27 December 2006

The Best Christmas Present Ever


I got this lovely t-shirt from Santa and I have to say, even with the digital camera and the Cary Grant box set, it was the most exciting present I got. As most of you readers know, I'm obsessed with The Office. It is one of the few TV shows I have to own on DVD as soon as it is released. Thus the squeal of joy Christmas morning when I opened this. It is, as you can probably tell, a bit big. Actually about two sizes too big. I was a little concerned about that until I realized I could just pretend it is Jim Halpert's shirt. And that is what made this the best Christmas present ever!

18 December 2006

Malignant Headspace

What does it say about where my head is at that I just had to convince myself NOT to write a not of apology about changing the picture on my blog? Because I had commented on Miss Nemesis's excellent post about feminism and how people relate to that word, especially people who share our faith. Anyway, a later commentor said they liked the old picture (of the real Agent Scully) better than the new picture. And they spelt it 'Skully' not 'Scully'. So why was my first response to write a note of apology to a perfect stranger who didn't even spell my screen name properly, because they didn't like the new picture of a snake eating it's own tail? Especially considering said apology would have been posted on someone else's blog space and had nothing to do with the excellent post to which it would have been attached. Also, why was my first instinct to explain exactly why I had chosen that picture? Because I did choose it for a reason. It comes from an episode of The X-Files in which Scully gets the image tattooed on her back because she feels it represents her life and how she keeps going in circles rather than moving forward. And that is how I feel. So why should I feel I have to justify my decision to a perfect stranger who may or may not read my blog? Or, more precisely, why do I allow a perfectly innocuous comment from a stranger to cause me to second guess my sense of identity?

13 December 2006

Keep 'Em Separated

I have a confession to make: I am a Christmas music segregationist. Either the song is religious or secular and never the twain shall meet. The artist should sing about snowmen and jingle bells and Santa Claus or it is about the Nativity and the Holy Night and angels singing to shepards. There shouldn't be any inter-mixing of topics. Which is why the following is my least favorite Christmas song (I do not recognize any Christmas song written after 1970):

Here Comes Santa Claus (Right Down Santa Claus Lane)
(Words & music by Autry - Haldeman)

Here comes Santa Claus, here comes Santa Claus,
Right down Santa Claus Lane.

Vixen, Blitzen, all his reindeer
Pulling on the reins.
Bells are ringing, children singing,
All is merry and bright.
Hang your stockings and say a prayer,
'Cause Santa Claus comes tonight.

Here comes Santa Claus, here comes Santa Claus,
Right down Santa Claus Lane.

He's got a bag that's filled with toys
For boys and girls again.
Hear those sleigh bells jingle jangle,
What a beautiful sight.
Jump in bed and cover up your head,
Because Santa Claus comes tonight.

Here comes Santa Claus, here comes Santa Claus,
Right down Santa Claus Lane.

He doesn't care if you're a rich or poor boy,
He loves you just the same.
Santa knows that we're God's children,
That makes everything right.
Fill your hearts with Christmas cheer,
'Cause Santa Claus comes tonight.

Well, here comes Santa Claus, here comes Santa Claus,
Right down Santa Claus Lane.

He'll come around when the chimes ring out
'It's Christmas morn again.'
Peace on Earth will come to all
If we just follow the light
Let's give thanks to the Lord above,
'Cause Santa Claus comes tonight.

'Cause Santa Claus comes tonight!

I have never understood why we should be giving prayers of thanks for Santa Claus's impending visit, rather than the actual Christmas miracle. Secondly, what exactly does Santa knowing "that we're God's children" make right? And why does anything Santa do have to be made right? Finally, what light are we supposed to follow? Is it a religious light or is it the light of Rudolph's nose? Every spiritual reference in that song is murky and makes the whole song a little sinister, at least in my mind. Any Christmas songs you readers find worrisome, disturbing, or just plain bad?

11 December 2006

White Out

Last night Miss Parker and I went to Z & Mr. Conservative's house so Parker could take their Christmas card photo and for dinner. As we were driving the rain turned into the biggest snowflakes I had seen in my life. Luckily we were just a few minutes from their home, but when we left several hours later, everything had a layer of white concealing it and the clouds and fog were so thick that you couldn't see very far in any direction. Luckily it hadn't frozen and the drive home was fine, but I did begin to feel a little claustrophobic. I like to see where I'm going and I like to be able to see the horizon but it usually takes a few days of this kind of weather for it to bug me. Today I realized why it was bothering me so much, so soon. This entire fall, I have felt hemmed in by life. I'm exhausted by the never-ending circle of logic my head goes through when I think about the future. I'm exhausted by the infinite number of 'what-ifs' and the general trend of reality being worse than I could possibly imagine. I'm exhausted by the cheery facade I keep up so that no one has to worry about me and can cross me of their list of people for whom they are concerned. I'm exhausted by the fact that I still think about a job I hated and haven't had for three months. I'm exhausted by the insomnia I can't conquer. I'm exhausted by the job search, when I apparently have no skills anyone needs or wants. And I'm really, really exhausted by a future that appears to hold nothing good in store. What I need right now is to be able to see some sort of light through the fog, but so far, no such luck.

07 December 2006

Is it wrong . . .

that I want to see The Holiday simply because part of it is set in England? Oh, and Kate Winslet is in it.

04 December 2006

Is It Opposite Day?

This is my horoscope for today:
Libra
September 22 - October 22
In future years, you could remember today as one of the best days of your life, dear Libra. Romance should be going beautifully as you exchange deeply felt words of love with your partner. The future looks bright, and you should be full of enthusiastic plans for pursuing what you really want to do. Also, you should be feeling especially strong, energetic, healthy, and ready to try just about anything. A journey may be coming up soon. Have fun!
And the possibility that this could be the best day of my life is the saddest joke ever. Because today was the day that I woke up with the knowledge that karma hates me. That it, or fate, or whatever you want to call it is actively trying to make me miserable. And then to turn on the computer and see that horoscope, just like pouring lemon juice on a paper cut.

First of all, there is no romance in my life. My last date was years - yes, years - ago and I am apprently such a loser that a woman in my home ward is telling my mother that she should introduce me to the new 48 year-old single dad of 15 year-old twins who just moved into said ward. Hello? The man is two decades older than I am!

Secondly, I woke up with a stuffy nose, a headache, and a scratchy throat and spent most of the day just trying to stay warm. So, no energy, health, or adventure-seeking around here today.

And finally, I have no plans for the future because I am unemployed and can't afford to have any plans past the vague edict 'Must find job.' The only possibility of a journey I can see is moving home with my tale between my legs because I am, apparently, unemployable. So yeah, it must be opposite day.

01 December 2006

Better Late Than Never

I realize it is December 1st and that Thanksgiving has come and gone, but since I spent most of Thanksgiving weekend focused on what I didn't have rather than what I did, I thought I would spend December being grateful for all the good things in my life. So today, I am grateful for reality. Yes, you read that correctly. I am grateful for reality. Today. Most days I am not. Most days begin with me saying out loud, to myself and possibly my alarm clock, 'Five more minutes,' at least twice because I don't want to face reality.

To fully explain today's gratitude for reality, I first have to start with an unsettling confession. Recently I have begun to think of having children as something I want to do. To do in the near future, not as some random possibility in the long-term. Maybe it is because my ovaries, after 17 years of wasted output, have suddenly begun to fear there will be a shortage of supplies and are sending random hormones surging through my system, butI have begun to coo over babies. Whatever the reason, rather than squealing 'EW!' and turning the channel when I happen upon TLC's A Baby Story, I pause and think, 'How lovely.' Well, the actual childbirth isn't lovely, but the newborn baby is. Thus, one of the things I was mentally complaining about during Thanksgiving: dying alone and being eaten by Alsatians.

Which brings us to today. I have been baby-sitting a lot lately for my friend Z, as she and her husband Mr. Conservative bought a new house and are doing all the labor-intensive moving and cleaning of the old house etc. So Wednesday night and today I baby-sat for Jr. while Z and Mr. Conservative got that last vestiges of furniture, dirt, and dust out of their old house. Jr. is 17 months old and absolutely delightful. We have fun driving cars off the back of the couch, rough-housing, and playing his favorite game, Empty-and-Fill the CD Rack. Usually I only watch Jr. for a couple of hours at a time, but today he was here for almost four. So the fun was interrupted by a rather foul dirty diaper. So foul, in fact, that I have been burning candles and Febreezing for several hours, but still think I smell it. If it weren't two million degrees below zero, I would open all the windows. And that my friends, is a reality for which I am thankful. Dirty diapers and not having enough hands, and the sheer exhaustion of being responsible for another human being makes me realize that possibly I'm not ready for that kind of commitment right now and also, thank goodness I'm not a single mom. Even if Jr.'s reddish hair and blue eyes make everyone around here think I am.

22 November 2006

Maybe I'll Move to Australia

Do you guys ever have one of those days where everything seems to go wrong? Where life veers off into some alternate course and you want just one thing to go right, but it turns out that even the Christmas tree ornament you wanted at Hallmark is only available to people in some special club and you have to buy three other ornaments to be eligibile for the stupid club, and then the avocados you picked out for the guacamole you plan on making for the tacos you are having for dinner aren't quite ripe and require an act of Congress to mash up and finally, while sitting at dinner you are about to take a drink of your grape juice when you notice that a spider, the animal you hate most on all the earth, is drowning in your grape juice. And there is no more grape juice. That is the kind of day that today was.

