Sunday, October 30, 2016

Ermagersh! What's wrong with me?

I've always misread words.

For example, where most people would see the word "polish" and think of Lemon Pledge--especially if they saw that word on a can of Lemon Pledge--I would see it and think "Polish" as in the former pope, who was also an excellent skier, I'm told.

Anyway, this morning at breakfast at the Holiday Inn I saw a sign next to a chafing dish that said "Hamster."  And I thought well this is Texas, after all.  Who can account for what Texans like for breakfast?  But when I looked at it again it said "Ham steaks."

Which made me feel better about breakfast.

But which also made me feel concerned about my mental acuity.

Friday, October 28, 2016


We've been having stunning sunrises and sunsets here lately, which okay fine, is probably due to pollution.  But wow.  They've been smacking me upside the head, they're so stunning.  And the moon and the stars at 5:30 in the morning have been doing the same thing.

And so I've been asking myself the question why?  Why do human beings come wired to notice beauty?  I guess you can make an evolutionary argument about the wiring thing when it comes to human beings going out on dates with other human beings who they think are beautiful and also excellent kissers.  Dude.  That totally helps with propagation of the species.

But noticing the beauty of slanting light on an October morning?  What possible evolutionary function does that fill?

When Phil was a little boy he used to ask me unanswerable questions about strangers all the time.  Why is that man's hair funny?  Why is that lady walking down the street?  Why is that car yellow?And so, because I had no answers, I said, "BECAUSE JESUS WANTS IT THAT WAY."

And now that I'm old and thinking about needlessly extravagant displays of light, who knows.  Maybe Jesus wants it that way.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

A meditation on football

Actually, I have nothing profound to say about football in spite of the fact I've been meditating on it.

But I will say this.  I'll bet you that 100 years from now, football--at least in the form we know it--won't be around.  And people in the future (wearing space suits and driving around in flying cars with their BFF robot friends) will look back on the sport the way we look back on the whole gladiator thing, i.e. in disbelief that people ever had fun watching men hewing each other down, especially if they looked as cute as Russell Crowe did in that toga, which would make all the Roman ladies go, "NO!  DON'T HEW DOWN RUSSELL CROWE!  HE'S JUST SO ADORABLE IN THAT TOGA!"

I could be wrong.  But the way football is headed and the way our first world sensibilities are headed, I wouldn't be surprised.

Which is my way of saying I'm glad I'm alive now and can watch Sunday Night Football whenever I feel like it.  As long as--you know--it's Sunday night.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Donuts according to the Coach

Yesterday I told Dad that Mrs. Backer's Bakery makes a really good pumpkin donut.

A look of disbelief mingled with horror spread across his face.

"Wait.  Did you say pumpkin?"

"Yes.  'Tis the season for pumpkins."

More horror on the face.  Also disgust.

"Listen.  If I want a donut, I want a DONUT."

Said the man who always orders vanilla ice cream.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

When suddenly you realize you're old

When I was younger I remember hearing old farts say, "But I don't feel old on the inside!"  And I'd think whatever, dude.  TAKE A LOOK IN A MIRROR.

But now?  Well, let's just say that Karma is a true thing which was not invented by the Beatles after the went to India because now I feel the same way and I had an experience the other night that reminded me of it.

I was watching the Cubs and noticed suddenly how beautiful Kris Bryant is (although only when he's wearing a hat--he's like my former boyfriend Dennis Eckersley that way) so I texted my thirties-something friend Jame Ortwein because she follows baseball, too.  This is how our conversation went:

ME:  Chris Bryant is waaaaay easy on the eyeballs.

JAMIE:  I am googling now.  Ha!  His name is spelled with a "k."  Gross.

ME:  He's up to bat right now, throwing the pitcher smoldering looks.

JAMIE:  Haha.  Born in '92.  I can't even process.

ME:  Ugh.  He's almost my youngest kid.  As Cher said in Clueless that just harshed my buzz.

Actually, I don't know if Cher said that.  Maybe Tai did.  Or Dionne.  But whatever.  That's not the point.  The point is how did I get to be this age, is what I'm saying.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Hillbilly Elegy

So I've been reading a memoir called Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance because I wanted to better understand the rise of Donald Trump and wow.  This is a powerful, eye-opening book, which I highly recommend.  Vance is a clear-eyed commentator who both loves and grieves for his hillbilly community.

Now here's the surprise.  I recognize a lot of my own extended family in the book, something I did NOT expect.  We didn't have the violence or the addiction issues.  At all.  And I've written before that somewhere along the line, both sides of my family--the Edwards and the Coveys--made kindness to children a huge priority.

But here's the thing.  My great-grandmother--who I still remember--used to sleep with a shotgun.  She ran away from her old life and changed her name and possibly had a child out of wedlock.  And, as my Aunt Ava (more of great-aunt several times removed) told my mom and me, Grandma Pat "liked the men."  She wasn't much of a mother--as a little boy my grandfather was given pastries to eat at a boarding house in Ogden because his mother had disappeared and he didn't know when she was going to return--but she was a hell of a grandmother to my mother, TRQ.

My paternal grandfather, meanwhile, left school at the age of 12 to support his family.  My paternal grandmother and her family were chased out of Mexico by Pancho Villa.  She left school at the age of 14.  Phil and Addie went on to have 14 kids.  The Coach was the first to go to college.

The supreme hillbilly virtue is loyalty.  The ultimate sin is growing too big for your britches.  My family espoused those attitudes in spades.

Who knew?

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Oh! I don't have to worry about that anymore!

I've been going down to Provo on Tuesdays to hang with TRQ and the Coach, which has been fun, especially since TRQ and I are on an epic quest to eat a burger at  a different hamburger joint every week.

Except today we got mixed up and ate mushroom soup at Zupas

But that's not the point.  The point is this:  when we first walked into Zupas I heard some guys sitting at a table together complaining about BYU's football team.  Suddenly I felt a familiar pit in my stomach.  OH NO!  (I thought.)  SOMEBODY'S GOING TO SAY SOMETHING MEAN ABOUT MY DAD!  AND THEN I WILL HAVE TO BEAT THEM UP!  WHICH WILL GET ME THROWN OUT OF ZUPAS AND THEN WHO WILL EAT MY CHOCOLATE-DIPPED STRAWBERRY?

And then I remembered.  My dad doesn't coach anymore.  He hasn't for 16 seasons now.  But there I was, automatically reacting the way I reacted a lifetime (or more) ago.