Tuesday, August 26, 2008

late 4th of july post and the olympics wrap-up

the olympics just ended and i am feeling a little patriotic, so i have included a slide show of our 4th of july celebration at my parent's place. the olympics were fun to watch, but in a way i am glad they are over because i was losing way too much sleep over them. i lack self-control when it comes to going to bed at night if there is something on tv worth watching. no matter what i have going on the next day, i will fight the sleepiness and stay awake just to catch the likes of synchronized diving and women's gymnastics. but, truth be told, nothing beats watching runners run a marathon... enthralling entertainment that has me on the edge of my seat every time.

in all seriousness, i had fun watching the olympics. i think aim really enjoyed the swimmers and their attire. i thought i would quickly note some of my personal highlights from the olympics as well as some of the lowlights:

highlights:

1. us mens indoor volleyball beating brazil to win gold: i think this was one of the best stories of the olympics. coach's family killed at the olympics. team beats russia, serbia, italy, and brazil to win gold for the first time in over 20 years. some of the guys on the team had been to three, even four, olympics without having won a medal. plus two of the players and the coach went to byu. it's a tragedy this team and event didn't get more coverage.

2. us swimmers in relay beating france: amazing. unbelievable. i never thought i would stand up and cheer for swimmers... oh, did i ever. this was arguably the best moment of the olympics.

3. us mens basketball winning gold: the universe is falling back into place. the us team won gold, byu is dominating the mountain west and beating utah in most sports, the bar has ended. i grew up a lakers fan, but have never been a big kobe bryant fan. i have to admit that there is no one other than kobe who i wanted to see with the ball in the 4th quarter of that gold medal game. i changed my opinion of kobe and am happy he and the other guys were able to pull it off.

lowlights:

1. the coverage focused way too much on women's gymnastics, beach volleyball, and marathon running. women's gymnastics is great and all, but enough already. beach volleyball is fun to play, but not nearly as fun to watch and not even close to watching indoor volleyball. and, i love the fact that may-treanor and walsh dominate, but seriously, did we have to see that much of them??? i wonder if they would have received as much coverage if they didn't play their sport in string bikinis. marathon running??? are you kidding me???

very disappointed that the mens indoor volleyball team didn't get more pub. this was a true travesty.

2. the us men's b-ball team only beat spain by 11 points. this game about killed me. the perfect storm was brewing. luckily, kobe and wade pulled it off, but i would rather have seen them crush the hairy spaniards. where was the defense? oh well, i'll settle for 11 points and the renewed vigor i think this group has instilled in future nba olympic b-ballers. the gold should never leave us soil again in this sport.

3. china beat us in total golds. it's unfortunate that china got more golds than us. it's even more lame that they accomplished it by winning non-sport sports that have no business being part of the olympics.

that's it. enjoy the video.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

rain gutter regatta: jameson competes, the man scouts, and other frivolity


i thought we should post a couple of video clips from jameson's recent rain gutter regatta which he competed in for a cub scouts activity. jameson is really enjoying scouts and his leaders are doing a great job of coming up with engaging activities for the boys. this particular activity is like a pinewood derby for boats. the boys built little boats and then used straws to put wind into their sails.



as i speak of the cub scouts, i am reminded of a group headed by my friend, taylor, with whom i spent too much time studying for the bar: the man scouts (i believe taylor is the founder). apparently, taylor is an eagle scout... that just means that his mom was probably just as motivated as mine was to see that she pushed her son to the brink of his eighteenth birthday to get the award so that he/we could pin a button on her in front of the ward. anyways, during one of our diversions from studying for the bar (which rarely happened), taylor made some comment about how great of a scout he was or something like that so someone challenged his scouthood by calling him a cub scout (for those who don't know, cub scouts are for little boys... thus, we were attempting to make taylor feel like he was less of a man by calling him a boy scout... this is how we motivated each other to study). taylor was not about to have his manhood, or scouthood for that matter, insulted and, consequently, replied by informing us that he was actually a man scout.

man scout, huh? i'm sure in theory that's a great comeback to being called a cub scout, but practically speaking, i'm not so sure someone concerned about his manhood should want to be associated with a group known as the man scouts. man scouts conjures up some weird connotations. i for one would never join a group known as the man scouts and even if i did i would not tell other people about it. i'm pretty sure taylor regretted his comeback just as the word "scout" left his lips; but just in case he didn't, mike (my other bar study friend) and i made sure he did by the end of our two months of studying for the bar. that one never got old.

just in case some of you are feeling sorry for taylor and the verbal abuse he is taking from me on the blog, let me just say it is good for him. taylor is from a small town (neighborhood?) in southern nevada. taylor's a good-looking guy that can sing, dance, install ceiling fans, and pour concrete all in one afternoon (believe me, i've seen him do all four... he's much better at the latter two than the first two). moreover, he has a soothing shakespearean voice (according to one of our professors)... oh, and he got an "a" in our contracts class. plus, he has one of those tall, dark and handsome looks going for him except that he's not tall. when his wife lets his hair grow out a little he resembles a brazilian swimsuit model (a male one... not female). also, taylor gets up early every day and works out, reads scriptures, prays, writes in his journal, reads in portuguese and all that good stuff.

my point is, taylor probably has enough confidence not only for himself, but for all of the small town in souther nevada from which he hails (so he can stand for a little dose of humility from me)... not that you'd know, because he is the humble son of peasants and would never boast of his superior intellect, dashing good looks, and many impressive talents (just kidding about the peasants, his parents are actually very nice and accomplished persons... sometimes i just refer to people from small nevada farming communities as peasants so we city folk can feel more sophisticated... again, that was a joke. but, as a word of advice, if you haven't gotten used to my sense of humor yet, you probably never will and at some point i will offend you, so you're probably better off not reading the blog unless you like being offended).

i like small-town people. in fact, i had some come in to work the other day who actually knew taylor and his family. everyone knows everyone in small towns and they are all great people. my grandparents come from small towns and they were great people. small towns are generally filled with hardworking, god-fearing conservatives which is very endearing to a guy like me. small towns are pretty. have i un-offended all of the small town folk yet? oh well, i doubt they even get the internet in small towns, so i don't know what i'm so worried about.

to bring this all home: man scouts = weird. boy scouts = good. taylor = can't be offended by me. small town people = salt of the earth.

oh, and jameson did well in his competition with the boats. watch the clips. he's a competitive little guy as you will note by his reaction to his lone loss (he says he was going to look for his friend cooper, who he actually blew right by... methinks he was a little bugged about losing.... that's ok because competitive nature = jer and aim's offspring, no dna test necessary).

Thursday, August 21, 2008

so, you think you can dance? jer and aim's top numbers

aim and i are pretty big fans of fox's "so, you think you can dance?" tv show. we watched every episode this last season, but we were out of town when the finale aired and missed it. well, we finally got around to watching it tonight and it made me think that since we have started doing these "best of" lists, we should list our favorite numbers from this last season. so, here they are in no particular order. let us know what you think... and no, i am not ashamed to admit that i like a show where people dance.

1. bleeding heart. aim's favorite by far. i think she can relate.



2. mercy. mia michaels is pretty dang good. i think aimee can relate to this one, too.



3. pop-off. this is my personal favorite. these guys are incredible.



4. hometown glory (katee and joshua). mia's at it again.



5. forever (twitch and comfort). we need to see more dave scott.



6. twitch and kerrington krump number. i'm not a big fan of krump, but this was pretty buck.



7. all by myself. katee and joshua doing tyce's number. check out the part where he catches her in mid-air.



8. paso doble. good stuff.



9. imagine. this is arguably my favorite. unbelievable.



10. silence. jessica and will. will was the best dancer on the show by far. this number made us big fans of tyce's numbers. he had some awesome stuff this season.



11. the garden. this one was crazy. loved it.



12. last one: no air. tabatha and napolean had some good numbers as well this year.



there were a few more, but that should keep you busy for a while. enjoy and let us know what you think.

i am going to start working on my lines and try out next season.

