Friday, December 30, 2011

Fresh Air At Last

And no, I'm not referring to the fact that it's the end of December but it looks and feels like it's mid-March. It's kind of nuts, and I'm glad I'm not a skier because I think I'd be pretty depressed right about now.

I just finished taking all the Christmas decorations down. And it was so refreshing. It's such a weird thing - I love putting them up, I love having them up, I don't want to take them down . . . and yet when I do it's a bit of a relief. They don't take up much space at all, but when they come down it feels like the whole apartment has doubled in size. Isn't it the weirdest feeling?

I think it has something to do with Christmas being at the very end of the calender year. All the talk about new beginnings and renewal and starting fresh and stuff . . . taking the Christmas tree down feels a lot like that first day in the spring that you go out without a jacket comfortably.

Of course, that could have been today as well . . . perhaps Winter and I need to have another talk.


Part of it definitely has to do with Christmas overload. Between all the red and green crap on sale at the first of October and non-stop Christmas carols and commercials starting in Novemeber, even though I love (mostly) everything about the season I think a little part of me just gets sick of it. I mean, when else does society put on a collective play list of about a dozen songs and reduce the collective color palette to three or four colors? It's almost like everyone decides to just put life on hold for the last ten weeks of the year or so. And then, with the dropping of a few balls, perhaps some wine or bad-idea-make-out session, and a bunch of people who haven't stayed up past ten since college staying out all night we all grab our life-remotes and hit play together and finally get going again.

And dang, it's good to finally see the next part, you know? For the most part this is a pretty interesting movie I'm watching here and I generally look forward to each successive scene, so this two and a half month commercial feels a bit endless by the end.

(I feel like I should clarify that that was a metaphor . . . not for those of you I know of - but who knows who else is reading? I have seen the denizens of the internet, and some of them are scary!)

But . . . yeah. Now that they're gone, I feel like I can breathe again. I miss the stockings and candy canes a little bit, I'll be happy to see them again in eleven months. But for now it's just nice to have the space again - even if all that was occupied was a little corner that didn't have anything in it before anyway.

It'll be nice to fill it again when the time comes. :-)

P. ost S. cript
So I was going to post one of the billions of versions of "What Are You Doing New Year's Eve" but I've had, like, 50% of my facebook friends post the Zooey Deschanel one in the last two days, so you've probably already seen it. Which leads to awesome news, because Lacey has now discovered an AMAZING new group! Here's hoping these girls are on Spotify . . . is this not one of the coolest East/West blendings you've ever heard?

Monday, December 26, 2011

The Truth Comes Out

So . . . a couple of months ago I made a vague and slightly cryptic reference to an "announcement" of sorts today.

And it appears most of you immediately guessed that I was pregnant . . .


Actually, since that is most emphatically not the "news" (and this is going to be so anticlimactic comparatively) I was caught quite off guard because it didn't even occur to me that anyone would go there - although I can see now why some people went straight to that conclusion . . . *cough*Erin*cough* ;-)

Anyway. I would ask for a drum roll, but . . . yeah . . . no.

The pictures were for Christmas presents. Specifically, a professionally done photo book that I had printed for both sets of parents. They are hard cover books and turned out looking kind of fabulous if I do say so myself - and if you don't believe me, check out a couple of pages:

(not actual final size. these are screenshots of the pages from the site where I made it.)

Now, I'm sure those of you who know me well are thinking "wait a minute, that girl can't scrapbook worth crap!" Well, you're probably putting it more kindly, but you're right. I can't. Like some sort of reverse Midas touch, all I have to do is look at scrapbook supplies to cause them to wither and shrivel and blacken and basically be ruined. Seriously. But back in January I discovered this AMAZING website (which is also where I put together your book, Grandma & Grandpa) and it is freaking brilliant because it is idiot proof. More specifically, it is Lacey proof. Sure you can get all creative and do everything yourself and make it totally unique and stuff. Or you can use the Lacey Can't Screw This Up method (trademark pending) where you choose a theme, and then you choose a layout for each page, and then you upload the photos you want to use and THEN . . . (this is where the drum roll should go, lol) . . . you drag and drop the pictures in the hole that says "drag and drop picture here." And if you want any text you put it in the box that says "insert text here."

Told you it was Lacey proof. Dude, I tried to screw this up and it still looked great! Not as good as the finished project, but still pretty great. Best move I made all year? Snapping up the $50-for-$15 groupon that popped up in my inbox shortly after making the Grandparental Anniversary Book clear back in January. I also printed one for us and this is SO how I am going to be doing all our family's scrapbooking for the rest of forever. Maybe it's not all cutesy and homemade like everyone else's scrapbooks . . . but it also does not look like it was done by a toddler like all my other attempts at scrapbooking. Yay!

Side note: Luke's parents loved it. In fact, I might even go so far as to say that it was their favorite thing under the tree. I haven't heard any opinions from my parents yet . . . so I'm just going to assume they're working on forgiving us for not including an ultrasound photo page at the very end. Which is soooooooo not how we would have announced it anyway. But my mother did take her shrines to me and Shayla down this year for Christmas decorations . . . who knows, maybe she'll leave them down as a hint that she wants to create grandkid shrines now.

Side side note for those not in the know: okay, they're not exactly shrines, per se. But ever since I can remember all the family pictures have been confined to the hallway - out of sight to pretty much everyone who ever comes to the house but doesn't live there. But after having two daughters get married, mom went a little Mrs. Bennett on us and covered the top of the piano and one of the end tables in bridal/engagement/wedding pictures of the two/four of us. Someone who didn't know better would never know there are four kids in our family. Therefore, I have dubbed the displays shrines. Because I can.

Anyway. Sorry if I disappointed anyone . . . but I am quite delighted at my new found fake-scrapbooking skills. And you all should still check out Elise for all your photography needs because seriously, you can see how fabulous she is. (you are coming back up here, right Elise?)

And that is all. Happy first day of Kwanzaa/second day of Christmas/fifth(?) day of Hanukkah everybody!

P. ost S. cript
Yeah, totally posted this last year. But it's still awesome . . . especially the intro. Alliteration for the win!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Christmas Musings

Feeling conflicted about laughing? That's okay, so am I.

Anyway - I get the feeling I am going to offend people this time around . . . so, uh . . . there was your warning.

~ So for about the last month I've been looking forward to going to the mall and picking a name off the angel tree and finding the perfect present for some sweet little kid who deserves it. I'm sure you can all imagine my disappointment at seeing that there is no such tree at the mall this year. Instead . . . I'm not really sure just who this tree is providing for or why - since there was neither sign nor explanation anywhere in sight - but suffice it to say that were we able to afford a flat screen tv we'd be a little greedy and get one for ourselves first, and things like frosting and twine and scrapbook paper just don't inspire any sort of "doing such a good deed" feelings. And I'm really curious as to who decided the kids didn't need anything this year.

