Thursday, December 25, 2008

the self-conscious and the unmentionables (a Christmas story)

for starters, merry Christmas! i'll go out of my way and type out the extra 5 key strokes to spell out Christ rather than x. i know i have just wasted a half a second or maybe even a full second doing that as well as needlessly exerting finger stroke effort so it will be a miracle if i have both the time and the stamina to finish this post, but the 25th is a day of miracles... especially if you live on 34th street, so i'll take my chances. for the record, i don't live on 34th street, but i am visiting my in-laws and they live on a numbered street so that will have to do. i'm already tired and running out of time thanks to those darned extra 5 letters (not because of my ramblings) so i must move on!

now that Christmas is here and the gifts have been opened, i would like to share a recent experience i had in purchasing a gift for my loved one. the cooper family has started a small annual tradition of buying the boys a set of pajamas for Christmas and letting them open the pjs the night before Christmas. it's fun stuff... the boys like the pjs and we get to placate their gift opening anxieties by letting them open a Christmas present a little early, so it's a win-win, right brother covey?

anyhow, this year i was feeling a strong case of the giving spirit and, as such, while out shopping, i unilaterally decided that the scope of cooper family pj tradition needed to include my wife, aimee. why not? she likes pjs and is always looking for a new set and i like shopping and spending money... another win-win. brother covey would be proud.

so, the other day when i was at a store shopping for some other stuff, i happened to notice the adult pj section of the store. more specifically, i noticed the lingerie section of the store. i typically don't notice that kind of stuff, but since pjs, aim, and the giving spirit were in the back of my mind i must have sub-consciously been drawn to the dainty little gowns that seemed to be calling out to me like sirens of the sea. i was entranced. as a result, i largely lost control of my human faculties and the tractor beam effect of the silky soft, lacey, or what have you pjs became increasingly enticing.

the little boys weren't with me and so i thought what the heck, let's have a looky-lou... besides, this is all for the grand purpose of including aim in an ancient family tradition. very noble of me if i do say so myself. with that in mind, i meandered on over to the lingerie racks and started to peek around; however, it wasn't long before i remembered why it is i do not like shopping for lingerie by myself: the pervert complex.

maybe i'm a little self-conscious, but i get this enveloping impression whenever i shop for female undies (not that i do this very often) that everyone who sees me is automatically labeling me as a degenerative pervert. it's not just an impression either, i can practically see it in their eyes... that "how dare he? perv! i can't believe he actually expects his wife to wear that... sexist pig! i can see where your mind's at! etc. etc." what do they know?

let's not jump to conclusions here. why can't they just assume that i am purchasing lingerie for some orphanage, kids in africa or similar good cause like that... no, they have to assume that i am buying the goods for my own selfish desires. what they don't know is: aimee. she loves the stuff. so much so that i feel like i need to explain this to every woman passer by who glances at me, the one man in the lingerie department, as i hold up hangars and combos trying to decide between the fish-net nighty and silky red teddy... at least i don't hold them up to myself and check it out in the mirror, then the ladies would be justified in their prejudicial notions.

"mam, don't look at me like that... it's for my wife, we're married with kids... no, i'm not wearing a ring, but that's because i lost it... excuse me, you think i'm a what... i don't even know what that means... look, i have a permission note from my wife, right here" actually, i don't have a note, but maybe i should get one in the future for my own sake. problem is, that would spoil the surprise and who would believe it anyway. it's impossible to know.

anyway, i ended up picking out a couple (and by couple i mean three) tasteful little (and by little i mean skimpy) numbers that seemed to embody the holiday spirit, but not much else. content with my selection, i then made my way to the check-out stand. at this point, i thought the degree of insecurity and self-consciousness within me had reached its peak... that was before i looked around and realized i was one of about three men in a store of probably sixty people (one of the negatives of shopping during your lunch hours when all the stay-at-home moms are out on the prowl). as i approached the line to the registers, i felt the collective evil eyes of the day-shopping female militia lock-in on me and fire perv-seeking missiles one after one in my direction. just get to the register, my man.

what's worse is that there was a long line and i was behind a mom and two young kids and the two young kids kept looking back at the guy with the female underwear behind them. i am certain my presence in line behind them prompted a premature, not to mention uncomfortable, talk with the parental guidance on the long drive home. guess they won't be sending me a Christmas card this year. i couldn't get out of that store fast enough. but the line was moving.

