Thursday, December 25, 2008

Finding the Christmas Spirit

As December started it seemed that the weather had forgotten what to do with itself and remained unseasonably warm, so much so that all the trees in my yard had barely lost any leaves. In essence it felt like September which meant it DEFINITELY didn't feel like Christmas.

I was really bummed out about it because I LOVE Christmas, but it just didn't feel like it. I even put up my Christmas tree the second week of December rather than the day after Thanksgiving. I was sure that the world had forgotten about Christmas what with the hard pressing economic times and wars going on. But then I decided I needed to do something to make me feel like Christmas.

And just what does Christmas feel like? To me, it's the feeling of joy and happiness, of wonder and thankfulness, that seem to permeate the world at this time of year and that's all due to the joy, happiness, wonderment and thankfulness that was brought into the world the night the Savior was born to His mortal mother, Mary. And as Jesus' life was full of giving, I decided I neeeded to that. So I picked out a young child from our Sub for Santa tree to give something to. My ward also was doing Sub for Santa and last week I helped them wrap up all the gifts and then I offered to deliver to a family that lived near me. This particular family consisted of a single mother of eight, count them EIGHT boys ranging from 15 years down to one year old. They had many presents and when I showed up at their home, the mother was so extremely happy. She didn't speak English very well but what she spoke with her smile and eyes was more than enough. As I hauled their gifts in, back and forth from my vehicle, it was all I could do to not cry. Their home, from what I saw, consisted of a small couch, a wicker end table, a 13" color TV on the floor and a space heater. The lights weren't on and it was quite cold in there. But seeing that mother's face made it so much warmer for me and for them. I just loved knowing that I had totally changed their outlook on Christmas.

In the mean time, very trivial things have happened to make it feel more like Christmas. The snow has started, the family parties have been had and have been great, feeling even more like a great time than previous years, and any minute now Santa will be arriving with some gifts. Which means I had better end so he doesn't skip my house.

Merry Christmas everyone! And may God bless you with all you stand in need of, whether spiritual or temporal.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Come and listen to my story...

...'bout a man named Jed and his family better known as The Beverly Hillbillies my new favorite show (though nothing will ever top Bewitched).

I used to watch the show sometimes when it was on in the afternoon re-runs when I was younger but I didn't take a yen to it, mainly because it didn't have any magic to it like Bewitched and I Dream of Jeannie did. I also thought it dumb that these hillbillies would still act like that living in such a cool place as Beverly Hills!

Just a couple months ago it was announced that the Second Season of the show was going to be released on DVD with the original sponsor openings and closings included!! Now one that thing that I LOVE about classic TV is seeing the old commercials or the variations on the theme songs. Not many people are aware that when TV shows in the 50s and 60s originally aired they used sponsors to support them and a lot of times the sponsors were integrated into the opening of the show. Here is an example of the two sponsors from the Beverly Hillbillies:

These rare pieces of film are never seen in re-runs and I think they add to the mystique of whatever show it is. Bewitched had their own sponsors but none of those openings are included on the DVD releases so I wanted to see how this would look on the Beverly Hillbillies.

There is a lot of legal mumbo-jumbo concerning the First Season that has seen many DVD releases but not any of them really good except for a two volume set that also included these rare openings and cast commercials. I happened to find the second volume at FYE but when I got it home it was missing two discs. But the ones that were on there were FANTASTIC!! It also happened that WGN started airing the Beverly Hillbillies from the beginning, so I started watching it.

What a funny show!! And I do have to say totally believable that they would move to Beverly Hills and maintain their hick lifestyle. What I also noticed is that they have good moral values that they try to look for in others. But mainly, just simply hysterical!

My sister ended up buying me the Second Season and I've just enjoyed it all to pieces! I pert near double-up in laughter whenever I watch it! I would totally suggest purchasing it if you're looking for some good laughs and fun. And the best thing? There are still seven seasons to go!

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

How blessed we are!!

It has only been a couple hours since Barack Obama was elected as the 44th President of the United States of America.

