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[Comments] (2) : It is so hard to plan for the future when the past won't leave you alone.

[Comments] (5) Death be not proud: I spent all last weekend making sure that my mother in law will have the funeral she wishes. Then today I was informed that my Uncle David passed away. He was diagnosed with cancer about 10 months ago (while we were on our criuse). Since Susie and I joined in matrimony two and a half years ago, five loved ones in our families have passed away.

I worry about my grandmother. David was her favorite son. Why is it some are taken so quickly after falling ill, while others (my father and mother-in-law) are allowed to linger, yet suffer?

I should probably end this on a happy note. Hmm. Well, Gretel was relocated to a happier home today. Does that count?

[Comments] (3) It's just never good enough: My sister and her husband flew up to Utah for my uncle's funeral. So that meant we got to watch the boys all weekend. So that meant that John had to take a sick day at work on Friday to prepare for an arduous weekend. And that meant telling a lie. Sort of. After all, sick of working too much is still "sick". Monday morning, everyone saw right through me. Well, mostly everyone. And they all commended me for taking time off to recuperate. Interestingly enough, the one who didn't see right through me, the one who actually thought I was sick, is the one that left me two voicemails on Friday re: so-called urgent matters.

But it was nice. Susie and I spend time together. And went on the rockets at Disneyland while I listened to work voicemails.

Friday night we started watching the boys. Tyler was saving a movie for me to watch with him: "Winnie the Pooh's Heffalump Movie." My sister does this on purpose, mind you. She saves all the stuff she doesn't want to do with Tyler for me to do with Tyler. Hence, I've seen every boring episode of Wallace & Grommit. Apparently, being a parent means doing things you don't want to do. All of the time. And feeling guilty when you try to opt out. It's not easy on the conscience.

Saturday morning brought rain, which brought cancelled baseball games, which brought a restless day indoors. Finally Tyler, exhausted from fighting with Chad, fell asleep on the stairs. It was a blessing and a cursing. Blessing, cuz he was quite ornery and I needed a break. The curse comes later. That night we took them to Boomers for dinner and video games. I don't know why they give you coins denominated in quarters at these things, cuz nothing cost a quarter. All the good games were $1. Which meant John went through money quicker than originally anticipated. And we had to search long and hard for a shooting game that did not involve blood for Tyler. I don't believe in shooting games. But we found one where you shoot robots instead of people, so I let him play. He told me repeatedly that he loved that game. It's nice to live in such a safe area, cuz we must have lost the boys at least 12 times in the 2 hours we were there.

Saturday night was spent at our house. This allowed my sister to pick them up Sunday morning on the way home from the airport and we could still make it to Primary on time. Tyler did his best to vandalize our home in the short time he was there. Thanks to his earlier nap, he had the energy of five toddlers. He spilled milk on the bed cuz I'm a softie and let him drink on the bed (at least he didn't spill the red punch). And Chad complained that our apartment smells. But how do you explain to a 12 year old growing up in South County that not everyone has money? His net worth is bound to be higher than mine, after all. They were bored cuz Tyler monopolized our only teevee to watch Peanuts movies, and we have no cable, no video games, no TiVo, and no fun. In fact, Tyler asked me why we have no toys. I told him, because we have no kids. To which he replied that we did have one kid. When I asked him who that kid would be, he replied that it was Tyler. So I'm a parent. And a bad one at that. I lost my patience with him a few times in the course of only two days.

Finally I herded them into the living room for bed. And they actually quieted down and started reading, and went to sleep. Without me losing my temper. I could not believe it. Something went right after all. Luck was a babysitter that night.

Can't get no satisfaction: Been looking for a new pair of jeans. Whey do they all come pre-tattered and torn? I can do that myself, thank you very much. Why in the world would I pay $40 for jeans that will die in a month when I used to pay $20 for jeans that lasted a year? I wouldn't.

[Comments] (2) Gender Issues: My coworker just notified me that Dennis Quaid has "manorexia." And all this time I had no idea that the english language was gender specific.

[Comments] (3) On the way to work: Saw a bumper sticker that reads "King Kong is not my grandpa." What does this mean, exactly?

[Comments] (4) Living Large: Went to D-land again on Saturday. This past month, the parks have been overrun with perky, pink cheerleaders from around the nation. When it was our turn to go on the Tower of Terror, we saw the elevator full of 15 year-old drama queens. We opted for the next elevator. The castmember noted that we made the right choice. Maybe it's cuz I was never that cool in jr high or high school, but seeing these "transparent" cheerleaders made me ill. Or maybe it was just that they were wearing more makeup than a clown, and I'm scared of clowns. I'll stop now. I'm sure they can't all be bad. After all, they did invent the alternate spelling for rowdy (r-o-w-d-i-e).

