Monday, December 25, 2006

Pictures & Video clips from Las Vegas

I've got some great Pictures and Video Clips from the Vegas trip we just took. BYU won 38-8 over Oregon in the Las Vegas Bowl, which was fun.

Las Vegas Trip

Curtis Brown's TD


John Beck's TD run


Walking by John Beck on the field


John Beck's speech after the game

A movie headed up by Tim

This was a film we made back in 2005 for the LDS 24 hour film festival. Basically, Tim went down to the HQ, plopped down the $$ for the entry fee (not sure how much), and they gave us a few things we had to have in the filem: A postcard, the words "sometimes I wonder" and some sort of theme, I think??? I can't exactly remember (help me out Tim). From that time (9am I believe), we had 24 hours to write, shoot, and edit the film. We had to use original music too. We actually didn't get together to really think about it until around 5pm, so we actually did ours in about 15 hours :-). It was a blast and Tim and Russ were the true studs, staying up the entire night editing the thing.

It premired the following Thursday (we shot it on a Friday/Saturday) at a movie theater in Orem and the film took "audience choice" award (again, from my memory). It was neat to see your film on a big screen.

Monday, December 18, 2006

BYU's recruit has a big game

JJ Diluigi is going to be fun to watch at BYU. He's not the biggest guy in the world, but he is very shifty much like Barry Sanders (no, he's not Barry Sanders, but it's the best description I could give in that he makes people miss). He ran for over 130 yards and a TD against the #1 team in the nation, DeLasalle, which has something like 5 national titles.

Friday, December 15, 2006

St. George Trip last month

I'm going to post the album and put a few teaser pictures here.

Here is the link to the album: St. George Trip

Here are the Emerald Pools in Zions National Park



Here I am crossing the virgin river at the beginning of the Narrows



Here is Brady (my nephew) jumping over a bush at Snow Canyon



Here is Alene's sandals after a hike in Snow Canyon



I watched both the OSU-Michigan game and the BYU-New Mexico game from my hotel room while Alene and the boys swam. What a cool experience



Alene and the boys at Snow Canyon



Pools of the Virgin River



Caiden and Brady

Christmas tree and Temple Square

We got our christmas tree and visited Temple Square. Here are some pics.











What my fridge looked like last week

Alene picked up the "good" beer for Bill when she was in Wyoming on a business trip




I poured myself a frothy cold one (Weinhards Rootbeer)

Various Caiden Videos and pictures

Caiden's drum solo (he's got potential)



Caiden taking target practice with my paintball gun







Caiden's BD party back in October




Caiden playing in the fall leaves


My favorite Family Guy clips

I don't watch the show religiously, but I think it's pretty hilarious.













Found this video on Youtube

What a bunch of FREAKS! Cool hair though.

Monday, December 04, 2006

What I want for Christmas

Here is my list:

Ummmmm


Errrr


Ahhhhhhh


Isn't this sad? I actually can't think of one thing I'd want for Christmas, other than to be harmony and totally happy with Alene. That is seriously all I'd wish for and if I got it, I'd be the happiest person in the whole world.

Oh yeah, I also wouldn't mind an HD TV :-), but that's not really do-able.

That's one thing about it; the things I really like are too expensive. I someday want a macbook too. And I want new carpet in the house. I also want a roof on the house.

So all those things will have to wait until the debts are paid off :-). Other than that, I can't think of what I'd like. Can people give me some ideas?

Having children

Late last night Alene and I were sitting in the living room just talking. We got on the subject of Caiden and our worries about him. We worry so much that he is being spoiled and get's away with a lot (being that he's an only child right now), however that topic then lead to the discussion of the children we have together and how we will treat them. We talked about our fears and about "when" we would be ready to have children (hopefully within a couple of years), then she broke down about how she really wants to be a mother.

I felt so guilty about it. I too want to have a child with her so badly, but the only thing holding us back is financial reasons, which we're trying to be smart about. We are working our way out of debt, and have a good, clear plan on when we will be out of debt and make good financial decisions, for the most part. At this point, it would be impossible to support a family the way we want to (with her staying at home and having time to devote to our children), but I could see it being doable in a couple of years, after all our debt is paid off (including student loans, cars, credit cards, etc.) I know many people (especially in our culture) may think we are putting things off all for vanity. The truth is we are not really being vain. We have never been on any sort of grand vacation, we've never splurged on anything large (except maybe my truck, which isn't even full-sized :-)), and we try our best to stay in a budget. We are mostly just trying to set ourselves and our family up to be financially stable.

Would I prefer to have children now? HELL YES, but it's not feasible right now.

Anyway, I don't know if she's going to be mad at me for talking about this, but it really made me feel closer to her in so many ways I cannot describe. Despite our problems, I love Alene so much and respect her more and more every day. I think she will be a wonderful mother to our children.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

All you need to see to believe

This is the last play of the BYU-Utah game. BYU was down 31-27 with 3 seconds to go. It was so fun to be able to have witnessed it live on TV and I'm still giddy over it.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

BYU 33 Utah 31

HOLY CRAP WHAT AN AMAZING FINISH! I can't post much now, but I'll leave an image.



Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Had a good weekend

Alene, Caiden, and my Nephew Brady (who is 1.5 years older than Caiden) all went down to stay in St. George this weekend to get into a bit warmer climate for a bit. It was a nice trip.

We got down there on Friday and kind of "settled" in. We did a lot of swimming in the pool and hanging out in the jacuzzi. I coaxed Brady into doing a belly-flop for $1.

We went out on Saturday to play some mini golf and then headed back to the hotel to watch the BYU-New Mexico game. BYU won 42-17 and with this win, it gave BYU the out-right championship to the MWC and an invite to the Las Vegas bowl, which Alene and I will be attending in December. The cool thing was that I watched the BYU game from Alene's laptop (a buddy of mine streamed it from his computer), so I had the TV free and watched the Michigan-Ohio St. game at the same time (I'll post pictures later).

After that, we did some swimming and went out to Cold Stone to celebrate Brady's BD. He turned 9. One thing I've noticed is that St. George does every portion much bigger than they do in Salt Lake. At Cold Stone, the portion of ice cream they gave was HUGE. At Cafe Rio, I felt like they piled on more meat and also didn't skimp on the beans and rice. Interesting.

Anyway, on Sunday we went to Zions National Park, which was beatuiful. In fact, it could be my favorite park in Utah. We hiked the trail that leads to the entrance to the Narrows. I want to hike up them a bit someday. Alene has already done it and says it becomes kind of boring, but she said she would do it with me when we had the chance. It's so cool to see a river coming out of them with nothing but rock wall on each side. We also hiked up to Emerald Ponds, which was really pretty as well.

We got back into town, went to swim for a bit, then headed to Chuck-A-Rama to pig out (which we did). The food there is admitedly good, but Alene and I agreed that we should only go to that place once a year :-).

On Monday we went to Snow Canyon and did a couple of hikes. We went into Jenny's Canyon, which is the only Narrows spot in snow Canyon. That was pretty cool. We then hiked out to 3 ponds, but never found the 3 ponds. The trail map listed the hike as 3.5 miles round-trip, but we had to have gone at least 2 miles and still had not found anything. We ended up just climbing on some rocks nearby, which was fun. Plus, the echoing was cool in the area. Getting out there, we hiked through a sandy river-bed for quite a bit, which was nice because the sand was really soft. We ended up at the red sand-dunes area and played around on them for a bit. I was disappointed that the dunes weren't very steep (funner to jump into), but it was still fun.

The drive home sucked (as does any long-distance drive), but I was glad to be home and take a good shower last night.

I'll post pictures later.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Losing sucks

My team lost the championship game today 13-21. It's been a pit in my stomach all day long. As Tim says, it's just a game where 14 year old boys go out on a field and chase around someone with a ball in their hands. That should make perfect sense, but I can't seem to get my mind off the game and figure out some way I could have prepared my boys better to win this game. They've worked so hard and two years in a row go to the championship game, only to get beat and in some ways, beat themselves. It's a tough one to take.

