Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The Bog Gardens

I'm a jerk napper. That's right. A jerk napper!

Taking a Sunday nap is one of the worst things I can do in terms of trying to keep myself within the normal range of the Jerk Scale, which is somewhere between a "3" and a "5". Being a "1" on the Jerk Scale means I'm probably on nitrous oxide because nothing could get me mad - or jerky - at that point. Not a Lakers loss. Not the U. of U. beating BYU at football. Not even the Taco Bell drive-thru attendant confusing my order of, "Two bean burritos with no onions" with, "Two mean burros with new bunions."

When I'm a "10" on the Jerk Scale I am annoyed by everything. Even the most trivial things set me off and I'm easily agitated. On the occasions my Jerk Factor starts creeping up toward a "10" I find myself getting upset by things like my heart beating too loud, or doing something nonsensical like challenging the bottle of Aunt Jemima to a fist fight because she's looking at me funny.

Anyway, nothing gets me up into the "8" and "9" on the Jerk Scale like a Sunday nap. There is just something wrong with my body. When I take an afternoon nap my body just completely shuts down like an American-made car hitting 100,000 miles. If my body had it's say I'd take naps for about four hours every time I dozed off on the couch. When I take "normal person" naps of 30-60 minutes I wake up cranky and grumpy with whoever woke me up - my kids, the neighbor's dog, a random R. Kelly song playing too loud in a passing car, etc. But if I do what my body wants and sleep for half the day, I wake up refreshed but feeling guilty for neglecting the most important people in my life - my family and my fantasy sports teams.

This past Sunday I took a fitful 90-minute afternoon nap on the couch and got woken up about forty-seven times. First it was the phone. Then a stupid fly with extra buzzy wings kept flying right past my ear drum. Then it was the kids. I think Aunt Jemima even woke me up once, trying to goad me into a fight. It was a horrible, horrible, awful 90-minutes and I woke up tireder and crankier than when I fell asleep. Just when I was about to hit a "10" on the Jerk Scale and sucker punch Aunt Jemima, the ever-enthusiastic Normal Mormon Wife said:

"Let's go to the Bog Gardens!"

Why not? I figured. If I'm going to be grumpy at home I might as well as be grumpy at the Bog Gardens. So we loaded the kids into the minivan and drove the the Bog Gardens, where blossoms were allegedly in bloom and the circle of life was unfolding right before our eyes, thanks to the birds and the bees producing little baby ducks or something like that.

I arrived at the Bog Gardens with a Jerk Factor of "9". I went home a "2". Here are the pictures documenting my journey down the Jerk Scale thanks to the wonders of the Bog Garden.

This is the sign that greeted me as we entered Bog Gardens. The word "Poop" alone took me to a Jerk Factor of "8." The reference to "fishing in...water that has dog poop in it" took me to a "7".

Oooohhhhh....so you're supposed to put the bag over your hand BEFORE you pick up the dog poop. Learning something new - and useful - like that made me happy, lowering my Jerk Factor to a "6".

Sweet! I guess R. Kelly won't be pestering me this afternoon after all. Call me a "5", baby!

I always suspected the Bog Garden was named after MLB Hall of Famer Wade Boggs. I'm pretty sure this is a statue of Wade Boggs holding a baseball bat in his right hand and a weird-looking feathery mitt in his left hand. I like baseball. I've officially slid to a "4.5" and we've barely entered the park!

Then we saw a duck with an obvious comb-over. 3.5 at this point. (Don't know why the picture won't rotate the right way, but it's a good photo.)

Then we saw a bunch of geese acting like complete jerks. Has anybody else ever noticed that geese are always in the 8-10 range on the Jerk Scale? Any time two geese get together they end up going all Bjork at the airport on each other within a matter of minutes. Seeing the geese act like jerks inspired me to chill out even more and my score went down to a "2".

The upside of the Bog Garden was having my attitude go from grumpy to happy. The downside was that it required a lot of walking and corralling kids on a hot, muggy, swamp-boggy day. Phew! All that exercise wore me out.

