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Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Such an Ego

So this morning when I got back from playing table tennis Meridy said to me, "I think you were all placed on this earth to keep waking me up." I guess the world revolves around Meridy! Ping pong was just an excuse for me to wake Meridy up at 6:00 A.M. William woke up at whatever unearthly hour it was this morning just to wake Meridy up too. And Eleanor woke up at 6:35 A.M. demanding breakfast and a show with that selfsame goal in mind--keep waking up Mommy.
Hmm, I'm starting to think Meridy has a point. Maybe the purpose of our lives is to keep waking her up. I mean, it's what we're good at. I must say, it feels good to have a purpose in life.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Guys and Dolls

This morning I saw Eleanor crab-stepping around William, waving her arms and looking down at the floor. William appeared to be doing some sort of Mexican Hat Dance. Had Ellie pottied on the floor? "No Daddy, it a bug!" Oh, a bug. I went to investigate and found that William had conquered the bug. We all celebrated, and I gave William five.
Ellie and Willy have a very different approach to bugs. Elliegant steps away and calls for reinforcements. Buffalo Bill charges in either to get a closer look or to do some squishing. I just thought it was a fun story. We'll see what happens when the kids find a scorpion or something that might fight back. Meridy really hopes they do not find a scorpion...

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Los Intocables

The ward mission leader in my first area on my mission was pilas (cool, on top of things, awesome and skilled). He magnified his calling, coordinating the ward home teaching program with the missionary work by organizing visits to inactives. He made a chart where home teaching companionships made up cool names for themselves and kept track of their visits, reporting the results during priesthood meeting every Sunday. One of the team names was Los Intocables. The Untouchables. I've loved that name ever since, and I've made it a tradition to use it for one of my fantasy basketball teams. Here is this year's model along with a round by round commentary (get ready, there are 13 rounds):

Round 1: I got LeBron James with the 4th pick. That won't happen in most leagues. Usually he's taken within the first two picks. He's currently regarded as the best basketball player on the planet.

Round 2: I got Josh Smith. Last year I kept wishing I had him. Now I do. He is an amazing athlete with incredible agility and speed.

Round 3: Carlos Boozer. That's right, our very own Carlos Boozer from the Utah Jazz. The third round might be a little high for him, but he's in a contract year. He'll be playing at the top of his game so everyone will know how valuable he is when it comes time to negotiate a new contract...or bail on the Jazz and sign with some other team.

Round 4: Jose Calderon. I desperately needed a good point guard, and he was one of the only ones left. He came out of nowhere last year to become one of the best point guards in the league. Last year no one knew about him so I was able to just drop my worst player and get him instead. This time around I have to use my fourth round pick on him.

Round 5: Chris Kaman. He's a solid Center, not prone to injury like most centers. He's good and solid. No one knows for certain what's going to happen this year when he plays alongside Marcus Camby. Will they canabalize each other's stats, or will they create synergy? I'm betting on the former, or I might have ranked him higher.

Round 6: Stephen Jackson. He will probably have to take a larger starring role on his team to pick up the slack for a few missing teammates. He's also on a team that plays uptempo basketball all the time, which should be to my benefit. I thought about taking Jamal Crawford here, but I was pleasantly surprised to find that he was still available in the next round.

Round 7: Jamal Crawford. The New York Knicks have brought in the coach who made the Phoenix Suns the high octane run and gun team that electrified a nation. Now he's working with a bunch of guys who don't exactly fit that style. Jamal Crawford is the exception. Everyone expects him to do great this year. I mean, I do.

Round 8: Corey Maggette. I'm sensning a strategy for these middle round picks. Here is another scoring shooting guard moving to an up tempo system where he'll benefit from increased chances to score, rebound, and steal (hopefully the ball).

Round 9: My one regret from this draft. I selected Jermaine O'Neal too early. It was mostly a wishful thinking pick. When he's playing right and staying healthy, he's an all-star. But he’s been injured a lot the last couple years, and he hasn’t really found his form for a while. Am I glad he’s on my team? Yah, but I think I picked him up three rounds too soon. There was a pretty good point guard I could have gotten here. I won’t feel so bad about it though when Jermaine returns to his elite form, and I look like a genius for taking him.

