable so why do it? If I wanted a song and a dance I would go see a musical or laugh at people at the local dance club. When I go out to eat I just want a meal and some quiet conversation not some idiot kickin' up a hoedown and screaming in my ear. Is that so wrong?

Am I the only one who feels this way? I don' think that I am. I am starting a campaign, every time I go to a restaurant where I see waiters singing or dancing, I am going to put a comment in their comment box. My comment will be this, it will simply says, "I weep for your help. Please stop torturing them by making them succumb to this mindless dancing and singing. I wish I could hold and rock each one and make them feel whole again. Please for their sake and mine, as Susan Powter said back the 80's, Stop this Insanity."

Let's do it friends. We can make restaurants a better place for ourselves and those good waiters. Stop unwanted dancing and singing. Together we can make a better dining experience for all men.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Sweet Peaches


Who doesn't love a nice juicy peach? It is one of natures perfect fruits isn't it? There is nothing like a peach, not a peach from a store mind you, but one ripened on a tree. The ones from the store are usually crunchy and have no flavor.


This weekend my mother brought me some of the peaches she grew from her very own tree. I have to admit that it has been a while since I have had a good peach so I fully indulged myself. My first bite was an orgy of sweet, tart and juicy all rolled into one. Wow, I thought, this is like a little party in my mouth. So I had another and another and another, and well six peaches later I was so satisfied I almost had to have a cigarette out on the deck.


Just as it is in such stories of indulgence, pain inevitably follows. Around 2:00 a.m. I awoke to such terrible pain in my belly. My muscles were spazzing and convulsing that I had to assume the fetal position for about 10 counts. For a minute I thought I was experiencing premenstrual syndrome, also known as PMS, and I started a search for a Midol PM, but being a man I had none in stock. Needless, to say it was a long night.


When I came home from church a viel of forgetfulness came across my mind about the previous evenings angony and I indulged in another round of compulsive peach eating. Only to be followed by the same pain all over again.


You might on occasion ask yourself, "Rob why do this to yourself when you know that you will have such pain?" And I inevitably will say, "Because it is a peach, Wiotch!"

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Southern Utah

Well I got to attend my first away conference for work in St. George. I must admit it was fun to have someone pay for your hotel, food and pay you for being in a cool place like St. George.

Friends, I have to be honest I never have found the joy or beauty in St. George. Every time I go there I feel like I am melting into the concrete. How can anyone enjoy a place where it is so blasted hot? The last time I was there I thought it would be a good idea to lay out by the pool to avoid the sun but I spent most of the afternoon under my towel in the fetal position because I could feel my skin burning, frying I tell you. The desert is not my favorite. Looking over the vast expanse of nothing making me feel so lonely.

My stay this time was so very nice. The weather was cool, and for the first time I could see the beauty of the red rock. One night I didn't have access to a car so after our classes I just put on my tenni runners and walked the streets of old St. George. I ended up at the St. George temple. Have you all seen this temple? It is so beautiful. It is so different looking than the others. And it just pops off the red rock.

My last night there I stole my co-workers car keys while she was at dinner and headed to Tuachan. It was my first time there so I was excited to see what that was all about. I was running a bit late and arrived right when the show was starting. I ran to the ticket window and asked if I could hurry and get tickets and she just handed me a ticket and told me to enjoy the show. I didn't have to pay a dime! And my sit was 7 rows back in the center. Thank you sweet box office girl. The show was fantastic. How would it be to sing like that? To just open your mouth and let out a beautiful sound, to not feel limited by range or technical things but feel confident to sing your heart out into the audience.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Yuba Lake

So this weekend I went water skiing with some friends. I have been invited to go water skiing many times but, let's be honest, I am terrified of water deeper than my waist. I remember even when I was on the swim team in high school sometimes going to the deep end of the pool got me a little anxious because I couldn't see the bottom and I was certain some creature with tentacles, probably Ursula rom the Little Mermaid, lived underneath the water polo net.

I know it sounds stupid but after seeing JAWS as a child I have never quit been the same. My first attempt at water skiing was when I was fourteen with the scouts. Brother Bennet took us out and said that he could get any one to water ski. I wanted to be brave so I hopped in the water and strapped on the big skis. I was skimming along the surface alright, but it was mostly face first with my mouth wide open. Each time I would fall into the water I remember the boat going what seemed to be a mile away to turn around to pick me up. As I sat in the water bobbing up and down there was always this very loud silence, and then I would start to imagine that first scene in JAWS where the girl is swimming and all you see is tug on her leg, and then a nudge, and the the next thing you know she is being jerked all over the water. I would then start to breathe hard and felt like I was having a panic attack. I would promptly ask to be taken out of the water never to explain that I was scared to death, and that I never, ever wanted to get near water again.

I had never been on a boat again until this weekend. I was still worried that I was going to experience the same fear that I did when I was 14. I was dreading getting in the water and almost felt sick as we drove further and further from shore. But as I lowered myself into the murky water I found that I wasn't scared at all. I enjoyed being in the water and felt confident in my ability to fight off a shark if the situation presented itself. (I have watched shark week and know how to poke them in the eye or hypnotize them by touching their snout.) I found it so relaxing just to lay back and look up at the sky.

I am happy to announce that after 28 tries I finally got out of the water. That's right friends, I water skied! It was one of the highlights of my life to skim across the water like a flat, slick rock. I felt like I overcame by boyhood fear and I crossed over into manhood. So great.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

The State Fair



Friends, the fair is back in town and it always is a time of reflection isn't it?


As a child the fair was a highlight for me. The animals, the food, the endless cooking demonstrations going on. The sights and smells were intoxicating. I remember that our family, after seeing several demonstrations, walked out of the fair grounds with a basketball standard and a veg-i-matic. We were stopped outside the fair grounds because apparently they expect you to pay for these items before you leave the park. Who knew?


Last year I attended the Fair and had a very different experience. I tried to eat some funnel cake and go down the big blue slide in a gunny sack, but something just wasn't right. I think that it is due to the fact that I got my eyes full of a lot skin and tattoos. People who shouldn’t be wearing skimpy clothing are, and they are particularly handsy with each other. I don’t know if it is the smell of the animals or the smell of Navajo tacos, but something in that air has some sort of pheromone that makes people want to love each other in front of the sweet families who have just come to sample some sweet preserves. Why is that? Until these frisky people stop all the inappropriate loving, I am afraid the fair will never hold the magic it once did. Which is sad because I could really use a veg-i-matic right about now.


Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Auditioning

So last night I tried out for a play. Even though I had practiced my song for hours and weeks and felt I was as prepared as I could have been I was so stinkin' nervous. I met someone else who was as nervous as I was so it was kind of nice to have someone there to talk out mine fears with.
They took us into a small room and had us all sing our songs. I actually felt really good about my singing and they were very complimentary as well, so that was a relief.
They then asked a few of us to go and do some scenes together. This part, always seems so weird to me. You are up there with people you don't even know and then all of a sudden you are supposed to do an entire scene together. But for the first time I felt calm and I did OK.
The whole experience was so great. Sometimes, I have learned, that you have to over come your fears. There is so much triumph after you are done. For me my tendency is to play things too safe but every now and again I do something hard that I think is going to make me fall down on the floor and bawl. However, I am so surprised at how capable I am to face the challenge and not that I can just get through it but I can do it well. Sometimes I feel like I limit myself by being too afraid to try. Last night was a good reminder of the triumph of overcoming self and coming out victorious.