Thursday, December 31, 2009

This is the Way the Year Ends

- though I'm not sure whether to consider it a bang or a whimper. My car is with a mechanic. Again. The rear struts broke driving around on the swiss cheese that passes as roads around here. And while we have managed to scrounge up the money to fix it, after rent it leaves us with nothing to pay the other bills that have their due date coming up before our next paychecks.

Okay, what the hell is going on here?! I get it - newlyweds struggle. We knew that going in. Newlyweds are broke. Well, we were broke before so that wasn't exactly a surprise. What I don't get is why we haven't gotten a single break this year. Every time we've had even the slightest bit of extra money something catastrophic has happened. Decide to spend a couple of days after the wedding in a motel, even if it was here in Logan? My transmission needed rehab. Mini-splurge on a used game cube for an anniversary? Turns out Luke's tire was about to fall off, so we adjusted to driving that car once a week or less until we could fix it . . . and that led to the battery needing replaced because the car was just sitting in the cold. Of course, we could manage replacing one battery, which must be why mine died three weeks later . . . right after we talked about maybe taking a long weekend to Cedar next summer during the Shakespeare Festival. And now Tuesday, when we decide to spend two bucks to rent a movie after doing some errands, my car starts bouncing in our newly re-done parking lot like we were driving down second freaking east at fifty miles an hour! Seriously, what is that about? Connection or not, the timing is insane!

This cannot be normal newlywed struggles. Team Jayla hasn't been married that much longer than we have, and they just bought new snowboards, and go boarding all the time. Luke's sister got married six weeks after we did, and their Christmas present to themselves was a trip to Disney World. They're all still in school . . . so theoretically shouldn't we be doing the best financially? But we couldn't do either of those things if our lives depended on it - literally. I just don't get it.

Of course, this year has given me something - the proof I've never really needed or wanted that I'm pretty much un-hire-able. I have never gotten a single job in my life that didn't either come to me through either familial or academic nepotism (everything except . . . ), or was at a place where they take everyone and their dog (western wats and disney). How did that happen? What is it about me that makes people toss my application into the shredder immediately? Why is it that I can talk to the hiring manger, who tells me TO MY FACE that not only are they hiring, but that they'll gove me a call in a day or two . . . and then never hear anything again? Why do I get a rejection letter three days before the decision of who to hire is even made?

And not only that, what little karmic sway I have over the universe seems to be waning, because this year nepotism bith gained and cost me a job. There's a permanent aid position open at Aunt Sharon's school. I applied for it because after she talked to the principal two months ago she was told that the job was mine if I wanted it. But now, two months later, and after I've been waiting for phone call in such a paranoid state that I've been afraid to pee, eat, shower, or do anything that prevented me from keeping my phone in my hand, not to mention checking it every ten minutes to make sure the battery hadn't died and I hadn't accidentally put it on silent or something, I found out I can't have the job because Aunt Sharon and I would be working in the same room. Forget the whole "what the crap kinda sense does that make" part, I should have just been realistic and seen it coming from the beginning. And in a way, it's probably a good thing. I don't think I could stand working with/for someone like that for very long. It's just frustrating that that's the brightest side there is to be found in this whole situation.

I just can't see how to get out of this mess. As far as we can see we're doing everything we're supposed to be doing, and doing it right - financially, work-wise, spiritually, mentally, emotionally . . . perhaps not grammatically, maybe that's where the problem is. < / sarcasm> We've even thrown around the idea of moving somewhere - almost anywhere! - else, but as far as I can see we'd be in the same boat as we are here, only minus the job Luke has now. Which, obviously, wouldn't help matters. And considering we left Orlando because the sheer cost of living was squeezing us to death, and now we could afford that if I could just get a frigging job, but since I can't we're still getting squeezed to death . . . well, irony, thy name is my life. And thy middle name is cruelty.

So, suffice it to say, we are going on essentially an electricity lock down, since that's the only bill we can even pretend to try to decrease. No more watching movies, no more Stargate on hulu, the computer only gets used for checking email and job hunting, and the heat only gets turned on when we can't feel our feet. Fortuneately I went grocery shopping Monday, and we got a couple of boxes of ramen recently. With any luck the next trip will be at the end of February.

