Monday, December 22, 2008

philosophical question

A bunch of these beautiful cedar waxwings were outside my window this morning. Something I usually miss being in a cubicle everyday with not a window in sight. So do they come by every morning when I'm not there and I just happened to catch them or did they know I was home and stop by for a visit? Either way, they were gorgeous.

Friday, December 19, 2008

yellowstone meets appalachia

Aaron Copland's Appalachian Spring was playing on the radio on the drive into work today. This is probably my favorite piece of music of all time. It takes me to very specific places and times in my mind and heart. My parents had a time-share in a cabin in Island Park, ID and we would go there for a couple of weeks every summer at least. The cassette of Appalachian Spring was always popped into the tape deck as we entered the West entrance of the park. The crescendos and decrescendos of the music served as soundtrack to the majestic vistas that unfolded to us around each bend in the road. Now that we don't have the time-share anymore and some of those sharing the trips are gone, this amazing piece of music is always a quick way for me to be transported back to that beautiful place and great times.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

sorry, but while we're still on the subject

Sorry, it's RaNkin/Bass. But while we're thinking about something so pleasant, let's just imagine some repeating harp trills and take a step back shall we?

this kills me

I imagine this being said in a loud Charles Nelson Riley voice.

And on another note, may I just say that I turned on network television for the first time in a while last night looking for the beloved Rakin-Bass Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer special that I thought was going to be on. Instead it was The Rockefeller Center lighting of the Christmas tree (probably called a holiday tree now) holiday special. Except for Harry Connick Jr. who actually sang instead of lip-syncing his songs, and an appearance by Kermit and Miss Piggy, I was horrified. I couldn't stop thinking about the great and spacious building. It was all so uber fake and commercial it made me a rather queezy. All these people "celebrating Christmas" just to sell their crap-o-la. The coup de gras was Beyonce singing Ave Maria in a dress with a neckline down to her navel and lip gloss that you could see the reflection of the camera in. Hello!! And teenage boys singing about how all they want for Christmas is a new girlfreind? Barf! I must be getting old. I guess I don't mind so much that my new hd hook-up doesn't work so well. I'm sticking with netflix and I guess I'll just have to break down and buy all the good old Christmas specials on dvd.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

i love acupuncture!

There have been many weekends since that last "last weekend" and many of them have been filled for me with a case of hives that has been filling my waking thoughts. Instead of going the regular doctor and steroid route, I thought I'd try acupuncture. I'd done it a few years ago, but couldn't keep it up because of the cost. I was willing to pay almost anything for some relief and it really wasn't too bad. It's been great. Still trying to get the hives under control, but I feel better and it's so relaxing. He's worked on my back, shoulder, and wrist from all my mousing as well. Yea!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

last weekend's camping trip

Last weekend was marvelous! Camped with two great women up at White Pine Lake. That's up Logan canyon just about 4 miles from Tony Grove lake. As you can see, it was beautiful. It rained most of the second day we were there, but it was so beautiful we really didn't mind. The only other little glitch was an errant herd of cows that was there. Apparently we set up camp right in the middle of their pathway out of the canyon and were quite upset with us come nightfall. Another sign of this had been the "gifts" they had previously left all over the campsite. Luckily Cinda grew up with cows and knew how to drive them down to the next campground:)

It didn't seem like the pack was trying to kill me this time which made a big difference. And I felt like I'd packed better and knew more of what I was doing. I was able to carry more weight more comfortably. Also, we weren't climbing up and down gigantic boulders and rock walls. That probably had something to do with it too.

This is my first attempt at fly fishing in several years. Lisa was kind enough to let me have a go. And . . .

A little brook trout I think. We let him go.

We ended the trip by attending a sacrament meeting in Logan. It was the primary program. As singles we don't get to see those much. The highlight was the impromptu interpretive dance by a three yr old on the front row to Called to Serve with imaginary pistols in his hands. Awesome!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

9/11 memories—days in september

I wasn't able to make time to do this on Thurs, but that day I was reminded of the events in my life of that week in the fall of 2001 and realized that I don't think I've written them down anywhere and they should be.

My sister was in North Carolina that weekend prior helping a Pakistani friend of hers who was going through a divorce from her very abusive husband. They had come to the states because of the persecution they suffered as Christians in Pakistan. How that husband could claim to be a Christian after how he treated his wife and turned her children against her I don't know. My sister was staying in the house with her and somehow the husband ended up being there and getting in the house. The situation was volatile and my sister knew he had kept a gun in the house. Even after being on the phone with the police she ended up calling her husband from a closet of the house afraid for her safety. My dad and I heard this side of the story when her husband showed up at our door ( I was living with my parents at the time) late that night and asked us to kneel in prayer with him for the safety of my sister. He felt totally helpless and that was all he knew he could do. At that point I seriously can't remember how that situation resolved, but it did. She was scheduled to fly home on Tues the 11th, but got an overwhelming feeling that she should change her flight to Mon, which she did.

When my brother-in-law came over for the prayer, my dad and I had just gotten home from the hospital where my mother had just had a cancerous kidney removed. She'd had a more invasive surgery two years before to remove a tumor from her lung. She came home the next day, but on that Tues morning we were having trouble controlling the pain. I was supposed to be at a photo shoot for work, but didn't feel like I could leave. It wasn't usual for the tv to be on in the morning, but I think Mom had been up in the night and it on as a distraction. That's when we saw the first reports on the first building and that's when we saw the second plane as it hit the second tower. It wasn't long after that that my sister walked in the door. I'll never forget the overwhelming feelings of love and gratitude I had for her and to God as I threw my arms around her. I'd never feared for someone's safety like that before and with Mom the way she was it was like danger was all around us. We were able to get on the phone with a pharmacist and I finally got to my photo shoot at about noon. Everything seemed so surreal. It was a photo shoot for some pens and desk accessories. The whole thing seemed so incredibly stupid in comparison to the other events of the day. They had the radio on at the photo studio to keep up with what was going on. I remember just so wanting to go home and starting to get that feeling that nothing would be the same again.

