Saturday, October 31, 2009

Dropping 2x4s on Your Head Explains A Lot . . .

So there was a marching band competition today. Two blocks away from our house. I had three cousins competing, and Shay's band was there too. So naturally, I went. It was a little weird . . . the first competition I've ever gone to as a spectator. First one since I graduated high school. Very weird, and very nostalgic.

Of all the things I loved about high school - and I am one of those weirdos who did enjoy high school, for the most part - color guard is probably what I miss the most. I've almost never felt more accomplished than I did the first time I actually caught a quad. I'd been working on it for literally months, so it was a really big deal. I loved everything about being in color guard . . . well, except for the drama that crept in a couple of times. And the lack of funding for equipment and uniforms. I have never seen any guard uniforms uglier than the ones we wore my first two years - they were terrible!!!! Black pants so baggy you could fit four or five people in each leg, white leotards and horrible teal vests . . . we looked like the wait staff of a pretending-to-be-upscale restaurant in a really REALLY bad, really low-budget movie.

I'd always loved the color guard. I remember being a little kid in Idaho Falls and always getting excited when the marching bands and guard came past during the fourth of July parade. I called them flag twirlers since I didn't know what they actually were . . . not an inaccurate description, but it sounds kind of silly to me now. Anyway, that was always the part of the Macy's parade when it would be the hardest to tear me away from the TV - when the bands and guards came through. The dancers were amazing and cheerleaders were great, but something about the spinning flags always mesmerized me. So at the end of ninth grade when I found out that a few of my friends were planning on joining the color guard, of course I jumped at the chance too.

There weren't try-outs for guard at the time . . . mostly because the number of interested people was so low that they took anyone who was interested. That got the number of girls in the guard up to a pretty good number in proportion with the size of the band, and we all worked hard, so we weren't too terrible either. I missed the information meeting at the end of the year because I had play practice . . . and since none of my friends passed on the information I missed almost the whole summer. Thankfully the band teacher was at the time was pretty awesome and let me join right before band camp, which was right before school started. (go ahead, make your "one time at band camp" jokes. I'll wait. Okay, moving on . . . ) I got a pretty crazy crash course in flag twirling, but I managed to catch up with everyone else, more or less. Granted, there I dropped a lot of tosses at first - and by dropped I mean there were a lot of metal poles landing on my head. And starting the next year, a lot of wooden rifles landing on my head. But my senior year I was the assistant drill mistress . . . which sounds more impressive than it actually was, since all of the senior girls had a spot in the guard presidency. And half of the remaining guard members were my sisters. Yeah, we were pretty small.

Guard was definitely the thing I as saddest to leave behind when I went to college. That's probably at least partially because it was the first thing that was obviously missing. Normally a couple of weeks after school got out I would have been back at school for marching band, but that year . . . nothing. It was so very sad. :-(

I'm definitely going to have to make it to more than just one competition next year. Watching really isn't the same, but it's fun in it's own way too. Especially critiquing the guard costumes - some are really cute, some are hideous, and some are just plain bizarre. But most especially admiring the flags, which are almost always beautiful. And can still mesmerize me.

P. ost S. cript
So . . . it's officially holiday time, and you know what that means - crap loads of toy commercials!! So in the perfect combination of Halloween and Christmas, I present this little bit of creepiness. Note: if that episode of The Twilight Zone with the creepy talking dolly scares you, you might want to pass on this one. You just might have nightmares.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Honey, I Shrunk the Halloween Bags!

So I remembered something a couple of days ago that I hadn't thought about in years. Before Rian was born we girls acquired some really cute trick or treat bags I scarcely remember them . . . but they were a nighttime scene with cutesy little pumpkins and I think black cats and bats on them. I loved it. Our names were written on the bottom, and every year we had to make sure that we each had the right bag - Ashli especially threw a fit if she wasn't carrying her bag.

