29 December 2007

With Regret . . .

I must announce that my fish Mr. Rochester is no more. He got listless about a week ago, I thought maybe he was cold, but a change of room did nothing to restore him and yesterday he died. What a wonderful way to end a perfectly horrible year.




RIP Mr. Rochester.

22 December 2007

I Wouldn't Even Make It To Initiation

I just returned from seeing Enchanted (I know, I'm way behind in my holiday movie viewing), which I thought was a fun show on several levels. As I superficially pondered the themes in the film, I realized something. I could never be a card-carrying, capital 'F' Feminist because I identified with Idina Menzel's character, Nancy, more than any other. I like the fantasy of being rescued from the stresses of this world and jumping down a manhole (I have some experience with that) into Happily Ever After. Also, I'm sure having animated hair would be fantastic. It never tangles. So, since I don't have anything else to talk about, I thought I would post all the other reasons I could never be a card-carrying, capital 'F' Feminist.
  • One my favorite Christmas songs is "Baby, It's Cold Outside." Which is a fun song, but with some rather sinister implications if one truly thinks about it.
  • I like James Bond films. I don't care that he goes through more women than vehicles in each film. It is a smart, sexy, man with a British accent and a really, really nice car. What's not to love?
  • I believe in the power of cosmetics, perfectly-shaved legs, and amazing, gravity-defying, foot-crippling shoes.
  • I think staying at home and raising children is one of the greatest things a woman can do.
  • I don't care about breaking glass ceilings or the fact that the ERA never passed or climbing my way to the top of the corporate ladder. Maybe I'm lazy. Maybe it strikes me that using a traditionally "male" template for success just plays into the myths behind gender inequality.
  • I love fashion magazines.
  • I'm a sucker for romantic happy endings, which is why I enjoy stories like Jane Eyre, North and South, and anything by Austen repeatedly. The thing that keeps me from reading "romance novels" is my literary snobbishness, not Feminist (or even feminist) ideals.
  • If one of my most beloved Fantasy Boyfriends converted, moved next door, and declared their undying love for me, I might start re-thinking the whole going-back-to-school thing.

19 December 2007

Random Thoughts On Something With Which I Have Absolutely No First-Hand Experience

I am surrounded by pregnant people. Half the members of my book club. My aunt. My sister-in-law. Lily Allen. Britney Spears's 16 year-old sister. Angela from The Office. Which means I've been thinking about it a lot more than I usually would. Which is nearly never, except for when Scully was pregnant on The X-Files and I determined that alien baby or no, pregnancy was a parasitic relationship. Apparently, many people find that philosophy offensive. To whom I say, "Really? Have you seen what happens to pregnant women?" And then they spew forth scriptural references about the sacredness of life and its creation. I do not dispute the sacredness that is new life and its creation. What I dispute is the assumption that just because the new life created is sacred, the entire process is sacred and therefore delightful, beautiful, and something for which a women should be grateful every single second. And here is why:

From puberty, one week out of every four of a woman's life is spent feeling gross, bloaty, and fat. And that is the least obnoxious part. In addition to the bloat, one's complexion erupts regardless of bank-breaking facial treatments, complicated morning and nightly riturals, and abject begging. The dress that made one look and feel like the beautiful, self-possessed woman one is five days ago, suddenly makes one look and feel like the ballet-dancing hippopotamus from Fantasia. Those who were merely annoying last week now stand a very real chance of being strangled where they stand. One is hyper-aware of every muscle, joint, and organ between one's shoulders and knees. Now, take this week-long discomfort and multiple it by 40. "But wait," you say, "that is 10 months, not 9." Yes, my friends, one of the dirty, little secrets of pregnancy is the myth that it lasts 9 months. It does not. It lasts 10. The pregnant one is only really sure of it for 9. In addition to multiplying that uncomfortable week by 40, one also has to increase the discomfort exponentially as those 40 weeks progress. Not only does the pregnant one feel gross, bloaty, and fat, but various parts of her body begin to swell at various rates. Multiple hormones race through the blood stream, meaning the pregnant one never knows what state her complexion or her mood will be in when she wakes up. The pregnant one's body shape also changes on a daily, possibly even hourly, basis ensuring that the clothes she put on in the morning will be unbearably uncomfortable by lunch. And, there really is no sure-fire way to flatter a figure that appears to have a magically expanding basketball strapped to the lower abdomen. Then, towards the end of the 40 weeks, the pregnant one's muscles and joints start to prepare to push something the size of a small watermelon out of itself. This ensures that the pregnant one can't even depend on her ability to walk, something she has done since the age of 1.

Thus, the pregnant one begins labor. Which, from what I have heard, is the most humiliating experience I could ever face. And, I fell into a manhole in front of the love of my junior high life. Not only is one at least half-naked in front of as many medical staff as one's doctor deems necessary, but one is fat and half-naked in front of as many medical staff as one's doctor deems necessary. One sweats off any make-up one might have on and one hasn't been able to dye one's hair for 40 weeks, so one has massive roots. Also, one is in pain. Which never brings out the best in one. Another dirty, little secret is that when one is pushing to get the baby out, other things come out. Unless one undergoes an enema. The word you are looking for is 'EW!' Even the arrival of the baby does not signal an end. There is the whole experience of breast-feeding, which I will not get into, even though I could (just ask Miss Parker) because I took a class called the International Political Economy of Women and a whole section was dedicated to the economical and political implications associated with the act of breast-feeding. The point being that once a child is conceived, the mother's body is not her own, and won't be until that child moves out of the house. And even then, there was research done that showed fetal cells in women's blood streams up to 21 years AFTER childbirth.

Not only is the pregnant one's body not her own physically, the entire world assumes that because her abdomen protrudes, it is now public domain. How often have you heard anyone's first question to a pregnant woman be about anything other than her pregnancy? Or even the fifth or sixth question? I dare you to go up to the next pregnant woman you see and ask her about the upcoming Presidential election. And then watch how the people around you react. Last week at book club, where the stated purpose of the gathering is to discuss the book, we spent 15 minutes on the book and an hour and a half on the various stages of pregnancy being experienced by half our members. I kid you not. Even more disconcertingly, others treat the pregnant one's abdomen like a petting zoo. Strangers touch it. People who would never dream of rubbing a flat abdomen find nothing wrong with stroking a perfect stranger's pregnant one. How is that acceptable?

For all these reasons, and some more that I won't elaborate on because they have more to do with my own psychosis than general experience, I find the idea of pregnancy to be unappealing at best. Some might suggest that I'm a bitter, cynical Singleton who has no idea what she is talking about. They might be right. But the idea that the state of pregnancy, the actual physical experience, is a beatific state of never-ending bliss might also be a gigantic diaper-load of crap.

17 December 2007

Scully, At 6:50 A.M. or Why You Should Call With The Big News At Lunch

Telephone rings, Caller ID reads 'Mime's Cell'

Me (still groggy): Hello?

Mime (sounding chipper, like he has been up for hours): Scully?

Me: uh-huh. Is everything ok?

Mime: Yeah, why?

Me: It's quarter-to-seven in the morning.

Mime: Mrs. Mime is having a baby.

Me: Is this a joke?

Mime (slightly offended): No! We just found out.

Me: Oh. . . . Congratulations!


16 December 2007

I Could Get Used To This 'Christmas Bonus' Thing

I have never received a Christmas Bonus before, so if that means I have to attend an office Christmas party in return, I'm all for it. Actually,the evening wasn't too bad. Most of the attendants stuck with drinking wine, which a) doesn't smell as bad as other alcoholic beverages and b) isn't downed like a shot, rather enjoyed slowly over food, making the drinker less likely to become a bleary-eyed drunk. The exception to this being Dwight, who is the exception to most things. He was ordering his second 'Crown and water', whatever that is, as I sat down.* Also, he chose to sit in the middle of the long table so that people were forced to sit by him or else feel like a massive jerk for not doing so. Guess who caved to the guilt first. Yes, that was me. And, I think I will end up paying for it, more on that later.

