Saturday, December 24, 2011

My own Christmas Carol

Christmas is awesome.  I love spending time with family, eating delicious food, giving gifts, receiving gifts, and listening to great Christmas music.

There's one song that I've heard a lot on the radio.  The lyrics don't quite jive with the way I see things.  So I decided to rewrite the song the way I would have written it.  Here goes:

Last Christmas, I gave you my heart.
The very next day you gave it away.
This year, to save me from tears, I'm gonna hunt that other guy down and get my heart back.  It's been a rough year being heartless.  Once I get it back, I'm not going to give it to frivolous girls like you who give out hearts like candy.  The heart is a very important organ, you know?  I'm going to protect it.  I'm going to treat it like my precious.  Somewhat like Gollum.  But not in a "lose it to Bilbo Baggins and follow it all the way to Mordor and end up in a pit of molten lava" sort of way, but more in the "stroke it and call it 'my precious' and tell everyone it was a birthday present" sort of way.
What do you think?  I kind of like it, but perhaps there's a reason I don't write songs.  I'm just glad that Robyn didn't give my heart away.  I am free to pump blood through my body for the entire holiday.

Merry Christmas Eve!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

I Need to Be Loud

"Mom, sometimes I need to be loud."

Words of wisdom spoken by a little child.  Don't you ever feel like you just can't be quiet?  Sometimes there's just so much pent up energy, that it comes out of you in a loud way.

I was home teaching a family. (In my faith, we are asked to visit members of our congregation in their homes.  We make sure their needs are taken care of and share a gospel message on a monthly basis.)  We visited for a while and got to know each other while their little boy played with his toys.  When it came time to share the message they told their little boy that he could continue to play but he needed to be quiet.  That's when he said with dismay, "But mom, sometimes I need to be loud."

I told him that I felt the same way all the time.  I am not a particularly quiet person.  Sometimes I just need to be loud.  He played quietly, but I did my best to keep it short so that he wouldn't have to be quiet for too long.  I know all too well how difficult that can be.

That night, Robyn and I were laying in bed.  We were discussing our day, and Robyn said something that didn't make very much sense to me.  I pointed out that it didn't make sense.  That's when Robyn (loudly) shared this pearl of wisdom:  "It's too sleepy to make sense.  That's why I'm yelling."  (She says awesome stuff when she's tired.)

You see, ever since the two of us turned 30, our house has become a very sleepy place.  That's what happens when you're old.  Also, apparently, the volume control no longer works on our voices.  So, whether your in your old age (thirties) or you are very young, sometimes you just need to be loud.

Monday, December 12, 2011

A Chance to Help

A friend of mine asked me to help her spread the word about a Christmas project she is putting together. There is an individual named Chathura who is from Sri Lanka. His father died when he was 15 years old and he has not been home to Sri Lanka to see his mother in 4 years.

A few of his friends in the BYU Adlab decided it would be fun to buy him a plane ticket and give him the chance to go home for Christmas.  Unfortunately, they are poor college students themselves.  But, not to be deterred, they decided to put the word out to the people of the internet.  (That's you.)  They only need $3000 to grant this opportunity to a deserving friend.

In today's economy we are all strapped for cash. There are many worthy causes out there.  Fortunately, this is something that can be accomplished easily if each of us give just a little.  A few dollars from a lot of people adds up pretty quickly.  You can donate through Paypal if you have an account, or simply with a credit card if you don't.

If you still need convincing here are some videos to do just that:

Watch this video to learn about their project.

Watch this one to meet Chathura:

If you still need convincing, just look at that precious face.

Now  that you are convinced, you can go to to donate a few dollars to help make a Merry Christmas for someone else.  Do it quickly!  They won't accept donations after they reach $3000, and you will have lost your chance to be a part of a little miracle.

Thanks for your help and have a very merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Why language matters

I was not an English major.  I am not one who tries to critique other people's grammar or spelling.  But the more I read other people's writing, the more I feel that people need to gain a basic understanding of the English language.

You see, I play Hanging With Friends on my iPhone.  (It's a hangman game where you select words for each other to guess.)  I play some with friends as well as allowing it to match me up with strangers.

Of course,  I do my best to select more difficult words, (because I like to win) but it's not like I make up words.   I only use words that I am already aware of.

I was playing a game with a stranger and I made the word "magi".  I thought it would be a somewhat difficult word to guess but I didn't think it would be a word that was unrecognizable.

