Saturday, January 30, 2010

Classic Post: You ARE The Brut Squad

My older brother uses too much cologne. I think that over the years he's built up an immunity to it (like the Dread Pirate Roberts did with iocane powder). The problem is that no one else has grown as accustomed to it as he has. It’s enough to make your head swim. If you're stuck in a poorly ventilated room with him for more than a few minutes, you start to forget your own name. And a hug from him is like a chloroform-soaked cloth over your mouth.

I'm not sure if he simply enjoys smelling like a JC Penney men's counter or if it's something more sinister. Maybe he's just morbidly afraid of being stinky. Or perhaps he emits a natural scent that attracts man-eating cougars. Either way, it's almost unbearable to be around him. It's a visible mist around his shoulders and torso. You know when you pour gasoline and you can "see" the vapors right above the nozzle? Or when you look right over the top of a car's roof on a particularly hot day? I wouldn't be surprised if you could see the same distortion when you look past his drenched neck. It's a palpable aura of Old Spice aftershave and Brut cologne. It's like Pigpen from the Charlie Brown comics, only with a dizzying mixture of creepiness and overconfidence instead of suspended dirt. I'm always tempted to check his bathroom cabinet when I go to his house to see if he's stockpiled his source. He has to go through at least three bottles a week at the rate he's going. He probably has to buy it in bulk on the internet.

And you better hope you're never stuck in a car with him if you don't have access to a working window. You'd have to try to hold your breath the whole trip or find another way out. Maybe I imagined it, but the last time I was in his sedan, I could have sworn I saw claw marks on the door handle. It looked like someone in a crazed fit of panic tried to escape at any cost. Come to think of it, there was a date my brother came home early from a few years ago that he wouldn't tell anyone about. I bet she bailed while he was still driving.

Now my sister thinks he does it just to cover a standard B.O. problem. But I'm still convinced he's protecting us from being overrun by vicious cougars. One day he'll abandon the smokescreen of musky scent, and we'll finally find out who is right (... and who is dead).

Friday, January 29, 2010

The Floor Exercise

We're working on getting my son not to be such a sissy. And it's a pretty frustrating process. Because while he is totally unafraid of jumping off of a 7-foot rock, he apparently can't deal with being in a room by himself. So we're working on him sleeping in his own room for the entire night.

The problem is that he used to do this, but over time he wore down our defenses and has claimed himself a semi-permanent spot in our bed. So I decided enough was enough. I asked him why he won't go to his own bed. And as it turns out, he's a huge wuss (and a rotten liar). He's always saying he's scared of something, but he's not good at picking legitimately scary things. So he tells me that he's afraid of his windows, or afraid of the dogs outside (even though there aren't dogs outside), or afraid of his door, or afraid of his pillow, or afraid of his shoes. It's pretty much whatever pops into his head when I ask him why he's scared. So my plan was to put him in his bed and promise to lay down on his floor long enough for him to fall asleep. This works like a charm until he wakes up at 4:00 and sees that I'm gone. But it's a start. And it's much better than an entire night sharing a bed with a cold-footed, kicking three year-old.

The problem now is that I'm turning into my grandmother. I fall asleep at the drop of a hat. So I can't even wait him out anymore. I almost always fall asleep before him. At first, he would just sneak past me, run to my room, and lay down on my side of the bed. And that wasn't too bad because my wife would politely tell me what happened ("Hey Stupid! He snuck past you again!"). But more recently, he stays in his bed and falls asleep. Which is good... in theory. It just doesn't turn out too well for me. Because I fall asleep too. And I don't wake up until I'm too uncomfortable to breathe. So for the past week (or three weeks), I've awakened on the floor, freezing cold, with my entire arm asleep. Then I hobble to bed, realize I have to get to work in an hour, and cry. But not because I'm a sissy. I'm just crying because my back hurts from sleeping on the floor for 7 hours.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Top Ten Things That Scare Me