Today in church the sacrament meeting was quite empty. Having put in about 10 hours into this week's lesson, I was understandably upset. But we actually had all our kids present for our lesson on missionaries. So I made each of the kids mission badges and wrote their names on little strips of paper. Then they were blindfolded and taped their names on the map to decide where they would serve their missions. We visited each continent, noting what missionaries might do there. Obviously, the bulk of the lesson was on Asian missionaries. We listened to Chinese music, looked at Chinese money and pictures, and learned how to eat marshmellows with chopsticks. It was one of my best lessons and I was glad to have the whole class there to participate.

On the funny side, the primary president asked the kids what our goal in life is. One of the kids in the other class answered that it was to find gold and hide it in your house. My children, of course, always answer all of the questions correctly. That's cuz I tell them the answers. Since Clayton sat next to me, he got to shout out all the right answers. Matthew, understandably upset by this, said, "hey, tell me the answer next time." I believe the jig is up.

[Comments] (1) The Story Behind the Numbers: As Accountants, we are always trying to understand the story behind the numbers. This is our so-called "sanity check" that, at the end of the day, the numbers match some pre-conceived notion. If they don't, there must be some story to dictate any such deviations.

My final CPA score shows that I scored, overall, in the top 94% of all exam applicants. I also applied for my yearly gratis credit report today. I scored higher than 79% of all Americans, and apparently as high as a person can who has never owed on a mortgage. What is the story here? Simply, that I am a perfectionist freak.

[Comments] (5) Another Week, Another Weekend: I forgot to write that last weekend I went to my very first professional hockey game. It was the LA Kings vs. some people wearing blue @ Staple's Center. It was a recruiting event for our intern and a potential hire, along with me and a manager. We got to sit in the suite. And that means dessert cart! I tried the orange dreamsicle cheesecake, and it was amazing. Yes, the Staple's Center has one up on the Cheesecake Factory.

Hockey is a pretty fun sport. Though I don't quite understand why they let them fight. I mean, they are wearing a lot of padding. But still, who wrote into the rules that fights are allowed? Don't get me wrong, the fights are fun to watch. But really. After having seen Canadian parliament on teevee, I've decided some hoser in our neighbor to the north must have written that rule into the agenda.

This week, on Wed. night, they had a post-busy season party at a pub. I don't normally go to these things, but since Susie was playing hostess at our place that night, I went. It was awful to sit there and watch people, so-called professionals, get so hammered. I didn't drive there, but I did drive a group back to the office. The next day I asked my coworker how he ended up getting home safely. He said he drank a lot of water and sat around the office for another hour "working" until he felt ok. So staying late at the office is the price you pay for drinking. No thank you. I'd hate to think the kind of work people put out there while intoxicated. But anyway.

This weekend I'm a bachelor. But instead of a night on the town, I'm gonna plan my primary lesson and re-evaluate our IRA's. I guess that is the price I pay for not drinking.

[Comments] (3) The Plague of Singledom: As Susie was out of town yesterday, I once again went to church on my own. Now, I must admit, I really don't care. Most of the people in our ward, I've noticed, don't come when I know their significant other is out of town. I go anyway. But there is a small price to pay when doing so.

I got to church, as usual, about 5 minutes early. Susie and I sort of have a pew that is more or less ours. It's one of the small ones on the side. But the people sitting in front of it this week have a little three year-old girl, Emily, that likes to stare at me the whole meeting (we used to have her in nursery). I didn't want to cause a problem, so I sat in the middle on one of the larger pews. The meeting started, and alas, I had the entire pew to myself. It is as if everyone thought, "Oh, no, don't sit next to the single guy: It might be contagious!" Finally during the sacrament the Waldrons sat next to me with their party of 10+.

For all I know maybe they think Susie and I are separated. We are apart quite a bit on the weekend these days, unfortunately. The Bishop caught me and asked me where Susie was, so I told him she was visiting her mother. I wonder if he bought it?

In class, the lesson was particularly dull this week. So I made a puzzle out of the picture we were supposed to color and we played hangman as one of the activities to win another puzzle piece. Now, these kids like the game, but really can't read. So when it was all said and done I asked them if they knew what they had spelled. Clayton said "Damn It?" This is what comes of having three older brothers, I suppose.

[Comments] (3) Hollywood Horror: Finished reading The Count of Monte Cristo Monday night. Wow. I've seen the movie, and it boggles me that they share the same name. They merged two villians into one, Albert is not the Count's son, he doesn't buy the prison in the end, the Count has a different love at the conclusion, and two very major subplots don't even exist in the movie. I don't even think you could say that the movie is even remotely based on the book. Poor Dumas. Good thing he doesn't know....

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