Friday, July 30, 2010


Apparently a car is totaled when its bumper comes off. Who knew? Not me, that's for sure. And it turns out insurance is such a joke.

You see, living in my own little world as I often try to do - it's much more pleasant and things tend to actually make sense there - well, there you have insurance because after paying them for ages and ages when you finally do need to use the services you bought, they fix your car . . . you know, because you've paid them to fix it. Turns out in the real world they can just say "oh, your car is too old so we're not going to bother with it. Yeah, we know that leaves you without a car, so we can either give you enough money to cover about half the repair, or we'll take the car and give you just enough money to buy an even older car . . . which we also won't fix if you ever need us to." Seriously? What the crap is up with that? And tell me one other business where you pay for something and then the person you paid can turn around and say they won't give you what you paid for and legally they don't have to - name one.

So what is the point of insurance? For new cars? Then just how new does a car have to be? And no wonder car companies are always pushing people to buy a new car every year. If you're going to have sort of car bill anyway it may as well be a payment on a new car instead of a repair bill for an old car the insurance doesn't actually cover. And that sure explains a few things about the last couple of years, amIright?

And who came up with this system anyway? Who in their right *cough*yeahright*cough* mind decided it would be a good idea to screw over the people who can't afford a new car for every birthday? Why is the system set up so that the people who try to make things last get shafted instead of the ones who's whole mentality is "consume, consume, CONSUME!!"? Not cool.

On the plus side, Luke has some friends from work who have some sweet skills (sadly, not nun-chuck or bow hunting skills, lol) and connections who think the whole thing can be fixed cheaply enough that we'll actually make money in the end. But while that is kind of awesome - it shouldn't have to be that way. I'm all for having it as an option, but it should not be the only option that doesn't involve spending every penny we've managed to save this year. Seriously, am I the only one who thinks it shouldn't work this way? The only one wondering what the point is in even having insurance?

So that whole situation has been bugging the crap out of me all week and then today I discovered exactly why and how the whole thing happened in the first place. The ultimate irony is that Luke normally drives to work, but the last couple of weeks have been absolutely unbearable. (You couldn't pay me to spend more than about 5 minutes outside right now!) So of course it happens that during the - what, month, three weeks? - that he's going to be driving he ends up in an accident. Go figure. Anyway, today I'm driving him to work, and we're stopped at the very same light where Luke got hit last week. And this car comes up behind me and stops close - REALLY close - to me. Now, I'll admit I'm kind of paranoid about how close the car behind me is ever since I got rear-ended, but you also can't deny that a lot of people follow much to closely, especially when stopped. I mean, come on - are those extra four inches really going to save you that much time? I don't think so. So I've developed the habit of stopping even farther back than what would be considered a "safe" distance behind the car in front of me so when the moron behind me stops on top of me I can put a little bit of distance between us again. Usually works pretty well. Anyway - today. This car stops waaaaaay to close, so I ease forward a bit. Sadly, as sometimes happens, it ended up being a "I move up three inches so they move up six inches" situations. I get uncomfortable if I can't see headlights in my rear view mirror, and I kid you not by the time this guy finally stopped I couldn't even see the hood of his car. At all. Are you kidding me? Then Luke glances back and thinks the car looks kind of familiar . . . and then it tailgates . . . I mean "follows" . . . us all the way to the Convergys parking lot, confirming his suspicion that it's the very same guy who hit him not even ten days ago!! Seriously? Screw his stupid flip flop excuse - this guy is clearly an incompetent menace of a driver. What are the odds? I feel sorry for the other parties, but consoled in the knowledge that at the rate he's going he'll eventually rear end so many people that he'll lose his license.

But now - good news.

Cancel that - AWESOME news.

I WON A BOOK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I WON I WON I WON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Ok, so goodreads is pretty much the awesomest website on the planet for someone like me. And I kind of love it. And you should totally join it and we can totally be friends and (virtually) share books and stuff. And - AND - they give away books. GIVE!!!!! As in FREE!!!!!!

