Saturday, January 31, 2009


I heard this song tonight in my car. For some reason it hit me: I'm stuck.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Just when I thought it couldn't get crazier...

As a follow-up to my post on Snuggies, I thought this article was kind of interesting...

Snuggie gets a warm embrace from pop culture
By Maria Puente, USA TODAY

The Cult of the Snuggie threatens to take over America! Or at least, a substantial number — 4 million — of late-night couch spuds.

The Snuggie, an oversized fleece blanket with sleeves, stars in a ubiquitous TV ad so cheesy it's practically art, and apparently wildly entertaining. The ad shows people wearing Snuggies at a sporting event, cheering and high-fiving each other while dressed … sort of like medieval monks.

"Every once in a while, a product transcends advertising to become part of pop culture," says Scott Boilen, president and CEO of Allstar Products Group of Hawthorne, N.Y., which conceived and markets the China-made Snuggie.

Indeed, Snuggies seem to be everywhere. See them on Facebook — nearly 250 groups, pro and con; one fan club lists 5,999 members. Watch them on YouTube — nearly 300 parody videos posted, including one titled "The Cult of the Snuggie," with 146,000 views as of Tuesday.

Jay Leno makes fun of them: "Lard-ass quilt was the original name! Why not just put your robe on backwards?" Ellen DeGeneres spoofed them, trying one on during her show. Fox News even spotted someone wearing a Snuggie in the crowd at President Obama's inauguration last week.

There are snarky Snuggie-love sites on the Internet, such as, where fans post photos, videos and "news." Did you know that Snuggie drinking games are sweeping colleges? Students take a swig every time a Snuggie ad airs after midnight.

The Snuggie concept is not new, nor is it the only such product on the market, but the Snuggie proves once again that an attractive price (two for $19.95, plus free book light online and on TV, about $14.99 for one in stores) and clever marketing can take you far in American retailing.

Snuggies went on sale in August, began TV advertising in October and started shipping to retailers in December. Already, 4 million have been sold. But the Internet is crowded with angry testimonials from consumers who say they were overcharged or never got their order or waited much longer than four to six weeks for their Snuggies to arrive.

Boilen promises that all complaints will be resolved. "In our internal consumer-focus groups, Snuggie got the highest rating ever for any product, even (among) people who had to wait," he says.

Or despite other consequences. "I've gained 20 pounds since I started using my Snuggie," jokes Amy Norris of Baltimore, a member of a Snuggie fan club on Facebook. "I got it for a Christmas gift and initially thought it was just funny, but now we fight over it at my house."

Annie's Randomness (yes, those two words are synonymous)

There's a new craze on Facebook to write random things about yourself. We all know how a good craze gets me...and I just love to here it is in blog post form (it's a cut and paste from Facebook for those of you who already read it there...):

1. When I had my wisdom teeth out, I only had the bottom ones. After their removal, I developed some sort of crazy bad infection and had to go in for a second surgery...turns out they didn't stitch me up correctly the first time. This is also how I found out that I'm allergic to penicillin.

2. I have a strange fetish with scaring people. When I was five years old, I was trying to get out of chores by hiding under my sister's bed. She was folding clothes or something and standing close to the bed. For some unknown reason, I was seized by the urge to reach out and grab her I did. I think I scared the crap out of her, because to this day she keeps stuff under her bed and is wary when she stands close to it--and she's married and has two kids. I think I like to scare others because not much scares scary movies? I enjoy watching people writhe in fear while I chuckle at the ridiculousness of it all. I do get afraid of actual scary things like war and getting mugged.

3. If post-it notes didn't exist, I don't think I could survive a single day at work.

4. As a 2nd grader, I wrote a play. I don't know if there's a copy of it sitting somewhere in my parents' files or anything, but what I do know is that it was quite the production. My class members each got parts, and we performed the whole shebang for parents and everything. There was a strange character in it called a 'wobbatok' and a quest for secret potion. (Yes, my nerdiness runs *quite* deep.)

