Saturday, January 30, 2010

i'm dreaming of a white mlk day


earlier this month, the cooperfive spent mlk weekend up in park city for some fun and wintery sun in the snow... that's all i'm getting at with the title, e.g. spending mlk day in the snow... you know, instead of dreaming of a white Christmas, a white mlk day. it's funny because of the how it seems to contradict itself on its face with the white snow reference and the racial inconsistency between a day meant to celebrate civil rights when whites are the ones who have typically suppressed those rights, but the post title really has nothing to do with race (i feel like my mom what with having to explain my double entendres and all, but i don't want anyone to read anything more into it than that. i just couldn't resist the comedic irony of the double entendre. really. no racial insensitivity here on the blog... i'll leave that to the likes of nevada senators and vice presidents.

moving on...

so, anyway, we converged for some skiing, snowboarding, tubing, good food, games, and all-around fun in the hills of park city, utah. it was quite the trip. here's a pic of two of the boys in front of the house we stayed in (4 families... 20 something kids and believe it or not, it wasn't all that crazy):

mrs. blogmaster grew up skiing but hasn't gone since we got married many moons ago, so i was excited to see her strut her stuff on the slopes. aim loves being outdoors, doing something physical, going fast and throwing caution to the wind. in fact, this is how she broke her back and her elbow and wrecked a few of her dad's cars, but these are all stories for another day (actually, i think i've shared the elbow one before).

at any rate, i was still excited for aim to get her downhill slope on, but somewhat worried in the back of my mind because if the mvp goes down, the rest of the cooperfive fall apart. trust can be such a double-edged sword. unfortunately, i don't have any video or pics of mrs. blogmaster in action, but all the reports i am getting is that she picked up right where she left off... really fast, good (for someone who hasn't skied in 12 years) and crazy. that's my babe.

i was also really excited for jameson and caleb to snowboard and ski, respectively (jameson was way too cool to ski). jameson has started to wakeboard pretty well, so i was anxious to see how he would do on a snowboard... he actually did really well. caleb was a downhill wonder on the skis and seemed to love every second of it. i can't say i'm surprised, they obviously have just the perfect combination of their mother and little boy daredevilism in them to take on just about anything (now that's a dangerous combination). check out some of these vids of the boys' in action: video
video video

colston, on the other hand, is a little more reserved than his mother and brothers, so c-town and i sat out the day of downhill fun. we did, however, go up with aim and the boys to get everyone settled in and then returned a little early to get some pics and pick everyone up. i had a blast just watching aim and the boys. i have only been skiing once, back when i was a kid, but i kind of always wanted to do it more, so i was glad to be able to see my boys getting into it and having a good time. i hope to join them in the near future.

i was especially happy to see aim thoroughly enjoying herself. she was definitely in her element and i can only hope that this is the first of many, many cooperfive ski/snowboarding trips... unfortunately, we don't have any of the equipment necessary which leads me to this big fat thank you to all who lent us stuff to use. that thank you is really meant for t-cakes, t-bone, the rest of the hodges clan and kurt h. you are all wonderfully generous people and helped make our trip so much more comfortable and cheaper than it would have been otherwise. we couldn't have done it without you. as they say in castellano: muchismas gracias!

one quick noteworthy story from the trip. after mrs. blogmaster and the boys had been skiing and boarding all day and it was time to head back down on the gondolier, aim discovered she could actually ski the rest of the way down the mountain rather than take the ride. of course, aim hadn't had enough, and opted to ski rather than sit down (i wonder why our kids can never sit still). jameson was having such a good time, too, he wanted to tag along with mom. at first aim said no, but then had a change of heart and told him to come along.

big mistake. apparently, going down the mountain is a lot harder and longer than the stuff jameson had been doing. as a result, he had a pretty miserable trip down the mountain and when i met them some half an hour later at the bottom, he looked like he had seen a ghost and immediately uttered out, "i'm never snowboarding again." he was overreacting, of course, and has already decided to try it again at some point, but it was kind of a bummer to finish the day that way. plus aim wasn't able to unleash her inner speed demon and end on a good note. maybe jameson was meant to slow her up so she wouldn't injur herself in some irreparable way. needless to say, i think aim and james were the last ones off the hill. but no big deal, it was all worth it and still lots and lots of fun.

