Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Just a Note

I haven't blogged much this year . . . have I?  which is rather interesting considering this has been the best year of my life, at least since I started this blog - and possibly ever.

Which is a very interesting thing, philosophically.  Or something.  One would think that more good news/happier year = more blogging . . . right?  I don't know.  But it sounds intellectual.

Anyway.  Taking a moment to look back

on a year that has, at times, seemed longer than average

I just thought I'd take a second to wish everyone a happy new year.  And give you an amazing, seriously life-changing present.  BEHOLD!:

You're welcome.  :-)  Seriously though, how geniusly, awesomely helpful is that?!

But anyway.  It's been fun this year.  See you all (hopefully around here more) next year.

P. ost  S. cript
You've probably already seen this as it's been working on its viral status, but my mind is still pretty blown so I think it's a good way to finish the year.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

You Live for the Fight When That's All That You've Got

So that song's been in my head for a couple of days now for completely unrelated but incredibly awesome reasons.  But it's a pretty good description of how we've been living around here the last couple of years.

Less so the last couple of months.

We haven't really mentioned it to a lot of people because there were so many potential ways things could go wrong and I got a little . . . superstitious, I guess is the best word.  But now, today, on Thanksgiving . . . it's too exciting a secret to keep.

 So apparently at Convergys they have this policy where if you're talking to someone and the calls drops for some reason you're supposed to call them back.  Except sometimes the policy is you're not supposed to call them back.  And it, like, goes back and forth.  Because that makes sense, right?


Back at the end of July Luke go this call from this lady whose internet for her business wasn't working.  And she was . . . rather unhappy about it.  And trying to do several things at once so she kept dropping her phone.  In fact, she'd previously been talking to someone else Luke worked with, and then after that call dropped she called back and got Luke.  And was not pleasant.  And the call dropped again.  And Luke didn't know what the policy about calling back was at that particular time, but he decided to call her back since he knew the situation and then no one else would have to get yelled at.

Long story short, he couldn't fix the problem but he was able to get the lady calmed down - to the point that she actually offered him a job working for her because she liked how well he handled things so much.  Which at first seemed to both of us a little To Good To Be True (tm) but the website she gave him was (and is) quite legit and the money she quoted was so good as to qualify for ridiculous, so in the end we thought, why not?  Worst case scenario, it's a total scam and we waste some time.

Long story shorter, it wasn't a scam.  Luke has been working part time for C Three since August, he left Convergys last week, and goes full time at C Three on Monday.  And that is what we're dedicating our feast to today.

I have no idea what exactly he does now.  It involves energy . . . and analytics . . . and stuff.  It makes sense when Luke explains it, but not quite enough for me to turn around and explain it to someone else.  So, you know, he's a transponster.  Or something. 

Anyway . . . we're kind of over the moon.  Like I mentioned back in April we've made a few changes to the way we money around here and a few other things too, and we're pretty sure this is the cosmic, spiritual, good-karmic result.  Honestly, this is the best year we've had since we've known each other.  Everything is falling into place, and thankful doesn't even begin to cover it.


so I'll just say that we've had these moments

and these moments

and there will probably be more . . . but for now we're just thankful to feel more secure, and like we really can move forward with all the plans we've been making for the last six years.  Because we're coming up on the six year anniversary of when we got engaged - which is almost as trippy as the part where high school was *cough*way-too-long-ago-and-we'll-not-mention-numbers-again*cough* . . . oy.

 And then there's the part where this is the first Thanksgiving we've ever had where neither one of us has to work.  That's pretty awesome.  (dude, we haven't even had Thanksgiving dinner on Thanksgiving Day most years . . . )

Happy Thanksgiving, everybody!  (or Thanksgivukkuh if you're Eric)

P. ost  S. cript
Such a tragedy that somehow we missed this one when I was a kid.  But we'll be watching it tonight while we eat our pie.  Someone decided we needed four.  For the two of us. (hint: it wasn't me)  On the plus side, at least we'll still have plenty of dessert if the orange-brownies-from-pinterest experiment I decided to go with this year flops.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Bottom of the Well

As far as costume drama goes, especially around here, I suppose this year wasn't bad.  All that happened was that I couldn't think of anything.  At all.  For, like, three months.  It appears that three years of awesome costumes are all it takes to completely bleed my creativity dry.

Well, either that or my truly genius but completely unfeasible idea of having Katie go in for me and tell the kids she was me dressed up as her was all the creativity I was good for this year.

Anyway.  Trips to DI, trips to Halloween City, trips to every store in town that has a Halloween section (even if they do put that section on clearance in freaking August) and the brilliance, cleverness, silliness, and originality continued to elude me.  However, I had my eye on the only school/Mormon kosher hippie costume they had at Halloween city as a sort of backup and finally caved and went to get it . . . only to discover I'd striven for genius a touch too long and it was completely gone.  So I had to fall back on my backup for my backup (which, I suppose just by having, I must have known subconsciously that I would end up going with).  Which was not terrible.  Just not as original as I would have liked.  (seriously - one of the 5th graders had the exact same thing)

So.  Without further ado, behold Lacey's Halloween 2013 Costume

Can I just say I've kind of hated every picture taken of me for the last little while?  But I'm posting it anyway.  Keepin' it real around here.

