Monday, December 8, 2008

Michael flys...well..sort of

I would be a liar if I didn't admit I harbored some healthy skepticism when we visited the iFly place at the Saloman in Ogden. I believed that Jenna and Kellen (Griffitts) would do great, because honestly, what don't they do well athletically in their family? But I thought that Brad, and alternatively Mike, the big boys might struggle. Perhaps its because I did indoor skydiving with my fam in Vegas and I remember the way the building shook and waled when they upped the fan to get my Dad off the ground. My Dad, who is not a featherweight, but who still looks up to my hubbie.

So you can imagine I had some doubts about the Ogden flying contraption and their ability to blast my quasi-300 lb. spouse into orbit.

I was wrong. He flew. Apparently, the center has newer technology (apparently some engineering grad has found a way to bluff his way into the coolest project ever) and uses a combination of a sucking-in and blowing-out turbine to create the necessary body lift. It was a lot of fun to watch, and I am pretty sure Mike enjoyed it too. For you viewing pleasure...


video

P.S. My favorite part is the cheeks...our children have no chance.

I am now officially into law school finals--my first one is Wednesday, which is probably why I am blogging to postpone my going over my torts skeleton. Wish me luck, hope, good karma, whatever, I'm not picky at this point. Intentional infliction of emotional distress anyone?

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

In case you wondered why Prop 8 is a big deal...

The family law society at my law school passed around a link to this paper, a greater and well-document treatise on some of the real implications of same-sex marriage. This paper answers the cry -- but how will my gay marriage hurt you?

The main idea, discussed in one of the opening paragraphs below, is that the debate isn't about if same-sex couples can exist and get legal rights--guess what...they can! They have been able to for years, in lots of states...including California. No, the issue is that same-sex couples want marriage--the real title--and all of the political sway that having that label and firepower against "discrimination" and "right-wing" groups will give them. If you don't believe me...take a look at the diplomatic approach to the dialogue taken by No on Prop 8 Protestors against the LDS Church.

"Specifically, in a society that redefines marriage to include same–sex unions, those who continue to believe marriage is a relationship between a man and a woman can expect to face three types of bur­dens. First, institutions that support the traditional understanding of marriage may be denied access to several types of government benefits, and individ­uals who work in the public sector may face cen­sorship, disciplinary action, and even loss of employment. Second, those who support the tradi­tional understanding of marriage will be subject to even greater civil liability under nondiscrimination laws that prohibit private discrimination based on sexual orientation, marital status, and gender.[1] Third, the existence of nondiscrimination laws, combined with state administrative policies, can invite private forms of discrimination against reli­gious individuals who believe that marriage involves a man and a woman and foster a climate of contempt for the public expression of their views."

Good food for thought, especially since expressing one's democratic belief apparently means that groups can boycott and name-call and call US...haters.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Scary signs you might be becoming a lawyer...

I was driving around on Saturday, my mind wandering, when I had a sudden thought.

If I got hit by some guy right now from California (only bc a Utah driver, although more plausible on multiple levels, doesn't work in my hypothetical)...would there be diversity jurisdiction?

I thought about who would be the different parties on either side and if we would reach the jurisdictional amount, and how much damage that would have to be, but that it wouldn't matter in federal quetion because there is no damages floor...but what kind of accident invokes federal question automatically--hitting a loose Army humvee on the road? But wouldn't they have governmental immunity, unless they were somewhat negligent on their part and...

I thought all of this.

Scary.

And there is a month before finals. Yeesh.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

I won't hate Obama (an essay written the night before the election by my Dad)

I hope Obama will live up to his repeated promises to usher in a new brand of governance that will turn a deaf ear to lobbyists seeking to enrich industries at the expense of the country as a whole, often times while ignoring common sense. And I hope he remembers that groups like unions, like the Teacher’s Union for example, are lobbyists too seeking to line their own pockets (even if they are his rabid self-serving supporters.)

