Sometimes we get stuck seeing things our way. Would you like to see some things through another set of eyes? Maybe it will make you think and stretch or maybe just chuckle or shed a tear. Here is my world through my eyes...

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Suits not suited to me

There are some men who love to wear suits and then there are those who don't.  I am one of the latter.  Oh don't get me wrong I can wear one and not complain.  I can even wear one and act natural, but when I don't need a suit as part of my duties then I am not wearing it.  My suit typically starts to come off as soon as I walk in the front door.  I hang it up on a hanger and am glad to return it to the closet. 

One thing that grates on me about suits (and this is only one of the several things), is that they have to be cleaned.  Well that isn't exactly what bothers me about them, after all everything needs to be cleaned.  But suits have to be cleaned often and it costs several dollars to clean them.  Oh, lots of people complain about the cost of gasoline rising but not many folks think much about the cost of cleaning their suits.  I mean you have to pay for the suit and then have to pay to get the doggone thing cleaned so often.  I guess it bugs me to pay bucks to clean the suit when I don't like wearing it anyway.  I'd like to leave it at the cleaner and not pick it up! 

Here's my suggestion that would totally alleviate this particular concern I have about suits.  This picture below is the place I like to get my suits cleaned.  Well I don't like it but I do it.  At least the people are nice about taking my money.  Well in all honesty as I'm sure my wife will quickly point out, she is the one that takes them to get cleaned there and pays the bill.  I guess its kind of like magic.  I bring up one day that my suit needs cleaned and within a few days the suit is gone, and returned to my closet clean and smelling nice in a plastic bag with tags stapled on it.  My wife the wizard (X-drive). 

Anyway here is my suggestion to the suit making world.  Suit shops should all just close down and they should sell suits from the laundries.  Actually they would give them away for free but the only place they can get the suits cleaned is in the shop where you got them.  They will make their money back fairly quickly and all will be much smoother.  Then it won't be fancy name brands of suits that a person buys but they will be all named after a laundry.  "Hey, what laundry did you get that suit at, it looks nice?"  "Did you get a monthly or quarterly contract (in other words how often do you have to get it cleaned)?"  The whole suit wearing thing would be turned upside down and people like me would think they were getting a deal instead of being ripped off!  Probably men would smell better at church too. 

Friday, March 4, 2011

Romantica by David Lanz

Maybe it is because Lisa and I have a date night planned for Friday evening but the song called "Romantica" by David Lanz has been sounding pretty good to me.  David Koz, an amazingly accomplished saxophonist, is one of the musicians as well.  It has a nice comfortable energetic romantic feel to it. 

Like I said we have plans for Friday night.  Lisa suggested we go to Bertucci's Italian restaurant.  But I wasn't interested in that this time.  Ultimately we decided to go to Whole Foods store instead.  Reminds me of the old days when we only had enough date money to pay the babysitter so our date was going grocery shopping together! 

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Guest Blog: Thank Your Favorite Magician

I’ve been a magician now for over 30 years.  My mom continued as a magician herself for several years after I branched out on my own; then my dad took over the job.  Three of my daughters are also magicians, in varying stages of training and experience.  The magic we practice?  The laundry!

When you’re not the one who actually does the laundry, it is magic.  Think about it!  You take your stinky socks, your sweaty t-shirt, the jeans you wiped your greasy fingers on—and you drop them in the “magic box”.  Your grass-stained shorts, your ketchup-splattered shirt, your ink-stained blouse—all are restored to their former glory by depositing them in the magic box.  Your magic box might be called a hamper or a laundry chute.  (Some magicians even collect the raw materials for their magic from bedroom floors, but for years I have resisted giving in to this collection method.)  And then, in only a matter of days—sometimes mere hours--your grimy, sweaty, stinky clothes resurface, transformed!  They appear neatly folded in your drawers.  They are found hanging clean in your closet.   Without so much as a wave of your hand, your favorite shirt, your well-loved jeans are clean and bright again, and ready to be worn at your earliest whim. 

So if you’re wishing for a little magic in your life, remember it’s all around you.  In fact, it’s in the very clothes you wear.  And if you are fortunate enough to live with a magician, let her (or him) know how much you appreciate their special brand of magic.   It will make their day!

