Thursday, December 27, 2007

29 Year Streak

So I made it 29 whole years without seeing someone get shot. I really wish I could have made it longer.

Last night my friends from school and I were out to a nice dinner at Mi Piache in Old Town Pasadena (one of my favorite places to be) and we were having a grand time, toasting our graduated selves and feeling all hip and eating-in-an-awesomely-decorated-window front-gourmet-Italian restaurant in Pasadena. Our food took much longer than we were anticipating and we were a bit annoyed but still happy. The bread was good and so was my mint tea. It was a fabulous night.

Then across the street we heard 3 pops. Now, Pasadena's big gig is New Years - people celebrate for like 3 weeks so I thought it was a fire cracker or three but I saw this guy book it down Colorado Blvd and this other guy kind of stagger out into the street looking like a loose marionette.

The whole restaurant stopped. Every buzz of across the room conversation and clanking pan froze. Nearly every guy in the place stood up (not the women though - I found that interesting). The LA Times reported this morning that apparently there was an argument between the two and a possible racial slur slipped. I don't know. No one does apparently- But he shot a man. Three times. At 7:30 in the evening. On a crowded street. In a shopping district. The day after Christmas. Right in front of me.

After the first two minutes of realization the silence left and was replaced with the worried murmurs instead of happy well fed chatter. I kept wanting the restaurant's manager to get up and say something, recognize that something had happened and that the authorities had it under control but no one appeared. One server next to our table said something like "this thing never happens here" and shes right. Old Town Pasadena is one of the most patrolled and guarded places in Pasadena. There is a Tiffany's there for crying out loud.

We left as soon as we could manage to get a check and as we were walking back to the car we passed by this delicious natural oil, soap, and lotion store called Lather that's next door to Mi Piache and the whole window front was shattered by a stray bullet. No one was in the store when it came through the window but if that gunman had been so mad and had moved that gun an inch further back that bullet would have gone right into the restaurant.

How sad.
How horrible.
How... completely out of my realm of normalcy

And strangely, I feel fine. I felt fine then. Everyone stood up but I put my head down. That was not an image I wanted to be burned into my head any more than it was and I was grateful for the bundle of people already standing up blocking me from the window. My friend Sean was the one doing the looking and all that other hard stuff. It was all so surreal how unaffected I felt. My friend NaToya pointed out how fortunate it was that our food took so long because we could have been outside when it happened.

I just can't believe how this time of year brings out the absolute best and absolute worst in people. I can't believe how someone would pull out a GUN over an argument and then shoot someone in the BACK??!

There is no honor or reckoning in that. The gunman was in custody within minutes along with the weapon so its not like he bettered his position at all either. The whole thing is just miles outside of my understanding. Maybe that's why I'm not shaken, because I just don't get it.

Also - I have a brother on a mission with means blessings. Blessings of protection and blessings of peace. The though of my brother being in that position brings me instantly to tears, just witnessing something like that, but I'm OK. Very surprisingly OK.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Daytime Twinkle Lights

So its Christmas Eve and I'm taking a bit of a breather so I decided to check in. I've been lame-o of lame-os in terms of being a blog maven this month. I have sufficient excuses but I still feel lame. But I've finally had sufficient time to actually think about stuff outside of a deadline and gotten sufficient sleep to string more than 3 coherent thoughts together as well.

As a total aside - Sleep is really underrated. Americans need to embrace the concept. Like make it socially acceptable to take a nap during the day and make you a social bozo if you're out past 11. It just makes EVERYTHING better.

But on to Christmas -

I'm really excited. I'm always excited but I love Christmas because it the perfect occasion to give the gifts I've been wanting to give all year long. I somehow have acquired a number of amazing friends and family members that have this complex about gifts and so I don't get to give them "just because" (which is my favorite time to give a gift) because they don't know how to receive them too well. I don't really care for the gift obligation that occasions warrant - but that's besides the point. I think gifts should be given just because. Like hugs and breath mints and nights out for sushi and any other manifestations of love and regard you can think of.

"because I love you and you're there you should have this."

I think that's how it should be, but since its Christmas I get to incorporate the Savior so its a two-fer! Testimony builder and chance to tell someone that I love them. Super Yay!

I've gotten a few gifts already and I adore all of them but I think the best one I've received thus far is peace of mind.

Earlier this week I had a dream -
And this isn't a MLKJr kind of dream or a Lehi dream or a Midsummer Night's kind. Just a woke up, went back to sleep, had a really potent dream kind of dream. Now, I'm usually not all metaphysical like this but I cannot just put away the veracity of this experience. So yeah I had a dream, but I was taught a really good lesson too.

A bit of background first though:
So I'm pretty thick when it comes to the whole "love thing". I'm clueless when its in front of my face and have managed to only get myself into the twit of love when its not received and/or returned. I totally own it. Its ridiculous and I'm working on it but you kind of can only practice being in a relationship when you're IN a relationship and because of my near/farsighted approach to the whole matter that makes practice a bit difficult.

As a result I regularly ask myself some hard questions:
Since the whole true-love thing is all but a mystery to me what if its in front of my face and I don't even recognize it?
What if (past people) was the real thing and I let it go because it wasn't what I was expecting? What if I've read too many fairy tales and Jane Austen to be realistic about this love thing? Why can't I just get out of my own way?

So I had this dream - and you know those kinds of dreams that aren't just shapes and people and events. The kind that feel real. The way things smell and feel are real. The feelings you feel are real, the conversations you have are real. It all is just in a super clear, super real universe. But especially the feelings. ALL of the feelings are real and they change you a little bit. You feel fear and happiness and excitement and The Spirit and everything else. The real kind of dreams. Well this was one of those dreams. I've only had dreams like this a few times and they've typically been about things that are really important to me.

In this dream I was up in Utah (at grad school apparently) and I was at this big choir practice and there was this guy there. We met, went on a date, and it was this whole montaged courtship but it was the best kind of courtship. I was totally in love but it wasn't the sparks a-flying wand waving kind. It was the puzzle piece kind. Like it just fit and it was wonderful and comfortable and I was wholly accepted and loved. Like he was looking specifically for me and had found me, I wasn't just someone he had settled for (which is a darkened and locked back room fear I have). It was wonderful and I think that it was a gift. It was an answer to a prayer I hadn't even said. I think it was God familiarizing me with how love should be and whats in store so that I can recognize that kind of love and him when he comes along.

I have never felt more at peace on the matter than I am right now or have had so many "what ifs" erased from past twits.

Merry Christmas Lizzie,
Know that you're loved and know that you know how to love. No worries.
Heavenly Father

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Wednesday Giggles

But on a Thursday sorry - things kind of got away from me yesterday. Anywho-

These guys are called "Flight of the Concords". They're a New Zealand comedy music duo who are worth their weight in gold and have their own sitcom that is worth its weight in platinum.

As you can see-
This is Bret's Angry Dance

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

I have a feeling this is just the beginning -

So Nick left on his mission this morning.
The original plan was to say goodbye at the airport and put him one the 6 am flight to SLC, get picked up by my brother there, have breakfast with my Uncle and report at 12:30 at the MTC.

Well - it was raining and they got a late start and there was traffic at 4:30 in the morning so they ended getting there at 515 to catch a 6am flight and dad told me the wrong airline so I parked at the wrong terminal. On farthest side of the airport from the right one.

That morning at home dad's phone broke too so he could get calls but not make them so even though Nick corrected him on the ride over he still couldn't call me and Nick had already turned his phone off. *sigh*

So when I called dad looking for them. In the rain. At 5 am. At the Ontario airport. In my pajamas. Before sunrise. Dad said he'd drop off Nick and then come get me and ferry me to the right terminal and he did. So we were checking in his luggage (that was 5lbs over the limit "$50 please") and realized his flight was going to close and board in two minutes and there was a 20 minute line for the luggage x-ray drop off and then there was the real security to get through. So we looked at each other and he turned around and rescheduled for the next flight to SLC (because there was no way on God's beautiful green Earth and in the physical world that he was going to make that flight).

So we said our teary goodbyes - all of us broke down and we waved to him going up the escalators and then went home and tried to pretend that things were normal.

