30 December 2007

The Only Way to Fly

Silver Elite status on Northwest gets you free upgrades on domestic flights so Robin and I got bumped up last week flying from Seattle to DC. I’ve been upgraded quite a few times so here are some of my rules to live by while flying First Class:

1. Monocles are encouraged, but not required.
2. Try not to mingle with the peons in coach. No need to get mixed up with that rif raf. That curtain is there for a reason.
3. You should speak with a British accent at all times.
4. Never order the eggs for breakfast. Cheerios are always a better option. (Hint: They don't have stoves on planes, even in First Class).
5. Never take photos of yourself in First Class. It’ll look like you’ve never sat there before.
6. Don’t try to sneak into First Class from coach. And when you get caught, don’t tell the flight attendant, “I’m not going back there! I paid for this ticket two months ago and you gave me a middle seat!” How embarrassing. But I guess that’s what you’d expect from someone in coach.
7. Don’t worry about the plane crashing. If you go down, you know you’re going down in style.
8. Always give your jacket to the stewardess so she can hang it up when you board the plane, even if it's a windbreaker. It makes her feel like she’s needed.
9. Use the restroom in the First Class cabin as often as possible. The marble, stainless steel, and Egyptian cotton towels will make you feel right at home.
10. Always take advantage of the pilots’ offer to take a tour of the cockpit. If you’re really good, they sometimes let you take the controls.

25 December 2007

Merry Christmas!

A Merry Christmas to all!

Christmas was pretty magical when you were little. I remember falling asleep the night before, too excited to sleep, then waking up when it was still dark to sneak upstairs and see which gifts magically appeared under the tree. Now Christmas has become mostly commercialized and you can't even say the word "Christmas" for fear of offending someone. (I personally wouldn't be offended if I lived in a country where Christmas wasn't celebrated but other religious holidays were, and someone said "Happy _______" to me, but whatever). Apparently I've always been a little cynical about Christmas. I don't really remember ever believing in Santa; even when I was really little I knew that it didn't make sense for Santa and his elves to be making toys in his workshop when there were toy company names like Lego and Mattel on the packaging. Plus we had a woodstove in our fireplace so I knew there was no way a fat man in a red suit was getting down our chimney. I guess I was just a really smart kid.

Past holiday greetings:

2003: When you're using MS Paint, there's only so much you can do.

2004: This is probably my personal favorite. Santa didn't come through until 2006, though.

2005: My head was supposed to be Rudolph's nose but I think it looks like he's eating my head.

2006: How sad that people can't say "Merry Christmas" anymore.

19 December 2007

What I Would Do With Backward Feet: An Essay

Here is quite an interesting story about a young woman with backward feet. (Why does it always seem like China gets all the people with cool bodies? See this story also.) So, here is my list of ten things I would do if I had backward feet:

1. Trademark the slogan, "Got Backward Feet?" and run ads depicting celebrities wearing milk mustaches with my slogan above them.

2. Kick would-be muggers who came up behind me. Then I'd say, "I bet you weren't expecting that, you mugger!!! I have backward feet."

3. Invent a new soccer bicycle kick where I would jump forward and downward and use my foot to kick the ball into the net as it went over my back. A movie would be inspired by my new kick called, "Bend it Like the Guy with the Backward Feet." I'd probably marry a Spice Girl, too.

4. Start a club for people with backward feet. Networking is very important these days.

5. Invent a custom bed with a dip where my feet would go. I like sleeping on my back so this would be very necessary. (An ottoman with such a dip would be nice, too).

6. Pray longer because now kneeling wouldn't hurt so much.

7. Break the NFL's longest field goal record of 63 yards. I'd wear a special shoe with a flat front and a built-in spring so the ball would go straight and far every time. Take that, Jason Elam and Tom Dempsey!

8. Trade in my car for one with an automatic transmission. I think the stick shift would just be too tricky, especially in stop-and-go traffic.

9. Learn how to moonwalk forward. I'd be a hit at every party.

10. Get dibs on the email address backwardfeet@gmail.com.

14 December 2007

Dear Bill Gates,

I really enjoyed my first day at your company. The people were nice. My office has a great view. We get free soda and juice! I just have one complaint: my PC didn't work. But thank you for sending a Tech to check it out when the Help Desk person couldn't fix it over the phone. A few hours later I could check my Gmail account, buy iTunes for my iPod, and research on Google which Nintendo Wii game I should buy.


Your Newest Employee in RTC Building 5 Room 4098

12 December 2007

Jag butik for Ikea!