But, the dinner was quite lovely and most of the people I work with are very nice and interesting to talk to outside of the office. I ended up staying much longer than I had planned to, but mostly because it took forever for the food to be served. No one else seemed to mind, as they could enjoy their drinks of choice and the dairy-laden appetizers of which I couldn't partake as I had forgotten my Lactaid. Once the food came, it was quite delicious and I was much too full to envy people their dairy-laden desserts. I did end up envying their seats, however.

Dwight not only enjoyed at least two Crown and waters, but several glasses of wine and an after-dinner Scotch in lieu of dessert. Which meant all I could smell was metabolizing alcohol. Not a fan. I also had to desperately try NOT to hear a conversation that had very much in common with the exact point at which I threw down the book Wicked in disgust and swore never to finish it or to read anything by that author again. But the worst thing about my seat was a conversation I overheard between ChattyCathy (the receptionist) and theBarrista (who Dwight unfortunately uses as some sort of therapist/confessor during lunch). TheBarrista had come down to our side of the table to chat and she and ChattyCathy were discussing Dwight's choice of seat. TheBarrista said, "He sat in the middle so that someone would have to sit by him." Which was obvious, but when she said "someone" she not-so-subtly glanced at me. And that, combined with ChattyCathy's assertion to me earlier in the day that "[Dwight] likes you." because he nicely corrected me on a mistake I made, rather than ranting about my stupidity and lecturing, makes me very, very nervous. Please tell me I am hallucinating.


*I did some research. Crown Royal is Canadian whiskey. Way to start out with the hard stuff, Dwight.

12 December 2007

The Aftermath

I've been mulling over this post for sometime now. I didn't know if I should even publish it, seeing as how it is Christmas and the season of Joy and merriment and whatnot and this post is none of those. But, it is my blog and my Christmas this year isn't so much about the joy and the merriment, but rather about surviving whilst avoiding turning into an unholy combination of Ebeneezer Scrooge and the Grinch. So, read at your own peril.

Two Sundays ago was the six-month mark. It seems simultaneously forever ago and like yesterday. After all the family and friends left, I told myself that the only way to survive this was to run as hard and as fast as I possibly could until I got far enough away that I could deal with it. Maybe that was the wrong way to go about things, but it seemed the only way. And, I did it. I focused on anything that could distract me and kept busy. It wasn't so difficult with it being the busiest season at work, having a new job in Church, and looking after my dad. Halloween and Thanksgiving were a little difficult, but I had things to focus on, like a trip to my aunt's or the trick-or-treaters, or making sure I cooked the turkey well enough to avoid food poisoning. But it is still as sharp, as surprising, and as searing as it was six months ago whenever I am side-swiped by a reminder of her absence.

It isn't the things one would expect that do the side-swiping either. I can look at family pictures without a twinge. I can tell my book club about her reading Mary Poppins to me as a child without incident. But, a Sarah McLachlan song on a CVS/pharmacy commercial that I don't know if my mother ever heard can cause me to sob uncontrollably. Flying home from California, between Oakland and Seattle, a glimpse of Mt. Rainier dropped me to my knees (figuratively, of course, as such sudden movement on a plane these days would bring the U.S. Marshalls running). I never know what will push the misery from manageable to overwhelming in an instant or how to keep it from happening in the most public of places and the most inconvenient of times.

I do know what does not help. It does not help to have aquaintances, however well-meaning, comment on how hard it must be for my dad and I right now. Or to further suggest that knowing that she is in a better place makes it somehow easier. It doesn't; I'm not mourning for her. I, better than nearly anyone, know what it was like for her the last days, weeks, months, and years of her life. My worst nightmares these days are that she is alive again, but still sick and wasting away while I have to stand by, helpless, and watch. What I'm dealing with, and I suspect my father as well, is the anger, the grief, the ache of her absence. In that aspect it doesn't really matter what my beliefs about the afterlife are, because what hurts is that I'm separated from her in my life, here and now. Grief, even in its purest form, is ultimately selfish.

09 December 2007

In Which I Make A Sweeping Pronouncement

As one who has endured a singularly craptastic 2007 (which is gratefully coming to a close) and facing a 2008 full of unknown variables AND my 30th birthday, I decided I need something to which I could look forward. That something is going to England. I'm aiming for two weeks sometime in the middle of August and right now the itinerary includes London and Stratford-upon-Avon, because the RSC is doing both Hamlet and Love's Labour's Lost in the 2008 season. I think I already mentioned those are two of my favorites. I'm totally open to suggestions for other points of interest from anyone who wants to come along (Parker, get that passport already!). Let me know if you are seriously up for this, because I think it would a great adventure and I'd like to share it with friends.

06 December 2007

It Totally Negated Any Sleep Benefits

I just have to share the random dream I had last night. I was in charge of keeping a bunch of girls safe and out of sight in Iran while Keith Richards used them in a movie he was filming in the desert there. And everytime the Iranians came to check out the area, I had to keep everyone hidden and covered. It was awful and stressful and why, oh why can I not have TVboyfriend dreams? I can't believe my subconscious would rather spend time with a decrepit, burnt out Rolling Stone and Iranian extremists, rather than any one of the many pretty, soothing members of the FBL. Honestly! One more dream like that and my subconscious and I are through.

04 December 2007

Do Fantasy Boyfriends Count As a Plus One?

Generally, I'm a fan of Christmas. I like the carols, I like the presents, I like the general sense of well-being that permeates the air during the holiday season. I don't have a lot of complaints about how people celebrate the season as long as they keep it within the Thanksgiving-to-New Year's window and don't keep me up at night with their light displays. But there is one holiday tradition I hate with the passion of a thousand fiery suns: the office party.

My enjoyment of holiday office parties died when I turned 10 and no longer got presents from Santa at my dad's work party. I was spared the experience for many years as my dad's company stopped having them and I didn't work while at university. The first year I worked in Salt Lake the office party consisted of the branch manager taking us to lunch and handing out gift cards to Home Depot and Target, which was perfect for me because the socializing was kept to a minimum AND I got to buy cute stuff from Target. Sadly, when the branch manager changed, so did the office party, mutating into an evening at the SkyBox with the office staff, families, sub-contractors, their families etc. Luckily I got a monster migraine and skipped it. It is a rare feeling indeed to be grateful for a migraine.

Today at work we got a memo announcing the office party would be a week from Friday. Which deflated all my hopes that I could avoid the office party pain for another year. It also got me thinking about why I loathe them so much. Here are my reasons for loathing them. Feel free to add your own if I've missed any.

-- Forced socialization with your co-workers. Even though the evening is billed as a 'party', you are pretty much obligated to go. Your bosses are shelling out to thank you for a year of work and you look like an ingrate if you don't attend. So you are forced to endure spending more time with people you probably wouldn't ever talk to if you weren't forced to every day at work. Some of whom you really look forward to escaping from when 5 o'clock rolls around.

-- There is usually some sort of controlled substance. If you, like me, are a non-drinker, watching your co-workers become increasingly inebriated is painful. All the quirks, idiosyncracies and just plain annoying behaviors become amplified. And as I suspect I work with at least 3 functional alcoholics, I can't wait to watch the evening unfold.

-- There is no larger public forum in which display the fact that you will indeed die alone and be eaten by Alsatians. Office holiday parties usually include significant others and if you don't have one or are unable to bribe a friend of the opposite sex with the promise of free food, everyone knows it. It makes the seating arrangements awkward, it opens the door to intrusive questions and comments, and invokes an unwelcome show of pity.

-- Some people use the office holiday party like others use the Christmas card letter; as a forum for demonstrating how much better they are than you. Whether it is about money, travel, sports, children, or even tragedy, they play a constant game of one-upmanship in which they must always win. I have a 12.5 second tolerance for this kind of conversation.

-- By the end of the day, I'm in no mood to make small talk or showcase my sparkling personality. I want to go home, put on my pajamas, and turn my brain off.

30 November 2007

All About Me

Recently I have been tagged by a couple of people, so I'm going to just overload you all with information about me. I'm sure you are overcome with anticipation.

