Friday, June 29, 2007

A Dream Denied

Last night I had a dream that I was on the bus and Steve Jobs got on.
I was gushing about the iPhone and I told him that it was so easy that
my mom could use it! We visited for a bit and after a bit he asked me
if I knew how to use Dreamweaver to write code for the internet. I
said I did to which he responded-'How would you like to...' then
Margaret rolled over and bumped me, waking me up. Nooooo!

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Ikea week concludes!

I know I called this Ikea week, and here I am after only three days concluding it. We'll just say that it was a Scandinavian work week and call it good.

Today I bring for your reading pleasure, a post from the first month that I'd created this blog. I wrote it when I first found out that Ikea was going to be building a store here in Portland. Let's grab hands and together stroll down memory lane...

Cue wavy special effect and time-travel sounds. A clock running backwards appears and flies straight at you. A calendar goes in reverse, eventually stopping on October, 2005... We're here, back in those halycon days of yesteryear... when gas was only $2.10 a gallon... Boris Yeltsin was still alive... and the national debt was only 9 trillion dollars... ah, the good old days.

October 25,2005--This week, Ikea announced that they will be opening a store here in Portland. I'm experiencing mixed emotions about it, though. On the one hand, I'm totally excited about the prospect of having Swedish meatballs and cheap lighting only a ten-minute drive away, but on the other hand, I'm not looking forward to everyone I know 1) knowing that our house is an Ikea catalog ad as seen in the movie Fight Club, and 2) will have the same stuff that we do. Right now, the closest Ikea is in Seattle--which is a big enough deterent to keep all but the elect from embracing the Ikea lifestyle. We drive up occasionally... ok often... but not that often... umm, anyway, I'll just say I know the route well. We've filled our house with chairs, tables, rugs, bedding, lighting, and decorations from the Disneyland for Adults that is the Seattle store. We've proselytized all our friends and family, extolling the benefits of, coolness obtained, and fulfillment possible from Ikea--and I'm proud to say that I've had a much better conversion rate than my proselytization in Norway. I'm at almost 100% conversion (I say almost, because even though one couple goes there every time they're in Seattle now, they still bristle at how consumeristic it is--classic self-loathing Ikeans). I get a warm feeling in my heart when people confide in me that they are having some home furnishing problem and I am able to get out a copy of the Ikea catalog and tell them "I've found answers in this book, and I know that if you browse through it, really ponder the design ideas that it shows, and follow the examples contained therein, your home problems will be solved, too." Following one trip to Seattle with Kelli, she left the store bearing her testimony of Ikea, saying, "I know that Ikea is true." It's stories like that that tell me that I'm helping change people's lives for the better. Now with a store in Portland, I'll go from being an Ikea missionary introducing people to its wonders to a pesky stake temple coordinator, encouraging people to go do something that can easily be put off--it will be like when a new temple is built--prior to that, people sacrifice to go hundreds of miles for the opportunity, but build one in their backyards and voila! they always have an excuse.

Well, the new store isn't slated to open until spring 2007, so I can wallow in my self-righteousness, er, I mean continue to proclaim the blessings that Ikea promises to all who visit with a non-maxed-out credit card.

Well, here it is--2007... the world of tomorrow! Isn't it GLORRRRRR-IOUS? I guess it's time for me to completely shift my persona and personality and start wallowing in self-righteousness. Man! I don't know if I have it in me.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Mistaken identity

We just got through the security line at the airport and the woman checking ID's looked at me-wearing my Buddy Holly glasses-asked if I was the Verizon guy! While that guy looks like a nerd, I prefer to see myself in these glasses as a cool hipster. Right? RIGHT? Why isn't anyone answering me? Maybe it's my phone. Can you hear me now? How about now?

Ikea week continues!