16 November 2006

Chaos Part II

* * * * * WARNING: FOR ADULT EYES ONLY * * * * *

Ok, so the painting probably won't be done until Saturday, which means I will have been in a state of chaos for 6 days. Also, I am killing off brain cell after brain cell by sleeping in a room with paint fumes. Also, I have this thing in which my bedroom door must be closed in order for me to sleep comfortably but I can't close it because of the paint fumes and have therefore been sleeping very lightly. Which, combined with the fact that my vent cover is removed from the duct so I can paint around it, is why I am pretty sure I was woken by the sounds of what could only be my upstairs neighbors getting intimate this morning. And I am scarred for life. Fingers crossed that the brain cells that die tonight are responsible for that memory.

15 November 2006

Chaos

With all my free time these days, I decided to go ahead and repaint my bedroom. When Miss Parker and I moved into this place, we were told we could paint as long as we returned it to the original white before we moved out. And seeing as how we are planning on moving when our lease is up in February, repainting now seemed like a good idea. The only difficulty is that when I orginally painted the room blue, I had a small, easily-moved twin bed. Now I have a wonderful, gargantuan, pillow-topped queen bed, which I love dearly and in which I enjoy spending far too much time. However, the sheer size of the bed is causing problems. I have to plan exactly what section of the room to paint and how long I have to wait for it to dry before I can shove the bed a different direction and paint another section. Which means that the repainting is going to take twice as long as the painting did. Plus, since the blue I painted is a strong color, I can't just slap white paint over it. I discovered yesterday when I started that I have to do two coats of primer AND two coats of paint to properly cover the wall. So instead of taking two days, it will take at least four. Therefore, most of the contents of my bedroom remain strewn around the living room. The chaos is driving me completely crazy.

I am tempted to just move the bed into the last remaining floor space of the living room, even though a) it would probably bug Miss Parker to no end, especially since the kitchen is also a disaster because I'm either painting or passed out from paint fumes and she is working long hours AND just started rehearsals for a local production of Aida; and b) the sheer act of moving it would probably kill me because I would slip on the plastic drop cloth on my floor causing the mattress to fall on me, pining me to the floor under the window that is opened to alleviate the paint fumes and Miss Parker would find me frozen to death late at night when she returns from rehearsal. Also, sleeping in the living room seems kind of creepy. So the chaos continues.

The worst of it is that amongst this chaos, I am still expected to function normally, to do the job search thing, to handle my financial affairs, to generally live life when I can't remember where I put anything I need to do any of the above. Because when I was packing up my room and moving it about, I found clever places to put everything I needed. Sadly, possibly from sleeping in a paint-fume bedroom, I forgot said cleverness and am now without all the paperwork I need to get through the day. And all of this has to be done and taken care of before I leave for Washington on Tuesday for the Thanksgiving holiday. I need a nap.

01 November 2006

Things That Make Me Happy

I decided today would be the day to use the gift cards I got for my birthday, so I walked over to the Gateway to do some shopping. As always happens when I have money to spend, I couldn't find any clothes I liked. But at Barnes&Noble I found the perfect 2007 calendar by Anne Taintor. I absolutely love the combination of the retro images and witty, naughty text. So I look forward to the next year of a monthly reason to smile!

30 October 2006

Count Your Blessings

Which is exactly what I did tonight. I sat down at my desk, squeezed a square of desktop between my keyboard and the five piles of paperwork stacked next to it and started to write thank you notes to everyone who sent something for my birthday. It was too quiet, but all the CDs in my room somehow seemed wrong and I knew that if I walked out into the living room to find the right ones, I would get sucked into doing something else. So I turned on the television hoping TNT was playing re-runs of The X-Files but instead found some procedural show in which the detectives solve old, previously unsolved crimes. This one revolved around a 12 year-old girl who was killed in 1990. It turned out that she was the victim of a group of horrible girls whose bullying lead to her death. It hit me at some point that I was 12 in 1990 and while I wasn't the small, underdeveloped, glasses-wearing nerd, I was the tall, overweight, glasses-wearing nerd. There were some horrible girls in junior high and high school and while the worst parts of me hope that they are fat when I see them at our 10 year high school reunion, I also had a great group of friends who were there through thick and thin, then and now. And for that I am eternally grateful. So to those wonderful girls from the class of '97: THANK YOU!

27 October 2006

Basically Anything That Is Awesome

Wednesday night was the Evanescence concert at Saltair and it was awesome. You'll have to check out Miss Parker's blog for pics, since I don't have the mad computer skills necessary to link the iPhotoBooth session we indulged in when we got back from the concert. Plus she knows the guy who photographed the concert, so she also has a link to the actual concert pics. The concert was crazy fun, although it was a constant battle to not let my natural apathy towards humanity make me insane from all the unwashed masses pressing in on me. Luckily I found a spot behind a very tall young man who was like a brick wall. I could see over his shoulders and no one tried to mess with him. so thanks, Tall Guy, hope you had fun at the concert. I couldn't really tell since the only time you moved was to raise your hand and give the 'horns' when Amy Lee & Co. would start rocking exceptionally hard. Also, anyone up for seeing 30 Seconds to Mars at Saltair in November? It's Jordan Catalano (aka Jared Leto) in eyeliner!

24 October 2006

I [heart] Joan Didion

I have been on a reading jag of the works of Joan Didion. It started with a book on California she had written called Where I Was From and then I decided I should read The Year of Magical Thinking about her life after her husband John Gregory Dunne passed away. And most recently I picked up her collection of essays from 1968 tittled Slouching Towards Bethlehem. And while I would recommend anyone read all three of these books, I had to share something from an essay in Slouching Towards Bethlem titled "On Self-Respect." I would recommend everyone read this essay, but the pearl of wisdom I wanted to share is this:
It was once suggested to me that, as an anti-dote to crying, I put my head in a paper bag. As it happens there is a sound physiological reason, something to do with oxygen, for doing exactly that, but the psychological effect alone is incalculable; it is difficult in the extreme to continue fancying oneself Cathy in Wuthering Heights with one's head in a Food Fair bag.
This gem, which made my roommate and I laughed hilariously for sometime, also gave me a sense of perspective. A lot has happened recently that tempts me to drown myself in a pool of self-pity, but this sentence is the shove into reality that I need. This world is hard and not fair and I have had more than my share of wonderful things, so I shouldn't let some worries and some sorrows turn my usual rational self into a melodramatic wallower. But just in case, I'll keep the Food Fair bag handy.


13 October 2006

This Is What Happens When You Leave Your Comfort Zone

You find yourself trapped between a bay window and a table while everyone around you oohs and aahs over the Stampin' UP! lady's wares and begin contemplating crawling under the table to escape. You then listen to Metallica, Garbage, and 30 Seconds to Mars while driving home in an attempt to induce some sort of feeling other than self-pity. Until you give up, indulge in a pity party, and end up listening to Stacey Kent sing "They Can't Take That Away From Me" and posting pathetic missives on your blog in the middle of the night. All because you decided to go to a Stampin' UP! party at which you were the only single person in attendance and couldn't even drown your sorrows in the chips and salsa, because someone had put cheese in the salsa. I miss cheese.

11 October 2006

Because I Can Totally Rock The Plaid

Or, more correctly, the tartan. I want to move to Scotland. I found this BBCAmerica show on PBS on Sunday nights called Monarch of the Glen and now I'm in love with the idea of moving to Scotland. The show involves a dishy young man being called home from London to Glenbogle to run the family estate. It involves a lot of lovely scenery and wonderful Scottish and British accents. Also, like I said, the main character is quite attractive. Imagine a Scottish John Cusack. If that is your cup of tea. It is most definitely mine.

So now my wildest fantasies involve being located by some sort of official and inheriting, through one of the Scottish lines on either side of my genealogy, some sort of lovely estate. Of course there would at first be a lot of issues with the locals, because I would be seen as an interloper, from America no less. But I would of course win them over with my lovely personality and willingness to adapt to local customs and what not. And of course at some point there would be a dashing dark-haired Scot to sweep me off my feet. Also, don't you think the Scottish countryside would be an excellent place to write novels? Think of the inspiration. Or, homesickness could inspire me to write a brilliant ode to my homeland. See, I think this could be the answer to all my problems.

And when Miss Parker read this, I will be forever banned from watching BBCAmerica or PBS ever again.

10 October 2006

Sting Is Dead To Me

I never really thought I would say such a thing because a) I like his music and b) he seems like a genuinely nice and socially conscious individual. But it can't be coincidence that on Saturday, when my alarm went off, interrupting a dream in which I was on a date with my #1 Comedic TV Boyfriend Jim Halpert, it was a Sting song. A Sting song was also on the radio last Monday when my alarm went off, interrupting a dream in which I was flying with my #1 Dramatic TV Boyfriend Dean Winchester. Coincidence? I think not. Therefore, Sting is Dead To Me. As is whatever station my radio was set on those mornings. Because I have enough bad news these days, I could use a few more TV Boyfriend populated dreams.

I did hear back from the firm I interviewed with and while I didn't get the position, they did say they were impressed with my interview and that they would keep my resume on file if anything else came up. Which could be what they tell everyone, but it did make me feel pretty zen about the whole situation. In fact I'm pretty zen about my life right now. It could be that a continued lack of sleep has robbed me of my senses (Insomnia is mean, people!) or a preternatural apathy about work in the first place, but I'm not nearly a stressed as I thought I would be. In fact it has been kind of nice to have time to read book for hours or do research for my planned novel or just walk around downtown and people watch. I guess I was far more miserable at my old job than I thought.

