No Time For Doors

Doug F. was telling me yesterday about driving 65 mph on the interstate when he looked over and saw a UPS driver keeping up with him--with no door. He found it curious that someone would drive that fast with no door--and only a thin strap of fabric to hold them in.

"There's nothing between him and the pavement but a pair of polyester shorts," said Doug. "Please, give that man a door!"

I have always enjoyed the fact that UPS men drive around in trucks without doors. It makes them seem so urgent. "Doors? I don't have time for doors! This package has to be in Cincy by 2!" Opening and shutting doors takes time. It makes me feel secure to know that somewhere, a doorless van is carrying my package with a man or woman just ready to leap out to make sure it gets to me. It also makes me think of UPS drivers as helicopter gunners. Without a door there, they could just whip out the gatling gun at any time.

I'm so proud of those tough, risk-all drivers. They sacrifice their bodies to protect our packages, which they take no risks with--not even just leaving it at my dang door. Here's to you, UPS guy.

I read an interesting Slate article about a new "trend" for couples geting hitched. It said:

"If you've read the British news in recent weeks, you might have come away convinced that American couples are crazy about "meshing," or that when John U.S. Smith weds Mary America Jones, they inevitably anoint themselves the Smoneses (or the Jiths). "Word reaches us of new linguistic horrors concocted by the Americans in their continuing assault upon our common tongue," Carol Sarler announced in the British Observer on July 30. Besides the Observer, the Sunday Times, the Telegraph, and BBC News Magazine have all run stories on the putative trend in the last month. (Even the English-language China Daily picked up the news, scoffing at the latest fad among America's "well-meaning liberals.")

There's just one problem with these trend-spotting pieces: They all list only the same two examples. In 2004, when New York Times correspondent Jodi Wilgoren got married to Gary Ruderman, they changed their surnames to Rudoren. The only other case of "meshing" that is mentioned is Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who used to be Tony Villar
before marrying Corina Raigosa in 1988.

Some trend!"

Being a sort-of journalist, I find it fascinating that the press in other countries have made this rare U.S. occurance sound like a trend. It shows how you can use any information to serve your purposes. And here, they've used an 8 year-old instance to make it seem like this is happening every day. As if every couple is going all smash-up with their names. And we now have all these Jiths and Smonses running around. Funny. Like that would happen.

In unrelated news: As of next June 23, I will be Todd Loehertz. Or maybe Herbach. I haven't decided yet.


History of Crushes

OK, So I've been holding onto this post for like a week until Blogger would let me post photos. But it still won't. So, I will just go with it anyway. But before I get to that, I thought I'd a quick recap of favorite (to me) PTOIT features:

Fun With Google: Will return to PTOIT whenever Blogger lets me post pictures.

Monkey Search 2006: The last development was when we discovered that the missing Red Fez Monkey pencil topper was indeed still out there somewhere. Even though I'd given up ever seeing him again, this new information gave Monkey Search 2006 new hope. But then...silence. No new news. No letters. No photos. There is no sign of that little guy. However, there is a new Red Fez Monkey in my life. My Intended bought be a two-inch ceramic monkey (wearing a red fez). And this one--hold on to your hats, people--actually smokes. There will be pictures ... you know, someday.

The Matt - Charissa Connection Campaign: Another photo-intensive feature, this effort to get my friend Charissa to meet Relient K's frontman will hopefully return in the next couple of weeks. No, Matt has not yet contacted Charissa, despite the video she made him. And all my wonderous photos of what a meeting between them would look like.

Now, on to today's thoughts:

Last week, I got to hear my Dad's version of my sister's "Meeting Neal Cotts" story.

In his version, Sisterwas so weepy and on the verge of blacking out at the presence of the White Sox reliever that my Dad had to almost push her over to him and then literally hold her over the bullpen wall to hand him her ticket to sign. (If only opponents got so weak-kneed at Neal's presence.)

