Thursday, December 11, 2008

One down, fourteen more to go

As means of gaining closure to my first semester of grad school and teaching, I thought I would put up a few pictures of the University of Oregon. This is Gerlinger Hall where I taught last semester. Gerlinger has a lot of moss growing on it like anything good and established at the U of O. In fact, some of the best professors here are also covered in moss. My classroom is the room at the top left of the building in the first picture. It's a pretty typical looking classroom, except for the boarded up fireplace.
I'm pretty sure that someone was entombed alive behind the fireplace, and I'm pretty sure that I think that because I had to read the Cask of Amontillado in ninth grade. I was able to use the fireplace to my students advantage though. I told them that multiple studies have shown that students do better on exams when they feel more comfortable. In order to make it a more inviting atmosphere, I hung a Christmas stocking on the fireplace before they started the test.

I don't know what this video is from, but I showed it to my students at the beginning of the semester.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

What I'm thankful for

I'm well aware that these Thanksgiving pictures are late, but I'm swimming in my finals papers. As if that's not enough, my students had final projects and two tests this week, so I have to get all those graded and uploaded as well. I know: wah, wah, wah.

The absolute best part of Thanksgiving for me is to be able to play football with my brothers. All of my brothers are great athletes, and it makes me very proud in a big-brother sort of way to watch them knock the socks off of somebody. I obviously didn't have brothers to play with, and I drove all over town (in vain) looking for a football game to join. I ended up playing a pretty hardcore game of Ultimate with a bunch of hippies. Ultimate is also called Frisbee football, and the hipsters do frequently refer to each other as bros, so I guess it was logically the next best thing.

Despite the lack of brotherly bonding time, we still had a great Thanksgiving because we had what any good Thanksgiving needs, namely:

twelve layer jello,

the type of listlessness that only tryptophan can provide,

and really big, tasty, turkey legs.

Ummmmm Boy!!!!!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Just doing my little bit to save the world, three lives at a time

As I was going through the questions to make sure I was safe to donate blood today, the nurse looked at my driver's license, and said "You don't look like the Mormons I've known before". I figured she was probably referring to my face-fro. Like most mammals in northern climates, my fur gets thicker and wider distributed in the colder months. Obviously, she has never seen a picture of Brigham Young or Lorenzo Snow before. I felt it was my duty to free her of any other misconceptions of Utah that she might have. So I told her that in this past election, Utah had the highest percentage of people voting for a Democrat since the 1920s, to which she responded by giving me a high-five and bumping up the waiting list to get my blood taken.

When the phlebotomist was getting me unhooked and ran through the list of Coban bandage choices, I promptly told him to make it purple, because Weber will always hold a special place in my heart. I must have said purple a little too quickly and possibly too enthusiastically, because he gave me a look that said "Ohh, purple, eh? You sure you don't want to read over some of those donation questions a little more carefully?" My first thought was to tell him that I bleed purple. But then I realized that he had physical evidence to the contrary in his hands. I couldn't risk making him think I was lightheaded, because then he would have made me lay down for even longer.

I was a little nervous at first about riding my bike home after donating, which is why I caved in and ate one of the free chocolate chip cookies to replenish my waning blood-sugar levels. Actually, I had two of them. And a Capri Sun apple juice. And a packet of trail mix.

The city of Eugene is prepared though in the event of any fainting/narcoleptic college students on bikes. I think that it is precisely because an emergency of this nature could arise that the city has not picked up any of the fall leaves. Every street in the city is lined by corridors of dead leaves at least four feet high. Before when it rained and the rim brakes on my bike basically became a "just for show" feature, my commute was a little scary. Now I ride with a lot more confidence knowing that the leaves are there if I ever need to launch myself off my bike for any reason.

