Friday, March 31, 2006

Oh the shame!

I know we've been busy lately, but I was mortified yesterday when I called my grandmother and aunt and realized that I'd completely forgotten to call on my own grandmother's birthday! Talk about the worst grandchild ever (although I guess Hilter's grandmother would disagree, but still). I apologized profusely, and she told me that it was okay, but I still can't shake the mental image of her huddled beside the phone, wrapped in a crocheted shawl, feeling the cold, cold wind blow in through the slats in the floor anxiously awaiting a call that never came--okay, in reality it was probably more like sitting in her recliner with a book and a Diet Coke, but the first image makes me feel worse. When you read this, B, know that I really am sorry and I promise I'll call on all the major holidays to make up for it--even Martin Luther King, Jr. Day AND Secretary's Administrative Assistant's Day.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Wanted: Social Secretary

Oy! This week has been crazy already, and it's not even the weekend yet! We flew back from California on Monday--and since we had to fly coach, my back is still aching from the posture-perfect seating that allows you to recline a half an inch. That shot the whole day, as only travel can. Then on Tuesday, we went to some friends' house for dinner and see their ultrasound. You'd be surprised how excited the father was to show us the pictures of the baby's scrotum! Last night Margaret had a planning meeting for the baby shower for the aforementioned friend and since the host of that meeting was making red beans and rice (she's from Louisiana, so you know they're good), I tagged along. I'm pretty sure I contributed nothing to the shower planning, and my suggestions were quickly dismissed, but I gotta tell you--the red beans and rice were GREAT! Anyway, tomorrow we have an evening engagement, Saturday we have an open house for the friends who we helped move last month, and Sunday Margaret has to shuffle three appointments and she still had to opt out of a potential fourth! I swear, we're going to be looking forward to this coming Monday! Since we don't have anything scheduled for this evening, I wonder what Margaret would say if I told her I'd planned a party at our house tonight and invited a couple dozen people?

Speaking of which, I remember one time when Margaret and I had just gotten home from shopping or something and there was a knock on the door. I answered it and it was someone from a board that I'm on. She said, "I'm here for the board meeting." Wha? Sure enough, behind her was several other board members who had just pulled up. It had completely slipped my mind and Margaret scrambled to fix something for all our guests. It turned out okay, but Margaret has yet to let me live that down. And I think that she secretly thinks that I'd do that again--which I wouldn't--I was just thankful that we'd gone somewhere before or we might not have even been dressed when they came!

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Zombie Breath

This weekend, we took a taxi to the airport. We thought we were going to be late because he was 20 minutes late getting to our house and we hadn't allowed for much time anyway, being that the flight was at 6:20 am! I hate that, too, because when I have to leave that early, I never get adequate sleep because I'm always waking myself up to look at the clock, worried that the alarm might not be set right. Anyway, when the taxi finally arrived, it was an old Russian guy who was nice enough, but when we got in the car, it smelled like a rotting corpse! Margaret quickly rolled her window down, which didn't help a lot, so we just had to endure it. After a bit, the smell went away--and not because our noses were desensitized to the stench, but because it really was gone. Then, the cab driver started making small talk, and as soon as he started talking the smell came back--yes, his breath was so bad that the smell filled the entire car! Margaret and I were trying not not laugh but also not breathe, all while trying not to engage him in any conversation. We should have pretended we were deaf like on that Seinfeld episode. We finally got to the airport, where we were able to rinse out our lungs with the sweet, sweet fragrance of jet fuel fumes. Ahhh.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

From the diaper wipes of children...

Well, the goatee didn't last long. This weekend, we were down near Monterey, California with Margaret's family. It was a lot of fun--and the Monterey Aquarium is everything it's cracked up to be. Anyway, back to the goatee, on Sunday night--after carefully growing out that thing for 10 long days, thinking I'm looking coolly mysterious and slightly dangerous--my niece comes up to me while we're sitting around watching a movie and wipes something wet on my mouth. At first I think it was a used Kleenex, then I realize it was a wet wipe and that she's using it to clean the dirt off my face--only the dirt was the goatee! She would wipe and get a puzzled look on her face then try my chin, look even more puzzled. After she saw that it wasn't coming off, she finally gave up. It was hilarious, and Margaret thanked her for confirming that I looked better with a clean face. I shaved it off the next morning.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Don't provoke the pigeons

Looks to me like SOMEONE has been buying generic birdseed again. When will people learn that 9 out of 10 filthy germ-ridden pigeons prefer Crazy Homeless Lady's Tuppence© brand organic bird seed? Also, looking at this picture, you just know that when that kid grows up and can drive, he's going to try and hit every single pigeon he can.

