Friday, July 6, 2012

If you build it, you will feel like less of a wuss.

I am coming to the realization that my pride is largely unwarranted.
I am going to be a father to a little boy in four months. I do not yet possess the ability to count large spans of time in weeks. I like to use the largest quantity possible. Twenty-one and a half weeks will never sound right to me. It will sound uppity, as if counting in smaller units makes the age or quantity more impressive.
It doesn't. It sounds like something the socially awkward kid says in junior high. What was that? You have three thousand pennies? Someone tell that kid that they started using paper money--I'm not sure if he knows.

(Of course, not a word of that rant was directed at women. Women do weird stuff, and I find it simply easier to let them do whatever they want. I just don't want them to get mad at me.)

I don't count in weeks, and this is one of the many reasons that I am beginning a quest. A quest to learn all of the things that a dad aught to know.
I do not yet have a definitive list, but I've decided to start with the following:

1. Proper tree-houses.

I never had one growing up, and I may one day write a book on how all of the bad things in my life could be traced back to my lack of adolescent Fortress of Solitude.

2. Knots.

Few things impress me like a person with mad knot skills. I love watching experienced knotters knot with gusto. I eat it up. Throwing knots. Synching knots. Those knots that connect two or three ropes together. I swear Richard Dean Anderson is alive today because he can tie 8 billion types of knots. I must master this. Then I will be able to smile, and sit back contentedly in a hammock of my own creation.

3. Go-kart building.

Pinewood derby cars are fun. So is running over someone's pinewood derby car with your homemade albeit perfectly functioning go-kart.
(Confession: I want a go-kart. If the little man wants one, he better build his own.)

4. Piano playing.

How else will I be able to have a sudden burst of inspiration a la 101 Dalmatians? No piano, no catchy and lucrative Cruela De'vil song, and no impromptu "Great Balls of Fire" in a crowded restaurant while I'm training to become a fighter pilot.




There we go.

I am sure that I will shortly learn more things in which I am terribly inept.

This is the joy of fatherhood.

And probably this…

--Believe in yourselves. Dream. Try. Do good.

Monday, June 28, 2010

GOOOOOOOAAAAALS help us progress

I've never been good about follow-through--not in golf, not in life really. I set goals so that I can look back on the things I was too busy doing nothing to do.
And I have failed, once again.
I have failed to fail in my goal. Just when I thought I was a dependable goal-breaker, I go and let myself down. Again. Sure I didn't stick to reading a book a week, and I didn't blog about any of them. But I've been reading and working 60+ hours a week, and for that I get a self-five.

"What have I read?" you seem to ask.

The Secret Garden by Francis Hodgeson Burnett

Not my favorite book of all time, perhaps if I had read it when I was a little girl...

Till We Have Faces by C. S. Lewis

Amazing retelling of the Cupid and Psyche myth. Lewis writes with a dichotomy all his own. A myth about the gods dealings with man, he writes it as a man who spent half his life despising God and half following him. I love this man.

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Can't believe I had never read this before, although I am kind of glad that I waited. I wouldn't have connected the same way if I had read it in High School.

Travels With Charley by John Steinbeck

I prefer Steinbeck's open, and hopeful view of people to Twain's "everybody's an idiot" stance, despite my family's leanings toward that mindset.

The Devil and the White City by Erik Larsen

An interesting choice to write a book about the construction of the 1893 World's Fair compared to the exploits of a man who built a hotel solely for the purpose of killing his guests and cutting them up. Like 40 of them. Brilliantly researched and told with the flair of a novel. Awesome and interesting.

The Reader by Bernhard Schlink

Well told. I can't tell whether I loved it or hated it. It all cruxes on the molestation of the main character. The boy is 15 and the woman is 36, and I can't tell whether or not this is significant to the author. If it is, then the story is an amazing account of how rape, however consentual, destroys lives. If it is not important to the author than the story falls into the existentialist moral-vaccum trap.

