The Depower Plague of ot '10

The Depower Plague of ot '10

I may have been mostly joking when I said there was a conspiracy going on when I had two smoke detectors go lame on the same night doubling their efforts to keep me awake all night due to their battery supplies running a bit low… and by mostly joking, I mean completely. That being said, let’s take a look at what happened to me today.

I was a standard work morning. I’m not sure why, but if I have nothing motivating me to get up and go to work, I’ll either get up rather early, or around noon, depending on what happened the night before. But on a typical work day, it’s pretty average and consistent for me to wake up two hours before work, look at the clock to make sure I have two hours to go until I need to be at work, and then I slap the snooze button with the fervor of one who is a trifle annoyed that a little inanimate object had the audacity to work properly and wake me up when I asked it to. Stupid alarm clocks anyway. Then for the next hour I continue to have a losing battle with the snooze button.

After about an hour of this, I reach a coherent level of self realization and admit that I have lost that battle and get up for the day. This gives me 15 to 20 minutes to shower, and 10 to 15 minutes to get dressed and out the door. Then I begin the 25 minute drive to work. This morning was precision as far as that standard goes. It was during the drive to work that I noticed my car was a little thirsty and that I could also use a little liquid snack to count as today’s breakfast as well. I mean it did seem like a good idea at the time. I pulled in to a gas station, filled up the car and then went inside to get a spicy V8 and headed outside to get back on my way to work.

I jumped in the car, pushed in the clutch, and turned the key, and was greeted by … ________ (click). There was nothing, no sound, no lights came on, no radio, no AC, nothing, except a very soft click, which after two more turns of the key fell silent too. My battery was not just drained it was dead, kaput… no more. I would have looked into the trunk to see if I had jumper cables, but I had no power to open the trunk. I did learn that I only have an ignition key which is not the trunk as well. There is, indeed, a difference. So, see I did learn something new today!

Still, how does a battery go from a quick and easy start up first thing in the morning and no issues what so ever getting 10 miles from my house to a gas station, to no charge at all simply by turning it off for about 5 minutes? It was just sitting there with zero power being drained from it and then bam! Nothing! Dead battery! So I did what anyone in my position would do, no I didn’t ask a stranger for help, I’m a man, we’re genetically wired to only ask for assistance from a stranger when no other options are left. This is why it’s almost impossible for us to ask for directions… it’s not our fault. We are born that way. Instead I called my office mate to see if he had cables and a little free time for head down the street and help me out.

Now had Angela been home, yes, I would have called her first, but she was out of town that morning and wouldn’t be back until that afternoon. And because work was only about 20 blocks away, it wasn’t too far of a drive. Sorya (pronounced Soy-ya) showed up about ten minutes later. As we attached the jumper cable to his car batter and then mine, he thanked me for getting him out of the office for a little while, and I, in return, thanked him for being willing to get out of the office for a little while. Ten minutes later I hopped in my car and turned the key. The car stuttered and then started up. Success was ours! We unhooked the cables and got ready to head to work when, in an act of sheer genius on my part, I turned on the AC. My car went from varoom-putt-putt-putt to puwahhh… ah… and all was quiet again.

I tried to roll down my window to yell at Sorya not to leave yet and quickly realized the flaw in this attempt. So I jumped out of the car and flagged Sorya to head back over. I explained the AC oopsy and he told me that the only way I was going to make it to work by driving myself there was by getting a new battery first. Enter phase two of this morning’s adventure. Actually it wasn’t all that complicated, just cash and time consuming. Once we got the new battery, we went to Sorya’s parent’s house to borrow some tools. Fortunately their house was just down the street from the gas station I was at.

Once the battery was installed Sorya headed back to drop off the tools and I headed back to the auto store to give them the dead battery so I could get $12 back, which I used some of to get a little lunch on the way to work. It was during the last few blocks of getting to work that I realized, “Wait just a minute!” This exact situation happened to Angela’s car about a month ago. She parked outside a department store, when in for about ten minutes and came back out and walla, dead battery. Her car refused to take a charge any kind of charge and resulted in a whole new battery being purchased and installed for her car as well. “Hmm?”

