Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Forever in Blue Jeans - YEAH!

The greatest singer/song writer of our or any generation was on American Idol last night where the contestants murdered his songs.  The worst being Brooke who sang a country, hick, redneck version of "I Am, I Said".  This is one of the greatest songs ever written and she sang it like she was sitting on the back row of primary, pretending to not care.  She needed someone to give her the primary "louder wand" to help her pick it up a little.  Come on!  Belt it out!  It is I AM, I SAID!!!!  I have only ever heard Neil shout those words to the sky as if they were the most important lyrics in the world.  For her awful rendition of one of my favorite tunes, Brook needs to get the boot.  And no, she should have not changed the lyrics to Arizona.  That was worse than lame.  The song doesn't even make sense with Arizona in it.  Bad advice Neil.

Archie was "brilliant" for his song choice.  Wow, he chose a song that has "America" in it and the show is called "American Idol".  BRILLIANT!  Nobody would have EVER picked that song by Neil.  It is one of his least known.  I think I had heard it once in a July 4th celebration, but I could be wrong.  Way to go Archuletta.  You are an American Idol genius.  As for his "Sweet Caroline".  Why the hell did he not go "BA BA BA"  and "SO GOOD, SO GOOD, SO GOOD" ???  Is he too good for Neil's antics?

As for Neil, well I was a little disappointed he was not wearing one of his bedazzled vests or shirts. (I wonder how many bedazzlers he owns).  He was really nice to the contestants though, as I knew he would be

Neil might be only man alive with more chest hair than me.

There are two types of people in this world - those that like Neil Diamond and those who don't....I love him.  He may be a solitary man, but you can count me amongst his millions of fans.   It was nice to say hello again to him last night on the show.  I'm a believer of his ever since he married that Kentucky woman.  I remember the first time I heard him on that lovely September morn singing that song sung blue.  It was a beautiful noise.  

Here is Neil in one of my all time favorite commercials.  He is advertising some blue jeans.  I think he was going through a rough stretch at this point and I think he had gained a little weight:

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

I'm thinking about buying a dog.

Actually, if anyone wants to just loan me a dog every other day for an hour or so, that would work too.  Let me explain.

I often run around Murray Park.  There is a small pond in the park that is guarded by a flock of Canadian Geese.  The path runs right along this pond.  Whenever I run by the pond, there is a lone white goose that stands right in the middle of the path.  The goose is and ever shall remain my nemesis. 

The goose stands right in the middle of the path and hisses at me.  I move left, he moves left.  I move right, he moves right.  I charge him, he flaps and charges me back.  I am not sure why he does this.  It could be because the first time I ran into this bird, I taunted it and waved my finger at it like "not in my house!"  I was like a white, short Dkembi Mutumbo after he blocks a shot.  But instead of blocking a shot, I was scaring a bird.  Kinda the same thing.

The goose wants revenge.  I can feel him watching me from the time I turn the corner into his view.  It has no fear of me.  However, I have noticed that there is one kryptonite to foil this fowl's powers.  The wooden stake that will do the job I need is...a dog.

I don't really want a dog to pet or take care of or even to love.  I want an attack dog that will kill this poisonous beast.  I have noticed that as soon it sees a dog, fear will enter into it's eyes.  I want a dog fast enough to catch it and tear it's head off.  I want to see this goose suffer!  Maybe I should call Michael Vick?  

An attack dog with great speed and maybe extra long claws will cover up the dastardly qualities that I so embarrassingly possess.  Sure, I am slightly ashamed to be afraid of a 30 pound pile of feathers.  Yet at the same time, I am not ashamed that I want this bird dead. Up until the attack dog came into my mind my weapon of choice was a tennis racket.  I cling to the hope that one day my jogging path will remain forever clear.  

Note to PETA - If you plan on suing me for killing a goose, then get in line.  The goose has already threatened me with that.  But maybe that was just a dream?

Monday, April 28, 2008

Why can't we just get out 10 minutes early?

One sometimes frustrating thing about my religion is the inability of anything to end early.  This past Sunday's service ended 10 minutes early and of course we got the obligatory calling on people to bear testimonies out of the audience.  You could feel the congregation sigh as we went through the motions to make sure we filled the entire hour.

When I run for Bishop next term, I will make this promise:  I promise that when a meeting ends, it ends.  There will be no false hope of an early lunch, no pulling out the rug, no "surprise, you're it!"'s at the end of an already long meeting.  No, my term will be filled with love, compassion and short meetings.  Why do we feel like if the time is not spent, it is wasted?  I have been to countless meetings that would have ended on such a spiritual high, had they ended with the last speaker.  Yet, as soon as the presiding authority announces that there will be some surprise speakers, you can feel that high release from the congregation into the sabbath sky.  

Furthermore, I believe that I have more than made up for the time that we would have gotten out early.  We have gone late many more times than we ever get out early.  Is anyone with me on this one?

(For those that may run across this blog that may not be can not "run" for Bishop.  That was a joke.)

Sunday, April 27, 2008

I take no credit for Lincoln's good looks.

I dropped Lincoln off at a birthday party yesterday for a kid in his class.  When I picked him up, I was invited inside and there I stood in the midst of about 7 very attractive women in their early 20's.  I have no idea who these women were.  I can only assume one of them was the boy's mother and the others were her friends.  Anyway, they asked me if I was Lincoln's father to which I replied that I was.  

The women showered Lincoln with compliments that I had only dreamed of receiving from a group of lovely ladies.  They called him, "a future lady killer".  They said he is "sooooooo cute!"  They also said they "loved his dimples" and "he has the deepest brown eyes."  They also said that he had been "making silly poses for all the pictures" and "making our hearts melt".  

Well, I will take about 10% of the credit for his good looks.  The rest goes to his mom.  She really has the deeper, darker eyes, and I certainly don't have dimples.  No wait, I will take credit for his corny poses for the camera.  That in fact, I do do.

I'm afraid that when Lincoln is in high school and in college, he will make up for all the girls I did not kiss during that time.  I am going to have to have some frank discussions with him about girls with him.  Clearly, he is going to need to know that he should only date the super cute ones.  (Only kidding, he can date the pretty cute ones too.)

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Reality & Fantasy

As most people that have known me my entire life know, when I was 13 years old, I broke both my legs skiing.  In my class we have been learning about the differences between reality and fantasy.  I told them the following story and then we made a chart about what is probably reality and probably fantasy.  Let's play the home version and see if you can tell which parts are which.

When I was 13 years old, I really wanted to learn to ski.  I begged my dad and low and behold he agreed to sign me up for the Deseret Ski School.  The fee for this class was $5.00.  There was only one problem; I didn't have skis.