So even though I am actually enjoying the free time that goes with being unemployed, I must get back to the thirty job ads I emailed myself last night. Or maybe I'll have words with my alarm clock. It can't be interrupting my best dreams like that.

05 October 2006

Movie Rec


I recommend that you readers go and see The Illusionist if it is in a theater near you. It is one of the most visually stunning films I've seen in a while. I don't want to say much about it for fear of giving plot points away, but go and see it. It is worth the $7.

26 September 2006

Statistics

Since I haven't any job to complain about or crazy stories to tell about a boss, I thought I would share some random statistics of my past two weeks.

Days Out of Bed Before 10AM - 1
Resumes Submitted - 3 or 29 or 57. I've kind of lost count.
Hours Spent Watching M*A*S*H Reruns - 27
Interviews - 1
Cell phone minutes wasted talking old office through things - 52
Temper tantrums thrown - 3 (the latest being when I called the old office about my severance and a nice girl named Megan answered the phone. Apparently they needed an administrative assistant they could pay $8 an hour.)
Days spent wandering to Sam Weller's Books on Main Street to drool over old books I can't afford - 3
2nd Interviews - 1 (tomorrow yay!)
Vampire dreams - 2
Flying dreams - 1 (haven't had one of these since I was in grade school - they are awesome! Basically, I can fly. Good times.)

Anyway, thanks for all your thoughts and good wishes. I really feel good about this second interview tomorrow and from what was said at the first interview, if all things go well, I could be employed next week. So fingers crossed people!

18 September 2006

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

So the past few weeks have been crazy. I was laid off from a job I hated, temporarily transferred to the Seattle office for two weeks to see if I would hate the job as intensely in a different location, and then shipped back here to figure out what I wanted to do with the rest of my life and how to support myself in the meantime. So here is the good, the bad, and the ugly of the whole experience.

The Good
  • I drove to my parents’ home both weekends I was in Seattle and got to spend some quality time with them. Also, there is nothing like the ego boost of going back to a place where people think you are great.
  • I realized that I hate my job regardless of location and really feel great about not ever going back to work for that company.
  • Despite the stress of the whole experience, I’ve never been happier than I was today when I realized I would never again have to wake up to that job.
  • Severance packages are like having paid vacations.

The Bad

  • One should never have to live in a hotel for two weeks. I don’t care if it is a studio with a kitchen.
  • Everyone was going on about the heat wave in Seattle. It was 75 degrees. I was wearing sweaters and shivering while everyone else was blasting the A/C. I even turned on the heat in my hotel room.
  • Because of the short notice under which my flight arrangements were made my itinerary went something like this: Salt Lake – San Francisco – Seattle – Denver – Salt Lake
  • Almost bursting into tears in the San Francisco airport after realizing that exactly seven years ago to the day I had been sitting in the same airport on the way to London.
  • Salt Lake Int’l Airport experienced horrible weather and a major technological meltdown on the day I flew back, which delayed my flight from Denver for two hours, messed up the baggage claim system to the point that bags from multiple flights were on different carousels meaning that it took me an hour and a half to figure out my luggage wasn’t on any of them, and caused a 30 minute wait to pay for parking.
  • My luggage was left in Denver and didn’t arrive until 12:30pm the next day.

The Ugly
  • The branch manager of the Seattle branch suffers from short term memory loss due to a car accident earlier this summer. Which caused him to tell me the following stories on a daily basis:
    • How he has short-term memory problems because of a car accident earlier this summer.
    • How he is suing his contractor because the contractor didn’t weather-proof the foundation and he now has a virulent mold problem.
    • How he teaches classes for his church and is “just trying to live by faith.
  • Mr. Short-Term Memory, despite the above protestation of religiosity, had a tendencey to drop the F-bomb on a regular basis, especially when telling stories or really, really stupid jokes at which I was forced, out of politeness, to smile.
  • Mr. Short-Term Memory also suffered from over-sharing. I know more about his past relationships, his musical preferences, his dog ownership, and his church-going than I knew about anyone I had worked with for 2+ years in the Salt Lake office.
  • I got the eerie feeling, despite the inappropriateness of it, that I was being auditioned for not only the administrative assistant position, but for a dating possibility as well. Examples:
    • His constant questioning about what I do in my spare time, what music I like, and my opinions on other pop culture things.
    • His enthusiasm for playing Death Cab for Cutie over and over on a daily basis after I reluctantly admitted to liking them.
    • The performance of what can only be described as a ‘butt shimmy’ while singing along to the Death Cab for Cutie song that was blaring from his iTunes in front of my desk on his way to the conference room.
    • His repeatedly asking me if I had a boyfriend, which was confusing since he kept referring to my roommate as “your girlfrie – I mean roommate.” Either way, I wasn’t going to admit to being single.
    • His semi-frequent assertion that he knew what I was going through because "I'm also a single person trying to live by faith."
So now you are all caught up on the happenings of the last few weeks I’ve been MIA. I’ll keep you updated on the job search front, but for now I think I’ll spend the week enjoying a paid vacation.

30 August 2006

Maybe Dunder Mifflin Has An Opening

Because I wouldn't mind working with Jim Halpert on a daily basis. And I suddenly find myself in need of employment. Regular readers know I detest(ed) my job, but it was still a punch in the gut when I was laid off this morning for "financial reasons." I'll be in Seattle the next two weeks on a test run at the branch office there. It is a long story, but at least I'll be employed for two more weeks. I might even be able to pay rent in October. Good times. But internet access might be spotty and I don't know when I'll get to write again. I'll miss you!

17 August 2006

Regression Part II

It is worse than I previously thought. I stood in Barnes & Noble at lunch for 20 minutes debating whether or not to spend six hard earned dollars on Elle because they had a one page blurb on John Krasinski from The Office. In my defense, the picture is good. On the other hand, the rest of the magazine will probably never be looked at. Yes, this debate took 20 minutes and yes I might have vocalized part of it and scared everyone else out of the periodical section. And no, I did not buy it. So maybe it isn't as bad as I thought.

10 August 2006

Regression - Its a Good Thing

When I was young, the standard phrases adults used to describe me were:

1. She's so responsible.
2. She's wise/mature/aware beyond her years.
3. She's always dependable.

For the most part, these were very flattering. I never particularly liked the word 'dependable' as it made me think of things like orthopedic shoes and polyester culottes, but I liked that people knew they could trust me. Especially with their children, because that is how I earned spending money. But beside that, it was like being given the golden ticket into adult circles. And I wasn't about to waste it by acting my age.

By junior high I had, both because of personality and social conditioning, cultivated an air of someone older. I had survived my brief foray in to fangirldom during the New Kids on the Block craze of 1988-89 and I had read enough of the 150 million Baby-sitters Club books to know I didn't need to read more. So I dove right into Jane Austen and the Bronte Sisters and renewed my teachers' faith in my advanced reading skills. I also scorned BOP!, Teen Beat, and pretty much any other publication aimed at adolescents except the occasional issue of Seventeen, but that was because of the fashion. And Vogue sometimes had the naked, so I obviously couldn't throw that into the cart while shopping with the parents. During high school InStyle launched and all my fashion mag issues were solved.

I tried desperately to avoid being labelled, or even being, boy-crazy. I had my little crushes in high school, but they were usually on the scandalously non-LDS boys and had more to do with certain aspects of their personas (hair, attitude, 1967 Mustang) than any real desire to date them. Because who finds lasting happiness in high school? Obviously not the mature young woman whose future plans revolved around at least one university degree and a career in some fabulous metropolis, preferably on the East Coast. So I sat back and let everyone else do the high-drama dating thing and planned for the future.

Eventually, being the mature one got tiresome. Especially around the point, during my sophomore year of college, my roommate's boyfriend called me "the mom of the apartment." Not the description one wants to hear when one is attempting to be a mysterious and alluring woman of the world. And thus the regression began.

It took a while to get going, because habits are hard to break and people don't let you change that easily. But it really took off when I moved in with a girl who had a Shrine to David Duchovny that took up her entire side of our room. It spread to my wall as well and eventually came to encompass many TVBoyfriends and travelled with us through several BYU apartments. How can your day not be good when you wake up to Hugh Jackman or Colin Firth or Jeramy Northam or Michael Vartan staring down at you. Plus you have the euphoria of starvation when you spend all your grocery money on glossy magazines. Of course as we moved on and became Responsible Adults who actually had visitors, we had to down-grade the Shrine. But it is still there in spirit.

The problem now is that I don't know how to stop the regression. A real-life boyfriend might help, but seeing as how I'm possibly more single than I was in high school (Yes, there are degrees of singlehood. They range from Spinster With Multiple Cats to I Call Myself Single Because I'm Dating 5 People on a Regular Basis) the boyfriend thing isn't likely to happen. So I find that at the age of 27, a decade after I should have grown out of it, I'm the girl who buys TV Guide because it has a full-page spread on a TVBoyfriend. At least it isn't Teen Beat.