I called and told Angela about the whole thing, and suggested that we stop parking both cars in the garage together. My theory is that her car was apparently giving my car some suggestions for ways to get some additional attention and some new parts… gossipy little things. It also got me wondering about my joke about the conspiracy with the two dead batteries. That makes three dead batteries in three days. It’s like some black plague that is beginning, except this time it only kills batteries instead of humans. Although, if the plague does manage to kill the infernal drumming rabbit, I really can’t see how the end would not justify the means.

At this point the plague seems isolated to just me and battery operated devices that I own. However, if it does start spreading I’ll be sure to let you know. There is good news though. Apparently purchasing new batteries and replacing them with the dead ones does seem to correct and negate the powerless effects of battery operated devices. If this does kill the drummer bunny, I wonder where I go on-line to fill out a Nobel Prize application. I think this whole conspiracy just might give me the push I need this year. Plus, I’ll be sure to verbally acknowledge everyone that comments on this Smirk in my acceptance speech.

So, anyone else experiencing these reoccurring battery power shortages?

Image Source:
Google Images, key words: driving to work, hitting snooze, starting car, installing car battery, and energizer bunny skeleton.

The Depower Plague of ot '10

When a God Calls, Should you Answer your Phone?

I wasn’t always a God… well depending on how you describe it I’m probably still not a god. However, there was a moment a few year back… not really a moment, but a, well, a phone call that I kind of was. One of the lovely things about reminiscing with friends is when you find yourself reminded of stories that you once played an active role in, but, for one reason or another, had managed to let it slip your mind for a spell. The wine party this weekend did manage to share a few of those little reminders with me. And one of those just so happens to be the lovingly referred to “Phone Call from God”.

A few years back, maybe eight or so, my friend Clayton was working on his doctorates in physics and as part of that process, he was teaching a few lower level physics classes for the university. Even though Clayton and I grew up in the same small town, and even though he had been to my house on more than one occasion during his high school career, we had never managed to meet until we were both in Utah going to the State University. There is really only one main reason for this, when he was in high school I was still in elementary school. When you are 17 you really don’t go out of your way to converse with and befriend 9 year olds. Well, unless of course they 9 year old had an older sister that the 17 year old rather fancies… which still wasn’t the case.

So how did we finally meet and become friends? Easy, it was his little brother Anson’s fault. Yes, the same Anson whose collar bone I broke in Kindergarten by pushing him off the slide, and is one of my closest and, by far, oldest friendships I have. We all happened to be doing that university thing at the same school. Anson brought Clayton along for one of our evenings out and we’ve been friends ever since.

So now that you have a better idea of who this Clayton person is, I can now explain the infamous call. My side of the story is really rather quite bland, like a bran muffin without any butter or honey. I mean sure the roughage is there, but really, what’s the point. Still, I think it’s my side of the story that makes Clayton’s side so savory.

It was a Thursday afternoon, and I was calling people to make some plans for the night. I had gotten a hold of Anson and was calling Clayton to see if he wanted to join us for some Thursday evening shenanigans. Here is what I experienced:
The call was made at 1:45 PM
…rin (click) “Oh man…”
“Hey! What’s…”
“I’ll call you back later.”
“Oh, ok.”

And that was all I got out of that call. It wasn’t until Clayton came over that evening that he relayed his side of “the call”. The first thing he explained was that he was in the middle of class when I had made the call. Plus, it just so happened, he had forgotten to put his phone on silent after lunch. This in and of itself was not that big of a deal. In fact had anyone else on the planet called him, it would not have been that big of a deal. The problem that occurred is that the call came from me… from my phone, which his phone recognized. Clayton has assigned a ring tone to my number. One that he felt was both fitting, entertaining, and a good idea at the time. One that was very specific about who what calling and that I had never heard or even knew about. Here is what happened on Clayton’s side of the call:

Clayton was standing in front of his class, writing a new problem in the chalkboard. He had his back is to the class when the time hit 1:45PM, and out of his backpack, which is sitting on the table next to the chalkboard, came a very low and distinct voice saying, “This is God. Thou shalt answer thy phone.”

Clayton stopped writing on the board and flashed a glance at his backpack, which again said, “This is God. Thou shalt answer thy phone.”

A few people in the class began laughing as Clayton dropped the chalk and hurried over to his backpack. As he started digging through it, again a deep voice commands, “This is God. Thou shalt answer thy phone”.

More people start laughing, and in triumph Clayton grabs his phone and pulls it out of his bag. He makes eye contact with the class, smiles and says, “I really should take this.”

