Saturday, December 26, 2009


I've always liked spinning.  I remember going into the gym after church so I could spin, tracing some polygonal pattern on the floor with my feet as I went round.  I remember being made to stop spinning because I was taking up room in a narrow passage way in an airport or someplace like that and someone was trying to get by.  But there's one kind of spinning I don't like: in a car.

I told someone at work today that it was just like backing into a parking spot, except there were cars coming at me at 50 MPH.

So what happened was we were heading up north for Christmas and it was late because we were taking the 80 MPH speed limit road at 40-50 MPH.  One second I'm listening to Artemis Fowl's the Time Paradox and the next my front end doesn't want to stay in front.  I manage to pull straight again 4-5 times in a row before the car got fed up with me and spun around completely out of control, turned backwards and gently but inexorably backed off the side of the highway.  No damage done, no one hurt.  Just like pulling into a parking space except you normally can get back out of parking spots.  The snow was so deep we were stuck.  I couldn't inch forwards or backwards.  We were just getting on the phone to ask my father in law how one got a tow truck when a plow stopped on the side of the road to ask if we had been helped yet.  We answered no and he called out a tow truck to help us.  We paid $50 for the privilege of being driven approximately 10 miles to the next town.

Tow trucks don't have car seat buckles in them.  Fortunately Uriel seemed to think we were having a great adventure and didn't mind sitting in my lap.

So we got into town at 1 AM.  Happy days for us.  I said more than a few thank you prayers that evening that we didn't get hurt.  Apparently I wasn't the only one with trouble with that section of road.  There was a 18 wheeler peeled off the side of the road not more than a few hundred feet away from where we landed.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Perfect day

Today was wonderful.  With fewer demands on our attention, Bonnie Jean and I were able to simply focus on what we needed for ourselves today.  Been like that the last few days, feels really good.  In case it wasn't explained, Ulysses and Becca left a few days ago, leaving us with Uriel to take care of.  But he's still so young its easy to manage his needs.  Today I focused on getting to do the cooking that Bonnie Jean and I were always wanting to do but couldn't because of resident picky eaters.  So in the morning I made almond naan bread.  To do that I had to make clarified butter, which took two tries cause I burned it the first time around.  The naans work better for my taste broiled for 2 minutes instead of 3, but otherwise they were perfect.  Then we went to church, where the music was beautiful.  I've never heard anyone attempt an organ/piano duet before, but it was marvelous.  Then we got home and I made Fenugreek chicken.  This is only the second or third time I made it, but it still turned out marvelously despite being a little burned because my watch timer somehow stopped itself in my pocket so we let it boil too long.  I joked with Bonnie Jean we'll have to keep this recipe handy since fenugreek is known to stimulate lactation.  Then I made eggnog.  I am missing Ulysses some, but in general I'm just glad to be able to have a normal conversation with Bonnie Jean without interruption.  Most of the time I was cooking, Bonnie Jean was reading to me out of the History of the Church, which we also haven't gotten to do together for a really long time.

To top it off, we found out we actually have been certainly assigned home teachers.  Bonnie Jean and I both have so much difficulty networking that home teachers are really valuable for us to have.  Just wish it hadn't taken 3+ months to get them.

Then, Bonnie Jean went to bed early because she's been tired and I've had time to just spend with myself while doing dishes.  I felt like putting on some music, and something made me want to put on an old EFY CD that I haven't touched in so many years it wasn't even imported into my Itunes.  Brings back... memories...  good, and bad.  Life used to be so much harder.  I can still remember when I ferociously read my scriptures and wrote in my journal every night because that's what I needed to reconnect and process everything, and I still probably wouldn't go a few days without seriously considering and planning how to commit suicide.  EFY helped change a lot of things in my life, including helping me form some friendships that helped change how I saw myself and my relationships.  I don't think I would choose to be somewhere else, I just wish I could have chosen a different path to get here.  So many paths... so much pain and so much I didn't know.  Thinking about it reminds me of in "The Never Ending Story" where Bastian complains of not knowing if he chose the right path and is told by the tree lady that every path that gets you back home is the right one.  That probably won't make any sense to anyone who hasn't read the book, but if you haven't read it its very much worth the time.  In any case, life being like a being a rock in a polisher is very real to me sometimes, every nasty scrape and break somehow helping to make me smooth.  Listening to old music I guess helps me air out some old feelings, sort of reintegrate my past.  Just having the time to do this is extremely nice.  Like I said, this has been a perfect day.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Total Slaughter

So Ulysses had been borrowing our CD collection and found a particular CD that started our with an odd little song.  This was a mix that a friend gifted on us, so there's a variety of stuff we really like and stuff that we'd never listen to on them, but for the most part its pretty good.  This particular song I think was included because its absolutely ridiculous and plays an absurd contrast against the other songs on the album.  In any case, the song repeats several times "total slaughter, total slaughter, lets begin by killing time."  Ulysses decided he liked this song and started singing it and writing its rhymes on little drawing's he made of floating ghost police robots, but it was pretty clear he didn't really know what was meant by the phrase.  So as our final bed time story last night I told him about the Jaredites.  It really made an impression.  This morning before going off to school, he taped a piece of paper to my spot at the table that read: "totel sloter is a sad & bad ting."

I hadn't been lecturing him, just thought I'd explain to him what the song meant and why it wasn't necessarily meaning that it was a good thing, but apparently he really wanted to show me he understood what I said.  I was touched.  Bed time stories are fun that way.  Though, I think this is the first night in about a week that I didn't tell him another story about Ammon.  He really likes the one about the arms.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Jacob 5...

Fascinating how much more participation I can get when I ask for people to act out Jacob 5 rather than just expect them to sit there and read it.  It was kind of fun to watch.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Unwanted Advice

So I was having a private conversation with a coworker in the breakroom about a particularly bad night.  Let just saw one of the kids tried to slug me and got spanked for it and got up from their short spanking and immediately said "that was fun" with a smile on his face, got spanked again later on when he repeated the offense, and to top the night off when I was restraining him from running away to play when he was supposed to be sent to his room I got tired of having him suspended mid air trapped between my knees (this was an odd arrangement for the restraining and when I went to put him down he hurt his foot.

Then this complete stranger who I've never spoken to before starts bursting into our conversation and telling me how I should or shouldn't parent, whether I've studied any child psychology, and that I'd better watch out cause I'm going to get in trouble with the law if I don't stop using physical spanking.  I probably should have said "excuse me, I don't know you, leave me alone" but I tried to be polite.  It was really obnoxious.

I guess it happened because I'm young and obviously stressed about it so random by standers feel the need to tell me what to do.  I've had other coworkers try to order me to force the bishop to get the kids into counseling, which given the time tables involved in whats going on just wouldn't be practical, they're leaving too soon for the bishop to do anything more than just say hello I'd like to get to know you.

I don't mind suggestions from people that I know.  I've actually gotten some really good pointers from people at work who I'm close friends with.  However, some people don't seem to feel any boundary between my business and their business sometimes.

Any suggestions on stopping do gooders?  I'm afraid the genetic dice are weighted towards Bonnie Jean and I receiving a lot more incidents like that in the future.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Institute manuals

So I finally managed to get my institute manuals all loaded into my Ipaq along with many other documents. Took a bit of effort. But in Elder's quorum someone decided to get side tracked talking about the supposedly secret knowledge of super secret no longer practiced temple ordinances they gained knowledge about as an ordinance worker 20 years ago. Despite claiming it was some sort of super secret ordinance they offer to share their knowledge about it in public now... Then they claim that church history documents on the subject support these claim when I've READ those passages and official church literature and they don't support the super secret special knowledge claim... how many I can't trust you as a legitimate source flags can you throw?... anyhow I got bored and discovered our classroom was close enough to the university for me to pick up the public wifi access and I started downloading church handbooks and manuals to the Ipaq to fill the time. I managed to get everything except the Book of Mormon manual successfully loaded in. Suddenly I had the brain wave that perhaps the problem was my Ipaq PDF viewer doesn't like 400+ page documents. So I went home, split the manual into two parts (which for whatever reason made the file 5 times larger... must have lost some compression there) and then reloaded the document. Whala. It works.

Bonnie Jean seems to think I'm a magnet for strange lessons. People proposing specific mechanisms for how thoughts can be transmitted spiritually, suggestions that meat lovers pizza breaks the word of wisdom, conspiracy theories about the medical industry, proposals for specific commandments to follow to be eligible for the blessing of being translated... I don't know maybe I am a magnet for the weird and strange when it comes to lessons. Hopefully I won't have any more use for the wifi in Elder's quorum. In the meantime, I have most all of the institute manuals handy for casual perusal in scripture study. Pretty cool. Unfortunately I only have 20 MB of space left on my Ipaq. Perhaps I should delete that collection of Charles Dickens novels that I downloaded but have no near term intention of reading?