only one more hurdle: the cash register. this wasn't going to be easy i thought as i groaned from within and noticed that all the cash register attendants were female. that's actually the worst obstacle of all since i actually have to look them in the eyes and say something to them with the underwear in hand. i always worry they will unnecessarily call for a price check "for the perv on three... he's objectifying his wife by buying her some lingerie and didn't even have the decency to make sure it had a price tag on it!" it's only a matter of time before this happens. fortunately for me that wasn't the day... the lines were so long, the manager had to come open a register and he was a guy, not sure we were playing for the same team... but, nonetheless, a guy. there is a supreme being and he is a man. thank you.

and with that the pressure subsided. i relaxed and actually looked the attendant in the eyes. in fact, the male cash register even commented on what a great deal i was getting on one of the sets. we shared a laugh and connected on a level only lingerie buying males can (it doesn't matter for whom it is purchased, just that you have purchased it in the past). it must have infuriated those who were already offended by the purchase that i was being let off the hook so easily, but they'll get over it as soon as they open the lingerie Christmas gift their husband/boyfriend bought for them. we're all the same i'm told.

so, i purchased the unmentionables and hurriedly drove out of sight as i shouted to all... i'm going to have a great night (on Christmas eve that is)!!!

just for the record: aimee was thrilled to be included in the cooper family tradition and not offended in the least. i hope i have not offended any of you. if i have, i recommend that you incorporate this tradition into your own families and read this story as a family event every Christmas eve.

lastly, i think aim was so pleased with my purchase that she has decided to purchase me Christmas pjs in the future... nice.

pics coming soon (yeah right, perv)!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

misery: i've underestimated my charm

alright, so i am back, but with good reason. the last time i blogged and you read my post i had ended my career as a blogger since i felt it was very unlikely that i would ever blog again due to the snow storm conditions that engulfed las vegas at the time. however, i battled the torrential elements of that evening as i crossed the one inch of snow that covered vegas' frozen tundra until i could go no further. it was then that i lost all hope of ever seeing my wife's sweet smile again and so i pulled over to await my icy grave.

luckily, i keep two sleeping bags in my trunk just to make myself feel more like an outdoorsman type. i grabbed the bags and tried to keep warm. i found a whistle that i started blowing just in case rescue trucks were cruising around looking for survivors. i turned on celine dion and listened to "my heart will go on" and reflected back on my life starting with one of my earliest memories of my parents telling me that the shadows on our back porch were actually grizzly bears. it scared me then and upsets me now. how could my parents lie to me like that when they knew that it would scare me? i would never scare my kids like that unless it's at seaworld and the employee dressed up like big bird scares colston so bad he screams like a little girl and runs for cover. one of the funniest things i have ever seen.

i was just about to answer the rhetorical question about my parents when i all of sudden felt the life slipping from within me causing me desire a long winter's slumber. then, just when i thought i was about to crossover to the other side, i saw a light... not that kind of light, but a flashlight. someone was outside my car. had they heard my whistle? who cares, i had been saved... so i thought. turns out the person who saved me was my biggest blogging fan ever. she was a fanatic... a little too obsessed, but i was happy to have her pull me out of my cold car and throw me into her warm one.

hypothermia had set in as had frostbite. i couldn't move my arms or legs and wasn't quite lucid, so my mystery rescuer took me back to her house. we drove forever and i was so disoriented by the time we go there i had no idea where we were. she placed me in a bed to rest and that was when she realized who i was... at least that's what she said, i have a feeling she had been stalking me. i was too tired to care and quickly fell asleep.

when i woke up the next morning, i was feeling much better and was ready to get home. but, when i tried to get up i couldn't. i had been tied to the bed. "that's strange," i thought as i surveyed the room a little more closely now only to notice framed printouts of all of my previous posts lining her walls along with all the pictures i had ever posted on the blog. what's more is she somehow had gotten a hold of the speedo video clip which was playing ona conitnuous loop on three tvs in the room. there were posters, t-shirts, buttons and flags for the cooperfive fanclub everywhere. she was apparently obssessed with my blog. i was somewhat flattered for a moment, but then it got a little weird for me since i noticed that some of the cooper paraphernalia was from pottery barn and it was to die for.

just then my rescuer stomped in the room and she was mad. gone was the warm, happy, smiley face that pulled my from my icy tomb the night before. instead a woman resembling chunk's mom from goonies stood before me ready to stuff my head into a blender. chunk's mom then angrily explained that she had read my last post after she brought me home last night only to learn that i had retired from bloging. she was furious for she, like many of you, found purpose and meaning in life through the blog. she depended on it, she needed it. it was her north. it completed her. she had been to rehab twice already because of her addiction to it. police had actually talked her down from the ledge on several occasions by simply reading the blog to her. and now it had been taken from her. well, not if she had anything to do about it.

