Tuesday, April 30, 2013


I remember when I was sixteen and I had to take my driver's ed classes. We watched these terrible films (they were films!) about car crashes and teens making bad choices. And then we got this huge lecture about wearing seatbelts. Seatbelts? We thought. Who wears seatbelts! Nerd alert.

No one in my time wore seatbelts. When I was a kid we would take giant vacations to California and all nine kids in my family would be splayed out all over the car. Someone on the floor, someone (usually me) laying on the luggage, someone strapped to the roof. It was de rigeur. We never heard about car accidents and we never really thought about what would happen if we had one. I remember once my mom slammed on the brakes in our 1974 Station Wagon, and my brother Andrew launched about four seats. But that was about it. Seatbelts were shoved haphazardly down into the seat cushions. You'd pull one out, occasionally, and it was crusty and covered with french fries and creased by the hot sun. What are these, we thought?

But by 1988 it was kinda sort of a law to wear your seatbelts. Not a full law, I don't think, but it was a semi-law. It was a strong suggestion. And so we started wearing them. I wore mine out on the driver's training course. It felt weird. I felt stuck to the car. Eventually I got used to it. Now I can't drive without it. If I do I feel naked. I feel like I'm going to get sucked out of the window. I feel like the slightest fender bender will send me through the windshield. And heaven forbid if I let one of my kids sit in the car without their seatbelts, even if we're going to their cousin's house two streets over. It's a little obsessive, I suppose, but it's also really super safe. I imagine most of us are like this now.

So now I'm trying to apply the same principle to texting. I am, admittedly, a driving texter. I have been for some time. I will send off five texts just between my house and my office, a ten minute drive. I will think back on my commute to work and not remember any of it, because I was looking at my phone the entire time. It's pathetic. To add insult to injury, I think my dad, as a state legislator, passed some kind of anti-texting bill a few years ago.

Well, Dad, the prodigal son has returned! I am no longer driving and texting. I've been text free for about a month. Granted, two weeks of that was in Italy where I neither drove nor texted, so it's really just been two weeks. But I'm proud of myself. If I have to text someone, I'll pull over. Oh, ok, maybe I'll shoot one off at a red light. But the days of tapping and swerving and sending and red-light running are over. And I'm hoping that in a few weeks I'll be completely cured. I'm hoping.

My good friends Aaron and Haley Warner lost a father to distracted driving last month. Their mother survived. You can see a video about it here:


Of course I feel terrible for the Warners, but I also feel bad for the girl who hit them - she was texting. I'm sure she feels horrible. I would. And maybe I feel pity because it could have been me instead. Or any of us. I know I don't have enough pull to get masses of people to stop texting and driving. Maybe when I'm famous (notice I said WHEN - Stalking Santa was just the beginning!) I can do it. But until then I can promise that my car will be one more safer car on the road.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Performing Stand Up, Sitting Down

A couple of days ago, over on my personal blog, I announced that my wife, Katie, and I are expecting another baby! For those of you keeping score at home, that’s Babies: 8, Marbles Left Rolling in My Head: 1.

We are super excited! It’s kind of the only thing that’s been on our minds the last few days. But rather than repost the story on PTA (you can read it here, instead), I thought I would present for your viewing pleasure a video of Katie, 8 months pregnant, performing stand-up comedy about the joys of pregnancy.

This was two years ago, when she was very pregnant with our youngest, Lucy. It was my 40th Birthday Party.  And after years making me laugh at her witty observations about pregnancy (I’m 72% sure her observations were supposed to make me laugh; she may have been expressing frustrations, in which case I owe her a huge apology), I asked if she would do stand-up at my birthday party. She had never done it. She didn't want to do it. But before an intimate group of friends, she did it. And I think she was fantastic. She is currently available for booking but you only have about 6 months to schedule her for your holiday parties before touring season is over and baby season arrives.

Friday, April 26, 2013

How to Lose a Woman Forever According to Travis McGee

Recently, I read a post by Raymond Bechard on The Good Men Project that made me think.

The post mentions a series of books by John D. MacDonald that feature a “Salvage Consultant” named Travis McGee who finds important things for people. What's interesting about the books is that McGee often philosophizes about life, humanity, and what it takes to be a man. I haven't read these books so I'm taking Bechard's word for it but he writes that reading them helped him look at life and being a man differently.

The post focuses on McGee's observations about women, which men's magazines have ripped off for 50 years. I bet some of his stuff is funny to us now in the '10s but Bechard summarizes McGee's most valuable piece of advice:

"Treat a woman so that she knows you believe she is the most important and interesting person you have ever met and will ever meet."

Now, if I had to judge my relationships past and present on that one piece of advice, the truth is that I'd fail. That's why it hit me hard. That's why I'm trying to be better.

To help me (us) Bechard compiled McGee's philosophies into is a list of rules to break if you would like to lose a woman forever. Here are a few from the post. Read the full article here.

1. Don’t protect her. She’s a big girl. There’s no reason to help her feel safe in the way she needs to feel safe. There are no guarantees in life so it’s not rational to expect security in relationships. (And nothing is more rational than love.) Her emotional security is paramount to her. This means she wants to rely on you to always be there for her and can count on you to be her best friend. Allow her to feel alone and abandoned, and you will experience both. 

2. Don’t respect her. Simple. Treat her like crap. If she doesn’t take it, she’ll leave and you’ll be miserable. If she does, she’ll stay and you’ll both be miserable. Treating her like the extraordinary woman she is will only increase her expectations, attitude, and hope, and courage, and affection, and love.

3. Don’t listen to her. Every time she talks either tune her out or try to solve her problems. Do not, under any circumstances come to the realization that her feel­ings are the prob­lem she needs to  communicate to you. She doesn’t want you to DO anything. (After all, if she wanted your help she would ask for it. Seriously, she will.) And if you wanted her to feel closer to you than anyone else in the world you would not listen to her prob­lems, but to her feel­ings. That takes paying sharp attention to her and learning how to really listen beyond her words. You would have to look at her as a person of near limitless emotional capacity. And all of that would only show her how much you truly value her. Who has that kind of time?

5. Take her for granted. Let her know she’s nothing special. Devalue everything she does, especially the things she does for you. If you want to make her miserable, sad, hopeless, or just lose her self-esteem make sure she knows she really doesn’t mean that much to you. You can’t be bothered with the fact that she’ll be looking for some kind of positive affirmation from you every day. And giving it to her is not something you can do once a month or week, on holidays or special occasions. She knows you appreciate her when you work at it all the time, especially those times when you don’t have to.

