Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

testing my memory

Somebody and I were emailing back and forth today about the ingredients for dinner and whether or not we had them. After going through a few ingredients, we got to the water chestnuts.

Me: Do we have a can or two of water chestnuts?
Somebody: No.
Me: Really? Not in the pantry, immediately as you go in, on the right, the far, far right, the shelf above the cake mixes, in the back?
Somebody: Ok, you are right. We have those.
Me: Do you think I'm the smartest person ever?
Somebody: ...

Sometimes I scare even myself with my knowledge of the pantry.

Also, the recipe is for the best dinner in a pumpkin ever. You might have tried other recipes, but this one absolutely takes the cake. You are invited over to sample. Tomorrow. Seven o'clock. Costumes required. Homemade donuts available upon request.

the long weekend

pictures from denver--long overdue

My room. Surprizingly uncomfortable bed. Cool linens.The bathroom with the framed mirror Somebody wants.
I loved this bear. I have no idea what the sculpture was for, but it was awesome. Do you see how big it is?
The hotel had the most amazing light fixtures all over the place.
Great sculpture in the lobby.

this is the way it's done in kansas

Thursday, October 18, 2007


My life has gone through a lot of changes lately. I’m talking, of course, about new email addresses and a new phone. What? You thought I was referring to changing jobs, changing wards, changing states, changing homes, or changing friends? Silly you. Those things were no big deal. What is a big deal is trying to get family and friends to start writing me at a new email address. Sheesh. You'd think I was asking them to run around naked what with all the resistance I'm getting. Mostly it's along the lines of "Wha...? You have a new address?" or "Wait, which one am I supposed to be using?" Yeah, so I might have aided in the confusion, but now that I have it all sorted out I just wish everyone else would catch up. I might have emailed everyone right after we moved and given them all a few choices of email addresses. But then. Then, Internet, I found out that my old work address wasn't going to be functioning much longer--in fact I can't send messages from that account anymore. And if that wasn't enough, my new work address, the one I had just received and was so excited about, is not to be used for personal messages. Oh, it's not that they ban them or anything. It's that they READ them. Oh, yeah, you read that right. Someone has the job of going through all email messages and searching the content secret recipe for Bush’s baked beans? Racy pictures? High treason against the crown? What? I have no idea. But just knowing that they are being read is enough to make me steer everyone I know away.

It's true. I talk smack about my employer. I do it all the time, sometimes multiple times a day. And because some of the friends I vent to are thousands of miles and a few states away, I have to send said rants via email. You think I want the powers that be to get a hold of one of those messages? Or see a response that refers in any way to me not being perfectly happy at work? Heck no. Anyway, in the interest of self-preservation I've created a gmail account (Oh, sweet google, you are taking over my life. You manage my email, blog, calendar, and photos. You could erase my identity if you wanted to.) Trouble is, I already had a gmail account, but with my maiden name. And because I'm putting my email address on my resumes and cover letters (you think I want to stay with this email-reading company?) I need something that has my current name. And that is how I ended up with seven email addresses.

Okay, so I set up the new account. But now I'm all frustrated and busy learning how email with the new program works. See, it's not the same. I like the same. And it's taking me a while to learn the quirks of the program and see all the happiness it offers.

And then there is the phone. Oh, the new phone! It is so small. And pretty. And soft. But different. It's so different. There is no handy tip calculator. There is no record-your-neice-singing-and-then-save-it-as-your-ringtone. There is no removing the pictures. It also does this weird thing where, when someone calls, the caller ID alternates between flashing the caller's name and Verizon!. At first we thought this was a handy feature identifying the carrier of the caller (you know, in case I was low on minutes.) How nice would that be! But, alas, it is just Verizon asserting it's influence. Dude, I already picked you as a carrier--you can stop wooing me with your logo and commercials. Yeah, so the adjustment has been hard. Also, this phone doesn't have a plug for an ear piece. It's all fancy and has Bluetooth only, which sucks because I have no such fancy, expensive do-dad and talk a lot while I'm driving. My life is so hard.