chuk's mom demanded that i resume blogging on a daily basis from the bed i was in for the rest of my life. she then took a sledgehammer to my feet. that hurt. i didn't know what to do. i didn't realize the influence my blog had on my readers' lives since up until that night, i thought i had met both of them and they seemed to only read it because one of them gave birth to me and the other one married me. as far as i knew, chunk's mom fulfilled neither of those roles so she must actuallly like it of her on free will and choice... but i was so confused and despondent at that moment i didn't know what to believe. i told her i would comply with her wishes but only if she would run to the store to buy me some sticky toffee pudding ice cream. man, that stuff is good. so, she left.

at that moment i had a window... not the kind you can see out of or that serves as an operating system on your computer, but one of opportunity... and i needed to make the most of it. luckily, i am fairly strong for a desk-job man and was able to tear free of the makeshift bindings chunk's mom had fastened upon me. i then fell to the floor and dragged myself down the hall to what appeared to be a phone. upon reaching the phone, i realized it was a rotary dial phone. where most kids these days would panic at the sight of the now essentially extinct rotary dial phone and then cower with fear at the thought of actually having to put that much effort into dialing a phone number (assuming they would even know how to use it), i didn not waver one bit for i was well acquainted with the ways of rotary dial phones having had one at my parents' house up until only a few years ago.

my parents must have known that keeping that rotary dial phone for us all those years would someday come in handy. i knew they had raised me right. so, i went to dial 911 just like my son, caleb, always tells me to do when something as terrible as the tv not turning on happens. but just as i dialed the nine and it slowly made its way back around the dial i heard a car pull up. it was chunk's mom. i hurried and dialed the rest of the numbers but had to move before i could talk to the operator as chunk's mom had entered the house and was making her way up the stairs.

i started to return to my room but realized i wasn't going to make it and so i started crying. for the record, it was a fake cry, but it was enough for chunk's mom took pity on me upon seeing the tears flow. she then sat down with me, had a heart to heart over a bowl of sticky otffee pudding and she then let me go. turns out chunk's mom had an eating disorder. i listened to her talk about her issues with weight and insecurity and told her she was special regardless of what she looked like and if she ever needed a reminder, all she had to do was log on to the cooperfive for a reminder. we hugged it out and went our separate ways. now, one week later, i sometimes wonder what chunk's mom is up to and if she's making her way in this cruel world. she'd probably post and let me know if her fingers weren't so chubby that they hit more than one key with each stroke. that's ok, chunk's mom, i know you are reading. be strong. drop the sticky toffee pudding ice cream (drop it off at my house preferrably).

man, i've got charm and charisma. i mean, that's what got me into this whole mess in the first place, right? and it's definitely what got me out of it. this blog is like a charm magnet except that it doesn't attract charm like a magnet would, it attracts people to my charm and what's more charming than reading about someone bragging about their charm. thus, i may in fact be the model of a charmless man, but at least i have a brand new shirt to protect me.

so, my blog zombies, realizing the influence and utter joy that this blog has and gives to you and your lives, i have decided to retract my earlier post on blog retirement and give you all an early Christmas gift on this very Christmas eve: me. i just went through hell for you and i'd gladly do it again except that maybe i should put my nun chucks and light sabre in the back of the car with the sleeping bags for self defense purposes.

to finish off morrissey's line from the last post...

"this is the last post i will ever post (audience cheers), no, i changed my mind again (audience disappointedly sighs)...

goodnight and thank you."

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

hell hath frozen over






to my faithful blog reader (no that's not a typo, i think my blog nation is down to one),

the day has finally come and as the title to this post indicates, hell has frozen over. this double entendere has two meanings (fyi: that's what double entendre means).

first, vegas is often referred to as hell. it is now snowing the likes of which this town has never seen in my lifetime. thus, in one sense, hell is in the process of freezing over.

second, this post will be short. many of you have probably said that a short post from me would happen when hell froze over. we'll, it's happened and is happening.

thus, in closing, as the immortal steven morrissey once sang "this is the last post i will ever post(audience cheers)..." actually, he said "song" and "sing," not "post" and "post." i have decided to bring to a glorious end all posting on the blog since i just learned that the worsening snow storm conditions have forced the closure of certain freeways i take to get home. it's ugly out here. but don't cry for me, las vegas, my time as a blogger has run its course.

in other words, i might not make it and i'd rather just say "goodbye" to all of you from my platform of choice than in my casket at bunker memorial.

so, i guess this is it. if my frozen solid remains are found days, maybe years, from now covered in snow, know that my final thoughts were with you, my blog zombies.

ciao... and, yes, this is a short post for me.