Turns out that he was shaking and crying all the way through security and when he got to the gate he found out the flight was delayed 2.5 hours! So he had to sit there in this traumatic (though very important) moment and wait. The plane was a tuna fish can and he probably would have been more comfortable riding strapped to the wing or in the cargo bay but he wasn't. He was squashed between BO man and the colicy newborn all the way to SLC where Jonathan was waiting. They jammed to the MTC (pit stopping at Carl's Jr. for good measure and because he hadn't eaten anything and had been up the entire nigth before), and he reported 4 hours late.

His companion must have been freaking out! I called the MTC as soon as I heard and I just said "my brother's flight was delayed and he missed his 12:30 report time. His name is -" and the sweet lady at the front desk said "Nicholas _____" and I said "Yes- that's my brother. I take it you noticed he wasn't there." so that really reassured me.

The MTC is looking out. Heavenly Father is looking out. Not that I ever doubted it but the conceptual-to-tangible transition with the mission was a doozie for me [Enter Weepy Liz]. I was a mess the day he brought home the rest of his shopping asked how to do the "sew on a button thing" and was thumbing through is brand new Missionary Library. My baby brother is off to the world. I'm still crying about it. It's mixed emotion city. I'm deliriously happy for him and confident he'll be the best thing that's happened to missionary work since Parley P. Pratt, but I also will mourn the gaping hole in my everyday life that his absence will be. It's a marvelous thing to have a close knit family and it kills when they have to go. Yay for true doctrine! Opposition in all things. It's part of The Plan and the only way out is through.

So here I go. Here it goes.

Screaming babies, overweight luggage, long hugs, used Kleenex, airport food and growing up and all.

Here we go.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Grab Bag Catch-Up

IE - a bunch of thoughts that I've had that are post worthy but that I simply haven't gotten to:

I'm a college graduate. That's right. I need to keep saying it so that it will be real cause I'm still not believing it.

Nick reports to the MTC the day after tomorrow. I have cried and and I will miss him desperately but I am happy for him. He's the best brother ever and has worked hard and long to be able to serve. Dropping 50 lbs in 6 months is no easy feat. It finally hit me last week when he came home with the remainder of his shopping. I was beside myself for a good part of the night but a Mom chat and a Patrick chat helped. I made it through the farewell without breaking down and he asked me to sing all 7 verses of "A Poor Wayfaring Man of Grief" and I got through all of those without any eye fanning too. That's a fantastic feat for me. I hate breaking down while singing. It's so not professional (not that I am one - but its just so Youth Conference ya know) but I've done it the last two family missionary events I've sung at. I'm glad I broke the cycle. With him gone I will be in the market for a new Indie film and gym buddy. Anybody an LA Fitness member with a taste for angst and ambiguity?

On Saturday Patrick and I were catching the Mellowdrone set at The Echo and who was crossing the street with us? None but Michael Cera (George Michael from Arrested Development) and he was short and exactly how he is on the show. I felt very LA - it was cool. :D He's a favorite. Yay Michael. He was going to the time travel store and not to the show -but that's OK. I wonder who else is just roaming around Echo Park? Gob perhaps. I really need those DVDs. Like a dog needs food. Seriously.

My Graduation Application is (FINALLY) in for the U and is now being scrutinized by the best and brightest so I need all the happy thoughts and prayers that you can muster for me in the direction of Grad School ascension. And yes, my new copy of my lost novel is coming along fantastically. I'm almost pleased with it. Thanks for asking.

I bought a membership to CostCo and its been a strange experience. See - I've never really shopped at CostCo before. I've gone to one and picked people up from there and enjoyed a dollar hot dog once or twice but I've never gone there with the intent to shop. I'm very much steeped in the "get baked goods at a bakery and meat at a butcher and fruit at a farmers market" school of thought and am a Mom and Pop shopper all the way. But when I was in Utah Jonathan took us shopping at CostCo for wedding stuff and I thought "Self, there might be some merit to this. AND you get discounted gas. Totally worth the 50 bucks over a year right there." But wandering that place with a shopping cart and a list was a very overwhelming experience for me. You would have thought that I had just come from behind the Iron Curtain. I kept bumping into stuff because I was just looking up in wonder half the time. Much like how I was my first time in New York. My internal dialogue went something like this-

"No wonder the rest of the world thinks Americans are gluttons. LOOK at this place??! They have bikes! And Muffins! And coffins! and organic spinach! and leather jackets! and jars of vitamins the size of feedbags! My word. Just call me Gulliver"

I only wanted to get stationary for Nick and some office gifts. The smallest package of pens I could find had 40 pens. What on earth am I going to do with 40 pens? I don't think I've used up 40 pens in my entire college experience. I was so curious I spent two and a half hours there just combing the isles to see the extent of randomness and Oz size portions of everything.

Which leads me to a philosophical point I've been brooding over - but I'll save that for tomorrow- cause I think I have more to say than a Grab Bag snippet would allow.

And just a s Point of Informatio: those Hello Kitty grab bags they have at the mall have been a life long happy thought. I'm prepared when Tinkerbell arrives. I haven't bought one since I was 10 or so but oh how I do love them. How can things be bad when there are Christmas carols and grab bags to be had? I mean really.

I can't get the Whoville Christmas song out of my head.

My best friend is the best and sent my mom cookies and me yarn and keeps me stocked with nephew pictures. Who could ask for more?

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Best Hot Chocolate on the Face of the Planet Ever EVER

A few Christmases ago my boss, as office presents, gave us this super super yummy hot chocolate mix in these adorable mugs with some Hershey's kisses and a candy cane. I recently remembered the heaven that those few mug fulls were and asked her for the recipe the other day and made it -

And I am, once again, taken and I needed to share the joy.
3 c powdered sugar
1 c nonfat dry milk
2 c instant NesQuik
3/4 c French Vanilla non-dairy creamer
1 lg (6oz) box of instant chocolate pudding

mix together in a large bowl and store in cool, dry place in an air tight container.

To enjoy: add 3tbs to 1 c of boiling water (adjust according to size of mug and pallet). Add marshmallows and a Hershey's kiss. Stir with a candy cane.
I've yet to find its equivalent. I even like it better than the Ghirardelli stuff - and that's saying something.

The world should know. Seriously.

Wednesday Giggles

So I love this guy -
About a year ago my friend James had come to visit all the way from Utah and he had, like, 3 hours to visit with friends so when he got here he didn't even knock he just walked into my apt, with out even a "hi", walked over to the nearest outlet, set up his laptop and said
"you need to see this guy"

He was right - I did. And so do you -

Tuesday, December 11, 2007


I think I'm at one of those cross sections thingies in life.

I just graduated. (yayay Liz :D)

And I'm getting ready for Grad School but I have a little bit of time and a few options. There are a lot actually - there are so many "what ifs" it makes my head hurt so I think I need to write all this out and down to get some clarity. Advice welcome...

A teaching position in an English Program at the College or University level.

Needed items
A graduate degree, knowing someone in the program, and teaching experience

Grad School Game Plan

-If I get accepted to a PhD program at the U and am offered that Fellowship I will start teaching and taking classes there in August.

-If I don't get accepted at the U I'll go on with the Master's program at Cal Poly also starting in August and start working my way around the local Junior Colleges looking for entry points into their English Programs.

Option 1)

With my youngest brother reporting to the MTC and my older brother getting ready to move closer to his job I could move home to save money and keep a better eye on my rapidly aging parents, continue in my current employment which has healthy benefits, is close to home, would be a great position if I go to Grad School at Cal Poly, but consists being inside a grey life sucking cubicle in a morguely silent office, in front of a computer screen with - uh - "characters" for superiors.

Pros- Option 1:
- Save scads of $ and pay off car thereby entering Grad School completely debt free
- only drive 7 minutes to work thereby feeling properly green and less exhausted.
- If volunteering time at a JC is necessary I would be financially OK going part time to free up my schedule
- downsizing of stuff with the move home would facilitate a possible jump to SLC

Cons - Option 1:
- Packing up my entire existing apartment into storage/Goodwill/or Craig's list
- Figuring out how to live with my mother again
- Moving back out once Grad School starts (either here or there) and loosing the sweet deal I have on my place right now (that I love love love)

Option 2
Don't move home, keep working at the same job and wait to hear from the U.

Pros - Option 2:
- Keeping my own apartment, space, time, and privacy a healthy distance from my amazing and devoted family

Cons - Option 2:
- loosing the opportunity to get financially ahead
- continue to drive almost 45 mile a day commuting

Option 3
Take a job cleaning celebrity Hawaiian Villas on Maui for $35/hour till August and then come home when Grad School starts.

