26 April 2006

Mr. President

i've heard several theories (some more believable than others) on whether or not President Bush is really as stupid as he appears. i mean the guy still says nuc-u-lar and mixes his metaphors* like nobody's business. he also felt the need to remind us all that he's 'the decision maker' the other day... uh, yeah... you're the president (a.k.a. king of the hill)... we know. now, i'm not a Bush-basher (waste of time) and i have no interest in talking politics (i'm neither red nor blue) but i really do wonder if this 'stupid president' act is for real or not. could it be a so-called public relations tactic - one theory - where he's trying to relate to the American people on a personal level? or is he truly not smart - another theory - and simply ignores or doesn't comprehend the advice coming from his speech writers or publicity managers? perhaps it's a combination of both. i don't know. it's a tough call. one thing is for sure though. he can't possible be faking the ridiculous facial expressions we've come to know (and love).

* this isn't such a big deal - it's just that in his efforts to appear down-to-earth he ends up sounding like an idiot.

25 April 2006


i just finished reading a book that is worth mentioning here. it's called The Complete Maus and it's a graphic novel; meaning it's told with pictures or, more specifically, comic strips. however, the story is not the typical light-hearted material that is usually told through cartoons. it's about WWII and the Holocaust and it's pretty incredible. the idea alone is very intriguing and in some ways a bit shocking (portraying the horrors of the Holocaust through the same medium as Calvin & Hobbes?). but Art Spiegelman, the author and son of an Auschwitz survivor, creates a brand new way to experience a story we've heard several times before and does so with a reverence that is atypical of the cartoon genre.

so before this starts to sound too much like an unsolicited customer review on amazon.com i'll stop and simply say: i liked it - you might too.

21 April 2006

yes, your highness

this morning i heard some news. that is to say i was listening NPR. i heard that Queen Elizabeth is celebrating her 80th birthday today and as part of the celebration she'll be doing her 'traditional' walk about (as they called it) around London. they played a sound bite of people cheering for her - all out cheering like they were at a rugby game or something. it was great! they also filled us in on some of the royal protocol: in the presence of the Queen you shouldn't speak unless spoken to and if that were to happen you should say 'happy birthday' and nothing more.

then what's going to happen to all of those cheering Brits who have not been spoken to and are saying other things in addition to 'happy birthday' at the top of their lungs? i know the Tower of London has long since been turned into a museum and tourist attraction so they can't throw them in there. and i highly doubt they'll ship them off to one of the old colonies that aren't really British colonies any more. so... what will be their fate? maybe they'll be forced to watch that one movie What a Girl Wants where Daphne Reynolds (Amanda Bynes), a strong-willed American girl who has no regard for British protocol goes to London in search of her estranged father (Colin Firth), who happens to be a British senator, and finds out that he is about to marry a stuffy-jerk English lady with an even bigger stuffy-jerk English daughter and there are scandals and montages and romantic consequences.

p.s. the only redeeming quality of that movie is when they play the Clash's London Calling during the 'getting to know London' montage .

13 April 2006

snippety-snip, snippety-snip

last night i cut my hair, meaning i gave myself a pretty substantial hair cut. don't worry, i didn't do it in an act of rage or drunkeness or anything like that. i was just frustrated with it. see, i've had two professional haircuts - from hip salons, mind you - in the last six months and neither of them really did the trick. also, because i cut my sisters' hair, i know what kind of haircut i would give myself. so for the last week i've been giving myself imaginary haircuts every other day. last night i figured hey, summer is on the horizon, shorter hair would be nice... it's time to take matters into my own hands. fortunately it worked and i have a hair cut that i like (for now). ha ha ha ah, hu hmmm. wait, that's a joke on me. how'd that get in here?

anyway, i'm not necessarily recommending that everyone go out and cut their own hair, but you just never know until you try it out. besides, summer is on the horizon...