Monday, December 15, 2008

a tale of two halves: kit kat patty whack's pizza preferences and cookie droppings





today is another glorious birthday day for a loved one: my younger sister, kathryn. i just call her kathryn for short. some people call her kate or kat, but that's just not who she is to the greater cooper family... and i speak for the greater cooper family. kathryn will do just fine for all you name shorteners out there - enough with the disrespect already.

anyhow, in the spirit of my newly instituted practice of embarrassing people on their birthdays, i must carry on with my dear lil' sister. kathryn is an interesting person. on the surface she may seem very quiet and reserved, but once you get past that facade you'll see that she is quite determined, dramatic and sometimes lacking in control and coordination... dare i say "spastic". of course i say these things with the utmost affection, but to understand kathryn is to see her not only in the role of erudite scholar and fervent churchgoer but also as kathryn the boom boom shake shake dancing queen at the nevada cancer institute concerts or the highly competitive and excessively animated charades/cranium participant. as her elder, i have had front row seats to all facets of kathryn for some thirty-one years... but who's counting?

for starters, k-jew, as i will now call her (jew is short for jewel, kathryn's middle name and k-jew kind of rhymes with bijou which is french for jewel and bijou was once a name k-jew wanted to give to one of her lucky offspring... fortunately she grew out of that one) was a valedictorian in high school and graduated summa cum laude in college, so she's no dummy. she had quite the academic career and her accolades are nothing short of spectacular. however, oft times, k-jew is caught saying or doing things that may lead one to question the accreditation of the academic institutions bestowing such honors upon her.

take for instance the simple act of ordering a pizza. it usually starts late one weekend night when the greater cooper clan is sitting around j and k's place with a hankering for some pie. some things in life are certain: death, taxes, and the coopers' love of pizza. the yearning and burning for late night pizza typically results in a phone call to whatever late night hole in the wall pizza joint would be willing to deliver some food way out to the nether regions of the vegas. on this particular night, somehow k-jew was charged with the phone call and the ordering and, as such, a call was placed. for some odd reason we all sat and listened to k-jew like fasting vultures ready to pounce on their rotting prey as she placed the order. as best as i can remember, the one side of the conversation we were able to hear went something like this...

k-jew: hi, i'd like to order a pizza... do you have any specials?

unheard response

k-jew: ok, can i get two larges then... how big are your larges and how many slices do they have?

unheard response

k-jew: ok, two larges then, can we get one with pepperoni and one that is half hawaiian and half pepperoni, please?

unheard response and question

k-jew: just put the hawaiian on the right side... oh wait, what do you mean???

unheard response

k-jew: embarrassing laugh oh, you meant "which sides would i like (not what side of the pizza do you want the toppings on with the split order?"?

laughter erupts from the rest of us.


ok, maybe you had to be there, but for those of you who didn't quite get it the first time around, allow me to explain. apparently, while k-jew was ordering, the pizza phone guy asked if we'd like any sides and, apparently, k-jew thought he was asking which side of the pizza we would like the half and half orders on not realizing that a pizza is a circle and can be rotated any which way so that each half can be on either side of the pizza, bottom or top, as well as pretty much any other possible section of the pizza by simply rotating the object clockwise or even counter clockwise. believe me, it was funny stuff.

since that was so short, and i am incapable of being short on the blog, i will share one other bijou from the family annals. this one occurred some time during k-jew and dr. lemone's early years of marriage. in fact, it is entirely possible that the two of them were not even married yet which makes this tale somewhat more enjoyable. disclaimer: my account of this story is strictly hearsay, so i apologize for any misrepresentations i may make. take it for what it's worth.

about this time of year some 8 to 11 years ago, k-jew and bryson the yankee frenchman decided to spread some Christmas cheer. at this point in their lives, the two were living in the sleepy little town of provo, utah attending school. being the little do-gooders they were, the the soon to be mr. and mrs. lemone decided to bake some decorative holiday light looking cookies and deliver them to some family members living nearby... although i would consider myself a family member living nearby at the time and have no recollection of having ever received any of these cookies. nonetheless, the cookies were made, frosted oh so artfully and then gently placed in a stylish box the presentation of which would make two wards' worth of enrichment attendees feel inadequate, incapable and utterly hopeless as modern latter day saint women.

once the boxes were ready to go, k-jew and bryson jumped in the mazda and headed north to the ever so pleasant town of pleasant grove. goodwill was in the air and snowflakes may have been falling, but it is unlikely that either of these two lovebirds even felt them as the mutual love they shared for one another was well warm within them and certainly melted all particles of iced that dared glaze their burning desire to not only be together, but to spread yultide cheer to others together. life was one giant snow globe and the soon-to-be, if not already, dr. and mrs. lemone were getting along just swimmingly.