I wish I could just wipe it out of my memory so it would not bother me, but it does and I can't make it stop. I guess it will just take time.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Love

I just watched Parenthood with Alene last night. What a great movie about "life" in general. It seemed very real. I know it was made in the late 80's/early 90's, but Ron Howard really made a great one.

One thing for sure is that life is a Roller Coaster and I just need to ride the sucker and enjoy it. I get so caught up in wanting everything to be perfect, much like Steve Martin's character.

Another thing I loved about it was the "family" aspect of the movie. The scene where Steve Martin comes home after just quitting his job and seeing kids running all over the place like a mad-house reminded me of my house growing up and I imagine my dad really relating to it, however I never recall my dad ever losing it when he came home. He seemed to REALLY enjoy the roller coaster of life when we had 8 kids living in a 3 bedroom, one bath 1500 sqare foot house. My mom was very patient too, although she would lay the much-needed smack-down when it had to be done.

Either way, I want a REAL life with Alene and I want a family so badly. I want to experience sharing that with her and having new experiences together. Alene and I argue more than we thought we would going into our marriage. Despite the arguing, I still love her as much as I did when we were dating. I know it doesn't change anything, but it feels good that despite her thinking that she feels she is a bitch to me, that thought had never crossed my mind. I just love her.

Sometimes I wish we could start over. I wish I could make things perfect and ideal for her. I wish she didn't worry so much about things/people from my past, but that is the roller coaster that comes with it I guess and I just need to enjoy/embrace it and deal with it.

We had a good day yesterday though (in my opinion). We played Fast Sunday Bingo in church. OK, a little sacreligious (for those of you that are LDS, you know what Fast Sunday is). We had a good day at home and being together. I want that feeling all the time and I strive for it every day.

Back to the arguing though, we have to be very careful about when/where we argue. I guess sometimes I'm just not aware, but Caiden hears it and it worries him. He has been a little stand-offish toward Alene lately and it really hurts me to see it (as I know it does hurt Alene too). He won't let her kiss him. I asked him why the other night and he said that he hears us argue and he thinks she is going to be leaving. His voice actually started to quiver as though he became sad. It broke my heart. I know he does love Alene and he does know very well that Alene loves him. I think he's afraid to get too attached to her because he thinks she is leaving. I told him she isn't leaving and that she and Daddy will do better to not argue (sometimes arguments happen, but they can still be controled not in his presence). I've tried to talk openly with Caiden about how he feels about the divorce, if he is upset with his mommy and daddy, etc. He always says he isn't mad and that he is fine with the way it is. I actually ask him quite a bit. We separated when he was 1 1/2, so I'm sure he doesn't remember it and is used to the way it is. What I told him was that through it all, no matter what, his parents both love him dearly and support him in everything he does. He smiled. I love my son so much.

I also love my family. I love each and every one of my brothers and sisters (and my parents) for the unique individuals they are. They are all growing into such great people and it's so cool to see it happen. I fear/worry so much for their safety and their happiness. I hope they all know that each of them are important to me.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

This was too good to not post

I busted up laughing when I saw this.

Random thoughts

- As I've stated before, I wish there was more time in the day. I wish I had more time with Alene. I wish I was better at making time. The "experts" say, "there is always time, you just need to be better at making it". While I understand and for the most part agree, I still don't feel like I have much time for Alene, or myself. I guess one could consider me coaching a football team as "me" time, but I really don't. I mean, I enjoy it a lot, but it's also very hard work and also very tough at times trying to run a practice when you've got a group of 14 year olds that still act like 8 year olds at times. It can be very stressful when trying to prepare the kids to play their up-coming opponent. So in a way, yes it is "me" time because it's something I love, but at the same time, I would love to be able to read, work on some projects like a web page, or even dabble in some short film making.

- Speaking of film making, I was helping Russ frame part of his basement last week. He is building a movie set in his actual basement. It's going to be pretty cool. He's very determined to get his film made and it inspires me. Like I've said before, I really have an interest in making a film, but I don't feel like creativity comes easy to me. That is something I would want time for, to really "think" about what I'd want to do and how to do it. For the creative types, this stuff just comes to them like it's a quick thought or something. It doesn't happen like that for me.

- Here is the list of music I've been listening to:
White Stripes (all albums) - Great rock and roll music and like Weezer, this is a band I wish I had taken the time to listen to when I first heard of them. I'm almost pissed that someone hadn't introduced me to them earlier. They just seem like great Rock music.

The Strokes - Could pretty much say the same thing as I did about the White Stripes. Great music, especially love the "whatever happened?" song. I don't know why, but it's not like I've ever had a girl break up with me, but the feeling in that song really gets to me. I can't imagine what that would feel like.

Mellowdrone - GREAT MUSIC!! I wish more people would give them a try. They have some great songs. Fashionably uninvited is great. F*ck it man is great. Their cover of an R&B song (by Faith Evans) "again" is great. They also covered the BoyzIIMen song "it's so hard to say goodbye to yesterday", which I actually think that BoyzIIMen originally covered from another group??

Eagles of Death Metal - Going to see them in concert (again) this Monday with my brother in-law Jere, and Alene. I'm really looking forward to this show. They are such great ambassadors of Rock n Roll.

Beach Boys - I guess I can't blame people when I say Beach Boys and all people think of are the bubble-gum surf/party songs they sang in the early 60's. Those are great and all because they are part of a time when people needed that, however, I really am into their deeper songs like Heros and Villians, Surfs Up (which isn't about surfing at all and is NOT an "uppity" song), Sloop John B, God only knows, Vegetables, Good Vibrations, Do it again, and Wouldn't it be nice (Ok, this is a bit poppy, but still a great song).

Gorillaz - I stated in a form on Cougarboard, that their Demon Days album will someday be in the top 20 of best all-time albums. It's great.

Modest Mouse - Never get tired of the vast collection of songs I have from them (probably the most songs by any artist on my playlist)

The Killers - Their new Sams Town album is great from beginning to end. Alene and I saw them in concert at Saltair and it was a great show. It would have been better had there been less fighting/pushing up front. Those crowd rushers ruin just about every concert. I'm pissed because these dudes will just start pushing their way up front knocking people over, including girls. They don't give a shit and that is what pisses me off most of all. If any one of them had came within a foot of knocking Alene over, I would have lost it on that one dude. I have not been in a fight in a long time and I feel like I have some pent-up anger over those years that will one day be let out on someone. That kind of person would be a perfect candidate.

I've also been listening variously to: Led Zepplin, Pink Floyd, The Format, The Vines, Weezer, an Oldies playlist I have, The Who (they're coming to SLC soon, but I can't afford their price).

- Alene and I went and saw the movie "Marie Antoinette", which was directed by Sofia Coppola. I thought it was very-well done and Alene read the book it was based on, which she said they followed very closely. Alene and I watched a documentary on her life (actually, half of the documentary) and from what I remembered of the documentary, they followed very closely in the movie as well.

One thing that upsets me is how all through out our lives growing up, we are taught about how bad she was and how she said that infamous "let them eat cake" thing. Now, we don't know for sure if she did say it, but Historians claim she didn't say that. Looking at the way she was raised and how she was almost a prisoner inside of Versaills, I don't blame her for spending money, which she had no idea what budget she had, what was happening outside of the palace, etc. Anyway, it was a well-made movie.

