Randomly awesome thoughts

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Pappy's Day

Being Father's Day, I felt it would be appropriate to reflect on some experiences I've had with big poppa that show off his fatherly qualities. I've listed the first five qualities that came to my mind as I was writing this.
1. Love for Others - When I was probably six or seven, my family visited either an old folks home or a mental hospital, I’m not sure which. An old crazy man gestured to me to sit on his lap, but I cowered back and hugged my dad’s leg. Instead of saving me from the old guy, my dad pried me off of his leg and stuck me on the man’s lap. While my dad's intentions were good, to this day I am still traumatized by the memories of the old guy squeezing the life out of my little, fragile frame as he mumbled some gibberish over the top of my blood-curdling screams. Because of that, to this day I’m a little skittish about visiting nursing homes, mental hospitals, and old people farms. So if you ask or even beg me to do service of this nature and I turn you down, just blame my father. That's not what I do, but it might make you feel better about being rejected to your face.

2. Ability to Teach Us the Danger of Tattling - My parents gave me my first driving lesson at the ripe old age of six. We were on our way to church and all the kids were told to get in the car. I hopped into the drivers seat and shifted the gear into Neutral. As the Bronco rolled backwards out of the driveway and into the street, my older brother Lanny heroically sprung out of the car, rolling on the ground to slow himself down. He ran inside and alerted my parents, who were on their way out. By the time my dad walked outside and saw what had happened, he got so upset and caught off guard that he spanked Lanny, which settled him down enough to forgo the spanking and instead give me a lecture all the way to church. I'm still trying to decide who got it the worst.

3. Happiness in Modest Living - I had the opportunity a few years ago to sit in courtside seats with my dad at a Jazz game. After the fancy buffet we were escorted down to our prime seating area. We enjoyed seeing the game up close, and at the same time learned how fun it can be to look down on all the pitiful regular fans that don't have special seats. What a bunch of losers!

4. Work Ethic - One of my favorite things to do as a kid was to wake up on Saturday morning and watch cartoons such as Smurfs, Transformers, and other great shows. On many occasions pappy would walk into the TV room and see that we "weren't doing anything", and then direct us to prepare for a day in the sun. We'd proceed to go outside and work in the yard for the remainder of the day. But what really sticks out to me is that of all the times we worked in the yard, he never once complained about missing out on all the great cartoons.

5. Ability to Expound on the Truths of Life - Daddeo has always been a fountain of wisdom. All growing up I found myself taking to heart all the things that he said. As I got older, I realized he was just quoting movie lines. I have always taken comfort in the fact that he raised me with Hollywood values and at the same time helped me gain an appreciation for movies and TV.

In addition to the qualities mentioned above, I probably could mention how he walked to work when we lived in Alaska so we could have a car to take us to school, or how he has always provided enough money so that my mom didn't have to work. But for the sake of time and interest I will leave it at those five for now. And dad, I wrote this post because "I just want you to feel you're doing well. I hate for people to die embarrassed." (Quote courtesy of Princess Bride, circa 1987). Happy Father's Day.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

What Everyone Looks For In A Drink

When deciding on a tasty beverage to drink, we all consider the taste, the price, and of course, the drinkability. There is nothing worse than going to the store to buy a drink and finding out that it is not very drinkable. That's why I'm glad that I saw the commercial for Miller Lite (or maybe it was Budweiser or Coors, I can never remember). I learned that not only does it taste good, it has great drinkability. I wish more products were as specific as this in their commercials. I'm always looking for a shirt with great wearability or a chair with great sitability. Maybe I'll go get one of these drinkable drinks while I come up with examples that don't suck quite so bad.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Mountain Magic

An amusement park can be magical place. I'm not necessarily talking about Disneyland. I have nothing specifically against Disneyland, and it's a fine place to go if I've got nothing else to do. (Of course, it seems that most of the things I have done in my life have happened as a result of me deciding I had nothing better to do at the moment, so maybe that's not a very convincing argument). The magic for me at an amusement park is derived from the rush of the rides, the rush of eating a burger for three times its value, the rush of waiting in line for hours next to people that smell like mushrooms, and the rush of building a closer relationship with my phone. That's right. My phone. Magic Mountain last weekend provided me with all of these things, something Disneyland has never done.
At the beginning of the day, I experienced the Screamer ride with all its loopdy loops and silly twists. Since there was no line yet, my group decided to stay in our seats and ride it a second time. As our seats slowly clicked to the top of the ride, I realized my shorts had freed my cell phone from my pocket. I immediately mourned its loss by cursing the ride, my shorts, and my sorry life. As the roller coaster car clicked closer and closer to the top, the annoying people in the seats behind started yelling at me. I was about to curse them too, but then I realized they were shouting that my cell phone was wedged underneath a bar behind my seat, hanging on for dear life (bless its little heart).

Due to the constraints of the seats, I was unable to see behind me. I reached behind me quickly but could not locate it. With time running out and the car clicking to the top, I felt like the guy on the TV show that opens the ticking case and finds a bomb with ten seconds left and then somehow miraculously locates a pair of wire cutters that he just happened to be carrying and cuts the green wire (which just happens to be the correct wire even though everyone told him to cut the red wire). I decided to reach behind me again, this time using the force (and the shouts of the people behind me) to locate it. With less than twenty seconds left, I finally snatched my cell phone, saving it from a 30-foot drop that would have been its final resting place (since it seemed like nobody ever cleaned that part of the park). Then the ride stopped and the loudspeaker yelled at me for unbuckling my belt, which I did while I was panicking and cursing, even though it didn't help one bit to have it unbuckled. That kind of makes the story a little anti-climatic, but I learned a valuable lesson. It pays to curse when things aren't going your way. I'd like to say I learned not to take my phone for granted, but it would be hard to back that one up since I lost it again on another ride later in the day.