Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The Twin That Was Born 21 Months After Me

I was born in July of 1985. Twenty-one months later, my twin was born. Who is this twin, you ask? Why, my younger brother, of course. How could this be, you ask? Well, I'll tell you. It is due mainly to the gross misconceptions of the public at large.

I was reminded of this state of twin-ship while texting my aforementioned brother earlier this evening. Bret (my "twin") had texted to tell me about something he remembered while watching the old cartoon version of "The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe" and then proceeded to mention "Prince Caspian". Unbeknowst to each other, Bret and I texted each other how we hated how Peter was a whiny kid who didn't wait for Aslan and staged a suicide mission that involved leaving many behind (this angers us greatly because it was so NOT in the book!). Bret remarked that we were practically twins, and memories ensued....

This is me with my brother. I realize that we're really...smiley in this pic, but I don't have a lot of pictures with the two of us, so here it is. We look similar, right? Similar enough to be, I don't know, maybe, siblings? But twins?

It all began, my mother has told me, on the Fourth of July, 1987. Bret was three months old, and I was nearly two. I was walking and Bret was, quite clearly, not. A woman behind my mother had the audacity (and, may I add, sheer asininity) to ask my mother if Bret and I were twins. Seriously? SERIOUSLY?

Now, in the defense of the ridiculous fireworks woman, I was born early and continued to be very short for a good portion of my life. Also, before I discovered hair color Bret and I had nearly identical coloring. As the years went by, many others asked if we were twins, so I really can't get too upset about it, except for the fact that I think you should be able to tell newborns and toddlers apart...just saying.

Incidentally, no one thinks that Bret and I are twins anymore. It may be related to the fact that Bret is now like 6' 3" or something and I'm like 5' 2". I've actually had people ask if my younger sister and I are twins...even though she's five years younger than me (other people ask if I'm the younger sister). I guess maybe I just look really young?

Oh well. As long as, as Bret pointed out, we don't go around wearing matching outfits, we'll be okay.

P.S. No one has ever suspected that my older brother and I are twins. Of course, he's blond and hazel-eyed and was always hecka tall. I'd wonder if he's adopted, but that's more likely to be Heather because she's the one that doesn't like Neil Diamond.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

"I don't know if the best things happen while you're dancing or if they just happen in Vermont..."

As you may (or may not) be able to tell from the title of this post, I went to see Irving Berlin's "White Christmas" last night, as performed by my alma mater (insert moment of high school pride here). Despite the various costuming errors and typos in the program (which were fodder for sarcastic comments from myself and Amanda), the show was very well done (especially the amazing tap number) and reminded me of how much I really love musicals, most especially seeing them performed live.

The excitement begins long before the show even starts. I love getting ready to go out to a cultural event, even one put on by a high school. It's just something out of the ordinary that reminds me that I'm not just a little girl living in a small-ish town. Going to stuff like this makes me feel classy, even if it's put on by a high school. I love entering the theatre and looking for my seat, then sitting down and looking through the program (even one riddled with errors, and I don't just mean ones published for high school productions) before the show starts.

Next, the orchestra in the pit. You hear them tune, see the director arrive and then...the overture. The overture is played and gets everyone, or at least me, excited for the show to begin with snippets of songs that will be performed during the course of the show. Then the curtain rises, and everything is pretty awesome for the next couple of hours (unless you go to see some crazy show...or a Rodgers and Hammerstein, because most of those shows have some dark moments).

Another thing I love about musicals: the romantic storyline. As an example, I give you one of my very favorite musicals: Meredith Willson's "The Music Man", the film version of which stars the incomparable Robert Preston and the absolutely fabulous Shirley Jones. As much as I love love love that movie, the reason that this musical holds a particularly special place in my heart because it was the very first musical I saw in person. Incidentally, it was also performed by my dear high school my freshman year. I so very much love the fact that Harold Hill spends so much time going after Marian Paroo (let's set aside the fact that his intentions were not so much romantic as they were devious...perhaps that makes me delusional, but this IS a musical. A little delusion goes a long way in enjoying a world where people burst out into song and dance). I've just always loved that fact that a good musical will throw together a man and a woman who have no business falling in love and fight it as hard as they can, but a few songs and a couple of revealing scenes later they're singing a duet of love (not to mention those great kisses!). I have to admit that I had a bit of crush on the guy that played Harold Hill for a little while. It's pretty much like falling for fictional movie characters, except they also sing!

Look how happy they are! Well, she's happy; he just looks like he's staring into the sun. I guess I just love musicals so much because they tend to be a conglomeration of so many things that I wish life could be. And how about that beautiful happy ending with a handsome man? The fantastic singing isn't too bad, either. I know that it's a bit much to ask for, and I'm really not expecting my life to turn into a musical, so there's no cause for concern. I just think it would be nice.

The marching band is optional, though.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

I'm in love and I don't care who knows it!

Last week I had a brief love affair...with Nutella on Grandma's peanut butter cookies. I've loved Nutella since high school, when we would have it on French food days in French class, but it was always on baguettes and such. I've also tried it on toast and, more recently, on waffles (way good-try it sometime). For those of you unfamiliar with this delicious-ness known as Nutella...

There is it. Chocolatey. Hazelnutty. Absolutely wonderfully tasty. Anyway, someone brought a jar to the JCP last Saturday to put on mini bagels (which was also hecka good), and there happened to be some left over when Monday came around. I was about to enjoy a package of Grandma's peanut butter cookies when I happened to look over and observe the jar of Nutella sitting on the break room table. I thought to myself "Hmmmm. Nutella is pretty darn good. I'm pretty sure I need to try it on these cookies". So I did, and it was so good! This ritual was repeated the next couple of days until the jar became empty.

But it was delicious while it lasted :)

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Curse You, SlimFast! and other tales..

A couple of weeks ago, my mom and I went down to Murray to visit my sister and take her shopping for her birthday. As my mother and I shared some laughs on the drive down, I noticed that my ribs hurt whenever I laughed. "What could be the cause of this discomfort?" I wondered in agony (okay, not agony, more like mild soreness). Suddenly, the answer came as I remembered an event of the previous day.

Rewind! Rrrrwwwrr.

The day before, Amanda and I had gone to Sam's Club, where I picked up a case of SlimFast, which I occasionally drink for breakfast. The important part of the story is the fact that I picked it up...and just kept on holding it. I did just fine from the shelf to the checkout, since the two are pretty close together. The problem came after checking out, when we saw my mom near the exit. As we stopped to chat, I discovered the need to readjust my hold on the case of SlimFast several times. It didn't help when my mother decided it would be humorous to push down on the case, which almost made me fall over. Anyway, we eventually made it out to the car, and I didn't think much of it until the next day, when I discovered that I had bruised ribs, which hurt every time I laughed (which, incidentally, caused my mother to find extra opportunities to make me laugh). Curse you, SlimFast!

Tale 2: When we got to my sister's apartment, we noticed a small grouping of ducks on one side of the parking lot. After slowing to observe the ducks, we noticed ducks on the other side of the parking lot, waiting to cross and join the other ducks. Suddenly, from out of nowhere, ducks began to appear! Ducks! Ducks! All together, there were between 20 and 30 ducks. Being overly dramatic as I am, I started yelling "Ducks! Ducks!" and my sister, who was waiting outside for us to pick her up, called me and told us to just start driving. We hesitated because we were concerned for the safety of the swarm of ducks that had by this point surrounded the car in a most menacing fashion. We couldn't even honk the horn because the one in my mom's car doesn't work! We decided to slowly roll forward and, despite a plethora of protesting quacks, the ducks began to move and we were soon able to move forward and pick up my sister.

Of course, it was fabulous to see Heather, as always. I'm glad we survived the duck ambush so we could have that experience.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

"That's the Island Greeting that We Send to You from the Land where Palm Trees Sway..."

I have an inexplicable love for the "Hawaii Five-O" theme song. I've never seen a single episode of the show (new or old version) and I've probably only heard the theme once or twice in my whole life; I just pick up things like that really quickly and they stay in my head. It's comparable to whistling that song at the beginning of the Disney "Robin Hood" cartoon, except I've seen that movie a million times (on account of it's totally awesome).

