Thursday, December 4, 2008

A Christmas Story


Christmas has many traditions; some good like eggnog. Some not so good like a months torture listening to Celine Dion's Christmas album, saying no to every one that invites us to visit for Christmas or working 6 0r 7 work weeks. (whine,whine, whine) Wifey and I never making it to Christmas before giving each other our gifts (I got one today.)
This year, I started something new. I am collecting a little village. See if you recognize it.






I found these at Sears last year. There are classic movies like It's a Wonderful Life or Charlie Brown's Christmas but for me this is "The" classic. It has so many great things about a boy's life. Dealing with a bully, an overprotective mom, and a Dad's ill communications and those horrible gifts from the aunts. It is Monkey-boy's request that the maker of the village make a figurine with Ralphie in the bunny suit. I just tivo'd A Christmas Story and I can't wait to watch it with the boys.

Deck the halls with braws of rarwry. Far ra ra ra rawwh - ra ra ra rawwh!!!!!

I guess the idea is Merry Christmas. I hope you get to enjoy what ever it is that makes your holidays perfect.

Monday, December 1, 2008

I wish there was a blog when I was young

Although I have to say up front that I do agree with the idea that our children put too much of themselves out there for others to see through all of the avenues available now, (facebook, myspace, blogs) I do have to admit that I might have enjoyed knowing a little more about those I have never gotten to know and those I could have used the upper hand in knowing.
Perhaps there was a kid in high school that was in love with Robotech like I was in 5th grade. I might have found some great friends who liked to play baseball ALL day long or ride bikes around the school campuses. Maybe I could have found out a little more about my teachers. I always tried to find out their political party in high school, or if they were card carrying members of the WWF (Ohhh, now that is a blog I need to share one day, wrong WWF though) or the ACLU. Perhaps I could have figured out that Johnny in 7th grade knew a little Kar-ra-teh and save my good friend Keith from that butt whoopen he took, but most of all I wish I had it for the fathers of the girls I dated.
I dated a girl whoes father I only met once. Have you ever seen one of the houses where the dad has the hunting trophies all over the wall? (if you haven't, visit Monroe Utah, they have a few there) Well this guy was that way except there where no carcuses, just hats. He must have had 100 hats on the wall. I don't know if he got up in the morning and decided which hat to wear with his outfit or which outfit to wear with his hat. If he had a blog, I might have known.
When I date Alli, I would have shown up playing MoTab. Just Kidding, but I might have thrown my guitar in the passanger seat and played my Bob Dylan tape loud enough for him to hear it, or better yet some Doctor Demento or Wierd Al.
Meeting my father in law through his blog would have told me how to work for a bank and only work 12 days a year, golf for free 350 days and still some sucker corporation to pay him for 365. Wisdom lost. I would have at least gone out and learned how to hit a golf ball. Shanking a ball all day would have given me a better chance of respect than swinging twenty times each time before I finally hit the ball. I single handedly backed up the course at the teeing off spot on just the first hole. Good thing it was a nuetral golf course and not his home course. Maybe that is the reason he wore such a wide rim on his hat. I would have found some book of good old stories to tell. Perhaps a few tall tales? Paul Bunyon and Babe? Not professed for my dislike for BYU so much so soon. Definitly could have prevented some mistakes there.
But alas, I didn't. I do however recognize that my future daughters-in-law have a unfair advantage. They have a blog. Perhaps I will be lucky enought that my boys will be too embarassed to let them know what it is. Perhaps reading will be a thing of the past by that time and since the blog is not an audio file, they won't visit. But most likely they will. They will know all the things they need to know to soften me up. They would know that I would really be impressed if a said young lady showed up with a pint of Ben & Jerrys Cherry Garcia and a 20 oz. bottle of Hawaiin Punch to go with it, or showed up and professed to thier love of the Lakers especially vintage 80's Laker teams. Maybe one of them will get a job at the local theater and invite my son and me to watch the new release. I could possibly be bribed to let the boys date at 15 1/2 for that one, it would be a group date right?
So yes, I give a lot of myself away to my online audience, I do set myself up to be vonurable, but if these young ladies are smart they would tell me some embarassing stories about their father and we could do it over a couple of pints. . . of ice cream.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Senior Stud




Alright ladies. . . control yourselves. (Thanks to Elena for saving these pictures.) These are the only pictures I have and they are scanned. On the left I was a Junior. On the right, I was a Senior.
Thanks for suggesting this Wifey.
As for clothes, my favorites were shorts and a simple tee. In the late 80's I loved I.O.U. sweaters and Billabong clothing wich I still wear today. ooh, and I had a hard time giving up the roll on those jeans.


Ginky Rocks

After seeing Scotty's air guitar, I figured I had to show Ginky's Jam. He has had an addiction to guitar ever since we got guitar hero. Sorry about the low grade, it was shot from my phone.

So here's to you Scotty. . .


video

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Baseball Dad

It's October and the weather is changing. The evenings have a chill that feels good when inhalled deeply. My sandals wearing days are starting to dwindle. It is also playoff time. Lucky for me my team is still in it. (Not by much,down 3-1.) I have always wanted to live in a city that has a baseball team so I could buy a group of game tickets. 3 wonderful hours spent out with my boys. Three hours filled with 30 minutes of action. My math tells me that is 150 minutes I can spend with my boys discussing life, our team, girls, Mom, politics. . .you get the point. That to me is the real beauty of baseball, the down time.

There are many life lessons in baseball. Since my writing is often fragmented and filled with other issues that would make my 4th grade teacher shake her head, I elected to Google the topic and found a great article. It is kind of long but for those of you that enjoy the game and the analogy, it is rewarding.


Before you read it, I have to give you my one idea. It is always game time. You never know when you are going to be pulled up out of the bull pen. But when the calling comes, you go, you always go, and you give it all you've got until you win the game or the coach pulls you out because you just don't have the stuff.


This is just for fun, please don't comment about my fatherhood skills, the games still early, it is only the 3rd inning, and it could easily go extra innings.


Ground Rules for Dads



I’d had a bad Dad day. No need to gnaw details. Let’s leave it at this: By the time I had fled to the den for the sanctuary of Mets–Phillies, I not only regretted ever having children, but wondered how my once promising life had come to this dark place. As usual, baseball was balm.

The instant I heard the familiar announcer voices, I felt the pressure in my carotids easing down. After just a few moments of balls and strikes, I actually had a tender thought about my wretched kids. As the game ambled on, my anger evolved into introspection. How, I despaired in uncharacteristic self-critique, had I managed to learn so little about fatherhood? After 15 years, I made the same rookie mistakes three or four times a week. Then, just as the game climaxed, including a happy result for the home team, everything about fatherhood was perfectly clear: Baseball was the answer. Since that night, these wisdoms have helped me have much better at-bats as Dad.

Just hit the center of the ball. Ever since Ruth invented the home run, the idea of it has been nestled in the male psyche. Sure, we have a grudging admiration for the high-average Gwynns and Ichiros, but most guys aspire to hit those moon shots into the October night. And that hyperbolic taste for the big blow seeps into our fatherhood ambitions. We long to be heroic figures in our kids’ lives, and so we often overswing, thwarting the ­technique that always trumps thump. I share a regret I’ve heard from several fathers, a sense of having been too big a presence, of having intruded into moments when the kids might have learned more had Dad been a little smaller, a little less.

