Wednesday, April 25, 2007

My phone conversation with Poppy

Here is my first phone call from Poppy, as she and mommy were driving home. I had just walked in the door.

Me: Hello? (silence) ...hello?
Poppy: Hi.
Me: Who's this?
Poppy: Poppy.
Me: Oh, hi! How's it going?
Poppy: I'm gonna get the orange bike.
Me: Oh, ok.
Poppy: The one with bees and butterflies.
Me: Well that's good...
Poppy: Are you at home right now?
Me: Yes.
Poppy: Did you beat us?
Me: Well, I thought you'd be here. I wasn't racing you...
Poppy: Why did you do that?
Me: Uh, I don't know. Sorry. Where are you?
Poppy (pointing to house): Right there. (sound of garage door opening)

Our talk continued even as she came in the door and stood right in front of me.

I'll probably miss this when she's a teenager.

Monday, April 23, 2007


Here's a photo of the play I'm in, called Nurse Jane Goes to Hawaii. The story is about Vivien, a romance novelist whose next opus is created around the events unfolding before her. And trust me, that's the easiest explanation there is.

And now, the cast of characters.

From top left:

Bill: married to Betty; had a daughter with Doris
Doris: married to Edgar
Edgar (me): married to Doris; had a son with Betty
Betty: married to Bill; Vivien's editor

From bottom left:

Peggy: Bill and Doris' daughter
Peter: Edgar and Betty's son
Vivien: romance novelist


Monday, April 16, 2007

Area man kicks chair, wall

Editor's Note: For those of you who do not know me, the following story is an exaggeration of the truth. Not the fortune cookie, though. That actually happened.

Area man John's Brain, distraught by a shortened lunch hour and a poor selection of dining options, turned and kicked a nearby chair earlier today when he became disillusioned by a fortune cookie which contained no fortune.

Although details are sketchy, it is alleged that the kicked-upon objects also included a nearby wall.

"Oh, this is rich," Brain said. "I'm loving this."

The day up to that point, Brain recalled, had sucked. "I was already in a bad mood when this crapload of work came in," he began, "and we decided to cut our lunch hour in half. Of course I didn't bring mine, so I had to go running off like a lunchless moron."

"I just wanted some soup," he continued. Then, wagging a finger and shaking his head, he explained, "But they always have to make it difficult, don't they."

It was unclear if Brain was actually asking a question.

Although he reported finding several places in the vicinity which offered soup, the only choices available were split pea or a "nauseating cajun broth that smelled like a decomposing forest."

"I mean come on, don't try so hard," he exclaimed, motioning to nothing in particular. "I had to book it three blocks to the next cafeteria, and guess what?" After a short pause for effect, he added slowly, "Split puke and wood rot."

Brain ultimately decided on chicken stir fry, accompanied with a free fortune cookie. "I figured 'What the hell, if the gods are going to mock me, I might as well know the joke,'" he mused.

The resulting irony of being denied even a false fortune led to the kicking incident. When asked to comment further, Brain suddenly appeared to grow disinterested with the interview before slumping into his chair to resume his duties.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

This afternoon we went to Herbergers, where I spent $90 on a $90 pair of shoes that cost $90. The shoes, which cost me $90, were not on sale. I went to the cashier, told her I would like to buy these shoes for $90, and was charged the full $90 retail price for the shoes.

The price of the shoes -- which was $90 -- was paid in full. I agreed to pay the whole amount of the non-negotiable price advertised for the shoes.

The shoes which cost $90.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Friday, April 06, 2007

Reasons to have lunch on Saturn

1. Rings make the most awesome park bench ever

2. I'm 800,000,000 miles from the nearest office appliance

3. View of Jupiter beats the crap out of looking at photos in break room

4. 56 freakin' moons!

5. Estimated time of return, via car at 60 mph: 7,607 AD

6. Skip stones across atmosphere

7. Moon the Cassini orbiter and then blame Titan

8. Finally a reason to walk around in a space suit

9. No pollen allergies

10. Can't hear people's annoying ring tones

11. No elevator crowded with people also going to Saturn for lunch

Feel free to add your own reasons!

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

I recently read about a scientific discovery that claims our brains are plastic. Not the kind of plastic that dad complains about, but neuroplastic.

Traditional thinking asserts that our brains become wired when we're young and all the neurons and synapses and dendrites set like cement, eventually turning us all into stiff, angry, old people.

The idea itself is not that new. There are books out there that tell you how to train your brain and keep it active and all that, but the book I saw -- I can't remember the title at the moment -- says our brains can be physically altered by how we choose to think well into our adult lives. We can change it.

I've always suspected it, but of course I'm a genius.

A few weeks before I read about it, I was at work. It was a slow day and I was thinking how cool it would be if ninjas came cartwheeling down the hall and I heroically saved everyone I liked, while a select few got a Chinese throwing star to the forehead. The reason it's safe to think that is because ninjas will never have a reason to infiltrate a work area that touts paper cuts as its number one hazard.

Long story short, I decided to try an experiment. Every time I felt the boredom coming on I would tell myself that I was happy by thinking of good memories. Soon I was flooding my brain every five minutes with surges of happy neurons. (Yes, the job is that boring. Not every ten minutes. Every five.)

So in conclusion, our brains are plastic and you can make them happy if you want. Isn't that the best news ever? Now everyone go flood your brains.

To help you with ideas, here is a short list of memories John used in his experiment

1. On the road to Spicer in the Nature Wagon in July with no air conditioner
2. Trip to South Dakota in the Nature Wagon in July with no air conditioner
3. Looking for agates at Camp Cuyuna
4. Eating ice cream and watching Friday Night Videos
5. Making home movies with a gigantic video camera

Happy wiring!