Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Much more than turkey and pie...

In the spirit of the Thankgsgiving season, I've decided to get out of my little world of self-pity and actually show some gratitude. Goodness knows I have 20937495345 things to be grateful for...here are just 100 that sprang to mind:

1) Eternal families (especially mine!)
2) Fabulous friends
3) The gospel
4) A job I don't hate
5) Indoor plumbing
6) My iPod
7) Airplanes
8) Google Docs, Google Maps, Google Analytics...basically Google
9) My piano
10) Seatbelts
11) TiVo!
12) The public library
13) Online banking
14) Being the favorite aunt
15) A rotary cutter
16) Getting to decide which coat to wear
17) Text messaging
18) Living in a free country
19) Seeing in color
20) Rhonda, the Honda
21) Weezer
22) A thermostat I control
23) Digital photography
24) Deodorant
25) Sharp kitchen knives
26) Facebook
27) Post-its
28) Hot, red shoes!
29) Gas prices below $2/gallon
30) A microwave
31) The temple
32) Sunshine on a cloudy day (My girl...talkin' 'bout my girl!!)
33) Credit cards
34) Other people's blogs
35) Weekends
36) Dental floss
37) Camping
38) Italian food
39) Christmas music
40) RedBox
41) Blue jeans
42) Tulips
43) Weather.com
44) A garbage disposal
45) Chewing gum
46) Surround sound
47) Answers to prayers
48) Picnic spots in the shade
49) Civil rights
50) A dining room table
51) Email
52) Happy babies
53) A good memory
54) Toilet paper
55) Courage to speak my mind
56) Traffic lights (well, sometimes...)
57) Diet Coke
58) The carpool lane
59) Waterskiing
60) Jeopardy
61) My sewing machine
62) Funny people
63) Key lime pie
64) Shopping online
65) My iron
66) Snow plows
67) Good doctors
68) Henna tattoos
69) Cell phones
70) Lunches/dinners with the girls
71) Lotion
72) Smoke detectors
73) Ice
74) Cute earrings
75) Sewage treatment plants (and the fact that I don't live near one...)
76) Copiers
77) Tried and true recipes
78) Scissors
79) Recycling
80) Ibuprofen
81) Mirrors
82) My ears that hear
83) A refrigerator
84) Long undershirts for a long torso
85) My watch
86) The scriptures
87) Free parking
88) Lightbulbs--literal and metaphorical
89) Bread
90) Rock Band
91) Dishwashers
92) Dictionaries/Thesauruses/Encyclopedias
93) Plastic wrap
94) Hugs (...the chocolate kind, too!)
95) Baby carrots
96) A good pillow
97) Jam sessions with friends (Grandma's Feather Bed, anyone?)
98) Short lines ANYWHERE
99) Learning random facts (not "fun facts"...)
100) Road trips

Getting a point across

One of my new favorite websites is http://www.passiveagressivenotes.com/. (Thanks for the referral, Kati!) While some of the language might be questionable--don't say I didn't warn you--some of the notes people submit are so bold that they first make your jaw drop and then the laughing begins. Some of them are things I wish I could write and leave for people (with my passive agressive nature and all...), but I don't have the guts. My favorites include the ones from apartment/condo dwellers who tell their adjoining neighbors that their noise is just too much. If my upstairs neighbors could understand English, I'd be all over that.

There are all sorts of hilarious notes on this site, but this particular note made me giggle so much that I had to share it here on my blog:

Who says these things?! I guess it was found in a common room of a dorm at a university in Indiana. And yeah, I guess I can understand if the students started getting sick of hearing people try to plunk out the things they learned at their piano lessons when they were seven years old (and let's face it, these would-be Mozarts were probably much better at that age than they are now...).

My question for you now is, who's the ultimate judge of the piano skills in this dorm? And how is this note enforced? I can imagine someone tickling the ol' ivories only to be interrupted by one of his fellow compatriots who slowly closes the lid on the keyboard with a shake of the head and a look that says, "Move on...your 'music' isn't welcome here."

Monday, November 24, 2008

Coldplay...and a cold...

A few weeks ago, my friend Melinda called me and asked if I wanted to buy her extra Coldplay ticket (they came in concert last Saturday). I told her I'd think about it. 'What's there to think about?' you might ask...well, I'm looking at the number of concerts I've been to in the last year...and the tab is starting to look bigger than my grocery bill for the same span of time. Kind of pathetic. But I said screw it and bought the ticket from her. You're only young once, right? Suuuure...

