Monday, October 6, 2008

4th of July Reflections in October

Howdy y'all! I apologize again for yet another long leave of absence from the blog world. Much has happened in the months from my last post, so in an attempt to bring you all up to speed on some of the more interesting ones I will start way back in July.

For Mike Thayer the month of July used to be the very pinnacle of enjoyment, containing (Christmas aside) the two most important days of year . These were my birthday (30th) and the 4th of July. For as long as I remember I was in love with fireworks. I would count down the hours to when Days started selling fireworks. When I turned sixteen I don't know if I was more excited to date, drive, or buy fireworks by myself. My passion for the 4th grew more intense with each passing year until the 4th of July antics of Mike Thayer became somewhat of a neighborhood tradition in and of themselves. I started by making parachute guns and melting Ninja Turtle figures that I had doubles of and soon graduated to blowing watermelons to smitherines with sparkler bombs and playing Battle Hymn of the Republic on my electric guitar at 5:30 am on the back of a trailer towed behind Major Bramwell's Jeep. I'm told that some six years later it is still brought up in every July fast and testimony meeting.

Unfortunately, with my mission, internships, and now my job I have been home for only one of the past 5 Independence Days. Without the Cul-de-sac of Fire to fuel my passion, my desire to be a one man patriotic extravaganza has somewhat dwindled. In an attempt to make some sort of connection to the patriot I once was we went up to Dallas to visit my sister Katie and her family to celebrate the 4th. Although I didn't light a single firework, my 4th of July was no less memorable or eventful. Allow me to explain.

The majority of the holiday was spent just relaxing and watching movies with Katie and Jono. To spice things up a bit we decided to go to the parade and then stop by the car show. Having satisfied my manly need to see a bunch of sweet cars we decided to go back to Katie and Jono's. It was also like a million degrees with a billion and half percent humidity, so that may have also coaxed us back to our air conditioned refuge.

In the evening we decided to go out to eat at a Mexican restaurant. Nothing like a little Mexican to celebrate America's independence, eh? At any rate, in order to be seated in a timely manner we elected to sit outside on two side-by-side tables. This gave us plenty of room to spread out our Mexican feast. Abby was sitting in between me and Jill. When the server came out with our food, instead of placing it in front of me or in front of Jill he thought the best thing would be to place the burning hot plate not only in front of Abby but ON TOP OF HER HAND! Before I start my tirade on how absolutely brain dead this loser is lets try and understand what happened from his point of view. I wouldn't want to pass any undeserved blame.

"OK, let's see here. Table 5, table 5..., bingo, there it is. OK I have their food here fresh from that Anasazi-inspired adobe kiln over there. All I have left to do is place the correct dishes in front of the correct people. Simple enough. Ok, let's see...oh, let me make sure I have my oven mitt on here. Now where can I put this bubbling enchilada, oh yes! Let me reach ACROSS the table, ACROSS this man here and place it squarely in front of this 15 month baby who happens to have her hand on the table. There we are."

After taking a step back to gather myself and assess the situation from all points of view I have arrived at the conclusion that the server is a complete jackass. Needless to say my Dad-Rage took over as I quickly removed the plate off my screaming daughter's hand. When the manager asked if everything was ok, I said that it absolutely wasn't and that his bonehead lose-fest of a server burned my daughter's hand. In the end it was a minor burn and Jill convinced me not to call back and ream the poor schmuk.

Goodnight, this is a long post. Anyway, to understand this next bit I have to explain an oddity of mine. I sometimes like to do weird things to Jill that have no function other than making Jill think "I don't understand why you do that?!" A prime example of this is that I often pop the trunk of the car at inconvenient times. Sometimes, we'll get Abby all strapped in to the car and get buckled up ready to leave, and then I'll pop the trunk and sit there until Jill notices. Then I have to unbuckle my seatbelt and get out and close it. Or sometimes I'll be walking in the house with a bunch of groceries and right before we get inside I'll pop the trunk. Don't ask me why I think it's funny, especially when it inconveniences ME and not Jill, but I just think Jill's confused reaction is funny.

Well, as we returned to Katie's I decided to pull the old trunk stunt. Right before we got inside I hit the button. I looked back and our trunk was still closed. "Darn, too far away, oh well." We went inside, watched a movie, and went to bed. During the night, however, I was suddenly awaken by random flashes of light shining through our guest bedroom window. Headlights perhaps? The light moved away from the window and went around the side of the house seemingly peering into each room. Then suddenly, "BANG, BANG, BANG!!" Someone started pounding viscously on the front door. I slowly peaked my head around the corner, not willing to give away my position to the would-be not-so-stealthy intruders. As I caught a glimpse of the culprits from around the corner I realized they were cops! I had to wait for Jono to open the front door since I didn't know his door code. What the heck are the cops doing here?