5. My first kiss was at age 21.

6. I love to travel...I've been to at least 32 states (including Hawaii when I was five!); 10 countries in Europe; Mexico; Canada; Egypt; and the UAE. Places I'd like to visit in the future: London, China, Japan, India, Russia, Australia, Cote d'Ivoire, New Zealand, Brazil, Argentina, Peru, Jamaica...I'm sure there are more.

7. I'm a drill sergeant when it comes to grammar and punctuation...but mostly just for myself. Sometimes I will be skimming through old blog posts and come across an error, and no matter how old it is, I'll fix it. Perfection meets English elitism. My obsession rolls into my texting and other communications as well. I have friends who love it when I make a mistake so they can send it back and point it out. Doesn't happen often! I do try to not be a jerk about it when other people aren't as strict as I am, though. I understand it's my problem.

8. If you start a movie after 9:00 pm, you're basically guaranteeing that I will fall asleep in the first fifteen minutes (yes, sometimes even in movie theaters). I have been a little better lately...I made it through 40 minutes of 'Eagle Eye' before I finally gave into the sleep monster. And the other night I watched the entire musical 'Company' without dozing...and that was started around 11:00!

9. I am kind of secretly in love with the following celebrities: Milo Ventimiglia, Rivers Cuomo, John Krasinski, James Roday, and Jeffrey Donovan. Most of these are spurred by characters they play in television shows. Rivers is just a genius.

10. I have five sisters and one brother. My brother is the youngest (and don't say, "Poor him!" because he is sufficiently spoiled...). I fit in right smack in the middle, so I suffer from middle child syndrome. I guess I could look at it that way or just say that I am like the glue that holds our family together... I still feel a little picked on, parents had eased up a little from the older kids, but had not yet become as relaxed as they were with the younger ones.

11. On scholarship day in high school, I was utterly embarrassed...everyone else had decided where they were heading to school, so they'd accepted scholarships from one or two schools. I was still on the fence (can you call it a fence when there are FIVE options waiting?), so I accepted them all. I was up on that stage a good portion of the morning, shaking hands, trying not to feel so stupid.

12. The 4th of July is my favorite holiday (this obviously doesn't count for those three years where we marched double parades). I don't know how to explain it, but there is a pervasive energy that gets me that day...fireworks, parades, food, fun, family...I love it all! Christmas is a close second when it comes to favorite holidays, but it doesn't have the same allure, mostly because it's usually steeped in cold and snow.

13. I have a love affair with bread. Basically any kind. When I go to a restaurant, I usually snag the last piece in the basket. I know, I know, carbs are *bad* for you...I just don't care that much. Bread and me, we're friends. Once at an Indian restaurant, we had gotten a lot of bread. I joked that I could probably finish it by myself...the guy I was with didn't believe me, so I, of course, had to prove him wrong (I'm THAT stubborn). I ate every last crumb of that naan. And it was delicious.

14. People are always telling me that I'm a great 'mom.' I'd like to think that it's because I'm an amazing cook or a great shoulder to cry on, but I'm pretty sure it's because I say things like, "Don't press the buttons" when we're in the set list on Rock Band. Or when we go on a trip, I have a whole dossier with maps and routes and time tables. Or how I have my purse of overpreparedness full of ibuprofen, gum/mints, pens, extra earrings, paper, flash drive...

15. I can make my tongue do some awesome things...curl, 'taco salad shell,' flip over. I attribute this awesomeness to the years of mouth-strengthening I got when I played the clarinet.

16. Whenever I leave the bathroom, I always check to make sure my zipper is up. Sometimes I do it a few times, just to make sure.

17. I've always dreamed of running a restaurant. I would call it 'The Perdittle' and work as a chef there. I don't know what kind of food we'd serve there...maybe a little of everything at which I've been successful (so no pie crusts...I suck at making pie crust). Sure, I'd probably need to get some culinary experience under my belt, but I'd be ok with that. I've often thought it would be fun to run a bakery as well...I love watching 'Ace of Cakes,' and I make Rachel pause so I can show her my favorite cakes that they have in the background.

18. My fingernails have always and will always be crappy. I have several excuses for my struggles in growing them out or why I don't just get fake nails...I play the piano...I have weak nails...I type a lot at work...

19. When I was a senior in high school, I worked at a burger place in Layton, UT called Burger Bar, famous for the Quad Ben (a burger stacked with four quarter pound patties). I worked with a bunch of guys, and we all took AP Calculus that year. We decided we'd make a deal with each other: whatever score we got on the AP Calculus test, that's how many patties we'd eat on a Big Ben. My score came in the mail that summer, and while I was excited for the 5, I knew what it meant. A couple months later, when I was in college, I finally mustered up the gumption one Thursday night and sat down to eat the Quad+1 (Quintuple) Ben. 38 minutes later, I was full to the gills with beef. 15 hours later, and after much nausea, I had to leave in the middle of my last class of Friday morning (that's right, I made it through four hours of class and an early morning committee meeting!) to go and throw up in the parking lot. I really hate throwing up.

20. Having been an English major, I love to read. Currently I'm in the middle of a couple good books, "Catch 22" and "Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society." I read both for different is more to put on my thinking cap, the other is to have an escape from thinking about life. I also like to read the news, but not as much as I'd hope. Being caught up on current events is important to me, but I usually keep my opinions to myself.

21. As of today, I have never been pulled over (knock on wood!). I have received a ticket, though, after getting in a car accident--even though the cops should never have been called to the scene in the first place, since there was hardly ANY damage done to either vehicle. I was also in one other wreck when I was 16. It totaled the little SUV I was in (but let's be honest, that vehicle was a tin can), but it wasn't my fault, and no one was hurt.

22. Some think I'm clumsy...and they're right. That's why I don't play many sports. I'm a Snow, and we tend to injure ourselves, even in the most benign circumstances. I'm not just clumsy in athletic situations, though...this runs deep. I'm almost always spilling on myself, down my shirt, most of the time in public. It's embarrassing, really...I'm an adult, but I need some sort of bib or something.

23. Plants tend to die in my presence. I do not have a green thumb. I guess a little water every now and then would help, though.

24. Someday when I'm married, I want my initials to spell a word. Since I have no middle name, options include ASH, ASK, ASP...but please, I hope to never marry someone with a last name that begins with an 'S' because while that would spell a word, it's not exactly the best word to have monogrammed on your bathroom towels. I guess if I really love a guy whose last name starts with an 'S' I could just give myself an additional middle name as long as I'm making the switch. I like Lee or May.

25. I just started to learn the guitar. In my first lesson (a class I'm taking through UVU Continuing Education with 14 other students), I broke the G-string. If that's any sort of omen for the rest of my guitar career, maybe I'll quit while I'm ahead. Or I just got the bad stuff out of the way and it'll be smooth's hoping for the latter.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Feel the burn!

Happy Chinese New Year! To celebrate the year of the ox, Rachel and I decided to cook something Chinese for dinner tonight. Anyone who knows me knows that I don't handle sweetened meat very we went for something a little spicy instead.

I found some shrimp in the freezer and went about googling a recipe for kung pao shrimp. No sweat. I even had most everything we needed, or at least things I could substitute. Chili paste? Nope, but I have some chili powder that I got when I went to the Middle East last year. Minced ginger? Hmm...could I substitute the powdered stuff? Well I did.

I got to work on marinating and frying and mixing and making rice...I was feeling pretty good about it. I didn't want to taste the sauce before I cooked it because it was pretty potent, so I tried a little taste off the spoon after I had already coated all the shrimp and was about ready to eat it.! But not bad, I thought.