Monday, August 18, 2008

so-cal trip: catching up


seriously, this will be your first low-caloric post of the shorter posts era. however, the video is longer than the average videos i have done. deal with it.

this post will be short because it relates to something i know very little about... but, when has that stopped me in the past? actually, this is a catch-up post meant to fill you all in on aim and the boys' trip to california with our friends alissa and layden to visit alissa's family and get out of dodge for a few days while i continued studying for the bar.

this trip took place sometime in july. aim and the boys had a blast. but, don't take my word for it... check out the photos and see for yourself.

maybe aim will end her blog boycott and post a little about the trip. maybe she won't because she is intimidated by the postmaster.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

the cooper five's top five superheros: the origin of the postmaster


i realize i am behind on my posts and for that i apologize. i started work this week, so things have been a little hectic lately.... but, i vow to make up for lost time with short, yet substantive, posts. i think many of you have become hedonistic gluttons as a result of my spoiling you with such long posts. i realize that at times my posts can be a bit overbearing, much like a meal at a typical restaurant, and though you know you should not keep eating that footlong burrito at the cheesecake factory because of the cheesecake you will be eating for dessert (i mean, c'mon, it's the cheesecake factory.... are you allowed to eat there without having some cheesecake?) and the coconut shrimp you had as an appetizer, you pound away until you've taken the entire burrito out.

yes, my posts are long, and they are full of all the juicy, fattening, yummy-tasting stuff that creates blog reading love-handles and cellulite. i am concerned for you and your clogged arteries and brain cells and for that very reason i am planning to offer a low mental calorie alternative to my previous blog posts until i catch up or you regain previously lost intelligence.

thus, it is with pleasure that i introduce to you the first of a much leaner and more sinewy variety of cooper five blog post: the top five superheroes in the eyes of the cooper five. i feel it is appropriate that superheroes are the inaugural subject of the jenny craig version of cooper five blog posts since i have only seen probably one superhero with any fat on his body (the blob) and no one really likes that guy anyways. as such, without further delay, i present to you the cooper five's top five superheros (by the way, i got this idea today when jameson handed me a piece of paper on which he had written down his top five superheroes for no apparent reason other than to make sure he has published to the world the ranking of superheroes in his eyes. so since this is jameson's idea, we'll start with his list):

jameson's five:

1. batman tied with star wars. no surprises here. dude's been a batman freak ever since i can remember. granted, star wars isn't very specific and technically not superheros... but i'll let it slide since we went and saw the clone wars yesterday.



2. hulk tied with transformers. i think his recent viewing of the hulk movie probably gave hulk a boost in the rankings he might not have enjoyed otherwise. no biggie. see comment above regarding star wars with respect to transformers.



3. avengers tied with teen titans. solid choice. both has a stellar array of superheros worthy of this spot. i predict that avengers will move up on this list as the motion picture and all its individual movies continue to show.



4. superfirends tied with galaxy rangers. ok, so he only put four (but they were all ties) on his list and he took the easy way out on this one... i mean, superfriends pretty much hits them all. as for galaxy rangers, i'd have to say that's all my and netflix's doing. check them out some time on line as i am sure the majority of you have no idea who they are... goose is the man.





caleb's five:

1. superman: superman is to caleb what batman is to jameson. it's a nice contrast. i like it. kind of reminds me of my brother and me... i was always a batman guy and jeff, superman.



2. batman: 'nuff said.

3. flash: he likes him because he is fast.



4. hulk: he got a toy of him from macdonalds... what's not to like.

5. robin: he loves teen titans.



jeremy's five:

1. the postmaster: you have probably never heard of this guy, but he will soon be a household name. he can usually be found posting on this site. his mission in life is to keep the legions of cooper five fans satisfied with noteworthy blogs. i cannot reveal his secret identity or he may lose his uncanny ability to write such vibrant, witty and engaging posts. his super power is to become so wrapped up in his writing that he forgets that most people don't care. this is also his weakness.

2. batman: hated the old franchise (tim burton). complete garbage. absolutely love the new stuff. the batman cartoon is easily the best cartoon on tv and it's not even close. long time fan.

3. green lantern (hal jordan): childhood favorite. got to be one of the coolest superhoeros ever created... what's not to like about a ring that does pretty much anything? interesting that two of my top three are dc guys since i only read marvel stuff growing up... but the cartoons are what did it for me... marvel was a latecomer to tv.



4. wolverine: he's the guy that got me hooked on comic books. if there is a cooler comic book character than green lantern, it is wolverine. he's way too popular now though... not as fun to like as when i was in sixth grade. although, i'm anxious to see how the movies turn out.



5. iron man/cyclops/the incredibles: iron man is only on here because of the movie. robert downey, jr., was amazing in this role. can't wait to see more. cyclops is about as underrated as a superhero as there is. i thought he was always getting a bum rap by some of the other x-men and the movies completely underplayed his role as an x-men. would like to have seen him in a role that was more true to the comic book. as for the incredibles, easily one of the best movies i have ever seen. thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it... especially loved its subtle james bond undertones.







aim's list:

1. she-ra: he-man, as a toy, was so revolutionary when it came out, little girls everywhere must have cursed their fathers' names for contributing the wrong strands of dna to their creation. it was good to be a boy then (it still is for me). i remember the first time i set eyes on the he-man toys in sears i about wet myself i thought they were so cool... it was as if i was catching a glimpse of the holy grail itself when i first saw he-man (furry loin cloth and all), skeletor, man-at-arms, stratos, trap jaw, battle cat, castle gray skull, etc.

he-man toys was so cool for boys and it was so unfair to simply relegate the girls to the likes of jem and the holograms, that the only logical solution for establishing toy equilibrium in the universe again was to create she-ra. it failed miserably. very lame stuff, but apparently my wife liked it. women, let me just say you were ripped off. you can take some solace in the fact that the cartoon for he-man ruined the franchise. besides, these guys aren't superheros anyway.



2. superman: every girl's dream. blue spandex and christopher reeves or the new no-name who looks kind of like him... need i say more?



3. flash: didn't even know she knew who he was. good for her.

4. my little ponies: cricket chirping...



5. strawberry shortcake: still chirping...



as you can see, i have done a much better job of educating my boys in the way of the superhero universe than i have my wife (although she did just say that wonder woman should be on here... too late). but, hey, at least she's making an effort and i love her for it. i would love to hear who your top superheros are, so post if you dare.

how's that for a lean post... maybe we'll start the diet tomorrow. besides, it's just the pictures that make this post's butt look fat.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

noodlin' for catfish

as you know, we just got back from a family vacation in the deep south. i thought i would include a video clip of one of the activities we participated in while there. you most likely have read about two of my brothers-in-law in previous posts (ryan and bryson). here is your chance to see them in action as they attempt to noodle a catfish during our vacation (they have taken a strong to quite strong interest in redneck culture). for those who do not know what noodling is, i have included wikipedia's definition below:

Noodling is a southern US practice of fishing for catfish using only bare hands. Many other names, such as catfisting, grabbling, graveling, hogging, dogging, tickling and stumping, are used in different regions for the same activity. Noodling is currently legal in eleven states.

The term "noodling", although today used primarily towards the capture of flathead catfish, can and has been applied to all hand fishing methods, regardless of the method or species of fish sought. Noodling as a term has also been applied to various unconventional methods of fishing, such as any which do not use bait, rod & reel, speargun, etc., but this usage is much less common.


here's a clip of my brothers-in-law noodling a 50 pounder. enjoy.

