Posts Tagged ‘email prose’

Seattle Tourist Tips: Revolutionary Email Prose

February 22, 2016

Having lived in Seattle for nearly 30 years, I know a little bit about the tourist side of the Emerald City. After several friends asked me for tips on “What to see and do and experience in Seattle”, I finally decided to copy this email and post it! Go ahead and make additions or comments… and I’ll update it on occasion!
Seattle Tour Suggestions:
The main question to ask is: Do you have a car?
You don’t need one, but if you do, you can see more. (I am going to assume you are NOT going to have a car … and will either walk or take mass transit.)
Do you like Music? Do you like Art? What do you like?
I’ll bring you north from the Airport on the Mass Transit – light rail, and drop you off in the center of Seattle. You can fan out from there. (There are other options as well … depending on what you like).
Take the light rail from the airport . Buy a day pass.
Enjoy the trip… you’ll go past some funky neighborhoods. Somewhere around the International District, the light rail will go underground. Stay on it until you reach WESTLAKE CENTER. Get off there and go upstairs. That area is the main shopping area for Seattle … high end stores, if you like that type of stuff. Pacific Place is just east of Westlake Center, and also has some great stores. Macy’s is just west. From inside the Westlake Center, you can either take the Monorail up to the Seattle Center: IF you like music and science fiction, one of the best things to do will be to go to the Seattle Center, which is where the space Needle is. That’s cool to look at. But don’t go up on the observation deck, it’s not worth it. The experience music Project (EMP) is also there which basically started out as the Jimi Hendrix museum and then it expanded to include Jazz, Grunge, and other Seattle Music “stuff”. There’s also a science-fiction museum That is part of it.
After wandering around Seattle Center, take the Monorail back down to Westlake Center (where it ends).
OR you can take the South Lake Union Transit streetcar to the south end of Lake Union, but ONLY if you like old wooden boats. There is a “Center for Wooden Boats” there, and sometimes they’ll take you out sailing if the wind is right.
Either way, when you’re doing with either Seattle Center or South Lake Union, go back to Westlake Center on either the transit or the Monorail. Get off at Westlake Center. Then go west down the hill to Pike Place market. That is one of the main “cool things” about Seattle, BUT it shuts down around 5 o’clock or so. Wander around there. Gasp at the flowers. See the original Starbucks. There’s a French bakery on the corner that makes great bakery items. Also some other ethnic “street food” type stuff there.
Slightly north of Pike Place market around 1st and Lenora are some good restaurants, some jazz clubs (but they don’t get going until later at night)…
After you’re done there, take the steps down from there to the restaurants and aquarium along Elliott Bay. Great fish restaurants anywhere there… I like Elliott’s or the sit-down part of Ivar’s (the walk-up take out is fried fish, which is probably not what you want). Elliott’s has some salmon wrapped in rice paper, which is amazing… or the cedar-planked salmon. If you like Aquariums, Seattle’s is world-class.
After you’ve go to Elliot Bay, if you head north, and go slightly up the hill, you will see the Olympic Sculpture Park . It’s a nice free park of sculptures that’s interesting (if you like that).
If you want to go SOUTH on Elliott bay, you’ll eventually reach the Ferry Dock. The #1 tourist attraction in Washington State are the Ferries… you can take one to Bainbridge from there, stay on it, and return home… but that will take you a couple of hours. If it’s sunny out and you can see the mountains, it’s VERY worth it. If it’s cloudy/rainy, not so much.
OR you can just watch the Ferries!
Once you reach that, it’s pretty much the end of the cool stuff to see THERE. So, head east and you’ll go into Pioneer Square. Wander around there… If you like Native American art there is a great gallery there, Stone_____ (haven?) gallery. Near there is the smallest National Park in the country, the Klondike Gold Rush National Park. If you like history, that is cool.
If you can get into the Underground Tour of Seattle, that is a lot of fun (and it happens right around there). Wander around Pioneer Square and Occidental Avenue for some cool shops, art galleries, restaurants, etc. There are GREAT Italian restaurants on the corner of Cherry and 1st (I think). Cafe Bengoti or something like that.
From there, you can head north again along First toward Pike Place market again. Before you get there, you will pass the “Hammering Man” at the Seattle Art Museum (SAM). If you like art, go there and spend the rest of the day!
Once you get at SAM, you can keep going up the hill, to Westlake Center again. OR you can head east (up the hill) and catch a southbound bus on either 3rd or 5th (I don’t remember which) … to the end of the “free ride” zone. That should put you in the International District.
Wander around there. It is one of the largest Asian districts in the country (New York and San Francisco are bigger). If you like Asian food, any of the places there are great!
By that time, you should probably be pretty “done” with Seattle…
Will you have a car? drive from the Seattle Center north over the Fremont Bridge and Park in Fremont, and wander around Fremont. There’s a good Greek restaurant there on the corner, and great Thai food on the other corner. As you’re crossing the street north of the Thai food restaurant which is called Jai Thai, in the middle of an island of the on the street you’ll see the center of the universe. Most people don’t know where that is, but now you will. Head east from there, up a hill, and see the Fremont Troll, a cool piece of urban art.
If you can, drive to the Hyrum Chittenden Locks/Fish Ladder in Ballard. If the salmon are running you can see them not only in the fish ladder, but also inside. Also, boats go through the locks, which is an interesting event to watch. South of the locks (south and west across the Ballard Bridge) is Chinooks, a GREAT seafood restaurant that overlooks the Seattle Pacific fleet of fishing boats. The “Deadliest Catch” boats harbor there.


