Thursday, December 31, 2009

The Year End

Here are some cool things that I learned in 2009:

  • Doing an Olympic Triathlon without training is not as fun as you might imagine. Doing a 5K dressed as Santa is…priceless.
  • Reading “Percy Jackson” “The Hunger Games” and “The Road” have brought back my love for reading. I find young adult fiction is just about my speed now days.
  • I found that performing in “Savior of the World” as the angel Gabriel at the Conference Center is the best way to spend the holidays.
  • Taking voice lessons by a qualified teacher instead of trying to learn from Lady Gaga music videos makes a huge difference.
  • Buying my clothes at Wal-mart instead of Eddie Bauer has taken some getting used to but I have found the difference is negligible. Exploited children in China make a pretty good shirt and pant combo.
  • Movies like “Up” “Star Trek” and “The Proposal” make me happy to pay $8.00 for a movie ticket. Movies like “Transformers 2”, “GI Joe”, and “Wolverine”…not so much.
  • I found that living alone can be…ya know…lonely. But I have been grateful for new friends made, and old friendships rekindled.
  • To see my parents leave on a mission to Turkey for two years made me realize that, yes, I am a momma’s boy.
  • I have a real fear of commitment. I can’t even join a gym because they require at least a year membership.
  • I learned to cook some good meals this year: Black Bean Soup, Chicken Tika Massala, and…please hold your applause to the end…Chicken Enchilada Casserole. I alternate between these three dishes every week. I clean them out faster than a fat mans eating hand.

May 2010 bring some new challenges, some new recipes, new friends, and at least two dates.

Friends, have a fantastic New Year!

Robierto

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Nice Guy

So I am really sensitive about others feelings, maybe to a fault.

Yesterday, I went to give blood. It’s true. I don’t really love the pain but I do love the treats they give you after. Usually I fain dizziness and they let me stay there for like two hours where I proceed to eat my weight in chips, candy, and V8 Juice.

So I was lying there ready for that two inch needle to suckle at my ample vein, when my phlebotomist, Trish, came over and discussed what was going to happen.

With my super power of over sensitivity, I deduced that Trish was very nervous and perhaps this might be the first time that she has ever drawn blood from an actual human being.

So being the nice person that I am, I thought I would "kill her with kindness" and make this a glorious experience for her to calm her nerves and make her feel like a superstar.

So she stuck the needle in my arm, and friends, oh the pain. She might as well have been pouring lemon juice into a paper cut with the burning and stinging I was experiencing laying in that Craftmatic Adjustable Chair.

I didn’t want to say anything to her because I was afraid I was going to hurt her feelings, but friends I was hurtin’ for certain.

She asked, “Now how does that feel?”

Great”, I said with strained smile and tears rolling down my checks.

Friends, the pain continued up my arm and then settled right behind my eyeball, which began to twitch violently.

A few minutes passed and she said, “Rob, how are you doing.”

At this point I was uable to make any vocal sounds, so I just gave her the thumbs up and laid my head back in pain.

So finally, being the perceptive phlebotomist that Trish was, she said, “Rob, you have told me you are OK, but the sweat soaking through your shirt and your violently twitching eye seem to be telling me you are in pain. Is that correct?

I nodded. And she then proceeded to pull out the needle a titch and all the pain went away, except for the twitching in my eye, which may or may not ever fully heal.

Friends, why do we do such things? From here on out, I call that pain trumps nice-ness. Too many times I have been nice at the dentist, the doctor, and the phlebotomist where I have been in extreme pain and said nothing in fear they would feel bad about themselves.

I have learned these simple phrases that I feel will help me and you:

Hey buddy, I can feel everything you are doing to my tooth! Be a pal and top me off with some more Novocain…and while you are up, hit me hard with some “laughing gas”.

“Seriously? Seriously. Do you soak your hands in ice water before you do a hernia check? Come on brother. Seriously!"

Um… yeah…it seems that blood is shooting out of my arm.”

Learn these phrases three and you will not have to suffer as I have, lo these many years.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The Christmas Minimalist

When it comes to Christmas I have always been a minimalist.
I don't put up a tree, I don't hang up lights, and I hate shopping.
But I must confess that I love Christmas and the feeling of it.

I love watching old out dated Christmas cartoons on TV. My favorite is "How the Grinch Stole Christmas". I love the message of it, that Christmas doesn't come from a store, perhaps thought the Grinch, perhaps Christmas means a little bit more. So true.

In church on Sunday we had our Christmas program, and mid-Silent Night I was so touched with the words "All is calm all is bright" that I started "ugly crying" in front of the whole congregation. But I didn't feel too bad because my fellow bass started "gasping crying" so I was in good company.

It seems that our neighborhood has had more than it's fair share of troubles this year, but the message of Silent Night, that because of our Savior and his atonement, that really all can be calm and the future can be very bright.

Good friends, I wish you a very Merry Christmas and hope this upcoming year may be calm and bright!

My blog has brought me such joy in this last year. It has helped me to find humor when I haven't been feeling all that great, and has made me laugh, seriously laugh...OK...on the floor laughing when life has gotten too serious.

I thank you for your hilarious comments and your related experiences that have made me laugh even harder.

-Robierto

Thursday, December 3, 2009

The Osmond Family Christmas

Do you ever forget how much you like a certain album? And then one day you are looking through your CD’s and you rediscover it and you listen to it over and over again?

Would you like to know what Christmas Album I recently pulled out and have quite enjoyed for the last two days? The Osmond Family Christmas.

Friends if you don’t own this album you need to find it today, because it will change your life. Seriously why are you still reading this and not running to your car to track it down?

My parents raised us on the classics, mainly, The Sound of Music, Hank Williams, Frankie Lane, Anne Murray, and Barbra Streisand. I think those really where the only albums we owned and I think we melted them from overuse.

But when Christmas rolled around it was the Osmond Family that kept us going through the holiday season. Now traditionally I am not a huge fan of the Osmonds, but man, they put out a kickin’ Christmas album. And all of them are on there, from Donny and Marie to good little Jimmy.

So at this holiday season when you are debating about which Christmas album to purchase, whither it be the Christmas Shoes CD or the Osmond Family Christmas Album, I hope the will be, Osmond, again, and again.

Friends, go Osmond or go home!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The Incredible Exploding Egg

Do you ever start out your morning by saying, “Rob you’re a genius!

That is how I began my morning today. It is rare that I start the day this way but friends I was feeling incredibly inventive.

I have been really busy lately because of work and I am also in a play at night so finding time to eat has been a bit of a problem.

So this morning I woke up early and said I am going to make some hard boiled eggs so that I can just pop them in my mouth while I am on the go. It is good protein and I can gag them down with water.

Let me pause here to say I don’t love eggs. I eat them for the protein but I usually have to plug my nose and shimmy them down. Sometimes eggs trigger my gag reflex which is really embarrassing for how many times I have ordered eggs on a date.

I was running low on time so I thought why not just boil them in the microwave? Again, Rob Abney you are genius.

So after about, oh, I don’t know, eight minutes basking in my own greatness, the explosions started.

I am not talking about little “booms” here friends; I am talking about full on “someone is throwing grenades into my house” type of explosions.

So needless to say after a half an hour of using a sand shovel to dig yoke out of my microwave I feel sufficiently humbled.

Apparently I missed the day in Home Economics when we covered such topics as “Boiling an Egg: Doing It in the Microwave Could In Fact Kill You”.

The worse part of this whole thing is that now my entire house smells like egg poop. I was dry heaving all morning.