Monday, August 11, 2008

time to get back to it

the vacation is over. i am sitting here in new orleans’ louie armstrong airport awaiting a flight to vegas. now aim and i need a vacation on our own to wind down from our vacation with the kids. we had a great time. the kids had a blast. i realize i am a couple or three posts behind, but i hope to make up some posting on the flight home. unfortunately, seeing as how i am flying with the kids (see prior post) it’s not likely i’ll get much more done than wiping noses, ordering drinks and opening bags of peanuts.

since today is another travel day (read: make-up post day), this post will probably be pretty short. i will comment quickly on the olympics last night to say that it was pretty dang cool to see the men’s swim team win the 4 x 100 relay. it was especially fun considering the trash talking being done by another one of the teams . actually, the race was downright amazing. the fact that the last american swimmer was able to close that gap on the french swimmer was nothing short of phenomenal.

the swim team has reinvigorated me to be a better blogger. when i get home i am going to shave all of my body hair so that i can type with more aerodynasticity (i just made that word up... it was either that aerodynamicsm or quickerness... look for the next edition of websters to have at least two of those words if not all three). i am also considering hiring an agent to get some new endorsement deals in the works. judging by the number of comments i am getting on the blog, my popularity is at all time high. i figure now is the time to cash in on my celebrity. blogging is a fickle industry.

it’s pretty stormy outside, which always makes me nervous when i am about to board a plane. i don’t like flying much as it is, but throw in a lot of water, thunder and lightening, and i like it even less. if the plane happens to go down, i at least hope we land on some island that has crazy magical powers and maybe some people that already live there that are pretty hostile towards us and who used to perform some crazy social and scientific experiments until there was some kind of genocidal conflict and some really rich guys fighting over possession of the island... oh, and a really big fat dude with super curley hair. that might make for some good blogging.

if we don’t crash on the island, i’ll just sell the rights to my life story. i want the guy who has recently done the james bond flicks to make the movie. i think he is doing good work and would accurately portray my cutting edge lifestyle. make sure he knows that i am happily married and so i can only be a one woman man in the show, but i would like to trade in my elantra for an aston maritn. i will settle for a bentley if the aston martin is too euro.

i recommend that jack bauer play me, but since he is a fictional character and keefer sutherland just doesn’t cut it on his own, i’ll understand if that can’t be arranged. daniel craig could play me if he can get the vegas accent down or mathew mchoughnhy (no idea how to spell his last name) as long as he cuts his hair, doesn’t talk like a redneck and does a few more push-ups.

i think my arch-nemisis should be played by someone who has a limp and a mechanical limb. doesn’t matter which limb is mechanical, but it has to be a visible one... not his kneecap or something lame like that. i also request that he have a pet alligator and an electric eel that he carries around in a portable saltwater fish tank. i’m thinking a mix between ernst savro blofeldt and the joker (heath ledger, not jack).

just in case the technology is not available yet to create the special effects necessary to really give people a clear idea of what i go through day in and day out, i suggest that a digitally animated version of my life be done. i choose the guy who plays obi won kenobi in the upcoming “clone wars” movie to be me (as long as he shaves his beard or at least does a half-beard) and that lucas films be in charge of everything. lastly, just so all my bases are covered, if my superhero identity is discovered and they decide to do a superhero version of my life, i’m thinking robert downey, jr. or christian bale... go figure.

well, we’re up in the air now. so far, so good. if we enter a death spiral, i’ll be sure to type my final blog and ask the pilot to place my laptop in the black box so that it will be protected. hopefully, the attendants will promptly respond to my page, because they usually don’t and i imagine you don’t have a lot of time to get stuff done when in a death spiral.

going to church in style

this post relates to sunday, august 10.

some people take vacations to get away from everything... including church. not the coopers. we are a churchgoing people and it would take a lot more than a 20 minute ride in the imperial palace (ip) hotel and casino shuttle bus to keep us from our worship. there is nothing quite like showing up for church, nicely dressed, white shirts, ties, hair combed and parted, pig tails, dresses, shiny smiles, squeaky clean dispositions, and scriptures in hand as we disembark via the stairs of the ip bus vibrantly decorated with dollar bills, ads for gambling, and the word casino plastered throughout, parked right smack in front of the entrance for the church just as the other members are arriving.

it’s times like these when i am thankful for the invention of blogging. these are the kinds of accounts the cooper five blog was made for. i think there were four missionaries in the ward we went to. all four of them had to come up to see who had the audacity to arrive in such, shall we say, “style.” there is something paradoxical about arriving to church in a casino’s shuttle bus... not quite as paradoxical as having a huge plasma screen tv when they first came out with a set of rabbit ears on top (dad), but paradoxical nonetheless.

still, we entered the lord’s house and left our casino tarnished image at the door. we had a good experience in the ocean springs ward, heard an excellent talk about testimonies, a great sunday school lesson on alma the younger, met some neat people and then headed back to the hotel in time for the lunch buffet where we were we enjoyed the background jingle of coins hitting the slot machine trays and atari-esque electronic sounds all about.

it was a special sunday.

in all seriousness, we did have a pretty cool day at church as aim ran into a fellow provoite who remembered her from high school. he was a year younger than aimee, so she did not know him, but he said that he remembered her because she was nice to him when other kids weren’t. made me feel bad about all the kids i could have been nicer to growing up.

the not so heavy hand: how to prevent spankings (more potty humor)

this post relates to saturday, august 9.

saturday was spent in new orleans. we made a day trip to the big easy and cruised around downtown before heading to the new orleans zoo and then the aquarium. it was good times. what’s not to love about the zoo... even if the humidity is thicker than cheese. the zoo was nice because it wasn’t huge and there was a lot of shade provided by nicely placed palms and other trees. the animals were also worth seeing. gators in their element. jaguars tussling. elephants picking up stuff with their trunks and 10 cooper grandhcildren trying to keep up with big jeff. oh, and the giraffes... it had been a while since i had seen some of those (probably my personal favorite). the aquarium was nice because it was indoors. plus, there were sharks.

this was the first part of the vacation where big jeff joined along in the day’s activities. big jeff moves along at a light-speed type pace when sight seeing... thus, it is more like sight glimpsing as you cruise along to the next stop. i think i saw some flamingos at the zoo, but i’m not entirely sure since all i saw was a pink blur (i guess it could have been cotton candy). big jeff likes to move. the kids are not exactly amenable to his pace; but, in the end, we hustled and ended up seeing most of the zoo in about 3 hours (i’m still looking for guiness’ number to make sure we’re in the next edition). the aquarium was more of the same, but the kids were happy and sometimes it is nice just to get through quick, strap the kids down to the car seats, and then relax for a moment.

we had some korean bbq and shabu shabu for dinner that night. good stuff. i think vegas needs a nice korean bbq joint. afterwards, we took the kids upstairs and let them run around like wild banshees. aim told me she made her way over to the boys’ bathroom and found a bottomless caleb hanging out by the toilet. turns out, caleb had just gone number two but there was nothing in the toilet. that’s always a scary moment for a parent: knowing that your child has gone to the bathroom and having no idea where he placed the goods except that they aren’t in the toilet. apparently, it didn’t make sense for caleb to use the toilet in this instance for some reason... and like any god-fearing, reasonably minded person would, he used the garbage can next to the toilet instead. this makes sense since this is how we have raised our children... actually, it makes no sense at all and i have no idea where the boy came up with the idea.

at least i didn’t have an idea until my older brother reminded me that i once used the laundry basket as a substitute toilet while we were growing up. of course, i was sleep walking at the time and that’s a story for another day (and that’s still not as bad as the time i slept walk home from the neighbor’s house while babysitting). anyway, there could be some relation to my use of the laundry basket as a toilet and caleb’s use of the garbage can... except that caleb wasn’t sleep walking.

at any rate, caleb, sensing that punishment was in order and a spanking was headed his way, quickly told aim that she could not spank him because she would get poop on her hand. i guess he hadn’t wiped yet.... couldn’t find a towel or something because it would have been too conventional to use toilet paper. not bad. i can’t fault the kid for trying to keep his backside safe (not that aim would have spanked him for pooping in the garbage can anyway... i mean, there was a liner and it’s not like it was her purse or something). i once told my grandma as she was scratching my back and getting closer to my waste line to be careful or her hand might smell funny. i am starting to see that caleb and i are more alike than i thought, thus, i can see where the kid’s head was at and, as fate would have it, he didn’t get a spanking. nice tactic. i’ll have to keep it in mind for future use.