You know what, 2009? Screw you too.

P. ost S. cript
Pretty much the only thing that makes me laugh right now.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Christmas Wrap Up

~ So Team Lucey and Team Jayla decided back in August to get mom and dad Mario Kart for Christmas. Last month mom sent a Christmas list email to the g-rents and siblings listing, among a bunch of other Wii ganes, Mario Kart. Thought Lacey: I should probably send an email out letting everybody know that Mario Kart is covered . . . nah, there's a bunch of stuff on there - no need to worry.

~ Mom and Dad got $150 worth of Mario Kart yesterday. (MK is fifty bucks, you do the math.) Oops.

~ Shay had the brilliant idea to (since we were going in on the guft together anyway) to include a gag gift of some sort suggesting that both she and I are pregnant. (I'm not, but I make no claims about Shay . . . ) So on top of said Mario Kart were two bibs, one said "I love grandma," and the other said "I love daddy" . . . I looked all over town, and there were know "I love grandpa" bibs to be found. What's up with that? Anyway, "daddy" became "grandpa" by way of a post-it note and a sharpie, and Ashli was in on the joke and going to film the whole thing (since nether Team was going to be there to see it) and it was going to go on facebook and I was going to post it here and we were all going to get one great big laugh out of the whole thing. In the end, from what I hear, Dad wondered but Mom immediately dismissed the whole thing as a joke before getting the the "just kidding" note. I'm thoroughly disappointed. That said, if I/we keep this up every so often, there will eventually come a time when it's true . . . and my mother doesn't believe us until we're big as a house. And then we will finally get our laughs in. :-)

~ Luke gave me a shopping spree! No, seriously. We're going to take a day sometime in the near future and go clothes shopping. I'm totally psyched, because - wouldn't you know it - the obligatory disappearing items from last year's move were some of my clothes, and then of course I lost a few more in March. And I've never really had a large wardrobe to begin with, so this year has been a bit frustrating sartorially speaking. Sadly, the stupid new battery thing means that we won't be going shopping Tuesday . . . but definitely sometime in January. Yay!!!!

~ Eating too much food yesterday, mostly of the junk variety? Check.

~ Falling flat on my butt after sliding in the soft, smooth, and super slippery socks Ashli gave me yesterday? Check. And considering the tiny amount of floor space our kitchen provided me with to accomplish this, I'm thinking I deserve some sort of prize.

~ We are soooooooooo breaking in our new pampered chef chopper tomorrow for dinner!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This was quite possibly the present both Luke and I were the most excited to see.

~ Mom somehow lost a pair of leggings she bought for Ashli for Christmas. I'm still giggling at that one.

~ Grandma & Grandpa Barnes gave us a chocolate fountain. I'm in heaven. :-)

~ Is there anything in the world more fun than shooting bunnies with plungers? I submit that there is not. We just might have to start going to Tremonton more often! (Unless, of course, anyone on this side of the hill has Rayman . . . )

~ Best part of Christmas? The fact that including mine and Luke's, there is a grand total of five cars in our teeny-tiny little parking lot. Finally, space to park!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

P. ost S. cript
If I didn't know better I'd think this was a video of me when I was a baby. But I do know better . . . for one thing, Dad's snoring isn't nearly that quiet . . .

Thursday, December 24, 2009

One More Sleep

So Luke's at work today. Craptastic, no? Good thing we're used to it. He went in to work thinking he was working tomorrow too. Idiots need their internet on Christmas too, what can ya do? But then I get a text about twenty minutes after he left . . . and guess who has tomorrow off now? Yay!!!! Christmas just got a little bit better. :-) Merry Christmas, and yeah, shut up to one and all o' dang y'all!

P. ost S. cript
Not quite as good as Mickey's, but I adore Muppet Christmas Carol. And really, could I post anything else today? :-)

Monday, December 21, 2009

What Happened?

