I want them to go faster and louder

Almost a month ago (July 6-8) we had our first house guests in our new home.  They are such fun three (and-a-half) year olds.  I think they left wanting more.  Which means they will be happy to come stay again!

They arrived and I showed them where to find the toy box in this house, and we had our was-a-stove-box-converted-house ready for them to play in.  G3 said, “We love ours house in yours house, Marcia!”  Yay a successful play-house.

Here is a picture of them playing with the toys from the toy box, the hand-cuffs are from our Halloween costumes when we were prisoners.  (We keep the other set out of reach of children, thank you very much.)  At some point during this playtime, G2 told us, “Daddy smokes.  I like him smoking.”  Her daddy does not smoke.

01

First item on the schedule was to get in the car and travel to a drum corps show.  G3 fell asleep in the car before we left town.

02

G2 said, “I am not going to sleep, I want to be awake.”  I told her that was fine.

03

Then not ten minutes later she did not answer when I asked her a question, and this is what I saw.

04

It was raining when we got to the show location, and we were hoping that it would have stopped, so while the girls and I sat in the car and ate the food we brought, Jacob went to see if the show was going to be cancelled or moved indoors.  (We had already purchased our tickets.)  The answer was that it looked like the rain would stop soon, and we would wait and the show would just be delayed a bit.  So, we went in and waited under the shelter of the bleachers.  We had to entertain ourselves.  Only when making this post did I notice the sunglasses; I did not see them like that when this was taken.

05

G3 helped G2 fix her skirt (which is a very cute skirt, btw).

06

They found drips coming from empty rivet holes.

07

G3 wanted her picture taken too.  And just so you know, that is not a tear under her eye, it is a water drop.

08

Here is G3 sitting on Jacob’s lap watching the show.

09

Here is G2 sitting on my lap watching the show.  After a while, she wanted to switch places with G3 because 1) the guy in front of us was very VERY tall and 2) my lap was/is not as big as it used to be, she had to share with her unborn cousin.

10

Here is a picture of the first corps that performed.  They won their category/class.  And as a special treat that guy there in the front ensemble is/was one of Jacob’s pitt students.  We are proud of Jason, he played good.

1112

We enjoyed this pretty sunset over the performances. ( I just realized that could mean that we preferred the sunset, that is not what I intended to say.)

13

We had arrived right as the show was supposed to start, and we could not see the corps busses.  We had brought a lot of fruit with us to donate to Jason’s corps and we did not want to take all that fruit home with us, lest it go to waste.  So when the shows were all done we drove around and found where the corps buses were parked, and Jacob went in search of someone we could give the fruit to.  This was after 10 pm and the girls were tired, but very well behaved.  In fact, all the people that were sitting around us were very complimentary of how well they behaved and were impressed that they watched the shows.  G2 at one point told mee that one of the corps was going too slow and needed to be faster and louder.  Both girls were in awe of the flags (color guard).  If there had been any souvenir flags they would have been able to go home with their very own flags.  Fruit delivered, and we started our two-ish hour drive home.  They fell asleep in the car pretty quickly.

The next morning while I was walking (the girls were still asleep when I left, but insisted that they go walk with mee the next morning) Jacob got pancakes going.  After breakfast, the girls took a BUBBLE BATH in my “tiny tub.”

14

While they were in the tub, their happy-things took a bath too.  A very much so needed bath.  Don’t tell Ronda that I let them have Happys with them at the drum corps show, but I did and they dropped them a number of times in the rain puddles, and may or may not have dropped them on the floor in the (public) bathroom when they took turns before getting back in the car to head home.  Once it was clean, G3 told mee that she was unable to chew on her happy because it was clean.  She makes me laugh!

After the bath they wanted to watch a movie in “ours house in yours house.” (Jacob thinks it is funny that the first thing they did when they started playing with the house was to find the object that was too big and try to get it in the door!  We all do it at least once with our own homes, right?)

15

What did they watch?  “Mahana you ugly, get down from that tree!”  “Do you want Johnny Lingo to see what a disobedient daughter you are?”

16

They watched all but the last 3ish minutes of the movie.  Then on to another activity.

17

I let them paint their own nails with what ever color(s) they wanted.  They had fun. G3, “Boys can’t paint theirs nails!”

1819

G3 first picture, G2 second picture.  (In case you couldn’t have figured it out by the colors they chose.)  I offered to paint G2’s right thumb nail, but she insisted she did not want that one painted. Well, okay then.

Lunch time, they asked if I would make them oatmeal, because G3 told mee, “Oatmeal is ours favorite food.”