one last note: caleb just informed the flight stewardess/attendant (whatever the politically correct term is nowadays) that uncle kendall passes gas all the time. neither he, nor kendall according to caleb, holds anything back.

top 5 albums of the last twenty years: the fav five

this post relates to monday, august, 4

alright, so it’s a week late. i know many of you need this post to get on with life. i know many of you have been waiting at home, not going to work, not playing, not eating, maybe not even sleeping, while you just sit at your computer hitting the refresh button over and over until the missing post came up for you to read. well, here it is. sadly, it will be a quick one, but it is not about quantity, it’s all about quantity. i have been wanting to do this post for quite some time, so i am excited about it and anxious to hear your comments on it.

first, let me recount some items of historical significance that occurred on 8/4/08, for instance, my sister-in-law, tami, had her wedding reception. yes, she had the reception before the actual wedding. it seemed to work, but maybe that was because i helped serve food at the reception. all in all, the reception was very nice. it was outdoors and the weather cooled down just enough to makes things very pleasant. always fun to see friends and family. excellent food.

ok, so on to the meat of the post. i love music. if i had more time, i would listen to music. if i could have gone to school for 8 years to become something, i would have done so to become a music critic. even better, i would be the guy that puts together soundtracks for movies and tv shows. instead, i took the cpa exam and the bar exam. fun stuff. my point is, because i am going to be something lame like an attorney or cpa, i can only pretend to be a critic and act as if my opinion actually matters.

so, in the spirit of being a poser, i decided to put together my own list of my top five albums of the last 20 years. this idea came to me when i finally broke down and purchased the smiths, the queen is dead cd. i have always loved this album, but never purchased it once i made the switch from cassettes to cds some years ago (mainly because i am cheap). as such, i really hadn’t listen to the songs off it a whole lot over the last decade or so until i got the cd about 2 months ago. man, i love that album. i love it so much that i decided it deserves to be considered a top 5 album. hence, my list.

a quick word: pretty much everyone who reads this list will have a different five than mine. to that i say, first, you are wrong and, secondly, tell me your fav five and i will let you know why you are wrong.

also, these albums are in no particular order... it’s too difficult to split hairs in that regard.

1. the stone roses self titled debut (for those of you who know me, this should come as no surprise. while i don’t listen to this album nearly as much as i used to, it was truly revolutionary for its time and will always hold a special place in my heart... besides is there anyone cooler than ian brown, john squire, reni and mani? not bloody likely)







2. the charlatans: it’s a tie between wonderland and tellin’ stories (i could have possibly thrown one or two more albums on here from these guys. very underrated group)





3. the smiths: the queen is dead. unbelievable stuff. nearly every song is a classic. makes me sad every time i listen to it that morrisssey and marr can’t work their stuff out and get back together)



4. radiohead: another tie between the bends and in rainbows (probably the most innovative band around. whatever they do seems to work. absolutely love their music)



5. this one is tough to fill in. i think i will take the easy way out and throw a few groups down here because i am too chicken to narrow it down. so, try this: the white stripes: de stijl, coldplay: a rush of blood to the head, blur: modern life is rubbish, interpol: antics, morrissey: bona drag.





honorable mention: the killers: hot fuss, los aterciopelados: el dorado, the smiths: self-titled debut, the charlatans: self-titled album, the ocean blue: see the ocean blue, sarah brightman: classics, the shins: oh, inverted world, u2: how to dismantle an atomic bomb, the white stripes: get behind me satan. i’ll stop there.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

the worldwide blogging olympics: me and my speedo man capris

i am typing up this post as i watch michael phelps win his first gold of the olympics in world record fashion. i have decided to hold my own blogger olympics. by all reports, i am the runaway favorite to take the gold for shear length of blog entries. i think i have a good shot. what most people don’t know is that technology is on my side. i have teamed up with the same engineers who designed michael phelps’ man capri speedos and they have designed a similar outfit for me. as such, i am currently typing in my man speedo capris.

i am now typing with aerodynamic motions the likes of which this world has never seen. i am on pace to not only break, but crush, the current world record of blog typing. wish me luck. this is nothing new for me. i am used to winning contests. while studying for the bar with my friends, one of my co-studiers, taylor, and i would hold mini-competitions of strength, endurance and concentration to keep ourselves sane and to reaffirm my physical superiority.

as an example, we would occasionally hold ourselves up on our chairs by the armrests to see who could keep themselves up the longest. i usually smoked taylor in that one, but he always gave a respectable effort. when taylor got tired of losing in that one we decided to take two of our monster-sized bar study books and hold them in our hands while extending our arms out as far as we could to see who could hold them up the longest. this one was tough and funny. i felt the pressure big time as taylor held strong for quite some time... but i guess i just wanted it more in the end. just to be sure the results weren’t rigged, we did it again the next day... different arm. same result.

for our last event, we set up a chair and decided to see if we could jump completely over it with our feet clearing the highest point of the chair (no splits tuff, feet over back rest). looking back on this event, i realize just how dumb it was for us to do it. if either of us had been unsuccessful in clearing the chair our feet would of caught on the top of the chair which would have caused us to fall forward requiring us to use our hands to break our fall. given the speed and height at which we would have been falling, it is likely that the force of contact with the ground would have resulted in a broken hand or wrist. this would not have been good seeing as how the bar was within days at this point and i planned to type all of essay answers for the bar. it would have been very difficult to type with a cast on either hand (or even write for that matter).

but, as dumb as this was, i could not back down since taylor cleared the chair first essentially throwing down the gauntlet. i had to respond. i could not return home in shame to my family that evening. and respond i did... in glorious fashion. the moment was picturesque. somewhere in the background i’m pretty sure i heard “chariots of fire” playing and, just for a second, i think time was altered and i approached the chair in slow motion as i seemingly lifted myself into the air without effort, easily clearing the chair and then some before landing like a butterfly with soar feet (i ripped that last simile from “the legend of bagger vance”). i am certain if any of the librarians were watching, they were clapping and exchanging glances of silent approval. i saw the person studying a few tables down wipe a tear from her eye. our buddy mike was speechless because he knew the significance of what he had just witnessed.

it was a proud day for jeremy cooper. but not nearly as proud as this day and this very moment... for i have kept this blog post under one page and done so in record time. i knew i could do it and i know you can, too. never give up, don’t ever give up... even if these speedo man capris are as uncomfortable on you as they are on me. wicked wedgies.

Friday, August 8, 2008

08-08-08: have our stars aligned? not bloody likely

i couldn’t let today pass without posting. i still owe a post from earlier in the week, so i don’t want to get too far behind. it will probably be a quick make-up one, but it’ll have to do.

i was happy to see my good friend, johnny miller, is commenting on the blog again. he had gone awol for a minute there and i was worried my post about the mormon missionary calendar had offended him. i think there are still some hard feelings there since they turned down his bid for mr. october. turns out his unique speedo ensemble, which was really nothing more than a necktie, was a little too progressive for the otherwise conservative calendar. no worries, johnny, your still america’s next top mormon male model in my book.

still having fun on the mississippi trip. today it was fishing with the boys and an afternoon at the pool. these things were pretty fun, but they were nothing compared to the pinnacle of the day’s events which took place just before dinner: a picture with all of the grandkids. not many years ago my mom decided to purchase a camera. with this camera ensued a newfound hobby for dear mother: torturing us all with countless opportunities to take pictures of her grandchildren.

it always come back to the difficulties of child rearing. but seriously, has anyone here tried to do a group photo of 13 kids all under the age of 8? i would take a plane trip to australia with kids over that nightmare any day. grandkid photo shoots are never pleasant experiences... most stars will align and comets are more likely to revisit the earth’s atmosphere before all 13 children will look at the camera at the same time with smiles on their faces. for some reason, we always seem to do this right before a meal or during nap time... we’ll have to revisit that philosophy next time. maybe someone thought that today's date was a sign from above that a photoshoot with children would actually work. not bloody likely.