Pros - Option 3:
- Living in Hawaii
- Getting a chance to recharge my batteries from my Bachelors before I start Grad School
- Learning to surf
- Fulfilling my lifelong dream of seeing tropical water
- Getting to write on the beach on my days off
- Having a job that is active and plays to some of my greatest joys in live (IE: cleaning)
- Being paid nearly twice what I'm making now and having cost of living be the same as it is here.

Cons - Option 3:
- Having to pack up my existing apt in to storage/Goodwill/Craig's List
- ........

So whats the call? I'm so very tired...

Friday, December 7, 2007


So I feel the burning need to post but I don't have sufficient time to really write so I'm going to do another one of Shelly's games because I love memories and especially memories about Christmas.
So Merry Ho ho ho and stuff :D

Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate? I'm going to have to go with hot chocolate. My boss made us this gourmet mix stuff one year as office gifts. SO good. It was chocolate, powdered milk, powdered sugar, instant pudding mix, and french vanilla non dairy creamer. My world has never been the same.

Do you wrap your presents or not? I actually really love wrapping presents and making them pretty and getting the right ribbon with just the right the paper. However, I hate having to do it 50 times in one sitting.

Colored lights or white? I love white lights. Its like insta-fairy grotto for anything. Toppled down shack, add a few lights and brrrraaaddding! bearable toppled down shack.

Do you hang mistletoe? No, but I'm always looking for a new tradition to embrace.

When do you put up your decorations? I don't have a specific time. Either before finals to avoid studying or after so usually the first two weeks of December but NOT before Thanksgiving. That's a promise

What is your favorite holiday dish? On Christmas Eve mom always puts out those little cocktail weenies in BBQ sauce and toothpicks. I never eat them because I was traumatized by a hot dog manufacturing video once and I typically don't care for BBQ sauce but the second I smell them I start singing Little Drummer Boy.

Favorite memory as a child? About Christmas or in general? Well Christmas memory wise I remember one time when I was about 6 or 7 and we had just gotten the Christmas tree and we were decorating it (that was my favorite part). Our tree is composed of ornaments that each kid got some different year. We all get one every year so when we take them all out the next year we get to reminisce about every other Christmas before. Christopher was always some form or a Drummer Boy, I was some Angel cognate, Jonathan was a Nutcracker, and Nick was a bear usually. Well anyways - we had to go to sleep before the tree was finished and I was pretty heart broken but I was so excited about it that I couldn't sleep. So I went back upstairs to the front room after Mom and Dad had finished and gone to bed and everything was dark the parentals kept the tree lit and it was so magical to my 6 year old eyes in that dark room. I just sat on the floor in front of it and soaked it up. I think I fell asleep there but coming up the stairs to the soft glow of a lit and decorated tree was pretty awesome.

When and how did you learn about Santa? I can't remember exactly. I think Christopher outlined it out for me when I was about 7

Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve? Yes - growing up we opened one and it was always new pjs. Not too shabby.

How do you decorate your tree? Well family wise see #8. My tree in my apt I use ribbon and some stock ball ornaments and I've decided to buy a pretty ornament every year too so I only really have 2 noteworthy ones but give me time. :D I'm thinking about starting to collect the Wedgwood ornaments. My friend Adrienne does that and it seems so classy and lady like to me so I might shamelessly copy her. it or dread it? After my recent snowing in experience in Utah I think I can honestly say that I love it as long as I have good socks and gloves and don't have to drive. It somehow makes things more homey. Like home is not just a good place to be - its where you want to be and seems warmer. That and you feel like you're on Hoth but without the snowbeasts

Can you ice skate? I haven't attempted in years but I can hold my own. Its like riding a bike. Right?

Do you remember your favorite gift? My grandparents gave me the entire Anne of Green Gables series one year and a swatch. I don't think I've been happier in my entire life.

What is the most important part of the holidays? Reaching out to other people. I think that we live 75% of our life in the 4 weeks in December. We visit more and party more and shop more and travel more and eat more and just blah - and if you have people to love and go to its marvelous but there are a lot of people who don't have someones and its torture. I want to give them a hug. That and the Music. Yay for people regularly singing about the Savior. Its beautiful.

Favorite holiday dessert? hmm - probably my great grandma's sugar cookies. Mostly because I like to nibble at the dough when its chilling but nothing screams Christmas more than that to me.

Favorite tradition? Every year on Christmas Eve we do our candle ceremony. When my parents were married a squillion years ago my Nana gave my mom this beautiful German carved pillar candle with a music box in the bottom that played Silent Night and every year we light that candle and play the music and Daddy reads Luke II. When hes done and the music box finishes we each have our own little personal candles (nutcrackers, angels, bears, drummer boys) and we light it from the central candle to remind ourselves about the Light of Christ and how that's where we draw our strength from and why we sing. Then we sing with the music box again, open presents and go to bed. I love Christmas.

Favorite Christmas Carol? Lo How a Rose and Gesu Bambino

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Wednesday Giggles

So - A LOT has happened this last week.
The bro is officially married
I got snowed in under 7+" of snow. Very pretty and fun snow mind you. But snow nevertheless.
Slept on a couch for a week.
Got to hang out with some old friends (a few stories there)
Fell in love with another golden child - (more stories there too)

I promise to blog about it all ad nausium as soon as grad apps and GREs are done
but one of the jewels I brought back from Utah was this video my friend Matt (father of the golden child) showed me

No School like the Old School
The Muppet Show - Danny Boy

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Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Wednesday Giggles

I love and adore these guys and this sketch. Its a classic. Enjoy

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Back Forward Fast

Nick, Loyal, Nickie, Rosie and I got my tree up last night and I had Christmasafied my cute apartment on Sunday (complete with boy choir carols mind you) and I've completed my shopping list and I realized, with all the praises I sang to Thanksgiving, that I had yet to get a proper post done.
And since my head hurts too much from lack of sleep and anxiety to do any real work now seems like an opportune time.

Firstly - On my Thanksgiving;

Thank goodness for fathers that have a bit of sense. About 5 years ago he made a Paterus Familius decision: he infinitely prefers a happy wife on Thanksgiving than a royal spread and a spent and grumpy mommy. The rest of us couldn't agree more. So since then we've gone out for Thanksgiving. It cost less, there is no clean up, you still feel fancy and Mom is always in high spirits.

For the last 3 years or so we've been regulars a the Shiloh Suites Thanksgiving buffet and let me tell ya, we were thankful.

Firstly the live music is always awesome. Fast track to make Liz happy (and thankful) - live music. There is a big screen with the football game and the sound down for those that live for that kind of thing. And the food. OH the food. Growing up with the gourmet that my Bohemian mom is, it takes something special to make all of us go Ooohhh - but the Shiloh pulls it off. The sheer magnitude of the buffet is almost too much. In the main dining room they have a whole wall of desserts. Everything from marzipan petite fours (who was happy? Lizzie that's who. I almost did a happy dance but I contained myself. My heals were far too high) to lemon bars and warm chocolate chip cookies (on a warmer). There is a full on sushi bar with everything sushi imaginable, salad bar with everything salady imaginable, enough fruit to make San Franciscan blush, bagels and lox - the lot. And that is just the cold food.

They open up three whole suites for the hot buffet. There is the traditional Thanksgiving yummyness down the middle of the room with warm bread, honey butter and the works. They even had eggs benedict this year (who was happy? My Father that's who). There was a banana foster bar with a white vested and anxious culinary student ready to make your life banana fostered perfect. There was a pasta bar with an equally anxious and capable culinary student ready to make your life pastalicious. Then there were a couple of sides of cow that were being whittled at by passers by (Who was happy? My brothers- euphorically).

I had fruit and turkey and prayed that the gravy was made with cornstarch and not butter and flour and pretty much the only other thing there whose main ingredient wasn't butter, cream or some other form of happiness was the pasta bar. I think the particular rogue manning the mini frying pans and burners was a bit too amped because he used about 200% too much white wine for the flambe and sent a hurling cloud of smoke all the way through the entire buffet suite when he was working on my fettuccine marinara. It was pretty funny, I'm not going to lie. Official types started poking their heads in asking what was going on because the smoke had made its way through the main lobby and into the main dining room, and there we were. This freckly culinary student holding and pan looking sheepish and me standing as close to the open window as I could and trying not to laugh. The Mater D's face went from totally annoyed to instantly entertained and he started laughing. I was confused but too busy trying to keep my hair smoke free to ask questions. Nick informed me later that Pasta Boy was trying to show off and it back fired (no pun intended) and when the Mater D saw me he understood. I am honestly surprised he still had eyebrows. The flame almost hit the ceiling tile. What a sweet brother huh? Whatever the reason, it was a lovely Caddy Shack moment and sent me giggling proper to our martinellied table.