Technology: She is a bitter mistress.

Monday, November 16, 2009

The Sharing of the Hymnal

Do you ever offer to share your hymn book with the person next to you at church and they don’t hold their half of the hymnal?

It really is frustrating because you are forced to take the full weight of the book (which, let’s be honest, those hymnals are not light) with your one hand.

By the time you are half way through the song your thumb starts burning and your whole hand starts to get the “shakes”.

You think the person next to you will get a clue that you might need some assistance because the unsteadiness of your hand gets bobbing and weaving the hymnal all over the place. But for whatever reason your neighbor's head is bobbing and weaving right along with your hymnal.

By this point, your muscle spasms have increased to the point that you might as well be reading the hymnal on a roller coaster than to be able to see it clearly in your pew.

By the fourth verse you are telepathically screaming at your neighbor to please just take the other side of the hymnal. I mean, isn’t that why we go to church to help lift one another’s burdens that they may be light? Friends, I think it is.

Finally the song ends and you pry the hymn book out of your hand.

Then you realize there are three more songs to be sung.

Friends, needless to say, I am a little sore today. It has taken me five hours just to type out these feelings.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

The Bathroom Noise

Do you ever go to someone’s house for a visit or party and feel the need to freshen up?

And once you close the door to their bathroom, which is located right next to their living room by the way, you become acutely aware of the inadequate sound barrier within their bathroom chamber.

You begin to worry about what the guests outside might hear as you are in the bathroom. And to compound your problems you may have had some bad Indian food for lunch.

And all of a sudden you become supremely self conscious of every sound you make in the bathroom. Even to the point where you start sweating and doing irrational things like running the tap water as you do your business, or stuffing toilet paper underneath the door to create a more effective sound barrier.

This thinking is completely irrational because we all make noise in there. Am I right? So why all this sensitivity?

I bring this up because yesterday I had this experience and I think at one point I was trying to “shush” the toilet as I flushed.

I am I insane? I am not ruling it out at this point. However, I don’t think I am the only one who feels this way. Am I right friends?

Monday, November 9, 2009

The Helpful Response

Do you ever go to Sunday School and the teacher asks a question and after there is a very loud silence that permeates the room?

All eyes are cast to the floor as if there is a fear to make their sentiments known concerning their gospel knowledge.

The awkward silence seems to last for ages and still no one in the class budges or even makes an attempt to answer the question. Now why should that be?

I feel so sorry for the teacher because he starts sweating and pleading with his eyes for anyone to raise their hand to move his little lesson along.

So naturally, being the generous soul that I am, I raise my hand and start in on an amazing comment.

But as I start to talk I get a little carried away with how great I am and kind of lose what his question is really about. So I talk a little about faith, and then merge over to repentance, then bounce some controversial facts about caffeine in Barqs Root Beer in there.

And so I continue for what seems to be several minutes. I want to stop but I couldn’t seem to wrap up my comments to a point that would make sense so I just kept talking. It is like I had word vomit and I couldn't stop my comments from coming out all over the place.

After a couple of minutes of talking I didn't even know where I was in regards to this poor man's lesson. Hint: Once you find yourself talking about how Noah survived in the arc with all those animals (Seriously though, the smell alone should have killed his entire family. Am I right?), you have drifted too far from home friends. Bring it on back to home plate.

So finally, I couldn't find an out for myself so I just said, “And that is all I have to say about that. Thank you.

And if you thought it was silent before…It seemed like the entire class was staring at me as well as the teacher.

The teacher took a minute and very slowly said, “OOOKay…So…um…thank you for sharing that.

I felt bad because I really wanted to help my teacher friend, but I am afraid I took his lesson way off course. It took him a couple of minutes to bring us back to the subject at hand.

Now I know why no one comments in Sunday School.

Mystery solved friends, mystery solved.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

The Nog

Friends it’s Egg Nog time!

It’s officially November and as such it is now open season to buy and drink Egg Nog.

I must confess I already started drinking it in October. I am not proud of it but the rich deliciousness helped me get through a very difficult time. Sure I am ten pounds heavier, but as my friend Sheryl Crow has said, “if it makes you happy it can’t be that bad.” Words to live by Sher-bear, words to live by.

Now, I have recently heard some very negative things concerning the goodness of Egg Nog. This is troubling to me because what is more American than Egg Nog? I am, I am,..I am.

First off, some people complain that Egg Nog is too fattening. Too fattening? Woman please!

I think the problem is that people are thinking they can drink Egg Nog like they would drink a Big Gulp. Oh sweet na├»ve friends, no, that is not how we drink our Egg Nog. You have to drink it in small portions. I would recommend purchasing a shot glass from your favorite bar or tourist attraction to help in your portion control. Trust me, you won’t feel so heavy after you drink it. Unless you are like me and do like 14 shots within an hour.

Secondly, don’t dilute you Egg Nog with milk friends. Are you kidding me? Come on, “man up”, drink the hard stuff, it will put hair on your chest. To really enjoy a full flavored Egg Nog you have to drink the full creamy version that comes straight out of the carton. To dilute Egg Nog is like taking a Renoit painting, throwing water on it, smearing the colors together and saying that it looks just as good as the original. And let’s be honest, we both know that is a lie.

Lastly, don’t just guzzle it down. You must sip it. Sip it and let the rich creamy flavor penetrate each taste bud, and be prepared to experience a feeling of peace and a feeling that the world is slowing down (Hopefully this is a result of the Egg Nog, and not because the rich cream is slowing your heart down to an unhealthy level. If so go back and check your portion control.)

I hope this has been helpful. For those of you who have resisted drinking Egg Nog, I hope this will be the year that you embrace it with all your other holiday traditions. Tis’ the season to be Noggy.

For those who already love Egg Nog. I am getting a keg full of Egg Nog for New Years this year. We are going to drink Meadow Gold Egg Nog until our hearts stop or we are too sick to move. Either way it is a win-win.

Monday, November 2, 2009

The Extra Hour of Sleep

I know I write the same blog every six months but …

Really? Day light saving again? I just barely got my sleeping pattern regulated and here we go again changing the time around. What in the Sam are we doing people?

I am so angry that we are trying to fiddle around with nature’s timing mechanism, the sun. If Mother Nature wanted us to screw around with time she wouldn’t have invented the sun dial. But friends she didn’t. Why we feel like we have to mess around with a good thing I will never know.

Sure people tell you we get an extra hour of sleep, but seriously that is only for the first night. They rest of the week your body is freaking out because it doesn’t really understand what you are doing and you end of being more tired with your supposed “extra hour of sleep”.

I am done with this messed up system. I am not doing it this year. I am keeping my old sleeping schedule. I am in bed at 9:00 pm and waking up at 5:00 am that way my sleeping schedule goes uninterrupted.

Sure I am going to be super early to work and may have to go home early from several events but seriously, friends something must be done.

Whose with me?

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Book Trailer Debut

So friends, I very reluctantly post this video, not to show you how great I am (although I am quit fantastic), but to confess something that I may regret in the future.

One of my readers found this on YouTube and so I feel a need to come clean with a confession of sorts.

When I moved to SL to start my acting career I was discovered at the Gap, where I would often go to look at the pima wool sweaters that I could never afford, but loved to try on.

Well one day, whast I was eating a Hotdog on a Stick and dreaming of owning my very own pima wool sweater, a young women approached me and said I had a face that could be very succesful in the world of book trailers.

That's right book trailers. It's like a move trailer, only with books.