- I just reached my first $10k in my 401k. Over the past two years I've really been involved in my 401k and the investment options I have. I used to never pay attention to what was happening in it, which likely did not make much over that amount of time. I started contributing to my 401k in 2003, so to get $10k in about 4 years isn't too bad I guess. I mean, it's not like I could retire tomorrow, but it's a start I guess :). I'm mostly happy because I've never been able to save money in my life ever, so it feels good to be able to do this. It's nice that they pull it out of your check and don't make you make that decision every month to put it in the account, or keep it to spend it. Here's to many more years of saving toward me and Alene's retirement :-)

- I love Alene. Despite how I know she thinks I focus on her weaknesses, I don't. I love who she is, who she was, and who she can be (think of me as a Catholic and she is my trinity). I've never really tried to "figure out" women, as you hear most men saying they try to do. I guess I embrace the fact that they're different than me, and do my best to co-exist. I don't focus on the differences, just on trying to get along. I know we're made different, I understand that. I wish it was easier at times to understand women, or to explain to women that I do infact understand, but despite any bad times/feelings, I still love my wife to the death and I know she loves me.

Friday, October 06, 2006

I don't care how many fights/arguments I've been in

with Alene, I still have an un-conditional love for her that will never go away, even if she thinks it has or will. I swear to myself and my God that it never will. I wish she knew how much I love her, how she has an influence on me that is for the better (in both the now and the long run) and how I want so badly for her to be happy and love who she is and love sharing a life with me, wheather that life be a day of work, work, work and only 10 minutes with me, or a day of love, love, love (unfortunately, most of the time is the first example...).

Alene, a lot of times, can be a muse for me. Other times, I'm so tired that nothing "muses" me, which I think should be OK.

Either way, I love my wife with all her imperfections, and I know she loves me, despite mine.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Monday, September 25, 2006

The Bay of Pigs invasion

Some aspiring scriptwriter needs to write a script on the Bay of Pigs based off the actual CIA-trained Cuban exile's experience. Seriously, what a horrible blunder by the U.S. (or so it appears that way).

I was watching a special on cannibalism on the History channel last week. It spoke of people that resorted to it out of desperation, not the sick/twisted types. Anyway, they told one story about a group of the trained exiles and how during their retreat, they found a boat and about 20 of them or so got in it and sailed out to sea, trying to head in the direction of Mexico (the Bay is on the south side of Cuba). They ended up getting lost at sea with little water and no food. As people died, they would throw them over-board, but eventually a small group of the men decided to eat one of the dead, rather than throw him over (they eventually threw him over when they were done). They survived and made a pact to never tell anyone about it, but someone eventually did.

Anyway, I'm off the topic. I was mostly drawn in as they told the story about how the CIA trained some 1500 Cuban exiles and helped them both parachute and land by boat, into the Bay to over-throw Castro. Well, they said that once they got in, they were supposed to have air support, but the planes all flew away. They were sitting ducks and had to run for their lives. There was some air raids before the invasion, but they were limited and did minimal damage to Cuba's air force (who had hid their planes earlier because they heard of a possible invasion). There was also a force of Marines waiting off the coast, but Kennedy called them off as well. It was an embarassment to these exiles who wanted to help liberate their country (in some way). What happened was Castro was new and fresh and doling out things left and right to everyone. He had the people in his hands, so they did not turn on him, but on those invading (who hoped the people would join them).

Either way, I guess Cubans have a great life now and are loving it. The result was a lot of prisoners, quite a few executions, and an eventual release granted of the exiles. The U.S. gave up $53 million in money, food, and medical supplies to Cuba.

What I think would be most compelling to see is the relationships of the men that were trained and how they beleived they were doing the right thing, and the dramatic failure.

Anyway, if I were much of a script writer, I would be doing my research now. Oh well.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Honor my family

I don't show enough appreciation to my family and how much they do for me, especially my parents. I don't tell them enough that I love them. I suck.

So Dad and Mom, if you're reading this, I love you.

I was going through my digital photo album and came across some pictures I had completely forgot I had. They are of my grandpa Pete (my mom's dad) back in 1942 when he played football in high school. I am fond of these because football is a major part of my life. Sure, it's just a game, but it's something that I identify with on so many levels. From the pure athletic ability it takes, the determination, the lessons learned from teamwork, commitment, how it can often bind together a community that may not normally come together.

Anyway, needless to say I love it. All my siblings love it. My wife and son love it. Being that me and Bobby are the only boys of the family that actually played all through high school (except bobby's injury forced him out of it his Sr year), and being that my dad's experience wasn't too swell as a 6'1" 130 lbs TE/DE who split his lip and knee open on one of the first days he went out, I wondered if I had any other relatives that played the sport. My mom told me her dad did, but I never really dug into it much. It wasn't until a few years ago that my mom had these pictures that actually proved it and I was stoked. I had no idea why, but I was even more proud of my grandpa than I had been before.

This is a man who had two purple hearts from his time in WW2. Who was shot jumping out of a plane on an un-marked island as the plane was shot down just after taking off. He laid in the brush for a few days waiting for a rescue and finally it happened. He spoke so naturally about it, as though it happened to everyone his age. He was a heavy drinker while my mom grew up. Never a mean drunk though, always having a good time. He worked very hard too. After a few arrests and spending time in jail and other long-term facilities, he quit both drinking and smoking and has lived a very healthy life on an acre he is very proud of in Central Washington. He sends pictures to us every year of his property and all the neat things he does with it.

To honor my grandpa Pete, I'm posting these pictures of him during his Sr year when he played football. I know his duties in WW2 are far more worthy of praise, but I have no pictures of that, so I'll post one thing he and I both have/had in common.







Friday, September 22, 2006

My whole intent on starting the last post was

to talk about hip hop. While I think most of it is crap, some of it is genious and is really thought-provoking.

I was listening to Scarface, who was in the Geto Boys. Now, the Geto Boys can be pretty bad (hard-core if you will) and I didn't care much for them, but Scarface has done some great songs.

His song, "Damn it feels good to be a Gangster" is a great song. It's not for those that don't like foul language, but it's a great because of the message it tried to send to all those wannabe gangster dudes. Dudes that just decide one day they're going to get a gun, sag their pants, and start flexing their muscles, and pull a trigger. He talks in the song about how REAL gangsters don't have to flex their muscles, because they know they got them. He talked about how calm quiet, and collected REAL gangsters are and how they go out and help their community.

However, he then released another GREAT song called "Now I feel ya". It's a long song (about 7.5 minutes), but it's a great song about growing up, learning about past mistakes, being thankful for what you have, over-coming advsersity, etc. It's a great song:

"Now I feel ya" by Scarface
(warning, some hard language in some parts)

A new day, brings a new problem to a brother
and all I gots to say is thank god for my mother
cause without my mommy dear my life would've been joke
either locked up playin' dead and still slangin' dope but nope
The lord he had a plan for me
and with his help, my mother made a man of me
didn't blindfold me to the world we was livin' in
taught me how to save my little dividends
so when I graduated I'd have a little school money
but in the sixth grade I wanted to be the school dummy
and flunked outta school with the flag pole
and left my mother dear at home with a sad soul
because my mother worked the fingers to the bone
cause we was alone, and me I brought an "F" home
My real pops he broke out with the style
so I respect my stepdad, for raisin' another nigga's child

So now we livin' comftable
taught me the game and how to be responsible
But back then I couldn't see it
I wanted to be a grown man at fourteen so the kid's leavin'
and ended up in a big fight
and told me not to come home until I got my shit right
So now I'm livin' at my grandma's home
my grandma's strong, she's got nine kids of her own
and keepin' me ain't no big deal
but now that I'm much older I see just how the shit feels
being kind-hearted, not wantin' to tell me no
even though my grandfather just had a stroke
and now the money's low
and pretty soon a brother's gonna have to go
or either try to find a job so I can help out
I'm in the ghetto, I gots to get myself out
and when I get out I gotta try to pave the way
so my family can have a better place to stay
I'm losin' all hope, a brother's fallin' short
I can't cope, so now I'm slangin' dope
and now my granny knows I'm doin' wrong
she just prayin' for me heavily
take care of her grandson
and the lord must of heard her prayer
cause he made me get a grip
and got me on up outta there
I heard my mother say them streets is gonna kill ya
you couldn't have told me nothin' back then
but now I feel ya...