Fortunately, at this time, my dad was a professional connoisseur of yard sales. It was a lovely fall Saturday evening when he returned home with the longest set of skis I had ever seen.  They were jumbo skis and stretched from the floor to the roof of our house.  They were at least 20 feet long and took the shape of 2 torpedos.  Apparently, the skis were built for Mark Eaton (in the story I said Andre Karalinko because they have no idea who Mark Eaton is) and he had discarded them long ago.  I was flabbergasted by the size of the skis.  My dad reassured me that like everything in life, the bigger the better.  I would be the envy of the slopes.

Well, the time came for me to challenge myself on the mountain.  My dad strapped the skis to the top of the car.  They were so long that they bent over the hood and the ends almost touched the ground.  

When we arrived at Alta, I was clearly the hit of the resort.  A line of people gathered as my dad took off the skis from the top of the car. It took both my dad and I to carry them, one of us on each end. I could feel the flash bulbs pop as we walked down a stunned line of spectators, their mouths open and their eyes unblinking.  They had clearly been stunned by the size of these skis.

As we reached the ski lift, I felt a sense of relief.  Here I was, finally realizing my dream of skiing and the eyes of the resort would finally be off of me. The lift swung around and it was our turn to hop on.  Unfortunately, the size of the skis made just "hopping on" nearly impossible.  The workers had to pull the emergency switch and the entire ride came to a jolting stop.  The lift was clearly not built to hold such enormous skis and the workers improvised by duct taping the torpedos to the bottom of the chairlift.  With my dad now comfortably by my side, the man pushed the "unemergency button" and up we went.

While we traversed to higher altitudes, it soon became clear that the weight of the skis, combined with the weight of my dad and I were creating quite a drag on the motor of the lift.  In addition, our weight bent the wires and we were traveling just a mere 10 feet above the white slopes.  We looked like a fat chicken wearing stilts hanging from a power line.  It was a ridiculous display.

After what seemed like a two hour journey (thanks to the drag we created on the engine belt) we finally reached the summit.  Again, they had to pull the emergency button to stop and they used box cutters to release the colossal sticks.  

My dad and I walked the skis over to the edge of the slope and looked down.  The hill was as long as the eye could see and bent at about a 70 degree angle.  As my dad aimed the skis in just the right direction, tears filled my eyes with dread.  I was having second thoughts and these thoughts drove deep into my soul.  My father then lifted me up in my ski boots and dropped me right into place.  The bindings locked into place with a large clank, like the sound of a prison door slamming.  There was no turning back now.

I felt the cool winter breeze and asked my dad to zip up my coat.  He came around in front of me.  At that moment, I sneezed, we tilted ever so slightly forward and our ride began.  My father, being the tall man that he is immediately wrapped his long legs around my waist, twice.  We screamed down that hill like we had a rocket down our back.  My dad started screaming like a little girl.  He belched out a high pitch squeal so loud that it pinched the eardrums of the birds sitting in the pine trees and they fell to earth, dead.

As we built up speed, my dad's gigantic torso blocked any view I had of where we were headed.  However, my dad was able to turn his head just far enough around to see that we were in fact headed straight for a cliff.  It was at this time that my father, being the frightful man that he is, unwrapped his legs from my waist like Stretch Armstrong and dove into a snowbank.  "Thanks dad!", I thought and I readied myself for what was to become an even more intense ride.  

I closed my eyes as I went off the cliff.  My velocity threw me threw the air near the speed of light.  I looked to my left to see a flock of trumpeter swans staring at me in amazement as I floated by them.  Suddenly, I had an idea!  I would use my coat as a parachute.  I pulled off my coat and held each sleeve in the air to create an airpocket in the center.  It worked!  My forward motion was halted and I looked like Mary Poppins with skis as I gently floated to the ground.  

To my dismay, the same flock of swans that I had passed minutes before were now flying directly into my path.  A swan flew right into my coat and the airpocket that I had so successfully created had popped.  I began to catapult toward the ground at an alarming speed. 

The earth began to get closer and closer to my face.  At last, I smacked into the earth and rolled into a rock.  I looked at my legs and my feet were backwards.  Pain swelled from my toes to my thighs.  I screamed in agony.  I had broken both legs.

My dad had watched the entire fall from his binoculars.  He raced down the slope and was soon at my side.  He grabbed one of my legs, popped off the binding and untwisted with one jerk.  It was easy for him, like twisting off the lid of a jar.  For me, it was pure torture.  He decided not to untwist my other leg.  The doctors could do that.

Soon, a crowd gathered around me as I screamed and moaned.  The ski patrol quickly arrived and towed me off on a sled behind a snowmobile.   It would have been an awesome ride, if I could have remembered any of it.

There it is.  The story of how I broke both my legs.  Can you tell which parts are reality and which are fantasy?  Make your own graph and submit it to me via email.

Friday, April 25, 2008

To beard or not to beard?

I have been blessed with the gift of hair. It covers my body like a woven blanket of shag. I enjoy my hair in some places, but in others it becomes a nuisance. I am so hairy, King Kong once jumped out of my chest and said, "God Bless America!". I am so hairy I make Chewbaca look like he is balding. I am so hairy, when I make dinner, Cathi gets grossed out when she gets a food in her hair. I am so hairy that kids will stop me on the street to pet me. I am so hairy...well you get the picture.

I have been called a gorilla, dog and even werewolf by my students. They are usually looking at my arms when they make these kind comments.

One benefit to all this hair is that I can grow a pretty thick beard. I have on several occasions made a valiant attempt at one. Unfortunately, there is a very awkward period of growth between week 1 and 2. During the first week, it looks very cool. However, during the second week, it looks like I spilled plastic ants coated with honey all over my face. It is what some might refer to as a "half beard". Finally, in week 3, I have a nicely formed array o f hair. I like to refer to it as "The Gucci of beards".

Cathi hates my beard. She complains of the pokey and prickly feel. She rarely kisses me. I like the look but it clearly has it's pros and cons. Not being kissed by my wife is clearly a con. I have been thinking of another attempt. We shall see!

Song of the day - The Great Salt Lake - Band of Horses

Today's song of the day is about the Great Salt Lake.  The band is from Seattle and the video is filmed in Seattle.  I am not sure of the connection, but Band of Horses created an incredible song here.  I love their sound.  It is a bit echo-ish with some experimental guitar.  Very cool.  After watching this video, I have a strong urge for a BBQ.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

I am a teacher, not a saint

After a real rough week on the teaching front, a parent was kind enough to drop one of my all time favorites on me today..."My husband would love to be a teacher, but then I would have to work."  I have also heard, "I would love to teach but there is no way we could make ends meet."  And this doozy, "My husband would love to teach...when he retires."