So there I was, going on with a life occasionally accented by a random TV theme song, when my mom started watching the new version of "Hawaii Five-O". She started an episode last night, and while I didn't feel like watching the whole thing, I decided to watch until the beginning credits rolled. As the song began to play, I got all excited and starting dancing in my seat (because we all know how much I love dancing like a fool). Of course, my mother starting laughing at me and said, "Haven't you ever seen this before?", to which I replied that I had not, which was when I started wondering why on earth I enjoyed it so much. I honestly don't know why I love that song so much; it could just be that I really like the tune. It's not like I have any sort of emotional connection with the show, or even Hawaii itself, for that matter.

I guess I really don't need a reason to like this particular theme song so much. If I look at it like it's any other song, it's not a stretch of the imagination to say that I just like the sound of it. I think that will now be my official position on my love of a random theme song.

Thanks for your help, friends.

P.S. The title of this post comes from the song "Mele Kalikimaka", sung by Bing Crosby.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Effect and Effect...and Effect

One of my friends and I have a tendency to name things that we find attractive in guys. In the past, we have come up with The Clark Kent Effect (guys with glasses) and The Hodgins Effect (based on Jack Hodgins on Bones and extended to include smart guys that you suddenly realize are hot). The theories are more detailed than that, but you get the idea. Today I present to you The Returned Missionary Effect. It would probably be good to point out that I'm not currently sway-able by the effects of this...Effect, but I came up with it today while discussing a returned missionary with said friend (who is in this particular phase of life). She mentioned that she had known this guy for her whole life, but now that he had returned from his mission she found him incredibly attractive and didn't know why. I think we all experienced this in our early early twenties, but why?

The answer, my friends, is two fold. One, boys grow up on their missions and come back men. The picture we see in our heads when we think of guys on missions is forcefully disrupted when we see their older, handsomer faces. We girls have missed an entire two years of gangliness and it's like someone hit the fast-forward button. BAM! Awkward, pimple-faced boy-next-door is suddenly confident, smooth-skinned and possibly taller. In addition to this, you often see this boy for the first time since his return at his homecoming (I mean missionary themed meeting...) where he is wearing a suit, which, let's face it ladies, just makes a guy that much more attractive. What's a twenty-ish year old girl to do?

I'm starting to feel that I'm sharing too much, so let's move on to the second aspect of returned-missionary-attractiveness: returned missionaries are now eligible for marriage. It's like there's a little switch in our heads that gets flipped and starts saying things (because switches say things, right?) like "Wow, I bet he's looking to get married now. Hey, I'm supposed to be at least looking for a serious relationship. Hmmmm...he's here, I'm here. Why not?" Okay, that sounds kind of creepy, but you know what I mean. These things happen.

So there you have it. Boy comes home. Boy re-meets girl. Girl finds boy extremely attractive and wonders how she might win his affections. I remember it well. I hope you've enjoyed this journey into my past as much as I have. Well, I don't know how much I enjoyed it, but maybe you can at least glean a little amusement from the way that girls think.

Until next time, friends.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Title is the Hardest Part to Come up With

Having worked several years in retail, I'm used to the speech about customer service making more of a difference than other factors, even price, to a customer. On the other hand, I've been a poor college student for about 7 years, so I believe that sometimes you have to go on the cheap side. I don't often go much for customer service. I might be a bit annoyed if I am treated incredibly poorly, but it's usually not enough to drive me away, so I've never had much personal experience with that particular branch of customer service philosophy.

That all changed today. I wasn't sure if my parents' insurance was still covering my prescriptions, so I've had to contemplate various possibilities for a few days (I tend to procrastinate and worry about things, rather than just doing them). I thought about what I would do if my prescriptions were no longer covered and came to the conclusion that, unless the cost became ridiculously outrageous, I would pay the extra money to stay at my pharmacy. Why? Because I love my pharmacy!

My family has been filling prescriptions at one particular pharmacy for as long as I can remember. When I was a little kid, I loved going with my mom through the drive-through to pick up our medications (...my family has a variety of minor health issues...). The pharmacists would put Smarties in the bag for the kids, which we always looked forward to. There was a period in our insurance where we had to get all of our medications by mail, which was terrible. The prescriptions never arrived on time, and the company always found a problem with our credit card, even though the card was perfectly valid. Eventually....my dad got a new job and our insurance again allowed us to fill prescriptions locally, and I was so happy!

The people at my pharmacy know me, or at least my face, and are always so peppy and helpful. I guess I just really love my pharmacy :)

P.S. My prescriptions are still covered, and even if they weren't it wouldn't be way super expensive. Hurray!

Monday, October 4, 2010

General Conference = My New Year

I don't believe in New Year's resolutions. In the first place, I've been a student for the last 20 years of my life, and January 1st never seemed as much the beginning of the year as say, August 25th or so. In addition, January is in the middle of the winter. What about winter possibly symbolizes anything new? Besides, New Year's resolutions have always felt cliche to me. Everyone makes New Year's resolutions, and what for? Because everyone else does. I suppose there are a few people out there that are truly inspired to change by the beginning of the new year, but I think a lot of us just make something up so we have something to say when someone asks us what we have resolved for the new year.

I do, however, believe in General Conference resolutions. I absolutely love having the opportunity to listen to the leaders of the church as they speak on matters relevant to our day. I get to sit on my couch, notebook and pen in hand, and write down the words of the prophets and any inspiration that comes my way. As a result of the spiritual high that I get during General Conference, I feel a deep and genuine desire to be a better person and try a little bit harder in life. Mary N. Cook (of the General Young Women's Presidency) spoke about the birth of her granddaughter (I believe it was her granddaughter), Ruby, and how she encouraged Ruby's mother to teach her to be a virtuous woman. The mother replied "I am starting today." Obviously, I don't have a daughter to teach about virtue, but I was really struck by the words "I am starting today." It's really easy for me to get caught up in what I'm doing wrong and sometimes it feels really hard to change my habits and behaviors. From now on, I need to stop myself and just say "I am starting today". So what if I've had a hard time with whatever for days, weeks, or even months? Today is a new day, and I can start all over again. I heard somewhere that no matter what our pasts are, our futures are spotless. I am so grateful for a loving Heavenly Father that forgives me when I repent and gives me another chance to be the best person that I can be. I know that I would be very lost without the guidance of the Holy Ghost in my life to stay on the right path. I am grateful for the temple covenants that I have made and for the blessings I receive when I attend regularly.

There were so many wonderful talks during Conference, and I can't wait to get the Ensign next month and go over the talks all over again. I just love General Conference.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Godzilla Skin: Sentimental or Just Plain Ugly?

Once there was a green Godzilla handbag - oh, wait, maybe you need more background than that. When I was younger, we had a Godzilla...toy. He was too big for a figurine, yet too macho for a doll, so I guess toy fits the best. Anyway, this Godzilla toy was the spitting image of the infamous lizard. He had spikes going down his back and tail, menacing claws, and green scaly skin. Pretty awesome, right? Sadly, I haven't seen this toy for a good long while. I'm not sure that we even still have it. Anyway, I once saw this handbag at the JCP that, I swear, looked like it was made of Godzilla skin! I know this sounds rather odd, especially considering that Godzilla skin would be incredibly hard to come by, but there it was. Over the next few weeks, I studied that handbag again and again. I touched it, marveling at how much it felt like the Godzilla toy. I wanted that purse, and decided to buy it when it went on clearance.

One day, a couple of dear friends visited me at my place of employment. I ushered them over to the Godzilla purse, eagerly seeking their approval. To my dismay, they were far from impressed, sharing such thoughts as "That purse is ugly" and "We will not let you buy that purse". At first, I was a bit disappointed, but as I turned to look at the purse in defiance, I realized something: that purse WAS hideous! I don't know what happened, but it seems that my excitement over Godzilla skin clouded my usually trusty fashion sense.

I got to thinking about this today, and how this sort of thing happens a lot in life. Don't be concerned, I'm not thinking of anything in particular. Consider this an application of my English degree. It seems that sometimes we really only want something because of what it represents, or what it reminds us of. When we get it (or if it's something we already have), we hang to it, even if we realize that we have no use for it. The Godzilla purse was ugly; I realized this after my friends opened my eyes, but it reminded me of my childhood. I wanted to buy the purse as a reminder of what had been, but buying a dumb purse doesn't bring back the Godzilla toy or a simpler time of life. All it would have done would have left me with a dumb ugly purse.

