Friday, December 08, 2006

Testimony Meeting

(I have a few short stories I worked on during a writing class; here is one I would love to publish.)

I wanted to beleive .

The church choir sings "Put your shoulder to the wheel." The bishop prays. He welcomes the congregation to come up in turn to bare their testimonies. After a few long seconds they begin to trickle up.

I am sitting in the pew thinking about Darth Vader's army and wondering if their spaceship will make it here. What would happen if the Empire tries to take over Earth? Would Luke Skywalker and the Rebellion save us?

Church members get up and speak about how God has touched them. They talk about things they have done that make them feel they are not worthy of Jesus' love. Everyone has a slightly different story but they always find that they do deserve his love.

Darth Vader could not kill his son. He killed Emporer Palpatine in order to save him. Vader's love for his son brings him back to being Anakin again.

A little boy gets up to bare his testimony. His mom comes along to help. She whispers in his ear, then he speaks : "I know Joseph Smith is a true prophet. I know Jesus loves me. I am grateful for my mom." He then realizes that he is standing in front of the whole congregation and freezes up. His mom picks him up and carries him back to their pew.

I want to get up. I walk up the aisle take the stand and talk into the microphone.
" Darth Vader is just like Jesus." I say.
My face turns red, palms start to sweat. My stomach turns into a knot.

"He let himself die to save his son... Luke Skywalker is us!" The people in the fornt row give me unsure grins. The other boys in the congregation start to snigger.

I stop. The congregation is silent, every exhale I take fills the air with my nervousness. I walk quickly from the podium and out of the church into the bright summer day.

It is warm, I loosen my tie and roll up my sleeves. I look at the mountains towering over our church. Clean and shimmering in the dry summer air. I wish I were up there, in the trees, drinking snow melt.

My sister appears from inside the church, she finds me and tries to bring me in. I sit defiantly on the freshly watered grass.

I tell her that I just wanted to talk but all I could think about was Star Wars.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Another Edifying post about me!!

I am 44% Punk Rock.
Not Quite Punk.
Well, I may know what punk is, but... Okay maybe some people think I am punk, but is that enough? Nope.

I already knew this. And I did not have to take yer #@$$%$ test to find out. I don't have the Ramones vinyl but I do on tape. Now I am going to put safety pins in my ear lobes and listen to 7 seconds.

I am 51% Goth.
Oh My Goth!
Oh My Goth! You Goth, Girl. There is a good chance I am bi. Freakiness pumps through my viens, but I can still laugh at myself.

Yes I "was" Goth....And I would like to point out that I was More Goth than this Idiotic test. I mean what is The Crow and why did they not ask any questions about the Hunger instead? Now I am going to put on my Bauhaus album, burn some candles and read the Raven.

Thursday, October 19, 2006


I was in the middle of packing boxes for our big move to our wonderful new house. The wife had started her new job teaching math, so it was just me and the two littlest: the three year old and the...lets see...crawling (yes) eight month old. ( Do you get the picture one is old enough to have developed reasons for doing things (making a mess) the other just does them without thinking at all.) There I was trying to pack and I have these two rushing headlong into the land of chaos. For every little thing I packed they unpacked three or four and scattered them all about the rental.

What did I do? Well I did what any sensible parent or person would do; I joined them. When their mother came home and took them to bed I packed and moved stuff.

Monday, August 07, 2006

I like babies, it's true. I suppose that is good since I am surounded by them (technically one is not a baby).
Babies are a blast to watch when they are learning to crawl, Charlie is learning to do this right now.
He sees a toy, a dried up peice of food or an electrical chord and decides (you can watch his expression change) he must have that electrical chord in his mouth. He gets all geared up and pushes himself backward, this is accompnied by all manner of squeeling and grunting. When He realizes that he is further from th electrical chord than he was when he started out, he looks up with that "please father, help me. I absolutely must have that chord in my mouth. Would you kindly pick me up and put me closer to it, so that I can experience the electrical chord more fully?" look.

At which point I pick up a suitable toy and put it within arms reach of him. This new toy becomes so exciting he has completley forgotton about the electrical chord or that great peice of dried spaghetti, whew.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

I have a baby asleep on my chest. aaah.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

House being sold

Our house is now on the Market whew. I actually will not begin breathing again until it is sold.

