Why are you so awesome?

Huzzah! Another question in the inbox! This one was asked anonymously. In June.

I do not pride myself on my prompt responses.

Here’s the question:

You guys seem to do such cool things. Do you just not write about the ones that go badly? Where do you recommend NOT taking kids?

Good question. How did I get to be so cool? My wife asks me that every day. I still don’t know the answer.

Just kidding! Rule number one of family blogging is that you only write about the good things. We do terrible things all the time, I just don’t write about it because I want everyone to think my life is perfect. Sometimes something really unfortunate happens, like a trip to the Mall of America, but a search of this blog will find you only one recorded instance of visiting this level of hell. Same with IKEA. My secrets are secret.

And don’t ever take kids to malls unless you’re just going to let them play on the little indoor playground things while you sleep or something.

******

Now, an important announcement.

This Ask Me Anything!!! thing has been fun. The ask me anything tag has 93 posts attached to it (including this one), and some of those posts had more than one question. It’s been a good time, but this will be the last ask me anything post. Sorry to break this to you on a weekend…

I just really need to focus on my art right now.

 

Crazy Mission Stories, Part II

Huzzah! New question in the inbox! This one comes from someone identifying themselves as “Elder Smith”.

Will you share some of your mission stories with us? We are trying to collect and publish a collection of great LDS mission stories.

Ok, now wait a minute. Does this question sound familiar to anyone? It should, because just over a year ago, my internet friend Joey asked a very similar question. Joey asked if I had any great mission stories to tell. I felt like kind of an ass, because my answer was more or less, “No. Mission stories are dumb and I don’t want to talk about it.” I felt bad, because I get that people who aren’t Mormons probably think Missionaries come home with a zillion great stories, and I felt like I was giving Joey the brush-off.

But it’s true. Missionaries have great experience – meaningful and important experiences – but they make terrible stories. And you know you are in for a particularly terrible story when  it starts with “This one time on my mission…”

Just to set the stage, I’ll quote myself from my post a year ago:

After a while, you get a little bit jaded. Now, if I’m sitting in Sunday School and some dude raises his hand and says, “Well this one time on my mission…”, I just roll my eyes.

“Oh great,” I say, nudging the guy next to me. “It’s Mission Story Guy.”

But like the fulfillment of prophecy, guess what Elder Smith’s website is called where he’s publishing a bunch of mission stories. It’s called This One Time on my Mission. And if anyone needs any further proof or convincing that the vast majority of mission stories are dumb, please click through to the website and read a dozen of them or so.

I don’t want to be a downer about mission stories. I’m glad “Elder Smith” has this website thing going on. Good for him. I hope it’s a successful venture and that everyone has a few laughs, but I’ll sit this one out. Well, if anyone out there has a great mission story, don’t share it here – send it over to This One Time on my Mission.

Any More Questions?
Ask Me Anything!!!

My Very Own Online Lewd Photo Scandal

Huzzah! A new question in the inbox! This comes from Andy, with whom I have been friends for many years.

Actually, it’s more of a scolding than a question:

This isn’t really a question… more of a request/demand.

Please add at least 5 new photos to your flickr stream. At least once a week flickr wants me to see that picture of you with your sweatpants pulled harshly into the crack of your ass because and I can’t take it anymore. It’s haunting my dreams.

I have a pair of gray sweatpants I wear to bed sometimes, and every time I pull them out of my drawer the image of your drawers pops into my head. I’d rather see a pair of drumsticks or a bike and think of you, but instead you’ve become the sweatpants in the ass-crack guy. I really don’t think that is a fitting place for you in my memories and I think you’ll agree.

Thank you for your attention to this matter.

First off, I have a flickr account? Are you sure?

Hmmm. I have forgotten all about it. I don’t really use flickr. I really want to like flickr, but for heaven’s sake it keeps wanting me to use a Yahoo email account to log in and I don’t even know what that means. I think I have about a dozen Yahoo accounts that I have logged into once and only once, each one created only if I’m trying to access flickr. Or something. Flickr does whatever flickr wants.