I remember one time my little brother got pooped on by a bird. Let me preface this story with two things: 1) I'm only writing it because he is hundreds of miles away so he won't be able to kill me easily, and 2) Growing up, my little brother reacted to surprises (like getting pooped on by a bird or being told that his pants don't match his shirt) with astonishingly virulent all-consuming RAGE! He was a holy terror that would rival any viking berserker when he got embarassed or mad. Well, one time on a fishing trip--and we had JUST arrived--as we were getting out of the car, my little brother felt something drop on his head. Thinking it was rain, he reached up and discovered his hand covered with white--BIRD POO! Oh my gosh, he flew into a rage that probably scared the salmon back downstream. I don't even know how mom calmed him down--she probably offered to buy him a BB gun so he could kill each and every bird that he saw fly in his air space. Fortunately he's chanelled the pure rage energy into an equally destructive, but less violent, form: soul-crushing sarcasm, and flesh-flaying mockery. Being on the receiving end of both of those, I sometimes wish for the berserker attacks!


Schadenfreude is "a malicious satisfaction obtained from the misfortunes of others." and while I appreciate it in myself, I can't stand it in others when I'm the recipient of the misfortune. The world isn't supposed to work that way. The reason I brought it up was this morning, when I came around the corner of the block, I saw a train pull up and I thought, "Wow, kismet--right as I get to the terminal, the train arrives... I'll be it's going to be a great day. Later on, I'll have to buy a lottery ticket because I'm sure to win!" As I hurried up--jogging right in front of the train driver--to get to the door, they CLOSED right in front of me! I pushed the button to open the door, to no avail. The train pulled away, leaving me dejectedly following it with my weepy eyes. I swear I could hear that depressing Charlie Brown music in the know, the one where he stumbles along looking at his feet with his hands in pockets feeling the crushing weight of a cruel, cruel world on his shoulders--THAT'S how I felt! And to think of that train driver surely enjoying watching my face change from "happy-go-lucky" mode to "I'm-the-last-picked-for-dodgeball" mode in a fraction of a second. I know that if I'd have seen that change on someone's face, I'd be laughing my butt off. Ah cruel fates, coming back to bite me!

I remember when I was in the Missionary Training Center and the missionaries in my group were talking about appropriate humor and I bragged confessed that I often made fun of the misfortune of others. Later in the day, I was talking with a church leader, and after his tough love technique wherein he'd made me feel like I wasn't worthy to clean the toilets in the temple, I told him that I thought I might be too jovial and laughed too much. His response was, "Levity is fine, as long as you don't make fun of the misfortune of others." Akk! He'd even used the same phrase that I had talking amongst the missionaries. Now, fifteen years fact as I wrote that last sentence...I realize that one of the more boring righteous missionaries ratted me out. Plus, they obviously didn't know me too well, because there were MUCH worse things they could have told the bishop about me! If he would have found the secret compartment in my scriptures where I kept a flask of Diet Pepsi, I'd have been screwed.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Stretching the limits of credibility

I HATE going to meetings that don't show a clear method of resolution. I just want to pack up and storm out of the room in the hopes that my dramatic exit will cause the attendees to pull their heads out of their butts. Alas, I don't think I could drum up enough drama to snap people out of their delusion that they're being productive or intelligent--I can usually only muster enough drama that when I get up and think I'm storming out of the room, the other attendees think I'm just going to the bathroom.

