Friday, February 27, 2009

My initial plans for an evening with Mr. Richard Simmons

My night with Richard Simmons
(I have drawn up plans for an evening together with Richard Simmons. Granted, I must first actually meet and befriend Richard - and he is 61 now. Doesn't look it though. Doesn't look it one bit.)
4:00 - John Schmidt concert. (Hope he plays "Waterfalls!)
5:00 - Eat hot wings at Hooters.
5:30 - Have a fight with a fire extinguisher.
5:45 - Draw each other's blood. Give blood to poor orphans.
6:15 - Step Into The Oldies, Volume 3
6:45 - Towel off, reapply grease.
7:15 - Spend time gluing glitter to red tank tops.
8:00 - Settle in and watch Ernest Goes to Camp (On separate couches, of course.)
10:00 - Attend Harlem Globetrotters game in newly bedazzled tank tops.
10:30 - Frolic through the Gateway fountains.
11:00 - Towel off, reapply grease.
11:30 - Step Into Oldies, Volume 5
12:00 - Towel off, apply nighttime "exfoliating" body oil.
12:15 - Punch Richard in the stomach, wish him well and send him on his way.

A Very Important Thing

For those of you that may not know, I am a huge Demetri Martin fan. He has a new show, Important Things With Demetri Martin. It is a mix of skits and standup. The skits are awful, but the stand up is hillariawesome. Here is a sneak peak:

Thursday, February 26, 2009

"The Healthly Food Corner" with Cheeseboy

I saw this on The Daily Show last night and thought it was just too unreal to be true:

Is it any wonder we are so fat in this country? Half bacon, half mayonnaise. I almost went into a diabetic coma just hearing about it. FORTUNATELY, our friends at Pepperidge Farms have come up with Bacconaise LITe - for those of us that are dieting:

Thank heavens, for those of us that have an actual food conscience, there are easy, low cal meals that a very inexpensive. I give you exhibit A: The Jimmy Dean Chocolate Chip Pancake and Sausage on a Stick -

I can just feel my arteries squeeze shut.
(Last night Jon Stewart dipped the sausage on a stick in the Baconaise. Mmm)

American Idol fans - vote for Norman Gentle. Do it now.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

My suggestion to KTVX News to improve ratings.

Email sent to KTVX News Staff today at 5:00 using my real name. I will post if I receive a response.

Dear KTVX 4 News,
Your newscasting is impeccable, your reporting rock solid. In addition, Ross Becker's hair is full of majestic grace. Which begs the question: Why the low ratings?
I have two words for you: MUS... STACHES.

You could be the only all mustached news team.

Hear me out. Brent Hunsaker? Make that Brent HUNKsaker. Meteorologist, Todd Gross? Make that Meteorologist of Sexy, Todd Gross. Reporter, Chris Vanocur? Make that Reporter of Sexy, Chris Vanocur. Reporter Marcos Ortiz? ALREADY MUSTACHED! The "Utah View" host, Reagan Leadbetter? Hold on, I am just receiving word that she is a woman. What kind of woman has the first name Reagan?

Of course, the women would not have to sport a mustache, but they might want to put a fake one on a time or two in jest - perhaps during sweeps week.

I don't need credit for this idea. Just have Karen Carlson wink into the camera. I will know that it is meant for me.

Your welcome.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

I am the greatest basketball player alive! And I have the story to prove it.

The outlook wasn't brilliant for the Teachers nine that day;
The score stood forty to thirty, with but one quarter left to play.
T'was Mr. Yospe's turn to take the court...
(Who am I kidding, I am not going to rhyme this whole thing out. I am going to just tell you what happened; as melodramatically as possible.)
Our spirits shattered, our hope hanging by the thread of my 2007 Sketcher Cross trainer shoelace - the sixth graders had us by the throat, twisting ever so slightly. Ever so confident that the game had turned and our agony would soon be extended a full year.
The pulse of the crowd had turned against us. Chants of "GO SIXTH GRADE" filled the arena/audi-cafi-nasium like rice flowing through an empty man-sized jar. As I stepped on that court that day, I am not sure I fully understood the magnitude of that moment. My mind flashed back to my youth...
The ball bounced with abandon on my backyard basketball court. With cracked, weather worn hands I would play, working on everything from my slam-ball form to my dunk-ability quotient. We built it and they came: friends from all walks of the neighborhood. They came from far and wide to the mecca of dunkball: the Yospe backyard. We were referred to as "The Chosen" - an elite group of dunkballers gathered together to slam, jam and wham-a-jamma-ding-SLAM!
I knew that this was moment I had trained for all those many years ago. Those countless hours of dunking in the rain; learning how to correctly hang on the rim as to not land on a dear friend. I glanced at the puny sixth graders across from me, and then at the rim and I realized - neither stood a chance. For what was about to hit them was a Yospe tornado... a "Yosp-A-do" if you will.
What happened next left the sixth grade boys reeling back into the fifth grade and beyond. Steal, dunk. Block, dunk. Rebound, monster dunk. When the dust cleared, the sixth graders and their iniquitous - 2 points for every basket to our 1 rule - stood in stunned silence. Mr. Yospe, the dominator, had won the game for the teachers.
As I was raised high above the shoulders of the other teachers and carried off the court, I could feel that the tides had changed. The crowd was now chanting "MR. YOSPE, MR. YOSPE". My mind again went back to those hours of shooting hoop on cold rainy days in my backyard for endless hours. "It was worth it, it was worth it." was all that went through my mind. I glanced over to the sideline while being carried in glory and I swear I saw Mr. Miaggi wink at me...
Oh, somewhere in this favored land the sun is shining bright,
The band is playing somewhere, and somewhere hearts are light,
And somewhere teachers laugh, and sixth graders do wail;
But there is no joy in West Jordan — mighty Yospe raised some hell.

Monday, February 23, 2009

8 Random Things

I have finally gotten around to posting 8 random things - as encouraged by Ike's so called "tag".  The problem seemed to be that I did not have 8 things to BS about.  Thus, I believe I have finally met that quota and will do my best to squeeze out 8 for you to enjoy.
1. Perhaps most importantly , Lincoln made a basket during his Junior Jazz game.  It was a surreal moment and I believe he has enjoyed every second of attention that it has garnered him.  He is certainly one of the most improved players on the team and he sometimes actually seems to have a clue what is going on.  In fact, on the drive home, I heard him tell Ryan that he thought that Ryan was the best player on the team and he was the second best player.  I guess scoring one basket kinda went to his head.

2. Chris Buttars is a joke of a human being. He can say whatever he wants about whomever he wants and claim "free speech".  However, if he is going to go around spreading hate, he is going to have to take accountability for what he says.  He is so spiteful, vindictive and... ugly.  Yeah, that's right, you heard me.  He's got the face of a fattened alligator.  A professional grump.

Further, Buttars claims many of his retired cronies would make excellent teachers.  Uh, okay.  Right Chrissy, without student teaching, a single course in classroom management and any clue how to deliver instruction, your old legislative "pals" could walk into any classroom and be a shining star.  Bring them to me, give them 45 minutes in my classroom and see if you feel the same way.  I'm sure their "life experience" will help them know how to teach special needs kids to read. Yeah right.  Moron.
3. Cathi and I watched a fantastic movie this weekend.  Of course the movie has been out for quite some time and I have been meaning to see it for the same amount of "quite some time".  Nevertheless, I finally libraried the thing and we sat down together on Saturday for a warm February's tale. 
 The flick is called, Lars and the Real Girl.  It is about a lonely, shy guy that orders a fake woman on the internet.  When she arrives, he believes she is real and everyone in the town goes along with his demented reality in effort to cure him.  I found myself laughing out loud and then feeling guilty for doing so.  It really is quite gripping and entertaining.  I hereby sanction all Blog O' Cheese readers to see it.  I expect a full report by next Monday.
3. In and Out is coming to Northern Utah.  That's great.  Good burgers, fries are average.  I will still go to Crown Burger over In and Out any day.  That's not to say that I will not accept a free trip to In and Out for those that may be considering taking me there to prove me wrong.
4. I buzzed my head last night.  My Principal always says, and said once again today, "It must be spring time, for the annual 'Shearing of the Yospe' has taken place". And  thank goodness - I am done with combing. 
5. The Utes are looking good once again.  Does it make me a pansy that I have not watched a single game this year, except for one on the internet?  Stupid MTN.

