Monday, July 11, 2011

Things that matter most

Yesterday, I was asked to speak in our church meeting for 10 minutes about "the things that matter most." Though I didn't use them, I made a list of common things that I think matter. Things that bring any small amount of joy to life. Here is the majority of that list:

Clouds shaped like animals
Attractive doctors
Fat babies
Clowns getting hurt
Head scratches
Salty popcorn
Cat’s stuck in trees
Eating until you vomit
Saying goodbye to people you don’t like
Suicide bombers accidentally pre-detonating
People who don’t know they have whipped cream on their face
Nazis coming to justice
Red hairs in my beard
Marshmallow matey's
Being taken out to eat
Strawberry lemonade
Rubber chickens
Gravy fries
Food channel
People slipping on ice
Choco Tacos
Finding money in your clothes
Peanut butter chocolate milkshakes
Cheese fries
Cows and ALL of their by-products
Buy one get one free (anything)
Burping when you are full and finding more room for food
Forgetting and then remembering you have cookies at home
Sheep noises
Animals eating with their hands
Animal sneezes
Finding and killing spiders
Bacon on other foods
Compliments from strangers
Grilled cheese sandwiches
Baby leashes
The elderly using technology
Cheesy blasters
Someone you thought was gay coming out of the closet
Watches that can go in the water
Rich, generous friends
Gift cards
Mistranslated t-shirts
Latins trying to say the word “beach”
Double yolk in an egg
Old people saying offensive things
Cookie dough
People that have to snowboard with a helmet
Seeing someone you know somewhere they shouldn't be
Slip n’ slides
People that swim with shirts on

Saturday, July 9, 2011

From the Vault: Christmas Cash

Please allow me to share a moment from my childhood.

This particular Christmas Eve begins like the others. As I tear into that square box that so obviously means clothes, I imagine one of the countless things on this year’s Christmas list (it was a good one). Pajamas again? Santa must have forgotten that he gave me some the last 4 years. Maybe next year. In the wake of disappointment, my sweet mother allows us to open the cards we had received from our beloved Grandparents in Washington. Cards are boring. I want a real present. One that requires batteries. Begrudgingly, I open the card. What’s that? There’s money in here. NO WAY! Fifty bones. I have never seen this much money in my life! I am rich and I know exactly what I am going to buy: Micro Machines van that folds out into an entire city ready for the exploring with my miniature cars.

I spend the following months developing a routine for my tiny cars and bragging to my friends: my grandparents gave me $50 for Christmas. What did yours give you? Each time, my story changes. My grandparents no longer surprised us with $50 each, but they give us $50 dollars every Christmas. That is how it has been this year and that is how it will be until one of us dies. I begin to plan for next year’s winnings. I have my eye on the Turtle Copter to go with my Ninja Turtle van. Maybe the underground lair. Either way, my turtles are about to see a lot more play time.

The decorations are up and my stomach is constantly full of cookies. It’s almost here. I begin to wonder if my mom will let us open our $50 on Christmas Eve again or if we’ll have to wait. I’m in luck. My Canadian cousins are here and we’ll probably open our money together. I sit in a circle with my cousins. We destroy the wrapping paper so fast that within seconds we are all showing off our new pajamas. Normally, I would start to wonder if this is a pattern, but I am lost in excitement over my money. The moment has arrived. I can’t wait to feel that crisp bill in my hands; to smell the sweet aroma of instant undeserving wealth. This time there is a present with my card. You shouldn’t have Grandma! I tear open the envelope but something is wrong. There is only $5. Where’s the rest of my money? It must be hidden in the present. The wrapping paper dissolves under my skilled hands to reveal a disgusting sweater completely absent of any currency. As tears begin to form in my eyes, I look straight into the camera that is immortalizing this moment and yell “WHERE’S MY FIFTY DOLLARS?”

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Somebody call a doctor

Lately, there’s been something wrong. Though I’ve been incredibly happy, I have been feeling off in some way. It is difficult to explain; please allow me to paint you a picture using a few examples from this weekend.

  • Friday, I went on a grueling 5 hour hike. Living up to the standard set for myself, I spent 4.5 of those hours deciding what I would eat when I got home. Exercise merits a culinary reward. 5 hours of exercise merits a complete gluttonous meltdown. Fudruckers soon became the obvious option for just such an occasion. On the way to Fudruckers, I was seriously considering the pound challenge (a $20 feast including a pound hamburger, large chili cheese fry, fountain drink, and ice cream sundae) which would leave me satisfied with a free T-shirt. These thoughts soon dwindled to only the pound hamburger which quickly became 2/3 of a pound. By the time I ordered, I found myself muttering the words “half pound” and I didn’t even eat all my fries. What’s happening to me?
  • Saturday, I got a to-go box at the world famous Red Iguana in Salt Lake. Let me repeat that: a TO-GO box. That indicates there were leftovers... enough leftovers to take home. What the what?
  • Monday. Independence day. A day of celebration and patriotism. A day of eating. A day of shock and disappointment. I was generously invited to a delicious barbecue with some close friends. Of course, I loaded my plate with both a hamburger and a hot dog to save myself the trouble of going back for seconds, which was inevitable. I don’t need to appear healthier by eating small portions multiple times. I am who I am and that is a one plate man… a one large plate man. I couldn’t finish my hot dog. I’m sorry uncle Sam.
  • Yesterday, I went to the grocery store hungry. When I go to the grocery store full, I spend around $50. Hungry? Call the bank, I need a loan. As I perused every last aisle of that safe haven from the storms of life, I noticed my cart inexplicably empty. I left the store with a bill of $12. Twelve. Dollars. Granted, I was pounding an ice cream cone as I shopped, but still.

Leftover food. Empty shopping carts. These have to be symptoms of some sort of disease.