Saturday, May 24, 2003

on the john 2.5: You might miss it...

It has been a little longer then my self proclaimed goal of once a month since my last letter. In all honesty, life has slowed down to a comfortable pace. Now I have a chance as stated by Ferris Bueller to "stop and look around once in a while..."

Don't get me wrong, I'm still really busy, and the scheming and dreaming hasn't ceased. However the bombardment of major life events has hit a lull, and I'm grateful for it. Especially since it allows me to reflect a little bit more on not such profound and significant events like marriage, child birth, and family. Rather I can comment on some of life's less interesting quandaries.

For example it has come to my attention that snacking is no longer as easy as it used to be. A snack consists essentially of a food item and a beverage. It used be that you could get a can of soda for 50 cents, and then your food item; chip/candy bar for 50 cents. One crisp neatly folded dollar bill was all you needed for snacking bliss. It was so convenient.

Today you need a few cents more. It’s not the extra 15-30 cents that’s so annoying, it's the fact that in order to do the same, you need the extra coins to accompany your bill, these are easily lost and sometimes can ruin a snacking adventure. I'm not saying we should sic President Bush on the matter, it's just a little annoyance that will not go away until they put card readers in vending machines, or that whole bar-code in the forehead thing comes along.

In reality, the foremost thought lingering in my mind is this new "feeling/emotion" that suddenly plagues my life. I've always heard about it, people always told me that it was a problem, but I've never really encountered it. I'm talking about stress! What is the horrid beast that brings out this part of me I hope to quickly extinguish. It's called responsibility.

Amazing how life changes when you care about somebody other than yourself isn't it. I remember very confidently in the past saying that I didn't get stressed. It was true. Really the two biggest worries in life were achieving an even guy to girl ratio at one of the numerous parties I threw, and making sure I arrived at the theater early enough on opening night to get my favorite seat. I really was only concerned with myself. Who I was dating, how I felt, what I did. I slipped into a comfortable, lazy, careless life style.

Now however, caring about only me is no longer an option. I have somebody else to worry about. Suddenly instead of thinking "How am I ever going to complete this mission with this wimpy gun"* I think "Where are we going to be in five years, what bills have I not paid, how can we possibly afford that, and does anyone know how to install a garbage disposal?" In retrospect I sometimes wish I had worried about things like this before... maybe I'd have some of these questions figured out.

Although, even though I'm new at worrying about things like this I suspect it does no good. All the sudden all those talks my Mom gave me seem to make sense though. I realize that there is more to life than remembering the "30 guys" code for Contra**. I'm no where near a nervous breakdown or anything, and I would still consider myself a little less worrisome than some. However, responsibility is still a concern looming over me. Luckily, I'm all ready working on a 5 year plan on eliminating this whole stress hogwash. I won’t reveal my secret formula, but it includes:
Cameron Daley, College, the CBS hit reality TV show Survivor, Nintendo
Game Cube, and large amounts of Flaming Hot Cheeto's. I'll let you know how it turns out.

For the update on how our marriage is going... (which still is the #1 query I hear) it's good. It's great really. We've made all the necessary compromises, for example: In church she opens the Hymn book and finds the page, then I hold the book for the duration of the song. She vacuums and I mow the lawn. She makes sure we get in bed early, and I make sure we wake up early. She plans the trips and I drive on the trips. She brings common sense, reality, spirituality, compassion, and good health practices into the relationship. I bring humor, spontaneity, optimism, and leave the seat down. We will reach the end of our first six months in a couple weeks. The firsts two weeks were fantastic, the next 16 weeks were turbulent, and now it's terrific.

Our puppy dog, Vodka is now 4 1/2 months old. When we got him 12 weeks ago he weighed 11 pounds. Yesterday we took him to the vet to get his final set of puppy shots, and he weighed 46.9 lbs. He is a really good dog, house trained and graduating from puppy kindergarten on Wednesday. He can sit, lie down, and stand up on command. We will advance him through further training in an attempt to teach him to turn on and off the lights, fetch my flip flops, and to never get diarrhea again.

Finally, I wanted to address something very dear to my heart. My wife.
No, not how much I love her, or how beautiful, charming, and sweet she is. What I wanted to refer to was her name. Now please don't take this personal, I had the same problem for the first month we dated. What needs to be addressed is the pronunciation of her name. Her name is spelled L-A-R-A. Not L-O-R-A, or L-A-U-R-A. (in the following sentences words contained within [] are "sounds like")The most common mistake (which I was guilty of for the first little while) is to call her [LORE-UH] as this is the most common variation of pronunciation for names of this type. Those who read the name will commonly say her name is [LAIR-UH] this is a horrid mistake and any offenders should seek penance within their various belief system. Her name is [LAR-UH] like unto [CAR-UH], [TAR-UH], or [JAR-UH].

The etymology of her name is as follows, it comes from a Greek legend. There was this Naiad named Lara. A Naiad is a Nymph that rules over a body of water. Anyway, she turned in Zeus for cheating on his wife. As a Result, Zeus had his son Hermes, (who also was his messenger, kind of like his right hand man) take Lara to Hades (the Underworld). On their trip, they got busy, and Lara conceived twin sons called "The Lares". The Lares became the protectors of the crossroads and defenders of the peace. After the Greeks demise, the Romans adopted the word Lar as a spirit which protected a household (this due to the aforementioned legend). When Julius Caesar died he was believed to be the "Lar of Rome". Which gives the name Lara its current meaning, "famous one." As a result, the Great Granddaughter of Julius Caesar was named Lara, which in-turn brought the name out of obscurity and into civilization. Then with Rome covering vast parts of Europe it became a common place all over the continent.

Famous Lara's in our generation include the ever popular Lara Croft of
"Tomb Raider", Superman's mother was named Lara (the one on the planet
Krypton who actually gave birth to him), and from Boris Pasternak's novel "Doctor Zhivago" Lara was the female protagonist. The latter is actually the Lara which inspired my wife's parents to name her Lara. So anyway, that’s her name, that’s how you pronounce it, it's a real name, and very common. So try to get it right. My wife of course is far too sweet and kind, to ever say anything or correct mistakes, but she likes her name the way it's supposed to be and since I have neither of those quality's (sweet/kind) I figured I'd set the record strait.

Well, thanks for listening... until next time, I hope to see you at a family function, social outing, or maybe you could stop by one of my soccer games***.


P.S. I once again have lost my phone, including all phone #'s. Please send me yours again! Also I got a new phone with a digital camera in it so I can take your photo, and then when you call me your face pops up, pretty cool huh.

*This is a reference to Rock Star Games "Grand Theft Auto: Vice City" a popular video game available on Play Station 2.
**Contra is an old video game available on the original Nintendo Entertainment System (NES). There is a code that needs to be punched in via the control pad during the opening presentation which allows a player to have 30 guys or lives instead of the usually allotted three.
The code is UP, UP, DOWN, DOWN, LEFT, RIGHT, LEFT, RIGHT, B, A, SELECT, START. Everybody who was anybody (females excluded) that grew up in the late 80's knew this code, and it would probably scare you how many of those people you know still have it memorized.
***For those who aren't aware, I my brother and many of our mutual friends play on an outdoor men’s soccer team. If you are interested in attending a game, Please contact John Maxim at 801-541-0849.

"You know the world's gone mad when the best rapper is a white guy,
the best golfer is a black guy, the tallest guy in the NBA is Chinese,
the Swiss hold the American Cup, France is accusing the USA of
arrogance and the Germans don't want to go to war!"

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