20

G2 had her apple slices and cheese all lined up-I suspect we are related.

21

G2 right at the end of lunch told mee, “Marcia, I am tired, I want to lay down.”  I gave her permission, and G3 followed her in and five minutes or so later they were out.  About three and a half hours later they were still sleeping, and this is what we saw.

22

Somehow G2 turned into Dora.  They slept for about four hours and 15-30 minutes.  I guess we did a good job of keeping them entertained.   When they woke up they stayed in there talking for a few minutes and then came out and asked if they could have another bubble bath!  I would have let them if we weren’t headed out the door.  We went over to Jacob’s parents’ house and they had a lot of fun pillow fighting with the adults.  I wish I had taken pictures of that, or even video would have been great!

They went to bed, and before falling asleep double checked with mee that they can walk with mee in the morning with my friend, right?

They walked a mile with us before sitting on the track playing.

I let them take another bubble bath.  They loved that, maybe for a birthday or something they need bubble bath soap.  While making stacks of toys that I let them use in the tub, I heard G2 say to G3, “G3 do you know I love you, you is my best friend.  Don’t put that on mine!”  They got out of the tub just in time to start playing when Grammy, Ronda, G1, and G4 arrived to pick them up.  We all had lunch and then they went on their way.

We really had fun having the girls here, maybe it can become a sort of tradition?  What think you?

More than just answer 86

First here is the answer to the last quiz (from almost 2 months ago):

answer86

Karen (Jacob’s mom) had a catering gig for our friend Jennie’s wedding.  She enlisted Jacob and mee to help.  As I was working on part of the dessert selections, the non-stick pan slipped out of my hand and we lost most of that pan, if not all.  We did have fun though.  And next month they will have been married for two whole years!

Speaking of two whole years, today Giuliana Marie turns two!! Wow time flies.  I sure do love that little girl.

Second, or is it third, my face is good.  I no longer hurt.  Maybe we did not need to go to the ER afterall, but I am glad we did  go and find out nothing was wrong, because in all seriousness I was scared and I was in a lot of pain at the time.  And I was mailed a survey on how my ER visit was, I will be sure to fill it out.  Overall it was a good experience, my only complaint is that I did not understand the pain ranking system.

Fourth, Girls camp is coming up in a few weeks.  I (we, but not Jacob) have been working like crazy to get all the fun surprises finished.  We like to have surprises for the girls, and so that he does not have to “lie” we often don’t even tell Jacob what we are up to.  We love the week with our Young Women.

Fifth, Jacob is enrolled in a race this afternoon/evening. The race is from Wapello to Burlington (in Iowa, in case anyone wondered).  We go over and he checks in between 2-4 this afternoon, and then I will drive to Burlington and hang out (with people or at Target or both or a park), hopefully find the ending point, and watch my talented husband finish the race.  Kind of short notice, though if any one wants to join mee as I wait, let mee know!


P.S. I am not sure when I will post a new quiz, it seems that there is less and less interest in it.  Rick wins by default since he is the only one that guessed this last time, and it was up for almost 2 months, so rick here is your imaginarey gold star, or if you come hang with mee this afternoon I can give you a real one!  Or maybe he is just hoping for the prize that we are offering to the 1000th commenter on this here website.

P.P.S.  Many of you know we are trying to secure a mortgage for a house we love.  If we happen to secure it, we intend to close on it in the middle of next month.  With said plan, we will have a new address and will want to mail out address changes, as we plan to not to post our address on the internet.  So if you desire said address from us, please make sure I have your address to mail ours to you.  Plus who doesn’t love getting mail. With that said if your kids like to get mail, or you like for your kids to get mail, make sure you have listed who you want it addressed to with your submission.  One entry per household please.  Submissions may be sent to marcia at twodesk dot com

