c'est l'heure de partir

I used to think that when it will be time to leave Logan, I would cry and cry. I have really enjoyed it here. I didn't take to high school that much, so I think I'm using up my school spirit on the university here. I really have enjoyed my time. For the past 4 years I've moved through the program with roughly the same set of kids, roughly the same set of professors, and roughly the same story day in day out. I like routine.

I had become so acquainted with life as an Aggie that I was not worried about starting school for the first time ever this year. I even have a relatively easy school load. Only one engineering class, one math class, a creative arts class, and a family finance class. I also snooze through a seminar class, but there's so little required of me except attendance I'm hesitant to call it a class.

Here I am, three days into the semester. Most of the group that moved along with me is gone. I don't have the same set of professors because I'm not taking as many engineering classes. I've switched jobs, so that's new. To add to this feeling of emptiness, the only engineering class I am in only has 5 kids in it. Only five.

So I feel like I'm at a party where I thoroughly enjoyed myself, but everyone else has gone home, the band is starting to put away their instruments, and now I have to leave too. Except I'm not leaving. I still have (see previous post) three more semesters including this one to complete my MS.

This has made me re-emphasize in my own mind just how I feel on a few topics. Number one, above all and foremost, I am glad I am married. The person who means the most to me will never 'move on' and leave. I'm not talking about tragic loss of a spouse, I'm talking about how our lives are intertwined eternally. That's reassuring for someone who doesn't like change. Secondly, the things that bring me joy and security need to be centered on me what I have stewardship over. Lastly, this has made me a bit wiser. I don't know why, but I feel a bit older. I feel a step or two closer to a mortgage, kids, baseball practice, a dog, and a mini-van. It's sobering, and it re-awakens in me the desire to prepare myself to be a good father.

Interesting experience, all in all.


back to school

Three more semesters... just three more semesters... just three more semesters...


hackneyed and trite

I hate saying things that have been said a million times by people a million times more eloquent than I.

For example, I'm one of the ones who ALWAYS gets up on fast and testimony Sunday. I know, I know, I should share the pulpit, and I do try to skip once or twice a year, but I really enjoy bearing testimony. I just hate saying the most important parts that need to be said because I sound like a parrot. I'm not parroting what I hear, I just don't know how else to say what's been said so many times before. Joseph Smith is a prophet of God. He saw God. He didn't have a vision, he didn't dream it, it wasn't a trance, it wasn't symbolic, it wasn't a spiritual sight. God and Jesus Christ physically came down and stood in the air above him and he saw them. It's hard to say that with the kind of force that it deserves.

Far above that is a testimony of the Savior. How do you say what's been said so many times? I'm afraid to bear testimony of the Savior sometimes because I don't want it to come out weak. This is a horrible excuse, and believe me, I have never shirked an opportunity to testify of the Lord. I just don't want the other guy to go 'Yeah whatever you religious nut.' That's insulting to me and to the One I testify of.

I've a sinking suspicion that I should just let it go; i.e. let go and let God. It's hard, though. Bearing testimony of the Savior is an important thing. If the Spirit is there, it can change someone's life. If it's not, especially because of something *I* did, then... man I just don't want to face that.

I guess part of it is my pride, too. I read about Paul, Alma, Amulek, and Peter, and all these other great men who bear testimony and people go "Holy smokes, mate. We'd better repent and get baptized." I wish I could do that-- not because I want look in the mirror and go "Wow I'm awesome." but rather because there are people out there who need the Gospel. Bringing that joy to them brings me joy as well, and that's the only selfish part about it. I'd really just like to see everyone accept the truth. Alas, it is not to be.


my competitive side

As a rule, I don't get competitive.

I just don't see the point in a lot of things that your average person competes in. Board games? I'd rather keep Mrs. Sixline happy during the game. Pick up sports games? Really, in the span of the cosmos, the outcome of a lousy basketball game and whether or not that was a foul don't matter one iota.

It's not like nothing matters to me... I just don't know how to define my sorting algorithm. Some things I just end up not caring about. The things I do care about have nothing to do with whether or not the next guy is good at it too. Logic, wisdom, learning, and personal improvement don't really involve who's in line before you and behind you, although where you stand relative to the rest of the world always plays at least a small part, I suppose.

I wish I were more competitive. I was thinking earlier today about how discipline and flair for living are sometimes a mutually exclusive pair. I know tons of very disciplined students that I think are incapable of relaxing and having fun. They probably think I'm very indolent and lazy. Many of my more diligent acquaintances seem to be competitive as well as disciplined. It happens often enough to make me opine that the two are part and partial.

Most of this stuff is just my thoughts on the subject, not a treatise spelling out a thoroughly reviewed human sociological condition. I guess what I'm getting at, is that I very often feel like a lazy slob and I wish I had the get-up-and-go to be able to get things done.



When women tell me they’re a feminist, my response is always the same: “Oh, totally. I hate men too. Those mongrels.”

My sarcasm is usually very apparent, but it always adequately sends the message that I think that feminists hate men-- all men, to be exact. Obviously this is my own prejudice against feminists, but for right now, it's the way I feel. In fact, to take it a step further, I always think they hate me. Pretty big ego of mine, eh? What could I have done to possibly elicit such strong feelings from women I’ve only just met? I try to treat women with kindness, and regardless of my penchant for teasing my wife about being horrible because she won’t satisfy my laziness and get me a sandwich (she usually makes me get it myself, can you believe that?!) I think very highly of women, and I definitely don't hate them.

