Thursday, June 24, 2010

A Story in Second Person

Picture this: you are a young(ish), newlywed wife (Ian . . . Eric . . . Grandpa . . . just roll with me here, lol). You don't do much these days. Mostly because you don't have a job. And you're broke. So you know you've gained a little weight in the past year, but it can't be too much because your clothes still fit and you're pretty sure you're more or less healthy.

Then comes the day when ,after much discussion, you and your husband decide to get Wii Fit Plus. You weren't planning on getting it for a few more months, but you ultimately come to the conclusion that you may as well splurge now while the rent money can go to things other than rent.

Flashback: about a year and a half ago you tried out the plain old Wii Fit at your parents' house. You take the body test . . . and while you're on the high end, your BMI is solidly in the "normal" category. Yay! And the Balance Board . . . which can somehow talk to you whilst you're standing on it . . . how's that for weird . . . tells you that you should go ahead and concentrate on maintaining your weight as is.

Okay, back to the present - you take a new body test . . . and it turns out you've gained 14 pounds. That's about 5 pounds-ish more than you were guessing, but it's also, you know, pretty doable when it comes to losing again. Theoretically, at least. But now your BMI is solidly in the "overweight" category. Not cool. And then - the kicker. This Balance Board says you need to lose 32 pounds to hit the "ideal" healthy weight. Ummmmmmmm . . . what?!?! Blargh. Okay then, but you better get some new clothes out of it when you get down that far, you know what I mean?

You husband expresses quite a bit of shock at that number himself (which makes sense, since he's probably never seen you that thin . . .because that's probably about what you weighed in high school). Then he asks where you're going to find that much weight to lose because he can't see any extra anywhere. That's very reassuring considering that while you felt quite confident a few minutes ago, nothing is as effective at making you feel fat as watching your Mii puff up. At least it didn't puff up to perfectly round like your dad's did last year (that one didn't make a lot of sense either).

(Note: this next part is set to the tune of "Part of Your World" . . . watch the last thirty seconds if you need a refresher)
I don't know when
I don't know how
But I know something starting right now
Watch and you'll see
Someday I'll be
Finding that thirty pounds where ever it's hiding and beating it into submission and super hula hoop-ing and kung foo-ing it away and my Mii will shrink back down to normal looking and it will be FABULOUS!!

. . .

. . .

Okay, that last line doesn't quite fit the melody. I'm working on it. Anybody know a one-syllable word that encompasses those last 35 words?

I still thought it was genius.

P. ost S. cript
Maybe I should take up the McGyver lifestyle. Also, if anyone's ever stumped for a Lacey-gift idea . . . the whole series is available on dvd!!! :-)

Monday, June 21, 2010

A Lifetime is Not Too Long

So we've been here in Logan for a while now. And while I've kinda known this all along, something about this summer is really making it obvious to me that I don't really have any friends here.

Okay, that's not entirely true. But that's what it feels like sometimes. Pretty much the only time I see anyone other than Luke is on Sundays. That's . . . a bit depressing. I'm not saying I'm tired of Luke. We still love spending time together (that's a good thing, right? lol) and don't generally lack things to talk about. We're happy when we hang out. But six days of only one person can get . . . monotonous.

The good news is I'm not generally lonely. I had absolutely no privacy growing up, even after I had my own room. So I kind of adore the solitude when Luke's at work. Heaven knows I get bored - thankfully not so much this summer as last, yay! But I really don't mind being by myself. It's just that sometimes I wish I had more options.

Of course the problem is pretty much all my own fault. I'm waaaaaaay too shy for my own good unless I know a person really well. I can carry a conversation with someone I know . . . as long as they start it, generally speaking. I'll usually jump at an invitation to hang out or go somewhere . . . but I will never be the one calling someone up with the idea. Part of it stems from high school, a point in time where I had some very good friends, but ironcially the people I spent the most time with really weren't friends at all. And the more time passes the more I can see that they way some of them treated me was not friendly at all to say the least. But part of it stems from . . . well, I don't know. I've always been shy, which led me to hang out with people in high school who probably didn't want me there but never actually came out and said it. Which led me to being paranoid now about people who are friendly not actually liking me. I can only imagine what the other girls at church think of me since I never say anything unless someone else says something first (and yes, I know "girls" sounds totally high school but I can't think of any other word that doesn't conjure up images of old ladies when coupled with an RS setting). And just think of the potential for "couple" friends! Aren't we, like, supposed to have those now? But Luke's not a super social person and pretty content that way, and since I'm not about to make a move . . . yeah, that's probably never going to happen. Blargh.

