Cats Gone Wild, Buying Ice and Sweepstakes

I know, I am going to try to weave three very disparate topics into some sort of cohesive narrative. Bare with my as my cat growls at me, alternating between running in between my legs and wanting to play while simultaneously wanting to get rubs and sit directly on my lap. Not a winning combination.

ImageSeriously. She’s cray cray.

So the jig is up; while she owns me (and the house) I know that I am not just the guy who comes home, spoils her with treats, and scoops the poop. BOOM. In other random news I came home tonight after elbowing small children for the window seat on a bunch of disgusting planes to the realization that I needed ice. I jumped in the car, which was pissed I had been gone so long, I can feel it, and drove down to the Maverik. The gal at the register said hello and we chatted about the holidays, and then she rung me up for ice.

ImageWithout me even asking. Gulp.

So apparently the gods have spoken and I need to bug friends to help me install the water line. I’ve had an ice maker on the fridge since May but I am not the most handy person when it comes to things like that. I’m better at homemaking and reading magazines. Like Real Simple, where I go on every day and enter for a bunch of sweepstakes that I have no hope of winning because I am not a woman in Nebraska that does sweepstakes all the live long day.


Or do I???

I won a cookbook and a gift card. Just for typing in my email address. This will reinforce about 30 minutes of my day navigating websites, clicking boxes and opting out of things trying to win some free shit while listening to NPR and sipping Voddie Frescas. Because they are flipping delicious. I am still working on the name of this signature cocktail of mine; don’t worry, when I went out for drinks with my brother and dad at the brew pub, they called in advance to make sure they had Fresca. Gotta love my family’s fastidiousness.

ImageDo any of your drinks come in a large?!

So the bitch is back. Stay tuned for NYE antics tomorrow and a crazy work schedule. May the year of 2014 kick the shit out of 2013, which punched 2012 in the face after it farted on 2011. I know, it’s been a rough few years. Stay classy (and warm) Salt Lake.

Christmas Afterglow

It’s been insanity. After flying home in airplanes full of screaming children and people that were hogging the armrests, I spent Christmas Eve cooking, chasing children making sure that they weren’t playing with matches, and seeing my siblings and parents disagree over where to put the ham.

ImageHint: In my belly.

I stayed up for 36 hours. I ate green bean casserole and turkey and everything. I hung out with my brother and his friends and went to bed at midnight, and then woke up around 6am, waiting for the kids to come in to pounce on my stomach to wake me up for Christmas presents. Two hours later, I wandered downstairs, to find that I was the first to be awake. On Christmas? WTF?


This is the first time in 32 years I could have slept in. And didn’t.

The kids destroyed the house, opened a billion presents, and then I drove over to help my sister host an early supper at her house, where her children danced around and sang in their underpants, ran around the yard, and played with new toys from Santa. The newest addition to the Helpinstill house is a razor tricycle that you can pull a lever that activates a panel that creates sparks. Which everyone on the entire BLOCK wanted to ride simultaneously.


There were some epic tantrums.

So after a quick stop at the Hallmark store and some fun time with my grandmother (who has told me the story of her friend Gail for the thirteenth time in the last 48 hours), I’m rocking the BLERG slightly later than expected to wish everyone a belated Merry Christmas, and a very Happy Kwanzaa – Day One, which I am determined to know more about so I can learn how to make Kwanzaa cake and have an excuse for even more holiday decorations.

ImageI’m apparently not currently African enough.

Until next time, have a happy holiday, and stay classy (and festive) Salt Lake.

Utah Pride

Ok, so if you don’t believe in equal rights, if you think that LGBT people shouldn’t be covered by the same equal protection rights guaranteed by our flawed but still pretty awesome Constitution, if you think that marriage is solely a union between a man and a woman, this post is definitely not you. After living under a draconian law on the books denying same sex marriage rights to Utahns, the 10th district court of appeals told Utah to stop discriminating against its taxpayers.

ImageFucking finally.

Now don’t get me wrong. You are entitled to your own opinions, your own moral convictions, your own shitty reasons for denying me the right to see my partner on their deathbed, share in their retirement, file joint taxes. But now, my queer brothers and sisters have the same right to get married and be just as miserable in their decision to get married as their straight counterparts.

ImageIf you don’t like gay marriage, DON’T FUCKING HAVE ONE.

So I am proud of my chosen home state. I cried happy tears as friends announced on Facebook that they had waited all night at the county clerk’s office for their marriage licenses and their constitutional right to make a vow to stay together. It sure as hell beat me seeing the crowds of people descending on Walmart on Black Friday for discounted televisions, trampling people to death and pushing old people to the ground.


Really America? You need a BluRay that bad?

So to my LGBT friends, congratulations on having your rights restored. And if any of my gay boys want to get married just to be able to utilize our constitutional right to do so, I’m waiting at the ready. But you have to have a job. And health insurance. And not a lot of debt. And not… we’ll get to the “not’s” after I’ve got a ring on it.

Until next time, stay classy (and married!) Salt Lake.

