Friday, March 30, 2007


I don't particularly like it when people refer to pregnant women as "prego". As in, "She looks prego." Prego is not a physical condition. It's a spaghetti sauce.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

A The Bun update

We had another ultrasound this week. Conclusion? He's healthy and still a "he". The due date has been set around May 11 which is 44 days from the time of this post.

That seems really soon.

I was talking with Ryan about the Bourne Ultimatum trailer which was released today. While doing so, I had a realization that I will have a son before the movie comes out.

Really, really soon.

We have a hand-me-down crib thanks to my in-laws. We put together a changing table this weekend which proved an interesting experience. However, that's about it for the nursery. There's still a long list of things we need to do before the little tyke shows up: see movies in the theater, spontaneously go out for ice cream, stay up late, sleep in, go on a random road trip, exercise, read and (in general) have some kind of private/personal life.

Do I have worries about having a kid? Of course. Who doesn't? If it was just me running the show you know he'd turn out pretty screwed up. Thankfully, I married the perfect woman and she'll counterbalance things enough so he may actually have a shot at life.

On a personal note, as I understand it, what little free time I am still clinging onto is gone for good. Well, not for good. Just for the next 18 years. It makes me slightly concerned about this blog, my journal, my sporadic trips to the gym, books yet to be read and the occasional Xbox 360 binge.

Though I suppose that's what being a parent is all about: sacrificing for your kids. And from what I've been told, it's totally worth it.

Monday, March 26, 2007


As I was about to cross the street to come to work, the standard groups of Walking Cancer Factories were huddled on the sidewalk, puffing away. (Note: It's 9 am! Who needs to stop working for a cigarette break when it's only 9:00?!) Fortunately, they started heading into the building as I crossed the street, leaving their butts smoldering in an ash tray. I slowed my pace to allow the air to clear out.

Then I saw the truly gag-inducing: a woman, who was not part of the group that went inside, walked up to the ash tray, picked up a still smoking cigarette butt and began smoking it. After she puffed, she stood there with a cigarette in each hand, unfazed at her grotesque act.

Repulsed, I walked inside, shuddering at what I'd just witnessed.

Friday, March 23, 2007

What would you ban?

So...'dja catch the Miss USA pageant? Me neither.

That's a lie. I saw part of it. It was the part where Miss Puerto Rico (or someone like that) was asked if she could ban one thing what would it be and why.

Instantly I think of alcohol, drugs or cigarettes. I hate smoking for a HUGE number of reasons, each of which I rehearse in my mind every day when I walk through a haze of smoke from the Insurance Dolls before entering the building. Someday I'm going to do something about that...

I would have settled on alcohol because, frankly, I hate drunk drivers and how abusive people can become when they drink too much. It's despicable and without excuse. (I'm sure Miss USA 2006 would disagree.)

Miss Honolulu's answer? Using a cell phone while driving. Or maybe it was shaving while driving. No, I'm pretty sure she decided on cell phones. "Because it's a distraction".

For some reason that seemed like a really, really stupid answer.

I listed three better answers already! Pollution, pornography, and multi-level marketing also come to mind.

Of course, French and Canadians should be banned and many people from Texas shouldn't be allowed to reproduce. Also, Corn Nuts, Ebonics and traditional car dealership radio spots. Staying at work past 5:00, littering and plumber's crack should get the ax too.

So there are a few things I'd ban. What would you ban?

Lack of posts

I haven't been posting much. Why? Combination of factors really. (A dollar to whoever can name the movie.) Mostly because, well, life's been busy yet ironically uneventful. Get up. Go to the gym. Go to work. Come home from work. Do church stuff.


I realize once we have our baby it will be a very long time until life is this un-complicated again.

I've been cranking through The Agony and the Ecstasy, a biography of Michelangelo. The first 150 pages were a bit slow but now I'm into it. It's a good book and one I would recommend for anyone even remotely into the arts or the creative process. I have about 140 pages to go and am scrambling to finish before I have a performance review at work. At least I think I'm going to have a performance review. It's been a year, so...

There are big plans for when I finish Agony. Oh yes. 1984 is high on my list as is Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. And maybe I'll get lucky and get around to reading my WIRED issue from last month. Eventually I'll have to read The Fountain Head for work too, but I'm not going to pick that one up for a while.

