Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The Twilight Phenomenon and Edward vs Me

Every Wednesday night, I spend a couple of hours playing basketball at a nearby Stake Center in Denver. I get pretty beat up as I am getting older (30 now). I play smarter, but it takes me a little longer to recuperate than it did 3 years ago. Last night I came home close to 11. Heather had just watched our latest Netflix release received in the mail that day. The movie was "Penelope," a movie that she had heard good things about. Before I could ask her how the movie was, she turns on the DVD player and shows me a 3 minute clip that was on the DVD about the upcoming Stephenie Meyer novel turned movie "Twilight." She was so excited I she could hardly handle it. I asked her if she was aware that this was on the DVD. I should have known the answer, but she certainly knew and it was part of the reason she rented the movie in the first place.

I have never seen a healthy obsession from her like this EVER. When we first started dating nearly 8 years ago, I think it was safe to say that she was very obsessed with me (which is a really nice feeling by the way). When she gave birth to Caleb, she was very obsessed with him and taking care of him and committed to being a great mother (which she is by the way). Even with our youngest born not quite 6 weeks ago, it's her primary focus. However, I think the Twilight phenomena that has sweeped our household has taken the cake as her most insane obsession!

It was April of last year when Heather's sister Jocelyn told her about these books. I remember Heather's first reading and not more than 50 pages into the novel. She would pause and absolutely rave about the book, calling her sister in pure excitement. Within a week she had read the two books and anxiously awaited the release of "Eclipse." She found her kindred spirits online and began posting to forums devoted to Stephenie Meyer's books. One in particular that was set up for fans of Twilight who were also mother's (as a way of differentiating themselves from the more juvenile crowds at other sites). Heather found members who were here in Denver and has met with them at least two different times for an opportunity to hang out and be obsessed together.

The book releases for both "Eclipse" and "The Host" (Mrs. Meyer's first non-Twilight Novel) were the only times in the last year that Heather has voluntarily gotten up before 6 am to arrive at Barnes and Noble to purchase her copy of the new book, and for all of her friends that have become fans as a result of her evangelical preaching of the gospel of Stephenie Meyer.

Heather has met Stephenie Meyer twice at two different book signings in the last year. She gets together with other Twilight-ites and makes creative t-shirts, complete with quotes, funny phrases and creative designs. They proudly wear these shirts to the signings, to show their undying devotion.

What is great about this for the husbands of the Twilight-ites? Whenever we feel the need to go to Broncos' Training camp at 8:30 on a Saturday with my fellow broncomaniacs morning adorned in orange and blue, I don't look so bizarre to my wife anymore. Besides her excursions out with the ladies gives me a chance to do fun stuff with the kids and bond. That's a pretty sweet deal in and of itself.

Edward Cullen vs Jon-Michael DeShazer

The real question is this. If Heather had to choose between Edward Cullen or me, who would she choose? I think she would choose me for the following reasons, all things being equal and our children out of the equation. We will rank each other on the following areas, looks, kissing, cuddling ability and personality.

Kissing. Edward Cullen's lips are a hot commodity in a figurative sense, but a cold commodity in a literal sense. Making out with Edward would be like eating a raw steak that has been sitting in the fridge for 6 hours: Cold, a little too juicy and in serious need of 20 minutes on a barbecue grill.

I would win this battle also in the very critical necking department. My overall thirst for blood would not override my gentleness in kissing Heather's neck. I don't even like hickies, let alone break skin (Oops! categorize this in the TMI department)! Lastly, kissing me won't cause Heather to have a sudden thirst for the blood of humans; maybe a glass of water and a little air considering I take her breath away, but not blood!

Looks. As if this wasn't obvious already, but I am way better looking than Edward. First of all, Heather only goes for tall guys. I don't know exactly tall Edward is, but assuming that only a handful of people I know are taller than 6'5" I think it's safe to say I'm taller. Heather turned down shorter guys all the time before me.

Secondly, I don't have a blood-thirsty, disturbed and demonic look in my eyes all the time. Can you imagine getting family pictures with Edward?

Heather's Mom: "Honey, what's the matter with Edward? Was he sick that day? His skin is kind of pail and he looks like he wants to kill someone."
Heather: "Mom, he always has that look. Besides, I think the camera lense is a little defective. Edward dropped it in a fit of rage as Transylvania's soccer team was eliminated from the Olympics on TV."

