Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The The Weed Wednesday Wrap Up (This time actually on Wednesday!)

Hey remember a long time ago when I used to do a Wednesday wrap-up because there were little tidbits I wanted to talk about, but nothing that warranted a full-fledged post?

You don't?

Well, that's probably because I tried it twice like five months ago then never did it again.

But I'm going to do it today! Because there's been stuff happening 'round these parts, and then I always say, "hey, I'll post that in a Wrap Up" and then I never do the wrap up, and I never talk about the cool slash embarrassing thing and then I forget about it and it's lost forever more.

And I'm tired of that happening. So. Let's break this down.

1. So, you know my post Morning Run? (How could you forget--it seems to come up every time I write.) Well, the thing that happened with that post that I have never gotten around to mentioning here is that one day a few weeks ago I woke up and approximately four trillion people had visited that post. And it was all because some awesome person I don't even know posted it on the forum for a really popular running magazine. The thing that's funny though? Not one of those visitors made a comment.. So it's like hundreds of people just dropped in, read a post about one of my most embarrassing moments all about me pooping my pants, and then left as fast as they could before I could smear virtual feces on them.

Hey, I don't blame them. I'm still scared to shake my own hand...


2. Did you see what happened with my Ken Jennings post? It was pretty awesome. First, it was featured in Deseret News' "Today in the Bloggernacle" (the Bloggernacle is the word for the general group of blogs written by Mormon people, and I'm Mormon, so apparently I'm included in that group. "Bloggernacle" is derived from the word Tabernacle which is a building in Salt Lake City (the building where the Tabernacle Choir gets its name)). That was totally awesome, but then something equally cool happened. Ken Jennings Tweeted my post in a throw-down wherein he challenged me to play Scattergories with him, and I, in turn, ran away with my tail between my legs and sucked my thumb, but only after saying "BRING IT" with all the courage I could muster which is pretty easy to do on Twitter because you're not actually talking to anybody. If any of you are here because of that sequence of events, welcome! Nice to meet you! My name is The Weed and I crap my pants on runs and then shovel poop out of my pants with my bare hand, and I can't seem to stop talking about that fact. *extends hand for a hearty handshake*

3. I had a couple of posts featured on the site MormonDaddyblogs.com. And then the guy, Dennis, made this graphic.



And then I stole it for the Redux. And now I'm gonna make a shirt out of it. But I haven't yet because first I need to learn Photoshop. And how colors work. And how shirts are made. Or something. *confused face*

4. Speaking of which, I opened a Zazzle store. There you can buy a Meadow Shirt! Soon you will also be able to buy a Bambi Nuggets shirt. Because nothing is more appetizing than some delicious hunks for greasy deer muscle. And there's nothing that will piss vegetarians off more than a shirt advertising that those hunks of deer muscle are actually Bambi.

Mmmmmmm.

(Sorry if you are a vegetarian. I totally don't mean to disrespect your life-choice by making that shirt, I just think it's funny. Truth is, nothing has ever made me consider vegetarianism more seriously than the event that precipitated this shirt. So really, think of this as a public service announcement about NOT eating meat.)


5. I wrote a guest post on a friend's blog, Project Project.. It was supposed to be funny, but my blind eye was in a really bad mood that night and was like "shut up, Josh, and stop your outlandish behaviors like seeing color and typing and sensing light! Your punishment for being awake still is the sensation of a knife bisecting your pupil! Go ahead and try to be funny now!" and it made it so I could barely type a sentence without closing my eyes for a few minutes to recuperate. But, at any rate, you can see the post here.  It's a heart-warming story of survival. Or a heart-breaking story of the inevitability of awkward situations. And it features a deaf man.

6. Last but not least, I wanted to mention that my private practice, against all odds, is growing! Yay! And, the most unbelievable thing ever? Some of my clients have actually come from this blog. (You know who you are *winks*)(Was that totally inappropriate for a therapeutic relationship?)(I suck at this game)

Anyway, tell all your friends that need counseling that you know the best counselor in town! Especially if you live in or near Auburn, WA. Otherwise tell them you know the best counselor on the World Wide Web. (I firmly believe that nothing speaks to a counselor's authenticity more than his frank discussion shoving excrement out of his pants. That's the underlying message here.)(Okay, that was a joke. The truth is, I actually am really good at my job. Which is kinda hard to tell if you've read... any post I've ever written here. Oh well. C'est la vie.)

