Sunday, November 21, 2010


Jared turned 16 about a week ago. He passed his driving test on Friday. And he was ordained a Priest in church today by Scotty.

It's weird.

I remember when the girls turned 16 it felt a lot more, mmmm.... fun. It was a light, happy occasion. They could now date. They were entering an exciting time.

But, as the boys get older, it feels serious. They take on more responsibilities and I find myself holding my breath a little, and getting a little tearful, and a little fearful. Will I teach them what they need to know to be men? The world of men seems a heavy place. They'll have to provide for a family, and, before that, fill a mission. So much to do. So much to learn. So many decisions.

I was thinking this week about when he was born. It snowed about 8 inches that night. Just as we were leaving for the doctor's office a handicapped man in our ward was driving by on his bicycle (in the snow!) and saw us and came in to visit. We felt funny sending him away, so we sat and visited with Kenny for half an hour on the couch, pretending not to be in labor.

It was a long labor for me, about 6 hours. And in the end, he broke my tailbone.

Two weeks later we were back in the hospital with a staph infection in his belly button. That was so miserable. The neo-natal intensive care unit was not really where I wanted to be the day after Thanksgiving. They had to give him IV antibiotics, but his veins were so tiny they wouldn't hold up, so they had to keep finding new places to stick him, even resorting the vein on the top of his head at one point. We spent 4 days in the hospital, but we had to do those IV's for a whole month.

It was a horrible ordeal at the time, but I didn't realize how serious until 2 years later when I got an invitation to a party, a reunion for the survivors of the neo-natal intensive care unit. I felt a little shift in my world when I read the word "SURVIVOR". What did they mean? Did he almost die? I guess he did, but the doctor never let on, which I have to say, I am eternally grateful for.

And I am grateful for this young man. Grateful he survived. Grateful he passed his driving test. Grateful he became a priest today. Grateful he attended his first missionary prep class with the Stake President. Grateful for the promise that the future holds for him, even with all its responsibilities.

So proud of my son.

My Favorite Political Editorial Ever

Republicans Kind of Suck … Which Is Why They Will Win Huge in November

This election season has been hard on pundits. The Democrats are going to get massacred in November, and it’s really obvious to pretty much everyone exactly why — which makes writing political commentary like trying to come up with a long-winded explanation for why two plus two equals four.

Here’s my attempt.

Doesn’t it suck when you have a dog that barks all night? Everyone hates that. It’s annoying. It can even drive you pretty crazy if it goes on long enough. People hate that.

Know what also sucks? A zombie apocalypse. That’s when society collapses due to some spreading zombie virus, and most of your friends and family are dead, and you have to scrounge for food to survive while the walking dead threaten you around every corner. People also hate that.

So, we’re all agreed that a barking dog and a zombie apocalypse both suck. Everyone following so far?

Now let’s look at what led us to the political situation we’re in. During the second term of the Bush presidency people just got fed up with Republicans. They were idiots, they were no good at the whole fiscal conservatism thing (which is sort of the whole point of them), we had these wars that seemed to be going nowhere, and the economy was beginning to fail. They sucked, and people were sick and tired of them.

Thus people turned to the Democrats. And Obama.

Let’s just say they also sucked.

AMERICANS: “So, the economy is pretty bad and there’s high employment. You think you can do something about that?”

DEMOCRATS AND OBAMA: “We can spend a trillion dollars we don’t have on pork and stuff.”

AMERICANS: “No … that’s not what we want. We’d really like you not to do that.”

DEMOCRATS: “You’re stupid. We’re doing it anyway.”

AMERICANS: “That’s not going to help us get jobs!”

DEMOCRATS: “Sure it will; millions of them … though they may be invisible. You’ll have to trust us they exist. And guess what else we’ll do: We’ll create a giant new government program to take over health care.”

AMERICANS: “That has nothing to do with jobs!”

DEMOCRATS: “We don’t care about that anymore. We really want a giant new health care program. We’re sure you’ll love it.”

AMERICANS: “Don’t pass that bill. You hear me? Absolutely do not pass that bill.”

DEMOCRATS: “Believe me; you’ll love it. It has … well, I don’t know what exactly is in the bill, but we’re sure it’s great.”


DEMOCRATS: “You’re not the boss of me! We’re doing it anyway!”

AMERICANS: “Look what you did! Now the economy is way worse, we’re even deeper in debt, and we have a bunch of new laws we don’t want!”

DEMOCRATS: “You’re racist.”

AMERICANS: “Wha … How is that racist?”

DEMOCRATS: “Now you’re getting violent! Stop being violent and racist, you ignorant hillbillies! And remember to vote Democrat in November.”

So the Democrats sucked. But not just plain old, usual politician sucked, but epic levels of suck where it’s hard to find an analogue in human history that conveys the same level of suckitude. It was sheer incompetence plus arrogance — and those things do not complement each other well. We’re talking sucking that distorts time and space like a black hole.

It’s Godzilla-smashing-through-a-city level of suck — but a really patronizing Godzilla who says you’re just too stupid and hateful to see all the buildings he’s saved or created as he smashes everything apart. Or, to use Obama’s favorite analogy, you have a car stuck in ditch, so you call the mechanic, but the only tool he brings with him is a sledgehammer. And then he smashes your car to pieces and charges you $100,000 for his service. Finally, he calls you racist for complaining. Obama and the Democrats have been so awful, it’s hard for the human brain to even comprehend.

But the Democrats will counter that the Republicans also suck. And while this is true, it’s not really going to help them. As I pointed out before, both a dog incessantly barking and a zombie apocalypse are things that everyone would agree suck. Yet no one during a zombie apocalypse, while hiding out in a boarded up mall, would turn to the other survivors and say, “We don’t want to kill all the zombies; then we’d have to go back to being woken up at night by that annoying dog next door.” But this is the best argument the Democrats can come up with. “Remember how awful the Republicans and Bush were? You hated them. You don’t want to go back to that.” Yes, why would people want to go back to when 6% unemployment was considered high?

People do remember how much the Republicans suck, and they know where it tops out … and that is nowhere near as bad as the Democrats are today. Like with the barking dog, it’s annoying, but you know it’s not going to cause the collapse of civilization as we know it. Not so with the zombie apocalypse; who knows how bad that could get if left to continue? Same with the Democrats and Obama; people have never dealt with anything this horrible their entire lives, and they aren’t that curious to see how much worse it can be.

So the Republicans kinda suck, and that’s why they’re going to win huge this November. Because in the land of epic, mega, ultra, apocalyptic levels of sucking, those who kinda suck are king. Or at least are going to win in a landslide.

Because once the zombie apocalypse is over, the annoying neighbor dog is going to be music to your ears.

For a little while, at least.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

I want to remember this....

The following is an excerpt from a devotional by Elder Cecil O. Samuelson of the Seventy, in 2002 titled, "What Does it Mean to Be Perfect?"

Doing Your Best Perfectionism

You desire to give things your best efforts and are satisfied when you do.

You have a list of “shoulds” and “have to’s” and are dissatisfied even if you complete them.

You know it’s okay if you make a mistake. You move on and see your mistake as an opportunity for growth or learning.

Mistakes bring feelings of self-hatred. You don’t want to do anything because you are afraid of failure.

You want to do your personal best, and you try not to compare your achievements to those of others. You don’t need to be the best at all things.
You feel tremendous pressure to earn others’ approval. You must be the best or “perfect” in your tasks.

You can find joy in doing the things you love, and you can get things accomplished.
Your need to do things perfectly leads to procrastination until you have time to do it “perfectly,” and you feel driven by fear or duty instead of love.

Trying to do your best and perfecting yourself “line upon line” with the Savior’s help is Christ-centered because you need the Atonement.
Perfectionism is self-centered. You measure yourself against your own standards and against others’ standards, not God’s.