The class then erupts into uncontrolled laughter as the phone begins one more, “This is God. Thou shalt…”, and now this is where my side of the story falls into place. Even as he shared the story he could barely finish it due to all our laughter. I’d never been a god before, but I’ll be honest, I was a touch flattered.

I can say that he did learn his lesson. No, he didn’t change the ring tone, but he did make sure that his phone was always turned off then he walked into his classroom. On a plus note though, I was, on two different occasions, introduced to some of his students as “God,” which was always well received and enabled me to take a bow to strangers.

I’m not sure going out and selling yourself as divinity is something I can endorse, but if you innocently find yourself in that situation I recommend you enjoy it. It’s always a good parable to share with others, and, if you’re lucky, you just might get a free drink out of it. At the very least, it does look good on a resume.

What are your thoughts?

Image Sources:
Google Images, key words: red phone, math on chalkboard, bran muffin, and class laughing.

100… It's a Number and a Destination, and We Made It!

100… It's a Number and a Destination, and We Made It!

I was going to post yesterday, but then I realized that today, or at the time tomorrow was going to be April 25. Yes 4/25, it seemed to be calling to me as the day that I should post my 100th Smirk. Oddly, posting number 100 on 4/24 would be like celebrating the New Years on the 30th instead of the 31st. If there ever was a day to share your 100th blog post with the world April 25 would be that day. Ok, fact is any day is a good day to post your 100th blog post. In my case, I was fine waiting a day so that could suggest that in some random numerological way, it meant something special, specialer… something whooo-ish. Truth of the matter is I just wanted to put the word numerological in one of my Smirks, because, well, it’s one of those words that always puts a smile on my face.

I know 100 is one of those important numbers in regards to television. I was never really sure why though. As it turns out when a television series hit episode 100 it is commonly the step required for a series to be considered for syndication in the US. I wonder if that means I’m now eligible for syndication in the US. Personally I think it’s a great idea (wink, wink, nudge, nudge).

I have watched a few 100th episodes from various series and what I do remember is that these episodes were usually pretty lame. It seems to be the episode dedicated to the highlighting past highlights, or as I like to call it, the flash back episode. As a fan it always felt like the class review before the big test next week.

I do have a theory about this though. I think it equates to the “too drunk to work” effect that happens in all realms of the daily function that is commonly referred to as work, or “a job”. I would venture that I’m not the only one who has arrived to work in the morning only to be confronted by a co-worker with lava red eyes and a sway remnant of a slouching metronome. They have that goofy smile on their face, which is a smile usually reserved for things that are eventually placed under the “seemed like a good idea at the time” category of personal stories. Then out comes the utterance, “I think I’m still drunk from last night.”

I understand that there are plenty of situations that result in drunken celebration. Your favorite team wins some championship… or just some game. Your Avatar in some virtual gaming world finally completed some huge super quest that you’ve been doing for 18 months. Your kid finally said Dada. It’s Prom. Your neighbors with that little yappy dog that never shuts up finally moved. Or, the demon bird that has been attacking your bedroom window every morning from 6 to 10 has innocently spontaneously combusted, which had nothing to do with the strategically placed heat lamps, magnifying glasses, mirrors, and a plate of birdseed. Regardless, there are endless possibilities that can ignite the need for celebration during a week night, which, if you spacing sucks, might result in you arriving to work a little wobbly.

I think this is what traditionally happens for the 100th episodes. Everyone on the show was whooping it up the night before in celebration of reaching their 100th episode and arrive to work the next morning in a mental state that isn’t exactly fitting to the work that needs to be done. So the producer gets a few lines out of them and then they spend the rest of the recovering while the production team uses a bunch of old footage to compile the 100th episode. Of course this is base on my extensive lack of knowledge when it comes to the television industry, but it does make sense.

So the question is what to do for big number 100? I’m not 100% sure. I mean other than having it be a mathematically consistent day (Monk would be so proud) and using the word numerological in today’s Smirk I feel pretty good about what’s been covered so far.

I would like to say thank you to all of you who read my Smirks. Thanks for e-mails, the comments, the stories you share, for the friends you introduce my writing to, and for coming back to see what I’ve written this time and to see if it gets your Smirk on. That’s one of the unexpected results I’ve gotten from the past 100 posts. It’s been the interaction I’ve had with you, the readers. My perspectives and tangents may have gotten you to smile and laugh, but you replies and encouragement have definitely returned that experience to me.

