31 July 2007

5 Signs Scully Is Completely Frazzled

1. It takes 24 oz. of Dr. Pepper to get me through the day. 12 oz. in the morning and then 12 more on the way back from the County Courthouse after doing the day's recordings for work. There is a Dr. Pepper machine outside the County Auditor's office that hums the siren-song of caffienated beverages and I just can't say no to happiness-in-a-can for a mere $0.55. And ZB and Miss Parker were right, Dr. Pepper is better from a can. And as a rule, I don't even like soda from a can.

2. I excitedly ordered the book North & South by Elizabeth Gaskell from Amazon.com last week. I anxiously tracked its every move via their website. What I got today in the mail was not North & South, but rather a book called Cranford by the same author, a book of which I had never heard, but had accidentally ordered, rather than North & South. Now I have to wait for my refund (minus shipping fees) to kick in before I can order the right book. I have no idea how I missed the fact that I ordered the wrong book when I a) perused my cart before checking out and b) checked the tracking daily, but I did. What an eye for detail!

3. All I ever want to do is sleep. I know I cannot sleep during my lunch hour, or when I get home from work, or in the morning while I read my scriptures, or in the shower, or while sitting at my desk, or while waiting in line at the County Treasurer's office, but that is what I really want to do. I want to sleep 20 hours a day, despite getting what feels like a good night's sleep every night from 10 pm to 6 am. But I long for the sweet oblivion of sleep All. The. Time.

4. I have started to eat whatever is put in front of me. Since I get home from work last and Mime and Mrs. Mime are on break, they pretty much do the cooking. Today, I ate a hamburger. Last week I had 3 bites of a pork chop. Yeah, I know!

5. I'm too exhausted to give in to the constant temptation to go to the drug store and buy some hair dye. I haven't dyed my hair since October and I miss my auburn locks. My hair has almost completely reverted to its indecisive red/blonde/brown mixture that is not distinctive at all. And considering my hair is a mere 2 inches from the top of my bra strap, it would look stunning in a shade of auburn. But, alas, I can't drag myself to the drug store and make a decision about color. Which might be a good thing, seeing as how I should really find a stylist to do it.

25 July 2007

Karma Owes Me

The following are three things Karma can send my way to make up for finding a 2.5 inch one of these:

in my bathtub this morning. For those of you who don't know what that is, that is an aggressive house spider and they are evil. And big. Needless to say, I shut the door on the tub, shaved my legs in the sink, and put my hair up rather than shower. (Many thanks to my brother Mime for killing it!) Karma also owes me for keeping me in the county courthouse for hours on end today waiting for people to decide whether or not something could be recorded. So I suggest it deliver the following three things to my doorstep. Sooner, rather than later.

This beautiful suit was brought to my attention by one of the lovely emails I periodically get from Banana Republic. I must own this suit. I love the retro feel, the pencil skirt that is such a wonderful mix of prim and sensual. I love the color. I love the cut. I love the fact that it could work in every season. I love that I already have lots of accessories that would go with it. I love that I would look smashing in it, because I would need something stellar to wear when karma sends the next thing to my front door.

I would like to introduce my newest Fantasy Boyfriend: Richard Armitage. I just finished watching North & South (the adaptation of the Elizabeth Gaskell novel, not the Patrick Swayze/Civil War one) and this man made the whole thing worthwhile. He stole every scene he was in and it was worth staying up until all hours last night for the last five minutes alone. And if you think this picture is good, wait until you see him sans cravat. He is now in the British TV series about Robin Hood (see Miss Nemesis' entry for a lovely pic) in which I hear he wears eyeliner. And you all know how I feel about that. Also, he will be appearing in one of the PBS Mystery! airings of the Miss Marple series on August 19th. Mark your calendars!

Since Karma cannot afford NOT to deliver the lovely suit and the Fantasy Boyfriend from Britain, it will obviously need to send a ticket to London, as that is where the said FBfB's livelihod is and it makes no sense for him to relocate to a rural town in Eastern Washington. So of course I will be checking daily for an open-ended ticket from Sea-Tac to Heathrow. Luckily I don't have to renew my passport for two more years. Maybe by then the backlog will be gone. Or by then I will be a bi-citizen, the FBfB having become a FHfB. You are all invited to come visit.

