Friday, December 25, 2009

Dang, That Mouse Scared Santa Off!

This year's Christmas Eve was a bit...different. Usually Christmas Eve is a time of joy and happiness, which it was, but there was a bit of an edge. This year, instead of giggling, we were screaming, and instead of staying awake because of excitement we were awake because we were scared. We were visited by a mouse last night.
Early in the evening, my brother saw the mouse but my dad told him not to say anything, knowing that we womenfolk would be terrified. Later, my mom and sister-in law saw the mouse on the counter (!!!) when they went up into the kitchen. I would like to mention that I have very few fears worse than mice. I really think that I have a phobia because my fear of mice in my house is both irrational and acute. It's hard to describe the paralyzing fear that overtakes me when there is a mouse in the house, but I think that saying that I wore my snow boots for the rest of the night and threw things into rooms before entering them begins to paint a picture.
Heather and I still had wrapping to do, so we planned to barricade ourselves in her room, wrap presents, and sleep on her bed. I refused to sleep in my bed because my covers touch the ground and the mouse could very easily climb up onto my bed. We had just gotten into Heather's room when I looked down at the vent and saw the mouse come out of it!!! It was small, but still scared the heck out of me, so I screamed and run out of the room and down a flight of stairs. Heather had jumped onto her bed and was yelling for help. We tried to remedy the situation by taping the vent shut and tucking a towel into the bottom, but soon after that I heard Heather screaming again. The mouse has jumped, yes JUMPED, over the towel and into the corner. We decided to take everything out of Heather's room and sleep on the hide-a-bed down in the family room. We tried to make quick trips, but we couldn't find everything and ended up wrapping presents with packing and masking tape. Eventually, we were able to settle into a few hours of fitful sleep.

In the morning, we woke up at 8 (probably because we didn't sleep well) and went to wake up our parents. Since we slept in the family room, with the Christmas tree, "Santa" was unable to bring out our presents and we had to transport our own downstairs. The rest of the day was pretty good, though I was obliged to wear my snow boots for the duration. After Christmas breakfast, my dad went on a quest to buy a mouse trap to rid our family of this tiny furred menace. To our great dismay, no stores were open and he was unable to procure the necessary tools of attack. My mother, seeing my great stress and exhaustion, decided that we should go on our own quest. We searched several gas stations before I realized that we were approaching the neighborhood of Amanda, one of my best friends. I decided to ask her if she had a mouse trap, and she did! Apparently, the trap had been given to her family as a gift of sorts. Observe, our salvation:
We have placed the trap on the counter where the mouse was first sighted by my family members. I know that this sounds...exceedingly gross, but we REALLY want to catch this mouse. I really don't want to sleep on the hide-a-bed again tonight.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Don We Now Our Internal Struggles

Christmas is a highly decorated holiday at our house. Amidst the lights and various trinkets, we have several Nativity sets. Yesterday before work my mom had me set them up, and as usual I was torn between aesthetics and historical accuracy. I want them to look nice and have everyone gathered around the Baby Jesus, smiling and adoring, but deep inside I know that the Wise Men did not make it the night that He was born. When I was younger and had more room on the mantle in my parents' room (in our old house) I would actually separate the wise men from the rest of the scene, but now we put the sets on a table and there's no room for such liberties in decorating.
I do love Nativity sets though. We have this really old set that belonged to my grandmother. It's ceramic and has each of the pieces in little decades-old boxes that have labels to identify them. The labels even have the names of the wise men on them. Way cool.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

"You are Secretly Funny": My Review of "The Princess and the Frog"

I just realized that I titled this post the same way I title my English essays. Sad... Moving on. I absolutely loved "The Princess and the Frog". I went today with my brother's family to see this film because my 3 - almost 4- year old niece is absolutely obsessed with Princess Tiana, even though she had yet to see the movie.

I knew, going into the movie, that Tiana would be a different kind of princess, apart from the fact that she's African-American. Tiana is a girl who has worked for what she wants in the real world. She a no-nonsense girl who doesn't really have time for fun - but she does have a killer soul voice inside of her. She is fabulous, and of course learns her lesson in the end and lives happily ever after.