Round 10: Andrew Bynum. Last year I drafted him in the last round. I was using my head when I chose him. I knew he would get rebounds and block some shots. That was worth a last round pick. Then my emotions got in the way, and I said to myself, “Andrew Bynum!?! He’s an embarrassment to my team.” I cut him before the season started. Then my rival in the league picked him up. He turned out to be one of the best centers in the league, and I felt silly. Frankly, getting him this late in the draft was pure luck.

Round 11: Samuel Dalembert. He was the best player left on the board by a long ways, but I needed a point guard. I ended up getting him anyway. He’s pretty solid. If it turns out I really need a point guard later, I can trade for one...I hope.

Round 12: Al Thornton (no, not Jim’s son). He’s got a lot of potential, and this late in the draft that’s about all you can really hope for.

Round 13: This is my “sleeper” pick. Fantasy sports fanatics always want to draft a sleeper or two–someone no one else knows about or considers valuable. Mr. Sessions is my main sleeper this year. I watched him play a summer league game, and I said to myself, “Say, he’s a mighty fine passer.” I looked up his stats and found that he had some crazy games last season when he had over 20 assists. The problem was, those games came near the end of the season–when their star point guard was out with an injury. This summer his team got rid of their star. I think they did it so this guy could play. If not, I’ll just drop him and pick up somebody else, you can do that you know.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Captain Quirk

Gilbert Arenas is an NBA superstar with his own blog. I only bring him up because he gave himself the nickname Captain Quirk, and now I've been called upon to tell y'all about my own quirks. Personally, I thought his original nickname was better--Agent Zero. By the way, if you are getting ready for a fantasy basketball draft, you will want to know that Arenas has had surgery on his knee....again. He only plans on missing one month, but we all suspect he'll be an iffy prospect this year. But I digress. I should proceed with my quirk list.

1. I am an NBA aficionado. It's the offseason, and nothing is happening, yet I read up on the latest news at regular intervals throughout the day. I make excel spreadsheets predicting how each team will do in the upcoming season and then compare the accuracy of my predictions with last year's predictions. I plan on owning 5 fantasy basketball teams this year. I've already pre-ranked all the players for each type of league. Once I draft my teams, I'll spend the month of October thinking up trades to improve my them. I'll listen to preseason games on the internet even though they don't count and nobody cares about them. The one thing I really regret about not having cable is that I can't watch basketball.

2. I think Goose would be a good name for a dog.

3. Sometimes when I'm grocery shopping I get this itch to try new things. I'll buy odd fruits and vegetables, weird meats, various pickled items, or whatever else catches my imagination. Sometimes I strike gold. For example, if you see a yellow, football-shaped melon called Cannary Melon, snatch it up. That is some sweet sweet melon.

4. I can't stand traditional powerpoint presentations. I hate it when a powerpoint just says the same thing the presenter is saying. Where's the "power", and what's the "point"? When I'm putting one together I either have to spice them up with jokes and strange, meaningless slides or abandon powerpoint altogether in favor of a slideshow with music. Even when I do end up using powerpoint, I mostly focus on pictures and driving home key phrases.

5. I love sharing quirks with Meridy. For example, we both constantly read articles and books, and watch videos about how strengthen our marriage. Our favorite is to read about it together and then talk about whether we think it's good advice or how it might or might not apply to us. Another example is that we are both facinated by personality traits. I really enjoyed reading Meridy's quirks, and she tagged me because she wanted to see what I thought was weird about myself.

6. I am a vocal introvert...I think. Heck, I'm not even sure whether or not I'm quiet. Sometimes people tell me I'm too quiet. Other times I know I'm talking too much. I used to think of myself as being skilled socially, but as time goes on I think I show my reserve too often. I'm afraid people will think I'm sullen. I've always been pretty serious minded, but I think I used to act more upbeat. People used to ask me how I was, and I would say "spectacular!" Now it feels weird to be so positive. I wonder if law school has changed me. Then I get sad about that. Then I think I'm happier than I've ever been. I'm just more mature, fulfilled, calm. Then I wonder if I need to fix my attitude. Ok I'm rambling.

