Monday, June 30, 2008

so, what is he doing in china?

Good question. The details are fuzzy, but the pictures are nice. I have no idea what these are pictures of, but let us bask in their, ah, pictureness. Behold, this is CHICAGO.

And THIS is Shanghai. Notice the difference?

Okay, and this last one? Does anyone have ANY idea what this is?
It's duck tongue. To quote Somebody: "I also bought some duck tongues. It was not as good as I remembered so I did not finish them." Huh. That is so WEIRD that it wasn't very good.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

me in the spotlight losing my religion

Friday night I went to dinner with the entire Zoo Peters. Somebody is still out of country so it was just me, Miss L, Super J, and the three kids. Our waiter was a clean-cut fellow and I didn’t think anything of him (other than, “thank you for not stooping down so that your head is the same level as ours to talk to us, because that creeps me out”) until Miss L said, “I think our waiter is Mormon.” “What?” “Yeah, look at his sleeves. I think he is showing his religion.” And so I looked. Well, maybe half an hour later I looked. I got all distracted by a DIVINE lemon muffin and Miss L had to remind me a few times before I remembered to check. It only took one serious glance to agree with her. Yes, he could definitely be Mormon. He practically exuded Recently Returned Missionary. But how would be know? We started bouncing out suggestions for how we could find out. Some were designed to be overheard and see if he would respond knowingly:
“I hope we are not late for our RELIEF SOCIETY activity tonight.”
“Hopefully it won’t rain on our ENRICHMENT later.”
“Have you been to the TEMPLE IN WINTER QUARTERS recently?”
“What songs are you going to teach the kids in PRIMARY tomorrow?”
And on like that.

We also came up with some questions that we could ask. Most involved beginning with, “Excuse me…” and then some question that, if he was Mormon, he would probably be able to answer. And if he wasn’t, well, then he would probably respond with, “What? (Blank stare.) What?”
“…did you go to the fireside in the singles ward last month?”
“…what ward are you in?” (I was a little wary of this one lest he think we were referring to a prison ward.)
“…did you serve a mission?”
“…you look so familiar I think I might have seen you in sacrament meeting last week.”
Super J had the best one by far:
“Excuse me, but my wives were wondering…”

We went back and forth and back and forth and basically cracked ourselves up through the entire dinner. By the time we were ready to leave we were pretty sure we had completely freaked our waiter out with all our staring and laughing. But we still didn’t know. Do you think we could have left there without asking? Uh. No. It ended up being a team effort.
Super J: “Excuse me, but we were wondering…”
Me: “What church do you go to?”
Waiter: “What?”
Me: “What church do you go to?...”
Miss L: “Because you look kind of familiar and we think we might have seen you there. Maybe.”
Waiter: “I go to the blah blah blah up on blah blah blah. But I kind of hop around to different churches. Maybe you DID see me! Which church do you go to?”

And then I realized my mistake. I didn’t want to know which CHURCH he went to, I wanted to know which RELIGION he belonged to. Oh well. A different religion from us, that is for sure. I really wanted the moral of this story to be that Miss L can spot a Mormon from a mile away, but really I guess the ending is that we Mormons don’t have any kind of monopoly on kindness, smiles, clean-cut-ness, or politeness. Or maybe it is that religion, whatever kind you practice, can shine through you. Or maybe it is that I'm really glad that we can find so much humor in both the uniqueness and the stereotypes of our religion.

Stayed tuned for next time when Super J says, “My wives both took some Jell-O to the nursery when…”

Friday, June 27, 2008

taking charge and taking off

Somebody just called to say that they are in the airport with all intentions to actually leave the country today. You can all pray for his safe travel and return. Last night the play they went to was "The Last Days of Judas Iscariot", and, well, his disliked it enough that they left quite early and went to dinner instead. At first I thought he left the theater and the boy he was in charge of stayed, but then he clarified that they both left the theater. "Did he want to leave, too, or did you make him leave with you?" "It was more of a 'and now we are leaving' kind of event. He didn't have any choice. But dinner was really good and was paid for by the company, so it was a good night."

Bad play. Good dinner. You can't win them all.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

darkest before the dawn

Several weeks ago we had some fierce storms come through the Kansas City area (the entire Midwest has had more than its fair share of wet this spring) and one day the storm clouds rolled in at right around Noon. The sky was so eerily dark that I couldn't help but take a few pictures.

This one was taken inside our little covered area**--can you see that the night lights (which turn on automatically at night) have turned themselves on? At Noon. Crazy.

And this one just shows the clouds rolling in from the west a little better. Maybe the pictures don't accurately show it, but it was DARK.

And now this picture? This one of the tall buildings? Yeah. This one was taken the next week while we were in Calgary. At 10 o-clock at NIGHT. Night, people! The whole "stay light all night" things really kind of threw us off. We would be out for dinner and all start yawning and wonder what was going on and then look at our watches and realize it was past 10 p.m. It's crazy up there with all the light.
**As you can see from the picture, several of my coworkers came outside the same time I did to watch the storm clouds and marvel at the darkness. We had only been outside for a few minutes when the employees of the office right across from us all poured out of their building. They shouted across the parking lot to find out what was going on and when we told them we were just watching the storm they all went right back inside. It turns out that one of the employees had seen us all outside and assumed that we had received some secret terrible storm warning and were evacuating the building so he had run around his office and made all his coworkers evacuate as well. I'm not sure what kind of storm he was expecting where the safest thing to do would be go stand around outside, but perhaps he had a slice of irrational with his coffee that morning.

changed for the better

Somebody was supposed to leave Chicago at 10:30 this morning, but instead of getting on an airplane he spent the morning with one of the students at the Chinese Embassy trying to get the student a visa. What the? Seriously? He showed up without a visa? That's a good way to spend your summer vacation in a security cell in the airport in Shanghai. Kids these days. The rest of the group boarded the plane and left the county without them. You know how the company punished them for missing their flight? By booking them on the flight out tomorrow, paying for them to take a tour of Chicago (Somebody called me from his place on a double-decker bus to tell me how much fun he was having) and then buying them tickets to see Wicked! But I'm not jealous. I didn't look online to see if somehow the tickets from Kansas City to Chicago were really cheap so that I could fly up and join him. I didn't put in the Wicked! soundtrack and sing along. I didn't feel a deep longing to be there when I noticed that the Ugly Betty rerun tonight is going to be the one where they go see Wicked! I did, however, get happy at the thought that one more night in Chicago means at least two more phone calls and possibly an email from Somebody. I'm so easily placated.

Update: It turns out that the Wicked! tickets weren't available, so they are going to a different show instead. It's a good thing I didn't book tickets to run up there an join him. Not that I checked on tickets.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

being the one left behind

Somebody began the first leg of his trip around the world this morning when he left for Chicago. Tomorrow he will continue on to Shanghai, then to Xi'an, then to Beijing, and then back home again, home again, jiggity-jig.

So, to help me not think about getting into bed by myself tonight, I'm just going to post a picture from one of our most fun days this spring: Can you tell what that is? That is the front door of the theater where we saw Wicked! I had been looking forward to it for months and months and was pretty much giddy with anticipation the entire week before. I was thrilled that Somebody enjoyed it as much as I did. Good times. Good times.

On a completely unrelated note, I was running an errand for a friend in my ward and dropping something off to someone else in my ward, and the woman that I did the dropping off to came outside of her house and chatted with me a little bit tonight. Much to my surprise, she remembered quite a bit about me and Somebody and where we were working and schooling and we had a great conversation. She recommended some books on cd that I should listen to and we exchanged the names of some of our favorite authors. My point here is how random and delightful that 15 minutes was. Here was someone that I probably never would have stopped in to see on my own (even though I drive right by her house on the way to and from work each day) but when I did we immediately found common ground and I left with a smile on my face and, surprisingly, a feeling that the day had gone very well. Isn't it wonderful how the smallest, seemingly inconsequential things, can have such a huge impact on how we see ourselves and our accomplishments?

Thursday, June 19, 2008

my eyelashes all in curls

We were out with friends last weekend and happened to wander by a beauty salon/beauty supply store. “Oh we HAVE to go in,” says Miss L. “Okay,” says me, because I’m a follower like that. Turns out she knew of this great (super great!) nail polish that was on sale in little trial sizes that she just HAD to have and who am I to get in the way of a cosmetics purchase. The nail polish came in little sample packs with four colors to a pack, and Miss L thought they would be perfect for painting the little toes of her little zoo kids. Genius. I almost talked her into getting all four, but she exercised better purchasing restraint than I might have exhibited and only bought three. Each one came with a clear top coat. “Are you going to need all those clear ones?” I asked, hoping she wanted to give me one. She did. And this, friends, is where the story turns tragic.

I tried that expensive, wonderful, perfect, super nail polish on my fingernails on Monday. I painted on two coats in the early morning. I spent many moments during the day admiring the shiny glow of my pretty nails. And then it started peeling off (in that crazy cool way that my Tinkerbell polish used to do where the entire polish layer comes off intact.) First one nail at about 3:30 pm. And then another at 6 pm. But the time I was getting ready for bed at 10 pm every single nail was polish free. What gives, expensive nail polish?

Does a top coat not work on plain nails? Must I choose a color? Oh, woe is me and my attempts to girly-up.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

cute shoes

I am an aunt for the first time on Somebody’s side. Isn’t she a cutie? Don’t you just want to eat her up? I have to add, here, that we didn’t find out she had been born until several days after her birth (what with her being born in Taiwan and all) and we still, a full month later, don’t know her name. We’re not sure that she has been named, actually. Does all this cuteness even need a name? We call her Cute Shoe, and I think it fits.

flashbacks of old tv commercials

Whenever I type in my zipcode, and I mean every. single. time. I chant in my head “fruity marshmallow krisPIES.” Anyone else?

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

drinking some tim hortons hot chocolate. oh my.

I’m in Canada again. Calgary, specifically. Can I tell you how exciting that is for me? I actually got giddy butterflies in my stomach as the plane began its descent yesterday. And I just have to say that the hotel that I am staying in, the Hyatt Regency, is possibly the best hotel I’ve ever stayed in (as far as service, planning, accommodations, comfort, and location.) I love it. If I could afford it I might consider living here in this hotel. It sits on Stephen Avenue, which is a wonderful downtown, pedestrian only, shopping area. The weather is cool and dry. The sky is bright blue. If I wasn’t sitting in a board meeting, shoving a pencil in my eye, I might think I was in heaven.