Friday, October 29, 2010

The annual Cheeseboy Halloween costume featuring Lady Gaga.

Before I get to the Halloween costume, I wanted to post the following conversation I had with my dad and brother at the Utah Jazz game last night:

[A Lady Gaga concert commercial comes on the Jumbotron]

Brother: You could not pay me to go to that concert!

Dad:  Why?  I kinda liked her songs in that show... what's it called?  Cheers?

Brother: Cheers?  You mean Glee?

Dad: Yeah, Glee.  I am always getting those two shows mixed up.

Abe: Glee and Cheers? Yeah, I can see that.

Dad: Well, you know...  they have the same number of letters in their name.

Abe:  They do?  Well then, I can see how you could get confused.
And now, without further ado, I give you my Halloween costume for the year.  I decided to dress up as a Lunch Lady and the other first grade teachers were different school lunch menu items to help promote school lunch. 

I had to smooth things over with our school's actual lunch ladies as they thought I was mocking them when in fact I was PAYING TRIBUTE TO THEM!  After they realized that, they stood and cheered as we walked by in the parade.

In case you're not sure, I am the one on the very left, wearing the dinosaur oven mitt.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Ode to a Football Widow

Ode to a Football Widow

All week long I spend at work. 
Saturday comes and I'm a total jerk. 

"Watch the kids for a few hours." I say.
"I'm going to watch my Utah Utes play!"

A "few hours" turns into six or eight.
Count travel time, tailgating and the bathroom line to wait.

My wife sits home while the kids run a muck.
I sit in Section E32 yelling, "The Cougars Suck!"

When I get home, the wife's understandably annoyed.
The younger kid puked and the older one started steroids.

I tell her excitedly, "THE UTES WON!  IT WAS PURE BLISS."
She replies with a smirk, "That's great.  These lips... DO NOT EXPECT TO KISS!"

I've already tuned her out - the post game is on.
The ire I feel from her turns into a yawn. 

My wife, the football widow and driver of the minivan
Says, "Sit your butt on that couch, we're watching The Back-Up Plan!"

So on the couch I sit, a Jennifer Lopez behind on our screen.
But I could care less, I'm thinking 3rd and eighteen.

My mind wonders and dwells on the games greatest plays.
I rub my wife's feet, hoping she forgets the error of my ways.

By Monday night, I'm out of the doghouse.
I've tried to be kind the world's greatest spouse.

When Saturday rolls around again. 
I start to think about another Utah win!

And then I return to my evil ways.
My wife's a saint. I'm surprised she stays.

GO UTES! 7-0!   #8 in the land!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Family photos & a new song.

As you might have imagined, the Cheeseboy has been very busy with the funeral and what not.  I promise to get some new, hilarious (in the eye of the beholder) crud up for your reading pleasure.  In the meantime, enjoy some brand new family photos. (And I know...  my wife is attractive.)

My 8-year-old has also been writing silly songs for fun.  Hm, I wonder where he gets that from?!   Well, here is a song he wrote and begged me to post on my blog.  Little Cheeseboy Junior.  Or should I say, "Cheeseboy-boy"?

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

For Grandma.

I wrote most of this a couple years ago, but never felt compelled to post it.  I was waiting for the perfect opportunity and that opportunity came today when I found out that my beloved Grandmother - the one that had been there for me my entire life - has less than 48 hours to live.  This post is for you, Grandma.

Grandma was adamant. "Not one of those fish are coming through this door until they are gutted and cleansed!"

The mountain summer light folded over a haze of Rocky Mountain Lodgepole Pines.  My four friends and I had spent the entire day with rubber boots up to our hips, standing in the middle of a river that sprouted from a spring.  A river clear enough to drink from.

My friends and I had just graduated high school and my Grandparents had graciously allowed us to spend a weekend at their cabin in Island Park, Idaho.  The only catch?  They would be there the entire time, ensuring none of our teenage shenanigans would end up burning their beloved cabin to the ground.

"You boys need to wash those rainbows out in the trees.  I don't want any scales clogging up my sink."

Some boys like pulling guts out of fish.  Some don't.  I didn't.  Ben did.

Ben was a good, hearty chap with long, curly hair and a stoic chin that bore a slight resemblance to Bono.  Beyond his handsome physical features, he was overly polite and respectful of his elders.  My Grandma took to him immediately.  In fact, it was only a couple years ago that she stopped asking, "How is that Ben boy you used to friend, Abe?"

"Fine Grandma.  He is married now." I would reply.

And so it was that Ben volunteered to stand out in pitch dark with an ice-cold hose in hand and pull the innards out of the approximate 26 rainbow trout that we had caught that day. 