So I worked today, although I kind of failed to see the point of school being in session. The kids who actually were there physically certainly weren't mentally - it's way to close to Christmas. Luckily, the aide I was subbing for realized that too, so although I did a lesson with the fourth graders, we stuck to reading-themed games and coloring for the little kids. (I feel sorry for Drew - she had to do lessons . . . lame!!) Of course, the talk was all Christmas, all the time. All the kids were excited for their Christmas parties tomorrow (seriously, going to school on December 22? What the crap?) and as each group was coming in and getting settled I asked them all about their Christmas plans. All the Christmas talk kind of got me thinking.

I remember when I was little "happy holidays" meant "merry-Christmas-and-happy-new-year" and people said it because it was shorter. And "happy holidays," "merry Christmas," and "season's greetings" were all used pretty interchangeably and nobody really got offended at it. When did that change, and how did I miss the memo? And who's crazy idea was it to make "happy holidays" mean "well you're clearly going to hell, you horrific anti-Christmas heathen?" I mean, really . . . that's kind of a dramatic shift in meaning, especially to make in only, what, fifteen years? Kinda weird, no?

On the one hand, I can kind of see where the stores and other "public service" type places are coming from. Regardless of what the founding fathers intended as far as the good old US of A being a Christian Nation, the fact is that not everyone who lives here is Christian. Ergo, not everyone celebrates Christmas. And the last time I checked, that was okay, everyone was allowed to choose what religion or lack thereof to affiliate with. (I didn't miss that memo too, did I? Lol.) So addressing a large group with "happy holidays" just makes sense . . . and I just plain don't get what there is in the phrase to get offended at. If it wasn't offensive when I was a kid, what happened between now and then?

And holy crap, when you're talking to someone one-on-one at work, you've gotta be careful. There are some real nut jobs out there. At Disney the policy is basically "happy holidays unless they say something else." But even that can be deadly. First, there are the nut jobs who will scream at you if you say merry Christmas because how dare you assume they're Christian, they're Jewish, or Buddhist, or atheist or whatever, and they want to speak to your manager right now!!! Then there are the nut jobs that at the end of a brief conversation just kind of wait for you to say merry Christmas and if you don't say it before they do then how dare you take the Christ out of Christmas with your horrible political correctness, and just who are you, a terrorist or something, and they want to speak to your manager right now!!! The good news is, you can usually tell they're a nut job. The bad news is, there's not usually any way to tell which kind of nut job they are until they've flipped the proverbial gasket and blown the proverbial lid. Luckily, (most) managers are pretty decent and realize they're dealing with nut jobs so it's not like you have to start worrying about your job. (Well, that was true when we were there. Word on the street is things are changing and cast members might have to start worrying about freaking out the nut jobs.)

All I can say is what is wrong with these people?! Don't they have anything better to do than get offended at something that is, when considering the bigger picture, rather trivial. Whether one isolated person or even an entire company does or does not return your chosen seasonal greeting does not change the veracity or lack thereof of the religion behind said seasonal greeting, whether that religion is Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Shinto, or the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. (Wow, I feel intelligent - I haven't written a sentence that eloquent sounding since college!) How did all of society lose sight of that fact at the same time? This is one of the many things that just plain makes no sense to me.

That said, I say merry Christmas to people (unless, of course, work prevents me). But I don't get offended when someone wishes me a Happy Hanukkah. Actually, I find it kind of cool. Everybody and their dog gets Christmas greetings, but Hanukkah - I feel like I'm now a member of an exclusive club. And I'm sad I never got a "happy Kwanzaa," although the whole not-being-black thing might have had something to do with that.

I guess the point I've been meandering around, both here and all day mentally, is that it seems to me that too many people are focused so much on making sure that other people remember the "reason for the season" that they're forgetting it themselves. (Mote, meet beam anyone?) I mean, have you seen this? While I applaud the intent, in flipping through a few of the entries I can't help but get a sense of hypocrisy. Company X gets a Christmas-negligent rating because the Christmas muzak was too soft? Store Z gets a Christmas-offensive because not only did they have menorahs next to the Christmas trees (logical place to put them, if you ask me) but the fat lady was blocking you so you could only watch helplessly as someone else got the last (insert ultimately trivial item here)? I'm sorry, but how many people did you trample trying to get into that Store on Black Friday? Just how Christlike were your thoughts and feelings when you were berating that poor minimum-wage making cashier for forgetting to say merry Christmas to you because she's got a line ten people deep and she's trying her best to shorten everyone's wait as much as she can? Seriously, people need to get over themselves. And then focus more on themselves than on everyone else. That's when they'll start seeing the change they're lobbying so hard for.