Cuddling Ability.
I win this competition hands down. Here's an example. It's the middle of winter, 5 degrees outside, and 12 inches of snow and ice on the streets. Heather climbs into bed with numb feet from the frosty temperatures of our main floor with the electric blanket turned on. Edward climbs into bed with her to catch some shut eye. She rolls away from him to be spooned and to have a place to put her cold feet on him. Suddenly, a chill runs through her bones realizing she's touching the legs of a vampire who's body temperature is -20 degrees farenheit. She immediately pushes him away and proceeds to sleep with the blanket turned up to '11.' Watching movies would be out of the question, unless you like to cuddle frozen dead guys.

Admit it ladies, when it comes to finding the right guy you don't want some emotional recluse who distances himself from human contact because he doesn't want to fall in love and turn you into a vampire. Any woman who wishes their husband or boyfriend were more like Edward forgets the baggage that he comes with.

Can you imagine 10 years from now, Edward and Bella happily undead and married living in Louisville, CO with 3 little Eddie Munsters scurrying on the living room floor trying to bite the cat, telling you how they met?
Bella: "It was really quite romantic, I had just moved to Washington to live with my Dad, and he was this creep in my science class who was also a total jerk sometimes. But somehow I was captivated by him and wanted to get through his cold exterior and find the man inside. Fortunately, he saved me from a potential car accident and we've been happy ever since, except for that whole leaving me part in between and fighting werewolves."

Simply put, women go for the guys with a little stability in their lives. I am by no means the most charming person on the earth, but before there was Edward, there was me, and if he and I were to play basketball against each other, I would kick his butt. So there, undeniable proof and evidence why I am much more charming and that this infatuation with a fictional vampire could never replace me. Oh and there that whole he's not real and I am part of the equation that I never factored in. Sweet . . . . . .

Monday, July 28, 2008

Where on Earth did July Go?

July has come and gone already? Is it just me or does getting older accelerate the space-time continuum ? Another Monday is here and I am updating you all on another week in DeShazer history.

Like many of you, family visiting is always a huge part of summers. It seems for every person that visits, another comes a week later. And when you aren't being visited, you are doing some visiting yourself. This past week, my Dad's sister Krsten was in town after visiting Utah for the weekend. It was great to see her and fun to talk about all the crazy stuff I did to her as a teenager when I lived with her during the summer of 1994 as a goofy 16 year old. It's almost frightening to think was almost half a lifetime ago. We went to Papa's house for the get together. When we arrived Papa was about ready to leave for the airport to pick up Krsten. He had dinner in the oven heating up, and about 17 notes with explicit instructions on how to get dinner ready. Since he wasn't expecting anyone to arrive before he left, he proceeded to explain to me each of these notes. He went so far as to even explain how to use the satellite radio tuner to change it to a station of my personal preference. It was amusing. He is easily one of the most well-intentioned human beings I have ever met. As the time for Krsten's arrival approached, he left in a panic in hopes that he explained everything to me properly and that he would arrive at the airport in time. It was cute to say the least.

We had a nice dinner and visit with everyone, and it was nice talking to everyone about Dad's condition and their experiences visiting with him since he came out of his coma 2 weeks ago.

Heather and the boys were gone from Tuesday through Thursday. We had plans of seeing Allie and Jonathan in Nebraska over the weekend but they fell through. Annie called up Heather and asked her if she wanted to travel to Utah with her. Annie was heading out there for her grandfather's funeral. Heather jumped at the opportunity and was out the door at 7 am Tuesday morning.

My week while she was gone was productive and busy. I have nothing major to report other than that. I was glad to know she would be back by Thursday so I put my head down and worked on stuff while she was gone. Before I knew it, it was Thursday evening and I was up to Golden to pick up my family at Heather's parents' house. She had a brief but enjoyable visit.

Friday was a quiet. For some reason, I can't for the life of me remember what we did! I will change that as soon as I talk to Heather and ask.

Saturday morning, Dylan, Christian, Walker, Matt Anderson and I went to Dove Valley to watch Broncos training camp. This was the second time Dylan and I did this as we are hoping to start an annual tradition of a pilgrimage to Broncos Headquarters. We watch a lot of practice drills and Brandon Marshall came onto the sideline where we were. He has been in the news a bunch this off-season with some trouble with the law and a laceration in his forearm. Dylan blurted out to Brandon after an endzone drill "How are you feeling Brandon?" to which Marshall replied "I feel good." I spent the rest of the day hearing from Dylan how he and Brandon Marshall became friends (all tongue and cheek I promise). It was funny. There were a fraction of the people that were there last year. Matt and I took a bunch of pictures and had a great time. The sun wasn't as bad this time as last year, and we all stayed cool in the partly cloudy conditions.