My Grandmother, being concerned for Ben's welfare, watched his every move from the cabin's kitchen window while the four remaining boys conjugated around the table for a cold Coke and a quick game of cards. 

Idaho Rocky Mountain nights have a blackness that overpowers you.  It's a little like stepping into pure nothingness, except that there is also the off chance that a bear might kill you.   To combat the pure darkness of the forest, my Grandparents had installed a spotlight on the porch that was triggered by a motion detector.  The sensor on the light would detect motion and would turn on for exactly two minutes.

Ben had decided to clean our fish about five feet out of the sensor's range.  My Grandmother nervously watched and paced from the window.

For the next 45 minutes, my friends and I watched in absolute amazement as every two minutes, when the light would turn out on Ben, Grandma would open the screen door, walk onto the porch and wave her arms frantically at the light until it turned back on.

Grandma would then come in and stand at the window, pretend to wash dishes and wait for the light to turn off again.  She followed the same routine 22 times in 45 minutes.

But here's the thing: Grandma may have a slight crush on Ben, but she would have done the same for any of my friends that were staying at her cabin that weekend. That is just what kind of person she was.  She was benevolent and altruistic.  She knew how to help and take care of people and if it meant going out into the cold forest every two minutes and frantically wave her arms around like she was an MC Hammer backup dancer, that is what she did.

I love my Grandma.  She has had a profound influence on who I am today.

I will miss going to her house and reteaching her how to delete the male enhancement spam from her account for the 1648th time... and laughing with her when she tells me to keep the Olive Garden reservation buzzer out of my pocket because "it might turn you on, Abe"... and playing Balderdash with her; laughing at her outrageous answers until tears pour down my face.

She is going to a better place now.  I imagine her in heaven's version of my fondest memories:  Driving through Yellowstone, offering her parents a nickel for every buffalo they spot. Sitting with Grandpa hand-in-hand, overlooking Old Faithful and eating ice cream like they were 16 again. She is laughing now; laughing with her sweetheart about how silly life is and what a wonderful one they led.

I will always love you Grandma.  Please give Grandpa a hug for me.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Disney On Ice is what happens.

I shall entitle this piece "Disney On Ice is what Happens". 

What happens when you combine 20 former high school ice dancing failures with 20 dudes that failed to make their high school hockey teams and dress them up in sequins and furry costumes?

What happens when 2,000 6-year-old girls wearing $80 princess dresses gather in a basketball arena?

What happens when your child begs you to buy cotton candy and you cave, only to find out that you have to buy the "souvenir glass" with it and you are now staring at a crappy $12 plastic cup with blue sugar in your lap that is still half full because your kids are "tired of it"?

What happens when your 3 year old boy starts to yawn and proceeds to crawl all over your lap and pull on your ears because for some strange reason, he assumed Spiderman would be making an appearance?

What happens when all goes dark and all you can see is 10,000 neon spinning light contraptions that cost $20 a pop and your kid is now begging you for one of those as well?

What happens when you are so incredibly bored, you begin to start contemplating if the guy in the Mickey costume is actually a chick because dang - that Mickey is way too graceful to skate like a dude.

What happens when you take your kid to pee only to return to find out your other kid has to pee.  Also, you are sitting in the middle of the row?

What happens when the lights come on and you get excited, but they announce that it is only intermission?  Intermission turns out to be hundreds souvenir jockeys, wearing mickey ears and a light up ties, walking up and down the aisles while your children whine and complain that they need more overpriced crap.

What happens when the show ends at 10:30 PM and you end up having to carry your sleepy, exhausted children two miles to your car because you were stubborn and refused to pay more than five bucks to park your car?

What happens when you drop 3 grand on a Disneyland vacation in March, 100 bucks on an ice show in October and then realize that 10% of your yearly salary is going directly into frozen Walt Disney's frozen pockets?

Disney on Ice.  That's what happens.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

I feel like sending all my readers a Facebook event invitation to read this post about Facebook.

As the world's foremost Facebook connoisseur, blogging (and making snide comments) about the site is my ultimate responsibility.  Here are some of my current "likes" or "thumbs up" or "I will now receive notification of every worthless comment on this status update because I clicked like" about facebook.

1. Facebook Events Invitations.

There's nothing better than getting an event invite.  They make you feel wanted, desired and even needed.  Your "friend" NEEDS you at this event!  Why, they even took the time to send you a Facebook invitation.  Nothing is more personal and intimate than a random Facebook event invitation.

The best part of Facebook event invites is that you can say "yes", "no", or "maybe".  Sure, I might be there. I always might be anywhere. Chances are slim to none, but sure, there is a very slight chance that I will find myself on a Saturday night in your Grandma's basement for a "Lord of the Rings Costume Party/Marathon of Movies".   

I'll click "maybe". 

