Monday, 29 September 2008

we few, we happy few, we band of brothers

Alex stopped the car on the way back to phnom penh for us to sample some tarantulas. He'd sent home pictures when he was a missionary of a fried tarantula hanging out of his mouth. Wanting us to try fried tarantulas, he bought a whole bag full from a lady on the side of the road.

mike wanted to make sure this was documented and remembered.

chip just jumped right in. Mom is looking away behind him. But she was talked into trying a leg.

Dad said they tasted like fried crabs.

anyway, with THAT taken care of, it was time to rush rush rush back to Alex's exit interview, final testimony, dinner, and photo shoot with the missionaries. . .

Al's last supper with the mission. Too bad he's sharing it with us wierdos.

Al was an assistant to President Winegar, so this dude has a special place in his heart.

Kimberly wore her Obama '08 shirt to the missionary dinner. The mission president's wife gave her a long and confused stare, but Kimberly was loving it. Here she's dancing on the church's marble floors.

Al in the zone as the final testimony meeting begins.

This senior missionary from New Zealand sang a song with ukelele at the farewell. Chip was embarrassed that I shot these photos.

In his final testimony, Alex quoted a long selection from Henry V's rousing speech before the battle at St. Crispen's day. He was the only missionary that night to quote Shakespeare from memory. But that's what you get when you take Harvard freshmen.

Angie and Kimberly, clearly done with missionary farewell testimony meetings for the night.

In other news, Kimberly really fell hard for Thomas' moves.

Sunday, 28 September 2008

¿es real?

i know that there are people out there who are really itching to see some photos of my house, and i can promise you that they are coming. i am just not quite ready. but after diane's help this weekend, things are much much closer (thanks diane!) i may have to take some photos tomorrow and get them on here. tho tomorrow is my b-day, so i might be a few days late.

anyway, i am just amazed at this presidential race. i am kinda fatigue from it all. i think we have got to do something to make it possible to shrink the length of these campaigns. in england they have 17 days to elect a P.M. maybe we could got somewhere in the middle like give the country 3 months for the parties to pick their candidate and then 3 mo. for the country to pick a president. it would save SOOOO much money. and maybe even make it less about personality politics and more about personal policy (or something like that?)

anyway, this week was a doozy. mccain "suspending" his campaign to rush back to washington to help with THE bailout. only to not suspend and just skip letterman. then the big question mark about his attendance at the debate. the bailout itself. etc.

of all the stuff from the campaign this week (including the debate) the following videos are the most amazing...

this is the foreign policy highlight from sarah palin's interview with katie couric.

this is tina fey helping us laugh at the silliness...

i have to say, after all of this, i feel me and matt are on the same page.

this is the really long version of the foreign policy interview with the GOP Veep and katie couric...

Wednesday, 24 September 2008

an update on iraq

with all the hooplah over the economy and the election there is not much attention being paid to iraq. the truth is, now that dianna and annie aren't there, i am not paying much attention either. but this i think deserves some attention.

first, the bush administration is finally doing what obama has suggested for a long time, planning the withdrawal of troops. thank-you. i hope that means more friends coming home and less people coming home hurt!

but even more shocking about the video below, is the calculus that the bush administration uses to determine when the war should end and our troops either come home, or probably more importantly get re-deployed to Afghanistan to fight the war that they should have fought years ago: the war against al-qaeda.

Tuesday, 23 September 2008

taking my body back: 100 push ups at a time

i am in the process of taking my body back. tis a tough road. dianna coined the phrase last year as l'anne d'amusement kicked off.

just before the raisingdc year i was in pretty good shape. i was training pretty hard for the triathlon season. in fact, the weekend after the girls moved in i won a third place ribbon in a sprint distance tri (it might have more to do with my competition than anything.) but soon there after parenthood made training impossible: actually it made everything else impossible. we ate different because we had to please a teenage pallet and we had to make more food on the same budget. i quite exercising all together. the combo turned me soft: super soft.

dianna and i set out on a quest to take out bodies back, but for some reason that quest is quite elusive. i am still working on it. it is funny how once you get out of the habit of working out, it is really a choir to get back into the swing of things. so... my goal for now is consistancy. i am trying to come up with a daily exercise schedule that is fun and that i will commit to. i haven't quite hit the perfect balance. some things are clear:
  • i must work out with friends the majority of the time -- getting out of the door is the hardest part for me. having a friend that i have to get out the door for really really helps (so friends in dc, this is a call for workout buddies)
  • i need a real regimine. i just do better if i know that every wednesday i swim, etc.
  • some workouts have to be short
so i am still trying to get all this stuff settled, one thing i have discovered is the "one hundred push ups training program". it is pretty fun, not very time consuming, and i think it is making a difference in my upper body strength. hopefully with this program, swimming, and bi-weekly yoga, i will get shape back in my arms and strength back into my core.

if you decide to do the push ups training program, let me know. it will be more fun to have training buddies.

