Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The Weird White Shirt

Christin and I joke a lot about how much alike we think and are. We do a lot of things very similarly. Much of that I think you can attribute to the amount of DNA we share. Some things seem a little weird.

Two days ago I decide that I need a little more variation in my wardrobe. I think that if I get a long sleeve ribbed white shirt that I could wear it with quite a few things. So I run a google search for it, though I can't find anything that is that great, at least in the five minutes that I dedicated to it. Christin comes home last night after shopping with John. "Look at the new shirt I bought," she says. Yep. This is it. She bought it in the men's section. I tried it on as well. Weird.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

John the Gangster/Global Protector/Movie Lover

During dinner tonight Tyler started talking about how he showered in this really cool shower, which I believe was a little like this. John immediately jumps in with a comment about how much water that wastes. Christin and I look at each other and start laughing. Pretty hard. Here's some background.

The first time I see this picture I show Christin. "This is the shower I want!" Christin immediately googles it.

John to me is the epitome of responsibility. He paid for half of his mission by recycling, a project he started when he was ten. He is very smart with his money. He keeps a good reserve in his bank account and is very responsible with his purchases. He drives a very fuel efficient, reliable Toyota Camry. Of course he regularly rotates his tires and such. He probably takes very short, luke-warm showers. He unplugs our Christmas tree every time we leave the house. He is concerned if we leave our fan on if we are gone overnight. If we go on a trip he needs to plan out how much gas we will use. Now I am not trying to frown upon this. I think it is very good. Just not something that the Carbiener's are especially good at. Or really give a second thought to.

We went on to laugh about how Christin read reviews about how someone had to purchase a second water heater. Instead of changing her mind, she simply added a second water heater into the cost of it. We laughed harder as we joked about watering the yard with Christin's excess water, about Mexicans stealing water from her front yard, about Palisades' reservoir being at half capacity because of her shower, etc. I don't actually remember the last time I laughed that much. I laugh until I cry probably once a week. It doesn't take that much. But tonight I laughed so much it hurt. It was great.

Another thing about my friend John is that he loves talent, in every form besides country music that is. Even in really old, kinda lame musicals. Tonight I tell John that I don't want to watch The Sound of Music. These are two of my favorite comments that followed:

"This is not a weird movie, it is an academy award winning musical."
"I've never seen My Cousin Vinny, but it damn sure can't be better than The Sound of Music.

Only a certain brand of gangsters have a place in their hearts for The Sound of Music. - Christin

John, I'm glad you are around. I'm glad you are there to make me feel guilty for not shutting off the water while I brush my teeth. And for showering daily. And for flushing the toilet every time I go to the bathroom. You're the best white gangster/global protector/movie lover I know.

Saturday, December 27, 2008


It was different. We had a mini Christmas with friends the week before on the 19th. I got some really cool things from my friends. They're pretty awesome (my friends). I got an Easy Bake Oven for Kristine. I painted a picture for John that we had seen while eating at Pita Jungle one day. Bridget got me a Spain travel guide. Tyler got me a slingshot. I got Ariana something that still isn't here (very cool though). Bridget and I got Christin these Salt and pepper mills that she has wanted for five years. It was good Christmas shopping. I really enjoy presents that I think that people will like.

It was nice being home for a few days with my family. My dad said it was a much smaller Christmas even though it really didn't feel like it. Adam put a bow on Tate's head. Kaitlynn was excited about everything. Christin and I read Jolly Old Santa Claus by ourselves since everyone else went to bed. Nana cried. My mom got mad when people took pictures of her. It was nice that that was normal. Everything was a little different, but y'know, it still was Christmas. And it was still great.

Things Are Back to Normal

You know those little magnet bracelets that are supposed to create better circulation? I think the opposite may be true for other metals.

Sometime in late July or early August, I was working with a pair of broken wire strippers and somehow stripped a small piece of copper into my thumb. Since that time I have attempted twice to remove it with a razor blade and numerous times with tweezers. I eventually accepted the fact that I was going to have to wait until it grew out while staring every few minutes at this discoloration in the tip of my thumb.