I would love to go back in time to my college years. It was the first time I had a large group of friends who actually were. Friends, I mean. (side note: yay for Cyd moving to Logan!!!!!) At the time I was always second guessing myself as to whether I was actually wanted around, but looking back I can definitely see a difference between my college group and my high school group. (generally speaking . . . I have a few friends from high school who read my blog . . . clearly you are among the real friends!) School in general is really the perfect environment for making friends. Especially with classmates you spend so much time together that the relationship is forged almost before you realize it - and the next thing you know there's five or six of you eating out of an ice cream carton without giving a second thought. Well, except for covering the ice cream with chocolate syrup after we've - I mean you've - eaten the last layer of chocolate off. :-) This whole grown-up thing though - dude, you have to actually seek people out. They don't just come with the territory anymore! What is up with that?! Not cool. So not cool. It means the deck is stacked so against people like me that it circles back around to being stacked in our favor . . . and keeps on going until it's stacked against us again. Grrrrrrrr.

At least my Mii likes me. I think.

P. ost S. cript
If math actually worked like this I might have had a prayer of passing it. :-)

Friday, June 18, 2010

So What's Next?

There are signs that things might actually get back to normal around here eventually. I wouldn't say they'd be the same . . . but normal . . . ish. Either that or something is about to explode.

So the parking lot/canal wall job was finally finished Saturday. Which is good. I suppose. You see, for some reason that I really cannot figure out they moved the new wall section back toward the complex by at least two feet. For those of you who know how ridiculously narrow our parking lot was to begin with, I'm sure you echo my sentiments when I say - what the crap were they thinking?! For the last six weeks I've been watching the new wall materialize and more and more I've been thinking - this cannot end well.

I can only assume that those lost feet are the reason that the lines were repainted on a diagonal. It's a rather slight diagonal - so slight, in fact that I didn't even notice until I parked my car in the new area, got out, and had to spend a good three minutes figuring out why the line went under my car because I am not that terrible at parking, thank you very much! So now I'm wondering if that was the most perfectly straight parking job I've ever done in my life, or if it just looked like it because of the lines. And seriously, you've got a parking lot that's narrower than my kitchen with only one way out, and you paint diagonal lines that forces people to back out the wrong way to get out? Not good. Especially since the rest of the lot still has straight lines. And unless there happens to be an empty straight spot there is not enough room to turn around at the back end. Talk about a disaster waiting to happen.

Side note: totally almost backed into Luke's car last night. Mine was in a straight spot, his was in a diagonal on the other side. I'm foreseeing lots of similar catastrophes, especially come winter - and not just with me! But would it be better or worse to hit Luke's car than someone else's? Deep question, no?

Also, they've finally started the remodel . . . rehab? . . . of the two apartments above us. The good news: no midnight Rock Band parties. The bad news: constant banging/hammering/clattering/etc. from 8 am to about 5. Luke gets off work at midnight, so we usually don't get to bed until at least 1:00. Blargh. Also, there's a dumpster right outside our apartment so the construction guys can toss things out from the floor above us right down to the floor below. So there's clattering above and below. Good times. On the plus side, the crew has rigged up a couple of tarps to make sure the stuff they chuck lands in the dumpster and not, you know, on us or the girls below us. Which means that now the whole apartment never sees the light of day, instead of just the back side - but it also makes for built in shade. Right now the living room is a good 5 or 10 degrees cooler than even just stepping outside the door, much less actually moving into the sun. Here's hoping we get some actual somewhere weather so it ends up being worthwhile.

Lastly, there are a few cats that we see around from time to time. There's this one adorable white and gray kitty that I'd been seeing more and more often lately. Wednesday we had our front door open airing the place out and I was on the couch reading. Kitty had been wandering around the complex all morning and we'd seen him and heard him and stuff. Then I hear a little meow and look up and there's a little white head poking around the doorway. He looks at me, meows again, and walks right in making himself at home. And I melted. He was so cute!!!! He had the loudest purr going, and he cuddled with me and let me pet him and scratch his ears and . . . I am such a cat person. It was awesome. So I played with him for a little while, but then we had to put him out. I felt kind of bad because he's clearly a house cat who's been spending more and more time outside lately.