that is right up until they got to main street pleasant grove, hooked a right at the purple turtle and headed toward the local mountain with initials on it. i'm not sure what type of lovers' quarrel took place at that moment and that's not really important, but take place it did... within the very walls of bryson's little red mazda on the way up to uncle jim and aunt jills' place. and unfortunately for jim and jill, at some point during the tiff, while bryson drove in silence, likely fixated on the road desperately trying to figure out just what it was he had done wrong, not more than two feet from him sat his counterpart: kathryn, fuming in the passenger's seat, knowing full well what the fool did wrong but deciding that this impasse could only be passed in one swift passive aggressive, yet melodramatic act.

it was under these circumstances that k-jew nonchalantly, and in complete silence, lifted her right hand, without taking her eyes off the road, to gently apply pressure to the automatic window lowerer and lower the window. following this cool act and without saying a word, she then picked up the box of cookies sitting in her lap, eyes still locked on the road, lifted them out the window until they were clear of the car and holding them there just long enough for bryson to catch one last glimpse of the goodies before releasing them and their sweetness to the cold hard ground below as the car sped along. it was then that with nay a word, nor a visual diversion from the icy road, k-jew pulled her hand back inside and with just as little emotion as she displayed in lowering the foggy window, she pressed back down on the button to raise it back up as the car continued to speed along main street pleasant grove.

bryson, my friend, welcome to the rest of your life.

i may have embellished some of the details there, but not too much. bryson has told me the story more than once, which he has a tendency to do (embellish and repeat), and i think i got it down pretty well. it's all good fun. however, the funniest part of the story is that we later learned that kathryn and bryson ended up circling back around, picking up the cookies and still delivering them to jim and jill. nothing says merry Christmas like Christmas light cookies decorated with little gravel-like sprinkles.

as they say, all's well that ends well, but kathryn and bryson's marriage hasn't ended yet, so according to that cliche it's technically not well just yet. besides, if kathryn has anything to do with it, it will be just fine. it will probably win some award at the great convocation of marriages and she'll be asked to speak to the graduating class of married couples where she can give some speech about bryson's dish pan dental hands. he could be a hand model, you know?

happy birthday, k-jew. i hope you had some pizza with the hawaiian toppings on the right side to celebrate tonight.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

i'm dreaming of a trailer park christmas

i've got time for a quick post, so here you go. actually, i don't have time, i should be sleeping, but i'll go without for you my fans.

'tis the season to deocarte and get the house all christmasy looking. with that in mind, we pulled down the oversized tupperware and got out all the holiday decor. the boys loved it. they danced around our little fake tree like pyros around a campfire... which they also do. so, now the house has been christmastized and christmas can officially come to the cooper household.

feel free to come by and check out the decor, but let me warn you about a few things before you do. first off, the outside lights i hung are not quite up to aimee code. i spent an hour or so on saturday hanging up the lights... which isn't something i look forward to, but caleb was adamant that not another day pass without the outside lights going up. he wanted me to hang them the very night we busted out the decorations, but it was dark and cold outside. getting him to wait until saturday was tough, but he made it.

i hung the lights, but not necessarily with care i guess because after i was done, and the ladder was put away of course, aim pointed out that there was too much slack on the string of lights in between nails. i am a secure man and i have nothing against a good honest critique, but this is something that is much more appreciated if pointed out before i get down from the ladder and put everything away. needless to say, to aim's chagrin, i did not pick up the slack on the light string. that being the case, you will not be allowed into the house this holiday season unless you are wearing a wifebeater, have homemade eggnog in hand, or still have curlers in your hair.

seriously, when it's dark outside, you can barely even tell there is slack on the light string, so you'll hardly feel all that unsophisticated and unfancy stepping into our house because of our deocrations. although the tree in our front yard that was bent 90 degrees backwards as the result of a winter breeze may make you feel a little improper... that or the fact that we don't offer holiday tea each day.

back to the tree: it looked kind of trashy at first all bent back and out of place, but this wasn't such a bad thing since it made it easier to trim the top portion of it before propping it back up... something i'd neglected to do for several months because it required a ladder (here we go with the ladder again). now that the tree is upright again, it definitely looks a little less trashy than before: think sideshow bob as tree (the bottom and sides were nicely trimemed, but the top was unkept and growing out of control in all directions. i call it art, the home owners association calls it an eyesore. they have no taste.

moving on...

