Monday, June 30, 2008

West Nile Virus

Problem: Long day at work
Solution: Make someone pay for asking me how I'm doing when they really don't care
Victim: Ella, checker at the grocery store

Ella: "Hello, how are you doing?"
Cory: "Well, okay. I just found out I have West Nile Virus."

From here the conversation got fun. Ella responded to my potentially deadly disease the same way she would have if I had told her I just won $200,000 in Vegas. She muttered phrases such as "Really?", "Wow!", and "That's surprising!". I'm sure she didn't mean to seem intrigued as though she was talking to a celebrity. She was just caught off guard. After all, how would you respond if someone told you out of the blue that they had West Nile Virus?

Then I had to turn up the heat on the fibbing when she asked what the symptoms of West Nile Virus are. If I had West Nile Virus, I'd imagine my symptoms would be fatigue, nausea, vomiting, and a rash. Therefore, that's what I said.

It was great fun to have this conversation over the checkout counter. I recognized that this is how nasty rumors get spread. I couldn't help it though. It peppered my life with excitement. My mind will now remain busy with more responses for people when they ask how I'm doing.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

America's Got Talent

I happened to switch to the TV show America's Got Talent last night which made me frightened for our nation's future. The judges consist of a Simon Cowell wannabe, Sharon Osbourne (is this really the best judge the show could find???), and, wait for it, Mr Knight Rider himself, David Hasselhoff. I would swear that my lawn hose could make more intelligent critiques of "talent" than David, or "The Hoff", as he affectionately refers to himself.

I saw one of the preliminary shows, where anyone off the street can show their "talent" and the "judges" say whether or not they'd like to see the "performer" move on in the competition. The particular "talent" I saw was a man breaking a bunch of bricks that were on fire. Following the performance, the The Hoff said "I'd like to have you come back! I want to see what other tricks you have up your sleeve!"

That got me to thinking what other tricks a flaming brick breaker could have. I mean, is he going to break wood that is on fire? Or is he going to break bricks that are blue instead of grey? I can't help but think that this guy's act isn't too versatile.

I wasted ten minutes of my life that I will never get back when I watched part of this show. And for wasting that much time, I'm just as much a fool as The Hoff.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

New Songs

I recorded a new song for the CD a few days ago as well as a re-record of one I already had done that ended up not sounding quite what I had in mind. They both turned out much better. I was recording until midnight which becomes a trial because after playing for that long, my eyes start to glaze over and my fingers feel floppy like Oscar Meyer hot dogs. It worked out though.

That puts me at 14 songs for the new CD. Not sure if we'll end up using all of them.

Friday, June 20, 2008

108 Degrees

For around three months of the year I wonder what in the world possessed me to live where I live. For nine months of the year, I'm convinced that southern Utah is the most beautiful place in the world. There is nowhere I'd rather be. Mild winters, beautiful springs, and perfect falls. The problem happens when the summer months arrive and we enter a literal oven. Case in point: tomorrow is supposed to be 108 degrees!!!!! 108!!!!! That is positively ridiculous! Our only saving grace is the fact that humidity is low, so instead of feeling like we're boiling in a vat of nacho cheese, we just feel like our skin is melting right off the bones. The only way to survive during the summer is to stay inside and hibernate. From the hours of 6:00am to 11:00pm, it is impossible to go outside and not feel like a piece of Kentucky Fried Chicken, minus the secret herbs and spices of course.

Speaking of herbs, herb is a funny word. I don't understand why if it's someone's name, it is pronounced "Herb", but if you're referring to a spice, it is pronounced "erb". Why? I don't get it. I remember one time at Subway, with my brother and sister-in-law we asked the guy at the counter for the herb and cheese bread (instead of the "erb" and cheese bread). We were giggling like little kids. Good times.

So, you ask, what is the point of all this rambling? No point at all, except to give me something to do while I hibernate.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Going Through the Motions

I’ve been thinking about how easy it is to just go through the motions in life. I catch myself doing it periodically in different areas of my life. How “going through the motions shows up for me in:

Work – Just filling out the forms I need to, or meeting with the people I need to, or answering the phone calls I need to and doing enough to get by. Sometimes forgetting that the forms I fill out could literally help prolong someone’s life, or forgetting that the phone call I answer could give somebody the answer to a question they’ve been worrying about for a long time, or forgetting that by meeting with someone, maybe I can help their day go by a little better. I need to remind myself that there’s always more I can do to better myself and help someone else. I’m going to stop my brain when I hear it say “If you answer one more phone call I’m going to ram some scissors through your eye socket.”

