Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Cirque du Soleil

I own a cat.  His name is Hector Ayala.  He is a very inquisitive cat who is also tremendously fearful of loud noises, slippers, and large people.  I also live with a large deafening man.  Hector tends to spring into the air whenever there is something loud or big coming at him.  The large man thoroughly enjoys these kinds of reactions.

One day Hector Ayala, named for The White Tiger from Spiderman comics, was wandering the living room.  He was minding his own business smelling my guitar.  He loves to smell things.  I tend to believe that he has a nose fetish.  So, he was sniffing around, when all of a sudden, the cable went out.  There was a thunderous noise of static coming from the television.  I heard a thud from under the end table.  I muted the gargantuan boob tube and peered around the sofa.  Hector was twitching his head around looking for the source of the mysterious commotion. 


I held back a laugh while watching him walk over to the now muted television.  I waited and watched, which is a great way to discover something wonderful.  As soon as he put his front legs on the TV stand I took the television off of mute.  He leaped into the air and did somewhat of a back flip.  I thought to myself, "Hector would have a lucrative career in the circus."  The thought of becoming a stage mom brought me back to reality.  I decided not to try making millions with an acrobatic cat. 

Hector had worked up the courage to start smelling the TV again.  Stupid cat.  I took it off of mute again and he skyrocketed once more.  This time there was a great roar of laughter coming from my direction.  He gave me a look of pure loathing.  I could tell he was thinking, "You imbecilic human, if ever I develop thumbs, it shall be the end of you."  He is much more eloquent than I. 

I decided to not push my luck anymore with the wondrous sound of static from the television… after the sixth time.  

Monday, October 13, 2008

The Games of Potatoes

My mom died when I was 13 years old, which is probably why I have such a sunny outlook on life.  When people complain about things that don't really seem to matter, I tend to think, "What the crap does this have to do with anything?"

I lived with my grandmother for a short time during my adolescence.  My help would often be requested for things such as vacuuming, taking out the garbage, and cooking.  On one such occasion my grandmother asked me to wash, peel, and cut the potatoes for dinner. 

Smallville was on and I found the lead actor, Tom Welling, to be quite dreamy.  With much grumbling I made my way to the kitchen.  This was a very hard thing for me.  After all, Tom Welling is really beautiful.

I got to the sink and with a great fiery ball of fury building in the pit of my stomach I silently washed the potatoes.  As I was doing this, my grandmother was getting out a pot.  She came to the sink and said, "You don’t need to stand right in the middle of the there.  Other people need to use the sink as well." 

The fire grew.

I finished and began to the peel the potatoes.  She came back to the check on the progress of the boiling water.  She glanced over… there was suddenly an arctic chill in the air.  "You shouldn't push so hard when you peel.  You're wasting too much potato."

Fiery darts suddenly shot forth from my eye and her head burst into flames. The sound of Smallville in the background brought me back to reality.  My mood was no longer victorious but there was defeat in its place.  I could feel the fireball growing. 

I quickly finished peeling started to chop the spuds.  First, I cut them in half around the middle and then in quarters, then eights. 

I heard the sound of slippers on linoleum.  It was grandma again.  I clenched my teeth.  I was hoping she would keep the criticism to herself.  I was stupid then. 

"You're cutting them wrong.  You should cut them lengthwise first!"  She grabbed the knife from me and said, "Oh, I'll just do it myself." 

The fireball extinguished.

I just smiled sweetly to myself as I sat back down to watch the rest of Smallville.  There are always winners in the games of potatoes.  

The End

I love and miss my grandmother.  I feel unbelievably lucky to have had such a weird/wonderful time with her.  She gave me so much to be grateful for including a lot of really funny stories!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Everyone's A Comic

There is something distressing about having to make small talk with strangers.  When working retail, this is a common occurrence.  For a short time you are a small part of their life.

Retail customers actually feel they can make a difference in the dismal lives of cashiers.  They know if they make a "quippy" remark on how much they are spending, it will transform this brainless job into something worthwhile.  As if hearing stale jokes over and over will somehow fill the hollow void this numbing job leaves with you. 

In one day I heard six different people, as they handed me cash, say, "Hope those uhr' good.  I just printed em' this mornin."  These remarks are always followed with, what I can only describe as, great Appalachian laughter.  Something inside me snaps each time I hear these poor attempts at humor.

A short time ago I was working at cashier station three.  There was an endless line.  I said, "I can help who's next over here."  

This greasy man walked up and said, "Hello cashier #3.  Is that really your name?" 

I made a sad attempt at laughter and felt my soul shudder.  I asked, "Did you find everything alright?"