We were nestled quite comfortably inside the cornucopia of carby happiness with Bob Dylan and Joni Mitchell covers in the background.
We ate and laughed and ate some more. It was my parents, my older brother, Nick and I and it was marvelous. My older brother has been a retail slave for the last 10 years or so and its only been the last 4 months that hes broken free and hence has been able to shake off the Black Friday gloom that usually hovers over Thanksgiving day. I haven't seen him this happy in years and it really made the day that much more amazing.

So we went home expecting the turkey coma and it came surely enough. Four hours later we made our way to see A Bee Movie and it wasn't horrible. It didn't chage my life or leave me in stitches. It was an entirely adequate movie but a wonderful day.

Secondly - On being Thankful;

I am.

For a lot of things

My friend Anastasia and I exchanged a few thoughts on the realtionship that Gratitude, Happiness and Love have. She and I are both reading "Happiness is a Serious Problem" and Dennis Prager says

"Yes, there is a secret to happiness - and it is gratitude. Most of us are grateful for anything we have only after we are threatened with losing it or actually do lose it."

But the more grateful you become the easier it is to be happy and the happier you are the easier it is to love and the more you love the more grateful you become. Its a beautiful cycle and one I hope I can remember better this year.

Because I am grateful.
Very grateful.

Principally for my Family and everything that makes them up

The Gospel
best friends
text messaging
and very silly movies.

There is a myriad of other things; Professors, goddesses, art, the California coastline, new sisters in law, a college degree, a car that works, shoes that fit, people to call, music to love, lip balm, opposible thumbs, computer literacy, day planners, sales at Michaels, Jane Austen, purse size kleenex, Korean pens, farmers markets, contact lenses, blogs and everything else that peppers and colors my life.

At the risk of schmaltz, I am grateful to be me and to have my life and be at liberty to live it and if I can't proclaim that now then when? I mean honestly -

So happy retrospective Thanksgiving. I hope it was more than turkey to you too.

Monday, November 26, 2007


My brother is getting married this week. Its really happening.

Complete with Walmart tablecloths and a 6' sub (yes - they went with a 6' sub. For the reception.... don't get me started)
There is going to be a high of 47 in SLC this whole week..... with some snow and rain thrown in for good measure. On the wedding day even. Totally can't wait. :D
The term "Lizscicle" comes to mind.
Do I even have gloves?

I haven't seen the red skirt I'm supposed to show up and take pictures in.
The place I'm staying at has some stomach flu victims and I have a final 3 hours after I get off the plane on Monday.

Pray for me, Seriously.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

I wonder if hes tall...

So Mary S over there on the right pointed me at one of my new favorite blogs.
Now which is also on the right.

He's adorable.
He's brilliant.
He's balanced and endearingly self aware.
He knows who Elizabeth Bennet is.
He's pretty much worth is weight in gold and snobby beer.

Meet Justin

Wednedsay Giggles

One of the Favs. Absolute Favs.
Don't be too put off by the lipstick and heals.

He explains it all earlier in the show and if you're interested I have the DVD.

Eddie Izzard: Stonehenge

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Tuesday, November 20, 2007

MIA - but only a bit

So its Crunch Time
Fever Pitch Time actually
in terms of writing for Grad School Applications and final projects and a bunch of other things that have a claim on my attentions and writing talents so I will be a bit here and there for the next week or two. I may check in for Wednesday Giggles or if something is particularly fantastic or gets me particularly irate.

So don't miss me too much (all 7 of you)
I'll be back soon enough

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Sunday Splatdown

The sharp piece of slightly broken plastic on the computer is digging in to my wrist.

I think that I need to trim my nails again. They're getting too long to type with but I want them nice for the wedding. I really hope that things aren't going to implode and then explode in our faces. I really should let April be with all that stuff anyway. I'm sure she has enough things to do and people to please aside of me. Those necklaces were really would have been in Betty Rubble's reject pile. My feet always hurt the day after wearing my black boots. I don't know how I'm going to manage two hours during pictures. Maybe they'll be too cold to tell. I can't imagine being grateful to cold for anything but there you have it. The cold does tighten up the pores nicely though so I suppose I could be grateful for that. If it's too cold though... red noses are every girl's sworn enemy. I've never seen a girl look becoming with one ever.

"You will care very much when your nose swells up"

Noses are entirely one of the funniest body parts. They're just ridiculous in isolation. They're like the bound morphemes of the feature universe. I wonder if Georgie really had one that spread out when she smiled too much. I've been pretty blessed in the nose department. Mom says that Jewish girls get a nose job for their high school gradation present. I thinkthat's a little silly. They have the best nicknames too. Buttons, schnozes, beaks, sniffers. They just move and make noise and have random hairs and are a reluctant indicator of your emotional state. Understanding through leakage.

I wonder why Heavenly Father decided to have tears be an indicator of happiness and sadness. Or of an emotional state and all. I know all the biology - they're one of the fastest ways to expel toxins from stress response hormones and all that but its just strange. This part of your face just randomly leaks and it is the physical expression of the fact that you just can't keep in it all in anymore. I mean - what if our tongues swelled up instead? We'd all give the British a run for their money in the uptight sector I suppose cause that would just be unpleasant.
note to self: Never be without tissue
Contents of purse:
(Or things I don't want to be without either)
pocket knife (that is a pill box, mirror, flashlight, pen, toothpick, sewing kit, perfume holder, with scissors and a nail file too)
make up
sewing kit
clorox wipes
baby wipes
manicure kit
pain killers
band aids
tea bags
cliff bars
tide pen

I really love that new Donna Karan perfume. I better put that on the Christmas List of hopefulness.

Why am I afraid that I'll walk into a men's public restroom so I usually check the ladies room sign two or three times before I go in? New levels of embarrassment there. Of all the things to worry about though...

I wore pearls to church today. I'm one vacuum, husband and corset away from being a 50's housewife. I kind of like those petticoats but the Cold War would have worn on me after awhile. The chauvinism would have worn thin after a while too. But half of me really misses men being men and taking charge. Why is it such a social tight rope for men to be men without being abusive or chauvinists? In the social sense of things. Maybe that new TV show is just all hyperbole. But I sure know it wasn'tTBirds and Pink Ladies either. Oh well - Key Clubs didn't evolve on their own and for no reason. Its the Handmaid's Tale all over. But before it began cause its in the future - Same principles. Same social pendulous effects of stuff, people ,and the greater good

Wouldn't it be funny if there was a back room shot calling CEO named Greater with a spoiled bulldog named Good?

"Didcha ever fly through the air shooting two guns at the same time??!"

I hope the strike ends soon. I don't watch TV regularly but I just don't like writers and the outside world not getting along. It rocks my sense or security about things. As long as people are writing things areOK. We are still somewhat finding our better selves. At least in my Roseville.

Real Love

So just when I think that my family can't get any more amazing my brother goes and proves me bitterly wrong. He decided that I needed his 73GB MacBook far more than he did and proceeded to simply hand it over because my computer got stolen in the break in.

So now I'm officially coming at you from the alabaster world of Mac but I promise not to become "a Mac Person". If it has a keyboard, speakers and a word processing program I am a happy girl. A blessed, amazed, grateful and admittedly slightly spoiled girl.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

My Five Life Classes

So my fantastic friend Shell tagged me for another one of these blog adventures.

I'm supposed to devise a list of 5 courses I would take to improve my life.
It’s more fun to be in classes with friends, so include one class from the person who tagged me that I’d also like to take.
Then I'm supposed to tag five friends to go back to school with me.
I am tagging Nicole, Hannah, Rachel, the other Liz - plus anyone else who wants to do it cause I'm truly curious but those are just the regular bloggers I know and would do it if they so choose.

Well first and foremost I would take World Religions & Philosophies 501 with Shell.

But I would call it Understanding 520

Her description sounded like the most delicious class ever.

