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Monday, October 31, 2011

Guest Post: Feed Me! Or, a Father Ponders His Fathering

Have a guest post for Modern Mormon Men? Both modern mormon men and women can submit guest posts via email. In addition to your post, please include a post title and a paragraph of introduction (on yourself) to run above the post.

John Landbeck is a husband, father, member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and attorney. He likes his life, wants his family to be happy and wants happiness for others, too. He trends towards long, lecture-like commentaries. After all, he is the child of a lawyer and an English teacher; he loves the English language, but loves best hearing himself speak it. John's personal blog can be found here.

My heart aches with longing and worry for the happiness and success of each of my children. The day before Stewart left for the Missionary Training Center, I tried explaining the mild trepidation I felt. He was about to pass completely out of my control, away from any continuing influence I might exert on him.

I know, intellectually, that he had really passed out from my control already. Years ago, if truth be told. He is a man grown, making his own decisions. Most of my children are really that old now, that grown. Legally, socially, and morally. The fact that I still pay some of their bills, and they do me the courtesy of including me in a dwindling number of their decisions prolongs the illusion that I have much to do with their actual living.

But in that moment with my son, I felt a great swell of melancholy, considering that my opportunity to instruct, inspire, lead, and direct was ending. I was full of the worry that perhaps I hadn't done enough. What if I taught the wrong thing? What if *by* helping him, I enabled his weakness? What if I hadn't tried hard enough to be encouraging? What if I have been *too* stern, crushing his creativity and agency?

The speculative what-ifs multiply, weighing heavily. I know, intellectually, that it's easy to psych myself out, and lose by simply giving up in despair.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Giveaway 4: Winners

Congratulations to the following MMM readers, you each win a The 5000 Days Project: Two Brothers DVD from director, Rick Stevenson! Send us your address by Friday, November 4th to claim your DVD.

For those of you not familiar with The 5000 Days Project, we've written about the project here and here and had one of the two brothers guest post here and here. If you didn't win, please support this wonderful project by purchasing the movie for your own collection or for family, friends and neighbors for Christmas. There are three ways to buy the movie - DVD, download, or stream.

5000 Days Website: here
5000 Days Trailer: here
5000 Days Facebook: here

Friday, October 28, 2011

Heaven's Going To Be Awesome!!!

by Bishop Higgins (bio)

In heaven, lift tickets at ski hills will always be 65% off.
In heaven, no one will be grossed out when watching an old person eat corn.
In heaven, every angel will be dressed in Prada.
In heaven, the lion and the lamb shall lay down together. And their parents won't be all, "I told you not to play with that lion down the street. His parents drink, don't you know."
In heaven, whenever you stub your toe, you will either get a new toe or a coupon for a free pair of new shoes!
In heaven, the Deseret Industries will have a cafeteria with gently used food. Shepherd's Pie - yum, yum.
In heaven, the Deseret Industries will smell like Nordstrom instead of a wet dog.
In heaven, sometimes we'll look down at the earth and say, remember that one time we got food poisoning at Arby's and then everyone will laugh and be glad we're in heaven.
In heaven, Motel 6 will be more like the Ritz-Carlton and the Ritz-Carlton will be like the Celestial Kingdom.
In heaven, Joseph Smith will have a meet and greet every Wednesday at 2 p.m.
SofĂ­a Vergara will be in heaven, so, there's that.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

MMM Mail 1: Baby Blessings

image via LDS Talk

Q: My husband is a convert and our baby's blessing is coming up in two weeks. He's very nervous to do it in front of the congregation, and even more nervous that the baby will start crying uncontrollably during the process. Could someone write a post about how you are actually supposed to hold a baby during the blessing and give tips for how to successfully keep a baby from crying?

A: Impending baby blessings have been known to keep modern mormon men up all night. We hope thoughts from Ken Craig, Max Power, Pete Codella and Saint Mark (all after the jump) help your husband rest soundly this week! Or, you can head here or here to see what Bishop Higgins has to say on baby blessings.