Family – Just coming home from work, doing what I need to do to get through the evening and help get the kids ready for bed so that I can crawl into bed myself. Sometimes forgetting that being a dad is without a doubt the most fun thing in the world and that there’s nowhere I’d rather be than with my family, or forgetting to cherish the moment because I’ll never get it back, or forgetting how important it is for me to show by actions more than words that I love my wife and kids more than anything. I need to take advantage of every moment I have with them because I know things change and this valuable time won’t last forever. One day I’ll have teenagers that won’t think Dad is the coolest person on the planet.

Religion – Expecting that I can be lazy but peace and understanding and a relationship with Christ will still come to me. Forgetting that this relationship isn’t going to bash me over the skull with a frying pan, and that if I want happiness, I need to do my part.

The happiest times of my life are the times when I’m “sucking the marrow” out of every second and taking nothing for granted. Carpe diem. It could be like this everyday if I’d let it. I know I won’t be perfect at it but I’m sure going to try.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Playing Mr. Mom

I've been Mr. Mom today with the youngsters. We've had a blast playing, dancing, going to the park, and even drying some apricots. It's been a fun day. Well, for the most part. One negative part of the day was lunchtime. We thought it would be fun to go to Wendy's for lunch. The food was alright I suppose. The problem is that now I feel as though I have ingested a Gremlin who had his tail stepped on and is now pretty irritated. The other bad part of the day is coming up. The dentist and I are spending some quality time together in about an hour. I am praying that when all is said and done the dentist isn't wearing my spicy chicken sandwich.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Spiking the Air Compressor

I’m fortunate to have funny brother-in-laws that live close by. I laughed a few days ago hearing the story of how Cody got so upset that he spiked a blender on the floor. I’m talking the Sweet!-I-Just-Scored-A-Touchdown- I’m-Going-To-Slam-This-Ball-To-The-Field spike. I would have paid good money to see that. That story was followed by one about Matt who got so mad that he spiked a hammer to the ground.

All this talk of spiking got me to thinking about what I would like to spike. It took less than a second to think of what I would absolutely love to slam to the floor… CPAP. See, I have sleep apnea and stop breathing a couple hundred times a night so I get to sleep with a mask wrapped around my head, connected to a long hose that is connected to a CPAP. For the medically uneducated, a CPAP is basically an air compressor that forces, well, air up your nose so hard that your eyes spin inside their sockets. The funny thing is that once you’re all hooked up to this contraption, you’re supposed to sleep! Funny.

I hate this machine more than anything in my entire life. Hate is not a strong enough word. It is evil incarnate. Maybe you’re thinking “Well, if you hate it so much, why don’t you just spike it?” Trust me; I wonder the same thing at least 32 times a night. Really, there are only two things keeping me from going Joe Montana on the CPAP. 1) Apparently this thing is keeping my heart from completely deteriorating, and preventing me from stopping that important thing called breathing when I’m asleep. 2) This evil excuse for a lifesaver costs a few thousand. If it weren’t for those two things, that machine would be shattered on the floor so fast it would make your head (and your eyeballs) spin.

I’m not saying it will never happen. Some night I might just crack. Then I’d be in trouble for wasting a few thousand dollars and I’d have to sleep on the couch. At least it wouldn’t be with a CPAP.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Father's Day Fun

Today has been a swell Father's Day. It's fun to just relax and enjoy being a dad. In fact, this morning I spent some quality time with the offspring playing a game. It started off like dodge ball with a little foam ball. Danica (age 4) threw the ball at me and yelled "Boo ya!" We burst into laughter. Granted, I'm trying to bring that phrase back from the 80's, but I don't say it that much. ball mutated into an even more exciting game, affectionately called Boo Ya! There is one rule in the game of Boo ya! Rule numero uno - throw the ball as hard as you can at a six year old boy named Jackson. Of course after he is beaned, father and two little girls yell "Boo Ya!" We were having a blast. Everyone was laughing and enjoying some fatherly fun. Then said six year old Jackson violated the only rule of Boo Ya! Said boy launched the ball back at Unfortunately father was off guard. And this throw happened to be the death blow. The check mate of the game. David slew Goliath. Said foam ball assailed said father right in the place that would drop any man to his knees. I heard birds chirping and saw stars spinning around me.