7. Don’t let her know she is interesting. Don’t show any interest in her life, her passions, her story, her friends, work, hobbies, troubles, etc. Showing her she bores you is the best way to prove to her that she will never be her best with you.

10. Don’t kiss her. If you don’t want her, don’t touch her. And especially don’t kiss her. However, if you want to be a man, shut up and take five completely uninterrupted minutes every day to hold her and kiss her.

13. Don’t compliment her. If you want her to find proof that she is attractive from someone else, don’t show her how attracted you are to her. If you want her to know how much you adore her, tell her how your attraction to her makes you feel. “Seeing your eyes make me feel like I’m really home,” is better than, “You have nice eyes.” But don’t do that. You’d have to examine all the great feelings she gives you. And who needs that much self awareness?

16. Don’t romance her. Your first date was a long time ago. No need to act like that idiot anymore. It’s probably best to just settle into a routine and ignore her need for unique expressions of your love for her. On the other hand, if you bring her out on a “first date” once in a while, or go out of your way for her romantically, you will reset the emotional freshness of her heart and your relationship.

19. Don’t change your habits. Let pride be your guide. Never improve. You’ve gone far too long becoming just as perfect as you are. Why switch up your game now? Remember, compromise and consideration has no place in relationships … unless you want them to work. Anyway, who has strength enough to be flexible?

20. Hate apologizing. If you wanted to make this work, you would love apologizing. Point out your mistakes and apologize for them until she tells you to stop. But, that will only make her trust you and rely on your decency and trustworthiness as a man.

21. Don’t learn what emotional intimacy is. Forget that emotional intimacy is the utterly close connection that will exist only when you are truly committed to and trust one another. It means you are both devoted to the well being and individual growth of the other, that you fully trust her and her you. It means knowing with absolute certainty that you are perfectly safe with each other. So, you would have to take the time to find a woman with whom you can build trust and be yourself. Worst of all it would mean not just accepting her for who she is, but celebrating who she is.

What do you think? I'd like to hear from both men and women on this one. What do you do that let's the person you love know that you really want to be with them?

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Good Dad

Images via Flickr.com
Sometimes people's lives on the internet drive me crazy. I see there instagrams of the Moustache Party they threw with their kids and I think "Who has the energy for a moustache party? On a weeknight?" Or they post pictures of the family vacation they took to Thailand and I wonder "I can barely survive a 45 min car ride to Provo with my kids, let alone a 15 hour flight to Thailand."

But I try and remind myself that it's not Truth. The life we project on social media, or blogs, or Facebook, or Instagram is simply that, a projection. We get to pick and choose what we talk about and what we present and how we curate our lives for the outside world. And I'm saying that sometime's people's carefully curated lives get annoying.

But sometimes you see something that is deligtful and makes you smile. David LaFerriere is a graphic designer who has been drawing pictures on his kid's sandwhich bags since 2008 and then photographing them. Click on over to his Flickr site and check them out. There are over 1000 and they are pretty amazing. How do you not run out of things to draw after about a week? I would imagine this makes his kids smile when they open their lunchbox every day.

I like this. It's small, simple and memorable. His kids get a kick out of it, but other than recent internet attention, this isn't something that he is parading out for the world to see. Just a Dad doing something nice for his kids, trying to make them smile. And that's something I can get behind.


I am in Italy. Josh served a mission here,  and I don't know why he ever came home. Its a beautiful place. I have eaten lots of pasta and pizza and gelato. People really do say "capisce." It's ok to joke about the mafia, and its also NOT ok. Everyone is just a little happier and a tad bit better looking than we are. Maybe its because they take three hour naps every afternoon?  Or go to dinner at 9 pm? Or love life a little more than we do? I'm trying to figure out their secret.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Read Me.

“The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid.” 
― Jane Austen

So I think you should reread 'To Kill a Mockingbird'.   I don't have anything clever to say about it.  It was laying on the floor in our playroom and the kids were climbing on the ceiling so I thought I'd start at the beginning.  It's just so very good.  I'm 10 pages in and I can hear Scouts voice plainly explaining how it all went down.

Is there anything like a very good book?

Once when I was freshly married, I had friends come stay with us in our freshly painted one bedroom apartment in LA.  It was real fun.  But, at night, and we were all through with the day, I grabbed my book from my nightstand and dove in.  One of my friends, who had known me all through high school and had never seen me with a book in my hand, asked me if I was just putting on a show for my new wife.  I did like the idea, it would have been little 'Talented Mr Ripley' of me to present myself as a reader to my new wife and then three years in hold a book burning on our porch. But the fact is, I made it all the way through every grade of public school and never found my love of reading. It eluded me though, it seems like that's all I should have been looking for, but we never came together, Reading and I.

It was my friend Stacy, who offered to have a favorite book swap, when I was 22 years old.  Luckily, I had stumbled on to 'The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe' a year earlier and loved it, or I literally would not have had a book to swap her.

She gave me, 'To Kill a Mockingbird'.  She was right.  I was shocked how this mandatory English 2 reading could also, inexplicably, be a good book.  The thought had never crossed my mind.  But as you know, a book requires you to be in the right place and mind to capture you.

My wife tried to read 'Cold Mountain' but never got into it, too cold and mountainous I suppose. Then, when she was recovering from surgery and had to be in bed for weeks, out of the blue the book reached out and pulled her in, deep into it's pages and held her there for hours.  It's one of her favorites.

There is so much great entertainment out there.  This is not one of those turn off your tv and read a book posts.  But, if you are reading this and thinking that the last book you read was...'To Kill a Mockingbird' but in 8th grade, then at the very least, start there again.  The world has changed since you were 15 and so have books.

The last book to really pull me all the way in was 'The Lonely Polygamist'. In the end I didn't really like it, but I loved the moment 15 minutes before my lunch break when I would remember that I had a good book in my bag and I was by myself for a whole hour and I got to read it.  An exquisite feeling.

I am always ALWAYS looking for another good book... why, do you have one?

Monday, April 22, 2013

An Exclusive Engagement

Eighteen years ago this week, in one of the most brilliant and intricate sting operations in modern history, I tricked Katie Fillmore into agreeing to marry me.

Since that day she has tricked me a number of times. Her favorite is this thing she does when she’s driving the van on a road trip, where she tilts her head so I can’t the left side of her face, and then makes it look like she’s totally and completely asleep at the wheel, because I can’t see her left eye, which is actually wide open, keeping our family safe from flying off the road into a tree, off a cliff, or into a stranded motorist. I can’t say I like this trick, but turnabout’s fair play, I suppose.

