The Daddy Dilemma

I'm going to be a father.*

And that statement is less terrifying than it once might have been. To be quite honest, I don't often think on what this means. I suppose, on a theoretical level at least, it will change everything. But then again, so did so many other steps in life.
  • Potty training was certainly a game changer, albeit one I don't remember well. I vaguely recall a mixed sense of shame and pride.
  • Elementary school was hard--did anyone else notice how they progressively whittled away nap time, snack time, recess, and play time? 
  • Puberty was excellent. 
  • High school took away everything that was glorious about elementary school, amplified everything that was difficult about puberty and forced you to dance with people in the same fallen state. 
  • Dating . . .  well, once you got past the awkward phase, it became fun.
  • Mission Service was hard. Again, once you got past the awkward phase, the blisters, and the homesickness, this was really fun.
  • College. Blessed college. It returned to you all that was glorious about elementary school and combined it with the fun parts of dating. 
  • Law School was . . . well, let's just say it was more like high school than I'd care to dwell on.
  • And marriage. So far, so awesome. (Although, no one warned me about the challenges of the first year. I thought our first argument would end in divorce. Thankfully, my wife is wiser and was more prepared for marital tension).
Each of these moments and phases of life have changed everything to some degree. Fatherhood is another of these phases--albeit one I hope will last longer (and be less emotionally painful) than puberty.  So, given this 1/3 of a lifetime of change, I don't see impending fatherhood as a dramatic sea change.

You know, the kind that's supposed to leave you rattled and questioning your sanity. Rather, it's another (albeit large) step in the same direction I've been traveling. 

Before all you well-to-do, vastly more experienced parents out there start to chuckle, nod knowingly, and mutter "He'll see... oh, he'll see," I'm well aware of the challenges before us.

And I do have fears: that I won't be adequate to the task, that I will fail my children in some way, that I will disappoint more than delight, that I will be Captain Dork rather than Captain Dad, that I will follow my daughter(s) around with a shotgun when they reach high school to ward off any of the unworthy heathen boys who glance their way, that I will unsuccessfully ward of any of the unworthy heathen boys who glance their way, etc., etc., etc.

Reasonable fears all, of course.

But you know what? Above all, I'm excited. Maybe I'm naive. Maybe I'm avoiding reality. Maybe I'm procrastinating my acceptance of "impending doom."

Or maybe I'm just too thrilled at the prospect of bringing another Vogeler into the world to let all the "what ifs" sink in just yet.

I've got thousands of sleepless nights ahead to ponder those, right?


*In light of the public nature of this blog, don't expect too much in the way of personal detail. I'll leave that up to my sweetheart, Erin. If you don't have access to Erin's blog, there's probably a reason or an oversight. Feel free to contact us if you want in, but fair warning: Erin's quite discerning.


Flattery Will Get you . . .


Just ask me. The team over at "the best thing you'll read all day" just featured my Twilight critique on their site. Almost four years later, and this tract keeps plugging along. Bless good people with both good taste and good grammar.

Thanks, tbtyrad!



Today, I give you: Ron Paul.
Ron Paul / Charlie-in-the-Box
·       You start listening to them and you get into the rhythm of what they’re saying (or the music emanating from their box), and it all sounds very compelling; it’s pretty catchy actually, and you think “Hey, I could buy into this, this sounds pretty…” and suddenly  
      Zaniness and/or a strange, poorly-named puppet erupts from the platform.


The Island of Misfit Noms

At the behest of some very vocal friends, I'm taking up the standard again. Rededicating myself to posting more often. Rekindling the blogger's fire. Re'ing, if you will.

I've been pondering the state of national politick lately, and I was reminded of one of my favorite posts I ever created on this blog. Go here if you're interested in hitting the ebv in its zeitgeisty prime. Way back when, I was frustrated with the slew of politicians that were jockeying for the privilege of taking the national reigns as our President.

Now, four years later, not much has changed (although the DNC nominally has its man all locked up). We're once again watching the GOP slog through its nomination pomp and circumstance, and I feel inspired to share some politico doppelgangers. So, in the first of a series, I give you:


Newt Gingrich / The Abominable Snowmonster of the North (aka “Bumble”)
  • Both tend to enter with a roar, but leave humbled, beaten . . . and sans teeth 
  • Monstrously intimidating at first, yet ultimately self-defeating 
  • Quick to reform and/or retreat whenever it is politically convenient (you don’t really believe that Bumble preferred putting the star on the Christmas Tree at the Claus house to munching on the little elves, do you? Ditto to Gingrich with his first, second, and third (a) wives, (b) religions, and (c) runs at the Presidency)


Utes Wynn Big Over Heaps of BYU

AP:     September 17, 2011
           Provo, UT

Utah beat BYU 54-10 in the first September meeting of the schools in nearly half a century.
 The BYU Cougars were crushed by century-old rival Utah tonight by a score of 54-10. Seven turnovers, a slew of dropped passes, several three-and-outs, and uninspired play calling doomed the Cougars on what was supposed to be their biggest home opener in decades as they entered a new phase in their program’s storied history—Independence. A riveting game through the first half, the Runnin’ Utes would go on to score 47 unanswered points en route to the largest blowout victory in the rivalry in over twenty years.