once you step inside our humble abode you are sure to forget all about white trashiness of the slacker lights and flopping afro trees since aim and the boys have done a nice job of sprucing things up, that is as long as you avoid the peppermint hershey's kisses in the ceramic santa candy jar thing in the kitchen. nothing against peppermint hershey's kisses, but these ones in particular may not be quite the treat you would expect as i suddenly discovered the other night.

the night i refer to was none other than last sunday night... but not just any sunday night, it was a fast sunday night. for the uninitiated, in mormon world, fast sunday is the first sunday of every month during which all food and drink is abstained from four twenty-four shours. for me the twenty-four hours begins around midnight on saturday and lasts through breakfast and lunch the next day and ends with an early dinner around four. i'm pretty sure that adds up to twenty-four. anyway, my point is that come three or four sunday afternoon i am usually ready to eat just about anything and generally that first thing i eat at the break of the fast is the best tasting thing i will eat all month. so, i try to be a little selective in my choice. for example, this last sunday i was looking forward to eating a peppermint hearshey's kiss to kick off my holiday eating season.

i'd seen the kids eating them. they are christmasy. i needed to get in the spirit of the holiday season. i like chocolate and i like peppermint. what better way to make me feel festive to get in the true spirit of christmas than by eating a peppermint hershey's kiss? a peppermint hershey's kiss seemed perfect for the occasion, so i patiently awaited the moment when i could uncontrollably tear off the tin foil wrapper of a kiss and enjoy its yultide flavor. i waited. and waited. and waited as my stomach made all kinds of wierd noises until finally the moment arrived. it was then that i anxiously made my way down to the shopping network santa jar which encased the kisses and selected some chocolate to break the fast.

i subsequently tore open the wrapper and tossed the kiss into my mouth expecting pure silky smooth delight, but instead endured, or attempted to endure, a stale piece of plasticky chocolate... if you can even call it chocolate. it was bad. so bad that even one of our boys couldn't stomach it. nor could i. i couldn't spit it out fast enough. i felt like a kid again getting my mouth washed out with soap... who'd have thought chocolate could taste so bad? i guess i would have, had i known that it was the same chocolate that was in the ceramic fat man jar from the year before.

apparently, when the santa jar was put away last year, the candy was not removed. as such, it was still there when the jar took up its proper place in the kitchen again this year just waiting for an unwitting fool, such as myself, to grab a handful of hershey's kisses to break the fast. silly me... i guess it should have known we would never have thrown out or used up some uneaten chocolate kisses seeing as how we are so resourceful and industrious around here. but at least you now know and will be spared from making the same mistakes i did. unless you're into that kind of stuff, in which case we still have a full jar of the kisses for you... help yourself. otherwise, if you can find it within yourself to get past the slacker christmas lights and the bended tree outside, fear the hershey's kisses of death in the cooper household... especially if it's a fast sunday.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

enter church pulpit: insert head (33 years of this stuff)

okay, so in the spirit of fairness to my friend johnny miller, i must admit that it is my birthday today and, as such, share an embarrassing moment from my checkered past.

but before i get to that, a few quick fun facts that are bound to show up in the jeremy cooper category of jeopardy someday soon. go on, quiz yourself...

i'll take jeremy cooper for $100, alex.

i am now as old as the oldest sibling in my family but the oldest sibling and i are not twins and we both have the same parents.

who is jeremy cooper at age 33? correct. jeff and i are what you call irish twins. born in the same year, but not actually twins. i am not sure why siblings like these are called irish twins, but i am guessing it has something to do with the roman catholic church, its opposition to birth control/abortion and multiply and replenish mentality. funny thing is we aren't irish and we're definitely not catholic, but we do oppose abortion and are all for pro-creation. funny because, in our case not only were jeff and i both born within a 12 month period, but we were both born in the same calendar year: 1975. that is no easy task my friends, not that i would know from personal experience but because my mom makes mention of this all the time. so, go figure.

on we go.

i'll take jeremy cooper for $200, alex.

this irish twin is married to a woman whose sisters are both married to twins one of which was also born on 12/2.

who is jeremy cooper? correct again. the hodges sisters all married twins in one form or another. moreover, the two oldest sisters, aimee and heidi both married guys who were born on 12/2. the most recent to marry, tami, married a twin as well: adam. problem is, adam wasn't born on 12/2. adam! jury's still out on this non-12/2'er since not all twins are created equally... unless of course they are identical which quin (heidi's husband) and adam are, so i guess to a certain extent they are created equally. scratch this last thought...

let's move on to jeremy cooper for $300, mr. trebek.

it's the daily double. i'll wager all $300.