Saturday afternoon rolled around, and I did not feel well--I had kind of been struggling with some cold-like crap, nausea, and migraines. I had Rachel feel my forehead and I was running a mild fever, even. I don't run fevers. But, stubborn as I was, I went to the concert anyway. Maybe not the best decision I've made in my life, but I'm glad I went.

Before the concert, my friends and I went to Settebello in Salt Lake for some great, Italian-style pizza. If you've never been there before, I recommend it. They've imported an Italian pizza oven made of brick which makes for some pizza crust that is quite tasty. And the gelateria that's attached to the restaurant was a treat as well. (It was there that I discovered I had left my credit card at the restaurant where Lacy and I had been to lunch...I always knew the day would come when I would forget to take it out of that little bill sleeve.)

After dinner, we headed over to the Energy Solutions Arena (which will always still be the Delta Center to me). The opening act, Sleepercar, was just finishing, so we were ready for some Coldplay action.

A little history of my Coldplay fandom: I hated their radio singles from a few years back. I thought they were overplayed and that people gave them way too much credit. I never even considered buying their albums because I was disgusted by the stuff I heard on the radio. Then this summer, I saw on iTunes that their new album, Viva La Vida, was going to be pretty cheap...so I listened to the 30-second snippet of each song. Hmmm...I'd be willing to give the album a shot. And I liked it. This was before the 'missionary song' (as my sister Natalie so lovingly calls it...ha!) was overplayed on the radio. It was then that I discovered that whomever was choosing the Coldplay radio singles was totally underselling the band. They actually have some good music!

Anyway, back to the concert...we're sitting there, waiting for the band to take the stage. The next time we heard music, though, it wasn't Coldplay. For some strange reason, they got this weird synthesizer DJ to come and do this odd music with crazy video animation. I wish my describing it would do it justice...it was like Dr. Suess meets Fantasia meets M.C. Escher. I was intrigued at first, but after awhile, it was just creepy. We kept turning to each other with looks of confusion and bewilderment everytime he started a new song. Thirty minutes of this. How in the world...?

Finally Coldplay came on. And I was headed downhill, physically-speaking. I brought earplugs so my headache wouldn't get worse, but the nausea was rampant. I felt horrible that I might be putting a damper on my friends' fun, so I put on a happy face and tried to sing along. I think I did alright.

Ok wait...this is sounding like the concert was a completely torturous experience! Let me back up. Coldplay was great live. Seriously amazing! You know how sometimes you hear a band's album and you fall in love with it, but then when you go to their concert and hear them live, you realize that they must have some sort of genius sound mixer because they are awful? This was definitely NOT the case with Coldplay. Chris Martin has an amazing voice, and his stage presence was so energetic and delightful. Plus, he can play the guitar and the piano to boot! Definitely a great concert all in all. I heard a couple songs that I'd never heard before, and I liked them enough that I did a little research, found out which album they were on, and I bought the album on Amazon.com last night.

A sad tid bit: my camera's batteries had died, so the only pictures I got of the concert were on my camera phone. And from as far away as I was, the pictures aren't very clear, but you can get the gist...

Friday, November 21, 2008

Why, I honestly wasn't expecting this!

Alright, my good friend Erika gave me this award:

As a recipient of this award, I am required to meet the following expectations:
1) Name 5 things you love.
2) Pass the award on to 5 blogs you love.
3) Link back to the giver's blog and tell how fabulous they are.

...here goes!


1) Movie theaters where you can buy your tickets and choose your seats online. Why didn't people think of this sooner? And why haven't more theaters gotten on the bandwagon there?

2) Hugh Jackman. Yep, he just got named as People's Sexiest Man of the year. Mmmm!

3) This new website I discovered: www.cakewrecks.blogspot.com. The commentary on this site cracks me up! And looking at some of these 'masterpieces' usually puts a smile on my face.

4) Snow Patrol's new album, A Hundred Million Suns. I just got it yesterday, and I listened to it six times through. My favorite track so far is #4, 'Lifeboats.'

5) My Kitchen-Aid mixer (well, my mom's hand-me-down one). I wouldn't love cooking/baking half as much if I actually had to STIR things!


