Monday, July 27, 2009

Fish gotta swim, birds gotta fly, ladies gotta have girl time

Note to begin: If the person/people who inspired this thought process read this blog entry (unlikely, but possible), please don't take this personally - you just gave me some food for thought. Thank you.

Moving on. Everyone knows that, no matter how much you love your spouse (or Significant Other, as the case may be), there are times in life when you just need to spend time with people of your same gender, people who more or less think like you do. Ladies needing "girl time," or guys needing "man time" (or whatever your group calls it) is understandable and perfectly okay. How this is accomplished, however, may need some review. The following options assume that there is a goal of a gender-specific get-together of some sort. We also assume that your Significant Other gets along with the S.O.s of the other people in your group. Ready? Here we go.

Option 1: Regularly scheduled meeting, probably on a more-or-less weekly basis. Examples could include gaming groups, singing groups, lunch dates, etc. This is, in my opinion, the best option. Your significant other knows exactly when you're going to be having your gender-specific time and can plan appropriately, perhaps arranging for some gender-specific time with his/her friends or pursuing a hobby you find annoying since you won't be around to be annoyed. It's a beautiful thing.

Option 2: Call up your buddies and say, "Hey, let's get together next week and do X." This isn't bad - gives some time for you to sit down with your S.O. and find something they would enjoy doing while you'll be away. You also have a specific plan so your S.O. knows you're not getting into trouble (assuming you've got the whole "relationship of trust" thing running smoothly). If you're too spontaneous/flaky for Option 1, this is the way to go.

Option 3: Call up your buddies and say, "Hey, let's ditch our S.O.s tomorrow night and go have some fun." Even setting aside the attitude issues, this is entering the realm of tacky for several reasons. First, there's no plan for either of the concerned parties and probably won't be until you meet up. Once you get together, you'll probably spend half the time trying to figure out what you want to do, assuming you don't just give up, order a pizza and tell stupid jokes/gossip until you pass out, several pounds heavier and not a ounce wiser. If that sounds like your idea of an ideal get-together, power to you and best of luck. Second, there's no time for the S.O.s to make plans. They'll probably hurriedly get together and be in the same less-fun-than-it-would-be-if-you-planned-it-out state as you are. If not, they'll spend the evening by themselves, probably doing something that they enjoy, but it's still tacky.

Option 4: Call up your buddies and say, "Hey, let's dump our S.O.s off to go do X while we hang out." This is bad. There's worse, but this is bad. You have the audacity to set the destiny/plans of not just your S.O. but of every other S.O. from your group of friends, doing something which, if they really all enjoyed it, they'd probably be getting together to do anyway, while leaving no plan for yourself. Basically, you'll be doing the less-than-ideal Option 3 while your S.O. and their friends end up doing something they probably didn't want to do in the first place. If any of you are ever tempted to do this, do yourself a favor and AT LEAST get the consent of all concerned S.O.s to participate in the activity you've planned for them. Much resentment will be avoided if you do so.

Option 5: Show up at their front door expecting to be entertained. Unless you're really, truly BFFs, so close that you would consider adopting each other and would take bullets for each other, this approach shouldn't have survived beyond grade school. It was tacky back then and it hasn't gotten any better in the meantime. You're making yourself an annoying door-to-door salesman with nothing to sell. Calling with anything less than 24 hours notice fits roughly into this category. And no, even if you've said, "We should hang out sometime," and they have agreed, that doesn't make this any better.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Summer reflections

It was the best of months, it was the worst of months, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us . . .

July is always a fun month. With Emilee's birthday to kick it off, my birthday toward the end and one of our BFF's birthdays in the middle, there are parties, presents, excuses to spend extra time with family and friends and, of course, cake, ice cream and Tucano's.

July is always a hard month. With cake, ice cream and Tucano's comes another notch on the belt, another article of clothing that just doesn't fit like it used to, a more disgusting visage in the mirror, more reluctance to shower and contemplate my body in all its corpulence. With the heat of July comes difficulty sleeping and a sapping of energy, even with our wonderful air conditioner, that brings malaise and a lack of motivation to do much of anything, let alone exercise.

This July has been laid back for me. Not having a job for the moment, while I do my best to maintain the house (doing dishes and cooking dinner for Emilee being the main daily responsibilities) and pack a box every day, I have plenty of free time to read, write, play games, make blog entries, load music onto my iPod, etc.

This July has been tense for me. With every piece of furniture that leaves the apartment, with every box I pack, every time I look at the new van, every time I say good night to my friends, every time I listen to music from the CD I made with Impact, I think of what we have lost and are losing as we move to Connecticut. Every time I read my email, every time I look at paperwork still to be filled out, every time I think about spending so much as a dollar, my mind shifts to the doubt, debt and uncertainty which await us in Connecticut. Every time Emilee asks if she really does have to go to work today or if she can come home early (jokingly done almost daily), my heart is filled with guilt as I know I'm not contributing enough.