~ Remember the Christmas "warriors"? Of course you do, they wouldn't let you forget them if your life depended on it. They REALLY seem to be out in full force this year. And by that, of course, I mean that I am seeing people among my facebook friends choosing to be counted among their number. It's been rather disheartening, and frankly has been driving me nuts . . . as you may have noticed with a few of my recent facebook statuses (stati?). I get the feeling that my last rant will far exceed the character limit on facebook - so I shall preach to the choir (but pretend the people who need to see it actually will):

You know what the most obnoxious thing is about the people who are all "you can say 'happy holidays' to other people but you better say 'merry Christmas' to ME!" on facebook for, like, the entire month of December? Not only is it passive-aggressive, it's pretty much the most useless thing a Christmas "warrior" could possibly do! I mean, HELLO!!! The people you're friends with on facebook? They're, like, you know, your . . . FRIENDS. As in - people you actually know (theoretically). People who know you. People who know you celebrate Christmas and therefore shower you with the appropriate greeting. You know who doesn't see your rant? People you don't know, who don't know you, and who therefore do not know what you celebrate. Believe it or not, when you post something like that it is not broadcast on the evening news along with your profile picture to make sure that everyone in the vicinity knows what to say to you. That tired, overworked cast member . . . I mean cashier . . . that you screamed at because it's okay for them to tell other people happy holidays but they should just know to tell you merry Christmas? Guess what - they have NO WAY of "just knowing" who you are and what you do. They have a 50/50 chance of getting it right or offending you and they happened to guess wrong. But they've never seen you before and they'll never see you again (lucky them) and they probably don't really care how you spend December 25. And seriously what is up with this "it's okay for others but I want it my way" mentality? You may as well post a status that says "include everyone on your own time, when you're with me I prefer excluding people" or "I'm more important than everyone else so make sure you cater to my preferences." Seriously, what makes happy holidays okay to say to others (presumably including other people who celebrate Christmas) but utterly unacceptable for strangers to say to you? That sort of self-important privileged thinking quite frankly disgusts me, and I'm really hoping the small number of my friends who have re-posted it did so without actually thinking about what they were saying.

Okay, that went on a little longer than I was anticipating. You people need to stop me when I get on a roll like that . . . :-)

Anyway. Moving on.

~ Our tree is the little 3 foot baby tree I've had since college. Years of outdoor storage have taken their toll, and when I put it up 3 weeks ago one of the branches didn't come out of the box with the rest of the tree . . . the plastic just snapped. It's a little sad I suppose . . . but Walmart has trees twice the size for $20. And now we have room for one that size so I will SOOOOO be snatching one up around this time next week - YAY!!!!!!!!! Full size Christmas tree again!!!!!! Here's wishing a real tree was a little more affordable. Also - we may have to finally invest in some lights for our bigger tree.

~ Fully prepared for there to be no repeat of last year's Christmas awkward on Wednesday . . . which means, of course, that some random person I never talk to is going to show up with some hand woven tablecloth or something. (Oh! Oh! I know - Katie, what do you want to bet Ms. How-do-you-scroll shows up with some loving crafted quilts or something, lol)

~ If we do not have a white Christmas I will be seriously unhappy. If I liked green Christmases we'd still be in Florida. (well - it's a lot more complicated than that . . . but it sounded good!)

~ There is an inflatable Christmas tree out on our "front lawn." It's tall enough to just about reach our windows. I'd just like to take a moment to remind everyone that we're on the second level - and state that I've never really understood the whole inflatable lawn decorations thing.

Anyway . . . yeah. Woo hoo for Christmas . . . and all the other holidays and any other excuse people can find to party this month. Yay!!

P. ost S. cript
Saw this commercial a couple of hours ago and I am still cracking up. I can only assume that Clapper sales have been dropping off the last couple of years . . . you can only get someone so many of those and chia pets every year before you just need a new no-thought-required gift. So let's upgrade the old one!!! :-)

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Something Tangible

Ummmmmmm . . . yes please. Delivered to me by its captain, please. (and in the flesh, not in gingerbread!!)

So this whole post is all about me being a cliche wrapped in a . . . I don't know, something else cliched. But while I totally have no shame about not making New Year's resolutions, I do sometimes feel a little left out when people talk about theirs. Not so much in a "hey, can't I play?" sort of way as much as a "hey, maybe I am missing out on something good" sort of way. And so, even though I do have a goal - sort of - for the new year, it's another forever ongoing one kind of like last years, so it kind of feels like another cop-out . . . sort of. So I'm adding something else. Something that has to be done within the calender year of 2012. Something that can be measured, success-wise. And this post - all of you - are going to be what makes sure I don't back out at the last minute . . . assuming, I suppose that there are still people reading a year from now.

Have you heard of NaNoWriMo? It's kind of a big deal, in a comparatively small circle. Anyway, here's the "tl;dr" version - National Novel Writing Month. Every November. The idea is that you write word one on November 1, and by the end of the month the goal is to have written 50,000 words. That works out to about 175 pages, which is a good first draft of a novella or a good beginning to a longer novel. Of course, it is just a first draft, and likely to need lots of editing and other work - far from publication ready, or even submission ready! I sometimes get the feeling that a lot of people forget that, and that's where Lacey's worst books ever written come from.


I've been wanting to do NaNoWriMo for a few years now, but there's a lot more involved than just picking up a pen on November first. You have to at least have, you know, an idea for a story. Some thoughts about where it's going. It takes some prep work. And every year around this time I tell myself I'm going to do it next year . . . and every year I forget about it until November 1, at which point it's pretty much too late because I have no ground work laid to work from. But let's be honest - I will never have the free time to spend churning out 1600 words a day for 30 straight days like I do now (and currently anticipate having this time next year . . . just so that's established). So that's where all the cliches come in - "now is the time" and "if a goal isn't written down it's only a dream" and all that trite, cheesy goodness.

Here it is. I'm writing it down. I'm doing it. I'll spend the next ten months outlining and character creating and all that jazz and come November I'll be ready to go. Maybe I'll register officially, maybe I'll just do it on my own. But I'm doing it, and I'm hoping you'll all help me keep on track and not forget about it.

For starters . . . anyone have a story idea? :-)

P. ost S. cript
For those of you still frantically searching for a Christmas present from me, lol . . . this.

(the sound quality isn't the best . . . if you can't tell, it's that "BWONG!!!!" sound from Inception . . . which would also make me an awesome present.)

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Appealing to Those with More June Cleaver in Them than I

I sliced open two fingers while cooking today. (they're both still attached, don't worry!) Now that the pain has subsided - and one hurt so bad I'm telling myself it must rival childbirth because that helps me believe I'll be able to survive it . . . childbirth, not the cut. Anyway. Now that I'm no longer in pain I'm not sure whether to be -

A ~ embarrassed that neither happened while I was chopping onions with a rather sharp knife.

B ~ ashamed that one was on a canned corn can lid and the other was on the dishwasher . . . still haven't figured out how I managed that one.

C ~ insane for admitting my incredible talent for hurting myself in ways that would make Bella Swan mock me.

So I'm asking everyone out there who can manage to make taco soup without seasoning it with blood (which I didn't!) - A, B, or C?

P. ost S. cript
Want a peek into where Luke and I live? Here you go! A few fun facts:
~ Apparently I should have gone shopping on black Friday this year.
~ This building gives new definition to "mini mall." It is seriously MINIATURE. In fact, you see it all here, pretty much.
~ At least 95% of the audience was planted there for the video. There are NEVER that many people there - not even on black Friday!
~ Pretty sure I saw at least half a dozen people I know.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Celebrating (Imminent) Success

End of the year blog meme time, yay! I've seen this one around a bit lately, and since I'm within single digits of reaching my only tangible goal for the year - reading 150 books - this shall be my reward party.

And since you've all totally been watching my little ticker over there >>>>>>>>>>>> with baited breath all year - yep, I am down to nine more . . . woo hoo!!! There were times when I wondered if I'd pull it off.

Anyway. Meme time.

1) What author do you own the most books by?

Tough call. Rick Riordan and L.M. Montgomery are both up there. Does my collected works of Jane Austen book count for each novel? Because then she'd probably take the title when you include the duplicate copies.

2) What book do you own the most copies of?

I only own double copies of three Jane Austens.

3) Did it bother you that both those questions ended with prepositions?

I usually don't notice until it's pointed out. So . . . thanks for that.

4) What fictional character are you secretly in love with?

Character? As in . . . singular? Can I just say "all of them" and have it count as one?

Marius Pontmercy
Gilbert Blythe
Fitzwilliam Darcy
Colonel Brandon
Sir Percival Blakeney
Rhett Butler
. . . and any others who might slightly resemble any of the above

5) What book have you read the most times in your life (excluding picture books read to children; i.e., Goodnight Moon does not count)?

Probably Tuck Everlasting . . . but I reread books a lot, so it's hard to say.

6) What was your favorite book when you were ten years old?