6. Celine Dion, one of my favorite targets, played at the Energy Solutions Arena last night and I was not there.  Humorous aside - my brother Ike is in charge of FM 100's promotions.  Well he got a call last night from his FM 100 guy saying that he had set up the FM 100 van outside the arena and put up the sound system.  He was going to put on FM 100 over the sound system, but realized that "Soft Sunday Sounds" would be playing and came to the conclusion that playing "Soft Sunday Sounds" while people went into the arena to watch a show on Sunday would probably not be appropriate.

Sorry Celine, maybe I will catch you next time.

7. If you haven't caught Demetri Martin's Show, Real Things with Demetri Martin on Comedy Central yet, it is time you have.  Actually, let me give you a suggestion: DVR the show, watch the stand up portions and skip through the skits.  The skits are awful, the stand up is amazing.  A couple people have told me that I remind them of him, which I take as truly the highest compliment.

8. Finally, if this is not the funniest thing on SNL this season, I am not sure what is.  Every time I watch it I can not stop laughing.  

justin timberlake snl beyonce single ladies video

Friday, February 20, 2009

Top Ten Signs Your Mormon Movie Stinks.

In honor of the recently announced, Mormon movie "Scout Camp", I give you...

(Before we get to the Mormon movie stuff, I know what you are thinking, "A movie about Scout Camp?! What the heck?!". But, I have been told that this movie will in fact reach new levels of Mormon movie torpidity - so there is that to look forward to.)

Top Ten Signs that your Mormon movie is a piece of crap:

10. Most of the filming was done in an actual, echoing cultural hall.
9. Kirby Heyborne is in it (without the beer...although it would have probably been better if it were in fact a beer commercial).
8. There are no fewer than eight jokes about jello. (This could also include an disgusting abundance of jokes about: ice cream, having tons of kids, Republicans, lame RS homemaking projects, going to hell if you don't go to BYU, caffeinated sodas, saying words like "gosh" and "freak" too often, having kids with names like "Nephi", jokes about Steve Young, etc.)
7. The movie has "Single's Ward" in the title.
6. Somebody quotes the movie in Sunday School and before they quote it, they say something like, "I know it's kind of hokey, but in the Home Teachers movie...".
5. It will someday be placed in the "LDS" section at Blockbuster.
4. The soundtrack includes Thurl Bailey, Ryan Shupe and a spiky haired, boy-band trio called, "Celestialized".
3. Every family in Orem/Draper will have it on a shelf above their television.
2. The biggest named star you could get to be in the film is Gary Coleman and even then he refuses to say, "Watcha' talkin' bout, Bishop?".
1. There is an completely stereotypical - borderline racist - humongous Polynisian guy in the cast that acts like he is actually retarded.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

The boys love their Grandpa!

In effort to appease those that are moaning that I do not post enough family related crap, I present to you today a few pictures to tie you over for awhile.  Plus, I have had these since Disneyland and was planning on eventually post them, why not today?  Plus, the last few posts have taken a ton of creative energy and I feel I deserve a break.  (That's not to say that I won't post something to chuckle at later tonight.)
Today's question - Who is cuter?  Grandpa or his Grandboys?  Tough call.

Lincoln & Grampa

Clark & Calder Clark

We Yospe's just are not meant to be blond.

I knew that it wouldn't last, but I still miss Calder's long, blond hair from last summer.



Still a goofball.

Song of the Day: Decemberists - O Valencia

A good band (albeit a "great" band in Tim's eyes), fantastic song.  

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Cheeseboy's Rules For Hugging

I enjoy hugging my wife and kids.  In fact, it has become one of my favorite times of the day.  Hugging others outside of my family, however, has become a complex, socially awkward puzzle that I have yet to solve.

When I was at the MTC, I would anxiously await the arrival of the new missionaries on Wednesday afternoons.  In effort to entertain the others in my zone, I would select one missionary that had just dropped his bags off in his dorm.  I would then walk over to the boy, welcome him to the MTC and hug the snot out of him.  I would then hold the hug for an uncomfortable amount of time.  After about 45 excruciating seconds, the missionary would almost always pull away in frustration, thank me for the greeting and fall back in line to travel to his appointed destination.  I was never once physically threatened or assaulted.  I mean, what where they going to do?  They were overwhelmed with being brand new missionaries on their first day.

Now, when someone attempts to hug me, I never quite know how to react.  Would a tight squeeze be overkill?  Should I stick my butt out to avoid full body contact?  How much back patting is appropriate?  Do I connect my fingers behind their back?  Do I rub the back instead of the usual pat?  Which of my acquaintances deserves a rub and which one deserves a pat?  Do I avoid facial contact?  What if our cheeks rub together on accident? Should I lift them off the ground?  Should I lift them off the ground with one arm while patting their back with the other.  What if they are extremely tall and I accidentally pat them on the butt?
I have therefore made some ground rules and I have designed the following hugs for the following people:

Wife: Anything goes.  (However, back patting your wife is just goofy.)
My Kids: The lift off floor hug is highly effective and should be used daily.
Grandma: A semi-firm hug without patting as I would not want to break her ribs.  Cheek kiss is also deemed appropriate.
Male Friend: Butt out, quick release, strong pats to signify brotherhood. Really, just an extended "chest bump".
Female Friend: This is where it gets really tricky.  If my wife is not there, please do not hug me.  If my wife is there, a hug may be acceptable, depending on the looks of the friend and the closeness of our friendship.  For example: 
A. You are a decent looking lady and my wife gives the nod of approval, you may have a quick, non full body hug.  
B. If you are an ugly monstrosity with facial hair, you may have a longer hug, but definitely no back rubbing.  This is what I commonly refer to as the "mercy hug".  
C. If you are just an average looking lady - please, no hug.
Boss: Boss dictates everything about the hug.  Whatever he or she wants, he or she gets.  It is, after all, a very rough economic year.
Father in law: What has worked well for me is the side hug.  The side hug consists of standing side by side, interlocking arms while simultaneously back patting each other.  
Mother in law: A quick cheek to cheek hug with limited full body contact.  Back patting should not be attempted.
Mother: See Grandma
Father:  The "male friend" hug but with more contact with the upper body and a longer length of stay.
Business or Work Acquaintance: No body or face contact.  Contact should be limited to the shoulder region.
Midget Friend: Provide a stool or chair.  Never lift a midget up to hug.  Believe me, it will not go well for you.
Friend with no arms: Hug them twice to make up for the missing arms. Do not mention the missing arms.
Monkey: Allow a monkey to swing around on your neck and when it comes to the front of you, grab and hold.  It will be an adorable moment you shall cherish forever.
Long lost love: Gain eye contact with the person from a distance and then run in slow motion towards that person.  Embrace with everything you've got and hold the embrace while the camera slowly moves around you.
Recently found child that was lost: See above.
Horse: Wrap arms around neck of horse, rest head on horse's side, whisper how much the horse means to you before horse is hauled away to be put to sleep.  (Also, this works for dogs.)
** Note, the above 3 posts should only be attempted if you are an actor in a movie.
Porcupine: Place muzzle over mouth, pull out quills one at a time, wipe off excess blood from pulled out quills and tie legs together.  Wrap your arms around the entire body of de-quilled porcupine and squeeze.
Paris Hilton: Wrap your arms around her twice, squeeze extra gently as to not break her - use the "Grandma" rule of thumb here.
Dolly Parton: Wear a breastplate for protection.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Learning life lessons from the Beav (and Wally) for our little Beav (and Wally)

My boys really are Wally and the Beav.  About the same age difference, about the same personalities.