I hope he doesn’t further destroy our economy and take our recession into a depression. If he expands government spending and increases taxes, it will happen. Our country currently spends about 9% of GDP on social programs…most of Western Europe spends 19% of GDP. Europe suffers from a list of economic woes so much longer and more severe than ours, that a quick study of the EU econometrics makes you feel almost warm and fuzzy about our financial Titanic. If we move in that direction, being big governmental entitlement expansion funded by tax hikes and/or deficits, we will find ourselves with a shrinking dollar, a growing deficit, higher unemployment, and a flight of capital. I hope I am wrong about all of these things…..and I hope the top 10% of taxpayers…..who currently pay about 70% of all the taxes…..will be giddy about paying more, and passing less on to their family, and keeping less of investment/risk rewards…….but I am afraid I am not.

I hope my unease about Obama’s political lineage is media-driven and unfounded. Maybe Wright, Ayers, Mansour, Dohrn, Rezko, Kahlidi, Marilyn Katz are just reflections of immature judgment, or necessary and unavoidable political bedfellows. I hope so. I honestly do. Because it scares me that tomorrow we will have a man elected POTUS who would NEVER get hired by the FBI, or NSA, or CIA, or receive a high security clearance. While I don’t necessarily believe in guilt by association……I think these associations are ill reflections on a man whose main selling point is his biography, not accomplishment or demonstrated character.

Let’s face it….our government is broke. Spending is out of control. Accountability is absent. The last 8 years have made things worse, not better. And less you think this is a George Bush-only problem get a grip on the reality that the public opinion of Congress (Democratically dominated since 2006) is lower than W’s. We have concentrated power and parochial ideology from a two-party system that would make our forefathers vomit. They were notably skeptical of political parties. So am I. Ideally we would elect a leader at this time who was savvy, non-partisan, pragmatic, proud of our country, passionate about protecting our historical freedoms, wary of government bloat and corruption, and brave enough to look into the pathetic plethora of media leeches and speak the truth to the American public. I don’t think Obama is any of these things, and I hope I am dead wrong.

But no matter what happens tomorrow, I won’t hate Obama. Not if he is elected President. We have had enough of that for the past 8 years, haven’t we? The small-minded and bitter liberal left, including a Hollywood crowd too long to list, constantly spewed hate about W…not his policies, not his perceived mistakes, not even about his behavior…but about the POTUS. And the hate came in unprecedented volume…even when compared to derision aimed at the international buffoonery of Carter or abject moral failure of Clinton. No…it was legitimate hate. And as far as I can see…it didn’t make any of us better, or any of W’s bad decisions less bad. So I am sure I will hate many of Obama’s policies..even if I only choose from the list he has already displayed (as opposed to the much larger list undoubtedly yet to come.) If he accelerates class warfare and/or race warfare….I will hate that. If he makes me take my money out of the country……(and one thing even a high school econ student knows is that investor’s and their capital always react to taxation policies)…..I will hate doing that. But I won’t hate Obama as long as he is President of the United States. I don’t think I can afford to….or at least initially….WE can afford to.

So I hope I am wrong about Obama. I pray I am wrong about Obama. And you know me…..I hate being wrong.

Good luck to us all.

Tax Plan Simplified...or...this is what you voted for America....congrats...

Suppose that every day, ten men go out for beer and the bill for all ten comes to $100.

If they paid their bill the way we pay our taxes, it would go something like this:

The first four men (the poorest) would pay nothing.

The fifth would pay $1.

The sixth would pay $3.

The seventh would pay $7.

The eighth would pay $12.

The ninth would pay $18.

The tenth man (the richest) would pay $59.

So, that's what they decided to do.

The ten men drank in the bar every day and seemed quite happy with the arrangement, until one day, the owner threw them a curve. "Since you are all such good customers," he said,

"I'm going to reduce the cost of your daily beer by $20. Drinks for the ten now cost just $80."

The group still wanted to pay their bill the way we pay our taxes so the first four men were unaffected. They would still drink for free.

But what about the other six men - the paying customers? How could they divide the $20 windfall so that everyone would get his 'fair share?'

They realized that $20 divided by six is $3.33. But if they subtracted that from everybody's share,

then the fifth man and the sixth man would each end up being paid to drink his beer. So, the bar owner suggested that it would be fair to reduce each man's bill by roughly the same amount, and he proceeded to work out the amounts each should pay.

And so:

The fifth man, like the first four, now paid nothing (100% savings).

The sixth now paid $2 instead of $3 (33% savings).

The seventh now pay $5 instead of $7 (28% savings).

The eighth now paid $9 instead of $12 (25% savings).

The ninth now paid $14 instead of $18 (22% savings).