the individual in the video clip below's youtube reenactment of a jedi training session was so convincing that george lucas, upon viewing the clip, issued a $1 million reward for the first bounty hunter that could bring what he thought to be a real jedi to him in frozen carbon. and no it's not that other youtube lightsaber guy... any non-kid who would videotape himself fighting with a toy lightsaber is a total dork. wait a second...

video

who is jeremy cooper, alex? amazing, three for three, my friend. while it is true that jeremy cooper is not a real jedi, his kids do not know this and, apparently, neither did mr. lucas. no worries, this certainly was not the first time such a mistake has been made, but george definitely had the most to lose in making it. i mean, c'mon, it's george lucas...

i'm on a roll, so let's stay with jeremy cooper. for $400, alex.

i can't think of a $400 answer. nothing in jeremy cooper's life is quite worthy of a $400 answer. one, two, three or even five hundred dollars, yes, but $400, not so much. let's just move onto the main event.

... with jeremy for $500, alex.

this individual, as a little boy, once got his head stuck in a church pulpit while waiting for his mom to finish choir practice. anyone who, as a little kid, has seen the electric church pulpits move up and down for the different sized speakers who approach them has felt the urge to sit at the helm of the pulpit's command center and have complete control over the mechanical workings of this modern day wonder. this boy was no different and so one day, when he and his older brother were up on the stand by themselves after church waiting for mom to finish la la la'ing, they began to play around with the pulpit by moving it up and down.

this was fun for a minute or two, but after a couple of tries it was time to try something else. and what made more sense at that time than for one of the young boys to stick his head in between the upper moving portion of the pulpit and the base while the other brother moved the top down onto his head? well, that is exactly what this boy did. like an obedient younger brother with complete faith in his older brother, the boy put his head face down onto the base of the pulpit and calmly waited like a lamb to the slaughter for the top portion to lower down onto his head.

and so brother number two waited anxiously as he heard the low-pitched hum of the pulpit's inner mechanical workings do their thing. upon sensing the soft massaging vibrations of the moving upper piece descend down upon him, he almost felt a at peace and was momentarily lulled away into a nirvana-like trance. unfortunately for brother unmber two, the boy's state of peace was suddenly interrupted when he felt the engaging pressure of the pulpit's wooden top squeeze gently down onto the back of his head. but, what was only gentle pressure at first, quickly became more crushing in its application to the point where the tightening compression induced a tinge of pain. when the boy had felt enough, he told brother number one to stop and he did.

what a site this must have been: one brother at the pulpit's control switch gazing at the other brother whose his head was securely clamped in a pulpit on the stand in a chapel of a church of god. as they say in latin america, sin verguenza. that means without verguenza.

the boys thought this was funny for a second or two, but seeing as how their attention spans were only slightly longer than the hair plugs of a certain vp elect, it was time to move on to their next dastardly deed. "alright, lift it up," pled one brother to the other. and so he did... or at least he tried to. for what was once easily accomplished by a simple flick of the switch was now unaccomplishable by simply flicking the same switch. believe me... he tried, several times, but to no avail. brother number 2 was stuck and no amount of switch-flicking or head-pulling was moving the pulpit or getting bro 2 out. so great was his stuckery that i'm afraid at that moment not even moses could have parted those two pieces of wood. methinks someone was being taught a great and terrible lesson.

naturally, brother number two panicked and his first thoughts of the jaws of life, hours of operation by world class surgeons and having to sit through the following week's high counselor's discourse for all three wards that met in the building were almost more than the boy could bear. what's more is that all of sudden the tightly pressed wood on the brother number two's big head started to burn the his forehead and the tears began to flow... right onto the wood a half inch below his eyes. fortunately, there was tissue close by for the boy to blow his nose on, but the tissue and its close proximity was of no help as brother number two's nose was pinned tightly shut on the wooden base up against it preventing any mucas from escaping.

to make a short story longer, in the heat of the moment, brother number one ran to get his mom for some help. mom was option number one because she was not nearly as likely to get as mad as dad would. in ran mom with another friend's mom to survey the situation. both women tried to lift the pulpit by flipping the switch. guess brother number one should have thought of that before running for help, oh wait, he did, and it didn't work. well, it didn't work for mom and her friend either. thus, in the midst of the sudden frenzy of anxious anticipation, not unlike that which the nation experienced when it watched with baited breath as rescue crews tried to extract a little girl named jessica who had fallen down and become stuck in a well in texas for several days on end, mom and her friend momentarily lost control of their bodily and verbal functions resulting in mom's friend blurting out profanities in the house of the lord: "the damn thing won't move!"