By complete serendipity, we happen to have an Engagement Video. Now, this was in 1995, long before everyone casually sported a camera-phone at all times, so it's really quite amazing that we have it.  I mean, it’s not much; but technically, we were never even supposed to have one. And yes, I am going to tell the story before showing you the video.

It was April 1995. Provo, Utah. The days were a warmish spring, with the nights still quite cool. TLC was warning us not to chase waterfalls and Bryan Adams was demanding to know if we’d ever really – really, really ever loved a woman.

I had known for a couple of months already that I wanted to marry Katie. I also knew Katie wanted me to meet her family before we got any more serious. And finally, I knew her family was coming out to Utah for the graduation ceremonies of two of Katie’s older sisters.  The graduation was Thursday, April 27th. Sadly, Katie had torn her ACL in her knee and would be heading back to Kentucky with her family on Saturday, the 29th, for surgery. This meant I had a window of Friday, the 28th, to ask Katie to marry me.

Katie’s cousin happened to be a jeweler, so I visited him the week prior to Katie’s family coming, and we selected The Engagement Ring. He had designed it and he was going to craft it and have it ready for me on Friday morning so I could propose Friday night.

Except that when I called on Thursday to make sure he was ready, he said, “Oh, I won’t have it ready until Monday.” I responded, "Well, I hope you're happy; because now I can't go to heaven, because I hate you and your face."

Oh, the humanity! My life was poop. Nothing left to do now but watch Katie leave for Kentucky, unengaged and ready to fall in love with some toothless, shoeless, slack-jawed yokel with a substantial crop of tobacco that I could never compete with.

Friday arrived. I was packing to move apartments and Katie was packing to go home for surgery. The only highlight of the day was that a big group of us friends decided to get together for dinner at The Underground that night. A kind of End of Semester send off before summer, when everyone would be going different directions for a while. A friend of ours, Mike, played guitar at The Underground, and we were all going to hang out, eat, and take a listen.

I called Katie to let her know I was going to come pick her up in a bit, then I sat on the couch to pack my last box of junk when the phone rang. It was Katie’s cousin/my jeweler. “Hey, your ring is ready. I canceled all my other appointments for the day and finished the ring." I shouted, "Huzzah! My chances of going to heaven have slightly improved since I don't hate you anymore!" He then responded, "I just left it with Katie’s mom, so you can pick it up from her.” "I'm sorry, you left the ring with WHO?"

With only a few minutes to throw everything together, I ran over to Katie’s grandpa’s house to find my future mother-in-law and, in exchange for a ring, I explained to her that I was going to ask her daughter to marry me that night. Fortunately for me, my mother-in-law was ecstatic and oohed and aahed at the ring with me, securing her place in the Best Mother In Law Hall of Fame.

The rest of this story is told in fast-framed, cartoonish fasion.

I ran back to my apartment and handed the ring to my good friend, Lincoln. In one long sentence I explained to him that I was going to propose to Katie at The Underground, that I needed him to go buy roses for Katie and hand them off to our good friend Lisa to bring out to Katie right after I propose, that I needed him to talk to Mike about playing U2’s All I Want Is You while I propose, and that at some point, after I arrived, I needed him to slip the ring back to me when Katie wasn’t looking.

Then, in maintaining cartoonish, frantic energy, we ran into each other three times and then ran to our different destinations. Me, to pick up Katie, and Lincoln, to The Underground to set everything up.

When I ran into Katie’s apartment to pick her up, I realized I needed to CALM DOWN. But it was too late. She came down the stairs, gave me a hug, then stepped back and said, “What’s going on? You’re shaking.” “Oh. Huh. Must be the heroin.” “Oh, YOU (small chuckle).” Yep, I covered that one pretty well.

Having stalled as long as I could, we finally made our way over to the restaurant. As soon as we walked through the doors I knew everything was in place. I knew this because two of our friends who were supposed to be there that night but who also worked there, Lisa and Rebecca, had just gotten off their shifts, and came running over to us. I mean, they hurdled tables and pushed paying customers out of the way to get to us, so excited were they.

They stopped right in front of us and then Lisa, with her eyes bulging, started talking like an auctioneer. “Yeah, we-just-got-off-our-shifts-but-we’re-going-to-stick-around, maybe-get-something-to-eat. Even-Chris-is-coming-over, you-know, just-to-casually-hang-out-and-stuff.”

There was this wall of energy coming from the two of them and the hairs on my neck were standing straight up. I was hoping this was all coming across to Katie as casual as Lisa and Rebecca were trying to sell it. Somehow, Katie didn’t pick up on it. Not even when Lisa squeezed my hand and looked at me out of the side of her eye. If I didn’t propose to Katie soon, it was clear Lisa was going to do it for me.

I couldn’t even order anything to eat. My stomach was in knots. We had talked about marriage before, but I still felt like I was taking an anxiety bath. I suppose it’s because that is the moment when you say, “Yes, I will spend the rest of eternity with you.” Plus we were doing this in front of our friends...and compete dining strangers.

We sat at the center table, right in front of where Mike was playing. Our good friends Chris and Lisa, who had gotten engaged less than two months before, sat right across from us, and so did our friend Rebecca. Many of our other dear friends were also there.

Lincoln pulled me aside, handed over the ring, and told me that as soon as I signaled him, he would signal Mike, and Mike would start playing U2’s All I Want Is You. He was going to stop in the middle of the song, Lisa would slip out to bring the roses, and I would drop to my knee and wet my pants.

I sat back down at the table and noticed the faces of several friends, some of whom seemed more nervous than me. After what felt like a week I signaled Linc, and he signaled Mike. Mike started playing. Then, in the middle of the song, he stopped. I stood up and announced to the restaurant that I needed everyone’s attention. I knelt down and helped Katie stand up (she was still on crutches from tearing the ligament in her knee), and I actually said the words, “Katie, will you marry me?” She threw her head back and screamed “Yes!” and then started crying. And it was really a very incredible, surreal moment….

And here it is on video. Mike, the guitar player, actually had his mom visiting, and she actually brought a video camera to record his performance. And during his performance, for just a small moment, she swung the camera around just enough to record Katie and I. And now that moment is immortalized.

It wasn't until the next day, when Katie had left with her family and I was at dinner with Lincoln and Mike that Mike said, "If you want a copy of that video, just let me know." "What video?" "My mom recorded you guys getting engaged last night." Completely surprised, and quite grateful, I said, "Well frankly, it wasn't any of her business, but if you've got the video..."

If you watch closely, you’ll notice the following:
  • Lisa, in the lobby, holding the roses that Lincoln had just brought for Katie. 
  • Lincoln conspiring with Mike on how to set up the moment for me to propose. 
  • My friend, and fellow Part Time Author, Chris, so nervous for me that he actually covers his face in case Katie says, "No." 
  • Katie saying, "Yes."
  • Some horrible 1995 wardrobe choices. (Yep, I'm wearing flannel.)