Anyway, it got me thinking about celebrity crushes. My celebrity crushes really aren't that intense. They are pretty fleeting. And I don't even think they are really as romantic as they are admiration. And I find a common thread in my crushes--almost always my crush is on an actress' character, not her. Thus, my crushes aren't about actually wanting to meet or date that person, but more of just innocent thinking that I'd like to meet a real-life someone like that character. When I say innocent, I really mean it. I am, after all, still pretty much a 5-year-old in an adult's body. And my crushes still seem to be that innocent and naive as chasing around a girl on the playground, and not knowing why.

My first crush, and the girl who made me realize that girls are kinda cool, was Kelly Martin on Life Goes On. Sweet Little Becca. He cute bob hairdo, her little glasses (early on), and her downright sweetness. She started my thing for the girl next door. I didn't know why I found her so interesting, but I just knew that I did.

After Becca, I remember being in junior high or high school when the big Mighty Morphin Power Rangers craze hit. I never watched the show, but the ads and McDonalds promotions were everywhere. And so was the pink ranger (Amy Jo Johnson). And a second crush was born. Since I didn't watch any of the shows she was in (Rangers, Felicity), this crush actually wasn't about her character. She was just a cutie. And it's interesting: Because the crush was just based on looks, it was very fleeting. And then I moved on to two characters...

When Scream came out, I was shocked by how good the films was, and how darn lovable (and tough) Neve Campbell was. And a new crush developed. I loved Sidney. I wanted to protect her (or have her protect me). By the time, Scream 3 and her rash of other bad movies came out, I was over it....

And onto Monica Gellar (Courteny Cox). When Friends debuted, she was always my favorite. Even over cutie-putie Jennifer Aniston. I think it was how goofy, organized and manic she was on the show. She was a cool combination of funny-zany and responsible. I admired that mix.

After Monica and Neve, I had more of like mini-crushes. There was Thora Birch's clever and snarky character in Ghost World. There was Samantha Morton's sweet, determined, and gently loving mother character in In America. And Kelly Martin returned to TV on ER and my crush returned. She was still Little Becca to me. But all growns up. I took her death on ER pretty hard.

The only girl I've ever met after thinking she was neato from a far was singer Joy Williams. Yah, she was too young for me. And yah, this was again very much an innocent schoolboy crush. But, like everything else in my life, I enjoyed hamming it up. It's what I do for laughs.

Anyway, two funny stories with Joy:

1) I went to a banquet where every table had a CCM singer at it. I saw the table with Joy's placecard on it, and there were like 6 single guys already squating there. And it turned out, that right before the meal, the organizers moved her to another table. Hmmmm.

2) When I first met Joy, she was as sweet and effusive as could be. I didn't blackout or tear up or anything, but she did put her hand on my leg at one point to show sympathy (this is most womens' reaction to me) and I was like, "Holy crap."

Anyway, going through my History of Crushes has made me realize that I don't currently have any celebrity crushes. Instead, I guess my only crush is My Intended (ya, I should get points for that.)

But here's what's funny: I do see traces of some of these celebrity crushes in My Intended. She had one high school friend who always called her Becca for her resemblance to Kelly Martin. And lately, a few of us have joked that she can have Monica Geller-like moments. I think this history of crushes helped me identify the things that I'd really want in a woman. And I found The Intended. In her, I see the girl next door sweetness of Neve, Becca, and Joy. And the cleverness of Ghost World's Thora Birch, the cunning toughness of Neve's Sidney character, the strength and nuturing of Samantha Morton in In America and the faithful devotion of a Joy Williams.

So, that makes me believe my sister will find a guy with Neil's scruffiness and increasingly ineffective left-arm. (That's not you, Derfman.)


Grooming Jedis

So, blogger once again will not let me post photos. Thus, delaying a big post I had planned for today. Instead, I thought I'd do a few little bits and pieces:

Last night, I had my first Star Wars dream in quite a while. In the beginning, I was Luke and I was in the Emperor's lair. I was confronted by both the Emperor and a young cloned version of the Emperor (a character that must have been inspired in my head by the Star Wars Dark Horse comics). I was fighting the Young Emperor, when he grabbed me with one hand and began flossing my teeth with the other. And then, he turned into General Grievious.