brother number two had no forewarning that such language would be spoken... and even if he had, it wuoldn't have mattered for his poor virgin ears as he was literally in no position to cover his ears and shield his delicate mind from such street talk. not that it mattered anyway, all he wanted at this point was to get out unscathed and live a normal life, go to college, get married and have little a.d.d. miscreants of his own... something he was losing hope of by the minute.

ultimately, mom and her friend proved to be about as helpful in lifting the pulpit as brothers one and two, so brother one gave in to the last resort and went to get father. normally the thought of getting father to help son one or two in a situation like this would have been enough to get brother number two to cut his losses, pull his head out on his own no matter the pain, or amputate the entrapepd extremity like that stranded hiker who cut off his own arm after getting it stuck in between some rocks; but, something told brother number two that, given the severity of the situation, it was wiser to wait for an alternative solution to present itself since a head is much more vital to the human body than the arm... even if it meant facing the scorn of dear old dad.

so he did, and while he could not see his father's face upon witnessing the spectacle before him, he is certain it consisted of a snide "serves-you-right" type grin. brother number two is also convinced that his father exerted no urgency in remedying the situation and took his time before actually attempting to right this affront to all church pulpits everywhere he now witnessed before him. why you might ask? so he could (1) simply enjoy the sight of his son's folly just a little longer and (2) so son number two could fear his apparent fate for a few more moments. in the end, dad had mercy and, at last, came to the rescue with a swift and sure tug to the upper portion of the pulpit. all it needed was some jarring and up it came freeing brother number two from his mortal coil (well, not really, but you get the pitcure).

hallelujah! he was free at last and thank goodness... or else we might not have this blessed blog in these the last days.

that's right, who is jeremy cooper? and no, that's not why my head is so big. the swelling went down years ago. for the record, i have come to the conclusion that my head is as big as it is because i was not really born, but created in a lab somewhere as part of some ultra super secret government project to create super humans. apparently, the scientists put a little too much of the superhero serum in my head... you'd think they would have learned after captain america. anyway, the government project also explains how my supposed "brother" and i were both born in 1975, as if i am falling for that one anymore. you think it's just a coincidence that we live so close to area 51? think again, preferably while you are watching x-files or fringe.

happy birthday to me.

san diego slideshow

Sunday, November 30, 2008

san diego and escondido: vacationing with the hodges



about a month ago, grandma and grandpa hodges invited us to spend some time with them in so cal at their timeshare. we couldn't resist. i went up for the weekend and aim and the boys stayed for the following week. we hit seaworld, seaport village, old town and a few other places. the resort where the timeshare was at was pretty accommodating. the kids had a blast and it's always nice for aim to get out of dodge and spend some time at the beach even if it was a little wet and chilly. here is some photographic evidence of our time there. believe. slideshow coming soon.

























cabes playing b-ball: fierce

here are some pics from caleb's b-ball class. he just finished up the class recently and he really enjoyed it. he's quite the competitor. check it out for yourself.







the oath

here are some pics from my swearing in as an attorney. before you can practice law, you must be sworn in as an officer of the court. generally, most people will wait until the state bar sanctioned mass swearing in. for those of us who don't want to wait, one can be sworn in by a notary public very easily by reciting a simple oath, signing a piece of paper and sending it in. i opted for the latter and made mention of my intentions to a co-worker of mine. this wo-worker of mine, tiny dave we'll call him, saw this as a perfect opportunity to embarrass me and proceeded to call my wife, my mom, and schedule a firm wide event that afternoon during which i would be sworn in by my boss in tiny dave's graduation robes with my left hand on a treatise on trusts and my right hand at a square. oh, and there was some sheet cakes from sam's club as well.

aim came with coles, my mom and dad came, and some of my other co-workers were in attendance as well. i think kenna jo missed the humor in the whole even and actually shed a tear or two as jeff, my boss, swore my in. it was fun for all. i think aim appreciated it as did my parents, so, thanks dave.






hero dinner at cooper manor

here are some pics from a hero dinner aim and i did back at the beginning of october. aim got this idea from a blog she reads much more religiously than mine. our boys (and me) love superheros, so we decided to do one for ourselves. we did the dinner over conference weekend and figured it would be a good time to talk about heros and the attributes they have that we admire... like x-ray vision, superspeed and adamantium claws. so, i whipped up some chicken pita gyros (pun intended), aim decorated one of her now oft-seen bear cakes, we threw on the capes (thanks to grandma hodges) and decorated the table with the boy's action figures.

we had a good time and ate some tasty food.
















iinitiate the blog

iinitiate the blog