After our visit to training camp, we all headed up to the Hospital to give dad a blessing. Dad is starting chemotherapy either today or tomorrow and wanted the extra spiritual support during this ordeal. We had a great visit with Dad and despite his circumstances has been very happy and pleased to see his family on such a regular basis.

Heather and I decided to head over to her parents' house that afternoon. Russ and I played the Wii for a few hours, distracting him enough to overcook the cheeseburgers he threw on the grill. I would like to say for the record that I beat him on Wii golf. We played a full 9 holes and I finished 1 under par and he finished 1 over par. It was a dramatic comeback by your's truly. I was down two strokes heading into the 7 hole. Russ thought he would try to be a little creative and go for the homerun ball on a sharp dog leg right to get it on the green on a par 4. He hit the ball out of bounds, costing him a stroke and then ended up triple bogeying the hole. I birdied the last two holes and pulled off the comeback. Now if I could only translate this into my real golf game! It was fun to look like I knew what I was doing on a golf course.

Sunday was another full day in A-Town (also known as Arvada). We spent a short time at the Harris' and then over to my family's house for Andrea's birthday party. My nephew Brendan was without a nap during our visit and was so sensitive. He would come to Andrea every few minutes absolutely balling. It was hilarious. He has a big mouth for a little guy, so big that when he opens it up his eyes disappear, much like an Anime cartoon character. More specifically, I was thinking of Spritle from Speed Racer (I couldn't find one of Spritle crying on Google Image Search unfortunately). We had cake and ate dinner. Dylan, Holly and Aspen attended as well and we had a great time together.

Whew! All done with this one. Have a great week.

Monday, July 21, 2008

A Wild Weekend

Today is Bryce's 1 month birthday. I know it's not a birthday to celebrate necessarily, but man does the time go by fast! He has been going through a growth spurt these last few days. He will eat, fall asleep, and then wake up 15 minutes later, absolutely starving again. Heather and I knew he needed more food. Last night, he scarfed down 6 ounces of formula and didn't wake up once until I got up for work this morning. For all intents and purposes, he slept through the night.

Friday night, we went up to Arvada. Heather and her mom went to JCPenney to get pictures taken of Bryce and Caleb together. They then headed up to Arvada, and I met them up there. I had some business to take care of for an appointment I had the next morning, and then it was off to Ben and Annie's house for dinner. I was DJing a wedding reception the next afternoon, and was using Ben's equipment, so we needed to set up at the Quail Building the night before. It ended up being a pretty busy night. Heather and I headed home with the kids around 11pm.

Little did we know until the next morning, that Marzipan, our master escape artist of a cat snuck out last night and was caught in a rain storm. Fortunately, he was brought inside by our next door neighbor and kept dry and fed through the night. I was so bummed. This was my one chance to get rid of one of our cats and he came back! :)

Saturday was absolutely insane. I put in a full day of work and even saw my dad. It started around 10 am as I drove up to Arvada for an appointment with one of my clients. I finished there around 11:30 and headed over to the Quail building to DJ that wedding reception I set up for the night before.

Ben helped me out tremendously with the set up. I used my Macbook with some sweet DJ software and a 40 GB firewire hard drive full of music. The set up the night before literally took 15 minutes. It was pretty easy. I got there about an hour before the reception and met the parents of the bride.

The whole deal went very smoothly until about 45 minutes into the reception. The bride was not feeling well and literally had to sit out of the reception for nearly an hour. The reception went an hour over the original planned time and they ended up scrapping the garter and bouquet toss. I packed up my stuff and started to head to the car.

The equipment was more than I was used to. 4 speakers, a power amp rack, a mixing console, a box of speaker cables and a table to load the stuff onto. I opened the trunk of my car to find our baby stroller inside. I managed to get everything in, but I had to push the seat up all the way. I loaded the table and 4 speakers into the back seat, the power amp, laptop, and stroller into the shotgun seat, and the DJ mixing console and speaker cables into the trunk. My little 4 cylinder wonder got me safely to the Harris' house in 102 degree temperatures.

Lastly, before I went home, I stopped by the hospital to see my Dad who was awake and talking for the first time in nearly two months. We had an unforgettable visit. It was great to know how much he loved and appreciated me and the rest of my family. It's been a rocky ride for him the last several weeks and we are thanking the Lord for his blessings in allowing my dad to stay here with us a little longer. His recovery has made enormous strides, but he still has a ways to go. But we will be there for him.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Shane Wood Please contact me!

Shane Wood of West Valley City, Utah, you posted a message on my blog this week. Unfortunately, you left no way of contacting you. I would sincerely love to get in touch again, and not in that creepy McClellan sort of way. Please shoot me an email. I will gladly reply.

