Saturday, May 26, 2012

Bayonets of Fire!

Our baby doesn't sleep in a bayonet.  She sleeps in a bassinet.  It's not her bayonet which is dirty and needs cleaning.  No foe's blood soils her sword.  She hasn't fought in any battles.  She doesn't even have a rifle on which to affix her bayonet.  She has no bayonet.  It's bassinet, (bassinet, bassinet).

Generous people have showered Madeleine with gifts -- mostly well-appreciated clothing.  On one jumper, there was attached a gigantic warning written in both Spanish and English: "Warning: not flame retardant.  Loose clothing is a fire hazard."  Not flame retardant?  What kind of rummy clothing is this!?  Can't even stand fire!?  How do they expect us to get on with normal infantile activities?

Yesterday morning, after a night of interrupting Madeleine's sleep every three hours by pinching her until she cried, Christy was a little tired.  I showered and got ready for work, brushed my teeth, then went to bid her farewell.  She was asleep, so I got close, getting ready to wake her gently.  All of a sudden, still asleep, she hawked and spit.  Like she meant it.  She opened her eyes and saw me, then asked, "Did I really spit?"  "Yes.  You sure did," I said smiling.  We couldn't stop laughing as she described her dream, in which she was brushing her teeth.  Her roommate wouldn't let her spit in the sink.  Eventually, she made it to the sink.  And her pillow.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Stiff Upper Lip, Jeeves

P. G. Wodehouse is a carefree magician of a writer.  I just finished reading "Stiff Upper Lip, Jeeves."  Like many of his other works, this one also made me laugh out loud.

I don't read these books with a paper and pencil (though maybe I should), so I can't as readily share snippets I like.  But here's an effort that you might have a taste of Wodehouse.

When Jeeves deals with Wooster to give up his beloved, blue alpine hat with a pink feather (which Jeeves detests), Wooster describes it thus:
    I gave him the hat.  It made me feel like a father reluctantly throwing his child from the sledge to divert the attention of the pursuing wolf pack, as I believe happens all the time in Russia in the winter months, but what would you?

When Spode (who is big and angry) confronts Wooster about planning to steal something:
    "So I was right!"
    "In my suspicions."
    "They have been confirmed."
    'Stop saying 'Eh?', you miserable worm, and listen to me."
    I humoured him. ...the muscles of his brawny arms [were] just as much like iron bands as they had always been, and the way I looked at it was that if he wanted me to go easy on the word "Eh?" he had only to say so.
    Continuing... he said:
    "I happened to be passing through the hall just now."
    "I heard you talking on the telephone."
    "You were speaking to your aunt."
    "Don't keep saying 'Oh?', blast you."
    Well, these restrictions were making it a bit hard for me to hold up my end of the conversation, but there seemed nothing to be done about it.  I maintained a rather dignified silence, and he resumed his remarks.
    He snorted and said "Ha!" and I thought it a bit unjust that he should say "Ha!" if I wasn't allowed to say "Eh?" and "Oh?"  There should always be a certain give and take in these matters, or where are you?

Wooster to Jeeves:
    "Did you ever see a film called The Vanishing Lady, Jeeves?"
    "No, sir.  I rarely attend cinematographic performances."
    "Well, it was about a lady who vanished, if you follow what I mean..."

And many other very funny moments.  Read it.  You won't be disappointed.  Also, "Joy in the Morning" is another great read.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Je suis un père

Madeleine and Mom hiked to Delicate Arch
 Madeleine Josephine arrived on Wednesday morning.  Yesterday (or today -- my memory has blurred the last series of sunrises and sunsets... so when I refer to a specific day, I may be wrong) as I shaved, I paused for a moment to look at the boy turned dad.  And I smiled.  I'm excited to be a dad.

Every stage of my life has been good to the degree that I have faith in and obey my Father in Heaven.  The last few stages (missionness, bachelorhood, newlywedity) were thus and I expect this stage to be no different.  It's not to say that I am always happy.  But overall, I am happy.

