Friday, December 31, 2010

This Above All

Give every man thy ear, but few thy voice;

Take each man's censure, but reserve thy judgment.

Costly thy habit as thy purse can buy,

But not express'd in fancy; rich, not gaudy;

For the apparel oft proclaims the man,

And they in France of the best rank and station

Are of a most select and generous chief in that.

Neither a borrower nor a lender be;

For loan oft loses both itself and friend,

And borrowing dulls the edge of husbandry.

This above all: to thine ownself be true,

And it must follow, as the night the day,

Thou canst not then be false to any man.

~ Hamlet, Act I Scene III

I would love to be all pretentious and say I typed that from memory, but . . . yeah, no. Much as I love Shakespeare that is so not happening.


I'm not really one to make New Year's Resolutions (and I'm beginning to think that might be a genetic thing, lol) per se, but the week after Christmas does strike me as a good time to take stock and maybe make changes since everyone else is talking about it. So I've been thinking all week about this year and what could be better next year.

And I have to admit, I've been having a bit of a hard time. That's not really normal, but I think it's a comparative thing. Everyone's been posting their end of the year blogs and talking about how glad they are to see 2010 go, but I have to admit we've had a pretty good year. Much better than '09 - by far!! So what to do, what to do?

I read "The Happiness Project" recently (side note - it's crazy how much non-fiction I've read this year . . . I almost never read it. And it's even crazier that I've liked it!!) and ever since I've liked the idea of doing my own, but again, I've been having a hard time deciding how to do it. Blargh!

And, inevitably, the thought occurs to me - the resolution that surfaces as predictably as giving up procrastination for Lent (next year). I touched on it a bit a few months ago, but I'm not sure how well I've done since then.

So. Here it is. I care way too much about what other people think of me. I've turned down invitations and been vague about the things I do and like out of the crippling fear that I will be laughed at, either in front of my face or behind my back. Honestly I've always known it, but it's gradually sinking in that there's really nothing I can do. Some people are just like that - they're going to find something to mock if it kills them. I cultivate a Pollyanna persona, and when it cracks for some reason that drives people away. I had some harsh awakenings this year with people I'd taken for friends - turns out they don't think that highly of me. That hurt, naturally. Still does.

But I think I'm finally starting to believe it doesn't matter. I can't be someone else. Clearly, I can't please everybody, even though I feel as if somewhere along the line my brain was programmed to think I have to. All I can be is me. And being me has brought me true, wonderful friends (like all of you), an amazing husband, and the adoration (if I do say so myself, haha) of some adorably sweet little kids.

So this is it for me. Not a happiness project exactly. Not a word of the year. Not a virtue to seek out. In 2011 I intend to do my best to live up to Polonius' words - to thine ownself be true. See also: embodying the spirit of this song. (ummm . . . Grandma and Grandpa - you probably want to skip that link.) Maybe some people want everything I blog about to be happy or perky or silly, but I'm not going to stop blogging about things that upset me. I'm not going to smile and nod when someone does or says something I don't think is right. I'm not going to be what other people tell me I'm supposed to be. You get one life to live, and I'm living mine my way. Everyone else can take me or leave me.

Anyway. Happy New Year! And all that jazz . . . you know, it's still 2010 here but in New Zealand it's practically almost the second day of 2011 already? How's that for trippy? (Also - I just had to add "Zealand" to my computer's dictionary . . . weird.) Best wishes to you and yours, and insert all those other standard empty phrases here (except I promise I mean them). :-)

P. ost S. cript
My favorite song changes pretty much daily - and sometimes more often than that. But this one will ALWAYS be in the top ten. We had a lot of this these last half a million minutes. Thanks for sharing in some of them. :-)

Monday, December 27, 2010

That Was Fun

So. Christmas. It came, it saw, it snowed the next freaking day. Seriously? Can I just say that "I'm Dreaming of a White Day After Christmas" really doesn't have the same ring to it? Lame! And believe you me if the weather gets all wintry and snowy now, at the point in time when I merely tolerate snow . . . heads are gonna roll. I don't know whose, and I don't know how, but heads are gonna roll. Maybe I'll make some snowmen . . . and a snow guillotine.

Anyway. Christmas was awesome. A few thoughts ~

~ At the risk of waxing a little mushy again, I have to start with how awesome Luke is. I'm a huge fan of Phineas and Ferb, mostly because it's the only decent cartoon on these days. So naturally it was always on in the tank break room, and we all learned some of the best songs quickly. (And yes, I may or may not have several P&F songs recorded as ring tones for my phone.) So when we were checking out the new Toys R Us in the mall a couple of months ago and discovered a Perry the Platypus that transforms into AGENT P!!!!!!! . . . well, I kinda geeked out. And said I wanted it for Christmas. I was only half serious, but if my parents can get a stuffed Ewok as a present, I figure there's nothing wrong with me having a stuffed platypus. (side note: I will never stop being depressed that said Ewok disappeared when we moved to Utah. I was SO claiming that in the will!)

So. I'm sure you can see where this is going. Christmas morning, there's Perry waiting for me. And it was awesome. I'm so glad I found a guy who doesn't mind when I act like a kid sometimes. Because seriously, where's the fun in life if you can't enjoy a cartoon made for five-year-olds sometimes?

~ We (well, Luke) also solved an almost two year long recurring disagreement of, honestly, epically silly proportions. 'Kay, so I hate how butter from the fridge won't spread. But Luke can't stand the idea of leaving butter out so it's soft, even in a dish. So then I remember that once upon a time I was eating dinner at a friend's house and they had a butter bell. Seems like the perfect solution, no? Except Luke doesn't like the idea of the butter being in the water. But he goes looking for one anyway, and ends up at Kitchen Kneads. I have to admit, if I ever started visiting that store I would end up buying tons of awesome gadgets . . . and then never using them. But they'd look so cool!! Anyway, while he's looking he gets a recommendation from the lady he asked for help from - a butter boat. Brilliant! I kind of love it. Seriously, I ate toast yesterday JUST because there was soft butter. It's awesome.

~ Luke had to work Christmas. It sucked. We are both SO over the whole "working on holidays" thing. And seriously, you close the place one year but not the year after? LAME!!

~ We all went in together to get Mom and Dad Rock Band for Christmas. I'd never played before Saturday, but it was fun. Simultaneously easier and harder than I'd expected it to be. But TONS of fun. Absolutely have to get our own copy eventually. Along with the original Rock Band we also got the country track pack and the Beatles version. It is now my life's ambition to get a video of my dad singing "I Am the Walrus" ad put it online . . . those of you who know my dad will, I'm sure, understand why. :-)

~ After Jason talked to Rian he made the comment that he still didn't really have an idea of how he was doing. I have to concur. The kid doesn't say much, and at this point I'm thinking he never will. (That shouldn't be so surprising . . . he is my father's son, after all!) However, his list of Christmas presents set to the was memorable. Mostly because he forgot 11 and 12. :-) But the "6 pounds of fudge" coupled with "4 more pounds of fudge" was highly amusing. Especially since mom insists she didn't send him 10 pounds of fudge. However, we'll never know since said fudge is long gone. Of course.

~ On that note, it was made more obvious than ever before how much my mother over does it when it comes to holiday food. Every Christmas she makes enough to feed the proverbial small, starving army, and spends the days leading up to Christmas worrying that she hadn't made enough to feed 4-8 regularly fed people. With Rian not here to inhale everything on sight, I wouldn't be surprised if a good chunk of food ends up getting tossed because it doesn't get eaten before it goes bad. I'm not complaining by any means, but when it takes a degree in engineering to figure out how to fit all the leftovers in the fridge and LITERALLY every available surface in the kitchen is covered with munchies (half a dozen kinds of fudge, veggie trays, crackers and cheese balls - yes, plural! - punch, cookies, and a million other things . . . suffice it to say I do not understand why my mom worries EVERY year that there's not enough food. Also - good thing we have a wii fit!

~ I can feel the blister forming on my left thumb already . . . this is going to be painful. But the bunnies are going to get their pile to the moon if it kills me! So. Freaking. Awesome. Can't wait until we have the other to Raving Rabbids games too! :-)

~ Remember that project I mentioned I was so glad to finish? This is it. I made it for Luke's mom for Christmas. SOOOOO glad she liked it. I've got to find more reasons to cross-stitch. No one out there wants a pretty cross-stitched table cloth, do they? Dresser scarf? Set of napkins? :-)

So Christmas was pretty great this year. No real complaints . . . well, just the one. (stupid Convergys!) And now there's only 363 days until Christmas! :-)

P. ost S. cript
Have I posted this one before? Oh well, it's still awesome. :-)

Monday, December 20, 2010

I Work for the Department of the Redundancy Department

. . . I have no clever commentary for this one. None.