Lincoln has begun to watch reruns of Leave It To Beaver on the TV Land channel. I say "reruns" because I am fairly sure that there have not been any new episodes in over 50 years, besides of course, the The New Leave It To Beaver Show (with Eddie Haskle in a staring role), that was on in the mid 80's.

In the most recent episode that Lincoln and I watched, Beaver and his pal Lumpy, found an old Nordic pipe that his father had received from a friend as a souvenir. They then stuffed the pipe with coffee and attempted to smoke it. Lincoln found this act to be especially offensive as the boys were clearly violating three definitive laws of adolescence - at the same time: drinking coffee, lighting matches and smoking. The ultimate trifecta of evil! Filthy and despicable. Simply a vile act which is incomprehensible to an innocent, seven year old mind.
Now, "Lumpy" may be the worst childhood nickname of all time. The only name I can think would be worse for a kid is "Chunk" from the Goonies. How in the world is any kid named "Lumpy" or "Chunk" ever supposed to get a girl to date him? I do however, enjoy eating at Lumpy's occasionally. (A private club for members only.) I have not yet tried the restaurant "Chunky's", nor do I think I would like to. "They have the best beef strogonauf down at Chunky's..." Uh, no thanks.
Lumpy, unsatisfied with smoking coffee grounds, went home and obtained old, discarded tobacco from his parent's ash trays. Beaver then sat with him on the floor of the kitchen and enjoyed a good, old fashioned smoke. Lincoln, still a little flabbergasted at the thought of the boys smoking, was pleased to hear that it gave the Beav a stomach ache. However, he was a little dumbfounded and angry that Beaver let Wally take the fall for the smoking.
Given that Calder's personality very much matches the Beaver's and Lincoln's very much matches Wally's, I believe that in Lincoln's mind he could foresee this exact situation unfold in the future - and that he would someday have to take the blame for Calder's smoking. That reminds me, I have been meaning to give my gigantic Nordic pipe to the D.I. Does the D.I. accept pipes? What about bongs? Nordic bongs?
During the episode I tried to point out to Lincoln how Wally and the Beav stayed seated during the entire evening meal; how they politely asked to be excused, and especially how the brothers did not tease each other to incite painful, high pitched squealing from their sibling. Lincoln informed me that he was not impressed and told me that normal kids do not act this way. Clearly, in effort to raise more well rounded children, we need to watch this show more often.
What I would really like to see is June Cleaver on Wife Swap. I can picture it now - June is sent to a trailer park just outside of Detroit. Her new home is filled with 8 cats, a screaming, snotty nosed kid waddling around in a poopy diaper while her new husband wipes potato chip crumbs off his chest onto the living room floor. Who wouldn't pay to see her adapt to this new habitat? Why didn't they have reality TV back in the 50's?
Watching Leave It To Beaver is a little like watching an English comedy. Many of the phrases and slang terms seemed to be something out of a parallel universe. One of the conversations on the show went something like this:
Beaver: Golly Ge, I didn't mean to rat on Lumpy. We were just messin around and now he's in a hunka trouble. We were just goofing and now I feel just crummy.
Wally: Oh cut the gas Beaver. Don't get so frosted. Lumpy's a bit kookie but he will he won't sweat it. He's no wet rag.
It's a miracle Lincoln understood a thing that was going on.
It was a good thing we watched it on a Monday night because we passed it off as a family home evening lesson. Perhaps we should start spending every Monday night with the Cleaver family. I can't wait to see what other life lessons the Cleavers have in store and to see what kind of trouble our own Wally and Beaver might get into in the future.  (I'll let you figure out which one is Wally and which one is Beaver.)

Monday, February 16, 2009

Things to never say at church.

Yesterday, I opened my mouth and somehow the words, "I have only spoken once since we moved in" slipped out.  The recipient ears of my horrific blunder was none other than the Second Councilor.  I am now scheduled to give an epistle on Easter Sunday.  Blessed mouth.

Note to self: Never say the following things at church on Sunday to someone in a leadership role:

1. "I love to camp and I have summers off!"
2. "Nothing beats setting up and taking down folding chairs."
3. "My love parade floats is never ending.  I would LOVE to make my own someday."
4. "I wish we had more people in the choir."
5. "Someone needs to teach those scouts a lesson or two."
6. "They said trek was bad last year, but it sounds like a piece of cake to me."
7. "Sure, I'll watch the nursery until the regular teachers get here."
8. "I have a boat." (Also not acceptable: I have a cabin, pickup truck or a lot of free time.)
9. "I am an organ playing enthusiast." (I am not, but I still don't want to say this.)
10. "So, who's in charge of the Road Show this year?"

Sunday, February 15, 2009

What I might look like with a little less hair, a bushy mustache and fruffy sideburns...

Mom? Dad? Is it really you?  

Random thoughts about turtles that I should probably have just kept to myself.

Turtles:  Growing up. we had a turtle.  It stunk, was awkward, no one ever played with it and it was uninteresting.  Owning a turtle was a little like owning a miniature Junior High boy and keeping him in a box in the basement. 

I often thought that if we were to ever experiment with time travel, the human race should start by sending turtles through time, on account of their time resilient shells and all.  

Speaking of time travel, I have heard it said that the only body part that continues to grow throughout your life is your ears and that is why old guys have really large ears with lots of hair in them. I'm curious; if we began to travel through time, what would become of our ears? If we went 1,000 years into the future would we have gigantic ears and the rest of our body would be normal size? Chew on that for awhile because I just blew your mind.

I feel badly for obese turtles.  It probably gets really uncomfortable holding all that fat under those shells.  Turtle liposuction is out of the question. Again, due to the shell.  (I guess a turtle could get liposuction on their legs, but even obese turtles generally have skinny legs.  What would be the point?) And losing weight must be next to impossible given a turtle's ability to exercise. Have you ever seen a turtle on a stair stepper?  No?  Well you should try it and then let me know how it went.  Or, better yet, have youtube come film it so that I can see it myself. (Thank you, Michael Scott.)
If we were to send a turtle into the future, I think the most fitting device would be a Delorian and not a phone booth.  

*Note - Abe was in no way intoxicated or high during the writing of today's blog post.  Nor did not hit his head during the day. 
I have, however, spent too much time online playing a facebook game called "upwords" the past few days that has left me slightly delirious and a bit confused about the porpoise of my life right now.  It seems like my life is just molting away and I might just snap at any second.  Perhaps it's time I come out of my shell.
This post could also have come to fruition because last night I dreamt I was a time traveling, obese turtle.  
**Also, I thought a porpoise was a kind of turtle, but apparently it is a sea animal and that totally screwed up my joke.  I'm leaving it in there anyway.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

The inspiring story of the starfish and the old man... REVEALED!

An old man was picking up objects off the beach and tossing them out into the sea.
A young man approached him and saw that the objects were starfish.

"Why in the world are you throwing starfish into the water?"

"If the starfish are still on the beach when the tide goes out and the sun rises high in the sky, they will die," replied the old man.

"That is ridiculous. There are thousands of miles of beach and millions of starfish.
You can't really believe that what you're doing could possibly make a difference!"

