Archives: rich and beautiful


Harper asked us if she could have a weasel for her birthday (which is more than six months away, incidentally). I thought this was an odd request, so I asked some clarifying questions. She further explained, “You know, one of those things you paint on.” It turns out she wants an easel, not a weasel — which is only slightly less weird for a six year old, maybe.

Claire, always seizing an opportunity to teach told her that the word “easel” got its name because it makes painting so easy! I looked up the real etymology and Google says it comes from the Dutch word, “ezel” which means “ass” or “horse” to denote a supporting frame. I prefer Claire’s version; Harper prefers Google’s version. Avik prefers calling it a weasel.

Hardy Har Har-per rich and beautiful

Ocean Size

Yesterday, we went to Cape Lookout for a Saturday hike. We were expecting it to rain, but the weather was incredible. We were walking along the edge and looking at the ocean a bazillion feet below. The kids were asking about its size relative to Bear Lake, and Claire said, “This particular ocean is the largest ocean,” and I chimed in and said, “this specific ocean…”

If you say it quickly, it sounds like “this Pacific Ocean”…get it? It is one of my better old-man jokes. Thanks for setting it up, honey.

my family and other animals rich and beautiful richie


We had been on the boat for about 10 minutes, but I had already lost hope of seeing any whales. I really like whales. Whales and octopuses (or “octopi” if you prefer) tie for first place on my list of coolest living creatures. (Have you seen this video? Or this one?)

So, in order to avoid disappointment, I was comforting myself with the fact that the boat ride was already a lot of fun. We were all standing at the front of the boat, enjoying the wind and the waves. Everyone was looking off to the right, where the most recent sighting had been.

Maybe I was wallowing a bit (I really wanted to see some whales), but I was staring down at the water in front of the boat. Suddenly, the water became slightly grey, and the grey was expanding, replacing the blue that was there before. There was a little monologue happening in my brain:

Hey, what’s that?
I think that might be a whale!
A whale!
That’s a whale!!

Although my brain was screaming, I wasn’t saying a word — and no one else was either.


Noise erupted as everyone noticed the whale emerging from the water. It was so close, the boat had to slam on the brakes and quickly switch to reverse to avoid an accident.

On second thought, maybe the octopus is a close second.

drunken midgets my family and other animals rich and beautiful richie


Sometimes it is entertaining to read old journal entries. This is what I wrote one day in 2008:

…Claire said if I can’t find a good job in Portland, living in Utah is still a really great option. She described it as a win-win situation. Here are some other win-wins from yesterday:

1) Conrad threw up a few times, but the rug needed cleaning anyway.

2) I lost my silver iPod, but who needs four iPods anyway.

3) I broke my toe, but this particular toe is sort of useless anyway.

rich and beautiful richie

Beacon Rock

We took the kids to Beacon Rock because I had no idea how steep and freaky it is. To add to my anxiety, we saw a little chipmunk which acted like the laser pointer on Over the Hedge to my kids. They ran after the little guy (or gal) and threw nuts at it.

Conrad announced that he had to go to the bathroom. Claire told him he had to wait until we got back down to the car because we don’t pee on trails. He said he wouldn’t pee on trails and that he was going to pee into the water, but that he wouldn’t because “it would kill nature.” Claire told him if he peed off the edge, he would likely pee on someone below. Conrad giggled to himself and seemed to really like the idea again. More potty talk for the blog. You’re welcome.

drunken midgets rich and beautiful


Claire got the movie Young Victoria and told me it is supposed to be really good. I asked who told her it was good and she vaguely answered, “a lot of people.” Immediately after it started, I said, “My dad would love this.” Claire replied, “Yeah, he really liked it.” So, it came out that my dad recommended it and Claire was afraid to tell me because I would assume it was boooooring and refuse to watch.

Knowing this, my expectations were sufficiently lowered and I wound up loving the movie. Maybe I’m just getting old and the basket case on The Breakfast Club was right: turning into our parents is inevitable. If that’s true, I suppose I could do a lot worse.

my family and other animals rich and beautiful


So, thanks to my post about the Richie album, I now get amazon ads for Lionel Richie and Michael Bolton’s mug shows up on the Google ads. At least I hope that’s why.

rich and beautiful richie


Claire and I have our songs like every other couple. Because I rarely sing, I thought it would be a fun gift if I recorded myself singing all of “our songs” and make a CD for her. Now, this was never intended to be a CD that she actually listens to, at least not more than once. The idea was to sing it with my own version of the lyrics, bad imitation of the singer’s voice, and an overall listening experience that one could only endure once, but that would hopefully get a good laugh.

I finally set out to record myself singing these songs in a nearby church parking lot where there were no cars. I pulled out my laptop and starting to sing as loudly as I could into the microphone. It was so loud, I am sure the sound escaped the car. These ideal circumstances lasted about ten seconds. Quickly, the parking lot started to fill up with cars. People were walking by, staring at some guy sitting alone in his car, yelling. I couldn’t stop because I was in the middle of a song and, besides, people kept coming. There must have been an event or something. I was determined to make this CD, so I kept singing.

I finish recording, go home, find a Lionel Richie album cover and photoshop out the “Lionel” so it just read “Richie.” I then put my face on Lionel Richie’s body, preserving his mustache and afro. And no, I’m not posting any of the songs or the album cover.

rich and beautiful richie

In my dreams

I woke up the other morning and Claire told me that I said something in my sleep. This is always good news for me because I don’t ever remember anything and it’s fun to try and guess what it means about my subconscious. This time, apparently, I giggled and said, “EXCELLENT!”

The first incident happened right after we were married. This was when Claire wasn’t sure if I was talking in my sleep because, apparently, I speak clearly…well, I speak the same as I normally do. So, I sat up, pointed my finger around the room and said, “And we’ll have flamingos here, here, and here.”

My favorite story was when Claire was 8 months pregnant with Julia and sound asleep. This time, I guess my tone was more urgent than the others, “Turn on the lights.” Claire replied, “I’m pregnant. You turn on the lights.” I repeat, “Turn on the lights.” Claire wondered what could have been so important to justify disturbing her slumber, rolled herself out of bed (Not really…Claire hardly shows when she is pregnant. I just wanted to make it more dramatic), and turned on the lights. Immediately, I covered my eyes and said, “What are you doing?!?! Turn off the lights!” Claire, not amused, retorted, “You told me to!” Understandably irritated because Claire just woke me up for no reason, I turned over and went back to sleep.

I get a bigger kick out of this story than Claire does.

rich and beautiful


I get a message from Claire asking me to pick up a small flashlight on my way home. I write back asking what kind of small flashlight. She responds that she got a “cracker stuck in her gums.” I assume she’s drunk and seek clarification with, “What are you talking about?” She explains that a cracker got stuck in her gums and she can’t see well enough to take it out. Having never had a cracker get stuck anywhere for very long, I stop asking questions and follow orders.

On my way home, I stop at a little store and ask if they have tiny flashlights. The guy asks me what it’s for. Hmm…I can’t think of anything so I tell the truth, “to help my wife get a cracker out of her gums.” The guy looks at me weird and tells me he doesn’t think he has anything.

As it turns out, it wasn’t a cracker, but a tiny piece of the insoluble part of popcorn. It had embedded itself into her gums somehow. Claire threatens to just go to the dentist. Motivated by unneccessary dental bills, the sinking economy, and rising healthcare costs, I jab at it until it breaks free.

I think this is the weirdest post yet.

rich and beautiful