Friday, April 19, 2013

Vocal Point WINNER!

Thank you to all who participated in our giveaway this week and helped spread the word about this fantastic event coming up next week!

Our winner is.... EMY! Emy, please send your phone number and address to authors@parttimeauthors.com. We will get you your 4-pack of tickets immediately!

Friday, April 26, 2013
7:30 p.m.
Cottonwood High School

For everybody else, you can still get tickets for the April 26th show by purchasing them online at www.byuvocalpoint.edu/events or at the door. Tickets start at just $6 and group rates are available. A portion of every ticket sold will be donated to the BYU Vocal Point Scholarship Fund.

Esquire Quiz Can Tell You How Attractive You Are to the Opposite Sex

I love these. I don't know why. Here, from Esquire’s 1949 publication "Handbook for Hosts: A Time-Honored Guide to the Perfect Party," is a set of questions for both men and women designed to help us make ourselves more wowee-wow-wow to each other. I read the original post on BrainPickings.org here.

Now, for your enjoyment, are some of the highlights filled with liquor, spankings, flattery, and ugly Cousin Belle:

For Women
Do you bring the names of other men into the conversation to give yourself a sought-after appearance?Don’t. This may give a man a sense of inferiority — he is uncomfortable with you, and soon drifts away to someone else. It may make him wonder how much talking you do about him.

Do you wear clothes that make you a little more up-to-the-minute than the other women in your set? Good — provided your taste is reliable and that the clothes suit you. Men may rant about the “crazy hat” but they swell with pride when their lady companions arouse admiring stares.

Do men marvel at your capacity for holding liquor? A great mistake: it gives you a fast reputation and runs into money — the man’s money — besides.

Do you keep men interested by hinting that later — not tonight — you’ll be really demonstrative? This is a low trick and one that a surprising number of men see through at once. If you kiss a man, it should be for your own pleasure and not to reward him.

Do you ever embarrass a man by telling him he’s good-looking or has big muscles or is too, too intelligent? Try it! Almost any man can stand almost any amount of flattery, however obvious, without embarrassment or surprise.

Do you knit when you are having a cozy, fireside evening with a man? For some reason, men hate to see a woman doing anything with her hands when talking to her. Undivided attention is best.

Do you keep your friendships warm by chatty calls to your men friends at their offices? This is fatal.

Do you save yourself wear and tear by not troubling to entertain men bores? A grave mistake. Bores have their uses since a clever girl can practice her conversation on them, with nothing much to lose. Besides, they often have attractive friends.

For Men
Do you show your real fondness for a girl by telling her about her bad points and advising her how to improve them? This is an error. If you must tell her you hate her perfume or how she does her hair, wrap it up in heavy sugar coating.

Do you show your devotion to a woman by holding her hand or putting your arm around her when her friends are present? Please don’t. Even a girl who is affectionate in private dislikes public mauling.

Do you make distinctions between the jokes you’d tell a man in the club and those you’d tell a girl in a park automobile? Almost no women like bathroom jokes or jokes with dirty words.

Do you tell a woman she’s beautiful, even if she isn’t? This habit hurts nobody and makes a lot of girls happier.

Do you believe it necessary in the modern age to push in a girl’s chair for her and to light her cigarettes? These small courtesies mean a lot to a girl.

Do you try to arouse a girl’s interest by boasting of your success with other women? Don’t ever do this!

Do you consider it a young girl’s own business whether she gets tight and is indiscreet when she’s out with you? Keep an inexperienced girl from getting tight, if you have to spank her, and don’t let any woman become indiscreet through liquor. Triumphs over drunken women don’t help any man.

If a girl you’re fond of asks you to be nice to her cousin with adenoids and buck teeth do you cut her off your list? Not pleasant, but if you rally around and give Cousin Belle a whirl, you’ll soon be known as the nicest man in town.

I think we all learned something today. So, how do you make yourself attractive? Let us know your tips in the comments!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

This Would Cause My Divorce

Image via wrigley.com
One thing that I love about my amazing wife is that she is pretty even-keeled. I'm the much more dramatic one who LOVES and HATES things and gets worked up about politics and has a temper. But my wife isn't that way. She's passionate, of course, but she doesn't let things bother her or get under her skin.

But there are two things that make her insanely, irrationally crazy. The first is the smell of spearmint. The second is gum. So as you can imagine, spearmint gum is pretty much her kryptonite. She hates its minty smell, the look of people chomping on it, the sound of it snapping in some one's jaw. When we were first married, she told me that if I was a gum chewer she would divorce me. I laughed -- but she wasn't kidding. It's like in her mind she can't comprehend how or why people would like chewing gum, or like the taste of spearmint. She thinks it's a conspiracy.

This week our oldest son got some sort of award at school where he got to pick a prize. And he picked -- wait for it -- a pack of Orbit Spearmint Gum. When he brought it home, I honestly acted like he had brought home plutonium. We immediately set ground rules - mom can never see you chewing this. The gum itself can never be left anywhere visible. You can only chew it outside and when you are done chewing it it has to immediately go in the trash. I think if my wife came across gum stuck to the floor of the kitchen, she would burn the house down and just start over. We keep the pack sealed in a Ziploc bag on the top shelf of the pantry. When my boy wants a piece he comes and whispers it to me so my wife doesn't hear. She knows he has the gum and knows where it is, but she doesn't want to be reminded of its existence.

So we live in a gum free household. And that's fine. I'm no particular fan of gum, either. This is sort of how I feel about dogs. I would never have one. I would never let my kids get one. And I know this is how Topher feels about bananas. (Spoiler: they make him vomit.) Do you have a kryptonite like this? Maybe you are staunchly pro-mayo vs. miracle whip? Perhaps you don't like Jordan Catalano and prefer Brian Krakow? Maybe you have a phobic fear of garlic. Or horror movies. Or house music. Or house dressing. Or the TV show House. Is there a deal breaker that could possibly end your marriage? Or are you content to just go on in your gum chewing, banana eating, dog petting, Miracle Whip spreading, Krakow loving, House listening, House watching life? Please share in the comments.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

jurassic in georgetown

For years, whenever someone has asked me what things I have never done, I've had two strongholds: I have never seen Jurassic Park, and I have never been to Washington DC. In a strange twist of events, I've knocked both of those items off of my bucket list in just two weeks. Does that mean I'm ready to die? Possibly.