Yesterday I had to attend one such meeting. It was called because someone, whom I'll call Mamma Cass, not because that's her name--in fact I don't know WHO Mamma Cass was, but I've heard the name before and this person seems to fit my mental image. Anyway, Mamma Cass sent out a completely unintelligible email on March 17 at 10:30pm (I'm including the date and time because it becomes important later on, so bear with me). Long story short, the email whipped both groups into a frenzy and, compliments of the dangerous and too-powerful "Reply All" feature of email, it was aired to a broad swath of the community. A meeting was called, which gets us back to the above mention of hating meetings that address issues that really can't be resolved. Mamma Cass opened the meeting saying that she didn't send the email, despite the fact that the message came from her email address. Then Mamma Cass' supervisor demanded that the director of our group APOLOGIZE for thinking that Mamma Cass had written it. Pardon us for thinking that an email from that person that references the topic at hand actually WAS from that person. I was fuming toward the end, but in the spirit of diplomacy, had to keep that to myself--luckily I'm dead inside, so it wasn't too hard. Anyway, Mamma Cass' assertion that she didn't write the email struck me as VERY suspect. I'm going to write out both scenarios for you, the Internets, and you tell me which you think is the more probable or likely truth.

Mamma Cass' version: She left herself logged into a public computer, after which some random person loaded her email, read it enough to get the gist of the controversy, decided to mess with her, and draft a letter that was completely incoherent but contained enough information that it was obvious they knew the situation. And despite the obvious breach of her personal security, she wants to just forget about it and doesn't want campus computer services to investigate who the perpetrator was.

Jeremy-Seer of the Truth's verson: Remember how I said that the date and time became important later on? Well, my theory is that, being that it was St. Patrick's Day night AND on a Friday, Mamma Cass was completely shite-faced and, I'm assuming she's a mean drunk, was fed up with the controversy between our groups and, in a drunken huff, decides to write us an email. From the incomprehisibility of the message, it certainly sounded more like a drunk person (or the product of a North Carolina public school) than a random lurker who happened upon a computer that Mamma Cass had been using earlier in the day.

There you go, Internets. Weigh in--which version do YOU believe is more likely?

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Latest styles off the blogger runway

What do you think of the new look, Internets? The other one was too 2005 for my taste.

Emotional connections to inanimate objects

This morning's paper had an article about emotional branding--which is a product that makes you feel warm and fuzzy. Things like Radio Flyer wagons and Campfire brand marshmallows. The author interviewed some of her friends and one of them was this gem:

Mickey McGee, who lives in Northeast Portland, likes his deodorant. "I'm serious. Superman has the yellow sun, Popeye has spinach, Underdog has a secret compartment of his ring which he fills with a super energy pill...and I have Speed Stick Cool Scent/Cool Fusion Antiperspirant/Deodorant. This is no ordinary underarm protection! It has been the single source of all my confidence for 20 years."

There's a guy who REALLY connects with his health and beauty products. The article got me thinking about my own emotional branding:

1) By far the strongest connection to brands I have is Apple Computers. I've come to the conclusion that if I were ever offered a job, no matter how lucrative and ideal, if I couldn't use an Apple, I wouldn't accept the job. I've had more success converting people to the truth of Apple Computers than I did converting people to Mormonism while I was in Norway! (I have to admit, it's a much easier sell!)

2) Given any choice whatsoever, if peanut M&M's are available, I'll take them every time. In Norway, they had a candy-coated chocolate covered peanut candy that I tried ONCE. It just wasn't the same.

3) Volkswagens. I don't know if it's because my first new car was a Volkswagen, but I LOVE this brand. Something about its German engineering marketing and youthful memories gets me every time. I have so many memories of cruising around Provo in my little red Jetta that I always makes me feel carefree and like I'm on my way to be up to something. Also, that Jetta saved our lives in our car crash, and we of course replaced it with another red Jetta as soon as we got our insurance settlement. I'm sure the last car I'll own will be a red 2054 HoverJetta with black leather interior and a Mr. Fusion drive.

4) Diet Pepsi. Anyone who knows me knows that I can inhale 96 oz. of this nectar without even thinking about it. I've learned to tolerate Diet Coke, but that's only out of necessity. I've been places that don't serve Pepsi products and I've ordered WATER there instead of a Diet Pepsi alternative. I had to get less picky because a couple of restaurants we frequent only had Coke products and I needed the caffeine infusion. Any I can hardly stomach generic cola--it tastes like metal!

Well, there's four emotional brands for me. I'm sure I have more--I'm a slave to pop culture and cool advertising, so I can be swayed to connect with pretty much anything. What can I say, I'm a product of the tv generation.