One with the flash to catch all the sparkle (and fully capture my talent in wearing three different shades of BLACK!).

One without the flash . . . and also without such an emphasis on my butt . . . can you tell who took these?

And one more because I like it better than the first one, except for the part where it doesn't quite show the whole picture.

So, costume pros:

~ Easy to put together
       ~ Especially since I (originally) planned to just pull out the same all black ensemble I used as a cat a couple of years ago.

~ Impossible to get mistaken for something else (until all the kids started calling me a fairy when I was thinking of myself as a butterfly).

~ A wonderful excuse to randomly go get some glitter hairspray and body glitter yesterday. (I promise you could see it in person.)

~ Minimal effort required.

~ Cheap(ish).

Costume cons:

~ While pulling out my previous black costume base would have been perfect if my schedule were what is was last year, I was lucky enough to get that extra hour . . . which involves being outside in the cold approximately twenty years before the sun comes up (at least this week).  And since the wings wouldn't really work over a jacket . . . well, hooray for cheap, long sleeved, black shirts at thrift stores (which need to be washed before they are promptly returned to the thrift store because it has been quite copiously covered in glitter).

~ I suppose this could go in the pro column but I don't want to put it there: posture enhancement.  As in, it's impossible to slump or hunch even the slightest bit in this costume because the elastic bands holding the wings on would cut off circulation to your arms.  Seriously, would it have killed them to put one more inch in those things?

~ Maneuverability.  Going through doors was not quite the problem I expected.  I had to sidle through some, but for the most part the wings have enough flap in them that I could just walk through.  The narrow "hallways" created in the spook alley however . . . well, let's just say the wings only made it through the spook alley maybe four times.  I put them back on for lunch and then the parade though.  Which leads me too . . .

~ SERIOUSLY, would it have killed them to give those arm bands or whatever one more freaking inch of elastic?!  Pretty sure I managed to pull every muscle in my shoulders and upper back in taking those things on and off all day.

I was kind of a hit again though.  Especially the glitter on my face/hair.  (I'm thinking about pulling it back out for Valentine's Day . . . lol)

A few highlights:

5th graders chickening out at the bottom of the stairs when the lights are ON . . . only to be followed by 1st graders going through with the lights off and loving it.

Conversation between me and a nervous third grader -
Me: Would I let anything get you?
Him: No!
Me: Would Ms. Sorenson let anything get you?
Him: Umm, no.
Me: Would Mrs. Bodily let anything get you?
Him: (thinks for a moment) I don't know.
*third grader proceeds to go through a lights-on spook alley with his arms wrapped around my waist the whole time and whimpering*
At the end -
Me: Now was that so bad?
Him: No!  I wasn't even scared at all!
Other third grader at the same time: YES!!  That was the scariest thing I've ever done in my LIFE!

Yeah . . . the lights were on and all the spooks had their masks raised and were smiling and waving at them.  Terrifying, let me tell you.

Cleopatra was a hugely popular costume this year.  As in at least seven kids chose it, and one teacher.  And all but maybe two of them were this one.  Including the teacher in the adult version (and another teacher wore it last year.  Crazy, huh?)  And three Medusas, two kids and a teacher.  Apparently I missed the memo where all the girls were going with intellectual/historical costumes this year.

Second graders screaming in terror at the Garbage Monster . . . and then telling him that they're his biggest fans.

Good times.

In other news, I don't like to brag . . . but unless your Primary Program also involved flying monkeys I'm pretty sure ours (this past Sunday) was better.

Toward the end they were singing "A Child's Prayer" which, for those who don't know, has two verses that can be sung together to form a lovely counterpoint.  For the counterpoint I was leading one of the groups of kids and around that time one of the Sunbeams decided she was done.  So she left, ran down to her mom, grabbed her stuffed monkey, and came to sit with me as she often does because we're old pals from nursery.  However, we were still singing so she couldn't climb into my lap immediately.  So instead, right on the last line of the song, she tosses the monkey as high as she can in the air.  It was funny enough to those of us close enough to see the whole thing, but I'm told that everyone who only saw a monkey randomly flying high were rather amused too. 

Then there were the five years olds sitting behind the bishopric and singing so loud the bishopric had to lean forward in their seats.

And the part where people were saying it was the best Primary Program they'd ever been too . . . and can I just say I really wish there a job somewhere on the planet where I could use that as an achievement because while writing it was a group effort that's seriously the closest I've gotten to using my degree.

On that note, I've been in Primary for a year now - and I'm starting to feel like I know what I'm doing.  A little bit.  Ish.  Yay.

So all in all it's been a pretty good week.  And next week I don't have to go to work at midnight anymore, so it should be pretty good to, even if I do have to pull out my coat.  Seriously though, it occurred to me right around the time I was in the middle of the street in front of the school this morning that I was wearing all black, the sun wasn't even beginning to pretend to come up yet, and crossing the street was perhaps not the safest thing to be doing.  Good thing I looked both ways, eh?