The thing I remember most is how small they were. Seriously, tiny. Maybe five inches tall. 5 by 3 by 2, or something like that, I'd guess. But when we first got them they seemed huge. And then they would get packed away on November first . . . and when we got them out the next year they always seemed smaller than I remembered. Mom never believed me when I told her they'd shrank in the garage in the heat. :-)

Rian got to start using my bag when I turned 12. I wasn't allowed to go trick or treating anymore. Mom said I was too old . . . LAME!!! I still think that's one of the dumbest things I've ever heard. How else is a 12-year-old supposed to have fun on Halloween?! There weren't any parties for me to go to - all my friends were trick or treating. And even if there had been a party I wouldn't have been allowed to go. And everybody knows that only the losers stay home and pass out candy . . . my social life, if I'd had one, would have been so over. As it was I spent the whole night praying no one I knew would come to our door. And then I lost even the candy handing out "privilege" when it was discovered that I was giving out two pieces of candy instead of one. The horror!!

You know, I'm pretty sure Mom made up the trick or treating age limit because she hates Halloween. No enthusiasm for the holiday at all. So sad.

Anyway . . . yeah. The bag. It was so cute, but so tiny. It probably would have been more humiliating to go trick or treating with that bag than to be caught handing out treats, which is saying something!! :-) I'd love to use it now to decorate though . . . but I doubt Mom even still has it. Probabl got tossed the second Rian got back after his last year trick or treating. Again, so sad. :-(

Wanna see something scary? Just in time for Halloween . . . eeeeekkk!!! I think I'm glad I'm not a kid at Halloween these days!! So very, very wrong.

Anyway, I'm done rambling. Just some remembrances of Ghosts of Halloween Past. :-)

P. ost S. cript
Is there anything more awesome than pumpkin launching? This time of year, my answer is no. So here's a flaming pumpkin . . . because you can't really see the non-flaming pumpkins.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Did I Mention . . .

I realized late yesterday that in all my gushing about fall, I forgot one of the best/most important aspects of this time of year . . . TV HOLIDAY SPECIALS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Can I just say that I remember life practically revolving around the yearly specials when I was little . . . mostly because these were the very, very few times we were allowed to stay up past our ridiculously early bedtime. (don't even get me started on that one . . . although a post about it will probably show up sooner or later . . . ) That, and they're pretty freaking awesome. And since you only saw them once a year there was just the right blend of familiarity and newness to them - you know? I know the "Gimmie, gimmie, gimmie" song from Garfield's Christmas Special, but I could never sing it.

I was always sad that there were so few Halloween specials, but Garfield and Charlie Brown are so classic!!! I still get a little freaked out remembering the pirates in the Garfield special - dude, that part was SCARY!!!!!!!!! And The Great Pumpkin would probably still crack me up. A person who doesn't laugh at Peanuts must have, like, no soul or something. No personality. No heart . . . something.

December was by far the best though, since there was a special on practically every night - score! Holy cow, how much do I love claymation animation! So fake . . . but so cute. By far my favorite Christmas special was "A Claymation Christmas." Does anyone else out there remember that one? It had these two dinosaurs who introduced . . . well, I guess you'd call them music videos of Christmas carols and were very Odd Couple-y. And these other creatures kept showing up singing "Here We Come A-Wassailing," only they'd sing it wrong. A gaggle of geese sing "a-waddling" and waffle vendors sing "a-waffling" and the uptight dinosaur keeps having these minor freak outs when they sing it wrong. I always had the distinct impression that Mom didn't like this one very much . . . that might have had a bit of an influence on my opinion of it. Anyway, when I was about 8 or 9 they stopped showing it, which was very depressing. And ever since then whenever the subject of holiday specials has come up (more often than one would think!) I always ask if anybody remembers that one. I was really beginning to think I had imagined it or something, because NOBODY ever knew what I was talking about. And then two years ago I told Luke about how it was my favorite and I couldn't find it anywhere and nobody else ever remembered it . . . and what do you think I got for Christmas that year? Dude, I was ecstatic. By that time we were engaged (although I'm tolerably certain that he bought it before he proposed) and I told him flat out that he could forget about ever getting me a better present because seriously? Some things just cannot be topped.

