My State's Better Than Your State!

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Our family recently took a little trip to Palmyra, NY for the Hill Cumorah Pageant, tour the Joseph Smith farm, and see other historical church sites. People descend from all over the nation to see the pageant. There were even a handful of people who I am fairly certain came to Cumorah from other planets because most earthlings have stopped screaming insults through megaphones and holding picket signs at religious events, but that's a separate issue. We ended up seeing license plates from 23 states that were normally affixed to the backs of large minivans, station wagons, and suburbans. It was interesting to read the slogans from each of these states as they try to build a brand image across the country. There was one state in particular that caught our interest with two different slogans that it was using because, in my opinion, were outright lies. The state in question - Ohio.

One slogan for Ohio claims that it is the, "Home of Aviation". The last time I checked the Wright brothers took off in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, not Ohio. This monumental event is permanently emblazoned on each NC license plate as we proudly proclaim that our state is the "First In Flight". Given Ohio's brazen attempt to usurp our claim to aerial supremacy, I think that NC should change its slogan to "First in Flight - Take That, Ohio!" but Governor Easley has yet to return my repeated phone calls on this matter.

We also read that Ohio considers itself the "Birthplace of a Nation". Now, I know that I only scored a 2 on my AP United States History exam in 1993 (and didn't qualify for college credit!) but I'm pretty sure that the real birth of our our nation took place in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Notice, however, that Ohio is claiming to be birthplace of "A" Nation, not birthplace of "The" nation. This is like bags of potato chips loudly and proudly proclaiming "0 Grams Transfat!" in healthy-looking green font on their packaging while the rest of the bag has 6,000 calories in it. I'm not sure which nation was born in Ohio, but I strongly suggest they change their state slogan.

Since we had a 12-hour drive home from New York, Andrea and I decided to come up with alternate slogans for several states to put on their license plates. While we came up with a few of them, I am also going to ask you to post your comments for alternate slogans for three other states - Arizona, Idaho, and South Carolina. Without further ado, here are the unfortunate states who happened to cross our minds on a long, long roadtrip when we had too much time on our hands:

Delaware: "What happens in Delaware.......probably isn't worth mentioning anyway."

Georgia: "Sure, the Devil came here. But he's gone now. We promise!"

Hawaii: "Yeah, you're jealous."

Kansas: "Whole hearted supporters of high fructose corn syrup."

Mississippi: "Would you like that deep fried, or deep-deep fried?"

Missouri: "It's no coincidence that our name sounds like 'Misery'". (The alternate-alternate for Missouri is "Proudly not exterminating Mormons since 1976").

New Hampshire: "Take that, Old Hampshire!"

New Mexico: "We are currently in a bidding war with California, Texas, and Arizona to see who gets our name since it fits them better. In 2010, say hello to Albuquerque, New Canada!"

Ohio: "Did we mention that we also invented the internet?"

Rhode Island: "What? We're not an actual island? Oh well, we've already filed form 16-B with the federal government to name our state. Hopefully nobody will notice...."

Washington: "Not the one with all the politicians, the one where guys have ponytails, use hemp, and go backpacking."

West Virginia: "If you enjoy toll roads, rusted out factories, coal mines, and mullets...welcome home!"

Wyoming: "Losing to BYU at football since 1943."

Okay readers, since most of you live out west or in NC, let's have a little fun and submit your new slogans for Arizona, Idaho, and South Carolina. Just remember that two states are already claiming to be the birthplace of aviation, so you might want to steer clear of that one.

32 Reasons Why I'm Getting Old

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

I was getting my hair cut this week and while I was looking in the mirror I said to myself, "face it, you're getting old." In honor of my 32 years on the planet, here are 32 reasons why I think I'm getting old.

1. I now feel slightly embarrassed/guilty when I get birthday cars with money in them. (Note to mom, dad, grandmas, grandpas, aunts, uncles, and anybody else who would like to send money: Please keep sending me money every Nov. 11th. I am sure that the happiness that you feel from sending it outweighs my embarrassment/guilt for receiving it, so there is a net positive effect on the karma of the universe)

2. After watching Chris Webber as a Freshman at Michigan and his 14 years in the NBA I feel like he is an old, washed up ballplayer who should just do us all a favor and retire already. He was born in 1973. I was born in 1974.

3. As a 1st year MBA student at the U. of A., a cute little blond undergrad walked right up to me, looked me in the eye, and said, "Excuse me, sir, could you please tell me what time it is?" That was six years ago.

4. I had a nasty bout with elbow bursitis two years ago.

5. We just had four of are awesome Laurels (young women age 16-18) come to our house for dinner. Some of them were born in 1991.