Then that night it storms and we hear a kitty crying. And it's pouring. So Luke, who is also a huge cat person, goes out looking. And finds a poor little kitty upstairs eating out of a bag of garbage that the construction crew left outside. Naturally, Luke had to bring him in out of the rain. And again, he sits himself down and makes himself right at home, drying and cleaning himself off. And assuming he was hungry . . . because, you know, he was eating out of the trash . . . Luke even offered him some of his lunch meat. Which Kitty snubbed. This would be the point where we concluded he had taken up the life of a con artist kitty after his food supply dried up - where ever it was coming from. At this point I'm laying down in the couch reading and after he's all done cleaning off he jumps up onto my head and settles down. As if I didn't want to keep him already!! If there was anything left of me to melt, it would have. So we decide we'll let him stay the night, because who could put a cat out into a rainy night?! And in the morning we'll take him . . . somewhere. We really didn't have much of an idea at that point. So we make a little bed for him and leave the back door cracked open so he can get out if he wants to and we go to bed. And Luke leaves our bedroom door open because he grew up with cats and misses having one sleeping on his bed. I have to admit, I did thoroughly enjoy waking up and finding a Princess Tiffany at my feet in the mornings that summer Ashli and I spent a couple of weeks at Grandma's house too, so it was kind of awesome when he did come into our room and curl up next to me. MELT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I soooooooooooooo wanted to keep him! But then he decided he'd had his fun or something . . . so he leaves. :-( And next thing we know it's Thursday afternoon and he's sitting outside the (now closed) back door. Just looking. And waiting. But apparently we didn't react fast enough for him because he went next door and begged his way in there. Luke and the girl ext door both called animal control.

So they came and got him, and it about broke my heart seeing him get taken away in that tiny little box. I felt like a complacent German watching the Nazis haul the Jews away. And that was before he looked at me . . . and meowed his most pitiful little con artist's meow. Seriously - you would have thought I was the one flipping the switch in the gas chamber!

And now I really, really, want to get a kitty. Sort of. My thoughts on animals are much the same as they are with children. I love them . . . and I love giving them back when I'm done. I don't want to have to worry about buying cat food and a litter box and making sure someone will watch feed it if we happen to go anywhere - and it's a good thing too, considering we can't have pets! But just for right now, I'm kind of in love with the mental image . . . the stuff you see in pet food commercials, you know. Is there a way to get the purrs and the cuddles without the shedding and the smell? Because I am so there.

P. ost S. cript
I know what you're thinking - "it's a cute kitty video, isn't it?"


It's three cute kitty videos. :-)

Sunday, June 13, 2010

And It's Not a Freaking Saga Already!!!!!

Now this post has been marinating/writing itself in my head for . . . quite some time. So those of you who enjoy my rants - grab some popcorn or something. One could also consider it my extended comment in response to this and this, but it does technically predate them both. It just fits.

You might have noticed that Twilight fever is heating up again. And every time it does my Twilight rage gets more intense.

Don't get me wrong. I like Twilight . . . more or less. Heaven knows the writing is not very good at all, but it's decent enough to be a pleasant guilty pleasure from time to time. (I've mentioned this to a few people but I read enough truly terrible writing in college to be pretty forgiving with writing that actually gets published.) That said, I would not want any daughters of mine reading the series until they're 21 and I can't even pretend to control anything they do.

(Completely unrelated note: these books are definitely a series and soooooooooooooooooo not a saga. I cringe every time I hear it called such.)

So. Today we have, in no particular order, Lacey's Reasons Why the Twilight SERIES are Terrible Books to Put in the YA Section:

1 ~ Ummmmm . . . because they're about vampires . . . and everybody (well, almost everybody) knows that vampires are about the most blatant metaphor for sex in the entire literary world. Flashback: spring-ish 2008. Lacey's in Florida. Twilight is getting really big and Lacey has just discovered them. (random unrelated side note - I always seem to discover a series shortly before book 4 is released. Totally when I discovered Harry Potter too.) There's a bunch of girls chatting in the break room and Twilight comes up, and I ask a girl who's into vampires and vampire novels if she likes them. She says no. And goes on to say that they are clearly written by a very, very repressed woman and as such they are just not as good as other vampire novels and . . . she went on to say a bit more, but I don't really remember. At this point I was still reading the first book, and having read a vampire novel or two before I couldn't help but agree on her main point. A lot of anti-Twilight people online attribute that to Stephenie Meyers' religion . . . but since I'm, you know, the same religion I think I can pretty solidly refute that. At least as the sole reason. (insert your own crack about her collegiate alma mater being the reason she missed the vampire = sex memo here) But the whole thing really does have a slight feeling like I'm reading about someone's highly detailed fantasy. That's a little disturbing. I mean, does anyone actually want to read about a stranger's repressed desires? Well, really super creepy disturbed people maybe. All that tension's gotta come out somewhere, I guess.

2 ~ HOLY CREEPY STALKERIFIC!!!!!! I'll admit that the story is good enough that while I was reading I got sucked in and went a long with everybody in thinking how wonderful and thoughtful and sweet and blah, blah, blah Edward is. Then I finished the books and, unlike a depressingly large chunk of the audience, I came back to reality. And in reality, Edward is not a boyfriend, but an emotionally abusive stalker. I mean, seriously - disabling her car so she can't hang out with her other friends? Sneaking into her house and watching her sleep? Not cool. They say it's not stalking if you like it . . . but just because you like it doesn't make it right . . . or legal. Suffice it to say that this site really disturbs me. Some of it's not too bad, but holy crap. Dumping your boyfriend because he won't bite you? Making your husband sleep on the couch because he doesn't sparkle?! (side note - I find the sparkling thing a little silly, but I don't have as much problem with it as some people. There's only so many reasons one could offer to explain the "no sunlight" thing.) I really, truly fear for these girls who honestly believe that a cardboard cutout of Robert Pattenson is the best prom date one could ever ask for. There is a massive group of girls about to enter adulthood (or just starting it) who are convinced that this is the type of guy they should be looking for - a guy who tells them what to do and who they can and can't associate with and how they should act all the time. And they think the right thing for them to do is nod and look at the ground and race to accommodate his every desire. That is positively medieval! News flash - women aren't property anymore!! They should never have been to begin with . . . but that's a post for another day. Maybe. Get your own life and fit a guy into it girls, don't fit your life around a guy - who could possibly want their daughters learning that?

3 ~ Bella.

She is a terrible role model. She takes absolutely no action herself. Nothing. Everything she does is a reaction to what others are doing around her. Her life revolves around her boyfriend, and when he's gone she just quits living. So, so wrong. Even the Disney princesses rank higher than Bella in this one - none of them went out looking for a guy. The guys just kinda happened along as they were going about their lives. I mean, think about it. Cinderella didn't want to go to the ball in order to marry the prince - she just wanted to get out the house. Jasmine was actively avoiding marriage. Ariel wanted to be human even before she saw Prince Eric.

And then there's Bella Swan. She just sees Edward and before they even speak to each other her entire life revolves around him. And sure, break-ups are rough, but essentially becoming a zombie for, like, six months? Taking ridiculous risks to life and limb in order to imagine you're hearing a voice? That is not healthy. Granted, it is somewhat of a normal thing for teenage girls to be over dramatic and especially since this is a first boyfriend one oughtn't be surprised that her reaction is more extreme than it would be were Edward her fourth or fifth boyfriend. But doing this gets Bella her boyfriend back - essentially glorifying her method. I, for one, do NOT want my hypothetical daughters thinking they're nothing without a man in their lives. Especially after I had a hard time fighting feeling like that all through college. So. Not. Right.

4 ~ I seriously fear the culture . . . or should I say cult? . . . that has developed around the series. You notice Harry Potter fans, while they may be pretty die-hard, typically don't have a problem accepting the fact that it's fiction. On the other hand . . . yeah. Sad. And you know what really scares me? Twilight moms.

So. Freaking. True. You know the worst part about this? Teenage girls are more or less expected to not have a normal grip on reality and be prone to unrealistic fantasies . . . but they're also supposed to outgrow it. Clearly, many do not. Which just perpetuates - and reinforces - the cycle. Seriously. I want to cry for the fate of humanity.

Sometimes I feel like the only female on the planet who realizes that Twilight is just a book. Things have improved though. In our singles' ward in Florida our Relief Society more or less came to a halt when Breaking Dawn and the movie came out because nobody could talk about anything else. Our ward now . . . I haven't heard a word. My guess would have been that moms of little kids don't have time to obsess over fiction. But that kinda doesn't work because only about half the couples have kids, and there's plenty of newlyweds . . . who, presumably, were up until recently in singles' wards obsessing over Twilight themselves with all the other single girls. I mean, really, what are the odds that I'm the only girl in the whole ward who's read them? So not happening. I'm glad I don't have to hear countdowns to the movie at church though. Seriously, don't even get me started on my general opinion of book-to-movie adaptations.

And if you want to read some real vampire books allow me to suggest this. And this. They kinda rock.

Okay, so this didn't end up quite as rant-y as I was thinking it would at the beginning. But Twilight is totally getting censored in our house. Also: this says everything I've been saying, but much more eloquently.

P. ost S. cript
So I thought about posting some Twi-spoof - and believe me, there are plenty of those. Some are even pretty good. But . . . no. Also, one can never get enough pirates. Vampire overload is pretty easy to come by.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Just for Fun

Little known secret. :-)
Also: I totally thought it was a G.

Anyway. A month or so ago I discovered a pretty awesome website. Basically it's a forum for writers to share their stuff with other writers and workshop it and stuff. And if you don't write you can read the first page of unpublished novels and short stories and if you like it you rate it well and at least theoretically things that everyone rates highly are more likely to eventually get published. Not sure how legit that part is, but reading the submissions is fun and it's nice to find a place where I can workshop my stuff. Assuming I ever write anything ever again . . . :-( The good news is I finally have the beginnings of a couple of potential ideas after, like, two years of writer's block - yay!! We'll see what happens . . .

Aaaaaaaaaaaanyway. In addition to the ratings and workshopping they also have contests and stuff. Which is kinda awesome. And the one they were doing last month was a flash fiction/fictionette/short short contest. For those of you not looking up the conveniently-provided-for-you definition (slackers!), basically we're talking about an uber-short story. Like, 1000 words or fewer. And the fewer the better, as long as it still tells a complete story. Two quick examples - first a pretty famous one (supposedly) by Hemingway:

For sale. Baby shoes. Never worn.

Man, I wish I could write like that!! And here's one my fiction professor quoted to us a few times when we were writing fictionettes:

And when he woke up, the dinosaurs were still there.

Nice, eh? Granted, these are pretty extreme examples, but you get the idea. So, coming (finally) to the point - I decided somewhat on a whim to enter the contest. Absolutely did not expect to win . . . and I didn't . . . but I did get a lot of positive reviews, and an overall rating of 4 out of five. Yay!!! Anyway, I've decided to be somewhat self-centered (well . . . it's kind of hard not to be from time to time when you blog . . . ) and post it here to let all of you rave over it as well. ;-)

Seriously though, I'm pretty sure it'll be a bit of a hit with a certain demographic.

And now, without any further ado (about nothing, something, or anything), I present my lovely little bit o' flash fiction:

I Should Regret This More

by Lacey :-)

The first thing I learned at my new job: it takes approximately one day to get fed up with the stupid questions.

“Why is it raining?”

“Is that wait time accurate?”

“Are you sure?”

The second thing I learned at my new job: the quantity and stupidity of said questions is directly related to the popularity of the theme park. Meaning I got the cream of the crop.

“Do you work here?”

“No, I just enjoy confusing tourons.”

The third thing I learned at my last job: Did I say that out loud? will not help your case.

Ta da! I'm really quite proud of myself . . . more for finally writing something at all again after such a ridiculously long time. It felt good. :-) You can start raving now. :-P

Completely unrelated: adding another summer project - I'm thinking of painting the kitchen cabinets. My initial idea a couple of months ago was to paint them the same color as the walls, but the more time passes the more I agree with Luke - as in . . . "yeah, not so much . . ." So now I'm debating what color to do. Options right now are white or the absolute palest blue they have at Walmart - which is pretty darn pale. But I'm open to other suggestions too. (And if you've forgotten/never known what our kitchen looks like, pictures are here.)

I get the distinct feeling I'm a little too ambitious with my plans for this summer.

P. ost S. cript

Wipeout is back!! Hooray!!!