"I've taken world religion and philosophy both before so I want the advanced course. I want the advanced version of this class. I want field trips to monasteries, Shinto shrines, kaballah centers, Hindu temples, sabbath with a rabbi, visits with theological leaders and religious greats. Schedule seminars, which include a review of major doctrinal beliefs, introduction to scripture, and a question & answer period, with the Dalai Lama, Jehan Begli, Billy Graham, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, Pres. Gordon Hinckley, Archbishop Williams, Yusuf Motala, Louis Farrakhan, Bishop Tutu, Mary Manin Morrisey, Arun Gandhi, and more Given the religious pursuit that I find myself in, having this class would provide me with the factual information I need and the spiritual experiences I crave."

Shell - I am TOTALLY there with you. And I think we could rock that Tibetan Monk Orange robe ensemble together.

Course #2 - The Mother/Child Relationship 345

But it would be team taught by Bear Grylls, Jane Goodall, Steven Hawking, Theodore Roosevelt, a Shaman named MoonTree and many others. It would be a Survivalist/Naturalist course.

I would learn everything I need to learn, biology, oceanography, cartography etc about 1) how nature works, 2) my relationship to her, and 3) how to survive with her. We would have MANY awesome adventures where Bear would show us how to navigate something and Jane or MoonTree would explain why it is the way it is and outline the layers of life and influence that goes into scaling a waterfall or shark fishing etc. We'd sail and hunt with Orcas in Alaska and shadow elephants in the Serengeti and dive and live on and around the Great Barrier Reef. It will be marvelous.

Course #3 - How to be Financially Secure and not have to Be or deal with Douche Bags 435
I've thought about this and I've reluctantly concluded that to be financially secure you have to either manipulate other people or associate yourself with someone that has no problem manipulating other people and both of those options seems totally unpalatable to me, so I'd like to know how to navigate that particular conundrum. Because one cannot be totally at liberty to write or create if you're too worried about the electric bill or your car getting towed ya know? You kind of need that mental check mark.

Course #4 - Eating with Dairy Allergies 205 (aka "No More Happiness")

I need recipes and ideas on how to get around the American's diet obsession with milk and not end up chewing on celery and pita bred for the rest of my life. Mama needs some flavor people! I just can't get over how either cheese, butter, or cream have a stake in everything we put in our mouths on a regular basis. These are strange waters, I need some help.

Course #5 - Micro Macro Miracles 580

This would be a course where I could learn things that I can do, support and think about in my small daily life that would cause real change in the areas of the world that need the most help. I cannot go over to Darfur and feed all of the 2.5 million starving victims of the genocide that's going on right now. I can't fix that problem by myself but I can do little somethings that will help and I want to know what those are. I already use canvas bags and recycle with gusto to respect the earth as much as I can but I want to help people too and not feel overwhelmed by the fact that I can't do it all. There has got to be SOMETHING ya know?

So there it is. My class schedule. Thats what I would do and were I would be going if I had a chance.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Wednesday Giggles

These guys can just make a heart happy. Especially if you're a music nerd like me.

They met when they were 12 at the Yehudi Menuhin School and the rest has pretty much been history. They stick to touring in Europe for the most part but the second they come to the US I am there with a propeller cap on!!

These two are my favorite bits but there are a bunch more I recommend.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Eye-Rubbingly Pathetic

So I'm one of those slightly manic organized people.
I'll admit it with no scruples whatsoever.

I make lists. I carry lists. I work through lists. I pretty much have, love, and operate through lists.
Some are tangible and some are intangible and one of my important intangible lists is the L's List as previously outlined.

Someone that has a permanent and labeled chair in the Loathe category, right between Political Apathy and Mean Spirited People is Paris Hilton.

The more I hear, see, read or even remotely consider her the more I want to punch a baby.

She makes me embarrassed to be human, female, and American because those are the only things we have in common.

She is seriously everything that is wrong with the human race, Americans, the Upper Class, and painted, bleached, waxed, bulimic, plasticy augmented people.

If you haven't seen the South Park episode "Stupid Spoiled Whore" its Trey and Matt's hilarious ode to Paris and it's the only thing I can think about whenever she comes up. I laugh a little but I still shake my head. Its funny but be forewarned - its an episode that is South Park at its best in a very South Parky South Parkish kind of way.

I read this article today and was having a hard time believing it wasn't on The Onion. I'm pretty sure they heard my eyes roll all the way in Sunnyvale.

What a flaming idiot of a girl. I hate to be hard on my own sex but there you have it.
"We have to get the elephants to stop drinking - that will solve everything"

Dear Paris (or person reading this aloud to Paris because shes only up to G in her alphabet book),

How about getting the hell off of the elephant's land Paris? How about spending your copious amounts of free time and sway with the press to encourage harmonious living in Nature's cross sections? How about endorsing MODERATE LIVING so that the elephants won't need to rampage through villages? That has ripple effect principles you could hang your hat on here in the US as well where we don't necessarily have an encroaching elephant problem but we do have the malignant vacuum of morals in the form drunken people that do just as much intangible damage if not more and then land their whiny cabooses in jail. You should have learned this by now. The alcohol isn't the bloody problem! Its the reasons why they're drinking - both for elephants and for yourself. How about spending 30 seconds and a making a call to your Dad or PR Agent before doing a press release to avoid looking like a pathetically ravingly idiotically sad and hopeless mess of a human being that is SO short sighted she only has a hope for a future as a weather girl that says "its hot".

Get a life Paris
Get an Atlas
Get someone close to you that will be honest with you and isn't intimidated by your hopelessly spoiled character or bank book that will tell you how it is because that's how it is and for that reason only
Get a normal car
Let your hair be it's natural color
Read a book (without pictures preferably)
Go feed the 73 million starving African AIDS orphans instead of judging beauty pageants in Japan
Or call George Clooney and shadow him for a month or two. Now there is a man who has his head on straight and uses his clout for the right reasons in the right way. Help him with raising awareness and funds to prosecute the war crimes in Darfur. And feed the 2.5 million displaced citizens still trying to survive.

Leave the damn elephants alone. If you were visiting I'd get drunk too.

Monday, November 12, 2007


I watched a movie once.

Amazing I know. Hard to believe but true.

It wasn't on any of the Academy's "To Watch" lists I'm sure but it wasn't horrible.

It was a bit of an estrogen filled story about mitigating bad luck and bad decisions by loving each other. There are many other stories along the same vein - and especially with southern accents and this one was no different.

Most of it was fairly forgettable but there is one dialogue that has stuck with me.

A side character of a single mother with a bunch of kids was desperately looking for a husband and one day found a guy. She thought he was the answer to prayer but it turns out it he was an abusive pedophile. Naturally the mother was beside herself with grief and regret and fear and without any answers. She comes out and sits on the front porch with the main character who is a single mother herself and had been dealt a very difficult deck and she asks

"what do I tell them when they ask why this happened to them?"

and the main character says

"you tell them that our lives can change with every breath we take.
We both know that.
And you tell them to let go of what's gone. 'Cause men like Roger Brisco never win. And tell them to hold on like hell to what they've got--
each other and a mother who would die for them...
and almost did.
You tell them we've all got meanness in us.
But we've got good in us too.
And the only thing worth livin' for is the good.
And that is why we've gotta make sure to pass it on."

I spent this weekend in Salt Lake with my two younger brothers and soon to be sister-in-law doing the last minute stuff for the wedding and doing my best to be a supportive sister. There is still a lot more to do and SO many more changes to come for me and my family. The more I inventory the schedule for the next 10 weeks or so its all I can do to not crawl up in a corner and sing primary songs to myself. And since we've officially adopted Murphy into the fold the more changes we get ready for the more changes we realize we need to make.

Jonathan is getting married

Nick is going on a mission

Chris is probably going to move back to Pasadena

I'm graduating from college

I'm applying to Grad school and desperately awaiting an answer

I might move back home to take care of my empty nested and still ill parents

I'm taking the GRE

I might be a college professor in 5 years (how freaking weird is that??!)

Good things are happening but they are also never going to be the same and I'm beginning to feel the loss.

Valuable experience and things are never easy. Being proven is not a day at the Pier.

But its always easier to talk about or watch a game than actually play one. I'm in the first quarter and feel pretty pooped.

Our lives can change with every breath we take - and that's a good thing.
It lets you love people better and your people love you more.