So I loaded my plate up, took a bite and my mouth was hit with fire. I mean, the spices tasted good...just REALLY hot. I guess I added too much chili powder...and I think the stuff from Abu Dhabi might carry a bigger punch than the normal stuff. I kept trying to put a ton of rice with each bite and drink lots of milk. After my nose started running like crazy (that hot stuff will clear out your sinuses for sure!) and my mouth felt like someone had started setting off fireworks in it, I decided it just wasn't worth it. And so I bring to you my DINNER FAIL.

This is what I couldn't bring myself to finish, no matter how famished I was. Rachel couldn't make it through all of hers either. :( Teach me to be adventurous in the kitchen...

Friday, January 23, 2009

Government Pie

Thursday, January 22, 2009

That's what I'VE been saying all along...

Peanut butter is disgusting. I hate the smell of it, and I will only gag it down in the most dire of circumstances. I don't care what you put it on, unless it has a lot of chocolate wrapped around it, I am not a fan. I haven't always been so 'crazy,' and I can't explain my loathing of the gooey substance, but suffice it to say that people who live with me know to keep away their spoons full of the gunk and to wash their knives with the dreaded spackle right away.

...and so I find it interesting that the FDA is urging everyone to follow my lead. :) (My apologies to anyone who loves peanut butter...we'll just have to agree to disagree, shall we?) It is a shame, though, that the various confections are the ones under investigation and not the actual jars of the vile goo.

FDA Urges People to Avoid Peanut Butter Products
FDA says people shouldn't eat peanut butter products while it investigates salmonella outbreak
By RICARDO ALONSO-ZALDIVAR Associated Press Writer
WASHINGTON January 17, 2009 (AP)

Federal health authorities on Saturday urged consumers to avoid eating cookies, cakes, ice cream and other foods that contain peanut butter until authorities can learn more about a deadly outbreak of salmonella contamination.

Most peanut butter sold in jars at supermarkets appears to be safe, said Stephen Sundlof, head of the Food and Drug Administration's food safety center.

"As of now, there is no indication that the major national name-brand jars of peanut butter sold in retails stores are linked to the recall," Sundlof told reporters in a conference call.

Officials are focusing on peanut paste, as well as peanut butter, produced at a Blakely, Ga., facility owned by Peanut Corp. of America. Its peanut butter is not sold directly to consumers but distributed to institutions and food companies. But the peanut paste, made from roasted peanuts, is an ingredient in cookies, cakes and other products that people buy in the supermarket.

"This is an excellent illustration of an ingredient-driven outbreak," said Dr. Robert Tauxe, who oversees foodborne illness investigations for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
So far, more than 470 people have gotten sick in 43 states, and at least 90 had to be hospitalized. At least six deaths are being blamed on the outbreak. Salmonella is a bacteria and the most common source of food poisoning in the U.S., causing diarrhea, cramping and fever.

Officials said new illnesses are still being reported in the outbreak investigation.
The Kellogg Co., which listed Peanut Corp. as one of its suppliers, has recalled 16 products. They include Austin and Keebler branded Peanut Butter Sandwich Crackers, and some snack-size packs of Famous Amos Peanut Butter Cookies and Keebler Soft Batch Homestyle Peanut Butter Cookies. Health officials said consumers who have bought any of those products should throw them away.

Peanut Corp. has recalled all peanut butter produced at the Georgia plant since Aug. 8 and all peanut paste produced since Sept. 26. The plant passed its last state inspection this summer, but recent tests have found salmonella.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


Me: Hi, my name is Annie, and I'm a wordaholic.
Group: Hi, Annie!

Yes, I admit it; I have an addiction to the Facebook game Word Challenge. It started harmlessly...a few times I'd play just to not be bored. I saw Rachel and Lacy playing it, and I thought it looked like some good clean fun. So, having a knack for words, I took to it like a fish to water.