Here are some of my thoughts on both:

Jurassic Park: There's sure a lot of short shorts in this movie! A lot of pleated, tan shorts. People hike them way, way up. Laura Dern festoons hers with a knotted blouse, while Robert Muldoon wears his tight and proud and unabashedly climbs over things.

Washington DC: I actually thought Provo was the whitest city on earth, and then I visited Georgetown! Everyone at my hotel here is named Trevor or Judith. Like ancient Greek Gods, these people sprang fully formed from the loins of LL Bean.

Jurassic Park: I was amazed at the quality of the CGI. For reals! Those dinosaurs look real! And that movie was made in 1964. Impressive. Except when the brontosauruses poke their heads around in the treetops. That part was pretty phony and we all know it. But the rest of it was seamless! Way to go, Steven Spielberg and Jim Henson!

Washington DC: I thought it was neat that I could get so close to the White House. Whenever people take pictures of the White House it looks like it's a mile away. I took a picture myself just to prove how close you can get! Sure enough, it looks like it's a mile away.

Jurassic Park: They don't make film scores like that anymore. It's a shame. John Williams wrote this music and it plays THE ENTIRE MOVIE. There is no single frame of that movie without underscoring. It's great, because the music tells you if the dinosaurs are nice or not. If they are nice, the score is really cute and bouncy. If they are not nice, LOOK OUT! Trumpets!

Washington DC: The cherry trees are in bloom. It's really amazing. Here is a picture:

Jurassic Park: Here is a picture of  Lisa and me in our 3D glasses. Did I mention we saw it in 3D? It really is the future, you guys!!!!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Alright, what?! Mind your own business!!

If you are an avid reader of PTA (and if you're reading today, who's to say you don't read everyday...which is avid) you will recall that two weeks ago I pledged a pledge to run every day for a month starting April 1st.

Well, the following is my list of excuses:

1- I hate to run.  I know that this was the point of my pledge, that I hate to run and all my runner friends say it's super easy you just have to keep with it and then someday you'll love it, but it turns out my hate of the thing is the reason I can't do it...I should have seen that coming but didn't.

2- Running hurts. One of Lindsay's students described it as Cayenne Pepper in your lungs. Apt.  And remember when Josh told me that April would be a great month to run cause it's just so damn nice?!  Well, I was literally sloshing threw rain at 5:15 in the morning and I wanted to run to his house and kill him...though, I'm sure he wouldn't have been there cause he was off doing cartwheels because after you're a runner you move on to the next step, cartwheels...up hill.

3- When?! The hardest thing besides running was to find the time.  I tried to get up before the sun and run and it was actually just fine in the morning, but then around 6:00 in the evening I would lay down where ever I was and go to sleep, as I had been up for 13 hours and spent the first one running for my life in pouring rain....cause it's April.

4- I now can't breath doing things that were once easy.  So since I became a Runner (capital R) I have developed this deep wheeze that shows up whenever I go up stairs or run to catch an elevator or flee from predators.  I didn't have this before and it's the running's fault. or the rain. or the cold.  or the cold I got from running in the rain.

5-Screw it!  There is a moment in every runners life where you make the choice, 'You can either push on and run it out, or be fat.'  I have seriously decided on the latter.  I am sorry for my wife, she would have enjoyed my runners body, but instead she'll have to accept the fact she legally bound herself to a kind and gentle flesh-bean-bag man.  Could be worse, I could be a pro bowler...no offense.

Here's what I learned:

I did get sore.  My legs felt like jell-o when I was done and the next day they felt like Ken Doll legs, but I did push through it and the soreness gave way and I was able to run every day...for four days, then the rain, then Sunday, then Monday, then just never wanting to run again.

All in all I ran 6 out of the 10 days. I have a good play list out of it...except now I hate every song on it...what am I saying, I hate the first 4 songs, I don't even know what comes after Eminem's 'Love the Way You Lie' remix. Nor do I know what the orignal song sounds like...is it a waltz?

And so I'm sorry.  I failed.  And who cares.  I am just one of gazillions who tried to run and abhorred it with the white hot intensity of ten thousand suns. However, I still want that runners body...join in next week when I dive in head first to the newest and most controversial fad weight loss gimmick, even writing it feels better then that time I wrote, 'I'm gonna run.'

Monday, April 15, 2013

GIVEAWAY! Four Tickets to Vocal Point Concert!

Today Part Time Authors will be giving away…


Friday, April 26, 2013
7:30 p.m.
Cottonwood High School

For those of you who have never heard of Vocal Point, let me just be the first one to say… “Welcome to earth!” That’s right, everybody knows who Vocal Point is b’cept you, and my gosh, I wish you could see your face right now, you are so embarrassed!

Vocal Point has been a performance staple in Utah County, due to their affiliation with BYU, but they achieved national recognition due to their critical and crowd-pleasing performances on NBC’s The Sing- Off. To give you a sample, here is their performance of Bobby Brown’s Every Little Step.

Pretty great, right? So, these guys are performing a week from this Friday, at Cottonwood High School, in Salt Lake. This will be their first concert in over a year and the final performance for veterans Keith Evans and Robert Seely.

1. Post on your Facebook wall about the concert, linking to the Vocal Point Concert page. https://www.facebook.com/events/460213150712347/?fref=ts  (Or you can Tweet about it.)
2. Leave a comment here on our blog letting us know that you've done it!

THAT'S IT! Then we will randomly select a name out of those who've commented here on our blog. We will select a winner THIS FRIDAY, so you have today through Thursday to post about it and leave a comment here! Then check back on Friday to see who the winner is. (We'll need you to email in your contact information when you are declared the winner.)

If you don’t win, you can still get tickets for the April 26th show by purchasing them online at www.byuvocalpoint.edu/events or at the door. Tickets start at just $6 and group rates are available. A portion of every ticket sold will be donated to the BYU Vocal Point Scholarship Fund.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Thoughts on the Future (A Poem)

Thoughts on the Future
No one can see ten years from now
if the days will be good to us or
who is finally rich or poor.
No one can see where you will be
but, I hope you are happy.

Nobody knows five years from now
if the world is gone or at peace
or if there is a cure for anything.
Can’t see who still loves each other
but, I’m sure you are beautiful.

No gypsy can predict next year
who is married or dying
and who will always be alone.
But, if you finally let yourself fall,
I hope it healed you.

No fortune teller can see all.
But, there is one thing I know.
Looking to tomorrow and
believing you're there is all I need

By: Brett Merritt (me)

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Let's Stop Worrying About Being the Same

I love Utah and I love living here. But I don't always feel like I fit in. See, I'm a card-carrying Democrat. I voted for Obama (both times!!) I support Gay Marriage. I don't like BYU sports. I don't like U of U sports. I don't actually like sports (but that's a post for another day.)  I think we should have a law banning cell phone use in cars. I'm anti-gun. I let my kids watch a lot of TV and eat trans fats.