I knew that book trailer studios system was not the most glamorous industry and had a reputation for being loose and tawdry. But I was naive and hungry, and most of all I really needed a pima wool sweater from the Gap. So I decided to do it.

Now the book trailer is out there folks. Floating in the underground world of avid female readers who love to read books about romance and basketball. The vido is now living, and breathing in the land of YouTube where is will never die. Do I wish it would die? Perhaps. I will wait to see how much I pull in from this low budget trailer.

I have no idea what this book is about, and I don't even know the author personally. But it is so intense that it scares me a little bit. Pay close attention to Richard (me) staring off into the distance and saying "I want to help you." and her response, "I have to do this alone."

Who is this girl Indiana Jones? It's hard to say.

So enjoy and let's never speak of this again.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

The You Tube tutorial

So I sometimes I go to singles dances and I never feel satisfied with my dancing skills. I blame most of my "singleness-hood" to my awkwardness on the dance floor.

It is not that I am without rhythm, because friends I can really swing it, it's just that my dancing consists of a lot of flailing of my arms and legs. And when I don't know what to do I revert back to the "the running man". You can never go wrong doing the "running man".

So I went to YouTube to see what kind of dancing instruction I could find, and luckily I found this little diddy.

I performed this at the last stake singles dance and it was powerful. Sure there were some slight concussions because of the low ceiling, and I did drop a few people, but I did get some "digits" after it was all said and done.

Monday, October 19, 2009

The Danger of Driving and Watching Videos

Remember that time was I driving home late one night and the SUV in front of me was showing “Monster Inc.”? A timely tale of the love between a young girl and sad monster who is searching for something more in his life that can only be filled by the laughter of a small girl named Boo.

I can’t talk about it without breaking up inside. Give me second…ok I’m back.

So there I am driving and enjoying the movie, of course I can’t hear the movie at all but I know it well enough to do the different voices, and laugh when the moment warrant.

So we finally we got to the end of the movie when Boo is looking for Sully in her closet and can’t find him and I’m bawling and can’t find a Kleenex. So I am searching for something to wipe my tears with, and all I could find was a receipt from Wal-Mart.

When suddenly, and without warning I saw a two bright red lights distracting me from my search of some two-ply anything. I don’t remember this part in the movie, I thought to myself.

Then I realize it was the brake lights of the SUV. I was rapidly approaching them at warp speed. So I slammed on my breaks and narrowly escaped ramming into the back of them.

It was kind of sad because all this commotion made me miss the end of the movie. It was hard.

Luckily I didn’t die. However it definitely was a wakeup call to me and hopefully to you as well.

I would like to bring to light a dangerous driving situation that is plaguing our road ways today, the danger of watching great movies in the vehicles in front of you. If you are like me, and I would like to think that you are, if there is a TV on anywhere, my eyes will find it and lock on to the signal. That is dangerous if you are driving. Am I right?

Friends if we are serious about safety on our roadways, and I would like to think that we are with the banning of texting and cell phone usage. How can we be blinded about inadvertent video watching and driving?

Something has to be done.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

The Light Up Letters

Remember when you used to watch Wheel of Fortune? And you saw how essential Vanna White’s job was, turning those cinder block sized letters wrapped in gold tinfoil. How were we to solve the puzzle if she wasn’t there to unveil the letters for us? She really had an important job.

However, if you have caught Wheel of Fortune lately you will notice that they have done away with the whole spinning tin foil blocks that Vanna had to turn in the past. They now have screens that just show the letters instantaneously. Vanna now touches the screen and the letters appear.

My question is this…do you think Vanna has any idea that her job is obsolete? I mean in this day and age, where technology pretty much does everything, I don’t know that we need Vanna as much as we needed her 20 years ago. Am I right?

And let’s be honest, Vanna is no spring chicken. All that walking back and forth, reaching up and down in high heels can’t be good for her circulation or back. Vanna you should be enjoying these golden years of your life and not being eye candy for senior citizens who are watching “Wheel” in primetime.

I mean, over at Jeopardy they have also switched over to the screens entirely and Alex Trebeck is doing just fine without the help of a “lovely assistant” sliding those planks back and forth to reveal the “answers”.

So Vanna it may be time to start taking some online classes and exploring other career options. I would recommend launching your own fragrance and calling it something like “The Smell of Fortune”.

Friday, October 9, 2009

The Meet and Greet

So I have this neighbor and every now and again we are at the mailboxes at the same time. So I thought I would be neighborly and say “hello”.

Well as I said “hello” he didn’t even look at me and just passed on by. “That’s strange.”, I thought.

I let it go because he is an older man and I thought didn’t hear me. No big deal.

So the next time I passed him on the side walk and I looked directly in his eyes, and in a elevated tone said, “How’s it going?”

Nothing. No smile. No acknowledgement. He just kept moving on down the side walk.

So earlier this week I passed him again on the sidewalk and noticed he had on a missionary tag from my church. So I thought maybe he is from another country and doesn’t speak the english too good.

Fine, I could deal with the language barrier. So I waved furiously and stooped down to his eye level, hoping to get some sort of friendly nod. (FYI. Squatting, walking, and waving. Not a good look for a man).

Again nothing.

So now I am really angry at this guy, because I want to be his friend, dangit. Doesn’t he know how nice and I am. Who wouldn’t want me as a friend. I’m fantastic!

So I decided the next time I pass him on the sidewalk I am going to “goose” him.

I have found that a friendly “goose” crosses all sorts of barriers, language or otherwise.

I think he will get a kick out of it…or it will freak him out and he will run away from me whenever I approach. If that happens at least we won’t still have the awkwardness at the mailboxes.

Either way it’s a win-win friends.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The Hair Growing Miracle

Have you seen the commercial with Brooke Shields advertising this medicine called Latisse that can help you grow thicker, darker eyelashes? I have to admit that I am intrigued with such a product’s claims. Thicker hair that grows out of no where? Fantastic!

But I must say, shouldn’t we be marketing this product to consumers who may need this much more then females?

How about balding males? If we have a product that makes hair out of nothing at all (shout out to Air Supply) why aren’t we marketing this to balding men? Much like we do with ED (erectile dysfunction) medication at all hours of the day and night (Which, if I may say, have gotten a little out of control, haven’t they. If was funny at first but…not so much now.)

I know men who would give their left leg for a product that would promise them hair growth.

Sure, the hair would be course and stick straight up in the air. And yes, your hair would probably be darker then your normal hair color so it would be splotchy at best.

But who cares when science has brought us the miracle of the mascara comb and eyelash curler. Sure it would take you 14 hours to comb your hair, but my male friends we would have hair again. HAIR!

How ‘bout it science? Hook some balding brothers up.

Friday, September 25, 2009

The Grocery Ascent

Do you ever go to Wal-Mart and buy 25 items and then for some reason the cashier puts all 25 items in separate bags instead of consolidating your items like you wish he would?

And you’re sitting there thinking to yourself, “Hey I live on the third floor pal. How am I supposed to haul all these bags up three flights of stairs in one trip? Friendly Wal-Mart employee, Jeff I believe you name is, just cram it all in there. Smash my bread, bruise my apples, and even crack some of my eggs if you must, but I just want 2-4 bags to carry up my stairs."

Usually when I get home with all my bags I open my truck and just stare hopelessly into it, thinking, “How in the world am I going to manage this in one trip?” Mentally is just makes me so tired

Well they say necessity is the mother of invention, so very slowly I start putting bags around my elbows, wrapping bags around my neck, and strapping on as many bags as will fit in my hands.