So there you have it, one English graduate waxing philosophical about weird things. And who says you don't learn applicable skills in Literary Studies?

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The Fuzzy Grey Area of Vigilante Punctuation Correction

Some of you may remember a picture I posted last year upon my return from my family reunion. It looked a little like this:

Actually, it looked exactly like that. Now, put aside the fact that this sign appeared inside a pit toilet; that point is irrelevant. Take a looksy at the punctuation choices made on this friendly and oh-so persuasive sign. What's that, you say? You don't see anything wrong with the punctuation? This is because you are a normal person. I, however, have been blessed/cursed with a little something called being an obsessive English major (graduate now- yay!). As such, my eyes instantly zeroed in on the comma splice. This is when a comma is inappropriately used, since the two clauses joined could stand on their own as sentences. This sign was in desperate need of a semi-colon.

To be honest, this sign wasn't the first thing I thought of when I heard that the reunion would be taking place at the same location this year (as in the beginning of August). I arrived at the reunion and, fittingly, was reunited with the offending sign. Since I was obliged to return to town for the middle of the week, it occurred to me that one could simply place a bottle of correction fluid in one's purse and, by strategically placing a dot above the comma, one could create the necessary semi-colon!

Now, I don't generally approve of such illegal-ery, but the facts of the case are these: a mysterious young woman arrived at the campground on Friday afternoon. Quietly, she sneaked up the road to the campground facilities. Looking around her for signs of the camp host (and joined by her mother to collect photographic evidence) she entered the small building. A short time later, both girl and mother emerged and disappeared into the night (okay, the later afternoon. The trees provided a lot of shade though). Close examination of the sign within proved that a change had been made:

Notice the difference? No? Perhaps a close-up shot, you ask? Here you go:
Ah-ha! The mysterious girl did, indeed, apply a dot of correction fluid! Brilliant! This produces a bit of a moral dilemma. On the one hand, this is vandalism. On the other hand, who is to judge vigilante action in the pursuit of correct punctuation? I'm sure this mysterious (and no doubt, lovely) young woman was only thinking about educating the public at large. Upon further reflection, I have made a decision. I applaud this girl, and I think you should, too.

The end.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Terror in the Night! Or not...

The tale I am about to relate took place in the wee small hours of the morning. As such, I am reluctant to definitively say whether it actually happened or if it was simply a dream. Either way, the story is still worth telling, so here it is:

I woke up in the middle of the night. As is my usual habit, I lifted my head from my pillow to check the time on my alarm clock and, having ascertained the time, laid my head back on the pillow. My return to slumber was interrupted, however, by a fluttering sound in my ear. I repositioned my head, but the fluttering sound continued. I sat up and looked at my pillow and noticed a small dark object, moving slowly across my pillow. I looked at the pillow, thought "Oh, that must be that moth that was downstairs earlier", and went back to sleep. I honestly don't remember what I did to get the moth off my pillow.

Fast forward to a couple of hours ago (whirrrrr). While preparing myself an after-work snack in the kitchen, I looked up and noticed a moth on the wall. Suddenly, the forgotten events of the early morning came back, crisp and clear. It was just like on television, when an amnesiac suddenly remembers what happened right before they got hit by that car, or whatever. Anyway, it occurred to me that I should have had a stronger reaction to a moth being on my pillow in the middle of the night. Some of you know of my intense fear of moths. It mainly stems from having one fly into my mouth when I was a child. Anyone who's had their mouth coated in moth dust knows what I mean. Ever since then, I've cowered in fear when a moth starts fluttering around the room. In the middle of the night, however, that did not occur. It seems that, in an incoherent state of sleepiness, I didn't fully comprehend the gravity of the situation. This is probably for the best, since I would have freaked out and might not have been able to get back to sleep.

Thank goodness for groggy incoherence, eh?

Friday, August 13, 2010

Farewell, Gregg and Brittany!

Here are the lyrics I wrote for Gregg and Brittany's farewell party at Aggy's tonight. It's to the tune of "Benny and the Jets" by Elton John.

Hey kids, have you heard the latest?
We've got two more people who've decided they should leave us.
I'll tell you who in a minute, so stick around.
If you don't know already, you'll hear it through my awesome sound.

Say, Cori and Becca, did you hear who's gone?
Ooh - 'bout a week or more?
B-b-b-Brittany and Gregg-g-g.
Yes, they are gone but they're wonderful
Oh Brittany! We miss you, Gregg too.
Gregg's in security, and Brittany,
She's working at the university. Oh-oh...
B-b-b-Brittany and Gregg-g-g.

Hey kids, here we are at Aggy's
Having a party, and most of us are ladies.
I'm glad that's right; I wrote this song before I came.
And I'll leave it up to you, my friends,
To tell me if it's awesome or lame.


Notes: I'm sorry that, in singing this song, I made Gregg sound like he was insecure. I really meant that he works as a security guard. Also, in case you're not familiar with the original song, the repeated "g"'s on Gregg's name are in place of the lengthened "s" in the original song.

The end :)

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Temple Tour Kick-Off

Since my dear friend Amanda wrote this post so beautifully, I thought I'd let you all enjoy it:

Amanda's Blog

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Family Reunion: Part One

Due to my work schedule this week, I'll be experiencing my family reunion in two parts. For those of you not familiar with the Harrison family reunion, I will explain. The reunion takes place over the span of a week. My family usually goes on Monday and stays until Sunday. Other families come up later in the week, and some people, such as myself, come up here and there when they can. This works really well when the reunion is close, like this year.

My plan was to go up Monday afternoon after work and come back Tuesday morning so I could go to work, but my brother (Bret) isn't a huge fan of camping or something like that, so he asked if I wouldn't mind going home that night and I agreed, because it meant I could make him drive.

We followed my parents, who were driving the truck and pulling our trailer. The trouble began, however, shortly before we reached Tony Grove. Bret and I saw Dad pull the truck to the side of the road, smoke billowing from the engine. It appeared that the truck had overheated, and we were forced to leave it on the side of the road and travel on to our location in hopes that we could get my uncle, Max, to pull the trailer the rest of the way up. This was done, and Dad and Bret took the truck back to Logan, where the mechanic said that there was an obstruction of some sort in the cooling system.

Meanwhile, back at camp, Max and my cousin, Paul, helped us get our trailer level and stable, and my Mom and decided we needed to get our hands dirty (literally) and set up camp. After setting up, we went on a stroll to visit the few families that had come up the first day, and waited for Dad and Bret (and Sherlock, my brother's dog) to return.

Later that night, after the men returned and we'd had a delicious dinner, we gathered with some members of my extended family to chat around the fire. Bret and Sherlock had walked off a bit, and suddenly Bret yelled that he saw a moose! Now, some of you know that I've been wanting to see a moose for a good long while, so you can feel my excitement. I ran over by Bret to see....a dark spot on the hill on the other side of a ravine of sorts. My parents came over and wondered if maybe it was a cow or horse, but apparently my dad soon saw antlers and my mom agreed that the head looked like a moose. I had to take their word for it, sadly, because I didn't see any of those things.

There is still hope for moose, though. My cousin, Jake, said that he had seen a total of four moose yesterday, so I'm still hoping I can see one. I'll be back Friday and Saturday for more Harrison family fun, including dutch oven cobbler night and the big Saturday morning breakfast.

Monday, July 26, 2010

My Birthday!

Today, I turned the big 2-5! I had a fabulous couple of days and decided to share the joy with all of you! The celebration started Sunday, since it's a bit easier to get the family together then. For my birthday dinner, my mom made fettuccine alfredo and homemade breadsticks. There were also yummy green beans that my mom had bottled on an earlier date. We had cheesecake for dessert, which was delicious. My brother, Bret, gave me a Frank Sinatra CD and a box of Oatmeal Cream Pies, which I love (and I super love that he gave me something kind of random). My parents gave me some kitchen stuff: cake pans and stuff as well as flour, sugar, etc. Afterwards, I went to work, which was lame, but what can you do?

