Tuesday, June 30, 2009

How To Cause Trouble At Dillard's

Yesterday I got an email from my old friend Steve who I haven’t seen for around twelve years. Hearing from him reminded me of one of the funniest events I have ever been part of.

I met Steve when I worked at Dillard’s for a few months before college. We sold overpriced shirts and watches together. I loved hanging out with Steve because he was a trouble maker at the store and was always pushing the limits.

One day we were wandering around Dillard’s and came across a hidden door on the second floor. Being the curious boys we were, we went inside. We obviously weren’t supposed to be there.

Before us was a cluttered room of mannequins, hangers, and other random things that managers didn’t know what to do with. This was the junk drawer of Dillard’s. But we saw behind the clutter, an object which seemed to glow with wonder and heavenly delight:


It was December amid the Christmas rush of the mall. Soft, festive Christmas music was on constant repeat.

Steve was quitting after Christmas to go to college, and wanted to go out with a bang. The store intercom system immediately came to mind. Remember how I said he was always pushing the limits? A plan was devised and launched on his last day at Dillard’s.

At a predetermined time I distracted the manager to free up Steve who headed for the secret room……WITH A METALLICA CD IN HAND!!!!

Suddenly the cheery “Have A Holly, Jolly Christmas” switched to loud heavy metal playing over the store intercom. Talk about trying to ruin Christmas.

On Dasher, on Dancer, on Prancer, on Steve as he bolted out the door and I nearly hyperventilated from laughing so hard. Thankfully my part in the plot was never discovered.

A finer time has never been had inside a Dillard’s store.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Falling Off The Wagon

One of the miracles that has accomanied my running has been the decrease in my desire to eat junk food. It hasn't gone away completely, but I definitely eat less than I used to. Anyone who knows me well can attest to the fact that me not craving sweets truly is a miracle. I used to eat candy bars like I'd just been sent home from Survivor after 40 days.

That being said, I fell off the healthy wagon Tuesday night. On the way to a baseball game, I stopped and bought a box of Hostess Crumb Donuts. And this is what happened........

Ah, the sweet, artery-clogging, diabetes-causing, scrumptious morsels of sugary goodness.
Before you attack my self-control, let me defend myself by saying I didn't eat the whole box. Jackson ate two of the donuts. I topped these off with a can of Diet Mountain Dew. The entire experience was glorious.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Why I Hate Swimming

I’m not a fan of swimming. Call me crazy. Trust me, the rest of the family does. Saying you don’t like swimming is akin to insulting their intelligence or telling them they look like Rosie O’Donnell.

Despite my dislike of swimming, I joined the family for an outing to the pool last night. It got me thinking about why I have such an aversion to swimming. The only explanation I could come up with was Camp Steiner.

When I was an eager young lad, I attended a Boy Scout camp named Camp Steiner. My friends and I wanted to be part of the elite group of boys who were able to take the sail boats out in the lake.

We had no idea of the stringent exam our bodies would be put through to receive this qualification.

Turns out we had to jump off the dock, swim to the shore, then swim back to the dock. The distance didn’t seem insurmountable. And besides, we were young. And eager.

But then I jumped in the water.

The temperature of this lake put Antarctica to shame. Instantly my lungs contracted and my chest refused to breathe. My joints were frozen stiff and simply would not move. I envisioned the headline in the newspaper – “Young, Eager Boy Scout Drowns At Camp Steiner”.

Through the grace of God, my body somehow swam to the shore. Then back to the dock. And I became a sail boat captain. And I reached the conclusion that I hate swimming.

Monday, June 22, 2009

I Was Abused

Something unfortunate happened on Saturday.

I verbally abused myself. It's true.

The abuse transpired over the course of running 17 miles. You see, I have this little problem where I sometimes kick my ankles while I'm running. This happens when I start to get careless or sloppy and don't pay attention to what my bird legs are doing. FYI, this hurts!

Around the sixth time, I gave myself a good kick and my ankle started bleeding. I let out a loud "AARRRGGHH!" and the berating began. I chastised myself for being clumsy and for forgetting to put preemptive Band-Aids on my ankles before I started the run (I had this brilliant idea the day before, and meant to set out some Band-Aids so I wouldn't forget).

I chewed out my ankles for being so bony and obtrusive. I belittled myself for choosing socks that didn't cover my ankles. Are some longer socks too much to ask for!?! ?