and that’s assuming you can even get every kid in the frame of the picture. without fail, there is always one child who absolutely refuses to sit in on the picture. sometimes you leave the kid out and sometimes you have aunt jodi sit in the picture, kid on lap, as the only grown-up in a sea of kids. one of these things is not like the other. one of these things is not the same.

some of you may receive jeff and kenna’s christmas card every year. while jeff and kenna get all the compliments for these little projects, like most things in life, it is the people behind the scenes who really deserve most of the credit: the parents (and by parents, i mean jeff and kenna’s kids, not the original parents). all kenna jo really does is hold a camera and push the button. she doesn’t even have to focus anymore since she got a new camera. big jeff just remembers the kids’s names, throws down a verse of scripture, and signs the checks as usual. funny how he always has to work or run off to a meeting just as the clouds are forming. he knows better than to get mixed up in this bit of chaos.

funny thing is, with each grandchild photo, the efforts and techniques to placate the children and keep them entertained have changed out of necessity...not just because we like coming up with ways to entertain our children. you would think that the balloons that worked last year, would work just as well this year, but you would be wrong. the attention span of this group of children collectively mutates each year and essentially builds up new, inhuman immunities against calmness, tranquility, the ability to focus and follow directions. as a result, we too have to be nimble, creative and flexible in our approach to entertaining the children. this is the dirty work done in the trenches of child photo shoots. be warned: this is not for the faint of heart. if you don’t think you could handle doing the things below, then go buy a camera and offer to take the pictures or pay for their printing, because you most certainly are not cut out to handle the things i have seen.

there is the shock and awe approach: this technique is accomplished when uncle jeremy pulls a pair of his mother’s pantyhose over his head (such are the lengths we are forced to go to in order to get the kids’ attention) and prances around behind kenna jo like an uncoordinated figure skater. expert tip: this approach is only partially effective and tends to work only momentarily in the sense that it does shock and awe the children such that they become silent and look in the general direction of the camera; however, the resulting looks on there faces typically resemble that of an either scared, confused or dumb child. not quite the look you’re going for with mary, joseph, the three wisemen and company.

another technique that was wildly successful the first time it was used was the jolly old fat man laugh. this technique is employed by having uncle ryan lift up his shirt to expose his “well-toned” gut while grabbing hold of excess flesh, jiggling it up and down, and laughing outloud. expert tip: the first time uncle ryan did this, it was like novocain for the masses. it accomplished both the focus of the children and the smiles required for a successful photograph. we felt as though uncle ryan had at last found his niche with the cooper family and that his utility had been cemented for years to come. alas our enthusiasm was a bit premature as this technique was met with less and less success each subsequent year until finally we had to politely, but somewhat awkwardly, tell uncle ryan it was time to cover it up. don’t think he ever got over that one; however, i am sure he would be willing to help out with your family photos if you just ask.

uncle bryson has attempted to entertain the children by simply laughing. the kids pay no more attention to him than we do, so it is completely ineffective. however, there is something calming about hearing bryson cackle in the background so we generally let him wander around, tell the same jokes over and over to which he responds with a resounding fit of laughter. yes, you read that correctly... bryson tells the same jokes over and over and laughs at them at least as much, if not more, each time he tells them. he is typically the only one laughing.

uncle justin, who actually has a useful talent for these types of occasions (gymnastics), needs to become more involved in the grandkids photo shoots. his efforts should buy us at least one more year to come up with christmas 09’s methods of diversion. who doesn’t love a guy who can do backflips, handstands, kartwheels, tunblers and all sorts of interesting gymnastics stuff? this should be a natural next step transition from working as a college mascot.

anyway, we spent a good 45 minutes of grandma and countless others snapping pics like the world’s largest scrapooking party was taking place tomorrow and we were all short on photos. our new philosophy is that the more pics we take, the more likely it is that at least one of them will be decent. not sure about that logic: see comment above about stars aligning and halley’s comet.

eventually, the photo session ended (to say successfully would be a nothing less than a pure lie) and we went to dinner at a really good brazilian restaurant here in the hotel. it is one of those restaurants that gives you every possible form of red, white and any other colored meat on the planet. something like 18 courses. gluttony at its finest. you can hear yours and others’ arteries clogging as you chew. heart defibulators are placed at all exits to revive patrons from cardiac arrest. not sure i need to eat tomorrow after the meal i had tonight. that’s the type of behavior a grandchildren photo session will drive you to.

jeremy versus the wild (swimming with gators and losing wedding rings)

this is my post from yesterday (8/7)

day 2 of the mississippi trip was pretty good. it started with an 80 minute hot and cold rock massage at our hotel. never had one before. not bad at all, but i think i’ll go for the deep tissue next time. massages, like hair highlights (see last post), are another one of those things i feel weird do anyway... especially after taking the bar. plus it was free.

quick side note: i am up on the thirtieth floor of my hotel as i write this and i am hearing some serious thunder outside. earlier i saw a plane that the locals said was a hurricane chaser. i keep thinking katrina. not a pleasant thought, although it would make for an interesting blog post.

moving on. after getting the massage we headed out with some friends for boating and waverunning on a river here mississippi. i always worry a little when out on the rivers here because we are never alone when in them. the rivers here they have gators and water moccasins. they also have big snapping turtles, but such are the types of risk a man like myself is willing to take while out looking for a little adventure. last year i wakeboarded in gator infested waters, this year i only tubed. in both cases, every time i took a spill, i was wondering what lurked beneath. did you ever see spiritual crocodiles?

i am happy to report i still possess all of my fingers and toes, but i am missing my wedding ring. yes, for those of you who know the story, this is the second wedding ring in as many years i have lost now. and yes, i did pick out the second one by myself (see the last post if this puzzles you). the first one i lost wakeboarding in lake mead. this one i lost tubing in the river today. you think i would learn... water sports, wedding rings and me are not a good mix.

aim and i took a spin on the tube just before we left the water. as an addition to my list of bad mixes: aim and i being pulled from a personal recreational vehicle also does not make for a good combination. the last time we tried that was in the snow up at aim’s parents’ cabin when her brother pulled us on a sled behind a four wheeler. he is a bit of a reckless driver and aimee loves to go fast (another bad combination), so we went fast and he drove recklessly, surprisingly, we wrecked. apparently, in that instance, i rolled over aimee’s arm when we crashed and the my crushing weight snapped it like a twig. i couldn’t have known this at the time since after several attempts to ask her if she was hurt or if something was wrong she would not respond.

so, there we were, no idea what was wrong with aim and all of sudden, in broad daylight, with her eyes wide open and with no apparent injury to them, aim begins to proclaim that she can’t see anything. loss of sight is never a good thing. especially when there is really no reason why you shouldn’t have normal sight. no idea what happened there... must have been a poltergeist... maybe shock. turns out she broke her arm (which has a tendency to affect your sight... well, not really), a few days later i broke my fist (see previous wall-kicking post), we both had casts and never got tired of people cracking jokes about how there must have been some serious spousal abuse going on in the family. loved them. no matter how may times someone asked us out in the hall at church who hit whom first, we laughed.

my point is, that something similar happened today. a 7th grader jumped on the waverunner and took us for a spin in the river. i knew right away that this would end badly. remember: aimee likes to go fast and 7th graders generally have no sense of mortality which means they drive recklessly. but, hey, i’m on vacation... what could go wrong (as i look at the window and the storm outside worsens). besides, i have braved these waters before, in fact i have downright defied them and all the thousand pound biting and snapping pressure, venomous poison spitting mongrels within them. what harm could a little jot on some plastic donut filled with air do?