Monday, March 20, 2006

To have or not to have facial hair

This weekend, on a whim, I kept a goatee. Margaret is extremely indifferent about it, I think to walk the fine line of not letting me know that it secretly repells her but wanting to keep from hurting my feelings. When it grows out for a couple of days, I'll put a picture up and get feedback from the Internets. Until then, I'll have to just go it alone.

Actually, I'm lucky to be able to grow any facial hair. That's one thing I inherited from my European genes and not my Indian genes. My dad can get away with not shaving for a week and he just looks a little scruffy--I'm halfway to Grizzly Adams in the same amount of time. After we got in the car accident, I couldn't shave for a couple of weeks because of some burns on my face. When the burns finally healed, I shaved myself a handlebar moustache and completely freaked Margaret out. She wouldn't even look at me until I'd shaved it off. Talk about the veto power!

Friday, March 17, 2006

Jewish + Irish = Tasty!

This morning, Margaret and I went to... you guessed it... Noah's Bagels and guess what? In honor of St. Patrick's Day, they had Irish soda bread bagels! Nothing says Ireland like a Jewish bread product (although it WAS quite tasty). Since I'm neither Irish, nor Jewish, I didn't have any problems with the melding of the two cultures. I wonder what else we could get from the Jirish culture? Well, on second thought, that's not something we should unleash on the world--imagine the combined power of a Jewish mother's guilt and an Irish mother's guilt! It would be like the lasers on the Death Star combining to create a weapon powerful enough to destory an entire planet! We'd better stick to the Irish bagels!

Speaking of St. Patrick's Day, I saw the headline of this week's Weekly World News--now as germane as USA Today! The headline was: LEPER-CHAUNS: Has the luck of the Irish run out? I sure hope not--we're going out tonight with some Irish and I'm counting on them getting us quickly into places that mere Americans have to wait in line for--like the bathroom at the Irish pub downtown. Actually, I love the Weekly World News because that's EXACTLY the kind of writing I would like to do--I wouldn't need to fact check and I could be as over-the-top as I wanted. (Kinda like this blog--only MILLIONS of people would read it!) In Norway, I got in trouble for writing a satirical underground mission newsletter. My philosophy is if you can't laugh at something--like people's inability to laugh at something... or midgets (but only if they're doing something funny--otherwise that would be just wrong)... then you're taking life too seriously.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

There goes my tax refund!

Oy! Speaking of late fees earlier this morning, I just read that Congress is raising the US's debt ceiling to $9 TRILLION!!! That's $30,000 per American. Talk about a late fee!

2000 visitors! What should I serve?

YES! Just passed the 2,000 visitors mark. Thank you, Internets! As a side note--that's more than the population of my hometown--and just imagine how enlighted, educated, and edified they would all be if they read my blog The New York Times.

Late-fee-induced homocide

There's only one thing that drives me crazier than the existence of suffering in the world, and that's getting charged late fees. I'll bet that Lucifer himself thought them up and that's the REAL reason he got kicked out of Heaven. Whenever I get dinged by one, I feel like a leech has attached itself to me for a free meal. Last month, I'd forgotten to pay the Visa bill and the parasites attached to my wallet and sucked out $49 of blood cash! HOW can they justify that? Being that they're operating in a morally gray zone, I felt that I was free to operate there, too--is that wrong? I called them and kinda told them I didn't think I'd received my Visa bill. They apologized and sent me a copy and reversed the charge. I still felt guilty about it, so I'll probably end up sending the $49 to some charity--nah, I'll just add it on a bagel gift card a friend (who obviously knows us well) gave us.

Since my upbringing has made me so sensitive to guilt that the mere whiff of it is enough to make me crumble, I've come up with my patented Guilt Defense System 500.© My primary weapon is my sharply honed justification skills--effective enough to the point that I can feel good about absolutely anything I do--its really quite liberating. You should try it! I've come to the conclusion that if a business is willing to screw me, I'm within my rights to preemptively screw them. This is perhaps most evident at the movie theatres. If they can justify charging $9 for a ticket, $5 for a pop, $30 for a non-sticky seat, and $5 for popcorn, I can justify smuggling in some peanut M&Ms, a 2-liter Diet Coke, and a hibachi to roast a rack of lamb. (Note: roasting a rack of lamb at a late-night screening of "Silence of the Lambs" is NOT a good idea!)