Christ’s Atonement Works For The Repentant Sinner (Me)

February 18, 2015

Nearly a decade ago I was excommunicated from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for conduct unbecoming a Priesthood holder and member of the Church. Specifically, I broke the trust of my wife, my children, my family and friends. I hurt my wife, my children, and others, and I will for forever regret the pain I’ve caused them. Each of them know I’ve tried to make it better, as much as you can make restitution for something so terrible. (Note: There was NO excuse for what I did. I take full responsibility for it.)
I stayed “out” of the Church for several years (although I kept attending), because I had insecurities and other issues I needed to work through. HOWEVER, I NEVER DOUBTED THE TRUTHFULNESS OF THE GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST OR THAT THE CHURCH WAS HIS RESTORED CHURCH. I knew, someday, that I would return to full membership in the Church. People would ask me “Why”, to which I would respond: “It is true. I’ve never doubted the truthfulness of the Church. I’ve only doubted my ability to live it.”
During the time I was away from the Church, I dated a number of women, but did things which were not in keeping with the Lord’s teachings as revealed through His living prophets.
About 2 years ago, I had straightened out my life to the point that I felt like I could petition to return to the Church. I also felt like I had worked things out so that I felt confident that I could live the Principles of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Working with the appropriate local authorities (my Bishop and Stake President), I started down the path of returning to the Church, applying the principles of repentance and obtaining forgiveness through the Atonement of Jesus Christ.
Since that time, I’ve had a few occasions where women who knew me “before” have told me (and others) of what I did, and that they should avoid me because of who I was. This happened just the other day, again. When this person, who I’ve never met, told me that her friend (who evidently knew me) told her what I was like, and what I’d done, (and thus, she didn’t want to get to know me, as though I was still that way), I felt like I had to write to set the record straight.
This is the content of that email (with some edits to maintain privacy and to improve the flow/make sense) :

Thank you for at least letting me know your logic (of why you won’t contact me any more). It’s always better to write and remove all doubt than to just go silent. Normally I would accept your email, tell you “Thank you”, and move on. However, I feel there are a couple of points I need to make.

