Tuesday, April 28, 2009

We are all going to die

As many of you may have heard, the world is ending. (If you have not heard, I am sorry. While we're on the subject, you should probably know that Santa isn't real either. Sorry. A nifty map here will give you the appropriate level of panic.)

I know that many people are urging calm. I know that panic could be described as "irrational." But while there is certainly a time and place for rational thought, there is also a time and place for fear-mongering, panic, rioting, and general French-revolution-style pandemonium. THAT TIME IS NOW!

I know, I know, all of you are thinking: Whoa, Isaac! Calm down! It's just a flu virus that kills 6% of the people who get it. That's nothing to worry about. It's not like people are turning into flesh-eating zombies!

My response: REALLY? Have you guys SEEN I Am Legend? The government isn't going to tell you that everyone is turning into man-eaters! They're going to pretend that everything's fine, that Obama will take care of everything and even give you a back-rub, and that if you'll only help them buy bad bank assets the world will return to normal. (I'm onto you, Mr. President.)

But I know better. The end is coming. And since this is Swine Flu, it's probably going to be a lot like this:

See you at the aftermath. It was good to know you all. Let me know when you're dead.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

You're not hardcore unless you live hardcore

Wise words from Jack Black...

All growing up my family and I would frequently go to Arches National Park on vacation. I think we picked this spot because it gave us easy access to places where we could toy with death (which, apparently, is my family's favorite pastime). There's nothing more fun or exhilarating than climbing to the top of a 200-foot sandstone fin, walking along the top (which is about 5-10 feet wide), looking out over the edge and thinking, Why did we come up here?

We went down to Arches again last weekend and had a great time. We did the Fiery Furnace (which is by far the best thing in the entire park), Devil's Garden, Sand Dune Arch (where we saw Jeff and Amy Parker of all random people and places), and Delicate Arch. It was a lot of fun. Here are some pictures (click the thumbnail for a larger version):

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Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Longing for Easter ritual

I have to admit that I love ritual. When it comes to holidays, it is always cherished ritual that creates the special atmosphere. Take Christmas as an example. The most meaningful Christmas moments always come from the rituals we take care to perform each year: decorating the Christmas tree, acting out Luke 2, singing Christmas songs, etc. We humans use rituals to mark things that are truly important - things that are worth having a ritual for. We don't create rituals for just any old thing, we save them for those things which we feel truly matter. I suppose that's why Christmas means so much to so many of us - it's always packed with ritual.

This year as Easter came and went, it left me wondering where the Easter ritual is, specifically in LDS culture. The LDS Church itself has very little ritual associated with any holidays, so I don't really expect the Church to have official rituals relating to Easter, but I wondered why it is that Christmas seems so packed with ritual amongst those in our culture, while Easter passes by with little notice other than us decorating Easter eggs and hiding them for others to find.

The Catholic church has many Easter rituals (Lent, Palm Sunday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday, lots of masses) which do appeal to me, but there's just one problem - I'm not Catholic. And I suppose my attraction to their ritual is more an attraction to ritual itself, and not to the specific rituals.

And so I was wondering, as Easter came and went, how to make Easter a more meaningful holiday for me and for my family. And it struck me: give it more ritual! Since ritual is a major part in our recognizing something as significant, if I give more ritual to Easter - and you could, of course, substitute "tradition" for ritual if that helps you understand it better - it will come to mean more to me and to my children.

So I think I will, beginning next year. And of course one of those rituals ("traditions") will be to dye Easter eggs every year. I enjoy it, so why not? We did that this year, had some friends over, and had good success. Below are some images for you to enjoy.
Dave and Merry
Dave Gravett and Merry Packard: aren't they adorable? They win "cutest couple" award.
The Easter-egg gang. From left to right: Marti and Jon Major, Dave Gravett, Merry Packard, and my beautiful wife Camber.
The Easter-egg gang. From left to right: Marti and Jon Major, Dave Gravett, Merry Packard, and my beautiful wife Camber
The best egg of all:
The best egg of all: Mart Major did this one. While cooking the egg I accidentally cracked it, and some of the innards oozed out. Which, of course, if you're an art major immediately means that the egg has rabies and is foaming at the mouth. Brilliant. Just brilliant.

While dying Easter eggs is fun, I really am looking for more spiritual rituals to associate with Easter - which, along with Christmas, celebrates the most important event in our Christian religious history. So the question is, what types of Easter rituals can you add that are as enjoyable (as Christmas rituals often are) as they are meaningful? Any ideas from the crowd? Did/do any of you have any good Easter rituals?

Tuesday, April 7, 2009


img_0779Have you ever noticed that there seems to be an entire class of activities that exist solely to give us excuses to be together without feeling awkward? (Man, that sentence is awkward.) What I mean is, there are so many things we do that alone and by themselves are good, but their true potential is only unlocked when they become the passive activity, and when being with and enjoying others becomes the active activity.

Pool, for me, is one of those activities. (When I say pool, I'm referring to billiards, not swimming. I enjoy swimming by itself.) I find pool very relaxing, but what I truly enjoy about pool is the way that the activity provides for me an excuse to be with and talk with others. Somehow sociality seems more easy and natural when our conversations are punctuated by "Who's turn is it?" and "Hey, nice shot!"

Dominoes, again is one of those activities. My friends and I used to go to BYU campus and play "Mexican Train" together for hours; but it wasn't about the game. That was only an afterthought. What we really went for was intense discussion about politics, poetry, school — and of course, women.

Now, I slightly hesitate to place kite-flying in this same category, because for me there is something innately beautiful and visceral about kite-flying. Nothing says "it's spring!" like flying a kite. And yet kite-flying fulfills its purpose during precisely that moment when the kites are high in the air, beyond the point where they need attention; when friends and family can lean back and carelessly and thoughtlessly manage the kite by the periodic pulling in and letting out of string; and when at that moment the conversation begins to flow, punctuated only by the flapping of the kite in the breeze.

Camber and I went kite-flying this evening with Sean and Catherine.


Thursday, April 2, 2009

Girls are easy to please

I've been sick with a nasty viral takeover of the upper half of my body.

So Isaac surprised me with these in the middle of the day:


Now I'm sick but very, very happy.

Husbands, take note.