The next thing I know, I am walking down a city street with college friends Adam and Jeff. We apparently just saw this new Star Wars film and are discussing it. "I think what Lucas was trying to say," Jeff said. "Was that the Emperor and Grievious were grooming Luke to take over." (Get it: grooming=personal hygiene. Yikes.) And then, Jeff turns and points to a building in the distance. "I think that's the Jedi Temple there. We should go there sometime."

The rest of the dream involved me driving a four-wheeler around my brother's farm with him and my yet-to-be-born nephew. And then, my mom and I watched aTV show witha group of homeless people under a bridge.
Sign I Am A Geek #413: I know that there's a Star Wars Dark Horse comic.

This weekend, all of my loved ones should keep a careful eye on the sports headlines. My mood and tolerance are likely to be in direct coorelation with how the Sox do against the Twins. We need a sweep. 2 out of 3 will be accepted. Anything else may result in the kind of rage unseen since someone stole Ross' sandwich on Friends.

Have you heard about poor Pluto? It's been kicked out of the Planets Club. Honestly, I feel bad for Pluto. It's like he just got booted from sitting at the cool table. And I think it is sketchy justification too:

"Pluto doesn't make the grade under the new rules for a planet: a celestial body that is in orbit around the sun, has sufficient mass for its self-gravity to overcome rigid body forces so that it assumes a ... nearly round shape, and has cleared the neighborhood around its orbit. Pluto is automatically disqualified because its oblong orbit overlaps with Neptune's."

Hmmm, or does Neptune's orbit overlap Pluto's?! Maybe it's Neptune that isn't a planet!

I kind of imagine this "International Astronomical Union" like a bunch of scheming high school snots who have just been waiting for their chance to pick on the poor kid way out in space that can't defend himself. They are kind of like the rich snobby frat in Animal House who tried to shut down Delta Delta Delta. And I bet Neptune's dad is a big financial contributor.

So, Survivor has for years been accused of not being diverse enough. Well, it wll be this year! In fact, they are putting several blacks, whites, Latinos and Asians on the show--and then making them fight it out! That's right, they will be divided by race and compete against each other. OK. So how does this not end up ugly?

Oh yah! www.armorofgodpjs.com

"I touched him and I think I blacked out." -My sister about when she met Neal Cotts.


The Morality of Freebies

Last weekend, I saw the World Series trophy again. And surprisingly, it became a moral issue.

My Intended and I were at the State Fair with her dad and the trophey was set to arrive at the U.S. Cellular tent at 1. We got there shortly before 11:30 and got in line (we were numbers 4,5, and 6!).

Behind us in line were three high school boys and one of guys' younger brother. They were sitting in an area of the tent right next to the booth's supplies. The young brother, we'll call him The Beav, was even sitting on one box of U.S. Cellular beach balls.

As I watched, The Beav began to take deflated beach balls from the box and distribute them to brother Wally and his miscreant friends. When they each had stuffed at least 2 a piece into their pants' pockets, I'd had enough. But I held my tongue. And then, Beav pulled out a can cozie from another box and handed it to a kid who looked like a Laguna Beach extra.

I caught Wally's eye and said, "Did they say you could have those?"

Wally: "We just grabbed a ..."

Me: "I know you're just grabbing. You're grabbing whatever you can. No more taking what isn't yours."

Now, I am proud that I stood up for what I believe in. I am glad that I said something. But I have other thoughts too:

1) The stuff they were taking were freebies. No, the US. Cellular people had not yet begun passing this stuff out to people. They weren't out for the taking, but they were there for eventual giveaways. So was taking them really wrong?

2) Knowing high school boys, I know my scolding didn't matter one bit. They probably kept at it when my back was turned. In fact, they've also probably made me into a big joke and snicker about me telling them to stop stealing freebies.

3) After I said what I did, I found myself kinda paranoid that they'd try to do something to me. I guess I've heard too many stories about good samaritans getting beat up when they were trying to do good. So I was kinda worried. I just didn't want them to try something like putting Snakes in My Car.

