Monday, December 31, 2007

Dreams for Today

I dreamt about football last night. And for the life of me I cannot figure out why. I don't like football (it's boring, it's over-rated, it's takes too long, there's not enough running, the ball isn't round, the pants aren't tight enough - the list goes on). For that reason, I'm baffled.

They say dreams come to you because of a lingering motive in the subconscious. Or because of some unfinished business or conflict that needs resolving. Either way, I dreamt about football and football players and fans with painted faces. In my real life, that stuff is way boring. It's downright irksome when you're sleeping soundly and that real-life alarm clock signals the end of a quarter in your football game dream.

I know why I dreamt about football. It's because it is the end of a year. It's because we're programmed culturally to strive for new and better in the year to come.

Several years ago, before my booming career as a parent, I'd sit down each year and write goals. I liked to call these goals objectives (because it made me feel important) and I'd type them on post-it sized bright yellow paper. I'd paste the papers in strategic places - the bathroom mirror, my computer monitor, on top of the box of staples, the bottom of my sock drawer - you know places I see often - all in the hopes that the repetitive nature of their viewing would lead to a greater me.

In 1999, one of my objectives was to like football - which required that I first learn about it. I borrowed Football for Dummies from my co-worker (you all think I'm joking about that title, but proof of it's existence can be found here), I traveled to local high school games with the Winder (who's dad was a coach at the time) and I inquired often about plays and strategies. Heck - I even WATCHED IT ON TV! Now that's dedication to objectifying your existence! It didn't work though. I still don't like football, but as they say, "I gave it the ol' college try." Except I don't remember actually watching a college football game.

Where am I going with this? Isn't that the eternal question one asks when reading my blog? I am going somewhere, but my pinball approach to story telling leads many to wonder. Anyway, the point of this is - it's objection time, I mean objective time and maybe the football dream is telling me it's time to write some.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Robert Plant

Today's Friday Flashback is brought to you by the Flash Forward of Robert Plant - isn't he a hot one (even with all of his 59 years! By a strange coincidence, he and the Winder share the same birthday.) I call this a flash forward because I am currently involved in his latest achievement. (By involved, I mean listening to and loving.)

Robert Plant, an English born rock star, was the front man/lead singer for Led Zeppelin. He is known for his magical and enigmatic lyrics and wide vocal range (that means he can sing high and he can sing sober). After the disbandment of Led Zeppelin, Plant enjoyed (at least I assume he enjoyed) a successful solo career.

Robert Plant's latest "project" is a collaborative duet with the one and only Alison Krauss. The album is called Raising Sand and it's a dandy! Raising Sand is highly recommended on the Rabidrunner Richter Scale (meaning it brings forth all sorts of movement on the emotional output seismometer). The album is a surprisingly mellow mashup of Plant and Krauss' musical styles - a nice soul soothing bunch of songs. Anyway, check it out: Polly Come Home and Fortune Teller and Stick With Me Baby

Monday, December 24, 2007

Gift Exchange

I can't sleep! I tossed for a bit then decided that it was optimal blogging time. Not a creature is stirring, 'cept the mice - and the Yahoos are nestled all snug in their beds while the Rabid hopes that it stays that way. At least until I finish right?

As usual, I glance about the room to determine what I'm going to write about. It's similar to finding the last word in a word search - you know where it's written diagonally from right to left backwards and you've skimmed the entire word search line by line. That is how I blog sometimes - when I don't know what to write about but feel like writtin'. I believe there's a song in there somewhere Feel like writin' a blog.... Feel like writin' a blog... Feel like writin' a blog... Feel like writin'....a blog.... to you.

Anyway, skimming the room for inspiration when I notice a gift from acquaintances that live two blocks away. We'll call them the Petersons ('cause their last name starts with P). See I went to bed really early last night. I did so in hopes that I wouldn't start barking and it worked. No barking! It looks as if a gift arrived while I was sleeping last night. Immediately, I thought "that's odd. Why did the Peterson's give us a gift" and then I remembered.

First I must describe how I do gift giving. I give a small prize to the 11 neighbors around me. I try to make it an item that cannot be eaten but yet one that must be consumed (if you have any ideas for next year, please share). I'm not a big fan of dollar store trinkets that are saved from year to year until finally you throw them away - and feel guilty about it. This year it was a roll of paper towels.