Five Things I Was Doing Ten Years Ago:
  • Embarking on the first of many Major changes from Civil Engineering to Anthropology.
  • Sleeping beneath a gargantuan poster of George Clooney in a tux from the Batman & Robin movie. Really the only good thing to come out of that film. I think I still have the poster somewhere.
  • Dealing with a positively raunchy Psych 101 professor. It was his last semester teaching the class, he delighted in shocking BYU freshman, and he was retiring at the end of the year.
  • Re-adopting the word "ya'll" into my vocabulary. I had three roommates from Texas.
  • Exploring the joys of NBC on Thursday nights, from Seinfeld to ER.
Five Things I've Read Recently
  • The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion for the third time. This time it was for book club.
  • Mary Poppins by P.L. Travers, also for book club.
  • North & South by Elizabeth Glaskell.
  • An untold number of horrible GRE prep manuals. I wish I could talk my father into letting me burn them in the fire place.
  • An embarrassingly high number of fashion and entertainment mags.
Five Favorite Possessions
  • My wonderful, wonderful bed in all its pillow-topped glory. Should I ever manage the impossible and find a husband, we will have to get a much bigger bed since I usually sleep diagonally and take up my entire queen-sized mattress.
  • My computer, because it holds my entire music collection and all the content and photos I've collected for the FBL AND it brings me the lovely internet on which I spend entirely too much time. I can't imagine how brilliant it will be when I get the Macbook Pro I've been drooling over for 3 years.
  • My Netflix account. It would make the list for bringing me the gorgeous literary adaptation North & South alone, but the fact that it can also bring me heretofore unexplored hours of pretty much everyone in the FBL is like frosting on a decadent chocolate cake.
  • My passport. Even though it tragically only has one stamp in it, just taking it out and looking at it reminds me of the possibility of travel.
  • My library card. Even though this little rural library is nothing compared to my beloved Salt Lake City Public Library, it does help me stay sane.
Five Things I'd Do if I Were a Millionaire
  • Get my dad a Harley-Davidson motorcycle.
  • Buy a lovely place in London and spend my days seeing all the plays I keep reading about, Like Sir Ian McKlellan in King Lear and Patrick Stewart in Macbeth and next year's RSC schedule that includes both Hamlet and Love's Labour's Lost which are a couple of my faves.
  • Spend all the rest of my time traveling around the world and seeing all the marvelous things I've only read about in books.
  • Spoil my friends and relations by taking them with me on various adventures. Also, that lovely place in London would have several guest rooms. You are all invited.
  • Of course all of the above would only happen after I wisely saved, invested, or otherwise set aside a large chunk of said million(s).
Five Things I'll Never Do Again
  • Care so much about what other people think that I forget what I want.
  • Use henna to color my hair. It turned orange and I smelled like squash.
  • Step on a manhole cover. Just because it looks sealed, doesn't mean it is.
  • Stay in a job that makes me miserable just because it pays well.
  • Cut my hair shorter than chin length.
Five Things on My To-Do List
  • Balance my checkbook
  • Start Christmas shopping
  • Write Christmas cards
  • Do the dishes.
  • Do laundry.
Six Things You May Not Know About Me*
  • I can be obsessive about things. Like movies or songs or episodes of television shows in which I have to watch or listen to them repeatedly for a period of time. Right now I'm obsessed with Bob Dylan's Shelter from the Storm, Queensryche's Silent Lucidity, Regina Spektor's Samson, and the DVDs of Doctor Who.
  • I haven't practiced the piano since May and I start lessons again on Monday because my teacher is back from maternity leave. Panic is setting in.
  • I have a blanky. I have had for years and it is the best thing to wrap up in when it is cold, or I don't feel good, or I've had a bad day.
  • I'm inherently lazy. If it doesn't interest me, I put forth minimal effort.
  • I'm also inherently stubborn. My way is the best way and if you disagree that is your problem.
  • I don't feel 29. I don't feel anything like an adult and am always shocked when people treat me like one.
*Some of you, like Parker, may already know all of these, but I hope at least some of them are surprises.

The Last Ten Songs iTunes Played
  • One Flight Down by Norah Jones
  • The Chase (from The Illusionist) by Phillip Glass
  • My Ship by Miles Davis
  • Way Over Yonder by Carole King
  • Brand New Day by Forty Foot Echo
  • Fallen by Bree Sharp
  • Haunt You Every Day by Weezer
  • Stealing My Heart by The Rolling Stones
  • I'm Yours by Billie Holiday
  • Somewhere Only We Know by Keane

26 November 2007

I Survived

The GRE was not fun, especially factoring in the headcold I woke up with that morning. But I did well enough for me to swear off any and all standardized tests and to continue on the Applying for Graduate School process. And Thanksgiving was lovely. The turkey turned out fine despite my fear I would poison my father and I because I didn't have a meat thermometer. Now, if you will excuse me, I must go find another box of kleenex, as I just emptied my fifth box in the past 3 days.

17 November 2007

AAAAAAAAAAAACCCCCCCCCCKKKKKKKKKKKKK!

Ok, so I am taking the GRE in on Friday. And in the 11 years since I took my last math class I have managed to completely bury everything I ever learned. Remember the quadratic formula? Because I didn't until I saw it in the GRE study guide and broke into a cold sweat and horrid flashbacks of hours spent on algebra homework. If you have forgotten, it looks like this:


Do you remember it now? Anyway, I have been cramming my brain full of mathematics for an hour after work each day, which leaves little time for anything else. Also, Thanksgiving is Thursday and I volunteered to cook it because neither my dad and I have enough vacation time to travel to see our relatives. Some friends invited us to their Thanksgiving, but I don't think either of us are up for spending Thanksgiving with other people's relatives. Which brings us back to the fact that I have to finish remembering, and then executing correctly, all the heinous math I spent the last decade blocking out AND create an entire Thanksgiving dinner in the next 6 days. This means that I have to give up some things. Like this blog. So I will see you in a week and let you all know how it went.

13 November 2007

Happy Holidays, Indeed.

I was going to post about how loathsome it is that people and retailers are throwing up Christmas ('throwing up' in the sense of spewing it all over everything, rather than tossing it in the air and letting in land where it may. Although most of the decorating has no rhyme or reason, so I guess it is in both senses of the phrase. Carry on.) rather than observing the natural order of holidays from Halloween through Veteran's Day and onto Thanksgiving. One neighbor had her lights up on November 5th. She has been adding things to her front lawn daily. Sadly, every time I am prepared to take a picture, she does not have the lights turned on. One day. But then I came home to my December InStyle. It arbitrarily opened to the last page of the Christmas GAP ads (which I take as a sign of good tidings, of course) and saw this:



Suddenly I was humming Christmas tunes and ready to jump headlong into the Christmas rush. Santa, please take note. I'm sure I'm much more deserving than all the other girls sending in the same Christmas wish this year.

06 November 2007

California, Part II: The Golden Boy or The Inherent Inequality of Karmic Balance

My brother Mime and his wife Mrs. Mime are in California this fall so Mime can complete an internship. They live with Mrs. Mime’s family about an hour south of where The Accidental Housewife and Mr. Big live, so they drove up to visit. Now I have written before about how Mime just seems to court good luck. He wins Nintendo Wiis, he lands paid internships, he leads a charmed life. You readers have heard this before. So you won’t be surprised to learn that the charm has followed him to California. A week before I arrived in California, Mime called to tell me not to worry about the California fires because his office had been evacuated and he and all the servers were on their way to the L.A. office. During the evacuation, Mime’s company had done a good deed and helped a neighbor take down their computers and servers and get them out of the office. When they all moved back in, the owner of the neighboring company brought all the employees in Mime’s office the Deluxe Edition DVD of Transformers. Which was Mime’s favorite movie this summer. His boss assured their neighbor that it wasn't necessary to spend that much money in thanks etc, when the neighbor said that he got the DVDs for free because he was somehow (Mime told me, I just can't remember) related to one of the stars. After hearing this story, I was loudly declaring that this would only happen to Mime when Mrs. Mime quietly said, “Tell her about Disneyland.” Mime was reluctant to tell the Disneyland story at first, but The Accidental Housewife and I finally convinced him to spill the beans.

