Circus Freak

299211_2505120667695_571058956_nHave you ever seen me balance something on my nose/face? I have no idea why I possess this skill, but what I tell people is that I went to school in Kansas…and there wasn’t a ton to do there. That might have played a role, but surely I was able to do this trick in high school…but the fact is, I can’t remember doing it back then (and I think that would have been a go-to for the attention-seeking teenager I was, don’t you think?).

In any event I can balance lots of things on my face. The longer the item the easier (so, it’s easier to balance a baseball bat than a drinking straw, for instance). I’ve done folding tables (with a near-disastrous outcome once), student desks, chairs, a crazy-long (25+ foot) piece of PVC pipe, sticks, branches, poster boards…you name it. It’s a pretty good party trick, but elevates to an art form in front of an assembly-sized audience.

Side note: I also have the ability to balance all these objects from my hand, my elbow, my knee, or my foot. Weird, huh.


Some of you may be aware of the now-retired infamous “quarter trick”. I can shove a quarter up one nostril and make it disappear from view (so that if you look up my nose, you see nothing). Then, I make a big production about shoving a quarter up the other nostril. Then, with a fair amount of (totally unnecessary) snorting and hacking, pretend that I’m moving the quarter (via my septum?) to the side where I have the original quarter stashed. I blow my nose with that nostril visible, and the hidden quarter pops out halfway. I then pull it out the rest of the way, place it in my mouth for cleaning, and offer it to the crowd.

It always blows the crowd away (they’re grossed-out, but fascinated). I performed the trick once as a chaperone at a Grad Night at Disneyland to the in-line crowd of hundreds (on the outdoor plaza for the line before it enters the hallways to go down to the entrance). It slayed. It was, at the time, one of the proudest moments of my life. I retired the trick at the request/suggestion of my wife. I do think it has helped my reputation. And, since I know Renee Newlove is one of the very few people actually reading this, I feel safe recounting the story/trick here.

Circus Freak


I’ve always loved words. My current bathroom reading, for instance, is a dictionary of word origins. I’m reading it word for word. I try to read it regularly.

I forget when I learned the word floccinaucinihilipilification. But it stuck. It’s the longest non-scientific word in the English language. Which, of course, begs the question:

Pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis…that’s what.

Floccinaucinihilipilification is the act of determining something to be useless.

Pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis is a coal miner’s lung disease.

pneumono – related to the lungs

ultramicroscopic – really small

silico – dust

volcano – volcanic

coniosis – related to inflammation (also pulled from the pre-existing and more common pneumonoconiosis)

I was a bit flummoxed to learn tonight that my pronunciation of both of these words was slightly off. I’m giving myself grace, though, because the “push-this-button-to-hear-the-word-pronounced-correctly” button didn’t exist in my adolescence.



Face Swap

It’s #SillySaturday! So here’s a couple of Face Swaps in my family.

My 9-year-old Eden and me
Moral of the story: maybe I should shave my head!
My mother-in-law’s face with my hair looks like a televangelist.
The happy couple. This WAS one of my favorites of us. Now it’s ruined.