You really have to be more specific - I've never had consistent favorites. Favorite book on my tenth birthday? Favorite fantasy book when I was ten that I read that summer? Those I could answer.

7) What is the worst book you’ve read in the past year?

Hard to say. In an attempt to make a dent in my massive to-read list I've found myself reading a lot of vanity/self-published
stuff lately. I'm sure there are some gems in that pile, but most of what I've found epitomizes why that was the route those people took. These, however, fall into the category of worst-of-the-worst.

9) If you could force everyone to read one book, what would it be?

Again, hard to say. The Happiness Project comes to mind, but I think I'd prefer to tailor my recommendation to each person.

10) Who deserves to win the next Nobel Prize for Literature?

Me. Totally. :-)

11) What book would you most like to see made into a movie?

Do I really need to get into my do-not-turn-books-into-movies-ever rant again?

12) What book would you least like to see made into a movie?

See above.

13) Describe your weirdest dream involving a writer, book, or literary character.

I don't generally recognize people in my dreams. I know I know them, and I know where I know them from (high school, Florida, books, etc.) but I don't usually know who they actually are.

14) What is the most lowbrow book you’ve read as an adult?

Ummmmm . . . what part of "vanity press" strikes anyone as high brow?! Anyway . . . yeah. I totally read fluffy stuff. Gotta balance out Austen and Milton and Wilde and Dickens and such somehow.

15) What is the most difficult book you’ve ever read?

Define difficult. While I speak it pretty well (or, at least I used to) I can't read French to save my life, so the stuff in my French lit classes were brutal. (and yet I hold on to the more than slightly insane goal of reading Les Mis in french someday. Unabridged.) I've never had to much trouble with Shakespeare or any "old school" stuff - if you go a little slower it's really not that hard. That said, I struggled with Wuthering Heights the first time . . . I think I was a little too young for the writing style. Also, somehow I ended up with a copy of Canterbury Tales in the original Middle English for a concurrent enrollment class my senior year.
Kind of hard to read a book that is literally in a different language . . . especially when you think it's in yours.

16) What is the most obscure Shakespeare play you’ve seen?

Sadly, the only one I've seen is Macbeth - kind of shameful when you consider where I went to college, eh?

Also: donations for Lacey's ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY trip to Cedar next summer are being accepted starting . . . wait for it . . . now. Because with front page news like that . . . yeah. I have to go.

17) Do you prefer the French or the Russians?

Oh! Oh! New answer for most difficult!! I've never finished anything by a Russian - and heaven knows I've tried. I will get through Anna Karenina someday, dangit!

Hugo? Is my hero. One of them.

18) Roth or Updike?

Haven't read either, actually. I probably should fix that.

19) David Sedaris or Dave Eggers?


20) Shakespeare, Milton, or Chaucer?

Okay, I haven't actually read any Milton yet . . . I said I was working on my to-read list, not that it was done. Tough call - Shakespeare is a bit easier to read un-translated, but Chaucer's dirty jokes are easier to get.

What? You didn't know that those are two of the dirtiest writers in the history of writing?

21) Austen or Eliot?

I shall echo others' answers: which Eliot? And why Eliot? Because when I think of authors similar to Austen, Eliot doesn't even make the top, like, 100.

22) What is the biggest or most embarrassing gap in your reading?

I don't know that there are any large gaps in my collected readings, but there are a few that would make me feel like I should turn in my degree if I admitted to them.

23) What is your favorite novel?

Today? The FitzOsbournes in Exile. Mostly because it's the last one I finished . . . well, the last good one anyway. Can't wait for the third one.

24) Play?

Ummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm . . . Much Ado. But mostly just because I've got Shakespeare on the brain from all these questions.

25) Poem?

I'm not a huge poetry person, but I do have a bit of a thing for "Dover Beach" by Matthew Arnold.

26) Essay?

Really don't do essays. Montaigne, I guess. Since I've read him.

27) Short story?

Again, not so much with the short stories. That said, a former professor of mine has a great collection out there (umm . . . shameless plug alert!) And I am a bit of a junkie of anything Millhauser.

28) Work of nonfiction?

I almost never read it so this is easy - The Happiness Project.

29) Who is your favorite writer?

Today? Ummmmmmm . . . Jane Austen, Jo Rowling, Jasper Fforde, and Emily Bronte

30) Who is the most overrated writer alive today?

Stephenie Meyer . . . Jack Weyland . . . oh! - Jodi Picoult! I really don't get why she's so huge. I wanted to like her since I'm practically the only person who doesn't, but all her books are the same - sex and violence that serves no real purpose beyond shock value to get people talking about her books.

31) What is your desert island book?

If ever I find myself on a desert island, it will be the chunk of land that castle from Beauty and the Beast is on, which mysteriously floated away from . . . ummm . . . all the land surrounding it . . . and I shall never leave.

32) And … what are you reading right now?

Dreams of Joy. I read Shanghai Girls this summer and really liked it, so I have high hopes for this one, but I haven't gotten very far yet.

P. ost S. cript
Totally fitting. Also totally awesome. And totally spot on.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

No Rest For The Grammar Nazi

The Santa Clause. Clever movie. You've seen it, don't lie. (feel free to lie about seeing the sequels though) It came out in 1994. I was . . . well, since this is the internet I shall just say that my age had two digits and I was not a teenager. Even then I thought it was an immensely clever title. Because you see, the mythical fat man in a red suit is named Santa Claus. No e on the end. There's an e on the end in the title of the movie because the movie isn't talking about the Bearded Dude (or Jeff Bridges . . . ten points!). No, the title was referencing the legal definition of the word clause, which is a stipulation or article in a legal document. As in "if you put on the red suit you are contractually obligated to keep it on blah, blah, blah." The clause pertaining to being Santa, if you will. And they even made the e a different color to emphasize what they were going for. And maybe I'm being a little arrogant here, but as a child still in elementary school I recognized that, got it, and enjoyed the pun.

So it breaks my heart a little to see that now, 17 years later, somehow everyone has come to believe that the jolly old elf's name is Santa Clause. Because you can hardly find it in writing anywhere properly any more. I think I die a little inside every time I see it spelled wrong. And you know Santa's gotta be pretty ticked by now. I hate it when people misspell my name, and I haven't been around for a century or two. I think this shall be my battle in the "war" on Christmas. Team CLAUS, y'all.

I would hide everyone in my facebook feed who spells it wrong . . . but I don't think I'd have many people left unhidden by the end of the month.

Let the Christmas blogging begin - happy holidays folks!

P. ost S. cript
Talk about a movie that just won't end - I much prefer this version!!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

How I've Done

Last week a facebook friend posted asking if anyone else was thinking about New Year's resolutions yet. I wasn't (but now I am), but unlike pretty much every other year ever, I actually remembered the one I made this year. And actually thought about it throughout the year. I'd originally intended to keep myself really accountable by posting about how I was doing every month or six weeks or so . . . which, obviously, didn't happen. But I still think I've done a pretty good job at being myself. Some days better than others, naturally.

I don't think I've changed much - I'm still a great big bag of my own neuroses, paranoia, quirks, and silliness. But I feel like I'm more comfortable with the fact that this is who I am (most days, anyway). I still crave acceptance and approval, but I'm growing more okay with not having the accolades constantly pouring in, you know? For some reason my default reaction has always been the worst possible scenario. No one likes my latest facebook status/picture/video? I'm being shunned - by everyone on facebook. No one comments on my blog? Everyone has stopped reading - even the random Iranian(s?) who've popped up a couple dozen times and I couldn't possibly know because I'm pretty sure I don't know anyone in/from Iran.

