Tuesday, March 25, 2008

The floor is fixed!

It was a cool Saturday morning, the kind where one feels like being manly and getting some work done on his house. Many readers remember the tale of John Maxim's living room floor caving in at his New Years Uber-party. John decided finally it was time to make the necessary repairs to his floor. His highly qualified outstanding handyman/ contractor friend, Dan Beynon, had taken on the task of fixing the floor. The home, built roughly between 1867 and 1875 had been well cared for over the years. It took the gyrating weight of 400+ dancing party goers to damage it. Dan had a solution that didn't cost six or seven thousand dollars. He agreed that if John helped and feed him for the day that he would do it pro-bono.

Five of the floor joists cracked and gave way. After speaking with a couple architects and contractors and having one civil engineer come by and take a gander, the plan was set. First they would need to jack-up the floor. John scored a jack which used to be his Grandpa's that is probably almost as old as the house. However the 30 ton jack still worked great. They cut a 4x4 piece of wood and had it "T" into another 4x4, and the proceeded to jack up the floor. It was a little nerve racking. The floor had dropped almost 5 inches as you can see from how high the jack moved. With each jack (this can be used as a verb right?), the old house creaked and moaned, while little bits of dust and dirt dropped from unknown crevasses.

After getting the floor level again, Dan installed support beams, which consisted of a cement footing and another 4x4 beam cut to fit. Then (this is one of the few parts John helped with) John would hammer the beam into place with a sledge hammer. Our hero's repeated the process putting in a total of three beams. They positioned the beams directly under the area in the floor where all the stress was occurring that lead to the break.

Once the beams were in place Dan put new joists (10x2 boards) alongside the old cracked joists. He screwed the two joists together. The old original wood was so strong that Dans power drill stripped through 6 phillips head bits. Three or four times the screws themselves would just twist off, because the screw could go no deeper into the old wood. Dan explained that this is because the wood used to build the old house was "virgin timber". Lumber today is cut from trees that grow quickly in 5 to 10 years. 100 years ago carpenters used trees which had been around a lot longer and were much stronger. John sat on the dirt under his home and marvelled at the stability of his home while he stared at a 100 year old tree stump that the original builders just left in and built the house over.

With the joists doubled up and resting on the beams Dan installed double "joist hangers" in and around each joist. This was especially hard again because of the "virgin timber" and Dan got tired and made John screw in a bunch of these... but, after ripping a few screws and stripping one of the bits Dan realized that John was a pansy, and finished the chore. The whole project took just under 5 hours.

What did this little endeavor cost:
$24 = Three 8ft 4x4 posts
$12 = Four pre-cast cement footings
$18 = Two 10ft 10x2 boards
$12 = Five double joist hangers
$4 = Two Strawberry Gatorade's
$5 = Bunch of 3" screws
$12 = Carl's Junior for two
$100 = Payment to Dan despite his objections.
$187 = Total
I was able to get an interview with John afterwords:
Will you be throwing any other party's after the damage that the last one caused?
As I promised when it happened, fixing the floor will give me an excuse to throw another party. I'll even call it, "the floor is fixed" party.
You're not at all worried about any other structural issues?
No, I am completely confident in Dan's ability's. Besides this one cost me less than $200, I almost would have paid someone that much to break my floor during a party just for the story.
Do you date single mothers?
Uh... I don't see what that has to do with the floor.
Just a question I think my readers would appreciate?
Oh, well sure. I don't discriminate based on familial status. Or any status for that matter... except for married and stupid.
Any stupid girls lately?
I was out with this chick who was acting like she was totally into me. But she kept texting someone. Which is kind of stupid by itself, but then while replying to one of her texts she asks me how to spell "hibernate" - I mean not only was she being rude, but what on earth was she talking about that she needed to know how to spell hibernate.
How was she acting like she was "into" you?
You know, over laughing at my jokes, her gaze continued to bounce from my eyes to my lips, and touching my leg and stuff... are we almost done here?
Just one more, when is the Party?
"The floor is fixed party" will be held this Saturday March* 29th, 2008 at my house of course (226 N 200 W) invite all your friends!

Johnny Metropolis
*Thanks to my friend Heather for pointing out my foible. I accidentally wrote "May" instead of "March" and have corrected the text.