X-drive (Confused about who this author is?  Click Here for clarification)

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

More Fear of Failure, Less Hope of Success

Our expectations of marriage and hope of a worthwhile relationship that will last has changed over the years.  I remember 20+ years ago talking to two of my co-workers in a hospital.  They were bemoaning the fact that there were not any good marriages.  Well I begged to differ as I was thinking my marriage was pretty good though I knew it was not perfect.  They commented that their friends were unhappy in their marriages and they feared they would be the same if they were to get married.  Consequently they couldn't trust those they dated wondering what revelations would become apparent after the marriage to destroy their desired happiness. 

In this day and age it has seemed the emphases is on what can go wrong in a marriage rather than what can go right.  Consequently people aren't expecting or hoping for the good and can't seem to find it or see it when it is there.  Instead it seems that many are expecting the bad, the ugly, or the offensive and ready to see that at every step, sometimes even when it is not there.

There was a time that people expected to be happy in marriage.  The expectation was that things would turn out happily ever after, which may have been unrealistic, but nevertheless was geared toward the positive.  Somehow the public relations mill has been pumping out stories of terrible marital abuse, duplicity in relationships and love that is transient.  The idea has grown that love can't be maintained or controlled  by humans; as if we were animals and somehow love was an instinct rather than a choice.  (click here to see a previous blog about choosing to love).  All of that negativity toward marriage has paid high monetary dividends to purveyors but has harmed our society as  whole but more importantly has harmed couples and individuals.

Many people still enter into marriages but more prefer relationships that don't have a binding, either legal or, often, emotional.  That's like skiing or snowboarding without your boots attached to the skis or board.  You will come off, the only question is how long.

I ran across this song by He is We.  The thought that comes to mind as I listen to this song is that there isn't any way how to tell if your relationship will be successful and secondly there isn't a whole lot a person can do about it accept live it and see what happens.  As if the couple were powerless to determine the results of love rather than critical in determining the results of love.  If a person thinks they can't do something, doesn't it have the same result as actually not being able to do something about it?  The song mentions repeatedly wanting to skip ahead in the relationship to know how it "end up".  I think this is a common concern and probably works to keep people out of binding relationships thinking it is better to dip your feet (partially commit or don't commit at all) rather than take the risk of jumping in fully committed. 

See what you think of the song, "Happily Ever After" by He is We.

Here are the lyrics for the song "Happily Ever After" by He is We:

Let me riddle you a ditty, it's just an itty bitty, little thing on my mind.
About a boy and a girl, trying to take on the world one kiss at a time.
Now the funny thing about, ain't a story without it, but the story is mine.
And I wish you could say, that it ended just fine.

We all want to know, how it ends.

Oh, happily ever after, wouldn't you know, wouldn't you know.
Oh, skip to the ending, who'd like to know, I'd like to know.
Author of the moment, can you tell me, do I end up, do I end up happy?

Inhale, breathe steady, exhale, like you're ready, if you're ready or not.
Just a boy and a girl trying to take on the world, and we want to get caught.
In the middle of a very happy ending, let's see what we've got, let's give it a shot.
Let's give it a shot.

We all want to know, how it ends.

Oh, happily ever after, wouldn't you know, wouldn't you know.
Oh, skip to the ending, who'd like to know, I'd like to know.
Author of the moment, can you tell me, do I end up, do I end up happy?

We all have a story to tell.
Whether we whisper or yell.
We all have a story, of adolescence and all it's glory.
We all have a story to tell.

Oh, happily ever after, wouldn't you know, wouldn't you know.
Oh, skip to the ending, who'd like to know, I'd like to know.
Author of the moment, can you tell me, do I end up, do I end up happy?

We all have a story to tell.
We all have a story to tell.
We all have a story to tell.
We all have a story to tell.

By the way how do we define a successful relationship and at what point can that determination be made?  Some things to think about. 

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Hope Renewed

Dad remains in the hospital and the last word I heard was that he was still considered to be in a coma.  Last evening as Craig and Lesli were there with him they saw and heard him talking.  He had made some very briefly successful attempts at talking recently but yesterday he was speaking more regularly.  Craig started singing "Love at Home" and Dad joined in.  His words are still not understandable but his singing is still good. 