1) Scott. Apparently his blog is pretty popular! I quite enjoy hearing whatever he has to write about, no matter how boring or mundane he thinks it is.

2) Lacy. So eloquent. So tasty. Chock full of a splendid mix of television, politics, English...

3) Adrianne. If I ever want to read something about your life, I know you've blogged about it, complete with pictures!

4) Stephanie. Life as a grad student has got to be stressful, but you make it sound like so much fun!

5) Anyone who wants to try this out! I really love reading all your blogs!

...and to Erika, who tagged me...you must know how ADD I am at work because I need distraction, and this served as a great one! Erika, it never ceases to amaze me how you do it all! And blog about it to boot! I can always imagine when your kids do something bad how they must expect a camera to appear and start snapping...they've got to be conditioned now, right? ;) Thanks for keeping us up-to-date with everything!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

I did...what?

I've been pondering my childhood lately, among other things...and thinking about it, I was a STRANGE child. I am confused as to what my motivation was to do some of these things, but it was what I did. How did everyone handle my curiosity and strange idiosyncrasies?

1) I was quite entrepreneurial. I thought I could make big bucks selling lemonade, paper origami, weird things made from bread, and keychains made from boondoggle. Those are just the ones that I can recall at the moment... I see two problems with this: first, where was I going to find my initial financing? and to whom was I going to sell these odd products? Trust me, the market is not big for origami sold on a little table on the front lawn of a home in a cul-de-sac.

2) I had a strange obsession with buying things (hence the reason I tried to make money in the first place; see above). I would pore over things like the Avon catalog and circle all the stuff that was really cheap that I might have been able to afford with the pittance I made doing small chores. Many a set of cheap stickers I bought from the school book order. I look at the books that are $3.95 in those book orders now and think, "Wow...I was some sort of desperate child!" Don't go thinking that my parents were remiss in taking care of me...I was just fine. For some reason, I just had it in my head that chapstick or stickers would make life better.

3) I always tried to be artistic...and looking at it now, I failed miserably. I wanted to make all my notes and cards 'extra special,' so I would do things like go through magazines and cut out all sorts of fun letters. I didn't realize that I was just making things look like ransom notes. Maybe this was cool back then--oh who am I kidding? If I didn't have access to magazines, I would write these bubble letters and decorate each letter with a different sort of pattern--polka dots, stripes, other strange things. I recall a specific instance in the 6th grade when we did country reports. I had a big manila envelope with all my research, and sure enough, "The Netherlands" was printed in nice bubble letters, each with a different pattern. It always had to be different. Speaking of the 6th grade, I seem to remember having to make a 'birthday page' for each of my classmates...and those things were so intricate with bubble letters and colored pencils. Wow.

4) If I wanted a copy of a song (hey, there was no iTunes back then!), I would call into a radio station and request it. Then I would sit for hours with my finger on the record button of the boombox so I could tape it. Seriously, every song that began on the radio, I'd hit record; after a few seconds when I figured out it wasn't what I was looking for, I'd hit stop and rewind. I must have had a lot of time to waste or something.

5) When we lived in Texas, my family had the only trampoline in the neighborhood. Naturally all the neighborhood children wanted to come play in our backyard. We'd mess around and learn how to do tricks...I seem to remember a lot of injuries requiring stitches (none myself, thank you very much). To keep things interesting, we'd put on little 'trampoline shows' where we each did the trick and then got off the trampoline. Then we'd run the whole gambit again with a new trick. Oh the joy of entertaining yourself as a small child.