I should probably look through that baby name book so my kid isn't known as "The Bun" until he's four months old. (Although it would be pretty cool to have that on his little hospital bracelet.)

There you have it. A post about my literary plans once I finish my required reading for work. Probably one of my most thrilling posts. Ever.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Happy Spring

Don't worry. It'll probably snow again.

Monday, March 19, 2007

The sight to see

As I was enjoying the warm, spring morning on my walk to work today I saw the truly awesome: a man on a motorcycle with a sidecar. In the sidecar was his dog. As if that weren't cool enough, the dog was wearing goggles.

It was pretty much the best thing I've ever seen.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Accrued vacation time

Marcia stopped by my office today and notified me that I have 97 hours of vacation time I need to use by August. And that's on top of the week I can take off when we have The Bun.

When she told me I had that much time I instantly felt tired. Has it really been that long since I've taken time off?

It feels like it. I think the last time I used my vacation time (aside from a couple days around Christmas) was in September. And that was just one day.

No wonder I'm so worn out.

The way it looks now, I won't be able to use much of it this summer because Gary's going on sabbatical for most of July. I'll be taking at least a week off in May for The Bun's arrival.

So. What's the best way to use the vacation time?

I could take Fridays off for the next three months. Or...

What do you think I should do?

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Napping at work could save your life

Seriously. "New research on napping provides the perfect excuse for office slackers, finding that a little midday snooze seems to reduce risks for fatal heart problems, especially among men. Thrice-weekly nappers had a 37 percent lower risk of dying from heart ailments"

37 percent! That's significant. Generally I'm not a big fan of science but in this case I think I'd support it whole-heartedly.

"In the largest study to date on the health effects of napping, researchers tracked 23,681 healthy Greek adults," (I don't think it matters that I'm not Greek) "...for an average of about six years. Those who napped at least three times weekly for about half an hour had a 37 percent lower risk of dying from heart attacks or other heart problems than those who did not nap."

This kind of relates to an unpublished post of mine which essentially says if our quality of life increases (not salary necessarily, but time with family and developing talents and hobbies) the quality and efficiency of our work would also increase and we'd be a happier, healthier society.

"It would be really encouraging if employers across the country really embraced that philosophy that napping is a good thing. It makes a big difference in my life."

I agree. Let's start a petition in the comments or something. It won't do any good, but it's always satisfying to put your name on a petition regarding something you believe in. And who doesn't believe in taking naps at work? Exactly. Sign below.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

The Addys

Ah, the Addys. It's only my second year attending, yet I feel I have very clear understanding of what they're going to be like: open bar, lots of cleavage on display, a cautious attempt to be "edgy" and a lot of filler stuffed in around what we all came to see: the advertising.

Perhaps I'm too much of a purist, but just show me the ads. All the fluff and "entertainment" gets in the way. Let's see the work, congratulate those contributing and get out.

This year I thought the judges were fairly stingy with golds (for many agencies, not just ours). That being said, we did very well. I picked up a few silvers which is hunky-dory and Gary and Ryan cleaned up as usual. Well done everyone. Now back to the grindstone.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

An excellent example of customer service

I e-mailed Applebees regarding my defunct dessert. Since the, I've been hugely impressed. (There are a lot of other companies that should take a page out of Applebee's customer service book.)

My original e-mail was first responded to with the generic "we got your e-mail" autoresponse. Frankly, that was all I expected. A few days later I received this:

Dear Mr. *******,
I received your Guest Relations comment today and would very much like to speak with you in person. ...As it sits I would like to know what I can do to rectify the situation and make your next visit with us more pleasurable then the last. I will want to know what you had ordered and the name of your server so this problem does not arise again.

Look foward to talking with you

David Wilcox GM

I replied:

Mr. Wilcox,

Thanks for your quick reply!

...I had ordered a quesadilla appetizer, a chicken main dish and the blondie dessert. I don't remember who our waiter was but, other than the dessert mix up, he did his job very well. As far as rectifying the wasn't a huge deal (albeit a little disappointing)... just something I thought should be brought to someone's attention. Anything you feel would be appropriate would be appreciated.

