Wednesday, December 13, 2006

True Confessions...

Before I get into the deep, dark secrets my wife revealed to me last night despite keeping them secret for over the past two years -- let me tell you some things about her... (I think with an intro like that, I could pretty much write anything and you would read it just to get to the end of this blog and learn the secrets.)
  • The license plate on her car is "FUNKWR", short for Funkweiler
  • This blog she created is called 'House of Funkweiler'
  • In October, when she was pregnant for a week, she called the baby 'Funklet', a variant name of Funkweiler
  • When we go to restaurants, she reserves tables under the name 'Funkweiler'
  • When we go hiking, she labels the lunch sacks 'Funkweiler'
  • For Halloween last year, she decided we would go as The Funkweilers and had us dress up in my old Funkweiler costumes.

This list could go on, but I think you see where I'm going with this. For those of you who don't know about Funkweiler, well, that's a story for another time -- basically it was my performing name when I was a rock-star in LA, and I would wear 70's clothes and an afro wig as I funked out on my bass. It was awesome...

Anyway, Melba's first experience with Funkweiler can be read about here . (Scroll down to the 3rd of the three stories "The Melba and Sammie Story" as told by Melissa and Sammie.) I should worn you that last night I actually got the truth about the evening spoken of here. I had gone out with her the week before this all happened. That's all she knew about me and/or Funkweiler. 1 date. Next week, ward dinner. Enter Funkweiler.

For the past 2+ years I thought she thought Funkweiler was cool. Why? Well, that's what she has always told me. It was the following week that she first reserved a table under the name Funkweiler. Not to mention she married me. What was the truth, though? When she first saw Funkweiler, she said she was 'embarrassed' for me because I looked so stupid. Then she commented to her roommate, "Please don't tell anyone I've gone out with him."

Melba told me this last night -- kind of on a whim -- and then ducked under her seat fearing she had just done unrepairable damage to my esteem. No. I raised my fists in a triumphant gesture. I don't know why -- I just did. Now I really wish I had worn the Funkweiler costume at our reception :)

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Worry Wart

Last night, as I was drifting off to sleep, Sammie began expressing his worries about the MBA applications he is sending in this week.

"What if I'm the first candidate in the history of PSU who applies before Dec. 1 and doesn't get the guaranteed interview?"

Sleepily, I responded, "You scored high on the GMAT, have a lot of work experience, a great personality, etc. etc. Stop worrying! You're an excellent candidate."

He countered, "What if the admissions committee is in a bad mood the day they review my application and say, 'No way! We don't want this jerk at our school!'?"

Reassuring didn't work, so I tried the teasing tactic: "Honestly Sammie, you're worse than a pregnant woman! Stop obsessing over completely irrational worries!"

I thought that had calmed him down until he said, "I think my thighs are too big."

Never a dull moment...

Friday, November 17, 2006

Melba told me that whenever I'm having trouble thinking about what to write, I should just write. That will get the creative juices flowing and maybe spark some new ideas. I'm having trouble with the last essay I need to write for my MBA applications. So I just wrote. I don't really think I can do anything more with it than post it here, so here is the question followed by my repsonse. I admit that the ending sucks, but why should I bother to write an ending for this? I think I need to start over. Comments are welcomed.

Because the Marriott School MBA program receives substantial financial support from the tithes of the LDS Church, the faculty and administration are committed to advancing the mission of the Church as they operate a nationally recognized MBA program. Thus, the goals of the MBA program include the melding of spiritual and secular truths in your studies, as well as sharing the benefits of your education with people throughout the world. Please describe ways that the program might realize these goals and what role you might play in those efforts.

“I didn’t come here to listen to your excuses. I came here for the master tapes,” my friend, Blue, informed the dishonest producer I once worked for. Dressed in his full biker gear, Blue, a former Marine nicknamed after his Harley-Davidson, was retrieving my master recordings immediately after drinking the 12-pack of Miller Genuine Draft I gave him for the job. After hearing the same excuses I had heard for months about why I had no right to these recordings, Blue spat on the ground and lit up a cigarette, “Look, buddy,” Blue continued, “we can do this the easy way or the hard way. It’s your choice – but I’d like to do it the hard way. It’s right up my alley.”

This producer clearly did not attend the BYU MBA program. His complete lack of morals and decency are a disgrace to his name, family and existence. Upon hearing Blues ultimatum, he chose the easy way and I got my master recordings back. But what a professional, personal, and moral embarrassment it was for me to have to go to such lengths. A hand-shake agreement will make me keep my word more so than any punch to the face could. However, not everyone in today’s money-hungry society sees things the same way.

Despite my past, present and future behavior, I can assure the BYU Admissions committee that I am in fact a good member of the Church even if I don’t act like one. During my last interview as a missionary, my mission president gave me some sound advice, “Elder Markham,” he said, “when you get home, make sure you marry a woman who can drag your sorry butt to the Celestial Kingdom.” Nine years later, I did. You can learn a lot about a man by the company he keeps. My wife is a total angel (most of the time) so how could I be bad?

I’ve gone to church all my life so I know spiritual truth like the back of my hand – but I’ve also played in clubs all over Southern California learning secular truth from people living it first hand. Can I balance the two? Let’s just say nothing can strengthen one’s testimony of the Word of Wisdom like protecting one’s amplifier from the regurgitation of an inebriated woman.