Consider Derek Jeter, who until 2005 had the most at-bats of any active player without hitting a grand slam. When asked about the stat, the Yankee captain averred that he was actually a little proud, because when he came up with the bases juiced, he reminded himself not to hit a home run. The temptation to be The Man, to muscle up, can wreck your rhythm, went his thinking, and his goal was just to hit the center of the ball with the center of the bat. If a dad has the discipline to stay modest and stick to fundamentals, guess what happens? Not only will his kids find their way out of his shadow, but every now and then the old man will surprise them with a moon shot into the night.

Let the kid have his ups. When some pint-size third-grade sociopath is taunting your boy, your instincts are to (1) deploy the 82nd Airborne, (2) explore legal remedies against the school district, and (3) challenge the dad of said thug to a throw down. Wrong. Send your son into the game. Offer a word of encouragement and a few tips for defusing the situation, and see if he doesn’t work his own way out of the jam. Too often, I made the mistake of trying to fix everything, and I ended up ­disrespecting my kids’ power in the world, denying their 11-year-old realities with what I imagined was my wiser view.

Take the out at first. A baseball team gets into trouble when it forgets a fundamental truth of the game: Baseball favors the defense. Fly balls tend to be caught, grounders tend to find the shortstop’s glove, even belt-high fastballs turn into easy chances for the left fielder far more often than they become homers. Things get sticky when a rookie pitcher panics and tries for the force at third, and suddenly, what could have been a manageable second-and-third-one-down situation is now, yikes, a bases-loaded-nobody-out mess. The dad analog is this: Just as baseball is inclined toward outs, kids are inclined toward their families. Even in adolescence, when they seem to value only eye rolling and contempt, I’m telling you, underneath the surging hormones, your kids want to be part of your tribe. Remember that inclination when the call comes from the principal’s office, and subdue the adrenal, confrontational impulses that are the default for so many men. Try a gentler response that trusts the child’s attachment. To be sure, there will be times when tough love is the only kind that is useful. But you’re playing with the lead. So nobody is going to be kicked out of the house—not tonight anyway. The morning is always calmer. Think damage control. Love wants to find a way. Behind your anger, reassert the bonds—a dinner together at home or at the local pizza place, a DVD. An affectionate shoulder squeeze can actually go with a stern reproach.

Aim for a .300 average. In A League of Their Own, a movie about the women’s professional baseball league during World War II, one player whimpers that “It’s too hard” and threatens to quit. To which the grizzled manager replies in stupefaction: “Too hard? The hard is what makes it great!” Baseball is about coping with failure. The best batters fail two-thirds of the time. Knowledge of this fact could come in handy for a kid who thinks failure is abject and that he’s the only one who screws up. So, Dad, feel free to admit how inept you were as a child—at whatever. Your kid thinks you’re cooler than he is, and you know you’re not. You may be more useful to him down on the ground than up on that pedestal.

Remember, it’s a long season. Baseball is ruthless and generous. Few spotlights are harsher than the batter’s box with the game on the line in the eighth. Strike out with the tying run on third and you’re alone at center stage with 43,000 witnesses to your incompetence. But suddenly the batting order has turned over, and the batter is digging in again in the ninth with an opportunity for redemption. Parenthood indicts you and forgives you too. Sure, three hours ago you were careless with a brokenhearted 12-year-old or you treated Mom with less respect than she deserves. But there’s another game tomorrow or even later today. From this moment forward, you can be a wonderful father. Seize the opportunity of this at-bat, right now.

As much as I have cherished the wisdoms gleaned from spending 20 percent of my life watching base­ball, I’ve savored the tranquilities of playing the game even more. On many evenings in my life as Dad, the only thing I wanted to do was crack open a (root-beer), sit down, and chat with my wife. Or even better, sit down, crack open a (root-beer), and be quiet. But I didn’t. Instead, driven by obligation or guilt or some yuppie sense that my children are entitled to the last erg of energy in my tank, I went outside and played ball with the kids. And every time, the gentle rocking of pitch and catch calmed the clatter in my mind. It was as if my autonomic nervous system, that web of unconscious impulses that manages my heartbeat and breath, muffled the part of my brain that worries about roads not taken, about should-haves and better-nots, about anything other than pretending to fall down just before I could tag a giggling child. Baseball with my kids commended me to what Thoreau called “the gospel according to this moment.” A man couldn’t ask for a ­better pastime.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

My Presidental cabinet

So I think I am going to start a write in campaign. . .for myself. If I win, here is what I purpose.

1. flat tax. abolish the code. a % across the board. Period, no deductions for kids, no deductions for charity, or write offs or bad investments. Nothing. If it's not enough raise it till we get it right.
2. Discuss socializing medicine. My little family with just one sick child spends over 10% of our income for medicine.
3. Double teachers salaries but hold them accountable and make the school year longer by 30 days!
4. Kill earmarks. A bill is a bill, in the old I'm just a bill song, you never saw little tiny bills running around singing chorus. Sorry congress, you are going to have to work a little more. Sessions in order.
5. No unilateral movements into other countries. What if all let California and New York make all the decisions. If we can't get France, Russia, Germany, Japan and China to agree, stay out. I would actually listen to the U.N.
6. I would invest in energy, clean energy. I would give 5 million start up funds to small companies to create new methods to get energy.


So those are my ideas. I also thought of some people to fill key cabinet positions.

1. Secretary of state- Nana. If other states don't behave, she won't use weapons that will kill them, she will just give them the "look." They will cower, you watch.
2. Secretary of Education- Michal. She will kill all the nonsense that keeps our schools from performing. I also have no doubt that she will let parents know when they are failing.
3. Secretary of finance. Alli. I have never met someone who is as frugal with their money. She could teach the Street a thing or two about proper investment.
4. Supreme Court appointments- Scott- he has proven to be level headed and just in his judgement. (judgement in College football teams excluded)
5. Homeland security- Dan. He doesn't trust anybody anyway.
6. Press Secretary- Grandpa Dibb- Somehow all conversations will turn to three topics, his cars, his golf game, and his childhood stories. (he would also be my special liaison with the auto industry, since he is their best customer, he can probably tell them a few things)
7. Ambassadors- My wife and her two sisters. At least I know the other countries will be communicated with daily via blogs, facebook and phone.
8. Vice President- This one was tough, but I think it would be Tara. Half the time her ideas are crazy, half the time they are right. I run about the same and since we disagree on everything, we will either be right 100% of the time or 100% wrong.

So Letterman, Leno, View girls, that octogenarian with the suspenders and the power grid behind him- let's get to the interviews. I promise I will leave you with some good soundbites!!!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Election 2008 and finacial crisis

Dear Boys, (all others, go visit the wife's blog-much less boring)

(my mood- good, background music- Waiting for the night to fall- Depeche Mode From the Album Violator)

In 7Th grade I found I liked history. It was sparked by a teacher who presented the Civil War in a way that I found fascinating. It was one of the rare times when I aced a subject. I remember that I got the highest score of all the students in all of the classes, I don't think I can say that happened too many other times.

