Saturday, November 27, 2010

A Day of Gratitude and Turkey

I know I'm a few days late.  Thanksgiving was Thursday and here it is Saturday.  I know it was sooo two days ago and it's not hip to write about it now.  But, I just had to share some things I'm thankful for, as well as some fun adventures I've had over the last couple days.

I'm thankful for modern technology
It's funny.  I hate airplanes.  They are incredibly uncomfortable.  The temperature is too hot.  The seats are too small.  The food isn't very good. But yet, I fly on them anyway.  Why is that?  We could have driven to California to see my in-laws.  But that would take too much time and I'd rather of the convenience of sitting on an uncomfortable plane for 2 hours.

Sometimes I think we take the blessings of modern technology for granted.  150 years ago, it would have taken several months for us to pull a handcart from Utah to California.  There would be no short Thanksgiving trips.  Today we whine because we have to turn off our cell phones on a plane, or because they charge us extra to watch a movie.  We have so many blessings that we get cranky because our blessings aren't more convenient.  (Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't mind a more comfortable seat, but I'm grateful we have the ability to fly across the country relatively cheaply.)

I'm thankful for cool gadgets
For Thanksgiving dinner this year I was the CPO (Chief Peeling Officer) I was in charge of peeling various items from apples to sweet potatoes.  Peeling the apples was the most fun.  I got to use this cool medieval torture device.
I'm sure Jack Bauer would use this device to get terrorists to reveal the location of the nuclear bomb.  My job was not quite that interesting (but at the same time, it was more awesome.)  I was in charge of placing an apple on the device and torturing the apple until it had no more peel.  Afterward, it was important for Robyn and I to reveal how precious we were by doing the Lady and the Tramp strategy with an apple peel.

I know our preciousness is hard to handle.

I'm thankful for fun puzzles
My sister-in-law made the mistake of letting her children read her high school yearbook.  There was a particular individual who wrote some embarrassing things that they found amusing.  They told me about it and I was also amused.  We decided we needed to see a picture of him, but they couldn't remember his last name and she wouldn't tell us.  This limited information made for an excellent puzzle.  It involved doing some calculations to figure out what year she graduated, googling the class of that year, figuring out his name and then finding him on facebook.  I'm thankful for fun nieces and nephews that help me play fun puzzle solving games and I'm also thankful for tolerant sisters-in-law who tolerate me egging on her children.

I'm thankful for mashed potatoes
They're awesome.

I'm thankful for fanciness
I'm used to large family gatherings with numerous cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents, long lost relatives, strangers, lost tribes of Israel and so on.  This year Thanksgiving with Robyn's parents was much more intimate.  There were only 6 of us which allowed us to have a much smaller, more intimate and more fancy setting.

It is a well known fact that I'm not fancy but luckily, family loves me enough to not begrudge my lack of fanciness within a fancy setting.

All in all, it's been a great Thanksgiving and a great trip.  When I think about the first Thanksgiving, where many of them had starved to death and many of the others weren't sure what hardships tomorrow would bring, I find myself very grateful for the life I live.  I'm grateful for wonderful family and friends.  Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

The Tale of the New Cup: A Mystery

I know, I know. Sequels are never any good. It's hard to think of a case where there is a sequel that is as good or better than the original. (And don't even try to refute that by bringing up The Empire Strikes Back. It is not a sequel, it is part of a trilogy which was written as one story arc from the beginning.)

Nevertheless, when it comes to real life, things continue to happen even after great tragedies like losing a beloved blue cup. It's possible that this very blog may have lead to the occurrence of this sequel. But I'm getting ahead of myself. Let me just explain what happened.

Tonight we had Sunday dinner with family. We made our way home and saw something strange on our door step. When we got closer we discovered that it was this "individual."
We were ever so perplexed.  But there was an envelope attached to him that said "Jeff."  I opened it up and found this letter:
I have traveled very far to find you Jeff.  The stories of your drinking prowess have reached the lands where I was born.  I heard that you had a vacancy and I am looking to be your loyal servant.  I will be good to you.  You can fill me up with any drink you want anytime.  I am easy to clean and so make it easy for you to use me again and again.  I have traveled all this way.  I hope that you will consider me a suitable servant.  I wish to live with you forever.  Please... I beg of you.  Fill me with drink and you will see how great I can be.  I look forward to calling you master and this place home.

Upon further examination of this new humble servant I found that his legs are actually large orange cups.  They certainly aren't the same as my blue cup, but I believe they could bring joy into my life.  I know not from what land this individual came.  But I believe a great blessing has come upon our household.

Of course, all of this brings to light many questions.

How did this servant know of my need?
Who might have sent him?
Why is there a big 4 on his shirt?
Why does he look so sad?
Are there other cup legged individuals out there numbered 1, 2 and 3?
Does he really want me to rip his legs off and drink out of them?

As you can see, this mystery is riddled with questions.  If any of you out there know the answers to these questions I'd love to hear them.  If some of you may have notified this servant of my need, I thank you.

