Thursday, December 9, 2010

Another embarrassing story from the childhood

I grew up in a funny family, not funny like we kept jars of body parts in the basement, but legitimately humorous. When we get together, everyone is either talking about how much they hate certain sports teams and players or we are laughing at something that one of us said. The kind of humor that prevails in my family is the witty retort, and story telling. (and my niece tells a pretty mean knock knock joke) My family has been funny since I can remember which is where my story comes in. A funny joke is something that you can look up on the internet (why doesn't Smokey the Bear have any children?... Every time his wife gets hot he beats her with a shovel.), but that's a funny joke; it doesn't necessarily mean that the person that told it is funny. Being able to tell a story and especially a funny one, is a skill that takes years to craft and that some people never obtain (my dad always sidetracks for pointless details and never gets to the point fast enough(which is coincidentally, or genetically what I am doing now with parenthesis). The point is, it takes a lot of stories and punchlines with long pauses of confused and awkward silence that follow, until someone can really hone their craft. This is where my story begins.

I was in sixth grade in Riverton, WY and coming from a funny family, I am sure that I thought I was God's gift to comedy. In science class we were studying topography and we were making maps from markers and pieces of that long paper that comes off a roller like fabric at a JoAnn's. In my witty wisdom, I decided that I would make my map hilarious by making my land mass in the shape of a person and then naming all of the parts of the map zany names like "Stench Bay" for the body of water occupying the armpit and Schnoz peak for the mountain that constituted the nose. Let's face it people, sixth grade humor doesn't get any better than that. I was so proud of myself that I showed everyone in the class how incredibly hilarious I could be with names like The Great Groin Sea and The Chesty Mcforest Forest. (in retrospect, the chest should have been the Tetons, but I was 11, leave me alone.) While this may be all well and good for the kids in the class the embarrassment that I feel when I think about this comes when I remember the teacher's aid. Each semester a graduate student would volunteer as a teacher's aid to get experience in the classroom (and prepare them for the incredible world of making 20k/year). I must have gone over every pun filled crevice of that man map looking for laughs from that poor aid. I grind my teeth when I think about the effort that she must have had to rummage up to feign even a morsel of interest in the ridiculously asinine attempt at hilarity that was my map. I imagine myself looking up at her after I read off each area looking for a laugh, or even a smirk and as her eyes whipped back to me, realizing that I was now looking at her and not my map, she would say, "well... that's very... imaginative?" So I guess what I am saying is that if a kid tells you a joke or shows you something they think is just the funniest thing in the world, don't placate them. You tell them how stupid and unfunny their joke really is, so they don't look back a decade later and realize how uninterested you really must have been and how hard it must have been for Ms. Stenders to pretend that she gave a crap about your map. Do you hear me Ms. Stenders?! Why did you lie to me? You dishonest, placating piece of *clears throat*.
Looking back at it, I feel silly for being embarrassed at something so harmless, but I also cringe that someone had to tolerate something that I thought was hysterical that was obviously so devoid of humor it would make a clown cry. Thus are the growing pains of someone who wants to be funny I guess.
*Crickets*

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Welcome home Hercules

Say hello to our new dog:
I named Abraham, so it was only fair that Pia should name the dog. His name is Hercules (Abe, you are welcome for not letting your mother name you.) and he is fully grown. He is a little bummed because he can't have babies anymore (as of today) but we are excited to have him. On a side note, i need a haircut.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Veteran's Day extravaganza

So did you do anything for Veteran's Day 2010? Yeah, me either. I have a buddy whose wife is a veteran. He made her some brownies and if there is a great way to honor our noble veterans I would say baked goods is definitely on the short list. I am mainly writing this to get some more pictures of Abe up, because let's be honest, that's why you are here and they have been a long time coming.

