23 childhood misperceptions

When we’re learning new things, we have to relate them to things we already
know. That’s why Jesus used parables in his teachings. Sometimes, though, our
current understanding gets in the way of gaining new knowledge. This leads
to misunderstandings that can turn tragic in adulthood but are often endearing
and hilarious in children. I’m sure I had a lot more than 23 misperceptions
in my own childhood, but I could only think of 14, and my friends and loved
ones could collectively think of only seven. I’m hoping that two of you will
leave your
own contributions
in the comments so this post’s title isn’t completely inaccurate.

  • Songs I heard on the radio were being performed live at the radio stations
    by the bands themselves. (I actually decided that when I could drive,
    I would hang out at a radio station so that I could meet Huey Lewis.)
  • I could make the stars bounce by jumping high in the air and stomping on
    the ground. They really looked like they were bouncing.
  • The old hymn Power in the Blood mentioned my grampa R.E. in the
    line "Would you o’er evil a victory win."
  • That wasn’t really Spider-Man in that cartoon. It was just a guy in a costume.
  • Santa Clause himself could not visit every mall in America simultaneously
    around Christmastime. Even if he could, he was too busy with his preparations.
    So he sent certain helpers to dress like him, listen to children’s
    requests, and relay the messages to the North Pole. I never could figure
    out how he
    made Tonka trucks and Hot-Wheels cars in his workshop, though.
  • The Spanish language was basically just English, except you have to say el in
    front of a word and add -o to the end of the word.
    Hence, my Spanish word for paper sack was el papersacko.
    That knowledge coupled with the fact that I could count to ten in actual
    Spanish made me confident that I could converse with any Spanish-speaker
    I might meet.
  • Teachers don’t exist outside of school.
  • The evolution of civilized society culminated in the music and fashion
    of the 1980s. After that, there would be no more advances possible.
  • People who "don’t drink" literally never put fluids
    into their body. If anyone had asked me, "Do you drink?", I would
    have said, "Yes. I can’t even go one day without drinking."
  • Every grown man has killed at least one person. (I deduced this from watching
    a lot of TV.)
  • Writing consisted of scribbling on paper. I started writing before I even
    knew the alphabet, and I couldn’t understand why my mother seemed not
    to be able to read what I wrote.
  • All moms and dads led singing and played piano at church the way my parents
  • In order to "hold your breath," one simply puffs out one’s cheeks and holds
    breath inside the mouth but continues to breathe through the nose.
    I could hold my breath forever.
  • When a baby is born, it just bursts out of the mother’s stomach.
  • Mrs. Happy: You know how some people can imitate
    the sound of a drop of water by flicking their cheek with their fingers?
    Only two people in the
    world could do that, and my father was one of them.
  • Mrs. Happy: My dad’s job at work was taking out
    the trash. I knew this because when we drove by his office he said, "That’s where I work," and
    pointed to a door that was next to a dumpster. (He was actually a computer
  • Happy Sister: A group of goblins slept in our
    garage during the day and walked around the back yard at night. (My
    brother told me this.)
  • Happy Bro-in-Law No. 1: It’s against the law
    to kick a basketball.
  • MCF:
    I thought every bad thing happens to everybody at least once like the
    Chicken Pox. For a time I entertained the notion that things like getting
    hit by
    a car
    getting bit by a dog were similar rites of passage I’d inevitably have
    to go
    through at some point. Neither ever happened though I’ve come close,
    so I guess I don’t have an immunity to either.
  • Jeff:
    According to my sister, pill
    were medicine.
  • Jeff:
    I thought I could be a dump truck when I grew up.

23 simple pleasures

One of the things I like about WordPress is that it gives me the ability to
categorize my posts. When I moved over from Blogger, I
and categorized my old posts. It took a while, but I feel like things are
more organized now. (Still thinking about redesigning everything, btw. I haven’t
forgotten all the helpful comments.) However, now I can see that a few categories
are sparsely populated. I don’t know why, but I feel like every category should
have at
least ten posts.
So I’ll be working on bringing those numbers up. The 23 Things category
is particularly pitiable, with only three posts (four if you include this one),
so tonight I’ll add to that.

Life offers a few big, memorable moments. It also offers a lot of small things
that just warm your heart. These 23 things are part of the latter group, though
some are certainly bigger than others.

  • The way a happy dog smiles with its whole body.
  • Firefly.
  • The music of Roger Miller.
  • A book sale at a public library.
  • The taste of my favorite food or drink after I’ve gone weeks without even
    smelling it.
  • My wife’s laughter after I say something funny.
  • Comments on my blog.
  • A high-speed internet connection.
  • The look on a child’s face when he starts to ask me a question, then suddenly
    realizes I’m not his mother.
  • Reading a Bible passage I’ve read a hundred times before, but learning
    something completely new from it.
  • The way my wife rests her face against my neck.
  • Singing to my unborn child.
  • The
    Princess Bride
  • Discovering a new link to this site.
  • Playing my ukulele.
  • Talking to someone who loves their spouse and loves marriage.
  • The comfort of my bed at the end of an exhausting day.
  • Chocolate.
  • Two-dimensional video games.
  • Talking to someone who loves grammar.
  • A good Broadway musical.
  • Talking to an old friend.
  • Making a new friend.

23 things I like to do

If you’ve been reading this blog very long, you know that 23 is a special
number for me and my wife. In honor of that, every so often I make a list of
23 things. These are 23 things I like to do, in no particular order:

  • Write.
  • Read.
  • Sing to my wife.
  • Sing to our baby.
  • Eat my wife’s chicken pot pie, with her oatmeal/coconut/chocolate chip
    cookies for dessert.
  • Point out grammar and punctuation errors printed on big signs.
  • Play with a playful dog (preferably a boxer).
  • Lipsync or sing along with the entire soundtrack of a Broadway musical. Sweeney Todd is
    perfect for this.
  • Act in skits or plays. (Actually, any sort of performance in front of a
    crowd—dramatic or musical—is a real rush for me.)
  • Find posts on other blogs that celebrate marriage.
  • Tell other people how wonderful my wife is.
  • Play catch with an Aerobie.
  • <censored by Mrs. Happy>
  • Play a competitive game of Spades.
  • Fold a big, complicated piece of origami.
  • Browse around a bookstore.
  • Spend all freakin’ day on the computer. (This list item was suggested
    by Mrs. Happy.)
  • Discover a good movie that none of my friends have seen.
  • Dance like a spaz when no one’s watching.
  • Learn something new.
  • Play the ukulele.
  • Talk to an octogenarian.
  • Watch my wife sleep.

23 things I don’t like

A blogger I read regularly once posted a list of things he or she hates. I
think it was Miss
, but I couldn’t find the post in question on her
site, so I might be wrong.
Anyway, I’m stealing picking up that idea and listing 23 things I don’t particularly
like or strongly dislike. In no particular order:

  • VH1
    (no variety)
  • apple pie
    (just don’t like it)
  • fans of the New York Yankees
    (fair weather blowhards, all of them)
  • when something I enjoy becomes so wildly popular that I can’t stand it
    any longer
  • mice
    (especially when they act like they have a right to the food in my
  • college students studying science
    (every one of them—there are no
    exceptions—thinks he or she is
    the smartest person in the world)
  • people who think it’s funny to complain about their marriage
    (why did they
    get married to begin with?)
  • American Idol
    (it simultaneously fascinates and irritates me, which is unnatural)
  • the flagrant misuse of apostrophes
  • those days when nothing goes right
  • when someone behind me on the road wants
    to drive two miles an hour faster than I do
  • when someone ahead of me on the road wants to drive two miles an hour
    slower than I do
  • Jon
    (used to like him a lot, but he went off the deep end during
    the 2004 presidential election)
  • lame music that gets seemingly infinite radio air time
  • Boohbah
    (it’s like Teletubbies on
    acid, which is like peyote on acid)
    (note: my spell-check doesn’t recognize Boohbah as an actual word and
    suggests replacing it with bloodbath)
  • when people obsess, whether positively or negatively, over Rick Warren
    (I hesitate to bring this up. Please don’t turn the comments into a PDL
  • tipping/gratuities
    (employers should pay their employees themselves)
  • laugh tracks on sitcoms
    (if I need to be told when to laugh, it’s probably not funny)
  • The Candy Man
    (really creeps me out for some reason)
  • Disney’s bastardization of Winnie-the-Pooh
    (A.A. Milne must be exhausted from so much rolling over in his grave)
  • being unemployed
  • the laundromat
    (can’t wait ’till we have our own house with a washer and dryer…and dishwasher,
  • when I forget to put on my watch before leaving the house
    (I feel lost and naked without it—not a good combination)

Jenna asked in the comments
why I so dislike the way Disney ruined Winnie-the-Pooh. Let me say that the
Pooh books are my favorite books. They, after the Bible, would be my desert
island books, if I had a choice. When Disney got the rights to the stories,
the company turned rich characters into cheery, one-dimensional caricatures
devoid of any real personality and thereby robbed the stories of any style
whatsoever. Take for instance this exchange (gleaned from IMDB) from the Disney
movie Winnie-the-Pooh
and Tigger Too!
after Tigger and Roo have become stuck at the top
of a tall tree.

Christopher Robin: You’re next, Tigger. Jump!
Tigger: Jump? Tiggers don’t jump. They bounce.
Pooh: Then bounce down.
Tigger: Oh, don’t be ridickerous. Tiggers only bounce up!
Christopher Robin: You can climb down, Tigger.
Tigger: Uh, Tiggers can’t climb down, uh… because, uh… their tails get
in the way!
Rabbit: Hooray! That settles it. If he won’t jump, and he can’t climb down,
then we’ll just have to leave him up there FOREVER!

I guess the people in charge at Disney thought that was funny. Here’s a scene
from the same basic story in The House at Pooh Corner, Chapter IV, In Which
It Is Shown That Tiggers Don’t Climb Trees

Christopher Robin looked up at Tigger and Roo, and tried to think of something.

"I thought," said Piglet earnestly, "that if Eeyore stood
at the bottom of the tree, and if Pooh stood on Eeyore’s back, and if I stood
on Pooh’s shoulders—"

"And if Eeyore’s back snapped suddenly, then we could all laugh. Ha ha!
Amusing in a quiet way," said Eeyore, "but not really helpful."

"Well," said Piglet meekly, "I thought—"

"Would it break your back, Eeyore?" asked Pooh, very much surprised.

"That’s what would be so interesting, Pooh. Not being quite sure till afterwards."

Judge for yourself whether Disney captured or even respected the spirit of
the source material.

23 things I don’t understand

Marla once posted a list of
things she doesn’t understand
. Thirty-one is her special number. Mine is
23. So here are 23 things I don’t understand (no particular order):

  • heavy metal music
  • modern video games
  • why anyone would get married thinking, "If it doesn’t work out, I
    can always get a divorce."
  • how anyone can believe there is no God
  • how anyone can believe there is a God and still live as if He didn’t exist
  • how my wife can be so amazing so consistently
  • why she ever liked me to begin with
  • the book of Revelation
  • nearly every movie in the American
    Film Institute’s
    top ten
  • people who relish sex without love
  • people who confuse sex with love
  • Dune
  • the German language
  • the C++ programming language
  • pretty much any word coming from the mouth of Bernie Mac
  • Einstein’s theory of relativity
  • why some people consciously choose Windows XP over Mac OS X
  • why I sometimes take my marriage for granted
  • chess…and Risk…and any role-playing game
  • why we must all die a bit in order to grow
  • vegans
  • black holes and quantum physics
  • how my wife grows more beautiful every single day