Now, a couple of months ago Shay won a book. It was the first (and at the time only) give away she'd entered. And she won. At the time, I'd entered about a dozen. And had not one any. Needless to say, I did not find that pleasant. But I kept entering almost every give away I stumbled across, and since the official rules mentioned that site activity is a contributing factor to the choosing of the winners I killed time by working my way up to #10 out of 706321 on the never-ending book quiz. (Which may sound kind of lame, but has been actually pretty fun, and I'm prouder than I should be of that ranking, lol.) But to be perfectly honest I figured nothing would ever come of it because I never win things. Seriously. Never. Ever. Ever. In fact, if there were a contest in which I knew for an absolute fact that I was the only person entered - I would still expect someone else to win . . . that is how consistent my losing streak is.

So today. I get the mail. And there's a package. Addressed to me. I'm not expecting anything, and it's from someone I've never heard of. Ummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm . . . 'kay. The envelope is torn, and I can see it's a book. Wait a minute . . . I didn't order a book. Except for . . . wait! I did finally pre-order Mockingjay, after a long internal debate of pre-order-vs-midnight release-vs-buying day of release. (side note: I cannot understand why Hunger Games has not gotten as big as Harry Potter or Twilight. At all.) Did I accidentally order this instead? But how could I have done that? I've never even heard of this book. Wait a minute . . . the title is kind of vaguely familiar . . . maybe I to-read-ed it on goodreads? Wait a minute! Did I finally win a give away?!?!?!?! So I rip open the packaging and see the congratulatory note from the author which makes me feel very popular and special and proceed to absolutely freak out because I WON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I finally won something!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And it feels pretty good to win. I like it. (the winning thing I mean, haven't started the book yet.)

Here's hoping the free books keep coming!!!

P. ost S. cript
So it's no secret that I absolutely adore Weird Al. Even before he did the most awesome thing in the world - putting Donny Osmond in the video for "White and Nerdy." That still cracks me up every time I even think of it. So while you may have noticed that I posted this on facebook earlier this week . . . well, this song is near and dear to my heart for several reasons. Among them - "Look, limestone! Most people take it for granite." "He's got a special deal this week - two of his heads for one of yours. Anyway you slice it, you still come out a head." Shirley's Temple . . . Dr. Albert Falls . . . ah, the good memories. So glad they (usually) outweigh the unpleasant ones.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

The Way the Cookie Crumbles

Now that is my kind of cookie. Confession: I make quadruple stuffed oreos from double stuffed ones. And it's pretty awesome.

So this has been a . . . week. Firstly, the potentially good stuff - I was expecting maybe getting a call or something this week. So imagine my surprise when by the time Monday is over I have an interview for Thursday. Yay!! It was a little intimidating, as interviews always are. But I thought it went pretty well. On the other hand, I know I was the very last person they interviewed, and they as good as said that they wanted someone who could start yesterday so they'd be making the decision pretty quick and wanting the person to start next week and that I would be hearing from them either way. So I kind of expected to hear yesterday . . . but nothing. I'm telling myself that I didn't get it and that I wouldn't have liked it anyway and all that sort of thing. I figure it's easier than getting my hopes up, and if I do end up hired it'll be a pleasant surprise. Plus it just sort of makes sense considering my track record for getting jobs in this town, you know? I'm just going to assume that someone out there has been getting more virgin goat sacrifices done in their behalf or something. :-)

<> Come on Ellis, don't let me down! < /Lando voice > I'm really hoping there's room for me to come back at this point.

And then there's yesterday. It's about 4:00, I'm chilling at home, figuring Luke's at work, and my phone rings. Nope, Luke's been rear-ended. On his way to work. By someone who was also on his way to work. At Convergys. Blargh. The good news is nobody was hurt. The bad news is the back bumper of Luke's car is now . . . inside the car rather than on it. Good times had by all, right? It turns out the guy was driving in flip flops and his foot slipped or his shoe caught on something or something like that and he just couldn't stop. So if anyone has been looking for a reason to get on a soapbox about people driving in flip flops - you're welcome.

