Tuesday, October 26

Fuzzy Pigs

I am not a hater of authority.  I am typically a law abiding citizen.  I've had my moments of rule breaking but it has never been too serious.  And yet I do not really like policemen.  I apologize to any relatives or friends of policemen...or policemen themselves...who may read this post...but really...my whole life you've been annoying.

Instance #1-16 years old.  Getting a handle not only on driving, but also on driving stick.  In Las Vegas at a stop light.  In a school zone...however...the school zone has ended ten minutes prior, so the speed limit is now 25 and not 15.  The light turns green and still being a "greenie" myself with a clutch I go from zero to about 30 with some nice peeling in about .25 seconds out as I move through the intersection.  This was of course NOT on purpose.  And yet...a cop pulled me over.  He asked me if I knew how fast I was going.  I said I was going under 30.  He said that was true, but that I was in a school zone.  I then pointed out that it was now five minutes to four and the school zone ended at 3:45.  He glared and me and sheepishly muttered that I should still try and keep it slow until four pm.  I told him that I was barely over the speed limit and that school got out at 2:30 so I felt ok driving the speed limit once the school zone was over.

Instance #2- I'm 18 years old driving back from a day trip to the SUU campus with two of my friends.  We are taking the back roads home so the speed limit is 65 mph.  Which is fine with me...I love taking the back roads.  I have my cruise control set on 70 mph because five over has never ruffled any feathers.  Except I should have known that being a member of the Russell family driving on highway 89 in southern Utah automatically puts a target on my back.  Almost every time a member of my family drives in southern Utah on highway 89 we get pulled over.  Usually by the cop who lives just up the street from my grandpa Gene's house.  The cop pulls me over and asks me if I know how fast I was going.  I say I was going five over. He said that was correct.  He then proceeded to give me a lengthy lecture on why it is important to drive the speed limit...seriously...twenty minutes or so...NOT counting the time it took him to run my license.  I will say this for the nice old man...he only gave me a WRITTEN warning.  Did you even know they actually give written warnings?  They do.  They are ridiculous.

Instance #3- I am late for a birthday dinner an PF Chang's and I'm going about 65 mph down Beck Street (50 mph is the limit)...on a Saturday evening.  I get pulled over by a motorcycle cop.  He tells me I was going about fifteen over and asks me why I'm in a hurry.  I tell him I'm late for a birthday dinner.  He gives me a ticket and I drive away annoyed because the weekend previous I had almost been hit by cars going WELL over a 100 mph on Beck street at 2:00 am in what appeared to be a street race.  Where were the cops then?!  Oh yeah...in bed.  I mean why wouldn't they just set up speed traps on a Saturday night so that they can meet their quotas and help out with their retirement funds. Which is exactly what I told the hearing officer when I went to pay what started out to be a $75.00 ticket.  She knocked $10.00 off since I came in person to pay the ticket.  Then she knocked another $10.00 off when I shared my feelings about the retirement contribution speed traps.  She said I was clever.  I was still irritated about the ticket but I was $20.00 less irritated.

Instance #4- 27(?) years old.  My car is stolen out of a church parking lot.  The cop comes.  He is very nice.  He shares on the job stories...the highlight being that his biggest pot bust was in the very same church parking lot...he let's Aubry sit in the back of the squad car...he is handsome and friendly and tells me that another officer will come by later that evening to my place of residence so that I can fill out an official report so that my car will be entered into the "stolen car database" (not sure of the official term).  As promised an even younger looking cop (probably still wet behind the ears) shows up at my place of residence.  I fill out the report and send him on his merry way.  Almost a month goes by.  One day I am at my parent's home and I get a phone call from the North Salt Lake police asking me how long my car has been in North Salt Lake.  Two things are odd about this phone call 1) my parent's home is not my place of residence and their number is NOT the number I gave to the cops 2) Why would I know how long my car has been in North Salt Lake...it has been missing for a month?!  I explain this to the woman on the phone and she seems puzzled tells me to hang on. Comes back a few minutes later telling me that they have found my car.

The ENTIRE TIME my car was about 100 yards away from where it had been stolen in a parking lot of an apartment complex.  I went down to pick it up and meet yet ANOTHER NSLPDNSL PD...aren't they wonderful?

Instance #5- my parent's have a house that is good for parties.  (Though the house is located on a step and narrow street not designed for easy parking).  Many parties have taken place at this residence...thrown by myself and I believe each one of my siblings.  And at at least one of each of our parties the cops have shown up...for various reasons.  The best part is when they show up to Kelli's high school parties full of "band geeks" and "concert choir nerds" (who are not really geeks or nerds at all). I mean we are talking about some of the nicest, law abiding kids in the world...and the cops come because the neighbors are complaining...because it is too loud?  Rowdy?  I have no idea why...but oh how the NSLPD loves the Russell home.

Instance #6- I am driving through Foxboro on my way from Aubry's place of residence and I am going about five miles over the speed limit...ok maybe almost ten...anyway...I get pulled over.  And who should walk up to my window and ask me if I knew how fast I was going...why it was the same young, "wet behind the ears" cop who NEVER reported my car as stolen.  As he asked for my license and registration I proceeded to ask him if he remembered me and when he said that he did not, I told him..."You're the cop who never reported my car as stolen last year."  Interestingly enough, I did not get a ticket.

Instance #8- Yes, I know this is out of order, but I want to save #7 for last because it actually is a redeeming moment for the cops.  Just the other morning. I am driving down Beck Street in the morning and I see the motorcycle cops out filling their quotas and collecting for retirement. (I now drive 55 mph on Beck).  Further down the rode said moto-cop has finished up giving out a ticket and proceeds to pull out right in front of me and two other cars so he could flip a U to go back to his buddy.  I mean I (as well as the other two cars) had to slam on my breaks!  If I had done that exact thing I would have gotten a ticket.  I was so ticked off.  It was actually the motivation for writing this post.

Instance #7- It is August 23, 2008 (I remember because it was the day Jonah was born).  I was driving down Hwy 89 just in front of Camelot.  Earlier that year (April) my driver's side window had broken.  I had not gotten it fixed because it was summer and my windows are constantly down in the summer.  However...since it was not fixed I was told that I would not pass inspection...so I decided to put my inspection off until it got cold enough to fix. First for 30 days past the deadline...then 60 and here we were in August and I was almost 90 days delinquent. Well an eagle eyed member of the NSLPD caught the expired sticker and pulled me over.  I explained why I hadn't fixed it...leaving out the part of wanting to enjoy the wind in my face all summer...and he told me that I could go and get the inspection done, get a temporary sticker saying that I would be getting the problem fixed.  Who knew?!  He also told me that since I was about 90 days past he should impound my car.  My stomach dropped.  But...queue the trumpets...he gave me a fix it ticket allowing me two weeks to fix my car and instead of paying $95.00 I would only have to pay $35.00.

So there you have it folks.  I have at least two more stories I could tell you and in both instances the cops were less than pleasant.  Which means 9 times out of ten they are deserving of the blog title.  90% of time they are jerks.  If I was a jerk 90% of the time at my job, I would not have a job!

Sunday, October 17

Kelli Jean Russell

My sister Kelli is leaving in about two days to begin 18 months of service for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

I'm so excited for her.  I'm excited for all the good I know she will do and I'm excited for all the good I know that the people she meets will do for her.  I'm a bit jealous of all those people who will get to spend the next 18 months with her because I know that in those 18 months she will learn so much about the gospel, about her self, about life...and it would be kind of cool to be around for that.  But I suppose I can't complain since I've had 21 years to see that.

I was talking to my sister-in-law (Mattie) today about missing Kelli and missing Scott.  I missed Scottie for sure when he left for his mission (I cried to whole way home from the MTC and the rest of that night)... and I missed him most especially at holidays (Christmas without a stirring rendition of Feliz Navidad and The Friendly Beasts is almost not Christmas).  But in my day to day life it wasn't so painful because we didn't socialize that often outside of family time.  Initially I told Mattie that it would be the same with Kelli...but then I started to think about all the concerts that I've been to with her...I'm pretty sure that she and Aubry are neck and neck for number of concerts attended together...a handful of them have been the three of us.  And then there are movie outings, visits to Provo and Cedar (depending on where she was attending school at the time) and just time spent talking about music or life or whatever.

I love my siblings so much...and I think in the last five or so years have gained an even greater appreciation for them as not just siblings but as real, true friends who I am always happy to socialize with anytime.  So while I'm insanely proud and excited about her decision...I am going to miss her. (Not too mention that now I'm going to have to work extra hard when looking for new artists to listen to because I won't have Kelli to help me out.)

But I do know that Kelli's decision to go on a mission will not only be a blessing her life, but a blessing in the life of my family as well.  I'm excited to hear about all her adventures (and misadventures...because with Kelli in the mix there will definitely be some of those) and trials that come her way. I know she will handle them all with charisma and a chuckle or too.

I love you Kell Bell.