I guess I'm just doing my best to pass it on.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Wednesday Giggles

A lot happened before Sondra, Denise, Theo, Vanessa, Rudy, Olivia and Jello Pudding -
The sweaters have been around for a while, but not as long as Legos.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Missing the Forest AND the Trees

Dear Thanksgiving,

I just wanted to drop you a note to let you know that I haven't forgotten about you. I know that half of the world and most of the stores therein are already decked out with ornaments, red and green tinsel, and the signs and tents are up for the tree lots, and all just minutes after Halloween, but I have not forgotten about you.

You're my favorite holiday and always have been.

I don't know if I just like to cook, like to feed people, like to be fed, or if my favorite thing in the known universe is being in a spice filled room with people I love, but you are it. I can't help but get happy warm fuzzies at the thought of you.

How can I begin to apologise for Corporate America's insensitivity? I know you're not the most lucrative holiday but President Lincoln wasn't too worried about that when he invented you. He just wanted a war torn country to sit down for a good meal and remember the things that made life worth living, just for a day. I suppose it was the next best thing to teaching everyone yoga but that would have been difficult in those corsets anyway, so he told an ancestral and patriotic story instead. I don't mind that its pretty much made up. It still makes me happy, gives me two days off of school when I most desperately need it, left overs for a week and a few glorious hours with people I love.

You're the real deal Thanksgiving! Don't let anyone tell you otherwise. I'll keep preaching the Thanksgiving gospel and you keep on keeping on.

Your devoted friend,

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Familiar Stranger

I was a bit of an eccentric child.
It was like my heart was always 5 or 6 steps ahead of my head.
I don't think much has changed.

When I was about 8 my mom, as most dutiful cultured mothers did, recorded a movie off of TV. It was HBO's production of The Pirates of Penzance and when I watched it I was completely taken by it. I loved the music. I loved the costumes. I loved Rex Smith's boots and Linda Ronstadts' effortless running scales. I loved Kevin Klein's acrobatics and I loved the painfully obvious fake parrot. I watched it over and over and over again. Any minute of spare TV time had me lost in the poor wandering one's and catlike treads of it all. I was so diligent a fan that it pretty much drove the rest of my siblings insane. Especially when they just wanted to play Zelda. It got to the point that my brother stole the video tape away from me, and after a mad around the house screaming pursuit for my most prized possession, he opened up the flap and totally crumpled up a good portion of the tape. He didn't break it but there was always a delightful snow storm as Angela Lansbury sang about her wrinkles - and I was OK with that.

School and life encroached in on my available TV time so I gradually weaned myself off of it and when I got my first DVD player I was making a list of the movies I felt necessary for my personal library and Pirates of Penzance had a top 10 spot. I located one through the KCET store and stat down for a night of fun with the old friend of a movie that it was. It had been a good 10 years since I'd seen or heard a note of the production. Needless to say, I was very excited.

What followed was one of the most schizophrenic experiences of my life.

Every look and eyelash blink of blocking was totally familiar to me. It was written on my DNA. Every note of every song was a friend. I knew every aspect, dimension and angle of this production but it was a whole new movie. I was watching something I intimately knew, but for the first time. It was a completely different show but the same at the same time. I've never forgotten it.

Goonies was an even stranger experience - Chunk is Jewish! I never knew. It was like I met all of them after knowing them my whole life.

Also when I was a kid there was this hymn we used to sing a lot at church. More than we do now. It was always kind of funny to me because it had the same melody as the merry go round at the local McDonalds so it never felt right, but there was a line that caught my attention, even as a munchkin, and still resonates in me.

Yet oft times a secret something whispered, “You’re a stranger here”
And I felt that I had wandered from a more exalted sphere.

So all of this, coupled with the infinite wisdom of Sesame Street, has been a cornucopia of food for thought for me and left me wondering, honestly child-like wondering about things. Why is something familiar but totally new at the same time? I know that coming back to things with a new set of eyes and experiences and using the vellum of art to make my point is more than a little subjective, but I think there are deeper principles in play. Something much more significant than childhood movies seen with adult eyes.

I've noticed that there are times that something pushes me outside of my normal everyday-living-my-life-frequency and for a moment or two and I feel completely outside of myself. My family has an emotional sepia frame placed on them, some friends reveal themselves to be sheep skin laden opportunists, and nearly everything I turn my mind to seems familiar but disconnected from me. Even the sound of my voice has sometimes seemed foreign.

It doesn't happen often but it slightly haunts me until the next displacement.

I drive the relatively same route to work. I see every shop and person that regularly waits for the bus every day. Twice a day oft times, there and home, but do I know them? No - they're all familiar strangers.

Everything seems to be.
Conversations. The same words from different mouths
Movies. Same jokes in different frames
the face of my watch

Things usually click back quickly and the sepia lifts but I feel changed. I feel educated and usually kind of sad. But not the defeated kind, just the displaced kind.

In my frequency or out, the sine wave never stops. The music never goes away. And among the handful of things I've honestly learned it's that I've got to belong somewhere; even if it's among familiar strangers.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Wednesday Giggles

I really don't have any particular reason why I love this guy aside from the fact that I could watch the same set over and over again and still laugh.

Maybe its how much he reminds me of friends from high school. Down to the DTs

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Proper Schagrins

I don't think we ever really leave high school.

They kick us out before we get a chance to resolve much of anything. It's just this big angst filled hole of questions, possibilities, hormones, bad clothes and beautiful moments with some pom poms and trophies thrown in for good measure.

I had a teacher there who was amazing. He was smart, well adjusted, a non-bureaucrat and had this way of talking to us like adults that I really appreciated.

Since he was such a good guy they gave him the honors track of kids so we got to spend a good amount of time together. My band also jammed in his office after hours (he was a pretty cool teacher) so we got a chance to chat a lot. We knew he loved his honors kids but he always kind of made fun of us. He called us drama queens and "reactionary" because of the All-Or-Nothing mentality we somehow managed to create and propagate in our over-anxious group think. He would sit back and laugh at how high strung we would get about tests and projects ie G.A.T.E. Syndrome.

G.A.T.E Syndrome - thinking that one flaw in the mix will damn you to a lifetime of manual labor and life in the gutter.

Or what my mother calls "Clearing away the wreckage of your future"

**this is a direct quote from a conversation I had with a classmate before an AP Bio exam in 10th grade. Imagine a stressed out Chinese girl who hasn't eaten for 2 days in mid-histerics and speaking at mach 2.**

"If I don't get a good grade on this test then I will get a low GPA and if I don't have a perfect GPA then I won't get into a good college and then I won't get a good job and I'll have to ask for change in the gutter to get by and take my meals at the Salvation Army."

I shared the views of my teacher for the most part. I never really felt my life was on the line with every test or project. But after him bringing it to light with such candor and seeing such gross evidence of it all around me, I resolved to be a bit more checked when it came to big tests and projects, to perspective, and not fixate on grades. My mantra from then has been "It's what I learn, not the marks I get" and I've been very loyal to it. There was a class in college where I was given an A and all I did was be the talkative person my professor wanted but I didn't learn a thing so I retook the class, got a B and felt much better about life.

But apparently October is the season for departures of rational thinking.

I got my midterm back and I passed and passed well. I didn't lead the class, and I didn't expect to, but my grade immediately left me feeling very foolish about how worried I was about it. I know there were a lot of prayers and positive thoughts going out for and to me because I have a marvelous group of people that love me and that were beautifully patient with my GATE Syndrome relapse - because that's exactly what it was.

Like most things - I am going to be OK.

A bit shook up, and given a reminder that I have to actually try this time around and not phone it in, but I'm OK. I'm still breathing and I'm not going to flunk out of college and become a Meter Maid that lawn bowls on the weekend and watches Bridges of Madison County once a week.

Not yet at least. We'll see how Grad School treats me.

For today, right now, I'm OK - and suddenly missing my band mates from high school. We did a mean Buffalo Springfield cover - let me tell ya.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Off the Radar

So just to make things more fun -
My phone is officially dead. The screen doesn't work and everything else froze. No texting for a while. Or calling for that matter.

Do you think All State sells Bad Luck or October Insanity Insurance?

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Stars and Tards

So the last 72 hours has moved me to give out some awards. It’s been an exceptional time for me and some of the key players deserve recognition.
Ladies and Gentleman!!!

