28 August 2007


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.

20 August 2007

Let The Countdown Begin

So yesterday, the 19th, was a momentous day. Not just because it happens to be the birthdate of two Fantasy Boyfriends, but because it starts the countdown to my birthday. I have 8 short weeks before I enter my last year as a twenty-something. Now, most people would see the countdown to a birthday as a good thing. Unfortunately, not me. See, since my 21st birthday, spent enjoying plays and seeing the sights in Dublin, Ireland, my birthdays have generally been on a downward trajectory. I don't remember much about birthdays 22-24, but seeing as how they were spent in Provo, Utah, they can't have been that great.

Birthday 25 was spent unemployed, living at home, and miles away from my friends. I think my friend, Mr. Perfect, took me to see a movie, but the movie stunk and was rather raunchy and basically killed any impetus either of us had to hang out again. Then he started dating his future wife and I didn't hear from him again for a couple of years.

Birthday 26 was spent in a rathole apartment in Salt Lake City, unemployed still and generally just freezing. I do remember getting to use my aunt, The Accidental Housewife's, car as she was in California spending the first of many weekends with her future husband, Mr. Big. So I was happy for her.

Birthday 27 found me driving an hour to have dinner with a few friends. Most of the people we invited couldn't make it for one reason or another. One of my good friends came, but she had just had jaw surgery and couldn't really eat anything and wasn't really having a good time. Another friend decided to stage a dramatic DTR/walk-away-from-the-table for 45 minutes with her then boyfriend. Also, that was the week my younger brother Mime announced his engagement to a girl we had no idea he was dating. Nothing better to remind me that I will die alone and be eaten by Alsatians. Finally, my optometrist diagnosed me with optic nerve head druisen, which means at some point I could totally lose my peripheral vision and nothing can be done about it.

Birthday 28 was by far the most memorable. I found myself unemployed yet again and that was the week my mother was told she had less than a year to live. On a less important note, half the people I invited to a party thought it was a weekend later than it was and called me a few days later to apologize. I felt loved by the whole universe.

So I am not looking forward to these next eight weeks. I'll be waiting for the other shoe to drop. Also, I think I inadvertantly agreed to keep an eye on the 17 and 12 year-old daughters of some people in my ward that week. Which means I'll be spending my birthday with them. Lovely. At least I can look forward to going to The Accidental Housewife's house and meeting her dog Dudley.

19 August 2007

Calling All Austen Fans

Doesn't this seem like the best slumber party game ever? You are all invited. Too bad we couldn't throw in a couple of Victorians like Mr. Rochester and Mr. Thornton. Although Mr. Darcy, Captain Wentworth, and Mr. Knightly aren't too shabby on their own.

18 August 2007

Just A Reminder

Richard Armitage, the actor who is Mr. Thornton, is going to be on PBS's Mystery! presentation of Miss Marple Series II: Ordeal by Innocence tomorrow night. I believe it is on at 8 PDT/9 MDT, but check your local listings!

13 August 2007

Which Team Are You On?

Last weekend I found out my sister-in-law, Mrs. Mime, loves BBC miniseries almost as much as I do. So I forced her to watch the most recent adaptation of Jane Eyre and North & South, both of which she enjoyed. Also, my brother and dad got sucked in and enjoyed them to, so no eye-rolling from them about my viewing choices!

But, having watched North & South again (all four hours in one sitting this time) I discovered I was in something of a quandry. Usually when people ask me what I'm looking for in a man, I reply that I'm looking for a modern-day Mr. Darcy or George Clooney, depending on how quickly I want to shut down the conversation. But I think, just maybe, that I like Mr. Thornton better than Mr. Darcy. I know! So my question to you all is:

Team Darcy or Team Thornton

09 August 2007

Mission: Impossible

Your mission (should you choose to accept), dear readers, is to come up with a way for me to remember the letter portion of my new license plate. I finally got WA license plates and was forced to learn a new number. My UT plates were easy, since MWB is so easily remembered as Men With Bank accounts. So please come up with something witty, or at least memorable for WQU.

08 August 2007

Things That Suck, Part Infinity

  • Being put in charge of the AP/AR at work. I HATE dealing with that stuff.

  • Being the one my Visiting Teaching Supervisor calls to guilt-trip about not visiting the women on my list. Honestly, it has been a wretched, insanely busy summer. Call the other woman and guilt-trip her.

  • Proofing the design for my parents' headstone. Seeing the dates makes it real in a way I'm not ready to deal with yet.

06 August 2007

Can You Pick Up An Accent In 48 Hours?

I'm back from my whirlwind tour of Michigan. And by whirlwind tour I mean a 3 hour lay-over in Detroit, followed by a 45-minute drive from Grand Rapids to Grand Haven. (Side note that will expose me as a total geek/fangirl: When I found out years ago that Gillian Anderson, AKA the Real Scully, had lived in Grand Rapids and had family there, I was ecstatic and wondered if we were not distantly related. I know, obssess much, but I was having an identity crisis at the time.) I had great fun seeing most of the family and all the cute children my cousins are producing. Also, my cousin, The Nepalese Expert, and I bonded over a) being single and near 30 and b) men with British/Irish/Scottish accents, specifically Daniel Craig and Gerard Butler. It was great fun and here are some pictures from the weekend for your viewing pleasure.