In fact, I think I need a nap.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

The Normal Mormon Wife asked me to write up some random thoughts about the New Moon DVD that she bought about a millisecond after it was released a few weeks ago. I figured it would be best to go ahead and indulge her since I love her so much and do everything I can to keep her happy and enrich our marriage. (That, and I also knew I’d be compared to both Jacob and Edward for the next two hours and didn’t want to give either of them a leg up going into the movie. Get it? A leg up? Jacob’s a wolf…..nevermind.)

So, NMW, my love, here are some random thoughts that popped into my brain during the night we spent watching New Moon on the couch together. Enjoy!


Your Husband. The Father of Your Three Children. The Bread Winner of Your Family. The Priesthood Holder. The Guy Who Isn’t A Figment of Stephanie Meyer’s Imagination. The Dude With a Tangible Body. Just thought I’d remind you of those qualities before we put in the DVD and Jacob takes off his shirt.

Opening credits
New Moon is rated PG-13 for “some violence and action.” Most women saw this and secretly hoped the “action” in the movie had nothing to do with car chases, fistfights, or explosions. Instead, most Twi-hards were praying for “action” in the shirtless-Jacob-makes-out-with-Bella sense. Or makes out with them. Whatever.

Opening slow-motion dream sequence where Bella runs through a crowd of people in Voltera, Italy.
Everybody except for Bella is dressed in a hooded red cape. It is as if Bella somehow ended up at a Little Red Riding Hood convention. This has to be some sort of ominous foreshadowing to prepare viewers for the horrific scene where Jacob eats Bella’s grandmother then takes a nap in her bed.

Bella’s dad enters her bedroom and gives her a camera for a birthday present.
The best kept secret in the Twilight world is how nearly every husband/father secretly envies Bella’s dad and wishes he could trade places with him for a couple of days a week. I mean, think about it. Bella’s dad is single, in good shape, rocks a studly ‘stache, and only has to provide for an independent 18-year-old daughter who is almost never home - or even in the country for that matter. Bella’s dad has a prestigious but seemingly stress-free job and gets to carry a gun to work every day. He then comes home to retire to his mancave, watch sports on TV, and get slightly buzzed on Rainier. If our wives can fantasize about shirtless teen-aged boys, we men are justified in fantasizing about being Bella’s dad a few days a week. Minus the Rainier, of course.

Romeo and Juliet is being shown during Bella and Edward’s English class.
The teacher knows Bella and Edward were chatting instead of watching the film so he tries to embarrass Edward by asking him to repeat the last iambic pentameter. Not surprisingly, Edward effortlessly and dramatically repeats Romeo’s final passage word-for-word, amazing all of his classmates and essentially telling his teacher to, “Eat it, jerk face! I can disrupt your stupid class whenever I want! Loser!” All of Edward’s male classmates are totally relieved the teacher called on Edward instead of them because if they had been asked to recite an iambic pentameter it would have started with, “Gene, Gene made a machine. Joe, Joe, made it go. Art, Art….” Or at least that’s the best I could have done as a high school senior.

Bella cuts her arm at the Cullen’s home during her birthday party.
I recognize the wild, impulsive, uncontrollable urge in Jasper’s eyes as he sees and smells Bella’s blood. Jasper lunges at Bella, only to be restrained by most of his family members. I had the same look in my eyes during our 10th Anniversary Caribbean cruise after I saw the self-serve, all-you-can-eat ice cream dispenser. It ended up taking six Filipino deck hands and the lounge singer in the piano bar to pry me away from the ice cream machine that day.

Edward professes his love for Bella as they stand in her driveway next to her truck.
Instead of coming across as intense and passionate, Edward is brooding and incredibly cold and boring. I saw more facial expression and human emotion from Han Solo after he was frozen in liquid carbon. I’m just waiting for Boba Fett to show up and load Edward on to Slave II and fly him to Jabba the Hutt.

Edward lures Bella into the woods to tell her the Cullens are leaving town and she cannot come with them.
This is the oldest trick in the books. Edward really wants Bella to come with them but needs to convince her he doesn’t love her so she will stay behind for her own good. I’m positive Edward had no clue how to “dump” Bella until he saw Harry on the Hendersons on Nick at Night the evening before. As I hear Edward untruthfully say, “Bella, I don’t want you to come!” all I can think about is a tearful John Lithgow saying the same words to a man in a big, hairy Sasquatch costume.