The wise old man picked up another starfish, paused thoughtfully,
and remarked as he tossed it out into the waves, 

"It makes a difference for this one."

Great story, right?  I'm sure you have all heard this heartwarming, heroic tale before.  Well, I did a little research about our friend the starfish and... and...

Sea stars have no brains and no blood. Their nervous system is spread through their arms and their “blood” is actually filtered sea water.

No brains?  No blood?  Sounds to me like the sea star could care less if someone were to throw it back into the ocean.  A SEA STAR DOESN'T EVEN KNOW WHEN IT IS OUT OF THE OCEAN!  STARFISH DON'T EVEN HAVE BRAINS!

Sounds like the young man in the story was completely wasting his time.  The old man in the story thinks that as he tosses each starfish into the sea that the starfish is thinking, "Thank goodness that man came along and saved my life!"  In reality, the starfish is thinking, "Slurp, shlop, slurp, shloppy." No, wait, the starfish isn't thinking anything of the sorts.  It's not thinking anything at all!

One last thing, I am not a Marine Biologist, but I doubt that throwing a starfish can not be good for the starfishes well being.  And IF the starfish just so happens to survive the initial toss, it would probably be too stunned or injured to make it's way back into the depths of the ocean.  

I have written my own version of this story.  One that makes much more sense.

An old man was pushing large objects off the beach and into the sea.
A young man approached him and saw that the objects were beached beluga whales.

"Why in the world are you pushing whales into the water?"

"If the whales are still on the beach when the tide goes out and the sun rises high in the sky, they will die," replied the old man.

"That is ridiculous. There are thousands of miles of beach and millions of whales.
You can't really believe that what you're doing could possibly make a difference!"

The wise old man pushed  another whale, paused thoughtfully,
and remarked as he shoved it out into the waves,

"It makes a difference for this one."

Friday, February 13, 2009

Cheeseboy Chart of the Week - Level of fo-hawk lameness

Allow me to introduce a brand new weekly feature on the Blog O' Cheese - The Cheeseboy Chart of the week. Today's chart: Level of Fo-hawk lameness. All charts will be created entirely by me, Cheeseboy.

I hate Rascal Flatts.

I hate Rascal Flatts.  Hate them. Bring on the scrutiny.  Bring on the griping.  Bring on the reproof. I still hate them.  

I come from the tribe of "Rascal Flatts stinks."
All of my preset radio stations in my car are set to "anything but Rascal Flatts."
"What Hurts The Most" is hearing "What Hurts The Most" one more time.
"Mayberry" fills me with spite.  The spite of an  enraged pitbull.
Chris Buttars is probably a Rascal Flatts fan.
Bring on the malevolence.  I'm ready.  
But I have to ask: Who's with me?

Thursday, February 12, 2009

The perfect Valentines gift - The Vermont Teddy Bear (Plus funny Gaffigan comments!)

Alright everybody, I got this on facebook from my favorite "friend" and comedian, Jim Gaffigan.  I laughed so hard (especially at his comments) that I just had to share it.  Enjoy!  

Instructions: 1. Watch the video. 2. Read funny Gaffigan comments. 3. Laugh hysterically  4. Share with others.

GAFFIGAN: I’m not a huge fan of Valentine’s Day but one of things I do love are the commercials. One of my favorite is this one for Vermont Teddy Bear. Sure the first 50 times I wanted to kill myself, but now I watch it amazement.

Why I love this commercial
- Guy in cubicle wearing sunglasses on head? It does get sunny in the office.
- Announcer: “Giving her the ‘same old, same old”. That’s right women hate flowers and jewelry.
- Woman who receives Bear-gram is dressed like a lovely seductive dress.
- Only men in cubicles. What a coincidence
- Women in office completely over-react to gift of dust collecting bear.
- Guy removes sunglasses from top of head to see why whorishly dressed woman over acting.
- Disgusting line “so much bigger than I thought” reference. Excuse me?
- Announcer: “Take it from me. This is not your average bear”. Um who are you again? What is average bear?
- Guy actually has a “love” tattoo on his arm? Um ok. What a coincidence. I guess since I have a “love” tattoo on my arm I should get the bear with the “love” tattoo.
- Announcer tells us Bears are guaranteed for life. “Yes, I got my girlfriend a Lover Boy Bear 8 years ago. And it stopped working. Hello?”
- Free chocolate? Um isn’t that the “Same old, Same old”
- Guy in orange shirt pumps fist after ordering a teddy bear. Is this his first online purchase?
- Woman with crazy teeth (who did not get a bear) announces, “I can’t wait to give him my surprise”. Yikes.

Extreme Makeover: Cheeseblog Edition

As you may have noticed, the Blog O' Cheese has undergone it's first facelift.  Well, more than a facelift - more like,"Extreme Makeover, Blog Edition" without all the fanfare and that flavor savor guy running around with his shirt off, yelling at people with a blow horn.  

Let me first give credit where credit is due.  One of my best friends - Had, an accomplished web designer, designed a new header and the rest kinda just fell into place.  What I didn't know is that he secretly put a hidden dragon in the header.  Do you see it?  Yeah, if I knew how to Photoshop, I would probably replace that with a unicorn. 

I would like to take this opportunity to thank my brother Ike.  Ike, the header that you designed for me served me faithfully for almost a year.  It now has it's number hanging in the Blog O' Cheese rafters along with Darrell Griffeth and Frank Layden.

Given the new, sleek look of the blog and my new found supporters, I would like to make you aware that in spite of the economic woes our country faces, the cheese blog lives on.  In fact, it grows stronger each day.  It is like one of those snowballs that rolls down a hill and gets bigger and bigger until it barely misses a roadrunner and crashes into a wily coyote.  I forget what that phenomenon is called, but I have seen enough cartoons to understand the science behind it.  

I have been reading several articles on writing humor and each one is in agreement: it is not easy.  In fact, it is perhaps the most difficult kind of writing to excel at.  Not only do you have to write well in a general sense, but you have to be able to use your writing to make people laugh.  You also have to have an awareness of what makes people laugh.  I have found that it is very difficult, especially on a daily basis, to write something that a majority of my readers will at least chuckle at.  It doesn't even have to be an out loud chuckle to satisfy me;  I would be happy with a silent, internal chuckle.  

Some days I sit and stare at the computer screen in hopes that a funny topic will just pop into my brain.  Other days the writing flows easily, but I am left feeling empty, as if the comedy is a dying balloon and I am doing my best to hold it up with a flimsy string.  Strangely enough, it seems that I get the most compliments on posts that I thought were horrible and was embarrassed by them.  And then there are those precious days that I know I have written a piece of comedic genius and I could care less what anyone else thinks.  

The new and improved Blog O' Cheese rumbles on, rededicated to entertain it's friends.  Even if "entertaining" means being the last thing you click on before you go to bed or providing an outlet to spell an extreme case of boredom - please just keep reading.  Now just where is that Ty Pennington when you need him?  I need a new hutch and cabinet set to put in the basement of my new blog.

That reminds me dad, I don't think you would have all these women complaining about too many RC Willy Paige Davis commercials if you were to somehow get her former cohost, Ty Pennington to appear in the commercials with his shirt off. Am I right ladies? Just an idea.  (I really should have gone into advertising.)

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

More mascot madness.

In spirit of the "Blog O' Cheese Mascot Week", and because I have a lot of time on my hands due to my student teacher, today I dawned our school mascot costume and roamed the halls with a newfound fire in my eyes.  I brightened the lives of children far and wide with my surprise visit - dawned as a giant fur ball of corniness. I should start at the beginning...