Okay, first of all, I hope I'm not driving you away with my sycophantic praise of Ikea. If you've been to one before, though, you'll know it is completely justified. And if you haven't been yet, well, I don't know if we can still be friends anymore. I think Nostradamus himself fortold the auspiciousness of this month's conjunction of two pivotal galactic events: the Ikea opening in Portland and the iPhone release. (People thought he was prophesying about the discovery of North and South America, but he WASN'T... this is BIGGER!) I haven't been looking forward to something this much since the Council in Heaven© only this time they'll serve meatballs! Okay... take a deep breath... you can get through this... it's only a few more weeks... go to your happy place... the Halmstad bedroom set.... Ahhh! Okay, where were we? Oh yeah, today's Ikea-related item. Below are the lyrics to a Jonathan Coulton song called, no big surprise here, "Ikea:"

Long ago in days of yore
It all began with a god named Thor
There were Vikings and boats
And some plans for a furniture store
It’s not a bodega, it’s not a mall
And they sell things for apartments smaller than mine
As if there were apartments smaller than mine

Ikea: just some oak and some pine and a handful of Norsemen
Ikea: selling furniture for college kids and divorced men
Everyone has a home
But if you don’t have a home you can buy one there

So rent a car or take the bus
Lay your cash down and put your trust
In the land where the furniture folds to a much smaller size
Billy the bookcase says hello
And so does a table whose name is Ingo
And the chair is a ladder-back birch but his friends call him Karl

Ikea: just some oak and some pine and a handful of Norsemen
Ikea: selling furniture for college kids and divorced men
Everyone has a home
But if you don’t have a home you can buy one there

Ikea: plywood, brushed steel
Ikea: meatballs, tasty
Ikea: Allen wrenches
All of them for free
All of them for me

I’m sorry I said Ikea sucks
I just bought a table for 60 bucks
And a chair and a lamp
And a shelf and some candles for you
I was a doubter just like you
Till I saw the American dream come true
In New Jersey, they got a goddamned Swedish parade

Ikea: just some oak and some pine and a handful of Norsemen
Ikea: selling furniture for college kids and divorced men
Everyone has a home
But if you don’t have a home you can buy one there

You can download the song (for free!) here.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Ikea week!

In honor of the July 25th grand opening of the Ikea store here in Portland, I have several Ikea-related items I'll be posting in the next few days. Today's item is from today's newspaper.

'Ikea': a play in four acts
The Ikea shopping experience is as powerful as a piece of theater--hopefully, for the company, a comedy.
Act I: This is the big-box store even liberals can love. You enter and grab a yellow shopping bag and a scorecard on which to write the Swedish names and shelf numbers of things you want. (And for someone who speaks Norwegian, those names are pretty boring. For example, the LUFTIG pillows, which mean "fluffy" or the MJÖK bedding, which means "soft." Come on. They could get more creative than that. How about KVELE pillows, which means "smother" or FRISKJONLØS bedding, which means "frictionless?") If you have kids you can exchange them for a beeper (And with some kids, the parents wish it could be permanent.)and leave them in the playroom. Swedes are big on free child care. The restaurant, with its subsidized prices and exclusive use of Ikea wares, has the feel of a Cuban vacation resort.

Act II: Following the arrows, you wander in a mazy formation, officially known as "the long natural pathway," which takes you by the "inspirational settings" where whole rooms are furnished with Ikea products. The intoxication of total branding takes effect. There are shortcuts for experienced shoppers, but mainly Ikea wants maximum exposure of consumer to product, like the oxygenation of blood. Chipper young assistants at kiosks let you know whether your dream sofa is actually in stock. (And the likelihood of it being out of stock is directly proportional to how much you want the specific item. This is how they keep you coming back to check, only to buy more stuff... or so I've heard... I've NEVER done that...)

Act III: After the furniture, you pass through the housewares section, which has pallets of impulse purchases--tea lights, picture frames, potted plants--at ridiculously low prices. (It's a psychological impossibility to NOT buy 100 tea lights for $2... even if you hate candles, you just have to buy them because you can't afford NOT to! It's the same principle that supports Costco's bulk nutmeg sales.)After sweating the big stuff, it's tempting to load up a cart with lamps, mirrors, and cookware. And why the hell not? Everyone hates shopping for this sort of stuff, so get it all at once.

Act IV: At home you sit on the floor inhaling the smells of fiberboard and Styrofoam, trying to follow the instructional drawings and sizing up the bolts. After that you start noticing your stuff in other people's homes. (Now that the store is opening, people are going to see that my office isn't as creatively designed as they think it is. There goes my street cred!)