07 August 2006

Three Cheers for Swedish Fish

As most of you faithful readers know, I am trying to eat healthy and get down to fighting weight. I really have changed a lot of my eating habits, due both to my digestive system pitching in and declaring all dairy products verboten and to some willpower on my part. But one of the things I haven't yet been able to totally give up is Swedish Fish. There is nothing like a couple of those lovely red pieces of gelatin to take the edge off the chaos. And yesterday and today have been filled with chaos.

Chaos can be good and bad. Today is full of bad chaos. With my boss on vacation, and my uber-boss at HQ for the week, I apparently am supposed to know everything and act way above my pay grade as both Boss and Uber-boss. This morning, if one more person had stood by my desk and expected whatever arcane information they needed to flow unrestrained directly from my brain, I would have had to punch someone. Or something. Throwing my computer monitor through the window seemed a good option, but I don't think I'm strong enough to get the momentum needed to achieve such a feat.

Yesterday was good chaos. I think. I was sitting in my first church meeting, which was the women's Relief Society meeting, minding my own business when one of the leaders of the congregation tapped me on the shoulder and asked me to leave the meeting and speak privately with him. Seeing as how the woman conducting the meeting had just announced I would be giving the closing prayer after singing the closing hymn, I was a little confused and politely asked if we could wait until I was done saying the closing prayer. So after the meeting adjourned, I had a conversation with this leader, culminating in my being invited to teach a Sunday School class. I accepted the invitation and then went to my next church meeting. Halfway through the meeting, the same man sat down beside me and whispered that there was a slight problem. Apparently, the women in charge of Relief Society had wanted me to teach the Relief Society class and were panicked and asking that I be univited to teach Sunday School and invited to teach Relief Society. The poor leader sitting beside me wanted to know if I could do both. I don't know if he didn't want to disappoint me in changing the class I would be teaching, but really, I would much rather they just put me where they need me, rather than do double duty. And I'm sure the poor people who would have to sit through two classes from me in a row would feel the same. Finally we settled on my teaching Relief Society regularly and filling in as a substitute Sunday School teacher. While both jobs seem a bit overwhelming, it is nice to feel needed.

Even if they did ask me to substitute teach Sunday School on the Sunday I'll be teaching my first Relief Society class. I think I need another Swedish Fish.

03 August 2006

Friday I'm in Love

Well, not really in love becuase my current real-life crush moved without so much as an exchange of pleasantries, let alone a declaration of undying love, and I'm now back to obsessing about TVboyfriends like I did when I was 12. But I am desperately wishing it were Friday. Seriously, Thursday afternoons are the WORST. Especially Thursday afternoons following a night of vampire dreams that kept waking me up.

So, I wish it were Friday. Mostly because it would mean that I was almost free from this office and wouldn't have to face it for 48 whole hours. But also because I am ridiculously looking forward to the new Will Ferrell movie, Talledega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby. I really have no idea why, other than I need a good laugh and I find Will Ferrell's brand of absurdity particularly funny. And how can you not see a movie that promises characters named 'Walker' and 'Texas Ranger'? Chuck Norris jokes are gold. Gold, Jerry!

Therefore, in my patented whine, Why can't it be FRIDAAAAYYY!?! At least I have reruns of The Office and my guiltiest guilty pleasure Supernatural to look forward to. Because if it can't be Friday, at least I can enjoy a pint of Soy Dream fake ice cream (flavor: MINTCHOCOLATECHIP! of course) while watching the funny and the pretty TVboyfriends.

02 August 2006

Blame It on the Rain

Yes, I did just quote a Milli Vanilli song. No, I am not sorry that the song is now stuck in each and every one of my readers' heads. It is stuck in mine too. But that is not the point. The point is that I must be the opposite of every SADD person out there. Because yesterday was an extraordinarily happy day for me. Sorry if you were without power or had property damage or whatnot, but I was just thrilled not to have to see the smug face of the sun. It was wonderful to feel the cold in the air, to smell the rain, to be able to NOT spontaneously combust when getting in the car after work. I made a fervent wish that it would last for more than a day. Which is why I woke up on the worst wrong side of the bed this morning and cursed the sun and the climbing thermometer. I want it to stay below 80, to have a hint of fall in the air, and to spare me the misery of any more 100+ days of heat. And yes, six months from now I will be issuing a complaint about the cold, the lack of sun, and the fact it isn't warming up fast enough. If the weather can be fickle, so can I.

31 July 2006

Woman In the Mirror

I’ve been thinking about body image a lot in the past few weeks. It seems to be a recurring theme in my life right now. I used to convince myself that I didn’t care, that I was who I was and I couldn’t change genetics, that there were so many better things to do with my time I didn’t want to spend it obsessing about myself. The truth is, I very much cared then and care now and spent a large part of my time mentally running away from my body.

Genetics did play a huge part. I weighed 180+ lbs, was 5’8”, had a 38D chest, and wore a women’s 12-14 the fall I started 6th grade. I looked like a full-grown woman before most of my friends had started puberty. I didn’t know what to do with myself. I didn't look like anyone I knew and definitely not like anyone in Seventeen. I was so Other that I ignored it. I had always been good at academics, been amongst the top in every test and could do quite well with relatively little effort, but this year was the first I remembered actually focusing on it. I would obviously never be successful in any attempt at popularity because a) Esprit didn’t make anything in my size and b) I stood out in all the wrong ways. Also, my brief foray into acting didn’t turn out so well. So I focused on the one thing I could be successful at. It is the first year I remember being referred to as The Walking Encyclopedia, a title I sardonically embraced.

It really didn’t get much better in junior high or high school. I did very well in school, I had friends, my parents were loving and supportive, but my body didn’t change and my refusal to deal with it didn’t help. Food was a consolation and I steadily gained weight. I still remember the ugly reality of surreptitiously standing on the scale in the girl’s locker room in 9th grade and watching the dial climb to 198. I was almost 200lbs. That was how much my 6'0" father weighed. I couldn't deal with that kind of information, so I retreated further into my mental world where it was more important that I was number 1 in my history class than what I looked like in the mirror.

College was a little better. I actually lost weight because of all the walking and for the first time in a long time, I didn’t feel like bursting into tears after shopping for clothes. I still remember justifying over-spending at Old Navy because I could actually wear their size 16 jeans. I went on a study abroad to London my Junior year and between my room at the top of 6 flights of stairs, the walking, my preferring to spend money on things rather than food, and an upper respiratory infection that lasted for two weeks, I shrunk to a size 12. It was elating. I was giving away clothes to girls who were larger than I was. That had never happened to me before.

I had thought, being in my late 20s, that I would be through with all this heartache over size. I have been eating better, healthier. I occasionally go to the gym. I’m slowly moving toward my goal weight. But this weekend the angst of the past 15 years came to a head, I went to see my roommate in a fashion show. And paraded before me, in one of the largest disconnects of modern American society, was a stream of size 2-6 models wearing the latest in adolescent fashion. In one of the write-ups the shops had provided as a running commentary, it boasted that it carried sizes 0-18 and XS to XXL. Considering that the majority of Americans range in the L-XL categories, it is no wonder so many girls have eating disorders. This size is still the exception to the fashion rule. Fashion needs to catch up.

Shopping after the show wasn’t fun. Shopping is still a prickly experience for me. Most of the time I can do it without recalling the tears and the panic and the desperation of those adolescent afternoons spent in a Maurices dressing room. Saturday was different. In most stores I went into, I felt vaguely claustrophobic. Even chains I usually have no problem with, like GAP didn’t feel comfortable. And there are stores I just don’t venture into, mostly because they don’t fit my aesthetic, but also because I just don’t feel like I belong in them. And sadly, just walking into Buckle with Miss Parker, so she could find a pair of jeans that fit, made me want to burst into tears. I had to get out. I couldn’t spend time in a store that didn’t even carry my size. So I wandered around the Provo Towne Center until I could control it. My question is, does this ever end? Will there ever be a time when I’m completely comfortable in my own skin, when the pain of the past doesn’t overthrow the present? Will I ever not be discouraged by the fact I am not and never will be a size 6? Will I ever be able to stop holding myself to a false idea of perfection? And is the fact that I'm actually recognizing and confronting this issue a positive step?

18 July 2006

The Happiest Place on Earth


This summer has seemed irrationally long, even though it is only half over, and due to my brother's wedding in April and my aunt's wedding in August, my vacation time was used up. At least all the days I haven't earmarked for Christmas. So I thought this would be a long hot, uneventful summer. But then my parents, my brother and sister-in-law, and I decided that since my aunt's wedding is on a Friday, we were going to spend that Saturday at DisneyLand. I can't tell you how giddily excited I am about this. Now that the plane tickets are purchased and vacation days scheduled, it all seems real. I've never been to DisneyLand. I did go to Disney World when I was 3, but that was far too long ago. So here is to reveling in childhood and enjoying an impromptu family vacation!

05 July 2006

The End of Innocence


Minor Spoilers - Read At Your Own Risk!

I finally saw Superman Returns yesterday. It seemed a fitting way to spend an overly hot afternoon and wile away the hours before the real festivities started. I was still slightly conflicted, even after hearing mostly good reviews from critics and friends alike. I got off to a rocky start when, after hearing Marlon Brando as Jor-El, hearing the John Williams score, I did not see the oh-so-familiar names of Christopher Reeve and Margot Kidder whoosh past on the starry background and felt like crying. But I soon found it entertaining and thought-provoking. So here is what worked for me and what didn't, and of course, the thoughts it provoked.

