Thursday, April 30, 2009


"the thing that makes a successful blog is consistency, not creativity or
I really do believe that quote. My sister's blog is "a plain Jane's mundane harangue", my wife's is "Beck's Blahg" [I helped with the name - I mean, I am just saying... in case anybody else out there needs help with a blog name - now you know, I do that. And Eve, I still think EVE-ILL is your best bet, that is if you want it to reflect the real you ;)], and my blog is full of maundering. It is all mundane, maundering blah - there is no other meaning to any of it than what the name indicates.

The point is just to keep going forward with it everyday. At those times that forward feels too hard the other option is to just keep going; to be here - to stick to it. Here. Forward. Whatever. Just by keeping at it you somehow keep movin' down the road. Success in blogging really isn't being the greatest blog in the entire galaxy (although it doesn't hurt).

Now, my sister is considering leaving blogging forever - so, please, do the world a favor and leave her a comment encouraging her to keep her vitriolic mind spew alive.


Wednesday, April 29, 2009


ÉL: ¡¡Sí!! Por fin. Que dura fue la espera. No podría aguantar ni un minuto más.

Ella: ¿Quieres dejarme?

ÉL: Nooo. ¿Estás loca? Ni siquiera lo pienses.

Ella: ¿Me amas?

ÉL: Por supuesto, una y otra vez

Ella: ¿Alguna vez me has sido infiel?

ÉL: ¡Noo! Sólo pensarlo me da asco.

Ella: ¿Me besarías?

ÉL: En cada oportunidad que tenga

Ella: ¿Te atreverías a golpearme?

ÉL: Sabes que no soy ese tipo de hombre

Ella: ¿Puedo confiar en ti?

ÉL: Sí

Ella: ¡Mi amor!





Desde abajo hacia arriba lee todo otra vez…

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Running Journal

Well, I am just about done with the semester. This has been a good semester in many ways, although not easy at all. I have really neglected this journal since about Spring Break. I have a few reasons for that, but simple negligence is pretty high on the list.

Once again, it has been a month since I did one of these posts. About the time of my last running journal entry we had started some new things as a class (I think that in a small way it was a result of conversations that I had with the instructor). We started doing some speed work and I was able to run a 6:30 mile without too much trouble. On our distance days, I was running about 3 miles comfortably in about 24 to 25 min. I feel like I sort of plateaued there about a month ago. I don't run outside of class and, honestly, the class workouts have simply not felt as challenging as what I expected from running with a "coach" (with the notable exception of the 200 meters of lunges in the second class). I don't say that as a big complaint because I really do push myself pretty hard and I have still been getting pretty good workouts, but this jogging class was not everything that I expected going into it. I don't really know what expected going into this class.

I have improved my endurance since the class began. I will continue to run a couple of times a week. My New Year's Resolution was to complete the Memphis Runner's Track Club Road Race Series. It is a series of 10 races starting in July that build up to a couple of half marathons in November, so I have a lot of work to do still. If I were to take this class again, or if I were to give any advice to somebody teaching this class again, I would like to see longer distance runs earlier in the semester. I don't know whether it would make any difference to most of the students but in my experience it is just another case of the fact that people tend to live up to the level of expectations set for them. I think that for those students who are/were interested in getting into shape for a 5K (or longer distance) who, nevertheless, may not have ever run that far – well, it can be helpful to know what you are aiming at earlier in the semester. I think that in this 16 week semester, it wasn't until about week 14 or 15 that we were asked as a class to run 3 miles. In a class that meets two times a week, I think that it is reasonable to introduce three mile workouts in the fifth or sixth week of the semester – even for students who are not "runners".

I don't say any of this as criticism; I only offer it as my own insight. People who aren't going to run aren't going to run regardless – I just think that the class should be tailored to those students who are trying and not to the students who are out there still walking on the track in week 16 (and bitching about it).

As far as today's workout is concerned – I felt heavy. I felt sort of slow as well. I felt that way last Thursday a little bit as well. I think that it could be partly because I haven't been in the gym on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday for a couple of weeks. After the fast trip to Minnesota and the getting sick when I got back, I just haven't been working out for a couple of weeks and I think that I am feeling the results of that on the track. I ran a little over three miles. I did one mile three separate times with pull-ups and pushups in between miles and I ran one extra lap to begin. It was a real workout, that is for sure. I think that I will run the final 5k (next Tuesday) in 24 to 26 min. I will go out and try to run faster, but if I feel as heavy as I did today, I don't really expect to go faster than 24 min. I will try. I know that I can run a 6 to 6:30 mile, but I just don't think that I can stack three of those right now. If I run three 7:30 miles I can finish in under 23 min. I just don't know what to expect without other, faster runners.

