Monday, December 31, 2007

The last day

Bolted the last two hours of work because of this head cold.

In keeping with my New Year's Eve tradition, I will be in bed right after I watch the NYC ball drop.

Somebody will awaken me with firecrackers at midnight.

I'll grumble and roll over and go back to sleep.

Kisses to all you girls.

Big announcement tomorrow.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Next to last day.

The most insignificant day of the year. A pause, a void, a waste of time between Christmas and New Year's Eve.

Lots of insignificant things happened this year.

It was a next to last year.

I found out that want-to-appear-straight gay men were meeting for sex in airport bathroom stalls. Then I found out that the stalls in Sears department stores were a preferred place too.

One side of things can't decide what's scarier, ultra religion or extreme ultra religion while agreeing that one religion is evil. There are just differing opinions on which religion that is.

The other side has the majority jockeying for second place from the cheap seats while the main event under the lights pretends not to care about them.

I think Britney Spears became president of Iran somewhere along there.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

December 29, 1977

Thirty years ago today I walked through the doors of a school called the Language Training Mission. It was a dream come true for my mother. I signed in at the registration desk and became a Mormon Missionary.

Some weeks earlier I had submitted paperwork to go on a mission and was delighted when I received my "call to serve" at the Bolivia, La Paz Mission. Every 19 year-old Mormon boy who puts in to go on a mission hopes that he will be sent to a foreign mission. I got my wish. I knew kinda where Bolivia was when I read my call but there was no way I could know the enormous impact that Bolivia would have on my life.

But first was two months at the "LTM". I had to learn Spanish and I had to memorize a series of lessons that were to be taught to prospective converts. I was in a class of 12 missionaries all headed to Bolivia, La Paz. The LTM is it's own small college campus with young men in suits and some young women in modest dresses all walking around speaking different languages and counting the days before they were to leave to their respective countries. There was even a pecking order of things about the place.

Now I had gone on my mission because of my mother but that's not to say that I wasn't taking it serious or I didn't understand the magnitude of doing "the Lord's work" for two years. But there were various reasons for going and even a few who felt they HAD too go. We had one of those in our class and he didn't last long once we got to Bolivia.

I was in it for the long haul. I was in it to go the distance. And that's what I did. I learned the lessons, I learned the language and I taught in Bolivia. I baptized converts and I would meet guys who I was sure that would be life long friends. One of my best missionary friends would even be the guy who introduced me to the girl who I would eventually marry. Now thirty years have passed and everybody has faded into memory only, except for one.

12/29/77 I started my mission and I would finish on 12/15/79

(to be continued)

Friday, December 28, 2007

Other than the part where I blacked out, the movie was boring.

We sat down, my wife, my daughters, and I. My younger daughter popped The Simpsons Movie into the DVD. It started out pretty funny and then the part came along where Homer takes Bart fishing with the bug zapper.

I started laughing. I mean REALLY laughing. Laughing like I have explained here in the past. Noise ceases to come from me because I'm coughing and I hear noise echoing like I was in a tube and I see white light.

Only this time there was an added feature. There was my wife shaking me and calling my name. Then there was the part where I opened my eyes to see the scared look on the faces of my daughters and tears rolling down the terrified face of my wife.

I had blacked out and slumped sideways on the sofa. I was only out a couple of seconds but to the woman I have been married to for 25 years, for an instant, her greatest fear had become reality.

I'm sure there's a perfectly good medical explanation to what happened. A momentary shut off of oxygen to the brain and the brain shuts me off so the fool in me calms down and allows the auto pilot, non voluntary muscles in me to breathe.

Probably a very simple explanation.

Try telling that to my wife. I was telling her that I was fine. I was also wiping tears off her cheeks.

So we started the movie again. For me, it was boring. I turned it off before it was finished. I was disappointed. But it DID start out pretty funny.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Just after I dropped my daughters off at the movie theatre to see Juno, I remembered a bit of history.

Christmas night, 1977, my sister and I went to see Saturday Night Fever.


Baby's 49th Christmas

My mother made that stocking for Christmas #3 or 4. I can't remember. I can't remember what I got either of those years. We lived in a rented house and I grew up watching black and white TV.

I have been telling the family that I was going to buy myself an iPod touch next year after I got my tax return. I told my wife NOT to buy one for me for Christmas because it was too expensive for just one gift. I told her that I was still reading up on reviews and that some people had told me to wait for the next generation because things like that are always improved.

The kids all said "screw that" and so my wife and my four kids split the cost and bought me one. I had no idea. I thought it was a bottle of cologne before I opened it.

