Monday, March 20, 2017

she was a working girl, north of England way

The other day I heard Patton Oswalt say that since the election a friend of his has taken to greeting people with "How are you, otherwise?" I feel ya, man.  This morning the discussion on Radio West was about fake news and how hard it is to get people to believe things they don't want to believe, no matter how true they are.  And then you see the American public and the media so happily turn their focus to whatever new shiny thing the current White House administration throws in front of them without holding their feet to the fire on any of it and it's all pretty frustrating.  So otherwise I'm doing great.  Our family is mostly surviving adolescence, I have a job I love, and I bought a bare-root apricot three that looks very promising.  

I have moved from derby-ing to on-skate officiating because I have too many irons in the fire and I think my teammates deserve someone who is capable of forming a somewhat cohesive wall with them.  Sad, but necessary.  

I want to put three or four nice big horse troughs on the south side of my house and do container gardening in them.  John is really pinning his ears back about it, but I imagine I'll end up doing it someday anyway because I'm rude and dismissive of other people's opinions.  

Thursday, February 16, 2017

they were bum poets as well

Well, what an interesting ride we are on lately, no?  Sunday morning I started crying about something else entirely--I believe it was the book we're reading as a family--and John, with concern in his eyes, advised taking a week off from the news.  I refused, and I'm glad I did because what a week this has been!  I am so cross with Jason Chaffetz, who I want to stop embarrassing Utah with his naked ambition and partisan hackery.

But more about the book we're reading--my sister gave us Echo for Christmas, which is a book for older children and is thoroughly wonderful and well-written.  I cannot recommend it highly enough.  It traces the pathway of a harmonica through the lives of a series of characters before and during World War II.  Delightful, engrossing, I love it and so do my kids.  Even Grant and Emmett, who try to pretend like they are too old for it, pay enough attention to know what's happening and ask questions and react to the events of the story.  There is a lot of symmetry with what's happening in our current world, and it makes for great discussions with the kids.  Pam Muñoz Ryan is the author, go get it.

Monday, February 6, 2017

open up my eager eyes, 'cause I'm Mr. Brightside

Come into the Conspiracy Cave with me for a moment, won't you?  In light of that horrible man's ongoing tantrum about the judge who defied his unconstitutional orders I would not be surprised to see a terrorist attack that was either orchestrated by, or was actively not prevented by the current administration, in order to use the event to scare people into supporting his inhumane policy and to accumulate more power.

I wish this seemed more implausible.  There was a time, in the halcyon days of yore, when I thought the people carrying "BUSH DID 9/11!" posters were crazy, but here we are.

Monday, January 30, 2017

and the call isn't out there at all, it's inside me

At the women's march held in Salt Lake City last Monday I saw so many signs that made me laugh ruefully, shake my head in agreement, and cry in sympathetic frustration.  But the one that has stuck with me is the one that said: 

"I am no longer accepting the things I cannot change.  I am changing the things I cannot accept."  

So what can we do?  I'm talking beyond contributing to worthy organizations and calling our reps.  I called my elected officials three times last week; I'll keep doing it, but I'm sure I'm working my way up their "crazies we do not listen to" list.  What do we do?  

Thursday, January 19, 2017

I have a bad feeling about this

I am thoroughly disgusted with two of the major institutions in my life and have had my distrust of all humanity confirmed.  The silver lining to watching the unravelling of dignity and decency and democracy is that I have read a lot of Kurt Vonnegut, so I will be unsurprised by any of it.

Friday, August 26, 2016

who can explain the thunder and rain but there's something in the air

My sisters are going to the pool today, and none of my kids are in the mood to go, especially since I've told them they have to go to the rodeo tonight, which they hate.  I am failing at being a rural parent I guess.  Anyway, I said, "What about if I let you bring a friend?" and Emmett said, "I would rather bring a friend to the National Dumpster Diving Championships.  I would rather bring a friend to the Monsanto slag pour."  As he thought about what he'd just said, he followed up with, "Actually, if it weren't so far away I actually would like to take a friend to the Monsanto slag pour."  He's not wrong--my feelings toward Monsanto are conflicted at best, but flaming crap running down the side of a mountain is high-quality entertainment.

Just thought you'd like to know.

Monday, August 15, 2016

he grew up to be a jerk, just like me

Well, there's nothing to put a shine to your day quite like having an argument with one of your kids in which both parties take turns accusing each other of being too intense about something that really doesn't matter so why are you making such a big deal about it.  The golden years of parenting are now officially coming to an end and I hate it.  I've said that my kids just keep getting better and better, but now we've begun the slide that all parents of teenagers experience eventually, and which never really ends.  I'll never get Grant back.  He'll continue to pull away and be a bigger and bigger brat until he graduates, then he'll go on a mission and it will be almost like he died for two years, then he'll come home and be all preachy for a while, then he'll settle down and we'll have a brief glorious moment in the sun of being a close-knit family again, and then he'll get married and start having kids and so on, and that's the end of it all--it'll never be the same.  Even though all of these things are things I expect and want for him (minus the brattiness and the preachiness), and even though what's up ahead will bring its own kind of joy, I can't help but mourn the death of the part of my life that nobody warned me about.  Everybody said to enjoy the time when my kids were little, which was stupid, because there is nothing I miss about that part of my life.  But this part?  The part where everybody is grown up enough to be fun and interesting and we all love to be together all the time?  This is the best, and it sucks that we only get a couple years of it.  

Calculating conservatively, I figure I've got at least 15 more years of this, because by the time one child returns to normalcy you've already lost the next child.  Looking forward to it, it's going to be super great.