Did everyone stop reading? See, sometimes living here I feel like I have to keep a lot of those things secret. I'm not ashamed of them. I'm not ashamed of any of them, but I feel like I worry so much about fitting in, or offending people or whatever that sometimes I keep them hidden. Sometimes it's easier to smile and nod when people are talking about sports like I have ANY idea what they are saying. Or when people curse Obama for how he ruined their life, I usually keep my mouth shut.

I feel like in Utah...and parenting...and life, really, there is a strong desire to be just like everyone around you. Like maybe if you are not raising your kids or living your life the same way that everyone else is you are somehow failing. Or maybe everyone else is on to something that you have missed, so therefore they are all doing it better than you. (That's how I feel about the TV show Arrow. Like I've really failed at something because I am not watching Arrow.)

Obviously things like politics exacerbate that feeling of different-ness. With social media, our whole lives are on display to be judged and poked over. When I was in college I didn't necessarily know the political leanings of my friends unless we actually had a conversation about it. Now I can just check out some one's profile and infer a lot of things about their life based on which things they've liked. And it is easier and easier to surround yourself by people who think the exact same way that you do and assume that everyone else is clueless, or uninformed, or obtuse.

There was a talk at General Conference that's really stuck with me. Surprise: It was by every one's favorite GA Crush Fantasy, Elder Uchtdorf. But maybe, you didn't hear it yet because it was at Priesthood Session. (Maybe you did - I think there are about 10 readers of this blog who are male.) It was an amazing talk. I wanted to stand up on my chair and cheer, but I think that is frowned up. It's called Four Titles. Essentially the talk is about the role we all play here on Earth - how we are imperfect, but trying. And there was one section that really jumped out at me. President Uchtdorf said:

But while the Atonement is meant to help us all become more like Christ, it is not meant to make us all the same. Sometimes we confuse differences in personality with sin. We can even make the mistake of thinking that because someone is different from us, it must mean they are not pleasing to God. This line of thinking leads some to believe that the Church wants to create every member from a single mold—that each one should look, feel, think, and behave like every other. This would contradict the genius of God, who created every man different from his brother, every son different from his father. Even identical twins are not identical in their personalities and spiritual identities.
 It also contradicts the intent and purpose of the Church of Jesus Christ, which acknowledges and protects the moral agency—with all its far-reaching consequences—of each and every one of God’s children. As disciples of Jesus Christ, we are united in our testimony of the restored gospel and our commitment to keep God’s commandments. But we are diverse in our cultural, social, and political preferences. (Emphasis mine.)
I think what he was trying to say is that it is OK to not like BYU or U of U sports. And it's OK to make your own informed choices about how to raise your kids, even if it's not what your neighbor or sister is doing. And it's OK to be a Democrat. That is the genius of God. We live our lives, we do our best and we worry about our own Salvation, not our neighbors. The Atonement is there for everyone.

So let's stop trying to be the same. Let's respect each other and be OK with being different. You can be a Republican, or a Libertarian or whatever and I'll be a Democrat. You can be pro second amendment, and I'll be anti-gun.  But we can still be friends. But will you please tell me what is going on on Arrow? That show is
getting a lot of buzz and I feel like a failure that I'm not watching.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

puppies all over me

So here's a little commercial I made that is making the rounds on TV.  I shot it a few weeks ago, and it was directed by my friend Daryn Tufts. You know Daryn as Clarence in "Stalking Santa," the movie your parent's "didn't get" and which "wasn't as cute as the box made it look." Daryn is also responsible for casting me in everything he does, and I take this responsibility VERY SERIOUSLY so he has to, too.

Anyway. It was a fun shoot, and just half a day. But here are a few "behind the scenes" pieces of trivia!

We shot this in a house in SLC. The family was absent for the day except for a teenage kid who came home from school, scowled, and hid upstairs with video games.

The clients were worried about my beard. They almost didn't hire me. Daryn and I had to convince them that it was more "hipster" than "homeless." In the end, though, the client was right! I look homeless.

The beagle on my lap was super cute. He farted a little, but who doesn't? He nailed that yawn on his second take. He was really professional. He kind of has dog cancer, so he had a patch of shaved hair on his back. But don't worry, his prognosis is really good. He'll be yawning on couches and farting into laps for years to come.

The lady who supplied the puppies was probably twice as animated as they were. She loved those puppies! She kept bragging about how obedient and cute they were, but they were neither obedient or cute. I thought they smelled bad. And when the director would yell action they would just run off the set. (I know actors like that, too) Anyway, Daryn smeared chicken bits all over my bare chest and in my beard and it worked! The puppies went nuts. What you are seeing in this commercial is nine little puppies literally biting my chest and pulling my beard hair out! Hardest acting I've done in some time. It hurt. If you watch the commercial you'll see a wet spot on my shirt where they stuffed some wet, stringy chicken.

Commercials like this are shot in about four hours. Daryn is pretty great at keeping things moving. In fact, Lisa and Phoebe shot a commercial like this one just before I did. The best part of the day is free lunch. I never want it to end!

Monday, April 8, 2013

General Conference Recap

I remember watching a movie once where a man who had been in prison for most of his life was well into his twilight years when he was finally paroled. I’m guessing it was the late 1940s. He wrote a letter to his friends back in prison about how he was struggling in this new environment, and he noted, “The world went and got itself in a big hurry.” I remember it struck me that he considered the era of the 1940s to be “in a big hurry.”

The world is noisy, isn't it? It’s noisy and in a hurry and a lot of the time it seems like the noise is primarily distractions from what matters the most. Sometimes those distractions are fun--I’ll admit I’m distracted pretty easily. Sometimes I’m annoyed by the distractions; or I’m annoyed with myself for getting distracted and giving my devotion to "lesser things."  

Anyway, I've recently felt weary of the world. Do you ever get that sensation? It’s clearly my own fault. I think I have probably given excess time and attention to noisy things that really aren't worth such focus.  Somehow, maybe because the noise was so loud, I figured it must need my attention; and  it was getting it. And it exhausted me.

I almost felt like I was holding my breath for this General Conference. I don’t know if I've ever approached a Conference Weekend with a more prayerful heart. I was anxious to inhale it all, and I felt like what I was seeking came fast and powerful; like taking a drink of water from a fire hose.