The woman I know best is Mrs. Sixline. She’s fantastic. We have our differences and I don’t want to say our marriage is looked at with starry eyes or through rose colored glasses. Despite our imperfections, we get along more often than not. When we are getting along we’re laughing and playing and talking and having fun. I see her as an equal, and I never ‘lay down the law,’ as it were. I don’t tell her how it is, and I don’t boss her around. When decisions come for whether or not I continue education, or whether or not we move, or where we go, she’s involved and I need her input so we can do what's best. My desires to do what I want in the quotidian are governed by simple selfish impulses to do things my way, not an overbearing pressure to be the man and show the helpless little wifey how to get things done. It's a part of learning to be one.

I respect her. I respect what she does. She has worked very hard throughout the whole of our marriage, taking on the role of primary breadwinner and housewife because I’m so often at school. When we have children, she will have the God-given task of being primary care-giver. She will be there in a way I can't. She will be Mom. There are few honors that are as esteemed as that of mother. She is so nurturing; I have relied on her time and time again to hold me in her loving arms and encourage me when I’ve been down because of depression. She’s held me up during times of stress when I need to make sure I do well on finals. She has been patient with me far more than I have had to be patient with her. She’s beautiful, she’s wonderful, she’s pleasing, and without her I wouldn’t be whole.

Why make an enemy of my greatest ally?

I think this is what unnerves me most upset about feminists. I recognize that men make mistakes, and some men have committed acts of unthinkable malice and selfishness towards women. But regardless of all my mistakes, I haven’t committed gross acts against women. If I’m grouped up in that category, then that means that I am guilty of wronging my wife and I don’t like that one bit. Just the thought of being guilty of wrongdoing against wracks me with horror. I ask her, very often, if she feels oppressed in anyway because of my attitudes, or if she feels slighted because she isn’t getting an education, or if she feels trapped by being a housewife. I want to make sure she’s happy and feels fulfilled in our marriage. I take full responsibility for my role in her well being. What more can I do for her?

I have no goals other than that. I have no career aspirations. I have no desire to flash my degree around in social circles and feel good about myself. My one and only goal in life is to do whatever I can to be a good husband and father. I expect the same from my wife; that she be a good wife and mother. This is not to say that we can’t take hobbies, or that she can’t go off with the girls while I baby-sit. Of course we need and want friends and family. I love my wife. I’m no poet, and everything I say sounds so trite and hackneyed. I wish that men would walk up to their responsibilities. I wish that men would treat women the way they deserve to be treated. Lots of us guys feel that way. So if you’re a feminist, try to remember that the next time the door is held for you. It’s not an insult; it’s an honor.


blogger's block

I bet I'm not the first to have this problem.

I have no idea what to blog about. Lots of stuff is going on in life, but I don't really know how to feel important about it. I also hate it when I think something is REALLY important, but when it comes out in writing, it sounds so ridiculous and trivial.

Oh well.

I'll figure out what to post on later.


Story time

I recently finished Cal Ripken Jr's autobiography, The Only Way I Know. At first, the literary style (if I'm even qualified to make an accurate analysis of such) kinda bugged me. It was written the way he spoke, almost as if all I was reading was a monologue. I had never read an autobiogrpahy before, so I didn't know if that was the style of autobiographies or not. Since it's my first, I still don't know. By the end, though, I had realized that it felt like Cal Ripken Jr was sitting next to me telling me the details of his life. After it was over, I felt sad. It was weird, but I had almost pictured him sitting with me just telling me his story. I can only read it once and have it feel that way.

Heroes are funny things. Somehow, we always think they'll be taller. Somehow we're always too disappointed to find out they're only human. Many of us have been disillusioned in one way or another when it came to heroes. Thomas Jefferson owned slaves. Barry Bonds took steroids. (Or did he?!) George Washington took candy from babies. One particularly pleasing part of Cal's story was the fact that I agreed with him on so many points. I believe him when he says that although athelete's are role models. I believe him when he says that the craft of the game of baseball is suffering because of (my words here) selfish players who don't want to learn the fine art of the game. I believe him when he says there's nothing more to your job than going in and doing it everyday. I like Cal that much more now. I wasn't disappointed with getting to know him in the book. Heroes are funny things. Good heroes are lucky things.


money money money

I got a new grant! Hooray! Evidently juniors and seniors majoring in a math/science/engineering program get extra money this year. I love free money.

I just don't feel a big post yet, so to all my faithful avid readers, I humbly and abjectly apologize.

I just kinda want school to start, just so I can have something to do other than work. We have another lidar campaign coming up in September, and so I'll have to take time off from school to go out to California and shoot our laser. This one will be a bit more glamorous. Normally my work is, in a nutshell, an analyzation of how much 'gas' is released into air by a swine farm. Yes, pig farts from a barn. Now I'll go to an almond farm and scan the pollution that comes from almond harvesting. Neat-o.


Inspiration, not explanation.

My brother had a most excellent point the other day. He, my brother-in-law and I were discussing how much we should pay attention to Church books. It is my personal feeling that I'd rather just read the Standard Works themselves, and touch lightly on the writings of modern day prophets and the like. Then here comes my brother, who says "Well, I guess it depends on whether or not the book was written for inspiration, or for explanation. Most general authorities try to inspire you, not explain every little scripture to you."

I liked that. I'd rather try to figure things out as I go along, and when I need to be reminded of why I stand up, I'll pick up a general authority book.



And while I was gone...

The apartment we were looking at was rented. (They were going to give us a free washer and dryer.)

My father-in-law backed into my car, which is now in the shop.

And I stubbed my toe.