Fast forward to Monday, my actual birthday. I started the day by sleeping in (awesome). Around noon-ish, Amanda (one of my BFFs) and I went to LDS Employment Services and ending up doing what we could have done at home online. It was good, though, because we were forced to sit down and complete our profiles on the website. We're hoping that we'll be able to get wonderful new jobs soon. After that visit (and a short wandering around the DI), Amanda and I went to lunch at good old Firehouse. Unfortunately, there was some sort of serving snafu, and we sat for about twenty minutes without seeing a server. I had to get up and go ask the hostess for our server (don't worry; I was very nice about it). Our server still wasn't very attentive, but the food was good and we had a nice time chatting.

Later that day....I went to FHE with the ward. We did some yard work for an elderly couple and I got to wear my so-hideous-they're-fabulous gardening gloves. They have these intense orange and red flowers and lime green elastic cuffs. I pulled grass and weeds out of a flower bed while having a grand time with the girls in my ward and the ward we've joined with for the rest of the summer (incidentally, my old ward). It rained on us for a few minutes, but that only added to the fun. After the yard was done, we gathered at the park next door and enjoyed some delicious homemade ice cream and frozen yogurt. A girl in the ward even got everyone to sing "Happy Birthday" to me and Brad, a guy in my ward who was also celebrating a birthday.

Even later that day....I went to a double party for me and Brad. There was a lovely cake that said "Brad + Michelle = 55". It was beautiful. Afterwards, there was a hockey game on the nearby hockey rink (at the house where the party was, actually) that we all watched and cheered for. A girl there gave me the responsibility of taking pictures with her camera while she played, so I did my best, even though the camera was uber-fancy. Also, a girl who just happens to be my visiting teacher brought cupcakes that spelled out "Happy Bday B & M". I made sure I got to eat my "M" cupcake. It was delicious.

So, to summarize: lots of fun, lots of food, lots of fantastic.

Happy Birthday to me!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

I'm a real boy! ...or am I?

So I was doing some price changes at work today, and I noticed that the description on one of the pieces read like so: Faux Girl Pendant. I wondered to myself what the point was of pointing out the fact that the pendant was not an actual girl. Does JCPenney really think that someone will come by the jewelry department, see the pendant and think, "Oh my gosh, there's a very very small girl suspended by a loop of gold inside a palm-sized leatherette box in that case! Pull her out and set her free!", to which the associate will reply, "No, dear customer, that is not a real girl. Try to calm yourself. Get off my counter, you will break the glass!" The helpful jewelry girl will then pull the box out of the case and show the panicking customer the tag. "You see, it is a faux girl. She's not real." Closing their eyes, the customer will sigh with relief. "Oh good, I was so afraid that JCPenney had suddenly become some sort of underground leprechaun slavery operation. I'm so glad that she wasn't real. She looked so realistic!"

Now, friends, I've regarded this charm for several years (since we've had it for as long as I can remember) as the most hideous jewelry piece of my acquaintance. The "faux girl" charm bears absolutely no resemblance to an actual, human girl. First, the girl is made of gold, not enamel or plastic. Also, the facial features are barely recognizable as facial features, and the limbs end in rounded stumps. To top it off (literally) the girl has these ridiculous looking pigtails that look more like two extra harms than a hairstyle.

I'd also like to mention that there was a "faux boy" next to the girl. Imagine the riots that would ensue if JCPenney had not taken the care to spell out that these children are, indeed, not real. Thank you, JCP. Thank you.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Why I Don't Play Sports: A Tale of Humiliation and Woe

Red Rover, Red Rover, send Michelle right over...

Of all the phrases that elementary school students hear, and they hear a lot, no phrase was able to strike fear into my heart in such a way that these eight little words did. Besides the fact that the emphasis was inevitably placed on the wrong syllable of my name, hearing this evil chant was the signal that within a few seconds I would look like the greatest fool in the class. Upon hearing my name, I would run as fast as I possibly could towards the waiting chain of arms on the other side of the field. I don't know why I even bothered to run; I never made it through the wall of hands, arms and torsos. I guess it made me feel less foolish if it looked like I was being a good sport about it. I wasn't, though. I hated it more than anything else. The worst part was that the humiliation was far from over. After becoming part of the opposing team, we continue the game by calling a classmate over. This classmate would, far more often than not, choose me as the weakest link and choose my poor, weak arms to break through in order to avoid the same fate that I had unwillingly succumbed to. You would think this was enough, but no! The very next round (or maybe a few rounds later) I would get called to run at the team that I had started on. I would of course be held from breaking through, and from then on I would be caught in a vicious cycle of running at other teams and having other teams run at me. My arms would be incredibly sore by the time recess/gym class was over and we returned to the safe haven of knowledge and learning that was the classroom.

But Red Rover was not my only schoolyard torture: perhaps you have heard of a little game called dodgeball? Well, I have. The technique for this game was a bit different. Since no one ever saw me as a threat, none of my classmates even attempted to get me out during the heat of the game; instead, each team picked off the strong members of the other team. I was left until the very end, when every other viable player had been placed in the prison and could no longer pose a threat. It was at this point that each player on the opposite team would throw their various foam dodgeballs and air-filled kickballs at me....and then I would be out.

There is, I suppose, a deeper reason for me not liking sports-playing. Apart from the whole being haunted by my past thing, I also tend to avoid situations where there is a chance of me looking like a fool. I'm not really comfortable enough with myself to look downright, ridiculously stupid. Now, those of you who know me may say, "But Michelle, you look like an idiot all the time. You constantly trip on your own shoes, and I've seen your dance moves. You dance like a crazy person!" To you I say, you are absolutely right. I do look like a fool on a regular basis, but this is different. I know, when going into a dancing situation, that I will look dumb. I have accepted that I look dumb, but the main point is that I'm having fun. There is no fun is sports. I hate running, and I hate losing, which always happens when I play sports. I'm not especially competitive, but I only like to play games that I can win. Well, maybe I'm a bit competitive. The point is, I don't play sports, and that is that.

The end.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Just a Little Update

I went to a family party last night and realized, while talking to my cousin Jenny, that I hadn't really circulated a certain bit of news among a good portion of my friends and family. Here is the news: on May 5th, I went to the temple and took out my endowments. I didn't make a big deal out of it for a couple of reasons; first, my cousin was getting married (in the temple) the next week and I was hoping to attend her sealing without her knowing I would be there. Second, and perhaps more importantly, I felt that going to the temple was such a personal and sacred thing that posting it anywhere and everywhere would lessen the magnitude of the event. I finally decided to blog about it because I don't want to seem like I'm hiding it or anything. I'm actually not sharing this particular post on Facebook, but those who follow my blog or check it regularly will see this and be up to date.

I suppose I should throw in a little note as to why I decided to go to the temple at this time. Whenever I told people that I didn't know very well that I was going, they always asked the same three questions: "Are you getting married? (no) Are you going on a mission? (no) So, why are you going?" I've thought about this a lot, and I could give a really long answer or I could just say this: it was time. I truly believe that right now (or rather, last month) is the time for me to take out my endowment, and I'm so glad that I did. It has already been a blessing in my life and I know it will continue to be in the future.

And that's all I have to say about that :) (try to read that in a Forrest Gump voice)

Saturday, June 12, 2010

You Don't Mess Around with Jim or, in this case, Journey

Since the beginning of time, people have been doing song covers (How's that for a ridiculous essay opener? Somewhere, my former English professors are feeling the urge to scream and they don't know why). Even back in medieval times, bards and minstrels put their own spins on the songs that were part of the oral tradition of the time. In the days of Frank Sinatra and Rosemary Clooney, it seemed like everyone sang the same songs in their own way. Sometimes, the best way for an artist to get started is to cover songs, and there are even bands that only perform covers of songs, some dedicated to one single band or artist.

Of course, there are rules in the world of song covering. These rules are in place to protect the hallowed halls of the musical canon, and to avoid a serious backlash for the ambitious artists. One of these rules is to tread very, very lightly when dealing with the sort of song that has become a legend. The kind of song that has the power to unite the entire world, party, or just the group in a car in the cause of singing the beloved words at the top of their lungs in an everlasting salute to the musical geniuses that brought forth the beauty flowing forth from the speakers. You know what I mean?

One such song is "Don't Stop Believin' " by Journey. Perhaps you've heard of it, as it is only one of the greatest songs of all time. As such, it's understandable that any and all musicians may want to play it. Within the first few notes, the audience in attendance will inevitably start cheering with excitement. Here's the catch, though. The song needs to be performed pretty dang close to the original arrangement. I'm not saying that it needs to be exactly the same; that wouldn't really be fair to creative musicians all over the world. All I ask is that it stays pretty close to the original spirit of the song.