Changes. I'm not good at adjusting.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

take a look, it's in a book

For the first time in my professional career I find myself without friends to have lunch with. This is bad because I like friends. It's good though, because I'm not as tempted to go out to lunch (oh, the money I save when I bring my lunch!) and because I have an hour each day to read. I love reading and have always wished I could find more time to devote to pure pleasure reading. Here are the books* I've been able to read the past couple of months, kind of, sort of, vaguely in the order that I liked them.

A Single Shard, by Linda Sue Park

Princess Academy, by Shannon Hale

And Then There Were None, by Agatha Christie

Peter and the Star Catchers, by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson

The Good Earth, by Pearl S. Buck

The Perfect Wife: The Life and Choices of Laura Bush, by Ann Gerhart

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, by J.K. Rowling

Criss Cross, by Lynne Rae Perkins

The Time Traveler's Wife, by Audrey Niffenegger

Eclipse, by Stephanie Meyer

Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting Rich in America, by Barbara Ehrenreich

Fast Food Nation, by Eric Schlosser

The Innocent, by Harlan Coben

What Do You Do All Day, by Amy Scheibe

Why Do Men Have Nipples, by Mark Leyner and Billy Goldberg

A Wrinkle in Time, by Madeleine L'Engle

And sitting on my shelf, just waiting to be read in the next week, are:

Peter and the Shadow Thieves, by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life, by Barbara Kingsolver (which I am really excited about because I loved her book The Poisonwood Bible)

The Tale of Despereaux: Being the story of a mouse, a princess, some soup, and a spool of thread, by Kate DiCamlilo

Anna and the King of Siam, by Margaret Landon (I have actually started this one, but it keeps getting pushed aside so I can read other books.)

I would also like to say that I have discovered a love for the public library. In Orem, we really only went to the library to get books on cd, and even this I never felt comfortable there and didn't enjoy the time we spent there. The library here is completely different. It's tiny, first off. Sometimes I think I could just fold it up and take it home in my pocket, it's that small. What do you expect, though, from a city as small as the one I live in? Anyway, the beauty of this library is that they have everything I go there for. And what they don't have? They run out and get it for me. Then they email me to tell me that they have it waiting there for me. Oh, the joy. I never knew reading all the books I ever wanted could be this easy.

*You might notice that most of these are recommendations from the amazing Janssen. Some day I'll read as fast as she does and be able to recommend good books to her.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

original air date: tuesday, september 25

I wrote this a few weeks ago, but forgot to post it and then forgot I wrote it. Eh. So, here you go. It's like a trip back in time. For free.

  • I stopped at a local bakery this morning to buy a treat for one of my co-workers. She is the girl at work that I like the best, and the only one that I would actually miss if I could ever stop working here. Anyway, her birthday is tomorrow so I stopped at what I know is her favorite bakery. Unfortunately, I had no idea what she actually liked there. I finally settled on an apricot scone because, well, I thought it looked yummy. It is. Not that I started eating it when I started feeling silly for stopping and because I didn’t know how to say “happy early birthday” and because I need some comfort after being lectured as if I was an idiot by my boss. Nope. I’m sure she’ll like the bite I saved her.
  • Rainy days make me want to listen to the Weepies. Luckily, this morning I could. I had to turn the volume way up to hear the music over the loud, hard rain, thunder, and lightning cracks. But don’t worry, because I sang my way to sunshine.
  • My dad says I have a problem with my job because I have a master’s degree. He says that people with master’s degrees expect their ideas to be considered, and don’t like being told what to do, and want to have final control over things. But doesn’t everyone want that?
  • Somebody and I gave talks in church this past Sunday. For some reason it was a difficult talk for me to write, and even after hours of reading and preparation, I still was at a loss for the best way to structure things and say things. It was getting late on Saturday night and I was frustrated with how things were (or, more accurately, weren’t) going, and my back was sore, and my other sores were sore, and I was tired, and I went to iron my new shirt. My mom’s iron kind of sucks and has a tendency to not only not remove wrinkles, but also to drop dirty water on clothing. And those water spots were the proverbial straw that broke the proverbial camel’s back. I lost all patience and threw my shirt on the floor and then went down to my room to cry. After a few minutes of that I decided to find my iron in the boxes of our stuff in the storage room. The box with the iron was conveniently located at the back of the stack, underneath several other boxes. It was probably really good for my back that I was lifting those boxes around. Anyway, when I went back to ironing with my own iron my mom came in and asked if I was mad at her. Um, no, I’m mad at an inanimate object. How lame am I? And then, when I was done, I came down to my room and just got in bed and cried. It was just one of those times when even though I knew I was acting like a complete idiot, and even though I knew I was taking out my frustrations on those I loved, and even though I had things to do, I just needed to be upset and cry for a little bit. Nothing else was going to make me feel better.
  • I never got back out of bed but got up early Sunday morning to finish the talk. Not surprisingly, a good rest made a boatload of difference in my attitude and I was in a much better spirit for talk-writing. I pretty much rewrote everything that morning but actually felt really good about things. I felt much more like I was saying things I was supposed to say as opposed to things that I wanted to say so that I would be sound impressive and people would like me. And, wouldn’t you know it, people decided they liked me anyway.