Look, I appreciate the sympathy, but I am not doing this for pennies.  I don't put out my guitar case at the end of the day.  I also have news for these people.  I actually do earn money for my job.  I meant to work for no pay, but the district will not allow it.  Nor will state law.  One other point: Sure, I would love to make more money but much of why I teach is purely selfish.  I love it.  I wake up every morning excited to go to work.  I found my dream job and how many people can actually say that?  Sure, it is cool that I actually do help kids, but  I also have so much fun. 

One other thing as long as I am on a teaching rant.  Just once I would love to be known as "a good teacher" rather than "a good male teacher."  I know it is rare that a male teaches in the younger grades, but that alone does not a good teacher make.   Just to cut you off in the comments - no I am not willing to have a sex change.  

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

TV shows nowadays...

For those that have wished me a happy birthday, thank you.  I have been much more low key this birthday.  Usually, I milk my birthday for all that it worth, acquiring favors and special treatment from everyone, especially my wife.  For some reason, this year I have not really looked for any extra attention.  

My sister in laws blog got me thinking about TV.  I have watched considerable less TV lately.  I am only a faithful viewer of LOST, The Office, 30 Rock and The Daily Show.  I will watch American Idol with my wife but I am far less interested in it than I usually am.  There are some shows that I have thought about watching.  For various reasons I never got around to it.  The following is a list of shows I have considered watching and the reason why I have not yet watched.

1. Prison Break - It looks intense, but I don't get it.  The show has been on what...3 seasons?  And they still have not broke out of prison yet?  Sounds an awful like Gilligan's Island.  They try and try to get off the island but never do.

2.  HOUSE, MD - Hmmm, a show about a crusty old doctor that is good at what he does but nobody likes.  I didn't like it the first time it was on when it was called "Becker".

3. American Gladiators - Actually I never considered watching this.  Lets move on.

4. ER - Why is this still on?

5. Dateline - How many more predators are there?  

6. My Name is Earl - Cool mustache, but when I watched I had no clue what was going on.  Nor did understand what was supposed to be funny.

7. Grey's Anatomy - I am not a girl.

8. Supernanny - I watched this once and there was a lot of screaming.  I get enough whining, complaining and screaming by 7 year olds all day.

9. Desperate Housewives - There is not enough sleaze and sex.  

10. The Ghost Whisperer - my apologies to my mother in law who loves this show, but it looks lamer than a Mormon Youth Trek.

I also kinda like Numb3rs and Chuck.  Chuck is really growing on me, it has some very funny moments.

By the way, Happy Birthday to ME!!!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Training For A Marathon

I have just begun the process of training for a marathon.  I may sign up for the Deseret News Marathon on July 4, or I may just go out and run one by myself.  Either way, I will be running 26.3 miles in approximately 12 weeks.  I am fully ready to commit myself and train for this holy event.  

I had originally planned on running in the SLC Marathon that was held last Saturday.  I was not ready and I did not prepare properly.   

 About 5 years ago, I was on a running kick, but not to the extreme I am now.  It was during this period that I experienced the most embarrassing moment of my life.  Before I tell this story, please be advised that it is very disgusting.  Please also be aware that this story is 100% true.  I have in no way embellished it.  For further proof, ask my wife.  She will verify everything.

During this time we lived about a half mile from Liberty Park.  This was my preferred training ground as it has a very nice jogging track that went all the way around.  

We were scheduled to go out to dinner with Cathi's parents at 6:00.  It was 5:00 PM, and I thought I had just enough time to run around the park once and return just in time to leave. Off I was on what was to be an unremarkable run.

I did not go far until I realized that I needed to use the restroom.  The need quickly became a necessity as a dark, painful pit developed in my belly.  If we are talking numbers here, #2 was not my friend.  

I ran to the middle of the park, where I knew there was a cluster of restrooms.  Being that it was October and 5:30 in the evening, the men's restroom was locked.  I frantically looked around as my options were either to find a restroom or poo my pants.  Thankfully, I saw a mother and her son leaving the "family" restroom.  I ran as fast as I could and caught the door just as they were leaving.  The moment I caught the door was the same moment that I indeed had poo'd my pants.  Just a little.

The family restroom consisted of a single toilet and a sink.  However, I had no time to check my surroundings.  I simply sat down and allowed nature to take it's course.  It was diarrhea in it's truest and ugliest form.  Water splashed, tears were shed and a mess was created.  At long last it came to an end.

As I reached for the toilet paper, I was in for a newfound shock.  Gone!  Nothing left but the cardboard center.  It would have to do.  I tore it off and used it as a scraping device.  It was not an ideal scraping device as it was creating more mess than it was cleaning. Stuff was getting everywhere!  I finally scraped the last of it from my shorts and threw it away in the garbage.  As I cleaned up in the sink, I noticed the mess I had made of the walls around the toilet and now the sink.  Needless to say, I had created a masterpiece.

I finally made myself presentable and decided it was time to leave.  As I opened the door, I noticed 3 mothers and their kids waiting to use the restroom.  Apparently, I had been in there for quite some time.  Nervously, I opened the door and said to those waiting "I AM NOT SURE WHAT HAPPENED IN THERE!  GEEZE!"  And then I ran.

I ran fast.  As fast as I could.  But I did not run far.  The dampness of my shorts had created quite an area of friction on my upper thighs.  I had probably only ran 2 blocks before running had become impossible.  My run soon became a waddle.  I waddled from the park all the way home.  It was the most agonizing mile I have ever traveled.  

As I finally approached the house, I recognized my in-laws car parked at my house.  Glancing at my watch, I realized it was 6:15!  I was 15 minutes late!  Worse yet, I was in no way presentable.

I rushed through the door at full speed, fully aware of my awful aroma.  As I ran to the restroom, the front room filled with a smell from the netherworld.  I yelled to my wife and in-laws sitting on the couch, "CAN'T STOP NOW!  GOT TO TAKE A SHOWER!"  

To this day, I am still not sure what my in-laws know.  I do know that they know that I was late, in a huge hurry and smelled like poo.  I am sure they put the pieces together.  My most embarrassing moment ever.

Anyway, I am training for a marathon.  Wish me luck!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Zoo Animals On Wheels

17 years ago, to this day, I was watching FOX Sunday night television in my room.  The Simpsons had just aired and a new show was on called "Get A Life".  I decided to give it the old college try as it looked mildly amusing.  Little did I know that my life would soon change forever!

The episode that night just happened to be called "Zoo Animals On Wheels".  I had never in my life laughed so hard as the lead character, Chris Elliott, embodied my exact moronic qualities that I found hilarious in myself.  Finding this show created the perfect storm.  I became it's biggest fan and I told everyone I knew about it.   In reality, the show was so amazingly stupid.  It was purposefully stupid and that was the genius of it.  Although it lasted all of two years, I still firmly believe that this is the most funny sitcom of all time.