An old college paper has new relevance

I, by nature, am a procrastinator, and chronically late.  As part of an often-frivolous attempt to remedy this, the clock in my family room runs five minutes fast.  On Wednesday, February 26, the clock’s impatient hands struck 5:30, and found me seated in front of my television, miraculously five minutes early for the CBS Evening News with Dan Rather.  I suffered through the last 5 minutes of yet another asinine production aimed towards the degradation of American minds, and waited for a 30-minute synopsis of the most important events in the world.
As the syncopated cacophony of the trademark xylophone sounded through the television speakers, a faceless voice announced again that the CBS Evening News with Dan Rather was about to begin.  A few previews were shown, tantalizing the morbid part of me that yearns to know exactly how the United States will trounce Iraq, or how a 10-Billion dollar supersonic glider simply melted 36 miles above the earth.
Setting my humanity aside, I settled in for my half hour of “important things.”
I continued this pattern at 5:30 each day for a week, though I tried to forgo the five-minute prelude of tastelessness that I experienced that Wednesday.  The stories each day were the same: First was the latest non-news about the non-war in Iraq.  The first day, we learned the monumentous news that Iraq was positioning its troops in preparation for a possible invasion.  The highlight of this sadistic enterprise was a portion of Dan Rather’s interview with Saddam Hussein, Iraq’s internationally embattled dictator.  He was quoted as saying “No one destroys his own [oil] wells or dams,” and when asked if he would consider exile, he replied, “I will live in Iraq and die in Iraq, as decided by God almighty.”  France called the war that hasn’t happened yet “precipitous,” while another story described how the United States would control Iraq after winning the war.  By The following Monday, the last time I watched the news on television, the news had changed little.  Again, it was reported that Iraq was moving its forces into strategic defensive positions, and Hussein was being only marginally cooperative with outsiders. France called the war that still hasn’t happened yet “premature.”  A later segment described how the United States might handle the situation should troops have to invade Baghdad herself.
Other segments not advertised as “top stories” included some startling revelations: Credit Card fraud is real, and bad. Had NASA known that Columbia was in trouble before attempting to land, they may have been able to do something about it. Icy roads can cause car accidents, and caused 11 fatal ones in New York. An arsonist burned Connecticut nursing home to the ground, killing 10 patients.  Security at the country’s most secret laboratory is faulty.  Zoo animals are dying in Washington D.C.  Consumer spending is down, and the economy is getting worse.
The reader will have to forgive my cynicism.  With all of this bad news being thrown rapid-fire in my face, with the accompanying images and graphics to drive “the story” deeper into my soul, it’s a wonder I’ve kept the will to live.  Pessimism runs rampant through the news media, especially on television.  We can’t blame the journalists though; it’s not their fault.  They are whores to the statisticians at Nielsen, willing to do anything, include meet with Saddam Hussein or drive down the same icy highway that killed eleven other human beings, because people will watch.  Tucked in between these glamorous tragedies, there is humanity.  One story, and perhaps the one that has stuck with me the most, was of a young couple who are both in the army, stationed 45 miles apart in Kuwait, while their son celebrates his second birthday a hemisphere and 12 time zones away in the Midwestern United States.  Even the “humanity” is found in the midst of the war and international aggression.  Perhaps it’s not so humane after all.
I am bitter.  I realize now why I gave up on regular television news programs.  They bring out the worst in me, by showing me the worst in the world around me.  Somewhere, we became infatuated with things that are terrible.  Perhaps they make us feel better about our own lives.  Or perhaps they feed the paranoia that we experience as a result of our own deviance.  After all, with all of those people killing each other and threatening to remove each other from their positions of power, my own preternatural behaviors don’t seem quite so wicked.
Thursday morning, I secured a copy of the Chicago Tribune, almost afraid to find the same twaddle that had wasted half an hour of my life the night before.  I was pleasantly surprised to find a degree of objectivity, and a sense of humanity, even in the more pessimistic stories of the front page.  This particular paper’s main story was about an exposed scandal involving guards beating prisoners at a Chicago jail.  While depressing, the article told the story from the points of view of both prisoners and guards, and offered enough facts that I was able to form my opinion about what I read, whereas the television was determined to keep the facts from me and tell me what my opinion was.   Other stories on the front page were about a new, uplifting design for New York’s World Trade Center, and the Supreme Court’s protection of certain rights of abortion protesters.  The next day, the jail beatings ran as the chief headline again, but what attracted my attention was a feature-length story on the life of Fred Rogers, an American Icon known for his optimism and, as one writer put it, “[daring] to be calm.”  Humanity may yet have a voice!