here are the pics:










we also did some tubing. i did participate in this activity and it was also a lot of fun. the tubing took place at one of those places where they actually have a lift kind of thing that pulls you up the mountain so you don't have to hike up the hill every time. much easier and much more enjoyable than trekking uphill at high altitudes in the cold. the boys really liked tubing, probably as much as skiing and boarding. i really liked it, too. you really move down those slopes. here are some pics i took while jameson, caleb and i were flying down the long/fast run along with some others from the tubing experience:









in closing, i also want to thank those who arranged the trip and invited us. we had an amazing time with everyone. it was the perfect weekend getaway for us. goodnight and thank you!!!
colston in front of the snowman he and i made.
jameson in the snow after having jumped out of the hot-tub for a momentary thrill. better that than drugs. he is his mother's son.
colston listening signing along to some music after a fun-filled day in the snow.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

bathroom stall foibles and nickel slots on the strip

i like to read when i use the restroom... when i'm in the stall, of course, not the urinal. i usually get some good technical reading in at work this way. helps me stay abreast of the latest in estate planning and the like. i call it being efficient. others might call it gross.

honestly, i don't know what the proper etiquette is for something like that and that's probably why i feel a little self-conscious carrying my reading materials down the hall, out into the lobby, and in to the bathroom... i'm pretty sure everyone knows what time it is. maybe that's why i started folding up my reading material and putting in my pocket thinking it's a little less obvious that way. who are we kidding? papers in hand heading for the restroom can only mean one thing: time for some leisure reading.

seriously, though, is there something wrong with reading on the throne? my boss is infamous for it and he doesn't get more than a hearty chuckle from everyone and a "hey, everyone, look! so-and-so is on his way to the private library, he might be a while!" when he does it. then we all giggle like it's the end of a sitcomand get back to work. why can he get away with it and i can't? maybe because he's older and that's what old guys do, or maybe it's because he signs everyones' paychecks.

that brings me to the next issue i deal with as a result of reading in the stall: length of time in the restroom. i admit somewhat reluctantly, that sometimes i'll be barricaded in the stall for quite a while which i'm sure other people notice... especially our receptionist, since i have to pass her on my way in and out. i wouldn't doubt that there have been times where she has seen me go in and then come back out sonly to think to herself: "was that really all just one sitting? or did he leave and come back again?" neither option is all that flattering for someone like me who really tries to maintain that certain je ne sais quoi quality of cool mystique. wouldn't you agree, alex? plus, my legs fall asleep a lot more easily these days than they used to, which isn't all that comfortable.

so, really, does that gross people out? is that a social faux-pas? without getting into too much detail and in my defense, let's just say that i wash my hands thoroughly and my reading material stays completely clean and sanitized. i just get the impression that once i take something in there and it comes out, everyone is is looking at it as if it's glowing a radioactive green and then looking at me like i'm some kind of radioactive mutant.

to me, though, the irony there is that tons of people have reading material sitting right inside there bathrooms at home. people are expected to read it in that instant and no one freaks out if you do. i guess the difference there is that the reading material stays in the restroom. but, that seems less sanitary to me since, in that case, the reading material sits there changing hands and gathering bathroom stall or restroom particles 24/7... kind of like those studies you hear about bowls of peanuts at bars being covered like 70% wit fecal matter. now that's gross.

speaking of particles, i'm not a germaphobe like that chick on glee, but i do like to use the tissue paper toilet seat covers when i'm in public restrooms... even at work. on the one hand, those are pretty great inventions in that they at least give you some mental comfort in knowing that the flesh of your backside is not touching something that the flesh of someone else's backside has touched. i guess people get a little weirded out over stuff like that. on the other hand, they might keep you from getting some std or even pregnant since i've heard rumors that both are possible.

problem is, either the seat covers we have at work are some of the cheapest seat covers ever made, or paper seat covers in general are just poorly designed products across the board. as an example, i'll often pull one out of the box, and assuming it doesn't tear on the way out (because the paper is too delicate), i'll then have to spend time tearing the middle seat part out.

what's the point of having the middle seat part? i don't get it. no one needs it... anyone who leaves it connected is in for a big surprise. why not extend the industrial cutting machines' blades a few more centimeters and take those things completely out? maybe they're easier to fold or package with the middle portion in... who knows?