But more signifigantly he is the first African-American President to be elected in our nation's history. I am proud to say I was a part of that.

In every election previously I have always voted for the Republican nominee and almost did so this year. But the more I listened to Obama, even more so, read up on Obama and John McCain, the more I felt good about casting my vote for Obama. My feeling about that was solidified in August when the Vice-President nominees were announced and McCain chose the beautiful, but bewildering, Sarah Palin (who can see Russia from her house!).

But back to this evening. Unfortunately the only word I can find to describe my feelings is AWESOME! We essentially are witnessing one of the all time great moments in American history. To me, I feel like we are witnessing the signing of the Constitution, Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr's "I have a dream" speech. No other generation, with the exception of the one that will see a woman elected president, will have such a great opportunity and blessing.

I do not think Obama is perfect. However, I do believe he honestly has the best intentions and ideas and is more than willing to work for the improvement of our Nation, which right now is hurting....badly!

So I tip my hat to Obama!! And I tip my hat to John McCain, who so graciously offered up his support of Obama. And I tip my hat to those of you who voted, for whoever you voted for. Way to exercise your right and freedom as a citizen of this blessed United States of America!

I did it!

I should've posted before now because my resolution to show my dad I love him came to fruition well over two weeks ago.

I actually had to get a real big kick in the butt from our Father in Heaven to do so, but sometimes that's needed. What happened is that I was asked to teach a lesson in the Elders Quorum at Church. My lesson was based on President Thomas S. Monson's (leader of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints) Sunday morning address at October 2008 General Conference. His talk was entitled "Finding Joy in the Journey" (you can read the transcript of this at the link provided). What hit me specifically was this statement:
Send that note to the friend you’ve been neglecting; give your child a hug; give your parents a hug; say “I love you” more; always express your thanks. Never let a problem to be solved become more important than a person to be loved. Friends move away, children grow up, loved ones pass on. It’s so easy to take others for granted, until that day when they’re gone from our lives and we are left with feelings of “what if” and “if only.” Said author Harriet Beecher Stowe, “The bitterest tears shed over graves are for words left unsaid and deeds left undone.”

During my lesson I shared with those Elders what I had shared here on the blog. One of them spoke up and told me how importat he felt it was that I do go ahead and share my love for my dad with my dad because his opportunity had been taken about five months ago when his own father passed. He also mentioned how awful the process of grieving over your parent is, especially if you have regrets.

And so it was that evening when my father came home from work, and we were having a late night talk that I gave him a hug. He was really pleased and so was I.

So don't put it off, whether it's your parents, your spouse, your children, your siblings or your friends. You never know when the moment will forever be gone.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Why is saying/showing "I love you" so hard?

For those two people (out of five) who actually read this blog, you may not be aware but my dad is in the midst of kidney failure and has been for almost two years now. He has lost much weight and pretty much looks like a rather healthy zombie (or, from their point of view, a rather sick one). In the past year he has been to the ER about five times, a couple of them where we weren't exactly confident that he would return from the ER. I honestly feel at times that he is merely here simply because of the prayers that I know I offer up and also many others. The sad thing is that my dad doesn't take care of himself at all and it sometimes looks as though he's tempting the Reaper.

It used to be I had no trouble offering my dad a hug when he'd come home from work but as I've grown older it seems that it just gets awkward to do so. However, I have no problem hugging my mother or telling her, "I love you".

Last night, as I was going to bed kind of late, he came home early from work because there just wasn't work to do. We had a small conversation and then I just couldn't handle being awake anymore and told him I was off to bed. This news didn't hit him at all as he went on about a movie he and Mom had seen over the weekend. If you know my father, he can go on and on. Also keep in mind, if it were him saying he had to go to bed, he would simply just say so and leave and cut you off short. So I tried doing the same to him, even so far as walking closer to the exit. But it didn't curtail him. So I listened patiently. Well, when movie story was over he started on a new one about not believing what some people's kids have to go through as he saw a severely handicapped toddler at work (he works at the airport pushing wheelchairs). Finally I simply said, "I must go to bed. Good night!"