Can we talk about the prince now? I would like to submit that there has not been such a dreamy male cartoon since Dimitri in "Anastasia" (come on, ladies, you know what I'm talking about). Plus, he plays a mean ukulele, and that accent? Be still my sheltered Utah heart! (Let's face it, there's an extreme lack of hunky accents here). He also has a charming cockiness that makes all the cloche-wearing gals swoon. Love it.

A word of caution: the voodoo scenes get a little intense, involving some creepy shadow demons. My sister-in law had to cover my niece's eyes a few times. Beware.

Generally, I loved this movie. The music was great, and the frog romance...well I don't see how anyone could get enough of that. You should probably go see this movie and become a fan of the latest Disney princess.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Lions and Debit Cards and Finals

Oh my.

Actually, the debit card story comes first, chronologically, but then I wouldn't have had the awesome Wizard of Oz reference. Friday I went to the ATM to get some cash, and when I went to get gas later that day I discovered that I had left my debit card in the ATM. Mentally sputtering a variety of Mormon expletives, I realized that I wouldn't be able to search for the card until later, having made a previous engagement to pick up my dear friend Amanda to see "A Christmas Story" at the Dansante (which, PS, was awesome!). After the movie I commenced in my search for the missing card. First, fretting over my near-empty gas tank, I was obliged to borrow my mother's credit card to get some gas. Then I drove to the ATM to discover my transaction receipt on the ground, which, I was sure, meant someone had driven off with my card and was at that moment making dozens of fraudulent purchases. I went to nearby businesses, looking for my card in case some honest and kind soul had turned it in, but to no avail. I tried to call an 800 number that I found on the website, but it asked for some phone code, which I didn't have. After a stressful night, the ending is somewhat anti-climactic. As it turns out, an ATM will destroy all cards that are not pulled out of the machine, so all I have to do is order a new card...

Story 2: Saturday morning, my mom texted me to inform me of a recorded message from 911 dispatch, saying that there had been several reports of a mountain lion in our area. Those of you who know where I live know that this is a near impossibility, so you understand my surprise and concern - especially where my dog is concerned. Anyway, we finally figured that we got the call because we used to live on the Island, much closer to the mountains, and have the same number, but it was very confusing for a few hours.

Finally, finals. I can't believe that the semester is actually over. I took my history final this morning and wrote a lovely essay about the Crusades that I feel will give me a good grade. I also need to run my Dreamweaver project up today, and then I have an online final, a final on Wednesday, and a paper revision for the same class as the Wednesday final. Then I am free! From school anyway, and I can enjoy almost a month of Christmas vacation. Awesome.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

The Christmas Tree Debacle

Based on a true story.

Once there was a girl. She was very beautiful and creative and worked at a place that involved a lot of down time. It was a happy little store, full of caring and smiles. Oftentimes, the girl would amuse herself and her co-workers with various crafts and song parodies. One day, she made a lovely Christmas tree out of some bubble wrap and a paper clip. She decorated it with stickers and showed it to her co-workers, who were amused and inspired. The next time she worked, she added a tree skirt made of athletic tape (which she colored with a red pen) and various gifts made out of staples and business cards. All who beheld the tree were truly in wonder at the tree's beauty and the girl's great talent. It seemed that for once, all was right in the world, and the workplace was at peace.

One day, from out of the darkness, came a force of mediocrity that had the potential to ruin the peace that all the workers had worked so hard for. The beautiful Christmas tree had remained safely hidden within its little nook, still giving happiness to those who came upon it, when someone decided to bring the dark force down upon it. The innocent tree was taken from its home and placed in the cold, unfeeling cave of the dark force. Since the figure of darkness had no appreciation for the arts and crafts made with love by the workers, it reacted in anger and punished the poor people. New restrictions were placed on the unfortunate souls who made their living under the dark force. Suddenly, the little store was no longer a happy place to work and the beautiful, creative girl found herself seeking new employment.

To be continued.....