P. ost S. cript
Every clip I could find of Disney's Sleepy Hollow short, no matter how brief, has had embedding disabled . . . how obnoxious is that?!  This shall have to do instead.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Things That Are Good to Know

So Luke's parents came to visit last weekend.  It was a lovely, busy couple of days that left us all pretty exhausted as we tried to hit everything there is to see in two towns in two days.  More time would have been nice, but what can you do?  Anyway, it was a weekend full of lessons, most of them coming from our semi-impromptu stop at Antelope Island on the way to the airport Friday night.  So . . . ummmm . . . presenting Lacey's Things that People Really Should Know:

~ Admission is only ten bucks a car, which is awesome.  The park closes at 5:00, which is a bit awkward when you get there around 3:00.

~ There's actually a lot to do there.  For such a small island, anyway.  A lot more than I'd ever thought - mostly because my family never managed to check it out and somehow in my head that translated to my parents had been there and decided it was lame.  Or something.  Whatever.  Anyway, there are lots of small hikes, some with more incline than others, and a lot of interesting things to see that we did not have time to see.  Which was sad.  Also, the buffalo burger place was closed by the time we got there.  Which was very sad.

~ For being called Antelope Island they really push the part where they have a buffalo herd.  And the only animal we saw less of than antelope was rabbits.  And we actually saw as many rabbits as antelope . . . only because I saw him (the bunny) in time to slow down and not roadkill him.  But I got the impression he's used to almost getting roadkilled because he didn't even move as we drove by.  Anyway.  Animals.  Other than antelope.  Behold.

You can't really tell, but that buck is something like ten points or something.  (I've never quite understood how that whole point thing works.)  *insert "nice rack" joke here*

~ It's really very pretty.  Much more so than I'd imagined.

In dead, barren, desert-y way.

~ Someone has had getting into the water of the Great Salt Lake on their bucket list ever since we moved here and finally got to check it off.

~  Some people can listen to the park's radio station and its ten minute recording on repeat for half an hour and still do this:

(the recording talked about how the lake is up to EIGHT times saltier than the ocean depending on what part of the lake you're in)

(and that third picture is of someone gagging and spitting out that saltwater they just had to try)

~ There is a freaking hilarious footprints in the sand joke here and it's just not coming to me.

~ There used to be two causeways to the island, one on the north end, one on the south.  The one on the south end took you right to the airport.  They both washed away in a flood in 1983.  It took ten years for them to rebuild the north causeway and reopen the park.  The south causeway has not been rebuilt.  Google maps?  Shows the south causeway as a currently existing road.  The road that washed away FIFTEEN years before Google was even founded.  Explain that one.

 ~ It's a really good thing we checked at the visitor's center to make sure we were reading the conflicting maps right before we tried driving the length of the island to leave from the south end right before closing time.  One of the most confusing moments of all time was when we looked at the map they gave us at the entrance with only one way in and out when we'd just been looking at google maps a couple of hours earlier and figuring out how to get from the island to the airport and loving how convenient and straight-shot-y it appeared to be.

~ Also, I was there.  Luke insisted on proof.

Still all dressed for school rather than outdoors-ing.  Like I said, a somewhat impromptu trip.

Other lessons:

~ So there's this place in SLC called The Pie.  And apparently it's been voted, like, the fourth best pizza in the entire country.  Or seventh.  Or something all prestigious-like.  It's kind of not.  Like, it was highly edible.  I would not turn it down if a slice was offered to me.  But as for ordering it and having it flash frozen and shipped anywhere in the lower 48, as one can apparently do?  No thank you, I'll just go to Pizza Hut.  Or get a Digiorno.  Because they're both just as good.

~ Also, for being such an apparently famous and awesome place their parking situation SUCKS.  And by that I mean "does not appear to exist. "  Well, they do have a minuscule parking lot for their take-out location which is on the other side of the block from their dine-in location (because that makes sense).  But let's get real here.  If you're a big enough deal that you ship your pizzas nation-wide, you're a big enough deal to expect that people will find you when internet searching for unique places to eat when they come to town.  And those people will need a place to park to come eat your "world famous" food.  And those people will have no idea that there is a kickball game or whatever going on that day and will park in your only parking lot to go eat.  And will not be pleased to come back and discover that you've booted their car.

~ The good news is that when they saw our pizza boxes with the leftovers (I'll give them this much, those pizzas are filling) they took off the boot with no charge.  The bad news is none of us were particularly impressed with them before that happened.  I wouldn't have recommended the place to begin with, but after the whole parking/booting thing . . . well, I recommend staying away.  Really not worth it, unless you live right by campus or something and can walk there.  Even then I might still get Pizza Hut delivered.

~ Cramming four or five days worth of stuff into two days is exhausting.  But we're both starting to feel recovered.

P. ost  S. cript
Did I already post this one?  Oh well, it's still funny.

Monday, September 30, 2013

I Do Not Need My Own Sad Commercial Where You Can Feed Me for Pennies a Day, Thank You!

Or: In Which Lacey is Fascinated by Other People's Fascination With Her Stomach (And by Stomach I Actually Mean the Organ with which One Digests Food, Let's Just Get Those Assumptions Out of the Way Right Now)

Everybody kept up with me?  Okay, great, the end.

But seriously though.  What is up with people?

This is my fourth (full) year at Ellis.  Every one of those years I have had a lunch break, mostly because there is a point in the school day where all the kids are at lunch so there's just not much of anything for an aide to do and what there has been to do has been assigned to others.  So I find myself with a half hour or so to kill and fill it with whatever I can find.  I have never actually eaten lunch on my lunch break because I have always gone home within an hour of that break and it's always made more sense to just wait and eat at home than to pack a lunch or to pay for one from the cafeteria.