I will let you all know how it goes.


Tuesday's Music?

Sorry I'm late again - finals week is pressing down hard on me.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

My Little Jungle Kitty

Today is beautiful day. It is one of those hot, lazy Spring days that, even though the flowers are all still in bloom, says 'Summer is coming.' While driving in to Church today I said to Beck, "Everything seems quiet today." It is just that sort of day. We were both struck by how quiet Gabe was being during our drive as well. Beck asked him, "Are you okay, Gabe?" to which he responded, "I think so." I was driving and I glanced over my shoulder to see Gabe. He was sort of staring out the window, but not looking at anything. I asked him what he was thinking about and he said, "Jungles." I asked him what else he was thinking about, expecting to hear more about jungles but was surprised when he added, "Kitties."
That is the mind of a three year old. So what about you, what are you thinking today?

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Photos I took this week

All of these were taken on my new phone - it doesn't have all the tools of a real camera but I like it.

This first one is of some flowers (mostly bugambilias) that I collected last summer and had pressed in my scriptures. I chose these because of their ability to retain their color over time. For years I had some of these in here from the Dominican Republic, but I think that all of these are from Costa Rica.
Here was a welcome distraction to homework this week.
And this was my view out the window while I was doing work in the house. This view has since changed quite a bit because we spent the morning tilling and working in the back yard to prepare this year's garden. We are ahead of where we were at this time last year, but I still feel as though we are behind where we should be. Garden updates will be coming.
And this photo was taken at the same time as the one right above it -I took one out the window and this one was my view inside the house. I think that I caught Gabe just going into a smile here. I like it. You can see that he was watching a movie on the bed while I was reading. Also, please ignore the disaster in the background. The house has been under the attack of some pile making monsters for several months and it takes all our strength to just keep up with them.
Minnesota trip pictures coming up next. I promise.

Catching up...

As promised, I have catching up to do here on the blog. This whole week has been a week of catch up. I didn't have a restful Spring Break and since that time I have pretty much just been coasting this semester. Unlike last semester, where I had a TON of major projects, presentations, and papers to do in the second half of the semester (most being due the last week of the semester), this semester I volunteered as early as possible for all the presentations that I had to do and by Spring Break I was all done with everything but final exams. So when I returned from Spring Break still exhausted (I am really not complaining here - that is the life of a full time grad student) I had a hard time finding motivation to work ahead or even to stay caught up with stuff. Somehow, I still managed to read more than I gave myself credit for but I did totally ignore the big reading assignment that I had to do - Don Quijote de la Mancha - volume II.
Well, last Sunday, I stayed home from Church to read. I got about 5 chapters into Don Quijote and I fell asleep. I had THE MOST RESTFUL SLEEP I have had since beginning the graduate program last fall. I felt younger, fresher, more recovered - and this week I have read more than 50 chapters in Don Quijote. I plan on finishing the book tomorrow. That may seem like a small feat for many of you, but I do not consider myself to be a very talented reader - certainly not a fast reader.
In addition to that I have read a lot for my Latin American Short Stories class. Perhaps it is needless to say, but all the reading has been in Spanish.
In my next post, I will put more photos from our quick trip to Minnesota as well as some other things that have been going on around here.

Thursday, April 23, 2009


I think this is sort of creepy, and I want to share it with all of you.

I have been super busy this week but there are a lot of things that I want to share. Maybe this weekend I will add a lot to the blog.
See ya,


Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Aquele abraço

I love my Portuguese class! Seriously, what is not to love about this language:

And for the record, I have all the dance skills of one of the singers in this video.

--the one in the black shirt HAHAHA


Monday, April 20, 2009

Monday's Music

I am actually on time this week. I think that I have presented a pretty international mix of music here on the blog so far (albeit mostly Spanish and English). However, I have neglected the Caribbean. Starting today, I intend rectify that. Much of my favorite music is Caribbean music, and Caribbean influenced music. Everybody loves Bob Marley, but today I will start with a cover of one of his songs because it introduces a new genre of music that many might not know that well - merengue. And then some salsa by Lenny Kravitz (consider it my gift to you, ladies).