Friday, November 20, 2009

Sweet Beans

Today I turned in my graduation application. I walked to the Registrar's office, paid my ten dollars, and became the next student to enter the home stretch of her undergraduate education. When I first realized that I would be applying for graduation this semester I freaked out. I had no idea what I wanted to do with my degree, and made myself sick over what I was going to do after graduation until something occurred to me. I think this quote about sums it up:

"How many cares one loses when one decides not to be something but to be someone."
~Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel

I did not go to college to become something. I went to college to become someone - an educated person. I have received an excellent education over the years. I have learned a lot and gained a lot of valuable skills. In the end, I really don't care as long as I get some sort of job that I can enjoy.

My most imminent concern is writing my final paper for ENGL 2600, Literary Analysis. Being a freshman class that I finally got around to taking, I've been sailing through my previous papers. I write them the day of and get good grades, but they probably haven't been my best work. My professor informed me last week that I will need to turn in an extra copy of this paper for "assessment". I'm a little nervous about making this last paper count, but I think it will be ok in the end.

All in all, I'm pretty excited to graduate, especially since it took me so long. At least I'll be getting my bachelor's a year before my little brother gets his law degree.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Dancin' in the Streets

I love music. A lot. I take any opportunity I can get to listen to some great music. Right now, for example, I'm sitting in a computer lab listening to what might be my current favorite song and resisting the urge to get up and dance. I used to listen to show tunes on Pandora while in the lab, but it proved incredibly difficult to not sing along out loud, so show tunes had to be outlawed. I can't even get ready for school or whatever without music playing. If there's no music, I just sing to myself because I love to sing anyway.

The radio in my car stopped working a while back (surprise, surprise), and I found myself going through music withdrawals. Now I have to provide the music myself, either by singing to myself or playing music on my phone. I used to think that downloading music on my phone was a waste of money. "When will I ever listen to this?" I would ask myself. It turns out that music on my phone is a welcome addition to the silence (if you can call the frightening roaring of the engine silence) of the Deathcab.

One more example of my love of music: musical tourettes. Anything you say can and will remind me of a song that needs to be sung. That's probably how a lot of the songs that I've written got started. I'll start thinking of a song and start changing the words to fit the situation.

It seems like everything means more when it's set to music.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

I Feel Pretty

My super awesome friend, Julianne, is a photographer and she took some super awesome pictures of me. I was a little nervous at first, but it turned out to be really fun. Plus, I hadn't seen Julianne forever, so it was great to hang out again. Here are the ones she posted on her blog, in case anyone is interested.

Friday, October 30, 2009

The Beginning of the End, or Here's Hoping for a Happy Ending

Yesterday, I got to work and the Christmas decorations were up. Inspired by this preemptive garlandery, I wrote the first JCPenney "Christmas" song of the season. (I wrote two or three songs last year to celebrate my grief at working a retail Christmas.) The song is to the tune of "White Christmas":

I'm dreaming of a nice Christmas,
far away from JCPenney.
With treetops that glisten,
mistletoe kissin',
but not 'til after Thanksgiving.

I'm dreaming of a nice Christmas.
The kind where I don't work late nights.
May your workload at Penney's be light
and may you still view Christmas with delight.

There will probably be more songs to come.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Baking Lessons

Last night, I tried to make some cookies. Well, I actually did make cookies but there were some complications involved. The first batch was in the oven when we (my friend Nikki and I) discovered that we had not added in the chocolate chips. Remaining optimistic, we went to the cupboard to get the chips and discovered that I didn't have any! Seeing that I had plenty of raisins, we decided to add those to the batch in the oven and go from there. Since the cookies were mostly done we had to put them on top, arranging them in smiley faces just for fun. We had another batch ready on a cookie sheet and I didn't want to do all raisin (mostly because I don't like raisin), but I remembered how I had some Lindor truffle squares, so I chopped those up and put them in. We had a little bit of batter left, so those became raisin as well. The whole time we were cracking up about everything that happened. I was wearing a scarf, and I kept dropping things like raisins and batter clumps in it. I learned that baking with a scarf isn't such a good idea because you might get your scarf stuck in the oven. Nikki kept knocking the knife out of the dishwasher (we have to keep a knife in the door to keep the washer going), which was hilarious for some reason. Probably because extractions last night weren't as exciting as usual and I had to get all of my laughter out somehow. All in all, a fabulous night.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The Windshield Wiper Saga