I write a Smirk to get you to smirk, causing you to reply to my Smirk about you smirking thus causing your smirk to get me to smirk. It’s a kind of the circle of life, but instead of lions we have smile and laughter, oh yeah, and people.

I did make reference to this a little while ago on my fan page, but one of the things I’m going to be doing is making an eBook out of the first 100 Smirks. It will be a little while before I get it out and offer it to everyone. I do need to get a proofreader to clean up some of the messy bits, and I’ll have to figure out what to do with the video segments and images. Once all of that is figured out, it should be about 150 or so pages of pure reading pleasure. And if the eBook does well enough, I’ll see if I can get some print copies made, if there is enough interest from people who would like one. I’ll keep you posted as this whole thing develops.

I do have one favor though. I call it the “share me” favor. If you have any friends that you think might get a bit of a smile or laugh from my writing, please share me with others. As you know, part of my main goal with my writing is to bring joy and laughter to others. The more people I can reach and share with, the more I can accomplish this goal. Also, a big thank you to all of you who have emailed links to my blog to your friends, who have posted my Smirks on your Facebook walls, who have suggested you friends to me so I could invite them to check out my writing, and simply, for sharing me with your friends. I appreciate your trust and you support.

It’s been a brilliant time so far and I can’t wait until I get to do another highlight of Smirk highlights post for when I reach number 200. Although, I really didn’t highlight anything did I? Well, maybe next time. Oh and for the record, that damn bird is still around, but I promise that once it finally buggers off, there is going to be a party!

I do feel a toast is in order though. So everyone get a glass of something… wine, beer, gin, orange juice, water, whatever works best for you. Don’t worry I’ll wait… ok great. So now that we’re all here and with a drink in hand, please join me in raising you glass.

Here’s to the first 100 Smirks and to all the smiles, joy, and laughter they have put into the world… and to all of you for being that source and conduit of all that joy and laughter. Thank you all. Cheers!

What are your thoughts on Smirk 100?

Image Sources:
Google Images, key words: 100, thank you, cheers, drunk at work, and share.

The Depower Plague of ot '10

We called him… Carrot Jim

College is one of those things that will always mean something to those that went to college. What does it mean? Honestly, it just means that they went to college. For some people I know, college was a wise choice. I, for one, appreciate knowing that my dentist went to college and got a degree in the art of wielding tools of oral torture. Just thing of how unsettling it would be to walk into a dentist’s office and find him reading a “Cavity Drilling for Dummies” book just before you are to have a cavity filled that appointment.

I also need to point out that college, for a lot of people, is one of the most expensive private party clubs they will ever join. I know I’m still paying off the cover charge on my last collegiate endeavor. There is a universal conversation that all college goers have about 2 days after graduating or leaving for good, and that is, “Do I have to start paying of my student load right now, or in like a week or two?”

In my case, I went to college twice, once for art and once in hopes of getting a degree that could help me get a job afterward. The art school I went to was a touch odd on a few levels. For one thing, it was a school in Wyoming that was known for its arts programs. I should state that it was only known for this within the state of Wyoming, no one had any idea this was even possible. Besides, if you know anything about Wyoming you know that this equates to about 12 people actually knowing about this school. Ok so maybe there were a few more than 12, the point being that there just aren’t that many of us. In fact, if there were a Wyoming species of human, I’m pretty sure we’d be on the endangered species list.

Another oddity about the school is that it was also an agricultural school, for farming, and horses, and rodeo, and other cowboy and farmer like skills. Ok that’s actually more of an expectation instead of an oddity, but it did mean that about 90% of the students were either art majors or agricultural majors, and that does make is a touch odd as far as Wyoming colleges goes Other than the initial surprise that Wyoming actually has colleges.

The nice thing about being an art student is that, traditionally speaking, artists are rather odd ducks. If there is one thing I learned from the ugly duckling story it’s that odd ducks need to stay together … oh and don’t be a mean bastard. I’m pretty sure that was one of the lessons in that book.