All right folks. Time to close up shop and go to bed. I've got lives to save tomorrow. Where when I say "lives" I actually mean "naps" and when I say "to save" I actually mean "to avoid accidentally taking while talking to students by playing a lot of Uno."

Okay, I need to give myself more credit. I actually have saved lives at my job. Surprisingly, I'm not joking. Suicide prevention is real, y'all.

(Side note--I recently had a native Texan (hi Tami!) tell me that I'm not allowed to say "y'all" because I'm not from Texas. However, my inner monologue voice (you know, the voice you hear talking in your head while you're driving your car or sitting in a boring meeting or whatever which, in my case, is the same voice that writes most of The Weed--oh wait, you don't have voices in your head? Odd...) constantly says y'all and I have no idea why because I've never even been to Texas. So, do I remain true to my inner voice, or obey the only-Texans rule? Discuss.)

Good night.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Grandpa Gaga

The other night, my oldest daughter Anna (who just turned five years old--I can hardly believe it) was watching American Idol with her Grandma when she saw a special musical guest on the show, Lady Gaga.

"Who is that, Memaw?" she asked.

"That's Lady Gaga," replied my mother-in-law.

Anna sat for a few contemplative moments, and then asked the question I think we've all been wondering. "Why is Lady Gaga trying to look like Papa?"

"What?" Memaw asked, a little bit confused.

"I said, why is Lady Gaga trying to look like Papa?" Anna replied, a little exasperated.

Fair question, Anna.

I think a side-by-side comparison is in order here.



 Wow. Where do we even begin?

1. Lady Gaga is trying to lighten her hair color to match Papa's
2. Lady Gaga has a nose. As does Papa.
3. Lady Gaga cakes on eye make-up in an obvious attempt to mimic Papa's glasses.
4. Plaid shirt? Leopard print? Pretty much the EXACT SAME THING.  And Papa has been wearing plaid since before Gaga was even born.

5. Two words: Poker Face. 


So yeah. I think it's pretty clear who Lady Gaga looks to as her fashion muse.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Bambi Nuggets Redux (and the Tulip Festival)

This graphic, which I found so hilarious I asked to steal it, was created by Dennis at Mormondaddyblogs.com

Well, this is interesting. And disturbing.

Remember the conversation I had with my four-year-old daughter, Anna, wherein she alerted me that she needed to hunt because she wanted to kill animals and we discussed at length how animals' muscles are eaten off of their bones, and also we discussed chickens being filled with chicken nuggets and Bambi being filled with Bambi nuggets and it ended in a terrifying discussion of cannibalism?

If not, you should read this. Today's post will make a lot more sense.

One would hope that such a discussion would be a one-time incident in which a little girl mused upon certain carnivorous concepts for a few moments and then moved on.

WRONG.

A week or two ago, we decided to go with some friends to the Tulip Festival up here in Washington State. For the uninitiated, the Tulip Festival is the most mind-numbingly boring event to ever choose to do on a Saturday, which involves parking in gravel, walking past row after row after row after row of very colorful tulips while your kids run and scream and play in mud and throw clumps of dirt at bystanders, getting back to the gravel, then getting in your car in a daze and wondering "am I on PCP right now, or did I seriously just get mind-raped by 40,000 tulips? And did I actually pay for it?"

Never having been there, Wife and I did not know how boring it would be, and we were getting all the kids excited to go.  Recently, Anna had been doing something we thought was pretty innocuous. Anytime we'd pass a field or pass of grass or parking lot or stream, she'd ask "is that a meadow, Mommy? What about that? Is that a meadow?"

"No, sweetheart," we'd say. "That's a McDonalds." Or whatever.

Well, to get Anna animated, Wife announced, "Anna, we're going to an actual meadow to see the tulips." Anna's eyes lit up with excitement.  "A meadow, Mommy?" she asked sweetly. "We're going to a real meadow?"