Monday, June 25, 2007

iPhone ready to come off the mount

All I can say is, "C'MON ALREADY! I WANT MINE NOW!" This is going to change my LIFE! Make calls, listen to music, watch movies, browse the internet, solve world hunger, AND dispel ennui. Although we're going to be on vacation when the iPhone comes out, so I have to wait until we get back. (I COULD buy it in Utah, but since it already costs a fortune, I don't want to add 8.25% sales tax on top of it.)

Can't... stop... popping!

Given the two-times-the-size-of-Texas floating plastic island floating north of Hawaii, I'm all for finding ways to cut down on plastic usage. In response to this problem, those wily Japanese have created a disposable plastic product to replace disposable plastic... only this one has batteries and a MICROCHIP, so you know its better. The new product, called "PuchiPuchi" is the "infinite bubble wrap toy." Puchipuchi is the Japanese word for a little pop and the word for bubble wrap (how efficient). The product is meant to simulate the feel and sound of popping bubble wrap. Now this is something that can have world-changing ramifications! Imagine dropping loads of these over war zones and having the fighting come to a complete halt as soldiers drop their weapons to be completely overwhelmed with the compulsion popping bubble wrap (and don't pretend you don't know what I'm talking about. If you have a pulse and human DNA, you are unable to stop your fingers from eliciting that satisfying pop that comes from bubble wrap... maybe it's a carry-over from our evolutionary past when we were on the African savanna and had to squeeze engorged ticks to kill them. We might never know.). But the madness doesn't stop there! Every 100th pop emits a sound effect instead of a pop. Some of the special sounds include "door chime," "barking dog," "fart," "sexy voice," "money getting flushed down the toilet," and "the environment dying." To add even more hysteria surrounding the product, there's a 1 in 1,000 chance that you'll get a "lucky" PuchiPuchi that has a heart-shaped bubble. Oh man! You're friends would be soooo jealous if you got one of those! It's all so much to handle. Stop the insanity! The company producing them partnered with an actual bubble wrap company, so you know the sounds are authentic and not those totally artificial sounds that are so obviously fake that come out of Paris Hilton.

Friday, June 22, 2007

State Quarters

Okay, I'm sure you all know about the state quarter program. Some of them have been hits, other horrible wastes of the metal they're cast from. Being a westerner, I've been anxiously awaiting what the last few states admitted to the union would submit for their designs. I had imagined that my home state of Idaho would have some mountain vista, our state flower the syringa, a wild river, or (gasp!) even an INDIAN. For Utah, I'd imagined a covered wagon, handcart, or maybe one of the arches in southern Utah. Well, all those hopes have been dashed to pieces, just like my dream of starring in an NBC sitcom.

Well, all these years of waiting culminated in this morning, when I got an Idaho quarter at Noah's Bagels and to say I'm disappointed is an understatement. I haven't been this underwhelmed since I saw the new and improved quilting on Bounty paper towels (despite all the hype on their commercials, it really wasn't that impressive). The quarter has a hawk on it... Yes, a frickin' BIRD! You've got to be kidding me! Even a potato would have been better. I mean, it's not like we're the only state in the union that has BIRDS! Geesh! Have you ever talked with someone and brought up Idaho only to have them ask, "Is that the state with hawks?" (Actually, more often it's "Is that the state with white supremists?") And to add insult to injury, they included the outline of the state with Boise starred. Once again, Boise gets all the glory while North Idaho just sits up there in obscurity (with our hawks and white supremists). And don't even get me started on the lame Utah design. At least the Wyoming one is cool.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Eat your vegetables!