Random Experiences With Death

by Seattle Jon (bio)

Grandpa (top left) with his B-24 crew in front of Teepee Time Gal

I recently experienced death for the first time. Not mine, obviously, but my grandfather's. He was aged, and sick, so it wasn't unexpected. But I hurt inside. I was slower to smile and not as playful with the kids. It was my kids' first time experiencing death, too. Their reactions were interesting. Here is what each said or did when I told them.

Eleven Year-Old Daughter: Immediately started bawling, went to her room and returned in an all-black outfit. "Mourned" the rest of the evening.

Nine Year-Old Son: "No, not that. Who will take care of his horses?"

Five Year-Old Son: "Is that Gpa's daddy?" I said yes, then he said, "Can I call Gpa and tell him sorry he lost his daddy?"

Being at the funeral services, with so many family and friends, was a special experience. I learned some things about grandpa I didn't know. For example, I learned he was a daily journal writer for over 50 years. I learned that his nickname in high school was "Ike" and grandma's was "Sugar." I also learned that he and grandma drank Diet Pepsi like water. Why did I find these things out when he died rather than when he lived?

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

How to Discipline Your Kids Like a Man

by Dustin (bio)

Disciplining children has come a long way, and yet many of us fathers still feel unsure of the best methods for punishing our kids.

In the 1960s and 70s, discipline looked different than it does today. My dad and his three brothers knew a beat down was coming when they would see my grandfather's hand move from the steering wheel to the top of the seat back of their old station wagon. This was the warning sign that a rapid-fire backhand was about to be initiated. Fast-forward to the 1980s and 90s. My dad's weapon of choice was spanking, a highly effective and fear-based (albeit short-term) solution. But spanking soon became "punishment non grata" in the late 90s and early 2000s as books and articles (and Dr. Phil) hyped the notion of reasoning with children. The problem, as we know, is that children aren't rational ... and neither are we.

So what works? Well, we learn rather quickly that losing our temper and shouting can lead to some nasty consequences, the least of which is additional behavioral issues or lashing out on the part of the child. When my daughter was almost two I learned that shaking my finger at her and saying "no" was quickly met with her returning the action when I turned off the TV during Sesame Street, took away her toy in church, or yelled at the cat for missing the litter box.

What works are six techniques I have honed from years of parenting.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

MMM Quotes 3: The Jobs Report

by Seattle Jon (bio)

As Aimee wrote on Instagram the day he died, we hope Steve Jobs is in iHeaven. Here is a collection of his quotes from his Stanford University commencement address in June 2005.

"Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma - which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of other's opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary."

"You can't connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something -- your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life."

Guest Post: Overcoming the Existential Angst of the Bloggernacle

Have a guest post for Modern Mormon Men? Both modern mormon men and women can submit guest posts via email. In addition to your post, please include a post title and a paragraph of introduction (on yourself) to run above the post.

Bradly Allen Baird is the father of two amazing children and served a mission in the Finland Helsinki Mission somewhere around the dawn of time. Having acquired an MBA and then subsequently throwing over his entire (and incredibly boring) professional(?) life to study biotechnology and computer information systems, he is finally finding his way as a modern mormon male. Oh, and he became interested in the bloggernacle a few years ago by submitting comments and a couple of guest posts to A Motley Vision.

I am a geek. No questions about it, I am a geek. Ask anyone that I served my mission with and they will tell you that Baird is a geek (and quite often a dork). I was raised by an ultra-liberal mother whose tendencies in life floated incessantly between the arts and environmental terrorism; which should tell you all a lot about my own tendencies. Consequently, when I entered mainstream American Mormonism at the age of 18, I was unprepared for the complete and total culture shock of life in Utah.

However, with time and maturity, I became steadily acclimated to it all and even can enjoy some of its more idiosyncratic practices. I will go so far as to say that I really do like living here now and enjoy associating with members of my ward and stake. There are such good, kind people in the Church here in West Jordan and I feel as though I have found myself here and my purpose as a member of God's Kingdom on the earth (though my purpose seems to be outside mainstream service to the ward).