6) I had a strange habit of buddying up to my teachers in elementary school. I'm not talking just the normal answering questions and doing well on tests and homework...I'd create these bizarre relationships with them and go to whole new levels of sucking up. At one of my elementary schools, they had a schoolwide rewards program--teachers would give out 'deputy points' (our mascot was a star with boots that they called a deputy...you can't make this stuff up!) and there were certain things you could purchase with your earned points. One of my favorite things to purchase was lunch with my teacher. What kid loves their teacher enough that they want to eat lunch with them as well as spending every other waking school moment with them? Apparently me. I had one teacher in the 3rd grade that I was particularly fond of. I would walk to school early and then help her set up the classroom with the morning's projects...I'd do things like write on the overhead projector for her. That came to an abrupt halt, though, when I accidentally used a permanent overhead pen on the actual overhead glass one morning...hmmm... In the 5th grade, I didn't think I had any friends, so I would offer to stay in during recess and correct homework for the teacher. I didn't even like that teacher that much! I remember when I moved to Utah, I stuck to my normal friendly ways, and I was severely mocked for it when it came time to music class with Mrs. Porter. I loved music AND teachers...and I didn't realize it wasn't cool to love either of those things, so I was mercilessly pegged with the nickname "Mrs. Porter's pet" by all of my classmates. Well that's harsh, even for 9-year-olds! But there were the times when being a teacher's pet paid off...in Kindergarten, my teacher offered us our choice of stickers anytime we wrote a story to share with the class each morning. Every day I'd make sure to have something because I loved my teacher, and she knew that good motivation meant stickers (what was my obsession with stickers?!).

7) My relationship with food was peculiar when I was a kid. I was not adventurous at trying new things, and even then, the go-to's were not my favorite. I hated potatoes. With a passion. So deep was my detestation of the tubers that I would stubbornly keep them in my mouth. This doesn't make sense at all, and shouldn't, even to a child...but for some reason, those potatoes stayed jammed in my cheek like a chipmunk waiting for the throes of winter. One night, I kept them in there while I slept. I'm not saying it was sane or healthy... Also while we're on the topic of weird things you did with food when you were a kid...I had a friend whose house I'd go to every once in awhile. We'd play a game as if we were at an eccentric restaurant where you ordered ridiculous things like bugs or body parts. The person playing the waitress would then go into the fridge and try to concoct something that would be something similar to the ordered item.

8) At the age of 8, I discovered a club at my school devoted to saving the earth. I joined and received a little book with ideas on how to be more earth-friendly that was plastered with the whole 'Reduce, Re-use, Recycle' creed. I was enamored with this idea that I could make a difference! I started by talking to my mom about some of our habits at home. One in particular was our purchasing of colored toilet paper. Didn't she know how BAD that was for the environment?! My family still teases me to this day about how I would basically break down in tears if she'd buy the colored stuff. I know now that she was just trying to bargain shop...but I was still so devasted!

9) I loved making up little ditties any chance I got. One of my favorites from childhood was a song I made up called "Naptime." It talked about the dynamics of a family and how naps are really for the benefit of everyone. I sang it for a few of my friends awhile back and one of them even made up a little bridge for it. It's quite the number...we're thinking of taking it on the road in our folk duet. Another song I made up when I was probably only five or so was called "I'm a Little Sunshine." This was inspired by a really poofy gold dress I had. I would stand in front of our huge mirror in the dining room (one of the walls was made of mirrors) and pull up the sides of the skirt on this frock...it reminded me of a round sun. Along with making up songs, we made up dances to songs. At Christmas, my sisters and I would each take a couple lines on "Santa Baby" and do a little shimmy and some actions that went with the lyrics. How adorable...

...and last but not least:
10) Probably one of my alltime favorite memories as a child was spinning in pot lids in the front entryway. Yes, you read that right. We'd get my mom's pot lids out of the cupboard, balance them upside down on the handle on the brick floor of our front entry way, sit in them and spin around until they didn't balance anymore. I guess there once was a time when my little bum would fit in those lids...thinking about doing that now just puts a grimace on my face.

Well, I warned you...I was some sort of insane child with peculiar penchants for weird hobbies and pastimes. And by no means is this list exhaustive of my youthful quirks! Anyone else out there got some funny things they did as a kid?

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Shake your head, cluck your tongue, and worry for the future of our language...

I ran across this article about the evidence of an awful downfall of the English language in our society. I didn't know it could get this bad. Just remember...all these people, at least, have high school diplomas.

The sad, sad state of college English

By Michael Olesker
Examiner Columnist | 11/14/08 9:59 PM Some people collect sports memorabilia, or rare coins, or sea shells from the beach at Ocean City. Wilson Watson collects sentences.

He taught local community college students for 35 years and has now slipped gently into retirement. But his students’ sentences trail behind him like ship’s anchors, evidence of the sinking of American writing skills.

Or, as one of Watson’s scholars wrote so succinctly: “Some people use bad language and is not even aware of the fact.”

Or, another: “It’s good I’m doing something with my self; Therefore, I can do better in the foochure.”

Or, “People who murder a lot of people are called masked murderers.”