Sunday, April 19, 2009

By the power of Greyskull

This is a scripture that I think of as the He Man passage:

... men should be anxiously engaged in a good cause, and do many things of their own free will, and bring to pass much righteousness; for the power is in them.... (D&C 58:27-28)

If you read yourself into it, it says, "… for the power is in me…."
Or, I have the power!

I was recently speaking to a friend who not long ago went through some pretty difficult things in her personal life. I asked her how she is doing and how she is feeling now. She explained that she is doing a lot better, that a really big part of that has to do with a decision that she made to take more personal ownership of her situation. I don't know if that is the same as accepting the hand you have been dealt, but I think that life is like the lottery – if you want to win, you have to play; you can't just wait for it. In other words, 'men should be anxiously engaged' in thier own cause. To get anything out of a relationship, you have to put things into it. Investing in anything often has the effect of making the investor much more interested in seeing that thing succeed. The way she explained it was that simply by deciding to feel better, to make the most of the situation she is in, and then to act on that decision, she has felt much happier. Her investment has been an attitude shift; she decided that 'she has the power.'

Talking to her, hearing her new take on things, gave me a lot of encouragement (and it inspired me to write this post - thanks friend!). It is very easy to relinquish power in our own lives and to become, seemingly through no act of our own, trapped by our circumstances. Very often, however, it is actually that "no act of our own" attitude that is actually the thing that builds the trap that we find ourselves in.

When I lived in North Carolina, I went to Church with a girl who was in charge of a fellowship group of young people. She had a saying, I am sure that it was borrowed from some other speaker but that is not important, that you have to blossom where you are planted. With that idea in mind let me tell you about an experience that I had in Costa Rica, sitting on a bus. My love of springtime and flowers is something that only increases my love of Latin America – there is always something in bloom in those wet, tropical countries. But one of the things that most stood out to me when I was first in San José, Costa Rica was the amount of trash in the city. It seems to be a problem common to all of the countries of Latin America where I have traveled but it was a little shocking to see in Costa Rica because of the clean, green image and the reputation of being environmentally friendly that we see in travel ads promoting Costa Rican tourism. On that bus, I went past an empty lot totally surrounded by other occupied buildings. People had sort of converted that lot into an impromptu dump. Really, it would be disgusting to live or work next to all that decomposing trash, but against a wall in the midst of all that trash, there was a large, lush plant covered in beautiful pink flowers - just like it was in the middle of a city park or something. Understandably, people are not plants and I would never suggest that a person should 'bloom' in that sort of trash, but if we view the problems that fill our lives, or the situations that we don't like being in as a different sort of trash, then I think that the metaphor works and we can still find things of beauty, or create things of beauty in our own dumps as well.

Remember, seeds grow better in broken earth than in comfortably tread or cozily lived in places. Sometimes all that a buried seed needs to grow is for somebody to run a tiller over the ground where it has been forgotten. Think about that the next time that life feels it is running a tiller on you. Or if it feels like you keep getting shit on, you could start using it as fertilizer.