On a slightly related note, this is a cause I can definitely get behind. And if all those people criticizing stores for not having Christmas decorations just spent one less hour at the store, and ten fewer bucks on presents, I'll bet their Christmas would be a lot more merry, no matter who did or didn't wish that for them. Forget the war on Christmas - I'm Team War FOR Christmas! :-)

P. ost S. cript
In case your eyes glazed over back around paragraph 3, this is basically what I was saying. too bad they don't show it anymore. :-(

Friday, December 18, 2009

Not Happening

We got a big stack of Christmas cards in the mail yesterday. Well . . . not so big. Only four. I guess it seemed like a big stack since they all came on the same day. I love getting Christmas cards - they make me feel so popular! It's like getting valentines after elementary school. I never got very many and I was always so jealous of the girls walking around with a stack of those cheap little cards . . . and inevitably a couple of carnations and maybe a cookie or two courtesy of various club fundraisers timed to take advantage of Valentine's Day. Man, that was depressing!

Anyway - Christmas cards. I suppose I should feel guilty for not sending any when people send them to us. But it seems kind of pointless these days. I mean really, when even three out of your four grandparents have facebook and you can either write "Merry Christmas" on their wall or just send mass greetings out through a status update what's the point of sending a card? The cards themselves and the postage cost money, and don't even get me started on the horrors of potential paper cuts. ;-) And then there's the whole "not very green" thing, which I'm not going to touch with a thirty-nine-and-a-half-foot pole. Besides, who wants a boring old paper card when you can send e-cards decked out with dancing snowmen dressed like Santa complete with glittery "snow" falling and crappy . . . I mean, state-of-the-art, futuristic wav file Christmas carols playing. Does your paper card play music?! Oh, wait - some of them do these days. (side note: if you ever find yourself hunting for a card of any sort from me, just get one with these guys. A. Dore!) But your paper card snowmen don't really dance!! Take that!!

On a similar note - the Christmas letter. Again, love reading them . . . but don't get sending them anymore. I mean, the people I would send them to are already my facebook friends, and presumably occasionally poking around here. So they know more details about my/our life in the past year than I would even think to include if I did write a letter. So . . . yeah. Not happening. Should I feel guilty? Although, even if the answer is yes, that guilt is counter-balanced by the knowledge that my mother got my major wrong in (I'm pretty sure) all four letters while I was in college. That kind of makes me wonder . . . would people care - or even notice - if I sent out a letter full of completely fiction events? "We spent our lovely six week honeymoon Ireland and rented a castle, and oh, by the way, don't be surprised when you don't get a letter next year as we'll be in Uganda volunteering with the Peace Corps. Make sure you pick up my new book coming out in a couple of months - I'll even sign it for you!!!"

I wonder how long it would take people to catch on . . . you know . . . that could be fun!!! Shhh!!!! Don't blow the whistle on me on facebook!!! :-P

So anyway . . . yeah. For those of you who've been wondering what we've been up to this year, well - this pretty much covers it. And check it out - I've gone paperless!! Just like my cell phone bill!! :-)

P. ost S. cript
Most awesome thing ever? Quite possibly.

Monday, December 14, 2009


So I jump on to blogger a couple of hours ago to do a quick book review . . . and RWBC is gone. No longer there on my dashboard. "Cannot be found" when I type the address in myself. And I can't figure out what happened. I had, like, 90-some reviews on there . . . ish. Lots. This is making no sense at all. Sad day. :-(

And of course, I find this out after coming back home from buying a new battery for my car. After having to call Drew for a ride at the last minute (good thing we were both at North Park today!!), AND after replacing Luke's battery just a couple of weeks ago. Umm, thanks for the Christmas wishes fate!