Bella sits despondently in her bedroom as the months October to December quickly pass away in a depressed fog.
I know exactly how Bella feels. It’s called the NFL offseason.

Bella gets on the back of a street punk’s motorcycle and sees visions of Edward as she risks her life.
Aside from the laughable graphics, the whole Ghost Edward tangent is completely lame. Think about it. Bella does something her loved one disapproves of just so see can hallucinate about him. This would be similar to a married man hanging out at Victoria’s Secret because it makes him "think about his wife" and how much she would disapprove of him ogling an eight foot poster of a model wearing something that resembles a saltene cracker and dental floss.

Bella’s Dad comes into her bedroom to comfort her after a nightmare.
Referring to himself, Bella’s dad says, “Terminal bachelor…famous ladies man.” See, even Bella’s dad knows how cool he is. I just wish he would stop rubbing it in my face. And yet, I cannot summon the will to hate a man I admire so much.

Bella crashes on her motorcycle while riding with Jacob.
Bella’s head is gushing blood so Jacob responds the only a way a ripped teen-age boy knows how – by taking off his shirt and showing off his pecks and washboard abs. As the NMW and I watched this scene it was 10:10 p.m., which we call “happy time” because the hands on the clock make a smiley face at 10:10. (Side note: All ads for watches and clocks show the 10:10 happy time on the clock/watch face. Seriously. Look next time.) I glance at the NMW and she is unabashedly smiling at Jacobs’s general torso area. For a moment I think she forgot I was even in the room. Happy time indeed!

Jacob treats the gash on Bella’s head after the motorcycle crash.
The blood on Bella’s head looks about as real as the injury on Massive Head Wound Harry from SNL. Jacob repeatedly wipes at the blood with his shirt, yet the blood doesn’t smear or smudge. It looks more like dry red paint than human blood, yet most women would miss this detail as they are too focused on Jacobs general hotness. Instead of blood, the director could have put a dead possum on Bella’s forehead and most women would have been oblivious as all details in the scene are overshadowed by the glistening radiance of rippling teen-age abs.

Bella goes to see the movie Face Punch with Jacob and the Wimpy Puke Boy.
The greatest dialogue in New Moon wasn’t even in New Moon. It came from Face Punch. Quote:
Guy 1: “I’m gonna blow your head off.”
Guy 2: “No, I’m gonna blow your head off.”
Guy 3: “I’m gonna blow both of your frickin’ heads off! Let’s do this!” followed by machine gun fire. Move over Shakespear. Hello Face Punch!

Random sequence in the Swan household.
Bella’s dad is sitting on the couch watching football and drinking beer. He mentions to Bella that he is going to go fishing with his buddy later in the day. As much as I both admire and occasionally envy Bella’s dad, he’s making it really hard for me to like him now. He’s shoving his carefree life in my face a little too much for my liking.

The boys in the wolf pack wander around, flaunting their general shirtlessness.
I still find it hilarious that married adult women find it perfectly acceptable to watch half-naked Jacob and his half-naked wolf buddies strut about shirtless for no reason. Heck, they even take off their shirts in the rain! (Good thing they live in Forks and not Phoenix – imagine what articles of clothing would come off when it’s 113 degrees. Better yet ladies, DON’T imagine it.) Their shirtlessness adds absolutely nothing to the plot. It is nothing more than beefy eye candy for the lady folk. (Mmmm……beef candy. What an idea!) If the tables were turned and a bunch of grown, adult, married men obsessed over a movie starring Ashley Tisdale and Vanessa Ann Hudgens wearing sports bras for extended periods of time and for no apparent reason, we would be labeled as perverts. Seriously. Pervs!

An armed group goes to search the woods, led by Bella’s dad.
Bella’s dad gets to carry a rifle to work! It’s even got a scope! Okay, it’s official. I openly hate Bella’s dad at this point. He’s got it way, way, way too easy.

