Wisconsin IS Awesome

I spent yesterday evening in Delafield with the Stoffer brothers and let me tell you, we had a great time. Wisconsin is awesome. The evening started with me arriving at the Wholly Cow (who received the following review from OnMilwaukee.com: “While custard is the name of the game at “The Cow,” the bigger allure is that the joint is owned by the parents of Julie Stoffer, from Real World!“) about twenty minutes after both of the Stoffer boys had gone to take Julie to the airport (I think she was going to be filming Real World: Airport Security or something). Mom Stoffer gave me a free frozen custard and directions to the town library. Luckily for me, the town library also doubles as the police department, city hall, and fire station, so it was basically like Delafield Public Official VIP zone in there and I couldn’t get past the doormen (It was 4 pm on Saturday and Delafield shuts down its public services at 2pm). So I wandered around town, and found an amazing little liposurgery fat removing clinic less than a mile away from the Wholly Cow. I’m not saying that I’m 100% certain that there’s some kind of rural Wisconsin conspiracy involving lipid-recycling (just like I’m not 100% sure that their 80 year old cat-urine reeking neighbor is using her empire of cats as a front for a meth lab), I’m just saying that in both cases you have to admit it’s a pretty strange coincidence. Anyways the Stoffer brothers appeared about an hour later, which is when of course things got really amazing. We mostly talked about life and our future plans (that’s all I’m going to say because I don’t want to spoil things for Jon), but Jon did grace us all with a couple of nuggets of undeniable genius, particularly an elaborate logic-defying theory on how he is the laziest person on Earth. Then we went to the final night’s performance of the critically acclaimed Kettle Moraine High School produced Fiddler on the Roof, starring the youngest Stoffer sister (who I didn’t even know existed until last night) as an aging Jewish mother of five unmarried daughters. Needless to say, she was perfect for the role. Truth be told, I thought she was a great singer and a pretty believable actress. In fact, all of the kids did a pretty incredible job, and the production was rather impressive. Big props (ha ha) especially to the right side stage tech, whose definitely had serious game. Some highlights: the head Russian constable who beats up the Jews had this amazing fake handlebar mustache which looked almost exactly like it had been spawned by Rollie Fingers and Mario. Second, there was a set piece, a shop in town, which nearly fell down and tottered dangerously close to collapse throughout the whole scene. I was literally holding my breath every time a character opened and closed the door, hoping that nobody would die and that the constable’s mustache wouldn’t be injured. There was also a curtain drop that got caught on some stage scenery and had to be raised and lowered again. At this point Alan turns to me and says, “Broadway it ain’t.” I nodded but inside my head I was thinking, “No, this is far far better.” And it was. Third, the radical student from the university who comes and tutors Tevye’s daughters looked exactly like Dave Jenson and even had the same mannerisms/style of walking. It was uncanny. Finally, there was a scene where Jews and Russians celebrate Lazar Wolf’s engagement to Tzeital by drinking and dancing in a bar. During that scene, one of the Russians stood up and shouted something unintelligible and generally seemed to behave as if he were drunk. At least that’s what we thought, until Lisa told us after the show that that kid actually had a disability and wasn’t really acting at all. So, big props to him for fooling us all, because he was really good. Finally, during the intermission, the Stoffer boys treated me to a tour down what I like to call the Stoffer wall of fame, a series of cast photos from the last 8 years of Kettle Moraine High School musicals. Seriously, at least 90% of the pictures had one or more Stoffer in them. I was sort of amazed, but also sort of not amazed at all. Then we went back to the Wholly Cow and had dinner, following which Jon and I discussed the profit margin for the World of Warcraft videogame franchise as well as the relative advantages of mages, rogues, and hunters in the PvP arena. Let’s just say I was definitely enlightened. Joking aside, I had a great time hanging out with the Stoffers. Wisconsin IS truly awesome, and so is the Wholly Cow.

A Youth Pastor

So I met a youth pastor from another church the other day. Just in case you’re going to meet one here’s what to expect. A soulpatch, balding hair with lots of gel, t-shirt with some kind of Jesus related saying, shorts, sandals and a good firm handshake. If you’re stuck in the room with him without much to say try bringing up modern christian music I bet he would know of some good bands. A good opening line would be, “Hey who was that band I heard when I called your cell phone?”

Visiting ours

Steel, I would like to forgo the traditional prose style in favor of a haiku…

Mom was a hippie
She gave me a Beatles cut
I looked like a girl

So anyway, here is the latest news from me in reverse chronological order.

Rich and Heather and Carter were in DC over the fourth of July. It was a lot of fun to see them again and catch up. Carter and his wife have a really cute kid. Rich is still in dental school in Virgina. Heather is working at a hospital as a physicians assistant. We all met up for lunch and then went to the National Portrait Gallery. Here is a picture.

Meghan Dunn also visited DC in June, but that was because she was getting married. It was a lot of fun to see her again.
In May I went to Utah for Abby’s wedding and Jordan gave me a ride in his sweet new Hyundai. It’s a manual transmission and Rose is doing a good job teaching him. Anyway, that’s it for me.

Mixed Messages from BYU

As you all may know, the First Presidency issued a letter with regards to the gay marriage issue in California. It seems that unbeknownst to our leaders, the BYU media department is seeking to undermine their counsel by creating subversive homosexual propaganda. Witness the following ad and be forewarned — numerous individuals “light each other’s candles.”