This is the tale of the windshield wiper that would not be fixed. A while back, I noticed (as it was raining) that the windshield wiper on the driver's side was not performing at 100%, specifically in the area right in front of my face. Shortly afterwards, I purchased a new wiper, which my dad attempted to install only to find out that the Deathcab is not one to be easily persuaded into repair. It turns out that my windshield wipers are not the same as normal wipers (big surprise). After both of my parents attempted to switch the wipers, my dad finally resorted to switching out the rubber part. We assumed that the rubber was worn down, and therefore the problem.
It turns out that we were wrong, and the next time inclement weather came up I discovered that the wiper was still defunct right in front of my face. After some deliberation, I decided to turn to an outside source: my home teachers. This is how today my friend Jeff came to my house to fix the rebellious wiper. After waging war with said wiper for a good thirty minutes, Jeff was forced to admit defeat, or so we thought.
Shortly afterwards, my dad came home and decided to take another look at the wiper after I told him that I'd have to take it to the shop. After putting the wiper back together (the unruly rubber had given Jeff some trouble in re-assembling it) we decided to try it out just for the heck of it and, lo and behold, it worked! My theory is this: while attempting to detach the wiper, Jeff somehow adjusted the wiper and fixed it!
And there was much rejoicing....

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Stake Conference and More

Today we had Regional/Stake conference up at the Spectrum. Visiting general authorities President Eyring and Elder Ballard spoke (including Elder Ballard making a suggestion that the young men and women of the choir marry each other) and the choir was totally awesome. It was a wonderful experience to feel the Spirit and know that I was in the company of true prophets of the Lord.
While waiting for the conference to start, a few young men came and sat behind my family, and what we overheard was both surprising and incredibly amusing. All of my years, I have assumed that guys didn't talk about girls, at least not the way that we girls do. Girls are silly and presumptive. We overanalyze every little thing and we make crazy plans to draw men in. (I hope that none of my fellow ladies are annoyed that I gave away our game plan ;) ) Anyway, my mom and I had to restrain our laughter at the conversation of the guys behind us. They were talking about a girl on the aisle. One guy was saying that the girl was his type, and one of the other guys told him that he should go talk to her. Later we heard them discussing that the guy interested in the aisle-girl left his seat and came back "just in time" to be able to talk to the girl. The guy revealed that it had all been part of his plan. It was almost like I'd been granted a glimpse into the world of men. I guess it just felt good to know that guys are crazy, too.

Thursday, October 22, 2009


Many of you are not aware that we recently got a new store manager at JCP. After several years of laid-back-ness, we have a new manager who is determined to stick to the rules and make all sorts of positive changes in our little store. I'm sure that a lot of her ideas are great, and I'm sure that eventually we'll all get along just fine, but for right now I'm a little concerned about some of her "ideas". On Tuesday, I was told that we would no longer be allowed to have water bottles out on the sales floor, as it was "unprofessional". I was/am pretty upset about it because I am a very thirsty person, especially since so much of my shift is spent talking to customers/fellow employees. Since it has become such a big deal, I have named this conflict "Waterbottlegate". I had a whole rant prepared to submit as an anonymous comment when I heard, from Linda, that we were being given a two week trial to see if we could handle the responsibilities of professional thirst quenching. We are now allowed a clear, screw-top water bottle if we keep it hidden and take it away after our shifts. If one person messes up, we're all going down, sentenced to a lifetime of work in the desert that will be JCP. So now I just have to get a new water bottle and hope for the best...

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Wrong One, Wrong One!