I've had a few theoretical blog posts floating around in my head. As I was formulating them they all struck me as a little too familiar, and since they were all variations on a Christmas Theme, I decided to hop in to my flashback machine, and lo and behold I've hit them all before. Blargh. Talk about there being no such thing as original thought left in the world!

Suffice it to say I stand behind everything I said last year, with a couple of small addendums:

1) To those who are celebrating winning the "war" on Christmas - if you are referring to trees for sale being referred to as "Christmas trees" as opposed to "holiday trees" which was rather silly, great. I don't really see what the difference is, but I'm glad you're glad. If you are celebrating that your favorite store no longer carries menorahs, however . . . how I wish I could subject you to the vengeful wrath of Apophis.

Also - this is quite probably the UGLIEST thing I have ever scene. And there are no words for how disturbing I find it.

2) Only two Christmas cards this year, and I'm such a hypocrite for being a little disappointed by that. Especially since I've been mocking The Christmas Letter for years. This one, however is the most awesome (and accurate) one I've ever come across. (Also - a new toon?!?! Talk about a Decemberween MIRACLE!!! YAY!!!!)

Anyway, all y'all know pretty much everything we've been up to this year, and if you don't there's a really easy way to get caught up. But if that's too much work for you . . .


On the 12th day of Christmas my true love gave to me

12 months of blogging

11 months and three weeks of no problems with my car (and counting!)

10 paychecks with my name on them :-)

9 local restaurants tried out (to varying degrees of satisfaction)

8 no longer the first number of my student loan balance

7 seasons of Stargate SG1 watched

6 books won online

5 months of no rent!

4 awesome Wii games

3 out of town guests

2 years being married (almost)

and a . . . partridge in a pear tree, I guess. I think my creativity has run dry for tonight. I thought about "and a little one on the way . . . NOT!" but I don't think my mother could have handled the crushing disappointment had she heard about it. Perhaps next year. Or the next . . .

Anyway, happy holidays, season's greeting, Merry Christmas, and all that jazz. And could someone please adjust the dosage of Mother Nature's bi-polar meds, because seriously, this snow-one-day-rain-the-next thing? Soooo not cool.

P. ost S. cript
So this is as un-Christmas-y as it gets . . . but also pretty much as funny as it gets . . .

Friday, December 17, 2010

Well. I Feel Awkward.

I would.

So today was the last day of school before Christmas break. And let's just chalk the day up with another few dozen reasons why I have an awesome job. First there was the hysterically amusing hour-long Christmas sing-along assembly this morning - special guests, Santa and the Grinch. Then there's the fact that, like Halloween, I didn't really do much actual work today, but I still got paid to be there. Woot! But of course, everybody knows the best part about Christmas is the presents. :-)

(*insert corny sentimental something or other to show that I do understand the "true meaning of Christmas."* Seriously though, if you haven't figured out by now when to take me seriously and when not to . . . yeah . . . just . . . yeah . . . )

I was aware of the fact that sometime between the time I was in elementary school and now it became not only acceptable, but also expected and possibly required for kids to give their teachers something for Christmas. (btw, can someone explain to me when/how this happened?) And I figured I might get a token cookie or three from a couple of the kids, but I really wasn't expecting much. After all, I'm just an aide, you know? Aren't I, like, invisible or something?

(side note: I'm sure you can all see where this is going, but I'm going to draw it out anyway. Because I can.)

So imagine my surprise when I walk into my first class (the 4th grade one) and literally before I've gotten more than about 5 steps into the room one of the girls hands me a little box containing a tube of lotion with a cute little handwritten "to Miss Lacey" card. Say it with me kids - aaaawwwwwwwwwww!! Possibly the best/most surprising thing was I also got mobbed with hugs along with the "merry Christmas" wishes coming from kids who were already bouncing of the walls. I mean, isn't fourth grade about the time when kids start to lose the huggy-ness? I thought? But it was really sweet to get hugs from a couple of the "toughest" guys in the class. :-)

Fast forward to third grade, where kids were handing out cookies like they were . . . well, cookies. :-) Then there was a box of raisinets from one kid, and I was really surprised to have another boy hand me a "full size" gift bag - and by full size I mean roughly the average sized gift bag one would typically expect to see under a tree. Inside? A full package of oreos and a pair of flip flops. Talk about going all out, eh? I'm kind of curious as to how much input this little guy had in to what went into my bag, because he's one whom I'm pretty sure has had a crush on me since I was in his class last year. He's a really sweet kid, and one of the reasons that I'm always teasing Luke about having competition. :-) The flip flops are really cute and have a peacock design on them - I feel kind of bad about giving them to Shayla, but I'm just not a flip flop person. There was also a small gift from the teacher waiting for me on "my" table when I came in. This would be the point where I started feeling a little awkward because yesterday the kindergarten teacher I work with gave me some dish detergent with a little card that said "wishing you peace happiness and JOY" and it was all pun-y and cutesy and greatly appreciated because that means it's that much longer before I have to buy more. But I really, honestly was not expecting anything . . . so I didn't get anything for anyone. And now I feel really silly, and a little guilty. Anyway. About this time I'm thinking "at least the fourth grade teacher didn't give me anything." Yeah, famous last words. Of all the teachers I figured he'd be the least likely because, well, he's a dude. He's also the third grade teacher's brother-in-law, and knows I'm in her classroom during their math time. And since there was the whole assembly-and-things-are-kinda-crazy thing going on while I was in his classroom, when I'm in third grade he slips in really quickly leaving ANOTHER full size bag on the table. This one turned out to have a loaf of bread from one of the super yummy local bakeries and a very kind "thanks for helping so much" note that I really wasn't expecting. It's so nice to feel appreciated . . . like I'm actually helping . . . you know?

Anyway - second grade - a cute little candy dish with chocolate covered nuts and pretzels. First grade (where I've been subbing for the last two months after the old aide adopted a baby, and today was my last day) - a clearly handmade, absolutely darling little card purse (as opposed to a coin purse) and a Jamba Juice gift card. Have I mentioned I adore Jamba Juice? And that even though I don't yet know how much it's for, it could be for fifty freaking cents and it would pretty much be the best present anyone got me this Christmas? And that this one came with another very sweet thank you note? And was presented as the class sang "We Wish You A Merry Christmas" to me? After which I got uber-mobbed by hugs, at the end of a day full of hug-mobbings?

Yeah. I feel like a horrible slacker. I mean, I'm not a teacher, I'm not supposed to get this much attention, right? I suppose I should have seen it coming after getting half a dozen valentines back in February when I'd only been there for about three weeks. Feeling SO. Dang. Guilty. Blargh. I'm totally giving everyone little shillelagh rolls. Maybe if I make them tonight they'll taste as good as grandma's by this time next year . . . or maybe I'll just have to have grandma make them for me. ;-)

P. ost S. cript
What the what?! True story - once upon a time Lacey took a bowling class in college. Her average went from a 33 to a 110 over the course of the semester. 110 is still pretty craptastic, but considering the fact that it's more than 3 times better than 33 . . . Lacey was quite proud of herself at the end of the semester. Also: I'm totally a pro at Wii bowling. And I would LOVE to be able to pull something like this off. But I would just end up looking ridiculous.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

I Have A Bad Feeling About This

I like to think of myself as fairly technologically savvy. My family has had a home computer ever since I can remember, and from talking to other people I get the feeling that we were pretty early adopters as far as that goes. So I've always more or less known my way around with them. And as I've mentioned, Dad got a cell phone pretty early on, so even though I didn't get one until I was a junior in college it was hardly foreign to me when I started carrying it around all the time. The first time I played a Wii was shortly after they were first released because a friend of mine camped out overnight to get one. Dude, I even had a myspace page! Technically I suppose it's still there, but I haven't signed in for ages.

Anyway, I guess I'm trying to say don't think I'm some backwards techno-phobe who doesn't like adapting to new things. (but don't even get me started on facebook's obnoxious updates!) That said, there are some things I absolutely don't get the point of . . .