As I was entering my room I felt the strongest impression of love for my dad. He has been the greatest of fathers, always there to support his family, never raising a hand or belt to us though we may have truly deserved it, being faithful to my mother and being a faithful Priesthood holder. He's always loved us kids more than anything, sometimes too much what with his nervousness when we'd move out or go on extended vacations, but that's OK. I realize as I'm older there are not many people who can say as much of their own fathers. So I felt that I should go and give him a hug and tell him I loved him.

But I didn't. I just felt it would be so awkward, especially after having tried to get away from his stories.

So I've decided if I see him tonight I will give him a hug and tell him, "I love him" because it may not be an option in awhile.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Failing in my fan duties...

If you know me, you know that I LOVE Paula Abdul and have ever since I first heard "Straight Up" on the radio way back in the day. I finally met her in 2004 but I only have video of our momentous occasion. And when she was signing her autograph, we were in a rushed situation: both of us were late for our planes, there was lots of reporters, security, and fans and, of course, my pen wasn't working. Paula has a mad look on her face but that was because of the stress we were under. This pic is a screen capture that my brother enhanced. Therefore, I NEED another pic of Paula and I - a posed pic. Both of us are good looking and it's unfair that this happened.

Well, my opportunity has come up. American Idol did auditions here in Salt Lake back in July and tomorrow and Friday, Paula (along with the other judges) are going to be here! I asked the local radio station that plays Top 40 hits if I could sit in on an interview with Paula if that happened. They said sure, but this was back a co
uple months before the original interviews. This week it has been announced that there is no media or public allowed to the judging, which means no Paula photo-op. At the same time though, I realize that I could go sit outside the Delta Center (yes, I know it's now the Energy Solutions, but I don't care) to wait for Paula to show up in the morning, but I gotta go to work:( What a bummer!

It's kind of a consolation prize (not really, I'm just trying to make myself feel better) that a couple weeks ago I got my pic with HOT Cindy Crawford!! I just wish I had such a great pic with Paula.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Not Half Bad...

...yesterday, I accompanied my father and my cousin down to Price where Grandma Pierce's gigantic doll collection was to be divvied up amongst her progenitors. Keep in mind, Grandma is still alive and sometimes kicking, albeit she does so from a rest home. She is not exactly all there which is really sad, and I know it may come across as harsh, but I truly wish she would be released from this mortal life so that she wouldn't be so lonely and so she could reunite with Grandpa who has been gone for almost 17 years.

The reason the dolls were being divvied was that they were currently residing along with some other personal affects in a storage unit, which costs money. The rest home seems to be sucking that money up and soon Grandma will have none (so much for an inheritance). So it was decided that we'd just let everyone choose what dolls they would and get that out of the way.

Along with doll divvying we were going to have a BBQ with my dad's family.

Let me suggest that all though I do love my extended family, it takes work. Especially as there are, okay, IS a crazy aunt, some ne'er-do-well cousins and just a whole lot of Jed Clampettedness going on with them. Not to say that I'm not a bit Whiskey-Tango myself, but I've never had a mullet. Needless to say, I wasn't really excited for this trip. And pretty much the only reason I really wanted to go was to see my favorite cousin Pam, whom I hadn't seen for a long time. But then again, her husband Father Time was going to be there, and he isn't pleasant. I also thought that there would be a lot of arguing over who got what doll because it seemed that all growing up people had certain attachments to dolls. I will go ahead now and say that there was one specific doll I wanted, a porcelain Victorian lady who looked like she was traveling somewhere, that I had used as a model for an engraving of a lady that was put on my Great Great Grandma's grave. And I figure someday I hopefully will have a daughter that will be pleased to have a doll from her Great Grandma Pierce.

Well, my family surprised me and pleased me very much. First of all, there was not one argument or bad feeling from anyone when the dolls were divided. Secondly, and THANKFULLY, Father Time left at the beginning of our visit to go to the Y game and thirdly, we all had such a great time visiting and reminiscing. It used to be growing up, that all though it was fun to visit, almost always there would be an argument, someone would try to make themselves look bigger and better than everyone and it was stink. None of this went on. Even the weather was pleasant.

