Saturday, October 18, 2008

Poop's Just Funny....

Me - on my arse watching the Dodgers playoff game on TV. 
Colin - on his in the bathtub. 
Live action ballgame sound fills the house along with ambient water splashing and the faint sounds of a child playing in the tub. All of a sudden a yell from down the hall....

Colin: DAD!!!!
Me: (hit pause) Yeah Buddy?!
Colin: Remember the other day when we went to the pumpkin patch?!!
Me: Yeah, I remember!
Colin: Remember when I was riding on that horse and he was real?!!
Me: Yeah, I remember!
Colin: Remember when he stopped - and then that other horse peed and pooped?!!
Me: Yep - I remember!
Colin: That was SOOOO funny!!! (hysterical laughter...)
Dad: Yes it certainly was! (join in laughter...)

Colin resumes bathtub activity. I hit Play. 
Once again the sounds of baseball and bath fill the house...

I love my home!


For those counting down the days till the 60th Anniversary 25 cent burger extravaganza.... Read and weep. If it sounds too good to be true, chances are.....

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Sidehugs and Handshakes....

I'm a hugger - always have been. I appreciate a good hug and am always happy to give one. I grew up in a huggy house - a very long line of huggers. My dad's perhaps the biggest hugger of all. Twas always common for me to greet my friends - both male and female - with a hug. Nothing awkward, nothing sensual, just a good solid "you're my friend and I'm happy to see you..." hug. But I fear the hug's losing credence these days. Not certain if it's just not politically correct, perhaps a bit gay if the same sex, maybe sexual harassment if the opposite... not sure. But I like the hug. There are still a few people in my circle that I can count on for a good hug and I always look forward to seeing them coming my way. My wife of course is one. My son - depends. He's mostly a high five guy. Nothing wrong with the high five - but it's no hug. I think he'll come around. Curtis and Kristi... huggers. Brenda.... a great hug. Wes.... definitely a hug - and usually accompanied with the line from Tommy Boy... "brothers don't shake hands.... brothers gotta hug!" Mostly it's important to know who is and who isn't. There's not much more awkward than going in for the hug with a non-hugger. You can try to roll out for the side hug - but it's typically even more awkward by that point. And I kinda don't get the side hug - except where height or size issues prevail. But overall just seems a little impersonal and somewhat demeaning to me. It kinda says "yeah - I acknowledge your acquaintance and should probably show some form of recognition as to your presence - but I'd rather not." I almost feel that the high five beats the side hug - it's at least got enthusiasm and good contact. However - being in ministry and all - I practice the side hug often. But I like that the old folks go right in for the full frontal. They're not the least bit concerned with any new fangled political correctness - they're getting the real deal and leaving a trail of cheap perfume behind. I like that!

Then the handshake... who knows anymore. As a rule of thumb I like the traditional hand in hand handshake. It should be firm as to imply sincerity, but not so hard as to appear inconsiderate. And by all means it should require full engagement. Neither party should stop short of the skin between the thumb and index finger coming in full contact. One party squeezing the others fingers doesn't constitute a handshake. That piece of skin is there primarily for the purpose of shaking hands and should be fully utilized. The best method for insuring this is to move your hand toward the other party at a slow to medium speed - then accelerate to a fast speed as you slip your hand all the way into the clasp of theirs. Especially if you know the other party has a tendency to grab the fingers. (I learned this at church as a youth. Ray Walters, God bless him, was a finger shaker.) Just 3 or 4 moderate shakes is good. Not too vigorous. The second hand is not needed to sandwich the original two - one is sufficient. Then release in an appropriate time frame.

But anymore it's so hard to know what to anticipate. Just the old fashioned handshake now has to be followed by a series of ad ons that are just too hard to keep up with. I remember in Jr. High it was the traditional shake, followed by the thumb wrap, followed by the finger clasp. Now I'm not so sure where we're headed once we begin a shake but I'm pretty certain it'll end with a fist bump. All the in between stuff will usually just kinda die out in a sea of uncertainty - then end with the bump. Honestly, I think I prefer the side hug. Imagine if we actually greeted each other with a "holy kiss"... how politically incorrect is that?