my point is, though, that some days after having had lunch at robertos or faustos, i don't necessarily have the time to spend taking the middle portion out. it can be a process: enter the stall, pull out the paper, tear out the middle part, place the paper on the seat and hope it sticks (more on this later), unbuckle my pants, unbutton my pants (sometimes i have two buttons... another thing i don't totally understand), and then drop trow. it may only take 20 seconds most days, but sometimes it feels like an eternity.

and that's where the other problem with the seat covers rears its ugly head: getting the paper to stay on the seat. this can be downright comical sometimes. you see, the paper on these things, at least at our office... which is wear i have had the most experience with paper seat covers, is super thin... so thin they are almost air. so thin, they actually slip off the seat sometimes before i actually have a chance to sit on it.

sometimes the slippage will take place as i'm trying to place the paper on the seat cover. i think it's because of the way the paper seat covers are folded and that maybe you're supposed to put them on with the creases facing up. i'm not sure, though, seeing as how they don't come with instructions.

nonetheless, this can be very annoying, as there's nothing you can really do make it stick when it won't stay. it's not like you can lick the paper at that point and then try and get the saliva to make it stick... the paper has already touched the seat, that would be disgustingly gross (i'm gagging in my mind just thinking about it). besides, i'm not licking anything in a public restroom. no way i'm letting my tongue enter public restroom airspace with all those rogue microscopic particles floating around.

the other time the slippage issue becomes problematic is when you think you've got the paper secure on the seat, but then you drop trow, turn around to sit down and it slips away into the watery abyss of the toilet bowl below before you can safely secure it against the seat with your cheeks.

that's not so bad on the days i haven't eaten at robertos or faustos, but it's always a major time waster and, i'll admit it, i'm not a fan of having to pull out another sheet, tear out the middle and then place it on the toilet again all while my pants are down (actually, i'm pretty sure i pull my pants up again whenever that happens, but that would be pretty funny if i didn't).

other times, though, the slippage takes place at the point of no return as i'm sitting down and i can't pull out of the descent. when that happens, i just have to bareback the seat. it's not pleasant, but i don't have a choice... better to go bareback than to try and put my hands back to break the fall. that could get ugly.

disclaimer: this next part might get ugly... it's not for the faint of heart or those offended by potty humor. you can choose to keep reading or just call it a day with the cooperfive.. you have been warned.

and speaking of ugly, last night we had the serendipitous pleasure of experiencing one of the best nickel slots i have ever seen without actually gambling (credit to megan for help in coining the term for the blog, nice pun... i mean the "coining" language).

for those who don't know what a nickel slot is, it can be one of several things: if you're from vegas, it might be a type of gambling device. if you're from everywhere else, it might be the slot on a gum-ball machine or the like where you insert the coinage. if you're a degenerate like some of my friends and me, it's another way of referring to a plumber's crack. i think i saw the worst nickel slot ever last night... it was actually more like a paper currency dollar bill slot... inserted vertically.

of course, being the mature gentleman i am, i couldn't resist taking a picture of the person sitting diagonally from me at the table whose head just happened to be in the direct path of the nickel slot. what a coincidence? even mrs. blogmaster couldn't resist taking a picture. that was the level of maturity we were dealing with last night. if it weren't for the frozen hot chocolate (not only is that an oxymoron, it's a supremely delicious desert), the night may have been ruined (now that's a good example of hyperbole).

regardless, i wouldn't be the dutiful blogmaster you've all come to know and love me for if i didn't post some pics for my zombies' own viewing pleasure, or something like that (pics of the nickel slot and the frozen hot chocolate). if you don't want to look, avert your eyes. you may be scarred. actually, it doesn't look as bad in the pic as it did in real life. really.

again, you've been warned.

last chance.

really, last chance now.