The one thing that has not happened, though, is that while I live among good and kind people, I cannot relate to most of them on any real personal level at all. I am not a die-hard BYU or Utah fan (though I attended both institutions and do watch the games), cannot speak endlessly about cars, or baseball, motorcycles, hunting, recreational vehicles, or any other of the things that seem to occupy the daily lives of the good people here. I was raised in a very different way and care about different things.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Giveaway 4: 5000 Days DVDs

It's no secret we are big fans of The 5000 Days Project. We've written about the project here and here and had one of the two brothers who star in the 5000 Days movie guest post here and here. Now, thanks to the generosity of director Rick Stevenson, and just in time for Christmas, we have four The 5000 Days Project: Two Brothers DVDs to giveaway.

Giveaway details are below. More importantly, if you don't win, please support this wonderful project by purchasing the movie for your own collection or for family, friends and neighbors for Christmas. There are three ways to buy the movie - DVD, download, or stream. Visit the movie website here to get more information.

Giveaway Guidelines:

• You have 5 days to enter this giveaway (closes Friday, October 28 at midnight).
• Make one comment on this post to enter (anonymous comments ignored).
• One entry per family please.
• Four winners will be chosen via and announced on October 30.
• Winner needs to respond via email by Friday, November 4 to claim their DVD.
• If you don't win, we strongly encourage you to purchase the dvd here.

• DVD cover by MMM co-founder ScottHeff!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Do You Love Elmo?

by Seattle Jon (bio)

I find Elmo annoying, but after watching this trailer I have a new appreciation for the voice behind the red puppet. The movie opens today ... somewhere ... but I am just going to add it to my Netflix queue so we can watch it together as a family.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

What Happens When You Search for "Mormons" on Twitter?

With all the hub-bub surrounding fellow MMM Mitt Romney and his 2012 bid for the oval office, I thought I'd take a peek at the world's foremost source of political ideologies and snarky one-liners: Twitter to see what the buzz is.

Here's what I found when I took a random sampling of Mormon-related tweets from the past seven days.

Not to bash anyone, but I think this guy has "creepy" in front of the wrong proselyters.

If Romney did dump the Mormons, I think it would be under a Suburban, AMIRITE?!

MMM Search Term Roundup 2: June 2011

by Scott Heffernan (bio)

When someone finds Modern Mormon Men via search engine, we get to see what they typed to get here, giving us a small glimpse into the thought processes of those who happen upon our site. I think our readers need to see these, so I'll be sharing them monthly. Some are funny, some are sad, some are disturbing. Maybe we can work together to give some context or help answer some of those curious questions. WARNING: Although some of the more explicit entries have been excluded, saucier phrases that are included have not been edited. See them all here.

i'm mormon and my husband and i are into swinging
Go see your bishop... and stake president.

mormon church of jesus christ and garth brooks
"Garth Brooks has done more, save Jesus only, for the salvation of men, than any other man that ever lived."
- Chris Gaines

modern hairstyle for lds

who should be my first pick in the bishopric
Is Google the new God?

can mormon couples sleep next to each other
Yes. Well, kind of. During full and waxing crescent moons, it's fine. Otherwise there has to be a pair of Saucony sneakers in between. But the sneakers have to be wrapped in velvet (any color).

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Sunstone Northwest 2011

by Seattle Jon (bio)

If you live in the Northwest and are looking for something to do this weekend, check out Sunstone NW 2011 in either Bellevue (east of Seattle) or Portland. Pre-registration has closed, but you can still register on site the day of the event for single session, half day and full day tickets. The "nearly final" program can be found here.

by Saint Mark (bio)

Nineteen years ago, when I got baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, there was no source I could readily access to find out what mormons believed. Oh sure, there were missionaries and LDS chapels, but I was too young and intimidated to actually approach and talk to an actual mormon about their beliefs. Plus, I heard they were a cult and had horns so I didn't want to get brainwashed by their secret underwear or hidden wives.

Unfortunately, the only sources I could speak to were people who were adamantly against anything having to do with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, aka the mormons. Family and friends who were not LDS would tell me rumors and gossip they had heard second or third-hand. I even knew of Christian churches that had material in their foyers depicting the "evils of mormonism" and "the lies of Joe Smith."