Every year I get comments about the fact that I don't eat lunch.  Every year I (less and less patiently) explain yet again (because it always seems to be the same people) that I am perfectly capable of going without a meal for an additional 30-60 minutes and prefer to eat then.  And every year it's the same people who can't seem to remember/get over the idea of me going FOUR WHOLE HOURS without gorging myself at a buffet or something.  (and yes, Katie, it's those two.)

Now let's get one thing straight right now: I look like I could be pregnant.  My body seems to sit naturally at that look that asks "did she eat an extra taco at lunch or is she three months along?"  Well, to put it bluntly, I've been three months along since I was about 14.  I don't know if I just have an abnormally rotund uterus or what, but that's just how I look.  And most days I'm okay with that.  But it seems that with some people there is just something about me, and I can only assume it's the permanent-food-baby (because I have no idea what else it could be), that gives off this aura of "I can't go more than a few minutes without food."

Seriously, I am SO glad I don't see much of any of the other aides this year, especially at lunch.  Because if I had to spend another day (much less year) listening to

"Oh my goodness, I don't know how you last so long without eating!"


"Aren't you just starving?!"


"I'm so impressed!  I don't have your willpower!"

and the like, I don't know that I could vouch for the survival of either myself or the commenters.

I mean, don't get me wrong, if you're going around offering fresh pineapple and Belgian chocolate I am not going to turn up my nose at them.  Heck, let's be honest here - old, hard skittles and chocolate sprinkles will usually satisfy me just as much.  But is there really something about me that says "I am Augustina Gloop!"?

And don't even get me started on the part where MY SHIFT LASTS FOR THREE AND A HALF HOURS. And they know that because everyone is limited to three and a half hours.  (except I did get that extra hour starting last week, yay!  but my point stands.)  Like, sure, I'm ready to eat pretty soon after I get home.  But if you can't go three hours without eating a full meal . . . like, you need to get that diagnosed, you know?  And . . . like . . . stop projecting that on to random other people going four or five hours between meals.  Because if you're older than, like, four or something?  And you're just starving after three hours?  Dude, I don't know what to tell you.  Other than the problem you have with me not eating is probably actually a problem you have with you eating.  Or not eating.  I don't know.  I'm not a shrink.

Anyway . . . yeah.  I'm self conscious enough about food (aren't we all?).  But do any of you see a reason these people won't leave me alone?

P. ost  S. cript
In case you needed proof that marching band/color guard > football.  Because that's just how it is.  (I'd say the whole video is proof, but the solid stuff is at the end.  The ones carrying metal didn't even blink, the ones wearing padding ran like little girls.)

Thursday, September 5, 2013

On More Slash Down Memory Lane

Yet another entry in the ongoing saga that is the destruction of all my childhood memories . . . Hogle Zoo edition.

(side note: skimming over those posts, it seems I get perhaps a tiny bit melodramatic when this topic comes up, no?)

A little background: the niece-phew . . . which I don't believe I ever mentioned turned out to be a nephew . . .  finally came out west for a visit for the last two weeks.  And since most of my family gets labor day off by default the others arranged to have it off too and we all went to the zoo.

Now.  I knew going in that they had made some changes, and that things would probably not look exactly like they had the last time I went to this particular zoo.  Especially considering I'm pretty sure the last time was when we still lived in Idaho.  But still - I was not prepared to see all these big ole DAK Lodge-meets-Fort-Wilderness looking buildings where once there was a single rinky dink little ticket booth next to one of those rotating door grate thingies.

The first sign that this day was going to be nothing like I imagined it . . .

Anyway.  You know that thing that's all the rage on pinterest these days?  The one where they take the picture from, like, twenty years ago and get the people do pose the way they did then and it looks varying degrees so silly (and sometimes cute)?  And you know how in those cheesy wedding reception slide shows they always have those side-by-side pictures of the bride and groom doing the same thing when they were little, like playing in the kiddie pool or covered in spaghetti or whatever?  Now, I had the genius idea of combining those two things into some fun pictures myself.  Namely, making Luke as an adult pose for all the pictures I took as a kid.  So you can imagine by devastation upon walking in and discovering that the gopher hole picture wasn't going to happen.  Because the gopher holes are now a pile of dirt on their way to becoming the new African safari exhibit.  Yeah, I am so  not okay with that.

On the plus side, the lion fountain still exists, although it's not in the same place.

Is it more daring for an adult to stick their head in a lion's mouth or less?

And the gorilla exhibit hasn't changed much, although it kind of feels like it has since everything around it has changed.

(Rogan [the nephew] was asleep at this point, so sadly no picture of him in gorilla pose)

So now mom just needs to dig up the pictures of me from whatever abyss they've been sucked in to.