While the Chicago Tribune’s selection of stories was much more balanced, the writing was still on the misanthropic side.  Writers were skeptical about the possibility of democracy in Iraq, wondering in print if the Iraqi people just might hate America more than they hate Hussein.  In a slant untouched by the television broadcast, the monetary cost of an invasion, occupation, and rebuilding of Iraq was discussed.  Numbers in excess of $100Billion were printed, and a reporter wondered where the money would come from, when the national budget is already overdrawn, and the economy back home is failing.  I get the impression that the Tribune, perhaps echoing the feelings of most Americans, would rather America stay home and solve her own problems, rather than go and solve the problems of a nation that would rather not have our “help.”
Reading the Tribune, I found that the same stories from the television broadcast the night before were covered, but with much more detail.  The cynicism seemed intact, but there was balance.  There seemed to be just as much “good news,” as bad.  In the first section of the newspaper, where the most important things are usually printed, there was equal time given to the prison beatings, and the rebuilding of the World Trade Center, a feel-good symbol of America’s resilience and determination to go on after tragedy.
As the week went on, I felt again and again that the television was trying to beat the independence out of me, forcing its opinions on me as if they were my own, all so subtly that I hardly realized it was happening.  The newspaper seemed intent on expressing its opinion, but it also calmly acknowledged that I was allowed to have my own opinion too.  It even went so far as to provide facts that may counter its own opinion, to assist me in forming mine.  This was a pleasant change from what I saw on television.
Because I’m chronically late, I tend to watch the clock with an obsessive eye.  One fact that can’t be denied is that reading the newspaper takes longer than watching the evening news.  This may be the major difference between the two mediums.  In an attempt to present the bare facts, the television news can lose sight of what is actually important.  When I sat down to watch 30 minutes of “important things,” I often wondered just how important this information was to me.  The newspaper, on the other hand, does not constrain my time.  I can read as little or as much as I like.  Because my priorities are different than those of the television producers, I find myself wanting information that they do not provide, and not wanting some of the information that they do offer.  The newspaper allows me to read at my pace, and absorb only the information that I decide is important.  The television never offered the right amount of information; there was either too much, or too little.  The newspaper seemed determined to err on the side of “too much,” and because I was reading, and could reread what I read (I did not record the evening news to take advantage of my “rewind” button), until I was satisfied, and then go on.  I never felt overwhelmed, or underwhelmed, by the newspaper, and when I was done reading, felt that I was a better person, or at least a better informed person, for having done so.  Television made me feel like a deviant and an antipatriot, because I did not agree with its opinions.
A standout among newspapers is USA Today.  I enjoyed the Chicago Tribune and the Chicago Sun-Times because their localized nature made them attractive as people-oriented publications; they often focused on how national and global issues affect individuals and groups within their respective areas.  USA Today, however, is a national paper, with a refreshingly optimistic sentiment.  It was mostly objective, focusing on national issues, and a “just the facts” attitude.  It would seem that when we simply look at the facts, the world doesn’t seem to be quite as troubled as CBS would have us believe.  It comes as a great surprise that Gannett’s USA Today is the most circulated newspaper in the country, according to a study by GlobalFor Media Services.  Its refreshing optimism and objectivity stands in dire contrast to the pessimism and forced-opinion reporting of the most popular television news programs.
The media is a whore.  She goes wherever the clients are, and does whatever they want.  Demographics are a fascinating science.  Why would the television cater to those who want fewer facts, less humanity, and more carnage, while newspapers strive to be complete, objective, and some even a bit optimistic?  I don’t know the answer to this question, but I know what I want.  I want facts, and I want lots of them.  I want to be able to form my own opinion, and discuss it with other people who also form their own opinions from the same facts.  I want to know what’s good about my country and my race, as well as what’s bad.  I believe that humanity is inherently good, and mankind carries the seeds of something greater than we can realize.  I want to see that face of humanity more than the evil of it.  I want objectivity, not sensationalism.  I want information, not streams of images moving too fast for me to comprehend.  Thanks to the Tribune, I realize what it is that I want.  I want Mr. Rogers.  I want media that’s not afraid to discuss the issues, but discusses them openly, optimistically, and without feeling the need to cater to those who have the attention span of a goldfish.  I want a medium that will, like Mr. Rogers, “dare to be calm.”