I've always been pathetically insecure, and for a while a few years ago it was getting steadily worse. In high school I had some friends who . . . well, I don't think they really considered me a friend. I could list dozens of tiny little things that by themselves mean nothing but put together seem to create an ominous pattern - but that would sound melodramatic and to be honest I only remember specifics for a few things and that I saw the pattern a few years after graduating. And the whole situation can really be summed up pretty easily with one story. Our senior year two friends decided to start writing a book together. It got passed around among all of us as they wrote, and it was really funny. It had a ginormous cast - the large group of drama and marching band nerds that hung out together - and we were all secret agents from various countries and all after the same thing. I don't remember at all what it was, but honestly it was pretty irrelevant. The story was mostly about our character versions interacting with each other and inside jokes and that sort of thing. And then came the day that someone asked where these two got the idea in the first place.

"We wanted to kill Lacey."

The very end of the story, which they never reached (to my knowledge), was going to be a fiery plane crash that took out my character, completely bumbling, inept, and never getting a single thing right, and another friend's, the competent spy whose sole assignment was following my character around and cleaning up after "me."

Okay, I will admit that I have my blonde moments - but who doesn't? And that I did sometimes play up the ditz in an unsuccessful attempt to get the attention of . . . well, to be honest, any guy. But on the other hand, I took honors chemistry and managed a decent grade. I took four years of French. I did concurrent enrollment for college level English classes and I aced them. While other people's characters were pretty true to their real life counterparts, mine . . . wasn't. Rather, it magnified all my negative qualities while essentially eliminating any redeeming ones.

The two girls writing the story and some - but not all, thank heaven! - of the other readers found both my characterization and the inspiration for the story hilarious. I told myself it was a joke and all meant in fun, and smiled and laughed when it came up in conversation. I think I may have even believed it sort of, because I spent most of my time in college as the quiet one in the corner, more welcome and more liked than I would realize until it was all over out of fear that I would do something that made my new friends want to kill me too, even if it was only literary. I slowly realized that the story was not really friend behavior, and was able to open up a bit my senior year of college and then a bit more in Florida.

I don't think it's melodramatic to say that I carry what happened in high school with me to this day. Just a little bit. I don't think about it often, but occasionally something will happen that leaves me certain that I'm secretly hated by the people I'm with, and that they're just wishing I would go away. I'm pretty sure I'm just imagining/misinterpreting things, but there's no escaping the way your past colors your present, so I just do my best to work through my personal crazy. And trying to focus on that this year . . . I may not be the best of judges, but I think I've made some progress. And progress is always good.

Best part? This is totally the kind of resolution that's never done, so you can reuse it every year. Woo hoo! :-) However, in the name of variety, I'm thinking I'll start this too. Should be fun . . . eventually!

P. ost S. cript
How crazy awesome is this?!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Random Take Three

It's Thanksgiving . . . you know, in case you missed that. Or haven't been entirely creeped out to the point of nightmares by that creepy Target Black Friday Commercial Lady. Seriously - she. Is. Creepy. Exactly the sort of ad that makes me want to never EVER come within 20 miles of a Target for the rest of time.

Anyway, here it is folks, the moment you've been waiting all year for, lol. Top ten crazy things to be thankful for!

1. Crock pots. Our baby size turkey comes with crock pot instructions, so we decided to try it out this year. Here's hoping it goes well! It was kind of fun to get up at six to get it started . . . I remember when I was little it seemed like mom had to get up at practically midnight to start cooking. Because, you know, anything earlier than about 7:00 is midnight to a six year old. In fact, at the elementary school I went to every year all the first graders would write an little essay about how to cook a turkey. They generally all go something like "you have to get up at 2:00 in the morning and cook the turkey at 900* for eleven hours" and such. That . . . would make for a rather crispy turkey, no?

2. Laundry facilities I don't have to go outside to get to. AMAZING!!!!

3. A kitchen I can actually walk around in. AMAZING!!!!

4. Learning new things all the time. For example, do any of you know what tomorrow is? Totally had no idea until Tuesday, and neither did the teacher who told his class about it until a few days before that. But apparently Evacuation Day was a pretty big deal until Thanksgiving basically replaced it. The stuff you didn't know you didn't know, eh?

5. Tradition. I'm watching the Macy's parade at the moment. Mom's always complaining about how it;s not the same as when she was a kid, and I'll admit there's a lot more show numbers and stuff than I remember from when I was younger - but I still love it. What can I say, I'm a junkie for parades.

6. Aglets. Mostly that I know what they're called now. And because Phineas and Ferb rocks.

7. Pinterest. I've found tons of cool recipes and smart ideas to try - I've even tried a couple, and so far so fabulous. :-)

8. Getting all the Christmas stuff out tomorrow. So. Excited.

9. Thanksgiving dinners for two. Simple and pleasant. Every year I'm a bigger fan.

10. A slight carry over from last year - having projects to work on. They give me something to do in my copious amounts of alone/down time. And make me feel accomplished. Also - having so many people to give them to that I just can't keep up? Awesome.

P. ost S. cript
A slight change up today - I took this video a little while ago because Luke has been cracking me up all month with this. Happy Thanksgiving!!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Feeling Guilty

I think working with older kids is either making me heartless or bringing out my mean and vicious personality. Or maybe I'm doing this right and it just feels like I'm being mean. (feel free to loudly and vehemently support that third option, lol.)

So. Fourth grade. Math test today. Last day before Thanksgiving break . . . cruel, but it would be crueler to save it for the first day back, no? Anyway, I'm walking around answering questions - and to state the obvious I can clarify a question they don't quite understand but can't tell them what to do if they don't remember.

There is a kid in this class who spends math time either spaced out, doodling, or trying to talk to other kids. Every. Single. Day. I kid you not. Every day someone - the teacher or me - calms him out for not paying attention. I've watched him pull his warning card, right down what he did on the "I had to pull a card" paper, go back to his desk and go right back to the doodling or whatever he just got in trouble for. It kind of boggles my mind. It's so crazy . . . a good chunk of the time the first half of the assignment is done as a class and then they get turned loose to finish it. And this kid freaks out because not only does he not know what to do, everyone else is way ahead of him. And when you ask him why he didn't copy the work down when the teacher was doing everything step by step he never has an answer.

So today when he asked for help my answer, naturally, was "this is a test, you have do it by yourself." This nearly brought him to tears as he tried to explain that it was too hard to do by himself. My answer? "That's what happens when you don't pay attention."

I know that was the right answer. And I wouldn't change it if I could go back. And that by fourth grade he should have figured out the whole connection between paying attention and learning thing. But for a moment I thought this kid was going to have (or perhaps fake) a panic attack. And now I feel evil. Because, you know, I was totally supposed to hold his hand through the whole test and practically do it for him . . . because let's face it, half the time he gets things like "3-1" wrong. Heaven help this kid when he gets to high school.

Woo hoo.

On a lighter note, I told you that you'd be hearing from Georgette again!

So among other things 5th graders do linguistically, they learn a lot of root words and prefixes and how you can combine them and they mean similar things.

For those of you totally not following - recently they did "graph." As in photograph. And "graphy" and "grapher," which can be combined with "photo" to talk about pictures or "carto" to talk about maps. With me now?

The one they're currently working on is ology/ologist/ologic. And they had a worksheet with those roots and prefixes that included bio/herb/geo . . . and arche. Obviously, most of them needed these prefixes defined and from there they could more or less figure things out.

So I'm explaining that "arche" means old, so archeology is the study of old things. And the kid I'm explaining it to says "like what?" and before I can answer Georgette jumps in with "PEOPLE!"

I about died.

Okay, so technically she was right . . . except she wasn't talking about remains of people found at Pompeii, you know? She was thinking people . . . ummmmmmm . . . of ages . . . similar to . . . some people who read this blog. Yeah, we'll put it that way. (take that, dad!) I'm still giggling. She's a really smart girl when she thinks - she just doesn't think until after she's said something, generally speaking. Good times.

So in conclusion: I'm a horrible person and Georgette is not a spaz, she just has no 5-second delay button yet. Yay.

P. ost S. cript
There are no words for this kind of awesome sauce.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Okay, Burn Her Already. Or Something.