Sunday, 21 September 2008

i am a "poor" wife

A wife rating scale from the 1930s:

This month's edition of the psychology magazine Monitor has an amusing article about a psychometric scale designed in the 1930s for rating the quality of your wife.

It was designed by Dr George W. Crane in an attempt to give couples feedback on their marriages. But although husbands or wives could fill in the scale to rate the wife's 'quality', there is no mention of a similar rating scale that rated the husband's performance.

Apparently, the full scale had 50 merits and 50 demerits of differing value which were subtracted from each other to give the final score.

The Monitor has the first 12 items which are hugely amusing, although I note that an item mentioned in the article - "reacts with pleasure and delight to marital congress" - is not among them, but was apparently worth 10 'merits'. This is equal in value to "Religious - sends children to Sunday school and goes herself".

Personally, I can't believe that "Puts her cold feet on husband at night to warm them" is worth only one 'demerit'. Surely this grievous violation of the sacred bond of marriage should have been looked on more strictly.

i just took the test and now i think you should...

Take the test!
(100 questions each)

teabelly's score


As a 1930s wife, I am


0-24 - Very Poor (Failure)
25-41 - Poor
42-58 - Average
59-75 - Superior
76+ - Very Superior

not only am i poor, i am on the low end of poor. if you take it, let me know your score!

i didn't know that sex was called "marital congress" in the 1930's. do you think that made congressmen feel super macho?

Friday, 19 September 2008

a message from the management: no more baby wipes in the toilet

today, i came home from lunch to meet a friend (christy). when i got home, my carpenter (andy) asked me "why is all that water down there in the basement". andy, not having a sense of smell due to an auto accident in high school failed to notice that it wasn't just water. it was water with HUGE chunks of poo.

i was less than enthused when i made this discovery. after wigging out, i decided to go to home despot and rent a "sewer snake". it was clear that there was a back up, and i hoped that i could just do this without the help of a plumber, due to the over-extension of my resources. andy and i came back with a 25 foot "snake". andy "snaked" it through the pipe and pulled out a HUGE hunk of baby wipes. this was both embarrassing and a relief. WE GOT IT! we dump some chemicals down the tube to insure its cleanliness and let that set for about 3 hours. then we checked it by putting the garden hose into the pipe and checking to see if the water would flow out. it didn't! it sounded like a pitcher being filled. water gushed out again, and i came kinda undone. by now it is 5:30pm. we ran back to home despot and rented a 75 foot "sewer snake" and got another gallon of chemicals. we worked to snake that snake thru. then when we got to the end andy started pulling it up. it was really really hard. at one point, the dumb thing just got totally tangled up and would not budge. we fiddled with it for a bit, but then at some point i realized i was totally screwed.

i ran upstairs and started crying. i was so frustrated. i was trying to do all the right things about being self-sufficient and owning a house and stuff, and everything seemed to just be falling apart. i started to call plumbers. i was totally frustrated, because now i was going to have to pay for the 2 snakes, plus a late return fee for the last one, and i was SURE to have to replace all the piping in my house to get that stuff out. i couldn't stop crying. i started praying making this big plea to Heavenly Father about how i was trying to do the right things, and please please please get the snake out and stuff.

then andy called up and said he needed my help. i ran down stairs weeping and he held up the snake triumphantly "i got it". i BURST into tears and hugged him (which was gross because he was kinda covered in affluent, sweat, and grease). with the snake andy pulled out a HUGE wad of baby wipes.

we tested the pipe again, and it seemed to be working fine.

i am still a bit nervous to take bath, but i think i might just have to. i have washed laundry and that seems fine. so...fingers crossed.

there is a new rule in my house: no baby wipes or anything other than tp and the stuff that comes out of your body in my toilets. i am serious!

