Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Choose Your Own Adventure

Possible reasons Little Dude uses "Mama" and "Dada" interchangeably:
  1. Because I am such an awesomely involved father that LD is no more attached to his mother than to me and therefore loves us equally.
  2. Because I have so successfully taught my children the arbitrariness and meaninglessness of gender differences that LD makes no distinction whatsoever, indicating that he will grow up to be a well-rounded, balanced individual.
  3. Because I have so successfully taught my children the arbitrariness and meaninglessness of gender differences that LD makes no distinction whatsoever, indicating that he will grow up to be a gender-confused, amoral pervert.
  4. Because I am so unmasculine that he honestly doesn't see the difference.
  5. Because "Mama" and "Dada" are two of the five words LD knows and he hasn't quite figured out the concept of exclusive categories yet, as indicated by the fact that he also uses "quack" and "og" interchangeably to refer to ducks, crows, dogs, squirrels, horses, Dora the Explorer, and toys with moving parts.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Act Now, While Supplies Last!

The Social Security Administration informs me that if I were to die today, my family would receive no more than $1038 a month.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Thoughts After Catching Up On The 70+ Blog Posts In My Reader

  1. My brain has turned to mush.
  2. It is the height of self-righteousness to provoke people to anger with your condescending self-righteousness and then claim their expression of said anger as proof that you have the Spirit with you while they obviously do not.
  3. Endless debate about what is right and what is wrong tires me. It's such a relief to remind myself that I don't care.
  4. Can't we all just get along?
  5. My brain is still mush.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Eleven Things I Learned at Last Night's Blog Party

  1. Besides the Blood family's general hospitality and good nature, their home includes the following features that make for an ideal Blog Party location:
    1. A dog to distract the little Fobs.
    2. Cookbooks to keep the conversation going.
    3. A Wii to distract the grownup Fobs.
  2. Everything is curry.
  3. After eight years of school and a master's degree, FoxyJ has found her true calling: cow racing.
  4. It's fun to have children at a party, but it's even more fun when after a couple hours and they're getting cranky you can send them home with your sister.
  5. Darrin and Samantha Stevens are even more delightful in real life than they are in the blogosphere. Enough so to keep us standing in the street talking for two hours after we decided it was really late and we should get home and in bed.
  6. In a room with three married couples--one married for more than twenty years--the two most compatible Bungee Buddies, as determined by advanced supercomputer technology, were two guys who'd never met before: Iwonder and Edgy Killer Bunny. Go figure.
  7. Although they may appear different on paper, Absent-minded Secretary is actually pronounced identically to Darrin and Playasinmar.
  8. Assigning random Wii names to a group of ten people who don't all know each other very well and already have two names each can be rather confusing.
  9. Playa spends way too much time practicing dance moves with his Wii.
  10. According to Attemptingthepath, even the Lord's Bookstore can have server problems.
  11. I am the master of electric hockey. Even when I lose.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Fobvlog: Say No to Your Brain!

Traveling Fobcave: Day One

So our thirteen-hour trip yesterday was actually a fifteen-hour trip. We had many potty and diaper changing stops, and at both lunch and dinner S-Boogie needed some time to run around a bit. Little Dude refused to nap until 6:30 in the evening, and then woke up a half-hour later. There was much screaming, but certainly not as much as there could have been. We listened to the first book in A Series of Unfortunate Events and frankly, weren't impressed. What does everybody love about this series? Perhaps it was the multipart voice cast, but I thought the dialogue was horribly stilted.

Then we listened to I Need Your Love--Is That True? : How to Stop Seeking Love, Approval, and Appreciation and Start Finding Them Instead by Byron Katie, which we both really enjoyed. Katie speaks of loving what is--accepting reality as it is and not torturing ourselves about how it should be. She encourages people to question their thoughts rather than believe them, so instead of accepting your thought that your spouse should do or be such and such, asking yourself, "Is that true?" Usually it's not. To say that something should be other than what it is is to argue with reality, which is a battle you'll lose 100% of the time.