As soon as Conference started, I felt it. I continued to feel reassurance throughout the entire weekend of who I am, what truth is, what is important, what nourishes me, where my happiness comes from, where safety is, and why divinity makes all the difference. I felt gratitude for leaders who love and sacrifice and know the Lord and never fear. I felt still. I thought it was a really great weekend. I hope you enjoyed it too!

Friday, April 5, 2013

A Writer's Body Language Cheat Sheet

Here at PTA we are very interested in the craft of writing (which for Patrick and Josh means sometimes writing about crafts) so it's important that we brush up our skills as we complete that first draft of that novel we've been working on.

One skill is that of making your characters more real. Here are some excerpts from a cheat sheet I found at ArchetypeWriting.com that will help writers add depth to their characters. I've added my own comments next to some selected signs for fun.

Signs of Anger 
  • Balling the fists - A new meaning for baller.
  • Crossing the arms tightly - Protecting the heart.
  • Tight-lipped smile - My usual smile.
  • Clenched teeth - My usual state of sleeping.
  • Shaking a finger like a club - I've never shaken a club. How would this look?
  • Stabbing a finger at someone - "Hey you! I know you! I know you!"

Signs of Attraction 
  • Pupils dilate - I've never been able to remember which on dilate is ... larger, right?
  • Women will cross and uncross legs to draw attention to them - Like the Rockettes, got it.
  • Mirroring - (usually unconsciously) mimicking the other person’s body language - If it were consciously, that would feel awkward.

Signs of Being Closed Off to Conversation 
  • Keeping the hands in the pockets - "Can't talk, I'm pocket texting."
  • Arms and legs crossed - My usual state of sitting.
  • Sitting back - It's more of a relaxed "I don't want to talk to you."
  • Folding the hands together on a table (creates a barrier)
  • The “figure-four” leg cross (setting the ankle of one leg on the knee of the other) and then grabbing the lower half of the top leg with both hands. - You lost me.

Opennesss and Honesty 
  • Exposure of the palms 
  • Arms and legs unfolded 
  • Leaning forward 

Submissive Signals 
  • Slumping the shoulders - Aka The Charlie Brown.
  • Doing anything to appear smaller - Like eating 1500 calories a day, amirite?!

  • Self-hugging - See your bishop.
  • Folding the hands together in front of the crotch (men) - No comment.

Lying causes a subtle tingling in the face and neck, so the gestures below are attempts to eliminate that feeling: 
  • Covering the mouth - can be like a shh gesture, or they may cover the mouth completely - "Cough."
  • Touching or rubbing the nose or below the nose - Picking isn't a lying tell; it's a disgusting tell. 
  • Rubbing the eyes (especially men) - I knew my allergies were a lie.
  • Scratching the neck with the index finger - Scratching with the middle finger is something else.

Superiority, Confidence, Power, Dominance 
  • Steepling the fingers - "Here's the church, here's the steeple, close the doors to all the poor people."
  • Folding the hands behind the back - I see a lot of Asian men walk like this.
  • Hands on hips - "Hey, Macarena!"
  • Straddling a chair - My favorite improv stage maneuver.
I hope this helps! Happy writing to all.

Get more writer helps here.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

A Counterpoint: Why I Love (Hate) Running

Me and my lovely family running the Leprechaun Lope.
I loved Patrick's post about hating running/ers. Not only because it was about how Patrick is becoming a runner, but also because I am narcissistic and it was really about me. You see, I am one of those annoying runners. And if you are a runner you love nothing more than seeing other people succumb to the cult of running.

Here is the real secret about running, however. (And no, this is not about how runners don't wear jock straps. You can read the comments on Patrick's post if you want to know what we really (don't) wear.) All of those runners your know - the people who obnoxiously post on Facebook about how many miles they did that day, or what race they are running this weekend - they all really hate running.

No one likes running, except gazelles, the Tahrahumara and that guy winning the race in that picture wearing the shorty shorts. Everyone likes how it feels when you are done running. There is a feeling of euphoria that you are finished and that you did something hard and that now you can eat several chocolate chip cookies guilt free. You see, the chocolate chip cookies are why we really run. You've heard of runner's high? That's cheesecake. Endorphins? Those are the cheese fries we eat guilt free post 10k. Exercise euphoria? Ice cream. Running a 10K = 1000 extra calories. That's a lot!

I guess I shouldn't speak for all runners. Maybe some really do love it. And I do get a certain sense of happiness setting off on a run on a beautiful sunny day. But if you told me tomorrow that I could burn the same number of calories reading articles on Buzzfeed than I could running, you better believe I would be spending 1 hour with An Analysis Of The Unwinnable Spice Girls Vs. Hanson Debate. (Duh, Spice Girls all the way. Once I had a dream that I was best friends with the Spice Girls and they called me Timber Spice and I was always really mad that everyone was so hard on them. Wait...Did I just type that out loud?)

When I found out Patrick was serious and was going to really run, I had some unsolicited advice to offer. (It's the best kind!) And if you, gentle reader, want to take up running as well (read: eat more cupcakes) then you can share in this advice.

  • Start slow. When I started running I remember thinking that no matter what, I would never be able to run a mile without stopping. I just thought that my body would literally be unable to EVER do that, no matter how long I trained for. Eventually you get a mile in. And then a couple more. So don't worry if you can't run 10 miles (or 10 yards) on your first run.
  • Run outside. For the love of all that is holy, don't run on a treadmill. Treadmills are boring and terrible and mind numbing and not for beginning runners. And in most parts of the country now is a perfect time to be outside. Not cold, but still cool enough that you don't die.
  • Find a friend. That's really why all us idiots post on Facebook about our runs. So we can find the other runners. Having made a running date with someone makes it a whole lot tougher to talk yourself out of it. My running partner is about 8 years younger than me and significantly more in shape than I am. This helps too, because I do longer and tougher runs than I would do on my own because I don't want to appear weak.
  • Find a 5K and train for it. Yes, it is really annoying to pay someone $25 for the privilege of running. But they are a lot of fun and their are other runners and adrenalin and lots of crazies to make fun of later. In fact, if you are up for a run next Saturday, I'll be at the Racin' for Greyson 5K to raise money for my friends son who has a disease that is so rare he is basically the only kid with it. I'll be the tallest bald guy there. Come say "Hi!"
So get out your dance belts, or jock straps or whatever you want to run in and come... join our cult. (Also, please wear pants on top of your dance belt.) Think of how many instagrams of race finishing times you can post! Think of all the Facebook status updates you can have talking about your amazing 7 miles you just did. But really, think of the chocolate chip cookies that you will eat and tell yourself, "Yes! I will have another! Because I ran 7 miles today and tweeted, instagramed, four-squared and facebooked all my friends letting them know that I did. My body craves it." They'll never know you are really talking about the cookie. 

stay away!