10. My three-year old son is almost faster than me already.

9. At some point in the future, I will not understand a fancy new technology.

8. If I'm not even 30 and my hair is coming out this fast, what will my head look like when I'm 40?

7. Having to buy sunscreen for my head.

6. Someone will eventually attempt to date my daughter. And I won't be allowed to kill him on the spot.

5. Big, giant spiders with poisoned fangs, lurking just out of sight. Waiting for me to walk past. (I hate spiders!)

4. Tiny, little harmless spiders. Waiting to crawl out of something and land on my hand. (Man, I hate spiders!)

3. Carnies. (Circus folk. Nomads, you know. Smell like cabbage, small hands.)

2. The fact that my fingers are too big to press individual buttons on my cell phone.

1. Accidentally saying something innocent that could be construed as racist while in the presence of people who beat up racists.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Skill Against Skill Alone

If there's one thing I wish I could communicate on this blog, it's the absolute awesomeness of my Andre the Giant impression. I really can't explain in words how incredible it is. And knowing every line from The Princess Bride means I can quote Fezzik any time I need to. Maybe one day I'll record my impression and post it on here or something. You'll be amazed.

The problem is that most of my impressions are only appropriate at certain times. So I don't get to use it all that much. Here are the five most common ways I get to impersonate Fezzik using lines from the movie. And this only works if you imagine them in the Andre the Giant voice.

1. When someone says, "Fine, we'll do it your way!"...
"My way's not very sportsmanlike."

2. When someone calls me fat...
"It's not my fault being the biggest and the strongest.
I don't even exercise."

3. If someone says, "I mean it!" to their kids...
"Anybody want a peanut?!"

4. When someone asks if I want to go swimming...
"I only dog paddle."

5. When I see an extremely ugly person...
"Were you burned by acid or something like that?"

The main problem is that a lot of people don't get these references, including some of my close friends. So I'll use one, they'll look confused, and I'll have to dejectedly say, "Nevermind" (and then stop being friends with them since they don't know the movie). I also do a pretty mean Gollum impression ("Stupid, fat hobbittses!"). And I can say "YES!" and sound exactly like Marv Albert. That one only really impresses like three people, though. Man, I really wish I could put all this on my resume.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Pop Quiz, Hot Shot!

I used to get all these quizzes from people a few years ago called, "How well do you know me?" And I always hated getting those because I suck at remembering stuff. And they never picked stuff I would know, like "Name five movies that Sandra Bullock has been in that have a number in the title." Because apparently knowing movie trivia doesn't equate to knowing your friends. (And for the record: Love Potion Number 9, 28 Days, Speed 2: Cruise Control, Two If By Sea, Two Weeks Notice.)

My friends would always ask ridiculously difficult questions like "How many countries have I visited outside the U.S.?" or "What's my middle name?" And those aren't really fair. I don't need to know your middle name (Mom). And the traveling question is just a lead-in for people to brag. Plus, I have a really bad memory for that kind of stuff. I can't even remember my own trivia. Do you have any idea how many times I've had to reset online accounts because I forgot my password and didn't know my own verification questions? It's at least once a week. I don't know my favorite teacher or my favorite author's last name. I didn't even know I'd ever picked a favorite.

Also, I think I put on too much deodorant this morning and it seems to be getting me high. I feel all loopy and light-headed. I hope that helps explain the post today. Thanks, Right Guard!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Where The Heart Is

My son is a little scared sometimes. It's still normal because he's only 3, but every once in a while I want to tell one of those death-defying stories about a fearless toddler. Well, I finally get to. See, he decided this weekend that it was time to experience some new things. So, while we were at the park, he jumped off the seven-foot rock climbing thing... twice.

The first time was fine. He landed on the chopped up rubber blocks and ran off. But the second time, I think he got a little cocky. He decided that he was a professional now, so there was no need to nail the landing. So he landed at a weird angle and broke both of his ankles. Okay, not really. He just crumpled a little bit and didn't land as well as the first time. So he hurt his rib a little bit. He doesn't even have a bruise. It was just a little strain or something. But my son doesn't know the word "rib," nor does he know the word "chest." All he knows is that the area that is sore is where his heart is. So he walked around all weekend, clutching his chest, whispering, "Daddy, my heart hurts." It was pathetic, adorable, and pretty funny.

In reality, the only time he was telling the truth about the pain was when we were at the park. But he caught on pretty quick to the fact that talking about a broken heart got him attention. So he kept saying it for the sympathy and the laughs. And since he can fake injuries so well, I think we're gonna have to enroll him in European soccer.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Classic Post - What's My Age Again?