"Yes," replied wife with a smile. Then they got busy getting dressed. At which point this conversation occurred.

Wife: Anna, what shirt do you want to wear?

Anna: (pauses and thinks) I want to wear a meadow shirt.

Wife: Oh, okay sweetie. That's a good idea. (goes to the closet and picks out a green shirt) This shirt is green, so it's perfect for a green meadow...

Anna: No, Mommy, a meadow shirt.

Wife: (Holding up a shirt with flowers on it.) How about this? I think this shirt with flowers fits a meadow.

Anna: No! That's not a meadow shirt. (laughs)

Wife: What's a meadow shirt?

Anna: Do we have a shirt that says "Hunters who like to eat chicken and their bones looking for animals to kill. And eat."?

Wife:.... (looks horrified)

Anna: Do we have a shirt that says that, Mommy? So I can kill deer and eat their muscles? So I can eat the chicken nuggets in their skin?

Wife: No, sweetheart. We don't. (looks over at me with panicked eyes that say "YOU DID THIS TO HER, I KNOW IT!")

There was nothing to be done. We had no such meadow shirt. Amazingly, there was no apparel in the entire house that announced us as hunters craving to kill animals in order to eat their muscles and bones.

But all that has changed.

That's right Anna, Daddy just opened a Zazzle store! And guess what shirt he made!

A meadow shirt:



                 This shirt is any hunter's dream come true. Available for
                                        purchase in any size!!


What was that you say? You want photographic evidence of me and the family at the Tulip Festival?

But of course:


Sometimes meadows can be scary. 

(Cue Lion King music) AAAAAA SEBENIA....
(I have no idea if that's what the song actually says.)
(Also, the fact that I did this means that Tessa is now prince of a pride of lions. So I'm royalty now.)
 
 I don't know about all y'all, but I'm here to HUNT.

Viva likes that her shirt is the same color as the flowers. 

"Don't worry, sister, I'll find some animals so you can eat muscles off their bones."

 No deer were located on this adventure. We did, however, acquire this bunny.

 No Anna, stop licking your chops. You may not eat the bunny.

 There's a bunch of Weeds in the tulips... (ba dum CHING)

 I have no caption for this photo other than that I love how bewildered Tessa looks.

"It's okay Viva. Animals were meant to die. And I was meant to brutally kill them."


Saturday, May 7, 2011

The Time I Almost Played Trivial Pursuit With Ken Jennings

You know who Ken Jennings is, right?

You know! The guy from Jeopardy. (crickets) The one who went for many many consecutive weeks as the champion and broke all kinds of records. On Jeopardy. (sound of moths pinging a light fixture) He recently just competed against a supercomputer? Anyone? (No sound. Whatsoever. More silent than the vacuum of space.)

Okay, so there's this guy named Ken Jennings who's really smart. He is kind of a big deal. To every nerd on earth. He has a funny blog. And a Wikipedia page. And he wrote a book.

Well guess what? I've MET him. I've HUNG OUT with him.

So basically what I'm saying is that I roll with celebrities.



This is Ken Jennings at a book signing. Because that's what celebrities do. They sit at tables while people line up to get books signed by them. (So yeah, I'm kind of a big deal too, is what I'm saying. But it totally doesn't matter, because we're all equal, and we're all humans of worth. Even people who have NOT hung out with Ken Jennings.)
See, my friend Jessie Christensen used to be on some BYU College Bowl of Smart People with him and they did world tours or visited Idaho occasionally or something. (I'm a little unclear on the specifics because I've never won millions of dollars on Jeopardy because of my breathtaking memory.) At any rate Jessie invited our family over for dinner one night to celebrate her son's birthday. It was gonna be a small family thing, a few friends, some good food because Jessie's a great cook. No big deal.

Except, when we got there, Ken Jennings was there with his family. And nobody else. Us. The Christensens. And the Jennings.

I was like "Oh, hello Ken Jennings..." and then I looked away awkwardly for a moment, not sure of what to do next.