But despite all the questions, I believe this could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

Good bye my blue cup.  Hello my new cup.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

They're Coming For You

So I've been telling Robyn that she should say something funny in her sleep, because she hasn't for a long time. Last night, I guess she felt it had been long enough.

I was sleeping like a good kid. My peaceful snore was like the gentle flutter of butterfly wings. I suddenly awoke to Robyn's hand kind of poking me. She was feeling around until she felt my hand and grabbed it so that now we were holding hands. Then with her other hand she reached up and started pulling my pillow towards her.

Keep in mind, just one second earlier I was dancing with sugar plum fairies. Now I'm trying to comprehend why my wife felt that at 2 AM she needed to hold my hand and steal my pillow. My still slightly befuddled brain decided that she must have had a nightmare and she was afraid. I assumed the pulling of my pillow was an attempt to get me to move closer. (Often when we snuggle, I move my pillow to her side of the bed. Then when we go to sleep I move back to my side and enact the no touching policy.)(Yes, Grabbing my hand and pulling my pillow are in direct violation of the aforementioned no touching policy.)

So when I thought she must be afraid I ignored the violation of one of our most important policies and asked if everything was okay.

"They're coming next for you." was her reply. At this point I realized she was still asleep. I was so excited. I hoped she would say some really funny stuff. I was thinking about you, my dear readers.

"Who is coming?" I asked.

"You know, the stuff."

"What stuff?"

At this point she paused for a long time. Her eyes were still closed. I wondered if the moment had passed. She usually doesn't talk in her sleep for very long. I just asked her, "Are you asleep?"

"No, I'm NOT ASLEEP! I'm just thinking."

After a few more seconds she added, "The stuff they give you."

I just giggled to myself a little bit which prompted her to continue, "I'm not talking in my sleep. I'm just not talking very good."

I think at some point in this exchange she had woken up, but I wasn't entirely convinced yet. So I said, "Well, can you open your eyes?"

At this point she opened her eyes and said, "Yes they are open!" Then she got a little cranky at me and asked, "Why did you wake me up just to ask me a bunch of questions about deli sandwiches?"

I tried to explain that in the real world there had been no discussion about deli sandwiches. Apparently in the dream they were bringing me the platter of cheeses and meats. They were coming to allow me to go next to make my sandwich.

The moral of the story is that you should always be prepared to eat sandwiches. You never know when they might be coming next for you.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Tale of the Blue Cup: A Tragedy

The other night I was in the kitchen and Robyn was in the other room.  She heard me exclaim, "Oh No!"  with great sadness in my voice.

"What happened?" She yelled.  My reply was simple: "Something very bad."  Of course, she came running, fearing that I was dying.  What she didn't realize is that it was something much worse.  You see, I had dropped my beloved blue cup.  In an attempt to catch it in midair I accidentally smashed it up against the chair and delivered it a fatal blow in the from of a giant crack on the side.

This cup has been the official drinking receptacle in my life for a number of years.  It should be noted that I love Robyn more than the cup, but I have been with the cup longer than I've been with Robyn.  As you can see, the loss of this cherished blue cup is a great tragedy.

I told this tale of woe to James Blunt.  He wanted to give a tribute to our good friend The Blue Cup.  He and I collaborated on the following song.  (He wrote most of the lyrics and all of the music.  I just helped him make a couple minor tweaks.)

Goodbye my blue cup.  Goodbye my friend.

P.S. If the video doesn't play for you, you can go here

Saturday, November 6, 2010

More Baby Steps

A while back I wrote about some of the baby steps Robyn and I had taken. (Small steps, or steps toward a baby, depending on how you choose to interpret.)  I wanted to give you a little update on some of those steps.

First, the butterflies all survived to adulthood.  We released them into the world.  Much like human children, however, we did have one that would not leave.  He was thinking, "In here you feed me, out there I have to get my own food."  Eventually we just took the orange slice he was sitting on and set it outside.  I hope we don't have to do something similar when we have our own children.  Do we just set the kitchen table outside and hope they eventually go away?

Second, the garden was a phenomenal success.  We raised millions of tomatoes, lots of corn, cilantro, rosemary, pumpkins and even watermelon.  Whenever my mom asked me about when she was getting grandchildren I told her she was welcome to come babysit the watermelons.  They weighed as much as babies and you could totally hold them and rock them if you like. 
Here is a picture of Robyn giving the watermelon a bath.  But that is where we have to stop the baby metaphor because after this we ate the watermelon.  While some species do eat their young, it's just a little to creepy to think about.

Third, Jared is not dead.  Even though in this picture he is walking somewhat zombie like.  Remember that undead is not dead so it totally counts.

So, as you can see we've become quite the experts at keeping other organisms alive.  Does this mean we're ready for human organisms?  Well, I don't know when human organisms will come along, but I do know that when they do I reserve the right to behave exactly as the fathers in this video do.
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