The Disneyland Story: Mrs. Mime’s family lives pretty close to Anaheim, so they get season passes to Disneyland and this fall Mime and Mrs. Mime got them too. So a couple Fridays past the whole family decided to go to Disneyland. Mime had some issues to deal with at work and was running late so he got there after the family. He was standing waiting for the tram from the parking lot to the park and was on his mobile finishing up some stuff with his boss. His boss then started asking him questions about Washington state and the conversation lasted for a bit. When Mime hung up, there was a tap on his shoulder and the man behind him started asking him questions about Washington. Mime said he recognized the man, but couldn’t place him until he saw his wife. Posh Spice. So Mime spent the rest of the time waiting for the tram having a nice conversation with David and Victoria Beckham, only he couldn’t remember Victoria Beckham’s real name and therefore never actually addressed her, as he didn’t think she would appreciate being called ‘Posh Spice.’ The tram came and they all got on and then Mr. Beckham was tapped on the shoulder and Mime thought their conversation had come to an end. Only it wasn’t just some fan who tapped Mr. Beckham on the shoulder, but rather Derek Jeter. Who was on the tram with Alex Rodgriguez, Roger Clemens and assorted wives and/or girlfriends. And Mime wasn’t left out of the conversation. Even when they all got off the tram, the group got Mime through security, offered to buy him a ticket, and took him through the hidden VIP entrance with them. They also invited him to join them that evening, but since he was meeting his wife they understood and gave him a couple of locations they were going to be at that evening if Mime and Mrs. Mime wanted to catch up with them. And that is The Disneyland Story. Mime had the quintessential California experience everyone thinks they are going to have when going to California for the first time, but never actually do.

It has been my experience that Mime’s continual good luck has to be balanced out. That balance is usually achieved by some misery on my part. Which brings us to my vacation. Mr. Big is a big fan of the band America ('Horse With No Name', 'Ventura Highway'). In fact he actually admits to liking their song “Muskrat Love.” America was performing at a club the Friday I was visiting so he and The Accidental Housewife got me a ticket too. I like America as well, having heard them since I was in utero because my mom liked them. The concert was held at a club where you could eat dinner before hand and then enjoy the show either standing in the back or at your table. Since there was just the three of us, we were seated at a bar table, with the elevated bar stools. Which was great, since it afforded us a good view of the stage. There was also a bar. Which meant that there were a lot of inebriated folks my parents’ age in the audience. One man in particular found it very difficult not to touch me on his way to and from the bar. The first time I chalked up to him not seeing my hand on the back of my chair. The second time, when he touched my side, precariously close enough to certain areas to have constituted as ‘feeling up’ should his hand have lingered, I was extraordinarily unhappy. When he blatantly attempted to look down my not-at-all-low-cut shirt on his next trip, both The Accidental Housewife and I went blind with rage. Sadly, Mr. Big had moved to the back of the house due to a bad back and wanting a better view of what was really an excellent concert. The only thing that kept me from walking over to Touchy McFeely's table, where he sat with HIS WIFE, and bloodying his nose was the mysterious youngish-looking bald man halfway across the room who looked amazingly like Michael Rosenbaum. So I distracted myself with trying to figure out if it really was him. The cons being a) his TV show films in Vancouver, B.C., b) up until I noticed him, I was very much the youngest adult in the room (some parents had brought a few pre-teens and teens, but I don’t know how many were there against their will), c) I had been wearing my contacts all day and they were quite dried out and blurry by then and d) I don’t have luck like that. The pros being a) he did look a lot like Mr. Rosenbaum, b) I saw an episode of Cribs that featured Mr. Rosenbaum and he is just quirky enough to be at a concert for a band from the 70s, c) there had been a limo in the parking lot when we pulled up, and d) trying to decide kept me from purposely tripping the drunken Touchy McFeely the next time he walked past our table. I guess I can feel at peace knowing that my being nearly-groped by an age-inappropriate stranger allowed Mime to meet some of his sports heroes. I don’t think I would be this Zen about it if he had met some FBL members.

04 November 2007

California, Part I: Sister-Aunt

When most people first hear that I went on vacation to see my aunt, they usually raise an eyebrow. I’m sure this is because they are imagining a matronly, middle-aged aunt. In my case, my aunt, the Accidental Housewife, is only 7 years older than I am. And she spent a majority of every summer, if not the whole summer, at our house when I was growing up. When my mother, my aunt, and I would go out, people would inevitably stare as three red-heads are quite a sight. The brave would venture to ask us if we were related. I’m sure they were trying to figure out exactly how we were related, as the age differences made our relationships to one another difficult to determine. So the Accidental Housewife and I made up our own definitions. Hence, she is my sister-aunt and I am her sister-niece.

Growing up, the Accidental Housewife was my definition of cool. I loved when she would clean out her room because I always inherited fun stuff. I got all her Air Supply records when she downsized to cassette tapes, and then got the cassette tapes when she got tired of the group. I also got a wicked awesome Cyndi Lauper album which featured white high-heels with Starry, Starry Night by Van Gogh painted on the bottom as cover art. I wish that record hadn’t disappeared, because I spent hours listening to it, trying to be hip. I also remember getting a Wham! tape and a Madonna tape which my mother promptly threw out. It is a good thing she didn’t know what Cyndi Lauper’s She-Bop was about, or I wouldn’t have been able to keep that record either. I also got some great outfits until I doubled in size and at the age of 8 could no longer fit into my aunt’s size zero clothes. But I digress. The point being that I idolized my aunt and still remember how special I felt when she would do my long hair in massive curls and big bangs (oh, the 80s!) because she was spending time with me and on me. Sadly, she had to become a responsible adult and once she was out of school and had a career we could no longer spend the summers playing. Luckily, I went to college in Utah where she lived and since I was now the irresponsible student, we still had fun. Sadly that had to come to an end when I was forced to become a responsible adult and she moved to California.

Seeing as how it hasn’t been a particularly pleasant year for either she or I, we were both very much looking forward to seeing one another. I was excited to see her and her husband’s (Mr. Big) house and to meet their dog Dudley. Also exciting is the fact that my aunt is 19 weeks along with her first child. Which makes me all excited to be a cousin-aunt to Junior. The Accidental Housewife had been telling me how big she was getting, which I couldn’t really believe, as she has always on the petite side. And I still don’t think she is that big. Check out this picture of us the day I flew out. Does she look nearly 5 months pregnant? I don’t think so.

Here is a picture Mr. Big took, which is ever so flattering to both of us, but still doesn't make the Accidental Housewife look nearly as big as she thinks she is.


And finally, here is a picture of their dog, Dudley, who became my best pal.



I have more stories to tell, but this is already a fairly epic-long blog entry, so I'll save them for later.

01 November 2007

X-Philes Synchronize Your Watches!

The moment you have all been waiting for is finally here! Fox announced that that the second X-Files movie would begin filming in December and would be released 25 July 2008. Apparently it is filming in Vancouver B.C. again, which brings joy to my heart. And also means Parker and I have to move up our timetable for visiting that fair city. Think of all the FBL-ers floating around that town this winter! So let the countdown begin.


31 October 2007

Calling All Style Gurus

I know I should be blogging about my trip to California, but I don't really have time between Trick-or-Treaters and my dad offered to do the dishes if I handled the door. So it will have to be tomorrow. But I do need some advice. I realized I'm totally bored with my hair. Partly because I'm very, very lazy and don't bother with the round brush/flat iron combo unless it is a very, very special occasion. Also, I am enjoying the length and am sort of having a competition with myself to see how long I can get it. But it looks more and more like I crash landed at 'boule de cheveux' when shooting for pre-Raphaelite these days. So any suggestions are welcome. Unless that suggestion is waking up half an hour earlier, because that just isn't happening.

This is what I'm dealing with:


Thoughts?

23 October 2007

Geek Chic

We've all known one, that subset of the male species that is consumed by a passion other than sports. Maybe they are a little too obsessed with the band, a little too good at math, a little too involved with the drama club, a little too entranced by hard drives, a little too knowledgeable about comic books, a little too excited by sci-fi and/or fantasy, a little too used to living inside their own head, a little too short on confidence, or a little too nervous around members of the opposite sex. We give them a hard time, but when we really think about, they are the ones that are always there when your computer sets out to destroy you one eaten term paper at a time or when you want to have a deep discussion about the various merits of superheroes. Maybe we have even secretly loved one. Maybe we ARE one. Either way, our lives wouldn’t be the same without them. Here are the members of my own personal Geek Squad:

Chuck Bartowski / Zachary Levi

Monday nights at 8 pm I will inevitably be found parked in front of the TV watching Chuck. I love this show, mostly due to the character of Chuck Bartowski, played by Zachary Levi. Maybe I identify with the underachieving Chuck, a smart guy stuck in a menial job and generally confused as how to get out. Obviously I don’t have a super-computer full of secrets embedded in my brain, but you understand. However, I think the show works for me because of Mr. Levi. He is so adorable in this role. He blinds you with the cute geekitude and then you remember that underneath the white, short-sleeved button down, grey tie, and pocket protector is a tall, dark, and handsome man with a killer smile running around in Chuck Taylors.