And as far as sharing the benefits of the BYU MBA education around the world, do you want some boring white boy with bike tire flab around his belly and a bald spot on his head doing it or do you want a former rock-star who once played with a former drummer of the P-Funk? The answer should be clear.

Blue taught me how to deal with losers. The BYU MBA Program will teach me how to deal with winners.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Let's play writing professor

I guess I could get arrested, or at least in big trouble, for doing this. But I can't resist. I'm sitting at my desk grading papers. And I come across this opener. It's so good, I decided to sponsor a contest on this blog (for you 2-3 readers out there). How would YOU respond to this in a student paper? (Respond to the concept, not to the poor writing.)

"When someone is asked to define the word family most people would consider those who are relatives. Nevertheless those who are related by blood are just the people who randomly become family at birth. At birth there is not an extensive assessment that is taken in order to find what people would be ideal for someone. With an expression as important as this it should be a person's choice who they define family as rather than it being assigned. (emphasis added.)

Who does the student think the audience is: Deity?

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Funniest email of the week goes to Robert Spendlove. Background -- Melba and I are going to the Outer Banks for Thanksgiving with some other couples in the ward. Each couple will make dinner for the group while we are there, but there is an ongoing email chain/debate over whether or not the same should be done for breakfast. Here is part of Robert's last email -- please note, he is top of his class at George Mason Law School and he is being funny:

While I agree that there is probably some volume discount that could be
captured by combining our breakfast purchases, I wonder if the savings
aren't outweighed by the transaction costs of trying to figure out what
to buy. We are all friends, but can you really approximate my breakfast
food indifference curve? This breakfast thing really is a great example
of the difficulties of a planned economy, replete with moral hazards,
collective action problems, and a great potential for free riding.

OK, maybe it's funnier to me than it is to you. Maybe you just have to know Robert. Maybe you just have to be royally sick of all of the political talks going on in DC right now with the elections near-by.

I think it is funny.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Rude Awakening

This morning, Sammie got up to take a shower while I indulged in a few more minutes of precious sleep. My dream was rudely interrupted when he jumped on me to say good morning. For 2 or 3 panic-filled seconds, I thought I had fallen asleep at the wheel of a car and gotten in a wreck.

Following are our respective descriptions of the morning's events...

Sammie: “The force of the car wreck was like being body-slammed by an orangutan”

Melba: "Green meadows, blue skies, white clouds. Sweet kisses. Delicious slumber. BAM! Cruel jolt from oblivion. Momentary panic. Car wreck? Asleep at wheel? What have I done? Nope. Much more benign. Body slam by an orangutan. Good Morning Melba!"

Monday, October 09, 2006

This just in. Turns out Lemuel Redd (the idiot listed below) is a relative of mine. Ooh, that's scary. His daughter is my 3rd cousin, so I guess he is my 2nd cousin once removed. Or something like that. So I guess he's distant, but still too close for comfort.

Sometimes the world is just a bit smaller than I would like it to be...

Friday, October 06, 2006

Some people have problems so big (mostly brought on by themselves) the problems are best defined as prah-lums. For example -- look at these people. Stupid. And who names their kid Lemuel -- don't you think you're really starting him off on the wrong foot? Did they want him to grow up and be like, well, like how he is now that he's grown up? Mormons will raise an eyebrow everytime the name is used, and non-mormons will say, "I've never heard of the name Lemuel -- where does it come from?" And how did this dude's parents expect him to respond?

Anyway, here's the funny part -- my grandmother's maiden name is Redd. So now I wonder if I'm related to these wierdos. I guess the police in the film Spinal Tap put it best by saying, "Some things are better left unsolved."

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Long Time No Blog

It's not that nothing's happening or that nothing is funny. On the contrary, so much is happening, we don't have time to write about it.

Sammie and I went to Pennsylvania over Labor Day weekend. On Saturday, we went to a Penn State football game at Beaver Stadium--during hurricane Ernesto. It had been downgraded to Tropical Storm Ernesto, but that doesn't have quite the same ring to it. We stayed with my wonderful friend from grad school, Maggie, her husband, their two cats, and the baby in Maggie's tummy.

After we got home, I racked my brains trying to figure out how to describe Monday without being crude. I couldn't figure it out, so I never wrote about it. Our friends Jeremy and Heather met us at Hershey and then we went to Lancaster County to see Amish Country. Those of you who have been there know what's coming next. One of the most popular communities up there, and the one where we spent most of the day, is called Intercourse. No. That wasn't a typo. Just try to imagine the jokes that were made that day.

Sammie: "Hey Melba, I'll give you $50 if you call anyone in your family and tell them we're in the middle of Intercourse."

Sammie: "I need to fill up my car."
Jeremy: "Okay. Sammie's getting gas in the middle of Intercourse."

Sammie: "We need a picture of you guys to put on our blog."
Jeremy: "Yeah, the caption could say, 'These are the friends we enjoyed Intercourse with.'"

Heather and I pretended to be disgusted. But we actually thought it was pretty funny. And crude.
15 minutes of fame

They say everyone gets 15 minutes of fame. Sammie didn't quite use his up in LA, so he turned to pork chops--hoping to garner some more. Check out the photo.

If you click on the picture, you'll see "Photography Notes" about the picture.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Last night after learning that Carrie is having a girl, Melba and I started talking about the Kaelberers and how much Lindsay wants a girl.