Thankfully, a friend who was mormon had the moxie to talk to me about the LDS church and it was then that I realized that all of the hooey about cults and brainwashing were nothing more than plain ol' discrimination and fear mongering. But, what about all the people like me who were "looking for truth but did not know where to find it"? I often thought about "what ifs" and how God had led me to talk to someone who was brave and open about her faith in Jesus Christ and His church.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Chicken Coop For The Soul

by jpaul (bio)

Few things in life are as simple and enjoyable as having your four year-old son walk to the backyard every day to grab a couple fresh eggs just in time to fry them up for lunch. It still blows my mind that there is actually an animal that will produce an egg every day, like clockwork, and ask for nothing in return but scraps from your dinner plate. I see a not-to-distant future where the chicken claims the title as "the perfect pet." They are easy to care for, playful and productive ... a combination matched by no other animal I can think of. If you are not yet a Modern Mormon Farmer, it’s time to get started.

I began my urban farming adventure by purchasing a chicken coop on Amazon. It turned out to be not quite secure enough to keep out the raccoons that prowl my neighborhood. Unfortunately, I lost my chickens and a couple hundred bucks on a coop that now just adds to the clutter in my garage. I was determined to continue, so I pooled resources with a neighbor (a coop co-op) to afford the nicest chicken coop kit I could find on Craigslist … another mistake. The kit came with some cheap wood and a blank piece of paper, which I believe was intended by the Chinese manufacturer to be the instructions. With a little creativity, we got the coop set up in the backyard and the fresh eggs began coming in. That is, until the nesting box broke completely off of the coop. The wood couldn’t support the weight of two chickens, even though it had been recommended for four.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Mormon Alliteration

by Seattle Jon (bio)

Alliteration: the repetition of usually initial consonant sounds in two or more neighboring words or syllables.

Mormonism is full of alliteration.

The tendency to alliterate started with apostle Parley P. Pratt (okay, just trying to start a mormon myth) and continues today with general authorities Claudio Costa, Gerrit Gong and Paul Pieper, among others.

Today's young men - Peter Priesthood's - are all actively engaged in priesthood preparation for their own missionary moments, while the young women - Molly Mormon's - are advancing from Merrie Misses to Mia Maids, when they will begin work on their Personal Progress programs.

On missions, these youth partner with member missionaries to share tender testimonies. When they return, they too become member missionaries. If twenty-something mormons remain unmarried, they become part of the singles scene, a never-ending stream of Linger Longers and Munch 'n' Mingles.

Once mormon men and women enter their 30's, and as long as they have interesting careers or hobbies (here, here, here and here), they can star in their own Mormon Message.

If you leave or are kicked out of the church, there is still hope. Alliteration was used to name the "September Six."

I hope this post has been plain and precious, as well as a marvelous work to wonder at. Keep reading Modern Mormon Men - also alliteration - for more inspirational insights.

Or, give us your mormon alliteration ah-hah's in the comments ...

Friday, October 14, 2011

Guest Posting on MMM

Looking back over the 250+ posts published in our first six months, some of the best have been from guest posters. If you haven't read the guest posts below, you should. Then you should ask yourself the following two questions:

Do I have something to contribute?
If yes, click here to find out how to guest post.

Do I know someone else who has something to contribute?
If yes, send this link to the person you thought of.

Richard Tait breaks the female gift code here.
Aaron shares great moments in sacrament meeting here.
Dustin Peterson shines while talking about his baldness here.
Sam Nelson diagnoses his feelings about his mission here.
DJ dances around his internal struggle with music here.
Glynn Wilcox mixes it up by sharing his favorite drink here.
Matt Lipps asks when he should use his lips here.
Bow Tie Guy puts in his ten cents with a discourse on tithing.

Read all guest posts here.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

The Booger Pillow

by Seattle Jon (bio)

 My five year-old son came out of his room the other night, handed me his "booger pillow" and asked me to wash it for him.

"Wait," I said, "what is this?"
"It's my booger pillow," he helpfully replied, "Mom told me to put my boogers on the pillow and not to wipe them on the wall."

