Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Rice Krispie Treats

are fortified with 10 essential vitamins and minerals. And I'm sure they're low in fat. And they're mm mmm good. Which is why I feel absolutely no guilt over the fact that Foxy J and I (mostly the I part) will likely have finished a full pan within 48 hours of its making.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Another Way to Waste Time...

The Dante's Inferno Test has sent you to Purgatory!
Here is how you matched up against all the levels:
Purgatory (Repenting Believers)Very High
Level 1 - Limbo (Virtuous Non-Believers)High
Level 2 (Lustful)Low
Level 3 (Gluttonous)Low
Level 4 (Prodigal and Avaricious)Very Low
Level 5 (Wrathful and Gloomy)Very Low
Level 6 - The City of Dis (Heretics)Very Low
Level 7 (Violent)Low
Level 8- the Malebolge (Fraudulent, Malicious, Panderers)Moderate
Level 9 - Cocytus (Treacherous)Low

Take the Dante's Divine Comedy Inferno Test

Monday, November 28, 2005

Too Many Master Fobs

Edgy Killer Bunny's post tonight resonates with the post that's been forming in my head for the past couple days. On Saturday when I was trying to grade papers and S-Boogie wanted attention and Foxy J needed to do homework and my sister wanted us to come over to help watch her daughter while she worked on a family photo project and as always the twin shadows of the approaching deadline for the Delacorte First Young Adult Novel contest and my crappy not-even-close-to-ready-to-enter-in-the-contest book hung over my head and really I just wanted to curl up in a ball and hide from the world, I realized something: I am trying to be too many people. I simply don't have the time to be a husband and father and brother and friend and librarian and teacher and writer (and blogger, if I'm honest). Well, I probably do have time to be all those things, but I don't have the time to be them well. I often feel lately like I'm doing a half-baked job of everything. And that's really frustrating, because I know I can be an excellent husband, father, librarian, etc., if I just put the effort into it.

The other problem is that if I fulfill all my roles that relate to other people (i.e. Foxy's husband, S-Boog's father, my students' teacher) I end up sacrificing the role that's just me for me. And, let's be honest--I'm not going to paint myself as some martyr here--I have never done that and I probably never will. A large part of the reason that I was so stressed to get things done this weekend is because I had wasted a lot of time downloading music and reading comic books and tracking down the latest rumors about Ms. Hill (yes, I managed to download music even while our internet was down; I am a determined time-waster).

At any rate, since I had this epiphany I've been trying to figure out what can go. In the first place, I don't want to give up any of my roles. On top of the fact that I don't want to give them up, all of my familial relationships carry with them a certain sense of responsibility and moral duty. I'm not about to give any of those up. Similarly, I don't teach or librarianate just for the hell of it--each of those pays for our roof and our food and S-Boogie's monthly bottle of Singulair (by the way, JB, yes, Boogs has asthma). I suppose no one's paying me to be their friend (though now that I mention it, that is an idea), but I'm not going to give up that role either.

I'm this close (picture my fingers really close together) to concluding that the writer has to go. It certainly doesn't make me any money. Well, that isn't true. Dialogue gave me a nice little check. But I think that paid for the trip to California we took a month or two before I got the check. And I haven't written anything worthwhile in a few months. I have a pretty decent rough draft of a novel I plan to submit to Deseret Book one of these days, but before I do that I'll need to revise it. And before I revise it I'll have to finish revising the other book I want to submit to Delacorte. And, even assuming that doing a good job of revising is within my capabilities (and I have yet to prove that), I can't do any serious revising until after I'm done husbanding and fathering and brothering and friending and teaching and librarianating. And let's not forget that important task of chasing down L-Boogie rumors.

Alas, I don't think I can give up writing. Even if I do a crappy job of it, it's one thing I do for me and we've already established that I'm too selfish to give up any of those things.

And, apparently, blogging counts as writing.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

I am thankful for:

  • the library across the street from my home, which has several computers with working internet access, and which I happen to have a key to, allowing me a 24/7 connection to the outside world during our weeklong banishment from the web by our service providers
  • my sister’s cell phone, which has made it possible for us to sit on hold with MStar for hours at a time during said (still going) banishment, which, since we switched to fiber optic internet and phone service a few weeks ago, also means our phones aren’t working
  • the cell phone MStar loaned us last night, in order to make it through the long weekend, in which fiber optic repairmen won’t be working, without continuing to use up my sister’s minutes
  • modern technology
  • the fact that we have nearly reached the out-of-pocket maximum for S-Boogie this year, meaning that if her current congestion leads to (another) hospital visit, we’ll only have to pay about a hundred dollars
  • the nebulizer the insurance company gave us a few months ago, which may prevent said hospital visit
  • the sweet deals I found at DI yesterday—a brown retro polyester Lee jacket for $4, a long-sleeve striped Gap dress shirt for $5, and some brand-new-looking brown wool flat-front dress slacks for $5
  • my employer, who gave me a nice holiday bonus this week, which will help me pay off the student loans I foolishly acquired while in school (it won’t make that much of a dent, to be honest, but still I’ll be that much closer)
  • my wonderful friends and family, all of whom I will not name here, except
  • my brother, Svoid, who is preparing a yummy Thanksgiving dinner for the family as I write this
  • my wife, Foxy J, who made two yummy pies—pumpkin and chocolate pecan—last night, to be devoured later today
  • my daughter, S-Boogie, who reminds me every morning that I need to wake up, put on my glasses and my watch, eat breakfast and take a shower (who knows what I’d do if she didn’t tell me what to do)