Speaking of movies, we've been trying to rent more to keep from paying such high theatre costs (we figure the money we're saving will allow us to buy that Greek island as soon as 2008!), although that comes with its own risks. The last time we were at Hollywood Video, I had to pay almost $10 in late fees--and it was embarrassing to have the clerk tell us loud enough so the people behind us could hear our shame that one of the late movies was a Hillary Duff movie. We call it the Movie That Shall Not Be Named, and thought that if we never talked about it, we could pretend we'd never seen it--unfortunately that meant we forgot it too well and by the time we'd remembered, it was two days overdue. Telling the other customers our secret shame was a much stiffer punishment than the $10 was. Another leech attaches--now I know what sharks feel like when they're covered in remoras!

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Life-sucking weather

Yesterday I talked with a friend who was complaining about the oppressive Oregon winters and how, after enduring 63 of them, can't take it anymore and has resolved to spend her Januarys south of the equator from now on. I can wholeheartedly agree! I've only experienced 7 of them, but that's enough. The constant rain, gray, and dinginess has a way of sucking the life from your very soul--like listening to John Tesh. Some people think that the fact that it doesn't get too cold is some sort of compensation, but give me snow any day over the wet grayness. And, thanks to global warming, more places will get to experience our unique brand of winters.

Well, I can rest well in the fact that at least the sun comes up--even if it's behind a thick layer of clouds. There are fewer more depressing things than having the sun come up for a half hour each day. That's even worse than The Simpson's being on reruns ALREADY! What's up with THAT? I remember not even wanting to get up, let alone go out and do missionary work. When the sun doesn't even come up, only the threat of burning in Hell for laziness was enough to shove me out of bed--and thinking of how toasty warm Hell is, that was a most tempting alternative.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Edible art supplies

On a recent trip to Mecca Target, wherein neither Margaret nor I had a genuine NEED to go there (my excuse was we were out of crispy, delicious blue corn tortilla chips--since Target is the ONLY place to get those!). Margaret predicted, correctly might I add, that we would not be leaving the store with just the chips if we went. But, since we didn't have anything better to do and being Americans, we decided to fill our time by consuming. I swear, Target is a store that somehow completely breaks down our consumeristic defenses built up by watching thousands of Saturday morning cartoons. With a secret gas that they add to the air system, they FORCE us to casually walk up and down each aisle, where we're BOUND to find something we need. It's the only store we do that at--other than Beehive Clothing, but we only do that in the futile hopes that I will find a style that Margaret can wear under low-rise pants and tank tops in a red silk weave, but... that's another story.

Anyway, while we were shopping, I spotted the revolting product pictured here. How could someone think that coloring with a frickin' MARKER on FOOD would be in the least bit appetizing. Although now that I think of it, people do eat blue Jell-O, Progresso soup, and pork rinds, so I guess a little marker action wouldn't really be that far off. Although what in the world do you do with the marker after you're done decorating the hockey puck cookie? Could you write on bread with it? If so, you could write "Tuna salad, no pickles" on the outside of the slice and not have to try and remember. Or you could write how well the meat was that you just cooked. Or, if times were hard, you could just give your baby one to suck on--there is some nutritional value to food coloring, isn't there? That's the only way I can explain the fact that Capn' Crunch has 12% of your daily recommended dose of Iron and Vitamin D.

Well, we finally got out of the store and the total for what we'd bought was still just in the double digits--JUST BARELY! I don't know WHAT we're going to do when Ikea opens up here--probably file for bankruptcy!

You usually get what you pay for when it's free

This weekend, Margaret and I went to a free preview of "Failure to Launch" and our sights had been set deliberately low, since one of the reviews said "Failure to Entertain." After seeing Matthew McConnahey in "Sahara," we thought this couldn't be any worse. While that's true, it was still a totally predictable string of inplausible scenarios that had us spraining our eye muscles from rolling them so much. For all those Matthew McConnahey fans out there who are dying to see the movie, I'd recommend you wait until it comes out on video, so then you can just watch it while its muted.