And then we watched it. And it's a bit trippier than I remembered . . . lots trippier than I remembered. Like, super trippy. I can see why Mom probably didn't care for it. But the trippiness only made me love it more. Seriously, why aren't they showing this on TV anymore?!

I'm so glad we get ABC and NBC and CBS on our TV . . . sadly, that's all we get. But as much as I love youtube, watching the specials on TV will be much better. Between the bigger screen and the nostalgia factor, I will be in heaven. And I can watch the Macy's parade next month!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I've missed the parade for the last three years, and that was probably the most depressing thing for me about having to work on Thanksgiving. You do NOT mess with my holiday traditions! Come 10:00 Thanksgiving Day I am parking my butt in front of the TV and only moving during commercials until I see Santa coming down Broadway. Good times.

Have I mentioned that I absolutely love and adore this time of yer, by any chance?

Lukeism for the day, in case you missed it on facebook: Our 50th anniversary . . . that's in, what, thirty years?
. . . I thought I was bad at math. :-)

P. ost S. cript
Three for one! How could I post anything else? Enjoy!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Just Sayin'

As of tomorrow I will have worked four days this week - yay!!

If I had the ability to be in multiple places at once, I could have worked ten. And that's assuming I don't get any last minute calls tomorrow morning.

If any of you know someone working on a cloning device, or time travel, or something else that would work this out for me, hook me up! You'll be my hero forever. ;-)

*brought to you by the Broke Newlyweds Foundation*

P. ost S. cript
The Long Hunt For Legends of the English Terminator Cousin Part 3: Cruise Control?!?!?! I have GOT to see that movie!!!!! . . . Now when exactly is it hitting theaters? That part left me a little confused . . . ;-)

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Good News Minute

This is shaping up to be a great week!!

1~ I got a call yesterday to sub today at Millville - score! (side note - these kids were much more fun than the other kids I've had at Millville . . . hmmmmmmmm . . . ) Whilst I was subbing today I got a text from Aunt Loretta asking me to sub Thursday at North Park - score again!! I've had this Friday scheduled at Millville since three weeks ago - triple score!!! And just now the lady I subbed for today called and asked me to sub for her again tomorrow - HOME FREAKING RUN!!!! This is quite possibly the makings of the larges paycheck I've had in almost a year . . . yay!!

2~ Yesterday Luke got to set a permanent schedule . . . yay!! He now works four ten hour days and has three days off - which is a pretty cushy gig, I gotta say. I had that schedule for a while at Disney, and it kind of rocked. Like, super rocked. 4-10s are the best!! And he has set days off now, which is abso-freaking-lutely awesome. He's off Sunday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. So no Friday ir Saturday night dinners out, but it's not like you can go anywhere in Logan on those nights anyway unless you make reservations ages in advance or something. We know - we've tried a couple of times. Seriously, does EVERYONE in Cache Valley go out to eat every Friday and Saturday night?! It sure seems like it . . .

Best part - Sundays off!!! It's great, because Luke's only been to church twice since August when the schedule changed. I gotta say, that was the weirdest thing. Apparently the student wards around here change times with the school year instead of the calender year, which makes sense . . . I guess. Sort of. I guess it's just weird to me because I haven't been in a ward that changed times in seven years. The student wards in Cedar don't change. And it would have caused nightmares on about a million levels if our ward in Florida had changed times.

Anyway. I'm so glad, because it's really lonely going to a married student ward by yourself. It's even worse than sitting by yourself in a singles' ward . . . and I'd done that . . . well, for more or less seven years. And it's probably totally my imagination, beause everybody at church is pretty much great, but I haven't been able to help feeling a little bit judged and condemned when I'm there alone. It's like when they say "oh, that's too bad that he has to work on Sunday," you can almost hear the rest of the sentence - "you two just must not be praying hard enough or something. If were more righteous like all of us you would have a job with Sundays off." You know? I'm sure it's my imagination . . . being fed by the knowledge that there really are people out there who would really think that, and maybe even say it out loud. I hate people like that with a passion.