To those who hoped and those who had hope this is great news.  We still don't know the end result but we Hope for a restoration of all things.  Of course we know that restoration will occur in the resurrection which will probably include a restoration of things we don't even remember (like Dad's hair for instance -- not that I can say much) but... You might think that having such high hopes would likely lead to impatience.  But for me the optimistic pessimist, I will imagine the worst and hope for the best and plan to handle everything in between. 

I remember Dad as the fully functioning person and regardless of what functions he resumes in this life I will remember him like this picture.  The one who set me apart as a High Priest and the one who gave me a Father's blessing each time I ask since my own Dad had died.  Fond memories and comforting feelings each time.  Keep trying Dad!

Update sent via email from Mom:  I wanted to tell you that the speech therapist from Bethesda called this morning with the report that Dad has been singing with her and is saying some audible words. They can't always understand what he says but he is trying. Lynell says it's a four bunny day.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Manly Man Training #2 Use our "liberty" for service

Todays training comes from Galations chapter five.

Galations 5:13-14  "For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.  For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself."

Here we have Paul talking directly to the men of the church and telling us to use our "liberty" which I understand to be free time/discretionary time to be of service to others.  We are warned not to use our "liberty" as "occasion to the flesh" in other words avoid everything from sexual sins to violence (these tend to be free time activities since we manage to mostly avoid them when we are busy with something worth doing).  He gives a good list of things that are "the works of the flesh" in verses 19-21 that of course we are to avoid. 

He also tells us to follow the Spirit as the Spirit is opposed to the flesh and will lead us to do good things and away from the sinful harmful free time activities already mentioned. Ultimately anything that takes us from the Spirit will lead us into all kinds of problems but if we follow the Spirit it leads us to all kinds of good including "loving thy neighbor as thyself" (v. 14).

So I'm thinking what are some of those free time killers today that harm us and "lusteth against the Spirit" (v. 17) keeping us from "do[ing] the things that you would" (v. 17).  In other words what are modern activities (which interestingly enough all the ancient bad choices tend to remain available but now we have some additional high tech ones) which keep us from developing our sensitivity to the Spirit and don't allow us to do what we really want to do?  [Note: I might add that the ancient good choices remain available along with some high tech good choices as well.]

What are some of those free time and Spirit killers?  Could violent video games, pornography, movies and TV shows that generate sexual feelings in us or are gory and violent, those things harm the Spirit.  What about sports that we feel so strongly about that we get angry or depressed when things don't go our way?  What about Internet activities that make us unhappy with our lives and circumstances such that we envision or fantasize about doing unkind or mean things to others? Things that encourage us to "be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another" (v. 26)?  

With the Spirit we engender "love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance" (v. 22-23) which are things we would want to have more of in our life, wouldn't we?  That's the definition of a 'manly man' so I hope so.  With these positive attributes we would attract people to us who do similar activities and people who want to have and be what they see us being.  Undoubtedly that would give us plenty of service and missionary opportunities.   

Okay, lets get to the nitty gritty.  Sometimes we as men don't get enough opportunities to do service.  Actually it is more correctly said that we don't serve enough.  Have you ever noticed how much harder it is for the Elders quorum to have a service project than for the Relief Society?  Or ever noticed the difference in the turn out?  Maybe that explains a reason that the males have the Priesthood which is all about service.  If indeed males are naturally less likely to serve as I have heard some opine, then of course Heavenly Father would help us with that weakness by the gift of significant service responsibilities.  Hey! that's what the Priesthood is!  Sounds like an opportunity to make a strength out of a weakness!

Which reminds me of this quote by Pres. Kimball: "I have learned that it is by serving that we learn how to serve.  When we are engaged in the service of our fellowmen [and lets not think that leaves out the ladies], not only do our deeds assist them, but we put our own problems in a fresher perspective.  When we concern ourselves more with others, there is less time to be concerned with ourselves.  In the midst of the miracle of serving, there is the promise of Jesus, that by losing ourselves, we find ourselves" (The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, p. 254).  When we serve we end up making something of ourselves that we otherwise would miss out on.  Since this is vital in having the Spirit lets use our manliness to be of service to others. 
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