Friday, December 3, 2010

Why Don't I Ski? --Good Question, Stupid Answer

Mt. Shasta 1960 Snow Gear

People are often incredulous when they learn that I’m from Utah yet I am not a lifetime, avid skier.
The fact is that in the day when I was learning to ski, ski clothes were not made with space-age fabric and insulation, but with good old crap that got wet, froze and was miserable to move in. Most of the day on the slopes was was spent standing in front of the huge lodge fireplace trying to get warm and meet cute guys, in that order. 
There were no lovely ski lifts either that I remember.  There was the “T”-bar that  was a suspended track with a chain hanging from above that dragged you with a bar that you willingly caught between your legs that froze to your butt and which was dicey to get loose from at the top of the hill.  
We would often ride to the canyons and back in the back of a pickup truck buried under piles of blankets laughing ourselves silly, miserable as you can imagine, hauling along food, good and bad cheer, and wondering what we had gotten ourselves into again.

We would generally rent our skis, but one day, I broached the possibility of buying some.   So Dad  excitedly hustled to the basement and and brought out  his vintage laminated wood skis that were tall enough to reach his wrist  as he reached his arm up as far as he could.   I wanted to cry.  He thought we’d probably want to replace the old, crusty, dried-up leather bindings.
When my other brothers and I griped the Christmas baby-brother, Rex got his season pass, skis, boots, bindings, and full ski outfit, mother simply said  "You had each other.  Rex had no one."
Of all the stupid things that all parents have ever said, and we all must confess that we’ve said stupid things, in my humble estimation, that is the stupidest that a parent has ever uttered with a straight face. I love you, Mother, but you cannot ever make me take that back.  

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Sex Talk -- The Basis For Life, the Bedrock of All Parental Trauma

Brad got a nice refresher from Ali, his six-year-old on his sex ed talk that we had so many years ago when he was eight the other day.  She told him that he has no womb.  She knows this because of a book she checked out of the library. 
Brad and Julia apparently don’t feel the initial sex talk I had with him him went well enough so many years ago provided a decent enough pattern, so they’ve allowed Ali to do it for herself it would appear.
I really didn’t do a very good job. I actually used paper and pencil with him for some unbelievable reason.  I have no defense.  It just seemed like a good idea at the time.  
Brad and I I were parked in my Volkswagen Beetle outside of Peruvian Park Elementary School for appropriate privacy, I remember, and I stammered and stuttered through the whole thing.  At the last minute I remembered talking about the rabbits we’d been raising and I recall saying “Didn’t it ever occur to you knowing how baby rabbits were made?” 
And he responded, “Yeah, but then I thought, ‘That couldn’t be.’” And our conversation was over.
Ben’s sex talk was even worse. I just kept talking to him waiting for  some
response to come over his face. It never came.  He stayed perfectly stoic.  I asked him later about it, years later, and he tried to comfort me by saying he knew most of it anyway. I knew it was a lie, but I took comfort from it anyway.
It’s amazing more of our children are not in analysis from the way we raise them. We probably ought to just give them books and let them learn about the Facts of Life on their own anyway. Didn’t most of our parents do a pretty lousy job of it, either by omission or blundering through.  
Friends had it all wrong, by-and-large, but at least they weren’t so traumatizing.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Friday, November 26, 2010

Gratitude is Me For Carl

It's been an awful year for Carl and his health.  He has been the picture of health all his life,  so this has not been easy for him or for me.  i don't know what I'd do without him either so I'll hang on as you see me doing here.

The above picture was taken by our good friend and ward member, Kimball Ungerman, a couple of weeks ago.  Thought you'd like to see it.

Thursday, November 25, 2010


Thou hast given so much to me,
Give one thing more, - a grateful heart;
Not thankful when it pleaseth me,
As if Thy blessings had spare days,
But such a heart whose pulse may be Thy praise.
~George Herbert

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Popcorn - A Filler

I was working on something else and got sick of working on it (it's on Grandma Peterson, the anti-semitic semite), and I wanted to find a picture, so here's this instead.  Could be worse.  We could be unable to leave our house due to the abounding snow that never arrived.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Megamind, Maybe

We went to see Megamind with the little people, ages six and eight, and I did enjoy myself, but thought it was a little beyond them.
Maybe I did underestimate them but I kept wanting to explain things. For one thing the bad guy was just dropped  into a prison and was bad by default "Superman babylike". Also he had a magic watch that made him look like anybody he wanted to, so that was a little bewildering as he became people at will for rather subtle reasons. Also, "good guy" got tired of being good, so he just faked his own death, which isn’t okay in my book.  Substitute "Bad guy" was just a doofus. 
The female interest ultimately falls in love with the original "ambivalent" bad guy who is serving time in prison having given himself up, and then he is suddenly made town hero without too much explanation being made.  We six-year-olds aren’t stupid, but we don’t go for coming up for explanations in our cartoons or for messed up cross-purposes.
It really was quite entertaining, but even as an adult I don’t think I would’ve gone by myself.
One of the tests of a good kid movie is that Ali quotes lines afterward. She quoted none after Megamind.  I couldn’t think of any either.