Monthly Archives: February 2008

What a dastardly deed

When I was younger, my brother and I got into the habit of doorbell ditching. I guess you could say there was something about the thrill of it all. Maybe it was the escape, maybe it was the fear of getting caught or maybe we just liked to see people open doors when no one was there. Who knows? Regardless, my brother, Trav, and I had become experts of our neighborhood. We knew every tree, bush, and backyard. Frankly, we were amazing. We doorbell ditched countless neighbors and never got caught. Until Blaine.

Blaine was a leader at our church. His responsibility was to work directly with the young men of the church and inspire us to be better more upstanding citizens. Of course for this dastardly act of trying to inspire us to be better, Blaine would have to pay. What better way to make someone pay for their crimes then to leave them standing on a unanswered porch after they were sure that their doorbell had rang! Ha, it was pure genius.

Thus began the preparation. Now for an beginner, doorbell ditching (or DD has it is known in certain groups) is just ringing a doorbell and running, but for true masters like Trav and I it was nothing short of pure art.

You start by covering your face and upper body in your environment. By this I mean, putting mud, dirt, or gravel on your face if you are outdoors. If you are indoors, such as an apartment complex or your sister’s room, you want to coat yourself in indoor scents such as spaghetti sauce, air fresheners, or the smell of your bathroom. (Note: to get a genuine bathroom scent you will need to use animal or human feces. If you are going to resort to putting feces on your face, you may want stuff you nostrils with those yummy mints from Cafe Rio. Also keep in mind that with feces you will officially become a poo poo face or sh** head, which you may have been called in High school, which may stir up bad memories (fyi)).

Once you are coated in the scent of your environment you want to dress up in the color of your surroundings. In most cases, black is going to be your best bet. Dressing in white to blend in with snow doesn’t really work. I know that in many a James Bond movie, Bond will be in a snowy filled when out of no where he is surrounded by a hundred men dressed in white jumpsuits holding uzi’s but that is the magic of the cinema for you.
So Trav and I, got dressed in black, tainted our bodies with the smell of pine (using pine-sol) and prepared to make Blaine pay. We moved up the street quietly and began to approach the door. Suddenly I felt a fear, a genuine fear, a honest fear, what if Blaine had a gun? What if Blaine was sitting at his door with two knifes just waiting to be doorbell ditched? He could murder us bury our bodies and no one would know we were here. I began to sweat. It was one of those annoying sweats, where the sweat drip runs down your back and you let out a nervous little girl giggle. “hee, hee”
“What was that?”, Trav said clearly nervous himself
“Oh, ummm, I am just excited for another victory…my lord” I thought that by calling him “my lord” he might ignore the fact that I just giggled like a six year old girl. He’s prideful like that.
“Oh”, he said, “keep quite” Trav was always the professional.
We appraoched the door and my hands were quivering as I reached toward the bell. I felt my finger press the bell and suddenly I felt the sweet vibration of electronic chimes ring throughout their house. With that single moment the thrill was back. That wonderful sensation of fleeing the doorway at full speed as we darted across the street and into a nearby bush. It was amazing! In that moment of clarity I knew that I was afraid of nothing!

As we settled into the bush, we saw the door open and the puzzled look on Blaine’s face as he saw no one at the door. Ha! Sweet victory! Then something new happened. He stepped out of the door. He began turning his head back and forth, back and forth as if he was…(gasp!) looking for someone. Suddenly he began to stick his head into bushes, look up into trees, and look over fences not just in his yard but in other yards. Then it dawned on me, he was going to find us.

My brother must have realized this too because he was sweating…a lot! I was also sweating and the last thing I needed right now was two guys sweaty arms touching each other in a small bush so I nervously shifted my weight. SNAP! Oh jeeze, a twig just snapped under my shoe. This was a beginners mistake. Maybe Blaine hadn’t heard it, maybe he would just think it was crickets. I looked up and Blaine had stopped searching. Slowly his head turned towards our hiding spot and he began to move towards our bush.