Teaching with the Missionaries

So I had a tremendous life experience today. I went with the missionaries to visit a woman that I home teach. She’s an African-American single mother who in many ways has the deck stacked against her succeeding in life. But that’s not why I’m telling this story. So the two elders decided they were going to teach the lesson about the commandments today and it was awesome. My favorite part was when they taught about the Word of Wisdom.
Elder #1: So…do you know what the Word of Wisdom is?
Woman: Uh, yeah. Isn’t it the one about not drinking and smoking and doing drugs and stuff.
Elder #1: Uh-huh. That’s it. It also says you’re not supposed to eat a lot of meat. (Makes a weird face and looks around), but uh nevermind, we don’t really talk about that a lot.
Woman: Really? I never heard that one.
Elder #1: We could read about it. (We read the verses from the Doctrine and Covenants)
Elder #2 (a quiet, pretty heavyset elder on exchanges for the day): So sparingly basically means that we should eat meat like twice a day. For two of our meals. We should eat meat at lunch and dinner. So we don’t eat it all the time, but just for two meals every day.
Woman: Oh, just two meals then.
Elder #2: Yeah.
Elder #1: So… (looking down at the notebook balanced on Elder #2’s knee) do you know what fasting is?

As you can tell, this lesson was AMAZING! I have to say, I was so proud of myself. I didn’t even laugh. Missionaries are the best. Ever.

Addendum to Essay Contest

So this might not apply to everyone, but then again, I’m not sure just how many people read this blog anyways. I just saw that the one of the Allers (probably Preston) was whining on the original post about this contest not being open to non-citizens of Awesome City. That was an unfortunate misunderstanding. The contest was not designed simply to recognize talent WITHIN a single nation, but to recognize greatness among all the nations. So if that whiny Aller feels like writing an essay, by all means, they can go ahead. I’ll even read it. But I doubt it beats Spencer’s article. I do however have a pretty awesome second prize: a puke green shirt with a circular image in the center of two rad looking folks dancing wearing red white and blue and then the state of Idaho behind them and behind that a forest and mountains. In a circle around them are these immortal words: Square Dance. The American Folk Dance of Idaho. The shirt is almost too good to be true. If you want to win this one, and I’m warning you now, I’m pretty loath to part with it, you’ve got to really impress me with a great essay. In case you’re not convinced the prize is worth the attempt at awesomeness such a prize certainly requires here’s a taste:

Essay Contest Results

The essays are in and have been evaluated by the judges. The winner (and lucky recipient of the “Mulletz Rule” t-shirt): none other than the talented Mr. Spencer Gardner. As the only person who submitted an essay Spencer was up against some pretty formidable competition. While the panel had initially intended to highlight a few gems from each of the essays that were especially worthy of attention, the fact that Spencer’s prize winning essay was so outstanding (combined with the dearth of other options) has led to its being presented in its entirety, as follows:

The genesis of the bowl cut is a hotly disputed topic in academic circles. While no one entity can claim definitive credit, there are certainly a few sources that deserve some analysis.

The Rothman-Goldstein theory posits that the bowl cut has been present in various forms throughout human history. According to the landmark essay “The Origin of Bowlcuts: A Darwinian Approach to Understanding Hair,” the bowlcut originated among our distant ancestors, homo-erectus. As evidence, the authors point to cave paintings depicting a series of hunting expeditions, followed by what appears to be the first prehistoric haircut, and then the proliferation of the human race. Critics of this theory are unimpressed: “I don’t know how an academic as thorough as Herman Goldstein could confuse phallic art with a bowl cut,” writes researcher Norman Gunther.

Gunther himself is credited with perhaps the most widely accepted explanation, the so-called “Da Vinci theory” which grants a neighbor of Leonardo Da Vinci the honor of the first recorded bowl cut. According to Gunther, Da Vinci recorded in one of his many journals that his inspiration for completing the world’s first ever design for a manned spacecraft came after his neighbor rushed home prematurely from a haircut to put out a fire in his farmhouse:

Upon seeing him, the idea struck me as if it were a bolt of lightning! I chastised myself for not having considered it sooner. I could reduce the frictional coefficient of the thrust module by capacitating resistance through a confluence of grooves. (Da Vinci, Reflections)

Of course, it has always been a pity that Da Vinci’s rocket would never come to fruition during his lifetime.

In the spirit of an earnest student of history, I decided to sport a bowl cut of my own. I saw this as an opportunity to focus my efforts on what was really important. “Looking in the mirror to see a bowl cut smiling back at me every day,” I thought, “I can truly come to appreciate how important this development has been over the millennia.” Thus I was able to channel the energy and love of all my predecessors in coming to the realization that the bowl cut is truly one of the great achievements of man, a sign of power, status and class. And indeed my fellow students were equally impressed. Rarely did another student feel comfortable addressing me in public; many could hardly stand to gaze upon me. My majesty flew, as it were, before me, announcing my presence to all in the vicnity.

I have since forsaken my bowl cut for a more approachable mustache; it is better to save such things until my colleagues and fellow humans are prepared to accept them. In the meantime, I wait.

Spencer–do you want me to mail you your prize, or will you claim it when you arrive in Madison. I know how crucial the summer months can be for t-shirts, especially since there will probably be only two days after September that such attire would be considered feasible in frigid Wisconsin. Let me know.