My friends and family encourage me to be excited for the adventure to come but I'm kinda having trouble feeling adventurous through the doubt.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Hypothetical birthday wish list

It might seem odd to make a birthday wish list 2 days after one's birthday, but this is being done with a purpose. This isn't a true birthday wish list but, rather, a list of things I'd love to either receive or obtain if funds for utterly-useless-but-still-cool birthday presents were unlimited. In other words, there are things I'd MUCH rather get for giftable occasions and there are far more useful things on which to spend one's money but it would be cool to have this stuff:


The Master Sword and Hylian Shield from The Legend of Zelda. Combined Cost: $120. The tunic would be nice, too, but I doubt they make that in 3XL
What gamer wouldn't want his own health and mana potions? Even if they are just well-marketed energy drinks, this would be super cool. Cost: $20 for a six-packA new, superpowerful computer (yes, with all the bells and whistles, including the lighting effects - that's the part the makes a computer upgrade fit into the "useless" category) like this one. Cost: Starts at $7,000.

Assorted Star Trek memorabilia - outfits, equipment, starship models (too bad the real thing won't be on the market for a few hundred years!), the works. Cost: maybe if I got on Bill Gates's good side . . .

Where are we going?

No, this isn't a post about getting ready for Connecticut - that would be counterproductive to my state of denial which is allowing me to keep going in my swiftly emptying apartment.

What this IS is a chance for you, my loyal readers (and yes, I know that this mostly means my parents and brother), to influence the direction this blog is headed. What would you like to see more of here?
  • Mental Meanderings - Steve's inner thought process and psychoanalytic journey
  • Modern Superhero - More stories/input from Sapphire Sting
  • Photo blogs
  • Spiritual musings
  • Political ramblings
  • Somehow convincing Emilee to actively participate
  • Something else entirely
Please sound off and let me know!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Birthday Party at the Zoo

As part of our ongoing celebration of our birthdays, Emilee and I decided to head to the zoo with whoever else could come along. We picked up in-laws Stacy and Jared Loveless and bestest buds Derek and Stephanie Aud, packed a light picnic lunch and headed down to the Hogle Zoo. Photo time!

video
The curtain of water parts to reveal our cast of characters.








Yes, the kitty was my favorite thing at the zoo. Can I take it home with me, pweeeze?




Their bird show is really quite impressive. Our group agreed that it by itself was worth the price of admission.

Steve the Prarie Dog

This little fellow (you'll want to click the picture to zoom in) perched on Stephanie's shoulder for a long time before we bopped it off. We jokingly referred to it as her attacker.



The only thing "light" about this picnic lunch is the fact that we followed it up with a trip to Toucano's. You ladies outdid yourselves!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Saying goodbye

Over the last few months, Emilee and I have been preparing for our upcoming journey to Connecticut - putting stuff into storage, spending time with friends and family in the area, going to the Hogle Zoo one last time, etc. As we get closer to the time of departure (only a few more weeks now), we're coping with the emotions times like these bring. In the midst of this, we have had a sudden blow. As previously mentioned, our old car, Virginia, died on us. At the time, this was a worrying inconvenience which, thanks to my parents, had a fairly rapid solution - we now drive their 2006 minivan.

Today, however, we had to say goodbye. I called an auto wrecking shop and, feeling like Judas Iscariot, signed away my old friend for a few silvers. I followed her to her resting place, her headlights looking back at me from the back of the truck as I drove. We reached the yard and the doors opened, revealing a yard full of wrecked bodies and hacked-off engines. And there, with tears in my eyes, I bade her my final farewell. I retrieved her new tires, the forklift hauled her away and the gates closed on her forever.

It's silly to invest so much emotion in a car - it's an inanimate object, after all - but she's been part of our family for 3 years, our companion through our greatest adventures. She's bailed out friends, escaped fires and survived so much, only to be destroyed from the inside by rusted antifreeze and sold to men who will destroy her without remorse or feeling. She deserves better, somehow and it breaks my heart to leave her to die.

I need a kitty.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Why are you here?

If you visit this blog on a regular basis, you're probably a family member or, at least, a close friend. There are many people who stumble across here for other reasons, though. Some recent things people have come here looking for include:

Wii related questions:
How to thrust nunchuck forward
Assorted Wii game reviews

Random search terms
Disney Pixar short Slightly Cloudy
Skit about LDS Pioneers
Helpless Superheroines

Pictures
The Blue Whale bones at the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History
The Fireworks Stand


One of the odd search items that brings people here most frequently is Vibroman, usually searched for from Spanish-speaking countries. Could it be that I have tapped into some cultural icon by accident? Searching for it on my own turns up very little. On the other hand, maybe I don't want to know what lies deeper on this one.

Which classic Superhero are you?

Your results:
You are Superman
Superman
95%
Spider-Man
85%
Green Lantern
70%
Iron Man
60%
Batman
55%
Hulk
55%
Robin
52%
Supergirl
45%
The Flash
45%
Catwoman
35%
Wonder Woman
30%
You are mild-mannered, good,
strong and you love to help others.
Click here to take the Superhero Personality Quiz