The thought process directly following when you meet Ken Jennings at a birthday party for a three-year-old goes something like this: First, you're like, "Whoa. That's Ken Jennings. He's real smart. I bet he's thinking all kinds of knowledgeable thoughts right now, like about the origin of birthday parties and the history of human dwellings and how they evolved into modern apartments like the one we're sitting in and other deep stuff like if aluminum foil is made of the element aluminum and if Jell-o really has ground up bones in it. Or maybe he's counting in his head using Roman Numerals right now and reviewing an atlas in his brain and examining the distance between Tonga and Uzbekistan." That chain of thought lasts a few seconds.

Then, after initial introductions, your brain wonders "can someone like this engage in normal human conversation?" and you decide to test this hypothesis by saying something very engaging like "Hello." When he responds in kind, you freak out because you were just addressed by a celebrity and then your brain goes into overdrive trying to figure out what to say. You wanna say something bright, but you don't want to say any fact whatsoever just in case you're wrong about that fact. So you say something safe like "I see that your daughter likes Legos" and his wife, who, like him, is very nice, says "Actually, that's our son." And you look down and realize that the little person you called a girl doesn't even look like a girl. And plus, girls don't even play with Legos. Idiot!

After recovering from the embarrassment of this, you try to move forward. But it's hard because, how do you avoid saying something stupid in this situation when 78% of what you say is fabricated on the spot or based on something you were pretty sure you heard on the radio in high school, or loosely related to a fact you overheard during a vivid hallucination you had while getting your wisdom teeth out in college?

You decide to just be cool. Play it natural. It's you and Ken, and your families, chillaxing in the apartment, waiting as Jessie and crew finish prepping the festivities. Small talk works for a while, but soon the conversation dies down, and you start to feel a little awkward again. You're there, with Ken Jennings. And you have run out of things to say. And Alex Trebek  is not there to supply a category. And it's getting uncomfortable.

Soon the pressure to talk in order to end the silence leads you to contemplate another conversation starter, but your brain defaults to: "this guy knows a lot of trivia. I know what I'll do! I'll think of the most trivial thing in the entire world and totally stump him." This plan seems like a fun, engaging choice until you realize you don't know any trivia other than the very rudimentary knowledge of your fields of study. This leads you to think of gripping questions like "what language is primarily spoken in England?" (answer: English) or "what letter does the word 'therapy' start with?" (answer: does "th" count as a letter?) or "what was my second minor again?" (answer: who the crap gets two minors in undergrad? Someone who's too cool for paychecks, that's who.)

As a last ditch effort, your brain decides it might be cool to ask something really original and probing like "So, is your real name actually Kenneth?" but before you get the chance Jessie comes in and sits down with her husband Ben. Whew. Pressure's off. Except, oh no, what is this? Jessie and Ken start talking about... stuff. First there is a discussion about art or something, and then somehow the conversation funnels down to a discussion of Holy Week in Latin American countries as opposed to Spain (where Jessie, her husband Ben, and Ken all served their LDS mission) and I may have, sorta, kinda said something that wasn't true at this point.

The convo went something like this:

Jessie: Yeah, I can't exactly remember what Holy Week is like in Latin America. Josh, you lived in Venezuela.  What do you remember about it?

Me: (looks up, doe eyed, distracted from counting and recounting how many fingers he has (do thumbs count as 1 or 1/2???)) W...w...what?

Ken: We're trying to remember how Holy Week is celebrated in Latin America. Do you remember?

Me: Is that the same thing as Semana Santa?

Jessie: ...Yeah. That's a direct translation. Do you remember how they celebrate it?

Me:(stuttering) I'm...a... pretty sure they ride actual donkeys to emulate Palm Sunday... and then go straight to Lent... followed by Rosh Hashanah... and a parade featuring salt-water taffy and rain dancing...

(Silence)

Ken: Hmmm, I don't remember reading that...

and then, somehow, I found myself unintentionally asserting that whatever it was I had said was correct. Not explicitly. But somehow, in my demeanor, I accidentally looked like I was sitting across from Ken Jennings, a man who has won Jeopardy more times than I have watched Jeopardy, saying "you know? I think you're wrong about an item of trivia I've never studied."