I don't think I like this game. :-(

P. ost S. cript
Yoou know what one of the best parts of Christmastime is? The commercials. The ones they replay every year. They're like mini-holiday specials that you get to see a dozen times every december. I wish they still played this one. The updated version they made this year just isn't the same.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Bumped to #1

So I was gloating to Luke about his Christmas present again a couple of days ago (seriously, so much fun!) and he asked me what I wanted because apparently it's easier to find a Cabbage Patch Tickle Me Beanie Baby (TM) in Logan at Christmastime than to find the A&E version of Pride and Prejudice. (Coooooooooooollin Fiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiirth . . . !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) That kind of surprises me, but not much. Anyway, I decided yesterday what I want the most . . . I just don't know where to get one.

I want a heated toilet seat. I know they make them, and if nothing else can probably be found in Skymall (I can't even think of that catalog without giggling . . . ) but getting one of those would pretty much make my life. I mean really, is there anything more cruel and unusual than stumbling half-awake into the bathroom. sitting down, and suddenly being jolted wide-awake and nearly hypothermic? Sooooooooooooo not fun!!!!!!!!!!!!! I'm seriously this close to buying one of those squishy plastic seat covers just because they'd be a little bit warmer in the mornings . . . and all day. Maybe one of those fluffy furry ones - because all of the sudden I am understanding why they exist.

We have heaters in each room, which is nice because we don't have to heat the whole apartment, so I'm pretty sure it's a little bit cheaper. But when you spend most of the day in one room it sure makes it unpleasant to leave that room. And the heater in our living room isn't working, so we moved a few things (i.e., the computer and speakers) into the extra bedroom and we're just using that as our living room now. And again, it's probably cheaper to heat it than the real living room anyway since it's smaller. The only bad news with there is that whenever we do have to be in the living room it's completely icy - eeeek!!!!! Our front door actually froze shut Wednesday night. Seriously - we had to do so major tugging and jerking to get it open. That was unpleasant to say the least.

In fact, I've been so cold the last few days that I was this close to caving in and saying I wanted a snuggie (horrors!!) but then I found this. And it looks sooooooooooooo much better!! Thicker, warmer, and you can zip it up!!! I mean, snuggies are great for sitting down at all, but if you want to walk around it seems like you may as well be wearing a hospital gown, you know? I want one of these babies!!! It should get here by Christmas if I talk Luke into ordering it tonight, right? . . .

P. ost S. cript
Behold, the Christmas present that can never be topped. Yep, here it is - the trippy claymation Christmas special, yay!!!!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Evilness . . . hee hee hee . . .

So I ordered Luke's Christmas present off Amazon last week. And then I gloated to him about doing it when he got home from work, telling him how perfect it was and how he's going to love it. And he spent about an hour trying to guess what it is. And then I did it again when it got here a few days later. And now it's sitting under our little tree, the only present there yet. And once in a while I giggle maniacally and he looks all incredulous and can't understand how I can be this excited about watching him wonder, and then - eventually - watching him open it up Christmas morning. Because seriously. I. Can't. Wait.

I've always loved having secrets. It's so much fun to know what's in the box when you know somebody else doesn't know. Maybe it's a little bit evil . . . but it's so fun!!! Of course . . . I'm also one of those people who just has to know everything. In fact, I'll even admit to shaking presents occasionally - gently, just in case whatever's inside is fragile. (On that note - I never shake the presents from my grandparents. They're always wrapped/packed too well. Grrrr.) I could almost always get Rian to tell me what my present was, clear up until just a few years ago. Although in that case I'm not sure if I enjoyed knowing what was in the box more, or knowing that my 14-year-old brother wasn't realizing what he was telling me any more than my 4-year-old brother did back in the day. Good times. I usually forgot what it was by Christmas day, but just knowing that I knew felt good.

On that note, can I just say that milestone birthdays are a little bit obnoxious to me? I mean, everybody else knows what Grandma and Grandpa are getting them for their 12th birthday - but only because I (and everyone else between me and them) got it first. Grrrr. I hate going first! :-P

You know what the best part of wrapping presents is? Giant boxes for little presents. Putting round things in boxes and square things in round almond roca tins. (Almond roca . . . mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

Random tangent: I love almond roca. It always makes me think of my great-grandma Dora - Dad's grandma. She always had almond roca at her house, and every Christmas she's send us some with a tin of Danish butter cookies. I still can't eat either without thinking of her.