We were going to be found. He was going to find us and then kill us. I was about to become a victim of one of those rage killings. I began praying to every God I had ever heard of. Right in the middle of my prayer to Aten, a Pharaonic God of early Egypt, Blaine looked over the bush and looked me right in the eye. Looked right in my damn eye. I stared back in his eye. I saw nothing, nothing but anger. Anger and cold…pure…evil.

So there I was staring into the face of death when something odd happened. Death started laughing, “I found you!”
“huh?” I said (opening my eyes just a pinch)
“you guys honestly thought you could get away by hiding in this bush.”
“I…uh..” My voice was cracking like I was thirteen all over again.
“Well have a good night, try again some other time…amateurs.” Then he just walked off into his house laughing all the way. It was a creepy laugh. Like a crazy old woman who had a sex change or something.

Defeated we walked home. As we walked I thought, “Try again we would and fail we would not.”

We did fail. A lot. We must have rang that doorbell a hundred times. We hid in trees, bushes, sheds, under cars, and in dog houses. We covered ourselves with all sorts of scents. Some I am too ashamed to admit (cat pee anyone?). Needless to say we were always caught and Blaine always crackled like a hyena on coffee. Black coffee. Winners coffee.

Four months went by, we were once again on our way up to doorbell ditch Blaine. It had become tradition and in that way it had lost it’s magic. We needed to spice this up some how. That’s when I saw the sprinkler watering the lawn. It was attached to a hose and could be moved to any location on the lawn that needed to be a little greener. Then I thought of it. The front porch could sure use a little water! Ha ha!

We kinked the hose, and moved the sprinkler head to the porch. I kept the hose kinked and waited around the side of the house. My brother Trav rang the doorbell, and ran around the corner of the house. I waited until I saw a shadow from the light of the house and I un-kinked the hose! I felt all the water rush through the hose and heard it spray out the end. This was followed by a blood curdling scream. Sweet victory. Then I noticed something. The scream was girlie. I mean very girlie. We peeked around the corner and saw Blaine’s six year old daughter soaking wet screaming as water sprayed all around her and into the house.

Blaine jumped out a grabbed his daughter, getting him wet too. “you’re dead meat!”, he shouted.
“holy hell”, I mumbled, “we have got to get out of here”

There was no hiding, no fun, just running. Running for my life. We heard him get in his truck and so we just started cutting through backyards. We had no regard for anyone else, we tramped through flower beds, braved scary dogs in yards, and stepped on and over bikes and toys. We reached our yard in about, oh about 6 seconds. We hid under our trampoline for hours until we felt Blaine had given up. We had been afraid to go in cause he could be staking out our house, he knew we’d have to eat eventually. We slid into our basement and into our separate bedrooms.

As I laid in bed that night, I began thinking about the poor little wet girl. A causality in a war that had gone too far. Perhaps we had pushed it soaking his daughter and half of his living room with a sprinkler. But then slowly a smile came to my face as I realized that we got away! We had escaped and we taught him a lesson. What a dastardly deed he was trying to accomplish by making us better citizens. It was poetic in the sense that he had probably made us worse citizen, sinking to lower levels to accomplish our goal of punishing him. What a dastardly deed he was trying. What a dastardly deed…


Why 2008 is the year of Travis

Well fellow readers, we are a month and a half into the new year 2008! Not much as really happened so far to make this year spectacular but that doesn’t mean it isn’t going to become a wonderful year. To be perfectly frank I really feel this year was designed around me. “Why do I think that?” you ask. Well let me share with you some of the highlights of ’08.

January 31st thru Mayish- Lost is back! Season four of everyone’s favorite castaways is well underway. We have done three episodes so far with amazing promises of a excellent plots, characters, and of course flash forwards! Who are the oceanic 6? What do the rescuers want? And why does Jack want to go back?