At the time I lived with my Grandpa who was dying of Diabetes and the family favorite, alcohol. He used to sit and watch documentaries about wars and he served in WWII. I would pick his brain about all kinds of things. I have always wondered what it was like to live at points in time and through him, I could sometimes get a glimpse.

So with that thought in mind, I start a set of blogs on current events. I want you to know what "we" thought at the time of the event. I want you to have more than the one paragraph that we got in the history books to cover an event like the shooting of President Regan.

2008 has been a strange year. I remember telling Mom that we were headed for trouble on January 2ND because it seemed like all the fortune tellers on the business channels were creating a sense of self-fulfilling prophecy of doom. All you could hear was the housing market was going to crash this year. . .either those guys are genius, or they created their own mess. Naysayers have more power than you can ever imagine.

Our economy was already skidding. Our family watched our transportation costs go from $30.00 fill-ups to $80.00 and our part of the nation is cheap comparatively. Milk is now even more expensive than gas. It is $4.00. Those increased costs are just a small example of the inflation that we are experiencing right now. Most of that inflation is hidden since on the flip side, housing is going down so we don't hear much about inflation. Luckily again in our part of the country housing is under control is still seeing an increase. Forbes magazine recently ranked us as the #1 recession proof city in the nation. (we have a little bit of oil around here and housing costs are good)

My sector of work is in decline as demand for big ticket items is declining due to the lack of disposable income. We are looking at about a 10% decrease this year if we have a good year. It will all be about these next few months.

As a family, we are struggling. Cars need replacing and debt continues to increase. Extras are decreasing. I need you to know though, that we are the rich of the Earth. Keep that in mind, we have so much that others don't have. We are also in a better spot than many of our fellow Americans especially considering we live off of a single income.

So this brings me to the 2nd biggest story of the year, the elections. Aaahh the elections. I can't tell you how many great arguments (meant in the positive meaning of the word) I have had with great friends over politics. This year has been different. I feel like I am the only one that wonders what it is that these guys have that make them candidates for President. I have not seen these guys offer any options as to how they will change it anything, even though they all love the phrase. I want someone who is going to change things for real. I mean I want a flat tax for people and a flat tax for corporations. (I am OK with the flat tax for corporations being changed to be competitive)

I don't see things like this being done. I don't see real "arguments" taking place. Take the gloves off guys, but do it about policies not how many homes you have and who wears lipstick, human or otherwise.

One of the most frustrating things for me is the choice of McCain's running mate. I feel like I am the only one who sees her as a last chance grab by a losing party to make things different. She is a woman and I understand that it would be smart to go for a woman and try and get some of those votes. I think a woman could do just as good of a job if not better than the male. I just don't think this lady has it. One of my concerns with McCain is he is not that young. He has years of wisdom and has had many experiences that would make him valuable, but now that he has put an inexperienced women on the ticket, I worry she might have to take his spot before the term is over. I think the only experience Palin has with "foreign" policy is the lower 49 states. I could be wrong, but we vote on what we know.

Obama. Yikes. The guy is slick. I have a friend who believes he is the anti-Christ. He comes out of basically no where. Goes to Africa a few years back and gets huge national coverage for it. He is a press-magnet. Except for conservative talk show hosts, the press doesn't seem to say anything negative about him. His policies are vague. I think Biden was a good choice for him and draws me closer to even contemplating to vote for him.

It used to be that I voted for people based on their stands on moral issues. Some are still really important to me. I don't agree with Gay Marriage. I am religious, I believe in God and in God's laws and that goes against them, there is nothing else to it. I don't agree with the law not allowing them to share insurance as long as they show some sort of Union, like the rest of us. Marriage is a religious word and as such should be left that way. It is not personal. My friends who are gay know where I stand, they know I love them as people and we just agree to disagree on this issue.

I don't want these issues to be resolved by the Federal government. I want the states to solve this. If all the religious want to live in the mid-west and live their ideals, let them. If the populous states want to allow it, let them. If I don't agree, I can move and visa-versa.
That is my real concern. The government should worry about the things that affect the whole union. Health care, education (double what teachers make!! BUT hold them to the same level I get held to at work, perform or get out!!)

It has taken me a couple of days to finish this blog. Since I started the government has suggested a bail out of nearly 700 Billion dollars for the financial sector. I disagree strongly. I didn't see these sectors handing out money to tax payers when they were doing well. I think this should be about the homeowners. Yes many of them bought way outside their spending. (I don't live in Oklahoma because it is my dream, I live here because I can afford to.) The rest of the world is looking at the U.S like we are idiots. We preach a free capitalist economy until we screw it up. Then we let the rich off and charge it to the poor.
All right, all right, you get the point. I hope you read this text and we as a nation made the right choice. You be the judge.
Love, Dad

Monday, August 18, 2008

3 Boys and a ?

Now that have all of the lady fans of the Deanery's attention, let me say sorry, no pregnancy announcement here. The Union and the Company have not come to terms yet and there seems to be no sense of urgency in resolving the issues. (seeking intervention from the Government)
However since there was such a negative response about my "compliments" in not having girls I stand (actually I am sitting) before you today to defend myself.
Now first let me explain that I would not be able to present a case strong enough to win a jury of all women, at least not strong enough to get a conviction.
My case: a girl doesn't fit.
  • A girl doesn't fit in the existing baby clothes we have.
  • A girl doesn't fit in our dark colored car seat, blue stroller.
  • A girl doesn't fit our targeted audience of Transformer and Hotwheel loving movie watchers.
  • A girl doesn't fit our 3 bedroom house that has one room dedicated to the habits of our already demanding female, and another to the girl's would be brothers.
  • A girl doesn't fit Mama's call of "com'on boys."
  • A girl doesn't fit in a boy's peed on toilet seat that is probably up anyway.
  • A girl doesn't fit at a table with three boys who eat spaghetti with their fingers.
  • A girl doesn't fit in our non-screaming, punching family. (Don't get me wrong, we have whining, just not much screaming.)

OK, so you get the idea. It isn't that I am opposed to having a girl, I am opposed to having to get a bigger house to maintain a balanced life where the inmates are not overcrowded and the warden is happy with her prison system. I am opposed to buying all the girls clothes that are needed to make her "cute." I like have a queen and not worrying about a princess. Lastly, I remember in high school my friends used to say I was whooped, and there is no doubt that I would be whooped, I don't want to give them that chance to break out their imaginary whips and crack them again.

The Deanery rests it's case.

