Monday, May 14, 2012

Birthday Recap UPDATED

On Saturday I turned 32.

It's kind of an unremarkable year, but I guess the main thing it means is that I'm now two full years away from my twenties. So probably I'm an adult now. Maybe.

It also means I spent the morning looking up abdominal pain online because I'm old enough to have that now. The pain is not really sharp, and it doesn't seem to be appendicitis because it's higher up in my abdomen and not constant. Based on my internet research, I have it narrowed down either being kidney stones or an ovarian cyst.  I'll keep you updated.

Anyway, I guess I'll break down what I got on my birthday.

Gift number one was a gift to myself. After a long run in the Seattle sun (for some reason it's been really bright and sunny and warm up here and it is awesome) and the dropping of a hefty deuce, I got this for my birthday:

I haven't seen the 180's on the scale for YEARS. 

It was good to see that my body can still metabolize sufficiently to get to this point. Because I was beginning to have doubts. 

Gift number two was related. Wife bought me new clothes that fit me. Here is the stuff I wore that day and then fell asleep in on the couch after eating ice-cream (because I don't want to have teeth when I am 74) and then woke up the next morning still wearing just in time to decide on an impromptu mirror photo-shoot with bed head before taking a shower before church so I would have pictures for this post (RUN-ON SENTENCES ARE MY FAVORITE):

 Note to self: cleaning the mirror for a mirror shot enhances visibility and makes it so you don't look like you're covered in chalk. Also, bed head is awesome.

Then of course, because this is me we're talking about, things got awkward...

This was meant to be a come-hither smile, but instead became a creepy grimace that makes me look like a Chester inviting children to help me look for a lost puppy near an elementary school...

Aaaaand scene.

Gift number three was incredibly epic. Here. Let's just start with a photo:

What you're seeing here is an actual pair of friendship bracelets, a la junior high, from my friend Konrad (whom you should follow on Pinterest). Look closely. They say "Gym Friends" which is an inside joke about us working out at the gym together and being friends. Maybe by "inside joke" what I actually mean is "totally apparent to anybody" joke.

But look even closer. Notice another similarity? We happen to have the exact same wedding ring.


Yes. Yes it is.

But it's still awesome.


 We also noticed that our wives have almost the same exact wedding ring as well.

Some Gym Friendships were just written in the stars...

The fourth thing I wanted to mention was a Facebook greeting I got that I thought was particularly awesome/hilarious.

My former professor Luis Carriere left the following uplifting birthday image for me with a message that said Happy Birthday, Weed Whacker:

Thanks so much for the birthday greeting, Death!

Other birthday highlights included: Thai food at one of my favorite places, a trip to XXX root beer for root beer floats WHICH WAS CLOSED because they are allowed to close whenever they want (seriously, their sign says that) and cupcakes and ice cream instead and a dulce de leche pie and a lot of great conversation.

It was a really good day.


I forgot one of the best things that I got on Saturday. Do you remember Chris from last year's amazing contest where people submitted mastheads to me as possibilities to use on this blog and then there was a voting even though people didn't realize it was a contest, and Chris submitted one that was incredibly powerful and evocative? Here, take a look at some awesome art. Well, in our family we have a tradition of making really horrible word paint cards for each other, and each one must include poop in some way. Because we are the most mature family in existence. So, Chris has been at it again, and for my birthday he sent me the following masterpiece about us when we were kids:

 Some families are just blessed with incredible artistic talent. And I happened to be born into one of them. Notice the subtle shading and texture of the phrase "oh, the memories." 
Yeah, take a deep breath and just soak it all in.
Pretty much the best birthday card known to man.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Like Father Like Daughter

When I was a kid, I liked to know things.

I liked to know secret things. Anything that felt secretive. Or anything about people being sad. Or anything that people were doing.  Basically anything about anybody my parents were talking about.

I remember asking my parents what they were talking about all the time. And if they didn't tell me, it was probably one of the most frustrating feelings of my existence. The future therapist in me had a compulsion to know.

And now I have a daughter who is exactly the same way.

It's uncanny, really.

She'll listen to our conversations without us realizing, and next thing you know, she's asking things like "what do mean (says names) have lost their house?" and we're like "whatever do you mean, sweet girl? You're not supposed to know that..." and she's like "I know it. I heard you talking about it. Where will they live now that they've lost their house?" and we're like "We're not talking about this with you! Nobody's supposed to know." and she's like "when I get home I'm going to tell all my friends that (says names) lost their house..."

We've gotta be more careful what we talk about in front of our children.

Anyway, a little while ago, during quiet time (which is basically nap time for kids who are too old for naps), Anna pulled Wife aside and asked if they could have a talk.

Then Anna began an onslaught of questions about Wife's childhood traumas that would make any adult blush. Wife happened to have a camera nearby so she snagged it and recorded part of the conversation.

Here's a snippet. (Wife wants me to emphasize that this was completely spontaneous and wasn't staged.)

Looks like we have another therapist in the family! Or a possible candidate for initiating the next Spanish Inquisition.

