Panerda's Box

I found myself whispering to my wife as we walked together on campus. I had to keep what I said secret, keep it safe. No one could hear, otherwise they would know WHAT A BIG NERD I AM.

The secret: Battlestar Galactica.
I reviewed the storyline with my wife so that we could start watching season 3 together. I got overexcited as I told her the plot, and got kind of emotional too. Then I realized what I was saying, so I lowered my voice. I imagined I might run into cool people who would think less of me if they heard. Imaginary wedgies tickled my crack.

My wife has been too busy with reality to join me in fantasy land. I'm already halfway through season 3.

Other reasons I'm a nerd:

  1. I've seen every episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer
  2. And every episode of Angel, a spinoff of Buffy
  3. I enjoy comic books
  4. I pick my nose in secret
If I've left any out, let me know.

here's what a year looks like

Christopher and I traveled to exotic Salt Lake this week for a little anniversary getaway. Our trip provided even further evidence that we're perfect for each other: we both insisted on stopping at used book stores, we had fun visiting the library, and Christopher didn't tease me when I wanted to buy earrings made of Scrabble tiles.

He even put up with my weird insistence on tradition. We actually saved our wedding cake in the freezer for a year. It tasted like it, but he ate some anyway. Love you, babe.

watch out

Signs posted on the hill just south of campus warn people to be safe. I think I know why now.

While I drove on the little road that runs through campus today, I saw a deer. Now, the deer did not pose any particular danger, but the thing coming after it must have, because that deer was hoofing it so fast that I bet it could have jumped over my car. Who knows what it was running from? Danger could lurk anywhere in Provo....

holy comestibles!

We all know that I'm not the goddess of culinary domesticity. Not because I can't. But because it just takes an inordinate amount of time. Plus, once you've made good food, it must be eaten to really be appreciated. All that time and work just get chewed up, digested, and forgotten when another appetite sets in.

So, I took this picture to immortalize a dinner that has now been digested:

I'm very proud that I learned to make wheat bread this summer. For some reason, homemade bread once seemed a mystery to me. (It's still sort of mysterious; if Christopher doesn't double-check the temperature of the water I use to activate the yeast, the dough won't rise. He's indispensable.) Bread also seemed like something that took all day—the most important reason for banning it from my to-do list. But it's actually not that bad, especially considering that eating pizza with a homemade whole-wheat crust makes me feel culinarily divine.


I saw my sister Cassy at the Nada Surf concert. She was so excited to see me she almost cried. She showed me the tattoo-in-progress on her back of an octopus attacking a pirate ship. A dude with hair like Doc Brown from
Back to the Future starting hitting on her. She said they were friends, but my big brother instincts kicked in and I kept my eye on the guy, even though I'm her little brother. I'm always surprised by how much she loves me. I figure I'm kind of boring, and most people aren't so overjoyed to see me. But she always is. I love her so much.

Kathy and I hung out with a friend I hadn't seen for three or four years: Clarence Mayott. Mayott told his wife, Kendra, that four years is water under the bridge for guys like us. Things have changed, he's a dad, with a real job, we're both married. But he's the same guy I knew and loved four years ago, and I can't wait to see him in four more years.

We forgot my mom's birthday. I don't even know how old she is. Me, my older brother, and our wives forgot. The only kid who remembered was TJ, because he lives with her. She was sad, but she handled it okay. I forgot to let her know how much I love her. I hope she's never surprised by it.

I told Kathy there was an internship this fall in Salt Lake that I thought about getting. She said she would drop all of her classes and go with me if that's what I wanted. It surprised me. She's been stressing about her schedule and graduating on time for months. This internship would throw everything off. She saw that surprise in my face and said something like, "I'm with you all the way, baby." I hugged the breath out of her. It surprised me how committed she is to me. I love her so much.

Hi's and Lo's

I'm about to offend all the Eragon fans I know. Sorry. You don't have to read this.

Every experience has its shares of highs and lows; the movie, Eragon, maintained that truism.

Low? The movie. The story and cinematography felt like cheap rip-offs of Star Wars and Lord of the Rings: a boy is thrown into epic battle between good and evil, initially against his will.

But, you say, that's just because Eragon follows the archetypal hero's journey. Ok. But a blonde, whiny teenager, living in relative isolation on a farm, forced to leave when nameless bad guys murder his uncle, smacks a bit too much of the Uncle-Owen-Tatooine scenario for me. And the subsequent escape in the woods from black-masked bug-infested villains feels like the Aragorn-saves-Frodo-from-Ringwraiths deal.

Every good nerd will notice that even the pictures are rip-offs. Here, Eragon holds a pseudo-light saber, and stands in a strange mix between Rivendell and Minas Tirith.

High? The Rifftrax we played along with the movie.

Remember those old MST3K movies, where Joel and Tom Servo sat in the theater and heckled B-movies? Now, they heckle almost any movie that comes out. And you can download the heckling to accompany those movies for just a few bucks.

We downloaded the Rifftrax for this movie after hearing, "Did you ever think Lord of the Rings was too fast-paced or made too much sense? Watch Eragon." So we did—which immediately transformed any possible lows into lofty highs.

see these bones

Only one thing beats listening to Nada Surf play "See These Bones" on an outdoor stage so loud that it makes my heart vibrate—

Listening to Nada Surf play "See These Bones" on an outdoor stage while running into people I haven't seen in too long a time: my sister-in-law, cousin-in-law, and a good friend from high school. I'm pretty sure good music was always meant to bring people together.