Two years later, in another September, my mother passed away. Even with all I knew of the gospel and the plan of salvation and all, I felt like the bottom dropped out of my life. I remember telling a friend that I sincerely hoped that, after all we'd been through and all she'd suffered, I would be changed somehow. Five years out from that now I think I can say that I'm not the same person. That through my own "crucible of experience" I've changed for the better—that because of my mother's life she lived and the death she died nothing will be the same for me. The beauty of it is that hopefully everyone who lost someone on 9/11 or who ever lost someone can say the same about them and that hopefully the same will be said of me by someone when my time comes.

Monday, September 8, 2008

highlights of san francisco labor day trip

Besides not having been there in several years, the main attraction that got me on the plane for this Labor Day getaway was the Chihuly exhibit at the deYoung Museum in Golden Gate park. I'll go almost anywhere to see his work. It just makes me so happy. Here are some of the
better shots.

Here are some of the gorgeous jelly fish at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. They had a hard time holding still for the camera, but they were amazingly beautiful. I'd always wanted to go there and it's an amazing place. It was a beautiful drive down, but on the way back in the dark and in the fog on highway 1, we thought we just might die.

We also stayed in a fabulous hotel. The Orchard Garden. Just up from Union Square and a couple of doors down from the entrance gate to Chinatown on Bush St. They had valet parking and turned down our beds at night! I about cried!

We also went over to Sausalito to their arts festival. Gorgeous day! (I'd forgotten how beautiful northern California is.) Lots of cool stuff. Went to a great Sacrament Meeting at the Bay ward where the San Fran mission Pres and his wife spoke. They're cattle ranchers from Sugar City, Idaho. Awesome! They were really great. Found some great bargains at the Ross in
Union Square and got some great samples of Jo Malone perfume and body cream at the Saks Fith Ave. We were also offered a bag of rocks by a homeless man in return for all our cash. He had a hammer and everything, but we decided not to take him up on it. Saw him later that evening—still had the bag of rocks.

And here is the place to go

for these incredible silver dollar pancakes.

They give you 18 so we thought we would just split an order. Uh uh. You need your own. And get them with the lingonberry relish. Divine! They're on Powell across from the Sir Francis Drake hotel.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

serious LOL

So I sent this to my brother today because I thought it was hilarious. I seriously found it doing research on action figures for a job.

So he sends back this with the caption THIS MEANS WAR!

And then this

Oh my stars I'm still wiping the tears away.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

good times

Here are some pics of my weekend at the ward outing in Lava Hot Springs. That's Idaho you know. I'd never been there and must say that it's very pleasant in that extremely-small-town- tourist-spot kind of way. The hot springs were fabulous and they make a great shaved ice up there.

Here's my friend Cinda floating down the river. Before this three of us went down on a three seater which we thought would be more stable. We actually only got dumped out once, but the water is so shallow that you go right onto the rocks below. Needless to say most everyone in the ward that went down the river came out bruised and bleeding. Good times.

This was the all bulls rodeo we attended. I haven't been to a rodeo since the ones we'd go to out at the state prison when I was about five. ('nuther story) It was facinating, hilarious, and horrifying all at the same time. Luckily they wear helmets and everything now or we might have witnessed something fatal. One bull landed on his bucked rider's chest and then threw the clown about 10 feet in the air. Everyone walked away. We had to leave early, but I heard later that we missed one of the cowboys getting four teeth knocked out and the ensuing search for the teeth in the dirt of the arena. Once again, good times.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

highly recommend

I had been thinking about the old Steve McQueen, Dustin Hoffman movie version of this that I only really remember snipetts of when I came across this in the bookstore. I thought the cover was stunning as well so I bought it. There were questions when this was released in 1969 about the truthfulness of Mr. Charriere's account of his life in and eventual escape from the penal colonies of French New Guinea in the 1930s and 40s. There were investigations and his story checked out, but there are definite times of incredulity during this read. Nevertheless, I couldn't put it down and, if it is true, is an amazing tale of hope and perserverence.

I also finally saw the new X-Files movie the other night. When this series first came out I was a total and complete X-Files nerd. My friends and I would get together every week and watch it and I video taped and re-watched several episodes. When the series switched from Friday nights to Sunday nights I pretty much stopped watching. 1) There was really no way I could justify watching this show on the Sabbath 2) I'm still rather a video/dvd recording dufus and 3) I think they had all but "jumped the shark"* with the series at that point. I saw one of the movies (Have there been two prior to this?) and was pretty much ashamed that I ever was a fan so I didn't run out to see this. May I now just say that I should have. My faith in the X-Files has been renewed! I think it was great because it wasn't trying to move any big conspiracy or alien theories along. It was just a great story with great characters and mostly great writing, great cast, and great signature X-Files creepiness that I came to know and love. Thank you Chris Carter, et all!
* "Jumping the Shark" refers to the Happy Days episode when the gang is on vacation in sunny California and the main plot line involves the Fonz taking a waterskiing jump over a tank of sharks. The phrase is now used to define the episode or exact moment when a tv series starts it's swift decline to its cancellation.

beautiful day

Here are some photos of an outing we took to Pine View to inaugurate my brother-in-law's new sailboat. That really is a very pretty lake. My bro-in-law totally knows how to captain that thing too. Especially with all the motor boats and wave runners on the water that day. Very impressive. A beautiful day.