Speaking of movies, one time our family went to the movies and, joy of joys, the balcony was open! Normally they never opened it, and to this day I don't know why--probably something to do with people smuggling cats into the theatre and throwing them onto unsuspecting theatre-goers below, but that's just a theory. Anyway we all thought that was the be-all end-all to get to be up there watching a movie--it was quite a thrill to be sitting so far back from the screen that it was reduced in our field of vision to the same size as our tv--that's why it was worth the $3.50 (yes faithful Internets, I can remember when movies only cost THREE DOLLARS!) Unfortunately someone who smelled like they hadn't showered in weeks was also excited about the open balcony because he was sitting right next to us. We were trying to cover our noses and just concentrate on the movie, but that was nigh impossible. Finally, my little brother, who was 6 or 7 at the time, leaned over to us and said, "This guy's got HBO!" We looked at each other and thought what is he TALKING about? How would Jayson know if this guy's got cable tv or not. After a second, he continued, "you know, Horrible Body Odor!" We about died trying not to laugh--it finally got bad enough that we moved to another part of the balcony.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Passive/agressive computing

I don't know what reminded me of this story, and I had some serious reservations about writing it here, given the carefully constructed façade of innocent Mormon farmboy that I've cultivated over the years. But then I thought, "What the hell" and decided to write it. So gather 'round, Internets, for a tale of ire and revenge so horrific that it will hearken back to a Greek tragedy.

It was the summer of 1992--I was an intern in Denver and all was right with the world (well, except for my assigned roommate, who could not pronounce the final "l" in words like "cool," "school," or "tool." My brother told me to ask if he swam in the poo, but being just off my mission, my halo was still pretty shiny, so I didn't) Anyway, during the course of the summer, we were supposed to be working on a major written project, and so as the time began to run out, all us interns were busy in the computer room typing our reports. On the day before the reports were due--and at this point some of the interns hadn't slept in over 24 hours--the organization's lawyer, whom I'll call Marv, not because that was his name, but it sounds like it, came into the room and told everyone they had to leave the room because he had a sensitive document to print out and didn't want anyone to see it. Wha? What ever happened to standing by the printer and just grabbing it as it came out? NO, Marv had to shoo six interns out in the hall so he could print something out. Well, as we were packing up our stuff, a little red Jeremy with horns and a pitchfork appeared on my shoulder. Then I got an idea! An awful idea! JEREMY GOT A WONDERFUL, AWFUL IDEA! I quickly pulled up a directory of documents off the server and found the largest file I could and sent it to the printer as I was leaving the room. I could hear the printer starting up as Marv pushed the last intern out of the room and locked the door. We just sat in the hall, waiting to get back in. After several minutes, Marv comes out of the computer room with a ream of paper in his hands and steam blowing out of his ears and marches over to an employee's office. We can hear him interrogating her about why she would be printing her department's workplans and priorities NOW of all times. The woman was dumbfounded. She had no idea how her project got sent to the printer. She meekly pointed out that she wasn't even working on her computer. It was everything I could to do to keep up my innocent façade. The computer guy finally had to come reset the print job, because it would have taken a LOOOONG time to print the whole thing out. Despite the fact that the original clandestine print job may have taken two minutes and ended up taking a half hour, it was TOTALLY worth it to see Marv knocked down a peg or two. I then promptly repented of my transgression (of having wasted an inordinate amount of paper) and have never committed a sin since.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

This morning, I noticed that there was a message on our voicemail, so I played it and it was from my grandmother, only she wasn't talking to leave me a message, she was talking to my aunt about the chicken they were going to have for dinner. Thinking that they were in the middle of a conversation and that they were going to leave a message, I continued to listen... to the entire three minute conversation! I have no idea how that could have happened, but somehow we got included in a three-way call with them, and since we weren't there to answer, it ended up being recorded for posterity on our voicemail. When I called B to tell her about it, she was amazed and we both tried to figure out how it could have happened. I wonder if this is some provision in the Patriot Act where international calls are wiretapped to Homeland Security while dinner plan calls are wiretapped to us. I'll do my patriotic duty when I get the calls to critique the menu options and, with an air of moral superiority, inform people that if they make the pita sandwiches with hummus spread for dinner then the terrorists have won!