What Worked

First, accolades must be given to those in charge of the art and set direction. The Art Deco with a modern twist was a perfect fit. It paid homage to the 1930s origin of Superman while creating a seamless modern world that the audience could recognize. It was simultaneously familiar and other, making Metropolis and the world of Superman believable and complete.

I think being the person picked to wear the tights would be extremely daunting, especially in the wake of Christopher Reeve, but Brandon Routh did well. He made Clark Kent and Superman separate entities, but you could still see a bit of each in the other. So either the casting agent had an excellent eye or Mr. Routh has a great future ahead of him. Or both.

I have never cared for Kevin Spacey as an actor, having never seen most of the films people laud him for. However, he made an excellent Lex Luthor, balancing the megalomania with the almost tangible sense of insecurity that drives it. He made a plausible villain in both his climb to victory and his fall to defeat.

I have long enjoyed watching Parker Posey do what she does best -- kooky supporting characters. But I think she did an extraordinary job as Lex's hanger-on. Her change from obedient follower to instrument in defeat felt validated by each scene she was in. It wasn't just the sight of a handsome, suffering Superman, or the loss of someone important in the impending mass destruction. Rather, it was about recognizing the sheer evil of the whole plan. She made Kitty believable as someone who would follow Lex to the end of the earth, literally, but would still have the iota of courage to undermine him.

What Didn't Work

The Lois Lane with whom I am familiar is a ball of energy harnessed by a steely determination. The Lois Lane on the screen was not. Kate Bosworth did not portray the woman who risks life and limb for a story, but rather one that has a keen nose for news. There is a difference. There was no sense of immediacy in most, if not all, of her scenes. Lois Lane moves at 120 mph to everyone else's 60. Here, she maxed out at maybe 75 mph. For example, if one were sneaking a smoke, one would be more agitated than resigned. And this movie's Lois Lane seemed more resigned than agitated about pretty much everything.

Additionally, I had issues with the whole Lois Lane subplot. Why does she need a child? She could have been equally upset about the disappearance of Superman without the driving force of an on-hold fiance and a child. Again, she played this, or was directed to, with an air of resignation, which seems so completely un-Lois like.

Finally, the unavoidable Christ references. The Superman mythos has long been compared to the Christ story, but some of the images and textual references were so blatant, it took me out of the movie long enough to say "Are you kidding me?"

Final Thoughts

I really did enjoy this movie and would like to see it again. It tackled the iconic story well and probably restarted the franchise. I found its themes intriguing. The one that got me thinking the most was that of our modern twist on hero worship. Throughout the film, Perry White wants to know everything about Superman in order to sell papers. He doesn't care what it is good, bad, or fatal. If it sells, it is gold. In a world where weekly the heroes of past and present are dissected and trotted out for inspection, do we recognize the damage we do to them and to ourselves? If we can't believe in them, even for a moment, can we ever believe in ourselves? This theme is picked up and carried through to its end by Lex Luthor's visceral pleasure in watching his goons beat Superman to a bloody pulp. He seemed to enjoy it even more than when he was participating in the beating. Do we get pleasure from watching the great be torn down because it makes us feel greater, or because it absolves us of our guilt for not being so? If the great have weaknesses, weaknesses that destroy, does that validate our mediocrity? And if we can't uphold greatness, is it the end of innocence?

03 July 2006

Book Recommendation


I found The Mercy of Thin Air by Ronlyn Domingue on the bargain shelf at Barnes & Noble Friday night. I was drawn to the lovely simplicity of the cover art and intrigued by the blurb on the book jacket. And at $4.95, the price was perfect for my non-existent book budget. (My financial aspiration is to one day be well-off enough to buy whatever book strikes my fancy.) I was expecting a nice summer read.

What I discovered was a beautifully sculpted work that follows the after-life of a 20's Flapper following her tragic death in 1929 and her intersection with the modern world. Its themes of life, death, love, choice, and regret flow through the multiple strands of the story and seem at times like a philosophical text hidden in narrative. (I used that sentence to describe the book to Miss Parker, to which she replied "Pretentious much?") The book isn't without its flaws and the narrator isn't always likable, but it did keep me reading well into the wee hours of the morning on several occasions, including last night despite the fact I had to be to work at 7:30 am.

I think it is a great pick for those of you who like substance in your summer reading. Especially since you can pick it up for $5.

28 June 2006

It's Sabotage

But unlike the 70s era cops in the Beastie Boys video, I'm sabotaging myself. It is probably readily apparent to those of you who know me that I've been unhappy for quite a while now. Those of you who read this blog know I'm dissatisfied with my job etc. But that isn't the whole of it. I feel completely stagnant in all areas of life and recently I realized I haven't made a new friend in years. Years people. That is not good. I've been thinking about that a lot in the past few days, about why I'm so loathe to exert myself to make new friends.

Part of the reason is that I'm shy and a born observer. I don't say things unless I think it is important. But I remember enjoying social activities and looking forward to them in a way I can't these days. Cocktail party sort of situations are my own personal version of hell, because I feel I have nothing to say. I don't really know how I went from being the preschooler who told a man at my mother's salon that his smoking of cigars would turn his lungs black and he would die or told the woman at our apartment's pool that she shouldn't wear bikinis because God wanted her to be modest. As I was thinking about how different that child is from the adult who doesn't think she has anything of interest to say to anyone a long-forgotten memory popped up.

In 9th grade my biology teacher arranged a field trip to a local university to see its science department. The trip included a visit to the planetarium right before lunch. Because our teacher treated us like 5 year-olds she arranged us into boy/girl pairs we had to eat with, and because of a coincidental packing of lunches rather than buying lunch at the campus cafeteria, my friend and I were assigned to eat with two of the most popular boys in the class. We were tangentially friends, so it wasn't as socially awkward as it might have been. However, we were talking about the planetarium and constellations when I mentioned that as a little girl, I knew my birthday was coming when Orion arrived on the horizon. One of the boys, I don't remember whom, surely thinking himself clever, flippantly asked why I didn't just look at a calendar. I think I gave a half-hearted smile while the boys laughed, but I do remember completely shutting down for the rest of the meal.

With that memory all the mortification of Jr. High rejection and the sinking feeling of smiling when you want to cry came flooding back. I don't blame those boys. It was Jr. High everyone had their own issues and insecurities to deal with and this isn't the defining moment of my life. I had lots of intervening years in which I participated and enjoyed social activities. Additionally, I alone decide how to live my life. My decision now has to be whether I'll let something that happened 12 years ago dictate who I am today.

13 June 2006

The Supe



Everytime I see a promo or a magazine cover or hear an ad for Superman Returns, I get a little melancholy. I just feel so conflicted about this new movie. It seems so wrong that the franchise should be resurrected when Christopher Reeve is no longer with us. It seems rather galling that there should be a new incarnation of the Man of Steel.

Maybe I'm upset because, having been born the year the first movie was release, Christopher Reeve is the only Superman I know. I was never a comic book reader, so my frame of Superman reference is basically the four movies. And regardless what one thinks of their individual quality, they represent my understanding of Superman mythology.

Oddly, I never had an issue with the television program Smallville, possibly because it dealt with something outside the realm of the movies or because when I watched it, I was more disturbed by my growing attraction to the anti-hero, Lex Luthor. Also, I found it comforting when Christopher Reeve guest-starred in a couple of episodes. It didn't seem so much as the passing of the torch, but rather the acknowledgement of a partnership.

The discomfort I have felt since I heard about the new movie only increased when I caught the cast presenting an award on the MTV Movie Awards and then commenting on a documentary about Superman on A&E. Brandon Routh - the new Superman - not only, despite brown eyes, reminds one of Christopher Reeve, but his voice sounds similar as well. It was a little creepy to hear a voice naturally echoing the timbre and cadence of a childhood hero.

I still haven't decided if I'm actually going to see the movie when it hits theaters. On the one hand it seems overly eerie, on the other like I'm making a mountain out of a molehill. It is, after all, only a movie and Superman is only a comic book character.

The irony of all this emotional turmoil is that Superman has never been my favorite superhero. I always preferred Batman, the self-made Caped Crusader dwelling in shades of gray, to the black & white certainty of the Man of Steel.

12 June 2006

Come ON!

This might surprise a few of you, dear readers, but I'm obsessed with the World Cup. Maybe because it is the Olympics of the soccer (I have to really fight my pretentious instinct to refer to it as 'football') or perhaps because it is the one sport I can still stand to watch on television. Either way, this obsession started in 1994 when the US hosted its first World Cup. I even bought a t-shirt with my hard-earned baby-sitting money. I tangentially followed the 1998 World Cup, but without the internet, it was a little difficult. In 2002 I contributed to a pool started by my fellow interns at the BYU Barlow Centre to rent a tv and stayed up until all hours watching the England/Germany match. And so we come to the 2006 World Cup which started Friday.

I suprised my roommate Parker with my dedication to the event. I think my watching the England/Paraguay game on a Spanish-language station may have worried her. But I loved every minute of it. And so we come to today. The US choked. Hopefully they can get it together for their next match against Italy. They are better than they played today and I hope they show it in the upcoming days. But I have to confess, if it came down to a US/England match I would be hard-pressed to choose a side.

09 June 2006

For You Music Aficionados

Or those who are just really sick of radio. I'm sure I'm the last person to know about this, seeing as I am not on the cutting edge of technology, but I heard about this site called Pandora. It is easy to use and has far fewer commercials than Yahoo LAUNCHcast. Enjoy!