1) Smart phones. Why do you need to carry the internet around with you all the time? If you really can't go more than an hour without checking your email/facebook/blog/whatever you probably need more of a life in REAL life. Either that or a less demanding job. I'm sure I sound like a centenarian or something, but put down the freaking gadgets and interact with the real world for crying out loud. Also, I kind of like the whole "dedicated device" thing. I like my phone for communication, my camera for taking pictures, my computer for surfing the internet . . . that sort of thing. It seems that when you try to cram them all together something gets lost in quality along the way. At least, that must be the case if all the jokes about dropped iphone calls are based in even the slightest bit of fact.

2) Twitter. Absolutely don't get it. As far as I can tell, it's just facebook status updates, and that's it. So . . . why can't you just update your status? I'm sure following celebrities is fun and all, but don't you get the same stuff from skimming the occasional celebri-gossip article online, as - I admit - I do if a headline catches my eye. Someone please explain this to me. Preferably quickly


Oy. I can't believe I'm doing this. Or admitting it. Someone knock some sense into me or something.

Anyway, I found this article this morning, and it's really pretty interesting. So I ended up checking out a couple of the sites it mentioned, and holy crap there is some awesome stuff being given away out there! I could feel myself getting sucked in as I looked around a bit, and then I discover things like $25 gift cards where the deadline to enter is today and there are only four or five entries. So I'm like . . . "wait . . . what?!" because those are pretty good odds, you know? So I'm like, what the heck, it's free and stuff, so I'll give it a go. And then I discover that a lot of these giveaways involve liking them on facebook and following on twitter to enter. Blargh. I'm still holding out on the whole liking things on facebook, mostly because it annoys me, but I'd heard of getting freebies and stuff from twitter before. You can probably guess where this is going.

Yep, I'm on twitter. I'm not sure what I was thinking, and I'm pretty sure I will regret it - either because I never touch it after today, or I get so sucked in that it gets ridiculous. Go ahead and place your bets as to which one happens.

So, umm . . . I could kind of use a crash course into what I've just gotten myself into. I know how the whole @whoever thing works, and I know about hashtags, and how to follow people . . . but beyond that I'm kind of like my mom with any new phone or computer - it takes her months to figure everything out. Seriously, ask her. She says so herself all the time.

Anyway, LJo was taken . . . grrr . . . so I'm @veriladaine. Let me know who you are, and PLEASE help me out here.

I better win some pretty freaking good prizes this way.

P. ost S. cript
If you didn't know I would be posting some sort of Star Wars video the second you read the title . . . well, there are no words. Other than this video is awesome.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

It Can't Be

Dear Winter,

I'm so confused. Are we over? So quickly? Why?

I know we don't have the best of relationships, but every time you come back into my life I'm so excited to see you. Your snow lifts my spirits and helps me look forward to the end of the year. I know, I know, after a couple of months I have nothing good to say about you, but that doesn't give you any right to taunt me like you're doing.

And I'll admit, I was pretty disappointed by the blizzard-that-wasn't-really last month, but that's hardly the fault of either of us. Could we help that all the news people freaked out and over-hyped the storm? Don't let them dictate what you do. What we do.

It's been so bewildering watching all the snow melt this past week. So perplexing to hear it raining outside. It's the beginning of December, Winter, so why when I go outside do I find myself wondering if it's not really the end of March?

It's not that I have anything against Spring . . . and I think you know that. Spring and I have a much more stable relationship than we do, there's no denying that. I always look forward to Spring's arrival, and I'm never glad to see it go. We both know that the same can't be said of you. But there's also no denying that there is a passion in our relationship that Spring just can never match. I don't get excited watching snow melt. I don't post ecstatic facebook statuses about the first flowers blooming. Easter is always Easter no matter what the weather is like. There are only two holidays for which I need - need! - a specific type of weather to feel complete. The second holiday is coming quickly, and I need the weather that only you can provide - please don't let me down.

Please, will you at least tell me if I should just put off buying closed toed shoes for another year? I already bought some wonderfully cute boots (mostly) just for you.

If this truly is an early goodbye, I suppose I will just have to accept it, won't I? But please, as you leave, just know that for the first time ever you've left me well before I've had enough of you. Know you'll have broken my heart and I'll be counting the extra large number of days until we can be together once again.


P. ost S. cript
Perhaps I can tempt you back to me with an icy serving of fail?

Monday, December 6, 2010

A Christmasy Moment

I am SO doing this as soon as there's enough snow on top of my car again!

Let's get one thing straight right now - I love Christmas music. Absolutely adore it. Have it playing pretty much 24/7 from the day after Thanksgiving until Christmas. Can't get enough. It. Is. Awesome. The list of Christmas songs I don't like is very, very short.

There is an even shorter list. The List of Christmas Songs I Absolutely Cannot Stand. Consists of about three or four songs. And topping that list is the Christmas shoes song. Oh, how I loathe it.

I'm not saying I'm not a sentimental person . . . heck, I cried a bit at the end of Toy Story 3 for crying out loud! And I will occasionally tear up at a Christmas song. When something is good and then it tugs at your heartstrings, that's pretty awesome. When something is written deliberately to attempt to wring tears out of you - well, that's obnoxious to no end. And I can't stand it. Seriously, the thing sounds like it was written for a sappy holiday shoe commercial. In fact, I'm surprised Payless hasn't used it in an ad campaign. As a well known miser once said, if I could work my will every idiot who goes about with "Christmas Shoes" on his lips should be boiled in his own pudding and buried with a stake of holly through his heart. Unless, of course, you like it. Then let's just agree to pretend it doesn't exist and never let it come up in conversation. (random side note: totally didn't have to look up that quote, and it is exactly word for word. Check it, I dare you! A Christmas Carol ranks high on my list of all-time favorite Christmas obsessions.)

Anyway. Contrary to what that little rant would indicate, I am not that heartless. And while I am also not generally one to get all gushy and mushy on my blog (as you may have noticed), I can't help telling a super sweet story about Luke.

So last week on Luke's day off we ended up at the mall, as we often do. And they have an angel tree up, conveniently enough close to Luke's favorite store. Somehow (and I have yet to figure out how) Luke had never seen one before, and was quite intrigued. I think we spent a half hour - maybe more - walking around the tree while he read every last child's request. I asked him if he wanted to get one, because I love pulling off one or two every year. He was on the fence about it until he came to the tag for a ten-year-old boy who asked for legos. At which point I seriously watched him completely melt. Luke was quite the legos man himself back in the day, and it just broke his heart to think of some little boy not having legos under his tree Christmas morning. So we took that one.

And the next day we spent half an hour in Walmart looking for size 7 shoes. They had plenty in every size but that one, of which they only had, like, three. Obnoxious! But that was nothing compared to the time we had trying to get the right legos. See, on the tag whoever typed everything up had written "Lego's Toy Guns." Raise your hand if the picture that brings to mind is a toy gun made out of legos. Yeah, us too. So we're thinking, cool legos makes guns now? Bigger than the tiny ones that little lego Indiana Jones carries? Interesting. We went right into Toys R Us after taking the tag to get one.

Nothing. So we went home and googled it.

Nothing. Not even on the Legos web site. Which was really confusing. And we spent a lot of time scratching our heads and wondering where to find this really cool toy, and Luke spent a large chunk of time on hold with Legos customer service trying to figure things out, but never got through to a person. So we figure the kid had to have seen this somewhere in order to ask for it, so we'll just hit up every store in town until we find it. And then, walking through a parking lot, Luke figures it out. Wait a minute . . . the name "Legos" doesn't have an apostrophe in it . . . it's supposed to say "Legos, Toy Guns!!!"

(thi's would be the point that we both went off on a bit of a rant for a few minute's. I mean, really, what i's with people today and the way it seem's they think any word with an 's' on the end need's an apostrophe? How freaking dumb doe's thi's look?!?!?! IT'S NOT THAT FREAKING HARD PEOPLE!!!!!!! The ELEMENTARY SCHOOL kid's I work with get it, why dont you?!?!?! GOOD FREAKING GRIEF, IT'S A'S SIMPLE A'S GRAMMAR GET'S AND YOU LOOK LIKE A MORON WHEN YOU GET IT WRONG!!!!! LEARN IT!!!!!!!)

*large exhale* I feel better now.