off we went. we flew. it was fun. it was a rush. it was perfect right up until the last slingshot maneuver our young friend performed in an effort to get us off the tube. we whipped around so fast on that final lap, gravity and i had a bit of a disagreement and unfortunately for me, gravity won. i had flashbacks of the sled, the snow, the mountain and aimee being possessed by a poltergeist. i felt myself fly through the air and over aim who lay at my side. i then felt myself roll on the water several times in what i thought to be hydroplane like speed. i finally stopped and realized i wasn’t skipping on the surface of the water at all but rolling on the sand in very shallow water. thank goodness river sand is soft.

i got up, all fingers and limbs accounted for and made sure aim wasn’t hurt or possessed. negative on both accounts. she could see. at that point i felt comfortable laughing and exclaiming how fun the ride was and how it didn’t hurt a bit. i figured the more i laughed and talked about not being injured, the more likely it would be that it would be true. airtight logic.

man, what i would give to see a video of that. it was all good fun until it was time to leave and i realized i was a couple of ounces lighter. i checked my ring finger and lo and behold my wedding ring was gone. i felt sad for a bit, but like i said, it’s not the first time this has happened. besides, recently i was thinking if i could do it all over again, i probably would have chosen a different design (see last post). however, aim now is considering losing hers so she can get a new one.

last note: the boys were watching man versus wild last night, hence the thematic elements throughout. interesting show. dude drank his own urine at one point. the boys were blown away by this. i can only hope they don’t go man versus wild on us during a road trip and do the same with one of the bottles mentioned in a previous post. that’s it, i’m out. i’m gonna go spar with katrina, part two.

getting out of dodge

this is a make-up post for wednesday, august 6.

yesterday we took off from provo to head out to biloxi, mississippi. why biloxi, mississippi you ask? long story, but the short version is my dad is the trustee for an estate that owns a casino in a van down by the river. that last part isn’t true, but the rest is. as a result, the at least one cooper family vacation takes place in biloxi each year. it’s a nice compromise because my dad likes to work, we like to vacation; thus, biloxi is a win win for both camps.

now, in biloxi, instead of speeding from the lincoln monument to the jefferson monument while my dad works via his cell phone and then continues to work via his cell phone during the tours and meals, seaworld, disneyland, les miserables and most other things we do (no exaggeration, here, my dad once had to ask to use my cell phone for a business call because his ran out of batteries around 2 in the afternoon... not because he forgot to charge it but because he had been using it all day. also, some of my dad’s employees once offered to pay my brother-in-law to hide my dad’s phone while on vacation), big jeff goes to his office and we hit the pool. like i said, it’s a nice compromise.

biloxi? what? what? still with the questions, huh? i know... biloxi doesn’t really whet the vacation pallet, but ours are unique circumstances. you see, after katrina hit, many of the casinos in the gulf coast were basically destroyed (contrary to popular belief, new orleans wasn’t the only city that suffered as a result of katrina, biloxi just didn’t politicize things way new orleans did). long story short, renovations and reconstruction were kind to the hotel we stay at in mississippi. i will include some pictures below so that this makes more sense for those of you who are still scratching your heads.

back to the topic at hand. travelling with kids. i hate to keep going back to this, but in my well-documented drawn out vexation of driving with kids, i conveniently forgot how much more fun it is to fly with kids. oh, the security checks, the car seats, the metal detectors, the enclosed confines, the dirty diapers on the plane, the crying kids on the plane, the attempts to keep little kids entertained with diagrams of the flotation device for the thirtieth time on the plane, etc. i could go on and on and on, which is exactly what a flight with kids does, but those who have had the pleasure know all to well what i am talking about.

traveling pretty much sums up our day on wednesday. thus, it should come as no surprise that this is precisely why i am ending this post now, or at least after i try to make a last ditch attempt to infuse something comical into this post.. not much happened on wednesday, so there is not much to report. sure, i could hearken back to some funny childhood memory of flying or some other memory i could somehow tie into flying, but i shall spare you. get some rest tonight. get some work done rather than read my blog, your boss will appreciate it. spend some time with your kids and family. go for a walk. help the kids with the homework.

to be honest, i am starting to feel guilty for taking so much of your time. this blog cannot bring you happiness. it can only make you laugh for a moment (that includes courtesy laughs). life is about priorities and i sure hope the cooper five is not one of them and judging by the amount of comments i am getting, it isn’t. no worries, i will find those of you who aren’t reading, starting with you aim, and when i do... (i figure if i don’t finish this sentence, the suspense and worse case punishment scenarios floating through your mind will sufficient to compel you to read). crickets chirping.

pics are forthcoming

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

we’re going to salt lake city (man, i'm a sensistive man)

quick note on my month long challenge to have a post for each day of august: true, i did not post anything for the last three days, but i will still hold true to my promise to have a post for each day of the month. as such, you can expect 31 posts on this blog by the end of march. they may not come out each day, but they will be here in the end. i gave my word.

this post corresponds to tuesday, august 5.

on tuesday, my sister-in-law got married. she got married in salt lake city, utah, at the temple in the downtown area of the city. i hadn’t been there for a few years, so it was nice to go visit. more than ever, the architecture of the temple caught my eye and made me realize just how amazing of a building it is especially when considering it was built over a hundred years ago. the church has invested a lot in the downtown area, so there is a lot going on right now (construction/renovation). pretty fun to see what is happening. they’re doing a good job.

the wedding was great. it’s always quite an experience to sit in on the sealing of a family member. thanks, tam and adam. the weather was close to ideal as there was a nice cloud covering (still a little warm, but not too bad especially considering the vegas heat we had come from). we had a luncheon at the joseph smith memorial building and it was pretty tasty, although not terribly accommodating for the token non-member invitee looking for a drink. the hodges had some non-lds friends in from houston for the wedding one of which was apparently rendered completely befuddled after being turned down each time after successive requests for coffee, then coke, and finally ice tea. probably the most sober wedding he had ever been to.

since we were at the joseph smith memorial building, and i haven’t seen the new movie about joseph smith, i thought it would be fitting to take the family to see it after the luncheon ended. so, being the funny guy i am, i thought we would all get a kick out of me inviting my sister-in-law who had just gotten married, and her new husband, to see if they would like to take in a movie with us on their wedding night. and so i asked t-cakes and i guess she didn’t get it was a joke as she started seriously considering accepting the invite. sadly, i had to quickly inform her that the proper response to such a request given the timing is not just a polite “no”, but instead an emphatic “hell, no!” maybe t-cakes wasn’t the only one in need of something a little stronger than ginger ale.

long story longer, we (the cooper five sans t-cakes and adam) went ahead and saw the joseph smith movie. good stuff, however, upon leaving i vowed to never see another movie in that theater again. why? because i cry like a baby every time i set foot in there. i cried in legacy, i cried in the testaments, and i balled during the joseph smith movie. overall, i think i liked the testaments more, and i’m not crazy about the actor they picked to play joseph, but somewhere in the mix slightly overdramatic lines of typical lds cinema and overzealous acting, there were some very powerful and emotional scenes that really hit home.

for instance, i can’t imagine what it must be like to say goodbye to your beautiful wife and young, unsuspecting children knowing full well it would be the last time you’d do so here on earth. then to sit in jail awaiting what you know will be your eventual murder, somewhat helpless and likely a little hopeless. add to that the witnessing of your older brother’s murder who had unflappably stood by your side through the thick and thin of it all while holding him in your arms as he breathes his last breath just before you breathe yours.

those are sacrifices i cannot even begin to imagine. i have a beautiful wife, young amazing kids and an older brother who would follow me to the ends of the earth if i asked him. the thought of losing any of them is unbearable. i can’t imagine a world without any one of them. those are the thoughts that weighed on my mind as i watched this show... that and the lack of justice, humanity, and civility leading up to his death. ignorance is lethal. intolerance may be worse. but when the two of them get together, blind hatred results and tragedy is inevitable.