Having this happen at the viewing of the trophy was sad. It was like bringing evil into the garden of Eden. Such a wonderful, joyous event torn down by darkness. Surely, they can't be Sox fans...

Anyway, seeing the trophey was fantastic. Since My Intended and I have gotten pics with it before, we took this opp to take a comedic photo. I will post it when I get the film back (the digital is in the shop). We also got free limited edition World Series baseballs and got to see one of the rings. No, I didn't win my ring in the big raffle. But I got to see one and it was amazing.

After the State Fair, my weekend of fun continued with a day in Chicago. My Intended and I went to the King Tut exhibit at the Field Museum (awesome) and the Lincoln Park zoo. I love monkeys. I saw a baby one and his dad kept grabbing him by the face with his foot. I wish i could do that. We topped off the day with a ride on a paddle boat shaped like a giant swan.

Sign I Am a Geek #412: The entire time I was looking at the amazing ancient Egyptian finds from Tut's tomb, I kept comparing them to 1994 sci-fi movie, Stargate.


A Theory Out the Window

So, I had this theory. I think I shared it. And now I retract it.

The theory was thus: "Because my beloved White Sox won the World Series last year, the losses and failures that are surely going to come will hurt less. We won't win every year, but I don't need it because this was enough. I will always have that taste of victory, and can now smile through seasons like the 88 previous to 2005. August swoons, slow starts, slumps, everything--I can handle them because I've seen the mountaintop."

Early this year during slumps and challenges I said, "You know whenever this happened in the past it was a lot harder to take beacuse I'd never seen a championship. Now, it's not so bad."

Well, that is a bunch of bunk. This current rollercoaster of winning and losing is rough. We've lost 2 of 3 to the Twins who are a game behind us for the wild card. And now Detroit has finally learned to beat us. And they are increasingly out of reach. And you know what? It hurts. It hurts bad. Yah, I will always have 2005. Yah, I will ponder those memories in my heart. And no one can ever take that away from us. But, right now right here, this is painful. If we don't make the playoffs, it will be killer. And past success won't really make it feel better. I want it again. And losing sucks. This will be a very long 88 more years...

Or will it? Are we really done this season? Is this it? I feel a depressing black cloud hovering over us. Our heads seem to be on the guillen-tine. And it seems hopeless.

But let's take a step back. Just over a week ago, we were on the top of the world. We beat the Yankees 2 of 3. We swept Detroit. We had momentum. We can get that back. There's no reason why not. Not long ago, the Red Sox were handing the Yankees their lunch--and now who's the boss? Anything is possible. Besides, it's not like we're 6 games out of the last playoff lot. We are leading the wild card! The rollercoaster is stressful and I'm pretty sure I've had three heart failures already. But we're still in it.

This is still an exciting August. And will be a great September. This is still baseball at its best. Things just appear worse than they are. On the Inside the White Sox blog today, the VP of communications writes:

"This is not the end of the world ... it just may sound like it and feel like it. We need to win some games. We need to score runs, and we need to have our starting pitchers step up. No doubt. We need to step up. It is worth noting that in each of the last three games (all key), we faced a pitcher who likely will finish among the AL Top 5 in Cy Young Award voting. Like a basketball team that doesn't shoot well, it is tough to look like you have energy when you are facing good pitching.

Let's take stock of where we stand ...
*37 games left
*We still hold the lead in the wild card
*We play our closest challenger for the wild card six times (three and three)
*We rank second in the Majors in runs scored
*We have the fourth-best record in baseball
*We have a 42-33 (.560) record against teams remaining on our schedule If we play at that same pace over the final 37 games (21-16), we finish 94-68

But, of course, we need to play the games."

The American League Wild Card is ours to go out there and get. (And more maybe?) And if we don't get there, it will be dissappointing. It will hurt. But I'll still love my Sox. So, all I have to say is this:

Go, Go, Go White Sox.


For the Love of Everything Holy!

Memo to the the White Sox:

They are the ROYALS. They are 43-78. Most of them are between the ages of 43 and 78. You should not lose to them. Ever.