I can't figure out how old I am. I mean, I know my actual age, but some of the things I do just don't match that number. I'm in my mid(to-late)-twenties, but there's a lot of stuff in my life that doesn't fit that age.

I drink coffee in the morning (like a 30-year old man), I'm losing my hair (like a 40-year old man), and I clip coupons almost daily (like a 60-year old woman). But I also play video games, stay up really late, and think flatulence is hilarious. And that stuff makes it seem like I'm about to hit puberty.

If you're only as old as you feel, then I definitely don't know how old I am. It depends on what I'm doing when you ask. I'll just have to combine all of the extremes so they average out. I'll stay up really late to clip coupons, drink coffee while I play video games in the morning, and make flatulent noises while I apply my Rogaine.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Subject-Verb Agreement Are Important, Etc.

Not being multi-lingual, I don't know if other languages have the same issues with their users as English does. I heard once that McDonald's employees in Quebec are required to be bilingual in order to work there. I'm not even sure if our American McDonald's employees are required to be monolingual.

I won't go into that same rant about they're/their/there like most people do. I'll just say that if Ayn Rand can learn English as well as she did and learn it as her second language, then people should do better if it's the only language they learn.

P.S. - Sorry for the short post. It's my day off and I usually blog from work. Because I'm a slacker.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

He Puts The "B" In Subtle

If the only thing my older brother accomplishes in a day is to give a stranger a story to tell their friends, then he's had a good day. That's why he tells people their socks are untied at the mall. And that's why he once tried to tackle a statue in college. But it's usually more subtle than that.

He got some new headphones for Christmas. And they're the earmuff style of headphones. So when you wear them, no one can see your ears. And one of the cool features is that you can detach the audio cable from the headphones. I assume this is to prevent you getting it caught on something and giving yourself horribly-embarrassing whiplash. But he's decided there's a better use for the wireless capabilities. He found an unopened pair of safety glasses at work last week (the ones in the picture, to be specific). So he puts on the safety glasses and the wireless headphones, and walks around the office like he's at a shooting range. And when people walk up to him, he unnecessarily raises his voice to speak to them.

I told him to kick it up a notch and carry around a printout of a torso with a target drawn on it. And poke 8 or 9 holes in it. I think I almost have him convinced that he should bring an actual pistol in and walk around with that too. Does anyone have a flak jacket he can borrow? He'll need an XXL. And it would be cool if it said FBI on the back. This is gonna be so sweet. Watch the news tomorrow for the full story.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

I Can't Think Of A Better Title Than "Random Thoughts"

Sometimes, the coolest stuff in the world is the stuff that you're only allowed to get if it's by accident. Because if you give yourself a wicked-looking scar, it's self-mutilation and you need help (you crazy Emo). But if you already have a wicked-looking scar, you're really cool. And if you just happen to find some gold or other valuable stuff somewhere, it's a neat story. But if you comb the beach with a metal detector, socked feet in sandals, and that zinc paste on your nose, suddenly you're a "loser."

Why won't the lady at the convenience store hand me my drink after she scans it? I mean, I handed it across to her. And it's the only thing I bought. I feel like a tool when I reach across the giant counter to take it back when it's just sitting there next to her hand. She's probably afraid she'll get germs from me if we accidentally touch. Or maybe she thinks I'm possessed by Azazel (like Denzel in that movie, "Fallen") and I'll pass him to her.

Planning is the key. Think of something funny to say before you inhale all that helium. Otherwise, you'll just hold your breath for too long and then waste it when you pass out. Trust me on that one.

Team Conan!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

My Head Feels Fuzzy

I went to bed at 3:30 this morning. I put my kids to bed (and bribed my wife) and signed online on my Xbox 360 to play "just a couple of games." Those couple of games turned into hours of stupid decisions. I played until I couldn't really think anymore, then I fell asleep in my recliner. And now I'm exhausted. If I turn my head to the left or the right, it feels like I'm underwater. And when I blink, it feels like there's a grain of sand under each eyelid.

I don't like this development. In college, I could stay up until morning and then take a power nap before my first class. I would look up from the TV, see the sun rising and announce my victory over the night. And I would only sleep in class because it was boring, not because I needed rest. But now, everything is different. I keep laughing at stuff that isn't all that funny (like the word "post-it") and if I blink too long, I start to fall asleep. I might as well be my grandfather.