The basis of the game is this: you get six letters to start with. Your goal is to make as many words as you can with these letters. For words you create that are longer than four letters, you get extra time on the clock. If you figure out the word(s) that incorporate ALL the letters, you can click through to a "bonus round" where you have to unscramble a friend's name for additional points.

Oh, it was fun. The first few times. And then this inner demon emerged and reared its ugly head. "I MUST WIN!" I would tell myself. I know I'm competitive, but I didn't think it was this bad. Facebook pits you against your friends. They also have different "professions" you achieve with each higher score you get, and I didn't want to be something stupid. Cruel, cruel game.

You know an addiction is getting bad when you go to bed, but your head is still swimming with words that you could make. "Dust...rust...dusty...rusty....oh...time's running out! Umm...wait a minute...STURDY! Got it! Bonus round...who's name could this be...?"

Last night, I hit a personal low/high. I had a whole list of things to get done (laundry, cleaning my know, stuff that doesn't really matter...), and instead of doing these things, I played Word Challenge. Never you mind that I was already lots of points higher than any of my friends who also play (friends who escaped the jaws of this satanic game early on...), I had a goal to get over 50,000 points. I'd hit 46,000 or so a few days ago, so I knew it was just a matter of time. Plus, after awhile, you start to recognize some of the 6-letter combinations, so they become a snap. Well, I played...and I played...and Rachel cooked dinner...and I played...and lo and behold, after HOURS (and a break to go have a real life for a bit), I achieved over 60,000 points! The "profession" I achieved? Anagram Cyborg. Now if I could just use this power for good... (this is embarrassing...)

So that's it. I'm calling it good. The towel has been metaphorically thrown in. I actually had a week or so awhile ago where I didn't play, so I know my brain will go back to normal if I just keep away from the evil Word Challenge. My brain and my wrists need a break... If you see me playing, I give you permission to close my laptop or slap my fingers. I have things to do and places to be. Yes sirree, it's quittin' cold turkey for me!

Rock 'til the break of dawn

Who knew that a little technology could bring so many people together for a riotous night? We found this out the rockin' way on Saturday when we had a bunch of friends over to play our newly acquired Rock Band.

My little brother approached me a couple months ago and asked if I'd like to purchase his PlayStation 2, complete with games and accessories--I caved. I'd actually been looking into getting a used system, so I figured I could help subsidize my little bro's mission and help him out.

He had warned me before the transaction even took place that the drum pedal was broken. Well, with the help of Paulie (thanks a zillion!!) and a couple trips to hardware stores, the pedal is now in working order. (Thanks to Lacy, the courier, for helping me get it in time!)

And so a party was born. We had great friends, great food, and hilarious entertainment. Seemed like everyone who came had a great time--and if you didn't, well, you can't blame me. :)

Our first 'band'--Tait on guitar, Lincoln on bass, Spencer on the drums, Ben on vocals

Oh're hilarious. (And a little extra hilarity for those of you who got to read this shirt of mine up close that night!)

Rachel is a guitar master. I don't know how her fingers fly so fast!

Our band getting ready to perform--Me on vocals, Chris on the drums, Melinda on guitar, Sharolyn on bass

The girls (please excuse the messy kitchen in the background...but on that note, does anyone know how to remount a hood vent?)

Come on...we weren't THAT boring! Tait claims he has an excuse as to why he was so lackadaisical...I don't know if I can believe him. ;)

Friday, January 16, 2009

Keeping my head above water

I do not handle change well. It's not that I want everything to stay stagnant, but a steady progression is what I like, not a crazy roller coaster of madness swirling and speeding through my brain and life. Right now though, it seems like someone else has different ideas in mind for me. I've been tossed to and fro on the waves of life like a little fishing boat, and I'm seasick. Does this ride come with barf bags?!