My car on Google Maps

Heather thinks I am a complete nerd for even thinking about this but here it goes. I was driving to the I-25 and Broadway Park-and-Ride a few weeks ago to go to my contract position downtown. While in my travels, I passed a purple Chevy Cobalt (pictured at right) with a Google Maps logo on the side and a camera mounted to the roof. It was a car driving through town aggregating pictures for Google Maps Street View. Feeling incredibly nerdy, I waited a few weeks and looked it up to see if my car was in there. Sure enough it was! It's certainly blurry, but you can tell it's my car. Little did I know I had been following the car for a few miles on the freeway, I am directly behind the car for several miles. So now that I have told you this amazing story, here is the link for your inquisitive minds.

Click Here!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Bryce is off Oxygen! And some other ramblings for a Tuesday

We lost one un-welcomed "kid" this week in our family. It was the 36'' 20 lb, green painted steel child that was eternally tethered to our newborn son as his lungs figured out how to breathe well in our thin Colorado air. No funeral service is needed. He was heavy and not the least bit cute. The doctors this weekend said it was okay to remove the oxygen tank from our little guy Bryce. Heather and I were ecstatic. I think Caleb did a jig in the living room when we pulled it off. It's great to feel like you have a normal kid again. I hated telling people he had oxygen because they would get concerned for his condition and it wasn't serious. People tend to forget that we live in a high, dry climate that is not conducive to developing lungs. He was probably okay 3 days after we took him home, but it took a while for Apria to get a respiratory therapist to our house.

On Friday, we as a family decided to see WALL-E. Caleb has been pretty good at the theater the last few times and we all wanted to see this movie. Caleb would spend an inordinate amount of time at my laptop every day asking to watch WALL-E movies on it in the days preceding our trip to the theater. He was referring to the movie trailers that you can stream online. We stopped by and grabbed some fast food on the way to the theater.

As we arrived, I parked the car and ate my food while Heather and Bryce went in. Caleb had fallen asleep in the car, which gave me enough time to eat. Heather called me and told me that the movie wasn't 5 buck club eligible, even though it said so in the email. She argued that it was and eventually the girl at the counter gave Heather a student discount. Well when I came in, they charged me full price and charged Caleb as an adult (that sounds funny)! So I went to the manager and got his price reduced. The movie was about ready to start or otherwise I would have brought up the whole 5 buck club thing as well.

The movie was AMAZING! Probably one of my favorite Pixar movies of all time. It was different, but so unique. It had a really great story that caused me to get choked up at several moments. It was a fun movie for Caleb too. Heather really enjoyed it as well, but not as much as I did. If you haven't seen this movie, you need to. It was probably my favorite movie of the year.

So I sent my complaint into Kerasotes on Saturday morning, explaining the situation to them. They replied with free movies passes for all the hassle. That made me feel better about the whole ordeal.

Sunday night was fun. We went to Heather's parents house for a little dinner and relaxation. They are planning on building a house up north toward 88th and Indiana. They showed us the lot and described the plans for the house. It sounds like it will be a great place. The view from their lot was really nice as well.

Yesterday I had the honor of a jury summons. I got out of work around 11:30 and headed over to the Arapahoe County court room. I didn't get selected and was home after a 3 hour wait. I am so glad that doesn't happen all the time.

Last night we went to Olive Garden with the rest of the family. Mom received a nice gift card from some friends in her ward and she took us out. I brought the video camera and recorded a video that we are going to give to Dad in the near future. Everyone had wonderful and insightful comments to tell Dad. I was a little sarcastic when I said that, because there were some strange things that came out of some of my family members. We had a good time and I as pleasantly filled.

Monday, July 7, 2008

The Heat of Summer

It's one of the funniest things I have observed about human nature. This week our dear city is supposed to reach record high's in temperatures. Yet, I hear the same people who complained about below zero temperatures complain about sunny and warm weather. I suppose there is one thing that never changes; pessimists are always right.

This week was a little more normal. Bryce is growing in leaps and bounds. After being born at 9 pounds, he lost 6 ounces his first 2 days and left the hospital at 8 pounds, 10 ounces. Heather brought him in for his weekly visit to the pediatrician this past Wednesday, only to find out that he weighed in at 10 pounds, 4 ounces. In 9 days, he gained more than 1 1/2 pounds! He's doing quite well. He still is wearing oxygen, but without the necessary equipment to test his oxygen levels, we haven't been able to see if he needs it still or not. I think he's okay. I look forward to not lugging around that oxygen tank everywhere.