Febuary 26th- It’s time to seek a new Frontier. Based on the amazing graphic novel by the ever fantastic artist and story teller Darwyn Cooke, the New Frontier, tells the story of the origin of the Justice league and will be released on DVD and Blu-ray this Feb. Overseen by Cooke, the movie will be produced by Bruce Timm (Batman: The Animated Series) and will be the second in the new DC Universe movie releases. (The first being the Death of Superman in Sept ’07)

April 22nd – The Glass Passenger by Jack’s Mannequin will be released. This will be the second album by one of my favorite bands of this decade, if not one of my favorite bands ever. The lead singer Andrew McMahon is something of a piano rock genius. He was formerly in the band Something Corporate, but this stuff is much better. This album should be amazing, and I will give it a good through review here at 13melvins.

April 23rd- Batman: R.I.P! Beginning the epic story that will change the legend of the Dark Knight forever! Everything in Grant Morrison’s groundbreaking run on Batman has been leading to this story, and nothing will ever be the same again. Who will live? Who will die? Who will be Batman? The answers are sure to shock you in “Batman R.I.P.,”

May 2nd- I am Iron Man! Iron Man hits theatres this day. Now Iron Man is not even close to my favorite comic’s hero, but I will say this movie looks fairly kick ass. Robert Downey Jr. who plays the lead Iron Man/Tony Stark looks quite right for the part. I guess we’ll see how this plays out. Stay tuned.

May 22nd- Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull will make it’s mark in history this day. I will admit right now, this is one movie I am really looking forward too. I am a huge fan of the original three, a huge fan of Shia Labeouf, and frankly this new one looks “wicked!” I will definately post a review for this movie when it comes. Take a look at the trailer here via thislink.

June 1st- Heroes die! Legends live forever! This is Final Crisis. The Countdown began in May 07 counting down 1 issue every week from 52. When the issue hits zero the comic universe will change forever! Written by Grant Morrison and Geoff Jones this is the story of the last days of the DC universe. Good or bad this story is going to be huge!

June 13- “We sensed it, we saw the signs, now it’s Happening!” M. Night Shyamalan’s new movie, The Happening, will hit theatres this day. Now I am a big M. Night fan and have liked everything he has done so far. I think this will be right up there with some of his best stuff. Get excited, the review of this movie will be Happening right here! Check out the trailer here!

June 20- June 2oth is a double hit. Two smash comedies will be released in theatres this week. First we have Get Smart staring Steve Carell as agent 86. I am a giant fan of the original 60’s series created by Mel Brookes and imagine this comedy will match up to the magic of the original show. Also starring Anne Hathaway and Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson. To watch the trailer click on the link above.

June 20- Second we have The Love Guru starring Mike Myers as a Indian Guru sent to America to help save a marriage of a leading sports player so he can get his magic back and help the losing hockey team win the cup! Also starring Jessica Alba and Justin Timberlake.

June 27- Wall·E by Pixar! This is one of my most anticipated movies. Pixar has done so many amazing shows and this one looks just as awesome. Watch the trailer by clicking on the link above.

July 18, 2008- My most anticipated event of ’08. The release of THE DARK KNIGHT. Directed by Chris Nolan and starring Christan Bale, Heath Ledger, Micheal Caine, and Morgan Freeman this will be the single greatest movie of all time. I am so excited for this. Watch the trailer and tell me that you don’t think this will be amazing. While sadly this will be Heath’s final full performance it is going to be something to be proud of. Prepare yourself Batnation this is going to be fantastic. Watch the trailer via this link.

July 23- 27- This is the accumulation of everything else here on this list. COMIC-CON! Wether it is Batman, Lost, Heroes, Final Crisis, or the upcoming Spirit. There is going to be premotions, cast meetings, artist signatures, and the like. It is going to be amazing. I am very excited to spill my nerd out all over the place this summer with my geek people.