And when every win counts to whether or not you'll get to the playoffs, you cannot afford to lose to the ROYALS. (See first paragraph for why.) Because of this blundering, all that stuff you accomplished last week: For naught! Yah, a pennant/wild card race in August is exciting and intense--but you are making it more exciting and intense than it needs to be.

I know, this may be my fault. I wore the magic Playoff Jersey for too many days in a row. I pushed it. But please, for the love of everything sweet and holy, please win today.

And always, always let Alex Cintron bat in the 9th. Maybe he can pitch too. Just an idea.

Maybe the problem is that we don't have an official song yet. Get out the Journey records. Find something!

But for now, Don't Stop Believing,


That's what I am talking about.

Don't hand out the pennants yet. This thing isn't over.

What a great weekend of baseball. After a great rotation of starts for the starters, a solid week of bullpen work and a blast of those timely hits that had been missing, the White Sox are still alive. It wasn't always pretty (see the Yankee series) but the Sox have won 5 of 6 in a stretch that we all knew would be tough and all improtant. Now we are 5 1/2 out of first and 2 ahead for the Wild Card. Uh oh, Detroit.

What an exciting time.

But all is for naught if we don't keep it going. Garland needs to get back to his July numbers. The rest of the staff have to stay away from those July numbers and the offense needs to keep plugging along. This would be a great time to hit our stride. We have to win at least 3 of 4 against the Royals starting tonight. And then, another tough and important stretch starts Friday with Minn, Detroit, and then Minn again. Everything could change drastically (for good or bad) by the end of this month. I love baseball.

Go check out The Palehose Six today and look for the El Farmio cartoon. (Randy, this is for you!) It's a great lampoon of radio broadcaster Ed Farmer. And it makes me miss my old Ed Farmer Quote of the Week blog feature...

In personal White Sox news, my sister and dad went to the game Friday night. I got this brilliant text message from Michelle: "I got Neal's autograph. I cried a little." I laughed out loud. She's had a crush on reliever Neal Cotts for a long time, and now I think her heart is ruined for all other men.

Other News: I have finally named my Fantasy Football team. This is a tough process every year. I've been working hard on it. I'd considered Roethlisberger Helmet, Co., Rex's Gross Men and Mythical Team of Destiny. For awhile, I was going with "Your Mama." I thought it would be funny to see and hear people say stuff like, "Your Mama got beat this weekend" or "Your Mama picked up a running back..."

But in the end, the name of this year's team is officially: PAPA BEAR MALICE.

The only other newsworthy stuff in my life is that I went to Chuck E. Chese this weekend. My Intended was babysitting an 8-year-old who'd been trash talking me for several days that she'd beat me in Skee-Ball. I finally had enough and threw down the gauntlet. When she beat me, I kicked her in the shin and ran away.


Where's Jar Jar?

So, the more I look at some of those proposal photos, the more I find something striking. Of course, My Intended (formerly The Ladyfriend) does not quite see what I do, but to me it's really quite amazing.

Look at this photo:

Doesn't it look like we are on Naboo, home world of Queen Amidala from the Star Wars prequels? I think so. It even looks a little CG-enhanced. I hit the good old internet to find photographic comparisons from the films but only found these two. They aren't great, but there is a resemblance:

PTOIT Special Feature: Fun with Google

Here at PTOIT (Putting the Odd in Todd), we strive for objectivity and credibility. So I want to assure you that today's selected words for Fun with Google were drawn randomly out of a hat and have no meaning or connection. OK, that's all a lie. Anyway, like every week, I selected two terms and searched than at Google images to see what came up. Here it goes.

Today's search terms: "Wedding" and "Star Wars"

The results:

Photo #1: I especially like the fall leaves that create a gentle cradle for the Vader cake. I love that despite the nerdiness, they tried to class it up to match the rest of the wedding. The look really says, "Classy Autumn Nerd-dom" or "Trick or Treat: Imperial Takeover" or "This is a Compromise so I Didn't Have to Dress Like Amidala."

Photo #2: I like to imagine here that the bride and groom do not know the men on either side of them but don't want to cause a panic in front of all their guests. "Just smile...Is that your uncle in the mask?"