Lately work has been crazy. With the 'economic downturn' (worst phrase EVER), I've been asked to shoulder a bigger load. Hey, I'm willing to pitch in and help out to the best of my knowledge...just don't expand my knowledge to include things I really shouldn't touch at all (i.e., accounting and taxes). Quickbooks has become a dirty word around here.

For the past six weeks, I've been furiously taking notes and learning how to pay bills and analyze the spreadsheets and be on good terms with the government. I've dealt with tax IDs, W-2s, and various other forms that I only wish I understood. I'll be lucky if the next time taxes roll around I remember how to do them or at least recall where I wrote down the scribbled instructions. Today I spent a good three hours just trying to breathe as I worked on figuring out the difference between the state monthly and the state quarterly taxes and then comparing those to the federal monthly and federal quarterly's still just a big pile of hot mush in my brain, though.

I'm grateful, though, that I have a job. So many people that I know are being downsized and struggling, and I will push through this upheaval so I can keep feeding my face and sleeping in a warm bed. Many people have it much worse than I do. Complaints over!

I'm sitting here right now, enjoying my chocolate pudding and trying to regroup, mulling over in my mind how I'm going to get it all done. There are some awesome positives, though. I get my old desk back--it's twice as big as my current one. Also, as everyone has lovingly pointed out to me, my skills set has expanded, and I'm making myself even more invaluable to my company (like that was even possible...). And last week they changed my daily schedule. I no longer have to drag myself here at the crack-of-not-even-dawn (6:30am); I'm now slated to be here at 7:30 in the morning. (Isn't it sad when you think of 6:30 as 'sleeping in'?) It does make for some later afternoons, but the trade-off is definitely a plus in my mind. I think once I dig in and get organized with my filing and daily schedule, work will be much more manageable.

As a funny, completely unrelated side note, a shout out to Rachel. Last night we were talking about new people we've met, and I was teasing her about how they probably like her. She blurts out in frustration, "Urgh!! If one more person likes me, I'm going to kill myself!" We were laughing a good while about that one...she just can't help that she's so lovable, though!

Thursday, January 15, 2009


As Lacy and I were walking through Smith's a couple weeks ago, we saw this lovely gem. I snapped a picture with my phone and submitted it to this blog I follow, Apostrophe Abuse. Eh voila! I even got a shout out from the moderators. I'm so proud.

It is kind of funny to see how people don't know when to leave out the dang apostrophe. Don't they know they're just making more work for themselves? I guess they also create more comedic fodder for people such as myself, too, though. :)

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Feeling Nuvi

Have you ever been cruising along on the freeway only to have those dreaded police lights show up in your rearview mirror? I can honestly say that I haven't had this experience (knock on wood!), but I did get to be a passenger for just such an occasion a couple weeks ago. I've gotten permission from the story's owner to post details that our mom knows about it.

Rachel and I were headed back from our parents' house a couple days after Christmas. I was playing with my GPS and trying to get it configured and see how it worked. One of the cool things about it is that it will tell you how fast you're going. That's kind of neat (this is how I found out that my car speedometer isn't exactly correct...hmmm...), and I was reporting Rachel's speed to her every few minutes. She was a little bit of a lead foot that day, and it was mostly so we could beat the impending snow storm that was supposed to hit that afternoon.

Usually she and I have an agreement as shotgun rider we look out for cops for the driver. We were cruising at a little more than 80mph in the carpool lane, minding our own business, and probably going faster than the flow of traffic...ok, we were. I got caught up in my fascination with the GPS. I was distracted by changing the accent and putting in our home address. Next thing I knew, the words, "Oh crap...a cop..." escape Rachel's lips. I immediately set down the toy and started trying to settle her. I tried, "Maybe he's trying to pull over someone in front of you." The next few minutes were a blur as I tried to be reassuring and say, "He might just give you a warning." "Don't move while he's coming up to the car." "Just try to be apologetic..."