I am not the only one to hold claim to the brilliance of Get A Life.  The show I happened to catch that night was named one of the 50 funniest moments in TV history by TV Guide.  The insanity of zoo animals on rollerskates on stage with Chris Elliott leading the deranged performance was too much to handle.  I recall having tears roll down my cheeks as the episode came to a close.  People may not know it, but I still work quotes from this show into everyday conversations.  It's brilliance has far outlasted the show's run.

If you watch this clip, you must stay tuned to watch the closing credits.  Chris Elliott is performing his famous dance routine that he mastered on Letterman.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

The Chronicles Of An Eat Anything For A Laugh Boy.

As most people know, I will do just about anything for a laugh.  This is evidenced by an excellent track record of crazy things I have eaten in my life. It all started as a young scout, eager to make the others chuckle for attention.  This quest continues even today. If you have not have heard about my vast and expansive list of things that I have eaten, I will now spell it out for you.

1. It all started with a dare.  I was offered $10.00 for one lick of bugs from the windshield.  This was after a long trip from SLC to Moab.  Needless to say, it would not have taken 10 bucks and a seed was planted.  Age=12.

2. Again, as a scout, for every merit badge earned, our scoutmaster would purchase us a milkshake at the grand ol' Millies.  Well, after about my 3rd shake in a month, I got bored.  I decided to try a peanut butter/licorice milkshake.  I can still remember the face of the lady taking my order.  Sort of half disgusted, half intrigued.  I could see her laughing as she added the peanut butter.  I finished the entire thing for $2.00.  Age=14

3. At said Millies Burgers, I ate 5 full cups of fry sauce.  I do not think I was paid at all to do this.  Age=about 14.

4. On a dare, I ate an entire strawberry pie one night at about 1:00 AM at Dees.  I was paid the cost of the pie for this task by my buddies.  Age=17ish

5. As a scoutmaster, a kid caught a fish.  As it came out of the water, I reached down and bit the head off.  It was very difficult to bite through the backbone, but I was able to accomplish this feat with a tearing motion, not unlike a caveman.  I was paid nothing, but the looks on the boys face was priceless.  Age = 22

6. I don't remember when or where I did this...if I recall it was at a girl from East High's house.  Anyway, I ate an entire stick of butter.  This was a bit of a haze of a night so I don't remember why I did this or how much I was paid, if anything.  I do remember that people laughed and laughed hard. Age=17 or 18?

7.  3 years ago, a 7 year old in my class brought in a small potato bug from recess.  He was playing with it on the rug and I asked him to bring it to me.  I popped it in my mouth and swallowed it to the shrills and screams of the girls.  That was great fun. Age = 28, prize= hearing the uncontrollable laughter of 25 seven year olds

8.  I once purchased a Gyro from the vending machine at the office.  If there is one thing you take from this post, it is this: never buy a vending machine Gyro!  A good life lesson. Age = 25, I was paid $3.00 by a buddy to finish it.

9.  On my mission, I was served some potato salad by this really strange lady in the backwoods of PA.  I still remember her name: Patty Griswald.  I noticed that this was the only thing on the menu for the meal, and liking potato salad, I really loaded up.  Little did I know that the mayo was a bit rotten, the eggs were not cooked all the way and there was way too much mayo.  There was no way I was finishing this plate.  I could not even stomach two bites.  I just sat there for about a half hour, and I noticed my companion had barely eaten any as well.  We told the lady that there we were so full and we could not finish.  She was so braindead, she did not really know the difference.  The funny thing is, we told her that it was awesome and that she needed to make it for the sister missionaries the next night...which she did! Age=19, with no cash reward

10.  About 3 months ago, I tried the "country fried fish fingers" from the school cafeteria.  This was the grossest thing I have ever eaten in my life. Age =31, once again, no cash reward.

Too bad fear factor is not on anymore!  I could totally clean up.  I am amazed Cathi will still kiss me.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Cathi..."The most inspirational mom/aunt put in an arduous situation for an undisclosed monetary amount."

Only one more day and two more nights of watching my sister in law's kids.  In all honesty, I am unimaginably exhausted.  I can't even imagine how Cathi is feeling.  She deserves an award of some type.  Maybe "most inspirational mom/aunt put in an arduous situation for an undisclosed monetary amount".    Sounds like a good title.  Maybe I will stop by Frank's trophies tomorrow and pick one up?

This week has been insane.  We (and by we, I mean mostly Cathi) have suffered through countless inane fights between Calder and his 3 year old cousin.  To say they don't get along is an understatement.  They both crave attention and they are both strong willed.  In addition, our niece is the ultimate drama queen.  They fight for attention like the Olson twins v. Lindsay Lohan.   This is exactly why we did not have kids so close together.  Lincoln and Calder get along stupendously and love each other.  There is not really a sibling rivalry.  We made the right call on that one.

In addition, we have lived through one night of no sleep and one night of waking up every 30 minutes.  We have also lost the dog (it has been found) and littered the house with toys. I have never seen this many toys.  I am pretty sure Mr. Magorium moved in and now lives in the basement apartment.

In spite of the shower here, overall I guess it has not been too bad.  But who am I to talk?  I am here from 7:00 PM to 7:00 AM and some of that time is sleeping.  (Depending on the night.)  I do not know how my mom took care of 5 of us all those years.  She deserves a medal.  "The most embolden mother from the years 1976 - 2002".  

I must say that this has been the best form of birth control.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Two items of business...

Item #1 - I hate this weather.  The weatherman keep saying, "Just another crazy Utah spring!"  Well, to heck with that!  I don't remember any spring when it was 80 degrees one day and 32 and snowing the next.  Those weatherman are so cocky.  Maybe they would change their tone if they had to take 22 snotty nosed kids out in this weather every morning for 15 minutes.  Ever since Dick Norse retired, the news has just gone to hell (sorry for swearing mom), especially the weather.  

I was not sure who to blame about this weather, but I have some pent up frustration that I need to direct somewhere.  I started with God, but blaming God for anything is a dicy situation.  If God really does control the weather, he certainly could strike me with a bolt of lightning at any time.  Since I blamed him for awhile and was not struck down, I decided it could not be his fault.

I next tried to blame Mother Nature.  That did not work either and here is the reason:  Mother Nature is like Old Mother Hubbard, she does not exist.  Plus, if Mother Nature does exist, she might know God and we are back at the lightening thing.

I have decided there is only one person left to blame and that is Al Gore.  He told me that the earth was warming up.  He lied and he is a liar.  Al Gore can take his global warming and shove it where the sun don't shine, which apparently is Utah, but only ever other day.

Item #2 - Ladies, please do not be offended but  I really do not like a new woman's fashion trend.  Many of the teachers in my school have been wearing blouses with doilies at the bottom.  You know the things on the top of Grandma's couches?  Well, women seem to think that is is lovely to wear these doilies at the bottom of their shirts.  Thankfully, Cathi has not bought into this trend.  I am not sure where you can buy these shirts.  Maybe the Dickens festival?  