Friday, August 15, 2008

I'm Obnoxious and other complaints and compliments

I am annoying. I never take anything seriously. There is always a joke, something that shouldn't be said that is probably running through my head. Common sense has a better chance at beating Michael Phelps in the butterfly than prevailing in my head.
Not only do I use sarcasm, but I use sarcasm about my sarcasm. I'm funny.
I drive my wife crazy, I don't know how she deals with me, it would wear me out.
My oldest is turning into me, try having a straight conversation with him.
Mariah Carey is still in love with me after all these years, you might be fooled by her marriage, but I know it's all to make me jealous.
I can't dance, play music with any quality or speak well.
Every time I read, I fall asleep, and that is not just the scriptures.
I like Mt. Dew. I like Mt. Dew alot.
I can't spell.
I like bad movies- current shames- Step Up 2 and Don't back down.
I don't get to spend Saturday's with my boys.
I don't get to spend Sunday's with my boys.
I can't solve every one's problems.
Nana's house is up for sale and I can't afford to buy it.
I like rap music.
I am not a perfectionist. I could make my blogs so much better if I was willing to put the time in. I don't even proofread them. (obviously)
no patience
I don't like to plan.
I don't serve my God enough!
I am not the perfect father.
I am not smarter than you.

On the other hand, I do have some good qualities.
I don't have an exorbitant amount of friends, but if you are my friend good luck not being my friend later. I am like a good lost dog.
I care about people and their beliefs and views.
I still don't like Country Music in general. (you have to respect Lyle Lovett and Cash)
I think about my friends all the time.
I try to be the perfect father.
I can make people laugh even if sometimes it has to be at me.
I surround myself with people who are better than me so I can learn from them.
I married up.
I don't have any girls.
Mariah Carey still loves me and Celine Dion has no idea I am alive.
I know I can't be perfect, and understand that I need others.
I have 3 very different boys who make me laugh, cry, and work harder at work and church.
I am spontaneous and energetic.
I love when others achieve their dreams.
I love my wife and understand her eternal value in our relationship and my life.
I am not dumber than you- I believe everyone is brilliant about something, just got get the conversation on the right course.
I love to watch the British Parliament more than Congress. here here!
I want you to be happy, more than I want me to be happy.
I am blessed with great family and friends who deal with complaints and let me believe the compliments.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Don't Tell My Wife




Last night it rained and since the ground was damp I took a quick opportunity to kill some weeds. I used a metal rake and loosened all the dirt.
This morning I walked out to the car to get something and saw this. (see picture below)








Looks like we have a snake! I know my wife, she will think it is a rattlesnake or something crazy so, I took a picture with the measurement to see how big this snake must be. . .



Looks like it is about an inch. I guess the boys will need to listen to me and wear shoes when they go out. . .


good thing my boys are graced with their fathers head. . .


no snake can unlock his jaws that much! If snakes take over the world, we are Darwin's next species.




Sunday, August 3, 2008

In-N-Out

Yes I know that this picture was posted on my wife's blog. Yes, I understand you don't get it, let me explain it to you.


In-N-Out is not only the best hamburgers for the dollar, it is a place for great memories. I can remember many a time hanging out with two of my best friends, Dan and Tim. We would hop in either their escort or if for some reason my Mustang actually worked, we would ride in it. We would head over and for about $5.00 we would order a 4x4 wild style, fries and in my case, a strawberry shake. We would sit around and shoot the breeze. Nothing particular, just whatever. Dan and I usually would strike up some kind of random conversation. It used to be he and I trying to talk Tim into whatever scheme we were concocting that night. As time went on and I became L.D.S. the tables turned a little, I became the invited rather than the inviter. Dan and I were persuasive together, and stubborn against one another, but we agree on In-N-Out.


When I go home, (still won't give up the idea that I am a Californian) we eat there. I was lucky enough to get to go in Vegas, and now visiting my in-laws in St. George won't be so bad since they have one too.


I believe the conversion of my wife to hamburgers from only chicken took place in an In-N-Out in Barstow. I was on vacation with her family and she whined that we couldn't go there. Luckily for her and our relationship she still liked me enough to do something I wanted. Now I am glad to say, she enjoys an In-N-Out just as much as the rest of us.


I guess to wrap it up, In-N-Out for you tastes just like a hamburger, for me it is a memory stirring, mouth watering piece of perfection.


My only request to In-N-Out, as a poor starved man, is that they stop selling the shirts! Every now and then a person comes walking a long with one on. My stomach screams every time, "Why do you love her more than me?" Of course it speaks of my wife, who insists that we not move to California and live like all the rest of the Californians who can't afford the house they live in, at least not for a hamburger.


P.S. I sometimes think I should cut off little Scotty from visiting rights to the cool cousins when he sends me his smug little face on a postcard to celebrate MY birthday. Good thing for him he has an In-N-Out down the street, probably with a view of the beach.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

NPR nerd

One night while I was on a mission I was listening to someones Walkman, (predecessor to the Ipod, kiddos) I was listening to KBYU which played classical music. I loved classical music as a missionary it was so much better to me than any other kind of "inspirational" music. I had fallen asleep with the headphones on. Way into the middle of the missionary night at 11 P.M. I was awakened by someone talking, I was not cognisant enough to know what it was right off the bat. I listened and heard about a battle in some far off land, I didn't know what I had found, but I was in love. Of course since it was my mission, I knew it was something I would have to find when I got home.

I did, it was National Public Radio. It is so diverse and different than any other news program. I am so addicted that when it comes to leaving for work I know it will take 25 minutes to get there, but I know that if I leave that late I will miss the headlines, so I leave 5 minutes earlier. I also catch myself in "driveway moments" which are times when I have arrived at my destination and should be getting out of my car to enter my destination, but instead I am in my car listening to the end of the story.

As if listening to the news wasn't nerdy enough, I listen to shows like You Bet Your Garden, The Splendid Table, and Calling All Pets. (for the record, I hate gardening, don't do much cooking and am allergic to most pets, or at least that is the reason my wife says I can't have them when I ask for them.) Listening to them makes me think about other people who would like the show and I think I need to store this info until I can dump the info into their heads. I can't even listen to all of Car Talk without calling my father in-law. If you talk to me once a week, you usually hear, "I heard this story on NPR. . ." My favorite show besides the news is Fresh Air. They have interviews with actors, producers, singers and song writers.

I also laugh because it must be fair reporting because I get people on the Right who tell me, "I can't believe you listen to that liberal junk" and yet others who say, "I can't believe you listen to that Right-winged junk."

As if NPR knew I was writing this blog this morning they put an article on this morning on my way to work this morning they had two great articles, very diverse in subject and nature. Please follow the links and listen in. . .

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=93218205


http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=93184407


I don't know about you, but how can you not enjoy these, the visual created in my mind of Nana or Grandma Dibb buttoning with one hand and unbuttoning with another, the other of Tyler, Evan, Martin and Stu all laughing with me about this poor man's name like it was something off David Letterman or the Simpson's.
No matter what, I am a confessed NPR nerd.
To end, I leave you yet another great item I found today, the song of the day. It is about one's memories and goes well with the memory telling theme of my blog.

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=93168927

Monday, June 23, 2008

My Proxy

I have not posted in a long time. Exuses are out there, but mostly just because I chose watching a movie instead of writing. Here is an unfinished blog that I found in my drafts that I think is fine to post to get me up and going again.

I live a fairly mundane life. I don't love my job, it is just a job not a dream. So every now and then when I am bored I think of you my proxies.