Well, my optimism didn't hold much water...luckily the cop was pretty nice, and as we're trying to explain our 'beating the storm' excuse, he tells Rachel he'll write the ticket for a few miles under what she was supposedly actually doing. I was really proud of Rachel's calmness. She didn't cry or fret. The most she said was, "I just can't afford this right now," with a little pouty lip.

So...I failed. Just as I was trying to help out my navigational skills with the new GPS, my lookout skills went up in smoke. What kind of sister leaves her sister to the sheriff wolves like that? She made sure to berate me for it, and I think I feel sufficiently ashamed and apologetic. I will make a better concerted effort to make myself useful in the passenger's seat in the future. Add that to the list of resolutions...

Also on the topic of the GPS, I love it. I can enter a restaurant name in, and it will find it, talk me there, and then tell me which side of the street it's on. If for nothing else, I love it for that. I was talking to a friend the other day about geocaching with it as well. I'll have to figure out some functionalities on it, but it could be a new adventure!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Crap people buy

You know, it never ceases to amaze me what marketers come up with. Especially around Christmas time, you see a huge increase in the number of silly gimmicks trying to get you to buy ridiculous products.

For example, this gem here is getting some pretty good screen time (and that's saying a lot at my house where we don't watch commercials...):

This harebrained product has become quite the topic in my circles of friends, as well. Don't get me wrong...I love being warm as much as the next girl, but wow. I can only imagine the product pitch presentation that happened. "Are you burdened by your need to stay warm while you're being lazy and watching old reruns on television? Do you find yourself wishing you could drape yourself in three fleece blankets to keep your temperature regulated during the winter? We have the product for you! Introducing a blanket that we've turned into a poncho!" (I would just like to add here that the poncho was a fashion choice I could never get behind...)

Seriously, people, who pays $20 for something they could make themselves at home with a big piece of fleece and a stapler? You give me five bucks and I could turn a profit and make you something just as functional and probably way more awesome.

And speaking of outrageous marketing reminded me of this Jim Gaffigan sketch.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

The opposite of progress...

If this post had a theme song, it would be Journey's Don't Stop Believin' . I can't stop believin', otherwise my last post will have been for naught. That's resolutions have taken a plunge in the last 24 hours, but I am bound and determined to get back on the bus (a little shout out to Mrs. King from 10th Grade English!).

Yesterday when I got home from work, in addition to eating an entire box of Raisinettes (they were delicious...thanks Kati!), I watched M*A*S*H for about exactly three hours. I turned it on thinking I would take a nap to the dulcet tones of Hawkeye's voice and Radar's charisma, but I just kept watching...and there were tons of episodes on the TiVo. My need to clear off the list beat my need to actually do something with myself. Never, I have new resolve to at least take a nap and read a few chapters in Catch 22. If I write it here, it makes it even worse if I don't do it. Wish me luck!

Also, my patience in driving has been tested the last couple days. I did so great on the way home from work yesterday in the snow (Hmmm, can I blame my television-watching on that? Ok, ok...probably not.), even when it took me twice as long to get home as it usually does. This morning, I was headed out in the depths of the snow--come on, my kingdom for a snow plow!--and there was a guy the middle of the dang road! I got around him ok, and then I went to turn on University Ave. I waited...and waited...I was not chancing anything with the weather conditions the way they were. Same guy comes walking up and goes to jaywalk RIGHT WHERE I WAS FINALLY GOING TO GET TO TURN! I actually screamed--it was high-pitched and a tea kettle or something. I'm going to chalk this one up to winter, though. Hate it.

So I slipped. Got lax. Found myself falling back into old habits. I'm human! Let me try again, please.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Miles to go and promises to keep (to myself...)