Monday, November 8, 2010

The newest old post

Just a note. That last post that says it was in April, the second half is from today, so enjoy.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The most embarrassing thing to happen to a random person at my door and other stuff that happened today

I will make this short and probably add onto it later, but I have been getting crap from people about not writing (or posting pictures of the child) so I wanted to give a quick update. I have now read 2 articles at www.azcentral.com about people posting ads on www.craigslist.com for children and getting into trouble. If you remember back to my Christmas post for 2009 you will see that I did it, but mine was not so blatant as to lead people to believe that I was actually selling a child, but rather it was real satire. In retrospect, I guess www.craigslist.com is not the place for satire, but I still thought it was funny and anyone that didn't get the joke should be arrested, not the writer.
The problem with these ads is they are too believable, people are talking about a "real child." They are trying to sell a child as a joke. The joke of my post was selling a child as a car. It's a subtle but important difference and I defend it.

(about 6 months later)
Several months ago my doorbell rang. I wasn't expecting anyone and it wasn't Halloween so I was stumped. I opened the door to a handsome teenage boy with flowers in his hand. He was about sixteen and I blurted out the first thought that came to my mind, "Hello?" He asked if Jessica was there and as we both realized what had happened I am sure both of our hearts sank a little. I told him that there was no Jessica that lived here and as he verified the address from a torn piece of paper I wanted to invite him in and tell him that Jessica is just some dumb chick who didn't deserve him anyway. I confirmed again that he had the right address but the wrong house. He stood there for a moment (I am sure, deciding whether to be sad or mad) before about facing and sulking away, letting the bouquet drag like a caveman's club. I was tempted to invite the kid in to play some violent video games or take him to lunch or something because I felt so bad for him, but I let him walk off and thought, "hey I should share this with everyone I know on my blog."
Here's to you, dude who was given the wrong address by a heartless tramp and deserves way better. I hope you find the house you are looking for.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Things that crawl: Spiders, pubbers, and my child

Here is the proof:
video
Okay, I admit it.....he's not great at it, but by the time anyone reads this he will already be crawling up to put his finger in outlets and finding the knife drawer.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Fraud and how to enjoy it

My work e-mail has become a lot less secure over the last few months. For some reason I get a lot more junk and recently it would appear that one of my customers saved me as a contact and then got their e-mail hacked because I have been receiving a lot of fraud fishing e-mails. One such e-mail I received was from a man named Kay who reported that he had been mugged and was stranded in the UK with no way to get home. He needed 2900.00 and would pay me back as soon as he got home. I had no doubt it was fraud from the terrible grammar to the fact that....well.... a random dude was asking me for money (that's normally a dead giveaway). I got the e-mail and thought to myself, "okay, I'll play." My intent was to e-mail him as many times as possible with arbitrary favors and questions until he eventually gave up. He hasn't written back in two days so it would appear that he had put up the white flag. Here are the e-mails in order:

From: kayf2213@aol.com [mailto:kayf2213@aol.com]
Sent: Friday, February 12, 2010 9:23 PM
To: bkoline02@hotmail.com
Subject: i need your assistance urgently!!!

Hi,
I’m currently in the United Kingdom attending an unexpected program.
And I am having a little problem.
I was mugged on my way back to the hotel after a session I attended and
Lost all the money and valuables I had with me.
Right now, my passport and other personal belongings are held by the hotel management,
Till I make payment for my accommodation and other expenses.
I will like you to kindly assist me with a loan of £1,700 pounds ($2,900) to sort my hotel bills out,
And to get myself back home.
I will really appreciate whatever you can assist me with, and promise to
Refund the money as soon as I get back.
Please let me know if you can be of any help, and I will really appreciate it if you can
Assist me immediately, because I need to get back home as soon as possible,
I will not like to spend another day here.
Regards

Kay

My first response:

Kay,

That’s terrible….Please let me help you. How can I get you all the money you need?

His response:

Thank you so much, I am glad to hear from you.I feel very depressed at the moment.
I never thought i would find myself in such a situation.
I would have love to call but i've got no access to a phone and yet a limited access to the internet
I feel so embarrassed asking you for money as i know you have personal needs as well, but i promise to refund the money
as soon as i get home.
You can assist me with funds through western union money Transfer, sent to me in my name and i should be able to sort my self out.

Kayla Falgout
BRITANNIA HOTEL MANCHESTER
Portland Street,
Manchester,
M1 3LA

Please send me the Transfer details including the Money Transfer Confirmation Number as soon as you get it done.