The change I was probably most prepared for but most disappointed about was the lack of those wax molded animal making vending machines things (that google has oh-so-helpfully taught me are called Mold-A-Rama machines.  and you'd better believe I'm working on a road trip to collect them all!!)  Because seriously, I loved those cheap, crayon-smelling, melty, not-quite-toys, not-quite-display-things that must have been really cheap considering I remember getting them on, like, every trip to the zoo we ever made.  Even though they come out of the machine still hot and therefore still kind of flexible and just a little bit of a push on them and they'd give way and I'm pretty sure not a one ever made it all the way back to IF with the bottom stand or whatever intact because we'd break them into a dozen pieces.  I don't remember the elephants and gorillas lasting much longer when got them home either, but they always smelled like crayon and we always seemed to get new ones the next summer.  Dude, what I wouldn't have given to have been able to get just one more of those this week.

Anyway.  It was different, and that was somewhat distressing, but things made up for it.  Like the part where it started as the perfect day to get out of town because when we left it was pouring buckets . . . literally.  I kid you not, that was the scariest drive through Sardine Canyon I've ever experienced.  But by the time we hit Ogden it was nothing but clear skies - well, rain wise at least.  It was a little cloudy and a little gloomy, but it really just meant that it wasn't too hot or too bright out and generally made the day better.  Until about mid-afternoon when the sun decided to come out and it shot up, like, thirty degrees in about half as many minutes.  That part was not fun.  And I guess I'm allergic to the sun or something because more or less right as the sun came out my eyes started itching and not long after that they were the epic waterfalls they were last year at Yellowstone.  Blargh.  So we gave back this guy:

(I swear we're friends . . . just apparently only when I'm pointing the camera at him . . . or when he thinks I might let him take the camera . . . )

And headed on out.  Of course, it being September we had a couple of other stops to make - for which I shall just say: ORANGE.  LEMONADE.  LIFE.  MADE.

And we stopped for dinner at In'N'Out.  Now, I had quite deliberately not eaten since breakfast so I wouldn't be full when we hit Centerville on the way home.  (the bad news is that that led to some slight dehydration and a mild headache all Tuesday . . . the things we do for good food . . . )  And can I just say - In'N'Out is delicious anytime, but when you're hungry it is AMAZING!  I'd love to have one closer by.

And so slammed another door onto my memories.  The elephants are mostly the same, the giraffe building is the same (although those are both going when the new exhibit is done) but nothing else is left of the zoo I used to go to.  I wonder what other mental images will get mucked up before we're done.

P. ost  S. cript
Seriously.  Coolest things ever.

Except this one.  Maybe.  Maybe cooler.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Goodreads Just Needs to Add Half Stars Already

Good books are all alike, bad book are each bad in their own way.
              ~Anna Karenina (sort of)

So I just finished a series last week.  It was . . . not good.  Frankly, it started at "meh" and descended into "awful" by the time I finished.  It was not so bad that I regret reading it - I've read a few of those - but it was bad enough that I do kind of wish I'd known from the start not to pick it up.  I realize that probably doesn't make a lot of sense, but it makes perfect sense in my head so we're just gonna go with it.

I picked it up because it sounded like a fun read, and with multi-thousand reviews giving an average of almost four out of five stars it seemed like it must be at least tolerable, right?  And that's where things all fell apart.  Because I absolutely do not see what it is that the other 93% saw in it to give it a high rating. (perhaps I need to occupy goodreads?)

The hardest part is looking at the ratings my friends have left on the books, which also influenced my expectations of what I was reading - ten ratings, all fours and fives.  And it took some real internal debate for me to give even two stars.

So now we get an oft-visited topic around here - How Lacey Hates Being Noticeably Different from Everybody: Books Edition.  I'd say that easily 90% of my goodreads books haven't even been added by any of my goodreads friends.  But of the books that do have opinions to compare, it's usually pretty varied, and more or less middle of the road.  I don't feel bad about giving a book two stars when I see that people I know have already given it a one, a four, and three threes.  But giving something a one when it has seven fives and three fours . . . is actually a little distressing.  Which sounds totally ridiculous, and is a total non-issue, but at the same time I look at that little list of stars and I can't help but think - what did I miss?  Did we even read the same book?  (I'm about 75% we didn't at this point)

And then I get all self-conscious like I'm in the wrong class or wandered into a wedding reception at some hotel ballroom where I don't know anyone but got pulled into the conga line before I could duck back out and now everyone's asking me how I know the newlyweds and I'm just trying to figure out how to answer in a way that won't make me look like a party crasher.

I feel a little guilty about not liking this trilogy too, almost as if I am crashing a party considering how almost universally well-liked it is.  But the simple fact of the matter is, it's bad.  The first book is iffy, the second book wipes away any potential for redeeming the whole, and the third book is just bad metaphor after stupid cliche after plot hole after illogical and unexplained escape from painted corners.  Rinse, repeat.  I really don't get it . . . and, for a couple of weeks at least, I feel like I almost can't trust my own opinions.  I much prefer the books where I can say it's not my thing but I can see how others would like it.  But when there's more to like in Twilight . . . yeah.  This does not work for me.

