Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Sacra(ligious)ment Meeting

Alice and I were asked to give talks in Sacrament meeting last Sunday. We had both been very busy with our callings and other various holiday cheer related activities throughout the week. Only a few paltry notes and scriptures had been jotted down by the time Sunday Morning rolled around. We both scrambled to put something together between presidency meetings and Priesthood Executive Committee. At PEC, I was informed that a General Authority would be presiding over our Sacrament meeting. Elder Cardon, of the Africa West Area Presidency, would be visiting our ward while on vacation or something. When I told Alice this, she got very nervous. She started reviewing her talk to make sure there was no false doctrine in it. I was worried less about false doctrine, and more about inappropriate jokes in mine.

I was still typing away on my laptop in one of the empty classrooms two minutes before Sacrament meeting started. I rushed to the clerks office and luckily they were able to print my talk from my thumb drive. Talk about waiting until the last minute, literally. Ah, technology, I declare my appreciation for your facilitation of my ever increasing procrastination!

We both ended up giving nice talks and have not, as of this morning, been reprimanded or excommunicated for teaching false doctrine. As it turns out, not only did we have Elder Cardon on the stand with us, we had two other General Authorities in the congregation: Elder Sorensen, our current temple president, and Elder Russel. Both are emeritus members of the Quorum of the Seventy. Elder Russel was visiting from Florida for a wedding. President Sorensen is often in our Sacrament meetings as he lives within our ward boundaries. That's one of the perks of living a block from the temple.

We both made it through, and are now looking steadfastly forward to the time when we are on vacation in Virginia. We can't wait to see everyone at home!

P.S. This morning I accidentally tucked my sweater into my pants. Luckily, I caught my mistake before anyone in the lab saw me!

11 Helens agree.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Holiday Gift Guide

With Christmas just around the corner, some of you may still be doing some last minute Christmas shopping. If you still need some ideas, here are a few goodies I found. Surely there is something here perfect for everyone on your Christmas list.

1. Psycho Shower Curtain - for those holidays that you can't spend with your mother-in-law but still want to have a friendly reminder. My mother-in-law is a saint and would never dream of stabbing me to death in the shower, but those on your list may not be so lucky.

2. Butt-Face soap - I've always thought the miracle of soap was that it was self-cleaning, so this may not be necessary. But some on your gift list may not have such a lax view on derriere detergents. This will help them keep track of where that soap has been. However, it won't help them if they drop it. Also available: Butt-Face towels.

3. Tattoo sleeves - This is for that person on your list that has always wanted to be hard core, but their Mom would never let them. A shirt that makes it look like you have tattoos, YEAH! All the anti-social benefits, none of the pain. Warning: wearers of tattoo sleeves may be severely beaten for being posers.

4. Tick Tock Timebomb clock - This is for the person on your list that has a life long dream of vacationing at Gitmo. Include a forged receipt from Target and watch hilarity ensue as they try to return it. Double good times.

5.Squishy Piggy Thingy - These squishy piggies come from the land of exquisitely useless objects, Japan. Unless you live in Japan, I don't think you can get them. You'll just have to be content with the video.

6. Wine glass holder necklace - This is for that person at your holiday party that always ends up so drunk off the sparkling cider that they need both hands free to hold onto the walls. It also doubles as a classy vomit container holder. (Currently, these are sold out. Apparently the douche bags are out in force this holiday season.)

7. Gold Money Toilet Seat - For the straight player and pimp on your list, this gift is sure to have them sittin' bricks, sittin' ON gold bricks, that is. Ain't no place better to show off your bling to the ladies than when they're...you know.

8. Reserve the world's highest tennis court - Those crazy rich Arabs are at it again. They have put a tennis court on the outside of their super-luxury hotel which sits on a man-made island. Perfect for the person on your list that loves both tennis and base jumping. Check the vid and stay to the end to see Agassi lobbing balls over the edge trying to hit people. I'm surprised it took him so long to try that. That would have been the first thing I did.

9. World's Hottest 'Sauce' - Technically, Blair's 16 Million Reserve is not a hot sauce. It is purified capsaicin crystals. Capsaicin is the stuff that makes hot sauce hot. So not only is this the world's hottest, there can never be any hotter. Apparently drunk people like to dare each other to eat hot things, so to buy this bottle you must agree to the terms and conditions, one of which is that you are not inebriated. Another is that you won't actually eat this stuff, only use it as a food additive. I think this stuff could kill you. That sounds like a challenge to me!

10. Revolver Hair Dryer - This is what I got my wife, Alice. She hates brushing and blow drying her hair in the morning. On more than one occasion I was worried that she might be suicidal in the bathroom, struggling with her locks. I have already had to replace two bathroom doors after breaking them down in panic. With this handy blow dryer that looks like a revolver, I can rest assured that when she goes to blow her brains out in frustration, she'll really be tricked into styling those gorgeous curls.