"Get down and give me 20! Your mama dresses you funny.! You buy your clothes at a skirt shop! Your breath smells like tuna fish! I've seen a pine tree with more personality than you have! You're as pleasant as a swift kick to the groin!"

The abuse was hurtful, derogatory, and demeaning. I'm now giving myself therapy to begin healing from the abuse.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Marc Cohn Concert Review

We've been driving a lot lately and Mel decided she wasn't up for another trip to Salt Lake so she nominated our 5 year old, Danica to go to the Marc Cohn concert with me. The weather during the whole drive was horrendous. It was so rainy and blowing so hard that I considered it a real possibility that the car would be carried away and dropped in Munchkin land.
Why does that matter you ask? Because it was an outdoor concert. I had no doubt the show would be cancelled. It was a complete downpour. We showed up at the Sandy Ampitheater about 45 minutes before the concert and a miracle happened.....the clouds cleared. The show went on without a hitch.

And who, you ask, is Marc Cohn? Don't make me come over there. His most popular song "Walking In Memphis" was part of an album that earned him a Grammy. Without going into all the gory details, suffice it to say the concert was stunning. I thought to myself as I held Dani on my lap listening to amazing music that there was nowhere else I'd rather be.

After the show we were able to talk with Marc a bit. He was very kind to Danica, and asked her name and if he could shake her hand.

Me and Marc Cohn are BFFs.

Saturday, June 20, 2009


We were watching television last night and saw this commercial from Stanley Steamer. I'm not sure if they meant it to be funny or to cross the line of what you'd like to see a dog doing on prime time television. Be careful that you don't accidentally puke on your carpet. Then you'll have to call Stanly Steamer!

Either way, this is one of the most disturbingly funny commercials I've seen in a long time.


Thursday, June 18, 2009

Marc Cohn Saturday Night

For those of you who like good music, check out this little gem that showed up in my email today. Marc Cohn - Sandy Utah - Saturday Night - 2 for 1 tickets on the lawn. $6 per ticket! Holy Moses.

I've had the pleasure of seeing Marc in concert and it was amazing. One of the best shows I've seen. I feel guilty paying so little for one of his concerts. If you're in the area and plan to go to the concert let me know (cory@coryreese.com) and we'll sit some lawn together.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Pray For The Cardalls

If you're among the praying folk, keep my friend Paul Cardall and his family in your prayers. Paul is struggling with his health and is in desperate need of a heart transplant.

As if that wasn't enough to have on his plate, his brother was killed in a taser incident with the Hurricane Police Department. The whole situation is simply heartbreaking.

Paul's attitude and outlook are the model for how to handle trials and adversity. For a reminder of how precious life is check out his blog HERE.

Weekend In Moab

The wife and I spent our 11 YEAR ANNIVERSARY (wow-we're old) at Moab and took Jackson along for the ride. The weekend was perfect (except for the extensive number of mosquito bites I brought home with me). Some highlights of the trip were:

Mesa Arch in Canyonlands National Park: Mesa Arch at sunrise is a photographer's paradise. I had people near me from Britain who came for this shot. I had been to Mesa Arch previously for two sunrises but rain spoiled the picture both times. Fortunately, third time's the charm. The price for this picture....an alarm clock at 4:30am.

Delicate Arch in Arches National Park: Mel had never been to Arches, and you can't go without seeing this icon. It was very, very windy. Especially near the arch. If I wore a toupee that sucker would have been long gone.

Turret Arch through the North Window in Arches: This is also a highly coveted shot for photographers. In order to get Turret Arch through the North Window you have to climb up a ledge that is a little scary for a sissy like me who is afraid of heights. The price for this picture was also a 4:30am alarm clock.

Sand Dune: We found a huge sand dune that Jackson was determined to reach the top of. (That is a semi and some cars at the bottom of the hill.) I was surprised and impressed that he made it. Understandably, this is how he felt when he reached the top:

Corona Arch: This is probably my favorite hike in Moab. It takes about three hours and isn't in Arches so it's not as populated. The scenery is beautiful. When we reached the arch, a group of brave souls were repelling off the top of the arch. Just watching them made my stomach queasy.