When I want to surf- Ty and Stu

When I want to have a meaninful conversation with someone who not only has to listen but paid to listen- Scooter

When I want to get lost in the city and then go and have a debate with my fellow thinkers, followed by a night booing the Yankees and then . . .- Evan

When I pretend I am doing the job I really want to do- Drew. (congrats again on the movie(s)deal.)

When I want to feel like I have it all under control- Michal

When I want to learn about our history or strike out artistic- Tara

When I feel loyal to something- Tim

When I want to be witty and loyal- Liz

When I want to be that guy who suffers through every lousy game my sucky basketball and baseball team plays but is cool and confident about himself enough to admit he still likes them and gets whooped by a 2 year old every night-"The Walker"

When I want to imagine that I am married to someone who would not only let me have one decent car with air conditioning, but over 100!- G'ma

When I want to pretend I have the best brother-in-law - Emily and Kimberlie

Now I know why I have adult ADD, you guys give me lots to think about, but in the end my luckiest proxy is- Wifey.

Friday, June 13, 2008

All Hail Breaks Loose

One of the best things about where I live is the climatic weather. You never know what the day is going to bring. When I checked the weather tonight before settling in for the nightly movie, the weatherman (who by the way is a celebrity around here) said there was little chance for storms in our area. About an hour ago I started to see lightening. Then I heard an unusual sound off in the distance. . .I listened closer and thought it sounded like heavier rain than usual. Then I heard a heavy thump on the roof. Pretty soon we were under fire. I figured my van would be a golf ball in the morning, with lots of dimples from the large hail. I decided to head outside to collect some of the larger pieces of hail but had to protect myself with my scooter helmet. My wife thinks that the photo of me in my helmet looks like I escaped from a mental hospital.




Saturday, May 17, 2008

My warranty is expired

I have never been the guy who was really in shape. I had some times when I was really skinny, and a few times when I might have seen a little muscle mass, very little. Today I present my case that I am now expiring.

I looked online in a few places and found that the average white male is expected to live to his 70's. I looked at the expectancy of a white male from my birth year and it was 69. So I think mathamatically my theory is sound.

Some of you are no good with math, but prefer biology. Here are some facts. My hands are wrinkled, I have enough back hair to weave a small handtowl and I just bought a pair of pants and had to move up to size 36 to wear them loose like I like. If I stand up straight and look down, I can't see my feet anymore. Worse yet, my wife told me I was going bald this year. Of course she said it while laughing. Unfortunatly, my hair line is rising faster than the global warming seas, help me Al Gore!

If you prefer poli-sci. I don't like any of the canidates. I think they are all full of it. I am cynical of their false promises of better tomorrows and their unwillingness to pledge any real change or trually face our true issues. (education, health care, and a debt that I don't understand how we can ever repay. If we were a corporation, China might have the ability to have a hostile takeover.)

Sports fans. I get winded in the first game of basketball when I play. I hurt my knees last year in basketball and broke my foot and Shaq is younger than me and people think he should retire.

Lawyer's- most contracts for cars expire at 35 thousand miles, if you equate that to years, I am about there.

Doctor's- I am soft in the middle, eat more ice cream than is healthy, and the only bike I ride is a Vespa.

Psycologists- I do more "remembering when" then I do "dreaming".

Mormons- I am a High Priest.

Marketing and pollsters: this is my last year in the coveted 35 and under group.

So you get my point, I am peaking, plateuing, I am John Travolta during the 80's, pre-Pulp Fiction.

The good news is I can still stay up till midnight, I just need a nap the next day!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Happy Mother's Day part III


Have you ever heard one of those stories where a mother cow raises a pig? That is a good example of my next tribute. Rhonda.
I met Rhonda while dating her daugher. I never was one to fear girlfriend's parents and perhaps I was too dumb not to fear this one, but I knew to respect her quickly. Upon first meeting her and her husband, I could see he was the fun loving daughter's daddy and she was the one who would quickly put me in my place if I did not treat her daughter correctly.
The daughter went off to college and Rhonda took it upon herself to make sure that I did not become a slacker in my church going. She had great boys who were still at home in high school that I got along with very well, so she invited me to come over on Sundays, again, probably to make sure I behaved myself.
She didn't become a mother to me right away. It wasn't until my mission and I started to look forward to her letters like a missionary does his own mother's. Before that and looking back, I can see how she influenced the path of my life early on.
I was done with high school and not feeling like I could afford college I decided to join the Air Force. I took the ASVAB and I let Rhonda know and she talked me out of it, and convinced me that a mission was the right thing to do.
Now if you have not had the privlege of meeting this wonderful women let me just say, she has her own way of convincing people to do things. A lot of times you might walk away thinking it was your own idea, she is that good. Other times, she makes it clear, very clear that your idea is wrong.
Well not to long later, Rhonda would be the one to put me on the plane to the MTC, a day that solified my Mormonism, but before that she went to the temple with me to baptise my father. She walked me through my church infancy and put me on the straight and narrow. She bought me all my suits for my mission and basically everything else.
She is also one of the keys to my conversion. After the tragic lose of her husband by someone elses hands, I showed her my anger and let her know that I hope the person responsible had to pay. She told me that she was not worried, she had a testimony of God and knew he would take care of the appropriate judgement.
After my mission, she kept me straight again, helping me see the light in a strange relationship that I was blind too.
She always walks a fine line. She never really asserts herself into my life as so much as she allows me to use her for a source of wisdom. I am sure there are many times she really wanted to let me know how she feels, but she held back.
Let me give you an example of the moxy this lady has. Although she would probably prefer I don't share this memory with you, but if you know any of the rest of the family you will all know exactly what I am talking about. We were going through the drive through of In-N-Out one day and the person's voice who was taking the order kept cutting out. I don't know what made her do it but she talked back the same way, covering her mouth a few times when she gave her order. I hardly go through a drive through without at least smiling about that day.
I have a testimony that God knows what we can handle. I don't think that there was ever a doubt that Rhonda could handle the loss of her husband and still be able to raise 6+1 children.
I know that her daughter posted a blog about her, but I have chosen not to read it yet because she like her mother is witty and smart and I would feel like I couldn't post this, but my wife best sums it up when she commented in that blog, "I am grateful to her for putting the finishing touches on the raising of my husband."
Every now and then you get asked to name a hero, for me it is easy, it's Rhonda. You are a solid foundation from which so many of us where able to learn and grow, I thank you for taking in the man child and making sure he became a man and more importantly a son of God.
Happy Mother's Day.