Saturday, October 11, 2008

What The Whale...?!!???!!

I love this true happening from the peace and love 70's. Saw it on TV last week with Michael and we laughed our butts off. What a great trip back to the pre-politically correct days. I'd love to have been in the meeting when this idea came up....

Thursday, October 9, 2008

You Say Tomato....

"Soon as I put on my toboggan, I'm fixin to carry ya'll to the Sonic to get a Coke. Just don't let it tump over in my car." That's Texas for "As soon as I put on my stocking cap, I am going to drive you all to the Sonic to get a soda. Just don't let it spill in my car." Crazy - the words we use. "Fixin to" means going to - or about to. "Ya'll" of course means you all. "Carry you somewhere" means to drive you - certainly not literally carry. "Coke" can mean anything carbonated. "Tump" means to tip over or spill. And "toboggan" means a wool hat, or stocking cap. This is the one that first tipped me off to the possibility that the words I grew up with perhaps weren't exactly universal. 

I'll never forget the day working on the ski lift at Copper Mountain in Colorado when upon my lunch break I took off as always to get in an hour of hard skiing. As I sat on the lift to the top of the mountain I realized that I had left my hat in the lift station below and that my ears and head were going to freeze. No problem - I would stop in at the top lift station and borrow my friend's - he was simply sitting inside the shack and wouldn't need it for a while. As I got off the lift I waved to him inside and then skied around to the door. We exchanged pleasantries and I proceeded to ask him if I could borrow his toboggan. A little unsure he asked, "what?" I said - "do you mind if I borrow your toboggan? I left mine at the bottom and my ears are getting cold." Quite confused he said, "You want my toboggan?" At this point I decide he's a bit territorial over it and maybe this was a little too personal for our stage of friendship. "Yeah" I said, "I just need something to wear over my ears while I ski. I'll bring it back in an hour." He replies, "You're going to wear a toboggan?" "Sure - unless you have an ear band." At this point he begins to contort his face in a problem solving manner and eventually says, "do you mean a stocking cap?" My immediate thought is that sounds a bit effeminate - but I nod and say "yes - a stocking cap - a toboggan." He breaks out into laughter and begins describing his vision of me skiing with a sled - or a toboggan - on my head. 

At that point I began to question my whole vocabulary. Seems there were a lot of colloquialisms in there - not to mention a pretty steep accent. Over time I've realized that every place has them - and every native is always surprised to learn that theirs aren't universal. For instance, in the midwest it's called a pop, or soda. In the south it's definitely just Coke. I've somehow landed on soft drink for the most part. This past week I referred to my house shoes to a native Californian who laughed and said, you mean slippers? Which reminded me of my Australian friend who calls his PJ bottoms his house pants. 

It's amazing really that the english language can have so many different words to say the same thing. Even more-so is our innate ability, conscious or otherwise, to quickly adapt and emulate the local lingo. For instance, when I first moved here, to get to the beach I would take Hwy. 118 to either Hwy. 23, or I-405, then take Hwy. 101 to Kanan Rd., over to the Pacific Coast Highway. But now I take "the 118" to either "the 23" or "the 405", then take "the 101" to Kanan Rd., over to "PCH" (and not "the PCH" - please - are you trying to piss them off?) Yes - it's essential that "the" comes before any number that would indicate a hwy or interstate. This is exclusive to Southern California and they would laugh aloud at your insistence to declare the denomination of the road, be it hwy, interstate, tollway, etc... before saying its number. A simple "the" is all that's required. So... I say when in Rome. After all, I love my SoCal friends and by all means the last thing I want is to sound unintelligent with the words I use - I mean that would like be so like totally like not awesome like gag me totally not rad.... don't you think?