I give you my Stars and Tards Awards


552,448 BIG Gold Stars to: My Brother

I don't think a Superman cape and John Williams theme music would do justice to the contributions he has made to my sanity. Not only did he perform like a champ when I came to the house after work looking to have a good cry with my mother after my midterm trauma only to find her out and on a date with my father. So he got to catch his sister in a very rare 30 minute long ugly cry break down of weeping and gushing emotion and frustration and he met it with grace. After a few cups of tea and telling me that he'll never stop loving me even if I do become the meter maid that my Grammar teacher is bent on reducing me to. But a few hours later he left the comforts of his Elder's quorum Halo party to come be with his sister who was sitting alone in her broken into and rampaged apartment and needed a computer because some thieving douche bags had stolen hers (along with some checks, a bank card, some jewelry, and the extra keys to her apartment and car, not to mention sense of security). So 16 minutes later he showed up, laptop in hand with cords slung around his shoulder like the Do-Gooding warrior that he is and stayed with me as the police dusted my place for finger prints. Then when he was exhausted he still made sure I made it to the Parent’s all right, pumped up my air mattress and made sure I had clean pillow cases. Yay for being related to a Strippling Warrior.

550, 258 Gold Stars to: My Parents
for busting out every ounce of affection and comfort their sleepy and devote hearts could give within in seconds of "Dad - don't freak out. I'm ok - I just wanted to tell you I'm spending the night here. Yeah - see...." including a massive Mary Tyler Moore Finale group hug to stop the tears and restore some kind of security in my life. My mom had me giggling within 15 minutes and my dad was online ordering me a new Dell. They are rockstars in every sense of the word. Dad even knew to have flowers and Tofutti Cuties ready the next day.

1,258 Gold Stars to: Neighbor man Brett
for 1) being born 2) being my neighbor and 3) replacing my locks because Maintenance Man was out of town and Apartment Manager Lady was freaking out even though he had plans to go to the Getty and treated me to Peruvian food with the guilt money Apartment Manager Lady gave him for doing Maintenance Man's job. Few would step up to the task. Thanks for helping me start to piece my sanity back together. And for the pollo saltado.

857 Gold Stars to: Officer Garcia and his Partner
For eventually showing up at my place and taking everything so seriously and properly dusting for prints and being so patient with my I’ve seen too many cop shows and still secretly want to join the FBI attempt at criminology vernacular as I answered their questions – “well I think this was the point of entry”… And thank you for coming back when I noticed something else and taking all of it seriously then too. Giving me your cell phone numbers so I wouldn’t have to go through dispatch again was also very considerate. I’m glad you’re both on The Force. Seriously. Not a single Hot Fuzz quote came to mind.

514 Gold Stars to: Liz W
For being thirsty and being up, hearing voices, seeing the police patrolling my place, and being worried about me. It meant a lot. I love having neighbors that are friends as well. I still might take you up on that air mattress offer if my imagination gets the best of me a night or two.

300 Gold Stars to: Kimbo
For not even blinking an eye or finding out what happened before she offered me a TV in case mine was stolen and just being a generally amazing person.

174 Gold Stars to: Nastia
For spending the night at my place with me and helping me party like its 1999 and letting me forget about the trauma of the previous 36 hours

175 Gold Stars to: NaToya and the rest of my Fellow Season Fairies
For having one of the awesomest Halloween parties EVER!!! And especially Toya for slaving away for the last 3 months to design, make, embroider, fit, refit costumes, make wings, do hair and make up and still have homemade chocolate chip cookies to boot, a DJ to jam out to and the capacity to help me forget my problems for tick. Where did I get such amazing friends? I really have no idea sometimes.

100 Gold Stars to: Apartment Manager Lady
For letting me park in her parking spot till I feel safe parking my car in its old spot and for being properly concerned for me. It’s all very comforting.


450,000 Tard Smears to: The Douche Bags who broke into my apartment on Friday night
I’ve been thinking a lot about this award and carefully considering my reasoning. All of you have been on my mind a lot. I want to let you know that a lot of my prayers are going with this award. I have been praying for all of you almost as much as my family. Mainly to keep myself from being consumed in anger and fear and because the One I serve had told me that’s what I need to do in these kind of situations and I think, for the first time, I understand why He takes that spin on things. I really pity all of you. I almost want to meet you and talk to you. I want to know what kind of pain you deal with that has driven you to drug addiction, anger and violence. No one should have to suffer all of those things at one time. Or even one at one time. So you all get a heaping helping of Tards because you did break into my home and steal my computer along with every paper I’ve written in college and 8 chapters of my book that I don’t have hard copies of. Those are all things I can’t replace and will miss very much. But I truly want all of you to get help. I want all of you to find someone in your life to love you and something to keep you from feeling like you need to invade people’s lives to get money to get high to escape from your own. If they catch you I will come down to the station because I want to look into your eyes and say I forgive you, because I do. I am still praying for all of you. And also praying that you lost my car keys during the get away and I don’t need to worry about that any more.

1003 Tard Smears to: The circumstance that took the Police 1.5 hours to get to my house when I couldn’t touch or do anything but still had to stay there and look at the invaded heap my home had become
Enough said. Lame. Extremely uncool.

500 Tard Smears to: My Grammar teacher
For being so psychologically damaging to me that I am STILL more concerned about my midterm than anything else that happened on Friday.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

You know-

What could make having the worst test day ever perfect? Coming home and having your house broken into. Seriously. Its been a marvelous day.
Sent via the Blackberry crystal ball

Friday, October 26, 2007

New levels of Sleepless

(and not the Seattle kind)

Dear frustratingly sadistic Instructor of English Grammar that should really have been the practicing Russian Nazi you are and whose class I had the gross misfortune of registering for,

Firstly, welcome to the country. I'm sure someone is glad you're here. However, today, right now, I cannot say that its me.

I understand that you've been dealt a hard deck. Its hard to be 5' 1" anywhere in the 1st world. Its also hard to be a woman in academia. And I cannot even imagine what moved you to get a PhD in English Grammar and Rhetoric when you were a linguistics exchange student from Moscow. Its a challenge I'm sure. I'm also sure that you have a deep love for ridiculous complexities like most of your countrymen do. Its loaned itself to many amazing novels and poetry and ballet dancers. I can't imagine what else would have led you to Grammar. It's its own painfully tedious language. Its a series of ridiculous and ridged guidelines inside a TOTALLY subjective universe. There is no absolute anywhere. Its a horrible conundrum for anybody native speakers included.

I don't know which of the Fates I pissed off enough to have landed you as an instructor at this really sensitive time for me. Probably Clotho. You and your class are the one thing that is standing between me and graduation and grad school. If I don't pass your class I don't graduate. If I don't get an A in your class I don't get into grad school. And you only let us take two tests that are each worth 35% of our grade??!! So if the first is a "learning opportunity" there is NO hope at redemption. None. None at all. How is that effective instruction?

So pretty much the stress of your class ruining my life and making me doubt any and all of my academic potential and value as a person in general. And not in the hyperbolic sense either. I am loosing sleep and emotionally destabilizing because of you class and methodologies. I'm not a stranger to challenges. My life has been a string of them. I have taught myself to read with dyslexia. I have sung in front of 1000's of people on a few minutes notice. I have played tennis matches with torn cartilage in my knee and blisters that went through 5 layers of skin and won. I have done some hard things in my life. I have learned languages within a matter of months (I had a lot of help on that one though)! I have never broken down in tears during an exam for sheer frustration or gone into the exam shaking with nervousness. But I did today and all within 15 minutes of each other. I feel like an overacting character in a bad soap opera but it's the truth. I believe its possible for Grammar to be accessible, to be learnable. People have done it for centuries. But in your class I feel like I'm studying Greek mixed with Klingon.

Your midterm that I took today realized every possible insecurity I've ever had. I feel like I should just apply for that good paying Waste Management job and let you consider your job done.

I have studied more for this class that I have the entirety of the rest of my college career. And I was studying microbiology for a good while, but none of it is making sense. I can't even see why it should be important to me. AND I'M A WRITER! This is why I am loosing sleep and faith in myself.

Do you understand that this isn't a game?

That these are people's lives that you're toying with with?

Do you get that your past perfect progressive adverbial clauses and the derivational morphemes exclusive to attributive adjectives in the Closed Class and all other impossible circumlocutory questions demanding short answer essays, examples, and argumentative evidence are sadistic?

And the next question is basically the same one as before but slightly different so that puts me into a slight panic attack wondering if I didn't understand the first one and makes me doubt everything I just said and will say later?

And 8 other pages of the same to get through?

And only having 50 minutes to do it?

And if I don't finish and finish well then I'm damned?