My daughter asked me last week what Christmas gift I had received in my life that had made me the most happy at the time. What gift had just shocked and overjoyed me. I could not think of anything that stood out.

I can now.

Merry Christmas

Monday, December 24, 2007

Christmas eve morning and everybody is asleep. All the family under the same roof and worth every penny that it costs. One day you'll realize now nice it is to be within easy reach of those who will soon scatter to find their own ways. I already know that.

I have a song on repeat. Joni's singing about somebody who "could have been more".

Could I have?

I don't know. I just know I'm pretty damned lucky to be where I am. To have what I have.

There's lots more that I want. But most of that is fantasy.

I'm better off that my father was at this age but he was still pretty content.

My kids are further along then I was at their age.

They're restless and that's a good thing for them to be at their age.


Maybe I "could have been more".

But I'm pretty content.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

This is my house in La Paz, Bolivia. The top floor. One unit of a triplex if you will. I bought it from my brother-in-law. My mother-in-law, sister-in-law, and niece live here.

Gray Sunday

My wife is sleeping next to me on the sofa.

My granddaughter is sleeping in another room. Still in her car seat, still in her new Sunday dress.

I've popped Sea Of Love into the DVD player. My son came over and asked what was playing.

"Sea Of Love. Al Pacino and your step-mother." (Ellen Barkin)

"Carmen Electra?"

"Nah, she's just a fling."

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Okay so sushi day was two days late this week and the table across from mine wondered how I got my order so fast.

The rolls, the unagi and the surprise.

Then I hung out at the house until it was time to go pick up the boy at the airport. We showed up at about 4PM for the 4:22 arrival that didn't arrive until 6.

The Johnsons are looking for a new lead singer/geetar player after the old lead singer/geetar player said no to opening for Gob on their entire western Canada tour. Every date of what will very possibly be a sold out tour. So now they're looking for a new guy to learn all the stuff in time for their second attack of Japan in August.

And I'll be in Calgary on St Patty's day to see my son reunite with his old band, The Falling Pianos, for one show.

Oh yeah.

Friday, December 21, 2007

I wish....

...all the kids were gone.

See now I have to explain that because it sounds harsh but in the mind of this father the kids being gone means they're independent. It means they're doing okay. Yes, it does mean also that the house is quiet and dinner out is cheaper and cheap fast food falls by the wayside. It moves up a notch to franchises like Olive Garden and Outback and such and even the local owned restaurants.

...that I never had to explain myself.

...that I could remember all the cool lines from movies that I wanna use.

...that the wrong people weren't in charge.

...that I could think of more wishes.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Some people need to lose their jobs.

A 10 year-old school girl in Florida was seated in the cafeteria eating her lunch. She had brought some leftover steak from home. She was using a steak knife to cut the meat.

The school has a no tolerance policy for weapons on school grounds so a teacher went up to the little girl, cut the meat for her, and then secured the knife so nobody would accidently be hurt. She then made a note to herself to advise the girl's parents not to send a knife to school with the child.

Sounds reasonable. Right?

The trouble is, that's not what happened.

The school called the Sheriff's Department. A Deputy responded. Since the parents of the child (let me rewrite that) CHILD could not be contacted, the CHILD was ARRESTED. A ten year-old girl cutting her lunch with a knife was ARRESTED for having a WEAPON at school and taken to a juvenile jail.

My wife and I were speechless when we saw this on the news. If I were the father of this little girl, I would calmly walk into the office of the school. I would not say a word. The three or four gentlemen in suits accompanying me would speak for me. That's why they're called LAWYERS.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Dan Fogelberg passed away this morning at his home in Maine. His wife was with him. He was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2004. Dan's heyday was during my high school days in the 70's. I liked a lot of his stuff and just recently uploaded a bunch of his songs to my iTunes.

Dan was 59.

The Windows Open

When it's up to me I like my privacy. I'm not a friendly neighbor. I don't want them to see in at me. I don't want them to stick their heads over the fence and chat. I don't want the invite for a cup of coffee.

But I open the window here for strangers to see what I wish them to see. I have a neighborhood created in here and I like looking just as much as I like being looked at. Keira asked if people were voyeurs or exhibitionists and many said voyeurs but we're all very much both equally.

We're curious by nature. People say "once you've seen one, you've seen them all" when in reality once you've seen one, you want to see them all. You find that they are all different. Some are prettier than others. Some are bigger. Some are nicer, scarier, easier, harder.