What I take issue with (wait, was that a quote from "Sherlock Holmes"?) is the blatant re-creation of this cherished song into something that barely resembles the original masterpiece. This train wreck was, rather forcefully, introduced to me via the music played at my place of employment, the JCP. I heard the intro and thought "Hey! They're playing one of the greatest songs of all time!", but I quickly realized how very, very wrong I was. Shortly after realizing that the music itself was quite different, I heard a voice (although at this moment, memory clouded by my annoyance and outrage, I can't recall whether I heard the whiny boy or whiny girl first) that was certainly not Steve Perry, no not even close. It was....the voice of a Glee cast member.

Now, I should probably take a moment to explain that I have no hard feelings towards Glee and their various cover songs. Although I have never seen the show, I plan to and I'm sure I'll really love it. In fact, I may even enjoy their version of this practically sacred song, but that will only be within the confines of that episode. The thing is, Glee has invaded the radio waves of JCP! I swear that we play like four or five different songs from that show and it's driving me crazy! Recently I've taken to, upon hearing a suspicious cover of a song, calling my dear friend Becca, down in the men's department to find out if the song is from Glee, and it always is. Tonight, I actually just yelled out her name after we had closed because I didn't know where she was. She yelled back that we were, indeed, listening to Glee. You may, at this point, imagine me saying "Glee" with the same amount of distaste that Jerry Seinfeld employed when saying "Newman!"

Why, JCP, why???

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Danger and Adventure, in My Own Backyard

Imagine, if you will, a lovely Sunday afternoon. The sky was clear, the air was warm, and I had just begun my annual summer reading of my favorite book, Pride and Prejudice, on a swing in my backyard. After some time had been passed, basking in the witty banter of Elizabeth Bennett and Mr Darcy, I felt something crawling on my foot. I looked down, assuming it was an ant or other bug that could be swept away. To my horror, however, I saw that there was a wasp on my foot! I have a horrible, horrible fear of wasps and all other related, stinging insects. I've been stung several times in my life and have no wish to be stung again. I tried to remain calm, hoping that the beast would eventually bore of its perch and take flight, but that did not appear to be the wasp's plan. It stayed, and stayed, and, you guessed it, stayed. I moved my foot closer to the grass in an attempt to entice the wasp towards the lush greenery, but alas! my efforts were in vain.

After several more paralyzingly frightening moments, in which the wasp continued to reposition its many legs and move around its thorax (an action which I was certain meant the insect was preparing to sting me), my mind caught hold upon the thought that my brother, Bret, was just inside and could surely come to my rescue. I picked up my phone and called him. The call went a bit like this:
Bret: Hello? (In a questioning tone, wondering why his sister was calling him from outside)
Me: Are you home? (I was afraid that he had left while I was outside)
Bret: Yes.
Me: You have to come save me. There's a wasp on my foot. (I was whispering because I was afraid that excess noise would provoke the monster)
Bret: Ok, I'll be right out.

Moments later, Bret emerged from the house, wearing a straw cowboy hat and wielding a BB gun. I was pretty sure that he did not intend to shoot me, but he did have a gun... My foot began to tremble and I tried to control it, certain that movement would enrage the creature into a violent show of self defense. Bret walked toward me, cocking the gun as he crossed the grassy expanse. I wondered if maybe he planned to poke the wasp off my foot. That concerned me because it seemed likely that such a poke would only anger the wasp and end with me being stung. Bret pointed the gun at my foot and pulled the trigger. The puff of air that came out of the empty barrel shot the wasp off my foot and out of sight. Afraid that the wasp would make a swift and vengeful return, I screamed, gathered my belongings, and ran into the house. My legs were shaking too badly to support my weight, and I had to take a seat, gasping to regain a regular breathing pattern. Bret came in and laid his weapon and hat down. I told him he was my hero, because it was true.

Bret saved my life that day.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

"We Are Men of the Hood"

This blog post is dedicated to the latest movie based on the legend of Robin Hood. I hope that you, lovely readers, will allow me a moment of unprofessionalism (seeings as how I'm not an actual film reviewer) to say how very much I loved, loved, loved this movie. This movie filled my little closet romantic-history minor-medieval studies heart with joy and brought many a chuckle to my throat (okay, they were girlish giggles. Don't judge me.) I loved this movie for many reasons.

1. Russell Crowe: The only movie I have ever seen Russell Crowe in was "A Beautiful Mind" which, while fabulous, did not exactly feature a hero character in the legendary way that Robin Hood is. He played this part fabulously with clever wit, a fabulous accent, and an impressive musculature. I would be lying if I said that I wasn't forced to field multiple temptations to swoon, especially during a particularly romantic scene that was one of my favorite parts of the movie.

2. Cate Blanchett: Perfect for this role. I really loved the enhanced character of Marian in this movie; especially the fact that she actually had a back story more than being a damsel in distress waiting for Robin to save her. I really enjoyed watching the relationship grow between the two of them.

3. Friar Tuck (the character, although the actor was great): Medieval friars were men who had taken vows of poverty and lived among the people. Stereotypical friars in medieval and early modern literature (Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, for example) show friars as lecherous sots who were a mockery of the Catholic church. Some of the Robin Hood tales that involve Friar Tuck actually depict the character in this light. I was really glad to see just a tiny bit of that in Friar Tuck in this movie.

4. Matthew Macfadyen: I have to admit that I was shocked and repulsed when I first saw the man who personified one of the most beloved literary characters of all time playing the low and much-despised Sheriff of Nottingham. Why, I wondered, would this wonderfully handsome gentleman stoop to such a part? (for those who wish to swoon further under this man's influence, check out this recitation of Shakespeare's 29th sonnet.) As the film continued, however, I grew to appreciate the way that Macfadyen played the so often utterly disgusting man. I can't quite put my finger on it, but I really loved the new aspect that was brought to the character.

5. Historical Accuracy: Of course, I am not proposing that this film was one hundred percent historically accurate. That would be a foolish assumption. I would, however, like to point out a couple of things that I noticed and enjoyed. First, the plot involving Richard the Lion-Hearted. Most Robin Hood movies end with Richard returning from the Crusades and saving everyone from the evil Prince John. That's.....not how it happened. Nicely tucked aside from the plots of other movies are the facts that Richard dies and that John actually inherits the crown. Second, the incorporation of the Magna Carta, or at least the road to the historical document. If I go into more detail about this aspect it will probably ruin part of the ending for some of you, so I'll stop there.

So there you have it: my review of "Robin Hood". I hope you enjoyed it. If you didn't, I at least had fun writing it.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

I Wanna Be a JCP Superstar!

Yes, that is every little girl's dream, right? Here is the tale of the JCP Superstar. Last year, there was a contest to re-write the lyrics to one of 25 songs, centering on the JCP Customer Service mottoes, etc. I wrote a lovely song....but didn't win. It was a tragedy felt keenly by all, and sadness prevailed....until now.

When the contest was first announced for this year, I contemplated not even bothering to write an entry. Eventually, supported by my co-workers, I composed a little ditty for submission. I waited a little while to blog about this because one of the supervisors at work warned me of the dangers of JCP Superstar song stealing. The song is to the tune of "Mamma Mia", by ABBA. I had intended to include a link for those of you who don't really know the song, or know the version from the stage musical better (not that there's anything wrong with that!), but the video I watched was just so funny that I'm pretty sure you should all watch it. Ch-check it out. This video, by the way, has led me to the following conclusion: ABBA - wonderful music, hilariously horrible music videos. The video has, however, inspired me for our own music video, should we move on to level two and make one.

Well, without further ado...here is the song. Oh, we were supposed to incorporate Greet, Respect, and Thank in the lyrics.

(No Title - I should probably come up with something awesome)

I've been shopping this mall since I don't know when.
There are some stores in here I won't go to again.
Where am I now? (Assoc.) Hi! Welcome to JCP!
Did you see how...she greeted me at the door?
That's different and that's for sure!
Never seen so much respect in a store,
they thanked me, invited me back for more.