I found all of these awesome gifts on the interwebs, which gave me a good idea. Guys tend to procrastinate and not do their Christmas shopping until Christmas Eve. By then it is too late to buy anything online. So these businesses are missing 50% of the holiday shopping market. So my idea is to open a store for one day, Christmas Eve. I am going to buy one of everything on the interwebs and sell them to all the guys who come to the mall for last minute Christmas shopping. I already started buying things and I figured I would go alphabetically to make sure I didn't miss anything for sale online. I hope Alice likes the idea because Aardvarks.com does not except returns.

2 Helens agree.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Spendin' Cheese

Alice is now employed by both the best AND second best employers in San Diego. Yesterday, her boss at ProFlowers called Alice into her office. She told Alice that HR had been reviewing her performance and her responsibilities. Alice thought she was in trouble. But they really wanted to give her a raise! Alice didn't even have to ask for a raise, they simply handed it to her of their own accord. And it was a sizable raise, too. Nearly 20% of her salary. After reviewing her original position description and comparing that to what she is actually responsible for, they felt she deserved the raise. I've never heard of a company doing that before. That's why I say ProFlowers is the second best employer in San Diego.

So who's the best employer? On Sunday, Alice was called to be the Young Women's President in our ward. Is it coincidental that the day after Alice was set apart as YW President, she got a pay raise? I don't think so. The Lord may not open up the tithing coffers, but he certainly was not going to let Alice go unrewarded for her diligence and willingness to serve.

And now the entire youth program is under our control (I am the YM President)! All the pieces are in place and my plans for raising up an army of cyborg youth is almost complete. If only my supplier in China would hurry up with those do-it-yourself cybernetic implant kits, the world would already be half mine.

4 Helens agree.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Pure eggnoggery goodness

What is it about that magical holiday concoction called eggnog that melts my brain into a similarly viscous, creamy puddle? It may be the recipe we use when we make it at home (one egg, one quart rum), but I doubt it. [Don't worry, Grandma. That was just a joke. We still keep the word of wisdom.] Even the store-bought variety with no alcohol turns me into a drooling infant, content and happy as long as I am able to suckle at the delicious teat of the holiday gods. Which begs raises the question, why do they not sell eggnog year round? Part of me is afraid of the answer. If they did sell it year round, would I be so enthralled by the sweet nectar? Or would it become banal like chocolate milk. Chocolate milk is good, but I don't go through withdrawal if I don't have it for a while. The same cannot be said for me with regards to eggnog, as can be witnessed every January when they pull my holiday beverage of choice off the shelves for another 10 months. Is part of the allure of the nog its exclusivity and rarity? I have a hunch that this may be the case. Our society is so inundated with affluence that the quest for ever more pleasurable experiences has rendered all but the most expensive and scarce products hardly worthy of a second glance. Do you remember the days when a Christmas orange was a rare and treasured present, brought from a far off land to the snowy winters of the north? I don't remember that. I have always been able to buy an orange pretty much whenever I wanted one. I can just drive around the block and pick up a whole crate for a few bucks. Big deal. Oranges, whoopee. When I eat an orange in December, I am certainly less happy than the child who received this winter gem in times of yore. But I am also less likely to die of scurvy.

'Merry Christmas, Timmy. I got you an orange so you won't die. Eat it slow, it's got to last you until March.'

In this day of on demand shopping and niche marketing made possible by the interwebs, you would think that somewhere there would be a dairy making eggnog all year round. But maybe I'll not go looking for that dairy. Perhaps eggnog tastes better when it only comes during Christmas.

A list of Corbin's favorite eggnogs, eggnog variations, and a few products that aren't on the market but should be, in no particular order:
1. Land'o'Lakes French Vanilla Eggnog
2. Hot Nog (microwave eggnog until hot, enjoy)
3. Chocolate eggnog
4. Orange Nog (add fresh squeezed juice, orange zest, or concentrate to eggnog or hot nog)
5. Eggnog waffles (replace milk with eggnog, or buy Williams-Sonoma mix)
6. Eggnog syrup (mix eggnog and sugar, simmer until reduced to syrup consistency)
7. Eggnog muffins (just discovered at Von's this morning)
8. Eggnog ice cream and milkshakes
9. Peppermint nog (I actually don't like this one, but some of you might want to try it: use a candy cane as a swizzle stick or sprinkle crushed candy cane on the nog)
10. Eggnog bath (trust me, your skin will never feel softer or more luxurious)
11. Eggnog toothpaste (I'm still looking for this one, but I'm sure I'd love it)
12. Eggnog gravy (basically eggnog syrup poured over mashed potatoes)
13. Eggnog gatorade (1. mix equal parts eggnog and gatorade, 2. sweat, 3. replenish bodily fluids with deliciousness)
14. Eggnog cheesecake
15. Eggnog deodorant
16. Eggnog flavored Doritos
17. Eggnog flavored pork rinds

13 Helens agree.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Orange is the new rose

This is a football post. For those of you not manly enough appreciate muscular men running around in tight pants trying to push each other over, you can skip this post. For the rest of you, please don your favorite chili-cheese stained t-shirt, plant yourself in your sofa butt-groove, and hold on to the remote as the Hokies take us all on a ride to a magical land where the football isn't the only leathery skin you'll find, Florida. (They also have a lot of sun tanned old people in Florida.)

