Friday, April 13, 2012

quick takes


It's been awhile since I've done Friday Takes, and today seemed like a good day until I read Jen's.  A scorpion--on her couch--stung her son--ON HIS FACE. 

I can't compete with that level of madness.


And then I remembered: it's a "quick takes," not a competition so here I am. 

Speaking of feeling competitive, within my running crowd friends I remain the slowest and worst in every way.  Sometimes that doesn't bother me, and sometimes it does.  I wish it never did and that I didn't care.  I still run anyway.


Over the last couple of months, I have attempted a few book & film review posts for this blog and so far they've gone nowhere.  So here is a short list, in case I never get around to it:

-good documentaries that I recommend: Reel Injun on portrayals and perceptions of Native Americans within the film industry.  This was good and very worthwhile, if not excellent.
Sons of Perdition on Utah's "lost boys" who either run away or are exiled from Warren Jeffs' Fundamentalist Latter Day Saints community.  It has a hopeful tone and message, despite the sadness of the topic.  It is really excellent on a lot of levels and I'd love to sit down and write more about it one of these days. 

-crazy depressing documentaries that I don't recommend, but are still well-made: The Wild and Wonderful Whites about the lawless White family of West Virginia.  That movie, and the family it is about, are both insane. 
A Film Unfinished is a documentary about a Nazi propaganda film that was made in the Warsaw ghetto in the early 40's.  They staged scenes, choosing from among the better-off and better-off among the Jewish population in the ghetto, in order to depict a life of comfort and ease.  They actually were trying to convince people that the Warsaw Jews were living in a utopia.  However, the propagandists also filmed the streets and captured the real story, and so the documentary makers (almost 70 years later) juxtaposed that footage with interviews of survivors and transcripts of depositions with one of the actual cameramen. 

-currently reading: A Mormon Mother, by Annie Clark Tanner.  This is an autobiography written in 1941 by a woman who became one of the plural wives of a prominent Mormon and university professor in the late 1800's.  She originally wrote it for the sake of her children and grandchildren but it is so well-written and so fascinating that it was eventually published and distributed more broadly.  I am totally hooked.
Geek Love.  A friend recommended this one for its strangeness and it is definitely strange but I like it. 

There's more, but that's enough for now.


We are buying a house!  This is a first for us, but we found the right place in the right location for the right price so we're going for it.  It's not fancy (not much in this town is), but it has a lot of character AND...a guestroom!  Hint, hint.


Pardon me, but I'm going to talk about the weather.  Springtime here has two extremes: sunny and pleasant, and bitter cold and windy.  It gets really, really windy and since we're in the desert and all, that means dust and dust and more dust.  I will try to get some photos, but I'm not making any promises.  I don't usually think of the camera when I'm out there, I just try to survive and not swallow too much dirt and leaves.


Tomorrow, Jeremy is participating in a local mountain bike event.  It's an all-day race and he is on a two-man team which means they will alternate all day long, in 1.5 hour shifts, for twelve hours.  The forecast is not good.  Last year they had snow the day of the race and tomorrow is supposed to be cold, windy, rainy and snowy with a high of 39. 

Jeremy expects he'll be ready for bed at 8:00pm.


Last but not least, a quote from my five-year old son that wasn't fit for the family blog. 

He was calling to me from the bathroom: "MO-MMEEE!  I tried to get it in the potty but I accidentally peed in my eye!"

Sunday, April 8, 2012


Last night I attended the Easter Vigil at my parish.  This is the first year that my parish church also happens to be the cathedral for the diocese and so the bishop was the celebrant.  It is a very beautiful building, and especially so at night and with candles, though after the rest of the Holy Week liturgies, it's a test of stamina to make it through the three hours (especially so late at night!). 

I don't know for sure because I haven't been keeping close track, but maybe I've attended a dozen or so Vigils, but not always Catholic ones.  And about half of those were before I made my First Communion because once I went, I couldn't wait to go back the next year.  The very first Easter Vigil I attended was at an Orthodox church in Morocco, in '96 or so, where I was a guest of a Romanian friend.  Afterwards we had a feast that lasted until dawn and by the end, in my delirium, I became convinced that I could understand Romanian! 

One of the earliest portions of the service is the Exultet, usually sung by the deacon.  Apparently this prayer dates back to the fifth or sixth century.  "[H]ere the language of the liturgy rises into heights to which it is hard to find a parallel in Christian literature. We are drawn out of cold dogmatic statement into the warmth of the deepest mysticism."  That is my favorite part of the evening, and I don't even understand it all.  This helped, though.  It is the transcript of the Pope's homily from last night and worth a read.

Happy Easter, everyone!