Anyway, after finally finding the size 7 shoes that our anonymous boy needs, we headed to the toy section, grabbed a small Nerf gun and then proceeded to spend at least 45 minutes looking at legos while Luke agonized over what to pick. All the while talking about how when he was this kid's age he was all about the pirate legos. But now there are Star Wars legos and Toy Story legos and these branded legos and those branded legos and everything is a kit that makes something specific and you can't just buy a tub of random legos and build whatever you want (and seriously, how lame is that?), and Luke's going on and on about how important a decision this is and how he wants to pick something this boy will be excited to get, but it's so hard since we don't know what he likes, but legos are a big deal and you have to get it right. And he's going back and forth debating the merits of the helicopter versus the fire truck versus the SW snow speeder, and this would be the point where I completely melted. Like I said, I'm not one to gush, but I married a really sweet, really awesome guy. And should the day come that we have kids, he will be an absolutely fabulous dad. At least one of us will be good at it. *insert half smile here*

Anyway, that's all. I act Scrooge-y, but if I am of that ilk, I answer to Fred Scrooge. Next year we might have to take two. I was at a restaurant a few days later and they had an angel tree . . . and I nearly took a couple more home. I always worry about the ones who don't get picked - how sad is that? Get out there people, and give some sweet little kids a Christmas!!

P. ost S. cript
Some of my favorite Christmas musical numbers. :-)
BTW, Happy Hannukah Eric and Ian!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Wintery Thoughts

I'm not usually a fan of remakes, but this is one I could totally get behind.


~ This whole being a grown-up in the snow thing? I'm not a fan. Slipping and sliding whilst driving, clearing the car windows, wondering if we should replace the tires on my car now or if they can make it through the winter . . . yeah. Not cool. I just want to make snow angels and snowmen, dangit!

~ I really want a garage. Or at least a carport. A tent maybe? Something to make it so I don't have to scrape the windows.

~ I really need to get some close-toed dress shoes. I say this every winter . . . and by every winter I mean EVERY winter since I graduated from high school. In that time I've purchased two pairs of dress shoes . . . both in the spring, both very cute, one a rocking pair of stilettos, one a super cute pair of strappy sandals. Something always comes up - either I don't have the money or I can't find any I like or I just keep forgetting when I'm shopping. Which makes sense considering I only wear dress shoes once a week for three hours and most of those three hours I'm inside. On the other hand, when there is three inches of fresh snow on the ground and you have to walk all around your car to clear it off . . . and then it snows another three inches while you're at church and you have to clear the car off again to leave . . . I really need to get some closed-toed dress shoes. And some cute boots without a heel.

~ My collection of Christmas ornaments began with my first Christmas. Which is awesome, because that means now I have a good-sized collection. In fact, it's really too big for our little 3 foot tree, it's kind of crowded on there. But there's not enough for a full size tree. Blargh. I'm totally going to have to hit up the after Christmas sales and hope there's some cute stuff. And then knock out a wall so we have room for a big tree.

~ The good news is we're looking at a winter where we keep the heat on a little higher and a little longer than last year . . . yay! On the other hand, we have still abandoned the living room in favor of the smaller and cheaper to heat 2nd bedroom/den/craft room/game room/guest room/office/everything-but-the-kitchen-sink room. I finally moved in on Monday. I'm already a little stir crazy. In the plus column, there is the TV and Wii in here with me now. In the negative column, we moved the extra bed out this year. So there's only a hotel reject armchair, which is comfortable enough, but there are only so many ways you can sit in it, and you can't stretch out. And the floor is hard, even with the mountain of blankets and pillows that's now sitting in the corner. We wanted to get banana chairs this summer shortly after we got the Wii - because banana chairs are awesome! And because we just need somewhere to sit. Turns out that only ONE place in this entire town carries banana chairs . . . and they only carry them during the holidays. What the what?!?! So we're hopefully going to be buying them soon. Maybe even this week. *crossing fingers*

~ LOVE the fact that the snow didn't hit until the week of Thanksgiving. Awe. Some. We got a nice, long, enjoyable fall, and snow just when I like it. In fact, I think a perfect world would be one where winter (and by extension snow) lasted precisely from the week of Thanksgiving to the last week of January. And then in February all the melting is done and it's just plain gone. Yep, that's my kinda winter.

~ Is it Christmas yet? I am dying to see what my parents think of their present from all of us. (suffice it to say, if everything goes exactly how I want it to, there will be video. And it will be awesome.) Also, we're really hoping Convergys will close down for Christmas again this year. Because working on Christmas? Been there, done that, not cool.

~ Last year Luke and I talked a bit about what sort of Christmas traditions we want to have. Among other things, we decided that every year we'll pull out the chocolate fountain Grandma B. gave us last year. So - can anyone tell me where to get a couple of pounds (I think, haven't looked at the instruction manual yet) of molten chocolate?

~ Apparently there is such a thing as flannel-lined jeans. They're sold at Cal Ranch, so I'm sure they're decidedly of the not-cute-flattering-jeans variety. That might cease to be an issue eventually.

P. ost S. cript
So epically awesomely hysterical. I love it!! You'll never look at Indy the same way again, guaranteed . . .

Thursday, November 25, 2010

It Doesn't Get Random-er

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

First, a news update: Tuesday we were supposed to get hit by the mega-blizzard storm of the century, so school was halved and pretty much the whole state shut down. Luke and I had to have lunch at the newly opened Chik-Fil-A and it was crazy busy, much like when we ate at the newly opened In-N-Out Burger last month. But the peppermint chocolate chip milkshake made the crowds BEYOND worth it - YUM! Then we went home and prepared to hunker down and weather the Snowpocalypse.

Ummmmm . . . it snowed. A lot. It was pretty dang windy. Very little visibility. I would not have wanted to be out in that storm. But I was envisioning winds that knocked over the motorcycles in the parking lot, power outages, the first floor of the complex being snowed in and unable to get out of their apartments and Luke and me huddled under blankets for a couple of days until things got back to normal. Yeah, didn't happen. Color me kinda disappointed.

On the other hand, since Luke has to work today we had our little Thanksgiving dinner yesterday. And I am proud to announce I have successfully cooked two turkey in a row. Well, okay, two tiny little three-pound turkey breasts . . . but I'm counting it!! A few discoveries from yesterday: it is possible to cook stuffing, mashed potatoes, corn, gravy, and rolls all at the same time if you have two people and four hands available. Also, one box of stuffing is not enough to satisfy two stuffing fiends (learned that last year), but two boxes will leave leftovers. However, there is no amount of stuffing that qualifies as "enough" for two stuffing fiends. I imagine that cooking a Thanksgiving dinner for more than two is probably a lot more complicated. So I will definitely not be attempting that until we have a kitchen at least five times bigger than the one we have. Good thing pretty much any kitchen in the world fits that description, eh?

And now the moment you've all been waiting for . . .

Lacey's Top Ten Random, Odd, Obscure, or Perhaps Just Plain Weird Things She's Thankful For! (version 2.0 . . . 1.0 here if you want to compare random-osity)

1. Nepotism totally has to be #1 . . . since it made the list two years in a row, it's clearly a big deal.

2. Goodreads giveaways. Four free books and counting! YAY!!

3. Reconnecting. Did my mention my awesome old friend/roommate from Florida, Brandy came to visit for a few days last month? Well, she did. And it was awesome. Sooooooooo great to see people you haven't seen in ages! Yay for catching up with people!

4. Car problems that have generally been less frequent and less expensive than last year. (although there must be something about this time of year and our cars, because we're totally having issues again. at least they've been minor this time!!!)

5. Five months of no rent - I can almost forgive the fire for being on my birthday. :-P

6. Book club. Even though I still feel like the kid sister they let tag along (which is totally from my own inferiority complex, not anything even remotely related to anyone there!) it's kind of really fantabulous. I look forward to it every month.

7. Mythbusters. I've been streaming it on Netflix for the last couple of months whilst working on a Christmas project. I may be nearly through Collection 6 . . . but of course no self-respecting mature adult would admit to something like that, so I'll just leave it hazy. :-) But if anyone can hook me up with a chicken gun, you will be my hero FOR. EV. ER.
On a slightly related note . . .

8. That feeling of accomplishment you get when you finish something. Like I said, I've been working on this great Christmas project for the last two months, and I finally finished it this week, which is great because I was starting to worry that I wouldn't finish in time. I'm not saying anymore here because you're not supposed to tell people what they're getting for Christmas (unless it's you telling me, lol), but if people are interested I'll post pictures after Christmas.

9. Slightly related again - having projects to do, especially for other people. I totally need to get some baby bibs to cross-stitch for a few people. In fact, I should probably just get a buttload and get ahead of myself since that's what I want to be my go-to baby shower gift from here on out . . . if possible, anyway.