I'm already anxious for the next time we can make a trip that direction. I will be well-prepared with a hefty supply of bug spray.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Given My Life Back

I’d like to bear my testimony about Kenalog shots. Three weeks ago I reached the peak of my misery due to allergies. My throat felt like I swallowed automotive parts, my eyes felt like someone removed them from my head and rubbed them on a chalk board, and I was going through Kleenex like nobody’s business. I was beyond miserable.

Then I visited Dr. Worwood, my angel of mercy. He said that doctors don’t really like to use Kenalog anymore because there are so many other allergy medications with less potential side effects. But….since I tried everything in the book, he said he thought it would probably be a good idea.

There are a bunch of possible side effects, but at that point, I was willing to let him cut off my thumbs if he thought it would help.

Since then, my eyes don’t itch and water! We don’t have to allocate money from the family budget for tissues! Life is glorious and beautiful. We have unicorns in the back yard and leprechauns frolic with my children. Thank you, Kenalog, for returning my life back to me.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Some Good New Music

Here are a few new albums you definitely want to check out at iTunes (or click on the picture for a link to Amazon):

"City of Black & White" by Mat Kearney. Each of the 12 songs on here are really good. On his first CD "Nothing Left To Lose", half the songs are brilliant and half are complete garbage. There is much more consistency on this CD. Favorites are "Closer To Love" and "Lifeline". There is no "spoken word" stuff on this one like the first album. I've had the songs stuck in my head since I bought the CD a few weeks ago for $7.99.

"The Fray" by....The Fray. I didn't give this CD a fair shake at first. I dismissed it because I knew there was no way it could possibly be even close to as good as their first CD "How To Save A Life". A few weeks later I heard the song "Happiness" from this CD (not as cheery as you'd think) and realized I may have missed something.

Since then I've listened to it lots. And I think the impossible happened - they made this CD better than their first. If I hired a band to make a CD of exactly the kind of music I like, it would have turned out like this CD.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Martha Stewart - Eat Your Heart Out

I'm a man. I can prepare exactly 5 meals:

1) Ramen noodles
2) Peanut butter sandwiches
3) Homemade chili (this actually isn't too shabby)
4) Boxed macaroni and cheese
5) Delicious bowls of cereal
Well now I can add something else to my list of incredible food preparations: SALSA!
I got a recipe from Sasha at work, tweaked it just a little bit, and came up with this really good grub. I'd like to call it "Salsa So Easy A Man Can Make It".
1 big gallon can of stewed, peeled tomatoes (We got ours at Costco for like $2.60)
1 bunch of green onions
2 bunches of cilantro
3 cloves of garlic
1-3 jalapeno peppers (1 at our house - we have weak tongues)
Around 2 teaspoons lemon juice
Salt & pepper
Blend up the tomatoes just until they're mushed up (not long enough for them to become liquid). Put the jalapeno, lemon juice, and garlic in the blender with some of the tomatoes and pour into a big bowl. It will take a few blender-fulls to get all the tomatoes mushed.
We borrowed a little chopper and chopped the onions and cilantro into very small pieces (use most of the cilantro stem). Add these to the bowl with the tomatoes. Toss in some salt and pepper to taste, mix up really good, and you've got yourself so much salsa that you can eat until you're ill. The total cost is around $4.50. Sweet!
Martha Stewart - I'm coming after you! (More specifically your money, book deals, television show, and soft, silky hair.)

Monday, June 1, 2009

Chance Meeting With NBA's Finest

I arrived at the holy grail of Utah Jazz fans on Memorial Day. I stumbled upon this chance meeting at the most unlikely of places…….Wal-Mart.

I walked in the store and happened to glance over at the deli section to see my NBA hero – Deron Williams!!! Seriously. In the Hurricane Wal-Mart!

I resisted my urge to be giddy as a school girl and tell him that I’m his biggest fan, and that I only missed two Jazz games last season, and that I LOVE when he schools people on the basketball court, and that he’s an excellent dribbler, and I assume he’s a noble member of the community, and I’m sure he has a witty sense of humor, and then ask him if he could autograph my chest.

Instead I pulled out my cell phone and asked if I could get a picture with him. It appeared that I was the only person who realized that DERON WILLIAMS WAS AT WAL-MART. Either 1) they didn’t realize that they were in the midst of basketball greatness, or 2) they weren’t as brave (aka nerdy) as me to go up and say hello.

Here is the prized photograph from our meeting.