Tangent over - back to wrapping presents. The smaller the resent, the bigger the box - and the more the fun. I've also picked up Dad's habit of completely sealing the cracks in the wrapping paper with tape except for just one tiny little sliver. So then you have to search all over the thing to find the one place you can tear to start opening it. Fun stuff. :-)

Have I mentioned that Christmas is my favorite? It kinda is. And I'm soooooo loving the whole winter and snow thing this year . . . man have I missed this!!! (please note: the fact that I have missed having white Christmases will not stop me from complaing about the snow in January. That's just how I roll.) Yay for wintertime!!!

Luke-ism for the-indeterminate-amount-of-time0until-I-post-another-one: (said last night as he's reading his big, fat, 15-pound dictionary) Hey look, it's my two dollar bill! . . . I didn't know I had a two dollar bill . . . wait - why do I have a two dollar bill?

Good times. :-)

P. ost S. cript
So we saw this yesterday whilst watching Amazing Race and . . . ummmm, what? Who in their right (well, apparently wrong) mind thought this was a good idea? Who could even consider this a gift?!? Apparently there's a Hannukah version too . . . I'm officially weirded out now. However, it is funny in a "what were you thinking, you idiot?" sort of way.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

This and That

~ Luke gave his first talk ever last Sunday. That was pretty awesome. He did great, although I could tell he (finally) got nervous when he actually got up because he got a little ramble-y and ended up taking almost ten minutes longer than he was supposed to. I'm definitely not complaining though - because of that we skipped the closing song, which meant that I didn't have to conduct another four-verse arm killer. Woot! And of course, as we all know, if I had been giving the talk it would have taken about fifteen minutes less than it was supposed to. And he was only given 7-10 minutes.

~ I am immensely proud of myself for cooking my very first Thanksgiving dinner last week, turkey and all. Okay . . . so it was actually just a 3-pound turkey . . . okay, a three pound turkey breast . . . and Luke helped . . . and we also only had stuffing and mashed potatoes to go with it . . . but I'm still immensely proud of myself. So there! :-P

~ IT SNOWED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Yeah, I think that pretty much says it all for that one.

~ Luke and I have decided that since kittens are smaller, fluffier, cuter, and cheaper than babies we're just going to have cats instead of kids. (we came to that decision as a joke while watching kitten youtube videos, but feel free to tell my mother as if it were for real if you're bored and looking for entertainment!)

~ We spent Wednesday in our PJs all day on adding all of Luke's family in. That was fun. The PJs-all-day thing was a little weird though - I was never allowed to do that growing up, even when I was sick. Not something I would want to do often, but I think I liked it. Until we got to the part where we discovered that one set of Luke's grandparents has also been entered as both their own parents and grandparents . . . yeah, we're still confused about that one. Same dates and everything - ummmmm, what?

~ So you know how the Coppermill has the reputation of being, like, the fanciest restaurant in Logan? A friend of Luke's called them up last week and paid for a gift certificate as a late birthday present for Luke and we went last night. And we were not impressed. The decor was pretty, but the service sucked and the food was more or less average. On a scale of McDonald's in a Walmart to Victoria and Albert's we figured it's about a six. And that's only because our ciabatta pizza appetizer was so good. On the other hand, I ordered some juice . . . and she brought out a Minute Maid bottle you could buy at a gas station and a glass of ice. Holy tacky!
side note: We are soooooo eating a V&A's someday. Luke promised. That day will probably not come for a very long time, because $250 for dinner for two is, well, kind of a lot. But we are so eating there . . . someday.

~ Our Christmas tree is up. I wish it were bigger, but we wouldn't have room for it then. And it's so cute. And it has a present underneath already. I've already had waaaaaay too much taunting Luke as he tries to figure out what it is. I can't wait until mine is under there so I can shake it. :-)

~ Actually, that's pretty much it.

P. ost S. cript
I dare you not to go "aaaaaawwwwwwwwwwwwww!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" (note: if you don't, you probably have neither soul nor heart.)