Lingua Frank

This blog goes fishing in my memory hole for stories that I hope will provide at least marginal amusement for all.


This blog is really about memories from my life...retold for the pleasure or yawns of friends and strangers alike. Bon appetit.

четверг, июня 30, 2005

Blood and Guts

I was splayed out on the couch on Tuesday afternoon, lazily trying to straddle that glorious state of consciousness between actually sleeping, and the cat-like readiness necessary to spring into action to keep my toddling little girl from injuring herself as she dug out every box of raisins in the snack drawer for the fortieth time. As I sleepily forced my eyes to remain at least partially open, I was constantly reminded of the utter devastation that my increasingly mobile 13 month old could wreak upon herself and everything around her. Sasha's right hand was bandaged to the hilt..Two days earlier, her older sister had tried to help her with safety conscientiousness by "cutting the scissors away from her" and taking a chunk of her tiny fingertip along with it.
I had been trying to pull myself together to prepare for church as the girls were playing (I thought) safely and happily on the other side of the room. Unbeknownst to me (but knownst to them), Victoria had pulled down my wife's sewing kit, Sasha had seized the supernaturally sharp implements of doom known as my wife's sewing scissors, and...well...I've already mentioned where this leads. Suddenly, Victoria shouted out, "Daddy, Sasha's bleeding!"...this was certainly true. Great gushes of blood were gurgling forth from her digit like a zombie ET. I clamped a wash-cloth around the fount of gore as I hustled Shawna out of the shower. My poor baby was coughing out hideous, semi-silent cries as my wet wife threw on whatever clothes were closest at hand, and we rushed to the emergency room....
I was determined to keep Sasha from happening upon, say, a cleaver this I stared, exhausted and intent, as my sweet little destruction magnet made a physically staggering, albeit medically benign little patch of chaos in the hotel kitchenette. Shawna and Victoria had left just minutes before for their "Beauty Day" (a fancy way of saying they were going to get haircuts, but it was guaranteed to keep Victoria sitting still as a stranger came at her guessed it...scissors). I perked up when my phone chimed out its cheesy MIDIfied rendition of "Beautiful Day", indicating that my sexy vixen of a wife was calling. "Sean," she moaned in a wheezing whisper, "I need help...we've been in an accident." She assured me that she and Vika were alright, but that the car was totalled. Ten minutes later, I stood staring at what had been our Montero Sport...honestly feeling nothing but peaceful relief that nobody had been seriously hurt. Still, Shawna's arm was in bad shape, and so after we filled out the police report and exchanged all of the necessary information with the guy that I pray will not sue us, I made the trip to the emergency room for the second time in two days. I'm maxing out my frequent bleeder miles. Her wrist was broken, and so I've taken a few days off to help her with things until I shuffle her and the kids off to Utah for a couple of weeks.
All of this talk about the twisted crunch of burgundy steel formerly known as my car and emergency rooms reminds me of the last time Shawna and Sasha were rushed to the hospital...but that's a story for another post...

