Tuesday, September 30, 2003

Autumn in New York

It's still pretty warm at night. The other day at 4am there was still no need for even a long-sleeve shirt, and last night I slept with the covers off--when I finally slept. But Fall is in the air, nevertheless. I can feel it, like the atmosphere at Christmastime. I think I fell in love with Autumn in New Jersey. I was a nanny to a five-year-old boy back in 1986 on Long Island, New York and then West Orange, New Jersey. The most beautiful parts of Jersey are an ocean of deciduous trees. Just beyond the back yard was a forest of green, which, in September, became a pallette of rusty reds and browns. Those months were hard. I was an immature country boy, lost in the big city of New York with people I didn't know. There was the age difference and the geographical difference between us and then there was the cultural difference. The Family I lived with were Orthodox Jews. In some aspects it was a wonderful learning experience. The grandfather of the little boy became a great friend. We painted two apartments they owned in Queens, just above Flushing Meadows Tennis Courts. We'd take breaks and look over the Manhattan skyline and talk about a lot of things. He struck me as a wise man. I was at the same time awestruck by the city and dismayed by it. It seemed to contain at once inexpressible beauty and unfathomable horrors to me. I expressed this to him and we talked about human nature and their penchant for short-term happiness that often led to crime and pain. He was the only one in that family who seemed to understand me. I clashed with the others and eventually was kicked out. They hadn't paid me very much so I didn't have enough to fly back to Idaho. I got a job as a checker at a supermarket in Morristown.

Luckily I had made friends among the other nannies who attended church with me. It was with these people that I really enjoyed myself. We'd play football in the park or go to the diner and talk until late at night. We went to a couple of clubs in New York, and watched the skyline from across the bay at Liberty Park, the elegant Statue of Liberty lighting the view.

I'm glad I lived there in Autumn. Nature added a beauty that really livened my experience. I went back a few years later in the dog days of Summer and wondered why I had ever found it beautiful. But it is. I remember the whole experience with a lot of joy. The darker times like almost being robbed by a con man, or the smelly back alley behind the apartments, or the beautiful but despondant hooker I saw scrambling for a john, or feeling so alone and lost that I'd sit in the park and sob are all part of it. They act as a kind of balance that enhances the beauty. My fondness for that time and the great experiences--screaming for joy when the Mets won the series, attending the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade and shouting to my friend who was in it, eating lunch at the top of the World Trade Center--would not be as great without them.

For the last couple of months I wanted to get in touch with the family I worked for. It's been 17 years and I just want to let them know there are no hard feelings. I'm not sure how they'd take it, though.

Monday, September 29, 2003

He's Normal

My 3-yr-old doesn't need hgh therapy after all. The tests came back today and they are all normal. Thank goodness!

South Dakota

The other day I was reading on the couch and my five-year-old came to me and said, "Dad, will you fly me to South Dakota and leave me there?" I was more than a little astonished. I didn't know he knew South Dakota existed. I asked him why and he said he didn't want to be here anymore. I guess he and his mother had a squabble about breakfast. He wanted hash browns, or something, and she didn't want to make them. Whatever the reason, he was all set to go to South Dakota, so I told him to get ready. Fortunately, a few minutes later he told me he had changed his mind, which is good because I wasn't sure where we were going to get the money for a plane ticket and I didn't want to drive.

First Words

A couple of weeks ago, Princess Rufflebutt, now a month and a half old, said her first word. We were in bed in the wee hours of the morning, my wife and I awake because the princess was awake, and we heard, loud and forceful, the word "Gong!" We assume that that will be her preferred method of alerting us to her various needs...until we get her an actual gong that she can ring, of course.
It doesn't end there. This morning she called me a goof. Well, that's how my wife interprets it. To me it sounded more like "goff" or "golf." But when it comes to calling me names, my wife is the authority. So I'll have to trust her.

Friday, September 26, 2003

The Smoke Gets in My Eyes

I thought the smoke had started to clear when I got to work this morning because I wasn't smelling it inside the building anymore. But it seems to have all accumulated downtown. We made the mistake of going there for lunch and now my eyes are burning. We need a good wind to clear it out but the weather service doesn't expect one for at least three days. Luckily, the smoke hasn't reached my home, which is about fifteen minutes from here on the other side of the valley.

Put Your Balls to the Wall

A few days ago, some friends and I got on the subject of 80's "Hair Bands." I have never liked that style of music but I couldn't help being immersed in it back in the 80's because, while I was succumbing to the allure of Flock of Seagulls, The Cure, The Thompson Twins, Aztec Camera, etc., my friends were treading the other path. It actually ended our friendship
rather dramatically. Suddenly, I was a "faggot" that they couldn't acknowledge as a friend. (I still laugh when I think of them calling the bands I liked gay in light of one of their icons, Rob Halford, of Judas Priest. I wish I could ask them what they think of him being so involved in the gay pride movement.)

Anyway, for some reason it became imperative that my friends and I compile a list of those "metal" bands, since we couldn't find a comprehensive one on the web. Here is what we came up with. I know that some may not agree with all of our choices, but this is how I see it:
Anvil * Accept * Aerosmith * Angel * Autograph * Axe * Bad English * Badlands * Bang Tango * Black & Blue * Blue Murder * Bon Jovi * Britny Fox * Bullet Boys * Cinderella * Survivor * Poison * Queensryche * Europe * Nightranger * Kingdom Come * Whitesnake * White Lion * Great White * Kix * Skid Row * Winger * Slaughter * Mr. Big * Faster Pussycat * Love/Hate * LA Guns * Y & T * Dokken * Ratt * Motley Crue * Warrant * Quiet Riot * Tesla * Krokus * Twisted Sister * Extreme * Saigon Kick * Stryper * W.A.S.P. * Enuff Z NUFF * Metal Church * Electric Boys * Tuff * Fastway * Runaways * Damn Yankees * Lynch Mob * Steelheart * Helix * Dream Theater * Scorpions * Wrabbit * Manowar * Vixon * Firehouse * TNT * Danger Danger * Vyper * Vinnie Vincent Invasion * Kick Axe * Loudness * Rough Cutt * Warlock * Warrior * Jackyl * Raven * Riot * Saxon * MSG * Testament * Venom * XYZ * Jetboy * UFO * Kiss * Alcatraz * Van Halen * Def Leppard * Sherriff * King Cobra * Giuffria * Triumph * Nelson * Trixter * Helloween * Killer Dwarfs * Pretty Boy Floyd * Keel * Dangerous Toys * Lizzy Borden * Doro Pesch * Armored Saint * Sleeze Beez * Phantom Blue * Grim Reaper * Anthrax * Warrior Soul

Thursday, September 25, 2003

Cough Cough

A couple days ago, on my way home from work, I noticed a peculiar cloud hovering just on the other side of the Wasatch Mountains. Peculiar because it was the only cloud in the sky. It was dense and contained like a cloud but it could only be a forest fire. Sure enough, the forest service was doing a controlled burn which jumped the fire line and is now out of control. Now the whole valley is filled with smoke. I feel like I'm back in LA. My lungs hurt, I have a headache, and my sinuses are burning. The smoke is concentrating here in my closed-in edit bay. See the pictures here.

Tuesday, September 23, 2003

"We Aren't Cartoons"

I'm not the father I'd like to be. I remember when I was a kid thinking that my dad didn't spend enough time with me. He'd promise to do things with me and then he'd forget and those things would never happen. Now I understand a little more. It's difficult when there are so many things I want to accomplish to remember that all I really wanted was to be a father. Also, I tend to bury myself in the computer. Yesterday I was looking at this blog and the pictures that I posted and my five-year-old came down and asked me why I always go to this site. I said I like to look at the pictures of him and his brothers and sister. He said, "Well, why don't you come and look at us. We aren't cartoons, we're real." Then he asked me to read the book we got from the library, The Bungalo Boys: Champions of Ice Hockey I told him we'd read it after dinner, which I was cooking right then. We never did read it. Last night, in the middle of the night, I felt bad about that. So this morning, I got up a little earlier than usual, knowing he would be up, and we read the book together. Of all the things going on in my life, all the goals and aspirations, none are more important than my kids. They're so amazingly smart, and, as this incident reveals, they have a lot to teach me.

Monday, September 22, 2003


I have so many plans. Scratch that. I have so much I want to do, but my ADD-ridden brain stops short of coming up with any plans. I go to work and work is so slow that I figure I can sit down with my notebook and formulate some plans. But when that notion comes to mind, I get a queazy feeling and all motor function shuts down and I sit there, paralyzed, until I tell my brain it's ok, that it can go back to surfing the net or watching a movie. I think I have come up with so many interests so that I don't have to do any real work, like plan my life. I could go on. But this is one of the my excuses...writing here. I need to get busy planning. I'll continue this later.

P.S. If you get me one of these, I'll be your friend for life!

Saturday, September 20, 2003

High Hopes

My three-year-old may need growth hormone therapy. He's been off the bottom of the growth percentage chart almost since he was born. He's only grown half an inch in the last few months. I don't know much about the therapy but I've learned that the cost can be around $20,000 a year and sometimes as high as $30,000. According to HGH-pro.net, this is because there is currently a monopoly. If there were more competition, the price would come down. We'll do it if it's necessary, but I don't want to. I don't know for sure, but I understand that the process is not very fun for the child. I hope something happens and he starts growing on his own. There's a history of shortness both sides of the family. My dad is 5'6" and my mom is 5'4". My father-inlaw is shorter than that, I believe. I was 5'6" until I graduated high school, then I shot up to 5' 11" (my current height) in about a year. There's nothing wrong with being short, but if being "too short" can be avoided, by all means, let's avoid it.

Friday, September 19, 2003


Fall is my favorite time of year. I love the colors and the temperature, the sweaters and light jackets, the promise of sleep at night at last because the blazing heat is gone. I fell in love with Autumn when I was living in West Orange, New Jersey. The landscape there was a sea of bright colors. So when I got a chance to go up to our television transmitter site in the mountains to shoot pictures of the changing leaves, I jumped. I love going up there. The whole Oquirrh Mountain Range is owned by Kennecott Copper so the public isn't allowed up there. People don't know what they're missing. It's beautiful. I've seen elk and a mountain lion up there. There's also a lot of history. Johnson's Flat is up there. That's where Johnson's army camped while they were stalking the mormons who'd settled Salt Lake.

This is a shot of me with the Salt Lake Valley as a backdrop. If you look really closely, you can just make out downtown Salt Lake in the haze in the middle left.

This is on the other side of the mountain range looking down at Stansbury Park. The Great Salt Lake is just out of frame on the right.

Pictures as Promised

Here are the pictures I promised:
Princess Rufflebutt. My three-year-old. My two older boys.

Thursday, September 18, 2003

Just to let you know...

I should have pictures of the baby and the boys posted by tomorrow. So stay tuned if you're into that kind of thing.

Word Order

I found this on Sarah McAuley's blog, Smoke and Ashes, and I think it's fascinating because it seems to be absolutely true (I hope she doesn't mind me posting it here)

"Aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer in
waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoetnt tihng is taht
the frist and lsat ltteer be at the rghit pclae.
The rset can be a total mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit porbelm.
Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but
the wrod as a wlohe."

P.S. Hey! Maybe that's the secret to speed reading...?

Tuesday, September 16, 2003

Les Miserables

I saw the movie today. I don't know where I've been but I didn't even know it had been made into a movie. I have read the book twice but have avoided seeing the musical, even when it came here. I'm afraid of seeing such a wonderful, moving book set to music. I was a little reluctant to see the movie, but hey, it was free. I wasn't disappointed. The performances were superb, as was the production and direction. Liam Neeson was a perfect Jean Valjean. The movie itself was a nice little condensed version of the book. I don't think it stands alone, but it compliments a serious reading of the novel. Though there are understandably too many holes in the movie for it to be considered complete, it is a powerful synopsis.

Allow me to get sappy for a moment. I know, I never do that, but here goes: I think Les Miserables is one of the greatest stories ever written. In a world that is afraid to delineate morality, Hugo's work is a bright beacon. To Kill a Mockingbird approaches it, but Les Miserables goes even further to define charity and human goodness in clear and certain terms. The Bishop's act of utter unselfishness toward Valjean near the beginning of the film had me in tears so that my buddy, Dick, who's uncomfortable with that kind of thing, had to leave the room. Hugo was a genius. Charity, in its true sense, as Paul describes it, is the greatest virtue and the only one that can save our poor, doomed planet, and Victor Hugo knew it. But he didn't stop at showing us the transformation of Valjean. As all poets know, sometimes the best way to describe something is to tell us what it isn't. Inspector Javert is the anti-Valjean. He seems so pristine, so concerned with justice. But he has no mercy in him, and no charity. Without charity, we're nothing. Charity can turn a hardened, animalistic person into a saint. I love that message and the way Hugo tells it.

Ok. Church is over. You can go home now.

Saturday, September 13, 2003

Of Interns and Autobody work.

I don't know how interns in other fields are but I've dealt with a lot of them in my 13-plus years in the television industry--heck, I even was one at one time--and they are a strange and fascinating bunch. When I was at Idaho 8, KIFI, then an NBC affiliate, we had two interns, female college students from the school up in Rexburg, ID. They didn't feel like they had to help out, they were always in the way and very annoying. One time, during the live update between the 6pm and 10pm shows, one of them fell asleep on the floor behind the newsdesk. The anchorman, Jay Hildebrandt, had to step over her and hope her snoring wasn't loud enough to be picked up by the microphones. He was too nice a guy to kick her (which is what I would have done) and wake her up. He just read the brief and got up, stepping over her again on his way back to the newsroom. Her excuse was that she's allergic to milk--it puts her to sleep--and she had drunk some earlier. Hmmmm.

Yesterday, we shot the U of U coach's show with the new football coach Urban Meyer. I went into the studio, and this 18 or 19 year old pimple-faced kid, basketball shorts down almost to his ankles, came in asking me to see how many players were here and who they were and lots of other questions. To avoid punching him in the throat, I went in the other room to catch up on old times with the audio guy. I'd seen the intern before but I've been filling in for the cg operator instead of being at my usual post behind camera one, so I haven't worked with him until yesterday. We were taping two shows because the U has a bye next week so four players came in. I went to get another chair for them to sit in and when I returned, intern boy had moved his chair directly behind my camera. Now, I know I should have just asked him to move, but he'd already ruffled my feathers as had some of the permanent staff from that department so I wasn't in a polite mood. I just squeezed in between the camera and the intern and put on my head phones. During the taping, I had to move around a lot as I was on the chase camera. Everytime I did, I stepped on this kids toes. Also, my butt had to be no more than a couple of inches from his nose and I was so tempted to let one go in his face. Finally after the first segment of the second show, and after many frustrated glances toward my buddy Dick on camera two, I turned to internboy and said, "Am I in your way?" He just sat there! He snorted something that I didn't catch and went back to reading his newspaper. Dick could see I was about to blow a gasket so he told the kid he'd better move back, which he did. He avoided me the rest of the day. I kind of felt bad about it. I guess I can be a real jerk sometimes. . . ok, all the time.

Today I got up and made the kids breakfast. Mrs. Chickenshorts is still physically and emotionally low from the c-section but I had some things going on today so she had to go register our new van anyway. As she was backing the car around the van and out the driveway, she hit the metal fence post. She didn't want to see the damage so she came and got me. I didn't see it at first and was relieved, but she said she'd hit it pretty hard so we looked again. The front quarter panel had a nice six-inch gouge in it. It didn't bother me a bit. It's an older car that has served us very well but I have no particular attachment to it. Not so with Mrs. C. She broke down and started crying. I hugged and told her it was all right, that it didn't bother me at all (not that that would concern her--she doesn't take any of my crap), but she started going on about how we have nothing nice. Everything we have is sticky, dirty, or broken. Then she got in the car and left. When she got back and I got done with my thing, I went to the Auto Zone and got some Bondo and patched the gash. I guessed on the paint color since they didn't have the specified Plymouth color and I did pretty well. Except for the lousy patch job (and the dent that I couldn't pull out), I can't tell from the color that there was a ding there. I'm feeling quite manly now. I actually sort of fixed something!

I've been putting off starting the drawing I should have begun a week ago. I think it's harder to get motivated when I'm getting paid. I'm not sure why that is.

Friday, September 12, 2003

I'm gonna be an uncle...again.

I just got this in an email from my brother:

Hi everyone.
This is Eden speaking.
Well, actually talking.
I wanted you all to know that I am going to be...
(In May)
Love you all.
Love, Eden

How exciting!

Thursday, September 11, 2003

My inner child.

I found this here.
My inner child is sixteen years old today

My inner child is sixteen years old!

Life's not fair! It's never been fair, but while
adults might just accept that, I know
something's gotta change. And it's gonna
change, just as soon as I become an adult and
get some power of my own.

How Old is Your Inner Child?
brought to you by Quizilla

Sept. 11 & 12, 2001

Before I'd ever heard about blogs and blogging, I kept a journal. I think I have six or seven full journals. Since I didn't have this blog on that terrible day two years ago, I'm posting what I wrote then.

9/11/01. Thurs.

I went into work this morning at 6:45 am to work on the End Zone. As I walked past the monitor in the tape room, I saw that the Today Show was covering some sort of fire at the World Trade Center. The blaze was consuming the upper aprt of the tower just below the top floor and it was huge. There was an extremely large hole gaping in one side. I watched, hoping to find out the cause, and the helicopter taking the pictures flew around so that the other tower came into view. It also was ablaze. It was then that I learned that two commercial jets, both Boeing 767's, crashed into the twin towers withing 18 minutes of each other. There was video of the second crash. Little information was available at that time but the crash was obviously deliberate: The plane had come around at an angle to strike its target with great precision--a very difficult maneuver in such an aircraft.

As time went on, a report of another crash came in. This time, a Boeing 757 crashed into the Pentagon. Shortly after (or before, I can't remember which) this happened, I watched a live transmission of the second tower collapsing. It was gone. I couldn't believe it. It was some kind of dream. The other tower was still standing. I figured this was because the flames were so high up that they didn't do much structural damage.

Then another plane was reported heading toward D.C. It crashed before reaching its target, whatever that was. Then I watched in utter amazement as the other tower gave way. Like the other one, it came straight down, its floors collapsing upon each other like dominoes. The wide shot showed the whole of lower Manhattan engulfed in great plumes of smoke and dust.

I was devastated. I felt like a piece of me was gone. I don't understand it fully because I was only in New York for a few months and only in the World Trade Center twice, but this has been a hard experience for me. I cried when the buildings were gone and again when I thought about all of those people. When details of what went on in the hijacked planes began to emerge, I began to get angry. Flight attendants were stabbed, the pilots and co-pilots killed, and the passengers had to endure this for anywhere from 40 minutes to an hour and 40 minutes before dying.

There hasn't been a hijacking in this country for ten years and today there were four. Over two hundred people were killed in the plane crashes alone. In the WTC, there were anywhere from 20,000 to 50,000 people. At last count there were up to 800 people missing at the Pentagon.

We are at war but we don't know with whom. Many people think it was Osama bin Laden. I don't know. It's a cowardly, sneaky enemy whoever it is.