Last night, Margaret and I got sucked into one of those Learning Channel shows... you know... the kind that trick you into learning. Well, the show was called "I eat 33,000 calories a day." (Talk about sensational 'journalism') And all I can say is YIKES! One guy didn't even have any shame, he just let the cameras roll while he lay on this specially designed recliner/bed that he couldn't move from wearing only a diaper. He weighed almost 900 pounds, and several years prior had to go to the hospital and wouldn't fit through the door, or even a window, so they had to break out the bricks around the window frame to increase the size of the opening enough. Then, to make matters worse, the 8 firefighters couldn't lift him and they had to bring in a FORKLIFT! He was really into sweets and ate over $14,000 worth of candy bars a year. How do people even AFFORD that? That particular guy recently refinanced his house and ate 1/2 the proceeds. One thing that was telling was when they laid out all the food each person ate in a day, the predominant color was beige: chips, french fries, fried rice, fried chicken, fried fish, bread, eggs, Twinkies. None of them really ate any vegetables, or at least any fresh vegetables. The show didn't really help them, either. They confronted the subjects with all the food they ate but didn't show a comparison of how much a healthy person SHOULD eat, and didn't show appropriate portion control.

Which reminds me of an experience in Norway. Now Norway is a land of pretty healthy people who walk everywhere and get lots of exercise, so it was the rare experience to see really obese people... and most of the time they were American tourists. Well, one time, my companion and I were helping an old lady mow her lawn. It hadn't been done all year and was quite large, so it was like cutting through a jungle. It took us all day and so when we finally finished around 5, she invited us to dinner... which we were thankful for, since we were famished. Her son, who lived with her but whom we'd never met, came home around that time, too. He was the biggest Norwegian I'd ever seen. Well, when the old lady dished up the rice with meat sauce, our portions were generous (we had been working all day after all), but the son dished himself up and easily served himself 5 times what we had on our plate. There was lingonberry sauce that accompanies most Norwegian meals and my companion and I took the typical spoonful, after which the son took the jar and poured enough out to completely cover all the meat sauce. When we started eating, my companion and I were mesmerized by the son, who was eating so fast that he was breathing heavy. I think lifting a fork was the most exercise he got.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Reproductive capacity

I'm surprised that the person nerdy enough to make this stroller would have the social skills to find a mate and procreate. Maybe he keeps all his Star Wars action figures in it?

Actually, here in Portland, it's not surprising to see a couple covered head to toe in tattooes pushing around a stroller with their baby clad in Winnie the Pooh clothes. Or the couple who drive around in a hearse with a skeleton in the front seat with the child safety seats in the back seat. Good old Portland!

Monday, June 18, 2007

Pride weekend

This weekend were all the gay pride events in Portland. We didn't go to the parade since it conflicted with Margaret's piano-playing duties at church (and she let them know that she was missing all the debauchery for Primary and that they'd better not forget it!), but the day before we went down to the "Gayest Dog in Portland" show. There were dogs in tutus, boas, etc., etc. We'd expected it to be a lot campier than it was, but being that Portland is dog-town, there were all these straight people just looking for an excuse to show off their dog. You could TOTALLY tell that their dogs weren't gay! We watched as one male dog sniffed a female dog's butt! Fakers! This is one of the dogs in the show, and I don't know if it won the top prize, but I think he was definitely the gayest dog there. A straight dog would have gone with a blue or green feather trim on his muumuu.

Gay pride

I'm still uploading some pictures from this weekend's activities, but in the meantime, in honor of Gay Pride week, I'll offer a picture of one of this week's Threadless t-shirt designs, called, appropriately "Gay Pride."

Friday, June 15, 2007


I got this from my brother-in-law, and thought I'd pass my own along.

Um, sorry. I have to wash my hair that night.

My favorite suit. I try to wear it as often as possible.

Only during the grape harvest when I'm working at a Tuscan vineyard. And my feet and legs are stained purple for several weeks. I hate staining my clothes, though. (See [B] above.)

Diet Coke. (If it were anything else, anyone who knew me would know I didn't write this.)

Mergatroid. I can't see him, but I can hear his voice in my head. We can talk for hours and hours. My psychiatrist gave me some meds once, but that made Mergatroid go away, so I stoped taking them. Now he's back and crazier than ever. What a character!

Pantone 178: The color of fresh salmon just pulled from the cold, clear waters of an Idaho river. Or the color of a surgical sponge used to soak up debris from a botched colonoscopy. Take your pick.

Gummy worms, of course. I don't believe in eating mammal-like candies.