I couldn't be more proud.

(Also, I posted a day late, but that's because of technical difficulties of uploading a Youtube clip when I really wanted to just be sleeping so I went to bed so I could get up before the sun and go teach seminary without wanting to die. Don't hate.)

Monday, May 7, 2012

Vomit--A Story of Romance

This is a vomit story in two scenes, and it's tied to romance. Are you ready?

Scene 1:

I was nervous because it was my first date with pre-Wife.

We had known each other for many years--had grown up on the same street in Utah--and now both of our families lived in the exact same suburb of Portland, OR called Aloha (pronounced, Ah-loah. Obviously.) I needed a friend. It was time to re-connect.

We went to a movie. The movie was Volcano which I remember being worse than Dante's Peak. We were planning to go to dinner afterwards. But suddenly, near the end of the movie, pre-Wife leaned over to me and said "I think I'm going to throw up."

She had recently been in a car accident, and so being so close to the huge screen was making her sick. She quickly got up and left for the bathroom.

When she got back, I asked if she was all right. She said she felt much better. After the credits were rolling, I said "So, did you end up throwing up?"

pre-Wife: Yeah. I had trouble at first. But then I noticed a pubic hair on the toilet and... well, that did the trick. 

Me: Oh man, that sucks. 

pre-Wife: Not really. I feel better now.

Me: Well, I guess that means we're gonna skip dinner...

pre-Wife: Skip dinner? Um, I don't think so. I just threw up. Now, there's more room for dinner.

Me: You just threw up, and now you're ready to go get something to eat? You are awesome.

It was at that moment I was pretty sure I wanted to marry this girl.

And then we went to Olive Garden, but decided we wanted Pizza Hut, which we could see across the parking lot, instead. So we spontaneously left our sodas and walked across the parking lot and had one of the best conversations I've ever had, which has absolutely impacted my life in every positive way you could imagine, over Hawaiian and Supreme and Root Beer. 

Scene 2:

Our Wedding day six years later.

It was a busy day, as wedding days tend to be. Wife had TMJ still from that same car accident, and when she gets overly stressed, sometimes... well, she gets sick.

So, after we had been married in the Salt Lake Temple, we were feeling pretty awesome. It was an idyllic day--everything was amazing. Here. Here's a picture I scanned in a long time ago.

You can't fake this kind of happy.

Anyway, that evening we had our reception in a church building. The one thing I had ever imagined having at my wedding was a reception line. It's pretty much the only thing I knew about weddings, and so it felt all proper to have one.

Well, because Wife and I grew up on the same street in Utah, and had basically known each other our whole lives, we had a LOT of people come to the reception. Like, many hundreds. All filtering through the line. And Wife was getting very tired.

And near the end of the night, as she was sitting in the line greeting people, suddenly she felt ill. She stood up. The line was standing there watching, and she started to make a run for the bathroom. But she didn't make it.

She vomited right in front of the gift table. On her wedding day. With a line of people watching.

As she was being ushered away, a sweet old lady turned to her and asked, "oh, sweetie, are you nervous about... tonight?"

And it wasn't until that moment that Wife wanted to die, because if there was one thing she NEVER WAS, it was prudish about her desires to have sex on her wedding night. Indeed, she hadn't even planned our wedding at all--she left all the decisions up to her 12-year-old sister because she honestly didn't care about things like colors and where the place-settings came from or any crap like that. The only thing she was really excited and cared about at all was the honeymoon and the wedding night, which she had been talking about non-stop for years.  Because she is awesome.

And now an entire line of people thought she was so nervous about losing her virginity that it made her vomit everywhere on her own wedding day.

I'm happy to report, however, that she felt much better after her little pukey puke near the gift table. And much like that first date, after a preliminary throwing up, she was then feeling well again and ready to eat the Tupperwares full of cake we absconded with, and to have certifiably the best wedding night ever in the history of Earth.

Because I'm a Casanova.

And also because we were totally in love, and so excited to be starting our lives together.

And that is the story of how vomit was the connection that brought our courtship, dating, and the consummation of our marriage into full circle.

It seems I owe a debt to vomit. And to Pizza Hut. As well as to the movie Volcano. Which is a shame, because it was a really pretty terrible movie.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Handyman Part II--Garbage Disposal

I was planning on this being a series, and this is the second part of my flat tire post, but I ended up calling it "Stranded" because I forgot I was planning on making a series about me being a handyman.

But it is a series. And this is Part II. And it's about a garbage disposal.

I knew I was in trouble when Wife turned to me one afternoon and said "Sweetheart, the garbage disposal is broken."

I was baffled and perplexed. "What do you mean broken. Like, as in it's not working?"

"Yes," she replied. "That's what broken means. It is not working. And you are the man, so you need to fix it. Or in other words try to find someone to fix it for us, please."

Many days passed. I couldn't for the life of me remember for any period of time that we had a broken garbage disposal find anyone to help us. And then our garbage disposal began to stink.

