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Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Eating Grass & Fire-Resistant Pajamas

First, really quick, my friend Annjilla is trying to find someone. She is looking for a database, or a resource like unto it, or really anything, to find someone who rented a house next door to her when she was a little girl. If you have any advice or help for her please leave a comment on her blog post, click: HERE. This is really important to her. Thanks!

We went on two walks this evening. On our second walk, we went to this place an the end of our condo complex. It is this really picturesque, grassy hill, spiced up with some trees and shrubbery. Situated high above the road, it gives a good view as well. We like to let the kids roam around there on occasion. As we were frolicking about, Nate would often chew on grass stems. The grass there has many opportunities for that sort of thing. Ellie did not like Nate chewing on grass stems at all. She wanted daddy to stop! When enough was too much, Ellie grabbed the grass out of Daddy's mouth, chucked it to the side, and told Daddy to, ".....never eat grass again!!!" Seeing that this was a little too much sass from our four year old, Daddy decided to discreetly pick another grass stem and chew on it. Ellie found out about it. I think we finally did ourselves proud and told Ellie, "No." We told Ellie that Daddy can eat grass if he wants to, and she would just have to deal with it. Ellie declared that we don't eat plants. Daddy reminded Ellie that broccoli, carrots, and potatoes are plants. But Ellie was not fooled. I guess four-year-olds are too shrewd to be tricked into thinking that grass and carrots are the same thing. Daddy tried again, and proceeded to explain that grass is like an herb. "What's an herb Daddy?" To which he replied, "An herb is a plant.......with.......special qualities." "And flavors.", I notably added. This intrigued the young one. The wheels started turning in her little mind. "I want to try it!" or perhaps it was actually, "I want one too." Either way, she ate her grass, and was grateful. William, of course, affably joined in as well.

Don't see the grass? Look harder.....

Later that evening, actually it was closer to midnight than evening, it was time for bed. Finally. I took the opportunity to dress Master William for bed. I picked out those tight pajamas. You know? The kind that you have to buy at least 2 sizes too big just to be able to pull them over your child's flailing limbs. Well, I was thinking about the known fact that they are so incredibly tight because they are supposed to be fire-resistant. What a comforting thought. What I want to know is: Why are we only worried about our children catching fire at night? Why don't we always dress them in fire-retardant materials? Because I am pretty sure, after discussing this with Nate, that our child is more likely to catch fire during the day. At night, he is secured. We keep him locked up at his crib. He has limited access to flammables. Not that I'm saying I let him play with matches, but he is a wily little boy. He'll be one of those little boys at scout camp. You know the ones. The ones who light themselves on fire--perhaps while trying to blow up their plastic cups. Okay, well actually, to give him some credit, Will does have an appreciation for things that are hot. "Hot. Owie!", he says. But that doesn't change the intrigue of the fire itself. Something happens to the twelve year old brains of boys. They suddenly think they can light things on fire and not get burned. And so I think, he is still more likely to catch fire during the day and at scout camp. Will is going to Father and Sons with Nate in a few days. This is like an overly supervised scout camp, with an overly large number of supervisors who still like fire even though they are all grown up. I think I better pack Will his fire-resistant pajamas and nothing else.....

Monday, May 18, 2009

Mike, Charlie, and a tax on the poor

Three thoughts, two directly from the Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, one as a derivative thought.

Mike Teavee
Willy Wonka says, "You. You're Mike Teavee. You're the little devil who cracked the system."
Mike Teavea says, "All you had to do, is track the manufacturing dates, offset by weather and the derivative of the Nikkei index. A retard could figure it out."
and, "Die! Die! Die! In the end, I only had to buy one candy bar."
The fact that he doesn't like chocolate only makes me more impressed by him.
Ok, he has some rough edges. From appearances, he hasn't been brought up very well, but the kid is busting with potential. He's a genius who should be snatched up by the CIA who could turn his powers for the good against various crime cells and terrorist organizations.
Anyway, my point is that Mike is portrayed as a villian who cheated to get the ticket. In my mind, he is the only one who earned it.
So, Meridy tried to help me understand. She said people might think he cheated because he wasn't the "lucky winner" the contest envisioned. This leads us to the lucky lotto winner...

Willy Wonka says, "And you, well you're just lucky to be here, aren't you?"
Charlie says......well, I couldn't find any good quotes from him. He did share his birthday chocolate with his family. That is commendable.
But my point with Charlie has to do with his economic mishaps. He is a poverty sticken boy whose father, the family's only breadwinner, is out of work. So he wins the lottery. He gets a Golden Ticket, and he squanders it.
Now you are, no doubt, in an uproar about me saying he squandered his golden ticket. Hear me out. This Golden Ticket has a dollar value on the market. You'll see, if you watch the videos, that he is offered $500 by someone who is trying to sucker him. I'm pretty sure a lot of people would be willing to pay millions of dollars for that ticket. Let's put a price tag on it, say, 2 million dollars. He could sell that ticket, buy a real house for his family out in the country where his grandparents' failing health could improve. He could set up an annuity to support his family for years. He could set up a college fund (for self-actualization purposes if nothing else) for himself and pay for his father to get some training so he could be more valuable in the workforce. Does he do it? No. He spends that 2 million dollars and a trip to a chocolate factory. Talk about fiscal irresponsibility. This leads us to the unlucky lotto victims.

