Saturday, March 27, 2010

the anniversary but not before a quick political disclaimer

if you don't want to read about my politics, skip the stuff in ittalics:

i just got on the blog to post about phase 2 of the gauntlet and noticed an ad addressing health care reform linking you back to harry !@#$'s website (for those new to the blog, !@#$ is used in place of the four-letter word "reid"). as a disclaimer, i do not in any way shape or form endorse harry !@#$ or the healthcare reform bill that was recently passed. i also don't endorse any stake conveniently holding firesides for brother !@#$ during an election year, but don't get me started...

as for health care...

i, like anyone with a heart or conscience, admit that health care needed some changing and credit to the democrats for having the anatomy to actually do something about it. unfortunately, according to friends of mine who are native to other countries with the very kinds of health care systems the left covet but who have also lived in america as non-resident aliens (note to zombies: these friends are anything but conservative), something moving towards a universal system is not any better than what we have now... their words, not mine. in fact, more often than not, the reason some of these individuals came to america was to escape the health care of the other country, ie canada. both systems have their pros and cons, but more often than not I have heard negative commentary from people i know and trust who have actually lived in and dealt with both systems.

plus, i think there is also the issue of whose corruption and cronyism you trust more: the governments' or the capitalists' because you are flat out lying to yourself if you try to claim that a given side is immune from either. i tend to side with adam smith and the invisible hand because the market is less binding and generally responds more quickly and willingly to consumer dissatisfaction and similar market forces than the government does (those pesky set terms and the ability to make law and all); that being said, we need both forces at work as together they serve as a nice check and balance against each other.

this reform may bring some balance to the spectrum, but most of us gun-toting free market capitalists fear that this may be a step in the wrong direction (for the record, i don't own a gun, but i do own several light sabers). for if political geniuses like sean penn and bill maher get their wish and this system drives insurance out of business, eliminates competition, and leaves the government with all the power... well, you know what they say about absolute power and barney frank and fannie may and freddie mac. i'm happy to be proven wrong, but i am inherently incapable of admitting that politicians can get things right unless, of course, i agree with them.

last word on this, my main concern is that if this new system disincentives some of our best and brightest from the medical field, in other words if the quality and cutting edge advancement of our health care services goes down because the prestige/financial incentive evaporates from the field, the words that come to mind to describe my feelings towards those who passed this legislation in spite of major opposition to it are too strong to utter on this blog.

that is all. i've vented and now i'm going back to semi-professional blogging in the comedic arena full-time. politics gets me too riled up and into too much trouble with friends.

the cooperfive recently spent a few days in san diego while i was there for a work seminar. san diego is a pretty sweet city. we used to spend a week or so there each summer growing up in the mission beach area, but i'd never really spent much time downtown in the gas lamp district. i know they recently revitalized that whole area, so it wasn't as cool then as it is now, but i was really impressed. i kept having to ask myself why we don't come to visit more often, but then i'd remember that it's because it costs money.

not long before the san diego trip, aim and i celebrated our 12th anniversary. it was a fairly uneventful celebration this year as mrs. blogmaster requested that we not do much. being a guy, i actually thought she was serious about that... on second thought, she probably wasn't. but, hey, we've only been married 1 and 1/5 decades, how am i supposed to know that kind of stuff yet... give me some time to get to know her a little more.

at any rate, we spent the evening watching a show i don't really recommend called "diary of a mad black woman" or something like that. i'm almost ashamed to even admit that we had the dvd, but someone at work whom i trust almost implicitly when it comes to movie recommendations recommended it and actually gave me a copy of the dvd to watch, so after we'd had it for like 6 months and there was nothing at red box, the dvr, or on tv, we finally gave in.

it had a few funny lines here in there, but overall i felt like i was watching a seminary video or that love dare movie fireproof i wrote about a while ago, but for the bet channel. interesting, but not my cup of tea.

the movie is about some pompous wealthy lawyer who treats his wife like garbage and eventually kicks her out. she, in turn, finds true happiness through some young handsome thing with sweet cornrows who works for a moving company by day and the tv show criminal minds by night. there was a nice underlying Christian message throughout the show which is always nice to see, but watching this show before bed was kind of like hearing the mormon tabernacle choir sinker in on the ipod at an inopportune moment like i shared in a recent post... if you know what i mean.

thing is, the couple in the movie had a few fights which reminded me of the one or two fights mrs. blogmaster and i have had over the course of our marriage. right. and when i think that far back i am reminded of virginia and helen's house: the century and a half old house we lived in as newlyweds while attending school in provo, utah. lots of fond newlywed memories there. take for instance the time that aimee, being the good dutiful wife she is, made a special dinner for the two of us... perhaps an anniversary dinner.

for the record, i think mrs. blogmaster is an excellent cook. admittedly, cooking was not really something she'd had a ton of experience with coming into the marriage, but i didn't care... that's not what i married her for. over the years, however, she has become quite the culinary wonder, to her credit. she, on the other hand, feels fairly inadequate when it comes to this area of homemaking, but keep in mind, she's a perfectionist.