Saturday, April 18, 2009


I remember sitting on a bus in the sixth grade, looking out the window on my way to school and crying, feeling lonely and displaced. My family had moved from Colorado to Southern Utah for a business opportunity that didn't turn out the way that anybody hoped for. Consequently, my parents were separated the year that I started the sixth grade and I was having a hard time making real friends in a new place. I sat on the bus imagining friends that I had in Cortez, thinking that I was more popular there and remembering fitting in the year before I was in Utah. The next year brought more disruption as it took part of my family to yet another state and me to another school and to more challenges as I tried to deal with all the difficulties of puberty on top of the continuing challenge of making new friends again and the stress of not having two parents in the same house. About Christmas of that year (it was actually early December – my mom was putting Christmas lights up on the house that evening) I ran away from home with a friend of mine, Tony Feruglio. He was at that time already involved in petty crime and probably experimenting with drugs and alcohol. Tony's big motivation for running away seemed mostly to revolve around his growing fascination with lighters and gasoline and a crazy desire to make home-made Molotov cocktails (something he was always doing) without having to deal with the scornful eye of his parents – two individuals who were dealing with their own marital problems at that time, problems that Tony seemed to both affect and be affected by. Unlike Tony, who was motivated by a desire to escape his parents, I was actually trying to think of a way to get from where I was in Arizona to where my father was in Southern Colorado without getting into too much trouble along the way. It was a hard time for me and ending up back in Colorado appealed to me on two main levels: as I already stated, it would mean getting back to be with my father – a man who, during most of my childhood, occupied a place of almost mythic proportions in my psyche. He was a tough guy. He had been in the army and although he didn't often talk about it he had the bullet hole in his foot to prove it and the few stories that he did tell were more than enough to fill my imagination forever. He had worked as a firefighter and had more stories to tell about that. During college he had been a city inspector of cement or concrete (or both?) and he had also worked as a figure model in the art department. He was enviably strong; he had played football but had traded that in for running marathons. As an avid outdoorsman he hiked, he climbed mountains, and he could identify all the edible plants in the deserts of the Southwest that were always home to me as a child. Other hobbies of his included amateur archeology (our family's collection of authentic arrow heads and other artifacts would have been envied (and perhaps harshly criticized) by many professional archeologists), and later he became a little (very) obsessed with bug collecting – a hobby that would carry our family all over the virgin jungles of Latin America every summer as I got older. He was one of the smartest people I have ever met as well. Simply put, at that time in my life my father was my hero – he was everything I ever wanted to be or could want to be when I grew up. My second motive for running away at that time was, simply, nostalgia. I still felt the way I did more than a year earlier when I was crying on that bus in Southern Utah. I wanted to be back in a place where I fit in better. I think that in many ways, those were natural feelings for a boy of my age – it is common for teens to want to fit in regardless of their circumstances. Add a fairly disruptive home life to the normal complications of puberty that any teen goes through (things that already demand a lot of personal attention), an extremely large family, parents dealing with their own de facto separation that later led to a de jure separation, and moving around far too often for any of the kids to develop real relationships with anybody (all things that meant that as a 13 year old I was not getting the attention that a 13 year old needs) and you begin to get an idea of where I was running from as I headed out that evening. I was nostalgic for the sense of continuity that I had felt in Cortez two years earlier – a time when my family was more at peace, my parents were living in the same house and fighting less, and when I seemed to have real friends.

Tony and I didn't get far – perhaps two miles – when we decided that we would need to build camp fires to stay warm as we moved out of the heat of the desert toward the snowy plateaus to the north. Apparently, it isn't legal to sell lighters to kids because it isn't legal to sell tobacco to kids. At least that is what it seemed like at the time when we went into the convenience store to buy a lighter because the clerk asked us why we needed it and I said that we needed it to make a camp fire – to which Tony abruptly added, "We're running away; we're going to be sleeping in the fields." Shocked at his stupidity, I walked straight out of the store and sat down on a curb not far away. I didn't know what to do then. I felt defeated and alone. I don't know how long I sat there, but after what seemed like a long time a cop pulled up and stopped right in front of where I was sitting. Tony was in the front seat with him and I got in the car with them and was taken home.

I don't remember everything that happened at that point. My mom was surprised and then upset. She thought that I was just hanging out with a friend in the neighborhood somewhere. I told her that Tony had exploded a two liter bottle filled with gasoline alongside a nearby canal and that we had been afraid and decided to run away. All of that was perfectly true but none of it really explained my motives. I was grounded, but about a week later I was on winter break and my dad was visiting us from Colorado and when he went back I was sent with him. In the end, I got where I was going after all.

But what I had hoped for and what I got when I got there were two different things. I expected to walk right back into the social circles that I remembered and that I still longed for. However, when I actually got there, the cliques had all changed and none of my old friends really seemed to have missed me; I was the one who had left, not them – they all still had their other friends. So, once more and in the same rapid succession, I had to make new friends all over again. It was hard. I learned a few lessons then, from that experience, that have stayed with me. First, nothing ever stays the same; when we miss something, what we actually miss is the memory, the snapshot, something static. But real life is not static – it is dynamic; it is changing and we are changing every day. Unless we are there with the rest of the people, in the same place at the same time, we are not going to experience the same influences or the same changes – and even then we change in our own way regardless of the people around us most of the time. It is impossible to get the past back. Additionally, I discovered that you can be in the same place, and yet be in a very different place. It is the idea that you can never go home because we don't live in space alone; we are also subject to the changing effects of time as well as to the individual nature of almost all human experience.