Yesterday I wrapped up 16 paper towel rolls in shiny star stamped cellophane paper, topped them with a giant gold bow, then attached an "Absorb the Spirit of Christmas" message (the Winder's neighbor gave me that clever little bit and by the way, the magic is in the packaging.)

I was cooking for a Christmas party and sent Spouse and the Yahoos out to deliver the magically wrapped paper towels. I gave them a list of the neighbors. Spouse quickly solved the We-Have-More-Towels-Than-We-Need puzzle. What's to be done with the extra five? I said "well. Remember (which comes out more like "member") that Church Christmas Party? We drew the names of two families. We were instructed to give them a surprise or do something nice for them. And since I'm not feeling nice they get paper towels. That's 13 - you can dispose of the last 3 any way you like." So Spouse looked up where they live in the directory and went out for delivery.

One of those chosen families was the Petersons. The other was the... we'll call them the Tatankas (mostly because that wolf movie with Kevin Costner came to mind and their last name starts with "T").

Now. If you put all the paragraphs together, one can figure that we sent the Petersons a gesture (because our church made us) and now the Petersons feel obligated to return it. Where's the fun in that? I mean, can't you/I send a minor provision (paper towels are a necessity these days) and NOT receive something back? Which reminds me, we received a random gift from the Gundersons. Do I need to scramble and come up with something to give back? You realize this vicious cycle could go on and on. And then we'd have piles of useless crap and we'd spend a bunch of money that might be used more thoughtfully. For example, we could give the operation smile folks some cash (where $250 will buy one child a cleft palette surgery).

My favorite is the people who have stacks of odd presents at their door "in case some unforeseen giver comes by." I don't mean to offend. It's very nice to give and to receive. But sometimes it's okay to just receive. Other times it might be best to channel that paper towel money to people who need it.

Merry Christmas! If I have the time today (yeah, right!) I'll post a Merry Christmas playlist. (Not that there's anyone out there with time to read today.)

Thursday, December 20, 2007

A Tale of Dude and Babe

Back in August, Spouse, the Dad, and I made an attempt to hike the Narrows with Dude and Babe. (The Narrows by the way, is a Zion National Park hot spot complete with Europeans and Flood Danger. See Midweek Trip.)

Dude is a friend of the Dad and there's a reason the Dude is called "The Dude." It's because if there ever was a Dude, it would be him. The man reeks of intelligence and poise (a cardiologist for an unnamed establishment with an e-mail censorship problem), coordination and endurance (quite a skier), humor and whit (face it - he's down right fun!)

And Babe? Well, the name just speaks for itself. (That and the Dude addressed her as such - as in "Hey Babe!? Can you pass the pepper?" Or "Babe!? Would you care to square dance?")

So the Dad phones a while back with a noteworthy and relative "Dude and Babe" story. It's noteworthy because - well you'll just have to read on - and it's relative because it involves running and spousal trickery.

The Dude and Babe had gone south (Moab, I believe) to run a 1/2 marathon. Babe was the only one with plans to run.

The night before the race, the two met up with a Friend (don't exactly know who, but this minor detail is not necessary). During their let's-get-to-know-each-other-again dialogue, Friend brought up the race and asked if they were running. Babe said she was. Dude said he wasn't. To which Friend responded with "Cheerleading... huh?"

Dude ran the race.

This story triggered all sorts of manipulating possibilities. I can give Spouse many options whereby the counterpart is Cheerleading! Amazing stuff.

- Would you like to clean the toilet or be the cheerleader?
- Would you rather go shopping or be the cheerleader?
- Would you like to clean the garage or be the cheerleader?
- Would you rather be married to me forever or be the cheerleader?

See? Manipulating possibilities. If only I could get him to wear one of those skirts...

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Where did you come from?

Yahoo #2 has turned into our "Where Did You Come From" child. I figured everyone had a "Where Did You Come From" child so I better pick one and Yahoo #2 is it. I believe Spouse and I began asking that question the minute he was born (I mean how exactly does a woman as hairy as I am produce a bald child?) and have repeated it every entertaining day of his little life (four years in January).

I have three examples of behavior that has sparked the eternal question.