And Jackson won Boo Ya!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Help Wanted

I have a friend named Luke who decided to spend his Saturday helping a recent widow give her yard an overhaul. He could have spent today fishing, or working in his own yard, or planting his rear in front of the TV for crying out loud. Instead he decided to help someone in need. I saw Luke this morning as he was on his way to unload a truck full of branches. He stopped to talk for a minute and said that he tries to serve whenever he can because he hopes that if he's willing to help other people, maybe God will look past some of his imperfections or forgive him for the mistakes he makes.

For someone like me who has lots of room for improvement and makes more than my share of mistakes, I need to work on being more like Luke. I actually think Luke is right. My bet is that God is going to be alot quicker to help us out if we're looking for opportunies ourselves to serve others around us. I'm going to look harder for situations where I can help. Will you too?

Friday, June 13, 2008

Phantom Rings

I keep my cell phone in my pocket, and often keep it on vibrate so as to avoid having everyone within a one-block radius hear my phone ring. Unfortunately this has caused an occasional problem apparently referred to as a “phantom ring”. I’ll be sitting at my desk working and feel my phone vibrating. Frighteningly, when I go to answer it, I realize that there was no call in the first place. I was the victim of a phantom ring: thinking (and actually feeling) my phone vibrates when it really didn’t!

I started to wonder if I had developed a neurological problem, or restless leg syndrome, or male pattern baldness (alright, I lied about that one), or some sort of evil psychological problem.

Then I heard TWO of my brother-in-laws say that they get phantom rings all the time too! Now, at least if I’ve developed a horrific psychological problem, two other people have that problem too. I just hope the phantom ring doesn’t develop into something life-threatening, or something more serious. Like male pattern baldness.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Adding the Cello

I met with a cello player yesterday to talk about the new CD project. She is planning to come to the studio in the next few weeks to record and the music should be done in the next month or so.

Happy Anniversary

Today is me and Mel’s ten year anniversary. That is crazy. I met her in my history class in tenth grade and thought she was a babe. She was funny and happy and cute and caring and smart and giving. She is still all those things. But now she also cooks my dinner, wrangles our three kids during the day, mows the lawn sometimes (I’ve already forgiven her for the sprinkler head she broke last week), makes sure we never run out of floss, gives much more than she gets, thinks of her family before herself, and puts up with my snoring. I don’t know what I did to deserve her. Happy Anniversary Mel!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Penn & Teller

A few weeks ago Mel and I were down in Las Vegas and went to the Penn & Teller show. These guys are surely the craziest magicians in Vegas. Their act included disturbing props such as a nail gun, gasoline, and fire. For the finale they shot guns at each other and caught the bullets in their teeth. People who worked in law enforcement came on stage during the trick to verify that they were real guns, and they signed their names on the bullets beforehand to verify that they were really shot. Crazy. Those guys need serious therapy. It made for a good show. And we got to meet them after the show.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

New Weight Loss Plan

I am proud to say that I have developed my own weight loss plan over the last few days. I like to call it Horrific Seasonal Allergies or HSA. HSA is different from most diets and weight loss plans. It involves no exercise. It involves no change in what you eat. All you have to do is blow your nose like crazy and you will lose pounds worth of extra fluid you've been carrying around. The downside of HSA is the fact that you will be kept up at night coughing, sneezing your brains out, and of course blowing your nose like there's no tomorrow. The only cost involved with HSA is the number of boxes of tissue you will need to load your house, office, and car with. And you'll need to stock up on Claritin since you'll be popping them in your mouth like Skittles. Oh, and buy a tube of Neosporin while you're at the store because your nose is going to get some serious road rash. Any takers for the HSA plan?

Monday, June 9, 2008

Too Quiet Upstairs

I'm downstairs. I have three small children upstairs. And it's quiet. Something is wrong with this picture. Whenever it is quiet in the Reese household, it's a pretty sure bet that something funky is going on. Maybe the little people are seeing what Vaseline looks like smeared on the carpet (that has happened before). Maybe they've snuck a bowl of candy into a bedroom and they are covered in chocolate (yes, that has also happened before). Maybe they're writing on a door with a red pen (you guessed it - happened before).

In fact, on one particularly crappy day I walked into the kitchen to find my son writing on the door with a red pen. Instead of duct taping his arms together I sent him to time out, then went to grab a rag to wash off the door. As I was about to commence scrubbing I read what he wrote. It said "I Love You Mom. I Love You Dad." Reading that stopped the smoke from coming out of my ears. It's hard to be mad in a moment like that.

Maybe I'll leave them up there for a few more minutes.