On Saturdee, the beloved Virginia Tech Hokies trounced the odious Boston College Eagles to clench the ACC title. (That was my best sports column opening line impersonation. If you work for Sports Illustrated, please don't contact me. I love my job.) I watched this game with my textbook-addicted friend,Matt, and my crippled friend, Pete, so there were not many flying high-five chest slams, but it was still an exciting game. I long for the days of my youth when we were at Virginia Tech. We would sit in Lane Stadium and go wild as the Hokies walked all over whoever and I got terribly sun burned. Football got under your skin at Virginia Tech, like a bot fly larva. The best my current school (UCSD) can offer is water polo. There have been quite a few water polo deaths in recent years; however, officials still aren't sure if the drownings were caused by exhaustion or boredom.

For a picture of the Hokies' biggest fan, click here. (Warning: viewer discretion is advised.)

As ACC champions, we will be playing in the Orange Bowl against Kansas. Really? Kansas? What are they going to do, throw corn at us? I mean, come on! Couldn't they find a real team for us to play? Like a team of pirates or something? It is Florida, after all. I just expected more from a bowl named after America's favorite citrus. It's not as if we're playing in the Chick-fil-A bowl against the mid-day shift crew of the 43rd Street Chick-fil-A like we did last year. And we're not playing in the Siesta bowl where the half time show consists of a short nap under a sombrero. This is the ORANGE bowl, people. We all know orange is the new pink. And pink is just another name for rose. And the Rose Bowl used to be considered the championship bowl. So we're really in the national championship bowl, here. Let's find a team of ninjas that know how to chop block (they really put the 'chop' in chop block) so we can have an exciting game to watch. Or better yet, lets pit the team of pirates against the ninjas and settle the age old debate once and for all. Forget football, I'm ready for some blood splatter to cover up these chili-cheese stains.

P.S. In the comment section, please post who you would bet on in a pirate v. ninja match-up. Include likely vegas odds and reasoning behind your choice. The most creative response will be awarded a beautifully engraved shiruken, either in a decorative box or embedded in the spinal column, depending on who was predicted to win.

P.P.S. For those of you who are entirely bored with the PvN debate because you've been on the interwebs since, like, 2004 and have already read all about PvN and you made up your mind long, long ago, you may post on the much more esoteric topic of Monkey vs. Robot. Here's a little music video to get your debate juices flowing.

8 Helens agree.

Monday, December 3, 2007

The emperor's new birthday suit

I am very comfortable in my own skin. That being said, Alice usually wants me to be wearing something more when guests come over. Or when we go out in public where the people are predominately conservative Christians, like at church or the shooting range. Fortunately, I also like to dress up in a nice suit, which fits perfectly with the whole 'churchy' atmosphere of the local shooting range. There is only one problem: my overly large, thunder thighs. You might even call them womanly thighs. That is, if you want to be slapped silly by any woman within the sound of your voice. True, I have slimmed down a bit since I've been married and have even lost some of the junk from my trunk, but genetics are not so easily coerced. The fact is, my thighs are very well acquainted with one another. Unlike some people's thighs that very rarely meet, my thighs are so close together, they have often been classified as one megathigh. The friction created by my rubbing appendages has more than once started local underbrush on fire. With the recent fire dangers here in California, the Park Service even issued a special ban on my thighs for all preserve areas. I like to tell people that my ginormous thighs are from my high jump training. That only works until they see me asking Alice to get things down from the top cupboard shelf for me.

As you can imagine, I tend to wear out pants rather quickly. My latest pair of jeans lasted no more than 6 months before the first crotch hole appeared. Almost all my suits suffer similar maladies. Couple that with my marriage induced weight loss and I look rather silly at the shooting range, flailing around in a too-big-for-me suit with my legs perpetually crossed like I have to pee. Alice was moved upon to have compassion and she decided to buy me a new suit of clothes for Christmas.

The trouble is, buying a suit is an extremely personal experience. You have to get into the suit and move around in it. You must experience the suit. The man does not choose the suit, the suit chooses the man. It is truly magical. So my Christmas present will not be a surprise, but it will be just what I wanted. Here are a few pics I took of myself trying on suits in the local Macy's dressing room. They were having a big sale and I ended up buying two $500 suits for only $350 for both. When you save that kind of scratch, suit buying is elevated to a spiritual experience. I'm still looking for the suit with the kevlar reinforced crotch but I can settle for now. Hopefully these suits are at least made from fire retardant fabrics.

7 Helens agree.