I'm eighteen, and now I'm havin' big fun
my baby's mother just had my first son
May eleven, I never will forget the day
A star's born, let's name him little Scarface
My first born and yo I'm a proud father
I gotta son, I gots ta be my son's father
and sellin dope ain't the way that I can get ahead
but what the hell, I gots ta keep my baby fed
I buy him milk, and pampers tryin ta do my part
and he's my son, I gots ta try to make him hard
I buy him clothes, and jewelry not the Tonka toys
because the Tonka toys will only punk my boy
and I don't want my son to look at life
through a replica of reality tryin' to make it life-like
but yet and still I let my son be a kid
just give him up the real, exactly like my momma did
So when he gets to be a man he'll appreciate
the game I gave him way back when he used to roller skate
and now my son is four years old
I really gots to give the real and try to play the father's role
because these years he'll remember most
so it's all about little Marcus and me becomin' close
but I got a buncha obstacles
if it ain't my line of work it's the girlies on my popsicle
Now everybody's got my baby
wantin' to have their hands in my pocket tryin to drive me crazy
"It's your daughter, don't she look like you?"
I just can't tell, why don't you take it to ma momma dukes
because my mother knows the real deal
all these hoochies poppin' coochie tryin' to get a free meal
So now we in and outta court
tryin' to get mo money, braggin' on the child support
Tellin' her friends that she's breakin' me
now eveybody knows, that she was just fakin' G
Come to find out, the girl never had me
she's the baby's mother but me I ain't the baby's daddy
and biological tests done proved
you gotta get up off of me and go after the other dude
but now I finally got a real daughter
no need for the testin'
I know that I'm the baby's father
I heard my daddy say them hoes will try ta kill ya
you couldn't have told me nothin' back then
but now I feel ya...

I feel ya...


Now I'm twenty-two and finally got a grip on life
It's nineteen ninety-three, I put away my pocket knife
and got a bigger stick to fight with
I'm young and black so my choice ain't a nightstick
because we livin' in a concentration set
and everyday, we face to face with death
I seen my homies go and come
and judgement day is just somethin we can't run from
so I know my number's comin' up
so I gotta protect myself from suckers who be runnin' up
and even though I hate killin' off my own kind
I gotta be a man and as a man I'm a defend mine
My brother Conners tryin to keep the neighbourhood at peace
don't fight each other, we gots ta stand and fight the beast
so united we stand but we gonna fall quick
because we always tryin to take another brother's shit
and the cops is in the same boat
just because we comin' up quick they think we slang dope
They shootin' ta kill, they gats ain't sparkin' duds
they shot my long time partner Rudy in cold blood
and now the story's all twisted up
and if they gave the cop the chair
I really wouldn't give a fuck
because he left my partner's family with memories
and after hearin' this I know you don't remember me
but yet in still I find it hard for me to stay in touch
I see his parents and then I started breakin' up
because I know what you did was wrong
but you won't realize until you dead and gone
It ain't no justifiable homicide, you never gave a warning
you straight up shot him from behind
but all the cryin' in the world ain't gonna bring him back
you give a gat to a black he don't know how to act
but you gotta tell your story to the judge
not the imitation judge, the judge that everybody loves
and if the man upstairs grants you forgiveness
then in reality you took care of your business
but regardless I know you wanna kill me
but I ain't goin' out like dat
Ya feel me?

...yeah

Evolution of music for me

Music is pretty neat. I'm sure you will agree with me. As I pick up kids on my football team every day, I can hear the music they're listening on their mp3 players on the way. Not clearly, but I know it's hip hop. I guess that is what all the kids listen to these days. It frustrates me because I want them to learn to be open-minded about music, but then I immediately catch myself and remember I was JUST LIKE THEM when I was their age.

Being that Alene is gone for 2.5 days, I was going to try to stay busy and tile the back room, but I'm too tired to do it. However, my fingers aren't, so I found myself checking my itunes playlists and found my music interests vary. Not that I'm surprized, but it got me thinking about my list of "hip hop", music and how it's likely really out-dated or considered "old school" to the kids I coach. I mean, I have some Kanye West, some Jermain Dupree, and some Black eyed peas, but other than that, I'm still lost as to who is cool these days regarding hip hop.

I'll start with the oldest music I remember: Africa by Toto.

Yes, I said AFRICA by TOTO. No, this wasn't a favorite song, it's just the oldest song I can remember. I remember waking up to it on my alarm clock when I was like 5 years old. The song just kind of stuck with me. I think I had a dream about a girl I had a crush on (yes, when I was 5). We were running and holding hands. I wasn't sure how you go about kissing then, so it wasn't the same kind of dreams we get when we become teenagers :-).

OK, up next, Run DMC. Since I love music a ton and my genre's have changed so much, I started writing a short movie script about my musical interest. It started off with RUN DMC (I forgot about Toto at the time of writing, which was a couple of years ago). I remember the first time I was drawn in, it was seeing the RUN DMC/Aerosmith video "walk this way". I thought it was amazing and RUN DMC was the first tape I bought (and being that I had never purchased a tape before, I had no idea artists had multiple tapes and I purchased the wrong tape, which did not have walk this way on it).

Beastie Boys Licensed to Ill tape was my next favorite. I was in 4th grade and listened to various forms of rap back then.

I went through a short phase of liking the song "living on a prayer" by Bon Jovi, which started my interest in Rock music.

My friend Bear got me into Metal. We listened to Guns N Roses, Motley Crew, Poison, Iron Maiden, etc. I became a white trash rocker for a while.

I soon dumped that scene around 7th grade for the Rap scene again. See, I grew up in a rural area, some would call the country, so Rap wasn't necessarily the music of choice. It was ususally what was popular on the radio, or country music. My dad listened to Country and tried to get me to like it so much, but that wouldn't happen for a long time. I took up the Digital Underground, Young MC, MC Hammer, Vanilla Ice, Milli Vanilli, and Biz Markee scene. Good times. Got into a little Gangster Rap by this time as well and also the political stuff like Public Enemy, which made me realize that Music wasn't just fun, it was stuff that could make you think about issues going on.

All through high school I REFUSED to listen to anything but Hip Hop and I prided myself on listening to stuff that nobody where I lived knew about. I would try to pick up the Bay Area radio station 106.1 KMEL, which was a great hip hop station 3.5 hours away from where I lived. In high school I took a liking to creative types of hip hop, as well as the stuff that was popular like Dr. Dre, Snoop, Notorious BIG, Tupac, etc. The stuff I was quite proud of listening to when others would say "who is this?" are groups like A Tribe Called Quest, Souls of Mischief, Digable Planets, The Pharcyde, etc.

After high school I started to realize that it was OK to listen to other stuff. I began to explore country music believe it or not. Now, I didn't go all Cowboy, no worries there, but I took a liking to the more laid back, and almost purity the music spoke of. It was honest and had good intentions. It was a hard working man's type of music (that was, until most of it became what it is today: pure crap). I was first into Garth Brooks (who wasn't?) and his "the hits" album. Still like it to this day. I started to explore a lot of the other artists of the 80's and early to late 90's. I eventually came to the conclusion that I REALLY liked Dwight Yokam and his style. It was classic and twangy, but the artist himself was more of a rock-star type and not the typical red-neck type you see. He got his start playing in honky tonk bars in LA and stuff like that, along side acts like DK, X, and Los Lobos. Pretty cool. Still, his style, his voice, everything sounds so old and I dig it. I respect other classic artists like Clint Black, George Strait (this dude is pure), John Michael Montgomery, and Chris Ledoux (RIP).

Country was on my list now, then I started to get into some music that relaxed me and I found that with........Yanni. Yes "Live at the acropolis", "PBS Special", "Long hair, porn stached" musical composer Yanni. I'm not too shy to say I really like his music. I get made fun of by others, but I know deep down they're all just too prideful to actually give it a try to or to admit they like it.