среда, июня 15, 2005

Laying Around Sweaty and Lethargic

We now live in the deep south. The decision to up and relocate a few hundred miles closer to the equator came pretty suddenly, in the middle of April. The timing of it all was essential, because Georgia was lovely then...light spring breezes would cool off a benign, musty heat as we strolled along the banks of the Savannah. Of course it occurred to us that we could stay here for a good long time whilst taking in the sultry southernness of it all. So we got invested, and now, two months later, we wallow inside of our sticky-drenched clothes, unable to tell if we're wet from our own malodorous sweat or from the opressive, sweltering humidity. My wife and I need to shower multiple times in order to overcome our thorough disgust with our own stinky bodies before we allow ourselves to even think of touching each other.
I learned this lesson about my wife just two days before our wedding. We both made it to marriage as virgins only by the grace of God, because He knows full well that there's no way in hell we restrained ourselves by our willpower alone. A twenty-one year old virgin is a particularly potent amorous force, and so we were both very into all the "kosher" touchy-feeliness that is the m.o. for young Mormons in love. So, on that particular night, we were sitting on the side of a hill watching a movie being projected onto the wall of an art museum in North Carolina. It was August, and suffocating heat lay heavy over Raleigh. Undaunted by weather, I tried to snuggle up to my soon-to-be bride and was silently and summarily rejected time and time again. After being shrugged off four or five times, I moped off to my corner of the blanket, thinking, "Not again!". I was whisked back to a painful, formative moment from my adolescence...
I really, really liked Samantha (not her real name). She was endlessly cool in every possible way, from suddenly shouting "He has a thermal detonator!" and hitting the floor, to an impeccable taste in music and movies, and she was funnier than just about anybody I had ever known. Add to that the fact that she was brilliantly pretty, and my 16 year old self was starting to know something beside my usual teenage horniness. I didn't want to just make out with Samantha...I really wanted to date her.
We went out two or three times before I did anything at all. We hiked in Big Cottonwood canyon, we went out for Mongolian Barbeque, all of the usuals except for my 1-base baseball game. I already was hopelessly insecure, especially because I wanted to do this one right. On the third or fourth date, as I sat with her watching a Woody Allen flick, I decided that my moment had come to make some kind of move, so with every passing minute, my hand trembled across the millimeters that separated my knee from hers. This, friends, is the sole tool at the disposal of sixteen-year-olds with a crush...the creep. Oh, we've all done it. As the movie progresses, and you are breathlessly consumed by indecision, you eventually gird up your loins and you ever so slowly move your hand toward hers, with the hope that little sparks of passion will transgress the gap between your pinky finger and hers until it bursts into rampaging flames of rapturous lust for the both of you. Well, at least that's how you imagine it going as you set out to perform the creep. Reality, alas, sometimes falls short of the lofty heights that our imaginations set for it.
No sooner had my pinky made it to the knuckle of Samantha's ring finger before she pursed her lips, briefly flashed me a scornful look, and with an awful finality commanded me: "Sean, don't". I immediately recoiled and stared straight ahead as my wiener detatched itself in disgust and rolled down my pantleg and into my gym sock. I was looking at the screen, but I missed all of Alan Alda's witty reparte. "I am physically repulsive to the opposite sex," I thought, "girls actually retch at the thought that my hand might brush against theirs..." and so on through the rest of the movie, through the hopelessly awkward drive home, and deep into the night until exhaustion finally shut my mopey, furrowed eyes. I got over Samantha, and managed somehow to actually have a relatively happy, well balanced dating life, but those two horrible words that came out of her mouth always lingered ominously in the back of my brain, waiting for a moment to spring on me again to wreak merciless ruin on my ego. They attacked two nights before I was to be married. So there I sat, a more mature 21, feeling like I was 16 again, sitting back in that Salt Lake theater with a girl who felt noxious aversion to my very being. After what seemed like an eternity, my sweetheart finally leaned over to me and said, "Dude, I'm sweaty and gross. Just cool off until I do." Then she winked at me, shot me a scorching, smoldering glance, and sent my masculine self-confidence out of the teenage abyss into the sexual stratosphere.
After all was said and done, I realized that my adolescent self doubt wasn't a curse that needed to plague me forever, and that we have to let go of those ultimately insignificant moments that for a thousand confusing reasons devastated us while we were young.

четверг, июня 09, 2005

Delusions of Adequacy

I suck at most things. This is most especially true in two arenas: 1) on the basketball court, where I trip over my own phosphorescent legs as I elbow everyone else in the face...and that's even before the game starts and 2)anything that requires a trip to Home Depot. I usually propel myself through home improvement projects by the sheer power of muttered profanity and by harnessing the dark, twisted core of hatred for tools that dwells within my little heart. So, naturally, after seeing dozens of brand new beautiful houses that are more than I ever dreamed I would be able to afford, I end up putting out a contract on a 100 year old Victorian farmhouse (no, not to have it murdered). It's the very definition of masochism. But no matter how much I tried to deny it...I've fallen in love with that massive, ancient bastard of a home, and I'm going to subjugate it like a midget in prison.
The house is ginormous. After we take all of our furniture and put it into the rooms, the house will still feel totally empty. While modelling it on the Sims, I could just hear the pathetic echoes of my futon stowed away in a huge, lonely corner of my office as it calls out forlornly, " anyone there? All of my furniture buddies are clear the hell over THERE....there...there..."
I'm a little daunted by it all, but still excited. All of my nerd endings are aquiver with the conveniently placed closet next to the living room know...the future A/V closet feeding to the plasma screen in the custom-built frame hanging above the mantle...with in-ceiling speakers. Pardon a drool. Best Buy is my strip club. The guy selling mp3 players still looks at me weird after that dollar bills in his polo shirt escapade. Some year I'll actually be able to afford it. In the meantime, at night after my wife is asleep, I'll sneak out my circuit city catalogues or surf those hot amateur electronics websites. I don't have a problem. I can quit anytime. I wouldn't do it if my wife let me spend thousands of dollars on absurd home theater accessories more often. Don't judge me. Plus, I only read them for the articles.