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Shudder. I was just in the bathroom here at work and when I went in, I could tell that someone had had asparagus for lunch!!! That makes me so sick--in fact it's why I don't eat it myself anymore--and then to me confronted with someone ELSE'S! And the thought that in order for me to smell that, actual molecules that were just in someone's bladder had to land on the olfactory surface of my nasal capacity makes me sick. Think about THAT the next time you smell something. I wonder how much one of those bubbles the bubble boy lives in costs?
It's now been a year and a half since Margaret and I were in a car accident on the coast. A car ran into us on Hwy 101. I don't know if the minivan was going too fast or just not paying attention (the fact that there were three kids in the car lends itself to the theory that the dad was turned around yelling, "Don't MAKE me turn this van around"), but he crossed the center line and would have hit us head on had I not swerved off the road. As it was, he still t-boned us, whipped our car completely around, and he almost went over the cliff into the Pacific. Both cars were totaled. I don't know if you can tell from the photo, but our rear axle was ripped free from the car. The only reason it was still there is the crumpled mass of the car body kept it from going anywhere. We weathered it relatively well--our injuries actually came from the airbags. (Although I'd rather have the injuries that we did rather than a face plant into the windshield!) My arm got kicked back and I elbowed the door hard enough to break the plastic, and Margaret was looking at the oncoming car when the airbag when off and her head was pushed around too far. I still have problems with my elbow in cold weather and Margaret has to wear a night guard for her jaw. We still haven't settled with the insurance company, as my orthopedist said that I would be as healed as much as I'm ever going to by March 2006 and now that that's here, I realize that it's probably something I'll have to live with for the rest of my life. I'm dreading working with the insurance agent, because I have no idea how much to ask for. What is a healthy, functioning elbow and jaw worth? Plus, being Americans, we want to get as much as possible--a house in Tuscany would definitely make dealing with the pain in my elbow bearable! Any thoughts out there, Internets? How much should I ask for?

Monday, March 06, 2006

This weekend, the gang here in Portland gave Margaret a belated birthday bash. It had the theme "Red Velvet," which meant the curtains were hung with, obviously, red velvet, there were red ribbons and streamers, and the coup de grâce was the red velvet ice cream cake. It was frickin' AWESOME--plus, it gave us enough energy to dance until the wee hours of the morning, which is what we did when the party moved downtown. When we were driving some people home, they commented that they couldn't believe that I'd been out on the dance floor the whole evening. It must have been the 96 oz. of Diet Coke I drank before heading to the club.

Which reminds me of a time that Margaret and I were going downtown on the bus and the bus got stopped in a lot of traffic that wasn't moving at all. Finally, we just got off the bus, thinking we'd just walk the rest of the way--only a couple of blocks. Well, we ran into the lesbian parade that was part of gay pride week here in Portland, so we watched that and then went to the concert/dance on the waterfront afterward (which was much better than what we'd gone downtown to do in the first place--stop at The Gap). We had a great time, and the next day, sitting at church singing "I Believe in Christ" we had to laugh at what the other people in the congregation would think if they knew that just 24 hours earlier, we were singing and dancing with a bunch of gay pride revelers. Man I love Portland!
A friend sent me this list and I thought I'd pass it along (since I know you're all DYING to know this stuff, but hey, it's MY blog)

Four jobs I've have had in my life:
1) Home and Automotive department worker at ShopKo--yes, I even mixed paint and answered car questions... ME!
2) Norwegian equivalency exam grader--it was always funny to hear the returned missionaries swear when they ran out of time in the oral section
3) Collect culturally significant plants on the Hanford Nuclear Reservation--and no, none of them glowed
4) Graphic artist for a tribal fish agency--my current employ

Four movies I would watch over and over:
1) Princess Bride--"Stop rhyming, I mean it...Does anyone want a peanut?"
2) Ferris Bueller's Day Off--"YOU'RE the sausage king of Chicago?"
3) Dances With Wolves--"I'm in mooor-ning"
4) The Fifth Element--"bzzzzzz...bzzzzzzzzzzzz"

Four places I have lived:
1) Idaho--on an INDIAN reservation
2) Utah--going to good ol' BYU
3) Norway--the country that swung my politics from right-leaning to "Susan Sarandon, what are YOU doing to my right?"
4) Portland--where our mortgage resides