So the next time you think you'd rather receive an un-anesthetized root canal than visit with your extended family, think it over. You may be just surprised how much you really do like them.

Monday, August 11, 2008

RIP Joel Dean (1977 - 2003)

Five years ago today, as I was going through the normal motions of getting ready for work (and it also happened to be a Monday) I received an unexpected call from the wife of my favorite mission companion, Joel Dean. Her voice was shaky and I immediately thought that maybe Joel had been in a wreck. Instead, it was much worse: Joel had passed away during the night. It was eventually revealed to be caused by viral pneumonia.

I can't tell you how sad I was to hear this.

I met Joel when we were assigned as companions while we serving missions for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in Eldersburg, Maryland in February 1998. Joel was very athletic and seemed to be the ladies man, on first impressions. Both of those qualities, I was not. But I found immediately that he was a whole lot more. He was really funny and interested very much in other people. He seemed to really enjoy making people happy and he always made me feel good about myself. He also had a great testimony of Jesus Christ. We served together for three months.

After the mission we kept in contact, but not as much as I would've liked, which I blame myself for. He would call a lot to see how I was doing and just to chat and we would always make plans to have lunch but it never seemed to happen. The last time I saw Joel was the September before his death when he had invited me to his house for dinner on what happened to actually be his and his wife's wedding anniversary that they were celebrating later that week.

When his wife called with that awful news, it was devastating. I don't mean to demean my other mission companions, but it was absolutely horrible that out of all of them, Joel was the one chosen to go.

I think of him often and can't wait to see him again on the other side.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Appreciate in '08

Reading my previous post made me realize that I needed to talk about some positive stuff! So far this year has been good. At least my attitude has been because I'm not exactly in a place I'd like to be, which is being figuratively raped by my dentist with a bill that is as much as a car, living at the parents again, and having a less than stellar job. But at the same time, I feel generally great! So far this year, I've done a lot of cool things that have been goals I've had pretty much my whole life. In April, I went to Hawaii with my family (minus Pibby and his new wife Jenny - they went the previous month on their honeymoon) for a week! It was AWESOME!!!

Then, with the generous help of friends, I was able to go to California for the Bewitched FanFare where I met William Asher, the director/producer of Bewitched and Elizabeth Montgomery's 3rd husband. It was so emotional because I've always wanted to meet him and thank him for all the great things he has done. He was so sweet!

I also won the Holy Grail of all
Bewitched collecting - the 1965 Ideal Samantha doll in the box!!! I know some of you think, "What's the big deal?" That doll is very hard to find in good condition, let alone in the box. Granted, the box that mine is in is a recreation, but still, every time I look at it I just flip.

And just last month I was able to play DJ for a couple hours at 97.1 ZHT with the Morning Zoo. They asked me to come in to show them the doll. It was a lot of fun.

So I guess life must be in the attitude whether you think it's good or bad...I don't apologize for my previous post, but I think that I'm going to try and keep a positive outlook.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

2007, see you in hell!

Though this post may be more potent had I written it on January 1 or even December 31 it's been written in my head and just now am I able to post it.

Needless to say, 2007 was THE worst year ever!! True, it seems that in my life odd numbered years seem to be crappy but this one took the crap cake. Normally at the end of a year I'm able to write down lots of good things that happened every month and some bad things creep in but literally, there are only about four good things that happened in 2007. Here now for your perusal, month by month, is why 2007 needs to eat it!! Bad is in RED and good is in GREEN.