Yesterday I made a trip to our neighborhood Ikea to purchase some furnishings for our fine apartment. I really enjoy how they include the Swedish names for the products. After all, who doesn't want to know what they call a table and chairs in Sweden? (Jokkmokk, if you are wondering). It makes me feel like I'm immersed in a little piece of Swedish culture. And personally I wouldn't mind one of those little dotted O's in our alphabet.

Some of the names are pretty intuitive like this one:

Or this one:

And I thought this one made sense:

This one made me laugh:

(you know, like "hop in bed")

But, I'll be honest with you--these next two really caught me off guard:

Those crazy Swedes!

10 December 2007

Back in the USSR

For the past few weeks I have been working construction with Russians. They are very nice people but so far all the stereotypes in my head have turned out to be true. For example, they eat stroganov every day for lunch. They play Tetris-like music on a boombox while we work. They always blast the heat like we're in Siberia or something. They yell and are angry a lot. At break time they drink "coffee" from a thermos but I know it's really vodka dyed brown. You don't fool me, you Russians. I find they understand me when I speak English like Borat. "That's-a nice!" and "Wow wow wee wow!" are the best way to communicate with them. One guy, Petr, does speak some English, actually. He gets by with three phrases: "Not bad," "I hope so," and "Okidoke." I guess if you were to learn only three phrases in another language, you could do a lot worse. I'm actually becoming fluent in Russian due to my daily immersion among these fine natives. The word for today is "Hobbiet," which means lunch. This one's easy to remember because those cute little Hobbits in Lord of the Rings liked to eat so much. Still no word on what "Jagshemash" means.

But the Russians also have a softer side. The other day Konstantin found out I went to law school but I'm working this job. He said he would pray for me "to find job." Then he said he would have his Russian pastor and congregation pray "to help my friend find job." What a guy. Another guy, Sergei, found out I am a "lawyer" and kept telling me while I was cutting some drywall that, "this job no good for you." Apparently I can't cut drywall. Then he called his (Russian?) lawyer to see if he had an opening for me. Thanks Sergei. The other day one of the Russians bought everyone pizza for lunch (I think there was vodka in it) and we all prayed in a circle before eating.

But, unfortunately, today is my last day because I got a "real" job at this company Bill Gates founded (I guess Konstantin's prayers worked). So here's a poem I wrote in tribute to the Russians: (set to the tunes of James Blunt's "Goodbye My Lover" and "You're Beautiful")

Goodbye my Russians.
Goodbye my friends.
You have been the comrades.
You have been the comrades for me.

You're Moldovan. You're Ukrainian.
From Mother Russia, it's true.
I saw your face in a construction place,
And I don't know what to do,
'Cause now I'll never work with you.

L-R: Petr, Konstantin, Veniamin, Sergei, Anatoli

03 December 2007

Trouble in the Jungle

Click above to see Bindi Irwin's newest song, "Trouble in the Jungle." If you like little Australian girls who rap about saving wild animals from evil mankind, this is the music video for you. I've decided to model all of my dance moves from this point on after sweet little Bindi. I only hope I have some of the intangibles she has. You just can't teach this stuff. Also, I have a word to say to the Crocmen: It's one thing to be a backup dancer to Britney Spears in her glory days (can I get a shout out, K-Fed??) but this is a joke. You're backing up a 9-year-old whack job. Hopefully you lie to people you meet in bars when they ask what you do for a living.

My favorite lines from the song:

"I'm afraid of grizzly bears, but don’t you see/Grizzly bears should really be afraid of me."

"There’s trouble in the jungle/there’s trouble in the jungle/ We find that mankind is not so kind at all."

"What a dumb plan/Just ask the orangutan/His forest is shrinking, what are we thinking?/We're wiping out species without even blinking"

I was going to add my own colorful commentary, but I think Bindi's lyricist said it all.

02 December 2007


So Robin and I drove down to Portland on Saturday to see the BYU basketball team play the University of Portland. Needless to say, BYU won. But, the best part was that there were 5 times as many BYU fans as UP fans. Usually when you go to a sporting event, the visiting team gets booed when they enter the arena. Not this time. BYU got more cheers than the home team. The other best part was that apparently it was P-Day (at 7 p.m.???) because there were about 70 missionaries dressed in their suits and black name tags. I guess the guy behind us and his son had never seen Mormon Elders because when the kid asked his dad why "those BYU fans" were wearing suits and ties, the dad said, "I don't know. I guess they just got off work." Yeah, that sounds like a good explanation to me, too.