I expressed my concern about the lameness of our school mascot to our secretary.  (Again, I have a lot of time on my hands and my Principal was at some sort of Principal meeting, talking about Principal stuff.) My main complaint is that we are a baby animal.  A baby animal!  These kids deserve better.  What could a baby animal beat in a fight? Only insects really - and only friendly insects, like butterflies.

I began searching the office for the official form to request a mascot change.  The secretary ladies asked what I was looking for and they informed me that such a form does not exist.  8,000 different forms in our office and not a single one is for a mascot change?!  Despicable.  Even more despicable was trying to find the form on the district website. 

I decided to take my plight to the people: the teachers.  Many were open to the idea, but had reservations when it came to what we should change the mascot to.  I suggested that we change it to something that is native to our part of West Jordan - perhaps the "Strip Malls", "Republicans" or the "Jack Mormons". I especially liked the idea of the "House Cats".  Unfortunately, these were not well received and I settled on a "Wolverine".  I am not sure a dragon and a unicorn, working in unison, could kill a wolverine.  Wolverines are pretty tough.

Alas, I was told by the Head Secretary that there was already a mascot costume and a new one would cost thousands of dollars.  I retrieved the costume from the closet and soon myself purusing the hallways, shedding like a bear in the summertime.  My new, enormous head clarified my thinking and I came to realize that our mascot is not that bad.  It could be worse.  We could be... DRAGONS!

In defense of dragons...

I thought this comment from my friend Had deserved it's own post.  Certainly, he makes some valid points.  Nevertheless, I stand by my original unicorn statement.

You have gone too far. I must stand in defence of the mighty dragon. During my education I have been a hornet, a ram, a Ute, and even a Griffin (another amazing mythological creature). None of these stand a chance against the mighty dragon. Allow me to explain:

Which weapon would you rather have with you walking into a dark alley, a jar of glittery sprinkles or a blowtorch? A single spiraled horn or dozens of razor sharp teeth and claws? What would you rather be wearing in that dark alley? Matching white jean jacket and pants with a long, lovely glittering wig? Or plate mail armor with spiked gauntlets and boots?

Everyone knows that Unicorns are simple herbivores. Their flat molars are designed to chew grasses and leaves - maybe even some lovely dew-covered clover (they like that pretty stuff). Dragons are carnivores. Killers. They have an arsenal of weaponry in their mouths - sort of like a warehouse of all of the unsold Ginsu knives. These teeth will easily and accurately slice through something as delicate as a tomato, tear through an aluminum can, and even a pipe! All without losing their razor sharp edge!

Take a line from the Dillworth Dragons school song (perhaps the funniest, and cockiest school song out there)
The other schools,
turn green with envy.
When they see us,
The Dillworth Dragons.

(That gave you the chills, didn't it...)

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Unicorn v. Dragon? I'll take the Unicorn every time!

I was a Unicorn.  Well, I wasn't literally a Unicorn.  I was a Uintah Unicorn.  The Unicorn was our Elementary school mascot; and a magical, mythical mascot it was.

We Unicorns are proud folk.  We hold our horns up high.  Unicorns have so many special powers: medicinal powers, sparkling powders, flying powers.  Plus, the horn.  That horn is so solid and sharp.  It is also swirls so perfectly.  Nothing messes with a unicorn.  Nothing.  So we thought...

As I grew older, my friends and I started hanging out with fellas from a neighboring school, Dilworth.  They too had a proud tradition.   They too had a mythical mascot.  They saluted the chimerical dragon.  They are the Dilworth Dragons.

Of course, a rivalry between these two creatures naturally developed.  Lines were drawn in the sand and sides were taken.  The Unicorn, a symbol of hope, purity and optimism was the Barack Obama of 1985.  The Dragon, a symbol of fire, death and destruction was the Miley Cirus of 1985.  It was clear which kids had the force and which kids had joined the dark side.

Now, the unicorn generally conjures up images of vibrant pastel posters, dark lights and pot smokers sitting around on a Wednesday afternoon at 12:35, having this very same argument about unicorns and dragons, while listening to Led Zeppelin.  For some reason, I now also think of Michael Phelps when I think of the unicorn.  Must be because of all the great athletes that came out of Uintah.

On the other hand, the image of a dragon brings on thoughts of dark hooded chubby girls with long fingernails and short skirts, smoking outside the planetarium while listening to Led Zeppelin.  Essentially, in the category of "likability of the basic fan base" it is a push between both creatures.

Those inane dragons usually argued that a simple puff of a dragon's torch and a unicorn would be left charred, smoked and helpless.  How insanely redicuolous this argument is. It could be true, but given the unicorn's self medicinal qualities, their charred bodies would not last long and they would be back to their graceful selves within minutes.  The Dilworth folk would then claim that the dragon's enormous size would simply overtake the unicorn.  Perhaps, but would a dragon really want to "overtake" something with a razor sharp horn protruding from it's skull?  Isn't it a little bit like an infant trying to "overtake" an open Swiss Army Knife?  Not a good idea.

It's simple really.  The logic of it all is actually embarrassingly transparent: The unicorn would simply fly circles around the dragon, teasing it with it's dactyl flying and graceful air moves.  As soon as the unicorn had decided that the dragon had been teased enough, he would simply spray the dragon in the eyes with magical, sparkly sparkles, aim the horn at the heart and dive like a Japanese bomber.  No amount of fiery fury could dampen the willpower of a dedicated unicorn.

Interestingly enough, the school boundaries have changed and every single one of my dragon friends would be unicorns in today's day and age.  Chew on that dragon lovers/supporters!  You are really unicorns and secretly, I know you like it!

In support of the mighty unicorn, I quoteth the Uintah School song:

Uintah you're making my light shine!
Uintah you're making me smart!
Uintah you're opening my mind!
I love you with all of my heart!

The Dilworth song probably has something to do with growing up goth and buying Pantera concert tickets.  Hey Dilworth people - call me when your so called "dragon" grows a magical horn.  Then we'll have ourselves a real debate.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Tooth Fairy MADNESS!

Lincoln lost a tooth last night. T'was his third. Cathi came up with a killer plan to have the tooth fairy bring him four quarters and leave them in a bowl in the corner of his bunk bed. Needless to say, we were awakened (or is it awoken?) at 3:30 in the morning to the sound of circular metal twisting through the air and hammering every wall, post and cabinet in the room. It sounded like a mammoth robot was spitting bolts in ever direction out of it's robot thighs. For a brief moment, I thought for sure a tiptoeing robber in a black mask and a black and white striped shirt was breaking into our metal jukebox to steal my Celine Dion albums.

I told Cathi that the tooth fairy does not bring change. She is strictly a cash carrier only. Surely, her little wings would not be able to carry a bag full of quarters throughout the world. She sticks strictly to the paper stuff. In fact, someday, not too far on the horizon, when you lose a tooth, the tooth fairy will simply credit your bank account and put a stub under your pillow. That way she is not flying around in the middle of the night with a fairy purse full of singles. She is just inviting trouble to find her and simply put, pixie dust works horribly as a mace substitute.

I told the kids in my class about our visit from Toothy McPhee last night. Each time I bring up the tooth fairy I am astounded by their TF knowledge. In fact, today I was told by my cousin's kid that her mom told her that the tooth fairy lives in a castle in Idaho. It makes complete sense to me as Idaho is known for it's fairy-esque castles and it's mystical, magical aura.

In a completely unrelated discussion about elves today, when I tried to argue that elves have magic powers, another child told me that only Santa has the magic powers - the elves are just doing the grunt work. Which makes me wonder, why is Santa hording all the magic? Wouldn't it be prudent to share the magic with the elves, at least during the busy season? If I were one of the elves, I'd be a little ticked. Here I am, busting my miniature tail off to make toys for the children while Santa lounges around on his magic filled butt.