Well that day finally came. Yesterday it came out!!!
I can breathe a little easier, I can sleep a little better, colors seem brighter. Yep, this will be a good year.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Energy Efficient Carbieners

Once I made a comment to Ariana about how I was not that fast.
"The thing is you're not that slow," she replies. "It just has to be worth it."
She then proceeded to give me the run down on a theory she had been working on; energy efficient Carbieners.

The Carbieners aren't lazy, they are just energy efficient.
If they need to move quickly, they will move quickly, but only when necessary.
They will be on time for something if it is important. If things will go on just as normal without them, they will show up "pretty close" to on time.
They exercise, but only to the point to keep them from getting fat.
They could go visit their friends more (and they probably should). Usually they opt for making their house more enticing though so that they can stay there and have people come visit them.
Carbieners plan to have activities on their beds. This optimizes comfort and is incredibly convenient if anyone gets tired, as they do not have to relocate to sleep.

Though some in the world would like to think less of us for living this way, the truth is we are highly evolved organisms. The Carbiener children are simply preparing themselves for the end of the world. Everyone else will be running around wasting away to nothing while we continue on with life pretty much as usual. After years of perfecting our beings to function at the optimal efficiency, we will survive.

Who knows, maybe they'll have to donate our bodies to science. Make studies of us and teach economics classes about cost/benefit ratios and stuff.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Once Upon a Time In Mexico

Last week I had the chance to go to Mexico for a few days. I was a little wary of going as I only knew two of the seventy people that were going to be on the trip. I have this underlying fear that I will be in a group of a lot of friends that do not want me to be friends with them. But after some words of encouragement from John I decided to go.

Bridget, Amber, and myself left about nine o'clock Thursday morning and arrived in San Diego a few hours ahead of everyone else. We just kinda hung out until the others showed up, which after a small car accident was about five hours. We got everyone together and began the drive down to Ensenata, It was a little crazy having a line of seventeen cars trying to stay together, but it all went really smoothly. After a stop for tacos we made it to the beach and set up camp.

The next day we packed up and headed to the orphanage. It was a little nicer place than I think I had imagined. I also don't think that I expected to see the kids so happy. I'll touch on that a little more a little later. After meeting the kids we broke off into groups, some painting beds and cribs, some reapplying lacquer to a jungle gym, and my group that went up to the neighborhood school to play with the kids.

Some played tag and others played kickball. One of the teachers grabbed me and we drew little flowers for the kids to color and cut out. After a little while I went and played tag for a bit. It was all a lot of fun. After lunch we broke off again, this time I was assigned to tree-decorating-duty. Tashina and I got out the boxes of ornaments and covered the huge fake tree with them and nearly a thousand lights. I did have to defer the angel to someone much taller than me.

After dinner there was a great variety show which included a first time performance for a band of With or Without You. There was a wrestling match, a clown, pies thrown in faces, a Beauty and the Beast reenactment, a magic show, hula hooping performance. . . . It was awesome. After, all of the kids got a bag of presents that someone had bought specifically for them. They came back in and excitedly opened them. It was a very magical feeling to see the excitement on their faces. I think that might have been my first real glimpse into how parents feel on Christmas morning. All very magical.

We camped around the orphanage that night so that we could get started early the next morning. My group began moving thousands of pounds of bagged flour from one building to another. I have never seen so much flour in all of my life!!! As soon as I find a picture of it I will post it. We got to go deliver little Christmas boxes later throughout the community. It was really neat. They had a few little toys, along with some rice, beans, and hygiene kits. Even though most of the people just smiled and said thanks as we stumbled our way through a Christmas carol, there were some really neat experiences. At one house we were invited in (there were only like ten of us) and sang to the woman's bedridden husband. At one house Bridget was immediately greeted with tears as she needed help so badly. They went back and gave several blankets and bags of things to help her out with her seven children. When the original boxes were gone, most of the group left, but ten or so of us went to deliver a few more bins of toys and bags of clothes. Word traveled pretty fast and people ran down the hill to come find us. It was a really neat experience.