So I tried very hard to question my belief that my children should not be screaming at me from the backseat. This is going to take a bit more work, I think.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007


3... Tomorrow morning we leave for Utah. However bad your day is, just remember that Foxy and I are in a car with two small children for thirteen hours. It'll make you feel better, I promise.

2... On Thursday we'll recover (hopefully).

1... Friday FoxyJ officially becomes Master Foxy. Hurray!

0... And Saturday is the blog party! 5:00 in Provo! Food! Double hurray! It's not too late to email me for the top secret address.

Does it seem to you like it's always the end of the quarter around here?

Because it does to me. Which is a good thing, really, because there are a limited number of ends of the quarter--three more, to be exact--before there will be no more ends of the quarter, ever.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Double Yuck

He was there again this morning. Thankfully this time he showed up just as I was leaving, but he wasted no time in getting to business. Yuck. I'm not finding anything funny or flattering about this anymore. Tomorrow morning I'm going to get there earlier and use the shower on the other side of the locker room. If that doesn't solve the problem, I'll figure out what authorities I need to go to in order to make it stop.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

The U.S. Olympic Committee is the Devil

I'm just doing my part to ensure that they lose the public goodwill they are trying so earnestly to lose. I mean, come on, folks. The purpose of copyright and trademark laws is to encourage creativity and entrepreneurship, not to smash them under the lead foot of multi-million dollar enterprises. It's the freaking name of a geographic region, and it was there long before you got your silly little monopoly on the word. Get over it.

In the news...

Lest he be outdone by this morning's Fob sighting, Theric has directed my attention to this rather disturbing one on a Florida news program.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

This is Only a Test

Go for it! informs me that my fame has spread into the realm of colorectal medicine:

Today fecal blood tests, tomorrow the world!

Friday, August 10, 2007

For Gentlemen Only

I figure if FoxyJ can talk about womanly grosseries on her blog, I can talk about manly grosseries here. That said, if you're uncomfortable with somewhat graphic discussion of the big M (as my cousin once put it, the word that starts with M and ends with asturbation), I won't feel bad at all if you leave now.

(Space for you to leave if you want to. I mean it. Buh bye.)

So. I have gone on the record before stating that I had never seen a man masturbate in a locker room shower. Frankly, I figured that guys who claimed to have seen such a thing were making it up, or maybe they just didn't really know what masturbation was. Like maybe they didn't know you're actually supposed to wash your genitals, and yes, that involves touching them.

No more. I am now a believer.

Lately I have taken to sitting in the sauna and reading for fifteen minutes after working out. I find it very relaxing. Yes, I notice that there are often other naked men in there, and I have glanced away from my book more than once, but really if I look for more than half a second I become paranoid that guys will think I'm staring, so I don't. The truth is that I'm hugely self-conscious about people thinking I'm staring even when they're fully clothed. Not everyone, apparently, is so self-conscious.

This morning I was alone in the sauna reading my book when in walked a man. He was old enough to be white-haired but still in decent shape--overall neither very attractive nor very unattractive. So I noticed him enter and sit down across the room from me, and then I went back to my book. After a few minutes I noticed that he was feeling himself quite a bit; nothing obscene, but just more penis-holding than I personally am comfortable with in a public place. Most of the time he had his other hand over his face, but occasionally he'd look at me. I assumed he thought I was staring at him, so I focused more on my book.

My fifteen minutes ended and I went to my locker to drop off my book and pick up my shampoo. Then I headed to the shower, and there was that man, showering in the middle stall. I picked a stall at the end, with another guy between the two of us. I noticed the white-haired man glancing in my direction frequently, and he seemed to be awfully concerned that he get that penis all the way clean. I continued with my shower. The other guy left, leaving just the two of us in the showers. Once there was no one else around, the white-haired man dropped all pretenses. Now he was obviously staring at me, and masturbating quite vigorously. I was flattered, to be honest, that he apparently found me at least somewhat attractive, but much greater than the flattery was the yuckiness that this man was jerking off in a public shower. Really, what would possess anyone to do that?

I'm not sure what an appropriate reaction would have been on my part. I assumed he wanted some kind of reaction, so I gave him none. Or at least I tried--I couldn't keep a baffled chuckle from escaping as I walked away.