From Yanni, I began to explore classical composers and have a fond spot for the popular dudes like Mozart (especially after seeing Amadeus, which I know is not entirely factual, but still gave me a cool look at what he was like; he would have been a punk rocker if he lived these days). I also like Beethoven, Pachalbel, Bach, and the others.

Then around the same time I explored Rock music. Again, this all happened around when I was 19 years old. The first kind of Rock music I remember liking was the Ramones (OK, Punk music). My brother Russ was really into the Punk scene, back when I was in my hip hop scene, so as you can imagine, I made fun of him at the time. You can guess how dumb I felt when I looked back on my mis-deeds and realized how dumb I must have looked in his eyes. I probably looked like Jamie Kennedy's character "B-Rad" or Brad, in that movie Malibu's most wanted". Anyway, I listened to varoius music on the local alternative station in Monterey, CD93. It was cool.

Then I attended a Young Single Adults party for my church one evening and found these two dudes sitting with a guitar and singing a cool song I had heard on the radio recently. It was the song "Semi Charmed life" by the band Third Eye Blind. I immediately ran and bought the album and started liking Rock music. From there, I went through all sorts of phases of favorite rock music.

I took a quick liking to Chicago. And again, everyone laughs at me (especialy Alene, bless her soul). What people don't realize is that Chicago has had various phases, much like we have with our own tastes in music. Their music from the 70's ROCKED. When Terry Kath died (their lead guitarist and the moust soulful voice I've ever heard), another style of Chicago emerged when they changed their lineup to replace him. They then became that cheesy band we all know with the 30 some-odd wedding songs or "power ballads". I still cherrish them.

I got into Barenaked Ladies as well. LOVED their music for it being really fun/funny at times, and very serious and emotional at other times.

It was on a trip to visit my family in CA that an obsession with a band spurned. I was riding in the truck with my sister Amanda and she was trying to play the Weezer album "Pinkerton" to me, but the only weezer song I knew of was "Buddy Holly" as I remember their music video and thinking it was neat. I quickly pulled her Pinkerton album out (what was I thinking???) and popped in her blue album, which had buddy holly. The opening to the first song on that album (My name is jonus) struck a chord in my mind that had me HOOKED from the beginning. I was almost crying that I had missed out on about 6 years of this music (it was around 2000 when I first heard it). I immediately went out and bought the blue album and devoured it from first song, to the last. In fact, it ended up that the Buddy Holly song was my LEAST favorite song on the album. Songs like Say it ain't so, Jonus, In the Garage, and Only in Dreams were my favorites. I then met my good buddy Tim on a BYU football road trip. We had an immediate bond when we both found out we were passionate about Weezer. He advised me to give Pinkerton a try and to really listen to Rivers (lead singer) and how much he exposes himself, his thoughts, insecurities, etc. in that album. I did, and it quickly became my favorite. I've liked all their other albums since, but not as much as the first two. Tim and I came to the realization that their later albums "were what they were" in that they were what you would expect from a band that was progressing in different ways.

So Weezer is on top of my list, but I still have a few other bands that I've grown passionate about. Modest Mouse is the most underrated band in my opinion. Eagles of Death Metal are great if you're looking to just worship at the church of rock. The white stripes are great rock too. Smashing Pumpkins rock. So does Mellowdrone. I also took on listening to a lot of the great classic rock bands like Zepplin, The Who, Iggy Pop, Jimmy, etc.

Anyway, I also learned to appreciate smaller, local talent as well. Alene is my muse of sorts for finding cool music. Most of the time the stuff she finds is small-time, then get's bigger in a few months. She's got cool style. Tim has also been one I rely on for music that may not be quite popular yet, but on their way.

There is so much great music out there and it's exciting to think of what will come next. I love that I have so many genre's to listen to and I hope everyone will be open to listening to other things. One thing I remember fondly was an interview that hard-core rapper (now actor) Ice-T was doing. He said something about always being opened to other genre's of music. He said he even listened to Country (this was when I was deep into my hip-hop style) and it totally shocked me. I was almost upset thinking that the dude had sold out. He hadn't sold himself out and I WAS selling myself out by not being more open-minded.

Playlist I'm listening to right now? Country: George Strait and "I get carried away".

Monday, September 18, 2006

I'm quite proud of the FB team I coach

We're 3-0 and doing very well. We have a very good chance, or, should I say, WE SHOULD go un-defeated and win the whole conference.

I've been tinkering with the blog I set up for them and I've been able to include video highlights, stats, and standings. I'm going to add pictures soon as well.

Check it out when you have time:

http://eastjrbantams.blogspot.com/

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Blog Blog Blog.....

I've been so friggin' busy. Not much time to blog. It's getting a little slower for me though, so I'll have a good 10 minutes to collect my thoughts and write them down.

Most of the summer I've been REALLY busy with work and a construction project (re-model) of our floor that I supervised. It was hectic, but worth it as we have a VERY nice facility here now. We spent close to $400k on it.

Since that though, I've been busy through most of August and this month coaching my football team (the link is at the right of this blog). We're 2-0 right now, despite the fact that 12 of our kids decided to play up on the Sophomore team this year (which is 0-3, so I'm sure some may be regretting it). We have a good group of kids, I just get frustrated because they still have not learned the lesson of "practice/play to your potential" and I don't want it to hit them when they're graduating HS, that they could have worked harder.

Anyway, I've tried to get out whenever possible with the family. Alene and I did a trip to SF/Bay area. That was fun. We went camping to Joes Valley Reservoir.

I also bought a motorcycle (street bike) to help save on gas, but I've had problems getting it to pass safety inspection (it should pass today though), so I don't feel completely comfortable riding it. It's an older bike ('79 Honda), but it get's the job done. Eventually I want to get the seat re-covered and get a few mechanical things fixed on it, but it will do for now.

Alene is still working her tail off with school and work. She'll be done with her MBA by the end of November, so that's exciting. She basically has two classes left and is in the middle of one of them right now (then there is me, I'm still one class away from my......AS :-).)

Caiden started 1st grade a few weeks ago at a new school, which is closer to his grandmother's house. I had a scare with him at last weeks game as he was with me on the sidelines and a tackle was made out of bounds in which the players all ended up on top of him. He came out with a few scrapes, but was OK. He cried, but I think he was mostly just scared. I felt bad for him, but I wanted him to not over-react to small little scrapes, as scarey as it would have been to see 3 14/15 year old boys in FB pads coming right at him. I honestly don't think he even saw them coming.

Anyway, I'm trying my best to commit to being a good husband and father. I fail at it a lot, but I REALLY am trying to make it more important. There is no reason why it shouldn't be. I love my wife and I love my son dearly. They are all that I want in life, so I'm going to show it.

I've had some new additions to the family as well. 3 of my sisters had babies (Julie, Janna, and Amanda). They are all so adoreable and bring such a joy to the family. It's fun getting together with the family to just hang out and shoot the sh*t.

Oh yeah, I got released from my calling in church (Young Men's President). That was a relief as it was REALLY getting tough to do. I feel sorry for the guy they called as he is really on his own (his councilors aren't as available as they need to be, but it isn't necessiarly their fault).

Anyway, that is about it. I'm going to do my best to keep up blogging about everything I can.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

I'm in heaven

Thanks for the tip baby. I love these things.


Saturday, July 08, 2006

Everything has been moving so quickly

I can't even remember when I last posted and what has happened since. I'll try my best.

First, work has been NUTS. I don't think I've ever worked harder (at my place of work) than I have the past couple of weeks. Now, I've worked harder than this on some other projects outside of my job, but this is crazy for what I typically spend my 8-9 hours a day at.