"But if it's a boy," Melba said, "I really, really think we can convice the Kaelberers to give us Dude."

Monday, July 24, 2006


Why did I leave LA? Because I didn't want to associate myself with the losers in their 50's making fools of themselves (thinking they are cool) to earn money. LA has tons of them. Not to mention losers in their 40's, 30's, 20's -- you get the idea. Example? Have a look at this. You'd have an easier time not laughing at Who's on First.

Oh, and btw, 'The Hoff' isn't making as big a fool of himself as other people I've seen. It's just that these other people were so bad they can't even make it onto Google Video...

Friday, July 21, 2006

I challenge anyone (who appreciates humor) to watch all 6 min and 9 sec of this video and not crack a smile. It cannot be done. I've tried hundreds of times and sooner or later I always end up laughing.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

We Have a New Nephew!!

OK, technically he's not our nephew. More our cousin once removed. But who's going to get that technical? He's the son of my cousin Drew and his wife Janie. His name is William McKay Nelson and you can meet him, see pictures, and enjoy his parents' sense of humor at their blog.

Speaking of new babies, two of my sisters are expecting! What's even better, they're expecting within a week of each other in January. Last night, Sammie almost made one of them, Carrie, go into labor over the phone. We called her to wish her a happy birthday and Sammie also congratulated her on her upcoming "litter." With a very active (and adorable) 2-year-old, Carrie almost went into shock thinking about having a whole litter of new babies.

We're still refining Sammie's social skills...

Friday, July 14, 2006

Melba Update...

Last night I went with the EQP to visit some new families in the ward. While driving around, he told me that on Wednesday his wife, Cherisse, went to Girls Camp for the day – the same Girls Camp where Melba has been all week. His wife told him that she hadn’t been there 30 seconds before Melba took her into a locked room to let her in on the plot Melba created to steal the mattresses from the other cabins.

So last night when Melba called I told her I had heard some stories about her at camp. Long pause. “What stories?”

“The mattresses.”

“What did you hear?”

I told her what I had heard and there was another long pause. “Sammie, that story isn’t totally true. Cherisse had been at camp for at least an hour before I told her about my plot to steal the mattresses.”

So proud.

Oh, and the plot was not only successful, but executed with military precision...

Friday, June 30, 2006

Refrigerator Magnets

Is it bad form to blog twice in a day? Or is it worse to brag about your husband on your blog?

Sammie mentioned that he took the GMAT. He didn't mention how well he did. We are very excited with the result! We're also humbly grateful for help from above as he prepared for and took the exam. While I won't disclose the actual score here, let's just say that the score has opened new doors rather than closed others.

Anyway. Sammie posted the printout of his score on the fridge. He used a very apt refrigerator magnet - "Lives! Get one." (Other Mary Engelbreit fans will recognize the saying.) This week, I added another magnet that I thought equally appropriate, also from Mary Engelbreit - "Don't let success go to your head."

Last night we learned that Sammie's brother's wife, Carolyn, and her 4 kids are visiting from Houston. We drove to Springfield with Corinne to see them. (Great to see you guys, by the way!) Carolyn was staying with her parents, as was her sister and kids. Her cousin and kids were also visiting. The place overflowed with kids and was one huge, teeming party! Sammie and I don't get enough time with kids, so when we do, we kind of go crazy. Let's just say that by the time we left, the kids were so hyper I hate to think how long it took poor Carolyn to get them to bed.

Carolyn's youngest boy, Jacob, is just over a year old and terribly scared of women. Whenever Corinne or I talked to him, he hid his face in his mom's shoulder. But he LOVED Sammie! He wouldn't leave him alone the entire evening. At one point, he pulled out a book and started to read to Sammie. Actually, the "reading" initially conisisted of Jacob interrupting Sammie and Carolyn's conversation with repeated pats on Sammie's shoulder to get his attention. When Sammie would finally turn his head, Jacob would point to a picture of a rabbit on the page (always the same rabbit on the same page) and enthusiastically yell "Babbit!" After a few iterations of this exercise, Sammie informed Jacob, "I know! Babbit." But this information did not dampen Jacob's enthusiasm for pointing out the rabbit to Sammie.

Finally Sammie caught on.

He pointed to the picture of the rabbit and yelled, "Babbit!" with the same one-year-old enthusiasm as Jacob's (in a thirty-year-old, it has a different effect, though). He repeated this action until Jacob looked up at him and said, "I know! Babbit."

Carolyn and Dave's kids are wonderful. Sammie has been trying hard to convince me to move to Houston. Driving me to Springfield last night to visit his nieces and nephews may be his strongest argument yet.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006


Superheroes have not played a large part in my life thus far. I didn't read comic books as a kid. (They would have taken me away from Little House on the prairie.) I never fell over Niagara Falls and had Superman save me. As a matter of fact, I was too big of a wimp to do anything that Superman would have needed to save me from. (Now my sister Eliza is a different story...)

However, recently, superheroes have begun to enter my life. The Batman movie with Michael Keaton was pretty good. I really liked the two Spiderman movies. I refused to go see Fab Four and, instead, sent Sammie with a friend to go see it. Sammie already blogged about how much I loved X-men. Our most complicated scheduling issue this week is when to go see Superman. So--mostly through Hollywood--I'm starting to be a superhero fan.

But today, I found the superhero to end all superheroes. Watch out Super-, Bat-, Spider- and all you other "men" out there!

Monday, June 26, 2006

OK, I've never posted twice in one day, but this post makes a grand total of 3 for the month of June, so I don't think I'm over-doing it here.

Last week I was filling in for a Facility Manger who was on vacation. Oh, were the people there ever demanding and needy and bossy and rude and childish and I almost had to take one guy to HR because he was such a pain. Needless to say, I came home with headaches daily. Well today I couldn't help but chuckle when their building got struck by lightning. Looks like I wasn't the only one displeased with their behavior...
Yes, it has been a while since the last post. Life has been busy. GMAT is done (YEAH!!!) and now we can move onto the fun of filling out applications.

Below I have copied and pasted what was sent to me in 2 emails from my mom. It may make you cry, but it has a happy ending. Not everyone has a brother who doubles as a real-life super hero-

Jeff and Laura and their girls leave today. We've had a fun visit. Thursday we were at the pool where we are moving, and a little girl was found face down. Jeff's brother in law, Chris, is a border patrol agent in Montana. He got to her first and pulled her out. He and Jeff did CPR for five minutes before they got a pulse and got her breathing on her own. (She had aspirated some stuff, so there were problems.) We think it's a miracle that those two, both very experienced with CPR, were at the pool at that time. (Private pool, no lifeguard.) Last night we got word that the little girl is out of intensive care, sitting up and eating macaroni and cheese on her own, recognizing everyone.

(I then asked where the parents were when all of this happened.)

The mother was with a friend and between them they had several children. They were getting everyone out of the pool when Jeff, his brother-in-law Chris, and three of Laura's sisters and their kids arrived. So, it was mayhem. I guess this little girl Abby, who turned 3 on Friday, decided she wasn't ready to leave, and she snuck away. Mandy saw her floating face down. Laura called for Jeff, and they all have said, independently, that Chris stood up and ran across the water to get to her. Jeff, being mortal, had to climb out of the pool and run around. Anyway, it was traumatic. Jeff said he's done CPR lots and lots of times, but it was to people with gunshot wounds to their chests or something like that, and this is the first time he's done CPR and the patient survived. Neither he nor Chris slept Thursday night. We could tell they were traumatized...
Ben and I were actually at the new house and we arrived just as Amy was taking all the kids from the pool. I basically sat on the grass and held crying kids and cried. No help in a crisis. But at that point we thought the little girl was dead. Ben was trying to console Abby's 5 year old brother. The fire engine and paramedics arrived within 5 minutes of the call, but Jeff and Chris had Abby breathing on her own by then.
Ok, enough of that. NO MORE DROWNINGS, OK?!!

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Melba and I went to see X-Men 3 this past weekend. I don’t know how in the world I got her to come with me – but she did come willingly. About half way through the movie she gave me the ‘I’m really embarrassed with myself’ look and said, “Sammie, I really like this film. I think I like it better than The Da Vinci Code.” By the end of the film her face had lit up and she was making clear to everyone that she loved the film.

“Sammie, we’ve been married for 9 months now – how come you didn’t introduce me to the X-Men earlier?”

After the film, we went to dinner and Melba couldn’t stop talking about the X-Men – who they are, what powers they have, the history between Magnito and Xavier, etc, etc... Melba then proceeded to borrow a collection of X-Men comics from my friend Mark (we saw the film with him and his wife and daughter and had dinner with them also.)

Now I know what you’re thinking – how much did Melba really get into the X-Men? After all, she has a Master’s Degree in Humanities, she loves reading the classics and watching musicals. But X-Men? Really?

That night Melba dreamed she was a super hero. After a triumphant victory, she stretched out her fist. Although dreaming, she really did stretch out her fist and in so doing punched me right in the forehead. “Oh Sammie, did I just punch you in the forehead?”


“I’m sorry.”

Melba’s sister Anna commented on this ‘test of strength’ our marriage has now been through (I don’t think she realized the pun) and put it best by saying, “No more Taebo workouts for Melba!”

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Why don’t I ever watch the news? Well, the BBC has now made the answer obvious. They were supposed to have interviewed an online music ‘expert’ about a lawsuit between the Beatles and Apple Computers, but they actually interviewed a cab driver.

And nobody noticed.

Why? Because news broadcasters are complete idiots who know nothing about what they are reporting on and the so-called ‘experts’ they bring on the air are about as smart as cab drivers.

Click here for an explanation from the guy who should’ve been on the air and a copy of the broadcast. Click here for the BBC report of the blooper.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

In lieu of the typical goofy blogs about the funny things Melba and I do, I thought I’d share a nice, warm-fuzzy story with you all. We were volunteering for a Marine Corps non-profit gala/silent auction at a REALLY nice hotel in DC. Rep. Tom Davis was there as was Aaron Tippin. Aaron is a country singer – I hate country music – but his bio says he’s had a lot of hits. Anyways, I mostly went to get pictures of those people because celebrities always make a portfolio look better.

As I was taking pictures of all of the guests, 4 Marines arrived, and they were all in wheelchairs. I didn’t really talk to any of them, but I can only assume, based on their age, that they lost their legs in Iraq within the past couple of years.

One item in the silent auction was a Gibson Les Paul Classic signed by Tim McGraw. The guitar alone is worth around $1500-$2000. There was a guy named Paul standing there who was determined to not be outbid – even as the bidding went well past what the guitar was worth. Was he a guitar collector? No. Does he even play guitar? Never in his life. Why was he bidding on it? One of the marines in a wheelchair (I don’t know which) was staring at the guitar and talking about how much he would love to have something like that. Paul overheard the him and decided that for the sacrifice the Marine gave for his country, the least he (Paul) could do would be to get the guitar for him (the marine).

Paul waited by the guitar until the auction closed and had the guitar delivered to the marine. I took a picture of Paul by the guitar, then Paul told me he wanted to do this anonymously, so I won’t post the picture here.

Anyways, just thought I’d pass along that story.

Monday, May 15, 2006

No Red Eye Here!

A few weeks ago, a very stressed out Sammie was testing out camera settings and flashes in preparation for an upcoming shoot. He was especially concerned that the pictures not come out with red-eye. Naturally, I was the one with the flash in my face all night as he ran test after test. I was being especially goofy, trying to jar him from his nervousness. But he was all business. He snapped the following photo of me, hoping my eyes would not come out red.

After taking the picture (with a totally straight face) and pulling it up on his computer, he said very excitedly, and in all seriousness, "No red-eye here, Melba!"

How Do you Spell UPS?

The other night, Sammie and I came home to find the following post-it note on the front door of our building.

We had to pause for a moment, pondering how it was possible to misspell "UPS."

Thursday, May 11, 2006

A Question

I'd like to post a question to our audience (all 5 of you). The other day, Sammie mentioned a chronic ringing in his ears. He said it's especially bad when he lies down at night to fall asleep. He shrugs it off as a leftover from his musician days. I see it as a great opportunity for worry--inner ear disorder, brain tumor, etc, etc.

But when I lie down to go to sleep at night, I hear a low, rhythmic grunting. Do you think there's something wrong with me?

Thursday, May 04, 2006

May the Fourth be with you.

Oh, I really digress here. I need to find some better jokes. I'm only posting this because over the past couple of weeks our post total is equal to that of Melissa's appendixes. (-1). I removed the Donny Osmond post per request of my mom.

I'll find something better to post soon. I promise.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Gender Roles -

It turns out that losing an appendix is expensive. We have insurance, but patient responsibility and deductible start to add up. Sammie had set aside the next couple of months to devote to studying for the GMAT, which he hopes to take this summer. However, when a friend of mine approached him about shooting her wedding in a couple of weeks, he jumped at the chance. He told me later that he did it to pay the hospital bills for my surgery.

So... I watch Sammie come home from a full day's work, sit down at his computer, and start working on pictures until late in the evening. Often, he'll take a break to spend time with me and then keep working after I've gone to bed. I try to fix meals and keep up on the housework so he doesn't have to worry about that.

Last night, feeling emotional, I expressed my gratitude to him for taking such good care of me. I then attempted to comment on how we were falling into traditional gender roles already--he was worrying about finances, I was taking care of things at home. (It's so nice, by the way! It feels so natural.) I only got as far as "Sammie, it's funny how we're falling into traditional gender roles." Following is the rest of the conversation:

Sammie: Man watches football, woman fixes dinner?
Me: No, man makes stupid joke, woman rolls her eyes.
Sammie: Or, man works two jobs to finance woman?

Woman laughs so hard, she almost has to return to hospital. Man would then have to take three jobs...

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Steve Urkel?

Sammie has creative ways of putting me in a good mood. For example...

I was cranky last night. I don't know why. It was probably a combination of being tired, feeling stressed, and not eating enough chocolate. Sammie had already tried the doing-the-dishes approach, the kissing-me-on-the-cheek approach, the rubbing-my-shoulders approach, and other tactics to put me in a good mood. Finally, though, he resorted to desperate measures.

As we were on our way to bed, he came out of the bedroom wearing his pajama shorts with the waist pulled high--just under his armpits. He didn't acknowledge his new look, just went throughout the condo casually turning out the lights. As soon as I saw him, I, of course, died laughing. He finally stopped, looked at me, and with a completely straight face asked, "What? Do I look fat?"

What a goofball...

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Back from vacation, kind of. We did a lot more work than vacationing. I think we need another vacation real soon. Anyways, that's not why I'm writing.

Elder Nelson was married recently and Melba, of course, pondered what it would be like to marry a member of the Twelve.

"I don't know if I could handle being married to an Apostle. Sammie, I'm glad I married you."

She didn't even realize what she was said -- to me, that's the funny part.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

We haven't written in a while, not because we haven't had anything funny happen, but because the funny things that we've done as of late aren't really the sort of thing we want to post on this legally binding and potentially incriminating blog.

One funny thing that did happen, and I hope Melba isn't too emarassed that I'm writing this, was while we were driving through downtown DC on Sunday. We saw a guy wearing all black with a maroon and yellow cape. Some intital jokes about Harry Potter made us smile. But we still couldn't get over the cape. We got closer. He was obviously homeless. But, as Melba pointed out, he was more than homeless - he was "Superhomeless".

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

What Sammie didn't do yesterday...

Last night, Sammie was very proud of himself for something he didn't do earlier in the day.

I left work early yesterday--it was my first day back and I was exhausted. Rather than take a nap, I curled up on the couch with the latest afghan I'm working on and watched one of my all-time favorite movies, Sound of Music. When Sammie came home to find me in the middle of the movie he tried to make snide comments about my choice of entertainment, but I cut him off abruptly. He's not allowed to mock Sound of Music. When I got to the romantic highpoint--the gazebo scene between Maria and the Captain--I turned it off and said I wasn't going to watch it with him around because he would ruin it.

Later on, Sammie went to webelos and I went to KFC to grab takeout. (I know, I know. But it's good grease. And we had a coupon.) We watched American Idol while licking the grease off our fingers, then played a game of Scrabble (which he let me win because I'm a poor sport about losing Scrabble. I'm an english professor for crying out loud). After the game, he commented to me that he may be a goofball, but I had no idea how many things he thought of doing but resisted, not knowing how I would react. I asked him what he had come up with lately and not done. He confessed that earlier, when I came home with dinner, he had wanted to be curled up on the couch in front of Sound of Music, crying.

In this case, it was the thought that counted. I laughed as hard as if he had actually done it...

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Last night, tired and ready for bed, I said, "Melba, can we pray?"

"Can I take my drugs first?"

Of all the tempting responses to give while she downed a few pills, I chose, "Do you think that will help you better communicate with Diety?"

"No. I'm taking drugs just to help me through your prayer."

Sometimes A- acts more like me than I do and it really makes me wonder how she deals with me all of the time. Whoa, I just re-read that sentence. It's either really deep or really stupid.

I'm going to stop now.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Melba was well enough to go to Sacrament Meeting yesterday, but we left shortly thereafter. Whenever she is sitting, her weight goes to her abdomen which is where the surgery was which causes her pain, which means I need to take her home. She promptly went to bed, I promptly turned on the TV to watch George Mason and UConn. I was to wake Melba up in an hour and then take her to see the cherry blossoms.

1 hour later the game is still on and it looks like George Mason might pull off one of the biggest upsets in the history of College basketball (’86 LSU is the only other 11 seed to make it to the Final Four). “How much longer till the game is over?” she asks. “About 20 minutes.” With a cocky smile of victory she says, “That’s great. Wake me up in about 20 minutes.”

17.5 seconds left, GMU up by 4. “Melba, the game is almost over and it looks like GMU will win. I really think you’ll want to witness this.”

“Wake me up in 17.5 seconds.”

17.5 seconds later – “Melba, the game is going into overtime.” She sees this as yet another victory and promptly goes back to sleep.

GMU wins in overtime and that means that none of the teams I picked get into the Final Four. I’m not upset. About this.

I’m now stuck near the bottom of my pool. Jonas Anderson happens to be in first. He leaped into first when LSU beat Duke. How convenient that the very school Jonas attends loses such an important match-up for his bracket picks. It’s not coincidence, it’s conspiracy. It’s cheating when you pick your own school to lose such an important game. If this were DC (and it is) your career would be over.

And so it is. Jonas, I hereby declare our friendship over. And the friendship I have with your wife (who is also my cousin). And the friendship my wife has with you two (if she stayed friends with you two, there would be way too much weirdness in the House of Funkweiler.)

That’s a joke, btw. I’m still friends with Jonas. And his wife. My wife is friends with them too. But I think the next time we go out to eat, I’m going to make them pay for dinner...

Friday, March 24, 2006


As newlyweds, Sammie and I have given eachother quite a few nicknames. Mine for him are: Ramading, My Treasure, Sammie-Wammie-Dinger-Donger, etc. His for me are: Elbaroon and George (I don't get it either) among others. Well, with the recent renovations on my anatomical make-up, I have been given a new nickname: "A-". This is appropriate, of course, because I am now minus my appendix, but also because I spend so much of my time, energy, and complaints on grading.

The other night, our good friends Steve and Megan were here. Sammie is scheduled to photograph their wedding in Vegas in two weeks with me, of course, as his assistant. Steve threatened to cut me out of the deal, however, saying we needed an "all-appendix" team for this one. Or, of course, an "A team."

I guess I just don't cut it anymore...

Thursday, March 23, 2006

My last blog (the one right below this) was pretty long. Here's a little trivia question for you - which key on my computer did I use most when writing that blog? Answer: The 'Backspace' key. I married into a family of Doctors so most of jokes needed to be deleted out.

I did have a joke that was cut, not for content, but because it didn't really fit in anywhere. I'd hate for it to not get used, so here it is:

The bad news is that Melba had to have her right leg amputated. The good news is that the surgeon did such a good job, you can hardly tell it's missing.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

When anyone in a hospital uses the words/phrases 'now', 'right away', and/or, 'in just a second' what they are really saying is, "Certainly not within the next 30 minutes, and if there's a commercial on TV, we might do it within the hour."

Saturday Night: "Sammie, I'm really sick. My stomach is killing me. I want to die."

Sunday Morning: "Sammie, I'm still really sick. Instead of it being all over my abdomen, it's all in the lower right side."

Off to the ER we went. Not too many people there at 9am. Not too much to do in the waiting room. So we waited. I think they make you do this to prepare you for all of the waiting you'll be doing for the rest of the day. I watched a 4-year-old plug his mom's nose and laugh himself silly everytime she talked in her nasally voice. (I could tell she was doing it intentionally just to make him laugh. What a good mom.)

We get into the ER and Melba got an IV and some drugs to stop the pain. The nurse was having a hard time finding a vein. "If none of her veins will work, you can use one of mine." The nurse scowled at me. "Hey, when we were married we became one." The nurse finally laughed. (I had been trying to make her laugh for a while.)