On a good day I can balance a turkey or a gallon of milk between my knees (Thank goodness for Suzanne Sommer’s Thigh Master. People used to laugh at me for doing that in high school. But who is laughing now friends? Who is laughing now?)

So very slowly, but as quickly as possible, I start my ascent up the stairs and already my arms and thighs are just burning.

As I round the bend to go up the final stretch of stairs suddenly my gallon of milk slips, but I clamp it with my shins. "Good save", says I!

By this time the whole neighborhood has come out of their houses to support the "grocery bag ascent" by shouting words of encouragement and doing some good old fashion high school cheers with full on pom-poms (well shredded paper towels) and bull horns (the cardboard roll from the shredded paper towels)

(People thanks for the cheers but seriously, I just need you to grab a couple bags for me and join in the climb.).

So finally, I reach my door with muscles aching, sweat dripping off my nose, and barely able to take one more step. Only to realize, however, that my keys are buried deep in my pocket, which, with all the bags in my chapped hands, might as well be in China for all the effort it is going to take to dig into my pocket and pull them out with 25 bags in hand.

At this point I don’t even care about the safety of my 25 items. I just drop all my bags without caring what will break, pull out my keys, open my door; reach down and just throw all my groceries into my house and slam the door.

I am really considering getting a pack mule or llama just for moments like these, this is getting ridiculous! Not to mention all the glass that I have to pick out of my pickles after I drop the jar. It’s hard.

Is there a better way to do this fellow 3rd floor dwellers? A little help if you please…

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The Newdorff Sisters

This video is brought to you by the blog, Oinkle Doinkle (One of the funniest blogs that I have ever encountered. Check it out)

So there are some things that make me love this video.

1- Oh Sweet preacher lady, Merry, Blessed, Happy Christmas…um, pretty much the exact same thing. Just saying.

2- Check out the great cinematography happening in this video. I love the zoom in, tight focus on the plant and then out to Henrietta and Myrna, and then the zoom back into the plant. Two words: Power, Full.

3- Now friends “Go Tell It on the Mountain” is one of my favorite revival songs of praise and remembrance. It takes a special someone to pull it off because it requires both a powerful voice and a lot soul power, if you know what I talking about. Henerietta and Myrna Newdorff’s vocal stylings I have not seen the likes of since Mr. John Dakers. (Which if you haven’t seen friends is worth a watch. Sometimes when I am feeling blue I watch him multiple times a day.)



I love this video because don’t you feel for that teenage girl. Didn’t your parents make you do things that you didn’t want to do. Like singing on the public access Christian channel when you really wanted to go toilet papering with your friends. And you know you have to do what your parents ask you to do, but to get back at your parents you just barely squeak any effort at all.

Or maybe this is how she is all the time and if so…she needs to drink a Red Bull ASAP.

Oh sisters Newdorff, thank you for this gem. Your singing makes me want to jump to my feet and sleep.

You, sweet sisters, are a deeeelight.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

The Wal-Mart Greeter

I always feel bad for the Wal-mart greeters, don’t you?

Whenever I go to the Wal-Mart, I always think to myself, “How does one get to the point in their life were "Wal-mart Greeter" becomes a viable option of employment?”

Don't get me wrong friends I am happy they are working, but…a greeter? Really?

When I express my concern about my friends, the greeters, people say that they must enjoy it because they are retired and it gives them something to do everyday. But surely there must be other places where our “baby boomers” can find some sense of value.

At my Wal-Mart my greeter is a retired gentleman who greets me with a high five and then has a cart ready for me when I walked in. It seems a bit much for me. My spirit is already crushed that I have to shop at the Wal-mart, giving me the “Top Gun, One Up, One Down” doesn't do much to embolden my spirit. But I appreciated the effort any who.

But as I walked away I felt sad for him. Like I needed to hold him for a minute and tell him that everything would be ok, and that he wouldn’t have to do this senseless Wal-mart gig forever.

I know he would never complain to my face about his job, because I am convinced that all Wal-Mart employees have a micro-chip inserted into their brains that gives them electrical shocks when they think outside of the "Wal-Mart paradigm".

But if I listened ever so closely, through strained lips, I would hear a faint whisper coming from my Wal-Mart Greeter saying, “Heeellllp Mmmmeeee”.

So friends, next time you are over ta' the Wal-Mart. Take a moment to hold your greeter, tell them how much you care about them, and let them know that there are other options available for them outside of the Wal-Mart.

And than give them a “Top Gun, One up, One down” and get on with your shoppin’.

Monday, September 14, 2009

The Elder's Quorum Lesson

So one of the things I dread in life is teaching Elder’s Quorum at church. I love to teach Sunday School and could do that all day every day, but those Elders are a tough crowd to teach to.

It seems to me, and I could be wrong, that the guys just give up once they get to Elders Quorum. They don’t want to answer any questions, or volunteer to read. They just want to sit there for an hour until church gets out.

So here was me yesterday teaching, “OK Friends, so who can tell me what Charity is?”

(The distant sound of crickets chirping)

Now, I am not afraid of silence and I am a believer in letting people ponder the question before they respond, but after ten minutes of very loud silence it’s time for someone to say “uncle”. It’s like a silent competition to see who will cave first. Will the teacher answer his own question or will the elders finally have the courage to speak up? It’s hard to say who ultimately wins this battle in the end

Yesterday, it seemed that I had to answer the majority of my own questions that I asked, which I could have done at home for free.

So finally I just got so frustrated I just wanted to slam down my manual and say, “OK Fellas seriously? I have worked my can off for the past two weeks for this lesson, so somebody better answer my questions and volunteer to read or so help me, I am going to reach over the pulpit and beat the crap out of all of you.

“And if you think I’m kidding, just try me. Because I would love it!

Great. Now with that out of the way, today our lesson is on developing charity…”

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

The Google

Remember that time when you Googled you new co-worker and found out about a lot of cool and interesting things they had done at their last job?

Remember how you told yourself that you would never bring those things up to them in conversation, because how creepy would that be if they found out you had Googled them?

Do you also remember that time when you accidentally slipped and mentioned the cool and interesting things that they had done at their last job that you found on Google while talking to them?

And recall if you will, your co-worker’s shock when he asked you how you had found out about the cool and interesting things they had done at their last job.

Remember how embarrassed you were that you were found out? So you said you had to go to the bathroom, but you really jumped in your car, drove all the way home and locked yourself in the closet and collapsed in the fetal position, where you rocked and cried yourself to sleep?

Remember how you never want to run into that person ever again, or how you never want to go to work again? Soooooooo awkward

Beware the power that we have in Google. Promise me you will only use it for good…and the occasional embarrassing situation. Promise Me!

Friday, September 4, 2009

The Angry Meeting

So I just got a new calling at church, and as such have been thrust into being social and going to many meetings. Honestly people, I am more comfortable sitting in the back making fun of bad musical numbers.

Don’t get me wrong friends, I love serving at church and interacting with amazing people. Although, I am having a hard time believing that we need to have so many meetings. And I have hard time believing that when we do hold meetings that they really need to take two hours a shot. Really? Two hours?

Last night I attended a two hour meeting that could have been accomplished in one. Keep in mind I loved the topic we were discussing, I believe it is a true principle and should be included in all our lives. However, half way through the meeting I was tempted to stand and say to the speaker, “Good friend, I love you like a brother…but get to the freakin’ point!

To compound matters the two people who I serve with in my calling are just sooo good, and are about ready to be sucked right up into heaven. Grab onto their legs friends, they are heading up. And I feel like I am border line socially and spiritually, for the lack of a better word, retarded when I am around them. They are so patient and good with me in all my cynicism and sarcasm, which only makes me feel worse.

I know that over the years I have been increasingly more cynical about things that I should love and embrace. My desire is to be one of those people that just loves everyone, that always has something good to say when people gossip, and a person who never stands up in meetings and tells the speakers that they need to get to the point or sit down.

Maybe that is why I am in this calling so I can learn how to have a change of heart and root out the evil that is within in me. Only time will tell.

But I don’t see how my change of heart will come from attending another two hour meeting. They just make me so angry! So angry!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

The Random Thoughts Email

Friends, someone just emailed me these little gems. I seem to relate really well to all of them, and perhaps you may aswell.

I have bolded the ones that apply directly to how I think.

Random Thoughts of the Day:

Was learning cursive really necessary?

I wonder if cops ever get ticked off at the fact that everyone they drive behind obeys the speed limit.

Sometimes, I'll watch a movie that I watched when I was younger and suddenly realize I had no idea what the heck was going on when I first saw it.

I wish Google Maps had an "Avoid Ghetto" routing option.

More often than not, when someone is telling me a story all I can think about is that I can't wait for them to finish so that I can tell my own story that's not only better, but also more directly involves me.

The letters T and G are very close to each other on a keyboard. This recently became all too apparent to me and consequently I will never be ending a work email with the phrase "Regards" again.

Do you remember when you were a kid, playing Nintendo and it wouldn't work? You take the cartridge out, blow in it and that would magically fix the problem. Every kid in America did that, but how did we all know how to fix the problem? There was no internet or message boards or FAQ's. We just figured it out. Today's kids are soft.

I think everyone has a movie that they love so much, it actually becomes stressful to watch it with other people. I'll end up wasting 90 minutes shiftily glancing around to confirm that everyone's laughing at the right parts, then making sure I laugh just a little bit harder (and a millisecond earlier) to prove that I'm still the only one who really, really gets it.

I would rather try to carry 10 plastic grocery bags in each hand than take 2 trips to bring my groceries in.

Lol has gone from meaning, "laugh out loud" to "I have nothing else to say".

Answering the same letter three times or more in a row on a Scantron test is absolutely petrifying.

I love the sense of camaraderie when an entire line of cars team up to prevent someone from cutting in at the front. Stay strong, brothers!

MapQuest really needs to start their directions on #5. Pretty sure I know how to get out of my neighborhood.

Bad decisions make good stories

Why is it that during an ice-breaker, when the whole room has to go around and say their name and where they are from, I get so incredibly nervous? Like I know my name, I know where I'm from, this shouldn't be a problem....

You never know when it will strike, but there comes a moment at work when you've made up your mind that you just aren't doing anything productive for the rest of the day.

Can we all just agree to ignore whatever comes after DVDs? I don't want to have to restart my collection.

I'm always slightly terrified when I exit out of Word and it asks me if I want to save any changes to my ten page research paper that I swear I did not make any changes to.

I hate being the one with the remote in a room full of people watching TV. There's so much pressure. 'I love this show, but will they judge me if I keep it on? I bet everyone is wishing we weren't watching this. It's only a matter of time before they all get up and leave the room. Will we still be friends after this?'

I hate leaving my house confident and looking good and then not seeing anyone of importance the entire day. What a waste.

When I meet a new girl, I'm terrified of mentioning something she hasn't already told me but that I have learned from some light internet stalking.

I like all of the music in my iTunes, except when it's on shuffle, then I like about one in every fifteen songs in my iTunes.

Why is a school zone 20 mph? That seems like the optimal cruising speed for pedophiles...

As a driver I hate pedestrians, and as a pedestrian I hate drivers, but no matter what the mode of transportation, I always hate cyclists.

Sometimes I'll look down at my watch 3 consecutive times and still not know what time it is.

I keep some people's phone numbers in my phone just so I know not to answer when they call.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

The Higher Power

Do you ever run into you house after an uncomfortable ride home, throwing your keys and everything else in a trail behind as you need to hit the bathroom stat?

You find your seat and realize to your horror that there is no hygenic paper on the roll. And not only that, but after digging through your trash, you can't find anything that could possibly even substitute for hygienic paper.

So now you are in a bit of a bind because…what do you do? But you realize you haven’t really let anything go yet, and so it is possible you could probably just travel to another local where the hygienic paper abounds and is open to the public.

So in times of trouble I usually turn to a higher power and this was no exception.

As I sat pondering on what to do, I looked out my window. And as I looked heavenward I saw a steeple right next to my house. I felt it was a sign, so I ever so gentlely bolted out of the door.

Running down the street like a speed walker, I made it just in time to push some boy scouts out of my way and rush into the bathroom.

You know I walked out of that church with a new perspective above about a great many things?

Number one, I learned that when you are faced with troubling times you can find relief at church.

Number two, if you are smart you can walk out of the church with your pockets filled with hygienic paper, and no one will be the wiser.

Feel free to incorporate this lesson into any religious teaching moments you have coming up. I might share it over the pulpit this Sunday, it’s hard to say.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The Orange Hat

Oh friends I have such news! Remember like a year ago when I blogged about a man who used to ride trax with me into work and each day he would show up wearing an orange styrofoam novelty cowboy hat? Remember? Here is a link just in case you missed out on that choice entry.

I haven’t seen my cowboy friend for quite some time and I began to worry that perhaps he died of some sort of styrofoam related illness because, as we all know from jr. high health class, sweat + sun + Styrofoam = Cancer.

But guess what friends? We have had a sighting of my friend and I can report that he is doing well and is sporting the same orange Styrofoam novelty cowboy hat, albeit a little dilapidated from all that use and sun damage. But if you will notice he has pinned it up in front, like a old prospector, so he can see where he is going.

It brings my heart such joy to see him working that hat. I love it when people are not bound by the fashion sense of normal society.

Shine on you crazy diamond. Shine on!

The Lack of Cable

So last week I was sick. It was hard, but I pulled through.

But one of the great things of being sick is just lying down on the couch and watching some good day time TV. Am I right?

With that in mind, I refuse to buy cable because it is trash and full of naked people, well that, and I can’t afford it. So my TV watching consists mostly of whatever my antenna can pick up

I have made a list of the Highlights and Lowlights of my day time TV watching:

Highlights:

The Cosby Show: Friends I never tire of this little jem. I am always surprised how this show still holds up after all these years. I caught the episode where Rudy’s goldfish died. Hilarity ensued.

The Bonnie Hunt Show: I didn’t know she had her own show. But you Bonnie, you sweet sister are a delight!

The Wendy Williams Show: I don’t know who this chic is but she was dang funny. Check it.

Ellen: Bless this woman. Her show is the best. I never am home to partake of it’s goodness but she has it goin’on.

Lowlights:

Court shows: What in the...what? Do we need to have 50 court shows on during the day? I think not.

Maury: Does Maury have to have paternity testing as the topic of every one of his shows with family members sleeping with each others husbands? Forgive me but it is too much.

Soap Operas: Seriously? I really miss that weird soap opera called “Passions” with those witches and that little person named Timmy. It was so bizarre, but provided a lot of great laughs.

Oh friends,(sigh) I miss cable.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Ferrets: The Pursuit of Excellence

So the other night I was flipping through the channels and landed on this sweet sister singing about her ferret. You heard me correctly, I said ferret. So without further adieu…


And then, you can imagine my shock when they continued on this theme. Listen to your feelings as you watch. Everything within me revolts…


What in the…What? OK, so I am not a ferret owner, so I may be speaking out of turn here, but aren’t ferrets wild animals? And as such, shouldn’t they be biting and scratching the crap out of these strange people?

I love animals just as much as the next guy but…seriously? Dressing up your ferret in hula gear and singing songs about them without a functional supportive undergarment (it’s called a brassiere sweet sister, how bout we strap one on for the sake of your ferret) rides a very fine line of crossing over into absolute insanity. Am I right?

I know there are a lonely people out there, and I would rather step on my tongue than to criticize others but, come on…GET A LIFE!

By the end of the program I am happy to report that while trying to “show” her ferret at a “Ferret Show” (And yes, they really exist. Think Westminster Dog Show only with ferrets.) One of the ferrets takes a chunk out of his owner’s nose. I think he had enough of forcibly submitting to cross dress, did you see the butterfly wigs, I mean who can blame him.

If you ever have an opportunity to happen upon this show on PBS you must stop everything to watch it. It is both terrifying and hilarious.

Monday, August 17, 2009

The Circle of Life

Remember that time when you were driving into work and the Disney classic “The Circle of Life” comes on? And from “Na si when ya, mama beach ama ba. Sica boom yema why” (this is purely phonetic spelling of course) something different comes over you, a special something that you never have experienced before. And all of a sudden, mid-freeway commute, you just start sobbing because even though they are speaking in some African language with clicks, and grunts you understand what they are singing about and it touches your soul in a deep and profound way.

But suddenly, mid-cry, you realize that you need to stop feeling this way because with tears in your eyes it magnifies everything and so your following distance becomes impaired, and little Geo Prizms start to look like semi-tracker trailers.

Has this every happened to you? It was so strange and caught me completely off guard. It must mean something but I am not sure what to make of it. Do I need to go to Africa and hold a baby lion to the sun? Or perhaps feel connected to the world around me by doing a better job at recycling and taking the bus to work?

More than likely it is an underlying desire to feel a part of something bigger than just me. It’s hard to form a “circle of life” with just you. Try it, it doesn’t work.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The Demolition Derby

There are a couple of things in life that bring me back to my roots and truly make me feel like an American.

Whenever I hear “Call of the Common” by Aaron Copland, attend a rodeo, or sing “The Star Spangled Banner” I feel uniquely American and want to put my hand on my heart and do a hitch kick.

Over the weekend I found another little activity that is uniquely American and brought me back to my very basic human instincts. It is called the “Demolition Derby” and friends if you haven’t attended this little activity at your local fair, I have to ask, what are you waiting for?

I don’t know where all the people who attend the Demolition Derby hide on the off season, but they come out in full force come game day. You know the crowd, the woman who has a cigarette in one hand, and a new born baby in the other, wearing a Coors Light tube top. The men who wear cowboy hats, and have multiple piercings, and tribal band tatoos up and down their arms. So all night you are trying to place their affiliation. Are they cowboys, stoners, skaters, what? Pick a group and stick with it.

And the derby itself brings me to my very animalistic instincts of ramming my car into others. Don’t you ever feel like that on a Monday around 4:00 when traffic is at a stand still on the freeway? I dream of the day when it will be socially accepted to kick my car into first gear and ram cars until I can get to my exit. And seeing the ramming of cars at the Derby brings me hope that some day my dream of ramming into others will some day become a reality. (Let's all call our congressman and get a bill going today!)

The funny thing about the whole demolition derby is that if you win you become a mini star for the night. The girls sitting behind me kept stalking one of the drivers and even got their picture taken with him which I happily jumped into because I was a bit star struck myself.

So friends, the summer is almost over, and if you haven’t hit the Demolition Derby in your local area, you need to jump on it. Pull out that old tube top you have under your mattress and get your derby on.

Friday, August 7, 2009

The Security Experience

So when they asked me to do "security" at the new Temple by my house at 3:00 am this morning they acted a little put out when I arrived in my military fatigues and face paint.

Come on elders let's take this party up a notch.

An P.S., I don't think they should release you from your security assignment just because you fire warning shots with your paint ball gun to morning runners taking a short cut through the temple parking lot.

Don't do the crime if you can't do the time, is what I always say.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

The Singleness-ship

Ah, being single. Isn’t it funny how everyone around you feels sad for you because of your singleness-ship? Most people feel that every night you must go home to a lonely house filled with cats, fall upon your bed and cry yourselves to sleep every night.

Sure there are times that it gets lonely and you wish you had someone to spoon with, but for the most part, the majority of the “singles” I know live fairly normal and productive lives, well except that weird guy down the street who comes to church dressed as a Anakin Skywalker and refers to everyone as “Padawan (insert you name here)” in lo of the normal “brother” and “sister”.

So you can imagine that as a “single” I have heard some things from the “marrieds” that make me wonder how normal some of them are. Some of the things they say make me wonder how they ever got married in the first place with such poor social skills.

Now don’t misunderstand me, I know that most people mean well when they say things to those of use that are not married. But as a representative of all single people I ask that you think through your comments before you actually make them.

Here are some of my favorites that you “marrieds” just might want to take note of:

1-The Phantom Elbow Grabber- This one always catches me off guard. So I am sitting in a church meeting talking about, well let’s say, oh I don’t know, faith. Keep in mind I am not thinking about being single because, well, ya know the lesson is on faith. And then from out of the congregation an older women immerges and immediately cups the fleshy part of my elbow, leans into my ear and says, “It will happen someday”. And then she disappears just as she mysteriously as she arrived, never to be seen at church again. And you’re standing thinking, “What was that?”

Two things are going on here. Number one, don’t ever grab the fleshy part of someone’s elbow, it just is really uncomfortable and a little creepy to be honest.

Number two, if you are going to say, “It will happen someday” make sure you give a little context to the person as to what will happen someday. What will happen someday? Lunch, bowling on Wednesday, the end of the world, What? Spit it out women!

And if you must make comments like that, tell us why you feel impressed to share them instead of darting out of the room and out of our lives forever.

2-Blind Date Offers- Now friends, I know everyone means well when it comes to blind dating. I have had many offers to go on blind dates, but sometimes I have to question why the “marrieds” think we have anything in common with a potential blind date.

Just as a review, I might go out with someone because we have a similar personality, enjoy the same activities, or even have the same birth mark of the state of Florida on the small of our backs.

I get a lot of this from the “marrieds” as to the reason why they think I am a perfect match for their special friends: “You both have so much in common, you are both single”, or “you both have so much in common you are both tall”.

OK. So I have been to enough 50th wedding anniversaries’ to know that couples rarely attribute the longevity of their marriage to their similar height ratio. I could be wrong but I think there is a little bit more to having common interests than just that.

So again, not to harp on my good married brothers and sisters, but let’s just think through some of our statements to our single friends. We would appreciate it and we won’t have to toilet paper you house.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

The Recreational Wedding

So here’s something so random that happened to me last night.

I was doing my hour on the stationary bike at the Daybreak Recreation Center last night (Let’s never do that again. Friends, when you ride a bike let it never be stationary. I am not sure I will be able to have children after that uncomfortable seat experience.) when to my left I saw what appeared to be a women dressed in full-on wedding gear. The dress, the veil, the little flower girl in front of her, yep it was all there.

I thought my eyes were playing tricks on me, but sure enough when I heard the wedding march music it was confirmed. This sweet sister was getting married at the Daybreak Recreation Center.

I thought surely she wasn’t getting married in the room right next to the spinning and kenpo karate class where her wedding ceremony would only be separated by a sliding plastic partition.

I don’t know about you, but during my wedding ceremony I would not want to hear from the adjoining rooms, “COME ON PEOPLE GET YOUR BUTTS OFF THE SEATS. PUSH IT” or “SWEEP HIS LEGS JOHNNY, SWEEP HIS LEGS”.

I may be a bit old fashion but I don’t know if hearing those types of comments and having a whole row of people on star steppers witnessing your vows, can give you a lot of hope that your marriage is going to last past the Daybreak Recreation Center Soccer Season (Which is from August – October, Fun for all age groups, Games only on Saturday.)

I am just saying.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

The Hole Toilet

So I went up the canyon with some friends and had to go and use the facilities. And as I was walking towards what I thought was a bathroom, I was stopped by a very strong, not so pleasant odor. And then I realized that I wasn’t heading to a toilet at all, but a hole in the ground with a seat on top.

Now for those of you who have never been to one of these little treats in the forest, let me just say, it takes some preparation both mentally and spiritually before you go walking in.
(Sometimes I like to say a little prayer before I enter the "shanty toilet" because, and let’s be honest, when we finally die and see what hell is like it I am pretty sure it will be a tiny shanty with a “hole toilet”. If you don’t believe me friends, you lift up the toilet, stare down into that hole. If that’s not Hell ladies and gentlemen I don’t know what is.)

So I am standing outside the door taking in some deep breaths and doing some self talk, saying things like, “Rob, you are capable of doing this. What is hard for others is easy for you.”
So I finally steeled myself to the task at hand and said, “Give me this mountain, give me this challenge”.

I held my breath, opened the door, and walked in ready to face whatever would befall me.
Now, I always promise myself that I am not going to look down into the hole. It’s disgusting and usually causes me to throw up a little bit in my mouth. I fight and fight my urge not to look down but inevitably curiosity gets a hold of me and I do and then dry heave and then accidently breath through my nose, which causes me to dry heave again. It’s just a vicious cycle.

For those of you who have never experienced this adventurous bathroom experience let me give you some tips.

First of all, almost always the lock on the door is broken so you must hold the door shut with your feet or your spare hand whichever is most convenient for you.

Secondly, give that seat a good looking over before you have a sit. Heaven only knows what kind of wildlife is creeping under that toilet seat waiting to take a bite out of you.

Thirdly, be vigilant friends, always remember to be vigilant. Once you are seated you will notice all kinds of bugs, spiders, and the occasional bird that will come creeping toward you once your pants are down. Whalst your one hand or foot is holding the door shut the other hand or foot should be waving raucously to ward off any invading creatures. (Mind those mosquitoes as well; they love that blood from your bum.)

Lastly, work fast. Don’t doddle in there. You mission is to get in and get out with a clean pair of pants and your life intact.

Finally, there is no greater sense of freedom in all the world then walking out and taking a deep breath of fresh mountain air after the experiment in terror, which is the “hole toilet”. Sometimes I just burst right into “God Bless America” for good measure.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The Swimming Incident

Remember that time when I signed up to do a triathlon and failed to realize how much training it would entail to accomplish this goal without dying?

Last night I went to the pool to swim what seemed like, oh I don’t know like 1000 laps. I came walking out of the locker room in my speedo (not the underwear kind but the modest to the knee number. I am not quite ready to show that much leg at the pool.), swim cap, and aerodynamic goggles, so naturally everyone expects great things from me because I look like, ya know, a professional swimmer. I appear, to the untrained eye, something like a balding, not as fit, Michael Phelps cutting through the water at amazing rates of speed.

I dive in, swim my first lap and just feel great. The water felt cool in the hot summer sun and I seemed to be gliding through the water like a dolphin swabbed with baby oil. And then the burning started.

After I did a flip turn I realized that my arms lack the muscle strenth to propel me through the water, my lungs were not taking in air, and my speedo had slid down just a tich (Friends make sure you cinch that waist band good and tight on your speedo or you might be giving your fellow swimmers a little “show” they don’t really want to see).

So with one hand I was trying to fix the wardrobe malfunction below, with the other hand I tried to paddle to keep my buoyancy, while still trying to take gulps of air between every mouth full of water. It all just became too much. So finally I just stopped mid-stroke and walked back to the other side of the wall.

So, needless to say, I didn’t leave quite the impression I wanted at the pool.

Better luck tomorrow. This time I think I will wear a snorkel mask and cargo shorts, that way there is no real expectation to live up to.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Possesive Pronouns

Do you ever have conversations with people and they refer to their parents like they are your parents and you all belong to the same family? I don’t know how to explain it but it happened to me today and I thought it very odd.

For example the person said something like this: “So I went with mom to the store”, “I stopped by mom and dads to help them mow their lawn.”

Why don’t they just say “So I went with my mom to the store.” or “I stopped by my parents to help them mow their lawn.”?

Is that weird to any one else? It presupposes a closeness that I want to distance myself from. That possessive pronoun is really important to me; let us not cast it off so casually.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

The Shopping Crash

Do you ever start your day off feeling great about life and the world around you, and then go to Wal-mart and within 20 minutes of shopping you become so impatient with people that you want to burn shopping carts and throw cheese samples at everyone?

It’s seems that every time I go to Wal-mart people seem to lose all sense of balance and direction. I don’t know if some how there is some weird magnetic phenomena that makes my fellow shoppers lose all sense of their depth perception, you know kind of like the Bermuda Triangle affect, but people seem to be bumping into me and other stationary objects at a rate that seems why beyond the normal average for this part of the country.

When I asked my sister if she had a similar problem at her neighborhood Wal-mart she said she did and felt is was because, and I quote, “The devil resides in Wal-mart, that is why we all feel like crap when we leave”. After my experience last night I am beginning to believe that she is right.

Last night as I was shopping in the cereal aisle perusing which cereal to buy to fulfill both my breakfast and dinner needs for the following day, out of the corner of my eye I see a women making a B-line for me and my cart.

Now, I don’t profess to know the intricacies of the “right of way” system when one is pushing a shopping cart but, it seems to me that if you are stopped in the aisle the other person who is moving should be the one to divert their course. Am I right?

So I try to make eye contact with this diverted shopper so she knows that I know that I see her, and that I am not moving. But she continues right toward me and eventually runs right into me. Now sure she was going at a relatively low speed and I didn’t receive any injuries, but just the fact that it had to happen really annoyed me.

So after I left the cereal aisle I was heading to the milk section at a very nice clip when some crazy person comes pulling out of the baking aisle without looking both ways before heading out into the intersection of the aisles of Baking and Milk. And I slammed right into her, again at a very low speed, but what if I would have had some eggs or a crystal goblet pyramid in my cart? What then friends? What then?

Something needs to be done. Perhaps stop lights at the end of aisles, or Wal-mart employees on Segways who can monitor out of control cart pushers. But ultimately it comes down to Wal-mart shoppers getting their head in the game and looking out for others, right?

Seriously as long as their prices are the lowest we all have to shop there, so let’s try to look out for each other and be safe.

Monday, July 6, 2009

The Pocket Knife

Remember when you were a boy scout and they drummed into your brain that you should always carry a pocket knife with you at all times, just in case you had to hollow out a canoe, or kill a grizzly bear on your way home from work?

In all my years of carrying my tiny pocket knife on my key chain my only occasion to use it has been to cut those pesky threads that stick out from my ties, and trim painful hangnails that seem to snag on everything. In the moment my hangnails do seem life threatening and could warrant sharing “The Case of the Infected Hangnail” in a Den Meeting, explaining how my pocket knife has rescued me from almost certain death. But I have never really used my pocket knife to solve a major life problem or to save a life until a little experience I had on Friday that may warrant a little write up in Boys Life.

So I went to the temple for some needed spiritual enlightenment. As I returned to my locker I looked up to see that someone had slammed the handle to my garment bag into their locker. So I pulled and tugged and reverently banged on the locker but it didn’t budge. I tried to get one of the temple workers to see if they could open this locker that had my bag in a vice like grip but they didn’t know how to remedy the problem.

As I sat there on my bench, within my locker stall, pondering how to get out of this predicament, I received, what I believe was inspiration. I heard the voice of my old scout master in the distance, “Use the knife Rob…Trust your feelings”.

So I reached up with my trusty pocket knife and amputated the handle from my bag with one precise cut.

Sure it was awkward, me standing on a stool, knife in hand, sawing at my garment bag handle in the temple locker room, but I think most of those in attendance were boy scouts so I am sure they understood.

As I walked out of the temple with my lop-sided garment bag, struggling to not trip over it, me thought I heard in the distance, the sweet voice of a long since forgotten Scout Master saying, “Rob, may the knife be with you…always.”

And I said to him, “Thanks for that, but isn’t there some sort of bionic or robotic handle that we can attach to make this garment bag whole again?”

All I got was, “Rob, Two words…Boondoggle.”

Thursday, July 2, 2009

I Got the Sweats

In the summer do you ever lie in bed cradled in a puddle of you own sweat hoping to fall asleep? You have every fan in your house going, windows open to capacity, a bag of ice on your head and yet sleep somehow eludes you?

I love the coolness of the air conditioner but I am so cheap that I don’t turn it on until I am almost to the point of absolute dehydration. How did the pioneers do it? There must have been a lot of skinny dipping going on in the blackness of night.

I am the same way in my car. I think it is because I feel like somehow I am stronger than everyone else around me. It’s like I have something to prove to myself and others by sweating through every layer of clothing I have on. Is that really showing how tough I am or how little I care about body odor in and around other people? I think people are starting to feel the latter is true.

I think my neighbors must wonder what happens to me from the time I leave work to when I arrive home. I get out of my car dripping with sweat and have to wave my hand in front of me, like a blind person, to find my way to my door because the gel from my hair melts into my eye lashes, then my eyes seal shut. It’s like I have pink eye all over again. It’s hard.

I think from now on I am going to be gentler with myself. I am going to turn my air on for a few minutes each day to reward myself for how great and strong I am.

Because, like my friends at L’Oreal say…I’m worth it.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The American Way

I work in a not so upstanding part of Salt Lake as I have mentioned before. In case you have any doubt about it, let me just say, my co-worker was propositioned just outside our office last week. And when I say "propositioned" I don’t mean to go and get an ice cream cone at the local Dairy Queen. She was propositioned for a...well you know. I guess after that she is definitely going to rethink wearing a tube top, and thigh high boots to work.

But I guess I just don’t see all the negativity that some of my co-workers see. I look around the neighborhood where I work and see a network of resourceful individuals who are trying to pull themselves out of the toilet, which is their lives.

For example, I went for my afternoon walk yesterday and I saw proof that there are still some good people out there trying to live the American dream.

On my walks I pass by this little house on the corner where two men, whose names I don’t know, but who I like to call Lowell and Joe-Joe, sit out in their lawn chairs on their porch. I don’t know if they have jobs because they sit outside just chatting away, for what seems to be most of the afternoon.

I would worry about them but they see to have a lot of friends who stop by at all hours of the day. The funny thing, that I don’t really understand, is that their friends don’t seem to stay long and talk to Lowell and Joe-Joe because they leave their cars running. They go inside together and within a few minutes they leave with little baggies filled with what must be, as far as I can tell, Avon potpourri or Am Way powered sugar.

I am so happy to live in a country where people, like Lowell and Joe-Joe, are pulling themselves out of poverty by really tapping into some good old fashion multi-level marketing.

What’s more American than that?

Friday, June 26, 2009

Ode to Michael

Oh, Michael I hardly knew ye.

I have to send out my regards to the man, the king of pop, Mr. Michael Jackson.

On my drive into work today every channel was playing his music and I forgot how many great songs he produced.

Love him or hate him, you have to admit the man put out some stellar tunes.

When Mike made a new video it wasn’t that you just saw it in passing, it was an event that you stopped everything for and watched and sometimes re-enacted in the privacy of your bedroom. (Don’t act like you didn’t. You all grabbed yourself and let out a crazy “ooooh”. There is no shame in it, just embrace it.)

I still remember where I was the first time I saw Thriller, Billy Jean, Bad, Smooth Criminal and Do You Remember the Time. You just don’t forget great music moments like that.

We all knew he was a freak but what an entertainer. I always said if MJ ever came to Utah, I would pay whatever it cost to go see that performance.

Shine on you crazy diamond! May your pelvis always be thrusting, may your “ooohhhs” forever ring in our ears, and may you always remain a lover and not a fighter.

Moon walk on Michael, moon walk right on into heaven.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The Big Win

Oh friends I have such news!

After many years of running I finally placed in my division. That’s right, first place in my age division! Well, ok, sure there were only two people running in my age division…nevertheless, it is still an effort and should be rewarded.

So after the race, I waited anxiously for the city of Bluffdale to call my name so I could accept my award. Surely, they must give out trophies the size of small children, or at least a Geo Prizm to the winners of the 5K.

While I waited for them to call out my name, I started going over my acceptance speech in my head, “Thank you so much, all of you. I wanted to thank some very special people, who made all this possible. I would like to thank my track coach who stood by me even during the steroid scandal of ’93. Thanks to my dad who encouraged me to pull on some tenni runners and those embarrassing running shorts with the flap on the side and get out there and run. And to all you children who never thought they could win in your respective age groups, I stand as a witness that dreams do come true. I have kicked open the door wide for all you tall lurpy children to follow in my foot steps.”

So finally, the announcer gets to my division. A hush falls over the crowd. I rise in anticipation from my chair in a heroic fashion with arms stretched heaven ward, walking toward the podium.
The winner of the of the 2009 Bluffdale Badlands 5K in the 30-34 age division is… Rob…um…Rob aab…abnarch.. Rob Abercromb..”

All of a sudden it’s like the $10,000 Dollar Pyramid for the announcer trying to come up with my last name.

An awkward pause fell over the audience as I yelled from the back, “It’s Abney!”
She responds, “No, that’s not it.”

So what do I do at this point? I am already half way up to the podium. Should I go sit back down? Do I just go take the award any way? What if there is another runner name “Rob” and he really won.

So after what seemed to be 3 hours of verifying who I was, they finally handed me a blue ribbon and a doughnut.

When I tried to reach for the microphone to give my acceptance speech they told me they didn’t have time because they had to start giving away the big prizes and the trophies the size of children to the winners of the 10K. Nice.

Well now I have finally won I can quite running and start my true calling as a motivational speaker to tall lurpy children who dream of getting first in their age division. I would tell the sweet children to have low expectations as to what their prize may be. Maybe putting all your eggs into winning a car is not their best option after a 5K.

You see children we build to that.