(Please, if you own one of these shirts, please do not be offended and stop wearing them.  I am sure many men find them attractive and perhaps even your husband.  As just a personal preference, I do not like them.  Sorry.  And I posted this because my mom told me to post whatever I want on my blog.) 

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Song of the day - Impossible - Shout Out Louds

This is one of my top 5 favorite bands.  They are from Sweden and were named "Swedish band of the Year" by someone, I can't remember who. Maybe just some Swedish guy? They have 2 albums, one good one and one amazing one.  Their newest, "Our Ill Wills" is absolutely insanely good.  This is my favorite song off that album.  Now the video definitely sucks.  It is like they just showed up at an amusement park and walked around without a plan in hopes of getting some good footage.  None was found, but the song is still classic.  Just close your eyes and enjoy the song.  You like the song?  Give me a note.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

To The Johnsons

This is a story that another one of my most favorite students, Hannah J. wrote.  I must say that this is probably the longest, funniest and best story a First Grade student has ever written for me.  She is a superb writer.  I have been testing kids individually this week and she wrote this for me all by herself while I was gone.  Please understand that the poor spelling is on purpose as this is the exact way in which she wrote it.

To The Johnsons
by Hannah J.
(a fantusy)

Once I was ridding my bike.  I came to the big hill.  Down that hill no one knows.  People try to go down there but they never come back.

People say it is so nice down there but ow do they know if they never been there?  They say there grandma lives down there.  Yeah right.

My friend went down there 3 years ago and he's never came out.  I'm still wantting for him to come out.  

My mom does not know tonight I'm going down there.  I want to find my best friend.  I want to meet my Grandma and Grandpa.  Maybe there still going down the big Hill.

But it is only a maybe.  But I am scerd that I will not come up.  So I'm not really going tonight tonight.  

But maybe when my mom goes out with my dad.  I'll leave a note just so if they never see me ever agian.  But that will be in a long time.  I want to go tonight but I don't dare.  My mom and dad will get mad and they will start to cry and I will miss them.  They are like the only people in my life!  I don't want to miss them a lot.

But I want to find out what or who is down there.  But maybe I will go in one year.  But maybe I will not.  but I think I will do it in 300 years.  But maybe I'll do it when my mom and dad go out on a date to the Jazz game.

The big hill is cool but I still don't want to go down the big hill.  But it's really cool.  Maybe it is really a clif and not a hill.  But I dowt that.  But it mite really be.  But I dowt that.

I know I tolte you al redy.  But I really dowt that.  I do!  I do!  I really do!  Well let's get back to the stroy.  Shall we?

So like I was saying it mite be a clif.  And I said that I dowt that.  I disideid I'm going to go down the big hill.  

My mom and dad said they are going to the Jazz game.  They said they Jazz game was going to be ecra long.  I lefed a note and it said:

Dear Mom and Dad,
I went out with my friend's house.  
It is Pete's house but we mite go to someone's house.
Hope you had a good date.  

I have my things redy.  Let's go!  I am now hiking down the hiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiilllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll!!!!!!!

After that day no one ever saw her ever again.

Brilliant!!  It is stories like these that I realize why I became a teacher.

Monday, April 14, 2008

The 4 Headed Shower.

We are watching our 2 nieces and 1 nephew this entire week at their home in Holiday. (Right by Grandma Yospe's home.)  This home was owned by the Granatto family (of delicious sandwich fame) up until about a year ago.  It is huge.

So, this week we have a 1 year old, 2 year old, 3 year old and two 6 year olds.  More on this insanity all throughout the week.

In our master suite we have a shower with 4 heads.  One directly over your head, two on either side and one below.  It is like entering a car wash built for humans.  There is so much steam, water and soap flying through the air, I am completely confused. I have no idea where my feet are, let alone the shampoo.  I am not positive, but something or someone may have touched my leg and I think I may have seen a tentacle.

The shower head directly over your head is gigantic and just drips water on your head like rain.  If that is not enough, there is a steamer.  It creates a wall of steam that any Japanese steam bath would be envious of.  The steam is so thick, when I get out of the shower, I feel like I am leaving God and coming back into the world again.  A rebirth of sorts.  

I have not found the button for the automatic rolling brushes that come out of the walls yet.  Nor have I found the super, double secret "5th" shower head.  You do not speak of this shower head outside of the bathroom, and if the shower finds out that I am blogging about it now, I will be lucky to ever get back in.  I thought I had found it on the bench and sat on it.  It turns out it was just the remote control to the 30 inch LCD.  The weird thing was, even the remote sprayed water.

One day there will be a shower where the water engulfs every inch of your body at the same time.  They will call it...the bathtub.

My apologies to Matt Damon.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

For Luke, Love Barney..

Here I am, dressed as Barney for Lincoln's birthday party.  Lincoln was totally embarrassed that I went and put this thing on for his "big kid" friends, but I am sure it is only the beginning of a long line of times in which I will embarrass him.  

Jana, if you want me to wear this costume next Sunday, I will.  Well, I may not wear it to drive there, but once I get there, I will for sure put it on.

There is a long line of stories associated with this and the beaver costume.  It seems that every buddy of mine has at some time has owned one of these costumes.  

I wore this Barney costume 4 years ago for Halloween and my entire class was embarrassed to march with me.  Apparently, once you have reached the First Grade, Barney is the least cool thing in the world. For me, it would be like being caught at a country music concert.  Or worse, being caught at a Clay Aiken concert.  Marching behind Barney was pure torture for them.  They saw themselves as a bunch of babies, wearing diapers and standing in line behind a giant pacifier.  I can still see their red faces as we marched through the six grade classrooms to "BARNEY!! HEY, IT'S THE BARNEY KIDS!" It was humiliating for them, but for me it was pure entertainment. 

Saturday, April 12, 2008

The Truth About Scranton, Pennsylvania

When George Burns was asked if he was afraid to die, Burns replied, "No, I already died in Scranton.  

If you want to go to an entertaining ward, go to Scranton or even better, Wilkes Barre (Wilkes Barre and Scranton are like Orem and Provo, pretty much the same city.)  

"Life moves a little slower in Scranton, Pa., and that's the way we like it"

I am not sure what it is about this place, but it just spews wackiness.   Maybe it is the chemicals in the water from all the chemicals.  I remember it was the one place in PA that I had to buy bottled water.