Photo #3: These men have no honor. Look at those sloppy arcs. Qui Gon would not be pleased.

Photo #4: This is just so darn cute. The simple innocence of children--they won't say no when you make them dress up like an Ewok in public. But you can tell that the older one, the jedi, is starting to wise up. He's thinking, "Hmmm, do I want photos of this?"


The Story

This is how the story of the engagement goes.

As I came up with my plan for the proposal, I knew I wanted to do a few specific things: 1) I wanted it to happen during a surprise birthday party so that she'd be surrounded by all her loved ones 2) I wanted to do it on a bridge 3) I wanted to do it at a park the the two of us enjoy.

I didn't realize all the significance to my choices. In the planning and execution, I realized: 1) She's never had a surprise birthday party and always badly wanted one, 2) Her mom and step-dad were engaged on a bridge, 3) For years, she always just knew she'd be proposed to in this very park (and a friend has confirmed this) and 4) I unknowingly chose to propose on the same day my brother did a couple years back: August 6.

At the birthday party, I gave Kate a T-shirt reading "Te He."

I then whisked her away. We left the party and walked through an old wooden bridge and around a long city block to a beautiful bridge in the downtown area. As we made our trek, the party goers moved to a new location--a vantage point on the proposal.

About 100 yards from her friends and our families, I led her to a nice little balcony on the bridge. And got down on my knee.

This next photo may look like I am accusingly pointing at her...but I am actually proposing in sign language.

She says yes.

And then we return to our loved ones with our new team shirts on.

All the guys slapped me on the back and congratulated me. And all the girls went for peeks of the ring...

And all in all, there was much rejoicing. (I love this photo of Kate and my sis...)

(Thanks to Megan and Marc for photos.)


I'm Engaged!

Get out the Star Wars Wedding decorations...

Last night, I asked The Ladyfriend, to marry me. She said yes.

We are very excited to spend our lives together.

(More details and photos are coming!)


Something is dead under my bed

Earlier this week I noticed a smell in my apartment. To be honest, being a single guy who lives alone, that's not all that rare of an event. But it was a different smell. It wasn't a sock smell. It was more decaying and moldy. It was like a very pungent garbage smell. So, I checked my garbage and it was fine.

On Wednesday, I got out of the shower and went into my room. And I smelled it. It was very strong and was in my room. But as I sniffed around, the odor dissappeared. I shrugged and decided that it was perhaps outside or something.

Last night, I climbed into bed. (Hmmm. Isn't that a funny phrase? It's two feet off the ground. There's no climbing involved. If anything, I descended into my bed.) I snuggled into my bed and laid on my side. And just a few seconds later, I rolled over to face the other way. And that's when it hit me: the wall of smell. It was very pungent and RIGHT THERE.

Something is dead under my bed, I thought. In a matter of about 1.5 seconds my mind flashed to all kinds of hideous odor producing things that could be down there. There's a lost cat that always shows up on my window will (yah, on the 3rd floor!). There's a squirrel who likes my balcony. Perhaps I left the door open while grilling one day and they died on my floor, I thought. What then?

I got out of bed and turned on the lights. To be honest, I was scared about actually seeing what was down there. I pulled the bed out and used a flashlight to look around. I found some old shirts and washcloths. But none smelled. And then I saw it.

At this point, it was like a movie where a flashback fills in information you need to know. As soon as I saw it sitting there, I could practically see the events of probably well over a month ago. I had hurt my knee doing Ultimate Frisbee. I wanted to ice it down but had no ice (anyone who has ever come to my house knows that I am very bad at keeping the ice tray stocked). So, I grabbed a bag of frozen broccoli and cauliflower. I wrapped it in a rag and went to sleep with it on my knee.

When I woke that next morning, I didn't even think about where that bag had gone. And so it sat, under my bed rotting. And with me being gone last week in 100 degree heat with the air off, oh boy, did it get ripe.

I wish I owned a haz mat suit for situations like this. It was gross. And so pungent. I always knew vegetables were no good.