Mother's Day Part II


As I mentioned in my last blog, I was a ward of state almost 6 years starting just before kindergarten and lasting through 4th grade. I was fortunate enough to spend most of those years with the Perez family.
This Mother's day entry is about my foster mom, Concha. Concha is one of the most dedicated people I have ever met. She was the classic house wife. She rose before the sun did to make a real breakfast and packed a lunch for her husband and when I woke up at 6 there was always some breakfast on the table.
After her husband left at 6, she went straight to work. She went straight to laundry and getting dressed for the day. By the time I needed to go school, she had the house all clean and was ready to walk me to school.
She had only one vice, As The World Turns. If it was on, and I was home that meant only one thing, nap time. I think if I lived there now, it would still be the same.
Concha could cook. She would cook Mexican food like no other, from making tortillas from scratch to make tamales and Menudo. My mouth waters as I type this now. . .mmmmmmm!
Concha was all about devotion. She was devoted to her family. I don't know if she ever argued with her husband, or if she did it in Spanish and I didn't understand it. The little Spanish I know is from her, mostly endearing terms like meho. Sometimes not so endearing terms, the one that sticks out in my mind all the time which is guchino, meaning nasty. Perhaps I ate my buggers.
I learned to love books in her home because they never put the TV on anything I liked so I had nothing better to do. Hey it worked right?
Every now and then I think about raising foster children feeling I owe it to someone, but I don't know if I could be as loving as Concha was. I don't know if I could handle little kids that are little deviants like I was. She did a great job with me, she examplified great traits and in a non-preaching way taught me to clean my room. (my bed was made every morning before I even came to the table, and you never found a toy on my floor, ever! I took the trash out, mowed the lawn and worst of all had to pull weeds.
I also learned good eating habits, there was always a vegitable on the table and I never left the table without eating them. My only complaint about Concaha was that she made me eat the fat off of the meat. She used to tell me I was too skinny and I needed the fat. Well she will be happy to know that I am plenty fat in the middle now, and I still won't eat the fat off the meat!
Happy Mother's Day Concha!!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Mother's Day Part I

Most people only have one mom. I had numerous. Today I want to pay tribute to one of them.

My biological mother doesn't get much credit for raising me. Based on the traditional standards, my mom didn't do so well. I think it is only fair to give her some credit.

My mom, given the name of Rose was born to a family that loved her, but a family that was strict. My Grandmother imposed super strict rules on my mother, and was very controlling. As my Grandmother went blind, she only got meaner.

To make things even worse, my grandfather who adopted my mother, sexually abused her. My mom never revealed any of this to me until after my grandfather passed.

My mother married early at the age of 18. She married February 17th, 1972. Her first husband, my father, died the next October of a heart attack. I was born on what should have been the my parent's first anniversary.

My mother married a 2nd time. My mom had my brother and sister by this guy. In short the guy was a loser. My earliest childhood memories are of him beating my mother. He beat her so bad she got dentures to replace all the teeth he knocked out. She was strong enough to load us into the Pinto and drive us from Oklahoma to California.

Somewhere in all this my mother developed a need for drugs. Even though she was strong enough to escape this bad guy, except for one great man, she never could maintain relationships, most of these relationships ended because of the addiction to narcotics.

So with that background, my mom taught me survival. I really don't know how she is still alive. She isn't in the best shape, but she still fights every day. She fought to get her children back from the State of California after she was incarcerated early in my life. My mom taught me love, she never judged, she was supportive verbally of what ever I did. She trusted me, and because of that trust, I felt I was responsible for doing the right things. She also taught me the value of education. It took her longer than most people to get her schooling done, but she eventually went on to get her nursing license and worked very hard and then came home to raise three kids on her own and take care of my dying grandfather.

So this Mother's Day, I say thanks Mom, I know you don't count yourself as a success, but I think you tried, and I love you for that!

This picture of my mom was from the day I came home from my mission. I was not expecting her to be there. It was a great surprise. It is the only picture I own of her.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Iron Man









I can't even remember the last movie I saw Robert Downey Jr. in. Didn't he do TV for a while? When I saw the first preview I thought, miscast? Then I thought low budget? Then it sunk in, the character Tony Sparks is a playboy and always seems to get into a little trouble, Robert Downey Jr. it is then.


As it turns out, Robert Downey Jr. was perfectly cast. He was believable as an anguished superhero. Perhaps one of the best superhero actors in the last little while. (that should start some arguments) Sorry Spidey!


I know it is a good movie when actors that usually kind of drive me crazy are enjoyable and to go along with Downey Jr. was a great job by Gwyneth Paltrow and Jeff Bridges. (yes, The Dude)


The movie was smart, it took its time developing the character to actually get you to care about Tony Sparks, a.k.a. Iron Man. You felt his pain and I even think they tried to make a little bit of a political statement with him.


Comic book movies are some times hard to watch, too much pain and suffering from the hero, or at least too much bad acting giving me pain and suffering. They also tend to not explain everything or explain to much. If I were a more patient man and a better writer, I would think of some examples, but I am neither. This comic book movie, gave you time, it filled it with little bits and pieces of action. It was like watching a science project come together. Best of all, I think it the kind of comic book movie that you can take a date and not worry that she isn't going to be bored and start annoying you by doing that ur-ur-ur-ur sound with the straw and shaking the ice around in her cup.


The special effects were good without making the whole movie depend on them, but it definitely declared summer is here. The movie ran a little longer than 90 minutes and it was satisfying the whole way.

The only drawback to the movie was staying behind and seeing the clip from the sequal.

My review: Pay the big bucks, see this baby in the theater, it is worth the metal in your pocket.





A few last notes: We met the Walker there, and he liked it. He is a little more picky than I am, alright a lot more picky. I also just looked and http://www.rottentomatoes.com/ gave it the highest review of a movie so far this year, not that there has been much competition with the writers strike I don't think you movie watchers that love the serious piece with the gloom and doom are going to see that much this year.

Movie Reviews

I have been thinking of doing movie reviews for a while now. I don't have any right to do so except the A I got in film class in college and that was UVSC, so it doesn't count for much.( The only class I ever loved going to. Never missed a day.) Anyway, back to the point, I am doing this for fun. I have to be honest. I watch a movie 3 or 4 times a week. I don't watch much TV. I prefer to start and finish the story all in one night, no commercials. I need closure and TV does not provide that and the time commitment is great.

I will rate using the following system- when you should watch it. (even though I watch most of my movies at the dollar theater)



World Premier (A grade)

Opening Night at local theater

Dollar Theaters

Rental

Wait for the remake (F grade)



Now you have to realize that I don't watch most movies till they make it to the dollar theaters, so that is why Dollar theaters gets the C grade.



So have fun and argue with me all you want. . .

Monday, April 28, 2008

Cindy




Before Cindy, I scored my first girlfriend. It was in 4th grade, but for some strange reason I don't remember her name or her face. (so odd for me, not even a song- perhaps I made the experience up to boost my self confidence.)

I couldn't get the girl to commit to me but, I could get her to tell people that we were boyfriend and girlfriend. I used basic logic to woo her into my trap. I told her that she qualified to be my girlfriend because she was my friend and she was a girl. Somehow, she went with it. Silly girls.

Now as for Cindy, she was a passionate firery red-head. I always had a small weakness for red-heads. Loved Cindy Lauper instead of Madonna, and was smitten by Molly Ringwald. This Cindy had small freckles on her cheekbones. (Kind like my wife has now,never linked the two before today.) I don't know what it was about her, and lucky enough, it was short lived. I would love to tell you it was a triumph, but I never was a good liar.