We stopped back by the orphanage briefly to say goodbye and then headed to Ensenata for trinket shopping. As soon as everyone had their fill of bracelets and jewelry that they didn't really want in the first place, we returned to the beach for our last night. We gathered around the campfire and had a little testimony of sorts where people could share their thoughts or favorite parts of the trip. A random beach dance party followed, and then we took off a little after six the next morning to come home.

Overall it was really great for me. I am so glad that I was able to go and that I went. Even though I am not someone who suddenly feels bad for the material things that he has, it does make me appreciate a little more what I have been given. Going back now to the kids being happy, I know that part of it was the excitement of having so many visitors, and so many people that wanted to do whatever THEY wanted to do. But I also believe that those kids did feel some love from others around them. Those running the orphanage seemed to care, and they were surrounded by a lot of friends that cared about them too. Though they clung to the one on one attention because they didn't get that a lot, they were still in a pretty safe place. I'm glad that Heavenly Father has blessed them. They are dealt a very difficult card being orphans. That is their cross to bear in this life. But He takes care of them in different ways, and shows his love to them by sending them people to love them. And even though it puts into perspective how much the Lord requires of me because of the things I am given, I am still very grateful. Hasta la proxima Mexico.

Girls Really Do Run the World

There is a common misconception in society that males run the world. Sure they are found in more leadership positions, they are paid more, and they are titled as the head of the government in every country in the world (to the best of my knowledge). But really, guys are a bunch of suckers.

Guys will really do most anything that women ask. Even if the male is in the spotlight, everyone knows that there is a woman in the background giving orders. Probably half the reason Obama won was because no one thought that Hillary should be able to serve three presidential terms. Girls speak and generally guys listen.

What this is leading to is a point that I have discussed several times with my friends; guys dress to impress girls, girls dress to impress girls as well.

Girls, you should try out a little experiment. The next time you see one of your guy friends in a shirt that you don't particularly like, tell him that you really don't like it. Wha-la. You will never see him wear that shirt again. Just like that. On the other hand, a girl could get six similar comments about a shirt, but if her best friend said she looked cute in it, she wouldn't care the least.

I will give you a few more examples. Starting with my favorite:

The Poof

I understand girls like their hair out of their faces. There are other options though, as this is always a bad choice. I know it's fast. I know it is convenient. I know your girlfriends say you look cute. But it is not. Do not try to justify it because your poof is not as big as these girls. Guys still don't like it. Go ahead. Ask them.

Skinny Jeans

One morning a really wealthy fashion designer was enjoying a delicious bowl of muesli for breakfast when the thought came into their head, "What if we stuffed average-sized girls into jeans that were custom tailored for Kate Moss?!?!" Thus the skinny jean was born.

I need to throw in a disclaimer first. Kristine, you are built very little. I am not convinced entirely that skinny jeans are the best choice even for you, but you are one of the 0.0243 % of girls that could "pull them off" the best I suppose they can be. However, the other 99.9757% of the female gender is not built like that. What girl thinks when they wake up in the morning, "I think I will find the jeans that will make my hips look as wide as they possibly can and wear them. Yeah, that's a good idea."? Do they not know that this is the result of wearing skinny jeans? Or is it just because their roommate is in the background saying, "Oh Quinn, you look soooo cute in those."

Really Big Sunglasses

The big sunglasses guys are reluctantly accepting. But just remember they do like to see some of your face girls.


Guys never liked these. We just surrendered eventually because they didn't go away.

High Waisted Skirts

Over the years girls have figured out new ways to hide the few extra pounds that they may hang on to. One of the more popular ideas has been the high wasted skirt. It does do an amazing job eliminating the "muffin top", but it also all-but-eliminates every bit of female torso. Some do make the legs look a little longer, but most simply make your booty longer as well. The problem is, Kate Hudson can barely pull off a high waisted skirt. Why would average girls be able to pull them off? Bad idea. Unless you untuck the shirt.

Just ask for a guys advice girls. And listen.