The tenth now paid $49 instead of $59 (16% savings).

Each of the six was better off than before.

And the first four continued to drink for free. But once outside the restaurant, the men began to compare their savings.

"I only got a dollar out of the $20," declared the sixth man. He pointed to the tenth man, "but he got

$10!"

"Yeah, that's right," exclaimed the fifth man. "I only saved a Dollar, too. It's unfair that he got ten times more than I did!"

" That's true!!" shouted the seventh man. "Why should he get $10 back when I got only two? The wealthy get all the breaks!"

"Wait a minute," yelled the first four men in unison. "We didn't get anything at all. The system exploits the poor!"

The nine men surrounded the tenth and beat him up.

The next night the tenth man didn't show up for drinks, so the nine sat down and had beers without him. But when it came time to pay the bill, they discovered something important. They didn't have enough money between all of them for even half of the bill!

And that, boys and girls, journalists and college professors, is how our tax system works. The people who pay the highest taxes get the most benefit from a tax reduction. Tax them too much, attack them for being wealthy, and they just may not show up an anymore. In fact, they might start drinking overseas where the atmosphere is somewhat friendlier.

(Originally appearing in the Chicago Tribune, 4 March 2001; see http://www.snopes.com/business/taxes/howtaxes.asp)

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Amore - Melanie's Bridal Shower


Last weekend Ali, Lindz and I threw Melanie an Italian-themed bridal shower. I put together my own collage, in honor of Mel's graphic design tastes (although my own paltry Photoshop Elements program hardly measures up as a powerhouse).
Best wishes to Mel! We love you...and someday... you will love being in love in Italy!! O mio babino carro....

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Dear Fall...

Thank you for coming back after a frightenly quick jump from Summer to Winter. I knew you wouldn't hold out on us.



Thanks for making the mountains, the redeeming geography of the Utah landscape, gorgeous in burnished hues of orange, cranberry and gold.




Snaps for giving me the opportunity to wear my new pink pea-coat, curtesy of this summer's Nordstrom anniversary sale. It was not a disappointment. And no...this is not me. While I like her whimsical hair-do, any effort to style my locks in a loose look like this would make me look like Lucy Honeychurch, from A Room with a View. Great movie,very, very bad hair.


Gracias for amazing holidays--Halloween, a celebration where you dress up, and Thanksgiving --a day devoted to eating amazing amounts of food--what more do you need?




Obrigada for a fall placement break; for boots, scarves, and tights; and for seasons in general...I'm a fan.

Sincerely,
Brittany Mae

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Jets v. Chargers (a game...not a litigation case I'm reading...although there are some similar fact patterns...)

Last weekend we had the chance to visit SD for the Monday Night Football game between the Jets and the Chargers. No, we are not from NY, but I have a paternal cousin who married a guy that became their QB (now backup to Favre). And my dad's clan decided to come out and support him for the game...and to do it in San Diego. (selfless effort on our part, honestly)

We had a great weekend, with highlights including my 73-year-old grandma going into the ocean naked after losing a bet.

We take bets pretty seriously.

There was also a lot of yelling, simply because that side of the family tends to suffer from all-around voice homogulation. Normal conversations were known to be loud enough that the family toddler, Gracie Jo, would cover her ears up in protest. If only we were all so lucky to have the defense mechanism at hand when religion/politics/water quality/food quantity debates arose.




My Mom and I in our 3 square-inch yard at the rental house on Mission Beach. Apparently, Californians are ok with pefect strangers strolling by their homes at all hours of the day and night. (it was worth it, the beach was amazing and we had a blast boogey-boarding)

Michael, Vin, my cousin's husband, and Trey, my brother getting ready to hit the waves. In Vin's case they more-or-less hit him.


Morning breakfast chats.

The whole gang in Jets gear. J-E-T-S Jets! Jets! Jets!

I would have liked to say we triumphantly whooped the cocky Chargers, giving them a swift kick to their bolts, but alas, it didn't happen. However, we still had a great time trash-talking (it is my Dad's side of the family, you know), eating, and people-watching from our quasi-aerial view of the game. And we got to have Inn-n-Out on the way home. We'll keep cheering for Kell, because he is a great guy, and keep our eye out for any Hawaii games...