We have been doing a large re-model project at work that I have been over-seeing. It's turning out really nice, but everything is in chaos in the mean time. It's hard working over, under, and around our employees who need to keep working during the day, while the construction is going on. I even have work happening during the evening shifts as well.

Alene and I took a much-needed break and on a whim flew to San Jose over the 4th of July weekend. We went to Monterey one day and rode 17 mile drive. Then we went up to San Fransisco on another day and toured around the city. We went to the Sutro Park and the site of the former Bath Houses, which were amazing. We also drove across the Golden Gate bridge ($8!!!) and visited Fishermans Wharf and Pier 39 areas. It was very nice to get away and just focus on each other. I wish we could do that more often than we get a chance to. Here are some pictures of our trip: http://s22.photobucket.com/albums/b308/tyler_root/Monterey%20and%20SF%202006

Two of my sisters (Julie and Janna) had babies while we were gone. Julie had a girl and named her Evan. Janna had a boy and they still have not come up with a name :-).

Jeff got married to Mandi last month as well. I'll have pictures on my photobucket site.

I am going to school, but not focusing on it as well as I should. Normally at work I have spare time here and ther to do homework. Like I said lately, I haven't even had time to go to lunch, so my studies have a failed quite a bit.

Caiden is doing well. He took some swimming lessons last month and we're going to enroll him in the next level of courses later this month.

My family reunion is coming and I'm excited to get away for that. It should be fun.

Football season is one month away. That is going to be a blast and I can't wait for that. I'm in the process of doing a fundraiser for my team to raise funds for kids that can't afford to play. Last saturday we raised about $40, which is nice I guess. Tim donated $3 to the cause. Thanks buddy! Oh yeah, he also gave Alene and I a nice big fat melted, then re-formed chocolate bar from Norland.

OK, I've got to get some work done. Check out my photos on photobucket.com (link is on the right) to see if there is anything new. I don't have time to post pictures in my actual posts right now).

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Some life updates

Did I ever say that life goes by fast??? :-). My little brother Jeff got married on Thursday. It was a really neat experience to be a part of. I really wish him all the luck in the world with his new bride Mandy. They were married in the Timponogos Temple and had their reception at a REALLY nice home of one of the largest home builders in the world (Ira Fulton). The dude that owned the home just donated 100 million dollars to ASU and another 25 million to BYU last fall. He donates money all the time and while he has a lot of nice things, I think he is the true definition of what a man of wealth should be like.

Anyway, Jeff and Mandy are in Carmel, CA right now, staying in a honeymoon cottage on 17 mile drive. I'm so jealous.

I have taken a lot of pictures here and there, but have not had the time/patience to up-load any of them. I apologize for those that eagerly awaite seeing pictures :-).

Oh yeah, my friend Damon and his family came into town. He currently lives in AZ and is a border patrole agent. I worked with him at Providian for 4 years and we became good friends that way. We had some other good friends (former PVN co-workers) Gaby (who just finished Med School) and Merilee. It was fun.

Alene is the bomb (as usual) and while on her business trip to Wyoming (the boarder is 1 hour away), she bought a ton of illegal fireworks. We are going to have a fun 4th of July.

Speaking of, we're still trying to figure out what to do. We won't have Caiden, so we are thinking of trying to get away to somewhere in Southern Utah. Our only major drawback is that it is SO FRIGGIN' HOT! I guess we will see how it all works out. We have a week to decide.

This coming week for me is going to be crazy. The construction project going on is going well, but always stressful staying on top of the contractors to ensure they get the job done when they say they will.

Speaking of contractors, I really am leaning toward getting my GC license and starting a business. I own pretty much every tool I'd need. I have the skills (for the most part), so I'm really thinking about doing something, mostly specialzing in re-modeling jobs and purchasing old crack-homes on the side (foreclosed homes) and fixing them up to re-sell them. I want to come up with a business plan and possibly hit up an investor, someone that is likely not wanting to do the work, but is willing to front a little cash to get started on house re-habs. Maybe put in some money with me and then we split the cut a certain percentage. I guess I'll see how that goes. I figure if I can pull in an extra 20k or so on each house (my cut) then I would be doing well. Turn about one house every 2 months or so would be ideal.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Alene is finally home

It was so nice to finally be with her again. That is the longest we've ever been apart and it sucked.

We went to see the new goats. They have three goats (one stud goat, who happens to be a midget and two female goats). The first goat (cloud) had tripplets (all boys). They are SOOOO cute and playful. I'll post pictures later.

The second goat (penny) was still pregnant and ready to give birth any time. She actually DID give birth about an hour after we left the house. She had a girl and a boy.

The midget goat (the father) is scared to death of people and runs away whenever you try to get close to him. He's pretty weird, but he did his job, so I guess that is good. Must be pretty weird for goats to have to share a husband. They say polygamy is banned here in Utah, but not for goats I guess :-)

Anwyay, Alene was still VERY tired from her trip, so she was able to get some decent rest (which I'm happy she has, she deserves it).

School starts for me today, so that sucks :-). However, at the end of this summer I should qualify for my Associates degree, so that will be a decent 1/2 milestone :-).

Friday, June 09, 2006

Saw a great rock concert on Wednesday night

I went to see the group Eagles of Death Metal with my brother Russ, my friend Jared from work and his buddy John. Jared brought with him another guy named John Ashker, who is friends with his brother and was staying in town for a motorcycle race. We found out that the guy is currently a stuntman and does a little acting on the side. Click on his name for his IMDB bio. Pretty cool!

Anyway, the concert ROCKED! The opening band (the giraffs) SUCKED and I mean really sucked. It wasn't that they didn't try to rock, they tried the shock-rock too hard. The lead singer reminded me of James Hedfield of Metalica, but weird. They were playing and spitting on each other. At one point, the lead guitarist walked over and spit in the drummers mouth. It was sick to the point that I almost wanted to vomit. However, once Eagles of Death Metal (EoDM) came out, everything was in perfect harmony.

Just to give a little background, first, they are NOT death metal. They're name is just a cleaver name, but it spurns from a conversation about how some dude was telling them that the 80's glam rock group "poison" was death metal. They argued back and fourth, then someone chimed in that poison was the "eagles of death metal" (the eagles are a great classic rock band from the 70's and early 80's, for anyone that doesn't know). This is where the name spurned.

The band's sound itself has a lot of inspiration from all kinds of rock and roll, but mostly the group itself is closely associated with Queens of the stoneage as well as Jack Black, and Dave Grohl (foo fighters). In fact, the lead singer has a very tennor or higher-pitched voice like Dave Grohl (however, Grohl likes to do a little screaming in there). The band was formed by Queens of the stonage frontman Josh Homme and by the current lead singer Jesse Hughes.

The coolest part was when we were in line out front, the whole group came out and talked to everyone. They took pictures, shook our hands, and thanked us for coming out to the show. During the entire show and in between each set, they were high fiving each other (for rocking out) and kept doing the typical "Salt Lake City ROCKS!" stuff, except they did it with engergy and put on the show for us like they meant it.

The lead singer is very charasmatic (reminded me of Dave Grohl but with red hair and a big mustache). He kept saying in between each set "SLC has some FINE looking ladies. By far the best looking ladies we have ever seen". He'd also refer to them as "beautiful babies" and "honies". He was just melting all of them and it was GREAT. It's what a real rock star does.

The music itself is also quite catchy. If anyone out there reads this, check them out and give them a chance to rock. They really do.

One funny quote I remember him saying was "truer words have never been spoken by a man with a mustache, but SLC has the FINEST looking baby girls here". I was cracking up on that one.

Jesse (the lead singer) was by far the nicest rocker I've ever met. He put on such an intense show, that his shirt was dripping with sweat by the end. He took it off and threw it into the crowd. I got a hold of it pretty good, but it was so wet, that it slipped right out of my hands. The guy just looked like he was having a blast rocking out on the stage, which is refreshing to see in a rock group. Here is a picture of him. Cool glasses. Cool mustache. Great stage presence (he did a lot of dancing while he played the guitar, which was funny/cool).

