Monday, July 27, 2009

Keeping the Romance Alive

It's just about time to get outta Dodge.  In a little over 24 hours, we'll be heading out to Gotham for our weeklong vacash.  Thursday is our seventh anniversary.  Not a nice round number, but if the theory of the seven-year itch holds true, we should be getting sick of each other.  Generally, that's almost never true on my end.  We certainly are in the part of marriage where it can feel more like a business partnership, and takes a lot of effort for the two of us to connect. Amy has certainly earned a getaway over the past five years of raising our kids, and it's been that long since she had a break longer than a weekend from the demands of motherhood. My main hope is that over the coming week, she can rejuvenate and relax, forget the tedious but constant pressures, and we can rekindle some of the romance that inevitably gets forgotten from time to time once you have two little numbskull boys.  I can only dream of being as manly as this guy, but I'll do my best to give her plenty of male ruggedness.  Travels With Gilly will be back in all its glory sometime soon after August 4.  Until then...

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

My boy is a graduate, and he's not even in kindergarten yet!

Jackson's graduation from NUAP (Northern Utah Autism Program) was today. We've been looking forward to being free of some of the inconveniences sending him to Ogden has brought with it, and having him attend kindergarten across the street. But Amy and I were both surprised at how verklempt we got at the end of this chapter of Jackson's life. And even more so at the quality of the ceremony. Having a graduation ceremony for autistic children is kind of like herding cats, so we thought it would be short and sweet, but they had some really nice touches while not making it painfully long like, well... every other graduation I've been to. Anyway, the people that run NUAP are wonderful. They love the kids as if they were their own, and it's a great support group, almost like an extended family. Moving on to kindergarten, even a special needs one, will be an adjustment. We feel very lucky to have had Jackson in there for a year and a half. He's made progress, but we still have work to do to help him reach his potential. But hats off to Anita Ure, Terri Drca, Jamie Tuveson, and the others who have watched over our boy.

Jackson staring into the Great Beyond and mulling his future plans of Goldfish crackers and a smoothie.

Jackson with his teacher, Jamie. He's not looking at the camera, which is completely appropriate for him, because he never looks into the camera except by accident approximately 5 percent of the time. Anyway, we're looking forward to more of these... okay, not really, but we're looking forward to seeing what other future accomplishments he's able to pull off, and other tricks he might have up his sleeve.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Can We Just Get to Football Season?

I used to love summer. And while there are still parts of it I appreciate (mostly movies and barbecues), the wistful summers of my childhood, high school, and even college years are history. Mostly it's just hot. And nowhere do I feel it more than in sports. I like baseball, and in fact that was my favorite sport growing up, but I think I am more in love with the history and its Americanness than anything going on right now. It's not something I sit around for every day. Football I could watch for hours. It's really the only game that you get a chance to miss (and usually I start missing it shortly after the Super Bowl). The NBA Finals go into mid to late June, for heaven's sake. Every game in football counts. College, NFL... I don't care. I don't want to wish away the next few weeks, because we have a fantastic (and rare) anniversary trip to New York City coming up. The season is almost here, but it's Sunday afternoon, and I've just got the itch. But soon, my precious. 350-pound men in skintight jerseys, the crunching of helmets and bones, receivers having the ball sail over their heads and getting knocked into next week... oh yes, precious, fall is almost upon us.

P.S. I will be taking a hiatus from my Lighten Up Your Monday column due to low interest and having some other things I want to write about. If you miss it, let me know, and I'll give it another whirl and see if I can drum up a little more interest.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Ricky Gervais at his finest

I am phoning it in a little on this week's "Lighten Up Your Monday," but hopefully you will still laugh, because it's Ricky Gervais, a certified comedy genius. His newest movie, The Invention of Lying, features the novel concept of a world where nobody lies, and his character tells the world's first lie, coming to wield its power for personal gain. I laughed my butt off at the trailer, and hope you do too. It opens September 25. Have a great start to the workweek!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

July Survey: What Makes You Most Skeered?

Okay, I'm not up to three times a week like I was gonna, but I'm getting there. We have less than three weeks until our big anniversary trip to NYC, and blah blah blah... you don't care. I'm still planning on thrice a week, but until we're back, it may just be twice. Not that I have many followers any more. But hopefully that will change with what has usually been a popular feature: the monthly survey. This month's topic would have been really well suited to Halloween, but I didn't want to wait that long. What scares the living daylights out of you (and what did as a kid)?

Is it clowns? A lot of people get freaked out by clowns. I personally am okay with them, although Pennywise from It is pretty freaky. Better yet, is it a children's marketing ploy gone terribly wrong?

Is it Pierce Brosnan singing? For those of you who haven't seen Mamma Mia!, the look on poor Pierce's face as he croons is even more scary and uncomfortable than the coyote-in-a-trash-compactor sounds of his warbling. He looks like he's passing a kidneystone.

The only thing I can think of that is a really irrational fear for me is power saws. I really hate getting cut, and although I've never fallen prey to one, I don't wanna. They're just moving so fast, and they don't even cut cleanly... I really prefer to stay away from them altogether. I feared loss of limb from Jason Voorhees as a young man walking home from my friend Brandon's house after a Friday the 13th marathon.

As I approach 30, I kind of fear old age, or worse, becoming bedridden and getting super fat. While I could lose a few, I'm not orca fat, and not in danger of becoming that way, but I am a little freaked out and a little prejudiced towards ginormous people. So I guess going to county and state fairs, or anywhere else that white trash gathers, I get a little creeped out. Anyway, that's enough from me. I've now alienated my obese demographic (and let's face it, that's everyone reading this... just kidding!) What about you? The time is yours.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Lighten Up Your Monday with Christopher Walken and the Three Little Pigs!

Happy Monday! Hopefully you all had a wonderful 4th of July weekend. I know I did. We visited my fam up in Brigham City, ate some truly excellent bacon burgers, played fetch with Ike, and played some H-O-R-S-E at the church. And Sunday was a perfect sit-around day. Now with only a few weeks to go until the New York trip, it's truly back to the grindstone, since we are in need of play money.

Christopher Walken is seriously one of my favorite entertainers. The truth is, I love any acclaimed actor who can succeed in comedy, which is not only more difficult but shows a willingness to lose the ego and not take oneself too seriously (yes, I'm talking to you, Sean Penn and Russell Crowe). Walken has been almost exclusively in comedies for the last decade or so, and his deadpan affect, sudden off-beat pauses, the strange, almost Shatneresque speech rhythm are somehow perfect for dumb comedies like Balls of Fury and SNL hosting gigs. It's easy to forget he's an Oscar-winning actor. This clip seemed perfect for my weekly "Lighten Up the Mondays" segment. No other actor could read The Three Little Pigs quite like this:

Friday, July 3, 2009

Celebrate the independence of our country by blowing up a small piece of it!

That was said by a truly great American, Apu Nahasapeemapetilon. Just a quick acknowledgment of stuff that has already been said much better and I'm not really worthy of anyway.  I'm kind of a cynical, grumpy man on most subjects, with one major exception. America has the most amazing history and greatest form of government ever known to man, and I don't suffer fools or abide a foul tongue from liberal pussies who go out of their way to look for the scourges so they can deny the obvious.  I'm eager to get celebrating this weekend, and once I've collected some money and made a few calls, I'm going to check out.  I hope everyone has a great (and safe) weekend, and that amidst all the barbecuing, you feel some love for what you've got, and say a prayer for the people on this earth who didn't get some of your breaks.