Thursday, September 11, 2008

In honor of heroes...9/11


I've had a few moments today where I have thought about 9/11 and what I remember and what it means today, seven years later. However, I think this post says some of my feelings better than anything I could write:




May God bless America for another year.

Friday, September 5, 2008

First's...




My first anniversary...and yes the cake was pretty good...but then again...I would probably eat sugar in any form...at after any time period...(celebrating it with a Russian goon from a Bonde movie was a lil' bonus)...










My first day of law school...

First female Vice President candidate...





My first Anthropologie-item-covet....of this week....




As for Palin--I am excited. I like her spunk (big shock there), and appreciate the candor she uses to describe her view. I have watched some of her small-group debates for her Alaska race and she knows when to stop talking. She has a gift for stating her value or opinion but stopping before it translates nto some macro-level policy that wouldn't work on a government level.


I am also warming up to McCain, especially the closer we get to an potential reality where a senator with less than a term under his belt will become our commander-in-chief, ringing in a new era of "change" alright--more taxes; more bureacracy; more waffling on abortion, security, and protecionism. Personally, I found this a rather eloquent way to sum it up:

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The Summer of Coeur d'Alene

Madison and I on a hike on a overnight trip to our Schweitzer cabin.

I chose to channel Julie Andrews in Sound of Music at this particular moment. I think it worked, albeit more hair and less Nazis skulking about.

Michael wakeboarding on his new board--Happy Anniversary/Birthday. The size of the bindings...Magnum. Didn't even know that was a size...sounds like something from an Austin Powers movie.


My back from Brazil RM brother Trey "surfing" behing the boat with my Dad's latest water gadget. Trey is undoubtedly the best surfer in the family, although having Mike as the amazing-movable fat sac certainly doesn't hurt.

My good high school BF Cathie's wedding in Boise on August 9, 2008.



The rest of the Fabulous Foursome from high school, my friends Grete and Emily. We were nostalgic about our HS memories...when we debated, vandalized, ate amazing amounts of ice cream at Dockside and once stole a penguin from a teacher's yard. Life was good.



The sunset view from the reception site.


The wedding site, St. Mark's.


My little sisters getting to ready to go out on the boat (Madi had straightened her hair the night before and opted to wear a snazy swimcap so as to not get her hair wet while wakeboarding). And apparently Madison is eating Hannah.



Me on a friend's jetski.



Mike--he did a bit more submarining on his ride...but did you expect anything less?



My little sis Hannah and I getting ready to wor---I mean---eat, Costco's amazing chocolate cake. Apparently, they call it the Holy Grail. Amen indeed. Pretty much the whole cake disappeared under our evening-out of edges.



My Mom and I took a side trip to Jackson Hole to see our cousin Mallory perform. On our day out we took a ride up the mountain that abutts the main town.


We also sucessfully found our cousin (lured into her saloon by her southern yodeling) and watched her cheese-it-up at the evening shootout.



It was wonderful to see Mallory and to take our time in driving back to Utah. Since Michael was still in CDA helping out with a kiteboarding clinic for friends, I ended up getting some quality time with my madre.

Being home was wonderful--simply without words. While shuffling family traditions/recreation activities/outings isn't always easy between two highly possessive families, it was a good problem to have. Much love to everyone we were able to see and those who we will have to catch on the flip side.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Camping and Fishing -- We are from Idaho




A few weekends ago we had the chance to go camping with some friends of ours, Troy and Breezy. While the trip started a little later than planned (we got to the campground as our neighbors were zipping in for the night), it was great. Basically, my husband got to show off his camp stove culinary skills, which include eggs, potatoes, bacon, sausage and some derivative of those mixed in with onions and generous amounts of grease, and we sat by a fire and went fishing. His meals probably won't be in a heart-healthy brochure anytime soon, but they were delicious and certainly appreciated. (We also appreciated the bandanna, which was an intentional throwback to the 80s. Rock on.)



I roasted starbursts and tried to help with the fire (e.g. balling up newspaper pages and holding the air pump to artificially enhance the oxidation process). What can I say? I'm handy. My starbursts were a hit. Apparently, our Girls Camp pastime hasn't made it to Georgia yet.