There are no museums that I know of with only one piece. No restaurants with only one dish. We plow through our choices pointing and waving to others. Seeking approval, acknowledgement, encouragement. Hoping we don't get the negative head nodding and the finger wagging. But we get it all to different degrees and we move beyond it.

We still open the blinds.

We display our shiny things.

We press up against the windows.

We look, hoping not to be caught staring.

Friday, December 14, 2007

American Justice

A man in Phoenix, Arizona was convicted of using a gun to force two sisters into the bushes at a park. He forced them both to strip naked and then raped the younger sister while holding the gun to the pregnant belly of the older sister. Both sisters pointed the man out as their attacker at the trial. DNA evidence linked him to the rape. The jury deliberated 3 hours.

A judge sentenced the man today.

The sentence is in the comments but before you look I want you to think what YOU would give him.

Think about what he would receive as a sentence in Canada.

This was his FIRST trial. He still awaits trial for nine MURDERS.

You may look now.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

8 Thangs....

that I'm passionate about.

college sports
cherry ice cream

that changed my life.

two year mormon mission
death of my father

that attract me to other people.


songs/bands that I listen to over and over. (according to iTunes)

Revelations by Audio Slave
Triad by David Crosby
Dani California by Red Hot Chili Peppers
Cornflake Girl by Tori Amos
Sense Of Touch by Mark Isham (Crash soundtrack)
I Had A King by Joni Mitchell
Companion (Lay Me Down) by Wide Mouth Mason
Just Because by Jane's Addiction

that I say often.

Guey (way)
Pendejo (pen DAY ho)
Precious angel
Whaddup G?

to do before I die.

buy a cemetery plot
piss on Dick Cheney's grave
grab the nurse's ass
light a cigar in my hospital bed
drive from Seattle to Miami to New York to Los Angeles
finish this post

Sorry Vesper. I didn't learn 8 things or read 8 books this year.


Madonna is to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Allow me to list REAL rock and roll bands who aren't in the Hall of Fame who should go in before Madonna. Well maybe some not so real too but who should be in before Madge.

Jethro Tull
Emerson, Lake, and Palmer
Robin Trower
Duran Duran
Johnny Winter
Todd Rundgren
The Moody Blues
Pat Benetar
The Doobie Brothers
Depesche Mode
The Cars
Carly Simon
Jeff Beck
Roxy Music
The GoGos
The Eurythmics
Cheap Trick
Deep Purple
King Crimson
Electric Light Orchestra
Randy Newman
Tom Waits
Graham Parsons
Bad Company
Grand Funk Railroad
Alan Parsons Project
Cat Stevens
Jim Croce

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

I'm uploading tunes to my iTunes.

Listening to Little Feat's Representing The Mambo.

The phone rings. I answer. That's rare.

"Hello, we're conducting a public survey".

*click* That's NOT rare.

I'm uploading tunes to my iTunes

Listening to Little Feat's Representing The mambo.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Holy shit the year has flown by.

They all seem to.

My youngest turns 17 tomorrow. I can't remember what I got for my 17th birthday but I'm pretty sure it wasn't a cell phone. I took money out of my retirement and paid of a shit-load of debt. The years fly by so I spend the future's money today. My wife's birthday is ten days beyond my son's. Protocol prohibits the publishing of her age. We both used to be so young and now we stare down at grandchildren in bewilderment.

I may never feel old. I just hope it never feels me like it felt my uncle who passed away on Saturday. He's really not an uncle because mom was adopted but what are you gonna do? He was close to 90 and worn down by various maladies. Not the least of those was the fact that he buried two of his children. His only son to Leukemia and a daughter to a murderer's bullets. Lung cancer finally got him to surrender.

I'm doing pretty good though so worry not.

I got my new ring from my jeweler today. It's so shiny. I like them to have some petina to them so I'll be patient while the air and the moisture does it's job. Sterling silver with a nice cabochon of dinosaur fossil. It's blood red which is interesting because most dinosaur fossil you see in jewelry is some tone of brown. My jeweler got it from a friend who mines the stuff in the Moab area of southern Utah.

I wear it on my left ring finger. (I know, I know, I have to get my wedding band resized.) So my left hand has a million year-old dinosaur and a million year-old slice of meteorite. It's my cosmic hand. Of course when I think about it, the turquoise and azurite on my right hand are probably that old but they don't carry the same cache' of a dinosaur and a meteorite.

Perception kids, it's all in the perception. That, and a little presentation.