Sunday, October 07, 2007


I am curled up by his side; his arm is beneath my head and I am snuggled close to him. I know I can’t actually sleep deeply in this position, but I can’t pass up a chance to lie close and be quiet together. I drift in and out of the edges of sleep. At some point in the night I wake up and know by his breathing that he is asleep. I turn to switch positions and, without waking, he reaches out and pulls me closer.

I am home.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

i'm more the way i used to be now than i was when i used to be the way that i am

I used to be afraid of…being alone. Now I enjoy the times when I am on my own, but that might be because I am so aware that even when I’m in a room by myself I am never alone.

I used to hate…eating yogurt. I even had coworkers open the container and mix it up for me because having to do that was so revolting that then I wouldn’t be able to eat the yogurt at all. Then, this summer, I discovered fresh blueberries and Activa vanilla yogurt. Now it is the highlight of my lunch.

I used to refuse to eat…beets. Then I discovered them looking all fancy at a salad bar and gave them another shot. They aren’t so bad. And then I went to dinner at my friend Ann’s house, and she made the yummiest beets that didn’t even need salad dressing to help them out. Yum. And now I will eat them whenever they are served.

I used to dream of…being chased through a corn field by people who wanted to kill me. I haven’t had that dream in years, but it was so terrifying, and so common in my youth, that I can still remember it vividly.

I used to be friends with…some of my former roommates. But living with me didn’t turn out to be the non-stop party that they thought it would be and things ended badly. I wish that I could go back and behave differently, and make more of an effort to be nice all the time, but I can’t. And, unfortunately, those people will never come back into my life, and I will never be able to tell them how sorry I am.

I used to get angry when…Somebody didn’t follow my strict rules of where things go in the bathroom. It would annoy me when his toothbrush was on the wrong side of the sink, or he didn’t put the gel away, or for any number of tiny details that I get uptight about. And then I heard a talk at a stake conference and the women was talking about a very similar situation in her house where her husband would leave things out and she would get angry at him every day for it. Basically her resolution was, “Do I want this annoyance to go away so badly that I want him to go away?” And the answer, obviously, is no. No, if having a clean countertop meant that Somebody wasn’t in my life, then I want a dirty countertop every day. Thinking that has made a big difference and has released me from my bad habit of wishing he would just change the way he did things. Now I am much more likely to just notice an out of place item and smile and be glad that he is there to mess up the bathroom.

I used to believe…that the opinion of others mattered. And then I graduated from high school. Now I know better than to try to hide who I am to fit in and be accepted by others. And besides, I think we all know now that high school doesn’t mean anything at all.