Going Native

It’s been over seven years since I moved to Salt Lake City. After being a merry wanderer, moving around every three to five years, I have lived here longer than anywhere else in my life. I live with Blue Laws, everything except the grocery store being closed on Sundays, and a horde of blue-haired ladies descending on my parking lot every Sunday morning for services.

ImageThey’re right next door. Watching.

So when I went outside this morning and saw a man in his sixties shoveling the sidewalk into the ward house, I couldn’t help myself. This town is like Mayberry; we look out for each other. It’s literally the first town I’ve lived in where people hold doors open for you, where there is always a “please” and a “thank you”, even at the Housing Authority and the homeless shelter. It’s humbling to feel so invested in a place that I’ll cut ice and slide around like an ass in front of a building that, were I to enter, I would burst into flames.

ImageSeriously, I go near a temple and my toes start to tingle.

Speaking of bursting into flames, you can (for now) get gay marriage licenses in Utah. Which means if someone acts fast, for a limited time you can whisk me into your arms and down to the county clerk’s office to make me your wife. I cook, I sew, and I can. I am a fucking catch. So come and get it, because as per Code 1.c2 of Section 3r of the gay agenda, I have a responsibility to ruin marriage as an institution.

gayagenda1Run. Queers are fast.

Until next time, stay classy (and betrothed) Salt Lake.

Salt Lake 6.4

This is not a reference to the fact that the circuit court overturned the ban on same sex marriage in Utah (although he totally did, thank you Equal Protection amendment rights being upheld). It’s the name of Book Two; yes, I am writing another book and for those of you who want a copy of the first one email me here.

ImageI’m guessing the Trax lines in downtown are going to be out.

So without giving up too many hints, the story takes place after a 6.4 magnitude hits the Wasatch Front. The lake boils, killing all of the shrimp and lending a somewhat nasty scent to a city that is completely and utterly out of control. The governor’s mansion crumbles, leaving the city without the command and control that are required to put out the fires and bring the power grid back up. 11th East liquifies, pushing the east bench up while sucking everything west of 700 East into the ground. It’s up to the lieutenant governor, a college student on lockdown, and a meteorologist in a helicopter to recover as thousands attempt to flee what remains of the city center.

ImageI’d stick with surface roads.

So I’m going to try to crank this sucker out before New Year’s so that I can feel more legitimate as a novelist. I’m thinking of listing that as one of my jobs on LinkedIn, but I’ll wait it out to see whatever else flows from my fingers onto my computer screen. I hope that I can do this at night and on weekends when I leave for Virginia on Monday to play with some of the world’s most adorable children. You know. These guys.

ImageI live for Jake’s Halloween costume. Live for it.

So until next time, stay classy (and safe) Salt Lake. Until I burn you to the ground that is.

Snow Daze

So, when the power goes out at work and you’re on a conference call, you expect that 3 hours later Rocky Mountain Power would figure their grid out but considering we’re lower on priorities, they sent us home (with pay). Granted there are 6-8 inches of snow on the ground, but what is this, a Snowpacalypse?!


Ain’t nobody got time for ‘dat!

So I also realized how reliant we are in the modern world on electricity, and more importantly computers. Without power, all of us sat in the dark, staring at our blacked out computer screens and twiddling our thumbs, trying to read documents with flashlights. What would happen if/when our aging power grid finally shits the bed? What will we look like without it?

ImageHouston, we have a problem.

So before I left, I helped a disabled woman get up from the basement (wheelchair and all), sent some emails from my phone to coworkers offsite, and brushed off a work friend’s car. Just to be nice. Because I lam fortunate that my employer is paying me right now to blog in my jammies instead of writing grants begging people for money for the indigent. And yes, I just used the word indigent.

ImageI may also write another book. Because I am insane.

If I do it will be about an earthquake along the Wasatch Front and the ensuing chaos while the city burns and all services are suspended. Until next time stay classy (and crazy) Salt Lake.



Let’s take a ride. And run with the dogs, in suburbia. You can’t hide, run with the dogs tonight, in Suburbia.

ImageOh Pet Shop Boys. You complete me.

You can thank J. Fleetwood-Boldt for the reference. In any case, I think I am finally settling into being a suburbanite again. I’ve got a cat, cable, and a covered parking spot (hallelujah praise Jesus). I take surface streets to work and I give neighbors canned pickled peppers and apple butter. I go to HOA meetings and am working on a neighborhood watch program with a group of neighbors.

ImageWe gonna get you SUCKAS.

So I am feeling pretty good. The five giant grants that are due on Monday are all essentially ready to submit (and written pretty badass thank you very much). After my one day weekend, I get a three-day this weekend, which is flipping awesome. And I have three friends reading my book for edits before I approach publishing companies about maybe <GASP> publish an f-ing BOOK.

ImageWait, does this make me a legit writer?

So I am going to continue screwing around on the interwebs, reading blog posts and puttering around the house in my new Kohl’s old man slippers. Which are a life changer. Until next time, stay classy (and suburban, but not the vehicle, that thing is a threat to humanity) Salt Lake.