This is the point that I wanted to get to when I started writing today – to this concept of change. Those lessons that I learned then were reinforced by several more years of terrible discontinuity in my family and personal life as I continued to move just about every year well into my twenties and well after my departure from home. One unfortunate consequence of all that in my own life, although perhaps not in the lives of my siblings, is that I have never been good at staying in touch with people. I think that I am like my dad in that way – in spite of all his other talents, staying in touch, even with family, has never been a strength of his. I think that I sort of decided that there was no point, that people wouldn't be the same anyway, that I was the one moving all the time – the last one there and the next one gone – and so I figured that I wouldn't be really missed so I should just do my best to not miss anybody else either. That is how I have lived and I have done a devastatingly poor job at staying in touch with people – including many of my own family members. I don't feel totally responsible for all of that – it takes more than one party to have a real relationship – but it is still something that bothers me. Finding that sense of continuity and staying in touch with other people is something that I think that I still long for, but it goes against all my training from growing up (not all intentional training but training just the same). My gut instinct wants what I have written about here, but my other instincts tell me that after a year or two in one place it is time to start thinking about leaving. I am not good at developing real relationships that last.

This is sort of where I am in my religious life as well. I am in the same place still but more and more it feels like a different place. More and more it feels like we haven't been changing together. And yet, it is still who I am – just that it is different now as well. I think that I started thinking about this all because a friend of mine, Jason, asked me the other day if I ever looked for an excuse to leave the Church. The answer is no. It is a part of me. It would be like leaving my family – even if I did, we are still family; my last name isn't going to change; my religion defines me in much the same way. In all things, there is ebb and flow; even if my faith fades and my testimony of the church that I have known all my life weakens, it is still what has caused the development of my particular worldview and if I were to have a given last name from my religion I would say that it couldn't change either. So don't send your missionaries my way – I am not converting. That isn't to say that my beliefs are static or unchanging either; I am affected by the vicissitudes of life just like the next guy. I really don't know what I am saying here right now, but I think that you can sort of catch my point anyway. I guess that I am saying that I could leave if I was a part of it, but it is a part of me. My relationship might change with that part of myself, but it will still be there all the time.

I will write more later. There is a lot more that I want to write, but I know that it can become too challenging to read this much in one post.

Thanks for reading. Oh, and by the way, I am working at getting better at staying put and at staying in touch. I want that continuity. I want to finish more things. And I want to be there for your changes so that we still know one another when we are 90. Sometimes I miss you. I always love you.



Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Monday's Music

These two songs are in consideration of the death that my wife's family suffered this Monday. I don't really know if they are appropriate or not, but when I thought of this, they seemed to fit. If you listen with that in mind, I think that you will see (hear) the connection as well. If you don't - well, enjoy this week's songs just the same.

I will blog more about the quick trip that we made as the week goes on.


Nimrod - population 74

Sunday night my wife called her dad to wish him a Happy Easter. We have new cell phones so he wasn't able to call her that morning when the doctor told him that he needed to start calling the family because his wife, a completely addicted chain-smoker who has been battling lung cancer for some time, was admitted to the hospital where she was told that she would die within a day.
So, "Happy Easter, Dad. How are things up there? ...."

We got in the car about 9:00pm Sunday night and made the 1000 mile drive across a third of the United States to be there Monday. We crossed the border into Minnesota about 8am and called her dad to say good morning and to see how they had been that night. Jackie, his wife, had passed away just minutes before. He was hurt - Becky could hear it in his voice. We were still several hours away from his farm which is in the norther part of Minnesota. I wondered if we had driven all that way for nothing. Why did we get in the car after hurriedly packing and sending half apologetic emails to work to let them know that we wouldn't be there the next day? What did we go up there for, now that Jackie had passed away?

In part, these are perfectly rhetorical questions; but on the other hand - I don't know where the frantic impulsiveness comes from that makes my wife do insane things for her family. I just don't feel like she does. And that is part of the reason why I fell in love with her.
The answer to the questions is - we didn't go up there for the dead, we went up there for the living. We went up there for her Dad, who was about to be very alone. But we didn't just go for him. He told us in an emotional moment just before we turned around and came home on Tuesday afternoon, that he told Jackie that night that we were on our way to see them (him and her) and she smiled. It was probably a small thing but it seemed to comfort her and it certainly comforted him knowing that she was a little happier at the end of her life - happier because of my wife's impulsive insanity. We went up there for the living, and may she rest in peace.