On a completely separate note, this picture was staged - I needed it for my PowerPoint for my class today- but it's still pretty cute.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Eugene's sparkling glitterati

Hey, how's it going? [insert lame excuses about how busy I've been here]. [insert profuse apologies and unfulfillable promises here]. Wheww!!! I'm glad we got that over with. So, Marci and I have been called to go to the Spanish branch and we went for the first time last Sunday. We had already made a lot of friends in our other ward, so we were a little bummed but also excited to go to our new branch. Plus, our other ward had somebody that mysteriously looked exactly like Cillian Murphy (the scarecrow from Batman Begins) and a guy that was a foot-and-half taller version of Vincini from the Princess Bride. So, I was especially excited to see what near-brushes with fame awaited us in our new branch. Possibly an Antonio Banderas lookalike or a Ricardo Montalban doppelganger. Well, I'm sorry to report that there were no Rickys or Tony Flags impersonators, but the guy that I sat next to in Elder's quorum did sound exactly like Machete from the Spy Kid movies (also known as the bartender from Anchorman if you don't watch those kiddy shows).
As if these almost celebrity sightings weren't enough, I just got an e-mail from the UO president, Dave Frohnmayer. Now most of you probably don't have an entire hemisphere of your brain dedicated to the minutiae of 80s movies, but Dave Frohmayer is the name of the sausage king of Chigago from Ferris Bueller's Day Off. It's reassuring to know that if the president of the university gig ever seems like it's not going anywhere, Dave can totally go back and reign over the land of stuffed meats. As a footnote, the sausage king of Chicago is really named Abe Frohman, but lets not get nitpicky.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

All this for just four easy installments of $39.95

Our bikes were taken the weekend right before school started, so I've been commuting to school on my longboard. It has worked out fairly well. I look like a hip college student riding my skateboard to school, especially when I hit a patch of sidewalk that's been pushed up by a tree root and I go flying off of my board. But, I'm going to start practicing with the UO Crew team (more on that later), so I really needed a new bike by this weekend. On Friday, I found some possibilities on Craigslist and I went to check them out. I drove up to Coburg (a quaint little (which may or may not be a redundancy) farming town), which is about 15 miles out north of Eugene. I went there to buy one bike-

and I ended up with two-

But that's not all, if you call now we'll also throw in two enormous pumpkins-

Three watermelons-

And two cool-looking fall gourds-

But wait, we're not done yet. If you're one of the next 15 callers, we'll throw in at no extra charge 9 ears of the most delicious corn you've ever had in your life-

And a big bowl of tomatoes

The best part of the story isn't the fact that I wanted one bike, and ended up with two bikes and a bunch of produce. He actually tried to give me a third bike for Rocky, but we couldn't fit it in the car. No the best part of the story is that he didn't actually give me all those vegetables. We drove across the street to his neighbors farm, and we stole them. For the record, stolen vegetables taste so much better than store-bought ones.

Monday, September 29, 2008

The joys of student housing

The people upstairs have recently began to play Rock Band with a bunch of friends until about 2:00 in the morning every night. At least, that's what I think they're doing. It's either that, or they're doing sweating to the oldies while on crack. But little do they know that we have a plan for full retribution. We have Rocky set to go off every morning at 1:30, 4:00 and 6:30.....Suckers.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Book one, chapter one. "It was a dark and stormy...

So, it's been a couple of weeks since I've posted. How's everybody doing? I'm okay, aside from the fact that our brand-new bikes were stolen last night. But I'm getting ahead of myself.
A week and a half ago, we loaded up a rental truck with all of our junk, and headed west to our new home. My orientation started on Friday the 19th, so we left early the day before and just drove straight through. We almost made it to Eugene (we were about 40 miles away) when the truck became leprous and started dropping pieces everywhere. Luckily, we were in the middle of nowhere (about 30 miles from a town on either side), so we felt really good about just abandoning a broken-down truck containing all of our earthly possessions on the side of the road. Even though it was a huge hassle, everything worked out really well. Nothing was stolen (until now), we didn't have to worry about parking the big truck in the tiny motel parking lot, and Budget even gave us some money back. We got all moved in, have already made lots of friends, and are really excited about our new home (minus the theft). I'm sure this is only the first of many, many adventures that I like to call "The chronicles of the Rigby Family at grad school." I'm going to end this post with a list of the things that I learned about Budget trucks during our trek.