For the first time ever, the FAA shut down all air traffic. They aren't sure when it will resume.

Sept 12, 2001

I went to bed last night thinking that sleep would erase the surreal nature, the eerieness and mystery from the situation. It didn't. When I woke up, the crash and collapse of the WTC were replayed in my head and as I watched them, I was still stunned. It's still quite unbelievable. I don't think I'll ever get over the fact that those two structures, endowed with such strength and permanence could be gone.

As I knew they would, several personal stories began to emerge today, all of them driving me to the verge of tears. The thought of people jumping from 80 stories to their deaths to avoid being burned alive haunts me. CBS showed several people who had lined up to hold up pictures of their missing loved ones and plead for help from anyone who might be able to give some information. Hundreds of bodies are being pulled from the rubble with few survivors. The major networks have been carrying only news with no commercials. All of the reporters and anchors look exhausted. It will be interesting to see if that's all that is broadcast tomorrow as well.

Wednesday, September 10, 2003

The current terror alert level

I found this here.

The current terror alert level is: Terror Alert Level

Tuesday, September 09, 2003

Twelve Year Old Sued

This article is pretty funny:
The Register


She's waking up. I don't mean from sleep. She's starting to become a person. Last night, when it was time for me to go to sleep and her to be wide awake, I was holding her in my lap, watching her wide, dark eyes. For the first time, those eyes looked at me without drifting away, and I could tell she was actually looking at me, taking me in. As a test, I began swaying back and forth and she followed my every movement to the point, even, of turning her head to get a better view. I made little noises and smiled and I swear she was trying to smile back. It was a wonderful moment of bonding with my new little girl.

This is kind of cool: Take a look at this site in German.

Dead Ant

The other day, my seven-year-old was playing wih legos, making a maze for an ant he'd found. There was a mishap and he injured the ant with one of the blocks. It rolled up in a ball, looking like it was in pain and he took it to his mom who said he should probably kill it to end its suffering. We didn't think much about it. We kill ants and flies everyday. He disappeared for awhile and when he came back, he was sobbing. He'd just returned from burying his ant and was terribly distressed about it. All of this went over my head and I didn't really pay attention to any of it, but today my wife called and asked me if I'd seen the grave. Apparently, he'd taken a brick from our backyard and written on it, "A little ant died here."

I think I'm going to cry.

Monday, September 08, 2003

Two Blogs

Now I have two blogs to keep up with. Laserjock, a friend from work, and I have known each other for about six years and we've had some pretty deep, and sometimes heated, discussions on many topics. When he saw what I was doing here with Blogger, he suggested that we take those discussions online. So we have. It's called Jailhouse Reviews. He and I went to see 28 Days Later today so we could review it. It was intense, but I won't say much more. I'll leave that for the Jailhouse.

Sunday, September 07, 2003

Analysis of "The Haven"

Since I apparently can't write poetry of my own, let me tell you about a favorite of mine, Michael White's "The Haven":

Lightly, as falling, I slipped bodiless
Through gaps in the branches, through stand after stand
Of Cedars shouldering each other close
On the low blond hills or sinkhole slopes, and wound up winded
Near a sunken, snowmelt stream;
Along its banks, the frozen grass lay folded
In waves, and still hid patches of snow. A drumming
Of wings passed overhead, and I shivered, swept
With a memory of you as you woke.
The creek itself was a dark stair of pools linked

By a small, clear-spun strand in the crystalline
Bird-tracked silt. Though I felt no wind, a murmuring ran
Through the bark, all around, of the sycamore trunks--
More shadow than substance--staring out
Through the milky air. You were rising
In a distant hour, wrapped in a warmth
Of sunlight.
And then I was back in it, as
The dull bronze haze of daybreak loomed
Over the farthest ridge, and from the town
Beyond, the slurred speech of traffic rose to the ear.