Thursday, 18 September 2008

little miss sunshine II, with more people

teabelly's comments are in blue...

kimberly woke up super sick (so sick that when i would throw-up my legs would straighten out) the morning we were supposed to leave battambang. everyone gets sick in cambodia, but somehow she'd gotten a reputation as miss iron stomach, so watching her fall was sweet revenge for one member of the douglas family who shall remain nameless. because she was sick, she got to sit up front. the downside was sitting next to michael, who took great delight in teasing, pushing, poking and crushing her. look at his smile.

one more view of this happy road-tripping pair.

a procession of monks in their saffron robes.

this is the road from battambang to siem reap. it's supposed to be getting paved, and the monsoon season until it's finished is a brutal time to drive. especially if you're sick!

we played this game where you are given a category and have to name 10 things in 10 seconds. here is an actual transcript of one round with kimberly.

"name 10 celebrities."

"brad pitt, angelina jolie, . . . . . dennis rodman," and then time was up.

finally out of the car! here we're jetting thru siem reap in a rainstorm in a tuk-tuk

angkor wat day II

we chilled out on our second day at angkor. by riding elephants, for example. here's becky and angie. kimberly and i are on deck.

this woman is having the time of her life!

we're racing mike and tom, but elephants go where and when they want.

dad and chip. alex wasn't interested in riding--something to do with 'quiet dignity.'

a snake on the stones at the leper king terrace. it's so named b/c one of the statues is fingerless and toeless. of course, many of them are...

a whole buncha butts.

so that's angkor wat.

angkor wat

angkor wat is cambodia's city of ancient temples and big tourist attraction. we spent a couple of days there. it's a very photogenic place; the crumbling temples and trees springing from the roofs. basically, i'm trying to say that we took probably 300 - 400 photos, and sorting thru the best to give teabelly readers a sense of the place without getting bored was a real challenge. but here we go: day one at angkor wat!

chip douglas arrived that afternoon, bringing our total for the trip to nine.

walking up to angkor wat

look at that sky as we were leaving!

so a few fun facts about angkor wat: all of the temples are spread over an area about the size of paris. they were built in the 10th and 11th centuries, by hindu and buddhist rulers. tomb raider was filmed there. kimberly has been twice.

Wednesday, 17 September 2008

The Battambang Branch

alex douglas, also known as big fat al (bfa). he lost about 20 pounds on his mission.

he gave everyone a huge hug-- except for kimberly, who got a very friendly and sturdy handshake.

kimberly and i shared a room with angie douglas, my sister-in-law, and we had a bathtub that made everyone look like a little child. hence, the pictures. notice the hair.

at church in battambang. everyone in alex's family was invited to speak--thomas, angie, michael, dianna, becky and john. the meeting went over time by about 45 minutes, and they left about 1 minute for alex's parting testimony.

being reverent in the back.

the pews in the battambang branch.

the children at church.

alex takes the stand one more time.

a family of six heading home from church on a motorcycle.

kimberly sharing some advice with soon-to-leave-on-his-own-mission michael from her years teaching at the mtc.

a khmer hello and goodbye.

alex took us around to meet some of the families in battambang he's ben teaching over the last few months. this family was just baptized. the father patches bicycle tires for a living. he's now a recovered alcoholic. slimy brackish water was visible thru the bamboo floor in their house. it was actually a new house, and the family was really proud.

we made a huge mistake and showed the bottoms of our feet to them as we sat on their floor. alex castigated us for our bad manners after we left.

at another house we visited, the village kids couldn't stop staring at all the big white folks who came lumbering through.

their attention soon turned to picking bugs.

we had to stop for a bathroom break at one house (too much tea, of course) and this woman helped us prepare for our trip to the outhouse. she talked to us non-stop in khmer, which was entertaining, but futile in the end.

a woman that we visited asked alex and my dad for a blessing. she had been sick with something that alex translated as "salty pee." i'm still not sure exactly what that would be.

this monkey attacked kimberly after she gave it a banana. it lunged for her, and she probably leapt 10 feet backwards.

the douglas' with one of alex's investigator families. the dad is going to english classes that the missionaries offer, and trying really hard to practice and learn.

they sleep under the pilings of another house. what do they do in the rain?

it was a real honor meeting cambodian people--members and investigators. such humble lives and such great faith! thanks, al.