Category Archives: I Crack Me Up

Who broke into my car?

Blown Console

That’s what I wondered yesterday morning when I opened the my car door and was greeted by the above. I was already running late and not feeling great. It had snowed, so I had to clear that. And now this. This was a dreadful start to the day. My inner Eeyore was in full swing.

But nothing looked damaged or missing.

Then I thought, “William.” It would be a perfect little three-year-old thing to climb into Papa’s car and patiently, proudly fill it with scoop after scoop of dirty snow. Great.

Blown PepperThen I saw it. Inside the console was a Diet Dr. Pepper with the top blown clean off. I hadn’t been in that car for days, and apparently I’d left a little treat for myself. And after a few days of below freezing weather… boom!

The console was, as far as I can remember, closed. It must have been quite the event.

Mark, και, και ευθεως, and my week.

The gospel of Mark has an interesting little structure. A whole bunch of the verses start with και, which is often translated “and” but can be, and often is, left untranslated since it’s just there to keep the story going from point to point. So, it’s something like “…and then they did this, and then they did that, and then they did the next thing…” Occasionally you’ll see και ευθεως, which is “and immediately”. Overall, in Mark you get the sense of a very fast moving narrative.

Well, I thought I’d give my week’s highlights in Markian prose:

Last week I went out of town
και I needed to get back for a funeral
και the winds were high so taking a small plane back began to look iffy
και ευθεως we decided I should fly commercial
και there was a flurry activity getting me on the flight
και I got back that evening
και I showed up at church in the nick of time to set up for the funeral
και I went home and slept
και ευθεως in the morning I was back at church doing sound checks
και the funeral was lovely
και so was the rest of the afternoon
και we were all getting hungry so we grabbed a bite to eat
και, despite reassurances, my Spidey-Sense noted peanut oil, so I didn’t eat the fried food
και we took the kids to get our Christmas tree (a week later than usual)
και I lost my company iPhone somewhere
και ευθεως we called the restaurant and they found nothing
και ευθεως I searched in the dark tree lot and I found nothing
και I reconciled myself to buying a replacement
και we left the tree lot
και we realized that in our distraction we’d not paid for our Christmas tree
και ευθεως we went back to the tree farm
και taking one more look for my iPhone, a teen came up and asked “Is this yours?”
και I could tell it pained him to return it
και ευθεως we went home
και after a jam-packed Friday at work, the weekend came
και we awoke to snow
και the yard wasn’t ready for snow, so I got the yard ready
και one then another kid got something like the stomach flu
και ευθεως I did, too
και I spent 18 hours in bed
και I missed church (which is rare)
και Helen got it later on Sunday
και I’m tired

It’s been a fast moving narrative.


Apropos the “season,” I donned a hideous monster face last Friday evening. I regret that I didn’t have a camera.

I didn’t do it on purpose. I was just eating dinner. But it turned out that the meatballs contained something which caused one of my legendary allergic reactions. There was nothing on the ingredient list which appeared dangerous, but there was something in there. I’m suspecting cottonseed oil, but I have a hard time believing that considering the metric tons of potato chips I eat.

A couple of hours later my hands started to tingle and feel hot. Then my face began to swell and turn red. Within an hour or so I looked quite hideous. The kids stared at me with a quiet, cautious, wondering smile.

A friend drove me to the local ER because even though I was having no difficulty breathing, if I began to I wanted to be near help. (That’s when my allergies can be truly dangerous.) I went through triage, then I sat in the waiting room and watched part of an entirely unedifying movie. About an hour and a half later, I decided to go home. I was still puffy, but the redness was gone. The reaction was fading before I’d ever made it into a room.

I was exhausted the entire weekend. I’m just starting to feel back on my game today.

So there, I broke my blogging silence. Thrilling, eh?

When a garbage disposal breaks…

…it isn’t simply that I don’t get to enjoy that functionality any more.

No, it’s far worse.

Water and bits of food sit in there. Lingering. Waiting.

Occasionally, that drain will clog, meaning I have to stick my hand in there to clear it. This always makes me think it’s going to turn on and devour my hand. I check the switch. I recheck the switch.

Ah, but this isn’t a regular clog anymore. There has been water and bits of food sitting in there. Lingering. Waiting. Creating some kind of Hideous Stink Oil. Which only with great persistence washes off.

Well, thinks I, I need to try to clean that out. But I can’t really get in there… hey! I’ll pour boiling water down the disposal, and that will warm and loosen the Stink Oil, and away it will go.

No, actually it fills the room with Hideous Stink Oil Potpourri.

So, guess what I’m fixing this weekend.

**UPDATE (The Next Day):** I picked up a new garbage disposal last night while we were out and about. I started installing it first thing in the morning, and had it done before I’d finished my morning coffee. Ahhh.

2007 – The Year of No

I’ve declared 2007 *The Year of No* for myself. It’s going to be a year of finishing, not starting.

I like too much. I’m interested in too much. I empathize too much. And so I say “sure I can do that” or “I should try this…”

No more. No.

I need to hit reset. To clear projects – perennially lingering projects – off my plate, and be more purposeful about what I choose to do. Why? Because I want to have more peaceful days. I don’t mind busy days, but I want more peaceful days. And because I want to do things better; find out how *well* I can do things, not simply how *many* things I can do.

We’ll see how it goes. :)

I won’t rest…

…until I can light a “Strike-Anywhere” match with just my thumb.

If *My Three Sons* dad Fred MacMurray can do it in [Double Indemnity]( – a movie where he gratuitously and unconvincingly refers to Barbara Stanwyck as “baby”) – I can, too.

**Update:** I disapprove of [smiling Edward G. Robinson]( [This]( is Edward G. Robinson. It’s not as though I begrudge him the right to be happy. Just so long as it doesn’t interfere with my shallow preconceptions.

Will you win by hiding?

As much as I post about Maplewood, MN, I don’t live there. I just got caught up in the interesting whirlwind of local politics and personalities. I live nearby on Saint Paul’s luxurious East Side. Today, the oft-berated East Side Review landed on my step. And I congratulate them on a really nice set of pages devoted to the upcoming mid-term elections, featuring each of the candidates, and their responses to some questions which are pertinent to the particular offices.

And the Republicans running out here should be ashamed of themselves.

I’ll quote the paper:

– Lori Windels (R) did not respond to the Review’s questionnaire or a reminder phone call by deadline.
– Richard “Rick” Mulkern (R) did not respond to the Review’s questionnaire or a reminder phone call by deadline.
– David Buehler (R) did not respond to the Review’s questionnaire or a reminder email by deadline. (Ed: Buehler? Buehler?)

And the answer from Debi Makidon (R) provided for each of her three questions? “Please contact the candidate directly.”

Are you kidding me? **This** is how they intend to win? Hello, [Republican Party of Minnesota]( Anyone working over there these last few months? What kind of ship are you running?

Oh, I know… I’m a crazy idealist. I think that if someone wants to participate in the public arena, they might want to, well, participate in the public arena. Sure the East Side is wildly democratic. I know. Maybe you wouldn’t win. But you could at least start a conversation so someone later *could*.

C’mon. It’s a questionnaire. If you’re too busy to fill it out a questionnaire, what hope does anyone have that you’ll be able to handle political office? If you’re too afraid to answer some questions, what does that say about how you feel about the strength of your positions?

In fact, that what offends me most. Some of their positions are probably like some of mine. And these would-be leaders can’t spend a moment to develop a decent polemic to defend what I could in my sleep. Is that because I’m so cool? No. (Though, plainly, I’m pretty cool.) No, it’s because I’ve thought out why I hold a position, and I’m willing to put it to the test.

And so their weakness or laziness or fear or defeatism or inability to apply a stamp to an envelope casts aspersions on perfectly legitimate positions.

Some credit is due [Obi Sium (R)]( who is running for the U.S. House District 4 seat. Though I can’t for the life of me understand why I’ve never even heard of this guy running for Betty McCollum’s seat. He at least answered the questions. He answered pretty well.

Also, kudos to Warren Anderson (R) who did a good job, too. No website, though. Hmph. I guess the internets is too dern complicated. (Again, hello MNGOP? Dynamic template sites? CMS?)

State House District 67B candidate [Greg Le May (R)]( seems like someone who would actually **like** to win. It seems like he’s got an ad in every issue of the East Side Review. All year. Often a new ad. He’s got signs *everywhere*. Last weekend I even saw him standing on the corner of a local street-highway intersection with his campaign signs over him as a [sandwich board]( And he actually argues his point.

And if [Sheldon Johnson]( doesn’t look quite like a particular dear friend of mine, I’ll eat my hat.

And yes, that’s this website’s use number two of the phrase “casting aspersions.” :)