Friday, December 07, 2007

CD's I bought this year

Hospital Music by Matthew Good
Leaving Argentina by David Becker Tribune
America by America
Crosby/Nash by David Crosby and Graham Nash

Movies I saw

El Atraco 4/5 (Spanish language)
Di Buen Dia al Papa' 3/5 (Spanish Language)
American Visa 3/5 (Spanish Language)
Love In The Time Of Cholera 4/5
No Country For Old Men 5/5
Across The Universe 5/5
The Departed (SUCKED)
Little Miss Sunshine 3/5
Flags Of Our Fathers 1/5
Frida 4/5
The Good Sheppard (sucked)
Eastern Promises 3/5

(fistfulls of popcorn/out of five possible)

So a friend shows me a joke he got in his email.

I thought it was hilarious.

Then I made the mistake of having him forward it to me.

Now he forwards me ALL the jokes he receives.

He's marked as spam now.


I was issued a radiation detector at work today. It's the size of an iPod and is extremely sensitive.

So if you see me running and it sounds like I'm carrying a malfunctioning smoke detector...

....try to keep up.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

I hate that it's dark here in Vancouver at 5PM. I will not miss that part when I leave Canada.


Day off in the "office"

Downstairs is full of toddlers and my grandson is defending the TV with his threat to cry uncontrollably and loudly if I dare attempt to watch the news. So I'm upstairs in a quickly warming up bedroom on a sunny Vancouver day. I need a haircut and will go do that at about noon. The milk on my nightstand is what remains of my 4 Eggo (frozen, heat up in the toaster) waffle breakfast.

If not for the haircut I could sit here for most of the rest of the day or at least until nap time for the little creatures. As you can also see I have on my standard house uniform.

Madonna is playing on my iTunes. The cool songs, not the dance pop tunes. (Live to Tell, Oh Father, Bad Girl, etc)
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Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Be yourself, everyone else is taken.

Oscar Wilde

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

The first day after payday that I get out of work at the regular time of 1PM is known as Sushi Day.

This payday's Sushi Day (today) also happened to be my Friday.

So I order what is now my standard sushi fare.

Alan Roll (Cooked shrimp and avocado in a roll topped with spicy scallops)
Spicy Scallop Roll
Two pieces of Unagi (cooked fresh water eel)

I am a huge tipper at Maguro Sushi in Ladner, BC. 30% is my norm.

The owner always treats me to something gratis. Sometimes I know what it is. Last time it was Tuna Sashimi. Sometimes I don't. Today I had two pieces of a rubbery thing. Tasty, but very chewy.

So I ask.


It was tasty but I might think of not asking next time.

I found an album on iTunes and I was happy because it has a song I've been looking for but until had not been able to find. So I was clicking on all the songs and my soul jumped. Oh how I remember those times. Those girls I longed for but my shyness held me back.

The album, America, by the group of the same name. Their debut album.

It was released in 1972.

35 years ago.

I was 14 years old.

Now I hear a lot of music on the radio from that year but you will all find out when you are my age that when you "rediscover" an album like this, from so long ago, it will really mean a lot. It's a spiritual moment that requires quiet time to be enjoyed.


Monday, December 03, 2007

The Spice Girls dropped by today.

I saw three, Baby, Posh, and Ginger. Baby seems to be aging the best and had the cutest baby of the three.

Too many people at the airport were too tense about the whole thing.

I just had to see Baby's baby and complimented her on the little critter. The baby smiled and momma did too.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

It's for the kids!!

SANTIAGO (Agencies)

A high-class Chilean prostitute has auctioned 27 hours of sex to raise money for the country's largest charity during an annual fund-raising campaign.

Maria Carolina became an overnight celebrity in the conservative Catholic country, making news headlines and appearing on talk shows since she made her unusual donation to the televised charity event, which runs for 27 hours starting on Friday evening.

"I've already auctioned off the 27 hours of love," Maria Carolina. "One of my clients already paid. It seemed like a good deed to him."

The 5,400 dollars she earns from the marathon session, scheduled for November 30-December 1, will go to the charity, Carolina said, explaining she earns 300 dollars per 90-minute session.

She said she would post a picture of the bank deposit slip on her website afterwards to dispel any doubts.

"I am going to contribute with my work to a purpose that touches me deeply," said the prostitute, who has spread her message through several online sites and television programs.

Adult prostitution is legal in Chile. Chile's two-day Teleton fundraiser is endorsed by television stars and aims to raise funds for poor, disabled children.

But the administrator of the Teleton foundation, television presenter Mario Kreutzberger, has thrown cold water on the proposition, saying it falls well outside his moral guidelines and he cannot accept it.

Carolina, though, said she was determined: "There are people who are going to be donating money that's a lot more questionable than mine," she said. "The only thing I did was publicize it."

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