Eric Foreman / Topher Grace

I never got into That 70's Show, but my brother watched it and I would occasionally catch an episode here and there when I was unemployed. And not only does Eric Foreman get points for liking the red-head who just might be able to beat him up, he was an unabashed nice guy. Who loved Star Wars. And props go to Topher Grace, who made the character a three-dimensional one, when he could have become as one-note as some of the others became.


Dr. John ‘J.D.’ Dorian / Zach Braff

I became addicted to Scrubs when I was unemployed and the show was syndicated on something like 13 channels. And while I have to say the character veered dangerously close to being one-dimensional in the later seasons, the early J.D. as portrayed by Zach Braff was pretty great. He could do goofy one minute and serious the next and managed to make the voiceovers engaging, when that sort of thing can get old very, very quickly. Plus, Mr. Braff makes an excellent mix tape.


The Doctor / David Tennant

My dad used to watch Doctor Who in the early 80s (the Tom Baker years) and I have vague memories of it being on past my bedtime and even if I did get to see a bit of it, it didn’t make much sense. But I do remember the hat, the scarf, and the blue phone box. Which I just realized could totally explain my deep love those accessories AND British phone booths. Heck, I could blame my deep-seated Anglophilia completely on my dad. I can’t wait to tell him. Anyway, when I saw that the Sci-Fi channel was airing the new incarnation of it, I sat down to watch it with him. And my, the new Doctor is dreamy. Tall, dark, and quirkily handsome, he pairs natty three piece suits with Chuck Taylors. Which is precisely my cup of tea. Add the accent and the very lovely glasses and I’m suddenly a Doctor Who fan who has obsessively Netflix-ed every season of the show and is trying to come up with a way to both start graduate school AND travel to Stratford-upon-Avon to watch him perform Hamlet with the RSC next fall (for you Star Trek fans, Patrick Stewart is also on board for that production. Want to come?).


Ned / Lee Pace


Finally, Ned the Pie Maker from my other new favorite show, Pushing Daisies. Ned is a guy who can bring people back from the dead with a touch, but a second touch makes them dead again and if he brings them back for more than 60 seconds, someone else dies. So you can kind of see why he devoted himself to pies. He is simply adorable, especially in dealing with the conundrum of bringing his childhood sweetheart back to life, permanently, with the caveat that he never touch her again. Also, he named his shop The Pie Hole. Which is kind of awesome. Come to think of it, he might also do all of this while wearing Chuck Taylors. I have to figure out where my attraction to said footware comes from. Wow, this post is bringing lots of random stuff to the surface. It's better than a therapist!

So there are my favorite geeks. I want to hear all about yours. For now I’m off to first tell my dad that my need for hats, scarves, and all things British is all his fault and then to California for a vacation. That is, of course, as long as the Burbank airport doesn’t go up in flames. I’ll fill you in when I get back!

22 October 2007

Birthday Cake

It was a lovely birthday weekend and to thank you all for your birthday wishes, I thought I would share a cake recipe I kind of invented and people really seemed to enjoy. Since we couldn't have a piece of cake together on my birthday, here is the best I could do:
Chocolate Cherry Cake

Ingredients:
  • 1 8 oz can pitted cherries in water
  • 1 8 oz can cherry pie filling (heavy syrup)
  • 1 Devil's Food cake mix
  • chocolate chips in your favorite flavor (milk, semi-sweet, or dark)
  • almond extract
Directions:

Drain can of pitted cherries, save liquid and set cherries aside. Follow the instructions for the cake mix, substituting the liquid for the water. Once batter is mixed, add drained cherries, 1 cup choclate chips, and a dash of almond extract. Bake in bundt cake pan according to cake mix instructions. Also, be really good about greasing the pan, as this cake is heavier than normal and is liable to stick when coming out of the pan. Cool completely and top with cherry pie filling.
Enjoy!

19 October 2007

Happy Birthday, Love George and Cary




These men wish you Happy Birthday! They told me so. Parker

17 October 2007

Reason 713 Why I Will Not Be Home-schooling My Hypothetical Children

I've mentioned before that I teach the Young Women in my ward, specifically the 14-15 year-olds, who are referred to in the Church as Mia Maids. I have no idea why. But I teach them and I have loads of fun with them, especially since I've known most of them since they were born. It is fun to watch them turn into people. But I digress. A new family recently moved into the ward boundaries and their 15 ("but I'll be 16 in four months") year-old daughter has been attending class activities on Wednesday (but, oddly enough not Church on Sundays. Maybe they home-school Church too). Last Wednesday the activity was painting pumpkins (marginally less messy than carving them) and theNewGirl arrived a bit early because her parents had to be somewhere else with another one of their daughters at 7pm. So I tried to get to know her a little better. Here is our conversation:

Scully: So what do you like to do in your spare time?

theNewGirl: Read

Scully (thinking Yay! A Reader!): What do you like to read?

theNewGirl: Romances

Scully (trying to keep from grimacing): Like paperback romance or Jane Austen romance?

theNewGirl: Like romances from Deseret Book.

Scully (trying desperately to keep the bile from rising): Like Anita Stansfield books?

theNewGirl: Yeah, her or (insert some 3-named woman who apparently writes LDS romance novels). My aunt buys them and then sends them to me.

Mercifully the doorbell rang and other girls started to arrive. Sadly, theNewGirl didn't have much to say to the rest of the girls, as they were full of stories from school and comparing teachers etc. Our class president, M, tried to make conversation and even told theNewGirl she looked for her at school, which was when theNewGirl announced she was home-schooled. And then said very, very little else all night long. M tried a couple of more times to include her, but I could tell she was in no way prepared to participate in their conversation. Especially the part of their conversation in which they discussed how uncomfortable the already out-and-proud lesbian that played on a couple of their sports teams made them. As I watched during the whole evening, it became painfully clear how unprepared for the world she is. Even though she is nearly a year older than the next girl in the class, she dresses as if she were still in grade school, in novelty t-shirts with smiling pumpkins. She couldn't carry on a simple conversation with any of the other four girls about anything. The only moment she seemed to enjoy the evening was when she was about to tell me all about the romance novels from Deseret Book. Which makes me wonder exactly what the curriculum is at home. I understand not wanting worldly influences in your home and I understand wanting your children to be safe, to be free from the dangers of this world, but there is a point at which protecting becomes imprisoning in a false Garden of Eden. If one is never presented with the many alternatives, good and evil, that exist in this world, especially when one is able to reside in the sheltered environment of the home, what happens when one runs smack dab into them when one has left that environment? What if one has a roommate with an eating disorder, one who swears like a sailor, one who openly flaunts the rules, or one who simply lives by different rules from those with which one is familiar? Especially if one is going to any incarnation of BYU, where one expects everything to be the way it was at home. I may be totally off, but I just see this poor girl floundering when presented with the real world. She and her parents have created such an environment in which she has very little contact with the world outside and which is reinforced by her reading novels that are little more than LDS fairytales. I can tell she has her life planned out, that she firmly believes that she will follow the Mormon culture's Happily Ever After of BYU, meet-and-marry a returned missionary, multiple children by the age of 30, and a settled life with a house and a minivan. And that doesn't always happen. In fact, it doesn't often happen. And I've seen some people thrown off the rails because what they thought would happen didn't and they were lost and started to question the really important things like testimony and the Atonement and all the other things that matter. And even if it does happen, what if she finds that it isn't all the happily-ever-after unicorns, rainbows and sunshine that she imagines it to be? Do you think, dear readers, that I'm overly-judgemental and need to stop jumping to conclusions or is there something really dangerous about such a sheltered life?