That said, I have to admit there is something that is just so . . . satisfying about writing a review about a book I didn't like.  I guess it's a cathartic thing, the angrier I am when I finish the book, the better I feel when I finish the review.  I do my best to be nice while still being honest, although I assume it probably doesn't always come across that way.  (actually, if we're being honest I'm coming to realize it's probably safest to assume I'm coming across more or less the opposite way from what I intended in most situations)  I don't know what it is, but I always have an easier time expressing what I didn't like about a book (or movie or whatever) than I do about what I like about it.  Reading a good book is such an overall enjoyable experience . . . was it because the characters were fun?  Because the dialogue was snappy and clever?  The overall premise and plot were unique and well written?  they all blend together so seamlessly in a good book, one aspect making up for where another might be a little bit lacking that it just becomes hard for me to say what it was that took it from two stars to three, or three to four.  But a one star book, now - those I can almost always point to the moments where I was thinking something didn't make sense, or was too convenient, or not as funny as the book itself thought it was, or just plain didn't work.   Especially in a book I wanted to like (as these were) it's so easy to point to where and how that desire was disappointed.

The good news is the book I'm currently reading is sitting at a solid three, depending on the ending, and only one other person has even added it.  And the next one in my pile is the fifth in a series I've become quite the fan of.  So hopefully I can shake off this dissonance by the time they're both done.

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Have I already posted this one?  Oh well, don't care.  It's cute.  And we've been singing this song around here a lot lately . . . not sure why though . . .

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Lights, Tunnels

This will probably be a little cryptic to the handful of people still keeping up with the likes of us, but if everything keeps going the direction it is now . . . yeah.  Details will happen.

And I know you're not supposed to talk about money and stuff, but that's totally happening here so if you have a problem with that . . . well, you'll not be the first person to hit that unfollow button.

Anyway.  I got the call I'd been waiting for last night.  A week later than I expected it, and a week later than Sue had planned to make it.  Apparently to reach a cell phone number based in Cedar City when calling from a school in Logan dialing that 1 before the rest of the number is pretty essential.  But I have my job back, which is the important thing.  And it's as part-time as ever, which is the frustrating thing.  Because, hey, why hire ten good aides and have them work decent hours and want to stick around continuing to be good aides because it's a job they can get by with when you can hire twenty aides most of whom just need something to do?  Right Katie? (we've ranted on this together many a time)

The best news regarding my job is the possibility of an additional hour.  Apparently all the schools in Utah are giving all the kids free breakfast now or something?  Luke remembers seeing a story about it a little while back, but I missed it so I'm a little unclear on things.  All I know is that means there will be lots of kids on the playground early in the morning and they will need supervision and if I'm lucky that will be me . . . even though it will involve getting up and going and out of the house earlier than I've had to do in YEARS.  Oy.  Not gonna be pretty.  But that additional one hour will go a long way toward nearly doubling my paycheck - which mostly goes to show how few the hours that the power-that-be-even-though-they-don't-have-a-clue see fit to grant are.  If those who can't do teach (which I totally don't agree with, btw) then those who can't teach work in district offices.  Or in governmental positions that oversee education.

In other news, Luke's paycheck may be more than doubling in the semi-near future, which is pretty freaking awesome.  It's a slightly complicated, slightly convoluted story that's still playing out and that's where the details being unfolded later come in.  But for now if you have any voodoo charms, prayers, good vibes, etc. to spare we would not turn down a few to help ensure that this works out.  'Cause it's looking like the second half of this year is going to prove that some decisions/changes/achievements we made during the first half were totally the right ways to go.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have precisely eleven more days of sleeping in to do.  The morning of the 26th is going to be ugly.

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So I can hear all the ones I'm "supposed" to . . . and it's like my ears can remember being able to hear the others.  I swear I can feel them trying to hear the rest!

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

On That Note

It's amazing how easily four years can get away from you.  And how easy it is to forget about things.

For instance - a few of you may remember a particular wedding reception about four years ago . . . wherein the youngest cousins were given disposable cameras to photograph said reception however they saw fit . . . and were promised a copy of the pictures they took.

Well, those cameras got placed in a drawer until such time as the happy couple had more than one part time job between them.  And while that happened relatively quickly . . . the cameras stayed in the drawer.  Until there was a joint yard sale to be had with some friends and drawers and bins that were rarely looked in were looked in to see if there was anything in them that could be put up for sale.




Heaven only knows if the film is still any good, especially after how cold it got last winter - cold is bad for film, right? - but we shall see if anything comes out.  I'm not sure I'm hopeful, especially when it comes to the underwater cameras, but we'll see.  If nothing else, it'll be a fun blast from the past just getting them developed. :-)

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I'm pretending it's winter here.  And that there are koalas here.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Wibbly Wobbly

~  Okay, let's start with the obvious(ish).  What is with the random instant Dr. Who explosion?  This show has been on longer than my parents have been alive and I went over a quarter of a century without even knowing it existed.  But somehow in the last year or so it finally crossed the pond (pun intended?) suddenly and massively and now everyone is all over it.  Seriously, every possible category I could put the people I know into - high school friend, college friends, family, etc. - has its own subset of sudden Whovians.  I totally need to check it out, it looks like something I could really get into . . . but I still don't get what happened.  It doesn't even qualify as a meteoric rise to fame, it's more like the show apparated itself into a waiting crowd of adoring fans that just didn't know what they were waiting to adore.

~ What do we want?  TIME TRAVEL!  When do we want it?  IT'S IRRELEVANT!!

~ The House of Hades won't be out for another 83 days.  I kind of want time travel now.

~ Time flies like an arrow.  Fruit flies like a banana.


So last week marked roughly the halfway point of summer vacation. (warnings and condolences to those who need them)  It's so weird . . . summer always is/was for me.  The last days of school feel like they were so long ago . . . but at the same time it doesn't feel possible to be closer to school starting again than to the end of last year.  It's just so screwy.

