Thursday, November 22, 2012

Where's the Beefcake?

I know you've seen it: there you are, innocently stalking people on Facebook, when a very unexpected photo pops up.  It’s Patrick, an old friend of yours, who is showing you a “before” and “after” shot...with his shirt off.  Initially, you figure that the “after” picture is showing some type of body-swelling disease.  But then you realize it’s not a mistake at all; Patrick is ripped!  How could this be?  He either really bulked up, or there are a number of giant bird-eating spiders trapped in his biceps.  Below the photo is some encouraging phrase like, “Thanks to the AgonyZT MaxiBody System, I can now bench-press a car...with your mom in it!  Join the club, freaks!”  You stare in disbelief.  And then wonder why someone would want to bench-press your mom’s car in the first place.

A series of recent occurrences have inspired today’s post.  First of all, I’m trying to find a somewhat different way to work out than solely running.  Running is ridiculously awesome, but I need to find something new that balances me out a little bit.  And by “balance me out”, I am referring to making my arms somewhat thicker than uncooked spaghetti noodles. Secondly, these Facebook beefcakes are getting to me.  Part of me wants to throw them all in a wrestling ring and watch what happens.  I’m sure they have already come up with fancy Wrestlemania nicknames for themselves like, “Doctor Writhe”, “Ribcage Ripper”, and “Really Strong Guy”.

But don’t get me wrong.  I really do admire these Facebook Beefcakers.  I am impressed by how hard they've worked in order to bulk up and give themselves the unique ability to flex their pecs to the beat of songs such as these.  They've put the time and effort into it, and I salute them using my scrawny fingers.

But what gets me, though, is some of these exercise programs.  If you do anything long enough and intensely enough, of course you’re going to see results.  Honestly, I think I could make an exercise video.  It would go something like this: There is Beefcake Dave in his sweatband and HotVelvet workout pants, and he shouts to all his weakling viewers, “Okay, now, I want you to pick up this really heavy bag and lift it over your head.  Good.  Now put it down again.  Okay, now keep doing that...until Thursday.  Then repeat.  Just you wait, folks.  In a month you will be able to lift heavy bags above your head!”  And then I would get rich because people will share Facebook photos of themselves being super ripped and holding big bags above their heads and wearing HotVelvet pants.  And then everyone would buy my video cassette and I’d be totally famous.


"Thanks ChexMix Diet!"

Now let me use the real-world example of workout guru Jillian Michaels. She is a fitness expert who apparently helps very fat people on TV become not as fat. As I prepare for a half marathon, I spend my non-running days cross-training with one of her DVDs.  I think it’s called, “How to snap every muscle in your body in half.”  It consists of a series of punches, jumps, lunges, and twirly-dos (which, by the way, can appear a bit feminine at times...but luckily that’s offset by my manly sweatband). These drills are repeated over a period of about 800 minutes.

And of course, she is yelling at you the whole time to do it faster, harder, and more feminine.  Normally it would hurt my feelings, but I’m too busy trying to get feeling back in my chest cavity to pay much attention.  And as much as I hate to admit it, it’s a great workout.  Not “display-my-bronzed-body” on Facebook great, but it gets the job done.  And if I did this workout daily like she recommends, then I would probably look as good as Jillian Michaels.  Then I’d finally be sexy enough for Facebook, which is widely considered the pinnacle of human accomplishment.

So the next time you peruse Facebook and happen upon a very buff-looking redhead who is a specimen of muscular achievement and physique, please remember that you, too, could look just like me.  Just buy my video and a really heavy bag.  I promise it works, freaks!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Beware the Perfect Parent

We are the proud owners of a new baby girl. Yes, another one. Kaylee Something Meyer was born on February 17th 2012 in Murray. She has a lot of dark hair when washed. She is healthy and doing well. She doesn't seem to eat as much as Aubrey did, but then again, I’m pretty sure no infant ate as much as Aubrey did. Aubrey drank so much milk that her blood had the consistency of sour cream. (by the way, I just checked the records and Kaylee’s middle name is Elizabeth...I must have been playing Angry Birds when we decided that).

So now that I have two children, you are probably thinking, “Man, you guys have it all figured out! Parenting must be a snap. Just hop in the minivan and cruise Easy Street from here on out.” Unfortunately, you would be very, very wrong about that. We have not lived up to the many Perfect Parents who surround us. As an example, let me relate to you a very typical conversation that Sheri and I have had with many other parents of two children:

Perfect Parent: “So, how is your baby sleeping at night?”
Me: “Well, so-so. But last night she slept for 3 hours straight, which is pretty good.”
Perfect Parent: “Oh. (Long pause) Yeah, our baby slept for like 8 hours straight the day we brought her back from the hospital, and has only improved since.”