Definitiveness is a trait that Facebook does not understand.

2. The Facebook Friend Finder.

The real name of this tool should be "The Facebook Friend of Friend Stalking Machine".  Who is this person?  We have 13 friends in common.  Why is it that I have no idea who this person is?  Well, there is only one thing to do:  I must look at every picture on this person's profile and figure out why I don't know them.

[30 minutes later] Strange.  I swear I should know this person.  At least they have a cute dog and the comforter on their bed has a classy purple hue.  I feel so dirty.

3. Jim Gaffigan Status Updates/Tweets

The world's best comedian has the world's best updates.  Examples:

This is the best restaurant in a carpet store basement I have ever been to.
Chris Columbus gets his own holiday? I mean Home Alone 2.was good but a parade for the guy?
Victoria's Secret now has Halloween costumes. I hope they have an Iron Man for my son.
I get it. “The Biggest Loser” is a show about stories of inspiration masked in an enormous insult, right?
When is that guy from the Men's Wearhouse commercials gonna clear his throat?
Do you think “Ring of Fire” was written the morning after eating a lot of Jalapeños?
"In here, it's always Friday." Yeah, but unfortunately ur spending your Friday in crappy restaurant.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The short Blog O' Cheese vomit hiatus

Hello my beloved readers.

The Blog O' Cheese will be on a short hiatus while I clear this stomach bug from my loins. 

I will hopefully be back with you all shortly.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

An Open Letter to Sir Tony Danza (Recently knighted)

 Dear Mr. Tony Danza,

You are ruining teaching.  You are stealing it from me.  The honor of the profession is the lone thing I have over rich folks and you are pulling it out of my cold, chalky hands. (My hands are cold because I use frozen chalk.  I find that it limits forefinger chafing.)
I can already hear their wealthy, smug, voices while they chew on their caviar:
Oh, you are a teacher?  How hard can it be if Tony Danza does it? 
Tony, your new reality series, Teach: Tony Danza is ruining my life. Quite honestly, I’d rather watch Paris Hilton or one of the Geico cavemen teach 14-year-olds English on a reality show than you.
Teaching is so easy, even Tony Danza can do it.
Everyone is saying it. 
How about a reality series where you try your hand at a talk show?  Oh, that’s right, you already ruined that profession.
How about a show where you drive taxi cabs with Doc from Back to the Future?  How about a reality show that involves saying the word “Angelar” over and over until you realize there is actually no R at the end?
You really have to make the profession of teaching a laughingstock?  Teaching? You do realize I went to school for six years and poured my heart into this job, right?  You realize I make about as much in a year as you did in an hours work on Angels in the Outfield
Tony, my man, you are a national treasure.  You don’t need this bull.  I’m sure they’d love to have you on Dancing with Sarah Palin’s Daughter.  They’d kill for your star power on one of those STD VH1 dating shows.  You could take Bret Michael's place.
You don’t need to prove your blue collard-ness to us, Tony.  We get it - you’re from Brooklyn. But the truth is, you are a multi-thousandaire and we teachers get paid in five dollar Target Gift Cards and Happenings Book coupons.
I eat at Five Guys and you eat at one of those fancy-dancy, affluent Italian places like The Macaroni Grill. 
You and I, we are not one and the same.  When women meet me, they think that it is adorable that I teach first grade.  Now they will just look at me, shake their head and mumble something about Tony Danza’s new career under their breath.  It’s embarrassing.
Perhaps your show will prove how difficult teaching really is?  Perhaps you will fail miserably and the students will end up giving you wedgies until you promise to bring Alyssa Milano?  Doubtful though. Most likely, A&E will end up making you look better than you really are. (Think: Family Law those episodes of The Love Boat that you were in.)
Tony, this is my final plea.  Please don’t do this. You are not a smart man.  Dumb acting dopes from Brooklyn do not make good teachers.
Yours truly,
An actual teacher that actually takes his job (semi) seriously.
Now if you'll excuse me, I have to check my Happenings book for a coupon for awesome.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

When people in India call the United States for technical support

- Thank you for calling Apple technical support, my name is "Rasheed".  How may I help you?

- Uh, are you sure your name is "Rasheed"?

- Yes sir. 

- Okay, ahem... "Rasheed", I can't seem to turn off my iPod.

- Have you tried holding down the power button?

- I can't understand what you are saying.  Isn't there anyone there that speaks Hindi?

- I am speaking Hindi, sir.

- No, you are not. You are speaking some sort of strange Hindi cowboy dialect.  Are you in Texas?  Are you wearing spurs under your desk?  Is John Wayne whispering in your ear what to say? 

- I am trying to help you sir.  Have you tried to hold down the power button?

- And what button would that be?

- It's the big round one right in the middle.