23 July 2007

Black Cats, Beautiful Brits, Bridal Showers, Baby Showers, and Mental Breakdowns

I realized it has been nearly a week since I last wrote. The week has been average, same-old, same-old. The only difference was the sense of rising panic that I wasn't enough. Since my mother died I have been trying to keep things up. Keep the house up, keep the yard up, keep my father's spirits up, keep my spirits up, keep both of us getting up walking in the mornings (5am is so early!) keeping appearances up, so the ghoulish mother and son who lost their husband and father a year ago won't keep intrusively asking us how we are doing and then reiterating How. Hard. It. Is. every single Sunday morning as we walk into church. (Also, I get the psychostalker vibe from the mother, as in she thinks I should befriend her son, who is clearly inappropriate in age, activity, and so many other ways it isn't even funny.) Basically I have been trying to keep everything afloat. And falling very, very short.

Lately I have felt I just don't have the answers. I don't have the answer to when I want to eat dinner, I don't have the answer as to why the waffles didn't work, and I don't have any answers about remodeling. I have no answers at work. I have no answer to ChattyCathy's repetitive questions about why she can't get past her two-timing toolbag of an ex. I have no answers as to why I keep making indexing mistakes. I have no answer as to why I can't remember all the procedures for recording or why a legal description disappeared between the Treasurer's office and the Auditor's office, thus insuring we have to re-record the transaction. I have no answers in my personal life. I have no answer to give at bridal showers or baby showers when people start talking about or giving advice about sex or breastfeeding and then look at me all apologetic or startled since I am the only single person in the group and have never experienced either, like I shouldn't be hearing the conversation. The best I can do is excuse myself and hope I'm not being rude and leaving too early.

So Sunday morning, far too early in the morning, I was attempting to make my mother's recipe for roast and had to go out to the freezer in the garage for a roast, I was confronted with a neighbor's cat, a cat who acts more like a dog, who has been increasingly lonely since her owner has been in and out of town for the past several weeks. She was just lonely and wanted someone to show her some affection, but I had none. I almost shouted "I can't help you! I don't have any answers!" and slammed the screen door shut before she could get into the house. Of course I proceeded to feel guilty about it all day because one shouldn't take all one's frustrations out on a poor, lonely animal.

I managed to get dinner ready, my lesson finished, and myself dressed in time to get to church. I coldly ignored the Ghoulish Duo's inviting smiles and sat down. I had to teach a lesson on the importance of the Sacrament later, but instead of contemplating it and the lesson, I managed to have another minor breakdown, totally unrelated to anything, about how I would die alone and subsequently eaten by Alsatians. Then I threw an internal temper tantrum because I DO NOT want to wait until I'm 50 to marry some widower, even if he is an Apostle. It was basically a Vercua Salt "I want It NOW!" moment combined with complete and utter hopelessness. Which means that I was NOT in the mood to go help in Nursery, which I had forgotten I volunteered for until the Nursery leader called at 9 o'clock Saturday night and I was definitely NOT in the mood to discuss whether the spots on a little boy's face was eczema or something contagious. I definitely did NOT have the Spirit with me while teaching my girls about the Sacrament. Which meant that, combined with the fact that most of the girls had just returned from a three-day long pioneer trek the afternoon before and totally exhausted, the lesson was a complete and utter disaster.

So I did the only thing one can do after a morning like that and slept for 4 hours. Which meant I definitely couldn't sleep and thus stayed up watching the PBS Mystery! presentation of Miss Marple: Nemesis followed by finally getting around to the DVDs of North & South that Esperanza and Miss Nemesis both strongly recommended. I had to turn it off after the first hour, otherwise I would have been up ALL night. There is nothing better than a beautiful, fictional, British man simmering with proper pride, rectitude, and repressed desire. It is a magnificent drug. Although the last lines of Episode One almost sent me back to tears. Here they are for your reading pleasure. I have no idea if they are in the actual book, as my local library doesn't actually have the book. I will have to request it.
I wish I could tell you, Edith, how lonely I am, how cold and harsh it is here. Everywhere there is conflict and unkindness. I think God has forsaken this place. I believe I've seen hell. It's white. It's snow white.

16 July 2007

As If!

The following events of the past few weeks have conspired to make me feel old:
  • ChattyCathy, the receptionist at work, majorly stressing about being single, childless and turning 26 at the end of the month. Yes, you read that right, 26. She is seriously concerned about it, which makes me roll my eyes and tell her to stop it, because I'm 3 months from 29.
  • Playing a Getting-To-Know-You game at a Young Women's activity on Wednesday and seeing 8 blank faces when I tell them my She-Ra action figures were my favorite toy as a child. They also have no idea who He-Man, the Thundercats, or Jem (She's Totally Outrageous!) are. My 21 year-old sister-in-law has no idea who Jem is either.
  • Getting excited enough to dance on Friday because I got my insurance card and could make an appointment with the optometrist. Yeah, I know.
  • Standing in line at Wal-Mart (I hate this store with the passion of a thousand fiery suns, but it is all my little town has) for 20 minutes and all the while mentally grousing about all the underdressed people. Wearing something that looks like a glorified bathing suit and/or pajamas is not acceptable. At All.
  • Not bothering to go see the new Harry Potter movie for at least a week because I don't want to deal with the crowds.
Please tell me this is not the beginning of the end. I haven't even seen Paris yet! Paris, France that is, not the skank that is ruining America and corrupting our youth.