Much of poetry is the inner existence of the poet. He or she uses connections and images formed within the mind, making the meaning personal to the poet and elusive to the reader. A good poet, however, will give consistent and rich clues into the meaning, drawing the earnest reader closely within his or her own circle of understanding; an understanding that, arguably, could not be as completely obtained through prose. The subject of "The Haven" is elusive. A light reading will not uncover it, but there is substantial and poignant evidence within the form and language to guide the way, showing us that the speaker in the poem is dealing with the death of a loved one.

There are two worlds in the poem. The first, from which the title comes, and in which all but the last four lines take place, has an airy, almost heavenly quality: "More Shadow than substance--staring out/Through the milky air," and, the ". . . grass lay folded/In waves." We encounter many floating and flying images: "Lightly as falling," "bodiless," and, "You were rising/in a distant hour, wrapped in a warmth/Of sunlight." Near the creek, "A drumming/Of wings passed overhead . . . ." The narrator also says, "The creek istelf was a dark stair of pools . . . ," which can give a feeling a traveling upward. Even movement upon the ground is flowing: the narrator slips through trees instead of running or walking, and he is "swept/With a memory . . . ." All of this suggests that the "you" in the poem is not in the physical realm, but has passed away and that they are engaged in a kind of other-worldly communion--not literally, but through memory.

The second world is the real one, the mundane, everyday existence, without the lost love, to which the narrator is forced to return, as seen in the last four lines.

The two planes of existence are at once separate and conjoined. The twenty lines are split into two stanzas. The split comes mid-sentence, a fact that may be disconcerting at first, but is the first hint at the division between the two worlds. It is at the beginning of the second stanza that the narrator begins to return to the present. The "clear-spun strand" of water suggests a minute but progressive movement down the "dark stair" and back to earth. He is still in the dream-world with his love but is beginning, now, to move out of it. As he does, the lover departs as well, as expressed in italics in lines fifteen through seventeen.

The close relationship between the dream and reality is expressed both formally and through semantics. As I said before, each stanza contains the same numer of lines, and White uses alliteration in both of them: ". . . sunken, snowmelt stream," "slurred speech," and other instances. Both have a cloudy atmosphere: In the dream world, he "[stares] out/Through the milky air . . . ." In the real world "The dull bronze haze of daybreak" looms.

Form also plays a part in showing how the wooded surroundings evoke the transition into the world of memory. Look again at the example of consonance in "sunken, snowmelt stream." The language and rhythm to this point move the reader at a steady, flowing pace. Then those s's spring out, catching the reader's attention, even to the point of pausing for a moment. At the same time that the narrator comes to a halt, the reader is forced to stop. At this point, the narrator has reached his "haven," the place at which the memories of his lover awaken within him. In fact, that is his image of her: ". . . swept/with a memory of you as you woke." The place is a kind of parallel to the sort of relationship they must have had, and it shows in the fleeting details, such as when line three is read by itself:

Of cedars shouldering each other close. . . .

It is intriguing that the poet can let us in on so intimate an emotion with such subtle devices.

The resolution comes in their departure from each other. The narrator seems to accept it with a serenity that is helped along with the image of his lover ". . .wrapped in a warmth of sunlight . . . ." The harder, more concrete images of the real world are less threatening with this image.

This poem is subtle and challenging, and there may be other ways to read it, even if you agree with the passing loved-one motif. For instance, there is no evidence to suggest the person spoken of is a "lover" per se. It could be that the speaker is referring to a son or daughter or sibling. But the above reading of the poem is valid, given the evidence. And if it is correct, "The Haven" is a very poignant illustration of the feelings one can have after surviving a loved one.

Saturday, September 06, 2003

Loss of a loved one.