I was listening to NPR the other day --ok, once in a while I listen to NPR, sorry. Anyway, they were discussing whether or not Nevada should implement a state lottery to help pay for education. One guy called in and said that's what the progressive jackpots at the casinos are. I think he's right, but the commentators all wanted a lottery. I wanted to call in and say, "I have never heard anyone put forth this argument against having a lottery, and I think people should hear it. A lottery is like a tax on the poor."
In the name of education, state governments are miseducating the poor. Maybe my expectations of the gov. are too high.
Here is a quote from an article that says what I'm talking about,
"studies show that the heaviest lottery players -- the 20% of players who contribute 82% of lottery revenue -- disproportionately are low-income, minority men who have less than a college education. That has fueled a vociferous anti-lottery movement. "It really is government undercutting what government's role should be," which is encouraging people in financial straits to be responsible with their money, says Tom Grey of the National Coalition Against Legalized Gambling."

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Friday, May 8, 2009


In a few hours I'll be graduating from law school. I'm not going to lie to you--this has been the hardest 3 years of my life. I have been pushed to my limits, held there until I burned out and then kept in the fire to see how long I could keep going when I had nothing left to burn. But what I smell now is not the scent of charcoaled soul. I smell deliverance! Come, rejoice with me! On this day, I close a chapter of my life and prepare to move on.
Before we start the celebration, I should really thank the people who sustained me and made this day a reality.

Meridy: How can I tell you how much you mean to me? After God, no one will ever take precedence over you. Thank you for being with me through all the hard times, encouraging me, keeping me on task and loving me. I knew you were cool when I started hanging out with you. I liked you more the more I explored you. I have come to know you so well, and sometimes you still blow me away. You learn new tricks every day. I am so glad I chose you. Your rock-solid faith and companionship keep my soul alive.

Family, specifically Mom and Dad: Thank you for supporting us in every way. The older I get, the smarter you guys get. I respect your counsel, and I'm so thankful for your example. Should a 27-year old man with a wife and two kids still be running to his parents for help in every crisis? Thank you for financing all our adventures to hospitals, mechanic's shops, and Knott's Berry Farm. We'll pay back the money, but we can never repay you for the help you constantly offer us.

Friends, specifically Peter: Thank you for the fierce frienship, fierce discussions, and fierce loyalty. I'm just glad to call you ally and not enemy. You helped me keep it real, and I look forward to having you in the trenches with me in the future.

God: Thou hast sent me here. Thou hast preserved me. I have come to know thee better in my extremities, and I thank thee for the lessons. I'm sorry for complaining so much. I wish I had taken my medicine with more grace. I will continue to trust in thee. I thank thee for providing me with family and friends to see me through.

Thursday, May 7, 2009


So, many of you know that I love to read YA fiction. Let me recommend Fablehaven, by Brandon Mull. Personally, the first book was hard to get into, but the series as a whole is sooo worth it. I just finished the 4th book and now I have to wait for the 5th!!!!!!!! I am in agony. Okay agony is too strong a word, but you get the idea. The 4th book had a MAJOR plot twist and I cannot come to closure. He left me hanging! I'm the type of person who HAS to finish a movie because I am so emotionally involved and I HAVE to know how it ends. I hope that I don't have to wait 2 YEARS to read the next one.

Sara, you are in for a great ride when you get your book back! Thanks!

Good job to Brandon Mull. And Brandon, my good friend, if you can somehow read this, as a concerned fan.....oh, how can I say this without giving anything away?......Please cut Kendra a break in the next book. Hopefully you know what kind of break I mean.

Thanks, I needed to share.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Willbo Joe and Doctor Ellie

Will has inherited his own host of nicknames, Wilbo Joe being on of them. Couple of quick stories for your amusement...I'll keep them short so that you don't get unamused.

The other day Ellie was watching Sleeping Beauty, and Will was desperate for her to be finished. So I tried to get him excited about the upcoming dragon scene. "Ooohh! William, there is going to be dragon! It's like a dinosaur! It says RAR!" The moment the dragon appeared, Will's eyes were glued to the TV. He loved it. Then sadly, as you know, the dragon dies. Will sounded a bit concerned, "Rar? Rar?" What a sick mom am I? I didn't really have the heart to explain it to him.

Will is an interesting character. He likes to wear gold sparkly shoes and headbutt people. He inherited the same head that my brothers did as children. Seriously, he could beat me in a headbutting contest, I wouldn't have a prayer. Thankfully, Will is a kindly Viking, but a Viking nonetheless. We should have named him Ivan, liked we originally planned. If we name the next boy Ivan, we better watch out!

I was playing doctor with Ellie today. She was listening to her unicorn's heartbeat. She asked the unicorn if she had gone to the temple because she could hear temple music in her heart. Then she did that test where you hit the little hammer against the knee. (Do doctors do that anymore?) And she told the unicorn what was in each knee. One had stickers, and chocolate, and all sorts of fun things. The next knee had bugs in it. She proceeded to do this for the other knees.