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Archive for September, 2006

The doughnut was invented a hundred years ago by an amazing saint named Joel Choi. According to Wiki, per capita, Canadians consume the most doughnuts in the world (lucky them). They also have the most doughnut stores in the world (per capita)–maybe I should’ve moved there.

You see, in Manhattan, Kansas, there is exactly one doughnut store, located in Aggieville. But I don’t suggest you try it. Not if you’re an avid doughnut connoiseur, like I am. I hear from those who have often tried to console me over my loss that there is a doughnut aisle at the local Dillons. This just adds insult to injury. I want fresh, crispy, creamy, straight “off the presses,” old-fashioned doughnuts and maple bars. I want my Saturday back.

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Grandma


What is a grandmother? By definition, she is the mother of your parents. She is an ancestor. For myself, she is a woman of daring. She is a leather pants wearing, motorcycle riding sexy mama. She is the woman I aspire to be. To many, she is an excellent cook. Most of us have childhood memories of our grandmother’s meals. To me that meal is my definition of a grandmother. She is comfort wrapped up in chicken long rice and stuffed cabbage rolls. She is sweet like a pineapple upside-down cake. She is risky, like homemade cranberry sauce. And she is unique, like the black licorice she loves to eat. A grandmother cares like a mother and acts like a friend. She doesn’t give judgments or time outs, just laughter and advice–and amazing thrift store finds. She’s taught me the value of money, and the value of life. She is the definition of what a true grandmother is. She’s my grandmother, but I call her Grandma, because I love her, because she’s mine. Happy Birthday Grandma, and a lifetime more.

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Congratulations!

Just a note to family and friends who come and look every so often: Adam Clark is getting married! He is marrying his college love, Christina, from Spanish Fork, Utah. He proposed Friday, and they’ll be married in the Salt Lake Temple December 28th! We’re so proud of him, and hope them the best! We love you Adam, and Christina as well. Can’t wait to meet her!

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I’m having a love/hate relationship with the wonderful land of Oz. I love it because of its beauty, peacefulness…for its amber waves of grain. I love the music that swells the breeze and rings from all the trees (the Cicadas are apparently very loud this time of year). I love the the small towns with more parks than shopping malls. I hate that there are so few shopping malls. The rustling trees full of bugs have no place in my heavenly hometown. And peacefulness is overrated, and kinda creepy if you ask me. But through all this, I endure, because it truly is a love/hate relationship. Yet there is one thing Kansas could never have over California, and that’s what puts the equation out of balance. My sister. I miss her so much. And without her, Kansas can never really be my home. My heart just isn’t here. So if you know her, if you ever see my talented and amazing sister, pass her a message: I have a four-bedroom house that’s empty without you. Kansas needs you, because I need to stay in Kansas.

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There are so many things in life that can bring us down. Really. I mean, if you stop to think about it, virtually any aspect of our lives could potentially become a source of stress or depression. There are the obvious ones that seem to come up over and over again; weight and looks–body image in general–jump readily to mind. Others seldom rear their ugly heads, or might never come up at all. Losing a loved one would be one of those. Moving half-way across the country, far from family, friends, and all things familiar, would be another.

It’s during these moments, or periods of time, that sometimes what we need most is to have someone tell us we’re okay. That we’re doing a good job. A little validation can go a long way towards clearing away the dark clouds of discouragement we drag along. I guess this has just been on my mind a bit lately.

You see, Michelle had a bit of a rough day last week.

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My wife has a bit on her plate today: drop me off at work, get home to quickly straighten up the house, because at 9 our daughter’s new friend, Joel, is coming over for about an hour, followed by a playgroup, if Joel leaves early enough.

And that’s just the morning.

So, as I’m saying my good-byes this morning in front of my building on campus, I wish Michelle good luck with the day.

Michelle: Thanks. I should do just fine, as long as Joel is a nice, little boy.

Daughter: Mommy, he’s four and he’s handsome.

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I suppose this one needs a bit of a preface for you to be able to understand my reaction in what will shortly be recounted.

I’m a linguist. Well, okay, I’m an ESL teacher, but trained as a linguist. In any case, I love language and how it works, so I tend to pay more attention to it than others do. And this is one of the many reasons why I love my wife.

You see, she does wonderful things with the English language. Really marvelous, creative, even inventive things. One of those truly incredible things she has done with the English language is skewampus. Well, maybe she didn’t do it, exactly, as there are quite a number of instances of its use out there, so it’s not really as if she coined the word, but she did introduce me to the word, a word so totally foreign to me that I find it enchanting. I laugh when she says it, but inside, I’m mesmerized.

Prologue finished, it’s time for the story.

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