My father-in-law is that strong silent type you hear about. He's a man of few words, but he knows what he wants and, though very nice, can be a little intimidating at times. The reason I say this is that I was surprised when I found out he takes in stray cats and loves them. The other day when I was there, he showed me the litter of six that had just arrived. He was so proud of them. He let the mother cat climb up his leg to his chest where he gave her a playful rub. This afternoon we got a call from him, saying the mother cat had just been run over and he's trying to give away the kittens, whose eyes still haven't opened. We weren't sure. We don't do well with pets. But we decided to give it a shot. After we made the decision and told the kids about it, we got another call. Aparently a neighbor has a cat that just lost a litter of kittens. So they're going to let her adopt them. I'm relieved. I love animals but we're just not the type of family to care for animals, especially ones that needy, the way we should.

Friday, September 05, 2003

Jensen Rally

This is nice to see. If I had known about this, I would have joined them to show my support as well. I can't stand this Big Brother stuff.
KSL News: Court Appointed Guardians Respond to Jensen Proposal

Thursday, September 04, 2003

Sleeping "Through the Night"

This morning the baby woke me up at 6:30 am. Actually, my bladder had awakened me at 5:14 am and I had been drifting in and out of sleep since then. At 6:30, when Rufflebutt had made it clear it was time for breakfast, I asked my wife, "Did she sleep this whole time, or did I just sleep through it?" No, she had slept through the night. Now, you non-parents out there might need a translation. When a parent of an infant says "Through the night," they mean at least five hours. Let me tell you, that five hours is bliss. I fed her and then we played until it was time to get the 2nd grader up. He is another story. It's near impossible to get him into bed, but once in it, he'll sleep three days if you let him. The other day, I woke up at 7:30 after a rough night and lamented the fact that I only had half an hour to get him up, coax him into getting dressed, and feed him. Then I heard some strange noises: Little feet coming up the stairs and dresser drawers opening--the sounds of someone getting dressed. Could it be? Was he getting up and getting dressed without any signs of world war three? This heavenly thought was fleeting, for I remembered that his brother, the kindergartener gets up every morning by himself and gets dressed with no pleadings or threats. If only he were the one going to school in the morning. Afternoon kindergarten is wasted on him.

Wednesday, September 03, 2003

Battle Cry

Saw this on Busy Mom's site:

What Is Your Battle Cry?

Rampaging on the cliffs, cutting down all who dare stand in the way using a studded crowbar, cometh Dinky Chickenshorts! And he gives a cruel scream:

"For the love of beatings, I am on a crash course with bloody destiny!!!"

Find out!
Enter username:
Are you a girl, or a guy ?

created by beatings : powered by monkeys


Thanks for asking about Princess Rufflebutt, Busy Mom. She seems to be doing a lot better now. She's a little wheezy still and I've heard her sneeze once. But she's been awake and playing for awhile. Everyone seems to be better but me. Now I'm getting it.

The other day I drove up to Idaho to see the van that we would eventually buy and my father inlaw took me to see his corn and what he'd caught in the raccoon traps. We drove up to the cornfield and there they were, two skunks. They'd been there for a few days but he didn't knwo how to get rid of them without setting them off. That would ruin him and his corn. They looked so pitiful--starving and dry. They still had enough energy to start when we got near them. I went back a couple of days later to get the van and I asked about the poor creatures. He said they were gone. A friend of his covered the traps in plastic and carried them away from the field. When he did, they both let go with their squirt guns. Most of the stench was contained but both men got it, even my father inlaw who'd been thirty feet away. He said their wives weren't very happy with them. After his friend released the skunks, one by one, they each ran and he got them with his shotgun. It probably has to be done in that situation, but all they were after was a little corn.

Tuesday, September 02, 2003

Sick Kids

All the kids have colds, including Princess Rufflebutt. Mrs. C. is worried about RSV (or is it SRV--no that's Stevie Ray). I just feel bad for the little tyke. She's only been in the world for a couple of weeks and now she's stuffy and coughing. You should hear her tiny but violent little sneezes. Poor kid.

I have the Today Show running in the background and I just heard an interview with Rabbi Kushner. I love what he had to say and I think I'm going to get his book on the 23rd Psalm, The Lord is My Shepherd.