~ On that note, even though essentially the only thing I've done for the last four summers this summer is job hunt, I'm kind of dreading that point in time where I have a "normally" scheduled job again.  Other than the couple of years I was in Florida I have literally always been on the school model of time.  It's a cushy gig if you can get/afford it, but I still remember how just plain bizarre it was not to be going back to school in the fall of '06.  And not changing things up around the time the new semester was starting.  And to just keep going doing the same thing all through the next summer and into the next fall.  It's still weird to think about.  I kind of wish everything could adopt the school calender and the whole planet would just take three months off and then start again.

Of course, the more practical thing to do would be to throw out the ridiculously outdated school calender and go to year-round classes . . . but other than to state the obvious about how it would probably be easier for everyone to adjust once they were out of school, that is a days-long rant I shan't get into.  Today.

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Another reason Push is my favorite.  Are there any girl Pushes, 'cause I could totally go for this job.  (also: the time my friend Celeste came to visit and we located the guy with the mike and she totally hit on him through Push remains one of my favorite times ever)

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

But the Living Ain't Easy

In other words, Summertime: What It's Like Trying to Get a Job in Logan

And it's about like this.

Four years.  Four gazillion applications.  Four interviews.  Half a job.  Half a job I love . . . but only half a job.

I am really coming to hate this town.

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I didn't particularly care for this song back in high school when we played it in symphony.  But it's grown on me in the decade (!) since then.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Do Not Adjust Your Television Set

So I know this is totally going to sound like I've been hacked, and I suppose I can't really prove I haven't been . . . but I'll start by saying I haven't.  And move on to sounding like an infomercial hosted by a Nigerian prince who wants to help you enhance your . . . "stamina" . . .

Anyway.  You may have noticed a new little box over there >>>>>>>>>

Keep going.  It's about halfway down.

There you go.  Yeah.  That one.

It leads to this kind of brilliant little site I discovered back in January through pinterest.  And clearly I need to go through and actually read some of the other money saving pins I've repinned without actually reading.

Anyway.  You sign up.  You do surveys and crap.  You get paid.  Actual money.  I'll be getting a check in the mail in a week or two and that will bring the total amount of money they've sent me to $120 . . . which is not a lot - but is $120 more than we would have had otherwise.


In fact, I set up an email account just to sign up for it just in case it was a scam (and I would recommend doing that anyway since there is a bit of spam involved . . . a worth it amount, but this way it's easier to keep track of what's what).  But it's actual checks that we took to our actual banking institution and got actual money deposited in our actual account and there has actually been no bouncing.  It's kind of awesome . . . actually.

So what do you do?

You get emails with a link at the bottom that acknowledges you read it.  You click the link and you get 2 cents credit, which is not a lot but totally adds up.

You take surveys and get paid for it - usually under a dollar but sometimes up to four bucks.

You use their search engine and get credit for it, and if you use it consistently you get a ten cent bonus that week.  And unless you're using an internet connection like the one my parents had up until, like, two minutes ago, you lose no time in doing that first and then doing the same search on google if the results aren't what you were looking for.

You watch short video ads (I use the term watch a little loosely here) and get paid a few cents for each.

You print off coupons which save money on groceries and on top of that get a ten cent credit when you use them.

And you tell everybody you know about it so you get a bonus when they sign up and then more bonuses every time they do a survey.

Oh yeah . . . did I mention I was posting this entirely for mercenary reasons out of the goodness of my heart?  ;-)

Anyway . . . yeah.  I know all y'all are just as broke as us (well, maybe not that broke) so I'm passing it on, now that I've done the "proving it's a real thing" thing.  And now we can all celebrate together.

*this is probably the part where I should mention I didn't get paid to post this. like I said my motives were purely mercenary.  well, somewhat mercenary.*

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So maybe there are only seven plots that keep getting recycled over and over, but here we have more proof that only one song has ever been written in the history of ever.  (side note: Katie - remember the mash-up version of "Friday" and "Baby" a certain someone sang a few years ago?  It still weirds me out to hear "Friday" sung to its actual tune!)

Friday, May 24, 2013

Second Graders Are My Favorite

~ They get crazy excited when they find out you have the same birthday.  To the point where they tell the rest of the class and when you walk in they all start yelling "happy birthday!" and giving you hugs.

~ The kid who asks you how old you are every day (and after the first month you say "the same age I was last time" and they get excited when they remember correctly) asks you how old you are now and you ask them to tell you and they get excited when they get it right.
           ~ Hey, adding one is a big task when you get to numbers this high!

~ They react in shock when they hear how old you are and say things like "You look like you're 16 or 17!"

~ They tell you how old their mothers are and the numbers are all shockingly low . . . or high.

~ Like the one who told me her mom was born a year after my own.

~ They come up behind you and give you hugs for no reason.

~ They tell you you're their favorite.

~ They take spelling tests on homophones and when they hear the word is "too, as in also,"  write "olso."

~ They hear the word is "their as in 'I'm going to their house'," and they write "house."

~ They only know half a dozen jokes but they love to tell you jokes so they scramble the jokes and punchlines.  It doesn't make any sense but they don't get why it's not funny anymore and that makes you laugh.  So they keep doing it.