1) Who I was when your friend knew me is NOT who I am now. That is the point of repentance and applying the Savior’s Atonement to our sinful lives, isn’t it?
2) I have taken the appropriate steps I needed to, to get my life back in order, and to repent of the many sins I’d committed during the past decade or so.
a) I got divorced
b) Through working with my Bishop and Stake President, and through hours and hours on my knees, I’ve sought forgiveness.
c) Because, several years ago, I’d STOPPED my inappropriate behavior, early last year, through revelation from my Stake President and the Stake High Council (who I had to meet with as part of the process to be reinstated in the Church), I was judged worthy and ready to be re-baptized for the remission of sins and for membership in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
d) Last Memorial Day weekend, under the hands of my father (a High Priest in the LDS Church), in the waters of Lake Winneconne (where he lives), I was re-baptized.
e) Immediately afterwards, under the hands of my brother (also a High Priest in the LDS Church) and other Priesthood holders, I was confirmed a member of the Church AND given the gift of the Holy Ghost.
f) Since that time, I have been working with my Bishop and Stake President, (he being an authorized representative of the Quorum of the 12 Apostles) (and, thus, the Lord), to be ready and worthy to get my Priesthood and Temple blessings restored (it takes at least a year after a person is re-baptized).
g) My goal is to be deemed worthy, when the Payson Temple is dedicated in June, to be there, and to be able to attend as a member in good standing. In order to do so, the restoration of my Priesthood and my Temple blessings will have to be approved by the First Presidency of the Church, acting as inspired representatives of the Savior.

I tell you these things not to boast or brag, but to let you (and your friend) know that I have repented, that the man I was several years ago has been “put away”, and that through the Grace and Goodness and Atonement of Jesus Christ, I have been changed and been made a new man. That’s how repentance and the Atonement is supposed to work, isn’t it? It worked for Paul the Apostle. It worked for Alma the Younger and the Sons of Mosiah (in The Book of Mormon). We all have hope that it will work for us.
I wanted to contact people I’ve hurt and lied to, and apologize, as part of my repentance process, to make some sort of restitution. Some have accepted my apology. Some have requested that I not contact them, so I haven’t.
I have not only sought spiritual help and turned my life around that way, but I also (as some suggested) sought counseling. I’ve worked on, and continue to work on, fixing the things which messed up my life, which caused me to be insecure, which caused me to do the wrong things I did.
I hope that those I’ve hurt can some day find it in their hearts to not only forgive me, but — most importantly — also recognize that people can (and do) change, through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Because of that Atonement, the statement “Once a cheater, always a cheater” is NOT true.
Again, I only tell you this so you can understand where I am, and the steps I’ve taken. There is a chance that we may meet some day, perhaps even in the Temple. In order for the Spirit of the Lord to be unrestrained there, I feel like you need to know that I will be there worthily, and approved by revelation from the Lord through His anointed servants. I have taken, and continue to take, honest steps to put my life in harmony with what Heavenly Father wants me to do.
I am not perfect, but I know that, through the Atonement of Jesus Christ, I can change. I have changed. And I will continue to change, to follow His will, to be the best person I can be.
Best regards: Dave

My Immortal Cal Story: The Night I Snuck Into Camden Yards: Revolutionary Email Prose

August 19, 2014

My Immortal Cal Story: The Night I Snuck into Camden Yards

A friend of mine, a baseball nut, was exchanging e-mails with me about the All-Star game I went to in Seattle (where Ripken hit a home run and was named MVP). I happened to mention that, if you look really hard above the “3” in this picture of Cal Ripken, Jr., trotting around the bases in the 4th Inning against the Angels on September 6, 1995 (when he broke Lou Gehrig’s record for most consecutive games played, 2131), you’ll see me� or at least where I was! NOTE: It says 2130 because it’s in the early part of the game, and it’s not in the 5th inning yet, when it becomes an official game. Anyway, my friend says: “WHAT were you doing in Baltimore?!?”
So I wrote him back:

Oh, my heck. I never told you my Immortal Cal story?

I was in Baltimore for a conference I’d put together. About a month before I left for the conference, I started noticing that people were writing about the first part of September, in Baltimore, would be when/where Ripken would break “the Streak” record.