11 July 2007

Movie Review: License to Wed

I'm sure you have been waiting breathlessly for my review of this movie and I'm sorry it was delayed. I was asked to teach the 14-16 year-old girls at church and suddenly there are a lot more demands on my time. But here it is:

What I Liked:

John Krasinski -- He did a good job with what he had. And it was wonderful to see him on the big screen. Also, on a strictly superficial note, his wardrobe was a vast improvement over the standard pleated-khakis-and-button-down Jim uniform. Mr. Krasinski can rock the male twinset. He can also rock a linen suit and a white t-shirt and pajama pants. I'll stop gushing now and hopefully retain what is left of my dignity.

Mandy Moore's Wardrobe -- Seriously, she had the cutest dresses. Plus, Ms. Moore looks like a normal human being, wonderfully unlike all the lollipop-shaped starlets we see these days. So whenever she was onscreen, I was scrutinizing her outfits, trying to remember them so I can some day recreate them.

Their Apartment -- These characters had the nicest, cutest apartment any florist and basketball coach ever had. I wanted the lamps and the linens, the couch and all the little accessories. I regretted not bringing a notebook to take notes. Which brings us to:

What I Didn't Like

I Never Got Drawn In -- If I notice every single outfit the female lead wears (and sometimes what her sister wears) and am contemplating taking notes on the set decoration of the leads' apartment, I'm not involved in the story. It was really hard to care about the characters at all. I didn't feel sympathy for the characters (maybe for the actors, but never for the characters!) and their crises, frustrations, sorrows etc. never registered with me because I just didn't care.

I Kept Asking Why -- As in, "Why are they together?" You don't see them fall in love, just some narrated vignettes showing first meeting, date, kiss, etc. and are told they are in love, but you never see why. Why they connect as human beings, why they are together, why they want to get married to one another, or why they have any interest in one another (other than sex) at all.

I Also Kept Asking Who -- As in, "Who are these people?" I'm not a huge fan of major exposition, but not finding out what either of them does professionally, or how the male lead's interacts with his family, or what they like to do in their free time. I kept wondering why I had paid good money to spend 90+ minutes with these people when I didn't know anything about them. (Confession: I paid good money to see John Krasinski on the big screen for 90+ minutes, but the people who made this film don't know that. Or at least they shouldn't bet on it.).

Robin Williams -- I've never been a huge fan of his frenetic style, but here his character crossed so many boundaries it started to get skeevy. Just take a good look at the movie poster
to realize how skeevy. There isn't any background on his character either, so you just have to figure he is an over-involved reverend, or insane and possibly dangerous.

The Creepy Man-Child -- Nothing about this character was funny. Just creepy and/or annoying.

Total Reliance on Cliches -- Seriously, there was the Bride's Practically Perfect Heterosexual Male Best Friend By Whom The Groom Feels Threatened, the Cynical, Recently-Divorced, Possibly-Alcoholic Sister of the Bride, the Wealthy, Waspy Parents of the Bride, the Groom's Best Friend Who Feels Trapped By His Marriage To A Nagging Wife And Their Out-Of-Control Children. All of them spouted cliches about love and marriage and all the while I'm thinking it seems like a bad sitcom. With a cheesy resolution in which everyone makes up, becomes friends, and the Bride's Practically Perfect Heterosexual Male Best Friend By Whom The Groom Feels Threatened and the Cynical, Recently-Divorced, Possibly-Alcoholic Sister of the Bride possibly hook up.

If you are still really curious, or don't want to pass up a chance to see Mr. Krasinski on the big screen, check out your nearest dollar theater. Otherwise, I would recommend waiting until it makes it to your local library and borrow it. All considered, I think Mr. Krasinski deserves better. Which is why I am breatlessly waiting for his next movie, Leatherheads, in which he stars with George Clooney and Renee Zellweger. That is definitely something to which we can all look forward!