13 October 2007

New Tires Were NOT On The Birthday Wishlist

Friday morning I woke up to a flat tire. Not the way I wanted to start the day. It didn't help that I was already running a bit late to work. Additionally, my father had left two hours earlier to go camping with the Boy Scouts and wouldn't be back until Saturday evening. I managed to get him on his cell phone just long enough to find out where his air compressor was located but not long enough to find out how the tire attachment went on. And from then on he was out of the coverage area. Well, after spending 40 minutes fighting with the air compressor and getting nowhere, and another twenty minutes finding my mini air compressor that runs out of the cigarette lighter and realizing it was in no way up to the job, I decided to just put on the spare and go to Les Schwab. After getting everything I needed from my trunk, I went to work. I didn't get very far because the lug nuts had apparently been screwed on by a Titan. I stood on the wrench and couldn't get the lug nuts to move one little bit. At this point I indulged in a minor temper tantrum that might have included any combination of the following: screams of rage, tears, jumping up and down on the air compressor's tubing, and generally behaving like Catherine Earnshaw-Linton. Also, every adolescent male in the neighborhood, having the day off from school, was not at home. Finally I had to call some friends of my parents and the wife tracked down her husband at work and he came over. While he magically made the air compressor and attachment work, we discovered that a hole had been ripped in the sidewall, so the tire wouldn't hold aire. Back to the tire-changing plan. He also could not get the lug nuts to move until he bounced on the wrench, reinforced with a steel pipe, for a few minutes. It is quite an image to see a middle-aged man in loafers balance on wrench. So finally we got the tire changed and I was on my way to Les Schwab. But not before checking the other tires and realizing all of them were in some state of near-baldness. Les Schwab confirmed that the tire could not be repaired. Also, they didn't have a tire that was the same size as mine, so I couldn't just buy one. I had to buy four new, slightly larger, tires. Which took up all of the money I was saving for my California shopping-spree in two weeks. I could be bitter, but I decided to just think of it as buying new shoes for my car. My car deserves new shoes, right?

11 October 2007

Yet Another Reason to Love Him

For those of you who don't know, George Clooney was in a small motorcycle accident several weeks ago and it was leaked to the press. So now the hospital staff that treated him are facing suspension for leaking the info. And this was his response. (Taken from IMDB: link)
Clooney Appeals Against Hospital Workers' Suspension

Actor George Clooney has appealed to officials at a New Jersey hospital not to suspend staff over the leaking of his personal information to the media in the aftermath of his motorcycle crash last month. Up to 40 employees and medical staff at the Palisades Medical Center are suspected of breaking confidentiality laws by revealing details of the Michael Clayton actor's condition and medical records after his admission to the hospital. Clooney and his new girlfriend Sarah Larson were knocked off his motorcycle by a car on September 21. They were taken to the Palisades Medical Center, where he received treatment for a rib fracture and grazes, while Larson saw doctors for two broken toes. But the kind-hearted star, 46, is stunned by the magnitude of the situation. He says in a statement: "This is the first I've heard of it. And while I very much believe in a patient's right to privacy, I would hope that this could be settled without suspending medical workers."
Now seriously, how much more lovely could he be?

ETA: I got some details wrong, so for the full story go the the NYT article here.

04 October 2007

The Verdict Is In

I told you I would review the following TV shows last week, but then I found out that Pushing Daisies wasn't even premiering until last night and I was uncertain about what I should write about Bionic Woman after just one episode. I still am kind of uncertain, but I figured I should just get this done and then I could watch The Office guilt-free.

I have to admit, I'm kind of meh about this show. I didn't think I would be, seeing how addicted I was to The X-Files, Dark Angel, and Alias. I obviously like shows with strong female leads, a dose of sci-fi, and some action. I should be the target demo. But this show lacks something the others had that I can't quite describe, even to myself. I want to say 'fun', but that doesn't seem right. Maybe I mean humor, but I don't know if a few snappy lines would help, although most of the dialogue does need help. I think I saw some of the actors die a little inside during a few of their scenes. Maybe I don't find it clever enough. Whatever it is, it is missing something. Because I spent much of the pilot episode wishing the show focused on her little sister's life, as it seemed much more interesting. Also, I should not be able to pay more attention to the wardrobe than the plot AND still know what is going on and predict what will happen next. And as you can tell from the above list of TV addictions, I am willing to suspend A LOT of disbelief, but I can't stop being nitpicky about this show. If the nano-bytes (or whatever they are called) can filter out cigarette smoke as one character asserted in the pilot, how does the lead get drunk in the second episode? Wouldn't the nano-whatevers metabolize the alcohol so it doesn't effect her? And even if she did get drunk in the moment, wouldn't the nano-whatevers filter it enough in her sleep that she wouldn't wake up hung over? My last nit-pick isn't just about this show, but more about what writers do to most female leads in dramas like this one and the others I mentioned - they use reproductive issues to up the drama. They did it in The X-Files, they did it in Alias, they did it to a lesser extent in Dark Angel. Why is it that when writers want to really torment a female lead, they focus on their uterus? I have never once seen a plotline revolving around aliens, government agencies, rogue scientists, or cultists messing with a man's reproductive abilities, so why is it the go-to plotline to introduce tension, drama, or angst in a female lead's life? Any thoughts you might have would be totally welcome. Also welcome, your thoughts on Bionic Woman.

I can't give you a full review of Pushing Daisies, as I only caught the second half of the pilot last night because I was helping the Young Woman sew bags out of placemats. Which was an interesting undertaking. Anyway, what I saw, I liked. It was cute, twee, whimsical, and visually wonderful. The best description I can come up with is that it is as if Roald Dahl wrote a tv script. I found the characters engaging. It is possible the whole experiment could go horribly awry and become so enamoured with its whimsy and twee-ness (is that even a word?) that it makes one ill. But even with all the whimsy, it still seemed more real and full of more heart than shows set squarely in reality. I'll let you know if my opinion changes after I watch the full episode this weekend.

29 September 2007

Oh the Irony

I took my new bobble-headed friend (see previous post) to work on Friday. And my own personal Dwight turns out to be a big fan of The Office. In fact, we reminisced about our favorite pranks Jim has pulled on the actual Dwight. And my office's Dwight said Jim was his favorite character. I had the most difficult time not bursting into incredulous laughter. Because if Jim Halpert worked in my office (if only!) his pranks would be aimed squarely at this guy. And my office's Dwight would end up storming out of the office and quitting (again, some more). But in his perception of reality, he is not Dwight at all. I'm sure he sees himself as the Jim of our office, although he would never have a crush on the receptionist, ChattyCathy, who is much more of a Kelly than a Pam.

27 September 2007

Wicked Awesome!

I was going to review Bionic Woman for you all today, but then I found a brown box sitting on my bed when I got home from work. And in that brown box was this:

My very own Dwight K. Schrute bobblehead, courtesy of my very dear friend Heather, who has been one of my best friends since first grade, despite my having left her on the sidewalk talking to herself. So not only was she awesome enough to forgive my rudeness, she is cool enough to send this so it arrived the very day of The Office premiere! Three cheers for Heather! He is so going on my desk tomorrow.

26 September 2007

Coke & Lime 1, Scully 0

I succumbed to the genius that is the Coke & Lime this afternoon after a valiant struggle of three and a half days. The past three and half days have not been pretty. I have not been happy. I have been exhausted and miserable and plagued by a nasty headache and neckache. And after the post-Institute existential crisis I enjoyed last night, followed by a morning of work issues, I felt I couldn’t face the County Courthouse without one. One day at a time, right? Although, after depressing myself with calculating that most of the Institute attendees had been in kindergarten when I was sitting in the exact same room my first year of Seminary, and that after 14 years I had ended up back where I started, possibly in the exact same desk, I doubt I’ll be returning to Institute. But like Parker said, “A for effort.” And like Scarlett said, “Tomorrow is another day.”

25 September 2007

New Favorite Song

Check out Bubbly by Colbie Caillat. I can't get enough of it!