I got there, and one of my speakers and I thought… well, let’s head over to Camden Yards, just to hang out around the outside and be part of the crowd. My speaker was about 48 or so, big BoSox fan, so we just wandered around. Met Bud Selig (baseball commissioner) as he was walking outside the stadium. etc. etc. So we’re walking around, and this guy from Boston says: “Look at this security guard here, she’s not paying much attention” (it was in the store area of Camden Yards, actually in the B&O Warehouse next to Camden Yards), so while she’s talking to a bunch of college kids who are trying to sneak in, this guy and I just go behind her, say “excuse us”, and go in like we owned the place. We immediately head for the elevator to “The Camden Club”, the club on the top of the B&O Warehouse, just beyond the right field wall.

Right as the door is about to close, a teenage kid busts in. Next floor, security gets on, and immediately escorts the kid off … but ignores us! We go to the top floor, get off at the Camden Club, just as the Maitre d’ LEAVES his post … so we just walked into the bar, sat down, and ordered, oh, I dunno, orange juice. Milk. Or something. We talked to some people, then the game started, and we watched out the warehouse windows. When Ripken hit his homer that night, I was right above the “3” sign in the warehouse!

The funniest thing happened after I went to the restroom. I’m washing my hands, and look over by the urinal (there’s nobody else there) and there’s this window, OPEN, right over right center field. So I lean out and am looking around. This kid comes in, and this other guy, and we’re all leaning out the 2 windows, looking around, waving at the crowd, when BANG the door FLIES OPEN and this secret service guy runs in and yells “GET AWAY FROM THE WINDOW!!” And he comes in and shuts the 2 windows. And I leave and go back to my seat in the bar area. I’m thinking later: “Hmmm…. President Clinton in the Press Box. I’m in Center Field, in a 5th Story window in an old brick building with an unguarded, OPEN window. MAN! How did they miss THAT ONE!?!?!”

Anyway. So, we watch Cal’s home run in the 4th Inning, then when 5 1/2 innings are over and they stop the game, we’re up there yelling and waving through the CLOSED window when they unfurl the 2131 sign (we didn’t know what was going on at the time… I was wondering why everyone was looking at us!).

Then, about the 7th inning, we’re getting bored, so we leave. When we get down to the stadium level, I turn to the BoSox guy and say “Hey, let’s just see if we can get INTO the game”. So we walk up to this old security guard, and start to walk past him, and he says “can I see your tickets?”, and I say “we were just up in the Camden Club” and he says “It doesn’t matter, you have to have a ticket to get in here.” I’m bummed.

The BoSox guy says “Hey, look, all the phonies are leaving. The President’s left. How about just letting us go in. We’ll just find some empty seats, and not be any trouble”. And the old guy looks at us and says “Yeah, okay, what the heck” and lets us in. We go find some 16th row seats just inside of the right field foul pole and watch the game. Get our picture taken with the scoreboard by some local guy who later sends us both prints of us and the scoreboard. I ask them how much the tickets were, and they say “Oh, these are just regular season ticket seats, $18 each, but I could have gotten a lot more scalping them”.

Then DiMaggio, Murphy, everyone else comes out, the owner, Peter A., gives a LONG BORING talk, and blah blah blah. Then Ripken takes his trot around the bases. I’ll never forget THAT. He’s kind of tentative, waving, but not really getting into the crowd. But he reaches 1st base (about) and all of a sudden you can see it on his face, he just puts away his “game” face and starts connecting with the crowded, touching, shaking as many hands as he could. I don’t know if, until that moment, he really realized how much those fans loved him. I was sitting next to some big tough dock workers or freight workers or AFL-CIO union guys, and they were all bawling their eyes out. It was incredible. And we stayed and listened to all the speeches, and cheered, and saw history being made at Camden Yards

THEN, the next night, we’re walking around the Inner Harbor in Baltimore, and we see a bunch of people gathered on one of the wharves, looking about 50 feet away, to another wharf, where a BUNCH of white linen tables (and people) are … and a stage with a bunch of rappers (YUCK). And then they leave, and the guy comes on and says “and now what you’ve been waiting for” and everyone goes nuts, and I’m going “huh?”. And this large black woman walks out and yells “How y’all doin!!!” and everyone yells and then the music starts and she sings “Whatchu Want!? Baby I got it!” and I CAN”T BELIEVE IT! I’m 75 feet away from The Queen of Soul! FOR FREE!!!