We wimped out on setting up our tent, mostly because it was dark and the campground felt a little too crowded to begin with, so we broke in our wedding gift gear with a nice car camping night. The Highlander was suprisingly comfy, with an air matress mostly blown up and the seats totally flat. I slept well, but it has been said I would sleep well in the middle of an interstate. It also didn't hurt that I was woken by rain and thunder at at 2 am... I have never really trusted my skills with the "rain fly", mostly because I think the emphasis is on it "flying away" while the rain comes. Glad to review my position on that from inside the SUV.


The next day we blew up our friend's dingy and went on the reservoir, hoping fore freat fish karma. Turns out it was the husbands' who were praying for fish karma because they were terrified that if we didn't catch anything we would never set foot on a fishing boat again. And voila! The gods smiled on me and I did catch a fish...you can see the footage here...


video

As a wrapup, it was a great trip, and who knew there was a reservoir in the middle of Granstville? Oh, and yeah, remember that when you ask your husband if your face looks red, because you suddenly realized that you never put sunscreen on, and you were out of your regular nice Olay lotion with light SPF...it means you want to know if you look sunburnt! And yes--red means sunburnt!!!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Sorry Debbie Downers...US is Still Alright

I haven't been able to rave about the pessimistic and hyperbolic media for a while, mostly because I haven't been around my Dad. Oh, the good times we share watching O'Riley and making fun of Pelosi...but I digress.

Fortunately, I found an article today on IHT which was suprisingly praiseworthy of the US--especially from someone who isn't from the 'ol red, white and blue.

Bottom line--yeah--everybody hates Bush, and they hate that we are in Iraq, and China is giving up crap about our economy (don't get me started...hey China...how are you baby girls doing? Oh that's right---you don't have any!) and everyone is catching up to us....but really, we still have the biggest market, the biggest brain economy, and the image of hope, independence and opportunity--and you just can't beat that.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Spring Cleaning--Leonard Style

When I was growing up, it was the running joke in our house that we didn't "do" spring cleaning...we moved.

It appears that I have carried the tradition of cardboard boxes, packing tape, and heavy lifting into our little family as well. On Memorial Day weekend we said goodbye to our little apartment (it being cute and little in all aspects, pretty sure it was about 500 square feet, at most). It was nice, but we were ready for a change. I took some pictures of it, wanting to memorialize it in the cleanest way possible.

We spent the whole weekend packing, unloading, loading, becoming Sherpas in the rain-soaked Utah air, hating our belongings with each flight of stairs. For a moment there, I resented my books and my shoes...but only a moment. :-)


After the big items were moved (bed, bookcases, etc., and were respectively dead-tired and cranky, we realized that while we had two apartments, 4 matresses and a lot of wall spackle...we didn't actually have anywhere to sleep. So, I suggested we do the easiest thing and turn the three single mattresses (and their boxsprings) into a bed tower stable enough for our King-sized Shamoo bed. Obvious, right?

My husband scoffed--he might have even done a eye-roll, I can't be sure. But low and behold---it actually worked!





We didn't have any incidents, although that might have "been a better story", in the words of the boy. We did carefully keep to our hemispheres of the bed though, to not tempt fate and the large crack between bedding supports. The good news...the next day we were able to have room for our proper bed. The bad news...a mattress is still in our hallway. Our new apartment might be bigger, but it certainly isn't big enough to have a mattress in there for "fun"!
I plan on putting some pictures up when we are all done--fully decorated and cuted' out. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Shameless Sister Promotion--Yea for Mrs. Potts!

I have been scouring the internet to find the video news show that my sister and her Spokane CYT friends did for their Beauty and Beast production. I wasn't having any luck and just had to hear from everyone at home who gushed about it--while I am stuck in Utah and not able to see the play, let alone see my little sis' sing about Belle and the Beast.

But today--voila! Here it is. So, if you love B&B like I do, or want to see an amazing 16-year-old sing her heart out on morning TV, please oblige yourself. I am so proud of her!

P.S. We moved this weekend, so I have lots of pictures (most of them frightening) and will share the tale of how we slept, literally, on princess and a pea matresses 8 feet high one night. All forthcoming...

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

My Birthday...surely the event you were celebrating on Sunday, right?



So my birthday post is a little delayed. Mostly I would like to lay blame on the fact that it fell on Mother Day's this year, so May 11th was a little uncoventional in its singularly honoring of me for existing. However, this is no way disparages the wonderful care and treatment I received from my spouse and the lovely phone calls and birthday musical tributes from friends and family members.