The Nez Perce Indian Reservation... yes, an INDIAN reservation. And I lived in a tepee for a few months one time. I totally represent, even though I decided to cut my braids after I started losing my hair because I didn't want that most pathetic of all the mullets: the skullet.

[I] - ILL?
Uh huh. Which is why I actually have time to write this. I'm sure it's nothing serious. (Coughing up blood isn't a bad sign, is it?)

Just when I jump up and down really fast... oh, that says JUGGLE. Um, nope.

I'm dead inside. Does that count?

Driving the Pan-American highway all the way from Tierra del Fuego, Chile to Barrow, Alaska with my friend Mergatroid. Man the adventures we had on that 6-month trip. It's weird, though, because when I ask people if they missed me while I was gone, they told me that I was in a psychiatric hospital and they visted me all the time. Whatever!

What's that flavor that brings all the boys to the yard? Probably something with bacon or liquid smoke flavor.

Two brothers, one sister, and Mergatroid, who's like a brother to me.

If I had a wish, then it would be... a happy, happy birthday to you from me!

Some telecommunications company wanting me to switch long-distance carriers. We chatted for hours and hours... well, I chatted; she was silent the whole time and after a while, she kept making this annoying repetitive beeping sound, but I just talked though it.

Whichever. Actually, I prefer nickels when filling a sock for mafia wack-jobs I contract for on the side.

The opium-based cough syrup I 'accidentally' took four doses of. Mergatroid was REALLY chatty after I took that. He makes me smile.

Margaret singing some Rick Astley song while floating on a purple cloud while petting a tiny giraffe. She sang it for me after I'd taken my cough medicine.

8:00am, then took a nap and woke up again at 11:00am, then took another nap and woke up at 1:00pm. Hey, cut me some slack... I'm SICK! Don't you frickin' JUDGE me!

Whatever they serve with the mai-tai's. I'm not choosy.

Generally I'm in favor of euthanasia and doctor-assisted suicide. (I live in Oregon, HELLO!)

I'd say my worst habit is caring too much.

[X] X-rays you've had?
Dental, elbow, lower back, and that pervy Superman, who one time... oh, nevermind.

[Y]- your number of friends on myspace
I lost track after 2. It's just been going CRAZY!

Aquarius. Same as Margaret. It makes our household 112% kookier than the average American household.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Working sick

Ugg. Nothing beats having to come in to work when you're sick because there's a big presentation you have to give and you're so anal that the thought of someone else slaughtering your presentation is enough to cancel your chemotherapy appointment and reschedule your wedding date. Maybe it's just me.

My voice is so hoarse that I probably will sound particularly pathetic... which I might milk for sympathy. I can say that I'm sick, just like our rivers are sick, and then follow it up by turning around and having a tear run down my face. Ah, guilt... Unfortunately I think it mainly works on an individual basis and not a societal one... how else could you explain why there are so many hungry and homeless children in this country?

Monday, June 11, 2007

'That's how they get you'

Check out this sign from a Baptist church:

Heaven forbid you ask GOD about something, especially when churches are always more than happy to tell you what's what... plus there's no telling what kind of answer God will give you. In the church in this picture, I'll assume the parishners find out there's a whole list of things that you aren't supposed pray about because the answer will lead you astray. Some of the forbidden questions include:

  1. Should I be worried about climate change?
  2. Should I be concerned that groups of people even in America are being denied equal rights?
  3. Are the goals of Universal health care something that I should support?
  4. Why are brown people so scary?
  5. Isn't the widening gap between the rich and the poor unfair and unjust?
  6. Do I really get to go to heaven and anyone that doesn't think like me will burn in hell? [Uh, that one is okay to think about... in fact, go ahead and fixate on that to the exclusion of thinking about clean air and water, hunger, poverty, injustice, homelessness, racial and sexual discrimination, censorship, war, suffering, or misery. You'll be happier that way.]

Dragonboat season

Well, another year of Rose Festival-brand dragonboating came to a close this weekend. The team Margaret is on (I haven't been able to take part in the racing since my arm now extends backwards courtesy of The Car Accident of 2004) raced on Saturday and Sunday. The weather was not what I'd call optimal racing weather. In between the gusts of wind and pre-global-warming-era Arctic temperatures, Noah's-Ark-era amounts of rain drenched the paddlers. Fortunately I was able to stay dry and comfortable in the team tent ("guarding" all the snacks) and emerge only to snap a few pictures during the race.

This picture is of Margaret triumphantly snatching the flag at the finish line. That's something unique to Portland dragonboat races--everywhere else boringly crosses a finish line and calls it good. Here in Portland, we turn it into a dramatic finish where the flag catcher, precariously perched on the head of a dragon like a figurehead on a pirate ship (although they generally keep their tops on), extends herself as far out over the water as she dares to be the first to pluck the flag from the finish buoy. Of course overconfident women (as the figurehead is almost never a man) have been known to fall off the dragon head and into the filthy water, or, even WORSE, miss the flag and be penalized. As you can see from this picture, Margaret successfully grabbed the flag AND stayed on board! The team went on to win second place in their division! And I went on to eat almost all the peanut M&M's that someone had brought for the team.

Friday, June 08, 2007

The power of peanuts

I just read about fans of the CBS show "Jericho" protesting the cancellation of that show by sending peanuts to CBS headquarters. Evidently they are a reference to some WWII phrase about nuts, being the acronym "Not Understanding Term Surrender." Well, after 25 TONS!!! of peanuts, the CBS bigwigs had a change of heart and produced 9 more episodes as a test. I wonder how many peanuts we'd have to send the White House before Bush would have a change of heart and let the troops come home to watch Jericho with their families?

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Recycle, recycle, recycle

The next time you think about just throwing something away instead of recycling it, just remember this poor sea turtle, that got one of those plastic bands caught around its shell when it was a baby. This picture was in an article about the swirling plastic mass that has been collecting in an eddy of the Pacific Ocean north of Hawaii. Currently the stretch of plastic bags, nets and ropes and bottles, motor-oil jugs and cracked bath toys, mangled tarps, tires, traffic cones, and millions of other pieces of plastic is TWO TIMES THE SIZE OF TEXAS!!!

If Iraq, poverty, and global warming aren't depressing you enough, I'd encourage you to go read the entire article here. And don't forget to recycle, recycle, recycle!

Tuesday, June 05, 2007


Speaking of unicorns (see the comments from the previous, thoroughly depressing post), today's paper also had an article about unicorns that renewed my faith in the mainstream media. That awesome stories like this are still published makes my heart glad:

Have you seen me?
Mythical? Come, now. Rare sightings of this magical beast, missing since the '80s, give hope to believers everywhere.

If you were a child of the '80s, you remember the unicorn, that enchanting horned creature that graced the cover of your Trapper Keeper and covered the pages of your sticker books. You might remember the heartbreaking animated film The Last Unicorn, and you might have brushed the pretty purple mane of your My Little Pony Moondancer doll. Unicorns, it seemed, were everywhere. Unicorns were cooler than fairies, more believable than dragons. They represented mystery and hope, a slightly dark fantasy made sweet with sparkles and rainbows. One day, we thought, we'll find one. And we'll be super-secret best friends forever. At some point, though, we stopped believing. Or did we? Over the last few years, the unicorn has slowly and quietly crept back into popular culture. It has popped up on trendy retro-style T-shirts, often with sayings like "Unicorn Power!" and "Free Unicorn Rides." It has appeared in television ads, flooding MySpace and gaining popularity on YouTube cult video clips. There's a hip indie band called the Unicorns and countless Web sites devoted to unicorn awareness. It's hard to say exactly why this sacred beast has made a comeback, but we're hoping it's here to stay. For those who missed the unicorn craze of the '80s, here are the answers to some of your most burning unicorn questions.

Where do unicorns come from?
The origin of the unicorn is as mysterious as the beast itself. Ancient Greek historians wrote of unicorn discovery in India, while German scientists found prehistoric unicorn bones in 1663. The most popular and credible theory, however, is that unicorns migrated to America long ago from the Land of Awesome. (A little-known fact for you: the special rainbow bridge from the Land of Awesome to America was destroyed by the Decepticons during the Care Bear Wars.)