Four TV shows I love to watch:
1) Simpsons--I hardly ever have to think up dialog for myself... I can just quote the Simpsons for any circumstance
2) Star Trek--even though no versions of this are on tv anymore, I still can't help but watch them on reruns
3) My Name is Earl--just too funny
4) Wonderfalls--stupid Fox only aired 4 episodes but released the entire first season on DVD. I still mourn their decision

Four places I have been on vacation:
1) New Orleans--we went for Halloween 2001 and it was AMAZING. I'm glad we got to see it know.
2) Scandinavia--Margaret got so sick of me always referencing Norway that she finally had to see it for herself.
3) Las Vegas--ah, Sin City... good in small doses.
4) New York--this appalled my parents, but Margaret and I would LOVE to live in this amazing city.

Four websites I visit daily:

Four of my favorite foods:
1) Crustos from Taco Time--cinnamony, sugary goodness
2) Diet Pepsi/Coke--I have a hard time functioning without this foundation of my personal food pyramid
3) Red Robin hamburgers--I love their burgers, and the fact that they have bottomless pop AND fries has, umm, NOTHING to do with me liking them
4) Sacrament bread Devil's food cake--ahh... sacrelicious!

Four places I would rather be right now:
1) At our private Latin American white sand beach
2) At our villa overlooking Lake Como
3) At our cabin on the southern Norwegian coast
4) At the lottery commission's offices, collecting our winnings to pay for the above properties

Friday, March 03, 2006

Phew! After watching too much NBC Olympics coverage (and by Olympics coverage I mean enduring 40 minutes of commercials for every 20 minutes of programming) I was completely burnt out on TV. Yes, I know--JEREMY burnt out on TV. But before you start packing up your bags for Jackson County and the Rapture, rest easy that the desire returned last night when My Name is Earl and The Office were on. I'm still burnt out on TV for a while, but at least I'm not avoiding it like Margaret has been. She finally gave up after seeing the same commercials 50 times.

Speaking of TV, I remember one time on my mission when we found an old TV in the attic that we fiddled with enough to finally were able to get to show a picture. We reveled in the rebelliousness of being able to watch the forbidden fruits of watching Married with Children with Norwegian subtitles. Finally, one of the more straight-laced missionaries broke the TV, thus denying us the escape of bad American TV. Shortly thereafter, at a mission meeting, the mission president's wife told a story about some missionaries who had found a TV in their apartment and started watching it, then moved on to renting a VCR and movies, and then moved on to porn, and then FORNICATED! I remember thinking what a crock and that someone must have mentioned our TV watching to her and she wanted to scare God back into us. Well, the straight-laced missionary later remarked that he KNEW that she had been inspired to tell us that story for our sinful TV watching. Unfortunately for her, that didn't deter me much--at another apartment, there was an old TV and the fact that The Dukes of Hazzard came on during our breakfast hour was a great way to start the day. I know I'm probably going to Hell, but from what I've learned at church, HBO and FOX both broadcast down there, so I'll be all set.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

I swear, junk mail makes me so crazy--almost as crazy as spam--and THAT'S saying something. I could have made a papier mâché float with all the refinance deals that are too good to be true, Arby's coupons, and lost child flyers. The worst, however, is an underwear catalog that I don't know how to opt out of. A couple of years ago, I ordered some underwear off fact they were pretty childish--they had fire trucks on them and they made me hearken back to the Underoos days. Anyway, that evidently put me on the mailing list for this men's underwear catalog that looks more like gay porn. I keep hoping they'll notice that I haven't bought anything for several years and get the picture, but one just came last week. I'm afraid that if I contact them, that will keep me on their list for another two years. Help me internets!

Well, what brought up this topic in the first place was yesterday's mail brought us this piece of mail:

You can tell when something is important information for the addressee only when it's posted to "Current Resident!" Why couldn't my church disciplinary hearing notice property tax bill have been addressed to Mr. Current Resident?

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

FINALLY! Blogger is back up! Don't they know I have an audience to entertain? And I had a gut-bustingly hilarious entry to make when I sat down to post it, but in the interim, have COMPLETELY forgotten what I was going to write about! Hopefully I'll have remembered by tomorrow to post something then.