7. A special extra quirk for Jennie. I am pretty particular about my toothbrush. I can't stand the thought of putting it in my mouth if it's still wet from the last brushing, so I dry it off after I use it. I am horrified whenever I find it lying around the sink. It needs to be in its place so it doesn't pick up nasties. The bristles are made to capture nasties, but it's a double-edged sword. Meridy teases me that I should get a toothbrush zapper ray sanitizer thingy. It's not that important to me though. My method is good enough for me.

I do hereby tag Lyf, Nick, Leslie, Chani, and Zach

p.s. some of these people may need help, if their significant others could fill in for them, that would be great.


Jennie tagged me!!
Here are the rules:
Link the Person who Tagged you.
Mention rules on your blog.
Tell about 6 quirks of yours.
Tag 6 fellow bloggers to do the same.
Leave a comment to let them know.

1. I do not like green eggs and ham. Really. If you died my eggs and ham green, I would have to concentrate really hard to be able to eat it. Any food item colored something that it should not be colored is unappetizing. (Is that a double negative?)

2. I assign personalities to inanimate objects, and yell at them if their performance is not up to par. For example, "Bah! You stupid vacuum. I knew that you were trying to thwart me on purpose!"

3. This one is hard to explain. I often discuss subjects I feel strongly about, with trusted persons. I have mentioned this before. What I have not mentioned is that if this happens in a room with chairs, I stand up on the chairs after I've been talking for awhile. And then I keep talking. I'm standing there spouting off on my little platform. But the thing is, I don't do it on purpose. It's like a reflex. Almost like I've been yakking for so long that my body needs a change of scenery. I've done this off and on for years. (I'm sure you are all thinking, "What the HECK is she talking about? Believe me I wish I knew.)

4. I have a hard time dealing with strong emotions. Sometimes I laugh at sad situations when I should be crying. My brain desperately makes up jokes for me from the sad situation so that I can cope. But this coping mechanism is also hard to deal with because I think it makes me seem unsympathetic and unfeeling.

5. I do not like it when people scratch certain materials with their fingernails. Couches are usually bad, for example. It's like nails on a chalkboard to me. The sound gives me the shivers.

6. I have a love/hate relationship with the color coral. I think it is a beautiful color and I feel drawn to it, but it looks terrible on me, which is weird because you usually look good in the colors you like. It's really hard when this color is in season. I look at the clothes on the rack and I think for example, "That shirt is darling! I want to try it on." And then I think, "But wait. It's coral. Coral washes me out. I HATE it when coral is in season!" I think that the color coral has a vendetta against me.

Here is where I am going to break the rules. I love personality quirks. I think they are fascinating. I couldn't chose only six of you. I also hate putting pressure on people, so I don't want to leave anyone a comment on their blog. (Not that I feel you pressured me Jennie. Really I didn't. And I wanted to fill it out.) So pretty much if you read this, even if your name is Nathan Reeve, you are tagged. And I want you to fill it out really bad. But no pressure, kay?

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Officially Tagged

I've been officially tagged by my friend Sarah, so here it goes!

8 TV shows that I love:
(I don't actually have cable, so when I am at my parent's or in-law's I watch:)
Good Things Utah
What not to Wear
John & Kate + 8
Take Home Chef
Hidden Potential
Moving Up
My Parent's House (a little bit funnier than your average design show)
Drake and Josh (I know! It's a kid show, but it is funny. I turn to it when the others are not on and I am nursing Will.)

8 favorite restaurants:
Panera Bakery
Tacone (It's at the District)
Olive Garden
Red Lobster
Mandarin (It's a Chinese Buffet in St. George)
Godfather's Pizza (Only the buffet there is my favorite ;) I love the dessert pizza!)

8 Things that happened yesterday:
Ate biscuits and gravy for breakfast at the family reunion (Nate's side of the family).
Met my mom and sister in St. George for lunch.
Went to the mall to window shop and spend a little extra time with my mom and sister.
Went back to the reunion and went swimming (with an insistent Ellie) in cold water.
Bought a darling watch at the raffle for only $5!!!!
Spread aloe vera gel all over Nathan's arms, neck, and face. (He got incredibly burned while playing golf. He often complains when I make him wear sunscreen. I expect him never to complain again).
Ate a delicious potluck dinner. (Really it was good. All sides of Nate's family put on a good meal).
Performed lead vocals for the first time, for any kind of official audience, at the family talent show!
Drove part of the way home because Nate was too tired.