10 April 2006

daylight savings is kicking my butt

i thought i'd be adjusted to the time change by now but it's been an entire week and i still feel like i'm 80 years old when i get up in the morning and i'm tired right now. uhgh. don't get me wrong - i'm all for daylight savings. i love the longer days! and the lighter evenings are a must. but geez! naps have become a daily routine around here. not the 'sleep-too-long-so-you-wake-up-feeling-groggy-and-you-can't-sleep-at-night' naps. these are the 'right-on-time-twenty-or-thirty-minutes-tops' power naps. even Oprah recommends those kinds of naps.

so what's the hang up?

maybe i am getting older after all... to the point where i really can't eat anything past 7 pm or stay up late to watch the free DVD that the Baptists left on my door knob. maybe i really do need to retire at 9 o' clock. wait, wait, wait! that's no solution. if i start going to bed that early i'll start waking up at 4 in the morning. i definitely don't want any of that. but i can't keep waking up after a decent-night's sleep feeling like my eyes are the fridge and their lids are magnets (and strong magnets at that)! it's a lousy feeling. so what am i to do? i don't know. perhaps you may have some ideas. but please, none that have to do with boiled raisins, frozen Q-tips, or Coast brand soap - the scent doesn't really open your eyes. it's a buch of baloney!

04 April 2006

the 7 wonders of Utah

our mini-tour of Utah has left us appreciative of the little things that make this state more than just "pretty great". while we didn't make it to all of the wonders - weather put a damper on the Sun Tunnels - we still had the chance to see both the serene and the surreal... from the quaint town of Huntsville nestled in the hills of Weber County, to the looming peaks of Fish Springs mountain range out in the west desert, to Paria Canyon's narrows on the Utah/Arizona border just southeast of Kanab. we drove through 15 of the 29 counties, put just under 2000 miles on our car and ate one giant scone. needless to say it was the most rockin'est spring break since 2001. here are some of the highlights:

in Huntsville we visited the Trappist monastery on several beautiful acres in the hills where we saw just how normal all the old monks were. it was business as usual so we rested in the chapel and bought some of the honey the monks harvest and all natural peanut butter.

shortly after we found ourselves in the company of a great blue heron, sandhill cranes and harriers at a waterfowl refuge near the Great Salt Lake and the town of Hooper. the snowy Wasatch made an incredible backdrop.

the next evening, at the One Man Band Diner we realized that we weren't the only ones out for a joy ride. but we didn't let it get us down. in fact, once we'd eaten, we felt the need to press on.

Notch Peak was covered in snow but Topaz Mountain, just an hour and a half north (on a dirt road) was covered with... not topaz, but obsidian. we actually got lost on the way back to the car because there were so many different trails, but eventually, we found it.

about a mile into Paria Canyon English's Chaco strap broke and the sandal was useless. hmmmm. yes, it's true... English is tough but how was he going to do the rest of our three-day hike in this fashion? i didn't know. i just had to have faith.

no less than a half hour later, we came upon a pair of old canvas boots someone had left on the shore. the boots had been there for a while (little mouse poos served as a dating method) so we felt better about borrowing them... that is, if they fit. to our surprise and much rejoicing, they were a perfect fit - size 12! and only minutes after that i found a check in my pocket for $300.00 - just enough for groceries and utilities. (just kidding. we honestly did see the hand of God in this situation and thanked Him on the spot).

the narrows were incredible! the water was a bit chilly but we got used to it. we crossed the state line into Arizona where we filled up our water bottles at a spring then headed up Buckskin Gultch - the longest stretch of narrows in the world! after that it was back to camp for some slightly gritty cous cous for dinner. grit is good.

the next day it was off to St. George where we stayed at a B&B that was built by English's great, great grandpa back in the pioneer days. i don't know if these folks are them but we thought, hey... why not? St. George had spring break written all over it.

on the way to Pine Valley (just outside of St. George) we drove through some camping areas and noticed this sign. English pointed out that it looked like a trailer taking a poo. at least it dug a hole.

one of our last stops on the trip was this pyramid on a polygamist compound out by Modena (a city near the Utah/Nevada border). we admitted it was somewhat of a disappointment. we were hoping for, well... something else i guess.

so, as you can see spring break 2006 rocked the house and our self-guided tour was totally sweet. it's nuts to think that while we were out doing all of this, a bunch of dopes probably went to Negril to stand calf-deep in the ocean and drink beer from neon green mugs they bought at Jimmy Buffet's Margaritaville. whatever.