10. Blog comments. It's utterly ridiculous, but I get the HUGEST self-esteem boost whenever I see I have another one. And don't even get me started on how I feel when a post hits double digits . . . :-) You guys rock!! I love you all!!

And there you have it. May your tryptophan comas be pleasant, and may you not be trampled to death if you go shopping tomorrow. Also, since I'm not feeling creative enough to top myself , allow me to just remind you that I can be so clever sometimes. :-) And I'm counting down the minutes until this applies again tomorrow.

P. ost S. cript
Have you seen this?!?! SOOOOOOOOO awesome!!!! Betty White is so last year. ;-) Cookie Monster for President!! I'm voting for the Cookie Monster/Grover ticket in 2012!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

We Interrupt This Blog to Announce:

IT'S SNOWING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I'm kinda psyched. Come February I will be sick of it, and probably complain about all the obnoxious snow quite often, but right now it's pretty much the best thing ever.

And . . . that is all.

(side note: I finally went ahead and made that glossary. Have fun!)

P. ost S. cript
I'm sure you're all expecting something snow related, but Luke showed me this one this morning and, well, you can't go wrong with a pile of purring kittens. And holy crap, I'm still laughing over the halfway point! Too cute!!!!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

I Was Still (sort of) Hoping

They are, too.

So I'm not really one to blog in response to big news stories . . . as you may have noticed. But I kind of couldn't resist this week.

As you may have also noticed via my facebook status, I'm a little brokenhearted over this whole Prince William getting officially engaged thing. Which, yes, is kind of silly for a lot of reasons. Among them being the fact that he's been unofficially engaged for, what, ten years now? Dude, does anyone else see a ridiculous sitcom premise in that sentence? Seriously.

Anyway. Back in the day when I was just discovering that Holy Crap! Boys Are Cute! just happened to correspond with the time that Prince William was making the cover of Tiger Beat, like, every day. And when it came to cute boys . . . holy crap, that boy was cute!!! In fact, I think he was probably my first celebrity crush. And since my daydreams have always tended to be ridiculously over the top - well, I had some highly enjoyable silly little fantasies. We would meet skiing in the Alps (where my family suddenly acquired the money for me to go skiing in the Alps solo was always rather vague) and ultimately that lead to Prince William abdicating his throne to marry me. Which is kind of interesting, because I'm tolerably certain I didn't know the word "abdicate" at the time, although I was clearly familiar with the concept. Weird. And then I would spend much more time than would be healthy to admit envisioning the wedding, which would still be elaborately over the top even though His Royal Highness was marrying some random lowly American commoner.

Confession: it's probably pretty obvious, but I've always had this crazy obsession with princesses. And brides. I'm a sucker for any story about either . . . and yes, The Princess Bride ranks very highly on my list of best movies of all time. This whole "internet" thing? Has been pretty awesome because I'm always discovering stories about celebrity weddings or wedding planning - which, yes, I still read. I've been reading them since long before I thought I was going to be getting married shortly after high school, so why on earth should I stop now? Part of it is the look - the gorgeous dresses, the tiaras, the fact that it's pretty much impossible to not be pretty if you're either princess or bride. That part probably comes from hearing that I wasn't pretty a lot when I was growing up. Also - if I see a friend-of-a-friend on facebook with a wedding/bridal picture as their profile picture, I have to look at their profile in the hopes that they don't have privacy settings as strict as mine and I can look at their wedding pictures. Yep, wedding pictures of people I don't know. Because I love looking at any wedding pictures. Long story short, this summer was quite the jackpot.

But I also love the idea of being a princess. When I was younger all that meant was wearing the pretty dresses and having charming princes rescue you, but as I've gotten older I become more fascinated the more I learn about real princesses. I think that's one of the reasons I love historical European fiction - sure, these women are princesses and duchesses and whatever, but they're being used as political pawns . . . and then there are the ones who are strong enough to take control of their own destinies. I know, it sounds sooooooooo corny - but I love it. I'm an absolute sucker for it. Pulls me in every time. I've wanted to be a princess ever since forever. I'm pretty sure a big part of the reason I've always been in love with Han Solo (other than the fact that Harrison Ford is HOT!) is because I've wanted to be Leia ever since the first time I saw Star Wars when I was six. Naturally I auditioned to be a princess (well, the audition was for the sadly more generic "character performer," but Aurora was my ultimate dream/goal) while I was at Disney, but dead height does not get any deader than me. Let me tell you, that was depressing. (on the other hand, if I had gotten in, I wouldn't have met Luke . . . and we can all see where that thought is going . . . )

Part of my . . . wake-up call, I guess . . . to the reality of real-world princesses actually came about the same time I was falling in love with Prince William. It was 1997 (go ahead, search your memories . . . or wikipedia, lol) and I was just starting to actually pay attention to the news, even though I didn't understand most of what they were talking about. It seemed like Princess Diana was always in the news, first for all the charity work she was doing, and then of course . . . such a horrible car crash. It was really jarring for me - I'd sort of started looking to her as a role model, and then she was suddenly gone, and at the time I'd never been to a funeral or anything, so that was pretty much the most personal experience I'd had with death to that point. Crazily enough (timing wise) there was a back-to-school sleepover already planned as a YW activity that just happened to be on the right night. I was one of the very few who stayed up all night to watch her funeral. Which made an interesting contrast to my mom talking about watching her wedding all those years before. If I remember correctly she didn't watch it herself, but she was working at the United Way at the time, and the chapter in Puyallup was sponsored by the local Catholic church (or however that works) and all the nuns watched and talked about it for ages before and after. And I can't say I blame them . . . I mean, holy amazingly gorgeous dress, Batman!! Not to mention that she really was one of the most beautiful women ever. Yeah, suffice it to say my princess obsession was only increased that year.

I wouldn't say I've followed Prince William's life closely since then . . . but like I said, any story with "prince" or "princess" in the headline is definitely going to be clicked on. How's this for crazy - I even stumbled across a slide show of several princess' engagements rings . . . last week! And can I just say - Diana's/Kate's is BEAUTIFUL!!!!! I would love a replica . . . a totally fake replica, of course. I don't imagine that a diamond-surrounded EIGHTEEN FREAKING CARAT sapphire will be in our price range any time soon. And by any time soon I mean . . . ever. On the other hand, I can't imagine wearing something so massive. My ring is only a quarter of a carat, and it still amazes me sometimes how big it is! Not to mention all the times I've scraped Luke with it . . . completely unintentionally of course . . . but I swear one of these days it's going to draw blood.

I would be so intimidated to wear the real one if I were Kate Middleton though. Heck, I'm too intimidated to wear Luke's grandmother's ring. I'm honestly still overwhelmed by the fact that it's sitting in my jewelry box right now. It turned out Luke's dad had been saving it for Luke's fiancee for forever, so the day after we told his parents we were engaged he pulled it out and over-nighted it to Florida. Yeah, there are no words to say how glad I am that I didn't know about that until it was already there! But it was so unfathomable to me - giving a precious family heirloom to someone they'd never met. (Oh yeah, did I mention we'd been engaged for a month before we met each other's parents?) I couldn't help but be certain that as soon as they met me Luke's dad would want the ring back - not because his parents aren't awesome, because they are the greatest. Just because I have that much of an inferiority complex. But it's an absolutely lovely ring. I wear it sometimes, but we decided we're going to give it to our oldest daughter (assuming we have one, of course). I feel like she deserves it more than I do. Being, you know, actually related to its original owner and all.

So . . . yeah. I'm totally going to watch the royal wedding next year. And I'm totally glad that it'll probably be during the summer so there won't be any major repercussions from getting up super early . . . or, more likely, staying up all night to watch. However, for those of you who are now convinced that I'm absolutely nuts - never fear. I shall not be watching dressed like Marguerite from Ever After ( a picture of which I cannot find for the life of me . . . but obviously I'm referring to the wedding scene where she's wearing so much mourning-type clothing one would think she'd just been widowed). And I definitely will not be buying the commemorative plate.

P. ost S. cript
If anyone could swerve my allegiance from Prince William, it would definitely be . . . PERRY THE PLATYPUS!!!!! Who's theme song I totally have as a ringtone. (Ashli . . . you should call me more often. It's your ringtone.)

Monday, November 15, 2010

A Story. A Long, Rambling, Random Story.

So last week was the three year anniversary of mine and Luke's first date. We like to keep track of the little things. :-) And I actually intended to post this last week, but, well, life happens. Anyway.