I think I put the argument to rest with my assertion that elves are indeed magical. I argued that pirates are regular sized humans and do not seem to hold any magical skills. Elves, on the other hand, are tiny with pointy ears. It's just not natural. I mean, you wouldn't find an elf in any Natural Geographic. Clearly there must be some mystical enchantment in the the works with these freaks.

Lincoln woke up briefly during the flying of coins and commotion. Thankfully, he did not wake up during the actual tooth fairy delivery. It would have been difficult to explain to him why I was wearing green tights and ballet butterfly wings. The eye glitter I dumped all over my body was great for getting me into character, but it would have been extremely embarrassing if Lincoln had caught site of it.

Song of the Day: Radiohead - Jigsaw Falling Into Place

This video is great.  It is taken from one continuous helmet cam shot.  Fantastic song too.  This album came out over a year ago and I still can't get enough.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Fred's Follies

There is this old guy at our church, his name is Fred.  Fred knew my Grandpa somehow and he must tell me every week how great a man I am because of it.  He is a real close talker and he does not have what one might call "hygienic oral hygiene".  

Each week Fred gives me a firm handshake and tells me how great a man I am.  Each week, Fred opens our conversation with a new tag line that makes absolutely no sense.  I always walk away, shaking my head in confusion. I have begun writing them down. 

He always begins, "Well, there's a good man."  And then... the lines:

"Good to see you.  It's better to be seen than viewed, that's what I've always said."

"Life is good.  Better to have a good life than to give a good life."

"Always good to talk to you.  Talking is God's gift to our mouths.  Our mouths are God's gift to our friends.  It's good to have you as a friend and it's good to talk to you."  (This one I am not positive about exactly how it went, but it was something like this.)

"What a wonderful day it is.  The days filled with wonder return wonder two fold."

I am not sure what these sayings mean, but if the point is to make me smile, they work every time, even if they have to do with death.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

25 Random Things About Me

Alright, I have given in already.  Please stop bothering me to do this.  I am doing it now, but I am sure that I will be tagged 40 more times before this virus has run it's course.  This was a facebook tag, but since it is requiring actual thought (actual thought should not be required while on facebook), I am placing it both on my blog and on facebook.  So, away we go.

1. I have been tagged over 4,000 times in my lifetime, including: tags received on the playground at recess both in my youth and adulthood and tags received on various websites.  (The tags on the websites are unfortunately catching up with the tags on the playground.)
2. One of the best compliments I could ever receive is that I am strange, weird or crazy.  I hate being ordinary.  
3. The older I get the more I feel like I should have been in drama club in high school.  Those kids I made fun of all those years - I realize now that I have more in common with them than I thought.  Plus, I have a goal of someday being in a play.
4. While in scouts, I once owned a 3 foot garden gnome that my friends and I started worshiping at camp.  It was confiscated during camp and we were told that we were being sacrilegious. Which of course, we were.
5. As a youngster, I was petrified of the movie Gremlins.  I once faked sick at a sleepover to go home early just to avoid having to watch the Gremlins.
6. Before I had even turned 16, I had already backed our truck into our house - and I wasn't even in it.  I was goofing around in the drivers seat while no one was home and left it out of gear.  I then went and played basketball in the back yard and watched in amazement as the truck rolled directly our wood paneling.
7. I broke both of my legs the first (and only) time I went skiing.  And yes, I was on the tow rope hill. And no, I will never go again.
8. I am the only person in my family (my wife and kids) that does not have dimples... I am talking strictly facial dimples.
9. I have always idolized Chris Elliott (of "Get A Life" and "Other movies that are too numerous to mention on a tag").  I think he is the most underrated comic of our time - or really all time, since the beginning of time.
10. One of my most favorite thing about being a First Grade teacher is the response I get from women when I tell them I am a First Grade teacher.  "Ah, how cute.  We need more men like you teaching the young kids."  It never gets old.
11. I once bought a $100.00 pair of sunglasses.  Three days later at Disneyland, I watched as these glasses fell off my face and into the water surrounding Tom Sawyer's Island.  I stick exclusively with the $5.00 pairs now. 
12. I always wished I was the fifth, unheard of member of Boyz II Men.
13. I grew up with the famed "Hobbitville" in my back yard.  I never once saw a hobbit, but I did see a 3 foot garden gnome on more than one occasion.
14. I often have no clue what is going on in LOST, but I pretend to just to act smart.
15. Because of my extremely hairy arms, I have been called everything from "werewolf" to "gorilla" by my First Grade students.
16. I love being the center of attention (usually) and because of this, I will attempt to stretch my birthday out into weeks and sometimes months.
17. If I were not a teacher, which I love, I would very seriously consider going into stand up comedy.  No seriously.  This one is not a joke.
18. As I get older, I realize more and more that I am actually a huge nerd. Or perhaps I would just like to be a nerd; I love Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, TV shows about nerds, electronic music, lasers, the list goes on and on.  
19. I do not remember the last time I laughed so hard that I cried.  However, making my wife laugh so hard that she cries is actually a much better feeling. Fortunately, I have done this more than a few times.
20. My wife and I are complete opposites in about 90% of things, but I wouldn't have it any other way.
21. Of my dad and four brothers, I was the only one that did not go into advertising or marketing.  Call me a mama's boy but my mom is the best teacher I have ever seen and she helped inspire me to be a teacher.
22. My name is Abe and my son's name is Lincoln.  I was named after the bible guy and my son was named after the President.  We really liked the name Lincoln and would have probably named him that, even if my name was Rufus.
23. I am currently watching "Space Chimp" with Lincoln while I write this.  It is surprisingly funny. 
24. I will often catch myself checking out my own wife and then realize that it is okay, she is my wife.  I then pinch myself to ensure reality.
25. I can play just about any song on the harmonica and I have no idea why or how.  

This Space Chimp movie is really funny.  I have laughed five or six times since I entered #23.

Friday, February 6, 2009

I know nothing about gymnastics and I have the questions to prove it.

I went to the Utah gymnastics meet tonight. We generally go to two or three of these every year and they certainly hold some entertainment value. Being the moronic gym fan that I am, I have trouble understanding a few of the rules. Rather, I understand the rules, but I have no idea why things are done the way they are done. For instance:

When a routine is done, why do all the girls on the team scream, clap and mob the girl like she just won the national championship? Is this to impress the judges with their sportsmanship? Are they really that happy for their teammate? Is it just a show for the cameras?

Why are there two bars instead of just one. I have been told that the competitors have to show they can go from high bar to low bar, but they do not do tricks on the low bar. Then why not just take out the low bar and increase the trick to bar ratio on the high bar? Or, why wouldn't some girls start doing tricks on the low bar to impress the judges? Better yet, why not have two bars on the same level? I would actually like to see a series of five bars, all on the same level and at some point during the routine, the girls have to touch every bar at least once.  Sort of like the playground monkey bars.

What is with all the little hand gestures between the big flips on the floor exercise? Are the girls really judged on how well they strike poses or is it just filler? Could a competitor have perfect hand poses, fall on every flip and still get a decent score?

During the floor routine, why does the music keep changing during the routine? Can't the girl decide on one song and go with it? If I were a gymnast, I would pick a song that everyone knows to get the crowd into it. Something like Neil Diamond's "America" or that "I Kissed A Girl" song.

If flipping on that balance beam gets the big scores, why don't the contestants just flip back and forward the entire time they are up there? Instead, they are at it again with the hand poses.  I'm guessing probably filler.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Because so many Blog O' Cheese readers are bored with the Blog O' Cheese, I have written about sitting.