I used to avoid…taking out the trash. It is one of my least favorite jobs. I would always beg my roommates to take it out. One time, at a charity auction, I even bought the service of someone coming to my house for a week to take out the trash. Then I lived on my own for a while and was forced to take out the trash because there was no one else to do it. And then I got married and I was able to pass that chore along to someone else again. So now it’s not so much that I avoid it, it’s more of a trade-off in responsibilities. He takes out the trash, and washes the dishes, and cleans the floors, and I make yummy dinners and give him lots of kisses.

I used to think love was…all about making the other person happy, even if it meant not being true to who I was and what I wanted. It meant insecurity, doubt, and games. Now I know that love is all about security and trust. And doing things to please the other person comes naturally because you know what makes them happy, and seeing them happy makes you happier than you could make yourself without them.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

the mama, the mama! tradition!

I've been reading on various blogs today about calling out the lurkers, and I feel a little guilty because if lurking means "check every day and read every post but really don't know quite who you are because I found your website from following a link on a friend's blog, and I never comment because I don't have anything to say other than 'I find you fascinating and are you sure you're not creeped out by strangers reading about you?'" then, yes, I lurk. Multiple times a day. It's an addiction, really.

So, I've been writing this blog, sometimes more regularly than other times, for about a year and a half. And if statcounter can be trusted, which I thought it could, I get approximately zero readers each day. None. Nada. Zilch. No one is lurking around. Is it because I'm inconsistent? Oh. It's that that I don't have an original layout or design? You hate that I use a plain template? What can I say? I like vanilla.

Is statcounter wrong? Please, tell me he is wrong. Because if he is correct, the life of this blog is going to be pretty short.

A question to spur a comment:
What is one tradition that you loved as a child that you will absolutely pass on with your own children? (Even though we mostly associate traditions with Christmas, it does not have to be Christmas related. Maybe it's something you always did for birthdays, or other holidays, or the start of school, or other special days.)

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

come on, lucky number five

Jansseb tagged me. Good for her. Sometimes I need help with things to say.

What I Was Doing 10 Years Ago: Wow. Ten years ago? Let’s see, it was 1997, so I was at BYU and had just finished my first summer work for Sports & Dance camps (who knew how that would stick with me.) I also had just changed my major from Elementary Education to Recreation Management, one of the best choices I’ve made. I switch from Elementary Education for three reasons. First, my roommate and good friend Melissa told me that she would never let me teach her children because I was sure to warp young minds. Second, the El Ed program kind of sucked, and they were constantly changing their minds about what courses were required and what classes they would count. Third, I had just discovered my love of conference planning, a career that I previously did not even know existed.

What Was I Doing 5 Years Ago: 2002? Good grief. Well, I was in the middle of my masters program at BYU, and was working full-time, not for Sports & Dance camps. I could be wrong, but I think that summer was one of the best summers of my college days—it seemed like there was always something going on and always someone to hang out with. Oh. The Committee. Good times.

One Year Ago: I was newly married and not sleeping at all. All those movies that show people snuggling up together to sleep, and waking up in each other’s arms, well, they are lies. I would wake up every time Somebody shifted, or moved, or reached over and touched me in the night. And while I thought that it was just the sweetest thing to have him reach out for me in the night, it woke me up each and every time. I don’t think I slept for more than 20 minutes at a time for the first five months we were married. And then I only got to sleep after I implemented a “don’t touch me” rule. Yeah. That’s always a good one. It sounds so loving, doesn’t it? But, seriously. Totally necessary.

Yesterday: I slept in a little, and then got on a plane and came to Denver. I’m here all week for business meetings. I’m in one right now, actually, on a break. I’ll be posting this later in the day. Um, back to yesterday. After arriving in Denver we checked into a really nice hotel with a surprisingly uncomfortable bed. We prepped for our meetings all afternoon, went to a freakishly expensive (yet disappointingly unappetizing) dinner. Then I talked to Somebody on the phone and missed him terribly. Then I tried to sleep in the tiny expanse of the king bed.