The following is a paper that I wrote for a political science class in February 2003. The assignment was to watch, read, or otherwise experience two very different forms of media, and compare and contrast them. I’ve decided to post this here today because this paper discusses the late Mr. Rogers, a children’s television host. Recently, a piece on Fox news discussed how Mr. Rogers was “evil” (yes, they actually used the E-word) for insisting that every child is “special,” even if they “didn’t deserve it.” Here’s my response, written 7 years ago:

Is the Media Cynical, or is it Just Me?

By Jacob Thurman

I, by nature, am a procrastinator, and chronically late.  As part of an often-frivolous attempt to remedy this, the clock in my family room runs five minutes fast.  On Wednesday, February 26, the clock’s impatient hands struck 5:30, and found me seated in front of my television, miraculously five minutes early for the CBS Evening News with Dan Rather.  I suffered through the last 5 minutes of yet another asinine production aimed towards the degradation of American minds, and waited for a 30-minute synopsis of the most important events in the world.

As the syncopated cacophony of the trademark xylophone sounded through the television speakers, a faceless voice announced again that the CBS Evening News with Dan Rather was about to begin.  A few previews were shown, tantalizing the morbid part of me that yearns to know exactly how the United States will trounce Iraq, or how a 10-Billion dollar supersonic glider simply melted 36 miles above the earth.

Setting my humanity aside, I settled in for my half hour of “important things.”

I continued this pattern at 5:30 each day for a week, though I tried to forgo the five-minute prelude of tastelessness that I experienced that Wednesday.  The stories each day were the same: First was the latest non-news about the non-war in Iraq.  The first day, we learned the monumentous news that Iraq was positioning its troops in preparation for a possible invasion.  The highlight of this sadistic enterprise was a portion of Dan Rather’s interview with Saddam Hussein, Iraq’s internationally embattled dictator.  He was quoted as saying “No one destroys his own [oil] wells or dams,” and when asked if he would consider exile, he replied, “I will live in Iraq and die in Iraq, as decided by God almighty.”  France called the war that hasn’t happened yet “precipitous,” while another story described how the United States would control Iraq after winning the war.  By The following Monday, the last time I watched the news on television, the news had changed little.  Again, it was reported that Iraq was moving its forces into strategic defensive positions, and Hussein was being only marginally cooperative with outsiders. France called the war that still hasn’t happened yet “premature.”  A later segment described how the United States might handle the situation should troops have to invade Baghdad herself.

Other segments not advertised as “top stories” included some startling revelations: Credit Card fraud is real, and bad. Had NASA known that Columbia was in trouble before attempting to land, they may have been able to do something about it. Icy roads can cause car accidents, and caused 11 fatal ones in New York. An arsonist burned Connecticut nursing home to the ground, killing 10 patients.  Security at the country’s most secret laboratory is faulty.  Zoo animals are dying in Washington D.C.  Consumer spending is down, and the economy is getting worse.

The reader will have to forgive my cynicism.  With all of this bad news being thrown rapid-fire in my face, with the accompanying images and graphics to drive “the story” deeper into my soul, it’s a wonder I’ve kept the will to live.  Pessimism runs rampant through the news media, especially on television.  We can’t blame the journalists though; it’s not their fault.  They are whores to the statisticians at Nielsen, willing to do anything, include meet with Saddam Hussein or drive down the same icy highway that killed eleven other human beings, because people will watch.  Tucked in between these glamorous tragedies, there is humanity.  One story, and perhaps the one that has stuck with me the most, was of a young couple who are both in the army, stationed 45 miles apart in Kuwait, while their son celebrates his second birthday a hemisphere and 12 time zones away in the Midwestern United States.  Even the “humanity” is found in the midst of the war and international aggression.  Perhaps it’s not so humane after all.

I am bitter.  I realize now why I gave up on regular television news programs.  They bring out the worst in me, by showing me the worst in the world around me.  Somewhere, we became infatuated with things that are terrible.  Perhaps they make us feel better about our own lives.  Or perhaps they feed the paranoia that we experience as a result of our own deviance.  After all, with all of those people killing each other and threatening to remove each other from their positions of power, my own preternatural behaviors don’t seem quite so wicked.

Thursday morning, I secured a copy of the Chicago Tribune, almost afraid to find the same twaddle that had wasted half an hour of my life the night before.  I was pleasantly surprised to find a degree of objectivity, and a sense of humanity, even in the more pessimistic stories of the front page.  This particular paper’s main story was about an exposed scandal involving guards beating prisoners at a Chicago jail.  While depressing, the article told the story from the points of view of both prisoners and guards, and offered enough facts that I was able to form my opinion about what I read, whereas the television was determined to keep the facts from me and tell me what my opinion was.   Other stories on the front page were about a new, uplifting design for New York’s World Trade Center, and the Supreme Court’s protection of certain rights of abortion protesters.  The next day, the jail beatings ran as the chief headline again, but what attracted my attention was a feature-length story on the life of Fred Rogers, an American Icon known for his optimism and, as one writer put it, “[daring] to be calm.”  Humanity may yet have a voice!

While the Chicago Tribune’s selection of stories was much more balanced, the writing was still on the misanthropic side.  Writers were skeptical about the possibility of democracy in Iraq, wondering in print if the Iraqi people just might hate America more than they hate Hussein.  In a slant untouched by the television broadcast, the monetary cost of an invasion, occupation, and rebuilding of Iraq was discussed.  Numbers in excess of $100Billion were printed, and a reporter wondered where the money would come from, when the national budget is already overdrawn, and the economy back home is failing.  I get the impression that the Tribune, perhaps echoing the feelings of most Americans, would rather America stay home and solve her own problems, rather than go and solve the problems of a nation that would rather not have our “help.”