Thursday, August 09, 2007


Today I picked up a $45 nasal inhaler at the pharmacy and paid $15. Then I went to the vision center and picked up 12 pairs of contact lenses*, whose total value including the consultation fee is just under $200, and paid nothing. I realize that insurance is one of the great evils of the twenty-first century because it artificially raises prices on products and services that would otherwise cost much less, but it can't be all that bad if it's saving me money, right? Because it's all about me. Right?

Of course, I did have to pay an exorbitant fee for the insurance premium, and the only reason I feel like I'm getting my money's worth out of that exorbitant fee is because of above-noted artificially-raised prices. So maybe insurance is evil, even if it is all about me. (Which it is.)

But at the moment I'm just happy to get a free year's supply of contacts and a nasal inhaler at 66% off.

*I've been trying a different brand of lenses that are coated with slimy moisture-retaining goo that keeps them from drying out, and they're much better than any lenses I've worn before. Sometimes it even feels like I'm wearing nothing at all. Nothing at all!

The Muse Speaketh...

...And her name is Jo. I haven't been around here too much this week not because I'm scrambling to get all my end-of-the-quarter assignments done before we leave for Utah next week, though I should be, but because I read the Harry finale last week and it's inspired me to write. As in real writing. Blog posts, you see, are sort of like bastard children--I love them, but I'm not particularly proud of them. Writing not intended for immediate electronic consumption, on the other hand, is my true pride and joy. If I've been prolific here over the past few months, it's because I wasn't writing elsewhere. Harry VII has reignited the flames of inspiration, though, and I've spent the last few days with a long-discarded story idea, fleshing out the plot and the back story and the characters. I'm more excited about this story than I have been about any story in a long time.

And for the record, my multi-volume masterpiece has nothing to do with wizards. See, it's about this boy, um, Barry Cotter. And he finds out he has these amazing abilities that he inherited from his dead parents, and so he goes to a school for... wait for it... superheroes. And they have these wacky superhero teachers and they play wacky superhero sports and eat wacky superhero foods. See, it's not derivative at all. Watch out, Rowling, your successor is coming!

I wonder whether I'll make more on the millions of copies sold worldwide or the movie rights, which will be sold only after a long and heated bidding war?

Wednesday, August 08, 2007


S-Boogie is not a fan of it. We went to Barnes and Noble this afternoon so she could spend her birthday money. She picked out two books and paid for them. Then, as we were leaving, she had a breakdown because they didn't give her back her money.

I'm not quite sure what kind of system she had in mind, but I think I like it better than the one we have.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Blog Party Returns

A NOTE ON CONTINUITY: Blog Party Returns takes place a year and a half after the events of Blog Party II. Blog Party III and Blog Party IV are no longer considered canon--in effect, they never happened. Blog Party is still in continuity, as is Blog Party II, but Blog Party Returns assumes that events transpired as portrayed in the director's cut, not the original version.

On the evening of Saturday, August 18th, the Fob family will be throwing a blog party at an as-yet-undisclosed location in the state of Utah (probably either in Provo or Salt Lake, but we're considering Hurricane since it's such a happening place). We would like you (yes, you) to come. If you would like to come, email me for the details. (If you've already emailed FoxyJ about coming to said party, rest assured we'll be getting in touch with you in the next couple weeks, as details solidify.)

Harry Potter and the Hallowed Death



(for real)


Does anyone else think Rowling was going for a Christ story with the whole like-a-lamb-to-the-slaughter, taking-on-the-sins-(Voldemort)-of-the-world, dead-then-back-again thing? Or is it so obvious that my pointing it out is kind of redundant? I guess Hagrid gets the part of Mary Magdalene, then, when he notices Harry's body is missing.

The death scene actually reminded me most strongly of the "crucifixion" of Aslan in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, with all the bad guys gathered round in the woods and the Christ figure giving himself up so willingly and peacefully. Maybe Aslan and Harry can team up some day. Or fight, being as how Harry practices witchcraft and is therefore evil.

Mr. Fob's Secret Identity

I am Elinor Dashwood!

Take the Quiz here!

