Thursday, December 31, 2009

Wishing for Rocks

After growing up in Colorado and moving to Nebraska, I make it a special point not to be a mountain snob. I had several friends that came to Nebraska for a while for college, and they were especially obnoxious about the scenery. "Nebraska sucks," they would say. "It needs mountains." Though I can't say it has been scientifically proven otherwise, I'm pretty sure jagged eye-candy on the horizon doesn't instantly improve quality of life in any given area. However, given the massive amounts of snow that have buried my town, I would really be into some mountains right now.

I think the appeal of the mountains is a general feeling of "I'm being earthy." There's something about having your view of the sky obstructed by something natural and massive and immovable (except by the mustard seed faith), and it makes you feel insignificant and privileged at the same time. Most of the time, I don't think much about not living in a mountainous region, but with the snow piled high, people bundled up, and my sitting in a coffee shop all morning, I really wish there were a a rocky canvas or two for the snow to dust and the sun to paint.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

If Fern Gully Were Good...

It would be Avatar.

I won't spend too much time on this already talked about film, but I had to say a few things.

1. See it in 3D. It's probably good either way, but the look will dig into your brain so much more if you pay the extra for the 3D experience.

2. If you've seen the trailer, you've seen the entire plot. It's one of my only complaints. And I don't blame James Cameron for this, I blame the studio for making a trailer that told you everything. See it because it is stunning, not to be surprised by the story itself.

3. As a friend of mine pointed out, "Can a movie be racist without being racist?" It's a good point. Why is it that Hollywood portrays all indigenous peoples as either Native American, African, or, as this film does, both. Is it so hard to try something new?

In other news, I worked at the zoo the other day. I spent about 4 hours with my friend Myndi to help her out the other day. I felt a crocodile, a seal, a wallaby, and I watched on otter poop--yes that's noteworthy.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Birds are Hard Core

My Winter Break has begun. It doesn't really feel like it, but I haven't had to listen to obnoxious teenagers rapping along to some funky, fly artist without knowing it, and that's a bonus.

The project of the day, and throughout the week, is to complete the housing arrangements for Young Master Prindle's arrival. About two months ago, I spent a morning of frustration in his room, piecing together the far too many parts of his crib. I realized then that if fathers had to construct baby furniture as a precursor to having a child, there would be millions of fatherless children in the world today. The pieces are confusing enough (the crib has some pieces that I'm convinced were not correctly aligned when they were cut), but the instructions are intolerable. If they were my students' process essays, I'd fail them all.

Today's endeavors took me to the room with a glider chair and changing table to assemble. For the most part, both were easier than that crib. However, while the chair was wonderfully simple, the table frustrated me to know end. I'll admit to some errors as the operator's fault, but other that, the person jotting down instructions should be socked in the mouth. If your going to take the time to tell me that parts D need to have the slats facing in, then you should also tell me the the holes in parts D should be toward a certain direction. I put over half the thing together before realizing I had to go back and fix some things. I later had to go back at the end because the diagrams are always so convoluted with too many images and lines and dashes.

Birds don't have to deal with this when they do their nesting. If they had to create their nests in a similar fassion, matching stick C with twig F while parts A and Q intertwine themselves to create an indention where twigs B,D,H,I,N,W,L,S,X, and P cross, birds would give up living in the trees. Instead they have the God-given brilliance to figure out how to make something stable enough and safe enough to have kids in that doesn't make them want to squawk and tweet profanity for hours on end.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Snow Days

I never had them growing up, and I got to the point where I almost thought they were some magical thing that people made up to supply students with hope. This week has proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that such days exist and can come in abundance.

It snowed Sunday, nothing huge, but more than we've seen this season. Nothing on Monday, but people talked of a big falling starting Monday night. Tuesday, Wednesday, and, I just found out Thursday are all snow days for me. I can't express how incredible this is. And I don't have to.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Cat Piss

I accidentally made my wife cry over the weekend. I mentioned the possibility of ridding our house of cats. I don't really want to lose them, they are incredibly awesome, and I love them greatly. However, the weekend brought about two urinary occasions that left me quite upset. Whenever my parents come to town, they seem to receive the brunt of my kitties' bladder venom. One such peeing escapade was in my parents' suitcase. It was on the floor, a place that I thought I was clear about when I said, "Don't leave anything on the floor." But the other was on Sunday morning when I was stripping sheets from the bed and found a big wet spot. Either my parents have bed-wetting issues or one of my cats has taken its bathroom behavior to new heights.

I hollered for my wife to come down because I needed to talk to her. I showed the sheet and made my claim that if this persists, we may need to be done with them.

I love my cats, and I would likely not care as much about their pissing practices. However, with child en route, I'm feeling like I should care more. Yeah, I can replace almost anything they can urinate on, but with a kid rolling around the floor, or not being able to get away from such a substance, I'm feeling the need to take it all seriously.

Plus, I don't want Jr. to get peed on...that would just suck.