Tuesday, January 12, 2010

the millennium child enters double digits as some polar bears take a dip


"mom, when were you born, again...? i know it was in the 19s, but i can't remember when exactly."

these were the words that left our eldest son's mouth earlier this week as he entered his eleventh year of life. kind of makes me feel old. well, he's no spring chicken himself anymore seeing as how he now has a decade under his belt. i'm only half joking when i say that as you actually wouldn't know you were talking to a 10 year old most days upon having a conversation with the lad. jameson's grandfather labeled him jameson the wise some years ago and i'd have to say he was very perceptive in doing so.

i don't know why he seems so sage for his age (most of the time), but it might have something to do with the fact that he's the oldest kid in the family and was the only kid for the first 4 years of his life. i think it took him about six or seven years to realize that there was actually a significant age difference between him and aim and me. it also took him about that long to quit calling aim and me by our first names. it didn't bother me so much that we were all on a first name basis, but it drove other people absolutely nuts.

many of my memories of jameson as a kid are a mixture of him bouncing off the walls in various apartments throughout provo while in school and then climbing on walls in our apartment in san jose. one particular wall-climbing memory i have of him occurred one shiny afternoon when just jameson and i were hanging out at home. on this blessed day, it just so happened that i was in the laundary room switching some clothes from the washer to the dryer (there, it's been documented, i've done laundry at least once in my married life), when all of a sudden i hear a little boy's voice calling for me from the other side of the apartment to come check something out.

"hold on, jameson, i'm almost done."

but the requests kept coming... and i kept shoveling clothes from the washer to the dryer wanting to complete the task at hand before leaving to tend to jameson. after a couple of minutes, i finally finished and headed out to see what all the fuss was about only to find jameson on the other side of the apartment... but not on the ground. no, my friends, that would have been far too ordinary for this blogmaster's son... you see, instead of having his feet firmly planted on tierra firma, jameson had wedged himself between the two hallway walls, by virtue of his own strength, outside the bathroom to the point where he was perfectly parallel to the floor below him. his arms and legs fully outstretched as he was clearly applying the maximum amount of pressure on each end of his body just to keep himself afloat, if you will.

kind of fun if your a kid. i used to do it. some of you have probably done it. thing is, jameson was only 4 at the time and not only doing it approximately nine feet above ground (he'd climbed all the way up to the ceiling), but he was also unable to get down on his own because he was too high up in the air. oh, and he'd been wedged there for the 4 or 5 minutes i'd spent switching up the dirty laundry to the point where he was literally shaking and probably seconds away from falling to his death... well, probably not his death, but probably a lot of pain.

luckily, i got there in time to get him safely down so that some 5 or 6 years later we could gather together at the cooper household and celebrate the 10th anniversary of his birth. james, you're a good man and i love you.

the party was fun. pretty laid back and easy for us as parents (maybe the older they get the easier the parties get). we just had the friends over for a late night (i guess late nights are the same things that we used to refer to as slumber parties except that kids don't actually spend the night slumbering at your house, they just go home around 10 or 11) and they played games and watched a movie. we even had a fog machine, which was a special request by jameson (luckily, grandma coops had one, thanks, special k). best part of the night, though, was when jameson and his brothers each got one of those cool nerf swords as a gift (thanks, emcghee) and an absolute battle broke out upstairs consisting of slashing nerf swords, light sabers, and pirate swords.

i was downstairs when the rumble commenced, but as i ascended upwards and stumbled upon this beautiful chaos, my boyhood instincts overcame me and i had to be a part of this momentous event. as such, i set the camera down and charged forward securing my weapon of choice (green light saber) and the carnage ensued. i pretty much made short work of the novices and it was a sight to behold (aim has recorded some of it, so maybe it will show up here at some point)... weapons-a-blaze and the murky effects of fog from a fog machine simmering all around. it was rad.

another rad moment that took place in the early hours of new year's day in the form of an early morning polar bear swim i reluctantly participated in... and so did mrs. blogmaster, twice! let me just say that it was way cold and even as i sat in the throws of a bubbling hot tub, i couldn't get warm. mrs. blogmaster, being one of two women to participate in the swim, in the midst of 5 or 6 guys, dove in twice.

of course, she was so sleek and stealthy in her dive and torpedo like cruise across the pool and into the hot-tub that she minimized her actual time in the cold water. she was nothing like the rest of us neanderthals who cannon balled in and then tried to run across the pool. no, my friends, she was pretty much the female version of michael phelps but with more swimming attire than a skimpy speedo. the entire 48 hour period was a blast and, therefore, i sincerely thank everyone who had a part in it.

to say the least, the entire day was exhilarating. in fact, i'm already looking forward to next year's swim, although i'm not sure how much longer the heart of someone born in the 19s can handle the extreme temperature changes.

pics from james' party.