I feel like I can now see the opposite of Thestrals.  I have a greater respect for Christy, for my mom, and for mothers in general.  I had some idea of what birth would be like, from videos and classes.  But it's different feeling your own wife squeezing your hand.  And it's a lot harder than I thought it was going to be.

What a great word!  Say it a few times: "midwifery, midwifery, midwifery."  Isn't it fun?  Also, the people who own the title are great.  We decided to see the midwifes of the Central Utah Women's Clinic for our labor and delivery.  What an excellent choice!  I recommend midwifes one hundred percent.  Our midwife was at Christy's side the whole time she labored at the hospital.  She encouraged her in just the right ways, and was absolutely great.  The midwives are happy to dispense with unnecessary procedures and to let mom do things her preferred way.  Most of the nurses were also exceptional.  We really couldn't have asked for a better experience.  Doctors are great when you need them.  But if you don't need them, choose a midwife!

Expensive Yellow Wedding Dresses
While staying at the hospital, I went out to our car one day and passed through a waiting room with the TV on.  A bright yellow wedding dress was showing on the screen with "$200K" written underneath.  A lady was yammering on about the dress.  I thought, "How silly."  Really, how silly.  Having just seen my daughter born, I thought, "huh, the lady talking about the dress was born once... she was a naked, scrawny baby."  Now she's yapping away about something really ridiculous.  There's so much more to life than what we get ourselves caught up doing.  I want to share a part of a letter I wrote home as a soon-to-return missionary (maybe I've shared it before):

"Everyone is busy doing things... things, things ,things.  Man has invented things so that he can do more things and so he can do some things in more comfort.  Technology has progressed, but I wonder how much mankind has progressed.  There is much of unkindness in the world.  There is much of unfairness -- I have learned this first hand several times during the past two years.  There is too much sensuality, and along with it too much complacency.  Greed is evident in any part of the world.  Men, born naked, clothe themselves in expensive suits and adorn their lives with titles, classes, clubs and cliques.  Others, likewise born naked, remain in poverty throughout."

I'm not perfect.  I chase after some "expensive, yellow wedding dresses."  (Not literally... I don't actually have any interest in yellow wedding dresses)  But I hope to maybe chase after a few less having seen a new life come into the world.  And I'm excited to help her see the difference between expensive, yellow wedding dresses, and the truly important things.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

One source of happiness, and a good book

I recently watched some clips of an old British game show called Golden Balls.  At the end... well, just watch (if you keep reading, there are spoilers):

That's a lot of money!  But, in this one the jackpot was £2.85:

There's not as much money on the line, but the man still seems slightly sad that he was cheated.  Then, there's this one:

See how happy they both are?  In the first video, neither person is happy.  In fact, I feel bad watching it.  In the third, both are happy.  Perhaps it's just a "game," but the happiness or sadness is real.  Life is better when we think of others.

Lastly, on this kick, if you haven't watched any of the other videos, watch this one:

Part B of this Blog Post

I just finished Orbiting the Giant Hairball by Gordon MacKenzie.

I liked it.  It's a quick read.  I liked the typesetting, the doodles and the stories.

I really like his chapter on corporate organization, The Pyramid & The Plum Tree, in which he promotes an organization like a plum tree rather than a typical corporate pyramid.  "Upper" management is the trunk of the tree -- the stable foundation providing nutrients to the rest of the tree.  Middle management are the branches.  The creators and producers are at the top of the tree.

Chapter Nineteen, Orville Wright is spot on.

It's a quick enough read that I might run through it again with a pencil and paper.

Section 3

Our baby girl is coming soon.  How soon, we know not.  But we've been getting ready.  We have the training wheels on the bike, so she can get on that right away.  Also, I pulled out all the old math textbooks I have on hand.  We can probably get up through Trig before we have to come home from l'hopital.

It's kind of fun to have this bit of unpredictable waiting for us.  As organized as we are... it'll be a surprise and probably different than we expect.