05 June 2006

Random Musings

I can't really make any of the following things into a coherent entry, so I'll just bullet them and let you comment.

  • I am beginning to really, really hate Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie. Not because of them personally, but because I cannot stand one more morning waking up to some DJ telling me some inane detail from a "source close to" them about their life. I so do not understand the obsession people have with the private doings of individuals with whom they are so wholly unconnected. Corollary: I am also fed up with Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes, Jennifer Aniston and Vince Vaughn, and the unholy cultural phenomenon of stupid mashed nicknames assigned to all of the above.
  • I'm sorry, but if the several protests about immigration could be held at Library Square without disrupting traffic and closing roads for an entire Sunday, the gay pride people can do it too. And don't flip me off Man in the Crosswalk when I have to make a turn before you get all the way to the other side of the street because the light is yellow, there are 47 cars behind me and there was no advance warning about the closed roads.
  • It should not be 97 degrees on the first Tuesday in June. 87 I could handle. But if it is reaching almost 100 in the first of June, one long, hot, miserable summer of smelling of sunscreen and hat hair is before me. Not. A. Fan.
  • Shut up, Fox News. Specifically, but not limited to, John Gibson and Bill O'Reilly.
  • Is it fangirly of me that I really want to buy Anderson Cooper's book Dispatches from the Edge despite having no money with which to do so?
  • How sad is it that in my late 20's I'm fighting a losing battle against a sophomoric crush on a guy from church? Especially one who doesn't know my name and is at most only 2 inches taller than I, therefore incompatible with every pair of shoes in my closet, except the flip flops.
  • Jane Austen novels are like crack. They get you all high on 'romance' and 'love' etc. and then you crash, hard, into reality, ie: see above.

Any thoughts? Or do I just need to stop wasting time and get back to the ugly, ugly world of past due invoices?

30 May 2006

Lucky Seven

So, Walking Fine Art tagged me and I decided, for once in my life, to participate. So here are 49 things you may or may not know about me:

7 Things I Want to Do Before I Die
1. Travel the world
2. Build my dream house
3. Write a novel and have it published
4. Live in a foreign country
5. Get out of debt – and stay out
6. Be able to write with my left hand as well as I do with my right.
7. Get LASIK surgery

7 Things I Cannot Do
1. Eat anything that came from a cow
2. Handle spiders
3. Visit a Holocaust museum
4. Play an instrument
5. Wear orange
6. Give up dark chocolate
7. Tell my right from my left

7 Things That Attracted Me to George Clooney*
*I know it is supposed to be ‘My Spouse’ but I’m single and George is practically perfect in my book.
1. Um, have you seen him?
2. The mischeivious twinkle in his eyes that never disappears.
3. He spearheaded the Sept. 11th charity telethon and was also active with those put on for the 2005 Tsunami and Hurricane Katrina victims.
4. He refused to let Bill O’Reilly bully him and forced O’Reilly to put his money and his fame where his mouth was.
5. Really, check out Ocean’s 11. Yum.
6. He puts his money where his mouth is and finances/produces/directs etc. projects he believes in.
7. He and his father recently toured the Sudan on a fact-finding trip without Hollywood trappings in order to educate people on the horrors happening there of which America seems largely unaware.


7 Things I Often Say
1. S_______ S______, this is Scully. (Telephone greeting at work, I say it so often, I occasionally slip and say it when I’m at home)
2. That’s just crazy talk. (Usually said in my head in response to someone’s idea/request/demand at work. When I’m in a good mood. What I say when I’m in a bad mood would totally lower your opinion of me)
3. I need a nap.
4. Where’s my Secret Trust Fund!?! (One long-held fantasy, second only to George Clooney, involves some heretofore unknown relative leaving me a magnificently large inheritance)
5. Idiot! (Usually shouted at one of the many wretched drivers on the freeway, any time I see anyone on Fox News, and any time I hear someone from the Bush Administration speak about the war, the environment, the economy, national security, the global community, themselves, etc.)
6. No cheese.
7. What? (Because I have drifted off into FantasyLand and missed whatever just happened)

7 Books I Love
1. A Room With A View by E.M. Forster
2. Persuasion by Jane Austen (Well, pretty much anything by JA, but this is my fave)
3. Possession: A Romance by A.S. Byatt
4. About A Boy by Nick Hornby
5. Our Mutual Friend by Charles Dickens
6. Catcher In The Rye by J.D. Salinger
7. The Thursday Next Series by Jasper Fforde

7 Movies I Could Watch Over and Over
1. Charade
2. Rat Race
3. What’s Up Doc
4. Pride & Prejudice (with the caveat that I fast forward through any scene involving Mrs. Bennett.)
5. The Sting (Yummy Paul Newman, plus I always forget who knows what so it is always an adventure)
6. To Catch A Thief
7. Singin’ In The Rain

7 People I Would Like to Hear From
1. Esperanza
2. Miss Parker
3. CherBear
4. Katie
5. SJ
6. Panini (I know you have left the blogging world for a bit, but I’d still like to hear your answers)
7. My Mom (who doesn’t technically have a blog, but I’d still like to see her answers)

18 May 2006

The FBL First Draft

So here is the list we compiled for the FBL. Feel free to keep making suggestions if we have missed someone.

Jensen Ackles, Naveen Andrews, Christian Bale, Orlando Bloom, Adrien Brody, Gerard Butler, Tom Cavanaugh, Kyle Chandler, George Clooney, Stephen Colbert, Sean Connery, Anderson Cooper, Bradley Cooper, John Cusack, Johnny Depp, David Duchovny, Jakob Dylan, Rupert Everett, Colin Firth, Cary Grant, Hugh Grant, Josh Holloway, Hugh Jackman, Gene Kelly, Will Kemp, John Krasinski, Ashton Kutcher, Hugh Laurie, Nicholas Lea, Dylan McDermott, Ewan McGregor, Viggo Mortensen, Dermot Mulroney, Paul Newman, Jeremy Northam, Edward Norton, Matthew Perry, Brad Pitt, Johnny Reznick, Michael Rosenbaum, Robert Smith, John Stamos, Jon Stewart, Rob Thomas, Michael Vartan, Goran Visnjic, Michael Weatherly, Michael T. Weiss, Tom Welling, Luke Wilson
Sorry it couldn't be illustrated, but I just don't have that kind of time or space.

17 May 2006

The End of Possibility


Yesterday I found out that a friend from high school died last weekend. I don't even know if friend is the right word, as we traveled in different circles that occasionally overlapped. Maybe 'friendly' would be a better term. Additionally, I hadn't had contact with this person since graduation nine years ago, so I didn't think that it would have too great of an impact on my life. It is sad and I feel for his family, but it didn't alter my plans or cause any deep brooding. Until today.


At about eleven o'clock this morning, my Yahoo LAUNCHcast started playing a UB40 song and the fact of my friend's death hit me hard. I flashed back to a junior high field trip. My friend had brought a Discman or something similar and some speakers to attach it to and we listened to UB40's cover of Fools Rush In while we joked and laughed and whiled away the long hours until we reached home. I believe this was also the trip in which he and a friend had purchased a rubber chicken and then accidentally lit it on fire. The best part was the chaperones having no idea what had happened despite the rising level of panic and rancid burning smell coming from our section of the bus. While these memories rushed through my mind, I fought back tears, not so much because I had lost someone in my life, because he hadn't been a part of my life in almost a decade. But rather because of the loss of possibility. I will never be able to reconnect with my friend. He will be absent at our ten-year high school reunion next year. There will be no reminiscing about starting rubber chickens on fire or any of the other crazy things that adolescents do to avoid boredom. There will be no excitement at discovering what the intervening years have held for us. Time had run out. I had been betting against time and it won. Like it always does.

20 April 2006

Unfortunately Not A Vacation

But I am going to take a break until my brother's wedding is over and done with and the happy couple is ensconced in their luxury basement apartment in Idaho. I am being slammed at work and have 12 projects I have to finish at home, like my dress for the wedding and the wedding reception music, so I'll be gone for a bit. But I promise when I'm back, you'll have your answers for the FBL noms and perhaps a new installment of my story, tentatively titled Havasu Blue. See you in 3 weeks!

14 April 2006

The FBL

Well, Miss Parker finally got her iMac, which means we are one step closer to conquering the world! Actually, we are planning a website called the Fantasy Boyfriend League. We already have quite a list, but we could always use some suggestions. So if you have a cherished fantasy boyfriend or 5, let us know. While we do retain the final veto(Sorry, Esperanza, the President will NEVER be a member of the League) we would love to hear what you have to say! So bring on the comments. Oh, and I'll let you know if your fantasy boyfriends make the cut, or if they already have.

03 April 2006

Daylight SavingZZZZZZZ


Saturday, I got very excited when I remembered that Daylight Savings Time was here again. I like having the sun out for a few hours after work, encouraging the feeling that you actually have time to do things. It also means spring is definitely here to stay. What I forgot about was the way the change in morning sunlight plays with your internal clock. Perhaps this is because until I started working full-time, I was never up before the sun, regardless of season. And Sunday I slept in, so the sun was up before I was and I focused on the joy of basking in the sun until almost 8 pm. So this morning when my alarm went off at 6:45, I hit snooze, because it had to be a mistake; it wasn’t light enough in my room. Several snooze buttons later, I actually looked at the clock and realized it was past time to get up and get moving or I would be late. I tried to tell myself I wasn’t tired, because it was the same time I usually get up. I had almost convinced my inner clock that it was wrong, when I turned on my car. And there, contradicting all my convincing, the clock blinked a bright 6:45 am. I couldn’t lie to myself any longer. I was up an hour earlier than usual and I hated it! If only the American work day included naptime.