Scranton/Wilkes Barre was my absolute favorite area of my mission.  Since living there for 6 months, my life has never been the same. It is the perfect place for a TV show about eccentric, bubbling oddballs to take place.  Here are some of my favorite memories:
  • "The twins".  Two inactive, extremely overweight twin women that were so large they could not get off the couch.  Every time we went to visit them, they would ask us to come sit on their laps or dance for them.
  • Tracting for 3 hours and getting in every door.  Finally, someone was brave enough to tell us that we were tracting an apartment complex for the mentally handicapped.  We honestly could not tell this complex from every other complex we had ever tracted in Scranton.   The only difference was that we where getting into every door.  
  • The "two liter guy".  He was a member that collected full, 2 liter bottles of soda.  Mostly Mt. Dew.  In his apartment, he had 2 liters everywhere except a trail to his bed and to the bathroom.  And they where all in nicely organized rows with no gaps.
  • The bishop.  The bishop was a nice enough man, but he had this nervous tick that he would go "booop" in a high pitched voice every 10 seconds or so.  And he would do it in mid sentence.  "You elders need to go - booop - see Sister Bott". 
  • The Catholic Priest.  There was a very kind Catholic Priest that would take us to dinner once a week at a an eating establishment I still could never afford.  I am still not sure why he did this.
  • The countless number of people that just sat on their porch all day long.
  • Going to dinner with a crazy member and saying "this looks like a place the mafia would own."  And the member getting very nervous and upset.  "SHHHHH!!!  You can not say stuff like that here!  We better leave...NOW!".  Luckily, we talked him into staying.
  • The wrestling investigator.  There was an investigator that wanted to wrestle us every time we came over.  It was all in good fun until he "accidentally" grabbed my companion in an undisclosed area.  He was not baptized.  
  • The mustache man.  There was a crazy member that would wear a fake mustache to church every Sunday.  It was the only time he would wear it all week. 
  • Tracting into an insane anti-abortion woman.  She had pictures of aborted fetuses all over her wall and a giant picture of Jesus in the middle of her living room crying.  When we where invited in, I am not sure of I was more disgusted or scared.  
  • Taking a tour of the Lackawanna coal mine.  The tour guide told us that it was one of the top ten tourist sites in the entire Northwest???
  • Laughing so hard at church each week and trying my best to hide it.  (Just ask my parents about these wards.  When they came to pick me up they went to one.)
God Bless Scranton, PA!

Friday, April 11, 2008

I am always thinking one step ahead. I am like a carpenter that builds stairs.

Great to see the office return last night. I love when my favorite character, Andy plays a prominent role. He makes me laugh more than anyone. I can really relate to him because I have also had bloody nipples when running. Many people do not know that Ed Helms, the guy that plays Andy, was a reporter on the Daily Show at the same time as Steve Carell and Stephen Colbert. I thought and still think that Ed Helms was the most funny of the three on the show. He has also had the most funny moments on The Office the last two seasons as well. Consider - The punch in the wall, the bloody nipples, the song he sang for Angela with his buddies. Plus, these classic lines last night...

Andy: Tuna! Sup, Tuna. Gonna have some tuna for dinner? [to Pam] I bet you're sick of Tuna, right? Probably have Tuna every night. Tuna!

Michael Scott: Did you know, that candles are the number one fastest growing product in the scent-aroma market? Two billion dollar a year industry. And for only ten thousand dollars YOU could become a co-owner of Serenity by Jan. What do you think about that?
Andy: Thought about it. I'm in.

Still don't believe me? Check this out!

Song of the Day - Athlete - The Outsiders

Great song today from a British band called Athlete.  "The Outsiders" is one of my all time favorite songs.  This version is acoustic, which is cool.  But if you like this song, you have to hear it on the album.  It is so smooth.  I am not sure what is going on with this video, but the video is a little delayed to the music.

If you like it, let me know.  I have ways of getting things for people. I'll just leave it at that.  

Thursday, April 10, 2008

There was a pirate on Trax today.

I went to a math teachers conference downtown and when I got on Trax, there was a pirate aboard our vessel.  He had an eyepatch and everything, and by everything, I mean an eyepatch.  

When I got aboard, I looked at him a little longer than I should, and he caught me staring.  I had never seen a real pirate before, just guys like this one at Disneyland.  I grunted a little just to let him know that I don't take no gruff from no stinkin' pirate!  Then I sat down, making no sudden movements.  I rode that way all the way to the Salt Palace.

When I got to the conference, I sat down relieved.  But then I heard a kitten meowing.  I looked everywhere for a cat and by everywhere I mean under my chair.  Turns out it was a woman's cell phone.  She had a ringtone that was just a cat meowing.  That is the second hilarious ringtone I have heard in the last 2 days.  At another meeting I went to recently, a guy's cell phone went off to "Don't you wish your girlfriend was hot like me?"  A GUY'S CELL PHONE!

Wouldn't it be great if every time someone's cell phone went off and it is dance music, everyone in the room stopped what they where doing and danced for like 20 seconds?  

If I ever get a cell phone, I am going to have a ringtone that is just a woman screaming bloody murder, like she is getting attacked or something.  Then, when it goes off in meetings, people will be so freaked out!  But the good news is that then I can say, "excuse me, I have to take this, I really need to help this lady."

If I ever get a cell phone, I hope that I get to throw it in anger sometime.  I have seen 4 or 5 movies lately where someone throws a cell phone and it breaks into 1000 pieces.  And the most popular place to throw a cell phone in anger is into a fountain.  I bet if you go to a studio lot at Universal with a fountain, there are like 50 cell phones in it!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

People people have said I look like...

The following is a list of fellows that people have told me that I look like in the past.  I know I don't look like them really, but it is interesting what people say.

Steve from Blues Clues

This guy from House, MD... (I don't watch that show.)

Justin Long from the Mac commercials and Dodge Ball.

David Duchovny of the X Files

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

My Grandma, the comedian.

For those that know my Grandma, you know she is a very funny lady.  Sometimes she means to be, most times not.  At any rate, she is very funny.  Here are some great lines she has laid down.  (Feel free to add to this list in the comments.)
  • While waiting for a table at PF Changs, I had one of those buzzers they give you to let you know your table is ready.  She says to me, "Abe, don't put that in your pocket, it might turn you on."
  • While driving through Yellowstone, Grandma sees an old buffalo in a field by itself.  She announces, "that buffalo has lost it's manhood."    What the hell???
  • Speaking of buffalo, how could we forget the time driving through Yellowstone, she tells us that she will give us each a nickel for every buffalo we see.  We drive over a hill to find a herd of at least 1200.
  • While in Northern California we are looking for farm fresh artichokes.  We drive by a stand that says "artichokes - 4 for a dollar".  About five minutes later, we drive by another stand that says "artichokes - 25cents each".  Grandma says, "What a rip off, that last stand was 4 for a dollar!"
  • Do not let your kids read this one!  While driving home a couple months ago, we could smell the Great Salt Lake.  She tells us that she use to love to go swimming in it.  Then she says, "I loved to swim in it, but the worst was getting all that salt in your vagina!!" GROSS GRANDMA!
I know there are so many more I can't think of.  Like I said, feel free to add to the list.  I love my Grandma. She will be having surgery soon.  I pray that she will do well and wish her the best.  