I just found out today that there's a guy in our I.T. department named Waldo. And I think that would be a cool name to have. Because no one would ever be mad if you were late. Your boss would demand, "Where's Waldo?!" and people would laugh heartily. And he'd realize what he said and start laughing too. So by the time you got there, people would just be making that joke over an over again, and no one would care that you were late. But then again, no one would ever report you missing if you were abducted. Because someone would think it was a joke.

I don't know where that last paragraph came from. I just typed it without really thinking about it. I think I need to go find an empty office and take a power nap under the desk. But not because I'm tired. Just because I'm bored.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Can't Get You Outta My Head

I started singing "I Fought the Law" in my head this morning (because of this) and then realized that I only know that one main line. So naturally, it's stuck in my head for the rest of the day. And I will be fighting it will a barrage of songs from my iPod, using the "Shuffle Songs" approach, to no avail. It will take root in my brain and begin pushing out memories from elementary school (Goodbye Wall-ball tournament in 4th grade recess!) Then I'll start putting other words to the tune of "I Fought the Law" ("I bought some gum, but it's... all gone!"). So by the end of the day, I'll be certifiably insane.

But there's something else that makes all this even worse. When I was in high school, I got a song stuck in my head called "I'm in a Hurry" by Alabama. And I didn't love the song, but I didn't hate it either. It just got stuck one day, and I couldn't shake it. Hours became days, days became weeks. I tried everything I'd ever heard of to get it out of my head. I even did a Google search for ideas. But nothing worked. Finally, after literally weeks, I was blessed with a memorable event that drove it out of my mind (my dog died). But now, every time I get a song stuck in my head or a friend says they have a song stuck in their head, I start singing "I'm in a Hurry." It's horrible. Oh great... now I'm melding "I Fought the Law" and "I'm in a Hurry" in my head. And of course, the main lines for the songs just have to rhyme!

"I'm in a hurry to get things done.
I fought the law, and the... law won!"

Somebody help me, I... can't stop!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Classic Post

Since I've been blogging for six months now, and there are a few newcomers to the blog, I figured I'd start posting my favorite old posts on weekends and stuff. That way if people start reading the blog, they won't have to read 140 posts to get back to the ones I thought were good at the beginning. So here's my first blog post ever, called Restaurant Etiquette:

I can't go out to eat with my older brother anymore. And here's why:

He uses the waiter's first name like they're old pals.

"Tom! We're gonna need some more bread over here. Thanks, old pal!"

He also likes to tell the waitstaff that the entire party of 12 is ready to order as soon as we sit down, even if we haven't opened our menus and we're still wrestling toddlers into high chairs.
"Well, Tom, I'm glad you asked. I'll have a Diet Coke. And keep 'em comin' two at a time. I'm a heavy Diet Coke drinker. And I think we're ready to order even though you haven't passed out all the menus yet. The other side will be ready by the time you get there if you begin over here. I'll start!"

He apparently cannot answer with a simple "yes" or "no".

"Well, Tom, an appetizer does sound delicious. I'm a big fan of sliced, fried onion, after all! Who doesn't like a 7-dollar coronary disease guarantee? But I think the general consensus for our little group here today is going to be that we're not quite in the mood to try any of the wonderful-sounding appe-'teasers' this lovely evening."

He makes a point to fix other people's orders (even if the recipient is fine with it). And he requests their refills for them.

"Tom! Sorry to bother you while you're carrying three trays of hot fajitas, but my younger brother over here could really use another Diet Coke. He's positively parched. And I'm pretty sure my sister-in-law asked for no tomatoes on her hamburger. And as you can see, there's one on the plate next to the bun."

Pretty much the only reason I go is because he's started paying for my family's meals. But even that has its downfalls. Without fail, he offers to pay for every person at dinner and insists that people get whatever they want, only to forget how math works by the time the check arrives. So after ten minutes of looking at his receipt and remembering who had what, he picks on the two highest numbers on the list.

"Well Taylor, I hope you enjoyed that cheeseburger. I've never had one worth 11 dollars before. It must have been great. And I can't believe they charge this much for catfish, person-next-to-me. Are these famous catfish or something?"