Below are a few photos from that afternoon. This is a huge part of why we went up there - can you believe that these are all photos of a man whose wife died only hours earlier? Maybe the real painful part comes later, when the house is too silent and the shadows all belong to one person.

I didn't crop any of these photos, but if you click on them you will be able to see a GRANDPA'S smile, not a recent widower's grief.

This is why we went up there - more than 30 hours in the car (round trip) to spend less than 24 hours there.

Away from home

There was a death in my wife's family Monday morning. We've been out of town (even this is a post from my phone).
I'll be back tonight - lots to post. Monday's Music will be up tomorrow, I have lots of photos, I will tell you all about speeding tickets, dinner near Dubuque, and breakfast in Tom Sawyer's home town.
~2000 miles in two days.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Blood of Christ

- the dogwood, not the dogma.

I love Easter, I love the springtime, I love that this whole season is representative of forgiveness and rebirth. I love that most of Western culture takes this time to make a special remembrance of the resurrection and the teachings of Christ in the spring (sorry Southern Hemisphere). But like many of my posts, this is a post about flowers and not crowns of thorns.

Read this explanation of the dogwood tree taken from birdshooter:
Legend of the Dogwood Tree
As legend has it, the cross on which Jesus was crucified was made from a dogwood tree. God decreed that the dogwood tree would from that day forth never grow large enough to be used to make a cross. Thus the dogwood tree is a small, under story tree. The flower of the dogwood has four petals which makes the shape of a cross. The center of the flower resembles the crown of thorns with bright red cluster of fruit in the center representing the blood of Christ. The dogwood blooms in April when Easter Sunday marks the resurrection of Christ after the Crucifixion.

And here are some Blood of Christ photos that I took on campus this week (with my phone):

Happy Easter everybody!!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Keepin' it real

I think that just keeping a record, about HERE - about my home life, helps me keep it real here. I am happy with my goal to find positive things about my home life each week. Even though I have not kept a 'travel log' here, I think that it is a good new direction to start moving in.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

El grafógrafo

Salvador Elizondo (1932 - 2006)

Escribo. Escribo que escribo. Mentalmente me veo escribir que escribo y también puedo verme ver que escribo. Me recuerdo escribiendo ya y también viéndome que escribía. Y me veo recordando que me veo escribir y me recuerdo viéndome recordar que escribía y escribo viéndome escribir que recuerdo haberme visto escribir que me veía escribir que recordaba haberme visto escribir que escribía y que escribía que escribo que escribía. También puedo imaginarme escribiendo que ya había escrito que me imaginaría escribiendo que había escrito que me imaginaba escribiendo que me veo escribir que escribo.


I write. I write that I write. Mentally I see myself writing that I write and I can also see myself that I write. I remember myself writing now and also seeing that I wrote. And I see myself remembering that I see me write and I remember myself seeing me write that I saw me write that I remembered seeing myself write that I wrote and that I wrote that I write that I wrote. I can also imagine myself writing that I had already wrote that I would imagine myself writing that I had written that I imagined myself writing that I see me writing that I write.

Just outside my office

These aren't the greatest photos, but I will try to get some more later. These are really misreable bushes except for this time of year. Right now, they are good.

... be anything but happy....

  • life is too short
  • be anything but happy


Monday, April 6, 2009

Let's Make Platanos Fritos

Monday's Music

This was actually the song that I had intended to post three weeks ago when I missed the Monday's Music post altogether. I really like this song. It is just right in so many ways. It really touches me. When this came out several years ago, I actually liked it so much that I rushed out and bought the album - which is pretty unusual for me. It was also unfortunate. I should have bought the single. As much as I liked this song, I didn't like any of the other songs on the album.

Seal - Love's Divine


Sunday, April 5, 2009

Tulips post counterpart

This one is for the men. The actual commercial can be found HERE, but I couldn't find a way to embed it directly. However, it is also in the following short piece (which is pretty funny in its own right).

