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Sunday, November 29, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving this year was fabulous. Pretty low key. A lot of family. Lots of food, probably way too much food.

Plenty of behind the scenes work going on.

Serious talk over turkey.

My mom worked long and on the placesettings. Aren't they great?

Maybe we should have taken this photo once you could see the food. Let me tell you, it was amazing.

The kids were ready to go.

Baby G was fat and happy after a big meal of mashed potatoes and yams.

The rest of us were fat and happy as well, um, I mean just happy.

Nothing like a happy ending.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Children of God

I reviewed the book The Sparrow a few months ago. Children of God by Mary Doria Russell is the sequel. It follows the story of Emilio, the survivor who made it home from Rhakat. Against his will, Emilio returns to Rhakat with a group that includes Jesuit priests, entrepreneurs, and a mercenary. The book was good, not great. Children of God had more 0f a focus on science fiction and less relationships.

My favorite part of he book was this conversation with one of the priests: "There's a passage in Exodus where God tells Moses, 'No one can see My face but I will protect you with my hand until I have passed by you and then I will remove my hand and you will see my back. Well, I always thought this was a physical metaphor but now I wonder if it isn't really abut time. Maybe that was God's way of telling us that we can never know His intentions, but as time goes on...we'll understand. We'll see where he was: we'll see his back.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

BOO Shopko!

So Friday night I went to Shopko. My plan was to pick up some prescriptions and spend $10. However, I was lured into the rest of the store where I ended up spending over $150. Most of what I purchased were clothes -yes clothes at Shopko, they have great deals on gloves and Nike workout wear. Anyway, I also bought a can of mousse and two sets of hair bands. I didn't unload my bag until Saturday night at which point I discovered that they didn't put the mousse and hairbands in my bag. I debated whether or not to even back to the store - not worth the time and the hassle. But today I needed to buy several other items so I took a major detour to go back to Shopko. I had my receipt figured it would be no biggie. Man was I wrong. It seems that Shopko hasn't ever heard of a little thing called customer service. Amy Jo, who appeared to be some type of manager, told me that there was really nothing she could do because I couldn't prove that I hadn't left the missing items in my cart, my car or elsewhere. Does she seriously think that I am going to take the time to try to scam the store out of $15 worth of merchandise. Amy Jo went on to tell me that without any products in hand, she couldn't issue a refund. I'm not sure if she realized how ridiculous she sounded, if so, she didn't care. She finally told me that if I wanted some type of credit for the missing items, I could return tomorrow to speak to another manager and request that they go back and review all of the surveillance tapes from that night to see if they could determine what happened to the missing items. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? I finally just left, at some point the whole thing became a total waste of my time. I am still appalled and the complete lack of customer service. I am impressed though with my ability to keep all of my nasty comments to myself.
It seems like with all of the talk about the "economy" and low consumer spending, wouldn't customer service and loyalty be especially important. Maybe Shopko missed that newsflash.
I would like to say that I will be permanently boycotting Shopko, however, the pharmacist there is my favorite and once I'm there, it's just convenient to do other shopping. So the truth is, I will probably keep going back. Maybe you all could do me a little favor and boycott your local Shopko on my behalf. Please.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


Ok Hailey and Jenna, I will apologize up front for posting such disparaging comments about the love of your life. But seriously, gross! He's quoted at an interview as saying:
"These jeans are a few days old. But the top is probably fresh because it gets to the point where even I can't stand the air around me. I don't know, my personal hygiene – it's so disgusting!"

Maybe that's why I've never felt the love. I'm not into dirty boys.

Please, don't Deck the Halls

So, I'm driving home from work tonight, scanning the radio channels and am shocked to hear CHRISTMAS MUSIC. What??? Ok, I realize that I may sound like a total grinch, but seriously, who wants to be listening to christmas music already?

Monday, November 9, 2009

1000 White Women

In 1875 the US government held a peace conference with the Cheyenne. Apparently Chief Little Wolf suggested that peace between the Whites and Cheyenne could be established if the Cheyenne were given white women as wives, and that the tribe would agree to raise the children from such unions. In reality, this was promptly rejected and the peace talks ended. This book follows the story as if the government had agreed to such a proposal for peace. The storyline of the book is pure fiction, but based on a lot of history.

In the book, President Grant secretly approves the Brides For Indians treaty. He recruits women from jails, penitentiaries, debtors' prisons, and mental institutions, offering full pardons or unconditional release. May Dodd, born to wealth in Chicago in 1850, had left home in her teens and become the mistress of her father's grain-elevator foreman. Her outraged father had her kidnapped, imprisoning her in a monstrous lunatic asylum. When Grant's offer arrives, she leaps at it and soon finds herself traveling west with hundreds of white and black would-be brides. All are indentured to the Cheyenne for two years, must produce children, and then will have the option of leaving. May, keeps a journal which is the narrative of this book. She ultimately marries Little Wolf and becomes completely emeshed in the life of the tribe.

I absolutely loved this book. It was wild to think of being one of the indian brides and what they would have gone through. As I read the book I was reminded of situations I have been in where I experienced some pretty significant culture shock. Mary realizes that there are good aspects of both the "white" and the Cheyenne society. While living in Tonga and Ecuador, and vacationing in various parts of the world, I have learned that it's not necessarily about things being right or wrong. Often another opinion or custom is just different, and sometimes even better.

The book fully entertained me and gave me a lot to think about. I found myself wishing that Mary Dodd was a real person, and sad when our adventure together ended.