Nevermind. I don't want to see what Vaseline looks like on the carpet again.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Movies I've Never Seen

The rest of the fam is hanging out watching the movie Footloose on TV right now. Without further adieu, my list of movies I've never seen and have no desire to see:

1. Footloose
2. Any Indiana Jones movies
3. Any Star Wars movies
4. Any Rocky movies
5. Footloose
6. Rent
7. Absolutely anything with Fran Drescher, Shirly McLane, or Rosie O'Donnell. Also not a fan of John Travolta
8. Fried Green Tomatoes
9. Thelma and Louise
10. Spiderman
11. Saturday Night Fever
12. Beaches
13. Footloose

Friday, June 6, 2008

We're Going Dirting

We have someone in our neighborhood who is positively obsessive-compulsive about standing in his yard wearing suspenders and watering his lawn......and sidewalk, and street in front of his house. Suspender Guy, as he shall now be known, waters his lawn, sidewalk, street, and driveway from the moment he gets home until the sun goes down. His lawn, and sidewalk, and street look fantastic.

In my adolescent years my friends and I loved to go toilet papering (the adolescent years when toilet papering was cool. Not to be confused with the adolescent years when toilet papering was not cool).

As I walked past Suspender Guy's house this morning I thought about how fun it would be to "dirt" his house in the middle of the night. We could take over a few 5 gallon buckets full of dirt and throw it on his sidewalk and driveway. I could see him making the discovery in the morning and being livid, cursing today's youth and their destructive ways. I'm almost positive that dirting would be just as fun as toilet papering, and a lot easier on the wallet. When the wife and I are looking for some good "clean" fun, we may just go dirting.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

I Hit Kids

I coach my son's slow pitch/t-ball team. Today was our last game of the season, and I'm sure the kids are thrilled. Thrilled, in part, because today is the end of the abuse they endured from their coach (um, me) over the course of the season. This abuse stems from the fact that I CAN NOT pitch underhand. Overhand -maybe. Underhand - ain't gonna happen (that's my story and I'm sticking to it). Consequently, I hit three kids from my own team this evening. I'm going to feel like a schmuck if a black eye is the result of, um, me. It's unfortunate when a coach needs more practice during the summer than the players do. Woops!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

New CD In The Works

I've been recording for a new CD that should be released in the next few months. It is an instrumental piano album of Christian hymns. Over the years I've had lots of people ask me to record various hymns, so the CD will contain the most requested songs.

All the piano tracks are completed. Now I just need to figure out what other instruments to add. We're getting close. I can promise there will be no accordion, gong, or tuba on the CD. Keep your eye on the blog or for the latest updates.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

I Love Gems TV!

Our TV gets a mind of its own at night. It suddenly changes the channel, then changes it back, then stops the show we’re watching – you get the point. Well, three nights ago, our TV turned itself to channel 229. I didn’t even know we had channel 229. Apparently we do. Turns out channel 229 is something called Gems TV.

Gems TV is hour upon hour of people modeling jewelry and selling it at rock bottom prices. Gems TV is like a car wreck. You want to turn away but you just can’t do it. And why, you ask, “can’t I turn away?” (You can pretend you just asked that.)

These sales people are absolutely hilarious. They’re not trying to be. They just are. And they always have conversations with crew members off screen. The problem is that you can’t hear those people. You only hear the jewelry model. Therefore, the conversation you hear goes like this: “Oh, really?”….. “How did that happen?”…… “That’s okay, we can still work with it.”…… “Monday should be good.” And then they’re back to talking about the gems.

The other great part of Gems TV is the background music. It’s not something soft and mellow. It’s not something peaceful. Noooo way amigo! It’s upbeat techno music!! I’ve seen my wife work out to music like this before. I’m impressed that a program has been created where people are able to order jewelry and exercise at the same time.

Here is a little taste of what you’re missing if you don’t have Gems TV.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Blogs Make Me Cry

I got converted to the world of blogging by a guy named Shaun Groves. Not only does this guy have some absolutely awesome music, but reading his blog made me cry. Seriously. I was laughing so hard that I cried. There are a few other things besides blogs that make me cry:

  • When the Utah Jazz get booted from the playoffs AGAIN.

  • When I go to the freezer for ice cream and it's gone (thanks Mel).

  • Once I laughed so hard that I cried when a horse that my daughter was feeding sneezed brown slime all over her.

  • When I hear a toilet flush upstairs, then a child wanders down to tell me I need to get the plunger.

You'll check out Shauns blog if you know what's good for you. Tell him Cory sent you.