"I found a little more than I was wantn'.  Those sales guys is good", said the grotesque man standing before me. 

I quickly decided that there would be no more conversation between the grease monster and myself.  I ran the transaction through as fast as possible and he kept trying to make ridiculous comments about the store and how "perty" everything was.  After I finished the transaction, wincing a little, I asked, "Is there anything else I can do for you?

He replied, "Well it seems I just spent a monster truck load of money here.  You got a million dollars I can have?"  There was a roar of thunderous hillbilly laughter and I closed my eyes for a second to imagine myself anywhere but cashier station #3.


Thursday, September 25, 2008

Who Do I Think I Am?

Okay, I know The Dark Knight was a while ago but I was looking at some of my old photos and found this one.  This is us in my apartment wearing the t-shirts that Brando made for all of us for the premier of The Dark Knight.  He worked really hard on them.  He first drew the picture, then made a positive and negative stencil, then he used an acrylic paint and then heat set them with the iron.  It was a lot of work but I think it was worth it.  I still wear mine all the time... in fact that is what I am wearing right now... how strange that I wrote 'I wear them all the time' without realizing I was wearing the exact t-shirt I was talking about.  Man, I am so self absorbed!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

I have been very busy.  I have decided that I am going to start writing down the stories from my youth.  I have been using all of the crazy days that I spent with my grandmother.  I really want to be able to remember them forever because they are some of the most interesting human interaction stories I have.  
I have also been writing stories from work a lot.  There are always really great stories whenever you have access to the general public.  There are some really strange people out there.  
I don't keep a journal but I figure this will be a great way for my children to look back on my life.  Besides, I really enjoy writing.  It is a great release when something has gone wrong in the day and I can find a way to put humor into it.  I guess that has always been one of my talents.  I am not saying that I will be the great American novelist or anything but I really do like it.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

The Luck of the Draw

I hope no one has tired of hearing my tales from that ever so gentle work environment of mine because I have another.  

I woke up and could tell the day had an ominous black cloud hovering over it.  On Labor Day I was working in the customer service department.  This was supposed to be good news, as I would not have to deal with nearly as many customers waiting in line to buy merchandise.

I woke up with a feeling of great dismay, as I knew that even though I was working in the customer service department it would still be busy and I would be dealing with grouchy customers. 

The night before there had been a torrential downpour that had found its way through my car window.  I arrived at work with a cold wet, butt.  Not happy.  I pulled into a spot, noticing all of the people in line, turned off the car, and got out.  As soon as I got out there was this man... lets call him moped man who was blocking the way to get into the building.  I decided to do something out of my nature and I smiled and said, "Hello."  He just looked at me and said, "You can't park there.  Park across the street."  I got back into my soaking wet car and drove across the street.  The parking lot there was full though so I decided to parallel-park on the street... not my best talent but I managed.  

As I got out of the car I saw a monstrous puddle going the entire width of the street.  I had no choice, I had to try and jump across.  You can only guess what happened.  Yes, I misjudged my vertical leap abilities and landed right in the middle of the puddle.  I had a nice shiny shoe full of muddy puddle water.  

I walked into the store, fuming, and told one of my supervisors about it... he laughed.  I guess my anguish is funny.  The rest of the day was fine until my very last service call.  

I answer a call and there is a woman on the phone who tells me she has a gift card from R.C. Willey that she was unable to use and was wondering when it would be activated.  I did a gift card search on her account and came up with no active gift cards.  I then looked in the open orders screen and found a gift card attached to her open order.  It said that it was voided so I inquired a little further.  It turns out she had already been issued another gift card for that same order for more money.  As you can guess, you are only supposed to be issued one gift card per order and I explained this to the lady.  Then I told her that the gift card that had been issued to her had already been used towards fabric protection on the order she received the gift card for.  She then got huffy and said, "Who authorized that to be put on a gift card."  I told her that it was her sales associate who put it towards her order.  Then her husband gets on the phone and I tell him the whole story and he says, "I want to talk to someone who's competent... Get me to my sales associate!"  Then he proceeded to swear rather loudly in my ear.  I said, "Sir you need to calm down so I can help you."  He continued to swear and again called me incompetent and asked for someone else so I said, "No sir, I will not get you to someone else" and hung up the phone.  

I was thinking of a career in sniping.  I feel that it would do a lot for my people skills, because I would not have to try to develop them anymore.   