So. Fifth grade. They study US history, as you may recall. And the particular fifth graders who's story I'm telling are covering the Revolutionary War at the moment. (And I am determined to be able to show you all an awesome video of them singing Miley Cyrus' timelessly classic hit "Founders if the USA" . . . which will now be stuck in your head for the rest of the day. You're welcome, lol.)

Apparently this is a yearly thing - the kids come in one day and their desks are gone (out in the hall), their teachers have been "replaced" by "Mr. (/Ms.) Cruel," and overall classroom conditions are sort of vaguely unpleasant. To get things back the way they should be they have to write their own Declaration of Independence from Mr. Cruel, turn it in to the principal, and she has to accept it.

This? Is awesome.

I? May be slightly evil.

I spent most of yesterday trying not to giggle as I watched those kids have to sit straight - no backs touching the chairs! - and use chalkboards - nice cursive, if we couldn't read it they had to do it again. Most of them just kind of took it, but to hear some of them moaning and groaning you'd think the Geneva conventions had been violated or something. But it was really amazing how quiet the classroom was . . . no raising hands or shouting out answers, if they had something to say they stood up and waited. It was kind of weird, but awesome. And no one was allowed to ask for help, so I think a few kids discovered that they actually do know how to add and subtract fractions after all - yay!

Most interesting was watching them alphabetize their spelling list - again, on a chalkboard on their laps and in "elegant" cursive. It took some of them a lot longer than it would have taken with pencil and paper on a table, and a few of them had to do it over and over again because they spelled one word wrong or got to in the wrong order or their handwriting was illegible. I'm sure you all remember my opinion of rosy-tinted everything-today-is-awful internet nostalgia, but I'll never deny that some things were probably better back in the day. It's just too bad we couldn't go really old school and pull out the switches for misbehavior, lol. Instead they have to do push ups . . . which, ultimately, is probably more beneficial than a beating, you know? And I have to admit that I felt a little bit of maniacal glee in making the kid who enjoyed the push ups and was trying to get "punished" with more write lines - "I will not pull Sally's pigtails." style. In cursive. And I made him redo it when I couldn't read it.

(side note - this is a boy who uses text speak in his writing assignments. Pretty sure I created his own personal circle of hell. *insert evil laugh here*)

The best part of the whole project has been the conversations I've had with the kids. They generally start with comments about aren't they glad they didn't live 200 years ago, and was it this hard when I was in school doing it this way? To which I can only respond with a quite incredulous "Just how old do you think I am?!?!"

The good news: they've gone no farther than 9 years too high.

The bad news: they're old enough to realize how close they are to 17, so no one's erred on the ten years too low end. Most of them are actually pretty close.

Anyway, that leads to a conversation about how they started transitioning from chalkboards to white boards when I was in 5th or 6th grade. And did they have phones then. And when I said yes the first assumption was that I had a Zack Morris brick cell. And when I said explained that cell phones weren't very common and we had a regular telephone and one of the kids said "you mean the kind that goes on the wall?" I said yes, but I have to wonder whether the picture in his head was something like this or something like this.

Then there was today. Someone mentioned Mr. Cox, and a couple of others kids jumped on the whole "it's not Mr. Cox, it's Mr. Cruel!" thing and that led to wondering where Mr. Cox has gone. (their teacher is clearly the same, but the story is that he had to leave suddenly, but was very sad and stuff) And that led to silly stories about their teacher being a superhero or some James Bond-esque spy on a secret mission and fun stuff like that. And then along comes (Claudio), who has made a bit of a reputation for himself when it comes to saying off the wall things. And he declares that there can only be two reasons for their old teacher to be missing: "either he's dating, or he's sick."

Because, you know, people who are dating have neither time, inclination, nor reason to do anything else.

Maybe you just had to be there, but I've pretty much given up trying to hold in the giggles when kids say those darndest things. I had him repeat it a couple of times - I couldn't believe I'd heard him right! - and then I was only there to be gawked at for a few minutes. None of the kids got what I found so funny, but they definitely get a kick out of how red my face gets when I laugh that hard.

It's entirely up to the principal whether she accepts the declarations and gives the kids their "freedoms" back or not. (btw, did I mention there's no recess, they have to march around the block instead, and lunch is ten minutes and then it's right back to work?) She's a stickler for grammar and such (yay!) and one missed sentence capital will get the whole thing rejected and they have to do the whole thing again. On unlined yellow-y paper that looks kind of Declaration-y. Clearly spaced, line-wise and paragraph-wise. In nice, legible cursive. My class has already had one (possibly two) drafts rejected. Apparently the longest this has ever gone on is just over a week. I kind of want this to keep going on . . . it's so much fun to watch!

Like I said, I may be slightly evil. :-)

P. ost S. cript
Talk about begging for Mythbusters to try it! How does this even happen?!?!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Eleven Epic Ecritures

(Note: ecritures = French for writings. Because no way was I only going to be 2/3 alliterative, lol.)

1 ~ Singing Rebecca Black's "Friday" to the tune of Justin Bieber's "Baby"? Epic. I'm not sure if it's epically awesome or epically horrifying . . . but it's definitely epic. (btw, did I spell Beiber right?) Turns out sometimes 5th graders aren't obnoxious, but actually funny!

2 ~ Today in 5th grade: listing things that fall into the category "things with wings." The group I was with came up with only bird and plane (and one kid had bat). So I asked them to come up with one more that was neither bird nor plane. This ensues:

Kid 1: Eagle!

Me: That's a bird.

Kid 2: A flamingo!

Me: That's a bird.

Kid 3: A jet!

Me: That's a type of plane.

(Georgette): I know! A wingless bird!!

Me: *blank stare. about three beats*
*cracks up*
(thinking) aaaaaaaaaand two strikes with one swing!

Georgette gets a code name because I have the feeling this is not the last you'll be hearing from her, lol.

3 ~ Passing a random first grader in the hall - her eyes get big. "You were the princess kitty on Halloween!!" Dude, even the kids who don't know me know who I am. Pretty sure I've achieved rock star status or something. :-)

4 ~ Conversation with Luke today:

Luke: When is Thanksgiving?

Me: The 24th.

Luke: What day?

Me: *blank stare*

Luke: I don't know what day of the week that is!

Me: *face palm*

Sometimes all I can do is roll my eyes and think this. (at part 1:17)

5 ~ Bit of trivia for you - about 90 years ago an American woman came up with the idea for wearing poppies in November for Veteran's Day (then Armistice Day). Apparently it caught on pretty big. It's still big in Europe . . . in America . . . not so much. Interesting, no?

6 ~ Assuming I could put together an accurate recreation of these . . . things . . . would this not be the most horrifyingly creepy Halloween costume ever? That smile . . . those elbows . . . they're going to give me nightmares!!

7 ~ The Mark of Athena? Needs to be out now. Not exactly Deathly Hallows level of need . . . but DUDE, I hate waiting for books to come out!

8 ~ Throwing jeans in the dryer in the morning so they're warm when you get out of the shower and dress? AMAZING!

9 ~ Obnoxious neighbor story. So our downstairs neighbors sort adopted some stray cats forever ago (meaning the cats showed up and the neighbors fed them). Then our diagonal downstairs neighbors moved in and didn't have any objection to the cats. Then we move in. Fast forward to about six weeks ago. Diagonal neighbors have purchased a fancy new car and now the cats are suddenly unacceptable because apparently one of them threw up on their old car once. And their new car is, like, unwashable or something. So they complain and the landlords say get rid of the cats, which is sad because everyone else loves the cats and they keep the mice out of the outdoor storage sheds. Almost as soon as the cats are gone the fancy new car inexplicably disappears never to be seen again. And last week the universally disliked (and not just for cat-related reasons) diagonal neighbors move out. Seriously? You're too lazy to wash your new car so you get the cats disappeared and then you move out? Dear ex-neighbors: you suck.

