Sunday, February 22, 2009

Fork or Spoon: Why Decide?

Today we're examining the Spork.

A few weeks ago, I dragged my family through a Popeye's drive through. Never had Popeye's before. But it wasn't bad. Well, the chicken wasn't bad. I didn't care for the slaw or the mashed potatoes. The gravy smelled the hallway of a Comfort Inn. Or crotch. Those two smells are kind of interchangeable.

The chicken was crispier than I normally like. But I didn't feel dirty after I finished eating it. No unspeakable, conscience-weighing guilt. In other words, we're still Baptists.

Popeye's gave us sporks. I love the spork. LOVE it. It's the perfect eating utensil for many occasions. A clever combination of fork and spoon. Proof that inter-racial marriages can work. The spork was built for a stew or hearty soup. Every time Mrs. Z serves stew or pot pie, she'll ask if I want a fork or spoon. Sometimes, I'll say, "both," because really, you need both for stew or pot pie. Then I feel bad that she'll have to wash both after wards. Frequently, I'll pick one and spend the entire meal wishing I had chosen the other one.

It's sad really: that a stew can cause such buyer's remorse.

Enter the spork.

The spork was the best part of my public school education. I don't think we had forks at all in elementary school. Or middle school either. We sporked our spaghetti. Sporked the corn. Sporked the peas. I know for a fact I sporked the cake. When I wasn't shoveling it in by hand. I cannot say whether I ever sporked the tots.

So I'm left to wonder: am I the only one who loves him the Spork? I must be in the minority, because I don't believe I've ever seen a spork in silver ware. We certainly don't have any silver sporks. But we should.

And if they made a set, I'd buy it.

This isn't like wanting a calculator in my watch. Another brilliant idea which manifested itself during my middle school years but which I outgrew. I have a calculator in my phone now. My Garmin, too come to think of it. I have no real need for one in my watch.

But I can still use the Spork. In a perfect world, I wouldn't have to go to a fast food restaurant to get a spork. Alabama would have both an offense and a defense. President Obama wouldn't raise taxes on the so-called rich (which we know won't raise revenue but instead reduce it). Michael Vick would have to get a real job and Disney would return to cleaning its hotel rooms with both a vaccum and bleach products. My own blog wouldn't give me agita sometimes for no reason at all. Little Debbie wouldn't be such a temptress and the Cartographers for Social Equality would be taken more seriously.

If only.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Going to Plaid

This is my first foray into a post-Disney Trip somethinornuther. Such a thing would be absolutely verboten on the Disboards. Where I was rudely kicked to the Community Board curb and then locked up tighter than the recipe to the Colonel's chicken.

Do y'all feel guilty when you eat KFC? I do. I love it going down, but then about 5 minutes after I've finished wiping the finger lickin' good grease off my face, I feel like I've done something naughty. Like I've glanced too long at a woman who isn't my wife. Seriously, eating KFC makes me want to become Catholic and then confess my sins to a priest.

Which is why I only eat there once or twice a year. Also, truth is, I don't really like the chicken. As much as I like the skins. If they sold just the chicken skins with some mashed potatoes and coleslaw, man I'd be down with that.

And I'd be a raging Catholic.

So right about now you're asking yourself, "is this the kind of garbage I can expect to read here now that this moron is done with his Trip Report That Wasn't a Trip Report?" To which I answer, pretty much. Frankly, strip away the references to Space Mountain and snarky Cast Members and isn't this all my Trip Reports were about anyway?

I got a new Garmin GPS the other day. It's my new favorite toy. When I got my car almost 2 years ago, it didn't have a nav system in it. It was an option but not one I thought I needed or wanted. Certainly not one I was willing to pay extra for when I had no use for it. But in the last few weeks, I've found the limits of Mapquest and that has annoyed me. So I did a little research and found me a Garmin I liked. Better yet, I got my firm to pay for it. So that makes it all the better.

But here's my beef with the Garmin, the voices it offers are all very white bread. There's no redneck voice option, "Go up yunder a ways and then y'all will turn right at the fillin station." No New York voice option, 'Hey jackass! Get outta my way and turn right!!!!" No Jewish voice, "Oy! Why are you on the roads with these crazies?! Pull over and get a bagel and schmear and just avoid the tsoris before you plotz." And obviously there's no Schpupin! voice, which is a real shame, "well, de fing is, when I'm on a big boy wide, I don't weally pay much attention to where I'm going. So just stick your head out de window, let the wind set you chicklins a fwappin and enjoy the wide."

In other words, I want a Garmin where I can upload the voice. THAT would rock!

Do people still say that?

I do. I even say rock the house. But I'm becoming self-conscious about it.

Here's the other thing I'm thinking a lot about lately: if we don't go to Disney World this year, what, if anything will we miss out on? Space Mountain will be down for most of the year and the PeopleMover will be as well. That's a good chunk of Tomorrowland. There really isn't anything new and exciting in any of the parks. And do NOT say the American Idol Experience! Even though we love watching that train wreck of a show a few hours each week during the early auditions, I have no interest in it once they actually start singing and doing those cheesy Brady Bunchesque choreographed numbers. Good night nurse! I'd rather suffer the consequences of eating at Krystal's (Hi GB) than sit through that. And as far as I can tell, the new American Idol Experience will be nothing more than a cross between a bad karaoke contest and a talent show for people who are trying to "make it." Whatever that means.

I keep asking my wife and ZZUBY what they liked best about our last trip. I'm trying to gage what we'll miss if we don't go back. Their answers are similar to mine. While it's true we'll miss the rides, mainly what we'll miss is being there, seeing the MK from our room, smelling Disney. Swimming and sliding. Watching the kids run around the 4th floor concourse. Some of that, of course, you don't need Disney for. Our kids can run around anywhere we let them. We can find other pools with other slides. But my wife made an interesting point last night as we drove 30 minutes to and from dinner so I could play with my Garmin. She said the reason swimming was so fun was because it was our down time. We played hard in the parks and then that was our chance to unwind and relax. She wondered if it would be as much fun if that was the only thing we were doing. My guess is, no it wouldn't be. It would grow boring faster than President Obama could remind us for the umpteenth time that he won. Classy, by the way.

There are two things I think I'll miss: one is how much I unwind on vacation. I like vacation ZZUB. I don't think much about stuff. I don't watch the news. I don't think about trials or depositions or briefs or time sheets or kissing the corpulent butts of clients. I eat Pop Tarts and drink bad coffee and have dessert at every meal. And even in the middle of the day. I buy stuff for my girls just because. I laugh at duck billed platypuses and I talk to strangers. I'm excited to see Tigger or Goofy (pronounced: Doo-fy by li'l ZZUB).

I like to see my daughters having fun. Running with abandon. Laughing hysterically as Donald Duck pushes a plate of food across the table. Screaming so loud you loose your gum on Test Track. Smiling until your cheeks hurt as you take off on Soren Lorenson. And the 30 minutes before Illuminations. When it's dark and cooling off. The curiously interesting ethnic music which fills your ears and your mind. The lighting of the torches. The chasing down of one last snack to enjoy before the show starts. The drums. The fireworks. The lasers.

The second thing I'd miss if we don't go: anticipating the trip. Spending all summer talking about it. Thinking about it. Making plans for it. Counting down the days until you leave for it. Getting dragged to Target to buy Pop Tarts and sunscreen. I'm reasonably sure that if we don't go to Disney World this summer, I'll mourn not looking forward to the trip.

I think I'll mourn that more than the other stuff.

Because in the halcyon days of summer, when you're looking ahead, everything is perfect.

There's no rush. We're not making a decision today or even next week. We're sitting still and waiting on God to give us some clarity, some direction. When I think about doing one thing or another right now, my thoughts get clouded over by confusion, anxiety and yes, a bit of itchiness. When I settle back and remind myself, "God is in control. He will lead us if we let Him," I have peace and confidence.

This isn't the biggest decision I've ever made. And I'm aware that when matched up with the kinds of decisions other people are making, this whole, go-to-Disney or don't go-to-Disney dilemma seems silly. Trivial. If that were the only part of the decision, then that criticism would be well deserved. However, there's a good bit more involved with the question of whether or not to take a vacation to Florida this year, and leave it at that. In other words, I'm not that shallow.

The psalmist exhorts us to "[c]ease striving and know that I am God[.]" (Psalm 46:10 NASB). The Hebrew word for "cease striving" literally means to put down your hand; stop working. The NIV renders it as "be still." Which is what I'm trying to do.

I share this today not because I think anyone is so keenly interested in what's going on in the mind of some dufus named ZZUB, but rather because I sense that others of you, maybe even many of you, are facing similar decisions. Not just decisions about whether to go back to Disney World but about other more significant and weighty issues. Maybe this word is of encouragement is for you.

Being still, laying down your hand, isn't a license to be irresponsible or lazy. It's a command to stop fretting, stop trying to figure it out. In a world that tells us "don't just stand there, do something;" God's word directs us the other way. Don't just do something. Be still.

And know that He is God.