Thursday we went to the movie theater to see Kung Fu Panda. I thought it was very funny. Caleb had a great time. Heather bought two HUGE jugs of soda and lemonade to wash down our garbage bag full of popcorn. Caleb kept drinking and drinking. Unfortunately, we had to make an emergency run to the bathroom with less than 10 minutes in the movie. I literally held him and ran back into the theater so we wouldn't miss any more of the movie. He thought that was hilarious. He among several other small children in the theater made us all laugh with his boisterous laughter. The best was at the very end of the movie as the credits began rolling on the screen he declared as loudly as possible, "Again! Again! Again!" indicating his desire to see the movie as if it was at home on DVD.

Friday was a fun day. Caleb and I went to the Hudson building for pancakes and a 4th of July celebration. At right is a picture of Caleb actually eating his food. I was so surprised, I had to take a picture.

We went to my parents' house that afternoon and the off to the Stenger complex for fireworks. I attempted to take some pictures of the fireworks, but what was more amusing was Ben Harris getting tackled by Sam, Deeny, and Caleb for about 30 minutes. Ben and Annie decided to join us to see us and have our kids run around together. Brendan and Lilian were there as well and were thoroughly enjoying the large field and were tempted to leave on many occasions. Brendan took off during the fireworks display and Walker retrieved him about 200 feet away.

The worst part of the trip? Easily the drive back. The fireworks display ended around 9:45. We had to walk back to the car, and load everyone in. We left about 10:15. We didn't get onto the freeway until 10:45 and didn't get home until 11:15 pm.

It was a long day, but easily a fun one. Caleb was so excited to see fireworks and was a delight to see his reaction to each colorful explosion.

After the last couple of weeks, we literally vegetated on Saturday and Sunday. It was nice to rest and relax after the baby's birth and the crazy holiday weekend.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

July is already here

It is Tuesday. It has been ten days since we became the parents of another new baby in the family. Bryce is doing wonderfully. It is now time to give you a recap on my previous week since I last posted.

Heather and I spent the entire weekend at the hospital. Monday was the longest day. Heather was done and was released early in the day. Unfortunately, Bryce had some testing to do still. His oxygen levels were dropping periodically when he slept. Even though he was 99% okay when it came to his breathing, there was a tinge of uncertainty in the nurses. We had a choice, either leave him in the hospital for another day or take him home with a tank of oxygen. We chose the latter. As a result, we are carrying our baby boy and a tank of oxygen everywhere. Brett and Jocelyn came into town for the weekend to see the new bundle of joy. Heather really appreciated their visit.

I took Tuesday off as well before returning to work on Wednesday. It was nice to sleep in a little and relax after a busy weekend. Our ward hooked us up big time with dinners for the next week. It was so nice having leftovers in the fridge. With our little family, dinner rarely has leftovers, but this has not been the case this week. I have been treated to a cornucopia of delectable casseroles, entrees, salads and desserts this week. My waistline thanks you.

Bryce is easily the best alarm I have come across. Almost like clockwork, he wakes up between 4:30 and 5 am for a feeding. The problem is, this is about an hour before I get up. I should probably just get up and start my day early, but I stay in bed. Heather feeds him, but having the light on and all the activity in the room, I find myself taking a great deal of time to fall asleep again. Even though I went to bed at a decent hour, I still feel as though I had about two hours of sleep the night before.

All in all, being a father for the second time is absolutely wonderful. There is something so special about having a small newborn child in the home. It's wonderful to come home after a long day to my ecstatic son Caleb tackling me as I walk in the door, and to be able to hold Bryce and take care of him for a little while. It's one of the things I look forward to most on a daily basis.

Next on the list of things that happened in the last week. My dad is getting slightly better. His body is and has been cancer free for several weeks now. Unfortunately, a severe case of bacterial pneumonia has entered his lungs. The doctors are trying to evaluate what antibiotic to use. Fortunately, he's been able to wake up a little and even talk to my mother a time or two. It's been great for my mom to talk to her husband for the first time since May. We have been praying for him in hopes that he will recover to full health soon.

This has been incredibly difficult on my mother despite her stoic exterior. It is frustrating for her to be at church on a given Sunday over the last few weeks to have someone come to her and in an innocent attempt to express their support and concern for Dad, talk about how awful it is that he's going through this and in a way, say the wrong things to my mother. The best way of supporting her and anyone else in a stressful or traumatic episode of their life is to focus on the positive and be encouraging.

Things are great. Our family has been brought closer together than ever before, and have felt the assurance that my dad time hasn't come. This has taught us to be patient. I keep having these dreams that he's out of the hospital and okay. Hopefully that is a sign of things to come.