6. I was recently in a meeting where the attendees were me, the High Council, and the Stake Presidency. One of the High Counselors is in his forties and the rest are in their 50's - 70's. I felt right at home with them.

7. I think my hair is thinning in the front.

8. I received a nose hair trimmer as a gift a few years ago. It was not a gag gift, either.

9. I sometimes ask myself, "I wonder how many calories are in this" before I eat it. I then eat it anyway and then have to ask myself, "how slow is my metabolism again?"

10. I care about my HDL, LDL, and glucose levels at my annual Wellness screening at work.

11. I only listen to talk radio and could not name a single song in the Top-40 right now.

12. I recently had to explain to a person who Milli Vanilli were.

13. I subscribe to Business Week.

14. I take Sunday naps almost every Sunday, even if I try not to. (But don't worry, it never happens on the stand in Sacrament meeting. Duckie whispers jokes in my ear every 30-45 seconds for the entire 70-minute program.)

15. I consider myself somewhat of a tech geek. Not quite as bad as Kip on Napoleon Dynamite, but not too far behind either. When I saw the first Apple iPhone commercial I thought to myself, "That looks cool, but I bet it's pretty complicated." I almost used the words, "newfangled", "derned", and "gadget" as well. (Quick note on Kip - he sings a really sweet technology-related song in the closing credits that goes, "Yes I love technology, but not as much as you, you see.... I occasionally sing this to Andrea when we go to Target just before I wander off the the Play Station area."

16. I have a Blackberry for work but do not understand nor do I care what an "SMS Message" is. Can anybody help me here?

17. I have lived to see Strawberry Shortcake go from popular to irrelevant and then back to popular before fading back to irrelevant. It's kind of like the Nephite Pride Cycle in the Book of Mormon.

18. I have three thick, black ear hairs that get long enough to pull.

19. I have used the word "kids" to describe young adults who are either in college or on missions.

20. My parents are in their fifties and I still consider them to be young. My grandparents in their eighties have been upgraded to "Middle Aged". (Will that help the birthday money to keep coming?)

21. I was more excited to buy our minivan than any other vehicle I have ever purchased, with perhaps the exception of a Tyco Turbo Hopper that I got as a kid. The thing went about 20-30 MPH and just flew off jumps. Those were good times.

22. I just waxed wistfully poetic about my childhood in #21. A definite sign of aging.

23. Politics matter to me now.

24. When Tony and I were lazy high school kids waking up at noon and lounging around the house eating everything we could find, we really got in to the first season of "The Real World" on MTV. We were so lazy that the phone, sitting 10 feet away, would ring and we would both repeatedly yell, "No Gets! No Gets!" until the other one agreed to get the phone. One day my mom came home after a long, hard day at work to find us on the couch watching TV. She asked us what we were watching and we said, "The Real World". I don't know what had happened that day, but my mom snapped. She's usually pretty even tempered, which is why I still remember this episode today. She look at us and nearly yelled, "You think this is the real world? I'll show you the real world!" and then stormed off. Tony and I looked at each other in stunned disbelief and telepathically said, "Did that just really happen?" and then quickly got out of the house. Mom, I can tell you now after 32 years - you were right. I think I'm getting old enough now to understand what the "Real World" is. But then again, I still don't have two lazy slug teen-aged boys yet, so I may still have some learning to do.

25. America's Funniest Home Videos makes me laugh out loud more than any show on television.

26. My hair looks grayer every time I get a haircut.

27. Andrea is only 2 1/2 years younger than I am. Sometimes we see "older" couples where the husband looks about 62 with distinguished gray hair and the wife looks like a young, spry 40 year old with stylish brown hair. Instead of making jokes that involve references to cradle robbing, sugar daddies, or the woman who recently died in the Caribbean after marrying the old, rich guy and fought over his millions (see, another sign of aging. I honestly cannot remember her name right now - memory loss - and I have little interest in pop culture.)...anyway, Andrea looks at those couples and says, "That's how we are going to look in a couple of years." I can only nod my head, smile, and agree. She's probably right. Won't it be ironic if Andrea ages much faster than I do now that she's hit the big 3-0? I could rub that one in for, oh, eternity.

28. I can vividly remember my mom being 32.

29. Some of my favorite novels are historical novels, like 1776 and Manhunt.

30. My alarm clock is now 20 years old (older than the Laurels who just came to dinner) and has survived Jr. High, High School, Ricks, being dormant on my mission, BYU, and now married life.

31. I have moved 9 times since I got home from my mission in 1996.

32. Some days my back just hurts for no reason. This only used to happen when I would help families with 4,000 pounds of wheat stored in their basement move. Now it happens when I sit for longer than 18 minutes at the computer. Now please excuse me, I have to go take some Ibuprofen. My back is killing me after all of this typing on this new fangled computer gadget.