And he walked away, as if every five year-old kid has a booger pillow.

Or do they?

I vaguely remember getting a phone call from my mom a few months after leaving for college. She and dad had been rearranging my room and had literally found booger stalactites hanging from underneath my mattress. I don't remember putting them there ... but maybe that's because I didn't think it was a big deal while I was doing it.

Are there other parents out there who let their kids have booger pillows (or something similar)?


by Clark (bio)

We found this little guy on the road a few months ago. He was unable to fly, having just left his nest. With none of his friends or parents around we decided to help him out and take him home. Usually we don't take in wild animals or get involved in their lives, but there are a lot of coyotes and badgers out here and we wanted to give him a good shot at growing up. We have a large cage in our garage that he has been staying in and we take him out and do flying exercises with him to help build the strength in his wings. We've identified him as a Swainson's Hawk. Quite an impressive bird if I do say so myself. It's been neat to see his growth over the past several weeks. We've been feeding him and getting him acquainted with his surroundings. I named him Mordecai due to his resemblance to another bird of prey featured in one of my favorite movies. Can you honestly name the movie (without Google) I'm talking about? I'll give you a hint: think German christmas trees.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

A [Stall] of One's Own

by Saint Mark (bio)

Now, I don't know if this concerns only mormon men but it sure does apply to all modern men. I'm talking about urinals. Here's an example of what I'm talking about.

It's a cleaner version of what I've experienced at baseball parks, drive-in movie theaters and rodeos but it's still as horrendous. Why do men have to relieve themselves side-by-side, with no barriers, like common farm animals?

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

How To Save A Life

by MAB (bio)

When I was about eight years old my older brother had leukemia. The news and subsequent treatments were a hardship for the family and my brother's health did not improve. To save his life the doctor's began a search for a bone marrow donor. Another brother ended up being a match and was able to donate. After a very intense three month process my brother pulled through against the odds.

That experience left a big impression that has stayed with me throughout my life. In fact in college I studied cancer quite a bit and thought about working in cancer research. But I didn't end up in medical school and I didn't get a PhD so what could I do? The answer came over 10 years ago when I donated blood and saw that I could also sign up to be a marrow or stem cell donor. So I went through the easy process of getting on the registry. That involved a simple blood draw. Once they have your blood they work out all the complex markers that make your cells unique. If someone needs a stem cell transplant (bone marrow transplants are now less common thanks to recent advances in medical technology) finding a match is much more complex and less likely than finding someone with your blood type.

Guest Post: Dad & Baby T

Have a post you think would be good on Modern Mormon Men? Both modern mormon men and modern mormon women can submit guest posts via email. In addition to your post, please include a post title and a paragraph of introduction (on yourself) to run above the post.

Marcus Lane was born and raised in Salt Lake City, Utah, and served his mission in Guatemala City. He spends his days running tree-lined streets and listening to his favorite tunes to prepare for marathons, half marathons and 10K's. He is married to his tall blonde dream girl and they have a two year-old son and another baby in the oven who will be making a grand entrance in February of 2012. Marcus writes on his personal family blog, The Shields Riot, where he updates his readers on the family's travels, humor, thoughts and other meaningless adventures.

Last month I completed yet another marathon. It felt good to finish, really good. I even beat my last time by two whole minutes!  Every time I complete a race it makes me want to run another one. You receive a sense of achievement that is difficult to describe. I have never felt this before in my life, until I started running and competing. It's different then winning a basketball or soccer game with your team. The race is up to you, just you. You have to be both physically and mentally ready. Maybe that's why I like it. I can depend on myself and maybe not on other people.

Monday, October 10, 2011

How to Turn Your Mormon Story into a National Bestseller

by Scott Hales (bio)

Let’s say that ever since your days as a Blazer in knee-high Scout socks or a Merry Miss in whatever it is Merry Misses wear, you’ve wanted to write a best-selling novel about Mormons. So you spent no small percentage of your life coming up with plots and characters that have the potential to become, if written down and translated correctly, the means of bringing about great fame and financial success for you and your posterity.