interesting. that is the first time i have actually gone serious on a post. it was supposed to be a lead into a funny story, so i’ll still try and make this work so the post ends on a lighter note. bottom line: i am not afraid to admit that i cried (and by cried, i mean a river). i think aimee was ready to laugh at me when i stepped out of the theater and she saw how red and swollen my eyes were, but she didn’t because she had to know that would be inconsistent to hers and every woman’s wish for a more sensitive man . yes, my friends, i am a sensitive man.

i am not afraid to admit that i cried during bambi, swingkids, and after united states’ loss to russia in basketball during the olympics in the eighties. and while i am at it, i might as well come out and say that i like blogging, interior decorating, chick flicks (only on dvds), so you think you can dance, fashion, painting, drawing, etc. that’s not to say i am always comfortable when i do any of these things, but at least i am willing to admit as much.

to illustrate, as the movie ended and i knew i looked like a crying fool. thus, i silently prayed that the exit doors would not open so my eyes would have time to return to normal before re-entering the public domain. no such luck. instead, i had to stealthily make my way over to the wall outside the theater that outlined a timeline of joseph smith’s life in an effort to act like i was copiously studying every word on it when in reality i was just trying to hide my face from everyone else exiting the theater. i don’t think anybody bought it. besides, my eyes were so bad it was going to take a lot more than reading through brother jospeh’s life to get the redness and swelling to go away.

if only i hadn’t vowed some twenty years ago to not be that guy who wears sunglasses indoors. didn’t matter, i left them in the car anyways. i could do this, though, i thought. i only need channel a former version of a more sensitive jeremy cooper. in this instance it seemed appropriate to channel: getting highlights in his hair jeremy cooper. yes, that same vane jeremy who visited a sweat shop hair salon run by a chinese cartel of illegal immigrants in a not-so-great area of san jose, california, in an effort to bear an even more striking resemblance to the likes of brad pitt or the backstreet boys or nsync dude of your choice.

i can still see the situation as if it were yesterday. me under a perm hair dryer domed headpiece thing with a plastic cap on and little thickets of hair sprouting out from equidistant holes in the cap while some white foamy liquid saturated and colored my soon to be golden locks.

i feared for my life that day. the salon was not safe for a sensitive man such as myself in that moment. i sat there minding my own business... wishing i could gossip in chinese and doing everything within my power not to grab a people magazine, national enquire or whatever worthless periodical lay within reach when i peered out from under the safety of my hair dryer and noticed a grip of street-hardened cholos in their wife beaters sitting randomly throughout the salon getting either their handle bar mustaches trimmed or their bald scalps bic’d. i saw the tatoos on their necks, heads and arms and wondered how they viewed a little gringo, pretty boy getting his hair highlighted and dried under the dome.

needless to say, they showed mercy on me that day by letting me leave without a quarrel. and so i left, highlighted hair and all. i would live to cry another day... probably when i see sisterhood of the traveling pants 2 (seriously, i draw the line there. i will never see that show). with that, i went straight home and started fixing things. changing spark plugs, spitting, grunting, talking sports, the sorts of things us emasculated types do.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

roadtrips and potty breaks (even i am not above potty humor)

day 3 of the challenge and i am still going strong. first, i must say that the response to my last post has been overwhelming. the latest unofficial count of reader comments i saw came in at somewhere around two (thanks, trav and alex. i knew i could count on at least one dentist and one frenchman to respond and i figured it would be trav for the dentist, but i was hoping it would be jaques chirac for the frenchman... sorry, alex).

i promise to keep this post short (i tell myself that every time i start posting). just a quick addendum to yesterday's post on traveling between nevada and utah: i can't let an opportunity like that pass without getting all nostalgic and hearkening back to the days when all eight members of the jeff and kenna cooper family would pile into the red chevy truck and mosey on up to happy valley. those were days to be remembered.

yes, the truck had something of an extra cab, but it was still only a two door vehicle and like i said eight... yeah, that's right, EIGHT coopers in one vehicle. and mind you, this was at a point in cooper family history when my dad and a certain brother of mine probably counted for a good two or three extra gary coleman sized persons combined. moreover, this wasn't when we were all 8 or 9 years old, i'm talking about dropping jeff, jr. off at the mtc (19 years old). for the uninitiated, lv to provo is a 5 hour trip. illegal aliens have crossed the border in more accomodating circumstances than that.

luckily we travel with a little more room these days, although not much. however, one similarity between the old cooper trips and the jeremy and aimee roadtrips is both my dad and i (and aim, too, now) don't like to stop to for bathroom breaks (just ask my buddy, rob simpson). in fact, i think that is why i can generally go a good 4 or 5 hours without having to stop to use the restroom (unless i am taking the bar), whereas aim has to stop about every other hour. i attribute my jedi-like mind and body control over my bladder to my dad's unwillingness to stop for bathroom breaks. you taught me well, father.

aim must have had a dad that actually stopped so she could use the restroom. our kids won't be as fortunate. unfortunately, they must have inherited their mom's bladder, because they have to go number 1 on the hour... it's like clockwork... you could set your watch to it. jameson is probably the worst, and the funny thing about him is he will go use the restroom to take care of his number one business, exit the restroom, jump in the car and then tell us 20 minutes down the road that he has to go number 2... come on, son, can't we get this done in one sitting?

so, in the spirit of getting to our destination as quickly as possible, we once floated the idea out there that jameson use one of the empty water bottles in the car instead of stopping. we kind of said it half-jokingly (at least aim did), but you would have thought it was christmas morning based on the reaction we got from jameson. his eyes lit up and he was already undoing his seat belt buckle before we were even sure whether we wanted to pursue this course of action or not.

as you can guess, we gave in and let the kid have his wish. it was actually a major time saver and he pulled it off so flawlessly, we have since employed this same technique on more than one occasion, although sparingly overall (we aren't total white trash), and now even caleb loves going tinkles in the bottle. fyi though, if you ever drive anywhere with us, just be careful... that's not lemonade. the tough part is it's usually the kids' favorite part of the trip. our boys are weird like that. for some odd reason they love to urinate and they will do it just about anywhere, in front of anyone and at any time.

generally, when this happens in public, we have no idea what is happening until it is too late. this type of behavior mostly takes place in store parking lots for some reason. for example, there was this one time when we did sanction jameson's hopping out of the car in a store parking lot to go tinkles because i wasn't about to go back home, take the time to find a public restroom, ask for directions, or get out of the car.

so i stopped in a store parking lot and he ran out in between the front of the car and a wall i had pulled up against so he could have a little privacy (not that he cares). as a result, we couldn't see him since the front of the car was taller than he was at the time, but we quickly discovered that he was there as we witnessed a projectile stream of urine, not unlike a fountain at the bellagio, shoot straight up from in front of the car and waved back and forth in the air before making it's way to the wall, resulting in his own little work of street art. we were on our way to the beach that day, but i am pretty sure we could have turned around and gone home at that point and jameson would have been just as happy.

on a side note, i've got to hand it to jameson, the kid has pinpoint precision. i also must admit there was a certain part of me that was proud of my boy, maybe even envious... but whatever.

just for the record: no bottle tinkling on our latest trip here.

this is what i am talking about. this was supposed to be a short post. it definitely was not supposed to deviate into the juvenile realm of potty humor although it seems to be working for me... i would say that is more a commentary on you, the readers, than me, the author: i'm just giving you what you want).

i apologize if i grossed anyone out, but i am desperate for ratings. i've got 28more days of stuff to come up with... you knew potty humor was bound to come up. at any rate, i'm done. i need a bathroom break. ha ha ha!!!! that is comedy at its finest.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

here we go

i had this idea today: what if i actually posted an entry every day for a month straight? would the world be a better place? as far as i know, only a handful of people are reading about the cooper five. my mom doesn’t even read the blog on a consistent basis. i have considered putting a counter program on the site to get an idea of how many people are gracing the pages of the cooper five each day, but i am afraid of what the numbers might be.