Our good 'ol, not so trusty rental truck in front of the lava fields on Santiam Pass, with the volcano Three Fingered Jack in the background.

  • The volume of a Budget gas tank (including fumes) can be exactly defined as the distance between Layton and Boise, and/or the distance between Boise and Bend, Or.
  • Good idea: Driving the Santiam Pass scenic byway. Bad Idea: Driving the Santiam pass in a truck that is as wide as the road itself.
  • While baling twine is excellent at securing hay into bales, it is also pretty good at securing car seats into the cab of a truck that only has two seat belts.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Strawberry jumpsuits forever

We put Rocky into these pajamas for the first time the other day. To me, it looks like what you would get if Evel Knievel and Strawberry Shortcake started a clothing line together. I don't understand why the people who make baby clothes think that the world can never have too many ruffles. I think that these clothes makers can be lumped into the same category as those people that dress their dogs in tutus, or those people that make posters with a chimpanzee in a suit and toilet paper all around the room that says something like "I should have stayed in bed this morning." In other words, they feel better about themselves by making something else look as ridiculous as possible. As a side note, I still think that Rocky looks really, really cute in these pajamas, but that just proves how biased I am towards my own offspring. Another side note: we didn't pose Rocky like this. I think she was trying to emulate the only other people who would actually choose to wear something like this. Namely, Liberace or Siegfried and Roy.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

You can have my gun when you pry it from my cold, lifeless, hairy hands

Last Friday I went shooting with my Father-in-Law Dick. I had never shot a pistol that wasn't air or water powered before. As you can see from the picture, I did pretty well for myself. It would be natural to chalk my shooting up to beginner's luck, but my secret is much simpler than that. I have logged countless hours playing Area 51, which is an arcade game with a gun, and it's your job to put the kibosh on an alien-uprising in a top-secret military compound. Normally I'm not one to toot my own horn, but I do have to point out that I have personally averted the end of the world many times, as well as found two bonus rooms along the way. What's the point of all these wasted hours spent at the front of Smith's making aliens explode? Well, I think that it's obvious that I'm your go-to guy if we ever get invaded by body-snatching, zombie aliens. Or if there is ever a surprise attack from stationary Granny Smith apples. And if the day should ever come that there is an uprising of zombie Granny Smiths, then I'm quite possibly the only person qualified to face that onslaught.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Stars and piñatas forever

Rooting for the good ol' US of A during the Olympics has put me into a patriotic mood lately. So I submit to you a few pictures of piñatas and birthday cakes as quintessential Americana to help bolster your national pride. It's not that cakes and piñatas are more inherently American than other things. We all know that the tradition of breaking piñatas came from Mexico, and the fount of all knowledge (Wikipedia) has taught me that birthday cakes originated with the Romans. But if you think about it, nothing is more American than taking someone else's culture and acting like we've been doing it all along.

Marci and I made a piñata for Caleb for his birthday because he always said that the piñatas were broken by the little kids before his turn came up at the family parties when we were younger. Strong Bad was a natural choice because he has the most balloon-shaped head out of anyone.

Hey batter, batter, swwiiiingg batter!!!!

We made this cake for our friend Lindsay's birthday. The fro was made out of little cupcakes, and the pick was,, just a pick. You can't really see it in the picture, but the grill on the teeth says Happy B-Day.

I know this last one strays slightly from my theme of piñatas and birthday cakes, but I had to put it in. This is our actual wedding cake. Marci's cousin made it for us, and it turned out awesome! The base was made out of Twinkies around a real cake, with Lil' Debbie brown and white cupcakes at the very bottom. Then it goes ho-hos, red zingers, yellow Hostess cupcakes, and orange Snowballs. The bride and groom at the top are Han Solo and Princess Leia.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

How not to do it

Yesterday, in the listlessness of summer afternoon's languor (that sounds really poetic right? I got that from the inside of one of those Dove Chocolate wrappers), I decided that it was the perfect time to take my longboard for a tour of the neighborhood. At the end of my ride, I realized that I was going way faster than I was used to (and yes, my normal speed is somewhere between wussy and three-legged goat). So I did what any quick-thinking person would do in my situation. I decided to launch my body off the board, and then use said body to stop the board.
The following is an inventory of the new holes in my clothing/appendages:
New running shoes - 1
Cargo shorts - 1
Ankle - 2
Leg - 2
Hand and forearm - 6
My red shirt from Savers that I think says "We came to party" in Danish - 17

Friday, August 8, 2008

Hot chicks...