Five Snacks I Enjoy:
1. Trail mix
2. Grapes
3. Jelly beans/gummi bears
4. Pita chips
5. M&Ms

Five Things I Would Do With One Million Dollars:
1. Pay off all our debt
2. Buy a house, and possibly a new car
3. Take my family on a trip (probably a cruise)
4. Go to Europe with Somebody. And Africa. And back to Asia.
5. Invest the majority of it. I’m no sucker.

Five Places I Would Love To Run (Away) To:
1. Boston
2. Switzerland
3. Montana
4. Seattle (I’ve never been, and I hear it is fabulous)
5. Park City

Five TV Shows I Like:
1. Ugly Betty
2. Grey’s Anatomy
3. The Office
4. The Closer
5. The Amazing Race

Five Things I Hate Doing:
1. Cleaning the floors
2. Driving in traffic/looking for parking spaces
3. Washing dishes
4. Walking outside barefoot. I find it especially disgusting on cement, and my least favorite place to be barefoot is at a water park.
5. Snapping back a harsh response without thinking things through

Five Biggest Joys Of The Moment:
1. Talking to Somebody on the phone
2. Making new friends in our ward
3. New babies for several of my friends (Ginet, Melissa, and McKenzi)
4. A nice hotel room
5. Knowing the outfit I’m wearing looks professional. Also, I’m glad that I did not take the advice of my boss and did wear my peek-toe heels, because they are hot.

And a new last question: Five Ridiculous Things I Am Fanatical About:
1. I will only use Colgate toothpaste because it cures canker sores. I will never use another brand.
2. I can’t not return my shopping carts to either the store or the designated return spots. I just can’t walk away.
3. I have routines, and I like order. I do things in the same sequence every day, and get really thrown off and frustrated when something happens that interferes with my routine. One day a few months ago, Someday saw me pick up the hand towel that hung on the left (we have two hand towels that hang side-by-side.) He stopped what he was doing and said, “I thought that was my towel.” “What?” “Well, I thought that you had assigned us towels, and I’m always careful to use the left towel because I thought the right towel was yours and you would be annoyed if I used it.” He was wrong about me assigning us towels, but had I assigned towels, which, he’s right, is something I would totally do, he was also right about the fact that I would have been annoyed if he wasn’t following my secret order of things. I’m fun to live with.
4. I must always be able to see a clock. I get very anxious when I don’t know what time it is. I have been known to put upwards of four clocks in a room so that I can see one no matter which direction I am facing.
5. If a salesperson talks to me in a store then I have to leave that store.

Did I say last? Five Things I Have Always Wanted to Vent About:
1. Movies are not for babies. Sometimes they are not even for children. And you, you person with the baby, should leave the theater immediately if your child starts to make noise. I don’t care if you’ll miss parts of the movie. Get a babysitter. If you can’t afford a babysitter then you need to wait and rent your movies and watch them at home.
2. The expression, in case you were wondering, is “I could not care less.” Oh, how it bothers me when people say, “I could care less.” And every time I hear it I want to ask, “Just how much less do you think you could care?” Come on now, get it right or don’t use the expression.
3. People who are late should not expect people who are on time to save their seat, pick up their items, or otherwise take care of them. If you want good things, be on time. If your time is more important than everyone else’s time, well, that’s just rude, and you deserve to sit on the front row of the movie theater.
4. How do so many stupid people have jobs? Shouldn’t they have been weeded out of the work force at some point? But no, they get promoted to managers and CEOs. I don’t understand it. And why do I keep getting these people as my boss? It’s SO frustrating, and poor Somebody hears daily how much this annoys me.
5. There is no good reason, not even one, to answer your phone while rushing out of the middle of a church meeting. Not. Even. One. You shouldn’t even have your phone on while at church. Are you a doctor? Because they have pagers. Also, women should not wear men’s hats, shirts, or ties to church. It’s just wrong. And there should be some rule about how shoes are required.

Jansseb, you should probably provide your own answers to the two new questions.