PTOIT Quotes of the Week

"How else are you going to get people into this move? Nobody wants to see Pacific Air 121. That's like saying Boat to Heaven. People either want to see this movie or they don't. So let 'em know: If you're coming to see this movie, you're going to see a plane full of deadly-*** snakes. That's what it should be called. Deadly-*** Snakes on a Plane." - Samuel L. Jackon in Entertainment Weekly about New Line's attempts to rename Snakes on a Plane.

"Nobody cursing is kind of unrealistic when you're in an airplane witha bunch of ******* snakes." - Samuel L. Jackson again. This time about New Line's attempts to keep SoaP PG-13.

"Many would equate Ecclessiastes with a depressed emo kid" -Family Force 5 member Chap Stique in a devo about Ecclessiastes.


Please properly mark your poisoned cabbages.

The Matt-Charissa Connection Campaign: Day 22

The Campaign has taken a huge leap today as Charissa herself has taken a step that will surely lead to Matt contacting her. Or we can only hope.

As you know, the campaign is built around my friend Charissa's realization that she wants to meet Matt T (not to be confused with Mr. T) of Relient K. We are doing whatever we can to try and get him to helicopter in to say hi or, you know, send an e-mail.

So, just for this purpose, Charissa taught herself how to make animated Flash movies and made her own sequel to Relient K's flash movie about Woodland Forest. See the orignal here. And then watch Charissa's version.

I am proud to say this marks my first time being a cartoon voice! (I play the cabbage.)


It'll pinch ya in the cheeks.

So, my canoe trip was cancelled last week with the youth group because of forest fires (not ones we set). The funny thing is is that if it would have been up to me and the boys, we'd probably have been rowing through flames with burning oars (or, you know coughing up black tar on the side of river). But luckily, non-boys called the shots and knew it was best to not try our hands at fire-jumping. Drat.

Instead, I took four kids camping to Devil's Lake in Wisconsin. It was a blast and very relaxing. In fact, it was interesting to see God's provision in the whole thing. We were suppoused to leave for the canoe trip on a Saturday. Instead, we left Monday morning. On Sunday night, one of the boys came down with a 104.3 fever. Had that happened while we were in the middle of nowhere in Boundary Waters, it would have been a bad bad scene. So, it worked out well. That guy wasn't able to go and the rest of us trudged on.

One story of the week: I found a brochure for a Cheese Factory where you could see the cheese being made. We thought this would be fun and interesting on the one rainy day. Well, we got there to find out that in order to watch cheese being made you have to show up before noon. Oops. Instead, they showed us a video. At first we were all bummed out...until it turned out to be the Greatest Video Ever. Seriously. At one point, two men used these big instruments to comb through vast vats of hardening cheese while the narrator said, "For 45 miuntes, they cut the cheese."

Now, being the adult in the group I decided I needed to practice restraint and not giggle like a 12-year-old boy. So I held in my laughter. But I finally burst toward the end when the owner of the factory came on screen. He was very creepy and did a lot of weird hand motions while decribing how you can tell a good cheese by it's taste. He finished by saying: "A good cheese will pinch you in the cheeks." I lost it. I couldn't hold it in.

And all week we tried to figure out, "What does that even mean?"

Random Special Mention: So everyone knows how I like pirates? And how much I like the White Sox? Well...LOOK: A Comic About The White Sox As Pirates! Glory, glory. And it's pretty dang funny. My favorite part so far is: "We lost our widger."

Tuesday Special Feature: Fun With Google:

Where I take random words and search for them on Google Images to see what I find.

Today's Search Terms: "Punk" and "Baby"

The Results:

Photo #1: This is a baby photo of Margaret Mead. Not exactly what I thought I'd find. I was imagining something more along the lines of mohawks...

Photo #2: Bingo.

Photo #3: Wow. This is beyond my comprehension. Punks like bear skin rugs? (Oh and Marc, I am learning to do tattoos for little Todd Douglas.)

Photo #4: I am actually afraid of this boy.

Photo #5: Awwwwwwww.

Photo #6: I am speculating that this is an early photo of Johnny Rotten. Or Pat Robertson. But I may be wrong. I actually have that tie at home.