Some of this feels like masked murder of the English language — such as the student who explained in a note, “I was absent on Monday because I was stopped on the Beltway for erotic driving.”

Watson taught English at Catonsville Community College — now the Catonsville branch of the Community College of Baltimore County — and through the years was occasionally amused and sometimes appalled at his students’ writing. Eventually, he started jotting down their sentences and holding onto them.

“Understand,” he says, “this is not just Catonsville I’m talking about. Through the years, I’d talk with colleagues all over the state. They all had the same stories. We’d ask each other, ‘What’s happened to writing? What’s happened to language?’”

You want more examples? How about these beauties:
• “The person was an innocent by standard, who just happened to be the victim of your friend’s careless responsibility.”
• “Society has moved toward cereal killers.”
• “Romeo and Juliet exchanged their vowels.”
• “Willie Loman put Biff on a petal stool.”
• “Another effect of smoking is it may give you cancer of the thought.”
• “The children of lesbian couples receive as much neutering as those of other couples."

Or, when asked to use the past tense of “fly” in a sentence: “I flought to Chicago.”

Some sentences reflect a lack not only of basic thought, but also of historical awareness. Such as:
• “Benjamin Franklin discovered America while fling a kite.”
• “Christopher Columbus sailed all over the world until he found Ohio.”
• “Many attempt to blame Kurt Schmoke for the decline in the population, yet Donald Schaefer suffered the same oral deal.”
• “Michaelangelo painted the ceiling of the Sixteenth Chapel.”

“All these sentences,” Watson says, “were written by college students who were not intending to be funny. But they don’t read much any more, and they haven’t had much exposure to language. And it’s gotten worse over the years.

“The thing that’s really concerned many of us is the inability of many students to think clearly. It’s reflected in their writing. Some of it’s just gibberish. It reads as if written by someone for whom English is a second language, with mixed-up phrases and ideas. You ask them what they mean, and they can’t tell you verbally, either.”

The result is students saying things they clearly don’t intend to say, or spelling things that make their sentences take on entirely new meanings. For example:
• “Keith helps me to have good self-a-steam.”
• “For example, one homeless person lives under a bride in Lanham, Md.”
• “Jogging on a woman’s ovaries can be dangerous to her health.”
• “Including snakes, most people consume six meals a day.”
• “The French benefits of this job are good.”
• “Christopher Columbus discovered America while sailing in Spain.”

“Most students,” says Watson, “make it clear that they don’t like to read, and they don’t want to read. Many struggled tremendously with their reading. So they just wouldn’t do it. And yet it’s so important.

“When you read, you get to see the language used correctly, and you’re exposed to a range of vocabulary far beyond your own. I listen to students today, and the number of words they use is limited to slang and colloquialisms.

“Also, we live in a culture where everything moves so quickly that you don’t have time to think about it. Reading lets you slow things down and think about them. But, because they don’t want to read, you get sentences like these.”
• “Jogging is excellent exercise anywhere, but I prefer to jog in a warm climax.”
• “My brother and I took a fairy across to Martha’s Vineyard.”
• “A very good thing for your health is the Arabic exercise.”

“I should point out,” says Watson, “that there are differences in students. Adult students — of whom there are many — are very willing to do the kind of work you need to do. They’ve had experience in the workplace and know what it takes to succeed.

“And international students — from Russia, from Africa, from the Middle East — they really, really work hard.”

Monday, November 17, 2008

Awkward begets AWKWARD!

A couple weeks ago, I got an email from my college alumni association, the 'singles' division:

Annual Thanksgiving Dinner

with guest speaker (name deleted)

Time: 6 p.m.
Date: Thursday, Nov. 13, 2008
Location: (Location deleted)

SALA will provide the meat, potatoes, rolls and drink.

Bring salads or vegetables and desserts for potluck.

  • Last names beginning A-M desserts
  • Last names beginning N-Z salads or vegetables
  • (Please bring enough for 12 people)

Cost per person: $5 PLUS your potluck dish.

Register online at (website deleted) by Tuesday, Nov. 11, at 5 p.m. to assist us in purchasing the food.

Usually I delete emails like that, but I gave this one a second glance... Ok, so I'm thinking, "Hey, what a great way to meet people who are in the same stage of life I am!" I invited my friend Melinda, and we got kind of excited at the prospect of this new group of people and opportunities.