Sunday, August 17, 2008

In or Out... Just Pick One

Often times I have to question why?  The other day, the question was , "Why are the "I" and the "O" keys right next to each other on the keyboard.  
Often, I will be punching in or out and will clumsily type the wrong letter.  This I blame on the ages of drunken Irish ancestors... I believe that their boos infused clumsiness somehow attached itself onto me.  
Anyways, when this happens I have to go to a supervisor to make my punches accurate.  This is just one of the many perks to RC Willey still making use of the dos system.  Yes, the dos system!  Once in a while I make these mistakes and it always seems to be when there is only one supervisor on duty so I have to wait for them to be finished with whatever task someone is having them help with.  Our office is broken up into three departments... Cashiers (the easiest job ever), Credit, and Customer Service.  A few weeks ago the office supervisor of the night was over in the credit department helping someone explain something completely obvious to a customer when I had mistakenly punched in instead of punching out.  
I walked over and was waiting for him to finish.  He was explaining that she was an authorized user on her husband's account and that she was not equally responsible for the account so she could not know any specific information about the account... just make purchases on it.  After he explained this, she then said, "Well that is the most sexist thing I have ever heard", in a rather loud and condescending tone.  I held back a laugh while I was listening to Jon, the supervisor of the evening, explain that it was in fact not sexist but it was just the way her husband and she had filled out the credit application.  As they would have had to mark authorized user when adding her to the account. She then says, "Well this is the most backwards place in the world. I cannot believe that a business, in this day and age, can operate on such a sexist system."  She then turned around and walked away to pay her bill at the cashiers.  
I realized after I had my punches fixed, that if the "I" and the "O" keys where not next to each other that I would not have been witness to that incredible display of feminist protest.  I have now received a great appreciation for the dos system and all of it's dysfunction!  

Tuesday, July 29, 2008


Please forgive me for ranting and bringing up all these old news stories but today I felt a little overrun with somewhat uninformed political opinions. While I truly believe that every one should form their own opinions on these subjects and that they should make those opinions known during a conversation like this, I also believe that they should have it fully formed and be knowledgable about the subject.

The presidential race came up and someone brought up the fact that they hate Obama. That's fine they can go ahead and hate him all they want but they started spouting about how they would die if he was in office because he is so unpatriotic. They referenced the picture of Barack Obama not putting his hand over his heart during the National Anthem and the fact that he doesn't wear an American flag pin on his shirt. They said, "He refuses to state the pledge of allegiance or wear a pin on his shirt."

How dare he... Can you feel the sarcasm dripping from that question? I can.

I believe that patriotism isn't shown through visual acts such as those. I believe that patriotism is an action. Actions such as paying your taxes, respecting government authority (even if you don't agree with their policies), respecting officers, following the constitution, and following the laws. I do not believe that wearing a little aluminum flag pin on your lapel makes you more patriotic than the rest. I do not believe that etiquette like placing your hand over your heart makes you respectful to our country. After researching several reputable news web pages I found no substantiated documentation or video showing good old Barack refusing to pledge allegiance to our flag. This leads me to believe that it was just rumor.

Now that I am done ranting about uninformed opinions on situations, not policies, I can leave you with my thought on this rather delicate subject. If people choose not to like him as a nominee for president, I believe they should base those opinions on policy, not hearsay.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

would you trust your child with this woman?

This is my BYU ID card, which is something I need to do laundry for cheep since we live on campus.  Brandon keeps telling me that it looks like one of those photos that police send around to neighborhoods warning them of murderers, sexual predators, and/or stalkers.  I think it is a picture of a lovely girl just having a rough day before she even got a shower... It seems to me that he is just jealous of my natural good looks.  I mean come on people it's not like he can just roll out of bed, throw on a sweatshirt, and look so beautiful and kindly.  I guess I'm just one of the few lucky.  And just for the record... Brandon's picture looks like he is a little boy who is pouting because his mom won't buy him a slurpee! HAAAAAAAAA!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Nothing Can Compare

To  all of you who are thinking AWE HOW CUTE!!!!!!!!!!! and are oozing with a heart warming sensation, let me tell you how all of my clothes are covered in smelly Selina Kyle hair... Ok, so this is kind of cute.  What happened was, I came home from work the other day and usually Selina Kyle comes right to me and wants me to hold her and snuggle her and give her scratches.  There was no Selina for about 20 minutes so I decided to investigate.  I looked in the tub because that's where she likes to play.  I looked in the closet because that's where she hides from Hector.  I looked under everything and on top of everything... No Selina Kyle... I began feeling a little worried simply because I thought she got out, somehow, and we are not exactly... allowed to have any kind of animal in our apartment... SHHHH!! So I decided it was time to go get dressed and go find her when I went into the bedroom and went to the dresser and found her there asleep.  I got a little frustrated that I hadn't noticed her there at all during what I thought was a very thorough search.  Then she woke up and looked up at me and started purring and meowing for me to pick her up... So I turned and left the room without her because I needed to get the camera so I could document this unforgivable act.  