Before everyone tunes out, no, this is not the story of our first date. Although we both agree that we really out to write down the details somewhere before we forget them, I'm not really one to get particularly mushy-gushy on the blog-o-sphere so . . . yeah. Not happening. However, today's story (brought to you by the letters L and L and the number 3) 1~ is slightly related. 2~ is (I think) an amusing enough diversion for a small chunk of time for those who don't know it, and 3~ will likely be a pleasantly traumatizing walk down memory lane for those who do know it. Traumatizingly pleasant perhaps? One of the two.

So. Luke and I met, as I'm pretty sure everyone knows by now, in Florida. Whilst working at Disney World. And it was grand. (No, really, it was . . . most days . . . ) Now it just so happened that by sheer coincidence that first date took place at an exceedingly frightening, nay, terrifying time of year. What was it, you ask? It was -

Super Soap Weekend

*insert freaky screechy music here*

At this point you, the reader, have had one of two reactions. 1) Cringing in terror and repressed memories. 2) Asking "what the crap is Super Soap Weekend?"

For group number 2:
Super Soap Weekend (hereafter SSW) is . . . well, was one weekend every September when bunches of stars from ABC soap operas descended on Disney World (specifically, the Studios . . . where we worked) to meet the fans, sign some autographs, take pictures, and basically film a bunch of promos for WDW. There are Q&A sessions and motorcades and Mickey and Minnie have special costumes, and it's not all that unlike SWW (Star Wars Weekends . . . I really ought to just make that glossary already!)

Sounds harmless, right? And SWW are pretty harmless. Sure, it's safe to assume everyone you see is some level of Star Wars geek (and before you mock, just remember those are my people you're talking about!) but nobody's really expecting Mace Windu to go home with them. Well, except perhaps Linda Skywalker. But she is a crazy story for another day.

However, back to the main story. When it comes to SSW . . . well, this is where the crazies come out. And it is not pretty.

For starters, Disney has these things they call ECVs. It stands for something unendingly clever and explanatory that I've forgotten, but never fear, once Eric comments he'll cement his know-it-all status by ending the suspense for all of us. :-) (you know I love ya Eric, right?) Anyway, it's a massive, bulky, ugly motorized chair, much like the ones you see at Walmart. Bet you can see where this is going - think of the average person you see using them at Walmart. Yep. While there are plenty of people who use them at Disney because they need them - Grandma got one when she came to visit . . . I think she might have still been wearing that boot thing - the majority of the people who get them . . . how do I put this politely . . . oh, I know! Most of the people you see in ECVs mowing people down all throughout WDW epitomize the reason one of my roommates managers referred to them as "manatee movers." A term I came to love almost as much as touron, believe you me!

'Kay, so now you've got a picture in your head of who's riding in these things, now get this - each park is well supplied with their own stock of manatee movers. Pretty much the only time they might run out is around Christmas. But for SSW, all three of the other parks ship a good chunk (I've heard up to half) of their inventory to the Studios because otherwise there won't be enough. In fact, they might still run out! The horror! The horror!

And to say these are rabid soap fans does not begin to describe it. As one of my favorite trainers put it, these are women who've scarcely moved off their couch for decades because they've been glued to the TV watching these soaps. (well that explains why they're spilling over both sides of those things!) And yet, somehow they're convinced that when they come down here and finally meet their darling Quinn VanderSnodgrassEnHofferMan (because that's who it is . . . these shows are real life, and those people are not actors!) he is going to be just so taken with her that he will follow her home and be her willing love slave forever and ever and ever.

I know, you think I'm joking. I only wish I was. Fact: physical fights have broken out over spots in line to get a ticket to stand in another line - a "standby" line in which one may or may not get fifteen seconds of face time with soap star X, a pre-signed (i.e. pre-stamped) photo, and if you're really lucky a hastily taken picture of the lucky ticket holder and soap star X. Security has to be called for these women who are contemporaries of my mother and grandmothers!! How crazy is that?!?!

And the lines - oy! They start lining up at the front gate of the park at, like, 4:00 in the morning - and that's only because Disney won't let them camp out over night! Can I just say, that much devotion to a TELEVISION SHOW and, more importantly, that much disconnect from reality is, quite frankly, terrifying.

But to add to all that craziness, they actually shut down Backlot to use the area for autographs for the weekend. (they meaning the park execs, not the crazed, delusional fans. And, well, it's not like anybody goes on that ride anymore anyway.) And they make the Backlot cast do crowd control for the autograph lines. This would be the time of year that I was always most thankful that I was trained at the playground and LMA so I could wouldn't have to touch that job with a thirty-nine-and-a-half foot pole. Of course, that didn't always work. You see, at the playground they wear these horribly ugly yellow shirts. And since there's only a handful of people wearing them for the playground on any given day, whenever there's any sort of event going on, that's what the event people wear too. Which can only lead to trouble.

Here's the scene: November, 2006. My friend (Mike) and I have only been working at Disney for about two and a half months. I was lucky enough to be off, but Mike had to work . . . at the playground. In the yellow shirt. That everyone else is wearing that day. The people keeping you (yes, you!) away from your one true soul mate Quinn VanderSnodgrassEnHofferMan, or perhaps his evil twin. Or even more evil triplet. Anyway, as Mike tells it, this crazy lady was talking to him, when she suddenly puts two and two together - people wearing yellow shirts can walk right up to any of these stars they want. She needs a yellow shirt! So, naturally, she demands that Mike gives her his shirt. He laughs it off . . . one of those "heh, heh, you're crazy so I'm not going to make any sudden movements" type laughs and says no. She comes at him all, "give me your shirt!" He's backing up, still kind of thinking she's joking . . . until she has two buttons undone and is going for more. Yeah, she was totally going to physically take his shirt away in order to get close to all the soap stars. To this day I find this story ridiculously frightening . . . but I still crack up every time. That's just kind of how it is. People come into the break room saying "you will not believe what just happened out there!" And you listen to the story, and you're completely shocked and horrified and glad it wasn't you . . . and half an hour later everyone, including the storyteller, is cracking up and dramatically reenacting the whole scene every time someone new comes in. Good times.

Hands down best story, though - and this is another that still makes me laugh every time. My friend (Mary), in either '06 or '07 got the assignment of being an escort for Susan Lucci. Now for those who don't know (which, I hope, is everyone but Eric and Ian and Kayla) Susan Lucci is kind of a big deal. She's been on whatever show she's on since, like, before I was born. And apparently she's kind of a diva, at least during SSW. She has to ride with Mickey in the motorcade, and she has to have this spot for autographs, and blah, blah, blah, whatever. So anyway. Mary's in the bathroom, washing her hands. Chatting with some random CM (cast member . . . so doing that glossary) who's also working SSW. Just random stuff, what their assignments are, how it's going, whatever. Mary mentions she's with Susan Lucci. Other chick asks her how that's going. Among other things Mary says, "she's a lot more wrinkly in person than she looks like on TV." (I'm sure you can all see where this is going.) Toilet flushes. Door opens. And out comes . . . yep, Susan Lucci. Awkward!!! Mary says she felt kind of dumb, but she was laughing about it by a day or two later. Good times, kids, good times.

Of course, SSW 2008 was the last time they held it at WDW . . . I think they finally came to their sense about having all these crazy old ladies invading every year. So now it's held in a new city every year. I think. That was the plan, but it might have just died out or something. I really don't know. But coming full circle, our first date was the Saturday of SSW 2007. Needless to say we stayed far away from the Studios. Well, sort of. We went to Japan . . . in Epcot. And it was awesome.

The end.

P. ost S. cript
Holy crap, people actually watch these shows? And think they're realistic? That is not a positive commentary on the state of humanity. That said . . . kinda funny . . . as in laughing-at-how-obviously-painful-to-spit-out-these-lines it is for the actors. :-)

Monday, November 8, 2010

Has No One Considered This?

So I misplaced my phone the other day. No big deal, I do it . . . well, not all the time . . . but often enough. Luke loses his more often, and I'm always calling it with mine to locate it, so whilst I was looking for mine I just thought, "well, I'll just call it . . . wait . . . blargh . . . " And before you ask, no, it was not in my hand. Or my pocket. And yes, I've done that too.

Ultimately I found it - and right where I left it too, who would have thought? :-) But while I was looking I felt so completely isolated. Not only could I not reach anyone by phone, even if I'd had one other than mine I wouldn't have known how to reach anyone. How did this happen?