Then we waited for an hour for the PA to come and look at her. Appendicitis or an ovarian cyst. Melba looked at me and said "My appendix is broken." If you've seen American Idol this season, you'll find that hilarious. I went outside to make the 'update calls'. ER waiting room was PACKED (it would stay that way for the rest of the day).

I got back and helped Melba drink a 'disgusting' cherry flavored drink so when they do the CT scan they can see herinsides. She finishes at 12:15pm. Now we must wait for 2 hours and they will do the CT. In the meantime, they are going to do a sonogram to check the ovaries. Almost an hour later they decide to hurry and do the sonogram, because Melba needs to go to the bathroom and the sonogram requires a full bladder. SURPRISE - they waited so long, Melba goes to the bathroom anyways. They still do the sonogram. Why does it work? By the time they got to doing the sonogram, enough time had passed for her bladder to refill.

Sonogram finishes at 1:50pm. "Someone will by by right away to take you back to the ER." I foolishly believe them, thinking with the CT Scan scheduled for 2:15pm, they've had 2 hours to get ready - what could go wrong? At 2:40pm, we are still waiting to go back to the ER. I conclude that INOVA Fairfax Hospital is really one big waiting room. I'd been looking for someone to complain to for a while, but no one is to be found. I finally find someone watching basketball on TV and ask for help. We get back to the ER, I throw a stink and they take her to do the CT Scan.

Melba returns at 3pm, we should have the results 'shortly'. (Yeah, right.) 3:30pm I start bugging people about when we will know the results. "Oh, we already know them."

"When do we get to learn?"

"I'll get the Dr. right now and she'll tell you." 3:50 pm we learn Melba is going to say good-bye to her appendix until her body is resurrected.

5:30 pm Melba is wheeled off to the surgery room shortly after the hometeacher arrived. Her departing words to me were, "I'm glad I only have one appendix, because I never want to go through this again."

7pm Dr. comes to the 'designated' Waiting Room (not to be confused with every other room in the hospital) and tells me the surgery went fine. Had we waited an extra day, there would have been real problems. I go to the recovery room and see Melba. "Hey" was all she said before faling back asleep. I left to have dinner with the Kidd's (hometeacher).

9pm I get back to the hospital and wait for Melba to get to her room.

9:15pm - She is fine. She could make complete phrases, but not complete sentences. I told her I would come back to pick her up when they release her tomorrow.

Monday 10:45am - I leave work to go pick up Melba who will be released 'shortly'. (Don't worry, I had called her 3 times already to make sure she was OK.) I have time to go fill the Rx, buy flowers, stop by the condo to get her jacket - I get to the hospital at noon and she still hasn't been released.

12:15pm The nurse comes, releases her and tells us a wheelchair is on it's way.

12:45pm we leave without the wheelchair. The nurse sees us and apologizes -- there were 3 people ahead of us waiting for a wheelchair. (Think about that -- it's one of the largest hospitals in the Greater DC Area...)

It's now Tuesday early afternoon. Melba is doing fine. Thanks you RS for the dinners :)

Monday, March 20, 2006

An effective way to measure how much love (the Christ-like kind) one has for another is the Vomit Clean Up Meter or VCU Meter for short.

In my first area as a missionary, I got really sick one night and jumped out of bed to throw up. Without being too descriptive, I got within 5 feet of the toilet and let it go. My companion woke up and saw the mess. Knowing I was sick and tired (no pun intended) he put his hand on my shoulder and said, "Comp, go back to bed. I'll clean this up for you." That, my friends, is maxing out on the VCU Meter.

Saturday night Melba said to me, "Sammie, I'm really sick and I'm think I'm going to throw up." We raced home. Sick she was. Sure enough, before long there was some clean-up to do in the bathroom. At last I had a chance to max out the VCU Meter and really show my wife how much I loved her. "Melba, go to bed -- I'll clean it up."

Without having even heard of the VCU Meter, Melba barked back at me, "Sammie, don't go in the bathroom. Don't look in the bathroom. Don't even try to smell the bathroom. I love you too much than to let you clean up after me."

I guess my VCU Meter was created with a flaw. I never expected a vomiter to love someone else so much that said vomiter would refuse the other away when help to clean up is offered.

I never thought I would marry someone as wonderful as her.

(Tomorrow's exciting episode: Melba has her appendix removed...)

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Actual comment made by a 30-something single guy yesterday at lunch:

"I didn't have any cash until I opened the Valetine's Day card my mom sent me. It had $10 in it."

Ture story. No further commentary needed.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Why do I like Tony Corbell?

I’ve discovered a slight problem with my fish-eye lens/flash in that the lens covers a wider space than the flash. This means whenever I use the flash with this lens, the edges are dark. I did some research on the internet and found a flash which gives wider coverage - for $575. I went to a camera store to ask them about it and they said along with the flash, I would need some other accessories which would run another $500ish. So I decided to call Tony and see if all of this gear was really worth the money. He would know because he uses it all.

“Sammie, none of that gear works. What you need is a Lumiquest Stofen Cover. They cost $20. Put it on your flash, point the flash straight up, set your camera to ISO400, F 5.6 @ 1/30th, or 1/15th if it’s really dark, and you’ll have all the coverage you need.”