Me: “Wow, that’s...amazing (with a hint of growing despair)”
Perfect Parent: “Yeah, isn’t the transition from one child to two just so easy?”
Me: “Well...something like that” (the despair has now blossomed and in my imagination is shooting
poisonous darts into the soul of Perfect Parent)
Perfect Parent: “I know, right? I mean, I’m not even sure I would recognize the sound of my own baby crying because she’s never really fussed before.”
Me: “That’s fantastic. Hey, could you excuse me? I've got to find a pencil and stab myself in the gizzard.”

Now, let’s get something straight. I realize, Perfect Parent, that your newborn sleeps all through the night. And she never cries. And her diapers smell like springtime and unicorn feathers. And you wake up in the morning to her singing in your ear as she...somehow...hands over a cup of orange juice and a croissant. Yep, I get it. But believe it or not, there are some parents out there who would read Twilight just for their child to sleep a few hours at a time...the ultimate sacrifice. Some parents (who will not be named) yearn for the days when they didn’t wake up feeling like they had slept next to Muhammad Ali. Or that the house didn’t look and sound like a llama festival.

I’m not sure how you keep it all together, but I’d love to learn. Maybe you could take care of my newborn while I attend a seminar in Cabo or something like that. Then I would come back all rested and find to my great relief that my child is a calm little angel, and also fluent in Chinese.

**As a side note, I would like to mention how cool little kids’ clothes are. You could seriously print anything on a baby’s shirt, and people think it’s the most adorable thing ever. Even if the phrase makes no sense whatsoever, which most don’t. Some examples: “Cute as a Bug”, “Daisy Girl”, or “So Phat and So Phun” (I may have made that last one up). You could put just about any creative phrase on a baby’s shirt and people would think were incredibly charming, like: “(Almost) Too Little to Lie”, “I Don’t Bargain, Moron,” or “Daddy’s Little Anxiety Attack”. You could make a fortune off this stuff! (patent pending)

So in conclusion, I guess what I’m asking you, Perfect Parent, is to refrain. When talking with a set of particularly bedraggled parents, instead of mentioning that your toddler recently arranged the spice rack, maybe you should just change the subject and talk about lizards or something. It may save you from witnessing someone stabbing themselves in the gizzard.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Running my pants off

When I look back on 2011, I think I will summarize it as The Year of the Runs. I have grown particularly fond of running, and specifically, races. And specifically-er, marathons. I decided that for 2011 I wanted to run a marathon. And guess what? I ended up running 2 marathons!

I've been running for a long time. But most of that involved jogging aimlessly through a nearby golf course, trying to not get caught and kicked out (which happened on numerous occasions, I might add). Earlier this year, I decided to get serious. It was time to buy a GPS watch, nice running shoes, and numerous books on how to lie to your wife (I told her I was out making her more money...heh heh heh).

Aubrey and I had to battle to the death for this on my training days

So in April, I started my marathon training. Let me tell you folks, it wasn't easy. I often compare training for a marathon to life. You see, it's just like that scripture says, "I never said it would be easy. I only said it would be worth it you big wuss." I did a program where I ran 3 days a week, and cross-trained 2 days a week. (And by "cross-train", I mean subject myself to various medieval torture devices all in the name of strength training)

I learned a lot about myself and my abilities. For example, I learned that if you run long enough, your toenail can fall off...and never come back. I also learned that after mile 18 I get so delusional that even Arbys sounds good.

I ran two races: Top of Utah (in Logan) and the SoJo marathon (in South Jordan). Top of Utah was the better of the two. On the coolness scale of 1 to Fresh Prince, I would have given it at least an 8.5. And it came with no shortage of crazy adventures, none of which I am lying about:

1. It began by me dropping my iPod into a raging gutter, completely destroying it for the race. (Let me just say that after about 15 miles, humming "Girls Just Want to Have Fun" loses its pizzazz). I have told Sheri for years that I am the clumsiest person I know, and this only reinforced that claim.

I'm smiling because I just lost all feeling in my legs

2. During mile 0.3, I realized that my shorts felt awfully loose - actually, really loose. Like, Andrei Kirilenko loose. I realized to my horror that the draw string in my shorts had snapped, and that there was a real possibility of finishing the race without pants if I wasn't arrested first. So I ended up having to carry my packet of running gels (which are normally supported by my shorts) in my hand...for 26.2 miles.

3. Then the weather came to play. It ended up being an absolute downpour for no less than 10 miles. But I actually didn't mind it so much. It kept me quite cool. The only tough part was trying to dodge the injured puppies being swept away in the torrent of water.

No need to take a bathroom break when you're already soaking wet...

4. Finally, I made it to the finish. Right before receiving my fancy finishers medal, I turned to the screaming crowd, took a bow...and threw up several times. I don't think I'll be drinking Fruit Punch Gatorade again anytime soon.

So, will DaveyTrain race again? You'll have to wait and see. I will certainly keep running for fun. So don't be surprised if you see me someday on some trail holding a packet of gels in one hand while trying to keep my pants up with the other.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Something is Cooking...

The other day I was wondering, "What it would be like for Aubrey to have a sibling? Would they get along? Would Aubrey smash her like an unsuspecting potato bug?" Sure enough, that morning I found out that Sheri is pregnant. Really. So now I finally know where babies come from: absent-minded daddies thinking about siblings for their kids.

Yep, we're having another one of these. Unless of course it's a boy, in which case we'll change the skirt color.

So the new bundle of joy is due to arrive on February 19th, 2012. And guess what day that corresponds to? Yep, Daddy Daveytrain's birthday! So instead of eating cake and opening presents for myself, I get the pleasure of watching a screaming baby emanate from an eerie womb of terror. Bring the popcorn.

Aubrey waits for her new sibling like a shark. A very cute shark with a purple hat.

I've forgotten what it's like for Sheri to be pregnant; the morning sickness, the general fatigue, the headaches. Sheri's going through a lot of the same stuff too. But she's being a real trooper about it. We try to distract ourselves by thinking about baby names. (Warning: the following information may be offensive if you named your child "Zyler" or anything like unto it)...

You see, we're not big fans of the latest trend: naming your baby after common alien surnames. Children's names such as "Braxton", "Theopholis", "Zoron" or "Ezzibelle" just don't fly with us. I just have a hard time seeing my kid in the future sitting down for an interview and the future boss saying, "So tell me, Rugger, why would you like to be an accountant?" I just don't like the idea of dooming your child from the get-go. I'm sure I'll figure out a way to accomplish that later. Sheri and I will stick with the more traditional names like "Baili" and "Ruby-Mae".

Aubrey helps daddy with his stretching in the morning after a long run. As you can see, daddy is about as flexible and an uncooked linguine noodle.

This picture reminds me of a true story that happened on our wedding day. A total stranger saw us walking through the parking lot of the hotel in our wedding garb, stopped, looked at me, then at Sheri, then back to me and said, "Boy did you get the good end of the deal!"

And for those of you who are still on the hunt for that "perfect man", look no further than my friend Sigmund:

Dating Fails: Dating, Breakup, Boyfriend, Girlfriend - Dr. Sigmund Hume.

Friday, April 22, 2011

The Bachelor, But Rated 'G'

DaveyTrain (me) has been a bachelor for the last 10 days. Choo choo! Sheri and Aubrey decided to fly to Auburn last week to visit all 67 of Sheri's sisters. So they have been living it up in California while Daddy has been home working his snake-like fingers to the bone. But it's been productive. The house is now so organized and clean that the slightest breeze will likely cause it to spontaneously combust. Don't worry, though. Very soon Hurricane Aubrey will blow into town and make sure our home resembles something from "Rumble in the Bronx" or possibly "Elmo Visits Chernobyl".

One of my many activities while all alone in my house.

Here is my typical thought process when I am left as a bachelor:

Day 1: Nice. The whole place to myself! I can do whatever I want!
Day 2: Lame. This house seems too big and now smells like a dead yak. I can't do anything fun when I'm alone, and I'm tired of watching re-runs of Shamwow infomercials.
Day 3: Hmmm...I wonder if the mailman came twice today. I'd better check to be sure. Maybe on the way to the mailbox I can make it fun by thinking of every prime number that begins with the letter "s".
Day 4 - Day 10: Which one really is better? One? Or two? One? Or two? One? Or two?....

And then things started to get a little weird...

Here are a few more points that I've learned during the last week and a half:

1. My eternal hatred towards cooking has been resurrected. Seriously, I don't know how people do it. I often wish we lived in the days of the pioneers when everything was ready-made and easily put together in less than 15 minutes. I found myself spending 2 1/2 hours cooking a quesadilla that resembled Al Roker and tasted like a burnt armadillo. It amazes me that the profession "chef" actually exists. Who in their right mind would want to become one? If the world consisted of people that were just like me, only the vilest of criminals would be forced to prepare food.

2. I've discovered a new mathematical concept: the amount of creepy noises in a home are inversely proportional to the amount of people trying to sleep in said home. There were nights where I thought as I stared up at the ceiling, "Well, that noise is either the wind, or a bloodthirsty zombie wolverine coming to reclaim my soul." Sometimes it was the former, sometimes the latter. But I didn't have anyone to snuggle with to keep me safe. Luckily, the rule that governed as a child still works when you're an adult: you'll be fine as long as you stay under the covers. Just pray that the creepy clown doll sitting in the corner doesn't rip them off you.

3. I forgot that you could theoretically make it through church without fruit snacks. It was so strange to sit there on Sunday and not have to watch a toddler try to play patty-cake with your skull. Aubrey is often trying to pal it up with all the other kids during church, so I definitely missed out on the typical Sunday entertainment. Which meant that I was forced to console myself with several packs of Spiderman fruit snacks.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Suddenly Fun Again...For The Very First Time!

I guess it's time to write's only been 5 months.

A wise friend once told me, "The great thing about having kids is that things you haven't done for years all of a sudden become really fun. And also, your zipper is down." Sage advice, indeed. After many experiences I've come to discover that he was absolutely right, and the thing he said about having kids was right too.

Take the zoo for example. I haven't been to the zoo in years. I haven't really had the desire. Plus, I had to wait for my 5-year ban to be over. (Here's a little tip for you: never try to wake up a meerkat by throwing your shoe at him. They tend to stay asleep, if you know what I mean.) But now that I have a child, suddenly the desire is back in full force. So we packed up our stuff, and drove to Hogle Zoo. Here are some images:

This is one of the few times Aubrey was actually paying attention to one of the animals. Probably because it was eating something she wanted. The rest of the time she spent socializing with the other kids around. (That's the last time I spend 18 bucks for my daughter to make a friend...the audacity!)

This is what I call the "Mommy don't throw me in" pool.

She figured it would be easier for the alligators to escape if she pulled the gate up.

This has nothing to do with the zoo.

Aubrey has also brought dancing back into style at our house. Who knew that dancing in nothing but pink boots could be so much fun?

It's cute all right...but let's hope this trend doesn't continue into adulthood...

There are tons of other things that are ridiculously fun again: the dinosaur museum, bedtime stories, dressing up as a wolf and scaring little children, singing the ABC's, jumping on the bed, and wearing a diaper, just to name a few. Half the time I'm wondering if I'm having a better time than Aubrey.

Ok, that does it for now. I now make a promise - to all five of you who read this blog - that I will blog again soon. And it will be full of so many great stories and tales of adventure that your gizzard will hurt. Until next time!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010


1. There really IS a San Francisco!

Ah, San Francisco. Land of rolling hills, trolley cars, and street vendors that won't stop giving you the stink-eye until you buy something. We figured that before the whole city sinks into the ocean, (San Francisco's motto: "Even the Devil Feels Uncomfortable Here!") we ought to pay it a visit. A yearly optometry conference was being held there, so we figured it would be a good excuse to take a little vacation. Plus, our good friends the Larsons would be there too, which always guarantees a good time:

Michelle Larson and Sheri out on Lombard street - the street famous for having more curves than a sexy snake.

We decided to get a little crazy and leave Aubrey in the hands of my very mature and capable father-in-law:

Who wouldn't do fine with a guy like this?

We did all sorts of fun stuff, and I'm not just talking about playing board games! We visited Alcatraz, which is considered the most inescapable prison on the planet next to "It's a Small World" and "The Forgotten Carols". It was really neat because they just turned you loose and you got to walk all around the island. We also took an audio tour of the actual prison which was fascinating. I didn't realize that famous criminals like Al Capone, Sean Connery, and Oscar the Grouch stayed there. Here is the only picture we got of us on the island:

We couldn't get enough of the place!

Sadly, our San Fran trip had to come to an end. After giving my last pint of blood plasma to pay for yet another toll road, we drove back to Auburn to reunite with Aubrey and see Sheri's family. Aubrey seemed a little...different, though. We couldn't quite put a finger on it...

Despite the subtle change, Aubrey had done well and we are very thankful for great in-laws! Tune in soon for adventure #2 (hint: it may or may not have to do with what I already vote as the Manliest Movie of the Decade. Here's a preview:

Almost as amazing as this commercial: