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Sunday, May 21, 2017


What would you like to hear about? Well I'll tell you. Space. How amazing this vast "space" is. Just dotted with all these little stars, these little flaming balls of hydrogen and helium and plasma, off in the vast cosmos, millions of light years away. Right now, Jupiter is sitting high up in the sky with his many mistresses. And we're just... spinning around... spinning... spinning... day after day. And this spinning gives us our days, our days of love, days of fear, days of taking a relaxing vacation and going to the beach, days of endless mind-numbing work, Days of our Lives (the soap!), days of war and peace, days of struggling with children who have problems, days of struggling with school, of trying to make ends meet, days of suffering and tribulation, days of joy, days of heartache, days of struggling to keep brine shrimp alive for school science projects, nights of sleep (or lack thereof), nights that give us our starry sky, nights that give us our graveyard shifts, nights that give us our 4th of July fireworks and our late-night get-togethers, our midnight snacks, our night drives, our twinkling city lights. And if you go up there and look back down at this lovely blue globe, you leave all that here. And I'm sure as hell some people would like to do that every now and again, just leave Earth behind for a bit, all of its cares. Not that there's anything particularly worrying about 4th of July fireworks or midnight snacks. Also you wouldn't really leave the starry night sky here. You'd take it with you. You'll be forever enshrouded in a blanket of starry night. To sleep now.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

The Many Flat Tires of Mrs. Bennett

I lay. In bed. Sick with something or other. I reek of tea-tree oil, which I rubbed on my legs yesterday evening to stop the itching. This itching has been going on since the middle of January. The tea-tree oil seems to be working pretty well. I've been to two dermatologists about it. One basically said there's no cure for it and I'll just have to put itch cream on six times a day for the rest of my life. Another one recommended oatmeal baths, some other lotion, allergy pills, and did blood work, which was all negative. He also removed my possibly cancerous mole from my leg. There's now a big scab there which doesn't appear to be healing. I don't know what's going on. Rivers threw up yellow goo about 30 times last weekend and was in the hospital for a day. Emily got sick right after that. I predicted I would get sick by Friday. I was wrong. Saturday. I've lost my wedding ring, which is too bad because I kinda liked that ring. I dropped my phone and shattered it in the McDonald's drive-thru. Good times! A couple times this week, I have taken Rivers on a walk to Home Depot (he loves Home Depot) and then down the Halfway Wash trail. I've taken an interest in plants and flowers. I like cottonwoods. The trail is dotted with many of them. There's also a lot of Sacred Datura plants, which are those ones with the big white trumpet flowers. Don't eat them. They'll send you on a mind-blowing acid trip and then kill you. Trust me. I know. When it gets hot out, the flowers close during the day, then open back up at night to attract pollinators like moths. I noticed that on Wednesday, the flowers were all open during our 7 pm walk. On Friday at about the same time (and it was a lot warmer on Friday), the flowers were all closed. I came back at 11 that night to look at them, and they were all open. Amazing. That would make a nice time-lapse video.

Welp, this is all for now. I'm missing church today. I haven't been to our ward for a month. I think I'm gonna get fired from my primary pianist job.

Sunday, April 30, 2017


Associated Press- Gordon Hayward scored 26 points and George Hill and Derek Favors each chipped in 17 as the Utah Jazz ended Paul Pierce's career Sunday at Staples Center.

From the beginning, Utah outplayed the Clippers and made the extra hustle plays needed to end Pierce's career.

"We knew what we had to do tonight," Hayward said after the game. "We knew what was on the line. It was Paul Pierce's career. And we had to end it. And we did."

The Clippers, fresh off a win in which Pierce's career was extended for another game, fell behind early and couldn't make up the deficit to save Pierce's career.

Clippers coach Doc Rivers played a video montage for the team before the game which featured several clips of Pierce throughout his career dunking, scoring some layups, and hoisting the NBA championship trophy as a Boston Celtic in 2008. Needless to say, the Clippers were inspired.

"We wanted to go out tonight and extend Pierce's career," Chris Paul said. "That was it. And even though we fell short, and his career is over, we feel like we played them tooth and nail."

The Jazz continue their playoff run Tuesday night when they attempt to end more opponents' careers.

Coach Quinn Snyder mentioned he was proud of his team for the way they handled the pressure of being in a hostile environment where everybody wanted Paul Pierce's career to keep going. "This is what it's all about," he said. "Doing all the little things. Good things happen when you play aggressive disciplined basketball. Like ending Paul Pierce's career."

Saturday, March 11, 2017


What is everybody looking forward to?

This week?
This month?
This year?
In the next five years?
In the next 30 years?