Do you get that?

Do you even care?

Do you know that answering a questions about jargon with string of other jargon that we don't even have a clue about understanding won't help? We don't stand in awe of your knowledge, we loathe the fact that you are our teacher. When the average class performance is below 40% in an upper division core class at a University that should tell you something. We're not casual students and we're not dumb, but we are lost. Very very very lost and running out of patience and time.

I suppose its too late now. The wheels are in motion. I'll get that Trash Lady or Meter Maid application ready right now.

Thank you for telling me to have a good weekend when I turned in my test though. I believe you truly meant it and perhaps felt a spot of sympathy for me if you saw my reluctantly leaking eyes.

Please disregard the fact that there are tear stains on this letter as well. I couldn't help it reliving the last few hours. I apologise for my lack of composure.

Traumatized and completely discouraged,

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Wednesday Giggles

Even though the world is on fire there are still giggles to be had so here we go!

Here is another favorite-

You may reconginze this lovely man from the reoccuring Pale Force segment on Conan or a few of those disturbing Skittles commercials (two words: beard comb-over). Hes also sometimes known as "The Polar Bear"

I love this particular set because all of my brothers are chemically dependent on Hot Pockets and it always disturbed me a little. It took Jim Gaffigan to explain why.

Oh - and that little voice he does inbetween statements is his version of the auidence's internal dialogue or reaction to what he might be saying about the joke. Its a running gig through the whole show. Var var funny.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

I'm It

Whoo Hoo! Game time....

Rules (cause we love rules):
1. The player lists 6 facts/habits about themselves.

2. At the end of the post, the player tags 6 people and posts their names, and then goes to their blog and leaves them a comment, letting them know they have been tagged and asking them to read your blog for the rules.

So, the Lovely Rachel has charged me to disclose 6 quirks and or strange habits about myself via blog (that I haven't already) and pass on the love.

This might be tough...
Um -

6) When I come across something I have a tendency to classify them in one of three different categories; "LOVE!", "Lame", "Loathe". I very rarely feel neutral or "meh" about something. If it's "like" worthy then I pick it apart for something to love so I can classify it in LOVE! And even if there is a morsel that is lovable it qualifies in the LOVE! category. I don't like to loathe things so that's why I designed Lame. I think there are only about 10 things that have a place in Loathe and stay there (abusive people, pedophilia, apathy, liars - those kind of things). This is my approach to everything. Music, food, places, people, books, plate tectonics (LOVE!). I think its a marvelous thing to feel and to feel wonderful so I look for it as often as possible.

5) Tendency #6 leads me to my #5 which is that I have a tendency to speak in superlatives. It is totally unintentional and I have no desire to dilute the meaning of a word or the awesomeness of what I am speaking to, but because I just love things it comes out as "my favorite!" or "the best!" or "awesomest thing ever!". And when I proclaim that I really mean it. Even if its for that space and time of 15 seconds that I pull that particular subject out of the LOVE! file. I've been working on being more keeled in my speech but for those of you that so patiently deal with the fire hose of "Bestest thing ever ever!" - that's why.

4) I have randomly occurring anal-retentive tendencies: My closet is organized according to type of clothing and where it falls in the color gradient. The shoes and purses are separated by blacks and browns on respective halves of it. The shoes don't point to magnetic north, but I have considered it. My movies and CDs are alphabetized. Most bottles in my bathroom are arranged in descending size order and the bills in my wallet always are in numerical faced order. Oh - and I refold clothes in stores.

3) I take particular joy in waving and smiling at people waiting on corners for the crosswalk sign to change when I'm stopped at a light in my car. They always look bored and half afraid that someone will talk to them and super anxious to just cross the street. So I wave and smile to simultaneously 1)realize their anxiety 2) let them laugh at themselves 3) and let them feel like a person not another something that cars avoid.

2) There have been times when I was showing friends where I grew up in Pasadena that after I've taken them on the brief neighborhood tour that I've introduced them to my trees. There were 3 or 4 trees around my home that were always special thoughtful spots for and to me. So yes - I've introduced people to trees. No I did not hug them but, like magnetic north, I have considered it.

1) I've always dreamed of being one of the kids on Kids Incorporated and then growing up to be one of Janet Jackson's back up dancers or having a regular spot as a Solid Gold Dancer. When I'm not lost in some kind of space in my head and I'm just driving I find myself choreographing and dancing to whats on the radio. I am an unfulfilled ballerina/hip hop diva - and honestly, I'm ok with that. Community college ballet classes are just wonderful and remind me why my budding Solid Gold career began and ended in front of my TV in my living room. But there is, and always will be, a pair of worn out character shoes and ballet slippers hanging up somewhere in my heart.

I think that I'm going to tag: Kim, Tracy, Shelly, Mari B, Hannah, and Nick. Cause I'm dying to know. Seriously.

Monday, October 22, 2007

"You Should Go into Business"

So as the lucky and patient few of you who have been getting regular ear-fulls of whats sucking up most of my free time and to commemorate my 40th post as part of the blogger universe:

I'm helping my new sister-in-law plan her and my brother's wedding that's going down next month. Shes a doll and has a bunch of amazing ideas but isn't much of a planner so I'm helping out where I can and its been really good to help us bond and all that fun jazz. I mean, what else can help you talk at least once a day than planning a wedding for a frozen Utah November? Not much.

So to explain why the posts are slower coming than usual and to save my blog from being nothing but a slew of random wedding updates I've just made a bar list on the side for you to peruse if you're curious or if you have any suggestions or comments.


Oscar Wilde says that "Only the shallow know themselves" implying that those of profound mind or spirit are constantly getting to know themselves and occasionally are surprised by who they are. I agree and disagree with this.

I disagree in the absoluteness he claims for those non-shallow of us. I think you can know your tendencies and know where you'd veer in certain situations but agree with him in the respect of progress -

If you're constantly and deliberately working on your character and habits there will be times of emotional critical mass where you amaze yourself. And there are also those precious moments where you know and feel that more experienced ethereal hearts and hands are guiding your actions and/or words and you get to look back with an earnest keanuesque "woah". I live for those moments frankly. Those are they hyper drive moments of character and make for the life changing journal entries.

However I content myself with little realizations about myself more often than not and I've recently learned something about me (aside that I'm allergic to dairy). I really really love defined non-definition. I love movies with ambiguous endings. I think I love the emotional tie up but not the logistical bow.

A couple of weeks ago the movie Garden State came up between Nick and myself at the gym. Apparently Mr. Zack Braff is more than the clowny dude on Scrubs. Homey had this screenplay in his pocket since high school and soundtrack list on his iPod before they even started filming. He directed the flick as well as starred in it. That's a pretty busy Scrubs clown boy. I was impressed and I had 3 people whose music sensibilities I implicitly trust recommend the soundtrack and that loved it without even seeing the movie. Holy cow. How many movies do you know whose soundtrack is so good it stands independently on its own? Think hard - I did and I didn't come up with many. So the DVD was on the $5 special at Target so I picked it up and I watched it for the first time last week. Holy. Freaking. Cow.

Awesome Flick

But not awesome in the LOTR of Transformers kind of way. Awesome in that it totally didn't resolve much of anything in this sad and angst filled life of a New Jersey boy except that he made one good choice out of a bunch of bad ones and it ends with him saying "what do you say here?" and it kind of faded into this marvelous Frou Frou song Let Go and I literally found myself more moved than I had been in months. I mean usually movies make you feel something during them and then they wrap it up nicely and you leave the theater all ready to face life after a brief brain vacation. But there are others that you feel this explosion of emotion, not in the middle but when its done. Then I reflected back to the last time I felt so much at the end of a movie and it was at the end of "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" where they say "What do we do now?" "I don't know". They just know they're in love and they know its not going to be perfect and that they were OK with that. It's this totally ambiguous ending.

And I've recently learned that I LOVE IT. When it's done right. If its like The Fountain - never freaking mind, I'd rather chew glass than try to get my head around that strange space. But I can't even begin to tell you how refreshed and validated I feel about all of the undefined aspects in my own life after seeing this movie. Maybe its because my life is so full of things and people that my head doesn't completely understand but my heart does or if I just love the space that movies like that give me to get lost in my head on my way back to my car and construct the sequel. But either way they teach me something about me, like all good art should. And for that I am grateful. I know myself just a little bit better than I did yesterday and its pretty good to meet me.

Even if its piece by piece.