When I'm shopping,
All I ask of you is, please, please, Greet, Respect, and Thank me
JCPenney -
like nobody else. You will Greet, Respect, and Thank me.
Found everything I needed,
my wish-list is completed.
Why, why?
Would I not come back for more?
Now I really know
My, my!
This is my new favorite store!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Try an Enchilada with da Fish a Bac a Lab

I've been fond of Rosemary Clooney for a long time, ever since my dad first introduced me to "White Christmas", that spectacular Vista Vision presentation dedicated to all things Bing Crosby, with the help of the hilarious Danny Kaye, the elegant Vera Ellen and, of course, the glamorous Miss Rosemary Clooney. I'll admit now that Vera was my preferred lady in that movie when I was younger; I envied her dancing ability and wondered why Rosemary and Bing didn't dance as much as Vera and Danny. As I got older and gained a great appreciation for my own vocal cords (and realized with shock that Vera's ribcage was most unhealthily protruding from her torso), I started to look at Rosemary Clooney with a greater degree of admiration.

This was my personal opinion of Rosemary for many years until this semester. I've been in a class that is focused on African-American poetry after 1945 (hang on, I promise it relates). We've discussed many times in class the frequency which the various poets incorporate references to jazz in their poetry, and we listened to Peggy Lee sing a song called "Blues in the Night". One day, while listening to the radio, I heard a rendition of the same song by Rosemary, which I enjoyed immensely. The song stayed in my head for a few days, as songs often do, and eventually I sought out the song directly by looking it up on youtube (for your viewing/listening pleasure...). After listening to that song, I listened to a few others and became more attuned to the sound of Rosemary's voice.

With the stress of graduation leaning upon me, I've taken lately to coming home and heading straight to the computer to listen to a little jazz or swing. Somehow, listening to Rosemary sing "Tenderly" or "Hey There" calms me down and helps me get on with the rest of the day. I played "Mambo Italiano" for my 4 year old niece and she insisted on playing it again and again, dancing and playing her toy piano along with the music.

People don't record music like that much anymore. Back then, it was about the band/orchestra and the voice, the pure voice, of the singer. It wasn't about the best way to get the bass going or the greatest mixing job; it was about the music, and I love it.

P.S. Fun Fact: The song "Come On-a My House", which Rosemary sang but never really liked, was written by Ross Bagdasarian, creator of The Chipmunks....and those of you who know and love the movie "The Chipmunk Adventure" will recognize the title as the song that Miss Miller sings when Dave calls from Europe.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The Home Stretch

On one point, at least, I agree with T.S. Eliot: April is the cruelest month. Not only is it a month where the Utah weather goes back and forth, toying with our emotions and immunity systems as it tries to decide if it wants to stay in winter or move on to spring, but April is the month where a young student's fancy turns to thoughts...of the end of the semester (you thought I was going to say love, didn't you? Well, who has time for that in the face of impending finals? Although, if someone asked me, I'm sure I could make the time ;) ). April is the month that begins with finals a month away, but morphs within a couple of weeks to a time of panic, when you realize that, although finals are indeed in the next month, they are really only a day or two after the end of April. You begin compiling a mental tally of everything that you need to complete in the remaining few weeks of the semester. Here is mine:
~18 pages total on any topic involving African-American Poetry after 1945
~6-7 pgs on Henry James' "The Jolly Corner"
~6-7 pgs of personal memoir for Creative Non-Fiction
~Adobe Flash project....
Add to all this that this is my final semester and I would like to go out with a bang - with good grades. In the wake of all of this, I went to Lee's and picked up some necessary supplies: Dr Pepper, Easy Cheese, Chocolate Twizzlers, and toothpaste (I was nearly out). I tend to turn to junk food when I'm stressed; probably not the best solution, but whatever. Anyway, now that I've vented to the cyberworld, I'll be heading off to be productive. Wish me luck!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

My Dog Can Beat Up Your Dog

Today, as I left the house for class I saw a tiny dog in a sweater. The tiny dog was walking across my lawn and stopped for a moment to look at me. It looked like it was contemplating barking at me, but then it moved on, turning around every few steps to look at me again. I thought about saying to the dog "You don't intimidate me! Who do you think you are, tiny sweatered dog, to look at me so menacingly? That sweater denies you of any sort of terror you might hope to muster up with your itsy-bitsy yippity dog bark." The thought occurred to me that I could bring my own dog out and he could probably beat the crap out of that insignificant puff ball varmint.

I think that if you're going to have a dog, you should go big or go home. My paternal grandma had poodles and other small dogs when I was growing up. One of her poodles, Gidget, was a fat lap dog. I had no problems with this dog, plus I was a considerably smaller person. Her other poodle, Pokey, was....a unique dog. He wasn't albino, I don't think, but he had red eyes and white hair, including a shock of hair on the top of his head that stood straight up as if it he had been traipsing about an electro-magnetic field. When my grandma died, her dogs went to new homes, and while we eventually heard of Gidget's passing, we never heard anything about Pokey. We're pretty sure that he's still wandering the earth.

The dog we have now, Sherlock, is a big dog. I don't really think of him as a big dog, since I'm used having him around, but everyone says that he is big. I like that he is a substantial dog. When I hear those songs and sayings about how the more boys a girl meets, the more she likes her dog, I think about Sherlock. Sometimes, a girl comes home and needs a hug, and if no one is available a dog can do a pretty good job of it. Plus, I feel safe having Sherlock around. I would never dream of sending a rat dog to do the job of a real dog.

Now, the down side of having such a big dog is that they are hard to care for, like taking them for walks and such. I can take Sherlock out, but it takes a lot of arm strength to do it. For this reason, I will probably not own a dog of my own for quite some time. Maybe when I'm married and my husband can be buff and walk the dog, I will reconsider, but at this point I would rather live without a dog than succumb to the fate of the tiny dog owner. Here's to you, big dogs!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

My Own Personal Jean Valjean

Today, I woke up with a migraine. However, this story is not about the migraine. The migraine was merely the setting for a story to take place. I had taken some prescription medication and eaten half a roll (so something would be in my stomach) before rolling back into bed to wait it out. I had placed the roll on my bed next to my pillow in case my stomach decided to admit any more nutrition. Anyway, as I lay in bed, keeping my eyes covered and willing my Imitrex to kick in, I heard my dog enter the room. He had been sniffing at my roll earlier and I assumed he was coming to get a closer look. I sensed that he lingered, and though the pain in my eye was excruciating and I was using all my will power not to throw up, I knew that my dog had stolen the roll from beside my pillow. I knew that when I opened my eyes and looked over, my roll would be gone.

And so it was. Luckily, the migraine passed and as I turned to get up and get ready for class, I saw that the roll was gone. What's more, there was no sign of the roll. Either he consumed it in its entirety or it is hidden somewhere in the bowels of the house...or something less dramatic than that.

Either way....my roll was gone.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

What I did today

I've decided to bypass all of the events in my recent past and move forward to blog. I went to Disneyland/California over Spring Break and had a simply fabulous time.

I have two stories to share today.

Story One: I was sitting in my first class today when I heard a suspicious groan. I looked across the classroom just in time to witness one of my classmates pass out and keel over in her chair. There was a moment when everyone froze, but after that the class jumped into action. The students sitting next to her got her out of her chair and onto the ground. The professor ran to the office for help while another student called 911. When Dr. McCuskey returned to the classroom, he dismissed us...and we left. I later found out that an ambulance came to pick her up. I also received an e-mail from our professor letting everyone know that the girl is ok.

Story Two: I noticed at work today that our ultrasonic jewelry cleaner was disgustingly gross. The water was so murky that I couldn't see to the bottom. Yuck. Rather than resorting to my usual kindly but generally ineffective notes to my supervisor, I decided to hype up the drama in hopes that it would catch the attention of the department supervisor. I wrote a note that sounded a little like this:

Dear Jayne,
There is a crisis at hand in the Jewelry department, the effects of which are lowered morale and physical ailment to all those to gaze at the terror. Please check your e-mail for an incriminating photo of the offending party (the origin of this photo is a mystery to me, as I am mystified as to how this photo came into being). Please help us, Jayne! You are our only hope.
Sincerely, A Concerned Jewelry Associate

This is the picture that I sent to Jayne's e-mail:

As you can see, it is rather upsetting. A note for those of you who don't work at JCP: the reason I said that the picture was a mystery is because we're really not supposed to have our cell phones on the floor...but this picture was taken with a cell phone. A couple of co-workers/friends told me that Jayne would obviously know it was me, but that's not really the point. I'm hoping that by going over the top, Jayne will remember to clean the ultrasonic machine....that or maybe she'll see this blog post. Hmmm.