Wednesday, January 6, 2010

all's fair in love and iphones

just before the 25th of december, a friend of mine told me that no matter what, i shouldn't buy my wife an iphone as a Christmas gift. this guy disparagingly said that he recently purchased an iphone for his wife and that their relationship hadn't been the same since... especially in the evening... especially in the bedroom. according to this guy... who will remain unnamed... his wife is too busy spooning with the iphone each night before bed to pay him any attention. maybe it's the phone. maybe it's just him. i'm just saying.

so, i politely finished listening to my friend, but wasn't the slightest bit worried about buying aim an iphone for several reasons. first, i had made my mind up... aim was getting a phone on the 25th even if we got divorced on the 24th. for starters, i already had an iphone and was at times, admittedly, mesmerized by it... in fact, i liked it so much that i wanted my wife to experience the same degree of like for her phone that i felt for mine... and i knew that this would only be possible with an iphone.

the other reason was somewhat sinister. to explain, it is important to understand that upon hearing my friend talk about the amount of attention his wife's iphone got from her, i felt like my wife could probably have sympathized with him in the sense that i think mrs. blogmaster feels a tinge of jealousy every time i pull out my phone to make a call, make a chess move, get some directions, play with a lightsaber, find a place to eat, figure out who sings a song, etc. (there's aps for all those things). in fact, mrs. blogmaster was so aware of my alleged infatuation with my phone that she gave it a name: danielle... and had actually taken a liking to referring to danielle as my mistress. aim claimed that i looked at the phone in a way i should only look at my wife. just for the record, not true.

so, as usual, i felt aim was slightly overreacting and, as such, saw no better way to combat this overreaction than to get aim an iphone of her own (win win). this way she, too, could get lost in the gaze of her iphone's shiny face and, consequently, have no grounds on which to give me a hard time for my alleged infatuation with my phone... alleged... or at least i could claim that this was the case now whether or not it really was. how ya like that apple, babe? the apple iphone, that is. ha!

my plan was brilliant for many reasons. first, it made Christmas shopping for mrs. blogmaster the easiest it had been for years. second, i was able to get mrs. blogmaster something she would genuinely enjoy and appreciate... such a good husband. third, by giving her the phone, i was making it very difficult for her to make fun of me. it was a foolproof plan.

unfortunately, every foolproof plan has at least one chink in its armor (actually, i just made that adage up), for what i did not account for while devising my devious deed is that not only would aim's newfound infatuation for her newfound iphone exceed that for my own, but that she would also struggle to fully abandon her prior cell phone (two-timer)... the samsung, or fabio as i like to call it.

she named my phone, i named hers. what? thing is, she completely disagrees with my choice of name for her phone... in her mind, her phone is more like a bob or joey... no offense, bob and joey.

so, what i once thought was impossible has now become a reality: aim is in fact a more furious texter with heriphone than she ever was with the samsung. in fact, b.i. (before iphone) i thought aim was attempting to become the first person ever to co-author a novel with her buddies solely via text messaging.... at least that's what i used to think; now, however, i'm convinced she's moved on from novels to actually working on the next set of encyclopedia brittanica. what's worse is that it's not uncommon for mrs. blogmaster to have both phones out on each knee, text messaging with one and than the other. i'm not kidding. thing is, i always assumed she was texting other people, but now that i think about it for all i know she was just texting herself:

iphone: hey, hottie how r u?

samsung: not 2 bad, u?

iphone: hot. just like u, imho...

samsung: lol. u r 2 sweet ; )

iphone: it's true. u r gr8.

samsung: omg... i like so heart u : ) : ) : )

sounds about right. i'd have to verify that this is the case, but if the shoe fits... bottom line, i can't complain since i spend a fair amount of time on the iphone myself. plus, i haven't caught aim spooning with her phone in bed at night yet. regardless, that won't keep me from giving her phone a name... it's only fair. in fact, i think her phone looks exactly like a latin guy named daniel, pronounced with an emphasis on the -iel. what a coincidence.

iinitiate the blog

iinitiate the blog