Or that hot tub scene from “About Schmidt.”

If I could send a piece of advice back to my five-year-old self—I’m sure I’d need to use some sort of tachyon pulse or enlist the services of a reasonably priced wizard or something to pull it off—it would be this: there are some things you can’t unsee. You have to fight to keep some things pure. Like the Black Keys

About eight years ago I was walking through a rather dodgy neighborhood in Worcester, MA, and my friend Ryan who had been staring a little farther down the road turned to me and said, “Hey, do you want me to ruin your life right now?” And of course I said, “Absolutely.” He pointed to the truck he’d seen approaching and said, “Did you ever notice the arrow?” I scanned the side of the FedEx truck as it rumbled past, and sure enough, in that moment a small part of my carefree spirit died.


Now that freaking arrow is the first thing I see whenever I look at the FedEx logo. And at this point I must apologize. I didn’t ask if you wanted your life ruined. Ryan is more considerate than I am.

I guess the moral of this sad, sad story is this: if you love “Lonely Boy” as much as I do, you might not want to watch Deb “Spoons” Perry as she spoons with herself. But if you just want to watch through the first part where she gets all crazy in what I believe is an awesome kangaroo mosh pit, you still might be able to hang onto that last fuzzy portion of your innocence. And who knows? It may even help you grow a little bit of it back.

Rock on, mate!


It’s still okay to shop at Cracker Barrel. I think.

A few days ago a friend of mine made a mistake while crafting and solemnly stated that she had “munged it up.” My lexicological radar immediately pinged. Munged is one of those words that I can’t get a good read on (Pun… intended?), and whenever I hear it, I pretty much have to put aside whatever I’m doing and stare into space for ten or fifteen or sixty minutes. I just can’t figure out if it’s an ethnic slur, and Noam Chomsky still refuses to accept my lunch invitations.

As far as I’ve been able to learn, “mung up” has been in use since the 1940s, and I’m not sure whether that jibes with why I would think it was meant to be a racial slant. If you haven’t seen “Gran Torino,” it seems most Americans weren’t too aware of the Hmong (Mong or Mung, commonly) people until after the Vietnam War when thousands of Hmong refugees settled in the United States. However, small numbers of Hmong immigrants first started coming to the US in the late 40s as unrest rose in then Indochina, so I’m not sure where to go from here. I have to do more research, so for now “munged up” will remain on my watch list.

And while I’m still kind of lucid, let’s talk a little about “gypped” for a moment. Growing up in the American West, it’s not a hard sell to tell people that “Indian giver” might not be the best way to express any commercial frustrations, but somehow gypped still manages to go unremarked as often as not. I’m pretty sure that’s more a product of unawareness than unkind intentions. I know very few people in this part of the world who have had any kind of dealings with Gypsies, good or bad. Utah doesn’t have a robust history of interacting with the Roma, although with so many here tracing their roots to a different set of much-maligned nomadic people, a little more effort into squelching the negativity might not be amiss. If you absolutely must convey your sense of having received a raw deal, I would suggest using the ever-popular, “I just got served a slice of the ol’ crap pie!” It’s a classic for a reason.

You can never have a second first blog post. Sigh.

I’m always a little slow to adopt the habits of the trendy and savvy, not to mention the hygienic. I didn’t have a cell phone until I was 25, didn’t join Facebook until just after President Obama took office (two unrelated events), didn’t tweet until last year, and I’ve never posted a meme about anything. So I guess it’s not too surprising that it’s taken me roughly seven years to start a blog. And I might never have started one at all if I hadn’t recently stumbled upon an oft-misattributed quote by Gertrude Stein that goes, “Haters to the left.” Which just resonated with me and forced to me reevaluate a lot of my core beliefs. Then I ended up here. It was either I do this, or go to law school. This seemed easier.

I’m not hoping for a lot. Nor should you. But if you check back periodically, I should have some fresh ideas on the current status of international competitive woodworking, colorful anecdotes about my ongoing quest to grill the perfect piece of scrod, and helpful tips on how to best prepare you body and mind for the rigors of Thunderdome.

At the very least, you’ll understand the situation more clearly when you see my photo on the wall of your local post office.