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Man I miss Alene (and other ramblings)

She has been gone for 3 days now. It sucks. I came home yesterday with Caiden and the house just felt so empty without her there. It obviously helps to be able to talk to her, but it still sucks. I can't wait for her to get back. She said she is going to try to get back on an earlier flight, so that would be cool.

Alene's parents goats gave birth to 3 baby goats. They had two female goats that were pregnant. Goats can typically have twins, but I guess only one of them did. Alene is stoked and wants to get up to see them ASAP when she get's back.

I'm going to a concert tonight with my brother Russ, one of his buddies and my friends Tim and Jared. The name of the group is called "Eagles of Death Metal". Although their name sounds hard-core, they really aren't. They are a cool/funny group that somewhat mocks rock in a way, but takes themselves pretty serious. A few of their songs have been in commercials and such, but they haven't had a ton of mainstream success. They are somewhat associated with the group "Queens of the Stoneage" in that the lead singer/found of Queens of the Stoneage was a founding member of Eagles of Death Metal (he still plays the drums for them in their music videos and is credited as being a part of the band). They have a similar style/sound as well. It should be fun as I hear the band is pretty entertaining, even if you don't like their music.

Tim has hooked me up with some great music as of late. I've been listening to the group "The format" for a while and really dig their new album called Dog Problems. It's actually quite amazing if you listen to it. It's mostly about the dudes feelings on breaking up. Generally you only hear about how the girl feels, but it's quite refreshing to hear a guy sing about it. Songs I would recommend are: Matches, Dog Problems, Time bomb, I'm actual

Other music I've been listening to (with their songs I recommend):

The Strokes: Whatever happened?, Last night, Automatic Stop, Reptilia

The White Stripes: Instinct Blues (from Michele Gandry's new movie "the science of sleep")

The Vines: Rainfall, Evil Town, Amnesia, The winning days, Autumn Shade II,

The Shins: Pressed in a book, The past and pending

Petra Haden - This is an interesting project. She is pretty much a nobody in the mainstream world, but well-known and used among many musicians. She's a tripplet and one of her sisters is married to Jack Black. The other plays bass for Beck from time to time. She herself has been in bands like That Dog and The Rentals. She recently released an album of her covering the original hard rocker band "The Who" and their album from 1968 "The Who Sells Out" which was a somewhat mock record of them "selling out" to corporate advertisers, etc. She covered the entire album in accapella style, making all the instrument sounds with her own voice. It took her 3 years to do it and she did it in her apartment. Pretty cool. Anyway, the whole album is good, but my favorite songs are: Tatoo, Mary anne with the shakey hand, our love was, and Armenia city in the sky.

Anyway, listening to music makes me miss Alene even more. We don't always like the same music, but we both appreciate and enjoy it. I wish she was here.

Monday, June 05, 2006

As usual, life has been flying by

I have had not much of a chance to catch up with it. I went camping with Alene, Caiden, Brady (my nephew, who is 2 years older than Caiden) and Russ and Randa. Alene took us to Maple Canyon, which is a place I've never been. It's very beautiful up there and I enjoyed it a lot. We did some rapelling (some of which took place at night, which was CRAZY). We also did a 3 mile loop trail, half of which was up to the top of the canyon, which did a number on my legs and back (both are sore today).

Alene had to leave town early this morning to go to Denver for a work thing. She won't be back until Sunday and already I'm missing her. I'm not here to air dirty laundry, but we have had a pretty rough first year of marriage. It's had it's ups and downs. The hardest part has been finding a good "middle ground" for us both. I've found that I often get what I want out of life, while Alene feels she isn't getting much of what she wants. She deserves it and I'm trying so hard to support her in that. I just do things that come off wrong. I'm WAY over-protective of her and always fear losing her and wondering if I cold have done something about it before it happened. I have that fear with Caiden too. They are the closest people to me in my life and I care for them deeply. However, it causes problems and doesn't allow her to have a fun and fullfilling life. I need to try harder at not worrying so dang much.

Still, like I said, she has been gone for a little over 15 hours and this house feels so different without her. I miss her. I wish she was here and I could spend my free time with her, rather than vegging on the couch in and out of consciousness, while watching the History channel.

Either way, I love Alene deeply. I think I have a horrible way of showing it sometimes. I show it in the way I want to, but it's not what she needs.

The good thing about being married is learning to become close to another person. I'm still trying to figure that one out, but with Alene, when I do feel close to her and "on the same page" (so to speak), there is not a better feeling in the world that my heart yearns for. It's an amazing feeling.

Anyway, I'm tired. I need to go to bed.


Oh yeah, Caiden started swimming lessons today. He was so cute when he was in the pool trying to learn. He looked so innocent and out of control (as he generally tries to pretend he is in control of everything else). He HATES putting his head under water and only does it for a split second. I think he'll get better and realize he dosn't have to worry so much.

OK, now it's time for bed!

Friday, May 19, 2006

They grow up so fast

Caiden is almost done with his first year of school. He's already tired of school and would drop out if I let him :-).

The thing is, I have to realize how much I smother him and just back off a bit as he gets older as it could hurt his own self-image in some ways. He already knows it's not "cool" to give your parents a hug, even though he'll do it a lot when no other kids are around.

This morning as I dropped him off at school, we were standing outside the truck, but still protected from the open door so no kids could see. I went to give him a hug and noticed him kind of pull away quickly, making sure no other kids could see. I felt so badly that I wanted to hug him like he was a little baby again. I still somewhat remember when I was 6 and all the pressures you face among your peers even then. I want him to be comfortable and do what he would prefer to do.

I can still remember when I first dropped him off at pre-school when he was 3 years old. He was so adorable, so shy (he is still pretty shy) and he would not let go of me. He was almost stiff with fear as he looked at all the other kids in his class.

Now it's the opposit. Now he just wants to run to school and not show the fact that he does love his daddy (which I know he does). The saving grace of it all was cute in that he was one of the last kids to run into school and as he walked he kept turning to me and giving me the "I love you" sign with his hand. He did this about 20 times as he walked to the door. He smiled big and waved the sign over and over. However, one thing that he did made me even prouder (is that a word) as a father is that when he opened the GIANT door going in, he looked back and noticed a girl getting out of her car to get to class. He stood there and held the door open for her. I was so proud of him for doing that.

Anyway, I always wonder if the want to show your children love, ever wears off? If not, it must kill my parents to not get to hug me as much as they want. Of course, they have a lot of kids to hug, so maybe they get to "give" as much as they want.

I read this article (I'll post it below) by Sports Illustrated writer Rick Reilly about Tiger Woods' dad and the kind of father he was to his son. I had always figured he was the kind of father that pushed his son to no end (because he was always in the news) when it turns out he was the opposite. This gave me even more respect for Tiger himself, because I believe that for someone to be as great as they are, they need SOME sort of pushing/prodding/encouragement from someone.


Pop's Last Lesson


I suppose we could celebrate the life of Earl Woods with a whiskey and ginger ale, which he loved. Or with jazz, which he loved. Or with a long drag on a cigarette, which he also loved too much, seeing as how smoking probably figured in his death last week at 74.

Or we could do it with tears, since with Earl there was always more crying than on the first day of kindergarten. Every time I saw him get up in front of a crowd to talk about Tiger, he'd wind up bawling. And every time, Tiger would hop up, grab the mike and go, "That's my Pops. I love him."

I suppose we could remember Earl as perhaps the most famous black man in America who is celebrated solely for his fatherhood. In sports, all we hear about is the black father who runs, but Earl was constantly there, famously there, lovingly there.

Hell, Earl couldn't leave the kid's side. He never left him with a babysitter. Wound up quitting his job for the kid, mortgaged the house twice, took out home equity loans. He couldn't bear to punish Tiger -- that was his wife's job. Earl was hopelessly in love with the boy he called the chosen one.