Thursday, March 4, 2010


Ok, this week has been super crazy with school and I haven't been able to blog about the exciting events of my life. Here's a quick recap:

-I officially sold the Deathcab to Heather and starting driving the Sable
-My new niece was born!
-My dog did something funny and I decided to blog about how he likes to sleep on my bed
-I wrote an essay on Poe and The Uncanny and felt like discussing how I come up with essay titles

I'm still planning (or at least hoping) to give each of these their own posts, but I wanted to fill you all in for the few of you out there (if you even exist) who hang on my every blogged word.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

A note on fashion...

Dressing fashionably is tough. Some days, it's hard enough just to put together a regular outfit, let alone trying to mix it up and try out something new. It takes courage to take a risk on something new. Sometimes it ends up being fabulous, and sometimes it just doesn't work out. You have to weigh the pros and cons of each situation. Living where we do, it's sometimes hard to find the latest trends that one might see in magazines or on TV. Also, we don't always have the money to buy new things. For example, rather than buying a flower headband, I pinned a flower pin that I had to a stretchy headband. BAM! New headband and I didn't pay anything for it.

Sometimes, however, you really just can't replace the actual thing. I was reminded of this during one of my classes today. A young man was wearing a suit coat with jeans and a casual button-up shirt. However, he was wearing a churchy suit coat, rather than a blazer, which is the usual article for such a combination. This being the case, he looked a bit awkwardly dressed, sort of like he wasn't sure where he was going today and just threw on a bunch of clothing. I pondered on why the choice in jacket should make such a difference and I decided that the blazer works better than the suit coat for two reasons: first, fabrication. Generally, the blazers you see in casual situations aren't smooth, silky fabrics. They're usually rougher fabrics with interesting texture. Second, fit. The jacket that the well-meaning boy in my class was wearing was relatively loose fitting. He may have gotten away with it had the jacket not looked so awkwardly large. I sort of wanted to pull him aside and say "Oh, dear....no". I do sort of feel for him, though. In my quest for originality of dress, I've certainly had my failures from time to time, which is why, despite the awkwardness of the faux pas, I congratulate this young fellow for his boldness in attempting a new trend. But, seriously, he shouldn't wear that again.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The Joys of Chubbuck

On Sunday, Amanda, Bergs, and I journeyed northward into Idaho to visit a former Primary teacher/Young Women's leader in Chubbuck. Sister Steph was gracious enough to let us enter her super cute home and visit her and her cute family for a few hours. Seriously, her house is like the cutest house ever. I wish I had taken pictures of it. Here are the pictures I did take, however.
Here we are with our goody bags that Steph gave us, full of awesomely cute stuff.

These are a couple of cute hair things with a box of wonderful Canadian Smarties. Canadian Smarties are kind of like m&m's, but better. The chocolate tastes like Sixlet chocolate. I told Steph that I remembered buying Smarties in Canada and how delicious they were, and she opened her pantry and had a huge giant box of them! So I got some Canadian Smarties.

Here are the very cute magnets that Steph let me take from her giant magnet board. The green one is a tiny dress with a tiny hanger (so cute!) and the black and white one is actually a matchbook notepad.

This is Steph's super cute magnet board. It's made of metal screwed to a frame of wall moulding. So awesome! All together, it was a really fun time and I hope we go back again.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Update: Numbering the Days of the Deathcab

Those of you who are familiar with my vehicle, the Deathcab, may be surprised to discover that the ol' Deathcab was never intended to be the car to carry me throughout my entire driving lifetime. I know, it's a shocker. For a while, I've been saying that I planned to buy my dad's car but it's been taking a long time to get that all together, mainly because I kept putting off the necessary inspection and registration. You will all be proud to know that my prospective car has been inspected, and we should be getting the registration done on Monday. It's sort of a weird situation because this is actually the car that I drove in high school (I just didn't own it). Since it's my high school car, it has all these awesome stickers that I got from seminary. For those of you who attended Logan High: "amped", "surrender", and "BOM". I'm trying to decide if it's worth it to try and scrape off all those super-rad stickers. If nothing else, I definitely need to get rid of the "KCI Rocks!" vanity plate....that really needs to go.

Other questions have plagued my mind with the passing of the Deathcab ownership: am I still the Deathcab's Cutie, or does this title transfer to the next owner of the car (my sister)? Of course, this leads to another question: if I lose my title, do I have to change the title of my blog? It took me a long time to come up with this one; I don't know if I could come up with one equally awesome. Man, I had no idea there were so many complications involved with selling my car!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


After discussing a recent blog post with a good friend of mine, I came to the conclusion that I may have insulted an entire group of lovely young fellows. I decided to write this amendment to inform the masculine masses that I'm not as stuck up as I may have appeared. For your information, I would not hold it against a worthy young man if he were not a genius. I only meant that I would like to date someone who had different interests/knowledge that I have, demonstrated by a moment of me feeling like an "idiot". That is all I meant. To make up for this, I'm including a list of other things that I find attractive:

1. Good hair
2. The ability to make me laugh
3. Handyman skills
4. Affectionate
5. The ability to quote movies

Once again.....these are not requirements. They are just ideas, like bonuses. Having clarified myself, I now close this blog post feeling a little bit less like a jerk and a little more like a normal single Mormon girl.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

What's this? Happy Anniversary? I'll take it.

I got a card in the mail today from my place of employment, good ol' JCP. Not from corporate JCP; they only send information for stockholders or my 401k. This was from the local store. I was confused before I opened it because the only cards I ever get from JCP are for my birthday, which is 5 months from now. Taking the card from the envelope and saw the words "Happy Anniversary". I was perplexed for a moment because, as you know, I am not married. I soon realized that the "anniversary" to which the card referred was my anniversary working at the JCP. This month I will have been employed at JCP for a total of 6 years. 6 years! I look back at who I was six years ago and it's a total difference. Of course I wouldn't say that working at JCP has shaped my character and made me who I am today, but I've definitely grown as a result of working there. My supervisor, Jayne, likes to remind me that I've turned into a total fashionista while working at JCP, and I think she's right. For example, six years ago I would never even consider wearing colored tights or red plaid skinny jeans. Other things I wouldn't have done six years ago? Leave my social bubble, wear even relatively dramatic makeup, flirt, and of course write goofy songs and sing them at Village Inn and other locations around town. I guess you could say that I've grown more during my years at JCP than any other period in my life. Of course, it just so happens that most people change a lot during their early 20s regardless of whether they work at JCP or not, but that just isn't as sentimental a thought. So here's to my 6 years at JCP...and here's hoping that I get a new job before the 7th comes to an end because, let's face it. Soon I'll be a college graduate and should really try to move on ;)

Friday, February 5, 2010

My Mind Rebels at Stagnation

Tonight I saw "Sherlock Holmes" for the second time (totally awesome and you should all see it), and I came to an interesting conclusion. I am attracted to arrogantly intelligent men. I suppose I've always known this, but for some reason it clicked during this movie and I was able to provide myself with the clever phrasing of my condition. I began thinking about this the other day while reading Nikki's blog about her attraction to cocky guys. I'm not attracted to guys who are merely cocky; men wrapped up in their own appearances or general awesomeness are rarely worth involving in an intelligent conversation either because they can't focus on it or simply lack the ability. Of course, I also don't want some guy who just spouts out knowledge without any connection to the conversation at hand. There's a happy medium between the know-it-all and the guy who likes to pretend that he's not smart, an infuriating sort of modesty that you really want to admire but can't quite bring yourself to.

