Wednesday, August 27, 2008

a tender note

I came across this little handwritten note quite by accident this morning. I was looking for an old photo for Cathy and there it was. As so often happens, sometimes we stumble upon something wonderfully unexpected while on the way of looking for something else. (Story of my life. Sigh:) Anyway, I was so touched and stirred by Grandpa's words. Thought I would pass it on to you. Let it yet be more proof to the power of writing. Our words, written down, really can reach across time to those we love.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

reunion update

The plans for the 2009 HMA Fam Reunion are coming along nicely. Thanks for all your great ideas and thanks for nominating me as the person in charge. We still don’t have a firm date yet but know for sure it will be in the summer. Oh, and we don’t have a location yet but that is a minor detail. Here’s what we do know. It will be fun and inspirational and rewarding and whatever else you need it to be to intice you into coming.

The program itinerary so far:

Day 1
Arrive, unpack, eat and stuff, Roll call of Families (bust out your family cheers)

• Family Band, ala the return of The Bathtub Ring. Everyone choose your instrument now, everything is available, well, except for the accordian. Email me or leave a comment as to your chosen instrument. I will be sending out the music soon after I confer with our Conductor Lindsay. Instruments still available: Mandolin, Banjo, Guitar, Kazoo, Recorder, Violin, Drums (we need at least 3 of these), Cymbals, Triangle, Clackers, Chimes (we need at least 26 of these) and Harmonica (need 2). We need at least 18 people for the Heavenly Choir, too.

• Talk show with a return performance of the Latin Oprah, (you won’t want to miss this!)

• So You Think You Can Dance? (Arnett style)
(This is where we all get a chance to shake those A.S.S. booties. Hurry, fam and choose your genre. Our family has nabbed the Modern Dance category, and Chea’s family wanted Salsa, and I’m sorry but H.B. really, really wanted Square Dancing for his category. But, no worries there’s lots left: Riverdance, Turkish March, Ballet, Russian Folk Dancing, Cowboy Line Dancing, 70’s style, Hip Hop, Minuet, Lizzy and Darcy’s famous dance from P&P, and more!)

• Keynote Guest Speaker (speaking on a keynote subject)

Day 2

• A.S.S. Athletic games like: Golf, Eat off, Nap Off, Eat off
Who has the highest I.Q?, Smart A.S.S., A.S.S. Bingo (with cool prizes)

Workshops like:
• Group therapy session for the women folk led by our resident family therapist and addressing such topics as What does it mean to be an Arnett? And A.S.S. recovery, is there hope?

• Do you Remember? (this is where the old farts reminisce about Mozelle Renstrom, Billy Lilly, and Augie Westman)

Special Guest Speaker and Slideshow. Topic: Arnett’s in the World today - Personal Experiences from having lived Abroad.

Puppet show (little kiddies you won’t want to miss the re-enactment of the love story "The Cowboy and the Rose” followed by the beloved fairy tale “The Nuts Don’t Fall far from the Family Tree”)

And more stuff I haven’t come up with yet. I am open to suggestions.

Closing Devotional (covering a topic that is very devotional and very closing)

There you have it. Mark you calendars for sometime next year. No excuses, be there. The prizes are cool (and I don’t mean just Candy Bars)

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Big heads, Big butts

At last we can lay to rest the unresolved family question. H.B has frequently declared that his is the highest I.Q. based on his claim that Mother dipped into the school files and reported her findings to him. Hmmph. Highly unlikely, but turns out there may be some truth to the matter. According to this fascinating article:

From "High-Aptitude Minds: The Neurological Roots of Genius" (Scientific American Mind, September 3, 2008):

In humans, brain size correlates, albeit somewhat weakly, with intelligence, at least when researchers control for a person’s sex (male brains are bigger) and age (older brains are smaller). Many modern studies have linked a larger brain, as measured by magnetic resonance imaging, to higher intellect, with total brain volume accounting for about 16 percent of the variance in IQ. But, as Einstein’s brain illustrates, the size of some brain areas may matter for intelligence much more than that of others does.

So there you have it. The biggest head has the highest I.Q. Next new scientific discovery will be linking A.S.S. size to ability to do math. And that will be a relief. Cs math skills = tiny bum.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

When the cure is worse than the disease

On the ride down to Home Evening in Santaquin:

Ld: So, I’ve given up using deodorant.

Cs: huh? Pray, what brought this about?

Ld: I read that deodorant contains little bits of metal. The metal has been shown to contribute to Alzheimer’s.

Cs: hmmm. So, how long have you been deodorant free?

Ld: Since yesterday morning, or maybe it was just today, I can’t remember.

Cs: I see.

On the ride home:

Ld: (takes a whiff of his underarm) Maybe I’ll start using deodorant again.
(Pause and sigh) It’s a risk I’ll have to take.

Cs: Good call.

Friday, August 8, 2008

as good as she is fair

Finally another girl in the fam. Cathy opened my eyes to curlers, Mary Kay makeup, cooking, sewing and other domestic arts. She profoundly shaped my views on mothering, both in her willingness to have lots of children and by her phenomenal nurturing skills. In a family full of brothers I appreciated her feminine and refined influence, both then and now. Were it not for you Cathy, I would still think drinking milk directly from the carton, scratching where it itched and fluffing in public was socially acceptable behavior.

Thanks for saving me.

Happy birthday, sweet lady. (belated, I know, our DSL was down yesterday). Love you.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

highly recommended

ld came through for my birthday and gave me the 3 movies I asked for. I watched Cranford in one sitting last night. Loved, loved it. If you have not seen it yet, get a copy now. As always you will love and embrace Gaskell's richly drawn characters. Cranford society is filled with independent, hysterically funny, proto-feminist Amazonian women.

The movie is really, as I understand it, a compilation of 3 of her works and it delights with such quotable wit and dialogue as this:

[Mary has brought oranges as a present for Matty and Deborah]
Miss Deborah Jenkyns: I would prefer it if I did not enjoy oranges. Consuming them is a most incommodious business.
Miss Matty Jenkyns: There is not such a lot of juice, Deborah dear - only when they are sliced with a knife.
Mary Smith: At home we make a little hole in our oranges and we suck them.
[Deborah looks horrified]
Miss Matty Jenkyns: That is the way I like to take them best, but Deborah says it is vulgar and altogether too redolent of a ritual undertaken by little babies. My sister does not care for the expression [whispers] "suck".
Miss Deborah Jenkyns: [primly] We will repair to our rooms... and consume our fruit in solitude.
[embarrassed, Deborah gets up and leaves the table]

Is that not delightful? And now if you will excuse me, I will repair to my room to consume Gaskell's book in solitude:)