It’s not like Mormon stories haven't hit it big before. A few years ago, novelist David Ebershoff did just that with The 19th Wife. And get this: they even made a Lifetime Original Movie based on the part of the novel that didn’t require a lavish budget.

Pretty cool.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Vote or Die 4: Hungry Communion

by Scott Heffernan (bio)

See all Vote or Die posts here.

Which kind of sacrament bread do you prefer to partake of? White bread or wheat bread?

Form pales in comparison to meaning when it comes to this ritual. But be honest with yourself...

Do you go for health or flavor? Do you sneak an early glance to see what’s coming? Is there an ever-so-slight disappointment in your heart when you reach out and feel a stale, crusty chunk? Does it enhance your spiritual experience when the bread is fresh, fluffy, and delicious? Do you take a larger piece if it looks good (or if it’s fast Sunday)? Do you aim for crust? No crust? Anyone in a ward that does homemade bread? Ever had cinnamon bread? And what about the celiacs?

Why Prayer is Hard

by Dustin (bio)

When I teach effective communication to college students I often use an activity called "Blind Drawing." Two individuals (Person A and Person B) sit back to back. Person A describes a series of shapes on a sheet of paper to Person B, who draws the shapes on a blank sheet as he or she interprets them. Person B cannot ask questions or turn around. The individuals then compare their papers only to discover how different the shapes look in size and arrangement. During a second round of drawing, the individuals are allowed to face one another, engage in two-way dialogue, and use facial expressions, hand movements, and voice tone to emphasize certain characteristics of the shapes. Without fail, the two drawings end up almost identical. Voila! The power of eye-contact, two-way communication, and nonverbals.

I'll then teach the students that some psychological experiments report 93% of communication is nonverbal. In other words, asking someone on a date via text is lame and delegating tasks to a member of your student organization via Facebook is ineffective. While the validity of the experiments that led to this conclusion have been questioned, the fact remains that nonverbals and two-way communication have a profound effect on our interactions. The most effective communication by far occurs between two coherent and engaged individuals.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Does Your Kid Light Up The Room?

by Topher Clark (bio)
by brettmerritt (bio)
by Seattle Jon (bio)

Below are thoughts from three modern mormon men on acting and how it relates to kids.

Topher Clark
As a theatre professor, I can't tell you how many times I have parents and grandparents tell me that their child/grandchild is "so full of energy" or that he/she "really lights up the room" or that this child "is quite a character!" and this somehow equals the idea that this child is, or will be, a good actor. more after the jump

I got started "late" in acting. I was 27 when I did my first play. I had no idea I would love it and that I would still be doing it at 40. I was very shy as a child and someone who thought getting up to say or do anything in front of anyone that wasn't a blood relative was akin to being drawn and quartered. more after the jump

Seattle Jon
My oldest daughter was one of those kids who refused to speak in the primary program or be recognized at her school graduations. She was terrified of other people looking at "just her." When piano lessons stopped working at age seven, we found a wonderful choir for her to participate in (if you live in the Seattle area, check them out here). She must have reasoned that choir allowed her to blend in and people came to hear the music, not to watch her sing. Soon after, she got involved with musical theater at the homeschool resource center she attends and our daughter fell in love with theater. more after the jump

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Guy on a Buffalo

by Luke Warmer (bio)

1970's cinematic gold meets flawless musical narration...

Poem: The Dream

by Seattle Jon (bio)

I occassionally write poems for Charlie (my wife). Here is a recent effort. Results were more positive than this disaster.

The Dream
The other night I had a dream.
I was being interrogated. You were behind a screen.
I couldn't see you, but I could feel you there.
You felt hopeful, but a little sad, worried, scared.
My interviewer was pushing...hard.
Toward something, I couldn't tell. He wasn't showing his cards.
Some of the questions confused me.
"You already know the answers!" I screamed.
I sensed the interrogation was important, vital.
Like at stake was our eternal survival.
He pushed again, I buckled.
If this kept up, I thought, I'd crumble.
I then realized where the questions were heading.
I started crying, pleading, begging.
"You know how I feel, let me be with her,
to love her, hug her, touch her and kiss her."
The man disappeared, so did the screen.
It was just you, and me, and fields of green.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