I pretend that I had self confidence with girls, but I never was smooth and usully not sucessful. Well, one day on the south end of the school after recess ended, I was standing on the wall trying to look cool. It was the first time in my life I felt, maybe I was. I had my hair feathered and combed like the blonde kid from Karate Kid. I had rolled pants, and suspenders, that of course just hung there. So I tryed to be smooth and put my foot up against the back wall and I had my hands to the side (I am not usually this descriptive, but it will make sense in the end) Anyway, I pronounce my admoration for said lady, and what does she do? Swoon, fall at my feet, blush. . .?

Oooh noo. I wasn't rad enough for her, she walked right up to me and kicked me in the hand.

So what did I learn from this relationship. I learned that standing there open like I was against the wall would be a great metaphor about leaving myself open to women. I also learned that while I thought I was cool she proved I was nothing but luke warm.














Saturday, April 19, 2008

Dawn

In Kindergarten, I got a letter pinned to my back. I was only educated to the K level so I wasn't smart enough to know that I was in trouble, so I took it home, gleefully.
It's contents where not as exciting. It seems that my teacher in her pious manner believed I talked too much and, get this . . .tried to kiss too many girls. . .
I don't remember any girls from kindergarten that I was in love with, for me it was strictly N.C.M.O. I remember two that where in love with me but for the protection of the innocent, and to avoid any unwanted libel suits, they shall remain unnamed.
I wasn't exactly a Casanova, but trying did help me learn from my mistakes. Here is the story of my first childhood crush. (other stories may follow, depending on demand and Wifee's consent)
Dawn was her name. I fell in "love" with her the first day of school. However, back then you couldn't find time to talk to girls, recess was too busy with Kick Ball and I couldn't tell her how I felt during lunch. It would take time away from eating and if I ate slower, it took time away from Kick Ball.
The good news is that Mrs. Ikahara, my teacher, must have known something and when we switched seats she put Dawn right next to me. It was on the back row, I can feel the sunshine coming in through the windows and shining on her golden locks. (insert your own "aahhh" here)
I would talk to Dawn all the time. For some reason my name ended up on the board more often than other names. Yet Dawn never really talked back to me as much. Is that stalking?
I didn't manage to get any digits out of this relationship, I just learned that I needed to be a better listener than a talker. (still working on the idea)
The highlight of the whole year was learning to Square Dance. (Perhaps the only dance I could ever do well. . .perhaps.) Somehow I managed to get her to be my partner. Oh, how I loved to dosey-doe my partner and it was my official hand holding first. She had small clammy hands, it was great.
So, what did I learn?. . .I liked girls, but not as much as kickball, and obviously other people need to talk more so my name doesn't look so lonely up their on the board.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Do you ever watch one of those shows that has some dumb criminal is getting arrested for a 2ND time for the same crime, caught by the same dumb mistake. Today, I was that guy.

My day started going down hill when I came back from lunch and one of my managers called my cell phone from inside the store. There is only one time we do that, it means my boss is in the store. Surprise visits are bad enough, but surprise visits on Saturday when traditionally your store is not looking it's very best is worse. I survived with only a few cuts and scraps. I get to see him again in just a few days. Perhaps one day I will go into detail what a visit is like. The Wife couldn't even tell you, I don't talk about them.

My day got worse, my wife called me later in the evening to inform me I would need to stop on the way home to get something from the store. I hate to shop on Saturday nights, it is always busy and I am tired from work. Tonight, not only would I have to visit the store on a Saturday night, but I would be buying what every red blooded man would prefer not to have to buy, femanine products.

Flashback: first time I had to buy these was for my mom when I was about 14. I felt so dirty. I stood on the aisle pacing back and forth for about 20 minutes. Don't ask what the deal was, just had to work myself up to it.
My question is why can't women send Men to buy other things at the same time, it always has to be "honey, I just need those"

So on the way home I debate which way to go home, I choose the streets hoping to visit a small store that has a self checkout so I don't have to worry about being seen with my pretty pink package.
I choose the streets and find myself in one of those sobriety checks the police like to do. I don't have to worry since the heaviest thing I had to drink today was a Cherry Dr. Pepper with extra cherry syrup. (available at your local Sonic for ninety-six cents between 2-4.) I sit in this line for what seemed like an hour, check the sport scores on the phone, watch as cars try to turn around and get away from the police check. I watched the passenger in the car in front of me spray something in the car and then time it just right as they dodge the police car and make a u-turn and somehow get away. I just continue to chill. Then my turn comes and I give the officer my license and proof of insurance. Everything is cool. The officer is chit chatting with me, then all of a sudden he says, "did you know your tags where expired?"

10 minutes later, I drive away irate. My tags expired a week ago. So here is where the dumb criminal thing comes in. I just paid a ticket for the other van about a month ago. Guess what for? Expired tags! We never got the renewal notice for either car, because I have not updated my license and the state probably sent the notice to my previous address. I asked for mercy which is something I have never done. Denied.

I finally make it to the store to buy my pretty pink package. (I don't quite understand why there are more choices of these things then there are of ice cream flavors) I go to check out and get distracted by a text and decide to reply. I stand in front of the self checkout and type my response. I then look up and realize all the self checkouts-are closed.

Two checkers are standing there willing to help me out. One checks me out while the other stands there and stares. I get my receipt and tell her they are for my emergency kit at home, heard they where good for filling bullet holes. OK, so not true, I didn't say a word, I took my pretty pink package and threw it in my see through bag and went home.

I am checking the tags on the Scooter!

Sunday, March 2, 2008

OKC Sonics?

OK, just to make sure there is no confusion, I am a Lakers fan first and no one else will replace them.



Now that we have settled that, I was on ESPN.com getting my highlight fix of the ball games yesterday. (no cable, gents cry for me now!) So I came across a link about the Seattle Supersonics moving to OKC and how the Sonic fans felt about it. (Story)



Until that story I was all for the team coming here. It makes me feel like it is OK to live in OK. I have promised myself that I will go in with some friends and buy season tickets if we get them. The bond issue is up this Tuesday and I expect it to pass easily. I expect that Stern will not keep the Sonics in Seattle, and that the owner will move them here. But now, I feel like we stole a team from someone, from a bunch of someones. What would I do if someone stole the Lakers from L.A. I don't know, send hate mail to the mayor of the new city promising I will never ever visit their stinking rotten city, and that they have broken the heart of my child who is dying of cancer, who has a tumor the size of a basketball in his left lung. No, that just wouldn't be harsh enough. . .



. . .so the quandary. It looks like we are getting a basketball team and I want a basketball team, and I want to take my other three boys who are not dying from a rare form of cancer to games with me to share memories, and I am sorry that some great fans of the NBA are losing a team and their season tickets, and their children will not have father son bonding time anymore. (Dr. Phil show in 10 years?) Usually my capitalist side wins out on this type of situation, but if you know any fans, and there are some crazy fans out there (Johnson boys, Scooter,Walker) you know it is more than just a business, it is like part of the family, you feel their pain when they lose. (I still count the day Magic retired as one of my top 5 worst days of my life)



I just don't know what to do.





Tell me it's going to be OK?





P.S. To my Seattle friends. What did you expect from a state that celebrates Sooners, the thief in the night strikes again!