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Who Knew Chain Blogging Would Take Over The World?

Courtesy of Mandi:

2 names you go by: Master Fob; Slappy White

2 parts of your heritage: Irish (hence the black hair); Danish (mmm... Danish...)

2 things that scare you: heights; chainsaw-wielding maniacs

2 things you are wearing right now: n/a

2 of your favorite bands or musical artists (at the moment): Michael Franti & Spearhead; Common (you thought I was going to say Lauryn Hill, didn't you?)

2 favorite songs (at the moment): "Love of My Life (An Ode to Hip Hop)" by Erykah Badu and Common; "The Last Trumpet" by Lyrics Born and Lateef the Truthspeaker

2 things you want in a relationship (other than real love): intelligent conversation; lots of "your mom" jokes (and no, the two aren't mutually exclusive)

2 truths: I have a birthmark right below my rear that everyone on the swim team in high school made fun of; my hair isn't really black

2 physical things that appeal to you (in the opposite sex): shiny fingernails; long, dark eyelashes

2 of your favorite hobbies: reading comic books; listening to snooty underground hip hop

2 things you want really badly: to publish everything I've ever written and ever will write; your mom

2 places you want to go on vacation: England; a cruise (anywhere)

2 things you want to do before you die: live the rest of my life; hm, that about covers it

2 ways that you are stereotypically a dude/chick: well, I'm not a dude/chick, and I'm not sure what one is like, stereotypically (confused?), but I am stereotypically a dude in my inability to talk (in person, as opposed to in writing) about my feelings and (this one contributed by Foxy J) my aversion to housecleaning (in my defense, however, I do wash the dishes as much or more than Foxy)

2 things you are thinking about now: the last question; the next question

2 stores you shop at: Target; Media Play

2 people you would like to see take the quiz? Foxy J; Svoid (keeping it in the fam)

Friday, November 11, 2005

Nine Reasons I Love Foxy J
(not necessarily the top nine)

1. She has cool links on her blog's sidebar.
2. Even though she pretends she doesn't like my music, she knows off the top of her head that "First in Flight" by Blackalicious is a good example of African signifying and she volunteered to do a presentation in her Spanish class on hip-hop music and the signifying monkey.
3. She saves me many trips to the dictionary by knowing the spelling and definition of every word in the English language. And 86.2% of the words in the Spanish language.
4. She used to kick cerebral ass in College Bowl alongside Ken Jennings, before BYU cut the funding (presumably in favor of their oh-so-much-more successful football team), and now she's got S-Boogie asking to watch "Jeppy" every night before bedtime (even on the nights Jeopardy isn't on).
5. She likes my friends (and the feeling appears to be mutual).
6. Her parents are the coolest pseudo-hippie biker intellectual Mormons I know.
7. She has been 100% supportive of me publishing "Getting Out" and "Staying In," where a lot of wives might not have been so comfortable with the idea. (Someday she'll revise and publish her version of "Staying In.")
8. Her eggs, when fertilized and incubated properly, grow into beautiful and intelligent children (at least so far).
9. She talks to God and listens when he talks to her.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

The Letter Betwee M ad O

There's a letter o my keyboard that does't work lately. You have to press it really hard to make it work, ad more ofte tha ot that requires goig back ad retypig a word or a etire setece because I do't otice util a while later that it did't make it oto the scree. It's a big pai, really. I've cosidered simply droppig the letter from my repertoire, but the problem is that the ctrl ad shift keys are o the way out too. This may or may ot have somethig to do with the little perso who bags her fists o the keyboard o a daily basis.

...I fid it hugely iroic that while typig this post That Key has bee workig just fie ad I've had to delete the letter as I go i order to preserve the gag.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005


The editor of Dialogue has just informed me that my two essays, as well as the two essays responding to my first one, are available online. They put it up in response to Ron Schow's request to post it on his website on resources for gay Mormons (whose link is not working today but it was working yesterday so presumably it will work again).

I should close this post with a clever line or a pithy word of wisdom, but I'm drawing a blank. Ideas?