More surprising than the final score, however, was BYU coach Bronco Mendenhall’s post-game interview, where he revealed to the press his team’s “intention to lose the game and lose big.” Turning to his stable of scriptural passage and big-business buzz speak, Mendenhall laid out what he described as his “Big Picture Overarching System,” or BPOS. 

Mendenhall, typically stoic, asked the gathered media to “recall in [their] minds” his statements made at a fireside chat in Provo held the night before. During the Friday meeting, Mendenhall had chided boosters of his program for choosing to grill him on his coaching decisions in the prior week’s agonizing loss to Texas (a 17-16 decision for the UT Longhorns) instead of focusing on the “bigger picture.” 

Mendenhall facing his Pharisees and Sadducees.
Standing in front of boosters who dared question his coaching decisions “felt like I was in front of the Pharisees and the Sadducees," Mendenhall recounted. "Sometimes what play is called on third-and-20 is more important (to them) than what we're trying to do here. My hope is that you support us with your heart as you try to find what's most important in life and see the bigger picture, and join us in that purpose."[1]
Mendenhall  described the moment as “epiphonal—a ground-breaking, revelatory moment, something I thought was difficult going in, but ultimately expiatory, especially in light of the fallen nature of the boosters and fans.”

With this backdrop in mind, Mendenhall proceeded to lay out his BPOS plan for the gathered media. “It’s a three-tier system of success that we intend to implement throughout the season,” Mendenhall said. “Beginning two weeks ago with Ole Miss, we hope to continu[e] the plan throughout the rest of the year in order to help our team and our fans grasp and achieve the bigger picture and purpose of our program.” 

The Cougars coach then stepped away from the podium, pulled a velvet cord, and unveiled the three marble pillars of the BYU BPOS: Faith, Hope, and Charity. 

“Even though our fans might not have recognized it, I’m confident that our team executes our plan perfectly each week,” the coach declared. When asked to explain, Mendenhall said, “With Ole Miss, we gave our fans faith that we could win against a quality opponent; in Texas, we gave them hope that they could compete with the big names of our sport; and in Utah, we loved our enemies and turned our cheeks to those who would spitefully use us . . . we laid down our lives and our game for our fellow men.”

Heaps trips over the ball and into the endzone, leading to a Utah touchdown.
Following a brief pause to wipe away a tear and muttering that he “promised [him]self [he] wouldn’t do this,” Mendenhall then explained to bewildered reporters that he was “very proud of Jake Heaps’ performance right out of the gate,” describing the young quarterback’s opening-drive fumble and cartwheel through the endzone as “simultaneously inspired and inspiring.” 

Mendenhall also noted that he was particularly pleased with wide receiver J.D. Falslev’s second-half performance as well as that of his defense.  “Our D[efense] was pretty stingy, pretty selfish in the first half,” Mendenhall said, “but once they saw the offense, and particularly J.D., give of their hearts and of their footballs, they came around pretty quickly.”  

RB Josh Quezada giveth...
After this unveiling, Mendenhall took only a handful of questions, responding tersely to any speculation that his coaches had failed to prepare the team in the offseason and particularly in their preparation for the Utes. “I think that’s patently untrue,” Mendenhall bristled. “Like I explained to you, this game was designed and executed exactly as we planned it. If you don't understand that, that's your failing as a passive observer of the game, being acted upon instead of acting.”

When asked whether the team could have benefitted from the three practices he had canceled during fall camp because he thought the team was then “ahead of schedule,” Mendenhall scoffed. “We held scripture study those days,” Mendenhall said. “What else would you have had us do?”

...and the Utes' Derrick Shelby taketh away.
When asked whether Utah’s departure to the Pac-12 and BYU’s independence played a part in the newly devised BPOS, Mendenhall replied, “It certainly goes into the calculus, but as I’ve said before, we are a unique program with unique players and are therefore obligated to highlight that uniqueness to the world. It’s no secret that football is only our fifth priority, as it should be for our fans—who I think just don’t quite grasp what we’re trying to accomplish here on a daily basis.”

Dozens of questions were ultimately waived away by the coach, but Mendenhall did share one final thought with the press before making his exit. “The fans and boosters wanted a Holy War . . . ” Mendenhall whispered as he folded his hands and bowed his head. “I brought them a Holy War.”

[1] As quoted in “Y. coach tells fireside of bigger mission,” published by the Deseret News, Friday Sept. 16, 2011.


The Final Four!!!

Check it out, ladies and gents. Fictionist is right on the cusp.  Stewbie's 8th Grade prediction is almost come due!!!