A not nice song to help the side of me that wants the team to leave Seattle. OK Go- Get Over It

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Store Manager

A few days ago I got a call.

Customer: "is this the store manager?"
Me : "yes, how can I help you?"
Customer: "you guys sold me a piece of crap. You need to get out here now and fix it!"
Me: "OK, I will do what I can, can you let me know what is going on?"
Customer: "I bought a dryer from you and it keeps making a buzzing sound."
Me: "What kind of buzzing sound?"
Customer: "It happens when the dryer is running, I don't know what it is, you just need to come and fix it, I am not answering anymore questions."
Me: "I will get a service tech out there tomorrow to look at it."
Customer: "no, you will come out and replace it tomorrow or I will never shop with you again and I will tell everyone I work with that you sell junk."
Me: "OK, sir, let me call the delivery center and see if I can get it swapped out for you tomorrow."
Customer: "you had better"
Me: " I will call you back in a few minutes."

30 minutes later, I call back.

Me: "I will have new dryer out to you tomorrow."
Customer: "Never mind"
Me: "Why"
Customer: "my wife came home and told me that was the sound the dryer makes when the clothes are done."

Monday, January 14, 2008

Eric Clapton

Dear Boys,

Mommy has you brainwashed with Celine Dion's Taking Chances CD right now. First of all you should realize that mommy is so out of it, she still plays her music on CD! I guess it is time I intervene before the damage is irreparable. I need to introduce to you the biggest influence in my life musically.
First you have to understand how much Daddy loves music. Those big headphones he wears are not because he doesn't love you, and are not meant to be a punishment he just loves that song a little bit more than he should right now and mommy won't let him play it at the volume he wants.
I don't know how long ago I fell in love with music. I think I might have started in my Mother's womb getting down to my own heart beat and the liquid rhythms that must have surrounded that pre-birth experience. I confess that the first song I got down to was Michael Jackson's Billie Jean. I lived with my foster parents at the time and my foster sister Gracie would play music in her bedroom and if I hid in the closet I could hear what she was listening to. I fondly remember listening to the original MJ's Billie Jean. I guess you could say I was a closet Michael Jackson fan. Grandma Dean bought me that record when she found out. I listened to that thing like a 13 year old girl. I even used to enjoy pretending I was Michael singing against Paul McCartney on "The girl is mine" probably because I was more of a lover than fighter too.
From there on I sucked in any music I could get my hands on. I dreamed of being good enough to have a band of my own and my mom tried to foster this love, letting me listen to the radio for hours on end. She got me the Styx album because I wanted Mr. Roboto. If you think that is bad I won't tell you that in 5Th grade she bought me a Menudo lunch box, probably because I told her I loved Menudo and she thought I meant the band rather than the that delicious first cow stomach based soup.
I don't know how many people have soundtracks to their life, I do. I can't tell you the name of a guy I just met 5 minutes ago, but I can tell you that I was doing in 5th grade when Wham "Made" it big. I can tell you of the first time I heard many songs like Dead or Alive's "You spin me round round," Pet Shop Boys' "West Side Girls"
When I was in 6th grade I found Rap music on an AM station on a LA radio station. I used to sit in Great Grandpa's bathroom and listen to it. I would do so quietly because I wasn't sure if it was something I was supposed to be listening to, it seemed too different. Rap helped me get through the "hair" rock years which I thought was horrible, and I personally believe is responsible for one of the nastiest clothing mistakes since polyester, spandex. It eventually seemed to cross over to FM with bands like the Fat Boys, Run DMC, and the Beastie Boys.
Rap was also there during some hard years of my adolescent life, but that is a story for another time, when your older.
During all of this I was trying every way I could to try and play music. In 4Th grade I tried out for Choir 3 times, finally getting accepted probably because the teacher didn't know what else to do with me. I wanted to play an instrument but we couldn't afford the rental charge for an instrument, but in 7Th grade I finally got that wish and started playing the Sax and later the Tuba. I was never too good at either, but made some of the best friends and had the best experiences through it. (Yes that is why you have to play an instrument and not just sports!)
But the reason I write this entry is to tell you about Clapton. (I am currently in the middle of his autobiography and eating every bit of it up.)
The time I found Clapton was another dark part of life. It had been some time since Kim Johnson's death and I still had not figured out how to deal with it. I did not feel like I had the right to mourn his death as heavily as I did, I didn't know him all that well. Only a few snapshots in comparison to the mosaic that was his. Even though, the brutality of the loss of a man who was such a great father, something I had never had ate a hole in my heart. I couldn't figure out who to talk to about it, the only people I felt really understood needed someone to listen to them. I probably drove my best friends nuts. I remember doing a lot of journal writing at the time about it. (journals long time lost) I was also heavily burdened with the new religion I had found. I was not sure if I could be what it required of me. It made me change the way I viewed life, and I was not sure if that was something I wanted to do. I had many people who even though they loved me and wanted what was best for me in their minds or to save me from this new found cult, sometime myself. It was all hard.
Anyway, I had heard this song one day at work at Subway, half of it anyway, the store owner never could get the stereo to play correctly, so in the back you would only hear half of the song. I listened to Clapton's "Tears in Heaven" I wasn't blown away until a few days later I was sitting on the couch at home watching MTV when it used to still play videos, even if it was only 10 of them. I saw the Unplugged show featuring Eric Clapton. When I heard the song, I broke down, it was a great moment. In this song I found something for me to help me look at the death of Kim in a more positive manner if that can be said. Clapton was sad at the loss of his son but he found a way to be hopeful about it. It also helped me unite this world of pain and suffering with the unknown world of Heaven. Not only that but I started to feel like I was my father's son and I had work to do for him and a responsibility to do right for him and my family that were already in heaven. I felt like Kim and my own Father where together and Kim would watch over my family. Clapton's grief helped me rid myself of my own. There are not too many famous people I really care to meet, but I would like to meet Clapton to let him hear my testimony of what heaven really is and that his song helped a struggling 19 year old boy find his way. I guess that is what the Blue's are about right?
So yea, momma has you listening to some stuff that I don't really like, but if it makes her feel a bond with you boys, I will lend her your ear. Sing away little fellas, hope mommy is as understanding in 10 years when we are rocking out the house. . .in the white room. . .

Would you know my name if I saw you in heaven?
Would it be the same if I saw you in heaven?
I must be strong and carry on, 'Cause I know I don't belong here in heaven.
Would you hold my hand if I saw you in heaven?
Would you help me stand if I saw you in heaven?
I'll find my way through night and day 'Cause I know I just can't stay here in heaven.
Time can bring you down, time can bend your knees. Time can break your heart, have you begging please, begging please.
(guitar solo)
Beyond the door there's peace I'm sure, And I know there'll be no more tears in heaven.
Would you know my name if I saw you in heaven?
Would it be the same if I saw you in heaven?
I must be strong and carry on, 'Cause I know I don't belong here in heaven.
'Cause I know I don't belong here in heaven.

Picking a favorite Clapton song is like picking a favorite Son, I might have one, but I am never telling. . .Here are two to enjoy from Unplugged. Tears In Heaven and Old Love .