I remember when I was little it was a really big deal for a little kid to know his or her phone number. And it was a major achievement when you could finally recite it. And since you had to push each individual number's button, if you called someone a lot you would probably memorize that number too.

I don't know anyone's numbers now. Well, that's not quite entirely true. I remember our phone number from when we lived in Idaho Falls . . . of course, we moved twelve years ago. My dad's had a cell phone since pretty much forever. He never had the Zack Morris phone, but he did have the next generation, which was still quite a brick. (side note: OH MY HOLY MUST HAVE!) I remember that number too. It changed at least ten years ago. But I still know it.

What other phone numbers could I call without my cell phone? I could call my parent's house. Of course, that phone hasn't been answered since around the time I graduated from college . . . possibly before that. I'm not even sure why they still have the land line. They only give that number to people they don't actually want to talk to these days.

The one bright spot is that dad's current cell number has been the same since I was in high school. And since I didn't get my cell until I was a junior in college, I do have that one down. So there is a grand total of one number that I could call if I really needed to get a hold of someone. Here's hoping I never find myself in a situation where I need to reach anyone else super quickly, right?

But now I'm curious. What do people do when they actually lose their phones? How do you tell people? (and by that I mean, obviously, people who aren't on facebook, lol) How do you recover all the numbers from your contact list (again, the ones of people not on facebook)? Back in the day phone books were, you know, separate from phones, but now when you lose one you've lost both. Ummmm . . . can we say craptacular?

And what about the little kids? Are they having to learn the individual numbers for mom/dad/nanny/babysitter/grandparents/older siblings/insert random caregiver child sees twice a year here? Talk about an accomplishment! Especially since none of these adults have to memorize any of those numbers - they just look for the name in their phones and push the little green button. Not fair!

I suppose this is the part where I should have some sort of witty conclusion or something. But . . . yeah. I gots nothin'. So this lovely little installment of What Goes on in Lacey's Head ends . . . wait for it . . . here. The end.

P. ost S. cript
Great merciful crap, did you see this?!?! CRAZY!!!!!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

She's Gonna Blow! (preview)

Disclaimer . . . just in case

We went to Yellowstone a lot when I was a kid. Like, all the time. Three or four times a summer, almost every year (although not in '88, of course). And if I remember correctly from my little bit of education in volcanology gleaned from those trips, geysers and volcanoes work more or less like this -

Lots of hot liquid under the surface of the earth. Gathers and gathers, and builds up pressure so there's more and more and more and more until finally . . . KA-BOOM!!!


There's a little bit of a crack somewhere, a vent. And this lets steam out and eases the pressure underground and you don't have eruptions as often or as intense, if at all. This explains the difference between a big hole with steam pouring out that you'll see all over the place and the likes of Old Faithful and Riverside Geyser (that one's really cool to see erupt!).

Anyway. This is just a roundabout way for me to say that I am REALLY in the mood to just erupt and give everyone a nice little bit of shouldn't-watch-but-can't-look-away style entertainment . . . but that's just not an intelligent move right now. So instead I'm going to just vent a little bit, and if you find yourself intrigued you can rest assured that the whole story is going to come bursting out onto my blog as soon as it's more practical. Because . . . GAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

But anyway. Luke and I have found ourselves in a very . . . unpleasant situation. One that involves a power-tripping, hungry-for-more-power, control freak. Just that much might be tolerable, if said person was not also regularly proving themself incompetent. (yes, I know themself is not a word. I'm using it anyway to keep it vague.)

It started off very subtly, to the point that we wrote it off and I've been second guessing myself for the better part of this year. But now it's becoming too much, and we've decided we have to do something about it. There's no instant fix - in fact, it's going to take some time simply because of what the circumstances are. And I am dreading the process. Absolutely do not want to do it, even though it really has become necessary, and I rather resent the fact that it has become so.

Right now, I am really, really angry at the whole thing. I know I shouldn't be, I should be all zen and mellow or whatever and let it go, but . . . this is just so not right. I know I'll let go of the anger eventually, but I'm not deluding myself by thinking it'll anytime in the next decade. (okay, that's a bit of an exaggeration) And I'm pretty sure that if I can just blog-vent it all out once everything is over I'll even be able to get on with things without any bitterness. But when you're in the middle of things it's kind of hard to take the long-term view of them, you know? Suffice it to say I'm taking a lot of deep breaths in order to keep from screaming.

So . . . yeah. That's all I've got for ya today. Kind of a downer, and if anyone actually figures out what I'm talking about then you, my friend, have got to be psychic or something. And I offer you major props - but you already knew that, didn't you? ;-) I guarantee there will be a follow-up, but it will probably come long after everyone has forgotten all about what you read today. Don't worry, I'll warn you at the beginning. Because it will be a post likely of record-breaking length (for me at least) and chock full of negativity . . . here's hoping it all comes out in the blog!

And can I just say, where would people be if there weren't therapeutic things to do like writing or painting or whatever? I feel kinda sorry for non-creative people. I mean, even if what you create isn't very good at least you're channeling all that energy into something that's not destructive.

Also - if you're reading this, you don't have to worry. It's not you. I totally heart you all.

P. ost S. cript
Sorry to be such a downer. I (literally) just got rickrolled by Pandora, which actually boosted my mood instantly. So here's my attempt at counterbalancing what you just read. I dare you to watch the whole thing without smiling.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

This is Complicated . . .

Firstly, a discovery - I probably shouldn't go through the spook alley so many times next year. I had a bit of a headache when I left work Friday, but I just chalked it up to a busy day. But by a couple of hours after I blogged it was well on its way to migraine status. By the time I picked Luke up from work at midnight it was pretty bad. Not fun. And since the whole sleeping-it-off thing that usually works when I have a migraine decidedly didn't . . . yeah. Yesterday was unpleasant. And especially depressing since the marching band competition was yesterday, and I'd been looking forward to it for, like, two months now. Blargh.

I'm not really sure what brought it on, but since my mom gets a migraine if she smells anything stronger than (practically) water . . . and I'm assuming that extends to the rest of the family too, because it seems like everything does . . . I'm just going to go ahead and guess that it was caused by inhaling all those fog machine fumes all day. By the end of the day I was going through with pretty much every group, so that's kind of a lot of fumes. So I spent yesterday doing pretty much nothing, and the headache slowly died off, and I skipped church today just in case it decided to flair up again, as it did a few times yesterday. And I think I might be back to normal by tomorrow. Woo hoo.

Anyway. I'm betting you all thought I was kidding when I said I had to start planning next year's costume now. Nope, totally serious. Well, sort of, at least. Among the nothing I did yesterday I was thinking a little bit about costumes, and I realized just how limiting it is to work at an elementary school at Halloween. There really aren't a lot of costumes that work there, beyond your standard and pretty generic "witch," "princess," "scary/dead person," or whatever. I mean, think about it -

I could totally pull out my Elizabeth Bennett costume from a few years ago, and while the teachers would probably get a kick out of it, it would totally go over the kids' heads. Same goes for pretty much all of the cool/clever/funny pop-culturally relevant costumes that would be way fun to do. The Progressive insurance girl? Totally not going to get it. (a friend of mine from Florida just posted a picture of herself on facebook in this one, and can I just say . . . brilliant idea!!!!) Pretty much any TV or movie character? Other than Hannah Montana, I actually kind of hope they wouldn't recognize the other ideas I've had in the last couple of days. Sue Sylvester? Yeah, not going to get it. Or any other character from Glee.

The thought occurred to me that I could totally go as Quinn Fabray . . . but there again, to the kids I would just be a generic cheerleader, and to the teachers too unless I specified, and costumes aren't as much fun when you have to explain them all the time. I could always make it obvious by doing the pregnant cheerleader thing, but that of course explodes into the MASSIVELY inappropriate for an elementary school area.

Then you have my costume from a couple of years ago. It was really quite brilliant considering I got home from work and was informed "we're going to this Halloween party in ten minutes and you're coming with us so hurry up and get a costume on" . . . when I hadn't planned on dressing up that year. So I did a slightly frantic google search and five minutes later, voila!

Kay, so it's kind of hard to tell, but I was a nudist on strike. And it had an added humor factor because I phrased it the way all the gazillions of union fliers you see all over the place when you work at Disney World. Simple, fast, and slightly epically brilliant if I do say so myself. :-)

Of course, it's also a bit of a double whammy being both inappropriate and so far over elementary school-aged heads that it might as well be on the moon.