Friday, March 21, 2008

My throbbing retina

I just saw a commercial featuring Jessica Alba. For those of you who don't know she is my ultimate Hollywood crush. The only way I can adequately describe her beauty is to say that "she is so beautiful it hurts to look at her." This is my favorite hot girl saying. It trumps "hotter than the sun" and "smoking hot". Sometimes when describing a beautiful girl I will say "Jessica Alba Hot", but that doesn't really work on Jessica Alba.

"Hurts to look at" may seem a little dramatic but it really happens. I will see a girl and I cannot look at her, it is as though my retina's will simply liquefy in "Lost Ark" fashion. I have to consciously look away and not stare at her*. Women like this aren't just movie stars, I usually meet at least one of these girls a year. I have known several: Stacy and Robyn from High School - I dated Emily, Ashley, Heather, and Becky - my ex-wife was one - famous girls of note - Jessica Alba, Kristen Bell, Cameron Diaz & Halle Berry.**As I watched Jessica in her commercial, I started to think about my current single situation... the first thought that came into my head is "where am I going to find a girl that looks as good as that." I quickly caught myself however... My sanctimonious platitude over the years has been: "Hot girls are a dime a dozen and cool girls are a dime a dozen, but hot cool girls are one in a million." In truth waiting for this "one in a million" girl is not necessary. Physical beauty is not all it's cracked up to be. I of course have several theory's, which I will forbear explaining in detail about how beautiful people (men and women) tend not to develop personalities. After all, they get accepted and loved simply because they are beautiful. I would say of the really beautiful women I have met in the past 10 years, that 1 in 10 is really cool and the rest are boring, one dimensional, and shallow.

Since my divorce, I have met two "hurts to look at girls", one lives too far away for my lazy butt to pursue, and the other I actually went on a couple of dates with, and then stopped. Certainly she was beautiful, but unfortunately (for her) she was boring. A very limited personality, I had to do all the talking and I was the only one making an effort. I don't think it was this girls fault by any means. If I didn't have to be funny for people to like me... well then I wouldn't be. Recently I have met some girls that physically I would only describe as "cute" who after meeting or talking with them I find myself incredibly attracted to. It's a little different for me because seemingly I have always focused solely on physical attributes.

A good example, I remember watching the movie "Teen Wolf" as a boy. Michael J Fox's character is choosing between the short hair brunette girl who is "cute", and then the blonde girl who is "hot". My dad was watching with me once and said "If you ever have to pick between two girls like that, pick that (the brunette) one." I remember thinking my Dad was weird and had terrible taste. The blonde was way better looking. I wasn't even attempting to consider the personality back then. As an adult however after having met many girls like the blonde***, I am now starting to see what my Dad was trying to teach me.

So, I suppose the point of this rambling (which is what happens when I force a post) is that if attraction could be measured that personality attraction can be as powerful or more powerful than physical attraction. After all plenty of girls fall for me, and I'm not a "hurts to look at" kind of guy, I don't even "smoke". Which only makes me realize that there are more options then I before thought. More options usually means more time. Thanks a lot Jessica Alba for helping me come to this conclusion - now I'll never get married.

John Maxim

*This phenomenon plagues women too, google "Wentworth Miller" and you can see thousands of blog posts of women lauding his destructive good looks.
**The author is not alleging that all of the girls listed will be "hurts to look at" quality for all onlookers. These women are the authors personal favorites. He fully understands that it is a matter of personal preference.
***The author is not attacking blonde's, all blonde's are not void of winning personalities. In the example given, the easiest used distinguishing characteristic just happened to be differing hair colors. For a reverse example see TV's "Smallville" characters Chloe (blonde) and Lana (brunette) where the hotness/personality are opposite according to hair color.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008