Here is a link to our house

Anyway, we were going to wait until it sold to try buying another home but.... My wife saw a house here in Eugene that she loooooves, She could not just let it go, so we put an offer on it. The offer was accepted ( a funny aside. It all happened at the Oregon Country Fair. We put the offer in Last Friday ( seventh of July) before we went to the fair because the sellers wanted to look at and decide on an offer before they went to the fair. Later that evening right before the fair closed our realtor met with the sellers realtor at the Fair drum tower. He then met the sellers at the same place when they gave him the news.)

We are all loving life here in Eugene, I have gotten more exercise here than I did in Oakalnd and I have stopped using the car on a daily basis. (We will see how that works when it starts raining again.)

Wednesday, June 07, 2006


We have moved! Yes, the sweetened condensed, canned version is that we packed up a couple of trucks and moved to the great Northwet. We have been in Eugene for about two weeks; it still feels like a vacation to me.

I just arrived back from Oakland, I had to go down so that I could check out the house a week before it goes on the market. The trip was to be an easy one, the boy and I drove down on Sunday spent the night at a friends house; then,on Monday morning I planned to go look at the house, spend a couple of hours tying up last minute things and finally socialize with friends or maybe even go to a show or two or three. But no! ( to anyone who is having thier house worked on in order to sell it, meaning you have a deadline, supervise the workers from start to finish, I made the mistake of assuming that the guy I hired was taking care of everything I had asked him to.)

I walked into the house at 10:00 Monday morning and did not stop working until 11:30 Monday night. Then on Tuesday (Independance Day) I spent three hours in the morning, while the painter took the day off, and three hours in the evening working at my house. I had planned to spend Independance day being independant of course. I did mange to go to a Barbeque for about four hours though, so all was not lost, I just did not get to see any fire works.

Then the fifth ( Wednesday) the day of our deadline, I showed up at my house around 9:00 am, the painter did not show until 10:00. I told him the day before that I had to leave the house at 2:00 so I could drive back to Eugene (about 650 miles from Oakland) and that I needed everything done by then. He left at 1:00 for lunch and did not come back untio 2:30. in the interim I hired my neighbor (who is also in the remodeling biz) to go to my house and be me so I could come home.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Great new addictions.

The new baby is not so new, he is now a healthy, robust almost four-month-old.
( I know a lot of people who can tell you, if you dare ask, how many weeks and days their young babies are. I consistantly lose count after the third week and revert to " he's a month old" or "almost four-months.") He is still a very smiley baby.

About a month ago his sister had pneumonia we spent a hellish week staying indoors (it was also raining) while she recooperated. During this time I became hopelessley addicted to a web based game called Puzzle Pirates. (I am not including the link because I don't want to be held responsible for new addicts.) When you sign up to play you get this little piraty character that looks vaguely like a Lego person dressed in pirate clothes. You play a series of puzzles connected to sailing a ship, building ships, swordfighting and drinking. Your little character makes pirate money and can buy things like ships, houses, clothes and swords.

It is far to much fun and life like. Any way after Ruthie had her pneumonia The little one came down with a fever and was found to have Bronchialitis, he spent two days in the hospital. So he is this really pleasant kid but he has to go and get sick. Of course with two sick kids I spend another week waiting for them to get well and fall deeper into game addiction.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Toddler: " I like to use a boat to wash my hair and sometimes ducks."

Monday, March 06, 2006

The look of the oppressed.

Today the 2 1/2 year old was attempting to set up camp in the middle of the kitchen floor. She had a large blanket spread out and was about to bring all her gear (despite the fact that the entire living room is dedicated to her toy's) when I stopped her.

"Please don't spread the blanket on the kitchen floor." In my most reasonable tone of voice.

"Why?" (Hey who the F*** are you man.)

Then she gives me this look of the eternally oppressed. (My people have been suffering for years. I must have the blanket and all my stuff here.)

I reapeted my request again, she replied: " No, I want it here."

I tried logic next. "you have the whole living room to play in, take it in there." Then without a word the ten-year-old walks in and says to the toddler "Hey you can use this as a cape." Problem solved, the blanket comes off the floor, toddler runs out of the room as a super hero.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Beat Dad.