Anyway, I appreciate you bringing this to my attention, as lewd photos of myself have no place on the internet. I can recall the offending photograph, but I can hardly recall the sordid details of why the photo exists, and what would cause me to upload such a thing to the internet. You’ll soon notice that I have removed the offending photos, and replaced them with several new photos (which are actually old photos that will be familiar to any readers of this very blog).

I wish you the best of luck with all your flickring, and I hope you are able to expunge the image from your memory. I do not want to lose you as a flickr contact, as you are my only one. Well I’m glad we have taken care of this awful mixup.

Any more questions?
Ask Me Anything!!!

How Do You Learn How About DIY Projects?

Huzzah! A couple more questions in the inbox! Do you guys remember that you can submit questions to the inbox which I will answer if I feel like it? I am an expert at nothing, but that doesn’t stop me from pretending to be. Submit any questions here.

Our first question comes from loyal friend Greg (who I previously thought was dead). You may recall the last time Greg submitted a question, it was a pretty heavy topic. This one is a bit lighter:

Hey Reuben! Another one from the grave. (I emerge about once a year.)

I always tremble of the thought to do work on my house, mainly because every time I start a project it turns into a nightmare, and half the time I don’t even know how to fix or start what needs to be done.

How do you motivate yourself in accomplishing so much with your house? Also, where do you learn to do it?

And we’re glad to have you back, Greg. Thanks for the great question.

Tip #1: When you’re blogging about house projects, if you spread it out over a few months and write 35 posts about the same project, it looks like you’re doing a lot more work than you actually are.  Your question is a bit flawed, as it assumes I’m “accomplishing so much.”  I think, if you came over to my house and I gave you a house tour, you’d be surprised at how little we’ve actually done to the place.

Tip #2: Invite your in-laws over to do a bunch of projects, then take the credit for it after they leave. Yea, there was that one time we built a garage, but we couldn’t have done it without the in-laws help. That’s about all we’ve done to this house so far. We’ve painted some of the walls, and even then it was really more like my in-laws painted the walls while I went to work all day. That’s it. The in-laws have done a lot of the heavy lifting on a few of the projects we did at our last house too.

Tip #3: Whenever someone asks what you’ve been up to (or if someone at church asks you to help out with something), respond with something like, “Oh, I’m so busy with this darned renovation project.” If they ask for more details, avoid the question with something like, “Yea, what aren’t we renovating right now!” They will think you are doing all sorts of stuff to your house when really you’re just doing clown plumbing. Am I right?

Tip #4: Work on your friends houses. Keep your ears open for opportunities to help friends out. They’ll think you’re a saint for helping, and you’ll learn what NOT to do on somebody else’s house. You might pick up a trick or two along the way, too.

Tip #5: You-Tube. Seriously. Just google any question you have and somebody else has had the same question and the answer is on You-Tube. Nothing can replace actual experience, but You-Tube comes pretty close.

Tip #6: Quit being a scaredy-cat and just try it. Really, if shit’s already broken, you can’t make it worse. Ok, sometimes you can, but you’ll have a good time trying. And really, I don’t know what condition your house is in, but in a lot of older houses (including our last house), even if our work turned out pretty mediocre, it was still better than what we started with. You might be in the same boat. So what if the finished product isn’t perfect? It ain’t perfect now either.

Next question! Long time reader David sends along the following question:

Recommendation for web design software or service?

Ah, designing a website? You’ve come to the wrong place. You must be an RSS reader and have never actually clicked through to the actual website or else you would know that I know nothing about web design. I think there is a program called DreamSlayer or something. If I had a question about web design, I would ask my friend @andyguzman, who designed this for me. Good luck with your project.

Ok readers,
Any More Questions?
Ask Me Anything!!!