Septish- Heroes returns after it’s nine month long break. Being one of the greatest shows to hit TV I am quite excited for the return of Heroes with Volume 3 cleverly titled: Villians. The show is going to see the excitement of season one return as all the villians come together to destroy the world! Destroy the cheerleader, destroy the world!

Nov 22nd- The Quantum of Solace– Bond 22 hits theatres with a bang! Considering Casino Royale was one of the most awesome movies of ’06 giving Bond a much darker look I imagine this movie will also be fantastic and hopefully as dark and exciting as the previous.

Dec 30th- The Solomon Key by Dan Brown to be released. This is the third book in his Da Vinci Code series. Rumored to be based on Mormons and Masons this should quite exciting end to the year.

Eye-mazing Txtr

Many times I am told by the elderly that I could never know the challenges of their day. They tell me stories of churning their own butter, of walking up hill to school, and something about farming. They tell me I could never accomplish such mighty tasks. Well tonight I performed a task the likes of which none of my grandparents could do! Tonight I talked with three people while watching a movie, playing a game and doing some dish washing to make it really crazy. Now I challenge the general population of 80 and older to match my abilities there.

My sister Carlee once sent like 10,000 texts in one month. Ridiculous. I could never do that, but I did send like a total of 20, I think. In my life I don’t regularly text people, usually I just call them. This weekend, though, I decided to try and keep in touch the new fashioned way. So as my wife and I settled in with some scones to watch Spider Man 3, I sent out a text to several of my friends. The text said, ” I need to have a conversation via text and I choose you…peek a choo.” Within minutes I began getting responses. The first response came from my friend Smith, who said, “What the? You’re kinda messed up.” Smith never seems to fully understand what is going on, so I told him it was for school and called him a goob. He replied saying “Oh. Well if you weren’t so stingy with your bananas Micheal…” It was weird.

My next reply was from my brother Miles who said, “K so what are u doing tomorrow?”
” I have school tell noon. What are you doing tomorrow?”
” Well I pretty much have sucky school”
“Do you work at the Marketplace?” The marketplace is a grocery store in Bountiful, it is actually called Dick’s but times are a changing and I now call it the Marketplace.
“yep 7 to 11”, Miles said.
“Hmmm, well the writers strike is pretty much over”
“Yep, soon you will be able to watch the Office again. Oh also they might make an Arrested Development movie”
“really sweet!”
“What is the family doing tonight (at) home”, I said. Mind you during this time, I was washing the dishes from dinner, which made my hands wet, which in turn made for lengthy turnaround times for replies.
“Watching a movie”
“what movie?”
“Evan Almighty”
“awesome, well I think I have enough that we can stop this forced conversation!”
“yeah it has been akward”

So within just a moments time, I was able to learn so much pointless information about my brother. I received several other responses but will not be posting them because of time. I will say this though, one thing I learned about texting that irritates me is that every time I type the word “at” it would populate with 28. This is because one time I asked my brother if he wanted to watch 28 days later and now the stupid phone thinks I am always asking questions about the number 28. It doesn’t matter how many times I change it to “at” it always puts 28 first. So I now ask you, dear reader, when was the last time you accidentally said 28 instead of “at”?

Superbowl Observations

The date is Sunday Feb 3. Superbowl Sunday. Two days earlier I got incredibly ill and have been waiting for the flu to subside before doing my observation. Needless to say we are within a couple of hours of the due time and I have not even observed anyone yet. So all drugged up, I went to my parents house to observe my two brothers, while they watched the superbowl together. This is their story.

My victims (ahem) or subjects are Miles and Jordan. Miles is 16 with longer shaggy hair, bone thin, and is shorter in size. Jordan is 14, he has a short buzz cut, and is bigger then miles even though he is younger. They both enter the room at the same time and turn the TV on to the superbowl. They hop onto my parents bed and are limited to one side because I am there. I can tell the small space is going to be cramped for them. This will cause fights, which in turn will make for a better observation for me. Maybe there will be blood? This could be good. I secretly pull up my sketch pad and begin to take notes.