  • I had the flu or something like unto it for the first couple weeks of January.
  • Tracey moved out of Tard mansion leaving Michelle and I with Chad, who never was at home.
  • Michelle decided that the living room was her place only so I wasn't able to put up any of my pictures even though we all pay the same amount in rent.
  • Mayson gave me a kiss all by himself. He also started crawling, but only backwards.
  • Carly FINALLY divorced that dumb ass Steve she was married to.
  • My Dad found that he is going to need a kidney transplant because he is going into kidney failure and the doctor only gave him three years to live. Before this though, he will need his gall bladder taken out.
  • I met Jeddah Carrell at work. She is really funny and cute.
  • Janene Clark's husband, Wade, up and died for unknown reasons.
  • Trolley Square shootings.
  • Gave Shula a kiss on Valentine's Day but I don't think she liked it.
  • Chad, who never paid his bills or rent, abandoned us and left his stuff.
  • Shula totally didn't even call to tell me about a dance they were going to until they were there for about two hours and were going to leave! She also chose to go bowling with her roommates instead of me on a double date so I gave up on her.
  • Michelle gave me "The Book of Witches" for Valentine's Day.
  • Mayson got a viral lung infection and had to spend two night's up at the hospital.
  • Made a cool card for Jeddah asking her out and she accepted.
  • Jeddah and I got in trouble for long breaks at work and were forced to never sit next to each other again.
  • Mayson sits up all by himself.
  • Mayson crawled forward for the first time and to me:)
  • Went on a date with Jeddah to the Scottish Bagpipe Festival with Tracy and Michelle. Jeddah broke the all ready iffy chair at our house but our date was fun.
  • Mayson had his 1st birthday.
  • Got Ruby from MySpace's phone number. 
  • Went out with Ruby for the first time.
  • Planned and executed my mom's surprise 60th birthday party. It went very well except for my dad not showing up because for some reason he didn't know where the church was that it was being held at even though he helped build it. I think senility is creeping in.
  • Shootings at Virginia Tech.
  • Michelle and Michael's wedding shower at the Grand America.
  • I received "A Diary of a Genie" from the webmaster of the Jeannie Journal for running an episode game. It is THE coolest book!
  • Michelle's friend, Kathy, moves in with her cute beagle, Tuesday.
  • I was offered a job at Amanda's father's work but had to decline when I found that they couldn't pay me as much as I wanted.
  • I signed the early out list at work and was let go at around 2 PM. It was raining horribly and I decided to go find the address of the author of "Diary of a Genie" as he lives in SLC. On my way there I saw a man walking along the edge of the on ramp to North Temple and discovered it was my dad who had blown a tire! What a blessing it was that I found him!
  • Chad never paid his full portion of rent or bills so Michelle and I were stuck with that though we had been told to forget about his portion of the rent by the landlord.
  • Mayson had to go to the ER again when he started choking on his own vomit.
  • I was so sick on May 18, the anniversary of Elizabeth Montgomery's death which I usually commemorate, that I slept most of the day and didn't do anything for it except watch the tape of news clips from that day.
  • I've lost a total of 16 lbs at Weight Watchers!
  • Mayson knows "Pat-a-Cake" and "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star".
  • Jeddah quits the post office and has been acting very strange towards me. She ends her relationship with me but not returning any texts (she's the texting queen) or calling.
  • I was told by the kidney specialist that I'm too fat to donate a kidney for my dad.
  • Mayson scrunches up his face and breathes real hard and it's way funny. He does it all the time.
  • Michelle and Michael got married and it was seriously the second best wedding I've ever been to (Paul and Jody's was the first). But Michelle is staying here until Michael retires from the Marines so I'm really sad for both of them having to live apart.
  • I helped paint Heather's room for money as I'm so poor.
  • The Post Office only schedules us four days a week now and the days we are there they send us home early.
  • Paula Abdul's new reality series "Hey Paula" premieres and Bravo, the network that runs it, holds a contest for her biggest fan to be the blogger so I enter.
  • My friends and I discussed having a fun, but cheap, 4th of July. Amanda offered up her parent's cabin and then proceeded to purchase all this food that she expected each of us to pay $50 for!! We still went but there was tension in the air and none of us paid, or will, pay her. I should've just went with my family to Cherry Hill.