After a record breaking week last week, my blog has hit a bit of a lull. Readership and visitorship is down this week. I'd like to go ahead and take this opportunity to follow the media's path and blame the economy. Certainly, the economy is to blame for everything these days - even this strange rash that has appeared on the underside of my foot.

Given that I am desperate to get my readers something they can really sink their teeth into; something to spark interest like never before, I am writing about something everyone does. This is kinda like when Extra's ratings are sagging and they show Brittney Spears without her underwear for the 100th time. I have decided to write about one of my favorite things in life: sitting.

I enjoy sitting a little too much. The cushion beckons and my butt cheeks follow. My favorite sitting position is hunched, legs straight out, hand in the waistband of my jeans. I also enjoy the one leg curled under the extended leg with the arms over my head position. Another favorite is the sideways on the couch, with knees bent position.

Sitting in perfect comfort requires loosely fitting pants, preferably cotton sweats and moving so that the possibility of even the slightest wedgie is taken out of the equation. My preference is pajama bottoms with a tie waistband. I wear them two sizes too large to account for any wiggle room that may be needed at a moments notice. Socks are also required attire because of the temperature of which our house is kept.

I sometimes feel the urge to sit with one leg folded under my thigh, with the other leg on the floor. This is, in fact, a very comfortable position and I find it soothing to the soul. My heart warms while sitting this way. An unfortunate side effect is that my foot falls asleep and I am rendered useless if there is a break in or I have to use the restroom.

I love sitting next to my wife, but I find that her feet will often poke my thigh, creating an uncomfortable toe to thigh relationship between the two of us. I let her know, look, I can handle your feet on my lap or you not touching me at all, but a toe jab to the thigh is just not cool. It disturbs the entire balance of the sitting universe and throws my sitting rhythm into kaput's.

Often, when I am sitting, I will place one elbow behind my head. I am not sure why I do this and I am not sure I want to know why I do this. It is not for comfort's sake.

When I think about sitting, I think about the small of my back resting on that soft, protruding back rest. I think about leaning against that firm armrest, breathing deeply as if I were in a yoga class. I think about the ten calories an hour I am burn as I do nothing. Even thinking about sitting makes me want to sit.

When I am sitting for the long haul there are some necessary tools of the trade that I must have within an arm shot: the phone, the remote, a drink. Ah, the drink. It must be cool with ice floating and bouncing around like seals in a bathtub. While I sit, the drink must sit on the table on my side or the floor; but not where I may accidentally kick it over. Kicking over a drink completely screws up my sitting. I have to get up, get a towel, the whole ordeal. Look folks, I don't want a chore to do, I just want to sit.

The best sitting is done on a Monday night, when all of the good television is on. I will however, sit on any day. I am not prejudice in what days I will sit. My sitting knows no bounds. I have my preferences, but I promise you this: given the opportunity, I will sit anywhere, any place, on any day. You can take that to the bank.

** Note to readers: This picture is not of me... yet.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Make our visitors feel at home and move your cars to your lawn because rednecks from around the nation will soon converge on Utah.

You might be a redneck if you appear in commercials covered from head to tow in camouflage and the commercial is for something called the "Utah Hunting Expo".

Way to bag that buck Jeff-O!

Hopefully the rednecks bring some jacked up jeeps and a few of these to keep their goatees in check. It's called the "goatee saver". Simply stick it in your mouth and shave around it. Multiple styling options are available for any moron that is not able to shave their beard by themselves.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Ugh, tagged again. This time I respond on behalf of my wife.

Good to see that the vicious cycle has ended and February 3rd has finally arrived.

More tagging. Will it ever end? Apparently, tagging has now moved to facebook. I have been tagged on facebook approximately 115 times. I have finally decided to respond to this tag, however, I shall do it on my blog, and I shall do it as if I were Cathi.

You see, Cathi does not blog, nor does she facebook. She therefore misses out on the hundreds and thousands of tags that seem to come our way on an almost daily basis. Since I am all tagged out on myself, I thought it might be interesting to do the tag, but about me lady. So, away we go...

25 Random Things About Me (Cathi)

1. Cathi loves to read. In fact, she reads 5-10 books a month, depending on how long they are. Unfortunately, most books she remembers very little about.

2. Cathi claims, and I believe it to be true, that she has never in her life remembered a dream. She claims that she either does not dream or that she can't remember them.

3. She still cannot whistle.

4. Cathi hates to shop for clothing, even for herself. She gets annoyed and winded after about two stores, or three pairs of pants, whatever comes first.

5. She is the coupon queen. I honestly do not remember the last thing I bought that we did not use a coupon for. Not only is she a coupon queen, she is one of the thriftiest people I know. This works out well as we are living on a teacher's budget and I can be quite a spender.

6. I truly believe that if she wanted to, Cathi could be a Maybeline model. Sure, I may be a little biased, but when I see the advertisements in women's magazines, I think, "Cathi is at least that pretty, probably more so."

7. Cathi can cross stitch like you wouldn't believe. There are two people on this planet that have the cross stitching skills of a superhero and those people are my mom and Cathi. Someday, I plan on having a cross stitching competition between the two to settle it once and for all.

8. Cathi "waited" for me while I was on my mission, and by "waited" I mean dated other guys and occasionally kissed them. It's a good thing I am not a jealous person. Alright, it took me a while to get over this.

9. She is the least political person I know. I have tried to get her involved in things outside her life bubble, but she could not be any less interested. Watching the world news is not on her to do list. However, I do secretly think that she must care just a bit because I saw her cry on 9-11.

10. Cathi loves to conserve energy and water. She has us on a very strict diet of darkness and turning off the water while brushing our teeth. If there is a light in a room that no one is in, I immediately feel a twinge of guilt and have to turn it off.

11. She will not start a blog or facebook, but she spend a lot of time chatting with other coupon clippers in a chat room for women looking for deals. I have no idea what this chat room is called.

12. It is my firm belief that Cathi could go to Disneyland every day of her life. When we go to Disneyland, we get there when it opens and leave when it closes. Most times we go six days in a row and she is still not tired of the place.

13. Cathi is somewhat of a picky eater. She likes her food very plain, with very little pizazz. She hates anything from the fish family.

14. She has the patience of "The Patron Saint of Women that Deal with Three Wacky Guys on a Daily Basis".

15. Her hair is naturally curly, but she thinks it looks better straight when it is short.

16. Cathi is the world's hottest crossing guard.

17. She has horrible eyesight and one of her dreams in life is to get laser surgery.

18. Cathi is very low key. She hates the being the center of attention and doing things in front of people - especially dancing.

19. Cathi thinks Ben Stiller is attractive - which actually explains a lot.

20. She is really neither a morning person or a night owl. She generally has most of her energy around the middle of the day.

21. She hates "The Big Bang Theory" but she is starting to really dig "How I Met Your Mother".

22. One of her greatest joys in life is a Coke Slurpee and boy is she sexy when she eats them.

23. For some odd reason, Cathi loves country music, her favorites being Brad Paisely, The Dixie Chicks and a bunch of other attractive women with twangy voices.

24. She can not and will not lose in any card or board game that involves speed. She has an unreal mind that can find patterns at unbelievable speeds. In over 13 years, I have never once beaten her at a game that involves doing something quickly.

25. Cathi took AP classes in High School, completed college early and likely never received below a B+ at any level of school. And yet, she married me. It is one of life's great mysteries.

I do not tag anyone and I hereby order a moratorium on tagging. NO MORE TAGGING! NOT ON BLOGGER, NOT ON FACEBOOK, NOT ANYWHERE!

Song of the Day: Passion Pit - Sleepyhead

From their debut EP, this is Sleepyhead.  I just picked this up and it is great.  They remind me a lot of a very upbeat Postal Service.  I can't wait for them to release a full album.

