Thursday, December 31, 2009

Party Like It's 1999

There was a reason Prince admonished everyone to "party like it's 1999." When I was growing up, there seemed to be a general "feeling" (warning: FEELINGS!) that the end of the world would take place in the year 2000. Here we are about to jump headfirst into 2010, and the idea that the world was supposed to end 10 years ago seems crazy now, right?

Not so much in 1999. I'm not kidding. I was a reporter for a now defunct and very small daily newspaper called The Orem Daily Journal from 1998 to 1999. At one of the business press junkets I was attending, the head I.T. guy from NuSkin predicted that the Y2K scare would be "real and worse than any of us could imagine."

Those were his exact words; I am not making this up. Consequently, all the NuSkin founders and heads would be spending their Christmas and New Year's in Jamaica that year. Jaimaca? Somehow that's safer than Utah?

For our New Year's edition of the paper in 1999, I was given the assignment to interview the Parowan Prophet. He'd been predicting the end of the world since the 1980s (not unlike my mother-in-law, bless her heart. However, Alzheimer's has unfortunately taken away much of her end-of-the-world prophecies.)

Today I was curious to see if the Parowan Prophet is still predicting the end of the world. He sure is. You can read all about his prophecies on his Web site at http://www.parowanprophet.com/.

He's a bit of a nut job, but I feel sorry for the guy. He was in a terrible plane wreck in the 70s that capsized his father's head, who was sitting next to him. He miraculously lived and spoke of being with Christ while he was in a coma. He came back from the brink of death a self-proclaimed prophet.

From his Web site, his stuff seems no different from any other White Supremecist, Communist hating, super-right-wing conservative nut job.

Back then, he predicted that the end of the world would take place before Y2K because of tracing and blocking devices implanted by the Communists that would render all computers inoperable. I actually talked with the guy on the phone, and he was pretty passionate. I don't know why he'd be so specific about times and dates of the end of the world, but he would.

I think it was "fun" for newspapers to interview this guy for years, but I haven't seen his prophecies in the news for a long time. His rantings got old with each passing year his predictions never came true.

The changing of the year from 1999 to 2000 actually came without hiccups. At my then new job as a technical writer for a banking software company, we were given a bonus just for sticking around close to Provo that year for New Year's, just in case Y2K would turn out as bad as some suggested. I was never called in for "emergency documentation."


Sidebar thought: Great idea for a television series, don't you think? "Kent Chauncey: PhD."
Programmer: Mr. Chauncey, we need you to document the latest release of the software bug we just found.
Chauncey: Mister? I'll have you know I have my doctorate and post-doctorate degrees on the misspellings and errors of the Holy Bible NIV version, as well as why the complete works of Shakespeare are really not so complete. It's Doctor Chauncey.
Programmer: Dr. Chauncey, can you do it?
Chauncey: Did Dante rise from the inferno only to reach mediocrity? Of course I can, you knave! Send it to me in an e-mail stat!

Of late I've listened to the most recent doomsayer, Glenn Beck. His rantings I've heard before in my junior history class in high school. Our teacher, Mr. Cazier, taught from the same books Beck has been pounding. I like some of the ideas, but listening too much causes me grief and consternation. For the following hours and days I'm in a state of paranoia. I generally try to avoid being paranoid, especially when in a state of pregnancy. (Pregnant women worry enough as it is: Will my baby be deformed, fully function? I haven't felt the baby kick! I didn't take my prenatal vitamins today; this baby is doomed! With the amount of evil in this world, why in the heck are we bringing another child into it?!)

As the predictions come and go, I don't get as rialed up over the end of the world. And it's not like it's just the conservative side crying "the sky is falling." The liberal side has their bent too, or haven't you heard about a little movie made by a one Al Gore called An Inconvenient Truth?

Still, every time I hear an end-of-the-world theory, a small part of me flinches and wonders. Like Lisa Simpson in the episode where the town people think the end-of-the-world would come at a certain time and hour, and it turns out that it was all just a hoax by promoters for the opening of the new mall. She held tightly to her mother's hand when the supposed hour arrived. And so do I. Every New Year: I hold tightly to Kulani's hand. If this is the end, I'm glad I'm with him. (Plus, the dude has a huge stash of guns and ammunition, so we'll be ready for those God-hating Commies.)

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Video of the Week

Back on that total time-suckage of all hobbies: video editing.

I present a new music video starring my kids and their favorite dancing partner, neighbor-boy Matthew. Nohea says dancing to New Order is dancing to "robot music."