I can even deal with all of that every once in a while. But he crossed the line last week. It was just him and me at a burger joint, and we had an "effeminate" waiter. Now, most married men will do everything in their power to solidify their hetero status in the presence of someone other than hetero. But not my older brother. He decided it would be appropriate to wink at him while making a joke. So that made my hetero status questionable. And I couldn't act upset, because then I'd look like the jealous half of a couple. I guess the good part is we got a free hamburger. But my older brother got a phone number I hope he never uses.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Things I Didn't Know The Meaning Of Until Looking Them Up For This Post

Tuffet/Curds and Whey - I assumed tuffet was some sort of fuzzy hill and curds and whey was the 19th century version of Mac and Cheese. But a tuffet is a stool and curds and whey is like cottage cheese with less flavor. So much for that.

Turkish Delight - That kid in Narnia loved it. It was warm and sounded like the word "turkey," so I thought maybe it was some kind of breaded chicken tender, but made with turkey. Turns out, it's a pastry!

Prima donna - Until ten seconds ago, I would have sworn to you that it was spelled "PreMadonna" and that it meant something before 1982.

Pedantic - All I knew was that Joey learned it from the word-a-day toilet paper he got from Chandler.

Centrifugal/Centripetal Forces - I have to admit, after reading about these on Wikipedia, I'll still don't have a clue.

Pejorative - I remembered this word when I saw it on the "Prima donna" Wiki page. I thought it meant being really excited and joyful about something. I was so close!

Impressionism - I thought it was a type of painting where you only use dots. Then you zoom out and it's a real picture. Apparently, I'm not an art connoisseur.

Connoisseur - I definitely can't spell it without help. But I thought it meant an addict. Think about it... wine connoisseur, art connoisseur, food connoisseur. Wino, pretentious hippie, fat guy.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Lazy Money

I love free stuff. And I love discounted stuff. And I especially love getting stuff for little or no effort. So I decided to start doing online surveys. I researched extensively for 8.3 minutes to find the best sites to use. My in-depth research concluded that I should join all of them and hope I don't get a virus from one of them. So after joining 2 or 3 bazillion survey sites (and getting a dozen viruses), I finally started making money. But the catch is that they make you choose between Amazon gift codes now and cash later. And when they say "later," they mean six weeks after you do the survey. And I'm not a patient man. So I always choose Amazon now.

The bad news is that my choices are limited. The good news is that I don't have the moral dilemma of needing groceries and having "fun money" in my PayPal account. So I don't have to feebly attempt to explain "off the budget" to my wife right before handing over my PayPal debit card. (And no, I don't know why I got a PayPal debit card. It just seemed to make sense.) And the really good news is that I've made $150 in Amazon money in the past two months. So I'm almost to the point that I can buy an HD handheld camcorder! And that's with little or no effort on my part. I just take surveys at work when my boss isn't around and then choose Amazon payout. Cha-ching! I mean, we won't have groceries as often as we'd like, but I'll be able to record video of my hungry children in High-Def now!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

What A Tool!

I've never been known for my physical prowess. The closest I've come to that is tetherball at summer camp. It combined some of my favorite things, like standing still, playing ball-related sports, and hitting stuff with a closed fist. But it also added some stuff that made it manageable for a fat kid, like the fact that the ball can't roll away and the longer you play the closer the ball is. But besides tetherball (and maybe bowling), I'm not an "athlete." Which is why I was so surprised when the Cowboys took me as the number 7 pick in the 2002 NFL Draft. Boy were they surprised when I walked on stage.

Okay, obviously just kidding there. But the point is that I was not the kid who got picked first for anything. And I'm totally fine with that (after years of extensive counseling). But, I have to admit, I've got the reflexes of a puma (and the magical powers of a liger). I think the problem is my brain. If I have to think about something for too long (like a slowly-pitched softball), then I suck because I overthink it (and strikeout). But if you throw a screwdriver at my head as hard as you can without much warning, I might catch it. And in fact, my older brother once did that very thing. He got mad at me for some sarcastic comment I made at his expense (which totally doesn't sound like me). So he stormed up the stairs to go to his room. But he stopped at the top of the landing and grabbed the first thing he saw; a medium-sized flathead screwdriver. So he picked it up and hurled it at me as he said, "Hey Taylor...." I can only assume that saying my name like that was his way of justifying attempted murder. ("If I yell his name, then I'm giving him fair warning.")