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Funniest Ever Google Search Leading to the Fobcave

gaycave men

Flashing Into the Present

For eight years during the nineties--the years when I was most immersed in the world of superheroes--the monthly adventures of the Flash were written by Mark Waid. Waid had taken over the title in 1992, six years after the previous Flash had died and then been replaced by his teenage protege, Wally West. Since donning the Flash identity, Wally West had been portrayed mostly as a womanizing, junk food-eating, cocky twenty-year-old kid. Six years later fans still clamored for the return of his predecessor, who was generally considered the One True Flash. In Waid's eight years on the character, Wally grew up, settled into a responsible adult relationship, and accepted his role as the Flash. Not coincidentally, fans also began to accept him in the role.

One of Waid's running motifs during his run on The Flash was the opening line of each issue, which was always some variation of "My name is Wally West. I'm the Flash, the fastest man alive." Each issue was then narrated by Wally, with caption boxes revealing his thoughts as he battled supervillains and rescued innocents at superspeed. The concept was that Wally's thoughts moved at such speeds that he could have a two-page interior monologue in the two milliseconds it took him to run across town. I don't know how that concept works scientifically, but as a character and story concept, it worked quite well. So well, in fact, that this narrative device became associated with the character and Waid's successors continued to use it until Wally disappeared in 2006 and was replaced by his teenage protege, Bart Allen.

Now, a year later, Bart has been killed and Wally is back. Wally's return to the role of the Flash corresponds with Mark Waid's return, after seven years away, to the writing credits of The Flash. As Waid's Flash was consistently one of my favorite comics when I was growing up, I was happy to hear of his return. The news was, in fact, one of the motivations behind my recent return to weekly trips to the comic book shop. Alongside the excitement of seeing one of my favorite writers writing one of his favorite characters again, though, was a bit of fear, an acknowledgment that as fun as nostalgia is, you can't go back in time. If Waid is going to attempt to recreate his glory days and bring us back to the Flash of the nineties, I'm afraid it would feel too much like running backwards.

So I picked up All-Flash #1 last month with this mix of excitement and fear. The issue started out with the familiar "My name is Wally West. I'm the Flash, the fastest man alive," and I was brought back immediately to the nineties. Wally sped through the issue, tracking down the villain responsible for his successor's death, narrating the journey along the way, and I was a fifteen-year-old again, lost in a fantasy world of superpowers, tights, and creative rewriting of the laws of physics. Then towards the end of the story, Wally is talking to his aunt, his thoughts running parallel to their conversation, and she says, "Stop it. Stop with the interior monologue, Wally. I know you're thinking of a million other things while you're talking to me. If you're going to be the husband and father your wife and children need, you're going to have to learn to be present with the people you're talking to."* And with that, the interior monologue stops.

I love that Waid did this. Assuming he follows through in future issues, this is a bold move: removing one of the most recognizable characteristics of his previous stint as writer of The Flash, arguably one of the things that made the series great. It needs to happen, though, if he's going to move forward and not simply relive the nineties. I also think it's a great moment in terms of character development. As his aunt points out, Wally is now a husband and father. Such relationships require, above all, presence and mindfulness.

Now, if only Mark Waid would write the interior monologues out of my life, I'd be set.

*Dialogue liberally paraphrased because I don't have the comic with me at the moment.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Forever Found

Barnes and Noble had only one copy of Finding Forever--apparently alternative hip hop isn't a big seller in the University District in Seattle--and it was not the edited version. (I'm generally not a fan of any kind of censorship, but I do have two small children, the elder of whom has been known to sing along to my music. In my defense, this is not a Clean Flix guerrilla censorship thing here; clean versions of most albums with the explicit lyrics label are produced by record companies and if artists have a problem with being edited then they should take a closer look at the fine print of their contracts. [But then I have been known, in cases where there is no officially-produced clean version, to do my own guerrilla censorship, but at least I'm not selling or renting my censored copies.])

So anyway (starting a new paragraph because that was a really long parenthetical), I came home and bought the album on Napster. With Paypal money, which is like real money but not quite the same because it doesn't show up on my bank statement. Regardless, I'm unrepentant.

And Harry Potter is now "In Transit." The Amazon.com reward certificate has yet to show its face.