Now if you'll excuse me, I have some more important things to do like laundry since we've been without clean underwear now for at least a day.

video

Monday, December 28, 2009

Sassy Grandmas

Those of you who really know me know that I have been yearning to be 70 years old since I was 19. I lived with my Grandma McEuen for a year when I moved away from home to go to college. I adapted very well to her retired-lifestyle pace. I traveled with Grandma to her hometown places of Oak City, Lemington, and Delta (population of all three places combined: 2,000 and all are related to me). I went with her to a few meetings of the DUP (Daughters of the Utah Pioneers), and I even attended some Orem Women Club meetings with her (motto: must be over 70 and love boring meetings). Through my associations with older ladies, I somehow found it within me to conjure up a killer Carol Channing impression, an alter ego you might say. Even today, any time my brother-in-law Nathan sees me, he says, "Hello, Carol Channing." To which I sing, "Diamonds are a girl's best friend...raspberries!"

We'd eat a lot of chicken, not so much red meat. And we watched a lot of mystery/detective/ lawyer shows like Matlock. I retired to bed no later than 8:30 p.m. every night, much to the consternation of my friends partying it up at that party school, Utah State University. (AKA: Dixie College North. Ouch! Keri, you know what I mean.) My friends at USU would call Grandma's house around 9:30 p.m. with plans for the upcoming weekend, but Grandma would give them a not-so-friendly lecture about me having to work at 5 a.m. and that I shouldn't be disturbed. The woman always had my best interests at heart. This was before cell phones and Facebook.

But living with Grandma gave me an appreciation for old people, in particular, old battle axes. Grandma wasn't some wilting violet. Grandma was rather stern, with some choice phrases and comments. She scared a lot of my friends, and she could even scare me. But she also had an underlying warmth and her house felt very homey to me. At least, that first year. As time went on, and we lived with her a second time when Lilia was first born, her ability to cope with unexpected stimuli wasn't as great as it had been. But that's another story.

So I was caught off guard this Sunday when I sat near the back row with a bunch of the retired ladies in my ward. Being in nursery for the last two years, I'd missed my homeys, my peeps: the over 70 set.

The teacher at this particular Relief Society meeting was asking the question, "Why does Heavenly Father love us?"

Silence followed her question, as it normally does as people reflect and try to come up with a good answer. One of my over-70 sisters said in her inside-whisper voice, "Whooooo knows." It was so sarcastically wonderful and said like only a woman who's traveled life's winding roads could say it.

I burst out into laughter. Why would God love a bunch of yahoos and dingbats like us? Oh how I love the humor of old ladies!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Kulani's Late Nights


Something that is made clear to anyone wanting to be a lawyer is that you must prepare yourself for long hours and heavy workloads. Not all lawyers work a lot of hours, but most do. And I know Kulani does.

When he has to work very late on projects, I take the kids to his office and we all have a sleep over. It's an adventure that may not be available to us once our fourth child arrives in June. (I don't think I've mentioned that I'm pregnant yet, so if you've been wondering, now you know.)

The great thing about Kulani's work is that it's in downtown SLC. Many adventures await us in downtown. We can walk to Temple Square and visit all the museums. We can catch TRAX and travel to the Gateway and take a visit to Build-a-Bear. All activities are free, unless the girls break me down at Build-a-Bear.

Kulani's office also has all kinds of drinks, including hot chocolate and V8 juice, my personal favortie.

We can stream Netflix over Kulani's computer, so the girls can also be entertained that way. Over Christmas break, Kulani let each of the girls take a half day with him at his office. I met him at the food court in the bottom of his building to have lunch with him, and then we switched girls so each could have a turn with Daddy.

Here's Lissy at Dad's work.



Here's Lilia at Dad's work.


Here's Nono monkeying around at Dad's work. Her attention span could not have endured four hours in his office.
Here's where Nohea and I sleep when we have a stay over at Kulani's office. We bought this couch at Costco. It's pretty sweet, as it looks like a couch, but it's really a leather daybed. The girls sleep on blow-up mattresses. Kulani works until about 3 a.m., and then he'll take a snoozer on the hard floor.

I'll miss these adventures.

A Photo Recap of the Last Several Months

I haven't downloaded the pictures from my camera since September, so I thought it would be fun to remember a few choice moments such as these:

Hugging Lissy on her first day of Kindergarten, Nohea secretly plans her takeover of the entire Fisher household. Sweet and innocent is just a ploy to her evil ways.

Walking Lissy to school and stopping to feed the horses. I miss these warm days.

Lilia plays soccer for the Purple Turtles.

Kulani finished his fastest Telos Turkey Tri ever on one of the most unseasonably warm November days.

Lilia turns 7!

Lilia on crazy hair day. She said she looked like someone on The Brady Bunch. Alice?

Lissy on crazy hair day sporting the school's colors.

Nohea falling asleep in one of her unconventional places.