10 ~ Scraping windows also sucks. Totally trying this sometime soon.

11 ~ Black Friday starts at 10:00 on Thursday?! Is there no low too low for someone out there to sink to in order to make a buck? Here's hoping no one shows up for at least a few hours . . . but I doubt it.

P. ost S. cript
A fun little video, particularly for the Tiger Mother readers out there, lol. And it takes some serious talent!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

For Your Entertainment

Well, I laughed.

So when people talk to me about my blog the thing I hear most often is that it's really funny. Apparently I missed my calling as a stand-up comedian or something. And I feel like I haven't been very funny lately and that I ought to apologize for that. And excuse myself in the future by saying that I'm discovering that 4th and 5th graders are generally not as cute and funny as smaller kids . . . mostly they're just obnoxious.

Anyway, to make amends, I present you with three (hopefully) amusing stories. At my expense. Enjoy. :-)

1 ~

So back when I'm trying on my Elizabeth Bennett dress and discovering I suddenly have the shoulders of a . . . whatever football position it is that people talk about having big shoulders like . . . well, my first thought for alternatives was my other formal dress.

You see, back when I was in high school, my mom was in some ways a perfect Mormon Tiger Mother. Meaning her oldest daughter (me) was going to go to every formal dance ever and would need the most fabulous dresses ever and so we bought four over the course of time at massive blow-out sales that meant I got 4 rather expensive dresses for two-figure prices. Which is pretty awesome.

I got pity asked to junior prom a week before (good thing I got a dress so far in advance, eh?!) and didn't go to another formal . . . ever. Except for one semi-formal, the only dates I went on in high school were girl's choice. Same goes for college - minus the semi-formal. As Mormon Tiger Daughters go, I was an epic failure.

On the plus side, I have this lovely burgundy-ish formal dress that I've never worn. I was planning on wearing it for Valentine's Day, which Ellis also does up in epic style, but I figure I can wear it twice. So I try it on.

The good news: It still fits, ten years after buying it. And possibly even better than when I got it. Woot!

The bad news: I can only assume this is because it's just been sitting in a closet for a decade, but as I get the zipper nearly all the way up - it snaps. As in the flippy thingy you grab onto snaps off the part that does the actual zipping. And as I try to use the little piece of flippy thing that's left attached to the zippy thing . . . it crumbles into dust. I kid you not.

So here's your lovely and amusing mental picture: it's, like, 10:00 on (I think) Friday night. I'm stuck in a formal dress, the zipper of which will not go down now that I have no flippy thing to grab on to. Luke is at work and won't be home for a couple of hours.

I'm sure you can all picture the look of "oh crap!" on my face. Go ahead and giggle for moment. I'll wait.

Okay, long story short I'm not really sure how I did it, but I got the zipper down and the dress off, although there was at least ten minutes there where I thought I was just going to have to wait until Luke got home to help. And now I'm pretty impressed with the way I can contort my arms when I really need to.

Also - is there anyone out there willing/able to replace the zipper sometime in the next three and a half months? I'd still like to wear it for Valentine's Day.

2 ~

So Monday. When I was doing the scaring. I had to crouch pretty far down to get all of me behind that bench. I was pretty much curled up in the fetal position, both so that my cat ears and tiara wouldn't be seen, and also so my head would be down to the part of the bench it was easier to see through to know when the perfect moment to jump up was.

However, in order to jump up quickly, I kept my right leg up. And put most of my weight on it. And jumped up rapidly on the one leg. Repeatedly.

I'm too old to be doing that.

You know the muscle in you thigh? Not the quadriceps, the one in the front. I think I pulled my right one or something, because, holy crap, I have been feeling that since . . . well, shortly after I posted my last post. I'm fine when I'm moving, or when I'm still - but starting and stopping the motion . . . yesterday I thought I was going to die. Okay, maybe not that bad, but I have been limping. Not a lot, I'm sure no one else has noticed. But dangit, I have!

And . . . I may or may not have exaggerated it a bit at home for a little sympathy. :-) Not that it's really necessary, I've discovered I married a man who jumps to wait on me hand and foot if I so much as sneeze. Which kind of makes the fact that he's the one who gets sick the most often a little frustrating, ya know? :-) I'm feeling better (but still stiff) today - yesterday morning I could barely bring myself to get out of bed. Clearly I'm just not . . . ummmm . . . 26 . . . anymore? I mean, seriously. This sort of thing isn't supposed to start happening, like, another FIVE years at LEAST, right? This story? Is the story of my life in a nutshell.

3 ~

'Kay, so among other things I do in 5th grade, I do fluency timings. Basically, a fifth grader should be able to read about 150 words a minute and I time them on passages to see how close they are to that. A couple of the timings aren't passages, but lists of phrases - mostly things commonly seen on road signs or other signs out in the big blue world. (ten points unless you're Eric, lol) Things like "no passing" or "construction zone" or "pedestrian crossing" or whatever. Anyway, one of them is "no minors" which (Phillip) reads as "no mirrors." So afterward I tell him to look at it again, and he gets it immediately because his problem was, as I figured, just going too fast and misreading. But then he asks me what it means. So I explain the minor is the opposite of major and means something smaller or less important or lesser or lower or whatever, and then I explain that in context it meant someone younger than 18 and that he is a minor. This look of excitement and light bulbs clicking on comes to his face and he says all pleased with himself, "And you're a major!"

It may not see as funny when you're just reading it, but I cracked up. And through the giggles (this kid is used to me laughing at him, he's pretty quirky) I stumble out with something garbled like "well . . . yes and no . . . sort of . . . I guess . . . kind of . . . " and I'm thinking something like well, yeah, TECHNICALLY I guess, but the word is . . . wait . . . what is the word? What am I? Seriously? Did I seriously just ask myself that? I'm an . . . adult . . . is that word? Adult? Wait, yeah . . . yeah?

Or something like that. I hope my explanation was clear, because I get the feeling that this kid says he gets things even when he doesn't quite get them. I think I said something about how major wasn't the opposite of minor in this case and people over 18 are just called adults. Or something. I was giggly and a little flustered.

So . . . here's hoping this was funny enough to hold people over for a while. I'm certainly laughing at two of them. And I'll probably be laughing at the other one in a couple of months. :-)

P. ost S. cript
So . . . I totally should have posted this Monday and saved the monkey for today. But here's a little bit of late kitty Halloween fun. :-) We watched this last week, and it's seriously still kind of scary!

Monday, October 31, 2011

I'm Kind of Brilliant

Haters gonna hate, but dangit, I had fun today! And now, my genius idea - dun-da-da-DAH!!

Presenting CATherine, Duchess of Cambridge. :-) Like I said, I'm kind of a genius.

My best kitty cat pose. And a really crooked tiara. And about-to-fall-off cat ears. It's been a long day. :-)

Anyway, this was totally not my original plan. I really have been trying to top last year ALL YEAR. I finally decided to go with Elizabeth Bennett and just throw my wedding tiara on top and tell the kids I'm a princess. And it would be totally easy because I have the perfect Regency Era-type dress. In fact, I actually wore it as a Halloween costume a few years ago. Sadly, somehow during an entire night of partying up with peoples I only ended up with one semi-good picture showing it off. Blargh.

But still, I looked pretty awesome, eh?

Interestingly enough, I had two costumes that year (long story) and the other one - how's this for crazy? Hannah Montana.

This was a few months before I bought the wig, and I'm really not sure what takes more time - straightening my hair or pinning it up to be hidden under the wig.

So anyway. I'm planning on going with this fabulously already assembled costume, and just after school starts it occurs to me - I've gained a pound or three since 2007, and I probably should make sure the dress still fits. So I go and try it on and all the areas I'm thinking might be a problem are fine . . . but my shoulders have apparently doubled in size or something because the last, like, two inches of the zipper? Just aren't happening. So at this point I have two thoughts:
1) are you FREAKING kidding me?!?!
2) good thing I tried the dress on now, because dude, how much awkward panic would there have been this morning otherwise?!?!