Reading the Tribune, I found that the same stories from the television broadcast the night before were covered, but with much more detail.  The cynicism seemed intact, but there was balance.  There seemed to be just as much “good news,” as bad.  In the first section of the newspaper, where the most important things are usually printed, there was equal time given to the prison beatings, and the rebuilding of the World Trade Center, a feel-good symbol of America’s resilience and determination to go on after tragedy.

As the week went on, I felt again and again that the television was trying to beat the independence out of me, forcing its opinions on me as if they were my own, all so subtly that I hardly realized it was happening.  The newspaper seemed intent on expressing its opinion, but it also calmly acknowledged that I was allowed to have my own opinion too.  It even went so far as to provide facts that may counter its own opinion, to assist me in forming mine.  This was a pleasant change from what I saw on television.

Because I’m chronically late, I tend to watch the clock with an obsessive eye.  One fact that can’t be denied is that reading the newspaper takes longer than watching the evening news.  This may be the major difference between the two mediums.  In an attempt to present the bare facts, the television news can lose sight of what is actually important.  When I sat down to watch 30 minutes of “important things,” I often wondered just how important this information was to me.  The newspaper, on the other hand, does not constrain my time.  I can read as little or as much as I like.  Because my priorities are different than those of the television producers, I find myself wanting information that they do not provide, and not wanting some of the information that they do offer.  The newspaper allows me to read at my pace, and absorb only the information that I decide is important.  The television never offered the right amount of information; there was either too much, or too little.  The newspaper seemed determined to err on the side of “too much,” and because I was reading, and could reread what I read (I did not record the evening news to take advantage of my “rewind” button), until I was satisfied, and then go on.  I never felt overwhelmed, or underwhelmed, by the newspaper, and when I was done reading, felt that I was a better person, or at least a better informed person, for having done so.  Television made me feel like a deviant and an antipatriot, because I did not agree with its opinions.

A standout among newspapers is USA Today.  I enjoyed the Chicago Tribune and the Chicago Sun-Times because their localized nature made them attractive as people-oriented publications; they often focused on how national and global issues affect individuals and groups within their respective areas.  USA Today, however, is a national paper, with a refreshingly optimistic sentiment.  It was mostly objective, focusing on national issues, and a “just the facts” attitude.  It would seem that when we simply look at the facts, the world doesn’t seem to be quite as troubled as CBS would have us believe.  It comes as a great surprise that Gannett’s USA Today is the most circulated newspaper in the country, according to a study by GlobalFor Media Services.  Its refreshing optimism and objectivity stands in dire contrast to the pessimism and forced-opinion reporting of the most popular television news programs.

The media is a whore.  She goes wherever the clients are, and does whatever they want.  Demographics are a fascinating science.  Why would the television cater to those who want fewer facts, less humanity, and more carnage, while newspapers strive to be complete, objective, and some even a bit optimistic?  I don’t know the answer to this question, but I know what I want.  I want facts, and I want lots of them.  I want to be able to form my own opinion, and discuss it with other people who also form their own opinions from the same facts.  I want to know what’s good about my country and my race, as well as what’s bad.  I believe that humanity is inherently good, and mankind carries the seeds of something greater than we can realize.  I want to see that face of humanity more than the evil of it.  I want objectivity, not sensationalism.  I want information, not streams of images moving too fast for me to comprehend.  Thanks to the Tribune, I realize what it is that I want.  I want Mr. Rogers.  I want media that’s not afraid to discuss the issues, but discusses them openly, optimistically, and without feeling the need to cater to those who have the attention span of a goldfish.  I want a medium that will, like Mr. Rogers, “dare to be calm.”

Epilogue

The professor’s comments at the end of the paper read “You have a great writing style, and I have to admit I laughed out loud a couple of times – a rare event in reading term papers. (Crying is somewhat more common – just kidding). Anyway, good discussion of your media experience.”

It has been replaced

Anybody remember this post?  Well, I do, every time I want to do laundry.

Last week for Family Home Evening we ate at a place that we like, we may even love it (though we do not call it home, so it should have been called Family out evening).  After we ate we decided to walk around a nearby store and see what we could see.  Not really interested in spending any monies, we just wanted to walk off some of what we had eaten.  Out of the blue, Jacob was pointing and telling mee to “Look!”  It was the basket that I have not been able to find in this town for over a year.  We bought two.  And sooner rather than later they will be marked with our name so that if any leave our house for some reason, they will be able to come back home.