I have a couple of models for this mysterious and most likely non-existent enigma of masculinity: Sherlock Holmes (as played by Robert Downey, Jr.; sadly I have never actually read the stories) and Benjamin Franklin Gates (as played by Nicholas Cage in the "National Treasure" movies). These men, albeit fictional characters, have a sort of off-handed way of making their intelligence known. Sherlock Holmes uses extreme attention to detail as the basis of his deductive reasoning, but what makes him different from other simply observant characters (like, say, Shawn Spencer) is that he combines the details with his extensive knowledge and comes to a conclusion by way of his genius. Of course, it doesn't hurt that his period clothing, carelessly mussed hair, and strategically unshaven facial hair make him next to devastatingly handsome. While Nicholas Cage isn't nearly as handsome as Robert Downey, Jr., his character does have a vast amount of historical knowledge that he also uses to concoct plans such as stealing the Declaration of Independence or sneaking a peek at the matching Resolute desks. These men win because of their minds. Even when Holmes wins a fight, it's because he has evaluated his opponents' weaknesses and taken advantage of them with efficiency.

Now, I realize that this is asking a lot of the menfolk out there. I'm not saying he has to be a genius, and he doesn't even have to know the same things that I know. In fact, I would love it if I could actually feel stupid around a guy for just a minute. Let me make my meaning on this absolutely clear. I am not saying that I am so much smarter than every guy that they are all idiots. I am not saying that I am not able to have great conversations with guys. And I am absolutely not saying that I want a guy to treat me like I'm an idiot or make me feel bad about myself. What I mean is that I would love for a guy to go off on a subject for just a minute about a topic way over my head. This probably sounds weird, but I really respect intelligent guys. I've been told before that I am a smart girl. Whether or not that's actually true is debatable, but I've also heard that guys can be intimidated by smart girls. I would love to let the tables be turned on me, not to appear like some weak-minded female, but to let the guy know that he definitely has the upper hand in some part of the relationship. This is all starting to sound a little crazy. I really hope that my readers will take what I'm saying with a grain of salt and look for the meaning of my rant rather than hold my own words against me.

One more note: I know you're probably all going to tell me that I'm being too picky and that I shouldn't overlook a perfectly great guy because he doesn't perfectly fit the mold. Don't worry; I have no intention of turning this into some unbreakable rule that all guys must measure up to, that would be ridiculous. I'm just ranting about the possibilities of the ideal.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Funny, Freud never mentioned that one...

I would like to submit for your consideration the English major complex. We as English majors own a certain amount of arrogance. Don't get me wrong; most of us are delightful people who can still function as valuable members of society and get along with people, but deep down we're really quite arrogant. Why are we arrogant, you may ask? I'll tell you. Our arrogance mainly stems from two sectors: professors and the mocking public. English majors (no matter their emphasis) spend a fair amount of time poring over texts and expressing their opinions. Anything we say is valid as long as we can support it with evidence from the text, even if that evidence is as minor as the capitalization of a single word or the use of alliteration in a line of poetry. Our professors applaud us even when we are incorrect. This leads us to think that we can do no wrong.

We also draw our arrogance out of the defense of our major. People make fun of us and, rather than simply defending ourselves, we use the existing arrogance to make out that we are better than everyone else.

I would also like to mention that we English majors also plan to change the world. Not in a "Save the Whales" sort of way, but in an "I've written the most amazing book and you are all brought to tears" sort of way. Just a side note.

Principle in practice: a couple of my friends and I are taking a class outside of the English department to learn how to use Flash. Nikki and I, rather than asking for help from the professor, prefer to figure it out by ourselves away from the prying eyes of judgment. We do this because we don't like to be told we're wrong while we're trying to figure it out on our own. We know we'll have to mess around with the program and make mistakes along the way, but we also know that we'll figure it out eventually given the right resources. We don't want anyone to tell us how to do our projects. We want to be right and we want to get there on our own.

And that, my friends, is a look inside my head.

P.S. I'm really not a jerk...I'm just a little arrogant...and only some of the time ;)

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

How Microsoft Word Broke My Dreams

One of my favorite features of Word is the ability to add words to your "dictionary" so that the program will recognize it and stop underlining it with that vicious-looking squiggly red line. This situation presented itself last night as I was writing a response for an essay I read. The sentence read like so: "[The author] seemed to be making an attempt to quell the concerns of an ocean of trepidatious writers". As I reviewed with pride the line that I had written, I saw the the word "trepidatious" was underlined with that squiggly red line! I thought to myself, Surely this fabulous word is actually real. Could it be that I have made up a word that no one has thought to use before? I decided that whether it was real or not, I would leave it in my paper and add the word to my handy dandy dictionary (not to be confused with the handy dandy notebook). As I selected "Add to Dictionary", I expected the judgment of the red squiggle to fade away, leaving only the happiness of a new word learned behind it. Alas, this was not to be. No matter how many times I tried to add "trepidatious" to my dictionary, Word refused to actually add the word and the squiggle remained! Why, Word, why?! I questioned in pain. Why do you not allow me to add words to my dictionary? I really have no idea why it wouldn't work. I've added all sorts of words: French words, Shakespearean words, even Middle English. I was completely baffled.

The story ends thusly (which is definitely a word that I had to add to the dictionary): I printed my response out and turned it in, regardless of the opinion of my word processing software. Later, as I prepared to commit this tale to my blog, I looked up the word to find out once and for all if it was actually a real word. The answer...is yes! Trepidatious is a word! If you care to see the physical proof, you may do so here.

And that is how Microsoft Word broke (or at least attempted to break) my dreams.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

The Latest...

Last night we had a JCP party at Village Inn. As per tradition, I wrote a song. I like to re-write lyrics to songs for my JCP friends. Last night's was not my finest work. It's not unusual for me to write songs the night that I'll be performing them, but I wrote this one super fast and it's not the great. Nonetheless, I have chosen to put the words and video (taken by my friend/co-worker's phone) on my blog to share. To liven things up, I made knife puppets with the letters "J', "C", and "P" and handed them out to the audience. The song doesn't really have a title, and is to the tuen of "Dancing Queen" by ABBA. Here are the words:

Friday night here at Village Inn,
You've all been anticipatin'
Wonderin' if there would be a song
Wonderin' if there'd be a song
a song written by me.

Sharing stories and crackin' jokes
Dr. Peppers and Diet Cokes
Wondering what you should order
Wondering who will be here
at Village Inn tonight.

It's such a lovely sight.

Party with JCP
You and me in great company.
We are soooo awesome, yeah, wouldn't you agree?
Oh yeah!

Eat some pie! Eat a fry!
Having the time of your night.
Oooo- Tomorrow we'll work, but tonight we're free.
Party JCP!

You can watch the video here.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Make it true, Alex, make it true.

What's this? What's this? A reference to my favorite game show on the planet? Heck yes! Your favorite Deathcab Cutie (or at least, I hope your favorite. How many Deathcab Cuties could there be?) has officially registered for the online JEOPARDY! test. This is how it happened. I received an e-mail the other day informing me of upcoming online tests. I decided to register for the College Tournament, but when I got to the page I saw that the locations for the next round of in-person auditions were all really far away. I gave up for the moment, but after receiving encouragement I decided to go for it anyway and see what happened. The second time I went to register, I realized that I wasn't eligible for the College Tournament because I'm graduating this semester so I decided to go for the Adult test and, lo and behold, there was an in-person audition possibility in Salt Lake City, UT! So I am now officially registered to take the test and will be doing so in two weeks. Even if nothing else ever happens, I'm really excited to just give it a chance, just to see.

How cool would it be if I got on JEOPARDY!, though?

Monday, January 11, 2010

"Yeah, it's the Rockies!"

Confession: I have seen Dumb and Dumber, and while it is far from my favorite and would not be my pick if given a choice, I will admit that there are some funny moments. One such moment is when Jim Carrey (I don't really remember their character names) tells Jeff Daniels that he's wearing an extra pair of gloves because they're in the Rockies, a moment I was reminded of when I pulled on an extra pair of gloves this morning. Today was the first day of the semester, of my last semester (!), and even though I only had an aerobics class that got out early I still got the rush that comes from being on campus and being among students. I love the first day of classes, when you make the trek up in the bitter cold (or sweltering August heat), search for your classroom and take a seat, anxiously awaiting the entrance of the professor and wondering whether you will actually know any of your classmates. I always feel the excitement to learn combined with the apprehension that comes of not fully knowing what the class entails or not being familiar with the professor teaching that class. I love it all. In some ways, I'm a little saddened that this will be my last semester, but I really think that I'm ready to move on with my life. I've finally become reconciled to the idea of getting a real job, moving out of my parents house, and depending on myself for my survival. This coming year holds a lot of major events for me, and I'm really looking forward to becoming an "adult". Wish me luck!