So I'm frantically trying to come up with something new and all thoughts of costume toppage are pretty much out the window with a flurry of grrrrrrrrrr's, and that leads me to spending an afternoon driving from store to every store in town trying to find/make up something that's cheap but still at least a little bit clever. This would be the point where I discover that Shopko had shoved all their Halloween costume stuff into a corner and put it on clearance. Six weeks before Halloween. I still can't not think what the crap? about that.

Anyway, I finally end up at Hobby Lobby, more or less in desperation, but it all worked out because that's where I found the cat ears and tail, and for only, like, ten bucks or something like that. Score! Than I get up to the register and it turns out it's on clearance too or something because it rings up at half the price. Woot!

So then a couple of days later I decide to try the ears on to make sure the headband isn't some super tight headache inducing thing, because that would make for all sorts of torture. Turns out it fits purrrrrfectly (rim shot!) . . . so I just randomly kept the ears on. Because I could. So I'm sitting there stitching furiously and watching . . . something or other on tv . . . and then I remember - I have this!

These teeny tiny tiaras are for sale all over the place at WDW for, like, five bucks or something. I got lucky and found this perfectly intact one at the Cast Member Broken Reject Merchandise Store (that might not be its actual name, lol) for something like fifty cents.

Actually, I got two.

Because I'm awesome like that. :-)

So I run to my jewelry box and quickly discover, as you saw, that the tiara totally works, so I'm totally going with it and feeling all clever and original and now I'm stitching on the couch in cat ears and a tiara because again, I'm awesome like that. And I'm not just going to be a cat, I'm going to be a cat princess! Fun!!

This is the part that's probably obvious . . . but gradually the voice in my head switches things up from "cat princess" to "princess cat" and from there it was just a matter of word association. I mean, duh - princess cat = Princess Cat = Princess CATherine = CATherine, Duchess of Cambridge. Maybe I got there a bit faster than other people would have, but I imagine most people would have gotten there eventually.

Okay, maybe just to Princess CATherine. But that's close enough.

(Now, let's all take a moment and appreciate the fact that this was not my costume. Believe me, I appreciate it!)

So it all works out nicely, since I was planning on buying the earrings and ring anyway, and the only other thing I needed - a pair of black pants - I got at DI. And I lucked into finding a pretty great pair that I might even wear again . . . and that was certainly not in the plan! Woo. Hoo.

So by this point it's, like, the beginning of the month and I'm thinking I'm all set, and then Aunt Sharon emails asking if I have a tiara Sage can borrow, and again - two thoughts.
1) well, yeah, but I'm wearing it . . .
2) wait a second, I have THREE!

So I run to the jewelry box again to make sure my wedding tiara will work with the cat ears. And, obviously, they work together. So I take a moment to kick myself again for letting my mom talk me out of the tiara I really wanted -

Because this baby? Holy awesome. Also, the model? Totally being a really good sport. This picture was taken less than an hour after I made him pose for this one -

He must really love me, eh? :-)

Anyway, I kick myself and then I email back that Sage can have her pick and I'll wear the other one. Because Cinderella always gets top choice. :-)

So there is the long story of how I assembled my costume. As for showing it off today - yeah, no one's thought process went beyond cat princess. But hey, it even took me a few days, so I was not exactly expecting everyone to get it and spend the day telling me how immensely clever I am. It was all good.

They were short on volunteers first thing in the morning, so I started out hiding behind a bench in the spook alley jumping out and screaming and scaring the 5th graders, which was pretty awesome, but after just that grade - about half a dozen groups - my voice was already on its way out. (Let me just say right now I really don't know how certain people spent the entire day wailing last year!) So I switched out as more people showed up and went back to chief hand holder and laugher-at-tough-boys-near-hysterics . . . because oh yes, there were a few. It was great.

So now my feet are ridiculously tired again - good thing the boots I wore have half the heel of last year's boots! - and I'm all curled up because I hardly sat down all day. But it was a fabulous day, and I'm still in costume and hoping we have enough candy for all the little goblins who come by tonight. Since I'd rather not give out money. We don't keep much cash and we're even low on checks, lol. (ten points if you get the reference!)

P. ost S. cript
From the "SO going to get stuck in your head" file. Also from the "recruiting people to help wring Ashli's scrawny little neck for getting it in my head" file.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


Is it possible to take family pictures of a family of two and have them come out NOT looking like cheesy engagement redo pictures?

The answer might be debatable, but if it is, this girl totally knows how to do it. And if you live anywhere near here you should totally hit her up for a great photo shoot before she gets a real job in some cool town that is not this one. Seriously, check our awesomeness out!

Thanks Elise!

(and if you're wondering why there was a need for family pictures of a family of two . . . feel free to ask again precisely two months from today.) :-)

P. ost S. cript
Just who should one talk to about getting SoL at the Studios started a couple of months earlier? :-)

Monday, October 24, 2011

Not Making Waves

I've kind of really been wanting to post this as my facebook status for a little while now, but I have the feeling it would open a can of worms I'd rather not deal with at the moment. Especially if the reason my car wouldn't start today when I tried to leave work is not the starter . . . but that is a rant for another time . . . maybe.

So. Today's discussion:

If it was not also a dessert, the name "Cobbler" would be just as popular as the name "Cooper."

Because seriously, there are kids out there named "Barrel-maker." What is up with that? Sure, I'm not saying you have to go all Lo-ruhamah and Ruhamah or whatever. (and let's not go into how freaking hard it is to find something when you know what your looking for but don't remember the actual reference or even the vicinity of where to look . . . for the record these aren't even the names I was looking for!)

But seriously, can't you at least spare a thought for when the kid tries to look up his name someday? Imagine -

"My name means princess!"

"My name means a strong and mighty wind!"

"My name means lion-hearted!"

"My name means . . . maker of barrels . . . "

And my name means I got a rock.

Anyway, this was supposed to be a two-line post. So I shall stop and save up my rant juice for something really good.

But I mean it - yay or nay on all those hypothetical Cobblers? :-)

P. ost S. cript
So I'm not generally one for all the gazillion singing shows on tv lately but since it's been at least 3 seasons since Dancing with the Stars cast anyone I was interested in watching I needed something new to occupy my time on Monday nights. And this? Fills it nicely. Holy freaking ALL VOCAL. Check it out. Seriously.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Doing a Little Happy Dance

So we went to Layton yesterday. To pick up my ring. Which, somehow, someway that I have not and probably will never figure out, got knocked completely cock-eyed in its setting. See?

Okay, you can't really see it . . . maybe you can. I totally can, but I know what I'm looking at. As you may have notice, it is a heart cut diamond. And instead of being straight in the setting it's tilted ever so slightly to the counter-clockwise persuasion. When we took it in and they let us look through the microscope at it. It looked really cool (and ginormous and practically transparent, which was part of the coolness) - and also turned out to be way more cock-eyed than I'd originally thought, which kind of freaked me out because I honestly have no idea how long I was wearing it like that!

(if you're really trying to see it, look at the bottom. See how the point of the heart is next to the prong? It's supposed to be nestled inside the prong.)

Like I said, no idea how it happened. But I noticed it a few months ago and immediately stopped wearing it for fear of the stone falling completely out or something. And we rejoiced in the foresight that was getting the lifetime warranty that meant it would cost nothing to fix it, and decided to wait until inspection time in September to cut down on the number of trips we had to make, because, you know, gas money is still a thing.

So we dropped it off about a month ago and then we picked it up yesterday. Like I said. Kinda really hoping you didn't forget that already. :-)

There are NO words for how relieved I am to have this one back. As I've mentioned, I do have an "alternate" as it were, and I've been wearing that one for the last feels-like-forever. It is a beautiful little ring, and I absolutely love it.

Even if it really doesn't do anything for my fat fingers.