Always Looking Up by Michael J. Fox

I have always had a man crush on Michael J. Fox, and although I loved this book because it is about one of my favorite actors, I think it has real merit. It's honest and anything but glamorous.

The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein

A story told from the point of view of a dog named Enzo. I am not a huge racing fanatic, but the story used this medium to remind us why dogs are better than cats. I'm sure this was the authors only purpose...

And then I reread Slaughter-House Five, because it's brilliant.

See I've been doing something! I win!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Adventures in Reading, or What I Do Whilst Depressed in Unemployment

I've had a lot of time on my hands recently--a LOT of time. After winning the Superbowl twice on Madden 07, and watching 18 episodes of LOST (and realizing that that show is NEVER going to go anywhere); I have come to a conclusion--I should read more.

Ok, so my first conclusion was, "I really need a job," but after months of trying (and although I am continuing to look) I need something tangible, something that two months from now will make me feel better about myself. Not something that will make me want to sit down for Lifetime Original Movie-a-thon and a pint of Cherry Garcia.

So I have made a resolution, a new March resolution, to read a book a week. I have also considered that I should probably think about these books as well as read them. So I will begin writing an entry a week on the domestic activities I engage in and the books that I have read. For instance, this last week I read To Kill a Mockingbird for the first time, and today I picked up dog poop in the back yard, which makes me a lot like Atticus Finch--we both do the jobs no one else wants to think about, and no matter how hard we work, there is always someone, or somedog, there to crap on our persieved progress. But, like Atticus, mabye if I work hard enough I won't have to step in it everytime I turn around.

Do you see how fun this is going to be?

Oh, and another thing--I have decided to only read books that I haven't read before. I fall into the "i love this book I don't need your new fangled book" trap. But who doesn't? And just so you don't hink I've been idle, here is a list of new books that I've read this year:
1. The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway
2. Q&A (the book that Slumdog Millionare is based off) by Vikas Swarup
3. My Life in France by Julia Child
4. The Lord of the Flies by William Golding
5. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Now I feel slightly better, so I'm going to watch LOST; I bet they get off the island in this next episode...

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Life Lessons Learned whilst Working with the Dreggs of Western Society

My grandpa, a very wise man, once told me that knowledge could be gleaned from any situation, no matter how devoid of glamour or comfort it may be.
A good point there. G'pa must have seen my current, rather unfortunate circumstance coming all the way from the hospital room he was staying in when he gave me this pearl of wisdom back in 1998.

I am very sorry to admit that I am, until September and the start of my Master's program, working at Burlington Coat Factory. For those who are not acquainted with Burlington's, it is like a TJ Maxx on steroids. (If you are not familiar with either, have someone sit you down and explain the word "google" to you.) Anyway, working at Burlington has taught me many things, mostly revolving around my growing disdain for most people in my socio-economic class: poor. As a group, I find them barren of, not only money, but humor, taste, personal hygiene, and acute hearing for some reason. This, however, does not mean that I cannot learn from them and the general situation that I am in...

Today I learned that age old adages have no hold on the clientele of Burlington's. For example:
You never get a second chance to make a first impression
I always saw this bit of advice as sound--a good rule to follow.
But not in Burlington's.
There I was, standing at my register, processing the occasional transaction coupled with throngs of people standing in line, patiently awaiting their turn to return the merchandise they shop-lifted during their previous trip to the store. During one of these rare instances where a customer is attempting to purchase something, I begin my story.
A thirty-something woman and her female friend are buying some jeans, and while I am ringing them up, I overhear a conversation regarding skinny jeans. I dislike skinny jeans. I think that the problems that will come from a generation of androgynous teenagers could be astronomical. So, I hear a woman, appearing to be in control of her senses, ragging on skinny jeans. This, to me, equals a good first impression.
"I hate those girly jeans that boys wear," this mother begins. "If my son ever wears those things I will kick his butt!" I whole-heartedly agree with this, assuming of course that the woman is speaking figuratively and not promising some horrific, violent future act.
And then she goes on...
"I'm serious, if Lil' K-Fed ever wears those when he's a teenager I will laugh in his face!"
WHAM! A second chance to make a first impression.
And just to verify that I was not mistaken, her friend answered, "I don't see Lil' K-Fed making an awful decision like that..."