I like a guy. I'll admit it. The problem is that I'm really shy and get frustrated really easily that nothing ever happens with this certain someone, which is ridiculous because it's not like he is supposed to know that I like him and that he should pay attention to me. Really, my frustration is my own fault because I won't do anything myself. Anyway, I've noticed this sad trend in which I happen to run into this fellow's friends and/or relatives and have lovely conversations with these guys, at which point I feel the need to text someone, crying out "Wrong One, Wrong One!" (This is the part where I wish that guys were just a teeny bit like girls, and would have a discussion that would go along the lines of "I talked to Michelle for a while. She's pretty awesome and I'm pretty sure that you should ask her out". Alas, guys are NOT like girls, or so I have been told ;) ) These sad texts inevitably bring about the dreaded phrase, "you should go for him". This has always puzzled me because I feel that by using this phrase, I am being told to spontaneously create feelings for someone and, as much as I love my dear friends who make this suggestion, it just doesn't seem likely to occur.
Hearing "you should go for him" always brings a chuckle to my throat because I suddenly feel like I'm on the hunt, like going for an elk or a moose. A friend telling you to "go for" someone is like them issuing you a man-tag. Here is your opportunity, go for that man. Luckily, it's man season year-round, so if you don't get one during the month of October, you don't have to throw away your man-tag, unused and wasted.
On the other hand, maybe "going for" a man in like running for an office. Just as I could "go for" class president, I could try to get myself elected as a girlfriend in the primaries, and as a wife in the final election. The electoral college consists of the guy and any surrounding friends and family (with his mother most likely holding a position of "super delegate"). No doubt all of the dirt in my background will be dug up, but I don't think it will matter much if I use my campaign funds on my wardrobe ;)

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Grandma Sweaters and Other Ugly Stuff That I Like to Wear

So, today at work I was really cold and I borrowed a sweater from the Women's department. The sweater looked fine when I put it on, so I went about my work, but the next time I saw myself in the mirror I realized that this particular sweater reminded me of something that my grandma might have worn. For some reason, this didn't put me off much and I realized that its because Grandma-wear is apparently en vogue these days. The trick is that only the young can get away with looking like a grandma. Once you reach a certain age, wearing grandma clothing makes you look like an old lady, at which point, the aging men and women of our society try desperately to look younger than they are.
The funny thing about most of this stuff is that it's really kind of ugly, another interesting thing about clothing. We seek individuality by looking distinctive, even if the distinctiveness involves something that others would consider "ugly". I do it myself all the time. I have this habit to head straight for clearance racks, find the ugliest thing possible, and try it on. I have this weird attitude that I can pull off anything, even if it's crazy and/or ugly. This is probably how I ended up with red plaid skinny jeans, shirts with crazy ruffles, and several pairs of brightly colored tights. I also tend to put really weird outfits together, again, telling myself that I can pull it off. I get really creative when I have next to no clean clothes and start pairing things together. I've found that I'm not a naturally outgoing person, but the clothing that I wear forces me to be outgoing. It's times like these when I like to think of a little something that Mark Twain once (allegedly) said: "Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society". Amen, Mark Twain, Amen.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

The Tale of The Super Tight Spandex Pants

Today marks my return to the bloggers' world! I haven't done this since the days of livejournal and I'm pretty excited to get going again. Here goes! I hope you all enjoy my rambling, and to start I shall share "The Tale of The Super Tight Spandex Pants".
Monday, I saw a guy on the shuttle bus that was wearing extremely tight spandex pants. Ironically, I had initially thought that the guy was decent looking as he ascending the steps of the bus. This quickly changed into fearful shock as I beheld the extreme tightness of the spandex pants which encased the bottom half of this guy. He looked like he had just been running, but really, that’s no excuse for such apparel. Okay, so you know how usually when guys wear unnecessarily tight pants, you see a sort of bulge in a certain area? Well, these pants were so tight that, unfortunately for everyone on the bus, the man’s…details were on display for all the world to see. I was forced to avert my eyes to avoid the extreme inappropriateness of the display. I’ve decided that maybe tights pants of this extent should be included in the consideration of indecent exposure laws. This was just wrong.
So, today I saw tight-spandex-pants-wearing guy again. I actually saw him yesterday going into the Ray B. West building, but he was wearing jeans, so it was ok. I hope, however, that this doesn’t become a regular occurrence because, frankly, I don’t know if I could take it. This time, our indecent exhibitionist was wearing really, really, short shorts. So short, in fact, that I found myself hoping that the man was wearing some supportive security, lest he accidentally take part in some actual indecent exposure. The shorts, which brought to mind the hot pants of yesteryear, were relatively snug. They weren’t as tight as the spandex pants, but having that image burned into my retinas made it impossible to bear. To make matters worse, the scantily-clad fellow was practically in front of me, and I actually had to turn my head to keep the guy out of my peripheral vision. Quite the adventure...