So last Thursday,I made my potluck side dish and we trudged through the rain to the alumni building. We got there right about 6:00...and we started looking around...everyone was probably in their forties or older. Wait a minute? Yeah, we were starting to get anxious...we were obviously the youngest people in the room--by a long shot. I figured the youngsters would start showing up, but after ten loooooong minutes, no such luck. More old people showed up, though.

The people who approached us must have seen that we were the anomaly. One lady came up and introduced herself and then proceeded to try to sell us some book on 'born again' experiences. "If people tell me they don't have any money, I just tell them 'You just keep this copy and read it.'" Melinda was so gracious to her, but we were both just taken aback. We did not come to be bombarded with cringe-worthy conversations like this! Another lady came up and asked where on campus we worked. "Ummm....well, we don't work on campus...." (Looking at each other with a look that says, 'Were we supposed to work on campus?!'). The woman running the event came over and in a saccharine tone asked us how we were. People kept saying stuff like, "Oh, is this your first event like this?" Yes, and my last, too!

After weighing our options, and while everyone's attention was diverted to waiting in line for the food, we decided that our $5 was not worth the awkwardidity that was occurring at that dinner. We tossed out the possibility that the speaker might be really great...and then we decided that we didn't care how great he was. We cut our losses and sneaked out the back door.

What can we learn from this experience, ladies and gentlemen? First off, figure out if you're truly the intended demographic for an event like this. You might walk in there and discover that everyone is twice your age and closer to retirement than to their college years. How did I end up on this emailing list?! Secondly, no matter how awkward something is, don't be afraid to just chalk it up to a funny mistake and laugh about it. As weirded out as we were, Melinda and I laughed a lot about it as we relayed the experience to our other friends.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Kind of like MY October!

Seeing as I work in the finance industry, I got a good laugh out of this:

Notice how the red line goes down the wall and off the curb. Ha! I shouldn't be laughing...the US economy is going down the tubes, and I just sit back and shake my head at it all...

(And in case you're confused--as I was, thinking I was ignorant and looking it up online--FTW most likely stands for "For The Win" here...)

Monday, November 10, 2008


Lessons I've learned...just last week:

1) That waiter is NOT flirting with you. He'd like to let you think as much, but who's he kidding? That tip is the only thing that keeps him coming back with a big smile, especially at The Cheesecake Factory at 10:30 on a busy Saturday night. Plus, he'll even call you a 'bread racist' for favoring the wheat bread over the white... (Yes, you read that right...the wheat bread there is SO good!)

2) Never tell the person taking your blood about your unfortunate past experiences in the world of blood donation. It will probably freak them out, become self-conscious, and make them more liable to turn into a needle-jiggler while it's in your arm. (I had to learn this lesson in two parts...luckily I was not the crazy pin cushion experiment this time because I wised up after my last bad experience and played it cool from the start.)

3) If you don't want to get caught in the wave of temple patrons in Provo, go on Friday afternoon to the 2:40 session. Less than half full--best spiritual bang for your buck. :)

4) I-80 Westbound will never be open at 700 East, so save yourself some trouble and take 2100 South clear out to I-15 and save yourself the headache. Because let's face it...3300 South is still under some sort of zany construction, and if there's one thing Utahns don't handle well, it's driving in construction (or snow...).

5) Sometimes being oblivious about a situation is probably for the best...and your friends know that, too. 'Nuff said.

6) Dark chocolate peppermint ice cream from ColdStone is never a bad idea, especially among friends who all love ice cream as much or more than you do.

7) Having clean, ironed clothes at 5:45 in the morning when getting ready is worth doing laundry and ironing during the week so you can have a few extra minutes to doze in a warm bed.

8) If your drain is still clogged after pulling out a lot of hair, just give your poor knees a break and save yourself the disgust of the gross things you'll see and touch--buy some Drano.

9) Always have a plan of escape when you're faced with an awkward social situation (e.g., getting cornered by a strange guy you don't even know at ward prayer)...I watched an episode of Seinfeld the other day where Jerry and Elaine were at a party and they came up with a signal that was supposed to save them from being caught in such situations...they patted their heads to get the other's attention. Last night I found myself wishing that Rachel had seen the same episode so I could get her to come save me. I kept throwing the withering looks in her general direction, but I don't think she noticed. So two words, people: GAME PLAN.