It's 3:16 AM... I can't sleep. I'm not sure why, I am not experiencing heavy doses of stress, or depression, which are usually the only reasons I can ever point to for me not being able to sleep. I have tried everything, TV, cleaning, reading some blogs, reading my scriptures (that almost always puts me to sleep) I know I am tired, my eyes hurt and my breathing feels labored. Maybe I can't sleep because I only got 4 hours last night and my body is too tired to sleep. Anyway I figured I would just post this picture and write a little blog post about it. This was at the "311" concert I went to in Las Vegas last weekend. It was tons of fun. We met this girl after the concert, and then again at breakfast and she comes up and says that she has this great picture of me. When she finally emailed it I couldn't believe it's coolness. I always make an effort to be doing something humorus in the background of peoples photo's... I didn't end up as sutttle as usual... and either this is the best ever... or it's just the only one I have ever seen, maybe they are all this good. Such passion! I amaze even myself. Granted I am a little, strike that, a lot sweaty, and that guy next to us with the pupils that are the size of silver dollars really makes the photo a one-of-a-kind. I'm a bit astonished at 3 AM how my writing just seems to flow, almost effortlessly. I just tried to go to Wendy's and pick up a Frosty... they were closed. It's been a long time since I have been to a Wendy's after 3, I kind of forgot and thought they were open 24 hours a day. I wonder what year it was when "7/11" started being open 24 hours and was no longer only open from 7am to 11pm. I'm pretty sure it's been 24 hours my whole life. Seems preposterous that a gas station not be open 24 hours, and yet it still happens all the time. Speaking of time did you know they (by "they" I mean scientists) have proved that in moments of great intensity that the human mind actually perceives things moving in slow motion. The Discovery Channel did this series called "Time" and they actually did experiments to prove it. All I can say is "I knew it!" Today this 20 year old girl... who happens to be really cute spent a little time flirting with me. I really liked it. Not cause she was 20, but because she was cute. I brought up my age, because I'm obsessed with being the old dude and being persecuted or disliked or at least disqualified in matters of dating simply because of the fact that I am older (even though when I really think about it I conclude that it's probably all in my head.) She went into the whole "age doesn't matter" stuff that younger people always seem to say. I reminded her that when I was graduating High School that she was getting baptised! Maybe even on the same day... (this is one of my best sayings with 20 year olds) She thought that was funny, but it didn't phase her. We are going out in two weeks. Is that weird? there is a 10 year difference in our age. Obviously I'm not concerned about marrying her right away and recognize it's just a date, but a date can turn into dating and then into more - so anyway, is it weird? it feels creepy almost. Sure she's legal, although the whole legal term refers to "sex" which is not on my ever righteous Mormon-living-agenda, which makes the whole "legal" thing a little moot. Not that I'm making a case for going out with girls under 18, I'm just saying....... actually... I don't really know what I am saying. I am so tired I am kind of in a zone and I just keep typing. Since I don't know how to type that means I have to look at the keyboard the whole time and two finger it, which doesn't give me any room to proof read. I know, I know, a grown man that doesn't know how to type. Maybe it would make you feel better to mock me. Here's some more ammo for mockery: I never learned cursive either. When I was in grade school I went to a school called Atkinson Elementary until 2nd grade, in that school they taught cursive in the 3rd grade. Before my 3rd grade year I moved schools to Youngston Elementary where they had already taught all the students cursive in the 2nd grade. I still can't really make z's, r's or anything capital, but was able to fake it pretty good until I graduated high school, where now I never have to use cursive... what a waste - I mean for you other people who learned it. Then again now that I think about it... the details are all a little fuzzy, especially about grade school. Hmmm, that could be because I am tired or, because I have a terrible memory. So who knows. Either way, I have a meeting at 9 so I think I will try my scriptures again. Good night.


John Maxim

Friday, March 7, 2008


I play on an indoor soccer team. I am a the goal keeper. The position that I play often necessitates me diving and sliding around on the turf. Thus getting "turf burns" or "rasberrys" on my legs in various places. Last night we had a game and I got two big ones. One on my knee, and thanks to my short short's one on the side of my upper thigh. The game got over at 11:30pm and so I got home just before midnight. After playing there is a little too much addrenaline involved for me to just fall asleep. So I popped the next few episodes of "Prison Break" into the DVD. I was pretty tired after the second episode, and decided I would go to bed. I turned off the TV and laid there for a second with every intention of going to bed... then I fell asleep.