1) We do yoga together. Not that I'm that into yoga, but lately I've been trying to elongate my aging sinews. We get the yoga mat out and we take turns deciding which "pose" to do. I always start the ritual because I'm the yoga master of ceremonies and we do five sun salutations. Then it's his turn to choose the pose. He usually decides on a combative air bending move he learned while watching Avatar. Ancient Chinese Buddhist stuff (I'll bet those Hindus are rolling in their graves now!), but nevertheless I follow.

So the other night, we finish the sun salutations and I say okay it's your turn. He throws his head back, forms ferocious claws with his chubby hands and screams "chase the chipmunks!" This is where I stop and say... "Where Did You Come From?"

I wonder if they are rabid chipmunks...

2) He likes puddles. And he's not interested in stomping through them to learn about physics. He likes the taste. Yes... he gets down on all fours and laps it up like a dog. He's grown especially fond of the puddles in the garage that have been created by melting mudflap snow. Again, this is where I stop and say "Where Did You Come From?"

3) He yells at the garage. I changed his diaper the other day (okay, so he's not potty trained yet and I've fully accepted my title as the potty training failure.) At our house we have a holding tank for diapers when we're too lazy to run the dreadful thing all the way out to the garbage can. It's called the garage. So I change the diaper the other day and tell him to "do his duty" which means "run to the garage and throw it in." He runs off. I hear yelling in a scolding don't-do-that kind of voice. No one else is home so I wonder what's up. I walk over to him and ask "Yahoo? What are you yelling at?" He closes the door and says "The Poo."

I yell at mine too.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Pride (that's a big surprise)!

But Gluttony? Greed? Wrath? Come on! (Okay, wrath might be legit).

Sloth:Very Low
Lust:Very Low

What's your predominant sin?

Take The Seven Deadly Sins Quiz on

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Presidential Circus

Spouse and I have been excited about 2007-2008. Why? Because the year (and $25 million per candidate) might produce the finest political spectacle ever. So far I haven't been disappointed.

Let's start off with our current president, Mr. George Dubyuh. Quite frankly, I don't listen to a word he says and therefore I don't know if I agree or disagree with him. His speech delivery is pugnacious. I'm unable to sit through (let alone listen to) any of his speeches/press releases. And so I decided a bit ago that I would vote solely for the best speaker. As an aside, why does a speaker deliver a speech instead of a speach? I will never understand our language.

Anyway, if my precious morning TV will be interrupted on a regular basis to hear the new Mr or Ms President speak, they better be able to deliver the precious words their precious speech writer wrote for them - and in a somewhat entertaining fashion.

So far Mitt Romney is winning. It's not because I believe in his political agenda or his integrity (we all know how disappointing his abortion flip-flop was). It's because that dude is an awesome speaker! Admit it, you know he is.

Let's use today's speech on religion (that was given in some Texas Bush-named college library). His delivery was eloquent, downright tear-jerking. He spoke of freedom and faith and religious tolerance.

Had I not already been a Mormon, I would have run right out and grabbed the nearest missionaries. Or at least called the 800 number. Seriously. That good.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Tramp Cave

What does Spouse do when it dumps (a whole lot - and for those of you in the notso know, "dump" is a verb that means "snow") and it's Saturday and he wants to try a -20F sleeping bag? He builds "Tramp Cave." The construction took only 5 hours and 1800 milligrams of ibuprofin.

After the fortress was complete, he stomped in the kitchen (wet from sweat and wet from snow) announcing triumphantly "This is my version of Combat Cleaning."

For those of you in the notso know (again? You should really come around more often), Combat Cleaning is what Spouse calls it when it's late and I should have been in bed long ago, but there's just this one thing that needs to be picked up, and OH! what about that? I cannot go to bed without THAT being cleaned and OH! I forgot to do this. The frantic scramble goes on and on. All of the ittty bitty messes about the house have joined forces, draped in armor, and are ready to take over. I MUST FIGHT BACK!

When am I going to learn that the messes always win? Oh well.

Nice fort huh? Spouse and Yahoo #1 spent the night there. It was 18 degrees (F) when they entered and 22 degrees (F) when they came out at 8:00am the next day - only to retrieve a game and go back.