The stranger didn't guess the word.  Woot! Point for me!  But then they sent me a message saying, "since wen iz magi a {swear word} wrd??".  I answered, "It's the plural of mage."  But then, fearing that my answer was inadequate, I sent another message, "Which is like a wizard."

Now, here's my concern.  I don't expect everyone to know what a mage is.  Perhaps they never played warcraft and never had to deal with that stupid spell where mages turn your army into sheep.  But, if you can't master such words as 'when', 'is' or 'word' then I'm just going to guess that 'mage' is out of your reach.  The good news is that the swear word was spelled correctly, although it's debatable whether that was a proper usage of that word.

So here is my plea to all the people of Earth.  Pay attention to your grammar, your spelling and your punctuation.  It doesn't have to be perfect, but be aware that effective use of the language brings effective communication.
Please don't eat grandpa.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

One Million Pounds

Do you have a million pounds of stuff? I could totally move it. It's no biggy. I move a million pounds all the time. Okay, maybe not all the time. But I've done it once.

You see, I've been trying to lose some weight. (No, I don't weigh a million pounds. I know that's where you think this story is going.) So, for the past few months I've been working out at the gym. In August I started recording my workouts. I've kept a record of everything that I've lifted. As of right now, the total that I've lifted since August 11th is 1,001,570 pounds.

Now, I know you're impressed. And why wouldn't you be? That's 12.5 eighteen wheelers. That's two (empty) 747 planes. That's 83 elephants. Or (most importantly) that's 1,477,541 Junior Bacon Cheeseburgers. Of course, most of the machines at the gym have you lifting weight up about 2 feet. So I have taken a few months to move 83 elephants 24 inches. They could have moved themselves but they weren't doing it.

In the process I have also moved 2 inches off of my belly and 2% of my body fat has been banished.

This is pretty much what I look like now.
So if you need a couple planes moved a couple feet, just let me know.  I'll totally take care of it.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Happy Birthday to My Love

Thirty years ago today, a very important event happened in history. When Robyn asked me if I remembered what happened today, I told her that I remember that her mom got sick and had to go to the hospital, but I couldn't remember what was wrong. That made her cranky, but I remember now what it was. Thirty years ago my beautiful wife Robyn came into the world. (She wasn't my wife at the time. I was like 6 months old, that would be awkward.)

We were both this precious thirty years ago, but our preciousness was separate.

To commemorate 30 years of Robyn, I have decided to write 30 things I love about her.

Warning: possible mushiness ahead. Proceed at your own risk.


1. I love that you always want to do what is right.
2. I love that you always sound cute when you sneeze. (Readers of the blog: I will try to get you audio or video, but I have not yet achieved that.)
3. I love that you make such a cute face when you're cranky
How can you not love that cranky face?
4. I love that you're always willing to have fun
5. I love that you make amazing food
6. I love that you love to learn and grow
7. I love that you help me become a better person
8. I love that you do the most humorous things while sleeping
Reading while sleeping is a special talent

9. I love that you're fun and creative
10. I love that you make our home beautiful
11. I love that you're a hotty
12. I love that you like to surprise me
13. I love that you love the Lord
14. I love that you think I'm funny even when I'm not.
15. I love that you think you're funny even when you're not.
16. I love that we have great and exciting experiences together
17. Did I mention your cooking?
18. I love that we're just so precious together
Our precious level is off the charts
19. I love that you always follow your heart
20. I love that you know when to seek counsel and when to follow what you know
21. I love that you have amazing empathy for others
22. I love that you have a gift with children, you bring out the best in them

23. I love that you have awesome hair
It's oh so fun to play with
24. I love that you truly are my best friend
25. Oh Whoah Dang! (See reason #11)
26. I love when you do the cold run (I wish I had pictures.  When Robyn is cold, she does this run where she tucks her arms in and does a cute little waddle.)
27. I love that you are a creative thinker and have brilliant ideas.
28. I love that you came with an awesome family that has welcomed me and made me feel loved.
29. I love that you love reading and value knowledge.
30. I love that the last 3 years have been the best in my life.

Robyn, I love you so much!  I love you more than bacon.  I love you more than chocolate milk.  I love you more than Blu-Ray discs or books.  I hope you have the most amazing birthday of your life.

P.S.  As you pass into your thirties I hope this post was sufficiently loving as well as embarrassing.  I love you!
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