Ma'am, I hate to tell you, I don't think it's going to matter if Lil' K-Fed wears skinny jeans when he's a teenager--if he survives until then.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Why I feel the need to eat whilst watching the Biggest Loser and other apologies.

I will start this blog with a useless caveat--

For those of you who know me well, this will be less than shocking. For those who don't know me so well, I am really not THAT bad of a person.

This is useless due to the fact that no one reads my blog. I don't write, so they don't read.

But for any soul unfortunate enough to be actually reading this--I am a good person...

I watch the Biggest Loser. I like the stories and the amazing transformations. I love the trainers and their drill sergeant-esque method of tough love. But most of all, I watch the Biggest Loser to eat. I can't enjoy an episode without eating a heaping bowl of ice cream, or two pizzas. I love to have gooey, gooey gumdrops pouring from my mouth as I watch my rotund friends sweat and run and cry.
I do this because watching this show reminds me of everything I have, and that includes a fast metabolism. I feel the same way when I see someone in a wheelchair--I feel the immediate need to run and jump and dance.

And although I swear that this action is only human, I have often wondered whether this makes me a bad person. After much soul-searching and contemplation I have come to the conclusion that it does. I am a bad person. This may slightly contradict my earlier assertion that I was, in fact, a good person, but I had to do something to get you to read this far somehow. Sorry. I didn't mean to deceive. Other than a marked tendancy to tell the occasional whopper, I am bad for two reasons:

One, I don't eat and/or run because I am grateful--I do it because I can't stand the idea of being unable to do so. This is similar to the way that I gorge after fasting. I don't eat because I am hungry, I eat because for 24 hours, I couldn't. I hate the idea of anything, even for a limited period of time, being off limits to me. This, besides making me a bad person, also makes me a peculiar Mormon.

Reason two is that I am a terrible show-off. I love doing things that impress other people. I do this even if it means doing something that makes a poor, unfortunate fat person wish they were me just to have a consequence-free bowl of ice cream. I mean, envy is envy, right?? What is the use in this world of possessing things, if you can't possess something cooler than someone else? I didn't love my Ninja Turtle because it came with spinning nunchucks, I loved it because Eric Hassell's didn't. This, I believe, is the heart of my villany.

I hope I have not driven a spirit of good cheer far from you, but you were crazy/stupid enough to wonder, "what is Jesse's opinion on such-and-such?" You brought this on yourself. There is only you to blame.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Huey Did Everything He Was Told, Almost.


Huey did everything he was told. They told him not to do drugs. So he didn’t. They said that it was bad to lie or to steal. He was honest, word and deed. They said that only bad guys hit people and he believed them. He was told that he should like everybody unless they did something to warrant not being liked—he asked what that meant, but they didn’t hear him.

Huey’s life was uneventful; he went to school and learned the things his teachers asked of him. He tried out for the football team because his friend said that he should and he made it with no problem. But he didn’t do steroids. That would have been wrong.

He didn’t particularly enjoy talking about politics because whenever he did someone got upset, and he liked it when everyone was happy. For this same reason he stayed away from religious banter. Someone told him not to talk about big pumpkins, but he didn’t really understand why.

Huey took care of his mother and father, he respected what they had to say, and he minded their rules. He knew that it was for his own good that they had given him rules at all. They wouldn’t have given him rules if they didn’t help him. They always told him that he was a good son. This made him happy, but he didn’t gloat. His parents told him that gloating was beneath him.