I have to admit I was really worried this morning before Luke woke up, because even though he said he was fine, I thought I was fine after getting rear-ended too. And then I woke up the next morning and couldn't sit up. Totally thought I was paralyzed for about a minute that morning . . . of course, I wasn't exactly in a normal frame of mind . . . even for me. And it was my birthday!! What is it with crappy things happening around my birthday, dangit?!?! Anyway, I'm assuming the difference is that Luke was at a dead stop and the other guy was doing, like, 10, and we were at a dead stop and the drunk guy was doing at least 60. Yeah, my neck still hurts sometimes and I'm sure that's why. Not cool.

Anyway, yay for insurance, right? And yay for having another car we can drive whilst this one is waiting for all the insurance red tape to go through.

There is good news though - Luke's sister Emily is coming to visit in ten days!!! Yay!!!! Absolutely cannot wait - this little mini-vacation can't come soon enough!!!

P. ost S. cript
Granted, this is not Moosebutter. But the song is just too awesome not to share. Because John Williams IS the man!!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Wish Me Luck!

So I may or may not have a job. Don't know yet. On the one hand, I definitely would love to go back to Ellis, but the official word when school got out was that it wouldn't be known if there was room in the budget for me until July. And now we're halfway through, and I haven't heard anything yet. Blargh. I'm wondering if I should start worrying yet.

I did have the option of taking the Americorps Math aide position, which it sounded like was pretty much mine for the taking. And I thought about it - and very nearly did. But . . . that's just not the right spot for me. I'm not entirely sure why, and that's seriously frustrating to no end, but what can you do, you know? I will admit that my decision was influenced by my pathetic lack of math skills. As it should have been, I would argue. I mean, really . . . when one week you're looking at the fourth graders' math homework and thinking "oh crap, I haven't done long division since I was in fourth grade . . . and I don't think I remember how to do it," one week and then the VERY NEXT week you're saying "you're doing ALGEBRA?!?! I never even heard the word algebra until I was in seventh grade!!" and you don't remember how to do it either - that really should be considered to be a bright, flashing, neon sign that a job involving math just isn't for you. Not the deciding factor - dude, not even a big factor. Discouraging, but hopefully the whole reading thing works out for me.

The good news is I have a contingency plan. One of the girls in my ward is moving to Michigan (or maybe Wisconsin . . . or Minnesota . . . one of those states in the middle at the top . . . ) so her husband can go to grad school, so her job on campus is going to be available next month. And it is pretty much nothing but awesome. Office assistant (which I'm guessing is just political correctness for "secretary"), part-time - but four hours a day instead of two and a half. And it would be year-round - hello awesome!! AND they prefer non-students AND want someone who can make a long term commitment. Ummmmmmmm . . . *raises hand*. I have a really good feeling about this one, especially since even though their looking for non-students it was posted on the USU job board. I should be hearing about an interview this week or next. So between now and then I will definitely be accepting all crossed fingers, broken legs, voodoo rituals, prayers, etc. (random: I had a prof in college who was a practicing Hindu. If you asked him he would pray for the class in Sanskrit before a test. Kinda really super cool.)

On a completely unrelated note - SUCCESS!!!!!!! Okay, so Rian's farewell-that-they-don't-call-farewells-anymore was today.And it was great, and we made him laugh by making faces at him and there was plenty of food and I ate way more than I should have and my Mii is probably going to puff up really round and that will be depressing, but dangit, it was good!! (cheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeesecaaaaaaaaaaaaaaake!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) Anyway - I FINALLY got mom to cough up her 20-some-odd years worth of pictures that I've been asking for for almost a year now. And with all the excuses she was giving me I canNOT wait to go through these and see whatever it is I'm assuming she doesn't want anyone to see. Seriously - "I don't have time to get them out" . . . "it will make a mess" . . . "they're too hard to get to" . . . and all the while I know they're just sitting in a couple of piles on top of her cedar chest. So today she and I went on a field trip to her closet and I demonstrated how taking them would merely involve picking them up and walking out and I wouldn't even be touching anything else and she would get them back as soon as I've scanned them and - SUCCESS!!!!!!! I'm totally going to have to use the method more often . . . who knows what else I'll finally accomplish. Anyway, as I mentioned quite some time ago I'm planning on starting up a family Photo Bucket account once I get them scanned in - I'll post all the details on the facebook group when I've got them. This is gonna be fun. :-)