8 Things I look forward to:
Nathan graduating and recieving a paycheck as a result of it!!! (This will make me so happy that I could write it another seven times.)
The day when our loans for school and living expenses are paid off.
Having a home with a yard and a craft room. (I hope this doesn't make me sound ungrateful for our condo. I do really love our condo.)
The Holidays in general.
Traveling to Gautemala, England, and Catalina Island.
Reading the books I requested from the library and reading with Nate. (The book Nate and I our going to read together comes out in January.)
Nate waking up from his nap today.
Watching my kids grow up and hopefully being a positive and encouraging influence in their lives.

8 Things I love about fall:
Getting out my fall home decor and yummy smelling fall candles.
The treats that my mom bakes and trying to bake some of them myself.
Soups, ciders, and hotchocolate.
Being able to go home to Utah and enjoy the crisp weather and then being able to retreat back to Henderson when we get too cold.
The changing colors.
Wearing sweaters. Because in the fall because they actually keep me warm, whereas in the winter I'm always cold.

8 Things on my wish list:
I wish I was more patient with my kids lately. I seem to be losing it more often.
I wish for all my kids to find love and marry in the temple.
I wish for a vacation home somewhere like Gautamala or Catalina Island.
I wish for a red Jeep Wrangler and drive with the top down in Zion.
I wish to go on a LDS mission with Nate, and enjoy it.
I wish to someday finish my books, and maybe get them published.
I wish to get healthy eating/exercising habits and keep them the rest of my life.
Sometimes I wish that my kids will stay cute and little for longer.

8 people I tag:
I tag the eight people who decide to fill this out.

Thursday, September 11, 2008


I was in Guatemala, doing my morning study routine and getting ready for a district meeting in a nearby town. Someone from the ward called and talked to my companion. My companion looked confused and told me it was something about a plane hitting the Twin Towers. I thought he meant a small plane like a Cessna or something. My initial thought was, "Too bad for that plane." Our neighbor looked over the fence and told us the towers had fallen, and I said "Yah, right."
On the way to district meeting we passed an electronics store where the television was showing a smoldering building, and I began to believe. It was weird because I remember district meeting being mostly normal that day.
We went about our work mostly. People kept talking to us about it, and we didn't know how much to believe. One guy told us they had destroyed the Statue of Liberty. I said to companion, in English, "I don't believe it." Then the guy surprised us by speaking in English too, "No man, it's true. For real." I remember stopping at a member's home and watching President Bush's speech where he called upon England for support. You could see the resolution in Tony Blair's face. Was that the same day? I don't remember.
I do remember a change in the letters I got from home. When I got home from my mission I read articles and editorials from the days directly following 9/11. I got the sense that there was a nationwide uniting process and a change in priorities. I think being out of the country blunted the experience somewhat for me.
Am I wrong or has the 9/11 mentality mostly faded away?

Monday, September 8, 2008

M.I.L.K.: Most Impressive Lactose Known

So just a few minutes ago I go into the kitchen and find many things at once:

1. My entire stash of reusable, grocery store, plastic bags strewn about the floor courtesy of Will. Not quite a fan.
2. We have plenty of Kroger brand Marshmallow Treasures: this delighted me. I said, and I quote, "Marshmallow Treasures! I've been waiting for these my whole life!"
3. Our gallon of milk is more than half gone......

WHAT?!?! I bought this milk TODAY. Not even 12 hours ago!!!!!!!!!!!!! Seriously. How does this happen? It is good thing that there are plenty of dairy cows on the planet, or I don't know what we would do. We would perish without milk. We are slaves to it. It's a good thing it is non-alcoholic.

Also, and seriously, Marshmallow Treasures are delicious no matter what the nutritionists or the anti-Marshmallow Treasure/Maties crowd say about them. Kroger brand Marshmallow Treasures are especially delicious because they have a high marshmallow concentration over the other brands (Nathan and I agree to disagree about whether or not high concentration is a good thing). Who doesn't want a little pick-me-up in the morning? I relish the sugary goodness by eating many bowls. How else does the valuable milk get all used up?

538 and "Save Earth"

Firstly, 538 is my new high score in Yahtzee. I was playing against Eleanor, and I kept rolling Yahtzees. I missed the large straight and, surprisingly, 4 of a Kind. All my 4 of a Kinds turned into Yahtzees.

Secondly, my "Save Earth" post may have rubbed some readers the wrong way. I apologize. I posted it because of it's humorous irony. I didn't really mean to turn this into a political blog. But now that the discussion is open, I would like to opine that the global warming debate could do with a little more debate. It's not that I don't care about saving Earth, it's more like I care enough to question the dogma of the day (30 years ago scientists were claiming the earth was headed toward a new ice age). I happen to think that resources spent trying to control our climate could be better used adjusting to climate change. I also think that the global warming scare has been blown out of proportion.
The earth's temperature has been in a state of constant fluctuation throughout recorded history. I agree with scientists who say that changes in the earth's temperature correspond positively with changes in the sun's temperature--that is to say, the sun causes global warming and cooling, not minuscule traces of gasses in our vast atmosphere. By the way, if it turns out we can influence climate change, I suggest we pump more greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere because the latest data indicate the earth is getting colder. Check out these articles:

Daily Tech

U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works

Global Warming Planning a 20 Year Vacation

Sorry about that, I'll try not to get political in the future.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Circle Dance

There is a tree along the walkway to our condo that is ringed about by grass and a circle of sidewalk. This landscape feature has the unerring effect of making kids run around and around the sidewalk circle.
Last night Eleanor and Williams had some friends over, and all four of them were running around the circle. Meridy and I stood on the inside by the tree, where the words, "Circle Dance" kept coming to my mind. The Circle Dance was a spontaneous invention of a group of my cousins at our family reunion when I was a kid. All the cousins young enough not to be embarrassed and not too young to care held hands while spinning in a big circle. Then we would try to tangle the circle by running under each other's arms and twisting around etc. The rule, of course, as we tried to right ourselves again was that we couldn't let go. We would eventually work out all the snarls, spin around, and start all over again.
The circle dance seemed to take on new meaning for me last night as I stood with Meridy watching the kids run around and around. I reflected on the temple and the course of life. Family is a circle dance.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Save Earth

I was driving home from school the other day when I saw a bumper sticker that said (and I swear I'm not making this up) "Ride Bikes, Save Earth." I thought, "Like that's going to save Earth." Then I said, "Wait a minute, that bumper sticker is not on a bike, it is on a car." Unless some biker gang came and placed bumper stickers on people's cars, the person driving the car is intentionally destroying Earth. Some people are sick.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

The 'other' piggies

Sometimes the drive from Hurricane to Henderson is short, but sometimes it is very long. The most recent trip was long because William was crying almost the whole time. As we neared Vegas, Meridy decided to try playing This Little Piggy with William's toes. After several rounds, he started to enjoy it, and the mood in the car improved markedly. After several more rounds, Meridy tried to stop. William was.....displeased.
After several MORE rounds, we were all ready to hear about what the other little piggies were up to. I started things off by interjecting, "This little piggy wore an apron, this little piggy wore a gun." Then there was something about a police officer, a judge and going to jail. Mer took a turn, "This little piggy brought the ham, this little piggy brought the homemade pasta salad, this little piggy brought the KFC, and this little piggy brought the weird jello with all sorts of fruits and carrots in it and this little piggy brought the brownies and everybody said, 'wheee, whee, whee, wheee!' all the way home." Ellie jumped right in and said something like "This piggy wanted to see his mommy, this little piggy ran away with the spoon, this little piggy had banana cake, and this little piggy brought a banana cake too, this little piggy went to Grammy's house, and this little piggy said Whee Whee Whee all the way home." Yes, Ellie tended to employ 6 piggies, and, no, she doesn't have 6 toes. Well, not on one foot anyway.

After a while we looked back at William and he was asleep. So we tried to call it quits, but Will woke up and would have none of it. We were counting piggies the entire way home.