Well my puma reflexes (and possibly my liger powers) kicked in, and I reacted (notice the bolding on the word "reacted" - reread that sentence and really put emphasis on that word). I dodged the screwdriver with a quick head movement and snatched it out of the air with my right hand (see Mythbusters representation below). I looked up at my brother, narrowed my eyes (as ninja-like as I could) and whispered, "How dare you." I wish I could accurately describe the expression on his face. It was half "oh snap, he caught it" and half "oh snap, I just threw a sharp metal object at his head." So he went to his room and didn't mess with me for a good hour (which is a record).

So anyway, that was my shining moment. And no one was more surprised than me. And while I'm glad I caught it for dramatic effect, I'm more glad he gave me a little warning. Otherwise I'd have a wicked scar that nobody could see, and I'd never have gone to college.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Those Crazy Televangelists!

My niece is 2. And she's adorable. She quotes the movie Elf when people burp ("Did you hear that?!"). She thinks I'm Taylor Swift (even though I keep trying to tell her that I've changed my name to Chuck Danger Norris). And she puts her hands on her chin and squeals "I'm uh-sided!" when she gets pumped up about something. So yeah, she's cute.

My niece's mother (a.k.a. my sister-in-law) took her out of church recently for some unknown reason. I can't imagine she was being bad because that just seems impossible. So let's go with something else. Let's pretend she had very loud gas and was distracting the other churchgoers. Yeah, that's it. So to save her the embarrassment, my sister-in-law took her out to the cry room/nursery; a place she'd never been before. And since the room is down the hall from the auditorium, there's no two-way glass. So they installed a camera in the auditorium and put a TV in the cry room. Well, my niece was sitting there, watching the preacher talk about something way over her head. And she turned to her mother and said, "Mommy, can we change the channel?"

I know! That is precious! I'm so glad we agree.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Twitter Tracker! Twitter Tracker! Twitter Tracker!

I promised a friend of mine that I'd never say the phrase, "Follow me on Twitter." So I won't be joining any time soon. But if I did, here's what you might find:

So, I did a Google search for "Google searches that will get you on a government watchlist." And it turns out, that's one of them.

Every time I see an amputee, I want to ask him if his arm caused him to stumble. (Bible humor!)

If you have a disproportionately large head, don't wear a turtleneck. You'll look like a political cartoon. Or like a parade balloon that's only been partially inflated.

It's really difficult to hold back the urge to spit on cars (Hummers and BMWs) that take up two spots for no reason. I've never done it (when my wife is with me).

I think it would be fun to be a time lapse photographer. You'd only have to work like one second per day.

I told my son I go to work to get money. I also told him we need money to go to McDonald's. Now he tells me, "I want McDonald's. Go to work."

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Friday, January 8, 2010

Digress - See? I Told You!

When I became a parent, I came to the painfully quick realization that kids will repeat anything they hear. So my son has learned from me that it's appropriate to tell his little sister, "Okay... you have two options. You can do it or you can get a spankin'." And you're really missing a lot of the adorableness by not actually hearing him say it. A three-year old threatening a one-year old with a spankin' is like adorable overload. He's also decided that since he has to say "yes sir" to me, then people should have to say that to him. So when someone tells him yes, he firmly replies, "Yes sir!" Or the slightly cuter version, which is "Yes what?"

And fortunately for my kids (and definitely for me), I don't use foul language and neither does my wife. So we can rest assured that little Andrew won't sound like a high-pitched ex-con. (Although, I must admit that an ex-con that sounded like my son would be hilarious.)

On a little sidenote tangent here, I want to point out that through 100-something posts, I've never used the phrase "but I digress." I always fight off the urge because I feel like bloggers overuse the phrase as a comedy crutch. So go ahead, search for "digress" at the top of my blog. I bet the only one that pops up is this post.