Monday, November 07, 2005


There is a dilemma inherent in having a propensity to be self-indulgent in everything one writes, particularly on a public blog, and having a propensity to be self-conscious in everything one does, particularly on a public blog.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Blogging in My Head

I find myself lately writing blog posts in my head. As I help a difficult patron or teach a well-prepared class, I narrate the occasion as I intend to write it later on my blog. I always have many humorous and introspective things to say, and humorous and introspective ways to say them in. The problem is that, if I ever do write the post, I forget all those wonderful bits of blogging epiphany and end up with a much watered-down version of what all of you would surely find a life-changing post if it ever made it to the screen in its pure Adamic state.

And then sometimes I just plain forget to include all the parts of the story I set out to tell. Case in point:

I forgot to tell you the most amazing thing about the blog party. It was when Bawb pointed out that when S-Boogie says "brake" meaning "grape," she is switching the bilabial (b/p) and the velar (k/g), but she is preserving the voicedness of the initial consonant and the voicelessness of the second. There is logic to her babble!

If no one else appreciates this, I know Melyngoch will.

A Fobby Day

Yesterday I saw each of the current members of the Friends of Master Fob (FOB) writing group, individually. This was good because it gave me a chance to conduct PFIs--Personal Fobhood Interviews--in which I ensured that each of them is living up to high fobworthy standards of conduct.

First I spent a large portion of the day working with Jane Austen at the library. I gave her a hard time about disagreeing with everything Lunkwill said at the party the other night, but I'm not very good at giving people a hard time because inevitably they will say, "I'm not all that bad, am I?" to which I will have to honestly say, "No," because if they really were all that bad I wouldn't say anything in the first place. A better hard time giver would carry the joking remonstrance to the point of tears if necessary. Alas, I am a softie.

After work I was supposed to go to the gym with Tolkien Boy, but thanks to emergency homework on TB's part and several Utah Disaster Kleenup trucks blocking the entrance to the athletic building on my part, that plan was changed. Instead TB came to dinner at Sonic with me and Foxy J. I had a jalapeno Super Sonic burger and onion rings. It was yummy. TB and I exchanged "your mom" jokes, which is about all we would have done at the gym anyway.

Then Editorgirl treated Foxy and me, as well as a couple other FOEGs, to a Divine Comedy show. In the spirit of the PFI, EG informed me that Fob has not nearly lived up to the level of "your mom" jokes and general offensiveness she had been promised before joining. We'll do our best to remedy that situation this Thursday, I promise (as you can see, TB and I have been practicing). I considered writing an Ode to Editorgirl to post in gratitude for the delightful show, but I'm not a good enough poet to even write humorously bad poetry. I assume she'll post a review on her blog so I won't attempt one here, but I will say that my favorite skits were "Freshman Nights" (in which a BYU student and her missionary boyfriend tell their friends/companions about their freshman fling) and "Medieval Girl" (in which a member of BYU's medieval club sings about living in a modern world as a medieval girl).

Friday, November 04, 2005

The Party

A report for those of you who couldn't make it (but were waiting outside in your bright orange shirts) and, for those of you who did make it, a chance to relive the memories (oh, the memories):

The party was sponsered by Costco--frozen taquitos, frozen mozarella sticks, frozen jalapeno poppers, frozen shrimp, veggies & dip, grapes, and juice. Foxy J, thankfully, unfroze everything before people got here. She also made an incredible chocolate cake (not frozen).

Editorgirl was the first to arrive. Then Tolkien Boy, and then Brozy and Bawb. The eating commenced. We discussed such things as the origins of various noms de blog. Jessica Benet and Lunkwill arrived, and I met them for the first time. They are, by the way, fobulous people. JB brought chocolate chip rum extract cookies. They were yummy.

Then the doorbell rang and I opened it for what must have been something like the moment Lauryn Hill walked on stage for the first time in three years for her MTV Unplugged performance: Queen Zippergut, who had not been seen by anyone except her English lover in at least three months, was standing there. (Someday Th., QZ, and I--the three OOFs [original official fobs]--will be in the same place at the same time and it will be like when the Fugees performed together for the first time in seven years at Dave Chapelle's block party.) Her Majesty, of course, was the life of the party, delighting us all with stories of her European conquest and pending wedding extravaganza.

Editorgirl left shortly after QZ arrived, presumably because she feared that reality might fold in on itself if the two of them occupied the same place at the same time, even though I assured EG that she had replaced Melyngoch, not QZ, as an official Fob and therefore had no need to worry. Jane Austen, who did take QZ's official fobby place, showed up after finishing a presentation on her namesake at the library, but thankfully the fabric of the time-space continuum survived Jane and the Queen's co-presence in the Fobcave for the rest of the evening. Someday we'll have to get Tolkien Boy and Th. together and see how the universe holds up. (Sorry if none of this has made any sense to you. I'm self-indulging, I know.)