instead, i prefer to live my life in blissful ignorance. by my guess, the masses are in fact reading the blog but not leaving comments because they fear by my biting, yet artful, prose. as you can tell, no one is safe on this blog. not even my mom (especially my mom). i have taken a shot at just about everyone i know and am not afraid of (actually, i know a lot more people than i have made fun of on here, but they are all pretty scary people).

thus, i can understand your apprehension and your logic. fine. but you should know that i will find each and every one of you and when i do, i promise you that i will type in all caps: my name is jeremy kenneth cooper. you killed my father. prepare to die. actually, i won’t say that. i’ll just make fun of you, but i’ll make fun of myself as well.

back to the point. my brother-in-law once told me that he did some research on blogging (he's a very thorough type except when it comes to wallets, licenses, keys, punctuality... i digress) and he told me that one of the major reasons blogs fail is the lack of consistency in posting.

rest assured little ones... this blog will not fail. not on my watch.

in all of your presence, i now pledge to make some useless, maybe even mindless, post every day for the month of august. if in return, i get at least one comment for each post, i will do everything within my power to maintain a fairly consistent posting pace for the remainder of my life… or at least until something trendier than blogging comes along (i'm thinking something like pictures and stickers in photo albums with cute little miniature objects glued everywhere... i’m a genius).

on a more substantive note...

we are now in utah. we are here for my sister-in-law tami's wedding (check out her blog: t-cakes). good times. driving to provo was as joyous an experience as ever. driving along interstate fifteen is always memorable because it gives me time to do nothing but think and i like to think. unfortunately, it's generally too loud for me to even be able to hear myself think. too bad, because given all the time i have spent traveling between california, utah and vegas, i'd probably have cured stuttering or something like that by now. (business idea: limo partitions in family sized vehicles).

i actually prefer driving at night. it’s really quite a treat for those present who are lucky enough to serve as patrons to a personal concert headlined by none other than the artist formerly and currently known as jeremy cooper. to give you an idea of the level of talent we are dealing with here, if i could only sing-a-long to a cd during an audition and throughout the contest, i would easily have won american idol by now. so, there you go: i'm pretty buck. but, as fun as the one-man sing-a-longs are, the real fun starts when i fire up the ipod and go acappella on the crowd.

i often serenade my beautiful muse as she silently sits by my side with her eyes closed and mouth agape. she lies there whispering sweet little breathing noises of encouragement to me as i croon and that's when i know she has realized just how lucky she is. i mean, she knew she was marrying a directionless freshman in college when we took the plunge way back then, but what she didn't know was she was also getting an alum of kenna jo and karen's children's choir.

oh, the rehearsals and practices that took shape those monday afternoons in the talent-rich confines of the south stake relief society room. our artistic thirst could not be quenched… it knew no bounds. i mean, how else could the pantyhose skull cap with yarn hair implants come for the ragg mopp number ever come to fruition? if not there, then no where i say. pure genius.

mom: just so you know, the years of shoving choir and singing stuff down jeff's and my collective throat has finally paid off.

i can’t end a blog on our family travels without mentioning my favorite part: packing. i have come to greatly disdain the packing process. packing in our household always seems to be left to the very last minute. for me, that's no big deal... i can pack for a week in about 15 minutes. for aim, it's not as fluid of a process.

generally, aim picks out every outfit for not only every day of a trip, but every possible occasion of each day of the trip with surgical precision. in most cases, like surgery for example, that type of attention to detail isn't such a bad thing in fact it is commendable; however, when that sort of time and energy is used to select a wardrobe, i tend to get a little antsy.

i love aim and i love her wardrobe, but i generally have to be in a certain mood to choose the better of the four black tops that basically all have the same affect on me... and i'm usually not in the mood for that come 11 pm the night before the trip.

thus, you can imagine my excitement and utter joy when i noticed all of aim’s clothes for the trip were already out and ready to be packed. you na├»ve little fool you (me, not you). what i didn’t realize is that aim had merely narrowed down the trip’s selection to the clothes that were out and my role of century standing at the gates of aim’s favorite carry-on bag still needed to be fulfilled.

it’s like clockwork. but we get through it. we pick out that wardrobe and the next thing you know, i am back to serenading aim in the passenger’s seat as my number one fan sits watching with that signature dreamy/groggy look on her face.

Friday, August 1, 2008

the obligatory bar blog (there will probably be more)

i just wanted to send a quick note to everyone and let you all know that i survived the bar exam this week. love the bar exam. love texas station (the 2 diamond hotel/casino where it was held). love studying for two months straight and having no idea how i did on the exam. you have not lived until you have prepared for and taken the bar.

i know some of you are not the gluttons for punishment that i can be, so to help you share in the bar experience i actually hired a photographer to take pics of me taking the exam so all of you could catch a firsthand glimpse of this beautiful creature. i am still working on the slide show, but i assure you... it will be epic.

as a teaser: i've got several shots of me typing so fast you can't even tell i have fingers (that's because they are moving really fast). then there's the photo of me running my fingers through my hair for the fiftieth time in 15 minutes. how could i forget the countless photos of my lilly-white face with a blank, numb look of something in between confusion, desperation, fear and exhaustion. and what bar experience slide show would be complete without a shot of my elbows rubbed raw from the excess friction them and the table.

my personal favorite is the one taken two hours into the last four hour essay writing portion of the exam when i had to use the bathroom so badly my eyes were watering. why did i just not get up and go use the restroom you ask? how silly do you have to be to presume i was using common sense at any point during the bar exam? why would i do something so normal? i ate at mcdonalds for breakfast for three days straight. i shared a hotel room with taylor waite for three days straight (more on that in the future). i wasn't about to waste even a minute of precious typing time to go do something as peripheral as using the restroom. i mean, come on, five minutes away from my laptop!!! that translates into something like 250 words. layperson! you ought to be ashamed for even asking the question (that's an inside joke... i'm not speaking down to you... i'm not a lawyer yet).

anyhow, props to the photographer who did a stellar job of catching the determination in my tear-filled eyes and the uncomfortable curvature of my arched back as i strained every muscle in my body to focus on one of the demands at hand while forgetting the other. nothing, not even an unstoppable act of nature was going to keep me from uninterrupted typing for the remaining two hours. nothing except for my urinary tract. i finally got to the point where i couldn't hold it anymore and gave in taking my only bathroom break of the three day exam (and by only, i mean actually during the exam. i still used the restroom at night, in the morning, during breaks and lunches. you're up at night if you thought otherwise).

so, i lost 250 words or so thanks to my undisciplined urinary tract. i think he was doing it just to spite me out of jealousy since i am always talking about how great some of my other internal organs are and stuff. but my urinary tract did extend the peace pipe by sending me a whole foods gift card as an apology i guess. a very thoughtful and respectable gesture considering he may have cost me my legal career. that's alright. we'll see who gets the last laugh when i down a case of sam's bottled water and then spend the afternoon jumping on a trampoline and watching episodes of arrested development. he's just lucky he's not a kidney or an appendix.

now for the serious stuff if anyone is still reading. i need to thank all of you who said prayers for me and my family, brought stuff by for us, offered to help out, did help out, came by late sunday night for a blessing, fasted for us, called or sent texts wishing me the best and have since checked in to see how things went. really, i was very touched by all the love and support we received. i had no idea so many people needed me to pass the bar with the hopes of getting free legal advice someday (i'm sorry... i really can't help myself. my wit has no shame). thank you, everyone. you are all true friends i will not forget your concern for me and i am certain it had a positive impact.

lastly, i have to be a little cliche here and thank my angelic wife who has been an absolute life force for me and the family the last couple of months (last couple of months can be interpreted very broadly, ie 10 years). aim, i love you. you were clutch. you were the personification of selflessness and support. you have helped me re-calibrate my idea of what it means to be there for someone (even though you were out of town a lot). thank you. i told you i wasn't making fun of you.

iinitiate the blog

iinitiate the blog