It was during this attempt at being an art student that I met the lad I want to talk about today. His name was Jim, but we called him Carrot Jim. And before he was Carrot Jim he was Banana Jim. I wish I could say that it was because he was a vegetarian, but I don’t think he was. The banana name came from his bananas… the ones in his sketchbook. You know, the more I keep talking about this the more I think I’m going to get in trouble. See Jim was one of those artists that always had his sketchbook out and was working on a drawing. It was quite inspiring really.

Now if there is one thing you can count on from an artist it’s that they have phases. Picasso has his Blue phase, Monet has his water lilies phase, Pollock has his splashy-splashy dribble-dribble phase, and Jim, well, Jim had his Banana phase. He was always drawing them… and for the record, when I say banana I mean that strictly in the fruit that The Librarian of the Unseen University loved to eat. Besides Jim’s banana obsession, the other thing that set him apart from the other art students was his glasses. They were of the Buddy Holly genre of eye ware and you usually saw those dark horn rim frames before you saw Jim.

Jim belonged of the pasty pigment phylum of man and because of that his eye glasses were one of his more distinguishing physical identifiers. Perhaps this is what started the carrot project, I’m honestly not sure, but what I can tell you is this, college is a time to experiment and try new things just for the sake of trying it. Jim was no different.

It started out as one of those “You know what I heard” conversations where someone actually said, “You know what I heard? I heard that if you eat a bunch of carrots it will eventually turn your skin orange.” This was followed by a barrage of, “gnut agnaa”, which can be loosely translated to mean, “oh no it won’t.” There was however one “Really!” in the bunch. Maybe it was a result of being too pasty for too long. Maybe it was because he wanted to be the same color as Alan Steel in Hercules Against the Moon Men. Then again, knowing Jim, he just wanted to see if it could be done.

And that was the birth of Carrot Jim. For the next few months, for every meal, breakfast, lunch, and dinner Jim ate carrots. Not just a few carrots, but a cafeteria tray half full of carrots. He did eat other things and as I recall was a big fan of coffee, but mostly, he ate carrots. Now perhaps it’s just me, but attempting to change your skin color through mass consumption of carrots would fall under the “seemed like a good idea at the time” category of ideas, which usually translates at some later point to “that really wasn’t a very good idea, why didn’t you “friends” try to stop me.”

And why is it when a friend makes a poor choice and then later reviews it, you suddenly become a “friend” as opposed to a friend, when they talk about your lack of stopping them from the choice they made. Yeah, and they always raise both hands, doing that little bunny ear sign in each hand when the say friend just to make sure you know the word is housed in quotations. This is when you attempt to explain that you, on numerous occasions, did attempt to defer them by saying things like, “I wouldn’t do that if I were you.” To which you always received trite and unimaginative response, “Well I’m not you.” In most cases people are going to do what they want, regardless what friends and family tell them to do. So stop trying to blame your “friends” for your choices. Case in point, I blame no one but myself for that six month period I went through that I tried to mimic Robert Smith’s hairdo. And you want to know why I did it? Easy, it seemed like a good idea at the time.

Still, after about a month of mass carrot consumption Jim slowly started to tint orange, and with each addition week the more pigmently altered he became. I mean sure he might have been a little pasty, but at least it was a normal color that didn’t both confuse and detour the opposite sex, or whichever sex you fancy. Watching Jim turn orange, albeit entertaining, was in the end rather unfortunate. He did stand out in a crowd thought, and the ladies did notice him, it’s just none were interested in “getting a cup of coffee” with Carrot Jim. I think the biggest problem was that orange just wasn’t his color. Poor guy. Although, regardless of anything else that could be said about this experiment, I’m sure we can all agree on one thing… at least the lad was regular.

Jim couldn’t stop either, the carrots I mean. He said he had become addicted to them and could not stop eating them… so I slapped him, threw some milk in his face and yelled, “The power of beef compels you.” while hitting him with a half eater hamburger paddy. Ok, maybe not, but we did talk to him about a possible intervention. Eventually he began to cut back. I’m not sure he ever quit completely, but his skin did eventually return to its natural shade.

My friendship with Jim ended as most college friendships end, we graduated and moved on. Sadly there were some uncomfortable feelings at the end, which at the time was a big deal. In your early twenties there are a lot of big things that turn out to be not that important at all. And now, it just makes for a good story that has been known to get a laugh from time to time. I’ll have to tell you about it sometime.

Although, thanks to the reconnectability magic of Facebook, I’ve since caught up with Carrot Jim. He’s just Jim now and turns out he stuck with his art, and fortunately for everyone, he got past his Banana phase. From what I’ve seen of his recent work, he’s become a rather fine artist.

So, any of you have any friends that tried and succeeded in turning themselves a different color?

Image Sources:
Google Images, key words: college, sketching in sketchbook, baby carrots, finger quotes, and intervention.

The Depower Plague of ot '10

I wasn't always a Reverend

I think everyone finds themselves in situations throughout life that requires them to evaluate certain things about themselves and then make a decision based on that self evaluation. Usually when I tell people that I am a certified minister there is always that confused pause where I imagine they are either waiting for me to share my story of this self evaluation that lead me to that decision, or that I’m lying to them. It is true though, I can, if I choose, legally put the title Reverend at the beginning of my name. This also enables me to legally perform certain ceremonies like, well the only one that comes to mind is weddings, but I’m sure there’s more. I’ve even thought about making some business cards that sport the title Reverend on them, but I’ve yet to find a functional purpose for doing that… unless it will get me discounts at restaurants. Hmm… looks like it’s time to do a little research.

The fact of the matter is yes I truly am a reverend. How and why you may ask? Easy, it was the result of a life changing event. The event actually took place in Central Park in New York City, just across from the corner were John Lennon was shot. It was where my dear friend Mike proposed to my dear friend Kathy. I never said the life changing event was mine. There was absolutely no inner evaluation on my part to make this choice. Once they got home we had one of our many and always fabulous wine parties and they announced the engagement. This created a frenzy of joy and emotional outbursts.

It was after I stopped screaming and clapping and jumping up and down in place they popped the big question. It was actually really groovy the way they put it… or at least the way I remember them putting it. They said that with all of the planning they had to do with finding a location, getting a guest list made, and all the planning involved in planning a wedding there was one thing they wanted to be perfect and didn’t want to have to worry about, they wanted me to create their ceremony and be the one to marry them, well, perform the ceremony I mean. And that was it. That was event that got me reverendized. Yes, much like Charlie Brown, I am a good man. Although, I’ve yet to have a musical written and performed stating this, but I am still holding out that it’s only a matter of time.

Being one of self set beliefs about life, the universe, and everything the first thing I knew is that becoming an ordained minister needed to coincide with my lack of religious beliefs. Thank you world wide web you fabulous little vixen of endless links from random Google searches in the hopes of finding something that would give me the title required to perform a wedding for these two amazing and incredibly trusting friends.

The first thing I discovered was that by simply googling “becoming an ordained minister” you get over 1 million results. To save you some time, you really don’t need to go past the first page of results to find the information you’re looking for. I found a “church” that claimed an all inclusive philosophy towards belief. Or to coin a phrase that is already a small shiny ore disc that some people flip into the air for the sake of betting, or for assisting indecisive people to make decisions, they are a “nondenominational” organization. They even had three key selling points that sold, sealed…, helped me chose them for getting my ministers status.

One selling point was their overall inclusion of belief structures, which includes the following: Agnosticism, Atheism, non-Religious, Baha’i Faith, Buddhism, Cao Dai, Christianity, Confucianism, Hinduism, Humanism, Islam, Jainism, Juche, Judaism, Natural Law, Neopaganism, New Age, Primal Faith, Primal Indigenous, Rastafarianism, Scientology, Shinto, Sikhism, Spiritism, Taoism, Tarahumara Beliefs, Tenrikyo, The Occult, Traditional African Religion, Unitarian Universalism, and Zoroastrianism. I have no idea what most of those mean, but they are all accepted and ok ideologies according to the “church”.

Selling point two, at the time (it has since been removed) there was a bulleted list on the ordination application page that stated the three key reasons that people become ordained ministers. The first was because people want to share their beliefs with others in a professional setting and not a street corner, i.e. start a church and preach to others. The second reason was to legally perform certain ceremonies, i.e. legally perform weddings for friends or family. And the final reason was, and I am quoting here, “a lark.” Yes as a joke. These people had not delusions about why some people become ministers. I was impressed. And had I not been doing it for the second reason, I would have definitely done it for the third reason at that point.

Finally, and the most significant reason for becoming an ordained minister with this organization, it was free. Turns out all you need to become a reverend is your full legal name, e-mail address, home address, and a working internet connection. It took about three minutes. I filled out the information and clicked on the submit button. They checked to make sure I was a real person living at the address I gave them and… call me reverend. I even have a certificate that I printed out on my computer, and an e-mail stating I am an official minister for the organization and can officially use the title reverend.

Now, if you want a high resolution certificate printed on a nice paper along with a ministers card and additional forms of identification stating that you are a reverend, well that’s going to cost you. Yes the pretty paperwork costs, but you get ordained for free. Hey, religions need money to survive, even all inclusive ones that offer a service so that you can wed your friends. They also have doctorates of religion courses you can take so you can become a Doctor Reverend. I figured one title that I never use is enough, but the option is always there! You know, in the event that I lose a bet that required me to either shave my goatee or become a doctor.

You many ask what becoming a reverend had meant over the years. Pointless titles aside I have actually performed 3 different wedding ceremonies so far and one funeral. I think it’s called conducted, or commenced over, or oversaw… something like that. Those are a little more difficult than weddings, but just as big of an honor.

My favorite wedding that I’ve performed so far is easily the one for my two dear friends that originally asked me to become a minister so I could marry them. There is something immensely satisfying about creating a ceremony for two wonderful people that you know and love. There are no rules for creating a ceremony like that. You start with what you know about each one and add them together. Throw in a lot of love, a line from Monty Python’s Spamalot, maybe a stick if you happen to find one lying around, some almond champagne, a white sand beach, and two rings and you have a ceremony that is not only beautiful and brilliant, but is from beginning to end… totally and utterly them and no one else.

The few wedding I have done have been pretty groovy though, and who knows maybe someday I’ll do a few more. The weirdest part about the whole thing is that everyone looks at you as the one with all the answers. All I can say is that for my first wedding, it was a good thing that I was married so I knew how things were suppose to go as far as lineup, precession, etc. I imagine a wedding planner usually takes care of that, if there is one, otherwise, as the wedding officiate you sort of become hyphenated, meaning the reverend-wedding planner. Although I highly recommend that you never put that on a business card. One thing I know for sure, every wedding does become its own little adventure.

What do you think about my reverendness?

Source Images:
Google Images, key words: reverend, free, and clapping.

The Depower Plague of ot '10

A Reunionful Weekend and Wine Review

Saturday proved to be a rather delightful day dedicated to catching up with old friends. Some dear friends from my coffee shop past just so happened to be in town this weekend celebrating their birthday. Only one of them was having their birthday, but since they were married, it made sense that they should celebrate it together. They wanted to get together and catch up, and they wanted to eat some really good Mexican food. So we killed two stones with one bird and Angela and I met Jules and Brandon and their ridiculously adorable kids at one of the best, if not the best, Mexican Restaurants in Salt Lake, The Red Iguana.

It had only been about 12 or 13 years since I had last seen Jules and Brandon, but I can always count on a clever and well written Christmas letter from them when the holiday comes along. Now there are a few things that happen when you first learn that you will be having lunch with your old friend’s kids. I mean your friends will be there too, obviously, but it’s the unknown element that kids seem to always be bring into any equation that gets you initially a little unnerved. When it comes to old friend’s kids there are really only two possible outcomes, well behaved fabulous children, or misbehaved complete and total bastards. There is also that inner little person filter that you need to remember to pay attention to. I did a fairly good job keeping my language at least at a PG-13 level through the entire meal.

As for the kids, they were grand. There are a lot of little people (I mean children for those of you that don’t know I call all children little people) in Utah. Making babies is kind of a… a hobby for a fair portion of the inhabitants of this state. In my experience I see a lot more ill behaved kids than well behaved kids. So anytime I run into well behaved kids, I always feel like I’m in a Ripley’s Believe It or Not episode. It’s just commonly so uncommon that I’m usually befuddled for the first 5 to 10 minutes. It was unbelievable. The kids just sat in their chairs, eating their food, and giving the adults a chance to catch up. Well done Jules and Brandon… well done Jules and Brandon’s little people.

After lunch and a huggy farewell, it was back to the house to get things ready for the wine party that was to start at 7PM. Oddly enough, to keep in tune with the reunion motif that was lunch, I had two old friends that I had not seen since 2002, at my ten year high school reunion, show up at the wine party. They live in the area and ever since we agreed to be friends on Facebook I have invited them to a number of wine parties, but it just never worked out.