15 March 2006

I'm Such a Nerd

But this is the coolest, most distrubing, news I have heard. The continent of Africa, specifically the Horn of Africa, is splitting. Check out the following link to see interesting pictures. This is so amazing, happening in real time. And of course American news sources are more concerned with what Michael Douglas thinks about Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie.

  • Africa Splits
  • Top 10 Reasons I Should Have Stayed in Bed Today

    10. The nagging head cold that caused me to go through 4 boxes of Kleenex in the past 2 days is still present and probably grossing out my co-workers
    9. By the time I walked the 10 feet from my front door to my car, I was covered in snow.
    8. My car was covered in 6 inches of snow.
    7. It took me 45 minutes instead of 17 to drive to work.
    6. Big semi-trucks (yes, Mr. Budweiser driver, I'm looking at you) whose drivers think they can bully you into driving more than 25mph even though the SUV in the next lane just slid off the side of the freeway.
    5. My boss had to have a colonoscopy yesterday and people seem to want to ask him what it was like. Since my desk is right outside his office, I have to hear about it too. Repeatedly.
    4. I have 3 half-finished books that are due back at the library on Monday and I've already renewed them twice.
    3. The Kleenex I have at home has lotion in it. The office Kleenex does not. Thus, I look like
    Rudolph.
    2. I spent most of the morning cold and wet and now my hair is out of control.
    1. Because there is nothing to do at work today but file things. Which I don't feel like doing.

    01 March 2006

    Give Me the Green

    February is over. Huzzah! February is, despite being the shortest month in the calendar, the longest month of the year. It is a drab, indecisive month that celebrates a holiday I actively dislike and another the just reminds us we are still stuck in the middle of winter. The only bright spot is my mother’s birthday. March is much better. It is the month that hosts the Spring Equinox and St. Patrick’s Day, on which you celebrate being Irish even if you aren’t and anyone can celebrate simply by wearing green. The days are noticeably longer and the sun is out more often. Here in Utah you still see the occasional snowstorm, but the promise of spring is in the air. Plants start showing a little life, rather than the brown death of the previous four months. March is alive with hope and possibility and good luck. So bring on the green!

    27 February 2006

    Singletons Unite!

    Or at least don't abandon one another to the land of Smug Marrieds. Saturday I attended a birthday party thrown by a friend for her husband. As everyone arrived, I came to the startling conclusion that I was the only single person there. Let me repeat, the only single person at the party. Combine that with the fact we were bowling (not a favorite activity of mine because it involves wearing someone else's shoes) with the fact that in addition to being the only single person, I knew only four people there (2 couples, naturally) including the hosts. Throw in several children, all under the age of 5, greasy pizza, and Hawaiian Punch and you pretty much have the longest 2 hours of my life. All the while being reminded that I somehow don't fit. At least not with some of my oldest friends.

    23 February 2006

    FantasyLand Illustrated

    Due to popular demand and my new-found posting skills, I'm giving you the illustrated version of Scully's February 2006 Fantasy Boyfriend line-up.










    Gregory House, MD (Actor: Hugh Laurie)


    Michael Rosenbaum
















    Sayid Jarrah (Actor: Naveen Andrews)









    John Krasinski as Jim Halpert on The Office








    Dean Winchester (Actor: Jensen Ackles)

    21 February 2006

    FantasyLand


    Some months ago, over Christmas, my family and I went to see a movie. I was sitting next to my brother Mime and on his other side was his fiancĂ©, FutureMrs. Mime and my mother. The previews started and the second or third preview was for the X-Men III movie. In unison my mother, FutureMrs. Mime, and I, with voices full of the reverent awe usually reserved for religious observances, exclaimed “Its Hugh Jackman.” I believe a few other ladies, not in our party, might have done the same thing. More recently, I’ve been party to a lot of chatter, both in conversation and on the Internet, about Fantasy Boyfriends. While I’m sure this phenomena isn’t restricted to the female sex, it isn’t the sort of conversation I have with males. So, at the risk of sounding like Sex and the City, what makes having a Fantasy Boyfriend (or five) so great?

    Obviously fantasy is part of the draw. Fantasy is perfect. In FantasyLand you can be the perfect version of you, complete with the perfect wardrobe and perfect hair and the Boyfriend is perfect as well. There are no flaws, just the virtues and vices (what, I like the bad boys) that attracted us to them in the first place. It also helps that Fantasy Boyfriends are usually found on movie or TV screens and represent what society deems to be perfection already. They are attractive in a way very few people are in real life. I’ve really only seen one exception to that rule, and that is Miss Parker’s friend thePretty who could be Tom Welling’s (Smallville, Cheaper by the Dozen) twin. But even perfection gets tiresome after a while.

    Perhaps another draw is the escape. Life is, for the most part, long stretches of the mundane punctuated by insanity. Who doesn’t need to escape from this world into another once in a while? And how often does one get to use their imaginations once they are adults? Especially when one is stuck in a cubicle 8 hours a day with only the radio to keep them company.

    Finally, fantasy is fun. So, in honor of that fun, Ladies and Gentlemen, feel free to share your Fantasy Boyfriends and Girlfriends. I’ll start. Here are Scully’s top five (what, I have commitment issues) Fantasy Boyfriends of February 2006:

    5. Gregory House, MD – Yeah, I know he is rude, anti-social, and addicted to Vicodin, but there is just something about the way that actor portrays him that makes me love him. I’m drawn to the Slightly Unhinged.

    4. Michael Rosenbaum -- He is known for playing Lex Luthor on Smallville and manages to make the anti-hero a sympathetic character. Also, he makes me laugh. He told one overly bronzed (Read: Orange) television host that she “had a fascinating tan” and displayed his Napoleon Dynamite action figures, his white conversion van he drives around LA, and his karaoke skills on MTV's Cribs. What’s not to love?

    3. Sayid Jarrah – So he used to be employed by the Iraqi Republican Guard as an ‘interrogator’ and he has used those skills on the island several times. Sure he seems to be starting a Bad Boys Club with Sawyer and Charlie, but I would feel safe if I were stuck on a Lost island with him. Plus, his accent is fabulous.

    2. Jim Halpert/John Krasinski – Lest you think I’m including more than five, this entry is for a character from The Office (US) and the actor who plays him. The character Jim Halpert is a nice guy with a great sense of humor, pining for the engaged receptionist. John Krasinski is an up-and-coming actor who seems, from a recent appearance on Leno, just as nice with just as good a sense of humor as his onscreen alter ego.

    1. Dean Winchester – One of the lead characters on my favorite guilty pleasure Supernatural, this boy is like a M&M, all hard and brittle on the outside, soft and gooey on the inside. Also, he is extremely attractive.

    So now that you have had a peek inside my head, let me peek into yours! Share your Fantasy Boyfriends/Girlfriends or at least tell me what you think about mine.

    15 February 2006

    Rage Against, Well, Everything

    This is my horoscope for the day. I think it is the most accurate of any horoscope I have read.

    Libra
    September 22 - October 22
    You will notice that your emotions are coming to a monthly climax today, dear Libra. Don't be alarmed, but do be cautious about lashing out at people for no reason whatsoever. You may feel on edge, and unintended slights from others could push you over the top in a fury of emotion. Harsh words spoken today can damage other people's feelings for a long time. Remain silent if you feel triggered.



    For the past few weeks, a deep and abiding rage has been building. Most of it revolving around my feeling that my life has stagnated. As any regular readers know, I hate my job. Now, many of you will think “Well, DO something about it Scully!” which I agree with, but it is really hard to walk away from a job that pays almost double what most Utahns make per hour, plus great benefits, and a great 401k matching plan. Especially when I contemplate my car payments, my recently increased rent, my recently doubled car insurance payments (yeah, don’t ask) and the $6 I have left in my bank account until Friday. All in all, not the best environment for turning in my two weeks’ notice.

    This means that all that rage bubbles up when my co-workers page me for the fiftieth time that day to ask a question for which I don’t have the answer. Or when my boss arrives before me and neglects to do things like pick-up the morning paper he requested be delivered or switch the lock so that the door actually closes, or check the fax machine, or switch the phones over from our night-time answering service. Or coming up with increasingly difficult progressive billings for various clients that I’m in charge of keeping track of and submitting.

    On top of all this, I’ve had to give up dairy. First it was just milk and yougurt that made me sick, but now every sort of dairy product, even the littlest bit of cheese, makes me ill. And sadly, the one and only thing I have ever liked about Valentine’s Day, frosted sugar cookies, have just enough dairy to make them verboten. I think Karma hates me.

    10 February 2006

    Make 'Em Laugh

    This week has been a long one. In fact, the last few weeks have been longs ones. Various issues at home and at work have made life overly serious and me overly critical. I’m at the apogee of my job-hate cycle and am completely unsatisfied and completely petulant and sulky. To the point that my co-workers seemed to have noticed. I can’t turn on the television without hearing about some government conspiracy or scandal and the weather is tormenting me by being on the cusp of spring, although I’m sure there will be at least one or two snowstorms between now and May. All in all, not the best of times. So when I got back from the gym last night, I was in a funk. The kind of funk that inspires me to eat seven chocolate covered cookies in a row. So I turned on the television in an attempt to turn off my mind.