“Thanks, Tony. You just saved me $1000.”

“You’re welcome. The way I see it, you now owe me that $1000.”

The funny part of the story is that Tony then tells me about a picture of Paul McCartney he saw in an exhibit that he wants to buy. Cost for an original print? $1000. Here is a copy of the picture. You can see a larger version on Paul’s website.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Happy Pi Day, everyone. While the concept of celebrating the number Pi on March 14th (3-14) is new to me, I’m sure my brother Steev (also spelled xdHIV) has been celebrating it for years. It actually wouldn’t surprise me if he started it. But I digress...

I met Satan last night. Just kidding, all I really did was try to get my half of the comforter back. Please note the wording of the previous sentence which was selected rather carefully. In lieu of hogging the whole comforter, Melba had managed to slide my half over herself, and then push her half right off the bed and onto the floor. Bless her poor, little, loving heart – she got mean when I first tried to take the comforter back, then awoke from her sleep in an endless abyss of remorse that she had taken the covers from me.

“Melba, it’s really OK. Let’s just be thankful that the monsters under the bed aren’t drooling.”

(Yes, I stole that line from the Calvin and Hobbes book. It’s a really funny bit of imagination once you understand what’s going on.)

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Every time I go to a city for the first time, I often feel compelled as a photographer to take a picture of something that is truly representative of the city. This accounts for my pictures of Red Square in Moscow, The Duomo in Milan and the Monuments in Washington DC – to name a few.

Well, yesterday as Melba was coming home from the gym, she woke me up with comments about how beautiful it was outside. Warm, sunny, fresh air – this is her way of telling me that I need to take her to Shenandoah National Park. Off we went.

Hey, Sammie – we’re really low on gas, we need to fill up before we get to Skyline Drive. (Skyline drive is the main road through Shenandoah.) We stopped at a nearby small town, Luray, known only for it’s smallness and caverns, to fill up with gas. (Which, btw, everyone should see these caverns at least once. They are the bomb.)

Seeing as I haven’t taken any pictures of Luray (other than the caverns) I felt I should take a picture of the one thing that would forever stay in my mind about the town.

Wait a second here. To think I’ve been blinded for so long that I almost tried to earn more money with an MBA. I’m now looking for a good realtor in Luray :)

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Sammie in the Morning
A short piece by Melba

He sleeps on his side, barely visible beneath the Star Wars comforter. The dark warmth of the room envelops him like another blanket. I part the covers to kiss his scruffy cheek and giggle inside at the shock of red hair standing up on his head. He responds to my gesture with a low grunt that is almost a moan. I run my fingers through his red hair and tickle his ear with my nose. “Good Morning,” I croon. Another soft moan. My next caress is interrupted by the jangle of the alarm clock on the night stand. He sits up—sleepy, a yawning orangutan roused from hibernation, but smiling. After scratching my cheek with a quick kiss, he staggers into the bathroom.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Anyone Got a Rack?

Friday night, we had some friends over to play games. Another couple, the Ks, came over and our wonderful friend, J, who is female. The game we were playing required the retention of quite a few cards, that needed to be fanned out to easily be seen. While holding her cards, J commented that she wished she had a rack to hold her cards. Sammie, being a smart alec, responded, "You have one, J, it's called your hand!" J's always a good sport about Sammie teasing her. But I scolded him for not being nice to our guests. He responded, "I was just pointing out that she had a rack." By the time he got to the last word, we all saw what was coming, and ducked our heads to giggle. This was one time that Sammie actually didn't mean to make a joke. He rarely gets embarassed, but this was an exception!

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Welcome to House of Funkweiler

I'm just getting up to speed in the blogging world and decided to write a blog about life with my husband, Sammie Markham a.k.a. Vernon P. Funkweiler. We got married on August 18, 2005. You can see our wedding album and lots of pictures at his family's website.

Last night, we had a couple of friends over for dinner. After they left, we sat and chatted--mostly about my birthday (which is today!!). I told him about the night before my birthday 3 years ago when my parents called to wish me happy birthday and I burst into tears and sobbed to them over the phone. It was a hard year. I've come a long way since then. Happily married. 3 good jobs. Good friends. Glad it's now and not then.

Sammie would get mad at that sentimental note. Here's one more up to his speed (meaning humorous, not mushy).

I don't know if it's Sammie or guys in general or what, but he is retrieval-impaired. He can't find anything! I give you three situations as evidence. First, (a few months ago) Sammie ran into the bedroom to grab something that was supposed to be on the floor by the bed. It wasn't there so he yelled, "Melba! Where's my -----?" I walked in the bedroom and found it two feet above where he had looked--sitting on the bed. Second, Sammie, aware of my amusement at his inability to find things, carefully searched for his tape measure in many nooks and crannies in multiple rooms. He finally came into the kitchen to ask me if I knew where it was. I walked into the front room to find it sitting in plain sight on a stack of papers. Third, (my favorite) Sammie (in all his wonderfulness) cooked dinner a couple of nights ago. (He also cooked dinner last night.) He looked all over for the cheese grater, including three times in the cupboard where it was. But never found it. He finally made do without it. Last night, as he was cooking again, he finally saw it.

I know what you're thinking--the guy makes dinner two nights in a row and you complain that he can never find anything? My point exactly. That's the only thing I have to complain about. Which is why life with Sammie is so great.