MMM Stories: How the Grinch Stole Christmas (Golf)

by Max Power (bio)

Modern Mormon Manly Stories is a collection of some of my favorite stories. I like telling stories, and since all of these stories include at least one man, typically a Mormon one, and occur in the present (making them modern, by definition), I thought I'd share them here. All of these stories are true. (And by "true," I mean they are mainly accurate, with adjustments solely for purposes of improving the flow of the stories. For example, if I am telling a story about being chased by a cat, but that is just not flowing well, I may slightly adjust the facts so I am being chased by a brown bear. So, basically all true.) Most of these stories have been told (by me) before. So, stop me if you've already heard this one.

I seriously like golf a lot.

Before I moved to New York City and simplified my life (meaning, I do nothing but work, eat and occasionally sleep), I would play altogether too much, and as a result, I frequently would be fatally unprepared for finals, neglect my family, and have to structure deals with my wife to keep our marriage intact. At the same time, it is something I am really not very good at (best score ever is an 81), but it keeps me challenged and relaxed.

One Christmas, we headed down from Provo, Utah to Gilbert, Arizona, to visit my folks/sister/brothers and do a little golfing in the warm weather. Arizona was cold (again) for much of the trip, just as it was the year before when we Christmas'd in Scottsdale. I carry some weird curse that causes Arizona weather to be unusually cold in the winter when I am there. But that is a different story for a different time ...

I asked my brother, Jake, to schedule tee times for us at a couple of courses over the holiday. We headed to one of the courses the Saturday after Christmas to make our tee time, with two foursomes. Jake somehow didn't get the tee times scheduled, or the clubhouse somehow didn't get the tee times written down, and we were standing outside the clubhouse, on maybe the busiest golf day of the year, with no tee times and a gaggle of bummed golfers. But, actually, that is another story as well ...

THIS story is about golf clubs.


by Apparent Parent (bio)

Most classifieds websites warn users of scams when new posts come online. The deal just might be too good to be true, they are in essence saying. What they don't warn you about is all the moronic scammers that will contact you when you want to sell something. When I listed my car in the local classifieds, I got jokers trying to steal my car from me in all sorts of interesting ways, just because I listed my email address. The funny thing is, these people trying to steal my stuff, while making it look like they're going to buy it, are endearing to me in an odd way. They are so stupid and know so little English that it's cute. I actually humor them by sending them responses as quirky as their inquiries. My favorite such transaction I have included in its entirety below with director commentary.

Inquiry email from Mack John, original grammar left intact.

Hello Seller,

am an oceanographer and am interested in your item place for sale and will love to know the final price and I'm willing to purchase it. As for the price am pleased with it and the condition, so i want you to consider the item sold.I will like to ask you some questions:

1} Are you the original owner of the item?
2} Do i need to repair?
3} Will you accept PAYPAL as a payment
4} Will allow local pickup at your location?
5} Do you have more pics?
6} What is the weight?
7} And also get back to me with your paypal email account.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Two Books for Miss Sucker Punch et al

by Saint Mark (bio)

A few months ago on the T (that's the subway in Boston) a woman punched me in the face. She punched me because I did not move out of her way fast enough. Now, I've heard of road rage but I have never heard of "subway rage."

Because people like Miss Sucker Punch exist in this world, I thought I would make a plug for two books that have helped me to deal with people like her. In fact, if every human on earth were to read and apply these two books, I believe there would be a lot less conflict and a whole lot more compassion.

My book choices are The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey and How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie. These are two of the most impactful books I have ever read, next to holy writ (i.e. the Holy Bible and The Book of Mormon). Whether reminding us of the importance of not complaining and criticizing others or learning the importance of being proactive and not letting life act upon you, these books build upon cherished verities that are common in scripture.

If you haven't read them, do yourself, your family, your friends, your community and your fellow subway riders a favor and read these books. Your life and others' lives who are around you will be better for it. And maybe more people will give and receive more love and less rage in subways, roads, homes, and in their hearts.

What books would be on your short list and why?

Other MMM Posts

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