I've finally found some quiet introspective time as this year begins to sit down and think about what it is about me that I would like to change/improve. I know, the New Year is usually about people fixing their determination to live a healthier lifestyle or to better their relationships, but at least for me, I figure why set lofty goals that I'll only be depressed about not achieving next year as this time rolls around? I've set about to find small ways to work towards a life-long goal of continuing progression. I know I can't accomplish perfection in 2009, so I'll settle for a few small improvements that will hopefully last. And so, in no uncertain order, here they are...the steps to a slightly more self-satisfied Annie:

* Go to the dentist at least once this year. Considering it's been awhile since I've been, this will be a good one to have checked off the to do list. And I've already set myself up for success on this one--an appointment is scheduled for January 12th. I'm a little worried that since it's been so long that it'll be exquisitely painful, but I guess I need to own up and take responsibility for my poor teeth and gums. No, I'm not afraid of the dentist's drill or reasoning for not going has been solely insurance-related.

* Learn to play the guitar. Another one of my dreams in the making! I'm all signed up for a class that UVU offers through their continuing education program. It's kind of great because the guy who's teaching it is a guy I used to go to church with a few years ago. I doubt he'll remember me, but that should ease my transition from guitar idiot to connossieur a little better, I hope. I don't expect to be much good, though...I'm sure I'll keep you posted on the status of my learning.

* Never let something sit long enough in my refrigerator that I'm afraid it might grow legs and walk out on its own. Cleaning out the fridge is one of the hated chores around my house. And I'm always the one who gets so sick of the disgustingness that I finally break down and succumb to the mold/fungus-infested task. BLECH. So I vow to do a spot check every once in awhile so I can avoid this vomit-inducing burden.

* Put away some money for retirement. Now that I've paid off the car and re-financed my mortgage, I've got a little each month to put towards some sort of IRA or 401-K. I'm 25. It's time to start saving. Luckily I've got automatic transfers on my online banking account that just make it happen every month. Another reason to love the Internet--what did people do without it?

* Read more. Could I be any more vague? I've discovered something about myself: I come home from work and plop down on the couch, remote control in hand, only to wonder three hours later (after watching several episodes of M*A*S*H or some other show I've seen three thousand times) where all my free time went. And so I resolve to use a portion of that time for more scholarly pursuits. I'd like to read some of the classics but also read some silly, cake stuff. I mean, for crying in the mud, I was an English major...I love to read! And it's been sad as I've found that I can check out one or two books from the library and not even be done with them by the time they're due three weeks later. That's a problem. I'm going to fix it.

* Be a more patient driver. I can see the smirks on your faces now, those of you who have had the pleasure of being the passenger on expeditions with me...but seriously! I've discovered that I'm actually a lot happier and not as ulcer-filled when I take a few extra minutes and not berate all the stupid drivers on the road. I mean, what's two more minutes to me? I think it's a worthy sacrifice for a shred of sanity when I arrive at my destination.

I'm sure that a year from now, after life has thrown me a few curve balls, I'll look back at this post and snicker with a haughty oh-how-naive-you-were-back-then attitude. But hey, if I had posted something like this last year, I think I'd like to see how far I'd come.


2008 is over. As 2009 begins, I'd like to do a year-in-review--and it's all about the third-grade math...

* One new niece, born in March. What a cutie she is!
* One new nephew, born in July. Don't get to see him (since he lives in the Middle East), but he's adorable.
* One new brother-in-law, brought to us by the happy union of Natalie and Mike in June.
* Pierced ears. To the shock and awe of millions, I am now officially an 'accessorizer.'

* Car loan payments. DONE.
* One boyfriend...twice...
* Hair. It's so short now! (And I like it that way!)
* Weight. I lost about 5 pounds over the course of the year. Go me!
* Red eyes. These new soft lenses work wonders!

* The temple. Blessings abound!
* Work duties. One person trying to do the work of at least three others? I'm only human!
* Number of concerts attended. 6 in a year is a whole lot more than I've ever done before...

* ...of time between different places. I traveled to the UAE, Egypt, New York, Cedar City (twice!)/St. George, Seattle, and San Francisco. Whew!

Alright 2009...let's see what you've got to offer! (I feel like I should knock on wood or something...)