Aaaaaanyway, moving on from the downer-type stuff - did you know is doing this amazing ten-week sweepstakes thing to celebrate ten years of having the wish list feature? Too cool. This week they're giving away TONS of awesome kitchen stuff - new appliances, Paula Deen and Mario Battali cookware, a huge pyrex set . . . this is one sweet giveaway! And this is only week two (so sad that I missed week one!), which means there's tons more aweseom prizes coming. Check it out - you gotta enter. Although if you win I ust might have to hate you forever because holy crap, I want some of that stuff!! But if I win and you ask reeeeeeeeeally nicely I just might give you the fridge or stove or dishwasher. Since there's no way I'm putting them in this apartment and leaving them here when we leave (whenever that is) and we have no place to store them.

Addendum: Okay, so I just looked, and week 1's prize was a bunch of crap from the crappy Twilight movies. I'm not so sad I missed it anymore. But there's some cool stuff coming up!!

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Have you seen this yet?! I'm not the Jon Schmidt junkie that Ashli is, but this? Pretty fantabulous.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Mixed Messages

So I worked again two days last week. Yay!! Double yay, because I didn't work at all the week before. And like the first week I worked, I had one day at Millville and one day at North Park. After two days at each place I'm starting to notice some differences.

Millville has a really confusing and maze-like layout to it. I'm seriously not sure I'll ever figure out where everything is . . . it's all ramps and stairs and halls and curves and first grade classrooms next to fifth grade classrooms and what-the-crap-is-going-on-ness. North Park, on the other hand, is really easy to navigate. Two halls, and a hal to connect them. Imagine the symbol for pi . . . only the top hall is straight, not wavy. :-) Plus with North Park all the tutoring is done in groups, so even if I got lost there's someone around to show me where I'm going - at Millville I'm pretty much on my own. Crap.

But the biggest difference is the kids. The kids at North Park can get restless and rowdy sometimes, but it's been pretty easy to keep them on task, even when I have no idea what that task really is. But I can make it up as I go along and they just roll with it and are generally cute and adorable, and I go home and tell Luke how I wish I could take on of them home with me because they're just so cute!

The Millville kids are little terrors. Not paying attention, interupting, every time I try to pause and look at the teacher book (that always makes feel just as important as it did when I was in elemenary school, lol!) to figure out what exactly I'm supposed to be doing they're jumping out of seats, telling me "that's not how our normal teacher does it," they've completely forgotten what we just read, you name it. I feel terrible for the mess I must be leaving for the real aide since I never get all the way through a lesson, and I'm pretty sure that a lot of the things I manage to get done I'm doing wrong. Grrrrr. So then I go home in a mood of "never, ever having kids. Ever. Let's get a kitty . . . a stuffed kitty."

Luke's probably getting pretty confused.

And then, there was Saturday. And I got to babysit Sammy, yay!! That was bunches of fun. Well, except for when the drum thingie wouldn't stop playing . . . and apparently it starts on its own sometimes . . . holy demon possessed!! . . . and when Sammy dropped his chocolate milk . . . holy crap, how does milk splash that high?!? . . . but he was really enthusiastic about helping clean up, so he wiped the floor and I wiped the counters. And drawers. And dishwasher. And stovetop. And fridge. Good freaking grief. But Sammy was soooooooo cute being all careful to get all the milk off the floor. It was one of those "aaawwwwwwwwww" moments.

But the best part of the day was before that. Luke and I spent the day on youtube, watching all the old shows we loved when we were kids. Anybody remember these?

Muppet Babies
Gummi Bears
Garfield and Friends
Legends of the Hidden Temple
What Would You Do?
Wild and Crazy Kids
Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?
Schoolhouse Rock!!!!!!!!!!!