We still are not sure how the old basket walked off, or why, but we have replaced it.  However, if it returns to us, we will welcome it into our home again, just as before.  No questions asked, at least not too many questions asked.

The Great Tree Massacre of 2008

Yes this quiz is from a pictures taken over a  year ago.

answer83

On December 19th, 2008 at almost two in the morning we heard a noise.  It sounded like something had fallen on the house.  We put our coats on, and went outside to see the above.

We were worried that the branch may have been too heavy to leave hanging on the cable that feeds us our internet.  We also did not like the idea that it might fall on the car.

This branch was about the diameter of a healthy cantaloupe, and was very long.  Jacob went up to it to see if he could just push it off to get it away from the wire.

2008 12 19 (1) blog

Upon closer inspection, it was really really big.  He gave a few heaves, and decided it would be best to move the car out of the way so as to not allow the chance of the branch falling on the car.  So, he ice-picked his way into the car, kept the door open to see and backed the car up a ways.  He went back to the branch and gave it some good pushes.

2008 12 19 (5) blog

Down it came.  You can see where the car had been.  The sound from the branch hitting the ground was loud, and the vibrations from it hit other places where ice had formed, and we heard lots of cracking and popping around us.  The best we can describe it is to say that it sounded like a battle field.  The apartments across the street had lots of ice on the roof, that (we believe) in response to the branch noise, cracked and slid off the roof into the parking lot.  We hope all the cars were ok after that.

2008 12 19 (3) blog

The ice storm really was pretty to look at even though it really was not good for the trees (or likely the animal life either).  This is one of the electric lines next to our house that we saw at that time.

2008 12 19 (9) blog

This is a picture taken after getting up for the day.

Little Orphan Annie

Is responsible for a number of my obsessions.  Red Hair.  Curly hair.  Twirly dresses.  Calling dogs “dumb.”  Bald heads*.

Tonight as I was trying to feel better**, I curled up on the couch to watch “comfort movies.”  One of which was Annie.  It reminded me how much I loved the music, still do.  And it got mee to thinking about how I used to have an Annie dress, not the one she wears in the movie, but one with her and Sandy and a rainbow, all over it.  I have no idea what the rainbow was about since I didn’t see one in the movie, but I had matching hair barrettes.  I remember being very sad when I was no longer able to wear it.

When the movie was over, I checked the audio options, as I like to do, and was pleased to see that I can watch it in Spanish!  I like the song translations***.

And my wonderful husband**** surprised mee with roses when he returned from Stake meetings this evening.


*So, I may not be obsessed with “bald heads” but I sure do think little old men are adorable, and I love when babies (boys) look like little old men.  Weird I know, but it is mee.
**I am suffering from a crazy sinus infection.  Mostly bothers mee overnight, however it has mee coughing and sneezing and feeling pretty crumby.
***I foresee my memorizing them in the future.
****I sure do think he is swell!

Canadian Thanksgiving

Here is the answer you all have been waiting for…

answer82

On October 12th we had dinner at Jacob’s parents’ house with the missionaries, Elder Pickett and Elder Drake.  Elder Pickett is from Canada and that happens to be Canadian Thanksgiving.  So using our super internet abilities, we found his family.  Jacob called his parents and talked to his brother and his mom and asked about any traditions.  We discovered that Elder Pickett has tried many new foods on his mission. The plate above is his clean plate.

Here he is loading up his plate:

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Here he is trying new foods:

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He liked it so much, we sent leftovers home with him:

IMG_2955

My how time flies

Eight years ago today, I was serving a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  I was a part of the Chile Santiago West Mission.  I was living in this apartment*, with my companion Hna (Flavia) Franovich, and two other sisters. Hna (Kerry) McBride, and Hna (Michelle) Affleck.  We had all moved into this apartment a week before.

I got up to shower, in this bathroom.**

I lit the califont (water heater).  The pilot light went out.  I was in there for about half an hour.  The other sisters began to worry that they had not seen or heard from me.  They knocked on the door, no response.  They knocked harder, still no reply.  Bathroom door was locked, so Hna McBride ran at the door and broke it open.  I was passed out on the floor and not breathing.  I understand I was not flesh colored at this time, nor was I my normal size.  They got me covered up and made calls to get help for me.  Elder (Ryan) Williams and Elder (Jeremy) Jeppson arrived and I recieved a Priesthood*** blessing at the hands of Elder Williams.  I am told it was a very short blessing and to the point.  And I started to breath.