Guests would visit, and the first thing Wife would say was "Sorry about the smell. It's our garbage disposal. It's broken." And then she'd give me a look like that machine is not going to fix itself, dummy. And then I would panic with responsibility and short circuit and start reciting Spanish scripture or change the subject by practicing Ninja moves across the living room. And she would roll her eyes.

My tactics were effective though, because last week I got a call from a friend of mine, Peter. "Hey Josh," he said. "I'm coming over to fix your garbage disposal."

"No!" I protested. "You don't have to do that!" But inside I was sucking my thumb saying "Please save us. Please."

Peter arrived a little later and I marched him into the kitchen.

Me: So, this is our sink. I'm pretty sure the garbage disposal is in there somewhere. Like, down in the sink somewhere. Down the drain. *points helpfully*

 Yeah, I'm pretty sure t's riiiight down there...
(Photo attribution here)

Peter: Yeah. The disposal is attached to the piping of the sink... wait, do you think it's inside the sink? How do you think garbage disposals work, exactly? 

Me: Well, I don't know about yours, but ours seems to be inside the sink. It's down there somewhere. *points again* Somewhere deep in the belly of the sink. And then the food goes down this hole, and you flip the switch, and the garbage disposal grinds everything up and makes it disappear. 

Peter: Josh, sinks are all about pipes. Piping water out of your house. Here, look... *tries to open the cupboard under the sink* How do you guys open this child lock? 

Me: Um, actually I'm not sure.  I've never looked under there before. Wife says we gotta keep the kids safe. And make sure I never accidentally drink Drain-O.

Peter: Okay...? Well, I'll just try to... *jiggles the lock until it comes off* *opens the cupboard* There.

Me: Oh geez! What's all that stuff down there?

Peter: That? That's the pipes I was talking about. And this big metal thing here? This is your garbage disposal. It's a machine. It has a motor. It's the thing that has been disposing your food all these years.

Me: Oh, okay! I think get it now. So there's like a car engine in my sink...

Peter: ...No. It's actually nothing like a car engine in a sink. It's just a motor. That grinds. It does not propel anything forward or backward like a car eng... are we seriously having this conversation right now? *removes the disposal*

Me: Would you like some juice?

Peter: Nope. I'm good. I'm just gonna look at this to see if I can fix it...

Me: Holy crap, that big metal thing you're holding is all grimy and disgusting! Sorry about that. Would you like me to take it out to the trash so you're not distracted by it as you fix my disposal?

Peter: This? *holds up the disposal* This is your garbage disposal, Josh. This is the machine we are looking at and trying to fix. It is the object in question. This is the actual mechanism used...

Me: *comes to with a jerk* Oh, I'm so sorry, what was that you were saying? I just fell asleep as you were trying to describe that thing in your hands...

Peter: Never mind. Give me just a minute to take a look at this thing, and I'll tell you whether or not I can fix your garbage disposal.

Me: Awesome.

Then he looked at the thing in his hands for a while and came to some conclusions.

Peter: Well, I don't think we can fix this. It looks to me like you're gonna need a new one.

Me (baffled): Wait, a new what? An new sink? A new house? The market's pretty rough these days but I guess I can make a few calls...

Peter: You need a new garbage disposal.

Me: You can buy those?  

Peter: Yes. It is a machine. That you can buy. And replace. And you need to.

Me: Oh! Kind of like a when you get heart disease and you need a heart transplant!

Peter:  ...okay, yeah sure. It's just like that.

Me: Peter, where do you get garbage disposals?

Peter: Don't worry about it. Give me your credit card and I'll grab one for you.

So, I gave him my card, and then he went to some store somewhere that has machines or something, and he called and said it would be about $100 and I was like "wow, that's a lot less than a heart transplant, so go for it" and so he bought it and brought it back. Then he got under the sink and did a lot of tinkering and stuff that I don't really understand, and there were some tools, and at one point he had to go home and get another tool thingie and I'm not sure what it's called. And then? It was all done, and he flipped the switch, and my garbage disposal in my sink was working again!

I was so relieved.

Peter had some final advice.

Peter: Well, I think that'll do it! Looks like it's working. Now if you ever have trouble with the blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah and then you can blah blah with a screwdriver blah blah blah and blah blah blah but don't ever blah blah blah really injure blah blah blah blah. All right?

Josh: Got it!

Peter: Cool.

And then as Peter left, I said "really, are you sure we don't owe you anything?" His eyes said "you owe me $300.00 and the last three hours of my life back." But his mouth said "Just have your wife make us some cookies sometime."

 Pro-tip: If you hire a plumber to fix some crap under your sink, he might just ask to be paid in cookies. So make sure to have some on hand.
(Photo attribution here)

And that's the story of the day I changed the garbage disposal all by myself with the help of somebody else who did it for me.

Speaking of posts that make me look really competent, remember that post that Wife didn't want me to even post here? Well, I found a home for it! And they've put it up! You can read it here.

Remember folks, it's satire. So don't be mad at me.

I think one thing is pretty obvious today: I'm the best husband on the planet. Except for all those other people who are husbands.