~ And it gets to the point that they ask the question and you sit there for three minutes watching the little gears in their head spinning as they try to come up with a combination they haven't used before.

~ They're ready for summer but they're not completely burned out like the fourth graders.

~ They love telling you what time it is and how many more minutes there are until lunch (although they will apparently lose this skill within the next two years . . . don't even get me started).

~ They're still cute.

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You know what's crazy?  She's probably, like, seven or eight by now.  Yep . . . a second grader.

Also - we are so doing this.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

What a Difference a Season Makes

It's amazing how in just a few months things have gone from this to this.  At this point I can't even believe I was so excited back in September.

~ So when Hook finds out who Bae is what will win out?  The part where he's Milha's son or the part where he's Rumplilocks' son?

~ Clearly Milha mentioned him . . .

~ Rule #6 . . . and I'm guessing that's all we're gonna get today so drink up.

~ Shouldn't Henry be, like, in school?  With al the other kids in town?

~ On that note, why the crap did Regina bring so many kids?  Girlfriend can really hold a grudge if she felt the need to bring a whole school full.

~ Yeah, the more I see of this "don't care about Bae" personality flip of Rumplilocks' the less I buy it.  Stupidest thing the writers have tried.  And they've tried some really stupid things.

~ Rule #3.

~ That's quite the app on his smartphone . . .

~ How the crap do your people know anything about any of this, Owen?

~ Dude, even if the theories are right and the Darling kids started the Magic is Evil Society after the events of last week that still doesn't explain how they know anything about magic in general or about Storybrooke specifically.

~ I'm sure it's quite reassuring to tell Henry he'll survive to see all the rest of you die, Regina.

~ Punch him again Charming!

~ Props on acknowledging that you keep screwing up, Regina.  I'm guessing it won't stick this time either.

~ Why are the Lost Boys all grown up and creepy looking?

~ So is last week's Creepy Shadow Peter, or just Peter's . . . agent . . . ?

~ And if they're seriously making Peter Pan evil that has got to be the most screwed up thing this show is done.  And easily their biggest mistake.

~ Hooray for Grumpy sighting - pretty sure this scene will be the highlight of the night.

~ I feel like I should offended by the "don't let her die as Lacey" line . . .

~ Part of the ship, part of the crew, Hook?

~ I'm guessing Hook's sob story is totally made up to get Bae to talk.

~ Oh look, a chase scene.  Bet no one saw that coming.

~ I'm all about people sacrificing themselves and stuff . . . but seriously?  This is Regina's redemption arc?  She spends a year flip-flopping worse than a politician and then she dies?  Epic fail.

~ And if they keep killing off all the villains it's going to be really hard to worry about any of the heroes.  Logical Writing 101, writers.

~ You know, the whole Rumplilocks/Belle thing has never quite lost its Twilight vibe.

~ I could make a list of people missing in that diner . . . but it would take the rest of the episode to list them all.  Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

~ Well now Hook's going to be after Henry . . .

~ I can't decide if I believe Hook's story about them talking about going back for Bae.

~ Clearly it is possible to leave Neverland, as evidenced by the fact that Hook is in Storybrooke.

~ And a double cross.  Another thing no one saw coming, right?

~ So many reasons to be angry at so many characters right now . . . and yet . . . I just don't care.

~ Interesting contrast to last year's finale . . . then they were beating each other up in a hospital, now they're working together.

~ Can I just say that having the town be eaten by vines was a really dumb way for the fail safe to work?

~ And now we see what the set-up for next season is.

~ Counting down the minutes to Monster's University, by the way.

~ So . . . that Agents of S.H.E.I.L.D. commercial?  Didn't the character who was talking . . . like . . . die in the movie?

~ If Greg and Tamara are so against magic why are they going through a portal?

~ Well, I think they just assured that we'll never be seeing any of the characters I've been complaining about missing again.  Or any of the ones we saw precious little of this season.

~ The whole thing about Henry being Rumplilocks' undoing . . . perhaps the undoing of Rumplilocks being the Dark One?

~ How convenient, Mulan and Aurora got Philip back and found Neil.  What do you want to bet that's a story that never gets explained?

~ That is a really cool globe.

~ I thought Greg and Tamara wanted to get rid of magic in our world?  What do they want with Neverland?

~ Of course, that does support the Darling children theory I mentioned earlier.

~ What the crap do they think they're doing making Peter Pan evil?  Of all the idiotic moves they could have made, that has to take the cake.

~ At this point I'm half convinced that this entire series was conceived as a way to cut down on the ridiculous, inexplicably long lines for Peter Pan's Flight at the parks.

So to sum it all up: what started out freaking amazing has taken a sharper nose dive than my math grades in junior high and a faster plummet than an Olympic diver.

 I may or may not be back next season, but I definitely won't be watching the Wonderland spinoff.  Because seriously, if your answer to dropped plots is spinoffs and your answer to plot holes is is selling "spinoff" novels  you are an incompetent screenwriter. (and yes, those are both things that exist.  and yes, it's as pathetic as it sounds.) 

What about the rest of you?  In or out?

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The perfect thing to wash away that unpleasant aftertaste?  Some 90s-tastic fabulosity.  Make sure you watch to the end. :-)