It was awesome.

Thankfully, the guy's gracious. I think he might have even said "Well, you might be right..."

No Ken. No. I wasn't right. I was barely even able to track the fact that six people were engaged in a simultaneous conversation. I was probably strained at having to breathe and speak at the same time. I most certainly don't know squat about Holy Week in Latin America. But thank you for not making me feel stupid because you're a genuinely nice guy.

Anyway, it was about this time (HEY, when did I switch tenses? English just tricked me!) that Jessie threw out the idea that maybe we should play trivial pursuit.

Seriously Jessie? SERIOUSLY?

It only took a moment for my brain to log what this would look like. Ken Jennings, Jeopardy champion, playing with Jessie, who has qualified two or three times to be on Jeopardy herself, and their spouses who are also very smart, and Wife who runs circles around me in knowledge of trivia, playing against me, who recently pooped his pants on a run when there was a porta-potty about ten feet away from him, and who tends to get lost on the way back from any bathroom, anywhere, and who, just today, couldn't remember if the percent sign goes before or after the number (it's confusing, okay?)

.Fun party game, or tool for utter humiliation? You decide.

Yeah. That would have been rousing.

Thankfully, other voices of dissent ruled, and the idea was shot down. And then we had hot chocolate and cake and, and as the evening wore on, I for one ended up having a good time..

But I'll always remember how close I came. How close I came to playing Trivial Pursuit with arguably the most brilliant trivial mind alive today. And how close I came to losing so drastically that my self-esteem was irreparably, irretrievably destroyed.

Ah, the memories...

Photo attribution here and here.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Choose your own adventure! Or Part II of the colonoscopy story

After some serious, profound, soul-searching,  I recently came to the conclusion that Los Readers (that's you, btw) were probably tired of reading about my anus.

Whoa! Anus over-share!

Oh. my. gosh. Seriously Kensington, is he talking about his anus AGAIN??

Because of this, I was seriously contemplating not finishing the colonscopy tale I started here, and just giving you this link to a hilarious blogger friend who recently had a colonoscopy as well, and wrote a post that is very, very funny about it.(Warning: contains swears. And is hilarious.)

But then, I started getting comments on my last post about eagles that were basically like "Um, yeah, thanks for the really awesome post about wildlife, but can we get back to serious business, like you talking about your anus? Kthxbai."

So, I decided to listen to my gut, and to Los Readers, and I came up with a brilliant plan. Here's how it will go: I will write part II of my colonoscopy story, but I will use ridiculous euphemisms in place of potentially offensive imagery. Then, at the bottom, I will include the key. That way instead of hearing about graphic stuff, you can enjoy some delightfully inaccurate imagery, and if you're so inclined to be horrified by the contents of my colon, you can choose to read the key.  So, it's basically a choose your own adventure! The control is yours. Do you feel powerful now?

Perfect. All right. Here we go.

My main concern when it came to ye ol' colonoscopy was whether or not I'd vomit. Not sure if you know this about me, but I actually have a bit of a vomit phobia (called emetephobia). So, instead of thinking "what if they put a camera up my "water well"(1) and find some pus-filled, infected malignant tumor of imminent death which will rack my body with unimaginable pain for months?!" I instead looked at my doctor when he said "you'll be drinking over a gallon of prescription liquid"  and whimpered: "...um, doc? Is this going to make me throw up?" (sucks thumb, holds jacket like a baby blanket, curls up into fetal position on the examination table)

"No," my gastroenterologist reassured me, soothingly. "It will just make your "peep-hole"(2) spray "cream soda"(3) like a garden hose."

I was visibly relieved. He went on. "Here's how this will go down. The night before your procedure, you are going to drink a concoction that will empty your "pillow case" (4) completely. You've gotta make sure you drink all of it, because this is the stuff that will make sure that we are able to detect any abnormalities during the procedure. You've gotta be totally cleaned out."

Totally cleaned out. Gotcha. No more "bunnies"(5) in the "rabbit hole"(6). No more "chocolate"(7) in the "chocolate factory"(8) Makes sense. And plus, I wasn't going to throw up, so it couldn't be that bad.