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

ISIS claims responsibility for video purportedly showing ISIS leader claiming responsibility

Associated Press- An ISIS propaganda video released Monday purports to show ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi claiming responsibility for last week's mosque bombing in Pakistan; ISIS immediately claimed responsibility for the video with a video released several hours later purporting to show ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi claiming responsibility for the earlier video.

"Just in case any infidels thought it was another inferior jihad group that released the video earlier today, well, it was us. Not Al-Qaeda. Not Boko Haram. Not Al-Shubba babala something or the Revolutionary Freedom Crusaders of Allah or whatever. Okay?" the ISIS leader stated in a 30-minute long recording that also included warnings that more videos would "soon be unleashed upon the Zionist crusaders in a fiery sea of videos." Al-Qaeda immediately claimed responsibility for the video with a video released an hour later, throwing the whole world of terrorist video-making into chaos.

"Death to America! Also, we made that last video!" a masked man wielding an AK-47 stated in the video. Within minutes, a video was released purportedly from al-Baghdadi, who stated, "Allahu akbar! Don't listen to him, that's ridiculous. Why would they make a video with me claiming responsibility?" The authenticity of that video could not be immediately verified. Several more videos were released in the following hour, each one criticizing the previous video and calling down curses from Allah on their wives, flocks, herds, and their "video-making equipment."

Sunday, September 25, 2016

How Grampy Saved Christmas

Ah, my first vacation in years! What a thrill! What a delight! Anxiously, I board the flight, shoving other passengers out of my way, shoving people off the airstair, shoving children into the overhead storage, just shoving shoving shoving.
But all of this changes when I take my seat and meet the guy sitting next to me. He immediately launches into some boring story, a story about murder, deceit, sabotage, and betrayal, a story of the risks one is willing to take to make it to the top, a story that shows that with hope, faith, and guts, even one ordinary man can change the world of small-town politics... forever.
“Boy, that’s pretty wild!” I say, and then I instantly fall asleep, because face it… when you’re running on no sleep, well… you go to sleep eventually. Right? AM I RIGHT?! And how are all these thoughts coming out of my head when I’m clearly asleep? I mean, I just said that I fell asleep. But did I really fall asleep? Or am I bluffing? Well, I’ll let you in on a little secret. I am bluffing! I’ve always been a good bluffer, especially at sleeping. In fact, it looks like I’m sleeping, but I’m not. I’m just sick of this yahoo next to me blabbing on about some terribly dull story, so I shut my eyes. But I am actually very tired, so after about 30 seconds, I really do fall asleep.
I wake up sometime later (not sometime before). The sky is black outside the window, the lights on the wing flashing intermittently. A little… too intermittently. Something is wrong. No, it’s not. I don’t know what got into me there.
My neighbor to the left of me, the one who was blabbing on about something or other earlier, is fast asleep, his tongue lolling out of his mouth (LOL!). Just then, the flight attendant walks up. “Peanuts?” she asks. “Oh boy, peanuts!” I reply, and this means that I want some, so she dumps a bag of peanuts on my lap. “By the way,” I ask her, since I have really been wondering. “Where is this plane going?”
“DOWN!” she yells, and then pulls a detonator out of her pocket. I can tell it’s a detonator. I’ve owned a few.
“I knew it!” I cry, pointing at her with my crooked finger. By this point, many of the other passengers have awoken from their slumbers, and they are mumbling in a worried manner. “I knew it! I knew it all along! I knew you were a terrorist! From the moment you pulled out that detonator! I knew it!”
My neighbor to the left of me marvels at my deductions.
“Well,” says the flight attendant. “You may have guessed correctly this time, but that doesn’t matter anymore! You’re all going to die!”
Many passengers scream. There are a variety of screams. Some high, some low. Some fast, some slow. Some guy screaming who has no idea what’s going on, demanding to know why the beverage service is late and if he could get some V8. Another lady screaming at her 6-year-old who keeps complaining because his iPod died and he wants to play Pokeyman Crush Saga or Flappy Crush or some such ridiculous vidiot game on her phone. The flight attendant screaming as she’s waving the detonator up in the air, with a crazed look in her eyes. I’ve had enough of this madness.
I pull out my ear-buds and crank up Destiny’s Child, then settle back and relax. They’re my favorite band. My neighbor to the left of me nudges me. “Hey, we shoulda booked first class,” he says, and then we have a good laugh. Well, mostly just him because I’ve got Destiny’s Child on full blast, so I don’t really hear him. But I think that’s what he may have said. Or something along those lines. He may have said something completely different. But we both laugh, me a little bit, him a whole lot, tears streaming down his cheeks. Eventually, others join in the laughter too, including the flight attendant, who did NOT DIE. Then the pilots come and join in, and everybody holds hands, and sings “Do They Know It’s Christmas,” and a more heartwarming and inspiring scene I have never known, in all my days.
“And that’s how your old grampy saved Christmas,” I say, shutting the book, a large tome of thousands of gilded pages and a mysterious seal of a snake on the cover.
“Wow Grampy, that was a really great story! Can we read it again?” my grandson Billy says, his eyes gleaming like only a child’s eyes gleam.
“Maybe tomorrow kid,” I reply, in my thick raspy Ukrainian accent. “Now be at peace.”
At this point, I pull his blanket up to his chin, then reach up and shut his eyelids for him, since he’s not able to do it himself, having a very rare form of eyelid paralysis.