So yeah, the wine party had its own reunion element with these old high school friends showing up for the first time. It’s always nice to catch up with old friends and realize that you have more in common with them that you thought you might have. Conversation definitely evolves to new levels of sharing when you hit that point. I did hear some stories about other people in high school that I never really cared to know, but alcohol has a way of enabling people to share stories that you normally wouldn’t. Still, all in all, it was a lot of fun reminiscing and being reminded of things I had completely forgotten about… such as the Samantha Fox lip syncing video that I shot at my with all the girls at the 8th grade graduation party while all of the boys sat in the next room watching Aliens or some Arnie movie. I have no idea where it is and for the sake of all of us, let’s hope I never find it.

There were a few other first time wine party friends there as well, plus the always reliable wine party regulars that are truly the friends I refer to as my other family. We did have plans to have a Earth Day moment. For some reason that seemed like a good idea at some point in the party planning, but it sort of got lost in the evenings consumption. I think the forgetfulness could be connected to the 15 empty wine bottles that covered the table be the end of the night. That doesn’t include any of the mixed drinks that were being enjoyed throughout the night as well.

I think for the Earth Day thing we were going to turn off all the lights in the house for a moment a darkened Earth appreciation and meditation for those that were coherent enough to meditate. When we finally remembered that we had forgotten we decided that since so many people were at the house that meant their houses had all the lights turned out, thus conserving a lot more energy than if we had simple turned out our lights for a few minutes. I believe it’s called proxy energy conservation. It’s a new theory. I mean brand new… as of Saturday night at 11:37PM, but I think it’s going to catch on.

I do have two favorite lines of the night that I wrote down so that I would remember to share them with all of you. They consist of:

  • One friend arriving late so there are only a few bottles left that have any wine in them. Once he helped finish the last of the bottled reds, he notices a box of Sangria, pours a glass. He takes one sip and replies, “Ew, if I’m willing to drink that, it’s time for me to stop drinking.” That about an expected profoundity, profan… talk about a profound moment.
  • The other was mostly an observation said with the desire to get a friends to smile who was going through a spell of drunken melancholy. The line was, “You know, if urine smelled more like lemons, bathrooms would get cleaned a lot less.”

Yes, I know boys and their toilet humor, but hey after 15 bottles of wine there’s a good chance that even you would be giggling at either one of those lines. Well if you hadn’t already passed out that is.

As for the party’s wine winner, I give you the 2005 Castello di Gabbiano Chianti Classico Riserva. It was a bit of a fixed win though. I hold a very special place in my heart for this wine. It was the wine Angela and I had at our wedding. Regardless of that little fact, the wine is still an amazing wine. I was first introduced to it when we first started the wine tasting group all those years ago. They were 2003 bottles at the time though. Still, the 2005 release has kept the flavor and depth that caused me to fall in love with the 2003 release in the first place.

It is one of those wines that after I take my first sip, my eyelids automatically shut as my eyes roll to back. Then, ss the wine hits the back of my throat I unconsciously begin smiling. And as I let it roll down my throat a small, “Mmm.” involuntarily escapes signifying to everyone in the room that yes, the wine is that good.

The key thing to remember is that it is the Gabbiano Chianti Classico Riserva, which is the bottle with the black label. The regular Gabbiano Chianti is ok, but pales in comparison to the Riserva. It’s a $20 bottle of wine, but is definitely worth it, unless you are a fruity wine person. The thing I like about a $20 bottle of wine is that if you are a posh wine consumer, sure it might be a little low end for you, but it’s still in the high low end range instead of low or medium low end range. And even if you are a two buck chuck drinker $20 is something you could do and be ok with once a year, like on your birthday when someone is buying a bottle for you and you want to try something that is an experience to remember.

It was a good Saturday all the way around, and on a groovy note, the next wine party is in two weeks. I have one of my best friends visiting and if there is one thing I know for sure its when a friend is visiting from out of town, you definitely have a party.

Any good wines that you’ve tried lately? I’d love to hear about them and add them to my list of friend recommended wines.

Images Sources:
Google Images, key words: red iguana, 2005 Castello di Gabbiano Chianti Riserva, good kids, friends laughing, and lemons.