Here are Mime and Mrs. Mime showing their work ethic at the Dutch Village in Holland, Michigan. There is a random little museum/tourist attraction in Holland that highlights how the Dutch lived a couple hundred years ago. Anyway, they make Delft-style items and you can buy wooden shoes, although I don't know why you would want them. They are heavy and seem hard to maneuver.

Here are some cute ducklings in a fountain in Holland. The ducks run wild and I'm sure become a nuisance at some point, but they are cute here. The village also had baby goats you could walk and Shetland ponies, but none of them were ready for a photo-op, so I had to settle for the ducks.

Here are my dad, Mime, and Mrs. Mime enjoying a little role reversal. Mime looks especially thrilled.

Here is the pier on Lake Michigan. Grand Haven is on the coast of Lake Michigan and has a really lovely beach. There is a long boardwalk and you can walk right to the end of the pier, which has always been one of my favorite things to do when we visit Grand Haven. My dad and Aunt Lo are the two walkers ahead of me. Mime and Mrs. Mime dropped from exhaustion some time earlier.

Here is a picture from the end of the pier looking back. You can see that it is a long walk, but what you can't see is how lovely the beach area is. I got many a 3rd degree sunburn visiting this beach as a child. Which is why I'm now slightly paranoid about skin cancer and wear sunscreen to drive to work.

Grand Haven is known as Coast Guard City, USA and every year, the first weekend in August, there is a huge Coast Guard Festival with visiting ships, shows, a parade, a carnival and fireworks. The family reunion is always planned to coincide with the Coast Guard Festival, to give people an added incentive for coming. Most of my Dad's family lives in Michigan or Wisconsin and we are the black sheep of the family for living west of the Rocky Mountains.

The Coast Guard Festival brings lots of boat enthusiasts and this is a pic of a huge sailboat you can reserve passage on and enjoy an evening of dining and sailing. Which sounded awesome, since from a distance it looks rather like something from Pirates of the Caribbean, especially if you went with someone who looked like Johnny Depp or Orlando Bloom.

Finally, here are few pictures of the fireworks show. I must say, it was impressive. These pictures don't do it justice, partially because my camera was being difficult and I got a lot of pictures of blurry streaks of light and partly because I only remembered to take pictures during the less amazing moments. But enjoy them all the same!

All-in-all, the weekend was great. The only downside was how many hours I spent in an airplane or an airport over the four days of the trip. Also, I spent so much time with my family that I picked up the Midwest accent. I endured no end of mocking from Mime and Mrs. Mime about the way I said 'coffee' in the Seattle airport yesterday. Until my brother said 'Costco' today, with the same flattened 'o' sound. And so Mrs. Mime and I mocked him. But seriously, was it immersion or some sort of genetic memory that brought on this Midwest accent?


This headline from Yahoo! today isn't necessarily newsworthy, but quite giggle-inducing. It is the funniest thing I've heard all week.

01 August 2007

Things That Are Wicked Awesome

Seeing as how I'll be out of town for the next 4 days and will be unable to obsessively check to see how many people like me, I thought I would leave you with a few things that made my day.

Getting rid of my Utah license. I have a Washington drivers license again. I didn't have to take a test to get it, either. In fact, because I used to have a Washington license AND I took Driver's Ed in Washington, I didn't have to show any supporting documents or do anything more than take an eye test. Which I passed, even though I think I had my contacts in the wrong eyes today.

Finding out I got a raise. I opened my paycheck today and the stub told me I had received a $0.75/hour raise. My first instinct was to call the woman who does payroll to correct the mistake, but then I remembered that the payrol is checked by at least two people, so it is a real raise. And I didn't even know about it.

Only buying gasoline once a month. Because I only drive around my small little town, maybe going out of town once a month, I only have to fill up my car's tank once a month. My monthly fuel budget is under $30.

Having a 5 day weekend. Even though at least 16 hours during that 5 day weekend will be spent on airplanes or in airports, I am still looking forward to not having to go into the office for 5 consecutive days. Huzzah!

Technically being paid to read a book. I had to sit and wait at the County Courthouse for an hour today while various people argued over whether or not a deal could close and documents could record, so I was being paid (my new, $0.75 more per hour, rate) to sit under a tree and read A.S. Byatt's Possession: A Reader's Guide which I have been wanting to read forever and finally, through the generosity of some truly lovely friends, got from Amazon.com. It is completely interesting and I would recommend it to anyone who has read Possession: A Romance, because that is one dense book, and there is no way one can pick up all the references and theory in it. And I got to read it on the clock. I believe the words you are looking for are 'wicked awesome.' Have a great weekend!