Big thank-you to all--it was a big deal to even remember.

I started the day like any other leisurely (restful...a day of rest, right?) Sunday, by sleeping in and waking up to find my husband doing something because of his unfortunately inability to sleep past nine like his wife. I hope this can be overcome by breeding, because I am not sure how psyched I am for children who for some reason *can't* sleep in.

Michael then made me homemade--meaning no Bisquick-- waffles. With homemade whipping cream and lots of delicious strawberries (thank you Costco). I ate them on my "special day" red plate, it is a tradition in our family and was a wedding present from my Nonna.






We then waffled around, I did some sewing, I received some people by phone (kind of like Edwardian vistors with cards, but in my pajamas instead.)Then we went to church, and I looked cute in new clothes, thanks to Mom-and-Dad B-day/going home/shopping bananza present. The shoes weren't new, but were fantastic nonetheless. I bought them as retail therapy instruments when Mike went back to Coeur d'Alene last spring to work and I was stuck at school in P-town. Don't judge me--they are amazing shoes.




Dinner was fresh shiskabobs. Dessert was homemade Creme Brulee (too lazy to put the accent mark, but I know its there). All made by husband. All delicous. Ate an astonishing amoung, considering the low expenditure of caloric energy on Sunday. Fabulous.


Read outside on the grass in the park. Ate some Ben and Jerry's chocolate PB ice cream, because I decided I hadn't had enough sugar. Smelled my beautiful flowers from my man (see, if you bug them enough about it, they will bring them to you...oh...what a surprise...thank you!). Opened up my present from hubbie, new hot pink running shoes (crap...now I have to keep on running... :-))....

Wonderful day. 23 is looking good so far.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

In honor of my Dad's B-day

On this day, May 6th, I have chosen to honor the occasion of my father's birth by participating in a long-standing family tradition--I will comment on his life and quirks with healthy doses of sarcasm and exaggeration.

The Reasons why we are glad Paul Leonard was born...
  1. Certain words in the English vernacular have been presevered and even seen a resurgence because of his careful use and preservation...don't "go nutty", stay away from something that sounds "sketchy", hurry up and "let's get humping", when we were "zoobies", and "it is possible...?"


  2. Many natural resources, such as wood and certain metals, were conserved and rescued from almost certain death and destruction by his watchful eye and undying loyalty to the green movement, conservation efforts to combat global warming, and the "I am not a handyman, why don't we just buy it ?" mantra


  3. Several utility and telecommunications companies have expressed gratitude for his tireless efforts to push the frontier of long-distance phone calls and vocal volume. Centuries from now, alien visitors might be priviliged to hear him berating a customer service representative in escalating tones while question her lineage and study of the English language


  4. His new interest in triathalong training, although done with the quiet intensity of a Burmese monk (pre-Junta but post-The King and I), will provide inspiration for the chosen few who are informed of his rise to athletic tri-stardom. His dedication to a sport where one's main goal is to not die will provide much-needed humor in an election year where two soulless Demorats battle for the white house. In fact, we may be allowed to participate in an important training ritual for him, such as the one detailed in this video...


  5. Spandex might never have lived up to its full potential without the marathon product testing sessions that he has put the synthetic fabric through, teenage volleyball players and San Franciscan hairdresses named Coco salute him...


  6. He single-handedly supports the Pacific Northwest golf economy. The rest of the players on the links might appear legitimate, but their support of the game is a careful ruse for them to discover how one can spend so much time with "clubs" without resorting to physcial violence...


  7. The Hayden Lake Chamber of Commerce was happy to induct the "North office" into its rank-and-file membership, along with including some of the site's amenities and luxuries in its brochure to lithe Starbucks-infused Californians looking to relocate. The Chamber is still investigating what commercial activities actually occur in the North Office, but are confident that the enterprise will enlarge the tax base, attract the high-tech industry and cure cancer.


  8. The abudant wildlife flourishing in the glades of Timber Creek raise their beaks, antennaes, and amoeba limbs to thank him for his crusade against the man. His fight for their scurvy groundwater and gritty swamp habitat have protected the sanctity of the wilderness while ensuring an interference-free DirectTV signal for neigbhoring properties.