They both lay there for a minute in silence until Miles calls out to my sister’s dog, “Tommy come here”. Jordan, quickly says “Mr. Tommy come here.” Miles looks at Jordan and says “Pretty sure, Tommy does not want to see you” Jordan responds telling him to “shut up” Miles then says “Pretty sure you stink.” Jordan replies, “Pretty sure can shut up.” At this point the dog jumps up by me, I smile slightly, knowing that the dog likes me better then both of them.

They both sit quite for a minute and Miles says “Who did you pick for the superbowl winner?” Jordan takes a moment to respond but eventually does. “Giants.”, he’s says. Miles rolls over so he is not facing Jordan and says “well the Giants are going to lose.” Jordan says “Shut up.” At that moment the dog stands up and runs out of the room. Miles rolls over looks at Jordan and says “Tommy ran away from you, just like Chelsea did.” Miles then starts to laugh. Jordan then tells Miles to “shut up.” Jordan sits up and slugs Miles. Jordan slugs Miles twice more and says “I am going to rub my feet all over you.” Jordan then begins to rub his feet all over Miles. Miles yells “Stttttoooop.” Jordan stops, removes his feet, and then there is silence.

I am going to break the non-judgmental observation here for a minute to say that no crime deserves the punishment of feet being rubbed all over you. This is especially true with a 14 year old’s feet. Those feet are all scarred from the battles of puberty. It’s gross!

Jordan asks, “Miles did you go for the Patriots?” Miles replies “yes. Do you know who the halftime show is?” Jordan replies “yeah, it is…something, something and heartbreakers…or the heartbreak kid…or something” (Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. While I think Tom Petty may be one of the uglies rock stars on the planet it is still just sad they don’t know who he is.)During Jordan’s mumbling his feet move over and hit Miles in the back. Miles then yells, “Jordan, if you touch me with your feet again I am going to break your toe.” They begin slugging each other and mumbling stuff you can’t hear. The slugging stops, and Miles says, “I don’t want to watch this. Let’s watch Nickelodeon” Miles begins to change the channel. Jordan yells “Don’t!” He continues to rub his feet all over Mile’s arm. Jordan stops and leans forward looking closely at Miles’ arm. “Whoa your arm is red now”, Jordan says, “Sorry your arm is red”. Miles does not seem to notice the statement or care and changes the channel to Nickelodeon. He then laughs “Ha, Zoey 101.” Jordan starts rubbing his feet all over Miles again and yells “Change it back” Miles slugs Jordan and says “fine we’ll watch your game” There is silence for a moment as Miles changes back the channel.

(Editors note: Zoey 101 is a show for 12 year old girls. I am deeply ashamed of my brothers for watching this. Other shows my brothers watch that bring shame to our family are Hannah Montana and the Suite life of Zach and Cody. For shame’s sake!)

On TV the Fox NFL robot comes on and starts dancing. Miles says, “I hate that robot, he is so shiny and stupid”. Jordan rolls over and grabs his stomach with his hands and then says “My tummy wummy hurts from my gummy wummy”. Miles stares at him for a moment and then says, “Well I am leaving to watch something else.” They both stop and stare at the TV and watch has a commercial comes on. The commercial is a man dressed up like a giant rat attacking some other guy for his Doritos. When the commercial ends they both start to laugh and then Miles sits up and leaves the room.

This was the observation that I…observed. It appeared to be mostly the way brothers act though. Except for the girly show and a couple of childish lines (ex. “my tummy wummy hurts” What is a tummy wummy?) My suggestion would be that Miles and Jordan spend some time acting like men. Maybe eat some steak, grunt, or watch Nascar… Yep that makes a man!Maybe they should pretend to be stunt men on a date. Worked for me…obviously.