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.