Oh, how I wanted to be on those shows . . . it's so sad that they're not on anymore. It's so sad that Nickelodeon and the Disney Channel had to get all dumb . . . everything on those channels are so cheesy. They're all adult-style shows shrunk down to tween-sized plot lines - LAME!!! So we decided that if/when we have kids they're gonna watch the good stuff. We'll gt all our old cartoons on dvd and watch them with them. Because that will be pretty darn awesome. And fun. For the whole family, yay!! (side note: so now if you're ever looking for gift ideas for us, you've just been supplied with a great big list :-) . . . score!!!)

And that was all we did aaaaaallllllllll day. Cartoons and old kid game shows. Well, until it was time for us to head out and make some money. Good times.

But yeah, I'm pretty sure I've got Luke thoroughly confused. Oops.

P. ost S. cript
I remember even though I never actually got to be on the show (sad!) that even I got intimidated when the kid went to Africa for the final round of Carmen Sandiego. That map was HARD!!! Nobody won the Africa map!!! Which makes this clip even more awesome.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

It Never Ends!

Remember this girl? She's still up there. The good news: she's stopped singing, mostly. The bad news: she's still up there.

For a couple of months now we (meaning me, Luke, and our landlord Stacy) have suspected that our little Idina Menzel-wannabe has had her boyfriend living with her. Stacy asked us to keep an eye out when she noticed that this guy was here pretty much every time she came up here, which is not often, but often enough. Sure enough, after she pointed out his car to us, we noticed it - literally - never leaves the parking lot. Now that we've switched over to permit parking (and seriously, what the crap is the deal with the lack of parking around campus?! Dude!! It's insane!!!) it's been parked in the parking lot of Aspen Grove, the reception hall right next door that we've (meaning just Luke and me this time) only seen used once since Luke moved in back in February. And the car never leaves. Seriously . . . what's the point of having a car if you don't use it?

Then last week Luke was checking the wired internet connections in each apartment to figure out which ones work and which don't . . . and when he goes upstairs, guess who answers the door? The boyfriend. Who says that the chick isn't there, and he's just dropping something off for her. Except Luke obviously woke him up. Ummmmmmm . . . two words: awkward! And . . . busted!

Now, normally, I wouldn't care about what living arrangements they've got going upstairs. The rest of the complex would probably be horrified and scandalized if they knew, but . . . whatever. But there are two things that make me care a lot, and I can only hope Stacy can collect enough proof to evict the chick.

1 - they seem to enjoy wrestling. Or something else that allows lots of stomping/crashing/pounding on the floor/our ceiling. Especially late at night. Annoying.

2 - he sings. Worse than she does. Thankfully, not as loud, but I think that actually makes the out-of-tune-ness worse.


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You know, if he could do this, all just might be forgiven. :-)

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Can Someone Explain to Me . . .

1) When conference weekend became a holiday on the level of Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter?

2) Why everyone (meaning college students) just have to go home for conference weekend? Am I hearing something different here in Logan than I would in Tremonton? Or if the whole being-married-now thing voids that, was I hearing something different in Cedar City?

3) What genius came up with ladies' night at Deseret Book? Seriously - bunches of women at "the Lord's bookstore" spending tons of money whilst their husbands are all at a religious meeting being counseled to stay out of debt? That, my friends, is irony exemplified. Whoever came up with it = marketing genius! (note - I've never heard Deseret called that . . . but it was such an easy shot. And I'm sure there are people who call it that. And who would never dare set foot in such a secular, heathen place as something like Borders or something. I hope I never meet these people.)

Oh, and - yay Brigham City! Your thirty minute drive to the Logan temple has just been dropped to five! Of course such suffering and sacrifice to go to the temple should be celebrated on facebook with mini-parties like they were holding in Rio yesterday! All those Mormons in Africa have it soooooo easy - they only have three temples to choose from!

Okay, that is all.

P.S. Mark this one on your calenders, kiddies - I'm actually going to apologize if I happened to offend anyone today. I stand by my opinions, but the sarcasm bug bit me pretty hard today, so my phrasing may be offensive to someone. Although I certainly hope not.

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It's so refreshing to find Mormon comedians who are actually funny. And this guy left me having flashbacks to my childhood . . . in a good way. :-) Plus, Panda is freaking delicious!!!