  9. Rogers and Hammerstein, George Gershwin, Tim Rice, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Elton John and John Barry all are grateful for his creative contributions to their works and his renewed energy and zen he brings to traditional song lyrics and melodies. Simply put, the classics wound not have gotten to where they are without some ad-libbing and rthymic and meter distortion to fit modern themes and archetypes of the musical experience. Softly, slowly...now we brush the tee-th...


  10. In all seriousness, I can't tell you how glad I am that my Dad was born 48 years ago today and that he has lived his life to be the kind of hilarious, strong, spiritual, fun-loving, intelligent husband, father and friend that so many love and appreciate today. I love his quirks and I can only hope to follow the example of one who can see the humor in just about everything while being a leader in his family and community. Love you lots Papa G!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

The Mormon View



Check this out. This article, written by a witty LDS reporter for Vanity Fair, The Mormon View, is a "great overview of what Mormon’s believe, Reader’s Digest Style. If you are ever asked as a member of the church for tips on polygamy or how we Mormon gals get our bangs to puff so high, (I think this photo speaks for itself) this is the post for you. " I loved it, especially since Mormons aren't really known for their sense of humor generally, kind of like CPAs. Don't even get me started on Mormon CPAs.

In other good news--Mike and I will be moving--about a quarter mile away to our old south campus neighborhood. We are going to manage a small female apartment complex (saying female like that makes it sound like a monkey exhibit...but oh well) starting in a few weeks.

Also--Mike got into the Business/Finance undegraduate program. It is very competitive and he starts this spring and should graduate next April. Bring it on capital budgeting, tempt me income statements, and blow me away cashflow analyses!

The other piece of resounding good news, tied together with the previous two, is that we are going home to Coeur d'Alene this summer! Yahoo for Idaho (the pretty part). We, hopefully, will spend about six weeks at home, working, playing, interning, sunning, swimming, family bond-ing, etc. It will be great to have my little brother home and to spend such quality time the family, maybe one of the last times we will have the chance. Topping the summer off as a bridesmaid for one of my best friend's weddings, I think summer 2008 will be fabulous.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Church Dates

I like reading Slate, especially the health section, which always has a nice roundup of health and science news from around the world (the kind of stuff from Universities and journals that I used to write and research). Although the articles are predictably slanted toward those who will either be voting for Hillary or Obama this November--it is a bit difficult to inject bias in a science article, not impossible, just more difficult.

I found this release interesting. It tells of a meta-study about how church attendance is the one significant variable in a group of churchy/spiritual variables that correlates with low infidelity among couples.

Shocker--going to church together as a couple (any church mind you, this isn't a BYU study or something) makes people not want to cheat on each other? Who knew?

I guess the sad part of it is that the other variables, which included a belief in God, prayer, etc., didn't correlate. I guess this could be fodder for the "faith without works is dead," lesson. It is great if you have a relationship with God and do tai-chi on the deck or feel in touch with the universe or whatever, but when push comes to shove, if you aren't making that trek to church with your spouse, your marriage isn't as protected as it could be.

Good news, I guess, for those who make it a priority to attend regularly, despite being distracted by a mass of children in a young family ward--children who pull on curtains, run laps around the pews, and eat enough snacks to rival a group of teenage boys playing Halo.

So, yeah for church dates. (like this one below...our Easter Sunday church date)


Monday, April 7, 2008

A visit from the take home chef

Fact: Kitchens have killed more people than the Iraq war.... Okay, maybe I exaggerate. We did however experience the destructive power of our broiler as Brittany graciously made cookies for her visiting teachees the other day. We were made an example of by every women's fantasy, Curtis Stone A.K.A. the take home cheff, as he pointed out the great dangers of the broiler...

video

Friday, March 28, 2008

Why I might be able to vote for McCain

I have to admit, I haven't been that jazzed about the Republican nominee so far. I'm not that impressed with his work experience (non-existent), his personal life (a divorce and a youthful daliance with a stripper), and his age (the man is at death's door...no offense to my spry grandparents who are also in their 70s, but also choose to stick to golf and tennis and not Iraq-Iran foreign policy.