So the real story here is about my older brother, who learned from our father that people often say "Amen!" during sermons at church. And he learned that it usually coincides with a passionately spoken sentence (a.k.a. loud moment) by the person giving the sermon. So the time he decided to repeat this phrase (loudly) just happened to be after a very funny comment. Here's how it went:

Preacher (getting increasingly louder): "God doesn't really need us. He doesn't need our money! He doesn't need our time!! And he certainly doesn't need my pathetic preaching!!!"
Suddenly loud four-year old: "AMEN!"
Suddenly embarrassed parents: "..."

Classic. And unfortunately for me, only the adults remember it. There was no camera or audio recorder present at the time. But I will always remember that story; because it's the main reason you'll never hear me speak during a sermon. I don't want my son to learn that and use it against me.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

A Few Pearls Of Wisdom From My Older Brother

1. "There are few things in this world that feel as good as a successful high-five."

2. "Dinner for breakfast (except pizza) = yuck. Breakfast for dinner = yum."

3. "Chicks dig scars. Just not emotional scars." (This is still my favorite thing to say.)

4. "There are few things in this world that feel as terrible as a missed high-five."

5. "To err is human, to air is avian."

6. "I can't pull off a mustache. Because that would hurt."

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Use It Well

I had my identity stolen. And that's not a joke. It totally happened. But apparently, it's not always as intense as people make it sound. Someone set up a credit report membership, and I got charged about 16 bucks as a first month's monthly fee. So, it was easy to fix. I cancelled my debit card, ordered a replacement, and called the credit report company to have "my" membership cancelled and refunded.

What confuses me is the fact that they used it on a credit reporting service. If you're gonna steal someone's debit card information, why would you do something responsible like set up monthly credit reporting? That's like breaking into a jewelry store so you can sweep the floors and polish the diamonds for them. I'd think they'd go to Best Buy or something. That's what I'd do. Not that I'd steal a credit card or anything, but if I did, I wouldn't waste it on a credit reporting site. (There's something ironic about using a stolen credit card number to purchase a credit report, but I can't put it in words.)

The funniest part of the whole thing was that my wife put it as her status on facebook: "Well, Taylor was a victim of identity theft." And the way people reacted, you'd have thought someone had shot me. "Oh no! That's horrible!" and "That's terrible! I'm so sorry!" But my favorite comment was by one of my friends who put, "That's just because people want so badly to be him." That was worth getting a new card and losing 16 bucks.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Sparks Flew

I took off my jacket this morning and heard the familiar crackle of static electricity being transferred into my body. That's the second most ominous sound after a shotgun being pumped. So very suddenly, I was playing a game of Operation at my desk. I was the tweezers and every metal object in my vicinity was the sides. And I'm horrible at Operation.

The problem with the static charge is that I'm always torn on what to do. Do I man up and fist pump the metal drawer to discharge the shock and get it over with? Or do I forget about it for a few minutes until I accidentally brush my cubicle wall with my forearm and smell singed* hair while screaming like a girl? Just for the record, I usually go with the second option.

But today, I got creative. I decided it's better to use that charge for good instead of evil. So I touched a dead bird and reanimated it (a la Doctor Frankenstein). Okay, not really. I really just shook hands with the annoying guy who sits at the front of my row. I timed my walk so we would meet at the corner. (Advantage #316 of being taller than average: I can see the tops of people's heads over the cubicle walls so I know when they're coming and who they are.) So since I knew the spark was coming, I was able to brace myself for it. And I gave a nice, sturdy handshake. But he didn't have a clue. So he did a little scream (more like a yelp) and jumped back. I really wish I could do what evil mutants do in the movies and make my eyes spark a little as I glared at him, but I couldn't. So I just settled for a corny joke ("Well, that was shocking!").

*I don't like the word "singed." It makes me think I misspelled "signed" or don't know the word "sung." I had to type that in a Word document just to make sure it was right.

Monday, January 4, 2010

What's In A Name?

My two-year old niece said this to me yesterday:
"Taylor... are you Taylor Swift?"

My parents named my brother after a legendary football coach. And they named me after my grandmother. So Mom and Dad, I hope you're reading this. It's time to change my name. And since I've gone this long with a girly one, I'm gonna hit the opposite end of the spectrum now. So from now on, I think I'll go by the name "Chuck Danger Norris." And I'm gonna jump the gun here and assign my own nickname, too. Please now refer to me as "Bonecrusher Scorpion, Texas Ranger."