24 September 2007

Tis The Season

I am addicted to Coke-and-lime, darker-than-dark chocolate, and television. I'm working on the Coke-and-lime habit, leaving me tired, irritable, and prone to wicked painful headaches. Which means I'm consoling myself with the pretty pictures on my television. And since it is premiere season, I'm sure I will be enjoying the next two weeks immensely. My returning favs are House, The Office, Scrubs, and Supernatural. I have some room on my schedule and decided to do some research on the newbies for this season. After reading reviews and looking at pictures, I figured I would check out the following: Chuck, Pushing Daisies, and Bionic Woman. Since I have to find some way to amuse myself until Thursday at 9pm (only 2 days, 23 hours, 9 minutes and thirty seconds!) I thought I would give my review of each new show. So tonight I watched Chuck.

Chuck is about a computer-smart, socially-akward, street-inept guy who receives an email from his old college roommate on his birthday. Of course he opens the email, only to be on the receiving end of top secret information encrypted in pictures and clips. He doesn't know he has just had all the NSA and CIA's intel downloaded directly to his brain. That was pretty much the pilot. It is as if Jim Halpert were a computer nerd who lived with his sister in L.A. suddenly becoming Sydney Bristow's top priority, while being pursued by evil SuperSoldier Noel Rrrroar from The X-Files (seriously, the actor that plays the NSA baddie IS the guy that played Noel Rrroar!). Zachary Levi (last seen as Kip in Less Than Perfect) is totally believable as the guy who "is working on his 5-year plan, [he] just need[s] to pick a font" suddenly thrown into this crazy new world. Noel Rrroar is a laughable caricature whose character better get some finessing or will be unwatchable. The jury is still out on Sydney-lite, but I do have a soft spot for female government agents who kick trash. And she knows how to accessorize. So I would recommend checking it out at the NBC website (I think for a short time you can catch the whole pilot on the website) and see for yourself. It is a nice piece of escapism. Especially if the the sentence "Jim Halpert and Sydney Bristow team up to save the world." makes you smile. If any of you watched it, I'd love to hear your thoughts.

20 September 2007

Syncronize Your Watches


6 days, 22 hours, 47 minutes and 40 seconds until The Office season premiere. To miss it would be a travesty of gargantuan proportions.

19 September 2007

The Wishlist

When I was in Utah several weeks ago, the lovel ZB asked me what I wanted for my birthday. I really had no reply. I've spent a lot of time lately focusing on what needs to be done and haven't thought much about what I want. Plus, all my dreams came true when The Accidental Housewife and Mr. Big gave me a plane ticket and free room and board for a week in CA. What more could a girl want? Well, I did some thinking and here is my birthday wishlist. Not that I expect anything, but since my brother Mime has proved that if you tell the universe what you want, sometimes it listens. Especially to him. (For those of you who don't know Mime personally, he has the luck of the Irish. Even as a kid, he ALWAYS won stuff. Today is no different, as he walks into The Store That Shall Not Be Named and wins a Nintendo Wii and finds internships that pay $16.90/hour). So this wishlist is mostly for the universe and represents no implication that I in anyway expect something from you lovely readers, because I would be completely mortified if anybody took it that way.

The Wishlist:
  • The Office Season 3 DVDs
  • A nice, reliable watch that goes with everything. Something like this only, you know, affordable.
  • I realize this is completely contrary to this experience we call life, but I would really like to know that I have a secure future. I would like to know that I will be able to progress toward a real career, rather than be stuck in a series of dead-end, menial jobs that get me nowhere.
  • Mary Kay Satin Lips lip balm. This is the best lip balm ever and it lasts and lasts. I love it.
  • an iPod. I have a the iPod Shuffle, which is great for workouts etc., but not so much for creating a portable music collection. In black, of course.
  • I would like to have friends that lived in the same zip code as I. All my bestest friends live two or three states away and it is turning me into an internet junkie.
  • One of those iTunes cards. I'm afraid that if I just went searching on iTunes with my debit card, I would bankrupt myself shortly. It would be good to go crazy, within a limit. Also, it would make me much more discerning.
  • North & South, both the DVD and the book. I'm totally obsessed with the story now.
  • Someone to flirt with. Preferrably tall, dark, and British.
  • The Suit from Banana Republic.
  • My secret trust fund. I know it is out there somewhere. It would be a perfect birthday gift.
  • One of these to go about town in. I'm sure it would help with the London withdrawls I go through this time each year.
There you have it, dear readers. The universe can start working on this list post-haste. And you all should start making your own lists to submit to the universe. If my brother can do it, so can we!

18 September 2007

I Am An Old Crone

Inspired by Miss Parker, I decided to attend my local LDS Institute. Seeing as how we are a small rural farm town, we have one class every Tuesday night. Last week was book club, so this was my first week. This evening was no easier on my self-esteem than that one. As everyone filed in to the room, I realized I was older than most of these people by a decade. A DECADE! The classroom was full of recent high school graduates and boys waiting to go on their missions. There was maybe one or two girls who were returned missionaries, so maybe the age difference was more like 6 years, but still. Also, I realized that the irreverant Six Million Dollar Man joke (in my defense, he did say "he can rebuild you" which reflexively triggered the rest of the opening monologue) that went through my head when the teacher was giving a spiritual thought from President Hinckley about being rebuilt like a building that has been destroyed through repentence and the Atonement would have only made sense to the teacher. The show was actually before my time, but I remember watching reruns. These people wouldn't even have seen reruns of The Cosby Show, let alone the original run. I will be going back to Institute, but I think I'll slip in late and skip the intro by the class president that drove me insane. I had to fight the urge to shush everyone like I do the Young Women on Sundays.

13 September 2007

Lucky 13

I did an inventory of sorts on my blog archives and realized I have become negative in the extreme. Not that it hasn't been a magnificently unfortunate summer or that I should sugar-coat my blog entries, as it is the closest thing to a journal I will ever have. It is just that negativity is cyclical and can drag one down if you let it. So in honor of today, the 13th, thirteen having always been a lucky number for me, I will share 13 things that make me smile.

1. My Season 2 Supernatural DVDs, which I pre-ordered way back in June, are somewhere between an Amazon.com warehouse in Kentucky and my mailbox. That little box contains 22+ hours of the deliciousness that is Dean Winchester. Huzzah!

2. I realized that when I look at my closet I am satisfied with its contents. There isn't really anything I feel I am lacking, except of course that beautiful suit from Banana Republic I blogged about a while back. And maybe one of those cute shifts with the pintucked scoop necks that all are the rage this fall. But really, I'm content fashion-wise AND shoe-wise. That is something.

3. Public libraries and the lovely people like Miss Nemesis who staff them. Without these wonderful institutions, I wouldn't be able to afford my book habit. And also, any place that encourages children to slow down, turn off the noise and think is truly fantastic.

4. All my lovely friends and family who are embarking on new adventures great and small. They inspire me.

5. Having a positive bank balance five months running, being responsible enough to keep the check book balanced AND having my running balance match my banks. That hasn't happened in years.

6. My upcoming trip to California. I cannot wait to spend a week with The Accidental Housewife, Mr. Big, and their dog, Dudley. It is on the calendar at work, which means it is official, come hell, highwater, or jury summons.

7. Teaching 14-15 year-old girls at church. Sure they can be giggly and easily distracted, but listening to them reminds me of how big the world was then and the rush of feeling you could conquer it. Adolescence is hard, I still bear the scars, but it is also a time of never-ending hope and when I listen to them chat I wonder when exactly that was beaten out of me and what I need to do to reclaim it.

8. Rediscovering country music. I went through a country phase during junior high, and I previously commented on how even now I am drawn to it when I'm sad or not feeling well. So I have been listening to it a lot lately. And I realized I do like some of it. So here are some songs that you should listen to, just once, because they make me smile: Something's Gotta Give by Leann Rimes; Free and Easy Down the Road I Go by Dierks Bentley; Suds In The Bucket by Sara Evans; All My Friends Say by Luke Bryan; Online by Brad Paisley. You should really check out the video for Online for the cameos alone. Especially you Seinfeld fans.

9. Facing a weekend in which I neither have to travel anywhere, nor have anything scheduled. I will probably clean the house, as it is verging on seriously nasty, but I can do that in my pajamas.