However, I was pleasantly suprised by the tough stance he has taken on the-sub prime mortgage crisis, advising the Dems to calm down about throwing money to people who have proven their inability to make wise fiscal decisions when overcome by large dollar signs. I don't want to sound harsh on people who are probably feeling a big sting right now, they might be losing their jobs, their companies or their homes, but the government surely didn't make this problem (that is right--you can't blame the "man" for everything) and I am not so sure the government needs to fix it by throwing money at it.


As McCain summed up, “Some Americans bought homes they couldn’t afford, betting that rising prices would make it easier to refinance later at more affordable rates,” he said. Later he added that “any assistance must be temporary and must not reward people who were irresponsible at the expense of those who weren’t.”

The lenders definitely have some blame, they bought and sold those mortgages without thinking that maybe, just maybe something SUB-prime, might be a bargain deal because it has a unreliable cash flow and just maybe, won't actually materialize into any form of currency. Poo on you for speculating on mortgages taken out under risky terms and inflated values.

But poo on homeowners who buy big-A houses that they can't afford, trying to refinance or even take out the entire loan their bank is willing to offer them. It isn't a bank's job to decide what you can and can't afford really, who is the one in debt? Who is the one who needs to pay attention because they have a $500,000 or $800,000 cloud following them around and have no one to blame but themselves? Yeah, real estate values have risen astronomically in California, in Florida, in tons of hot pockets all over the country--but you didn't think it would always be that way, surely?

Did anyone take an economics class ever? Really people! Everything is in cycles, use caution and moderation. You don't buy the biggest McMansion the bank is willing to give you if you can't afford it under normal market conditions. How could you make the biggest spending decision of your life, gambling that the market would catch up to you time to make your payments?

So, that is my rant about this. It is unfortunate that it will have ripple effects on the rest of the economy. Whether we will go into recession, I am not so doomsday as finanical reporters with beats due and nothing else to write about-- I think we will be fine overall. And look, there is always a silver lining to cycles, crazy house prices will start to come down, because shock, the market isn't willing to pay $999,999 for a 2 bedroom, one bath 1,300 s. ft house in Socal...it just won't. So, some people will be able to buy houses now that haven't been able to in the past few years. I can only hope that prices level out long enough for the boy and me to afford a house someday!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Get Yer' Boots On!


Rubgy is an interesting sport. It makes appearances in Irish romantic comedies like Circle of Friends and in New Zealand begins with a ancient and terrifying Maori war dance known as the Haka. It is rumored to be manlier than football since there are no pads, yet the men wear shirts with a collar and lift each other up in defiance of gravity and sensibility.

Simply put--the sport is popular anywhere the British managed to conquer, which if you recall from your world history class--is a lot of places. Although they don't really get into it in India, which kind of makes sense --I don't really see vegetarians and scrums going together like naan and curry.

My husband is a rugby player. If you know anything about a rugby uniform, you can appreciate how menacing a six-and-a-half-foot male in booty-shorts can look when approaching you on the pitch. Maybe something like this.




Of course, he doesn't even wear the grey spandex anymore under his shorts, so the effect is even more pronounced. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, my man has thighs. However, his size is scary enough that some Utah sports writers included him in their sizeup to the game.

Now, there are all kinds of legitimate positions and elements of rugby that sound very dirty. At least they do to me. If "hooker", "scrum", "flanker","ruck", "maul", and "tap," don't sound like something out of a Spitzer phone conversation rather than a collegiate sport, you tell me.

All of it certainly puts confused looks on the poor freshman girls who flock to the friday night games, swaddled in their blankets because their oufits for the event are neither blue, white or warm. Classic.

Congrats to the BYU team for whalloping the Utes on Saturday. I hope my boy's ankle is better so he can get in the action sooner rather than later. Go Cougs.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

How can he hold a ring if he's only made of feathers?

Ok. I apologize for using such an obscure LOTR quote that only a handful of people on the planet will recognize it. Most of them probably single, lonely creatures who like D&D, Risk, fight about Macs vs. PCs, have never even seen a chicken, and yet have watched the extended editions of the Lord of the Rings movies--with the commentary on.


But check this hobbit-hole out! This crazy family in Wales built it from the woods, literally and apparently are going to start an eco-commune with a bunch of folks next year. Sounds like Lost meets Swiss Family Robison, but I would oggle it, sure. Just had to share. I swear I can almost see Frodo sticking his head out to go the Green Dragon. Awesome.