Huey went through school. He didn’t have a great number of friends, but people liked him because he did well in football and was nice to everyone. People started to take notice of his skills in football. He liked playing football—it was a place for him to hit people in a good way, and sometimes he felt guilty for enjoying it too much. At first he would picture people who had been mean to him when he would hit someone. But he felt bad afterwards. So Huey asked to play running back, where he wouldn’t have to hit people. He did very well as a running back. They told him to run to the end zone. So he did. He did four or five times a game. People told him that was really good and he believed them.

One day Huey’s mom seemed sad. He asked her what was wrong. She said that someone had taken a key and scratched her car. Huey became angry. His mom was a nice lady and it was wrong for someone to do something mean to someone nice. He asked if she knew who had done it. She said that someone at the grocery store had yelled at her for taking a parking space. (Huey didn’t like parking lots because people were always mad.) Huey’s mom hadn’t seen anyone and she said she was sorry. The man had said that she was going to be sorry. He drove a nice car with a license that said “SNOMAN.” Huey told his mom that he would take care of it. He knew that calling the police was the best thing to do. They said that they would catch him. They did and he had to pay for Huey’s mom’s car to be re-painted.

One week later Huey came home to police cars and an ambulance. He asked them what was wrong. They asked him where he had been. He said that he was practicing with the football team. He waited for his mom to pick him up, but she didn’t come. The police said that someone had come in the house and hit his mom. A lot. So many times that she didn’t get up. Then they cut her with a key. They hurt her face. The police said that she was going to die probably. The ambulance’s siren yelled and then the ambulance left for the hospital.

Huey was crying and so sad. He didn’t understand why people do things that they shouldn’t. Everyone knew that it was wrong to hit an old woman. Or to hurt her face with a key. Huey stopped crying—he remembered that a man had hurt his mom’s car with a key. He remembered that that man was forced to pay to re-paint his mom’s car. Huey knew that would make the man angry. Huey picked up the keys to his mom’s freshly painted car. He didn’t like driving, but he didn’t really think about that now. He backed out of the garage, past the police cars and the police talking to his dad.

He drove to the grocery store and asked them if they knew someone with a car that had a SNOMAN license plate. One lady said that he lived on Lilac Street. Huey forgot to say thank you to the lady. He left the store and didn’t hold the door for the old man coming into the store.

Huey drove faster than the speed limit to Lilac Street. His mom had always told him that he shouldn’t drive past the speed limit, but he wasn’t remembering. He drove up and down the street looking for the SNOMAN. Huey found the nice car with the SNOMAN license plate at the end of the cul-de-sac. He could see a man in the garage washing his clothes; they looked like they were covered in red paint. Huey looked and saw nothing on the house that was red. Nothing in the garage either. Huey back the car up to the end of the street. He remembered playing football. He remembered, before he played running back, playing defense. He looked at the house at the end of the street. He pictured the man washing his clothes. He saw the bottle of bleach sitting on the utility sink. He saw the frantic look on the SNOMAN. He was not like the snowmen that Huey’s mom had told him stories about.

He looked to the side of the car and he could see his mom cheering for him, just like when he would play football. He was always good at football. He put his foot down on the accelerator. The car sped past the houses on either side of him.

As he quickly neared the SNOMAN’s house, he remembered his mom telling him that a car was not a toy. Huey didn’t feel much like playing right now.   

Friday, October 31, 2008


This I believe...

I believe that Chocolate Vanilla Swirl pudding at 1:10 in the morning is a literal reincarnation of greek nectar.
I believe that anyone that can catch a golf ball before it touches that ground is destined to fight crime. 
I believe that time-travel will never be possible, but if it is that is definitely where Walt Whitman came from.
I believe that a momentary act of greatness is always followed with a spectrally equal show of stupidity.
I believe that catchy formulaic sayings will be the death of humanity. 
I believe that if a Tupperware is taken out of the fridge and left for more than a day, it is probably better if that Tupperware be thrown away, unopened. 
I believe that Superman must have been more bored than a twenty-five year-old little leaguer. 

I believe that this list will serve as a list of upcoming blog entry topics.