As Marci can attest to, I get giddy like a school-girl when I can see cool wildlife up close. A couple of weeks ago, I found a nest of quail just behind our patio that were in the process of hatching. By the time I got the camera, they were already trying to get out of their nest.

I like to think that the little slip that the first quail does is, in fact, one quail giving his little quail brothers a flying elbow-drop. That's right buddy, you show them who is going to be calling the shots around here. Then, why don't you just step on someone's head to make sure that they got the point. Well done.

This was only about five minutes after they hatched. It's awesome how far they jump. I'm sure what he was thinking was: "Walking was so two-minutes old; that's baby stuff."

Sunday, July 27, 2008

True Pioneers

Rocky wore the bonnet that came with her blessing dress in celebration of Pioneer Day. Unfortunately, it was a little too small. Considering that it was made for a burial, I guess I should just be grateful that she could wear it at all. She looked more Amish than pioneer, but I think the Amish are cool, so I was down with it. We took her to the parade, which was awesome as always. The Ogden parade is always about 15 hours long, but I insist on going every year. I remember going with my grandma and will continue to go until I can watch it with my own grandchildren. This year had the usual marching bands, floats, and horses. I like the Shriners the best, but this year there were only a few. I was also disappointed because last year the Oscar Mayer Weiner Mobile was the grand finale. They gave everyone a weiner whistle. This year, no weiner. What a drag. But, despite the obvious downer, we had a good time.

That night Brandon and I felt that we should remember the pioneers by cooking over an open fire. We had the family over for some hobo-dinners.

I'm pretty sure that the pioneers didn't have aluminum foil, or cream soda, or ice, or popsicles, or seven layer bean dip, or chips, or paper cups and plates, but other than that it was exactly like the pioneers.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Oh give me a home, where the horseflys swarm

On Saturday, I ran in the Xterrra Antelope Island 12K. I thought that because I was running on Antelope Island I would be able to see some really interesting wildlife. For the record, I didn't see any buffaloes roaming, nor any deer and antelope playing. I did, in fact, hear more than a seldom discouraging word when I was running up the hills. There was an article about the race in the paper, and this is what the race organizer said about the hills: "You can actually run all the way, but you've got to be a stud. It's steep enough most people will probably power hike it." I don't want to imply anything, but I didn't have to walk at all. Okay, I'm lying. I did have to walk about a hundred yards, and I was trying really hard to imply something there.

I'd like to give some shout-outs to a few things that made it possible for me to finish the race. Thanks to my "pump-it" sweat band and to my mother-in-law for giving it to me. Kudos to my Key Bank t-shirt for not chafing my nipps. And a final gracias to the Flo Rida song " Low" for getting me through that last, tough hill (it was a free download, alright?). But seriously, how can you get more motivational than inspired lyrics such as: "I was just like a clover, shorty was hot like a toaster." I mean, really, you can't top that. That is some well-crafted musical prose.

Look how cute my little family is.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

The subway!!!

Last Tuesday we went to Southern Utah to hike the Subway in Zion National Park. It was awesome!!! It's like a naturalist's candy store down there. There is beautiful scenery and really cool wildlife everywhere you look. I felt like Darwin getting off the HMS Beagle at the Galapagos (minus the seasickness and the scurvy of course). We saw among other things: Eastern Fence lizards, Canyon Tree frogs, an American Dipper nest with babies, an Arizona toad, a Black-necked Garter snake, Wandering Garter snakes and tons of Brook Trout fingerlings.

Friday, July 11, 2008

You may be put in an awkward social position before the day is out...