Can unicorns fly?
No, you're thinking of a Pegasus, which is not magical and has no horn. Unicorns are so fleet on foot, they don't need wings. Plus, they know karate. (They also know how to balance the federal budget but the White House is too stubborn to ask their help.)

Are unicorns magical?
Very, but most of the magic is located in the horn, which has the power to neutralize poison. This comes in handy when, say, one of your enemies hands you a cup of apple juice with poison in it. Let your unicorn stick its horn in your cup, and the juice is ready to drink! (They're really popular in Utah, where they use this power to turn wine into water... because, you know, it's what Jesus would do!)

Can I ride my unicorn?
A unicorn is your best friend, not your taxi service. Many people mistake a unicorn for a horse. And that's just wrong.

Will my unicorn talk about me behind my back?
Unicorns are honest creatures and will tell it like it is. They will tell you when your tag is sticking out of your collar or when your Electric Youth perfume smells like rotten bananas. But they will never, ever divulge your faults to other people. Not even to Santa's elves. (Unlike Catholic priests, who are now contstrained by law to divulge certain "faults" to the authorities... man, unicorns are SO much better!)

What do unicorns eat?
Unicorns love to munch on stones, tree sap and rainbow glitter. Do not try to give a unicorn chewing gum. It will poop pink bubbles and ruin your carpet. (That happened once in one of my mission apartments and my mission president wouldn't believe me... something about not unicorns... blah blah blah... LSD.... something something... bad trip. I don't remember all the details, exactly.)

How do I capture a unicorn?
A unicorn can only be captured and tamed by a virgin, who must entrap the beast with her purity and charm. If a virgin is not around, try ensnaring it in a dreamcatcher. A shotgun will also work.

Do unicorns like to party?
No, unicorns are lonesome souls who prefer to gallop along purple sandy shorelines, underneath the starry sky. However, if you insist, the unicorn will have a glass of Rumplemintz.

Threat priorities

Okay, I usually try to keep politics out of this blog, seeing that there are avowed Republicans in my family that read it and I want to keep myself on their Christmas-present-buying list, but something in the paper this morning completely dumbfounded me. I mean, I was literally at a loss for words when I tried to complain to Margaret about it. On one page, there was an article about the White House cutting funding for a series of climate-monitoring satellites that were designed to further our understanding of global warming... okay, shocking enough. But the coup de grâce... three pages later, there was an article about President Bush promising to double the funding to create a missle-defense system in Europe! Pouring money into a questionable system that has never been able to do what it promised as a defense against the Russians?!? So the potential threat of those darned Russkies outweighs the threat of rising ocean levels damaging or destroying every single coastal city, not only in the US, but the entire PLANET!!! I just don't get it.

Monday, June 04, 2007

The Itch

Over the weekend, we went to the first birthday party of our friends' little boy. The event had quite the age range from newly emerged to someone who was born before the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the Austria- Hungarian throne, in Sarajevo by a member of the Black Hand! That particular woman lives in a nearby assisted-living center. She was pretty spry, considering she was older than the Panama Canal, but kept refusing offers of beer because of her medications. Which got her on the topic of how she used to just LOVE Jack Daniels, but a few years ago she had some and afterward, lost her balance and fell over, remarking that she had to stop then, as she was falling-down drunk!

As the group's conversation moved on to the fact that our friends' seventh anniversary was coming up, we started talking about the Seven Year Itch. The old lady heard that and said, "Oh, I had that once, in fact my whole family had to get treated for it!" We all shared questioning glances, realizing that she wasn't talking about marital discontent. She continued, "We had a visitor, who was using my room, and after he'd left, I got my room back, and I caught the itch from sleeping in the bed that the man had been sleeping in." Sorry, but that sounds more like an STD than a state of mind. Whatever it was, she told us that the cure was to apply a salve, put on some old clothes, and sit on a stump for a couple of days. Yes... a STUMP?!? What kind of doctor's orders include sitting on a stump? (Unless you're being treated for hemorrhoids and your doctor is particularly sadistic.)