However, to make a long story short, I have lived the last few months just shy of sheer terror. Also as I've mentioned, I have a ridiculously pathetic talent for losing accessories, especially rings. And what is there to say when you lose a priceless antique heirloom? How do you even ask forgiveness for that? I mean, it's a ring, all you do is shove it on your finger and go about your day. Unless you're me. I've had visions of the thing coming to life, forcing itself off my finger, bouncing all over the kitchen and ultimately down the inexplicably running garbage disposal. (side note: it's kind of hard to do things that involved using the sink one handed.) Or looking down one day and discovering one of the diamonds just gone. So then I picked up the habit of carefully inspecting the ring every time I put it on or took it off even though we had the prongs reinforced or whatever when we got it . . . it was probably not very good for my eyes, but it was good for my sanity so what can you do?

Because seriously, that was not a rhetorical question. What could I possibly have said if I'd lost this ring? What kind of horrible, careless, irresponsible, untrustworthy person loses an heirloom that belonged to someone they never met given by another person they'd never met (at the time)? I would seriously feel like I needed to go into hiding or something just from the guilt. Which would last approximately twice the length of time and all eternity.

So . . . yeah. The word of the day today is relief. And also: five day weekend, woo hoo!

Also: while we're on the subject of fixing things . . .

Does anyone know of a cobbler in this town? I have no idea what happened here (I think I'm noticing a trend . . . ) but I really love these shoes and don't want to give them up. However, the only cobbler I know of is in IF and I only know they were in business as recently as when my dad wore cowboy boots exclusively. Some of you know how long ago we're talking about here. As for the rest of you . . . I'd rather not think about how long ago that was. So just hook me up with one around here, m'kay? :-) Effective DIY remedies would be great too, as long as they're Lacey-proof. (that's like fool-proof only times about a bazillion.)

P. ost S. cript
Okay, here's the deal: Shrek was kind of lame after the first one (and really lame after the second) but I am quite the Puss in Boots fan. (see also: Antonio Banderas . . . you'll just have to imagine hearing that in my slightly lame imitation of his accent) Also: this is pretty clever. Not Grover, Smell Like a Monster clever, but I giggled.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Any Attention is Good Attention

I'm generally pretty content with myself and my (limited) abilities. I may not be able to do a lot of things, but the things I can do I enjoy, and I like to think I do them pretty well (feel free to not disillusion me). College was a wonderful time for me because I spent most of my time with others in my majors, so we all did the same things and at about the same level of proficiency. And I may be a horrible person for saying this, but heaven knows there were a couple of people in the English department who were a lot worse than me and it rather helped my self esteem to know it. Florida was an absolutely fabulous place because there was no competition when it came to talents that had nothing to do with work. If there was something you could do that was awesome, but no expectation of more.

Being back in Utah is finally starting to get to me. I'd forgotten a little what it was like. I'd forgotten the "oh, you play the cello? Well, I play the piano, flute, harp, and sing!" The "oh, you did drama and color guard in high school? Well, I did volleyball, track, choir, cheerleading, and student council. And I knitted socks for the homeless in my spare time. 100 pairs a year."

It was probably silly of me, but I thought I wouldn't have to deal with this sort of thing this time around seeing as I'm, you know, not single. I mean, wasn't it all an obnoxious competition to snag the guy who sang, danced, spoke fluent Portuguese and Latin, couldn't cook but loved good food, and adored watching you juggle four babies? I'm not anyone's competition anymore, dangit!

But . . . no. Now it's all about "oh I'm so tired from shuttling my gazillion kids around and I still have to make pasta from scratch for their dinner and sew their clothes from cloth I wove myself and do their homework for them (true story) and make the poster board and glitter myself for their project - oh my, you don't have kids? What do you do all day?!"

(side note: okay, I know that's not a strictly Utah thing but in this case it feels like an extension of the old version if the competition.)

Okay, I will admit I get bored sometimes and don't always have enough stuff to fill the day, especially during the summer. Combine that with my occasional employment inadequacies and my absolute inability with most crafts and sometimes I feel really useless around here.

So for a while this summer as I was working on my most genius idea ever I took pictures every day. Just to mark my progress and prove that I did do something at least a little bit useful and productive that day and all this summer. Looking them over later was kind of fun, so I made some videos for your enjoyment . . . and, of course, for you to gush over and tell me how awesome I am, lol. (j/k!)

Hey, need to entertain a bored child for a minute? (preferably a pretty young one) See if they can guess what the picture is before it's done! :-)

So that's me being productive. Actually, I've done three more since these that I haven't taken pictures of . . . because great merciful crap, I'm going to have to forget about the whole stock piling thing for a while! I don't know what's in the water right now, but it's making severe dehydration look appealing if you know what I mean. And for crying out loud, couldn't ONE of you please have a girl?! I try to stick pretty gender neutral with these things, but I can't imagine anyone appreciating the lady bug and frog prince set as a gift for their baby boy. Right now I'm working furiously to have enough done for the upcoming baby showers that are suddenly coming up really swiftly.

Back to work I go. :-)

P. ost S. cript
I do a lot of Netflix streaming on the weekends while I stitch. So I watch a lot of old TV shows . . . since that's, like, all they have on Netflix instant. Lately (in addition to Twilight Zone) it's been some Rocky and Bullwinkle. And that show is seriously a lot funnier than I remember . . . and I remember it as pretty funny! Frankly my jaw is still on the floor from "Tune in next time for Fuels Rush In or Star Spangled Boner!" I mean - how did they get away with that? And this storyline? Holy fortune telling, Batgirl!

Friday, October 7, 2011

I Don't Do Suspense

Somehow I get the feeling this isn't going to happen this year . . .


And by suspense I mean secrets from me.

So. Last year. At school. They did this cute little secret Santa thing where all the staff's (dude . . . I'm staff!) names were written on cute little paper ornaments on this cute little paper Christmas tree in the copy room and one person would pull a name off the tree and buy a little gift for that person and leave it in their mailbox (dude . . . I have a work mailbox! So mature and grown-up-ish!) and when you get a gift it's your turn to pull a name off the tree and get them something. Apparently it went really well because we're doing a Halloween version this year. As I discovered Tuesday when there appeared in my box an awesome pair of black socks that say "VAMPIRES SUCK" with a couple of tooth holes and a little bit of blood dripping down like my ankle just got bitten or something.

(let us all have a moment of silence for the passing of the awesome socks store. If I were willing to wear all black socks, I would be in deep foot mourning.)

These socks are AWESOME. And I have NO FREAKING IDEA where they came from. I looked on the board trying to guess who might have given them to me. And . . . everyone on the rather short list of people at the school who it seems to me MIGHT pick me is still there. So I picked one of them and they had a very easy to pick but slightly heavy to carry gift waiting for them Wednesday morning. (You're welcome. ;-) )

This is where the suspense part comes in. It is driving me ABSOLUTELY NUTS wondering who got me these socks. I mean, seriously how did they know I'm a sock junkie? How the crap did they know how I've been ranting about pansy vampires lately?! Are there people I know reading my blog and I don't know about it ?!?! And seriously how did they find it?!?!

So Luke's immediate reaction to my "holy crap, I'm being spied on!" bit Tuesday afternoon was that whoever it was obviously asked Aunt Sharon for suggestions. Or that maybe it was just random chance and coincidence . . . which, you know, makes sense . . . but where's the fun in that?

So now I'm just waiting for these socks to start randomly moving around by themselves and perhaps eventually strangle me vaguely a la Talky Tina. Because that's obviously how they got into my box at work. It's going to be quite the way to go.

P. ost S. cript
So we're wasting time on youtube because that's how we roll around here, and I click on this video expecting to see some silly cute cat video because everybody knows that both Luke and I are totally suckers for those. But no . . . instead we discover a pretty epically awesome website (seriously, check out some of the other stuff too!). And pretty much all of this stuff is now on my wish list.