I woke up, on my leather couch 6 hours later. I was still in my soccer clothes. I didn't realize it but my short shorts had kind of ridden up so that my whole leg's bare skin was directly on the leather. I shooed my dogs off the couch so I could get up. As I rolled off the couch I felt this searing pain... kind of like when someone rips duct tape off your skin, but a little worse because it's like ripping flesh instead of ripping hairs. I had laid in the same position so long on the leather couch, that the oozing rasberry on my leg had kind of glued itself to the couch. I yelled out in pain, I might have even sworn because my dogs got really nervous (which they do when I swear because that means I'm really mad) I stood up and inspected my tender quivering thigh... it looked like it hurt, and it did. Just as the dreadful thought of getting into the shower entered my mind I noticed my dog, Movie, licking off the couch. He had wasted no time in finding my wound residue and licking it up like a side of beef. It must have been good too because once my big dog noticed he tried to get in on the action, and my little dog growled at him which he only does if its important. I suppose the moral of the story is not to sleep on leather, vinyl, or plastic, without first wrapping your open wounds. The part about the dogs... well I don't know if there is a moral to that, it was just gross.

John Maxim

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Blog stalking gone awry

Recently, I got set up by someone. (Due mostly to my own embarrassment, I will change some of the names involved in this story) The person who set me up, Rosarita, is an avid blogger. She gave me her friend, Jesse's, number about the same time I started getting into blogging. The day that I called Jesse to set up a date, two things happened.

First, being new to blogging I was excited to find any of my Friends who had blogs. I stumbled across my friend Amber's blog, and the post she had up at the time was called, "Blog Stalker." I read through it, and thought that surely if Amber was doing this most everyone was.

Second, later that day, I was having a conversation with my friend Laura who told me about a time she went out with this guy who had googled her. He found her blog and read a bunch of her posts so that he could find out things about her ahead of time. He asked a bunch of loaded questions, and then told her what he did. She found the whole thing very annoying.

After reviewing the two experiences, I thought "wow that's genius." If the delivery were a little less creepy and underhanded it would be a good way to be prepared for lulls in conversation. Knowing a little about your date always helps out regardless of where that information may have come from.
So I wondered if Jesse had a blog. I went to Rosarita's blog and one of the links off to the side was to a blog called "Sarah & Jesse" I clicked on the blog and scanned briefly for some pictures. I noted that there seemed to be only pictures of Sarah... I read through some of the blog posts. All of them were written by Jesse. A few times she had gone out of her way to make fun of Sarah for never posting on their joint blog.

After scanning through the posts on their blog, I surmised the following:
1. Sarah & Jesse were related, sister's I thought.
2. Jesse did all the posting and never saw fit to add any pictures of herself, just of her sister.
3. Jesse had recently applied to nursing or medical school at the U.
4. Sarah was pregnant, and wondering what to name her son.
5. Jesse had spent a lot of time over Christmas shopping for boots for Sarah.

I figured that was enough ammo to ensure smooth conversation during me and Jesse's up coming rendezvous.

On the date, I first noticed something was wrong when I asked Jesse about school. She said she was done and just working. I then asked her about work, thinking maybe she was a nurse and the specific post I was thinking about was old or something. She informed me she had a part time job, and didn't know now, nor had she ever had any idea what she wanted to do for a living. Let alone having the were-with-all or drive for medical school. Puzzled I didn't think much of it. Then we started talking about family. I asked her "So your sister is pregnant isn't she?" "No." she replied. "Oh, uh I uh thought Rosarita said something... I must be confusing something." I decided that I was a little confused, it was all a little weird and decided I would not reference my secret blog findings any more.

The date went well, aside from the awkward conversations had as a result of my blog staking earlier in the week. Over the next few days I checked the "Sarah & Jesse" blog. I was looking for a new post, something that would clear up why my questions didn't elicit any answers.

Finally the day of our second date, Jesse had published a new post. I began to read it eagerly... and slowly I began to get sick to my stomach. How could it have never occurred to me through all this that Jesse was in fact a man! Not the Jesse I had been out with, but another Jesse altogether that knew Rosarita. Not Sarah's sister, but her husband. She/He/It did have one of those names that goes both ways, and She/He/It was a link from the person who set me up, and there was the whole shopping for shoes thing. Granted I only scanned the posts, I mean they weren't very interesting. Perhaps had I been more earnest the mistake had not been made. However, it became pretty clear when the sentence written by Jesse said "My pregnant wife Sarah is..." followed shortly by a photograph of the two of them. The experience reminded me of a comic that my friend Cameron and I did a while ago called comic 18, check it out. Perhaps that will help express how I felt that day a little better. It was awful, I felt like a royal douche and vowed never to tell anybody about my silly mistake...

Well except for my blog.

John Maxim