Again, thank you for your prompt attention.


He responded:

Mr. *******,
Thanks for your timely re-response. If I could ask you for your address I would like to send you out a comp pass for dinner for two or I can keep it here until your next visit. Either way it's ok with me.
Again, Thank You !

David Wilcox GM

Then another e-mail from him:

It's in the mail, look forward to your visit, that's if you plan on using it at this location. If so I would like to visit in person, if I happen to be working.. ( I usually am )

David Wilcox GM

We got the gift certificate just as he said. I'm anxious to use it so I can meet Mr. Wilcox and thank him. Applebee's has certainly gone out of its way to prove they want me as a customer and they've earned my business.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007


It's probably not right, but I laughed out loud as soon as I saw this. The abject terror on that kid's face...priceless.


Monday, March 05, 2007

A mistake

On my way home from work I noticed some people gathered around the TRAX ticket machine. They appeared to be foreigners and while I couldn't tell what language they were speaking, I was sure it wasn't English.

In an effort to be welcoming and help eliminate the "arrogant American" stereotype, I asked if they needed any help. Their spokesman looked up, smiled with a thick accent, said, "No, thank you." I asked where they were from. "France." I was a bit taken aback.

You see, the last time I ran into someone from France I almost punched them in the face. Seriously, if we hadn't been in the UN with it's crazy-tight security, I would have rumbled with the guy and kicked his sorry French butt back across the pond with an American flag tied around his neck like a cape.

Long story.

Coming out of my UN flashback I exercised self-restraint, smiled weakly and took my seat on the hard bench to wait for the train.

A second later the same man came over and asked me if I was from here (Salt Lake). Determined to be polite, I responded that I worked downtown.

He went on to explain he worked for a company called "Monkey Turd" (or something like that. I could barely understand a word he was saying, but I'm pretty sure it started with an "M") which sold some kind of drink from a fruit they found in the Amazon (or maybe it was on Amazon?) and just started importing. It was "amazing" and "helped your whole body".

I stared in unbelief. This had to be a joke. Of all people in the city, I tried to help a 1. French 2. multi-level marketer. If this didn't prove God has a sense of humor, I didn't know what would.

Pierre, or whatever his half-woman name was, pulled out his card and began expounding the virtues of this wonder drink. In the meantime, my mind raced through the events of the day, trying to remember the grievous sin I'd committed to deserve this. I couldn't think of anything. I was even nice to Caryn and didn't get upset when she said the client cut all the good parts out of my copy and that I had to rewrite half of it for an ad due by noon tomorrow.

In an effort to promote diplomatic relations (someday we may need the French for detoxing Chernobyl or testing Ebola vaccines) I accepted his card with a grunt and stuck it in the back of my book.

Thankfully, the Frenchie and his entourage got onto the train before mine so I didn't have to listen to his quasi-socialist ramblings.

I find it ironic that I may not agree with what he has to say, but I'll fight for his right to say it...and he won't even do that.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

A perfect weekend not to have Stake Conference

This is one of those weekends which would best be served by doing very little. However, Stake Conference kicked off tonight with a temple trip. A wonderful experience to be certain. (Really, when isn't it good to go to the temple?)

OK. Here's the thing. I just kind of don't want to have anything to do for a while.

I called in sick today because, well, I'm sick. I was looking forward to resting, reading and recuperating. Instead, I got up and shoveled snow. Then I went into work and concepted for a couple of hours. When I got home I had an e-mail from a co-worker with an article she desperately need me to edit. I gave it a shot and sent it back. Then I got ready and went to the temple.

So much for my sick day.

It would be great to have tomorrow to Not do. Be. To be a reader. To be a writer (NOT a copywriter). To be a husband. To be a photographer. To be rested.

This, however, is not to be. (Ha, ha.) It's stake conference. Any other weekend I would be considerably more excited about that fact. Like next weekend for example. But the combination of illness, fatigue and stress have left me wanting to do nothing more than spend time in my apartment.

I realize staying up until 12:30 in the morning writing about the situation doesn't help improve it much but us sufferers of hypergraphia gotta do what we gotta do.