Song of the day - We're From Barcelona - I'm From Barcelona

This band is really from Sweden, even though their name says otherwise.  You know, there are some bands you just like because they are funny?  Well, this is one of those bands.  This may be the largest band of all time, totaling over 35 people!  The lead singer (the guy with the funny mustache) decided that it would be great if he just asked a bunch of his buddies to sing along with him.  Now they all go on the road to every show.

Lincoln and Calder love this song and will sing along every time.  I have played it a lot for my class as they work and they will sing along too.  The video is great fun and hilarious to boot.  Once again, if you like this music, I have the album.  Let me know and I can hook you up with a guy who knows a guy who's brother can get it for you at a reasonable price.  Put a note in the comments.

Monday, April 7, 2008

The meanest thing I have ever done.

Jordan's blog about "The Office" got me thinking about all the stupid things I did during my time working in an office while going through college.  I could never work in an office, it was just so boring.  My job now never has a dull moment.  Being  cooped up in that office with only a limited amount of work to do made me crazy. Thus, I did crazy things.  Let me provide you with an example.

The office had just received brand new Gateway computers.  As a result, we had approximately 20 large computer boxes stacked by the door.  I believe that Gateway's logo is a cow pattern or something, I am not sure.  I just know that these boxes were all black and white in a cow pattern.  My plan was simple.  I would hide in these boxes and "MOOOOOO!" at every person that entered the door.  I would not be able to see who came in.  The joke would be that the cow boxes would actually be mooing.  

Well, the first couple people, it worked great.  They came through the door, heard the moo, and turned and looked at the boxes.  When I mooed again, they got the joke, laughed and walked away.  Well, there was a particularly large woman that I had not thought about.  She was struggling with her weight and we all knew that she was having self image issues.  I was in a dark box, I had no idea that this woman would be coming through the door.  

When I heard the door open,  I let out a very loud MOOOOOO!  The next thing I heard was sobbing, running and the door closing again.  I slowly came out of the box and noticed about 5 people staring at me.  My buddy, who had been laughing at the gag, was now working quietly at his desk across the room, acting oblivious to anything that was going on.  The people staring at me started to lay into me.  "GOOD ONE ABE!"  "THAT WAS REALLY NICE!"  

I felt like garbage.  The woman did not know where the moo had come from and thought that someone was calling her a cow.  She had surrendered to the woman's restroom, where she was in tears.  

I sat at my desk in silence, waiting for her to return.  About 1/2 an hour later, she came back in, wiping mascara from her eyes.  I walked over to her desk and apologized.  I did not explain the joke, as I thought she would think it was just an excuse.  I simply said I was sorry and I did not mean to hurt her feelings.

Just one reason it is a good thing I do not work in an office.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Mormon Youth Treks are LAME!!!

***Update to this post 8/30/16

Before you read the below blog post from over 8 years ago, please note the following.

I went on a trek with my stake this year, 2016. I had the most amazing experience. I loved almost every second. I was completely wrong about trek in almost every way.

I found that trek did the following for youth...

1. Helped youth learn to get along and love those they would normally never associate with.
2. Teach youth that they can do hard things.
3. Build testimonies unlike any other place they could build a testimony.
4. Teach youth the value of teamwork and working together to accomplish something hard.
5. Make lasting memories and build compassion within the stake.

Of course, I did still hate some aspects of trek: the dirt, freezing nights and terrible night's sleep I would get. But the positives far outweigh the negatives! I even had my own spiritual awakening on trek and I am extremely grateful that I went. 

So, you can stop sending me nasty comments. I get it. I get trek now. I NEVER thought I would change my mind on this topic, but it is amazing how much the way we view the world can change in a matter of 8 years. So, if you want to know what I thought about trek 8 years ago, read below. But if you know that trek is a great thing and you are okay that I am okay with that, feel free to stop here.

 I thought it is about time that I post something controversial on my blog.  My goal is to get 16 comments.  Writing about something that will ruffle a few feathers is my only hope.

My wife is getting ready to go on a "trek" in June.  I have to laugh as this seems to be one of the most ridicules undertakings she has ever embarked on.  To get ready, we watched a video of another stake made on a trek last year.  It was, to say the least, LAME!

The video showed the willing and able (the "able" being a few overweight women that did not look so "able") being dropped off in school busses somewhere in Wyoming.  The experience was supposed to be "realistic" and they are to wear authentic pioneer clothing.  So, as these kids get out of the bus with their Patagonia backpacks and Timberland boots and plastic water bottles, I was reminded of the great Brother Graham P. James, a pioneer of umm...pioneers.  He once said, "As we embark on this great journey, you shall first stop at the local REI, where you shall drop at least $120 on needed enhancements for thine journey."

The trek looked like great fun, if your idea of fun includes walking up dusty four wheeler trails for 20 miles in the wind and stopping every 10 minutes to listen to somebody talk about how rough the pioneers had it.  (Of course, they didn't have groomed 4 wheeler trails.)  With every step, you could imagine the kids thoughts. "Boy did the pioneers have it rough!" Or more likely, "I wonder what is for dinner?"  One girl on the video commented, "As we pulled the handcart up the hill, I know there where angels behind us giving us an added boost."  While I am sure there were angels, it also helped that there were 10 girls behind the cart and another 10 pulling it.  With that girl power they could have pulled a tank up the hill.

Cathi had to go to the thrift store to buy some authentic "pioneer clothing".  She purchased two of the ugliest dresses I have ever seen.  She still needs a bonnet.  She is going to look like I have 5 wives.  I loved the women in the video with bonnets and sunglasses.  Just like our ancestors.

The highlight of the movie was when they had to bury their dolls.  I am not sure why, I guess that the pioneers had to burry the dolls that were broken or something??? 

All of this nonsense reminds me of when I was on my mission in Gettysburg, PA.  These weirdos would show up in their Civil War costumes and pretend to fight each other in hopes that they would more fully understand and appreciate what the armies of the civil war went through.  We would sit and laugh at them as they pretended to fall or hide behind trees.  I don't think I ever saw them burry a doll though.  

Thank goodness they did not have this nonsense when I was a kid.  It is now a semi-annual routine for most stakes.  And the worst part of it all is that our stake is paying some company $20,000 (not sure of the exact number) to come and walk around on their land in silly outfits.

Now, you may be thinking to yourself - Abe will soon be struck down!  This is sacrilegious! Well, as far as I am concerned, the First Presidency has never "endorsed" youth treks, and they have never even really encouraged it. As soon as the First Presidency says "You should take the youth on a trek", I will change my tune.  Furthermore, I do not need to go gallop around in the sand and wind for 3 days to appreciate what the pioneers went through for months.  I already appreciate it.  