on this particular evening, aim decided to try her hand at little dish i like to call chicken cordon bleu. pretty ambitious for a novice. but when she brought it out and served it up, it looked and smelled great. in fact, it even tasted great, leaving me thoroughly impressed. after one bite went down smoothly i proceeded with little inhibition until i started to notice a minty fresh-like aftertaste. curious. no matter, maybe it was some new age recipe that incorporated some odd ingredient to give a traditional favorite a modern flare. i'm down with that. but the taste persisted and seemed to even get a little stronger. and then i noticed a greenish liquidy looking color that appeared to have bled off of the string holding the ham and cheese together and onto the chicken meant. it was at that point i either realized or had to ask, is that dental floss in the chicken?

sure enough, it was. ever the industrious woman, aim had made good use of our dental floss by incorporating it into the preparation of this celebratory meal (i'm not sure how much we were flossing back then). i couldn't have cared less. it still tasted great overall and the effort aims had gone to in making it to begin with was all that mattered to me. one thing for sure is that i had the best smelling breath i'd ever had after eating cordon bleu when i walked away from that meal.

back to san diego.

while driving in the car...

caleb: "dad, i've got a rash from colston's underwear."

me in my mind: what am i missing here? how the heck does that happen?

colston in his unassuming little three year old voice, with a slight lisp: "i've got my own underwear."

it was then that i remembered caleb had thrown on colston's underwear that morning because he had been too lazy to get his own out of his suitcase. these types of comments are commonplace during a road-trip with three boys.

then there was dinner at the mexican place on coronado island.

colston: "i've got to go potty."

i look at aim hoping she'll bail me out but knowing full well it is infinitely my turn given all the diaper changing and potty breaks she takes care of when i'm not around. i look back at coles.

me: "let's go."

we get in el bano and, of course, there aren't any kids sized urinals. great. not surprisingly, coles insists on using the urinal and he also insists on dropping trow to the ankles which means i have to pick up the kid and hold him on par with the urinal so he can keep the stream in the urinal while his pants are down. note to readers: this is an odd site to the common passerby, me standing there holding a kid with his drawers down to his ankles while he goes tinkles in an adult sized urinal.

as luck would have it, he gets stage fright and doesn't go. i wait patiently, trying not to make eye contact with anyone else in the bathroom, until time is up and we call it quits. we head back out to finish the meal. not more than three minutes later.

colson: "i've got to go poops."

i don't even bother to look at aim this time and grab the kid by the hand hurrying him along to the restroom again... those sizzling shrimp for the shrimp fajitas aren't going to sizzle forever.

we get into the bathroom and this time he has no choice but to use the toilet. we enter the stall and he refuses to let me put anything on the toilet seat as a buffer between the seat and his cheeks. fine. i place him on the seat where he braces himself from falling in by placing his hands on the seat itself. i try not to throw up. please tell me hand sanitizer is as potent as i'm hoping it is right now. a couple of grunts later he's done and insists on flushing the toilet even though it flushes itself. at this point i don't care what he touches in the bathroom and let him feel around for the flusher. he finally believes me when i say he can't flush it and we leave the stall and wash his hands like he's a surgeon prepping for surgery. now back to the fajitas if i can still muster up an appetite.

i sit down and start to eat. not more than four minutes go by.

colston: "i've got to go tinkles."

me: "that's it, babe. it's your turn."

let's move on to the pictures...

Monday, March 22, 2010

scooping poop for disneyland

to-do lists seem to be the bane of every relationship. ours is no exception. sometimes i will get home from a long day at work just as mrs. blogmaster is heading out to yoga, the latest birthday dinner party, book club, church youth activities or some other extracurricular event but not before she slips me a to-do list. to put it nicely, i hate it. generally, the last thing i want to do when i get home from work is more work, but that's the way it is.

thing is, i'm not any better in that some mornings i'll wake up, get dressed, and jet off the work only to send mrs. blogmaster an email of to-do items that she can busy herself with during the day (it's not like she has myriad other things she has to get done). to put it lightly, she hates it.

thus, the moral of the story is that we've both learned the hard way that to-do lists are a menos eficaz (that means less effective in spanish) way of making deposits in one's emotional bank account. in fact, it typically has just the opposite effect. as such, we tend to only make these types of requests when there has been a recent direct deposit in the emotional bank account such that the emotional cup runneth over. on the other hand, sometimes we don't care if the account is overdrawn and just want the other spouse to get something done we don't want to do ourselves (how's that for mixing metaphors? does anyone even have an idea of what i'm talking about anymore?).

moving on...

as with all things blogmaster related, there is, of course, some endearing anecdotal evidence, sitting as an illustrative backdrop, against the moral of this story which you zombies should wisely view through the ever-changing to-do list lens of life.