You wondered what Earl's other kids thought of that -- the chosen one. Because those three kids from his first marriage -- Earl Jr., 50; Kevin, 48; and daughter Royce, 47 -- were not the chosen ones. They hardly knew him. A career Green Beret, he'd be gone for six months to a year at a time. "I wasn't around," he once told me. "I'd come back, and I'd find three totally different children."

Maybe Earl didn't know how to be a father the first time around. He was the youngest of six kids, and both his parents were dead by the time he was 13. He learned to be alone. But when he married Kultida, a Thai secretary, and got a mulligan for fatherhood at 42, he made the most of it.

Earl was fun to play with -- gave me a lesson once, too -- and even more fun in the bar afterward. And Tiger loved his burly playmate from the start. Even as a toddler, he had his Pops' phone number at the office memorized, so he could call and beg to play together after Earl got off work. Earl had 1,000 crazy games to play on the course. He needed to. Tiger was beating him by age 11.

But it killed Earl to be called "the dad who built the greatest golfer ever." No, he was trying to build a kid who would be kind and happy and responsible. He gets an A+ for that. But much trickier still: He kept his Mozart from burning out.

Never once did he tell Tiger to practice. Never once told him to try harder. He and Tida would withhold golf if his homework wasn't done. Golf was the dessert Tiger got when he ate all his vegetables.

Together, father and son started a fund of trust. Tiger trusted his dad when Earl tried all his psychological training on him -- dropping his golf bag as Tiger swung, calling like a crow on his backswing, rolling stray balls at his putter. And Earl trusted Tiger, who would put his pop four feet in front of him at clinics, have him hold his hands up like goal posts and hit full flop shots between them.

You think Earl did all this to get rich? Then why didn't he ever leave that little house in Cypress, Calif., the one he was living in when Tiger was born? No, Earl did it because golf's Stevie Wonder fell into his big lap. He did it for the three kids' childhoods he missed. And maybe he did it to make up for all the father-son days he missed when his own dad died.

And when Tiger hit his mid-20s and started to pull away -- moved away from that little house all the way to Florida -- Earl nodded proudly, but secretly ached. "It's sad in a way," Earl was quoted as saying. "This is what I've prepared for. Still, it leaves a hole because he's not there."

Now, Tiger must know exactly how he felt.

But more than all else, the thing Earl will be remembered for is his hugs. He did for hugs what Mrs. Fields did for cookies.

Remember the one he gave the triumphant Tiger coming off 18 at the 1997 Masters? That hug always chokes me up. Earl swallowed him in his huge arms and reminded us that this baby-faced, ice-blooded hit man was still somebody's little boy. From then on, those hugs became the one place this new god in spikes knew he could go to hide from the cameras and the pressure, the one place he knew he could feel loved and wanted and safe. Bet Tiger could use one right now.

And that's the best way to celebrate Earl Woods's life, by finding your kids right now -- no matter how old -- and giving them one of those great, smothering, lungbuster Earl Specials. See if you can squeeze the Skittles out of them.

Because all kids need to be reminded that they don't have to be Tiger Woods to be the chosen one.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Trip to Montana

Again, I don't have time to post specifics right now, but here is a link to the pictures from Montana. I'll post details later, trying to explain some of the pics.

Montana Trip

Kitchen/Dining Update

I have been SUPER busy, plus I just spent a week in Montana (pictures will come soon). This post won't be in super detail, I'm just going to post a link to the current pictures of the Kitchen/Dining area. Getting close to having it all done.

Kitchen

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Random horn-tooting time

Sorry I've been so lacking of updating my blog. I've hardly had time to breathe!

Anyway, I'm stoked about a couple of things.

The first, most people would not be stoked about. I got a C- in my Math class. Yes, like Chris Farley in Tommy Boy "I PASSED!" I HATE Math and I know that if I actually applied myself a bit better, I could pass it much easier, but sometimes I'd rather have someone pour hot wax all over my naked body, than have to sit through a Math class. Is that lame or what? Anyway, I just have one more Math course to take and I'm done fulfilling (hopefully) all my math requirements for college.

The second, I won a salsa making contest at work in the "most original" section category. I also came very close to taking the "Best overall" category. There were actually only 3 categories, the last being "hottest", which was true. I actually didn't try it, but I voted for it because my eyes started watering up as I came within 5' of that one! Still, I'm stoked that my salsa was liked.

Just an updated on everything else. The kitchen is somewhat in a normal condition. I just have to build the countertop for the island and seal the grout on the floor and countertop. The dining area is ALMOST done. I've got it ready for paint. After that I'll just need to add some of the baseboards around the bottom and a top cap across the top of the entry wall so we can hang plants and other things on there. I also need to climb into the attic and run a common wire to two light fixtures because the old lighting wiring (which is the only wiring that hasn't been updated in the house) has no common wire.

Anyway, I'm also stoked because at this time next week I'll be at Glacier National park, setting up a camp and relaxing a bit. I can't wait!

Also, work is going well too. I've got approval to begin a remodel job that I'll be over-seeing. It's so fun seeing "change" in a place you've worked in for 7+ years.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Kitchen/Dining update

Didn't get a ton done on the weekend. By the time I went to the dump and got home, Alene and I were ready to decorate eggs. I really wanted to get a ton done on Saturday, but the day just flew by. I can remember when I was little, how I could not WAIT for the day to be over, now it seems like they get quicker and quicker!

For the kitchen, we basically need to grout the countertops, add the base/door trim, and build the island countertop. I'm hopeing to be able to grout the countertops this weekend, but I guess we'll see. I spent part of Tuesday putting up some of the trim in the kitchen. I spent last night painting the rest of the trim (I paint it before I nail it, less messy that way and I only have to touch up the nail holes). I should be able to put up more trim today.

Last night I built the famouse arch I've been dreading to do. This is the arch that leads you into the dining room. It actually turned out to be easier than I figured.

Here are some pictures:

I wanted to match the arch that leads into the living room


I used some cardboard to trace it and create a template


I traced it onto the drywall to cut out


Here it is all cut out



I used cut pieces of 2x4's to fill in, in between the walls, then screwed them in with drywall screws


Here is the rough wall, but not too bad. To hang the drywall under the arch, I had to cut the back of the drywall every inch (about 96 cuts) then broke each cut so the stuff would bend. That took a while.


Here is the arch I tried to match. Not too shabby.


I'm going to try to get most of the trim hung tonight, date night on Friday, then grout the kitchen on Saturday.

I have ton of prjects to do outside as well. For starters, I just want to get the lawn mowed, as it is close to 1' in some spots (but some other spots have hardly grown). I have a TON of weeds taking over everything too. Alene and I are going to plant a garden someday, but we better do it soon.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

We had a good easter

It blew by quickly, but it was good. The previous night we spent time decorating easter eggs and placed them in a basket on the back deck. We told Caiden that the Easter Bunny would come and hid the eggs for him. Obviously we hid them, but you should have seen the look on his eyes when he saw the basket was empty. He is so cute when he gets so innocently excited.

We went to church, then went down to my sister Julies house for easter dinner with the family. It's crazy how much our own family is growing. Janna, Julie, and Amanda are all pregnate again. Julie and Janna are both expecting their 5th, Amanda is expecting her 2nd. It's so cute seeing all the nieces and nephews get along so closely, they all recognize they are family and they love it.

Here are some pictures of Caiden on his egg hunt:







I found this cool "Siamese Strawberry" among the group of strawberries I bought.


Saturday, April 15, 2006

Caiden had a Karate thingy today

He was so cute. They ran them through these obstacle course, then had them do some grappling (basically wrestling), then they got to do some sword fighting with these foam swords.

Here are some links to video of him:



This was cute. Caiden had to face this kid who was likely 2-3 years older than him. He knocked the foam sword out of the kids had twice!



Here are some pictures: