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.

Monday, June 15, 2009

The Fanny Pack: Never Say Die

Remember in the 80’s when the Fanny Pack burst on the scene? It seemed to be the answer to so many of our problems, including bringing needed peace after the “cola wars” had turned violent in the streets of LA.

In the eighties things were so much bigger, weren’t they, so it really was a necessity to have a Fanny Pack. Phones were the size of brinks, walkmans were the size of a hard back book, and we all had to have two or three neon shirts on our person at all times just in case one got ruined or your best friend was wearing the same color as you (which happened all to often to this neon loving fool.)

But now in this day and age when everything is so small and sleek shouldn’t we be able to hold it all in our pockets or European carry all? Really no one should be wearing a Fanny Pack at all any more. Right?

I bring this up because in the last hour, as I took a break, I saw two employees of the County, that’s right; count them, two employees wearing Fanny Packs.

Now friends, I am not a fashion or accessories expert, but I think the Fanny Pack has had its day and is officially out of date. Now if you are a tourist I give you a little slack because you are justified in carrying a lot of stuff with you at one time. But people, who wears a Fanny Pack to work? Come on, really?

And it really begs the question what do these men have to carry around with them that requires the use of a Fanny Pack? Are they carrying their tools, Game Boys, snacks, or other sundry items with them? It’s hard to say really without throwing them up against the wall and doing a Fanny Pack search. (Which may be coming in the near future if I have anything to do with some policy changes around here.)

Let’s reach out a hand to our slow fashion brothers and sisters and introduce them to such items as purses and/or backpacks so they can release that wieght on their hips that only a Fanny Pack can bring.

Friday, June 12, 2009

The Stoplight Conversation

So here is something, it is more of social question more than anything. It has happened to me around five times and I am not sure how to handle it.

So a couple of weeks ago I was stopped at a stop light with my windows rolled down enjoying some sweet music and spring air. When next to me I heard, “Hey Rob, how’s it going?”

It was one of my friends from high school who I hadn’t seen for a while.

So we caught up briefly until the light had turned green and then I said, “Well it was so nice seeing you. Good luck with everything, we’ll talk to you later.”

When I said, “We’ll talk to you later”, I didn’t realize it would be within the next minute.

As I drove off thinking our little conversation/reunion was over, I found that as I stopped at the next light my high school friend was right next to me again.

So what do you do?

A-Do you continue with your conversation even though you pretty much closed it at the previous light?

B-Do you just act like you don’t notice that he is there and slowly, very slowly, roll up your window to ensure that no more chit chat occurs between lights.

C-Even though you can see him out of the corner of your eye looking at you, wanting to continue this “stop and go conversation” do you ignore him, because how can you keep up this discussion every block, no matter how intriguing it is?

Because I was on a long stretch of road with a lot of stop lights immediately ahead that would perpetuate more of this awkwardness, I eventually had to turn down a rode to give my friend a big enough head start that I wouldn’t run into him again.

It wasn’t that I didn’t want to talk to my old friend but the situation was so awkward, right?

Am I wrong to have done what I did? What is the etiquette when it comes to stop light reunions/conversations?

Gentle readers, who among you has had this happened to you and can offer some advice about what to do. Any advice would be great.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Dating Tips From TV

So there is a couple of shows on TV I think are just ridiculous and insulting to the human experience, and more than likely these shows will be a large part of sending us all to hell.

But if there is one show that I hate more than any of the others it is The Bachelor/Bachelorette. I find it degrading, base, and if I may say, very sexist.

So I was watching the Bachelorette last night and actually found it very enlightening in regards to my own singleness-ship. By watching sweet Gilian, I realized some things I could do that would help me find my potential spouse or… just go out on a date (Let’s not get ahead of ourselves people. Baby steps friends…baby steps.)

The first thing that I noticed from watching the Batchelorette is when courting someone try to live in a mansion, have a killer hair and makeup team to make you look nice even at 6:00 in the morning, and have someone pick out some awesome outfits that accentuate your assets. And have them do it for you for free. (I think my mistake has been living in a condo, driving a Honda Civic and doing my own hair. I have tried to do some spray on tanning but I am not sure if that has helped or hurt, seeing how I sweat a great deal and usually I finish the night with orange dye seeping through my shirt. It’s hard)

The second thing that I learned is that it is really important to go on amazing, expensive dates. Hop on a plane or helicopter and go to an exotic location to hold each other as you zip line down a rustic mountain, or have a famous musician serenade you as you eat a scrumptious meal by candle light. And, oh yes, at the end of every date you must jump in a hot tub where you sip champagne and whisper sweet nothings into each other’s ears. (My mistake, being on a fixed income and all, has been to go to Wal-mart on a date, sit in the blue ray/surround sound section and watch the demo movie. (Hint: if you get there before 6:00 pm you can watch the same movie twice. Check it)

And lastly, I have learned some great lines that seem to get used a lot on the Bachelor/ Bachelorette. Here are some I am looking forward to incorporating into my own dating:

After one date, start bawling and say, “I felt a real connection with you as soon as I saw you. We are soul mates.” And then just really let it all go as you hold your date. I bet girls love to hear that, especially on a first date. Am I right ladies?

Here is a gem that I might use as soon as next week. Get ready it will change you. Here it is, “I am definitely having feelings that I never thought I would feel for you.” That is so flattering to hear. What women would not swoon after such near poetry as that?

After every date, again with tears, say, “I had no idea how hard this would be. I love all 80 people that I have been dating, hot tubing, and kissing.” And go into the fetal position and cry out, “It’s so hard.”

Bless their hearts, they are so right. Dating ridiculously good looking people, going on dates to amazing places, kissing like 12 people a night, (they aren’t just little kisses either friends, they are full on F-R-E-N-C-H kissing), and living in a mansion is really hard. My heart bleeds for them, bless their hearts.

I have to say as I watched last night; The Bachelorette wasn’t half as ridiculous, idiotic, or half brained as I had previously thought. After all, I got some great dating tips and only felt cheap and dirty for about 45 minutes. Well worth my time, well worth it.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

The Versatility of the Slanket

I got my mom a Slanket for retirement and was again reminded what an amazing product this is.
The Slanket really is perfect for any occasion.

A quiet night in with your favorite book.


A night with your friends hanging out on your couch wearing crazy hats and wigs. Yes, I mean all your friends.
I have always said that nothing spells “fun”, more than friends, and I mean everyone of your friends, lumped on your couch in slankets doing...OK I am not sure what these crazies are doing...in fact their freaking me out. Avert you gaze!

One thing about the slanket that most people don’t know is that it also doubles as formal wear. Yes ladies it’s true. Cinch that slanket with a belt and instantly you are ready for a dinner with friends or dancing around town, the slanket can adjust to your changing social needs. Pick one up today!