Needless to say, I loved Baltimore!

And this is the first time I’ve ever written out my story of my Visit to Camden Yards.

Oh, yes, there is another part to it. I get home and am telling my family about sneaking into Camden Yards, and Kristian looks at me (he’s about 13) and says “But, isn’t that stealing?” Ummmm. SO I write Peter Angelos a letter and tell him about the entire thing, and how I’m sorry and since the ticket was $18, here’s a check for $18 and if he wants to donate it to the Ripken/Gehrig Fund at Johns Hopkins, that’s fine, or whatever he wants to do with it. About 3 weeks later I get a letter on Baltimore Orioles/Peter Angelos stationary, with his handwritten signature, telling me “Thank you for being so honest. I’ve donated the money to the Ripken/Gehrig Fund. Now you can tell your son and everyone else that you were at Camden Yards the night Cal Ripken made history. Best Wishes, Peter Angelos.”

So now I’m telling you.

My Discourse On Temple Worthiness, Temple Work, And Family History/Genealogy: Revolutionary Email Prose

December 5, 2013

A woman I was interested in dating said she wouldn’t date me because I didn’t have a current LDS Temple Recommend. I gave her my thoughts on Temple Work and Genealogy, perhaps as a way to convince her that I was a “good man”. I respect her right to set those guidelines, but I copied it here because it’s a good overview of what I believe.

If you ever find a man more committed to Temple work and Temple service than I am, let me know.
You want to go on a date to the Temple? I’ll go on a baptism date with you in 8 months. You want to do something before then? I’ll help you get your own names ready for the Temple this week. There are single (and married) people throughout the Church, and especially here in Utah, as I’ve discovered, who go to the Temple when they are not worthy. I stay out of the Temple when I’m in that “condition”,because I will not defile it. And when I get back “in”, when I am again worthy … try to keep up with me.
I think I take a broader view of what “Temple work” is. When I was the Family History Center Director in Seattle/Kirkland, I used to teach people: “Two hours doing your family history research to get names ready to go to the Temple is just as much Temple work as going to the Temple and doing ordinances is.”
I’ve always viewed both attending the Temple AND Family History work as a way to “bear your testimony” to people on the other side that YOU know the work you’re doing is true, that the Gospel has been restored, and that the Priesthood has been restored and is active and powerful. Let me ask you this question: Ole Kristian Karlsen died in 1910, a non-member who has never heard of the Gospel. He is taught the Gospel in Spirit Prison. Who bears a stronger testimony to Ole? The person who drives up to the Temple, gets ready for a session, and gets Ole’s name handed to him on the way to the chapel, so he takes Ole through a session? Or the person who does the research, finds Ole’s name (along with his family), inputs Ole’s data, prepares Ole and his family’s name(s) for the Temple, and then hands off those names to someone who is worthy to go into the Temple. Which one is considered a “Savior on Mount Zion” for Ole and his family?
I will get back to the Temple as soon as I can, as soon as I am allowed. After a person is rebaptized, it takes a year until they can get their blessings restored. If I meet a woman I want to date, some day I will not have to wait a year to go with her to the Temple, even on a date. But today, I do. It’s your choice what you want to do.
Thanks for asking me about this. It’s given me some great insight into how I think about the Temple, as well as how I think about Family History work.
About a decade ago I game a similar talk in Sacrament Meeting about Family History work, and why I would go to the Temple on my lunch hour, rush in, do a session or other temple service, then rush out and be back to work in under 2 hours. I talked about how I felt like it needed to be “rushed”, about how when we take our own names in, it is a better experience, and how Family History is Temple work. Afterwards, a couple who had just returned from being the Swiss Temple president/matron, and who were leaving in two weeks to be the Chile Temple President/Matron, came up to me and said “That is true doctrine, and we’ve never heard it put like that. May we have a copy of the talk so we can translate it into Spanish and use it to encourage the Saints in Chile.”
And that is a brief overview of my thoughts about Temple work and family history/genealogy.

Art-In-Life — Finding The Interesting In The Ordinary: Revolutionary Email Prose

January 1, 2012

Can you find
the out-of-the-ordinary
in the ordinary
and normal?

I desire not
just to find
extraordinary things,
but to find the interesting
and unusual
and beautiful
and experiences
in the otherwise drab,
and mundane.

That is art-in-life.

Why Hang Around Downer People With Broken Hearts? Revolutionary Email Prose

April 4, 2011

A friend recently asked “Why would you want to hang around with downer people with recently broken hearts?” I answered:

Why hang around?
Because you can talk about it with me.
Because I’m a nice guy.
Because sometimes it’s just fun to have fun,
to take ourselves out of the moments
of wallowing in self-pity,
to recognize we are NOT
who some others might think we are.

We are not controlled
by what others think
of us,
or want to do with
or to
or about
or without us.

We control our own destiny,
and when we step out
of the wallow
and the muck
and take control
of who we are,
then we shine
and illuminate
and wow those around us.

And the heart discovers
it’s merely bruised,
not broken,
and that it,
like a good, dry martini,
must be shaken
before it is again stirred.

Realizing Myself: Revolutionary Email Prose

December 27, 2010

Sometimes the opportunity comes to self-evaluate. I think if you say something profound about yourself, you should capture and share it… where others can agree (or disagree!)
1) I’m not rich
2) I’m not overly handsome
3) I’m extremely generous with what I have, but I don’t have much.
4) What I have, including time, creativity, spirituality, romance, the ability to goo, poetry, humor, caring, charity, helping, a kind and generous heart, an uplifting and helpful spirit, I have given and will give with all my heart.

A New Christmas Story: Revolutionary Email Prose

December 25, 2010

A friend asked me how my Christmas Eve was going. I shared what happened early on Christmas Morning (specifically, from about midnight to about 1:15 a.m.).
Some historical background: The Provo Tabernacle, owned by the LDS Church, was built as a meeting house in 1883. On the national register of historic places, it regularily had church meetings (including many my daughter went to), concerts, recitals, graduations and other similar events. The woodwork and interior were fantastic examples of pioneer craftsmanship.
On Dec. 17-18 2010, a 4-alarm fire gutted the historic building, destroying the interior and causing the roof to collapse.
As I was thinking about what to do Christmas Eve, I thought about the building, about how many Christmas concerts had been held there… and how sad it was that there wouldn’t be one this year.
So I decided to create my own. In the spirit of Art Everywhere, and the flash dance craze, I thought “I’ll go to the park next to the Tabernacle and sing Christmas carols … an improv Christmas concert.” This is what happened: It’s my Christmas story.

T’was the night before Christmas, and at 11:50 p.m. I went down to the corner of Center and University in Provo (by the Provo Tabernacle). I put the top down on my convertible, stood up on my seat, put some Christmas CDs in, and sang/caroled to the cars going by. A friend joined me; we sang loudly and not half bad. We had a lot of people smile, wave at us, and wish us a Merry Christmas. A few people even stopped and joined us. We ended with “Silent Night”, and then I receited the Christmas story from the Gospel of Luke.
Then, as I was driving by the burnt-out Tabernacle, I felt prompted to stop, pull over to the side of the street in front of the Tabernacle (there being no “No Parking” signs there), stand up in my car, and tell the Christmas story, again, to the rafters and shattered windows and broken doors and blackened walls.
As the story reverberated through those walls one final time, where it had so often been heard before, I reached the part where shepherds kept watch over their flocks by night.
As I spoke how “…suddenly, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shown round about them…” a bright light shown in my own eyes.
It was the security guard with her flashlight.
I continued telling the story.
“And there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly hosts … ”
“That’s nice, but you can’t park there.”
“… praising God and saying:”
“Sir, you have to move, you can’t park your car there”
so I ended the story by looking at her, smiling, and quoting Luke:
“Glory to God on high, and on Earth, peace, good will toward men.”
And then I sat down in my car, smiled again, said “Merry Christmas!” and drove away.