I was taken to multiple hospitals seeking treatment.  Each in its turn rejecting me as being gone, and unable to do anything for me.  Until I was taken to a military hospital, where I was placed in a decompression chamber.  I remember slipping in and out of consciousness.  There was a VERY attractive man**** sitting in the chamber with me trying to keep me calm as I would come to and panic.  There was a window where I was able to see President John C. Hadfield.  The next thing I remember is coming to in a MRI machine.*****  Here are pictures of my brain.

top view sliced down the middle I think it looks like lettuce I appear to have a head like Homer Simpson my face is kinda scarry looking with out the front of it, makes me think of something from Star Wars Yoda-esk “tell ’em Large Marge sent ya”

When I really woke up, I was in a different hospital, and I believe it was the next day.  It was a really nice hospital with great care. The hospital tag line is “en las mejores manos” “in the best hands” and it is true.  The diagnosis was Carbon Monoxide Poisoning.

I was incredibly weak.  It felt like the fork weighed 20 pounds.

When I was admitted they apparently had a hard time finding good places for IVs.  Here are bruises from different places they attempted to sick me, in the end they found a spot on my right arm mid-way from my wrist to my elbow, on the other side.

much better with a whole face

Hermana Lexine Hadfield had brought me roses and candy.  The candy I ate-I love Toblerone, and the roses I dried/pressed.  I still have them.  5 days later I was released from the hospital, and we moved into a brand new apartment-no califont in the bathroom. And a great view from our 16th floor balcany.  This was my view when I woke up the first morning.  I will forever love the Andes.

I had regular check-ups.  I took lots of medicine for a while.******  I ended up having sinus surgery to correct damage done there.  I can breath, I still get headaches, have to be careful and eat regularly, and I struggle with memory issues.  But over all, I am doing well, and am happy to just be alive, and hope that I can be of service to others.  I am very grateful for all the people that were there to help me recover from this.

*My companion and I chose the room with out bed frames.  It was nice having the mattresses right on the floor.  And it is odd, I know, but I kinda miss the milk in a box.  And on top of the fridge is an empty bottle of Show -the best apple soda ever!  I do not miss cooking on the hot plate.  You can see that some one’s mom sent a package and had peanut butter.

**The sink is to the left of the shot.  Picture taken in the doorway. Dates printed on photos are only good if they are the correct dates, these pictures do not have the right dates, at least not all of them.

***It is the very same priesthood power that the prophets of old held.  Of Moses and Noah.  That same priesthood power of Christ’s mortal life, and that the apostles held even after His crucifixion.  That same priesthood was restored to the Earth to Joseph Smith.  Miracles have not ended.  I know this to be a truth.

****I don’t remember exactly what he looked like.  He had a beard, I think he had red hair,  he wore green scrubs.  I have a pair of green scrubs that remind me of the positives of the event.  I remember being quite surprised that I was alone in a small “room” with a very nice looking man, then I realized that he was in scrubs and that, combined with my discomfort indicated to me that I was not dreaming, and that I was probably in a hospital.  He tried to explain what happened, but I think I passed out again.

*****If you have never been in one of these, I do not recommend it.  They are loud and I heard echos of it in my sleep for at least a month later, and for a while after when I was awake too-it made me feel so crazy when people would answer that they did not hear any pounding when I complained.

******I am pretty sure at the highest medicine intake point I had 12 pills in one day.  And people wonder why I don’t like to take meds.

Our story

Marcia decided that we are going to start keeping a family journal.  I think this is a great idea, except she keeps insisting that we can’t actually start it until I write my version of how we met and fell in love and got married. Every time I sit down to start writing that story (and while she won’t believe me, I have started many times), I realize that there needs to be even more back story, and I give up and scrap what I’ve written.

So tonight, I decided to take a different approach and instead of writing a novel, I started writing it in the style of a children’s book. Marcia rejected it for inclusion in the family journal, so here it is:

How we Met

One day in church there was a pretty girl named Marcia.  We skipped a church dance together and walked around outside.  I liked her.  We went back to her apartment and…

played cards.

Then I went on a mission.

Then she went on a mission.

Then I got back.

Then she got back.

Then we dated for like 5 years.

Then she moved away.

And I missed her.

So I asked her to marry me.

She said yes.

And we got married.

And I liked it.

THE END

I wouldn’t look for it in the Scholastic book catalog any time soon.