07 July 2007

The Magnificent Seven

Apparently today (07-07-07) is thought to be incredibly lucky by both gamblers and romantics. Also, everyone and their Aunt Nancy has chosen to get married today, including some famous people that I don't really care about. Not only is today considered lucky by the secular, today is also considered blessed in religious circles, I assume based on Biblical number symbolism. Since I am not a gambler and definitely not getting married today, I thought I would get into the spirit of the day by focusing on seven favorites from the FBL.

John Krasinski

Regular readers are well aware of my obsession with The Office and how said obsession is 75% about the character of Jim Halpert, who is portrayed with perfection by Mr. Krasinski. I have initiated several friends and family members into The Office cult and I think all of you should rent, borrow, or buy (don't steal because it is wrong and also because these actors are nice people and deserve to get paid!) the DVDs for Seasons 1 and 2. See if you don't fall in love with the show too. Also, Mr. Krasinski is in a movie in the theaters right now, License to Wed which I plan on seeing this afternoon. I'll let you all know what I think of it since it hasn't gotten great reviews. Luckily, the reviews have positive things to say about Mr. Krasinski. Not so much about Robin Williams.

Gerard Butler

Mr. Butler was last seen in 300 as King Leonidas, which I did not see because a) it is rated R and b) I don't like movies in which all the heros die. Honestly, I don't see the point. But I would recommend you all watch Mr. Butler in the following: Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life in which he is delightfully naughty and gets to use his own voice and Scottish accent. Phantom of the Opera in which he sings delightfully and made me root for the murderous Phantom over the other guy whose name I can't even remember now. Dear Frankie which is a lovely Scottish film that I love and really need to own. Mr. Butler is quite endearing as The Stranger. If you don't love it, I'll reimburse you for your rental fee. The Game of Their Lives/The Miracle Match (for some reason the film is known by both names) which is about the US soccer team beating the first seed English team in their opening game in the 1950 World Cup in Brazil. It is a sweet little movie and Mr. Butler plays the American goalie, complete with a St. Louis accent. As an added bonus, Gavin Rossdale plays a pompous British player and is quite good at it.

Matthew Perry

I know Mr. Perry has had his issues, but I loved him as Chandler Bing on Friends. He always made me laugh. His new series Studio 60 on Sunset Strip didn't make it past the first season, but I don't think it had anything to do with him, but rather the intense pontificating the writers put the charaters through. Hopefully he won't be out of the spotlight for long. If you have cable, his movie with Salma Hayek, Fools Rush In, is on nearly every weekend. Also, check out The Ron Clark Story which is based on the life of Ron Clark, a teacher who turned around a class in an impoverished public school in New York City. It is heart-warming and rather delightful.

Hugh Jackman

I have never been a huge fan of any movie franchise based on a comic book outside of Batman and Superman, but when I saw Mr. Jackman as Wolverine in X-Men, I was hooked. Not only does he make a great superhero, he also sings and dances. He got his start in Australian theater and worked as Gaston in the stage produciton of Beauty and the Beast and you can get the DVD of the West End production of Oklahoma! in which he plays Curly. I would highly recommend it, even if you just watch the highlights, not the whole musical. Mr. Jackman is also fun to watch in Van Helsing and The Prestige. If you are really dedicated to Mr. Jackman, check out Someone Like You.

Jensen Ackles

Mr. Ackles is best known for roles on a couple of cult TV shows. Right now he plays the delectable Dean Winchester on Supernatural which airs on the CW. He previously had a role in Dark Angel which aired on FOX several years ago. I suggest you check out the Season 1 DVDs of Supernatural and the Season 2 DVDs of Dark Angel. He is excellent at playing bad boys with deeply-buried hearts of gold. To which I am extremely partial.

George Clooney

Most people I know are well aware that I am completely and totally obsessed with George Clooney. He is practically perfect in every way and I'm sure most of you are sick of hearing me talk and/or write about him. So I'll just list my suggestions for films and leave it at that. Ocean's 11, 12, and 13, O Brother Where Art Thou, One Fine Day, Intolerable Cruelty, and (if you are feeling extraordinarily adventurous) Solaris.

Cary Grant

I have loved Cary Grant for time immemorial and I think part of my obsession with George Clooney stems from the fact that he resembles a modern-day Cary Grant more everyday. Cary Grant had style and a presence that made him endlessly watchable. I've only made it two-thirds of the way through his oeuvre, but here are my recommendations thus far. Watch them, enjoy them, and thank me later. Bringing Up Baby, His Girl Friday, The Philadelphia Story, Arsenic and Old Lace, Notorious, To Catch a Thief, Indiscreet, North by Northwest, Charade, and Father Goose.

Hope today is a lucky day for all of you and that you get to spend it doing all your favorite things. If you have an hour or two to spare, check out some of my favorite guys.