Thank you so much

Kay

My response:

Can I send you more? I have 10,000.00 that I have been saving for the victims of the earthquake in Haiti, but I really sympathize with your situation and think the money would help you a lot more. I can’t imagine how difficult it must be for you. You are stranded without anything or anyone to help you.

Please let me know if I can send you more money.

I won’t be at this e-mail address anymore, please send the information to my personal e-mail halfcrap@hotmail.com.

Here is to wishing you the best

His response:

no thank you. i just need $2,900 and if you cant help, just let me know.

regs

Kay

My response:

Sorry I wasn’t here this weekend. I hope everything was okay with you, I am so sorry if my delay made your weekend too hard. I hope to get you home as soon as possible. Do you have a family? I have been married for 10 years and have 4 kids. I would die if I were stranded without a way to get a hold of them. Do you have any kids?

This weekend, while waiting for your response (you really should have used that e-mail that I gave you so I could have given you the money faster) I tried looking for a Western Union and didn’t see any. Do you know where a Western Union is in Riverside CA? I hope to get you the money you need ASAP.


It ends there, but man what a ride. I don't if he caught on or just got sick of me, but believe me, I could have gone on forever. If he had actually told me where a Western Union was in Riverside, I would have said that I saw a Moneygram the other day and if that would be okay.

I will talk more about this later, but this post is long enough.

Dream vs reality

It was 3:am and I was in bed. Abe was next to me on the outside of the bed because he had just been fed or was being bad or something. In his sleep he rolled over and fell off the bed. In one lightning fast motion I rolled over and managed to get my hand under his chest before he hit the floor, and will one hand I lifted him back from the brink of brain damage back on the bed, and then Pia screamed and I woke up.
What happened?
Abe was asleep in his room and I had just snatched Pia's face (which I was not saving from falling off the bed as luck would have it) and proceeded to pull her head with the same force that I would have used to hoist a 20 pound child.
Needless to say, Pia was not happy.
In a half trembling, half furious voice, she said, "What are you doing?" I explained as best I could for a person just waking up and realizing what was going on, but luckily no real damage was done.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

News, surprises and bets

I got my braces off today, but I haven't told Pia, so I am currently taking bets on how long it will take her to notice. The over/under is at 1 day. I bet it will be 3 days. (Saturday). Alright, off to work, I will have a larger post soon.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Sledding

We took to the car this weekend and headed north. We went to go play in the snow for the first time in Pia's life...... yes, not my 6 month old son, but my 26 year old wife is the one that has never been in snow. We went sledding just outside of Flagstaff. The trip did make me want to go skiing, but I guess that is another trip.
We did get to eat at my favorite pizza place in Arizona (Roma Pizza). It didn't taste as good as it does after a long day of skiing, but it wasn't bad either. Abe did better than we could have ever hoped. He slept most of the way there and back and was only starting to get tired of being in the chair for the last half hour. Here are the pictures and a video.
There was another video, but Pia had a hard time shooting it because she had to close her eyes when I was sledding with Abe.

video

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Abe sits up....and then gets down

Abe can now sit up all by himself: Which makes him very happy:So he celebrates:

A guilt free lunch

Yesterday I scoured through my mother's fast food coupons that she keeps at her desk at work and decided that a buy one get one free six inch sub from subway would be the way to go for lunch. I headed to the local subway and ordered one spicy Italian sub and one Subway club. On my way out I was solicited by a homeless lady who was pushing her shopping cart (overflowing with boxes). She asked me for change and I said that I didn't have any and moved on to my car.
I will take a second here and just say that the advent of debit cards must be the bane of the existence of any beggar, because I, like many I know, never have cash on me and therefore would never have change.
Anyway, back to the story at hand. I was headed to my car when I distinctly felt, "you don't have any change, but you do have another sandwich." I continued to my car, but was thinking that maybe this was the reason that I had got the coupon and the reason I had 2 sandwiches as opposed to just one foot long. I thought that there was no way that I would not feel absolutely terrible if I didn't go give the beggar one of my sandwiches.
I spun around and walked up to the beggar and offered her my extra sandwich............... and she declined.
There were a couple of things I got from this:
1. How bad is Subway if a homeless person turns down their food?
2. What would the money have been used for?
3. I didn't give up a sandwich but I know that if I didn't offer, it would have been the most bitter meal I have ever had.
I will not by so cheesy as to have a moral to the story, but something interesting (for me at least) that I thought I would share with you.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