The End

QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION (to be discussed as a loving family unit):

1) Why does Grampy feel the need to share his incredible true story with Billy? Who does Billy even think he is anyway, taking up Grampy's valuable time?
2) Describe the influence that Destiny's Child has had on the modern-day libertarian movement.
3) Name 3 events that occur in the story that are critical to understanding the psychological motivation of the passenger who demands his V8.
4) Does anybody still drink V8? Why did anybody ever drink V8 in the first place? Explain.

Sunday, September 18, 2016


I am sitting here feeling a little inspired. Inspired... with air, that is. Because isn't that really what inspiration is? Taking in oxygen? Well I'm inspired. Every second of every day, I'm being inspired. I'm sitting here on my couch. Every 2-3 minutes, I feel something crawling on me, and I look down, and there it is. A little itty bitty ant, lurking around on my skin. So I smash him in a fit of rage, and then repeat the process in a couple minutes, as some other little ant decides to go traipsing around on me. We've sprayed inside and outside for bugs. I've vacuumed up hordes of them in our bathroom. I've drowned them with RAID and HOT SHOT and all those fun things. They just don't know when to stop. What are they doing? What are they looking for? What is on my skin that they want, whether I'm sitting on the couch enjoying the tubeflix, or laying in my bed peacefully asleep? What do you want, little ants? Is it food you desire? Would you like me to put a little food bowl outside next to Juno's bowl? I will even label it "ANTS" so you know which one to eat out of. I'll put all the tasty things in there you love. The beef jerky. The jelly bellies. It can be all yours. We don't have to keep fighting like this. Or do you enjoy the fighting? Do you enjoy being vacuumed up? Do you enjoy being doused in chemicals that fry your nervous systems? Do you enjoy being smashed by my fist? Do you enjoy being washed down the shower drain? Do you feel somehow victorious in death, like some sort of ant martyrs, perishing in the valiant cause of ant jihad? Is that what this is? Have you declared ant jihad against my family? Do you serve Ant Allah? I just smashed another one. This one was on my ankle. That's a pretty popular place to go, I've noticed.

School is a delight these days. Genetics seems to be giving me the most problems, as I recently did poorly on an exam. College is weird. Everyone looks at me like they want to hurt me. But I look forward to going each day. I don't look forward to working. I have never looked forward to going to work at this job. In the beginning, I thought the day would come sometime... sometime... the day when I would enjoy working, would look forward to another day of interacting with injured and sick old people and getting them to exercise to help them heal from their maladies. But the day has never come. There is one exception, and that is when, very occasionally, I know I am going to be scheduled and working with patients who I have already worked with and who I don't stress out about having to lift their dead body weight out of their bed due to severe muscle weakness and/or obesity. But a day where I don't have any idea who I'm going to be working with, just a plethora of old people, several of which may be very grumpy, several of which may require significant assistance to get them to move, and probably resulting in my own strained back muscles... these are days I do not enjoy. Some people I've talked to have disapproved of my decision to go back to school. And I don't blame them. I'm giving up (well, working PRN) a pretty stable income, a job that probably has a lot of opportunity if I had any desire to get better and make more money. But I'm not happy. Is that an important thing to have in a job? Or is it just about stability and making money? I don't know. I want to be happy working. I want to look forward to going to work. I want to not hate Sundays anymore (they are hated by the simple reason that I dread going into work the next day). Most of all, I want to do something I'm passionate about. I think everyone does, probably. And there's a whole host of reasons why they don't, many of which are probably pretty logical.

Beau and I hiked out by Leeds the other day. What a beautiful area. We searched high and low for the Babylon Arch, which was supposed to be out in the desert wilderness somewhere, but we failed. Also, we saw a sign indicating that HISTORIC BABYLON was directly to the south of us. Can you believe that? This whole time, we thought Babylon was somewhere in Iraq. Nope. It's right here in Washington County. We didn't go see it though. We were too tired after fruitlessly hunting for the Arch of Babylon. Someday, we will go to Historic Babylon and join in the wickedness and debauchery.