Catching up on Questions

Huzzah! New questions in the inbox! Actually, I’ve gotten a number of questions over the past several months that I haven’t had a chance to answer yet. I feel a little bad about it, since I definitely do not want any of my dear readers to feel neglected. I LOVE getting questions, I’ve just been swamped with this garage project. However, now that it’s wrapping up, it’s time to catch up on questions.

First question comes from Andrew:

If the Mormon church did not launch the satellite then who do they subscribe from

It’s a pretty neat story, actually. Back in the late 1950’s, when the US government was trying to launch their first satellite, one of the biggest challenges they faced was funding. Traditional banks weren’t interested in the project, but turns out that this happened to be right when the Mormon Church was developing some deep pockets and were looking for areas to invest. Long story short, the Mormon Church proved to be a significant funding source for the first several US Satellite launches. In return, the US government agreed to make some portion of satellite capacity available for church use.  Don’t believe me? Look it up.

Next question was asked anonymously:

What did you do to stick the astroturf on the car?

This question is referring to this post where I shared this photo:

astroturf car

Bitchin’ Dude!

The answer is 28 gallons of maple syrup.

And another anonymous question:

I don’t work, so you get back to work, SLACKER

This is not a question, but thank you for the suggestion to improve my productivity. You have inspired me.

Finally, another anonymous question:

How do you know that its the Best Blog???

One time, I asked a friend if he read my blog. He said he didn’t know what a blog was, so I gave him the web address and told him to go read it. The next time I saw him he was like, “cool blog, bro.” That’s how I know.

I’ve got a couple more questions in the hopper, so sit tight if you haven’t seen an answer to yours yet.

Any More Questions?
Ask Me Anything!!!

A Few Questions

Huzzah! A few new questions in the inbox:

I’ve heard you reference playing a couple musical instruments here before. How many do you actually play? How many do you own? Are you in a band?

Buddy, I’m making music with my keyboard. That general sense of well-being you’re experiencing right now? That’s the chimerical miracle of my satirical lyrical genius (a.k.a ReubensCube). DEAL WITH IT.

Actually, my best instrument right now is the spoons. Seriously. I’m totally into spoons.

Other than that, It would be more accurate to say that I used to play musical instruments. I still own both a violin and some drums, but my skill level at both is disappointing, and don’t find too many opportunities to play anymore. Playing drums while the kid is sleeping doesn’t work out very well.

I’ve been in a few bands. Well, two really. One in high school called The Jarbers, which is one of my favorite memories ever from my teenage years. I also played drums in a group called Never*Mind (also here) for a bit back in 2004-2005. I got kicked out of Never*Mind because I thought our manager was both unnecessary and kind of a douche. No big deal, but I was disappointed since I really liked where that group was heading musically (though they seemed to have changed directions a bit since I left the group).

your kid is really cute. just how sure are you that you’re really the father?

Thanks, but I don’t really like your attitude. She is obviously mine, and that is very clear based only on the incredible amount of cheese she eats.

How do you solve a problem like Maria?

I can’t give any specifics here, but I can tell you this: it involves a blindfold, a half-dozen zip ties, some plastic wrap, and a hacksaw.

Any more questions?
Ask Me Anything!!!

How to Meet Non-Sexist Mormon Men

Huzzah! Another new question in the inbox! This one was anonymous. Here’s the question:

Do you have any tips on how to meet a non-sexist Mormon guy?

Hmm… well… Not really. Try the hallways during Sunday School. Or try wearing pants to church and see who still talks to you.

This question comes at a good time. Guess what, readers? Yours truly was accused of being sexist just this week on the internet. Hard to believe, right? I was reading a blog, left a comment, and a woman (whom I don’t know) indicated that I was sexist, and implied that I’m not really capable of recognizing sexism since I’m male, and am therefore the benefactor of sexism. I’ll spare you the details of the situation, but True Story.