At the Park

Okay, this entry has several photos. I am including ten attached photos that I like a lot and at the bottom I have embedded a slide show with several more photos from the same outing that I made with Becky and Gabe this weekend to Village Creek State Park.
I am trying to turn over a new leaf. It is spring time so it is a good time to turn new leaves over. I am making an effort to be more honest, more positive, to live more in the present (that was my New Year's Resolution), and to work more on my personal relationships - especially the relationships that I have here in my home. Really, I blame my friends for this. I have some good friends (who will remain anonymous here) who have encouraged me in different ways to open things up here a little more - to include a little more information about my family and to put more work into my family relationships. Thank you, friends! What would I do without you?
I think that a big part of our perception of the past - even of the immediate past (something we often confuse with the present) - depends on the records that we keep: journal entries, photos, blogs, etc. Every memory fades, so the types of records that we keep have a very powerful effect on determining what we remember and how we remember things. Therefore, my goal here is to find positive things to report each week as I work on being a better husband and a better father. And if I can't find positive things to report I am going to create positive things to report every week by really working on loving the people I live with. One other important element - and you can help keep me honest on this one: no complaining in the record keeping about my family. It does no good to report postive things that are laced with poison. Again, memory is as much perception as reality and it is up to us to sell our own propaganda - to create our own perception. I am starting here and moving forward.

So here is my first report: I have really been trying to be here for my family this weekend. Friday, I went to the movies with Becky and Gabe. We saw Monsters versus Aliens in 3D. It was AWESOME. I have never seen a movie like that in 3D. I had a really good time. I don't think that I would have enjoyed it nearly as much in 2D though.
Yesterday, after sitting in the house far too long, we finally got out and went to a nearby state park that has streams, a lake, woods. We hiked a short trail. Gabe had a a great time. That is what all the photos here are about. I will share a little more in the explanation of the photos, but mostly I will let the photos tell our story.
Last night, Becky got a babysitter and we met some of my co-workers at a restaurant for happy hour. We all had dinner. They all had drinks. I think that everybody enjoyed themselves, but I don't think that I can say the same for the people at the table right next to ours. I work in the foriegn language department at the University and the conversation at my table last night was, for the most part, loud and littered with bad words as it flowed freely between English, Spanish, and French. Perhaps it is cultural, but if I had to judge anything based on the conversation last night, I would say that French is just a louder language than the other two languages. One of the women I work with who teaches French, who is typically super quiet at work, really let her hair down. Anyway, that is enough about that. It was a good time.
Back to the state park now. It was really the part of the weekend that I enjoyed the most.

I love this photo. I like flowers a lot, but what I really love about this photo is the flower that is still all wrapped up.

I don't think that I could get away without including a comment about these. Gabe saw these things and started calling them "crickeries" and then he decided that it was his job to sweep them all off the trail. He is a lot of fun.

Here comes Gabe, with a flower for his dad!

I LOVE this photo! I took three that are all a little different, so this might be something to look for in the slide show at the bottom. I don't know why I like this sort of thing so much; to me, it just says "forest".
This is my current desktop background. It is simple, and I really like the balance of the rock and the leaf. (The leaf is far enough in from the corner that it isn't hidden by my sidebar or my taskbar).
I was having fun with the macro setting here. I am not sure that I really like the outcome - it made the part of the trunk that is in focus look really, really flat. But it is a fun shot, just the same.
I was trying to get Gabe in focus from behind a tree that was not in foucs in the foreground, and I just about had it but before I could take the shot that I was looking for he came toward me really fast and to keep him in the frame I had to adjust things and just take a quick photo. I am really happy with the result.
This could be the one I like the most. I just love the light on the "hairs" on the leaves.
This photo is the definition of springtime - flowers, fresh greenery, and sex. Okay, it is just bug sex, but still....
Finally, it is too bad this photo wasn't taken one step further up. Gabe is reaching for my hand here, and when he got it he said, "You saved me," in his little, three-year-old voice. (I loved it!) That is the pay-off for being a parent.

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Saturday, April 4, 2009

Tulips on the mound

Thank you for this. I love it. Good land-scaping is sexy!

Just a little tattoo

Yeah, so, um....
I don't really have anything against tattoos. I don't have any, but hey - do what you want, right? But this? Um, this I don't get. Especially the first one.
Tattoos fade, skin loses firmness over time; how in the heck do you deal with a tattoo this big as you age? How do you maintain it? I just like sun tanning too much to ever want to deal with that.
One song that I really like is Forever Young by Alphaville. No - I love it. I want it to come true in my life. I don't really want to 'grow old together' with anybody; I don't want to grow old. I would love to be "forever young" but it is one of those wishes that I don't mind never seeing come true.
People see it as an art. Maybe it is like an ice sculpture - you expect it to start melting eventually. Just this you get to wear when it melts.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

I am tired

I feel like I just need to sleep all day today!