Beat Dad.

So, after two months with my wife home she has gone back to work and things are "normal" at home. The house stays dirty, the kids's diapers don't get changed and I don't get dressed and nobody complains.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Parenting: More Fun Than A Night Club With A Barrell O Monkeys

Charlie is almost two months old and man, am I sleepy.

He smiles now , it is not just gas, he looks at us grins and coos.

Now we are juggling two younger children and the needs of a ten year old boy who is trying to figure out algebra and have a good time.

It is easy for me sometimes to resort to fantsizing that I stopped after the oldest was born and imagine all the things that I could be doing in a couple with one part time kid. (I coulda' bin a sta) Oh well.

My wife and I went out on a date a week ago to see Rev. Billy C. yer saying. A date wow.... This is a big deal. We did not leave the 2 year old with a sitter until she was 2, the sitter was my mom. We left Chuckles with a sitter at the ripe old age of 6 weeks. The sitter in this case was not remotely related (not entirely true, we come from the same town and the same religion) Anyway DW(dear wife) commented, that it is a shame that we have been living in the SF Bay area for six years and have not gone out to many shows. We have been busy having kids, which is energy sapping and financially intensive.

We could have gone to all kinds of shows if we had stuck with the part-time parent model.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

A Trip To Salt Lake City

(This is Grandeur Peak. I used to hike to the top of this, then get all introspective, go home and listen to the Cure.)
(The Mountains and valley are tilted, a bit, more than I remember them being but still just as beautiful)

No, we did not go there to ski. Just thought I would get that out of the way just in case you were wondering.

A couple of weeks ago, the wife and I rented a van and packed the three kids into it ,with our stuff and hurdled ourselves across Nevada. It took us about thirteen hours to get to Salt Lake City, we did this with only a couple of melt-downs and no snow storms. ( but a strong blizzard is a great way to make a long trip more exciting.)

It is always a bit strange for me to go back to Salt Lake City (I lived there for 28 years and have only been away for 7). It is like when you go to your parents house and find your old room partially remodeled or same decor and mom is using it as an office. Every time I go back I expect it to have remained the same as when I left, only to find that there have been drastic changes.

The other difficulty is that I never really wanted to leave. Several of our trips there have included talk of moving there. The housing prices are lower than the Bay areas and the schools are in better shape, so there are good reasons to move there but the reality is that we will not be moving there.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Sleep is for WHIMPS!

(or people without newborn children)

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Utah and Mormon Culture.

I hope that my title did not scare anyone away. This is not a rant per se, I am not about to complain about someone else's culture but have to get this off my chest, I grew up Mormon in Utah so this is about my culture.

An L.D.S. ( Latter Day Saint: Mormon) friend of my wifes lent us a made for Mormons by Mormons, movie titled Singles Ward. I watched it with a certain amount of trepidation; it would not be funny, I would have to explain all the jokes to my wife, it would be too much like what they show in church.

I was surprised at how funny it actually was. The director really had a good time with Mormon cultural norms, without making fun of church doctrine and without a bunch of jokes about its polygamous past. The funniest part of the movie, for me was when the main character has a "spiritual"(spirchtal: in Utah speak) epiphany and begins to "bare his testimony" when his three friends (who provide most of the comic relief throughout the film) interrupt him with " who are you talking to" and " you were starting to sound like a seminary video." (every Mormon kid in high school is expected to spend part of their day in religious instruction, taught by church approved teachers.)

Being able to bare witness to the belief that the LDS church's teachings are true, in most Mormons stories, is a climactic moment. That the film maker was able to lightly mock that particular moment in this characters story was nothing short of amazing to me.

Despite these moments and jabs at Mormon culture, deep down it was a pretty typical Mormon story. A guy, who has grown up in the Mormon church, falls into inactivity after divorcing his wife. (The ex wife , a convert, decides she has had enough, leaves him and the church.) He ends up meeting a beautiful Mormon woman and is compelled through "sexual attraction" ( Women in the church stories are always portrayed as being much purer than the men.) to come back to the fold. He resists a little but eventually sees the truth has an epiphany and comes back. He, of course, "marries" is sealed to the woman who has managed through love, purity, perseverance ,not to mention the best looking woman in the singles ward, to bring the wayward son back. Mormons love this story and is not to surprising that these Mormon movie pioneers used it as a vehicle.

How non-Mormons in the movie are portrayed was what bothered me the most. They basically spent their time smoking, drinking beer, and laughing at Mormons. The sentiment seemed to be that the only reason to leave the church or to remain a non-member was so you could do what you want; as if non-members are a bunch of perpetual teenagers smoking and drinking because ruining their bodies is really what they want. This stereotype is not so surprising, I remember while growing up that if I saw someone smoking I immediately assumed that they were lost and possibly evil. This rule applied to people who I spotted buying beer or going into a bar, since I never did see anyone actually drinking alcohol, I had to assume that they were partaking of those insidious beverages that were forbidden to me.

This typical, non-Mormon stereotype, is another way that Mormons are able to support their beliefs. If you have fallen away from the church, it is because you don't want to give your time to God and would rather spend that time on more worldly pursuits. Never mind that plenty of former Mormons leave for philosophical reasons and not always because they would prefer beer over worshiping God. (If it were just about beer for me I would have gone back years ago.)

If you don't know anything about Utah-Mormon culture many of the jokes won't make sense but it is a good look at what the culture is like. If you are an ex-Mormon you may find yourself laughing one moment then rolling your eyes the next.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Poster Children for re-production.

My daughter with her infectious grin, probably getting ready to attack me.

My two sun's.

Controversy anyone?

Warning this post conatains strong opinions.

I read in the paper yesterday the description of the Right to Life march in SF; As usual a bunch of people from outside the bay area trying to show those heathens in SF that they are out numbered.

The organizer of the march had asked that the marchers keep the gory photos home and to please tone down the rhetoric. So, the "right to lifers" are trying to appear moderate instead of like raging lunatics who in their religious fervor like to kill "killers." Maybe that comment wasn't fair. I tend to believe that, most people who would like to see abortion criminalized, really are quite peaceful and probably would be more comfortable being percieved as moderate and not lunatics.

But by wanting a complete ban on abortion does not put them in a moderate category, the moderate veiw is pro-choice. Yes, pro-choicers are the moderates. Pro-choice does not equal pro abortion or anti- child or anti life. Pro-choice means you give people the freedom to decide what is right for the situation they are in.

If Jack and Diane, who are no more than eighteen, get pregnant, Jack should do his best to support Diane while she carries the child. They should work together and make a decision that will work for them like adoption or raising the child together. Unless Jack raped Diane, or Dianes life is at risk. Then and only then should Abortion be an option. If Diane thought about getting an abortion and asked my opinion, I would tell her that I think it is a bad idea. The two women I know who have had abortions look at it as the worst thing they have ever done.

It would be great if every woman who becomes pregnant does so, when the pregnancy is desired, and if it is un-planned could make a choice that spares the life of the child. If they do decide on Abortion then they should be able to get it in a clean safe environment. And access to counseling afterward. Despite any one else's opinions.;

What makes my stance pro-choice is that I don't think my personal beleifs about abortion should become law. If you really want to end abortion, education is what is needed.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

It is almost three weeks since the new one came into the outside world and I have been comparing him to his older sister almost constantly. It is inevitable I suppose, I compared everything she did to her older brother or rather I compared my experience with the older boy with raising the girl.

Already at three months I can see the differences of personality, he is a calmer person, we could see that while we were still in the hospital. He did not cry when the nurses came to check him. Infact, one nurse took him from me when he was sleeping, placed him in the bassinet changed his diaper and checked his temperature; he did not even yawn, his eyes stayed closed. When they did that to the girl she was absolutley livid.

Sunday, January 15, 2006


I set out a couple of weeks ago to blog about my wifes ongoing pregnancy. I hadn't given it enough attention, I felt, and it was in it's final weeks.

I would have written about how anxious we were about having it all be over. (not ALL of the big it, just the pregnancy) But it was the holidays my mother was here and there were the kids to keep busy shoveling manure. Any way as the last week dragged on towards the end of the year, it was all to obvious that we were not going to have another tax break for 2005, I decided that I would write a list of non-resolutions.

The first on my list was greet my child sometime after the new year... and that was the last resolution. He was born on Monday the second of January. Thankfully there is no more pregnancy to write about.