Ok, for the record, I’m sure I’ve benefited from societal patriarchy in ways that I’m not aware of.

But here’s why I can’t really answer your question in a way that you’ll be satisfied with: I don’t really agree with the implication that most Mormon men are sexist – or at least more sexist than any other group of men you’ll find out there. Sure, Mormonism is an absolute patriarchy and teaches some strict gender roles, and this is a major issue that the church needs to deal with. But I don’t know that the institutional sexism that exists in the church necessarily means that most Mormon men are sexist, and especially not when compared with other groups of men.

Or maybe that’s just the patriarchy talking. Better try the pants thing.

What do you think, readers? What advice do you have for someone who is trying to find non-sexist men, either inside or outside of Mormonism?

Any More Questions?
Ask Me Anything!!!

Paid Guest Posts

Huzzah! New question in the inbox!

This question comes from Liz Becker, who is almost certainly a robot. However, since I have a long-standing policy of responding to all questions asked on ReubensCube if I feel like it, I think I should respond. Here’s the question:

I really like your blog. Please let me know if you would accept paid guest posts on reubenscube.net. If so, what are your guidelines?

Now, I don’t expect to hear back from Ms. Becker, since she is a robot. However, I imagine there are a few folks out there wondering how they can get themselves published on ReubensCube. Well, here’s the deal. For a small fee, I will allow you to publish 500-1000 words on ReubensCube.

Potential post titles include:

  • Why would one banana grab another banana?
  • A brownish area, with points
  • It’s never the ones you hope
  • I shall duck behind that little garbage car
  • Get rid of the Seaward

Any more questions?
Ask Me Anything!!!

Are Mormons Cheap?

Huzzah! A couple new questions in the inbox! Both are anonymous.

First question:

Can you find the postsecret with a picture of the SLC temple with the words “I am so afraid God is sexist” or something of that nature written across the front and post it? I saw it in a postsecret book confessions on life, death and God a few years ago. One of my favorite LDS postsecrets.

It sounds like a good secret. I don’t have the book, but if someone sends me a scan, I’d love to add it to the collection.

Second question:

What is your theory on why Mormons are so cheap?
-a sometimes cheap mormon

It’s because Mormons deeply believe in avoiding all forms of consumerist society.

eh, wait… no, that might not be it

It’s because they have so many babies.

No, for real, though. Are Mormons any cheaper than everyone else? I dunno. Maybe after they pay 10% of their money to the church as tithing they don’t have as much money left for discretionary spending as other people. Maybe they just look cheap because they never have bar tabs to pay. Or maybe it’s really the babies. Or maybe because a good portion are single-income families. Actually, I think there really is something to the anti-consumerism idea.

What do you think readers? Are Mormons cheap? If so, why?

Any More Questions?
Ask Me Anything!!!

Do You Like Pie

Huzzah! a couple of new questions in the inbox! Both of these were submitted anonymously, probably not by the same person. Here’s the first one:

DO YOU LIKE PIE

YES THEY ARE MY FAVORITE CHARTS, ALTHOUGH I THINK SCATTER IS A VERY FRIENDLY DATA PRESENTATION METHOD AS WELL. Remember one of my favorite pie charts from a few years ago?

I really liked your post about parenting guilt. How are you doing with that? Any hints for other new parents?

Sigh, I have no idea what I’m doing. I’m glad you liked the post. I haven’t made much progress here. I still worry about whether I’m giving her enough time, food, love, effort, etc. I’m positive I don’t read to her enough. I never brush her teeth (either of them). I worry that I’m rattling her brains in the box bike. Despite all this, I know that feeling guilty about any of this is not useful or productive, but it’s hard to not feel like I should be doing more.

She looks happy, though, right?

If I knew how to do an ASCII heart, I'd do it here.

As far as advice for other parents, try dangling them upside down. Kids love that.

dangling toddler

Any More Questions?
Ask Me Anything!!!