P. ost S. cript
Have you seen the trailer for that facebook movie? Luke and I kinda love the music behind it. So we looked into it. Turns out it's a Belgian group called Scala. Girls' choir that sings pop songs arranged for a chorus. (is chorally the word I want here?) Pretty cool . . . seriously, they sing "Material Girl" and "Smells Like Teen Spirit" and stuff like that and it sounds kinda rather awesome. So here they are - and of course I had to go with the Abba medley. Even though they left out "Dancing Queen." Seriously Scala? Not. Cool.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Cute Explosion

I'm the sacrament chorister in our ward. And I am quite content with that calling. It's simple, easy (for me, anyway) and doesn't require people to actually pay attention to me, so I don't freak out and go into panic attack mode like I would if I had to give a lesson or a talk or anything that involves me speaking solo and everyone else looking at me. Not cool.

So I have this theory that the sole purpose of the sacrament chorister is so that the few people who can't read music know when the intro is over and it;s time to start singing with everyone else and to psych everyone out by singing the extra verses. Seriously, I find few things more amusing than the sound of mumble-humming as people hurriedly re-open their hymnbooks as the chorister has gone on to the rarely sung fourth/fifth/sixth verse. Good times.

Anyway, there is an absolutely adorable baby who always sits in the front row at church and makes sitting in the second row thoroughly enjoyable. And today during one of the hymns I glance down to see him sitting on the bench waving one arm high in the air almost mimicking the 4/4 pattern I was conducting. How darling is that?!?! I consider pulling off the holding in of the giggles and continuing to sing to be a major achievement. :-)

On the other hand, there is bad news to this story - someone, clearly, is watching me while I'm up there. Granted, it's only one person, and granted that one is a seven (eight . . . six . . . help me out, Erin!)-month-old . . . but where there's one, there's bound to be more. Crap.

At least I'm not the RS pres. :-)

P. ost S. cript
I remain convinced that this method would work if one could call loud enough. I just haven't gotten there yet. :-)

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Because One of These Days Even "Happy Fourth of July" Will Be Too Politically Incorrect . . .

Happy Day Marking the Founding of a Nation in Which You May or May Not Physically Be and Whose Principals With Which You May or May Not Agree!! (or something like that. You know it's gonna happen . . . ) And enjoy the freedom to disagree . . . the most important one, if you ask me.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Never Fails

Say it with me kids: Gene. Yus!

So you know how you always forget the intensity of uncomfortable/miserable/painful situations? Well, physical memories anyway . . . there are a few memories that still make me blush so red it almost hurts. Anyway, you know how you know that a paper cut or hitting your funny bone hurts, but you can't really call the sensation to mind and feel it? If you ask me, it kind of totally sucks because then every time you hurt yourself somehow it's like the first time. And I would know - I usually have bruises on my legs because corners of tables and counters and chairs and doors . . . and fluffy stuffed animals and cute little kittens and objects not even in the same state as me . . . have a habit of jumping out into my path and attacking me. Grrrrr.

But I have to say the most obnoxious distorted memory is weather. I hope I'm not the only one, but in the middle of winter while I'm trying to determine whether I still have fingers after scraping my car all I can think about is how it would be so nice if it was summer and I didn't even need a jacket, much less a coat or gloves or five pairs of socks and it would be bright and sunny and perfectly perfect. Then summer comes and I'm hot and sticky and gulping ice water lying on the floor right in front of a fan with the air conditioner on and there's no way I'm leaving the house until after sunset because my car's a/c doesn't work. And all I can think about is how nice it is during the winter because you can layer and layer until you're warm and snow is so pretty and you don't feel guilty for not going outside because no one is going outside and you don't need sunglasses and it's just perfectly perfect.

Seriously? Holy freaking obnoxious. And then you get years like this where spring just totally doesn't happen. Not. Cool. Literally. Totally went from icy to scorching in, what, three days?

Anyway, point being - right now I'm totally fantasizing about getting into a snowball fight wearing a bikini. And it will be at least four months before you can convince me that the frostbite would not be worth it.

P. ost S. cript
Fail. Epic, hysterical, awesome FAIL.