Wednesday, August 29, 2007

A Mormon President? (But Trix Are For Kids)

I am still undecided about Mitt Romney. I may or may not vote for him, but that decision will likely not be based on his Mormonoscity.

Anyhoo, the Deseret News posted a link today to an article called "A Mormon president? The LDS difference" published in The Christian Century. It does a good job of giving an overview on the faith. It's super long, but worth checking out.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

August Consumption


Aly & AJ - Insomniatic
Tiger Army - Music from the Regions Beyond
The Kooks - Inside In/Inside Out
Mae - Singularity


After Dark by Haruki Marukami

Pebbles in My Pocket

You would think that a company who's business is based on helping people capture their memories with decorative die cuts, cute stamps and floral print paper would be embarrassed that their sign on Redwood Road says "Crapbooking," but it has been like that for weeks and I don't think they are going to be fixing it anytime soon.

I Dare You to Eat That

At lunch at the La Frontera with my coworkers...

Kaleb finds a gumball-sized piece of pork in his enchilada that is about 2 percent meat and 98 percent fat. Rather than be grossed out (La Frontera's questionable cleanliness is part of its charm), he says, "I'll pay someone 5 bucks to eat this."

Brian shakes his head, as do both Helen and I. Noah, however, answers in the affirmative. He takes the fat chunk and swallows it down. It seemed pretty anticlimactic.

"Was that worth 5 bucks?" I ask Kaleb. He shrugs his shoulders.

A few minutes later Noah makes a bad face and says, "It tastes like it's still in my throat."

"Now it's worth it," Kaleb adds with a satisfied smile. He then looks at Noah and says, "I don't have the 5 dollars right now, but I'm good for it."

I work in health insurance. This is about as exciting as it gets.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Paige Updates

Paige learned how to do a somersault tonight. She was very pleased with herself. Then she was doing one of her old tricks - walking around with her eyes clothes - and she ran into the couch and started crying.

Here's some more Paige-related news:
  • Her favorite shape is oval (pronounced "o-full.")
  • She's learned the following new words: today, house, clock, girl, boy, house, star, sun and fish (fish is pronounced sa-u-sh. Not exactly "fish," but we understand her)
  • She now goes to sleep sitting on the bumper pads of her crib. After a few minutes her head is resting on her knees. I sneak back into her room and tip her over onto her stomach.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Work Rock Star Tour '07: Day One

Yeah, I'm on huge rock star tour, visiting with insurance brokers. The tour includes both St. George and Cedar City, Utah. Pretty huge, I know. When we pulled into our deluxe accommodations (Best Western) last night, I had the following encounter in the parking lot:

Just before getting back in the car to head to the other side of the building after checking in, a lady in the minivan parked next to us rolls down her window. "Hey," she says. "Don't forget the 8 o'clock meeting."

Huh? I figured she must have thought I was in her group or something. Before I could even give a response she holds up two energy drinks.

"Have you ever tried such-and-such drink? It's got a bunch of vitamins and blah, blah, blah."

"Um, no."

"Well, you should try it. It's the best. We're having a meeting about it eight. You and your friend should come."

"Well, we're..."

"Where are you from?"

"Salt Lake?"

"Oh, really? I'm from West Jordan!" (As if she were wandering around China and she happened to run into someone from her hometown.) "What high school did you go to?"


"Oh? How many people were in your graduating class?"

"My graduating class? I don't know. Like 1500." (I think in reality there were probably 300-400. I have never had anyone ask me how many people were in my graduating class. What a strange question.)

At this point my coworker and tour mate Tim said from the driver's seat, "We've gotta go."

"Sorry, we've gotta go," I said to multi-level marketing lady.

"Well, give me your number and we'll get together later."

"No, I'm pretty sure we're not interested."

And so Work Rock Star Tour '07 began...

Sunday, August 12, 2007

New Ward: Week Four

Nursery went decidedly better today. Paige still refused to interact with any of the other kids, but at least she wasn't mean to anybody. Well, she did use another little girl as a stool at one point. The girl was playing on the floor by the table and Paige kind of stepped on her back so she could reach a toy on the other side of the table. But other than that she was pretty good.

Traci and I went to our old ward for sacrament meeting for a farewell of one of my young men. There's nothing like the contrast of sitting in a ward where you don't know anybody, followed directly by going to your old ward. It was nice to see everybody, but Traci said it just made her sad.

We haven't really met anyone in new ward, yet. That should change soon, however. The elder's quorum president gave me my hometeaching list today and said, "So-and-so is your companion. He doesn't really come to church." Can't wait.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

New Ward: Week Two

Our second week at the new ward brought my turn to go to nursery with Paige. I was curious to see to what degree Traci had exaggerated in saying that "everyone in the ward hated us" because Paige was so bad.

Paige and I were some of the first to arrive in nursery. I greeted the old lady nursery leader and she said hi to Paige.

"Well, we're hoping things going a little bit better this week," I said. "Paige, she kind of hates nursery," I smiled.

"Yes," she replied, very matter-of-factedly, "she does hate nursery." Uh oh. Maybe the people in nursery really don't like Paige.

The first half hour went pretty well (that's the part where you just play with toys). Paige was good unless any other kids even thought about getting up in her business - i.e. either trying to play with her, or with her toys.

By the time singing time came around, she was very upset. She was happy during the songs, but had to be crying and trying to escape in between each of them. I was trying to keep my cool with her, though it was 8,000 degrees in the room. I kept chasing after her and trying to bring her back to the singing circle, all while trying to make sure to not cause anyone to hate us.

I thought I was doing a good job until right in the middle of singing time, as Paige was singing and dancing away, her diaper fell off. Fell off right onto the ground. Though she didn't mind at all, I was quite embarrassed. I was already sweating profusely and had to find a way to calmly collect Paige and the detached diaper without making much of scene. I think the leaders saw it, but didn't even crack a smile. Maybe they do hate us.

I got Paige re-diapered and then we just hung out until lesson time was over. We went back in for snack time (goldfish crackers, my favorite). She happily ate away and then took two sips of her water and then dumped the rest on her dress and on my lap. Church is hard.

Friday, August 10, 2007

New Ward: Week One

Moving into a new ward is a pretty big deal for us Mormon folk. Here's the first in an installment of posts on our transition.

Week One

We celebrated the first Sunday after moving into our house by skipping church. My plan to become inactive didn't last long. The next week we made our first appearance at the new ward.

Knowing that there was no way that Paige was going to make it through nursery on her own, Traci volunteered to go with her. That meant I had to be a grown up and go to elders quorum.

Opening exercises was fine. The only person I know in the ward is the bishopric member that lives across the street from us. He saw me and quickly made his way over to shake my hand. “Hello Traci, it’s great to see you.” Well, at least he remembered one of our names, kind of.

Elders quorum was exactly as I thought it would be. Someone made a reference to the Three Nephites within the first two minutes and there was a lot of the teacher asking us to share experiences, followed by long stretches of silence.

I met up with Traci and Paige in the chapel before sacrament meeting. “Was she good?” I asked. From the look on Traci’s face I already knew the answer. “Everyone in the ward already hates us.” Hmm. That must have been one bad day in nursery if everyone in the whole ward already hates us.

Apparently, Paige was quite a handful. Despite Traci being there, she cried the whole time. She kept pushing the little boy who wanted so desperately to be her friend and she (accidently?) kicked another little girl in the head.

The nursery leader is a mid-70s-ish old authoritarian lady. Crying is basically not allowed in her dojo - er - nursery. Traci said that several times she said, “Who’s crying now? Oh, it’s just Paige again.”

"Paige, were you a monster in nursery?" I asked. Her evil grin said it all.

Looks like we’re getting off to a great start in the new ward.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

July Consumption


MXPX - Secret Weapon
Bloc Party - Weekend in the City B Sides
Bishop Allen - Broken String
The Beastie Boys - The Mix Up
Yellowcard - Paper Walls
Strung Out - Blackhawks Over Los Angeles
Fischerspooner - Odyssey

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Fun in St. George

I always like to take bad weather with me on vacation. Traci and I are in St. George right now and getting here was quite a white knuckle experience. Between Filmore and Beaver we hit a monsoon. The rains were so heavy that we literally could not see the car in front of us. Along with a half dozen-or so cars we had to pull over on two different occasions to wait for things to clear up. They didn't. Figuring things were going to get worse before they got better, we continued on at about 25 mph. Though it was frustrating, I am glad that we chose the slow approach. For the next few miles we saw cars that had rolled over or wrecked. Blessing of all blessings, Paige was a complete angel through the whole experience, eating a sucker and singing along to her Wiggles CD.

Man Stuff

We are finding that there are many, many projects that need to be done around our new house. The biggest of which has been our quest to remove the very distinct smell left by the previous owners. So far we have been unsuccessful.

As I am not naturally handy, I am finding that owning, and more specifically maintaining, a house can be very difficult. I take pride in the fact that in spite of my unmanliness I have now done the following (and this is a big deal to me):
  • Hung blinds
  • Painted several rooms
  • Replaced locks and deadbolts
  • Replaced a sprinkler (that I ran over the first time I mowed the lawn)
I'm probably going to apply for a job working on the crew of Extreme Home Makeover or Home Makeover Extreme or whatever it's called. The show with the loud guy who does Sears commercials.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007