Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Happy man (with dog) in the park

This morning when I was running in Liberty Park in the semi-dark, I encountered an older man with a dog. I told him his dog was pretty. He told me his dog was 1/2 Jack Russell, 1/2 American Eskimo, and 100% pain in the rear. I laughed. And then our conversation went like this.

MAN: I like to leave 'em laughing. Here's a joke for you.

ME (remembering the mermaid joke a stranger told me and Randi in Eugene): Okay . . .

MAN: What did the parrot say to the hummingbird?

ME (hoping this isn't another joke about bra sizes): What?

MAN: "For crying out loud, you'd think you could at least learn the words!"

You're welcome.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Here's what I feel like doing

1. Eating myself into a coma
2. Growing fur all over my body
3. Sleeping in a cave until March

Never fails. I feel pretty great during the summer, which causes me to think HEY! I CAN HANG ONTO THIS! And then one morning in mid-September I hit some sort of psychic wall and I go oh. Time to hibernate. Also grow fur all over my body.

I am always astonished by how tied into the seasons I am. Clearly I was a bear in a former life.

Meanwhile on the doughnut front (which after spending a summer of eating salads, berries and twigs I say BRING ON THE DOUGHNUT FRONT) I had another bacon doughnut--this one from a place in Draper called BEYOND GLAZED. I enjoyed it. Of course! The doughnut itself was fine, the frosting was especially fine. But the bacon? Not sure it was really actual bacon. It may have been those bacon bit things you put in salads. VooDoo just lays a slab o crispy bacon on top of their doughnuts and I just says YES! GIVE ME MORE OF THAT!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

An insight I had while sitting in church this morning

We're covering Isaiah in Sunday School these days, so of course we spend most of our time talking about how difficult it is for mere mortals to read him. This caused a new woman in the ward to stand up and share her personal experience with reading Isaiah--long story short, the experience saved her sanity at a very difficult time of her life. Her testimony made people a little uncomfortable because she was emotional and a little long-winded and we don't know her very well yet. Still. Everyone was touched by her sincerity and the authenticity of her feelings.

So then we went forward and people said AGAIN dude! Isaiah is hard to read! So then the new woman kinda hectored everyone and said Isaiah is actually a piece of cake. Which okay. I know from personal experience that some cakes are kinda complicated such as that red velvet cheesecake thing from The Cheesecake Factory that I was eating every day for several weeks last spring.

Anyway, I understood that she wanted to impress upon us her absolute belief in the simplicity of Isaiah and that, in fact, she wishes for us all to have the exact same experience that she had because it meant so much to her. But there's the rub. We're all different. We get to the same place in different ways. Like my wily dad always said when it came to getting football players graduated, there's more than one way to skin a cat.

Not that my dad skinned actual cats. Or did anything nefarious on the graduation front. He was just willing to acknowledge that some people have different paths.

Still. Somehow we always feel that if people just DO THINGS A CERTAIN WAY, le voila! Success!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Good news, darling!

That's what we say at our house any time something great happens. We're channeling our former realtor who called to tell me that my father had backed into an old garage when he was driving a U-Haul truck, thus causing extensive damage and thus causing the city to condemn the structure, which is what our realtor had been hoping and praying and fasting for FOR YEARS because the garage was an eyesore. So that's why she called and shouted in my ears GOOD NEWS, DARLING! YOUR FATHER KNOCKED DOWN THE GARAGE BEHIND YOUR NEW HOUSE!

Here's my good news. I just found out that Scott Pierce, former TV critic at the D-news, has landed at the Trib. It will be so nice to read a local's take on the new TV line-up.

Well played, Scott Pierce!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

And here's what I love . . .

. . . about LIFE.

In the midst of all my melancholy-ness yesterday, fabulous Lisa B. called to report that she is a grandma again. A big old baby boy was born to Singing Son and Wife. Congratulations!

And that's how it always unfolds. Death and birth, sadness and mad happiness running endlessly cheek to cheek.

Friday, September 17, 2010


I spent the better part of the day involved with the funeral of a young woman in our neighborhood who died on Sunday. She was Tongan, and much of the service was conducted in that tongue. As the congregation sang in beautiful rough harmony, the music rolling over us all, pieces of my own girlhood came back to me. Surprisingly. I didn't expect that. But there I sat, remembering trips to Hawaii where the water and air were so blue they burned your eyes, and locals hated BYU football's team with a white hot passion. Still. They always treated my dad like he was one of their own.

All of it--the music, the memories of my own family when we were young, the thoughts of the young woman and her family--have made for a melancholy afternoon.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

One year ago today . . .

. . . we thought Ken was having a heart attack. He spent a day and a night and a day in the hospital. But look at him now! Still standing!

We spent today celebrating with balloon bouquets and dinner at Hires. (I had a Mountain "H." In case you're interested.)

Love you, Ken.

Friday, September 10, 2010

What Happy People Know

That's the title of a book by Dan Baker. WHAT HAPPY PEOPLE KNOW. And I have to say I usually cringe when I hear this kind of title. But I must say the book has helped me lots over the past few years, which is why I re-read sections when I feel like I'm LOSING MY MIND.

Here's the bit I liked yesterday: "From that day on, I realized that there was something happy people know that unhappy people don't; No matter what happens in life, there's always something left to love, and the love that remains is always stronger than anything that goes against it." (p. 94)

A response like this puts a person in a powerful position, no?

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Exercise for the youth

This morning Kathy told me that her first-graders are learning about exercise. This is how you explain what exercise is to kids that age: anything that makes you breathe hard, feel hot and turns your face red is exercise.

So then we reflected on a world that requires teachers to introduce the concept of exercise to little kids, who in another day and age would just naturally be outside breathing hard and feeling hot and turning red in the face. Then I remembered how Mrs. Thompson in the fourth grade used to play a record called "Chicken Fat" every day so we could get the wiggles out and also not turn (apparently) into fat chickens. So maybe we weren't really breathing super hard then after all.

A song like that seems kind of p. incorrect right now. But then practically everything we did in my school was p. incorrect. We prayed and the teachers smacked us with rulers. Also paddles. You had to wait until the fifth grade, though, until you got smacked with a paddle.

Good times!

Thursday, September 2, 2010


Whenever someone had a meltdown--a family member, a neighbor, a national figure--my mother would always say, "Well there they go, fonching and fuming."

We had no idea what the exact definition of "fonching" was. Something people did in Wyoming when they were angry, perhaps? Were bad smells involved? Was this a word created as a substitute for another word? And yet we knew in general what the term meant. People who were "fonching and fuming" were pretty darn angry. And noisy. REALLY really fonchingly noisy.

Well, as you all know, I've been fonching and fuming a lot lately, so I decided to give things a rest--to calm down and go to my happy place. Today my happy place has involved eating cupcakes and looking at pictures of Peyton Manning in ESPN magazine.

I recommend this course of action highly.