Go ahead, flame away.  I have said my peace on the matter.

Why are they called cowboys?

Lincoln would like to know why cowboys are called cowboys?  They don't ride cows, they ride horses.  Shouldn't they be called "horseboys"?  Thoughts...

Saturday, April 5, 2008

The Yospe's are foolish men.

Thanks to Grandpa Yospe, the sandbox is complete! It was Calder's birthday gift. It is awesome and all the neighborhood kids are here enjoying it.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Anatomy of a chick flick.

While watching yet another of an endless stream of movies made for women last night, (No Reservations) I thought to myself, "I have seen this movie countless times."  And the truth is, I had!  Over 100 times!  

The plot is so simple, yet so clever.  The "chick flick" is designed to capture the emotional heart of a female.  While watching, I noted many of the the cliches of a chick flick.  I made mental notes and I would now like to present to you the list of elements to a successful chick flick.  You can count on at least 5 of the following occurring in each movie.

1.  A semi attractive woman.  Chick flicks are rarely about very attractive women as the common woman will will not relate to them.  Examples of semi attractive women include Sandra Bullock, Meg Ryan and Helen Hunt.  

2. The woman in the movie must start out as very a uptight person, too involved in her work to get involved with men.  It helps if she is bossy and/or bitchy.  Examples: What Women Want, Something's Gotta Give, Bridget Jones. 

3.  The woman may also be a "fish out of water".  Put in a new situation she is not familiar with.  Examples include Sweet Home Alabama, Legally Blond, Kate and Leopold.

4. The movie stars Patrick Swayze.

5. There is a musical number in the movie.

6.  There is a child in the movie.  The child must have been traumatized in some way.  If they have cancer, that is even better.  Examples: The aforementioned No Reservations, The Ultimate Gift, the burn victims in Shallow Hal, A Walk to Remember.  

7.  There must be a guy in the movie that the girl hates at first, but eventually becomes her love interest.  The guy is generally either a rebel or a genuine jerk. Examples: 50 First Dates, No Reservations, You've Got Mail, The Sweetest Thing, Mickey Blue Eyes, Hope Floats, OK this is actually a REQUIREMENT of chick flicks.  

8. The woman has a crisis that softens her thick or geeky personality up.  Ex: Mean Girls, How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days.

9.  The soundtrack has a song by Celine Dion or Harry Conick Jr.

10. The girl starts out ugly but makes a remarkable transformation. Ex: She's All That, Bridget Jones, Pretty Woman.

11. The plot involves some "traveling pants".

12. Oprah has had the cast on her show.

13. There is a kissing scene in the rain. Ex: The Notebook, The Sweetest Thing, others I can't think of right now.

14. The kid in the movie is obnoxiously cute. Jerry McGuire, Step Mom, etc.

15. Your wife or girlfriend says at the end of the movie, "that was good!" and you are thinking, "no it wasn't".

There you go!  Break out this list on the next one you see.  You will be grateful you did.  Just leave a note of thanks in the comments.  

My apologies to Matt Damon.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Lincoln loses a tooth!

Well, it happened last night for Lincoln.  When he woke up, his tooth was gone!  He thought he had swallowed it, but low and behold it was just in his bed sheets.  Phew!  

I had asked him if he would like me to pull his tooth out, and he said no.  Which reminds me of another great first grade tooth story.

Kate is the daughter of one of our kindergarten teachers and a sister of a girl in my class.  She visits my class every Friday to participate in First Grade fun.

Now, I had just witnessed a secretary in the office pull out a tooth with one hard tug earlier that day.  She made it look as easy as pulling a carrot from a carrot patch.  I thought, "I could do that, no problem."  

When Kate arrived, she had a single, top layer tooth sticking out of her closed mouth.  She looked like a scraggly tooth freak.  She looked like she could be from Wilkes-Barre, or worse, Ogden.  This tooth was just begging to be pulled.  I was confident that I was the man to do the job.

I invited Kate to the front of the class and asked her if I could pull the jagged baby central incisor from her mouth.  She seemed excited about this idea and shook her head with glee.  I retrieved a blue tissue from the box, wrapped it around the tooth and pulled with one sharp tug.  Kate let out a small but heart-wrenching "eee!".  The tooth had not budged.  I tried again, and again the "eee!" shrill from her gut.  This time the I felt the tooth move just a tad.  I knew that she was in unbearable pain.  However, the tooth was now laughing at me, mocking me for my weak pulling ability.  The tooth was now my enemy.  It must go.

I continued to pull, using more muscle, first from my feeble biceps, then putting a little back into it.  The children in my class gasped and turned away after each subsequent screech by Kate.  I felt bad for Kate, but I had gone to far and the tooth had to go!  Soon, a stream of blood started to run down my arm and now the girls in my class were screaming.  I asked Kate if I should stop and she nodded "no".  I gave one final pull and I felt and heard the roots rip.  The tooth was free!  

I immediately went to the sink, washed my hands and threw away the blood soaked tissue.  Kate's pain turned to excitement and she held her tooth up with enthusiastic pride.  The kids in the class began to clap and cheer.  The day had been saved.  

I will never pull another tooth out again.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Band/Song of the Day - Architecture in Helsinki - Heart it Races

OK, I realize two posts in one day is very tacky according to Isaac's book of blog rules, but I finally figured out how to post a Youtube video and I was excited to give it try. Today's video is very cool. It is from an Australian band called Architecture in Helsinki. The song is great for first graders, Lincoln and Calder to dance to. (And Abe too.) This band is very quirky but has a definite power-pop sound that is incredibly catchy. Plus, any video with body puppets deserves to be on every blog as song of the day.

If you like their sound, I have a couple of their albums. Just give me a $10.00 and I will download the album from Itunes for you. $20.00 gives you the hidden "bonus track" of me singing this song into a microphone. Enjoy! Just leave a not in the comments.

Funny first grader comment of the day.

This, from one of the triplets, Kaylee.  We were talking about how crummy McDonalds toys are.  She says, "Pretty soon they will just give kids a plastic bag and say, 'Have fun with this plastic bag, batteries not included!'"  

Also, Nick is smiling all day long.  I ask him why he is smiling so much.  He says "I just can't get all my smiles out."

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Who's your daddy?

One of the more humorous aspects of my job is being called "mommy" or "dad" on an almost daily basis.  Every time one of the first graders calls me "mom" it makes me laugh.  They generally turn bright red and are embarrassed.  Well, today topped it all.  One kid came up and called me "Grandma".  My good buddy Spencer called me "mom" yesterday and one 5th graders insists on calling me MRS. Yospe.  He is a little bully though.  "Hey MRS. Yospe!"  What a jerk.