B-Abraham Pictures.....again

I am doing my best to walk a fine line in between telling embarrassing stories from my childhood and showing off my own child. I still want to maintain this blog as what it was, but I also use it as an avenue to allow family to keep up with the growing man-child oftentimes called Abraham. That being said, enjoy the stories of childhood trouble below and some pictures of Baberowham. That's my dad holding Abe on Christmas. My mom made the awesome snowman hat.
We are starting to feed the boy and this was our first attempt. He seemed to like the rice cereal, but his face loved it.
We feed him and then it either goes through the system and comes out the other end, or it is produced as saliva and ends up on his shirt. Look at all that slobber! He didn't spit up, that is just Abe drool.
We read to Abe, but when I read to him a few nights ago, he wrestled the book out of my hands and did this.

One thing I noticed is that Abe doesn't smile much for the camera (at least in these picutes) he is a pretty happy baby, but when the camera shows up in front of my wife's face, he just becomes glazed over with wonderment apparently (or so his face would indicate).

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Stories from the principal's office


I wasn't a bad kid, (at least I don't think so. One would really have to ask my mom.) but I did get sent to the principal's office a couple of times in my 13 short years of graded school. I never dealt with getting in trouble well as a kid and when faced with the shame of getting in trouble or disappointing my parents I would always burst into tears, which made for an even more humiliating experience. To be honest, even now, if I disappointed my parents I would still have a hard time holding back the tears (even the idea of it now is filling my tear ducts.....weird).

The first time I went to the principal's office was when I was in kindergarten (yes, I started early). Schools in Arizona are built a lot like colleges in that difference departments have different buildings (trailers) and school grounds look more like a campus, but in Oregon and WY, schools are built in one big building and the school's doors would only open 15 minutes before the first class of the day, which means that there would be a group of students (whether dropped off by an early bus or parent, or just early in general) waiting outside for the janitor to unlock the doors. I was sent off early to school by my mom with my sack lunch in hand. I remember specifically that I had an apple in my lunch that day. The school that I was attending was k-6 and I remember a fifth grader was making fun of me for something. I don't remember what he was making fun of me about, but what a piece of crap, making fun of a five year old (that seems way crueler to me now as an adult than it did at the time). I did what any self respecting kid would do; I took my sack lunch and jumped as high as I could, swinging that paper bag in a windmill around my back to conk that evil fifth grader right on the head. The bag broke and my lunch went flying. The sandwich and chips were saved because of the sandwich bags that protected them, but the apple was ruined as it smashed against the cold cement. The fifth grader laughed as I collected my scattered meal. A few minutes later the doors to the school were opened. As I was walking past the administrative area which housed the principal's office I was stopped and instructed to go to the principal's office. I don't recall much of the conversation that ensued, but I do remember I was in tears the entire time. In his closing remarks, the principal asked me if I was okay, and in between sobs I tried my best at 5 year old humor and said that I was fine, but I didn't think there was any helping my apple.

The second time I was sent to the principal's office was in WY where it can get to be a little cold every once in a while. In the sixth grade I was at school early again waiting with some friends for the locks to be unhitched and the students be allowed to start their day. Much to our surprise we found that one of the doors had been left unlocked so we slipped inside to escape the cold (and because it was cool to sneak into the school). We found a bathroom on the third floor to hide in until school started, but were apparently a little too loud, because within a few minutes a teacher ordered us to leave the bathroom and marched us straight to the principal's office. Once again, I don't remember what the principal said, but it was short and no punishment was doled out, because he must have understood that we were just escaping the cold.

In the 7th grade in AZ, I went to a public charter school (which I only attended for 6 months and hated for every minute) at which I was sent to the principal's office for not doing my homework in math. (I hate math class).

I have often thought about the first time and laughed. It is one of my clearest childhood memories which is kind of sad that one of my first memories is getting sent to the principal's office, but it's probably because it was so traumatic.
Anyway.... there is no moral to these ridiculous stories, just something that I often think about that I thought I would share.