    Low and behold, I was only one short half hour away from The Office, my new television obsession. I liked the British version, but haven’t been able to religiously watch the American version due to changing time slots that are invariably up against some other obsession. But now it is on Thursdays. It was a Valentine’s Day episode and it was hilarious. My two favorite moments involved the temp tearing out his hair because he had inadvertantly 'hooked up' with a co-worker on February 13th and didn't know how to handle the V-Day situation and the ‘financial presentation’ given by the branch manager to the CFO at corporate that involved a montage of all the branch employees set in slow motion to U2’s With or Without You. I couldn’t stop giggling.

    Then I found my way to Comedy Central, which isn’t a channel I usually frequent, except for The Daily Show and The Colbert Report. Where else can you find laughs in such things as the Cartoon Riots, the illegal wire-tap hearings, Bush’s budgetary machinations, and the war in Iraq? The most giggle-inducing moment came when The Colbert Report aired a clip of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales saying (and I paraphrase, of course): “Senator, I believe in my opening remarks I discussed President Washington, President Lincoln, President Wilson, and President Roosevelt’s electronic surveillance programs under their administrations.” I have never laughed so hard at the sheer inanity of our government.

    So what was shaping up to be a night spent whining that it wasn’t Friday, turned out to be a night of hilarity. Perhaps I was primed, through sheer exhaustion, to find everything funny. But that hour and a half of television strangely made it all bearable.

    07 February 2006

    This Week’s Reasons for Getting Out of Bed

    The increasing number of pairs of pants in my closet I can pull on and off without undoing.

    The sun is up and shining when I drive to and from work.

    The fact that I can adjust my work hours and leave 20 minutes early so I can get home and on the gym treadmill before the other two girls in my complex who like to work out at 5 pm.

    The Television Without Pity forum for The Office in which everyone posts quotes from the show that make me laugh so hard I have to do the barely convincing ‘cough’ to cover up the fact that I’m not doing actual work.

    The McVitties Chocolate Caramel Digestives I bought at the London Market on Saturday. I got addicted to them when I lived in London six years ago and I’m ecstatic to have found a new supplier.

    All the new jazz CDs I have had an excuse to buy since I told my brother I would do the music for his wedding reception and open house.

    My CD-playing alarm clock, the CD-playing part having died some weeks ago, miraculously springing back to life so that I could wake up to Stacey Kent’s Let Yourself Go rather than obnoxiously chipper DJs.

    01 February 2006

    I'm Too Old For This

    Last night I had a breakthrough. I realized I’m too old, too mature, too tired, too something to be really embarrassed. It all began with an unreturned phone call. When I got home from work on Monday, there was a voicemail message from my previously unknown home teacher introducing himself, saying he lived a few floors above my roommate and I, and asking that we call him back to schedule a visit, preferably before Tuesday night. Well, Monday and Tuesday were filled with things to do and crises to deal with and the call never got returned.

    Last night I had an appointment to get my car serviced and I decided I should keep my momentum going and headed to the gym. I got back just in time to shower before my favorite guilty pleasure, Supernatural, came on. I attempted to watch the State of the Union address, but the President’s overly-smug attempts at humor and his shifty little eyes made me realize I was making a face similar to Senator Clinton’s and that really isn’t a good thing. So I watched Supernatural with a towel wrapped around my head like a turban, wearing my flannel pajama pants and an old t-shirt. Halfway through the show, there was a knock on the door.

    Not thinking, I went, in all my post-shower glory, to answer the door. Well, it was my new home teacher who seemed very uncomfortable for reasons I didn’t grasp at that moment. He stuttered something about catching me at a bad time and made his escape after I told him Sunday afternoons were really the best times to catch my roommate and I. After I shut the door and went back to the television, I realized why he was uncomfortable. I had a good laugh at the vision I must have been with the towel-turban headdress, the cumulus cloud pajama pants and bare feet. I do wonder if he will ever have the courage to approach me again. Which is sad, because he seemed like a nice guy.

    30 January 2006

    Judge Not, That Ye Be Not Judged

    I have been thinking a lot about the judgments people make regarding others. The impetus for this meditation is three-fold. I have been reading a book I received as a Christmas gift titled Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books by Azar Nafisi, I recently saw Walk the Line, the Johnny Cash biopic, and I also recently had a conversation about the unceasing tabloid coverage surrounding Jennifer Aniston, Brad Pitt, and Angelina Jolie. All of which made me think about the judgments we make everyday about others.


    Reading Lolita in Tehran was written by a liberal Iranian English literature professor about her life under the Ayatollah and his successors in post-revolutionary Iran. It is marginally about a secret, underground book club she started with a select group of female students after she was removed from her teaching position for being too radical. What it is really about is finding sanity in a world turned upside down, in a world where you are marginalized and judged because of your second X chromosome. A world where edicts by the ruling elite are final and disagreement is treason.


    Walk the Line is a Johnny Cash biopic, but it is also about his wife June Carter Cash. The scene that struck me involves June Carter, recovering from a bitter divorce from her first husband, shopping in a small Mom & Pop store on a tour stop in the early 1960’s. Carter came from a well known Christian family, famous for its singing and performing. A woman who is also shopping recognizes Carter and tells her how much she admires Carter’s parents. Carter says she will tell her parents. The woman then says she is surprised that the elder Carters, being “good Christians,” still communicate with their daughter after her divorce. The woman continues berating Carter by saying marriage is ordained of God and permanent. She then walks away, leaving Carter extremely discomfited and on the verge of tears.


    Finally, during a party this weekend, the topic of the tabloid fodder that is the Aniston-Pitt-Jolie triangle came up. People had different opinions and I played devil’s advocate, but really, I have never met any of the parties and I know nothing about what went on and neither did anyone else in that conversation. In fact, I have tried to avoid knowing anything, but merely standing in line at the grocery store means at least one 72 pt. font headline forces its way into one’s conscious. Which means everyone has an opinion about who wronged whom and who is at fault and who should be ostracized from society and who should receive our sympathy. Only three people know the truth and frenzied speculation will not uncover it.


    What reflecting on these experiences produced was the idea that we can never know what is going on inside someone’s head. Ever. Even if we try to communicate, we are still flummoxed by different interpretations of the meaning of words. To observe and to converse gives us only an inkling as to what goes on inside the head of others. To believe that we can pass judgment on another because of something we see or read is hubris beyond belief. I am not suggesting we shouldn’t discern between right and wrong, or that we can’t protect ourselves from harmful individuals. But there is a difference between choosing and condemning. And we haven’t the right to condemn.

    27 January 2006

    My Deepest, Darkest Secrets.

    Well, at least the deepest, darkets secrets I'm willing to share. WalkingFineArt tagged me with divulging 5 things no one knows about me. You might already know some or all of these things, but don't tell me that. I like to believe I'm a Woman of Mystery!

    5. Vampire Nightmares. I have been plagued by vampire nightmares since the beginning of junior high. I can remember most, if not all, in great detail even though I have never written them down. They are burned in my memory. And they are always extremely vivid dreams in both detail and color. I am always being pursued, most often while trying to defend myself and whomever I am with in the dream. Usually I lose a compatriate or two to the other side. And if, by chance, the point comes where I have lost and am about to become the victim, the dream stops and starts over at the beginning. It repeats until I figure out how to beat and destroy the vampires. It adds up to quite a few sleepless nights over the years.

    4. Jealousy. I am an extremely jealous person. I'm jealous regarding friendships, relationships, the use of my time, my money, and my things. If I offer, then I'm fine, but when people use or abuse or expect something from me I consider outside their right, I can be extremely upset. I try very hard not to act on my feelings, but I have them nonetheless.

    3. Fear. A lot of my behaviors are driven by fear. I fear the unknown, which means that basically everyday I have to make myself get out of bed when I would much rather stay in it. The smaller my world, the happier I would be. I read an article in the New York Times a few years ago about a growing trend among Japanese men in their 20s and 30s. They were becoming 21st century hermits, often living with their parents, sticking to their bedrooms, not even interacting with even parents or family, and having food left outside their rooms at meal times. Often they would only emerge from their inner sanctums in the middle of the night when everyone was asleep to wander the streets. Their only connections to the outside world was television and the internet. The article scared me into thinking a little more about branching out and facing some fears. Not too many, but some.

    2. Relationships. I have always thought relationships with the opposite sex were too fraught with drama and complication to be bothered with. In high school I had crushes, but usually with the unavailable or the prohibited. I liked the idea of someone better than the actual someone. I'm still that way, in that my life has enough ups and downs and enough complications that I think adding someone else, an unknown factor, just seems like a straw that would break this camel's back. In all my mental excursions to FantasyLand, regardless of what TV boyfriends populate them, I usually end the adventure alone.

    1. The Real Me. I am extremely introspective and I think best in metaphor, which I conjur to apply to experiences and people. The metaphor I apply to myself is one of a multi-walled enclosure. There are many walls, each with a locked gate. My family, friends, and acquaintances all have keys that open gates, but only so many. The people very closest to me have keys that open the most, but everyone has a stopping point, a level at which they can no longer pass. And I'm not really sure who gets in the most center gate. That just might stay locked forever.

    Miss Parker, you're it.