At any rate, S-Boogie was entertaining as usual. The evening was filled with laughter, sexual innuendo, "your mom" jokes, Simpsons references, and friendly philosophical/religious/political debate, enlivened by the fact that Jane disagreed with literally everything that Lunkwill said.

Thanks everyone for coming and/or for waiting outside in orange shirts. I had a very happy birthday.

Watch this space for Blog Party II: Revenge of the Oof, coming soon to a Fobcave near you. The excuse next time will be Queen Zippergut's birthday.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

The Moral of the Story

In my rush to get a post out before work yesterday, I forgot the point of my story:

Check your mail early. You'll save yourself a lot of grief.

And come to my party.

That is all.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Blogging Instead of Preparing for Tomorrow's Class

Following is my stupid story from last night:

At 10:30 I got home from the gym and checked the mail, not having done so previously. In the box were two items of interest: a coupon from Media Play's Replay Rewards promising triple reward points if I made a purchase by October 31st (the 31st being yesterday); and a birthday gift from my parents-in-law. Not one to leave an unopened package sitting around, I opened it immediately. It was a fabulous book--The Art of Reading--and a card with money in it.

So Foxy J and I flipped through the book and admired all the pretty pictures, then I thought, "I have a triple reward points voucher that expires today and money to spend. There's no chance Media Play is still open, is there?" It was then 11:00. So I looked up the number, called them, and got a message that said, "Join us for a release party at midnight, October 31st, and be first in line to buy yadda yadda yadda. Store hours are: Monday, ten to midnight, yadda yadda yadda." They're open till midnight! Score!

So I hopped in the car and drove to Media Play. The hours on the door said they were only open until eight or nine on Mondays and I didn't see anyone inside, but the message had said they were open until midnight, so I tried the door. It opened, as did the next one. The lights were on, and as I looked around I saw people roaming around. I double checked that these were real people and not just the employees doing a midnight inventory with the doors unlocked. They were real people. Employees were roaming around as well, but I noticed none were at the registers.

I went to the CD section and happened upon a newish Angie Stone compilation that I had not heard of before. It was on sale for $8.99, though, and I've always wanted to get an Angie Stone album but wasn't sure I wanted to get all her albums so a greatest hits disc seemed perfect. After all, the cover said it was not just the best of Angie Stone, but The Very Best of Angie Stone. So it must be good.

Then I saw that Welcome to Jamrock by Damian "Jr. Gong" Marley, which I've been hearing all sorts of wonderful things about, was on sale, so I picked it up too. I spent the next twenty or thirty minutes browsing and deliberating, but ultimately decided on those two and headed to the register.

I was surprised to see that now there were four clerks at the registers and a line about ten people long. I got in line and realized after a minute that it wasn't moving. And everyone had a copy of Star Wars: Episode III in his or her hand. And the 36-year-old behind me, wearing an Episode III t-shirt, was arguing with the 15-year-old in front of me, dressed in a grey Jedi robe, over rumors each had heard about the debatably upcoming third trilogy.

36-year-old: "Yeah, I hear they're making an animated series first, which should come out in 2007, then a live action TV spinoff, which'll be out in 2010, and then in 2015 they plan on starting pre-production on Episode VII. It'll be out in about 2020." [Because, of course, production plans 15 years in advance are always accurate.] "I read it on the website of this guy who George Lucas has chosen to direct the next trilogy. Nobody knows his real name, but he goes by Super Something-Or-Other and there's a picture of him on the site so you know it's not Lucas's son or anything."

15-year-old: "I think I saw that site. It looked dumb."

36-year-old: "No way, man, the next movies will be awesome. They're going to resurrect Some Random Character Master Fob Doesn't Remember (Possibley The One Played By Samuel L. Jackson) and he'll be an old guy, like Luke's mentor or something."

Eventually, I figured out that Media Play was not really open until midnight. They just had the doors open so Star Wars fans could gather and pick up their DVD, poster, and commemorative button, but no one could actually buy anything until midnight because the official release date for the DVD was November 1st.


By the time they opened the registers at 12:01 and I paid for my CDs, of course, it was no longer the 31st, which meant my triple reward points voucher had expired, nullifying my purpose in going to the store last night.

Except that now I have two cool CDs to listen to. Welcome to Jamrock, especially, is fantastic. While most reggae I've heard either tries to sound like Bob did thirty years ago and fails to have the substance he did--dance beats and inane lyrics have overtaken the social and political activisim Bob was all about--Bob's youngest son manages to sound like Bob would if he were alive today, and he actually has something intelligent to say. Go out and buy it right now.

And come to my party on Thursday.