if memory serves, i was the latest perpetrator in the union of mrs. blogmaster and myself to unleash a to-do list on the better half. one of items on this to-do list included: make sure you sign us up for disney's give a day get a day. for those unfamiliar with this type of sorcery, the bottom line is that if you sign up to volunteer a day's worth of service for some noble cause, then you get a free ticket to disneyland. not a bad deal if you think about it: volunteer a day and get something in return. nothing says charitable service like a quid pro quo beneficial arrangement. thus, in the spirit of providing philanthropy with the intent of being compensated for it, i thought the cooperfive might as well throw our collective mickey mouse eared hats into the ring and get some free tickets to disneyland by serving our fellow human beings.

thing is, i didn't actually end up serving human beings... i served animals. pets at a pet fair to be more specific.

yes, you read my words correctly. my lot in this whole ordeal was to serve animals at a pet fair. to my pleasant surprise, i only discovered my assignment upon receiving my confirmation email from the program. at first i was pretty stoked since as an active member of the mormon church and an eagle scout i have had plenty of opportunities to serve; however, these opportunities have usually involved manual labor and physical exertion. it is not uncommon for me to profusely sweat or hurt myself during a mormon service project... and all for something we generally refer to as "blessings", not tickets to disneyland.

lest ye think i'm complaining, i'm not. i enjoy helping out where i can, i'm just saying that service for me doesn't traditionally involve helping out at a pet fair. it usually involves blazing a trail in the vegas heat or carrying a piano up the stairs on my back. a pet fair sounded like a nice change-up from the usual... kind of fun, actually. i especially got excited when i saw that part of the job description included being a pooper scooper. rad.

to illustrate...

having grown up a cooper, i heard my fair share of cooper pooper scooper name calling. as funny as is to hear that over one bizziliion times as a kid, it's still a barrel of laughs when i hear it today as an adult... even like three moths ago when someone dropped it on me at church. i was laughing so hard that i wasn't laughing at all. name calling is one thing, but with this pet fair, though, i had the opportunity to actually put my money where others' mouths had been for so long in that i could actually dig in and scoop some poop, thus, earning my rightful moniker.

funny thing is, on the other end of this machination mrs. blogmaster anxiously awaited my reaction thinking i would be bummed about an assignment that involved scooping up canine feces given my sour disposition towards coddling pet owners, coddled pets and, one could safely assume, their poop... au contraire mon frere! for, unbeknownst to me, mrs. blogmaster had specifically chosen pooper scooper duty as my service project in direct retaliation for my having left her a to-do list which included signing us up in the first place. the funnier thing is that i was actually looking forward to the event for some odd reason... maybe i was because of its potential blogability. how's that for backfired, lover?

unfortunately, i didn't really get to scoop any poop as there wasn't much excrement left on the ground at the event. either all the dogs were constipated or the owners were responsible enough to clean up their own stuff. i'm not sure. i did get to count some dogs, hand out some doggie bags, and assist in unpacking a car to help set up a ferret display, though. it was good times.

i especially enjoyed the idiosyncrasies of the near fanatic pet-owner crowd. they definitely are their own culture. in fact, i once authored a blog post touching on my feelings towards those who seem to value their pets more than their offspring (although, i think some of this crowd can't tell the difference anymore).

i'm not hating on the peta type, their hearts are in the right place and maybe the pets are all they have... to which i say, i'm glad you have someone. but then there's the couple with the ferrets that seem pretty normal on the surface, but upon closer look something just doesn't seem right and i have to wonder...

for instance, how does that first conversation about being a ferret owner (and not just any ferret owner, but a multiple ferret owner that goes to pet fairs to parade ferrets) go over with the significant other for the first time? maybe there's some bar or online dating site where pet lovers go to chat/hang out and there's this pretense that everyone involved is little over the moon for their pets. if that's the case, then fine: caveat emptor... that's one thing (although, with the stigma on-line daters already have, do you really want have the potential for weird to the second power by making it an on-line dating website for ferret groupies?).

in contrast, if the conversation is more of a coming out of the closet event in the sense that it's a sudden "hey, i know we just met, but i've got to tell you that i'm really into ferrets... i mean really into ferrets! i've got five of them that i parade at pet fairs every once in a while. they're a big part of my life. are you down with that?" well, then that's quite another situation.

and then i have to wonder if there's even proper etiquette in that culture to govern when such news is properly sprung. is it proper to lay it all on the line during the first meeting/date? or is there some more strategery involved in the sense that one is better off waiting until a few dates have gone by and here's some emotional investment already in the bag? inquiring minds want to know.

hey, if you want to refer to your pets as your children, more power to you. i get the bond. i cried every time we lost a pet as a kid. in fact, i got a little emotional when i just found out my parents took the cat we all hated to the pound the other day... and i seriously disliked that thing. i get it. i just don't get the dog strollers. unless your dog is injured, old, or legless, dog strollers are an abomination to humankind.

in summary, the service project was fulfilling. it was especially fulfilling when i printed out the free vouchers for disneyland yesterday. at least i got to do something interesting like count dogs rather than something boring like prepare meals for homeless people like mrs. blogmaster did. where's the fun in that? my mom, on the other hand, takes the cake. special k's project consisted of her reading to birds. i said birds.

what is this world coming to? do i need to remind you all of what happens to the humans on planet of the apes? consider yourselves warned.

iinitiate the blog

iinitiate the blog