Monday, February 2, 2009

A Groundhog's greeting to one and all! (From me. I am not a groundhog.)

Groundhog Day is once again upon us... again. It seems like it was just yesterday - or was it?

I missed the prognosticator of prognosticator, the seer of seer's prediction this morning on the news. I had to look it up on the internet. Alas, as it was told, Phil saw his shadow, which, as tradition holds, means six more weeks of dreary winter.

I am not sure who came up with this tradition, but it had to be the work of an insane man. What does a groundhog seeing his shadow have to do with winter? It doesn't make much sense at all. What does a rodent's shadow have to do with weather prediction?

After giving some thought to this inane tradition, I have come up with some other potentially ludicrous methods of telling the future. Perhaps one will catch on and we can gather together and perform the prediction ceremony each year at an undisclosed "knob".

On March 16th, if a Basset Hound named "Chugs" eats his own vomit, the winner of the NCAA tournament shall arise from the west.

On April 9th, if the cock crows thrice, Biff Henderson will finally admit that he is really Oprah's long lost brother.

On May 26th, if the sweat from my armpits have bled through both my shirts after a long day of teaching, there will be six more weeks of school. We'll have my brother Jacob perform the ceremony.

On July 18th, if Paris Hilton sees her shadow, it will be the first time. (For those that might not get this one, you see, Paris Hilton is so skinny, she doesn't even have a shadow. If you are still confused by this joke, you might actually be Paris Hilton.)

On September 18th, if a moose hoots at the moon, Mayor McCheese will finally get that unicorn he always wanted and ride across a rainbow.

On October 1st, if Angelina Jolie adopts a child, Jennifer Aniston will make another chick flick to get back at Brad. Okay, that one might actually happen.

Happy Groundhogs Day everybody. I hope to not writing this same post tomorrow.

In the words of the great Phil Connors:

When Chekhov saw the long winter, he saw a winter bleak and dark and bereft of hope. Yet we know that winter is just another step in the cycle of life. But standing here among the people of Punxsutawney and basking in the warmth of their hearths and hearts, I couldn't imagine a better fate than a long and lustrous winter.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

The night I thought for sure I was a going to die. (FYI - I didn't)

It seems that I am full of stories.  They seem to burst out of me like miniature butterfly shaped barf nuggets.  I am not sure if I have more zany life stories than the average person or if because of who I am, I am just more apt to experience them.  In other words, do I have zany stories because I am zany or are my zany stories simply a reflection of my zaniness?  It's like the whole chicken in the womb thing.  

At any rate, while watching The Office tonight, I was reminded of a moment in my life in which I was the more frightened I have ever been. I thought it best that I share, if for no other reason than Lincoln might someday read it and find it amusing.  If for some reason, he refuses to read his own father's blog, perhaps he could pass it on to his child and so on.

This story takes place on my mission.  Now, I am definitely not one to rehash old mission stories and I cringe when every story someone tells begins, "There was this one time, on my mission."  It might as well be a story about Band Camp.  There are some folks from former Elder's quorums I have been in, that I could recite their mission experience before they even began sharing.  Many mission stories actually sound and are in reality the same. It is these stories that I dread the most.  At any rate, I hope this story is different; original, formative and at least slightly entertaining. I hope.

I had been on the mission for just over 6 months when I received a new companion.  We were stationed in a tiny town in Central PA known as "New Bloomfield".  It was quaint, dainty and secluded.  In fact, while there, I often felt as though I was trapped on the set of a horrible small town chick flick.  It was autumn and the streets were lined with large elm trees.  The houses were mainly Victorian style and the main street was charming.  It was one of those places where you would expect Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks to come walking down the street, wearing turtlenecks and holding hands while walking a dog.  It truly was a bewitching mix of charm and winsomeness. 

My companion and I had only been together a short time, and I could tell that this would be one of those "enduring" type situations.  He was rigid and aloof.  I was goofy and sociable.  He seemed like a good enough guy, but our personalities clashed.  Little did I know...

After the fifth long day of tracting (Tracting is mainly what we did in PA, along with talking to cows in the fields.), we returned to our apartment exhausted.  Before I continue, I feel it important to explain the beauty of our housing situation.  

This apartment was situated in the basement of an old church that had been converted into an complex.  There were about five apartments upstairs, but our place took up the entire basement.  It was the gem apartment of the mission.  It was approximately 2,000 square feet with four bedrooms and two bathrooms.  The front room was enormous and during down times we would play broom hockey or throw a Frisbee back and forward.  Because of it's size and the tile floor, it did echo quite a bit and in the evening an eerie wind would swirl through the ceiling.  The church bell still chimed occasionally - however, we could never figure out when or why it would chime; there was not a set pattern to it's madness.

On this evening, I was exhausted and went to bed as soon as we got home.  I slept well until midnight, when I awoke startled to an ear-piercing bang that seemed to be coming from the front of the apartment.  I glanced over at my companion and he was hiding behind a large beam in the middle of the front room.  He yelled at me, "SOMEBODY IS SHOOTING AT US!  GET DOWN, GET DOWN!"

Not knowing what to do, and still clearly in a sleepy daze, I rolled out of bed and onto the floor.  I then spider crawled over the beam next to him.  The entire time, the bangs continued to ring through the air, each one sending chills down my spine.  

We sat, behind the beam, and I whispered, "Who is it?  Why are they shooting at us?"  I could see the front window, but I could not see a single soul roaming around our apartment.  My companion responded, "It could have been those guys we met on the street the other day.  They were pretty angry."  

Now, I couldn't remember any meeting any angry guys on the street.  Certainly not in New Bloomfield, the cheesiest, sappiest small town in all of Pennsylvania.  It didn't matter though; my mind was spinning a million miles an hour and my hands were now shaking.  The gunshots did not let up either, and they seemed to be getting louder.

My companion finally suggested I crawl over to the phone that was laying on the floor and dial 911.  The phone was about 30 feet away and close to the wall.  I held my breath and slowly spider crawled to the phone.  Fortunately, my training at the MTC had given me the confidence to crawl across the ground on my belly.  About half way to the phone, the gunshots rang out again, piercing the air like missiles.  I reverted to a corner where I huddled, shaking and out of control.  I looked like a little girl that had went out to buy her mother some Christmas shoes, but instead died in the cold. My senses had officially given in to the fear.  I could feel the wind as the bullets whizzed by my ears.  I knew that my time had come.  "At least dying on your mission gives you a pass straight to the CK", I thought.

It was then that my companion turned on the lights and began to laugh.  What?  What was going on?  The waking out of a slumber sleep, the noise, the fear for my life - it had all completely shut me down.  My companion then walked to the kitchen and returned with a frying pan.  Inside the pan lay a very long strand of Black Cat fireworks. Inside our enormous, echoing apartment, the sound of them going off was like a battle scene from Saving Private Ryan. Finally, my overloaded and frantic brain began to make sense of things.

While my companion laughed like a baboon sitting on a peacock, I sat down in our makeshift sofa and stared at the wall.  It likely took 15 minutes for my hands to stop shaking, but it seemed like I sat there all night. Finally, I got up from my chair and without saying a word, returned to bed where I lay, open-eyed and in shock for the rest of the night. 

My companion, knowing that he had crossed the line, apologized to me profusely again and again.  We spent the next week or so in relative silence; only speaking while teaching together. The next time I saw my Mission President, I told him that I would like to be transferred; that things were just not working out for our companionship.  I was gone the next week. I told a few other missionaries on my mission, but this is the first I have brought it up since my return.  

I thank you for allowing me to yield upon you a piece of my missionary history.  While I hope you enjoyed my foolhardiness, I promise not to annoy you with another mission story for a very long time.