  • John and Chelsea found this black Shit-Poo puppy wandering the streets and Michelle decided to keep her, even though Kathy and I had said we'd rather than she didn't. The dog was named KeeLee and she is noisy and shits and pisses everywhere, even though when Kathy's dog did that Michelle got all mad about it. Plus, Michelle's cousin turned her in for harboring a stray and Michelle went through all sorts of unnecessary measures to keep the dog and has written her cousin out of her life.
  • A friend's brother died from complications of diabetes plus this friend has just seriously been irritating lately.
  • I won the "Hey Paula" blogging contest!!! The prize is being the blogger and a $500 Bravo Gift pack.
  • I started going to Dr. Nelson for a severe tooth pain which I had a root canal on but it was the starting of more teeth work which Dr. Nelson says adds up to $10,000.
  • Dad had his gall bladder removed and didn't do well at all in recovery and in fact was in the hospital for a week making it so that my mom missed her only vacation to Bear Lake with her family.
  • Started dating Ruby.
  • Our landlord was robbed and he lives in the unit next door to us.
  • Mayson starts saying "Oh no!" He's so cute! And he just loves me.
  • After Dad gets out of the hospital, he has to go back after a couple days because of an infection.
  • Mayson started walking.
  • Became exclusive with Ruby. She's really nice but I'm not sure how I feel about her.
  • My cell phone was shut off for about two weeks because I simply don't have enough money for everything.
  • Broke up with Ruby and really broke her heart but I just didn't feel the "spark" with her that I wanted to be there.
  • Grandma Pierce was hospitalized and moved to the rest home from assisted living. They also say she has a form of cancer that lies dormant awhile and then when it "wakes" it kills almost instantly and it could do so at any time.
  • My mom's favorite car was stolen from her work and found later beat all to hell.
  • Pibby's car was broke into at Paul and Jody's and his iPod and computer drawing tablet were stolen as well as a window broken.
  • Received Gina Meyer's 2nd edition of her Bewitched Trivia book and found that Pibby, who HATES Bewitched, was pictured in it twice because he came to a Bewitched convention in 2005.
  • Had a really nice dinner at my friend Wendy's, whom I hadn't seen forever.
  • Held my own 31st birthday party at the Pizza Factory. It was a lot of fun because everyone I love was there.
  • I got kicked out of the Single's Ward because I'm too now I don't know where I want to go to church.
  • The "Hey Paula" prize pack finally arrived and it SUCKED!! It contained all these shirts from shows I don't even watch, bumper stickers from those same shows, all seven episodes of "Hey Paula" on individual DVDs that they made and a Wonder Woman bobblehead....yeah, right it's all worth $500!
  • For the first time in about five years I didn't go to Reno for Halloween cause I was too poor. It was really depressing.
  • Went Trick-or-Treating with Mayson (which I still could've done even had I gone to Reno) and it was a lot of fun.
  • Gave my 30 day move out notice to Michelle. I have to move back to my parent's because my dentist bill is so big!
  • Mom's boss told her she was laid off but then said she didn't say that cause the boss, Nancy, is crazy as hell!
  • Applied at 23947239847239472 places and NONE of them would hire me.
  • Thanksgiving dinner was fantastic.
  • Kathy attempted suicide on Thanksgiving Day and we found out about it that weekend and took her to the UNI at the U of U.
  • Was on the KSL Evening News cause I was talking about the weather and how I braved it to come visit Dick Nourse on his last evening there.
  • Pibby, who has been dating Jenny for about three months, proposed to her! I'm happy for him but sad for me cause I should've been married by now.
  • Moved back to my parent's house, which is both good and bad.
  • My dad had to be hospitalized and they think he may have had a mild heart attack a couple months ago.
  • Found out that Michelle and I are responsible for Chad's missing rent.
  • Decided I couldn't afford to go to Elizabeth Montgomery's Star Ceremony. I officially didn't go on ANY trips this year (except for Bear Lake but that sucked cause my mom couldn't go). I usually go on two trips a year.
  • Christmas was really good.
So there...I'm sorry it's so long but I just had to get it out of my system and really see what sucked and what didn't. I'm so glad it's over though!!!