Edward is taking off his shirt to expose himself under the clock tower.
Before shooting this scene Robert Pattinson probably pulled the Director aside and said, “Listen. I have an okay body. Not bad, not great, just okay. Taylor Lautner has spent most of the movie half naked. His biceps are larger than cantaloupes and his abs have more ridges than a Ruffles potato chip. Can you at least CGI me some pecks?”

Jane sends debilitating pain through Edward’s body using only her mind.
I bet Jane’s fantasy football teams do really well. I would not be surprised if she was going up against Tom Brady’s team in the first week of the 2008 season. She simply thought “ACL tear!” and – PRESTO! – Brady’s writhing on the ground in agony six minutes into the season and Jane wins Week 1. It’s a good thing I have not been given Jane’s power or else the only athletes who would stay healthy are Lakers and my fantasy players.

The movie ends, ending credits begin to roll.
I look over at the NMW laying next to me on the couch and know I’m a lucky man to spend my life with her. I realize I’m not hot like Jacob. I don’t have abs or pecs. The closest I come to being a werewolf are my crazy bushy eyebrows and a freakishly long hair that for some weird reason sprouted on my left elbow. Nor do I have Edward’s eternal youth. I find more grey hair every day and over the past year my health has been worse than my 85-year-old grandparents. But despite my glaring non-Jacob, non-Edward imperfections, I know the NMW loves me. Really loves me. I’m secure enough in that knowledge that I don’t mind her smiling at Jacob’s abs for a couple of hours during a lets-stay-in-and-watch-a-movie date night. Yep, I’m totally secure in the love she has for me.

But just to be sure, I’m starting the P90X workout tomorrow.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

This was Wednesday

Mom and Dad and Sister--

I jumped way higher than that.

A little girl was so funny.
She made a huge mess.

I touched a ladybug, Mom and Dad.
I figured out how.
Now I'm not scared.

I builted a huge tower.
But Brandon messed it up.

I was walking on the street going to do some fun things.
And I painted in there.

Find us a good house, Mommy and Daddy!
I'm tired from you finding a house.
Remember to come back on Saturday.
In the morning.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

For Mom and Dad and sister

Here's what we did yesterday:

I saw a turtle with the ducks.

I'm Spider-Man!

I could jump higher!

There's a tiger behind me!

I am a turtle with two heads.

I'm petting a horsey and he's never eating our food.

I'm watering milk cow.

I'm petting a goat cause they're nice.

A wallaby ran away because people were
supposed to go one at a time.

OK, this is creepy. I don't know how to do this.

I'm a frog.
I'm hopping on it.

I'm getting eaten by a crocodile!

It jumped up and the other one that's small,
after that one went down, the other went up.
And a big one.

That one's the biggest snake I've ever seen!
I hate snakes! Just like Indiana Jones.

I petted a bunny cause I get to.

Triceratops. We are sitting on it cause it is a bones.
On the bench where it's at.

This one roared cause I touched it.

That was huge cause I built it.
It was a teammate.

We are helping animals.

I'm copying that.
It's like sssssssss.

I'm crawling. It's creepy lobsters.

These two headed turtles are creepy and weird.

I am a shark. I like eating people.
Cause I like sharks. Cause they're so creepy.
And I'm Carson Shark.

There's a green snake in there, mommy.
I am a slithering snake, Mom and Dad and Sister.

There's a crocodile, Mommy.
There's a crocodile here!
Cause it's so eatable!

This turtle is a little big medium.

This is for my mom and dad.
I went to the zoo and saw big, huge ones.
This is a letter for you, mom and dad and sister.
Love you. Miss you.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Happy 31st Birthday!

Dear Andrea,

How better to wish you a happy 31st birthday than by blogging it to you? It has been all the rage during your thirtieth year of life, so we'll start your birthday journey off this way.

Since you like puzzles and brain teasers so much, I have developed eight riddles especially for you. You will either solve them throughout the day and earn some of your presents as you go, or you will fail miserably and this will ruin your birthday. (If you get stuck along the way, your mom has the answer key. I know it's your birthday and you can cry if you want to, cry if you want to, cry if you want to....but we hope you don't.)

Okay, birthday girl. Here is your first riddle. Good luck!

Luv Moe 6

Friday, April 4, 2008

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