"Did you park your car out front? We think it may have been robbed."
"Yes, there doesn't seem to be any signs of forced entry, but the trunk is open. You might want to go out and check."

So, much to my wife's amusement (even to this day), I walked outside in my garments in front of the cops to check my car, being the only one that knew for a fact that no one had robbed my car.

"So does everything check out?"
"Yep, seems like everything's there. Weird, huh officer?"
"Do you have a remote key-less entry? You can sometimes accidently push the trunk button."
"Oh yea? Huh... yea, I guess that was it."

So as Jill and I were back lying down in bed trying to allow the adrenaline to run its course, I confessed to Jill what had actually happened. In disbelief, she immediately got on my case saying "that's what I get." I then explained to her that things could not have worked out more brilliantly for me. The very purpose of the "trunk game" is to make it as inconvenient as possible to go back and shut the trunk. Game, set, match my Love. Game, set, match.

Lastly, what were those cops thinking anyway? "Oh, seems like we have an open trunk here. Well, we better go shine our Maglites in every window and then savagely pound on the front door. Then maybe once we get inside we can put a burning hot plate on an infant's hand!"


Sunday, May 18, 2008

My Graduation Beard

Well, here I am some 10 months later. It seems as though I'm only a seasonal blogger. Strictly no posts outside the months of May to August. I actually was working up a draft just the other day (January) but got sidetracked, so now it doesn't really apply and has little to no use. If you're reading this, odds are you already read my wife's blog (of which I am sometimes a ghostwriter) but I'll give you a quick update on my life. Plus the more I write, the less guilt I feel about never writing in my journal since the day I left the mission field.

My darling daughter Abigail is now just about 13 months. She has only just barely started to get teeth, still does not have that much hair, has shown little desire to walk (although she climbs and crawls all over Christendom), and is as cute as ever. Abby has changed from a sweet little baby to a happy, spirited, and adventurous little girl of which I am quite proud.

I have officially accepted a job in Texas with ExxonMobil and will be starting in late June (by the way, if you consider Exxon your "enemy", the cause of your high gas prices, or the reason why lowly polar bears are floating around on broken ice chunks I want you to know that you are a moron). Nothing gets me going (just ask Jill) more than a good conversation about the world's current and future "energy crisis" and global warming alarmism. So if anyone wishes to debate these matters I am more than willing.

A few other things about my current state of being: I'm loyally frustrated at my Utah Jazz, happy that summer's here, totally disappointed with Indiana Jones, trying to soak in every moment with family and friends before we go down to Houston, and growing out my graduation beard,.

A thought on my graduation beard. I've been growing this beard here ever since graduation, which makes him about a month old now. Some people like my beard. Some people do not like my beard. Some people think I look like Jake Gyllenhaal. But all of this has absolutely nothing to do with why I have grown my graduation beard and how long I intend to keep my graduation beard. Sometimes you just have to "grow a graduation beard." I subjected myself to four long years of intense, grueling Chemical Engineering studies at BYU as well as a very demanding and rigorous two year mission, all the while unable to let my inner beard free. Sometimes you just gotta do what ya gotta do because you're entitled to it.

Now don't insult me by construing the growth of one's graduation beard to mean something that it does not. I'm not talking about a mid-life crisis, sowing your wild oats, doing drugs because you finally moved out of the house, or getting married to your "friend" because its finally legal in California. No, I'm not talking about that. That's got nothing to do with the privilege of the graduation beard.

First, there is nothing inherently morally wrong with a graduation beard. Not unless you think that rugged lumberjack-esque good looks are a sin, because if they are, well then convene the disciplinary council! Second, the graduation beard is free. I'm not demanding a boat or a brand new car just because I did what I was supposed to do all these years; I'm just stickin' it to man by growing a sweet beard. Third, my graduation beard is awesome and sometimes startles me when I forget about it and see my reflection. Fourth, my graduation beard makes me look wicked intimidating, which comes in handy when saving a lot of seats at the movie theater or when I mispronounce someone's name because it's like "Although I disagree with him, who wants to mess with that guy sporting that intimidating beard?!"

So for everyone out there that feels entitled to grow their own "graduation beard", as long as it meets the same criteria as mine, I say "grow right ahead!"