10. The hint of fall in the air every morning. It won't be too long now until I can pull my beloved turtlenecks out of confinement. Also looking forward to opaque tights, knee-high boots, and leaves turning beautiful colors.

11. 13 days, 23 hours and 35 minutes until The Office returns to my television set.

12. Halloween falls on Wednesday, which means there will probably be a Church activity, giving me an excuse to bust out my seriously awesome Daphne (from Scooby-Doo) costume.

13. The thought of making a hair appointment to make my hair a lovely dark(er) auburn. It may not be natural, but I think it was the color I was born to wear. I'll post pics when it is done.

11 September 2007

I Have No Response To That

I realized a while ago that I couldn't just sit and mope about being exiled to the farthest reaches of nowhere, otherwise known as rural Eastern Washington. So I joined a neighborhood book club. Most meetings have been fine, even though I've had to sit through the preliminary half-hour of marriage, home, & family chatter before discussing the actual book, but still okay. Tonight was a low point. We read a book I suggested, The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde. I looked forward to discussing it, since I knew at least a couple people would hate it and one or two might like it. Well, only one other person actually read it. One woman got halfway through it and her only comment was how she was disappointed in the profanity. Someone else said they stopped reading because they felt stupid because they didn't know if Martin Chuzzlewit was a real book by Dickens. Thankfully the other person who read it really enjoyed it. After 10-15 minutes of discussing the book, the conversation took a gigantic turn when someone asked what everyone thought about circumcision, since her new grandson was circumcised today. She actually started talking about how she had looked up the Church's stand on circumcision in Mormon Doctrine and amazingly enough, there is no stand. At which point I suggested you could find that out from the writings of Paul. And she gave me a mini-lecture about how it was because of Christ fulfilling the Mosaic law. Which I already knew, having READ THE WRITINGS OF PAUL! Then came the discussion about modern research. Which led to people discussing it regarding their sons and then regarding their husbands. And then I left, realizing I had absolutely nothing in common with any of these women.

09 September 2007

Big Crocodile Tears

Last week at this time I was here:


I got to spend a few short hours hanging out with my friends Treat Queen, ZB, Parker, and ZB's daughter Mini E and generally just realizing how much I missed hanging out with them. Sadly, HY, my little buddy from days of yore, was not feeling the pictures and also, being just over 2, had only a vague idea of who I was. Which meant I let one or two tears escape on my drive from Parker's house to my aunt & uncle's place. I have no idea when I'll be able to get down there again or how much time we'll have to play. Being a responsible adult stinks sometimes.

05 September 2007

Giddy, I Tell You!

Last night I watched this and the euphoria has yet to wear off. I know it is still nearly a year until the movie comes out, but aren't you excited? I love Batman. I loved the old Adam West show that I watched as a child, I watched all the movies and I even suffered through the last one, but only out of my devotion to Batman and George Clooney, although the twain never should have met. I adore Christian Bale in the role. And now I have started to count down to the next movie. I mentioned this to a co-worker today and she started talking about how much she loved Spider-man. Which reminded me of how devoted Miss Parker is to Superman. I started wondering why people pledge allegiance to a certain superhero. I love Batman because of his duality. And possibly his wicked awesome car. But mostly I think the duality. I have long nurtured a sort of pseudo-theory about what our favorite opposite-sex superhero says about what we are attracted to and what we value. So who, dear readers, is your favorite superhero and why? And what exactly do you think that says about you?

28 August 2007

I KNEW It!

I have long believed that karma, the universe, the cosmos, whatever you want to call it, has it out for me. Things like going on vacations and enjoying myself have unleashed whirlwinds of misery on myself and my friends. Case in point: August 2006, I went to Disneyland with my parents, brother and sister-in-law, and one of my best friends and we had a wonderful time. Not one week later I was laid off from my job, that same day my friend found out her boyfriend was a two-timing toolbag, and in the following months my mother was diagnosed with not one, but two terminal illnesses, and my paternal grandmother passed away. So I should have known when I made plans to go to California for a week this fall, something would happen. Not two days ago, my aunt, The Accidental Housewife, and her husband, Mr. Big, got the plane ticket as my birthday present. And today I get jury summons covering Oct. 15-Nov. 23. JURY SUMMONS! I have only officially been a resident of the state for 27 days. UGH!

25 August 2007

A Padded Cell Is Nice and Quiet At Least

Things That Have Sent Scully To The Brink of Insanity This Week.

  • My own personal Dwight disliking a little colleague criticism (not from me, but from someone in his department) so much that he stormed out at 9am Tuesday morning and never came back. Until our boss coaxed him back Wednesday. Apparently he does this on a semi-yearly basis and always gets rewarded for it. If he were two, instead of just acting like it, he wouldn't have gotten rewarded, he would have been spanked and sent to time out. Also, if he was so stressed, take a stupid vacation like everyone else. UGH!
  • A great-aunt (my mother's father's sister), who shall be called Bizmo, as that is what my mother and her sister called her because they have two crazy aunts with the same name and there had to be some sort of differentiation, sent a whole packet of legal crap in an effort to court familial sympathy. Back story: my mother and her five siblings were raised on a family farm. Their father had originally tried to get off that farm and was fairly successful working in construction until his father, mother, and siblings were faced with bankruptcy or foreclosure or something. My grandfather returned to save his family, was deeded the farm, got it up and running again, and generously called it the ______ Brother's Farm because his brothers were pretty backward and most, if not all, had mental handicaps. Also, he had three sons and they would inherit, also being the ______ Brother's. When my grandfather died in 1978 his brothers sued my grandmother for the farm and basically evicted her and her 5 children remaining at home. A reason they gave for the eviction was that my mother's health issues (dialysis and kidney transplant) had nearly bankrupted the farm and taken a huge toll on the family finances. Which was patently UNTRUE. Back to today. Aunt Bizmo thinks that she should have the farm. Which basically doesn't exist anymore because the brother that was given the farm in the suit sold it piecemeal and also let it go to pot. Figuratively AND literally. So now Aunt Bizmo is trying to have this brother declared unfit to make the latest deal selling the last of the farm. And she thinks the rest of us care. When I read the packet she had sent, I was so mad I mentally composed a scathing letter to her. Because not two years ago she sat in our living room and told my mother straight up that she (Aunt Bizmo) deserved the farm because my mom, specifically, and her family, generally, had gotten so much out of it already. Then she had the audacity to go to pieces over my mother's casket. Look, now I'm all in a rage again.
  • The fact that my beloved city of London seems to be turning into hooliganville. Maybe I have a false image of the city, maybe the news is just focusing on the shocking, but it seems that it has become so much more violent than it used to be. It makes me sad.
  • The recurring nightmares that A) my mother is alive but still sick and wasting away and there is yet again nothing I can do for her or B) that my father's life is somehow endangered. When I wake up after nightmare A I spend the morning doing guilt about not doing enough for my mother during her final days. When I wake up after nightmare B I spend the day restraining the obsessive need to call my dad and check up on him. It makes me long for the days of vampire dreams.
  • The suspiscious brown puddles my dad noticed in the garage and which I now notice after I drive away from whereever I have parked. I cannot afford this. At. All.
Things That Kept Scully From Going Over The Brink
  • The Garden State soundtrack. I know it is 3 years old or something, but it is seriously good music. I love all the songs, but the ones I love the best are New Slang by The Shins and Let Go by Frou Frou. Check it out and thank me later.
  • Buying cute heels. Money CAN buy happiness. Or at least a temporary stay against the growing rage and insanity.
  • My summer TV addictions. Now this is somewhat of a confession because I know some regular readers, at the very least Miss Parker is going to raise an eyebrow at this list. But here they are in all their glory: Eureka and Doctor Who on the SciFi channel and Monk and Psych on USA. These shows make me laugh, have adorable characters, and just generally let me escape for an hour.
  • Dr. Pepper and Coke with lime. Although I have to buy lime juice and add it to the Coke, because I can only ever find Diet Coke with Lime and I can't drink diet sodas because they give me migraines. And I'm seriously going to give up the caffienated beverages cold turkey when life settles down. I promise.
  • The idea that in 12 short months I could be living here and going to school here. Have I mentioned I'm planning on going back for a master's degree in secondary education? Well I am and this place has a good program. You are all invited to come visit.