Lissy and Nohea visiting with Glenda the Good Witch after watching American Fork High School's production of "The Wizard of Oz." Lilia was spooked by the Flying Monkeys who walked right up to her during the intermission and scared her. She refused to have anything to do with taking pictures with these people.

The family before the Pleasant Grove Turkey Trot. Lilia took first in her age group. Lissy even ran the whole thing. Nohea, not so much. She was cold, tired, and cranky. Kulani ran it in 28 minutes. It was a really fun race put on by a Scout trying to earn his Eagle. The race cost each of us five cans of food and $1.

The Thanksgiving table at the Kuhia and Susan Fisher house in Lindon. The entire Fisher clan, except Uncle Kawika in Nevada, made it to the dinner. I don't know why I didn't take a picture with people actually sitting in the chairs. I think I was grumpy and hid from everyone.

Kulani giving his mouth an amuse bouche of baked brie.

Nohea playing in the first snowfall of the year.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Honesty of a First Grader

Lilia hasn't quite mastered the art of knowing what information to share and what information to keep to herself. Her mom doesn't always have that one down either, so it's not very fair to expect a first grader to be savvy about such matters.

The other day, Lilia revealed to me that during lunch recess she peed her pants "just a little bit" because she thought she wasn't allowed inside during recess. Later, after she came home, she got so busy building a snowman that she again didn't take time to come inside the house and take a potty break. She was playing with her good neighbor friend Matthew. She finally did excuse herself, and she decided to take a quick bath to clean herself up.

After about 10 minutes, Matthew knocked on the door.

"Is Lilia here?"
Lilia shows up at the door with new pants on.
"Sorry, Matthew, I peed my pants just a little bit and had to take a bath."

Matthew didn't look phased from this pronouncement of honesty. They went back outside and continued playing. Happens to most of us from time to time, I'm sure. Might as well shout it out on this blog.

Sometimes she's so like me it kills me.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Constructive Criticism

I received some honest feedback on my blog by an anonymous poster recently. Who doesn't LOVE honest feedback, I ask you? I mean, when was the last time you really took the time to care enough about someone to say, "Your stories are boring me to tears." Or, "You lack the social graces of a cow." Or "Honestly, if I you look up 'dork' in the dictionary, there's a picture of you."

This caring annonymous poster basically had two complaints about this blog: 1) it's boring and (2) Kulani and myself are dorks. And he/she was passionate about both opinions, leaving comments on every post all the way back to June. I question how boring he/she really thought this blog was if he/she continued to read posts clear back in June.

But I can buy it. We are a bit boring, and I'm okay with that. This blog isn't for everybody. I'm not really sure why I created it in the first place. Yes, it's about my family. But it's also about just random thoughts. Mostly I just like to write. And I like reading about other's people thoughts and families, and maybe someone would like to read stuff that comes out of my head. But maybe not either. It's a free country, and a free blog service. Take it for what it is.

I wouldn't really want the life that is non-stop 24/7 high drama and/or FUN, FUN, FUN! When I was a junior in high school, we studied the play "Our Town." It's a rather boring play where nothing really happens, and that is the point. We're so busy living life that we don't always pause to enjoy the essence of life--the boringness of it. I remember our English teacher telling us that most of us would grow up to be ordinary people, not celebrities or extremely rich billionaires. Our lives would be simple. At the time, I thought, "Not me. I'll show 'em." But here I am: Boring Mayor of Boringtown.

It reminds me of a quote by Gordon B. Hinckley: "Anyone who imagines that bliss is normal is going to waste a lot of time running around shouting that he has been robbed. The fact is that most putts don’t drop, most beef is tough, most children grow up to be just like people, most successful marriages require a high degree of mutual toleration, and most jobs are more often dull than otherwise. Life is just like an old time rail journey ... delays, sidetracks, smoke, dust, cinders, and jolts, interspersed only occasionally by beautiful vistas and thrilling bursts of speed. The trick is to thank the Lord for letting you have the ride."

Sure, I love me some celebrity gossip from time to time. I like a good People reading as much as the next person. But you're not going to get that here. You're going to read about a barbecue we went to, or how the girls are changing with each passing year. For me, it's nice to re-read happenings from our lives, and I hope as my girls get older they will especially appreciate random, lame stories of day-to-day living as expressed from their mother and father.

As far as us being dorks, I'm pretty sure I know now that the anonymous poster was my big brother Doug. After he left on his mission, I stole his shirt with the following quote on the front: "I'm Okay, you're a Dork." Doug, I'm sorry I stole your stupid sweatshirt.

(Note: The comments have been erased and this blog is now officially closed to anonymous posters, which makes me kind-of sad. It's like going from an age where you trust everyone and never lock the front door, to being paranoid of everyone and double locking everything.)