So . . . yeah. This might be tougher than I thought.

Moving on. Another thought. Gotta say, I kinda love retro costumes. You know, hippies, disco queens and kings, blindingly bright eighties outfits. So fun. But can I just say - it's kind of weird to see seven- and eight-year-olds in those costumes. Which I saw Friday. They were really cute, but just . . . odd. To me anyway. But good suppliers of ideas. So if anyone has any fringed vests or polyester bell bottoms or neon clothes they (for some reason) haven't gotten rid of yet, I'll take them!

Random question - can Farrah Fawcet's feathered hairdo be done to any hair long enough, or does one need to cut one's hair in a specific manner to be conducive to feathering? I'm not quite that dedicated to this whole dressing up thing, and I kind of just missed that trend back when it was new.

Okay, I'm off to make sure Luke hasn't died in his sleep or something. Because, oh yeah, did I mention that he's not feeling well this weekend either? Good times all around. Can I just say it's a really good thing the Halloween candy goes on sale tomorrow? That's seriously the only thing keeping me motivated right now.

P. ost S.cript
So this is probably totally faked . . . but still funny. And I'm willing to bet it's happened for real somewhere too!!

Friday, October 29, 2010

I *LOVE* My Job

So it turns out that Halloween is a BIG deal at Ellis. And that is . . . pretty awesome. Everything pretty much comes to a halt and the whole day is more or less one big party. And people like me? We get paid to wear costumes and participate in said party. I know, I have a really tough job. :-)

So I only found out about this whole Big Freaking Deal thing last week when I took my first trip down to the basement to see the beginning of the spook alley that is set up every year. And I hear about how it's all but required for the adults to dress up too. Which was pretty sweet, because I'd been wondering about whether we were allowed to dress up or not and how all that sort of thing goes and stuff, and it always good to have a question you've been wondering about for ages but a little hesitant to ask finally get answered. Yay! On the down side, that meant I had exactly seven days to come up with a costume. Good thing my idea was totally doable at the last minute . . . because I'd put in some majorly advanced planning.

Okay, back story - whilst in Florida, I bought a Hannah Montana wig. Random? Yes. Weird? Yes. But that's kind of just the sort of thing you do when you're a twenty-something working at Disney World . . . you buy random crap with your cast member discount that's intended for little kids with the intention of wearing/using it jokingly/ironically. I actually intended to buy all the princess wigs eventually too, but that didn't happen.

So anyway - I've got this perfectly good Hannah Montana wig sitting in a corner gathering dust, so for the last month I've been toying with the idea of building a costume around it, but never actually asking if we can dress up for fear the answer would be no and people would be all "what's wrong with you, this is a place of learning, blah, blah, blah," and think I'm some sort of . . . I don't know. Insert something negative here. Because I am that pathetically paranoid about people not thinking highly of me. Yeah, it's sad. Moving on.

Now, conveniently enough whilst on my recent modestly splurge-y shopping spree I picked up an awesome necklace and some really great earring, that as I'm forming this outfit in my head I'm realizing would totally work perfectly. And of course I have jeans in spades and some super cute boots . . . of course, a top of some sort is also slightly necessary when one is working at an elementary school. Ultimately I found myself at DI Wednesday purchasing a bright pink halter top and a be-glittered denim jacket.

And can I just say . . . TA DA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

'Kay, so this was taken at the end of a long day, and by this point the wig just would not stay on my head without slipping back immediately, so I'm sure you noticed that peak at my real hair . . . but you'll just have to trust me that I looked AWESOME at the start of the day! Sadly, too awesome for it to occur to me to take my camera to work with me so I could get someone to take a picture while the outfit was at its peak . . . and of course Luke wasn't an option since he doesn't wake up until hours after I leave for work. Blargh. I promise, I looked great. (and anyone who saw me first thing in the morning - feel free to back me up, lol)

So the day starts off pretty normally . . . except, you know, for the fact that everyone is dressed a little bizarrely for a normal day . . . and as soon as I walked into the 4th grade class I start out in I knew it was going to be a good day. Because I was pretty much an instant hit. After a few gasps and some stares it kinda went like this:

"Hannah Montana!"
"It's Hannah Montana!"
"Who is it?"
"It's Miss Lacey!!"
"Miss Lacey is Hannah Montana!!"

Yeah, I felt pretty good. I did a few twirls, and everyone was eager for me to check out their costumes too Woot. It was fun. It was great fun. Ahh, who am I kidding, it was pretty fabulous. Dare I say fantabulous? Yeah, I dare. :-) Especially since I continued to be recognized all day. My third graders especially thought it was the coolest costume ever for a grown-up. Yay!

(note: when I say recognized, I mean as Hannah Montana. Bunches of people didn't recognize me. Which was kind of awesome. I mean, I knew my costume was good, but I never imagined it was that good!)

So it was more or less business as usual for that first hour, but after that all . . . something . . . broke loose. I spent the rest of the day escorting small groups of kids at a time through the spook alley. (and being immensely jealous that the rest of the kids, whilst waiting for their turns, were watching Ichabod and Mr. Toad and Garfield's Halloween special . . . talk about of two of my all time favorites!!!!!) It was . . . interesting. I'm not much of a person for haunted houses and such myself, so the first time through was a little unpleasant, but after I knew what was coming I could enjoy watching the kids scream - or laugh, depending on just how tough they were. (also - I'm pretty sure Aunt Sharon won't be able to talk for, like, a week. She pulled off a crazy intense wail as chief mourner in the funeral scene. It was pretty awesome.)

Since I had a decidedly non-scary costume I pretty much stuck to the back of the group as the official hand-to-clutch/keep everyone moving person while various decidedly scarier looking adults lead the group and narrated our journey from funeral to morgue to graveyard to inside a crypt and out. Good times. It was really interesting to see who was too scared to go through, who chickened out, who wanted to go through with the lights on and the like. And I gotta say, I was rather amused to go through with some of the "tough" boys I work with . . . who backed out the door after merely seeing how dark it was, insisted on holding (read: squeezing intensely) my hand the whole way through, and were quite audibly whimpering by the time we got to the end. The last two times through were with groups of 5th grade girls, of whom I knew a few from last year . . . slightly unfortunately for me, as they insisted on placing me in the middle of their hand-holding chain. I think my ears are still ringing from the stereophonic shrieking. Also - it's amazing how tough small kids can be. As in, how tightly they can squeeze your hands . . . how thoroughly they can wrap themselves around your waist or arm . . . how easily they can render you immobile because they've been literally scared stiff. Quite eye-opening, I must say. One time I went through with two holding my hands and two with arms wrapped around my waist . . . it was kinda hard to walk that time. I think that was also the time I nearly killed myself (and probably the kids too) because the heel of my boot got caught on the sheet hanging from the ceiling to separate the "rooms" but they wouldn't stop walking so I'm kind of hopping along trying to disentangle myself and my foot is kind of getting farther and farther away from me until I finally pull myself free and I probably tore something (sheet-wise, not me-wise) but everybody made it through.

Speaking of breaking things, I'm rather pleased with myself for not breaking both ankles. The aforementioned super cute boots have a three or four-inch heel (honestly no idea), and I don't generally wear heels except for to church. So while I love wearing heels, my feet are only up for wearing them for about three hours. Which wouldn't have been much of a problem, as I on;y work 3.75 hours a day . . . but I was having so much fun I volunteered to stay and help out the rest of the day. Plus the stairs down into the basement are pretty steep - and I didn't usually get to use a handrail because even there at the beginning there were kids clinging to me. Talk about a potentially deadly combination! Anyway, the boots have been off for about four hours now. And my feet still hurt. Blargh. Tomorrow I am walking to the stadium for the marching band competition, and when I get there I am putting my feet up on the seat in front of me (because I will specifically choose an empty seat) and I am soooo not moving until I go home. Oy.

Anyway, moral of the story: I like playing dress up. And I have the absolute best, most perfect job for me out there - as if we hadn't already figured that one out. And I'm totally going to start planning my costume for next year, like, Sunday. And I totally can't wait!! Especially since I've started out by setting the bar so high . . . I mean, I've gotta top this next year, right? :-)

P. ost S. cript
It's time for another cute kitty video! Sadly this, one is not Garfield and therefore I am not reffering to Nermal. (one of the most epic days of my life was the day I found out Abu Dhabi is a real place, btw.) But these are some big, cute, awesome kitties. Happy Halloween everybody!!