The Hector Lebowski

Does anyone else see the insane resemblance?  I think they were twins separated at birth.  I was in the bedroom the other day while Brandon, Brett, and Britt were out in the living room.  They kept hearing me going JEEZE!!!! or AWE CRAP!!!!!!!!!!!  Surprisingly, no questions came with those outbursts until I finally yelled YES!!!!!!!  I was trying to get this picture of Hector as The Big Lebowski.  It was really frustrating because he kept moving and getting really angry.  He was making these high pitched growls and in the back of my mind I was thinking, "Is he supposed to make that noise?"  It took about five minutes, which may not seem long but for a picture with a crazy cat it is.  I think it was totally worth it though because now John Goodman can finally have proof that he is one with a cat... Won't he be so pleased? 

Monday, June 30, 2008

The Lindsey Tree

Well I did it! I finally did it.  I have put it off for years now.  I have always wanted to know a little more about my heritage but I really thought the process would be painful.  I still think that traditional genealogy is something that would bore me to no end.  I was curious about the origins of my ancestors' surnames though so I looked into it.  I found my Scottish clan, which was most exciting.  I knew that I was Irish, Scottish, Welsh, and English but I wasn't sure where that all fit in.  The Coat of Arms where hard to find w/o paying for them but it was good to just see them.  

My great grandmother Eva's surname being Griffith is of Welsh origin.  The family motto on our crest is Firmitas Et Sanitas, which means Strength and Sanity.  I know some of you are laughing about the sanity part... I'm still scratching my head on that part too.  I'm not sure what part of Whales it originated though.  

My grandmother Alice's surname was Hannah Scottish in decent.  From the Clan Hannay. The earliest version of Hannah I could find was Hannay, of Sorbie Tower in Galloway.  Our family motto is Per ardua ad alta, meaning, Through difficulties to the heights.

My mother's name being Deborah Willis is English.  The name is found first in Berkshire England.  There is no motto that is found.  It is a very ancient name apparently!

Now, my maiden name, Blake, is Irish/English.  Started out as Lake from England then my ancestors moved to Ireland.  The name has, apparently, many different spellings in ancient records some include Blake, Caddell, Caddle, and others (not really sure how blake and Caddell are the same).  The Crest motto is Virtus sola Nobilitat, which translates to virtue alone ennobles or virtue alone is nobility.  

It was really fascinating learning about my family's names and meanings.  I have always prided myself in being Irish and Scottish and now I have a little more to say when people ask more into it then "UHHHHHH!"  I hope this has inspired you to look a little deeper into your ancestry.  I don't think I will ever enjoy searching for names and doing genealogy in the traditional sense but it's certainly nice learning a little more about where I came from because like I said before I knew nothing of it.  

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

I have to rant a little.  Ever since Brandon and I have gotten married, though wonderful as it has been, we have missed pretty much every incredible concert there has been.  The latest was of course the Sasquatch Festival.  I have been reading about it and it was freaking amazing, apparently.  Not only did I miss David Bazan's debut performance as David Bazan and the Black Clouds but apparently Rainn Wilson was there, just hanging out.  A few others include Modest Mouse, Death Cab for Cutie (whose new album is awsome) and many more, many more!  Brandon and I went to see David Bazan playing a few of his new songs.  It was pretty perfect but I need more.  I cannot see why I am destined to rot here in Provo while all the musical genius is in Portland.  I really feel like I have been cursed.  Well I guess I'm mostly upset because of my dreadful day!  
This is how I feel right now.  I know that those of you who have not seen me in a while are very alarmed, so to ease you, I have not turned into a creepy old man but have caught a nasty cold.  So I am now writing in my Sudafed induced state a blog about how crappy it is to have a cold.  Today I did have to go to work and was sniffing and blowing all day.  Then a wonderful coworker said, "I was sick last week and believe me, I would much rather have you have, then what I had."  As you can tell that immediately set me at ease... Did the sarcastic nature of that comment come through in my writing?  I guess she was trying to make me feel better in her own awkward way.  I was thinking the whole day that if only I could find a way sharpen a pencil enough I could end my misery but now that I am drugged I feel much better...

Wednesday, May 14, 2008



Saturday, April 19, 2008

This is a silhouette of Hellboy Hellbabies.  Brandon had a project to create an idea for a toy and he thought of Hellboy characters that where smaller.  I called them Hellbabies and the name sort of stuck.

This is one of the pictures that Brandon drew.  He made it for his blog page but I really enjoy it.