When the day before the fated procedure arrived, I was a little nervous. I don't mind admitting that I took the whole day off of work just to make sure I didn't "throw a party"(9).

The process was everything you'd expect drinking a liquid meant to clear your bowels would be. I made sure to keep the giant jug of the stuff cooled in the fridge because, as the pharmacist said, "you ain't gonna want to down glasses and glasses of this stuff warm." Correct, sir. I even tried to enhance the taste by throwing in some crystal light. And I discovered that there really is nothing more palatable than a delicious glass of crystal light powder mixed with a salty sludge reminiscent of what I'd imagine slugs finely blended in a food processor would taste like.

Glass after glass after glass... Mmmmmmm.

The thing that I didn't anticipate was the simultaneity. Liquid coming in, and liquid going out. Sometimes when the ten minute timer went off saying I needed to gag some more liquid down, I would find myself feeling an urge to "powder my face"(10) so strong that I was in a bind: drink more sludge, or relieve myself? I'd stand there frozen for a moment, unsure of what to do, considering the option of taking a nice cool glass into the bathroom so that the liquid could literally be pouring down my gullet at the exact same moment that I could hear it pouring out of my "lemonade pitcher"(11) into the toilet water.

For reasons of sanitation and sanity, I decided against that option.

After several hours of sitting on the toilet broken up by breaks to drink more sludge, punctuated by more frantic runs to the toilet to "paint rainbows on unicorns"(12), my body had had enough. I was exhausted. It was nearing midnight, and my "couch cushion"(13) was still trying to convince me that it was a fire-hose. I lay down in my bed so exhausted that I fell asleep, but kept waking up in the night worrying that I'd "sprinkle sugar on my plum cake." (14) I was surprised to discover, however, that I woke up clean as a whistle. One or two more trips to the bathroom to "put helium into the party balloons" (15) before I left to the hospital.

After the night of fecal fun, the actual procedure was a cinch!

Things to remember if you ever do this: 1. get there on time so a crotchety nurse doesn't yell at you. 2. when the nurse busts out the razor to shave your arm hair in order to put in an IV, just flex really hard so your vein shows, because then you'll avoid having a bald spot on your arm for two weeks straight. 3. try not to greet the university student there to observe your procedure so cheerfully when wheeled into the surgical suite. He or she will soon be watching a tube snake up your "rectum" (16) while you whimper in pain because the drugs had started to take effect, but only just enough so that you don't realize how ridiculous you sound as you pathetically cry out "oh, oh, oh, oh! More medicine! I need more medicine! Please!" in desperation, but not enough that you don't feel like you're being "tickled" (17) until the magic button of anesthesia is pressed. (Was that sentence as confusing to read as I feel like it is? Don't mind me, it's just the anesthetic talking.)

Anyway, long story short, the procedure was a raging success! And I got a call two weeks later letting me know the news.

They found nothing wrong. At all. Not even a hint of a hemorrhoid. Not even a whiff of a rupture.

Thus, official diagnosis: healthy as a horse
Self-diagnosis: hypochondria.

My life is made of win.

Oh, and PS, what was I doing post op? All day long?



Fish and chips and fries and fry sauce and burgers and root beer and ice cream and donuts and cupcakes and two candy bars and Cadbury mini eggs and sun chips and hummus with crackers and oreos have NEVER tasted so good



Oh, and if you chose the adventure where you don't read a lot of hilarious, graphic descriptions, you should not read the numbered list below.

Translation

(1)Anus
(2)Butthole
(3)Diarrhea
(4)Poop compartment
(5)Retched fecal matter
(6)Crap chambers
(7)Clumps of turd
(8)Nasty internal dung sleeve
(9)Spray liquid crap all over my computer desk
(10)Take a piss from my anus
(11)Sphincter
(12)Splatter brownish yellow reeking fecal liquid all over my toilet bowl
(13)Butt
(14)Leak brown streams of steaming butt-juice everywhere
(15)Empty the last streams of brown liquid so foul small rodents may have died from the stench into the toilet
(16)Rectum
(17)Sodomized violently by a plastic tube