- This is pathetic!  Why can't I just get a straight answer from you people?  No one listens in your country.  It's like you're all sitting on your couches, watching Real Wife House Lives and slowly obesitizing yourselves with your hotdogs and various Chex mixes.

- That's very offensive sir.  Most of us eat cheeseburgers while watching TV, not hotdogs. Now, it's the round button.  In the middle.  Can you try holding it down?

- How do you feel about stealing an Indian's job?  Don't you know that we stole your jobs fair and square, and now you are trying to steal them back? 

- If the middle button does not work, you can try to plug the iPod into your computer and restore the factory settings.

- I can't understand a word you are saying.  Your American is too thick.  Can I speak to your supervisor?

- Sure thing sir.

- What is his name?

- Her name is Gajra sir.

- Figures.  Sure, let me talk to this "Gajra".

**This post was not written as a social statement, but rather a call to treat each other civilly and with kindness, regardless of race or nationality. So I guess in a way, yes, it was a social statement.

Monday, October 4, 2010

TWO... Count them TWO features in one day!! I am like a blogging superstar!

Okay, as you may know, I have a guest post over on Kelley's Breakroom that you can read by going here.

Or here:

But what you may not know is that there is video of my ugly mug on my other great blog buddy, Denalee's blog.  She came and visited me and did some amazing video. You can watch me now here.

This is Denalee.  She is swell.

Or here:

Yeah, I am pretty much the most amazingly talented man/blogger that ever lived.

Abe visits the break room.

Hello all!  Today I am guest posting over at Kelley's Breakroom

Kelley is a good blogger friend and her break room is full of  fun.

Check out my post here.  You won't be disappointed.  Or maybe you will be, in which case, that will be Kelley's problem and not mine.

Friday, October 1, 2010

The Cheeseboy Guide to Becoming a Chimney Sweep.

One has not lived until one has cleansed one's own chimney.

The intensity and brutality associated with climbing up your home's central aorta and then becoming as-one with the heart of your home; covered in the elegance of your own family's soot. It is a marvelous experience.  The satisfaction that is reached is only rivaled by a visit to the Sistine Chapel or drinking Brooke Burke's Diet Coke backwash.

Not convinced? Trust me, a single chimney sweep and your addiction level will soar to cheap nicotine patch levels.  My excitement level for your first sweeping has reached biblical, jawbone-of-an-ass like proportions.

Before you go gallivanting up your chimney like a fairy ninja with a wire brush, you're going to want to take some precautions and do things right.  My job is to ensure tranquility and asylum to my beloved chimney anxious readers.

The Sweeper first rule of thumb is: keep your thumbs in when in enclosed, dark spaces.  Actually, that is the only real rule of thumb, as chimney sweeps only use their thumbs for thumbing for rides in between big jobs.  Thus stems the popular Sweep phrase: "Thumbs free and easy, boys.  Free and easy.  It's the Sweep livelihood."

Secondly, and perhaps most importantly, you are going to need to wear the official Sweep regalia.  First and foremost, you are going to need a worn, dodgy pair of suspenders. Really, any suspenders will do, but I'd recommend that they be slightly tattered and be imported from Dear Old England.  You might also want to douse them with a little Old Spice to ensure crusted sexiness.

You are also going to want to invest in a stylish top hat.  (Preferably NOT white.)

The next stop you are going to have to make is a stop to the Sweep store.  Check out and check out their enormous selection of brushes, rods and sanitizers.

Here's an industry inside secret for purchasing a sturdy chimney brush, which is to be held in the strictest of confidence: When it comes to sweeping chimneys, the longer the brush, the better.  For example, let's say that you have a two-foot long brush... your brushing potential will be limited to about a two-foot reach. 

It's simple mathematics really.

Personally, I'd strongly recommend buying a brush that is at least as long as your chimney.  I'd prefer one that is twice as long as the chimney, but then you are looking at buying a ladder and that is an unneeded expense.

Sweeping is a serious business and THAT is precisely why you are going to need to pick up a fake English accent.  It doesn't have to be an overwhelming accent - perhaps just a little Bridget Jones, peppered with a slight twinge of Keanu Reeve's remarkable work in Bram Stoker's Dracula.  Keep in mind that you are only required to maintain the accent during the actual cleaning session.

Lastly, sweeping involves a lot of jolly warm-up play and pre-clean activity.  Often, we Sweeps will get together before a cleanse, slap hands and playfully jump around on the rooftops like little boys.  It might bequeath you to take a few dance lessons and it wouldn't hurt to do a few squats every eve.

Alas, you are now ready to tackle that cherished chimney. As you can see, the main ingredients to a successful Sweep is to look and act the part. My best wishes to you and I look forward to hearing your various stories of success.