It is frightening to me how spot-on horoscopes are sometimes; it's almost supernatural how much they know about our current situations. Take Rocky's for example (she's a Taurus). Her horoscope from yesterday said "You are entering a phase of high energy bur reduced effectiveness on the job - it's a result, no doubt, of scattered interests." Incredible. It's like someone has peaked through our window, and wrote this one specifically for Rocky. Her interests really have been scattered lately between the rain forest mobile on her swing and her bouncy seat that sings this song to the tune of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star: "Playful puppy up above. Kitty there for you to love. Bumblebee and bunnies too. They're all here to play with you." Between all of this, her regular office job has really been suffering lately. There have been a lot of complaints from customers, and I wouldn't be surprised if she got censured quite harshly on her next performance review.

Thursday, July 10, 2008


The only thing that Rocky likes to do as much as watching T.V. on the sly is staring at the ceiling fan. We have all kinds of toys, a swing and a bouncy seat that she has virtually no interest in because her heart belongs to the circular motions of the fan. Because of the Central Air that keeps our apartment frigid, in order to run the fan Brandon and I have to sport beanies. But, because we are dedicated parents, we bundle the baby, and ourselves so that she can indulge. I'm sure there are "studies" somewhere that say that ceiling fans pretty much destroy a baby's brain or that they cause cancer or something because it seems that is the case with anything that Rocky likes.

Take the binky for example. I've read numerous sources and have been told by several people that letting Rocky have a binky is about as harmful as letting her smoke pot. If she takes it she will surely starve and will never succeed as a functional adult. Our little Rocky LOVES her "Pinky" as we like to call it. As a concerned, if not paranoid mother, this has caused me some amount of stress, especially because she is so skinny. I try to take it away and Rocky will try to suck on her wrist. Her little legs will start kicking and her voice will begin whining. I always bend in and let her enjoy herself. The first week of her life Brandon suggested that we only let her have Pinky at night but that only lasted about five seconds once we realized how much she likes it. I've noticed other mothers who use a superior tone of voice and say, "Oh, my baby won't even take a binky." Their kids are living life without the chains of addiction with which my child is already bound. I, personally, think the binky is awesome, which is why we have four of them. They are always strategically placed all around the house, like my mom's reading glasses, so that wherever we are, one is close by.

Hopefully Rocky's attachment to Gerber's Nuk brand pacifiers will stop before she goes to jr. high, and hopefully nobody ever does a study on ceiling fans.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

¡Viva España!

All the experts agree that babies shouldn't watch TV because it can negatively affect brain developblah, as well as offsetting the balance of blah in the blah-blah, not to mention the blah to blah blah blah. Blah. So we, like any well intentioned parents, decided before Rocky was born that she wouldn't watch TV until she was at least 38. All of this came to a screeching halt last week when we watched the European Cup final between Spain and Germany. We had Rocky facing away from the TV, and she was practically breaking her neck to be able see the game and cheer for the Spanish side. Well, in all honesty, it was more like drooling in support of the Spanish side. So we gave in and put her in the Bumbo for the last few minutes of the game. We might be bad parents for allowing something that would interfere with proper brain development. But we could never be forgiven for not letting her witness Spain win its first major title in 44 years. She was really into the game, as you can see in the picture. I think she liked it all, except that she didn't think that Torres deserved a yellow card. She promptly expressed her disgust by filling up her diaper. And those hooligans in England claim that they're passionate about the game.

Thursday, July 3, 2008


Everybody likes to think that their child is more advanced and smarter than average. We're no different, but now we have empirical proof to back it up. Rocky just turned two months old, and we thought it was time to try out the Bumbo. Aside from being a word that's extremely fun to say over and over, the Bumbo is billed as the Baby Sitter (Note:two words. Not to be confused with Suzie down the street: one word). The Bumbo is made in South Africa, making it possibly the most important thing to come out of South Africa since Nelson Mandela or the end of the Apartheid.
The box says that the Bumbo is suitable for babies between the ages of 3 to 14 months. By mastering the Bumbo already, Rocky has shown that she is clearly on track to being a wunderkind. Or that or that she has a world class sitting-fanny. Or that she's just small enough that her neck can rest on the back of the Bumbo. I guess only time will tell.