10) Watching three straight hours of Jeopardy is a serious brain-stretching exercise. And it's as bad as watching a regular television show when it comes to the cliffhanger--I couldn't wait to find out if the champion got unseated on the next installment.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Weekend highlights

So, nothing really huge happened this weekend, but some funny tidbits were enjoyed...here are some highlights:

* We helped Paulie move back in with my parents on Saturday. While we were at her house, we noticed parts of costumes had been discarded randomly, some on the living room couch. My dad and I were sitting there, when he picked up a coconut bra and asked Paulie if that's what one of her roommate's costumes was. A minute or two later, one of her roommates walked in and my dad said, "Hey, is this yours?" She got shifty-eyed and said, "Umm...nooo!" kind of jokingly, to which my dad replied, "Busted!" Then he got kind of quiet and said, "Wait...bad choice of words there..."

* Rachel and I watched 'Hocus Pocus' on Saturday evening, which got over around 7:00. I proceeded to climb in my bed to take a nap...and woke up around 1:00am. I got up, took out my contacts, and went back to sleep...until 8:00am. Don't forget, there was Daylight Savings in there, too...long story short: I got about 14 hours of sleep on Saturday night. It was fabulous.

* We had family dinner for Fast Sunday last night...that's always fun and a little crazy. As it turns out, my 7-month-old niece has started growling. It's kind of cute and funny, especially when she eats.

* I realized (too late) that the milk we had purchased last Thursday (10/30) had expired on 10/25 and was no longer fit for consumption. And yet, I ate a bowl of cereal with it AND drank some with dinner on Saturday. In case you're wondering, yes it tasted funny. Way to sell bad product, Wal-Mart.

* Finally got to meet my e-friend, Ann. Ok, that sounds weirder than it actually is...Lacy, one of my oldest (as in, longest running) friends, has known Ann for several years and has worked with her. I've heard about Ann for a few years, and Ann has, in turn, heard about me. We became Facebook and blog friends through Lacy, and then finally met on Friday at an awesome dinner. My favorite phrase of that night: "It's a cornucopia!" in response to seeing the taco salad that was as big as your head.

* At church yesterday, Rachel started playing the intro to the opening hymn when we realized there was no music director. I jumped up with my hymn book and filled in. Our bishopric thanked me about three thousand times for just getting up there. My question is...do we really need someone up there waving their hand if everyone follows the organist anyway? Hmmm...that's always been something I've wondered.

* I made chili yesterday for the dinner our ward has after Fast Sunday meetings. Since I was fasting, I couldn't taste it to see if it was any good, and I wasn't staying for the dinner...I hope it wasn't too bad. My apologies if it was...

* I started reading 'Blink' by Malcolm Gladwell. I'm almost 100 pages through, and it's pretty fascinating stuff! It talks about how your subconscious makes decisions without you even realizing it and how you're influenced by things you wouldn't think. I'll try to blog more about it when I'm done, but so far, fantastic book.

And that's about it...my weekend boiled down to a few anecdotes.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Give me 'angry'!

Well, I didn't want to do it, but Rachel talked me into actually being something for Halloween. I just didn't have a very good attitude, but I didn't want to be a bummer. Rachel came up with the idea of my being a gangster/mobster (think New York, 1920s...), and I had the idea of adding a sexy flair to it. If I was going to be anything, I was going to look hot. So I borrowed a plain black tie from a guy in my ward and the black fedora from Rachel, and I broke out my pants suit that I purchased for who knows what reason (I probably knew this costume was on the horizon...).

Rachel was a flapper, so we kind of came from the same era. She's been planning her costume for over a month, and I think it turned out aces! I teased her that she planned my costume so she'd have a pseudo date...(because let's face it, I looked kind of like a man--but with more lipstick). Here are the results:

The funniest thing was that a guy in our ward dressed up as fundamentally the same thing...but he had a fake gun I could borrow, so we formed a posse...or, er, um, a gang? Let's just say we were both members of the mafia, how about? It was fun to keep the gun hidden and then break it out every now and then and 'pop' people. I also talked a lot about cement shoes and having someone's back. Come to think of it, I should have adopted a Brooklyn accent or something...

Also, a little something to note...this blog has officially been up and going for over a year now. A crazy year, at that. Go me.