I know I'm being a little Cassandra about this right now, but I want to urgently warn you: DO NOT GO SEE ANY MOVIES RIGHT NOW. Resist them. Save your money and hold your breath until I say so.

There are basically two periods of the year to see a movie: late May to August, and November to December. The first period is summer movies and the second period is Oscar season. You are generally assured of some quality entertainment. The rest of the year? Dumping grounds. I'm not kidding. Going to a movie in March or April is like scavenging for food in The Road. You will search and search and you will only find pits of gravel and the occasional scratchy tin can of peaches. You've been warned.

I remember so many of my friends were super excited about that Gangster Squad movie. Looked so sexy and decadent! What a cast! What could go wrong? Answer: everything went wrong. And once I saw the January release date I knew it was going to go over like a pregnant hurdler. You can't actually pay me to set foot in a Cinemaplex in January. Every movie is going to be teens with magic powers or something Mark Wahlberg pooped out. There's going to be some movie with a hot wife who gets kidnapped by the mob and her awesome-sauce husband who will stop at nothing to get her back. There's likely to be a fairy tale story updated to be empowering and booty kickin'. Also, something with Brendan Fraser. You will want to burn your eyes and divorce your spouse.

Interested in what's playing now? How about GI Joe: Retaliation? Anyone tempted by Tyler Perry's Temptation? Please, by all means, give The Host a shot. You hate yourself, right? You like to light dollar bills on fire, yes?

Honestly, just hold on. The light will come. It's almost Memorial Day and you'll get to see Iron Man 3 and The Great Gatsby and Star Trek: Into Darkness. You know, movies the studios actually spent money on. Please don't catch yourself going to see something because it "looks cute" or your "mom liked it." We are in an economic downturn, people! You can't afford this! In the meantime you have a Bible miniseries on the DVR and that BBC Midwife show you want to hurry and watch so you can tell everyone you were the first person to watch it before it turned into Downton Abbey.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

I hate Running...and 'ers.

Oh, you all know the type: once you were good friends, and you hung out a lot together at places with the words 'Hut' or 'O'Ramma' in the title and then something changed and they became distant and aloof. And then, after a time, they started looking at you with sort of a mix of pity and superior understanding....well, you guessed it, your friend is now a runner.

Yes, yes, it happens all the time, "Something just had to change," they say, "We're not 21 any more and I can't eat the way I used to." Well who cares, I say?! I'M still 21 and as long as I can have my Tums/Alka Seltzer cocktail I can eat whatever the beans I want...only not beans. And who asked you!?

Anyway, I'm sick of it.  Too many good friends have gone to the dark side...some of whom post on this blog. It's true, some of these guys, whose posts you skim every other day of the week, are runners. I won't name names, I am a professional, but you may have noticed that Josh gave away 'Earbuds' and not 'Milk Duds' on his giveaway.

So what to do about it?!  That is the question. I hate to complain with out a solution. Well, I have a scheme. I have to say I'm pretty excited about it.  It's cunning and devious in all the best ways. How can I possibly take those runners down from where I sit? I can't. They are much to quick. And so, in an effort to slap those smug self satisfied smiles straight off their faces, I'm getting off the couch.  I will run.  I will prove that the body's natural state is plump, stationary, and in flip flops.  I will dispel the myth that runners love the most, "Yeah, it was hard at first, but now my body craves it and I just can't get anything done until I've got my run in." HOGWASH!  Your body craves chunky peanut butter on a spoon, shoved into a half pound bag of milk chocolate chocolate chips! It does not crave running! Je deteste! And there is no other way to prove it than for me to run till blood spews from my eye sockets and I collapse, mangled and dead, from their lies.

Here is the plan.  I will run every day.  I have too, I can't leave room for their running lawyers to say I didn't do it right.  I will run every day.  I've already had push back from the few runners I've enlightened,  though I would expect nothing less, OF COURSE they would tell me not to do it, OF COURSE they would tell me that going from a primarily sedimentary life style to a wildly rigorous one would be a bad idea, and I say, "THAT'S MY POINT!" if you body needs that much coaxing to do something, then don't make it do it!

So, I will run every day.  But for how long...?Okay, so today is the first of April, so I'll run everyday for a year...no, wait, seven years....no, then I will just be a runner and I MUST NOT let that happen...oh yes, my stupid sister-in-law (she's not that stupid, she just graduated from some east coast university, but I'm enjoying the venom of my righteousness) my STUPID sister in law said it takes one month for the body to really enjoy running...again, I'm sure I could get my body to enjoy being eaten by a crocodile if I gave it a month!

I will run every day for a month.  Perfect. But what about soreness? No doubt my rereading this post will fire me up with vengeance enough to run a thousand millennia, but when my legs are sore then I'm just useless. For reals, once I made my wife carry me up a flight of five stairs three days after a most exhausting walk up a trail in the mountains, you can read all about that calamity here.  Alright, so I will run everyday for a month, but just enough not to get sore.  I'm not going for quality here, I am going for the bare minimum here, just so I can check their check list (notice they don't actually have such a check list) and prove they are crazy zelots who lure unwitting fatties into their sugar free Kool-Aid drinking cult!  (I've never been on this side of a 'Cult' conversation, it's nice) A CULT!! Supported by running shoe corporations and jock strap manufactures... woah, do you think I need a jock strap? I've never had one...NO! BARE MINIMUM! That's my motto and that's what you can put on my tomb stone, that and 'It was the lies of runners that put him here! I hope you're happy.'

Alright, what time is it...8:41?! Good Heavens! Well, I can't run tonight, it's getting dark...or is it?!  That's what those runners would have me think!  I bet they are responsible for this daylight savings crap! I WILL RUN EVERY DAY!  I will run so you don't have too. Stay put my comrades, I will be the Trojan Horse they never see coming!  My only fear is that Men's Health doesn't pull a Tonya Harding on my, now, late night run.  Well, hope they can catch me! Of course they can catch me...I'm gonna have to wear all dark clothing and keep to the shadows.

Stay strong for me gentle readers! I will maintain a journal and keep you abreast of all the horrors which will undoubtedly follow.

I'm gonna have to shave my head.

And if you don't support this in anyway, then keep quiet.  We know you are a runner and just trying to quell the truth. If you have any pro running comments you can shove them here on Josh's, 'Thoughts on Running' post...though I've never read it myself. Who knows what kind of propaganda he's pitching over there?

Good news!  I may not have a Jock Strap but I did dig out my old dance belt... hang on...it sorta FITS! OKAY!! I'M OFF! START THE COUNT DOWN! ONE DAY DOWN!

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